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023. Shorten Your Learning Cycle and Obey Your DNA with Bill Hamway.

On this week’s episode of Taste For Tenacity, I chat with Bill Hamway. Bill has been both an intrapreneur and an entrepreneur, and he emphasizes the importance of putting your people first. He struggled with reforming a founder’s vision, and he ultimately launch his own photo booth company.

Transcription

00:00:00                                 This is Taste for Tenacity show number 23.

00:00:10                                 What’s going on everybody? My name is Ben Trela and this is Taste for Tenacity. This week on the show, I am joined by Bill Hamway. Bill has worked both as an entrepreneur at Rock Ventures here in Detroit and as an entrepreneur through investing in other startups and essentially getting them up and running. He’s currently invested in Brand Studio, Flash and Mammoth. There’s an exclamation point on Mammoth. I tried to say it. Excited enough but it is there. Bill, welcome to the show.

00:00:38                                 Thank you for the warm welcome and the great introduction.

00:00:41                                 All right. I’m excited. We were talking a bit before we kind of go with the flow and that’s going to be a fun vibe for , this episode for sure.

00:00:49                                 Yeah, totally. That’s the way to do it sometimes like as with life you can’t control everything and so know where you want to go and just kind of figured it out as we go.

00:00:59                                 Yeah, just ballpark it. So let’s kind of wind the clock back and start with, did you finish high school? What did you do after high school? What was your game plan when you really started to, you know, quote unquote become an adult.

00:01:12                                 Become an adult. I’m still working on that.

00:01:14                                 Yeah. Perfect. Perfect.

00:01:16                                 So I was homeschooled.

00:01:17                                 Okay.

00:01:17                                 So I had the luxury of having kind of freedom of time. And that enabled me to just fully immerse myself into whatever I was interested in doing. So I’m not school smart, not book smart at all. But that’s never stopped me from doing whatever I’m interested in doing and doing it to the best of my ability. So in high school, I did get to go to a clear university.

00:01:40                                 I studied computer information systems for my last two years of high school.

00:01:44                                 Oh wow.

00:01:45                                 And so that, that was a super fun little head start. But I didn’t learn anything in that class cause I thought I knew it all. It could be because I was just immersed in the computer on dial up back in the day.

00:01:56                                 Oh man.

00:01:56                                 I’m always learning. So, that’s a a little bit of a background there.

00:02:01                                 Okay. So you went to, you started out, you said Clear University.

00:02:05                                 Yup. Homeschool then Clear University to study computer information systems. And then after that I was just doing my own thing. So I didn’t go the traditional college route because it just doesn’t interest me. And to me that’s the longest way to learn something for my specific route. Like obviously a lot of people need that traditional education.

00:02:26                                 Doctors would think is a good route to go.

00:02:28                                 Yeah. I don’t want my doctor like learning how to operate on me from YouTube videos.

00:02:33                                 Doctor-Patient care, right? Yeah. Okay. So you finish your high school career, you were homeschooled and then you did two years at college studying, you said computers, computer science.

00:02:44                                 Computer information systems. Yeah. And I did that while I was in high school. So like when I was 18 I was done with college. I was done with school. Thank goodness.

00:02:53                                 Did you know from the get that you were not interested in that college route or was it sort of a decision process that you were going through during those two years?

00:03:03                                 There was no real decision. It was like I had always gravitated towards building stuff on my own. Even as a teenager being like 12 years old, I was still building stuff.

00:03:14                                 I was tinkering around, I was trying stuff. Okay. And it had nothing to do with traditional education. It was, Oh, this is interesting to me and let me just get lost into it and learn all about it and just experiment. And that’s how I learned. H.

00:03:27                                 Okay. So you’re very much a hands on type learner.

00:03:29                                 Absolutely.

00:03:30                                 Okay. So you finished that two years with Clear University. What happens next? You, you know, just kind of throw it in and see what happens.

00:03:38                                 Yeah. So some wild lifetimes happen next and I like to red line everything that I do in life and so push the limits. I’m very impatient and that’s both good and bad. Double edged sword there. But when I was 18, I was still doing entrepreneurial activities, but they weren’t the legal kind. And so that got me into a little bit of trouble and it took me a few years to kind of figure out what do I do with all of this energy?

00:04:05                                 Where do I invest it all. And I was always doing different things, but I was still trying to figure out what am I here for, what am I like, what am I supposed to be doing right now? And I had been going through a lot of like, you know, that transitional emotions coming out of high school and you have all this new stimulus and. So I had a real hard time from like 18 to 22. Okay. And a lot of that like was just drinking and drugging and doing stuff that it was more of just trying to escape all of this activity than I had going on in my brain. So long story short, that ended, that ended me up in jail for like a month and a half. And you know, honestly, I didn’t mind jail because I like seclusion.

00:04:57                                 I choose seclusion because it gives me time to think. So that was an interesting kind of a turning point in my life to where it was saying like, “Hey, clearly what you’re doing right now is not good for you and nor is it good for your community or anyone who is around you.” And that’s not the person who I really wanted to be. And so coming out of the jail situation, I still didn’t know what the heck was going on with my life. And I was like, all right, well, time to get a job, time to do something a little bit different. Yeah. And so I was like blessed enough to get a job at a local Verizon store and I started slinging cell phones. Okay. And it was super cool. I’m super grateful because I actually started there and I worked there for a week and a half.

00:05:48                                 And then I had my court sentencing and I went to jail for a month and a half. And they still brought me back. And so it was wild. But you know, I’m forever grateful for that opportunity because they saw something in me that was a little bit different and they were saying like, okay, like we’re willing to bet on you, no matter what you’ve done in your past, we’re willing to bet on you. And like, we accept that and we forgive you.

00:06:09                                 Okay. And that’s interesting too, because you were able to, to leverage kind of the sketchy entrepreneurial experience that you had from that 18 to 21-22 range to then, as you say, start slinging cell phones. And it seems like it’s a very good pivot. Definitely a safer commodity to be trading in.

00:06:29                                 Yeah, most definitely. Most definitely. Now, if we look into the next 10 years of what the future of cannabis looks like, that’ll be a, a different story. Now there’s lots of legal cannabis entrepreneurs. I would just ahead of my time, you know.

00:06:43                                 Just the ahead of your time.

00:06:45                                 Yeah. And so going down to the Verizon route, I just take on all of the responsibility. I don’t shy away from anything. I don’t say, “Oh, that’s somebody else’s job.” And that’s not my personality. And so at Verizon, very quickly, like within six months, I got to be like the technical advisor because I grew up. From like 11 years old, I was on the computer. I was coding. I was designing. I was learning everything about computers. Good and bad stuff. I learned how to crack windows, passwords and like all of this different stuff.

