562: Dr. C. Adam Callery: Post Covid-19, Resetting Business for Continuity

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In this episode, Managing Director of Sagesse Lumiere, Dr. C. Adam Callery, talks about small In businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today, Dr. Callery talks about the implications of the pandemic on future business strategies, the importance of agility, and understanding cashflow. How often should a business of any size check their financial status?

Hear about some emerging trends, three critical activities for success, how Dr. Callery helps other entrepreneurs, and get his valuable advice, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

Key Takeaways

  • “Never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end.”
  • “If you want to be successful moving forward, you have to be ready for these unexpected changes.”
  • “You can’t be afraid to act fast, but you don’t want to be reckless.”
  • “You have to take a step back sometimes and attack a problem formally.”
  • “I cannot just assume that because my bank account has money in it that I’m actually in a good position.”
  • “You have to position yourself, or maybe carve out specific time, for you to really learn your industry.”
  • “You have to be close enough to the operations to know what’s going on.”
  • “It is extremely important, whether you’re an existing business owner or a new business owner, to truly understand what cashflow means.”
  • “You can do it. You can actually be an entrepreneur. Just go out and do it.”
  • “Bring people around you who have the knowledge that you need, because you’re not going to know everything, and if you adapt that knowledge, you’ll be successful.”

More about Dr. Callery

Dr. Callery is an entrepreneur and higher education educator. For the past eleven (11) years, Dr. Callery has worked directly with the start-up and emerging business communities at a national level. For ten of the eleven years, Dr. Callery has held the roles as facilitator and trainer for two (2) nationally recognized small business growth programs, the US Small Business Administration’s Streetwise MBA Program in Chicago and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. His company, Sagesse Lumiere, a small business coaching and consulting firm, was established seven years ago to complement the work he was doing in these programs. To date, Dr. Callery has advised over one thousand small business founders while participating within the national programs cited above.

Dr. Callery, as a coach and consultant, works with small business owners on approaches to effectively build value by deploying new business practices and processes to improve financial performance and operational efficiency.

Prior to working with small business owners as a business coach, Dr. Callery worked for several Fortune 1000 companies such as IBM, Dow/Dupont, Pepsi, United Airlines, and First National Bank of Chicago. His broad industry experience has prepared him to be a capable business consultant. Since leaving the corporate arena, he has become a trusted advisor for many small business founders. As a higher education educator, he has served as an Associate Dean for workforce development programs and currently works as a tenured faculty member for Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.

Dr. Callery has earned a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology; a Master of Business Administration from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and a Doctorate in Higher Education from National Louis University, Chicago.

Suggested Keywords

Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Small Business, COVID-19, Research, Success, Cashflow, Entrepreneurship, Mentorship, Finance

Resources:

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

WSC1998: AVOIDING THE BLUES FOR AIRLINE TRAVELERS

To learn more, follow Dr. Callery at:

Website: https://sagesselumiere.com

Twitter: @callerysagesse

Instagram: @callery_sagesselumiere

LinkedIn: Dr. C. Adam Callery

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Read the Full Transcript Here:

00:03

Hi, Dr. Callery. Welcome to the podcast. It's an honor to have you on. So thanks so much for joining me.

00:10

I'm so happy to be here. And so glad you invited me to attend your podcast.

00:14

Oh, this is great. And you know, like I said in the, in the intro, you were our lead instructor for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program. So I owe a lot of my being a therapist and having to be a business owner to now being a business owner who happens to be a therapist to you and the rest of the staff and business advisors. It was really life changing. So thank you so much.

00:40

Well, I think I thank you for being a participant in the program. It's a hard program, we asked a lot of you for an extended period of time. And I have to say, I cannot do it solely by myself. It really is just a good strong team that covers so many different areas of business management that's needed for most small business owners. So I'm just having to have good people around me, that helps make the process very smooth.

