Developing the Leader Within you

This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® topic this week was Developing the Leader Within You. This week we talked to Thane Issacs, leadership coach & radio show host. 

This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® topic this week was Developing the Leader Within You. This week we talked to Thane Issacs, leadership coach & radio show host.

Thane talked about how he grew up with a single mom and had a rough early start to life.  He dropped out of college after his first semester and was living from pay check to pay check for a large portion of his early career.  It wasn’t until he had a conversation with his then 14-year-old son that he made a major life change.  He was explaining to his son that he did not feel like he was doing what he should be and felt like he was failing.   His son told him if you feel like you’re failing at life right now, then go fail doing something you love. At least then you will be working on something you love.

It brought Thane to the realization that he should follow his passion, the importance of resilience, and how it doesn’t matter what other people think, you have to keep going.

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We discussed the reality of being an executive for a company and how lonely it can feel. Thane talks about how with his company they had a specialist come in and talk to the CEO about problems that they were having with the company and overall having them develop more as a leader.  One thing Thane shared for leaders was, “be vulnerable and transparent so that you will avoid people thinking that they have been lied to”.

The conversation then shifted towards people not taking the necessary steps in improving things within their company. Thane talks about an analogy with one of his co-workers and how they loved Thane’s wife’s fried chicken. He loved the chicken so much that he wanted the recipe for it.  When Thane gave him the recipe they looked it over and commented about how it was a lot of work to make chicken.  Thane knew that he wouldn’t take the time and effort to make his own fried chicken based on the comments he made.

Thane also talks about how young people who are coming out of college, they should ask themselves the question of do they want to be a business owner or do they want to work for a business owner. If they choose business owner they have to have to really think about if they are ready or not to start their company. If they’re not ready they need to seek help from advisors and other business owners, so that they aren’t losing money 2 years after their business starts up.

Do you want to know if your business is ready for your exit or what you should do to prepare? Learn this and more with our business exit assessment here.

Thane throughout the video explains that when it comes to developing a better leader within yourself, you have to be vulnerable when you are a business owner so that you can gain trust from you employees/clients. Also business owners need to not be afraid to ask for help when looking for improving profits and leadership skills.

Thanks to Thane for sharing his time and knowledge about Leadership Development.

Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.

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Damon Pistulka  00:01 

All right, I think we’re live again today. This is Damon Pistulka got Andrew Cross with me here on the Exit Your Way round table. And our friend with us today is Thane Isaacs. He is a coach, trainer, speaker, radio host of turf sup radio. Thane, thanks for stopping by today.  


Thane Isaacs  00:23 

Damon, you know, it’s an honor to be here, my friend. You know, we’ve we’ve taken it offline a few times, but I’ve always enjoyed the conversations we’ve had. So I really think it’s an honor that you’re gonna bring me on after getting to know me that that says a lot. They get to know me they’re, they’re never gonna invite me on their show. So thank you so much. 


Damon Pistulka  00:44 

Yeah, I think that’s good to have you thing. I laugh because I know that’s why people don’t have me on many shows. That’s fine. But anyway, it’s good stuff. Good stuff. Glad to have you here. And you know, today it’s, it’s, you know, it’s all about learning more about you about Have you help people? And you know, we were just talking before we got on here. I didn’t realize you had grown up in Memphis for a while, and then you’re at Texas Tech and, and can kind of give us a little bit about your background and what kind of brought you to where you are today helping people. 


Thane Isaacs  01:18 

Sure, I’d love to do that. You know, I grew up being raised by pretty much a single mom, I mean, my mother. It was a it was a tough life for her. She She was married four times and about a 20 year span. So she, she could pick some bad man and she didn’t really help a lot. But regardless if she did her best to raise us, and there just came a point where I couldn’t live in that toxic environment anymore. I was 19 I dropped out of college, I finished one semester of school, and I decided to drop out of college I had about $12 in my pocket. My Volkswagen was in the shop broken my 71 Super beetle, and I just I had to get out of that. I said, This isn’t the way I’m going to be able to have a productive life. You know, to be honest, Damon for a few years, I was pretty lost, I was pretty much just moving from spot to spot living paycheck to paycheck. You know, then I started being a little more successful in life and gaining some material things if that’s really gaming, and I asked myself one day I’m getting, but what am I giving? And, you know, I found this guy, eventually, his name was Wayne Dyer. And I started reading his books. And it showed me a lot of what I wasn’t doing in my life, what I wasn’t giving back and what I needed to do. And I got on the path of trying to grow and develop, but I still wasn’t finding career wise what I wanted to do, and this is the moment that I changed my life. My 14 year old son and I were having a conversation, he’s wise beyond his years talking about that, you know, you just seem unhappy. I said, You know, I almost feel like I’m failing. I’m not happy at what I’m doing. And we had this conversation. So what you’re telling me that is, you feel like you’re failing and you hate what you’re doing? I said, Yeah, that’s pretty much what I mean. Well, why don’t you just change it a little bit go fail at something you love doing and doing something you love. And that in itself will be failing. And yeah, I just I made a one at that day I I just sat down on the sofa after he said that I said why? And I thought of this before. And it still took me three and a half years to really get my business up and going. But from the day I started it, I worked every day I wanted to until the whole COVID thing yet. So you know, and it’s still it’s still going Don’t get me wrong, but it’s it’s wasn’t the same after that. But, you know, going through that childhood of mine, I just learned a lot of resilience of that. You just got to keep going and it doesn’t matter who believes in you. You have to believe in yourself. 