00:07:18                                 And so I was able to apply that in a better way. Okay. And by helping people with their cell phones and now this is the time that the iPhone first came out. So we’re talking brand new technology and so cell phones back then, 10 years ago, it was a little bit more of an exciting time. Yeah. Whereas now it’s just a commodity. Yeah. And then after I was there for about two years and then I got to actually manage my own store and I was one of the youngest people there. I think I was 21 at the time. Okay. 22 and I got to manage my own store. And so that was kind of a natural foray into leadership. Okay. And it’s just kind of like obeying what I knew that I was called to do, which is okay, there is something that I see that can be improved or that can be done better.

00:08:09                                 It is my responsibility to do something about that. Yeah.

00:08:12                                 You have the experience and the technical expertise, you’ve been doing it since you were 11. And so now it was simply a matter of taking that to the next level. And applying that to building out the new systems, creating the new processes, and just constantly finding a better way to do all the inefficient things that you had started to spot.

00:08:29                                 Exactly. And that it was super fun because I got to. When I was selling cell phones, I gravitated towards the business accounts because that was like more of my language. And then I befriended all these local business owners and I would help them.

00:08:43                                 That is a great position to be in.

00:08:44                                 Yeah, exactly. And so I would help them with their other technology stuff, just consulting on the side. And so it was really cool to just, I’m grateful that I was in that position to be able to do that. Yeah. Also, I used to, I had a side business where I would swap out colors on iPhones and I would fix iPhone screens. And so this is like some of the first generation phones. Yeah. You could like pimp them out with your own colors. So the glass backs and the glass fronts. Awesome. Yeah, it’s pretty fun stuff. Always, always seeing different ways to make money and a just getting after it.

00:09:15                                 And being willing to try those different things.

00:09:18                                 Absolutely. Yeah. Taking apart a cell phones is not, it’s pretty stressful.

00:09:24                                 So, you’re at Verizon, you’d spent okay time managing your own store. What happened next? Did you realize like, Hey, I need to get away from Verizon in particular? Did you find something new that piqued your interest? What was that next transition and what was that next decision yet to make?

00:09:43                                 Yeah, so I’ve always like always red lining it and always trying to like push more and more and more. And the more, the longer that I was at horizon, there was just a barrier that I couldn’t push past because of the resources around me. And so like me wanting to invest in a different things or. We just had a lot of restraints that I tried to like push through and get our owners to invest into so that way we can make more money or that way my team members would have the things that they needed to be able to sell more.

00:10:14                                 Yeah. And so I could empower them. And unfortunately the business owner, he wasn’t willing to invest in that. And because like I understand now, like being a little bit older and more mature is like, money is tight. Yeah. And if you don’t have, like, if you’re lacking money, you go into this fight or flight mode. And that’s kind of where he was operating from. I was just kind of blind to it. I was like, why won’t you do any of this stuff? It needs to be done. Yeah. And so then I ended up leaving Verizon. Okay. And I was like, all right, well let’s figure out like let’s do something else. Yeah. I was at a wedding and I’m a photographer as well. I did photography again when I was like started when I was like 11 or 12 with a little like free camera that we got with a printer. Naturally.

00:10:56                                 And then I started doing senior photos and weddings and things like that. And so that was another revenue stream for me. So I was at a wedding taking photos and I met one of the groom’s men. And he seemed like a pretty cool dude. And he worked at Quicken Loans. And he’s like, Oh yeah. He’s like, I just started working here a few months ago. It’s so awesome. And I was like, man, that sounds super cool. I want to do that. And so like that night I went home, I like looked at their jobs and I just like applied for one of them. Awesome. And I aim for the stars. I like aim for some team leader position. I’m like, Hey, like just go for it. Right. Like I was managing a store, I was leading people, I can do this. Yeah. And like the next day it was very quick. Quicken loans, recruiting team. They reached out to me and they found a really good spot for me on one of their technical teams. Okay. I started within like a week and a half. Oh man. Yeah. And so that was like, that was my introduction into downtown Detroit and that was my introduction into Quicken loans, really a big corporation. Yeah. And just being immersed into it.

00:11:58                                 So I’m curious, what was that, that shift of like going from something where you were so entrepreneurial, so in charge to, you know, a larger corporation where when you get to those big corporations, it can often be fairly bureaucratic. What was that transition like?

00:12:13                                 Oh man, I struck gold with Quicken Loans because they’re not like, they’re not bureaucratic. The culture is so open and friendly and that’s exactly what I needed. It kind of nurtured my natural entrepreneurial personality by giving me the opportunity to be myself. Yeah. And so it wasn’t really a big change and I just loved getting like, I got to meet new people all the time, every day and all of that new stimulus was just rad. Yeah. Loved it.

00:12:38                                 Yeah, there was a lot going on. And that was, that was keeping you engaged?

00:12:41                                 Yeah. Yep. And this was it, early 2013. Okay. So like imagine rewinding Detroit back a few years. It was a little bit less populated. There wasn’t all the fancy stuff here and it was still just, I was, it was just, it’s just starting to kind of gain a little bit more traction. Okay. So I feel like I, I made it in like a really perfect time.

00:13:01                                 The ground floor? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you’re, you’re now in downtown Detroit. You’re working with Quicken Loans. Yep. What were you doing there? Were you still, you know, managing a team or were you back kind of in the trenches doing the more technical work?

00:13:13                                 I was in the trenches doing the technical work. I was on a team called The Guy. Now, I don’t know if they still call it the guy because of sexism. But it’s a perfect name because think about it, if you have an issue or if you need help, who would you call, you call the guy. I got a guy for that. Exactly. You got it. A guy for that. And so that’s where it came from. And so my job was a technical support specialist and I supported every single team member in the Quicken Loans family of companies with any number of questions. Just a few thousand people. Yeah. And so that to me was like the perfect place to be because it wasn’t just computers, it wasn’t just technology. I had to learn how to fix loans. I had to learn how to do all of this other stuff too.

00:13:53                                 Yeah. Because like how Quicken sculpts their team is, they just want you to call one, well like one number and they’re going to help you out with whatever you need. Yeah. They’re going to take care of you. And so that was so special to me. Because yeah, I got to talk with VPs and directors and every single person from all over the company, you had access to them. And I got to help them and like what better way to meet somebody. Exactly. Then they’re like fixing their stuff. Yeah. And so that was, that was a perfect opportunity for me.

