June 23, 2023

Episode #91: Justin Fortier – FYC Labs

Justin Fortier is a tech entrepreneur and founder of multiple successful companies in California. As CEO/CTO of FYC Labs, he successfully led the company to acquisition in 2020. The boutique design agency grew internationally, capturing clients such as Remax, National University, Budweiser, and Pepsi Co., and has been recognized on several top lists for Web Design and Development.

Justin has been named as finalist for CEO of the year twice by the San Diego Business Journal and was recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Business Leaders in San Diego by San Diego Daily Transcript. In addition, he holds top-level Technical/Business advisory positions at 11.2 Ventures, Blush Design Inc, Edvo, Aura Finance, and Intraratio Corp. He has held technical executive roles for Blockchain Innovators – XYO Network, Ecommerce Game Changer – For Days, and Manufacturing Technology SaaS – Intraratio Corp.

Justin volunteers his time helping other entrepreneurs and small business owners through various organizations such as the San Diego Small Business Advisory Board, Sierra College, Folsom Chamber of Commerce, and the Granite City Foundation.

Justin is a Father of two and enjoys fishing, hiking, and playing hockey.

For over a decade, FYC Labs has been a leading design and development agency dedicated to empowering businesses. We offer various services including engineering expertise, UI/UX web and product design, and strategic guidance. Our team is committed to understanding the unique needs of our clients and consistently delivering exceptional results that surpass expectations. As a nationally recognized and award-winning studio, partnering with FYC Labs is the solution to achieving new levels of success and realizing business goals. https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-fo…

Transcript

hello this is coach Tim Campsall and I’m your host for the self-made as a myth make a difference together show where we are talking with successful business owners to hear the stories of the journey to building their business and because we know that achieving 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 today I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from California with us and my guest was born and raised in South Lake Tahoe but check this out he sucks at skiing I don’t even know how that’s possible but we’re gonna we’re gonna give him a little rub on that in a bit here uh in his downtime he likes to play hockey and hang out with his kids and wife he is most proud of seeing how far his company has come and we’re going to have him elaborate that on that here in a minute it’s my pleasure to welcome Justin to the show today hello Justin oh thanks for having me Tim awesome 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 about your family and uh we’re also going to need to hear about the uh not knowing how to ski very well you’ve been uh given where you uh grew up so I mean it’s probably relative right like yeah right yeah probably from folks from you know Florida I’m probably a little better than them but should be I guess is what I expect there you go all right that makes more sense I did grow up in Tahoe um people always laugh like wow people actually live there or you know maybe since pandemic more people moved up there but it was uh it was it was primarily a tourist town right so the regular population was probably only 20 000 people but then when the tourists would all come in we’d explode to a town of 150 000 people right so um but yeah I grew up there and then went to uh School in UC Santa Barbara so I spent my undergrad time down there and then went to San Diego State for my Master’s Degree in Communications marketing kind of started my entrepreneurial Journey right out of there I was um I graduated in 2009 which if anybody else who graduated in that time really remembers it was not the best time to be looking for a job yeah so a few friends of mine had kind of been you know looking uh they’re starting a bar so I ended up helping helping them get that going so that’s that was my first foray into entrepreneurialism was helping you know as a just just a friend to kick off this this group down in San Diego and uh tell us about your family uh so my my wife is Bree she’s from Iowa so I’m a better skier than her because I got that going for me um yeah so we have two kids uh awesome daughters eight and four uh our eight-year-old is Zoe our youngest Rey is four um they are learning to skate they’re learning to play a little bit of hockey they’re loving it up here we’re close to Tahoe but we don’t live there exactly now we live in El Dorado Hills which is just down the hill um so getting them into skiing they’re on summer break right now doing summer camp Girl Scouts um just great kids a great place to raise kids too this is just such an awesome town so lucky I guess and yeah for sure in that in that sense well I know already because of your sense of humor that this is gonna probably be a really good story so is there a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us yeah it kind of shied away from that

