Zac Elsts was raised in the Indianapolis area and is a graduate of Pike High School. He’s spent most of his professional career in the logistics sector working with trucking companies and truck drivers to promote job growth opportunities and solutions for personnel fulfillment.
Zac Elsts was raised in the Indianapolis area and is a graduate of Pike High School. He’s spent most of his professional career in the logistics sector working with trucking companies and truck drivers to promote job growth opportunities and solutions for personnel fulfillment. He has built a passion for helping people connect their “why” with the “how” in a world where it’s easy to lose sight of humanity as companies have traditionally been focused on bottom lines profits almost exclusively.
As a co-founder of HandledNow, LLC, he has continued that passion for the industry working as president of the business by advocating for truck drivers as they navigate the industry. His goal is to transform the industry through the way that his company treats the people with whom they come in contact whether employees, clients, and affiliates in the industry. HandledNow is a staffing and recruiting firm that has grown organically starting in 2015 to now having operations in more than fourteen states and growing in the US. Helping people understand their potential without having to instill the traditional crippling fear of the corporate arm, allows people the opportunity to grow personally and professionally and create gains that are positive for both the business and the individual. He has a podcast called Drive that is geared to highlight truck drivers and the issues that surround them as they navigate the industry.
HandledNow offers businesses a comprehensive approach to their staffing solutions instead of a traditional broad-based approach that paints everyone with the same brush. Zac would love to discuss your career goals or personnel issues and can be reached at most major social media platforms or by direct contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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're talking with successful business owners to hear their stories of the 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 some time to hear uh stories of the folks who have helped us along the way to recognize those folks give them a shout out and and just acknowledge that this isn't something that we can do by ourselves and today I'm excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us my guest has a photogenic memory in his downtime he likes to golf as well as he is a foodie and he is most proud of his daughter it's my pleasure to welcome Zach to the show today hello Zach hey Tim thanks for having me on today absolutely let's have um let's have you introduce yourself tell us a little bit of your personal story like where you were born where you live about your family and hobbies okay so I'm Zach else like Tim had mentioned and I'm from the Northwest side of Indianapolis I grew up and was raised in Pike Township graduated from Pike High School uh graduated I've got an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University uh so again another local uh College that's to the Indianapolis the greater Indianapolis area and I've got a 14 year old daughter who's currently getting ready to go into high school and that's exciting and um so we're just we live in Carmel Indiana and we're pretty blessed to have some of the stuff that we do we're both kind of into golfing she's just recently got into lacrosse and so you know anybody that's got kids that are that age you end up finding yourself you know carting around to different basketball events or you know the friends or a big part of life and so really one of the things I really enjoy is being able to kind of do all those things and experience and live in the moment of it enjoy it at the same time because you know you only get one chance at a lot of things especially when it's raising kids and having family that's important so we just like to get out and have fun and do local stuff we do you know foodie we have talked about opening a YouTube channel because we go to so many restaurants where here in Carmel you could probably hit a new restaurant every night of the week a new one and there's a lot of cool stuff and really good places and so we just enjoy being able to get out and be healthy and be able to do those types of things and especially when covet happened and we were all kind of locked up inside of our homes and I know people are tired of hearing about that but it just kind of gives you some reminder about some of the things that are important in life and so that's what some of the things we like to do awesome so Zach a photogenic memory so um does that mean that you got perfect scores in high school because you everything you read you remember yeah I mean not perfect but it was unfair I I remember you there was one class where kids would pass the test from the one before and as under and I never needed it and you know it's like how are you doing that and I don't though it's wild I could I remember being able to read the pages and then in my mind I'd go to that page go scroll down to it pick my answer out of it so it was a unique thing it's not really good when it comes to studying because College hit kind of like a tornado or a hurricane you just didn't realize how hard people worked and you know part of part of some of the things I do now even developing better habits when it comes to studying and things like that because you know when it when you when you don't have to work too hard on something you kind of take it for granted a little bit sometimes but yeah it's it's it's wild yeah Zach do you have a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you'd be willing to share with us oh a funny story um there's one story um I remember we were it was Easter time and I was thinking about this a little bit in but my uncle at the time was tossing all the kids around and this is back in the 90s that tells you how