people, work, allison, darren, business, extrovert, introvert, customers, manufacturing, videos, andrew, damon, technical difficulties, ron, trust, alison, aaron, question, big, linkedin, Business broker, Business value builder, M&A consultant.
Damon Pistulka, Ray Ziganto, Andrew Cross, Troy Neihaus, Ron Higgs, Ira Bowman, Allison DeFord, Darrin Mitchell, Pete Alexander
Damon Pistulka 00:00
We’re gonna get make sure everyone’s up here.
Andrew Cross 00:02
So Ron said they might be in the mobile site from his desktop.
Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 00:07
that’s another thing. He know what that. Ron awesome. You know, you know what it could be Allison?
Andrew Cross 00:19
you’re a designated tech guy.
Damon Pistulka 00:20
Yeah, ron ron Haig said that he could be running the mobile version of Google Chrome through his desktop. And because if he’s got bandwidth problems, that might be the way he normally runs it. He’s got to run the full desktop version.
Ira Bowman 00:34
Yeah, but the only the only problem with that is we’re able to see him on the stage. Yeah. I don’t know that. That’s it. But I suggest we if we might just want to start doing the introductions with people while Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 00:45
there you go. There you go. So Alison, will get things go on live here. And then I will I will get
Ira Bowman 00:55
and just have him write a sign on Firefox. That’s what I would do just in Firefox because that’s the second best browser for this platform.
Damon Pistulka 01:04
Or edge or Yeah, Firefox or edge. Try those two will go live. When he comes back in. We’ll see it will go. Great idea IRA. You get you get him ready to go. You get him ready.
Ira Bowman 01:18
That’s always the problem with me, Ron, he’s saying the problem in the cockpit is usually between you know, yeah,
Damon Pistulka 01:24
yeah, it’s operator error. Definitely there. So.
Damon Pistulka 01:28
I’m gonna go live on LinkedIn, we will have Darren coming in behind us on through a different browser so he can get up here. As soon as we see him in Reno, we will bring him on to the stage with us. And we’ll go from there. So gonna go live on LinkedIn.
We live now.
No, dog. Where’s the music? Never mind.
Wait, wait, wait, let’s
do something else. Wait.
Damon Pistulka 01:56
All right. We are now live on LinkedIn. Thank you, everyone, once again for joining us for the zero way round table. We were having a little technical difficulties here. So we I think we actually missed our window on Facebook. So we’re probably not going on Facebook. We’re hitting LinkedIn and the other places. Thank you so much for joining us again today.
I am really excited our technical difficulties is we’re getting those resolved in the background. But I’m excited because today we have Allison du Ford, from film marketing, as our guest host. She’s got an awesome speaker. And we’re going to get get them on the stage with us. And she’s going to do the introductions of them. They’re going to talk about some cool stuff. Just want to say thanks for being here once again. And take it away, Allison.
Allison DeFord 02:46
thanks for being here. I’m so excited. I see all all the Peeps I know in the chat, Ron Andrew, Ray, we’re excited that you’re here. I appreciate you guys taking your time. I want to thank Damon for his lapse in judgment of handing over the mic to me today.
And you’d be
Andrew Cross 03:06
here today without that. So
Allison DeFord 03:09
you guys are doing for the last year with this has been incredible. I have met more amazing people. So we hope that you know, my my thought Wonder Woman is here with me. And we got Darren Mitchell to say yes to joining us today. And I think the cool thing about him is he’s a lot. He’s like what we all want to be when we grow up. He created a business. He had somebody come to him and say I’d like to give you millions of dollars for your business.
And so he sold the business. And he also sold an amusement park. And I bet nobody knew that he owned an amusement park. So and now he’s still creating new and exciting things for manufacturers. And he’s also a very introverted, daring marketer. So we’re going to talk a bit about that. And, and really touch on because I know a lot of people are I put in the chat. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or an introverted extrovert like me? extroverted introvert. Let me switch that. Yeah, I’m an extroverted introvert.
Ira Bowman 04:25
So I heard that I’m a social introvert.
Allison DeFord 04:29
Ira Bowman 04:31
whatever the hell that means.
Allison DeFord 04:34
yeah, Darren is definitely an introvert. And I think most people don’t realize that. And so that’s going to be very enlightening for people to hear. What do you do? How do you put yourself out there? When maybe you don’t like your voice, you don’t like to see yourself on camera. You’re afraid of what people are gonna think or you know, or say or not do and how he overcame that and I think this will be really good to help. Anybody on the call?
Allison DeFord 05:02
felt that way? Right? Because I think we’ve all been afraid. And I never realized in watching his videos that he was an introvert. So it was kind of shocking to learn. And we’re going to talk also a little bit about work life balance, because I’ve never seen a man asked that question. And so I want to ask him that question about work life balance. I think that’ll help most people on this session today, because we all probably work too much. And I think it’s important to talk about that. And we’re also going to get some inside scoop on how you build trust with the people that want to pay you big money.
So how do you meet that? Yeah. Oh,
Allison DeFord 05:51
hang on. He’s calling me. I think he’s having trouble. I’m going to turn my mic off for one second. Dana.
Damon Pistulka 05:57
I’ve got it. I’ve got it. Well, let’s
Damon Pistulka 05:59
Let’s start people coming up. Let’s do some introductions like we normally do, Andrew. So let’s roll people up. We’ll go We’ll get people going through that. And then we’ll, we’ll get you started.
Ira Bowman 06:11
We’ve actually got a lot of people to use for all that.
Yeah. Yeah, everybody. Thanks for being patient with us.
Damon Pistulka 06:20
Yeah, it’s all me. So as usual, Aaron I’m sure things up again today.
