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Pillars of Business Success: Insights from Pinnacle Business Guide

Published by Summit Marketing Team on 17 Aug 2023

The Virtual CPA Success Show: Episode 93


Have you ever wondered how a business coach could help your business? Pinnacle Business Guide Peter Van Nest joins Joey and Jody to share his expertise on the five pillars of Pinnacle’s philosophy for achieving business success. Peter stresses the importance of building relationships and working together to solve problems. The conversation also outlines the importance of finding the right fit between a Pinnacle guide and a client, and how trust and communication are key to a successful partnership.



Joey (00:00:15) - Welcome back to another episode of the virtual CPA Success Show. I'm your host for today's episode, Joey Kinney, and I'm joined with everyone's favorite accountant, turned Tommy Bahama, cover model, Jody Grunden. Jody, how are you today? 

Jody: Yeah, thanks Joey. Love the intro .

Joey (00:00:31) - I'm excited for our chat today, Jody. We're joined by Peter Vanes, who's a pinnacle guide, um, based outta St. Petersburg, Florida. Um, I'll let him introduce himself, but we're really looking forward to talking today about his journey, not just as a pinnacle guide, but some of the stuff he does outside of the business and wanted, excited to learn more about a group that I've worked with through my time at Summit, but could really stand to learn a lot more about in terms of how we can start helping our clients that way. Peter, thank you so much for joining us today.

Peter (00:00:58) - Oh, it's great to be here. , and I appreciate the shout out as well, Jodi. It's always a pleasure hanging with you, so this is a good time for us to tell tall tales, if you will. Exactly.

Joey (00:01:08) - Yep,

Peter (00:01:08) - We do. I got I'll. I'll jump in first and just give you a  thumbnail sketch of what I've done and where I've been. , I spent a career in MedTech, specifically in the hearing space, anything to do with hearing loss, so that's hearing aids, clinical audiometers, working with doctors, hospitals, clinics. And I had an opportunity to, , to take that career to a global level where in my last 15, 20 years, I was engaged in opening various countries on behalf of the global company that I worked for. There was a methodology to it, and I think we could talk about that today, where we, where I went through with a, , a very small team, and we looked at the marketplace. Was the government willing to help out with medicine and healthcare? I looked at the industry. Are there professionals, the doctors, the technicians, the audiologists?

Peter (00:02:04) - Are they excited and capable professionals to be able to carry out the work? And then finally, I look at the employees and are these people excited to come to work every day? Do they want to be some part of something bigger and make a contribution? And if I, if I could check those boxes, then the decision was, do we present to the board to have an investment in a particular country? If we had mixed results, maybe we start with our foot in the water, and move into a distributor model. And then finally, there were times when it wouldn't make sense at all, and it was better for us to simply move out of the market and give it time so that it would be sell and diversified. Um, through that experience. I think the Pinnacle community was a unique opportunity to meet like-minded business guides.

Peter (00:02:55) - Joey and I call 'em guides, not necessarily coaches or consultants, because what I have found with coaches and consultants, there's some very talented people out there. Many of those people can write a book, but few of those people can actually go and deliver on the results and have direct experience. And so as a business guide, I firmly believe that I tie in with the team that's gonna climb the mountain from the CEO to the janitor. We're all in it together, and if we do it right, we can all celebrate success when it comes. And getting to success also means that we're gonna fail miserably. How do you fail fast? How do you learn from what you fail? And how do you get up and keep going? So that's my introduction in a nutshell, , in terms of Pinnacle and where I've been. And I'll say, you know, feel free to hit me with whatever you, , whatever topic comes to mind.

Joey (00:03:46) - Hey, Joe, , real quick, Joey, far, , before you go into it, um, got a quick question. So, pinnacle, what, Peter, can you, can you kind of tell the folks that really don't know what Pinnacle never heard of Pinnacle before? What, what is Pinnacle? How does that kind of compare to other organizations that are out there? And, you know, if you can give us kind of a background there, that'd be great.

