chris, people, podcast, manufacturing, jeff, serve, started, damon, man, talk, eco, episodes, company, content, community, ico, daymond, leader, led, hero
Chris Grainger, Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson
Damon Pistulka 00:00
Oh well it is Friday and what’s that mean? It means it is manufacturing e commerce success day. Or maybe it’s just time for the manufacturing ecommerce success show on Damon Pistulka One of your co hosts, and right over there that pretty guy. Kurt Anderson. How you doing day Curt?
Curt Anderson 00:22
Dude, I couldn’t possibly be any better. Hey Damon. What? I’m trying to see your shirt. What’s your shirt say? Manufacturing Trailblazer nice. That comes from our dear friend Allison before we get another great guest for you on your podcast. She has a loud palate podcast so Hey guys, happy Friday. What an absolute honor privilege to be here today. I’m just thrilled Nadeem and I’m still kind of coming off a huge high man we got together in person this week.
So got that man I stayed at demons house man I was hanging I was hanging out it was fun. Oh my goodness gracious. We went out for Halloween we had a wonderful time so Damon we went to the Seattle Seahawks game so thank ran over the New York Giants and then that was we brought him good luck that we Yes we did go hey what that was what a great weekend. Thank you my friend.
You’re a great host Waikanae so my my my love to you so hey, let’s dig in. We’ve got an amazing incredible guests we got so much to talk about today. Let’s let’s just roll up our sleeves dive in. Chris Ranger Happy Friday dude, how are you today?
Chris Grainger 01:26
I’m doing well man doing very well. Thank you for this opportunity.
Curt Anderson 01:30
Absolutely man. We are so honored. We’re so thrilled so guys you’re out there drop us a hello let us know where you’re at what you’re where you’re coming from. We strongly encourage you we’d love to connect with all of us definitely connect with Chris Granger here.
We have a lot of exciting things to cover now Chris You are dude I was on your podcast your your fears. podcaster I had the honor privilege I was a guest on your show a couple weeks ago and man a big takeaway. You are a masterclass on giving man and just serving others. That is just that’s really your MO your mission.
So you know what I wanted to get? I want to go back in time a little bit. You know, your man deep and faith, big family, man, we have a baby coming next week that we’re going to talk about. But being the big that you’re dedicated to serving others, I want to go back in time as a young person growing up. Who was your hero? Growing up? Who was your hero that brought us to this man of integrity, this great guy that we’re talking with today? Who was your hero? As a young guy growing up?
Chris Grainger 02:30
No mas a great question. Man. I always tell people, my hero was my dad. I mean, he is it. He’s just always show me what it’s like to be a man. How to how to love one woman, and you know, just how to live with integrity. And, you know, he worked in the manufacturing space. He’s still in manufacturing, because manufacturing as a matter of fact, and just the way he never had an engineering degree. But he was always the smartest engineer in the plant. I mean, he’s just that kind of guy.
Right? I mean, that was that was back in the textile days where he would take me to his plant and show me. He worked at a textile mill. And he’s like, man, we put a PLC on everything. He said the Pepsi machine. He’s like, we just we did it right. And, and he just had, he’s just that kind of go getter. But just the way he the way he loved my my mom and just as always stood by, you know, just show me just what it’s like to just to be just to be a man. So he’s always been my hero.
Curt Anderson 03:23
That’s awesome. What’s that
name? Bill? Bill. All right. Hey, big shout
Curt Anderson 03:27
out to Bill. And what a great job that he did. You know, I would say Daymond you know, successful kids is a great sign of successful parents had the we were talking about that with you in one way or the past weekend. So big shout out to Bill. So Bill throughout. If you catch us on replay, we brought him we’re sending you a big shout out for giving us Chris Granger this this. So Chris, what’s happening a week from today?
Chris Grainger 03:49
Oh, man, we are entering a new territory. So people who connect with me and follow the show eco s while overlying they know that I’m a girl dad. So I have three daughters. I’ve been blessed before I get to raise three here on Earth. But I got three girls. And man I love it. I love being a girl dad.
Next Friday, my world’s gonna be flipped upside down because I’m having a son. So it’s like, all right. I mean, it was like to the point where we had the ultrasound, the initial ultrasound, they tell you it’s a boy girl and I just told the lady I’m like, just give you the pink ban. I know. It’s no longer.
She’s just like, Wait hohoho you coat softball, right? I’m like, yeah, she’s like, what you need to start practicing baseball on my whole. Okay. So that’s how that’s how it started. Yeah, my wife and I were peripherally we were welcoming baby. Judah Liva. To the to the Granger game next Friday. We’re going into be induced. Well, she’s gonna be induced. I’ll be there to support her rather. And we’ll have some hopefully here’s some. Some baby cries. sometime next weekend. prayerfully.
Curt Anderson 04:51
Well, dude, that’s phenomenal. Damon, I think you saw that baseball read over your shoulder. They’re gonna have to get you know, it takes a different grip, Chris. Well, congrats. Yeah, definitely get a little adjustment. They’re going to graduate from the softball down to the baseball. So, kudos to you, your wife, your family. What a super exciting time.
Great timing for the holidays coming around the corner here. So yeah, and we sent our prayers and our best wishes for a wonderful healthy baby next Friday. So thank you for joining us here. I know when you accepted, you’re like, hey, Kurt, there’s one caveat. Yeah, I have one little challenge. And so they can build challenge. Keep them. Hopefully you got the phone on you nearby, just in case.
Chris Grainger 05:31
Yeah, we’re good. We’re good.
Curt Anderson 05:33
We’re good. All right. So let’s dig in. So you talked about dad being an engineer. And so you know, you know, lifetime, you know, you grew up in manufacturing. Now, if I understand this correctly, you went to Old Dominion. And I believe you went into engineering in colleges. Do I have that? Correct?
