Happy Birthday To Us! e53-Adam DeGraide-David Vs Goliath Podcast
It’s official! It’s been one full year since our very first episode. We have over 12k subscribers across all of our platforms and we are so grateful! Thank you for taking the time with me each week as we feature stories from fantastic entrepreneurs and business owners all over. In this episode it’s just me hanging out with you. I plan on doing this every year and hopefully you enjoy it. Have an awesome day! A special thanks to our corporate sponsors https://automatemysocial.com and https://anthemsoftware.com
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.
Hey everyone, it’s Adam DeGraide. Welcome to the David vs Goliath podcast, special edition. It’s our one year anniversary. We have done 52 episodes as of last week, hence the number one, which is almost deflated already, and the balloons behind us here on our set for the David vs Goliath podcast. We are so grateful. We have almost 12,000 subscribers across all channels right now that tune in. And thousands of views a week, and thousands of watches a week. And we really appreciate our fans, and the guests that have joined us over the year. It’s been amazing. I thought it’d be a little bit more casual today, and I thought we would just spend some time together. Just me and you, and talk a little bit about my life, my business experiences, and share some things that I’ve learned over the years. Some challenges and struggles, as well as successes and wins throughout my career.
And I think it would be helpful to do that for you guys to get to know me a little bit better. And then, we’ll jump right back into the interviews next week. Today’s episode is brought to you by automatemysocial.com, where you can automate 90% of all of your small businesses’ social media, like forever. By the way, if you’re in a service business like insurance, a contractor, CPAs, law firms, anything that’s service related, you can automate 100% of your social media, and never have to think about it again, like never.
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Well, let’s get right into it today. I want to talk a little bit about why I started this podcast, and really go back to the beginning in a lot of ways, which is all right. There’s five smooth stones, I talk about it, every business needs to have. So you’ve got plans and goals, the right people, the right tools, the right process your people use the tools, and then the technology needed to be successful with it. Well, this is really, really important. I want to back up. And how did I end up becoming the host of David vs Goliath? Well, I’ve been very blessed in my life to have built and sold, prior to today, three very successful software and marketing companies. And that didn’t happen on accident. There’s been a lot of things in my life that have led up to the ability to do that.
Not the least of which is having great team members and great business partners around me. So if we were to take a step back in time, and just think about where my business career began. It really began a long time ago when I was a young kid back in Coventry, Rhode Island. So my dad was a disc jockey. My grandfather was a disc jockey. My uncle and my other grandfather owned their own ad agency. I watched my mom write and record jingles, do commercials. My dad did commercials. I saw him do live commercials. I saw him open up, The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on stage. And I just had all of this talent surrounding me in my life. From a marketing perspective, a music perspective. My family members have always been very musical, and very much involved in that, and very entrepreneurial in nature.
And so, from a very young age, I had an opportunity to witness that. And I always wanted to make my own money. It’s funny. I have a seven-year-old. My seven-year-old son, Anthem. He continually is trying to sell me stuff that I already own. He’s like, “Hey dad, would you like your ALTOIDS? A hundred bucks.” I’m like, “Anthem, those are mine. You can’t just sell them.”
But I remember being a young boy, myself wanting to make money. And my mom said to me, she’s like, “Why don’t you go and be a paper boy?” And I said, “All right, not a bad idea.” So it was the, Providence Journal at the time. And I forget the other one, there was one other publication that I also delivered. But anyway, I started delivering paper at a young age, and I’d make 20, 30 bucks a month, basically, but it was mine.
It was all my money. I was able to buy candy with it, or the most recent star wars action figure with it. And I think that really was the beginning of me with my entrepreneurial spirit. Realizing that I could do something with my time and make money with it. And that money was going to be mine, and I would be able to do with it, what I wanted to do with it. And so, from the very early ages in Coventry, Rhode Island, there I am schlepping myself around on my bike, delivering papers. I did the morning and the afternoon additions at the time. And I learned a lot. I learned about consistency. I learned about service. If I didn’t throw the paper in the right spot, or put it in the right spot. I had to figure out how to avoid dogs as they chased me down the road, how to time it perfectly so the ice cream man would be there right at the end of my delivery. So I could grab that ice cream cone from the ice cream man.
