April 14, 2023

Episode #75: Jason Beutler – RoboSource

Jason Beutler (pronounced ‘Butler’) grew up in Indiana. He graduated high school from John Adams in South Bend, IN and spent every March-November from age 13-18 working at a country club in the pro-shop. Through that experience, he learned how to converse with business owners and found he was passionate about leadership and entrepreneurship. He received an undergraduate degree in computer science from Taylor University and spent the next 10 years working his way up to Vice President of Information Technology. Jason received an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in May of ’09 and by January of 2010 he formed the business he is currently running.

RoboSource is passionate about helping people find and do work that matters. We leverage technologies, such as A.I. and software automation bots and we pair that with process improvement techniques and data analytics to help people identify and remove those mundane, life-sucking, tasks from their day-to-day lives so they can focus on the things that are important to a business.

Transcript

hello this is coach Tim Campsall and I’m your host for the self-made is a myth make a difference together show where we’re talking with successful business owners to hear their Journeys to building their business and because we know that success in business is not something that we can do on our own we’re taking some time to recognize the folks who have helped us along the way and giving them some shout outs on this show and hearing about the way that they helped the successful business owners to excel I’m excited to have a fellow business owner uh with us today from Indiana my guest and his wife have taken their kids to 35 National Parks and have four more planned over the next two years in his downtime he plays sand volleyball all year round and is in a very competitive league so we’ll want to hear a little bit more about that here in a minute and he’s most proud of his kids and watching them bloom into leaders as they become adults it’s my pleasure to welcome Jason to the show today hello Jason hey Tim thanks for having me on looking forward to the conversation absolutely well hey let’s start with having you introduce yourself tell us a little bit of your personal story like where you were born and live and a little bit about your family and hobbies yeah so name is Jason Butler uh the last name is spelled weird it’s got our e in there we say it’s spelled b-e-u-t-l-e-r I’ve asked Grandpa where the E came from he has no idea so we think we’re German but we don’t really know but uh we said Butler for as long as we all as the family can remember uh originally from Indiana um my uh father moved around quite a bit growing up so I lived pretty much in every major city north of Indianapolis uh though I say I graduated from uh or I I say South Bend is home because I graduated high school from there uh and then um let’s see I’ve got two kids I’ve got a 20 year old uh that is a sophomore at Belmont University down in Nashville Tennessee and I have a 17 year old that is into music and uh plays the volleyball himself on the high school team so hobbies are are for the most part for me it’s uh hiking uh we like doing day hikes at the national parks and volleyball I play a lot of volleyball um two or three times a week uh it’s hard to see on a video but I am six foot six so I don’t have to be good I just have to be tall

fantastic and um I mentioned it earlier uh your wife tell us about her yeah so my wife and I have been married let’s see 24 years this year congratulations thank you we got married actually while we were still in college uh Kendra and I run the business together so she does everything that’s important and uh I go out and about myself and uh and I’m the the face of the business but she’s the one who makes it all happen behind the scenes and uh how did you get into sand volleyball you know uh let’s see we had moved down to Indianapolis after we got married and I ran into a group of people that were at that said they were playing and they asked me to come play with them uh mostly because I was tall and uh I’d always enjoyed volleyball but you know in the 90s volleyball wasn’t that big of a thing uh for men uh and so uh they’re at my team my high school didn’t have a team or anything like that so I started playing and found I really kind of enjoyed it um and then uh one thing led to another and I decided to come out to a a just a Sunday afternoon uh two on two sand volleyball league uh that I’d never really played that competitively before and I knew the guy who was organizing the league and he hooked me up with somebody who had played at the Olympic level um and said he will he will have you playing really well by the end of this tournament and so that was what maybe 15 years ago uh that uh changed me because again he was he was all over me he he taught me how to play of coaching so it was fun that’s awesome hey Jason is there a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today well you know um growing up I I was actually a pretty short kid um for most of of my uh life so Middle School I was one of the shorter kids out there between my freshman year and sophomore year I grew over a foot oh wow and so uh as you can imagine if you grow that fast um hand-eye coordination it’s just not a thing like like I I had trouble walking upstairs I I couldn’t I you know you you see the the videos of like deer as they’re born barely able to function for like a whole year um and uh one of my uh high school friends I actually tried out for golf at the time and again like I have no hand-eye coordination at all so I’m terrible at all this and he was a really big Disney cartoon fan and so he just went just started calling me goofy um because uh I I was that goofy I was that out of control all the time so stuck and uh so when in golf uh I ended up my senior year they bought me a a golf bag with the goofy playing on it and uh that just sort of was my my nickname in high school and uh it stuck because I was so uncoordinated thank you for sharing I love it Jason tell us how did the business come about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business

