The Power of Serendipity in Business

In this riveting episode of “The Faces of Business,” we are thrilled to host Noah Graff, Editor, Today’s Machining World, and Vice President, Graff Pinkert, who shares the essence of serendipity strategies and how they can be a driver behind business success.

In this riveting episode of “The Faces of Business,” we are thrilled to host Noah Graff, Editor, Today’s Machining World, and Vice President, Graff Pinkert, who shares the essence of serendipity strategies and how they can be a driver behind business success.

Noah delves into how serendipitous strategies can create a ripple effect of success in your business endeavors. He shares tales from the trenches, insights into nurturing a culture of serendipity, and how embracing the unexpected can pave the way to uncharted territories of success.

With over 15 years in manufacturing media, Noah provides a unique perspective into how paying attention and taking action on serendipitous moments can lead to game-changing outcomes. He shares how being open and prepared enabled breakthroughs that accelerated growth for brands like Graff-Pinkert and Royal Products.
The show starts with Damon’s matchless energy to explore the power of serendipity in business. He heartily welcomes Noah to this Livestream.

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Damon asks Noah about his background and journey that led him to their current position. Noah lightly replies, “nepotism.” However, on a serious note, Noah mentions that his family has a long history in the machinery business, with his grandfather starting Graph Pinkert 80 years ago. His father and uncle also had ties to the business.

Initially, Noah majored in film in college and was interested in documentary filmmaking. However, his father, who had a master’s in journalism, saw an opportunity to combine their passion for machinery and writing. In 2005, Noah joined the family business, helping to bring it online as print media declined.

Around 2011, they transitioned to an online platform and began blogging. Approximately five years ago, Noah started “Swarfcast,” a podcast focused on the machining industry. Apart from writing, Noah spends his time buying and selling used machinery worldwide, a role he refers to as being a “treasure hunter.” This label adds a sense of romance to his ventures.

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Moreover, the guest discusses an episode of his podcast, “Swarfcast,” where he interviewed Kristian Bush, the author of “The Serendipity Mindset.” In the book, Bush outlines strategies for finding serendipity rather than relying solely on luck.

At Damon’s request, Noah reveals his father’s journey in the machinery and content creation business. His father, who had always wanted to write since he was a child, decided to pursue a career in journalism. He obtained a master’s in journalism. Noah’s father chose the latter when he faced a career choice between working for the New York Times or joining the family machinery business. In the late 1980s, he started a magazine called “Graph Pinkert Times.” He also founded “Screw Machine World,” focusing on specialized machinery for various industries.

The Treasure Hunter also introduces the term “swarf,” a concept he may further discuss in the conversation. He explains that “swarf” is a British term referring to the chips and residue that accumulate in the bottom of a machine during its operation. When Noah’s father started “Screw Machine World,” he had a personal column called “swarf,” symbolizing the idea of the inner workings and details of the machinery business, much like examining the machine’s “guts.”

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Damon commends Noah’s family business for its distinctiveness in the machinery industry. He requests Noah to talk about any of his big nuggets in his symbolic treasure hunts.

Noah responds by introducing several strategies related to serendipity. He introduces several serendipity-related strategies he has learned, such as “serendipity bombs” (approaching multiple opportunities), “serendipity hooks” (creating engaging conversations with shared interests), and “connecting the dots” (building a diverse network and connecting people to create new opportunities).

The guest also shares how he subtly inserts discussions about buying and selling machining companies into conversations without directly asking if someone wants to sell their company.

Noah then shares a story from 2016 or 2017 when he was dating his future wife. During this time, he traveled worldwide to inspect machines, particularly an advanced CNC multi-spindle screw machine known as an “index.”

While talking about a business deal involving an MX42 machine in Stuttgart, Germany, Noah reveals that he had connected with a potential buyer from Brazil and flown there to inspect the machine. However, the buyer wanted to consult with his boss about the purchase. When Noah called the next day, the machine happened to be sold to someone else.

Determined to make the most of his travel, Noah contacted a contact in Barcelona, Spain, who had similar machines for sale. Noah flew to Barcelona and secured the machines thanks to his good relationship with the seller. The unexpected opportunity for travel and additional business arose from what initially seemed like a failed deal in Stuttgart.

Damon reflects on the reciprocal nature of goodwill and the unexpected returns from helping others. He contrasts the conventional approach with Noah’s: “It’s not nearly as much fun.”

As the show’s conclusion draws near, Noah discusses his plans and projects for 2024. These include his podcast’s growth and his interest in neuroplasticity through the works of Shad Helmstetter. He believes positive self-talk helps us incorporate goal-setting into our routine.

The show ends with Damon thanking Noah for his time.