um actually a funny one I was thinking about it this morning on you know because I knew that question was going to come up um I wanted to tell a funny one about work if that’s okay if I may get a little bit about work because so I was thinking about the other day um I use this email client called spark if you don’t have it go get it it’s awesome Ukrainian developed um support Ukraine um so they they allow you to do messaging let’s say for example there’s an email thread going on and with me and you have a client and we want to kind of message back and forth oh I think we should send them this proposal or maybe they’ll like this logo well that didn’t used to be the case and when I first started my business and what I would do is um I would kind of have these internal threads and I I accidentally see seed someone and it was a recommendation on vendors so I was recommending different photographers and I you know me and you were going back and forth and I accidentally cc’d the client on a conversation I was having internally that said hey you know here’s four photographers I love this one if you can stand them then we’ll we’ll go ahead and we’re you know recommend them or something something along those lines of like don’t use this one unless you’re desperate and I what was happening was I was actually I CC the client and I accidentally I was getting their email addresses again yeah yeah right yeah yeah typing into the two bar yeah and I forgot to remove it from the two bars so yeah that photographer messaged me back and said uh yeah I didn’t know you hated me that much oh no ever since then I’ve been looking for an email client that allows me to have those internal conversations more carefully you know the family stuff maybe I’m a little yeah I I like that one uh we we’ve all been there so right you’re in good company here wow yep yep those are not fun emails to get back when you don’t get it and then you read it from the person in the copies yeah so Justin tell us how did business come about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business so fyc is the name of our uh is our company bunku creative and that’s going to be an interesting fun story to explain how we can thank you creative it’s not as vulgar as you as it kind of seems like it’s going to be but um so as I told you when I was in grad school a bunch of my friends started a cocktail lounge we were all kind of in the restaurant industry in one way or another and a lot of them um had kind of broken off they’d saved up enough money to start their own bar in San Diego it was called El Dorado cocktail lounge total coincidence ended up moving to El Dorado Hills just totally coincident so they um so they start this bar and they’re looking for somebody to kind of help with just I I know I don’t look it but I was a bouncer I used to lift more weights so I they asked me to come in and just be to watch the door right like the Greek guests as they came in and kind of worked the door um quickly I started just loving working with them um it had nothing to do with my degree and I was just at the time all my friends who had just come out of school we’re all looking for jobs and I was just like look I’m not gonna I’m not gonna not have a job I’m gonna go do this so I really enjoyed working with them I started growing in there and I became the GM of the of the bar at a certain point um and what happened was I was in charge of booking all the talent getting all the we would throw these events and these uh concerts we had it was kind of the early days of electronic music like being popular like the EDM dance scene so there’s a lot of a lot of hipsters let’s just put it that way and we’d have these cool posters and we’d have um these acts come in and one of the graphic designers uh was Pablo Stanley and he came to me about I was about four years into working at El Dorado and he came to me and he said hey and he’s just he was unbelievable Talent he would build these posters that people I’ve never seen people steal like concert posters before like these DJs were unknown they were just local DJs that no one really cared about but the artwork was so incredible on these posters that people would constantly steal them over and over again after print up new ones Pablo comes in one day and he’s like he just got back from a gig in San Francisco he was working for a meme company called Nine gag they’re huge right they they were doing some of the early early memes of the internet all right and he comes in and goes hey do you have any busboy jobs and I just looked I’m like are you kidding traffic designer on the planet and you want me to hire you as a busboy absolutely not what are you doing let’s go start a business together um so he and I sat there it was about one o’clock in the morning it was it was an off night so it wasn’t like a super busy on the bar so him and I just kind of sat down on my laptop um and just started cruising through ideas on what we would do together and I was looking through some of his artwork and that’s where there was a he had this disco he would do these really funny illustrations to get this illustration of a guy in a disco suit with a big afro actually that’s where this logo came from oh you’re gonna get to see that because it might be a green screen but the logo behind me um came from was it’s big afro he’s doing a roundhouse kick and he’s kicking somebody saying funk you right like that’s it that’s our name so he and I started a creative agency so that’s originally what the business was it was just um I was in charge of all the project management you know the you know the sales the business development and he was in charge of the creative um I was a programmer but it wasn’t as important we just had some websites uh you know WordPress and whatnot but it really just came from it’s I think you know for me it’s you don’t get that kind of talent asking you do you want to do something together that often it’s kind of like you know Michael Jordan or somebody coming up and saying hey do you want to start a basketball team together you’re like I don’t even play basketball that’s that’s kind of where the idea came from it really wasn’t like I wanted specifically to start a graphic design it was just I can’t not work with this guy yeah awesome and you didn’t