01:05

Yeah, absolutely. And today, we are going to talk about sort of small business owners, and the effects of COVID-19, which we have been in for the last 18 months and doesn't look like it's ending anytime soon. But we are back to work. There are mitigation factors in place. But now, how do we position ourselves for the long term in this new world? So my question is, what are some of the lessons you have learned over the past 18 months? And what are the implications for your future business strategies?

01:50

Well, I think that's a great question. Because myself, I'm also a business owner, I am a small business coach. And I would have to say for the last 18 months, that's been a question that's been raised many times, I can think back to March, when we first moved into COVID. Everything shut down. And to be honest, it seemed very dark at that time. And then for the next three to four months, I was working with a lot of small business owners, and we were having those discussions, what are what's next, you know, how do I get out of this. And in fact, if you started to look at the newspaper, you'll see headlines saying this is the worst crisis since the depression or behind closed doors, there's calamity. And when you read those phrases, it actually diminishes your ability to be a leader, and organizer of your business. And so what I had to do as a coach started having different discussions and say, we must look forward. And the way I did that was having a time with individuals to stop and say, Hey, if we take a look at the Great Depression, or the great recession of 2008, those same phrases were being said then, yet, we were still standing in 2020. So we have to believe that we're going to pass through this period as well. And so the discussion became, how do we do that, and in most cases, and then bring back or I should say, shorten your horizon from looking out two to three years, to just make it now bring it down to three months down the six months, make it manageable, it was easier for you to see out three months, it's easier for to see how six months, and then just be very tactical. And so during that last quarter of 2020, through the beginning of the initiation of 2021, many of the conversations with business owners have centered on that, how can we focus on some short tactical goals that keep the lights on, they keep my current employees satisfied, so they stay with me to make sure the customers I do have still like the services are providing or the product that they're buying from us. Therefore, we have to maintain the same level of quality. So just being very tactical that way. And then hopefully, when we're on the other side, we can then return to a posture where we're thinking longer term.

04:06

And all that, to me just sounds like a small business owners that we have to be really agile, and we have to be able to pivot. And so can you speak to a little bit more about agility as a business owner, and how we can foster that if it's something that we're not used to?

04:28

Well, agility, you know, it's a strong word, right? So it means that we're flexible. But again, coming through this COVID period, it didn't seem like flexibility existed. Everywhere I turned, something was shutting down. So I've seen closer to the end, then something that was gonna be an opportunity in the future. And I came across a quote, it came out of the book called Good to Great. That was written in 2001. And I wrote it down someone just read it verbatim because it's a unique quote, but I think it addresses issue. It says never confused. That you will prevail in the end. So that saying this thing of, I have faith that I'm going to win, I have faith that my business is going to win, it's going to be successful, and I'm gonna make a lot of money from it, or I'm going to be fame, I'm going to become famous from it, you have this faith, you got to have this confidence, that's probably a better word, I got to have the confidence that I will make it through. But here's what the rest of the quote says it says, I can never lose that confidence. However, I must have the discipline to confront the most brutal acts of your current reality. So the current reality of 2020 was, everybody's impacted at the same time, my competitors, my peers, people across the ocean, everyone is getting hit with this calamity. So now I have to think out of the box, and I also have to think very practically, so that's where the agility comes in, I didn't have a lot of time to wait six months to see if it's gonna work, because I may not be here. So I may have to take some cost cutting measures that are going to be very draconian, but necessary, I may have to talk to my staff and negotiate with them, and maybe get them to take a cut and pay, letting them know I'm trying to keep everyone alive here, I may have to talk to my customers in a different way and find out, are you still here? You know, are you still viable, because my customer is also impacted by this. So then I can sort of forecast what my sales potential could be. Because many of the customers went out of business for many of my clients. So agility means that you are being sorry, that you're focusing on today. And you're being very practical, very tactical, you're using your experiences, from your I should say, your past experiences as a business leader, and a business owner. But you also are willing, and here's the key, you are willing to take in advice from subject matter experts who are in your industry, and also outside your industry to help you navigate this because this was so unknown, a lot of unknown territory that we were crossing through.