Damon Pistulka 06:29
just happens. So I know we
Andrew Cross 06:32
need practical difficulty music little thing. While we’re doing all this stuff.
Damon Pistulka 06:37
Yeah. Yeah. That all its screen. You know, it’s We’ll be right back. Remember? Oh, I haven’t actually shown how old I am. But
these pops up. Please. Hold while we do technical difficulties. Yeah. Like the little little jingle plan.
Ira Bowman 06:48
Yeah, we can get in, touch up. And I’m sure he has like, yeah, scrambled screen like,
Damon Pistulka 06:55
yeah, you know, when he
Andrew Cross 07:00
will get up. Alright, so
Damon Pistulka 07:02
Aaron, do your introduction. What?
Oh, by the way,
Ira Bowman 07:09
Andrew, give us something. We need some technical,
I don’t know why you’re blaming me. Right? It has nothing to do with me.
Damon Pistulka 07:22
We do the the wizard the background has a video going so. Alright, we
already had this week, Andrew, that that that that gave me nightmares.
the floating head thing last week that gave me nightmares
that My work here is done. Nice to see.
Damon Pistulka 07:40
So tell us, Aaron, tell us about yourself, how you’re helping people. And then we’ll we’ll pop over to Allison and get your question. Because she has a question of the day.
Troy Neihaus 07:51
Okay, perfect. Yeah. So I know I run an investment management practice with alliancebernstein predominantly focused on working with business owners. And that work covers the entire lifecycle of the company. So we do a lot of work at startup through growth, and then do a lot of work around helping owners plan for an exit and then and then that obviously then segues into the legacy planning. After somebody goes through an exit, how do you connect the dots between someone’s wealth and ultimately what they want to accomplish?
Damon Pistulka 08:18
All right, awesome, Aaron. Well, Alison is still dealing with the technical difficulties. We’ll let her keep going there. But we’ll come back around to you for the question of the day. So unless she wants to tell us what’s the question of the day, Alison?
Ira Bowman 08:34
She’s not listening. Oh, she’s
Damon Pistulka 08:35
putting in the chat. Awesome. All right. Well, hit you later than thanks, Aaron.
Darrin Mitchell 08:39
Andrew, perfect. Rep.
Damon Pistulka 08:41
What do you do besides being a wizard? How do
you? Me I just kind of hang out and pretend I do business?
All right. We
know, our businesses is really related to strategy first marketing and sales, consulting and helping companies domestically and also grow their footprint foot print globally. That’s who we are.
Andrew Cross 09:09
Here’s the question, I guess. introverted or extroverted?
Damon Pistulka 09:15
Damon Pistulka 09:20
Awesome. Which do you prefer?
introvert. prefer to prefer the quiet. Yeah. Well, when it comes to my work, the opposite?
Yeah. Yeah. Good. That’s
Damon Pistulka 09:31
interesting. Good stuff. All right, Ron. So awesome. Andrew. Thank you, Ron Higgs. Great to see you once again.
Damon Pistulka 09:42
And you know this weather’s nice outside. You know what I’m thinking? What’s that?
Ira Bowman 09:51
beers in sunshine. He’s thinking about BS. There’s a country song about Yes, I need his beers and sunshine. I love that song. That’s it.
By the way, at turn country well, Ron Higgs here and I have some good news to share with you guys. It’s been a long time coming. I got a job offer this week. But
Damon Pistulka 10:17
I asked you have at it.
Yeah. So here I just put the put the company in the chat. Interesting company doing a lot of interesting stuff, creative work and marketing, mostly for commercials and move me movies. And they actually have a team working on a script for a Pixar movie. So pretty interesting stuff. Pixar being probably a big customer of their so it’s very good, cool, offered the clo job on Tuesday. And they haven’t gotten back to them yet. But I probably will not not as much in the salary as I was hoping but
think I’m going to go for it. Now. You know, when it rains, it pours. I’ve had two interviews with Twitter. And they’re moving me forward. So I’m actually going to keep going with that just to see if they offer me a job. That job is director of technical program management. So that should be interesting stuff. Yeah. Yeah. So there you go. So that’s that’s where Ron is right now I have a million people that think lots of people who are out there helping me out. So too many dimension, but I’ll send out a LinkedIn blast as soon as it’s official.
Damon Pistulka 11:31
Andrew Cross 11:32
Awesome. To hang out with the likes of us pretty swell.
Ron Higgs 11:35
You know what, so on the other side of that, I am heading to Arizona on Saturday, Scottsdale. I’m driving down and gonna try to spend the entire month of March and April the rest of March and all of April down there. Wait wife is gonna join me in a couple of weeks. And then we’re gonna stay down there as long as we can. I’ll probably have to fly back up to Seattle once to to do some checking in and onboarding with the job. But that’s that’s mostly remote. Oh,
Andrew Cross 12:06
hey. Stop it. Stop in a park. See you say hi. I’d love to see you.
Actually, I got to talk to Brad. I’m going through Vegas. I’m going through Boise in Vegas and then on the Scottsdale Right, yeah. I’m an extrovert, you know, through and through. So
Andrew Cross 12:26
100% great. Awesome.
Thank you guys. All right, Ron.
Damon Pistulka 12:31
Awesome. Thank you. I’m doing a little bit of background stuff. AJ, great to see you. How are you doing today, sir?
Hey, man, how are you?
Damon Pistulka 12:43
I’m awesome. I’m awesome, man. So tell us a little bit about how you’re helping people, man.
This is AJ come from India. So I work in a staffing industry. So where I help my clients to fulfill their requirements like a developers, admins, Salesforce, DevOps and all this kind of stuff. So if you have a trouble in finding a people that have the person to reach out, okay. Very cool. So I’m gonna introvert person. Yeah. Yeah,
Ira Bowman 13:19
I put this up on LinkedIn. But look, if you are a company trying to hire any IP staff in the United States, AJ is the guy.