00:14:23                                 Okay. Now, one thing that’s really interesting throughout your story so far is that you almost have this period of intense learning and then at some point randomly in the future, it winds up kind of coming back around and you get to apply it in a new way. Did you come across any of those situations when you were working as a tech for the guy?

00:14:43                                 Oh yeah, absolutely. And then that’s actually the perfectly way into where we’re going right now. All right, let’s do it. So yeah, absolutely. Everything that I’ve learned. Whether or not that you kind of like continue to apply it in your life at that exact moment or not is like your banking that information and that experience to recall at some future date. You’re building out a toolkit. Exactly. And that’s exactly what I was able to do. So I was at Quicken loans for seven months, seven months. One morning I get an email that Dan Gilbert had sent every single person in technology. Okay. Which was a thousand people. Naturally. And he said, Hey, I have this idea. I think it can be really big. I need four people to sit outside of my office and see if it has legs.

00:15:26                                 And one of those positions was a designer and I was like, Hey, I’ve designed it before. I’m like, I don’t call myself a designer, but when I was 13 and 14 I was designing websites. I was designing graphics. I’m like, I’ve done this before. I’ve dabbled. I can do this. And also I know that what I don’t know, I’m willing to learn. And so I emailed back and I interviewed for it and within a week I was like, I transitioned out of this team that I had just joined. Okay. And I got to work on this skunkswork projects and. That was just like a wild opportunity of how things can connect. Yeah. That you just can’t really expect, but you have to seize the opportunity. You have to raise your hand and say, Hey, I’m here. I’m willing. I’ll do whatever it takes because I want it.

00:16:14                                 Yeah. It seems like you’re very much someone to say, hell, I don’t know anything that I need to in this situation potentially, but I’m in. Yeah, I’m willing to step in and take that to the next level and really lean into that new opportunity.

00:16:29                                 Yeah, absolutely. And that’s what you have to do with life. Really. Like for me, I have no other choice. Yeah. If I didn’t do that, I would be miserable. That would be like disobeying my DNA and saying like, Hey, you have this insane ability to do and if you’re not doing it, what are you doing with your life? Yeah. So, I got to work on that project and I hustled my butt off. This was a time in life to where we had like, we built something for like three months and I was in the office like every day at 5:00 AM.

00:17:03                                 I was the first one in, last one out. Awesome. And I know I loved it and it wasn’t like, Oh, I’m trying to be better than everybody. I’m trying to like out shine everybody. It was okay, I know that I know nothing and I need to know more to do this job well. So let me learn more. Exactly. Okay. And so that’s just like vicious learning. And so it was reading articles and it was studying design and then it was actually doing it. Okay. All at the same time. And so just that rapid learning and like shortening your learning cycles is so critical. Okay. Because it’s like, all right, yeah. You could go to school for four years to study design and get some masters in it and you’re already outdated with your knowledge. Like yes, you understand the foundation of that knowledge, but technology and education evolves it at a rapid rate.

00:17:51                                 The speed of light nowadays. I got to work my butt off and okay. Build a product that ultimately we killed. Okay. And so it didn’t succeed and that was okay. Because we kept trying.

00:18:08                                 Yeah. So I’m curious if you can talk about it. What was that project? What were you trying to build out? Yeah, so yeah, the codename was project X. And that was our LLC name too. Nice. Solid. And so Dan had this idea where we had so many team members and there was so many like diverse skills and abilities that he wanted an easier way for people to connect with each other to fully leverage that the talent that he had at his helm to tap into that pool. Exactly. Okay. Yup. And so it’s like, all right, like that’s a pretty all right.

00:18:43                                 He just had a core vision. It was like, all right, figure it out. Let’s, yeah, let’s try it. And so we built like a flash team of like 13 people and we pulled people from all over Quicken Loans and so we had diverse skills and diverse perspectives and that like teaches you a whole lot of teamwork, especially when you’re trying to like build something that was like not your idea. Yeah. And you’re like, all right, like is this what the vision is? And you just had to like pick something and go for it. Well, ultimately we ended up building something. Yeah. Like one morning I came into the office at five, I opened up our app. We had a functioning app. And Dan and posted in there his first time on there and it was not a very friendly tone.

00:19:25                                 No. And I, and he was basically like, what the F is this? This isn’t what I want. And I got so on fire. Like motivated for that. Yeah. I’m like, yes. Yes. Thank you for saying that. Like that’s exactly what we know. Exactly. And so like from a leadership perspective of like you have to know when do you apply the right amount of pressure. And he knew that that was the right time to apply the pressure. Cause he let us mess around with it for a few months and he was saying like, you know what, this isn’t it, like try again. Yeah. And so that was like at five in the morning. If you’re familiar with Quicken Loans, basically every wall is a whiteboard. Okay. And in our war room, we had these giant ceiling to floor whiteboards and I spent hours before anybody got into the office mapping out and sketching out and drawing what we were going to build, why we were going to build it.

00:20:17                                 And I had a solid UX case and design case for the team when they came in. Because I had already read this, like there’s not very nice message and I knew that that was gonna kill our team. And it was going to kill our team spirit. And I’m not the type of person who’s just going to like bend over and be like, Oh boo hoo. Yeah, and so I’m like, all right, I see an opportunity now. I’m getting after it. And so when our team came in, I told them they didn’t have to go read. I said, “Hey, Dan checked out the app. He didn’t like it. And so you can read like read what he said, but I came up with a plan and it’s go time. And like it just kind of was that point in the road where it was like, all right, this is what we’re going to do. This makes a lot more sense. And we just started like sprinting down that next path.

00:21:07                                 Interesting. So what you did rather than sitting back at, like you said, and just all right, this is the problem. It’s game over. We’re done and letting that morale drop. You took it and you spun it and said, okay, this is not clearly not the vision that we had in mind and that essentially our founder on this project had in mind. So what do we have to do differently? And you took it as a chance to step back, reevaluate and figure out what the hell is next rather than just saying, all right, game over.

00:21:35                                 Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I’ve always loved being in a situation where things aren’t going smoothly because that’s where I thrive. If something’s going smoothly, I’m like, I dunno what value I have to provide. You all have it figured out. Yeah. So yeah, that was a perfect opportunity for me. And that was the fork in the road. We did end up slimming down our team and so we went down to three of us and so we had to, we slowed way down and we were trying to like figure it out as we go and sometimes you need to sacrifice speed for that. But that was just the beginning of it as well. Yeah so we ended up there. There was a three of us that we were building out this project. I was the designer and kind of product person and then we had to kind of like business people who were kind of leading the project. Okay. And it was a fun times. It was stressful times. I’m like just now remembering all of these different things that have happened during it, but like fundamentally is you just have to keep going and you have to figure out how is it that we work together? How is it that we accept each other’s skills and abilities as we are? And we encourage each other to always keep going and pressing forward.