old I am right this is 1990 I believe so um I think I might have been six or seven at the time but he uh video cameras were kind of getting to be like there's just huge things that people are holding around and somebody's videotaping us and we're spinning circles and I had like eight quarters in my pocket and um he reached up and grabbed the quarters as I flipped upside down and I went and got a plastic chair and I'm on camera with all the family and I grabbed a plastic chair and I threw it at him and I was like give me back my quarters and he was just all the fun stopped instantly and it was like what's going on here but I was serious I wanted my money back I love it thanks for sharing uh Zach tell us how the business came about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business yeah confidence is key um it's a big part of jumping off the deep end is what I like to refer to it as you kind of just jump off and you're gonna hit some stuff on the way down and you're just gonna experience some things that you didn't see when you walked up you know what I mean but the confidence uh my business partner is a a first cousin of mine maternal and we kind of we've grown up together so we've been really good friends our whole life and it really having somebody else to start the business with was a major a major confidence booster because you know you're not in it by yourself and you've got good my biggest thing is um and I heard a guy that I used to work for before he used to talk about this and his name is Mike and Mike would talk about it's always good to have somebody on the bench and so it's always nice to have another starter in the game with you and you know because we started this business in 2015. so we're getting ready to hit our eighth year if you make it I want to say 10 to 20 of businesses might make it five years if that number is even high for that so we're pretty fortunate to have that opportunity to be still doing this stuff but yeah you know having the right people um around you and we both quit our jobs like two or three week notices right so we definitely put in the time and I remember his father passed away like the the day before we were going to start the business and it was just just a wild situation we we I for a minute it was like what are we gonna do and he was just like we have to go to work we got to go to work we gotta and and you know in reality staying focused on something was what helped with that time period so you know but anything in life whether you have a business or you work for someone else things are going to happen and you know that helps us give a perspective and empathy towards people that work for us and so that's where we kind of build on our our culture of like treating humans like humans because we're all you know right now we're all humans before the AI stuff starts somebody's jobs
sorry I hit my new button by accident okay tell us more about handled now and how do you how do you help folks so we we basically are a matchmaking service for people looking for a job that's the easiest way to describe it you have these jobs here and you have the people looking here and we're trying to match those together and make that a complete process so we work in the supply chain Logistics sector where we recruit hire and retain some of the employees for other companies that typically have a higher turnover percentage and so it's not worth it from a business standpoint a bottom dollar for them to have these turnovers on their payroll and so they hire companies like mine to come in and kind of not be their HR but be more of their hiring uh side of the business right and so um we have long-term lease we have direct hire we have you know they call them temp to perm more or less we try to get word of the word temp because I think temp gives people the idea that their second class of individual um and you know in the work for you know 10 year coach you know in the workforce that you don't want people feeling disconnected and when you have that second level second tier of like you're not quite uh the best companies out there are doing what owners are doing lunch with their people those are the best companies out there all the clients that we work for that we have found that are really good they take the time and truck drivers we do a lot of truck driver Staffing these when it's truck driver week all over the country we set up barbecues we get we get gifts together and we and we with these other companies because you want to show them that you care and the people that are in charge are out there passing out food same thing with some of these other you know we have some steel clients and some other clients here um that do the same thing like a VP will show up for lunch or an owner will show up for lunch and you know the things that which makes sense to do for people right but yeah we've staff recruit a higher retain uh all the processes that are involved and we um are in about maybe 30 States so it's from Pennsylvania over to Texas and even into Arizona and uh Michigan and um what there's kind of rectangle in that area you you said something that um I think it's actually comical because you said hey we're just doing the things that make sense however right the reason I think that's comical is because there's a whole lot of people that aren't doing those things right so what makes sense is actually giving you a competitive Advantage I'm sure yeah and you know I've thought about that and you know a lot of people could think that you're being naive so people could think that you're you know you don't believe everything that everybody tells you but you have to work with a common goal in mind and you need to maintain some level of you know you have to have humility in order to make things work and you culture is a big part of and then it's something that's like a trendy word at the moment but culture really is almost it's like the glue it's like the tissue that keep the connective tissue that keeps all the organs and the muscles bound together if