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#58 – Jeff Wanner, PairPEO

April 1, 2021

Jeff is the founder of PairPEO, a PEO brokerage that helps clients save money on health and dental benefits.  In this episode he explains how PEOs work and why they are so popular, and he talks about scaling a business through building his network meticulously.

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John E: Hello folks. And welcome to the podcast and today’s interview. I’m going to talk to Jeff Warner, uh, founder of pear PEO. I met Jeff a while back when he wanted to sell me benefits at level, we already had a strong relationship on this front and I told him as much, uh, he understood and asked if we could stay in touch fast forward, probably four or five years.

And I’ve been introduced to at least 30 awesome people by him. And I’ve made a handful of introductions for him. I consider Jeff a friend. Uh, and I also got a great deal on benefits for, for defiance. Thanks for that. Jeff. Jeff, thank you so much for joining me today. Appreciate you having me, man. Great. So I want to dig into what you do for a living, but also on how you go about networking, because I think you’re one of the best in the business at it.

So first off, can you please tell the listeners what pare PEO does? 

Jeff W: Sure. We broke her out the PEO industry. So the natural question is going to be what the heck is a PEO. Um, PEO is a professional and for employer organization, uh, essentially what it is is a big company. Employing small companies, small companies have access to big company buying power and benefits.

Um, most of the industry has been birthed through this inflationary decade and a half of healthcare reform and large medical prices going up and up and up. You, you partnered with the PEO, so you get a couple hundred thousand people worth of buying power. Drive those costs back to where they were probably a decade ago and, and keep a really solid foundation for growth for any business that wants to employ people and be competitive.

John E: interesting because I’ve heard of, um, PEO is being used for other, uh, benefits as well. For instance, say a company I know wanted to expand internationally and due to COVID, they couldn’t, uh, the, the office has more available in this country. People weren’t coming into work to form the new entity so that they could do business there.

So they just signed on with the PEO, um, they, they bought the benefits through them, but the real reason that they did it was just they couldn’t get through the paperwork. So, yeah. 

Jeff W: Yeah. And that’s a very common practice for any international company that wants to come to us. Our laws and, uh, restrictions for employment are rather ever-changing and just frustrating for other countries.

So it’s a very common practice for international companies that find a, uh, a domestic footprint and have a very competitive benefit package. That’s going to help them hire the right type of people to really take their domestic presence, uh, you know, tomorrow. 

John E: Oh, that’s that’s great. So how did you get involved with 

Jeff W: PEO uh, by accident?

I think that everybody that gets involved with PEOs gets involved by accident. Uh, you don’t ever intentionally go into this outsourced HR benefit, payroll worker’s comp solution space, but I had been working from home, um, that, or rewind seven years ago, I’d worked from home open to remote remote office for a value added reselling a tech firm.

Sold mostly to K-12, um, desktops, laptops, super simple stuff for a person that’s not technically sound to understand. Um, so I was doing that for a couple years and, um, and I realized that Charlotte was going to be home for me forever. I loved it being down here, coming from Northeast, Ohio. I just saw it as a, this is where I want to establish my roots, grow my network.

And at that point, sales to me had always been a pick up the phone dial, dial, dial as much as you can, it’s going to be a volume game. And eventually you’re going to find yourself into some wins. And when I came over to Insperity, they had a much more methodical approach to the way that you generate business and you develop relationships and creates strategic partnerships.

Um, and so that’s really what drew me to them. Whenever I went into the interview process had no idea what I was interviewing for it first. After the first round, I was like, okay, I’m going to really prepare for the second one and ended up being employed with Insperity for a good four years, who was a market leader in the PEO space.

John E: And is it was Insperity the first or they just did it better than anybody else. Cause I had heard their name even before I got introduced to you. 

Jeff W: Yeah, Insperity was it’s funny because there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of claim about who was the first PEO and Insperity, certainly, um, through the, through the employment process in rates that they were the first PEO to come to be the, their founder and CEO.

Who’s still their founder and CEO today. 35 years later, Paul  started the business because he had, um, started several businesses and kind of got to that point where they just got frustrated with all of the administrivia of having employees. When you go into business for yourself, you’re trying to do something specific for your clients.

And then eventually you go into the business of having employees, which is a business in and of itself. So he said, well, why don’t I co employ with all these small businesses that hit this tipping point, help them push through. So they’re not kind of buried in the administrivia of HR and they can focus on what they do.

Well, their core competency, their people and their growth. That’s 

John E: brilliant. So were they PEOs back then 35 years ago or was it something else? And then laws change 

Jeff W: termed used, uh, employee leasing was a very common vernacular used for the PEO market back then. I’m not sure exactly when the, uh, the, the rebrand happened for PEOs, but.

Obviously, uh, I worked it into my company’s name. So I feel like it’s a name that’s going to stick around or an acronym that will stick around for some sometime, 

John E: if, if you decide that you need to change it, I’ve been involved with, for companies who have changed their name. So for three, I take that back three.

So, um, try to avoid it if you can. Yeah, absolutely. So, um, wow. So 35 years ago now, w do you know, were there changes in us law that gave rise to this notion of PEO or was it just something where, where people started to realize, Hey, there’s gotta be a better way to pull reasons, 

Jeff W: right. And it’s honestly, that was all a, an accident or a, a happy coincidence, we’ll say because the PEO market as a whole was grown to, uh, levy or, uh, alleviate the deed for all these, you know, state to state compliance, understanding the ever-changing workforce from a, just a regulation and just complexity perspective.

Well, fast forward, they started co employing with all of these different small businesses. And they’re like, well, we have tons of buying power now. And there’s this element of every small businesses, healthcare, which wasn’t all that inflationary for a very long time. And then in the last, like I said, the last couple of decades has become enormously, um, uh, inflationary, which drove a lot of attention and eyes to that line item on these balance sheets.

And so PEOs are like, okay, we have all this buying power. We can go to market for our, you know, five to 10 to 50 person companies with hundreds of thousands of buying or people buying power. So we can pull these rates down, which ultimately now has become the reason that people partner with CEOs is because you can pull that, uh, healthcare premium dump number down.

You can, you can deliver it digitally and effectively, and it’s, it’s going to overpay for what the administrative fees are. That to actually run the co-employment relationship that it was originally meant to do. D do you 

John E: see a moment or the potential for people to do the same thing for individual consumers?

Or is there just something inherent about employers that, that makes it much more feasible? I 

Jeff W: can definitely see a market. I mean, I think look at the coworking spaces with solopreneurs who are always going to be solopreneurs that are trying to go to market for their own personal care for their them and their families.

I think that that’s a space that is worth consideration. Um, but most PEOs want you to have, you know, three to four employees on your book. They want to have some sort of administrative revenue tied to you. So I don’t think an existing PEO is going to chase after that business, but I think that a new PEO certainly could, uh, attack a solo preneurs space, which is becoming more and more prevalent as people are betting on themselves and becoming more of a self-employed and not going down the traditional means of creating income.

John E: Very interesting. Um, so. When you, so you’re working for Insperity, you, I recall you were doing, doing very well with it. When did you know that you wanted to go out on your own? Was there a single aha moment? 

Jeff W: Um, I don’t know that there was an actual aha moment. It just, it was a pattern of consistent opportunities that I ran and it kind of goes back to what my, like, what my strengths are, identifying good opportunities and making recommendations for things that I think that I would actually do.

Um, and so I had a lot of rooms. I was in with Jeff when I was Jeff at Insperity that I was just overkill for. Um, Insperity tends to be a very expensive solution when it comes to administrative fees. But when you can make the, the medical premiums come down far enough to justify it, it’s easy to make that recommendation.

But a lot of times that wasn’t the reality I was having for my clients. And so. I would, I would position them and say, okay, use my quotes, go out and find somebody else. That’s going to do this for half the administrative fees. And you’ll, you’ll end up being in a better relationship, which is again, what ended up birthing my business model.

And it’s in its early infancy, but I was probably two years into Insperity. Whenever I realized that nobody knows how to buy this thing. Everyone needs help asking the right questions. Everybody knows, like you can get a lot of concessions if you know what you’re asking for. And then basically that was what pair PEO ended up being is someone that’s going to get on my client’s side of the table, have their best interests at heart and help them into relationships that I would actually do myself if I was in their seat.

Yeah. 

John E: From having worked with you at pair PEO, but not an Insperity. I feel like, you know, there’s a, there’s a story about some U S president I’ve butchered it multiple times on this podcast, but was asked, I believe it was Lincoln or Washington was asked if you had a week to chop down a tree, how would you go about it?

And he says, well, I’d spend six days sharpening the blade and then take it down. And I felt like with you, that was very much the experience we gave you all the data that we would give to an Insperity or to any other competitor. But you asked us a lot of questions and said, Hey, could we structure this this way?

Can we position it this way to the point where, when we finally did the one, when we actually submitted all the data to the different providers, it was a real quick process. You said, yeah, nobody’s going to beat this price. This is, this is good. Let’s lock it in. This is what we want to do. So I think it’s that upfront, upfront prep work.

And you understand why an Insperity or any of their competitors would spend so much energy because all the other things that they’re doing a really hard and a lot of bureaucracy and a lot of red tape. Right. But, but it’s probably not the same skill set that can navigate that side of it. That’s the skill set.

That is how do I actually. Figure out how to get the best pricing for, for my customers.  

Jeff W: such a fickle industry. And I, and I feel like a lot of times my clients don’t understand why I’m asking questions. I’m asking in a broker seat. Like you want all of the information, because ultimately what you’re doing is you’re telling a story to the PEO is they’re not, they’re not underwriting you.

