Steve McFarland: Being an Emotionally Intelligent Business Leader

In this episode of "The Business Owner’s Journey," host Nick Berry sits down with Steve McFarland, a former Fortune 100 CFO turned multi-unit franchise owner, executive coach, and Vistage peer group chair. They delve into topics like emotional intelligence, positive intelligence, and the importance of mindfulness exercises for business leaders. Steve shares his vast experience from both big business and small business perspectives, offering valuable insights for personal development and leadership growth.

Key Takeaways from Steve McFarland:

Engaging Your Sage and Quieting Your Saboteurs

Steve discusses the concept of emotional intelligence and how engaging your sage while quieting your saboteurs can help you take control of situations. He emphasizes the importance of mindfulness exercises to stay present and calm in stressful moments, sharing practical tips for mental fitness.

The Power of Positive Intelligence

Positive intelligence involves daily exercises to build mental fitness, similar to physical fitness routines. Steve explains how these exercises can create new neural pathways, enhancing emotional intelligence and improving leadership abilities.

The Role of Peer Groups in Leadership Development

Peer groups like Vistage play a crucial role in personal and professional growth. Steve highlights the value of having a support system of fellow leaders to share experiences, gain insights, and improve decision-making processes.

Leveraging Predictive Index for Employee Development

Steve shares his experience using tools like the Predictive Index to understand and develop employees' unique abilities. He provides examples of how aligning the right person with the right role can drive business success.

Building Relationships and Creating a Culture of Love in Business

Steve talks about the importance of building strong relationships with employees and customers. He references Marcus Buckingham's research on love in business, stressing the need to focus on creating positive interactions that customers and employees love.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Quotes from the Episode:

  • "Engaging your sage causes you to take a step back and say, do I really need to get control of this? Is it really out of control?" - Steve McFarland
  • "You go through these mindfulness exercises in positive intelligence to quiet the saboteur and listen to your sage." - Steve McFarland
  • "The best athletes in the world use coaches. The best musicians in the world still take lessons. Why does a CEO think they have to do it on their own?" - Steve McFarland
  • "Just being in a peer group will elevate your performance. Even if you didn't bring issues; just being there would help." - Steve McFarland

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Episode Transcript:

Steve McFarland (00:00)
It's the voice of emotional intelligence. So when you engage your sage, that causes you to take a step back and say, do I really need to get control of this? Is it really out of control? Your saboteur always is driving you. My other saboteur is a hyper achiever. It's a lot of people in my Vistage groups are hyper achievers, right? No matter where you go, there's always something more.

one knock I got early on in my career, we finished a year, it was like a record year, and then January, right? We gotta go, we gotta load the cart. And some of the employees were like, can we just like have a day where we celebrate what we did last year? And it was like, yeah, yeah, sure. But my saboteur, I didn't know I had a saboteur, right? We all have saboteurs, I didn't know I had a saboteur back then, was no, we gotta go, right? There's no rest for the wicked, we gotta get rolling, we gotta.

sales goal we got to hit so there is no time for rest. So you go through these mindfulness exercises in positive intelligence to quiet the saboteur and listen to your sage and he has you do these exercises called mental fitness just like physical fitness. It's not so I read the book I'm done I'm good it's you work on it every day so I'm doing mental fitness exercises every day and it's simple mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness is about

Nick (01:01)

Steve McFarland (01:27)
coming into the present, not dwelling on the past or running off and worrying about the future, it's being in the present. And the way he has you do that is a lot of physical, mindful and excessive, but it could be two minutes. So in a Vistage meeting, if I feel like things are kind of getting out of control, I can feel my saboteur, I can do a mindfulness exercise in the moment and you won't even know it. So it's different than doing meditation.

Nick (01:53)
Mm -hmm.

Steve McFarland (01:56)
where I say, okay, group, we need to take a break. I got to find a quiet room that's dark with some music, because I got to calm my, I can just stand up front and do something as simple as rubbing two fingers together. And just from practicing, it causes me to start breathing deeper and I'll start calming and I'll think clearer about a direction to take. And so that's the idea behind positive intelligence, you use sports psychology. You have a meeting that didn't go so well? Okay.

Just afterwards, just kind of think through what happened, what triggered you, how would you have liked for that to go? And science has proven that just by going through those exercises, you will create a new neuro pathway that increases the likelihood that that's how you'll show up next time. And that's how you work on emotional intelligence.

Nick (02:47)
So when you said, you were saying that you would like feel it in the moment. What are, how do you recognize it? What does it feel like? What are those signals that you're picking up?

Steve McFarland (02:56)
Yeah, well, we can all, you know, in the moment when we feel like we're being triggered, you start feeling flush, your heartbeat kind of picks up. It's kind of the fight or flight. Yeah, yeah, there's another one. I think it's fight, flight, or whatever, but we can start feeling that, especially when you practice doing the mental fitness exercises, you know the difference. And so you try to catch yourself in the moment.

and calm yourself, yeah. So just doing, like I said, something as simple as just a breathing exercise in the moment. Or if you and I are having a discussion, I can just focus on you. And by focusing on you, I quiet my thoughts, because I'm focused on you. And it brings me hyper -focused to our conversation, which is where I should be. Not thinking about, is the dog okay over there? gosh, what happened earlier in that meeting that I just came out of? You and I are having a conversation. I want to be focused right here.

Right? And so that's another mindfulness exercise is just visually focusing on something right in front of you. There, you know, the lot of great books on emotional intelligence. Everybody's picked up on emotional intelligence as you grow up in the organization or you move from being an individual contributor to being a leader. It's less about what you know and your experience and how you're going to manage people. And that's emotional intelligence.

But no one never really tells you, well, how do I work on that? Is that a natural thing or is that something I can learn? And positive intelligence is a way to work on emotional intelligence because if I can quiet my saboteurs and I can engage my sage, I listen, I have empathy, I curious, that's emotional intelligence, right?

Nick (04:47)
Yeah. So are you, are you doing offering that to like as part of the group work that you're doing or like individually outside that?

Steve McFarland (04:57)
Yeah, a little, both. Yeah. So we do it in the group and I'll do some emotional or some PQ sessions. I do with my, my school of rock leaders all go through emotional intelligence. We use a lot of that verbiage and talk about that. But I'll also do training for some of my members leadership teams because.

Nick (05:17)
So how are the business owners receiving it?