Damon Pistulka 13:27
Yeah. Yeah, he’s definitely definitely
Darrin Mitchell 13:31
my best buddy.
Damon Pistulka 13:35
All right. All right. Awesome. AJ.
Ira Bowman 13:38
AJ, introvert or extrovert? introvert. I think Houston. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 13:44
he’s sorry. We cut him off. Sorry.
So Well, no, where are you
Damon Pistulka 13:49
doing today? Thanks. So you’re a first time attendee here. And sorry, we had such a technical thing that we’re working through here, but glad to have you. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Why Yeah, it’s
Troy Neihaus 14:01
a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me. I should probably start by saying that I’m actually a fake extrovert. People think they talk to me and I’m an extrovert. But what I heard and you guys might know better than me is that you’re an introvert or extrovert, depending on how you recharge your batteries. So if you have to go out and hang out with people to relax, then you’re an extrovert. Whereas if you go read a book, then you’re an introvert. So from that perspective, I’m actually an introvert. But, you know, I like to hang out. So that’s a little bit about me.
Ira Bowman 14:34
Look at look at Allison’s face real quick, because Darren just entered the table.
Damon Pistulka 14:37
Darren entered the table. So and we might be getting him on. But
Ira Bowman 14:45
we’ll to answer your question there. I think you’re correct. Because that’s what I understand to be true as well. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 14:53
So how do you help people? Well, what are you doing? Very well. I’m
Troy Neihaus 14:56
a partner an IT services company. We focus on software solutions. Development for clients in all industries of pretty much all sizes too, with a focus on artificial intelligence, which into our line of work. What that means is things like conversational interfaces, natural language processing, like we want to talk to an app or talk to a solution, have it talk back to you. Computer Vision recognition as well as IoT devices. So getting information from all over the place and pulling it together. So that’s really that’s our forte, and we help people because we do it really, really well. Philadelphia base been around six or seven years. Yeah, that’s what I do.
Damon Pistulka 15:36
Nice. That’s not a Brainiac stuff. Dude.
I’m not the Brainiac. Listen, I promise you any room I’m in. I’m not the smartest person that were two or more gathered in my name. I’m not the smartest person in that room. But I do work with some pretty. My partners are really, really smart. They’re two of the best data scientists. They do the heavy lifting. So if you have easy questions, I’ll answer them. But if you have some hard questions, I just say Hey, guys. Yep,
yep. So awesome.
Andrew Cross 16:06
Are you coming? Oh,
Damon Pistulka 16:08
thanks. Thanks a lot. So I’m asking Alison Dunn might because I’ve got an idea, Alison, because Darren Darren can talk on his phone right there and through your microphone. And
I was thinking boom, See? See?
Allison DeFord 16:23
Well, let’s Darren, we’re just gonna talk right here on our phone, you and me.
See, we’re gonna cut into that.
Allison DeFord 16:33
He is on Can you talk? Introduce yourself to everyone.
Darrin Mitchell 16:42
Do this over the phone? Yep.
They can all hear you, man.
Darrin Mitchell 16:48
I’ve ever lived in my life. Were just a failure.
Darrin Mitchell 17:05
So you, I want to be very, very conscious of everybody’s time and their days that they have ahead of them. So why don’t you just fire away if you ask me anything that you want? And just don’t to anybody who’s on this call that I give my students, your apologies. I think that for some reason, the site or the platform we’re on when it gets to Canada. It doesn’t like those borders.
Damon Pistulka 17:33
Yeah, yeah. No doubt. So Alison, what I think we’ll do is we’ll finish doing the introductions. He can listen to them there with you. And then man when it’s time we’re rolling. All right.
Ira Bowman 17:45
Just a suggestion if you want to turn your mic down just a couple clicks, because it’s a little hot.
Andrew Cross 17:51
Yeah, we can hear him good, though. Yeah.
Ira Bowman 17:54
You know what I mean, if you turn it if you turn it down, you’d have to say, but it’s him. Not you. Okay. It’s your phone, not him. All right.
Damon Pistulka 18:05
Well, we’re good. So Allison, we got Brad Smith up here. Take it away, Alison.
Allison DeFord 18:11
tell us about you sir.
Brad Brad Smith was invented to help business owners grow their companies significantly faster. I can’t figure out how to shorten the distance between where you are and where you want to be. By 50%. I’m not doing my job and maybe extend it beyond. I had a conversation with a client last week and opened them up to the possibility of adding two more zeros beyond what the one zero he wants. So I had to hold his feet down. Right. So that’s what I do I help people get there sooner. And am I an extrovert? I’m finding that there’s a shy part to my extrovert. I always thought I was just extroverted. I had to have people COVID has been hell. Right. There we are.
Allison DeFord 19:02
I love it. Well, just so everybody knows. I’ve nicknamed Nick named him the elevator.
Get on board.
Yeah. Thank you, Brad. Hey, Mark, thanks for joining us. Hey, Alex, good to see you. So uh, marks for mentee, I’m in Chicago. I’m a fractional clo
Ira Bowman 19:28
right hand man for hire somebody who can grab your vision and run with it and execute it. So I do strategy and execution. My background is in e commerce, product development, digital marketing, customer service, scaling business processes and teams for growth and sustainable profitability.
And so that’s what I do doing right now. I’ve got one client I’m looking for my my next clients that just started this practice in November. So as far as extrovert introvert is concerned I’m an extrovert I like being around people. That said, sometimes I just can’t we can get away from them and you know, spend some time alone reading or writing so but I always test extrovert on those Myers Briggs and that kind of thing. I do like people.