Excuse me. In traditional ways that a traditional healthcare broker would underwrite you where you’re pricing with one broker is going to be exactly the same with every other broker you’re working with. And the PEO is look at your business and like, do we want to bring this on? So it’s a lot of storytelling.

And for a company like defiance, who’s got a lot of long winded, future opportunity tied to it, through acquisitions and through other things, I can tell that story to a company like Insperity and say, here’s why you want this business. Here’s why your numbers need to look a lot better if you want to get it and have them justify the price points that you get.

So it becomes this. Yeah, I’m not really selling to my clients. I’m selling to the PEOs as to why they want my clients, the numbers come back in a way that justify my, my relationship. 

John E: Interesting. So you really become an aggregator of supply and demand, right? You’re, you’re more of these PEOs that you sign up, the more supply you’ve got and then you’ve got the demand from, from your clients.

It’s really interesting. What, what do you think prevented you from going out on your own before? Was it just something you had never thought about or where there were there doubts or there? Uh, the 

Jeff W: answer is no, I’ve always thought about it. I feel like I’m, I’m not a good corporate employee. Um, I found that when you, when you’re so used to seeing problems over and over and persisting over and over again, and you know that no matter how long or how hard you pound the desk, nothing’s going to really change in your lifetime inside that giant organization.

It gets, it gets super frustrating. And so even before I’d started a pair, PEO I had, when I was doing value added reselling on the tech side, I wanted to go into business for myself in that, in that role too, nothing can, it didn’t end up coming to fruition. I mean, I was 24 years old at the time. You have a lot of, you have a lot of hope, but you don’t have a lot of experience at that point in your life.

And, um, and when I was at, when I was at Insperity, it really was, I mean, two years into it. And then two years to really make that jump. And, and really for me, like it was my wife at the time, or my fiance at the time was saying, you know, we want to start a family, even talking about going into business for yourself for five plus years.

If you don’t do this right now, we’re gonna have kids. You’re going to have every excuse in the book to enjoy your cushy job, making the money you’re making and working, you know, having the stress level that you have and, and not being able to actually branch away from that and take a chance on yourself.

So it really came down to her being that straw that was. Pushing me out at the right time, uh, to be able to confidently go into this, um, this venture of betting on myself. So there’s 

John E: some things that people have to do whenever they start a business that some people do struggle with. Um, there’s the legal aspects, the company formation and structuring the company, they’re setting up accounting books.

There’s, um, there’s things like that. They’re setting up payroll and setting up a bank account. And all of that was that all stuff that you found pretty easy to do, or did you know people who had already done it? 

Jeff W: The beauty of being in small business advisory is that you get a lot of friends that do things that you’re going to need to run your own small business.

Um, so I, I have been so blessed with. Great legal counsel. That’s very pro bono. Um, that’s very much contingent upon me buying him a drink or whatever, whenever I see him, but he refuses to invoice me great bookkeeping slash account. I have a good audio video 

John E: guy who likes to do that for, uh, for alcohol, so.

Okay, 

Jeff W: perfect. Yeah. Yeah. It’s started getting this circle of people that have all done it. And I, and I, I attribute really my part of my launching point to doing mastermind groups with other people that have done it, and that are in the same kind of age bracket that had the same types of mental hurdles that needed to overcome to actually do it.

So the interesting thing is that my business needed revenue before I had any of those problems. Um, we were living off my wife’s, uh, CMS, uh, salary for a good 12 plus months, which, uh, which is super humbling, but it was, it really taught me to, um, Not overextend what, what I needed and can kind of live by our bare bones.

And, and, and again, those advisors that came across my, uh, client came across my network through Insperity’s dime, really kind of creating those relationships were really the catalyst for me to be able to hit the ground running and not look back. That’s 

John E: awesome. So for anybody contemplating going out on their own and in any industry, what advice do you have for them now that you’ve been at this for a little bit and are seeing the growth and the stability is there.

Yeah. 

Jeff W: Yeah. And you’re absolutely right. Like the corporate security blanket is such a propaganda and so much in so many ways, but I, I would tell them that, talk about it with your clients. I mean, I had so many conversations, just candid conversations about what I thought I was going to do, what, where the value is going to be test your hypothesis is on your employer’s dime and make sure that you know where you’re going to find your first dollar.

Um, Because that’s a big part, part of it all. And when you start stacking wins, any networking relationship, any partnership I’ve ever had, the first one is always the hardest one. So try to envision what that’s going to look like for you and your business and who that first wind’s going to be, because replicating a win is very easy finding.

The first one is very hard, so do that on somebody else’s dime. 

John E: So, so I think I understand, or probably have a feel for this answer, but how’d you go about getting that first? Not, not just the first customer, but the first three or four. I agree that the first is the hardest, but I still think there’s some number that is hard and then it really starts to get exponentially easier 

Jeff W: for, for me, it was very easy because I, I was basically performing my business model for two years under Insperity.

Cause I knew when I was a good fit, whenever I was with a client that I was getting great pricing for and the, and the numbers really made sense. So like I would walk myself out of doors where that wasn’t the case. Um, And so whenever I decided to go off on my own, those are the first doors I went knocked on.

There’s zero conflict of interest. It’s not existing Insperity business, so I can go back and have the dialogue with them. They know I’m going to give them sound advice, because I told them not to go with me two years earlier and they can bring me in to go audit what they’re doing currently, which is probably something I told them to do to two years before.

So that was the easiest path for me is just be mindful that, you know, you’re not always the right fit. Don’t look at the short-term gain as if it’s the end all be all. And when you’re inside of a corporate machine, it’s really hard not to see every deal as this is why this, this deal makes sense for this reason.

And this reason only, and ignore everything else that’s going on. Why it wouldn’t make sense for a 

John E: client. That that’s that’s interesting. So it sounds like you’d counsel authenticity too, because in your day job, having that authenticity is what made you establish you as, Hey, this person actually cares and is going to create a win-win situation.

Jeff W: Yeah, I’d say, uh, yeah, I’ve been a very big habit of being very much myself in every situation. And I think that that’s a very important part to having people be your champion. If you’re not, if you’re not out just pretending, you know, everything and you want to be the best fit for every single situation you can perform really great in this, in those rules, you can make a lot of money being a top sales producer for your organization, if that’s your path.

But for me, again, it, it took too much out of my. Uh, intrinsic motivation to, to tell people to do things that I wouldn’t do. And again, when you go into this independent brokers seat, you’re able to always make recommendations to things that you would do, even if it doesn’t pay you today, you can still play the long game to make sure you’re seen as an ally to those entrepreneurs that you’re supporting.

So 

John E: you mentioned the first handful of customers were existing prospects that you’d been working with. Um, how much more sophisticated has that process gotten now? 

Jeff W: It’s interesting because I do, and this is not a good answer. I don’t think for people that don’t have a network door during COVID, because you’re not going to get a network overnight through the pandemic, but I do everything through introduction, everything that gets on my calendar happened just how me and you met Garth molten shot, you at texts said, Hey, you should meet with Jeff.

I went into that conversation. I go into every conversation, assuming that nothing’s going to happen. Like people don’t really care what you do. They care about who you are, is what I’ve realized with, uh, most of my network and you, so you create friendships and stuff that are going to help propel you into other conversations.

So my biggest champions now are my clients, um, and my strategic partners that are going to be, you know, your fractional C-suites and CPA firms. And so my, my  sophistication, there it is, um, of my, uh, like my go to market. And my prospecting is just to find good partners that understand what I do, how it can be impactful for their client base and, and put me into the right conversations at the right time.

That’s 

John E: great. That’ll serve you for, for a long time, for sure. Um, we, at that level, we, we grew that way for probably the first three years of our existence and it can, and it kept, it continued to be a source of growth. Although we did invest in some. Less organic, more repeatable things that aren’t as reliant strictly 

Jeff W: on the network, learning that now that I’ve hired, uh, I’ve hired a guy out in Dallas, Texas, and, and trying to understand that, trying to use my model in his market is impossible.

And so there’s gotta be other ways to be able to generate business as I start scaling the business into new market. 

John E: That’s interesting. Do you think it’s because Dallas is such bigger of a city than Charlotte? Cause I always say that we’re the, almost the perfect sized city because it’s small enough where you can know everybody.

Right. But it’s big enough where that’s a meaningful 

Jeff W: number. Right. Uh, I think that it’s, it goes back down to mindset. So he, um, the guy I hired, he was in my training with me at Insperity, uh, whatever six years ago now. Um, and then he, he always outperformed me at, in spirit at the Insperity level, he ended up finding a job with a startup that was.

Not figuring out their compensation model yet, which I’m sure that you fall victim to this too, where all of a sudden you’re cutting out a hundred thousand dollars, quarterly checks to your business development people, because your goals are way too small. Uh, and then VCs came in and cut his commissions by about 90%.

And he’s like, ah, this is probably isn’t the best fit for him. So he basically sat dormant through 2020, just enjoying the, you know, the fruits of his labor. And we had, um, we had a dialogue about, you know, where he was at, where he was interviewing for. And I’m just like, you know, why don’t you come do what I’m doing?

You always did really great selling this direct. Now you’re not really selling it. You’re just helping people buy it. And it’s a much more enjoyable, uh, relationship in my opinion. So that’s why we brought him in. And, and again, if he had the network that I had, he could have a very easy pipeline to be able to lean on.

And, and he’s already starting to prove that that’s part of what his strategy is going to be, but he’s going to have to hit some traditional. Um, lead gen tactics that I just haven’t had to, uh, put myself through yet, 

John E: but that, that’s a good point that we’re going to revisit later is the, the, the networking, you might not have known the value of the networking you were doing beforehand, or maybe you did, but either way you, you were glad that you, that you had it and put in that investment.