00:22:47                                 Okay. So project number one or project X, the first go was totally scrapped. Slim down your team from like 13 plus to three people working on this new project. What was that new project like? What was your time there like and did you ultimately stay on with that until the project was quote on quote completed?

00:23:10                                 Yeah, so we still operated underneath like the project X entity. And it was a lot of like slow figuring it out. And that was really, really hard for me. And because I did not have leadership control of that. The how our team was structured. It was Dan. It was one of his people and his person was on our team and he was kind of like the CEO of this project. And that was a lot of life learning for me because like I like control and I like ownership of things and when you only have a certain amount of influence. When you really feel and believe that you should be doing something different than what you are doing, but you just can’t make it happen. That’s where I kind of was stuck in limbo for a while. And so we had about eight months of really slow painful work That I could not really control our team or the output. And we ended up bringing on as our development team, three interns. Oh, nice. I said, do not do that. It makes no sense. Like they are here. Like an internship is to learn from and be mentored, not to build a product from scratch. Because you can’t ask, like it’s unfair to ask somebody to do something if ask. That’s tough. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And so we just ended up building like nothing for really slow amount of time until we were able to like finally get in an . And we were able to like pull in somebody else from Quicken Loans and then we slowly kind of built up this team.

00:24:40                                 Okay. Yeah. So you kinda reinvented the wheel at that point?

00:24:45                                 A little bit. And so then we ended up getting a little bit more traction and started scaling up our team a little bit more. And we had this a little bit more of a clear vision of this product where team members can tag themselves with their certain attributes, skills and abilities. And then you would be able to actually message everyone inside of your organization. So if you needed help with a certain project like you’re like, “Hey, we’re building this app and we need a Ruby and rails developer.” Previously, there was no way to find that. You would be able to like look up who are the engineers that work here, but you could not understand their skillset. And so when you have like Quicken Loans has 17,000 plus people now. Yeah. That’s a huge challenge. And so that’s what we ended up starting to build. Now there was part of what we were building, which was really good and there was part of what we were building, which didn’t make much sense.

00:25:39                                 Okay. And we now at this point. We had probably 16 or 17 people in our little company, which was too many. But that’s just kind of how it goes. And that was the cards that we were dealt and so you make it happen. And our product was really bad. Okay. And our team knew it was really bad, but our leader, our CEO was pushing forward no matter what. And unfortunately he was one of the characters who was. He read a lot. He got a lot of energy from being around people, but he only talked and he didn’t know work. And so this is not to bash him and I won’t name any names, but that’s just the personality that he was at that time. And I hope that he’s developed since then to understand that you can’t just have ideas, you need execution and you need it day over day.

00:26:31                                 Yeah. And you need to listen to your team and you needed to listen to other people. And you can’t just be blind to all of that. This was a turning point for myself and for our team because how our team ended up being structured was we had our CEO, but nobody respected him. Nobody listened to him. Everyone respected and listened to me because I gave a damn about them and about what we were building. And I always put people first. I put people before my own needs. I’ll sacrifice everything that I have in the best interest of somebody else. So long as I know that they’re willing to, to actually step up and work for whatever that opportunity is. Okay. So yeah, this was, this was an interesting time and our CEO, he ended up like going on vacation and told us like a week before.

00:27:23                                 And we were like in the middle of like building this product and he just kinda dipped out on us for two weeks. And so our team and I were like, all right, well we know that we have these certain things that we need to do. And I just had like, we’re doing it no matter what. I’ll take the heat. I’ll take the heat. I’ll take responsibility for it, but this needs to be done. So we like killed off half of the app, which was the part that he was advocating for. And our entire team did not believe in cause it shouldn’t have existed. But he like, we’re just trying to build too much at one time, therefore building a bunch of really crappy things. And so we cut our app in half. I went and chatted with Ling Long who’s the CIO of Quicken Loans.

00:28:05                                 And we rallied her around the vision and we got her to send out an email to everyone in technology and said, Hey, we’re doing this. We’re like, we’re launching this product, here’s what it is, here’s how you can use it. And so that’s how we were like doing our, our formal launch. Wow. Our CEO was on vacation. Because it was the only way that we were going to be able to do it. And it was the biggest success that we had ever had with our product and it went really, really well. Wow. We actually got people using it. There was interest in it and there was more conversations happening and that’s exactly what you need.

00:28:37                                 And that’s the beta testing and the feedback that you need to build things out correctly. Exactly. And so like everyone was like riding a good high and then like two weeks later I go and I pick up our CEO from the airport and him and I have a nice kind of like pretty quiet drive back to Detroit. How’s your vacation? Yeah. And so he like didn’t say anything the first day. And then the second day him and I had a meeting, he was like, Hey, I just like want to catch up and like kinda chat through some of the decisions that were made when I was gone. I was like, all right, cool. Here it comes. Him and I, we go into a meeting room. I tell him what we did. I said, Hey, here’s what we did. Here’s why we did it. Here’s why. Here’s how successful it was. It was so successful. And he. I remember these emotions because my adrenaline was through the roof.

00:29:34                                 I could barely even talk. Yeah. He almost attacked me. He slammed his fist on the ground and screamed in my face and said, who the f*ck do you think you are? Oh, nice. That’s fun. Yeah. And I just like, I like, I froze. Yeah. And like, what do you like? I don’t know. And I just said, what happened? I just said, I’m Bill. Yeah. And that, and he just got up and stormed out. And it was so loud that other people in our building came and like checked like, Hey, are you okay? What just happened? Yeah. Cause he just screamed in my face. Yeah. And that to me, after that happened, I just tell myself, you’re okay, you’re okay. This is all good, but right. I just couldn’t hold it together after that. And so for the, the next, and he apologized. So like he did understand that he was wrong in doing what he did.

00:30:20                                 And like I have no animosity against him. Like we all go. Like I’ve done lots of crappy things to people. Yeah. And so I don’t want people to hold a judgment or a perspective against me from based on my past. And so, but for the next two months I just kind of checked out. I was like, all right, well screw this. Like that was terrible and I feel so disempowered. And like our team, the morale was terrible because they heard him yell at me too and like, I didn’t even want to tell them what happened. And I told like one person and then ended up, everybody ended up figuring out, yeah. Naturally. Yeah. And so that was just like really discouraging, not only to me but to our entire team. And, but finally I got over it. I said, you know what?