you couldn’t uh have him be a busboy you had to help him out I did not hire him he didn’t have a job he probably he’s probably pissed because he’s probably dead right so tell us more about the company um uh just say the name again so everyone uh hears it what do you guys do how do you help people so funk you creative or fyc Labs um so today we help people with software development mobile apps web applications and also websites and branding so websites and branding was kind of our bread and butter as I told you before from coming from when Pablo and I started the company we were doing a lot of creative we never left that side we never banned in that side of the business coming from the bar scene we had a phrase it was called don’t turn your back on your regulars and those websites were our regulars and they took care of us for years um As I Grew as an engineer and as um you know product development uh became a little bit more accessible we jumped into mobile app development blockchain development and full stack development so that as Pop Pablo moved on to other projects He ended up going off to udemy he was I think creative director there he was at Lyft and then he’s now he started carbon health so he’s done some really amazing things um so I kind of inherited the rest of the business and it shifted away from the creative because you just I couldn’t replicate what he had done so I shifted it to the side of the business that I was more comfortable with um so we help people solve digital solution uh you know come up with digital solutions for their problems and for product development um so yeah that’s that’s what we mostly help with I do a lot of CTO coaching now at this point I’ve you know um I not only did fyc for the last 10 years but I went out and worked on a blockchain startup I started up a SAS company in manufacturing space so I gained a lot of experience so I now have the ability to go out and Coach other ctOS be a fractional CTO for other businesses so that’s why I spend most of my time today but our business is usually doing product development on mobile apps and web applications fantastic so hey Justin share a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think you that you could and the impact that that person had on you I mean I obviously that first story I’ll probably tell a couple because I think it’s not fair to leave out some of the people who’ve really pushed and kind of made things um because I do feel pretty successful in my life right like I have I think I’m pretty lucky and to have met a lot of cool people and I want to make sure that that’s that’s thought about but obviously the first person is Pablo right the I had I he’s one of those people that as long as they’re on your team you’re going to win you got a chance at winning the title is playing Center for you you got a chance at winning the title um dating myself there with a lot of the Gretzky like she’s uh Connor not only that but you know I mean been having uh grown born and raised in Canada I just love the fact that you’re even talking about hockey this is I know California California kid talking about hockey right they got the candidate um so yeah I think the you know when you have those type of people around you you you just feel like we can win I mean it’s not a given right you know you need to put in your work and contribute and do everything but just having that Talent around was the first the first person who kind of made me feel like I can really do this I can start my own business we can make this work um I’m not alone I’ve got that Talent with me um so when Pablo left and I started other uh businesses um I think about a person who pushed me on the engineering perspective I was an okay developer I was self-taught for the most part um and I was building WordPress websites and stuff it was it was I was not a full engineer at the time um I went and started a SAS company with a friend of mine from my hockey team uh he started a SAS company called ensure ratio and he he was the CTO uh CEO kind of crossover um so he had a lot of that technical skill and we hired out this uh so he gave me a lot of um push in the right direction to be an engineer but then we hired this guy out of San Diego State and master’s program who was just again sort of like that Pablo level talent that blew your mind in every single day I would compete with him and just try as best I could as an engineer to keep up with him and it just became every day we competed it didn’t matter what we were doing who could push more code who could win it ping pong who was better at Honda forever yeah everything we did he played guitar I played guitar it was every single thing we did we were just competing but it wasn’t a it was not in this sense of like unhealthy competition you might hear about in Corporate America where it’s Cutthroat it was more like we just kept pushing each other to be better and better and better and I attribute a lot of my ability to be a good programmer to be thoughtful to be a fast thinker to solve things quickly to his name’s Tong um and he was just such a huge support um to push me to believe that I could be a programmer right and then finally I close it out like the last few years obviously my wife’s always made me feel like I can pull off anything she always you know said yeah I remember there being this time we’re just like I’ve never I’ll never be worried about us financially because I have you right because we because you can I I know you’ll always find a way um because when we went through the opening of starting the business it was pretty tough right sure and then Grant my business partner at fyc he’s come in and just been super supportive he’s found the right people around me the the networks that I never had access to kind of being just a garage startup and kind of Scrappy he kind of comes from more of the VC world and it’s been able to kind of connect me and that’s how actually we and through through a series of connections that’s how I know you so it’s been really cool to see that hey we’re going to give you a support of the social network not just hey I know you can work your butt off but that that’s not enough so yeah fantastic so you’ve um you’ve probably uh learned a lot over the years what’s your biggest learning as a business owner

