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    116: How Turmoil After Winning Big Led to Helping Others with Chris Loucy
    The Vault

    116: How Turmoil After Winning Big Led to Helping Others with Chris Loucy

    May 2024



    “I want someone, when they look at what I’m doing, to say, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’” – Chris Loucy

    For many years, Chris’ entrepreneurial journey was the stuff of dreams. Following a successful stint in sales, he rolled the dice on his own flooring company & won…big time. He blew his competition out of the water & experienced almost unreal growth.

    Until one day, when the dream became a nightmare. An unfair lawsuit filed against his company eventually became too big to fight. Chris was forced to close his doors.

    Which is where the story would end if he was a “typical” entrepreneur. Of course, he’s anything but!

    Today, you’ll find Chris helping small business owners mitigate their personal financial risk in their own companies by establishing business credit & the company’s own financial foundation.
    His mission? To prevent others from experiencing the kind of heartache & ruin he personally experienced.

    Service & purpose. Well done, indeed.

    Connect with Chris on LinkedIn or at JGalt dot io.






    Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

    Gary Frey: Hey everybody, welcome to another edition of the Anything But Typical podcast. This is going to be fun because we're actually reversing roles today because I was actually on Rhys Arlen's podcast a couple months ago, and so we've got the mics turned on him today. That's right. That'll be fun.

    But I don't know how Christian got out of this one because he's your partner and like I was on with both you guys But it's just

    Reece Arlin: Couldn't even bother to show up.

    Gary Frey: You got a shoulder this whole thing. Yeah. Anyway, we'll get into Their business partnership and all that kind of stuff. But here's the deal Reese So he's a fitness guy and he's also a guy that likes variety. He may go from one place to another, but he's gone to a new gym.

    Now, a lot of people don't know him, but he's walking from the parking lot into the gym. And lo and behold, because he is a native charlatan, very few of them. Somebody sees him. The last one. Yeah, there you go. And they see you and they start talking about you, Reese, and they don't realize that you can overhear everything that they're saying about you.

    What would you want somebody to say about

    Reece Arlin: you?

    Oh boy, that's a great question. I would want people to recognize my passion for things, my passion for living, my passion for encouraging other people's success. In, in late years, that's been a passion for entrepreneurship and encouraging other business owners to take that dive, take that chance.

    It's what, that's what we spend a lot of time talking about on our podcast. Of course it would be great to, for somebody to be like, Oh, he's a really nice guy, but I'm sure people probably don't say that about me. I think what's more likely. So here's something you don't know about me, Gary.

    I, I started playing pool and league. With some of my best friends in 2014. Okay. I am a native Charlottetian, probably the last one left me and my friends pretty much. But we're all from Mooresville and we noticed starting in about 2014 that we started to part ways a little bit.

    One guy's married and has a kid, one guy's working a night shift, I'm doing my entrepreneurial thing, we got a guy that's a nurse, they're all over the place. Yeah. And one thing that we all love to do is play pool. And so we started playing pool in 2014 Just as a fun thing to do, we'll get together once a week, cut up a little bit, do whatever.

    Yeah, great excuse

    Ben McDonald: to stay connected, get together.

    Reece Arlin: Yeah, exactly. That's all it was. And when you win your league for pool, you go on to the regional tournament, which is called the City's Tournament. And if you win that, you get an all expense paid trip to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Pool.

    Oh, cool. And we've won that tournament three times. Wow. Since 2014 we've. We've gone, we've won the Vegas trip three times. My dad's on my team now, currently my dad and I really showed up this last tournament and we went last August for that, but so more than likely if somebody knows me from the area, it's not from business.

    They probably know just because I've played pool for as long as I have. And if they know me from that, I would hope that they would say he's a fierce competitor, but he's fair because I'm hyper competitive. I always want to win no matter what. Like I always want to win. I will not cheat. But I do want to win.

    So if you beat me, you've earned it every time. Wow.

    Ben McDonald: Yeah. I like that. And I'm sure that comes in handy in business as well.

    Reece Arlin: It does. I always want to win, but the nice thing about marketing is that we're creating situations that are a win, if I've created a circumstance that, I'm elevating your business, I'm a revenue generator, I'm bringing more business to you.

    Then everybody's happy, it's not like dealing with somebody that's sick or not having a good time every day it's like things are going great are things with you and then you know as a consequence of that We've had clients since our onset in 2017 and it's great. I know them very personally.

    I've been to their houses I've been you know, I've with them and their wives and stuff like that. So it's very blessed is all I can say. Yeah, that's

    Ben McDonald: cool. So for those of you that do not know Reese yet, Reese is an owner and the COO of business marketing solutions group. And before we get into that, Cause I've got to rewind us a bit cause we were jumping right in.

    Yeah. Share with the listeners what you were doing before that because this is not the first company where you were an owner. So talk to us

    Reece Arlin: about what you were doing before. Yeah. I've taken some crazy career shifts over the years. I think most people have these days, but I got out of grad school in 2014.