Awesome. Happy to be here. And my daughter just tested positive for code of COVID. So I don’t know what that means for the rest of our family the next couple weeks.
will be well, yeah,
Allison DeFord 20:28
hang in there. Cuz, you know, like Darren always says, we’ll get through this.
Ira Bowman 20:33
We will. We will. Thank you, Derek for that inspiration. And hopefully, it’ll be like my family. We had it, but it wasn’t like it might it might be a mild case. Yeah. What’s up? So thank you.
Allison DeFord 20:49
Hey, Dan, you’re
My name is Dan bigger. I’m the Director of Sales and Marketing for custom contract manufacturer in New York. We are an injection molding and tooling company. I am very big and manufacturing space. So I’m one of the CO organizers of USA manufacturing our on Twitter. And based on wills definition, I’m an introvert. I like quiet because I very rarely get any running around with my kids and all this stuff have to do for work. So, but I love people and I love talking to people. So sort of both. That’s great. Excellent. Well,
we’re glad you’re here today.
Glad to be here.
good morning. Good morning, Michael. Good. bluesky my company’s achievement unlimited. I work with small to mid sized companies to grow their people to grow their business, get the right people in the right seat on the bus going in the right direction. And I am absolutely an introvert when it comes to spending off time, quality time. I mean, I can go for a 10 day, Silent Retreat with tech, not Han in New York second. Yet I love to be in front of people. I love to be in front of groups speaking it charges me up. But after I’m done, I’m like drained. I have no energy left.
zoom has been a lifesaver for me. It’s been just awesome to be able to do workshops on zoom and work with clients on zoom without missing a beat.
Allison DeFord 22:21
Love it. I can totally relate. Thank you for sharing that. We’re glad you’re here, Michael.
Thank you. Thank you awesome.
Pete Alexander 22:29
Hey, Allison. And hey, guys, how are you? So what a way to start the morning with all the technology I’ve failed for you.
Ira Bowman 22:39
To save work, Professor Pete because of all your stress relief tips. We didn’t freak out. That’s right.
Pete Alexander 22:46
And you know what, and your audience didn’t freak out either. Right? Right. And you found out it’s hard to
Ira Bowman 22:56
for for Ron and Damon and no one else from Seattle go Raiders.
Pete Alexander 23:04
Oh my goodness. Anyway, I don’t want to take more time because I know we’re behind. So just who I am I Professor Pete and I empower working professionals to go from being mentally and emotionally overwhelmed to better protecting their health and handling challenging situations with grace and success like technology issues. Awesome.
Allison DeFord 23:25
Well, and we we need you so like I said this is an unshakable audience. Thank God,
you’ve been really
positive audience. So looking forward to the rest of the rest of the presentation. Well,
Allison DeFord 23:42
I can tell you that
Darrin Mitchell 23:43
Allison DeFord 23:48
Yo, introduce yourself.
Darrin Mitchell 23:51
What are you doing this morning? Have you met Ray before I’m here? Once or twice okay. Maybe
Ray Ziganto 23:58
I am raised again so and but proud co host of MFG out loud with my, our our founder and champion for growing manufacturers everywhere, which Allison to forge? So really thrilled to be here. When the question, pervert. I’m the guy that sits in the corner of the room and watches everybody to see what’s going on. And then when I get started. I tend to not stop. But yeah, I get on a roll. So what I do, I’m the manufacturing unicorn.
And what I do is help manufacturers connect that front end of their business all the way through the operation side. Because most of them fail to do that. It’s more because they’re, they’re just not built to do it. And the companies that succeed consistently are the ones that that figure that out. And if they can’t figure that out, they call me and I figure it out. So that’s that’s what I do. Help all kinds of customers small to medium size. currently working with some aerospace clients about half a billion dollars. So love it all domestic International. I love playing factory and watching them girl. thrilled to be here. Well,
Allison DeFord 25:15
I’m glad you’re here, please. Yeah, for anybody on the call who doesn’t know, we are co hosts of MFG out loud, the weekly courageous conversations about sales and marketing to help manufacturers grow and make sales easier and more profitable. So I couldn’t ask for anybody better to be my other podcasting half than the unicorn.
Ira Bowman 25:43
Haven’t seen that show. You really have to watch it. It’s incredibly informative, but it’s also entertaining.
So we dry
Allison DeFord 25:51
hay. So next, we’ve got Dennis, introduce yourself, please. Well, thank
Andrew Cross 25:55
you, Allison. So I got the opportunity to see somebody in training yesterday, running down the street. So I know that he’s working on his project. So he’s laughing about it. Anyway, I’m Dennis Bolger. We are insurance agents. And we, we help people understand what their, what they don’t have and what they do have, and then make sure that they’re protected properly, so that so that we can sleep at night. Because it’s all about us. Right? So then you want to know if I’m an introvert or extrovert, right.
So, Mike, my response to that is, I’m not who I think I am. I am what I think you think I am. So
I’m a bit of both.
I’m kind of like, I’m, I’m kind of like I sit in the corner and and when I need to come out, I come out and then I’m very extroverted when I get
get out of my corner,
but I’m very happy to sit there and be quiet too.
Andrew Cross 27:13
Let’s go. Was that was he running down the street or shuffling Dennis? No, he was he was running. He was he was running. What what he was going up the street. He was running. He was coming back. He was kind of shuffling. There you go. Yeah. A little bit of an inside joke. But Damon is training for his marathon. And Dennis lives nearby. So
he’s seeing this great stuff. Yeah, for
Allison DeFord 27:42
anybody who decides to run on purpose, deserves a medal. Because I’ve been trying a bit of it myself. And it’s
Ira Bowman 27:50
it’s Back to the Future run for fun.