Steve McFarland (05:21)
Yeah, good. It's just like anything, what I find just like with physical fitness, you're all on fire. You bought the Peloton bike, you use it for about three months and now you're hanging laundry on it, right? So, you know, they kind of drift away and aren't practicing as much, but I'll bring it up when they talk about an issue they're processing and it's kind of evident that they're getting triggered. An employee's triggered. So we can trigger each other.

because you may have, like my wife has a saboteur that is a people pleaser. So the first thing that comes to her mind in anything is, is everybody happy? That's not one of my saboteurs, but it can trigger mine. Cause I don't like having the gray of like, what are we doing? Even as simple as, hey, where are we going for the restaurant? Well, I don't know, let's ask them. No, let's just pick a restaurant. I'm a controller. That's me getting hijacked, right? Then my wife gets hijacked.

because she wants everybody to have a voice and we're going to just as simple as pick a restaurant. Right. You think back to some of those situations you've had with a spouse or a significant other, right? That's just, yeah, everybody's got saboteurs that trigger each other and it just escalates. When we become self -aware of our saboteurs, I know now how I'm going to be triggered before we have an internet. This is a great thing with employees.

Nick (06:27)

God, you're describing me and Kelly. Yeah.

Steve McFarland (06:50)
You can take LeBron James, how he approaches a game, and use that before a meeting. That is positive intelligence. In the locker room, he's got his headphones on, music playing, right? Eyes closed, he's sitting there before the coach comes in and he's thinking, okay, we got 15 seconds. They throw the ball in, I run down the side of the court. I call for the ball, 10 seconds ago, they throw it to me. I catch it. I look, I take a fake, take a step back, three pointer, shoot.

Net one second goes off, right? That's sports psychology. That's part of positive intelligence. That is proven. Again, another neural pathway has been created that increases the likelihood that that's exactly how it would play out. If LeBron got that, he's already played it out in his mind. You can do the same thing. You got a tough conversation come up. Visualize it. Okay, how's this gonna go? What am I gonna say? What is...

Nick (07:42)
Visualizing it. Yeah.

Steve McFarland (07:47)
likely to respond? What kind of questions? What kind of pushback? How would I like to respond? Just increases the likelihood that's how you show up.

Nick (07:56)
Yeah, and how am I going to respond whenever something comes at me that I didn't think about, I wasn't prepared for, right?

Steve McFarland (08:03)
Yeah, that just if it starts to trigger you, you just start rubbing two fingers together. Just take a second.

Nick (08:07)

Yeah, that's very interesting. a lot more information about emotional intelligence out there now than there's ever been before. And that stuff's all come a long way. I think we're more open -minded to it than what we've been in the past. But it seems like it's one of those things that has to be in the training, right? Because we're, as far as leadership,

running a business almost everybody at some point looks back and says, yeah, I was my own worst enemy there.

Steve McFarland (08:36)
Exactly. Yeah. Right. Yeah. We get it. Get in our own way. Yeah. So in the early days, so I had become CFO of Delta Faucet Company and I, you know, we all do the same way. Right. So what got me here? I just do more of to get me here. Right. But you reach a level where that that's not going to work anymore. Right. What got you here won't get you there. And actually it may actually sabotage you. And that's where I was.

Nick (08:38)
Yeah, so.

Steve McFarland (09:04)
So I was a hard charging hyper achiever and controller, which is fine, right? When you're at the lower levels, you're looking for people like that. You want people that are gonna take action, that you're gonna take control, they're gonna be persistent, they're gonna take initiative. Yeah, so yep, yep, get promoted, get promoted, get promoted. Then you get up to a point where now you have to inspire others. That behavior is not inspiring. It's not inspiring to your peers either. And I was hurting my relationships with my peers.

Nick (09:18)
Yeah, get it done.

Steve McFarland (09:33)
So this was before positive intelligence, really before emotional intelligence, but the boss I had at the time had worked with an industrial psychologist. And so he pretty much told me, yeah, you're not quite to the point that I need to let you go, but it's close. But if you're open to working on it, I will connect you to who I worked with, who was an industrial psychologist. So like that was the back of the day, like, well, you don't want to tell anybody you're going to a psychologist, right? That's not a good thing.

But I went and saw this guy and it was a lot of the same thing. It was replaying what happened with your peer. What triggered you? Why is that that triggered you? And learning to be self -aware of what my triggers were is what he called them back in the day. What are my triggers? And the thing that kind of got me was he said, you know, you are really smart and you see things before others. What you need to do is learn to slow down and bring everybody else along because they don't see it.

They don't see it and you're getting frustrated because they don't see it. You need to look at yourself as a teacher. And like I look for a lot of my CEOs and a lot of entrepreneurs and CEOs, they're visionaries, right? Back to the EOS concept, they're visionaries. They see things before everybody else, but they're running off so fast. Everybody's not catching up to them. They're not visionaries too. They may be processors that have to process it for a minute and that can frustrate an entrepreneur. And they may think,

that because they're not on board and as excited as they are, that they're not open to change. And that's not true. They just need to process. I just need a minute. Let me process it. I am a processor. I think of things logically and I gotta think how that's going to work. It's not that I'm not, once I see how it works, I'm a champion. I'm with you. But I'm not a microwave. I'm a crockpot. I gotta let it percolate.

Nick (11:25)
What's the, we're gonna turn this into you coaching me for a minute. What's the technique there? Is it just like stop, take a breath, move on, give them a light to sleep on it and then come back and then let them be excited? Is that simple?

Steve McFarland (11:29)

Yeah, so that's what I had to learn to do. So I have the School of Rock and most of them are in predictive index. They're a high C, they're a processor. So they think of things logically. I'm a low C. I can bounce from one thing to the other and I'm ready to go and hey, don't worry about it, we'll figure it out. They can't deal with that, wait a minute. This is how we do it today. Wait, so how's this gonna work?

So if I want to get the best out of someone that I know is a high C, I need to prompt them before the meeting. Here's what we're going to talk about. Here are the handouts. Why don't you look these over and come with your questions? I can't expect to hit them with it in a meeting. Because what usually happens with a high C, they'll be sitting in the meeting, a processor, and maybe there's a couple low Cs like me and visionaries, and we're like, yeah, you know, we got to do this. Yeah, yeah, I love that. And they're sitting there going.

They are not agreeing, not at all. They're just shaking their heads. They are processing. That's just how they process. They are not agreeing with you. Maybe they should learn to go, mm -mm, mm -mm, no, no, I don't understand what that, no, I don't, mm, I don't know what you're saying, no. But they're being polite. Yeah, they're just, yeah, right? And so me, I'm, okay, great. Everybody is good. Anybody have any questions? They have questions, just not yet. And I think everybody's.