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Noah Graff, Damon Pistulka

Damon Pistulka 00:02
All right, everyone, welcome once again the faces of business. I am your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am very excited for our guests today because we have no graph here. We’re going to be talking about serendipity strategies for business success. We got Noah is from graph, Pinkard, they they are used CNC Allah, you explain it better night machinery dealer. You’re also the host of the swerve cast podcast. Welcome. No.

Noah Graff 00:35
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. This is really interesting. I’ve never done a live podcast before. And after having done like 200 episodes, like, it’s always fun to be on somebody else’s episode and just have the table’s turned and get to see myself in a different way. So I really appreciate you having me. Let’s, let’s get it started. What do you got Damon?

Damon Pistulka 01:05
Well, so So tell me a little bit. So you. We always like to start out with people’s history. Ken, how did you get into what you’re doing today? And then and then we’ll work into the topic because you, you approached and we met through your interesting, taught a subject of serendipity in business. And I just want to hit this hard when we get to the end of it. But how did we get here? How did Noah get here today? What’s been kind of your path? What’s, what’s happened in your world?

Noah Graff 01:36
Yeah, well, I guess that’s, that’s all about serendipity. One thing leading to another. Yeah. So I work in a family business. Buying and selling used machine tools. People ask how I got into it. The first answer is nepotism.

Damon Pistulka 01:57
This just happens sometimes.

Noah Graff 02:00
It happens. So just so happens that my grandfather started this company graph Pinkard 80 years ago. And then my father and my uncle were in the business, my uncle, he’s in a different business now. But you know, it always been something I had been around, hadn’t known what I was going to do for a while. And then, in college, I majored in film, I made some documentaries, I was sort of interested in getting into that. And meanwhile, my dad who has a master’s in journalism, he had combined his two passions of the machinery business, and, and writing, and it started his own b2b Magazine, about our industry that specifically, the turn parts, the screw machine industry. And so it’s 2005. And I’m 25, and I’m trying to figure out what I want to do. And he, he loves me, and he’s like, look, you know, broadband is coming, he was like, about two years ahead of his time, you know, you could come in, you can make video stories to go along with, you know, all all the stuff we’re doing. And so I go in, and I give it a shot. And then I start writing and blogging and eventually come about 2011. We just took the whole thing online, because print was dead. And, and so we had it online, we were blogging, et cetera. And and then about five years ago, I started swarf cast, which is a podcast about the same stuff we talked about. With today’s machining world. That’s the name of the magazine used to be a magazine now it’s a blog. And it you know, we’re very into stories of people in the business and speaking our mind, about whatever we think our listeners, readers would be interested in. My dad writes a blog every week and we send it out to a zillion people and then I put out a podcast, and or sometimes a blog. And we interview shop owners and people who we feel like are going to help them in their business people in specifically the machining, business, the turn parts business. And so you know, I do that maybe 10 to 20% of my time, and then the rest of the time. I buy and sell used machinery around the world and I like to call myself a treasure hunter.

Damon Pistulka 04:59
Yeah, because

Noah Graff 05:01
it’s, you know, I, people ask me, how how’d you get that? That idea of treasure hunter. And so it was about 2008 2007. I was going in through through a transition in my life, not that I’m not still. And I was seeing an analyst. And he, at the same time, I was making a documentary about all of the Chicago locations of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. So I was going to all the Chicago locations and like, recapturing the magic of the film, and you can watch the whole thing on YouTube. It’s called leaving Ferris. And oh, man, I’m gonna Yeah, I mean, it was it was really fun. We, I, we got a Ferrari replica. And we went into the house that he’s in, and we took it down Lakeshore drive, went to the cub game went, went to all these houses, that where the movie takes place where he’s running through all the backyard. So I’m telling my analyst this and, and he’s like, Well, you know, you’re a treasure hunter, you know, just just like, all this stuff that you’re doing, you’re scouting your locations, you’re going around the world, looking for interesting machines, that are undervalued, that are, you know, in crazy places. And, you know, it creates so much better of a romantic framework in your head versus, you know, I go and I buy dirty machinery from 50 years ago that nobody wants, and then I sell it to somebody else for more money than I bought it for. Which is is also true. But, you know, it’s, it’s more fun to be a treasure hunter. And I think when you have that in your mind, it can it can change the tone, it can change the way you go about things. And, and, you know, when when I connect with other dealers, I call them on the phone, and I go, so do you got any treasure? What do you got for me today? Yeah. And so that’s, that’s, that’s what I do. A lot of our business, you know, you mentioned serendipity, I think in the introduction, and is the word my dad always like to use, you know, one thing leads to another, you just just sort of feel like you’re, you’re getting lucky, you know? Yeah. And, and then I interviewed a guy for our podcast for swarf cast. I believe it’s episode 123. And it’s with a guy named Kristian Bush, who wrote a book recently, but a year or two ago, called the serendipity mindset. And in this book, it’s got all these different tactics, all these different strategies of how you can find serendipity. So it’s not just a dumb luck. Yeah, I fell into this one thing, because you ever notice how there are certain people who always seem to be in the right place at the right time? You know, like, there’s really lucky people. And there are ways that you can do this. So, you know, so you find these crazy machines? I mean, like to the treasure hunter. Yeah. I mean, we’ve, I’ve bought machines, I bought a machine in Slovenia, for a Spanish customer. I found this this machine online from the Slovenian dealer. And I got together with it, and it was like the most esoteric machine, there’s just like a few of them in the world, hence, why we would go to Slovenia. And the machine was in a barn, and you could hear cows moving in a while in the room next door. Or, you know, we actually bought some machines. This was before I was there, but we bought some machines in in the caves under Kansas City, because oh my goodness, us we had this Arsenal you know what I’m talking about?

