How running a truck accessory company with an e-commerce culture led to $100M ARR

I’ve never been in a pickup truck my entire life. But that’s no excuse to not know about the company today’s guest built and sold.

Scott Bintz is the founder of RealTruck, an e-commerce pickup truck accessory company. He sold it to TruckHero.

In the e-commerce space, we can learn a lot from a company who is selling large, unwieldy, physical things like truck accessories.

I invited him here to talk about how he did it.

Scott Bintz

Scott Bintz


Scott Bintz is the founder of RealTruck, an e-commerce pickup truck accessory company.


Full Interview Transcript

Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses for an audience of real entrepreneurs. And I got to tell you something, if you listen to me, you probably already know. I’m a New Yorker. I literally have never been in a pickup truck my whole life. I remember just loving that I could get around in cabs, I finally moved to San Francisco and I felt like I had to have a car. I bought a Prius.

It’s still though no excuse for me to not know about the company that today’s guest started. His name is Scott Bintz. He is the founder of Real Truck. It’s an e commerce pickup truck accessory company that he sold to Truck Hero. And the reason I say it’s no excess no excuses successful company in an area of the world that you know in ecommerce selling hard, big physical things we didn’t know about it. How did I not know about it? Someone who, who studies this stuff, partially because his story is not constantly making the top of TechCrunch he’s not on The cover of Fortune magazine. And I’m fascinated by companies like that and entrepreneurs like that. There are two things that I want to find out about in this interview. Number one, how did he come up with his idea by starting with technology, not necessarily with people. Usually in my interviews, I find that people will find a pain point a thing that they empathize with their customers. And then they find technology to solve it. He kind of saw that technology was was changing the world, and it was internet. And they said, Let’s see if I could apply this to the real world. And I want to understand the way that he used technology to understand what his customers were going through and empathize with them, and then build a business that grew. And the second thing that I want to probe with him is, is culture. We talk a lot about culture. A lot of people start these lists of things that they stand for, frankly, we do. And then I’ll talk about myself. I have this list of stuff. We put it together five years ago, four years ago in a Google Doc, I even put an emoji at the beginning of the Google Doc so that it rises up to our Google folder. Nobody looks at it. Nobody follows it. Nobody does it. Scott had a similar situation. It didn’t work out. And then when it did when he made a few changes, and it did work out, his company took off and we’ll find out what happened. All right, I invited him here to talk about all those things. And this interview is sponsored by two companies you’ve heard me talk about endlessly because they get great results, so they keep sponsoring. The first is called Host Gator for hosting your website. The second is called Toptal for hiring a developer. Scott, good to see you.

Good to see you, Andrew.

Hey, you didn’t tell our producer what you sold the company for what your revenues were. I want to hit you with that hard question right away the one that you didn’t tell our producer. What is it? Can you give me a sense of how big you got this business?

Well, you know, we started in a basement and it grew kind of each year it grew. We had one tough year where we had when the gas prices went through the roof in 2007. In an age where we had to tighten the belt, but my grew to over 100 million in sales and probably not going to discuss what I sold it for but ultimately, my last I sold in 2015 I still have a tick of equity and truck hero not much to have an opinion but the and then worked there for a while longer initially taking the company and handing it off to the next leader and then I went to the corporate world briefly to help rebuild the Truck Hero factory website and set up a digital marketing web team for them. And then I was been gone doing other things so

And now you’re an author of the book is called principles to fortune crafting a culture to massively grow a business. You know what I wonder about you? Everything about you so laid back so comfortable with everything that I did before. I wonder why You would put the effort into putting a book like this together, you don’t need to be a guru, you generated good sales, you’re not looking to build a cult following what do you Why do you need to write this book? Why do you need everyone out there to understand the value of culture?

Well, I think, you know, initially when I, it RealTruck, we, we kind of stumbled along and we were growing and it was exciting to be an e commerce company and doing cool things and, you know, breaking records and, and then there came a point where it wasn’t fulfilling.

And so kind of got to looking around at other companies and kind of first, you know, first we started out as a pickup company that a accessory company that sold accessories online, then we evolved into an e commerce company that happened to sell Truck Accessories. Then over time, we kind of evolved to a company on a mission to make people’s lives better. And hey, you know, if you want to get your Truck Accessories from us, you can do That’s really cool. So I think it’s it was kind of a evolution. So.

So what you’re saying to me is, look, this thing changed your life. Understanding culture made this business feel less like a business and a thing that you go to everyday just because you’re because you started it and more of a mission that you’re passionate about. And now you want to spread that the gospel to us. And I’m here, I want to listen to it. Let’s build up to how you got to that because again, this is an issue that I’ve been struggling with myself. You’re a guy who I don’t I didn’t understand why you had why you before you did this, why you even had a job because you’re so entrepreneurial. And then I realized it. Let’s talk about your entrepreneurial background first. As a kid, you had a bunch of little businesses. Can you tell the audience a little bit about what they were?

Well, yeah, I did about anything from selling greeting cards door to door, a lawn mowing business. There’s kind of a lot of them along the way. So

I don’t know nine years old, though. You are knocking door to door To sell greeting cards Why?

I think well, you know, I grew up in a trailer park, so we didn’t have much money. single mom worked as a waitress. And so if I wanted a candy bar better baseball glove usually had to

round up the mind was because you needed it. If it was anything special you wanted you had to do it. It wasn’t like me that I did it for a passion. You did it because you had to. Did you then find the passion in it? Did you enjoy going door to door Did you enjoy? What did you like about it?

I think it was the challenge. You know, oftentimes, when you’re going to do something, I think the world is set up to tell you all the reasons why it won’t work out. Not that they’re against you. But if you say hey, I want to write this book. You’re going to everybody, it’s hard to get published. Is this. Is that that I mean? Oh cool. I’m glad you’re doing it but they’ve just given you 100 Reasons Why You Should. And I think just kind of overcoming that challenge has always been exciting. You know, like, you know, don’t tell me I can’t do something kind of

that would fire you up instinctively. That’s who you are.

Yeah, I think there’s a little bit you know, I think having been skinny red hair. I think you’re always kind of looked at as the underdog, you know, wasn’t picked first for the basketball team or baseball team. And I think I’m always kind of trying to find my spot. It seemed like that was kind of an easier direction to go. You know, when I

say to personal ask you if you were dating earlier or if this was an issue, what’s out? Is it too personal to ask you whether you were dating as a teenager, if that was an issue to

No, dated on and off, you know, kind of had a somewhat of a long term relationship in high school. And then of course, it feels as though like most do, post High School and so on.

Okay, so that wasn’t for me that was a big insecurity. I couldn’t do it and so I said I better really succeeded business or something because otherwise I’m going to be nobody. No one’s gonna like me. Alright, so that wasn’t it for you. And then you ended up getting a job, including after you graduated from university in North Dakota, you worked for Cellular One is that right? As a sales rep.

Yeah, the graduated from Minnesota State a huge University and then got a job is that during the cellular boom and selling phones before they even had towers? Yeah, we have goals. But anyway, so did that.

