Justin Kier, Keynote Speaker and Lead Facilitator of Atlanta Challenge
Justin Kier is an Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach, and Lead Facilitator living in Cherokee County. He has been involved in leadership development for over a decade, and spent the past 4 years as an integral part of the Atlanta Challenge team. During that time, Justin has worked with teams from many industries and companies such as Delta, LexisNexis, Control Southern, and Chick-Fil-A.
Along with Fortune 500 companies, Justin has also worked with numerous small businesses, church leadership groups, and non-profits such as Dekalb County Schools and Wounded Warrior Project. He is trained in coaching methodologies for teams and leaders, and is a Certified Life Coach. Justin is also an accomplished and dynamic speaker, including the TEDx stage. He is frequently invited to speak to audiences on collaboration and leadership, facilitate team workshops and retreats, and lead events designed to build morale and camaraderie. Drawing on his early career in the education and fitness industries, Justin brings an engaging and motivating style to the practical applications of building high performing teams and leaders.
Evan Roberts, CEO of Visually Sold
Founded in 2016, our mission at Visually Sold is to be the simplest part of the home selling process. We work hard to ensure all client needs are met, to go above and beyond, and to connect on a personal level. Visually Sold believes in over-delivering, consistently bringing positivity, and honoring our customers through our words and actions.
Follow Visually Sold on Facebook
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Speaker1: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Woodstock, Georgia, it’s time for Cherokee Business Radio. Now here’s your host.
Speaker2: [00:00:22] Welcome to Cherokee Business RadioX Stone Payton here with you this morning, and you guys are in for such a treat. Today’s episode brought to you in part by Elmore Coffey, sustainably grown, veteran owned and direct trade, which means, of course, from seed to cup, there are no middlemen. Please go check them out at my Alma Coffee Dotcom and go visit their Rose Street cafe at thirty four. Forty eight, Holly Springs Parkway in Canton asked for Letitia or Harry and tell them that Stone sent you. Also, before we came on the air today, we decided that today’s episode was also brought to you in part by Alpha and Omega Automotive. I just came from there and of course the staff was great, drop the car off, got home. And by the time I got to the studio, I was I was sharing with one of our guests today just in case who were going to visit with in a moment, I had an estimate I could check it off, whether I wanted to do the whole thing or if I needed to call them. And I mean, it’s done. It’s off my plate and now we get to have fun. So we’re double sponsor, double bless this morning. So thank you to the Kennedys over there at an Alpha and Omega and also our other guests with visually sold. That’s why we got a chance to get connected, right. Because Lori Kennedy in that crowd got us here. And so we get a chance to visit with Alex and and Evan hear a little bit. But first up on Cherokee Business RadioX, please join me in welcoming to the broadcast with a Delante challenge. Mr. Justin here. How are you, man?
Speaker3: [00:01:55] Doing great. I’ve been looking forward to this.
Speaker2: [00:01:57] So have I. Among other marvelous discoveries here, now that I live in the Woodstock community, is this group, the Woodstock Business Club. So I find myself going down there on Thursday mornings. And it’s I mean, it is it’s like a four minute walk from my home now. And a couple of days ago to three, thirty years ago,
Speaker4: [00:02:19] There’s this really
Speaker2: [00:02:20] Dynamic presenter talking about the way things have have been shifting in his world, how they’ve shifted for all of us.
Speaker4: [00:02:27] And talking about
Speaker2: [00:02:28] This thing, Atlanta
Speaker4: [00:02:30] Challenge. Yeah.
Speaker2: [00:02:32] So tell us a little bit about it. Mission purpose. What are you guys that are trying to do for folks?
Speaker3: [00:02:36] So Atlanta Challenge has actually been around for a long time. It’s been around for seventeen, eighteen years now in the Southeast, and its original
Speaker4: [00:02:45] Roots came out
Speaker3: [00:02:46] Of the traditional team building style. So it was field games and ropes courses and all that. That was a little bit before my time, but over the years. And I got involved with them about four years ago, maybe a little bit longer. Now our job is just to make teams more effective. That’s it. Teams and leaders getting them more effective. And we could do that with a lot of different folks. So we have a lot of fun with it. But but but that’s it. And we we do things a little bit different because we we’ve understood over the years the effect that having a good work life has on the rest of your life and how having a good rest of your life has an effect on your work life. And I think people years
Speaker4: [00:03:27] Ago thought of those as more
Speaker3: [00:03:28] Segmented that it was one or the other, and you could go to work and come home and just shut everything else off. And that has changed over the years. And so it people just have a life and work is in there and families in there and all of it is in there together. And it’s not quite as segmented as it used to be.
Speaker2: [00:03:44] So it strikes me that teams maybe very much like the car I took in this morning without some maintenance, without some tuner’s, without some attention, things can fall off the rails with virtually any team, even if it started out really strong and cohesive. Is that accurate?
Speaker3: [00:03:59] Oh, very much so. And it’s funny that we we tend to work with. Good teams, not bad teams, which is also kind of odd, like people are kind of surprised by that sometimes, but
Speaker4: [00:04:11] We I like to think
Speaker3: [00:04:12] Of us as more or swim coaches than lifeguards. And so we are not the ones with a
Speaker2: [00:04:18] Great way to frame it.
Speaker3: [00:04:19] I love that. And we’re not the ones just coming in to save a dumpster fire of an organization that is just flailing around, usually
Speaker4: [00:04:26] Because they’re in such bad
Speaker3: [00:04:28] Shape, they don’t even know they need us.
Speaker4: [00:04:30] But we so if you put
Speaker3: [00:04:32] A scale of one to 10, it’s rare for us to work with threes and fours. We tend to work with the seven and eight that want to get to nines and tens. And so we’re working with teams that already have some things that they’re doing well
Speaker4: [00:04:46] Or
Speaker3: [00:04:46] Aspects of it. They have leaders that see a direction. They want to get everybody going there or they have a new leader that comes into a situation. They’re trying to get everybody on board. But it’s those types of teams that we tend to spend the most time working with is the ones that there are a lot of good things here. But, you know, you can be better. And when we hear that phrase from people, you know, our eyes light up and we just know, OK, yeah, we’re going to get along well.
Speaker4: [00:05:11] Are there some
Speaker2: [00:05:12] Patterns to look for? In my organization? I have the studio and I’m sort of an individual proprietor in the studio, but I’m also part of a larger team, the Business RadioX network, and we have studio partners
Speaker4: [00:05:24] Around the country.
Speaker2: [00:05:25] And I’m blessed to be part of that team as well as a leader of that type of team. Are there some signs to look for? Are there some signals that, hey, maybe we ought to start thinking about getting, you know, getting a little bit of some fresh perspective in here? Are there some patterns to look for?
Speaker3: [00:05:42] Yeah, definitely. And one of those initial ones is
Speaker4: [00:05:46] When you find yourself just
Speaker3: [00:05:47] Going back to the same old thing over and over again, no matter what situation or problem pops up, because there are always some good things that you do that have worked in the past. And then you get to a point and you try it on something and it it doesn’t work like it used to or it’s a new situation. You’re like, but this
Speaker4: [00:06:04] Worked either five years
Speaker3: [00:06:05] Ago or this worked on, you know, a year ago. But it was a completely different situation. So when you start going back to the same old tricks, in a sense, it’s always good to have you know, there are some tried and true principles, of course, but having a fresh perspective, that’s what lets us do what we what we do. And I tell people to I would be a really bad CEO. I would I don’t do a really good job at wrangling all of those things together, but I’m a really good coach because I see the things that CEOs don’t see or I see the things that team leaders don’t see because you get so caught in your own world that seeing things from an outside perspective or an outside industry. I was talking to someone not too long ago and they were talking about how they get coaching within their industry. And so they go to mastermind’s and they get coaches and all this about how to build a better. It wasn’t this, but I use this as an example, dentist’s office. So they have a dentist’s office and they just want to have a better dentist office. So they go talk to other dentists and they go to dentist conferences and they and they get some great ideas. And then we have conversations and it’s. Well, what about this? And they never heard of it because dentists don’t talk about that. And so it’s just that’s where we get to bring in our special sauce when we work with teams and leaders is seeing the things
Speaker4: [00:07:21] That you guys
Speaker3: [00:07:22] Don’t see because you’re so involved in your own world, which is natural. And it’s good to look for other dentists office that are going to make your dentist’s office better. But but getting that outside perspective is always a good thing.