Damon Pistulka 09:46
Yeah, this wasn’t like old salt mines or something like that under Kansas City that their minds of some sort that now they use them for storage and other things.

Noah Graff 09:55
Yeah, yeah. So like, I guess during the Korean War, our government was trying trying to prepare for for the next war. And so they had these huge kinematic multi spindle screw machines and they kept it in there. But anyways, back to the serendipity. You want me to talk about? Well, let’s, let’s try to

Damon Pistulka 10:16
get some questions about this. Because you, you, it’s got to be I think about this. First of all, from your dad, being in this business, you know, he’s second generation, your dad’s second generation, your third generation is business. So second generation person. He’s, he’s got to work in ER, gotta use machinery either. However, he’s part of it. He decides to write of a blog or have a magazine, what was the what? What was his deal there? Because most people like I’m selling, I’m selling machines, right? And that’s what I got to do. But he’s talking about, I gotta write what what sort

Noah Graff 10:55
of, I think it’s sort of like me with the film stuff, actually, in the podcast stuff like he, he grew up, you know, around the business and liked the business. But then he decided, he had always been really interested in writing. And ever since he was a kid, he always laughs about sending stories to Reader’s Digest when he was a kid and having stuff published. So at University of Michigan, he, I guess, he Well, he he enlisted. And then to dodge the draft. And then then after that, he came back and he went, he got a master’s in journalism. But then he then he met my mom, and they decided to have a family and he had the choice whether he wanted to, like, go with some of his colleagues and, you know, go work for the New York Times, or whatever, or join the family treasure hunting business. And he, he liked both. And so he did that. And then he back in like, the late 80s or 90s. He had he started his own thing. He calls it like a zine. He had a zine before everybody has zine. And it was called the graph pinker times. Yeah. And, and then, later, he decided to start. He actually he started a website, he believed he started a website, I think, in I don’t know, the late 90s He home, I figured he figured he was going to have this blog, and like sell out his blog. And, and, again, he was a little ahead of his time. And then that didn’t catch on because people weren’t ready for it. And so, they started a magazine called screw machine world, because screw machines are what we specialize in turn parts that go into everything from aerospace to medical to automotive, and then later on, they wanted to make it a little bit more you know, still machining, but they changed it to today’s machining world, because you know, a lot of the screw machining companies, they run other kinds of CNC waves and so as you know, our business changed some was still specialized in the multi spindles, but we sell CNC lathes and, you know, whatever we think our customers are interested in, but it’s still you want to don’t want to be doing the same thing everybody else is doing right. So yeah, be versatile, but we were not exactly generalists. And there’s a place for being a generalist but I don’t know we think we you know, I feel like the machines so I, I worked with this guy Rex, he was kind of my I apprenticed under him, we’d go on the road finding stuff. And he always said, the machines you make the most money on are the dirty machines, and the weird machines that nobody really knows what that they are. So you know, that’s that one of the things about the screw machines is people don’t really know what they’re worth sometimes or they look old, you know, a mechanical screw machine. I was born in 1980. So, if a mechanical screw machine is, was built, after I was born, I consider it a it’s considered a rat. relatively new skirmishing. It’s kind of crazy. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s that, you know. So that’s kind of how it morphed. So went into today’s machining world, and then it went online. And then do you know what the word swarf means?

