Brian Stearns, RingoFire: Business of Innovation Pawdcast 17, Clemson MBA Program
Bryan, Stern's good morning good morning you. Are the CEO of Ring, of Fire and, I'm. Super excited to talk with you today about your, your. Business thank, you I'm excited to, be here can you tell me a little bit about that journey to, starting, your own organization. And. We'll, just go from there yeah let's do it. So as you know I did, the mbae program at, Clemson a couple years ago and, that was really the catalyst, or the inspiration to, take, me to where I am today spent, about eight. And a half nine years in Hardware working at TTI. Selling. Power tools to the Home Depot and really, being in that hardware space but went, back to school and was inspired through the program to launch a company it. Was a class project that, turned into a reality literally during the course of a couple of semesters wow. That's, amazing and that. You've. Been with Ring of Fire now, for, how long four, and a half years yeah. So started. About. 2016. But, at the time it was a nights and weekends kind of thing it was a side hustle I was still running a mobile DJ service, I was going to school at Clemson I was working full-time at TTI so, had, a lot going on but over. The course of a couple months and into the spring of 2017. Everything, started to click and it became, a full-time reality, where, I eventually was. Able to make the leap while. I was still in school and. Start the company full-time and for. People listening who may want to start a company or just are more interested, in in, what. You're doing you, have developed, clients. And what is it exactly that you do for them we're. Really in the business of customer service we just happen to be a marketing agency right I mean everything, is about taking, care of the client and every clients the only client I know, I don't think I learned that early on from TTI just. How important, it would be to make. Sure that Home Depot for example, felt that they had all the love that they could get from Rio v power tools and how important those relationships. Were with key, buyers and. Key decision-makers. You, know I feel like we could we could have started a variety, of companies but if we were excellent, and customer service then you bring the right team together you, can make it work and, we just happen to work in hardware it's, what I know it's what I've been doing for the past 12 15, years and it's, a space that we've really grown into to.
Sort Of be a preferred agency, by some top you know big-box retailers, has been you. Know phenomenal, and we've built an incredible team around smart. Home and construction. And DIY projects, and that's just really the space we're growing into and. What, exactly if I'm your customer what exactly, are you doing for me we're coming in as your marketing and advertising leg, we, actually don't even like to be referred to as an agency I joke about us being the UH Nagant see in town we want to be an extension of your team your best partner and we're, solutions, driven so. We're or consultancy. In many ways we're, helping you with social media we're, helping you with Google advertising, we're helping you develop, a best-in-class website. We're helping you sell a product actually, helping you get a product on shelf to, take, it to market so. It's a variety of things it's really a full-service. Solution. That we offer clients, when. Did you come to the realization, that this, this. Knowledge that you have in this desire, that you have and this passion, for great. Customer service could, be your. Your own business, it sounds like you did, a class project but, it takes a lot of courage, to jump out there and and maybe, you did this kind of in a staged fashion. I had. A support group and that was my cohort, at, Clemson during the MBA program it, started and actually part of it started in your classroom, you know I had such a wonderful experience, having, you as a professor, and getting, to know people outside of my comfort zone who come from all walks of life in different backgrounds, I've been so used to that, corporate setting for eight nine years it, was just refreshing it was like I could, hit the reset button and finally. Speak to folks about experiences. That I'd had on the job it was my only job out of college by the way too so I just thought that it was the norm some of the things that I had, to experience day-to-day. And week-to-week so. That, got me out of my comfort zone and really just over the course again of several semesters of you, know we had to come up with an idea put it to paper present, it why, not make it a reality why, not take it a step further and, actually, build, a come, around, it I had, all the tools I needed during. The mbae, program, professors. To speak to mentors are coming into the class other classmates, to encourage me so it's perfect but I would not be here today with you if, that had not been an experience for me that's amazing to hear I mean, I'm thrilled of course and. I know say congratulations. To you because you're the one who made the decision to put yourself, take. Yourself out of your comfort zone yes deric your job at, TTI and and go into the classroom, and, start. You know having. To take classes and read and work and and all, of that on top of your regular job so you really put yourself in a place of most potential, in some ways wouldn't you say I did yeah and I've always felt a bit entrepreneurial. And I know that word is it's kind of a buzzword it's used a lot just like innovation but it's good you, know I was, wanting, to do something but couldn't figure out what that was gonna be but, the end of the day I realized, what I really like to do is help people right so you could, build a business around that, it. Could have owned an HVAC company I could have started up you, know a franchise of a subway who knows but just. Having that mentality of I want to see somebody smile I want to help them I want to sell their product I want to make them excited, about something. That's trending is. What gave me the encouragement to, pull, it around an agency, right and I'd someone had told me very early on where I was intimidated to. The tune of well. I'm not that great of an accountant, and I really don't know business law and yada, yada yada niteworks giving myself these reasons not to make the leap the, classroom, setting the, the education gave me the encouragement to do. Those things go, find an accountant go find an attorney build a team around things, that you feel that you're not strong with and then just drive home what you love and, it's so clear, that you know how to connect all the dots you, know you, didn't, hire the good people then to support you or find them but, you clearly knew, a, need.
