Today’s guest on The Successful Pitch is Tony Grebmeier, who is the Co-Founder of ShipOffers, that’s doing multi-million dollars in revenue and ranked very highly on Inc’s Startups as well as the founder and creator of something called “Destroying Excuses.” Which is a fantastic way to identify blind spots, be accountable and figure how to solve those blind spots, so that your life and your business takes off. He has really shared some key successes to getting the right team and culture. It has to with the key word called transparency, and he walks his talk. He’s transparent in his life and in his business, and he shows you how to get the right business partners that provide complimentary skillsets, so that you’re hitting the right product, right marketing, the right financial way to run your business, so that everything is seamless and runs smoothly.
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Destroying Excuses with Tony Grebmeier
Hi and welcome The Successful Pitch. Today I have a very special guest and friend, Tony Grebmeier. He hosts his own podcast called “The Tony G Show.” Tony is one of those people who not only makes a difference in the world, but is successful in business and in his personal life, and he shares his secrets of how he does that. He’s been an on-air radio personality, you’ll see a lot of personality coming through I’m sure. He’s got this amazing story of two friends that he’s known for years, and how that’s created this fascinating company called ShipOffers, and the culture they’ve created and the money they’ve generated. More importantly now, he’s really helpful and inspired to help entrepreneurs not make the same mistakes that he’s made, but he gives them a road map to make sure that excuses are not destroying your life.
So Tony, welcome to the show.
Well now I feel like I have to do something because you gave me such an amazing intro. So, thank you John first and foremost for the opportunity to be on your show today.
Yes, well … you’re one of those people that you come across in life and you go, “I’m gonna be friends with this guy or this gal forever.” Tim Sanders was one of those people for me, 14-15 years ago and you’re one of them as well. That’s part of the joy for me, of meeting people like you who really don’t just talk about something, but you actually live it and you share your vulnerabilities, and let people see, “Oh, it hasn’t always been an easy ride for you.”
So, If you wouldn’t mind, one of my favorite things to do, cause you know I love stories. Take us back to your own story of origin. Let’s go back to … was it high school, that you became friends with your business partners?
No, I’ve actually known my two business partners … my sister, this is gonna be great. My sister actually changed one of my business partner’s diapers, so I’ve known them all of my life. I lived in the neighborhood, we grew up together. We bumped and bruised, we did life and then we happened to go to high school together, but what my story was unique for me was, I left during the middle of our upgrowing and went across the way and lived with my dad. Went to a whole new school and made a whole new set of friends, and I missed out from fourth grade through eight grade. I was with a whole bunch of other people, and then I came back into the neighborhood and I went to high school with all of them. We just hung out, had fun, had fake IDs together and partied and did life. You know, went to high school and Gill, who is one of my partners, is a year older than us. When I was a freshman, he was in 10th grade etc.
I think I was trying to figure out who I was. It was 11th and 12th and I watched my best friend leave, and now Doug and myself were great friends growing up. I had a period of time where I actually even lived with Doug, because I got my ear pierced and my mom got mad at me, and kicked me out of the house. She said she never kicked me out of the house, I actually truly left, but in reality she was pissed that I got my ear pierced. So, I lived with Doug’s family for a short period of time. Throughout all of this, I really just truly loved people. That’s my key to life, right?
I have a heartbeat, you have a heartbeat. That’s why I think we’ve been able to pair up so well, is that you’re trying to serve your audience, your community and I’m doing the same. These people, that I’ve been able to get together and build a business with, all went of to college on their own. They went to UCLA, Long Beach, Arizona, and here was Tony, who didn’t know what the hell he wanted to do with life. He was an athlete, played water polo. Went off to a junior college, built this idea of being a radio air personality, but I kept in touch with my friends.
I contacted them one day and I’m like, “Hey, what’s up?” And Gil’s like, “Hey, I’m gonna go do this business. I have this idea, would you be interested?” I’m like, “Hey, do you want to meet me in Vegas?” And Gil’s like, “Yeah, I love Vegas.”