Damon Pistulka 15:16
Yes. But explain it, explain it to the people that

Noah Graff 15:19
most people probably don’t know it. It’s sort of a, I think it’s a British term. All the chips and grime in the bottom of the machine. That’s called swarf. And so, when my dad started screw machine world, his like, personal column was called swarf. Because it was like, I’m getting into the guts, you know, but this is

Damon Pistulka 15:47
good. It’s, it’s good dude. Because you guys, you guys took something that you go to any other machinery dealer, right? Any other machinery dealer, any kind of machines, different stuff, right? And you guys did something to stand out. And it’s really interesting to me that your father thought about this. In, you know, like you said, whenever it was in the 90s, and thinking about this, building a website, going online, doing the things that nobody else was doing Yes, ahead of the time. But what has carried throughout and we’ll continue to talk about here as he that differentiating factor, both you’re specializing in equipment, and you have something that you’re connecting with people in the industry through today’s machining roll,

Noah Graff 16:33
I think, Yeah, you totally hit it. The thing is, I think both of us. We could we make more money? Maybe, if we didn’t do the other stuff? Um, because it takes quite a bit of our time. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know, maybe. But you, if you have something that you’re passionate about that really, that keeps you in the game? You know, it. You know, we do it for that, you know, I think we do spend a lot of time people, probably some of the people that in our company probably get annoyed, because they see us working on and stuff like that, but it does it. You know, it is a part of the business. A lot of people eventually say, oh, you know, finally one day they buy a machine and they go, Oh, my God, I’ve been following you for 20 years. And yes, we, and we’ve gotten into this selling, buying and selling companies now. Yeah, I mean, companies. And we sold one this year, and the guy called and said, you know, the reason i i went with you was because I heard your ad on your podcast, that you guys do this. So I was like, All right, five years of the podcast and now we sold the company, which had Amen, I’m sure. You know, that would that would probably really get your juices flowing.

Damon Pistulka 18:09
Well, it’s it’s you guys have you guys have done something. You’ve built a community around today’s machining world that is around your business that helps to differentiate you and create advocates for your business. I’m sure you get people because of this long term. You’re there. Graph. Pinkard? Is there there, you got today’s machining world, you get people calling you up all the time that have machines. I’m sure that they got they they’ve heard about you they got a machine. They want to get rid of it or they want one?

Noah Graff 18:43
Yeah. I don’t know if it’s really if they call because it does give us credibility. It does. That I mean, I’m just being honest with you. I don’t know if I feel like people call. If they think that you have something that they want to buy, or they want to sell that yes, they might call for advice, because they’ve seen it and maybe, you know somebody who has a venture and they want to work with us. But usually it’s I mean, that’s what’s on the it’s on the damn website, whether they but I do think I think it’s part of the whole serendipity thing. I mean, it is totally, it’s all connected. And it’s I think it connects us mentally also keeps us in the game and keeps our heads right and so that’s the story with that.

Damon Pistulka 19:53
Yeah. So you’re talking about this what what is one of the big nuggets that you found in your treasure hunts, it sticks out in your mind. You talked about the one Sylvania you thought, Okay, I

Noah Graff 20:05
got a good one. I got a good one. But I, you know, before I get to that, I want to tell you what some of the, what some of the strategies are, and then that’ll lead into some of these. Oh, very cool. Yeah, treasure hunting thing. So. Okay, so I didn’t make this up. But, you know, I’ve really made a study of this guy named, his name is Christian Bush. And so he’s got several things. One thing he likes, is it’s called serendipity bombs. So say you are looking for something, say you’re looking for you have a couple of dream guests that you want on your podcast. You rather than just like email one, or contact one, like email, six of them. Because one might stick? You know, it seems like a very simple thing. Like it’s, it’s a numbers game. But it’s like, you know, bombing in the foot in football, you just throw it up. And sometimes really good things will happen. Yeah. So that’s one thing. Pretty obvious. Another thing is called serendipity hooks. And this is, this is one of these gold things that really, it changes your mindset, and it creates discovery. So you know, a good this, this is where you say things in your conversation that that trigger new things happening, triggers magic. So for instance, if somebody asked me what I do for a living, I mean, first, I don’t know if I even if I love that question anyways, I don’t. But anyways, if somebody asked me what I do for a living, rather than just say, Oh, I’m a machinery dealer. First of all, if I say that everybody’s just gonna go, huh? You know. So I say, Well, you know, I’m a used machinery dealer. I’m also a podcast host. And I, you know, I’m, I’m also really into salsa dancing, I’ve been doing it a long time. But now lately, I just haven’t had that much time to do it. Because I have a one and a half year old son, who just keeps me really busy. So all of a sudden, you have four or five things to talk about, all of a sudden, that strikes a chord with people. And, you know, they may not have anything to say to you about one or two of them. But, you know, I was surprised. And I guess I shouldn’t have been, but when you tell people about having a child, like, that’s one of the like, number one things that gets people’s interest and creates a conversation, oh, I have a one and a half year old, what, you know, what, what’s, what kind of crazy stuff does he do? Right? So, for instance, you know, I might use this with machinery dealing, you know, like where, say, I have a Swiss CNC machine, like US citizens with CNC machine, they’re used a lot in like medical parts. And somebody contacts me about it, and they saw it on the website, rather than just like, send them a quote, and be done with it. I will look at their website, I’ll find out what other machines they have on their website. And then I’ll see what the heck I have, right? Because so they’re asking for a citizen, but maybe they also have stars. And I have a star in stock. And that’s another it’s like an alternative to a citizen. So then I call them and we talk about the machine. And then I go, you know, I noticed on your website, you have star machines, you know, we happen to have a whole bunch of those as well. And all of a sudden, because you called and you made a connection that’s like very key for creating serendipity. But again, you brought up something totally different in the conversation than the original question. And all of a sudden, maybe something totally better started and we do the same thing. lately. We’ve been you know, our one of our latest businesses is buying and selling machining companies. So, after I’m done with like every conversation, I insert the hook, you know, we buy and sell machining companies. Have you guys ever thought about growing through acquisition? And I generally don’t like to ask people if they want to sell their company? I feel like if you, if you ask them about one question, the other one will come out. And you know, and maybe I’ll say, or do you happen to know of anybody that wants to buy or sell a company and some of the ones for sale, they that’s how they came out. So you asked, you know, about a story. I’ll give you a story using some of those some of those things. Alright, so this was, this was back 2016. I know this because, or 2017, I just started dating my, my future wife. And back then, things were really fun. Because the pre COVID get to travel all over the world, the machines that the older folks I work with, they don’t feel like traveling anywhere. So I’m the guy that gets to travel. So there’s a machine called an index. This is a CNC multi spindle screw machine. This is like, you want to make millions of parts. And they’re really complicated. This is like the state of the art thing. If you bought one now, you know, you’re talking like two and a half million dollars. But the machines we sell, we like to say we like to joke that we specialize in imperfect equipment. You don’t really you make money on the dirty weird ones, right?