Um, do you know the lifetime value of your average customer? It seems like it would be pretty high to me. Um, 

Jeff W: well, 

John E: as not asking you the specific 

Jeff W: dollar amount, but it’s obviously my company in its infancy right now. So as I was making this first hire, I was having a conversation like I was having the, the devil and the angel, uh, shoulder conversation about, do I hire for sales or do I hire for retention?

And then I looked at my book and I’m like, we have not lost anything ever. Um, when it comes to clients that have come on board with us and that are still re residual re revenue, uh, clients for our organization, Um, so really, I think it’s impossible for me to say definitively. I would expect that most of my attrition is going to happen through acquisition.

People get acquired. They want to put their own vendors and support systems in place. And that’s a pretty normal attritional moment for my industry. But most of my clients that are utilizing me to help them make better decisions about the partnerships that they’re in from the PEOs. They’re going to have me help them make new, uh, run new RFPs, run new, run, new, uh, parallel, um, financial analysis is on their existing relationship versus the market.

So. Clients that are, you know, that are clients of mine today, should in theory, be clients of mine, you know, five, 10 years from now assuming they haven’t sold and still exist or haven’t changed hands. So is there a 

John E: point where you outgrown the need for a PEO short of becoming HP or Ford? 

Jeff W: It’s, it’s very, it’s very unique.

Um, cause I, I always saw PEO clients as the sub 100, 150 groups, um, that had that a couple of different variables when it comes to what a good PEO client looks like. But the last six months I brought on a 500 person group, a thousand person group. Um, so my hypothesis has changed. Um, and what I thought was true is not true.

So there’s those bigger groups. What happens is that you can bring them on a group that’s that, of that size, that is having a big time trouble containing the healthcare cost equation of their business. And they maybe have a 10 person HR department. If you’re going to hire a PEO, you’re really only going to need a can full of people in your HR department.

So really they can justify the cost of a PE as administrative fees. If they’re going to have a big reduction in healthcare, spend a big reduction in workers’ comp spend and then a potential reduction in head count and their HR department. So I’d say that you cannot grow. You can not grow a PEO you know, much smaller than that.

If you’re a 50 employee group, that’s all young, uh, you know, early 30 year old men like that, that group would probably do a heck of a lot better on the open market medical when we’re talking about medical premiums than inside of a PEO. So it just depends on the demographics of the group and the experience that they’ve had with their HR department.

John E: So you talked a little bit about some scaling efforts that you’ve made to date. Um, you mentioned a geographic scaling. How do you, how do you think about scaling this, this business? Is it, is it geographic? Is it. Getting into more or less organic kind of digital marketing related things and building top of funnel, some combination.

So 

Jeff W: I, I, I think it’s G and obviously I’m super biased because of how I built this business here and in the way that my revenue model works right now, it is so heavy around the 45 loop that I saw that as an only, the only way I can grow another market is to have boots on the ground. And basically having them manage that market.

I’ve bounced around some ideas around franchising and things that I could do in the long run. And obviously the fun part about starting a company. And it’s less than two years old is that you don’t know where you’re ultimately going to land on that scaling, uh, expedition that you have ahead of you. But I think that, you know, hiring, um, Matt in Dallas is a great template for me to either figure out, okay, how long does it take for him to really bring me money to pay for his salary, pay for his benefits and to be able to actually produce something for the company.

And when he does that, I’m able to double down and go find two more markets. And so my right now my hypothesis is that we replicate AFA his production, whether or not we’re our breakeven point is going to be and how long it will take us to be able to multiply markets in that fashion. In the scale internally will be mostly an HQ.

The Charlotte will always be the home of pear PEO as long as I’m running it. And the administrative services and stuff will come out of here. So as he comes on and retention does become an issue, that’s when we’re hiring up client success directors that are going to have another two or three people underneath them here in the Charlotte market.

John E: That’s great. Um, what do you think most small business owners get wrong when they think about 

Jeff W: benefits? Um, I think that most small business owners don’t care. I mean, they want something that’s going to help them attract and retain the right type of talent, but nobody’s a student of benefits in a entrepreneurial sense.

They don’t want to be, they do something well, it’s a very confusing topic and there’s a lot of different ways to consume it. And I think that the thing that they, I think that’s generally what I’ve seen with most small business owners. So I think the PEO strategy is they kind of give you a out of the box solution and Scott, you know, four or five plans in your benefit strategy.

And it’s going to basically help you with your baby boomers all the way down to your gen Z peers that you have employed inside your organization. So it kind of solves the problem of what do I put in place that helps everybody when you can’t really put one thing in place that puts it helps everybody inside of a PEO.

Obviously you’re going to have that varying degree of benefit offering. So, you know, I think it’s just one of those things that it’s, it’s a necessity, which is great for me, but it’s not something that. Anybody gets all that excited about that. That’s 

John E: for sure. Uh, are there certain industries you try to go after, or that you do better with, or is it really just more about the size and needs of the 

Jeff W: business, John?

I, uh, I do everything through intro. So if you saw my pro, if you saw my client base, there would be no pattern whatsoever outside of the fact that they want to have healthcare in place. Okay. So I’ve worked with two person and employers as I am, I guess now I’m a three person employer because I do employ my wife per the advice of my CPA.

Um, but you know, these I’ll work with small groups like that, that are just trying to get off the open market exchange, which is ridiculously priced, very bad benefit coverage, and they want to make their third, fourth and fifth hire. So they, they turn a key. Now they’re not now they’re market competitive to be able to go do that.

So it all just depends on what I get introduced into and where I see my fit. That’s great. 

John E: So do you partner with other service providers? I would imagine accountants or tenant reps on the commercial real estate side. Are there other, other types of, um, just types of part of service providers who can help you out and you, 

Jeff W: yeah, I’ve, I’ve been pretty intentional about and CPA firms are great in theory.

Um, CPAs are generally very conservative in nature so that they’re not necessarily going to endorse something they don’t fully understand, but you can have a lot of success with CPA firms that look at a client or look at a portfolio of their clients that have a certain amount of dollars going out the door to UHC United healthcare or blue cross blue shield or Aetna.

And you can back into, okay, well this well, this introduction be economically interesting to my clients. Um, but I also work with fractional CFOs who usually have more of an intimate relationship with five, six clients. Um, fractional CHRs are fantastic because these PEOs really are a tactical HR solution.

That’s going to cover your benefits, payroll, all the things you kind of have to do to have people and pay them. And these fractional HR leaders are generally doing things that are more, more specific to revenue, generation culture and things that are going to really affect the top line revenue of the organization.

So those are great partners for me as well. Um, I used to work a lot with benefit brokers now in my space, it’s very hard for me to make them whole. What I found is that people don’t, people don’t want to take money out of their own pocket, even if it makes more sense for their clients. So healthcare brokers will generally only bring me in if they’re going to lose a client to a PEO.

Um, and they’ll use me as more of a, as a way to divert that revenue to a PEO that I’d be recommending. 

John E: So, are there any currently proposed changes in legislation that impact benefits? 

Jeff W: Uh, as a whole, I mean, obviously the big, scary monster is the universal health care concept. Um, what I, what I kinda use the United States as a metaphor.

I mean, obviously hundreds of years ago we were a startup country and we had a lot of agility to do the things that we want to do right now, but you’re not going to be able to do as big as we’d become. So I think a lot of that stuff that is around universal health care would be directed at the individual level, but companies would still have a, uh, package that would be, uh, used to attract and retain top talent.

So do I feel like I’m completely in exposed in that area? No, but I don’t think that it’s realistic to expect anything to happen in a, in a five to 10 year window. Yeah. It’s 

John E: interesting. You mentioned that. Um, cause we, we did some business and had some employees in the UK at level and. It, they have a healthcare system, but it is, there’s a certain level of seniority at which they there’s an expectation of some, some private, private to supplement it.

And especially with the long history that we have here of private insurance, it seems like there would always be some supplemental offerings there. So 

Jeff W: it seems like it would be awfully optimistic to assume that something that, you know, like a Canadian universal healthcare system could work in a country as big as ours that has as many opinions as ours has.

Um, but again, that’s probably the biggest glaring, uh, piece of legislation that would heavily disrupt the industry. 

John E: So what, what do you think is more important to the growth of your business growing revenue per customer or finding new customers? It sounds like the churn is a big driver, which is more of, um, Growing revenue per customer or not losing it, but it is it’s finding new logos more important or cultivating ones that you already have.

Um, 

Jeff W: I think that finding a new logos is going to always take a precedence just because of the stickiness of the relationships that I have, uh, with, with clients that I’m engaged with. The revenue model is tied to a per employee per head or per month payout. So as defiance becomes a hundred person company, you’ve just become five X as valuable to me as you were whenever, you know, like wherever you are now, 1820 and boys.

So, so like I’m going to organically grow revenue as my clients succeed. So that, that, that’s a piece of my, like, if I did nothing else between now and the end of the year, I will likely have higher revenue in December of Q2 of 2021 than I do right now. Just because of that growth. It’s going to happen organically across my client base.

So adding new people to that pie is very important. Um, and it’s also for me, like, it’s interesting because I don’t, I love working with five person companies because they generally have something I can sell, like make some introductions for help to help the revenue line item of their business. But a five person company turning into a 50 person company, just 10 X, my revenue on them.

Wow. My re my impact or my involvement in my Dan with is really tied to that first. You know, that first interaction, helping them go through the process of evaluating PEOs, placed them with one, that’s going to put a competitor competitive offering in there, and then help them transition as time goes on, where their needs may change.

