How to deal with setbacks

I love when entrepreneurs talk about their biggest failures. To be an entrepreneur you have to be an optimist and I love learning how optimist deal with setbacks.

Today’s guest faced several setbacks and we’re going to find out how he recovered.

Todd Palmer is the founder of Extraordinary Advisors which helps leaders and entrepreneurs.

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Todd Palmer is the founder of Extraordinary Advisors which helps leaders and entrepreneurs.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: They’re freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. And yeah. Um, I know that is not what and why people listen to my interviews, but I love when entrepreneurs talk about their biggest freak and failures.

I love it. And I’ll tell you why. I think that I was born with this idea that I was going to make it. I, I believe that God thought that I was going to make it from an early age. And the problem with that, it’s a benefit I wish everybody had because there’s a sense of invincibility and possibilities that you’re born with, that you grow up with.

I have to this day, every moment of my life, the challenge with that is when there is a big negative setback. It just like this doesn’t compute, what did I get everything wrong? Going back to my old childhood perception of myself, or is this is something going on the lawn here? Or am I, is there something wrong with me or did I lose it?

Right? Like, there’s this. There’s this difficulty. I think that that optimists have in dealing with tough situations. And you kind of talked about that in your book, Todd, there’s this difficulty that people who believe they’re meant for greatness, who do achieve a lot of success, who, when there’s a setback suffer, I’m going to be honest.

I deal with that. Um, and so I like to see how, how other people get in those situations so that I know when I get there, how I can get out and also, so that day-to-day, I think if anything goes wrong, we’ll hear five people I can think of. Who’ve done worse. I think I can recover if they did. Alright, Todd, not to paint you into the done worst corner, but Todd Palmer.

Yeah, it doesn’t seem like you’re worried about it. Um, Todd Palmer is an entrepreneur who is the founder of diversified industrial staffing. It’s a staffing company. He built it up. He, um, tried to follow in his older brother’s footsteps. Older brother, really just set the model for how to do it. And still he had a big setback.

And, uh, we’re going to talk about that set back in this interview, and then he had a recovery. I’m going to talk about the recovery. We’re going to talk about how we got into the Inc 5,000, multiple times because his business was growing so fast and talk about why he essentially gave the whole thing up to be a coach.

And today he is the founder of extraordinary advisors. They basically help you. And by they, I mean him, it’s his philosophy. It’s his, it’s his energy and soul that goes into this business. His goal is, is to, um, help you achieve a life by design. It’s that kind of coaching for entrepreneurs and leaders.

We’re going to find out about both those businesses, thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. And we’re going to find out about his book, which I read it’s called from suck to success, a guide to extraordinary entrepreneurship. I’m gonna find out about that. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first we’ll host your website, right?

It’s called host Gator. And the second, if you’re a, if you’re paying people, contractors, employees, you need a rippling and I’ll tell you why later first, Todd, good to have you here.

Todd: Oh, Andrew. It’s my pleasure to be here. Thanks so much for having me on your show.

Andrew: Worst a day. How much debt did you have?

Todd: So I actually benchmark, if the worst day, the worst day of my life, my has become my message. Um, was September. Yeah, September 9th, 2006. I was $600,000 in debt. I was two months away from losing my house. The bank was calling the note. I, um, Was the two, Oh, just for context, the $600,000 net. Was that on a, on a $2 million run rate from an our staffing company.

So immediately for anybody who understands the staffing business or numbers, basically in general, I was completely upside down. W again, again, as I look back anybody who understands numbers, except for me back in 2006, making sure we preface that. And, um, I really had this imposter syndrome is 80 bitty shitty committee in my head that was telling me, you know, that I wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t doing good enough, you know, but I love your

Andrew: Even when you were doing well, you had

Todd: Well, so, so here’s the, it’s the elevator I’m doing? Well, the business is doing well. I’m doing well. The business sucks. I’m doing poorly it’s up and down, up and down, up and down. And because I was always, you know, as you mentioned, my, my older brother was in the staffing business.

He got up to a $600 million run rate with his company. And so there was a company, there was a comparison game, which he didn’t participate in. It wasn’t like he was comparing me. It was an internal thing. I was doing younger brother, older brother, Eli Manning. He’s Peyton Manning. I won two super bowls, but he’s Peyton Manning.

Um, it got a little complicated in my head. My imposter syndrome really was driving the, if my life was a car, do you see your car? The imposter center was fully in charge. I was in the passenger seat because it was telling me I needed to be all things to all people all the time. And every time there was a mistake, I would only see it as a failure.

I would only see it as well. I’m the CEO, it failed. I’m a failure. And so the negative loop was just

Andrew: of that. What’s an example of one negative thing that happened that you internalize much more than you should have.

Todd: Uh, losing a client. I mean, simple things losing,

Andrew: you lose a client that is them making an evaluation of you, they know the right. You, everyone else, who’s still a client actually is maybe you’ve hoodwinked them.

Todd: Oh wait, till they leave. As soon as they figured me out, wait till they leave

Andrew: Ooh, yes. Yeah,

Todd: that kind of, yeah. That it was that EMA immerse deeply into my psyche at that point, you know, when I did sales before I got into recruiting, I sold for other people. I was a sales person in the recruiting space. The rejection and the pain of cold calling was literally deafening for me.

It was crippling for me to the point that, that rejection, that rejection, rejection, rejection, I didn’t have a good foundational thing. So I liked your, your, your intro about optimism and how you just saw the world in a different way. As a, as a kid. Um, my mother was a single parent. My dad passed away when I was five and she’s raising me in such a way that I was kind of in her mind to chosen work.

So when you’re the chosen one, when you’re you’re Neil and you’re looking at the matrix and you don’t see it correctly, you’re wondering what’s wrong with you. Then you’ve got your older brother, who’s crushing it and making, you know, making a lot of the right decisions as you see from the outside. And once I’ve talked to him after afterwards, we realized that, you know, we are much more likely than we were different at many junctures in our careers.

And so that in that, in that, uh, in that programming from childhood. I was taught to be a rugged individual because it served me well, and that’s fine. And startup motives in an entrepreneur, um, HRM sales ops, um, accounting, trying to scale that and bring other people in, in those fractures and trust who those people I hired.

So now I’m hiring people who aren’t any good. Wow. And I’m in the recruiting space. I must be a really terrible recruiter.

Andrew: And so how are you able to get back on a call when you’re feeling that way about yourself?

Todd: It was hard. Um,

Andrew: push yourself because that’s what you needed to do.

Todd: well it was that way. So I started my company and I was 27 years old. I got custody of my son when I was 24. Um, it was a two year battle of custody. It put me in enormous personal debt, both from a financial position, but also from an emotional position. But I, I grew up without a dad. My dad passed away when I was five and I didn’t want my son to grow up without his dad.

So it was very important for me to, to demonstrate and role model for him. What hard work was, w how we show up and how we do the job. So I have found, and I do this with a lot of the leaders I coach will actually psychologically do more for other people than we will do for ourselves left to our own devices.