Damon Pistulka 27:01
Yeah, the dirty and weird, like you said.

Noah Graff 27:03
So there’s a machine. This was an MX 42. From 1999. They stopped making these like in the late 90s. And had a guy in Brazil, who was interested guy named Ruggerio. And there was a guy named Wolfgang in Germany, who I had talked to I had seen this, this Ms. 42 Online. And I say, hey, Wolfgang, you know, I’m interested in the machine. He gives me a price. He’s like, Okay, go. It’s like three hours from Stuttgart. We’ll reserve the machine for you. So Ruggerio and I we fly over to Stuttgart, he flies from Brazil. We drive three hours. Because see the machine really likes it. And he says, Okay, this is good. I need to go home and talk to my boss. And, you know, can you hold it for me for a week? And I said, Look, I’m happy to hold it for you. But I know in this business, when people hold things, it’s not exactly a hold. And so it goes home. I stay I go back to Stuttgart. Next morning, I call them to make sure the machine is reserved. I’m lying in bed, I call him and he says, Sorry, the machine has been sold. So, you know, I flew all over. And it works for the guy from Brazil, right? And what I always do, is whenever I go somewhere, particularly when I don’t have a wife or a kid, I leave a bunch of time to go visit other people. Because things always seem to be happening while you’re traveling. I don’t know why, like you’re out of your paradigm, adventures, serendipity, they always seem to happen. So I’m lying in bed. I’m just like, alright, you know, I decided to at this time, I didn’t really know what it was but I throw a serendipity bomb. I call my friend Javier. The same guy who went and bought the machine from Slovenia. He He’s our best index customer and he’s in Barcelona, Spain. I call him and I said hey, Javier, do you have anything you want to you want to sell? And he goes well, actually, you know, we have like three Ms. 40 twos, you know, from like, 1999. And I was like, oh my god, like, This is crazy. I’m getting on a plane going to Barcelona right now which no offense to Stuttgart but Barcelona is like, a lot more fun. Amazing. So yeah, go to Barstow. Wanna check out the machines? They look good. I call Ruggerio. Jerry, I was like, these look good. But you know, I have to, you know, I need a couple of weeks to come back this time that I was able to get a hold because I, you know, I know them pretty well. So I get a hold. And then my wife, she just so happened to have lost her job. Like, and she didn’t really like that job anyways. So you know, it sucked. But it was a good thing in the end. Yeah. So I was like, Well, look, I have to go back for these machines, you know, and you don’t have a job right now. Why don’t you just come with me? Well, we’ll just travel all over Europe looking at machines, and, you know, and mess around. And so we do it, we go there and end up selling the machines to Ruggerio I sell them to instead of one. Oh, my goodness. Make like, way more money. Yeah. And then we had a vacation out of it. And then while I’m there, this guy from Holland calls looking for this crazy, strange, multi spindle screw machine that I had seen from my friend Paulo, in Milan. And I was like, Wait a second, I know of this machine. Like, get. So we had planned to go from Spain and then go to go to Denmark. And, and go look at some machines in Sweden. But on the way, I’m like, Hey, let’s make stop in Milan, go Yeah, make a stop in Milan. That’s too bad. They had to do that sell these sell these two machines. And it all came because of a deal that went wrong. Yeah. So you know, there were several things going on. There was serendipity bomb, there’s serendipity hook, I went and called and asked him about something specific and then say, like, how are you whatever. And, and then another serendipity thing is, is he calls it connecting the dots. So you want to have a huge network, you want to you want to know, lots of different kinds of people from all over the place. And it’s amazing when they come together and help you. And one of the things he prescribes is that when you meet someone new, you want to go through your brain and go, who else do I know that this person would benefit from, like these two people could get together. And so you create new dots. And by you connecting people. It’s like, you create new connections in this universe. It’s like, it all revolves around you. And you just more serendipity comes and you just create this whole world. Yeah.

