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The Mill #5 – CEO’s Are You A Thought Leader

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Last Updated Apr 22, 2022

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The Mill #5 – CEO’s Are You A Thought Leader

But then again, I thought the leader is like, Oh, you guys are struggling with that. Yeah. Cause I have some new ideas on semis and those old donkey lifts. I’ve got a new idea.

Hi everyone. I’m Taylor Poole, this is Shane Hoefer, and Daren West and this is today’s RMFP The Mill. Today, we’re going to be talking about how to become a thought leader in your industry and why it’s important. Before we kind of kick off the conversation, this is kind of on the tail end of what we’re working on for a building empire straight summit.

Once again, we’re looking for sponsorships between $50,000 and 1.3 million. If you have any questions about how to get involved with that you can give us a call at (303) 625-6442. So to kind of kick off the conversation, I haven’t told either one of these gentlemen that I was going to do this. But I wanted to start with a few stories of some well-known brands.

So back in the early 1920s and 1930s there was a tire company called Michelin, a pretty household name brand nowadays in Eastern Europe, they were trying to sell more tires. So one of the things that they needed to do is I needed to get people to drive more.

They needed to get people out of the big hubs of London and Paris. So what they did is they started writing articles and reviews of restaurants and hotels that were in the countrysides far out countrysides around these sectors. So they could get people to drive their cars out there. That is why even to today, a hundred years later, we have hotels and restaurants rated three stars Michelin around that same time, there’s a company called Guinness beer company.

And for the first time in over a 60 or 70 year period, they had started to decline their sales in pubs. And they realized when they were sitting in the different pubs in Europe, what people were talking about the kind of the thing of the day was trivia. So they decided to write the Guinness book of world records.

So that way, anytime somebody started talking about trivia, it was synonymous with their name. Yes. And we jumped forward to about a decade ago, and we’ve got everybody who knows Steve jobs in Apple. And when he told his entire team that he was going to create a phone instead of a computer, they told him he was out of his mind.

And what he told his team, he just said it’s not about the phone. He said, it’s about the image of it. So I’m going to create a phone that is so sexy. So sexy that it’s going to want to make people lick the buttons right off of it. Wow. I’ve licked my phone a couple. I don’t know about you to say like the phone, but those companies, they’re introducing the future of business.

Has it seeds in the past? And so how your new business in the next 45 years will be different than what we did. Lickable building materials. Yeah. Lickable building materials, but you can affect change for months, a couple decades, and even up to a century just by becoming that thought leader.

So that’s kind of what I want to start off with. Our conference is talking about how we can become thought leaders within our industry. And we talk about this on a fairly regular, consistent basis. And so that’s kinda my precursor to this whole conversation and yeah. So I want to kind of get your guys’ thoughts around what we’ve discussed with Billy and empires.

Why, why do you think it’s important that our industry, people within our industry kind of push towards the future real quick? I want to do it. We’ve gone back and forth. When we first started, we were thought leaders. Okay. What does that exactly mean? Right, we were looking for people that made big moves or dealt with recessions in the past.

Been through that changed up their product inventory due to whatever it might be. And I think those are good companies, good businesses that make good moves, but it’s more of a reaction. I think we need to look more to like, I had no, no idea about Michelin or Guinness.   to me, that’s a thought leader.

It’s not like, Hey, here’s the recession. So we need to change our materials or change something. Or you’re talking about being proactive rather than reactive. Exactly, exactly. That it’s like, what are we going to do instead of like, Oh no, we weathered the storm being out ahead of that storm. And I don’t know how we define that, but that’s, that’s what we’re looking for.

Everybody’s successful businesses can react to stuff. What wild ass stuff are we doing to be proactive is I think what we’re looking for, right? Absolutely. That’s what my motivating factor is, is trying to be proactive just within our own company here within Rocky mountain forest products, but the conversations that we have around here and the way that we look at business and the way that and what I mean, that, I mean, just the way that we define capitalism.

And the way that we judge what a successful month, year, decade is not really traditional, but it’s working really well for us and giving us the best results we’ve ever had in the past few years. Weird. And it’s not traditional, but when done right, it can still please those traditional numbers cause the growth and all that stuff is there.