Chris Grainger 05:48
I did. Yeah. I went to the Electrical Engineering Technology program at ODU. And that’s kind of, you know, where I kind of got started and so connected with eco actually, at ODU. Because back then, electrical equipment started, they weren’t they had a program where they were doing some integrator work.
They were starting to do some PLC programming, some drive installation, things like that. And actually, it was led by who is now our CEO. And he, he and I met one day for lunch. My dad connected us like he called her my dad, customer. My dad connected, connect us together.
We had lunch, he was looking for a co op engineer. We had an immediate connection over. I forget we have for lunch. But I remember we talked a lot about Andy Griffith. We had a lot of Andy Griffith discussions. And that led to you know what, you got to be my co op engineer. And I’m like, I love that. So he’s been my mentor for over 20 years now. So shout out to Jeff. His name is Jeff Knight, love that guy.
He is just an incredible leader, visionary. So we connected at ODU. And I remember going into my senior year at ODU. I did two semesters Co Op with eco. And I texted Jeff or emailed him. I can’t remember I said, Look, man, do I have a job? Because I’m graduating in like a few months. And that day, I had an offer letter. And so I was in February. And and so I had two weeks off between graduation and starting an Ico and it’s never looked back, man.
Curt Anderson 07:15
Wow. Well, you’re you’re a rarity because that we’re going to take a deep dive into this. So there’s not many people that start right out of college and stay with the company. You know, typically a lot of folks are jumping these days. So you’re really your old school man. And hey, I want to give a shout out to everybody here. Hey, Greg Michiru says go Gino. Man. Gino fever is Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 07:35
has gone on.
Curt Anderson 07:36
We’ve got Diane here. Whitney’s cheering today because I know her Houston Astros won last night. Yeah, Whitney I said that I’ve got Shashi so guys happy Friday. Thank you for joining us today
Damon Pistulka 07:50
please other thing is Whitney Whitney says LinkedIn is glitch and you can go to the exit your way Facebook page we’re there or look at my deep assault with Twitter where the live both those places too. So okay, man, we ran into that a couple of Yeah, it’s been it’s been kind of the LinkedIn lives have been a little bit glitchy. So we may, we may just go go differently. So again,
Curt Anderson 08:11
guys, we’re on Twitter. We’re on YouTube, here on LinkedIn. So I’ve been wherever you need to join us. So again, thank you Happy Friday to you guys. We’re here with Chris Chris Granger. And he’s with echo Now you keep mentioning echo, Chris, let’s tell everybody what is Nico talk about the company? Let’s go there.
Chris Grainger 08:28
Well, let’s first of all, we gotta get it right. Hiko Oh, my bad. Oh, good. Oh, good. I just don’t want to get in trouble with my others.
Curt Anderson 08:38
I have a horrible accent. You know, it’s like tomato tomahto. Thank you for getting that straight. We go
Chris Grainger 08:44
right. Yep. So eco we’re electrical equipment company. We’re a distributor in the southeast us. So in Virginia, we had the Rockwell footprint. And in the Carolinas we carry primarily we serve power with with Eaton. We do have Siemens automation in South Carolina. But we’re electrical distributor we serve the industrial sector primarily. That’s who we weren’t we we tried to service and as well as OEMs. But really that industrial focus sectors is where we’re at.
Curt Anderson 09:13
Nice and I did I dropped I believe in the chatbox earlier today, I dropped the link to your website. You guys have great resources, you know, your podcasts, all sorts of information. Couple of taglines, I want to give a shout out to eco is a leader in factory automation. And I love what you have here the future of smart manufacturing this year. So just talk share with everybody a little bit about you know that automation and you know, the smart manufacturing just go there on what you guys the service that you provide for folks.
Chris Grainger 09:43
Yeah, I mean, we really just try to understand the people in manufacturing that we’re trying to serve where they’re at. So we put together a smart manufacturing guide. And that has been a pretty good download for us. You know, I can even share that link without share that link with you guys if you want to check that out. But it’s it really just walks through basically three areas first understanding, understanding, what do you have installed? And we want to help you do that. Right? So it’s that whole servant mindset.
So let’s let’s just do we call it install base valuation, but just understanding what’s there. And then just really walking through the different types of technologies that’s available. So let’s brainstorm together, all the different types of technologies I can’t stand, like the the features and benefits puking, like, stop it. Here, like, seriously, dude, I don’t want to see it, I don’t even want to see your PowerPoint, I want to know how your solution is gonna solve my problem.
So we really try to take that approach with the technologies that we bring forward, you know, with them, and then at the end, it’s creating a customized plan, how are we going to move through a journey, a monetization together, because it can be overwhelming. I mean, you look at all these different technologies that are out there, and you’re trying to figure all this stuff out.
And this is like a sliver of what you do. Like you’re never you know, it can be, it can just, it can leave you very crippling where you’re like, you know, I don’t even know where to start. So we just tried to have that consultative approach at Ico to really understand and then assess, and then provide that good information moving forward.
Curt Anderson 11:09
Yeah, I love that. So it’s heavy on education, teach, and you know, serve, you know, I really feel like when you’re on your website, I did and that I was checking out that guide. I did put the link for that guide in the chat box. Again, guys check it out. It is absolutely phenomenal.
A lot of great information. I want to say that I’m going off script a little bit. So I’m going to jump ahead you mentioned you’re talking about Jeff earlier. And you know, here’s a guy comes out of fresh out of college, you’re so smitten with the company, you know, young man, you know, ready to conquer the world. And you go to this company. And now here 19 years later, you’re still there.
Yeah, an amazing job with content. I know you guys have, like, inspiring authors I saw like you guys are you know, like, say, Jeff, and some of your teammates are putting out content? Talk, I want to so a couple of things I want to uncover right there. Okay, number one, what’s so amazing about the culture at your company that’s made you you’re so passionate and as kept you there for 19 years? Just talk about that culture that they have at your company?