Andrew Cross  03:43 



Damon Pistulka  03:45 

Yeah, believe in yourself. I mean, that’s it. 


Andrew Cross  03:48 

Great story. 


Damon Pistulka  03:49 

Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And you know, that’s you wring out  


Andrew Cross  03:55 

How old are your glasses? And yeah, just curious. 


Damon Pistulka  04:00 

With that 


Andrew Cross  04:03 

conversation happened. What’s up? I’m sorry? How old was your son when this conversation happened?  


Thane Isaacs  04:10 

Oh, he was 



14 years old when when this happened. He’s, he’s now about to turn 21. He’s been all over the world doing what he loves. And that’s, you know, that’s that whole thing that we’ve always instilled him, but I wasn’t living myself. And the funny part is that what he’s doing is something that when he wanted to do it as a young child didn’t even exist, which was a freestyle scooter rider. I don’t know if you’ve seen like the razor scooters. Well, his is one that’s like, you know, his like a 1400 dollar version of that. But he’s been all over the world. He’s been to Denmark. He’s been, he’s been to Spain. He’s been to Berlin. He’s been to Mexico, Canada, doing what he loves. And now he films and edits for certain snowboard businesses that he’s going around and, and doing that he’s taking so he’s taken what he loves. He does Much year round. But, but it’s always because that we’ve always pushed it to him that you’ve got to go after what you want to do. And my goal for my son is that he never has to punch a clock again in his life. 


Damon Pistulka  05:12 

Yeah, good go. And is that is I talked to my son about that as well. I don’t know if he’s gonna have that have the same ambition to do that. But that’s very cool to listen to your son’s story about how he is actually and it’s even, it’s even more telling that that he’s doing something that if you think about the scooters and how that has progressed, it really when he when you’re talking to them at that point, there probably weren’t professional scooter riders that were doing this and now there are in the progression of that sport, and many others like it, and just things in general spirit sped up so much. 



Well, I still have on our refrigerator on our refrigerator, we have a whole bunch of past memories. And when he was nine years old, his first day of school they asked him what he wanted to be, and it was a mineralogist, and a freestyle scooter rider, and again, that position didn’t even exist. And I can remember him competing and escape. Well, they were supposed to let him compete in a skateboard competition at the local park one time. Yeah. And they waited to the end and they said, No, you’re not gonna be able to ride. So I told him to go to the truck. And I said, you guys are not very nice to do that. I said, you know, people thought of skateboards that way, one time, the way you guys think of scooters, said you’re gonna regret it because this kid’s gonna be famous. And he has he’s one of the top that was that one time. He’s one of the top five in the world. Right now he is focusing more on filming. Yeah, he’s also just become the team captain for an Australian division called native. And so they’re out of Australia, but he’s gonna be the team captain for North America. And he may also be riding for another scooter line called Aztec pretty soon and being their team captain for North America. So he’s, he’s still making this progress. But here’s the great part is when he wanted to vote Cuz his businesses because he has about three things going on right now. Yeah, he wanted to start making scooter parts. Now he’s realized he’s a little bit over his head now. But he what he started doing was he started making t shirts and selling those to fund the parts to make scooters. Yeah, he started actually talking to people in Asia about making the die. He realized, after one time, he had a load of T shirts get caught up and all his capital is tied up in that he said, Wow, I need a lot more money if I’m going to really make this work. So it was a great lesson, you know, that he’s, he’s understanding this and he’s just about to turn 21 you know, so, you know, I just feel like he’s on the road to success and what he’s trying to do is different than what most people do, but isn’t that when we find our sweet spot? 


Damon Pistulka  07:47 

Yeah, it is. It is. And that’s, that’s the thing. I think that that is really a great example of, yeah, 


Andrew Cross  07:54 

yeah. If it resonates, resonates with me, you know, because I started My business about 10 years ago when we were in a terrible economic crisis and I had been furloughed from a job and was done doing that but and I kind of did an exploratory into to find you know, really what I want to do axing kind of stumbled into brokerage business brokerage, which I didn’t even know what was really was my been involved in deals and when I worked in corporate and stuff like that, but, man, I went and hung out with some of the guys and that was a great time to talk to some of the guys who’ve been in it forever. Because all about, you know, everybody was getting out of that business at that time because of the recession. And it was, you know, and I thought that was a great time to start, but man, I was having a fun, you know, getting in to talk to business owners hear their stories, understand how they built these things, their ups and downs, you know, and how to fix things with a business and I didn’t go and present and market that to, uh, to a seller and I was like, that’s a lot of fun, but I don’t know it’s just now let’s figure out If I can make a little money doing this 



Yeah, that’s very key to be able to do what you love and make money and that’s that’s that’s what you hit the sweet spot for sure. 


Andrew Cross  09:10 

But it was a huge box to check at the beginning and I really wasn’t sure but I don’t think anybody really is when they start with this you know start there you know if you like doing it you get up every day and you’re excited about it and that’s why David and I partnered up to because he shared the same feeling man this is just like this is fun. Is it ever gonna make any money? 


