CXChronicles Podcast

CXChronicles Podcast 213 with Rick Elmore, Founder & CEO at Simply Noted

October 24, 2023 Adrian Brady-Cesana Season 6 Episode 213
CXChronicles Podcast 213 with Rick Elmore, Founder & CEO at Simply Noted
CXChronicles Podcast
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CXChronicles Podcast
CXChronicles Podcast 213 with Rick Elmore, Founder & CEO at Simply Noted
Oct 24, 2023 Season 6 Episode 213
Adrian Brady-Cesana

Hey CX Nation,

In this week's episode of The CXChronicles Podcast #213 we  welcomed Rick Elmore, Founder & CEO at Simply Noted based in Phoenix, AZ. 

Simply Noted is an API-first platform that streamlines the creation and distribution of genuine Handwritten Notes.

They are completely customer-funded and work with 100s of the top startups and Fortune 5000 companies to help them integrate, automate and scale their handwritten outreach.

In this episode, Rick and Adrian chat through how he has tackled The Four CX Pillars: Team,  Tools, Process & Feedback and shares tips & best practices that have worked across his own customer focused business leader journey.

**Episode #213 Highlight Reel:**

1. Started career as an NFL football player drafted by the Green Bay Packers
2. Why entrepreneurs must be natural problem solvers & life long learners
3. Investing in personalized mediums to drive customer happiness & retention
4. Keep constant track of the problems in your business, prioritize them & take action
5. Build living systems & processes to keep your business moving forward
Huge thanks to Rick for coming on The CXChronicles Podcast and featuring his work and efforts in pushing the customer experience & customer success space into the future.

Click here to learn more about Rick Elmore

Click here to learn more about SimplyNoted

If you enjoy The CXChronicles Podcast, stop by your favorite podcast player and leave us a review today.

You know what would be even better?

Go tell one of your friends or teammates about CXC's content, CX/CS/RevOps services, our customer & employee focused community & invite them to join the CX Nation!

Are you looking to learn more about the world of Customer Experience, Customer Success & Revenue Operations?

Click here to grab a copy of my book "The Four CX Pillars To Grow Your Business Now" available on Amazon or the CXC website.

For you non-readers, go check out the CXChronicles Youtube channel to see our customer & employee focused video content & short-reel CTAs to improve your CX/CS/RevOps performance today (politely go smash that subscribe button).

Contact us anytime to learn more about CXC at and ask us about how we can help your business & team make customer happiness a habit now!

Huge thanks to our newest CXCP sponsor Glance. Visit their website today at

Reach Out To CXC Today!

Support the Show.

Contact CXChronicles Today

Remember To Make Happiness A Habit!!

Show Notes Transcript

Hey CX Nation,

In this week's episode of The CXChronicles Podcast #213 we  welcomed Rick Elmore, Founder & CEO at Simply Noted based in Phoenix, AZ. 

Simply Noted is an API-first platform that streamlines the creation and distribution of genuine Handwritten Notes.

They are completely customer-funded and work with 100s of the top startups and Fortune 5000 companies to help them integrate, automate and scale their handwritten outreach.

In this episode, Rick and Adrian chat through how he has tackled The Four CX Pillars: Team,  Tools, Process & Feedback and shares tips & best practices that have worked across his own customer focused business leader journey.

**Episode #213 Highlight Reel:**

1. Started career as an NFL football player drafted by the Green Bay Packers
2. Why entrepreneurs must be natural problem solvers & life long learners
3. Investing in personalized mediums to drive customer happiness & retention
4. Keep constant track of the problems in your business, prioritize them & take action
5. Build living systems & processes to keep your business moving forward
Huge thanks to Rick for coming on The CXChronicles Podcast and featuring his work and efforts in pushing the customer experience & customer success space into the future.

Click here to learn more about Rick Elmore

Click here to learn more about SimplyNoted

If you enjoy The CXChronicles Podcast, stop by your favorite podcast player and leave us a review today.

You know what would be even better?

Go tell one of your friends or teammates about CXC's content, CX/CS/RevOps services, our customer & employee focused community & invite them to join the CX Nation!

Are you looking to learn more about the world of Customer Experience, Customer Success & Revenue Operations?

Click here to grab a copy of my book "The Four CX Pillars To Grow Your Business Now" available on Amazon or the CXC website.

For you non-readers, go check out the CXChronicles Youtube channel to see our customer & employee focused video content & short-reel CTAs to improve your CX/CS/RevOps performance today (politely go smash that subscribe button).

Contact us anytime to learn more about CXC at and ask us about how we can help your business & team make customer happiness a habit now!

Huge thanks to our newest CXCP sponsor Glance. Visit their website today at

Reach Out To CXC Today!

Support the Show.

Contact CXChronicles Today

Remember To Make Happiness A Habit!!

The CXChronicles Podcast #213 with Rick Elmore, Founder & CEO at Simply Noted.mp4

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:00:08) - All right, guys, thanks so much for listening to another episode of the CX Chronicles podcast. I'm your host, Adrian Reyes-Chazanah, super excited for today's show, guys. We are being joined by Mr. Rick Elmore, the founder of Simply Noted. Rick, say hello to the CX Nation, my friend. 

Rick Elmore (00:00:21) - It's great to be here. Thanks for having me. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:00:24) - 100%. So, guys, Rick and I were rapping the other day. He's got a super-duper cool business, and so many of us customer-focused business leaders, we're always thinking about the customer journey. We're always thinking about all of the different touch points, right, that our customers or our potential customers are seeing and feeling and breathing and living. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:00:41) - And Rick's here today to give us an awesome story about building his company, Simply Noted, but also just to give us a bunch of different ideas for some of the things that have worked extremely well for him and his team as he's grown Simply Noted over the last five years. So, Rick, I'll stop. You do the talking, my friend. Why don't you start off? Take the first couple of minutes. Give us the stepping stones, brother. Give us a story. Give us a sense for how did you get into this space, man? How did you get into this space that you're in today? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:01:02) - What were some of the early stepping stones that put you in a position to building your company, Simply Noted? 

Rick Elmore (00:01:08) - Yeah. 

Rick Elmore (00:01:09) - Well, thanks. I do appreciate being here. Awesome introduction. I appreciate it. But, yeah, I have a pretty unique background. I grew up playing sports. Come from a middle-class, lower-middle-class family, blue-collar. Grew up helping my family on the weekends, going to my mom's office. My mom was a medical biller. I'd go there and hang out. But, yeah, I played sports growing up. I played football. It was like the love of my life. I just loved everything about it. I tried everything else. Just was not a good fit. I was always a bigger kid. I'm 6'5". 

