The Alimond Show

Garrett McGuin - President of Evolution Paint Company

March 20, 2024 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Garrett McGuin - President of Evolution Paint Company
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover the vibrant heartbeat of local commerce as we unwrap the colorful world of small paint industry businesses, where relationships bloom brighter than the most audacious shade on a swatch. This episode takes you behind the scenes of a Benjamin Moore paint store, where every can of paint holds the promise of transformation for a homeowner and a brushstroke of opportunity for a tradesman. Feel my passion for steering individuals and local entrepreneurs toward their dreams, as these connections weave the very fabric of our community.

Join me in an enlightening conversation with the owner of Evolution Paint Company, as we paint a portrait of strategic business growth and the crucial role of contractor relationships. We explore how creative marketing can captivate new homeowners and how the commitment to high-quality products like Benjamin Moore paints carves out a competitive edge. This narrative isn't just a lesson in retail expansion; it's a testament to the dedication required to maintain a business's unique identity while embracing its evolving customer base.

Finally, we tackle the parallels between sports, business, and personal growth, sharing stories that prove how competition breeds resilience and the importance of attitude in building a positive company culture. I reflect on the tranquility found on Loudoun County's open roads, the juggling act between work and wanderlust, and the pivotal role of a clear life vision. Whether you're an entrepreneur, a dreamer, or simply in search of motivation, this episode promises to ignite your spirit and perhaps, even guide you towards a new hue in your personal palette of life.

Speaker 1:

So Benjamin Moore paint stores, you know. I mean, in a nutshell, it's like people come there for design ideas, inspiration, color, they're looking to transform their homes, they're looking to design. That's the beginning part of like the sales process, with what we do. And then the second part of the sales process is dealing with like the painters, the remodelers, the contractors, like those types of guys, and that's personally what I really love is that part of the process like dealing with like the blue collar tradesmen and stuff like that, just the like the essence of it, you know like well, first of all I'm a small business owner, right, yeah, so just like you. So it's like the essence of like being able to help add value, being able to help them save time, save money, help them make more money, help them market their business. Like it's kind of a niche, kind of customer base that I have, so it's like a smaller customer base, but like we go really, really deep with them, so like we get to know them. You know it's like you build rapport with them. You get to know their families, like you get to know their interests and hobbies and stuff like that, and these people kind of become your friends too because they're doing business with you every day. So a lot of my customers have you know, they've come over to my house, they've been at parties, they've been at my kids birthday parties, things like that. So it's like it's something special about working with like small business owners.

Speaker 1:

Really, you know the first part of the process, like the homeowners, the designers, stuff like that it's all about color, it's all about design, it's all about like inspiration. So it's like that piece of it is really cool and I've gotten pretty good at it over the years. By no means no designer, but I can talk about color and things like that. I can teach about color. Benjamin Moore has great training programs and stuff like that revolving around color. So you know, I've kind of gone down that road in taking an interest in design and stuff like that. But I've never been that creative of a person or that artistic of a person. So to me I'm more logical. It's about like the sales process and like negotiation and like business and like growing and things like that. You know, that's the part of it that I really enjoy, that I really love yeah.

Speaker 2:

You've got a lot of passion. Oh yeah, I can just feel it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. No, I have a lot of passion about like the paint industry specifically. It's like blue collar tradesmen and stuff like that, like people trying to put food on the table for their families and, in some cases, people that have like dreams, like of growing a business and things like that. Like I have so many stories I could go on and on about like the people that I meet and deal with and stuff like that.

Speaker 2:

But like the impact you want to make with these people.

Speaker 1:

Like the impact I want to make with these people is to help them achieve their goals. Yeah Right. So like it could be a homeowner coming into the store for the first time, I want to help them achieve their goals. It could be a painter coming into the store for the first time and I want to help them achieve their goals. So if their goal is to grow their business, then I'm in the weeds with them. Typically I'm kind of like their outside sales rep. I'm visiting with them on their jobs. I'm doing project management support. I'm supporting them in the stores. I'm helping market their business.

Speaker 2:

Do you have like 20 clones of yourself running around?

Speaker 1:

No, it's just me. I wear all the hats, but of course I have a really really good team. You know, like, just like you guys here in the studio, I can tell you're really well organized and you have good people. So it's like it's the same thing for me. I have good managers in place at each store. So we have four locations and I mean, essentially, Do you have?

