The Virtual CPA Success Show: Episode 94
This episode features Greg Cleary, founder of Pinnacle Business Guides, a company that provides coaching and guidance to businesses. Greg shares with Jody and Jamie his entrepreneurial journey and how he became a sales coach for various companies. He emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the marketplace and knowing when to make a move to stay relevant. Greg also talks about his approach to focusing on the client rather than the tool. The episode also touches on the challenges and fears that entrepreneurs and salespeople face and how to overcome them.
Jamie (00:00:15) - Hello everybody, and welcome to today's episode. This is going to be a great episode. I'm very excited for our guests today. Jodi and I hung out with our guests recently down in Nashville, and we were really able to see the Pinnacle experience. And prior to that trip down to Nashville, I was actually able to create a Pinnacle business guide. So I know the work that goes into the work that Pinnacle does. Very excited to introduce Greg Cleary and welcome him to the show. So welcome to the show, Greg.
Jody (00:00:40) - Thanks very much. Excited to be here.
Jamie (00:00:42) - And as always, joined by Jody Grendon. So Jody, welcome to the show as well.
Jody (00:00:47) - Thanks, Jamie.
Jamie (00:00:48) - Alright. So before we get started in talking about Pinnacle and everything, Greg, why don't you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got where you are now?
Jody (00:00:56) - Short version or long version? I want to hear the long version, right? The long, long version is kind of cool. We'll cut you off if it's too long. Sorry. Give you the head signal. So, it all started back when I was an entrepreneur. I was going through high school and I was a waiter at this place in Niagara Falls called Thecal Tower. And I looked down into the park, acres and acres, hectares of green space. You couldn't buy a hotdog in Niagara Falls in the park. It was the Honeymoon Capital of the World, 10 million visitors. And so I got my entrepreneurial itch started there, and I created a little business called Picnic in the Park. And we would deliver picnic baskets to tourists down there. And I gave them, you know, the red and white checkered cloth, cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, and all this.
Jody (00:01:38) - And that was my sort of my little entrepreneurial journey, if you like. While I was doing that, one of my girlfriend's moms was an Amway and she invited me to go to a seminar because she knew I was entrepreneurial. And I went to this seminar called "The Psychology of Achievement," and it was by a guy named Brian Tracy. And I loved it. It was the first time I had ever heard. He just said, "If you want to be a doctor, you study medicine. If you want to be a lawyer, study law. If you want to be successful, you should study success." So I went and asked him for a job, and I still remember I had like a wool tie and cloth shoes back then. This was probably 1985. And he gave me a part-time job selling training in Niagara Falls.
Jody (00:02:23) - It was a hundred bucks, and people would come for this one-day training. And so that was the start of my training career in 1985. And in my first month, I went out and sold seven people to come. I made about $140 in commission, $20 per person commission. And as I say, the rest is kind of history. So I moved my way up. I just drank the Kool-Aid. I figured if I was going to be successful selling training, you know, why not sell sales training? And if it didn't work, it couldn't be me, it would be the trainer, the coach, the guide. That's right. So I became the number one person in Ontario. They made me the national sales manager. I moved to Toronto at a young age.
Jody (00:03:07) - And literally, our team of six or seven people would outperform teams of a hundred. And I became the top-selling rep in all of Canada. And then they asked me if I wanted to move to the United States. This is where you really want to pay attention to your geography when you're in Canada. So we lived in Niagara Falls, Toronto, and they say, "Would you like to move to the States?" You're thinking you're moving south. But if you don't pay attention to geography, you move to Minneapolis, which is actually 11 hours north, seven hours further north as the crow flies. And I moved to Minneapolis, came here, and started working with Peak Performers Network. That was Brian Tracy and Harvey McKay morphed into it. We would then sell memberships. People would buy a membership to go see all the different speakers.
Jody (00:03:54) - We'd go to St. Louis, we'd go to Chicago, Boston, and the John Behinds Convention Center in Seattle, San Francisco, went everywhere. It was awesome. You know, you're single, the company was paying for our housing. We'd stay at the Residence Inn or whatever. And I'd go around cities and do all these workshops, cold calling and built my own workshops, 90-minute workshops, no cost, no obligation. And I just really enjoyed it. I loved it. And so I moved up through the ranks again and became the national sales manager for them. I did that through the early '90s. And in 1996, I decided that I wanted to do something on my own, back to that entrepreneurial itch. And I left. I was gonna move to Charlotte, North Carolina. And, um, long story short, the president of the National Speakers Association, Tom Win, said, "Hey Greg, you're the best person I've ever met at marketing and selling training."
Jody (00:04:46) - Mm-hmm. , if you would stay here in town and help me for three months, I will help you get any speaker you want on your lineup in the country. Lou Holtz, Rick Pitino, Pat Riley, like anybody you want, Celebrity Blanchard, you tell me who you want. So I thought, oh, that's probably a good idea. So I got in there, and within the first month, I had already sold clients before they actually had a product. And he came and said, "Hey, would you like to be a partner and would you like to stay in Minneapolis?" I'm like, "No, no. We just sold our house. We're leaving." "Oh, you just sold your house?" "Yeah, we sold the house because we're leaving, like sold the house in three days." And so he said, "I'll give you 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%. We're getting closer, right?" as we get...
Jody (00:05:25) - So I stayed around, and from 1996 to 2001, we grew this business called Team Track. The model had changed, like everything. We're gonna talk about change, hopefully today, but models change. And so those big mega-seminars with thousands of people in the conference room or the convention center, sorry, that model changed, right? When COVID came along, you wouldn't want to be in that business. So in the '90s, it became the train-the-trainer model where we would do VHS tapes and audio cassettes and workbooks that we would, you know, train one or two-year people. We'd give you all the curriculum, and you'd go back to your company and do customer service and sales and management training. So I did that up until 2001. And one of my biggest clients was Patterson Dental. They had like 900, you know, people going through this in 86 branches.
Jody (00:06:11) - We were all over the place. Everyone remembers what happened on September 11th. I was going in to do a workshop and I pulled up, I walked in, and there was nobody at the front desk. And I heard crying down the hallway, went down the hallway and watched the towers come down. And I realized I just wanted to get off the road. I had traveled a lot, you know, well over a hundred-plus nights living on the road, 11 months of the year, all that thing. All those things. Yep. And so, um, I decided I was gonna do my own sales coaching, so I told Tom I was done to my partner, and I hung out my shingle to be a sales coach. And I was pretty confident after being in literally 5,000 companies doing workshops, if you are just observant at all, you start to learn what works, what doesn't work.
Jody (00:06:54) - Right. The car dealerships, the stockbrokers, the financial planners, the people selling pre-need in St. Louis. There's a company in St. Louis that sells pre-need, you know, pre-arranged funerals, and they're all young people going in, and they're selling 5, 7, 8, $10,000. You start to learn if you're observant. And so what my deal was back in 2001 was you gave me, I would write your sales process, I would then get a business card, I'd go with the salespeople. And the unique part of my story was, rather than just write the prescription and say, "Go do it," I would go on the sales calls, and at any time a salesperson can say to me, "Hey, Greg, do you have any questions?" So that was code for when they were in trouble or didn't know where to go, they turned it over to me.