And all of these things lead up to who you are, to where I am today, successfully. My career then went from, went and worked in restaurants. I did dishes, and I worked at IGA stocking the milk section, and working at a grocery store. And I kept looking around and realizing to myself that I wanted to own my own business someday. And I just knew I didn’t want to run it like the guy that I worked for at his first restaurant. It was terrible. A little creepy, truth be told. But we made it through. And we learned a ton on how to serve people, how to manage inventory, how to stock things, how things were priced. A little bit behind the scenes of what the owner thought of, and all of this stuff leads to who you are in life.
So there’s nothing that you have gone through that isn’t helping you be who you are today. You’re either getting better, or you’re getting bitter towards your life. And that all has to do with the experiences, and the people we run into. My career then went from that, to managing restaurants at 18 years old. I mean, I was flipping burgers at Newport Creamery, and I was opening the shift, and I was doing all the prep food. I just learned a lot about how business operated.
To fast forward a few years, I then worked in customer service at a bank, where I would answer the phones. And I would sell people credit cards, and sell people mortgages. And I would spend time with them on the phone, and helping them meet what they need to have in their life, and get over some of the challenges they had in getting approved.
I worked in clearing titles. I used to clear people’s titles for home loans at a home loan and investment bank in Providence, Rhode Island. So all of this adds to who I am. And then, I transitioned from customer service and banking to selling radio. And this is where my life really started to come into shape with what I wanted to do. I loved working with people on their business, the brand of their business, what they were trying to do in their business to really create campaigns. And I was working in radio. I found myself writing slogans, helping them with their newspaper ads, and not getting paid for these things. And then I started to do a little side gig in radio. I started writing jingles, and I wrote a bunch of jingles in new England, in New Hampshire, partnered with a bunch of different radio stations all over the country.
And I started selling jingles on the side. And it was really, a really eye opener for me because I got a glimpse in working with the owners. Their vision, or lack of it. Their passion, or lack of it. Their good attitude, or their lack of it. Their treating of their employees great, or their lack of it. And I really started to see, “I like what that person does. I like what she does. I love what he does. I’m really not crazy about this cat. I’m really not crazy about the way that they do that.” And I started to form and shape these ideas in my life. To the point that I actually said, “You know what? I’m going to start my own ad agency.” I started BZ Productions in the basement of my house, in Riverside, Rhode Island, in 1997, in a little studio that my father-in-law at the time built for me.
And that was the beginning of the end of my careers. Because it was, from there, that I catapulted into building software and technology for car dealers. Now, there’s so many stories I could tell you in between this, but we don’t have a lot of time. But I did want to share with you the background and the lineage between delivering papers, to stocking the IGA shelves, to servicing people on the phone, to selling credit cards, to home loans, to working on their jingles, to working on to starting my own ad agency, working with dozens and dozens of car dealers.
Realizing there was a massive need, building a software to serve their need, building a marketing system to serve their need. And then, having amazing partners. Like a gentleman, Sean Wolfington, My partner, David Seamus, back when we started BZ Productions. And we were able to build that company from zero to 180 employees, $25 million a year in revenue. Sold it in 2006 for 133 million bucks. Had a bunch of partners in it, by the way.
So don’t think I got all that money. There was a lot of debt on the business, which is another whole episode I could talk about, how do you finance a business. What kind of debt is good. What kind of debt is bad. But I learned a lot, and I sold my first successful business back in 2006. Then I partnered with some great people. Tim Sawyer, John Boudreau, David Seamus, again.
Then there was a lot of other people that came along, Tom Kucher, Eric Napalm, Jonathan Monterisi. I can’t even. If I forget you, please forgive me, Nicole Vadney. We had, on the phones, Norene Johnson. I mean, we just had amazing partners and friends that we worked alongside with in building the next business, which was Astonish. And Astonish worked with insurance agents, and got that up to about 1800 insurance agents, sold that to a private equity company, and started Crystal Clear, which I sold in 2020 with a cast of characters that were awesome as well too. Worked with about a thousand healthcare providers in different segments.
I’ve been in Inc. The Inc. 500, three times for BZ, for Astonish, for Crystal Clear. And so, I’ve had three successful exits in my life. Been very, very blessed. Could not have done it without plans and goals. Could not have done it without the right people and process. And it all stems from, all of those things, working together in concert. To the end of the transaction, where you have to know what you’ve got, how bad the other person really wants it, and then what’s a fair price so everyone wins. And I think that is one of the secrets in life and in business, is how do you get to a place where you are surrounded by great people, you have the right people, plans and goals in place. The right technology, the right process. Everyone’s got courage, you’re all marching in that direction. And then, when the end comes, who’s brave enough to take it to the end, and be wise enough to know what a good value is, and the proper time to exit?