Peter (00:04:06) - Yeah, that's, that's, , it, it's a good time to do that. As we, as we start to unpack this thing, if you think about Pinnacle, obviously the analogy that comes to mind is climbing a mountain. And as you climb a mountain, you're always looking at a peak down, , down range, what we're gonna do next. And it's important to get to that peak. But by getting there, you've gotta be carefully planning your course of ascent, as well as how you, , continue to, to move on the mountain. To me, you'll hear a lot of things that we could talk about, like base camp, you do a quarterly lookout. How's it going? What did we do well? What did we fail at? Where do we need to put our resources together? Those type of things allow you to string together, , not just a climb, but you guys have all climbed a tree, climbed a hill, mm-hmm.

Peter (00:04:54) - , you get to the top and all of a sudden the question becomes good for us. What's next? When I think about Pinnacle, Jodi, I immediately go to meet my client, looking at the business, where are the businesses in their life cycle? What are the three biggest challenges that the business faces? And ultimately, if you jump in and start there, you immediately can begin to add value because you gotta get team members to do this together. We all have to row the boat in the same direction, otherwise we're, we're not gonna be nearly as effective. Or the visionary, the CEO, the leader, they're gonna be working 80 hours a week. And the question is, when are they gonna burn out? And, and, , and say, enough, I can't do this anymore, and then, , finally you asked a good point too, in a nutshell, what are these things?

Peter (00:05:39) - , pinnacle, EOS, attraction. There's a bunch of business consulting operations out there, as well as groups, masterminds. All of them, in my mind, become part of a community that looks at a business operating system. And what we should focus on today is really look, peeling it back and talking about in a business operating environment, what are the things that everybody needs to do to be on a successful path? And then you bring your own personality, your own passion into it. You make it individual. But that's the piece for me where I look at Pinnacle and say, I have the ability to jump in and make a contribution where the client is in their journey. And I have the ability to grab 120 different tools from a very large toolbox and a community of other business guides around the country where I can say, Hey guys, I've, I've got a unique issue here, and I don't have a solution top of mind. I can go get 15 different ideas and, and find something that works that we can try and get results in 90 days.

Joey (00:06:45) - So, so Pinnacle. So basically, it's a guide or a coach that helps on a regular basis. Is  it the way that you, that way that you work with your clients, is that meeting on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, what, what's the kind of the cadence that you, , you typically meet with clients? And if you can kind of give us the kind of in the behind the scenes, you know, look there Yeah. Greatly.

Peter (00:07:07) - Yeah, absolutely. So, if I have a new client, , for me, I'm, I'm in for a couple of days. We're gonna do a full day session. And when I say full day, you know, that can be 7 to 5:00 PM It could also be 7 to 3:00 PM because people are physically exhausted. You're mentally working on what is our purpose? What's our core value, what are our problems? There's a lot of heavy lifting that happens just to get into the groove. And I'll say in the early learning sessions, we're together frequently. It might be onsite for a couple of days. It's certainly weekly phone calls. And it's also getting to know the management team, you know, in every company they, it's funny how 80% of the work falls to 20% of the people. Well, who are those people doing the work and how can, I'm okay with that, , fact, but how can we get everybody in the company either to be aware of where we're going as a company or can they do some of the things that are necessary for a business to succeed, but may not be strategically significant?

Peter (00:08:04) - Cuz I want our best talent, best minds thinking strategically about the, where the company's going all in and all done. If you look back over a 12 month period, you start out very intense getting to proving results, finding value, the direction for the, for the strategy to have success. And after a period of six to 12 months, Jodi, it turns into a quarterly, touch base, either onsite through Zoom, , we can do phone calls to get there. And what I really appreciate is that I tell my clients straight up, you know, if we're together for a short period of time, that might be 18 months to, , a minimum of three years, and by the time we're at three years in the client, the company, the team will know the tools, they'll have the skills and abilities. At that point, it's begin time to begin to transition me out. And typically we look, I look to people that would be called a coo o Chief Operating Officer, in a smaller business that could be a director of professional support, it's generally some type of operations person who would then, , take over the, the same role that I'm playing to help the company move. But by that point mm-hmm.  three years in, they've scaled it to a point where they've got somebody on staff doing this work.

