Let's Talk Podcast
The Let’s Talk Podcast is hosted by Ira Warren with episodes released on a monthly frequency. The shows can be listened to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. In addition, each show is available in video format and can be viewed on my YouTube channel.
Hey everybody, this is the let’s talk podcast hosted by IRA Warren, a facilitator and coach with Vistage worldwide.
In each episode, Iris shares with you over 40 years of successful business leadership and his driving passion to enhance the lives of CEOs throughout Long Island using the vistage.
Peer advisory model here’s this week show.
00:00:36 Ira Warren
Today’s host is Jamie Foster, the son of the late, Great Doctor Arnold Foster, one of the originators of applied kinesiology.
00:00:45 Ira Warren
Doctor Foster earned his doctorate from New York Chiropractic College in 1985 and was treated in depth by his.
00:00:52 Ira Warren
Father for many years.
00:00:54 Ira Warren
Needless to say, he learned from the very best doctor.
00:00:58 Ira Warren
Foster runs a successful practice, with offices located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island.
00:01:03 Ira Warren
He’s spoken from many institutions.
00:01:06 Ira Warren
As well as on the radio and the benefits of chiropractic nutrition and.
00:01:11 Ira Warren
In addition to his medical practice, Doctor Foster recently became an entrepreneur in another fashion, beginning a supplement distribution business, which he is very passionate about in addition.
00:01:25 Ira Warren
Doctor fosters an accomplished drummer, and he toured all over the US and Europe as the personal chiropractor to the remote.
00:01:34 Ira Warren
And in Full disclosure, I’m proud to say I’ve been a patient for the past seven years and he’s helped to keep me healthy and strong.
00:01:43 Ira Warren
Welcome, Doctor Foster to let’s talk.
00:01:46 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, thank you.
00:01:47 Dr. Jamie Forster
I thank you for that.
00:01:48 Dr. Jamie Forster
Nice warm welcome.
00:01:49 Dr. Jamie Forster
I really appreciate it.
00:01:50 Dr. Jamie Forster
And thank you for this opportunity allows me to reach out to more people and make a difference because we all have priorities in life.
00:01:59 Dr. Jamie Forster
But I think all of us can agree that we’re on the same page when we say that.
00:02:04 Dr. Jamie Forster
Health is our priority.
00:02:07 Dr. Jamie Forster
That’s pretty collective, yes.
00:02:08 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:02:10 Dr. Jamie Forster
Finances, all the other things in life is so important.
00:02:13 Dr. Jamie Forster
But nothing really falls in place unless you’re in good health, and good health is good for many.
00:02:20 Dr. Jamie Forster
I don’t see people that are interested really in good health.
00:02:25 Dr. Jamie Forster
Which is average health?
00:02:27 Dr. Jamie Forster
I see people that are more interested in optimal.
00:02:30 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, they’re actually higher end jobs.
00:02:34 Dr. Jamie Forster
A lot of CEO, CFO, CEO, Hoes Bank presidents, people who are very endowed in real estate, and these people have to function.
00:02:48 Dr. Jamie Forster
On better than good.
00:02:51 Dr. Jamie Forster
So, so I’m interested really in the question being answered.
00:02:56 Dr. Jamie Forster
Who doesn’t want to feel great?
Mean who’s working?
00:03:03 Ira Warren
Right and obvious question.
00:03:04 Dr. Jamie Forster
Yet there’s so many.
00:03:06 Dr. Jamie Forster
Things that scare people or stand in the way, and there’s so much misinformation out there that I’m finding most of the doctors in the world are doing a great job, but unfortunately patients.
00:03:20 Dr. Jamie Forster
Going to wrong offices many of the times.
00:03:23 Dr. Jamie Forster
So they’re getting the provider service which wasn’t appropriate for that particular.
00:03:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
Condition or diagnosis.
00:03:30 Dr. Jamie Forster
Thank you for clarifying that I was the chiropractor to the Ramones because.
00:03:35 Dr. Jamie Forster
Hearing that I’m a.
00:03:35 Dr. Jamie Forster
Drummer and then touring with the Ramones for.
00:03:38 Dr. Jamie Forster
13 years there.
00:03:39 Dr. Jamie Forster
Could be selective listening there.
00:03:41 Dr. Jamie Forster
I would, yeah.
00:03:41 Ira Warren
00:03:42 Dr. Jamie Forster
It was not their drummer.
00:03:44 Dr. Jamie Forster
And yeah, I appreciate that.
00:03:47 Dr. Jamie Forster
And yes, the the vitamin distribution business.
00:03:50 Dr. Jamie Forster
This is a new baby of mine.
00:03:52 Dr. Jamie Forster
I’ve been working on that for a little over five years.
00:03:56 Dr. Jamie Forster
And that is just a natural branch of health care for what I do, because there’s really four legs to the stool.
00:04:04 Dr. Jamie Forster
I know it’s an old philosophy, but it works.
00:04:07 Dr. Jamie Forster
And the four stool, 4 legs of the stool goes like this siren.
00:04:12 Dr. Jamie Forster
You have treatment and treatment doesn’t have to be what I do, although I have an integrated practice that involves chiropractic, kinesiology, reflexology, cranial adjusting, spinal adjusting, extremity adjusting and nutrition and we integrate all of that into.
00:04:31 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:04:33 Dr. Jamie Forster
The treatment can also be acupuncture.
00:04:36 Dr. Jamie Forster
The treatment can be massage therapy, and there’s many different types of that, and sometimes it’s a combination thereof.
00:04:43 Dr. Jamie Forster
I like all three, but many patients find that if they get massage and adjusted by me then they’re 100%.
00:04:51 Dr. Jamie Forster
Again, many people are willing to live at the 80 and 85%.
00:04:55 Dr. Jamie Forster
Deathmark. My patients want to be 90 and 100. I even have patients that come in and they say I’m at 100% for over a year with you.
00:05:03 Dr. Jamie Forster
I feel great. Is there?
00:05:05 Dr. Jamie Forster
Another rung on the ladder.
00:05:06 Dr. Jamie Forster
Is there another level?
00:05:08 Dr. Jamie Forster
To take this, and the answer is yes because.
00:05:11 Dr. Jamie Forster
When we start.
00:05:11 Dr. Jamie Forster
Out with people.
00:05:12 Dr. Jamie Forster
We don’t give them things like moderation.
00:05:15 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:05:16 Dr. Jamie Forster
Because in the diet that I give people, there’s no moderation.
00:05:19 Dr. Jamie Forster
What I mean by that is it’s a little sarcastic.
00:05:22 Dr. Jamie Forster
You’re not allowed to eat any sugar.
00:05:25 Dr. Jamie Forster
So there’s no moderation, and that includes fruit.
00:05:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
And there’s no moderation of plants and vegetation because you can eat as much as you want.
00:05:35 Dr. Jamie Forster
So because I have the zero hundred rule, there’s really no moderation you follow.
00:05:42 Ira Warren
Yeah, you know, at the onset you were talking about, you know, the CEO is the CEO’s and the all the people that, you know, you come across.
00:05:52 Ira Warren
And you know, one of the things that I’m really aware of is is.
00:05:56 Ira Warren
The life of an entrepreneur.
00:05:57 Ira Warren
00:05:58 Ira Warren
It’s just such a grind.
00:05:59 Ira Warren
There’s always another goal to pursue.
00:06:01 Ira Warren
Or another fire to react to.
00:06:03 Ira Warren
And with so much on their plate.
00:06:06 Ira Warren
I I just wonder is it you know it’s as important it’s so easy for their health to.
00:06:12 Ira Warren
Fall off the radar.
00:06:14 Ira Warren
You know what you find.
00:06:15 Ira Warren
In your practice.
00:06:16 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, let’s start off with the first word of the question, which is people that are functioning high ends find life to be a grind sometimes.
00:06:28 Dr. Jamie Forster
That word triggers so much in me because if you’re doing something you’re passionate about enough to have become an executive and be functioning at a high level and want optimal health.
00:06:45 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:06:46 Dr. Jamie Forster
You have to go take continuing education courses and stimulate your brain with some new ideas and and knowledge.
00:06:54 Dr. Jamie Forster
Because we all know knowledge is power.
00:06:57 Dr. Jamie Forster
You need to change your attitude, reframe it, rethink your life, stop thinking of all the things that are bringing you down and think of all.
00:07:05 Dr. Jamie Forster
The gratitude and the blessings.
00:07:07 Dr. Jamie Forster
And that’s called, you know, a attitude of gratitude, which gives you latitude.
00:07:15 Dr. Jamie Forster
And that’s what everybody wants in business.
00:07:18 Ira Warren
So so so this.
00:07:21 Ira Warren
God say that.
00:07:21 Ira Warren
Again for me.
00:07:22 Speaker 5
You want that again?
00:07:24 Ira Warren
You got it.
We take on.
00:07:27 Dr. Jamie Forster
An attitude of gratitude.
00:07:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
Because a good attitude gives you latitude.
00:07:34 Ira Warren
00:07:34 Dr. Jamie Forster
Gives you lots of wood.
00:07:35 Speaker 1
00:07:36 Ira Warren
Segues into one of the things I was wondering about in addition is is, you know, we all hear about, you know, the mind, body, connection and you just brought up, you know, stimulating your brain and doing things you love.
00:07:49 Ira Warren
Our mental performance clearly affects our body and our body or mental performance.
00:07:56 Ira Warren
And how do you balance that today?
00:07:58 Dr. Jamie Forster
Yeah, that’s such.
00:07:59 Ira Warren
There’s just, it’s going.
00:07:59 Dr. Jamie Forster
A great point.
00:08:01 Dr. Jamie Forster
Yeah, I’m sorry, did I interrupt you?
00:08:04 Dr. Jamie Forster
- Yeah, that’s such.
00:08:05 Dr. Jamie Forster
A great point.
00:08:06 Dr. Jamie Forster
I love covering that one because the.
00:08:08 Dr. Jamie Forster
Four legs of the stool, which I hadn’t.
00:08:10 Dr. Jamie Forster
Completed the 1st.
00:08:11 Dr. Jamie Forster
One was treatment and I gave the options for treatment.
00:08:14 Dr. Jamie Forster
The second one is supplementations, the third is diet and the 4th one is lifestyle.
00:08:19 Dr. Jamie Forster
And of course lifestyle is the only vague term there, so we would have to embellish on that.
00:08:24 Dr. Jamie Forster
And that you know in brief, because it.
00:08:26 Dr. Jamie Forster
Could be an entire podcast in itself.
00:08:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
I would say it’s not.
00:08:30 Dr. Jamie Forster
About what you eat, but the way you eat it.
00:08:33 Dr. Jamie Forster
What I mean by that is are.
00:08:34 Dr. Jamie Forster
You sitting down in a relaxed fashion.
00:08:36 Dr. Jamie Forster
Are you chewing your food long enough?
00:08:38 Dr. Jamie Forster
Are you drinking too much with the meal and diluting your digestive enzymes?
00:08:43 Dr. Jamie Forster
You know, are you on the run?
00:08:44 Dr. Jamie Forster
Are you grazing all day?
00:08:46 Dr. Jamie Forster
Are you having?
00:08:46 Dr. Jamie Forster
A2 meal day. A3 meal day.
00:08:49 Dr. Jamie Forster
UH-1 meal day do.
00:08:50 Dr. Jamie Forster
You skip meals, so there’s all this lifestyle.
00:08:52 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:08:54 Dr. Jamie Forster
What kind of exercise?
00:08:55 Dr. Jamie Forster
How often do you do it?
00:08:57 Dr. Jamie Forster
Are you mixing up cardio with some stretching and yoga type things?
00:09:01 Dr. Jamie Forster
But the most?
00:09:02 Dr. Jamie Forster
Important thing I could cover between mind and body health and all of that is what do you do for a living?
00:09:09 Dr. Jamie Forster
Meaning if you’re a guy who’s using his head all day.
00:09:12 Dr. Jamie Forster
You have a desk job.
00:09:14 Dr. Jamie Forster
You’re an attorney, you’re a CFO.
00:09:16 Dr. Jamie Forster
You’re you’re, you’re, you’re in the insurance business.
00:09:20 Dr. Jamie Forster
You know, using your head all day means you must go home and work out.
00:09:25 Dr. Jamie Forster
You have to find a workout that’s really fun, something you look forward to.
00:09:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
It shouldn’t be like, oh, I can’t believe it’s going to be Tuesday tomorrow and I have to go to the gym.
00:09:34 Dr. Jamie Forster
I mean, that’s already you gotta change something up, you know, take snowboarding lessons and take trips out to Colorado.
00:09:41 Dr. Jamie Forster
Do something exciting and fun.
00:09:43 Dr. Jamie Forster
That’s a great workout.
00:09:45 Dr. Jamie Forster
Fresh air, exercise, tennis, handball, walking, running roll.
00:09:50 Dr. Jamie Forster
But it doesn’t matter as long as you look forward to it as an activity and by the way, you’re sweating and getting exercise and it’s good to mix it up and it’s the most important thing is consistency.
00:10:02 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:10:04 Dr. Jamie Forster
It doesn’t cut.
00:10:05 Dr. Jamie Forster
It you have to do things during the week.
00:10:07 Dr. Jamie Forster
Me personally I do stretching during the week and more of my yoga routine.
00:10:11 Dr. Jamie Forster
It fits into my office and work schedule.
00:10:14 Dr. Jamie Forster
On the weekends I have a lot more freedom, so I get out there and run around on the court and do my skiing, snowboarding stuff or my swimming and more active like that.
00:10:22 Dr. Jamie Forster
So I balance it out like that.
00:10:24 Dr. Jamie Forster
Other side of the coin, you have people doing physical work all day.