In The marketplace and, that's that's yeah which is it to be to, do there, are great great, brands, on the shelf and many retailers, that have been around for 50 a hundred years, led, by some incredible, leaders who just hadn't, taken the time to understand, the, shift that happened five six seven years ago of what, we now know as digital which today is just marketing but, it happened, so quickly that many of these big, brands that these big-box retailers, weren't. Able to partner. With influencers, or run, their own Google ads or understand, social media and how to sell product and generate, ROI where. We saw that as an advantage and took, some examples, in case studies to some big brands like you know Green Works tools and insert, a mattress company and others that we're working with to. Say let us be your you, know digital eyes and ears and the stores and and work with these folks for you an extension of your team and drive, cells in a unique way that you've not been used to so. Value-add yes, disrupting, anything you're doing but we can just come on board and compliment, what you're doing do, that thing maybe which you just have it taken the time to yeah these are again these are some really cool companies that were working with even here locally with some entrepreneurs, in Greenville where, the the leaders are visionary, and they have great strategy, but it's that day to day check point of everything you have to do now and, by the way things shift and change so, frequently, you, know marketing, and advertising we're pretty set in stone. For many years at a time right there'd be trends that shifted every five to six years well, now that shift happens every five to six months and. It'll soon be every five to six weeks and that's, just how quickly if you're not on that boat you'll miss it and a lot of brands have, been knocked off the shelf by. An incumbent that, just, has a young, and scrappy mindset, of how to take things to market in a new approach so we're, there to help those new brands with that approach but also to help the established ones sort, of understand, how to shift and adjust to what's cool right now yeah young. And scrappy, would you consider your company is kind of young and scrappy we are yeah, and I like that and, I'll. Lead with that in a pitch yeah we are we'll get things done on a, dime if a client needs a photo to produce, on, homedepot.com, tomorrow. We're gonna go get an Airbnb tonight and knock it out you, know we're not gonna spend weeks planning. And whiteboarding, and strategizing, on who. Should the model be and how are we gonna set the setting and what, kind of lighting do we want I mean we just get it done that's, the attitude you have to have I think as an agency of this day and age with, the way products are selling if. You don't move fast enough there's, gonna be somebody out there that does it quicker. And, better what. Do you love about being a CEO oh man. Working with a team why I have been able to build such an incredible, team of hard-working talented. Individuals. That has been my, favorite part you, know that you you wear many different hats especially. Early on in the startup days but, at this point now I've got several. Folks in place who are just running and they're leading and they're doing they're making some really cool you, know campaigns. And creative, and and it's just been that's, been the best part for me here recently just to kind of sit back and watch, them I don't, blossom but be their cheerleader beautiful. Yep, what, are you what's hard about being a CEO. No-sleep. The. Travel, and a, little. Bit of pressure, and anxiety that come with the day-to-day of hey, you're, in charge of 25 plus people's, you, know careers. Right you've got to do what you can every single day to take. Care of them encourage. Them motivate. Them show them some growth leadership, opportunities. And reward, them and, just. Give them kind, of the absolute best setting that you can so there's no turnover, and that's just growing forward. Yeah. That's wonderful, have. You always found that.