Yeah. And I think that our methodology is what we’ve been using and that has made us so successful. They fit hand in hand to the messages of others. Thought leaders in business are preaching such as the need for you to become more tech friendly and make that into your DNA. Cause that’s great. There’s lots of people talking about that, but what is the, what’s the culture?

What’s the psyche. What’s the, what’s the intangible,  , Mental push behind that. That’s driving it. What is the mental force and what is the, what’s the philosophy? That’s the word I’m looking for? What’s the business philosophy behind it? That’s driving that forward that I think is seldom talked about.

That’s why building empires. I say that I’m most excited for the round table events with some of these people that are true, true thought leaders for how we bring. Like real, this sounds kind of cliche, but like real wisdom into business, not necessarily, Oh, we’re going to have the wisdom of managing every penny to get the best returns.

So wasn’t wisdom before all those actions, before they post the stuff. Before we run an advertisement, all of that, it’s, what’s put into it before we broadcast it. It’s the intent and the mindset behind everything that you do. If you’re just centered around the tactics of trying to get better, any football team can be a hundred percent trained and they can go on the field and they can compete.

But the intangible is when those guys actually kind of come together in one mindset, one culture, and it becomes second nature that, no, I don’t have to worry about that block because I know he’s going to take care of it. I don’t have to worry about making XYZ a business decision, because I know that this is going to fall right in line with the other people within my organization.

I love it as well as this. To go along with that analogy, you could also have a team, a machine that can handle injuries and still win the championship. And it can take some blows. They can, they can handle it. They don’t freak out when it does, if it’s football and well, this is football guys get hurt.

If we don’t plan for that, who are we? It’s the same thing. Building these machines that we’re talking about now that do have the culture do have the intention, but then can handle unexpected stuff. I want to expound on the intention that really triggered me. When you said that and you kind of circled it back around.

I think it’s the intent that’s behind everything. That is the defining factor. When one of your original thoughts you’re like these companies were reactive and it succeeded and they succeeded off of those reactions, doing things that are green, becoming more environmentally friendly, did they do it because the intent was right?

Or did they do it because it was going to look good, good optics. It was going to look good in the public eye. And I’m not saying that everything that’s been done in green initiatives has been optics, but there’s been a lot of that. Absolutely. And talking about what’s doing right for employees, or I read recently about the history of a large company within our industry, how they pioneered women’s rights and whatnot, but it was really reactionary. So after the war, all the men are overseas. So there’s kind of like, okay, we’ll use women because there’s no one else around where now we all fundamentally believe, thankfully our society’s progressed to a place where we feel like you look, we’re all humans, we’re all equal.

We all can contribute. But so what I’m talking about is how do we make business more intentional of just doing the right thing? And so many times when we look at what doing the right thing is. The short term, it is not what’s best for the bottom line. It’s not what’s best for the daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly profits.

But what we’ve seen is that the more we radically do the right thing, the more we figure out how our culture from top to bottom, be it, our internal policies, the way we interact with our customers, our long-term planning, the moral altruistic we become and doing the right thing. Like you said, it’s actually.

Providing results the old school, we used those little books with it, but it makes them cringe in the short term. Well, it’s because you start to produce a buy-in in, in your culture. And what happens is when everybody gets in a sound mind, you can actually create speed.

So some of those, some of those, those things that we’re focused on here today, we got to  cut employment here because we don’t have that money there. We’ve got a siphon down on these manufacturing things here because we need to cut our costs. What happens is that maybe it affects the quality. Maybe it affects the morale. And so, yeah. Yes, maybe making the guy raised that he’s been around for a decade. Maybe he doesn’t deserve it this year. But doing that, it creates that little bit more buy-in and it gives more speed to the whole operation. And that’s where you get those extra profits later on because of just the seamlessness that it creates.

So that’s a great example of why I want building empires, because what we’re talking about, we’re talking about some of our successes. And some of our most recent successes in the past three years. So a lot of people can be like, Oh my gosh, three years, you guys haven’t been through any, well, no, we’ve been around here for 25 years.

