David VS Goliath Podcast – S1 – Episode 29 – All Stars Part 1
In this all star edition of the David Vs Goliath Podcast our host Adam DeGraide takes us on a journey with the first 6 interviews of 2022. The podcast has been getting thousands of new subscribers and we want to make sure that everybody has the chance to hear this fantastic advice shared by our guests so far this year. In Part 1 of this 2 Part All Star episode you’ll get portions of each interview along with some great surprises from Adam thrown in. Advice, Encouragement and Entertainment.
Adam DeGraide: Coming up today on David Vs Goliath.
Adam Chipponeri: If I truly believe 30 minutes in the office saves three hours on the job.
Dr Stanley Oko…: It’s not about the money, but without the money, we’re not in it.
Adam DeGraide: And that’s what magic really can happen.
Zach Lezberg: And I think our biggest complaint is that there’s too much to do in one day.
Tim Sawyer: And it’s relatability. And if they relate to you and they think you’re genuine, most people will be moved.
Adam DeGraide: What was that really creative name again?
Perry Dimas: Well, it’s for the diagnostic industry, so I called it Diagnostic Conference.
Speaker 7: Welcome to today’s episode of David Vs Goliath, a podcast dedicated to helping small businesses leverage technology to not only help them compete against their large competitors, but win. Your host is currently the CEO of Anthem Business Software, a three-time Inc. 500 recipient, and a serial entrepreneur with a passion to help small businesses everywhere find, serve, and keep more customers profitably. Please join me in welcoming your host, Adam DeGraide.
Adam DeGraide: Hey, everyone. It’s Adam DeGraide with an amazing edition of the David Vs Goliath podcast. I love these recap episodes where we go back and we listen to what we’ve learned over the last 12 weeks. We’ve been adding thousands of subscribers, especially on our Rumble channel, and we really appreciate it. And so you might have missed some of the best interviews and best moments of 2022 so far. What I want to do is go back to the first six episodes, highlight them, and then next week we’re going to go back to the second six episodes, highlight them. These are episodes you don’t want to miss because they’re filled with a lot of fun, a little enthusiasm, some surprises, some things that you’re going to love. There’s no doubt in my mind that these will be some of your favorite episodes. And it’s a great way for you to get to know some of the people, listen to some of their stories and decide, “Hey, you know what? I want to go back and watch that whole interview.” Because obviously, we’re going to be just showing snippets of these interviews, but they’re awesome.
Today’s episode is brought to you by our corporate sponsor, Anthem Software, where you can find, serve and keep more customers profitably with their all-in-one software marketing and consulting platform, built specifically for small businesses to help you find, serve and keep more customers profitably. Anthem Software, every business has a song, let their software and marketing system sing yours. Some other housekeeping things beforehand. My book is out on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Just go type in Adam DeGraide, D-E-G-R-A-I-D-E. And you will find The Adventures of Jackson: The Young Field Mouse. It’s a great kids’ story, teaches them about bravery, listening and gratitude, three things that are really important life skills for kids.
And we’re excited about everything that’s going on. You can also visit us at DavidVsGoliathpodcast.com. You can subscribe to get updates there and get some emails, updates, and then also, you can apply to be on the podcast. What I love about what has been happening recently on the David Vs Goliath podcast is we’ve been receiving fantastic applications. And there has been a good four or five that I’ve actually interviewed, some that are going to be coming out after these, the hits episodes that you’re going to be watching over the next couple of weeks. And they’re awesome interviews with great and talented CEOs, great startup stories, great companies with great success. I think you’re going to really, truly enjoy it. Well, with no further ado and getting all of that out of the way, I want to start with a little treat.
I have had the privilege, at the time this episode is coming out, I have already been down to Naples, Florida, and I’ve had the privilege of having a string quartet record actually to my album that’s going to be coming out. I’m making an album of just acoustic piano, acoustic guitar and acoustic strings, so violins, cellos. It’s going to be so beautiful. And it’s just designed music just to calm you. It’s called The Calm. It’s going to be coming out in a few months. I want to just show you a little bit of a rough edit right now of one of the songs, not the whole thing. You know, 30, 45 seconds worth of the song so you get an idea of what I’ve been working on and what will be coming out shortly. Now, these aren’t the real strings. These are just samples that are being used to help outline what the strings are going to be doing, but you’ll get the idea. Here it is, enjoy.