um let’s think about that one that’s that’s that is uh how do I put this like it it’s actually something that came up today we had a really interesting conversation about being careful before we hire and we you know we talk about oh we could just hire a contractor or maybe an agency and we’ll just if we don’t it doesn’t work out we’ll let them go that’s not who we are that’s not who I hire that’s not the type of person I am that like when you come into work for us we invest in you in our best personally and emotionally I try to be very like I try my best to be kind of detached at that time because you have to be in certain ways yeah but the reality is as I empathize with these people coming in they’re believing what and the vision that we’re putting out there and I have I feel an obligation to support them and see growth in their career so one of the things that I’ve learned is that you have to be really careful about the emotional tax it takes to have people to to create this group you can’t you you can’t underestimate how much it like emotional weight you take on as a as a leader at least in my with my style um so hiring people needs to become less of a transactional thing is more is more of a let’s be very thoughtful about is this the right time to make this higher because if it doesn’t work out how painful is it going to be to to let them go or are we going to hold on to them longer because we don’t want to have that pain are we going to find them work then we might not have needed so that’s one thing I’ve learned it’s just been really really thoughtful about growth and making sure you make those right hires and doing it in a way that you recognize the emotional investment in the sort of the yeah the full investment into an employee I mean we’re an agency our product is our people right so when we we’re we can’t just be like oh we’ll just trade someone out and we are our app still works who are we’re selling their time so fair very fair yeah there’s a the phrase the higher slow Fire fast comes to mind as you’re as you were explaining that and more on the higher slow side right of take the time to make sure that they’re a good cultural fit right that they’re aligned to the vision and the values and the beliefs of the company because we’ve all had situations where we’ve worked with somebody who wasn’t a cultural fit and that’s just a huge pain right and then to your point if if you have that emotional connection to them even if you know they shouldn’t they shouldn’t stay with the company every all of us feel bad about you know the fire fast idea so it’s much easier to take your time up front and and higher slow than than have to you know spend that emotional energy on firing the firing fast and in our world it’s sometimes when you’re letting somebody go it’s just the work ran dry it’s not it’s not that they did anything wrong so you have to really thoughtful about this we could be uprooting this person’s life moving for three months the project ran dry and now we’ve completely kind of disrupted this person’s life right so for us has to be something where we’re in the right position to make that higher so that’s why it’s for us it’s especially careful to be high or slow and I am not the best interviewer I am not the best read of characters so again going back to not self-made right I’m it’s a myth I have the most amazing CEO Phil uh Lorenzo uh he just has such a great read on people he’s the best interviewer a special technical interviewer I’ve ever met and I I kind of have allowed myself to just trust him because I’ve been burned because I might not have that I don’t have whatever that Keen sense is of what’s going to happen three months from now they seem great they seem awesome and they’re like they’re horrible so and then those are easy Fire fast right if they steal from us like time theft is a big deal to me I make sure people don’t do time thefts that’s an easy fire right but it’s the ones that are like oh we just the project ran dry I’m so sorry you uprooted your whole life you you quit your other job and now you oh sorry that that’s stuff I just can’t that’s hard to stomach sure yeah fair enough uh Justin we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about um one of your biggest challenges during the years and maybe a fellow business owner that came alongside you and helped you get through that