Their administrative fees may get excessive, and we need to make a pivot just to be able to keep their incumbent at, uh, at Bay. And, you know, you fast forward a couple of years, it’s, it’s a heck of a heck of an 

John E: ROI. So, so you mentioned the upfront costs that you have to spend with them. Um, Do you have is open enrollment, a big deal in terms of impacting your life?

The way that say tax filing is in April for a CPA. 

Jeff W: Yeah, it definitely is. So the industry, the industry does a lot of great things for brokers, not intentionally at all, but it’s, it’s really great for us because we know when these renewals happen so we can proactively shop all of our clients. And so if I have a client, half of my, like a lot of my book will renew on either 10, one or 11, one, a hundred percent of their clients from new those dates.

So I know that I need to shop these guys out in July and July is a dead time in a lot of industries. And so you run some competitive numbers and you make sure that okay, if they are going to get hit with a 20% increase or something, we have something that’s based off of last year’s numbers. All of these PEs understand that we have to create a compelling reason for them to change providers.

So basically. If they get a 20% increase, the proposals I’ll have ready for them to go are going to be probably 30, 40% below what that increase looks like, which gives us that tremendous leverage to be able to go back to that incumbent, get better pricing or pivot to a new provider. If the, if they’re not willing to come down in a way that’s meaningful enough, does that make sense?

John E: It totally does actually. Um, that’s, it’s just crazy to me that you can save 30 to 40% on these costs. Cause they’re non-trivial costs, right. Even at our size of 20 people, it’s a non-trivial cost, but there’s the, I guess the commentary that, that, that screams to me that we have a very inefficient market.

If, if a competitor, I mean, that, that should be arbitraged out in, in theory. 

Jeff W: Yes. But, uh, so you gotta think about every single one of these PEOs is measured on new business. So everyone I work with inside these PEOs is measured on new business. And so they know that if they want you to come from Insperity, go to their organization, go through the pain of transitioning.

They know that they have to make it really lucrative for you to do it. Well, if you get hit with a big increase and they’ve already made it really interesting for you to do it now, you’ve got an increase on top of it. That stacks up a very compelling case for you to make a transition or for you to go back to Insperity and say, Hey, listen, we got this in the open market, or we got this in the competitive market.

We’re going to make a move. If you guys can’t match this, it gives you a ton of leverage back in that equation. 

John E: So you, you, you mentioned the July cycle where you’re not that busy, so you’re out doing the competitive research. What other things do you do when you’re not in your busy season to. To make sure that you’re as busy as possible during the busy 

Jeff W: season.

I I’d say that, uh, I thought that there was a dead season in this industry and it hasn’t existed for the last, uh, 13, 14 months. Um, I usually turned the corner and maybe this is just kind of the sales lethargic space that you ended up playing in is that once the calendar year turns, you’re like, okay, I had a great year.

I’m moving. I’m just kind of going to take my time, going back into building my pipeline back up. But this year Q1 was stronger than Q4, which is very weird for the industry. Um, so I’m hoping that’s the norm for me, that all, all these quarters end up having a lot of, uh, opportunity to, to continue to put more production into the business.

But what I was hoping for was a lot of laws in the business because it allows me to work on the business. Very, very intently. During times when things are not as fast and fast paced and furious. So, um, I’d say that, you know, some, some of the big triggering points in the industry, ADP renews a hundred percent of their clients on six one.

So ADP is the largest market share holder because they obviously have a payroll solution that is an industry leader that they upsell into their PEO product. So right now I’m dealing with a lot of ADP clients that are wanting to kick the tires. See what else is out there? Um, some of those clients are happy with ADP and they just want me to go run a cart and competitive RFP type up some emails for them, send it out to ADP, watch their pricing come down, which is another model that I deployed through.

COVID because people weren’t willing to make a change when there was so much. Already changing in, in our marketplace. Um, so I would do a contract negotiation for them take a 25% commission off of their reduction in fee structure. So they have no disruption to the business at all, no transition needed.

And then I would just get compensated for a contingent model where I’m only getting paid. If I’m saving them money, that’s a great 

John E: model, but that’s a real win-win for sure. Yeah. Um, and then it 

Jeff W: stacks up a nice pipeline for me, for Q4 when they may be a little bit more interested in making a change at the calendar year start.

So it serves two evils for me, where it can pay. It can pay a, a quick little bonus for doing some good RFP work for, for a client and then gain some Goodwill and then go back and. And revisit the conversation in Q4 when they may be more apt to make a decision to transition. I like it. 

John E: So you fairly recently had a baby.

Can you talk about balancing that with growing a business and networking to look for other opportunities? 

Jeff W: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, uh, it’s super easy. Uh, yeah, no. I mean, becoming a father is it’s been the single most rewarding thing in my life. And, and obviously my wife has been a tremendous champion of the household.

Um, she’s been, she was a teacher and so we had her take the year off this year for obvious reasons, uh, being a teacher’s challenging at times, but it’s definitely challenging right now. And it’s just a complete political mess. So she’s been owning a lot of the brunt of being a being mom from we’ll call it seven to six at night.

And it’s, it’s a. It’s a good balancing act for her because she’s like, okay, well, if I can do this really effectively and he can keep growing his business, then I’d probably don’t have to go back to work next year. And so she started to see that her being such a good ally to me is allowing me to really focus on the business and grow the business.

And, um, and that ultimately is probably going to lead to her, not having to go back to school if she doesn’t want to, until, you know, all of our kids are of, uh, uh, of, you know, kindergarten age. And, and if all of our kids are just like Mila who’s my daughter, uh, will. Keep popping them out as low, as long as they’re, as long as they’re as pleasant as her man, she’s been nothing but fantastic.

And we’ve just had an excellent entry-level baby. 

John E: That’s awesome. Um, I had one that was very challenging and, uh, and I talked, talked to my wife at the time into another one based on, well, it can’t be worse than this. 

Jeff W: That might be, that might be better though. Cause then the second one probably wasn’t nearly as challenging.

Right, exactly right. Exactly. Is that everyone tells me that the worst year of my life is going to be the first year of my second child’s birth. Okay. And it’s going to be, because I can’t, I, I, my wife is going to be so overburdened and I can’t ever, I’m never, she’s never going to be, um, as enthusiastic about the baby situation as we are right now, because everything’s so new and everything’s so different every day.

You just, you, you just see the development, which is so cool. And she’s almost six months old now. So she’s got this. Very fun, energetic personality. And, um, 

John E: she smiles more than when she’s just 

Jeff W: pooping. Yes, yes. Yeah. Although it’s funny how much they, they seem to get a thrill out of making you clean up after themselves.

It’s a, it’s not, it’s not too bad, but again, I think that balancing all of that is essential to have a spouse, that one encouraged you to go into business for yourself. Cause I know that without her, I probably would have just kept leeching onto it. Again. Insperity was a great job for me, made a lot of money.

All my friends were like, what the hell are you thinking? You have this golden goose, you work 25 hours a week. You make a hundred, whatever, whatever the number is and you and you golf a lot and you have no stress. And I was like, yeah, I want, I want to do something else. And you know, so it was one of those head scratchers for a lot of my peer network.

But, um, my wife always got it. Cause she, she had to hear about a lot of the, the tougher days where I’m just like, I just can’t, I can’t find a way to be positive about what I’m doing right now. Yep. 

John E: Very very, very good advice. And it’s great to have a spouse that’s so, so supporting for sure. Um, I’d like to shift to network networking, cause we’ve talked about it a little bit.

Um, and you did give a little bit of an overview or some of your kind of philosophy, but can you give me an overview of how you think about networking and how you’d like to go about it? I, 

Jeff W: I go back to crediting Insperity here again. Um, I feel like this has been a walking commercial for my previous employer and I don’t mean it to be that way, but 

John E: they’re also your 

Jeff W: supply that you’re selling also a good re revenue producing entity for me now, too.

So I think that being in such a boring industry like Insperity and this PEO space, and again, it’s a necessity, but it’s a boring industry. There’s nothing sexy about it. No, one’s super excited to put great benefits in place. They’re excited to be able to keep their people and keep them happy and hopefully continue to build their revenue model.

But. Because I was doing something so boring, I would always be super curious about whatever everybody else was doing. And quickly you realize there’s a million ways to make a dollar in this, in this country. And, and there’s just so much interesting things that people are doing out there. So I think that natural curiosity was what really lended itself to being very powerful for me because you’d start seeing patterns after a while.

And I really go back to my first, you know, my green, green days of networking. And you’re just trying to figure out how to be useful in some way. And rarely the answer to you being useful is your employer’s product. Um, and I think that a lot of people missed the boat on that because they’re so focused on hitting a quota and kind of keeping themselves in the green from a, from a employer perspective that they don’t realize that they could be more valuable just by making an introduction and being thoughtful about what somebody else is trying to accomplish and what problems you can solve without really your own.

Product. And, uh, and I just think it’s, it’s, that’s really what, how I focused on building my network out is, you know, Garth was a main key connector for me initially, and I’d realized quickly on that. I can’t try to sell to any of these people. Um, I need to just create friendships and understand what they’re doing, what they’re trying to accomplish, who their client is, how they make money and help them replicate that over and over again.

And you’d be shocked at how easy it is to, to see your network facilitate that. Um, and, and again, I came here from Ohio and I’ve been networking in Charlotte for five and a half, six years. And, you know, from the very get go, I realized that, you know, don’t focus on your own company’s product, focus on who you are focused on what they’re trying to accomplish.

And, and eventually you start finding patterns to make a real impact on people that you had. No idea were going to become as fruitful as they became, but then you look up and. Introductions I’ve made to you and their business partners of yours. And you’re like, wow, these, these people together have created something awesome.