You Were highly. Innovative with, throughout your career throughout your school life I think so I mean I I've always enjoyed doing things a little differently -, right even as a kid I'd get the box of Legos and like scrap the instructions, and just build what I wanted right or tried something different and, always. Had some kind of a side gig or side hustle growing up whether, it's selling lemonade. Or t-shirts or DJing, parties or whatever, at, a young age wanted. To do something to keep myself busy, but also to learn different traits, and different things right tried out for the track team didn't make it so I picked up you know saxophone, and became a musician right. Yes. I love that so. Constantly. Like trying different things pivoting, changing, it up when, I went into TT, I had, the opportunity to come up with a new product called the bucket top mister which I got a patent on at 24 years old it. Did five million dollars in its first year with Home Depot and it still continues to sell really well so that kind of got me into product, innovation. Retail in. A new product design yeah but, then also supporting, other people who had great ideas but maybe just didn't know how to take it to market yeah. Fascinating. So. How do you keep your culture. Going. In terms of growth development innovation. How. Do you encourage that or is it just kind of a systemic thing that happens, we're. So you know we had a young. Lady come in this morning for an interview actually before I came over here and that was one, of the questions that she asks just like tell me about your culture yeah and I before I could even answer, another team members spoke up and just said we're work we're a family here and it's. Just everybody looks out for everyone else. We. Challenge each other we, support each other we wear different hats, we kind of know our different. Job descriptions but. At the same time we, all want to win you know we're as strong as our weakest, link and we don't want a weak link right so we're just constantly, working with one another to. Improve and. Kind. Of Rhian spire new ways of doing things at the office that set us apart from other, agencies, in town or other agencies, you know in the world so. It's it's a really, fun. And diverse team I've got some incredible leaders helping me day in and day out kind, of inspire and motivate but. Also looking for new training opportunities, we, do lunch and learns every other week we get, outside of the office we help each other on photo shoots we're traveling together to conferences, so those, things are helping us grow - yeah. Do. You consider yourself to be a disrupter. Yes. Sorry. I took that pause for some water you, have to be this is such a competitive, marketplace right now wherein we live in an on-demand society. Right. Uber. Took out taxi cabs Netflix. Took out movie, theaters I mean look how quickly something can grow and change the, industry there. Are probably. 55 agencies, just in Greenville County and. That's why I call us the onion, seed I don't want to be compared to those folks I want to do things different, and that's what we do we. Kind of take, the model shake it up and build it a different way we. Can get things done in, an instant we will get them done in an instant because it's going to be it's that whatever it takes sort of attitude or mentality, of taking. Care of the client and delivering, but, doing it quickly and proficiently. What. Inspired you to be in this work what what drew you to this, line of work that's. A great question I was. Part, of the team at DTI what we're doing rigid and really power tools that, was able to take us into like the social, and digital realm. Right we, we. Were very late to the game for. Even having like a Facebook, account for Rio be tools or. An Instagram account I was, actually told no many times when I tried, to encourage the team hey look at craftsmen's, doing this the Walt's doing this we, need an Instagram account and was, told no so many times that I remember, being frustrated I went home one weekend and just started on my personal, phone a week, later we had a couple thousand followers and I took it to my boss and I said look I'm. Sorry I did this but it works, we need to do this you, know that was. 2014, right so all right, that, really was, kind. Of an aha moment of, this, this, can work for a brand if you can use it in a way that builds community.
