This week’s episode of the Maximize Business Value Podcast marks 100 episodes and counting! To celebrate - and to thank our noble viewers - we have compiled the answers to one of the most popular questions asked on each and every guest episode: What personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble over the years? You won’t want to miss this special episode!
Tom Bronson is the founder and President of Mastery Partners, a company that helps business owners maximize business value, design exit strategy, and transition their business on their terms. Mastery utilizes proven techniques and strategies that dramatically improve business value that was developed during Tom’s career 100 business transactions as either a business buyer or seller. As a business owner himself, he has been in your situation a hundred times, and he knows what it takes to craft the right strategy. Bronson is passionate about helping business owners and has the experience to do it. Want to chat more or think Tom can help you? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his book,Maximize Business Value, Begin with The Exit in Mind (2020).
Mastery Partners, where our mission is to equip business owners to Maximize Business Value so they can transition their business on their terms. Our mission was born from the lessons we’ve learned from over 100 business transactions, which fuels our desire to share our experiences and wisdom so you can succeed.
Welcome to the Maximize Business Value Podcast. This podcast is brought to you by Mastery Partners, where our mission is to equip business owners to maximize business value so they can transition their business on their terms. Our mission was born from the lessons we've learned from over 100 business transactions, which fuels our desire to share our experiences and wisdom so you can succeed. Now, here's your host, the CEO of Mastery Partners, Tom Bronson. Hi, this is Tom Bronson and welcome to Maximize Business Value. A podcast for business owners who are passionate about building long-term sustainable value in your business. Oh boy, do we have a treat in store for you today! This is our 100th episode. It seems like we just started doing this and here we are at 100 episodes packed with great content and actionable things you can do to maximize the value of your own business. Now, if you're an avid listener, you already know that the last question I ask in every podcast is what personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble through the years. It's a fun question. And frankly, we've had some really, really interesting answers. Now don't get me wrong. If you're new to our podcast, every one of our guests have given some great expert advice on building business value, but this question allows them to get a little vulnerable and to self-deprecating. And I thought this was a great way to celebrate our 100th episode. So here it is a compilation of the answers to what personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble through the years. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have while producing this fun episode. Yeah. And it's kinda, it's kinda sad. It's kind of embarrassing for an age for a guy who was a career HR guy to say this, but sometimes my, my, maybe being a little bit too extroverted and maybe seeing saying things that were not as politically correct as they should have been. And when then somebody uses it against me and they say, you know, mark, but you're the HR guy and I'll kind of reflect on what I've said. I'm like, yeah. And that was really it. And a few times I've had it a few times. They have been so politically incorrect that I have to apologize to an individual who I might've offended, which I had no intent to offend, but I maybe that's maybe got the best of me. Well, I was thinking about that. You, you did give me a acuity. You might ask that and I didn't have an answer, but I thought about it. Not because there weren't, it was which one. And I, I think the answer is impatience. I tend to feel like I have an answer and I know the path and if others aren't already on the path and aren't seeing it, that I'm ready to get to the bottom line too quickly. And so from a spiritual perspective, I know there's a saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth. So we should listen twice as much as we talk. And so I really tried to help manage my lack of patience and be more patient and be a better listener and not jump to the conclusion or too quickly. Ah, I, ah, it's that filter thing, right? It's a, I tend to tell it, like I see it. And maybe sometimes I should sugarcoat it just a little bit more, but I think business owners like the straight talk. So that, that would be, I'd like to find out what can keep me out of trouble. But I would say in this business, the, the issue of wanting to be perhaps too helpful, sometimes we get calls from people who, you know, their businesses is really struggling. They really don't have a whole lot to sell, frankly, and yet we will want to help them. So we'll take it on, it's a deal. That's not going to pay a lot of money. The small deals can sometimes eat your lunch while they usually eat your lunch. Time-wise but you like the person, you know, you, you, you have empathy for their situation and you say, you know what, as long as we're realistic on what we're dealing with, let's work it. And the upside to that is you do feel good if you have success. And so that's the plus, but it is, it can be a tired. Yeah. It can be a real time suck. Right? I mean, Just one, Just one. Sorry, you can't look. I learned that because when I asked my wife, well, how would I answer that question? You know, she's still talking and I ask it, I asked her two weeks ago. Yeah. You already left the room. She's still telling you. I think that the thing that gets me in the worst trouble is that I'm really independent and have this tendency to just move forward and take action and go a little bit rogue on things. And that is not always in everyone's best interest as I have been reminded throughout my life. So I always need checks and balances either on a personal or professional level to reign me in and made me take a step back and say, okay, what's the process here? What needs to be done so that I don't get into trouble? Oh gosh, that's hard. I can be direct. And so I've had to learn, I mean, I'm much, much better today. And they always say, why do you teach what you teach? Because you got to learn it yourself kind of thing. I'm way better than, than what I was. Especially that 25 year old general manager, I was terrible. I was not, I was, I did not get people. I was, I was driven to get an end result. I did not factor in the human spirit. So not I E why I'm so motivated to get this work out because I know what works and what doesn't work. That one's got me in trouble, not so much today, but it certainly did in my past, Oh, Tom Bronson. So I spend my career, Tom and sales and, and what's now called business development. And so there was an illusion that, that I held for too damn long. And that was that sales made the business work right without customers. We're nothing. Now there's some fundamental truth in that. But if you look at a company and say sales is strong, but operations or finance is weak, what happens to the ultimate value of that company? Right? They will. They, I would suggest they certainly will not thrive. They certainly won't get the mud multiple when they get to whatever their, their ultimate event turns out to be. And in the same way, if sales is weak of an operations and finance or, or strong, you've got a great company looking for something to do. So it takes all three. But, but I used to believe that sales was perhaps even more important than it really is. You know, I, I'm gonna, I'm gonna spend that just a little bit and say what