um so entrepreneurially was entrepreneurship was sort of in my blood early on um I started a well I didn’t take a step back a little bit so while I’m in College the.com bubble starting to kind of grow a little bit and uh basically if you could program it all you were getting pretty well paying jobs and so in the late 90s I I got a job while I was still in school writing some software for a website um that business ended up going under uh but the the three of us that were building that website were like man we’re pretty good at this and people are willing to pay money for it why don’t we try it on our own uh so we started a business uh in 99 98.99 and um had no idea what we were doing uh it was a disaster uh we ran it into the ground I mean we ran it for about three or four years uh best lessons I’ve ever learned came from that time frame but you know it got in my blood um so even though we were not successful uh it it made me realize that hey man I think I could probably do this um and so in 2010 uh the time had come my wife had encouraged me and uh I had gone through a series of other things through uh I actually went to the University of Notre Dame to get an MBA and that kind of gave me a little bit of confidence and I decided you know it was time to get back out on my own again uh and so really that’s where we decided to go after this um I think to be a business owner you have to be a little delusional like you have to think hey that you’ve got ideas that are better than anyone else in the world you’ve got to believe that you can execute better than anyone else like you gotta have a belief in yourself that’s pretty deep and um so it took a little while for me to kind of rebuild that after I messed up the first business but uh uh like I said once it’s in my blood I just I couldn’t get it out so I love that so the the always always looking to to figure out how to do something better than than other people and and monetize that it’s a fair understanding yeah yes that’s that’s how that’s how it started right that’s how I am so well tell us about your your company today what uh what’s the name what do you guys do how do you help people so the company is called Robo Source uh what we do is um we’re really passionate around uh helping people basically do work that matters uh we believe in meaningful work I believe you want to wake up in the morning and you want your job to be important um that you want to make a difference in people’s lives one of the things that keeps us from doing that are a lot of the mundane everyday tasks that happen um just things that you have to do to keep business running so we’re a software development company me that specializes artificial intelligence and automation so we basically build software Bots to help small and mid-sized businesses automate the mundane tasks to free up their team to do things that are impactful and strategic for the business wonderful what are some examples of those mundane tasks that you can automate yeah so we’ve gone from