    I got my MBA from UNC Charlotte. Immediately after that I wanted to open a gym being in fitness and whatnot. It's always been a passion of mine. Another passion of mine, however, was cars. And I grew up around it. When I was born, my dad had ten classic cars. I just live and breathe horsepower and octane, but so straight out of grad school I got into the family business. I worked at foreign cars Italia for a brief period buying and selling our marquees back then were Maserati and Aston Martin. And then I took some connections. So some of the networking that I had from back then, and I started to branch out and do my own thing and buying and selling classic cars.

    I hit the market at a really good time. I got really lucky made a lot of money and I always joke and I say that I loved the cars and I hated the people because the best way to sell a guy a Ferrari is to tell him he can't afford it, and it just you have to mock yourself up like that type of a scumbag type of thing to do it.

    After that so I always wanted to be in the health and fitness world, made a ton of money selling cars. I, in 2017 I opened a Nutra Shop Mooresville. Think about it like a GNC. It's a it was like a nutrition store. We bought and sold supplements. One of our market differentiators is that we had an in body machine in the locations that we're able to test.

    Yeah. I was going to say, I'm sure I'm a hundred percent. Gary's three

    Ben McDonald: of us know what that is. Yeah.

    Reece Arlin: Explain to the listeners. Sure. Sure. Yeah. As soon as I said, invite Gary's Oh yeah. I knew immediately that Gary knew what that was. So in body machine, think about it like a advanced.

    Scale, you stand on it, you actually actually have to take your socks and shoes off. So you wipe it down before people, some people still get a little weird about it, but it's okay. You grab these handles and it essentially tests your skeletal muscle density as well as your body fat percentage using electrical impotence.

    And the machine that I had used an eight point test. So you think about two points on each hand, two, two, and then a heel toe. So eight points in total, I've probably done. 5, 000 in body scans in my life. It's pretty surprisingly accurate. But it was really nice because everybody is on staff with a certified nutritionist.

    So it wasn't just that we're trying to sell supplements, but we also tested people's skeletal muscle density and track their progress. Again, it's all about building those relationships and having some, give them a reason to come back in the store because you can get supplements anywhere. I did that from 2017, 2019.

    And at the end of 2017, of course, Christian approached me with the brilliant idea of starting a marketing company. And that's what I've done ever since. Yeah.

    Ben McDonald: So fill us in on that dynamic, right? Christian approaches you. Hey, I have this idea for this company. Where does it go from there?

    Reece Arlin: Oh boy.

    We, our company is actually founded on a cocktail napkin. I wish that I still had a couple of those. Yeah. So Christian Chris and I have been best pals since 2011, 2010, 2011. We worked together at a nightclub doing marketing of all things. So we can track a little bit of our company's base around that.

    But we're flying to Las Vegas, and let me tell you, Christian is the worst person to ever hop on a plane with. He gets all cold and clammy, his skin turns bright white, he gets all scared and nervous and things like that. And I'm a very comfortable flyer, I'm just like, whatever, just get me there I'll try to pass out.

    And we had a couple of cocktails on the airplane. We're actually going there for his bachelor party. And we put our heads together. So he had started, the way that he had started the company he was doing it for sales training. In fact, the LLC that we still operate under is sales step by step LLC.

    That's what was the original goal of the company. And we were working with fitness centers cause that was a lot of our network just from doing whatever. And so he was doing sales training and what he quickly found within the matter of a couple of months was that the people that take sales training are that are, subject to the influence of learning.

    They typically do very well because they'll enact the practices and whatnot. And then a lot of people, especially in the fitness industry, seems like they want to stick to their own ways. They want to offer this offer, do whatever the way that they do things. But what he found was that a lot of fitness centers wanted to stick to their own ways, but they wanted a new.

    way to have leads come in or application flow for personal training for gyms. By the way, Christian our personal trainers as well from 2012 2014 about 30 pounds ago or something like that too. But so fitness has always been a part of it.

    Ben McDonald: Nice. So I want to get to the core of your why when it comes around entrepreneurship a little bit, because it's very easy to be able to go.

    Get a job and have that be the career. So what about being a business owner was attractive

    Reece Arlin: to you everything? I think I'm unemployable. I Said the same thing

    Ben McDonald: The worst employee.

    Reece Arlin: Oh, I'm the worst employee. I'm the worst employee, but I'm the best advocate, I've had this recurring problem through all the different jobs and careers and things like that.

    I've been lucky enough to Work through. But I'm not a good employee. I'm not I'm efficient. I care about work being done. I care about the completion, the A to Z, which may be a very natural operator, and the things that I do for Business Marketing Solutions Group now.

    But I'll tell you I definitely sing the dance of my own horn, so to speak. . I make my own hours. I make my own rules. And I don't like anybody to have that pressure over me. Although when you're not entrepreneur your clients do dictate that a little bit. And it's important to set your boundaries, it's a different atmosphere altogether.