Rick Elmore (00:01:39) - So I was always, you know, in physical. So hitting people and being tall kind of was like a perfect recipe for a football player. But, yeah, I played for a long time. Went to the University of Arizona with my twin brother on an athletic scholarship at the Pac-10 back then. And I know the Pac-12 is kind of dismembering and falling apart right now, which is very sad because the Pac-10 and Pac-12 were like very nostalgic to me. I'd go play football on Friday and then watch Pac-10 football all day Saturday. But, yeah, I had a really good career there. 

Rick Elmore (00:02:09) - Played for Mike Stoops. Was a three-year starter. And then I got to live out my childhood dream and get drafted into the NFL. Late-round draft pick. Typical journeyman. I made way more money in my professional career than I ever did in my NFL career. And most people are like that. And that's what most people don't realize is just because you go to the, you know, play professional sports, at least in football, it's the only professional sport that doesn't have guaranteed money. 

Rick Elmore (00:02:33) - I remember my first contract I signed with the Green Bay Packers when they drafted me. My first contract was like a $3 million contract. Like when I signed it, I was like, yeah, like I made it. And my agent's like, Rick, the only thing you have is what you made today. Like your signing bonus and the check for your week's worth of work. Like to work, you know. Get to work, man. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:02:53) - Make it count. Right. 

Rick Elmore (00:02:54) - Yeah. But I never got, you know, most of that money. But yeah, I played for four years. Typical journeyman career. And then I jumped into corporate America like most people. And their first job got done. Had no idea what I wanted to do. I had all these intangible skills, you know, teamwork, passion, desire, perseverance, strength, resilience. How to work through adversity, you know, how to compete at a high level, high pressure situation. So I had all the intangibles, but it just didn't have like any of the hard skills. 

Rick Elmore (00:03:28) - And when I say hard skills, I think this is very important for anybody. It doesn't matter if you're an employee or your business owner or you own your own agency. You're always going to have to have hard skills to be successful in life. It doesn't matter. I'm talking about sales, marketing, some type of skill that will be valuable to a business. And it doesn't matter if you're in a relationship or you're dating. You're going to have to sell that person that you're trying to woo to want to be with you. If you're trying to sell a client, you know. 

Rick Elmore (00:03:54) - So I didn't have any of those skills. I just had all the intangibles. So I was in corporate for six years, had a really good corporate career. First year I was Rookie of the Year. And then next five years, I was top 1% or top five sales rep in the company. And that really was just like a marriage of my football career, meeting with the opportunity of selling a good product. 2017 came around, just wasn't really happy. And this is kind of where like the Rick version 2.0 or 3.0, like the life I'm living now happened. 

Rick Elmore (00:04:25) - I went back and did my MBA. It was a really interesting 2017. I had my first kid. I was doing an Ironman, training for my first Ironman.

Rick Elmore (00:04:36) - I was doing working in my second minute or corporate job was a medical startup out of Brazil. So I was trying to launch a product out of Brazil, which is really hard. And then I was doing the MBA and launching my, my startup. So it was like a very crazy busy. Yeah, very busy 2017, but about a year into my program. And this is where the idea for simply know to begin. I was in a marketing class and I had a professor who was going over all the success rates in marketing and everything was super nominal. Super low, like single digit success rates. 

Rick Elmore (00:05:09) - And that was all not exciting. All the traditional stuff, email, you know, phone calls, cold calling, knocking doors. And then he ends the lecture on a very like interesting point. And this is like a light bulb moment for me. And I was in sales and I was always trying to learn ways to make me better at sales. And he says, hey, guys, you know, what works better now, if not better than ever, is a good old fashioned handwritten note. And like everyone's like sitting, I'm like, what are you talking about? 

Rick Elmore (00:05:34) - And he's like, they get opened almost 100% of the time. They get open 99.2% of the time. They're rare. No one does it. And mailboxes are empty. Think about it. Like how many emails do you get a day? How many text messages? How many notifications do you get on your phone? When's the last time you received a handwritten note? And I was just like, if I can get in front of my, my clients 99% of the time, that's going to make me more successful. So a classmate of mine and myself got to work. You know, I have a sales and marketing background. 

Rick Elmore (00:06:04) - I've launched a software technology, automation, robotics, industrial automation company. I have no experience of what I'm doing. 

Rick Elmore (00:06:11) - And it's pure passion. 

Rick Elmore (00:06:12) - But I sent out 500 test handwritten notes from a really bad technology I bought from China. And the response rate was amazing. I just remember my quota was about $50,000 a month. And I sold $280,000 in sales in about six weeks. I was 28 grand in commission. So I was just like, entrepreneurial seizure moment. You know, and anybody who started a business understands what that is. 

Rick Elmore (00:06:34) - Like you get excited. 

Rick Elmore (00:06:36) - You know, somebody tells you your idea is going to work, you know, whatever. 

Rick Elmore (00:06:40) - You see some solidification of your idea. 

Rick Elmore (00:06:44) - And I just like, I was so excited. So the first, yeah, we've been doing this for five years. So there was a lot of very steep, you know, mountains and very deep valleys over the last five years. But it's become way more than I ever thought it would. We've created the world's only purposely handwritten robot. And again, I'm a football player with a sales background. And I built a robot with six pending patents, a platform with 400,000 people that goes through every single month. 

Rick Elmore (00:07:14) - And over 46,000 clients over the last five years on an e-commerce automated software application website. So it's been a crazy learning curve, but I'm excited. You know, the product that we're building, the business that we're building, where we're going, and where we're at right now. I love it, man. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:07:31) - So number one, Rick, thank you so much for sharing all that. 

Rick Elmore (00:07:33) - That's awesome. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:07:34) - I definitely have the first couple of follow-up questions. So number one, what, man, we think about all of our listeners right now. You guys think you've got a hard transition going from job A to job B. For you, Rick, what was it like going from, you know, NCAA, U of A, then into the NFL? And whether it was a journey with a couple of different teams and a bunch of different organizations or not. What was it like going from that whole world into like a regular old traditional corporate selling environment? 

Rick Elmore (00:08:03) - That must have been a transition. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:08:05) - And what was it like? What was your experience of kind of getting through that? 

Rick Elmore (00:08:10) - So I would say the majority, if not most, athletes who play at a high level have a very hard time in that transition. And so did I. For the first time in your life, you have nobody helping you. As an athlete, you had so many support structures. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:30) - Because what you were doing was so different and so unique. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:33) - You know, playing at a collegiate or professional level, it takes decades. You know, it took me 15 years, 17 years to make it to the NFL. And that was a lot of hard work. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:44) - You know, I had my parents. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:45) - I had coaches. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:46) - I had mentors. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:48) - I had tutors. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:52) - I mean, so many people. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:54) - You know, you had so many support structures in place. 