people don't feel connected they're not going to want to stick around it's that first minute that first hour that first day that first week the 30 days those are the time periods where people are most malleable most susceptible to just even the smallest little tiff so you wanna constantly be just people people because everybody life is as hard as it is why make it any harder we all have to have a job and so why not find places like we we don't want to work for clients that we don't have some shared common principles and goals with as well because if I wouldn't send somebody in my family to work there if that was the job they wanted then maybe I don't want to work with that company because it would just probably end up being a problem for everybody yeah you mentioned how important culture is it one of the things that we have our clients do when we first start working together is write out their vision and Mission and culture statements and oftentimes we'll get the why is why are we doing this now I I need to hire employees or why do why are we doing this now I need to grow sales in a way well it's because you don't you can't hire an employee until they know that that what the culture is and you know that they're a good cultural fit right you can't rally your team to drive sales or increase your your revenues until you know you know that everybody is is on the same page in terms of how you're supposed to work together and you know what you're what your bigger vision is for the organization so I I love that you how you've described that it's such an integral part of your organization yeah and you know I've been I'm actually currently reading Atomic habits James clears he talks about it's a really good book I'm sure that you probably recommend this most people that I've heard from have recommended a book at one point but it he breaks things down very basic very general and you have to identify with this so it's important why do you need your vision you know we want to transform the industry by the way we treat people because then they're going to go out and and do the same thing you know bad behavior is going to be rewarded or it's not going to be rewarded but good behavior can be pushed forward and so you know our thought is just let's just do things the way we wanna you know it's it's kind of like the Platinum will treat the way people treat people the way they should be treated it's just kind of a step up from the Golden Rule yeah awesome uh Zach share a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you thought you know you weren't sure that you could and the impact that that person had on you so yeah a big person that has been um influential in my life would be my younger my younger sister Rachel she um was actually going to be a business partner of ours when we first started but she ended up going to law school and kind of starting a family and now she sells podcasts for a living she started the company she's very successful I think she's even been in the Forbes magazine article which is kind of cool to you know you see your family but she's been just somebody that's always like how do you figure this out and you know there's a difference between manifestation and kind of just mentally getting things stirred up and she's kind of a doer and so watching her do and and and and generate energy from that has been very uh it's been very uh I would say electric but it's just like the way she can pass it in I could just plug into it and she just recently moved with a family down to Georgia so we're not even um I don't even see her as much as I used to but you still she's just got that she's got that mentality that energy that if you were to meet her you would just be like you know that's the person that I want to be around this person I want to do business with that's the person that knows what it is that they're doing but they're not in your face telling you how smart they are they're that they're a person and then they're also there with their actions showing that they care and that they're really solid at what they do so she's kind of got the all-around and that's something that's always kind of inspired me like because you you want to surround yourself with people that you're attracted to usually those are things that you would like to have for yourself and so you know thankfully you know her being a family member is helpful but yeah she's been a real powerful influence for myself awesome and what's your sister's name her name is Rachel Downey okay awesome yeah I think I just got uh into email introduced to her last week um I'm exploring you know ways to improve our our podcast show and and got a an email introduction to her that what a small world yeah she uh produces our podcast my I have a podcast called drive for truck drivers and she produces that if she produces several and she's uh well I'll tell you what she's really good at what she does and I mean of course we're a family but I'm you know I'm it's proof because I'm buying her product and these things aren't necessarily cheap yeah yeah awesome Zach what's your biggest learning as a business owner oh the the more I find out that I learned that I know the more I find out that I I just don't know um we you know this year and we've they talked about like in trucking you've got this Clearinghouse which is similar to like pharmacies where people truck drivers will go to a job and take a pre-employment drug screen but they never used to get reported so if somebody would fail they would just be out there the Clearinghouse kind of wraps all that up the same way that like you can't go to Five doctors for the same prescription that's kind of a clearing house on the medical side of things but those uh implementations have started to change and come into play and so you're just having to stay on top of your toes and get getting involved reading more things you know I like to read a lot of books I don't like to read enough technical things about like the industry and the legal things but just finding out that you