00:10:27 Dr. Jamie Forster
You have construction workers laying sheetrock builders.
00:10:31 Dr. Jamie Forster
Plumbers, electricians, guys, you know, in hard positions with their body.
00:10:35 Dr. Jamie Forster
Those are the guys that really love my chiropractic end of my work.
00:10:39 Dr. Jamie Forster
But you have people that have very physical jobs, even moms.
00:10:43 Dr. Jamie Forster
A mom job is purely physical.
00:10:47 Dr. Jamie Forster
You need to go home at the end of the day.
00:10:49 Dr. Jamie Forster
You put the baby to sleep.
00:10:50 Dr. Jamie Forster
You get home from your.
00:10:51 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:10:52 Dr. Jamie Forster
You must take out a book.
00:10:54 Dr. Jamie Forster
You must get some mental stuff.
00:10:56 Dr. Jamie Forster
Emulous read a book for enjoyment as well as read something neutral about nutrition.
00:11:01 Dr. Jamie Forster
Be self educated.
00:11:03 Dr. Jamie Forster
It’s. It’s funny.
00:11:04 Dr. Jamie Forster
Thing you know, I do this for a living, but every single walk of life that I come across in my travels, it seems like no matter what you do for a living, everyone interested in nutrition and health care.
00:11:16 Ira Warren
We’re going to take a break here for a couple of moments and we’ll be right back with docs support.
00:11:20 Speaker 5
This stage is where leaders learn and grow.
00:11:25 Speaker 5
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00:11:33 Speaker 5
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00:11:41 Ira Warren
The whole idea about a healthy relationship, you know, I loved your answer about how to balance.
00:11:45 Ira Warren
And it really came down.
00:11:46 Ira Warren
To doing things you love and, you know, balancing exercise and life and everything else and and really.
00:11:54 Ira Warren
That brings it all, you know together in a wonderful way and and you talked about sweating too and and hydration and but you mentioned just now Jim Rohn and if I recall he was talking about you’re the average of five people you spend time with and it really again in the the same way you’re speaking about balance.
00:12:14 Ira Warren
You know about healthy and fulfilling relationships and adding that to the mix of how you eat and everything else.
00:12:22 Ira Warren
Everybody knows that the healthy, fulfilling relationships are.
00:12:25 Ira Warren
Also a key to a happy life.
00:12:27 Ira Warren
But that’s also part of our health.
00:12:29 Ira Warren
As well, right?
00:12:32 Dr. Jamie Forster
Absolutely. I bring up a couple of great points as far as Jim Rohn’s philosophy on on some of these things.
00:12:40 Dr. Jamie Forster
And I just want to tell you, there’s an interesting statistic that I’ve learned from from my patients who are really functioning at these high levels.
00:12:47 Dr. Jamie Forster
Most top executives read approximately one book a week.
00:12:54 Dr. Jamie Forster
I don’t do that.
00:12:56 Dr. Jamie Forster
But that is what’s going on in peak performance these days, just as a goal for all of us to work through it.
00:13:03 Dr. Jamie Forster
And I keep trying to get in greater numbers every year.
00:13:07 Dr. Jamie Forster
I’m not there yet, but.
00:13:09 Dr. Jamie Forster
Jim Rohn said. How many?
00:13:10 Dr. Jamie Forster
Books should you read in a year?
00:13:14 Dr. Jamie Forster
And the best way to answer that is by asking another question is how high does it regrow?
00:13:21 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, as high as it possibly can.
00:13:23 Dr. Jamie Forster
You never sort of truly.
00:13:24 Dr. Jamie Forster
Grow half as high as it could well.
00:13:27 Dr. Jamie Forster
But have you?
00:13:27 Dr. Jamie Forster
Seen people grow half as high as they could, of course, because many people don’t tap into their potential.
00:13:35 Dr. Jamie Forster
And all those reasons are for another podcast.
00:13:38 Dr. Jamie Forster
But the fact is.
00:13:39 Dr. Jamie Forster
Many people have a lot more potential.
00:13:41 Dr. Jamie Forster
Than they’re expressing.
00:13:42 Dr. Jamie Forster
So the relationships you know is is a relationship with your body.
00:13:49 Dr. Jamie Forster
It’s a relationship with food.
00:13:51 Dr. Jamie Forster
It’s not just a relationship with the five most influential people in your life.
00:13:56 Dr. Jamie Forster
And that’s another common feature in in people who function optimally and don’t want anything average.
00:14:02 Dr. Jamie Forster
In life and they they are selective with their audience and they like to.
00:14:08 Dr. Jamie Forster
Let me ask you this question.
00:14:10 Dr. Jamie Forster
Do you look forward to being with?
00:14:12 Dr. Jamie Forster
Negative, pessimistic people.
00:14:15 Dr. Jamie Forster
Do you look forward to being?
00:14:16 Ira Warren
Absolutely, yeah. I can’t wait.
00:14:19 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:14:19 Dr. Jamie Forster
And we look forward to gossipy stuff.
00:14:22 Dr. Jamie Forster
No, we want to get together with with motivated, enthusiastic people who want to talk about their dreams.
00:14:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
They want to talk about philosophy and ideas and theories and and all of the exciting things about life, you know?
00:14:36 Dr. Jamie Forster
As it said, no weight, no white space on the calendar makes for a healthy life.
00:14:43 Dr. Jamie Forster
If you’re busy, busy, busy being.
00:14:45 Dr. Jamie Forster
Being productive, which is with as many hours as you can, and we have 14 productive hours in a day, 168 hours a week.
00:14:52 Dr. Jamie Forster
If you’re doing the best with that time slot and wasting minimal amounts of seconds, then you are being fulfilled no matter what you’re doing, and now you’ve created a healthy relationship.
00:15:04 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:15:05 Dr. Jamie Forster
That will extend to your relationship with your significant others and your significant friends.
00:15:11 Dr. Jamie Forster
Just a handful of friends is all you need.
00:15:13 Dr. Jamie Forster
My wife has a cute one, she says.
00:15:15 Dr. Jamie Forster
You know, friends, like suits go out and get a handful of really expensive, great ones.
00:15:22 Dr. Jamie Forster
You don’t need a whole closet full of junk.
00:15:25 Ira Warren
That’s well put.
00:15:26 Ira Warren
You know, really, it sounds to me like a good deal of our conversation is all about balance and balancing all of these things.
00:15:35 Ira Warren
And you know, I think that almost segues into the studies out there.
00:15:41 Ira Warren
00:15:43 Ira Warren
You were just talking about, you know, no white space.
00:15:45 Ira Warren
On the calendar.
00:15:46 Ira Warren
And at the same point, you know, there are studies.
00:15:49 Ira Warren
Out there about.
00:15:50 Ira Warren
Mindfulness and meditation, anxiety, depression improve your cognitive ability.
00:15:56 Ira Warren
Would you like to say?
00:15:57 Ira Warren
Something about meditation and where that fits in.
00:16:01 Ira Warren
And being mindful.
00:16:01 Dr. Jamie Forster
So I would love to, but let let me address it in a little bit of a reverse order for you, because I like to talk about cause rather than effect.
00:16:11 Dr. Jamie Forster
The cause of most people issues with cognitive thinking.
00:16:15 Dr. Jamie Forster
Being able to be fetched.
00:16:17 Dr. Jamie Forster
Think on your feet, be sharp.
00:16:19 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:16:20 Dr. Jamie Forster
Which is what I require my life.
00:16:22 Dr. Jamie Forster
You require it.
00:16:23 Dr. Jamie Forster
The top executives we meet all require it.
00:16:25 Dr. Jamie Forster
They’re not willing for compromise.
00:16:27 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, that originates in gut health.
00:16:31 Dr. Jamie Forster
And it’s called the GB M axis. But good boy, Mary GM. It stands for gut brain microbiome or microbiota. That’s the name of the flora in the gut that everybody is going after with probiotics these days.
00:16:49 Dr. Jamie Forster
And a whole other section.
00:16:50 Dr. Jamie Forster
I’d love to talk about more things about nutrition with you one day.
00:16:54 Dr. Jamie Forster
Because there’s prebiotic that’s necessary for the probiotic, and many people skip that step and they’re not getting the full benefit of a probiotic.
00:17:03 Dr. Jamie Forster
There’s also something called leaky gut and if you’re spending time and money taking probiotic and you have leaky gut, which means there’s cellular gaps in the in the intestines that are allowing toxins.
00:17:15 Dr. Jamie Forster
So we give them nutrients.
00:17:17 Dr. Jamie Forster
To leak out the exact opposite picture of.
00:17:19 Dr. Jamie Forster
What we want?
00:17:21 Dr. Jamie Forster
That will affect your brain as well as your body.
00:17:23 Dr. Jamie Forster
It causes inflammation and it starts to cause anxious thoughts and feelings, which in many people can lead to thoughts and feelings of depression.
00:17:33 Dr. Jamie Forster
I say thoughts and feelings because.
00:17:35 Dr. Jamie Forster
It doesn’t mean.
00:17:36 Dr. Jamie Forster
You are depressed as in clinically depressed.
00:17:39 Dr. Jamie Forster
It means everybody.
00:17:41 Dr. Jamie Forster
At some point in life has thoughts and feelings.
00:17:45 Dr. Jamie Forster
It doesn’t mean you have a clinical condition.
00:17:48 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, people who keep their gut healthy.
00:17:51 Dr. Jamie Forster
Don’t run into these negative emotions.
00:17:54 Dr. Jamie Forster
Serotonin is not important just for happiness, but it’s also for libido, which could lead to happiness but also motility.
Of the gut.
00:18:05 Dr. Jamie Forster
You also it’s for cognitive skills.
00:18:09 Dr. Jamie Forster
Serotonin is also known as an excitatory neurotransmitter.
00:18:13 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:18:14 Dr. Jamie Forster
I’m sorry, it’s in in hip.
00:18:16 Dr. Jamie Forster
It’s an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
00:18:19 Dr. Jamie Forster
It rather puts the brakes on our nervous system.
00:18:22 Dr. Jamie Forster
The counter to that is dopamine, which is the.
00:18:24 Dr. Jamie Forster
Excited to go to transmitter that makes everybody.
00:18:27 Dr. Jamie Forster
Addicted to stuff.
00:18:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
Everything about dopamine nation, right?
00:18:31 Dr. Jamie Forster
Aren’t we, like, addicted?
00:18:32 Dr. Jamie Forster
And go back for more.
00:18:33 Dr. Jamie Forster
Of what we’re addicted to, I try.
00:18:35 Dr. Jamie Forster
To get my patients addicted to what?
00:18:38 Dr. Jamie Forster
Things that are healthy and supportive in their life getting on the right supplement programs.
00:18:43 Dr. Jamie Forster
What supplements do we use for leaky gut?
00:18:45 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, the distribution company I own.
00:18:46 Dr. Jamie Forster
We have a specific product called.
00:18:49 Dr. Jamie Forster
Total leaky gut.
00:18:50 Dr. Jamie Forster
That’s all in one.
00:18:51 Dr. Jamie Forster
So you don’t have to take five products, you just take one pill more of a multi.
00:18:56 Dr. Jamie Forster
Very economical, very easy.
00:18:58 Dr. Jamie Forster
Two to four pills a day depending on the person and it will heal the cellular gaps.
00:19:03 Dr. Jamie Forster
At that point you go into total probiotics and you start putting down a new film.
00:19:09 Dr. Jamie Forster
Now people that have a greater level of disruption, let’s say they have something called diverticula, oasys or diverticulitis.
00:19:16 Dr. Jamie Forster
Uh colitis, Crohn’s celiac ulcers, all of these other kind of conditions.
00:19:20 Dr. Jamie Forster
They need some a little more repair work, so we work with something called L glutamine plus, which also has chlorophyll in it, as well as the AVEENO acid L glutamine, and that’s a big healing agent on the gut.
00:19:34 Dr. Jamie Forster
And that formula happens to have a little bit of probiotic in it as well, but it’s not going to be so effective on a gut.
00:19:41 Dr. Jamie Forster
That needs so much repair.
00:19:42 Dr. Jamie Forster
The amazing results that we watch from the supplements, from the practice with the patients is giving the gut healthy leads to mental and physical health, but on a level that I call high on life.
00:19:58 Dr. Jamie Forster
People say to me, you know, you got the practice going, you got the distribution business, you’re teaching continuing education credits, you’re busy with your bands, you’ve got a full family, wife and three kids.
00:20:10 Dr. Jamie Forster
You you got you got trips and and business trips and pleasure trips and you’re doing podcasts and and and all kinds of good stuff.
00:20:17 Dr. Jamie Forster
00:20:18 Dr. Jamie Forster
And they said you find time for all that.
00:20:21 Dr. Jamie Forster
And I simply tell them I find time because I still have a little bit of white space on my calendar and I.
00:20:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
Can put little.
00:20:30 Dr. Jamie Forster
More and and a.
00:20:30 Dr. Jamie Forster
Little more wife because when you’re healthy mentally and physically you are on green light go.
00:20:38 Dr. Jamie Forster
You you want.
00:20:39 Dr. Jamie Forster
More look I’m.
00:20:40 Dr. Jamie Forster
Business of helping people.
00:20:42 Dr. Jamie Forster
How does it?
00:20:43 Dr. Jamie Forster
Feel when you help people.
00:20:44 Dr. Jamie Forster
Did you ever buy a present the month or two before you actually needed it for an event?
00:20:50 Dr. Jamie Forster
Because you were at that store and you said I’ll save myself the trip, or you see something in stock that you really love for somebody and their birthday is coming up and you say.
00:20:59 Dr. Jamie Forster
Let me grab it now to.
00:21:00 Dr. Jamie Forster
Make sure that I have it.