Rick Elmore (00:08:56) - And for the first time, when you get done, you're thrown out into the real world and you have to think for yourself, plan for yourself. You have no help. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:05) - And so many guys just fall off the cliff and they can't recover. And they don't realize how well equipped they are for life after sport. Because of all these intangible skills they've built over two decades of being an athlete. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:18) - And that's actually something I'm very passionate about. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:20) - And I wish Simply Noted didn't take up, you know, 100 hours a day of my time. Because I feel for athletes who make that transition. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:27) - And I hope someday when we sell this company, we will sell this company. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:32) - That's what I'm going to do. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:33) - I'm going to dedicate my time, you know, consult, help, do a podcast, and talk about life after sport. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:40) - That's actually the podcast. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:41) - I actually have it written down. It's just, like, in the timeline. It's life after sport. But it's very hard. It's very hard. But I remember that first year doing corporate sales. Like, I used to be the center of attention. Like, people wanted to come talk to me, coaches. And for the first time, I was, like, talking to doctors. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:57) - And doctors, like, hated me. 

Rick Elmore (00:09:58) - And they're like, who are you? 

Rick Elmore (00:09:59) - You're a kid. Get out of here. 

Rick Elmore (00:10:01) - And... doctors. My rookie year. 

Rick Elmore (00:10:04) - My first year in medical device sales. 

Rick Elmore (00:10:07) - And I had a manager who would drag out dinners for, like, four hours. 

Rick Elmore (00:10:11) - Like, we would literally, like.

Rick Elmore (00:10:12) - go to the bar for an hour and have a drink and then sit down for two hours and have dinner. And then we'd go to a different place. And I remember after like the first time I had that experience of trying to carry a conversation with a doctor for four hours, I got in my truck after dinner and I just felt like my head was going to explode. I was just like, you know, I was doing some things to me that was so foreign, you know, just it was weird. It was hard, but yeah, it's really hard. 

Rick Elmore (00:10:37) - But I think if you stay true to yourself, your internal instincts of like being a competitor, someone who's driven, somebody who wants to get out there and become the best version of themselves, which most athletes are. I think you will be successful. It's just a lot of people cave in on the pressure. And that's what happens with a lot of these entrepreneurs. And I know, yeah, it's like, what's it like from, you know, athlete to that and then W2 to entrepreneur? But it's like it's like between the ears. It really is. 

Rick Elmore (00:11:06) - And I never I've heard that for 20 years. Like, oh, the biggest battle you'll ever have to, you know, win is the one between your ears. And like as an entrepreneur and a dad and now being 35, that makes more sense than ever, because like, you know, especially social media nowadays and like people who just create stories like, oh, you know, I was successful in 60 days. And if you're not doing if you're not successful in 60 days, you're not doing something right. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:11:34) - And you're just like, right, right, right. 

Rick Elmore (00:11:36) - And then you find out this person, you know, is, you know, been lying two years later. So, yeah, it's been an incredible journey. But I think it's mental toughness. If you have the ability to build up an iron wall of mental toughness and develop those intangible skills, being a hard worker, competing, perseverance, and then those hard skills, sales, marketing, engineering, something that creates value in every business, you are just ready to rocket ship for success in your life. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:12:05) - I love it, man. I think the one thing that I was immediately thinking that like any, any athlete, frankly, one of the biggest advantages they have, they get to the point that you were just getting at, Rick, which is like this shit doesn't take 60 days, man, just to do to make varsity football. You are working from Peewee up to Frosh up to JV. You're like, it takes years just to make your varsity team. 

Rick Elmore (00:12:26) - Right. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:12:26) - And then to be able to go up into the billion dollar ranks of the NCAA game and that whole crazy world, plus NFL, let's talk about one of the one of the chubbiest little piglets out there. I mean, I love NFL and I'm a huge Bill's fan, but like let's call it what it is to get to those ranks. You just nailed it, brother. It's decades of work and sacrifice and all this stuff. But I love what you're hitting at, brother, which is like man for the people that can play in that game, they can play in that space. They do. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:12:51) - They are so well suited for entrepreneurship. The idea of just chopping wood every damn day, the idea of consistency and daily actions and just not giving up. That's literally that's entrepreneurship. That's like, that's some of the, there's so many similarities there. So it's not surprising when you see so many, you're seeing now more and more and more young people, but look at the NFL even today, how many times have we seen these awesome young athletes that are quitting early? They made it. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:13:14) - Maybe they did make their couple million bucks or their $10 million. Now they're going to go invest in businesses and they're going to be entrepreneurial for the rest of their careers. 

Rick Elmore (00:13:21) - I would say 90% of your success is just literally showing up and doing the work every day. The rest is like out of your control. It's timing, it's luck, being in the right place at the right time, you know, having a product that is just so revolutionary, having perfect product market fit. Those are just things like you just can't control. I started this business five years ago thinking this was going to be an easy business to build and a handwritten note who isn't going to see the value. This is so stupid. Every business should do it right. 

Rick Elmore (00:13:51) - Like if you're not saying thank you to your client, like it doesn't make sense for you not to say it, but like I've been doing this for five years and it's, it's the same problems I had building my medical sales business. Like you think your product is so awesome, but at the same time, like your product has so many holes and you have to improve it, make it easier, listen to the feedback from your clients, build those relationships and so much of every business and most of the service-based businesses out there, it's relationship driven. 

Rick Elmore (00:14:18) - It doesn't matter. Like I have clients that won't work with me just because they have a relationship with somebody else in a different company. It's just like, that's the world we live in. 

Rick Elmore (00:14:27) - Like, and if you don't realize that, which again, makes my argument even clearer, like say thank you and build or my argument for our product, even more clear, it's like, say thank you to your client, like build a relationship because relationships will always win no matter what they will always win unless, you know, the someone else's product is just ridiculously way better and the price is so low, but that, you know, it's usually like predatorial pricing and they're venture backed and they can be unprofitable for 10 years and they don't care. Right. 

Rick Elmore (00:14:57) - But most companies aren't like that, but yeah, it's been very interesting growing a business, the mental transition, personal growth from athlete to corporate to entrepreneur.