In the early 90s. Right, early 94. They had towers didn’t in the 90s. Didn’t they have those flip phones?

Well, oh, yeah, they did bad phones and Motorola flip and but when they were kind of setting up the towers, you’d go into the market beforehand and pre sell so you’d be selling people on before they even had talent like trust us. This will work. Soon I got it really 100 bucks a month, you can get 30 minutes. And how would you convince somebody to buy a phone that didn’t work right away?

I think your early adopter that it was coming, you know, they used to say the difference between a cellular salesperson and a used car salesman was that that cellular, the US car person knows they’re lying with us. We are always pointing out a couple. Yeah, I think you got coverage here at this lake in the middle of nowhere, says it on the map. It’s kind of red there.

I imagine also back then then if somebody even had a phone in their car, even if they didn’t use it, it was kind of impressive for the person sitting in their car for a business meeting or a sales meeting or something to just see it. This is a guy who’s who’s going places he’s too busy to get off and get out of the car to call. Okay, so you are doing that. And then you saw that this wholesale thing was picking up and again as an entrepreneur, inveterate entrepreneur, I think that’s the word. You went out and started a little side business. What was a side business?

It was selling accessories. So Western wireless, which is the company that own cellular one, the parent company, which also ultimately fed back to at&t. But they, they didn’t really have any accessories. You had the Motorola flip phone and the brick phone and the bag phone. And they didn’t really have car antennas. They didn’t really have, you know, too many car chargers and all of the, you know, the billion dollar industry that’s developed now with cell phones. And so I started a company on the call side called cellular world, and found places to order all these cellular gadgets. And so I would sell someone a phone and then I put on a different hat and sell them the accessories which they needed usually. And, and so yeah, I did that. And so

look at this. You’re super entrepreneurial, but because of where you grew up, and it seems like because of the options that you were exposed to, you didn’t know that you can go and be an entrepreneur, am I right or did you feel something else?

Yeah, no, I didn’t really look at it. You know, I didn’t look at myself as an entrepreneur probably for maybe even a year after I sold Real Truck because I didn’t I never looked at you sold it. Yeah, I never looked at myself in that light, if that makes sense. I just was a guy trying to do the right thing. And, and I knew I was a risk taker. And I knew that. That, you know, I tended to take a higher level of risks than the average bear. And I was, you know, I want my one of my life to be useful. I mean, part of the beyond just, I think when I was younger, there’s an aspect that I wanted to get rich and I knew that obviously, you’re going to work 40 hours a week better to get paid $20 an hour than 10.

But I wanted to kind of have a little more legacy than just Through dumb luck, I started internet company I got rich, aren’t you guys all happy? You know, I kind of wanted to have more impact on people’s lives. Okay, Real Truck was on a mission make people’s lives better now I’m kind of on a mission to make business better, if that makes sense, which is my book.

All right, let me get into what you’re doing next. So, you got the idea for for doing this because you are working with with resellers, right?

Well, ultimately, yes. So I was I got demoted it the salary job. So I was looking for another job. I found one for a little company that made a pickup cover. And we’re selling those and the protocol ban was you’d call on dealers and work trade shows and you’d roll this pickup power back and forth. And I thought, there’s got to be an easier way to do this than do 100 trade shows a year and so in that process is working for this factory and I kind of wanted to make more money knew they probably weren’t in a position to pay me more money so I said, Hey, let me set up a company independent man. The firmware I represent 10 or 15 pickup accessory manufacturers, you pay me a commission I’ll set up feelers for you. So I kind of evolved that but this pick up cover was always kind of my favorite product because I got my start there. When I got my job there I wheeled in with my Honda Accord it was the only Honda Accord in the parking lot and, and so on, I was calling on brick and mortar truck accessory stores and selling them Truck Accessories from various manufacturers in this pickup cover top three of them into doing a TV app, hence to forego the trade shows. So wait, let me see if I’m following you. You’re selling this one thing and you say hey, why am I just selling this one thing that people who want to buy this this cover will want to buy other accessories for their pickup trucks. I’m going to sell multiple Both things. And then I can make money commission from multiple products. And then you went back to the people who made it who said, Look, if you’re getting me to sell it, these, these trade shows aren’t the way to do it. Let’s record commercial.

And so you’re working with them to record a commercial. Okay.

And so and then I was calling on pick up accessory stores. So hence one call representing 15 manufacturers so to speak. And but you tended to work your way out of a job and that, you know, manufacturer’s Rep. But anyway, so yeah, we shot this TV commercial, which again, that was kind of like, that’s what big companies do, put it on TV. And we sold some pickup covers, and then I bought that time.

I bought my first office supplies, so staples calm. They come to the duplex I was living in, and I thought this is really cool. And then I thought I had a buddy going to school for web development. I thought what what if we took this video that we just put on TV, put it on a website? Could we sell the pickup cover? And that’s kind of how that Real Truck began was on that concept.

And of course, the feedback at the time

was no one’s going to spend that kind of money and then go buy it. They can’t see it, touch it, feel it. And so we kind of went to work building this. I went to the factory and said, do you want to do this? They said, No, I said, Do you mind?

can I build a website for you? Or do you guys want to buy a website and start selling directly? They said, No, no,

it’ll hurt our dealers. So I said, Okay, well, then I went to the brick, these brick and mortar stores I was calling on all over the Northwest, and they weren’t interested in it.

They are kind of interested in their number right now business. And so I set up this website with my friend helped me my web developer friend, he’s going to college, he needed a little cash. And so

I paid him he set up the website. Put the video on there and the product. In the first day we launched, we sold a pickup cover to a gentleman in Tennessee. And I almost didn’t launch because I had to sign a three year lease agreement for a credit card company, which took some wrangling. Because like, we didn’t have a storefront. So it’s like, well, how are you going to sell it? If you’re in a basement? Are you going to get your customers and perspective? This is what year 1998 1998. Okay, so you have to pay them a monthly fee of if I remember, right, it’s like 50 bucks a month.

Yeah, it was it was 40 bucks a month just for the machine to lease it is the ones you see it mini Mart on the counter. So when somebody

fills in a form on your website, you would take that data, it would it would it would go into like a text Doc, you would then punch it in manually into the device. Yeah. And you would send out the you would send out the order. Yeah, by the way. Thank you have a a screenshot of your original homepage and your book principles to fortune. I’m looking at a screenshot of it right here. You are selling a product by that’s now made by the company that ended up buying you bedrug. Right?

No, well, yes. Truck Hero owns about 15-16 brands, one of them is Bedrug.

Yeah. And so this is one of the first things that you were selling on your website. And so you got your first sale. We’re going to talk about how you got your first sale in a moment. Why don’t we because I think what you did was pretty interesting. Why don’t we take a moment here, take a step back, talk about my first sponsor, then get right back into it. My first sponsor is a company called hostgator. Do you know Hostgator? Scott?

No, I I’ve heard I’ve heard you talk about them on your shows was the first time I became aware of them.