And Inspires, people to build, projects, and to use tools so. I wanted to take that same concept to other hardware, brands who maybe we're, also intimidated. They thought it might be a customer service nightmare, or they weren't gonna be able to keep up with it and say you, guys can do this too and here's, the model so we, kind of started out that way helping, other tool. Brands with social. And other entrepreneurs. With social, but, it sense evolved, into you, know full service agency mmm-hmm. Wonderful. So. Tell me what. Is something that you really like, about yourself and, something that you don't like about yourself. That's. Another, great question I think I I worry, a lot you know I've been told that my whole life but, it also keeps me on my toes I, think you know it yeah. So. I I wish. I worried a bit less. But it on that on the flip side I, think it gives me an opportunity to think through all scenarios, that, that could happen in a given day with a client, or, with a new product launch or with a team member I, think, my ability, to to. Host and. Strimer service and and show clients a good time and prove some results on campaigns, there are things that I enjoy, you. Know I just spent a week in Las, Vegas at the National. Hardware show and had, just a wonderful time working with our partners out there walking, the show floor looking at new products, going to dinners it's all about the relationship, in this industry for me if I can be visible. And relevant, I know that we can build something great and. That's what I enjoy I love, the relationship part, of it I think I said a little, earlier right we could have launched any type of business, if you can rest assured relationships, with your partner's. Your customers, your, clients then. You're gonna be, golden I heard, relational, in there in a big way, and then, the. Things that you described though take a lot of different skills because. You're your time at relational skills but your time at analytical, skills and you're talking about communicating, together they're kind of social campaigns, yes and, there's something that can be kind of exhausting, and that's a whole spectrum of things that you're doing and then you're entertaining, a lot has any travel, fair amount so are, you enjoying all of that I'm sure you said you look how quickly my hair got gray here to this was that it's, been four and a half years but. It. Is it's still you, know I hope, that in ten years we still act like a startup because. It's it is 16-hour, days sometimes it's working through the weekends, it's sacrificing.
With, Friends and family you, know I went. Through all of that and still am going through that and I think that's part of the grind that some, people eventually give up on, before. Getting over the fence of really expanding. Into other great things mmm, those are the those are the tough initial, moments, of just, really persevering. But. Building that support team and establishing. And being, relevant in whatever, it is that you do you, got to build a great name for yourself, we live you know look how people. Sort products, buy reviews today you want to know what other people say about your product about your service about you as a person. So. It's important, for me to remain. A five-star, business leader a five-star company and deliver five-star, service and, that's what's happening for you right now everything, is staying in that five-star category, as you get your customers, to grade you in that kind of sure, and we we're not perfect we fail we learn we try new things I, mean there's there's ups and downs in any given dish yeah. And that's sort of it's, good to hear some maybe, some constructive, criticism or, some feedback from a client that maybe, you weren't expecting to hear but it encourages, you to try something different or to improve in an area then you, need to I. Wanted. To and. You went there for a little bit but I wanted to ask you kind of what do you see for, forming. A fire in the future right now you have a great story, I mean you've launched, you've, you've. Been you're scrappy you say you want to stay that way you know even in 10 years you still want to be that way but, but what else what other things, are you thinking as you think about Ring of Fire I'm sure your wheels are turning sure we're helping so many great. Clients. Again with their products, in store it's, time for us to bring our own where, this this year 2020, will be the year that Ring of Fire introduces. A product to market and, we're. Gonna do that and we're gonna execute it phenomenally, and it's gonna be a, lot, of fun for the whole team to have some ownership in that yeah, so as, we continue to, help our great clients, move.