And that’s one of the tracks that’s going to be on the upcoming album, Adam DeGraide, The Calm. I’m pretty excited about it. Well, let’s get right to the interviews and why you listen to David Vs Goliath. It is for a little bit of fun and entertainment, but it’s also for a lot of education, inspiration and activation. And our first guest we had in 2022 is a gentleman by the name of Adam Chipponeri. He had an infectious smile, an infectious spirit. I just love talking with him. He owns a great company in Central Valley, California, called Foster’s Pumps. Now you think about this, on David Vs Goliath, we interview a lot of tech companies, but this is a gentleman that builds water pumps to get water out of the ground, into your business, into your home. Fascinating interview. Here’s the beginning with Adam Chipponeri.
Adam Chipponeri: When we started, we were just doing four-inch domestic pumps in small wells. And when I first bought the business, it was me sitting around, wondering if phone calls were going to come in. And they did, but it needed more than that. The customer base was there, but like I said, through answering phones, through being passionate, through seeing market niches and other pumps that we weren’t servicing, I took a chance and we just started. We went all in, we jumped in the fire, and started servicing the dairy pumps in Big Ag wells. And it just went from there. It was a little bit of gut instinct. You take your heart out of it a little bit, and your mind, and just use your gut sometimes. Because sometimes, your mind will tell you, “Go this way,” when really, there’s big opportunity that way.
Adam DeGraide: There was a guy that I talked to years ago. His name was [Eus Mita]. He was business partners with one of my early mentors, [Eustace Wolfington]. They both had the exact, same first name, Eustace, Eustace. But he was Eus Mita. And he told me when I was sitting there talking to him, I remember at a club up on the Marriott somewhere. He was thinking about investing in our business at the time. And I said, “Well, Eus, tell me why you want to invest in our business.” He never ended up doing it, by the way. But he said something interesting. He goes, “Well, my gut, I’ve always said, is God to me. So when my gut tells me something, I believe it’s actually God telling me something through me.” And I thought that was fascinating.
And then the deal never ended up working out. But that his gut is God was very interesting to me because it was a different way of looking at it. And that’s kind of what you’re saying here. You’re basically saying that you had a gut instinct, the mind would tell you maybe, maybe not, the heart was like, yeah, I think so. So, there’s fear involved. But you said, “Now I’m going to follow my gut and I’m going to go for it.” Like the old Triumph song said from years ago. I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember Triumph, “Follow your heart.” I can’t sing, by the way, as you could tell clearly from that one thing right there. But you know, follow your heart, follow your gut, because there’s a leading that happens to all of us. And the question is, will we listen to it?
With plans and goals, do you now plan more? Now that you have 24 employees, you have obviously grown, you’re having different segments of the business you’re trying to grow right now. Are you doing more planning now?
Adam Chipponeri: Well, absolutely. Nowadays, I’m not out in the field. I’m in the office. I’m devoting my time to strategically planning growth and expansion, and obtaining new employees and teammates. Yeah, there is a significant amount of my day that is devoted to just strategic planning, all the way from what we’re going to do with this job. I truly believe 30 minutes in the office saves three hours on the job. That’s a big deal. We like to plan our jobs out. We like to really think about them, and just get to the heart of it before we send techs out to do them. And man, it tends to make everybody’s life better. Even the tech comes back thrilled. He did a great job, and, “Thanks for that little bit of advice. Had we not thought about that, it could have fallen apart.” So, absolutely a lot of planning nowadays. And you know where we are now, I have the availability to plan. When we started, it was just get out there and get to it.
Adam DeGraide: I think you just said your little trailer moment, because DVG opens up every show with a trailer and you said 30 minutes of preparation saves three hours out on the field. And that is profound advice, Adam, that you’re giving our listeners. See, sometimes when we are just doing and doing and doing and doing, we’re spending two or three times the amount of time that we have that if we just sat down and prepared it, we could knock it out. Even when I come up with brands and I come up with websites and I come up with presentations and things … I just gave a presentation at the SBE, the Small Business Expo, on their national virtual show.
Well, what did I do? I mapped out every slide on three or four or five pages, made sure that there wasn’t too many, and then practiced it because when the time came, I was able to be on the game, save the time and be effective for the listener. The same thing is true even in your work job. You got to get out there, you got to plan for it, because 30 minutes in the office can save you three hours in the field.