a hundred thousand incoming transcripts every year and they had to run them through an eligibility process those transcripts are coming in as PDFs and they’re all in different formats and they had to hand key the grades the classes the schools into a system so they can determine eligibility we automated that process form took them from about 50 people doing that down to about five just dealing with the exceptions that came out that’s 45 people they were able to distribute through the rest of the business to do strategic things um that’s one kind of High Extreme example the other level is uh we’ve got another client that’s a recruiter and one of the things that they need to do is uh navigate LinkedIn identify potential candidates for jobs they’re trying to fill uh they then have to look up their email and phone number information and then they have to put it into a candidate tracking uh application uh they’re paying people to hand key moving all that data we wrote a software bot that did that for them oh wow so every day basically whenever they decide they can say hey bot go transfer the data in about 15 minutes It’ll move 200 names from one system to the other forum um another interesting example I’m sure you’ve all heard of chat GPT now uh it’s kind of the hot thing well one of the things that we’ve done uh is work with a company that or a doctor who was essentially handwriting all of their emails back to their their clients and their patients telling them uh kind of helping kind of guide them on on actions and take based upon blood work that they’re receiving uh using chat GPT like technology not exactly chat GPT but technology is similar to that we actually built the email now for them uh and uh so take the incoming data generate the outcoming email so that it can get sent to the patient put it in a draft status so the doctor can review it instead of spending 30 to 40 minutes uh analyzing and sending it out she’s now spending about five so it allows her to continue to to meet with new um new patients which is really where where her Revenue driver is so those are just some of the high level quick ones that came to mind yeah that’s fantastic one of the things that uh that we talk about with clients is that about 80 percent of of day-to-day you know work in a business is routine work it is stuff that can be automated so I love what you guys are doing to be able to free up the the business owner and the and the the team to be able to deal with the exceptions and humanize the exceptions that’s fantastic Jason share a story where someone uh pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think you could and the impact that that person had on you well again I have to say my wife um so when our our first business that we started when we were in school came to an end and I ended up having to work my way up through uh the corporate world um that was a hard ego hit um and a hard I basically kind of went into a little depression over the the fact that I had failed and I was struggling with you know what does that mean for me uh I wasn’t really accomplishing the goals that I had in my life um I at the time I’d actually uh had worked my way up to becoming vice president of I.T for a company so it wasn’t like I wasn’t making an impact and work it just wasn’t the impact I wanted to be making right uh and and I had a sort of an underlying doubt in myself uh as a result of some of the failures I had had prior and so uh my wife knew that a lifelong dream of mine was to go to Notre Dame uh having graduated high school up in South Bend and been around a lot of that environment uh it was an area that it was a school that I was very passionate about uh but the I you know there is there’s this fear it’s one thing to be able to say I have a dream about going Notre Dame but I never really tried and so I probably could have uh but you know it just the car just weren’t dealt that way it’s another to apply and be rejected um and uh that’s a different level of like they didn’t want me right so right so there’s a little bit of that fear uh especially in my late 20s uh at this point in in my life my wife pushed me hard uh to go ahead and apply to uh the Executive MBA program up at Notre Dame uh and lo and behold I was accepted uh and uh spent 22 months with some of the best leaders in the world uh they’d fly in from all over uh I mean we’re talking like from overseas in Singapore from uh from San Jose California from Guatemala from Philadelphia they’d all fly in and these are leaders at you know eBay and KPMG and Disney and Alcoa and they’re all flying in uh for class and I sat in class with 60 of probably the best leaders in the country um not only learning the the masters of business education curriculum but also learning from them around me from all of these leaders around me and so Kendra pushed me to go after it but then I’m surrounded by these leaders that on one hand was inspirational because I learned from them daily on the other hand made me realize that they’re all people too yeah and that I actually had quite a bit to offer from the technology space uh that uh um I knew more about a certain topic than any of them ever hoped to and it gave me a level of confidence that I was like no I have something to offer and something to bring here so that Notre Dame experience was really kind of formidable and it only what it only happened because Kendra literally filled out like half the application for me it’s awesome isn’t it amazing how powerful that that doubt and fear can be and and stop us from realizing you know our full potential and it happens all the time it’s just it’s such a powerful uh so so it’s almost a physical barrier to you know becoming who we who we’re meant to be yes and it does it feels physical when you’re experiencing it um the just even the ability to make yourself do something uh I I laugh now because I can’t imagine having not gone to Notre Dame but beforehand literally as there’s a an essay you’re supposed to write and Kendra is sitting right next to me going all right type the next word right like I just had such a low self-belief in myself at the time uh that it was a like you said as a physical barrier keeping me from moving forward um now I think my wife wished I had a little bit more uh right but yeah so well I I thank goodness for for Kendra and for those listening and if you don’t have a Kendra make sure you do because having that support system and that encourager and motivator to push you beyond what you think you’re you’re capable of can have tremendous results in your not only in your your personal life but also in your your professional life so well thank you Kendra yes absolutely Jason what’s the biggest learning uh you’ve had as a business owner uh failure and mistakes will happen they don’t necessarily reflect on you um this in 2018 we had grown really quickly um so uh really the The Arc of the business was I kind of just ran it myself till about 2015 uh from 2010 to 2015 was just sort of me doing consulting on the side uh didn’t really have a vision for the business other than I’m really good at technology so I’m going to consult and train or and help other people execute on a technology and software uh 2015 we decided to make the the pivot towards actually building a software consulting company uh and we grew very quickly from 2015 to 2018 ended up with about 35 employees we were making very good margins uh we had grown uh effectively I had Diversified I thought uh well enough um and then uh in 2018 uh December right around Christmas uh five of my clients all for various reasons ended up having edicts that Consultants were out or they merged with another company or uh and we lost about 70 percent of our Revenue in about a month and a half um that’s a that’s a gut punch right um and uh I was not I had not gone through enough failure to realize that it’s okay and the way I approached the failure is actually more important than the failure itself right uh and so for me that learning was you know had I shifted my mindset to be like okay what new opportunities do I have uh we would have recovered a lot faster than me sitting there ruminating on what I could have done different yes and uh so failure is going to happen that’s okay um it’s not the failure that matters it’s what you’re going to do with it that’s important yeah and that’s I’d say probably the biggest learning that I’ve learned over the last probably five years yeah I love that what you said of it’s not it’s not about reflecting on the the Woulda Coulda Shoulda it’s how quickly do you respond to how what am I going to do next yeah yeah I was just reviewing um our business or my business with my coach uh earlier this week and looking at trend lines over the last you know few years and and uh one of the things she pointed at was hey look at two years ago you know because every business has its up and downs right and and you know our Peaks and valleys and she said hey two years ago your your slump was you know this many months and so right when and then last year the slump was shorter and so what are you learning from that it’s like well it’s it’s what you said right we we can pivot we can adapt we can get out of a downturn in the business but it’s it’s it’s mental right it’s our mindset it’s do we believe and are we ready to do the next right thing yeah exactly and uh I think that’s so much of this uh so much of sports is mental so much business is mental uh and it’s my mindset that really drives the uh I can look back and almost tie my uh profitability to the mindset that I had at that point in the in my life yes I’ve actually done that exercise um for a presentation I gave and and there’s an exact correlation to where my mindset was and and how the business was doing it’s it’s crazy yeah it is Jason we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about one of your biggest challenges during the years and and maybe a fellow business owner who came alongside you and helped you get through that so um uh hopefully I’m not uh oozing geek nerd dork whatever the term is these days uh too much on this but that’s what I am I have a computer scientist I’m a programmer uh I am a mountain drink Mountain Dew drinking card