personality trait that has been most successful for me recently. And it's only been recently, and I say recently over the past five or eight years is being okay with mediocracy being okay with mediocracy. Doesn't mean you're settling for just, okay. It just, it means that you have to let people learn on themselves on their, on their own delegating and being okay with me in your ocracy, because not everything's going to be done. Like I'm going to do it. It's not going to be done perfectly. It doesn't mean you, you, you put out a bad product, you send out a bad message or you go ugly early. It just means that people need to learn on their own. And I hadn't let people learn on their own. I had to be micromanaging, but as soon as I took a micro mentorship thought process and to being okay with mediocracy until they define their own perfect, then it becomes much, much more successful. And quite frankly, a better quality of life As Yes, you know, I'm pretty spontaneous. I'm pretty creative in spark. And so, you know, that can get you in trouble. Cause sometimes you make a quick decision, then you're like, you know what, maybe I shouldn't have done that. I've got, when my son turned 16 years old, I thought what would be a fun thing to do? Let's go have a candy dash. And so we took him to seven 11 and said, you have 16 seconds to grab as much candy as you want, grabbing handfuls, handful of samples, 16 seconds later, $106 in candy. I look, I love seven 11, a local convenience store based here in north Texas. But, but you're not probably paying the least amount of money. No, no, that was not a great choice. It was just close to the house. And so I thought, well, let's just try this. I'm standing up there. And I'm like, are we really going to pay $106 for all this? But I told him we would submit something, but it was so much fun. It created a memory for him. Then it was well worth. The $106. My tenacity, I am like a dog with a bone. I won't give it up. And I got to tell you, Tom, that has helped me a lot of my career, but it's also gotten me in lots of trouble with people. Cause they just want me to go away. I'm just very, to me In the theme of opposites attract, I'm a huge dreamer, right? So my, my, my big one is, you know, it's tough being a visionary, waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with me. And so again, that's got me in trouble, but it's also been a benefit over time. And, and so that's why Charlene and I, and others in our firm work really well together because we compliment each other and we really can quickly represent kind of all different components of a corporate need or client Man. Yeah, definitely. I'm silly. I like to laugh. I'm playful and some people, I don't know, I've been scolded definitely for maybe making a joke when people thought it wasn't the best time or when there are children around for riling up the children. But I do think that it's actually a benefit because I think for most people it can help them to be more comfortable because we're I, with my job, I deal with really serious issues, some really dark stuff. And I think that if you can't use humor and silliness, then I think I'd go crazy. So I do get in trouble for that. But I think it's actually A strange Easily, no tact, No tact. Yeah. I think I might be, I think I might be socially dyslexic. That's awesome. So that's Also, so when I was, when I was a kid, I would go to like cotillion, you know, and all kinds of etiquette schools my parents would send me to. And that was the number one thing that I got in trouble for was I don't have any tax. Fortunately, I'm a consultant now, so it's totally fine. Yeah, Exactly. Oh boy. Well I'm far too outspoken, so, and I always tell people, you know, if you ask me for my opinion, I'm sure to give it so I can result in problems. I'm tempted to ask you to answer the question first, but I have an answer. So go, but you'd give me yours And Alto. I'll be curious to hear yours. I gotta, I have to reluctantly confessed break the rules, Break, you break the rules and they get you into Trouble. I do. I do. I break the rules and often like to think I use it to my advantage, but, but I, you know, I'll, I'll, I've often been accused of breaking too many rules. So, Well, my first would say my charming personality, but we don't go down that route. Probably the, the personality would agree By the way that your charm could have, may have gotten you in trouble through the years. I would probably say that I'm, I'm not a very, I'm not good at playing politics in an organization. I am all about executing and results. So I don't like to play a game and give people answers. They want or sound bits that they want to hear. I wanna make sure that things are correct and we're executing. They're getting the results they want and we're not stringing people mind give them information. It's not necessarily right. You know, there's so many places you get into and people don't want to report results and they want to report good results. They don't want to report results. And sometimes the news isn't good. And so it's a lot better to give the news and say, here's what's happening. And here's what we got to go do to fix this. And here's what caused it then to say, well, I'll put this back and I probably can fix that next month or something. So I'm very much a, here it is. And it might not like it, but it's, it's re I just going to say my rugged, good looks, but obviously that would make people laugh out loud. So honestly, it's I, the passion like you can see, I'm really passionate about these subjects. I'm really passionate about development, but I do have to watch myself sometimes when I'm communicating with people, they can feel steamrolled, right. They can feel like, well, he's clearly concluded already. Like he's not open to any sort of a discussion when I actually am, but I'm presenting so much, like I am totally committed. And I found out the answer. And so I realized sometimes I guess all the time I have to slow down and bring people with me. Right. So like you and I have talked about recurring revenue, right? That's a lot of what we speak about at these conferences. So if we just go and say to people, you got to do recurring revenue, but a free will to talk to them about their business and their business struggles and how recurring revenue has helped them, where they could go get more than they could be convinced of it as well, as opposed to just shouting and pointing at them. And again, not that I do it in an angry way, but I'm just super passionate about it. And I just have to make sure, in fact, I tell people upfront, like you might feel like, I mean, steam rolled and I don't mean to do that. So even as much passionate as I speak with, as long as I speak, I'm open to your ideas. I'm going to try to control that better. If you see me a way that I can do better, slow me down. But I actually have notes up on my bulletin board over here. And it says, don't talk so fast and don't talk so long because oftentimes that's where the passion comes out. So I remind myself to keep that in check. I am a eternal optimist. I mean, I literally just, I love serving people. I love helping, you know, business owners and helping individuals, you know, be successful, right. Or take that next step and success. And so with that, I, you know, I guess that the, the, the trait that's gotten me in the most trouble is, you know, I'll over commit myself. Right. I will, you know, it's like I did, because I just see the potential and the business potential in the individual potential in what can be done. And, and I don't like to say, no, I like to say, let's, let's, let's roll up the sleeves, lock arms and get, you know, get it, get it done. Right. And, and so that's sometimes gets me, gets me in trouble at my, at our firm. It's like, you know, we've got another