Adam, it was so awesome having you on the podcast. I think you had a great time. I know that we did. Well, right after that, we interviewed the Bow Tie Doctor, Stanley Okoro from Georgia Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Center. This guy taught me so much over the years. He used to be a client in my previous business, Crystal Clear, which is the now PatientNow. And he still is a great client of PatientNow. And he has been a great friend, and he taught me something fantastic on the podcast. He said the following. “Adam, we’re not in it for the money, but without the money, we’re not in it.” Here is Stanley Okoro. I want to start with how did you get the nickname, the Bow Tie Doctor?
Dr Stanley Oko…: Well, as you probably know, I’m a plastic surgeon. So, I like to look good, and I wear a bow tie. And I think about five years ago or so, I say, “I’m just going to look good when I’m doing surgery. Why not?” So I started wearing bow tie in surgery. And a lot of people didn’t like that, but after a while they got used to it. So, they call me the Bow Tie Doctor. That’s how it started.
Adam DeGraide: It’s funny. It’s funny when you and I were talking, I think a few years back, we were actually in Vegas at a conference together. You told me stories now that it has become so popular in your area that you actually have a tray of bow ties that you’ll bring into the patient. And you’ll say, “Which tie would you like me to wear?” And then every once in a while, they actually get you the one that they would like you to wear. Tell people a little bit about that. I think that’s fantastic. When you realize that customers want to have something that makes you unique and they want to be a part of something that has life, and are having surgery, so in a lot of ways, they might be a little nervous. Just that one, little gesture makes it let them know that you’re human and that we can have fun, and that this is going to be okay. Tell the listeners a little bit about that. Is that something you still do?
Dr Stanley Oko…: Yes, I still do. Not as often as I used to, because some people, of course if you’re having surgery, you’re nervous, all kinds of thoughts going through your mind. I always try to change the other, negative thoughts about things. And I ask people, “What’s your favorite color?” And of course, I have over 100 bow tie on a conservative number, and I have all the colors. I have bow tie in … I have cloth bow tie, which I’m wearing right now. I have wood bow tie. I have feather bow tie, paper bow tie, I have metal bow tie, and I have the ones with light, without no light. Anything you want, we got that. So, we give our patients the opportunity to pick what they want. What color makes them comfortable, at peace before going to surgery?
And every once in a while, the patients would buy. Or one time I was getting all kinds of bow tie, and that’s how I got so much. I received so many bow ties. So I said, “You don’t have to bring anymore. I’ve got the color. You pick whatever color you want. I have enough. Don’t give me any more bow tie gifts.” That really helped. I was getting bow ties every, every day, and I didn’t want the patients to feel obligated to buy me another bow tie. I said, “Don’t worry about it.”
Adam DeGraide: Yes, exactly.
Dr Stanley Oko…: To run a successful business, the most important ingredient in any business … There’s many of them. I think the most important is having a team that works with you. And to create team, you have to know how to hire stars, right? You need to hire them, train them, keep them or retain them. And over the years, our practice has been in existence for 12 years now. So we’ve learned a little bit of, one or two. I don’t always try to hire the person who has the most skill, because they can have the best skills, but they can’t get along with anybody else. And that means you can’t work as a team. No man is an island. You can’t win a game without having a strong team. You can have the best players in the world, but if you don’t have a good team, you’re not going anywhere.
So, what we’ve learned over the many years is always try to hire somebody who is, first of all, I have my own … A good person. Have a good person, and somebody that is going to work with your team. And if they are good and they are a good team player, they can take very good care of your patients or your clients, no matter what you call them. And then you have to pay them well. You pay them well and then just be good to your people because they are your best assets. I have a very famous saying, it’s not about the money, but without the money, we’re not in it. I mean, it applies to every business. I think when you have something to offer people and you have good team … Because if you treat your people well, they’ll treat your clients well.
Adam DeGraide: No doubt. No doubt about that.
Dr Stanley Oko…: Yeah. For me, I don’t even call them employees anymore. They’re not my employee. The way we have it set up, Georgia Plastic have about 25 employees for our purpose. But we have 25 team members. They don’t work for me. We work together, and it’s a team. That’s the only way it’s going to work.