Speaker 2:

something in Perceville.

Speaker 1:

What's that Do?

Speaker 2:

you have something in Perceville?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we have a store in Perceville. It's like a drive by it. Yeah, perceville, leesburg, ashburn and South Riding Nice.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So we started the Ashburn store first. In 2018, acquired the Perceville store.

Speaker 2:

Okay, what made you want to acquire it? Like, what was that decision, that process?

Speaker 1:

Just looking to grow. You know, like we're a C corporation so I have to keep reinvesting the money and we're on a growth model. Like I want to continue growing and continue opening stores and things like that throughout Loudoun County and beyond in the DMV metropolitan area. That's the goal over like the next 10 years is to get to 10 stores and then continue going from there because we're trying to build like a real sales infrastructure. Yeah, because then after that we can move into other things, we can move into manufacturing and things like that if we wanted to, but that would be later on in life or maybe even my kids generation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, wow, okay. So marketing wise, basically, is it a lot of word of mouth because of how much value that you pour into the painters and the remodlers and designers?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I would say there's three key pieces to our marketing. One is the organic marketing, which is like community events, social media, word of mouth, referrals, reviews, things like that. Of course that's incredibly important. A lot of that just comes from effort effort at the store level, effort from me, things like that. And then there's legitimate marketing programs that we do, which is paid marketing, like digital display ads, search engine optimization, things like that. Right now we're doing a program called New Business Now, where all of the new homeowners in the area are getting a nice letter written from me with a gift certificate for a free gallon of regal select, which is a premium paint product.

Speaker 2:

So that's a good program. That's smart.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a good program. It's a very good program, yeah, and it's driving people in. And it's kind of funny when you see some of these people come into the store because they're kind of like, what's the catch? But really we just want them to come and see the store, that's it, that's the only catch.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's. The catch is you're going to come in. You're going to want more stuff but, the decision's up to you. You can buy it. You're still getting your free can of paint, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right. And then I mean it's, the paint quality is really, really good. I know the Benjamin Moore paint is awesome. I know I was going to say I get it, I use that. Yeah, so it only takes one time applying it. You don't even have to be a professional painter. You can see the difference right away.

Speaker 2:

That's why I use it yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so it sells itself. So we have a really, really good product. That makes it super easy. At the end of the day, we're a small business, we're an independent paint retail business. So Evolution Paint Company is my company name, but that's the sub-brand. The main draw to the store is the fact that we're we sell other stuff too, but Benjamin Moore is really the bread and butter, so that's the organic piece that really drives people. People are looking for Benjamin Moore color, benjamin Moore paints. They come to our stores.

Speaker 1:

I would say the third key piece of marketing is the grass root stuff with the contractors. That's extremely important, especially in Loudoun County. It's really a do it for me type of market. It's not necessarily do it yourself. Western Loudoun County still is a little bit more do it yourself.

Speaker 1:

Then, as you get into like Ashburn, you start to see families and things like that, a little bit more chaos, a little bit more busyness. You see people hiring contractors a lot more in Ashburn South riding those types of areas. So it's really really important that we build really strong relationships with the contractors and the painters because there are salespeople. In a way they're the ones going into the people's homes and making these recommendations. So it's extremely important for us to that's done the old fashioned way let's pick up the phone, talk to them, build rapport, face-to-face meetings like this, lunch meetings, coffee, get to know them, get to know what their business goals are and how we can help, kind of thing. That's really one of the key functions of our business because, honestly, like 60 to 70% of our sales revenue actually comes from the contractors.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow, so that's more than half.

Speaker 1:

The homeowners are coming in purchasing samples, things like that, but most of the bulk sales and things like that actually come from the contractors providing the paint.

Speaker 2:

And I can see where just anybody getting in front of you sitting down talking to you, they're going to automatically fall in love with everything that you're sharing with them and they're going to want to support you and come and try out the different.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's the thing, too, about being a small business. I'm in the thicket with them. I can relate. I really am a small business with a small business bank account. Trust me, it's not like a massive franchise that I'm a part of. It's really not. That's a misconception. Like Benjamin Moore is just a dealer agreement. I'm completely on my own. Of course, I get great support from them in regards to, like some co-op advertising. Of course I have a great product that drives people into the store and things like that, but all of the marketing decisions are my own, all of the spend is my own. So I'm really in the thicket, just like they are these painters, these contractors, these remodelers and it truly is a small business. Like when you're going into a Benjamin Moore paint store, it's like you're truly supporting local people, local employees, a local business owner and the money is staying local.