you know and then building better habits just you got to maintain a consistent level of doing things and you've got to even identify with the uh you know the idea that this is who you are because a lot of business owners run into this site the stop process of imposter syndrome yeah and so you're having some success you're feeling good and you're like how did I get here what am I doing am I gonna fall off the ship right um you know I I have been fortunate enough to be able to do some really cool things and I was enrolling my daughter at um High School last night and as a private school on the North side and and I'm just sitting there in the room and I'm like I never I never would have thought that this is something that I'm doing but here we are and we're doing it and it's exciting so that you know living the experience and enjoying it while we can awesome I love that I what a what a great um just a great story to be able to share with you know the folks that are listening to this podcast right that are wanting to better themselves and and and make a A Better Business and you've just broken it down in terms of a couple of you know easy steps to be able to to focus on in terms of you know having good habits and and following through so thank you for sharing that we know that business success doesn't happen in isolation so tell us about one of your biggest challenges as a business owner and maybe a fellow owner who came alongside you and helped you to get through that so yeah I mean Staffing the business of Staffing and Recruitment and and all that is very expensive it takes a lot of capital A lot of cash flow and you know I remember when we first started my aunt uh my cousin's mom just was loaning money to us and you know when you're we sat down and of course when you first get going everybody's like oh I'm gonna I want to invest I want to be you know because they're not gonna be able to buy our product this wasn't something that we're selling yeah that you could and and you start talking real numbers with these folks and people don't real it's hard to describe what we do and so especially with people that don't really have been in that industry right and so they're just like oh one guy was like I'll give you a hundred thousand bucks and then you so you sit down you talk and they're like nah we can't I don't understand this and I never said that and you know so some of the conversations and memories had changed but having Capital up front and so she would loan US money and just constantly be able to help out on that side of things you know I had some family that was also helpful at the time and uh able to help pay for some things that I couldn't get because you know when your insurance benefits you don't have insurance benefits when you're uh self-employed and so we were both fortunate to be able to get those things taken care of you know you get down to like the the nitty-gritty of what you really find out what you need and you know I remember getting cancellation notices like oh my goodness it you your insurance would get a cancellation notice I get what twice a month and it wasn't that we weren't we were paying our bills on time but they're they're sending these things as you know we're going to cancel if you don't pay and um so having all that Capital Access we were able to recently in the last two years start funding our own invoicing which that if if you know anything about you know that kind of stuff it's just very expensive and it's process that um that you want to be able to control yourself and it's very uh it's very time consuming so we can now do that which looking back she was such a help um and a business owner you know we've had a couple of guys that we had maybe used to work for and just different people um get involved with one thing I did to get back to that question too um you want to connect with local business members I remember talking to the IRS after our first year nobody likes talking to the IRS and they were helpful and I was like how am I going to pay these taxes and what do I do in the future and the guy was really friendly he said hey Zach I recommend and that you call your chamber of commerce and have him connect you with all the business owners in your community and talk to those guys to find out what it is they do to try to mitigate some of their their costs and you know there's nothing wrong with buying new equipment if you made good money that year turn around reinvesting and you know people do like get this impression that small business owners or any business owners are just flush to the brim with cash and you have we're not you have tons of liability we you have all these lawyer fees all these different things and so you connect with those different groups you find who's good accountant and who's not you find who's a good attorney and who's not and you're honest with you know you're always honest with your accountant you're turning your doctor whatever you're doing you tell those three people the truth no matter doesn't matter what you're telling your spouse or your your friends you know whatever you're doing but no finding those good groups is pivotal to um making sure that you're doing the right thing because Uncle Sam when he comes calling um he's going to take everything if he can yeah right Zach I'm gonna put you on the spot here a little bit if I asked you to pick three people in your business owner Journey that you're most grateful for them being there to help with your business's growth who are those three people and how they help you so yeah Tim first first one right off the bat um you know Mark is a coach of Mine He's a business coach he's in the um uh Maxwell John Maxwell group and you know I've read a lot of John Maxwell that and we've had a lot of discussions and you know having somebody that's not you want to have somebody walk alongside you that's not you know looking to pick your pocket while you were continuing to to grow and he's been somebody that's been very inspirational um able to toss good questions say