Joey (00:09:24) - So it's kind of taking over the role of the CEO for the, for the most part is what it sounds like. With operations and working closely with the CEO, CFO and you know, the other C folks, if they're at that stage of growth at they're, you know, their business,

Peter (00:09:39) - Yeah, you're absolutely right. You know, for some guys, they'll, they'll jump in on a, on a fractional COO role, and they'll attend weekly meetings, for me, I keep the flexibility for, for me it's really a discussion with the client and the, and the business entity and what is it that they need because, you know, for me as a consultant or a guide, I can make recommendations, but ultimately the visionary, the CEO has to make the decision in terms of giving me a course to sale and where to take the ship. , and that oftentimes, that's not a, you know, the, the clearer we are in that message, the easier it is for the team to see where we're going as a group.

Joey (00:10:23) - WhatI love about frameworks, and, and that's kind of how I'm feeling about Pinnacle, is it's kind of a framework to, to a philosophy, if you will, for, for operating your business, is there's, there's usually a set of tenets or principles or, or something that's kind of guiding this philosophy. And you mentioned on our call before, before we were recording that there were five things that Pinnacle views. Can you, can you talk about those five pillars,

Peter (00:10:47) - Pinnacles? Yeah. I'd be happy to it. In fact, it's funny because for me, it doesn't matter which framework you're working on, they all have some element of it. It's how well they can adapt to the needs of the business. It's, , that's trying to scale. But the first one is people. You gotta find the right people and put 'em in the right seats on the bus. There's, , there's a tremendous amount of literature out there that talks about that thought alone, but ultimately mm-hmm. You've gotta be skilled at putting together a job description, a staffing plan, having an interview team to help make sure that the candidate has a technical skill set to make sure that they can add value, but also that they fit the culture. I mean, I love Jodi cuz when we work together.

Peter (00:11:33) - I need Mr. Bahama with me on the boat in Florida when we're having a session. Because it would be wildly incongruent to have somebody show up in a business suit expecting that we're gonna be in the boardroom all day, and we're out in the sun and they're melting. And I have been in experiences when you've seen that it becomes a very visible problem at the time that you experience it, that this may not be a good match. People are the first one. Once you get the people on the right seats on the bus, and by "the right seats," you've got a sales leader, a marketing leader, potentially human resources, operations, accounting—all of those things are great. And then the challenges, they all scale and have different titles as the business goes through different revenue cycles.

Peter (00:12:28) - But it's very important that the visionary, whoever leads the business, understands the story that brought the owner into the realm of wanting to be a business person. That purpose has to be communicated so that others on the management team, and in fact, everybody in the company, know what their role is when they get out of bed every morning and show up at work, whether it's working hybrid or remote, fully remote, or being physically in the office or meeting with clients. When that purpose is clear, to me, it's as easy as sand. All of a sudden, we're in the same boat, gentlemen, and we know where we're going, and we know that we're all gonna row in the same direction. And I'm sure you've had experiences where all of a sudden we're rowing and, you know, rowing on the left side, nobody's rowing on the right side.

Peter (00:13:16) - And we're just doing some brainstorming. I've had a lot of experience in that area. And then, mm-hmm. As we get acclimated around purpose, that's followed quickly by saying that the people who are doing the work should simply write it down. Start with pen and paper. What's the process in order to get work? What do we have to do? We have to put together a bid, we have to determine pricing, we have to create an offer for a client. We have to secure the work, and then we have to execute the work. So operations involve building something, putting together services. We need to provide value for the work that we're ultimately going to get paid for. And so it's a process of obtaining the work, executing the work, and getting paid for the work.

Peter (00:14:01) - To me, that's really the essence of a playbook. And it starts out with paper and pencil. But ultimately, there are wonderful software applications where you can collaborate and share elements of work. A 15-step workflow can be visualized as a schematic or linked documents and attachments. These are valuable tools because they help the organization do business more efficiently. Once we have the playbook in place, it all comes down to performance. And that performance is the responsibility of a strong management team, as they need to establish key performance indicators (KPIs). These indicators can vary by industry and even by company, but they allow the organization to know when to step on the gas pedal. For example, investing more money into marketing.