    Ben McDonald: That, what you just said though, also can lead anti partnerships, right? If somebody is that independent, I don't like being an employee. How do you two work together in order to make that work for both of your different

    Reece Arlin: personalities? That's a great question. And I won't say it's flawless. It never is?

    No. Christian and I are very similar people. We have a lot of the same ambitions. We have a lot of the same dreams. We have a lot of the same, desires and things that pull us. But as far as who we are as individuals, the way that we behave, our personalities, our skill sets, it couldn't be more different.

    He's a very natural dreamer. His head is always up in the skies, up in the cloud somewhere. He's looking for the next step. Very driven towards innovation. Which is spectacular because I'm the exact opposite. I consider myself very grounded. I'm a person that give me a task to complete, don't make me find the task, so to speak.

    So we naturally complimented each other. And between working together at the nightclub and being personal trainers together, we're very lucky in that we knew, we're best friends, but we knew Kind of each other's skill set. Like we naturally knew what each other was good at and what each other was bad at type of thing.

    We don't have to remind each other that we're friends at the end of the day. And something that's always been I would say integral. Absolutely necessary for our business partnership is be up front. If he does something that upsets me. I'll tell them immediately. I don't wait until the next day.

    We've had it out before all business owners do especially partnerships. But we don't go to sleep angry. That's one of the, tenants of our partnership. And I think it's funny enough cause I said that to him many years ago and I think that him and his wife have applied that third, their relationship too.

    But in many ways, a business partnership is like a marriage of sorts. Cause you have a. You have a invested interest between the two of you, which is your business. So

    Ben McDonald: how is that dynamic evolved over the years? Because at the beginning, it's a lot easier, right? Everybody is excited. It's gung ho.

    You're starting with a clean slate, and once you get employees, you get more clients, you get more and more going on. It's easier for rifts to happen between partnerships. So how has your dynamic changed

    Reece Arlin: over the years? Yeah I'll say that our roles change, not significantly, but they change at least a little bit every single day.

    He'll have his interests and or that networking or something like that. And most of my interest in the company is with managing the employees, managing the current client load that we have managing expectations, which is a huge piece of an operator as well. But as far as the way that we've evolved over the course of time, when we started, it was just him and I, we were working out of my office and.

    I'll never forget it's so funny. It goes back to him being the innovator type of thing. He's a big, he's a big believer in, if it can be done, we can figure out a way to do it. We just have to be passionate enough towards the subject. And I'll never forget when we started, we did, we primarily focused in Google ads and Facebook ads and those are services we still offer to this day.

    One day he comes knocking on my office and he has that sly Christian smile and I look at him and I look over at him and I just went, no. Whatever you're about to say, the answer's no. I know that you're up to something, the answer's no. And, sure enough it has something to do with LinkedIn, I don't remember, it's been six, seven years ago, but I knew that he was going to get me out of my comfort zone and make me learn how to do something that I didn't really know how to do.

    But, he knew and believed that I was capable of doing it. And, we still use that mentality to this day, because In marketing It's not like you're just shooting at the dark. You're using, you're using your knowledge, you're using your expertise, and your intelligence, all the skills that you've gained from different campaigns and experience, and you're applying those towards effectively customer behaviors, that's evolving, that's changing every single day, which is exhilarating because, ten years ago there may have been a save 20 percent off offer that really went gangbusters. And these days I feel as though people shop for quality more than they go for value. Just an interesting dynamic.


    Ben McDonald: I'm glad you went and started going into the tactical aspect of marketing and strategies. Cause I, I'd love to be able to dive a little bit deeper into that. The thing you just talked about of people are not necessarily going for the cheapest thing anymore. They're looking for higher quality.

    What do you, what's the reason for that change in your mind? What's your opinion on that? Why have we seen

    Reece Arlin: that shift? That's a really great question. I think it has to do with I want to use the word value, but it's a different meaning in this case. Because it's more like self value, right?

    So there's something that goes to the psychology of a person where if they're shopping at the dollar store to get something they expect to get a certain quality out of that because they know it's an inexpensive good or service type of thing. And then there's this third level that, from a psychological perspective, They become that person that's shopping at the dollar store to get whatever it is type of thing You see this a lot with designer clothing.

    You know for instance You know if you removed all of the name brand tags from all the clothes that we wear and things like that At the end of the day, clothing is very similar. In fact there's a guy named Jordan Schindler, I'll introduce you to him. His company's New Fabrics, they were one of the top 10 growing companies in Charlotte in 2022.

    I'm sure they probably were for 2023 as well. It's an incredible company, he's an incredible person. But he goes in and, when he was viewing the fabric manufacturing facilities, Under Armour is being made on the same platform that Nike is made on, which is made on the same thing as Reebok, which is made on the same thing as Adidas.

    They're made in the exact same place. The real difference is the self value that they've gotten from, the marketing angles that they've pulled from. And each of these brands, you move the tag, it's probably the same product or close to. But it makes people feel different.