Chris Grainger 12:08
Yeah, I mean, the culture system has been phenomenal for one you get if you want to try things you can, right. So I’ve literally had, I think, if I look back over my career at Ico three or four positions where that position did not exist, until I got into it, right? I mean, it just, we see a need that okay, well, that kind of looks like this, let’s let’s make this position and do it. And we’ll just do that. So they, they let me over the years, be creative, which is really cool.
You know, so I can I can think, you know, for myself and try things and try things without feel fear of failure. You know, I know that you know what, not everything I’ve had, that I’ve tried has worked and that’s okay, you know, that’s okay, we’re, we’re not going to just take you out behind the woodshed and spank you that sometimes we will if you need it. But other than that, and I’m just kidding. But seriously, like we can, we can fail and be okay.
But it’s very encouraged thinking, you know, thinking for yourself and not just checking the boxes. But for me it’s been it’s not just checking the same box every day, it lets me to tap into that creative and try to find different ways over the years to to really serve the customers and the clients that that we hope to and manufacturing, not to mention, when you’re in distribution, you get to basically live like the show how it’s made, because you go see all the different manufacturing plants.
So it’s really cool. So it’s it gives you a lot of exposure. So I think back in those days, that’s what I enjoyed the most about it was just that exposure to different industries.
Damon Pistulka 13:38
You’re in such a good spot for that. Because there’s so many different things manufactured in the south east, man, you just wouldn’t you just look to 250 miles from your place to draw a circle. And you can probably go to 500 or 1000 Different plants that are making a wide range of different things. Right. Oh, incredibly cool.
Chris Grainger 13:57
Oh, yeah. I mean, from steel to paper, it’s, you know, chemical, I mean, it just whatever you can think of, it’s being made in the Carolinas and Virginia. It’s pretty.
Curt Anderson 14:07
Yeah, that’s fantastic. So Chris, so let’s talk about your teammates. You know, you’re, like I said, you guys, I want to talk about like that transition for, you know, on our show, we love you know, manufacturing ecommerce success, we talk a lot about that digital transformation. And so for, you know, a bit of a pioneer, someone like you were again, you were just saying before we went online, you’ve done, you know, we’re going to dig into your podcast here in a few minutes.
But talk about like the culture that embraced this whole content, digital transformation, how about you, Jeff, and others are now posting content on the website, again, to serve to help educate, but what was that, you know, was there an aha moment? Was our light bulb? Was it a gradual talk about like that transformation that you guys did internally to start putting out this content?
Chris Grainger 14:51
Yeah, I mean, it all started with Jeff so I’m not I’m not even gonna try to allow on this one. Jeff. Jeff is visionary right. So he started a lot of this stuff and a lot of the content gotta give him all the credit. it, and then he made it higher, and 20 trying to think I want to get this right 2017 or 2018, he made a higher, and it’s our marketing manager, and you met Adam Adam sheets.
And he’s my brother from another mother, I mean, this, me and Adam, we are just like, you know, peanut butter and jelly, it’s a total, you know, we just, we really just, we actually just care about each other, we love each other, we love our families. And Adam, when he came on, as the marketing manager, he set a new tone, like, we’re gonna be doing things, we’re gonna be thinking about this marketing thing differently. And, and he put a lot of structure around it.
And so when I had the I had the crazy idea to start a podcast, you know, it got off the ground, because I had support of a team like Adam, you know, and we were together, you know, he’s got the marketing brilliance, I have, you know, the jack of all trades engineer experience, so I can bring some technical expertise to it. And together, we’re just able to really make some really cool things. And you know, I lean into the stuff that I don’t understand, and I just, I’ll just bring it to Adam.
And I was like, Look, man, helped me understand this, how do I need to better write this so that it would do, you know, perform better, and he can give me that? And then he can come to me and say, I don’t have a clue what this VFD vs PLC stuff is like, can you help me with some just technical like I can, like totally just like break that down for so it’s been a really good, just the way we’ve been able to come together, he and I both what those different skill sets and create some pretty cool things.
Curt Anderson 16:28
Yeah, and what a dynamic tool. And again, I just I can’t emphasize enough, I mean, to be at the same company for 19 years, where we’re hearing like this quiet, quitting, and labor challenges. And just, you know, there’s been so many things going on that this is really a unique environment.
And you know, again, from the time that I’ve become the guy to know you, you’re just so passionate about the company, what like for manufacturers out there, they’re like, you know, dude, how are you guys doing this? I want to bring some of this enthusiasm to my culture to my company, what’s some advice that you would share with other leaders out there, of how to how to really create that that culture that you guys are enjoying?
Chris Grainger 17:04
I don’t think there’s a secret sauce other than you actually have to care about people. Yeah. Okay. So that’s Jeff man, he just he actually cares about people. So when I’ve gone through the biggest trials in my life, and I’ve gone through some trials, right. I, I know, just got my back. And he cares about me. And he’s, and he actually sort of biggest trial ever went through, went through a separation.
And I ended up being a girl, Dad, for two little girls who are looking at me and going through a divorce like that. And like, literally, man, like my world was rocked overnight, Jeff, he put a buffer out there, he actually sent a message out to all the people that report to me saying, look, for the next few months, Chris is dealing with some stuff. I’m gonna handle it, you come to me if you have questions for him.
And I mean, who does that? Right? I mean, that’s just that’s, that is leadership, that you can’t put, you know, a bow around. So it’s just, I would say, for you manufacturing leaders out there. If you want your people to stay if you want retention, I hear a lot of people talk about retention, and what will you do to keep people you can’t fake actually caring?
