Bringing Humor into Business

In this episode of The Faces of Business, our guest was Brian Trendler. He is a Co-Owner and Founder at LAFTech NW, as well as Owner of PNA and We, Fix Ugly Designs. Brian, a comedian for 20+ years, has since become a business owner, serial networker, and coaches people on bringing humor into their lives and businesses.  Damon and Brian discussed bringing humor into the workplace.

In this episode of The Faces of Business, our guest was Brian Trendler. He is a Co-Owner and Founder at LAFTech NW, as well as Owner of PNA and We, Fix Ugly Designs. Brian, a comedian for 20+ years, has since become a business owner, serial networker, and coaches people on bringing humor into their lives and businesses.  Damon and Brian discussed bringing humor into the workplace.

The charm, wit, and command Brian brings to any situation make him a joy to watch, and a fantastic teacher.

First, Damon asked Brian to tell us about the Professional Networking Association, Northwest, and LAFTech.

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Brian begins by telling his life journey, about Toastmasters, and where his focus on laughter comes from.

He says that he hadn’t laughed for months before meeting his business partner because he lost someone important in his life. So, we had an interesting human connection with each other. That’s ‌where the laughter came from.

Damon kept the conversation going by asking Brian to give us a quick rundown on Bringing Humor into Business and how they are helping businesses do this.

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Brian explained how humor brings humanity into a business by allowing us to use laughter as a teaching tool.

At the end of the episode, Damon thanked Biran for his time.

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people, talking, pna, business, called, laugh, humor, company, graphic design, kids, curveball, face, job, bit, person, teach, literally, point, fell, pandemic


Damon Pistulka, Brian Trendler


Damon Pistulka  00:03

All right, everyone, welcome once again the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I have Brian trembler from laugh tech. And we’re going to be talking about bringing humor into business. Indeed, Brian, welcome.


Brian Trendler  00:23

Thank you. Good to see you, Damon. It’s been way too long,


Damon Pistulka  00:26

man. Yeah, yeah, it has it really has. It’s been too long. And we’re gonna make sure that that’s not the case any longer. Man, I’m excited to have you on today. For a lot of different reasons. We were laughing already when we started. But, so, just gonna run through a couple of things.

All right. You have a couple companies. You’ve got a few companies actually, you got laugh tech. We’ll talk about that a bit. You got a professional networking Association, northwest, sir, you just said you’ve got 1010 chapters spread around the Northwest networking people, you know, helping each other build rise and rise together. I think that’s awesome. How long have you had that? I didn’t really I didn’t.


Brian Trendler  01:12

Well, yeah. So I mean, you haven’t gotten my third company yet. But that’s fine. No, we’re getting to that one. Okay. All right. Well, let’s talk about PNA north northwest first, I actually was left this little weird membership from an intern who bailed on me back in 2010. And I went to this meeting at that point, it was just called PNa.

And it was nice. You know, that used to be off boss over Highway. Now they’ve since knocked it down. And it’s a Chick fil A with like, no lines around worth of traffic just to go get a frickin chicken burger. But I walked into this little tiny group had about 20 members. And you talk about drinking the Kool Aid brother, it was. They were kind, they were positive. They were informative. They had fun, it was fast paced.

I was also part of another chapter that called that starts with B and ends with an NI. Really, yeah, so I was part of one of those groups at that point, that are run very totalitarian and cruel and evil and frustrating. And even though they serve a purpose, I was already kind of on my way out from that organization. And I fell in love with PMA. So I’ve been a member since 2010. And right smack in the middle of COVID. Right in the middle of the meat and potatoes, I actually the company.

So I took over the then owner went off to do other great things. And it’s been my baby ever since. And I use the pandemic, to bunker to hunker down and rework the entire thing, change out the model. To an extent, I like to think make it make it better. I’m already designer, as you know, and you haven’t mentioned yet, but I had I’d already been doing all that stuff. And scenes for five, six years. So I already had all the digital assets. So once a rebirth PNA into Pacific into PNA Northwest, just a crappy way of saying that accounting is gone. This kind of thing. rebirth as a new company. Then we just it was like it just grew like wildfire right in the middle of the pandemic.