So we go to Vegas, Gil pitches me, 1995-96, the internet and shows me the internet for the very first time and I’m like, “What is this?” He’s like, “Do you think you can do this?” I’m like, “What?” He’s like, “Do you think you can build this?” And I’m like, “Is there code?” And I’m like, “I’ll figure it out.”
And so Gil and I actually started in business together in 1996. Purely just from a passion of just, “Let’s do something.” And before you know it, we built a business that about 7,000,000 visitors a day. We were buying and selling traffic to Google and Yahoo and we were actually in business with some of the pioneers of the internet. We didn’t have a set deal with them, but we were selling traffic to what you surf on today, which is Google and Yahoo. We did that for about five years, Gil and myself and then we realized we sucked at counting money, because I’m wanting to like, “Let’s make it and we’ll go spend it.” We didn’t have anybody to balance this out and so, then came Doug. The other neighbor from the childhood friendship, who had this whole background with an MBA, and he’s like, “I’ll help you.” That’s how we transitioned into ShipOffers in 2001.
Yeah. First of all, I love that there’s so many elements to that. The fact that you guys started this idea in Vegas and then say, “We’re not good with money.” I think is hilarious. It’s like … anything that starts in Vegas is gonna have some money issues probably, but what’s also really interesting is the fact that anybody could sell traffic to Google, is so hard for everybody to comprehend today. But back then, that was what was happening. It’s an amazing story.
I love this concept of what really is so important in any business, but especially a startup, is that you have three different areas of expertise; no one is usually good at all three. One is, “I’m the product guy. I really can make this the best product ever.” The second person is the financial guy that’s gonna manage the money and profitability, and the third guy is the marketing/sales personality gal or gal obviously. Do you feel that the three of you fall into one of those three buckets, and that’s why your skills are so complimentary?
Yeah, I mean, look at Doug. Doug is the guy who’s the finance person, right? If I have a question on a deal, I just go to Doug, right? If I need something in operations, or I need the artistic element that I can’t get across necessarily, I go to Gil. And then sales, people come to me and we work together. We have a philosophy that I’ll tell you, is the longevity of our business-
We all have to agree, or we pass on the deal. If we all three are interested, we’ll stay, we’ll work and see it through. If, two say yes and one says no, we’ll just kill the deal. It’s not even worth fighting about-
I think we’ve had two arguments in 16 years of business, and I think I started both of them, because I’m so passionate about … like, “No, no, no! You guys gotta do this! This is the deal! This is gonna change the trajectory of our business.” And they’re like, “Go back in your office.”
Now, that’s really interesting. So, that nobody feels left out, if you would. Two out of three, sorry you’re outnumbered. That would … you’re not ganging up on each other, and that’s a really interesting takeaway I think. That we all agree or we don’t do it. That’s really fantastic, so everyone’s voice is heard.
Now, there’s a really interesting story that I think will help people, which is the ultimate pivot, right? You started with something called “EyeFive” and that transitioned into ShipOffers. Can you tell us that story?
Yeah. So, 2009 we are living in Southern California, in Van Nuys, California is where our offices were. I was up in Santa Clarita, Doug was Calabasas, Gil was in the Hollywood Hills and business was going well, but it wasn’t where it could be. One day, I think Gil mentioned it, saying “Hey, what do you guys think about packing up?” “Packing up?” I said. He’s like, “Yeah. What do you think about finding a new place to live and raise our kids? California’s kind of crazy.” I’m like, “Okay cool.” Doug’s like, “Sure.”
So, we discovered Colorado after a long winded search of Seattle, Washington, Vegas, all of these places. And we landed here, and our business was actually on oxygen overload, meaning we had none. We had no business anymore and we were needing something. We were needing a fresh of breath air, and I happened to meet somebody in my life, early on here from a mutual friend named Kevin Cohen. Kevin and I started talking and he says, “You know what Tony? The more I’ve gotten to know you, the more I know that you need to get out from behind the table.” And I say, “What does that mean?” He’s like, “You need to get out from behind your desk. Let’s go meet people.” So, he invited me to come to a show in San Francisco called “Traffic and Conversions” and going there, I got a chance to listen to William Shatner.