Rick Elmore (00:15:09) - I kind of, I feel like I have like Stockholm syndrome to like personal growth. I just like challenging things. I run towards it, which most people run away from it. And it's like, it can be a hectic, crazy way to live your life, but I enjoy it. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:15:25) - I love it, brother. Well, number one, again, I appreciate you sharing that. And that's why I love the show is just hearing all of the different walks of life and all of the different tranches of entrepreneurs and executives and leaders out there building tomorrow's companies. 

Rick Elmore (00:15:38) - I love it. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:15:38) - Let's dive into the first CX pillar of team. I would love for you to spend a couple minutes. You and I were talking about it the other day, man. You gave me just such an awesome lay of the land, but spend a few minutes kind of talking about how you got your team at Simply Noted started. And I'd love for you to kind of walk through just some of the first plays that you had to run and some of the first investments that you made. Spend a couple minutes talking about team, Rick. 

Rick Elmore (00:16:00) - Sure. Well, I could not do any of this and this business without my team. I mean, I have engineers, mechanical engineers, software engineers, electrical engineers. I have a back-end developer, front-end developer, SEO team, blog writers, blog updaters, I have a back-linking team, a PR team. And that's not to mention all the people that are inside our warehouse. I have an operations manager who's been with me from day one, multiple operation team members who've been here for at least two or three years, two sales members, and I guess team members. 

Rick Elmore (00:16:36) - And then we work with a couple of agencies for like lead development and stuff like that. So it literally takes a village and that forces you to grow in different ways that are very painful. For me, I'm very high energy. Let's go. We can do it. Come up with an idea. That was one of the things that drove me nuts about corporate is it took six months to do anything. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:16:58) - 100%. To do anything. 

Rick Elmore (00:16:59) - Yeah. Because they always said that it takes a 777, a big jumbo jet forever to make a U-turn. So imagine, and that's what I like about being in entrepreneurship. It's like, if there's a problem, here's a solution. Let's try it. And being with, I call it like herding cats, trying to get my mechanical engineer to play nice with my software guy, my software guy to play nice with my backend developer. 

Rick Elmore (00:17:25) - And that's been a very challenging yet growth defining, I guess, thing for me in this journey is learning how to manage extremely different personalities and get them to play together. Cause I, my background is like type a black and white, like either are great at what you're doing or not. You get fired if you're not right. And you can't do that in the real world. Like the NFL locker room, it's, you know, you're just around the best at the best. And if they're not, they get somebody else in there who's better. 

Rick Elmore (00:17:57) - And you just can't do that in the real world, especially in startup. You got to be patient. You got to give people time. You got to build the trust, you know, make sure they trust you and give them time to kind of take a seat. I would say it's like growing a garden. Like I garden at my house because it's like a metaphor for me. It's like, you see it grow over time versus like results now, which everybody wants results now. So doing something like that has really helped me. 

Rick Elmore (00:18:22) - Like when I'm having the anxiety and the stress from the office, I think it's not getting done. You know, I go home, I see that. And it reminds me of just to be patient, things take time and everything's going to take way more time than you think. Right. I started playing football when I was seven years old and it took forever to get to the NFL. Like, I thought this business was going to take me five years and I was going to exit and say, peace. 

Rick Elmore (00:18:44) - Some people can do that, but this is going to take me much longer than that, probably 10 years or longer to build the vision I had. But as you learn this, as you get in, you start opening doors, you're like, oh, what's behind this door? Oh, bigger problem. And you get through that door and you go to an oh, bigger problem. That's just life. Right. And you have to push through and fight through adversity and win. Just never give up. 

Rick Elmore (00:19:10) - Yeah. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:19:10) - I mean, you're spot on. I think I know with my experiences with building CX Chronicles, you know, I leave this world of being a CX and a CX practitioner. I work in all these different, you know, venture capital backed groups in New York City. I think I know everything about what all these different leadership teams are going to place bets on. I think I know everything about what they think is a fucking all-star versus somebody that's subpar. And then I get out to the real world. And over the last three years, you find out number one.

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:19:32) - There's a lot of executive leadership teams that don't even realize some of the investments that they're making in the CX and the CS and the rev up space. There's even more executives to your point that do not take the NFL mentality of best man or woman up in line. You get the job if you're the starter, you're the starter. There's a lot of companies out there that favor tenor and they favor time of the job, they favor time and rank and command and all these things. It's not always the best guy or gal gets the job and gets the lead seat. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:19:59) - It doesn't work like that in corporate America. And it doesn't always work that way in small business. There's a lot of favoritism, there's a lot of nepotism. 

Rick Elmore (00:20:05) - Politics, yeah. Yeah, it's the politics, nepotism. But like you just said, the bigger companies, I feel like are more disorganized. Like people aren't on the same page. Like when I was in my corporate career, I never knew what my managers were doing. I didn't know what our product developers were doing. And I remember that when I'm here with our team. 

Rick Elmore (00:20:24) - Like in my head, I may have all these ideas and having these conversations with big clients, but filling in our sales team who's on the front line every single day, like giving them the information I never had a corporate America, prepares them to have bigger and better conversations with newer clients. So, and we would never figure that out. Like they would wanna talk about a product and I get why they do that. 

Rick Elmore (00:20:45) - They don't wanna get people distracted, but it just makes things really hard when you are such a part of a big organization. And like you just said, there's all these clicks and politics and nepotism. It doesn't feel like a family. And I hate the word family, but like a team, it doesn't feel like a team. And sometimes it actually feels like you're playing against each other. I think here we are a team, we have to rely on each other. Like if we don't, we're a self-funded startup. And if we don't close and we don't collect, we don't have jobs. 

Rick Elmore (00:21:18) - So we all rely on each other. And a corporate job, it's like, hey, I don't like that guy. Let's get him out of here. I know my wife's cousin's nephew needs a job and I would trust him over that guy, and I don't like him anyway. So let's get him out of here, right? And these people build silos around each other, which I never liked. It's like these upper middle management will hire their friends and build this silo protection wall around them. And they kind of do that from job company to company to company. 

Rick Elmore (00:21:48) - It was so funny. 