Adam DeGraide: I love that. I love that you said that because I’ve been talking about this in the last few episodes as well too, is when it comes to our team or even our clients, you don’t want an adversarial relationship. You come alongside of them, right? It’s not like they work for you. Although technically, they might work for you. They work with you in this common mission, which is to love and serve your patients, in your case, clients in our case, and we want our employees to be alongside of us and also to be alongside of our customers. Well, it’s time to take our first commercial break from our corporate sponsor, Anthem Software. We’ll be right back.
Speaker 7: Anthem Business Software system is designed to specifically help small businesses just like yours find, serve, and keep more customers profitably. We do this by providing you with the most powerful software, automations and marketing services to help your business compete and win in this ever-changing digital world. Take a short video tour at anthemsoftware.com.
Adam DeGraide: Stanley, thank you so much for being a part of the DVG podcast and sharing your wisdom. What a blessing and a blast it was to have you on. Followed by Justin Eggar from Quantum Assurance. They are literally revolutionizing the way independent insurance agencies grow and support the insurers throughout the country. This is a fun interview and this guy is from Fiji, man. He grew up in Fiji. Just think about that. You can hear the palm trees right now. We’re showing some pictures of palm trees. That’s Fiji. This is where this guy grew up. Let’s listen to Justin right now, enjoy.
Justin Eggar: Fiji, it’s one of those things that people ask me where I’m from or where I was born. And I just say … I don’t even answer the question anymore because just it’s a multi-hour conversation trying to unpack all of that. But when I was young, I was born in Suwon, South Korea. And my parents were missionaries, but my mother taught English to the president’s bodyguards. In ’79, around the time I was born, all of the bodyguards were assassinated. There was a big coup that occurred at that point in time. And my family decided that it was a good time to get out of Dodge and maybe do something that wasn’t quite as risky, if you will. And somehow that led to Fiji, and-
Adam DeGraide: Escape.
Justin Eggar: Obviously, we all know why. Why not Fiji? is the question. And it’s a cool experience. I didn’t grow up … Like all societies, there’s stratification, and foreigners they come, usually have more means than the locals. It is, in its own way, Third World. And they’re growing by leaps and bounds, doing all the right things. But some of those roads are not paved. Let’s just be real. But it was cool because my existence between three and 15 years old was in Fiji, coming back occasionally to the US. But I grew up outside of a village. And it’s funny because whenever we’re talking about mindset and points of view and how we’re all formed, I think that every human being is unique. Everybody had a different thing, a different genesis, a different way that they’re created. And I like mine.
Adam DeGraide: When you look at how the fast the world has changed, and even an industry like insurance or real estate, I mean, the need to have consolidated processes, automation, training products, almost like in a box. I remember the days, you remember Circuit City?
Justin Eggar: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Adam DeGraide: I remember. And CompUSA? I used to go into CompUSA and they would always have this like, your office in a box. Or, this solution in a box. I always felt like there’s something to that because when you think about whether you’re starting your own business … We have a lot of entrepreneurs that own their own business that listen to David Vs Goliath, or watch. We have aspiring entrepreneurs who want to go out and own their own business. And when you listen to Justin’s story, folks, what’s so fascinating about it is that he has been through a plethora of experiences in his life to bring him to where he is, to create a product that’s really like in a box, that he can walk in to somebody and say, “I can give you value on day one.”
He was in the Navy. He has those experiences. By the way, thank you for your service. I know people say that all the time, but thank you for your service.
Justin Eggar: Pleasure was mine.
Adam DeGraide: I interviewed Dr Stanley Okoro last week, who was also in the Navy. And I thanked him for his service. My current COO at Anthem Software was a former Navy man, so I thank him in the service. My grandfather, [Gene DeGraide], was a Navy man. So the Navy runs in my blood. I was not a Navy man, but I definitely have a lot of respect and appreciation for it. And you think about how life brings us all to these different places, where you get to a place and you can start your own business. And that’s where magic really can happen.
Now, what are some of the tools? You mentioned training the agents. Obviously, it’s going to be important, how to get there to profitability. What are some of the tools that Quantum right now is doing to market themselves? And then what are some of the tools you’re providing to the agents, in two minutes or less?
Justin Eggar: Absolutely. And real quick, let me go back. We have over 700 video segments that we’ve recorded for education. So, props to [Caitlin] and [Amanda] and their teams and all the work that they do to make education a successful thing for us. So, thank you. What we’re doing with marketing, what we’re doing around technology, that’s a lot to unpack in two minutes, Adam.