Peter (00:14:55) - Because typically in the United States, we see sales increases after the summer months. Kids go back to school, parents have more time without having to entertain the kids, and they start to think more seriously about achieving their year's goals. Naturally, marketing might want to increase spending during that period. It is important to track the success of those marketing campaigns. Conversely, an organization might also want to know the KPIs for when to slow down, especially when the business indicators suggest a potential decline. Personally, I don't advertise at all in August, and this is particularly true in Italy and the northern part of Europe where everyone goes on holidays and there is minimal business activity. Therefore, the business reporting should accurately reflect the expectation of lower sales during that time due to the holiday season.

Peter (00:15:53) - Those are the types of things that you need to be attuned to in order to effectively manage the business cycles and performance. Joey, when those four things come into alignment—the people, the purpose of the work, the playbooks, and performing as a team—the end result could be profits. It could also lead to a sense of calm and peace within the organization. Perhaps that means transitioning to four-day work weeks or creating a lifestyle business. We might choose to have our management trips in exotic locations. In my career, it was wonderful to plan trips to Safari or Machu Picchu in Peru. I had a group of people where we agreed that if we were to be successful, one of the outcomes we desired was to see the world. This allowed us to experience it together as a group or with our families, without worrying about the expensive bills.

Peter (00:16:51) - But we built it into our business model. And I'll say that becomes important because when you share common values, you can plan for success. The key is to be very clear about how you define success. This is why I appreciate Pinnacle because it provides a business framework that encourages the team to start with a blank slate and imagine possibilities. It's beneficial to have an outsider, a guide, or a consultant who isn't familiar with the challenges of the business, as they can offer fresh perspectives. They can ask questions like, "What would a moonshot look like?" If we had no obstacles and could aim for the moon, how would that look? This approach allows for the exploration of unconventional ideas that may not have been considered before. Just because we haven't done something a certain way doesn't mean we shouldn't think about it.

Speaker 5 (00:17:48) - Well,

Joey (00:17:48) - And thank you so much for sharing that, and I love that the five principles of Pinnacle start with "P." Oh yes, in some way, shape, or form. I appreciate the consistency of that, as it makes it easy to think about the framework from that perspective. One of the things that I like that you kind of mentioned earlier is the importance of figuring out how to fit this framework and make it work for any number of situations because all businesses are different. Same industry. You can have 90 different businesses in the same industry, even in the same location. They're all gonna be a little bit different. When you are looking to work with somebody like Summit, for instance, or some of our folks that we work with who listen to this show, we tend to be very much either fractional CFOs or working in the space of the accountant outside of, you know, obviously fitting in perfectly on a yacht in Miami. What are you looking for from a partner like Jody when we come into these meetings from an operational perspective?

Peter (00:18:44) - Yeah, what attracted me to Jody was that he had me in the very early stages. Not only is he a professional, but I love the way he describes the accountant and the fractional finance group. And the way he described it to me was, "Peter, these guys are fabulous. When they produce the reports, they give you compliance, they show you the performance of the business." But we both quickly agreed that they're looking in the rearview mirror, focusing on what happened to the business in the last reporting period. And that's where Jody adds value. He and the firm are looking forward, focusing on what will happen in the next 6 to 12 months. Everything that I've just laid out in terms of a vision is important for Jody and the finance team to know about.

Peter (00:19:32) - Because how can they have a role in making that reality for the whole company? For example, an employee may not care about quarterly results. They may not care about the cost of sales or other finance-related KPIs. But if Jody is talking to a car wash operator and they're discussing the goal for the next six months, saying, "Hey guys, in the last period we washed 25 cars an hour, but we need to reach 30 cars an hour to achieve our goal for the year. How are we going to do that?" These forward-looking discussions and getting excited about the future allow a business to define a culture that's unique from any other car wash business. Because when you look at it, car washing can be seen as a commodity, a regular routine.

Peter (00:20:26) - But some of the places that I've been to that are pushing the envelope, the people are actually having fun. They're wearing polo shirts instead of the old uniform of a T-shirt. It says something about the team and how they show up and interact together. That sense of energy is why people want to do business there. Business can be broken down to a framework, but I'll also say that people want to be in a relationship with other people. I don't need to know you by name, but I like it when somebody walks by, smiles, and says, "Top of the day to you." There's a connection.