You do, you genuinely have to care about them. And if you care about them, and you serve them, well, then that in the end, you’re gonna have some loyal employees that really show up and they’re gonna give you your best and it’s gonna be on shows like this talking about how awesome you are. So I mean, that’s, that’s where it goes or happens, you know? Wow. All right,
Curt Anderson 18:20
Damon. All right, everybody out there. We’re just going to Chris, we call these like, our moments of silence on the show, lunchtime here, you know, and we’re just going to kind of savor that, but I mean, just think about that. Just said, you know, here, Jeff, you know, it’s Jeff Knight, if I’m not mistaken, you know, you know, has your back.
You know, hey guys, listen, you know, a teammate, a brother virus, going through some stuff. We’re all going, you know, it’s life, man. We’re all going, you know, it’s hard to have that facade of like, hey, my life is you know, perfect every day, every minute, so on and so forth. In here, when you’re going through challenges, and again, it just expressing it works.
Now it works both ways. Okay. And Chris, you are a man of humility. You know, you talked about serving you and I’ve talked about gratitude, what have you, I might make you feel uncomfortable. I’m going to share Damon I’m going to share a few things that people say about Chris here. And by the way, Hey, Nicole, is here today. So Greg misuse droppin some comments, Whitney. So again, guys, thank you. Happy Friday.
We’re here with Chris Granger. Chris, I’m going to share a couple of things that people have shared about you. His character and sense of value. Give me a great sense of confidence. His character and sense of value give me a great sense of confidence. He represents the very best of people in industry forward thinking leader who is highly respected, innate ability to bring out the best in people.
He’s a driving force of our team, great leader. So I mean, these are things that people say about you. So again, I appreciate your humility. You’re giving a lot of shout outs to Jeff what have you. It works both ways. So like Do you feel it sounds it feels like that your company is like just bringing out the best in you that you’re coming in to deliver on a daily By basis is that we run power there,
Chris Grainger 20:03
I would say. So I mean, and to the point that we’re in strong leadership, one thing I will say, because I don’t want the message to go wrong was to just people think oh, you got to do is just like, you know, cater for people. I will tell you one thing, if I’ve never been more challenged in my life than the way Jeff Knight challenges me. Yeah. And but in a good healthy way. Yeah. He knows how to take me to that point. And then he’ll back up. And then he’ll take he’ll challenge me.
So that that healthy back and forth and I pray that’s kind of what I don’t know, you know, who I paid to get you those nice things you just said. But hopefully, it was pretty cool. But But I mean, I’ve tried to implement a lot of that in my management style, right? I mean, Jeff told me a long time ago, like, it’s not like who you lead, like, anybody can can be a leader. But can you create leaders who lead right?
So think about two levels down below you? Are you creating people who are elite who are leading, you know, one or two levels down? So I just tried to always implement that man. And you know, humility, like I try to tell people, it’s not thinking less of yourself, but it definitely is thinking of yourself less. So I always, constantly reminding myself of that, and trying to bring that into what I do at work. Right.
Curt Anderson 21:10
All right. That’s fantastic. So I’m going to slide into so now you guys have done amazing job. But again, I feel pioneer, you know, here’s a company you know, so many folks are doing podcasts. You know, Daymond, I’ve had the honor privilege, we have this wonderful show that we get to spend quality time with you amazing people here today.
And I want to how talk about when you guys what was the aha moment, when you finally raise your hands that, hey, you know what, I want to do this podcast thing, I think it’d be cool. And then and then take it to the next step. Talk about how you brought it to the company and how your company embrace it.
So Nicole, I know Nicole is working with a company right now they’re going to go into podcasting. Our friend Val, who is here frequently she talks you know, like, so it’s easy for Damon and I are like, say the solopreneurs. The marketers, the folks out there hey, let’s let’s throw up a camera. We’ll do a podcast from the from a, from a standpoint of like being internal at a company to make this collective decision.
Chris Grainger 22:06
Yeah, well, I mean, so the Genesis all started because I was managing our motor facilities, and that’s between Georgia and Richmond. So I had a lot of road time. So it actually started with I think, after about the 40th time of hearing Gary Vee, say, if you don’t start a podcast, you’re an idiot. Finally, he’s like, maybe he’s got something to this, right. I got tired of Gary Vee yelling at me, you know, so.
So I just had the idea of, you know what, there’s nobody really in the distribution space that was doing it because this was back in in the end of 2019. And so I just, I requested a meeting with a couple executives, Jeff was one of them. And I pitched it Adam was in that meeting.
And I pitched the idea of, you know, our whole theme is people and ideas over products. And I said, you know, what, why don’t we just walk that out, and have idea episodes and hero episodes and really focus on that and not and not be trying to sell anything, just focus on serving. And then the engineer kicked in and started laying out the process and how we would do this and what a production would look like.
And then Adams expertise came in. And we learned a lot about podcasts editing and all that stuff, right. So then, but once we started figuring out a process, man, it just started snowballing. And now we’re 200 Plus episodes in and now we’re actually trying to revamp the show a little bit coming in 2023.
But it’s been that was really the genesis man, they they looked at me like I had three heads, but then they said go forward. And that’s all I needed. And we were off to the races. We recorded our first episode and February of 2020. And then March hit and we all know what happened. And I shut picked up everything shut it down in the studio.
We had we had we had kind of put some stuff together in our lab and I brought it all here to my home and we never missed a beat man it was it was it was definitely a God thing so far as a timing we got all the equipment and everything we needed then COVID happened and we were able to have eco s wire up and you just just rocking and rolling and and that during that time it was really easy to get guests because nobody everybody’s working at home
Damon Pistulka 24:12
right yeah, yeah. Yeah, we got to work around schedules right
Curt Anderson 24:17
now it’s now it’s getting harder so I a bunch of people are guys were coming in and top of the hour, give a shout out here to our dear wonderful friend guests. Chris Granger. We’ve got Dr. Red Douglas is here today from Dallas. So hey, Happy Happy Friday to you my friend Diane I know Diane the Phillies, you know, I’m not sure what’s going on there. So we’ll see what happens.