Do you think I do a good job talking about them? Sometimes? Yeah, sometimes now.

Yes. Go check them out a little bit. So

I feel like I wish I could take a time machine and go back for you and introduce you to Hostgator today. have issues with hosting companies.

Yeah, there’s a there’s a few times we were hauling some hurt servers down the highway to the next location as fast as we could.

Oh, really, because of what? Well, we had for doing the colo host location where we had, like the internet go down. I’m not a technical person, I can’t write a line of code. And, um, that’s not my forte, but where, essentially, we had no pipes to the internet. So the web guys were, you know, in the middle of the night moving the servers to another facility that had three pipes to the internet. So

I had a terrible issue with a company that I used to use. The site went down I don’t know why I think it was extra traffic. I couldn’t figure out why went down. I, I went to their website to find a phone number. There’s no phone number. There’s nobody and I’m great at finding people’s phone numbers. I could get you on the phone in a moment. I have a couple of techniques that I could tell You and secret athletes Come on the phone and you have to fill out a support ticket. Do you want to expedite this? They have one of those cute little drop down message menu items where? How are you feeling today? It’s just okay, I’m feeling gray panic hair on fire hair on fire was one of the options to drop down. But this is very cute, but I need a frickin person. One thing that I like about Hostgator is that they do have a person that you can call up 24, seven 365 days a year Christmas Eve you can call them now I’m gonna be honest with you, Scott, they used to be super quick, within a minute and a half, they would pick up the call, it’s taking a little bit longer and I don’t love that. But it’s not it’s not impossible to take get someone on a call takes a little bit of effort, a few extra minutes, but I could get someone on the phone and I could say look, I have this problem. Help me human figure this frickin thing out with me have some empathy and let’s solve it. And because they’ve been in business for so long and because they’ve dealt with so many customers, they can solve just about any problem. If you’re out there and you need somebody to host your website right go to Hostgator comm slash mixergy I added slash mixer GP and you’re going to get the lowest prices, as far as I know, lowest prices that they offer anywhere. In fact, if you find someone lower, let me know. But more importantly guys, extra percent here there is not the big deal. Big deal is you’ll be doing me a favor by going in so showing them that you support the program by going to Hostgator comm slash mixer G and signing up. Scott, that little supporting the program thing doesn’t feel authentic to me yet. I’ve heard other podcasters say it and I know that sometimes I care about the podcasters I listened to so I said let’s throw it in the end. But it feels inauthentic. I don’t think people should ever do something for me. They should do it for themselves. And if it happens to benefit me great, don’t you think?

Yes. Well,

I also think the only people one should try to get even with are the people that you have helped you along the way. So if you can reciprocate, that’s a good thing. You really believe in that like that people are going to listen and say, you know what Andrews helped me. I’m going to use this URL at the end.

Yeah, at the end of the URL, the slash mixer do you do? I mean,

so yeah,

I think I might be right. But I mean, you need hosting and

You know, if you’re in that position to do that, obviously, website hosting is not necessarily a weekly kind of decision. It’s a right, five year decision, right? So it make a decision once

and then unless they screw you over, you’re sticking with the company for five years. You know, what I’m trying to get at with you is, I’m someone who there’s not a cynical bent, but a very everyone’s out for themselves sense and that’s the way the world works. I told you I grew up in New York, literally, my sister yesterday, hit a car with her bike because the chain fell off her bike, and that was the only way that you could stop with the pedals. Somebody said, Are you doing okay? I think so. Is your phone. Okay. Since Yeah, I think so. About an hour later, she said I should go call someone right now. Because I’m in an ambulance. I need to tell them how I’m doing. She looked in her bag and she stole my phone. The person who asked about the phone with me for the phone. They want to know where I was reaching for the phone so they could steal it. That’s the attitude. I grew up in you don’t have that I’m trying to guess Are you a hippie? Are you a trucker? What are you how what box like put you in Scott? What’s your? How would you describe yourself?

Kind of a underdog rebel? Um, you know, I think I’ve all as a human being I’ve always kind of felt like a second class class guy. So I think it’s been about you know, being a little bit better me and you know, working with what you got.

What does it mean for you to feel like a second class guy I told you For me it was no girl was interested in me. I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was in my own little bubble that I must have made myself reading books about what I could do in the future. What was it like for you?

Um, well, I think you know, I I think

growing up it always seemed like people were more put together organize, you know, all of the things that are As you know, when we were younger or our deficits are way greater and our asset deficit get personal with me

Well, I think I was kind of awkward, you know, socially awkward. And so I think probably that’s the, the probably the greatest one of you know, like, I didn’t know until I was in college where a buddy said, Well you say Hi, how’s it going are the guys and hi to the girls that made walking down the hallway easier?

You even needed to know how to speak and say hi to people as you walking down the aisle right got it. So and that he grew up inside was that not knowing like how to say hi having needing somebody to tell you how to say hi to girls and guys. Did that eat you up inside that you didn’t know how to do that?

No, I think I learned I was kind of younger. When I think I learned the ideal of that wise people ask questions and appear foolish for a moment. Fools don’t ask questions. And so you know, just okay, you learn that

you have to be you know, I, I kind of always been a question asker if I don’t understand something or want to learn something I’m not too hindered to not ask a question or something. And I think you speed up, though, you know, that you speed up the learning curve. I really did. In this environment of what we’re doing here, obviously, you’re asking me some questions. And some people it might speed up the learning curve, versus trying to figure it all out yourself.

So when you were trying to figure out how to sell online, who could you even ask back then?

I think it was more. With that kind of deal. I think it was just going off of gut instinct on what was going to work and that kind of thing. And then as we got more special blish I was able to meet people and hire people that were more experts in their area. You know, one of the hires was a good friend of mine that I went to college with Jeff lane, Dan landingham. And he’s the one that said, Hey, Scott, you got to stop looking at yourself as a pickup accessory store that sells online and look at yourself as an e commerce company that happens sell Truck Accessories, and follow ecommerce companies with their don’t follow your industry. They don’t know what they’re doing. Follow follow ecommerce companies. You know,

learn more from Amazon and the pickup guy pickup accessory guy who happens to have a website. Yeah, but the first sales. Here’s what I have, from my research. You submitted yourself to directories sites like Yahoo, and they were the number one directory you could just go submit yourself and they’d list you for free. And some of the smaller ones that have disappeared. How did you know that that’s that that that was going to lead to sales or was that just an obvious thing back then

well Well, I don’t know if it was totally obvious, but it was like, Okay, how do you get listed and so I’d search automotive directory, you know, North Dakota, Washington and go to all these directories, we’re gonna yet like, Oh, you just had tons of directories at that time. And so I would spend my nights going to these directories and filling out the forms you know, company name and you know, real truck and then at that time I was his real truck, car, pickup truck, fan and SUV accessories, you know, where title it was about a page long, and fill out all these forms and just kind of kept doing it. And then as the search engines kind of started rising to the top, I think all of those links kind of helped us rank better. And so I don’t think that work was fruitful, but it was one of those things of like a, I think it’s little action after a little action is how you kind of climb the mountain, so to speak. Rather than swinging for the fence, oftentimes I think when I, when I coach people or something, oftentimes what happens is people will try something it will not get the result they want. And so they’ll just quit doing it rather than sometimes you repackage you present again. Other times you just learn from the lesson and and apply that moving forward. And you know, keep at it keep stepping up to the plate, so to speak and swing in because you know, rarely do you hit it out of the park first go around.