William Shatner was on stage and he was talking about his brown bag wine club, about sharing a bottle of wine at a brown bag. Didn’t know what it was with some friends, and then talking about the flavor, the taste etc. It was great, but I said to myself, “If an 80 guy at the time, is on stage pitching something as silly as a brown bag to everybody, why can’t we have fun in our business, and create something that every body gets lit up about?” EyeFive was doing some millions of business, but it wasn’t the passionate business that we really wanted.
So, I literally left that and Kevin, Chad, another one of my buddies was there, and I said, “What do you guys think about the name ShipOffers?” Everybody was like, “Oh I love it. That’s fantastic.” Because EyeFive was convenient for California, everybody who’s familiar with Southern California is driven up into Northern California. EyeFive was the name, and everybody used to call us and say, “Can I make an eye appointment today? My eyes are really bad.” And I’m like, “We’re not an optometrist. That’s not what we do.” So one, it was easy for us to differentiate and number two, ShipOffers really sounds more in alignment of what we do. We ship offers for marketers, that’s our current business for 16 years.
So, it gave us a better name and I think, I tell people everything changed the moment we changed ShipOffer’s name. Once we got it right, we said “Let’s go with ShipOffers.” Everything changed, because what we did is we bought fully into the brand. Our business more or less looks the same today as it did in 2001, but the name gave us something that we all bought into. We became really passionate about selling and sharing it with the world, and our story became easier to tell.
Well that’s everything there, The Successful Pitch is all about helping people come up with a way that instantly people understand, who do you help and what problem are you solving? It all starts with the name and the brand. Isn’t there a story Tony about how you guys realized that you might have been losing control of what you were doing, and that caused the willingness to shift then name and move?
Well part of the story for me and the company’s … I think our longevity is I had a mid-life crisis. I personally experienced one of the biggest pivots in my life from 2005 until 2008. I was heavily sedated every single day with drugs and I got addicted to drinking all the time, my marital issues fell apart. My life was basically crazy. I was literally heading towards suicide and I attempted that 10/9/8, but a phone call and eventually, a knock on the door saved my life. Awoken this beast inside of me, which was the passion to truly help people that I was dealing with stuff from my childhood, that I never really identified and never did anything around. Finally, I was able to admit I had an issue and I needed some help and I’ve been sober since 12/15 of 08. That really helped me to become aware of the opportunity which was a rebirth, a rebrand.
So, the rebrand first happened for myself. Then I was able to, I think, build the rebrand into the company. Everybody went into their role; Doug went back to finance, Gil went into ops, I went into sales and marketing. We literally flipped the script and we went and built a company that was low seven. Now, we’re an eight figure business. We’ve been an Inc 5,000 company the last three years in a row. I’m anticipating breaking into the top 500 this year. We’re just growing and what happened along the way, was we saw an opportunity in the market, that nobody else was doing.
Which was an on-demand, pay as you go business model. So, what really happened for us, is that we saw a need and we actually changed and shifted our vocabulary a little bit to get into some networks. From there, we were able to grow into the company today, known as ShipOffers. On average, we ship about 40,000 packages a week to marketers, customers in about 34 countries all around the world. So, we saw an opportunity for the rebrand. And I tell people all the time, “Where’s the opportunity in your life for a rebrand?”
That’s so powerful and it all starts with rebranding yourself. Well, there’s two great stories that I wanted to take a little dive on. Let’s go into when you guys realized that you were depending on someone else to ship your products. Then you said, “You know what? We’re not gonna put ourselves in that situation again, we’re gonna take that over.” Yes?
Yes. So I’m so sorry for that. Great. So in 2002, we were allowing a company to do our fulfillment for us in Southern California and we received some phone calls one day. They’re like, “Hey, we haven’t received our shipment.” I’m like, “That’s interesting.” So, I noted it then got another call a couple minutes later, and then a call from the bank saying, “Hey, customers wanted their money back.” I’m like, “What is going on?”