Damon Pistulka 33:16
That’s awesome. It’s awesome. And it is, it is incredible how that happens. And like you said, before we got on, I believe, are just, you were talking about how it just seems like some people are just lucky. And this serendipity just goes, comes to them. But it’s really, because of how they’re acting. They’re, they’re helping it along. You know, the your example of, of, if I want a couple of famous people on my podcast, send six different people, emails, because you got a better chance of it happening or you give people more options. So we’re, you know, creating this network like you’re, you’re talking about a soak key for long term in business, because these are strategies that yeah, it’s serendipity. Yeah, it’s it’s a it’s a word that you may not consider with business that often, but the results of creating serendipitous relationships and

Noah Graff 34:15
having you’re having your eyes and ears open, constantly, yeah, always happening where like, just like that story. You know, somebody calls about, about one machine that you don’t even have, and then you go, oh, shoot, I know about this machine. My friend Randy in California told me about this machine the other day, call up Randy, Randy, tells me about it and then boom, make this whole nother deal. Yeah, first I make it sound really easy. But it it’s not. It’s no, it’s like any business. When business is good. It seems kind of easy. And when it’s bad Um, you know, like, where where? Yeah, where, then you really have to like, dig deep and, and keep looking for the serendipity because it’s there, I guess just

Damon Pistulka 35:14
keep searching for it.

Noah Graff 35:15
You have to keep searching for it.

Damon Pistulka 35:17
Yeah. Yeah, it is. It’s It’s amazing. In my experience, how when you help, good things happen with people, how it comes back around? You don’t know when you don’t know how. But if you keep your eyes and ears open, it does. And, you know, that’s why when you when when we talked about serendipity and talking about today and talking about serendipity strategies and business and thought this really interesting because a lot of people in in your type of business, or many businesses think it’s about this relationship, what are we doing? What are we exchanging What are exchanging and its money, or its equipment or, you know, whatever. And it’s really about exchanging goodwill, in some cases, or, or giving, so that people just so that you can give, that’s not not for anything other than the, of being able to help people because that’s in this mad imaginary bank. That if it does two things, one, it makes you feel good, if feeling good. That’s do it for feeling good. And for helping other people to is, maybe it will maybe doesn’t need to because you’ve only got one benefit, you feel good because you help somebody, but that second piece that does come around every once in a while you go holy heck, this is connected. I mean, literally before we got on, and I’d say that, Larry, before we got on, you and I talked about this a long time ago about having you come on the face of the business. In between the time we talked about that, I got contacted by a company that I can’t help but I know that you probably can, or you have a much better chance of total serendipity. Yeah. And I’m like, Dude, we got to I got to get you in touch with them. We got to do this thing. Because it’s like, it’s like, this stuff happens in like you said, you build your network of great people. You do these things, and it comes around, it’s just so cool. Because a lot of people get stuck on, you know, you gotta gotta do business this way. We’re trying to get get get, and it just doesn’t work that good. It’s not nearly as much fun.

Noah Graff 37:34
It’s not as much fun. Yeah. Do you do find, though? Not to get negative. But I mean, there are certain people in our business a few that are just rotten. And, and they will, they will do anything they can to steal from you to, to screw you over. And these guys are survivors. Like I go, how is it that you’ve been in business for 40 years? How is it that anybody trusts you? That that you haven’t been totally smeared? It’s amazing. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t I don’t I mean, it was just like a little negative.

Damon Pistulka 38:19
But there are there are in western any any industry there are, there are people that are like that. There are people that will do things that’s beneficial to them, even though they know it’s not the other person. They’re just takers. They’re taken or taken. And I know it’s like, I don’t know. I can’t explain it either.