Andrew: You dedicate the book to your son, I wonder. And you talk about, uh, getting, uh, custody of your son. I wonder, can you say why it was important for you to not share custody and get sole custody that you went into deep debt,

Todd: Sure. So I offered full custody, right? Offered, shared custody. And it became a battle. Um, she came from, from a very traditional background and in that traditional background, um, that she had more money than I had her parents had money. And so they just kept funding her so that the, the custody battle took, I said, what two, three years?

Um, we never, we didn’t have any assets. We were just out of college. So there wasn’t any house to fight over. It was, it was my son. And over the course of that time, the, every time that there was a step forward, for example, and something would fall in my favor, there would always be an appeal. So the process took so long because we had to exhaust all options for the appeal process.

Andrew: Uh, by the way, the mic is rubbing up against something, we should watch out with it. Um, all right. And so one of the things that you decided to do was you said, look, I’ve got my son. Now I have to take care of him. I need to spend time with him. I’m going to do that as an entrepreneur. I’m already in this space of helping people get work.

I think I could do this full time. Just like, like my boss does. And like my brother, does you start a business? Where do you what’s what do you get your first customer? And then how do you get the first, uh, employees that you place?

Todd: Well, it was for, in people who know me, well, my friend is surprising, but I got incredibly rigidly disciplined with my schedule. So I would spend the mornings doing sales and I would spend the afternoons doing recruiting. So I’d find the opportunities in the morning for, for jobs in the afternoon, finding candidates to place them.

And this is, this feels so long ago we used to have to run newspaper ads. There, there, there wasn’t. You couldn’t go on. Indeed. You couldn’t go on or anything like that.

Andrew: I think you said in your, in your book, you’d even go through the yellow pages. Am I right about that?

Todd: it’s for sure? Absolutely. So to find the first client, um, I actually went back in my history when I was doing so I took a couple of years off of being a recruiter into it and did some other work. So my non-compete had expired and I reached back to clients that I had a good rapport with. Jerry reaching out to them, letting them know back into the business.

And if they ever had anything, how can I help? I had my own business, uh, you know, I was a self appointed CEO. It said so on my business card that I got at Kinko’s. So it must be true. And I just kept going forward.

Andrew: Okay, so then you’re on your own. You’ve get new clients, you’re building up your business. And at some point you said it in your book, uh, from suck to success. I just didn’t, you didn’t want to spend time on it. You, you wanted to get away from it. You put other people in charge and you went to take on another project.

What was it that you didn’t like about the business? And I understand that it seems like a responsible thing to do. You’ve hired professionals. They’re going to run it, but what was it about you that made you say I’ve got to step away from this recruiting company?

Todd: So for anybody who’s been a recruiter. Um, so if not been a recruiter, this may not land with your audience, but if you’ve been a recruiter, you’re a middleman you’re between someone who needs people as an employer and someone who’s looking for a job, they, they see you often as a necessary evil it’s it’s very much, I’ve got friends who are still in the business.

We call it a soul sucking experience where nobody’s happy. So the candidate feels like you’re taking money out of their pocket, even though you’re working for them for free and the employer who’s got to pay you. It is resentful. And they, and they treat the human being as if it’s a gear or a part. And when that part doesn’t work, somehow it’s your fault as the manufacturer, the recruiter, and it, it got very much, um, there was no joy in it. And so I’ve found that, you know, now that I’m coaching people, one of the things I love about it is that gratitude, appreciation that people express for a job well done. I like that. And as I, as I went through the, the, you know, I was, I mean, I owned diversified for 25 years. We’ve found with our internal staff, we have to use to have to do a lot of, um, mental gymnastics around the feelings of not being good enough.

I used to talk to them extensively about my, my battles with imposter syndrome, but also that how do we create a tribe internally within the organization so that we can weather the, these, these, these, you know, these outliers who are unappreciative of the work we did do. And I found that the people liked working for me.

They liked working for the company. They really didn’t like their jobs, which I thought was really fascinating because being a recruiter is really hard.

Andrew: And so you are also placing from what I can tell from the website, you are placing people in, um, in factories, in manual labor positions, right? Got it. And I could see then how it, how those clients were seeing the employees. They were, they were, uh, hiring through you as extensions of their machinery. All right.

So you said I’m going to step away to what, where were you spending your attention instead?

Todd: Um, I went into a space called employee leasing. Now it’s called the PEO and where people would put their P their, all their employees on our payroll. We’d lease them back. Then we’d run their payroll, their HR it. And what I liked about it was it didn’t have the highs and the lows of the staffing industry.

Once you got a client, they stayed for at least a year, but per contract, many clients stayed for an extended period of time because the change was painful for them. A lot of golden handcuffs in those relationships. Um, you know, staffing is very much like a mountain range. You’d play somebody on a Monday and you feel high.

You’d feel excited. You feel proud of your work, proud of your team, the person quits by Wednesday through no fault of your own. And then you start this misery churn all over again. Um, Going back to the space. We figured that we were in, we were placing a lot of general labor at one point, and we pivoted up into the skilled trade sector, higher pay wages, more reliable, more dependable, more increased demand, diminished supply over the course of time.

And so we figured we removed the model. We said, we’re going to rep the candidates because the clients are always going to, we just decided the class are basically biologic going to be always unappreciative. But if I can

Andrew: that hire through

Todd: yeah. Business that were. Yeah. So the candidates were like, we treat them like sports, you know, sports stars or actors or movie stars.

Like we’re gonna, you know, you’re my Tom cruise. You’re my Mike trout. Let me get you a better job. Let me get you. We averaged about 20% pay wage increase for that candidate because they didn’t know how to find a job. They knew how to weld. They knew how to run a machine. They knew how to manage a plane, but they didn’t want to find a job.

So we reversed the model. And that’s really, where is it talked about in the book we fund that inflection point of increased demand and diminished supply in that space made the Inc 5,006 time and got out of debt in eight years, all with the intention of reverse engineering, the process versus letting the clients just completely drive the marketplace for our

Andrew: recovered. How did you get to that low? Where was it that clients stopped paying you?

Todd: Yes. So you mentioned that I had hired these ex these, these. These people with a lot of staffing industry experience. Part of my imposter syndrome, as I have now reflected upon it was I’m going to hire people with more experience than me, because I always identified that experience equal talent equals success, using a sports analogy.

You know, I’d rather have Fernando tatties junior at 22 than, you know, some 35 year old dream and shortstop the dream. And shortstop’s got more experienced, but he’s not the next, you know, the next big superstar on the horizon. So I was, I was assigning. More weight and value to history and experience versus actual talent.

That was my mistake. And I realized since to realize that as I redid the company, um, so I hired these, these two gentlemen who a lot of these services, a lot of experience with Kelly services, which is a, you know, a huge national company. They were headquartered here in Detroit, in Detroit, brought them in, kind of turned the business over to them in many respects because the story I told myself was these guys combined had been doing this for 50 plus years.

And I’ve been doing this for like six. They must know no more than I did. And they were good on certain things, but they were, they were all about chasing the dream, chasing that they used to call them the whales. They want to companies that use, you know, 50, a hundred, 200 employees at any given times. And there’s only one, so many white whales in the, in the ocean.