Speaker2: [00:07:35] So what do you enjoy the most about the work? What do you find the most rewarding?
Speaker3: [00:07:41] And so some of that goes back to my my history even before getting into what I do now. And my background before getting into leadership coaching was actually in the fitness world. So I taught school for several years. I will never do that again, but I taught school for several years. The middle school health and P.E. was was not the career choice for me. But I went from that into fitness and did one on one training and ran a boot camp and managed to cross that gym and have my own personal training business all. But what got me from that into this was my enjoyment of seeing people
Speaker4: [00:08:16] Just get better.
Speaker3: [00:08:17] And I realized even with the fitness stuff that, well, yes, it’s great to get slightly bigger biceps or see a little weight off your waist or whatever at all. That’s great. But it was people walking out with a different level of confidence. It was people walking out and their relationship with their spouse changed because they’d been working out. And so for me, it was I want that. But without
Speaker4: [00:08:39] The sweatiness
Speaker3: [00:08:41] Of and I like this because I still like to work out. But just, you know, I was done having people do Barbizon push ups and squats all day long. Not that that’s not a great and noble thing, but it’s just there’s something next. What’s next. And so for me, that’s that’s what it was, is I want to be working with people where I can really see a difference in their lives. And that’s what we get to do. And it’s just those ripple effects. If you help somebody in there, you know, think a little bit clearer or be a little bit less stressed or a little bit less fearful in their life, and then that affects their work, which then affects when they go home and deal with their spouse and their kids because they’re not quite as stressed and fearful. And so it’s those ripple effects of having people tell me things that, hey, my life has never been better and work is a part of that. Our team dynamic is a part of
Speaker4: [00:09:28] That, but it’s everything.
Speaker3: [00:09:30] And so seeing those ripple effects in people’s lives, it started way back in the day with the fitness side. And and I get to do the same thing now, but just in a slightly different environment and one that has bigger
Speaker4: [00:09:41] Ripples, because when you affect
Speaker3: [00:09:43] The team dynamic of people’s work, that affects everything. And I think anybody that’s had a challenging and stressful job over the years knows what it’s like to go home and try to let some of that go. And it is not easy. So being able to affect that work life, which is where so many people spend most of their time, it has some of the biggest ripples.
Speaker2: [00:10:02] Well, I bet that is remarkably satisfying as a as a career as your work.
Speaker4: [00:10:08] The early part of an engagement
Speaker2: [00:10:11] Is that is is that where the hill is super steep? Like, don’t you at least initially, aren’t you trying to help people that may not even be sure they want the help, like maybe their leader said, we’re going to do this thing? I mean, do you ever run into some of that initial kind of resistance or apathy or.
Speaker4: [00:10:27] We do a little bit.
Speaker3: [00:10:28] And but at the same time, that’s one of the things that we screen for at the
Speaker4: [00:10:31] Beginning, because that’s
Speaker3: [00:10:32] One of the things that we don’t want in place. If you were going to work with us or someone to be coached, they have to be willing to be right. And so there’s even I mean, it’s a beginning of an engagement. We we do a lot of of. In a sense, consultations back and forth of making sure is the best fit for us and for you, because the last thing that we want is to be working with people that don’t want us working with
Speaker4: [00:10:55] You or people that
Speaker3: [00:10:56] Are just completely checked out and unresponsive and unwilling to look inside and look at themselves a little bit and look at things they may need to do differently. And so that’s one of the first things that we look for is people that are that are open and and turned on.
Speaker2: [00:11:12] Right now, the person you’re describing, not only might that person not grow or benefit at all, but they might impact someone else, that that could really benefit. But if you’ve got that kind of sour apple in there for sure.
Speaker3: [00:11:25] And obviously there are situations where sometimes we get into working with the team and there are a couple of people on the team that are less responsive than others. And that comes with the territory.
Speaker2: [00:11:34] That’s why you need a pro. That’s why you don’t pull a stone in there. And I’m trying to be funny or make jokes or something. You need a professional facilitator that knows how some is there some I know the answer to this is yes. So what I really want to know is tell me a little bit about to the degree you’re willing
Speaker4: [00:11:48] To, there’s
Speaker2: [00:11:50] Got to be some structure, some discipline, some rigor. It might look like all fun and games, but you’ve got this process map in your head when you’re working with a group, right?
Speaker4: [00:11:59] We do.
Speaker3: [00:12:01] We’re not just winging it when we walk in. But but at the same time, part of what we strive for is helping keep things
Speaker4: [00:12:08] Simple for what people need to
Speaker3: [00:12:10] Do moving forward. And so we may have a giant toolbelt in a sense of all the different strategies and structures and different things we can give you and processes and all that. And part of our job is figuring out which one is going to help the most and which which things we need to address that are going to affect your leadership the most. And because we see that happen with sometimes we’ll come in and work with people who have done their company has done like a 360 assessment for all their executives or leaders. And so they you know, they even show us sometimes we’ve got a big folder here of all these thirty seven things that we need to do to get better, you know, because we and and our job is to help narrow that to two or one. You know, it’s what is the one thing that we can do moving forward over the next 30 days or 60 days or 90 days, whatever it is. Let’s focus on that thing and let’s beat that thing like a drum for the next 90 days and fix that, because a lot of time, again, I mentioned ripple effects earlier. You can sometimes fix just one or two things. And it has a massive ripple effect on the entire organization. And it’s you don’t need to go in and do this giant process of things that people don’t really need. And so we definitely have a process and it’s definitely not it takes a level of courage to step up and go through the process. But part of our job is keeping it simple, because everybody has too much on their plate. Everybody has a lot going on. We talked to some people that get a thousand emails a day in there and just in the studio here shaking their head like I can’t even imagine. So the last thing we want is to throw another bunch of stuff on your plate. You want to help either take things off. And sometimes that’s what we spend a lot of time on. That’s some of our biggest
Speaker4: [00:13:57] Process is that we take
Speaker3: [00:13:58] People through is how can you delegate a little bit more? How can you time block a little bit better? And you might be surprised, but some of the executives that we see are really good at what they do. But some of the,
Speaker4: [00:14:12] You know, keeping
Speaker3: [00:14:13] Track of your schedule and delegating and some of those they kind of think is are simple things, are the things that we can come in and help with the most just to help get things off your plate. What does that look like? And so the process is definitely there. But our our job is to keep that as simple as possible.
Speaker2: [00:14:30] But there’s some real discovery. You have to be comfortable, I would think, and to with some degree of chaos. And you’ve got to meander around a little bit because what’s going to help Evan and Alex may not be at all what Lee Kantor and I need for our business. Right. The process is going to get us there, but we may be working on a completely different thing. Absolutely.