um so be you I love it yes so that’s who I am and I love it um but uh the hardest transition for me is I don’t when I started a business I never the list of things I can’t wait to do on when I own my own business uh one item that never made the list was sales selling like it was the last like matter of fact it didn’t even crossed my mind that I was gonna have to do that people would come to me because I was so smart you know um it doesn’t work that way and so I’ll never forget I was out with a client selling a client once uh talking about some custom software we could build for them and we’re about 10 minutes into the conversation he’s sitting there polite and then he just puts his hand up he goes just stop for a minute you don’t know how to sell do you and I was like oh ouch he goes you’re really bad at it I said oh yeah he goes yeah let me introduce you to somebody and so he introduced me to Brian kaviki um and Brian kaviki uh is a business owner who basically taught me how to sell but more importantly um again he’s part of the the he’s one of the people who really taught me about my mentality um and really was like you know even in the sales conversation you know I kept coming into it from here’s the problems I can solve or here’s the the solutions I have for you he’s like no no no no no well it’s about them like it’s your mentality like what value are you bringing to them what is it that they need done how can you help them uh and so his teaching me how to sell through understanding and empathizing with other people uh was a really big impact but I would say over the years my biggest challenge has been that uh you know I’m not necessarily A salesman uh it’s really not in my DNA per se but I’ve gotten pretty good at it uh and the reason is because it I realize that it’s not about me it’s not about what I’m doing it’s a hundred percent about them and and I can be interested in other people yes yes it makes it a whole lot easier doesn’t it yeah it does uh so um that’s he had a big influence on me from that standpoint what we call what you just described we call that professionally helping others to make a decision that’s right for them yeah and it’s when that I had the same shift in my mindset of oh well I can help other people make a decision that’s right for them if I’m not if I don’t have to sell them I’m just guiding and directing them and and know is okay if it’s not right for them that’s a whole lot less stressful yeah buy a long shot and it’s actually kind of fun right that’s awesome thank you for sharing I’m going to put you on the spot here if if I was to ask you to pick three people in your business owner Journey that you’re most grateful for being there for you for your businesses that you know helping in your business’s growth who are those three people and how they help you uh well Kendra’s gonna come up first uh she is my wife um she is also the president of the company uh she is in a lot of ways the Ying to my yang uh I am a a Visionary extrovert uh lots of new ideas um type of person and she’s a hold on let’s think about that idea let’s make sure people uh it’s actually helping people um and let’s get the details in order and make sure you’re filing your taxes you know all this right yes um not to mention uh you know she’s my spouse so at the end of the day she sees all aspects of me um and so that is that support network uh in in her is is invaluable um the next one obviously it comes to mind is Brian uh because of the sales aspect but I’m gonna go ahead and use a different person than than Brian uh another person that really helped me was uh Dan Lacy from a finance standpoint um I have you know I went and got the MBA I I you know know all the the book knowledge but that’s different than executing it in reality yeah uh and so at some level um he was a coach that came in and sat next to us especially during that growth from 2015 to 2018. uh and just gave me the like the Practical advice that isn’t necessarily in the books um that you wouldn’t know until you’re faced with it like hey you know what as you’re growing you’re probably not going to have cash like right growing I’m gonna have a lot of cash it’s like no you’re probably not and and here’s why and then you look at it you’re like oh this is exactly how it’s playing out and uh so just that practicality right the the the the feet on the ground this is just you know don’t get all caught up in the numbers there’s some Basics here and uh he kind of helped bring that that practical uh uh emotionless approach to what’s going on on that front uh and then last you know from the business standpoint um he doesn’t get enough credit in in our businesses he showed but his name is John hassenmeyer John actually was my college roommate uh John and I started the first business together uh that ended up not working in the in the late 90s early 2000s John came on board with me in about 2013 uh and is our our chief technical uh resource uh he’s an architect he’s got he’s frankly way smarter than I’ll ever be and uh he’s got more experience uh than uh you know most people in the city and when it comes to a technical problem uh John can solve it and uh so you know if I’m if I’m thinking about people that really made robosource what Robo source is John hassenmeyer is a lot really a lot of the brains behind the automation side of things um and has been with us through thick and thin now for I guess over 10 years so awesome I I loved what you said earlier about the the yin and yang um I often uh so we use uh disk assessments to help understand the way people think and and and communicate and process information and and oftentimes I find that Opposites Attract so whether it’s um married couples usually they’re opposite as well as business partners tend to be opposite as well because subconsciously we do know that we need our opposite to be a whole complete person you know um but then practically I often see that sometimes there can be that rub of oh my goodness you know why are we not you know why are we not getting along it’s because we see the world so differently so I love that that you have that appreciation for for the yin and yang um I’ll build off of what I heard you say is so you’re the you’re more of the Visionary who that tip generally means that you know you can’t land the plane or you can’t land the plane well so you need somebody who’s who’s in the detailed into the weeds one you know loves that wants to embrace that so you can be the ideator and brainstormer and then you know give it to somebody else to say okay put all those pieces together and figure out the details and land the plane for me so exactly I I think that’s just awesome that you guys have have realized that about one another and you’re leveraging each other’s strengths so congratulations well thank you Jason if um if we think about the future then over the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges that you see that you’re going to face in reaching your goals and who are the types of people that you’re going to need to overcome those challenges