    So that would be my answer to that. Long winded, although. Oh, that's so

    Ben McDonald: interesting. One of the things that you guys do very well is You capture the brand and then you find a way to tell stories and right people relate really well to stories It's probably why podcasts have gotten so popular for sure Talk to us about what that process is, right?

    You have a new client coming in and they want your expertise and your help How are you capturing that brand to be able to tell that story?

    Reece Arlin: Yeah it can be challenging and I would use the word brand synonymous with like voice like what's your voice. And we'll go in and ask questions that honestly some customers find really silly at first, but I'm always transparent.

    I'm always upfront, grounded and operating. And I say, the reason that I'm asking this. So that I can capture your voice. And when we onboard a new client, we go through a a phase that I call the brand exploration piece. And I always tell the client, I say this is the part of the conversation that, that I'd like to record as long as you're okay with that.

    I've never had anybody say no, by the way. But as long as you're okay with it, because I want to use your voice. And, interestingly enough, we actually go back and reference that video. We upload it into a place it's for our use only and we've had some people say some crazy stuff on it on Braille Explorations, I can think of a couple but we go back and something as simple as like the adjectives that people use to describe their service, we use that voice.

    One of the foundations of our company is to be transparent with our customers. And so if they're using something that we feel does not match their customer desire, then we say, Hey, my recommendation might be that instead of saying widget, you say super widget or whatever, it doesn't matter what it is, but we want it to make sense to the customer psychology for the good or service they're purchasing.

    Gary Frey: How are you differentiating? And this is going to be somewhat of a loaded question. It's not a gotcha question, but it's genuine curiosity. I started in the advertising world and design world back in the eighties, right? A long time ago before digital revolution came, all that kind of stuff.

    And we saw the transformation from, we said, marketing went from the boardroom to the conference room, like Corporations, you know it you weren't dealing with the CEOs early in my career. I was dealing with CEOs Then it started getting relevant relegated to Advertising managers or whatever and then procurement departments and all that kind of stuff.

    Then we saw this Disintermediation happen with all the digital revolution and Fiverr you can get logos for five bucks Yeah, we charge by the way twenty five thousand

    Reece Arlin: dollars. Yeah, and by the way if you need a logo go to Fiverr I'll be the first person Yeah,

    Ben McDonald: my forearm sleeve. Yeah was designed by an Italian artist on Fiverr.

    Reece Arlin: That's awesome. Really? Yeah

    Ben McDonald: put a bit out and had a bunch of people and would never have come across this lady otherwise. And had that design was able to take it to the artist and he made it


    Reece Arlin: and made it work. There's so much talent and it's so inexpensive on Fiverr. And we've used it before too.

    Especially for Different things that are not necessarily outside of our skill set, but it's a matter of time management. Something that might take me a week to do. I can spend 150 and get it done in a day on Fiverr or something. And that's a much better use of time. I'm sorry.

    Gary Frey: No. That's just part of the thing.

    So what I think has become the challenge is I've seen that whole industry evolve and the big boys are still trying to figure it out. As far as I'm concerned. They went from TV and all the media, and then the first salvo was, and I was there when it happened, McDonald's we had the largest McDonald's franchise in the country.

    They cut the commissions from 15 to 7. 5 percent overnight. Wow. Oh. Then they, and they've continued to do that. You had this caste system of, if you're doing TV, you're among the elites. And then if you're just doing collateral or anything else, you're in the bowels of the ship, chained to the oars.

    Literally, that's like how it, the picture really was. So now you've got digital warriors doing whatever, and you've got a whole bunch of fake believers out there. Sure. You never know. How do you guys How have you guys found your niche and been able to grow in the midst of a lot of churn and a lot of chaos in that industry?


    Reece Arlin: it can be a bit of a minefield. And you said it perfectly, Gary, you were talking about the chaos of the industry. To use your example of, let's say somebody gets a logo done and by the way, We do logos. I hate that work. I don't want it. And I'll be the first to tell you when somebody starts talking to me about a logo, I'll say, unless it's a part of an overarching package or something like that.

    So let's go to Fiverr and see what we can come up with because they have very talented artists on that, right? But how do we navigate that? So you have a logo my next question would be what do you do with it? Right and so that's where we come in. We come in and we have expertise We have a very diverse team of very talented individuals I'm lucky enough to call people that I work with friends and let me tell you that's really nice, especially compared to a lot of different industries that I worked in.

    But we'll we start at the end and work backwards a lot of times. So what is your goal? Typically speaking, a business owner, I would say more business. It's like, all right, thanks. Duh. But, what does that mean to you? What type of more business do you want to sell a certain product or service?

    Do you want to. Be more recognizable in this. Do you want that? And then we'll develop the strategy to get to that piece. And I think that's the advantage of hiring a marketing expert with that. So


    Gary Frey: you, have you guys. The impetus was, A, we're going to target fitness places because we're personal trainers, we're passionate about that.

    Talk to us about how you've, created niches for yourselves, where you found most traction. Because what I found in the marketing world, and having lived there with firms that were trying to be all things to all people, they didn't grow. Sure. The ones that got really niche y grew like weeds. Yeah.