06:55

Absolutely. And I would also think that in that time, I'll use the example of the physical therapy profession, but kind of acknowledge acknowledging emerging trends during this time. So for the physical therapy world, certainly here in New York City, we were close, literally shut down ghost town from March to almost June or July of 2020. So what do you have to do to keep things going? So the emerging trend was telehealth? Yeah, telehealth has been a trend and it has been coming up and coming up. But I think as a PT, if you didn't acknowledge that that trend existed, and didn't hug that trend, like it's your best friend, you you were in trouble, right? So what other kinds of trends Did you see within the small business world that people had to acknowledge and embrace in order to not only bring them through 2020. But I'm sure a lot of those trends have continued well into this year.

07:56

I agree 100%, the hardest trend, and I don't know if I can call it a trend, that's probably more of an action, the action that I may have to return to what I was before. And what I mean by that is, maybe we're a sizable business, you had 50 employees, or maybe employees and contractors working for you that accounted for about 50 people that you're responsible for, had a fairly good customer base that you're working with COVID hits and everything shuts down. Now, you may have to go back to what you were three years earlier, that's when you started the business where you were a smaller company, not as nimble because you were smaller, but you were very focused and very targeted. And that was the trend, I was saying that people say I'm at the roll back to where I was before. And that by rolling back doesn't mean I'm failed, which is another trend element. It doesn't mean I'm failing, it means I had to adjust, you know. So it's realizing that businesses aren't always going to go up with hockey stick and grow, grow, grow, grow without interruption, that there will be these troughs. And if I hit a trough, I may have to back up a little bit. In this case, people have to back up a lot. A great example of that would be the restaurant community. Here in Chicago, I've seen it all over where people physically had to change the menu, they may have 30 items on the menu. And they just took duct tape and started covering over things and reduce the menu down to something that they could manage based on staff based on a cost of the ingredients based on just pure demand, because now they're doing just takeout services, no longer doing to sit in services. why they do that, because I have to still pay the rent, I still have to pay some utilities, I still have to pay something. So I have to have some money coming in. And I want to be here for the next day. So I may have to swallow deeply. And Take another deep breath and say I have to go back to where I was maybe when I started the business so I can survive this period not knowing if you remember not knowing back in April, how long is this going to go? Because the predictions were two months, six months, two years, five years. Nobody knew. So You had to be very specific and very intentional about how far you will go back in time in order to survive and be here for the future.

10:09

Yeah, I mean, gosh, back in March, when New York City shut down, I was like, ah, six or eight weeks, we'll

10:15

be back up and running. Let's see, 18 months later,

10:21

not quite back to where we were. But getting closer. But to your point, yeah, I thought it would just be like six or eight weeks. And this will be a little adjustment that I'd have to make in my business. But it, it actually turned into a long term adjustment that I love. And I'm glad now that it's part of my business. So that ability to pivot quickly actually turned into a big positive for my company, because now I can actually see more people because I don't have to see them in person.

10:51

I agree. I agree. And I stole something else out to you. It's not so much of a trend, but it's probably a revelation. So we know a lot of business owners have different backgrounds, and they come from different walks of life. And so if we put an academic hat on, we have individuals coming out of MBA programs, and they have knowledge around business. The key is what does an MBA program teach? What MBA program teaches is that you need to go out and look at the environment that you're in. So that means you research on what some of these latest trends are. When we have a situation like COVID, I know many business owners typically don't worry about what the trends are, they worry more about what's going on in their daily environment in their community, and their marketplace, and they're just focused on can I sell something tomorrow, I think COVID has opened up a new reality that if you want to be successful moving forward, you have to be ready for these unexpected change as well. How can I reduce the number of unexpected changes, I start to do some research, I start to do some reading in my industry and also outside of my industry. So I can see those trends that you were talking about earlier. So telemarketing has been or tele health rather, has been around for a long time. People talk about it, but it wasn't economically feasible. Then when I need it, those who knew about it jumped on it. So but I had to know about it, I needed to have that information. So this is an important time as business leaders now to say, what else do I need to know? Do I need to join my industry associations? Do I need to go out and and go to conferences, go to particular training programs, where I can start to learn about what is going on around me so I can be better equipped for the next situation may not be a pandemic? Or it could be droughts, if you're out west? Who knows? It's going to be something so how can I be prepared for the next something?

