Navigating the Crossroads of Entrepreneurship, Family Ties, and Personal Growth

February 15, 2024

In this special episode of FIN LYT by EWA, Matt Blocki welcomes his lifelong friend, client, and accomplished business owner, Matt White. In this deeply engaging conversation, they delve into Matt White’s transformative journey from a finance enthusiast to a technology entrepreneur behind TSI Video, a leader in onboard video surveillance solutions for public transit across North America. Discover the pivotal moments that shaped TSI Video’s trajectory, including the strategic shift from reselling to developing proprietary products and navigating the complex process of business transition from one generation to the next. Matt White shares the invaluable lessons learned from these experiences, emphasizing the critical role of building strong rapport with employees, fostering meaningful relationships with clients and vendors, and the importance of adaptability in business. Listen as they explore the profound impact of personal relationships on professional success, including Matt’s close relationship with his father that evolved through the business’s challenges and triumphs, and how these experiences have shaped his approach to leadership and personal growth. Matt also offers insights into managing the delicate balance between professional ambitions and personal life, introducing a refreshing perspective on work-life tension as a positive and necessary force for growth and fulfillment. This episode is full of personal connection, shared wisdom on navigating business management, personal development, and the art of maintaining focus amidst the allure of new opportunities. It’s a must-listen for entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone interested in the dynamics of family-run businesses and the pursuit of a balanced, purposeful life.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to EWA’s Finlit podcast. EWA is a fee only RAA, based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We hope all listeners of this podcast will benefit as we deep dive into complex financial topics that we will make simplified for you. And we hope that this really serves as a catalyst so that you can make the best financial planning decisions for your family and also save time in. Well, welcome, everyone to the podcast today. Welcome Matt White, great friend of mine, actually, from college. So thanks for joining.

Speaker 2
00:36
Thank you very much for having me. We’ve talked about this for quite a while now, and I’m happy to finally be here. And thanks for having me in.

Speaker 1
00:44
Absolutely. Well, I want to give a quick personal background, funny story, kind of how we evolved. Our relationship continued to evolve after college. Just to set the stage real quick, Matt is great client of EWA, very close, considered one of my best friends, and also one of the most successful business owners that I know in the 30 somethings that has successfully transitioned a business from one generation to the next. So I think in today’s episode, we hope to accomplish several things. One, want our audience to take away the tips of what is a successful business, not a small business, any means, but a small business transition. What lessons did you learn? What tips do you have? Et cetera.

Speaker 1
01:31
And then as a 30 something CEO, owner, sole owner, we’re going to talk about some operational stuff that other small business owners, I think, could really benefit from your perspective. And then the third thing is, one thing I really admire about you and your family is you have one of the best work life balances, at least it appears. And I know your wife, obviously, from college as well, and your kids. So great work life balance. I think that’s something that a lot of business owners struggle with, is how do you keep work life balance and keep growing the record speed that you’re growing your company. All right.

Speaker 2
02:07
Known each other for almost 20 years now. It’s crazy closing it on.

Speaker 1
02:12
You’re aging me. I guess we’re the same age, so I can’t.

Speaker 2
02:15
I’m the one with the gray hair.

Speaker 1
02:17
I’m the balding one. Okay, so, Matt, so 2010, let’s set the stage here. So we had, I don’t know, probably half our classes were together during college. And then after college, you had taken your dad, John had decided to make a transition where he quit his, where he was crushing his corporate job. Decided, I’m going to make a transition to start my own company. That point I had been working at a big four accounting firm at the time was not happy with that job. And so I was considering. You had just joined him. I was on the way out. I was considering and I was getting interviewed by your company. Do you remember that on your couch?

Speaker 2
02:56
I do. If you take it back even further. I remember you and I originally way back in high school, before I knew you. I always wanted to do basically what you’re doing now. And I always loved personal finance. I loved investing. And in college, that’s why I did accounting and finance and why were in a lot of the same classes together. And I had a direction that I really wanted to go. But I remember interviewing for an internship at your old broker dealer prior to this, and that’s really where things changed directions. But, yeah, I remember in 2010, you came down to Maryland and I think, did we take you out on the boat for the interview? Yes. And was that when I almost killed you tubing or was that a prior trip?

Speaker 1
03:45
I think that was the time, yeah, it was a fake interview. We’re actually going to try to kill you at the same time. That’s right. Yeah. So we had most of the same classes together, finance and accounting. And I remember that. I think it was our investments professor, which I don’t know about you, that was my favorite class in college. Is that yours as well, Professor Raver stumble Gary? Yeah, he had the investments class and then you asked him for an internship. And then I just copied everything you did. So I’m like, I’ll go interview at the same. Now, looking back, this company offers, if you’re breathing, they’ll offer you an internship. So we thought it was like top ten internship, though, and we’re like, oh, this is awesome. You decided not to take it. I decided to take it.

Speaker 1
04:26
It’s kind of turned off by the whole experience, going to go after friends and family. And so then that’s why I ended up in accounting and you ended up with your father. So just give us a quick background. What was the progression from 2010 till now? What does your company do? And just in generalities, like, how has your company evolved?

Speaker 2
04:50
Yeah, so I already gave a little bit of background prior to college, but I think it’s important that I had no intentions of running a business, at least not this style business. And we haven’t even talked about what that is. But I’m now president and owner of TSI Video, and we provide onboard video surveillance solutions for public transit across North America, which is way off course from where I started back in college with the idea that I wanted to get into the investment world like I said I loved personal finance. I started investing when I was probably in middle school. I remember distinctly telling my dad to buy Apple stock and under Armour, and I had my three shares, and he wouldn’t buy because he didn’t think that it was going anywhere. So that’s what I wanted my career to progress as.

Speaker 2
05:40
But after going into college, doing that, or starting that internship with you and realizing that world wasn’t what I thought it would be, it was around the same time that my dad was starting what the company is today. So the history of the company is that my dad worked in transportation technology for almost all of his career. He started off way back in the day, developing the original dispatch software for ups. And then he went through maybe a half dozen other companies throughout his career, but all of them were in transportation technology of some sort. And that brings us to probably the 2006, 2007 time frame. He started working for a large video surveillance company that hired him on specifically to start a new vertical in the public transit world.

Speaker 2
06:38
And a lot of people don’t think about or may not even realize that there are video surveillance cameras on buses. It’s a very niche market, but they knew that he had experience in transportation technology, and so they brought him on to start up this new vertical in 2009. That company had decided that they were going to spin off the group, and all of their other vertical markets were done through integrators. And so they didn’t have in house sales teams for any other vertical. And at that time, my dad asked if he could leave and start the first integrator for the vertical that he was in. And that is what originally started TSI video. So 2009, 2010, we graduated in 2010.