    It was amazing. Yeah. So talk to us a little bit about how you guys have done that for you and where you've found your sweet spot.

    Reece Arlin: Yeah. And thanks for asking that. I think that there's a cliche quote of there's riches in niches type of thing. Yeah. Yeah. And I couldn't agree with that more.

    Anthony Robbins says where energy goes, knowledge flows. And We really focused and at first it was on fitness. Yeah, and to this day I loved working with Fitness Center just because of a personal passion as far as An ideal client for where our company's gone type of thing They're not an ideal client anymore because we work on different types of projects How did we find our way through that system?

    The first thing I'll tell you is that in 2019 About 40 to 50 percent of our business was fitness centers. It's a very natural fit because we were personal trainers for years. I worked I had the NutriShops I had two at the end of 2017 and I made a lot of partnerships with a lot of gyms.

    So it was a very natural angle to, to where your network was exactly. And then 2020 hits and of course the gyms are no longer open, right? And so you can't market for places that aren't open. And so we lost 50 percent of our business overnight. We had to pivot and I will sing the praise of my business partner Christian on that because I don't think anybody could have been ready for COVID and nobody expected it coming, he was combined with what I would say his innovation and my resilience.

    Were able to choose different niches to participate in. We were very intentional about it. We joined different organizations that were within those niches. We really started to hone our product on those niches. We started to really target those and really put that energy towards those pieces.

    And that's what I recommend to any business owner too, if you want to. Targeted accounting firms, then you need to learn the lingo. You need to learn about accounting.

    Gary Frey: So what are those niches that you've found you had to do? You pivot. A lot of people did in 2020, those that didn't not around anymore.

    Yeah. Those that were fortunate to a lot of times they went in a whole new directions. Yeah. Talk to us a little bit about that.

    Reece Arlin: Yeah. So the interesting thing is that I think that when you don't know The answer to questions. Sometimes it's best to hire, it's best to hire a person that knows these and like I said, we've been lucky enough to be really blessed with our staff.

    They're extraordinary. So then it just come from them that come from their interests and, it's like, Oh, you want to work in that industry? We can put a little effort in that. And when people are passionate about things, I think they tend to go better anyways. I'll give you an example.

    Our top website developers name is Corey. Cory's an amazing individual. He's been with us for, I don't know, four or five years now or something. I'd have to look back. I don't know. I don't know how long it's been. Cory grew up also in Mooresville. So he's the third, true Shaw Tien.

    And his father is is a custom home builder. And so the the lingo that he knew the stuff that he knew was blue collar work. He knew about how to work in this. We put a lot of effort in that. And. And got tremendous rewarded, tremendously rewarded for it because he knew very well that industry.

    Other industries. We fell backwards into restaurants. It's probably just 'cause we like to eat or something. . I don't know, but I don't know how we ended up in that realm, to tell you the truth. And then professional work. And it wasn't that we were.

    And when I say professional work, accountants, attorneys, things like that. Seems like we're always working on projects with them. And, I don't think that one was birthed out of the passion for the subject. I think that was birthed out of the passion for the people.

    Because, unlike when I sold cars, dealing with all sorts of people that I wouldn't want to share a meal with type of thing. Yeah. Most professional people, white collar workers they speak a high grace. They're very kind people. They pay their bills on time. From a business perspective.

    And so that I would say would be our three niches. Yeah, cool. Of

    Ben McDonald: all. So you would offhand in that answer mentioned being blessed with the people, the employees that you have. Yeah. But a lot of that also has to go back to what you two have done of bringing the right people in and things like that.

    So talk us a little bit in through, how are you hiring? How are you going about that hiring process? Anything, any insight there would be great.

    Reece Arlin: Yeah. It's never the same. Because, Corey came on staff. And he's been our now longest employee. But he came on staff during COVID or before.

    I don't know. I have to look back. But anyway, he came back. And interestingly enough he found us. So he found us on Google, reached out, called us and then Christian being the open minded entrepreneurial innovator that he is. So I said, yeah, man, I'll sit down with you and I'll never forget because it's a long time ago.

    And I can say this and I'll tell Corey that I said this too, he interviews Corey and he says, man. This guy is really smart. A little weird, but so that's what he said. Yeah. Yeah, and creative people often are, but you have to embrace the weird man. That's just a part of the fun of it.

    The last time we did about six months ago, we hired Hutch. He's extraordinary. And I'm really big on transparency. So this particular hiring completely different strategy. So Corey found us, we found Hutch, but we post out on Indeed. I probably went through 20 interviews, and I felt like When I found the right person I would just know I just believe that and We went through the interview process and there were a couple people that were really unimpressive and just I'm a little nitpicky So I'm like, oh, you know that guy, his hair was a rat's nest or whatever, you know Just something like that or whatever and then when I interviewed Hutch, he sent a cover letter in and he was one of the only people that did that.