So I back to Chris. Chris, you have an awesome name of your podcast, please share the name and kind of basis at like I think it’s brilliant. share with folks your podcasts. I think again, I put the podcast in the comment section. Just talk about where did you come up with this cool name?
Chris Grainger 24:56
Yeah, I mean, the whole Aswath thing came from you know, I guess SEC stole I stole it from Simon Sinek. But you know, so we haven’t made a lot of money with the podcast, I don’t owe me anything. But, you know, I’m just Just kidding with this seriously, like, I have just a naturally inquisitive nature. And I think I’ve learned that when I used to sell, we call it factfinding.
And just trying to understand really who you’re trying to serve. And I think that’s just the why is what was where it’s all about if we can get down to the why and understand that we always wrap up with the why on the show. And it’s just, it really, it’s it stuck. It seemed to work. And it worked good for the hero episodes and the idea of episodes as well.
Curt Anderson 25:37
Yeah, so what and you do a fascinating thing, so you kind of split it into and you have a tagline our heroes are the people who who build things and keep them running. Right. Right. I love that line. So let’s talk about I want to talk about when the last question you ask everybody, what is your why, okay, what are some of the things some of the interesting things maybe like things that have stood out to you when you asked that question? What are some of the interesting responses that you get from folks?
Chris Grainger 26:04
Oh, man, that’s pretty cool question, man. Good job, Kurt on that question. Call me flat footed, which is hard to do. But I think some of the stuff when I look at the individual wise for the idea episodes, I’m always just in awe and how passionate whoever I’m talking, if I’m talking about cybersecurity, power, automation, integrators, whatever their niche is, I’m there, I’m just always fascinated and amazed at how passionate they are about their why whatever that that is, right.
It just people when they, when they get when they’re doing their and when they are aligning their talents, and abilities, and their, into their passions, and all that stuff starts aligning man. It’s just incredible.
Like, get out the way and just stand back and watch. And like, you know, for the hero episodes, the wives usually are around family, which is always cool to hear, you know, hey, there’s a bigger purpose of what we’re doing for our work versus just trying to make this widget better. Like, you know, we were trying to serve our communities. So I mean, those are some reoccurring themes that really come up and that for me, man, they just never get old, you know? Yeah.
Curt Anderson 27:12
I absolutely love that. And so you know, you were connected through our mutual dear friend, Jeff Long. Jeff Greg misuse out there today. That’s a you know, a dear friend of ours. I know Greg and Jeff are working very closely together, we all come together through the Chris Lu keys manufacturing happy hour, you know, there, he’s a Rockwell guy. So I’ve our stars are colliding here.
You know, Jeff, and you’ve interviewed like Joe Sullivan, and, you know, the bunch of mutual friends that we have here in the marketing, you know, manufacturing, marketing circles. What are some things that you’ve picked up that you’ve learned from some of your guests? Some of the exciting things are, you know, like, Damon, you’ll love this. So I’m on his podcast, and he keeps talking about Adam. And you know, like, I had my little notebook here, and I’m writing notes.
And I never noticed this and was like, hey, Kurt, I just wanna let you know, when you’re writing notes. It shakes your table and you’re in your your screens. Shaking. I’m like, you know, that I’ve been, you know, how many episodes of unite done and I’ve never caught that Adam, Adam, pick that up immediately. But, Chris, what are some of the tips that you’ve picked up from other folks, gas, Joe solvents, Jeff Long, some of these other brilliant marketers that you’ve had the privilege of conversing with?
Chris Grainger 28:18
Yeah, man. I mean, the biggest thing is just consistency, right? I mean, consistency, bro, you have to show up all the time. Yeah, there’s just no off days. The cool part about content, though, is it works while you’re sleeping. So but just kind of make that good content, man.
So I mean, for Jeff, he talks about the video value bombs, which are incredible, right? Yeah. So I’ve started really leaning into the idea of reels more and trying to do some reels and taking, you know, snips out of our podcast, as well as just taking things I’ve learned from guests, and making them into some reels that just we dropped separately, all trying to just answer one or two questions, you know, all short, short form type stuff.
But I think that consistency you want when you when you look at guys like Lukey? Man, Jake, Megan, you know, all all the ones that are out there crushing it, right? They’re just they’re extremely consistent, they have a good solid message. They don’t they trot, they pretty much stay in their lane and who they’re trying to serve. And I think if you do that, man, that’s just gonna equate to success.
Curt Anderson 29:20
Absolutely. So let’s talk about so let’s go from the management standpoint. So again, hundreds of episodes that you’ve done, anything, let’s talk about like the, I don’t want to say like, you know, the benefits to the company. Okay. So let’s say there’s somebody out there, they’re like, hey, I want to I want to pull up, Chris, I want to talk to management. I want to talk to the president of the company. I want to start a podcast, but you know, when it comes to the end of the day, it still comes down to return on investment. Right?
So you know, in some in with content, it’s not always, you know, hard deliverable per se, but just share like some of the experiences and relationships, doors that have opened from this podcast that would have never taken place. I know Damon, you and I have we’ve had the privilege of interviewing In amazing, incredible people that we would have never had opportunity to talk with, you know, so we’ll test for that. Chris, just from your standpoint, what is that what doors have opened up for you and for your company?
Chris Grainger 30:11
Yeah, a couple of countermanding immediately. One of them was the integrator in the Carolinas, and we didn’t have a relationship with him. And I ended up reaching out to him and had him on the show come to find out, we went to Old Dominion together.
We’re like, we were literally in the same class, bro. It was crazy. Oh, wow. So But that led to a business relationship that that’s well, that’s now a well, six figure business a year for us. And the most recent man is there’s been they were some of some activity out of Rockwell, and around some new technology that they were pursuing.