um yeah so we kind of have this really cool um you know outside of fyc labs I kind of neglected to talk about you know just so because for sure it’ll take a while to explain all the different projects we’re working on but we created a group called The fyc Syndicate um and it’s modeled after that Restaurant Group um that I worked for with with El Dorado being the first one they ended up expanding out to I think it’s 15 16 restaurants inside of their Consortium over the course of five six years I took that Consortium concept and I’m applying it to sort of like SAS companies and technology companies so um the relevant answer the question is that we we’ve created a community of uh uh small businesses and startups that we all Support called The fyc Syndicate um and when I think back about my days of running the bar it was always the other business owners the different restaurant owners who would work together they would work together with pricing they’d go to a vendor and say hey our Consortium will start buying from you but actually each individual restaurant was its own entity and they all got to ran it run it their own way it wasn’t a franchise it wasn’t a Hospitality Group it was a Consortium of like groups that kind of came together and said hey let’s let’s get some price breaking let’s share ideas let’s all use a unified POS so that way we could trade um waiters and bartenders from place to place so we take a same approach of having a system by which like we have this Syndicate but we all kind of Leverage the same project management tools or we all kind of have the same project engineering product engineering philosophy so that whole Community gets together and supports each other and that’s one of the biggest um like you know I think the question was around challenges is right it was a biggest challenge yeah so our biggest challenge was how do we scale out of just being a small agency it was to create this group of people of just advisors and um fellow business owners all aligned on on values and goals they did not have to work for each other the best people want to work for themselves right like they have the most um the most ambitious people so you but you they still want to collaborate and that’s what’s been really cool is to see this whole Syndicate of businesses and friends that get together all the time like I just had beers last night with with one of the guys and we sat and talked about what is it going to take to get out of our business at some point and what does it take to get to the next level how do you determine whether or not you trust somebody like and these are just things we’re always supporting each other with oh that’s fantastic so um just for every for the audience’s sake just explain a little bit more about that that your Syndicate model and how how that works and how people can maybe learn more about it if they want to get involved with you yeah so again kind of comes back to like imagine a restaurant group or a group of businesses all kind of with similar um ownership not all the same right so every single entity within our Syndicate has an its own LLC or S Corp or C Corp depending on the appropriate structure for the business but the rule is that at least one kind of ownership level degree is connected right so um myself and Graham are lucky enough to um be able to be some angel angel investors so the companies we’ve Angel invested in together well they’ve become brought into our Syndicate and we provide Syndicate support for them so we do promotion through a little bit of LinkedIn and Twitter so we kind of make sure to include them we provide discounted rates for people for businesses that are inside of our Syndicate we do sometimes trade of Sweat Equity for work when kind of the fundraising environment is not all that great but we still need to get this product across the Finish Line well look you got you got six more Sprints to go trade us some Equity we’ll send some Engineers over there to get you across the Finish Line um so that’s one way that we’re connected the other one is that literally we their in-house start started new companies so we’ll we’ll start new businesses and we’ll like hire and we’ll give Equity to some founding members and so that’ll enter its way into the Syndicate so what’s cool is again kind of going back to the the employee model of if something dries up on the agency side cool go to one of our Syndicate Partners help that project out be a developer there and it goes back to that model again back with a restaurant of hey I can change out maybe I’m not getting enough shifts at you know this restaurant but I can pick up a couple more shifts and I’m still in the family right I’m still within the group and I don’t have to learn new systems and I’m still that then maybe when the Project’s picked back up oh come back over to fyc we got a big project and we don’t we can pull off the bench versus having to do that higher in fire situation so so it’s been a pretty magical experience to be honest and then it like decentralizing it at first it was sort of like a spoke and wheel situation where everything kind of centralized on myself or my business partner Graham now I’m watching them collaborate together and that’s been so freaking cool like just seeing them call one another get on calls seeing them promote each other’s businesses it’s just been like the coolest thing I’ve ever and just and I love the the the brainchild of this was the uh you uh working as a bouncer [Laughter]

