September 22, 2023

Episode #97: Rick LaGore – InTek Freight and Logistics, Inc.

I’ve been a Midwesterner my whole life: 10 years in Detroit, 10 years in Toledo and since graduating from THE Ohio State University 34 years ago have lived in Indianapolis.

Over the 34 years I’ve held a variety of leadership positions in finance, strategy, operations, sales and marketing in the auto, publishing, mobile phone and logistics industries.

In 2016, my long-time business partner of 26 years, Shelli Austin, and I had the opportunity to purchase the business we started in 2003.

InTek Freight & Logistics is a North American focused non-asset logistics company offering a variety of supply chain solutions and technology to shippers, with its primary focus being domestic intermodal shipping solutions.

I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by incredible people over the years that have helped me along the way.

In 2005, I was one of the 40 Under Forty Honorees as listed by the Indianapolis Business Journal and over a few short years after the acquisition the efforts of the entire InTek team has been recognized both locally and nationally in growth and work-life balance:

 

1. Indiana Business Journal FAST 25 – 2021 & 2022, Top 5 finishes in the fastest growing privately held company in Indiana.

2. Inc 5000 – 2022 & 2023: 1541 and 1484 fastest growing companies in the United States.

3. 2023 Best Places to Work – Indiana Chamber of Commerce: Listed as the 25th out of the 125 employers to work in Indiana.

 

In honor of the fellow business owners in your life that had an impact on you becoming the person you are today, let’s celebrate them. Click this link to apply to be on our podcast to recognize those people: https://www.BeMADTogether.com

Transcript

hello this is coach Tim cancel and I’m your host for the self-made as a myth make a difference together show where

we’re talking with successful business owners to hear their journey 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 time to recognize the folks that helped

us to excel today I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us today my guest is very competitive I

we’re going to ask him more about this but he told me that if he can’t win then he doesn’t play so I want to understand

that a little more here in a minute uh in his downtime he enjoys doing yard work and and the the relaxation that

that brings and and the escape from from the you know his business and and he’s

most proud of his family with kids ranging from 23 to 40 and we’ll have them tell us a little bit more about his

family here in a minute it’s my pleasure to welcome Rick to the show today hello Rick hey there Tim

how are you for having me yeah thank you for being on the show I appreciate it

all right so let’s have you um we’ll start with you introducing yourself tell us a little bit of your personal story

like where you were born and live and about your family and and then we’re gonna definitely uh have you tell us

about your competitive spirit that’s not a good thing but we can get into that a little bit so anyway so I’m

a midwesterner at heart uh born in Detroit lived there for 10 years dad was in the Auto industry and got transferred

down to Toledo so I was there for the the next 10 years I graduated from Ohio

State which was an interesting story because growing up in Detroit and up in Toledo area you really grew up as a

Michigan fan which is not a good thing to say but when it’s time to go ahead and pay for college it was a lot better

to go to Ohio State than the Michigan um so as soon as I graduated from Ohio

State I took a job with General Motors just North of Indianapolis and what I

thought was going to be a Whistle Stop of Indianapolis I’m now 34 years into it and I’ve lived more in uh we’ve lived a

long time in Indianapolis so that wasn’t a plan the other plan was I I

um I went out I came out of school as an accounting major at Ohio State I got an MBA from Ball State and uh it was all

accounting and finance and while uh it was a great it was a great base

um being very competitive I found being strictly an accounting and finance background and the jobs that I was I was

gaining um I was more of a scorekeeper and as a kid I was I was super competitive still

super competitive I love sports and uh found that I really wanted to play the game and it’s it was I was more of a

consultant in the accounting world so that’s when I really worked on trying to

transition out of being strictly accounting and moved into more of a financial role then moved into strategic

planning and then I had a boss one day that said hey you’ve been telling me how to be how to fix these different things

in operation she said it’s all yours and so uh her name is Deborah monzik she

she’s here in Indianapolis as well she was a great mentor to me earlier on in my career and she’s the one that took

the chance on me to get me out of um the the finance side and get me to actually play in the game and so the game has

changed for me over the years that I’ve played but as recently as 2016 had an opportunity

to purchase the company with my business partner Shelly Austin that we started in 2003 so

um and since then we have grown the business pretty significantly the last couple years we’ve been on the Inc 5000