Speaker 2
07:31
And because I had that crisis of wanting to do something for the last decade, and then realizing that all of a sudden, that isn’t what I wanted to do, I didn’t have any job prospects because I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to go in. And luckily enough, my dad had started this company, and I just started keeping the books for him. So I was employee number two. Employee number one in the company was also hired from the same college that went to. He was an engineer.

Speaker 1
08:04
Great dude, Eric. Yeah.

Speaker 2
08:06
Yeah. So he’s still part of the team. Today, he’s our director of engineering.

Speaker 1
08:10
Do you think that’s why you were hired, because your dad saw Geneva produces good people? It’s like, maybe I should consider Matt, my son.

Speaker 2
08:16
No, he just gave me the opportunity because I was his son. No other reason.

Speaker 1
08:20
Fair enough.

Speaker 2
08:22
So I started keeping the books for him and very small company. And there was a progression from there that the company continued to grow into what it is today. So the first couple of years in the company, were reselling a product from the company that he used to work for called Baron. And after a couple of years, that company decided that they weren’t going to put any development dollars into this vertical. It wasn’t a large enough addressable market for them. And so they decided that they were going to scrap it and move on. We saw this coming, and so we had already started looking for another relationship, for another product line that we could resell. We had something in the pipeline, and so we had a fairly smooth transition into this second resale arrangement that carried us through the 2015 2016 time period.

Speaker 2
09:24
And then in 2016, we had another crisis where that resale arrangement was going south, because the company’s product that were selling had gotten acquired multiple times over. And again, were in a situation where were selling a product that had no development dollars going into it. So I kind of think of our company in two different lifespans. We have before 2016 and after 2016. And in 2016 was when we had to make a decision again if were going to develop our own product line or go back into a resale relationship. And we had gotten burned twice before. And so we decided at that point that we would take the risk and develop our own product line. So from that point on, it was almost a rebirth of the company, of we actually had value within the business at that point.

Speaker 2
10:25
And we started to build what is now our own intellectual property and our own product line for this market.

Speaker 1
10:34
I like using the analogy like, s curve moments. Everyone has, businesses or individuals have, like, four or five s curve moments where then big decisions say they’re like, we’re going to go a completely different direction happen, then it leads into just huge growth. I view that as like the first s curve moment of TSI. Part of your dad’s legacy is obviously, he started his own company. He took a huge risk to do that, like, huge risk to put his own money and put everything on the line. And something I’ve really learned from him is just having, if, you know, you have a good business or offering, et cetera, the control and autonomy can make or break your business.

Speaker 1
11:18
And that obviously, at the time, it’s a hard decision, which eventually leads to an easy life for your business, but it’s a really scary one. So anything. Can you speak on that a little bit? Like, how difficult was that in 2016? Because the easy route would have been to go back to the retail, and, you know, obviously you’d gotten screwed it, but it would have been.

Speaker 2
11:38
We knew it, and it would have been the easy decision to make, and it was probably the second biggest decision that at the time, my dad had to make. When he started the company in 2009, prior to working with you, he pulled almost every cent that he had out of the market. At the bottom of the market, him and my mom talked, and he decided to make a go at this thing. So he took his life savings, and that’s what started TSI. But then again, in 2016, 2017, he had to make another decision because he knew it was going to take a decent amount of capital that he had finally built back up over the years of running this business.

Speaker 2
12:21
And he had to take a risk again to say, we’re going to develop this product line because it’s the best thing for the future of the company. So it was a huge decision point, and it had a lot of stress involved with it. A lot of tension involved with it. But now, looking back, it was, other than starting the business itself, it was the best decision the company has ever made.

Speaker 1
12:43
So, 2009, if I had been working with them at the time, I’d have told him, don’t do it because you’re pulling out, paying taxes, penalties, markets at the wrong time. But a good business owner puts all the chips on themselves because they bet in themselves. That’s what your dad did. And now it’s created a.

Speaker 2
12:59
When you have confidence and experience, which he had, that’s the best time to do it.

Speaker 1
13:04
Yeah. SME. He invested in SME instead of SME. Yeah. Which is great, it turned out. Now there’s a long lasting legacy that you’ve taken over that’s going to benefit many companies, employees, et cetera, for decades to come. So obviously the right decision. Okay, so 2016, you go through this development path, and this is in Germany, correct?

Speaker 2
13:27
Yeah. We have a development team that we built relationship with, and they developed what is now the core of our product line. So the heart of our system is our recorders, the actual systems that record the video, and then we have a backend software, and we now own the intellectual property for all of that.

Speaker 1
13:49
Okay, so real quick, let’s put our time machine to present day. So what is TSI? And I want to go backwards because there’s so much perspective, I think, that can be learned through some of the transitions that occurred. So what does present day 2024 TSI look like? Just high level, whatever you’re comfortable sharing number of employees, team members, revenue, et cetera.

Speaker 2
14:15
Today we do eight figures in top line revenue, seven figures in net profit. We have a smaller team. We have 16 employees, full time employee staff. And then we also have a number of subcontractors in different areas, from installation to development, from other companies and other teams that we work with. So we keep the approach of keeping our internal team lean, and we spend a lot of time building the relationships with our subcontractors and most of our subcontractors and our suppliers we’ve worked with really since the beginning of the company. A lot of these relationships go back 15 years at this point, and we have a lot of trust in those external relationships, which is what allows us to keep our internal team pretty lean, which is not common within the industry.

Speaker 2
15:10
Usually there’s a lot larger staff on the internal side, but because we have so much trust built up with a lot of these vendors that we work with, it gives us the ability to keep a lean staff internally.

Speaker 1
15:23
Awesome. I know a lot of the people in your team. You have awesome team, a lot of happy clientele as well. So let’s go backwards to you’re hired to run the books in 2010. Fast forward, you’re double accounting, finance major. You come out with that skill set, but lots to learn. As we know, there’s lots you learn on the job, maybe a couple of percent. It’s more of the, I think, the brain development that you learn in college, but not necessarily like you take, oh, I know how to do this job now. You had to learn that on the fly, right? So you go from 2010 till present day, from running the books of the company and now being the owner and CEO of the company. So let’s talk about the transition plan that occurred. I can’t remember offhand when did the official.

Speaker 1
16:11
So, obviously, your dad had built this extremely successful company with your and Eric’s help, and then employees had started to come, and then there was some point where it’s like, okay, this worked out great. Now I need to start thinking about my retirement and a transition plan to make sure the company continues on past me. So when did that start? I want to get into some of the details around that.