00:21:01 Dr. Jamie Forster
For them I don’t want.
00:21:01 Dr. Jamie Forster
It to run out of stock when.
00:21:03 Dr. Jamie Forster
I come back in.
00:21:03 Dr. Jamie Forster
Two months blah blah blah.
00:21:04 Dr. Jamie Forster
So if you take the gift, you put it on.
00:21:06 Dr. Jamie Forster
Your shelf in your closet and you remember that it’s all set for the big birthday, right?
00:21:11 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, how do you feel leading up to the day where you’re going to give that person the gift?
00:21:16 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, we’re very excited to give them the gift.
00:21:19 Dr. Jamie Forster
And you want to get your phone ready because you want to video their face.
00:21:22 Dr. Jamie Forster
When they open it up.
00:21:23 Dr. Jamie Forster
They want the excitement and the whole moment attached.
00:21:26 Dr. Jamie Forster
To it and you.
00:21:27 Dr. Jamie Forster
Feel so good giving them what you knew they would.
00:21:32 Dr. Jamie Forster
Well, that’s how I get to walk around all day because people that are coming to me are just getting healthier and healthier and getting high on waking up every morning, having a dream and trying to complete that dream by me.
00:21:46 Dr. Jamie Forster
That’s what happens.
00:21:47 Dr. Jamie Forster
When you help.
00:21:48 Dr. Jamie Forster
Me, there’s an.
00:21:48 Dr. Jamie Forster
Enthusiasm and excitement and a gratefulness to having another day of life to make a difference on this planet.
00:21:55 Dr. Jamie Forster
I get the greatest gift of that because I’m helping people get their health.
00:21:59 Dr. Jamie Forster
But every business is a service when if you’re selling cars, you’re not selling cars, you’re selling a service, you don’t buy a car.
00:22:07 Dr. Jamie Forster
And you have to bring it back for repairs.
00:22:09 Dr. Jamie Forster
You’re also selling a service manager.
00:22:11 Dr. Jamie Forster
There’s a human being attached to that sale.
00:22:15 Ira Warren
You know we all.
00:22:16 Ira Warren
Know that physical and.
00:22:17 Ira Warren
Mental health just don’t happen by accident.
00:22:20 Ira Warren
And Doctor Foster, you’re a great example of what’s possible when you dedicate time and attention to being healthy.
00:22:26 Ira Warren
How can we find out more about you and I even before that?
00:22:30 Ira Warren
I, I, you know, I.
00:22:32 Ira Warren
Could talk to you for hours and listen to what you have to say and.
00:22:35 Ira Warren
00:22:37 Ira Warren
Get the opportunity to do this again soon, but in.
00:22:40 Dr. Jamie Forster
I would love that.
00:22:41 Ira Warren
The meantime, how?
00:22:41 Ira Warren
Do we find out more about you now?
00:22:43 Dr. Jamie Forster
So, so I’m.
00:22:44 Dr. Jamie Forster
Very easy to reach. I have a couple of websites. The chiropractic website is yet well at forsterhealthcare.com and that’s fo R as TR.
00:22:56 Dr. Jamie Forster
Many people leave the R outside.
00:22:57 Dr. Jamie Forster
Just put that in there, and I think if you don’t put the R in there you you end up at some.
00:23:01 Dr. Jamie Forster
Strange website somewhere.
00:23:03 Dr. Jamie Forster
Of 1 new Europe something.
00:23:05 Dr. Jamie Forster
And the other website is J Forster.
00:23:09 Dr. Jamie Forster
At neutralwny.com. That’s mute. RIWEST, ny.com.
00:23:17 Dr. Jamie Forster
We are based in New York with the distribution company.
00:23:20 Dr. Jamie Forster
We serve seven states of New England, IRA.
00:23:22 Dr. Jamie Forster
So from New York here, our home base all the way up to Maine, there was a real pleasure being here, thank you.
00:23:28 Dr. Jamie Forster
And I feel like.
00:23:29 Dr. Jamie Forster
I want to do one with you. That’s just the open-ended with no questions. I feel like I could just talk to you guys for hours.
00:23:35 Ira Warren
Just talk for hours and what you have to say is just you know, so useful and you know if the world started following the way you live and and practice.
00:23:45 Ira Warren
This we’d all be a whole lot healthier live.
00:23:48 Ira Warren
A whole lot.
00:23:48 Ira Warren
Longer and be happier and and as I opened up at the beginning as a patient I’m I’m privileged to be one of your patients.
00:23:56 Ira Warren
So thank you so much for coming here today.
00:23:58 Speaker 1
00:23:59 Ira Warren
It’s been a pleasure.
00:24:01 Dr. Jamie Forster
Truly my pleasure as well.
00:24:02 Dr. Jamie Forster
And I do walk my talk.
Thanks for listening.
To let’s talk podcast with your host, IRA Warren.
I hope you enjoyed.
The discussion if you’re interested in joining more than 23,000 members across the globe, they count on their vistage peer advisory group to help them make better decisions, be better leaders, and get better results than let’s dog. As always, you can head over to irawarren.com to sign up to our.
E-mail list get more information on joining my vistage peer advisory group, as well as check out all the links and resources in the show notes.
That’s all for this episode, folks.
See you next time.
00:00:15 Speaker 2
Hey everybody, this is the let’s talk podcast hosted by IRA Warren, a facilitator in coats with Vistage worldwide. In each episode, Iris shares with you over 40 years of successful business leadership and his driving passion to enhance the lives of CEO’s throughout Long Island using the vistage.
00:00:34 Speaker 2
Peer advisory model here’s this week show.
00:00:39 Ira Warren
This week, I’m honored to have RJ warm into personalized moments incorporated.
00:00:44 Ira Warren
As my guest.
00:00:45 Ira Warren
Over the past 10 years, RJ has built a hand stamping jewelry business from the ground up, taking a part time hobby and turning it into a multimillion dollar enterprise.
00:00:55 Ira Warren
Welcome to let’s talk RJ.
00:00:58 RJ Warren
Thanks for having me, Ira.
00:01:00 Ira Warren
You know, your story is really interesting and it’s a testament to hard work.
00:01:05 Ira Warren
As we all know, overnight success is never overnight.
00:01:09 Ira Warren
So take us back.
00:01:10 Ira Warren
Tell us how it all started.
00:01:13 RJ Warren
All at the time I was working overnights for Tropicana, driving a forklift and we just had our first child about six months before that.
00:01:24 RJ Warren
So we were trying to figure out a way to make a little extra money, and most importantly, I was trying to figure out a way how to see my daughter.
00:01:32 RJ Warren
Because my wife was had another day job and I hadn’t, I didn’t really see my daughter till the weekend.
00:01:38 RJ Warren
So, so there was a need to try to find.
00:01:40 RJ Warren
00:01:41 RJ Warren
I had asked around to a couple of friends if they knew anything that I could do to try to make some extra money, and my sister actually turned me on to it.
00:01:50 RJ Warren
And told me to take a look at the website and see if there was anything that we could find that we could do so.
00:01:57 RJ Warren
So I came across some pet tags that I felt were hand stamped and I said I’ve used a hammer before, this is something I think I can try.
00:02:05 RJ Warren
Let’s give it a shot.
00:02:07 RJ Warren
And I went on Amazon.
00:02:09 RJ Warren
I bought a hammer.
00:02:10 RJ Warren
A couple of stamp sets and a book on how to stamp.
00:02:15 RJ Warren
I borrowed a piece of metal from Tropicana and a disc cutter and stamped our disk and cut our first disc and that’s how it started.
00:02:28 RJ Warren
You know the.
00:02:30 RJ Warren
Goal really was just to do a couple.
00:02:31 RJ Warren
Tags a week to get some extra.
00:02:33 RJ Warren
Money and every.
00:02:34 RJ Warren
Week we got busier and busier and it just kept leading to new avenues.
00:02:38 Ira Warren
00:02:39 Ira Warren
What was it like?
00:02:41 Ira Warren
When you reached the point where.
00:02:42 Ira Warren
You said OK, do I give up?
00:02:44 Ira Warren
My day job and.
00:02:46 Ira Warren
Really focus and commit to the business.
00:02:49 Speaker 5
It was pretty.
00:02:51 RJ Warren
We had just bought a house six months before I made that decision, so it wasn’t something that my wife was very eager for me to do.
00:03:00 RJ Warren
But at that point, we had gotten the business high enough to that I was making the same money that I was making at Tropicana.
00:03:09 RJ Warren
So it wasn’t.
00:03:10 RJ Warren
That difficult of a decision where we were going to be completely worried about financially, we were going to lose what we were saving obviously and have to now utilize every dollar.
00:03:20 RJ Warren
To pay the bills.
00:03:22 RJ Warren
But I felt that if.
00:03:23 RJ Warren
I had grown the business this much.
00:03:26 RJ Warren
Doing it part time.
00:03:28 RJ Warren
With a little bit.
00:03:28 RJ Warren
Of help that imagine.
00:03:30 RJ Warren
What would happen if I applied every minute I had to it?
00:03:34 RJ Warren
And since then, it’s been you.
00:03:35 RJ Warren
Know. Quite successful.
00:03:36 Ira Warren
That is great.
00:03:38 Ira Warren
You know, it’s, I think, for all.
00:03:40 Ira Warren
Entrepreneurs, there’s always the obstacles and the hardships and the mistakes and the failures that we overcome and learn from.
00:03:49 Ira Warren
Tell me what all that was like for you?
00:03:53 RJ Warren
Well, as far as the mistakes, that was a.
00:03:55 RJ Warren
Lot of product trials.
00:03:57 RJ Warren
Buying different things, testing them out, throwing up to market, seeing if the the customers liked them.
00:04:04 RJ Warren
The good news about having a website is we get instant feedback, so so the customers would kind of let me know whether it was working.
00:04:12 RJ Warren
00:04:13 RJ Warren
That was the early struggles of trying to find product development and not really knowing what was going to work and what wasn’t yet.
00:04:20 RJ Warren
But I’d say the biggest challenge probably came during COVID, just like many businesses.
00:04:26 RJ Warren
We had just moved into a larger warehouse and and literally two weeks after we moved in the state says OK, you’re closed.
00:04:35 RJ Warren
And then staff quit, and at the same time, the online boom happened and the shop got busier than we’ve ever seen, so it was a little difficult to find.
00:04:46 RJ Warren
The right people.
00:04:47 RJ Warren
To manage getting the orders done with some people still working from home, not having enough staff and a lot of the juggling.
00:04:55 RJ Warren
But we able to survive and you know trying to keep your head cool it it was very stressful at the same time but you know honestly thanks to visitors in the group it was a lot easier ’cause you weren’t really doing it by yourself so.
00:05:10 Ira Warren
00:05:11 Ira Warren
You know, it’s.
00:05:12 Ira Warren
00:05:13 Ira Warren
Thinking about how you began with hand stamping when you literally are taking individual letters and hammer and making all this great jewelry that you do.
00:05:24 Ira Warren
You know, it’s funny there’s so few.
00:05:25 Ira Warren
People who know that I worked my.
00:05:28 Ira Warren
Way through college.
00:05:29 Ira Warren
And the trophy wholesale store in Bronx.
00:05:31 Ira Warren
And at first, you know, we’re setting up type in a machine machine engraving.
00:05:37 Ira Warren
I started out with the little plates that are at the bottom of the trophy and then, you know, worked my way up by.
00:05:44 Ira Warren
The time I graduated.
00:05:45 Ira Warren
College I was.
00:05:47 Ira Warren
The chief engraver of plaques you know, in recognition of years of service.
00:05:54 Ira Warren
On and on and on.
00:05:57 Ira Warren
But what was interesting to.
00:05:59 Ira Warren
Me is that as I was exiting and leaving college to go on.
00:06:05 Ira Warren
They started coming.
00:06:06 Ira Warren
Out with what looked like a typewriter that actually.
00:06:08 Ira Warren
Would type those same plates.
00:06:11 Ira Warren
And and then the you know, the plaques were being done by full engraving.
00:06:17 Ira Warren
How is your?
00:06:18 Ira Warren
Technology changed since you started in hand stamping and and how you’ve expanded from there.
00:06:24 RJ Warren
Well, the interesting thing was a lot of the technology was actually already in place when we started the hand stamping.
00:06:30 RJ Warren
It’s gotten a lot further and become a lot cheaper, but one of the reasons why the hand stamping had worked was it was a niche.
00:06:37 RJ Warren
Etsy had just kind of rolled out and a lot of people were trying to gear their business.
00:06:43 RJ Warren
Towards companies that were smaller, modern pop shops and more importantly, handmade in the United States.
00:06:50 RJ Warren
So that’s why we kind of stuck with the hands.
00:06:53 RJ Warren
As Etsy has evolved into a bigger corporation, the clientele has changed and that priority is less existent now.
00:07:02 RJ Warren
So now it is more important that we’re utilizing the technology.
00:07:05 RJ Warren
So to answer your question in full, a lot everything is more digitized now.
00:07:10 RJ Warren
Uhm, they’ve come out with Rotary engravers.
00:07:14 RJ Warren
They’ve come out with laser engravers that can mark.
00:07:16 RJ Warren
They’ve come out with engravers that can.
00:07:19 RJ Warren
Now they pulled fibers where they’re literally cutting them.
00:07:23 RJ Warren
But the nice part about them is they’re all digitized.
00:07:26 RJ Warren
We can make vectors, we can make different designs very quickly, and it’s speed up the process tremendously from.
00:07:34 Ira Warren
Let’s take a break and we’ll be back in a few moments to continue talking to RJ.
00:07:42 Speaker 5
This stage is where leaders learn and grow.