Me personally, the business for 40 we’ve weathered big recessions, large recessions, I mean, a bigger recession, smaller recessions and everything in between. I think we do have, I think we do have some legitimacy, some authority to go out there and say that what we’re doing works in the long run. But I’m not saying we have all the answers either.

So what I want to start to do is create a conversation right? Within our, within our industry, with people from every level, be it from manufacturers, distribution, dealers, end-users, homeowners. And figure out how we truly can revolutionize our industry. It’s really, this industry is just the stepping stone.

This is just the jumping off point, because we’re talking about a brand new way of doing business as a whole in the industry. It’s not, it’s what we’re talking about with transcending industries that are there. We’re talking about being more conscious about doing business differently. That’s more in alignment with where our society is today.

You’ve said in the past is your, your leadership style. And even, I mean, we coached a newer sales guy yesterday, so we code. We’ve got 1920 sales guys right now and we do one-on-ones. We do the sales meetings and it’s no secret that the younger generation, the word sales as it’s whatever around it is being sold and it’s not.

And if that’s it. Whatever. I have no problem saying, I’m a sales guy, always have been, always will be it’s in me. So, but I don’t, I’ve never been accused of selling people and where I’m going with this. It goes a bit behind the sales. Exactly. And that’s where with this, he’s been with us a year, had a great summer and he’s going into his first fall.

And one of the first slump, all of that dealing with sales, we are seasonal a little bit for now.   and it’s just changing the way he thinks it. Wasn’t, he’s got the skills. He knows how to talk to all walks of life. He’s confident. He knows what he says we’re gonna do.

Right. So all of that’s there, it was just getting him to understand. I represent value. I’m not pestering. And if you do your job right, you do represent the value and where I’m going with this is we aren’t trying to, like you said, we don’t have all the answers to change this industry or the world yet, but we know it starts with just changing simple thoughts or perspective.

So he left my office yesterday. Okay. I’m not a pessary sales guy. If I do my job. Right. And I have the product knowledge, I can be the best supplier I can be. And become an extension of our contractors, families or their companies. That’s the value. And he left thinking like, wow, I can call everybody in my pipeline today.

Cause they asked me for something and who am I as a supplier if I don’t keep them updated on materials. And that gets a little specific to our world. But again, it’s nothing more like, Hey, I’m not saying, well, I am saying, go read your sales books and do all of that. But it’s. No look at these couple of different thoughts differently.

And Manny walked out of there ready to go. And he’s leading the board today. Well, and I said confidence in that belief, one of the common things across all industries with, with sales guys are sales. Guys don’t want to be pushy, but most of the time, most of the time people are coming to them asking them for something in our modern world.

And if you don’t believe in your product or yourself or your company enough to be like, no, this is a good, this is the right decision for you. If you can’t look your customer in the face, whether no matter whether we’re talking business or whether we’re talking, just general relationships, if we’re just having a conversation about home life, I can’t look at you and be like, Daryl, this is the right decision.

Then you don’t believe in you. Absolutely. You don’t believe in what you’re doing today. And, and that’s where that goes back to the mindset and it goes back to the intent. If your intent is pure, if    that no matter what you’re doing day in and day out, you are trying to make your segment of the world.

No matter what it is just a little bit better. Then you don’t have to look in that rear view mirror. You don’t have to worry about the breadcrumbs you’ve dropped. You don’t have to worry that you showed up to the grocery store. And there’s your neighbor that you brought 200 bucks from two years ago that she never paid back.

Well, it’s like we were talking yesterday, how do we get our sales team? And I’d say 90% of them are there because they’ve had the reps. They’ve seen how we do stuff in this industry. It’s instead of like, no, I got to call him, sell these guys. It’s no. I’m doing that guy disservice. If I don’t tell him how I can supply this deal, because on that particular product, I’m the best in the state.

If not the country at supplying it, I’m talking about everything from managing expectations to a fair price, to knowing the qualities there. And then all of the backside service that comes after they give us the money to deliver this product. And that’s where we need to get. We have the guys that are there and the decking or siding guys. Guys throwing crazy prices at them, Hey, this is what they’re saying across town, man, go for it. Then they know it so well that they don’t, they don’t balk at the don’t try to match these low prices, or if it’s competitive, we’ll tell them, but that’s the mindset. And if we can translate that to the industry and moving forward before reacting back to personal lives, I had a buddy say,  ,   , talking about marriage counseling.