Jody (00:07:35) - So, you know, I looked like I was like the younger guy. Right. I was probably 35 at that point. Mm-hmm. And they were like, "Yeah, you know, do you have any questions?" So I made these processes work at me, the sales processes work. I did that, you know, grew some great experiences, great companies, great journeys. Took companies from literally 25 million into three, four, 500 million, be their sales coach, truly nationwide companies. Mm-hmm. And then in around 2008, 2009, when the big recession hit, I got a call to go out to work for a trade organization. They had 130,000 members. They lost 30,000 members. Wow. And they needed a whole new approach to national business development. And so I hired a team, I said, "Why don't we take this like SEAL Team Six approach, give me six rockstar salespeople."
Jody (00:08:27) - You know, at this point, my DNA Joie and Jamie was, you could just parachute me into a city, give me a yellow page, just gimme my Motorola phone with the big gray one that you could bounce off the ground and catch. You know, it was 50 cents a minute back then. So, uh, uh, give me that. And I would go make a living. And so we called upon the Hyatt and the Marriots and the Hiltons, and we went to Center Build and went to every trade show, and we did a top down approach and, and really turned that, uh, business around. They paid us a lot of money to do that. And while I was in that journey, somebody, uh, asked me if I'd read the book Traction mm-hmm. , and I looked at the name on the front cover, it was Wickman, uh, Gino Wickman.
Jody (00:09:07) - And I knew that was an odd name. And I just said, I wonder if there are any relationship to Floyd. Wickman. Floyd was a speaker on my lineup at Peak Performance Network. Okay. And Floyd came around all the different cities for us. And what he did is, uh, he created a training program called the Sweat Hogs Program for Century 21. And so they literally got people out and did farming and door knocking and, and did all these things. Yep. So when I called Gino, I had, I knew all his dad's material, Mr. And Mrs. Wakowski over in Happy Hollow. You know, are you looking for an ideal home in a quiet neighborhood? Like, who's not looking for an ideal home? ? Are you looking for a high interest return on your investment with no risk? Like, who says no to that? Right. So, uh, Gino said, man, you really do know my dad.
Jody (00:09:52) - And so I went to Detroit and got certified in this thing called Traction. Um, a fun, a fun, I know you've interviewed some of our colleagues as well. Yep. But a fun question to ask people is how much do they pay for their certification? So my partner in Pinnacle, Dwayne, he was free. So, you know, you're in early when it's free. Yep. , I paid $2,900, right? Mm-hmm. , and, uh, uh, now people are paying Right. Tens of thousands of dollars. So, you know, you're on the ground floor. I was the eighth certified implementer. Um, oh, wow. I saw bunch of records, so I was truly in the ground floor mm-hmm. . And I did that for just about a decade. And, uh, along that way, you know, worked on my craft, you know, the way we introduced clients to, uh, traction was we did this no-cost, no obligation workshop.
Jody (00:10:34) - So having done thousands and thousands of them, it was just a shoe. It was just a natural fit for me. And I ended up teaching about 200 implementers how to do what I was doing because I was just setting so many records. I was the first person to get to a million dollars and, and blew right on by that in terms of fees for someone without an assistant. That was a big accomplishment. So that took me up to 2010, sorry, 2010 to 2019, the fall of 2019. And it's been about 10 years. If you looked at my career from 1985 to 1995 to 2001 to 2010, I just know that about every 10 years, models change, and thank goodness we weren't doing the Train the trainer model.
Jody (00:11:23) - Right. Trying to sell videos. Can you say YouTube? Yeah. Like, I just saw an audio cassette program. We used to sell the Power of Ambition by Jim Rohn. It was $120 for six cassette albums in a case from Knight Co outta Chicago. And that now audio program, which is still awesome, I just listened to it. I bought it for $6 and 21 cents. So, you know, can you say the market's changed? And of course, all these programs, you want to go watch, oh gosh, the Jeffrey Gitomers, I mean, they have 400 videos on YouTube, right? You want to go see any of the speakers, Tommy Hopkins, anybody, they're all out there now. So the models change as the world goes around. And I'm glad I've changed every decade as well to stay relevant.
Jody (00:12:13) - I've had people who've known me a long time tell me, Joy, the one thing you really do well is you pay attention to the marketplace and you know when to make a move. And it's hard to make a move when everyone is doing its best night and day to make it just like everyone else. That's called group thinking, right? When the whole group is thinking the same thing, somebody's not thinking. I love the quote. I think it was a Jim Brown quote that said, if you want to know what to do when you enter a marketplace, look at what everyone else is doing and then do the exact opposite, right?
Jody (00:12:48) - Yeah. And you two guys can talk about this, right? Yeah. It's really hard to sell when everyone's buying, right? It's really hard to buy when everyone's selling, right? Like, you know, it's really hard to go against your intuition in the market, but you know, like, I just know this is what we should do with dollar cost averaging or our strategy or our long term. So, um, so anyway, uh, we started, if I just keep going there, so in the fall of 2019, I had a mastermind group. There were about 25 of us, and we decided that there was another way. Um, and so my approach for the last few years in traction was I was always focused on the client. Like, that was just my customer service model, my sales model. Like everyone believes their business is different. You know, no one wanted to buy a cookie-cutter sales process. If you went in and said, "Hey, I got this thing, and no matter what industry you're calling it on, you just do the same questions," they'd say, "No." And like, our proposals are different, or, you know, we do a discovery over here, or we do a financial plan over here, or we do analysis over here. So everyone had a different program. So I just took that same approach and said, "What if instead of focusing on the tool, you focused on the client and brought the right tool at the right place and the right time?" And that rather than hire anybody, it doesn't matter who you hire, make that a really big part of it.
Jody (00:14:14) - That hire a guide who can relate to you, who's gonna push you, right? Who's gonna help you be better. And I have a son who plays hockey at an elite level, is going off to play junior hockey. That has always been our mantra. Like, can, can the coach make you better? And if the coach is gonna make Ben better, he's gonna be there and show up and practice. And if the coach just yells and screams and, you know, is not a good communicator and doesn't have a good toolbox and head, doesn't help you get better, then get out of there. Life is too short to be around there. So, so I took that approach and we started kicking around what that would look like. One of the first things we did, Jody, you'd probably appreciate this, is…
Jody (00:14:54) - We hired an industrial designer, way over what we thought, like a startup company. We were thinking, well, the first thing it's gonna be about the brand, that if we're really gonna be a category of one, it starts with having gorgeous materials that are gonna resonate at that next level. And so we hired an industrial designer. We spent about five months getting things ready. And then on March 4th, my marketing, I thought March 4th was a great date to launch a new brand. Yeah. So we launched Pinnacle on March 4th in Dallas, Texas. Okay. And, you know, where this was going, 2020 on March 5th and 6th, there were 40 people in Dallas when we launched, and 25 of us stayed behind this mastermind group to go see Pat Lencioni's the on conference. And Al was speaking, who he's famous for.