And Sell and create. Engagement. Around their, products, this is kind of the year that we finally have. Some great things in the works, where, we're gonna bring some things to market ourselves wonderful. And. Ring. A fire I have to ask you tell me about the name so. I met. Johnny Cash when I was 7 years old my mom took me to meet. President Reagan. Actually my mom and dad took us downtown to Charlotte my brother and I to have, photos with President Reagan who's in town for some type of a press event so. We initially went there to meet Ronald, Reagan which was very cool I do remember, that sort of vividly as a child but. As we were leaving getting. On the elevator. I'm. Getting down to the ground floors we were stepping off, this. Gentleman, walked into the elevator and I heard my mom kind of gasp and she poked, my dad and, she. Tells the story asked. If we could have a photo and he like. Politely, said well can, I get off the elevator first. So. We jumped. Off the elevator and took photos with what, Johnny Cash and I've, had that with me and it's still hanging in my office and I think from a very young age was inspired, by his music and his life and his ups and downs and, I, went. To start a mobile DJ service, in college under. The name Johnny Ringo which was the villain in the movie tombstone so, I believe, like that all those things sort of blended together I started to build that Ringo, name and. Just. Wanted to keep something fun and different so. Many agencies are people's, initials, or last name and I just think that's boring, so it's different fun. And different is that kind of a theme with. A lot of the things that you're doing because I kind of hear that I hear, that you, know you want it to be fun and you and. You wanted you to be different and, so, that's kind of how it seems like yeah fun different, in destructive disruptive. And disruptive, yes I love that, fascinating. So. Tell me if you what. Was the best advice you ever received, oh. Wow. Best advice I ever received I would say. As. A child as a, youngster it was probably, from my grandmother, Shirley, Valenti who's told me never to sweat the small stuff which. I just got done talking about how I worry about everything so, I still, do that from time to time but. It stuck with me right even until you know present, day of you, can have ups and downs every single day but you can't carry that with you through the weekend or through. The you know course, of a year or two. She. Was one to go buy the expensive wine bring it home and open it versus people that save and put it on the shelf and he gets dusty right it's, living for the moment enjoying. Life and, not, sweating the small stuff and then growing, into, sort of a you. Know corporate. Career and right out of after I finished undergrad at appstate and started working in Atlanta, I had, the opportunity of working with some really great, business. Leaders and hardware, folks. Like Mike Farah whose father helped start the Home Depot he was he's been a big mentor and friend of mine you. Know Tom Armstrong, other people in the hardware business who have taught me to be visible, and to be relevant and to, encourage. Me to try things and and take risks and take, opportunities. Those are two great words visible. And relevant, I've heard you use as it comes out times, suit, sort, of a mindset of which is important in your business I'm, sure. There's. No playbook to, what I'm to what we're doing yeah. And I looked for that early on I was I'm, still reading a lot but I was reading a lot of like how, to do this how to manage, how to grow a business how to you, know advertise, how to place, media on Google but you know and, you can get tips and tricks along the way but. There's really no secret sauce to what we've done it's just been doing we just were just doing each day we're trying new things we're, learning but. It again, going back to being visible and relevant I've decided I want to build this company around the hardware industry so, I'm gonna live breathe and die hardware right I'm going to go to every trade show I'm, going to network with the industry professionals, and we're gonna understand, how to use the products that we market if I can't go out and start a generator, or, use a pressure washer or you. Know frame a wall with a power tool then I'm, not credible in this industry yeah you know so as we bring on a new client you, know monument, grills for example, we're, gonna throw a barbecue the team's gonna learn how to light it how to cook how to clean it we're. Gonna become experts as much as we can and, also you know be, creative take, it to market have fun work with influencers, do all those things but, be able to speak the language to your, getting ready to move to a new space is that part of this you know being.