Yeah, you know what, that’s another thing that I noticed about your background that you were fine selling a few I would have been so anxious thought I was a failure. If I were just selling one a week. You were doing about that for a while. And then it was an order every three days or so. And then it became an order daily and you just were okay with it because you weren’t benchmarking yourself against Jeff Bezos. You’re benchmarking yourself against I imagine The people you knew who you surrounded yourself with when, when you were building the business who you grew up with my right.

I think that

I was just amazed that people would buy something online that they’d never seen from a company that ever heard of. And at that time, I was still on a mission trying to convince these brick and mortar pickup accessory stores that they need to do this themselves. And I’d even clone the website for free for them to do. Why Why did you want them to do it themselves? I just at that time again, I think it probably goes back to you know, feeling like a second class person so to speak, or that because they had the resources. They had the experience. They had the vendors, they had everything you needed to be successful because they were already selling pickup except

what’s in it for you. Did you want to sell them the website? Did you want to be the guy who built it for them? I think at that at that point I was supplied with the line. I still had my manufacturer’s rep firm. So I was getting a little bit of what you wanted them to build their website, so they would sell your product for you. And you would make a commission and you thought that’s where you fit in the food chain.

Right. And I remember early on, and I remember thinking,

if I can get 20 of these pickup

accessory stores to really get it rocking, and get the access roll up cover and some of these products that I represented on their websites that when someone search pick up cover, it would be all of the all of my accounts, that would rank number one. And none of them really had the passion for it. I mean, if they did, they would take whoever had the least amount of authority in the at the workplace, and they’d be in charging internet and anyone could overrule them and everything was more important than internet or you know, online. And so most of them were obviously weren’t very successful. So I’ve used Real Truck as a kind of a test case and say, Hey, this works and this works. But at that time, they weren’t really hearing. And then it just started growing where I sold my rep firm. And then it just

so this was a you actually had a rep firm where you were representing all these products, you sold it for how much now that’s back ancient history, we can say how much you sold that for,

right? Yeah, at that time, I sold that company for 100,000.

And I did it where he made he bought me out over three years, because it needed to be it was a salesperson that worked for me. And it needed to be where he could afford to keep running the business and buy me out and then I took that money. And that was money kept going is what helped feed and grow Real Truck because all of if we did have any profit, it all went into web development, essentially making the web development better.

And so you sold that first year you make you remember how much


got about $150,000 Yeah, something like that. And then Real Truck is doing $150,000 your rep business you sold for $100,000 and you still don’t feel like an entrepreneur, you still don’t feel like this is who you are even across

my mind. I was just like, living and trying to be I mean, I think I always wanted to build something and be a part of something bigger than myself. Okay, and and, you know, obviously I didn’t want to there’s a part of me that didn’t really want to worry about money, but I never looked at like money is like, the the destination. It’s something you needed to do whatever it is you want to do, and do

with your life. How will you accept a person who was an alcoholic, a workaholic who was working nonstop or something else?

Yeah, yeah.

And always kind of been a worker. And more if I it’s when I experienced flow, so to speak, or that kind of experience. It’s always around the work. arena. And I’m kind of always thinking about I’ve always had a lot of ideas, you know, I get

it seems like 100 ideas a month and might take action on one of them, if that makes sense. So you’re just constantly thinking, what’s the next thing playing around online? How do you decide out of the hundred things, which is the one you’re going to focus on and have the discipline not to do 100 things?

I think I just kind of keep running it through my mind and then look at what is its scalable? Is it a, you know, going to be helpful isn’t solving a problem that needs to be solved? I think even in the early Real Truck days there was real truck was solving a problem that needed to be solved where you kind of had the manufacturers mentality is hey, we got 1000 dealers that can come

nobody’s going to drive 150 miles To buy some nerf bars for a pickup, I’m sorry, they’re just not doing it, you know? And, and as we were evolving into this, anytime you want it however you want it kind of market. It was just kind of the next step in that,

but Nerf Bars, those are the things that you stand on to get into the truck,


So like, like runners

or something running board, makeup. Well in the search engine arena. They’re called running boards, Nerf Bars, step bars. Let me see if I can remember of all but anyway,

so this is this is the way that you got your first customers SEO search engine optimization before it was a thing. Right? cram yourself into as many directories as possible because people who are into trucks in Chicago would have the website that they would go to on a regular basis and it happened to have a directory on it that would bring them back and also that was where you would get to promote yourself. And so that’s how you got to 150,000 the first year, second year $300,000 The pain is you expressed in a moment ago that your customers experience was they would want something like the nerf bar, but they would have to drive what over an hour out to go get it?

Right unless they lived in, you know, depending on it that particular brand had a dealer in their market or whatever. But literally to me though, at that time the manufacturers philosophy was, well, if you called from from Austin, Texas and

they had a dealer, you know, within 100 miles, that’s who they’d send you to which the reality of it is, is you’re probably not going to go that far. Whereas the internet kind of feel the need for people who wanted those kind of products and, you know, get them right to your door, I think. And of course, you learned along the way that not all people you know, there’s layers of how people look at the world. And there’s also the you know, who no one is going to install these things. Products yourself and all of those kind of objections. But I think that’s why we tried to make things easier over time, you know, doing install videos and all that kind of stuff. But I think it was mainly just keeping at it, rather than listening to the dominant opinion because the dominant, dominant opinion was wrong,

was just absolutely wrong. And I could see that that is something that fires you up to see that they’re telling you wrong, but you know that you’re in the right. Search Engine Optimization only gets you so far. by year five, you had five employees at the business. How do you What’s the next step? How do you get customers beyond putting yourself in the early directories?

Well, we started, you know, we started, I think, word of mouth. We did come out with a printed catalog. So we looked like we were bigger than we were. And so we had a printed catalogue like JC Whitney, or some of the their traditional mail order companies which, by the way, even the traditional mail order companies didn’t in our sector didn’t do the best job of evolving the e commerce, which was good because it gave gave us lots of time to get our shit together. And so to speak, excuse my language. Don’t keep going. The but I think word of mouth, and then that’s when we started just testing a little bit of advertising. And we tried to we kind of, I always knew it was cheaper to keep a customer than to find a new one. And I kind of knew if you’re pickup owner, you’re probably going to get a new two B truck every three years or so. And, or a new truck or a new to me truck. And that if we did a nice job of taking care of people,

they come back for years to come in and give me an example of something that you did that shows that You went a little bit more than most people would expect to take care of customers.