Damon Pistulka  03:11

Yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. We got we’ve got dev here. Thanks for stopping by Dev. Dev is a Midwestern Midwestern person because I think I think she lives. Yeah, she’s at Chick fil A every week. So I just had to put the drive thru lines or serious business there, right? Because you know, like,


Brian Trendler  03:31

white to like, creepy. Yeah, like as butter level polite. Yeah, I actually love okay. I admit, the one in Kirkland. Every time I go to my print shop to pick up stuff for a client. I stopped by the Chick fil A. So there you go. On your show. I just I just let it out there. The secret’s out of the bag. It’s there waffle fries, man. Yeah, that’s it. And I’m assuming relate to that. So yeah,


Damon Pistulka  03:57

yep. Oh, she said, Go Bucs. Okay. Yeah, we saw we saw I think the first time I saw Chick fil A was still when I lived in the southeast. And it is a good food. But the lines are horrible. And let’s just call it out. They’re horrible. There’s ridiculous. And but anyway, enough for Chick fil A. Let’s talk a little bit more about the networking. And I think I think that’s, you know, from a networking standpoint, PNa Northwest it it probably wasn’t a bad thing for that company to the COVID COVID happening because people have more time to network like that. Yeah.


Brian Trendler  04:39

Yeah, I actually pulled the entire at that point then four groups out from all of the brick and mortar locations a month before jay Inslee did that for all of us. Right. Okay. So I kind of got a couple hands, a few connections in the men, the military, VA, you know, facilities across the country.

I was hearing some things That was scaring me a little bit more than the average Joe or Jane. So I made that decision. And it was the best thing that could have been could have happened because what did happen is people started using p and A as a source to literally just be seen and heard. It stopped being about business for the longest time, I’d say for the first six to eight months of they’re really of the center of the pandemic.

Yeah, we’re using it as a chance to be seen connect, cry a little get frustrated a little bit when they still had the meeting, we still ran the format the way we always did. We still between at that point, again, four chapters exchange, just shy of 650, almost $7,000 between the members, which are, which is phenomenal. But then I decided, Okay, I’m going to grow this. And then that was like lighting the Mission Impossible wick back in the old TV show. Yeah, in chapters just started coming to me, I have people coming to me saying I want to start a group. You know, I’ve got six to eight people ready to go.

Let’s do this. And that’s where we had our high point we had, we had 11 chapters, and recently, I’ve just find I finessed a little bit, and brought it back down to 10. Because I’ve got goals for the organization, make sure everyone is at 15 members minimum. So people can really connect, earn business, earn referrals, do the standards, you know, passing referrals, giving commercials, a target speaker things along those lines, but you know, we differ a little bit, but I would you know, people can come visit chapters to experience what differentiates us from all those other network groups out there.


Damon Pistulka  06:30

Yeah, yeah. So we will I didn’t I didn’t do it yet. But I will put your PNA Northwest link in the post. Appreciate that, that. I’ll do that right now. Because if I don’t write it down, I remember it. And then it’s only 50% good if I read it.


Brian Trendler  06:47

So I tried to make it easy. P n a n


Damon Pistulka  06:51

Okay. Very good. So PNA Dominica. So then we get to your graphic design company, because I think that name is awesome. So tell us the name of your graphic design company


Brian Trendler  07:01

called we fix ugly design. And I am actually a educated designer, which means back in 1994, so I spent way too much at a local institution Cornish College of the Arts. I was the only one in my class. I even had my own computer. So that just gave me a bit. But I had the Bachelor of Fine Arts and graphic design and illustration. And of course, no one in the real world ever asked me for proof No, I’ve never shown anyone my diploma. It earned me the right to say I spent too much money to get a degree that I could have done just out there working work in the street. But yeah, I’ve been a graphic designer for over 30 years. Love it. It’s still my primary income, right?

Because we all have a roof over our head and whatnot. And it’s just it’s I it’s just a joy man working with companies especially beginning like brand new companies, entrepreneurs that are excited, but they don’t know what they’re doing. Right? They really don’t they’re pushing money into buckets and really flushing it a lot of times they’re not working with intelligent design intelligent marketing plans campaigns graphic design promotional products, they’re putting it in all the wrong places so I’ve just been slowly fixing ugly one client at a time for many years now.


Damon Pistulka  08:17

Yeah, I thought I was funny because I saw on your website for the for we fix ugly design that if you don’t if you get offended by our name and you probably shouldn’t work with us that that was so appropriate so great


Brian Trendler  08:29

all of these things point toward the end accompany which is behind me because I’m I can’t keep a straight face brother I’ve tried and whether I’ve been through corporate America cuz I’m sure you’ll dive into my 30 past or any of these previous jobs I’m not a wisecracker right but I’ve always used humor as a skill set to excel me in business in one way shape or form and it’s been very interesting because it’s always gotten to mean it’s some form of external job now that they want to get me out of the office right because hrs complaint me but you know,

they’ve always put me in a customer facing position because when you get someone to laugh or cry they buy people period I’ll fight blood tooth and nail to anybody who wants to argue about them it’s just get them into a position where they’re laughing they’re enjoying themselves you disarm them, you put them as a person first and opportunity seconds and of course lends itself into the other thing you might be


Damon Pistulka  09:26

mentioning. Yeah, we might have mentioned that here in a moment but I let them say she liked that slowly fixing ugly


Brian Trendler  09:32

sometimes it takes a while yeah, it takes a while


Damon Pistulka  09:35

sometimes it does. But yeah, so today we’re gonna be talking about bringing humor in business so let’s get to your the company that we’re going to discuss today laugh tech so you know you gone through these carpet jobs you just like man I am over it. I have to form laugh tech what? So first of all, tell us what laugh tech what you do at laugh tech. And then what the heck You know, what was the short group thing that got you going on that?