He’s just like, man, it’s always like people wait till something dub happens. And then that goes and that’s back to being reactive. Like we’re talking about who comes in recession, what are we going to do? We boot or fund some lower cost or cut costs? No bullshit. Right? It’s more like, Hey, we’re starting to feel some good stuff here.

Or maybe not. Let’s check in with that counselor on the merit side or like us now, like. Well, there could be a recession. No, we don’t even think about that kind of stuff. How can we keep one our growth or our machine here, but then inspire new thoughts in a very old industry, instead of waiting again for something Gary V all those wine makers off.

That’s what they all said last night. Gary V just cut us out. We’ll probably feel it. A little bit harder in the industry, our industry, the lumber world, but that’s the closest it’s gotten so far because, well, I’ll write context for where he’s talking about Gary V. So anybody knows who Gary Vaynerchuk is.

He started in the liquor and wine sales world, took his father’s company from 3 million to 60 million and went on to start a Marketing agency. That’s doing almost 200 million a year. Now has about a thousand employees. He went back to his roots, recently leveraged some of his relationships.

That’s still work with his dad. And then he created a white label high-end wine that is direct to the consumer. So you’re actually now purchasing a 50 to $60 bottle of wine on average for $23. It’s the same grapes. It’s the same process. There’s nothing different. Other than the fact that they cut out the distribution and they cut out the, the high end cut out the wholesalers, the retailers he’s going straight to the farm.

He had his farm on his advertisement last night. Just the way we looked at our farms with the trees right there, a crop. So what I’m saying is here’s the closest, Hey, there is land and farm and process and manufacturing going on. But he just cut two people out and he blatantly announced it. Hey, I’m here to disrupt this industry.

That’s the prime example of what I was saying. A couple of videos ago of it’s going to happen here. You’ve been saying it from the very get go. And the very first episode, this disruption will come. So we either learn how we are going to fit in the midst of that or disrupt ourselves, or we’re going to end up left sitting on the side of this industry, that Instagram post last night, there has been, the forest are selling direct to consumers now or whatever. All the taxi companies four or five years ago were worth 10, $20 million. There are companies that couldn’t sell their business now for $400,000 because Uber Phil comes to mind every time I know we’re jumping around a little bit here, but it’s like Netflix man and Blockbuster.

So Blockbuster was sitting there waiting and watching. They very well could have done that. It could have put a kiosk or whatever the hell they’re called and done that. Well, they were sitting there and watching all that will never work CDs to mailboxes. They’ll get scratched. Or if they were sitting there watching.

Then they had an opportunity to buy it for 50 million. Yeah. I don’t know what I’m sure you do, but I don’t know what Netflix is worth right now. It’s more than 50 million that’s testing. What’s the quarter right now? I don’t know. I think it’s in the billions. I think it’s rare. Let me make a guess.

It’s worth 1.1 billion Tye, Google that. So Tom’s going to Google it real quick. Want one, but anyways, that’s until last night, I felt like we were given examples of that, which is a big picture. Great. Because those are different industries and all of that. Last night watching that on Instagram, which I’m slowly getting into, it was just like, Oh fuck.

Who’s done it with pride. And there’s other people like Gary V that’s not online that people don’t know about that have a lot more money than Gary V and they get a couple of young guys in there with wild hair. Hey, let’s go disrupt the one. Oh the world. Well, what always gets me is I talk about how, what we’re involved in.

It goes back to the core of human needs, faculty, the three core needs. We need food, clothing, and shelter, and building materials hit on shelter. It’s one of the core needs that’s going to be here until the end of time. We’re going to be needing structures. You will have to touch it.

It is this yet. Like the food industry has evolved tremendously over the past hundred years. Clothing the way it goes to market clothing itself. Yeah. Fashions come and go. But I’m talking about how people buy clothing. I mean, department stores, you mentioned it one, the new Amazon thing. Yeah. Yeah. Amazon wardrobe.