Nick (12:52)
They're just waiting on you to come back to Earth. Like everybody come back to Earth.

Steve McFarland (13:04)
They're the types that come in the next day and say, hey, you know, we had that meeting yesterday. I was thinking about that. I'm not sure that's going to work. I'm not sure how this, what, why didn't you say something yesterday? We had everybody, why are you coming in today? Why didn't you say something yesterday? Speak up. Right. I think something's wrong with them. So I either prompt them in advance or like you said, we have the meeting and say, okay, anybody have any questions right now? All right. Well, let's sleep on it. Maybe that's where that came from, right? That whole idea of sleep. Let's sleep on it.

Nick (13:21)

Steve McFarland (13:34)
tomorrow, let's get, especially an important decision, let's get back together tomorrow and let's see what questions. And if it still looks like this is the way we should go, let's go, right? Yeah.

Nick (13:43)
Yeah. Yeah. Otherwise you're leaving with two different sets of expectations, right?

Steve McFarland (13:49)
Yeah, and we're all gonna get frustrated. So the entrepreneur has to learn to slow down and bring everybody along with them and not expect that I want a leadership team that's just like me. No, you don't, right? I'll tell my team, no, there's one of me and that's all we need. We don't need anymore, okay? I need people to slow me down and think through how this is gonna work. I don't wanna make a mistake either, but slow down and bring everybody along. Be a teacher.

Nick (14:19)
Yeah. So you mentioned PI. Are you still doing a lot of PI?

Steve McFarland (14:24)
Yeah, yeah, there's a lot of good ones. PI, Colby, Culture Index is a good one. There's a handful of really good predictive personality assessments that you can line up that if I'm wired a certain way, that would be predictive of how I'm going to perform in the job. Or you can spec a job and say, hey, these are the attributes I'm looking for. This is the profile that fits that job.

And so a lot of my members use that as another input, right? It's not the be all end all, but it's another input to say, well, they don't have this attribute. So here are the interview questions to ask them. So I had a interview early on with a company and this was for a CFO role. And so my, whatever it's Colby predictive index, that index doesn't line up for a CFO.

It shows I'm not detail oriented. So I go in there, I didn't even remember which assessment they gave me. They gave me the assessment and they came back in and they said, wow, that's really weird. It says you're not detail oriented. I said, no, that's not me. I know we need that. I know we need to do all the account balances and T accounts and work. I know we need to do that. And I hire people that are really good at that.

My job is to unleash the financial information and teach people how to use that in their business, make better decisions. But if you're looking for somebody that's gonna get in on all the detail, that's not me. And they said, yeah, that's what we're looking for. Okay, I'm glad we had this conversation. You'd have been frustrated, so would I. And the exact same thing happened in the next role. This was with CP Morgan, the home builder in town. The exact same thing happened. They gave me the, I knew what was gonna happen. They gave me the assessment they were using Colby.

And it came back, said the same thing. Wow, that's really weird. It says you're not legal. Told them the same thing. They said, that's what we're looking for. We need somebody to help us unleash this financial. I said, I'm your man.

Nick (16:24)
Yeah. I mean, it's knowing the difference in, in sports. It'd be the difference in the job of the manager of the team and, and one of the players or the driver of a car versus one of the mechanics or like, you don't want me working on that car, right? I'm not, not, not at a world on a world -class team, but I can drive that car better than anybody. Yeah.

Steve McFarland (16:24)
Right? It's...

Yeah, right.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, a lot of this comes back to not only it's about people, right? Every business is about people. And with customers, with vendors, with your employees, it's getting the right person in the seat and knowing or having a better methodology to make sure you have the right person in the seat and then unleashing their unique abilities. What are those?

So finding ways to figure out what are their unique abilities. One of my members just had this exact kind of same issue. He didn't use any kind of assessment or anything like that. He didn't necessarily need to. One of his partners on his leadership team has been struggling. So they went out for a drink and just talked about what he liked doing, what he doesn't like doing. And now what he's trying to help him get over is the ego hit of letting go of something, but you're not good at it.

I mean you can hold on to it, but you're not good at it. You know, you're not good at it. The people you're managing know you're not good at it. So, no, not at all. He's not happy at all. So, it looks like that's going to work out now by having this conversation. I want to, the things he likes doing are working with the big accounts and creating those relationships. Dude, do more of that.

Nick (17:50)
you probably are not very happy.

Steve McFarland (18:10)
Quit doing that, you're not good at it, right? You're really good at this. Why wouldn't you want to unleash this guy to work with their biggest accounts?

Nick (18:13)
Yeah, really.

Yeah, I mean, it's great when it works out like that because sometimes people would just stay in the same situation until it beats them to a pulp. And I mean, I've been a part of that.

Well, so before I go like further off the reservation, what I'd like to do is have you give kind of the 30 ,000 foot view of your backstory because you have all of these chapters that are like really unique, like different. It's this unique combination of all these things, but big business, small business, coach and mentor, peer groups.

Raise a shitload of money for charities. I mean, you do a lot of things and have done a lot of things. You bring a lot of perspectives to all these conversations and it's perspectives that like, I'm here to rail on the need for those for business owners. We need people like that in our ears all the time. So you're like the Swiss army knife. So yeah.

Steve McFarland (19:14)
Mm -hmm.


Nick (19:23)
Give me your like, your backstory.

Steve McFarland (19:30)
Yeah, so I think there was like a common thread in me. I don't know where this came from. I think it was from sports in the early days. So I played quarterback in high school and some college, Division III, small college. But I can remember in the early days, one of our coaches kind of encouraging people to learn more of the positions, right? I'll just focus on your position. And

I remember one time, so he was, he would like, Hey, just get in there, right? I know you don't play a linebacker, but so what we need a linebacker get in there, right? It didn't say it to me. I was a quarterback, right? I couldn't tackle anybody, but there was a time like there wasn't a guard on the field and I went running out there. Right. I'm going to make grads be like, get off of there. But it was just like this mindset of knowing everything. And as a quarterback, you kind of need to know what everybody's roles are, what they're doing. So I don't know if that's.

where I picked this up. My dad was an entrepreneur and did a lot of different things and had real estate business, some restaurants, heating and air conditioning business. I was around him for a lot of years. And I think that's where I got the entrepreneur bug of wanting to, I've always, that was always been my goal. I wanted to own or run my own business. And so that's what got me into accounting and finance. And I thought that's the best background to know.

what's happening in the business, because everything's going to go through the accounting system, right? And the other thing was I had an instructor, he used to be a CFO for Mars, he was awesome. He definitely inspired me. I think my first financial accounting class, I got a C plus in or something like I hated it. Right, that's the detailer in the account. No, that's not me. He taught managerial accounting, right? now I get, yes, I like that, right? I like learning how to use that to run a business.