00:31:05                                 Like defeating yourself and just like thinking that you, that you lost control and that you can’t do anything that’s silly. That doesn’t help you at all, nor does it help your team who still has to suffer through this toxic, toxic environment. And so you need to step up your game for not just yourself, but for your team. Okay. So man, intense. Yeah. And stuff. And so, but that’s how I learned. I learned from, I learned from that stuff and that’s what I, that’s to me, like I’m grateful for it. Okay. Because I also learned how to not treat people. Yeah.

00:31:37                                 And that’s a good, that’s a good piece of feedback to have.

00:31:40                                 Yeah. Yeah. So then after this is like, after that two months, I was like, all right, you’ve got to do something because we have a real opportunity here. Like imagine how insane the opportunity that I had was.

00:31:52                                 I got to work on this project for a billionaire and I got to learn on the job by just hustling. And so I was, I never wanted to like disrespect that and I wanted to give it all, all of the energy that I could in no matter what happened to me. That was okay.

00:32:10                                 You wanted to pay back that opportunity in, in hustle.

00:32:13                                 Yeah, exactly. And so I took what was like, so I was the product person, so as a person talking with people and with users and with our team and I was like really figuring out like, all right, this little thing that we’ve kind of found that thing, should exist. Yeah. We need to scrap the rest of it, but we need to focus on this one small little thing and push that thing forward.

00:32:35                                 There’s a lot of noise and we got to cut it away.

00:32:37                                 Yep. Yup. And for the next four months, mornings and nights, I was back at it again. I was built and I was designing and building and testing out this next product that we were gonna build and launch.

00:32:49                                 The fire was back.

00:32:50                                 Yeah. And the fire was back and, and so this ended up being around the same time that we ended up getting a board of directors because we had been doing this for about two years. Okay. Around two years or so. And it was like, Hey, you guys are doing nothing. You’re moving really slow. You’re building a crappy product. Like we were going to bring in some outside counsel to help you. Yeah. And I was so pumped for it. Our CEO was very skeptical of it cause he was like, Oh, it’s coming down on me. But I was like, yeah, yeah.

00:33:22                                 And so we ended up going into our first board meeting and it was just our CEO and I, and then we had some people from like Detroit venture partners and the CEO of rock ventures at the time. And we had like our kickoff meeting. I back then I was very shy and I’m like, all right, I have these ideas. But I was also shy because I’m like, I don’t want to answer honestly in front of our CEO because I have to work with him every single day. And you guys only have to see them like once a week. Yeah. And the COO of rock ventures at the time, Josh McManus, he saw that. He saw that I was hesitant that I did not feel comfortable. Like actually saying what was on my mind. After that first board meeting. Like everyone was walking out and he just stopped me and said, “Hey, if you ever want to talk and you don’t feel comfortable talking in here like just let me know”. And it was like probably 9:30 at night at this point. I was like, “Hey, do you want to talk right now?”. Got a minute. Yeah. And so him and I, we just like walked around. We sat somewhere and I just told him like really the internal of the culture, what was going on, how really like we know that this product shouldn’t exist. I told him, I was like, this product needs to die and we need to slim down our team because we have too many people. Yeah. You need to trim the fat and focus on that small little thing. And he just kinda like chuckled. He said, “yeah, I agree with you but we have to do the due diligence”. And I said, all right, I get that. And so we had like three months of the board and of having board meetings until they were going to make a decision. What happens next? Yeah. So I was already building this new product at nighttime and in the morning and I told him that. I said, “hey, I’ve been building something new”. And like, I want to continue to show. I want to show you the progress. And I also want to learn from your perspective like what you see as the most valuable because like during this conversation at like 9:30 at night. He was like head nodding. He’s like, yes, I see that same opportunity. Yes, that is a good problem to solve. That does make way more sense than what you’re trying to do right now.

00:35:23                                 Do you have the external perspective to add to the gaps that you had and just naturally not having that side of the table covered?

00:35:31                                 Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And like, and also I didn’t do it all alone is like I was able to talk with people and I was able to talk with some of our other team members and like bring them in and like our team knew that I was building something outside of our working hours. Yeah. That I was trying to pivot us into. And so I had their support. Exactly. And so like I just ended up, I was chipping away and building that and building that and I was checking in with the progress points and making sure that we are actually building something that was going to be valuable. That would actually solve some problems. Cause that was important to me. And so while I was designing this new product in mornings and evenings, during the day, I was the person who was keeping the culture together and making sure that people just didn’t like leave with animosity and like hard feelings. Yeah. Because we were continuing to hire people and our CEO was pitching people on this big vision like, hey, we’re funded by this billionaire and we have this great thing going and like we have all of this traction. And then when they would come in on their first day, they’d be like, what the hell is this? Like, this isn’t what I signed up for. This isn’t what you sold me on. And like I can see that. I can read that from people very clearly. Yeah. And so my, I was doing damage control every day. It was damage control for the perspective of what we were in right there. But really as I was just investing in the caring into my people. Yeah. Because I cared. I don’t want people to feel pain. I want people to do something that they feel some sort of emotion too and that they can use their strengths zones and their abilities to actually contribute in a positive way. Yeah. And like I remember we had this group of three people come in from Venture for America. It’s a popular organization around here and all three of them, you could just read it on their faces that they were all like pretty pretty shocked. Yeah. What they just signed up for. And so I was like going on like hour long walks around Detroit with everyone. Really just like learning their perspective and like trying to understand them as people and like what they wanted to be doing. And I would put it out there. I said, Hey, if I can introduce you to any other organizations in our family of companies, tell me, let’s get you in the right. Yeah. Let’s get you in the right spot because I don’t want you to have to suffer through this. Like, I know that this isn’t a good thing. And like I wasn’t. I wasn’t consciously trying to like sabotage anything. Yeah. I was trying to look out for people and so I ended up selling.

00:38:06                                 Josh McManus, the COO of Rock Ventures and another one of the rock ventures business associates on killing our product. And pivoting into this new thing that we had been building. And so it was all like design and prototypes at this point, but it was like, Hey, we need to do this. And my pitch to them was like, Hey, here’s what it is. Here’s why it needs to happen. It’s already designed. Yeah. I’ve been doing it. It’s ready. Yeah. It’s like, it needs to be developed and we like, there’s lots, there’s all of that other stuff that goes into it. But it’s ready for us to be able to like fork in the ground. Like, let’s, let’s pivot. Let’s do this, let’s do this thing. And then it was like real interesting to me. They were like all about it. And then it was just like radio silence for a couple of weeks.