Brian Trendler  10:05

So I always tell people, I’ll make a long story short and then you know, 45 minutes later, I have been a lifelong Toastmaster fan. When I was working at Boeing A lifetime ago, two of my close friends slash you know, co workers, twisted my arm literally twisted my arm, put my arm in the backer position and said, Come with us. We’re going to a Toastmasters group, I had no idea what it was. Yeah, it was also going through a bit of a dark time in my personal life. The idea of public speaking in any capacity was above spiders or death for that, you know, one moment and I fell in love with Toastmasters. Now, they are an amazing organization.

They’re international for a reason. I bet you somebody, you’re your member. I’m not currently, but I owe any amount of my success. Hi, Joseph, to what I learned from Toastmasters from the initial structure of how to write a speech, right? So when I got that under my wing, and I started to dive back into corporate America between the Boeing job, the Microsoft job, the 18 T job when the sky was supposed to fall,

and we were calling literally remote offices and at&t to get people to update their see moss, you know, chips on their computers, we’re calling them and we’re messing with them to him and we’re calling them going, you’re gonna die, click, and then we would just wait and just wait for the phone to ring again. And that’d be that location calling. You know, what’s going on, you know, this is 1999. Humor is always an integral part. And when I met my business partner, I was the keynote speaker at a fall conference for Toastmasters.

I was on stage doing an improvisational series, and she was the first person that was one of the victims, I’m sorry, one of the volunteers to do one of the improv exercises, and when inside the Lynwood Convention Center, okay, so inside to do to imitate a golf swing, the first thing she did was this, she tested the wind, and it slayed everybody. Everyone’s laughing because they’re like we’re inside a building, right? And then Damon, she imitates a swing. Now, never forget this 300 heads went like this. Watching this invisible, not even their ball, go that direction.

And I was like, I totally got to start something with this gal. And a couple months later, we were sharing an office downtown Bothell and Labtech was literally born from us meeting in a Toastmasters stage because we both have a unique way of addressing humor, Marcel Allen comes from, honestly a place of pain. She hadn’t laughed for months prior to meeting me because she lost someone important in her life. I had ironically, just lost my mother after six year battle of cancer, we were both in a weird place.

But I was always using humor as a tool to get people like you to laugh and hopefully your audience and people in front of me or around me, whatever she was using, you know, pain as a well as laughter as a recovery method. Right? So we had a very interesting human to each other’s Yang. And that’s kind of where laughter came from, to get people to become better speakers, more confident speakers, whether it’s in this type of scenario, a one to one, or one to many, like we enjoy calling it amazing to many. Yeah, it’s adulting.

Right, become a better adult better. adulting is hard enough. You know, can you come here, when your significant other asks you a question? Can you take curveball questions? You know, what happens when any speaker you’ve ever seen loses it? They lose it when they say is there any questions? Right, because they’re not trained to be able to take on the resiliency of those random questions from left field that hidden they don’t know how to react. So we don’t teach people how to become comedians in any capacity, just competent, and confident public speakers and that can be on the phone, if they’re just a phone jockey.

If they’re doing video, they want things to be seen and heard and listened to three completely separate things. And we have the methods that we teach from the six methods of humor where we take people through our methodologies of taking what you Dan already do great and make it amazing, you know, not gonna lie, love to have you as a client. You’re a funny guy. But are you extremely structured? Do you do in property riff you know, what is your method and how can we make that fantastic right? Anybody technically can be our client is if they’re coachable and want to improve right? And they better have fun doing it. People have so much fun doing it. Yes. Yeah,


Damon Pistulka  14:30

I’m gonna closet rapper but that’s really so good. Well, we got a few more not


Brian Trendler  14:40

wrapped just for the, you know, under wraps.


Damon Pistulka  14:44

Yeah. So we got Mike stopping by thanks. And I gotta get production in first name, but thanks for being here today. Subhankar, Shep Hancock. Thanks for coming. Yeah, thanks.


Brian Trendler  14:58

Taking notes over here. Look at this competent and confident.


Damon Pistulka  15:01

Yeah, no, she’s doing it. Thanks. Yeah. Well, so we’re talking about bringing humor into business. And then he throw this, this curveball at me, but I’m ready for it. You know, because you’re talking about making people great public speakers, you know. And, and so you. You talk about people in business not laughing. And this is serious for a moment, because this is something that I think is what sucks, right? It sucks. It sucks that business has gotten sterilized to the point that we are expected not to laugh at anything. Yeah. We were to offend. Yeah, we’re fear to offend. Yeah. So what the hell do we do?