things have you thought about it this way um that he's been very just a big piece of what we've done you know my my business partner you know we we made a decision when we first started working because you know family it's always an interesting Dynamic and um we just agreed we weren't going to be super negative we were going to keep a positive outlook we will be realistic we'll be honest we'll talk about the good and the bad but we're not going to sit there and try to psych ourselves out with this isn't never going to work because then it's not going to work yeah but you know just again him he's solid he's a solid guy and he's your cousin's name not Aaron Robertson and he's yeah he's um just a good solid core partner to have so you want to make we did pick up a bad business partner at one point that gets expensive and it takes away from the stuff that you're trying to do and so we learned that lesson the hard way so you know having a solid business partner that you can trust because that's that's just that's just been a key piece to this and you know a third person um you know my dad was pretty uh he he was our first client that we were able to work with and um it was kind of nice to be able to have somebody because you know like I was saying before your friends and family aren't able to always uh benefit or um purchase in your business buy into your business and he owns a a remodeling business and he needs help and so we were able to find folks to send to work and and and give him some opportunity to get people to work and so it kind of worked out hand in hand so those three people were really really pivotal that's awesome um I you've mentioned it a few times that you know that your family want to help but they can't necessarily buy from you so I love that you were able to you know find ways for them to still support you and and help you because that's you know it's kind of like that's what family's for right well and you know that's true but sometimes uh people and you've got to be careful too if you're thinking of starting a business no one owes it you don't no one owes you anything so just because you offer a product doesn't mean that they need to be buying it from you that's another thing that you got to keep in mind so that's why I would say that is to help get to one of the earlier questions having the right mindset that's the key you you've got to have an abundant mindset you you just have to you can't and you can't do this with you know Eeyore yeah it's not going to work that way so those are those are things you really need to have intangible pieces uh yeah I I like your your talk about abundance because a lot of folks have that scarcity mindset which means that they're all only focusing on you know stealing from other people or you know taking market share from other people or taking a bid or a project from someone else versus that abundance mindset says there's more than enough opportunities and money out there if we you know focus on growing ourselves into the person that's able to to take advantage of those opportunities so um I I if that I I appreciate you sharing that for the audience to understand that the more abundant you can think the more that you give and help other people there's just a natural return effect or reprocity uh effect right that happens that when we give away and we we help others it always comes back and and helps us as well so yeah thank you for sharing that for everyone to to ponder how they're how they're being abundant in their businesses Zach as you think about the the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges that you see uh that your company's gonna face as you work towards the goals that you want to have for your business and who are the types of people that you're going to need to help you overcome those challenges so we're we're seeing yeah the great resignation um right now is what people are calling it a lot of quiet quitting um so people are gonna be more we need to be more in tune with what people are wanting you know there is a Marketplace out there you know Supply economics is a real thing and so people are the driving force behind it when they start to have more options to do more things that's when you're going to start to see a movement and so we have to be careful that we're watching that we also have to understand you know what manufacturing is going to do you know we're going through a period right now you know some people talk about it being a great reset some people talk about it uh being you know once the post-covered era it's it's a time where um people are going to be rewarded and monetized and stimulated in different ways and they're going to try new types of experimental ideas like you know some cities will do these experiments where they're going to pay everybody a minimum living wage and so you know we need to see how that's going to affect our clients and if they're going to be hiring and so you know having the right reading the right current periodicals and staying in tune with the right articles and knowing what information out there is real and what information is not you know AI is a powerful tool that's going to step in and um I I can't imagine what this next chat GTP is gonna they're talking about is going to be way better than it's going to be current and it's going to be way better so there's a lot of that that's just unknown but we do know that my trucks are continuing to be driven by people and so we we need to make sure we're still connecting with them treating them like people we want to bring the right people on board our team so we want to grow the business organically and so we're going to do that through showing people through our different social media channels this is what the experience is like I know that um I was sitting at church a few weeks ago and the preacher was talking about living in the postmodern world and you know I'm not going to get religious but we're talking about people want to have an experience versus where before when I grew up you know people