    And it was very specific and it said, I've noted how business marketing solutions group does this, and this. So it was something that was very well done, by the way, nowadays, now that we've the Hutch's gone staff for as long as he have, he generated all that by AI took him two minutes, but as we're talking about it, he's talking about AI, he's talking about Hutch hurt GPT.

    And I'm like. This is great. This is a, this is an innovator. This is a person that's going to embrace new technology coming in, I'll tell you the other thing about Hutch when we were going through the interview process, it's a work from home position. And we're going through the interview process and he says, look, man I'm super interested in this position.

    I just want to be really honest with you. He's I have a newborn or not a newborn. I'm sorry. She's three, but at the time she's that's two or whatever. He's if you need me somewhere, I will make arrangements like I will make arrangements for this and there, and we do meet together at least biweekly if not more often than that or whatever.

    But it's not it's Hey Gary, I'll see you in 30 minutes or whatever. It's Hey, on Friday, can you make a meeting? And we're very kind with that. It's if you have a plan or something like we, we work around people, but he's if. If it comes a time when I have to go to an office or something like that, I cannot do it because I have a daughter and he's I just want to be very upfront about that.

    And I appreciated that so much because everybody else, through the interview process, you filter through a lot of BS, you filter through a lot of, yeah, I've never read a resume that showed an honest, like negative quality of a person. But I just really appreciated that.

    He's been spectacular. So it's just different strategy. It

    Ben McDonald: also set both of you up for success going forward because if you didn't know that. Yeah. And wanted to pull him in one afternoon and he can't do it, and you don't know why, that's gonna look like an unengaged

    Reece Arlin: employee. And that's not the case at all in his case.

    Yeah. Yeah.

    Ben McDonald: Love it.

    Gary Frey: So I've got a question for you. An observation first. Communication is usually one of the banes of every company or organization that has more than one person. Oh, for sure. Yeah. Whenever you have two people, communication. It usually has room for improvement. I don't know.

    It's just a human condition. Yeah another observation was in a lot of the communication world in the communication industry communication was absolutely worse like abysmal like You guys are we're professionals in communication and we don't know how to talk to one another. It's just really crazy.

    Yeah How have you guys? Been intentional about dealing with that, and especially in a remote workforce.

    Reece Arlin: Yeah that is a spectacular question. And it does come with its own set of challenges. And just to give you a very small back story. Our lease was running out in we're in 24, so it was running out in 22.

    And Christian and I are going back and forth now in our line of work. So if I had my computer right here and I was connected to your internet, I could work at almost full speed. And the only reason that I couldn't is because I don't have another monitor, because I'm working at about 80 percent speed.

    And Christian, I once again, attributing him to be great innovator. He's listen, man, to be competitive in this market, we're going to have to offer work from home. We're just going to have to, because all of our competitors are doing it. There's so many advantages to it. We have a young workforce, they're going to want it we're going to need to do things to stay together so we still get together bi weekly and do things usually just fun things, we call it BMSG day but we were very intentional, we sat our staff down, we said, hey guys we have an opportunity here, right?

    So on one hand we can re sign our lease and we were actually, I may have told you this, but we were going to take our conference room and take tenant allowance and make it into an awesome podcast room and we were going to have a great podcast room in space, right? And we could have done that.

    We were going to, we were ready to pull the trigger and re sign the lease for five years. Or, we can give up the office we're gonna, we're gonna have some restrictions here. Such as if I call you at 10 o'clock, on a Monday, you better pick up. Like we're going to have these restrictions in place.

    What do you guys want? We want to hear from you and, our staff being the millennials and zennials they are. They went, peace, and they packed up their stuff and they and we never saw him again. No we never saw him in the office again. Pretty much. And it worked great. We, our productivity went up about 30 percent really for better, for worse.

    Everybody that we work with likes each other. And so I can't tell you how many times and Christian, I being best friends, we probably set the example from the top down too, but there's a lot of water cooler talk. We're talking about, Oh, state last Tuesday, whatever else.

    And a lot of that doesn't happen when we're remote. Yeah. From a communication perspective. So I'm a big believer that software exists to empower and enable us. It does not exist to make our lives harder. And so one of our foundations with the MSG is that every quarter I go and I test a new software.

    So I've tested just about every CRM you can imagine. I've tested a lot of different communication software. I've chosen my favorites. I'm very picky once again, but I hate Microsoft teams. But anyways, I'm not a big fan either. I hate Microsoft. Don't get me started on that. I hate Microsoft teams, but so for instance, we use a couple of different software.

    The first one we use is Slack. Slack is is like a. Think about a channeled giant group text. Yeah. And so we're able to share a lot of different stuff with that. We do it with our clients as well because that way, if I'm not available or if I'm in a podcast, then somebody on our staff can answer questions that you have.

    We use monday. com. Monday. com is a project management software and whenever we onboard a new client, we'll put them in our monday. com software and we say, okay, this is what we have to achieve with this client and here's our deadlines to do and we adhere to that. Unless something crazy happens, that's pretty much our timeline.