So Doug, Gil and myself jump in our car like another day or so, and we drive to the fulfillment center and there’s a meeting going on in the very, very back. You walk into this giant warehouse and you can see five or six people, and they’re like in a little meeting. I just happened to look up and we see all of our packages, cause it says EyeFive on all of them, and they’re in bins. And I’m like, “What the heck?” So, we pull them down and we’re like, “These are the orders. They’re not shipping them out. They’re just charging us.” So, we took all the product, we bailed and we took it and said, “We’re never allowing somebody else to screw us.” Because, the problem is we now know that you can’t mess with somebody’s merchant account, you can’t mess with somebody’s marketing and you’ve gotta deliver what you say you’re gonna deliver to your customers; That’s it.
That’s such a powerful story. I love it. We all depend on other people to do certain parts of our business, right? I mean, we’re not gonna do everything and a lot of people depend, let’s face it, on Amazon obviously, if that’s what your niche is. But, whatever your business is, you have to really look at who your partnering with. For example, when Periscope was so dependent on … and then Twitter said “Hey, you’re using our platform. Now, we’re just gonna come up with a competitor.”
So, you can’t be so dependent on somebody outside of your business that if they don’t do what they’re gonna do, you’re whole business falls apart. You guys took upon yourselves to say, “We’re gonna do this and take of our own distribution.” Which I think is a really valuable lesson for everybody.
Yeah. I mean, the key that I found in all the chaos, because that’s what it was at the time. It was a lot of chaos, noise and craziness, and that was a business opportunity in itself. Our motto behind the scenes at ShipOffers is you market and we’ll handle the rest. We were trying to outsource it, cause we didn’t know what we were doing at the beginning. I mean, we’re three kids from Santa Cruz; it’s 2001, 2002. I was in my early 20s. September 11th came, I still remember being in the warehouse when that happened. We were like, “What do we do? Is the business gonna die? Do we stop right here in the moment?” And we were like, “No, we just keep going, but let’s figure it along the way.”
Then Gill’s brother came in and talked to us about how to make money doing wholesale. I came with the idea I’d like to do wholesale, but my price points were wrong. He came in and said, “Charge a dollar more.” Charge a dollar more and our business grew. I’m like, “How can you charge a dollar more and your business grew?” It’s because you added value to a great product, and people saw a value, then wanted to buy it because the price point was different. It wasn’t cheap, there was something behind it. It was the mystique or whatnot.
So, instantly we grew another revenue stream, which was wholesaling products that we were already selling, but we just came up with a new market. It’s been pivotal for us the entire time. From 2001 until today, we’ve been constantly rebranding ourselves. Constantly going back to the drawing board. I think we’ve had four rebrands, even though we’re the same company, we just keep saying, “How do we get better? How do we serve the market better? How do we serve and honor our customers better? How do we bring more transparency to the business models? So that customers and business owners understand how the thing works.” Cause I have no competition, and that’s my belief system, right? I just believe you put out good stuff, people will stay. You take good care of your customers, people will stay.
I’m not fearful of people taking my customers, because at the end of the day, they know they received so much value. I believe my way of being is to go above and beyond what anybody else is even thinking, and that’s because I’m constantly working on rebranding who I am and how we do business with our customers. So, I’m on the phone … one of the owners of the company is talking to the CEO of another company on a constant regular basis. Building a personal friendship and a professional friendship, where we learn how to help each other. So, I open my Rolodex to my clients and say, “What do you need? You want to go buy the product direct and just ship it to me, and then I’ll fulfill it for you? Great, if that’s what you want to do with your cash flow, awesome.”
So, I’m not hiding anything with my customers, I’m helping them to win.
Nice. So, when you help your customers to win, they stay loyal. That’s the tweet I think, that’s really the message that you’re giving people as the secret to winning your successes, yes?
[Tweet “Help customers to win and they stay”]
Yeah. It’s the secret sauce to longevity. You help your customers to win, you win every single time.
Yeah, love it. Now, I’d be really remiss if I didn’t unpack that little comment you made about being suicidal, and one phone call changing your mind about it. So, can you take us back Tony, to what that phone call was, what that person said to you that made you change your mind?