And two, they really do dictate the terms. So we had two whales that went bankrupt on us and stuck us with other four other 600,000. They stuck us with, I think 245,000. That was unpaid money. Now a lot of companies can pivot off of that because they’re the, what they’ve got into that is a different than what a staffing company has got into that.

So what we added to that, so, so of the $242,000, I think it was yeah, two 40, two, 85 to 90% of that was money paid to the employees and money paid to the government and money paid to the insurance. So our margins were raised within, we couldn’t, it was like taking on water. We just could, it was, we, it was like getting hit by it by cannon ball that we couldn’t get out of the way of, um, my mistake, my part in that is I left the days outstanding, get too long because it kept trusting the salespeople who would say, Oh no, they always pay late.

They always pay late. They always pay late. And so that was my part to own, but again, I trusted trusted, but didn’t verify it would certainly have handled it much differently nowadays, but the reality was, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And it was extremely expensive, painful lesson.

Andrew: It seemed you, you were also too burned out to care about the details at that point,

Todd: That is also true.

Andrew: signed up for.

Todd: Well, it, it wasn’t no, in it, it was, again, it was in my mind, I had a definition of what success was going to be. I think I have a graphic in the book writer, you know, I thought success is going from point a to point B North to South. It’s a rocket

Andrew: A straight line. And from what I remember in the book, it was, it’s like a line that goes from the bottom left of the graph to the upper right. That’s success. And then you show right next to it. What it really is, is just this spirally thing.

Todd: Oh, my God. It’s the corkscrew roller coaster from hell. And I didn’t know that. So my perception again, that’s why I wrote the book for the 27 year old me. I didn’t know what I had signed up for. I thought I signed up for this rocket ship to the stars and I’m on this, this dovetailing, you know, one Cedar plane is going all over the place because in my mind, I knew from talking with my brother, do you have a quote unquote successful staffing company had to get $20 million in revenue.

So I was going to do that. I had a target. That’s what I was going to go for. And I didn’t care what collateral damage, whether it was, you know, struck stress and store stress and strife with my son, uh, relationships. Not paying attention to the margins on that 20 million, because I was just looking at the one number again, hearing me tell us, I’m like, Oh my gosh, what?

But I didn’t know. You know, back in 1997, if you think about it being an entrepreneur basically meant like you were, I was, I was the entrepreneurs too feisty to work for somebody. I had too many ideas, too many opinions. I was kind of a pain in the butts. We didn’t have Marcus Limonus in the profit. We didn’t have shark tank.

We didn’t have ink magazine and entrepreneur magazine, all these pieces of different. We didn’t have podcasts to inform us of what we were signing up for. So I got onto, I got into the Titanic, not knowing it was destined to run into the iceberg.

Andrew: It’s to me, it’s amazing how many people who I thought were doing well were at times doing terribly. The guy who I think about a lot is the founder of mercury bank. Now in mod, he was running Hayes app. I thought haze app was just a straight success and he’s such a level calm person. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him exuberant.

And I’ve definitely never seen him depressed. And it’s not until just before he did an interview with me recently that I had to say that he had to shake me essentially before the interview and say, Andrew, we didn’t, we were a mess. It wasn’t working for us with Hayes app. And then I looked at it and I realized, Oh yeah, of course it was supposed to be this thing that it was that, that it was five other things before he was able to sell it.

All right. So to, to. To get back. What you did was you said I’m going to let people go, everyone who works at the company, I’m going to start fresh or no longer going to be selling gears in a machine. We are now going to be starting brand new by hiring people who, by finding job candidates who have skills, who need to earn more for their skills, because they’re in biggest demand.

That was your big revelation.

Todd: Yes. And no. So the, the first revelation was to realize I didn’t have to have all the answers to all the problems all the time. And I hired, I hired a coach now, is it talking about, look, I hired my older brother because he just had a great exit. Just sold a big company. Um,

Andrew: you did say you hired her older brother, Greg, right? That’s his name?

Todd: Yeah. Greg.

Andrew: he wouldn’t just do it for free. You wouldn’t just say

Todd: So let’s talk.

This is a real, I love the question. We should talk about that because he did offer to do it for free. And I told him no. And let me tell you what I told him. No, because I knew somewhere, you talked about kind of like your internal thing about optimism. I knew somewhere in my misery, in my despair and my depressions.

I knew if I didn’t pay him, I wouldn’t listen to him. There was a little voice in my head saying, I won’t take him seriously. I won’t fix this problem. I won’t turn this business around. I won’t keep my house because I knew that I wouldn’t listen to him. And he even said, um, you’re my brother. I’ll, I’ll help you for no, I knew if I didn’t put skin into the game and if I didn’t invest in me and invest in the business and pay for it, then I just knew for whatever reason it was probably, it was probably the best instinct I had when I was 20.

And the 33. Yeah.

Andrew: how formal was it? How often were you meeting? What was the structure?

Todd: So I, I was paying him for a business, losing its ass. I was paying him a lot of money per month and I always paid him first.

Andrew: And it was every week you’d get on a call or was it every day?

Todd: It was every week. Um, and, and I mean, he’s my brother. So if I needed more, we, we get, we got more. Um, and he came out, he would come out once a quarter for awhile. And you know, the thing that I remember him coming out and we talked about like how I think a great coach asks great questions. And he said to me, you know, how did you get here?

And we kind of laid out all the problems and the people in my choices and their decisions and me not watching the, the, letting the inmates run, the asylum, all that stuff. What would you have done differently? And I laid out what I would’ve done differently. He’s like, huh. So you really didn’t know what to do. Why didn’t you do it? Great question at the end. Here’s what I said. I said I was so disconnected from the business. I was so resentful to the business and I wanted to have some, I wanted to be liked by my staff and I. And I wanted them to see me as a great boss. And did the look on his face? Like you gotta be kidding me.

Um, I mean, it still says that close my eyes and seeing that he’s like, that’s not what a good leader does, but I just read some article or some ideas somewhere about, you know, be the champion of your employees. What I missed in the article and whether it was there. And I don’t remember is people respect what the boss inspects set upfront expectations, lead your team, hold them accountable, hold yourself accountable, approach everything with massive curiosity like Greg was doing with me, get, get an understanding of what are the bottlenecks are in the organization.

You’re the CEO, remove the bottlenecks and let people do their jobs. I didn’t know any of that.

Andrew: When, when he asked you, what would you have done differently? I want to go and I don’t want to journal that tomorrow morning. I’m worried that if I do that, my answers to that are going to just be useless. Self-evaluation about the past and things I can change. How do you, how do I keep it from being that?

How do I keep it from how wasn’t it for you? A question of regret and resentment about what you couldn’t do in the past instead of an opportunity to find new, new things to do today.

Todd: So for me, you know, I I’d felt that I was kinda, you know, kinda just opened up the chest cavity and was laid bare to the world, going to, you know, somebody who I incredibly admire. I mean, I love my brother and I admire his work and his professionalism. And, and for him to say, what would you have done differently?