12:39

Yeah, because you know, something that you had brought that you brought up in our kind of communication before we recorded this is and I like this phrase you put in quotations, you can't be afraid to act fast. But you don't want to be reckless. Yes, yeah, right. And so by doing the research, you can act quickly, and not in a reckless manner. Because you know where you are, you know, what the industry is holding, and you've got that research. So you can act quickly with authority. And with some sense of operation.

13:15

I agree. And ask where, you know, we want to say, you want to be intentional. And that's what that word really means. And especially when we're in our programs, we use that word a lot. But it's good to unpack it. So you just mentioned and that reckless, and I'm not trying to be strong willed. So when I'm talking to my employees, I'm trying to hit them over here with a club, but I'm intentional. So I have I know where I want to go, I've taken the time to do some research. So I've set a goal in mind, I've also decided on a path that we can take, but I'm also willing to ask around to see if that's the best path. So that's where I'm not being reckless, I'll go ahead and qualify it by talking to other subject matter experts, talk to other people in the industry and say, This is what I want to do based on my capabilities. What do you guys think? What do you people think? And that can help me then to minimize risk? Because we'll never eliminate it. We're just trying to minimize risk. So we can be successful.

14:10

Absolutely. And so now, we've we've sort of identified research we have we spoke to people, we got advice. Now we want to move forward. So we need some sort of formal operations. So these operations, as you said, they kind of revolve around three critical activities. So can you share with the listeners what those critical activities are, to make that those formal operations successful?

14:38

So I can that'd be beautiful. We've met through the Goldman Sachs program and what I've learned over the last 10 years in that program, is that you have to take a step back sometimes and attack a problem formally. And so we start off with the purpose, what is your business purpose? And what that means, of course, is what do you think? to do in your marketplace, who you're trying to sell to, why you're doing it, why are you actually involved in this work? The second thing we try to do is examine how we actually do the work. And this is the operational piece. So how do we actually do the work? How do we earn our revenues? How do we manage our team? How do we actually produce the product or service? Are we doing it efficiently? And then the last piece I call her reflection, but that's the research piece. I've been doing this for five years, I've been doing it for 10 years, is this the best way to do it now, based on the changes in the business environment, changes in government regulations, changes in social trends, changes in the number of competitors, or the type of competitors that so the three pieces are looking at my purpose? Why did I get into this business? Why do I want to do this or continue to do this kind of work, I look at my model my business model in general, and think about how I currently conduct business and see there's a better way I can do it more efficiently, more effectively. And then last but not least, I have this reflection or research activity that I do continuously continuous learning to make sure I understand my marketplace, understand my industry, understand what's happening with competitors around me also start to probe and find out are my customers still satisfied with what I'm doing? And if not, what do I need to do to reach them?

16:21

Yeah, and I'm glad that you said that you're continuously looking at this, because this isn't something that you do when you start your business, you assess your purpose, your model and solutions and reflect. It's not like you just do it once. Yes. Like how often would you say do you recommend even the business owners that you work with, kind of go through these three critical activities?