might call me a millennial but I kind of reject some of that I kind of reject some of that stuff I work hard and I believe that nothing is going to be given to me if I don't go out there and try to get it and so um you know I went to school I also know that you have to work to gain you need the entire plant not just the root or not just the flower that looks good on top right so we're gonna need to know where all these people are going to be and and just keep treating them the right way and so we're we're developing technology right now um and and some things behind the scenes to help kind of bring that stuff together to try to stay current so your money is being spent on technology and and anybody that knows the Staffing world if you can make a five percent margin you're doing really good and and they're I mean I'm not kidding you there are staffing companies out there that all they do is break even and try to get some kind of admin profit so like you know wotc the wat C work opportunity tax credits and things like that there are people out there trying to get those kind of it's like you know Tesla they get a rebate right they get environmental credit there's some programs that are out there but you know we're focused on people and and not trying to create something that's in the system so you just got to be careful that you're you you have the right people in your team because with all the money that goes through payroll and things you know it'd be easy for somebody to get in there I've heard uh stories about people uh big businesses and you would never think there'd be problems but get people embezzling money out of those businesses you know so you you have to be as you grow on your p's and q's and we trust people that work for us but we have to be more thoughtful in who gets brought into the Inner Circle sure yeah Fair last question Zach uh Jim Rohn a great author he one of his quotes is that he says 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 uh think that they need to do it on their own or are doing it on their own are not willing to ask for help and and just assume that uh that that's the way it should be done is just figure it out on your own and do it on your own don't do that unless you want to be the unemployment line um for real like you don't want to do that there are myself included Tim um if anybody were to call me and want to talk I would set 30 minutes I'd give somebody time I there's a lot of business owners out there that would spend time with you grab a coffee get him a coffee call him up can I take you to Starbucks or you know take them to the local coffee shop because then they're going to give back to your community but but again the local people do work at the Starbucks too so they're you know you're always going to give back um but ask people look around you uh my brother used to do this he used to get he went to Taylor University and he used to get on LinkedIn and connect with every grad from Taylor and just ask them if they can meet for coffee and he would just get to know people that way and I always thought that was super cool I just thought that was super cool nobody takes time to get to know people anymore yeah everybody's in a fast paid mode so I guess to key it up in the sentence don't get take time to get to know people because it's not who you know and it's not what you know but it's who you who you know that knows what it is that you do I like that yeah you mentioned um so this you mentioned hey if somebody was to reach out to you and ask for 30 minutes you give it to them I think that's huge because a lot of folks have an assumption that well that person's too busy they're not going to be able to spend time with me right and so I'm not gonna you know waste my time or waste their time in trying to get that meeting but the reality is I would say at least 95 of business owners you know have been there as well and they are more than happy to give their time to somebody who's brave enough to ask for it yeah entrepreneurial stuff you know you either have it or you don't and you can typically tell within a couple of minutes of talking to somebody if they're they're there but we also are a family and we want to see people succeed and we want to see people there from our community succeed and so you know they're you're gonna run into people that have had success and they don't have time for you that's okay you know but there are plenty more people there's probably five people every one that are like that that would be willing to connect with you and help you out it doesn't mean they're going to give you money but their time is probably or their advice most probably worth more sure sometimes and some of that money you might be looking for yeah fair enough uh Zach it sounds like you've been blessed with some incredible people that have been part of your journey if they were all on the show here today what would you want to say to them
um that's good well thank you uh thanks for getting on thanks for sticking on um you know there there was a time it was right before right after covet started that we had had a talk about shutting things down and you know everybody that stuck with us we we had one person that bailed at the time and that's fine everybody has a you know they're gonna go do what they're gonna do and but the people we've been lucky enough to really have almost zero turnover internally within our own group we just continue to add and everybody you know you can tell from our culture uh that that we're really connected you know we might sometimes be the Bad News Bears but we're out to have a good time but we're out to do some good things awesome well Zach it's been a pleasure speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show absolutely Tim I appreciate you having me to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made as a myth show with your host coach Tim cancel be sure to help us move spread the movement by liking our show and uh chatting about it on 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