Jody (00:15:42) - His one-page plan, literally had a five by eight postcard that he had at Boeing, and they did the same thing when he went to Ford and Southwest Airlines and all these great people are speaking, and we're just having a great time and getting our pictures taken with all these people. And then, um, so that was the 5th and 6th, and then I flew back home, and on the 8th of March, I went down to Marathon, Florida, Vern Harnish's CEO summit, and I was gonna be their guest CEO. Okay. And we're at the Marathon Retreat, and these people have flown in on their own plane or their private planes, and you all know what happened in the later that week, right? Yep. We watched the entire world shut down. Yep. And these executives went back on their private planes.
Jody (00:16:21) - I took my luggage through down to Key West and got on Delta and came home. And that was our humble beginnings. That was the start of this thing called Pinnacle. And so, just a couple of things I would say is, you know, I think part of the success, even though we're a new company, we've grown very quickly because we've stayed in our lane. If either one of you were to go start a new company tomorrow, you're not new to the business. You would know your mistakes, you have scar tissue, you know what to do. So we were able to put all that wisdom to work right away. I think the fact that we have stayed relevant and current and stayed in the same industry but just changed and made as changes happened, that we did that. And then of course, got really good people, like surrounded ourselves with really good people.
Jody (00:17:10) - And if you will just get out of your own way and let people share. And that's really our model, right? You've been in our summits, there's 25 people up presenting, right? And doing different things and breakouts and talks and sharing and putting their DNA on this. So, um, so that's what got us to where we are now. We're over a hundred guides here in the United States, really trying to be that category of one, that boutique firm that really is all about a great client experience, helping them grow faster than they thought possible, bringing in curated tools that they've never seen to help them break through wherever they are. So, so that's my story. Yeah.
*Greg* (00:17:52) - A ton of unravel there. Wow. That's, uh, yeah, we got, we got a ton of, I got a ton of questions, personally, Jim. I'm sure you do too. I do too. Yep. Definitely. The one thing that, um, that I, I wanna hit right off the bat is that, um, you know, I don't know, Greg, if you knew, I, I, I worked for Vector Marketing for about, uh, three to four years, and we sold Cutco cutlery. And so we did, you know, this was back, you know, right before college. And with that, it was cold calling. It was, you know, basically presentations to sell very expensive, high-quality cutlery to folks all across the nation. And I too did really well with that. You know, in the Midwest, I was the number one in the Midwest in sales, opened up a branch office, recruited other folks to do exactly what I was doing, and trained those folks up to be able to sell.
*Greg* (00:18:41) - And the one thing that, the one issue they had, or the one barrier of success in my opinion is what they had is, is that, and I never had this issue, and it doesn't sound like you had this issue as well, but it was actually making the call, you know, making the call to somebody to actually schedule the appointment. You know, once people were on the appointments, they did really well. Their closing ratio was high, you know, they had very success. But the one thing holding them back, you know, what was that fear of making that call? And throughout your journey there, man, you've had many different opportunities for that fear to take over and really kinda squash things. And I'm wondering, is there a secret pill or secret sauce, or how do you overcome it? Or why does that happen? I'd love to get your opinion on that because I think that's a main barrier for really anybody, not only in sales but anybody in general.
Jody (00:19:40) - It's whatever is between your ears, right? I mean, that's what determines, I mean, if you look at the people who are great in any profession, from Tom Brady who had a chip on his shoulder, he was gonna prove them all wrong, he was gonna outwork them, to people who grew up like I had a tough upbringing. I was in an orphanage for a few years. If you wanted something back when I was growing up, you just had to go earn it. I had a paper route, and we would pay for the papers, and there were those people that didn't pay you for four weeks. You had those little tabs you used to give them. So you got good at that, but if you wanted to make extra money, then you volunteered to go sell new subscriptions, right?
Jody (00:20:18) - So you got in the van and went with a regional guy, and you would knock on doors and try to sell them. If you couldn't sell them the whole week, you'd try to sell them just a Sunday paper with the TV guide and the comics back then. But it just really became, I did have the head trash. I never wanted to be in sales. But you have to change your perspective. It's back to everything in life, you know, fear, one definition is false evidence appearing real, right? So you have this fear, that fear of rejection, fear of failure, whatever. And there's another acronym for fear, and that's Face Everything and Rise. And one is a very motivating, empowering one. I read the book "The Greatest Salesman in the World." I can almost quote the scrolls. "I would greet this day with love in my heart, for it's the Greatest Day."
Jody (00:21:05) - Like, I had to literally talk myself into it, but then I made a game of it, you know, people would hang up on me or call, and I've got so many great, funny, amazing stories around that, as you can imagine, from just calling right back and asking for a different person, right? But I would do that. That's how we got started. So my first city was Cleveland, Ohio, in the States. I come here, we rent these two apartments. Literally, all we had was I bought a headset from Radio Shack, a little keypad with the earpiece and the mic. And we had the yellow pages, literally the yellow pages. And I turned to the yellow pages and we would start. Everyone starts in the A, but I never start in the A. I would just start from G or H, somewhere else, because the A's get a lot of calls, but nobody gets to the G's, right? So I would just call anybody and everybody who had a sales team.
Jody (00:21:47) - And I knew the car dealerships, you know, they would meet on Saturday morning, but the realtors would meet on Monday morning, and the stockbrokers wouldn't talk to me until the market closed at four o'clock. And the furniture companies would talk. And so I knew all these different industries, and I would just call. I would ask for the sales manager. You had to learn all the tricks, right? If you say, "Can I speak to the sales manager?" They're like, "Well, who is this? And why are you calling?" And so we just got better. Hey, I'd like to send some information out in order to get to the right person. Can you tell me who's responsible for your sales team? Oh, that would be Jodi. Okay. And how do you spell Jodi's last name? Okay, great. I'll send that. Well, you can call back 15 minutes later and say, "Hi, can I speak to Jodi?" So, and you wouldn't get any rejection at that. So you just had to learn that. And it's just systematic desensitization, just doing it over and over and over and over and turning frustration into fascination. Isn't that fascinating? I've now made 20 calls and no one wants to talk to me today. Right? Yeah. It is right here. And so many people, Jodi, they don't make it in life because of that. You know who they are. And I think there are people coming to our country who have this motivation, and you read these stories, we meet these leadership team members, and their stories are like, "Man, my parents got divorced, I had to figure it out."
Jody (00:23:14) - Right? Something happened to me, my brother, or something. And you realize this person has all this motivation and nothing's gonna stop those people. And when you hear their stories, you're like, I would bet on that stock, right? Today, like, mm-hmm, if that's the story, that's the stock I'm all in. So after a while, you know, then I started getting scientific about it. I knew there were words like, don't say, "Did I catch you at a good time?" 'cause it's never a good time. It's right, signals salesperson, right? Uh, don't try and qualify them over the phone. Are you the decision maker? Like there were just things that you had to do and evolve with it. And, um, you know, to the point now where I've done it in my sales mastery classes with our guide, mm-hmm, where I'll put a speaker on the table and I'll say, you know, even back in my traction days, give me a name.