one, we've got another opportunities. It's like, well, yes, we are. We're going to go. We're going to bring another. Yeah. And someone else said, we're gonna do, you know, whatever, but, you know, so that's, it's just that the terminal eternal optimist, and as a career sales leader, you have to be that right. Well, let's see, my wife would tell you one thing, I would tell you another thing, right? My wife would give a list. She said, I'm limited to one. My I'll tell you. I sabotage myself sometimes with my mover life language, because my mover life languages wants to get down the road so far change, innovate, do all these things. But then I, I, all I see behind me as a cloud of dust, there's nobody following because they can't find me because I have, because I've gone too far without making sure the team is with me. That's gotten me in more trouble than I care to admit. Well, it's funny, Tom, when you asked that question, I started thinking about all my old performance reviews and one of the, one of the things that a communication IQ we help folks understand here are the strengths they have, but also the things to work on. And sure enough, what my boss would consider a strength. It was very easy for him to pick out the, the, the challenge and things. So I'm a shaper and by nature would like to work on strategy and, and, and, and large picture planning. The challenge though, is when a shaper is under distress, you see the, the challenge come out of all right, these guys don't get the plan. They're not moving fast enough. I'll just take it over. And so Gerald's been really kind and, and taught me a little bit about how I'm wired as a shaper. And he says, you know, when you start to see this, this idea that you're frustrated, and you're just going to grab the plan and take over, that's a sign that, that things are off track. And sure enough, as I looked back through old performance reviews, I took on a lot of extra projects when I was, when I was in that, that stress mode. So that one still is something that I can continue to work on. I Have a longer list than you so rugged. Good looks is not a personality trait. No, I think I, I think that, I think it's probably, I am not re I'm. I'm not afraid to be the dissenter in a group. So it kind of circles around brutal honesty and internal dialogue, maybe coming out when you might want to not, but, you know, I think that's what I'm paid for. And the people that call me back, that's why they call me back. You know, they want to hear it all the good, the bad and the ugly. And there's always some of each, right. If you, if you don't want to hear it, if you don't want to hear it all, or, you know, then you're not going to maximize your business value. Right. So, yes, but I think that gets me in trouble sometimes. Would that been on your list? I know it would have The new sarcasm was going to be in there somewhere. So, so the way I've can categorize this as sarcastically, brutal honesty, I'm being a smart ass, sarcastic and playful. And if I'm not making fun of you, I don't like you. If I making fun of you, I like you. And it was kind of funny when I was 23 years old, I went on a business call with a guy who was 70. And before I even got back to the office, he had called my boss and said, what are you doing? Sending, that's not those kid down here to talk to me. And I was like, wait a minute. I thought it went well. I thought it was a great meeting. And my boss said, well, you know, sometimes you can be a bit of a smart ass. And I was really hurt by that. And I went home. I told Jan because we were already married, I got married young. And I told Jan, and she goes, well, you know, you can be kind of a smart ass at times. Well, it's certainly the one I alluded to, which is, you're never as smart as you think you are. And you know, I, my family, my parents, certainly my ex-wife will tell you that not my current wife, cause I'm a changed man, but I will tell you that, that, you know, being a stubborn condescending, no at all, is not an attractive quality. And, and you know, you, you, as you go through life and you get to be, you know, you're the same size fish, but the pond gets bigger. You better learn modesty. You better learn humility. You can't learn anything until you admit that you don't know something. And, and so humility is an essential quality to being a lifelong learner. And I, I am a strong believer in lifelong learning in every area. And, and so I am, I still fall into, you know, being competitive, wanting to be, you know, the smart ally, you know, wanting to have the quickest wins and the best comeback. And, but, you know, I really, really try to be as humble as I can. And that doesn't mean, you know, being shamefaced and thing. You don't know anything, you know, that's, that's an extreme that, you know, you have to have confidence, you have to be secure, but you gotta be humble. And, and, you know, that's, that's an area where I think it's probably a, it's probably a common affliction for lawyers. And I try, I try on a daily basis to throwing that part of me in. Okay. And I'm probably going to sidestep a little bit, but I'd say being a, being the thing that comes to mind is the being kind of an analytical person. So I'm totally, I'm on that side. I'm a quantitative guy. I like numbers. I like analyzing things. You know, I think I probably be, tend to overthink things in my life. And while that may be, hasn't gotten me into trouble, I'm sure that it's slowed me down in the boss, the, the, the tendency to try and know exactly what's going to happen if I take this path versus that path of think it all through maybe means I miss the exit every once in a while. Right. And I feel like, you know, it's, it's frankly, one of the things that really impresses me when I meet other people, that ability to, to make decisions, to live with them, to go through and not worry about what's going to happen and what the world is thinking. I think that's a really a great character trait. It's, it's something I see in my kids, which they certainly get from my wife and not, for me, I'm always really impressed about, kid's willingness to get out there, get in front of people, try something new and not get totally frozen by worrying about. And over-analyzing so I'm, I'm getting better at that and trying to get better at that and in my personal life. So we'll see work. It's still a work in process. I would say being a risk taker, I tend to be a person who's a little bit free with taking risks. And sometimes I, I tend to be, I, you know, how the ready aim fire, I tend to fire. And then I do it the opposite way. And sometimes I've caught myself into trouble. So, you know, the, I, I sometimes it's better to just take the action and then just deal with whatever you deal with. But yeah, and sometimes I'm a, I'm a fairly high achiever to Tom. And so sometimes I work too much. And so I, I have to, I'm doing a little better with that in my life now, but that's been an issue. Personality trait got me into trouble. I would say for me, the, the, the desire to always be right. You know, I, I, you know, as an owner, you have to be able to listen, you have to be able to interact and talk, but, you know, just have this, you know, I'll do whatever research I'll stay up late. You know, there there's been times where I've worked, you know, 48 hours straight, you know, those kinds of things just to be able to get to, you know, to the right answer and in a, and I think that, well, that's a lockable scale and, you know, the wanting to be right is a great thing. I think, you know, sometimes that gets me in trouble by, you know, pointing out that someone's wrong when it really isn't even necessary or, you know, calling sewn to the floor for something, when, you know, it might damage the relationship or whatever. But, you know, I think I've always been