00:38:48                                 I’m like, man, what happened? I was like, I thought we had something good going on here. And then one morning I come into the office and Josh McManus and Sean Jackson, he, they were both there and they said, Hey,CEO role is no longer with us, no longer with the company. So things are going to be different now. And so we’re going to be pivoting. We’re going to be like talking with everybody. And so we had a new interim CEO. And that Sean Jackson, and he’s the CEO at Sift, which is a Quicken Loans, nterprise software. Okay. And that is the product that I built on nights and weekends. And so now that’s seemingly thriving company from the external perspective. I don’t know their business health, but they’re giving people good jobs and they’re building a product that solves some real problems.

00:39:38                                 And so that, that like, that was super cool that I was able to do that. But I was also like pretty upset about that I’d invested so much time, effort and energy into my people and into my product and I like, I was like, all right, now is your time. Like you get to lead and like your people want you to lead, but that’s not what happened.

00:39:57                                 And so that shoulder tap.

00:39:59                                 Yeah. And so that was like a real big slap in the face to me and I was very disappointed in that, in like the outcome of that. But I still continue to push for, I said, Hey, no matter what is like, Hey, at least this is better than what it was. Yeah. And I was vocal with our new interim CEO and I said, Hey man, I’m real disappointed in what’s happening here.

00:40:20                                 And he also shared the same kind of empathy to me. He’s like, I don’t want to be doing this either. He said, I want to go build buildings. And he’s like, yeah, Dan told me I had to go do this. So here I am. Yeah. Am I all right? That’s a little bit more fair. Yeah.

00:40:34                                 Same page. Okay.

00:40:35                                 Yeah. And but it was still really, really hard for me and cause we kept the same team. Yeah. And we slimmed down a few people. But we still kept the same team, which was entirely too many people. And like my personality is, is like, let’s get people who really care, who are really passionate about this and they have the experience to actually do this on a quick timeline and like let’s do that. And I was trying to sell them on, let’s go down to four people for the moment and let’s build our core product. Let’s launch it, let’s test it.

00:41:05                                 And then eventually we can build up our team again. And that just like they weren’t willing to do that. Cause unfortunately there, there was like the, the idea that there’s no failures in Detroit. And so a lot of like the startups that have failed in Detroit have been kind of like just put it underneath the rug. Yeah. Okay. And so versus like, Oh, new startup funding, exciting new stuff. When stuff dies, not super exciting. Yeah.

00:41:29                                 So what came next?

00:41:31                                 Yeah, so after that, I told Sean, I said, Hey, like I got four months left. I said, I’m really gonna try with all of my energy. I’m really going to give it all that I have but I’m not happy. Like, and so we had like checked in a couple of different times with each other, but it ended up just like coming down to it.

00:41:51                                 Like that four month mark was like right there and like we both knew it and I was totally checked out and then we, I was able to leave. And that was, I’m so grateful for it. Like I could have gone somewhere else and Rock Ventures or in Quicken loans or for another startup. Stock X was starting at the time. They were like four months in. And so it was like, Oh, like you could do all this different stuff. I said, you know what, I’ve been here for about three years. I need something different. I need to like, I’m pretty like burned out right now.

00:42:19                                 Its not you. You it’s me.

00:42:20                                 Yeah, exactly. And so I just needed to slow down and change paces a little bit. And so I didn’t know what I was going to do next. I just said I know that I needed to do something different for my own health. And that was the time that I was like. Hey, that was three and a half years ago now. And here I am doing stuff.

00:42:41                                 So, so what did you get into next and where are you now?

00:42:45                                 Yeah. So next is I write down almost everything and I map out business ideas.

00:42:52                                 And you pulled out your legal pad at the start of this conversation.

00:42:55                                 Exactly. Yup. Yeah. And so anything that is like, Hey, this is a decent idea, this is a terrible idea. Whatever it is, I get it out of my head because our, our minds are not for storing information. They’re for dreaming stuff up. Exactly. And so I was like, all right, well let me go look through my list of business ideas and see what I want to do next. Cause I knew that I was going to do something on my own.

00:43:16                                 Okay. And so my qualifications was like, all right, well I need to be able to afford the startup costs and then I need to be able to do it by myself. Yeah. I could not build a startup, a software company by myself. Yeah. And I could design it, but that doesn’t get you anywhere. And so looking through my list, there was the idea of a photo booth company on there and it wasn’t my idea. Somebody had asked me, cause they knew I did photography back in the day. Yeah. And I was like, Oh, like that sounds interesting. So I kind of studied the market. I’m like, Oh, like events and entertainment is on the rise. Who would’ve thought photo Boosie. Yeah, but it was, it’s a growing market. Okay. And so I’m like, all right, like this sounds fun enough. I’m gonna go ahead and, all right, I’m going to buy a photo booth.

00:44:00                                 Why not?

00:44:01                                 And I didn’t buy just like any crappy old photo do I like there. I bought like a super nice innovative open air photo booth. Okay. And this thing is sweet .and I just started like hustling, doing events, doing all this different stuff, building a brand, building the website, meeting people. And I had like fast forward a chunk of time I had the opportunity to acquire another photo booth company and it was just good timing for both of us. Yeah. And it was actually, do you know Jesse David Green?

00:44:33                                 I do not.

00:44:34                                 Okay. So he does the social and all the photography for the Foundation Hotel. And he’s super, super great guy. And he had reached out to me. He’s like, Hey, like I saw that you’re doing this photo thing. And he was like, I have a photo booth company that I’m trying to like.

00:44:48                                 Pivot away from.

00:44:49                                 Yeah. Then I’m trying to get rid of. I have all this other stuff going on. I’m just trying to get some headspace back. Yeah. And yeah. Yeah. And so I, at first I was like, you know what? Like I just started my own thing. I mean I’m going to say no for right now cause I want to see what damage I can do on my own. And then something happened with his business and like all of their equipment got stolen.

00:45:11                                 Oh God.

00:45:11                                 Yeah. And so he just, he like messaged me again. He said, Hey, here’s what happened. I’m just going to shut down the business. But it like, if you want to kind of like acquire the assets like that would be awesome. And so we were able to work out a solid deal that we were both happy with and then I took over his branding.

00:45:30                                 This is probably like one of the worst things that I’ve done. But running two businesses that do the same things is really, really dumb.

00:45:41                                 Yeah. Something about that doesn’t quite add up. I don’t know

00:45:43                                 Yeah. Double the marketing, double the work for every single thing.