Nick (21:16)
future CFO right there.

Steve McFarland (21:27)
And so that's how I got into accounting. And then just kind of one thing, I think, you know, before the book, I just always have had this lifelong learner growth mindset type approach. And I always want to learn something else. I love business. I love playing video games about business. There used to be some video games about this, learning everything about like biographies about business. I like watching the profit, you know, on TV. That's awesome.

Nick (21:53)
Mm -hmm.

Steve McFarland (21:54)
or even Bar Rescue, I love watching Bar Rescue. He's entertaining for one thing, but he always comes back to some of the basics of running a business, right? It's always good reminders to me of, okay, am I missing something too? Gosh, am I, do I have some employees that maybe aren't or should I be more involved in? So I just love everything about running a business. To me, it's like my playing field. Growing up in sports, business is my playing field.

I want to win, I want to figure out our strategy on how to win, how do we maximize what we do well. I used to, I was a C, my first CFO role was with a company, we competed against Rubbermaid, loved it. Cause we would do anything Rubbermaid wouldn't. Rubbermaid was almost like the Model T Henry Ford of plastic storage containers. You can have any color you want as long as the two colors that we're coming out with this year, green and blue. We said, what color you want, we'll do anything.

We'd go to Walmart and we'd say, hey, they won't do it, but what do you want? We'll do it. And so we were the nimble, small guy that would out box Rubbermaid. You know, Rubbermaid's like, okay, you can have all that little stuff. We don't care about that. But hey, we made a good living, right? Doing that kind of stuff. So I love strategy, thinking about strategy. And I've always kind of wondered, am I a marketing person caught in an accountant's body or an accounting person caught in a marketing person's body? Like, because I can...

Like jump back and forth left brain to right brain depending on what we're doing so I can be just a you know Hard -nosed CFO as anybody in the left brain or I can be the strategic planning creative Visionary and where we're going how we're gonna get there if that's what we need and kind of go back So I probably drive people crazy not knowing so he'd see bipolar like I don't know which guys showing up Need to get a hat like I'm the CFO today. Yeah

Nick (23:46)
I mean, that makes you a good strategist, right? Because you can go in the direction wherever it needs to

Steve McFarland (23:51)
Yeah. I've always been a coach. You know, I've coached all my kids, grew up in sports. And so I think I have this coaching mentality and approach to things. I used to drive my kids crazy and they want me to help them with their, they don't want me to help them with their homework. They want mom to help them with their homework. Cause they would come to me and I'd say, well, what do you think the answer is? my gosh, dad, just tell me the answer.

Okay, let me see your book. You give me the book, you know, I open it up and I'd say, I find it. I'd say, okay, it's somewhere on these two pages. my gosh, what's the answer? You need to read the pages and find it's somewhere on those two pages or show me your work. Show me what you tried. So I've gotten crazy, but mom would kind of be a little bit more specific. So I didn't want to come to dad. But that's always kind of had that approach.

And I felt like even as I was moving through different companies, a lot of people that I would work with would call me afterwards and want to talk through things. And I'd be kind of coaching them. That's how I kind of got into Vistage. So I was at CP Morgan, the home builder during, you know, 2008, 2009 when the market, the world crashed in home building. And so it ended up in receivership. And so I was trying to figure out what I want to do next. I didn't want to just go.

be a CFO somewhere or run another business. What do I want to do? And took a year off and had some great time with my kids during that year. So I was with a friend and I was still trying to figure out, my wife said, why don't you go into consulting? I was like, consulting on what? Like I don't know anything. What would I consult on? So I was with this friend and another friend of mine called me on the phone. He happened to be sitting there and I'm talking to him and he's like, yeah, you know, this is going on in business. So I just started.

doing that, right? It's like, okay, well, what are you doing? What do you try? What's it? And just kind of help him solve that. So I hung up the phone and, hey, man, how'd it go? Sorry about that. He goes, that's what you should do. And I said, what? He said, that. What? You know, help people think through their problems. Yeah, but what is that? He said, I don't know, but that's what you should do. And right about that time, I saw the Vistage. I'd been in a peer group at CP Morgan. That was my first experience in a peer group.

And it was like a national all home builders. And we would get together. So like, you know, 2007, 2008, all that, you know, the shit's hitting the fan, the banks are on you. my gosh. Having peers that you can call and say, okay, here's what the bank's telling me. Here's what they're saying. Here's what I'm doing. Am I moving too fast? Am I moving too slow? Having somebody that's in that same role that can say, man, I don't know if, or yeah, if I were you, I would take what you need to do.

Having that perspective, I can still remember the first time I got promoted to be the president of a company. And I've always been on leadership teams, right? You got peers. So you're talking to your peers, right? Usually by your boss, like, I can even do this, or I can even do that, right? When you're on the next level of leadership team, you got all the answers, right? Then you become the leader, and you're like, hmm, wasn't as easy as I thought it was. But I remember, I can still see it and feel it, standing in my office, looking out the window and thinking,

Nick (26:55)

Steve McFarland (27:11)
I have got nobody to talk to.

It was such a lonely feeling because you know you have all these families depending on you getting it right. And you have an answer. You're just not positive. It's the right answer. And you would just love to bounce it off. Spouse only so much. I had a regional president. Yeah, kind of, but hey, you're in charge. Make the decision. People that work for you, they don't quite get it, right? Because they're not, they're not.

Nick (27:45)
And it's not really their job, right? Like, they can help you try, but it's not really their responsibility to do, to fill that role for you.

Steve McFarland (27:47)
Nope. Yeah.

Right. Yeah. Yeah. So that once, once I had that peer experience and then I connected with Vistage and went to a couple of their meetings and thought, yeah, this is, this is what I was needing. This is what I felt at CP Morgan in that peer group. And it's something that's pretty powerful. And so I kind of take this approach. If I'm talking to a CEO, there is just absolutely no reason to do this on your own. There is no reason. There are so many, if it's not a Vistage group,

Nick (28:13)
Yeah it is.