And we wanted to know more about it. And so the CEO, the CEO, brought me in in two hours learning more, and I just reached out to my network within the manufacturing, Mafia, you know, all of that gets know about that, right. And I was able to connect with the company that we were looking at their, their chief technology officer and two vice presidents that we’re having on the podcast, to dig into the technology and understand it better.
And from from an ego standpoint, that’s, that’s tremendous value, right. So all of the of our salespeople, our product managers, all that, like we’re gonna be able to put content out here very soon, we’re, we’re in the middle of creating it right now.
And, and recording, that, they’ll be able to share, for one learn, understand this technology better, and then share it with our customers and have that more informed conversations. But it also puts us in this position of authority. And I think if you’re creating content, and you’re trying to get out here and get in front of anything, you’re just trying to be an authority and whatever that space is, and for us, it’s electrical distribution, and we want to be the authority in that.
And that has all these different technologies. So we have to, we have to be very selective, okay, here’s the lanes that we want to play in. And here’s the lanes, we want to dominate, like smart manufacturing. And in those areas, we just want to be the Pete, the trusted advisors that our customers come to. So that will be hopefully that answers your question. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 32:02
That’s so awesome. So awesome. Because if people then we just got to stop and listen, think about this a minute, because what you just said, there is something that content, people skip over this a lot good content, like you’re producing is a very valuable for training your salespeople, to be able to train their customers or educate their customers.
I mean, it’s not training, but to get to educate your salespeople to be able to educate your customers better to help them make informed decisions, that will come back to you because you’re the one that’s educating them on these new technologies on this, and it’s your content.
It’s your interview with the CTO that that someone could look at a bystander could look back and go, Wow, you know, because you’re just out here interviewing Yeah, it’s cool. He interviewed him. And if you don’t use the content past that you lose that value of creating the information that helps your salespeople and your customers, educate, helps educate them and make a better decision. It’s so valuable. That’s cool. So
Curt Anderson 33:07
yeah, I absolutely loved that Chris tonight, you know, what Damon I’ve even found like, say, there’s a subject that comes up and somebody’s like, you know, hey, do have information on this leadership workforce, whatever, it might be totally out of my lane. I’m like, not my wheelhouse. However, I’ve got a great interview that I can share with you of this cracker that we that we brought on.
And so again, so here’s I want to go here, Chris. So again, you’re a little bit unique because you you know the company culture again, guys, if you’re just joining us with with Chris Granger, do an amazing job with your podcast, eco sy sy at your company, and you know, company, embrace it love that you’re a couple 100 episodes in, what has it done for you personally?
Chris Grainger 33:50
Well, man, it’s for me personally, it’s really, it’s just, it’s given me a really cool identity at Ico now and to try to try new things. So before I was in a transition between our service business and the supply, Ico, s WA, was a really good place for me to land and serve and learn along the way, man, because I mean, for the longest time I was in the service side, I wasn’t in the technology side.
So it’s been, it’s been somewhat of drinking from a firehose at time. Like if you’re gonna interview like a CTO about a complex software system, you got to do some research, right? You got to do your homework.
So yeah, so it’s it’s been kind of cool there because now if you want to talk about cybersecurity if you want to talk power, if you want to talk automation, you know, talk controls like I can hang with you. I may not be the guy that’s gonna go down in the weeds, but like I’ll be able to sit at a table right we’ll wait then I’ll But the cool part is now I know the guys and the girls that I need to pool that’s going to help serve and answer your question and that’s what it’s about.
Like somebody told me a while back like, bro, like your superpower is your connection. Like you’re a connector of like, well, I never thought of that you know, but about a podcast. asked I think looky he said he said this before to like it is it’s it’s basically just opens your world to meeting so many people in your network ability to the ability to network with people just goes through the roof, you know,
Curt Anderson 35:12
right. And it’s a perfect transition not for transition, it’s a perfect fit for you again, you know, from our brief friendship that we’ve been developing, you know, you just man, you’re just the master class of serving. And it’s just, it’s just a great opportunity where you’re just interviewing somebody, and you’re just really exposing their superpowers, what their, you know, their company, like you said, passion, everything that they’re all about.
Now, I want to I want to you have a personal podcast, I’m gonna throw that out there, the line within Can we talk a little bit about how the transition from Ico is why? And then also you’re like, Hey, I’m gonna start this other podcast. Well, that’s
Chris Grainger 35:47
just, that’s a good thing. So I mean, God, you know, he just lays it on you. And he’s like, Alright, I’ve given you this skill. And I’ve taught you this. Now you better use it for me, buddy. Nothing about you, man. Okay, yes, sir. We’ll do you know. So again, that’s that’s led, you know, God’s you know, he opened some doors.
And it’s been that’s been an incredible journey itself, like, the people I’ve been able to connect with Jeff Long has actually been on that show as well. So he’s been he’s, he’s double dip, right? That’s right. So but yeah, it’s that podcast, serves Christian men. And in the area of leadership, we talk about health wealth itself. And the growth on that show has been incredible. I mean, the guests have been incredible. Like, bro, you only believe like, I had one of the guys from Duck Dynasty on the show.
Like, how does that happen? How’s it redneck in North Carolina? They can. Yeah, you know. So that’s been incredible. A pastor Joby who is Tim Tebow is Pastor down in Florida, we’ve I mean, I’ve connected with some guys that just, gosh, just moving man, and it’s just for me with that show and the community that we’re building there, it’s just, again, it’s just trying to serve at the highest level.
And yeah, it’s not the line within Chris, it is always the line within us. And I try to make sure people remember that and, and look just trying to make better husbands, dads, businessmen, whatever you find yourself, we need better leadership across the board. That’s what it’s all about.