Speaker3: [00:14:49] And well, yes and no. So there’s there’s aspects to this. One thing I’ve seen over the years of working with teams from all different industries and all different sizes, because we work with everything from small small businesses, with a dozen employees that are trying to move forward all the way to the biggest names in Atlanta, Delta and Home Depot and Cox and Chick fil A and you name it, we’ve worked with the big companies to teams or teams and people or people. And so what? What teams struggle with and deal with? It’s all the same stuff, it’s all because people are people now where it differs is people are all a little bit different. And so the way they think, the way they approach situations, what drives them, what wakes them up in the morning and keeps them up at night, all those very a little bit. So that’s part of what we get to do, too, is when we look at a team, it’s what are the people like on this team? What what are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What do they struggle with? What do they not? How can you look at someone else that has a completely different skill set from you and value that and see what they bring to the table? And that’s part of what makes a team work. But that’s where the challenge comes in for people, is understanding that that person over there who maybe we’ve butted heads a lot in the past, it’s not because we we don’t like each other. It’s because we have different ways of thinking. We have different styles. We have different personalities. We have. But when you can understand that what they do helps what you do, get to the goal, whatever output you’re trying to achieve, that’s where people really come alive. Because I tell people, one example I give people is one of the things I hate
Speaker4: [00:16:30] More than anything
Speaker3: [00:16:31] In the world is accounting. I hate it with a passion. I mean, if you put me in front of a computer with a spreadsheet and say, just sit here eight hours a day or ten hours a day or whatever it is for the rest of your life, I would go crazy.
Speaker4: [00:16:45] But one of the things
Speaker3: [00:16:46] I love more than anything else in the world. Our accountants. Because they do it and they like it and they’re good at it, and it’s just so it’s, you know, well, there’s there’s differences between how we approach things and maybe our personalities and our style and all that. But I can appreciate the heck out of them because I can go up to them and they do something that I don’t do well and they enjoy it. And when teams start seeing that, that. Oh, yeah, this person I’ve been butting heads with, they actually do something that I don’t like to do and they’re good at that. They provide something that’s a team that’s valuable. That’s where people really start to come alive.
Speaker2: [00:17:24] So how does the whole sales and marketing thing work for a firm like yours? I got to believe if you’re talking to a CEO, someone or even a team who makes this kind of decision, do we engage these Atlanta challenge? Folks, I got to believe if they have this kind of conversation with you, you probably get to work. But but how do you get to have this kind of conversation or have you just been at it long enough that the phone rings? Or how does that piece work?
Speaker3: [00:17:49] I’m a little bit of both. So and but it’s changed a little bit even over the last two years. I guess when we first started building Atlanta Challenge, it was some word of mouth. And because we were one of the few ones in the area, but everything from Google ads to pay per click and people would find us. And we did a really good job with our website of SEO and things like that of getting people to find us. Over the years, over the past couple of years especially, we’ve made a little bit of a shift to where it’s less of the the fun and games and the ropes courses and the, you know, the big let’s go play with foam foam pool noodles on a field somewhere. And it’s more of this. It’s more of the in-depth conversations. And so it tends to be more a lot of word of mouth is a lot of referrals.
Speaker4: [00:18:34] We have worked
Speaker3: [00:18:35] With so many companies in the past that we have a lot of really good connections and relationships with those companies do so when we reach out to somebody and we talk with them. And that’s part of what I get to do. And it’s even coming on a show like this is helping get the word out. And in some
Speaker4: [00:18:49] Respects, I consider
Speaker3: [00:18:50] Myself the Atlanta challenge evangelist, just letting people know about what we do because it has to resonate with people when they start having those conversations with us. And yeah, if we get to this conversation, it tends to be either very quickly one way or the other, it’s either nope, this isn’t a good fit or. Yes, let’s let’s talk more, because when we have initial conversations with people, the last thing I try to
Speaker4: [00:19:15] Do is, is sell
Speaker3: [00:19:16] Somebody something they don’t want or get them to sign up for a coaching engagement that they don’t want and don’t need or get them to do an event that doesn’t really fit what their team is looking for. And so it’s really having those kind of exploratory conversations of what are you looking to get out of this? What’s the what’s a win for you? If we did came in and did this workshop or strategic work session or an event or something like that, when we leave and people are writing on their little cards, the reviews of the session, what’s a win for you? What does it look like when we do our job and do it well and
Speaker4: [00:19:47] Really and then once we start hearing
Speaker3: [00:19:49] That it’s OK now, we can start playing with a little bit and plugging in the pieces of this would work well and this would fit and this wouldn’t work. And you don’t need to waste your time with this. And it’s so it’s having some of those conversations. But yeah, it’s it’s a different business because it’s not just the type of business where you run a bunch of ads and get the phone to ring and that’s it. So it’s it’s a lot more relational, it’s a lot more connections and referrals and, you know, work with one organization and see dramatic effects. And so he calls his buddy that’s a VP at a different company that, hey, you need call these guys.
Speaker2: [00:20:20] So the trust that you guys must have to
Speaker4: [00:20:24] Cultivate with
Speaker2: [00:20:25] Leadership in the beginning to get the business and then in executing on the work because you’re never going to get in if you don’t if you don’t cultivate that.
Speaker3: [00:20:35] And that’s that’s one of the things that sets us apart a
Speaker4: [00:20:37] Little bit, too, is there’s a
Speaker3: [00:20:39] Lot of organizations, whether it’s, you know, consulting agencies or team building firms or
Speaker4: [00:20:45] Coaching companies
Speaker3: [00:20:46] Or whatever, that that get a little lost in one end or the other. And so they either get lost in the the goals result. And that that’s just
Speaker4: [00:20:55] It just too
Speaker3: [00:20:56] Businesslike and it’s just too sterile in a sense. And it’s just here’s all your data and here’s our numbers and fix this and fix that. And that’s it. You go home and you don’t do it or don’t do it. And we tend to have a little bit more fun with it than that. And we’re not quite as corporate, even though we work with a lot of corporate corporate companies. But some people get lost on the other end. And it’s just all about we just want everybody to feel better and they lose sight of the goals and results in why we’re actually there. And so that’s one of the things that we stay very conscious of, is making sure that we’re connecting both of those. If you’ve got to take care of your people to make sure that they’re
Speaker4: [00:21:31] In a good spot, that
Speaker3: [00:21:32] They’re healthy, that they’re mentally firing on all cylinders, that they’re not overly stressed, that are not overly fearful, and we have to take care of the people. But it’s to get to the result in the output of what you actually want and and keeping the focus on both of those of the people and the output at the same time.
Speaker2: [00:21:51] Well, that’s a lot. To hold it is that’s a tall order, but let’s talk a little bit about event and process, right? Because in my experience and I’m getting a little long in the tooth, I’ve been on the periphery of some of this kind of work over over the years. Are there some things that that leadership should be taking some responsibility and accountability for to fully maximize the fact that we’ve had Justin and his crew in here to help us out? There’s some things we should be doing before you get here, some things we should be doing after the event is over or some workshop so that we really get the full measure of the return that we’re after. I sense the answer is yes, but I just want to hear more about what that might look, what that looks like.
Speaker3: [00:22:35] And that’s one of the things that we strive for to is the front end and the back end. And to some people, do they just walk in on the day of the event? And I’m here for three hours and we did our workshop and I’m walking
Speaker4: [00:22:48] Away and, you know,
Speaker2: [00:22:49] I’m a good soldier. I’m not going to give anybody trouble. I’m here. I’m doing my thing. But I got work piling up. Right. I mean, you get the right.
Speaker3: [00:22:56] And one of the things that’s helped us over the years, though, is leaders helping cultivate the mindset that
Speaker4: [00:23:02] Coaching and
Speaker3: [00:23:04] People like us and our profession aren’t just there when somebody is in trouble, because that’s something we run into a little bit to, as we call it, a team building or a team development guy in
Speaker4: [00:23:15] What we do
Speaker3: [00:23:17] To screw screwed up.
Speaker2: [00:23:18] If I was looking around like, OK,
Speaker3: [00:23:20] Who’s on the chopping block now?