that’s not a bad thing it’s like you just absorb from all these different people all these different walks of life and you know like a lot of people say oh yeah you have to go work at Google to learn these like no man like you can learn so much from small other small business owners everywhere you go whether it’s you know a pet grooming place and learning what they did and just picking up all these little pieces along the way make you such a more well-rounded entrepreneur and make you more uh um like how do I play like survival like you can survive more um I can’t do the right word but like it’s just it just makes you more durable as a an entrepreneur yeah I I like the survive work too because hey we all know that the business owner Journey isn’t all just up right it’s a little bit of a roller coaster ride and it can be very lonely at the top so having those other business owners to be able to talk to it’s it’s uh it helps a ton yeah things like this too it’s it’s like it’s it’s cathartic right so Justin I’m going to put you on the spot here a little bit uh if I was to ask you to pick three people in your business uh Journey that you’re most grateful for them being there to help with the the businesses growth who are those three people and how they help you that’s super unfair there’s so many but I mean I feel obligated obviously with my wife my wife is our head of design as well so so we actually work in the business together so the way that she supports I mean she kind of ran the business while I went out and started my SAS companies alongside of another co-founder um she yeah she’s just been super supportive of me has put up with when we were eating Top Ramen and cheese for a couple years right so number one I got I got to be like that’s that’s the one person who’s been like the biggest support um the next is like a whole group of what I’m gonna call like my hockey Buddies right it just happened to be and I so I know that’s cheating but it kind of can all fit in one uh Persona of just a group of guys that I played hockey with I was a bit younger I’m I’m the youngest of uh my brother and sister are 10 and 12 years old with me so I’m used to being the young guy uh with their siblings and they’re all maybe five to ten years older than me and I I think they only let me play hockey with them like like the only reason they took me in was because I was good at hockey right yeah I would have been kicked out but I was good at hockey and they kind of took me under their wing and each of them actually were business owners almost every single one of them had started their own business it was just a coincidence on the same team yeah the the overall coaching from that and just everything I got uh after you know drinks after the after the game so that whole group of friends has was just such a cool group of mentors for me um in every way of like being that big brother when I left you know my brother’s always been a a mentor of mine I’ve always you know looked up to him so people are wearing that are approximately we’re in that group in your hockey about 10 10 consistent guys who just really had that had my back and every time there was some new thing that came up it’d be oh yeah I went through that I remember when I was starting to go on the street to come to come to our thing yeah so the only only the agency guy would take 10 people and put it into one Persona and think that that was okay all right who who’s number three oh I think it’s more of the house right yeah they’re all hockey players with the same huh so um yeah so I guess that one and then um my my current business partner right now Graham um he’s he changed the game when he came on board he actually bought out some of my previous partners and he just completely changed the game right now that’s like one of the most influential people in in our in our business and kind of where we’re headed and his support’s been really great he’s um he’s just been yeah he’s been really like trusting in my vision for where the where the company and where the syndicate’s going he had a very similar idea with this indicator early on when he was kind of coming in so it aligned nicely and just how much he’s just believed in me and then said hey if there’s support needed whatever it is we got you like and that’s that’s a CEO you need that support and I know that that’s like what I give to my other my co-founders my other businesses is you’re the CEO what do you need you need do you need to move the office closer to your house or your commute shorter let’s do it like you are the you’re the one and I know it’s not you know that kind of antithetical to the self-made thing but that person is the core and if that person’s struggling the entire business is going to start to fall apart that person has to be confident strong um like catered to without you know making it you know don’t don’t spoil them yeah but you need to make sure that person is because they’re going to carry a lot of weight so support your CEOs yes for sure yes well and and I know um you and I had talked offline a couple weeks back is the other thing about the you know CEO versus the rest of the leadership team is you know the CEO generally speaking is more the Visionary right the Strategic thinker and and and comes up with those ideas that are kind of further forward that others can’t really wrap their head around but then they need somebody to be able to land the plane right and execute those ideas and and connect all the dots and make it happen so you know the the support comes in both ways right allowing you to be more of that Visionary and dreamer but also to be able to take those ideas and and actually turn them into something yeah and I would say that’s if I want to throw one more person of this Phil um who I talked about her CEO is just I can just trust that something wild comes through and he’s just gonna figure out who the right people are and make it happen fantastic but it’s not fair three’s not fair I know that’s why I said I was gonna put you on the spot now I I do like how you you know you you change the rules back and uh still you know still got to be able to say everyone you wanted to so nice job