I kind of wanted to know, did I miss something when he said, yeah, you basically knew the right things. But your imposter syndrome, even your shitty committee, your, your desire to be like prevented you from doing the right things. That’s that was important. An important lesson for me to learn. So if I were to, if I were to write today about things, they were really lessons learned, they were and I’ve, and I’ve. And now at 52,

Andrew: as you’re, as you’re talking with the collar,

Todd: what I’ve learned is that it’s about the learning process. It’s about every, every lesson I got was a gift. And I remember saying to him, you know, he talked about the opening of the book is kind of like the world’s biggest explosion were sitting in the back of my office. I’m crying. And I was that I was a complete failure.

I remember him saying to me someday, you’ll look back on this. And you’ll have a greater appreciation about how far you’ve come. And I remember saying I’m never talking about this day ever again for the rest of my life. And now I talk about it every day. And so, as we thought, think about if you were to journal, what would you do differently?

First thing I would do is approach it with self-compassion because that’s actually, that’s what he gave me. He gave me compassion in that compassionate moment. He’s like, huh? So you D you know, he validated what I was doing. He dug deeper why I did, you know, what I was going to do? Was it basically the right answers?

Why didn’t I do that? We dug into that. He never shamed me. He never guilted me. He could pretty much tell I was the better at kicking my butt than he would’ve ever been. And he just, and that’s, I think the value having that outside perspective that he provided. So now internally, whatever question, whatever journaling you do have self-compassion so that you are able to learn from it and not be shamed and guilted by it.

Andrew: I think Todd also, it sounds a lot like what we used to do in school with those Harvard business case studies, those Harvard business cases, where they would set up an, an, a scenario that really existed and then ask you, how would you have dealt with it as a way of showing you, of helping you think through real business situations so that you can see that you can handle them when, when, uh, tough moments come in the future.

Uh, basically what you’re saying is it’s not about regrets. It’s about understanding what happened, analyzing it so that you can analyze what’s going on today and figure out what to do in the future. I think that’s what, what the benefit of that is

Todd: Yeah, that’s more the approach he took. He’s like, Hey, let’s do a post-mortem, let’s take a look. You know, like a case study back in school, let’s take a look at what you decisions you made when you, when you came to that fork in the road, you went this way, but you wanted to go that way. You know, you went to the right, why didn’t you go to the left?

Let’s talk about that. And let’s talk about some other decisions so that. No, if anything, it would be for me, you know, I think part of the job of being a coach is being a good teacher also, so that we can have the, you know, the it’s he had already done his hero’s journey. I mean, he just, he just exited from a company that was doing $600 million in revenue.

I was just starting my hero’s journey and, and for him to, to help me get some stuff and I didn’t have clearly a lot of self-awareness. So if you could give me some self-awareness in a positive way, like, Hey, what you would have done would have been the right decision versus yeah, it would have been the right decision.

What the hell? Why didn’t you do it? Hey, you didn’t do it. Help me understand what held you back from making that decision was much kinder and in Atlanta did much better.

Andrew: And then it helped you see that, uh, imposter syndrome, the itty bitty shitty committee, as you talked about that’s in your head, which you had a great illustration of in your book, which is like, I think it was all these different characters that go on in our heads that are talking to us at all, all the time.

I don’t think most people are aware that they have it. I don’t think most people are aware of their self-talk or their self images. For some people, it seems to be more visual. I just think it’s, it’s there. And it’s like a refrigerator that makes a lot of noise and you don’t notice that it’s making noise until it stops.

And then you realize, Oh, this thing has been broken and it’s just going off. Um, I think that’s what’s going on. So you get back on you then build this business. You, um, you get into the Inc 5,000. I actually am conf wanted to confirm it by going to ANC. And I could see it in here 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 20 2009.

And 2007 is when you were in Inc 5,000, right at your highest, what was the, uh, the revenue.

Todd: It’s a little under 9 million. So usually 20 is my using 20 is my benchmark. I got halfway towards the fictitious goal of the, the goal, the, the golden prize.

Andrew: Because somewhere, I forget where you said it. I think it was in the early part of the book. You said that it’s not valuable to have a staffing company until it hits 20 million. Is that it? What

Todd: That was the story I was telling myself

Andrew: Ah, okay.

Todd: that was my, that was my, what I was trying to illustrate for the reader was, you know, we, we often talk about, well, we need to have goals. We need to have objectives. We need to be striving, you know, be hags, whatever you want to call them. And I was trying to illustrate my only Beehag my only goal was $20 million.

So that’s it, that’s a win or lose. That’s an expectational goal. I either hit it or I did it as I pivoted. And as I’ve matured as a leader now, as a coach, I’ve realized the more intentional I am, I’m actually literally using a different part of my brain. So. Uh, as it, as the book opens, it’s written by a gentleman by the name of Dr.

Danny Friedland, he’s my current coach. So I coach people and I get coached. So my Shaw, my sock continues to be sharpened. And I remember when I hired him talking about going specifically to your self-talk porch. And he’s like, if you just talk to yourself differently, you will literally reprogram and like your brain.

I said, well, this is like some Tony Robbins, mumbo jumbo stuff, you know? And he’s like, all right, come to San Diego, I’ll put you on a doctor, I’ll put you on an MRI MRI machine. And I will ask you questions and we will record your brain firing in different parts. I’m like, Oh, that’s cool. Yeah. I still got to, I want to go do that.

So I paid and I went and we did that because what he, cause he couldn’t get through my stubbornness and my pride and ego is still at the time that. There’s a different way to do things. And, you know, we can muscle through things or we can whip, you know, sports action, you know, we can muscle the things you get whip action.

There’s all these other ways to do it. But when you, when you’re literally using, so the, the expectational part of our brains really fires primarily in the reptilian part of your brain in the amygdala, you want the intentional part of your brain, the creative part of your brain to be, to be used as often as possible, especially as, as an entrepreneur, I think, and that’s used that’s in the frontal prefrontal cortex and the way he talked to me, it was very clear.

Like you’re firing here, you’re firing here. What so? And I, and he was brilliant. He was like, what would you say to yourself under these circuits? So I wrote out, so that’s why he’s great. He says, I’m going to ask you the questions. You ask the questions and you can just see my brain firing differently. So I was my own worst enemy sometimes.

Andrew: And so just because a different part of your brain is activated when you’re thinking negative thoughts versus more useful thoughts, what does that mean? It just, it does not mean that just a different part of your brain is working.

Todd: But it’s the, it’s the source, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s like eating food, right? You gotta get, you get good carbs and bad carbs that you, your brain is going to give you different information from different hemispheres. And there’s that awareness around that. And then the decisions and the choices I’m going to make off of that, um, went back to what the Greg’s conversation with me.

Why did I do what I did and why didn’t I do it differently? Um, had he been in critical parent mode? I may have shut down, but because he was an inquisitive mode and curiosity mode, I was more open to that. So it’s the it’s demands and resources. You know, as a lot of demands are placed on us as CEOs and entrepreneurs, if our resources don’t match that we’re going to start operating, they go down and we start operating in a different part of our brain hemispheres, which caused a different result in those different results, different action, different results.

It’s all, it’s not the brains, all different as a misery to answer that.

Andrew: Why did you leave the business? Why aren’t you running diversified industrial staffing now?