00:07:46 Speaker 5
We help CEOs and business owners grow their business through executive coaching and peer advisory groups.
00:07:54 Speaker 5
Ready to succeed at a whole new level?
00:07:57 Speaker 5
Learn more at IRA Warren com.
00:08:03 Ira Warren
It seems like you have a couple of simulating that related different product lines that make up personalized Moments Inc, one of those different product lines that we’ve gotten into from the very beginning of hand stamping.
00:08:18 RJ Warren
So the very first.
00:08:20 RJ Warren
Product that we made that had spent a.
00:08:21 RJ Warren
Little bit earlier in the conversation was pet tags.
00:08:26 RJ Warren
Even the pet tags have evolved.
00:08:29 RJ Warren
When we first started we made them on silver, copper, bronze, hand stamped every single letter individually.
00:08:36 RJ Warren
We still offer that we have gone to pet tags that are also laser engrave.
00:08:41 RJ Warren
Dave and Mark.
00:08:44 RJ Warren
Where we’re able to offer more information, get them out a little bit faster, offer them a little cheaper.
00:08:50 RJ Warren
Besides that, I would say that our next product line that’s the biggest has gained, the most success is engraved cups.
00:09:00 RJ Warren
With COVID schools having to change how they’re handling things going forward, we’ve started to sell a lot of personalized water bottles for children.
00:09:11 RJ Warren
And just, you know, I think more people are carrying water bottles.
00:09:14 RJ Warren
Around with work.
00:09:15 RJ Warren
To have less contact and and so forth.
00:09:17 RJ Warren
So that’s a market that’s picked up tremendous.
00:09:20 Ira Warren
00:09:21 Ira Warren
00:09:22 Ira Warren
You are a current vistage member.
00:09:24 Ira Warren
How’s the group helped you grow your business and deal with the challenges that come with being the CEO and business owner?
00:09:30 RJ Warren
It’s helped me in a number of ways.
00:09:33 RJ Warren
To start, it’s out.
00:09:36 RJ Warren
Like I had mentioned a.
00:09:36 RJ Warren
Little bit before it is.
00:09:38 RJ Warren
I don’t, I don’t.
00:09:38 RJ Warren
Feel like I’m doing it alone anymore.
00:09:41 RJ Warren
As I was growing and I wasn’t sure where it could go, I didn’t have anybody to ask, so I was always in my head a little bit about whether I should pull.
00:09:49 RJ Warren
The trigger on.
00:09:49 RJ Warren
Something the group has really helped solidify.
00:09:53 RJ Warren
That decision making process so that I feel less afraid, I’m more willing to go for the things that I want to go for and that the ideas are on point.
00:10:03 RJ Warren
The second part is the overall concept of just being able to run your business, helping me understand how important culture is inside the business.
00:10:15 RJ Warren
Sharing their ideas and marketing strategies and what’s working and then just the overall knowledge of business in the room has been tremendous.
00:10:25 Ira Warren
Yeah. Right now your main sales and distribution is primarily through e-commerce and primarily through Etsy. What’s your vision for?
00:10:34 Ira Warren
What it’s going?
00:10:34 Ira Warren
To be in the future.
00:10:36 RJ Warren
Well, we’re still going to.
00:10:37 RJ Warren
Consistently stay with e-commerce. We like the platform. It’s where I think all sales are going in the future.
00:10:44 RJ Warren
As we can see.
00:10:46 RJ Warren
A lot of the shops are closing, retail stores and so forth.
00:10:49 RJ Warren
We’re primarily selling on Etsy and Amazon currently.
00:10:53 RJ Warren
We are right now in the initiative.
00:10:56 RJ Warren
To further our own website to combine our four.
00:11:01 RJ Warren
Brands and attempt to start to do some national marketing.
00:11:06 RJ Warren
On our own.
00:11:08 RJ Warren
To really go after this and to try to really grow the business to a level that we weren’t expecting.
00:11:13 Ira Warren
It’s such a great story, but as we’re coming.
00:11:16 Ira Warren
To the end of our targeted today I.
00:11:19 Ira Warren
Wanted to ask you what are the biggest lessons?
00:11:21 Ira Warren
You’ve learned while growing the company and.
00:11:24 Ira Warren
Do you have any advice for new CEOs trying to navigate today’s business world?
00:11:31 RJ Warren
The first thing I learned is to constantly be in.
00:11:35 RJ Warren
Invading the business market shifts rapidly, and if you’re not, you know, constantly trying to figure out what’s next and where to take the business, you see too many of them fail.
00:11:48 RJ Warren
So that’s one of the things that we have a priority around here is to constantly be innovating, constantly finding new products.
00:11:55 RJ Warren
New machines, whatever we can get our.
00:11:57 RJ Warren
Hands on to.
00:11:57 RJ Warren
Try to stay ahead of the curve.
00:11:59 RJ Warren
The second most important thing I think most CEO.
00:12:04 RJ Warren
‘s fail at.
00:12:05 RJ Warren
Is trying to do too much on their own.
00:12:10 RJ Warren
I’ve really learned a lot because it’s from about culture, from vistage and finding the right people and keeping a really happy workplace, which allows the staff to take a lot off my plate so I can focus on what’s important and that is growing the business and making sure that we’re here.
00:12:30 RJ Warren
For a very long time to come.
00:12:32 Ira Warren
00:12:33 Ira Warren
You know, there’s an old African proverb that states if you want to go fast, go alone.
00:12:39 Ira Warren
But if you want to go far, go together.
00:12:42 Ira Warren
And I think you’re a living example of what going together with the Board of Peers could be.
00:12:48 Ira Warren
All I can say is it’s a pleasure speaking with you today and sharing your experience with our listeners.
00:12:54 Ira Warren
Going to find.
00:12:55 Ira Warren
Out more about personalized moments.
00:12:58 RJ Warren
You can visit.
00:12:59 RJ Warren
00:13:04 Ira Warren
Well, again, thanks so much for being here and the pleasure chatting with you, a pleasure having you in the Vistage group.
00:13:12 Ira Warren
And watching you.
00:13:13 Ira Warren
Grow and learn as your business flourishes.
00:13:16 RJ Warren
Thank you, Irene.
00:13:17 RJ Warren
Thank you all that you’ve done for.
00:13:18 RJ Warren
Me as well.
00:13:19 Speaker 2
Thanks for listening to let’s talk podcast.
00:13:22 Speaker 2
With your host, IRA Warren.
00:13:23 Speaker 2
I hope you enjoyed the.
00:13:24 Speaker 2
Discussion if you’re interested in joining more than 23,000 members across the globe, they count on their vistage peer advisory group to help them make better decisions, be better leaders, and get better results than let’s talk.
00:13:36 Speaker 2
As always, you can head over to irawarren.com to sign up to our e-mail list, get more information on joining my vistage peer advisory group, as well as check out all the links and resources in the show notes. That’s all for this episode, folks. See you next time.
[ira_warren]: okay this week’s guest is Jeff Goldburg
president of Jeff Goldburg associates where his clients
[ira_warren]: consider him a sales psychiatrist jeff works
with individuals and organizations to bring them measurable
[ira_warren]: and sustainable sales improvement jeff welcome to
[jeff]: thank you i’m glad to be here
[ira_warren]: well i can’t resist first tell me
how did you get the monitor of sales
[jeff]: that’s a great question so among other
things i actually sell four services and one
[jeff]: of them is sales coaching and i
was working with a v p of sales
[jeff]: at a large law firm who was
building a nation wide team i think i’d
[jeff]: worked with him for about four or
five months and at the end of a
[jeff]: session he goes i got to tell
you something you’re my sales psychiatrist i said
[jeff]: wow that’s a great title i’ve never
heard that one before what makes me your
[jeff]: sales psychiatrist and he said well every
time i speak with you i always end
[jeff]: up feeling better and you give me
excellent advice so i think next time i
[jeff]: print up my business cards i’m gonna
have jeff goldburg sale psychiatrist
[ira_warren]: sounds great um you know let’s just
go back to where it all began i
[ira_warren]: mean you’ve been doing this for a
number of years had to get into sales
[ira_warren]: training and coaching it’s a business
[jeff]: sure well i’ve been in sales my
entire career which is forty eight i’m going
[jeff]: on forty nine years now i’ve never
done anything other than sell and i had
[jeff]: closed down a business in two thousand
three and i was looking for my next
[jeff]: opportunity and i answered a blind ad
in the new york times for those who
[jeff]: don’t know what a blind at is
it’s an ad that says the job it
[jeff]: doesn’t the name of the company turned
out to be for a very large at
[jeff]: the time well known sales training company
and i went to work for them and
[jeff]: it turned out to be the job
i had been meant to do all my
[jeff]: life for a couple of reasons one
sales and sales management are truly my areas
[jeff]: of experts and the other one is
i truly love helping people and i don’t
[jeff]: say that to make me sound altruistic
i love getting paid for what i do
00:02:06,600 –> 00:02:12,650
[jeff]: but i love how and people an
amazing feeling when i get emails or call
00:02:12,790 –> 00:02:15,535
[jeff]: saying hey jeff i closed a deal
that i wouldn’t have closed if you hadn’t
00:02:15,555 –> 00:02:18,600
[jeff]: taught me that thing or i got
a promotion to sales manager and if you
00:02:18,640 –> 00:02:21,969
[jeff]: hadn’t said this i wouldn’t have done
it though uh it’s what i’ve always done
00:02:23,054 –> 00:02:26,837
[jeff]: i went to work at the sales
training company i quickly realized it was what
00:02:26,877 –> 00:02:29,181
[jeff]: i’d been meant to do all my
life and i think i was forty nine
00:02:29,221 –> 00:02:33,308
[jeff]: years old at that time and it
took me very a short time until i
00:02:33,388 –> 00:02:35,812
[jeff]: said you know what i’m tired of
making this guy rich i ought to put
00:02:35,852 –> 00:02:39,278
[jeff]: some money in my own pocket i
went to my now ex wife and said
00:02:39,318 –> 00:02:42,383
[jeff]: honey i know we just closed down
a business and it didn’t go well but
00:02:42,403 –> 00:02:45,228
[jeff]: i’m gonna open up another business because
this is really terrific and we’re going to
Hey everybody. This is the let’s talk podcast hosted by Ira Warren, a facilitator and coach with Vistage worldwide. In each episode, Iris shares with you over 40 years of successful business leadership and his driving passion to enhance the lives of CEOs throughout Long Island using the Vistage peer advisory model. Here’s this week’s show.
Ira Warren 0:32
This week on the let’s talk Podcast. I’m excited to host the business leader who exemplifies a masterclass in entrepreneurship, technology, building a wonderful brand and company and learning to pivot during a global pandemic, when he lost 90% of his business almost overnight. Kenny Schwamb. He’s the founder, owner and CEO of order a plumber based in Islip, terrace, Long Island. Welcome to Let’s Talk. Could you give the listeners a little context here? You started your business in 2007. Tell us how you got into plumbing in the first place.
Kenny Schwamb 1:13
Sure, absolutely. Thanks for the introduction, Ira. And it’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me. And I got into plumbing at a very young age, I started off in business, believe it or not, when I was 12 years old, my brother, who is the oldest of my siblings, 18 years older than I am, had gotten into the plumbing business, went out on his own and started his own business. And at the time I was followed by wanting to, you know, make a couple extra bucks. So I asked my mother, if she could call him and ask if I could work with them on the weekends. So she did. And he took me up on that offer. And from that point on every weekend, every holiday every summer, you know, I worked with him in the field as his helper, all the way up, as I got older through high school, eventually through college. And then when I when I graduated college, I had come back and continued working for him in the business, and learning to trade learning every position in the company all the way up until 2007, which at that point, we decided to split apart. And I went out on my own and started my own business. Wow,
Ira Warren 2:24
That’s just a great story. When it came time to the you know, here, it was, what, 20 years ago. And before that you were what kind of plumbing were you doing? Were doing residential or commercial? Where did you have your focus?
Kenny Schwamb 2:40
Yeah, absolutely. So like I said, you know, working from my brother, he was primarily new construction, residential, commercial, but mostly residential, new construction. And, you know, that kind of, you know, was booming and building and going great, right up till about 2007, which, as I mentioned, that’s the time when I had left them, and we had split apart and I have went out on on my own. And I was gonna go right into the same you know, the same avenue of business, which was residential, new construction, and housing market crash. So, at that time, I started doing some service or repair work, I started doing some more commercial and industrial projects. And I started branching out off the island into the, into city into New York City to try and find work work was kind of scarce at the time. So I primarily stayed with new construction, but went into some industrial, some commercial. And as everything started to come back from that the current housing market crash of 2007 through 2010 1112, I kind of fell right back into that residential, new construction, single family, high end residential, you know, 8000 square foot and up was kind of our bread and butter at that time.
Ira Warren 4:05
So then the pandemic struck. And all of that came to a halt. How’d you respond to COVID? What was that like for you?
Kenny Schwamb 4:16
That was, it was it was rough, you know, at first like everybody else, it kind of came in slowly. And you heard that you were listening on a nude scene you You heard what was happening in other countries and you didn’t really think that it was going to affect us that much. That was about February when it started coming in and they started you know, telling people to stay home they started closing some what they considered non essential businesses at the time, we were still considered essential. Even without construction projects, they still consider that essential. We continue to work on our construction projects, our apartment complex mode. My family projects all the way through March. And it wasn’t if I remember correctly, midway through March, we begin to march. That’s when the federal state governments had come out. And they had said that new construction construction in general was not considered essential, unless it was, you know, for building hospitals, infrastructure, or affordable housing. So they kind of really, you know, put labels on exactly what you could be doing. So, right. They’re going into April ramming into March, you know, it was overnight, like somebody just shut the switch off. What about construction project stopped at one time. That time we had about 5055 employees working in the field, 55 Plumbers working in the field, most of them 90% of them being on construction projects. And basically overnight, like I said, the switch was just turned off, construction projects were closed. One day, we were on a one day, we next day, we weren’t. And you know, that was it. And that kind of began the scramble and what led to the process of what are we going to do now. Because soon as they close that project, with all those projects, initially, we you know, as a business owner, you don’t want to lay anybody off, you know, it’s not your first, you know, you’re just going to, you know, put down your, you know, put put down the weapons and just, you know, stop the fight, you know, you’re going to keep going, you want to try to keep everybody busy, and everybody working and figure out a way to repurpose, but everything was happening so quick that, you know, one day we were working one day 90% of my, my company was no longer there.