00:45:46                                 Double the exhaustion. Yeah. And so like two months in, I was like, all right, screw this. He has a better brand than I do. I’m just going to pivot to his brand. Like take your ego out of it. Who cares? Yeah. And so his company was called Mammoth Booth and so they, they did wedding photo booth and private parties and all that jazz. And they had built a really good brand. Yeah. And so then I just merged our companies and I dropped the booth off of Mammoth and now I have Mammoth.

00:46:10                                 Added the exclamation point.

00:46:11                                 The, the exclamation point was there. It was there already. It was already super exciting. Yeah.

00:46:19                                 And so then I had this company called Mammoth. And we started, I’m like, alright, well there’s all of this other like event, entertainment stuff that we can get into. And I just don’t want to like be static and just only have one thing and only offer that cause that’s not my personality. Yeah. And so I ended up, like building this 13 camera rig. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah. And so it’s called the mammoth array. Okay. And so it does, it takes 13 pictures at the exact same time and stitches them together to create these really cool animated pictures. And so that was just like the first, that was kind of combining photography and my technology background. Also learn how to like we custom built this rig and so like I have a friend who does welding and we built three different prototypes.

00:47:05                                 And so now I’m building physical products at this point. And so that’s pretty cool. And so mammoth is now just building our team and we. I just hired somebody in LA and he’s doing sales out there and like by no means is this easy. And like my number one thing, my metric for success is not money. I don’t care about money. I care about creating jobs that people really enjoy, that are in their strength zone, with people that they enjoy working with. Getting to work on projects that they enjoy working on. And so like, that’s my metric. And so that’s just cool that we’re, that we’re slowly, slowly driving towards that. And my goal is full time income for multiple people. And so I have two people on my list right now. Awesome. And like we’ve worked together for a couple of years and like, it doesn’t need to be income for me.

00:47:54                                 It needs to be income for them. Yeah. Because the nice thing about that is not just creating jobs for people where they get to do something that they really care about. It’s also empowering them to create. And like I’m not a micro manager. I lead with vision and I lead with empowerment and I say, I have faith in you to do this. I’m here for whatever you need from me. But you go and you learn. You, what am I saying is, is learn by doing. Yeah. And like you learned by doing it right and like that is, that is a good way to go because you never really know. You can read a book. You can watch somebody go run a marathon and you can be like, Oh yeah, I get it. But like go try to run a marathon. It’s different.

00:48:36                                 And so yeah, now I’m just at the point to where I am trying to just delegate a lot of this different stuff so that way I can focus more on my strings zone, which is kind of leadership and building brand and just trying to be a good, good friend and leader.

00:48:50                                 Definitely. Awesome. That’s a good spot to kind of pivot into our second half of the show. Which really focuses on the lessons that you have learned along the way. You’ve got a good few tidbits, stuff like obey your DNA, shorten your learning cycle. Leaders need to listen. Don’t be afraid to slim down. So what would you say besides those ones, probably are some of the key takeaways from your career and your projects.

00:49:17                                 Key takeaways from my career. Oh my goodness. You just got to try stuff.

00:49:22                                 Everything is an experiment and like understand. I suck at so much stuff. But that never stopped me from doing something that I’m interested in doing. And I even tell my team, I say, Hey, we’re gonna like we’re going to be really bad at a lot of stuff. And that’s okay. That’s part of it. Yeah. Because through that being bad at something, is we get better. And so continuous experimentation and saying like, okay, this marketing experiment or this marketing video or that social media posts or whatever it is, is like, all right, we’re gonna fumble the ball a little bit. And that’s part of it. And that’s how we learn. And so by treating everything in life as kind of an experiment is kind of gives you that mental freedom to say it’s okay if I mess up, because that’s part of it.

00:50:08                                 And a lot of people just don’t say that and they don’t articulate that. And so from a leadership perspective of like being able to tell your team like, Hey, like we need to be able to trust each other. And especially in a creative environment because if you don’t have trust and a creative environment, you’re never going to create something as good as what you could. And I always, one of the things I usually say is always say your ideas, no matter how dumb you might think they are. Because as a kid growing up, I had all these ideas, but I’m like, well this is so different. I feel like this is just a really dumb off the wall idea. Yeah. And like I don’t want to like get laughed at or anything. And so that’s something that I tell our team as they say, Hey, you have to throw those wild ideas out there because you never know what your idea will spark in your mind.

00:50:49                                 And then what? And then if they say their idea, what it will spark in somebody else’s mind. And then you connect all of those ideas together and then you have something real magical.

00:50:56                                 It’s a multiplier effect.

00:50:58                                 Exactly. And so you have to have that courage to say, you know what, this is a little bit wild and that’s okay because I trust my team to not make fun of me. And like, yeah, some ideas like yes, it’s totally okay to laugh at. And it’s like just to have fun tossing them out. Yeah. And that’s part of the fun of creating stuff.

00:51:14                                 Yeah. Awesome. So what is the piece of advice you would give your 20 year old self? This one’s going to be fun. I’m excited for this question.

00:51:22                                 The piece of advice that I would give my 20 year old self is I would just say keep doing it.

00:51:29                                 Keep going no matter what. And understand that every single day part of life kind of rocky sometimes. And one of the kind of examples that I share is how boring would a movie be? Is if there was no, like if there was nothing that made you grab onto your seat and say like, is it, are they gonna make it? What’s going to happen? Yeah. That’s what makes a really good story. In every single person’s life has something like that. And so if you look at your life as a book or as a movie is there’s different seasons to it and there’s different chapters. And so now if you’re looking at your life is like a book, you have the ability to write your own chapters of life. You have that control. So if your life has been terrible and things have not been going your way, you have the ability to say, Hey, this is, I’m going to, I’m going to wrap up this chapter of my life.

00:52:23                                 I’m gonna move into the next part where stuff starts to go really well for me. But you have to be conscious of that and you have to tell yourself that and you have to give yourself permission to change.

00:52:33                                 Awesome. Yeah. Give yourself permission to change as another gold nugget.

00:52:36                                 Yeah. So I did have more more business stuff. So if you want it.

00:52:42                                 Let’s do one or two.

00:52:43                                 Okay. So, I have Mammoth and then I also have flash, which I recently acquired that, that was my second acquisition. Okay. And that’s a photo booth software company. And I was able to acquire them in May and it wasn’t just like it randomly happened. It was when I bought Mammoth booth from Jesse. He was using some photo booth software that I never heard before. It was never promoted and it was super awesome.