Rick Elmore (00:21:48) - Like these guys just travel with each other and do the same thing. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:21:51) - It's almost like it's Game of Thrones instead of something contemporary and inspirational. And like, yeah, you're in the spot. And then on top of it, that creating of tranches or that creating of silos or busting down bridges or breaking apart electrical and plumbing from side to side, that often is what it limits or it disables a business's ability to remain, to your point, fast, quick, agile, disruptive, keeping a pulse on what the hell's gonna come up and blow them up in the next decade or the next point. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:22) - And it's funny, man, but that's because humans run these businesses and it's tricky, it's hard. And as businesses get bigger, you see more and more and more. So this is awesome. So Rick, number one, thank you so much for kind of sharing some of the things that you kind of learned with your own team and then thank you for kind of plotting out some of the different players that you've had to put onto your own field over the years. I'd love to jump into the second CX Pillar of Tools, man. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:44) - Spend a couple of minutes talking about, I'd love to kind of understand, as you were getting Simply Noted up and going, as you got your first sets of customers, you started whipping a bunch of these awesome handwritten notes out in there into the world to your customers. What did you guys have to kind of do for your tools and your technology? I guess, what were some of the initial investments you had to make? What were some of the challenges that you kind of were seeing in your specific space? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:23:04) - I'd love to just kind of understand how you and the initial team kind of went about building out your tech stack or thinking about tool utilization. 

Rick Elmore (00:23:11) - Sure, well, both companies I worked at previously, corporate companies, we didn't have a CRM, like we didn't have a formal CRM. We used Google Sheets or a spreadsheet or an Excel file. 

Rick Elmore (00:23:22) - So when I started my company, I had no idea about anything. 

Rick Elmore (00:23:25) - I had no idea about building websites, no idea about CRMs, automation tools, social media platform management systems, I had nothing. So all these things I had no clue about, I've had to self-teach myself. Like I had to Google Analytics, how to get my website connected to Google Analytics, how to do SEO, how to create a blog, how to submit a blog to Google to rank. Like that's a thing. You can tell Google like, hey, I want to put my blog on Google. Like you can submit that, I didn't know how to do that. Like all the Zapier automation stuff. 

Rick Elmore (00:23:56) - A big thing that we're just getting now, and I'm embarrassed to say that, is a ticketing system for customer support. We have so many inbound emails that like literally is suffocating. And I didn't even know there was something like that existed. And how I figured this out is I just talked to people and tell them about my problems and wait for somebody to recommend something that makes sense. And that's how really I've done this. I've just sought out people who are smarter than me and have been, you know, what do you call it?

Rick Elmore (00:24:26) - not embarrassed whatsoever. 

Rick Elmore (00:24:27) - It's like shamelessly ask them questions, like how dumb it may be. 

Rick Elmore (00:24:32) - I don't care. 

Rick Elmore (00:24:32) - I don't know. 

Rick Elmore (00:24:34) - I just try not to ask repeated dumb questions. 

Rick Elmore (00:24:38) - Try to ask a smarter, dumber question. 

Rick Elmore (00:24:41) - I've had to do that. 

Rick Elmore (00:24:43) - We've been on three different website hosting platforms over the years and didn't understand anything about any of them. We were on Drupal, then WordPress, and now Shopify. I know the benefits, pros, and cons of both, how to set up an e-mail. I didn't know how to set up an e-mail on the go day. I had to do all this stuff. Then we've built our own robot. We build our own motherboards. We build our own custom handwriting engine, our own software that drives robots. We built our own mechanical robots. 

Rick Elmore (00:25:12) - I feel like I've pushed 40-year corporate, maybe 50-year or 100-year corporate career in the last five years of knowledge into this brain. That's one of the thing excites me, is no matter what happens, or simply noted, with what I know now, I'm just better prepared for success in the future because of all this self-taught education that I've had to do as becoming an entrepreneur. 

Rick Elmore (00:25:34) - Most entrepreneurs will get this because you have to solve every problem when you're a business owner. When you're an employee, it's like, oh, not my circus, not my monkeys, but my pay grade, it's not my problem. You, as a business owner, take your problems home and you can't get them out of your head. You have vivid dreams about them and they will continue to nip at your heels and drip you out, stab you in the back until you solve them. I've had to solve so many problems. 

Rick Elmore (00:26:01) - It's exciting, but it's like I said earlier, as you open every door and you go to the next level, what got you to a $2 million business won't get you to a 10. You're going to have to overcome even bigger, more expensive problems to get to that level. 

Rick Elmore (00:26:16) - Self-education, I use YouTube a lot. I use Coursera a lot. Coursera for general knowledge, but to be honest, it's shamelessly asking to take someone to coffee or just getting on a phone or a Zoom call, talk to them, show them what I'm going through. 

Rick Elmore (00:26:33) - Fiber and Upwork, it's really hit or miss. Being able to have VAs that offload a lot of the mundane, repeatable tasks and then using tools that are out there. And this is a hard thing, I think. It's a great thing that, as a business owner, it's easier than ever to launch a business with all these tools that are out there. But also every time you go online or Google or YouTube, there's a new tool every single day, like a new company, new AI tool. And this may be a little nugget for anybody in here who's listening. 

Rick Elmore (00:27:06) - It's really hard to put your blinders up and not get distracted by the new shiny object syndrome. You can have, and here's just an analogy, like you can have a Phillips head screwdriver and to a skilled craftsman or contractor who knows how to use that one simple tool, that tool can be an incredibly powerful tool to that one person who knows how to use it, right? Versus somebody who doesn't know how to use it, right? 

Rick Elmore (00:27:33) - You put it in their hands, he's not gonna know what the hell to do. And that's what happens with all these new tools. 

Rick Elmore (00:27:36) - It's like, you have to commit, you have to have silos, you gotta have an automation tool, you gotta have an AI tool, you gotta have a CRM tool, you gotta have all these things and figure out a way to get them to work together. And that's really where I've been the last six to 12 months is trying to get all this knowledge, get systems and processes in place to scale. And a lot of people will rocket ship into a ceiling and stop because they don't know how to grow. 

Rick Elmore (00:28:01) - And then they don't wanna pay the $50,000 for consulting for somebody to come in and spend two weeks and help them do that because they don't believe it can happen. But yeah, it's just a lot of self-education, being curious, getting, I call it $5 consulting. Who's gonna say no to a free coffee or free lunch or free dinner? It's trying to build a relationship. 

Rick Elmore (00:28:23) - But there's so many tools out there. If you can't solve a problem, you're just not trying hard enough. 

Rick Elmore (00:28:30) - I'm a sales guy and I've built a robot and an e-commerce platform that has 400,000 people going to it every single month. If I can do it, you can do it. It's just persisting through your problems, giving it time, it takes time and being patient because it doesn't matter. 

Rick Elmore (00:28:46) - And I'm a control guy. 

Rick Elmore (00:28:48) - I'm like, I'm a control guy. Like it makes sense. If I do this, I should see this result. 

Rick Elmore (00:28:53) - If this, then that, but sometimes it just doesn't work like that. 

Rick Elmore (00:28:56) - So it's a timing thing. It's luck. And sometimes it's.