Well, we we always answered the phone, meaning we didn’t have. Part of it was we always wanted it. This is even before we’re got really rocking on culture, but we just wanted. Nobody likes calling and hitting 18,000 buttons to get ahold of someone. And so it’s like, let’s answer a phone. Now, we might put you on hold on hold after we answer the phone and try to connect you to the right person as fast as possible, but we’re going to answer the phone. And

you saw you had a phone number on your website back when people were afraid to put phone numbers on their sites because who knows what nefarious use your phone could be used for? Right, an email address on the site clearly and of course you always had forms so phone number on the site. What else did you do to show your customers that they that they were getting a good experience from you? You send them a hat. That was a big thing, right if they bought enough you Send him a truck round, I think of a hat

and fuzzy dice. And we tended to do rather than say, hey, buy this stuff and get this. When they did buy whatever, then we would surprise them with something. So if you bought some Nerf Bars, you might get an email saying, hey, Andrew, we’d like to send you some fuzzy dice so you can look cool. You like red, white or black fuzzy dice. And we tend to do those kind of things. Create a memorable experience for current customers rather than spend a lot of time

Oh, obviously, we needed to bring in new customers, but we like really tried to focus on keeping our current ones happy.

You notice I noticed as I was doing some research on you, you were also really good about being on all these services that now they don’t really matter anymore but like betrayed, betrayed for a long time wanted to be the website that would that would give people confidence to shop online on sites that they didn’t know of because everyone would get to go and rate the businesses that they bought from. And so you were in that directory and you are kind of minding that you’re doing stuff like that. Am I right?

Yeah, yeah, we’re on. At that time. I think there’s two or three or four of them. And so yeah, we’re working that all the time. And it was a for a couple of years there, we hit their circle of excellence, a level, which not too many people ever reach. So that was kind of cool. This was you

obsessing about your business going in and saying, What’s the new thing that’s out there that I could be excited about? This is where your hundred ideas would come from constantly exploring, playing around saying we should be on this, we should do this, we should do this other thing. And then you ended up to do who ended up picking one of those ideas? Am I right?

Yeah, I mean, what we, one of the reasons I wrote the book, Andrew was, here’s my experience. I’m gonna take one step back a lot, I get a lot of juice for Real Truck, but the reality of it is, is I had a lot of really, really good people around me that helped do it. And I was kind of like the certainly the heartbeat a little bit in the big big pusher of things. But real Trump would not have been successful without the people that were around right people in the truck in the right seat so to speak. But oftentimes people read the book Good to Great No, get all fired up about it.

You’re talking about the present Good to Great get the right people on the bus, meaning have the right employees at a company and that’s what allows you to go far you’re turning it into the right people on the truck and you’re saying other people will read the same book as you did hear the idea of get the right people and they would do what

well They read the book and they take it back to their company. And they, you know, they get excited about the book. And they try to take some of these things back to whatever they’re doing. And they tend to hit roadblocks. And we hit roadblocks, too. I read the book, loved it. And we’re talking about what great companies do that good, don’t. And there’s a lot of things we adopted from that. Were Let’s be good. Let’s be better than anyone in our space in a few areas. do that so well, they won’t notice what we don’t do. And so we really wanted to knock it out of the park with customer care. And we wanted to create memorable experiences. And but oftentimes, until you want to develop this better business, well, how do you do it and of course, we’d come up with some core values, put them on the wall. A year later, nobody embraced them. I was kind of like dumbfound how to get it into your culture because every group of people has a culture whether you

realize it or not, it’s you gonna take a break and talk about my sponsor? And then we’ll dive into this culture. What did you do wrong then with the with people? And what did how did you get it right? my sponsor, I’m gonna do a quick ad for them. It’s a company called top towel, I needed to hire somebody to do design, user experience design work for me. And what I wanted was not someone who was just going to come in, do it their way and then disappear. But someone who would actually understand what we were, how we worked. We do it what kind of quirky as a company, we don’t we get calls occasionally on the phone, we need to use Basecamp because we like how quiet Basecamp keeps working. We need a lot of interaction when it comes to things that we’re not comfortable with, like user experience. I didn’t want to just hire an agency. I couldn’t hire somebody full time because I don’t have that much work for them. And so I went to top 10 I said, you guys have a user experience person. I said, Of course we do. That’s what you’ve been talking about in your ads. I said, great. I needed. They brought two people to me. I think it was two. The first person we talked to was perfect. We hired him. He understood how our business works because he worked like he was in our business. He understood the problems that our users had, because he dove in and understood it. And then he gave us a user experience design that we built our whole search on. If you’re out there, and you’re looking to hire somebody to do user experience, in addition to developers, in addition to finance people, you should know that top towel has phenomenal user experience people. Here’s what I want you to do go to this special URL, when really I know you’re never going to find a better deal than this from top towel. They’re going to give you 80 hours of top towel developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours in addition to a no risk trial period of up to two weeks. If at the end of the period, you’re not 100% satisfied, you will not be billed, go to top towel comm slash mixergy. That’s top top of the top of your head talent talent to slash mixergy. Really, you guys are gonna love them. All right. You know what, let me take a second here before we get into. I want to talk about this one transformative moment in your in your life that led you to go on this path. Someone saw you in 2003 you had five years Employees five years into your business you are doing well he flies in. And he says, What What did he fly in? And what did he say to that, that I think helped change the way that you’re looking at your business.

Well, at that time a company flew in and offered on jets.

A jet like a private jet, they flew into Saudi jet.

And I know anyone who private jets at that time, so that was pretty cool. And they’re coming to see us. And I wanted to buy Real Truck for a million dollars. And I at that time, I just thought, we’re not done. We there. We need. There’s more for us to do. And I didn’t think that I just Yeah, I just wasn’t interested in offer. I was flattered by it. But it wasn’t that no, there’s more for us to do. I feel like

that kind of kicked your ass to it. You also realize you need to get aggressive you told our producer at that point I needed to be more aggressive or die. Why did you feel like you had to be more aggressive in order to survive?

Well, I thought, you know, at that time, there’s probably two or 300 companies selling Pickup Truck Accessories online and I thought we either go deep or the other you cannot be stagnant. And it’s going to be, you know, five or 10 years from now it’s going to be two or three or four players that dominate and it so we either need to grow or go and so it was kind of at that time all in and let’s get this thing rockin let’s do it better than we ever,

ever have. All right, so then you told the producer to I bet everything on company culture. Why bet on company culture? Why not bet everything on great marketing? Why not bet everything on? I don’t know why company culture of all things. I think some of it was probably a legacy thing. I didn’t want my legacy to be through dumb luck. I started in an internet company and got rich. I wanted to kind of have more impact be useful to people. And my buddy Jeff also, who was the president of Real Truck gave me or told me about Zappos and I thought how cool. Here’s this guy sells, Tony Hsieh, a billion dollars where the shoes is not the cheapest and they have a really fun work culture of course, then you get the disconnect. He’s an ivy leaguers, got a bunch of money to start with, you know, sold the company for 200 and 40 million, blah, blah, you know, were like, Okay, and then I had this, like, you know, with inspirate people think like, sometimes people meet me and they’re disappointed because they think they’re expecting this, someone more dynamic 100% of the time, but inspiration is a limited bandwidth thing. You got to act on it when you got it. In hindsight, that’s what I would say when you get inspired go with it. Because it’s not gonna, you’re not going to stay inspired your whole life, you might not even stay inspired longer than a week. So if you’re inspired capital, but rock and roll,

Tony Shea at the time was not yet we’re talking about 2003 2004 2005. He did not become famous for culture until 2008 or so. And so here you are even later. Well, you weren’t guided by him. You were guided by an understanding that your company needed this somehow?