    So we share this with the client too. So that really helps with communication, just using those software and making sure that they're enabling us. We've used different software and let them go because we didn't like them like Microsoft team but we're able to pick and choose the software that we use to make it work for us.

    Ben McDonald: You had mentioned the podcasts. I want to talk about that a little bit. First off, fill the listeners in on what is Business Legends

    Reece Arlin: podcast. Yeah. So Business Legends is the way that we play hooky on Wednesday morning and get to meet awesome people like Gary Fry. But it was an idea that we came up with.

    I love podcasts. I listen to them all the time. So does Christian. We came up with this idea and we said, amazing way to meet people is through podcasts and invite them on something. Using our skills, as a team that we can provide them something of value. That's not just, Hey, Gary, I don't know you.

    I'm just random person on LinkedIn. Can we go grab coffee and I can learn more about your CPA firm or something like that. We give people the ability to tell their stories which is awesome and I love to hear it. And gosh, nowadays it's almost like a like advanced education.

    I feel like I'm in a graduate school of sorts. We're lucky enough to get all these multi talented individuals with amazing life stories just like Gary. And we use it as a means of education and networking. And to me it's the single most fun thing that we do from a business perspective.

    I like networking. I like events. But. I look forward to Wednesday morning every week. Yeah.

    Ben McDonald: It's eerily similar as far as why I started. Yeah. It must have been, what, seven or eight years ago? That's how Gary and I met. Yeah. I was just starting out as a financial advisor. And I coached college basketball before.

    So I knew absolutely nobody. And. Asking people on LinkedIn to get coffee has a pretty high failure rate. Now, you can't do it at all, but even seven, eight years ago, you may get a 10 or 20 percent rate. And I loved podcasts, and so I started doing that and said, Hey, let's sit down and I can add value by letting people tell their story.

    So it's just, it's interesting how you talked about

    Reece Arlin: that. It it's been an incredible ride, I will say. How do you feel about your your production value? So I know you guys are a little bit ahead of us. I think we're at 93 episodes or something and you guys are on 100 and something, but yeah How do you feel about it now as compared to when you started?

    Ben McDonald: So two different phases sure when I was when I ran it myself it was A bad microphone that I got off of hooked up to the computer in front of two people. And, or in between two people. And I ran, I don't know, 50 or 60 episodes of that. And then Gary and I did this together and now we're at, what, about one 10 or something like that.

    Yeah. And it's dramatically increased. Yeah. The microphones are a lot better. I'm better at editing. I now have a content person that's doing editing and doing the videos and it's just keeps getting better and better. But I think the biggest difference is. It's the way that we're asking questions and digging in.

    Sure. I'm an infinitely better interviewer than I was at the beginning. Yeah. And it's a great skill set to have that I just didn't even think about starting. It was more of, I need to network in some capacity. I want to be able to sit down and hear these people's story and learn about them. But this byproduct of being a better conversationalist, a better listener, a better person, a better interviewer, somebody asking questions is probably.

    A better way to say it because it carries through everything right? It's not just microphones in front of us That's been probably the biggest

    Reece Arlin: difference of it all. Yeah What a ride. I Love podcasting. It's so much fun. I enjoy it every single time and there's a Bob Marley. I think it's Bob Marley close.

    It's knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens and that was a huge differentiator for us when we were doing our show was it's not that you can't share your own experiences and things like that, but I'm a talker of course. And we had listeners reach out and they say, Hey, Reese, shut up, listen to the people on the show a little bit more.

    And when that light switched I did not take it personally. And I'm proud to say, I liked. I welcome constructive criticism but it made a big difference in the production value. Yeah. And just love it, man. That's great.

    Ben McDonald: What has that done for your business?

    Reece Arlin: Our business went up tremendously as soon as we started with with our podcast.

    And our goal, perhaps it's our networking style, but, what we've always done in any networking group that we've been a part of or any networking event or whatever like I'm not interested in your business. I'm interested in who, and I want you to trust me enough that, with my knowledge and expertise and things like that, that if somebody has a need for something that is my.

    Forte or something, you are comfortable introducing them to me and what we found almost immediately when we transitioned from that, or to that style is that typically people know a lot more business leaders and entrepreneurs than they operate businesses. So instead of, getting one business, all of a sudden we have networking and referral partners that are sending us 10 and 15 different businesses.

    And that was really the big difference for us. There's an awesome guy his name is Todd Buelow. The company is You know Todd Buelow? I just had lunch with him. Did you really? Hey Todd, he was on here too. Oh, that's amazing. I guess I can skip Dual Boot Partners is his company. He's an extraordinary networker and and if you're around him for more than seven seconds he'll inevitably say your network is your net worth and I believe that completely.

    Absolutely. Yeah. That

    Ben McDonald: is hilarious.

    Gary Frey: Yeah Todd knows it. And there's a, it's, what's interesting to me is, there's a difference. He's a go giver. He is a giver. He is not hey, let's get together, and then I can pull stuff, and hey, can you recommend somebody? I just met you, no. He gets it.