And you feel like you’re a part of it, but you didn’t have to really put in the actual hours to be a part. 

John E: It’s funny. You didn’t, you didn’t articulate this, but it just made me think about it. And I, and I hadn’t really thought about it before, but you’re right. It’s, don’t not only don’t try to sell these people, but don’t try to network them.

It’s so often I take meetings with people and they say, and I, and they ask for the meeting and I take the meeting and they say, what can I do for you? And I think that’s a really bad approach too, because now you’re making me think about it. I didn’t ask for this fucking meeting. Right. Um, and, and, and again, I don’t word it that way when I talk to people, but it is, I, I think that a thoughtful approach where you say I’m going to just put it in and everybody needs a bigger network.

Right. Let’s be honest. And I think that’s what always impressed me about working with you. Was that you weren’t asking me what I needed. You were just, Hey, I met this person. They’re interesting. And if I said, no, I don’t want to talk to him. Yeah. We don’t talk. You’re going to keep them coming, you know?

Jeff W: Right, right. And I think that I’ve had, I’ve been really lucky not to make bad introductions. I think that the networking scene is full of people that are literally throwing shit up against the wall and hoping that something sticks and they’re being completely, I don’t know what the word is, but they’re just not thinking about the time you’re wasting the time suck.

These conversations are like, you can’t just introduce people for the sake of introducing people and hoping that something good comes out of it. You kind of have to have an identity or an idea of where that path is going to be and help them kind of help that, help that dialogue before it gets off the ground and make sure that that that’s going to be consumed the right way.

But it kind of goes back to the concept of no one cares what you do. They care who you are after you. Hanging out with John SB. A couple of times, you’re going to realize he’s just a guy that likes to have, you know, likes to have good candid conversations with genuine people that aren’t afraid to admit their faults.

And if you can just find that, um, that person in your network, you can make a valuable introduction. And obviously on the other side, that person’s going to really appreciate meeting. 

John E: Absolutely. I can’t stress. I mean, it’s, it’s at least 30 people that you’ve introduced me to, to the point now where even when you send me one where I don’t immediately see, I don’t roll my eyes anymore.

I used to I’d be like, but, but, but I knew because he had introduced me to so many good people. First. I like even ones where I didn’t make a connection at first, I’d be like, Oh God, but then I’m like a better, I just need to do this because the guy has always come through for me. But now it’s to the point where I don’t even, it’s just like, okay, yeah, the process 

Jeff W: you’ll find, you’ll find the value.

And again, like if you, if I focused on people that were just trying to sell something to you. I know that I would piss you off very quickly, but I realized that there’s, there’s going to be some sort of joint win there. And, um, and just focusing on creating win-win relationships as much as you can. And, um, it, again, I think that I was talking to Jared latch about this on his podcast a couple of weeks ago, you know, people in the sales seat are just so hyper-focused on what it is that they sell and they completely, they completely dehumanized themselves to the point where people are like, do I want to talk to you?

Or do I want to talk to the brochure that you’re going to hand me at the end of this conversation? Like I stopped using business cards. I stopped doing all the things that are like, okay. People like the first time I met Garth, I handed a business card. He’s like, okay. And I’m like, okay, I probably shouldn’t hand these things out anymore.

It makes it it’s completely off personal brand. And it’s a, and it just makes it feel like it’s, it’s more of this business arrangement instead. It’s really just people. It’s really just friendship development is all networking really is. 

John E: Yeah, that’s good advice on the business cards. For some reason, we still have them, but it’s just, it’s crazy to me.

We’ve printed them at defiance, but I’m like, this is what LinkedIn is 

Jeff W: for. Right, right, right. Yeah. People know who you are before they meet with you. Promise exactly mean it’s 

John E: it’s, it’s, it’s crazy to me. Um, so are there some mistakes you’ve made yourself in networking and had to kind of course correct with, or 

Jeff W: occasionally I’ll make an introduction that again, like, I feel like this zoom era of networking has created more of a problem than ever persisted before, because when you’re sitting across from somebody and you’re having an hour long conversation, that’s completely uninhibited by your email inbox or your phone or all the other things that are going to distract you from a zoom call, you can get a pretty good understanding of the person you’re talking to their general DNA.

What makes them tick. Who they are as a person. And you can draw that line pretty, pretty, um, pretty effortlessly, well, I guess, I guess in my role, it just, it just becomes pretty, you just start hearing things that remind you of other people. You’re like these people really do good talking to each other, but in the zoom, the zoom era has definitely, uh, created a lot more swings and misses than I’ve ever had before.

Um, you know, my hit rate, I feel like would usually be very strong and I, and I, and early on in my networking days, I would be very diligent about getting feedback from client or from, uh, from partners and saying, Hey, you know what sucked? I just introduced you to five people. Tell me two of them that were terrible and why I won’t replicate that again.

And so I felt like now that we’re doing everything to zoom, it’s, it’s a lot harder to get to the meat of who these people are and who you’re setting up with a conversation with somebody else. Um, cause you didn’t really meet with them. You met with them, but when you introduce them to somebody else, you don’t know who they’re going to go.

And with this giant sales. Commission breath that you don’t want to deal with, or they’re going to represent you the same way that they represented themselves when they talked to you the initially. Yeah. And I 

John E: think, I think zoom works really well with people you already know. Right. I think you still have to have the first face-to-face to really know somebody.

And then that makes the zoom more productive. And I, and I think that. Phone calls become much more productive after I’ve met with you and had a couple of zoom calls. But if I just lead with phone calls, it’s just really hard to really understand somebody, especially when you’re going to be making, you’re going to be multiplying this through the network and making all sorts of introductions.

I could see where that’s challenging it’s 

Jeff W: and I’ve echoed that through a lot of my networking channels that zoom, this whole pandemic has been a massive efficiency creator for existing relationships, which is part of why I attribute my pandemic success to the fact that nobody else was really displacing my relationships because you’re trying to do it.

You’re probably trying to do it through zoom. And if you’re like me, you overrate overwrite every single zoom call with the next zoom call. And by the end of the day, you’re like, who the hell did I talk to today? And what were their names and what the hell did they do? And people like, Hey, you introduced me to this person.

I’m like who? And I’m trying to, I’m trying to place it. But if I sit here and talk to you face to face, I won’t forget this shit for. Yeah. You know, two or three years. And if I, if I do it through zoom, I’ll forget you in two or three days, two or three hours, depending on how crazy my life is that day. So I think it’s, it definitely is a great Kat or it’s a great catalyst for maintaining existing relationships.

It’s a heck of a uphill climb for creating new ones. 

John E: Yep. Um, do you have a system in place to make sure you stay in touch with people that help to build your network? Or are you just good at like keeping up with it? 

Jeff W: Honestly, people ask me that all the time and cause I’m, I’m, there’s a lot of serendipitous, timely conversations that I will have, but it’s, there’s no science to it at all.

It’s just something I could be driving down the road and see something that reminds me of somebody and shoot them a text and be like, Hey, what’s going on. Let’s catch up for it. You know, a coffee drink beer or whatever, how 

John E: often you do that. And yeah, and it actually is the exact right time that you were supposed to talk.

Jeff W: That’s why people, I think it’s so crazy. I I’m like, I honestly have I, not a data scientist when it comes to our discipline person, when it comes to inputting. When I follow up with people or how I engage with people, it’s literally just something comes up that reminds me of somebody. I said, I just had one of these happen yesterday where a new resume popped up.

A guy just started a company that’s very similar to this new, like market manager lead or like down here in the Carolinas that coming down from Ohio, I was like, this seems like something right up, this guy’s alley. He probably won’t take it cause he just started his company. But he probably knows somebody that would love this thing.

But it’s, it’s just like that. You just need to start kind of connecting dots. And I wished that I had some sort of system that I could tell people to replicate, but it’s really just. Hmm. I’ve, I’ve thought about this, this, this reminded me of somebody else. And now all of a sudden I’m making an introduction and it’s turning into something productive for everybody involved.

Well, one thing that 

John E: often triggers me to, to reach out to somebody is just, if I get on LinkedIn and just look at the feed for, you know, just scroll through my feed for a little bit, I see somebody doing something and then I say, Oh, wow, I need to make this connection or that 

Jeff W: one. Um, yeah, I use LinkedIn as a pro.

I’d say LinkedIn ends up being in all though. LinkedIn has become a political Facebook. Um, I still use LinkedIn in a way to trigger those, uh, synopsis is that we’re trying to connect people that we haven’t talked to in a while. And it’s amazing cause I’m, I have so many more business friends now than I have like friend friends that I came down here with.

And the people that have just continued to multiply Ohio is just a pipeline for Charlotte. As many of you will know. Um, but you know, you realize that I haven’t talked to this person so long and the pandemic, because time was just such a abstract concept during the pandemic. I feel like you don’t realize how long it’s been since you talked to somebody or how long it’s been since you reach out to somebody and you’ll see something pop through LinkedIn.

And that’s usually a triggering moment for me to say, Hey, I haven’t talked to you in a while, shoot him a text and be like, Hey, I hope everything’s well and try to understand where they’re at. And again, if you can make some good low-hanging fruit introductions, I’m going to do it. Yeah. 

John E: So one thing I’ve observed and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re actually fairly introverted in spite of how much you get out there and mix it up.

Is that, is that a correct observation? 

Jeff W: I’d say that I’m not, I’m not someone that’s going to go speak to a crowd by any stretch. I don’t feel like I feel all that comfortable being in front of a giant spotlight. And I think that I am incredibly comfortable in a group of two or three guys, four guys, four people that I can just have a good general dialogue with and then kind of bounce ideas with.