Well, yes, we were trying to like, Hey, can we run the company by principles? We didn’t know how. And because we’re following ecommerce companies that were doing well, that’s how we became familiar with Zappos.

This was before even Zappos made it big with this whole culture. You said, I want to guide the company by something. It should be a set of principles that then I could take and hand over to the next generation who runs my company. This is how we’re going to live. It was like programming a company for you, am I right?

Well, yeah, a little bit like that. And just I was out. Yeah, I was reading articles on Zappos and that kind of thing, flew down there and found out they had tours, we’re just gonna, like, go on and, but we’re just gonna stay away. Just seeing how they’re running their business. We’re just like they doing that day. They’re kind of building this really fun employee culture. And then when we, our first attempt at coal, in our organized sense, was more in that 2007 2008 range. And then but ultimately started that’s when I learned about, you know, good to great tribal leadership, Chip Connelly’s how great companies get their Mojo from Maslow and we’re looking but the thing the problem with all of that, those books they really get into I love those books. Those were And eventually Tony Shay’s book Delivering Happiness. Were the core of books for truck. But none of them really tell you like, how do you actually do this? How do you get it into your culture? How do you get your culture rockin? So we put these principles on the wall, nobody embraced them. A year later, we kind of reinvented ourselves and I said, Let’s find out. I knew everybody that worked for me had their own principles that they live by, but sometimes struggle with bringing them to work. And I particularly had people that went to college with and met throughout the years that worked for like fortune 500 companies that had great principles in their personal life, but lots of conflict with them at work for job preservation, etc, etc. And I just thought, you know, how, how terrible that you know, I had a buddy that was in pharma that that you couldn’t wine and dine. So they make it look like he was seeing 20 doctors a week. Maybe one a month. And they were the whole industry was doing this. They all pretended they were seeing more patients than they really were so they could get the money that they felt they deserved for the few patients that they were really seeing. Right? Well, the the farmer rep so they could get, so they could keep their job and then try to try to educate doctors on their medications they were selling.

The farmer reps were saying they were seeing more doctors and they actually also they could get more money for you said, this is not the kind of company that I would want. I have to I have to breed the right culture to avoid this type of thing. Right, right. Right, right. And how can we how can we free people so I asked everybody what their guiding principles were, what their live by what what did? What are they? What are their mottos, the principles, the values that they live by? Or wanna live got all these back? And I’m a bucket. I’m kind of a pattern person or not. To explain but so I got all of these back, and I started putting them in buckets. And it was the first one was deliver more. It seems like I want to create great experiences, I want to have fun, I want to leave it better than I found it I you know, all of these different versions of values. And so, essentially, I compile those into a we compile those into six, deliver more transparency rocks and prove, take risks include fun and be humble, and that we introduce those to the company one at a time we focus on one deliver more so we say how can we deliver more to our customers? Where are we delivering more, where are we not? What can I personally do to deliver more to my, our customers, partners or employees, you know, each sector and we started asking a lot of questions. Getting lists, sharing those lists, and with everybody in the company. And that’s kind of how we got those into the culture, kind of on a daily basis. So

if I keep summing this up, because Scott, I’m usually if I’m just listening, I could let you go. But if I’m trying to really use this, I want to make sure that I fully understand it. here’s, here’s what I’m understanding. You’re saying, at first, it was you saying, I got a program this company, I’m going to put together a list of what we stand for our principles, and I’ll put it up and everyone will follow it. Nobody saw it, nobody followed it, because it was yours. And because you didn’t make sure to live it. Then you came back and said, All right, let me take a step back and see what does everyone else believe in? I’ll put a list of the things and this is what Tony Shea said he did in his book to Delivering Happiness. I’ll put that list together. And then I will work with the team to make sure that we I they all use it and get rewarded for using what what’s on the list. Am I right?

Right? Let me ask you this though.

The problem with asking everyone else What do you stand for is you don’t get A company that you Scott envision, like you really envision a certain thing you created this back when nobody believed in e commerce. And so you have a vision, don’t you want to carry that through in the company principles and say, here’s the next step of the vision like,

like you did before? Well, my vision really evolved to I wanted a real truck to be an icon for how a company should treat customers, partners, or an employees. And I kind of seen that that that it if we could get on the same sheet of music, that believe in the same kind of things, that it would be easier to come to accomplish. So there was a strategy in it was still your vision. But now guys within this vision, what do you think we could do? So having them give input into it made it feel more like it was theirs?

Right, and they weren’t guiding principles to help people guide decisions because it couldn’t be off of People could make decisions to keep growing the company based on what they think Scott would do in this situation, you’d that’s not scalable and any.

Right actually

it’s more like, it’s not trying to, because many people won’t know you as the business grows the way that they did when you were just people. Got it. So it was that part of the impetus saying, I can’t keep guiding people everyday by telling them what to do. They can’t see me and say, I see how Scott would do it. I’ll do it too. We need these principles. You start writing the principles, and then it doesn’t work. And then you say, let’s write it together. Right? And

there’s a yes, kind of there’s a whiny side to that too. I had this little wine like, why can’t anything ever get done without me? So Ah, so it was a there was some truth to that. But I was also the creator of that to some extent because I hadn’t empowered people will now they could use those same principles to put me in my place. What I’m doing or not doing, and it looks like it’s just delivering more is it transparent? You know, does it fall under and poop is it including fun is it you know, and with some of that the the result of it was amazing. I mean, we had ads running on our front page or our website, it would say we sell bacon and Truck Accessories and we’re all out of bacon. And you had a we had when partners would come visit us in North Dakota, they’d get Rockstar welcomes and it would create some cool business trips they’d ever taken right from us, no Ivy leaguers, no money, just regular everyday folks from North Dakota, doing really cool things and to conclude, you know, that’s why I wrote the book was like, Hey, you can be an average person in business and do some really cool things. You can get principals involved in your business where your employees can actually

choose award principles because of the Ray Dalio book that he he says everyone has principles are the best leaders do I want the rest of them to do it? Is this part of it? No, it was Zapple. The first enter. When we first did values, we call them core values. A year later, nobody no reinventing them as guiding principles at that time to guide us. And kind of that was a marketing aspect of where since we’ve kind of failed to quote, core values, we were kind of rebranding it as, hey, these are guiding principles to guide us. And so that’s kind of, and then the title of the book came from principles fortune.

Believe it or not, I hadn’t heard of Ray’s book. And at that time until after I’d already picked the name, and the fortune really isn’t about you know, getting rich. The fortune is about the things that come when you live by principles.