Joey (00:21:05) - Yeah. Kind of a follow-up to that would be, as you know, I'm under the philosophy that as a CFO, my background comes from a lot of different areas. I've been a CFO or a virtual CFO for trucking companies. I've been a virtual CFO for construction companies, and various other industries like repair shops and restaurants. But the one that I have the most experience with is the creative agency space. Digital agencies, web design, web development, and all that kind of stuff. My background philosophy is that a good CFO doesn't really have to have a ton of experience in any of those different areas, but they have to be able to take the experience that they do have and apply it to those areas.

Joey (00:21:50) - And so they have to understand the vernacular, do their homework, make sure they understand, you know, we're talking about a bid versus a proposal, or whatever the vernacular is for that industry. It's important to know the industry-specific terms. However, my philosophy is that a good CFO can manage any of those industries. I could be completely wrong, Joe, you may have a different position on that, but I'd be curious, Peter, about your perspective. As a business guide, do you have to know a specific industry inside and out in order to give great advice and guidance to it? Or can you take what you've learned from other industries and apply it to that industry and provide equally good advice?

Peter (00:22:27) - Yeah, for me, it's clear why I choose to work with you, Jodi. I invite you over other financial professionals to talk to the clients and prospective clients I do business with. The business framework is something that can be learned, but it is critical that the team brings their own vernacular and creates their own targets aligned with the calendar and strategic plan, so that the collective work of the group is meaningful to them. And I must say, when I heard Jodi's why story, when he shared his background, even in the brief overview he gave, I thought, "Jodi, you're not just a great accountant, I understand you. I can't put you in a pigeonhole."

Peter (00:23:18) - And respectfully, Jodi said, "Don't put me in a box because it's what I'm doing next, what I'm doing now, that you're gonna want to hear about." It's that forward-looking perspective, understanding the key performance indicators (KPIs), and how to influence them. Referring back to the car wash example, another standout quality of Jodi and his team is their sense of optimism. When Jodi walks into a room, his energy, attire, and ability to connect are evident. It aligns with what I mentioned earlier in the podcast, the importance of embracing joy and recognizing the value of every individual in the company, regardless of their position. Everyone who receives a paycheck is important and plays a role. So, Jodi, I will take careful notes and do my homework, as you've advised.

Peter (00:24:07) - So I have an idea of the vernacular of the industry, whether it's a commodity or a niche, whether it's experiencing growth or rapid consolidation. Being aware of the surrounding environment is crucial. However, the real magic happens when you are actively engaged, building relationships, and collaborating to solve problems together. There is no silver bullet or single formula for success in business. That's why I believe in surrounding yourself with guides and mentors who share similar values and aspirations. Personally, I wore a suit for 30 years and enjoyed it when it was appropriate. On the other hand, I also appreciate conducting business on the water, using it as my boardroom. These are the qualities I seek in the people I choose to work with, Joey.

Joey (00:25:07) - Yeah. Tell us a little bit more about thatyour boardroom, your boat. You know, how are you using your boat as a tool, I guess, to, , you know, to help your clients out?

Peter (00:25:17) - Yeah, exactly. Well, as I sit here, actually on the AFT deck of the vessel, we have three or four different areas. These are small and intimate spaces. We've got a table for six on the AFT deck, and inside in the cabin, just behind the glass and the door, there's a salon that magically seats six to eight people. Upstairs on the fly bridge, when we're running the boat or going to watch the sunset after a nice day of work, the team can work in different places throughout the day. So, for me, it's very fun to be able to have an area where you can have lunch, physically get up and move, change positions, and use different technology. And at the same time, have you ever been in a meeting where, I don't know, sales and marketing might get into an argument?

Peter (00:26:09) - And if they disagree in a boardroom setting, you've got the elephant in the room, and it can be awkward and uncomfortable. But in my case, on the boat, I've had the sales and marketing people go upstairs. We've got a slushy machine there, so we can choose what we're gonna put in there—margaritas, piña coladas, what have you. But they're going to solve the problem over whatever drink is in the machine and then come back and tell the group what we're doing to move forward. Ultimately, that's where the work happens. The team has to be in alignment because if there's disagreement, corporate politics, or incompatible personalities, you have to work through that with a clear eye and develop a plan to improve performance or transition people.