    And when you find people that do that, they give more, they aren't giving to get. It's like the law of reciprocity, it happens, it just happens. Serve people well, and often times people cast your bread on the water and it comes back. It just does. But that's one of the things that you you being a native in this area.

    Now, listen, for anybody listening to this, Mooresville, for anybody that lives in Charlotte, is like West Virginia, I'm just saying.

    Reece Arlin: It's 20 minutes north of here, yeah. It's so funny,

    Gary Frey: the ecosystems between the lake and down here. For sure. But that also helps give me even more clarity on your dad being a car guy, because there are a lot of NASCAR guys

    Reece Arlin: up there.

    Race to the USA, baby, that's who we are. It is, it's a

    Gary Frey: lot up there. It was also where Lowe's, so just so you know, for anybody listening to this out in Australia or whatever. And we do have some of those. But anyway I really do appreciate, and I noticed that about you and Christian. It wasn't. Hey, come be on our podcast and let us shake you down and take you through a time share pitch.

    No, it wasn't that at all. It was really serving. We had a delightful lunch at the city club afterwards. Really cool. So I just want to say thank you for doing that and for being. of a ripple maker in the city that we love. We're here because we love

    Reece Arlin: the city. Yeah. I appreciate you saying that.

    And believe me, the joy was mine. And it's just been an incredible ride. And you were talking about people that are go givers and I got to tell you about one of my best friends names is Eric Powell. Eric Powell's business is artisan signs and graphics. They do signage, outdoor signage primarily check them out.

    He is the biggest go giver I've ever met in my entire life. Almost every time that I speak to him, I'll just call him. In fact, I just spoke with him last night. And we were talking about Harry Potter, but anyway. Every time I speak to him, he's Man, I need to introduce you to blank.

    And I'm like, And every time I would love for you to do that, please, but, I'm trying to talk about Harry Potter, man, but his mentality towards just networking in general he is one of the best people at networking that I've ever seen in action because his entire approach to business is based on giving, it's based on who can I introduce you to?

    Who can help you, level up or get to the next step type of thing. So you've

    Ben McDonald: had the unique perspective with the business and the podcast to meet a plethora of people. And I'm curious, what are, with all these interactions, what are some of the habits you've implemented, lessons you've learned along the way?

    Anything like that, that, that popped up in your mind? Oh,

    Reece Arlin: sure. It's Being on a podcast, or, having a podcast, getting to meet all these amazing people like I said, it's like advanced education. And, we're lucky enough to meet entrepreneurs. It's our target market that for guests that that, some of them have been there and done that.

    Some of them have approached it this way. And everybody's story is unique in its own way. We've had business partners that don't get along. We've had business partners that get along just like Christian and I we've had, people that have lost a billion dollar business, evaluated business.

    And we've had people that have a thriving, 1 million business. So we've had this great range of folks. One thing that I will say is that the people that we've had on our podcast have instilled call entrepreneurial values upon us. And that's not like a moral code. It's not be nice to be doing to others as you would have them do to you or anything like that.

    It's more how do you approach business? So no matter what industry you're in, you could be an accountant, you could be a marketing person, you could be an attorney. You could. shop, you could sell cars or whatever else, but how do you approach business and what makes a business profitable?

    So the first piece is you automatically know if you're thinking about business that the most valuable asset that we have is time. Time is indelible. It is the one thing that we cannot, that we cannot change. It moves the same constant pace. So how do we divide time in such a way that You know, I don't have to be a part of every meeting.

    How do I enable my team so that I can go out and do things that are more profitable for the business? How can I enable them to approach business in such a way that they're a part of a growth mindset? That's huge for me. Another thing that I will say we've had a lot of folks from EO entrepreneurs organization which Christian is also part of.

    Extraordinary entrepreneurs and their approach to business. But one of the, one of the things that they typically all do is that they sit down either by themselves or with their business partner or with their board in some cases, and they create, what is my plan for this company, your business for a year?

    What is my plan for three years? What is my plan for five years? It's not rocket science, but they write that, they write those goals down. And then much like our approach to marketing, they'll say, what do I have to do in order to reach that revenue goal or that size or whatever else.

    And instilling those business, that business acumen, that value, it's been absolutely extraordinary for us.

    Ben McDonald: That's good insight. This whole conversation has been a lot of fun. I really appreciate it. Where can people go to find you and also to

    Reece Arlin: check out the company? Yeah so I'm Reese M. Arlen, MBA on LinkedIn.

    I earned my MBA, dang it, so I'll put my MBA. I have friends from grad school that are like, you're such a nerd for putting an MBA, then I was like, I earned it, but that's who I am on LinkedIn. The name of our business is Business Marketing Solutions Group, which is a mouthful, but It's businessmarketingsolutionsgroup.

    com. That was a mistake of eight years ago. The number of letters and we've learned that. But if somebody wants to email me, it's reese, R E C E at thebmsg. com. Thanks so much. Yeah, thanks for having me,

    Gary Frey: guys. Yeah, bud. Thank you.

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