Noah Graff 38:41
Yeah, I mean, like, I think I totally believe in everything you’re saying about like, if you give, then things will come to you. That’s why I’m so like, baffled by how these people that will just stab you in the heart. If they can. They don’t and I don’t even think they think they’re doing anything wrong. I think they just think like, that’s the world right? Like that’s But no, we keep we’ll keep the conversation going in like a positive light. I mean, you know, we are just laughing about them. But

Damon Pistulka 39:13
yeah, yeah. And I think I think you know what, I think that’s if that’s their way that’s their way, man. I’m doing my way. That’s the thing that and I love the way you guys are doing it. I mean, all the way from your, your dad starting the magazine of all things

Noah Graff 39:28
like you’re digging, you’re digging deep into the origins because

Damon Pistulka 39:31
I mean, the origin is cool, because you guys, you guys were doing stuff before anybody else. And then you know, it’s very rare that your father knew the journalistic the creative part that you guys like you share that that way and you’ve been able to come all the way through and transition the magazine to the online to now the podcast and the other things you guys are doing along with a magazine. It’s really cool man. And you probably it probably happened you didn’t even realize how cool it was. It just happened

Noah Graff 40:00
I just happen. I mean, we, we do realize it’s cool. i Good. I’ve been, you know, I really try to work on being present and you know, just, you know, my dad 79 We know that nothing lasts forever, you know, like, we’re sitting across the table, arguing about a deal arguing about debating debating about, like, like today we spent 15 minutes just like going back and forth about like, a title and a question at the end of his blog, like what, you know, what are people going to answer? What are people going to open? You know, and, and you have to, like, just go and stop yourself for a second and go, this is this is like precious like, it is, you know, like, you better stop and, and enjoy this right now. And he just wrote a blog about it, actually. And we published the latest podcast about it. It’s, it’s called something it’s like, why I’m still working or something. And, and he published it as a blog. And then I said, I think this would be a good you know, we do you know, most of the podcasts or interview podcasts, but then I’ve gotten more into doing solo podcasts about serendipity. Yeah. And this is the first podcast where he pretty much did a solo podcast, I had him read it and read his blog, and I kind of produced it. I did it yesterday. So it’s kind of something different.

Damon Pistulka 41:52
Yeah. I just, I guess, again, you guys, you guys in your creative abilities and what you’re doing mixed with your businesses is really unique.

Noah Graff 42:02
It seems like that’s something that you do.

Damon Pistulka 42:05
Well, I I do because I think we’re, you’re unique, I’m unique, right? It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. But I think you’d look at What have people done in to be standout in their industry, right? And I’ll carry this pick whoever pick the automotive industry, pick whatever industry, there are people that were that were willing to do things a little bit differently their way and it really is, or they’re cool stories, and they get to do some some neat things. And you guys are that’s I just that’s what I think

Noah Graff 42:39
it’s nice when you have something like this. And then you know, you have somebody it’s like you again you I mean look as you can tell I’m sort of analytical when I’m constantly reflecting and But still when somebody interviews you, you know, you you kind of sit back and look at yourself and again, you get present in the moment and appreciate it. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 43:09
yeah. Yeah, I just so you guys are doing some good stuff man. And, and I really appreciate it. appreciate you sharing this. So, if people want to look at some of these use screw machines that you guys have, they go to your website which is

Noah Graff 43:31
graph Pinkard graph Pinkard GRF F p i n k e r t.

Damon Pistulka 43:37
Yeah, yeah. And then you can help them also with if they’re if they’ve got a machining business they’re looking to buy more businesses they looking to sell businesses, you can help them with that you guys have been in that for a long long time. And and, man, you guys just know what you’re doing in that industry. So so cool. So what are you excited about? For 2024? man other than your year and a half old kid? I mean, I son Yeah,

Noah Graff 44:07
yeah, I honestly I don’t know where the years gone.

Damon Pistulka 44:14
You’ve got a year and a half year old child in the house. That’s where the years God does the six cut diets are that that trying to work? Yeah,

Noah Graff 44:23
that’s true. I mean, if you want to and I you know, and I’m always concerned about like, things time slipping away and not paying any attention. And that’s why I keep a diary every single night. I write down something I’ve learned every day. I write down something serendipitous that happened to me today. Because again, I like you know, it’s scary when you go well, what did I do this week? What what I do today Um, but to answer your question, What am I looking forward to in 2024? I honestly haven’t even really thought about it as far as business wise, I think the you know, the consulting, machining business brokering. We see growth there it is, you know, yeah, my, my child, it’s pretty amazing

Damon Pistulka 45:36
that you’re that you’re going to have a great year for that. I mean, these years are

Noah Graff 45:41
just how many kids do you have? Dos? DOS, they’re older, but

Damon Pistulka 45:46
there it is. It’s a mall.