Speaker 2:

And I'm glad that you clarified that, because I was under the impression that it wasn't.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 1:

And I'm sure a lot of people are as well because you see that brand name and you think that it's part of a larger Right, like a national franchise, which is still in a way small business franchises and things like that, and I'm not discounting that in any way. I'm just saying it's a little bit different in that we're like a true, we're an independent paint retailer. That's what Evolution Paint Company is. I'll give a little shout out to some of the other Ben Moore dealers, like Vienna paints, monarch and Potomac paints, like we're all individual entities. We just Our bread and butter tends to be Benjamin Moore products.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, no, no. That's a good clarification there. So, in terms of outside, of being passionate about business and helping both homeowners as well as the designers and contractors, what do you do with your free time, if there's any left over?

Speaker 1:

Free time is spending time with my kids. I've got a little one year old baby girl and I've got a six year old boy. He just turned six on Wednesday. So, yeah, spending time with my kids and my wife. And we live on in Boyce Virginia, right near Winchester, so we live pretty rural. We have a lot of farmland all around us. It's really beautiful where we live. We love it.

Speaker 1:

It was a very good decision. We've got plenty of property for my dog to run on and for our kids to grow up on and play and we do a little bit of motorcycle racing and stuff like that. I've got my son into that, like off road enduro type racing, which is like done through the woods and things like that. I grew up racing motocross, which is more big jumps and things like that. Now I can't do that kind of stuff anymore, so I've got my son into that and that's been a lot of fun. Like we did a series this year called US Sprint enduro so it was up and down the East Coast. It was like I don't know eight or nine races or something like that and it was his first year racing so he learned a lot. Like he's racing with four to six year old kids. They get started real early. I was going to say yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And so he was five. It was his first year racing and I mean he learned a lot. The kids that he was racing against were a little bit faster than him. They trophy the top five in the class and so we would go to these races and he would, you know, he would. Just the goal was finishing the race and learning from it and we were having a fun time doing it. But he told me that he really wanted a trophy and I explained well, buddy, you know you got to be in the top five. These kids have been racing a couple more years in you, a lot of them are older and stuff like that.

Speaker 1:

But we got to this mud race. It was like just pouring down, rain is muddy and stuff like that, and it was like three feet of mud and he was just super determined. He told me he wanted a trophy. I said well, today's probably your shot, because I don't know that all these kids are going to make it around the course. So I was pulling him around, I was pushing him, I was running all around like just doing whatever I took. It was cold, it was muddy, it was like emotional, like you were like yelling and stuff, and he, just he told me like I even yelled at him. I was like what, like? And I shouldn't have said this, but I was like cause he was complaining you know he's crying a little bit and like complain.

Speaker 1:

I was like, well, what do you want to do, man? You want to quit, you know? And he got mad. He got real mad when I said that he got a chip on his shoulder and he just got back on the bike and he just he just took off. He was like no, I want a trophy. You know, he's just so determined. So it was amazing to see. It was like a proud dad moment. He got fifth that day. So he got a trophy. He got on the podium. You know the kids that were behind him were faster than them, but he just outgrew it on me. He was just determined to finish the race. Finish all the tests is what they call it. So it was like that kind of thing is really important. Sports, I think, are really important. Teaches you a lot, especially at a young age, and stuff like that perseverance, determination, all of that kind of stuff.

Speaker 2:

And now you know what's going to drive him.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's true. You got to know how to like push people's buttons and stuff like that and like now I kind of know a little bit more after this year. I know a little bit more about how to get under a skin a little bit, you know which. That's true. I mean, you really do have to learn like how to, how people get motivated, like push and pull and stuff like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, some type of it's like a leadership type conference, and that was one of the things that they talked about is, people are motivated by different things and some people are motivated by the chip on the shoulder.

Speaker 2:

I forgot what they called it but it was essentially the chip on the shoulder syndrome, where it's like you, if you're calm and relaxed and you feel comfortable, you're not doing anything, you're not motivated, whereas a second you get uncomfortable and you've got that chip on the on your shoulder. You will push and drive in areas that you've never seen yourself go.