Speaker4: [00:23:22] And it goes back to what
Speaker3: [00:23:23] I said earlier, that’s that’s rarely why we come in. It’s we’re coming in because you’re doing big things. And we like working with companies that are doing
Speaker4: [00:23:31] Big things,
Speaker3: [00:23:31] Too. It’s it’s not people that are just they just want to sell, you know, one hundred thousand more widgets this month. It’s people that are having an impact that are affecting. And we work with a lot of people in the kind of scientific health care space that are developing biometric devices to help people function better and building prosthetics and some of those kind of things that real world like this is impacting lives to a great degree. And so for
Speaker4: [00:24:00] That that lead up
Speaker3: [00:24:02] Of what can leaders do at the beginning, it’s fostering that environment,
Speaker4: [00:24:06] That coaching isn’t for people
Speaker3: [00:24:07] That are in trouble. You know, bringing in a coach like us to do a workshop isn’t because we’ve all screwed up, but that’s what the best of the best do. And it’s reframing that a little bit that, yeah, just because we we’re good at what we did doesn’t mean we need to just stop here. And then on the back end is stuff that we help with of what does that need to look like? Do we need to hold your hand or do you just need to give you a template of, OK, here’s what we talked about. Here’s what needs to happen. Here’s what’s going to give you the most bang for your buck. And you focus on these one or two things. How can we help with that? Can we facilitate that process on the back end and keep having conversations and and have a coaching call with your folks every two weeks for the next three months and those types of things? And that depends on the company, the organization or what they’re really looking to get out of it. But we’re very intentional about yeah, we are not just come in, swoop in, chat with you for a day. Here’s all the stuff to fix now. Good luck with that. And so having that relationship is always important for us.
Speaker2: [00:25:06] Now, you are a keynote speaker as well, or at least have been. Do you
Speaker4: [00:25:10] Continue to to do that or
Speaker2: [00:25:12] Will you continue to do the speaking workers? You’ve got to focus one hundred percent on this other.
Speaker4: [00:25:17] So one of the reasons
Speaker3: [00:25:18] I stopped doing a little bit of it is last year was kind of a weird year
Speaker2: [00:25:22] If you came here
Speaker3: [00:25:25] Only a little bit. And and so some of the whether it’s keynote speaking or even in person workshops, obviously not just
Speaker4: [00:25:31] Stopped last
Speaker3: [00:25:32] March or April or whatever it was. And so I still enjoy doing keynote speaking and still do that. I like being able to do both, which is why I like my role. I like being able to. One day I’m doing a three hour workshop with the company. The next day I’m doing a forty five minute keynote. The next day I’ve got a full slate of coaching calls that I’m doing from home and but keynote speaking is a great
Speaker4: [00:25:56] Way to bring
Speaker3: [00:25:58] Awareness to what we do and not just what we do, but helping people be better individuals within teams and helping leaders be better leaders. And so it’s a great way to build awareness
Speaker4: [00:26:10] Around our
Speaker3: [00:26:11] Processes and around our principles and the way we do things. But where people struggle with speaking is you walk in, you do your keynote speech and you walk away and you
Speaker4: [00:26:21] Don’t get that that depth
Speaker3: [00:26:23] And you don’t get that in direct action and. To see success, it tends to be 20 percent insight and about 80 percent application keynote speaking is great for the 20 percent insight. It’s great for giving people awareness of even some of the stuff we’ve talked about so far this morning is, you know, here’s some things to think about. And people really thought about that before all this really could work. And it’s great for that. But then we need the coaching engagements and the ongoing workshop series and things like that to really be able to provide the application
Speaker4: [00:26:54] For
Speaker3: [00:26:55] What needs to happen. And so I still again, it’s been slow on the speaking side, but it’s already starting to pick back up. And so it’s definitely something you’ll still do. Sometimes they’ll do some of that.
Speaker2: [00:27:05] Now, you strike me as the kind of
Speaker4: [00:27:07] Guy who
Speaker2: [00:27:08] I don’t know if the word keynote is still the right word, but I’m going to use it. You might be doing a keynote at a middle
Speaker4: [00:27:12] School to just to help some
Speaker2: [00:27:14] Kids or you have an affinity for and some genuine interest in serving the community, the broader community. Don’t you talk a little bit about that?
Speaker3: [00:27:24] I do. We don’t spend quite as much time in schools lately, and some of that’s a little bit of just our niche. And there’s only so many hours in a day. And so I definitely and again, with my education background, I’ve spoken to schools. I’ve spoken to, you know, high school groups and things like that. One of the first things I actually did with leadership development was about a decade ago with my wife, we let a teen leadership development program in Atlanta for several years with a nonprofit she was working with. And and so I definitely have a heart for that. I don’t do quite as much of the school speaking anymore. Again, just because keynote speaking especially, you kind of find your lane and your niche and there’s not always as much overlap is as people think. And so it’s still out there, but it’s just not. You have to focus on one or the other to a certain degree, and most schools, there’s some really good education speakers out there and there’s some really good people that really is their life. That is what they do and that’s their passion. And I’d support them any way that I can. And again, love still speaking with youth, but it just is not quite enough hours in the day to do a lot of it these days.
Speaker2: [00:28:33] I was just thinking to myself I would have butterflies if I were to get on the stage and do a keynote for Microsoft and Google. But I would be absolutely terrified if I had to get on stage and talk to a group of high school kids. All right. Well, that’s one of the things I tell people all the time.
Speaker3: [00:28:49] Yeah. What I do now and the people that I work with now, it is easier than middle schoolers. I mean, I don’t get cussed out nearly as much. Don’t you challenge the fight nearly as much? So it’s yeah, it’s definitely a lot easier.
Speaker2: [00:29:02] So as you do turn some of your energy and attention toward the community, the broader community, nonprofits, those kinds of things, are are there some that kind of have a bigger piece of your heart or more of your time than others do? Is there a group that you like to?
Speaker3: [00:29:19] That’s a tough question because, yeah, we do work with so many. So I don’t know if there’s just one. I do. I do appreciate local local communities and non-profits, though. And I’ve lived in Cherokee County off and on most of my life. We moved really far away for a while to Marietta, which is not that far. But we’ve been back here in Cherokee County for about four years. And whether it’s Goshen Valley Boys Home up in North Cherokee and groups that are working here, the Circle of Friends that has a new coffee shop that just opened up all over the circuit and what Pádraig is doing with Limitless. And there’s just so many good nonprofits and people that are just doing really cool things in the community here is it’s definitely hard to pick just one.
Speaker2: [00:30:04] I’ll bet. Well, no, you’re the kind of guy that’s probably plugged into service and trying to serve them. And you have some tools and some knowledge and expertize at your disposal that you can you can utilize to help them. So before we wrap up, where is your energy effort going to be in the coming months? You got anything that particular area of focus or you guys trying to grow? What’s the what’s the.
Speaker3: [00:30:27] We’re always trying to grow but grow strategically. And it’s been
Speaker4: [00:30:31] The next, I guess, three
Speaker3: [00:30:32] Months or so. Our biggest focus is just diving in deeper to the deeper programs that we offer. We kind of developed an entire suite of more leadership, strategic workstations that we’re going to be offering and rolling out in the next month or so. And it really just is our focus of spending more time on the development side than the the camaraderie side, because that is a continuum. There’s on one hand doing something where it just gets people together and it’s a scavenger hunt or a game room or or a game show or something like that where it’s kind of getting together and having a good time and laughing and smiling and learning people’s names that they haven’t seen in a while. That kind of thing is is great. And there’s a place for that. We’ve done a lot of that over the years and especially over the next three months. Our focus is going somewhat to the other end of the spectrum of now let’s get let’s get deep now. It’s a you built a pretty good culture from everybody smiles and there’s nobody slashing tires in the parking lot or anything like that. So we’re we’re doing OK. But now how do we really get better? And so that’s probably our biggest focus for the next three months is is spending more time on the deeper programs of let’s let’s spend six months with your leadership team. Let’s spend a year with your leadership team.