Yeah, it was October 9th, 2008. I just gotten out of the car a few minutes earlier, seeing my wife and my kids, and I just gotten home from a trip. My wife and I were coming back from the pumpkin patch with our kids. It was not good. We were really going through some dark times in our marriage and she’d gotten out of the car. As I was getting ready to punch the key pad into the apartment complex, she said, “Hey, I just gotta tell you this. I don’t love you anymore.” And she needed to say it for herself, and I needed to hear her say it, because that was the first time in my life that I remember of someone telling me something to that magnitude.
Now, I’ve always been the person on the other end to say it. Like, “I don’t love you anymore. I want to break up. It’s not you, it’s me.” I’ve always been that person and in that moment, I didn’t know what to do. Fight or flight kicked in, I didn’t know what to do. So I say goodbye and I go up to my apartment, I get out all the drugs that I’ve been on, I was taking about eight different things at the time. From back pain, sleep aids, Xanax, Lunesta, it didn’t matter if it was testosterone, HGH, uppers, downers, anything to kind of keep me balanced, right? Cause I was totally out of whack for a period of time, cause I had been in the midst of addiction issues, struggling with knee pain. I had a whole bunch of surgeries up until that point.
So, I’m sitting on the couch and I’m about to write my suicide note. I take out my phone, I got all my drugs and just gonna text it out. I thought that’d be a cool way to say goodbye. As I prepare, I receive a phone call and my buddy says, “Hey, I’m coming to see you.” I’m like, “All right. Whatever.” And I hang up the phone and I’m like, “Aww crap, now I gotta put all this stuff away.” I go back to the note that I had already begun to be halfway done through it, and it was gone. I was so baffled like, “Oh my gosh. Where did my note go?” Can I do that paste thing and I’m like, they didn’t exist on the phones yet.
All of sudden I get the knock on the door and my buddy comes in, and he gives me a big hug. He says, “You know Tony, your life has meaning and purpose, but what your doing right now doesn’t.” This is time where it’s the darkest of my life, but I also believe in that moment, and I’m just a spiritual being that God sent an angel and it had to be my buddy John. John walked into my life, gave me a big hug and John had gone through a lot of similar stuff. I was able to be there and help him, but also I was probably a bad influence on John in a lot of ways. So, in that moment, I listened to John and I think stayed for about 45 minutes to an hour. In there, was some of the greatest context that I ever heard.
[Tweet “Your life has meaning and purpose”]
Imagine sitting with an angel and he says, “You know, your life has meaning and purpose.” I think we all think at some times we’re trying to find our meaning, and we’re trying to find our purpose, but I heard it. Then he painted a picture for me, and then a day or two later came, as I was talking to my pastor, he says, “Tony, you could lead many. You could be in front of thousands.” And I began to understand what people saw in me, but I didn’t see in myself. Because I had been living a lie. I’d been living this life of trying to look good to avoid looking bad. I’d been dishonest with everybody in my life; my family, my wife, my kids, my business partners. So, I had this awakening in the moment like, standing on the beach with your back towards the ocean, and you literally have your toes in the sand, you’re kind of moving your toes up and down. You can feel the sand coming in between and waves crashing over, but not panicking and running, but just allowing the water to crash over you.
That was the wave of emotions that I felt and in there, I became aware of the opportunity that I had and that was, I needed help. I needed help, because I couldn’t do it anymore on my own. So, I reached out to my mom on 12/14 of 08, and my mom said something that was really, really cool. She said, “I dealt with your father.” My dad was an alcoholic. “Your grandfather was an alcoholic.” And so on, and so on, and so on, and so there was this huge pattern. She said, “You could break the cycle. You could end the pattern. You could do something today that would change history.” She wasn’t necessarily saying history for the world. She was just saying my family’s history.