Speaker 1:

No, yeah, you see it all the time Like sports is like a classic example. Everybody gives the examples of sports, but you see it all the time in sports like people that have those chips on their shoulders that are that, whatever something happened with their contract or whatever, they come back the next year even more fired up. And sports is kind of a good example because everybody, when you're a kid, you look up to your favorite athletes and stuff like that and it's sort of like, well, it took a lot of determination, a lot of perseverance, a lot of motivation to get to that level and they're literally living their childhood dreams. So it's really cool to see and that's why I'm a big proponent of sports and things like that and I want my kids to both find something that they really enjoy and keep going that route.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, who did you look up to growing up?

Speaker 1:

So I grew up racing motorcycles and things like that. So I didn't do traditional sports as much. I played like one year of football but I grew up to motorcycle racers, like off road racers and things like that. So it was real niche, it was really different, it was real expensive, like racing motorcycles and things like that. But we travel around me and my family and yeah, I mean I grew up with people like some of the household names that some people have heard of would be like Jeremy McGrath or Ricky Carmichael, like those types of guys Extreme grid, extreme determination, changing the sport, that kind of thing. So yeah, I looked up to guys like that.

Speaker 1:

And then in business I had a lot of local mentors, like in my career at Sherwin-Wayne's. I worked there for 10 years and I had a lot of great bosses and things like that that really taught me a lot and showed me a lot. I had my professional management career. There was like maybe six to seven years but I was able to get promoted a few times. I had a few different bosses that were really really good, that were kind of like mentors to me. So I find myself like saying things now or doing things now that would have been like oh, that sounded just like I'll drop his name Bob White. He was one of my best bosses. Yeah, so, business wise, I had a lot of good local mentors, and then, growing up as a kid, I had athletic mentors as well, I guess you could say, or people I looked up to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Now what makes somebody a good boss or a good mentor?

Speaker 1:

In my experience, I believe that it's people that are it's bosses that are willing to get to know you. Get to know, like, what makes you tick, find out how to inspire you or motivate you. Also, there has to be a teaching component as well. They have to be willing to actually teach you. And that was really big for me, you know, being young, like when I got out of college and I made the decision that I was going to pursue a career in the paint industry, which who grows up thinking like, oh, I'm going to be a paint salesman, right, but I just fell in love with the idea of sales negotiation, like working with the these small business owners and stuff like that. And I didn't realize how much I was going to like it when I did it. But I mean, the types of things that I would learn would be.

Speaker 1:

Like one example that I can give I got sat down by a former boss once. His name was Bob. He showed me all these different components of a machine, all types of different gears, and he was basically pointing out all of these gears are a component of this bigger machine and as a manager, you have to be able to balance all of these gears, because look what happens if you start paying attention to these gears over here and then this gear stops over here, the whole machine ends up shutting down little by little by little. Things like that that are kind of like eye opening, like things that you learn that you can't necessarily yeah, you can't necessarily learn in like a classroom setting. You have to kind of get that experiential learning and things like that to kind of see it and feel it.

Speaker 1:

And so, yeah, I would say, just little things like that, just tidbits, learning, mentoring, like somebody that takes the effort to actually get to know you and build rapport with you, things like that. I would say it would be a really good. That's a good indicator of a good boss. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I like that and you've got. You said four different stores, yeah.

Speaker 1:

We've got four stores, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Four stores? How do you staff and hire? What do you look for when you're?

Speaker 1:

So, like my core values and the core values that I want for the company are responsibility, work ethic and attitude. So those are the three things that I'm always looking for and that I'm constantly trying to improve and improve my company culture with with those three things. So responsibility would be taking personal responsibility, accountability. Work ethic is pretty simple. You can pretty much measure whether somebody's working hard or not or how much effort they're putting in, you know. And attitude like you hire for attitude my industry, I guess you could say, is a little bit more technical like you do have to learn about paint and stuff like that. So hiring for a manager or something like that, then I would be looking for more like technical skills and things like that.

Speaker 1:

But hiring for attitude is really where you start. If somebody has a good attitude and wants to put the effort in, you can see it right away. And as long as you're a good boss and you're willing to build rapport with them and you're willing to spend the time with them and teach them, then it'll normally work out. In my experience, you know, I've had to go the other way too, where you lose that attitude or you lose that work ethic, and maybe in some cases that's my own fault for not paying enough attention to it or not cultivating it enough, or things like that. So I've been on both ends of that.