Damon Pistulka  09:31 

Yeah, it’s like shit I get up out of bed hard every day because I love it. I love this stuff. I love talking with people and business owners and and and helping them and you know watching what they do and talking with people like yourself because we get to work with talented people like you think that that are helping the same leaders develop their business, getting them doing what they want, getting them their minds ready for really their business for the better and them to be better. are not better, but them to go to the next level, whatever they’re doing, and really give them that, that edge that they need. Because it’s what what most people don’t realize about leaders and this is something I’d like you to weigh in a little bit on pain. It is the loneliness that comes with being a leader. And it’s that, you know, I was I was actually I was working on a blog post about this because most you know, I don’t even think people’s wives and kids and family understands how lonely It is to be an executive or a business owner. And do you see that a lot in the in the executives that you work with? 



Yeah, and I see a lot of lack of trust. And I see which is a little bit sad for for sharing some things because you need that circle. And something Michael Rivera and I are doing we start a mastermind group to help people like that to come into to be able to talk with us about problems like this about search. issues in their business. They don’t have anyone to talk to. And you know not to put a big ego on my head. But you know, we’re both pretty, pretty well versed in what we’re trying to help people with mine is developing leadership and personal growth and Michael Michaels helping people financially, and plan their life out a lot better. And just being able to have a voice like that where you can trust people a safe spot is great. But it would be nice if more owners took some of the people within their immediate circle and brought them in there under their umbrella. And I found when I’ve done that running a business daemon that I actually built a family and I didn’t just have a business, it was a family. And I the proof was in the pudding. Remember leaving and making a scrapbook for me called the house. The thing though, that put tears in my eyes The day I was walking out the door. And, you know, it’s like I didn’t build it. We all built it together. But it was just that whole family attitude that we had and that’s so important to me. That comes from, I didn’t feel lonely in that spot. Because I had my right hand people, my top seven people right there to know it’s like I can share these things with you I can let you know what’s going on. I think that comes from leaders being willing to be vulnerable, which I think they they don’t do that enough because they’re so afraid I hear it every time I deal with people. Damon, well, I don’t I can’t let them know that I’m going to I’ve made that mistake. And it’s like, Okay, well, if they find out you made that mistake, now you’ve lied to them. So what’s easier to overcome that you made a mistake, or that you betrayed them? And I always think it’s easier to overcome my my flaws unless that flaws like it’s just to me that’s the way it is. And so that’s what I implore leaders to do is be more transparent, be more open with what you’re doing. You know, don’t get don’t get the false sense because your people are smart. They’re going to find out they’re going to figure it out. And when they do, the jig is up. And now what are they going to trust you the next time they ask you a question whether or not Are they going to grill you harder? Or are they just going to have this belief and said, We can’t believe what he says? What does it matter if we ask him or not? So that’s one of the things I implore leaders to do is to be be willing to be vulnerable. Be open, be as transparent as you can. And, you know, sometimes I’ve even heard them and when you can’t share all this information, you can’t share all this information. What are they going to do with it? I mean, you know, they’re not going to start a business with it. They’re not gonna, they’re not gonna sabotage the business. I even like people to know what I made as the head person. And my boss asked me, Why don’t you do that one time I said, so they know if they kick my butt out of the seat, what they can make. Because I was told everybody take my job for me, please work me out of a job, because if that happens, there’s going to be more opportunity for me. Yeah, yeah. So it’s that fear. We have people taking our position sometimes that we also don’t share that information with and my belief was when I left the business, I want it to perform better than it ever did under me. And that was always the legacy, I would say. To leave behind. 


Andrew Cross  14:01 

Yeah, it’s really interesting that, you know, because I was thinking about that a little bit yesterday, too. We were talking about our clients too. And a car, the business owner is especially to small and medium sized business owner. You know, and a lot of this is because they’re under siege, I mean, constantly, it is probably the hardest thing to do, they aren’t getting a lot of help. And then, you know, they get burned a lot, you know, if things are, you know, they’ll spend money on things that don’t don’t work out the way it was, you know, that they said it would, you know, that the governor makes it hard for him, you know, getting a capital is is very difficult to do employees. You know, it’s just constant gum, and it just seems like yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with you know, there’s that fearful, you know, fearful paranoia of just having been burned so many times, they just close up and it’s takes a you know, to me, I’m just really impressed with a leader who can Let go of, you know, you put that behind them and just keep moving on and still trusting and still getting people you know, still trying you know that the things that work rather than just going into the turtle shell and hide No. until it’s over. 


Damon Pistulka  15:14 

Yeah, yeah, it’s yeah it is as you said, Andrew and Thane it’s they do need to be more leaders need to be more transparent with people and when people use transparent a lot but man we’re all human right and the and how this this this been this be realistic about it when we were starting out leadership the mantra was you know no one knows your faults that’s when we were tired was beat into our heads no one needs to know that and and that’s just not the way that it’s not the way to do it be it doesn’t work. And and you know, we’re still fighting a bit of that I think but when when people understand that, you know you’re gonna make mistakes but you It’ll make the same day, you still make decisions. I think they they have more respect for you, knowing that you’re doing that decision. You’re making those decisions with the best information you have, and you’re going to live and stand behind them. Even if you make the mistake. 