And fortunately, I’ve been very blessed to make some of those decisions, and make them well. And now I’m on to my fourth business, which is Anthem Business Software, which I’m going to spend some time talking about with you guys after the break. I’m going to share with you some of the things that we do at our business, and some of the things that I’m struggling with right now, and some of the life lessons that I’ve learned in business. But right now, we’re going to take a message from our corporate sponsor, Automate My Social. Stay tuned.
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And you’re back with a little fireside chat, with balloons, with Adam DeGraide. And, basically, talking to you. Just me and you this time around. Spending some time together, and sharing some stories. Now, Anthem. So when I decided to start Anthem, which is the fourth marketing and software company. It was interesting, because why fix what isn’t broken? Was my whole philosophy. Let’s go into it, and let’s have a system that can serve small business on a really intimate level. Help them grow their business, help them find, serve, and keep more customers profitably.
And then, build software around it to help scale and automate things, to make us profitable, and to make it more successful for them. So people say to me, “Adam, you’ve had three successful exits already.” I had a failed … I wouldn’t say failed, because it’s still going. I have an independent record label that I put millions of dollars into, that I have never made millions of dollars back, but great life lesson.
I still run that independent label today. So that has mild degrees of success, but not nearly as successful as the software and marketing side. So, “What do you do, Adam, when you start, not your first, your second, your third, but this is your fourth business. What did you do?”
Well, the first thing you do is you say, “Okay, who do you want to do it with?” So that’s really important. And so, for me, it was, I definitely wanted to work with my wife, Krystle. And so Krystle’s amazing. She was my CFO at … She worked with us at Astonish. She was also my CFO of Crystal Clear. Amazing. So we sat down, and we modeled out our first seven years, from the beginning of the business, to when we’re going to exit at hopefully a $100 million valuation in about six to seven years from now. And people say, “Well, how do you know that?”
Well, it just comes down to knowing how numbers are, how service businesses trade at a different rate than software businesses. And so, I’ve always done a blend. I’ve always done a blend of software, and I’ve always done a blend of service. And so, the service piece of your revenue is going to be valued at a lower valuation. The software piece of the business is going to be valued at a higher multiple, because it’s worth more money, because it takes less involvement, because software is running it. But neither of these things are cheap to actually build, and to execute. And so, when we sat down and did plans and goals, we raised some money with friends and family. We didn’t do any institutional money raise. Just the people that have seen me, and have been partners with me before in the past. And then I brought along some really important people that I knew were going to help me with the mission.
One was going to be Joe Amaral, who is our operations manager at Crystal Clear. And then my wife, who was the CFO. That was basically the three of us. And we have since added some amazing people to work alongside with us, with Cory O’Shea. Have recently brought back Tom Kucher, who is running all of our business development now. So excited to have team money back on the team. Because things had to be adjusted. Our first year in the business with our plans and goals, we hit every single number, and things were going great.
Well, year two, things started to go in a different direction. And as I tell people, I come to life when my lifestyle is threatened, and how to make some changes. And so we’ve recently made some changes. We’re reevaluating the way we price it, the way we sell it, the way we service.
And this is really important, by the way. Just because you have an initial plan and goal in your business, and you’ve written it out on a napkin, or you’ve put it in an Excel spreadsheet, things happen. Life happens. People’s lives change. Your own temperament and commitment to it can fluctuate. And all of these things will need for you to adjust and run your business at a really important level. So when you’re creating plans and goals … Right now, you’re thinking about your own business, what plans and goals do you need for your own business?
Maybe you’re thinking about starting a business. Well, you got to start with a piece of paper and a pen. And I always tell people, you have to begin with the end in mind. If you don’t begin with the end in mind, you’ll never get to the end. And so I said, when we sat down with Anthem, we wanted to get to this certain valuation, which would take this much money in service revenue, and this much money in software revenue, trading at predictable multiples of revenue.
And then, you have to have the right people around you. The right technology around you. The right process. And then, the courage to go out and get it. Now, what’s really important, recently when Tom came back on board, we’re reevaluating everything. Our pricing, our go to market strategy. Are we going to be so broad in what we’re currently doing? We’re going to narrow our focus a little bit. And so, one of the exercises that we’ve done recently, we were sitting at … Having a few drinks, and having dinner together.