Curt Anderson 37:10
Well, I absolutely love that. And, you know, the folks you keep mentioning Jeff law, you know, Jeff, I had the honor of meeting Jeff Long in person last month or month before and you know, he Greg, miss you, Damon here, just you know, it’s in our women, Diane, Nicole, Whitney, everybody out there Wesleyan, you know, all these folks that just I feel like they’re my accountability partners, that just, I feel like, I have to be the best I can be or be a better person, just with who I’m surrounding myself with.
Chris, I want to, I want to be mindful of your time, we’re gonna start winding down here, but you’re a big, you know, you talked about the connector, and again, with the line within what you’re doing with eco, Sy, but you’re really what you’re doing is you’re building community.
Okay. And I know like our dear friend, Nicole, Damon, you and Nicole on faces a business you took a deep dive on, like building community, Chris talked about why is it so important? Just, you know, coming out of COVID? You know, it was very challenging, you know, we were starving for some type of community. So since we couldn’t meet in person, well, why is it been so important to you to build these communities professionally and personally?
Chris Grainger 38:13
Well, because that means from a professional standpoint, you know, everybody tells b2b And I get it. I’ve been in b2b my whole life. But but when I finally flipped in my brain and stopped talking b2b, and I actually just made it p2p, so person to person, right?
Still, I mean, it’s, at the end of the day, you’re dealing with people, and if you treat them the right way, if you actually care, if you show genuine humility, then you’re going to be successful, it’s going to lead it’s gonna breed success, but if you fake any of it, you’re gonna get caught out. You’re my wife says, all your sins will find you out and she is right. I mean, it will show it will show up, you know, so, you know, if you actually care and try to serve people at the highest level, man, good things are gonna happen.
And that, that just lead into the personal life to with you know, we were with our community at the line within us like we’re struggling I struggle with connecting with people at our local church. But I have found this interesting online communities that are out there. People are more willing to share I’m more willing to open up more willing to just be vulnerable. So I don’t know we’ll see where that goes. But man, I think at the end of the day, it’s not it’s not b2b is p2p, remember, it is all about serving other people. Yeah.
Curt Anderson 39:24
Your sins will find you out is that man, tell your wife that I’m I’m taking that to heart right there. So I absolutely love that. And again, Daymond Chris, Chris, first off, thank you what a what a privilege. It is. Just being in your circle, being in your world. Again. I love your humility, and I probably make you uncomfortable doing this, but Daymond he is really making a huge difference not just with what he’s doing. Eco, eco sorry, Eco, but also what he’s doing with this community.
You know, he’s we’ve talked about how you know, like, you know, accountability guys that are struggling folks that are challenges, you know, like, you know, boy, everybody’s facing something, you know, like job loss, personal relationships, personal relationships, broken, maybe addictions, whatever it might be, Chris, and I know like you’re just impacting hundreds and just a massive community making a huge difference by just you know, exploiting your talents, your God given talents.
And like you said, just, you know, answering that call, because a lot of people are gonna say, hey, you know what, I’m too busy to answer that call. So I really, you know, Daymond, I admire that you’ve risen up to the occasion. Yeah. And just taking that on. Again, just I know, you’re humble guy just share a little bit about like, just some some of the notes or just some of the changes that you’ve seen within your community of guys reaching out to saying, hey, this made a difference for me.
Chris Grainger 40:40
Well, I mean, I see I got a guy, and I don’t even know how to answer your question. Sometimes, Kurt, but I’m gonna try my best. So I got a guy in Ohio, who joined our community, as vice president at a company. And I was encouraging him, I was trying to tell him that the impact he has on himself, as well as the people that his his circle of influence, to just lean into some uncomfortable things, and actually, so he came back to me, I gave him some, some, some things to think about.
And now he’s leading a group of 75 guys through a Bible study and devotion. And it’s not just about what he’s doing, but like, just think about the ripple effect, right? Mother Teresa said, like, you know, I can’t change the world, but I’ll cast my stone and and just watch the ripples, right?
I mean, that’s all I can do is just cast that stone, watch the ripples, try to help guys, for the lion. I’m just trying to help guys, you know, be a better husband, that better dad, that better leader in their community, whatever that is not dude, wrap everything around a Christian element. So and I don’t have behind that. So if you’re a Christian, and people at work, don’t know you’re a Christian, maybe you need to think about that, you know, are they seeing your fruit every day, and I try to let my fruit be shown to others and, and really just challenge people challenge, guys.
I mean, we had a guy last night or Bible study, who has a business decision in front of him on whether or not to enter this partnership. And I stopped the Bible study. I was like, Alright, this is an iron sharpening iron moment. Lay it out, what do you really have in front of you, and he laid it out. And then he had about six or seven guys just jump in. And I bought at the end of that call. He was ready, baby.
He was ready, he was ready to go out and make a decision. That was that’s wrapped in prayer. And you know, he has brothers around him that are gonna come beside and help him along the way. So I think you do stuff like that at work. You do stuff like that, and your personal life, man and you just surround yourself with good people like we do it eco. Man. Good things are gonna happen, you know?
Curt Anderson 42:30
Yeah, I love that and just you know, doing things you know, regardless where you are faith wise, you know, doing things with integrity, doing things authentic, doing things with gratitude, doing things in humility. Just you know, and just great things can happen.
I heard a great line on a podcast last night woman said, you know, whatever challenges, frustrations, you know, devastations tragedies, whatever you’ve gone through. You’re standing here today. You’ve gone through and survived 100% of your worst moments, is it? You’ve survived? I’m like, I’m like, Man, that was a you know, you’ve survived 100% of your worst moments.
And Chris, great things are ahead. You’re updating you shirtless earlier. You guys are maybe doing some tweaks for the podcast. I want to just share with us 2020 threes rate we got the holidays right here. You’ve got it again. If anybody missed it. We have new baby Granger coming at us next. Friday, less than seven days. Thinking about so we’ve got baby we’ve got holidays. 2023 is right around the corner, share with us, you know, exciting things goals. What are you taking off with for next year?