Rick Elmore (00:29:00) - you know, it works out, but sometimes it doesn't. So you just got to accept that and hold on with the deer ride. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:29:09) - You know, I love, I love the comment you just made about cause and effect if this, then that, I think one of the biggest things that I've learned from having just the absolute fortune of meeting with so many incredible customer focused business leaders from all sorts of different types of businesses, different types of spaces, different subject matter, expertise, different products, different ways, whereas it's that way you just said, most entrepreneurial and incredible executive leaders, they understand cause and effect better than any other human base. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:29:32) - Meaning most humans, getting back to what you said at the beginning of this call, well, maybe, you know, it's yeah, so much is out of your control in life. No question about it. But if you understand cause and effect, and if you understand even at scale, how to do if this, then that, you are controlling a bit of the equation more so than you believe. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:29:48) - The other thing too, back to that consistency piece of showing up every damn day, the more you do cause and effect, whether it's over a year, five years, 10 years over one customer, a hundred customers, a thousand customers, 10,000 customers, the better you get at dialing in if this, then that, and then success all of a sudden, or your luck becomes a whole hell of a lot easier to obtain, right? Because you're actually making these little improvements. You're making these pitches, these pivots, these ebbs and these flows. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:30:13) - And frankly, that's another reason why people say, oh, he was overnight success. Yeah, right. It took 10 years to build the damn thing into what it became. You're just seeing what happened over the last year or two, right? And so it's just another thing for the listeners to be thinking about. One other thing I want to call it real quick, Ricky, you just mentioned, but having an entrepreneur or having somebody who is forced to have to learn all of the different things and wear all of the different hats. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:30:38) - And I absolutely know this with just my own personal journey with building CXC, man, those people are bad-ass and they're dangerous because they're not afraid to learn. And they're not afraid to, you called this out, but a lot of people have a high level understanding of your fear and your comfort zones, right? And obviously the more you can get into a fearful place, the more you're stretching yourself out, the more you're thickening your skin, the more bad-ass you're becoming, right? The more you stay in your comfort zone, probably won't change. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:31:02) - You might keep getting better at whatever it is you're comfortable about, right? If SEO is your thing or if customer support is your thing and that's all you ever want to do, stay in your comfort zone, do that. But big, bad-ass, hairy opportunities probably aren't going to present themselves as much. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:31:15) - And then by your way of reasoning and just storming through all of these problems and becoming almost like just a problem solver across a variety of subject matter, that's where value starts to shine, especially with executive leadership groups, ownership groups. People want to employ those types of people, but also people want to do business with those types of people because you're getting more than just a product or service, you're getting a partner out of the deal. So I love all the stuff that you're laying out here, Rick. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:31:41) - And thank you for sharing some of the investments and some of the things that you guys had to figure out with Simply Noted as far as just building on your own technology capabilities over the last five years. I'd love to dive into the third pillar of process. And you started to hit on some of this, but I'll keep the question simple. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:31:55) - How have you kind of, like, with everything that you're laying out, right, you've had all these different team members you've had to bring on, you've had all of these different tools and technologies you've had to invest in, build, integrate, all that fun stuff. How have you kind of thought about wrangling, like, your process over the last five years as the business has grown, as you've built your community, as you've brought more and more and more potential customers and actual paying customers into the fold? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:32:17) - How have you kind of thought about how you wrangle your process or how you guys keep track of, like, your knowledge base or your living playbooks? I'd love to kind of understand some of the things that you sort of learned along your own journey as it relates to managing process. 

Rick Elmore (00:32:31) - Sure. Yeah. So, every business has tons of problems. I think most, me included, I think most business owners kind of get wrapped up in their own head. They get overwhelmed with everything they've got to solve. But some simple, like, things that you can do to start taking steps towards solving those problems is just literally writing every single one of your problems down. Like, for a whole day, don't try solving it. Don't try working on it. Just go about your day. 

Rick Elmore (00:32:58) - Every time you think of a problem that you come across, if it's, you know, sales-related, marketing-related, production-related, operations-related, development-related, whatever, just start writing them down. Wait a whole day, sleep on it, and then come back to it another day. So, come back to it a day later, two days later, so when your brain has had time to, like, reset. Because as you see this list of problems, you start to, like, get overwhelmed. 

Rick Elmore (00:33:20) - But what you do after a few days is you take that list and you reorganize it from smallest, so easiest, right, easiest to solve to hardest to solve. Or you can break it up into, you know, segments, sales, marketing, whatever, operations, development. And again, you still organize them from smallest or easiest to solve to hardest to solve. And then you can, if there's people that you have that can help you solve them. So, I upload a lot of our tech stuff now. We hired a CTO about 12 months ago. So, anything tech-related, I just send it to him. 

Rick Elmore (00:33:51) - We're lucky now five years into the business, but I can pay for that. I couldn't pay for that four years ago. But what you do is you just, it's like the snowball effect. You solve a little problem, and then you're going to feel good. You can get that dopamine. It's like, oh, thank God that's not there anymore. And then you're going to solve the next one, and then the next one. And what you're going to start doing is you're going to train your brain on, hey, I can fix problems. And now you're starting to build confidence. 

Rick Elmore (00:34:15) - Like, hey, I know how to do this. And as you solve problems, you're going to learn. And then you're going to start stacking skills, and those skills are going to help you solve bigger problems. And before you know it, you're solving problems. The five-year-older version of you is going to be incredibly proud of who you are today. And that's the way I look at it. Even though this has been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, this is harder than the NFL 10 times. It's a hundred times harder than becoming a professional athlete. 

Rick Elmore (00:34:43) - But seeing where I was in 2016, 2015, I was a sales rep at a medical company to where I am now.

Rick Elmore (00:34:51) - I'm incredibly proud, like you said, you were saying this earlier, I forget why you're saying it, but like the confidence you build when you start learning how to solve your own problems and rely on yourself and create value. You just, you worry differently. You don't worry about the next paycheck, you worry about, you know, becoming better, learning, you start worrying about not becoming the best version of you. 

Rick Elmore (00:35:14) - And I think in those development years, the twenties and thirties, and that's where I'm kind of in right now, you're learning and that's what you're supposed to be doing. You're supposed to be throwing yourself into the fire, being constantly uncomfortable and really people have three careers. And that's the way I've looked at it. I kind of had like that professional corporate career. Now I'm in my entrepreneurship career. 

Rick Elmore (00:35:32) - I know in my forties and fifties, everything I've done in my teens, twenties and thirties are going to launch my forties and fifties. So yeah, it's just about not getting overwhelmed. It's getting organized, understand that it's going to take time, organize them from easiest to solve. It's like the Dave Ramsey money thing for paying off bills, pay off your smallest bill, then your next smallest bill, and then compound it. You feel good about it and it gives you the momentum to keep going. And that's the only way, seriously, it's the only way. 