challenged by always wanting to think I'm right. And, you know, being willing to commit my, you know, every fiber of my physical and mental being to go out to try and make sure that I'm right, you know, sometimes works against me. Oh, I'm, I'm I think outside the box or some people might call me a kook. I am, I believe into conspiracies and all that. So I not afraid of thinking outside the box. And, you know, an evidence of that is like my YouTube channel, nobody in my business would ever think about creating a YouTube channel with a 10 foot pole. But I did it because I think people needed education. Most people in my business want to go for the big fish for the, for the private equity, for the venture capital. I have worked for those people. I have worked with people who make $10 million a year. Now I'm going for the little guys. Now I'm only going for the businessmen whose revenue is less than $5 million because there are so many of them, Oh man, I it's my, what my father would call my recalcitrant nature. I, you know, which is which again, my father is an electromagnetic compatibility engineer. So these are the words he would use when I was a child. You know, you're so recalcitrant is like a fancy word for stubborn. Okay. Got it. But I think that has been really useful because I, I tend to be the rebel without a cause I tend to be disruptive. Like I said, in, in grade school challenge, anything that was spoonfed to me, you know, I always wanted to know why explain this justify. Cause if you can't make this make sense to me, I'm not receiving or accepting it. And so I think that constant bucking the system daring to be wrong daring, to challenge them to be wrong. And, and especially to challenge myself to be wrong, which was the hardest part I had to, I had to eat a lot of Crow and, and I am the, all the better for it. I guess it's my turn now to get uncomfortable and uncover some of my blocks. Well, I think most of my loved ones, and I would agree that I have a, a fairly strong will that can come off as stubborn from time to time. And I could think of a story, a childhood story. If we've got a couple of minutes, if you want to hear kind of demonstrates stubbornness, it's about a cat named spaghetti. So when, when I was young, you know, I love, I still love all animals. And when I was young, we lived in the country and often had stray animals visit the door. And one time this cat came up and my mom told me not to feed it. I had some spaghetti that I was eating and I threw it outside for the cat and she ate it. So that's how she got her name spaghetti. And of course she kept coming back for more. And my mom kept telling me not to feed the cat, but whenever she left the room, I would sneak her, whatever it was that I was eating or head out and continue to get in trouble for it, but did it anyway. And then one day my mom and dad were both gone and my sister was in her room, probably making a mix tape and spaghetti came to the door. So I snatched opened the door and snatched up that cat and brought her into my room, kept her there overnight, woke up the next morning to spaghetti and six kittens. So I was freaking out like, what do I do now? I have to tell my mom that I have a cat in six kittens in my bedroom and she's going to be really upset. So I told her she was upset. And the consequence was that I had to now take care of these cats and kittens and figure out how to find them new homes whenever they were old enough to do so. So it was, you know, if, if I wasn't so stubborn, I probably wouldn't have been in the situation, but then again, I probably wouldn't have saved all these cats and kittens lives. So on the flip side of that, I'm pretty persistent and I make an excellent accountability partner. You know, I would say most trouble. I like to keep myself entertained. And sometimes that involves with family and friends during the pot a little bit and, and being a bit of a practical joker and just sort of sitting back and watching what happens after, after I feel the need to entertain myself. So I would say that's, that's the one that's probably got me in the most trouble. I would say the one that has served me the best over time, not to necessarily force an expansion of your question, but the one that has served me the best over time. I, I sincerely think I got from my mother who was a first grade teacher for a long time. And it's empathy is the ability to put myself in another person's shoes, whether it's a business owner or a potential client or an employee of the business, and be able to operate from different perspectives and make sure that I create the best possible outcomes I can create. Oh, this is a fun one trust when I started, I, I did not really understand that you couldn't trust people. You know, I was naive. I didn't know. I hadn't been around people that didn't tell the truth or so I thought, and so I was so trusting and yet once I figured that out, how, you know, people can be, it's actually both, it's the thing that's caused me the most heartache, but it's also the thing that trusting has probably made me the most money. So it's been a double edge sword understanding how it works. I would, I thought about that and I would, I would have to say probably persistence. Now persistence can be good or it can be interpreted sometimes is not so good. I, I think I had mentioned earlier that earlier in my career, I was, I was one of the founding members of a software company. And, and I served as the senior VP of sales and built the company around the software that we had. And, and I had a, I had a customer that signed a deal with us. I think the deal was about $19 million. If I remember right, it was a huge deal for us at the time. And he called the chairman of our, of our board after I had signed the deal with him and he, and he was a client he called and he said, he said, you know, one of the reasons that I signed this and bought this software is that I don't ever want to hear from Jimmy Curtin. Again, he, he said he is the most persistent sob I have ever met in my life. What our chairman Brit asked, ask the client, well, did, did you buy it? Not want any? He said, oh no, it's the greatest thing that we're probably ever going to do. He said, but I just don't want him calling me anymore. So that can work both ways. Right. I mean, but, but I would say persistence is persistence is important, but just know when to let off the throttle. Well, I think like, I just think like trouble with my wife. I'm just like, honestly, that's like lack of open-mindedness around like certain things, you know, whether that was like a big sticking point or relationship for a long time, it was like, I, I just had this need to like everything I eat had to be organic, you know, kind of thing. And it was just like really unnecessary. So like, stuff like that is, is, you know, just being stubborn and not open-minded about certain stuff. It's like, I might sound like I'm super open-minded on this interview. But like, dude, I just like anyone else, you know? So that that's, what's got me in the most trouble. Oh man, I am, I am so strong-willed I know every probably business owners like, yes, me too. I mean, that's why we're in the position that we're in. I went, okay. So I am, I know you're looking at my face and you can see my face. I look young enough, but I am not a millennial. I'm a gen X-er right. And I used to change jobs every year and a half, two years. And I thought something was wrong with me. I'm like, why do I get agitated? Bored. I want to leave. I feel like I'm not doing it. I always was moving when it wasn't acceptable to move. And, and then when I started this business, I finally got it. I don't like to listen to anybody. I don't want anybody telling me what to do. So, so this is the longest role I've ever been in this business. We're in our fourth