I think what you just said is so key, Damon, especially with all the changes people are dealing with right now that we’re going to give you the best information we have, then with a new information comes, we’re going to share that information. And that information can change at the drop of a hat right now quicker than it ever has. And people need to be understanding. But it’s once you cross that line of telling them something false. And then you have to go over that that’s where the trust is betrayed. And it’s very hard to get trust back once it once it is lost. But I I have what you were talking about Andrew, I have seen those owners who have been burned a lot and that has what has caused them to do what you said go into that shell and you just have to reach out to them and say, Look, you just need to be a better Judge of people to make better decisions. But please don’t think that everyone here is out to take your fortune away from you. Everyone’s not here to to try to usurp your power. Yeah, you know, the bank account. And it that’s the rare rare beast that does that. And you know, it’s it’s sad that it happens but please don’t don’t get that way so I’ve lived that many times 


Andrew Cross  17:18 

Yeah, I worked with a client who in a metal fabrication business, you know, contract manufacturer really, but just absolutely tight as a drum. You know always constantly everybody was you know stealing from up and worried about that but I would like I think what you said I said to him, I didn’t last very long there anyways with him because I said, you know you if this isn’t your a fab shop, this isn’t rocket science, you know, people can figure out what, what’s going on here. You know, and we do the same thing here too. We try to do that we try to practice what we preach when we work with clients that exit your way. It’s Hey, We’ll show you exactly how to do it will tell you all of it. Go ahead. Is it really isn’t there, you know, exit your way is a process. It really isn’t. I mean, happy to tell you exactly how it works and go do it. It’s not, you know, it, that’s not what gets it not, you know, it’s the people involved in it to get the things done. You know, they kind of follow the guidelines, it you know, there’s, there’s work, but it’s really, if you know, I’m not I don’t have any problem, you know, even helping people telling them all the steps to go ahead and do it. But you know, you, you need to go out and get the help to do it. That’s what it’s about. Yes. No one does. 



You guys have the emulsifiers that reminds me of being at a come from the green industry and being at a convention one time and hearing this guy who was the keynote speaker, we’re asking him questions about the generic versions that silver other people they said yeah, but they’re, we give them the formula, but we don’t give them the exact emulsifiers that we use. To increase the effective efficiency of the product. So you guys the emulsifiers, that’s what you do you make. It’s like, yeah, here’s the information. You have all the ingredients, but we put it oops, we put it together to make it work the right way. So you can pay for the generic information, or you can pay us and we’ll, we’ll we actually make this where it works and is efficient. Because you’re right, people will get off track, they will say, well, perfect example. I worked with a guy one time and he was dumping my wife’s fried chicken. He said, Oh, fried chicken. That’s my favorite. I love I love fried chicken. So I said, Okay, I’ll next week when I come up. hydromax I’m gonna bring you some so I did. He said, Oh my god, this is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had the best fried chicken in the world. Can I have the recipe? I said, I don’t know. He said, Yeah, I’ll please I’ve gotta have the recipe. I knew where this was going to go because I knew how he was working with me. So the next week I brought him the recipe handwritten by my wife and he read it out of his mouth was too I have to do all of this. 


Andrew Cross  19:58 




Your favorite food is fried chicken. You said out of your mouth, not mine. This is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, which there are people who have told me that hundreds of times about her fried chicken. And then you ask me when you read the ingredients, do I have to do all of that? That’s why you’ve been having the same results, because you’re not off of the things we’re talking about. Because you’re not implementing everything you’re doing the things that are going to be the easiest, and you can get done. It’s the same way. We’re probably some of your clients that you guys work with, right? 


Damon Pistulka  20:30 

Well, yeah, it’s it is it is because we can show somebody and you know, this too, if you can show somebody exactly what to do. And the fact of the matter is, most people in business are busy with the business, right? They’re busy with the business, but to do the improvement work that needs to be done to take your business to the next level requires I got to work on my business. But I got to work on this too. That’s going to improve my business and they’re stuck. Hear working on the business and they don’t get to work on the improvement because it’s easy. It’s easy. If your business going, Okay, there’s really getting to the improvement is a nice too, in a lot of people’s mind. But over the long term that needs to becomes more need to. And 



yeah, one of the questions I ask people Damon is, okay, so if you’re working on the business who’s building the business, or if you’re building the business who’s working on the business, because they’re not the same thing, and I get the deer in the headlights stare? Do you guys ever get that as well? 


Andrew Cross  21:34 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Constantly. Yeah. You know, and this is what is because of where we work in the lifespan of a business at the exit when buyers are coming to look around. It reveal nothing, you can’t hide anything. Yeah, you know, and if there’s flaws in there if the wrong people or or the wrong seats, if you processes aren’t tight. If you know the technology isn’t up to date, you know, all these things that culture isn’t correct. It’s going to come out. Yeah. Anyone want to sell a business? 


Damon Pistulka  22:14 

So the clients that were selling their business? Yeah, it is, it is it is key because that diligence process is brutal. And they don’t realize that they’re not ready for it. And even in our clients, you know, because we’re working with a fair amount of clients too, that are, you know, they’re five or more years away from their exit. They just want to be growing their businesses and running good businesses. And I’ll tell you, when you see them after after a year, figure out okay, this is why we measure everything every week, because then we go to the month so we know that we’re going to be fine our financial stuff, and then you see it, six, eight months down the road when the sales are starting to take off better and the cash starts to build in their bank accounts and that and that in a look at that weekly report. They go, boom, it looks like we hit our numbers pretty good this week, or we got something to look at and investigate that. They get that and they go, Okay, this is they can take a little breath back, step back and take a breath and go, I kind of got a handle on, I can see if it’s running while or not. And that’s the first thing that really comes into mind. And then when we start to talk about, you are either working on improving, as you said, building the business, and that’s usually we’re talking about revenue, or you’re making your business run better. What mode are we in right now if it’s just one person or if it’s multiple people who’s doing what, but once they start to figure that out that you have to switch between those different roles. A you got to get your business under control, you got to know what’s gone, but then you can switch between those roles or get people assigned to them. They really start to have fun with it. It’s it’s a fun process to see their mind start working at that because every business owner gets into business goes into business because They’re good at something. You know, it could be there as a near example, I think you’re come out of the landscaping industry. Correct? Correct. Yeah. So these are, these are people that grew up loving that and loving doing that probably, and thought they could go out and make money. They didn’t think about running a business. They thought about being being really good and doing cool landscaping work. And that’s what every business owner, I don’t give a rip, who you talk to you that is the underlying thing that we see every day. And we teach them how to run a business and still have fun doing what they like to do. 