Brian Trendler  15:46

So it’s a great question, we get that question a lot. We have a series of workshops for lack of better words that we can take virtually or physically into businesses of any size, shape, or, you know, location or matter. Category industry, because of this exact problem, especially with the amount of anxiety and hesitation people have, because of the world that we live in when we were like this for two and a half years, right? Yeah, you’re wearing masks. In fact, we had a whole workshop of how to talk through your mask and get your eyebrows and your ears and your eyes to do the talking for you. Right? Because some people they look like they’re dead.



What are you breathing? Yeah, that wasn’t I wouldn’t.


Brian Trendler  16:29

I would get mad at people in the grocery store. Because I was walking around with Ron with my mask on it. I’m a nice guy, at least I’d like to think I am I walked by somebody, male, female, non binary, doesn’t matter what shape or size or whatever. I would smile. Yeah. But they couldn’t see me. I got 10 feet away. I’m like that sort of didn’t even smile on me. And then I was like, wait a minute, I can’t see their face either. Like, I mean, like, these types of things have been making people crazy for close to three years now.

So imagine now that people are coming out of the woodwork, they’re finally coming back to the office on a limited scale, or their own, you know, death by death by zoom type of meetings are killing the motivation of the team mates, you know, we come in, and we teach some resiliency techniques, improvisational exercise to get people honestly just to lighten up and loosen up and we work with the management in the room.

We work with HR in the room, we have people swear in a Bible, literally a laugh type Bible that says whatever happens in in lab tech stays in laughs like it will not affect my Quarterly Review, and management. But then we have them do the rant and rave exercise, where you pick something that this is you off about the company, it can be jokes that run next to you. It can be married in HR, they can be the secretary who falls asleep on the phone, and they rant about that person for a minute and a half, or that process, or that thing, or that widget or that crappy sale that they just made to someone who they don’t like whatever the case is.

And then the whole group does this simultaneously snap your fingers right now. Everyone snaps your finger and they go right into a rave. So if they’re talking negative and frustrated and irritated about something going on at that office, in the infrastructure within the atmosphere of the company, and then they go positive and they go rave. Then suddenly they’re saying you know what, even though Mary frustrates me on a regular basis, and I’m sorry for anyone out there name named Mary, I’ll say John Smith. But point is, even though that they just battered John Smith for like 90 seconds, then they turn around Have you know John Smith, he’s the first one to come to the office every day.

He’s the last one to leave. He’s the most positive person on the phone with everyone he’s dealing with because he deals with my crap. So I can out there. I can be out there being a salesperson. I’m sorry, I have to deal with John’s crap all the time, because he’s too busy. So I’m just ranting because I need to get off my chest. And suddenly John feels like a million bucks. He’s been vindicated. The person who just ranted and raved goes through an entire physiological and psychological experience. When they do that. Their heart rate accelerates, your brain releases adrenaline and then endorphins. Everybody goes Oh, that’s so nice.

he ranted and raved. But guess what else management in the background is going Oh snap. There, they learn things about their organization, you can’t learn in any fill out the survey and send to HR. Right? They bring us in. We bring that out in people and everything is cathartic. Everything becomes a solution because we have ongoing accountability trainings and workshops that we can do with them after the fact after we expose all of these things, right. Yeah. And a lot of that has to do with humor. Finally, finally getting back to your a year a question, right but no, no, no.


Damon Pistulka  19:50

Great, great, great, great example of how you using humor as a way and the way you’ve your rant and rave that is really something because you use that without giving me a quarter every single time. Yeah, I got the quarters back here. So the guy that just That’s it. That was quite incredible. They’re quite incredible because to two things happened right there too when someone does that, get it off their chest and everybody else in the room that has that same thing goes, Oh, they’re right.

They’re not might not be saying it, but they’re thinking it. Yep. And then so they kind of get it off their chest too by not saying it but someone else said something about it. Damon noise steals the doughnuts in the break room. You know, that’s so. So gun and yeah, just take that last on it every week. First one to take six, you know, whatever it is. And but then they all get to talk about the good parts about Daymond.


Brian Trendler  20:49

Companies learn so much about each other. And then even if we do one of the other improv exercises, simply called curveball, you’ve heard me talk about it when we used to go to that one network. Yeah, literally take random words, toss it at the person. And they have to speak about it, they have to take the word goldfish. And so I started saying I used to have a goldfish. I was six years old, the goldfish was named fluffy.