And I said, “Let’s just stop for a second. Let’s forget about what we’re selling, and why we’re selling it. And let’s start with the end in mind.” And I said, “We need this much money in service revenue and marketing revenue. We need this much money in software revenue. We need this many customers staying with us at this percentage, and it doesn’t make a difference what we sell. If we hit that numbers, we will get to a $100 million valuation, and we will have a successful exit.”
So, now that we know what the end is, and knowing the numbers we need to get there on a whole big spectrum, now you can micro it back and say, “Okay, that means that we need to get X number of dollars in marketing revenue, with X number of units in marketing revenue, with this many units at this much valuation for the software. And you need to continue to reinvest in that. Reinvest in that, reinvest in that.”
Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. And then, Joe and his team need to retain them at a certain percentage to keep that. And then, at the end of the day, you have a magical business. Now, how many of you, running a business, a have ever began with the end in mind?
Some of you might have taken over a family business. Where you’re saying to yourself, “Okay, this thing’s just been making money forever.” Well, is that what you want to do? Do you want to keep it as a family business? Do you want to exit eventually? Do you want to hand it down? All of these things will affect the decisions you’re making right now in your business, and the plans and goals that you need to have surrounding your business.
So, think about that for a second. How many of you have done that? And should you do that? And how important is it to do that? I would say stop what you’re doing, until you do that. Because you don’t know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’re going. And you can’t just run something for the sake of running it. All business has a life cycle.
All business has an ebb and flow. All business can have an exit. And the exit might be you leaving it to your family. Might be you handing it down. Might be you exiting to a large private equity. Might be you exiting to a strategic. Might be you failing miserably. But all of these things by the way, are important to know where you’re going. Because if you don’t, you’re certainly not going to get to where you can be. And then one of the principles that I learned early on in business, talking about how important people are, was by a gentleman named Eustace wolfington.
I’ll never forget it. I’m going to put up a picture of an acorn right now. So you’re looking on the screen right now, an acorn. And he pulled this sheet up, and he was just showing me the acorn. And he said, “Adam, every single thing that, that tree will ever become, is inside of this acorn. How healthy it’s going to be, how tall it’ll be, how long it can live, where it’s going to thrive, where it’s not going to thrive. Its defects, its strength, its weaknesses. And that acorn has everything in it to give that tree life, for the life of that tree.”
And then he said, “Now, this is really important. Everything your business can be is in you guys.” And at the time it was me and Sean Wolfington sitting there at that table. And he said, “Your business will only be as healthy as you two are. It’ll only grow as big as the two of you can see it. It’ll be as sick as your secrets, as strong as your strengths, and the two of you have to be brutally honest with what you have in you. And then, what you’re lacking in that acorn, you fill in the gaps with the other people. And then that acorn, that vision, and that site that you can see, coupled with the right plans and goals, the right people, the right tools, the right process, and the courage to achieve it, can take that acorn into a massive tree.”
What a profound lesson that was, to learn that at such a young age. To be able to sit under the tutelage of a man named Eustace Wolfington. And I don’t even know if Eustace knows how much value he brought to me in my life. I tried to tell him during the years we were close, but this is the gentleman that invented car leasing. So if you’ve ever leased a car, leased anything, basically, he invented it. He called the company, Half a Car. And his vision was, “We’re going to teach dealerships all across America how to sell half a car.”
And I still, to this day, lease my cars, and get new ones every few years. I have some that I own. But you get more car for less money. Dealership gets a repeat customer every three to four years. Two to three, four years, whatever the case was.
And so, it creates brand loyalty, and everyone wins. And I had the ability to sit under the tutelage of that guy. And he taught me some of the most amazing things that to this day I still take in business. And you see, if you have the right plans and goals, people come next. Are the right people surrounding you? Do you have the help that you need right now to do what you need to do? And if you don’t, you got to find them. Because you can’t do everything. That’s one of the things that I’ve learned in business, is I can’t do everything. I need really good people. I’ve had people like Tim Sawyer in my life that have been a blessing. John Boudreau, Jonathan Monterisi. I mentioned these folks earlier on. Nicole Vadney.