Adam DeGraide: Highlights, you know, we’re doing this, we do this, and you don’t have to get into details.
Justin Eggar: We do a lot in social media. We do a lot with blog posting. We have podcasts. We have a variety of different ways. I think that there’s a ton of great ways to reach consumers and agents and whatever else it is. We try and match the medium to whoever we’re targeting. And so some of our segments, we drive on social media, like Facebook or Instagram. Some of our segments, we’re driving it on LinkedIn. And then obviously, we do a whole lot of paid search and organic stuff that we’re working on as well. From a marketing perspective, we do a lot on that side. What I love about the agencies for us is that the stuff that we’re doing to grow the Quantum brand, they’re a benefactor of that thing. As we drive and as we move to make Quantum a household brand, we want it to be recognizable like that for everybody.
Adam DeGraide: That’s great.
Justin Eggar: Pop on your Facebook or Instagram or TikTok, or wherever we’re reaching you, we want you to have that moment of recognition where you’re saying Quantum. But in doing that, that trickles down to our agencies as well because when somebody sees us and they go search online, there’s a lot of benefit where I want that traffic to go to a local agent. If that’s how the consumer wants to interact, let’s drive that all day long. And so we do a lot on the marketing side, but that’s one of those things that it’s ever-changing. You do so much on the marketing side as well. And so you could probably school me on that with what we’re doing right and wrong, but we’re always trying to increase our value prop there.
Adam DeGraide: Look at that. You did that in under two minutes. I don’t know what was so difficult about that. You did a great job there.
From a DJ at 11 years old to the CEO of the Small Business Expo, Zach Lezberg from the Small Business Expo is exactly someone you want to listen to. Because he talked about how he had a DJ company, from Dreams 2 Reality. And now, he’s the actual CEO of one of the largest conventions for small businesses right here in America. Fun interview, great wisdom, great advice. Here’s a little bit from Zach, enjoy.
And I would love for you to take a few minutes to tell people about why you decided to start SBE, the Small Business Expo, and why you’re also passionate about small businesses.
Zach Lezberg: Yeah. Adam, definitely, exactly what you said. I mean, small business is the backbone of this country. They are 99% of all businesses in the country. And we at Small Business Expo love small business. Everything that we do is all about helping small business owners succeed. I started this company back in 2008. I actually was not a small business back in 2008, I was working for another company. And I realized at that time that we needed something to help small business owners in networking and building their business. There was no big event out there for them. There were only smaller, chamber events. You could go to local membership groups and things like that, but there was not one, unifying event that was all over the country. And so in 2008, I launched Small Business Expo and it took off like a wildfire.
I started it in New York. New York, it obviously took off like crazy there. Then I added L.A., and then Miami, and then Chicago. And we kept on adding more and more cities, to which point now we’re in 15 major US cities and we’re growing every, single year, adding new and new markets as we grow. And we also, as you know, due to COVID, we actually had to quickly pivot and we started a virtual show, which our email list has grown over 1.2 million subscribers now.
Adam DeGraide: That’s great.
Zach Lezberg: We figured a way to help everybody. Even during COVID times, we launched the virtual shows, which were massive. And so now people can either do it, whether it’s online or they can go to our shows live and in person.
Adam DeGraide: Tell the listeners and watchers and those who maybe are thinking about starting a business or they own a small business that have never been, why should they go to the SBE?
Zach Lezberg: Yeah. Adam, that’s a really great question. First of all, first and foremost, it’s a free event. It’s free for small business owners and entrepreneurs to go to this event. It’s all one big day of learning and networking, and building new relationships and new partnerships at the show. As an attendee of the show, you can go to our exhibitor hall, you can shop for new products and services, anything from how to build a website to SEO, to software, to office space and virtual products, and different kinds of softwares that can help your business grow. You can go to workshops and learn all about things like tax planning or business planning, or how to get to the top of Google Search results, or proper accounting techniques, or legal tips from lawyers. Maybe you don’t know how to get started, but you have this great, grand idea to build a business, but you don’t even know where to start. Am I an Inc, am I an LLC?
There’s a lot of different reasons to go to our show. And then on top of that, we have different networking opportunities, like speed networking, which is kind of like speed dating but it’s for networking. And you meet a lot of people very quickly. There’s different industry meetups at the show. There’s a business card exchange. We have great keynote speakers. There’s just a lot going on at our shows. It’s one busy day. And I think our biggest complaint is that there’s too much to do in one day.