looking out three to five years one of the conversations we’ve had is um how do we 10x our business um and uh that’s a different way of thinking than just doubling it it makes me have to like be like take a big step back for us one of the areas that stands in the way is is our business really is very service oriented right now um at the end of the day we come in and we build custom automations for businesses uh we need to Pivot towards more of a product based Focus um and and we actually have a product that inadvertently has come up through working with all of our clients uh that we started building out and that we’re moving towards that is a a big shift for about every aspect of our business I mean the way you Bill is different right it’s no longer time and materials it’s it’s based off a whole different model the the the way you Market is different um the sales cycle is different the the finances are different the metrics that drive the finances are different like like everything comes out different um even the people that I hire technically need different skill sets than the ones that that uh historically have worked with us so um we’re very aware that there’s a lot we don’t know about this uh and so there are a series of of people that I right now are Forefront of mind uh immediately being marketing um how do you Market a product uh and how do you Market that’s very different than the way I would Market a an automation service or automation solution uh the product is going to be a different thing I don’t know how to do that yet so that’s an area I got to work on hiring strategies um we’ve we’ve got to identify the gaps of of with the people that we currently have versus what we need and um I’m not sure what that looks like yet so there’s there’s a gap there and and so we’ve got to find some people that can help come alongside of us to to find that Gap and make sure that we’re filling in uh the right pieces there um product development is a whole different concept than building custom software building custom software I’m looking very specifically at your processes and I’m making sure I’m executing them in the most efficient possible most efficient way possible product development is I’m predicting that there are a series of businesses that are going to like the solution I give them yes so it’s it’s a very different way of building uh and there’s going to be again we’re going to stub our toe along the way so uh that’s a different way of thinking so there’s a product development so those are the three that are top of mind for me right now uh though I know Finance is going to be an issue lifetime value of clients and ratios around all of that but that’s for later I I love the mindset shift or or at least the you know diversifying the business so having you know more of a leverage model what I would call leverage models you know you build it once and you continue to be able to sell it um you know until the next iteration of it versus the the individual customized software model of you’re building it every single time uh yeah so that’s awesome that it’s it sounds like it’s a diversification type strategy which is is great in right in terms of building more more safety into your business model yes that’s exactly what needs to happen for us right now that’s awesome last question here Jim Rohn says that we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so what advice would you have for business owners who think that they need to do it on their own believe the hype on social media that people are self-made and and are are attempting to build their business without seeking the the guidance and how Council of others