Noah Graff 45:49
So I mean, that right? I mean, so that and I’m looking forward to growing the podcast and, and who knows what else, I always have to have some strange, crazy project hanging over my head. I would love to learn better to I’m working. I started doing goal setting more recently. You’d think that somebody, you know, 43 would would have done something more formal, but I’ve been doing like, you ever heard of a guy named shad? Helmstetter? No, I have not. He’s written a lot of books about neuroplasticity. And now, I didn’t even know the word neuroplasticity until it was explained to me, I guess. But the whole thing is self talk. So this guy specializes in, in positive self talk, you know, everybody, everybody has negative self talk. So like, you wake up in the morning, and you turn it on, put headphones on and you just, he’s got different things that he talks about. One is goal setting. You know, my wife, sometimes she laughs But at it, you know, I set goals, I write them down. I read the morning and night, you know, or I you know, or you’re a winner, like? So, yeah, I’ve been getting into that. And that’s cool.

Damon Pistulka 47:23
I mean, seriously, there’s, there’s, there are so many things, that every year in my life has brought me so many things that I realized, I wish I would have learned many years sooner. And when you can learn them now doesn’t matter. And they are gonna sound goofy. They may you’re gonna think some of these are crazy. But they’re not. They’re not. There are so many people that that have experienced things beyond us. And I think it’s just a great example of, you know, your reading, growing, continuing to try to explore new ways to be better at what you do as a father as a person in business. I mean, I like to

Noah Graff 48:07
think that I’m still I’m just getting started.

Damon Pistulka 48:09
Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’ll be your dad too. I mean, look at your dad. He’s in that because he digs it right. This is good stuff. And, and it’s that’s the way it should be. So I

Noah Graff 48:21
love your energy. You’ve got you’ve, you’ve I and all the respect in the world that do a live podcast, like you should see, you know, my stuff’s edited like usually me, it’s all the arms and ahhs and I think that I’m the one that really gets edited. I was just, I was like, You did I even write you an email. All I did was like, fill out a thing online, right? Or we knew

Damon Pistulka 48:54
each other through through another another friend of ours, and I listened to some of your podcasts. And that’s how we got out. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Noah Graff 49:03
I can tell that you’ve prepared. I really appreciate that.

Damon Pistulka 49:06
Yeah. I just want to say, thank you. Thank you. We’re running out. We’re running out of time here. No, and I know Time goes fast. Because it’s fun. It’s fun. If you’re a little you’re apprehensive at the beginning. I said, No, man, we got this. We’re gonna have fun because you are passionate about what you do. You guys are, you know, helping people with their equipment, helping people buy and sell businesses. And I enjoy it a lot.

Noah Graff 49:30
I really enjoyed this. This is one of the funnest interviews I’ve had. So awesome. Well done to you. You know what you’re doing? How many podcasts have you done? A lot.

Damon Pistulka 49:42
I don’t know. Yeah, yeah. A few 100. At least.

Noah Graff 49:46
And how many do you do a day? I mean, or a week?

Damon Pistulka 49:51
We do. Usually for Yeah,

Noah Graff 49:57
you must have so many dots. How can you even keep track of all your dots? That’s incredible.

Damon Pistulka 50:07
Yeah, well, we’re we have we have fun doing it, you have to enjoy it, you have to enjoy it. And, and, but it is it is there’s there’s a lot of dots in the serendipity. It’s serendipity happens. I mean, no offense

Noah Graff 50:18
against anybody out there. But really, if you have four new people every single week, like, how can you have quality, quality control over? Somebody?

Damon Pistulka 50:32
Doesn’t mean that God has ever visited again. But there’s some people that you connect with, there’s some people that you that you’re going to do it, because if you don’t go through it, just like, how many people did you date before you found the woman that you’re married to? I know. Yeah, exactly. That happens in life.

Noah Graff 50:51
I know. I just felt like, I feel like I don’t want to put anything out there. Unless I would. And I go, I am like, I’d want to listen to this. You know, there, there have only been like, two or three podcasts where I’ve just thrown them out just like this. This just isn’t good enough. Yeah. But I don’t know more power to you. I think it’s incredible. So well done to you. All right.

Damon Pistulka 51:16
Well, man, no, thanks for being here today. Just hang on for a second because I want to thank the people that were listening, and then we’re gonna jump off. We’ll finish up. So thanks, Andy, for being here today. Jean. Francois. Thanks from Saudi. Awesome. We got anybody else’s listening to appreciate you coming back every week. We’ll be back again next Tuesday. More awesome guests. You know, this is just we love having people like no on that can teach us about how business life serendipity in this case come together. And it’s just so much fun. Thanks, everyone for being here. No. Thanks again. Hang out just for a moment and we’ll catch it. We’ll finish things up after we’re not live. Yeah.

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