year. And, and honestly, that's, what's gotten me into trouble because I would leave jobs because I didn't like how things were being done or I didn't agree with it. Or I had a more moral issue and I couldn't overlook it. So that's it that's, what's gotten me in the most trouble is that my money does not like to listen to my parents. I'll have them listen to us. They will be laughing right now. They'll be like, yes, she Has been that way since she was born. I love that question. I, I tend to react very quickly and often too quickly and people will say, wow, that's actually really great. You know, that, that actually sounds so positive. Well, it can be a positive and in a crisis situation, it actually is very, very helpful. I think Elon Musk is, is very well quoted to say, look, you know, just make a decision. Even if it's a bad decision, just make a decision because you're moving the ball forward. But sometimes in the aftermath, if making a quick decision, you realize that, you know, what if I just slept on that, you know, that not every decision needs to be made within a millisecond. And I have really taken that to heart over my career. And I've got, I am probably, as I've become more mature in my thinking where instead of responding right away, I will now like, well, let me just answer that tomorrow. Let me sleep on that. And that is really saved me a lot. But unfortunately I'm still not, unfortunately I'm still not a hundred percent good at that, but I trust That is, that's a good, that's a good one. And you know, full disclosure guys, he sent me this question ahead of it and ahead of the Forum, come on. They all fit. Yeah. No, well, you know, Frank, even though I spent a whole day thinking about it, I, I, you know, I think the biggest personality trait for me is that, you know, I, I'm very confident in my area of expertise. And so sometimes it's some people that can come across as kind of like asshole ish. I just tell them like, look, you're full of shit. You can't do this. And it's like, okay, well, why is this kid telling me I can do this? And it's, and it's not because I think I'm that much smarter than him, but it's just like, I know what works. I know what doesn't work because I deal with it all the time. And so I I've rubbed some people the wrong way, you know, especially business brokers. I've pissed off a lot of business brokers because they're like, you know, they sit there and they give me their spiel, you know? Cause I'm looking at buying a business. One on, I said, look, you know, they're like, I've been doing this 20 years. I've been doing this. I'm like, look, I don't give a shit. Look at me, look at the numbers. I look at the numbers and the numbers are full of shit. I tell them the numbers are full of shit. And I tell them why they're full of shit. And I, then I tell them the broker, why they're full of shit. And then they don't like that. And I'm like, listen, you know your whole thing with adjustment fatigue, you're trying to tell me this guy, how are you adjusting it from a negative 56 grand a year on his tax return to plus 700 K and you want me to pay $3 million for this thing? It's worth 500 K, but they don't like to hear that because they don't make money on that. So, you know, I I'd say that's, I, you know, I don't know if that's necessarily gotten me in trouble per se, but I, it definitely has, has, you know, not contributed to It. Doesn't make you very endearing to Some, it doesn't make me super endearing to some of these business brokers, but you know, again, I don't care, you know, a lot of them are just, you know, a lot of them are really kind of crux and it's, you know, it's, it's not my favorite thing, Really great ones. But, but I agree that there, sorry, certainly Some challenges out there, but this, this probably won't surprise you if it's overthinking. I remember. And I can't remember now it was before or after graduate school, but I remember being at a table and the guy next to me was trying to sell me something. I can't remember what it was. And he was asking me a question, but what he said was he said, girl, you're the kind of guy that doesn't want to leave his house to hit downtown without first knowing that all the lights are going to be green. Yeah. What, what, what's, what's wrong with that? Exactly. Take it to the extreme. It gets into overthinking over analyzing and procrastination and not moving. And what I have learned and what I have to continue to learn is you actually can and only steer a moving car. So to get moving, to take action, to take massive action and then learn and adjust your path. So That's a, that's funny Tom. Cause I was actually joking with one of my partners about that today. So we like to have a little fun. We take what we do very seriously at our Menino, but we never take ourselves seriously. Right. And so we give each other a nickname at the firm and I just recently found out that my nickname or one of the nicknames, I guess I go by here is Jeffrey Poppins because I have this tendency to be always eternally positive. And so, you know, that can sometimes come to bite us in the rear, right. When we're always thinking positive positively, but we don't have that kind of angel on our, on our shoulders telling us, Hey, what about this? What about that? And that manifests itself, actually. So we're now in March of 2021, as we're recording this podcast. And I've been saying since March of 2020, that COVID is not going to last that long. We'll be back in the office in a week or two. And I've continued to double down on that, Tom, because I've just figured eventually I'll be right. Right. And so, but having people come around me that can help me see a different perspective. You know, not saying I want to surround myself with negative people. It's not what I mean, but just surrounding people that can help me see a different or unique perspective, I think has been critical to making sure that that doesn't get the bedroom. And gosh, I was wondering where you're going with this. Okay. Well I guess the first thing that comes to mind, I think probably a lot of people can relate to this would be, I'm a, I'm a people person. I love being around other people. And when I'm working with business owners, I like, I really enjoy getting out of web historically done. As you go out and you see the business owner at their business, what, they've, what they do, what they've built, what they've created and work with them in person learn about what their desires, dreams, objectives are personally, financially for their business, for their employees. And over the last year, not being able to see, you know, because of, COVID not being able to see people in person and having to do all these transactions and meetings remotely. We're all, we're all making it work. But I feel like that personality trait is it's been uncomfortable for me. You know, really wanting to be with people in person. I look forward to being able to do that again really soon. I would say probably my perseverance because I'm passionate about things. And once I get passionate about something, I will, you know, be like a dog on a bone with it and not like go with it. So if anything, that's probably gotten me in trouble of, you know, instead of stepping back and you know, maybe being a little more rational about things. So I think that the passion and perseverance is probably the things that got me in trouble. Most Probably blunt honesty. And I'll tell you a story where it kind of illustrates it. I was interviewing for a job about 30 years ago and they asked me a similar question is so well, what's your biggest weakness? And I told them it was honesty. And, and they said, well, we don't really consider that a weakness. And I said, well, I don't really give a crap what you think. So, Oh, that's, that's a great question. And I know if my wife