Ira Warren 6:47
So there you are, and all of a sudden, everything gets shut down. How did you restructure? What did you do?
Kenny Schwamb 6:56
Well, you know, it took a while, like, it seemed like the world had shut down, and everybody just stayed home, I just for one, every morning, I just kept getting up and coming into the office. Like as if I was going to work on a regular day, I just really didn’t let it affect me in that aspect. I just wouldn’t stay home, my wife was like, What are you going to do at the office, you know, you know, everybody, everything’s closed down, I just got to go there. And I gotta figure this out. So I would come in, I’d look out my window, my building is located on a major highway that literally be no cars. Going by, and for the first you know, about like two to three weeks, just trying to figure out what we can deal with the first couple of weeks trying to figure out can we do anything with with all these employees, or these team members that like we, we no longer have work, you know, the first couple of days, everybody was like, okay, whatever, let’s everybody’s going to play their role. People didn’t really mind going home for the first couple of days, nobody knew it was going to happen, how quickly we’re gonna come back. But as it as it went on, like one week led to two weeks, two weeks led to a month, we quickly realized that, you know, we were going to have to do something. So when we started to turn our focus on to what we were still allowed to do, which was service or repair work, which was considered essential at the time, and remained essential and still is essential. And we did have a small service repair division that we were working on building over the previous couple of years as we were doing our construction. And at that point, we just said, Listen, we got a terminal about focus towards the service and repair people was still calling for repair work. And we still had a couple service plumbers that were willing to come in and do the work. And that’s what we did. We just took them. Yeah, bad.
Ira Warren 8:45
I’m sorry. I was gonna ask, did you have to lay off anyone? Or?
Kenny Schwamb 8:49
Yeah, so unfortunately, you know, there wasn’t a lot we could do, it kind of came down to a decision as at the same time that they were shutting down the projects, you know, the state and federal governments were coming out on a daily basis, constantly changing what was going to happen, how businesses were going to be held responsible. And you know, what the business was, we’re gonna be responsible for paying per employee. So if we have, you know, 55 plumbers in the field, at one point, the federal government was putting the responsibility on the business to pay each one of those individuals, I believe at the time it was 80 hours that we had to come out of pocket and pay that they didn’t have to use their sick time. So if you if you times that by 50, that would have been a huge expense. So we were kind of juggling, what are we going to do is it’s going to come out there was no talk of, of the government subsidizing businesses at that point, helping businesses paid for that. So you know, we ended up having to move forward with with the layoffs at that time, and, you know, try to keep our service guys and we kept our You know, some really critical key employees that had been with us for a long time. And we kept them in house and we kept, you know, we tried to hang on to as many as we could. And that’s kind of, that’s when we regrouped. And we said, Alright, we got to get out there, and we got to start drumming up service or repair work. And that’s what we did with a lot of the guys that we kept, you know, I went, I made a phone call, we got lawn signs made up. And we, we, you know, I would have guys just drive around all over the island to different towns and, you know, villages and just put lawn signs in the ground everywhere and put them on telephone poles. And really, like it got to the point where we had littered the island with 1000s, upon 1000s of lawn signs, and, you know, I had gotten phone calls, from you know, little incorporated villages here and there, you know, telling me, I can’t put the lawn signs can’t put the lawn signs on, you know, in the village, you can’t put them on telephone poles, you can’t do this. And I’m just like, Guys, listen, we, you know, we didn’t know we’re trying to drum up business, I’m trying to keep everybody busy. And, you know, we dealt with it. And then we also took to social media. You know, we started creating more and more posts, we started, you know, letting everybody know, Hey, guys, we’re here for you. We’re still doing service guys have gloves, we have masks, we have all the necessary PPP, we made a mad scramble to, you know, water, all of that stuff and order it in bulk. So we would have it, you know, for that time period, and even when, when we opened back up, we were making plans to get as the stockpile as much PPP as possible, which we did. And, and that’s it. And from that point, all we really started kind of restructuring. And we were we were operating as a full service business, there was no construction going on, we had stopped doing that, it stopped focusing on that, and just to, you know, put it on the back burner, and we started putting in processes and protocols and best business practices to be able to grow a Service Division,
Ira Warren 11:57
you know, it’s amazing to me is in listening to you I could think of is how committed to your staff and your people you are what are the problems did you run into during this period of time, it must have been really difficult.
Kenny Schwamb 12:12
Yeah, it was difficult, you know, listen to major problem is, is just although you want to keep people working, you want to keep the team working. It was touching goal with some scary stuff at the beginning. You know, some some of some of our team members would get nervous, you know, they didn’t want to get sick, they didn’t know whose homes we were going into. So that was probably a big obstacle right there. And that coupled with, you know, we also have clientele now that needs our service, and they need us to go there. And it needs to be in their home when they’re basically locking everybody out. And remember, this is a time when people were wiping down their Amazon packages wiping the cardboard with Clorox wipes, like that’s how nervous everybody was. And were actually sending, you know, a technician into their home. So it was like a double edged sword. It was like trying to protect our our tax and trying to protect the clients and make both feel comfortable and feel safe at the same time. And, you know, be there for both of them, you know, so having those processes and putting those in place, because it was the time that we were creating the process and a protocol for safety for the technicians and for the clients. When there was there was, we’ve never seen anything like this. There was no protocol, there was no handbook for it. You know, there was no best practice for it. We kind of were making it up as we were going along and trying to figure it out. As we go along. I remember on one of the first weeks I was out, you know, we were buying the masks, and we couldn’t get some and we went as far as to, you know, go to go to Home Depot. And we were buying respirators that like you would see spackling were like giant respirators that we were said, we were having our technicians where these guys could barely breathe in these things. But they were working in them and going and going in our clients houses and performing plumbing repairs. And so that was a major obstacle. And fortunately we were able to, to push through that and overcome.
Ira Warren 14:19
You know, there’s an old saying that it’s lonely at the top. And here you are running your company. Things have been going smooth since 2007. And all of a sudden, as you said, you know this whole experience of where there is no playbook. There is no guidance. How did you manage to stay on top of everything and move forward? Who did to lean on how did you get what you were going to do?
Kenny Schwamb 14:48
That’s a good question. So I would say you know, listen in business and owning a business running a business, you know everything it’s never really a smooth I’m ride, there’s always bumps in the one thing that I pride myself on is I tell everybody, you know, as I go, I seem to hit every bump in the road, you know, I quickly learned from it and readjust it and refocus and keep going, the pandemic itself wasn’t a bump, it was kind of just like a giant cliff, you know, that, that, that everybody was falling off of, at the same time. And I remember at the time, the people that I leaned on the most for, for advice, and just to kind of, you know, brainstorm and kick around ideas, were fellow business owners, you know, I have a lot of friends in my clients as well that own restaurants, and they were, you know, greatly impacted immediately. So, you know, some of them would actually come by my office and just sit for an hour or two and hang out, you know, what do you hear? What do you think, what are you doing? What do you think I should do? Especially when it came to stuff like, you know, payroll protection and eidl funding and stuff like nobody really had a grasp on what was going on? Thank God, I had a great relationship with my, my bank, and my bankers who kind of kept me abreast of everything that was going on play by play. So I kind of became like a conduit to my friends and other business owners that, at the time didn’t really have a good handle on them, banks weren’t giving them the information that they needed. And if they were, it was just generic, vague information. And, you know, so that that’s why when we leaned on each other, you know, and business owners alike, you know, that that’s really what helped get us through those first couple, you know, those first couple months until things started to get panned out and putting together
Ira Warren 16:47
this is a fortune that I think, in that you had other fellow CEOs and business owners that, you know, there is nothing like, you know, being advised by peers who’ve been there in the same situation you are, well, now we’re 2022, we’ve gone to Delta, we’ve hopefully gone through Omicron, hopefully, lots of things may change and lead to things won’t, how do you see 2022 And where things are
Kenny Schwamb 17:16
2022 The business is a completely different business than it was when we when when the construction sites got closed down. So you know, like I said, we continue to focus on the service, and we built the service up to now prior we were 90%, construction, 10% service. And now we’re 5050. And with a focus on continuing to evolve that to the point we were 90% service, ideally in 10%. Construction. So you know, everything is looking good for 2022 we a lot of the processes, and we made investments in software for the service. So we’re constantly monitoring, you know, month over month revenue, and now that we’re out of, you know, what I would call the pandemic, the initial phase of the pandemic, to where we started to ramp back up, and now we’re in 2022, we have a good we have a one year look back, you know, we can look back to 2021 and say, Okay, this was us ramping up, and we did very well, in 2021, we, you know, we doubled, we doubled our service revenue from the from 2019. And I mean, from from 2020, I should say, and, you know, what we’re looking this year for 2022, like we had discussed is we’re looking to do a 20% increase this year, and to be able to monitor that, you know, on we can walk through our software that we invest in, you know, we can monitor on a daily, monthly and quarterly basis, ultimately leading up to the annual results. So it you know, we’re looking good, and it’s, it’s, I’m confident that, you know, we’re just gonna keep on pushing forward and keep, keep on, keep on growing, the service ended up.
Ira Warren 19:01
It’s interesting, I’m listening to you and what you went through and how you’ve pivoted to all of this. And I’m just struck with the fact that in a very strange sort of way, this may have been one of the best things that ever happened here. You’ve restructured your business to a different business model, you probably gain tremendous support and loyalty from your people for how you treated them. You learned a whole lot. Now I’m just wondering is we’re coming to a close on our cast. I wanted to ask you, what’s probably the biggest lessons you learned during this difficult period? What advice you might have for other CEOs who lead companies through difficult times.
Kenny Schwamb 19:46
Um, I would say that looking back on it, it’s just you know, you just got to keep up with it keep going to work you know, I saw a lot of other businesses you know, throw in the towel and and maybe some underlying reasons prior to the pandemic, but, you know, the fact that I just kept coming to work and just staying focused in, you know, one day at a time, eventually, you know, whenever there’s a downturn, there’s always going to be an upturn. Wherever there’s dark, there’s always going to be light. And, you know, through every bump in the road that I’ve had, you know, leading up to the pandemic, you know, you quickly conditioned yourself to know what you’re going through a bad period or a bad time. And I almost, I just immediately accept it and say, okay, you know, now, you know, this is this is the rough period, I got to push through, push through it. And I’ll be, you know, I’ll be much better off and I’ll be prouder of myself, and happier with the accomplishment once we get out on the other side of the tunnel. And that’s what I would say like, just don’t throw in the towel will stay focused and just look at all your options. Don’t get frustrated, when the answer doesn’t come to you. Right away, it will reveal itself, you just got to keep moving forward, just keep moving forward at all times. And eventually, the door will open right when you need it.
Ira Warren 21:04
It’s funny, I just saw a quote by Dolly Parton, who said, If you want to have the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain. And I think you really do exemplify that. And you know, it’s an absolute pleasure speaking with you today, and
you’re sharing your experience with our listeners. Tony, can you how can we find out more about order plumber?
Kenny Schwamb 21:32
Absolutely, I would say the best way to find out more about order a plumber is to go to our website, that’s Florida plumber.com. And take a look around you can also check us out on Facebook or Instagram. We’ve recently started to roll out some tips and tricks and educational videos on YouTube. And on LinkedIn in all of those up get to write your website. If you scroll to the bottom, you have the links to all those social media sites where you could get to see and hear and, you know, follow what we’re doing here. And we’re a plumber,
Unknown Speaker 22:06
thank you so much for joining us today. It’s really been a pleasure. And I wish you continued success with Order a plumber.
Kenny Schwamb 22:18
Excellent. Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity. I appreciate being here. And thank you very much. Thank you.
Thanks for listening to Let’s Talk podcast with your host Ira Warren. I hope you enjoyed the discussion. If you’re interested in joining more than 23,000 members across the globe, they count on their Vistage peer advisory group to help them make better decisions, be better leaders and get better results than let’s talk. As always, you can head over to Ira warren.com to sign up to our email list. He had more information on joining my Vistage peer advisory group, as well as check out all the links and resources in the show notes. That’s all for this episode, folks. See you next time.
Hey everybody. This is the let’s talk podcast hosted by Ira Warren, a facilitator and coach with Vistage worldwide. In each episode, Iris shares with you over 40 years of successful business leadership and his driving passion to enhance the lives of CEOs throughout Long Island using the Vistage peer advisory model. Here’s this week’s show.
Ira Warren 0:43
So today, I’m so very excited to have as my guest, Nelson Tepfer, co founder of pro CFOs. Nelson has spent his entire career helping companies helping them to grow, helping them to scale, helping them to thrive, helping them overcome the challenges on their paths to success. His capacity for transformational contribution is the heart of his abilities of financial officer. Nelson held several leadership roles across organizations large and small. Nelson’s experience spans nearly a dozen industries, ranging from health care to manufacturing logistics, to transportation, real estate to digital marketing, legal and other professional services. This experience has culminated in the creation of pro CFO partners, where the founding principles inform every decision. So without further ado, I’d love to welcome Nelson to our podcast.
