Trent Clark Interviews Tom Schwab

Trent: [00:00:05] Hello! Welcome to the Winners Find a Way show, your weekly go to podcast for the 1% discussing winning strategies, how they built their winning teams and got winning results. If you’re ready to grow and execute, communicate better than you ever have and bring on that simplification and prioritization to make your dreams come true, then get your headphones on and keep your notebook close. Let’s go on a journey together. Hello and welcome to the winners, by the way show. I am your host, Trent Clark. I am a serial entrepreneur organization member. I am the CEO of Leadership and Athletic influencer marketing and always talking nil. Most people know me as a professional speaker and long time coach in professional baseball coaching and three World Series. I’m coming to you live today from Tulum, Mexico. It’s awful here, I’m telling you. But my featured guest today and good friend is Tom Schwab from Interview Valet. Tom, how you doing, buddy?

Tom: [00:01:07] Trent I am thrilled to be here. The only way it could be better is if we were both sitting there in Tulum.

Trent: [00:01:10] Yeah, that would be the only thing better. Tom, you should be sitting right next to me and we should be enjoying. And maybe next month at the Investor and Growth Retreat. We’ll get you down here and we’ll have you in Tulum, because it is an amazing spot with lots going on down here, lots of investing. I know you’re a world traveler, man. I mean, you have always been a big traveler and you’ve got a big travel coming up in the fall. What’s your big plan?

Tom: [00:01:33] I do so I, you know, thanks to the US government, I got to travel around the world in the Navy, expanded my world. And I love doing that. Uh, this September, my wife and I are doing a big bucket list trip. We’re going to Spain and doing the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile hike from the Pyrenees mountains in France all the way to the coast in Spain. So looking forward to that. Wow.

Trent: [00:02:38] I wrote a book, Leading Winning Teams. You can find it on Amazon. I’d love to talk with you on how you could use podcast interview marketing to grow your business, to grow your brand.

Trent: [00:01:56] That’s, uh, like, listen, if you if you need someone to carry the bags, let me know. Tom. It smells incredible, man. Like that sounds like a pretty good trip. Check it off the bucket list. You’re very good at that. You and I are both members of the entrepreneur organization. We love the once in a lifetime experiences. And man, I am just always inspired by you. You’re moving around the world and travel. It’s very cool. Now you are a first of all, before we even start, I want to introduce, you know, this Saint Charles, Illinois kid who ends up at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Incredible stuff. But first, tell them where they can find you and you’ve got something special for our listeners today. So let’s tell them where they can find you and your offer for everybody, which is very cool.

Trent: [00:03:27] Man, that is so cool. First of all, it’s always nice when we get our only subset, you know, on these websites man like and for everyone listening I want to to pay very close attention I use podcast, I get called for a lot of interviews on networks, and I love podcasters because we get deep into the woods. Network is going to interview me for 45 seconds, 3.5 minutes, or interview me for 15 minutes and use 45 seconds. And so these micro clips, great stuff. But podcasters go deep. They go deep into your philosophy. They talk about what’s important to you, how you’re helping people in this world. We’ve doubled companies growth very fast. We are a ten x type of coach and company that come alongside and guide and bring systems to companies. So when I go on the podcasts and I’ve learned this from Tom Schwab, is like, I’ve got to be prepared. Like, how do people find me? How can I get not only grasp where they got, but how they came to me? Because Tom knows now when you go and see him and you’re going to want to hit that link, and I’ll put that in the show notes, you’re going to want to hit that link, because then he’s going to know, hey, oh, I found out from the 5000 downloads that Trent has on his show that they might want to find out about more this very specific marketing way to contract high quality leads. Let’s talk about that for a second, Tom, because I do want to get into your background, but this is the business side I think people want to really hear, which is when I get into this, I’m generating leads, of course, with 75% are dead end street. And so how do I actually engage the right 25% and start having these good conversations. And, and you’ve really kind of got the Rubik’s Cube on that, man. You’ve really kind of dialed up the puzzle. Talk a little bit about how Interview Valet does it.

Tom: [00:05:11] Well, and I am engineer at heart. So you are so right. What are we optimizing for? Let’s go back to that. Right. We’re optimizing for more profit, not more leads. And how do you get more profits? By finding ideal customers that value what you. So let’s start with that. So how do you do that. You need to make sure that you can differentiate. Going and talking to the right people, having the data right. When you go to that welcome page, that’s what we call them. I know where you’re coming from. So you can actually attribute that traffic and you can figure out what is working, what isn’t. You know, the testing is also shown when you’re on a podcast. Give people three ways to say yes, right? A small yes, a medium yes, and a heck yes. And you saw that’s what we did at the beginning there, right. The small yes is giving them a quick win and assessment. The medium win takes them a little bit more time right. Which could be the free ebook or a tripwire product. And the heck yes. Right. If you are talking to big fish, if you’re trying to land whales, guess what? Big fish and whales don’t swim through funnels, right? They hear you. They want to engage. Let them do that. So really it’s a podcast interview marketing system. It’s not just about podcast guesting any more than public speaking, right? If Trent goes outside and he talks to that beautiful palm tree, it’s not public speaking. That’s not going to drive his business. He needs to make sure that he’s controlling for the people he’s talking to, what he’s offering them, and then even promoting it. Right. We’ll take this interview, repurpose it, and get a month’s worth of content out of it.