That’s that’s key right there. And kind of one of the things maybe even tell your son because one of the things friend of mine, Chris McAdams, and I were talking about his son, he said, Well, he doesn’t want to go into business for himself because he doesn’t want to be a businessman. I said, Okay, so he wants to work for a businessman. And the kid was like, wait a minute, what do you mean? It’s a well, it’s one of the two. You either gonna be you’re gonna you’re gonna run your own business. Are you going to work for someone who is a businessman, unless you’re just going to get charity He started it, Chris that made him start thinking like, wow, I probably do want to go into business for myself then. Because you know, you’re either going to work for that person or you’re going to be that person and I would prefer to be that person. And you’re right. We can’t be all things that we can’t be great at everything. And that’s why it was even on the radio show last night, we talked about that. People need help. And I’m not talking about reaching out to me. Yeah, sure. I would love for people to reach out to me, but reach out to somebody. If you’re out there struggling in business and there’s something you don’t understand there’s someone out there who can help you. Don’t struggle, don’t don’t go through a blindfolded and trying to hit targets. You know, take the blindfold off, reach out to somebody and say, Hey, I need some help with this. I know you guys help people in certain ways, I help people in different ways. But there are so many hundreds of thousands of coaches out there, advisors, whatever you can find. The last thing you want to do is go through business, thinking you got this and then two years later, finding what you’ve been doing was wrong and it’s been costing you money. When all you have to do is change something. 


Damon Pistulka  26:02 

Yeah, yeah. And and you know, that’s one of the things that I always tell tell business owners too and or anybody that’s considering you know, looking at a coach is don’t ever sign something long term until you know it’s going to be a good fit. I mean I we had a client It was a couple years ago wonderful, wonderful person and and literally was was very distraught at the fact that she had gotten herself into a a I’m a smart business person I’ve gotten herself into a situation was one meter sign a long term agreement, she got into it about three months, and it was a year term and they didn’t let her on. And that’s it and it’s those kind of things is where where people get burned. They get a lot of a lot of distrust for the for coaches, but really, the good coaches will will allow you To get to know them to understand, because if you’re a good coach, like, like you are, I mean, you want them to be as happy with you as you are working with them. And when, when we, when we approach clients, they get a little bit, kind of, almost it’s not. It’s a strange reaction when we when we say, Whoa, we don’t know yet. We don’t know, that call this qualification process here takes us a while because, you know, you know, you don’t want to work with us just as badly as we don’t want to work with you. It’s not working. 



Right. Yeah. That’s, that’s horrible chemistry. And, you know, that’s one of the things I do that weekly classes a 1995 a month on through, you know, that people can join as five classes a four or five classes a month, and that way people get to know me. And then people reach out and say, Wow, I like to work with you one on one. Or they say, Oh my gosh, this guy is a fruitcake, why would I give him $1 a month, much less anything, but it’s just the way to get people to come in and first of all find out if they’re willing to invest in themselves. That’s the key thing to me is are you willing to put the time in, it’s not about the money. 20 bucks a month, you’re spending that at Starbucks. You know, it’s about the time you’re going to invest. It’s an hour to an hour, 15 minutes every session. I do for him on Tuesdays and people come in. And we talk and we talk about developing we right now we’re doing john Maxwell’s 15, invaluable laws of growth. And this again, just again, a good starter to say, yes, this is something I want to do something I want to invest in myself, I want to make myself better. And some people just want to stick with that. And some people want to go further and deeper. And then people want to go deeper than that. So it all depends on what you’re willing to invest in yourself. I love to work with people I love to see people change and grow. But the one of the best things for me is when people are actually taking notes. That’s that’s when you know, you’re making a difference when they’re taking time to actually write down what you’re talking about. That means they want to remember it. So that’s the That’s one of my great moments is when everybody on the call is looking down like this and doing that so but that’s that’s that’s a way to again to get to know somebody spent some time with them because again, there are some people who’ve been in the class that I would not want to coach one on one I would not be effective with that. And so that you’re you’re 100% right about that. Andrew gray interviewed you you guys when you get in there with with businesses, I have when I work with business, I have 10 questions I go through to answer for myself and do a report Do you guys have anything like that or is yours a little less general a little is a little less specific. I mean, 