I think of Norene Johnson. I think of Thomas Kucher. Eric Napalm. I think of all the people that helped me over the years. Cory O’Shea. Joe Amaral, who’s my current COO. I mean, you can’t do life alone, and you certainly shouldn’t be doing business alone. And if you’re alone right now in business, you got to find people that you can connect with. If you’re a solopreneur, and you have a vision to grow, you got to know what your strengths are, and then hire your weaknesses. Because you can absolutely be as big as you can see yourself being. And in some cases, you need people to help you. I think about the Old Testament story, before we go on second break, with Moses. It’s a great story. Moses, by the way, if you read this, was it not only … He was a great leader, right. So we think of the Charlton Heston version of Moses.
But did you know that Moses had a speech impediment? That he actually stuttered? And had social anxiety, which I struggle with sometimes from time-to-time. And people say, “You struggle with that?” Yeah. I struggle with it all the time. But at the end of the day, he had a help [inaudible 00:26:27]. His name was Aaron. And so, when he would go in front of Pharaoh, it was Aaron who was doing the talking, on behalf of Moses. And I’ll never forget the scene in the Bible where it talks about, he was holding up, and his arms started getting tired. And so they came on the side of him, and they held up his arms. And he was being supported by the people around him to get to the vision that God had called him to be. Now, whether you believe that to be a historically accurate story, or just a great fable, it doesn’t matter, because the principal’s the same.
I believe it’s true. I believe there was a real Moses. I believe there’s a real Aaron. I believe there’s a real Red Sea. I believe those things. That’s my prerogative. But from a principle perspective, even if you don’t, the principle that, A, you have weaknesses, and that other people have strengths, and you need to rely on them to achieve a great mission. And that sometimes you get tired, and you need someone to lift your arms up. That principle will never change. And if you don’t have that in your business, I beg you to find those people that can help you. Because you have weaknesses. You have a stutter somewhere, and someone can speak on your behalf, and you need people to hold you up. This is Adam DeGraide, with the David vs Goliath podcast. We’re going to take another break from another amazing sponsor. We’ll be right back.
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And we’re back for our final segment on the David vs Goliath podcast. I’m your host, Adam DeGraide, talking with you. Just me and you. I originally had the idea that I was going to interview myself. “So Adam, tell me about this, and do it like that.” And I said, “I’d just rather just hang out. [inaudible 00:29:00] people get to know me.” So why do I wear T-shirts? Well, because I can. I told people all the time, the moment I earned my way out of a suit, I avoid them like the plague.
And there it goes. Did you see that? The one just flew on command. Think about how life works, by the way. These balloons were gotten this morning. By the time they got here, this one was already deflated. What are you going to do? When you have the ability to run your own business, you have the ability to do things that you want to do.
And so, I don’t have a dress code, because I’ve decided I don’t don’t have a dress code. I don’t have a dress code for my employees. Although, when we go to shows, we try to look professional. And we used to walk around in Robert Grahams, all of us. Jeans and Robert Grahams, I’m convinced in the insurance space and in the medical community, Tim Sawyer and I are probably responsible for two to 5,000 Robert Graham shirts being bought and sold. Not just for ourselves, but our clients in the whole industry. It was fascinating. We’d get up on stage, give speeches. Everyone’s in suits. And there we are in our Robert Grahams and jeans. And people are like, “Man, I wish I could do that.” Why can’t you? Can do it yourself. Nobody says you have to wear a certain thing, unless you have to wear a certain thing.
And when you’re, your own boss, you could wear what you want. And so, that was always something that was really important to me in my life. And now, I wear Spider-Man T-shits, and talk about business. And half of you watching are probably like … I get the comment sometimes when people, “Have you seen this kid’s hair? This guy thinks … This guy can’t be successful. He hangs out in T-shirts and stuff.”
Don’t let looks deceive you. I heard a great story once about the founder, Dave, of Wendy’s. He went into buy a Mercedes at a Mercedes dealership. He was in flip flops, jeans. Nobody took him seriously, but he ended up paying cash for the car. So you never know who you’re entertaining, and you don’t judge a book by its cover. Because just like that acorn on the outside might look great, on the inside it could be rotten.
Sometimes the outside might not look great, but the inside could be living and brimming with life. And that’s what you want to do. Now, the two other areas that I’m going to talk about briefly, technology, and then process. So marketing’s critical, right? So how do you get your message out? Every industry’s different, but every industry’s kind of the same.