Speaker 2
16:39
So it really happened around the same time as what I call the rebirth of the company around that 2017 time period. From 2009 to 2017, I went from bookkeeper to operations manager to director of operations, really growing along with the company. Like I said, I was employee number two, so there was nothing to manage at first. It was just keeping the books and keeping the company moving. Then we slowly started to hire some people on, and I grew along with it. And in 2017, when were going through all these transitions, was the same time when my dad and I started to talk about, what does the future look like? And at the time, he had no intention of retiring anytime soon. And we had some conversations about, what does the future look like, what does ownership look like?

Speaker 2
17:36
And I believe in 2018 was when we started the transition of ownership. So we did it in two segments, and we’ll talk about the second segment a little bit. But the first tranche, if you will, was essentially a 50% ownership transition that occurred over a couple of years, and that was done through a payback system that we, I think, originally talked with you and our accountants about to figure out how to do that.

Speaker 1
18:08
Absolutely. I want to share, if you don’t mind, one of the biggest lessons I learned that shaped me into who I am today and the company into who I am. So I remember sitting down vividly when this was all getting figured out. We had attorneys, cpas, myself. There was probably ten people at the table, and everyone was like, how do we do this? And there’s all these ideas getting thrown around. And then the attorneys had Bill Bowers, and after that meeting, nothing got accomplished. There was just mass chaos, I would call it. And one of the beautiful things about your mom is she likes simplicity. And I think simplicity is everything, because if you need to be able to understand it, to execute it, and your dad called me with frustration after the meeting is like, we need someone to quarterback this, essentially.

Speaker 1
19:01
And so at that, it just clicked for me. I was like, I don’t want to be an advisor that just manages money or investments. I want to be the quarterback to make the goals, the life changes come to life. And so after that, I took that feedback so seriously, and that’s literally to this day that our company stands by. We’re the terminology of CFO. We want to be able to quarterback, be the head of the table, pull these professionals together. And so I remember that was like an s curve moment for me, is helping that transition occur. And so fast forward months and iterations, and we finally arrived at what you just described with the buyout. So talk to us about, give us the good and the bad of that. So, obviously, it wasn’t a full out, like, keys of the kingdom.

Speaker 1
19:53
Here you go. Your father initially maintained control of the company. And as you evolved with your skill sets of management and overseeing all these different aspects of the business.

Speaker 2
20:08
What were.

Speaker 1
20:09
Some of the come up with a pinpoint. Just tell us about that story. What were the pain points? How did you evolve? Because everything on paper, and if we look it back, is like, wow, that worked flawlessly. But the reality is, I saw it basically on a weekly basis back.

Speaker 2
20:24
It looked like it was a smooth and simple transition, and in a lot of ways it was. But to start with the challenges, the biggest challenge that we had going into it is that this business, as you know, was my dad’s hobby and my dad’s life, and he wasn’t sure when he wanted to retire or if he ever wanted to retire, frankly. And so when we decided to do this first portion of the ownership transition, the biggest challenge was that we didn’t know at the time what were going to do for the second half. So there was some uncertainty about, okay, we’re going to take these first steps. And it was fine to start with because we had time to work with, but we didn’t start with the end in mind.

Speaker 2
21:18
I think that was the biggest challenge, was throughout that process, and for a couple of years afterwards, there was some tension around what does the future of Tsi look like and how does his involvement and my involvement look? And we didn’t have to have it all figured out at the time, but that was the elephant in the room, really. From the positive side, the transition was really simplified. I had a lot of advantages in the fact that I had been at the company from the start. So I wasn’t the son that came in two years ago and was trying to take over the company and hadn’t built rapport with the employees, that hadn’t built relationships with the customers at that point. I had been in the business for a decade, and I had been out to the trade shows.

Speaker 2
22:15
I’d started to build relationships with our clients and our customers. All of the employees that we hired were people that came up after me, a lot of who I managed throughout the process. So there was a lot of benefit that came from the fact that I happened to have started at the very beginning and worked up through this process, and that really made the transition simple. And that isn’t the case for every business. There are a lot of businesses out there that have to figure out a transition plan after the fact.

Speaker 2
22:46
But if there’s one piece of advice that I could give, it’s that you want to make sure that the transition plan involves people that your employees respect and that they have a relationship with, whether that’s a relationship that gets built when the transition plan starts or if it’s to someone that’s already within the company that the employees already know and trust. That was a huge part of what allowed all this to work.

Speaker 1
23:13
What were some of the, as you went from doing the financial, the books to becoming, like, I’d say, the controller of the CFO, we could say to now the CEO, if you were to do an 80 20 analysis on your progression over the last 13 years, from 2020 till present day, what’s the 20% of things that you did that made up 80% of the results of the success of that trans? What got you ready to eventually take over as CEO of the company again?

Speaker 2
23:48
I think the biggest thing was that I experienced every part of the business. I have pictures of Eric and I packing boxes in my dad’s living room in Maryland and shipping things out the door back in 2010. I have memories of doing cable harnesses in the loft in our office that we had because we had to get a shipment out the door the next day. And the fact that I got to experience every aspect of the business prior to taking over the business really gave me perspective. And also the fact that I had taken the time and my dad had given me the ability to go out to the trade shows that went to.

Speaker 2
24:34
Our industry is a very relationship based business, much like yours is, but we are in a much smaller industry, and so people within this industry know each other really well, and they tend not to leave. So building those relationships up and having time to get my face out in front of customers ahead of time and over a decade period of going out to these shows was another huge advantage. So I think that while it’s not an 80 20 analysis, necessarily, it’s a conglomerate of being in every aspect of the business. And what I learned throughout the process that changed my mind on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life is that process allowed me to realize what I love doing is the organizational part of growing a business.

Speaker 2
25:25
I love seeing a business go from what it is today to what you view it as a decade from now. And that’s really what gets me fired up now. I still love personal finance. I still love investing. I love talking to you guys about all aspects of that, but I really enjoy growing a business now.

Speaker 1
25:47
I don’t know what it is about. I like slogans, or we have the three C’s. I’d heard the three R’s there, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I heard the rapport was so important that you gained with the team members at TSI, the relationships with your clientels, vendors, et cetera. And then third thing I heard was, like, rotations. So you rotated around every segment of the business. So would you say, that’s what I heard you say? Those are the three things that got you ready for successfully transitioning the business?

Speaker 2
26:19
Yeah, I think that summarizes it well, awesome.

Speaker 1
26:24
Okay, so how did the relationship evolve between you and your father? I remember having several conversations about, like, you guys were just having a blast after. Obviously, there’s always stress in the business, as you and I both know. But when this transition started to occur, and then ultimately, it went so well that your dad’s like, I don’t want to retire. And he was able to stay in the business at that point, essentially 50 owners, some people say, don’t mix business and family. You did it, I would say, in the top 1%. So what led to that, and how did your relationship evolve with your father as that transition was occurring?