Andrew Cross  29:39 

now we we have a we have a specific process that we go through. It’s a it’s a discovery process as to because what we’re heading into with a business owner, especially in this case, it’s a lot of them are pretty set in their ways and have been doing this for a long time and and how they do their businesses in their head and and to make some money. They want to sell a build a company that an investor would buy or a private equity group and get a higher multiple, and really cash in on that opportunity. They’ve got to be ready to make some hard changes. And I just likened it back to our manufacturing days when the lean manufacturers came in it, it is a kind of a matter of survival. But if you don’t, if you don’t come in and get a commitment from leadership or from ownership from the top, it’s not going to happen. I mean, we had to walk away from a client the other day because it was his managers that wanted to do us to come into work but they wanted to change. The owner was barely too busy to even come and talk to us you know, for 20 minutes on a call called in and video didn’t want you know, we could tell right there this Elisa said, you know, they still we probably still they would have given us the work. But we said you know, no, he’s just not there yet. He took he’s happy with the way the business is running. You guys may not be You know, but you can work on changing these things yourself. But you know, unless you get your, your buy in from the top, it’s, it’s, you know, we can’t do it and we’re going to be working here for two years. And, and, and you know, things are gonna, things are gonna change people around, it’s gonna be good but without that the way we do it and don’t want to be there unless we can be successful. 



That’s a lot of time and effort David has actually shared a story or two with me on a previous conversation about somewhere. You guys said, I don’t know if you were still with him at the time. You’re done with him at the time if you guys have been together the whole time, but he was just telling me a story that got pretty in depth and cost a lot of money. I’m sure there are multiples of those that are just like banging your head on the wall. Why do we do it? But I’m sure as time has gone on, you’ve also become pickier because of things you’ve learned. taking that information of those banging your head on the wall and going Nope, this looks about like that again. 


Damon Pistulka  32:01 

No doubt  


Andrew Cross  32:01 

absolutely you’ll I think business owners to a lot of them don’t learn this and business school don’t they’re not book people, they’re not learning it from a book that’s trial and error, they learn how to do something, they go out, you know, they’ve got a skill or a trade and they they figure it out that they do marketing that way they they run around to a neck is up. So I think we’re kind of the same way with our partners next year away and all the experience we’ve had, so come to us because if you learn from your mistakes, we were pretty good. We’ve done it all. 


Damon Pistulka  32:32 

Well, and you know, we do as, as you do two things when you’re, you’re talking about people that you could coach one on one in your class and, and our discovery process is very, very structured. And I’d say there’s there’s stages to it. And the information that we can request is tailored for a certain reason. And when you get into it, the small differences in the way the information comes to you that in the typing and in the questions that are asked and the question the follow up questions and the response to those, all of that allows us to understand how that that business is running. And and we don’t we don’t realize this about ourselves or the people or businesses or anything around us. But it’s this small influences the way we say words, the words we choose how we write the time response, everything affects. It says a lot about us and in the businesses that people work in and we we’ve had to honestly get to that level because you can walk into somebody that’s going to pay you enough money that you go, oh, gee. I mean, you know, somebody’s gonna come in are the three of us is our kind of work or someone’s going to show you 2030 $50,000 a month you’re like going, well, geez, that’s that’s, but you’ve got to you’ve got to be you’ve got to be strong enough to stand up and say no, You can be down the road 12 months they’re out a quarter of a million dollars or more, you’re out a year your time, which is maybe a lot more valuable than that. And nobody’s happy. And that’s and that’s the big thing you know and in the better that people get and I didn’t realize this until a few years into it with Andrew and I a couple years into it is is you hear these these people that are really pretty successful in consulting or advisory or coaching they say saying no is what you got to learn. Because everybody, everybody that’s an entrepreneurs you start up run through the same thing, they don’t get enough work and then they get enough work and they realize that you got to get rid of the work. That’s not the right work. 



I feel like a lot of that comes from values is lining values up with each other. And, and that’s what I try to find what people’s top five values are. And if if none of those line up, I probably shouldn’t be working with them. If a few of them line up There’s a chance I follow them line up, and we’re going to have harmonious results. But when you know when I’m working with a business owner who has finds no value in people, I better walk away pretty quickly from that, because we’re probably not going to get very far because I, that’s where everything starts for me. It does start at the top, and that’s a person. But it’s also if you’re, if you have people who are unhappy, how are they going to make the customers happy? If you have people who aren’t energized, how are they going to do energetic work, and I want customers to be very, very well taken care of. But in order for that to happen, the team has to be taken very well care of, and people could just understand that, and so many don’t. I would say probably 60 to 70% of leaders don’t who are supposedly leaders don’t understand that. And you get so much more return on your investments. If you just took care of people and that’s that’s always been what I believed in and what I’ve seen work 


Andrew Cross  35:58 

out well we can we can prove you’re right. You know, because let’s bring a buyer in and show them, introduce them in going to diligence and have have a company with an offer of 25 million and have them go in and do all the meet and greets with the management leadership team. And it’s over. Because you can tell by their body language it sometimes it’s been in those meetings, I’ve well, and I avoid that now because we get to work because, you know, you’ve got to fix this, because if they walk into that meeting, they can. That’s what that’s like number one financials. Very important, right? Right behind that the people, right? 



You’re buying systems, you’re buying the business, but if you have to replace all of the people, well, what an expense that’s going to be I mean, that’s, that’s whatever, whatever the salaries you’re paying, that’s one and a half times the salaries at a minimum just to to go through that process. You don’t you don’t want to be doing that, especially buying a new business. So I agree. I really hadn’t thought of that in that aspect. A lot. I mean, I did have a conversation with someone yesterday dealing with culture, when you’re trying to change culture, we tried to change a business, even if the ownership is in, like buying into it, but middle management isn’t conveying the message down to the front line, you’ve got a problem because they, they’re comfortable in what they’re doing. They don’t want things to change, they don’t want to have to take on new responsibilities and roles. So you’ve got to make sure that everyone understands what the purpose is behind it and what everyone’s role is and that everyone’s buying, which can be difficult at times. Yeah. 