Damon Pistulka 27:54
There’s no fun in it. I will just tell you that right now. There is no fun in it. There’s no fun at all.
Troy Introduce yourself, man. Hello, everyone. Troy niehaus. I am a colleague of Aaron Marburg, who was the first to speak work at Bernstein, global, global, firm and focus my practice working with entrepreneurs and business owners, which is why they’re part of this group and you know, early stages all the way through growth, maturity and exit from a business and at the end of the day, we make money meaningful for our clients.
And so I work a lot with Damon and Andrew, for example, as they’re working with business owners helping them to sell their business, we do a lot of upfront planning for the business owners to make sure that that liquidity event is going to be meaningful enough for them and then help them to, you know, identify what buckets to put their wealth in and essentially how to amplify that exit opportunity. That’s what I do here. Hanging my hat here in the Seattle office. Andrew, you’re
Ira Bowman 29:02
in a Detroit you’re in a different spot, right? Because usually have the eyeballs behind you. Yes, I
have a different spot. Good good eyes. They’re
Andrew Cross 29:10
like that. In the background. That’s kind of cool as
Ira Bowman 29:15
Dan about the artwork, but the eyes I like what you did there because that means, you know, it’s a pun. So anyway,
By the way,
we interviewed Damon, Aaron and I interviewed we have a little webcast that we do a couple times a month and we interviewed Damon and asked about his practice. And so if you haven’t seen it, go check it out. on LinkedIn, there should be a post and you can you can read that but it was a quite entertaining and fun time, Damon.
Thank you. I enjoyed it.
Andrew Cross 29:50
Have you got a link to that? Put it in the chat? That’d
be great. Yeah, sure. Well, good idea. Thank you.
Allison DeFord 29:57
I think that’s it. All right, Allison.
Damon Pistulka 30:00
We’re ready. We’re ready for you guys. Ready?
All right. They’re ready for us. You
ready? I’m ready.
Allison DeFord 30:10
Okay. Well, everybody, thank you for being here. And I want to introduce you to our very special guest. His name is Darren Mitchell. He is here, by way of high tech smartphone, we had some technical difficulties earlier. So I apologize for that. Thank you for hanging around, this will not disappoint. Darren is formerly the owner of trout river industries, which he recently sold. And as well as owner of an amusement park, which I did not know before, and sold that on the same day, his attorney was really happy.
So Darren is has had great success, getting people to trust him that want to pay him big money. And I believe he is the perfect person to share some of that knowledge with everyone today on the call. Because most of us are entrepreneurs of some sort. And we’re all like Darren is he laughs when I say this, but he’s living the dream, right? He’s who we want to be when we grow up. He created this successful business, and then was approached by somebody that said, I want to give you millions of dollars for this business.
And he said, okay, and he is just a master at getting out of his own way, getting past his own fear, or he’s definitely an introvert, which I did not know before. from watching his videos, I was very surprised. And so that’s another thing we’re going to talk about today. Because I know a lot of you are introverts. That’s why I asked the question, how do you get past that? Right? How do you get out of your own way to really make that your unfair advantage? So Darren, I will stop talking. Thank you so much for being here with us today. Could you tell us a little bit about your journey? In a nutshell, what was that like for you to build that business? And then sell it?
Darrin Mitchell 32:24
Thanks, Allison, very much. Appreciate it. And I have to say, I’ve never looked so good. Right. So secondly, for everybody that’s on the call today, thank you for your patience, I want to be very careful that I’m conscious of everybody’s time, which is a great equalizer of all of us. So at any point in time, Allison, if you’re, if you’re commanding the ship, if people have questions or comments, I am a very open book. So make sure to fire them through. And I will share with you anything that you think is valuable, or maybe I skipped over something too quick, or anything.
And I will share every step of the way of this very interesting journey. So for those of you who don’t know, for the last 20 plus years, I built a manufacturing business in the absolute worst spot. You could ever build a manufacturing business in the world. We’re not where the supply chains were. We’re not where the customers were, we’re not where the transportation routes were to get the products to the customers. And we actually built it in a spot where people almost look down on us. So if you know, keep in mind, you’re talking to a very proud Canadian right now.
But you’re also talking to a Canadian, who other Canadians make fun of. We are so rural. And so out there, I’m actually talking to you from an island in the Atlantic Ocean that has a Eight Mile bridge to get back to what we call mainland. So in sum, we decided to start a manufacturing business. And not only do it in a place, we weren’t meant to do it. But we did it competing against companies that were a bulk of them were out of Ohio. And they had access to hundreds of millions of dollars. And they were vertically and horizontally integrated. So they own their supply chain. they own their delivery systems.
And they had something we probably would never have. They had that history and report with the customers that literally every Single check mark that you would think of when you wrote a business one on one plan, we didn’t have a single one. So starting day one, we had to completely reinvent the business and do everything differently. I remember. So we built very large trailers that are used in mainly road construction. I remember the first road builders convention that I went to, I overheard a conversation in the social gathering, that my little company was, quote, a flash in the pan.
And they would never make us throughout the year. And that quote, was given by my very first dealer that I had in the region, oh, this traditional way of doing business isn’t going to work when somebody on my team is saying we’re going to fail. So again, in some very quickly, we knew that competing in the existing channels, with the existing ways of doing business, in a very old school industry where they’re very happy, making five to 8% margins. We knew we couldn’t do any of that head on competing against those businesses.