Okay? You, you told me how you got the principles together, you told me that sharing with others made them feel ownership, you were starting to tell me a little bit about how, on a weekly basis you live those principles. And you made sure that everyone understood that. Can you tell me more? What did you do once you had this list? What did you do to to encourage people to actually use it? Well, we would, all of the teams and stuff will get together and have meetings on and asking questions like transparency rocks, were in North Dakota company in a face conservative North Dakota company in a Facebook world, right? So with transparency, rocks, open and honest. Communication like where are we transparent? Where with our customers, where are we not transparent. So

that weekly basis you would do this? You say today we’re going to think about transparency rocks, where are we are this week? Is that how you do it?

But well, we would do it in two months where we would kind of focus on one principle for two months. And then we would, I would also during the we had what we call a weekly manager meeting. What at the time we call the nine at nine, because there’s nine people on it. And anyway. And I would ask each of the leaders to juice someone for practicing in their department for practicing a given principle, like transparency rocks, and then juice someone outside of their department for practicing that principle, and then I would do a weekly video that I would share those out that so encouraging people to do it so that they’re noticed to notice it so that they see that we’re all doing it to get to know people outside the company. And for you then to have almost like case studies of how we are humble or how we include transcribe include fun, right?

Right. So people could see examples of it and kind of connect the dots because because that’s not necessarily as self evident. You know, what is delivering more delivering more opening the door for someone know that you should do that, you know, that’s, it’s maybe what you are. So just to have some awareness of what is, you know, is including fun, you know, playing a video game at your desk all day, you know, that’s, you know, including fun is, you know where this aspect of, hey, if we’re going to work 40 hours a week, let’s have a good time doing it. What can we do to include fun with the things we do, whether it’s a meeting, whether it’s a website, how we design in our marketing, you’re explaining it by having them use it. And you told our producer This is like I told her I cultivate a very new york attitude in this podcast because that’s where I grew up. You, you told our producer, let’s get the dollars and cents of all this, that suddenly you went to $12 million in annual sales in 24, then $60 million, and you attribute how much of that to this set of principles and understanding that the culture has to reflect them all of it. It was

Yeah, I mean, what happened was the you had an entire company of people on a mission greater than themselves to make people’s lives and vehicles better. And the innovation and some of the operational efficiencies that came from that were phenomenal because we’re at, you know, why are we doing this? And if someone couldn’t answer the question, we stopped doing it. And people were empowered to take risks like that. And, and then they including fun, created a lot of memorable experiences, swimmers or business partners and employees. You know, when, when we do those Rockstar welcomes with vendors, what would what would happen down the road is they oftentimes hook us up with the best new product first, so we’d be the first company to launch something online, or because you gave them such a fun experience and they connected with who you were.

And we tried to be true parent with him June which ships Sarah share sales numbers and we’d ask, Hey, vendor what can we do to be a better business partner for you? What what what are we not doing? What should we be doing? So those kinds of things kind of throughout the whole company and so yeah, we were 6,000,008 jumped to 12 and 25 and, and 42 million and 60 million and it was it was even though you know, development was looking at it in the same light, it was amazing to be a part of the What should we be doing as part of your your belief that you need to keep improving?

What was that Andrew the you kept asking them? What what could we be doing? Because that’s part of your principles. You have to keep improving?

Yeah, I’m kind of a guy like he’s got a rock and his shoe where I’m always kind of like, how can we do this better? How can we, how can we simplify this? How can we make this more efficient? And so I think it’s kind of a natural. I don’t know what to scenario. I’m always kind of like that. So I’m gonna go back to a little bit of like me playing armchair psychologist with you. Because one of the things that I’m curious about is you said, I highlighted this phrase from your conversation with our producer. I have a doubtful passenger in quotes. What is your doubtful passenger? What does that mean? Um, it’s the seeing in your mind and out in the world that tells you why you can’t do something. And you have to like, for me, I’ve had to learn to tame that. So and to put context to it. It was when I when I was writing the book principles fortune, you know, I didn’t really know exactly where

People asked me to write a book and I that while I’m not a writer, I can’t write a book and then finally got Well, sure It can’t be that hard too many people wrote a book right so I’ll try and but I wrote this section I didn’t I haven’t published it yet. I don’t know if I will. But was this oftentimes we have, you know, if I’m when one hat when I had the ideal of Real Truck, everybody told me why it wouldn’t work. Nobody’s gonna buy something. Just that’s an exterior, doubtful passenger, and then also the one within our mind where we say like, I had this when I had this inspiration. I was looking at Zappos and Tony, thinking well, Ivy leaguer, bunch of money. In San Fran, they guess where, you know, you saw a lot of talent around and it was like Which is becomes this list of why we can’t do it. And that’s your passenger going in. And instead of taking in what Tony’s saying and saying I could use it says, You can’t use it. He’s in San Francisco. He’s got he’s got an Ivy League education, he’s got more money, etc. And then, but there’s this aspect of flipping it of like, well, all those things may be true. However, let’s do it anyway. But with my own personality on it with our own personnel, let’s embrace the fact we’re from North Dakota. Let’s trustworthy, hard working, let’s, let’s do the best hold what we have, let’s let’s say you took all those negatives that your doubtful passenger brought in and you countered them and you and you challenge them, and you ended up realizing that being from North Dakota is actually better than San Francisco in some ways, right.

So it was like it to shift it to why can’t we do it?

Maybe we won’t do it at the same level. Maybe we won’t be having dinner with Jeff Bezos anytime soon. But we can do some cool shit right here, right from North Dakota, with no money and a truckload of really good people with a purpose beyond just more because when I when we got into culture, it was seemed like we’re in the endless pursuit of more, more sales more products more this more that more and more, and which is fatiguing when you’re doing it without a purpose or usefulness behind it, in my opinion.

And you wrote you wrote a chapter on this doubtful passenger you didn’t include in the book, but you did it.

Yeah. The the public or the editor was like this in no way relates to it does, what’s not the relevance of the book? And I at that time, I was kind of Army I said, well Can’t do all of this stuff. If you don’t write the doubtful passenger, you got to tame them. And so but anyway, the book is about kind of how we a little bit about me and how Real Truck began. And then how we got the principles in the business and an ends with a little bit on the, you know, ecommerce concepts. And then you also would you be willing to do this.

If anyone listens, listens to this interview and goes out and gets principles to fortune? Can they email you a receipt or something? Or a picture themselves with the book and then have you send them that chapter that was not in the book?

Um, yes, I will do that. I’ll clean it up, because it’s got a lot of cuss words in it. But no, would you keep the cuss words in there and let it be a really like raw thing?