Trent: [00:06:50] Yeah, that is so good. And I think it’s work, right? I mean, I think at the end of the day, this is marketing in the new millennium, man. I mean, and everyone thought like, oh, well, marketing is work. So now there’s all these tools that will help you cut up the content, deliver exactly where you want. We have reach and we have these impressions out into the network. And man, the new social selling is incredible. Now that’s coming in, we’re involved with some e-commerce social selling, and you’re realizing that people can click all over the place and you can pay on just success of people that have introduced you to referral fees, commissions. And yeah, it’s a great way to develop your business if you set the back end properly. But marketing is work. You have to go out and do this properly. And I love that side of things, man. It’s incredible what you’re doing at Interview Valet. And let’s talk a little bit about interview valet with 28 remote employees. Now, you have been just you’ve been a poster child for exponential growth, a little slow, you know, nine years, your first 4 or 5 years to get traction. You know, podcasting is still new. You know, you and I, we love to talk to these podcasters like, hey, since 2006, it’s like, who had a podcast in 2006? You know, they’re on their thousandth episode and it’s crazy. And, you know, for me, I think I’m in my one 20s now, and I think I’m in my third year, and it’s incredible. Some of the people I’ve just been able to meet on these shows, that’s incredible for me. But let’s talk about your exponential growth of a strategic team that has never actually worked in the same office, because you’ve been remote, you know, five years before Covid, right?

Tom: [00:08:38] We started out, you know, I’m in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and I realized the business we were building was going to serve the world. Right? We’ve got customers around the world. You can’t say, well, we’re going to find all our talent in this geography, and we’re going to have be open from 9 to 5 East Coast time unless it snows. So we intentionally went out and found the best people. Two thirds of our team is military spouses, and it’s been great. We’ve got people in Europe and North America, and it allows them the flexibility, the creativity. And now with the tools we have, we can work easier remotely than we could if we all came into the same office. So it was intentional, the way we built that and then also continually learning. Right. The worst piece of fiction I ever read or ever wrote was my business plan, right? Nine years ago, every graph went up into the right. Instead, we started to listen to what customers loved and what they loathed, what they valued, and we kept doubling down on that. We’re continually learning. We’re continually teaching the market and people say, well, why would you teach them what you’re doing? Because I said, that’s all the stuff we used to know, right? The stuff that we’re learning now is what’s keeping us ahead. And so it’s been a great emergent strategy that we’re using to continue to lead the industry in this and really to drive results like we have never seen before for our clients.

Trent: [00:10:07] Man, that’s, uh, it’s incredible. And, you know, this podcasting thing is just absolutely taken off to another level. And I think people are trying to gauge this new marketing world. Right. And I think you and I have a mutual friend in Cohen out in San Francisco. Is it what’s his first name is Dan, right, Dave Cohen.

Tom: [00:10:28] There’s that. And you’re thinking of Jerry Weiss and John Cochran.

Trent: [00:10:32] Of. Thank you. Yes. John Cochran. Yeah. Those two guys out have just again you know, another you know, setting up podcasts for actually growth, using a podcast in your business to add value to your bottom line. And I think a lot of people are misdirected in how the podcast actually works. They’re entertaining for sure. Like, oh, that’s great. And man, I was one of those guys, right? Tom? I was one of those guys who thought like, oh, you know, it’s all in the advertising dollars. Well, listen, you know, there’s a limited amount of advertising dollars to go around, right? And there’s I don’t know how many, you know, millions of podcasts. Right. Proud to say that Winners Find A Way is in the top 3% of downloads each week. So we are cooking and hitting on the right cylinders. But man, always, always trying to grow and do better. Right?

Tom: [00:11:21] And do as I said before, marketing is work, right? Business is work, right? If it was easy, everybody would do it and it wouldn’t pay us well, right. So you’ve got to put the work into it. And one of the things that I laugh and I pull my hair out every time I hear it is your one funnel away. Right now, I’m a big fan of automation and funnels, but this idea that if I can just build the perfect funnel, that clients will just come in, right? It works for small transactions, but not big sales, right? It may work for products, it doesn’t work for services. Right? Products are sold, services are bought. You need to have that conversation. And I I swear your one conversation away. And that could be in person, at an event, at a stage, on a podcast, either a guest or a host. That’s where that relationship starts. You need to have that time to explain who you are, what you do, why you’re different. Because as we talked about before, you don’t want to just have more leads, you want to have more profitable customers. And if you can have that extended conversation, people will either turn you up or turn you off. Right? If you love Trent, that’s great. You’ll work with them. If somebody listens and they’re like, yeah, baseball’s not my thing, right? All right, that’s fine. Better to find that out early. I’m just jealous because Trent’s got a larger ring than I do. When I first met him, I always thought that the Naval Academy ring was about the biggest one out there. And Trent’s got a bigger one. He’s actually got three bigger rings than I do.