Able To. Experience. All the tools and. It. Was this give you more, room and space for those kinds of, discovery. Labs yeah, we've had a fun time in the old chamber. Building downtown, beautiful, for about three and a half years now and I really, hate. To leave there I think we may actually keep a small office just just to have some space downtown but. We're moving to the old southern, weaving mill it's. Gonna be like our own little Warner, Brothers lot I think the team is really excited we've, got a couple buildings out there one. For photography, and creative, one for the marketing team some room for offices, but a place to grow, it's it's its, own mini campus, of backdrops. And construction, and just, really cool. Settings. And backgrounds that we can use for this kind of hardware space so marketing, Photography, and creative. And video and all those things that we do day in and day out. Congratulations. Thank you yeah it's it's, a place for us to grow into I'm really looking long-term for the team we're we're maxed, out on our current floor right now but still still, living in every minute of it this will give us an opportunity to, have, a place to really grow into did, you say loving every minute of it yeah isn't that a song maybe. It's. Actually a song I love what you said it yesterday played in my head but I'm older than you so, well. Um let. Me ask you this so how. Do you, want to be remembered. Hmm. I think. That you. Know my. Growing. Up going. Through undergrad, doing. The different side, gigs and things that I've mentioned different, jobs it was always important for me to whether. I was DJing and looking out into the crowd or, presenting, and looking to the boardroom or. Selling. In the aisle and looking at a customer, I'd, like to see that human connection of, making somebody happy or, seeing them smile or getting them excited no matter the moment. So. It could just be that general, statement if I'm remembered, for showing folks a good time and helping them I think that that's really all that matters for me I don't, necessarily. Need. It to be defined by a business. Transaction or. A particular. Meeting or, product, line I think in general of oh man, I always had a great time with him or he really helped us in a time of need or his team really, pulled off you, know some great work that's, that's really all that matters that's what matters to you what.
Are You what, are you curious about now I can see that your wheels are always turning but. What are you curious what are you looking at or studying that what's out there that intrigues you, I love, new home automation, and just the the connectivity. Of things and the Internet of Things and was spinning a few weeks ago was out at CES in Las Vegas so the, the new technology, that's coming in too you know we everyone has a Lexington and Google and other things throughout the house but now there's um you know there's smart lamps there's smart headboard too coming into furniture it's going other places the. Evolution. Of technology, in artificial. Intelligence, things. That are happening in AR and VR no that's that to me it's always what's next I challenge the team let's be the first at things, whether they pan out or not let's. Get all of our clients on tik-tok they may not all work out really well for that channel for that audience but, let's try it let's just do it so. Continuing. To look and see what's out there what's, new what's different, but, also still helping those that are established and, and have. Some tradition. What. Advice would you have for a, young, entrepreneur or. An. Entrepreneur wanna, be an, entrepreneur, an intrapreneur, because I really feel like you started, a lot, of your, work as an intrapreneur, you, know right there within, the company before you launched, out to. Start your own company what I'm sure I mean I think you could have two options right you either care so much and are so passionate about something that you would give your all for it and just jump. And do or. You. Still may be very passionate about something not. Willing to make that risk but go follow somebody who has you, know if. You're, a writer go intern at the Times for six months under somebody that you've studied if you're, a skateboarder, go out, to LA and hang out with a skateboarder, that you've followed, on Instagram, if. You're not willing to make the step or the leap to start your own thing then, follow someone who could inspire you or maybe help you it. Took me a while your item I don't think it was until I spent. Most of my 20s in, corporate, never, thinking. That I'd be here, today where I am right now with you, talking. About this business that my team and I have built, but. It just it. Was that moment of encouragement. And in the leap that, it took and. Everything. Leading up to that where. It, helped to bring me where I am today I didn't. Take the route of really going, and following, somebody who was super, passionate about agency. Work I just went, and did. It and. I've, needed some support and some help along the way and it's got us to where we are but that's just I think I don't remembers have those two paths right they, can be entrepreneurial, and really, study someone who's done great things like Steve Jobs and then just become an innovator, at a great company like Apple or, they, can go. And launch their own Apple. So, I wanted, to also say. As. You were talking through that isn't lonely sometimes being being. The CEO because. Now you've grown this thing, but. You, have no peer as a CEO I mean there were times you step back and you go you. Know how could it be have you found other mentors, who are CEOs, I've just started to okay and I think that's something I if. I could rewind a few years I would have tried that earlier but I'd got so into the hustle of just grinding. And doing and you, know getting things done and building new clients and bringing in team members I never, really stopped to grab coffee. With another agency, leader or, get. To know another hardware. Industry, business, leader right I I was so, in the zone of I've, got to quickly build this company right I just left a place where I was had.