I don’t know why it was called fluffy. It was a goldfish was wet. And then another word is thrown at them. And they work that into what they’re talking about. Or if they need to, they stop and sit in segment off. But guess what, if you’re at a company that sells widgets, and they bring us in because their sales team are a little bit depressed, the atmosphere isn’t phenomenal. And they need to train their Salesforce to become better more resilient.

More positive. I mean, like even just positivity, right? Well, we do curveball this tailored toward that widget. And suddenly we’re throwing out words like, I don’t know, flux capacitor, and steel plates, and whatever. And if everyone that does the demonstration, or does the improv exit, if they have different answers? Management’s like, Oh, my God, no one knows how to sell a product. Yeah, I and then we go in and work with them on the message, we work, we work with them on sales, scripts, phone, scripts, Zoom scripts, face to face scripts, we roleplay we do all that stuff to get everyone on the same page.

I think guess what happens? People like their job is calling in sick, the companies actually probably end up saving money because people want to go to work and they want to be engaged. And they want to have fun at that next meeting, because they know either we’re gonna be there to do a quick improv or guess what, they don’t need us now. Because they’ve learned those techniques. They do it themselves. They open the meeting with it. Yeah. And then.


Damon Pistulka  22:30

And look, it just had Andrew Lavoy on last week, who is a recruiter for manufacturing companies in the northeast, or south southeast, northeast, wherever you are, if you’re Canada or the US but he’s he was talking about the turnover at different levels in the companies and how it’s just killing companies if they’re not really paying attention to entry level turnover or mid level turnover and the importance of exit interviews talking to employees and you’re just you’re exposed in a different way to really bring out some of these things that people are feeling or should be talked about. Yeah, and, and I just got to put this this one comment up here on Timo, I think sorry,


Brian Trendler  23:19

Timo. Yeah, lots of poker face to not show any weakness as somebody that admitting the tap human feelings is a sign of a team I love that. Yeah, you’re he’s absolutely spot on. We are trained to be nonreactive Yeah, that’s honestly it’s shameful other countries don’t do that with our workers. Okay, unless you’re trying to but I mean, it’s remarkable how our own ability to have freedom of speech allows self Deborah I’m a self deprecating or king okay, this face was not LinkedIn live stuff, whatever. Okay.

You know, to have people silenced because they’re worried about the person who told the joke even was going to be offended by his or her their reaction. This is a weird, polarized, super sensitive world that we’re in now and Deb I love you ever. I’m Yeah, I’ve seen people react that way. I’ve seen tears in their eyes. So sorry to happen to you. It just it just breaks my heart.

We can teach folks to use humor as a skill to again disarm one another. Yeah, not use it. I mean, I was bullied as a kid. Okay, I rose up from that when I realized that I was the guy that after being bullied, I look at someone pretend it’s you Damon, Mr. Mr. Bully. I would immediately in a couple seconds look at you find something I didn’t like about you realize that maybe other people may have seen it as well. And then I cut you off at the knees, brother, because I could verbally throw that back. And then also everyone’s pointed you and laughing at you and that’s when I dropped the truth bomb smoking I ran off and into the corner.

But guess what? Who was the bully in that scenario? I became the bully. Yeah. So I realized years and years and years later after a friend of mine who was thank God is still my friend told me after we reconnected years after high school, he was like, dude, like, because we were replaying one of those sit one of those situations. And he was like, you are an aihole. Like, I It’s stunning to me. Yeah. Wait a minute why I was the one and he’s like, didn’t even know. He just said something about I don’t know, your backpack or whatever. You slice and dice him, man. That’s when I realized that words hurt.

Yeah, say that to my 911 year old all the time, because they turn around and they dark. And occasionally, you can see those teeth sink in to, you know, her brother or his sister. And you can see the reaction, you can see the pain in their eyes when the sting is left. And the power of those words remain. Yeah, so we teach adults that too, because guess what, nowadays don’t get me started on kids. Ah, you know, we’re not present enough for our children. It’s no wonder half of those things are happening. Not. That’s another interview. Let’s talk about that. But it’s just remarkable.

Humor heels. We started that hashtag does yours. You can look that up hashtag humor, heels, and see so many things that we tried to attribute toward the positivity of that. Because remarkable, we did it with Boys and Girls Clubs, over the pandemic, these kids. They’re already there, because home is not always accessible to Yeah. Yeah. And they just wanted to be seen and heard and cared about and given an opportunity to speak. And it was brilliant working with these kids. The same stuff we do. Same adult level trainings. We just did for the kids. We just moved a couple of words around, right. Yeah, we just added like every other word. To make it kid friendly.


Damon Pistulka  27:04

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, you know, it’s, it’s, yeah, the, the thing, I think, for me anyway, that really has been a game changer for my life and COVID and in just the years not COVID itself, because that’s all shit. It’s, it’s a hell of a time, right? For a lot of reasons. But when you look at some of the things that did bring out in the positive things that didn’t bring out because the time he talked about your kids, we had time with our kids that I never would have had ever remarkable.