So very early, we had to change the business plan, and we had to vote focus very hard on the cream. So we built our products. So really good example, dump trailers. If you were to see Mack trailer out of Ohio, they made, I think they’re over 10,000 units right now a year. And they’re very happy making 5% margin because it’s on a very large scale. So what we did is we said, we’ll never make a dump trailer, what we’ll do is we’ll add some technology to it, which scared some of the bigger players. And then we came up with a very creative marketing strategy that got to the decision makers to use syrup, a very old sales channel process that we never ever could have conquered.
And the way we did that is that YouTube came out at the time, we started producing YouTube videos that knocked into people’s brains that we built trust, before we ever got to. And that was a very effective strategy we had. I think, just before Christmas, we had over 6 million views. And the people who we were broadcasting to know, knew liked and trust us, before we ever had that first conversation. So one of the things that I can share with the group was because we were doing those non traditional forms of sales and marketing, we snuck into the back of their heads in the ways that the older traditional businesses, basically looked at us and laughed.
But I can share with you that when I would go to a big trailer conference, and we would be in Kentucky, I would have my competitors walk up to me and say, I hate you, you’re an asshole. Well, hello, how are you? I’m there and Pleased to meet you. And they would say my staff watches your videos every week. And they show up at a weekly meeting. And then they tell me what you’re doing. And I would say, well, that’s fantastic. I didn’t do that to frustrate you. What can we do to partner and work together. And thinking creatively like that was one of the key factors that grew the business and we grew to the 50 million mark.
And we had partners in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Western Canada, and the Middle East. And we use the exact same strategy of what we call broadcasting breadcrumbs, little snippets of who we were, in an honest, insincere way. We continually broadcast those on a very consistent basis. And I hated every single second of it. Because I’m definitely when it comes to the social side. I’m definitely an introvert. But I really, really liked the results. So for anybody who’s on this call right now, a good story was is that I was contacted one day by a group of people, I guess you would call them from the Middle East.
And they said, We want to come and see you. Here’s our passports. So I immediately went to the government and said people are trying to speak into the country. They want my help and the government said You know, Darren, they actually need you to write a letter. So they can travel to Canada so they can meet with you and I went, so it’s a scam. And they went No. This was how it actually works. Of course, I felt like shift for doing that. So anyway, my group of people shows up. And they said, We like you, we, we know exactly what you’re doing. And we just talked to you about our project. And I went, you know, me, you like you?
Oh, you’ve been watching the videos. So a little light bulb started going on in my head that when people showed up and wanted to see me and meet with me, we have already gotten past that arms folded. Who the hell are you? Why should I believe you? Why should I trust you? We were past that moment. And I actually got to start to act like a doctor. And if you think about it, when you go and see the doctor, the doctor says, Hi, where does the hurt and then they start asking you a bunch of questions. And you tell the doctor where it hurts, because you already trust the doctor when you get in the room.
And I would encourage anybody on this phone call to start broadcasting breadcrumbs about who they are and what they’re passionate about. Because you start to build an audience of people who consume enough with these little snippets, that they build a story of who you are on their terms. And that’s exactly what the group from the Middle East teams to do. When they came to talk to me, they already knew me like me, trust me, they already knew I was the doctor, according to them. So somebody on this phone call earlier said when they introduce themselves, it’s not who I tell you I am, it’s who you think I am.
So that’s exactly right. And this group, when we sat down, and we did this whole understanding their project, what they were trying to achieve, is, we were already past the trust phase. And when they wrote me a check for $10 million. They said, Thank you, because you helped us. In my head, I’m going in my business partner, I’m like, giggling, and he was like you’re an expert. Get over yourself, we kind of are because we do deliver what we promise. But that’s the other side of this is as long as you deliver what you’ve promised, then you get to keep doing it. And if you’re full of shit, don’t use any tools that I’m telling you about today.
Because I find and I’m getting focused. So since I’ve sold my business, I’m getting phone calls from lots of other manufacturers saying help us. And what I’m finding is, is there’s a lot of really good, sincere value added entrepreneurs out there who are struggling, because when I challenge them on it when I push them on it, they say a very interesting comment back to me. Darren, I didn’t think we were allowed to tell people this. You’re not allowed to tell people what you’re good at and passionate about, and what you care about, and what gets you out of bed in the morning.
Yeah, well, it’s easy to be you. And I’m like, Fuck, it’s not easy to be me. It’s hard to see me. But every day I have to consistently work at it, because I care more about the results than my own insecurities. And I have seen so many small and medium entrepreneurs and I love small to medium entrepreneurs, because they’re so honest, and sincere and compassionate people that they struggle with this so much they they’re forced to abdicate this role to someone else in their organization. And then when they advocate that part of the business, they actually give up control. And what I start to do is remind them, think about the early days when you were starting and growing the business.
You did all of these things, because you cared about your customers, because you wanted to be high quality on time delivery, you did a lot of things to make it work, because you care. And you’re allowed to share that with people around you. And you’re going to share it with an audience of 7.8 billion people that is now the world that we live in 7.8 billion people. So you can now use these tools to go beyond this local market that you’ve been like a pond you’ve been swimming around in the same pond for the last 20 years. While you’re wondering why you’re not getting different results. This is a way to get out of the pond and attract the people who want to give you more money.
And what it also does is a really nice way of people getting to know you who it may not be the right time to do business with you. So really good example I had customers who say you only show up when you want money. Yeah, that’s you know, If you think about the trust factor, if any of you on this call today were to call up one of your biggest customers, they would inevitably have something tickling in the back of their brain going, alright, you want something? I know. But what if you could live in your customers heads on a weekly basis, and they got to consume who you were on their time, not your time.