And in that moment I said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” But at the 45th minute of her conversation, as anybody who’s ever been sober, knows somebody who’s gone through it. There’s a 12 step philosophy and mom basically 12 stepped me into the rooms of alcoholics anonymous, by simply saying “You need help.” And I saying, “For the first time in my life, I do.” And that changed everything, that changed the business, that changed my family; my wife and I are happily married, coming up on 19 years. Best relationship I have on planet Earth were with my kids, my business partners, my mom, everybody in my life. I just live a transparent life. I’ve shared a lot on this show and I could share anything, because there’s nothing that I have today in my life, that’s holding me back from experiencing greatness.
Let’s talk about this transparency, I think it’s a theme that runs across who you are, and so many people are afraid of being transparent, because they think “If people know this about me, then they won’t like me. If they know this about me, then they’ll leave either personally, or professionally.” But because you’re so transparent and fearless, you then don’t have the fear of losing a customer. You take this willingness to be transparent in your personal life, into your business and into the way you interact with clients. Therefore, I think that is a big takeaway. If you are transparent and vulnerable even, I think it allows people to see you as a person, and they want to connect with you. As opposed to pretending everything’s perfect all the time.
Yeah, let me clarify something, cause for anybody who’s listening, I want to have you understand what I’m about to say and I want to put it in two buckets. So, if you work for somebody, keep some of your transparency to yourself.
If you are a professional and you have a business yourself, you can create the rules.
I just have to say that, because for me, it’s a huge clarification piece. Because I’m an owner of a company, I live one way; by truth, transparency, integrity, passion. And how I do that, is easy because my stuff became aired out, it got aired out, right? Literally like, “Oh Tony’s that guy, in that neighborhood, that’s the guy.” And so, it became for me, the only way to live my life, which was, I made a lot of mistakes. I just needed to admit them. Once I admitted them, I became free to share. When I was in a meeting once, I shared what happened and all this stuff and I realized, “Oh my gosh, the way to live a life that is worth living is one of transparency, that doesn’t have anything to hide.”
And by doing that, everything opened up for me.
And that’s what’s giving you the content and the credibility to create this program you have called “Destroying Excuses” because you destroyed all your excuses for not being successful and not being happy. And now, you teach other entrepreneurs how to do it, tell us about that.
So, one of the interesting things along this journey, right? I go back to when we were ready to move from California to Colorado, I had to short sell my house with my wife. I put my family into financial debt living in an apartment down the road, addicted to drugs and alcohol, running up tons of bills, driving fancy cars that we couldn’t afford. My ego was so big, I bought a two-seater for a family of four. I wasn’t thinking about anyone, or anyone but myself and so — just about a million dollars in debt, I put my family. In 2015, I was able to pay that debt off.
What I realized along the way was, I accepted personal responsibility for everything. That’s one of the keys to destroying any excuse in your life, you have to own up to it. You have to take responsibility, so once I became aware of that I caused it, cause I’d been asked, “Do you want me to file bankruptcy for you?” I’m like, “No. I got all this debt, I’m gonna get out of it.” No bankruptcy, I just figured it out and made a lot of phone calls, and got really honest with a lot of creditors and told them my story. And simply said, “Hey, you know what? I gotta figure this thing out, cause I got myself in it in the first place, let’s do the work.”
Along the way I realized, I have a lot of excuses along the way of what was holding me back from success. Now, success to me isn’t dollars in the bank. Success is living a lifestyle that gives you freedom to do what you want with your friends, and go where you want with your friends, or just travel by yourself, or whatever. I started realizing that, I’m like, “Man I made so many excuses about my health, my wealth, my business, my family, etc.” So, I started working through some formulas and I did a lot of research. I attended a lot of workshops and events, and I’m like, “That’s great, but that doesn’t really speak to me, that’s a bunch of information.” I didn’t get it the way they were teaching it.
So, I went and decided to create in 2016, an accountability online group. Just to simply put, a bunch of working professionals, six, seven and eight figure mindset people into a program to help them over a 30-day period of time; to really start working on some of the stuff that was holding them back. To literally put everything into a Petri dish, and get it under the microscope and say, “That’s similar. It’s in this person and this person and this person.” And out of that came Destroying Excuses.