Adam DeGraide: Zach, it says you were born an entrepreneur. At the age of 11, he started his first business, a DJ company, and hasn’t stopped since. Now, does that mean that you haven’t stopped the DJ company since?
Zach Lezberg: You know what? We got to make that adjustment on that bio, because I can see where that would be confusing. No, I haven’t deejayed probably since I was 13, but I did start a DJ company when I was 11. It was called Dreams 2 Reality. And we deejayed at school events, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, we did it all. We did it all.
Adam DeGraide: You know, I remember one of my first dances I went to. I mean, now I’m really dating myself. It was at St. Vincent de Paul in Rhode Island. And it was a 12 year old to 14 year old dance. And I got to the dance, I was dropped off by my mom. I walked in and Cum On Feel the Noize by Quiet Riot came on.
Zach Lezberg: Oh my God.
Adam DeGraide: “Come on, feel the …” I mean, it was the greatest thing. And I miss the days and the dances where you always ended with Stairway to Heaven. I mean, for my watchers and listeners, if you’re anywhere near my age and you went to a dance … And the reason why I think I liked it so much is because whoever you ended up with was stuck with you for that, whatever, 12 minutes, however long the song was, was absolutely dancing with you whether they liked it or not til the very bitter end.
Zach Lezberg: Exactly. I do remember those, for sure.
Adam DeGraide: It’s so funny, man. I love it. And DJs, I guess there were DJs even back then, right?
Zach Lezberg: Yeah. I mean, I was probably not your … I was just playing CDs and stuff like that, but I was advanced for being 11 years old. I have to say, I was a pretty good DJ at 11.
Adam DeGraide: What was the name of it again? The name of the DJ company?
Zach Lezberg: Dreams 2 Reality.
Adam DeGraide: What did that mean? What was the significance?
Zach Lezberg: You know, I don’t know. At that time, I came up with it. I thought-
Adam DeGraide: That sounds so cool. I’m going to call it-
Zach Lezberg: Yeah. At 11 years old, I mean, Dreams 2 Reality, you know? Dreams 2 Reality.
Adam DeGraide: But if you think about it, Zach, the fact that you started your own business at 11 and you had your own name for it, your own branding for it, it was a part of the formation to where you are today.
Zach Lezberg: Definitely.
Adam DeGraide: And a part of your future, right? Everything that everyone goes through has a purpose and a plan and a meaning behind it. And Dreams 2 Reality, the greatest DJ company in the world back when Zach was 11 years old, has led him to start an amazing company that supports and loves small businesses all over America. And it’s time again for another break from an important sponsor, right here on the David Vs Goliath podcast. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.
Speaker 9: At King Sixteen, our agency has done some exciting things over the years. We’ve designed and built amazing experiences for customers, and launched several vehicles for Audi and Porsche. We’ve thrown extravagant parties inside whiskey distilleries, and featured amazing products for brands like Ray-Ban and Fossil. We booked some incredible talent, and designed cutting edge stages for those performances. We even threw a red carpet gala in the middle of nowhere on a horse farm with hundreds of celebrities, which was difficult. I guess you could say we’ve done some amazing things for our brands and partners. Now the only question is, what will King Sixteen do for you? Find out at kingsixteen.com. That’s king S-I-X-T-E-E-N.com.
Adam DeGraide: Tim Sawyer, extraordinaire, great motivational speaker, mentor, father. He’s one of my best friends in the world, has run my last couple of companies with me. He’s out on his own now with a passion with his new business, Spark Money IQ, where he is teaching high school kids and college-aged kids what it means to have a business and how to manage their money effectively and efficiently. It’s a great, great interview. And he’s the one that also taught us that you got to keep one [inaudible] eyeball on your business at all times. Here’s Tim Sawyer, enjoy.
Tell the listeners and the watchers, because you’ve worked with a lot of trainers. You’ve done a lot of public speaking. If you were looking, what is the one thing you would tell a small business owner that if they don’t have in their business right now, they’re in no danger of growing? What would that one thing be when it comes to training?