Speaker 2
27:08
We had a very good working relationship from the get go, and I think that a lot of that revolved around having mutual respect. I respected the fact that he owned the company and that he put his life savings on the line to start this company. And I was not someone that was going to step in and try to overpower my opinions, especially not having any experience in this industry or in this world, and very little prior work experience. And so there was a lot of respect from me towards him, saying he spent his entire career in this industry, and I trusted him to take it where it wanted to go.

Speaker 2
27:57
And there was mutual respect from him towards me to give me the time to develop the skills that I needed to take over the business and really to mentor me throughout that process, to show me every aspect that we just talked about of the business. We thought in very different ways at times, but very rarely did we argue about business decisions. I think later on in the process that we really became the sounding board for each other. That certainly wasn’t the case in 2009, 2010 when we started, but later on, it really became a sounding board relationship where we could discuss the future of the business and talk about plans.

Speaker 2
28:43
And I think it was important that as long as my dad was in the picture, I always viewed this company as really, the majority of this company was his, and I was earning my way into this company that none of it was something that was given to me.

Speaker 1
29:00
Well, it’s okay. I have some secret perspective I can share from your father’s perspective, because I had the privilege of serving as your advisor, your parents advisor, and kind of the company that is obviously part of that conglomerate. So we had missed so many meetings with you individually, with your parents individually, all at one. And some of the characteristics, I would say, that allowed him, if he was sitting here, to say about you is basically that we’ve talked about work life balance a lot, but basically, there’s these paradoxes in life, and some traits, if they’re too focused on, can actually bite you in the foot. So from his perspective, I think that you had a really good mix of humility and confidence. So you’re very understated, you’re humble, but also, when it came time to take stuff over, you’re confident.

Speaker 1
29:52
I think those two can be at competition with each other. So if you can find the artwork of matching the right levels of those two things, and then also, you were very patient. We changed the.

Speaker 2
30:05
Changed plans a couple of times.

Speaker 1
30:06
Yeah, I mean, many times, but in a good way. I think the business is a calibration. And then there was also a lot of. A family owned business can be really tough. You have a sibling that’s not in the business. There’s considerations of who passes to what. And so there’s lots of times, I think, where people in a financial plan can assume, and I like to use the word of, like, when you make assumptions, you assume aside because you don’t know what someone else is thinking. And so if I were to say, one characteristic of your family is just like, the ability to have very open, direct conversations and to avoid a suiciding, like, you stay curious with each other. You get the information on the table you share directly.

Speaker 1
30:52
And that, I think, really, some of the pain points I see other businesses that are trying to make a transition not nearly as successfully as you guys made it, is that characteristic of a suicide and not getting every intention or every want on the table and your whole family from a business personal life, you guys did that on an a plus level.

Speaker 2
31:13
I appreciate that, and I do, just to give other people some confidence moving through this process. I had a good relationship with my parents growing up, but my dad and I really learned to communicate in the business. Prior to that. We communicated like most father and son did, and we would talk on a fairly regular basis. But it wasn’t until I started working in the business that him and I really learned how to communicate together. And it took us working on a daily basis to really get in the flow of, how does this work? We didn’t have anyone else to look at to see how that relationship worked out, so we had to figure it out along the way. But you do have the ability to start into this without knowing what the relationship looks like and learning along the way.

Speaker 1
32:06
Absolutely. Well, thanks for sharing. I’m going to try not to tear up here. So when did I get the call from your father? A couple of years ago, unfortunately.

Speaker 2
32:23
In July of 2022. And this brings us to the second half of our story. In July 2022, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And like I said, we had, back in 2017, 2018, we had started talking about the transition of this business. And I had mentioned how we didn’t know what the end would look like. And by the end, at that point in time, were talking about what the end of the transition or the business would look like. But I really think that those steps in those years were preparing us for what was coming ahead. So in July of 2022, he was diagnosed. And then just a couple of months ago, in September, he passed away.

Speaker 2
33:14
And that process over the last year and a half was, I think, both the greatest challenge that I’ve had to overcome in my life, but also, in a lot of ways, the greatest blessing that I had in my life. I think that we’ll talk about the transition of the business, but on a personal level, it gave me perspective. And like I said before, my dad loved doing what he did. And I learned that it’s okay to really enjoy the work that you do and the people that you work with, and it’s okay that your business is your hobby, and it’s okay to have friendships and relationships within your business. And looking back, he stayed involved in the business for a really long time, even after he was diagnosed, because he loved the people that he worked with.

Speaker 2
34:19
And our team, our group was part of his family. And so it really gave me a good perspective to see that this will also lead into the tension conversation that we have later on, which is, how do you balance all of this stuff in life? And part of it is learning to see that business can be family can be business, and there’s a way that all of it can intertwine.

Speaker 1
34:48
Doesn’t have to be a competition with each other, right? Yeah. Two things I really admired about John was he had the, again, going back to these paradoxes that exist as a business owner, what I learned from him is you have to delegate, but you first have to educate yourself. So he had this very good knack of ultimately, he was going to delegate tasks to his employees. He was in a delegate task to me, but he wanted to be very educated, which allowed him to make, because obviously, to him and your mom’s plan. They know what’s best. They know what they want. So he had that. I find some people just delegate everything, and then they have a plan that doesn’t serve their wants and their needs, and they can delegate to someone, to the wrong person, suddenly they’re getting taken advantage of.

Speaker 1
35:41
He had that artwork really mastered. Well. And the second thing is calibration. You know, ultimately, I’ve seen in TSI, you guys make very decisive decisions, but they’re not quick decisions, they’re calibrated decisions. So we kind of stress test, what if we did it this way? Let’s rerun the plan. This, that’s not, some people say that’s paralysis by analysis. But one thing I’ve learned is, yes, if you get paralysis by analysis, that can be a bad thing, but also if you make decisions way too quickly, that can change the trajectory of your whole company. So if you mirror those things together or if you don’t prowess this by analysis, but you analyze things to a very good level to then be decisive, that can be magical in your personal life and your business life.

Speaker 1
36:30
And that’s something that I learned directly from John over the last decade.

Speaker 2
36:36
Yeah, I think that going back to the conversation that we had about respect, there was also a respect there with what is now our management team. And my dad was fantastic at making decisions, but he was not a solo decision maker. And every decision that we had within the business was a communication that we had between myself and our management team and him. And any large challenge that we ran into, we faced as a team. And that management team that exists has been in the business for a while now and has experience and knowledge that reinforces it. But those have become the sounding board of the business so that we can make those decisions. And you’re right, we don’t necessarily always make decisions quickly. We like to communicate about them beforehand, but we like to be decisive when we do make the decision.

Speaker 2
37:35
And in general, we like to hear out the opinions of the management team and make sure that everyone is on board with what we’re pushing forward with, because ultimately, it’s them that has to execute absolutely.