Speaker2: [00:31:47] Ok, really, really a deeper
Speaker3: [00:31:49] Than really a deeper dove. Or let’s not just do a workshop, but let’s do a four seminar series where we’re going to come back once a month for the next four months and really dove into some of these deeper things instead of just coming and putting a bunch of stuff in front of you up here. Good luck with this and walking out. So that’s definitely our focus for the next three months is getting deeper with with the folks that we’re working with.
Speaker2: [00:32:11] You touched on a phrase and I don’t remember if it was in that presentation or if you and I were just kind of standing around or but but the the phrase that you utilize was high character culture is that if you’re really going to pull that off, is that where you got to do this deeper work? Is that one of the. Absolutely. To talk a little bit about what you mean by that. And yeah.
Speaker3: [00:32:34] Yeah. One of the one of the most crucial things that people can do within any team organization, whatever, whether it’s a corporate leadership board or a family unit. One of the most important things you can do is, is have people that are ethical and tell the truth and be honest. Honesty goes so far. And so when we talk about a high character culture, that’s one of the first tenets of high character is being being honest. And it doesn’t have to be honest and a jerk kind of way. If I’m just going to tell you, every
Speaker2: [00:33:06] Hair looks a lot of lately.
Speaker3: [00:33:11] So let me say one thing, but but having being able to have those very real, very open, very honest conversations about what’s going on and what can we do to get better. And so high character cultures are ones that place that at the forefront of let’s have a real conversation, not just to Nitpicked, not just to be a jerk about it, not just to throw throw stones and call people names and all that. But let’s let’s talk about it.
Speaker4: [00:33:36] What’s working, what’s not working,
Speaker3: [00:33:38] What do we need to do more of? What do we need to do less of? And again, that goes for everything. So family units to corporate boardrooms, it’s all the same that having people that are willing to be honest, tell the truth and be a little less fearful, be a little less stress. That’s the starting point for everybody.
Speaker2: [00:33:56] It sounds like a lot of work is obviously very rewarding work. Please keep up the good work. I can’t thank you enough for coming in and visiting with us. If someone would like to reach out and have a conversation with you or someone on your team, let’s give them some points of contact, whatever you think is appropriate. Phone, email, LinkedIn, whatever you think is best.
Speaker3: [00:34:16] Yeah, definitely. My email is a great place to start. Justin at Atlanta Challenge Dotcom, Atlanta Challenge dot com is our website, so you can get a lot of info there. You’ll see me around on LinkedIn and Facebook and some of those places too. But yeah, probably email just an Atlanta challenge, dotcom or just go to our website and you can get a lot more info on all the the programs that we offer in the workshops and that sort of thing.
Speaker2: [00:34:39] So what a delight having you come in the studio.
Speaker3: [00:34:42] This has been so much fun.
Speaker2: [00:34:44] So much fun. Hey, how about hanging out with us while we visit with our next guest?
Speaker3: [00:34:48] Absolutely. I can’t wait to hear
Speaker4: [00:34:49] More about him. All right.
Speaker2: [00:34:50] Next up on Cherokee Business RadioX, we have with us with visually souled Alex and Evan Roberts. Good morning, gang. Good morning. Well, we’re delighted to have you. We’ll start with you, Alex. Mission purpose visually. So what are you doing for folks?
Speaker5: [00:35:09] So our mission is to provide the simplest solution for real estate photography. We just want to be ready and available for any real estate agent, really to just book excellent photos so that they can impress their clients and impress potential buyers.
Speaker2: [00:35:24] I would think that that is probably one of the most important parts of the sales and marketing process for a for a home is the pictures that people see before they even make the decision to go out and take a look, right?
Speaker5: [00:35:36] Absolutely. So more and more lately, buyers are basing their choices online based on the photos. So I think it’s like 85 percent of home buyers make a decision to go see a home based on its pictures. So you would think a lot of people don’t use cell phone pictures, but unfortunately, they do. So really, yes, our mission is to just kind of be accessible so that people are deterred from using cell phone pictures.
Speaker4: [00:36:02] So, yeah, go ahead
Speaker6: [00:36:03] To jump off of that.
Speaker4: [00:36:04] I think the way to look
Speaker6: [00:36:06] At it as a home is is the most expensive thing that that somebody will buy or sell in their lifetime. And Coca-Cola spends millions of dollars to sell a Coke can, a can of Coke. Right. So to have
Speaker4: [00:36:19] That excellent visual
Speaker6: [00:36:21] Representation of the most important asset you may buy in your lifetime, I think is is really important and more and more so now.
Speaker2: [00:36:28] So you guys are taking still pictures, video or both? Yes, well,
Speaker5: [00:36:34] All of the above.
Speaker2: [00:36:35] So you could if you have those skills and I’m making the the jump that you do, I’m sure that you do. And I can’t wait to see more more of your work. You could have chosen a lot of different ways to apply those skills, meet a variety of different segments of the market and probably build a very fruitful business. You chose to niche you chose to stay in this lane. Tell me a little bit about that choice.
Speaker6: [00:37:00] Yeah. So I started the company a little over five years ago. I originally was doing live music photography because I was I was a musician in my in my teenage years. And and that was sort of a natural progression for me and I when I was I was managing a pizza shop and in coming and when I was doing that on my breaks and everything, I would be looking at houses online, sort of just dreaming because I couldn’t afford a house. But I wanted to. So, you know, I would look on there and I would dream and I went, wow, this was great. And it’s way too often I would notice that I couldn’t see enough of to home or I or I couldn’t get a feel for what the home actually looks like because of the photos. And if I was actually buying, it would have really mattered because, you know, I typically would just skip the ones that that didn’t have great photos. So I and I notice that some did have great photos. So I said, OK, there’s seems to be a market here, like there seems to be you know, people want some people want excellent photos for their listings. So that’s how I sort of got into it. I said maybe I could do this. I did some research on. What I needed for equipment, and then I sort of snowballed from there, so the.
Speaker2: [00:38:18] Taking these pictures, what is the what is the key, is it better equipment, is it the knowledge is because you’re going to I mean, people are going to expect the same level of professionalism on their job as they saw on the last one. Well, how did you crack this girl? What’s the secret sauce?
Speaker6: [00:38:37] So I think. Obviously, cell phones take great photos right now, so
Speaker2: [00:38:43] It’s not mind so much, I’ve been trying to take you over having this conversation,
Speaker5: [00:38:47] But don’t say that.
Speaker6: [00:38:49] So so they do take great photos. So it’s not it’s not a matter of purely the equipment. Right. Obviously, having professional grade equipment matters a whole lot. So it’s not just the equipment. It really is the I. It’s the training. It’s the technique that’s used. Real estate photography is completely different from really any other kind of photography. Oh, really? It really is. It’s it’s not you know, it could be similar to to maybe product photography. But even still, it’s the the angle choices that you’re getting the lighting, because it’s it’s a space where people live. It’s a space where you’re trying to convey a feeling of of of where people live their lives and who will live their lives. So it’s a little it’s a little different than anything else.
Speaker2: [00:39:37] All right. So here’s a disclaimer. We’re broadcasting live as we speak right now. But a great many of our consumers, the people who listen, our material, listen to it on demand. If you’re listening to this on demand and you’re looking at some pictures, Evan and Alex did not take those Stone Payton those pictures. So so where does the where does the business come from? Is it is it is it the individual, the families selling the home? Or is is your business really coming from the trusted realtors in this ecosystem?
Speaker5: [00:40:10] It’s a little of both. So obviously a homeowner can book a shoot with us if they need to, because we want to be accessible to that. And we understand that for a homeowner, selling a home is really difficult. It’s a lot to take in. You know, you’re leaving a place with a bunch of memories. So part of our goal is to be easy and accessible to homeowners so that when they’re booking with us, you’ve got someone who has a comprehensive understanding of how to make this easier for you. All you have to do is go on because you you’re done. We show up. We take care of everything else. It’s one less thing for you to worry about. And, of course, you know, real estate agents as well, whether they’re an individual real estate agent just booking one off or they’re a brokerage that we’ve partnered with. So it’s really just.