It’s almost like, you have to be on the internet. You have to be where people are. It’s really not rocket science, and you have to be well funded. So you can’t be afraid to spend money in marketing. And those that know me, know that I’m definitely not afraid. I mean, I failed 50 million times in marketing, but I’ve succeeded a handful of times. And when you figure it out for your respective business, you can turn it up, turn it down, dial up the business, dial down the business, once you find the flow.
And so we’re trying to figure that out right now with Anthem. We knew exactly who our marketing and our audience was in my previous businesses, so it was easy. We wanted to reach doctors. We wanted to reach insurance agents. We wanted to reach car dealers. So now I’m trying to bring it in these even a more of a niche for Anthem. And now, with a product called Automate My Social, it’s a broad audience.
So, how do you get to them? And so, all of the tools you need in life, whether it’s CRM, marketing, spreadsheets, pie charts, pipeline management, all of these things are critical. But they never will replace the right plans and goals, and the right people with passion. Because if you don’t have the right plan, and if you don’t have the right people, the technology means absolutely nothing. Like literally, nothing. But if you got the right people with the right plans, and you get the right technology, it means everything.
If you have the right people with the right plans, and you get the wrong technology, that’s a problem too. All of these things work in concert together. One of the illustrations I use at Anthem, let me take a sip of coffee, is a music band. I love going to see live music. And if you’re a music lover, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But we have all been to see live music, where all of a sudden drums starts … It just sounds great.
Bass players riffing, guitar players going. Keys are going. And then a singer grabs that mic, and then the singer sings off key, and the whole band sounds horrible. Or the singer’s amazing, and the band starts playing the wrong chords. You know what I’m saying? You get the same problem. A business is the same thing, man. A business is a conglomeration of the right people, the right plans, the right technology, the right process, working in harmony together to achieve that goal, which is stability, consistency, and growth.
And if one little thing is out of sync, they always say, “You’re only as good as your weakest member.” It’s very true, by the way. But that weakest member is important to your team, and you got to find out who it is as well too. Replace them or train them. But at the end of the day, all of it has to work together to make that beautiful sound. And that’s what happens with businesses. Businesses that are firing in all cylinders, they’re in their groove, so to speak. It’s like the groove of a song, where everyone’s doing, and singing, and playing the right thing at the right time, gets the right result. The alternative is also true. I’ve been around business leaders and business owners with the wrong results. In my own businesses, my business partners and I have been in sync, and we’ve also been disconnected. So in consulting thousands of businesses over the years, I’ve always been fascinated.
I’d go to people’s businesses, and whenever there was more than one partner, especially if there was nobody clearly in charge, it always goes something like this. “So, who was responsible for growth in your business?” And they all just look at each other. That’s when you know you’re in trouble. Because if nobody’s in charge, nobody’s in charge. And in my businesses, I might be the leader, but there’s other people surrounding us. There’s times where we’re in concert together. And then there’s times when we’re in disagreement together.
But at some point in time, somebody’s got to be that person. Either he or she, to say, “I’ve heard everyone’s thoughts and ideas. This is the direction we’re going in.” And you got to March in that direction. And you see, that is not easy to do, to find the right people, to love them in the process, to work through the difficulties.
Anybody who ever tells you that business is easy, or you think it’s easy. No, these people that are your partners, you’re married to them. You may not be sleeping with them. Some of them you might be. In my case, I sleep with my wife, and she’s my partner. We love, I love waking up next to her every single day. But at the end of the day, these people are part of my life. They’re part of my family. And when there’s just unity there, there’s just unity everywhere. And so, it all comes back to the five things. Plans and goals, the right people. Are we using the right technology? Do we have the right process in which our people are using the technology to achieve these goals? And then, do we all still believe? Everything truly great and worthwhile starts with one word. And that’s belief. I’ve said that for years. If you don’t believe in your business, if you don’t believe in where you’re going, nobody will ever want to follow you there.
And I think that is one of the most profound things that I’ve learned in my life. My business has grown and failed based on my belief, and my involvement in them. And I don’t always have to be involved in my business, but I have to be involved in my business. And if I’m not the one casting the vision and the direction, and helping the team get the right tools and process around them, it will not be as big and successful as it can be. So, how about you, in your own business right now? You sit back and you start to reflect on your own life, and you say, “Am I doing enough right now to impact my business? Am I tired of it? Do I kind of hate it? Am I sick of it?” These are all real things. And it’s okay to feel that way.