Rick Elmore (00:36:01) - I do obsess about my problems though. It's probably a little unhealthy. I'm very competitive. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:36:06) - As many founders do. 

Rick Elmore (00:36:07) - Excuse me. 

Rick Elmore (00:36:10) - And I've learned that, but that's where I'm at now. My journey is learning how to, and it's really hard learning how to shut it off because I'm, and I don't know. I still have that incredibly competitive, driven, passionate desire to keep growing. And I think that's just like an innate feeling that's in me. It's like a fire that just burns hotter and hotter every single day as you see progress. 

Rick Elmore (00:36:37) - And it kind of, I hate to say it becomes addicting, but when you start seeing the fruits of your labor start to work, you're just like, you know, a hundred percent, you just want to go. You know, it's because you see the potential, you see it and you feel it. And if you believe it, it will become a reality. It's just a win. And that's what we're saying. If you think five years, it's probably be 10. You just got to be patient. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:36:56) - Well, it's a couple of things. Number one, I love this. The number one thing, simple thing, write it down. I probably don't talk about this enough on the show, but like CX Chronicles, it was literally about chronicling the things that are happening across your team, your tools, your process, your feedback to be able to build off the history, right? Every great civilization, every great company, every great sports team built on history. There's things that happened in the past that those entities figured out how to leverage for the future, right? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:37:28) - And like, so chronicling and writing it down, freaking love it, man. It's just such an easy way to do it. Here's the other thing I've learned. For a lot of our listeners, when you heard what Rick just talked about with stress and just like managing some of the constant things that are dinging around in your head, writing it down is this weird subconscious human hack of being able to empty some of that. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:37:47) - Because the minute that you know that it's not bouncing around sitting in a spreadsheet or sitting in an Evernote or sitting in your HubSpot doc or wherever that, or your Google doc, wherever the hell you're dropping that stuff, you've just effectively dumped it into a place where then it can be organized. And I love how you start talking about like, then you can start prioritization agent. The other thing, last thing is this, man. Like we do this with our clients, Rick at CXC, but like on the CXC, as RedHop side, we'll start to identify CTAs, right? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:38:12) - The calls to action, they're sitting right in front of the team, inside of the tools, within their processes and based on all the feedback that we're collecting. And you'd be amazed at how many companies that are crushing it. They're doing over 10, they're doing over $20 million a year sales. Just the simple act of having top 10 CTAs monthly reported to the leadership team becomes a game changer because no one was able to articulate or actually deliver a tangible view of, all right, last 30 days of business, here's the top 10 things we figured out. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:38:40) - The second part is this, you started talking about marketing stratification or sales or ops or product. Companies struggle with this, man. So many times companies just need to be able to see the top 10 things or the top five things in a cleaner view. Like show me the finance CTAs, show me the sales and marketing CTAs, show me the retention of the customer success. Because all of a sudden that makes it easier for an executive leadership team that's got a million and 10 things getting thrown at them every damn day.

Rick Elmore (00:39:07) - to simplify stuff. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:39:08) - Every human, I don't care how much money you make or how big your executive package are, every executive in the world wants things simplified. They want it a little bit easier and a little bit more digestible for them to be able to kind of figure out what the hell type of decision they want to make or how they want to support something. So I love those ideas there, brother. I love them. One quick question before I let you jump off process. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:39:26) - Any tools or I know you laid out all these incredible things that you've been doing with the technology, some of the investments. Any tools that have helped you with that? Has there been any go-to solution that's really kind of made it easier for you to be able to keep track of that process? Is it just, is it sitting in a Google Doc? 

Rick Elmore (00:39:41) - Is it sitting in a spreadsheet? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:39:42) - What's been the tool that's allowed you? 

Rick Elmore (00:39:45) - Yeah, so for project management, we use Smartsheet. 

Rick Elmore (00:39:48) - So I mean, there's tons of little project management tools out there that you can use. Again, this goes back to the screwdriver, you know, whatever screwdrivers story I told you earlier, find something that works for you and learn how to become a master of it. There's always going to be a new tool that comes out three months from now, even daily, you know, because of all the AI stuff, but get a tool that works for you, master it and train your team on how to use it. And that's how it's going to become the best for you. But yeah, we use tons of tools. 

Rick Elmore (00:40:16) - Yeah. 

Rick Elmore (00:40:16) - Smartsheet for project management. 

Rick Elmore (00:40:18) - We use JotForm. 

Rick Elmore (00:40:20) - We're switching right now from HubSpot to go high level. They just have a lot more integrated tools that we're already using. Like we were using three different tools for our CRM before, and they have it all in one. So for the first time in five years, I'm going from HubSpot to go high level just for a lot of the lead marketing and sales management. And then all of our automation stuff goes through Zapier. It's just the most user-friendly, easiest, no-code automation tool out there. Man, what else for tools? I mean, I feel like I use them all. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:40:51) - No, that's great. 

Rick Elmore (00:40:51) - I mean, I use, I do all our SEO now. We talked about this before, but it's just something that was so important to our business that somebody else wasn't going to give it the attention it needed. So I had to self-teach my art, self-learn and use Ahrefs, Surfer,, all the PR tools that come. I mean, there's tons of PR tools out there that you can use. Use virtual assistants through Fiverr and Upwork to manage a lot of those. I'll quarterback it. So I'll draw, actually in a Google sheet for all our SEO work, I'll quarterback it out. 

Rick Elmore (00:41:27) - I'll lay out what they're supposed to do. And every day they go in there and just check it off once they get it done. 

Rick Elmore (00:41:32) - So yeah, it's just developing systems. 

Rick Elmore (00:41:34) - And I think compartmentalize your problems, have systems for each of those compartments and train people on those systems. So it's not hectic. And my inbox has 4,989 emails right now. So it's getting a lot of that important work out of your inbox and having systems. And again, that's where I've been. And it's hard because as your business grows, your systems will grow and change. So it's like, I feel like I'm redoing a lot of work because of the changes that we're putting in our business. But look at its practice. 

Rick Elmore (00:42:04) - You're going to be like, oh, but I'm doing this all the time and it always changes and it's repetitive. But look at his practice. Like when I was playing football for a long time and every single day after stretching, we did individual drills and all it was, was fundamentals. So we did the same exact thing for 20 years. 

Rick Elmore (00:42:24) - It was footwork, hand placement, pad level, technique, timing. 