Speaker 2:

That little gear got out of your Right.

Speaker 1:

yeah, for a little business. Yeah, it's easy as a small business owner, for, you know, I mean, you're wearing so many hats with HR, administrative work, sales development, marketing, hiring, and you're trying to grow the business and we're still in the infancy stages of where we're like, really trying to go. So it's even more challenging and I've got this philosophy that as we continue to grow and things like that, we'll have more resources, we'll have more people, we'll have more perspectives and we can kind of cultivate our culture more and we can kind of help each other more and things will be a little less chaotic. Right now things are a little chaotic, you know, just like most small businesses, they have that sense of chaos in their business which kind of is cool in a way, because it makes you who you are, it makes your business your business.

Speaker 2:

You do have a positive attitude. Yeah, I think that's You're like the house is on fire, but it's going to make us who we are. Let's go.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm a big believer in mentality. Like you have to work on that every single day. You have to. You gotta work your brain just like you work your muscles in the gym. You have to work that muscle every day. And like focus on half glass full positive mentality, things like that, because it's incredibly important. Like taking negative thoughts, isolating them or turning them into positive thoughts. I think his name is Jaco Williams. Does that sound familiar? Jaco Williams?

Speaker 2:

Are Williams or Willis?

Speaker 1:

Will Jaco, oh man, all the military people right now are just he's got his four o'clock.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, watching him every morning. He's widely regarded as one of the most like mentally tough people and he's got this philosophy called good, and it's just you just say good To any sort of negative thought that comes into your brain throughout the day. You say good, so you get up at four o'clock in the morning good, I gotta start my day, rise and grind right. You sitting in traffic good, more time to listen to my podcast and learn more things. And it's amazing because if you do that for like two weeks and I did this once for two weeks straight I just said good to myself like every single day for two weeks and my baseline mentality went from almost kind of drained or negative to positive, and it only took like two weeks. So I'm a really, really big believer in mentality Like I think it's literally something that you can flip a switch and change within a small amount of time.

Speaker 2:

No, I love that, I love that little philosophy. I'm gonna try that. I'm gonna do that for the next month.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's one of those like easy things. There's a lot of different stuff, but see, I don't have any original ideas at all because I just don't think creatively like that for whatever reason. But luckily, like 2023, there's so many like good philosophies and ideas out there and things like that.

Speaker 2:

It's a far-row copy. Yeah, whatever it is that works for you.

Speaker 1:

Whatever works for you. Yeah, you can take it and run with it and like there's a lot of stuff out there, so it's good. Artificial intelligence now I know I mean, I had an entire conversation with ChatGPT about leadership recently.

Speaker 2:

Did y'all like argue, or wasn't it?

Speaker 1:

good. We didn't argue as mutual, we got along just fine, perfect. But it's kind of amazing like you can, with some of these tools that are coming out now, like you can really learn a lot about yourself because it's so interactive, like you can, instead of just reading a book about leadership which, don't get me wrong, is great Like you can actually just interact with this, with like the smartest person in the world, basically, and you can learn so much more about yourself. It's kind of almost like talking to a therapist, I guess you could say, but in just a different kind of way. So it's pretty exciting to see some of this new stuff that's coming out and how it's really gonna like change our world, I think for the better, but a lot of people have-.

Speaker 2:

So when our thoughts come after us, then we'll be like yeah, exactly. And so then we're gonna take the best of it, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it could definitely get dangerous. Real quick, we're not gonna, we're gonna close that thought off on its own, and focus that good, that's right.

Speaker 2:

So what's been like one of the hardest challenges for you on your journey so far in business.

Speaker 1:

Making like the initial decision to jump ship from like a comfortable corporate job where I was making good salary, benefits of 401K, all the things that you need Like jumping ship and making that decision was the most challenging, I would say. My wife was six months pregnant at the time that I decided to quit my job and I told her what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it, and like what she could have said or maybe even some people would say should have said is like you're crazy, I'm six months pregnant. Like we need a salary, we need health benefits and things like that. But she was super supportive. She was like let's go for it, let's do it. You seem like you're excited about it. I think it's a good idea.