Nelson Tepfer 1:42
Ira, thank you, thank you for having me on this on the podcast.
Ira Warren 1:47
It’s a pleasure pleasures all mine. You know, going back, I’ve heard you say at one point in the early days of your career, that you jokingly would say your job as CFO, it was your responsibility to make sure as much money as possible came in, and his little went out. So let’s fast forward to today. How would you describe what exactly is a CFO? And what do they do?
Nelson Tepfer 2:13
So that’s it’s a great way to frame the question. And it’s an amusing, slightly amusing one to me, because that’s a question I very often get to ask and answer on a regular basis. So where we define the CFOs role these days is it’s not about the specific of the way I used to describe it in my very first role, now it’s a little bit more of a strategic role was probably the biggest differentiation. Or as most think of it as strictly that tactical, that lead accountant or the one in charge of all the days and you know, the books and records on a day to day basis. At this point, we look at the role of the CFO is the one responsible for building a framework for financial management and growth. And in each company that sometimes can take very different that may look a little bit different depending on which company or where they’re up to, and their own evolution and business cycle. But essentially, it comes down to that same framework, what is their framework for financial management and growth? And as the CFO, what is their responsibility in building, managing, maintaining it to support the company’s growth and goals?
Ira Warren 3:11
That’s amazing. It’s so you know, you’ll often hear that one out of five businesses that start survive, and the other four fail. And one of the things I saw on your website, which were just resonated so well with me, is that he said that the key reason is they’re stuck reviewing content, when they should be looking to find context. Could you say a little bit more about that?
Nelson Tepfer 3:42
Absolutely. So one of the things that we discussed very often with our clients, and what we talk about is how do we take the day to day numbers or data that we have? And how do we make that into something that gives you insight to how do we make that strategic so a couple of examples like that, we think of the reporting function within a business where you have a lot of this data and a lot of information at your fingertips. From our perspective, data and information is great. But the insights to make the decisions based on is really what you need. So it’s not just about having a good financial your financial statements. So you’re having this being recorded on a regular basis. But how do you make that insightful, for instance, the budgeting process that we talked about with many of our clients, very often when we start and go through this the difference in content or context to say budgeting short, do you want us to tell you where you spent your money last year, we can do that? Where should you spend your money next year becomes where you’re trying to take the company as a whole. And that becomes more contextual as to what resource allocation looks like and where you should be spending money. Versus here. This is where you spend your money.
Ira Warren 4:44
So it’s kind of like the difference between looking behind you and see what the past was versus what you bring is to look forward and see what the future should be and how to make it happen. You know, one of the things exactly in my Vistage group for example, You know, we have a roomful of CEOs, who basically all started their businesses from the ground up entrepreneurs, usually in many cases, they would, you know, week number one, it was employee number one. And that was it. At what point you know, they they grow a little bit and they realize they can’t run the business and do the sales and do the bookkeeping. So usually, you know, they get a bookkeeper. And then may even may have an accountant. You know, at what point would you recommend that they begin to look in at at having the CFO on board? And having that dynamic add to the company? How did he make that decision? When’s the time?
Nelson Tepfer 5:46
So I never had? No, that’s it’s all comes down to the same answer. So I appreciate that. Because it’s never as simple Oh, you hit this number. Now you need a CFO, our clients, for instance, range in size from smallest funded startups pre revenue as look to up to as large as a few 100 million in revenue. And the triggers that we get brought in on very often all circle around the same areas. And that becomes, what got there, there’s a couple of concepts that come into play that What Got You Here Won’t Get You There kind of concept isn’t everything that they’ve done that made them successful up until now is they’re struggling to latch for those pieces to be the success factors as they move forward. Whereas from our perspective, everyone haven’t been a CFO on the team. We’ve been there. We’ve scaled companies before we built this out before. So we’re able to come in and help companies overcome those challenges when they hit that wall for Okay, great. Now, how do we rebuild this to help you get to that next level, but perhaps more generically, or more generally, is probably a better way to think about it, it’s when they no longer have the insight they need to make the decisions that they’re looking to, I remember, the best way I can think of to describe it was a prospect who tells me Nelson, this company is too big for me to run on gut instinct alone. Now, mind you, this is a very successful CEO of a large company. So it’s not like he was really running it on gut instinct. But he felt he did not have that insight, to make the decisions he needed to he was looking at a bunch of strategic initiatives. And he didn’t have that thought partner, that financial strategist that leaders by his side, to help them think about these in a way that will help, you know, help him achieve what he was trying to in the company.
Ira Warren 7:23
So it’s having the foresight to recognize it. You know, one of the things I’ve noticed, mostly when I get a new member in the group, and one of the things I find is that at the very beginning of their, you know, Vistage process, they’re a little reluctant to totally open the kimono and open their books. And that’s in a group that’s considered very safe. And it’s all you know, nobody knows anybody, the whole idea of confidentiality, here, they’re bringing in someone who suddenly, to they, you know, let’s face it, they don’t really know you, and you want them, you know, to hang out in all their underwear and everything else. You run into that.
Nelson Tepfer 8:13
So strangely enough, usually not very often, it’s almost like a relief for many of these companies to actually be able to, you know, there’s that trust on the man that there was like, Oh, our challenges are not unique to us, this is normal for businesses to be going through, they’re very often happy, and thrilled, in many cases to be able to share this with us on what this looks like. That is actually one of the powers I’ve liked, you know, you mentioned, that’s a challenge for new members in your group. But you also know that’s a challenge that’s very quickly overcome, because if you’re that peer advisory group in the Vistage community, gives you that safety, to be able to share the challenges in the way that you don’t really have anywhere else. And very often for many of our clients, we provide that same safety net on the finance and accounting side, it’s not like they have anybody else they can share these challenges with, there’s no one else in their organization that they can go through this. So very often we get called in, they already recognize they have a problem around this area. And they’re very happy to start showing us no, this is what’s going on. Is this something you can help with? Or this is what’s going on? What do you think about this? That’s exactly what they’re looking for when they start with us? So we usually don’t see that as specific issue. But that does speak to the power of that peer to peer advisory group within the Vistage community that they do feel. So yes, they’ll at first glance, they always like oh, I don’t know. But very quickly, they’re sharing everything because that’s a safe to be able to do that.
Ira Warren 9:36
I guess in both cases, the realization comes quickly if it’s a safe space. So you get to the point they realized that they recognize what could it be possible, and they realize bringing the CFO on board might be the answer to the problems they’re facing. How does how does one company a young company a small company go about figuring out and you’ll find the CFO. Yeah, what’s the process? So
Nelson Tepfer 10:07
from our perspective, and this is something which has been a relatively recent trend, most companies don’t really need a full time CFO. And we feel somewhat qualified in making that statement, as both myself and every member of my team have been an actual CFO before. You know, because the challenge many companies go through as they’re growing, is not knowing the different pieces that they need. They know this is an area that they don’t know or understand, or they could use help and, and they’ll just hear titles thrown out of the 11 Oh, you need a controller, oh, you need a CFO, oh, you need a county manager, you need a director of finance, they don’t know what this actually means from a practical level, or what they should be paying this person or the impact that this has on their company if they get the right person in. So it starts with just recognizing, okay, you don’t necessarily need to go out and pay this a full time experienced CFO is a very expensive proposition for many younger grown growing companies. So it’s recognized, they don’t necessarily need this, it’s recognizing what is it that they actually do need? What is the impact they need this role to have on them? And that’s where they should start thinking about, okay, if this is the impact, I’m looking for my company, what is the best solution, you know, not always, not always hide behind the title I find many companies do that, frankly, because they don’t necessarily know better. And that’s not a blame aspect. There’s not like, this is something that gets taught anywhere. You know, and I say this coming from having what what many would consider is a great education in theory to learn how to run a business. And I didn’t learn any of that in school. No one teaches this kind of stuff. So business owners who are on this entrepreneurial journey, they don’t have like this guidebook that says, Okay, great. Now I’ve reached this point. Now I should go do this. Now I reach this point. Now I should go through this. So comes from being able to speak to a group with a fellow CEOs to be able to have this conversation like this this community to say, this is the challenges I’m facing, you know, what are some of the solutions? Or no, obviously, selfishly speaking, is give us a call, we can help us.
Ira Warren 11:58
Okay, right. Now, we’re going to take a short break. And we’ll come back in a few moments and hear more about Nelson and CO CFO.
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Ira Warren 12:29
The thing that fascinates me and I think I’m seeing more and more as I look around is the concept of a fractional service. And, among other things, pro CFO is a fractional CFO. Partner. Could you say more about the whole concept of having a part time person? And I know, I know that I’ve heard you say before that, you know, you’re part time CFOs with full time commitment. How’s that work?
Nelson Tepfer 13:03
So when we start with our clients, when we started our conversations with Mr. Speak about our US in particular, and then broaden that out to some of the other fractional offerings we’ve seen that have been absolutely very helpful for many companies. So for us, when we started our conversation with clients, we looked at it this okay, what is it that they’re going to need? Well, where’s our value in working with them? Because we jokingly refer to, you know, we talked about this with our clients is you want us working, you know, you want frankly, you should be paying for us where we add the most value, you don’t need us, you know, you don’t need this level of offering and a 40 5060 hour week basis. So for some of our clients, that can be two or three days a month for some of our clients, that can be one day a week for some of our clients that can be even more than that. But our approach and what you referenced is that part time CFO with all time commitment is we have an always on approach, it’s an always call us and always email us we do not bill an hourly. So it’s not like oh, if you pick up the phone and call us, it’s going to cost you this amount more. And that’s what we mean by that phrase is we are your CFO, just on a part time basis. And the impact we’re looking to have is where we add the most value and being able to advise you on the different areas and how do you build this finance and accounting function. So it is systematic, sustainable and scalable and built to support the growth and goals of a company. So broadening that out to other fractional offerings, I’m sorry, fiscal?
Ira Warren 14:24
No, you go ahead, please continue
Nelson Tepfer 14:27
broadening that out to other fractional offerings. It becomes truly understanding what you need from this kind of offering, whether it’s a fractional CMO, we’ve seen another good one or a fractional CTO, cio on the technical side, as companies grow fractional sales, you know, those kinds of things, those leaders as well. It all comes down to that same thing. It’s understanding what is the impact you’re looking for this role to have and you can then determine what is the best solution to get it. And if there’s a difference between a fractional executive and just a consultant, which is where many people refer to this because that fractional executive is very often the one who’s actually delivering the solution, not just telling you everything you’re doing wrong, because that’s not particularly helpful to companies, they already know the problems they have. That’s why they’re talking to us. That’s why they’re talking to fractional executives. They don’t need some consultant to come in and say, Oh, you’re doing all of this wrong. It’s like, yeah, we know we’re doing all this wrong, how are we going to fix it. So that fractional executive is the one whose responsibility is to come in and actually deliver the solution as well. Of course, we need to assess and identify the problem correctly to make sure our solution is the right fit. But it becomes more of We are the ones we’re actually helping them execute on it. And that’s where the fractional executive, the fractional offering, like this begins to make a lot more sense for many companies, because there is no actual long term contract or commitment very often. It’s if they’re helping to solve the solution on an ongoing basis and great, they want to still keep working with us. If we’re not helping on an ongoing basis, we shouldn’t be working together. And therefore, it’s not like do they have benefits and vacation involved payroll, and all the fun stuff like that? It’s Are they helping here? Yes, if not now.
Ira Warren 16:01
You know, one of the things I guess I wonder about is, so we all have a notion of at least I have a notion of part time, is not engaged and committed, how, how do you manage to have a fractional CFO, which is a key position to most companies, and yet, have them be invested in the brand, the story, the company, and bring the passion that the whole organization one needs to see as well as making it effective? And could you say a little bit about that? Sure.
Nelson Tepfer 16:39
So I can give a couple of, of course. So I’ll give a couple of examples. You know, for instance, companies that have a regular weekly leadership team meeting, we make sure we’re a part of that meeting, whatever level of engagement that we set, we are a part of that meeting, because we need to lead that function. But also, we need to be involved in the leadership and the strategy of the company as a whole. So we’ve really get involved in doing this. For instance, we have the rest of the finance and accounting stuff, they report into us, the fact that we’re not there on a 5060 hour week basis, it doesn’t mean there’s no communication that happens outside of you know, the actual day, we may be in their office or two days, maybe in their office, there’s a lot of communication that goes on around that, we’re very often there to mentor and train the finance and accounting stuff as that staff as they are in place. Because we want to build this function. So it exists within the company, not just within our minds. So from our perspective, we’ll train and mentor a controller will direct the bookkeeping staff will go through some of these kinds of things. And from our debt from our the way we look at things, this is where the function gets built out within the company that’s really going to support where they’re trying to go. So our role is as that leader within the company, and depending on the size of the structure of the organization, is how many people may report into us and our role and actually being a presence down there. It sounds
Ira Warren 17:56
to me like not only do look at it from a financial scope, but you’re engaging with all the other members of the team and truly integrating yourself as if you were a full time person, you’re just there less so don’t have that, you know?
Nelson Tepfer 18:17
Absolutely. And to your point of getting involved in other aspects of the team. That’s really where a lot of our value begins to show because for instance, of course, there’s the finance and accounting and reporting close, great. But when we start having conversations about sales, which sales are profitable, which revenue stream should we start exploring, that comes from that financial leadership and strategist perspective, that begins to impact the company as a whole, when we identify this is where we’re trying to go as a company in three to five years from now. So what are the strategies we need to put in place to help get there, that’s where we really begin to move the needle on the company as a whole to really drive them towards achieving these goals.