16:47

Well, I think we can take the model from the corporates. Now you understand corporations are huge, billion dollar places, but they are billion dollar places for a reason. And that is because they do take the time to annually look at what they do, and assess whether or not is making sense. So if I was any business owner, I don't care what size you are, I would make it a point to say maybe in the fall, that November period, Christmas period, when it's kind of quiet, people focused on vacation or focus on the holidays, you take that time, sit down with your management team and say, hey, let's think about how our last year went. Is there something that we want to do better, right doesn't mean that you did anything wrong? Is there something that I can improve upon? Or are there some new things coming down the pipeline that I need to be aware of, or we'd need to be aware of, that we need to plan for starting in January. So doing an annually isn't a bad practice. And if you do it formally, and you do it every year, it just becomes part of your routine. And you'll start to think about the questions you want to ask each other during those sessions. And you'll be able to flesh out what is happening with the business. In fact, you probably want to go ahead and bring in some of your key employees that sit them around a table, get some insight from them on what they're experiencing, when you're engaging your clients, when they're engaging your suppliers, or if what they see, in general, they may see some things in the market that you have missed. And it's a good time to sit back and get their feedback as well.

18:16

And how often would you say suggest to a business owner small of any size, but let's say a small business owner, to really look at the financials of their business once a quarter every month, every week, every night before you go to bed? Like is there overkill? Or? Or what? What are your thoughts on that?

18:40

That's a tough question is a tough question, right? Because Is there any should you have any limit on when you look at your numbers, because for instance, everybody will tell you, you need to know your numbers. So if I'm sitting in front of an investor, or a banker, they're going to say you need to know your numbers. But I guess the question is, what are they really asking me? They're probably just asking, do you know enough about your numbers to tell me whether or not you're profitable? That's really the question they want to know. And they want you to be able to tell them that, tell them you're profitable in a confident manner. And they can easily see if you're sort of dancing around the question, right? Because you really don't know your numbers today. They can sense that in the way you respond, your eye contact, and so on. So to your direct question, how often should I look, if I put on my accounting hat, we typically look once a month. So every month we take a step back, and we see how the business is performing financially. In order to do that, we probably need to have some type of system in place. That could be a QuickBooks system, or it could be a cell spreadsheet. It depends on the complexity of your business. And that's when we have to define a small business. So small business can be defined as any business with less than 500 employees. That's a big business. But let's say I'm a mom and pop I have less than 10 employees. In fact, I am the key employee and everyone else is a contractor. If I'm that size, once a month is probably still appropriate, I need to take the time to stop. And look, I cannot just assume that because my bank account has money in it, that I'm actually in a good position. So if I take the time, look at it once a month, that's probably enough. The furthest I would like to go out is probably three months, you know, quarterly, but want to go beyond that. Because a lot can happen to a business in two days, let alone in 90 days. And if I'm not keeping track of my numbers, I may find myself in a very dire cashflow position, and maybe find myself going out of business fairly quickly.

20:42

Yeah, excellent advice. Excellent advice. Thank you for that. And you know, as we start to wrap things up, what would be if you could give one or two pieces of advice to let's say, a new small business owner, so their business is less than a year old? What is your best advice for those business owners?

21:04

I think it's extremely important for the person just getting started to do some of the things we're talking about earlier, you have to position yourself or maybe carve out specific time for you to really learn your industry. So that could mean joining an industry association, going to those industry association meetings. So that's gonna take time, read some of their white papers that they generate about your industry. So for instance, I was at one time I was looking at buying a limo service, I love this guy service used to take me to the airport all the time, all his drivers were professional, his cars were clean, well maintained. And all I knew about the business at the time was the fact he took me in a limo to the airport. But that's not knowing the business. So I went ahead, I contacted limo Association, they sent out to me information on the business, you know, on the industry, the cost factors, the maintenance issues, some of the trends in the industry. After reading all those materials, and learning that it was a very highly capitalized business, I realized that it wasn't for me, at that time, still like the business. But I knew I was not in a position where I had enough capital to keep the cars up to spec to meet the requirements of running a limo business. So if I'm starting a business, whatever it is, I need to know as much as possible about that industry and the business model itself. How's the business make money? What are the cost factors? What are the what are the cost influencers, I need to know that like the back of my hand, then when I'm running the business on a day to day, I need to be in the business to see how it really operates. I've met some people that have started a business. And I've started another one that started know when I started another one. And I now ask them I said, Well, how do you possibly run three businesses at the same time? Well, I got people working for me. And what comes to mind is something someone told me many years ago, is that you have to smell the people. And what this is gain from Business School, and the professor was saying, you have to be close enough to the operations to know what's going on. And if you're too far away from it, there's too many things that can happen to the operations that will shut you down. And so if you're just getting started, your focus needs to be in the business and getting the business to a place where it's stable, and is sustainable. That usually means creating cash reserves, that usually means bringing in solid employees, it usually means having a great understanding of your customers so that you know you have returning customers that'll help keep the business afloat.