Trent: [00:12:59] Yeah, well, first of all, I don’t know if it has the same for me. I think the Naval Academy ring has more merit. And, you know, I mean, listen, I don’t want to downplay any World Series championship. It’s something special. And like anything, it’s earned, never given. But you know, we both know, Tom, the amount of effort to get into the academy, the diligence to go in to become an officer in the Navy and thank you for your service. I mean, it’s amazing. You know, our country is built on the backbone of guys like Tom Schwab. And I’ll never forget that. And I’m just, I, I enjoy the freedoms and liberty because Tom Schwab and friends like him all stood up and said, hey, I’m going to do something about it. And that, to me is made all the difference in this country because we’re doers in the end. Tom. That’s right.

Tom: [00:13:44] Well, and thank you for paying for my education. And I always look at it as what I learned in Navy nuclear power. Running power plants on an aircraft carrier is so applicable to everything I do in business. And so often people will say, well, you don’t understand my business. It’s so complicated, it’s so different. And I’m like, listen, if they could teach people how to run nuclear reactors and most of the people are 21 years old, they’re high school educated, very bright, but they’ve got the systems, the processes, the culture to do that. And that’s how they did it. And so I’ve taken that into business now. Right. What we do at Interview ballet is not magic. It’s not a secret. It’s just a system that we continue to refine to get better results more consistently. And so that’s what you know, I’m an engineer at heart and an entrepreneur probably in DNA. Yeah.

Trent: [00:14:42] I love the idea that you’re refining. Right? I love that word. You know, that was Coach Saban was always refining and well known as one of the top coaches in collegiate football. And when I worked with him, man, I mean, he was building the system, right? We were we were designing it at Michigan State. He had good ideas. He he’d been with all these fabulous coaches, Bill Belichick and all these people. And you know, he was a coach. He was either a coach with the Army or Navy with Belichick’s father, by the way. And so yeah I think it was Army okay. So he’s got some systems and processes that you learn from that. And I am going to use the nuclear navy example because I’ve used McDonald’s for a long time that I’ve been I’ve spoken over 17 countries. Right. And so when I look at this, I had a Quarter Pounder with cheese in almost all of them.

Trent: [00:15:33] With you. With you eight is like the Quarter Pounder cheese in Amsterdam. Taste is the same. And you know, Shanghai, China tastes the same in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Right. And so it’s taught to a system is taught to teenagers. And there is a significant process that’s built there. And it’s taught the kids that are 16, 17 years old like this is not and it’s repeatable, it’s scalable. And so when people tell me the same thing because I work with all sorts of industries, right, I’m industry agnostic and they’re like, oh, well, Trent, you you probably don’t understand, you know, HVAC and, you know, heating and cooling systems. I’m like, okay, you’re probably right. I don’t understand the systems. But when we talk about the business, I got a pretty good idea what kind of systems you’re going to need, right. And what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. And I can identify blind spots in a hurry. Right. And so I love this, that, you know, you came in a team guy, right. You come in as a naval officer like team. Team. No I there’s no me. This is all about everybody else. Then you go to one of the best West Michigan companies around. Stryker. Stryker is a brand out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. They probably I think they fulfill like, I think it’s like 70% of the hospital beds in North America. It’s amazing the amount of, you know, saturation they have in the hospital market. And they have tons of markets and they’re incredible. And then very good stocks for us here in West Michigan. They made a lot of West Michigan people very wealthy and stabilized their retirement because they’ve done so well. And again, you go in, you’re on a sales team. You’re developing processes. You know, what point do you decide? Like, hey man, I’ve always been a team guy. I’m going to be an entrepreneur, man. I’m going on my own. I’m going to run other teams. What made you think, like, hey, this is where I need to be? Uh, I.

Tom: [00:17:13] Think I was always an entrepreneur at heart. Right. But I was brought up where you need to have a stable, steady job. Right? And our parents love us, but sometimes they teach us history, not the future. And so when I left the Navy, my dad told me I was a fool. Right? And he’s like, all you’ve got to do is put another 15 years in and you can retire. And I’m like, dad, my marriage won’t last. Another deployment. Right? Then I was inside at Stryker and left that to go and take a straight commission job selling orthopedic implants. You know, in for Stryker in surgery there. And that’s when my dad told me I was a dang fool or something like that. Right? And he’s like, you just got to stay in one job and be loyal there. And I’m like, no, that will kill me. I’ve got to continue to learn. I’ve got to continue to to challenge myself. It might be fine for some people, but it’s not fine for me. So I was selling and it did really, really well in that. Then I was leading the sales team and then 2008 hits, right? Remember the Great Recession? Michigan? Michigan led the country into the Great Recession and they bought back the Distributorships.

Tom: [00:18:28] And so the company I was working for brought back the distributorship. And then I had this opportunity to take this little sideline project that we had been working on, and I thought, this is my chance to do it. And so that was my first company. It was Hubspot’s first e-commerce case study. We built it from being a regional player to a national leader, and then everything I learned through my life and through that last company was taught me to think, huh, I wonder if we could leverage podcast interviews to tap into audiences to grow a business. And, you know, that’s where Interview Ballet was born. And the first probably 3 or 4 years I’d give my elevator pitch, Trent. And people would go, what’s a podcast? And it gave us the opportunity to learn the systems, to build it, to build that entire foundation and the team so that when it took off about 2019, we were off to the races.

Trent: [00:19:23] Love it, I love it. And man, so so you’ve done this now and you’ve started and sold a company before. Correct. This is now. How many years did it take you to catapult over the $1 million revenue mark? Uh, this.