Speaker2: [00:40:55] Oh, that’s smart. So you guys have partnered with entire brokers. Wow, that’s cool.
Speaker5: [00:41:00] And we have so really, it’s just anyone that needs real estate photos, they can just hop on and shoot.
Speaker2: [00:41:07] So something in this whole ecosystem. Right. There’s the stagers. So this is kind of fresh in my mind. Right. Because and it’s a little for those of you who are listening on demand and, you know, sometimes people listen our stuff five years later. But I mean, we’re in the throes of, like summer of twenty twenty one as we’re having this conversation. The real estate market here, at least locally, is nuts. And so we got into this home a little bit before it got crazy. And we sold ours a little bit before I went really nuts. But we never had to sell the house. We had a stager come in. They took some pictures, circulated them in that kind of like coming soon. Circle of realtors never went out on the market. One family came in, made a full price offer, you know, and we were out there like the blackjack dealer. Right. And I I’m almost certain having the stager there to set things up, the clutter that I’m sure that had a big impact on it. And it was.
Speaker4: [00:42:04] But what I’m getting at
Speaker2: [00:42:06] Is the the people that you need to build relationships with or choose to build relationships with. These are a variety of people in this real estate ecosystem. Yes. The stager, the real estate person. I mean, maybe anyone connected to that because you never know. Who knows, right?
Speaker5: [00:42:21] Oh, absolutely. I mean, I’m sure plenty of real estate agents would agree with this, but referrals are the lifeblood in the real estate industry. And that’s, I think one of our favorite parts about being in the real estate industry is it’s such a relationship focused business. You know, I’ve grown up in real estate. My mom’s been a real estate agent for probably like twenty three, twenty six years now. And something I always notice was she just always went the extra mile to build that relationship with someone so that they knew she was someone they could count on. I remember being in the store with her one
Speaker4: [00:42:53] Day and she was picking out like a baby outfit. I was like, What are you doing?
Speaker5: [00:42:57] All your kids are grown up. And she was like, oh, my my client just had a new baby. So I just wanted to pick something up for them. And that was just always so neat to me was that it was such a kind relationship focused business for sure.
Speaker4: [00:43:09] Well, again, we
Speaker2: [00:43:10] Just kind of Holly, my wife and I kind of lived through this, a lady by the name of Joe Heineken’s with Keller Williams Realty. She’s also a client out of a different studio, but she’s
Speaker4: [00:43:19] One of our clients.
Speaker2: [00:43:20] I’m I get a chance to visit with her later today. I mean, we just trust her implicitly. Right. And she was sort of the quarterback of the of the team. Like, I could have gone out. I’m kind of in the business community and several business communities, actually, and sourced a mortgage broker. And so, you know,
Speaker4: [00:43:37] I just trusted
Speaker2: [00:43:38] Jill. I felt like she’s got the relationship. People are going to go above and beyond for her and for a JOHANNAH
Speaker4: [00:43:44] Client, you know,
Speaker2: [00:43:46] More so than someone I just might reach out to. That was incredibly important to us. The other thing, the other part of it was almost like a you know, like when you go to the emergency room, the doctor doesn’t ask you if you want to stay over for observation. He says, OK, you check in, you’re going to stay overnight for observation. We’re going to do tests like this just right. I mean, whatever. I mean, I just trust her. So she said, OK, look, here’s
Speaker4: [00:44:08] How it’s going to work. When I’m staging
Speaker2: [00:44:10] Here on Thursday, we’re going to get some photos, you know. Right. And I didn’t I never even questioned it. Right. And so that’s the that’s the beauty of doing good work. All right. So I got to ask, you guys are
Speaker4: [00:44:20] A married couple. Yes.
Speaker2: [00:44:22] A young married couple, or at least in contrast to me and the other guests, I’m
Speaker4: [00:44:28] A little a little older
Speaker2: [00:44:30] Than the rest of the folks in the studio today. But that’s got to present it on its own set of dynamics. Right. Tell us a little bit, OK? I was going to talk bless your heart and go for it.
Speaker6: [00:44:41] But yeah, I think it absolutely does. We actually met because of
Speaker4: [00:44:45] This this company,
Speaker6: [00:44:47] You know, she she worked for one of our clients and she would book the photos, shoots from us. And so we had contact with her. And then our our two companies had a happy hour event, and that’s where we met. So. So and now and now she works for us.
Speaker5: [00:45:04] He poached me.
Speaker6: [00:45:07] So, yeah, I mean, it definitely does present its interesting dynamics and it’s definitely been a unique experience. And we’ve been married for a little over a year now. So it’s you know, it’s it’s really challenging and
Speaker4: [00:45:21] Fun and amazing to
Speaker6: [00:45:22] To sort of work through certain things together and get to
Speaker4: [00:45:26] Know each other differently
Speaker6: [00:45:27] Than maybe other couples
Speaker4: [00:45:28] Would, because we’re also trying
Speaker6: [00:45:30] To grow a business together while we’re trying
Speaker4: [00:45:32] To develop a marriage
Speaker6: [00:45:34] And a family.
Speaker4: [00:45:35] So, you know, it’s definitely, definitely interesting.
Speaker2: [00:45:39] Well done. You can run for office. All right. Let’s get the truth out here. You know, have you found or have you settled
Speaker4: [00:45:45] Into, I don’t
Speaker2: [00:45:47] Know, a division of labor and this is our roles. Are you still kind of figuring that piece
Speaker4: [00:45:51] Of it out?
Speaker5: [00:45:52] I think as a business, we’re still growing. So just kind of our roles continue to grow and expand. I’m in charge of our marketing, but at the same time, you know, I’m also trying to help plan company events so that we can all get together. I’m covering the phone sometimes for my sister in law who’s our head of operations. So it’s a lot of different roles and
Speaker4: [00:46:12] We’re just constantly growing
Speaker5: [00:46:14] In them.
Speaker6: [00:46:14] Yeah, I think the the pandemic obviously affected everybody. You know, I hear people say that all the time.
Speaker4: [00:46:20] It’s like, OK, yes, obviously.
Speaker6: [00:46:22] But it really it did impact our our culture a lot. And so it’s really trying to almost almost rebuild that culture now. And Alex has been, you know, really pivotal in that. Like, she’s really been been pushing forward to try to to try to rebuild those those relationships. So it’s really interesting to hear Justin talk about what he does. It’s kind of serendipitous almost that that you’re here
Speaker5: [00:46:44] Because the workshop is just
Speaker6: [00:46:45] Go through it. And and I really, by the way, side note, I love what you said about it’s not taking bad, you know, to good. It’s really like Jim Collins. Good to great, you know, and I’m sure I’m sure that that book probably plays a huge role in what you do. And I’m so sorry, but
Speaker5: [00:47:01] I never heard of it.
Speaker3: [00:47:03] So that is one book that I’ve heard, I’m sure.
Speaker6: [00:47:08] So. So, yeah. And I think that that’s been a huge a huge part of it right now, especially recently. Is that
Speaker2: [00:47:14] So? But this is the mindset. These are the type of people and I don’t know, maybe this firm is a little small at this point for you. I don’t know about that. But the mindset of these guys are doing good. They want to do better. They do check that box on your criteria. I just.
Speaker3: [00:47:28] Yeah, absolutely. And I think what we’re seeing, even just in this little you know, these last couple of minutes is the power of having people in leadership that see the value of taking care of their people and the connection that has. Do you guys seeing success as a company? That’s the magic, right? There is leaders that see that that, yes, it’s important to take care of our people. But it’s important to grow as a company and those are connected,
Speaker5: [00:47:54] Right, especially so because our our team members are the ones that are going out and doing shoots every day. You know, it’s not Evan sometimes, but it’s not me, because I can’t I can’t I mean, the amount of times that we get people calling in who are saying like, oh, you know, my my shoot wasn’t booked with Samantha, like, could it be booked with Samantha? She’s just so good. She knows exactly what I need. I can always count on her. Like when we get that kind of feedback about our photographers, it is just doubly so important to take care of our team because they’re the ones who go out and represent us every day and they do such a good job doing so. Like our clients are crazy about our photographers.