You know, and even the pain in and I’m not gonna say this the right way. The pain in the butt it is. If you are working at home, your kids are trying to homeschool. And you’re trying it’s just a pain in the butt. Right because just to the court and I feel for people doing that because it’s a summer gun. Why had I had you know, two kids here one in college one work in and me working in my office and it’s like, it’s not good, but that time you talk about not spending enough time with our kids is yes, they fell behind in school. Yes, that is a whole bunch of bad stuff like crazy


Brian Trendler  28:25

though, because we’re selfishly glad that we got to reclaim that time with our children. My kids are two years behind mainly because they had me trying to help them with the new math.



Yeah, the new math


Brian Trendler  28:37

means steps to do five minus two. And even then I’m like, wait a minute, I’m on a train leaving Baltimore going 45 miles an hour. How did I get there? You know, yeah.


Damon Pistulka  28:47

It brought humanity into business. I think a bit more.


Brian Trendler  28:53

Oh, I love that. I’m gonna use


Damon Pistulka  28:55

because listen, we allowed people into our homes. Yeah, like we never have before. Kids coming up in a meeting and asking mom or dad for something is common. We’re used to it. We’re used to that even talked about curveball. That’s a good one. I bet there were some wicked curveballs


Brian Trendler  29:16

between 10 P and H Afters or then 11 I saw some crazy stuff.


Damon Pistulka  29:21

Yeah, yeah, you know because it gets your kids are at home but


Brian Trendler  29:26

kids half the time you should meet Yeah, like the creepy clown on the back shelf of the eyes follow you no matter where you are. But you


Damon Pistulka  29:37

know that there’s some good things came out of it. And when you come back and you think about the how that is going to change the way that we do business going forward because you know COVID was polarizing Criminy I mean, so many things because we are all balled up and tense about so many things. But I also think that the it have brought some humanity into business that will allow us to use laughter like you’re teaching people. And just by communicating with others now to, to really be better than we were


Brian Trendler  30:11

before. Yeah. Yeah. It’s been amazing to see. Again, back to the Schumer heels or just the power of laughter. What it’s done for companies even through one or two interactions. Yeah. Oddly enough, for some reason, we’ve fallen into a skill set of working with accountants, you’re talking about a bunch of pent up people, right? Not just during tax time. These people are like a one step away from ending up on the news. Okay.

That’s remarkable, though. The energy and the love they have, believe it or not, for their job. Oh, yeah. Your numbers? No, I think that’s sick of the head, right? Because I know where my weaknesses are, you know, yeah. But these are people that just, I mean, they just want to improve their own intake process when they’re trying to hire, college, you know, like just fresh out of college green, people who are hungry to get in that world.

These are people who, like you mentioned, want to improve exit interviews, preferably intake only, yeah. But then also build in things throughout the infrastructure, even in a zoom based world, to keep people happy to keep them engaged, to have accountability sessions, where once a month, even, they’re talking about failures, and applauding each other and talking about successes and applauding EACH OTHER NAMED drops. I’m sorry, not name drops, number drops. Why don’t we talk numbers in business? It seems like you’d have to be a certain Echelon or a certain size business to talk about the million dollar gig you did here and there.

Why aren’t smaller businesses succeeding? Are they finding success and joy in sharing with others that Oh, my God, I just closed a $3,500 opportunity for our gig demonstrate. I’m so stoked. Why is that held against people? why can’t everybody use the smile that’s planted on their face? Or should be or can be the smile that’s reflected in their eyes and show that person joy and kindness. We teach that stuff, too. This isn’t difficult. But no one’s ever done it before. Which is why we don’t have any competition. Yeah, right. Just get people that live. Like I said, adult better. Yeah, it’s hard.


Damon Pistulka  32:22

adulting is hard. Don’t tell it’s hard. Yeah, it’s hard. Yeah. And the more you learn about it, the more you realize how far you got to go. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So when we talk about some of the most boring places you’ve worked. I had to ask


Brian Trendler  32:47

this question. My old corporate jobs. Yeah. Well, you know, I think I don’t think boring is really the right okay. So


Damon Pistulka  32:55

I don’t want to know, we’re not offending anybody. But


Brian Trendler  33:02

yeah, I’m so okay. I like everyone else in the Pacific Northwest after I left college with my graphic design degree. I went to go work at the closest available shop, which was a bagel house up the street, and you know, worked 12am to 6am and makes 3000 Bagels a night or a morning, depending on how you care to look at my pain went out when I moved on to computer city. Do you remember computer city? Oh, by Tandy? Yes. I opened the Lynwood branch. And it was very exciting in my black pants and my yellow shirt look like a bumblebee and heat.