list this past year we are listed at 1484 the year before that we were

somewhere around 15 14 if I remember right uh fastest growing company here in Indianapolis uh past couple years uh and

then by Indiana Chamber of Commerce so uh we were I think ranked 25th at 125

best places to work here in Indianapolis so fantastic super proud of super proud of what we’ve done it’s definitely a

team effort I’ve been working as I said a business partner for 26 years Shelly Austin but she’s great at

um I’m not so great at vice versa and we’ve got we’ve got just a great team of people that have followed us along the

way in our careers and uh so it’s been a successful story it’s been fun to do fantastic so tell me a little bit more

about your family oh all right so it’s uh it’s blended family I’ve been married to my wife

um it will be 14 years in March uh we’ve got five kids among us as I said as you

mentioned it’s from 23 to 40. none of them live here in Indiana as a matter of

fact they’ve you always want to you always want to teach your kids you know follow your dreams do what you want to do and I’ll

tell you what our kids definitely took that uh that that message and ran with it so uh we’ve got a son his uh his wife

and two grandchildren in Hawaii um and then we’ve got um uh two other Sons once in uh DC and

other ones in Boston we’ve got a daughter in Charlotte and uh our youngest is uh he’s in Colorado he’s

going it’s he’s in his last year at Colorado State so he’s at 23. so

um we’ve got him all over great place to visit to get everybody together to have to go

ahead and visit them because they’re they’re so diverse and where they’re going eventually we see ourselves heading out to the east coast uh since

we that’s where at least three of them landed so we can at least get to them by car yes wonderful well hey Rick is there

a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today

funny story um there’s so many stories out there um I I can’t I can’t think of any

particular story um but to play on the the one that you have on the uh you talked about

competitiveness and you want to talk a little bit about that a little bit um so one of the things I they always

try to egg me on it get me into games to get me to play games and um family game no board games different

types of games at the Holiday times and uh being the competitive person as I said I I don’t like to lose which uh and

I don’t play a game unless I think I’m gonna I have the potential to win yeah um so um a lot of times I’ll sit back

and I’ll just watch the game and not I don’t want to play don’t want to play and I’ll just sit watch and play and then eventually I’ll jump in and and uh

and they said okay well he obviously understands how to play this and uh so that’s that’s how it ends up

working out but it usually takes some time to coax me to get in because I just don’t like to lose and and there’s

pluses and minuses to that I mean over the years um I mean that’s been my been been my mentality and I’m sure I’ve

missed out on a lot of things but because I’ve I’ve chosen and I said um you know and

I I know immediately that things that I can and and and and and Excel at or things I’m not going to be so great at

but um and but I know that if I put in the time in certain areas I know that I can get myself to that area and be and

win um but I there’s probably some areas that I’ve passed up that I I probably

could have jumped in and and and taken off with but um because of that personality trait it’s just it just

doesn’t work out so well I can appreciate that I’m a sore loser uh so

so thank you for sharing hey um tell us how the business came about so I know you said that that you and your partner

bought it but um at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own

business well that starts off awful early in my life so um back when I was a kid I

started my own lawn business and the interesting part is the way I started the lawn business is very similarly to

how the business here for our transportation group started so the way I started it was

um I found a lawnmower at a in a uh trash uh out of the curb and I brought

it home and I asked my mom if I could go ahead and you know put it together and or take it apart and put it back together see if I can get it to work

again yeah and she said yes yes that’d be fine just as long as you go ahead and make sure that you clean everything up and and everything’s out of the way so

Dad can pull his car in the garage in the evening so so don’t make a mess so anyway so I I ended up figuring out what

was the problem it was it was a head gasket that wasn’t working I’ve always been very inquisitive on on just how things work

um and so I figured out there was a head gasket blown and so what I ended up doing is I fixed that and then I went

out in the around the neighborhood and I undercut all the kids that were cutting the grass this is this is going to date

me so I’ve been I’ve been working for 34 years so you know back several years ago back in seventh grade cutting the grass

in our neighborhood the going rate was eight bucks I went in and undercut everybody at seven

um I end up picking up the business and um a couple years later I had up to 14 yards plus staycations

um which that um turned out to be 17. so I was doing 17 a week okay um and it taught me a bunch of

things about um business it taught me about collections doing providing good service excuse me a minute

um besides you know if you provide a good service people are usually going to pay a little bit more so so while I