Speaker 1
37:52
Well. So navigating to the second half, this happened unexpectedly. So tell us about that. How have you managed to go through one of the most emotional times of your life and also have at the same time, were going through all that more pressure than ever, solely fall on your shoulders. How did you balance that from a day to day perspective? How did you balance that from a mindset perspective? Just if you can speak to that in generalities. I think it would be so insightful.

Speaker 2
38:23
Yeah, I think that it’s another s curve moment, both personally and in the business. And one hand, there was some uncertainty around the time frame of everything. My dad and I had conversations previously about what the transition of the rest of the business would look like, and we had some ideas in place. Most of those ideas, frankly, involved him maintaining some small percentage of ownership, as long as he was staying involved at some level with the business. But when he got diagnosed, it really made the decision process from a business standpoint pretty simple. We had to finish the transition. And so there was no more debating, there was no more analyzing whether were doing this in the right method or if were doing in the right time frame.

Speaker 2
39:22
There was no more deciding did he want to stay involved in the business or not? So from that perspective, it actually made things easier on both of us to say, all right, now’s the time, and we have to do this, and you just bite the bullet and get it done. So from that perspective, it was a very straightforward transition point on a personal level. And with our relationship, it led into a year and a half of really challenging times on both our parts, on our family’s part, on the businesses part. And ultimately, I think that the things that brought us through that was the fact that we had a fantastic team within the business that supported us along the way. We didn’t lose any employees through the process. Everyone knew what was going on, so we openly communicated with them about it.

Speaker 2
40:24
The business gave both myself and my dad the time that we needed to spend together. If I was working at a big four accounting firm and he was going through this, I would not have had the time to be able to spend with him or the flexibility to be able to spend with him. So it was another blessing that the business was at a point that it was at. And I’ve told a lot of people this over the last year, but I really feel like that my faith is important to me, and I really feel like God was preparing both my dad and I over the last 15 years of business for what was ultimately to come.

Speaker 2
41:09
And I think that one of the biggest blessings that I took away from this was that I calculated this a couple of months ago, and over that 15 year period, 14 year period, I spent over 30,000 hours working alongside him. And that’s cool. Although he isn’t going to be around for the next 30 years to be at some of these pivotal moments, I think that I spent more quality time with him over that 14 year period than most sons get to send with their dad over a lifetime. I have a lot of friends that have good relationships with their dads, but because of life, you only get to call them once a week, or maybe you hang out for lunch once a month.

Speaker 2
42:06
And the fact that I was able to work 8 hours a day, five days a week, and I saw him on the weekend because he was my dad, and every holiday for 14 years straight was a huge blessing.

Speaker 1
42:22
Awesome. What would you say the biggest, what’s your dad legacy to you? What’s the biggest thing you learned from John?

Speaker 2
42:41
I think you should have prepared me for that one. I think the biggest legacy is that the most important thing in life, outside of my faith, is family. But that family can look like a lot of different things. And I really view our employees at the company as family. I spend holidays with them. I go out to dinner and hang out at lunch with them. I have my family and my kids at home. I have my mom and my sister and my extended family and my friends. But I think that ultimately what he was able to provide was an entire ecosystem within my life that really was all family. It was all built around family.

Speaker 2
43:46
And when that ecosystem exists, it makes balance in your life and tension in your life a lot easier, because all of the people that are within your ecosystem are people that you really want to spend time with. And so I think his ability to create that both on a personal, family level and on a business level was very unique.

Speaker 1
44:14
That’s awesome. Well, thanks for sharing. Let’s get into present day. Tough transition. We always hard pivot. Hard pivot. So we always joke about the fishbowl. Junior year at Geneva College.

Speaker 2
44:41
Yep.

Speaker 1
44:43
Tell us about the fishbowl, because I think that’s going to lead into a very insightful conversation into present day if you’re a business owner. How to manage cash.

Speaker 2
44:55
So the fishbowl analogy, which was Dr. Raver, I think the fishbowl analogy is if you picture a fishbowl and you have water within it, and then you have a filter system or funnel system that runs the water up, out and back into your fishbowl, the water level within the fishbowl is your cash flow within the business. And the challenge in business that I didn’t understand at the time that he used as this fishbowl analogy is making sure that, number one, you have enough water in the business to start, enough cash in the business to start. But number two, that cycle occurs quickly enough and on a regular enough basis. That you don’t ever run out of water in the fishbowl. So it has to go through its process to go out, go through the filter system, come back in.

Speaker 2
45:51
But you have to make sure within a business that you always manage that water line, that high water line or the low water line, and make sure that there’s water in the fishbowl and that it doesn’t ever run dry and all end up in the funnel. So from a business perspective, that became a hard reality very quickly. In our business, we are a heavily inventory based business, which has both its blessings and its curses. But from a cash flow standpoint, it’s definitely a challenge to manage, making sure that you have enough cash for the inventory that you bring in, for the inventory that you keep on hand, plus all of your operating expenses.

Speaker 2
46:34
And then obviously, when we provide a good or service to our customer, a lot of times we’re providing a lot of goods at one time, and that payment may not come back for a while. So we have to make sure that we’re capitalized well enough to live through that process throughout any of the business cycles that we go through.

Speaker 1
46:57
So what are some of the lessons, by the way? I think there’s nothing more powerful than for a small business owner, if you’re able to be an owner operator, because you know everything that’s going on. So how have you learned this the hard way? And what’s the philosophy now? What are some tips or tricks that you stay on top of to make sure that TSI doesn’t run out of water?

Speaker 2
47:20
There are no tips and tricks. It’s all life lessons. So I think along the way that there are different decisions that you have to make as a business owner. And some of those decisions revolve around how much cash you have in the business if you use an operating line of credit. If so, how much do you use? It challenges around how much cash do you leave in the business versus taking out of the business. And it’s all a balancing act of making sure that you leave enough water within the fishbowl. And so I think that we’ve gone through cycles in the business of learning how much cash do we need in the business? When do we use our operating line of credit? We as a business, because the business grew the way that it did and started the way it did.

Speaker 2
48:13
We have no outside investment, so we have no long term debt as a business. We don’t have any outside investors, no outside pressure. We don’t have any outside pressure, which is great, but we also don’t have any outside funding. So it’s all happening within the ecosystem of the business and my personal life. And at the time, my dad’s personal life. So balancing all of that out was challenging. But I think it also is part of what makes business fun. I give a lot of people that are not in the business world the analogy of holding a tray. My kids have these plastic totes, or bins, and we have a pool at the house, and they’ll fill these boxes or bins with water, and they’ll put them outside on the edge of the pool.