was here, she would help me answer. Yeah, no, if I ask my wife, I'm going to get a list. So I just have a one thing. We'll get a top 10 list from her. But I would say the fact that I am just too blunt and too direct on things, I have no filter. And, and that might be caused by the fact that my, my family is all back from, from New York city originally, I'm the only Texan in my family. So, so I joke around that. I was raised by a bunch of new Yorkers in Texas. So that, that may, that may contribute to, to me being a little rough, but I'm always honest to a fault. And that help, that hurts me in some cases, because I'll tell, I'll tell someone their baby's ugly. You know, not, not in a business sense usually, but, but you know what I mean? I'm just way too, too honest and direct Because this is only the second time we've had a repeat guest. I've got a little trepidation about asking my last question. I'll ask it. And then I'm going to give a twist. So what personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble over the years, or you can tell us what personality trait has given you the most joy throughout the years. Oh, that's really interesting. I kind of like that second one since I've answered the first one, I think my ability to connect has given me the most joy because not only have I been able to teach others to do that more effectively, I just find that I can be with a total stranger and stuff comes out of their mouth, that they often I hear them say, I can believe I'm just, I can't believe I'm even sharing this with you. So I'm doing something that's allowing people to feel safe, which is really what we're about creating those safe spaces. Because if you create the safety, you build connection. If you build connection, you build trust. If you build trust, you solve problems. And that's, that's what it's all about. Let's see. I would have to say my lack of patience. That's a good one. That's a really, I think what it is, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm, you know, me time, like I, you know, I'm, I want to get things done. I want to move, move, move. And sometimes you just have to be a little bit of patience, right? Take a little bit time, be a little bit patient. And, and, you know, and I look back at some of the mistakes that I've made, most of them were related to, I just, I moved a little too quickly, right? Because I wasn't patient enough to let something evolve, right. Or I didn't give myself enough time to let it evolve. I think it's one that you're aware of. I am very detail oriented and what it helps me in my day to day dealings with clients and money, for sure. But from a business owner's standpoint, it's probably held me back in terms of scaling up and getting the growth that I could get out of the firm. And it's an issue that I'm aware of that I can take steps to fix. One of, one of my ideas is to get a junior Jeff inside the firm that will take equally good care of my clients so that I can be more strategic and thinking about the business, You know, it is it's about being courageous. So sometimes being courageous means that I want to dive into the depths of these kinds of things. I want to understand what's going on under the surface for many people that can feel really too deep. And so sometimes being courageous to ask those questions can sometimes be disruptive in relationships Being impatient. You Yes. And here here's the quick example. This is why I'm blanking. So we run our business a certain way. And when we say we're going to do something, we do it. And when others don't, it, it has gotten me into a little trouble because that, that's the one that's the, maybe the one time where I can get angry. And I haven't always handled that so well. Oh, that's, that's an easy question. I know that one, you do, you, you live this life for long enough and you know how to get yourself in trouble. So on a, on a disc profile, I'm a D I okay. And so kind of what that means is, is that I go quick, I go very confident and very fast and that can get me in trouble because I'll, I'll just, man, I'll just be going. And then I'll look behind me and nobody's there. They're all like, whoa, wait a second, where we get it. So I know I have to slow down and I have to, I have to build, you know, some, I have to communicate and make sure everybody's with me. And, and, and when I don't, I get, I can get in trouble Probably no fear, you know? And so I'll do, I'll do stupid things if I'm, if I'm challenged, especially as you're growing up and in college. And, you know, I, I can't tell us some of those stories. So, but then also in, in business, you know, I jumped out of a corporate pretty, pretty cushy position and said, I'm just going to go do this. And, and I think I've achieved success. So, but if I was, if I was afraid, I think, yeah, that second guessed myself all the way. So I take everything so personal. I, I am 100% a complete drama queen over, over stuff. You know, at times I just have a really bad attitude. Like one of the things I know I love about businesses is really hating my competitors and wanting to like smash them into the dirt. And so that has gotten me in more, more trouble than, than I care to admit. Let's see, I need to answer this carefully. I asked Doris, No, don't, don't, don't do that. You know, this is going to sound very self-serving I think, but I am a person that, that I always, I don't know if generous is the word, but I always want to make sure the other person makes out in a transaction that they, they, you know, that they make out better than I do if you will. And I don't, it really is a terrible way to say that, but I've always found it in, in whether it's engaging with competition or engaging with a client, you know, I always try to find out how they're paid, how they make money, how they are compensated, and then let's, let's do this transaction. So that's the best result for them. And normally that the reason I do that, you know, I like to feel like I'm doing the right thing, but the other thing is, that's not the last transaction I do with them. You know, I do a six or a series of transactions. So in 27 years of business, we had clients that we'd had over 20 years, you know, so that, because we constantly always made sure that it was the best decision for them. So that's, I don't know if that's a personality trait, but it's just kind of the way that I like to do business. A lot of them don't, don't Ask on my behalf, right. What I should do is ask each of you, if you wanted to create maybe some intention and argument yes. Do that. But otherwise I'm not going there. I would say probably being pretty direct. You know, I, I am incredibly authentic. I am who I am the same all the time. And so, you know, that includes, you know, I am not afraid to speak up. I definitely will, you know, be direct in a conversation. And sometimes it comes across, you know, as, hopefully not too harsh. So I think I've tried to get better at it over the years, but piece. So people either really love that about me or maybe, you know, maybe it rubs them the wrong way. But, so that's what I would say. I'm pretty direct, You know, I'm going to go a little vulnerable here. You know, mine, mine is the personality trait that has gotten me into the most trouble is self doubt. And I think we all have it. I think we all live this imposter syndrome, but specifically for me, it's it was self-doubt and, and living in, in the sub posture syndrome, when, when you get around incredibly successful people, you want to behave like them. You want to act like them. You want to emulate them. And, and that's great, but if you do it within your business, that's one thing. But if you do it at a self-sabotaging kind of way, and I think self-doubt for many, many, many years, and it still creeps in today. I don't know if it'll ever go away. I