We were literally drilling it into people how this brand new windows 95 computer with a 40 megabyte hard drive would be enough ma’am or sir to you know, run your Windows apps know your you know, Word and Excel which was pretty much all they had at that point. Yeah, um, afterwards, I moved on to corporate jobs. But keep in mind I had my graphic design company going so I always had a day job to support my design habit. I go home, you know, hours after a day job.

And those consisted of a Cisco IT reseller job which was great. And it was profitable. But I had to ask someone permission to go use the restroom. And I had an I had had, oh, why? Yeah. And I had, you know, vacation time denied, because the person who had been there a week ahead of me, got it approved. So then I got screwed. All of those things started to pepper down and destroy my soul.

So what did I do? I decided I’ll go one step further. I’ll go work for Microsoft. Now. I was a v dash. So I was part of the volt team, great bunch of people, but talking about a stressed out wackadoo job at that point right in the middle of the cheese. I was part of the MSDN the Microsoft developers network group. We’re dealing with Fortune 1000 companies in you know, all California, we’re all the Linux penguin lovers were. So I was trying to be humorous and have fun with my scripts and I was constantly getting beat down. But I wasn’t reading this dry POS off the screen, when my Siebel account registered and show the amount of income I was driving in.

And free resource that we were, you know, shooting at a helicopter over Silicon Valley and just dropping crates of non penguin lovers material, all windows stuff, and MSDN accounts, all that stuff. The proof was my scripts were working their scripts were garbage that carried over to bowing, you know, and working with engineer after engineer after engineer after engineer and death by PowerPoint, and my simple suggestions to just add a slide of a cat face, you know, whatever, every couple of slides drop in something, you know, get people to smile, no, worked out very well. The contract job ended quickly.


Damon Pistulka  36:01

No cat faces in the F quality two faces.


Brian Trendler  36:05

We did recommend it one time during a lab tech training that a Boeing employee at that time were to work. We suggested he make up an acronym. Boeing loves their acronyms. They love their mediations they love anything that they could say is SW, OT or whatever. We recommended he create an acronym. I don’t remember what it was. But he kept referencing it one time during a presentation. And he kept like, let’s just say it was a D O G. So he’s like, and you know, in referencing the D O G, we took this number and this participle and blah, blah, blah. Well, he didn’t realize that big wigs were in the back of the room.

So as he’s giving this presentation, big leagues are like, what, what? What’s it what to do? And they’re raising this up the pipeline of what did I throw? And as it turns out, at the end of the presentation, he literally said and by the way, for those of you paying very close attention, I noticed there’s some chatter in the back of the room.

Do he doesn’t exist. This is something I put in there to make sure I was maintaining your attention during my presentation on this Mars lunar rover, you know, peace. Yeah. Right. Well, he got a call A while later. And thankfully, he was thanked for the humor thanked for the frustrations that were caused. But guess what, man? levity. levity works in any situation. So we will teach it as long as against me if you get fired.


Damon Pistulka  37:30

Yeah. So summer. So when you look at some of the work where people have used this, what are some of the most just coolest positive things you’ve seen happen?


Brian Trendler  37:42

As far as folks who have actually like gone through our training, gone


Damon Pistulka  37:44

through training, and it just it just something really clicked? You know


Brian Trendler  37:49

what, this is going to be the cheesiest answer ever, man. We teach all age groups. Yeah. And I think about four years ago now we taught a young girl who showed up with her mom ran haul at her daughter had become great friends of mine. She actually just brought me in to be an auctioneer and emcee at one of her events. She owns now networking for women, phenomenal organization for grants for, for girls to get them on track. Brilliant organization. So put that in the chat window, right. Her daughter was eight or nine at that point. And this little girl was, I think, terrified to do this with her mom.

But going through our six weeks, I’m sorry, our six methods of humor to discover your mixed workshop. She showed up every night with her mom for two hours. And she was the best student we’ve ever had. Because you know how to say out of mouths of babes. Right? You know, they have no filter. Yeah, a lot like you and a lot like me. But she had one gesture the whole time. She was like a nutcracker tight military soldier. This is what she does. This durable little girls will talk about the lessons on site, and she was just hilarious, but she came out of her shell on an epic scale. And I haven’t seen her since. until four or five weeks ago.

I just did that auctioneer event, like I mentioned, and I got to see this beautiful young girl come up to me Give me a huge hug. And it took me a second. I was like, oh my god, it’s you. Right? Yeah, so this transformation we only like this much we will take credit for right yeah, it’s a better story. If I say everything she’s done good since then, is because of left tech. Exactly. But like just those types of things just hit me in the fields. You know? I mean, yes, we’ve gotten people to go through our sessions and turn around and you know, get a CruiseLine gig or then go off and give a presentation of a huge event Arizona and be voted the best speaker.