Ira Warren 18:55
Really getting a much clearer picture of what the whole fractional concept is all about. I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up what we’ve all dealt with for the last couple of years. How is COVID affected pro CFO affected Nelson, and the future?
Nelson Tepfer 19:18
So I, you know, I launched this company, interestingly enough in January of 2020. And I launched this company with my business partner and six CFOs on the team. And now a little less than two and a half years later, we’re approaching 40 people on the team. So we’ve grown the company, and we’ve had that debate internally, was it because of COVID or despite COVID And I guess, only time will really tell, but from the way we’ve helped our clients, what makes me something that I’m most proud of is how many companies we’ve been able to help navigate the past two and a half years. So putting the team together behind and we share our expertise and resources because we meet as a team on a weekly basis. So we’re able to a share what nuviza versus we came across, for instance, you know, with PPP that came out navigating all of that we had an entire team of CFOs, who were a very on top of it. But the these are the ones who were actually doing the work on the PPP side for our clients, were able to share our experience across our team, which bank was good, which bank did we struggle with what was a better process for it, what was not eidl, ERC, all of these things that companies keep going through, we can add a we have the answers, because we’ve been the frontline person actually doing it. But B, we share this across our entire team for all of the clients that we work with. So which was you know, resource or ERC some clients, we did it ourselves internally, some we bought in a different resource for some we’ve done. And that’s really been our approach. So navigating through all of this has been really key. But perhaps even more importantly, helping companies not only survive, but thrive over the past two and a half years has been something we’ve been extremely proud of, you know, companies that within a month of when the world went into shutdown, we’re almost that, you know, like, Okay, should we keep running the company even have come out of COVID, you know, not only surviving but stronger than they were before? And of course, we’d like to take credit for everything. And obviously, it’s not necessarily everything that we did, perhaps, but sometimes it is some of those mindset shifts of recognizing, you know, as a company, what is the real value proposition to the marketplace? You know, we had this conversation with one company where their main line of business was, in part was almost shut down within they were like, really considering should they keep operating? And we had this conversation with them with recognizing, okay, yes, your main line of business where you generated, the revenue from may be shut down, but what makes you special and how you were able to generate the revenue that’s applicable to other areas. So let’s go explore those. And that kind of perspective and conversation allowed them to replace I think, was 70 to 80% of the revenue over the following three to four months.
Ira Warren 21:44
You know, you mentioned a few times in this conversation. And, of course, between the lines, it’s all about the value you bring. And and as an all value, there’s going to be return on that investment. So if a CEO is recognizing the gap, that you could, Phil, what kind of commitment would they be thinking you would be necessary in order to engage you? And you know, I recognize you can’t say, oh, it cost a blank. But for someone who’s never put a toe in the water, where would they you wish they’re thinking big, in order to be productive?
Nelson Tepfer 22:33
So the way we always look at it, you know, from our perspective, we’re always happy to obviously to have a conversation to go through, I have happily turned down clients, if I felt that a they weren’t ready for us or B, we could not be a value. And the right offering in this space will do this. So it’s not obviously just us, of course, I’d rather they speak to us. But it’s not obviously just us if the right, the right offering in this space will almost always do that for the CON for the company. So my point is they very rarely have anything to lose by having a conversation with an offering in the space, just so they start learning about what are the different options that exist out there. But to your point on return on investment, so we look at it as of course we need to, you know, of course, we want to look at their costs, and we may know better solutions for cost cutting and things like that. And yeah, that kind of goes without saying, you know, yeah, you should be doing this, which may save you this money, you should be doing this. But that’s not why you bring in the CFO, you bring in that CFO because it’s more about that growth potential and how we’re going to continue to evolve and grow as a company. So when we start talking about sales projections, for instance, we had this conversation with one company, we were plugged to Matt trying to map this out from a 531 perspective, are they gonna be five years in three years on one year, and our conversation as a result, had them not only raise their projections by more than double over the period of time, but also come up with the actual strategy of how they’re going to go ahead and do this? And these were, these were significant numbers, this isn’t like, okay, great, we’re gonna double from 100,000 to 200,000. These were, you know, pretty significant numbers. But that kind of conversation or perspective is like, it’s not like, oh, great, you’re making an extra $10 million. Now, because you’re working with us. I mean, of course, we’d like to take credit for all of that. But if it comes from recognizing what is the value and having the strategic financial partner, I
Ira Warren 24:16
have a totally new perspective on it all. And, and, you know, I, looking at it and thinking about my own company, you know, that I spent 42 years without a CFO. I think if we had one, we’d be at least twice the size as we are today. Want to kind of flip it around for a moment, we’re talking about the advantage for a CEO to have on his executive team as a CFO. But what about from the side of the CFO? What makes someone become an interim more fractional CFO? What’s driving?
Nelson Tepfer 24:56
So I’ll share my own journey in this space. is first and I can share some of the highlights from some of my team just to give you a sense of what this looks like from this side. So for myself, it actually is not the traditional journey in that most people who get into this fractional or interim world are usually between roles. And then it’s like, okay, well, they try this and either planning to get a full time role as a result or seeing what they can do in between my I decided to do things differently. I didn’t really decide. But I did things differently, which of course, as you and I have had numerous conversations, I’m sure it doesn’t really shock you. So I actually was what I thought at the time happily employed as a full time CFO, this is now about a dozen years ago, when a friend of mine reached out to me and said, a friend of his is having some trouble with this company, can I have a conversation and maybe give him some advice. And I was like, help out a friend or a friend, or we’ll have a conversation. And that conversation turned into a year long, interim CFO role that I actually juggled with my full time role. So it was a very, very busy year. But what I found by doing this, and I use this word so carefully, it was so much more fun working like this, I learned the new company, new business, new industry. And the things which was day to day in my previous role was like magic to a company like this, because of the impact was able to have. And I said, this is incredible, this is so much more engaging. For me, I feel I’m having this impact in this drive. And as a result, I went back to my full time role, converted it into a part time one and then started taking on more clients on my own. I did this on my own over the next seven, seven and a half years across probably about a dozen different industries. Truly, I truly enjoyed this. But when you do this on your own, there are some challenges structurally, which we can dive into if you’re really curious or anyone can reach out if they’re curious. But as a result, I was looking at ways to build this bigger and better, which eventually led this company. Now, that’s my own story. Now on my team, we have several different types of CFOs, who choosing to work this way. Some have done this, myself, some have done this on their own, and they’re looking for this team, because it allows them to do this bigger and better if they do this as a team. They have the brand if they have the tools that we’ve developed to help them be more successful, that help out of their clients more. So we’ve done this, as you know, to help on that side. Or, you know, I have some of my team who jokingly tells me Nelson that tried to retire and twice and it didn’t work. So these are brilliant CFOs senior executives who have had incredible careers, who also have that same desire to be able to contribute and have this impact on these companies. We have others who have been very successful in their careers. And there’s as a joke, when we refer, as I said, Nelson, I’m too young just to play tennis and golf for the rest of my life. So he wants to still be doing something, we have others who are looking just to have more control over their own calendar, they came from Wall Street to other large corporate entities and their salesmen just tired of doing the 12 hour days, six days a week. I didn’t want to do that anymore, though.
Ira Warren 27:46
You know, I’ve known you for I don’t know how many years now. And I just want to say what a pleasure, it’s been to have you on the show, and it opened up my eyes to a whole different way of looking at the whole fractional CFO concept as well as who you are and who pro CFO is. And just thank you for sharing, you know, with everyone, you know, what’s really a new business operation for very many smaller entrepreneurs. And just showing how it’s really affordable. And I think there’s a I know for myself, and you know, if I go back 20 years, it was like, Well, I can’t afford that. And I guess 20 years ago, I don’t know if there was a fractional concept at that time. But how can we find out more about you and more about pro CFO?
Nelson Tepfer 28:45
Sure, our website is pro CFO partners.com. We have a lot of content on our website, tools, podcasts, videos that explain around different areas within the organization, or the finance and accounting function, which are free on our website for everyone who wants to go check that out. There’s also a way to contact us over there on the website. Again, it’s pro CFO partners.com. Feel free to check it out. We’re always happy to have a conversation and explore this further.
Ira Warren 29:14
Well, thank you so much for joining us today. And it’s just a pleasure to see you in a different light. Thank you, Ira and to recognize the incredible value that you bring. And people got to be so fortunate to work with you and pro CFO. So once again,
Nelson Tepfer 29:31
thank you, Ira enjoy the conversation. Thank you for having me on the show.
Thanks for listening to Let’s Talk podcast with your host Ira Warren. I hope you enjoyed the discussion. If you’re interested in joining more than 23,000 members across the globe, they count on their Vistage peer advisory group to help them make better decisions, be better leaders and get better results than let’s talk. As always, you can head over to Ira warren.com to sign up to our email list. Get more information on joining my Vistage group Your advisory group as well as check out all the links and resources in the show notes that’s all for this episode folks see you next time
Ira Warren 0:11
My guest today is an extraordinary person, an entrepreneur and successful CEO and businesswoman and someone who I admire for her selfless giving back in just so many ways. Nancy Vargas is a native New Yorker with a corporate background. Nancy’s entrepreneurial spirit took her talents and skills to build the infrastructure of DHT chauffeured transportation. As a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry, Nancy dedicates her time to empower, inspire and educate other women in business. Through her leadership, dH to chauffeured transportation became MWBE certified with the city and states of New York, the Port Authority of New York, New Jersey, as well as Nassau County. And most recently, she tapped into her network campaigning to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and help put an end to blood diseases, raising over $1 million. Nancy, welcome to the let’s talk podcast.
Nancy Vargas 1:10
Thank you so very much. I’m so honored to be your guest today. And I certainly appreciate the invitation to be part of your podcast.
Ira Warren 1:20
Well, thank you. And I guess the first question that keeps coming to mind for me is, how is it possible that an independent limo company can exist or coexist and compete with today’s ride sharing Uber and Lyft and taxi environment?
Nancy Vargas 1:35
Absolutely. That’s a great question. And, you know, I think that one of the most important things, as far as what we do in the transportation space, is that, you know, we provide a private service. So unlike Uber and Lyft, to where it’s more of a rideshare situation, we really, you know, provide a service where we’re almost putting on that white glove and giving you a VIP Concierge Service. So our chauffeurs are trained to open the door and take the luggage from the client and await for our client at the baggage claim. You know, so really just providing a level of service where it’s more of a VIP service than just a pickup and drop off from point A to point B.
Ira Warren 2:27
So from the standpoint of customer service, how do you build those customer relations, your ensure it seems that your customers are often become very long term repeat customers, and they walk away with a great experience? How do you accomplish that?
Nancy Vargas 2:42
Absolutely. So I think one of the things that our clients really enjoy is that they get to, you know, build a relationship, not only with our customer service reps, and our dispatchers, but they really get to know our chauffeurs as well. And we’re just so proud of, you know, vetting our drivers so, so highly, right. And customer service is always a very much in the forefront of our mind. So as far as you know, how we build, you know, our clients, you know, we’re building relationships along the way, I network, where I’ll meet someone who is a corporate traveler, you know, travels to the airport, you know, quite often we’ll start building a relationship from there. But we’re also involved in, you know, things like flight crew shuttle services, I’m very involved at JFK, in fact, I’m headquartered at JFK airport. So, you know, I build relationships, you know, that, that help us grow our business, and our growing clientele, and it truly is through, you know, building relationships along the way. And, you know, and being able to serve them and many times referrals, you know, one client will refer our services to another, a friend or a colleague, and then this is how we continue to grow our clientele.
Ira Warren 4:06
So it seems to me then that corporate customers offer the largest part of view recurring revenue, and those are different kinds of customers and the person that you know, looking to get a ride to the airport, because making a flight. Well, how do you? How do you? Yeah, go ahead.
Nancy Vargas 4:24
No, I was gonna say, you know, a big part of our business is core is the corporate traveler. However, we also you know, can support a leisure traveler or someone that’s heading to the airport, you know, needs to go to JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, you know, our they are in need of a wine tour. Or perhaps it’s a it’s a wedding. We don’t necessarily focus on the bridal party per se, but we’ll focus on the family shuttle service. And so and so how we navigate sort of the workload of what we do, I would say that most of our business is more of a corporate contract, government contracting flight crew. But we also have, you know, a portion of our business that it’s for, you know, just a day to day airport ride, or I need to go from point A to point B.
Ira Warren 5:21
And I would imagine weddings in large groups have become a good part of your business as well.
Nancy Vargas 5:27
So, yeah, so I would tell you that pre COVID, we did very minimal work on that angle on the retail space. However, certainly COVID did change that a bit. And, you know, we, our retail business came a lot faster, a lot sooner than our corporate, even our contracts that, you know, we had in place, as things started opening up, we saw a little bit more on the retail side of business coming back versus corporate. But, you know, I think that the horizon is looking, you know, very nicely where we’re seeing that, you know, our corporate clients are looking to bring employees back, and we’re having conversations about employee shuttle service, where, you know, some employees are, you know, perhaps are expressing concern about how they’re going to get to work, how they’re going to get into the city. So we’re having those conversations right now and see how we can support our clients and providing a private way and how to shuttle their employees to work.