Chris Grainger 43:32
Yeah, for next year. What I’m really trying to I’ve been talking with Jeff and Adam about this a lot is trying to get back to some more written content and around taking the show. And maybe we’re actually going to be adopting a lot of you know, market share, and they ask you answer, a type of philosophy into it. So I’m gonna be I’m reading it right now. Yeah, bro. I mean, it’s right here. Yeah, this one book, you may know this book, you know? But
Curt Anderson 44:00
hey, Chris, you know, my mom. Thanks you for that one,
Chris Grainger 44:02
bro. Hey, man. It’s all good, bro. Your mom should be proud of her son. But anyway, so it’s, it’s, we’re gonna be implementing a lot of they ask you answer. So the show actually may or may start shifting around the first or second quarter where it’s gonna be more solo episodes. So it would be me answering the questions that we get asked the most from the field, right? Yeah. And they’re shorter.
There’ll be a shorter format for those particular episodes. I still want to do the heroes because people love the heroes Yeah, and had those But let’s get real specific, real tight on the areas that we want to serve that we feel like we can serve our customers best and then wrap that with written content, as you know as well to go along with it.
That written content man and then on top of all that videos like the reels like I was telling you about how to videos, we just we want to have the number one digital presence for industrial distribution period. And that you got to answer a lot of questions, man.
And that’s it. You Whatever. Mr. IAN I technician is searching at two o’clock in the morning. I want this ugly mug to pop up or want to eat those ugly mugs to pop up and answer, right? I mean, that’s great. We can do that man that serving and the next thing you know, that’s gonna be your top your your top top of your funnel, and then that will get down to bottom line sales.
Curt Anderson 45:18
And then thank you for seeing that one. Damon, what’s our what’s our favorite line, you know, help that ideal client, help that customer make a buying decision and a Friday night at midnight, without having to wait for you to open up your doors on Monday morning.
And Chris, that’s exact, you know, somebody you know, who knows what time zone they’re in, maybe they can sleep. And they’re doing a little bit of due diligence research. Give them that information at two in the morning make their life as easy as possible. That’s how you win the day. I know you guys are. We talked a little bit about e commerce. I know you’ve got a full strategy, and that’s going to be hot and heavy for 20 ties.
Chris Grainger 45:50
Oh, yeah. Yeah, the we haven’t. So we like pain and suffering apparently. So we we started, we have a new ERP, a new e commerce platform. Yeah, new a new website. I believe there’s a new CRM that’s gonna be implemented next year. So it’s just like, you know, I think we just like,
Damon Pistulka 46:09
take the punches to the gut all at once. Yeah. Yeah.
Curt Anderson 46:13
Throwing a baby in there while you’re at it. Yeah.
Chris Grainger 46:16
So yeah, big big changes, but it’s all cool stuff. I mean, yeah, if you’re not making these investments, man, you’re just not gonna be able to serve because I mean, you think about the whole digital transformation the way it’s happened in the plant for that digital transformation has happened and industrial distribution to you got to be on the forefront to be able to be a leader so peripherally, our leaders at Ico they do a great job of this and they’re ahead of it and we’re come January it’s gonna be exciting times awesome
Curt Anderson 46:46
hey, let’s Alright we’re gonna wind down and Diane had a great comment here person a person love it still in that like Marsel second base lol So Diane, I hate go Phillies. We’re rooting for your Phillies Whitney, you know, Astorino can’t take sides. Can we do what are the odds? Houston, flip Houston. Texans, right. We’re playing Philadelphia Eagles last night, same same time. Oh, really?
I didn’t. I don’t think I can’t imagine that’s ever happened in history of sports. You know, both cities were playing in football and in the World Series last night. So that was a rarity. So one team one each. So let’s wind down in this Chris. Chris. First off. Thank you. Thank you. This is just such an honor privilege. You just you talk about rising tides man, you just made all of us better. You’re just such a great human being. It’s such an honor to be in your circle. We give a big shout out to Dad bill for doing such a great job.
Parenting this young man. So my last question for you, Chris. We talked about who’s your hero and you give a shout out to bill is your hero growing up today? Big exciting things going on next week. But man dude, you are such an inspiration. I would love to know who inspires who or what inspires you to just keep this fire going. All these podcasts, all this content, your drive family being a great husband who inspires you today,
Chris Grainger 48:08
man as easy Kurt is right here. It’s right here, man. It’s been in my lap the whole time. You know, I mean, I’m a man of faith and I believe in Jesus Christ and the Son of God and he had the Holy Spirit the line within that’s their baby. So that that is my drive.
Curt Anderson 48:27
Well, hey, we’re just take a pause on that one day, man. So Chris, dude, God bless you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing. I know you’re super busy. So this was I know this was just such an honor and privilege for you to join us today.
So guys, I just want to go out I just been have an amazing, rideable weekend send positive vibes to Chris and his wife on their baby coming at us right I can’t wait to hear that great news there Chris. So Damon let’s man I’m like I’m I’m like a little bit flustered dude, this was such a great episode. Yeah, yeah, we’re gonna close out guys. Please go out. Chris is such an inspiration go out and be someone’s inspiration man just go out there just keep that line within as Chris says, Damon, take it away brother.
Damon Pistulka 49:18
All right, well, let’s just let’s soak this in for a second but thanks so much Chris for being here today. Thanks everyone that was listening today that commenting on our shop you know manufacturing ecommerce success curtain. I just appreciate the hell out of it really.
And we love that that people are here and listening and engaging with us. And just love the fact that we can have people inspiring people like Chris here and and share, share the things that we get to share, man. It’s it’s a blessing. We’ll be back again next week with more great stuff from manufacturing ecommerce success. See everyone