Tom: [00:19:38] Company it took me. What was that? About four years. And I really think it was because we entered the market so early, right? Yeah. The market just wasn’t ready for it. Right? You’re either you’re either crazy or a pioneer. The first few years I was crazy on that, but it worked well.

Trent: [00:19:56] So let’s talk about that because I love this quote. You know we talk about Winners Find A Way right. This is the show winners. When shown data that they are losing find a way to win. And man those ideas come from anywhere. Right. But we read you and I are voracious readers. Right. And we’re taking in content from people and we have absolutely done something that most people don’t know. And when you’re, when you’re in these high level strategic environment, nuclear power high. Levels of the military, professional athletics, entrepreneurship. You have to be a hyper learner. You have to learn very quickly. And what’s very evident very early is you don’t go back to the 20 year old textbook because it’s old information, it’s written on historical data. You are looking for new information. And you had a quote that I love. The masses are asses. I love this because we are trying to figure out how to win. And if you’re trying to go in a direction that everyone’s saying, well, listen, you have to go where everybody else is going because that’s the only way you’re going to win.

Trent: [00:21:06] There’s already a playbook, and the playbook has been around for 30 years, and you just need to follow that. And I think you kind of touched on it with your father a little bit, which is, hey, 40 years ago, you stay in the Navy and that’s a great job and it’s a great career, and you’re going to retire at like 45 years old or less. And it’s incredible. And you can almost have a second career on the back end and you’ll take care of your family, quote unquote, forever. Right? They’ll be stabilized. You’re recognizing that may not be the better future for me. And I’ve seen that movie, by the way, played out by some of my counterparts and peers through divorce and the struggles with children. And like, man, you know, when you get deployed in this environment, this is a very tough environment to stay married and family’s important. And you make a decision based on the here and now and where technology and where things are going. So walk me through the masses are asses.

Tom: [00:22:01] Well, the masses are asses. Was aligned from the military, right? If you’re doing the same thing everyone else’s is doing, don’t expect to win. And I’m going to push back a little bit. Trent, you said, you know, everybody wants to win or something like that. I don’t think so. I think most people want to play the game and very few want to win, right? Yeah. If you want to win, you’re at a different level. You’ve got a different mindset. You’re driving yourself differently, right? If you just want to play softball, right, join the local church team or something like that. You can play. Everybody plays. Everybody gets a trophy. You know, everybody gets a ribbon, but you don’t get a World Series ring, right? Yeah. So decide do you want to play the game or do you want to win the game? And I just look at it as, as hard as business is, even if you’re just playing, I don’t want to play that hard for little returns. I want to play to win. And so that tells me I’ve got to do something different. And so often I find people will copy what used to work for somebody, right? They’ll say, hey, this is how I built my business and you should do it too. Well, that business was a different market and a different time. It’s almost like me telling you, Trent. Hey, you know what? I went to the grocery store the other day. Aisle two on the checkout. You’ve got to go there. Right? Well that’s stupid. Why would you just go to Il2? What you really want to know was. Well, what did you learn there? Right? Why was that? What things did you see? So that when you come up to that opportunity, you can say, oh, yeah, I remember what Tom learned, that don’t go in front of the aisle with all the kids.

Tom: [00:23:39] Don’t go the ones with the old people go the ones with teenagers because they got money and they got credit cards and they’ll go quick. Right? So I’m trying to figure out what used to work, what you can learn from it, and then doing something different. Just because if you’re trying to compete with everyone else doing the same thing, you’re not going to stand out. You know, you’re not going to be able to outspend them. You’re not going to be able to out hustle them for long term. You got to find a creative way. So I always say that if all the masses are doing it, it’s probably not working and it’s also probably past its prime. Try to figure out, like Wayne Gretzky would say, where’s the market going? Where’s the puck going to? And that’s one of the things that I consider myself to be sort of a super, uh, a super strength, right? A super power. We got into inbound marketing when that was the powerful thing. Write blogs and guest blogs, man. That’s how we built our first business. Sold it up. But every strategy, every tactic has an expiration date, right? People figure out what the triple option defense or triple option offense is. And now it doesn’t work as well for Navy, right. Because everybody can defend against it. So you always have to be figuring out what’s the next thing. And so that’s why we looked at it and said, well podcasts are the future. They’re taking off. You don’t have to worry about breaking through the noise. Just get in on the conversation that people are listening to.

Trent: [00:25:06] I think you’re right. It reminds me and it’s a great push back. Like not everybody is is so desirous to win, right? Like, not everybody’s driven for that. And you know the quote that I love write winners when shown data that they’re losing find a way to win. Well, what if you don’t try to win when you show data, you just want to be there and like, hey, don’t care. You know, I don’t consider that winners, right? You’re going to probably lose a lot. And so I. Love Harvey McKay. Harvey McKay is the author of The New York Times best seller swimming with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, which is a fabulous book. He also is a former owner of the Minnesota Twins, and his quote was, everybody wants to win the day of the game. Few are willing to prepare for it. And then I love that quote. Uh, quick commercial for my new book, Leading Winning Teams. Excited about bringing that content aware. Hey, I can lead from right where I’m sitting. All these skill sets I’ve learned along the way that can help direct my steps into being a better leader and create that, uh, self-managing winning team is so important and so really highlighted a bunch of things I learned along the track of, you know, world championships and being an athlete and getting all this coaching.