start at seven dollars I started making 10 for most people because I thought I was doing a better job than than what

they were getting previously so uh fast forward several years um so in 2003 I was working with a

private Equity company it was a roll-up of various logistics companies east of the uh Mississippi and

um uh we had several warehouses we built it up to about 3.1 million square foot largest customer for us was PepsiCo

um and uh as I was driving through the various facilities we had because we had I think it was eight to ten different facilities here in the Midwest that we

were operating and uh there were a couple trucks in the back of one of the buildings and I asked our maintenance

group what what were those for and they said well there’s trucks that it’s been about five five eight years since

they’ve actually used them I said I can tell the plant the tires are flat um I said let’s let’s either see if we

can get them to work or um if we can’t let’s let’s let’s grab them out so both of them had um

interesting is uh the head gaskets for both of them so that’s how we got in the business

came back from uh uh Long Beach Conference uh caught myself a little bit of coal on the way

back so anyway um so we started the business that direction and then um

uh so then the other part of it is PepsiCo so we started to run some shuttles and then PepsiCo said uh they

were frustrated that we weren’t getting the product off the dock fast enough and it was really because um their carriers weren’t showing up on

time and so we came to them with a solution that said hey we’re not going to be your your cheapest carrier that

you have um but we’re not going to be our most expensive carrier but we since we are the people moving the freight for you or

moving the product for you um we will know ahead of time we’ll know before you with a carrier is failing so

that’s how we we went to them and that’s how we built the business um we’re going to provide a fair price

and a great service and and that’s how we started it and that was in 2003 Shelly Austin she and I had worked

previously she was the first person I called and uh said hey why don’t we uh what would you like to start up this

Transportation group I really want to put you in charge of the transportation I got a lot of good stuff responsibility on the warehousing side and on the sales

and marketing side yeah um as well so um that’s how we started backup we we we

got the team back together and started to build the business from there and in 2016 that there’s a there’s a period of

several um buy and sell opportunities um so the ownership changed but in 2016

we had an opportunity to purchase that um because the the owner really wanted to go into

um uh e-commerce and really focus their business um on that and and thought that having

transportation into warehousing was took away from their focus a bit and they also wanted the cash to further invest

in their warehousing operations so we had an opportunity to purchase what we had and and as I said a lot of the stuff

that I learned back when I was a kid in terms of providing good service

um working well with people um got to collect cash gotta make sure you’re making money right

um you invest back in the business um that’s something that has always carried me through and and uh in my

education and my first start in in working in accounting Finance back at General Motors when I first came to

school it’s tremendous base of of knowledge that I picked up during that time and as I said what I what I do well

uh Shelley doesn’t much care for and vice versa and so we’ve been able to build the business system fantastic so

let’s Ed I want you to tell me a little bit more about the company so what’s the name more specifically what do you guys

do how do you help people so our name is in-tech Freight Logistics

um so we really focus on three there’s three stools of um that support our

business model one is we’re a non-asset great provider uh which I’ll talk a little bit about more because that’s our

biggest piece of business um and what keeps the doors open uh we also have a segment of our business that

where shippers can Outsource all their transportation to us they don’t have to they don’t have to worry about it they

give us the tenders they tell us when it’s they’re the Freight’s going to be available when it needs to arrive at their customer and and we help negotiate

the contracts for them we do all the free payment audit and and Reporting and we take care about that for them Soup To

Nuts and then there’s another side where we go ahead and resell the technology that we’ve been using since 2007 so we

we’re a reseller of the Mercury gate TMS which is 450 000 people that log in at

TMS um across the world every day um we’ve been super uh fans of that

and we’ve had a great relationship with them and they asked us several years back if we would want be interested in being a reseller and an integrator

because they really were focused in their business on building out their technology

um and really working with large customers to integrate and it they

weren’t cost effective for the small and medium-sized shippers or logistics companies and that’s where we play uh

with with that side of the business so on the on the uh the non-asset side which is what keeps our doors open

um we are focused on domestic intermodals so we really work with customers shippers to transition their

truckload um for either sustainability reasons or for capacity reasons or for pricing

reasons we try to transition them off of truckload and on domestic Intermodal

where you take advantage of the flexibility that truck offers on the front and back end of a delivery and you

take care of the efficiency that comes through with um uh with the rail on the Long Haul uh