Jody (00:24:02) - Anybody, I'll call anybody you like. I'll pick somebody off LinkedIn. I'll call a wealth manager in Chicago and talk to them, and I will get you a presentation. And they're like, "You can't do that." And I would do that because to me it was just an opportunity to sharpen the saw, right? And the marketplace will teach you what you need to know if you are willing to listen. The marketplace will teach you what you're willing to learn. So anyway, that's the fear of cold calling. And, and now, of course, you know, no one makes cold calls, right?
Jamie (00:24:35) - Anymore cold emails.
Jody (00:24:37) - Billion emails later, different challenge. But I still believe in our industry and to the financial advisors, CPAs, and people in finance, nothing replaces a conversation. You know, I say this today, all great clients were created with a conversation. None of them put a CPA in a shopping cart, right? Over your 20-year history, has anybody just said, "Oh, I'll take two virtual CFOs and I'll put 'em in the cart here"?
Jamie (00:25:04) - Return policy on that?
Jody (00:25:07) - It's never gonna happen. So, but you need to have that conversation. You need to engage with them. And some people today are hiding, Jamie, behind emails and voicemails and texts and white papers and content and posts. And I'm like, sometimes you just have to pick up the phone. Here, I give these to all of our guides and I make 'em put 'em on their phone, "Pick me up. I make you money."
Jamie (00:25:38) - That's great. So...
Jody (00:25:39) - It's crazy. It needs a sticker on your phone to remind you that when the phone is ringing, somebody's trying to buy, they're looking for help. And so sometimes my voicemail, I just called one of our guides today and they say, "If you're looking for help, you called the right place." That should be your answer, right? I mean, they're calling, looking for help. Did they get a runaround or did they get help? Right? So, right. So...
Jamie (00:26:01) - So yeah. So the next question. I'm gonna turn it a little bit more towards Pinnacle and what Pinnacle does. And I think there are two things to me that make Pinnacle unique. And I'd love for you to expand on both of them and then talk about how you develop these two things. So obviously the first is the tools. When Jody first saw the tools, he brought them home and sent them to me in the mail and was like, "Jamie, you have to check these out. This is what our CFOs need for training. They need to be this complete, they need to be this thorough. They really need to work through it." So that's the first thing that I think Pinnacle does really well. And I think the second thing is the team, the guides, right? When Jodi and I have probably spoken publicly, what, 50, a hundred times in the past couple of years. And when I went to Pinnacle within the first day, I was speaking with these guides, I was like, "Oh my goodness, I had to talk to all these intelligent people. How in the world am I gonna get up on stage and teach these intelligent people anything?" And I went home and practiced my speech 10 more times before the next day because I was so, I was nervous.
Jody (00:26:57) - I've never seen him nervous in front of a speech.
Jamie (00:27:00) - It was, it was sharp, they're people. Yeah, I know. But the guides that you bring in, I can tell you're selective, and I can tell you really think through making sure that you have the right guides to demonstrate those tools. So I'd love for you to expand on those two things.
Jody (00:27:14) - So I would go back to, you know, the tools. I've always been a reader, a prolific reader. I did not, I don't have an advanced degree in anything. I don't have a college education. And so I am from the school of like, you gotta go out and learn it and teach it and do it yourself. There's no one's coming to the rescue. And so I have read literally thousands of books. And I believe if you just look at the history of the world, right? You used to be, if you had a strong back, and I'm just going back to, you know, turn of the century, even, you had a strong back in Minnesota, you went up to the lumber mills, or you went down to the docks, right? And you just worked your back and, uh, you could make a living.
Jody (00:27:52) - And just fast forward. Now, we are definitely knowledge workers, right? Today. And so it is information and it's access, and it's not who do you know, it's who knows you, right? I mean, it has changed. And with the speed of information and how fast it's doubling and tripling, you have to be tuned in today. And anybody who thinks they have the market cornered on good ideas, it just falls. And if there is a good idea on the West Coast, it's on the East Coast by dinner, right? I mean, if somebody comes up with something in the Midwest, it's on both coasts. It travels around the world. Somebody comes up, I'm talking about anything like, we're gonna have a deep-fried lobster roll. Somebody will love that, and it goes viral, right? Type of thing. So I've always believed, and this goes back to my peak performers days, we would bring in these thought leaders, and Harvey McKay would say, "Practice makes, you know, perfect." And Brian Tracy would come up the week later and say, "No, practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent." If you have a hook in your golf swing and you don't fix it, keep practicing your hook, you're gonna have a gorgeous hook in your golf swing.
Jody (00:29:00) - Damn. Like he's right, right? Of course, he's right. So these people just learn and build upon their information. I have some books here behind me in my bookshelf, and they are well over a hundred years old. I have books by Orson Sweat and Martin, just go back, look about Brown Boys and square holes and character and secret of achievement, and I mean, just these amazing, amazing books. And I go back there because it's like truth, right? Truth is timeless. And the ideas that they had there, we have often packaged them up. So that's one of my sources of tools. I'll give you an example. I was reading a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte. And it's one of those books where you're reading it and if you ever read a book where it hits you so hard, you literally have to stop and close the book and think.
Jody (00:29:47) - So I'm reading this part, I'm sitting in my chair right over here, by the window, and I'm reading this book, and he says, "I have made a remarkable discovery. Men will die for ribbons." Hmm. And I remember closing the book, and I was thinking, man, that's still today. The Peace medal, the Nobel Peace Prize, the Olympic medals, the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Service Stars, the Olympics, it's my kids' track and field. I mean, it's everything. Men will die for ribbons. And so, just fast forward today to Giftology and rewards and recognition and egos and everything else. It comes back to that. You know, I'll get a badge. I'll get a, like, I got my 10,000 steps. People will literally go do all that work, right? Just to get the little trophy or icon on their phone or whatever accomplishments. So I'm a good student that way. And then, of course, just looking at the current how people will come out and take and narrow. Now we're into specialized knowledge. So I'll take a topic like Giftology or take a topic like Extreme Ownership, and Jocko will go out and write a book on extreme ownership and really talk about what does it mean to be in a healthy team where everybody in the leadership team says, "No, that's my fault, that's my fault, that's my fault, that's my fault," instead of everyone blaming it on everybody else, right? Why they didn't get the work done or whatever. Yep. So I am always looking for things that can really, I wanted to have an aha effect on the tools, Jamie and Jodi.
Jody (00:31:16) - Like when you see that tool, and we do that level up exercise, for example, I want them to say, "Wow, I never even thought about it that way. I never saw that. And the tool is just there to have a conversation, right?" It's no different than anything else, right? And the old joke is, if I only have a hammer, every solution's a nail. You know, so I don't wanna have just a hammer, right? Today, you need to have a great toolbox today. So I've spent a lot of time on it. Even this morning, I spent three hours with Caitlin, our second in command, looking at our curated tools. And there are three we're gonna archive and sunset just because we have a better tool. You know, there's another tool coming along.