Justin as you think about the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges that you see that you’re gonna face in in reaching your goals and who are the types of people you’re going to need to overcome those I mean the the popular answer right now is AI especially in our world um it’s it’s a it’s a blessing and a curse for AI right now it’s it’s been really helpful for us as Engineers but you do know that it will start to eat away at um some of our our you you know there you may need fewer Engineers now so that one of our in our our product being engineering and designers sure it’s definitely a threat so uh but at the same time it’s making us more effective and we’re doing cooler things so maybe the world just moves faster I don’t know so that uncertainty around AI is one thing I I’m more fully embracing it I I love it I love everything that chat CPT is doing for the engineering teams and and for our clients just creating better user experiences on their products and doing a lot of cool stuff around SEO and um chat Bots supporting customers yeah it’s just cool so we’re embracing as much as we can but I do I’d be naive to say that there isn’t some sort of threat looming out there for almost every position right I could be talking to AI Tim next year oh

yeah I was I was actually at an event last night in the and it was about AI so the host was actually a a a a TV screen with uh you know with the person who really was the host right kind of standing off to the side and the television was the one talking to us that’s the exponential growth of this stuff is very interesting and it’s it’s it has so many pros and cons just like every other piece of technology has ever come out right so but it is it’s going to be it’s gonna be pretty crazy so that’s the number one challenge I think that’s like Forefront of my mind it’s what most of my conversations have been about like you said you know you’re at a conference and that’s what’s everybody’s talking about so um the other thing is just the the typical stuff right is maintaining that energy um you you get talk to different entrepreneurs all the time and they go through this kind of let me use the word bipolar just because like you go through these depressions where you just don’t have the energy to push your business forward and it’s because you need to rebuild that energy it’s not always time off that doesn’t always solve the problem it’s just sort of accepting that you’re going to have periods in your business where you don’t have the energy to push it forward the way that you did before yeah and then knowing all of a sudden you’ll get some fire lit under your butt and you’re gonna go manic right you’re gonna go crazy yeah you’re probably going to overdo it and you’re gonna drive your staff crazy and you’re gonna come back down to earth so yeah yeah um I I do kind of feel like the life of a CEO either you are bipolar you go into it or it makes you bipolar just because um yes that roller coaster ride is is quite fun the other way I like to describe it to be less you know less uh bipolar languages you know you you push the company and it and it it grows but then it needs to level out a little bit for the owner to catch up to that growth right there needs to be a process of us you know growing and evolving into that next level so that we’re then prepared to to push it again and your energy levels as the leader of the company will will kind of Wane and wax with that same same up and down as the business momentum it needs to chill out so you’ll hit that point where you’re just like it’s just not that interesting as it was a couple years ago something will happen and you’ll be like super into again so um and that’s just totally natural I mean I think if if you just look at the chemical composition like there’s no way you can maintain those endorphins that long and need to replenish so um or an adrenaline as well in some ways so I think that that’s a totally natural cycle and I think maintaining that as a challenge is always something that I think every entrepreneur and leader should recognize and make sure that they’re acknowledging that they’re going through one or the other if they they’re if they’re so naive to think that they’re always flatlined then they’re probably not the best leader so if you can jump to yourself and going through it I’ve been learning to be more honest with my team and saying hey I’m going through this and our team is like I’m super impressed about the uh mental health conversations that our team has and how open we are and how supportive we are with one another as they go through it it’s so cool um and it’s not in a kind of kumbayae it’s in