piece of the freight so uh we made that decision a long time ago um and it’s it’s paid off uh a lot of

people say why would you ever want to get into that business um because you’re playing with the big players

um where the truckload business there’s about 700 800 000 uh uh registered

operators out there and most of which own like 97 of transfer the the capacity

is coming from 10 or fewer trucks uh whereas Intermodal you’re playing against people

um like JB Hunt Schneider Hub Group which are Mega companies multi-billion

dollar balance sheets and those are the people we compete against we we operate on the same docks as they do

um and uh a lot of times their custom we’re sharing the same customer so it just happens to be that

um we may provide a higher level of service on a lane it’s more difficult to service or we come in in a price that

seems to match much um uh what the customer is hoping or the other pieces is that there’s uh that JB

Hunt will ride on say BNSF railroad and we’ll ride our solution is coming across

on the up CSX Norfolk Southern and so the customer wants to diversify their risk across different um rail roads sure

it makes sense I want to shift gears now here and talk a little bit about the impact that

others have had uh on your business and and on your personal growth so Rick is

there a story um where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think that you could

and what was the impact that person had on you well there’s it’s hard to name a few I mean

there’s several that I can point to that that did that yeah um I mentioned Deborah monzik who pushed

me in to help me push me into the operations to be able to play the game

um I mentioned Shelly Austin she’s done a great job in terms of being able to balance uh the work on on both sides

um but I have I’ve had some really good mentors um going um in the General Motors days

um unfortunately they’re no longer with us um that really um pushed me and and made me think about

you know the direction that I want to take my career they gave me some really good career advice that said that

um although I use it and when I when I when I moved on um and they said that doesn’t work that

way you could only use that when I say when I tell you that um you can only use it for for gender

Motors but any any case they gave me some really good advice they said basically if you’re you’re going you

basically look at your career as a pyramid and you’re you’re always looking to go towards the the point at the top and

they said if you’re you start to brush on the sides um then something probably needs to change either you need to change or the

company that you’re working with needs a change or something needs to change direction if you’re pushing on the size and you’re not heading straight to the

top um in in the set of goals um and so they people have given that to

me but I mean I really go back to my parents really um you I was taught you put in the hard

work um and what you you earn your you earn your luck

um that’s a great phrase it’s just not something that happens and

um my bet my dad really instilled a lot of that into me I mean he was really he really drove me and in some of the

stories and unfortunately he’s no longer with us either um but some of the stories I share with my mom today

um she says your dad would never say that I said oh I absolutely he did and I’m glad he did because he really pushed

me and and and and and um really taught me that the only thing that you take take with yourself to the

Grave is is your word and and you better you better make good on that um for yourself and the people that you

surround yourself with um and I’ll just throw one more in I mean my wife I mean she’s uh when I had

the opportunity with Shelly to purchase this in 2016 she said you want to do this since you’ve been in seventh grade

you’ve been talking about owning your own business for a very long time and she said do it she said I believe in you

um I know you can do it and so um and she says what do we have to lose

she says it’s just stuff yeah um and we can recover that stuff we’ve

recovered that stuff previously and hey we can we can do it again so um so I I as I said I can’t point to any

one person everybody that’s great stuff yeah I I the support of our of our wives

is is huge I had a similar you know experience since when I was considering you know starting my own business and my

wife was the same like right it’s just stuff you’ve always wanted to do this the question she asked me was you know

if you don’t do it in five years from now will you look back and regret it and I’m like yeah I probably will and she’s

like well then let’s go right yeah that’s that’s a similar that’s a similar response to my wife gave me and she said

just just do it I like what you said earlier about your your dad taught you

that uh you know that hard work earns luck um I I it’s just an awesome phrase

because I I don’t believe there is such thing as luck right there are there are things that we do to attract you know

things to happen in our life and and hard work is one of those and you know strategic thinking and planning and

doing right are all things that are gonna result in an outcome though thank

you that’s awesome yeah constant learning um uh yeah I mean I could throw that in

there I could be throwing self-awareness um into there as well

um and then I can throw in you know surround yourself with uh with really great people I mean so there’s been some great companies that I’ve worked with

um are worked in and uh it’s amazing the talent that’s there and you know you can always you can always learn from just as

much what to do versus what not to do when you see these various people come up through the ranks and very and uh I

mean you could you just get some really good advice and sometimes it’s it’s intended to be given to you and sometimes you just can see it and uh