So. I think that, um, 

John E: but you would get exhausted talking to a room of 20 

Jeff W: people. I think I would get uncomfortable talking to a room at a time. I think that as soon as you put a PowerPoint behind me, I will fumble it like crazy. Uh, which is so weird because I am generally okay. And comfortable talking in like a group setting where I can be mostly the conversation lead, but, uh, the bigger the group, the more formal it feels, the less, it feels like me.

Um, so yeah, that that’s definitely hits the nail on the head when it comes to introvert versus extrovert. But I think that most of my network would think I met extroverted, but it’s because I’ve had so many one-on-one conversations for sure. 

John E: So, so how, what have you actively done things to overcome those introvert tendencies or.

Or was it just, you, you just keep chugging along because you know, it’s the right thing to do and you just naturally get more and more comfortable with, with 

Jeff W: outgoing. Yeah. I was going to say it’s something that the more you, the more you do anything, obviously the more comfortable you get, the more you understand what the most likely outcomes are going to be.

The most likely responses are going to be the more comfortable you are in any kind of given situation. So I feel like it was just a massive amounts of inserts in the last five, five to seven years that I feel very comfortable in any conversation with anybody, regardless of how sophisticated they think they are, or regardless of how, you know, uh, mundane my solution may be.

I feel like I can bring value in most conversations and I’ve proven it pretty consistently. So that’s, that’s been more of my catalyst for comfort in those cases. Yeah. 

John E: And I think this is a really important point. Some of the best public speakers I know are actually. Painfully introverted. I mean, but, but they’re, but they make them set.

They put themselves out there and they do it and they become very, very good speakers. Even though if you ask them, they’re like, Oh, I’m exhausted. I just, after the conference, moderating the panel, I just want to go take a nap. I just want to get to the hotel room and sleep, but it’d be, but you put yourself out there.

And those people tend to be not only really good public speakers, but also leaders too. There’s a lot of really good leaders who have introvert. What I’ve found 

Jeff W: is the, uh, the anticipation is always worse than the, uh, act and all in all settings. And I mean, this happens to me all the time. I feel like when I have to do public speaking and stuff, I’ll sit up at night, fretting it, anxiety about it.

But when it actually happens, it doesn’t feel anything near the, you know, the, the, the, the pedestal I put it on on the front end is so much worse than the actual result. 

John E: Yep. And I think that’s true of so many things. I. I get stressed when I do a podcast, I enjoy doing this podcast. Um, I always have a good time with it, but I’m always stressed, leading up to it.

Just thinking about what could go wrong, just going to say what’s Jeff going to say, is Jeff going to bring, bring a good drink that happened with our, with our bourbon. Uh, but, but then when I go do it, I’m like, Oh, I’m really glad I did that. And I think any, any new skill that you learn or relatively new skill, I think that that’s true.

It used to be that way with CrossFit, every single CrossFit workout I did, I was just like, Oh my God, this thing is going to kill me. And then you get through a couple of them and you build a confidence and then 

Jeff W: kind of break through it. Yeah. I, uh, I agree. There’s something very, um, alive. You feel doing these uncomfortable things?

Cause I mean, obviously we can all execute extremely well with the thing that we do well, And mine happens to be, again, a very boring thing, but it’s a very necessary thing. And that’s something that doesn’t really build a whole lot of calluses whenever you’re doing something, you know, you do well, but whenever you’re doing something that makes you uncomfortable, you feel a heck of a lot more alive and you feel a heck of a lot more fulfilled after you do it.

Um, reminds me, by the way, I was having lunch with Mr. Gary Frye yesterday and he, uh, he’s recovering from, I think it was a shoulder industry and 

John E: injury. I was with him. We were doing Murph every day, which Murph is a brutal workout that he completely obliterates me in every tile for the record. I think I can take Gary in some, in some, in some of them, uh, barbell related things, but in body weight, the dude crushes me and I.

We were every Monday we were working out and, uh, and all of a sudden he texted me and was like, my shoulder’s injured. And I, I just, I can’t do anything. And I actually haven’t talked to him since then and had been 

Jeff W: meaning to, you want me to say hello to you? And he said that to tell John I’m ready to start whooping his button, the Murph again, he kicks my ass.

I mean, the guy is a as a body scientist. I now he’s, he’s just great people and just general great energy all around. And, um, yeah, he, I, I figured you guys had to be buddies I’ve mentioned to you yesterday when I was at lunch with him, he’s like, Oh, he’s like, yeah, I, I will John’s button the Murphy a couple of years ago when I first, I think he did his first Murph with you or something like that.

And he’s, uh, yeah, he’s just really good. No, yeah, 

John E: Gary’s a great guy. Um, so, and I’ve only got a few more questions that I want to cover. Um, but did, did COVID have any impact on your business? I mean, it sounds like you’ve thrived during COVID, but what, what was the impact and can you kind of walk me through.

Cause a lot of people, I think it meant one thing in March and then another thing in June and then another thing in September and another thing now. Sure. 

Jeff W: Um, yeah, I’ll tell you exactly what happened March. Uh, no one was doing anything. So that’s when that’s kind of birthed this whole contract negotiation model, that’s going to have some sort of contingency based compensation tied to it.

And again, that’s more short term mindset, which I generally don’t endorse, but in, during the circumstances, I just felt like I had to, um, In June, basically March through June, it was, it was crickets. I mean, so many good proposals out there. You got to think these PEOs are so far behind in their wall street number that are as motivated as they’ve ever been to put great proposals in front of their clients.

John E: We signed with you in March, right? Yeah. And then I couldn’t, I was floored by the pricing that we got. It was 

Jeff W: amazing. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s what I saw ubiquity. I mean, obviously in your guys’ situation, was it startup and it was a little bit more unique, but a lot of the deals I’m working are people that have existing medical spends that they’re spending in some sort of areas.

And, or they’re trying to pivot PEOs if the, if I’m getting pulled into those conversations, but by the time July came around, um, which is normally an absolutely dead time in the industry, I don’t think I’ll ever have a July, August, like I had in 2020, because you had such a, you had all this pipeline that was sitting there with great deals waiting to be had.

And you had people that weren’t making decisions because of the PPP forgiveness stuff. They wanted to make sure that okay, if I make a transition is going to F me for, for this PPP forgiveness. And, and the reality is it was more of just that, you know, that normal, uh, latent scar tissue that people will hold onto.

Like the, what if equation by the time July came around, it was just the flood Gates were open. People were getting super microscopic in these areas that they’re generally procrastinating on. Um, benefit renewals are usually what triggers. Most people looking at conversations with me, but because they had extra time on their hands, they were working from home.

They weren’t dealing with as much, uh, juggling they may have had been doing before that. They, they ended up having a lot, like most of my biggest deals were happening in Q3 for this year, which I wasn’t expecting. Um, but I’m obviously super grateful that they were being more proactive and intentional about being a understanding of what they’re spending money on, how they can save money, how they could bring more to their employees.

And all of that was kind of perpetuated by the fact that 2020 was a walking, HR, commercial, really all the things that we kind of sell when I was Jeff and Insperity, all the, what ifs we’re like what’s happening. Um, that, that definitely perpetuates the, the, the, the excitement for this co-employment relationship.

That’s going to shift a lot of the risk of having employees. How do you deal with these unique and, uh, delicate situations and how do you have a partner that’s going to really see things through, with you and have skin in the game and the industry as a whole, I feel like got a giant amount of, um, uh, public praise because of, because of how they were, um, because of how adaptive they were to the ever-changing, um, landscape of, uh, of employment here in the United States.

John E: Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting talking to all these different businesses and how COVID impacted them. I think the one consistent theme is that nothing got done from March till 

Jeff W: may or June. Yeah. I want to know who was killing it from March to June. Cause everybody, yeah, I felt the same, the same way nobody was producing any kind of uptick in revenue during that time.

But I got to imagine somebody was killing it during that time. 

John E: I’m sure there was some, I mean, zoom was killing. Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Um, but I, we recently had Stu Brower in here and he owns a gym and a couple of other businesses related to gyms and he, he, um, he, he said from March until about June, there was just nothing.

He just wasn’t allowed to be open. And luckily for him, he had a, he generates a lot of video and audio content. So he was able to pivot a little bit towards a more virtual model. I did talk to one lady, owns a yoga studio who had maxed out at 52 clients. Um, that could fit in the studio. COVID hits, she sets it down.

She had been trying to come up with like a virtual experience, but she wasn’t happy with it. And she’s like, well, let’s just turn it on. This is all we have. And for the same price was getting 150, 160 customers summer’s coming on. So she did, she did fine 

Jeff W: with it, but I think most people it’s funny how your entrepreneurs will, will diminish the value of something that they don’t see, but other people will.

And that’s, that’s awesome for her. And I 

John E: asked her, I was like, so when you, when it comes back and your studio is open, are you getting rid of the digital? And she was like, Oh no, she was like, I could have a thousand customers on digital. 

Jeff W: Right. Right. Yeah. And I think that that’s, that’s the key to this whole 2020 was I was expecting like 2019 was such a good like entry point into entrepreneur.

Like I started paying myself W2 income in February, 2020. And I, so basically I went 12 months without any kind of. Paid income at all. And so I was super excited by the fact that I was paying myself less than a year or almost a year into it. And that’s about how long 

John E: we went at level, by the way. It’s that, that that’s a pretty healthy amount of time than not be paid.

Right. But eventually you need to be paid. Right. Right, right. 

Jeff W: Yeah. And again, like the, the fact the Mila was on the way and like the things that I knew I needed and the business again, because it creates very sticky clients and the revenue is extremely predictable. Um, I felt like I was at a point where I could start paying myself, but, but yeah, in 2019 I was just super grateful that I was able to get to that point.