Jody (00:31:58) - So we are in that evolution. Our tools are never done. They're always evolving. And a simple one, just, you know, we did a, a spread, uh, a graph for the talent assessment. And somebody said, Hey Greg, you should take the numbers off the line and put 'em into the space between the lines so people could write names in about where people are. I'm like, that's a great idea. 20 minutes later, you know, in the digital world today, you make that tool better. And if you keep that mindset about evolving, you're gonna have great tools, um, around that. Does that answer that question? Yeah, that was great.
*Greg * (00:32:28) - How do you get people to con to continue using the tool versus going off and doing kind of their own thing? Or do you really care? I mean, just as long as they get the, the job done. Do you, do you want them to use the tools or,
Jody (00:32:38) - Yeah, so we have about 80 tools, Jodi, and it's, it's around people and purpose and strategy. You gotta have a playbook and you have to perform at a high level. So this is our, our formula, right? Great people, right. Seats doing it, right, right. Performing, mm-hmm. . So, uh, but sometimes you need to have a different tool. Sometimes you just need to, to shake it up. Like, I have literally said, you know, what needs to be said, that hasn't been said because you just sense there's tension in the air, right? So some of those just need to have a conversation, but I'm, I'm not hung up. I trust that the people that we've hired or brought into Pinnacle Yep. Truly are gonna be the best judge to say what tool they should use. They're in the room, they're there eight hours, right? That day with them mm-hmm.
Jody (00:33:21) - And if they know that this tool is just not working, it's not resonating, it's not clicking, and they have another tool that they can say, "Hey, how about this?" and change the discussion, which changes the energy, which gets them to think differently, right? Then that tool has been successful. But this is back to why the coach, the guide is so important, ours, right? If you've been in with teams and you've bought companies and sold companies and hired people and fired people, and lost your biggest customers and so on, and you have relevant experience to share, and you don't feel that you have permission to share that, that's a sad day for you and for the customer that could have prevented a big mistake from happening. So, I mean, that kind of leads us to those guides. If you hire really good people, and I'm proud to say I've handpicked every person.
Jody (00:34:16) - Have I made a couple of mistakes? Of course you have, right? Sure. But some people are really good, and I see the potential in every person who's joined our organization to make us better. That's my filter. Can they make us better? We all started as new guides at one time, right? Four years ago, or five years ago, or 10 years ago. But somebody, even all the guides in all these systems did have a point when they were the new guide coming into scaling up or four disciplines, excu... Like you were the new guide that you had to learn. But back to that same thing, if they're willing to enter the danger, facilitate, have a great conversation, push people a little bit, know when to back off, as well, and do what's right for the client, if they will come and do that and allow those people to be themselves.
Jody (00:35:06) - You know, we have a couple of guides who are serial entrepreneurs, sold several businesses... Mm-hmm... We have two newer guides at the other end. They're both in their mid-thirties, but amazing stories. One is Sal, a Green Beret. So the top one half of 1% of these organizations. And another one is Christian. And Christian flew literally Blackhawk helicopters for McChrystal in the theater, I guess they would call it. And Team SEAL, SEAL Team Six, and all these deployments and so on. And when you learn like that, they had to have a checklist for that helicopter. You know, well, we could have a checklist for onboarding, right? Or, right. Or that literally their decisions were life or death. I mean, you know, or just what did the government invest in their training, you know, for them.
Jody (00:35:55) - And then we talk about, you know, an entrepreneur who doesn't want to send their people off to a half-day training class or... I'm pretty sure that if you're an Air Force pilot, they've spent seven figures on you. Oh, sure. Yeah. To do your job. Not to mention the fuel or the ammo or whatever else. And we should not hesitate to send people back to school, right? To read or learn something. So I handpicked the guides because I believe they can make us better, and we need some diversity in that group. Right. Diversity of experience, of age, of background. And I think if we do that and then truly be open, you know, one of the reasons my name is not on the front door, and I know a lot of training organizations when I was growing up, that's how you named them all.
Jody (00:36:45) - It was Brian Tracy and Dennis Waitley and Stephen Covey and Tommy Hopkins and Tony Robbins, and I mean, Sandler Slattery, I mean, they all put their name on the deal. And it's like, no, I'm back to, you know, one person doesn't have the market cornered on good ideas. And so I'm gonna put these really smart people in the room. This is my secret for business, for growing Pinnacle, get really good people, help 'em create, you know, full practices. And they have full practices because they're doing amazing work for their clients. And if I do that trifecta, if I get really good people, they're doing really good work, and their clients are happy, that's BizDev. All right? It's gotta be referral, and my phone's gonna ring, and people are gonna say, "Hey, I've heard about you." And we're seeing that now, you know, we just had a call from a Fortune 100 company that has 19,000 employees, and they're looking to partner with a platform. And at the end of our call, they're like, "Greg, we love your philosophy and your approach, and we are very well aligned, and we'd love to figure out how we can do this." And they've spent tens of millions of dollars figuring out this platform. And that's where I'm focused. I'm not trying to be like anybody else. We want to be in the category of one. That's where we're going. And you're gonna be in the category of one by not, you know, not looking at what everyone else is doing, but looking to say what needs to be done, what should be done, what is the right thing to do, and keep evolving and changing. And as long as we're, you know, back to, you know, if the rate of change outside your organization is faster, the change inside, you're becoming extinct, right? You're becoming irrelevant. Yep. And so, as long as we are changing this fast or faster than the world around us, we're gonna be just fine. Our clients are gonna be just fine. Right? You know? The economy's gonna be just fine if we keep doing that. Um, so.
*Greg* (00:38:34) - So kind of reversing that then. So that's how you pick your guides and the people on your team. If I was a business owner out there, how would I pick a guide? You know, why would I pick a guide versus all the different other organizations out there? What should I do? What kind of research should I do? I think what...
Jody (00:38:53) - Think those are the three big problems we're solving in the marketplace. Number one is there are so many systems, right? You go on Amazon, you buy a book, and it says people who bought this book also bought these three other books, right? And so then you go down that rabbit hole, trying to figure out which one is right for you. This one's more structured, this one's more disciplined. This is less framework, this is more about execution or cash or whatever. So there are lots of them. So the number one problem is what system should you use? Mm-hmm. And I believe that entrepreneurs should not be choosing their system. I think there's a flaw in that. It's, and the analogy I use, I go to the Mayo Clinic every year for my own physical, mm-hmm. And if you had cancer today, prostate cancer, you could go and try to figure out, should I get radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, homeopathic, naturopathic?
Jody (00:39:41) - Should I go to Mexico? Where should I go? Right? You could do all that. Or you could say, I'm going to go find the best oncologist in the world for prostate cancer, and if they think I should do surgery tomorrow and then radiation, I think I'm doing surgery and radiation. I mean, that's one approach, right? Instead of me trying to figure it out. Right. So I don't think entrepreneurs should be choosing their operating systems or their, their, you know, what formula they should do, but they should choose the guide. They should choose the guide. Mm-hmm. And the guide is really important. And it comes down to chemistry. Like you know, some guides are soft-spoken and some people are full of energy and bouncing off the wall, mm-hmm. And if you are, you know, a financial CPA that's kind of middle of the road, and I put you in a room with me bouncing off the walls all day long for eight hours, you'll be exhausted by lunchtime, right?