Speaker 2
49:01
And I give people the analogy of taking one of these totes, putting water in it maybe halfway full. And when we start a project, we tilt the tote to one side, and all of the water, all the cash, goes to purchasing inventory and getting ready for these large projects that we’re doing. And so you end up at a point where there’s very little water left in one side, the scary moments of the business, very little water left. But then you get through that project and you start to be able to invoice and reap the benefits from it, and you’re tilting the box backwards.

Speaker 2
49:37
And all of that water, all that cash flow, comes back into the business, and then you have another decision to make, which is you all of a sudden have a lot more cash than you did the last three months or the last six months or however long it’s been. And do you take some of that off the table and go into another venture with it or personally invest it? Or do you use that within the business to reinvest in the business and also making sure that if you do take any out of that world, out of that ecosystem, that you have enough left in there for the next time that you go to tilt that box. And so that’s the challenges that we deal with on a regular basis?

Speaker 1
50:20
Well, I think it’s always a challenge, but it’s a challenge that you’re up for, because I’ve seen one of the personally, if it’s okay if I speak about TSI and you and the company overall, times got stressful. And at some points, as a business owner, you wonder, do I keep this? Do I sell it? Do I transition? So went through that process, but I feel very strongly that if you can manage that analogy right, and taking chips off the table often is like a disagreement between a financial advisor and their clients, because the business owners, if it’s a good business, is always going to outperform whatever the financial advisor can do in the market, right? Reinvesting in yourself, putting all the chips. So at some point, when is that a strength that ends up becoming a weakness?

Speaker 1
51:09
Because if an industry changes now all your chips are there and now you haven’t secured yourself. If you secure yourself and your own goals, but you continue to secure yourself so well, then you can sell because you want to. You could transition the business internally as a legacy to your son if you wanted to. The options are endless. And so I feel like managing the cash and those hard decisions of, do we reinvest for the greatest returns? Do we take the chips off the table? Do we secure enough? Even on top of that, it provides a lot of flexibility. It provides the ability to remove some stress. Obviously, there’s good stress and bad stress, so you can have fun.

Speaker 1
51:52
I feel like that’s been a progression for you and the company personally, that you’ve now got on the mastery level, where along the way, speaking from an outside view or looking in, there’s been stressful times where that’s a serious thing. You need to learn how to manage that.

Speaker 2
52:08
Yeah, I think that, again, it’s another tension point in life and business that needs managed. And it’s not a question that needs answered or a problem that needs solved. I think that it’s a balance and attention, and I think that as a business owner, that you should always be considering, how much do I take off the table? Why am I taking this off the table, and where is it going? Am I leaving enough in the business to allow it to continue to grow successfully? And going into those decisions, I think understanding that you will most likely never get it 100% right is the best way to look at it. You make the best decision with the choice that you have at the time, and it’s a tension that will always be there.

Speaker 2
53:01
If we grow to be ten times the size that we are today, I will still have the same problems and the same tensions that I have today from a cash flow standpoint, just at a much larger scale. And there will always be the question of how much do you leave in the business? How much do you take out? What is your reinvestment worth? And I think that as long as it’s always a balanced approach on both sides of the table, then you’re successfully navigating that tension.

Speaker 1
53:29
I think it’s the funnest part of business. It’s the funnest part of life, because the analogy I’ll use, because I just had my. If you remember, in college, I came back and people thought I had some kind of. Because I was on those crutches. I had my right hip scoped. I had femurized fabric impingement in 2008. Then I just had my left one done a couple of months ago. And the lessons I learned from the second one, that it’s an artwork, because if you like the first one, it was like six weeks, I think, before I walked again. And then at that point, your muscle is like, atrophy, I think is the right word, where it’s like, basically my leg was like a half the size. So then you have to learn how to rewalk. You have to learn how to.

Speaker 1
54:04
This one, the protocols have changed. Like 17 days after the surgery, I was walked. So it’s like an artwork of when do you walk? So you don’t atrophy, so you have a quicker recovery. But if you walk too soon, are you going to do joint damage? I don’t know if the analogy perfectly fits here, but if you look at your business, your personal life, if you don’t put attention into both of those, one’s going to atrophy, and then it’s going to be really difficult to build the muscle and build the habits. And if you totally neglect it, you’re putting so much at risk. I know we’re going to get into the tension, which is a concept that you taught me, that I still live breathe on a daily basis.

Speaker 2
54:43
Yeah, I see a lot of it, including the discussion we just had as a yes and situation. All of these are yes and answers. Do you leave money in the business? Yes. And take some off the table, make sure that you reinvest it. I think that applies to almost all areas in life. When you’re talking about tension, there’s black.

Speaker 1
55:05
Or white, good and evil, and then there’s dialectic thinking where you can have two truths exist. Yes, I should do this. Yes, I should do that. And in business, it’s full of paradoxes. It’s full of, like you just said, navigation, artwork, thoughtfulness, et cetera, which I think you’ve done a tremendous job. So with that being said before, I’m going to go right, skip a question. We’ll circle back about management style. So, as a business owner, as you become more successful, people know that even no matter how private you are. And so shiny objects come know. The lady in the red dress is Alex from Ozzy video that we’ve shared back and forth and talked about. So how do you stay focused? How do you avoid shiny objects? When do you know I should take this opportunity? That may be a great opportunity.

Speaker 1
55:56
That’s totally like a different direction. How do you navigate the world of shiny objects?

Speaker 2
56:03
I think for us as a business that, number one, we’ve been presented with a number of opportunities over the last 15 years, and people often ask, we just had this conversation a couple of minutes ago. We’re in a niche business. People don’t think about video surveillance on public transportation. There are a lot of opportunities for us to look at other avenues that we could take the business and a lot of our competitors, from a business standpoint, do take a lot of these other avenues. But I think that what has made us as successful as we are is the fact that we focus so much on the niche that we’re in and making sure that the product that we provide, the people that we employ and the customers that we chase are all within a very small, what we call an avatar.

Speaker 2
56:53
So making sure that we know who our customer is that we’re selling to. And when you do that, you automatically start to be able to push aside easily other opportunities because they don’t fall into that. Eventually, all businesses have to grow. But from a personal management standpoint, what I see is that until you are the market leader and you have very little growth left within your market space, there’s very little benefit to distracting yourself with other areas. And we as a business still have room to grow even within our niche. So we’re going to continue to focus on making sure that we create the best video surveillance product for public transportation until we get to the point that we have the ability to grow beyond that and have a reason to do it. And we’ve been successful for over a decade now doing that.

Speaker 2
57:55
Awesome.

Speaker 1
57:56
Well, I know it’s a challenge that many people face. So going back a sec before we get into work life balance, which I think will be really great to talk about because you somehow managed, I don’t know how you manage it so well with the amount of kids.