23:42

Excellent. Thank you so much. I know a lot of people that listen to this podcast or maybe budding entrepreneurs, they've been in business for maybe a year or two. So I think that advice is really great for that group. Now, is there anything have we not covered something that you were like, I want to hit this point during this podcast?

24:02

I think it's important, we haven't used that key phrase. And that's cash flow. It is extremely important whether you are a existing business owner, or a new business owner to truly understand what cash flow means. And so when we talk about cash flow, what it means in general, is that we're talking about the money that's coming in. And that's where most people focus is, Hey, I'm making revenues, things are going well. But you can't just stop there, you got to think about the cash outflow. And people say I write the checks every day, I know how much money is going out. The third piece is timing. You have to think about when the money has to be paid out. When does that liability has to be paid out, and whether or not I'm going to have enough cash on hand to pay it on time. Because once I default on that payment, I'm now in trouble. The bank is knocking at the door. My creditors are knocking at the door, my investors are knocking at the door and I'm going to have problems paying my employees so on and so on. So cash flow is very important. And it's important from the standpoint of you have to truly understand the definition of it. And what it means is inflow is outflow. And it's also timing. When is the money coming in to pay those current debts that I have? Will I run into a situation where I don't have enough coming in to pay those debts? And if I do, what am I going to do about it? Am I going to reach into my personal account and pay it? Am I going to run down to the bank and ask for a line of credit? Do I need to run out and find investors? Who can give me additional cash to help me close that gap? So cash flow is critical?

25:36

Yeah. And I think, as you were saying that the thing that popped into my mind is, ooh, this is why Ponzi schemes ultimately fail.

25:44

Yes, yes. Because the money stops coming in. And their commitments outweigh our Yeah, extend beyond the, the amount of money that's coming in.

25:54

Right. Right. Yeah, that is why a Ponzi scheme fails. And, and I agree that cash flow is so important. And it's something that I didn't really wrap my head around fully until the Goldman Sachs program. You know, I knew like, yeah, money's coming in. But once I started doing cash flow statements, I was like, Ah, okay, yeah. Now I got it. No, I know, I can now I understand this as, as one of the three sisters, you know, your cash flow statement, your balance sheet, and your income statement.

26:32

Exactly, exactly. And it's the cash flow statement, and we never talk about, you talk about it. If you again, be school, we talk about all the time, but most people just stop at the income statement. In particular, they stop at the income side, then when you introduce the balance sheet, I don't see why I really need it. I don't have any assets. But they don't combine the two to come up with the cash flow. And that's what you really want.

26:53

Yeah, yeah. Excellent. All right. Now, where can actually let's talk before we before I asked, Where can people find you? Why don't you talk a little bit more about your business? And how you help other entrepreneurs, your coaching business and what you do to help entrepreneurs?