Steve McFarland (28:23)
I'll introduce you to someone else to find you a peer, a coach, the best athletes in the world use coaches. The best musicians in the world still take lessons. Why does a CEO think they have to do it on their own? Ego, pride? Don't know there's an, I'm still amazed that I'll talk to a CEO and tell them what they do and they don't even know that it exists.

Nick (28:48)
Yeah, I know.

Steve McFarland (28:49)
really? Huh, never heard of that. Huh.

Nick (28:53)
Yeah, I know, man. I mean, it's you shouldn't try to do it on your own. It's not meant to be done on your own. Right. And I think that that loneliness, that feeling applies whether you are it's small, small business and just you or you're responsible for all those other jobs like you were talking about.

Steve McFarland (28:54)

Nick (29:11)
Part of the discomfort comes from knowing that your thought process needs some outside perspective. You're asking yourself, what am I missing? And you can only account for what you can account for. You need some other lens or something to help you find those blind spots. one of the probably three or four most impactful things of my adult life has been getting involved in peer groups.

Steve McFarland (29:36)
Mm -hmm.

Nick (29:36)
you're constantly able to level up and leverage something and like your access to speed, like you're talking about. You had this decision, I think I know what I need to do, but it sure would be good to pressure test it just a little bit more. You can get that out there, get an answer. Man.

Steve McFarland (29:55)
Yeah, yeah. The other thing I think happens in a peer group, what I find is that, you know, eagles like to flock together. The people that are more likely to join a peer group are those who are the lifelong learners, who are growth mindset people. They're competitive in a good way. Their businesses are growing. And just being around other people like that is contagious.

It just rubs off on you, right? You're not going to be like, yeah, I didn't feel like doing anything last month. Yeah, I miss my sales, but yeah, whatever. In that group, you're out. They'd be expelling you. We don't want somebody like that in our group, right? We want iron sharpens iron. And you get in a group with iron sharpens iron, man, the whole group, yeah, just can't help. Absolutely. Yeah.

Nick (30:42)
Yeah, everybody wants to level up because you want to, you want to contribute, right? It's, you don't just want to get, you want to be able to give.

And it's great for you as a business owner. It's great for your business. It's great for the people that are dependent on you, that work directly with you. I can't think of an area where you don't stand to gain, where it doesn't benefit. because of your experience, big business and small business, can you tell just a little bit more about the path through big business and then...

like where you're at now with School of Rock and your work with other small businesses. And I just want to talk about the

Steve McFarland (31:20)
yeah. So my, my first job was with ADM, Archer Daniels Midland, which they were like a fortune 100 company at the time. I don't remember how big they were at the time, but kind of working in that big business environment. And then I went from that to the other extreme and worked for my, it was my first CFO controller role was with a $12 million business, small business. they happen to be a UAW shop in.

Detroit and so that was really small business, right? I had one other person in the accounting department just me and her and the general manager and the plant, right? So that was my first controller role and that is probably where I had one of the most character shaping issues happen. I don't know if I would do it different or not, but I'll always remember it because we were struggling at the time, auto industry was struggling.

And we were trying to cut costs and, you know, collecting, you know, from our customers and holding off payables and so learning that whole cash management thing was good. But we, we were trying to manage cash, right? So we had a UAW contract and we always paid a bonus at the end of the year. And the way the UAW contract was written, it said people who are on the payroll as of this date will get a bonus of whatever.

Hmm. So if they're not on the payroll as of that date, then they won't get that bonus. Because we always laid people off over the Christmas break, and it was the day that we paid the bonus.

But if we laid them off on Thursday instead of Friday, we would save another day of wages plus the bonus. So I went to my boss, the general manager's time, and said,

And he said, okay, well, I feel like we need to run up the flagpole to the, this was a PE group, which we did. And they said, do it.

So I stood up in front of all the plant employees and told them that we were laying them off as of Thursday.

knowing, right, they're gonna figure it out. So I just told them. And so if you're wondering why we're letting everybody off on Thursday, it's because we'll save having to pay a bonus on Friday. And because we need the cash and that's why we're doing it.

So anyway, that was probably the, I mean, I just felt, I'm surprised that somebody didn't put a hand out on me. Because since then, I was 28 years old at the time, and it's always, every Christmas I think about it, that there's a group of employees that were counting on that Christmas bonus.

for their family for Christmas.

Nick (34:19)
Mm -hmm.

Yeah, I do not envy that position, man.

Steve McFarland (34:26)
Okay, you grow up fast.

Nick (34:28)
But you know, you were in, you're kind of in that position all the time when you're running the business. And one thing that I appreciate about a situation like that is no matter what, whether you look back on that and say, I would do it different or not, it's made you handle those situations. Like all, everything since then has been handled with that taken into account. Right. It's like, I feel like some of the best lessons I've ever learned, things that have shaped me.

Steve McFarland (34:34)


Nick (34:58)
more than anything else or things that I did and of my own accord afterwards, just like, you know, I'm not going to be that that's not the way I want to do things. I want to be different. So whether or not it caused a problem or I got in trouble or whatever is kind of irrelevant is more like I know how I felt about that. And so I'm going to use that from now on. I think that stuff's powerful. If you let it.

Steve McFarland (35:23)
Yeah, yeah, right. Yeah, I'll always remember it, right? What am I, I'm gonna be 62 years old and it'll stick with me forever that there's gotta be some family that had a smaller Christmas than normal and dad had to explain why he didn't have the money for the new bike or whatever. Yeah, yeah, it's tough. So that was the one extreme and then bounced around for, or.

Nick (35:42)
Mm -hmm.

Steve McFarland (35:52)
Yeah, Newell Rubbermaid for three or four years and worked in three of their different divisions and was a CFO of their plastics division. That's when they competed against, it was Anchorhawking Plastics, but we competed against Rubbermaid before we combined. And so that was a great experience as the smaller guy going up against Goliath. It was also experience working with some of the big retailers, Walmart, Kmart.

some of the big retailers and how all that worked. Then I worked for Masco, so Delta Faucet, and then I was president of a sister company of theirs. Then from there I went to CP Morgan, ran the regional home builder here in Indy, but like I said, nobody worked building houses in 2008, 2009, so we ended up in receivership. So yeah, I don't know.