You just got to deal with it. You just have to know it, right? And then you have to realize that, that’s affecting your business. It’s affecting your team. And at the end of the day, for me, people are the most important thing, and relationships are critical. It’s been tough, man. Over the years I’ve lost friends. I don’t even know why. There’s people that I’ve mentioned, even in this podcast, that haven’t talked to me in eight to 10 years, and I don’t know why. I don’t know why. They’ve never told me. They won’t take my phone call. They blocked me. Clearly, they’re harmed. And I have no way to make amends, because I have no idea. And so, I will encourage you, that if you’re in a partnership, and you’re struggling with people, tell them how you feel. Sit down before those relationships are broken forever. Find out what’s wrong.
Tell the person what’s wrong. Try to make amends, and love each other in the process. That’s good advice from a guy that has kept great friends, and lost some of his great friends, and doesn’t know why. And that’s painful. No matter what anybody tells you, it’s painful. And so, if you’re one of the people that actually have stopped talking to me, but you just happen to be listening to this podcast. Well, thank you for listening and watching. Don’t be afraid to call me, email me. And then most importantly, let’s hash it out. What the heck happened? What did I do? Because if I did something wrong, I want to say, “I’m sorry.” And business is not for the weak. It’s not for the faint of the heart. You will lose friends. You will not always be loved, and you will not always be liked. But you can be the best version of yourself.
And you can absolutely try to make amends, and be better going forward. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. In my businesses now, and in my businesses hopefully in the future. So when you think about David vs Goliath podcast, which is what you’re watching right now, I try to find great people to interview. The interviews have been awesome. And at the end, I always talk about courage. David, when fighting the Philistine giant, Goliath, had courage. He went out there with five smooth stones. Took that one, flung it into Goliath’s head, knocked him down and killed him. Cut his head off, picked it up, showed everyone. And at the end of the day, that’s what we’re trying to champion here on David vs Goliath. And for me, the courage, and I’ll leave you with this today. The courage that I’ve gotten to start this podcast, the courage that I’ve gotten to start anything worthwhile in my life or my business, for me personally, I believe has been given for my strength of those who love me, around me, and surround me, and encourage me.
But first and foremost, the fact that God has made me for a very specific purpose, and that’s to be a leader. And for me not to share the things that I’ve learned over the years that have made me successful, and the failures that I’ve failed at to relate to you guys so you’re not alone when we’re failing together, because you are going to fail in things that you do in life, personally and professionally, would be stealing from you.
I believe that everyone watching and listening to this right now has a gift that have been given. I believe by God, for them, for the world, and for us to not use it on behalf of others, and also to the benefit of ourselves, would be to be robbing everyone. Me and you. And so, when I started the David vs Goliath podcast, although everyone will tell you my favorite subject is Adam DeGraide, I tried not to make it about me.
I wanted to make it about the guests, and a little bit about me. Because I have a lot to give, and I have a lot more to learn. And I’ve learned so much from the guests and the people that have joined me on this podcast. And I hope you can tell, by spending the last 45 minutes with me, that I try to be open. I try to be transparent. I try to let people know what’s going on in my life. And I want to thank you so much for watching and tuning in. And I want to thank God for giving me the strength, and the ability, and the courage to take on the business world. To take on some of my own personal demons in my personal life as well. And that I want nothing but success for every single person watching, and listening to this podcast. For me, giving it, and hearing myself. And for you, being a part of it, that it may be a blessing to you in your professional life, and maybe just a little bit in the personal life as well.
Well, this has been a lot of fun. I’m going to try to do this once a year with you guys, hopefully on the anniversary. Where we just spend some time together. We talk about life. We talk about business. I want to make sure you go back and take a look at the 52 episodes we had last year. They’re amazing. I tell a lot of stories. There’s so many stories I could tell. So many examples of success and failure, and they’re all over the place in the podcast.
And we’re going to try to start doing some micro segments too. Taking out those moments, making shorter videos on those subject lines. I just haven’t gotten around to do it yet. But I promise you, I will. Thank you so much for spending time with me. I’m Adam DeGraide, the host of David vs Goliath. This has been fireside chat, or a balloon side chat, with some instruments in the background, with your host, Adam DeGraide. We’ll see you next week. Everyone have an awesome day.
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