Yeah, I mean, I wrote it in the aspect of this aspect of labels that we strapped to ourselves. So like, when I was younger, I was, you know, How one looks at people or how you look at yourself versus how people are labeling you on the way, and that we box ourselves in by these things sometimes, and how to get rid of the labels or add context to meaning I’ve been called an asshole and brilliant, right in the same day. Or at the same token, in the same day, I’ve been told

I have a kind heart, and then I’m done. Right? And I same day, which are polar opposites. Well, how do you give context? So those things? What are the things that are really me? And what are the things that are brief moments? And that’s what that that chapter is kind of about anyway. But how do you want to do this? You want to give your personal email address in here? Do you want me to give you an app mixer Gmail, you want me to create a forum for people to fill out that automatically sends things to you. what’s what’s your preference? Well, they can go to the principles to fortune com website or sculpins comm website and fill out the form there to to reach me. So fill out the form on principles to fortune calm I’m gonna go to that right now I want to make sure that we’re sending people to a good spot. I’m curious to see how many people are going to do this. I’m definitely going to send you my receipt. So principles to somewhere on here is a form where is the form? should say, is it under contact? Yeah, contact us I’m gonna go to contact us and then it leads me to a form Okay, so all they have to do is somewhere in here let you know that they bought the book because it mixergy and you’re gonna send them this private thing and we’re counting on them to keep it super private. Yeah, right. Why’d you sell the business? I want to close out with that.

I think at that time again, that goes back to I I like this is really big and the same skills you need to run 100 million dollar company are not the same ones for 10 and I think I thought I wanted to pass it on into into smarter Hands. So Real Truck could be around for years to come. And I wanted to find someone, you know, I wanted to obviously there’s part of me that wanted to take care of my family didn’t want to worry about money. And my kids, you didn’t want to leave it to one of the five kids to run? No, I mean, they all all of my five kids have worked for me at one time or another, actually, two of them still work at Real Truck, two of my older daughters. And no, I think I wanted to put it in good hands, ultimately. And I wanted to be a company that believed in the culture, and that would be able to invest in it because I always felt like if we could invest in it a little bit more, it could be that much greater of an experience, particularly with how the market was going. I think in retrospect, it would have been one of those things I

would have told myself this too shall pass. I think I kind of felt like I was tapped out as a leader.

But if you but maybe you could have continued even further, if you took a little bit of space, if you allowed whatever you’re feeling to go on, you’re saying,


But at the same token, I’m kind of now I’m in this, you know, second chapter, and kind of moving more in that aspect of, you know, what can we going back to writing the book was like, if we could make business in general a little bit better. were more businesses focused on the on the culture, it’s kind of a bigger win. And kind of giving back in that circle. You know, when I talk to people,and they’ll the feedback I’ve gotten on the book is kind of somewhat profound, where I’ll get people that will say, you know, I read your book, I couldn’t put it down. And there’s 50 things in that book that I can do to improve my business right now. And I When I hear that kind of thing, it kind of when I hear people get re inspired, it’s kind of rewarding, and particularly to get re inspired to be rather than just survival mode or, or make a bunch of money, but more so to do it with a little bit of calculation and purpose. It means even more, because I needed that direction, I think could this even be useful for someone who has a company? That’s the size of yours? back when you were five years and like five people company, could they still start off with these principles?

Yes, I think the Yes, definitely, I think the it becomes a lot easier to do something with five people than 100 or 1000. And there’s also every company is a little bit different. Obviously, if you’re building rockets, you’re probably going to want to have some principles about accuracy and precision. And right action is a maybe even but The same concepts apply. But whether you’re, you know, have some coffee shops you’re trying to grow or whether you’re I think even in corporate America, there’s probably a few You know, there’s good corporate America, not so good corporate, the shitty corporate america and good corporate America. But I think there’s even things you can do there to make it seem a little bit better, where oftentimes the pursuit of profit is also the same thing that wrecks brands.

And you’re a person who’s built a brand. You are also part of a brand I saw, I see here a UPS ad with you, which is such a cool photo of you and this ups ad using a truck part as like a guitar. So the reason I say this is you’re not some some hippie college professor who’s saying we need culture, we need to de emphasize profits. You’re a guy who produced profit, produce revenue, over 100 million dollars, sold your business, created a brand created a culture and now you’ve written a book for anyone else who wants to To follow along and learn the way you learn from so many other books, the book is called principles to fortune guys, if you do get that book, go send him a copy of your receipt. So you can read the extra chapter that’s not in the book, leave the curse words in Scott, I think my audience would actually respect even the typos they feel more connected to because of that I really admire what you built up here. And I’m so glad that you’re on here doing this interview with me.

And yes, thank you.

Yeah. Not fired up. When we started talking about the principles. In the beginning, before we started, you were sitting and drinking your tea, or whatever you were drinking. Then we had a conversation was very light hearted. Once I was going into principles, you are like you could have jumped through the webcam almost come at me.

Yeah, I think.

Yeah, I get a little bit excited about that or passionate about it, I think.

Yeah. So love to talk about it.

I do too. I’m so proud to have you on here. And I’m glad that you’re talking about this. And I’m glad I got to talk to you about it. All right principles to fortune go and get the book guys let me know what you think of it. And I want to thank my two sponsors for making this happen. The first little If you’re building website, you obviously need a hosting company one that’s going to be around one that’s not going to force you to get your stuff in no one actually for you. Let’s say one is not going to force you to put all your hardware into a car and move it from one colocation to another, that doesn’t happen anymore. One that’s not going to force you to work forever just to get them to take care of your problem. That’s what Hostgator is about. A company has been around forever and will take good care of you go to slash mixergy. And if you need to hire a developer, like a Silicon Valley level developer, if you’re maybe like, Scott, you’re feeling like I don’t have any Silicon Valley connections. what’s what’s wrong with me for living outside Valley, let me tell you something, the best developers are living outside of the valley too. All you have to do is go to top slash mixergy. They’ll hook you up with someone and you got nothing to lose, just give them a shot. Give him a shot. They won’t even charge you anything. Before they introduce you to someone who’s going to blow your mind top towel calm slash mixergy. And if you have a speaker or any other device that is a little bit smart shout out. It’s a play mixergy podcast, and you’ll be amazed by how fun it is to have your speaker play my voice around your house right Scott?

Yes, definitely.

You have an Alexa speaker yet you House. What’s up? Do you have a speaker a smart speaker? Like No, no, no, no. Oh, you know what? Yeah, to get your address where do I mail? Do you have a mailing address? That’s not private. I want to mail you one of these. It’s gonna change your life. You’re gonna start shouting at the speaker all day long.

Yeah, I can get you that. What’s

here? I’ll put it in the chat when we’re gonna I’m gonna say goodbye to everyone here. I’m gonna send a chat to you. Hi. It could be an office address. I’m not looking for your home address. I don’t want to get to know you like a way that feels creepy. But I do want to blow your mind with how good a smart speaker can be. Now it’s playing so do you can have my voice in your house?


Yeah, the this has been awesome. Andrew, I’ve done a lot of interviews over the year. You’re really good at this. So it’s been fine.

I’ve done a lot of interviews too. I like how good you are. All right. Type his address. We won’t hang up until I get his address. I can send them a spot your smart speaker, guys if you have one play mixergy and thanks for listening. Bye, everyone.

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