And in 2020 it was just like, Oh, I think I was ready to hire, honestly, in 2020 I in Q1, I was going to make a couple of hires in the sales seat. And I just decided to just focus on being a producer for my company for the next 12 months and it’s boded. Well, and now I was actually able to get some PPP money, which I felt like was a.

I didn’t realize that was a thing from people like me that were in this solopreneur seat, but, uh, but it was, and it’s allowing me to pay for his salary for the next couple of months, which, which gives me a lot of optimism to, to see whether or not his, his production is going to warn his salary. Hope 

John E: he’s listening and feeling.

Yeah, 

Jeff W: yeah, yeah, no, I, I’m not expecting him to have the same sort of hockey stick, uh, production that I did. Obviously I was super calculated with when I left and, and knowing what my pipeline was going to look like before I was acting. Yep. 

John E: So, um, you mentioned in our, when we were talking before we got on you wish you had been able to invest in a, in a company that you were working with.

Do you do any early stage investing? 

Jeff W: I will. I mean, the reality is, is when you’re running a very specific, like a very predictable revenue model company, like this. Like, I want to invest in other companies I want to invest. And I think that the long-term path to our conversation 10 years from now will probably be that Jeff’s invested in a couple of startups that he believes in, that he believes that his network can support and satisfy in some way.

And, and my portfolio will not just be something that is boring as HR and benefits, but it’s a great backbone to the need for financing these other endeavors. So, so yeah, currently do I know that? Well, I ultimately, yes, I I’d love to. And I think that a lot of these early stage companies, I’d love to hear about what they’re doing, what problems they’re solving and how much I believe those problems will persist into the future and have some real scale tied to them.

Well, your 

John E: networking will serve you well there, I mean, that is that that game is won and lost by the network and just seeing the right opportunities. Right. For sure. 

Jeff W: Right. Yeah. And again, I think that the networking is something that I am more intrinsically motivated by than the actual production of my company.

I think, you know, my company in the long run will probably be 10 to 20 different offices around the us and have a whole bunch of support here out of the, out of the Charlotte market. It’s going to be more towards retention and really making sure that those reps that are bringing in stuff in Dallas or Denver or Columbus or wherever the heck they are, that that revenue is sticky.

And it’s going to be paying them for time a time metric time. That’s going to be my value back to those reps. But it’s interesting. 

John E: You mentioned Columbus. I’m going to go off on a tangent here just because we’re near the end, but, um, Are you from Columbus? You meant, you mentioned Ohio. I’m geographically challenged when it comes to Ohio.

Are 

Jeff W: you Cleveland, Ohio? 

John E: I flew up there for the, uh, in 2008. Cause Darrell green and art monk were two. Okay. Well, yeah, football team. 

Jeff W: I was probably at that. I was probably at the hall of fame there in Canton, Ohio. 

John E: We took over that, that, uh, that game we played in the game and we had our two best players of all time make the, make the hall of fame at the same time.

Right. So, so. That is not that close to Columbus, but it’s funny that you mentioned Columbus because I hear, I, I, obviously everybody knows about Cleveland and Cincinnati, but I hear a lot more about Columbus. It sounds like it’s might be more of the future of 

Jeff W: Ohio. Right? I, I wouldn’t disagree with that.

Cleveland got, I mean, Cleveland’s economy was predicated on LeBron for a little bit, um, through the recession. And then basically he was the one that kept basically bars, restaurants, and all that stuff open inside of the Hyatt or the Cleveland, uh, landscape in Columbus. Obviously you got the Buckeyes that are right there.

You have a very similar demographic city. That’s got a lot of youth to it, a lot of innovation to it inside of, um, in a lot better weather in Columbus versus Cleveland, which seems counterintuitive, but Cleveland’s on the Lake. So you get a ton of lakefront Lake effects know, and it’s it this time of year it’s it’s it’s snow.

Melt mud, snow melt mud, and it’s all gray skies the whole way through. So it doesn’t really lead itself to be an all of that attractive spot to be. But I think Columbus could really be a market that, um, really resembles Charlotte and a lot of ways it’s, it’s small enough that you can make an impact and your personal brand can really take you a long way.

And they’re, they’re creating enough innovative companies that could be very good fits for that whole conversation about bringing, bringing employers on at five employees and, and watching them grow to being a hundred employee groups and seeing a 20 X revenue multiple on a, on a client, in a barrel until the short amount of time.

John E: Cool. Yeah. I, I know very little about Ohio, but it just seems like I hear way more about Columbus when people are talking about quality of life, right? 

Jeff W: Oh yeah. There’s a lot to, again, I th I liked Columbus light. If I was going to live in Ohio, I’m more of a Browns fan. Uh, I I’m, I’m a huge Buckeye fan, but, um, The Browns.

I was there for weeks 17. This year, we made the playoffs for the first time in my lifetime, basically. Um, so I went to the game on it and we, and we 

John E: had to be cool. Cause America was pulling for you guys. You guys in Buffalo became everybody’s favorite team. I feel 

Jeff W: like I’ve never seen so many grown men and cry at a, at a sporting event with their kids that were, you know, 18, 20 years old that have never even sniffed the playoff birth.

So it was, it was awesome. Tons of tons of fun. And I think that Cleveland’s really positioned well for a lot of, um, of positive growth when it comes to the sports scene there. But Columbus, I think is more of the economic driver of, of Ohio. And one that I would, I would be more interested in investing in resources in Columbus.

And it’s only about a two hour drive. So it’s not terribly difficult to, to manage both markets with some, some sort of effectiveness is one 

John E: of them. We’re 77. Like you can take a 72nd. Yes. 

Jeff W: Now I’ve lived up to 77, my whole life. So I grew up on Canton merchants, right up 77. I went to Akron, which is right, uh, about 20 miles North of Canton for, for college.

Um, and I hightailed it down 77 right here to Charlotte, which is a, again, a place I’m extremely excited to call home and in a place that, um, I am always bringing more with me. We we’ve had had a cousin move here this year. I had another couple of buddies moved down this year. So, um, every year it seems like a couple of extra Ohioans really take their head out of the gutter and realize that it’s, you don’t have to live in the grays of, uh, November through may, which you get for Ohio for that, uh, that winter period.

I had 

John E: a friend who was in economics who, um, was it an economic development? And he, he, he would say to people, Oh, like from the North, he’s like, Why don’t you come visit us in February and we’ll go play golf with the climate is something that we forget about is such a big influencer on why people come to places.

Right? What do you think I’m interested in your take? Because I came to Charlotte in 2004, traveling and I moved here in Oh five and built a house and I was six. I’ve seen a lot of change in the city. You, you came much more recently, as you’ve said, what do you, how would you characterize the changes going on in Charlotte?

Jeff W: I, I think that what’s exciting about Charlotte is that it’s a developing culture. Like a lot of these cities, whether it’s Nashville or Atlanta or Atlanta or wherever you’re at and around the country already, hadn’t have a very established culture of what they are. Charlotte’s kind of birthing that right now.

Um, in a lot of different ways. And obviously the pandemic puts a bit of a, I was talking to Garth about this the other day that. Uh, TBS version, which basically means you are watching TBS movies whenever they put R rated movies on TBS and they, and they don’t show you the good scenes and they don’t say any of the bad words, but basically right now, we’re living in a TBS version of Charlotte.

But the, the whole, the whole like ecosystem of what Charlotte’s going to be is still being kind of developed and evolving. So I think it’s super exciting to be a part of, um, and who knows how that’s going to be, uh, with the linchpins of the city is going to be, but the breweries are obviously been a, um, a fast track of like what they were when I first moved here seven years ago.

I mean, they’re what now? 45 of them. I think when I moved here, there was probably six, seven. I mean, it was, it was very little, so they’re growing, multiplying dramatically. I was talking with the OMB master brewer the other day, and he’s like, you know, If you look at a per capita brewery, like an Asheville versus Charlotte, we could seemingly do 20 X, what we’re doing right now, and still be able to sustain that.

And I, and I think that’s, that’s, it could be a very cool culture piece of what Charlotte ends up being. But I think, um, you know, people that are moving here are walking into something that’s ever evolving and ever changing. And it’s not just some, um, it’s not, it’s not a permanent fixture. The way that some of these other cities are, have already kind of tied their sales to a certain type of car.

John E: I agree. One of the things I loved coming here is that you, you they’re very the, the not powers that be, I hate that term, but the there’s a group of people who are very connected within Charlotte who opened their arms to outsiders and bring them in and not try to force them out. And I don’t know that that’s true in a lot of cities.

Right. Um, I had Dave Dalton on the show who. Is his father and maybe his grandfather were very, did very well with textiles. And then Dave did very well with, um, printed circuit boards and advanced manufacturing in, in Morrisville. And the minute I met him, he was, I just felt like he feels a duty to keep people like me here.

And, and in talking to him, it was very clear that that I think that’s been the consistent thing, reason that Charlotte’s been able to invent itself. I mean, it was a, it was a gold rush city for a little bit. And then it was a trading post and then it was a textile town. And then it was a, now it’s a banking town, but it doesn’t matter what it’s going to be next.

It’s going to be something right. And I think that, that openness and that, Hey, I’m going to try new things. I’m going to embrace new people. I think the size right now plays to its advantage. Oh, absolutely. Big time. Cause it is at the perfect size where you can literally come in and meet anybody that you, you need the meat 

Jeff W: right within, within two or three handshakes, you can meet everybody you want to meet.