Rick Elmore (00:42:30) - And that was literally the most bare basic minimum. We did that forever. So when you get mad that you're doing things over and over, just improve on it, learn from, you know, learn and just look at as practice, but make sure you're improving on it. You don't want to do the same thing and expect a different result. That's called being crazy, right? 

Rick Elmore (00:42:47) - Just be obsessed with progress. 

Rick Elmore (00:42:50) - If you're obsessed with progress, obsessed with learning, seeing, actually learning why it failed, you're going to be a dangerous person to compete with because most people aren't like that. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:43:03) - I agree with that. I agree with that. And an awesome segue into our fourth and final pillar of feedback, Rick. So you just said like, be willing to improve listening, hearing what people are saying. I'd love for you to spend a couple of minutes kind of talking about some of the ways that you guys have sort of managed some of your customer feedback. I simply noticed. I'd love for you to think about the same way that you've managed some of your employee feedback as well. 

Rick Elmore (00:43:23) - Yeah. 

Rick Elmore (00:43:23) - And I know we were talking about this. 

Rick Elmore (00:43:27) - We were talking about this before, but like, you know, we run a platform that anyone can use and it's really challenging because, you know, a realtor who wants to, you know, send one card for three bucks, you know, goes and uses our website to a business who wants to send a hundred thousand in every business, you know, and we all say we want to treat everybody the same, but just some clients, you know, require more or they're more invested.

Rick Elmore (00:43:52) - And it's really hard. It's really hard to make everybody happy. And I don't care who else is out there. There's gonna probably be some keyboard gangster out there that's gonna judge me for saying this. But like, as your business grows, your business has to grow with your business and you have to pay attention to, you know, what's working and what's not working. 

Rick Elmore (00:44:08) - And that's where we're at right now, being five years is trying to pivot towards taking care of the B2B sector, our consistent clients, because for the first five years in your startup, you're gonna take a dollar from anybody because you need to put the money back in the business to grow. And it's just not fair. And look at it like this as a business owner. It's not fair to all your clients if you give everybody the same exact amount of time, because that person who's spending 10 grand should demand a lot more of your attention. 

Rick Elmore (00:44:37) - I don't care what anybody says. Oh, I have a system and automated. If I'm spending 15, 20, 30, 40 grand with somebody, I don't wanna be a part of an automated system. I wanna talk to somebody and make sure that whatever I'm paying for is getting done correctly. And yeah, all our worst, we have bad reviews and all of our worst reviews is that one person who spent $3 or that one guy who took, needed 10 meetings to spend $10, right? And impossible expectations, right? 

Rick Elmore (00:45:07) - So we're trying to pivot, but we're trying to take care of the business to business side. But for employees, we have one rule here. It's like, if you're gonna present a problem, like you see the problem because it's not working, like in your mind, like it should be trained on thinking, hey, it doesn't, you should come up with a solution. If you're gonna present a problem, critically think and come up with a possible solution, regardless if it's right or wrong. Don't just be that person in your company who's just the negative. Oh, that's not good. 

Rick Elmore (00:45:37) - That's not good. That's not good. Because you're gonna get trained to focus on the negative versus rewriting your brain, right? We're talking about writing everything down, building up the momentum, the positivity. When you think of a problem, you should be thinking through it methodically or conceptually, why this is a problem. How can we make it better? And how would this work in line with all the other systems and processes that are in play? 

Rick Elmore (00:46:00) - And you're training your team to think like an executive, not just a, you know, point out all the problems, poor me, negative. Because we all have problems, every business. My wife is in a very, very big company and they struggle with problems that I never thought they would struggle with. But every business has problems. It's being proactive and positive and staying on top of it and wanting to make it better. And that's what the culture you wanna build. It's like, tell me the problems, but bring a solution and let's work through it together. 

Rick Elmore (00:46:29) - And you wanna have like that open door, not mad, you know, policy. Like, I know we have problems and I wanna fix them. And I wanna make your life easier. And how can I make your life easier is making this better. So let's do it together. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:46:43) - I love it, man. And you're right. Some of the most innovative, some of the fastest, most incredible performing companies on planet earth, they're just nasty at solving problems. They've just put together a team of humans that are incredible at collaborating and problem solving. And then typically they're problem solving on problems and challenges that have big, huge, massive markets around them. So Rick, this has been fantastic. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:47:04) - But then before I let you go, last question, I wanna, where can people find out more about you, sir, and get in touch with you? And where can people find out more about Simply Noted if they're super interested in figuring out how they can incorporate handwritten notes and all the awesome work that you and your team are doing into their customer experience and into their customer journey? It's such an easy way, guys, to touch your customers. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:47:22) - Think about this as an opportunity for when you're kind of redesigning some of the journey mapping you're doing, guys. But where can people get in touch with you guys, Rick? 

Rick Elmore (00:47:29) - Yeah, it's just Simply Noted. It's just S as in Sam, I, M as in Mary, P-L-Y, Or reach out to me on LinkedIn. I'm very active on LinkedIn. It's basically the only social platform I use. It's just Rick, L-M-O-R-E. And then we do a really good job of sending a nice sample kit. I mean, it's free. Just go to our website and you'll see like the call to action button right in the middle of the screen, request a sample. And we'll send you guys a free sample. We get, you know, I mean, tons of those sent out every day. 

Rick Elmore (00:47:58) - You may get some automated emails, but if you just wanna see it, just request it. We'll get it to you in a few days in the mail. And then what happens usually is people see it and they get really excited. They're like, no way, I thought this was printed. And then they see it's written with pen, you know, lick your finger and smear the ink. They'll see the pen indentations. They can see the videos, the robots writing. And they'll come back to us. Usually people come back to us six, 12 months later. Like, hey, I have an idea. 

Rick Elmore (00:48:23) - And the holidays, I don't know when this goes live, but we're in Q4. The holidays is our busiest time of the year. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:48:27) - So- I'm just gonna say, this has gotta be your busy time. 

Rick Elmore (00:48:29) - Yeah, yeah. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:48:30) - Right into that Q4 rush. 

Rick Elmore (00:48:32) - Well, it's just end of year. People are making end of year purchases. And who, what business doesn't send out a holiday card? You know, it's like something ridiculous. It's like 80 billion holiday cards are sent out every year worldwide. It's like something ridiculous like that. So, yeah, so that's how you can reach out to us. But yeah, thanks for having me. It was great to be here and kind of talk some shop on some customer experience stuff. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:48:54) - 100%, Rick, it's been our absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for joining the CXC podcast. 

Rick Elmore (00:48:58) - Thank you.