Peter (00:27:07) - Because the longer that goes on, the culture of the company can be negatively impacted far greater than if the problem was solved in that workspace. But I truly am looking for people who want to have the boat, the sunset, the cruise mentality, and still want to produce results. Because, as I mentioned earlier, I was working with a team of people, and we always wanted to find something a little creative, a little bit edgy. We found it with doing travel. We set up these worldwide trips every two years, and then we also had to pay for them. So we worked with the board to make sure that we had performance indicators that allowed us to execute that plan.

Joey (00:27:56) - Mm-hmm. Yeah, I loved it because I experienced it firsthand, traveling down to St. Pete, visiting Peter, and then some of the folks on the boat, and going through that situation was a great experience for sure. And I was kind of curious about how things are planned. So it sounds like it's going pretty successfully.

Peter (00:28:15) - Yeah, we have, my book of business is full, and I've been able to select the people that I want to work with as much as they want to work with me. It's kind of nice with Pinnacle, because I've had people say, respectfully, Peter, you know, our company can't do that right now. And I understand that. What I've also been able to do is to take another Pinnacle guide and make a referral, because all the time that we're in conversation talking about, is this the right business framework for you, the five Ps, Joey, if it is, then the second question has to be, am I the right person to guide you through this process? Right. And I have learned, or I have failed fast when I've gone through and made shortcuts where, sure, I'm gonna fly up north in the wintertime and spend my weekend in a foot of snow. I have learned that I paid the price for that, and so at the same time, that's an oversimplified story. But when it's not a good fit, within a couple of months, I come back and say, guys, I'm excited that you like the framework, but for whatever reason, we may not be the best fit. And I'd like to put you in touch with somebody that I think would help your business elevate and produce the result that you're looking for. That's the goal here.

Joey (00:29:42) - Mm-hmm. I think the magic sauce really isn't necessarily the program itself, but it's the consultant, the guide, the coach that you're actually working with. It's truly, truly the fit. When you've got somebody that you trust, you know, they can make a ton of small mistakes and it's not a big issue. But if you don't trust that person, get along, that small mistake becomes a giant issue pretty quickly.

Peter (00:30:01) - Oh, absolutely. You know, Jodi, I gotta tell you too, when Jodi and I first met, my first impression was he's an accountant. He's an accountant doing finance work. And so I had a stereotype of what I thought of my new friend, Jodi. But ultimately, Jodi did one thing uniquely for me. That is one of the reasons that I'll go to the ends of the earth with him now and have him back on the boat, and we will have a relationship. It's because Jodi, in essence, told me his why story. He said, you know, here's why I do what I do. I've had all those experiences, and I also recognize that I want to enjoy my life, and I want to bring excitement and energy to the clients that I work with.

Peter (00:30:43) - And he does that through looking forward. And he does that through communicating in ways that make sense to everybody on the team, whether you're reading a financial report or you're punching the clock and you're just showing up to do the task. Both are important, and I gotta tell you too, mm-hmm, it wasn't long after I heard Jodi's story that I said, "Yep, we've gotta have a beer." And I gotta tell you my why story because, in the same way here, I like what you've done with Pinnacle. Everything's a P, it's a framework. There's no magic there. And Jodi is right when he says, it's the person that is helping lead you and helping you solve the problem that makes the difference. And so I found myself with a client in South Africa, I'll go back 10 years, and we were hoisting a cold one, having a beer.

Peter (00:31:26) - Mm-hmm. And I simply said, "Why do you do what you do, Lee?" And he turned at the end of his discussion and said, "You know, Peter, what I'd really like to do is have you help me grow my business in three years." And we did. We quickly put together the plan, the framework, and we executed it. And I came back to Johannesburg, South Africa. It wasn't three years, it was about two years into it. And what I first noticed when I walked through his office was that he had a team of technicians building medical parts, medical hearing aids. He had a team. When I was there the first time, 15 people were working. It was a small group. This time when I went back, there were 30 people in the office. People were talking, sharing stories.