just learned to manage it. The self-doubt slowed down my success for years, and we could have a conversation set, success, breeds confidence, or competence, breeds success. But for me, success breeds confidence. And because self-doubt slowed down my success, it therefore slowed down my self-confidence. And I think I know that that great leaders have great self-confidence and not, not egotistical or selfish or, or overconfident, but confident in a way where you can have peace with yourself. And when you have peace with yourself and you feel joy, that is a whole nother level of leadership. That's a whole nother level of performance and success that isn't tied to monetary, but it's tied to success being at peace. And I think, you know, the people in your, in your circles that are at peace and they have probably very little self-doubt or they've learned to manage self doubt. And it took me way too many years, listening to way too many people living my life for, to, to, for other people and not myself and giving in and feeding the self-doubt. And that in turn, put me into, got me into the most trouble from a personal, internal struggle perspective that nobody else ever saw, which Always put me at conflict with myself. I'm not at peace. One of the benefit, one of the benefits time of getting older is I don't give a shit sometimes. And I just tell people how I see it. They say, I've gotten me in trouble sometimes. Sure. But you know what? I still don't give a shit. So there you go. I hope, I hope that's not offensive, but that's the truth. I thought you were actually going to say, my personality kid got me in my most, most trouble was my rugged good looks. But I, I guess not, I, you know, I think this answer might be different from the last one that I gave, because I think since we talked, John Lewis, you know, the longtime Congressman, you know, fighter for rights in America, I love hearing him talking about good trouble. Like I had got into good trouble. And I just, I think that's a great line in terms of while technically it was illegal to do what he did, the protesting and the marching and stuff like that. It was good trouble because it benefited folks. So I'd say like, looking through the lens of what good trouble has a personality trait, I think is a combination of being inquisitive. And then I'm not immediately agreeable. Right. If people tell me something and I don't immediately say, oh, sure, I bet it's going to be that way. Right. I think this idea is going to work great. I don't automatically go well, sure. I'm sure it will. Right? Like I started asking all sorts of questions and, and being skeptical. I think it draws in part because of my experience, you know, when I was self-employed I just thought it was a great idea and started marching down that path. I wish somebody had asked me a lot of harder questions back then. And so, but the thing is, once somebody gives me the data, like I'm all for it. I'm not going to be some obstructionist by any means, but I need to get that data. I'm not immediately agreeable. And I can say, this is also, you know, I talked about my, my cancer struggle. And so, you know, people knew I had cancer. And then there was a time between when I announced I am going to go get surgery in a few weeks and you know, that time. And so people bumping into me, I just remember being at a wedding and, you know, people are out there dancing, I'm sitting down, that's probably wise for me not to be out there dancing. And somebody came over and said, I heard what you're going through. I know it's going to be okay. And my reaction to them was, you know, of course I said, thank you. I appreciate that. But I wanted to say, what do you know? Like, how do you know it's not necessarily going to be okay, like, don't give me this. Everything's going to work out because it might not. And this is where I get to as a, as a business coach is do the things that are going to get the best outcome. Don't automatically say, because I'm crossing my fingers or I'm going to give it the old college try. It's going to work out. You have to earn that success. And so go back to my health struggles. I earned that because I didn't just take the first surgeon who was going to perform surgery on me. I sought out to see, could I get into the Cleveland clinic? And sure enough, I did. And I went to a world renowned doctor there and had a world renowned oncologist as well. And I did those hard, terrible crummy things. They told me chemotherapy was optional. And I was like, well, I'd rather over-correct than undercurrent. And so I went through those, you know, nine months of to think it was nine months. It's hard to re to remember, remember back then. But again, this is probably a way longer, more detailed answer than what you're talking about. But because I have that in my mind, that success isn't guaranteed, you got to put in the work and it's not just working hard. It's the working smart and doing the critical thinking of it that will sometimes get me into trouble because someone will come to me looking for affirmation and I will not instantly give them affirmation just to make them feel good. I think that does a disservice. Do you think I can cross this busy street? Sure. It should be like, no. Why don't we look both ways and why don't we do go in a crosswalk and wait until the light changes. So I'm not sure if that answers your question there. And you're probably annoyed with me, maybe giving such, such a long detailed answers to this. But to me, there's a depth to, to that thing. And so I have to pause and explain to people why I'm not jumping on board right away. I don't want them to be discouraged by it, but at the same point. I want them to be realistic because that's what I'm going to be. That's going to be my guideline. I can't wait to hear this because I can't think of anything for you. Well then, so you D you don't, you know me, so, you know, it's gotten me in the most trouble, you know, to me that means, you know, some rules are broken and I'm pretty much a rule follower, but one, I think one trait that has, has not served me well, is that although I can be quite skeptical, one thing that has been challenging to me over the years is that somebody is on my team and they say something, I tend to believe it to be the truth, and that we're all have the same goal paddling in the right the same direction. And then some of the people are not really paddling on time. They're not, not, may not even be in the same boat, you know, that, you know, I think a number of people said it, Ronald Reagan did, you know, as well, but trust, but verify, Verify, verify. So that that's, that's been challenging to me from a personal, you know, interaction with my colleagues standpoint. Like seriously, you can look at my face and tell me this, but you know, that, you know, most of my team was with me for many years, decades. So it, it wasn't the overriding thing. I had. Great, great folks, but, And I was hoping you'd come up with a new one because I have a laundry list. How much time do you have? I'll just, I'll just put my headphones down, walk away, hit the restroom, grab some lunch, come back. Yeah. I was suspecting that. You might ask me that question cause I've put you on the spot a couple of times with the very same question and it's, I didn't realize how hard it is to answer, but I think if I had to pick one thing, it's that something my mom said to me, when I was in junior high school, she says, you just, she says, you see things that others don't, you, you have the ability, you see a tiny little change in something and you register that and it leads you down a path toward a conclusion, right? It was why she said, I could never, she said, I could never surprise you because if I was trying to surprise you, that meant I was doing something different and you would