Todd: Um, great question. So about a dozen years ago, I met Simon Sinek before he wrote his first book and he, we did two years to figure out my two words improve lives. I brought that to diversify. That was kind of gasoline on the fire. It really did help. Um, what I learned for me is if something gives me energy, I want to do more of it.

If something depletes and drains my energy, like an energy vampire, I want to do less of it. Whether it’s an activity, whether it’s a human being or in this case, it was my business. Um, as I’m honest with myself, I could be a recruiter. I could be a CEO and there’s parts of it. I absolutely enjoy it, but there’s a lot of it that was really stressful for me.

And it took toll on me, took toll on relationships when I would go out and speak when I would go out and teach when I would go out. And, you know, I coached informally for 15 years. I’m a part of EO entrepreneurs organization. I did a lot of volunteering within the accelerator portion of EO to help members go from point a to point B to qualify.

It’s kinda like a farm system. And I remember the first year I did that, I had six entrepreneurs for them within a year. Got it to EO qualifications. And they were very appreciative of the contributions I made to them. I got energy from that and I would go to the office the next day and I’d be talking to my staff.

I mean, that was really, I’m bouncing all over the place. All right, now let’s talk about staffing. And it was just like the, it was just like suck the air right out of me. And the more I did that, I’m talking to my coach about it, but I will tell you that there was a pivotal moment, five years ago. As I gave a speech to a bunch of high school kids, um, about, about how to find a job and some other different things.

And it was two hours from my house. I drive out there and the principal greets me at the door. We’re going through this stuff, go on stage. But 15 minutes into a 60 minute presentation, power goes out, lights, go out, lose my mic. I just kept going. And I got more excited and more passionate about the message.

I got the kids involved, sort of doing like Q and a right in the middle of waiting, you know, kind of buying time to the power came up and lost. My slides didn’t care. Just kept going, get teachers involved. I got done standing ovation. There’s a picture of the principal coming up and giving me a hug afterwards and whispers and was like, Oh my gosh, I thought you’re going to die up here.

I’m so glad this turned out. Okay. And he was just so genuinely sweet. Right? So we got to our ride home. I got a call from my coach. I talked to him. It was an hour call 45 minutes. I don’t think he said other than hello, nothing because I was breaking down what I did and how it felt and the energy and the kids and the

He goes, let me stop you because we’re almost out of time pay attention to this day. This is the most excited I’ve ever heard you. How do you get more of this in your life and less of what you currently have?

Andrew: And that’s why you, you pivoted to this. I wonder why didn’t you sell the business?

Todd: I didn’t sell the business because at the time I was married to do my vice-president, we’d been a couple for 13 years. She worked for me for 10. So before anybody’s listening, like, Oh, well let’s say someone’s, you know, fishing in the company pond. It was the act exact opposite. Um, and our relationship was coming to an end for a lot of reasons.

So she was going to run the business and I was going to exit and coach and speak and, and live my life by design. And in that process, I had some choices I had to make. And so ultimately what I decided was my, my health and my happiness was more important than anything else. Um, I had been there, done that and survived it.

I figured another economic interruption was on the horizon. And I had talked with my team, let them know where I stood, helped them all land other jobs. And I ended up shutting the business down, um, because my heart wasn’t in it anymore. And if the

Andrew: wasn’t a sellable business.

Todd: it wasn’t a sellable business because I didn’t really work very hard to try to sell it.

Um, I, the employees I had would have had to go on the sale. I felt weird doing that. Um, my accident Lisa had already found another job for a competitor. She was honoring her. It could be respect her for that. Um, I always tell people I’m successfully divorced because we still could have a communication and it’s not like, you know, Rome is burning in Nero’s fiddling.

Um, And my heart just wasn’t and I had gotten some client coaching clients. I’d gotten some speaking gigs. Um, I was gone a lot. We tried a virtual model for a little while and it just, it, it it’s kinda like, you know, I always compared it to kind of like a rock band, you know, all the original members had left, but me, uh, nobody really wanted to play our hits anymore, but nobody really wanted to write any more new songs.

So that kind of put us in a spot. Um, new people were, you know, the nice people. They’re all nice people. So I took my, my number one recruiter. I hired him as my agent for speaking gigs, Jeremy, uh, cause you’re really good. I’ll come work for me. He’s like, Oh my gosh, that’d be awesome. So we worked together until the pandemic and there’s no more stages to speak from.

So he’s now started his own company and we still keep in touch. You know, for me, it was always important to, to enter these in these relationships in a healthy way versus finger-pointing and misery and drudgery. So that’s why I say I’m successfully divorced. Um, so that, you know, people understand that. These are all choices I made for a long time. I felt like the business was kind of controlling my life

Andrew: But what about this? It feels like if you were still running the business, even if it was just limping along, it would have given you a better sense of self. What maybe not for you for most people to say, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m an entrepreneur. I run this business. It makes me this many millions of dollars in revenue.

Now you should hire me as a coach. You don’t need that.

Todd: The flip that was when I w when I was doing both, people said, well, how much time are you going to have for me? If you got to go run this other company. And I’m like, Oh, and I remember talking to my coach, and there’s a, there’s a philosophy out there. If you’re going to end something, you know, I tried to bleed it out.

I tried it, you know, I tried to cut down, cut down a tree with a butter knife. I’m just kinda chipping away, chipping away chip. I hadn’t really committed. And he goes, you may want to consider you call it, you call it, burn the ships, which is a, is a famous story from, from days when Karen was constantly on or somebody landed on and play

Andrew: apparently came, landed burner ships so that his men would have to fight or die their fight to win or die.

Todd: Well, because I found that the way my brain works and the way I operate I’m either all in or I’m out. I don’t, I don’t do the middle. Well, it just don’t. So like when I coach my clients in a very active model, I want to be in the firefight with them at their worst moments. And I want to hear about their best moments so I can be of support to them.

And I, and I found that when I was trying to live between the two worlds, I was just doing a lot of dating, but I wasn’t getting married to either side. And it’s like, something’s got to change it. And once I made the decision, you know, it was scary. Oh my God was I freaking out, I put up a nest egg. So I knew I had a runway.

And I remember when I really decided I did the it guy model again, like I talk about the book. And every time I did it, it just kept coming back to the same manager to improve lives. The best way for me to improve lives is to coach, to coach CEOs. And I found in the, in the coaching space anyways, not a lot of coaches had actually been a CEO for 25 years.

And there’s something that a lot of coaches out there that had gotten out of the debt that I had gotten out of restructured the business, grown it to the height I’d grown into it. Certainly I agree with a team. It wasn’t all me, but I’d been through that those Wars versus buy, you know, buy my course for 300 bucks and we’ll, we’ll teach you everything you need to know.

That’s why I wrote the

Andrew: I learned from Tony Robbins is what they tend to do. Right. They recycle somebody else’s all right. You mentioned a guy I’m going to come back and ask you about that specifically. Let me do a quick spot for my sponsor. It’s rippling, and you know what, it kind of connects to something that you said in your book, Todd, you talk about the, uh, the founder of interview valet and how you said, give me a list of things you don’t want to do.