Anyway. What, what about building materials? So I’m just saying our industry just seems to sit back thinking that nothing’s ever going to change. Oh, Taylor was way off in there, Oh wow. I was way off 150 billion. They got this audit for 50 million, 150 billion. Jesus. Wow. You’re usually way more accurate than that.

I know. This guy, a tough one day. Tell me what the gross world product was. I’m like, how do you happen to know that off the top of your head? These are the guys that got to worry about disrupting shit. Yeah. So anyway, that brings us back to building empires to talk about what we’re looking for. Again, once again, where you’re trying to find sponsors in our industry who think of themselves as thought leaders in the next three decades.

Are you going to say, no, we are going to push this forward, this entire movement for, do you want to be a part of this with us? We’re pushing this forward, but we basically said, no, one’s doing this. No one’s going out there and getting ahead of the curve and saying building materials, we need to change trade shows.

Hey, throw a bunch of money at a booth. Walk around with your little name tag, collect as many pins and gadgets as you can. Maybe see a new product that you don’t feel confident in yet. It’s completely different. Those are like going through the motions, surface level. We do need that stuff to some degree, but this is completely different.

This is building our businesses stronger, showing your products and being a master of your niche product is a bot product of what we’re trying to do here. Honestly, what I would love is this. Perks your attention. If this tickles your ear, I’d love to have a conversation with you as a group, come chat with us here.

We’ll come to you where let’s get out ahead of this together. As a group, let’s get together the true thought leaders and the people that have decided no, I’m going to push this industry forward into the next millennium. Let’s get together and let’s talk about it. The guy knows he can’t do it alone.

And we know that there’s some people that are watching this video that are going like, man. There’s some things that these guys are saying that they’re making sense to me. Well, this is the step. Yeah. So let’s talk. And I think that baffles me that a lot of our manufacturers in the mills and the distributors, these aren’t young companies, there could be some contractors watching this who have been in business less than 10 years.

30% of the lump or almost 30% of all lumberyards went out of business in 2008. And as far as I’m aware, they really weren’t replaced with brand new operations. Right. And so it’s, it’s the past decade. Brick and mortar is not really popular. No, it hasn’t. And then like, we are talking to people who work.

I mean, many mills are literally a hundred years old, but many distribution companies are 50 to 60 years old. Like, we’re not, we’re not talking to people who are not just looking for these new businesses. There are people at your company now who understand what we’re discussing, but maybe the conversations just haven’t happened yet.

Or it’s also too, like, we’re all right, we’re having a good year. Getting back to our little machine, finished close, hopefully 30% growth again. I think in this industry or any industry, it’s raised by our fathers who all ran businesses. It’s a 12% double digit growth, that’s what you want.

12, 15% that’s a rocket. And we kind of took that. Right. And then even with our 30% growth, we’re sitting here thinking like, okay, well, we shot for 45. You guys expect 45% growth a year? Yeah, absolutely. 44 year old company. Absolutely. And we’re wondering how we’re going to keep it going. We aren’t just sitting here collecting, being like 30 points bars and nice Christmas.

Let’s do it. And again, it’s like, yo, we got this thing humming and that’s great for all the families that work here and ours included. But we want more. We want to show folks like we got to change stuff. Well, what we’re talking about is we’ve been proactive. What were you talking about from the very beginning?

We’ve been proactive and it’s yielded us amazing results. So now we’re starting to see more clearly. All right. It’s not just about thinking five years down the road or 10 years down the road. We’re talking beyond that because things, I mean, think back to how much things have changed in the past 10 years, as far as.

Just iPhones and YouTube, but just our daily life, I mean, all of it. So what’s, what’s building materials going to look like in 10 years, it’s going to look a lot different. Well, the logistics of it, and it has to start now. That’s not going to change overnight. That’s why, that’s why, what you’re saying.

Don’t wait until the recession hits. Don’t wait until a disruptor comes and now you have to catch up. If you’re on the forefront, if you’re being proactive, it’s so much easier to react. If a surprise comes right. Does your way out in front and you’re like, Oh wait, things are starting to tell you now.

Well, man, I’ve been out here. I can see step back and fix that real quick. It, so how do we find that? How do we find a proactive thought leader in an industry that is booming? What do I mean? If you’re that proactive thought leader, reach out to us. But we’re in an industry that has to think multiple years.