Tim Sawyer: Well it would start with the technology, and I’m learning to appreciate that more right now. Obviously, having some way to manage client lists, be on a spreadsheet, is super important. And so having some type of CRM tool, obviously Anthem has that and I use it myself. I recommend it. That would be the one piece of technology. But depending upon if … There’s a lot of different types of businesses. If you’re talking about a retail store selling cigarettes and stuff, that’s something different than a tech startup. But if anything outside of a mom and pop retail store, people coming in, buying alcohol and cigarettes, it starts with who is your customer? But then it’s the value prop, right? What’s the value prop? If you’re a landscaper, why should someone hire you to mow their lawn or trim their trees?
And you taught me something a long time ago, I’ll never forget it. And that’s everything speaks. Even if you just want to, not just, but if you want to have a landscaping business making $100,000 a year, there’s certain things that need to go into that. There’s the marketing piece of it, there’s the website, and there’s what you email the community or what you drop in the mailboxes to solicit business. But then there’s also, what do you say when that person calls? And it has got to be a uniform approach to that. If it’s just a husband and wife, husband and wife are saying the same stuff. And why should they hire you? And I think every business needs to start with that. We’re working on that at Spark Money IQ right now. Why should someone pay us to come speak at their school?
I think there’s a lot of people that provide financial education. Why should they pick us? I think that’s a huge thing. And then how you telegraph that to the public. There’s a lot that goes into that. And so I think anybody that wants to deliberately build a business, meaning they don’t just want to bump into stuff and someday get some money, that they deliberately want to build a business it has got to start it with what makes you unique? You got to start with having the right technology in place. And then getting everybody on the same page. And if they do that, they got a good shot at a small brand and making some money.
Adam DeGraide: This isn’t just about me giving a talk. This is about you being successful by heeding what we’re saying. When you’re finishing that talk, what do you hope happens in the mind and the heart, and most importantly, the actions of that business owner? Or that guy or gal now who’s in high school and they’re getting ready to enter the workforce?
Tim Sawyer: The way I respond to that, it’s before you go into the room. And I believe that you were the one that gave me this concept, and I’ve talked about it a lot, is before you give a talk to anybody, you have to ask yourself, what do I want these people to think? What do I want them to feel? And most importantly, when it’s over, what do I want them to do? And when you’re doing the type of speaking that we were doing, it’s a dual purpose, right? It’s education, but it’s also education and get them to come to the booth. And in modern marketing, if people feel a sense of you’re not being authentic, you’re trying to manipulate them, you’ll be in trouble because most people will see through that. And so it starts with a genuine, genuine intent to help them.
And I’ll say that, “Listen, you don’t have to come by the booth or buy anything, but just do this.” And it’s really caring. And if you go back in life, where does that come from? First of all, getting banged up as a kid. I have an appreciation for what it means to be not in a great spot, to not have money, to have your freedom denied. I’m aware of all those things, which is great because in business, you get a big, tough guy who threatens you to sue you, I’m like, “You going to mail me something? You going to send me something in the mail?” Had my freedom denied. It’s like, I’m not afraid of you. That helps, certainly. But in terms of wanting to help people, it’s like, I understand that it is hard, right?
It’s hard to go from A to B. And so if there’s something, one little thing that you can motivate that person to do, even if it has nothing to do with what we’re talking about or selling, that they all have these two or three things … This is how I’ll answer the question succinctly. They all have two or three things that they know they need to do, that have been sitting on a desk or in a drawer or in their car. And they need to do something with that, whatever it is. Just to get them, to do that one thing, to go okay, to advance the ball from here to here, just go do that. And if they just see that we care about them and we want to help them … And they go, “You know what? If that guy can do it, I can do it too.” And it’s relatability. And if they’ll relate to you and they think you’re genuine, then those people will be moved.
Adam DeGraide: Last but not least is Perry Dimus from CMT Solutions, which basically means Cover My Test. Although he wasn’t allowed to use that, so he just changed his name to CMT Solutions. Great interview, learned a lot about preauthorizations in lab work. I know it sounds boring, but it’s not. Enjoy this with Perry Dimus.
You were telling me that it was kind of serendipitous for you to end up in this space because you started a convention, which I want you to talk to the viewers and the watchers a little bit about that. You started a convention, you kept hearing this idea over and over again, and then regulations changed right around the same time, and CMT was born. Give us a little bit of that story.
Perry Dimas: Yeah. I put on a conference for these same diagnostic innovators, these laboratories, and it has been going on for about 12 years now. And through that conference, obviously I’ve been able to really work with interesting people throughout the industry. It’s not only laboratories, but it’s the regulators, it’s the compliance people, it’s the commercialization experts. It’s the market access or the insurance companies, all those groups.