Trent: [00:26:21] And Harvey was nice enough to give me a quote and a testimonial for the book where he says, Trent Clark has taken three of the most important concepts for success leadership, winning and teamwork and laid out a game plan guaranteed to bring your organization into the big leagues. Leading winning teams will have you swinging for the fences. Love, Harvey. Love what he’s done in the market. He’s written some of the best books I’ve ever read and was a guy ahead of his time. He was one of those readers that I was consuming back in the 90s because like you said, Tom, he was saying things that were not the mainstream, right? He was the guy that was the first guy in Minneapolis to put his envelope company on the top of all his trucks. He’s competing in the office supply world. He owns one of the biggest envelope companies in America, and he’s got everyone looking out their office building in downtown Saint Paul and downtown Minneapolis, or watching trucks on the street. And he’s advertising his brand on the top of trucks, like he’s thinking in a very different way. And I always love that about Harvey, man. He was such a sharp guy. So with that, if people want to buy leading winning teams, there is a link in the bottom for the presale at Barnes and Noble and Amazon and please, you know, purchase one.

Trent: [00:27:39] Send me the receipt. I’ll send you a little white paper on discipline. And if you send me to receive for two where you buy one for you and friend, I will tell, I will send you a playbook and a little workbook on the strategies of discipline called the Pain Exchange, which I’ve done a Ted talk about. So excited about the new book coming out, and I will let you know that on your presale you will not pay full retail when you buy, so that’s always good for you. Tom. You know, one of the things we talked about when we talk about strategies of growth interview valet has got just really hit on a couple key strategies that you’ve done very well. And you’ve got these 20 employees who have always been remote. You have kind of cracked the code on identifying and recruiting the hire that you continually need to serve. And then once you put them in place, you not only have really strong, measured and improving process, you have a speed of execution that probably separates you from the rest of the people out there. Is that fair?

Tom: [00:28:41] I would say so, yes.

Trent: [00:28:42] Let’s talk a little bit about how you came to that over the nine years. It’s I think it’s.

Tom: [00:28:46] In our DNA. Right. You’ll hear different Tom isms in the company. Right. And customers start saying these after a while. Right. One of them is hope is not a strategy, right? We just don’t hope things happen. No, we’ve got a process to do that. Another one is that in God we trust, everyone else brings data, right? You might think, oh, I just like, you know, I feel this. Well, it’s nice that you have an opinion. I honor your opinion, but unless you have data with it, we’re not acting on it. So we’re a big data company, right? There’s other ones, too. That patience is a virtue. It’s not one we have, right? Our clients pay us good money. They want results and they want them fast. And we want them even faster. Right. So all of those things go together. And one of the things that I learned in the Navy is that I believe that 99% of the people out there in the world want to do a good job, right? You’ve probably got 1% psychos, and, well, you better figure those out before you hire them. So when we look at something that misses the mark, right, we don’t hit the mark every time we listen and we say what broke down was the people problem. Was it a process problem. Right. And so we’re always learning it’s okay to make a mistake. Just don’t make it more than once. So we’re always learning, refining our processes, doing the training and really growing. And you know, I said it before, right? People can always copy what we used to do. And there are a lot of people that have, but they’re not going to copy what we’re going to do.

Tom: [00:30:19] Right. I wrote a book that we mentioned at the beginning, podcast, Guest Profits. And during Covid, I can remember a gentleman in South Africa reached out to me and he said, I’ve. Read your book. You know, my agency is dead right now because of Covid. I’d like to start a podcasting agency in South Africa focusing on that market. And I’m like, go for it, right? Let me know what questions you have. That’s not a market we’re going after. So anything I can do to help with that. But it’s really, you know, and I felt bad because I told them the book that you’re reading, that’s the strategy. That’s the winning formula for two years ago. It’s not what we’re doing now. So I openly talk about what’s working, what we’re testing, what we’re learning. And I think that’s a culture that we have inside the company where the leader sets the tone, sets the example, and I have set that or I’ve tried to set that. And I’m so proud of my team. Right. We’ve got some amazing people. And you know, I say, I jokingly say, but it’s the truth that my microphone makes me sound good. My team makes me look good. Right? I’ll have clients like like you come and say, oh, I, you know, I’d love to work with you. And it’s like, no, you don’t want to work with me. I am not the detail guy, right? You want to work with this client? Account manager? They are your roadie, your concierge, your biggest fan. They will deliver for you.

Trent: [00:31:43] Oh that’s great. So give us one of those big tips. Give us one of the things right now, that interview valet, maybe one thing that’s kind of forthright thinking. And everyone again, interview valet comm W4 for Winners Find A Way you know so it’s backslash W4. You can get Tom’s book which is a foundational strategy to your desk podcasting. So how you can use that. So there’s foundational work there. You’re going to probably want to hire them if you really want to take it to the next level. But what’s one of those things right now maybe you’ve identified is a key ingredient to get the right person on your team that’s going through your process. It’s that’s probably like a stopping point. I’ve got to have this from a team member if they’re going to be successful integrating into the inner interview valet culture.