27:12

Well, what I do is I focus in the business development area, as well as the operations or organizational development area. And what does that mean? So I come in as a business coach, not as a consultant, I sit down with my clients, and we have discussion. So it's like we're doing now and we focus on the issues that are facing them. So in a business development side, for instance, such as a marketing issue, we're not talking about social media, what we're talking about is more around a target market. Have they identified the right persons, or the right audience? When it comes to marketing? Also, you got to think about the delivery of the product and service. Are there some challenges in terms of quality, some challenges in terms of delivery, that they're facing? And then we start to peel back a little bit? And this is where we get into the operations? Why are you having those challenges? Is it a capability issue is a capacity issue, these things have to be fixed, or the marketing, social media really won't matter? So I focus on a business development sort of working backwards? What are you trying to sell? What are you servicing? How are you working with your clients? And what are your business capabilities, what is what is your business capacity, in order to essentially achieve the goals that you've set for the business or to meet your current demand for your customers, those are all very important pieces, because most businesses will suffer or in a trough when they get to that third and fifth year when they try to scale up. And they always find, hey, I have this resource deficit. And I usually think it's money but it's not so much money, it's really capacity and capability, they may not have the right people on hand, they may not have the skill themselves in order to scale up and they need to go back, build up those skills so that they can grow. And that's where the coaching comes in and sort of help the build up those skills.

28:57

Awesome. Now where can people find you?

29:00

Well, they can find me right on the internet. I have a website out there, my, my company has a very unique names, it's called suggests luminaire and will suggest and stores wisdom, and then luminaires light. And so right out there on the internet, I have a web page where you can contact me through that or you can come back contact me through LinkedIn. So I do have a LinkedIn profile out there. That's probably the best way most people will contact me through LinkedIn. And then we'll set up an appointment and we go from there.

29:29

Perfect and we will have direct links to all of that at podcast at healthy wealthy, smart, calm and the Show Notes for this episode, so don't worry if you didn't have a pen you can take it down. totally get it we will have one click direct links to all of that. And now, Dr. calorie for the last question, which is a question I asked everyone, knowing where you are now in your life and in your business, what advice would you give to your younger self

29:57

so what I would tell my younger self I'm fully invested in entrepreneurship, I would tell my younger self is that you can do it, you can actually be an entrepreneur. To be honest, when I came out of school or coming came out of undergraduate, my mind wasn't there, my mind was I had to go through this career track, because that's the only possibility that entrepreneur thing, or that small business thing was just too far out there. You have to literally be born into it. It has to be a legacy relationship in order to start a business. Today, I recognize after meeting so many people in this space, that's really not it is really tied to have any interest. People use the word passion, but I go beyond the same passion, you really have that ambition that you're willing to give all in order to accomplish this. And so I would tell my younger self, that you do have that ability, you do have that ambition, just go out and do it. Bring people around you who have the knowledge that you need, because you're not gonna know everything. And if you adapt that knowledge, you'll be successful.

31:03

And I think that's great advice. And especially for a lot of the physical therapists who listen to this podcast, because so often we graduate, and we think, well, I'll work at a clinic, I'll work at a hospital, I'll do that for 40 years, and then I'll retire. You know, it's like, it's never it. Because in school, we're not really given any entrepreneurial mentorship or classes, you really have to seek it out on your own. And so I think that's great advice for any students listening or newer graduates, who think, Well, my mom wasn't wasn't an entrepreneur, my dad or I don't, I don't have any real role models in my immediate family, but that you can do it if you surround yourself with the right people, and you have the ambition and passion to do it. So I think that is excellent advice. So thank you for that. Well, and thank you again, for coming on the podcast and for being a great instructor in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program, I can put a link up to that too, if people are interested in learning more about the program because it is a life changing program. It was for me and I'm sure as an instructor, it must have been for you as well.

32:13

Oh, it hasn't. It hasn't, I have to say, I never, I never thought I'd have this experience. It's been now going into my 11th year and I've actually set before 1000 business owners never thought that could happen in my wildest dreams and having the ability to have conversations like we're having now. Again, it's opened up my mind to say the The possibilities are limitless in this country when it comes to being able to create something that you want to create. And that's the beauty of it. So it's it's a fantastic opportunity. Fantastic country fantastic. Time, even though it's difficult time, it's a fantastic time to to do something that you want to do.

32:57

Excellent. And on that note, I will wrap things up by saying thank you again and thank you to all of the listeners for tuning in today. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.

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