Well, we met with a Weyerhaeuser a few weeks back, about a few different things in their company. Back in 1980 or 82, they planted, it was like 18 billion seedlings, HoloLens, Mount St. Helens of the volcano erupted. Killed the forests. They planted 18 billion Siemens billion with a B billion with a B.

There were so many. They have it broken down per second. That’s ridiculous. It was insane. Yeah. They had to dig the Ash out, plant the tree and guess what they are going to harvest that crop in two years, 2020. They had to think 30 years ahead. For their business. And that’s, I mean, that’s all we’re looking at is we’re talking to the same people who took the time to replant the fricking forest after a volcano erupted, they did both.

They reacted by making money on the salvage and being very good at salvage, which is the most dangerous forestry there is. Right. So there was a reaction, but then there was like, now what? So that they fall right in the middle and they’ve been doing it for a hundred years and it’s like, those are major steps or the, we referenced the war.

The steps aren’t different now, right there. Lots of it is digital digital, or again, not a reaction, but it’s like, well, wait, why do you talk to all of them? Everybody’s having a great year in the building industry. And if they aren’t it’s out there, I don’t know how you couldn’t be having a good year right now.

That’s just what I’m saying. You’re not mentally wrong. If you’re not like things aren’t cooking right now, I’m not just in Denver, anywhere, Kansas city, all of it.   but again, that’s what we’re trying to inspire, right? Well, no, we’re up there. We’re pulling into we’re up this webinar banner year. Great.

What are you doing in 10 years from now? Honestly, it’s an interesting experiment. Is this us coming out here and talking about building empires and putting on this event. Are we going to get traction because people are positive, optimistic.  , bull market mindset or is it going to fall on deaf ears?

Because they think that what they’re doing is good enough. Yeah. I don’t know. My guess my it’s going to be a percentage of both. And if you’re in the if you’re in the percentage of interest, I just want to talk. I mean, I think that I want to meet like-minded people in this industry and I want to revolutionize it with them.

I mean, you talk again, talking to the folks we already have been. It’s just like, yeah. Wow. Wow guys. Yeah. I can see that it’s needed. Well, I don’t know what to do now. We might have a bigger marketing budget than some of it in that could be very good. The problem So it’s exciting, like you said, that we’d love, love, even outside the industry.

If somehow this makes it to you, what are you doing? What are you thinking about? What is a true thought leader thinking about today? Right now? I know I have to order some truckloads of fencing and when I’m done with this meeting and that kind of stuff, but then it’s going to go back to big. And who saw this today, who does want to talk, what other meetings that we’ve got to go meet with.

and we all have the attitude that it’s happening. Right? So why not us? Yeah. It’s not you. Yeah. It’s gonna happen regardless. So,   , clearly we’re trying to be a part of it here. Rocky. It can be you too. It goes back to like, Hey, let’s, let’s have the disruption come with them. Right. Otherwise we’re all pissed off.

Well, no, Besos figured out how to make food, truck materials a lot better because there’s an old industry. Trucking nothing’s changed there. You got the drone talk and that kind of stuff might be hard to deliver bunks at lumber, but guess what? Wouldn’t be trouble also, Tesla , make a new semis. Why not be able to go from an online order, timing, a deck pack.

Direct ship hours. Exactly. But that’s the future. Like we’ve said some things won’t change. We’ll always need the forest. We’ll need these manufacturers. We’re going to need trucks. You need equipment because this is a big material to move around the world. But then again, a thought leader is like, Oh, you guys are struggling with that because I have some new ideas on semis.

And those old donkey lifts, I’ve got a new idea. And then we’re like, Ooh, that’s what we need guys to think like that. Sorry for saying no, here are a few of them. So once again, this is a lumberyard unapologetic I’m Taylor Poole. This is Shane Hoefer, and Darren West. And you saw the real Darren West. Once again, we’re putting on our conference next year, building empires. We’re looking for sponsorships between $50,000 and 1.3 million.

If you sit down and chat with us, you can DM our page or give us a call at (303) 625-6442. Once again, that’s (303) 625-6442. Ask for the marketing department. They’ll get you to the right area. Have a good day.

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