he’s saying Ah that’s a piece that I’m going to take uh with me further on hey Rick what’s your biggest learning as

a business owner um wow I mean there’s there’s a lot there

too to unpack but um in terms of uh learning is is that it

doesn’t come easy um the starting phrase the starting base

of where you uh where you build from it takes a lot of effort it takes perseverance

um it takes um dedication it takes um a belief that you know that you’re

you’re your your plan is going to work um what should bring to Market

um is something that other people find Value in and are willing to pay you um for that service and

um it just it just takes a lot of work the first three years coming out in 2016 so 2016 through 2000 and it was really

the end of 2016 so I’ll really roll it into 2020. those are really those are

tough tough years um and I think that from oh your your

business owner so hey you get to do whatever you want whenever everyone right

one of my one of my sons said hey you don’t have a boss anymore yeah you too it’s the bank yeah

um there’s always a boss there and your customers are your boss the the team

that you build they’re your boss um you’re there to serve them

um just as much um as they’re serving the customers I mean I it’s there’s so many people that

you have to you have to balance and you have to balance your time I mean one of the toughest Parts in in the process of

really going from uh Zero To Nuts to something is that you’ve got to balance

your time um or you’re going to burn yourself out yeah yeah when the

um the stats are pretty pretty significant in terms of the percentage of businesses that fail it can be up to

80 depending on which article you’re reading and the number one reason for those failures it has been noted as

burnout and typically what happens right is you know people they do that hustle and grind and right now unfortunately

social media is celebrating right that concept of the hustle and grind but you

know people people keep working and working and working and then you know they they get where they just don’t have

any gas left right and unfortunately you just can’t sustain that that work yeah

that’s not sustainable and if you’re going to jump into going into business um it’s something that you have to jump

in with both feet and do a a real commitment it’s not a try so one of the phrases that

um that I’ve carried on to my my kids is um is from what I call my favorite philosopher Yoda

which is do or do not there is no try yes um so that’s really what it comes down

to in starting a business you’re not trying to start it you’re not going to say Hey you know if it doesn’t work out

you know in a couple months I’ll go try something else no you’re going in with both feet and you’re gonna go do it and

if you if you make that commitment and and you did put a good plan together um and have some backing around that and

support it it will happen it’s just yeah well as you said it doesn’t happen overnight yeah we uh thanks for sharing

the Yoda quote we use that in some of our seminars because we we all we know

from you know things like Think and Grow Rich and the law of attraction that you

know success is 80 to 90 of what we think and believe right so the try right

is actually a subconscious cop-out right right so we can turn back and go well it didn’t work out at least I tried right

or I’ll try harder next time but we’re actually giving ourselves permission to fail by not committing to doing so I I

appreciate you sharing that that’s awesome one of my sons used it on his essay to get into college oh that’s fantastic

yeah hey Rick we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so

tell us about one of the biggest challenges you’ve had as a business owner and and maybe a fellow business

owner who you know came alongside you and helped you through it well I was really in the starting phase

of our business we lost a lot of money lots of money

um and the the direction that we were headed was it was not a good direction

um but in in talking with others um and teaming up with the the right

banking relationship um that really believed in our business model we were able to change the

direction that we were we were operating in um that allowed us to to produce the

profits to go ahead and and turn the business around and and really get it driven in the right direction I mean

those first three years we were negative net equity in a big way um and uh we had a nice

um uh Term Loan on us um that’s where it gets that where I get back to that perseverance and believing

in what you have um and if there’s any roadblocks in the way that uh that um or anything that’s

not that’s broken in your business model that needs to be fixed address it and address it quickly or as quickly as

possible um for us um it took a little bit of time and but

we were able to change the direction and the way we operated um and and through that change

um we’ve been able to make big change for ourselves here um and for the for our team as well so I mean it’s it was

rough the first three years it was it was tough yeah the the first three years are hard for everyone that there’s a a

stat that says that at most new business owners significantly overestimate the

first you know three years of their business and then significantly underestimate the long-term you know

potential in the business and and uh and also what I’ve tended to see is there

are a lot of folks who don’t borrow enough money right they they do it more bootstrapped and because they don’t

anticipate all the different costs and and whoopses and right and mistakes that we’re gonna make in the first three

years that to your point right costs money of not having you know the money available through an SBA loan or