What do I like better? I think like in the EOS concept, you know, less is more, smaller is better. There was, used to be a company, I don't know if they still operate this way, Illinois Tool Works in Illinois, their philosophy was always when a company got so big, they would break it apart and make it smaller. It was kind of going against.

the roll -ups of the day and the conglomerate concepts of the day. We're going to roll everything up, we're going to save all this money, we're going to get rid of duplication. And their concept, which I think is probably more right, that it looks good on a spreadsheet, but it just doesn't deliver, which is why you don't see many conglomerates anymore, because it just never paid off. The math seems like it should work, but keeping it small, close to the customer, close to making decisions,

Nick (37:28)

Steve McFarland (37:41)
It just feels like that's the right way to run a business, right? Rather than someone so many miles away. Yeah, I don't know.

Nick (37:46)
Yep. Yep.

You think that's probably become even more the case now with how like connected people are and the relationship -ness that goes along with, you know, having personal brands, you know, being connected with your audience directly. If you own a business, you think that it's more prominent now? They have more of an equity.

Steve McFarland (38:15)
I think it's, it feels like it's becoming more bifurcated that you have big guys that are getting bigger and bigger. But at the same time, you have the little micro businesses that are doing very well, like you said, right? Small but nimble, great product, great customer service. So I heard Marcus Buckingham speak on his new book about love. Have you read that book yet? it's really good.

Nick (38:22)

Steve McFarland (38:44)
He's the one that came out with Strength Finders, you know, working for the Gallup agency. And so this is his research. And he made the comment that the research shows, especially young people distrust big companies now more than ever. The trust levels are lower than they've ever been. Government, big business, because we've lost this relationship with the customer.

I heard him do his presentation about this, about love. In business people are like, love, not the 60s man. Love, that's just love each other. What he's talking about is from a customer standpoint, your best customers are the ones that use that language. you know what I love about Vistage? you know what I love about that brand?

Nick (39:24)
Thank you.

Steve McFarland (39:42)
They say it, they use that language, they love it. So he goes so far to say, don't ever look at an average review ever again. All you wanna look at are the fives. How many fives do they get? Not that they're three point or 4 .2, I wanna know how many fives, but those are the people that love it. And they use, so now at CP, or at CP School of Rock, when we're looking at our Net Promoter Score comments,

Nick (40:01)
Mm -hmm.

Steve McFarland (40:11)
We're focused on, yes, they gave us a 10, but I want to look at the comments and I want to know what they love. And if they don't say it, I want you to call them. And one of the things he focuses on is that's where you need to focus, are the people that are giving you the 10s. Because the fallacy is, take in employees, you're under your Cs, we spend all of our time in our Cs trying to get them to Bs.

Nick (40:38)
Mm -hmm.

Steve McFarland (40:39)
It ain't gonna happen. It's not gonna happen. What you need to do is spend your time on the A's. And if you put that same amount of time, effort, and resources in your A's, what kind of return do you get for that? If nothing else, just leave the C's alone. Don't even go to the point of saying, we're gonna get rid of them, just don't.

Nick (40:54)
And it sounds like...

And it sounds like you're saying spend your time with the A's finding out what it is that is magical about them as an A. So you can look for more of that, do more of that, right? So we want to know like, why did you love it?

Steve McFarland (41:08)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, he showed some data from a large retailer and the average showed that whenever they put a store in a high -income location, you would get better results, right? Because there's more money and when you look at the mean, that's a nice, yeah, looks like it makes sense on average, except when you plot all the data and it's...

Nick (41:14)
What made this work?

Steve McFarland (41:41)
like a shotgun, it's everywhere.

and you have stores that are in hot underperforming in high income areas and you have high performing stores in lower income areas. Well, I mean, if this holds true, why is that? Why is that? Right. And so it's trying to figure out what he talks about, which is the love part of it. And think about the probably the leadership of that store.

And the people that work there, I love working for Nick. my gosh, I have learned so much from Nick. He is great. I wouldn't want to work for anybody else but Nick. Love working for Nick. Think about teachers, bosses, those, yeah, that was a good boss. Yeah, I enjoyed working for that boss, yeah. We did some good things there. but Chuck, man, I still think about Chuck. I wish I could be as good a boss as Chuck West. Man, I loved working for Chuck.

I love working for Chuck. So like in our VISTAs group, we kind of watched some of these videos of Marcus's presentation and talked about like just that perspective.

What if I interviewed your employees?

Nick (42:58)

Steve McFarland (43:01)
And I said, describe for me Nick. yeah, yeah I like working for him, smart guy. Yeah, it's good. Anything else? No, I like working for him, it's been good. Yeah, treats us fair. love working for Nick.

It's just like dead silence in the room because everybody's going.

Right? I never really thought about it, right? I never really thought about people loving it, right? So then, you know, the next step is trying to figure out what do they love?

Nick (43:32)
Yeah, there's some uncomfortable thinking going on. I mean, it's what I'm going to do right now.

Steve McFarland (43:48)
And why can't we do that? Do it. And so he says with your customers and the employees, think about every interaction that you have. There's no such thing as a balance stable. Everything is always in motion. So think about all of the interactions you have with customers and all of the interactions you have with employees. Would they tell you that every interaction, they love it? Do they love every interaction from picking up the phone, walking in the door,

Email correspondence, onboarding, do they love it? So we've started asking ourselves that at School of Rock, do they love it? So like we have a policy that says that if you don't cancel with 24 -hour notice, you don't get a makeup.

And we've been pretty hard on that, because I got to pay an instructor and you didn't show up. And of course the parent is like, well, if I didn't know he was going to wake up with a sore throat, I would have told you it was 24 hours notice, but I didn't know that. Right? So why should I be penalized? So now taking a softer approach to that, that if we feel like it's warranted, just waive it.

Nick (44:56)
Mm -hmm.

And you just putting that in the staff's hands, like, use your judgment. Yep.

Steve McFarland (45:05)
Yeah, one of my members runs a restaurant group. And one of the things he said when we were processing issues after watching this, he was talking about, yeah, you know, one of my issues is my managers are comping too many meals. And I say like, okay, you don't have to comp the meal or the whole meal. All right, so they give them a dessert.

Well, let's think about that. Back to this love.

Maybe it should be in the manager's hands to decide so that the people, because these are high end restaurants, the people leaving that restaurant may not have had the best steak. Everybody has an off night, but you took care of it. They have no issues. It just happened, my daughter's down in Naples and she went to the turtle club and the meal was, her meal wasn't that good. And she told him it wasn't really that good. And they gave her a free dessert. And then her wife and I are like,

What? That's like one of the, yeah, yeah, that should have been like, I'm taking it off your bill. No questions asked. I don't even have to go, let me go talk to my manager. I'm taking it off the bill. no, you don't have to do that. If that's, it's not perfect. I'm taking it off the bill. Would you like something else? Like go overboard. And so like this guy's a financial guy for the restaurant group. they're giving away too many count meals. Hey, you can't wave that.