Tom: [00:32:35] And that’s the thing you can’t teach culture, right? They either fit or they don’t. I remember chief in the Navy that told me, you know, if his mom couldn’t change him in the first 18 years, you’re not going to change him in the next 18 months. And last year, we did an acquisition. It was our first one. It was from a publicly traded company. We brought over some of their team members and some of them great people, right? They were amazing, but they fit into more the corporate corporate culture, if you will. Right. They weren’t a small business culture people. Right. You know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. It’s it’s fast moving. We’re changing all of the time. It’s sort of like there’s fast twitch, you know, there’s sprinters and there’s marathon runners. Well, these people were great marathon runners, but we needed sprinters. So I really try looking at that is do they have the background to excel in this company? Another one I’ll give you the same way Trent is not everybody is made out for remote work. That’s one of the things that we have found. Yeah. You know some people need to be managed. Some people want someone looking over their shoulder. Right. And for them, they’re going to thrive in an office environment. Right? The people that we hire, they want to be led. They don’t want to be managed. And I always call it psychologically self-employed, right? They work for themselves. They work for the customer. I’m just the one that signs their paycheck, right? If I checked up on them or didn’t check up on them, they’d be doing the same job because they have that ownership and that pride in it. And I don’t think that’s something that you can teach. It’s just there from the beginning. And we’ve gotten much, much better after nine years of saying, you know, this person is wonderful, but they’re not wonderful for us. And more and more in life, we’re looking at, I see there’s two answers, right? There’s yes and no. And if they’re not a heck yes, then there are no.

Trent: [00:34:32] First of all, great stuff, man. I mean, that’s incredible. And I think that a lot of people miss that. You know, a rejection from a company is good for you sometimes, you know, and that doesn’t make you a bad person. I think we’re all taking that personally. Right. Like, hey, there was 70 people that came for this interview. One is selected, 69 are going home. This is like March Madness, right? You know, first of all, it’s tough to get in the final 6014. And then when you get in 32 are gone in the first two nights. Okay. Like it’s like, you know, there’s only going to be one winner, which is why the rings get so crazy, because there’s only going to be one winner each year and there’s 100 and whatever, 46 Division one losers in basketball. So it gets crazy. The volume of if that’s the only measurement. And I like the point of does it make you a bad team? It doesn’t make you a bad person because you weren’t selected. In fact, if. If you don’t understand the word I use a lot, Tom, is urgency. If you do not have a level of urgency that’s required in an entrepreneurship environment, in small business, you do not have that. You talked about it before, that your speed to execution is a separator from you versus the competition. And that means urgency. We need to execute and we need to execute fast.

Trent: [00:35:55] And so and quite frankly, the difference of that is is like let’s use our naval ship. Right. If I’m if I’m riding in my master craft and you’re right, you’re riding on this massive naval destroyer and we got to flip around and go the other direction. You’re going to need like eight nautical miles to turn around that that ship. I’m going to need about 50m, right. Maybe at the most to turn this Mac on a man. Hang on. We’re going to be headed the other direction. So my speed in this race is the ability to change directions quickly, modify something, and rapidly change and go into a different direction. And I get the value of being first into the market, at least for a little while. And so, man, I think that if people don’t understand that again, I love your position. This doesn’t make people bad. People like they’re fine and they belong in a spot where they’re going to thrive and do well, because why would you want to come to a company where you’ve got to go into your monthly or quarterly review and just get beat up and drawn out for not competing with the rest of your peers because it’s not your style of learning or it’s not your what. You’ve been trained and learned to do it the way you’ve been learned to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that. You belong in a place where you can thrive and be successful.

Trent: [00:37:14] You are not a bad person for that. And so I just love your position and and your language around that. And I really get behind. If you’re not a heck yes, you’re a no. Because that’s how we get great team members. Because, Tom, I can’t tell you how many times companies tell me, you know, we got a great team. And I’m like, oh, really? Like, how much have we done? Jake, show me your process to get a great team, because I come from the value and the world of professional athletics, where we need the top in the world to compete, and we’re digging through the corners of the world to find them right and wrong all the time, by the way, like at the cost of millions of dollars. Right. And there’s a significant cost to be wrong. And there’s also a big cost in being right. And so when you look at that, it’s like, man, I may start using this time. If I went down your roster, how many times would you be like, this was a fervent heck yes from the entire team, because all those teams who tell me they have a great team, it’s probably 10%. And I’m like, okay, so you really still think you got a great team because everybody says it, but if they actually have it, those are two different things. And I love.

Tom: [00:38:23] How do you say, if you went through the entire team and asked them, what would they say? Because often, you know, from the top it’s like, oh yes, you know, well, they’re a C player. Well, the rest of the team knows that too. And they’re thinking, why do we still have this C player. Right. I can remember hearing from a a company one time. It’s like, what do you have to do around here to get fired? And all of a sudden it was you had people that wanted to win that didn’t want to be on that team anymore because they had people that didn’t even want to play. Right. So you want to be on a winning team now? It doesn’t mean being cutthroat, but at a certain point, everybody realizes this is what we need. And even teams grow, right? Those people that are fast sense of urgency, that’s a startup, right? That person that runs that company is not going to be the same one that runs that company when it’s a publicly traded company, right? Yeah. Hr and legal will kill them.