Speaker 2
58:10
You have too much credit.

Speaker 1
58:13
You’d be surprised out there, what I see, and myself personally. So it’s something I always struggle with. You said there’s a team of 17. Does that include you? 1616 includes you. Okay, so what are your top three management tips?

Speaker 2
58:29
First off, I’ll say that I do not consider myself a management expert. I think that I am reasonably good at building relationships and I think that I enjoy communicating with people on my team, with our customers. And I think that those things allow me to successfully manage a team. We don’t have a large team. We grow slowly and we make sure that the people that we hire are quality people that mesh well into our ecosystem. And when you have a smaller team, it makes it easier to be able to do that. So we only hire one, two, maybe three people in a year at most, and it allows us to be very selective. So I think, first off, from a management perspective, making sure that the people that you bring into your organization match your organization’s views is really important.

Speaker 2
59:32
It makes the rest of the management process really easy. And we’re not always successful doing that. And we’ve had our failures in the past, but for the most part, we have extremely low turnover because everyone views the same goals the same way, and that’s part of why we brought them on. I think the other thing is making sure that I don’t view the employees and the business solely as employees, but like I said earlier, that they really are family. And I know when one of them is struggling with a car problem or if they have a wedding coming up or a new baby that’s coming. When you have a smaller team, you can know intimate details about each of your employees like that.

 

And it makes it very simple to manage people because you know the things that they’re struggling with, both within the business, but also outside of the business.

 

So I feel like that’s an artwork like some of the most generous, which I would describe you as your team can be so loyal, and you get such good work because of that generosity, because of that connection, that friendship, et cetera. But at the same point, I’ve seen. I’ve not seen it with you, actually. So I’m curious why I’m asking. The question is, sometimes that can flip on you, and then people expect more, expect more, and then the culture can get hit. So how do you make sure I frame the right question? What boundaries do you put in place? Or how do you artfully navigate those scenarios to make sure that remains a strength and doesn’t flip into a weakness on you?

 

I think it goes back to respect, and that respect has to go both ways. There has to be an obvious respect from the employee to the manager that exists in any relationship. But there also needs to be a respect from the managers back to the employees. And that respect is around their time. That respect is around their emotions.

 

It’s around the things that they have to do outside of work, and making sure that when I go to someone on our team and say, hey, I really need XYZ done, they respect the request that I’m asking of them, and they know that I’ve backed them up in this other area of their life, or that we’ve come alongside them as a business and helped them out in another area, or that when they needed to leave to go get work done on their car or to be at a baby’s ultrasound appointment, that we’re flexible with them. So I think having mutual respect really allows us to easily manage the people that we have.

 

And it also keeps that barrier, like you talked about, of making sure that on both sides of the equation that you aren’t overstepping your bounds and that the relationship doesn’t turn into a friendship or just a friendship. I guess I should say that it’s still a respectful relationship on both parts.

 

Awesome. Thanks for that perspective. So before we move into this third. So we’ve talked about TSI, the transition. Now, operationally, as the CEO, and before we get to this third section of the work life balance, I’m huge believer in public accountability. So I want to ask, I know this is going to be put me on the spot about putting you on the spot. So before were live here, were talking about the vehicles under management that you have, and I did a quick calculation. It’s like 6% of the marketplace. For a 16 employee company to have 6% of the marketplace in the United States, that’s very impressive. So what are the goals of TSI in the next decade?

 

I think over the next ten years that I have to go back to what we just said about being in a niche market, and we have a long way that we can grow within this marketplace. And the idea of putting a vehicle under management goal right now in the company is something that we’re still working on defining. And frankly, a lot of that revolves around the discussion that we just had about the transition plan. So it took some time to get through. What is the future of TSI look like? Because my dad and I had to figure out along the way and then ultimately was decided for us what the future of TSI looked like.

 

And I think that now that we’re coming out of that time period where there isn’t as much uncertainty about what the future looks like from an organizational perspective, now we have the ability to regroup and redefine what our growth goals are. So that’s a very political way of saying, I don’t have our goals set yet to be working on it.

 

We’ll do podcast episode number two.

 

That’s right.

 

Yeah, but you guys are growing at record pace.

 

I’ll also say this, in 15 years, and this is not good business advice, but it is what it is. We never set a goal for the business, and yet we’ve had continued growth our entire existence. Now, do I think that if we had set goals as a business, that we could have grown more? Yes, certainly. But the fact is that you knew my dad very well. And my dad, while he really enjoyed what he did, he was not the person that wanted to turn this business into a billion dollar organization. He wanted to create an organization that he loved working in, and he successfully did that.

 

And my goal now is to somehow balance, keeping that part of the business, loving the people that I work with, the customers that we work with, but also making sure that we continue to grow at a steady, healthy rate.

 

Yeah, well, I think that’s a big lesson there, because there’s studies and you hear all this stuff on social media, like goal setting. You need it. And the reality is, I think for the general population, goal setting can be very powerful, but the general population may not have a baseline of the experience your dad had, the motivation factors, the purpose that your dad had. Et. So, you know, goals can certainly serve a purpose for someone to get off their butts and off their couch. But if you have a purpose, if you have the experience, you don’t need goals to have a tremendously successful business. And the proofs in the pudding with TSI and what you and your dad.

 

Built, I think that while we didn’t have goals, we did have very good guardrails, both from the lady in the red dress perspective. We didn’t get distracted. We aren’t going to get distracted. And we also knew the things that we wanted to do as an organization. We want to make sure that we treat our customers well, that they get a phone call back when they have an issue. We wanted to make sure that we enjoy the employees that we work with and the customer relationships that we have and that entire ecosystem feels like family. So we had these guardrails in place that allowed us to focus on what were really good at. That ultimately led to our growth. Even though there weren’t set goals for the first 15 years of the company.

 

Yeah, absolutely. I think sometimes goals without purpose behind them can be devastating for the company as well.

 

You and I have talked about that, about setting up goals, both personally and for the business, but how it’s challenging to not create artificial goals or pick numbers just for the sake of picking.

 

Numbers to make sure the goals are.

 

There’S meaning behind them.

 

Yeah. And not someone else’s goals for your pressure from society to grow to a certain level, et cetera. So that’s very cool. And I think that’s the goal in itself, to have a family feel successful, highly purpose driven business. Right. That’s a goal in itself that you’re living through every day. All right, work life balance. We were sitting down, I think, maybe about a year ago for dinner, do this like, once a month. And I’m just talking through challenges and just kind of being a sounding board to each other. I find those are some of the most important meetings I have with you because we’re in different industries, but there’s so many similarities between the stresses that come up, issues that come up in the business, and sounding board just can be so important.