something like that can really you know hamper those that first three years where it’s important to be able to do

some testing and measuring and right and course correction and trial and error well it gets there’s a reason my hair is

white the reason my hair is white and and it goes back to another thing that my dad

taught me when I was young so we used to play Monopoly and um so when I was a kid

and he would always tell me you need to spend money to make money you need to spend money to make money um and I’d be hoarding all that money in

front of me and then he would end up beating me because he was buying all the properties putting you know houses and

hotels on it and then once I figured out okay well you need he’s right

um yeah it’s going to be empty in front of um in front of my board for a bit but

if I play it right and I and I buy the right piece of property and I put the hotels in the right places based off of

where I see his dice are rolling him too yeah and uh then I can win the game yeah

um yeah so uh so I that there’s just little things just that just come along

the way that just are always kind of popping up and and and just driving the

direction that you need to go and you just need to listen to those voices and be self-aware about it yeah our our gut

and our Instinct I hate our our subconscious super conscious whatever word you want to use right is very

powerful right there is there is a message and a voice inside that’s guiding and directing us but we have to

slow down right and and be still and be able to hear what that in instinct or

guts telling us so that we can take advantage of you know what we already know in terms of what’s that that’s the

run in the morning and we talked earlier that’s that’s the cutting the grass at the end and uh you know that has a

beginning middle and end anyway business doesn’t have that the door I mean we could work 24 7 if we if we really had

if we if we didn’t need any sleep correct but those time periods are great and

it’s a great way to start your day is start my day in a run um or as I um or that’s again that’s why

I like to be worked out in the yard it just I put the earphones on and I’m in a whole new world and and I just have to

start middle and end piece and I get to look back and yeah that looks nice hey Rick I’m gonna put you on the spot

here a little bit if I was to ask you to pick three people in your business owner Journey that you’re most grateful for

them being there to help contribute to the businesses growth who are those three people and how they help you

well I keep going back to the same people I go back to my wife uh giving me

the constant support and uh when I’m working at you know 11 or midnight and

it or uh we’ll be watching a movie or whatever and I say I got an email I need

to take care of it and I’d rather put it on um on the company email address and just respond here on my on my phone yeah

she’s she’s always very supportive um and and allows me to continue to push forward to where I need to be uh another

one is uh Shelly Austin um there are days that she’s super down about what’s going on in the operation

um and she comes back and and she helps she both of us help each other so the

days that we’re down thankfully they’re not the same day in any case

um it’s been a great partnership over 26 years I mean there’s not too many people that can say that and it’s not been just

here at Intec I mean we worked at a couple companies prior together where we built that trust and that trust it it’s

it’s evolved over time it was a little bit more vocal of a trust let’s just say um at the beginning as we challenge each

other build and create um but now it’s not so much that it’s

it’s we’re really on the same page and we’re Row in the same direction yeah um and we’re pushing each other forward

which is a really good thing um and then on the third yeah as I say

my dad’s not here but he’s here yeah awesome Rick as you think about the next three

to five years and what are the biggest challenges that you see that you’re gonna face in terms of uh getting to the

goals that you’ve set for the company and who are the types of people you’re going to need to help resolve those

so I mean the tough things are is is technology technology is expensive uh

it’s constantly changing um and we invest pretty heavily in it today outside of our HR line items on

our p l it it’s it’s really the cost of of the technology and making sure that you’re staying out in front of it it’s

not only staying out in front of us for service reasons it’s staying in front of it to stay efficient as well

um so that’s a super challenge out there particularly being a small business to make sure that you can find the right

solutions that are economical for for your stuff thankfully technology is getting cheaper it’s just a matter of

staying out in front of it and certainly the cost of implementation is is what’s expensive anymore

um but that’s why we have the Mercury gate side because we get ourselves uh our our Tech Team actually pays for

itself through uh doing the same types of things and being out in front of it with other companies like similar to ourselves and shippers so that that’s

one um people um you can’t get anything done without people

um and so that that’s definitely on on on we’ve got to build a team we we’ve

got to build a team that is dedicated and they understand our cause which our

cause is to provide a higher level of service than shippers get themselves from from other Freight providers so we

have to provide that white the glove type service right um for our customers

um and then we’ve got our business relationships so we’re in non-asset company so all we really have is service

so that again gets back to our technology and our people and making sure that we’re hiring the the people that are energetic and want to be

engaged with the business ask questions inquisitive um competitive works as well too

um because they’re always trying to find a better answer to what they’re doing um so they can serve as a customer

better but then since we don’t own any assets and really we’re just a service and I don’t want to say just a service

because it is a it is a service and it and uh it it gets uh people their

shipments from point A to point B it’s it’s our business partners have actually owned those assets and developing those relationships has taken time that’s not

something that happens overnight um and at this point we have business relationships that um they come to us

and say hey we see that these opportunities out here that that others aren’t taking advantage of you’re the

service provider we’re the asset provider let us be good at what we do you do what you do best and come in with