Speaker2: [00:48:31] So and I’m going to ask you, too, if appropriate, Justin, you have something to say on the matter and how do you recruit, develop and continue to nurture someone as Samantha? Right. And we have a Samantha, too. She runs Phenix Business RadioX out there in Phenix, Arizona, and her name is Karen Zwicky. And she’s just she’s unbelievable. She’s incredible. And and we wasn’t anything I did. I don’t think I you know, maybe I maybe I didn’t run her off. But other than that. But, ah, there’s some, you know, some dos and some don’t always do this. Don’t do that. Or at least I don’t know.
Speaker6: [00:49:09] So just to clarify. So you’re asking about the actual recruiting and interviewing
Speaker4: [00:49:13] And and finding the
Speaker2: [00:49:15] Right. I want the whole workshop right now. Yeah. Yes. And OK, now we’ll wait for care. Like what should I be doing for Karen today? You know, like sure. Because I feel like sometimes I don’t I don’t do enough to to to let Karen know how. Sure.
Speaker4: [00:49:31] Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker6: [00:49:32] I mean I think before pre pandemic we were a team of thirty three and we’re in multiple states and so we’re fairly large for four for what you know I’ve experienced what we found was really important was being able to take in, in real time almost feedback from our people and being able to, to be lean and to be able to change with that feedback. So taken to to account what what the team is saying, what the people are saying, who are actually doing, meeting the clients and really doing a lot of the the groundwork for that and being able to adapt that. So we had something
Speaker4: [00:50:10] We call and
Speaker6: [00:50:11] We haven’t done in a while since because of the pandemic. But we call Bruen Review and it was basically a monthly meeting where the whole team was invited and we’d go around and we’d ask questions. We’d say, OK, here’s how the company is doing. And it doesn’t matter what position you held in the company. We want to hear from everybody, basically. So we would have this monthly sort of meeting to make sure that we’re all we’re meeting everybody’s needs and really trying to to develop them as much as they want to be developed.
Speaker2: [00:50:36] I like it. Did you. Is this because you’re so well read or you just I mean, would you say maybe just a little wise beyond his years or absolute are you just that well read or do you just look, your
Speaker6: [00:50:50] Reading comprehension was one of the things I struggled with most in school. So it’s definitely not not that
Speaker5: [00:50:55] He listens a lot. He listens to a lot of podcasts and books and stuff. I don’t know,
Speaker4: [00:50:59] Doesn’t read a lot. And he listens
Speaker2: [00:51:01] To his people apparently and genuinely, genuinely listen. So this is very tactical. But I mean, I’ve run into this, you know, I’m not a professional coach, but I find myself sometimes wearing a coach hat with our studio partners and that kind of thing. When people do give you feedback and input, sometimes they have creative new ideas.
Speaker4: [00:51:20] And for whatever
Speaker2: [00:51:21] Reason, maybe because of my lack of foresight or because it’s really not the right time to make that move, we’re not going to implement that idea. But I don’t want to shut that down. Like, if I haven’t came up with that idea, I wanted to feel good about coming up with the idea. And I don’t want him to not come up with an idea next time we get together. Is there some mojo that we can use on that any any of the three of you that’ll help?
Speaker3: [00:51:44] Yeah, not shut them down? I definitely have something on that because it’s true. And there are some people that all it takes is you telling them that their idea is awesome and they’re like, yeah, it is. And then they walk away. We can’t do it right now. OK, but at least they thought it was awesome. And so there is some validity to that. OK, and and I’m kind of that way too. And Sean Clark, the founder of Atlanta, challenged that he and I are working together all the time and we’re both similar in that regard. If like sometimes it’s just. Yes, that is an awesome idea. Doesn’t fit for right now. But the for us, the benchmark is that’s why it’s so important to have clearly defined goals and not just big overall, you know, five year goals or whatever, but like what is the focus right now. And so that way, if an idea is awesome,
Speaker4: [00:52:29] But it doesn’t
Speaker3: [00:52:30] Line up with what the current focus and defined vision and goal is for what you’re trying to accomplish now.
Speaker4: [00:52:37] It’s it gives
Speaker3: [00:52:39] A clarity to the reason of why we can’t do it now, because if that’s not defined, then it’s just we can’t do it now. Well, why do you just not like it?
Speaker2: [00:52:47] It’s not like.
Speaker3: [00:52:49] Right. Like. And it gets it can go off the rails fast. So not being able to say, yeah, that’s a great idea, either maybe we tweak it or we use it for this, or maybe we show that we do it later. But having clearly defined this is what we’re focusing on right now gives a reason for why we maybe can’t do that idea right now.
Speaker2: [00:53:06] Got it. Now, that’s helpful. I’m glad because I really I’m kind of getting inspired and sort of invigorated here a little bit. I want to go back and try to apply some of these some of these ideas. So do you guys have the bandwidth? And if so, do you decide do you want to meet more realtors? I bring more realtors into your circle or have you got enough already? Leave us alone.
Speaker5: [00:53:30] There’s never enough or enough.
Speaker2: [00:53:31] So but that’s that’s a group. That’s a group. The realtors are the folks that.
Speaker5: [00:53:36] Absolutely. I mean, we could never stop growing. The goal is world domination. We want to make sure we want to make sure everybody has consistently beautiful and excellent real estate photos. So, I mean, never enough. It’s just a matter of hire more people if we need to, but we want everyone to
Speaker4: [00:53:52] Feel
Speaker5: [00:53:54] Trusted and a vendor that they can come to and know that they can shoot very easily and that everyone who’s working with them knows exactly what they’re doing and knows how to provide extra help if needed.
Speaker4: [00:54:04] Yeah, yeah. I’ve done my I’ve done just to
Speaker6: [00:54:07] Sort of tag off of that. I’ve done my research on on other companies to do this. And I have to say, without a doubt, we have the simplest way to book a photo shoot. If you’re a real estate agent or or a homeowner,
Speaker4: [00:54:20] The we
Speaker6: [00:54:21] Get the absolute necessary information that we need to be able to come out there. But it’s also real time booking. All of our photographers are actually, you know, team members. They’re not just contracted out and we give them all the equipment to do the job. So all of the photo shoots are going to look the same. Right. And if something breaks, we know exactly what to replace it with. And they don’t have to worry about putting wear and tear on their equipment. So because of that, we have a real time booking. So if you see Friday at two o’clock is available on the website, you click book, that’s when we’re going to show up. So it’s it’s things like that. I think that
Speaker4: [00:54:53] It’s going to do really well to that.
Speaker6: [00:54:55] What Alex said we’ll do
Speaker5: [00:54:56] That honestly used to be the worst thing as someone who had to book food, photo shoots, like not being able to just see a real time availability and lock it in, it would be like, OK, well, I have to call the contact and I’ve got the contact and they have to call and see who’s available, OK? They have to call and see what people they don’t have that day that you requested, but they have another day. Would you want to do that day? OK, well, now let me call the client because I need to see if the client can do that. OK, let me call the guy again. I’m sorry we ran out of that time. Someone else. But can you do this dance that just constant back and forth and it is so stressful and especially for real estate agents or if they have someone who’s helping them book shoots. That’s a lot to ask of them. That’s a lot that’s taking up their bandwidth. That’s a lot of calls to make.
Speaker4: [00:55:34] It should just you really should
Speaker5: [00:55:36] Just be able to go and be like, OK, I want Friday at two o’clock,
Speaker4: [00:55:39] Lockton. Yeah.