And that is a huge advantage to building trust with the marketplace, is that when they get to see you on their time, they’re reading the right mindset. Just because you’re geared up for that big meeting, and you knock on their door and say, Here I am, or you have that zoom phone call, you don’t know that their child is sick. You don’t know that their daughter passed away last week, who’s been in the family for 20 years, but you’re prepared. And the challenges in having that meeting is you think you’ve walked in the door, and you nailed it. But you don’t know how they’re feeling at the moment.
And it’s one of the biggest challenges that we have to overcome, is how do I get to know like, build trust with my potential customers, on their terms, not my terms. And sometimes it’s almost selfish. To think, well, I did this, and then I put on that, and then I sent them a flyer. And they should be, you know, I proved why we’re better. But that’s how you feel. It’s not how they feel. So anything you can do, to show the world who you are in lots of different settings. So if you really want to get creative and take this to the next level, stop doing the zoom meetings, start showing yourself there, I’m going to call bullshit on everyone on this call right now.
I’m tired of looking up your noses. And by the way, I can see your lights, lights, take a look at who you are in different settings. And if I can see you in different settings, it’s short circuits, something in my brain, where it says, Alison, Damon, Ira, Andrew, I’ve seen these people in different settings, what their messaging is so consistent. They look like someone I can trust. And this is what you can do to get some more people 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, start producing the short videos of who you are and what you’re passionate about. And show me these videos in different settings.
And you’re going to start to sneak to the back part of my brain where my brain starts going, Hey, I think I know like and trust this person. And if you think about it, we even did it today. And I wish my technology I think it’s me, I wish my technology was better. But think about even today’s presentation, we had the presentation that I’m doing for you right now. But we also had the meet and greet breakout room, the meet and greet breakout ranges, like when we go to these big conferences, and you’re going to start to do it again and show people who you are, some of the best meetings that you’re going to have are not in the conference.
It’s in the breakout room. And the reason for that is you’ve dropped your guard and the person across from you drop their guard. What if every, everybody’s like, what if you could have lots of conversations with people when their guard was dropped? And that’s something that I want everybody to consider is that when you start doing this, you do it in a way once again, it’s on their terms, and they get to formulate that story of who you are. And do they want to work with you. And by the way, it’s free. So free, all I’m asking is be who you are. And you’ll attract those people who see the value.
Allison DeFord 49:09
What do you say to people who think these videos have to be super high production value? What do you say to them? Because that’s not what you’re suggesting? Right?
Darrin Mitchell 49:21
Well, Allison, thank you for asking that one. When you start to think high production value, you start to think about that really nice brochure from the 1980s. And it’s flashy, and it has lots of stuff and bells and whistles and features and benefits and all these things. You just screwed up the thought process. Because you went back to the your your your fallback zone and said, Well, if I did this in the 80s now I’m just using the internet.
So I take the exact same concept, and I force it through the internet and that’s going to win business. Right, no, it’s not how we think, too, that you can get into someone’s head through their phone. And if you try and force that flyer from the 1980s, through the phone, and you think that’s gonna win the day, it’s not.
So really good example, the little videos that I’ve produced consciously every week is, I will get anywhere from 1200 to 8000 views. Recently, as part of I was hired by a national manufacturing group to do something big and flashy. I spent $4,000 I did the big splashy video. And I had people call me after and they would say, Darren, that’s amazing. You’ve really taking your business to the next level, you look professional. Wow, thank you. I really appreciate that. Do you remember what the video was about? No. And I went great. I want to call bullshit on this for a second. That video that I produced got 350 views.
So why is it that people don’t soak up the big flashy thing which cars cost me $4,000 to produce, versus a five, a one minute video of me walking through a snowbank telling them something I’m very passionate about? Why is it that that videos got 8000 views, but I got 350 views on the one that was extremely polished. And again, if you think of it this way, we’re bombarded with so much of that imagery every day. People think that this new form of communication, which is digital connection, they think they can still force things through the old way. And that is just an amplifier of the old way of doing things.
And it doesn’t work. And then they get frustrated. And then they quit. And they say we’ll see. It’s not for me. And that’s the worst thing you can do. Because your customers like consistency. They like honesty, they like sincerity. Because guess what, if it’s not you, I have literally 5000 other people to choose from within a minute. And that we tend to go even doing business with our customers for the last 30 years. Great. But you’re not doing business with them the way they want to be done business with today. Because what we’re used today is instant. I want you now I like you now.
And if you tell people what we’ll get back to you in three weeks, well, guess what? I’m going to find somebody else. And I think it’s one of the biggest challenges that most businesses that that I work with today are our finding is, is that they’re saying we’re losing traction. And we don’t know why. Well guess what somebody else is solving that needs instantly. You’re not? Well, how do we do it? You’ve got to be more instantly in front of your customer base on a very continual basis. Yeah, but we’re not that. Okay. Somebody else who’s going to, but don’t don’t hope for the wavelength, we’re in 1985
Darrin Mitchell 53:14
The world has changed your business change. Your customers have changed the way we do businesses change. Most people just don’t get that. Yes. And all they’re doing is actively losing.
Allison DeFord 53:26
Yes. And one of our one of our guests, Brad Smith said, human and authentic is the truth. And that’s what matters.
Darrin Mitchell 53:37
Anybody on this call right now? If you I don’t know, maybe somebody likes mountain biking? I don’t. But maybe somebody likes mountain biking? What do you do? You go on the internet, you do your research. And that’s where you build the truth that you want to use to move forward? And guess what if you don’t want to show up to the game? And if you don’t want to be there to occupy the minds of your customers? Stop complaining about shitty results?
Darrin Mitchell 54:06
Well, I want to check in I apologize for the language, Allison, but I’m very passionate about it. I see a lot of people who are very good people who have value added services and they’re suffering because they have not made that linkage yet.
Allison DeFord 54:20
Right. Now, I’m the queen of the bomb. So it’s cool.