00:53:10                                 In the world of photobooth software is this very old and it’s very clunky and it’s all very manual. Yeah. And like this takes so much time and there’s a lot of training that you have to have for your team members and you get all of the time when you’re at events. And with this software that he was using, it was like, it just worked. I could set up events for my phone, I could set up events for my computer. Yeah. No other photobooth software at the time who could do that. Okay. And so I was like, this is like really interesting to me cause they kind of fit. He had built a great product and it was super fast. And so I just like, I messaged him the owner and developer of the product and I said, yes, Hey, do you mind if I give you some, some feedback?

00:53:50                                 And he said yeah. And I typed him up two pages of product feedback and he was like super appreciative of it. And that ended up leading into giving, to building our relationship. Yeah. And that gave me the opportunity to eventually like ask him if I could buy the company from him. And I wish I did like a few months after that. Yeah. Because I’m like, alright, I’m in this world and I know how painful this is and this solves a real problem for lots of people. And so I asked him, I said, Hey, are you interested in any sort of offers? Cause I would love to talk about it. And so he said, yeah. He said, yeah. He’s like, yeah, I’m open to the conversation. And so I typed up like a list of a huge list of due diligence questions, financial health, all the business health stuff.

00:54:39                                 And when he, I didn’t hear back from him for a couple of days and then he replied back and he said, Hey, you know what, like.

00:54:46                                 That was a lot.

00:54:47                                 That was a lot. He’s like, you know what, I have been wanting to try a lot of marketing stuff lately and I just haven’t done it. So like give me nine months and then like, let’s revisit this conversation. Because like all of my questions just sparked that in his mind of like, Oh, I haven’t even thought about any of this stuff. And so he was like, all right, I need to really try something. And then he emailed me nine months later and he said, Hey, are you still interested in buying it? I said, yes. What changed? And he’s like, I had every intention to like, do all of this marketing stuff but every single time I sat down to do it I just develop stuff and he’s like, I want to give this a fighting chance and I want to give it to somebody who he felt could actually grow it.

00:55:34                                 Okay. Cause he had other offers before, but they didn’t have a technical background or they didn’t understand how to build software. And so he knew that they weren’t the right fit. Yeah. But since I had contributed, I had given freely to him and by asking to give him advice or feedback on the app and then actually giving it to him and it was thorough and it made sense that kind of qualified me to be a good prospect to take over the business. And so he had emailed me and then a month later I own the business. Jeez. Yeah. Yep. So I just wanted to throw that in there real quick.

00:56:09                                 Cool, yeah. Naturally ask the question, see what comes up.

00:56:12                                 Yeah. And then fast forwarding to advice to your 20 year old self.

00:56:17                                 This is not necessarily advice to myself, but to other 20 year olds is you cannot be afraid to work for free. And I worked for free all the time. I’ve always worked for free and I will always work for free because that’s just my personality. And I’m like, Oh, you’re giving me the opportunity to get to work with you and learn from you and you’ve been doing this and you’re really good at that. Yes, please.

00:56:37                                 Count me in.

00:56:37                                 Yeah, and versus like, I’ve like had conversations with lots of people who have no experience and they expect the world and they want to be paid and they want to be paid well and say, Hey, you know what? That’s okay. Here’s a different perspective of how I would encourage you to look at that. That benefits you in the long run. And so like, yes, we all need to make money and you have to figure out how to make money, but you can not be afraid to work for free.

00:56:59                                 When I was 17, I got to work on movies for free and I did it for free. And then that led into.

00:57:03                                 I have absolutely everything.

00:57:06                                 Yeah. And it leads into so much stuff. And then I ended up getting paid for that and I had that experience. And so like that, that’s my advice to any young person is if you’re interested in something like don’t make it be about the money, make it be about that you really care about it. And then eventually the money will come in. Quicken Loans has a saying like that, like numbers and money do not follow or was it. Money and numbers follow. They do not lead. Yeah. And like that’s a solid one. Yeah. That’s my advice.

00:57:34                                 Awesome. Where can people learn more about you and follow along?

00:57:39                                 You can, if you just go to https://www.billhamway.com. Everything will be kind of spattered out from there. Ah, so LinkedIn, Instagram, all those fun ones. And also say hi. Like I love getting to meet and chat with different people. And I like, I love going on walks with people. And so just to be able to get to meet different random people and have no intention outside of like, how is it that we can just get to know each other. Yeah. And then build a relationship from there. So like say hi, let’s, let’s go walk around. I’m not a big like, let’s grab a coffee person. Like let’s, let’s move our bodies. Let’s be healthy and get that energy going.

00:58:17                                 Awesome. Bill, it’s been a pleasure man.

00:58:19                                 Yeah. Thank you so much for having me and reaching out and this has been fun.

00:58:23                                 And that does it for our show with Bill Hamway. Now, Bill had a lot of different takeaways that I think are really valuable. First, he points out that you have to obey your DNA. Whatever you as a person need to thrive and survive, whatever your underlying foundation is, you have to respect it, understand it, not necessarily cater to it, but tailor your actions to what you’re naturally good at in what you naturally are interested in. At multiple points in his story, he’s highlighted the fact that you can’t be afraid to slim down when you need to. Sometimes you have to trim away the extra fat so that your company your projects, your life even can really be at the level that you want them to be. Sometimes there’s just too much noise happening. And so you have to almost cut it back down to basics, figure out what the right way forward is and then pivot to that direction.

00:59:18                                 He also discusses the importance of shortening your learning cycle. So being able to not only take in information quicker, but also be able to apply it to related situations. He mentioned that you have to shorten that time frame so that you can start to deploy that knowledge even faster. And he also advocates for learning by doing. So rather than just saying, Hey, here’s a textbook, go learn for four years. He is more more accommodating of the fact that you need to learn by doing. And that being in the trenches, being hands on and really going in depth in what you’re working on oftentimes leads to some of the most valuable learning that you could find. So he advocates for learning by doing. And that’s something that I really agree with. And lastly, leaders need to listen. Sometimes our teams can be more attuned to something than we are.

01:00:10                                 And so if as a leader, you’re able to take in your team’s recommendations, understand how they relate to your businesses overall goal and strategy, then you’ll be able to leverage a wider pool of information and perspectives because you’re actually listening to the people that are seeing things happen on the ground floor and that have an in depth knowledge in their particular area. Before we close out this week’s show, I want to take another moment to just thank you guys for tuning in. I know these shows tend to average about an hour. And an hour a week is actually a lot of time, in my opinion, and so the fact that you’re willing to tune in and listen and be willing to learn really means a lot. So thanks for tuning in and thanks for sharing. If you do from Taste for Tenacity Show number 23. This is Ben Trela. Thanks for listening.

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