Andrew Cross  37:31 

Well, you know, and and the savvy buyer in organization is looking for that if there’s if there’s a good strong culture, and you know, and they’ve got well defined leadership groups and leadership teams, and they walk in there they’re gonna just go talk to them in an hour they’re going to know Yeah, these guys this I want this and I’m gonna pay a premium for this to get just to have the people are the assets. You’re an asset can also be a realty 


Damon Pistulka  38:00 

Up to any time in the business though, too. I mean, you see this thing if you develop your people, and just like the example you said before taking care of your customers on a daily basis, it doesn’t matter if it’s if it’s your, your VP of sales, or the person that’s, you know, serving you a burger at the local restaurant, if those people are treated, right, if they if you’re, if you’re putting them in the right environment, and leading them the right way, that that leads through all the way, you know, from the beginning of your ownership to the sale, and it’s what businesses are built on. I don’t care how automated your business is, I don’t care how much equipment you’ve got. It comes down to the people that are there is as to how successful you’re going to ultimately be. 



I’m so in sync with that. You know, I mean, I look at I’ve seen where someone a business I’ve been working with where someone comes in, in the morning and they’re getting chastised. Got something from the day before then they’re expected to answer the phones and be cheery. And it’s like, I understand that things have to be addressed. But there may be different ways to address them. And to give constructive criticism and not it’s always to me about addressing the behavior, not the person. And it’s not that you’re stupid. It’s that hey, this isn’t wasn’t a very great thing we did. How can we avoid having to make that happen in the first first place? You’re so smart. I expect a little bit more of you than, you know, this is the dumbest thing how You’re so dumb. How can you do this? I mean, having to talk to somebody saying, You can’t address people that way. But then you expect that person to get on the phone and talk to their customers as Oh, hello, we’re here to help you and serve you. It’s you know, it’s no, it’s not it’s they’re gonna do. This is Richard, you know, and so, you know, we have to keep that kind of stuff in mind. How we address people is how they’re going to address how leadership addresses the the team is how the team is going to address their customers. So let’s Be proud of everybody. Let’s show everybody how incredible they are, and what a benefit they are and how important their job is and what they do matters. Let’s teach people that. And then when they’re talking to people, they’re going to be proud of themselves. I matter what I’m doing matters. I’ve been told what I do matters. Let me tell you how what I do matters. And I’m going to make your day and that’s going to make it even better. Well, 


Andrew Cross  40:22 

that’s a great example. And I you know, I think even the best leaders that I see come in, don’t have to go in. And if they’ve done it right, if they built the right in the culture, so they don’t have to go in and correct the person that actually the person’s correcting themselves, the employees, it’s more about even, you know, I’ve seen the better leaders is coming in to say, Hey, don’t be so hard on yourself. That, you know, stuff happens, right? Because they’re pushing on themselves. They’re not getting dressed down by 


Damon Pistulka  40:51 

Exaggerator like that. 


Andrew Cross  40:53 

That’s when I say by that I notice it. That’s a little tiny thing but you notice it right? It’s big. People care and they’re being perfectionist on themselves that that’s where you want to be. But that’s because they know what’s expected of them. And they enjoy succeeding, and they’ve got a way to measure their importance and get the feedback loops are tight. And yeah. So 


Damon Pistulka  41:16 

it’s part of what you’re helping people with to lane in your, in your coaching is that, you know, when you look at how that, that that supervisor, that manager, that owner of that business, whoever it is talks to those people in the business, there’s two different ways to do it. I mean, I’ve got a friend of mine, Eric bloom, always talks about the Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People or whatever that book is that I’ve got it on my I was looking at my phone here, just remember who wrote it and stuff because I wrote that book like in the 50s or something like that, or even earlier than that. And the basic principles in there, as you said, mentioned in that customer service example there are two different ways to talk about That person that say the same thing, and then the right way, will they will come out of it inspired to do as Andrew, Andrew said, to make sure that they do better next time without you having to belittle him or do any of that. 



Well, that’s that whole communication tool that is so misused in our society yet, I would say communication is probably the most misused tool and any business I work with, and, you know, so that’s where we have to be sure we’re clear on things. And, you know, I’ve seen so many places that don’t even have a Procedures Manual. And I’m not talking about being work on time that I’m talking about. This is how you enter this work. Because when someone doesn’t show up, then nobody else knows how to do the work. And and people are confused, people are frustrated. And what does frustration cause frustration causes anxiety, it causes people to get angry. So you know, let’s eliminate as much of that frustration as we can by setting these policies and procedures in place and again, yeah, being on time and all that those things are important, but those things should be understood. I’m talking more about The operational aspects so everyone can follow it. And I know it takes time. But what takes more time when you’re I’ve seen this, Damon. So this is not an exaggeration, when the person who is the only person who knows how to do payroll is out for a week and a half, I’ve seen that I mean, it’s actually happen. So, you know, it’s like, well, I’ve been asking you to do this, maybe now. We’ll get this going. Now that we’ve seen that so 


Thane Isaacs  43:25 

it’s amazing 


Damon Pistulka  43:26 

report. do I do?  