Jody (00:40:31) - You'll be worn out, but not by the same token. Do the reverse. If you want energy and you are that high-energy CPA, and I give you someone who's monotone and talks, that's not a fit either. So, right. It's chemistry, it's background, it's experience. You want someone who's going to make you better, who's going to stand up to you, who's going to challenge your thinking, get you to think differently. And then when you're wrong, tell you you're wrong. And if you're right, support you as well when you're second-guessing it also. So I think the guide is really important. And then the guide should choose the operating system, right? The guide should decide, should you have a scoreboard or a scorecard, the guide should decide, "Oh, you know, you should do profit first." Right? That would be a great formula for you. Or you should have a separate account, or you should do this.
Jody (00:41:21) - Right? The guide should be that person who brings the right tools to you and decides, "Hey, I can only go as fast as you can go," right? We use this mountain analogy, and I'm telling you, if you're a team of 25, 26 people that all came out of the military and all are, you know, SEALs or Green Berets, you're going to run up that hill with a hundred-pound ruck if you got 'em, but you're 55 and 60 with bad knees, bad elbows, a little SPF, and they're going to get burned, right? We're going to go a lot slower with those people because we have a history and reasons why it's not going to work. And so I've got to go slower. And so I'm always like, I can go as fast as you can go. But in the end, you do want a coach who can just say, "Hey, can we just go another half mile?"
Jody (00:42:06) - Or there's a beautiful view, or there's a great place to rest, or this would be a great place to stop, or "No, there's a snowstorm hitting us on the mountain. We are actually going down. We're going to do a reverse accountability chart, and we're laying off five people, and we're going to get smaller to weather the storm." You want somebody who has those, I'm going to call them credentials or street chops or moxie or whatever, but they're comfortable. They're not trying to please you. They're here to do what's right for you, right? Right. Your doctor's not trying to please you. They're trying to do what's right for you, right? Mm-hmm. That type of thing. So that's the trusted advisor role that I think we play. Don't be afraid you're going to lose the client. Don't be afraid that I'm not going to get you to where you need to go.
Jody (00:42:47) - Right? And running out of runway is something that drives you. So that's kind of the huge difference, Jody. I don't know anybody who's taken that approach. Mm-hmm. is saying, choose the guide, make sure it's a good chemistry fit. You'll outgrow your guide, right? Sure. And that's okay. Like it's an infinite game, so hey, the person you needed when you were smaller and now you're with Anders and you're much bigger, more complicated, you're going to exotic places, like doing bigger retreats or speaking opportunities or whatever. Like how I stuck that one in there, Jamie, I did, yeah. I worked, yes. List, but I'll be back on the guest list, but like as you grow, you need a different type of guide, right?
Jody (00:43:30) - Mm-hmm. So if you were in roll-up mode, someone with mergers and acquisitions would be great. Can you imagine hiring a guide? Let's say you are in your business and you can hire a guide that has relevant experience building great operating systems and scaling companies and growing companies, and they were a great fit chemistry-wise, right? Like you were similar in drive and alpha or desire or goals or whatever. And they had industry experience. They came in and they knew CPA and financials and software and models and tax, and they, and like it would be the trifecta because usually it's one or the other, right? I know my business, but I don't know yours. Or, and I would say if, you know, this was back to the Cutco days with Vector, right? And we, by the way, I had a lot of those people buy tickets, Cutco Kirby, because you guys were just pure sales organizations. If the guy couldn't sell, he was not hanging around very long. Exactly. I was probably there. Yes. And listen, and the Cutco, like you guys were such pioneers. Like you guys, instead of lowering prices, you raised the prices and said, "Let's give 'em the forever guarantee, the last set of knives they'll ever need to own." Exactly. So, uh, I digress. So anyway, um,
Jamie (00:44:43) - Yeah, so I guess the follow-up question to that is, if I'm listening to this podcast and I want a guide, is there a list on the website or how would I go about finding that guide? Yeah.
Jody (00:44:52) - PinnacleBusinessGuides.com or PinnacleBusinessGuide.com. Both URLs will take you there. There's a map on the website where you can locate guides in your state. And I would suggest having a couple of conversations. It's not a beauty contest, Jodi, or we're in trouble. But it really needs to be about letting them ask you some questions. And if a great guide is asking you questions you haven't thought about before, and they're asking you questions that make you think, "That's a really good question. No one's ever asked me that before," then it's a good sign. When should you do tax planning? At the beginning of the year or at the end of the year, for example? When does your tech strategy work? If they're asking you thought-provoking questions, it shows they could help you evolve and improve your system. So, Jamie, I would recommend starting there. It's a great starting point. We're happy to help you target in. If you don't want to have those conversations or you're still not sure, just pick up the phone and give us a call. Anyone in our leadership team or our community would be happy to help you find the right fit. While we would love for you to be with Pinnacle, it's more important that you find the right fit for the long term. Our average relationship is five-plus years, and that's because people stay with their guides when they're doing great work. So, it's the same in your business, right? If your clients are happy and have that trusted advisor relationship, they'll stay. We're not thinking we're done; we're thinking, "Let's get back here again in six months or three months." So, it's the same kind of relationship. Perfect.
Greg (00:46:46) - Yeah. I think we're right in line with you guys. We're at four and a half to five years right now. So, I mean, that's right there. As a virtual CFO platform, the last question I wanted to ask you is just about a word. And I'm hoping that you take it in the direction I'm hoping, but if I say the word "change," what does that mean?
Jody (00:47:07) - Well, if you're , if you don't like change, you're gonna hate irrelevance. Uh, I have a postcard on my, in my session room, Jodi. And it has got pictures of everything from, it was only 10 years ago that we had computer labs, that if you were going to into school, you literally had to sign up for the computer lab and you went in there, you know, for two, three hours. Now every kid's got two computers in, in their back. Right? How would you like to be selling calculators? I remember when you need, well, you guys probably still cal help calculators, but remember when everyone had a calculator, right? Like that was the big deal. Like was calculators, pagers, uh, I was just watching here. The movie s got a pager on, on his pot, on zip and so on. Yep. We are changing, we are changing Co Kodak and these companies that were iconic companies who didn't stand up with change, they are gone.
Jody (00:47:51) - Right? Sears was the original Amazon. They were the original catalog. It wasn't online, but you could buy just about anything. You can imagine there, uh, when you see the companies that just closed up, like Bath, uh, um, bed Bath and Beyond, right? They said we never changed fast enough. We did not keep up with it. Barnes and Noble waited 10 years before they got into the selling books online. It's so hard to recover from those things. And so it's no different than everything else. You're gonna drive your car today. Mm-hmm. , you're gonna fly in a plane. Yeah. Soon the plane is off course. 99%. It is constantly making adjustments. You're making adjustments on your way home all the time. And some people, for some reason, I don't know where they got this is they're like, Hey, I don't like change. And yet change is very positive.