And one of the things that he did not want to do is something that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t want to do, which is payroll. And I totally relate to that. It is not just time-sucking to get that stuff in there. It’s time-sucking also at the end of the year to make sure that all the paperwork is set up and that you hit the deadlines for not just the IRS, but for the people who are working for you to make sure that they get their W2’s make sure that they get their, their 10 90 nines.

And so on the beauty of rippling is they make it all easy, no more hassles for the entrepreneur, no more hassles for the HR person. Whoever’s running a payroll is going to have a much better life once they start with replica, because their software makes it easy. To onboard people to make sure that you understand that you have everything you need write down even to the t-shirt size in case you want to send your team members a t-shirt and not just make sure that you’ve got their social security, that you know, where in the world they are, that you’ve categorized them right as 10 99 or W2 that you know, where they live so that you’re in compliance with all the laws, but also so that you get them access to their email account, all within rippling, just one box you check off and you can give them an email account.

If you want them to have access to your Assana or your Slack or whatever other software you use, it’s all done within rippling. As soon as they sign up, as soon as they’re on board, they get everything and they have a home-base within your company to log into the apps that you’ve given them access to.

That’s part of your company, to make sure that they check in and see how much money they’re paid, what went, where, and frankly, if things don’t work out, Todd. To let them go in a way that’s organized for them. So they know what’s next and they know what they, what they’re getting financially, but also organized for your company.

So you can know which app. So you need to take, um, uh, account and login information away from, and it’s all done within rippling to make it easy that all in one HR platform make your life so easy. I bet even the founder of interview valet, let me add them so I could tell him about this. He might add payroll back to his list of things he does want to do once he sees rippling.

If you’re out there and you don’t believe me, challenge me, go and talk to the people at rippling. They’ll do every coaching call with you coaching demo, but they’re going to show you how their software works. Answer every question you’ve got and see if it makes sense for you. If you go to, they’ll do that for you right now.

That’s I’m so grateful to them for sponsoring and also I’m a customer there. So I’m happy that they’re, that they’re doing well for me. Yeah, great fricking service. Um, frankly, they’re great for conservatives because the founders is, uh, is one of the top entrepreneurs in the Valley and also they’ve raised a ton of money, so they could basically add everything in there and have full on automation.

Todd: Having having cash I can attest to having cash does help.

Andrew: Ooh. Um, I, they they’re doing a lot. All right. It was a guy. One of the things you talk about is if a guy is this combination of what, how would you, I’m a crossing, right. I looked at your eyes and it seemed

Todd: yeah. No, it’s like a guy. Um, so it’s a con well, the model I like is really layered. So for the, for the simplest version of it, uh it’s, it’s important to one spell it correctly. It’s I K I G a I ikigai it’s Japanese. And it’s essentially, what do you, what are you essentially the bet in theory, the best in the world app?

What, what does the world need and how do you get paid for it? It’s just this simple, but I layer other pieces on, in the book. So I think there’s other, I found that there can be false positives in the, in the diagnostic. If you do the, the more comprehensive version of naked guy, then you can really get to the root cause of what, what do you want to do with your life?

For me, it was a, what do you want to do with your life? And so the AI thing really, um, helped me synthesize it in breakdown. Did I want to improve lives? And so, as I was going through that model for myself, it was never, I wanted to improve lives through the staffing company. It just wasn’t and part of what I wanted it.

And I believe in part of what I teach my clients is expressing gratitude and appreciation. Um, Shawn Achor. I want to give credit where credit was due. I saw him speak and someone raised their hand and said, well, if you’re feeling depressed and you can’t go to bed, Oh my gosh, that totally landed with me.

What are some things you can do? And the first thing he said is you can do massive gratitude appreciation. And I said, okay, I work in a business where nobody appreciates what we do. I work in a business where no one gives gratitude for anything we do. We give it internally within the organization. I mean, our turnover was really low because we did take care of people and where they took care of us, the external, it just didn’t work.

And so, you know, I kept thinking, you know, I need to do something different. I want to do something different and I don’t want to be doing this for the rest of my life. I want to go do something different. I used to talk to my, my CEO friends. I said, you know, it’s interesting in employee can quit our company.

Uh, and they, what do we give them and give them a going away party. So I’m going to give you a party to take all of your art, rip all of your knowledge and all of your skills to go work for my competitor. Interesting model. Um, but what, what can, what do we get to, well, we get to get paid last. We get to have all the fiduciary responsibilities and we get to do do jobs that are soul sucking in misery.

My buddies who were all CEOs said, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, we don’t have jobs that are miserable. Yeah. The automate that other stuff is true. So I’m thinking, Oh my gosh, I am like the pink unicorn in this room. I found that I wasn’t living my best self because I wasn’t doing work that I found enjoyable and I didn’t do work that I loved.

So I had to make a change for myself.

Andrew: Finding the part that we’re passionate about. I get the finding part that I’m passionate about. The other parts are tougher. How do you know what people are willing to pay for that also matches with our, with my passion.

Todd: Great question. So I I’m blessed. I live in Detroit. I know Gina Whitman who wrote a great book called traction EOS. So I spent, so I spent time before I left. I spent time doing a life by design exercise. So I went and spent time with the EOS coaches. I had a coach. Um, I went, spent time with Verne Harnish’s people at scaling up learned from them.

So I did a lot of beta testing. And then I stumbled across his video. One day on YouTube from these guys from Stanford, where they actually talked about how do you do a life by design? And I’m watching these guys in about 15 minutes. I’m like, that’s what I’ve been doing. I didn’t know I had been doing it.

So I was getting massively curious. I was beta testing and talking to a lot of different people. I was volunteering the hell out of things and giving my time here and giving my time there, working with the accelerator members in EO, helping them. And I found through that process, I was getting energy. I was loving it.

I was getting positive feedback. I was getting negative feedback and things I could do better. Great. And I just was, I was more and more passionate about it.

Andrew: So what you were saying to me, to anyone who’s listening to us is because I’m in a place where I want to find more stuff that matters that I could be doing. You’re saying experiment by. By giving more of my time to different projects to see what people appreciate, and then go into that. Like, what is it that I’m enjoying that people are appreciating.

Todd: Right. What am I enjoying that? And they’re finding value in, I mean, when someone comes to me in the accelerator program is going to $700,000 company. We, we, we, in a year we tune them up to 1.1 million. They were super appreciative. They didn’t know what they didn’t know. And I talk and I always speak from experience.

You know, that we talked about this earlier. You know, a lot of coaches use the Tony Robbins model and Tony is great. He, you know, I ran a business. I can speak from experience. I’ve almost missed payroll. When you can’t find money to, to, to run your payroll through rippling, I can probably help you figure out a way to find it.

Or I know banks that will give you short. I know how to do that because they’ve been there. I don’t go to a book. I don’t call my upline. I don’t call the whole office and get ideas. I take you through the process and I walk with you every step of the way. So when you run into a bottleneck, I’m there for you.

The flip of that is I also talked about. And work with the coaching clients a lot around their mindset around issues, why they don’t do what they say they’re going to do. So we do the it guy piece. We come up with their purpose, inevitably, every single time, every single one of the Andrew won’t do what they say they’re going to do.