Some Security and now I've really. Given myself, you know a new clean risky, slate so I had to move very fast I have. Recently met, some incredible individuals. In the retail and hardware and entrepreneurial. Space that, have helped me quite a bit I didn't, have that early on I wish I did I got some inspiration from people who would come into the classroom and tell, their story how they won how they failed. But. Never really had a person, to call at the end of the night and say hey you. Know what are you doing it client, gets toxic, late do you do you just let them go or do you do do you work through it or. How. Do you who. Do you who do you work with to file your quarterly taxes you know those are things I just sort of had to figure out and and get, things done and, over. The years I've brought, in a couple, of key individuals who. You've, given some ownership to that, have really helped me and. That's important, you got to surround yourself by great people I like. Wearing many hats but you got to also realize you can't do everything at the end of the day you've, got to empower smart, people to make the smart decisions, for. You at the times that maybe you can't it, can't be in three meetings in the same day right you want to have other folks who have that passion in that inspiration. To. Help grow this thing so. That's up to, cool. What, questions should I have asked you but did not. Hmm. That's. A good one. Let, me think on that for just a minute okay. And. You're stumping to hear all the questions, you asked me what you did not. I. Guess. Maybe on on times where I. Have. Failed. Yeah. I've. Made I've made some mistakes you. Know I'm not super proud of some of the decisions and things that I did in my early 20s and. Really. Learned the hard way I. Had. A great time at undergrad, right but I graduate but barely you know got a degree that I didn't even end up pursuing and. My, degree in it, was in I, started, in music at appstate and then, switched to public, relations. But. Went right into sales, from. There. But. I I think that I sort, of I, guess. Matured, a bit later, I'm. Really proud that I went back to school and felt, that you know I earned. Something wonderful from Clemson that inspired me to kind, of break the the, chain of the day-to-day, corporate. Life but. I, think. That even. In times. Each day today, where, we may win or lose you, know in a given campaign or a moment with a client, it's, always a learning experience. Nobody. I don't, believe that anybody lives, kind of this this perfect life of you. Read the books and the inspiration, and the stories but there's really always something that's helped them get, to where they are through an experience, that they had that. Where they really learned kind of what, what. They needed to grow from in a time of discomfort. Or change or failure. You. Have a very inspiring story and your, story is, I'm, sure inspiring all the people who work with you, you know the. Courage to leave a corporation, after a period of time the, courage to jump out there and really start something new and put a unique name on it and be. Edgy. And. Startup. And, so. I. Just. Want to say congratulations to, you I appreciate that and thank you for saying that but I'm actually, I'm inspired, by them right. I mean I, I wear, the CEO, badge but, I'm hiring, people who are smarter than me I have to okay for me I need I need to bring folks in who. Can help take us to the next level my, inspiration, comes from what, they do the. Creative they produce, the. Copy they write. The. Meetings they lead that's, what's driving, me now yeah, early on it was I need to build a business because I need foundation, and I'd love what you're saying cuz it's a whole evolution, and how it changes, as. You go forward and you're writing that that. That way then and, it sounds like you're pretty, comfortable with it for, the most part yeah everybody's. Finding their groove right now you know we. You. Know the the, day-to-day juggle. Was always the struggle and it we're at a point now where folks, are really you know we've got super, talented editors a super, talented photographer. An incredible, copywriter, really. Strong account managers, and that's, just bringing everything together so I'm again, sitting, back and loving that yes, while, still working extremely, hard to grow the company look out for everybody inspire. The team and bring on new business, it's. Rewarding now, and inspiring now to see. An. Idea as, a class project. A business. Model that I had now. Being driven by a team that that, we've built and. We're so pleased to have gotten. This interview with you so that we can share it with students, with alums and. Because. It's it's what we want them to think about as well sure, know what else can I do what, else is out there and can I have the courage so you're, offering that to anyone, listening yeah I am and you know what I get it it's scary as hell it but if I had that support of my cohort, and my professors, and, my family, and now my team, and.
You If, you are if you care enough about something you can make it happen don't let anybody tell you you can't good. Deal Brian thank you thank you so much it's such a pleasure to see you good to see you as well.