Through that, like you said, Adam, about four and a half years ago, I kept on getting calls from individuals saying, “Hey, did you hear about the insurance companies aren’t allowing the labs to do these prior authorizations anymore? They want the doctors to do them. That’s going to be a really big issue for us because today, we get paid for these tests because we do them. But tomorrow, when we can no longer do them, our doctors aren’t going to spend the time and effort to do it or us. So, this is going to be a problem. What do you think we should do?” And honestly, after a good six, seven, eight calls by different people all having that same problem, the light bulb finally went off on it.
Adam DeGraide: It took you six or seven times.
Perry Dimas: Yeah. You’d think I’d learned after a couple of times. I’m like, “Huh, I guess there’s a problem. I think I can solve this.” And that’s what we did.
Adam DeGraide: You know, it’s funny because a good buddy of mine has always said, someone will pay you a million dollars to solve a $100 million problem. Somebody will pay you a billion and a half dollars to solve a $10 billion problem. And when you have that solution staring you, some of the simplest ideas in the world are literally staring us, like knocking on our heads every single day. And you just grab the bull by the horns.
You mentioned that you’re not the most creative cat in the world when it comes to ideas. And you started a convention back then, and you said, “I came up with this really creative name.” What was that really creative name again?
Perry Dimas: Well, it’s for the diagnostic industry. So I called it the Diagnostic Conference.
Adam DeGraide: Because there wasn’t one.
Perry Dimas: Yeah. You’ll love this. CMT Solutions originally was called Cover My Test. Now, how did I come up with Cover My Test? Because on the pharmaceutical side of the business, there’s a company called CoverMyMeds, and we were using the same business model as CoverMyMeds. And CoverMyMeds, when we just started, had just been sold, acquired by McKesson for $1.4 billion. And I said, “Let’s just do that.” So, we called it Cover My Test, and we were almost getting a trademark. And then also we got a little letter from McKesson saying, “That’s a little too close to CoverMyMeds.” I am creative when it comes to branding.
Adam DeGraide: I got to tell you folks, these are the things that people don’t appreciate when you’re trying to build a business. You’ve got different personality types. I’m a marketer. So Perry, if you ever need an idea for a name of a company or a slogan, I’m only good for five words. After that, it’s all nonsense. But one of the things I love … When we came up with Anthem Software, every business has a song, let our software sing yours … See, you need a creative cat like me helping you name your business and coming up with slogans. But hey, you know what it? Like I said, somebody will pay you $1.4 billion to solve a 10, 50, $100 billion problem. And I think that’s a very important point for our watchers or our listeners to note is that you don’t have to be overly creative to have a great idea, but you really shouldn’t be stealing for people, Perry. And you found that out quickly.
Perry Dimas: Yeah. Yeah. And as you know, I mean the fun part of this whole thing of starting a business and seeing if you can actually do something with it is working with people. I know that. Now, do we have a Vice President of Marketing and she’s fantastic, and I’ll throw out stuff to her and she’ll laugh. And you know what? She makes it sound good, look good. So now if you go to our website, it’s a whole lot better than what we started with, let’s put it that way. It looks great.
Adam DeGraide: My instincts tell me the last thing I want you doing is building and designing my website.
Perry Dimas: No, you do not.
Adam DeGraide: There’s no doubt about that. But you know what, man? And God bless her. I can only imagine what the marketing meetings are like. But you need everyone. And I think this is really important. If you look at how a wheel, a spokes in the wheel, there’s many different things that keep that wheel intact. And at the center, obviously, is the lug nuts. And sometimes, there’s one giant one, and then there’s five lug nuts around in a business. I tell people this all the time, but no part of that wheel is less important to keep that wheel on the road. It’s like even though the center is where the strength starts, it’s held together on the outside as well, too. And great people make all the difference.
And there you have it. That was the first six interviews of 2022 in the bag. Now you’ve had a recap, you can go back and watch the ones you want to see. This is where you get everything you need for inspiration, education and activation in your business. If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner and you want to learn and be inspired, there’s no better place to do it than the David Vs Goliath podcast. Next week’s is going to be fantastic as well. You don’t want to miss it. Thank you so much for tuning in, and everyone have a great day.