Speaker 1:

So I learned a lot about that. I learned a lot about interpersonal relationships. We were still young in our marriage at that point, so it was like that taught me a lot about how much that meant to me and how much confidence that put in our family and our household. And it was just her and I at that time. We didn't have kids, but now I feel like I owe her that and she's been holding down the fort and now we're kind of like she's trying to figure out what she wants to do and things like that, and I think that's what her life vision is. But now I'm much more likely to want to jump and do whatever I can to help her get to where she wants to go. So that taught me a lot about relationships. Just because it could have gone the other way, it could have gone where we were both unhappy or something like that, doing things that we didn't want to do. But just having that positive support around you really helps take things to that next level I love that yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I have a question about moving out to Winchester area. You said what does it do Boys, yeah Boys yeah, was that difficult with all of your not living within five miles of where you work or any of the tours? Or, basically, do you have a set up tour?

Speaker 1:

I would say that really wasn't a problem at all. Like I drive so much already that driving is just non, it doesn't phase me in any way. It would phase me if I was sitting in 95 South traffic all day or something like that, or even 66. But I've got a straight shot into Loudoun County. It's either Route 50 or Route 7, depending on which store I'm going to or what part of the county I'm going to. It's a super nice, relaxing drive. You've got the mountains, you've got the farms, you've got the cows, the horses. It's almost kind of like therapeutic in a way. Some people think I'm crazy, but sometimes I drive without any kind of radio or noise.

Speaker 2:

I don't mind. If I play the radio, it's either a podcast or silence, right, yeah, of course it gets crazy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I mean that kind of thing is. It's really good after a long day just driving 50 West, getting out into the more rural parts of the county and things like that, and then getting into where I live. It's super relaxing. It's a different type of lifestyle, for sure, and so that doesn't phase me at all. I am set up remote. I can work from home when I need to on administrative stuff and things like that. If I have to go out and do customer meetings or things like that, I can start my day in the morning at home and then go out and do my meetings. Most of my time spent is in the stores, though, kind of filling in gaps working in the stores, working with the customers, working with the employees, things like that.

Speaker 2:

So it's a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Having a nice home base where you said you've got the property and a beautiful landscape is kind of yeah, yeah that's right, and a lot of my job is driving. Lately it hasn't been as much because we've set up a new store, so I've been a little bit more stationary, working at that store and things like that, but most of the time my day is a lot of driving around, a lot of meeting different people in and out of stores, things like that, and I really enjoy that. I like being mobile. I'm not the person that would want to sit at a desk all day, although I do do that and I have to do that sometimes. But being able to get out and meet with people, help with some deliveries, visit some jobs, things like that that's a really important piece of making everything work.

Speaker 2:

That's one thing that a lot of people don't know about you that they might be surprised.

Speaker 1:

Honestly, I'm a pretty normal boring person. I'm like a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Give me a seared steak and a baked potato like nothing mashed or anything like that. I'm not 90. Well, I'm a meat and potatoes guy. I'm a family guy. I love being able to teach my kids things, teach them values. I'm big on values and I like being able to inspire and motivate people. I'm not always the best at it just because of my leadership style or my baseline personality. I'm not a transformational person, but sometimes I'm able to inspire and motivate people and stuff like that and that's really cool to me.

Speaker 2:

You're more of that, so do you want to quit?

Speaker 1:

I'm more of a democratic leader. Yeah, you want to quit? Yeah, I'm more of a democratic leader, like employee empowerment, letting them run with an idea even if I don't believe it's going to work or whatever. Let them do it anyways, let them learn from it, that kind of thing. That's kind of like my baseline. But yeah, I'm just a pretty normal person. I don't really have anything weird about me. I don't think anything too weird. Yeah, well, what about you?

Speaker 2:

Any cool places you've traveled.

Speaker 1:

Cool places I've traveled. I've gone to Ireland with my wife. There you go. We went to Scotland. That was amazing All the castles, all the history. When you come back to Loudoun County and stuff like that, after being in a country like that, it's like whoa, like we're such a little baby nation, we're like in a tiny little baby's, like infants. It's just amazing. Like all of the builds, everything's new here. So it's kind of eye-opening when you see all of that old architecture and all of the history and stuff like that. When you do get to travel around, we've gone to Jamaica. Other than that, I mean just all up and down the country, mostly up and down the East Coast and things like that. But yeah, I mean we've definitely had some pretty incredible travel experiences so far and I know that that's one of my wife's goals is to travel more. So maybe later in life we'll be able to catch up on that a little bit more.