Tom: [00:39:22] Right. And that’s why I like small companies. I’ve always said, you know, when this company gets an HR department or a legal department to tell me what I can’t do, it’s time for me to get out of the company, because that’s not who I am. But you’ve got to find people that are the best and can thrive there, right? You talk about urgency. We’ve got a mutual friend, right? You and I have a sense of urgency. If Doctor Cole, my great orthopedic surgeon from Battle Creek, Michigan. Right. I don’t want him to have a sense of urgency. I don’t want to see where he’s always changing things. No, he knows how to make it perfect. He walks in there already prepared. Right? He’s not making it up as he goes. Like like so many entrepreneurs, I don’t want to see him with a sense of urgency on getting this done. I want him to do it right. But for us, man, it’s. I’m not ready. Aim! Fire! I’ve been accused of being. Let’s just fire and walk in the bullets. Right? Yeah.

Trent: [00:40:18] It’s I’ve always thought entrepreneur is like, ready, fire, aim. Right. Like it’s not like, hey, we’re ready, let’s go. And it can be very inefficient. Right. And small businesses have to. All that it can be very inefficient and it can be costly, but it also sets people apart. And I think this is one of the challenges when someone who’s entrepreneurial is in leadership in a country, right, like it’s ready, fire, aim and you’re like, whoa, man. Like, you know, following process is like, well, why are we doing it this slow and dumb way? We need to execute faster and we need to make faster mistakes and figure that out. Boy, that does not excite people. Like, make mistakes. Wait a minute. And so when I come from a baseball background where it’s 70% failure and you’re a hero, right? Like I’m like, oh man. Yeah, like failure is part of the game. And let’s, let’s fail fast and figure out what we did. So let’s kind of come back to your strategies of growth. Because one of the things I really want to talk about is an area where you’re doing okay, pretty good. But to get to that ten x level, to get to your next level, you know, it’s very important to identify now the leadership and bringing those people around. And you’ve kind of cited yourself as a potential cog in your brand and your team getting to the next level, because if Tom Schwab’s got to do everything and be the bottleneck for everything, that’s going to affect speed of execution, that’s going to affect decision making, that’s going to give your team less autonomy that they all signed up for and go directly against the grain of the psychologically self-employed because it’s now psychologically Tom employed. And so how are you leaning into that? And what do you think is going to change for you and interview valet in the next few quarters to be different? Well, first.

Tom: [00:42:07] Of all, I mentioned that I’m going on that big bucket list trip, so I’ve got to write. I’ve got to get it so that they don’t need me day in and day out. And my number two right now is on maternity leave. Right. And she talks about this as being my maternity leave, that we got to get things set up for that. But I think from my perspective it’s being mindful. Right. We like to be heroes, right? I want to be the star of the team. I want to be felt needed. And often when we’re doing things, when we’re helping, we’re not leveraging. Right. If I have to do everything for my kids, they’ll never learn how to tie their shoes, right? I want to teach them. I want to leverage them. I want to show them that I have have confidence in them. And I learned this in the Navy and I learned it as a parent. Right. Your goal is not to raise children. Your goal is to raise functioning adults, right? And you’ve got to work them through that. And so I’ve struggled with that in my business, and I’ve asked the team to call me out on this. Right. Because I’m the one that signs the check. Right? Whether I see a power struggle or a power imbalance there doesn’t matter. They do. The other thing, too, is that most of my team is young enough to be one of my kids, right? I don’t see that difference. I think we’re all about the same age. I just have more gray hair, right? They see me as older, right? So I’ve got to be conscious of that. So when I ask questions, to ask them specifically to them and to give them the permission to to give the answers back, because the other thing that I noticed early in my business is that my business started to look like me, and that can be a good thing, and it also can be a bad thing.

Tom: [00:43:48] It was one of my clients, Dan and Belstaff from Boss Mom podcast, that reached out to me and she said, hey Tom, would you like a video testimonial for your website? And I’m like, Dan, I would love that, right? I’d be honored. And she’s like, yeah, maybe you could put it on the front page and it wouldn’t just be a bunch of white guys on there. And I was like, oh, she was right. Everybody. I was selling to my friends, people that I knew early on, and they all looked like me. They thought like me. I was glad she didn’t say old white guys. She was nice on that. But I think tapping into that, that I don’t want it to be the Tom show. That’s one of the reasons, like some people put the founders picture all over the over the website. You’ve got to scroll deep into my website to see my picture, right? Because it’s not about me. It’s really about our customers, our clients who we bring the results for. And so you’ll see great pictures of, you know, coaches, consultants, brands, nonfiction authors there. But it’s it’s that whole thing. He goes the enemy. And so I try to to pull mine back because I realize that I can’t do it all. I don’t want to do it all. And if I have to do it all, it’s not a company. It’s you’re not one that’s scalable or that’s going to be around long.

Trent: [00:45:03] That’s so good, man. I so appreciate that. As we go through this. For everyone out there, real quick note on leadership and my schedule. You know, Tom, you got a pretty heavy schedule. And I want to talk a little bit about more of this trip because I want to dive into that. For people who are looking to get in touch with Trent and attend events. We have a fabulous retreat coming up here at the end of May down in Tulum, Mexico on growth and investing, which is super fun to learn with a. Place. And then we also have the first draft form starting up in the fall. So excited because you’ve been a guy, Tom, who’s run some masterminds, and we are focused in on those top employees for organization people that we hired and had said heck yes to. And now they are the first drafts. I mean, they are who he chose. And this coming, you know, we’re kind of in draft season with the NFL. We just saw Caitlin Clark drafted number one in the WNBA. And the baseball draft and NBA draft will be coming up. And so it’s draft season. And so business is the same way. We’re looking for those first people and we want them to drive into leadership.