And. Yeah, I think that there’s again, I think there’s just the, the way that like South end is blowing up in the South end, they’ll eventually be the, the center of the entertainment already is honestly me and my wife. We went down there on Wednesday and took our baby down and we were just walking around and I was like, geez.

I’m like, if we ever moved here, we would never move. Like we, we, we, we would just love the, the vibrancy that you get down there and it just feels so comfortable, but there’s everything you could ever want within a, you know, within a half mile radius. And it’s, it’s fantastic. And I think that as that continues to blossom and bloom.

Um, you know, that will be the thing that people travel here for, which I think is interesting about South end is that they don’t really have hotels. Well, they’ve got one, but they might be too. But if you’re going to come to Charlotte, it’s like 

John E: holiday Inn, express. Um, I’m sure of that. And then there’s one more, I think, boutique that might’ve opened, but there’s nothing uptown on the other hand has what, what do you think 40?

Jeff W: Why would anybody come to Charlotte to visit upset? And that’s the thing about locals? Like why would you come to Charlotte and go stay uptown when you can stay? And again, like, we’re talking about the, the Stone’s throw away in South end, but like, I think South end could blossom with, with entertained Arabic with the, uh, with the hospitality industry.

And, uh, it could be a spot that most people want to be whenever they’re coming to visit the city. And I don’t know that Charlotte will ever be the tourist city that, you know, Nashville is. But I think that, um, when I was walking around there, I mean, I’m just like, this just feels like very. Marketable place for people to be able to come visit, feel comfortable.

And also Charlotte, it’s got great proximity to a lot of places that you want to be, which is really the biggest draw I tell to Ohio people. It’s, it’s not the weather, although the weather is much better, but it’s more about the proximity that you can be anywhere you want to be on the weekend and not feel like you had to drive, you know, 10 hours to be there.

Oh yeah. 

John E: We, I mean, uh, my fiance and I routinely drive to Asheville to blowing rock, uh, to Charleston, you know, I mean, there, there is anywhere you want to go. It’s if you want to golf, if you’re into golf, Pinehurst is not far away. Right. It’s there, there’s so many things so close to us. Uh it’s it’s, it’s cool to be a part of it.

It’s I wouldn’t call Charlotte a startup. It’s a very established city. Who’s been here since the revolutionary war. Um, but it feels like a startup. When I started traveling here, I told people there’s just an energy in Charlotte that I don’t. I don’t feel in many places, you feel it in a certain way in Palo Alto, you feel it in a certain way in Austin, but those are much more established cities.

There’s just something about Charlotte. That’s very, very appealing. And it’s funny that you mentioned Garth, because I think he’s the prime example of what’s right with Charlotte. Garth very successful, lived in San Francisco. Great sales guy was on my podcast. Um, been a good friend and mentor to me through the years.

And he, he just decides that he needs to move. He said, why am I in San Francisco? He had already started a very successful company. And he said, I want to go look, uh, to the East coast. He’s from what? 

Jeff W: Yeah. He’s I don’t want to say exactly which state, because I always blend them all together and 

John E: Vermont though, but it’s one of those Northeast.

Yeah. Yeah. New Hampshire. One of those, um, uh, Tom Brady, new England Patriots fan cities or States, but, but, but Garth looks in DC, he looks in Atlanta and he didn’t like either one, right? Like I’m not, I’m not moving back to the Northeast. It’s just too cold. Um, but he, but he assumed that he wanted the cultural amenities of DC or Atlanta.

And when he saw the traffic and he saw everything else that you had to deal with, somebody convinced him to go to Charlotte. And when he did, um, he instantly fell in love with it. And just, I mean, he might’ve even bought a house or signed a lease while he was visiting Charlotte. He liked it that much, but, but I think that’s a Testament to what’s right with Charlotte.

Because it’s open it and then like invites people like that to come. I mentioned Dave Dalton and what, what, what his, um, family and business interests did to help introduce me into the ecosystem. And I think that cities that do that, um, ha have a very interesting future for sure, because they can attract people like Garth and they can maintain, they can keep people like you and me.

They can keep people in the city. Um, it, so, so I’m, I’m very bullish on our prospects. I, 

Jeff W: uh, I, when I first moved down here, they talked about the good old boy network down here all the time. But 

John E: to me, that’s Columbia and Richmond, Virginia. That’s not, 

Jeff W: no, no. I feel like there’s been way too many mid-westerners and new Yorkers and sub moved down here that have kind of changed that whole outlook.

But I think that it’s it’s for the better though, because what it does is that welcomes a whole new, a herd of that next generation. That’s going to continue to flock down to this area. Which brings tons of talent, which brings tons of employers, which brings tons of economic growth. And I, and again, I’m so excited that it’s such a small city right now that again, you can, you can meet anybody you want to meet by handshake.

And two people that know a decent amount of people here, and you can also, but what’s also beautiful about it is that you can’t really compromise your integrity without getting a terrible name for yourself very quickly. So people have to be very mindful about short term gain thought process and, and, and being aware that whatever you do today can leak itself out through the network, the network of Charlotte very quickly.

And so you had to be very mindful of that. I think, I 

John E: think you just made an, a crazy important point in my perspective. And recently it’s become clear because I’ve had a couple of business opportunities that came my way that I got excited about. And then I asked people and they were like, Pump the brakes on this one, and this might not be what you think it is because you see, you cannot, you cannot do somebody the wrong way in Charlotte and get away with it in a way that you probably could in New York or Singapore or Shanghai or London and bigger cities.

For sure. So I think that’s a great point that you make there. 

Jeff W: Yeah, absolutely, man. Yeah, it’s again, I think this city is, is lend itself to be a perfect fit for like my business model. Again, if I was going to replicate it again and new, new territory’s Dallas wouldn’t have been the most logical choice because it’s probably a five X the market share by the way though.

Yeah, absolutely great city. And I obviously have a great relationship there, but Nashville would have been fantastic. Raleigh would have been fantastic. Atlanta is big, but it still would have been fantastic because my wife’s from there and I go there all the time. So it would have helped for some of those personal reasons, but Charlotte’s kind of got that perfect blend of.

Big enough to be important, but small enough to, to be, um, D understood at the, at the entry level. 

John E: Very cool. Well, look, Jeff, I appreciate you doing this. I don’t know why we waited this long to do it. I’d like to have you on again. Um, before we leave, is there anything we haven’t talked about that we should hit on?

Jeff W: Not that I can think of man, but you know, you’ve been feeding me bourbon this whole time. So you’re asking me to think deep right now, and you’ve, you’ve given me, uh, a layer of, uh, of challenge with this, with this, uh, Angel’s envy. Uh, 

John E: I love it. It’s funny. I had a Bobby Rob, do you know Bobby, by the way, he, he, um, started in tele doc.

He used to own a law firm. He, he, um, got Aqua hired by a bigger law firm, and then we acquired his contract management software, really cool guy. And, um, I poured the, the bourbon Angel’s envy for him. And then I poured the rye. And I said, tell me which one you like, he’s like, I don’t know, John, I don’t know, looks at me.

He goes, what do you think? And I was like, well, most people like the ride better. And he said, well, I’m going to have to disagree. I like the bourbon better. I said, well, you’re entitled to your opinion. You’re wrong. But it was funny because about like 10 minutes later, after sipping on, on the, uh, on the rye, he actually said it was better.

So have you done a taste test between the two? 

Jeff W: I mean, we can do it here, live on air. So you’ve been 

John E: drinking the ride. Let’s get a solo cup. Thank you, Todd. So I think, I think the bourbon is very good. I don’t want to color your thoughts, but it sounds like 

Jeff W: you’re leading the witness here, John. I 

John E: am plating the witness.

It’s my show though. I can do that.

So that’s the bourbon go taste the rye. 

Jeff W: I mean, the bourbon definitely got a nice smoky SOGI punch 

John E: and in some ways it’s smoother, which I think a lot of people think that smoother, it tastes better, but then

it’s spicier. It’s not as smooth there. No doubt that that is not as smooth of a drink. Yeah. You’re right 

Jeff W: now I’m numb, like getting a little bit of backup from it. Yeah. No, I agree. I’m more of a bourbon person in general, so I usually don’t do the rice stuff, but I, I both, I would drink absent this conversation.

John E: I think they’re both very good. Um, very good, uh, whiskeys to drink. So I don’t think you can go wrong with it, but I happen to be right. And Bobby is wrong that the ride is better. 

Jeff W: So why is the Ryan on the table then? 

John E: Well, I, I’m a very giving man, 

Jeff W: Jeff, you catered to all the tastes. 

John E: I’m saying the rise is better.

So the rise here because it’s better, but I like to bring the bourbon because most people taste the bourbon and you’re like, Oh, that’s great. And then I let them taste the rye and they’re like, Oh, okay. Cause this is it’s as much rarer to get the, uh, the rye for 

Jeff W: what said that that’s more expensive tasting, 

John E: more expensive.

I don’t, uh, Todd may know better, but I want to say that I paid typically 59 for a bottle of the bourbon. And maybe 89 for the rise. So they’re not expensive bottles, 

Jeff W: but they’re going to be, they’re going to be marketing this after this, a little a taste test. I only know 

John E: how many, how many listeners I have Jeff.

Well, look, look, brother. This has been great, man. Thank you so much. Congratulations on all the success. Um, it sounds like we can look forward to many, many more waters. Yeah, 

Jeff W: maybe. Yeah. Again, again, it’s all contingent upon them following the Mila model, which is my first daughter, which is a very easy now I don’t expect that to happen here on after, but yeah, my wife would love to have as many as we will have, but we’ll see.

We’ll see. 

John E: All right, well again, thanks for joining me. Have a good weekend. We’ll talk soon. I’d rather. All right. Cheers.