Peter (00:32:12) - The energy was over the top. All of a sudden, in the corner, I heard somebody call me "Mista Pita" (Mister Peter) when I travel. Well, everybody tends to make up a name for me, but it was "Mista Pita" (Mister Peter) in South Africa. And all of a sudden, I turned to Lee and said, "What happened? Did I do something wrong?" And Lee said, "No, no, Peter, that's Nunu. You met her when you were here in the beginning two years ago. And today, what you don't realize is that Nunu is the first person in her family, four generations, that was able to go out and purchase a house in South Africa." And Nunu came up and gave me the biggest hug that I've ever had. And I'll say, Joey, it was at that point that I recognized that when Jodi and I sit around and talk about why we do what we do, and we can tell you how we do that work, the biggest thing is why we choose to help people the way that we do.

Peter (00:33:07) - Because to me, that's transformational. It immediately said, "Mm-hmm, yep." I go to work every day, but those are the things that I take with me that I will take with me for a lifetime. And, you know, to this day, I keep in touch with Lee, and I keep in touch with Nunu just to make sure that things are still moving in their life, good things and bad things, but it's always nice to be able to be part of something that makes a difference in a lot of people's lives.

Joey (00:33:39) - Well, that, well, and thank you for sharing. That was a great story. And I think I speak for Jodi too. I could sit here and listen to you talk about stories like that for hours and hours, preferably on a yacht, looking at the sunset, perhaps drinking a frozen margarita of sorts. Absolutely. But it is time for my favorite part of the show, which is the fun question at the end, which Jodi has been working on this entire episode. Jodi, what do you got?

Joey (00:34:02) - Well, I think my question is fairly easy, fairly obvious too. So we talked a lot, a lot of different locations, places where we've been, all that kind of stuff. My question is, what's the most unique place that you've visited over the years and why? Yeah, Joe, I'm gonna start with you on this most unique place you visited and why.

Joey (00:34:26) - Okay. So, Jodi, you'll enjoy this story. So one of these spots. So I live, Peter, for you. I live in New Mexico, which is kind of in the middle of the desert. We're not big boat people, which should shock nobody. So when you started mentioning AFT deck, I was like, yeah, I don't know what that's talking about. But we visited Sedona, Arizona, which Jodi has a great story about Sedona, that's for another podcast. But my wife and I decided to elope to Sedona in 2019. And it is a place that, aside from the shaman that you can go visit, if that's what you're into, is one of the most visually stunning places I've ever been to. And it's something where I've told people, you have to experience it in person to really understand the majesty of the rocks and just the size of all of the stuff that's going on there. It's a place that does have its own sort of energy, shall we say.

Peter (00:35:22) - Absolutely. Nice.

Joey (00:35:24) - But one of my favorite places to go to.

Joey (00:35:26) - Nice. See. How about yours?

Peter (00:35:27) - If I had to pick one, I'm gonna, I'm going to, Hmm. I can narrow it down to three, Jodi. And I think I'll do a fast round of three. As I like frameworks, I bucket my three around three things that I adore when I travel. One is food, the second is natural beauty, and the third would be man-made contributions. So for food, hands down Italy, the pasta, the food, the freshness, the way that the people operate around meals. I'm going here

Joey (00:36:02) - Next week, actually. Just know. Perfect.

Peter (00:36:04) - I'm.

Joey (00:36:06) - Mm-hmm.

Peter (00:36:07) - Where are you, where are you next?

Peter (00:36:13) - Yeah, I'm gonna have to research that one. Keep going,

Joey (00:36:16) - Keep going. I'm looking up. Make sure I got the right side here.

Peter (00:36:18) - Yeah. Perfect. So my first is food, Italy. My second is, um, man-made beauty. I'll call out the Great Wall of China, that is hundreds of miles. When you see it in person and watch how that thing rolls over the mountains, the work that it took to do that is simply stunning. To me, that was the most memorable. And then finally for natural beauty, going on Safari in Africa. If everybody had the opportunity to see animals and see how the circle of life operates, I believe a lot of the problems that we think are big issues, those things all melt away.

Joey (00:37:06) - Yeah. You killed me cuz you sold my number one there. It's Borgo, not Barri Borgo, which is in, which is in ex Borgo County, which is in Savaltree,

Peter (00:37:21) - Italy. Italy, your Italian is getting very good.