Speaker6: [00:55:41] And we’ve even built, you know, private booking pages for larger brokerages that the book, all of the photo shoots. That way they can send it to the homeowner and say, look, choose a date in time that works
Speaker4: [00:55:51] For you
Speaker6: [00:55:52] And book the photo shoot. And so the the brokerage or the agent doesn’t even have to do the booking. So and yeah, I think I think the simplicity of the booking system is really what what are sort of competitive advantages.
Speaker2: [00:56:05] That is really interesting because. Well, and you have the advantage of you do the the good work that you’ve done is published. People can see it. And so they get they see the quality of it. And then the ease of the the booking, though, is the real secret sauce.
Speaker4: [00:56:19] So far. That’s how we get you. Definitely.
Speaker6: [00:56:21] I see. I see I see so many, so many different different websites with like a few samples, maybe five to ten different pictures of the best of the best of the best pictures that they’ve taken. So that’s why that’s one thing that I
Speaker4: [00:56:34] Wanted to do differently was
Speaker6: [00:56:35] On our website, I’m like, let’s put tens and tens and tens and maybe hundreds of different samples of our work, because just to sort of prove the point like this is consistent. This is what you’re going to get when you book.
Speaker2: [00:56:45] So so does the sale. I don’t know if that’s the right word. Does the relationship often start through that website interaction or do you find yourself trying to have an initial conversation with a with a realtor that you don’t know you can?
Speaker5: [00:57:02] Absolutely. We, you know, of course, go through, you know, Google ads and Instagram and Facebook and people can just search us and start on the website. But more often than not, we just get referrals from a lot of agents. And that is honestly the highest praise for us is when, you know, it’s cool, like, oh, cool. Someone came in from Instagram. That’s neat. But like when someone’s calling in and saying, like, oh, well, you know, so-and-so recommended you and they just gave you such high praise. I just I need a photographer, so I figured I’d give you guys a shot. That’s honestly the most gratifying, gratifying thing for us.
Speaker6: [00:57:35] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think the website is definitely crucial, right. Because so many, you know, real estate agents especially are out and about all the time. So they either need to have something really accessible and really quick to be able to access or they need to. Have somebody to call, like right away as soon as they can, because they’re in the car or whatever,
Speaker4: [00:57:54] So
Speaker6: [00:57:55] Having somebody to answer the phone as soon as you call somebody
Speaker4: [00:57:58] That that knows
Speaker6: [00:57:59] You, some of the you’ve talked to before
Speaker4: [00:58:01] And really that could even
Speaker6: [00:58:02] Be the same person on the website. Live chat. You know, it could be you know, it’s really somebody
Speaker4: [00:58:07] Here that’s local
Speaker6: [00:58:10] That knows you, that knows your colleagues. So, yeah, I think that’s that’s crucial, too.
Speaker2: [00:58:14] So before we wrap, let’s see if we can help out some young aspiring entrepreneurs. Maybe they have a, you know, like a regular job right now and they’re thinking, you know, I’m going to take a shot at this. I’m going to
Speaker4: [00:58:29] Pursue setting up
Speaker2: [00:58:30] A business. I got to get some customers. I got to think through the culture. I’m trying to build it. Actually, I like both of you maybe to take a swing at that with an idea or two. And I’ll start with you, Alex, if we could just. Yeah, you know, I don’t know any counsel. You might have something to be thinking about, some
Speaker4: [00:58:47] Dos and don’ts,
Speaker2: [00:58:50] Because I think our our listeners would would really profit from the exposure. I was going to say scar tissue is there as well. But, yeah, anything you might offer that that that new aspiring entrepreneurs, they they think about making this move.
Speaker4: [00:59:08] Yeah. I was very
Speaker5: [00:59:10] Blessed to not have to take the plunge like Evan did. He was already, you know, four or five years in before I came on. So and I didn’t have to do anything quite as dramatic as, you know, quitting my job and starting something from the ground up. But I would say anyone looking to do that, I would say, listen to Dave Ramsey. I know that was a big stepping stone for Evan was just constantly listening to Dave Ramsey. And I would say find a mentor, someone who can coach you and kind of understand what you’re going through when you come up with a hardship or encounter a roadblock. Just find someone who’s willing to coach you and who understands what you’re going through and can provide counsel. That’s something other than, well, you know, just pick yourself up. It’ll be OK as long as you stick to it. Someone who can give you very concrete advice.
Speaker2: [00:59:57] Fantastic.
Speaker4: [00:59:58] Evan, I would say
Speaker6: [01:00:00] I want to sort of reiterate what Justin said earlier about
Speaker4: [01:00:03] The 20 percent knowing and
Speaker6: [01:00:05] Learning and 80 percent
Speaker4: [01:00:06] Doing. I would say
Speaker6: [01:00:08] When you’re starting out, it’s like ninety nine percent doing because so many people, so many people have a hard time just taking the first step
Speaker4: [01:00:16] And just doing the initial. Let me let me set something up.
Speaker6: [01:00:21] Let me actually try to get that first dollar of sale. Let me just try to make one dollar from what you want to try to do or I just do it. Just start. And once you start, that’s that’s where, you know, you never know where it’s going to go from there. So I would say as far as like advice goes and learning from my mistakes is do not hire too fast. That is that is a very, very common mistake. And and it’s actually something that I called into Dave Ramsey and he told me when I first started the business and and I know I’m speaking about one of your competitions is also calling on Cherokee Business RadioX. But but he told me he’s like a be very careful about payroll because that’s what kills so many businesses. It’s payroll.
Speaker4: [01:01:06] And I did make that mistake.
Speaker6: [01:01:07] And, you know, I hired like I said, we were a team of over 30 people. And I just I liked having people I liked having people in the office and talking to people and interacting and having a great environment. And that’s something that that will, once you do take that first step later down the road, will be very important to
Speaker4: [01:01:26] Do so try to try to be as
Speaker6: [01:01:28] Lean as possible in the beginning.
Speaker2: [01:01:29] I am so glad that I asked. And for the record, I am a huge Dave Ramsey, not even just a fan disciple. I’m fifty seven years old now. My wife’s going to retire in a year. We’ve been very blessed and we’ve made a comfortable living for some time. We still live out of envelopes. We have cash envelopes in our bureau. It’s amazing. And I think that’s one of the reasons. And and that came from Hill. And I know I’m a huge fan, so I don’t consider competition at all. I think he’s I think that the work that gentleman doing is just marvelous. Well, this has been fantastic. I know realtors who do hear this, senator are going to want to talk to you guys. What’s the best way for him, for them to connect with you?
Speaker5: [01:02:14] I would say anyway, you can always go on our website. We’ve got live chat. We’ve got a phone number to call. If you’re into calling, we have our email, which is Contact Visually, Soul dot com. Or you can chat with us on social media websites like Facebook and Instagram. We we’re pretty available. We love answering questions and talking to people.
Speaker6: [01:02:34] I would say we’ve made it a point to try to make it as informative as possible to just visit the website. You’ll you know, you’ll have everything that you need there. So the website is visually souled dot com,
Speaker4: [01:02:45] And you can really go start from there or
Speaker6: [01:02:47] Follow us on social media visually souled.
Speaker2: [01:02:49] Well, thank you both for coming in the studio and and hanging out with us and, you know, maybe let’s do this again, maybe you guys come back some time to check in with us.
Speaker4: [01:03:00] One idea
Speaker2: [01:03:01] That could be fun, if
Speaker4: [01:03:02] You’re up for maybe a
Speaker2: [01:03:04] Local realtor client, come in. We’ll spotlight their business, but maybe talk about the relationship. We’d love that. Yeah, that would be great fun segment. All right. Well, this has been marvelous. Thank you both.
Speaker4: [01:03:14] Thank you. All right.
Speaker2: [01:03:16] Until next time. This is Stone Payton for our guests this morning and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you next time on Cherokee Business RadioX.