Nick (46:14)
Mm -hmm.

Steve McFarland (46:35)
24 hours. I'm already paying an instructor. We just need a hold there. 30 -day notice to drop.

Let's start with that. That is our policy. We're not going to change our policy. But if you feel warranted, use either way. But I don't want somebody telling you, like, I don't want that to be a sticking point for $300, right? Or in the case of $20 for an instructor. Really? $20? And.

Nick (46:49)

Right. Yeah. Right.

I do like the idea of giving some autonomy, putting it in their hands where you can be creative because if you have a staff that's been trained to like understand what's important to the customer and listen, like you can be creative and go outside the lines and make them feel even better. You don't, comping is not the only thing that matters to people, right? But if you're just trying to operate from a blueprint, you know, everything has to be cookie cutter.

Steve McFarland (47:26)
Yeah, right.

Yeah, yeah, right, yeah. So then you've got the big business at the other extreme and like one of the examples that I've used as we talk about processing this within our group is I get it, the bank is that big that I'm not gonna get a human answer on the phone. But if I wanna talk to one, I need to have that option. And you probably had it, there's some you call, you don't get that option.

Nick (47:58)
Mm -hmm.

Steve McFarland (48:03)
You just keep going around and around. What can I help you with? Okay. It's not that I know I don't need it. Can I talk to a human being, please? That just.

Nick (48:13)
Yeah. I've had that experience recently with a doctor's office. It's incredible. The most disappointing, I can't with your doctor. So anyway, that's a chapter that's closed for that reason, right?

Steve McFarland (48:27)
Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Right. So.

Nick (48:34)
So that book I looked at that book is Love and Work. Yeah, okay, so I'm on it.

Steve McFarland (48:38)
Love and work, yeah. Yeah, it's an awesome book. If you can hear him speak, he's a really good speaker. He probably has some YouTube videos out there. He's awesome. It's great to see him walk through it simply. And he's like, I don't, he doesn't have all the answers. Right, he's just kind of posing this is what the research says, and they're still trying to formulate, what do we do with this? So he says, hey, go to my website. We're putting stuff out there all the time. Still trying to figure out, okay, now that we know this, what do we do with it?

Nick (48:48)

Steve McFarland (49:07)
How do we work with employees? How do we work with customers? What do we do with this whole love thing? So we, like at school at Rock, we just said, hey, this year we're gonna focus on love. I want you to call our best, all right, call the ones that give us a five. All right, you know, we're growth mindset. We're always gonna learn something, but I don't wanna dwell on that. I wanna focus on our fives, our tens, what are fives or tens? I use the Yelp fives, but.

you know, for a 10 in Net Promoter Score. I want to know what, what do they, if they don't tell us in the comments, I want to know, tell me what you love. Even if we call our five and they say, yeah, you know, I don't like this. Like, hey, okay, great. Hey, while I got you on the phone, what do you love about School of Rock?

Nick (49:51)
Yeah, I like that. Are they pretty good at being able to articulate that in a way that is helpful to you? Or do you feel like you have to be prepared to do some discovery?

Steve McFarland (49:52)
Listen, let's end on a positive.

They pretty much, if they have something that they love, they'll say it. Yeah. They'll say, yeah. You know what? I loved it. gosh. Billy loves his instructor. He just loves Mark. Mark is great. Like, okay, great. Instructors are important. That relationship is important. Right.

Nick (50:07)
Yeah, good.

Steve McFarland (50:21)
And we need to let Mark know that.

Nick (50:21)
Are you trying to find out what it is that Mark does then? Did it feel that way?

Steve McFarland (50:25)
Yeah, yeah, right. And all of us thinking the same way in every interaction. So like our mission statement at School of Rock is to inspire kids to rock on stage and in life.

and we've used that for 12 years. This year I said, I don't get many comments. I don't think in 12 years have I gotten one comment from a parent that said, School of Rock, they are so inspiring. We were so inspired by that instructor.

love School of Rock, love my instructor, but no one has ever said inspired by. And I think we're kind of saying the same things, but let's just get rid of the inspiring word. I want people to love, are they loving every interaction we have? Does that kid love every lesson? Does he love every rehearsal? Do the parents love it when they walk in? How are they greeted? How is the phone? Do they love every interaction with us? So we kind of.

got rid of the inspiring internally we knew what it meant. We would ask ourselves are they inspired? Do they love it? Do they love it? I know they like it. Do they love it?

Nick (51:40)
Yeah, and trying to take that information and get some like practical use out of it, right? And it's not just to make a testimonial and you're not trying to like overstate the everything is great and we're awesomeness. It's okay, somebody, these people really like something about us. Let's figure out what that thing is and make sure that we're like bringing it to the surface as often as possible.

Steve McFarland (52:05)

Nick (52:06)
So how many School of Rocks do you have?

Steve McFarland (52:10)
I have five, three in Indianapolis, one in Charleston, and one in Milwaukee.

Nick (52:15)
Are you gonna do, how many more are you gonna do?

Steve McFarland (52:17)
I don't know.

My wife's not in the room. She's like, five is enough. Yeah, five's enough. Okay, we're not doing anymore. I'm not signing any more papers, okay? Yeah. I think we're kind of with these five right now. I'm trying to figure out kind of what's next. Yeah. I have five groups. I have five school of rocks. So, yeah. Five for now, yeah, all right. So we'll see. Yeah.

Nick (52:23)
Yeah, who you checking?


Okay, five works for you.

Okay. And I want to make sure, so I know like the charity, the food drive stuff is a big deal. It's important to you. And I mean, when I say big deal, I don't just mean a big deal to you. Like you guys are at this point putting together a lot of meals, right? You want to tell me, tell us about that.

Steve McFarland (53:06)
Yeah, yeah, it's been fun. Yeah, we haven't really gotten back on track since COVID, right? Because they weren't, this was pack your meals. And it's what was really funny. It was kind of connected with this group. It was an easy way for the, for the Vistage members to kind of be together, work together and kind of environment, help out, you know, more than just like, hey, yeah, what's that pack away under? Here you go. Here's a check. Now, how about let's actually do something, right? Let's get our hands in it and feel like you actually did it and write the check.