So, it’s a new program. It’s something that I’m super passionate about. I help people … that’s my platform for coaching. Is I take people through a 30-day curriculum and help them to identify the blind spots in their life, what’s holding them back, a solution to overcoming any obstacle and literally, to live the best life possible. Nothing works without work and so, everybody deep dives into it. They figure out the number one thing that they want is more time, so they can have the freedom to do what they want. But the number one thing holding them back is all the BS they’ve been telling themselves. So, I help them to identify their excuses and they begin to break through them and create new habits.
[Tweet “When you identify your blindspots, you can destroy your excuses”]
So, it’s a two-fold process. A lot of places just say, “Okay, we’re gonna show you what your blind spots are. Now you know them, good luck fixing them.” But, you take it one step further and say, “Okay, now we know what the problem is, let’s come up with a solution.” And that’s what I think is so unique. A lot of people stop at just identifying the blind spots/problem, but you because you’ve done it yourself, can then take people through how to solve those blind spots, it’s not enough just to identify them.
You have this great quote here about “If I change my behaviors, I change the direction in life.” I think that’s what you’re doing with this Destroying Excuses program.
Yeah, you’ve heard it, we’ve done a lot of work around it, but I tell people “I just went to the dealership today. I bought a brand new car. I pay for it. I drive onto the road, two minutes into the driving, I get into an accident. The officer comes up to me and says, “Everything all right? You just got blind-sided”” I’m like, “I did? I couldn’t see them, I had a blind spot.” And the officer’s like, “Interesting. Hold on a second.” Writes a citation to the other person, comes back and says, “Hey, we’re not gonna cite you today, but I want you to be aware of that blind spot.”
So, when you go about your day, you know that’s there. Every time you get into the car, you’re gonna have to use the mirrors to check around and see what’s going on. You’re probably gonna have to look left or right a little bit better. Okay, so now it’s an awareness. And see, most of us already have a lot of blind spots, and now I’m just giving people the awareness so they can see them differently. Then they can make changes and we can come up with better solutions. So, those no longer hold them back. I think the idea is, now people see clearly; where they’re going and what they want. They know they do have limitations, but they’re not putting so much emphasis on those.
Well, one of the big blind spots a lot of entrepreneurs have is getting the right team, right? Not all of us are fortunate to have childhood friends that we have as business partners, but then, we need to grow and scale our business, we still need to hire the right people to fit our culture. I think you’ve really solved that problem and I think if you share your definition of culture, as we wrap up the show. So, the people can say, “Oh yeah, that’s one of my blind spots is hiring. I don’t know how to hire the right people.”
And you say it starts with making sure that you have a culture defined, so that you know whether that person’s a fit. Can you tell us what the culture is at ShipOffers?
Oh gosh, it’s fun, crazy fun. That’s one of our fifth core values here. So number one, this is interesting, it’s gonna tie into your theme perfectly, it’s called transparency. When you interview, I don’t care what’s on your resume, that’s what you said you did. I want to know what you can do for our company, and how you think that you can fit in this dynamic, multi-culture company that has so many distinctive backgrounds. We’re shipping 40,000 packages a week, everybody’s involved in each shipment in some way. So, you have to come in and add some value right away. What can you do? What are you really talented at?
So, we ask crazy questions like, “What’s one thing that nobody knows about you, that you wouldn’t mind sharing with us today? So we get to know a little bit about you.” People are like, “Oh I love animals, but I love curling their hair and putting bows in them.” Cool, so you’re creative. You like to have fun, you’re also passionate about animals. So it gives us a little idea about the type of person you are outside of your work.
I also tell people when we hire them. I actually need to know what’s going on in your personal life. The best that you can possibly share with me, because when you come to work, that’s gonna come with you. So, I just need to know … I don’t ask “Do you have kids? Are you in a relationship? Have you ever been in jail?” Those are not the kinds of things that I’m asking. “I just want to know … tell me about what do you do when you’re not working. What are you super passionate about and excited about? By asking them an open ended question, they’ll actually tell me all the other stuff.
If someone says they’re not passionate about anything outside of work, that’s a red flag right there, isn’t it?