Speaker 2:

After you know, store number 7, 8.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I was going to say what's one place you want to go that you haven't been yet Travel-wise, I would say I would probably like to travel Europe a little bit more. I would like to do it in a little bit of a more adventurous kind of way, like not the tourist traps but like, for example, dual sport motorcycle riding where you can kind of adventure through the countryside and things like that.

Speaker 2:

It would be fun for you and your son.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly that's what I'm thinking and honestly we may even be able to work it with my wife and things like that. Especially they have ATV adventure trips, things like that. But I'd really like to see Italy. I have a heavy family presence in Italy. On my mom's side We've been to Ireland. That's my dad's side of the family, that's where my last name comes from. But I'd really like to see Italy and I'd really like to do it in a really authentic kind of way, not like a touristy kind of way, like stay with somebody in the countryside or something, ride my motorcycle and like just things like that. Backpack it a little bit more, but to your point, it would probably be a little bit later on, when the kids are older, and things like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm all a good enjoyment out of it right now yeah yeah, very cool. So, to wrap things up, is there anything specific?

Speaker 1:

if you could give one message to the world that you would say, whether it's related to business or just one of your life motivational quotes in general, Well, like, do you have a soapbox around here or anything Like, yeah, I think my inner circle like here's these things all the time, like these same principles. They're probably gonna roll their eyes when they hear this, but the message that I always kind of give is basically understand, like, take pride in what you do. That's extremely important. Work ethic is extremely important. So take pride in what you do. In a way, that's one way that you can really make the world a better place, your community a better place. Literally just doing your job as good as you can do it and taking pride in it. And that message would be for young people too that are working their first job and aren't obviously where they wanna be or aren't where they're gonna end up or whatever. But still, like, learn from it, take pride in it and make people's day, put your best effort in.

Speaker 1:

And then the second thing is life vision. Incredibly important to have a life vision and not only have a life vision, but compile it like literally write it down, so you have something that you can look at or read every day. Some people are more visual, so a vision board, but having something like that is incredibly important because it needs to be like a pool motivation, something that excites you, something that you're able to get out of bed in the morning for. And it took me a long time to get to that point, to where I really had a life vision. But then it was like, oh my gosh, like I have everything I need, I have a life vision, and it took me like three hours but I was able to like write it all down, you know, and it was a big deal for me, and you can imagine like how, like freeing, that feels too, when you're like you know where you're going, you know what you're here to achieve, you know what you're gonna leave behind for your family, things like that it's like finding the treasure map.

Speaker 1:

Exactly.

Speaker 2:

Exactly how to get there.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, yeah, and you know, I found that I had all these little pieces throughout my teens and twenties and things like that, but it wasn't until I was about 30 that I was able to actually compile it all together. And so, like, my message for people that don't have a life vision yet is that your life vision is to find a life vision. Network, meet with people, try different things, volunteer. Maybe you have to quit your job and go try something else, especially if you're miserable or something like that, but just don't waste any time. And then mentality that's extremely important too.

Speaker 1:

So work, you know, make sure that you have a strong mentality. No complaining, no whining, no blaming that's mental weakness, not mental toughness and just figure out how to take all those negative thoughts throughout the day and spin them into positive thoughts, and with that, you'll be able to have more clarity. With a life vision, with your mentality, you'll be able to have more clarity, and when you have more clarity, you'll be able to have more confidence. So that's my message for anybody that would listen to me. I love it. It's cool that we get to record this, too, because one day I can just be like kids, like this is this is everything you need to know. This is everything I want you to know. You know, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I love that, but you know what? In five years, you're probably gonna have additional messages that you're gonna need to re-record, definitely, yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's true. It's a living diet, so it's working document. Life throws some crazy wrenches at you and every 10 years or so sometimes you have to reset. That's absolutely true.

Speaker 2:

Yep, thank you so much for your time. I love your passion so much. You sound and feel like me after three cups of coffee, and I love it.

Speaker 1:

That's not coffee, it's five hour energy there you go Similar.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate your time, wisdom and lots of motivational little quotes there, so thank you?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, thank you for the opportunity. I appreciate it.

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