notice that and pick up on it instantly. So, so I think the thing that's gotten me into the most trouble is, is knowing that that is one of my superpowers. The first change I see it changes the outcome. Right. And I, and I see the path all the way down. I'm not always right, but I am always stubborn. And so, so, so I might predict something or get real stubborn because I've seen something that, that I think that is changing the outcome and, and get very direct and stubborn about it. And it, and it, it causes me to be, I'm not a good stubborn person. I'm argumentative. I, I want people to see it my way. And sometimes that makes me close off then, and ironically having that super power and then coupling that with the stubbornness shuts off my intuition to see other changes. Right. And so, so I, I think if I had to boil it down to one thing, it's I dig in my heels too much because I, I do see things that other people don't see and I just get very stubborn about it. And it causes me to go down sometimes some argumentative paths where I've had to go back and I have had to learn how to apologize. Oh, it's like the bile rising in my throat. Right. I was wrong. Oh, Goodness. That is an interesting question. Don't say math. No, that's not personality related. Right. Well, I would say I'm a pretty direct straight shooter. And over the years, as I was developing my skills as a manager, not only a team members, but also of my client relationships, I've learned that tailoring my message to my audience and seeking to understand them first has helped me get out of situations that would have gotten me in trouble. If I came across as too candid upfront, even though I'm thinking those thoughts internally, it's, you know, the, what is it? The seven habits of effective people might. My favorite one is seek to understand then be understood and Challenge to be transparent and authentic. Honestly, it's, it's being a little too detail oriented, a little too perfectionistic at times. You know, one of the things that clients and organizations see when they, when they work with us is, oh my gosh, the level of detail is overwhelming. And it almost is a suffocating sometimes. Well, you know, we're, we're, we're in the details. And, you know, sometimes I, I'm guilty of making it a little too complex, you know, especially at, at the level of, you know, all your audience, probably we want to know the strategy. We want to know the high level process map. We don't need that level of detail, but I, I love this stuff. I'm in the weeds because I I'm an innovator I've been, you know, focused on, you know, everything that can be done at a very detailed level to improve, you know, our client's ability to attract people. And I I'm doing what I am passionate about. So, Oh, as my dad would say, I talk more than I listen. So I really have to work hard at listening and not talking, holding back. But, you know, your words will get you in trouble. Well, I'm not sure it's a personality trait has got me in more trouble, but it's one which has probably cost me more money over the years than anything else. And that's the failure to remember that perfect is the enemy of good, which is Voltaire. And that done is better than perfect, which is Sheryl Sandberg. So those are things that I remind myself almost daily of today and it's changing the way that I look at things I wish I would have begun to do that. I'm, I'm generally very outspoken. So I, I just can't hold back when I have an opinion, I just have to say it. I mean, it's just like the truth has to be told. So I just, I would probably say that's gotten me into a lot of trouble, but I will also say that I think that it is, it's also created a lot of opportunity, I think for me, because I think people want to hear it. I sometimes people need to hear things, even though they don't want to hear that For me, it's balancing work and family time, I, I tend to work too much. And, you know, even when I'm at home, you know, I'm usually here writing some books or, you know, doing something, but I'm just one of these people that I'm just, I'm a restless soul, I guess. And I like to be creating and building things. And so I've, I've done what I've done to correct help. That is I don't ever take vacations locally. I always take a vacation, so I have to leave. And so what that does is it allows me to really focus on my wife or my family, my granddaughters, and so that I, I'm not, I'm not near my businesses. I'm not thinking about them. I'm completely. So that's helped me a lot to actually just leave. And so, cause I, I, in the past, I've, I've taken time off and hang out at home or whatever. And it's like, I'm just completely inundated. And I, you know, I'm on my computer, my phone. And it's like, that's just not working. I go back to my sixth grade report card. Mr. Lamb wrote, you can't write this anymore on a report card. But he wrote stubborn as the day is long on my report card. And I think that's pretty true. I think it's a strength. And I also think is gotten me in trouble when I decide I'm doing something, I am doing it like a, like a bulldog. I am just on it. That is it. End of story. So I think that's, you know, again served me well, but in some cases I think driven people, crazy talking. So, so I have a little PTSD from my first grade teacher, Mrs. Lawson, who did have a beehive hairdo and used to keep pencils in the back of her beehive hairdo above her boat. She had color-coordinated bows and pencils and she just used to always tell me, kind of like keep my voice down. And, and you know, I was the one with the comments on the, on the report cards. It says, Judy always wants to raise her hand, always wants to answer the questions always is talking with her neighbors, Being my curiosity. You got me in trouble early on because I kept digging into things that I was told. Weren't in my purview early in my career. And when you start in big firms, I started at Deloitte years ago, you have a limited amount of time to get that audit complete. And you know, don't go, don't go down that path. You don't have time to do it. So I used to get my hands slapped, but I also attribute that to my, So how many times did you hear yourself in those answers? I can tell you that I share at least 15 of those qualities that have gotten me into trouble through the years with our guests. And now that we're finishing the 100th episode, I want to take a minute to thank a few people first to my sidekick, Kim Benson. There's just no other way to describe our working relationship. Over the last nine years from a business perspective, she completes me. I also want to thank our past marketing intern, Kelsey Bronson, who produced over 50 episodes and Connor Kenney, our newest team member who picked up where Kelsey left off. I am so honored to have such an amazing team. Finally, I have to thank my beautiful bride of 31 years, Karen Bronson, who is my greatest encourager and pushes me every day to get better. This is the Maximize Business Value Podcast, where we give practical advice to business owners on how to build long-term sustainable value in your business. Be sure to tune in each week and follow us wherever you found this podcast. So you'll never miss another episode. So until next time I'm Tom Bronson reminding you that it's okay to be a little vulnerable while you maximize business value. Thank you for tuning into the maximize business value podcast with Tom Bronson. This podcast is brought to you by Mastery Partners, where our mission is to equip business owners to maximize business value so they can transition on their terms. Learn more on how to build long-term sustainable business value and get free value building tools by visiting our website, www.masterypartners.com that's master with a Y mastery partners.com. Check it out. That was perfect. I wouldn't make any changes.