 

But one of the things that stuck with me literally every day that you said was around work life balance. I remember you telling me you were reading two different books that said two completely different things, and you kind of came up with your own philosophy around it. And now I talk about this philosophy. I take credit for this. No, I’m just kidding. No, it’s seriously, though, it’s something that I talk about all the time with clients. I live it on a daily basis. So tell us about how you arrived and what is this philosophy?

 

I don’t know if it’s a philosophy so much as a work in progress, and it’s not something that I’ve perfected by any means. But I don’t view work life balance as the goal. I view tension as the goal. And what happened was I was reading these two different books or articles about work life balance with two different perspectives and realized that having tension in life is something that will always happen, will always be managed, and that is a positive and not a negative. And I think about, I grew up in Annapolis, and right, just five minutes away from the bay bridge, and we had that 22 foot ski boat that we would go out and toodle around on, and we would go underneath the Bay Bridge sometimes.

 

And in the middle of the Bay bridge, there’s a section that has these huge cables, these tension cables that hold up the entire bridge, and they’re under extreme tension all the time. But that tension is what provides strength to the rest of the bridge. And if you were to cut one of those cables, one of those tension cables, it would immediately relieve all of the tension from that portion of the bridge, but it would also probably ultimately lead to the collapse of that bridge. That analogy, by the way, I was challenged with and still challenged today and will continue to be challenged with. How do I manage? I have four kids at home. They’re all under ten, and under. I have a wife and I have the business, and I have friendships, and I have my personal health goals that I deal with.

 

And all of those things are constantly pulling at you for time. And I think when were sitting down talking that evening, what I had thought through is the fact that those areas and aspects of your life constantly pulling for your time are actually the best parts of your life. And that as long as you are constantly under tension, that you are being successful. It’s the points when there’s an area of your life that has too much focus or no focus at all, that something has gone south. And that as long as each of those aspects within your life are under tension. And every day I think, am I spending enough time with my kids? Am I spending enough time at work? Am I spending enough time with my wife? Am I going to the gym often enough?

 

And as long as I continue to have that thought process and I’m constantly managing it, that is, I think, what creates a successful life and true work life balance.

 

Let’s think about that for a second. So if you’re neglecting family hypothetically, and that cord snaps, that puts more tension, let’s say, on the business and your personal health. So eventually those seem okay, and then eventually we’ll know there’s too much pressure for those to. And then those snap, the whole thing falls down. So I love that concept that you have to grow and nurture its time and attention to every aspect of your life. And that feeling, the tension. And the good thing, because you can go to a gym and lift too much weights and too much tension, you’re going to injure yourself. You can also lift too little and you’re not going to do any good. But if you put the right time under tension, or body under tension in every area of your life, that’s where the magic happens.

 

I think so many people like, I want to sell my business because I just want. And then I ask them, well, what would you do with your time? And no one can answer that. And once people come to that realization that tension is a good thing, you can then make your business great again. You can make your life again, say, you know what? This stress, this pressure is a privilege. This is really a good thing. If you balance it correctly, that literally, Matt, I’m going to say, changed my life and how I deal with stress. And it’s never been better since we had that conversation. So thank you.

 

Well, I really view tension in all those areas as really what it boils down to is need. I think that it equates to need. And as humans, I think that we naturally want to be needed, and we have our businesses that need us in certain areas. We have a marriage or a spouse that has needs, we have our kids that have needs. And a lot of times those things create these stresses. But what we don’t realize is that we enjoy as humans being needed, and it’s good for us to support those needs. And so it’s okay to have that tension and to have those outside influences that need you as long as they’re healthy, because that’s the best part of what life is being needed. Providing love and making sure that those aspects stay balanced and under tension.

 

That’s so powerful and there’s so much there to unpack. But I’m going to say, and then part of the progression for those people, for your businesses, for your kids, is you needed and then to nurture them and show them how to be the provider and show your. So it’s just a constant and then that can adjust attention for you. And now you’re building. Yeah, that’s very cool. Awesome perspective. Well, Matt, I told you it was on script, that I had a couple notes jotted down here. But anything else that I. Is there anything I didn’t ask you that I should have asked you think would be helpful for the audience?

 

You didn’t ask about my relationship with Ewa at all.

 

Well, that’s not the purpose of this podcast. Well, I think we did say that you’ve been a client of Ewa, hopefully happy client. I want to put words in your mouth, but that’s a good question. So you love personal finance, obviously. Now with time, attention, conversation, like delegation is part of that. But I would define if I were to pick you out of a crowd and talk to you for like an hour, and I’ve not known you, I would say he’s probably a do it yourselfer. So talk about that. The decision process. Why do you work with, and this isn’t the plug for EwA at all, but why do you decide to work a financial advisor when this is something that you truly enjoy doing by yourself?

 

It’s changed over the years. When I first started working with you, before UWA existed, way back in the day, I needed accountability and I really enjoyed personal finance. I enjoyed investing. I had a pretty good knowledge base for it, and I probably could have done it myself, but I wanted accountability to say were meeting frequently, were setting our goals, and I needed you to tell me, hey, we missed the mark the last six months. We really need to push it into high gear or hey, we overshot the goal this past six months and that’s awesome. Let’s see if we can raise the goal and hit a new goal over time.

 

I think that it’s changed from an accountability relationship to now a time and oversight relationship, where while I love personal finance and if I had all the time in the world, I probably would really enjoy doing it myself. But I really love running this business and because of that, I don’t have the time that’s necessary to dedicate to all the details of both my personal financial world, but also my family and the business as a whole. And my relationship with EwA has become very intertwined where there’s both help on the personal side, the business side, and our family relationships. So what I really have gotten out of the last couple of years working with you guys is your philosophy of being the CFO, which I learned from your dad, which you learned from my.

 

Dad the hard way.

 

And I love being able to pick up the phone and call Jameson and probably do it too often and ask him a question or have him help me with a concept. And again, having a sounding board that’s outside of the business that has a full picture of everything that’s going on, both personally and within the business to help make those really large life decisions.

 

Awesome. I didn’t ask as a plug, but I appreciate the time where it’s been a pleasure serving your family, every business. Yeah, it’s been an absolute pleasure.

 

Well, thank you very much for having me on. I’ve enjoyed the discussion and thank you for letting me speak my mind.

 

Absolutely. Was this your first pod? You’ve seemed like a natural. You not seem, you were a natural.

 

Is this your first podcast? But I’ve listened to a lot of them.

 

You’re a natural.

 

Got some experience.

 

Thanks for joining.

 

Thank you.

 

Thanks for tuning in to our podcast. Hopefully you found this helpful. Really hope this is as beneficial and impactful to as many people across the nation as possible. So hit the follow button, make sure to rate the podcast and please share with any friends or family members that would also find this beneficial. Thank you very much.

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