And I asked them, why don’t you?

Andrew: you’ve got clients, you’re working with them. They find. And their purpose

Todd: They, they, they identify their

Andrew: anything about it.

Todd: Right.

Andrew: Okay. Why?

Todd: Great question. And there they’re all have the same answer. It’s all individual, but it’s all an internal thing. It’s I can’t fire somebody because nice people don’t fire people. Um, as a child, I was told I was never good enough. So the, the, the, the financial dreams or the hope, my ideal dream home, is it within my grasp, even though the numbers say it totally is

Andrew: so that’s the mindset that’s causing the problem.

Todd: so a lot of coaches are prescriptive and they’ll teach you a process which is needed, which I will do. Second. What I will do first is I will get you aligned with what the hell do you want? And why do you want it? So someone says to me, I want to make a million dollars a year. Perfect. Totally doable. I want to validate that because it might be doable.

I don’t know. I don’t know you well enough yet. Why do you want to make a million dollars? And we start walking them down the ladder and keep going. And I keep going and I keep going and I keep going and I don’t take the surface answer. So always tell me more, tell me more, tell me more, because I knew that I didn’t file bankruptcy back in 2006 and $600,000 in debt, because I didn’t want to let my kid down and I don’t want to let my kid down because he told him we don’t quit things.

So I couldn’t quit because then he, then he could go quit football and then he could go put wrestling and then he could go quit school and they could go quit girl. You could quit. No. We’re going to, we’re going to find a way out of this. So it wasn’t that I wanted to satisfy the bank. Yeah. What they were on the list, but they weren’t the main driver.

My driver was my son. My driver was that relationship. So I, as a coach has to figure out what Andrew’s driver is or what Tom’s driver is or what Jessica’s driver is to get you anchored in to doing more than you think you’re capable of doing to get you what you are, where you are.

Andrew: Ah, okay, got it. Got it. So you’re finding that anchor to then use as the driver to get me to take action, but in order to, to figure out where to direct my action, it’s find out what do I love? What, um, what am I the best in the world at? And then the, and now I think that you can go internal for, and then what will people pay you for your answer to, how to do that was for yourself and for us is devote your time to things for free.

See what people appreciate enough that they’re grateful for. Maybe even, maybe not even for free, just devote your time to different things, to see what people appreciate enough to either pay for or, or think.

Todd: Well, and one other piece and why are you so using Tom from interview valet, Tom believes that his, his core belief as a human being and I spent years with him now, his core belief is that relationships are the greatest currency in relationships, change the world. He creates relationships through podcast interviews.

He creates relationships in, in, in commerce, through connecting people through podcasts interviews. He didn’t get into the podcast interviewing space because Oh, podcasts are cool. And I want to go after that, that area. He’s like, I want to create more relationships in this world because I have a core belief that relationships are currency.

How do I

Andrew: who books, guests, he booked you here, and he’s got this whole process to make sure that I was prepared to have you on. And so you’re saying he books, guests on podcasts, not because that’s where the money is, but because he believes in connecting the guest with the audience, the guest, with the host, he has this inner need to connect people.

All right. I

Todd: He’s a CA yeah. And so then, well, how do you figure out what, then you go through the mechanisms of trying to figure out what to charge all those different pieces. Um, when I’m coaching people, you know, I tell everybody, I said, I’m an acquired taste. I am not a good coach for everyone. Uh, here, here’s where I Excel.

If you’re, but if you’re someone who sees coaching, for example, as an expense and not an investment, I am not the coach for you. And that’s okay. A lot of it too is it’s, it’s letting people know that not everything is going to be honky, Dory, not everything’s going to be a great fit, but if you hear something, you feel something I can tell you this, every client who’s ever hired me has hired me before we’ve ever had a conversation.

Because they hear something, they experienced something, they read something that I’ve said or done something lands with them. They want to learn more about it. They’re 80% closed before I ever even talked to them because it’s about being transparent. It’s about being authentic. It’s about being real, at least in my case.

Andrew: The book is going to be a good way for you to find people it’s been doing well.

Todd: Yeah. Crazy. Huh?

Andrew: yeah.

Todd: See, there’s my imposter syndrome. It just made it, it made a guest appearance.

Andrew: What are the crazy part that, where you just blurted that out, but, um, what are you doing to promote the book?

Todd: Um, so we, we did, uh, Amazon pre-sale best seller campaign. We got number one in six, six

Andrew: mean? What’s the Amazon reseller campaign.

Todd: what you do is you announced to Amazon that you’re, you’re going to be launching a book. You, you registered in their system and then you do a pre-sale campaign to get people, to, to buy an advanced copy and they pay for it.

And the more advanced copies you can sell, it drives ranking. There, there are time for, so then at that point I kind of understood it. Then I just hired a company to help me do it again. I do like five things in life really well. Rest of my life was totally outsourced. I kid you not. Um, and so they, they, they manager, they tracked it.

And then what I did is I reached out to about 300 of my closest friends and I asked them, would you please buy a copy of my book? I asked for help. And. I didn’t realize I had so many friends, like yeah. A bunch of people bought a bunch of books. I’m like, how cool is that? Um, drove the status, but from there, because the book, if I don’t, if I break even on the book in the course of my lifetime, that would be great.

The book is a money maker for me. The book is to get the message out there. So it serves others. It’s servant leadership. You know, I learned, especially during COVID that the more I give, the more I gain, I talked to you, 42 CEOs in 67 days for free volunteering around the globe for 30 minutes in each conversation, I got zero clients from it.

I get zero. From there. My business, my coaching practice grew 300% because those 42 people became my best sales force and they told their friends about it. Like, Hey, that guy could probably help me. Or it’s just, I really do believe in a, more of a mindset of abundance and scarcity. So I, I love to promote the book I do doing podcasts.

I did the presale campaign. Um, I just got contacted by fast company. They want some content, Harvard, Harvard business review wants some content. I’m like, Holy cow. You know, my mom has been deceased for about 11 years now when I told my mom that her kid got something in the Harvard business review. I next time they come over for Sunday dinner, I have a feeling.

It would be my favorite dish just saying,

Andrew: Uh, the baseball is over your shoulder. I keep looking at them. This is a wild collection. I didn’t even realize that that was a baseball because they’re just like polka dots all over the wall.

Todd: Yeah. So I’m a huge baseball guy. I baseball for me is very much a metaphor for business and a metaphor for life because you’re successful in baseball. If you fail seven out of 10 times as a hitter, you hit 300 and there you go. Um, and so, yeah,

Andrew: are all signed balls behind you.

Todd: yeah, yeah. I’ve got about give or take about 300 and then I get jerseys and I got baseball cards.

I’m just, you know, so when I was working at the recruiting company, you know, I always say someday, I’m going to have a home office where it’s going to be my Zen garden, so to speak, it’s going to be my, my place of Quan, my place of calm. And now I’ve actually got that. And it’s just, you know, I, I literally come downstairs, walk into my office and I start my day.

You know, when we enter a conversation day, that’ll be the end of my day and I’ll go outside of the living room. It’s just, I, I, this is my happy place to be. I look at it all. There’s always a story. Baseball’s one of the great.