a all right guys something’s happening over here let’s make sure we accommodate for that solution because we know that that’s actually bad for business if that person tends to be in this position right now let’s cover cover their back okay get them back it’s almost like a like a sports team kind of having each other’s back and it’s I guess the really cool way to manage it we don’t we don’t play therapists to one another we just acknowledge it accept it and sort of okay then you’re gonna move into this role during that time okay you’re better you’re good so um the hockey analogy right you can only Sprint back and forth on the ice for a couple minutes at most and you got to get off and and and recharge right your shifts right so you gotta it’s shift management so you got to make sure you have enough ice time on there you’re not over push you’re not pushing your players too hard and give them that little break and but recognizing hey they’ve been out there too long move them to defense right so it’s that same type of a mentality and it really just comes down to having aligned goals and aligned values of hey we need to make sure our clients are happy and that we’re executing this as efficiently as possible if that if your mental health is in there it’s the it’s no different than your monitor braking or your you know you oh yeah great you have a cold these are just things that happen and it’s there’s a lot a very big lack of judgment and a space given I’m just super proud of our team like it’s so cool to see I wish our clients could see a little bit better but that’s not their problem right exactly yes they’re not paying for uh to be empathetic right yeah exactly yeah we need code push so last question here um Jim Rohn awesome business Guru says that we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as you think about that what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it on their own and think that they you know they don’t need to ask for help or won’t benefit from others input well I mean the obvious there is if you’re on the average of five people make sure the five people are great people um so I’m sure you’re surrounding yourself with good people not all of us have the option to always be able to do that right you might be stuck in situations where you’re dealing with um some time environment so this may be going back to just people who are in different businesses and just sort of General career advice um so it’s finding those other people um who Who You Are that it needs to be authentic too like just because you happen to have you know an awesome like I’m not the best fit for everybody I’m not the best person to be around certain people I I have my own style and it might not be the right fit so be authentic with that and the idea of doing it on your own and I I see a lot of people do this they’ll they’ll sort of they’re not alone like they’re not they’re not necessarily saying oh I’ll build this whole company on my own but they’re they’re thinking of it as theirs and their baby they’re not sharing the the business or sharing these problem that they’re trying to solve they know it’s theirs and you’re just a you’re just a tool you’re a means to an end for them and I think that’s more of what like that self-made person thinks they’re doing is they’re just using you as a means because they’re the ones who are making it and they’re just people around them as a almost as a tool it’s a very it’s a it’s a two-way relationship it’s symbiotic with the business owners I work with I give a little I take a little we all give a little and take a little so that’s that that’s the antithesis of that self-made is that we are all supporting each other and that I’m not just taking in order to make myself better I’m actually giving and creating a community so the advice back is if you if you can do that you’re gonna gain more than five you’re gonna have 50 60 100 people around you that are supporting you um and that you’re always gonna be the best of yourself because of that Amen to that Justin it sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people um uh we heard a lot of people that have influenced your life if they were all here on the show today what would you want to say to them of course thank you man yes there’s no there’s no other word for that right

awesome it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today uh thanks so much for being on the show yeah it’s fun being here thanks to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made as a myth show with your host coach Tim campso be sure to help spread this Movement by liking the show 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