Solutions so I mean those three things in in terms of trying to put those together with the right mixture I mean

you’re baking a cake yes um and you’re trying to to put the right balance of ingredients so you get the

best tasting cake at the end of the day and it has to look good too because you’ve got to go ahead and you’ve got to

Market and and tell people what you’re all about I mean and that’s and that’s

difficult I mean when our name isn’t FedEx our name isn’t UPS our name isn’t JB Hunt who the heck is in Tech

um so you’ve got to get your name out there you’ve got to build your brand right um and really and that brand needs

to mean something when people go to that so I mean that you’re networking conferences you’re talking conferences

you’re trying to be in thought leadership um uh on key industry magazines

um for us we do a lot of we do a lot of publishing of blogs um that really Drive most of our traffic

we have about 50 000 people that come to our website asking questions I mean they’re Googling questions of how can I

do this better how can I do that pattern that’s how people find us yeah um same thing in the podcast we really

got to share into the podcast and and and into other video

um ways that people can find us because um but buyers are a bit different than what they used to be buyers used to be

you can make phone calls and they’re going to pick up the phone you could send emails they’re going to answer the

emails correct they’re getting inundated by so much noise out there today so it’s

really how do you get your voice out there without being the noise that they’re going to head and delete or be

annoyed with that even if you do see them at a conference they’re they’re going to want to talk with you you just

gave me 15 emails in the last two days I don’t want to talk to you guys [Laughter]

um so those those are I mean I really touched on four different four different areas that are challenges and and that’s

what we’re gonna those are the things that we need to mix to the proper level to to go ahead and go out to the and

continue to build a business because that’s it you’ve got to grow um we’re not going to be our goal isn’t

be to be like the multi-billion dollar company we’re always want to be in that mid-market um Logistics size company

that can provide a higher level of service for the owners Shelly and I are

involved in our our customers business every day we don’t see ourselves not

knowing what’s going on um with our operations managers and and our customer managers that

um that that helps us provide a service also gives um our our customers a a different field

than what they get from from working with others where they may see their top grass um and and top talents you know they may

see them once a year maybe twice a year they know that they can hear from us at any time during the year wonderful last

question here Rick Jim Rohn says that we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as

you think about that quote what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it on their own

yes same thing I have for my my kids growing up surround yourself with high

quality people um everybody’s well you’ll raise to the to the level that they operate at

um Don’t Be Afraid um that you’re not the smartest person in the room as a matter of fact don’t be

the smartest person in their own find find yourself that you feel that you’re being challenged by your peers or people

that you would like to be peers and you’re not quite there yet um and and and really follow that and

you know so you’re talking five people yeah I I absolutely make sure that that

those five people are people that you you look up to and you know in challenging times

look at what they would what they did in in their challenging times ask them in their challenging times and you may find

out that that one of those people are not it’s not you know at to the level that you think they may be

um and you might want to toss one out and throw another one in or whatever but yeah you get you need to surround

yourself with high quality people that you know that if you picked up your phone and and made a phone call to them that they would go ahead and and they’d

answer it and and you respect what they have to say and uh yeah and and listen I

mean you need to listen if you’re going to pick up the phone just like if you go to a doctor and they say you got some you got a problem you need to listen to

the doctor you go to attorney you need to listen to them there’s you just go and say ah never mind you know that’s

what they said but I don’t believe them you’re right hey Rick it sounds like you’ve been

blessed with some incredible people in your business owner Journey that have helped you along the way if they were

all here on the show today what would you want to say to them enormously grateful thank you

I love it hey Rick it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today thanks so much for being on the show

all right well thank you for having me Tim I really appreciate it it’s been fun 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 this Movement by

liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to bemadtogether.com all

right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care