Joey (00:37:24) - Seve. Yeah, it's not really good, but heading there actually on the eastern side of Italy there. Um, but the Safari, that was my number one, I was gonna mention that. I got back, about six months or so ago from a Safari. And that was very enlightening for the same reasons that you mentioned, you know, the circle of life, the different animals, how close you can get to them, the experience. And not just the animals themselves, but the people you meet there. The people are great, humble. They really had that, it was just really a great experience being around those folks and going to Johannesburg and South Africa, meeting some people down there and having all the great experiences.

Joey (00:38:13) - And I say when meeting people, it's important. You can't be secluded by yourself. Maybe that's your thing, definitely not my thing. I like to get the chance to meet the folks that are in the area. Bahamas was a great example. We got off the resort and had a lady in The Bahamas who drove us around and talked about everything there. We were able to treat her to a really nice dinner afterwards, which was completely unexpected. And that was a cool experience. I'll never forget, and my wife won't forget either. Those are the kind of really cool ones.

Joey (00:38:50) - You know, we went to Bora Bora and that was a neat experience too. Again, for the same reasons, you know, getting a chance to meet the folks that are there and hear their stories and what they've got to say. And, you know, those are, like I said, the unique experiences. The shaman can't get away from that, from Sedona. That was definitely an experience and a half, and, you know, all those different things. I could probably take a little bit of each of the different places I've been to and say, you know, hey, this was what made this one great. And for those that didn't make it, it was those that were overly commercialized. You know, those that are sitting in a resort and never left the resort for any particular reason. And, you know, after a while, that's great, but after a while, the resorts seem to be the same, you know, just a different place in the world.

Peter (00:39:33) - Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely true. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Absolutely true. One of my favorite relationship stories is that as I've traveled the world, I've always asked, I've tried to find in whatever the local language is, tell me what the word is for Cheers, chin, chin and, and, you know, Chinese or Nostrovia, if you're Russian, egészségedre, if you're speaking Hungarian. But in that process of getting in a relationship with people, the one thing that stood out was that most of those people that we were having a drink and saying a toast, it was to the end of the day, it was to something small, just being present in the moment. The best part was that many of those people that I talked to would offer a bottle of grappa or a bottle of wine, something from their area. And I always travel with a Sharpie pen because it is my way of immediately taking my bottle, the gift, and drawing a line to mark where we finished drinking on the day that we drank that cheers glass together, and then everybody present signs the bottle.

Peter (00:40:40) - And so what I have found is a great way of saying goodbye is not goodbye, but "I will see you again." So my bottle is going to stay in your house. We have all signed the bottle so we know where the level is when I left, and if I should return and it's too long and the bottle is empty, anybody who drinks from my bottle has to take this Sharpie and sign their name to it. So what happens is that it's like sand running through the hourglass, and it's not goodbye. It's until I see you again. And I'll tell you, that's another great way, because I've had people FaceTime in the middle of the night where they say, "Peter, is it okay if we drink from your bottle? We've all signed it." Or the bottle's almost empty, when do you come back? So I love those things, Jodi, as you say, when you travel, you've gotta do one thing that makes that place special and memorable.

Joey (00:41:34) - Mm-hmm. A hundred percent agree.

Joey (00:41:39) - Well, Peter, thank you so much for your time. This was a great conversation. As I mentioned, I think we could do this for hours and not get bored, but also learn some things about traveling the world and experiences and relationships. For those folks in the audience who either want to learn more about you or are interested in learning more about Pinnacle and maybe how a Pinnacle Guide might be a good fit for their business, where can we go to find some more information about that?

Peter (00:42:03) - Thanks for asking. CrazyGoodsSolutions.com will point you to me, and if you look at PinnacleBusinessGuides.com, that will take you to the framework and show you more about the community and how they operate as well.

Joey (00:42:20) - Beautiful. Well, that's it for this episode. We're looking forward to talking with you all again here real soon. Thank you so much, everybody. Looking

Peter (00:42:29) - Forward to having you guys down to Florida very soon. Until next time. Thank you, gentlemen.

VCPA - Peter Van Nest




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