Andrew Cross  43:27 

Yeah, yeah. 


Damon Pistulka  43:30 

I’ll get some attention. People will pay attention and figure things out when the payroll is not through here. 


Thane Isaacs  43:35 

Yes, you get angry people. So 


Damon Pistulka  43:37 

yeah, yeah. So thing you got a radio show. Now. How long have you been doing this? 



I would say we’re in the sixth week, seventh week. I lost a little bit of a track of it, but it’s Curse of Radio Free Wise Guys, Stephen Cohen, Adam Lindemann. They’re both very successful in the green industry. Still, I consult on the green industry. I have a history since I was 15 of working in the green industry what what got me out of doing it was I started consulting with people and had other businesses reach out to me property management, businesses, insurance businesses, auto dealers, all kinds of all kinds of places reached out to me to help them. So I changed the name from a landscape name because everybody I would go to work with when also asked me to cut grass and I used to I haven’t cut I mean, I cut my own. I took the landscape name out of it, but I still work with a lot of green industry people. That’s where I’m known a lot for some of some of what I what I’ve done in my life, but at the same time, I feel like there’s a bigger realm of people. And it’s, again, as you both said, it’s all about the people and I don’t care what line of work you’re in. People want to matter. People want to be a part of, they want to be heard being heard doesn’t mean what they say has to be implemented. It just means that they’ve been listened to, and maybe explained why that can’t be implemented now. It’s basically the golden rule. I mean, I hate to be that way, but In life, she’s the golden rule, treat people the way you want to be treated, and then go a little bit further and treat them the way they want to be treated. And if you can figure those things out, you’re going to be a lot more successful as a leader, because then people will follow you. Because people really do care how much you care about them, they really don’t care that you have all this great following that you have 27,000 people following you, if you don’t care about them, please the people I know the people I want in my life. So that’s, that’s one of my philosophies. I mean, you know, I, we, my wife, and I raised our children to believe that no one is better than them, but they are better than no one that we’re all equal. We all walk on the same round. And you know, right now, my personal mission is just trying to help people have seen more value in themselves. It’s my personal and my business vision mission. So many people are having trouble doing that, because of all the struggles they’re going through. So that’s my personal mission. And by seeing people as people and we never, you know, it’s like it’s the woman in the green shirt. It’s the man with three kids over there in the checkout. You know, whatever, but just try not to to make those those differentials because I want my, my children to see people as people and they can make their own decisions I if, if they want to use that terminology they can but but they don’t have it it’s just not who they are so I feel like that’s that’s been part of the benefit of us raising our children with the kind of same spirit we have in our hearts. 


Andrew Cross  46:26 

That’s that’s good words and does not know pays off in it not only professionally or you know, monetarily it pays off just personally and face it’s a better way to live. Right? Yeah, 


Damon Pistulka  46:41 

I’m sure you’ve seen it. You know that you raising your kids in that environment? You’re gonna see them interacting with others doing it? 



Yes, you might, you know, My son is is. He has this business called evil corporation which is kind of a ripoff from The movie I’ve never seen, but I’ve heard there’s another evil corporation out there. Anyway, he, he does these t shirts that I told you about, but he also does these exclusive stickers. You can’t buy the Snickers you can. But recently he sold about $800 worth of them and donated them all to charities to help people out during these times of struggle, which he didn’t even tell me about till after you’ve done it. And I was just like, Wow, he shamed me my son. So he so he, like sold them out really quickly, like $500 worth sold them out. And he did another friend of ours work, sold them out the next day, and said, Okay, well that’s so that’s pretty incredible. So it makes you feel proud that they do those kind of things. Oh, yeah. 


Damon Pistulka  47:44 

Very cool. Well, thank you. It’s been awesome talking to you today. And you know, it we this It’s been a while we wanted to get you on and and let you explain to people, how can someone get ahold of you if they’re if they want to talk A little bit more. 



If someone wants to talk to me 8027704061027704061 you can email me at Thane Isaac’s at tomorrow innovative calm, or starting Monday I’ll be back taking a little sabbatical from LinkedIn to get some focus in and you can direct message me on LinkedIn and say hey thing. You are a complete nutjob why 


Damon Pistulka  48:30 

that’s so great. It’s so great to have you come right out with a phone number man. I just love that. I love that. 



I’ll talk to anybody Damon, you know, and then I can block you if I don’t want to talk to you later. So like you have me on your show. I figured you know, after our first conversation, be like, Alright, timeout technical, but 


Thane Isaacs  48:52 

we kept it going. 


Damon Pistulka  48:53 

I think great. We’re a crazy bunch together and it’s just good to have have Interesting people like yourself I always love talking with you and learn a lot. And you know I love your videos that people haven’t watched your videos that you’re doing are walking with your dogs out by your house you live in such a beautiful part of the United States that I just tell people look on your LinkedIn and watch the videos because man you got some really good stuff you you talk with people about so awesome to have you on. Appreciate it. Everyone else is listening. Thanks for listening today. I got some comments from IRA Bowman Jonathan now Vinnie abalone, excuse me. I’m not too great with names right now. But hey, thanks a lot for looking and we’ll be back again next week. And with a little bit more but they nice X was here today on the Exit Your Way round table. 


Thane Isaacs  49:52 

All right. 

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