Ira Warren 6:35
You know, you mentioned COVID, I can only imagine how difficult that must have been for you. How did you survive the pandemic, and I know that you’re a member of Vistage with one of my colleagues, Andy Orlick. And I was wondering if the Vistage community, you know, help serve you in that way,
Nancy Vargas 6:55
I have to tell you that Vistage was probably one of the best decisions that we did, prior to COVID. And I have to say that it was a wonderful resource, during a very difficult time, you know, I have to share it, it just was very challenging during COVID, during the peak of the pandemic, unfortunately, you know, our vehicles were parked, and there was just no business because we’re so connected with the airline industry in the hospitality industry. And as you know, you know, we were all on a national lockdown. So having said that, our vehicles were parked, and there was zero revenue being generated. However, I think that what really helped us here at the h2 was that we were focused, you know, during that time, that the, you know, it was important for us to really dive deep into our business, right? When will we ever have the kind of time that we had, you know, during peak of the pandemic, to really dive deep into our day to day operation? And how do we come back stronger, because it wasn’t just about surviving the pandemic, it was surviving and thriving, as the comeback, you know, would be here. So I think that, you know, how we saw things is that there was going to be light at the end of the tunnel, although it was a very dark time, we did see the light at the end of the tunnel, certainly, in the early part of the pandemic, we thought it would be a few weeks, then a few weeks was a few months, we’ll know that didn’t occur. But we really took the opportunity to look at different areas of our business, from a marketing perspective, to a financial perspective, to looking at areas that we knew we needed to perhaps improve, and we really didn’t have the dedicated time for it. And now we did. So we wanted to make sure we took that valuable time and put it right into the business so that we would be ready when the light switch went on.
Ira Warren 9:08
Well, the one thing that I’m aware of is besides your ability to look at the business and make lemons at that, the lemons that, you know, COVID was, was the fact that I know you happen to have pivoted into well, if we wash our own cars all the time, why don’t we start washing other people’s cars? And that was just such a brilliant idea that you know, if nothing else that we in vitalized, you know, yourself and your employees, I’m sure, and I just needed to point that out to our
Nancy Vargas 9:47
Absolutely, no, I love that you raise that point because, obviously, you know, we had to somehow generate revenue and it wasn’t going to be by our wheels roll All right, taking our clients to wherever they needed to go to. So, Mike and I started thinking about, you know, ways on how we were going to generate revenue. And, you know, the most obvious wasn’t so obvious. However, when you have that kind of time you really start, you know, diving into, you know, what else can I be doing. And it just was very natural that part of our day to day operation is to wash and clean and detail our fleet. And so we decided that we had all the tools that was needed to provide the service right outside of our own fleet of our own organization. And what started out as a simple, let’s sell our friends and family went to friends and family and neighbors, you know, and, and the word just started spreading around, we built a route, where we had clients that would be calling us, you know, I want you to, you know, detail my vehicle, my wife’s vehicle, my son’s vehicle, my daughter’s vehicle. And then finally, what we realized that what was supposed to be a just a small way of how to generate revenue, we also kind of went into the commercial side and started talking, you know, to business owners that have a fleet of vehicles that perhaps we can support them. So it just out of a very simple way of, you know, hey, we need to figure this up, kind of grew into something that we never really thought of, but it’s very interesting how you just find ways on how you can move it forward.
Ira Warren 11:42
Yeah, one of the things you know, as I mentioned earlier, in my introduction, is your investment in family and community and what you do and you’re now the president of the JFK, Rotary, which, by the way, congratulations, obviously, a major milestone in achievement, you know, for business leaders today. The rotary common principle is service above self, I think you exemplify that, how does that play into running your business?
Nancy Vargas 12:09
So it’s really interesting IRA, because I’m constantly asked, like, how do you get to do this all and still run your business? Right. And so I always go back to the fact that, you know, when I was a young girl, I was always doing service work, right. It’s something that, you know, that I carry in my heart, I’ve always believed in rotaries model right service above self. And so I recall, as a young girl, I would be a launch monitor, you know, I was a catechist, I, you know, would visit hospitals and volunteer during high school, you know, I, Student Council, I was always involved in some way within the community. And so I think that for me, you know, becoming a business owner and entrepreneur, I feel a sense of responsibility of doing more. And, you know, I feel that it’s important, as a business owner, you know, to have the pulse of my community, for a specific year at the age to, you know, we operate out of JFK. So J at the JFK community, and the surrounding community is very important to me. So, becoming president of JFK Rotary, is so meaningful to me, just because of the service work that we do, and the community that we served. And it just really fills my soul. You know, and I think that, you know, of course, running my business is important, and I dedicate a lot of time to that as well. I also feel very proud of the team that I build. And so my team allows me to navigate through my day, right, and know that things are running smoothly, when things need my attention, that they’ll get my attention. But I really believe that the key of being able to do all the things that I do is time management, you know, I live by my calendar. And, you know, if it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t exist. As simple as that. Right. And so I think time management is very important. And the things that I am part of, such as rotary and some of the other nonprofit organizations that I’m a part of, you know, they mean something to me, right, it touches my heart in some way. And so because of that, you know, there’s just, I couldn’t see it any other way. And I try to give as much time that I can, although I will say that, you know, at times I’ve had to decline, you know, I’ll be asked and, you know, can you be part of this or can you do that or can you sit on the board on this and that and, and I and I really it’s so meaningful To me, however, I do sometimes need to, you know, pick and choose what I can and can’t do, depending on the level of commitment as well. But JFK rotary hits my heart for sure. Very special people, great work being done throughout the year. And I’m honored. I’m honored to serve as president of the JFK Rotary Club.
Ira Warren 15:23
You just mentioned that you live and go by your calendar. In what ways? Have you brought technology and automation into the h2? Hmm,
Nancy Vargas 15:34
great question. So I will tell you a funny story. You know, I’ve always had control of my calendar, right. So my assistant is able to, you know, work around my day to day, but my calendar is one that I hold very close, right? No one touches my calendar. However, the silver lining of this pandemic is that it taught you that there’s a lot of technology out there that you can put to use and make it a benefit for, you know, truly helping you with your day to day. So I found this wonderful application called Calendly. And at first, I thought, there’s no way that I can do that, how can I possibly send a link to someone and they’re gonna look at my calendar, and they’re gonna see my availability. But I realized very quickly, that that was an area that I needed to improve. And so with that, I opened up a Calendly link. And I recall all the networking that I was doing, and I thought I was doing a lot of network pre pandemic, but boy was I networking during the peak of the pandemic. And I realized how quickly I was able to navigate, you know, setting up a meeting by simply sending a link. And by the time I was done with the meeting, I had two or three meetings already set up. And all I did was send a link. So that taught me so much that there are so many wonderful apps and technology that’s out there, that is very beneficial to all of us in some way, shape or form. When it comes to my business. One of the things that, you know I really enjoy is the technology that’s available to us, such as our dispatch software, and our GPS, software and our flight monitoring, and so many different resources and tools that we use to operate day to day. So technology is definitely something that is important to us and that it really helps us to operate efficiently with our day to day task.
Ira Warren 17:45
Got it? An awkward conversation is is, you know, there’s been knowing the past so many incidents of accidents and tragedies that have occurred with chauffeured vehicles. How have you managed to focus on safety and driver training? And what else do you do to make sure that th two transportation doesn’t come under?
Nancy Vargas 18:14
Absolutely, Ira, that is probably one of the most key questions that I always like to address because safety and compliance is very important, not only to myself, but to my entire organization. And so one of the things that we’ve done is we’ve improved by just really making sure that we’re constantly understanding the rules and regulations of New York State do T us DLT because we’re regulated by both. And we’ve also brought in a third party that handles compliance that keeps us on our toes and ensures that we are doing what we need to do as far as our files, our chauffeured files, our vehicles are audited every six months. So is the files for our chauffeur. And we’ve taken this an extra step. And we have a 90 day Compliance Officer here at our office and 90 days associated with New York State DLT. So there’s files that need to be kept. We highly vet our chauffeurs and we provide a criminal background checks, drug and alcohol testing for pre employment. There’s just a series of things that we do before our chauffeur is behind the wheel. And then we take that even one step further and have a Safety and Training Manager on staff that will manage our chauffeurs both our new hires and the Those that are with us for a very long time for refreshers, and what have you, just to ensure that training is an ongoing thing. It’s not just when you’re first hired, and you’re given training, it is ongoing throughout the year, because it’s that important. So I really surround myself with, you know, the experts, because there’s so many new rules and regulations that I time is hard as an operator, you know, to keep up with these, with these things. So I ensure that I surround myself with the experts in this in this matter. And I have a wonderful team that that keeps everything sort of, you know, in place up to date. With our GPS, you were talking about technology. With our GPS, we have a risk management software, which gives us reports on speeding and heart stops. We have cameras on the interior and exterior of our vehicles. So we’re able to see and keep tabs on how our chauffeurs are performing. And, you know, we’re able to get these reports. And if we see areas that need improvement, we’ll bring back the chauffeur, we’re able to, you know, have a conversation and apply additional training. And then before they even, you know, get behind the wheel, aside from all the rules that we need to abide by. We also have, you know, someone that will do a road test, just to see what, you know, their skill sets are, you know, they’re driving 40, passenger, you know, shuttle buses, you know, we have a diverse fleet. So we have to ensure that if they’re going to be behind the wheel, and they’re going to be transporting, you know, our clients, we need to feel comfortable that we’ve hired the right candidate to perform?
Ira Warren 21:53
Well, you certainly seem to have a lot of attention on your staff and your team. And you seem to have a lot of heart with them as well, besides the running of the business and the compliance side, what makes the h2 and attract.
Nancy Vargas 22:09
So I believe that, you know, we bring passion, every single day, I say this to my employees, I say this to everyone, Mike and I are fired up every morning, right? We’re ready to rock every single day. And you know, transportation is not the most sexy industry. But I have to tell you that we really want to ensure that anyone that works for DH too, we’re working together as a team, we’re doing this together, we need one another Mike and I cannot run this company by ourselves, right? We need our employees, and we teamwork makes the dream work, you’ll probably see that so much in my social media, because I truly believe that. And I think that, you know, projecting the positive energy and the passion that we both have for this industry. You know, because it’s not just about, you know, providing a service and rendering, you know, a sale, right? Yes, that’s what that’s part of this. But really, how do we make our clients and our employees feel when they have an experience with the age too. So I think of it as not only the experience of my of our clients, but the experience within the culture of D h2. And so I really, you know, try and do our best to ensure that they feel this is a family, we’re a family, right? Their dreams are my dreams, and hopefully our dreams or their dreams, and we’re working together to achieve those dreams. And I truly believe that by projecting that every single day, you know, then then this is a great place to be. And I think that we’re always we’re always open for improvement. We’re not perfect. You know, I’m always looking for ways to, you know, how can we improve not only on a client service side, but how can we continue to elevate the DHT to culture, the DHT brand, it’s always on the forefront of my mind aside from everything else that we’ve discussed. That is something that is very important to me as well.
Ira Warren 24:32
Well, you know, I can’t help but ask a strange question and that is out of the limo and transportation company get the name DH to
Nancy Vargas 24:41
Oh, my goodness, I I get asked that question all the time is a good question. So we just to give you a quick history. Our company was founded by my husband Mike who was the chauffeur himself and with a town car and a dream he started the business Yes. And I was in corporate America at the time, and really thought that that’s where I would be. And I just wanted to be a supportive wife. And so life took over. Mike had other plans for me. And when we became parents, I was able to stay home for a little bit. And as our daughter was ready to go to school, I was ready to go back to corporate America. And Mike asked me to work on a project. And 18 years later, I’m still working on the project, right. But we have evolved as a company, we started in the corporate space 911 Hit the clock. And then we quickly pivoted into the retail space, where we actually had stretch limousines, the Lincoln stretches and h2 Hummers and Cadillac, Escalades and party buses and white specialty vehicles. And so we were in that space for 15 years. And so our company name at the time was destiny, h2, limo, hence, h2 Hummers. And so, as we pivoted 15 years later, and this is around 2015, I started talking to Mike about, you know, what was the next five or 10 or 15 years gonna look like? And where do we want to head as a company that we want to continue in the retail space where, you know, the heart, the the core of our business was retail weddings, events, proms can sign yet as we 16, and that kind of thing. I actually had a vision where I wanted to evolve as a company, and look at other areas of opportunities that I felt we weren’t really paying attention, because we were very comfortable in that retail space. So I pitched that idea to Mike in 2015 took us about a year to figure it out. And in 2016, we decided that we were going to move forward with that vision. And at that point, we decided that destiny h2 was a little too long, most people knew us as DHT, to just a shorter version of our company name. And so DHT was born. And in 2016 Until now, you know, we we decided that it was it was a great opportunity for us to look at other verticals of our business. And and so that’s when we sold all of our white specialty vehicles. We procured new vehicles, all shuttle buses, black corporate executive vehicles, which is the fleet that we carry today. And then we became MWBE certified, which is a minority woman business on company with the state of New York, the city of New York and Port Authority opened up those doors that I was looking so much forward to, you know, working on capital projects and flight crew and you know, all the things that we do today. So I guess that was the long version, not the short version, but hopefully shed some light as to how did we become DH to?
Ira Warren 28:13
Absolutely as well as it’s such a great story. And I love hearing stories of that kind of growth. As we’ve come to a close, I wish to advise our listeners that in keeping with her mission of empowering business owners, Nancy’s available for speaking engagements to educate and inform best practices with entrepreneurs as well as civic organizations. In closing, Nancy, how can our listeners find out more about you and more about the h2 chauffeured transportation?
Nancy Vargas 28:43
Absolutely. So I welcome anyone that wish to reach out to me, I can be reached at Nancy at de h2 limo.com. And if you wish to learn more about us, feel free to reach us at www D h2 limo.com. We also have a YouTube channel DJ to short chauffeured transportation, and all our social media outlets, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, you can find us in all of the social media outlets as well.
Ira Warren 29:15
Well, I just want to thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your story and your success. And I wish you another couple of decades of success. And I know you’re looking forward to your daughter becoming you in every sort of way. So good luck.
Nancy Vargas 29:32
Thank you all very much and I appreciate the invitation Iris has been a pleasure to spend some time with you. I really greatly appreciate the invitation