Trent: [00:46:06] And Tom talked about his key person his number two. That’s so evident. And that is something that is so critical to running a self driving business and self-sufficient business. And as it becomes self managing, it frees time to really get that top 20% of where he’s going to spend his time and really scale. So companies are looking for that all the time. And you know, Tom, and you can find all the links to the events in below in the show notes. Tom. Let’s talk. You and I have a mutual friend and Anthony Ramirez from Chicago. And you know, Anthony kind of went through this about seven, eight years ago. He had an event in his life stepping away. He had to step away from the business because of some health issues in his family. And he saw his team in position that like literally went into financial growth, kind of his attendance in a lot of ways. And it was a testimony to how well his team was set and ready to go. I am very confident, Tom, that during your bucket list team, the interview valet team and their processes and their system are going to do very well.

Tom: [00:47:15] That’s a great, great observation. And, you know, I say it’s Anthony is our friend. I swear he’s one of those guys that could not get convicted in any county in the United States because you can find people, 12 people that don’t know them and love them already. You’d never seen a jury, right? But I think it’s a testament to the culture. Right. Everybody wants to to help Anthony out. And so when he was going through something they wanted to step up. And hey, I’ve been trained to do that at that time. That’s interesting. I’m looking forward to September in a different way. And as you were talking about that, it made me think of, oh, 20, 23 years ago now, the best sales month I ever had was the month that my dad passed away, because it was like the first time that I had ever been out of the operating room. And, you know, I was always there for the surgeons. And when they realized that, oh, Tom’s with his dying dad, they were buying and using everything they could from me. Right. I was selling more when I was away than I was while I was there, and I think that’s just a testament to the culture that you build, how you empower the people. And to me, that’s a leader, not just a manager.

Trent: [00:48:27] Yeah. That is so good, man. I mean, and for me, I think the upside of this is I love that your team is strategically thinking through a dialing in our goals, our processes, our events with the intent that Tom is not going to be available. Right. So this little test market of how you relinquish 80% of your duties very quickly, almost overnight, I tell a lot of people, nobody’s more efficient than the two days before they leave on vacation. We get a list of things you do and we’re checking stuff off, right? Like we’re just knocking stuff out. And so this is fun to be involved with, with a bucket list and your team all coming together and rallying around your event and certainly earned not given you position yourself well for this. So man, I’m just super excited for you. Thanks. This is this has been so much fun Tom. I’ve just really enjoyed this for everyone out there. You know Tom, that people are struggling and things are getting harder. I feel like, uh, a lot of people are working harder than ever, making less. You know, we’re a little bit upside down on catching up with the cost of things. And I know you offered something very kind for everybody. For everyone out there. Interview, f a w. He’s. You know Tom’s giving tons of resources. Is offering a free book on podcast guesting and how to monetize that as well as all sorts of other things. Even an appointment with Tom himself to direct your steps and how you might learn to do this better and and potentially work with a company like Interview Valet. So how about your best advice is you’ve been through some good times. You’ve been through some challenging times for people that are out there today that may be struggling with some things, what’s what’s maybe something that you’ve always found gets you grounded back to your foundation. And it’s kind of go to for you.

Tom: [00:50:14] I think one of the things is that somebody pointed out to me years ago that there seasons, right? And nothing lasts forever. Right? So when it’s the harvest, the harvest doesn’t last forever. When it’s the winter, right? The hard times, it doesn’t. Last forever. You learn something from that, you grow from that. And that’s always helped me to realize that when things are good, it’s not all me, right? And when things are bad, it’s not all me. There’s cycles in business and you just got to be doing the right things. Not the same things that the masses are doing, but you’ve got to figure out what you’re different is how you can add value to the world, how you can get heard. And if I can help you do that in any way, please reach out. I’d love to give you a copy of the book or jump on a call with you.

Trent: [00:50:59] What a generous offer for everybody on Winners Find A Way. Always another great show, man with a great man and Tom Schwab. And you can find Tom on link. Connect to all of our network. We have a big network of people and entrepreneurs. And if you’re an entrepreneur and owner, this is for you. And thank you from all of us, our listeners, thank you for joining us on winners. Find a way you can find us every Friday, 1230 eastern, 9:30 a.m. Pacific. Going live on YouTube channel. The leadership of the YouTube channel, Facebook Live, LinkedIn live. And then of course you can find our podcast on all the major networks. So see Tom Schwab, my good friend and guest at Interview Valet. Check us out. You can check out everything at.interview valet. Until next time, Winners Find A Way. Organizations come to me all the time with challenges of execution and communication with their teams. We help build a system through bloom growth and software that gives them simplification and prioritization. I teach, facilitate, and coach these organizations to literally double their value. If you’re interested in greening your individual and organizational growth, please email me at Trent at, or click the link below and book a 15 minute call on my Calendly.