Jody (00:48:36) - If I came in here tomorrow and said, you just won the lottery, we gotta make some changes around here. , no one, no one would go like, oh my gosh, we don't wanna make any changes . But if you come and say, we need to make some changes around here, right? We're not as profitable as we should be, or we've lost, or we got more clients, or I'm taking on 50 clients, we gotta make some changes. Like, oh, we're growing too fast or whatever. So it, there is about messaging and communication and I think today's leaders, you need to embrace change and you need to be really good at change management. And the narrow, the narration of it, everyone is good with change. If it's goal directed, right? Hey, you gotta make some changes. You're retiring in Florida, you gotta make some changes. You gotta lose 20 pounds, right?
Jody (00:49:14) - You gotta make some changes. You just got grandkids, right? You gotta make changes. You just had a baby, you just got married. Everyone's good with that change because we think it's goal-directed and we think we can control it. And as soon as we start talking about change that they don't like or think they can't control, all of a sudden people are digging their heels in. And I would just tell you, it is it, we are gonna change dramatically. The speed of change is actually picking up, it's not slowing down. So I would just encourage everyone to embrace it and, just like when you drive in your car, you be the one that's directing that change. And we're not, I remember this, I think this was a Jim Rome quote is that the reason birds fly south in the winter is because that's all they know how to do is fly south.
Jody (00:49:59) - And we are not birds. We can go north, we can go south, we can go west, we can go to the Caribbean. I mean, we can go anywhere and we should embrace that change, right? We're not a tree. If we don't like it, we can leave. Right? We can just go do something else tomorrow, today with this labor market. And so nothing is gonna, the only thing I can tell you is a hundred percent certain is things are gonna be just about the same as they've always been except for change. Change is gonna change. And things that you are not doing. I just talked about, remember I said the phone? Yeah, 50 cents a minute. Yeah. I was at one of my clients and we were talking about change and I said the metered service model, 'cause they were charging by the word and by the hour and everything, Jody.
Jody (00:50:41) - I said, we don't want a metered service model anymore, right? We used to get AOL online, you know, for 600 hours on the CD. We used to get our phone by the minute. We used to go get a rental car and then you had to pay mileage for the rental car. I mean, all those metered services, and there are a few of them left, but they're all gone, accounting. I'm trying to be nice to you guys, versus it's based on outcome and results, right? Listen, if we can do it in two hours and somebody else takes five hours, I mean, should I be penalized? Because I could do it in two hours, you know, and make a bit more money, and they're gonna take five hours, or they're gonna use a yellow pad and a Texas instrument calculator, and I'm gonna use the software program to import all your information.
Jody (00:51:28) - So that's all I would tell you. And I can't wait to see what the future has in store for Pinnacle and for my friends and for our guides. And we are gonna be the ones on that frontline cheering, right, and saying, "What a great ride. This is amazing." And our lives are not gonna be busy. They're just gonna be full of all the things that we wanna embrace with change. So, a question for you guys. What's next for you in change? Like for me, I'd love to learn how to do that remarkable thing, you know, I see people do presentations and all your documents and so on. Just embracing that. What do you think is the next big change for you two?
*Greg* (00:52:08) - I think the biggest change, and we kind of addressed this in our team retreat, uh, a couple of weeks ago, is that we're changing the way that we compensate our team. And we've been doing it kind of continuously over the last 10 years. But what we wanted to do is we want to create a model, and we've done a pretty decent job with it, that you can kind of dictate how much you want to earn. You can dictate how much time you want to put into it. And what I mean by that is that now that we're in a global market, you know, we weren't before, now that you can be employed anywhere in the United States or beyond, from a company in St. Louis, Missouri, you're competing against the entire nation, price-wise, benefits-wise, all that kind of stuff, and not just your local area. It's kind of nice that we can create what we call a variable compensation plan, where we can find out the highest range that a team member should make, the lowest range, put them somewhere in the middle as their base compensation, and then instead of getting this weird subjective bonus at the end of the year, let them dictate what that is throughout the year. And getting a variable comp based on what we use as a book of business as our reference point. But if they put in more time and they're working really hard, why not create a little entrepreneur inside that model, to where they can make a hundred thousand dollars coming right out of college.
*Greg* (00:52:48) - Um, you know, now you're competing against the entire nation, you know, price-wise, you know, benefits-wise, all that kind of stuff, and not just your local area. It, it's kind of nice that we can create a, what we call a variable compensation plan, where we can, you know, find out what the highest range is that a team member should make, what the lowest range is, put them somewhere in the middle as their base compensation and then instead of getting this weird subjective bonus at the end of the year, let them dictate what that is throughout the year. And, and getting a variable comp based on, you know, what we use as a book of business is our reference point. But, you know, if they put in more time in they're co and they're working really hard, why not create a little entrepreneur inside that model, uh, to where they can, you know, make a hundred thousand dollars coming right outta college.
*Greg* (00:53:34) - Or if they want to take some time, let life hit, let life happens, or, you know, maybe they go through a pregnancy or whatever and they want to reduce their workload. They have the power of doing that. And so what we're trying to do is we're trying to give the employee the power to say yes or no, or not yet. Yeah. And, in the world today, that's typically not how it works. It's more like, you know, Hey, you're gonna do this and here's what you're gonna do and here, and suck it up. And we're finding that people just don't want that anymore. And they want to have that autonomy to be able to choose. And so we're trying to create a pay structure that allows us to do that, which is super different than, you know, what other accounting firms are doing right now.
Jody (00:54:13) - That's like we just talked about change. That's you embracing change 'cause the power shifted. The power used to be in the hands of the employer, and now the power's in the hands of the people. And so you go into a performance model and, and recognizing that people have the power, that is embracing the change and being proactive.
Jamie (00:54:29) - That I'd say for me, the biggest thing that, um, I've been obsessed with in the last three months is AI. Um, so we were in a conference in November and they said, AI is coming. It's not here yet, but it's coming. And now here we are in May and it's been here for like three months and it is going so fast that, um, it is amazing to me. And so I am all over it. I'm trying to embrace it and be involved in it as much as I can and make sure that I understand how to use it and how to use it properly. So I've changed my Twitter feed where pretty much every tweet I see has something to do with AI and how to embrace it and which new AI platforms are out there. And so that's the biggest thing for me because I know that's where I personally am going as well as where Summit is going as a company. And Andrews is going as a company. We have to embrace AI and we can't fall behind it. So that's, to me, the biggest change that I am all over right now.
Jody (00:55:16) - Great. That's great. I just, uh, found a little flaw in the AI. I took all of our tools, Jodi, like 80 tools. I just threw them in randomly and I said to the ChatGPT, "Can you please organize alphabetically?" because I know how to do that in a spreadsheet in, like, seven seconds. Right? Yeah. And it had trouble. It had trouble and I had to do it a second time, the third time. Oh wow. Just try that because they got the numbers and then got 'em outta order. And
Jamie (00:55:40) - So that's the way you ask it a lot of times too. That's what I found. Yeah.