Andrew: possession emotionally.

Todd: Great question because usually people ask me what the most valuable one is. So I’ll tell you that my most prized one emotionally, so I still play competitive baseball.

As we were talking about it. I got a split lip because I got baseball practice. The other day, I got hit by pitch or hit, hit by a ball, split my lip. Um, so I still play on 52 for anybody cares. So it’s not like you don’t mean a lot of 52 year old retired CEO, coach baseball players. It’s just kind of a, I’m kind of a unicorn in that world.

And I still play baseball because I fricking love it. Even on the bad days, I still love it. And one of my business gifts, so 2006, massive mess, massive problems, massive issues too. It was 2008 businesses turning around businesses, turning around. And my coach, my brother with fingers never celebrate the victories.

You’re still beating yourself up for the sins of the past. And so we used to call me, he goes, I’m going to challenge you, do something nice for yourself. Said fine. I always want to go to tigers fantasy camp. Haven’t played baseball since 10th grade. I’m going to go down there and I go, we hit our goal or my mind has earned like a sales kind of say, or the reward.

I go went to fantasy camp. 15 times started playing competitively. Now I travel and play in Arizona and play all over the place, but I’d never faced a professional pitcher before until about four, four or five years ago, playing, playing ball down in Arizona or done a Lakeland tigers fantasy camp, the Brie and Joel’s and Maya Joe’s.

My dad just retired. He’s like 33. I’m 48. He still throws really hard. Now I see fast pitching all summer, so it didn’t bother me. And, um, we practiced against Joel, my buddy, Chris crushing the ball. Chris is a great player. I come and Joel goes, Hey, where do you want to sit? Like right in the center of my bat, just like he did for the previous guy.

Boom hits me with the pitch. And he doesn’t just like, there’s a picture of my arm went blue from my elbow to my shoulder. He hit me. Second pitch hits me again. He goes, Oh, I’m really sorry about the first one. The second one slept. So we become friends, you know, like, Oh, I won’t poke that bear again. We win the camp championship.

Saturday morning, you play against the former pros. You play a game against them. It’s and so it’s me, my friend, Kevin, and my friend, Chris are the first three hitters because we want Zumiez pitching. He looks like he’s like, I’m pitching to you. None of this fantasy camp stuff I’m pitching to you. Like, let’s go. I had a 13 pitch at bat off of him. He’s throwing 85 easily.

Andrew: mean? 13 pitch at bat?

Todd: So he threw 13 pitches. Cause usually, you know, he’s good and we suck and he’ll usually throw three pitches strikes you out and you sit down, I’m falling off, I’m battling and I’m battling and I’m battling find the last pitch I get out early on and I pull it to the third basement, throws it over.

The first base I’m out. First base is giving me a standing of it. She goes, dude, like that was awesome. Like you really, like, you were all in. I’m like, yeah, he goes, here’s the ball. He gives me the ball. Joel signs. The ball puts the data on there and he goes, uh, first camper to ever like, get, get, uh, what’d he put, get what on the ball?

Wouldn’t bet. Next year he come back. Same scenario. We win again. Joel’s pitching at us again. And he’s like, because he was our coach. He’s like, okay, I’m really pitching to you three knuckleheads. No problem. So he’s like he wants to throw change ups or anything to catch your stands up because catchers Mikey, Mike would have been about 62 at the time.

So I can’t see the ball. No, no, just throw it straight fastball. So he’s pulling it on the black. I put the bat out there and there’s a picture of me, like just diving into the ball Hewitt in the right field. I get a hit, everybody stands up and cheers. They give me the ball in the middle game. Joel signs, the ball all has no value to me or to anyone but me because it was like an accomplishment.

It was a story. It’s. I mean, it’s somebody who’s had, you know, you sort of baseball, literally 104 miles an hour. And I got a hit off him, not at his best. Certainly, you know, I always appreciated the guys who came and spent time with us there. They were significantly better athletes than we ever were, but it’s just, you know, to, to say that happened was, it was such a, um, such a rewarding, it was a satisfying journey to get there. So I appreciate you asking.

Andrew: I didn’t even know this thing existed. I started Googling it as we were talking tiger fantasy camp. It’s available. It’s like it’s, it’s a Detroit tigers. They have their own fantasy. All right, thanks so much for being on here. I didn’t get it. Oh, it’s actually not that expensive. About $4,000.

Um, plus Florida sales tax to go do this.

Todd: Yeah, but when you do it, when you do it 15 times, maybe you got a bit of a, an addiction.

Andrew: I

Todd: It’s just a college education. I mean,

Andrew: You know what I once did. Um, I wanted to, to get into cycling and I was kind of curious about triathlons. So I signed up for this triathlon weekend where the winners of the Ironman are training you. And I loved it because they don’t have the ability to hold back. Not that they don’t care, not that they’re just passing, but they bring out the best out of you, just because if they’re going to run, they’re going to run.

If they’re going to cycle, they’re going to cycle. Um, and, uh, it’s, it made me a much better cyclist. That one weekend was way better than any, if you combine all the other biking I’ve done in my life. And compared to that one weekend, I got more out of that weekend. And

Todd: That’s awesome. Good for you. Good for you.

Andrew: more of that.

Actually. I do how people get coaches much faster than I do. I think about it as a last minute thing, but I’m trying to get better. Like I just got into it. Guess I said, I’m just going to hire a coach to get me to play better.

Todd: So, so that you might find this funny. So I mentioned, I still play competitive baseball at my senior citizen advantage stage, and I know I’m the senior citizen because I qualify for ARP.

Andrew: Okay.

Todd: So I hired a hitting, I have a hitting coach, so not only do I have a personal coach, Danny free, then I have a coach for my relationship from, you know, cause I can’t coach my significant other that’s that’s toxic.

That’s not a good plan for anybody listening. Don’t do that. And I have a baseball coach B and he’s young, he’s like 32, but he played college ball and he looks at my swing and he helps me get better. Because again, like I said earlier, if I’m going to do something, I, you didn’t have to go all in or not do it.

So if I’m gonna play ball, I’m going to get a coach. I’m going to get better. I’ll never be as good as the guys who have had baseball cards and that’s okay. But I want to be the best version of it that I can be. And that’s what I tell my clients like, yeah, I can’t talk to you this week. So I’m going to, I’m going to play down there.

Good to play in Phoenix. They’re like, Oh, you’re playing softball. Like, no, I don’t play softball. I play hardball.

Andrew: Look at my lip. You’ll see what

Todd: Yeah. Look at that.

Andrew: His lip has been hit. All right. The book for anyone who wants to go check it out, it’s from, uh, suck to success. The guide for extraordinary entrepreneurship. Todd Palmer. Thanks for being here. I want to thank the two sponsors. One of them. I didn’t even do the ad for, I’m not going to charge them of course, but I’m grateful to them.

HostGator, thank you so much for sponsoring and rippling. If your knee, if you need to pay your people, manage, uh, their software and really make it easy on yourself so that it doesn’t become one of your not to do items. Go to, And they’ll show you their software.

You’ll be blown away by what they built over there. All right, thanks so much for being here

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