that’s a that’s a great point and a great question um the the first thought that comes to my mind is uh Bob Berg’s go-giver I don’t know if you’ve read that one or not or familiar with it but um he has a these Five Laws of stratospheric Success or whatnot and and one of them that really resonates deeply with me is what he calls the law of influence um and by that he says uh that your influence is determined by how abundantly you put other people’s interests above your own uh and so I guess the question I would have around a self-made individual is is how what influence are you really having if you’ve not engaged and surrounded yourself with people that you can actually put their interests above your own then are you really influencing them uh or are you really are you just kind of forcing your ideas on people um again I don’t believe that that business the lesson that I learned is business isn’t about me this is about how I can help you and so if I’m going to be influenced influencing you I need people around me um but that also means it’s not just so that I can be there to help you because that’s not a relationship a relationship comes from the fact that you can help me too yeah and that’s that’s really the kinds of relationships that actually build real businesses and at and you know conversely give you influence in your community to speak into things um so if you aren’t abundantly helping other people and open to them abundantly helping you then then how are you growing uh your influence how that’s just you’re shouting into the wind at that point I love that you’re setting into the wind yeah yeah abundance I that the as you were describing that book um it made me think so I’m part of a BNI group it made me think of their philosophy of giver’s gain thank you you get as much as you give and you need to give abundantly and and um and really at the end of the day we’re we’re here on Earth for a very short period of time so I’ve I’ve read stories of people on their Death Beds they don’t they don’t remember how much money they had they don’t remember right they remember the relationships they had and the impact that they had so yeah exactly right back to what you’re saying that that resonates with me um and and to me that’s part of what business is is when my mind shifted from I’m building a business so that I can have the life that I want to I’m building a business so I can help as many people as possible be able to have the lives that they want

everything um and uh it did so because they immediately wanted to help me right ironically like um because that’s just that’s the way people work yeah uh what’s the um is it Jerry Maguire help me help you or who who yeah yeah that kind of idea right so yeah Jason it sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people uh in your journey if they were all here on the show today what would you want to say to them oh you know uh thank you um again we talked earlier about mindset psyche is a really fragile thing and uh I just appreciate the belief they held in me to help uh support me when I didn’t believe in myself uh to push me into uh ways of thinking uh that helped me grow um because again I I can do my I’m not mentally strong enough to do it on my own um and I would challenge anyone who says they are so Amen to that Jason it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show oh my pleasure thanks so much Tim to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim cancel be sure to help us spread the movement by liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to be mad together.com all right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care