Jody (00:55:43) - Hundred percent. So there is a learning curve, but are you gonna embrace that change or are you gonna fight that change and be irrelevant? Right.
Jamie (00:55:50) - Well, let's, we're right here towards the end of the show, so I wanna make sure we have time for our fun question. So I'm gonna throw this out there to both of you. Early on in the episode, Greg, you talked a little bit about Tom Brady and talked about leaders in the industry or excellence. And so I'm gonna have everybody talk about their favorite GOAT. It doesn't have to be sports. It can be sports, it could be entrepreneurship, it can be entertainment. But someone that you look up to in terms of that you feel like is the GOAT in what they do and why you look up to them. So I'll start with you, Greg, 'cause it looks like you have an answer.
Jody (00:56:27) - Wow, I do not have the answer. Oh, that's such a, so first of all, you probably may or may not know, but our mascot is a GOAT 'cause I think goats are amazing climbing animals. And we built our core values around the GOAT.
Jody (00:56:41) - Fearless, he's got horns, he's gotta go disrupt. He's got a helmet, life's rough. Wear a helmet like go for mastery. He's got some gray beard and go be a go-giver. And he's got a smile. And I just love watching, like I mentioned the Air documentary. And I've been really enjoying those documentaries about true life 'cause you realize, you know, Phil Knight was probably the personality behind Nike, but Saul going to get Michael Jordan and how he took a completely different unethical, unorthodox approach, like going right to the parents and the mom and the revenue share. And how if they weren't open to that and weren't gonna change, and he saw these like he's now $4 billion worth of their sales, and people wondering if they should do basketball along those lines.
Jody (00:57:28) - I think you can learn in so many different places. I was just listening to a podcast yesterday, Michael Lombardi, and he was talking about leadership. He works with Bill Belichick, and they pick out these players. He says, "You gotta alert. You know, we, we talk about recruiting. He said, recruiting is not for you to attract, it's for you to eliminate." I thought, "Hmm, that's a nice goal." So they eliminate people, and they say you need to recruit from the inside out and then from the outside in, and everyone's doing it the other way. Everyone's looking at the outside and going, "Oh my God, he's a 440. He can run, he can do this and he can catch." And they're like, "No, no, no, they don't make the team."
Jody (00:58:04) - And he's talking about the systems. So I just see so many of them in such great, nuanced form. But I would just tell you that regardless of who we pick, you need to be a better leader next year than you were this year. And whatever worked last year is not gonna work next year. And if you had the greatest ice cream treat, social ba like band, whatever you've done as a leader and incentives and comps and so on, I would tell you that you can't rest on your laurels. That person needs to come up again. Right. I mean the Bill Belichick, the Sabans, the business leaders that we look at all the time, you need to be a better leader next year than you were this year. And I think if you have that as a mindset, then you will continue to be a GOAT.
Jody (00:58:53) - You will continue to be as competitive, and people won't want to come work with you. For sure. Unfortunately today, with social media, we see a lot more of the social CEOs. So when Uber had that incident where he is literally fighting with these drivers and stuff, or somebody has something that goes on, I would tell you that as soon as we see that, we're like, "That's not our role model." So, um, so I know you're trying to stay on time there, Jamie. Good luck.
Jamie (00:59:26) - That was definitely great. I know you mentioned a couple of GOATs there, so I'm gonna give you credit for that. All right. So Jody, it's your turn to pick your favorite GOAT.
Greg (00:59:33) - Yeah. My way of looking at a GOAT is somebody that kind of changes the, not necessarily how it ends up, but somebody that actually makes a change in whatever that industry is or whatever that sport is. And the one I'm gonna go with is kind of a local one for me, and that's Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning, in my opinion, was a student of football. Tons of time put into the craft, making sure that he honed that craft, but also he changed the way that football did with the hurry-up offense. He took the hurry-up offense, which was usually only done in the last few minutes of a game, and put that into play throughout the entire game, really changing the concept of how to play football.
Greg (01:00:15) - He was a game changer, where the quarterback was actually making the calls on the field versus signals coming in back and forth. So a huge game changer. Shaq was also, if you look at basketball, another one of those huge game changers. They basically changed the rules around him because he was so dominant inside and made a huge difference. And from Shaq going from just being dominant in the sports arena to being even more dominant in the business arena, it transcended from what he did in basketball throughout the business world. And you say, "Hey, what's my second career?" Look at Shaq. Was his second career better than his first career? Is he a better business person than he was a basketball player? Who knows? It's pretty questionable. So I look at Manning, and I would say Shaq would be the two that come to mind as being what I would consider a GOAT because they changed the way that the sport or the person is supposed to be.
Jamie (01:01:21) - Great, great choices. Yeah. And I think both of those are really good choices and, um, I know everybody's expecting you're gonna be
*Greg * (01:01:27) - Wrong, you're gonna be wrong.
Jamie (01:01:29) - Everybody's expecting, you've
*Greg * (01:01:30) - Already picked
Jamie (01:01:31) - Everybody's expecting me to pick basketball, but I'm actually gonna change it on you. Right now, I am deep diving into David Goggins, and I feel like he's the GOAT of a lot of things. I started with David Goggins by reading "Living with a Seal" about 10 years ago, where he moved in with the guy and basically changed his life. Since then, every time a book comes out, I dive into it. Currently, my son and I are reading his most recent book, "Can't Hurt Me," and it is amazing. Everything that dude writes, I take a lot of notes. When I'm reading his book, I feel like I'm constantly taking notes and thinking, "That's awesome. That's the thing I need to talk about and think about." So right now, David Goggins is the GOAT of motivation for me. I admire the way he lives and how he attacks everything he does. He's the GOAT that I'm focusing on right now.
Jody (01:02:18) - Absolutely. We started off talking about the seven inches, right? It's mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. I just want to give a shoutout to Audible books, like his "Can't Hurt Me," where he's on there with the author and provides commentary and context. It's a really good listen for people as well. So the journey is never over. We don't know who the next great author, influencer, or person is going to show up in our lives and give us an idea that changes who we are. We leave a different person at the end of that conversation. So, for sure.
Jamie (01:02:51) - Great. Well, Greg, I want to thank you for joining the show. I know you mentioned the website, but are there any other ways people can get a hold of you?
Greg - Greg at pinnacle.guide is my email. You can also reach me at 952-445-8604. I still answer my phone. I think that's dangerous. There you go. I challenge you to get a million views and get my phone to ring. Exactly. We have to gauge.
Jamie (01:03:18) - Well, it was definitely a fun episode. I know time flew by as I was watching the clock. I can't believe how far into this we are, but I think this is a great episode and our listeners are going to get a lot out of it. So I definitely appreciate both of you guys coming on and feeding the audience all this great information.
Jody (01:03:33) - You're welcome. Have a great week. Take care. Thank you. You too.