Yeah. You just say, “Hey, we’re probably not culturally … we don’t line up well together.” But the more that they begin to open up, I begin to realize “You know what? You could fit our culture.” We do a lot of stuff, so every Monday and every Friday, we do a quick 15 to 20 minute huddle. I lead that in the morning. We’ll do some kind of fun activity, we get everybody moving and talking and involved. We ask them how their weekend was, and we talk about “What’s one thing you’re excited about during the week?”
Then, we have a huddle on Wednesday, where we bring in all the managers from all the departments, and we talk. It’s about 15 to 30 minutes, and we get everybody really, really clear on how we’re helping our company and everybody in it to win. Cause culture for me, is about getting everybody involved.
It’s not about Doug, Tony, and Gil being at the top of the pyramid. It’s actually flipping the work chart over and putting us at the bottom, to support the team; everybody above us. Because, if we can do that, then we can win. See, when you take yourself out of having to be the man or the woman in the deal, and you can actually be the person who’s the cheerleader. I cheer so loud for our team. When people literally clock out at the end of their day, the entire group is giving high fives and happy claps, and everybody’s like, “See you tomorrow.” And they’re like, “Bye!”
Tell me when’s the last time you walked into a business where that happens. There’s 30 employees, it’s not a lot, but it’s still 30. Everybody is excited to come to work, work and go home, and can’t wait to get back.
That to me, is created over time, but also by three owners that were passionate about leading, and I did it by … at least, what I say. I take credit for it in my life, is transparency. I’m gonna say, “I made a mistake today. This is my fault. This is my failure.” I just want you guys to know, it’s gonna happen and I’m gonna be there I’m not gonna walk ahead of you or behind you, I’m gonna walk with you.” So, we walk with our employees through this entire organization and employees, bad word. Team members, better word.
Nice. So, transparency and fun, crazy fun are two of the core values that make ShipOffer successful. If anybody wants to really take their business, and their personal life to the next level, I highly recommend signing up and getting involved with Tony’s insights on how you can destroy those excuses that keep you from being successful. Because until you know what your blind spots are, you’re not gonna be able to fix them. So Tony, tell people how they can follow you on social media and learn more about Destroying Excuses.
Sure, so two ways real quick, ShipOffers is my lifeline. It’s how I get to interact with everybody in the world. So, Shipoffers.com if you want to learn more about logistics, products and fulfillment and what we do. And then Destroyingexcuses.com is my online 30-day course where we always have new courses starting. So, you can just go learn some information, get signed up. It’s an amazing program, tons of accountability, small group coaches, it’s a lot of fun. So, those are two platforms that you can learn more about what I do.
You can follow me anywhere on social media. Just type in Tony Grebmeier, you’ll find me on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, all that and I personally love to interact with the human spirit. So, I’ll be the one responding.
Nice. Well, that’s for sure. Tony, I can’t thank you enough for being transparent, being fun and just being an overall great guest and sharing your secrets to success, so that we can all emulate you.
Well, I just want to say thanks. All kidding aside, you came onto my show as a guest, and I told you after we hung up, I said, “You know, I want to learn. I want to learn more your coaching services.” And I said, “Can I pay you for your time?” Because I felt compelled, you were the first person I interviewed and I’d been in the radio business for a long period of time, who literally spoke to my heart. You weren’t trying to sale, you were sharing and sharing is the way to win business, and to really help people in life. And you’re like, “Sure.” I knew right then and there, I literally left the interview, I went down the hall and I’m like, “Gill and Doug, I just had the most incredible interview that I’ve had on my show and I can’t wait for you guys to meet him.” And you’ve been gone to do some work for ShipOffers, you’ve been gone to do some work with one of my business partners.
So John, coming on your show is a complete honor for me, because it’s a way for me to say at the end. Thank you for all that you do to help so many people. You have a gift, you’re talented, and I can’t even repay you.
Thank you. Very, very kind. All right Tony, I can’t wait for this episode to air and I can’t wait for more people to stop just throwing their excuses with your help. So, that they can make the world a happier better place, thanks again.
Well thank you.
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