So yeah, they all got excited about that. And a lot of them brought their families. One brought his Cub Scout troop. Yeah. Spouses came along and we even had a handful that, you know, be on different lines. They had a competition with each other to see who could pack the most meals. Right. You got these high performing CEOs. They can't, right. That's right. They had to make it a freaking competition, but that's all right. Right. Packed a lot of meals.

Nick (53:59)
They did what message members do.

Steve McFarland (54:06)
Good, yeah, so that was fun. Yeah, I don't know how many meals we've done. I think like most years it'd be somewhere between 60 ,000, 80 ,000 meals that we would pack in one day. So it's pretty cool, yeah.

Nick (54:20)
You don't, so I remember, I mean, it's been several years since we talked about it, but then the number you knew you had an approximately like how many you've done over time. And it is a crazy number. I mean, it's, you've made a, an incredible impact somewhere. That's a lot 60 to 80 ,000 in a year. And you've been doing it for how many years.

Steve McFarland (54:30)
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, it's pretty cool.


Yeah. we did it for about five years, I think before then once COVID hit, there was a long period where they weren't doing any in -person and we just haven't gotten it rolling again, but I need to get that restarted. Cause it was just so fun. A lot of my, they bring employees and afterwards they go to, this was kind of their, you know, getaway team building day, right. Have lunch together and go do they.

Nick (55:06)

Steve McFarland (55:09)
You know, went to Topgolf or something in the afternoon, packed meals in the morning. It was a great thing to remember. Yeah.

Nick (55:15)

Was there anything else that you wanted to mention? Anything that we could direct attention to of yours?

Steve McFarland (55:22)
I don't know about an attention for anything I'm doing. The one thing that popped in my mind is kind of related to this and the, it's like we talked about earlier, like there's no reason to lead a business or lead people and even do it alone. A lot of businesses will gladly invest in you doing some kind of coaching or professional development, right? So ask for it. But I think you and I probably talked about this. I don't know if you saw this speaker, but we had a speaker.

was going through all this research on physical fitness. And one of the things he quoted in there was the research shows that if you work out with a coach that you will progress faster and lift more, lift more reps than if you work on your own. Right? It kind of makes sense, right? You have somebody kind of pushing you. But the research also showed that if they just stand there,

and say absolutely nothing, that has almost the same impact on your growth, your physical fitness, your workout, if they just stand there and say nothing.

So if you apply that same concept to running a business or being in a peer group, just being in the group will elevate your performance. Just being there, you don't have to bring issues, you don't have to get any from a speaker, you just can't help but perform better, which is why I have a home gym, I go to the gym. I don't have a trainer, but just being at the gym with other people, they're not looking at me and they're not watching me.

But I will work out harder at the gym knowing there's other people around me if I do it in my basement. Right?

Nick (57:12)
Yep. A hundred percent. It's for the reasons that we were talking about at the beginning of this conversation, right? Like there's just something in it that triggers you to like, I need to be at this level. I needed to get more out of myself because I'm here.

Steve McFarland (57:24)
Yeah, I'm gonna say that old stat, they say that if you take a look at your friend group, if you average their income, that's probably yours. If you average their weight, that's probably yours.

So get into a high performing peer group and you will elevate. Everybody elevates. It's iron sharpens iron.

Nick (57:45)
Yeah. And I'm glad that you mentioned that about like workplaces, sponsoring things like that, because I think I saw you share an article somewhere. It was probably LinkedIn. You shared an article that that had trended this. The spend is trending upward this year, right? Companies are doing that more often, spending more money. They should. Yeah. I mean, when I was so I was in Steve's group and

Steve McFarland (58:02)

Yeah, right.

Nick (58:13)
when I was in your group, my leadership team, they were all in their own groups. Like everybody on my staff has had to be involved for that reason.

Steve McFarland (58:23)

I went to my CEO members and I said, hey, I'm trying to this key executive group, but you know, who on your staff are the key people that you would want to put into a group like, I don't know, I don't know. How much is it? Well, you know, I bring back a lot of the information and they can always attend a speaker with me. And I said, I just came upon this and I just, for one of them, I said, well, how,

how highly do you value this person? yeah, they're really important. So, like if they left, that would probably be devastating, right? yeah. Man, they've been with me six, seven years, and I said, how better is it for you to communicate how important they are to you than to say, I'm gonna invest in your development? Because you're on the track, and I want you to be ready when it's your time. How likely do you think you're gonna leave then? It was funny.

How many of them went? yeah. Retention strategy of your best employees, invest in them. What is the message you're sending to them? I had a guy that was a key executive for a big, fast growing company. And he loved, he came, he visited, he loved it, he wanted to join. He called me back, he said, yeah, my boss said it was too expensive. And it was all I could do.

Nick (59:21)
I bet.

Steve McFarland (59:44)
and not say, if I were you, I'd find another place to work.

Nick (59:48)
Yeah, I believe it. I mean, and I think, so this is a different type of investment than sending someone to a conference for a day too, right? Like this is investing trying to help you reach your potential, whatever that may be. You know, when you're, when you invest in some form of coaching or peer group,

Steve McFarland (59:48)
What is that? What message is that?


Nick (1:00:13)
Like I think that's not a up skill, at least not in the traditional way, the way that I would have thought of it. It's not getting a certification. It's not like me being able to think that, you know, I'm going to be able to consolidate two jobs into your position. It's more like I'm bringing you up a level leadership wise,

Steve McFarland (1:00:23)

Nick (1:00:37)
Yeah, I can't, I can't think of a higher compliment to me as a person in an organization than if someone was to say like, I think you're worth doing this. Like, so here's what we're going to do. This is the thing that I do as a, as the leader to get the best out of myself. So now it's time to do the same for you. It's pretty strong.

Steve McFarland (1:00:51)
Yeah, right.

Yeah. Yeah.

Nick (1:01:03)
Man, this is great. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

Nick Berry Round Headshot

Nick Berry is an accomplished entrepreneur and CEO, whose track record includes founding and leading numerous companies since 2002.

He is also a mentor and coach to other entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking for a trusted (and proven) advisor.  

Among peers, colleagues, staff, and clients, Nick has been referred to as both 'The Business Guy' as well as 'The Anti-Guru', due to his pragmatic approach and principled leadership.

He shares his insights and lessons learned, along with those of his expert guests,
on his podcast, 'The Business Owner's Journey'.