That stuff warms my heart to the core. But because I’m a dad and I’m a sucker and a huge Nancy and I cry at a moment’s notice talking about how much I love my children, right? Anything we can do with kids, man just kills me. Yeah, just it just turns me into complete goose butter because they’re amazing. Yeah. And especially with what’s happened, and now thankfully my kids are in school face to face. Yeah, seeing how they’re still kind of suffering just gets me going and gets me to still want to do as much as I can for anyone out there who will give Labtech a chance, much less anytime that we can touch children’s lives.


Damon Pistulka  40:25

Yeah. Yeah. This is awesome, man. It’s so good. Because me like a I’ll cry to notice when they start talking about kids. Yeah, just because, you know, there’s, it’s there they are the future. And we got to do what we can to get them on the best path possible. And this has been tough that but I do have to say to a couple things that I really noticed when I see kids around town plan, they don’t care about masks. It’s so awesome when you see him just out there rolling and rolling down the street and a scooter in a mask when they had to wear a mask. And that was like, no big deal. I just got this thing on my face. It’s like wearing a helmet on a bike.


Brian Trendler  41:06

Yeah, they most got used to it quick enough that it stopped being a burden. But still there’s see a damage has been done. And this generation is something that I think is going to be used as guinea pigs and tests and fingerprints for many, many years. I just hope that everyone out there from the scientist onto the government officials have said I have learned something from this cluster. Frick, yeah. You have survived. And that’s not meant to sound you know, from a business perspective, or even a mentality or mental perspective.

We’re still here and we still have needs and there’s still people that need to be seen. Yeah. And frankly hugged. And then maybe bet you know, Bakhtin and sterilize them. Just you know, we’re all going to be okay. Yeah. And that’s part of what we also address during these angst ridden sessions. Yes, there’s a lot of anxiety out there. But yeah, how are the smile? Eye contact, stuff like that? It goes far and dead by the way. Yes, we should talk. She just put a note in there.


Damon Pistulka  42:10

Good. Mike. My comments quit rolling for some reason. But we’ll get yeah, that’s, you know, they cut me off once in a


Brian Trendler  42:17

while. You crossed the line. Dave.


Damon Pistulka  42:19

I crossed the line crossed the line. Yeah. And here he is going again. So do you have any live events set up?


Brian Trendler  42:28

We’re in the process right now of doing one of our so we’re about midway through one of our seven week courses. We do those on a regular basis. But you know, honestly, the biggest thing that we love doing is called a laugh and learn. Sounds silly. But customers for 500 bucks, they bring us in for 90 minutes. Ideally, they put some food in our in our cake holes, because it’s a lunch and learn.

But we turn around and teach them one or two of our little practices or methods from an improv standpoint, we’ll work with the company of course ahead of time to make sure it’s tailored toward what the needs are. But we’ll travel anywhere for that because it’s a lot of fun. And, you know, obviously, it’s kind of a foot in the door opportunity as well. But those are the majority of the live things we’re doing. Honestly, I’ve been really busy with emcee and auctioneer work, which is also a huge hole that I like filling in my heart because I don’t cost a lot. Nothing you cost a lot.

Yeah, it’s budgeted for 85 bucks ahead if you’re having us come in for trainings, but to do auction work and find out that, you know, my, my fee of $2,500 to do an event that the other guy was charging six to eight grand, or could occasionally 5% of the take. Think about someone brings in a half million dollars. That’s a that’s like half a Tesla. Yeah, I’d rather keep the money with the organization and be asked back a couple times to refer it out. So that’s how I work and that’s been a lot of my business over the last couple of months especially as we’re crawling out of  the pandemic. Yeah, so


Damon Pistulka  44:01

good stuff. Good stuff. Well, I think you know, Ryan, it’s been awesome talking to you.


Brian Trendler  44:08

I appreciate the time I miss you you’re a dynamic guy. You interested that but you have a yellow


Damon Pistulka  44:15

crazy as hell that’s your kind


Brian Trendler  44:17

of wackadoo but I think that’s why we really appreciate talking to you it’s


Damon Pistulka  44:23

been a wait yeah, it’s so great to have you on tonight Brian And Thanks so much everyone for being here. Deb my chemo Joseph ages everyone. Thanks for being here. Thanks Bryan. Bryan traveler laugh tech reach out contact with a contact him and get something scheduled man and you guys do virtual two right. So your global absolute. All right.


Brian Trendler  44:53

Thank you so much. I appreciate it, man.


Damon Pistulka  44:55

You bet. Well, thanks, everyone for being here. We’re gonna sign off for now and We will be back again next week awesome take care

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