Darrin Mitchell 54:24
And someone else is going to eat your breakfast if you don’t? What tools are now available to you? Yeah, you’re on a very level playing field today.
Damon Pistulka 54:36
That is true.
Allison DeFord 54:37
Yeah. Well, I want to check in with Damon on the time.
Damon Pistulka 54:40
Yeah, I think we’re we’re running over obviously the technical details cost us some time in the beginning but man you have Allison there and you guys have dropped so much great knowledge here and, and we’re recording this too so that we’re going to share this on on YouTube again so people will be able to be able to see it. There. But Darren, if you, you know, I think your story is so incredible. And you and I have talked prior to this too, so I kind of understand it a bit people should go look at the videos that you’re producing now the videos you’ve produced before because they are so incredible and, and, and really shows what you’re talking about.
And I think that if there’s anything I’ve learned from listening today is that you got to ditch the production side of these videos because I still get the same thing and I’m sure you do too. Allison talking to manufacturers they think that we’ve got to do videos was going to be you know, 510 $1,000 kind of video but the videos that people are engaging are like Bonnie stronger with go lives on tik tok and, and you know, minute long videos or like Darren was talking about, and that does equalize the playing field for all of us. So great stuff. So any parting thoughts, guys, before we wrap it up here?
Allison DeFord 56:05
Darren, any parting thoughts you want to share?
Darrin Mitchell 56:08
No, I talked. very passionate about it. And I think for anybody on the call today, like I said, I I’m more in love with the results than the actions. So if you yourself can think about the results that it’s going to produce for you in your business. it you know, it’s no different than any sports or any activities you’re interested in.
If you’re passionate about it, you’re willing to start by being bad. And then eventually you’ll get a little better. But don’t stick your toe in the water and say it’s cold. I didn’t like it. Here’s the 1000 excuses why I shouldn’t keep going. I’m telling you, you need to get in the water. You absolutely have to otherwise someone’s gonna remove it from you. And you’re gonna be left with a pile of excuses.
Allison DeFord 56:54
Damon Pistulka 56:56
Yes, that is gold right there. That’s it. That’s it. That is incredible. Darren, and thank you so much for that. And thank you so much for being here. And Allison and Wonder Woman. Yes. Wonder Woman is trying to. She’s trying Try.
Allison DeFord 57:12
Try it. That’s why we invited this guy. Because like I said, I think we all want to be him when we grow up. At least I do. Yeah. And I wanted to bring you great value today. And so I can’t thank him enough. Darren, I can’t thank you enough for showing up for telling your speaking your truth. And it was funny you guys, he said, Do you think you and I have enough that we could fill 45 minutes to talk to people?
I’m pretty sure.
Allison DeFord 57:44
scratched the surface. I had so many questions. I didn’t even get to them.
Damon Pistulka 57:48
Yes, well, we will have Jared back again. And we’ll get the technical difficulties ironed out ahead of time because I really think that, you know, an additional session here later this year would be awesome to to do this. Because it just I can’t I can’t emphasize enough what what he’s talking about. And how that does help you to stand out. be be be like he said, with your customers on their terms when they need you. And good stuff so
Allison DeFord 58:18
well. And remember, when you make the customer, the hero of your story, you will stay in that mindset. And it works. So
Damon Pistulka 58:30
Allison, tell us a little bit about yourself and your business. And then Andrew is going to close this up.
Allison DeFord 58:37
well, you know, manufacturers have spent years wasting time and money on marketing that doesn’t grow sales. And my mission is to strengthen the heart and soul of manufacturing, by helping eight to 10 manufacturers a year retrofit their marketing system to make sales easier and more profitable. Because the most successful and beloved brands are not just seen and heard they’re felt. So we want to help you connect on an emotional level, which is how people make decisions 90% of the time anyway, and make sales easier. So that’s
Damon Pistulka 59:17
awesome. Awesome. So that’s great. Allison, thank you so much for being our guest host and bringing an awesome topic and an awesome speaker. Darren, thanks so much there. Andrew, take it away.
Andrew Cross 59:34
Well, everybody, Allison, I get Oh, we’ve never had technical difficulties before.
Andrew Cross 59:43
today, I couldn’t get Darren on the screen, which I think he was actually happy with. So, you know, these guys are great. You know, Allison, I think, you know, manufacturing is a big challenge. They’re great at manufacturing, but marketing is always been kind of Voodoo for them and because I was in Manufacturing for a long time, and I guess you’re making extroverts out of manufacturing introverts. So trying. Yeah, at the end of the day, so this is great stuff. I think we just scratched the surface.
And again, you know, as someone who has to, you know, make a living, selling, helping people sell their businesses and growing value to see what Darren did is, it’s really unusual and really unbelievable, but, and that’s why I think anybody, you know, yeah, you can, I mean, we spend a lot of time trying to convince people that their business has value, they can see it, because they don’t actually believe that they can take it and sell it for something like that. And Darren just intuitively, you know, yeah, that did it. With you know, and it’s, it’s can learn so much from that.
Andrew Cross 1:00:49
great stuff. I think it’s great. Anyways, we’re, we’re late, but that’s cool, because it was worth it to get you guys out and worth the weight. And we’re going to head back to the tables. We’ll hang out for a little bit more if anybody else wants to chat a little bit on the sessions or on the table. We’ll do that. And we’ll see you all next week.
Damon Pistulka 1:01:09
All right, well, we’re dropping off LinkedIn live here. Thank you, Alison, Darren, Andrew, everyone that joined and we will be down to the tables on Remo. If you’re listening live on LinkedIn and you didn’t want to join the tables just hit the link in LinkedIn and you can be there.