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Feb. 13, 2023

EXPERIENCE 102 | Working In Your Strengths with Serial Entrepreneur, Inventor & Author, Matt Shoup

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Matt Shoup is a serial entrepreneur, author, inventor, real estate broker and investor.  He’s the President of M & E Painting and Roofing, Inventor of The Pirate Patch, and a realtor with C3 Real Estate.  Matt’s first book was “Become an Award-Winning Company” and his new book - just out - is “Painted Baby”.  He’s also a Professor and Partner at Northern Colorado Jiu Jitsu, and there’s more but no time to mention it all! 

There’s a lot of ideas Matt shares in this one to make your business life easier, coming from a man who makes it seem easy to become a blackbelt while coaching kids sports, travelling the world, writing another book and running two companies and selling real estate on the side!  Matt shares how he balances it all and thrives in this fun conversation. Join us! 

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Music By: A Brother's Fountain


Matt Shup is a serial entrepreneur, author, inventor, real estate broker and investor. He's the president of m and e Painting and Roofing, inventor of the Pirate Patch, and a realtor with C3 real estate. Matt's first book was become an award-winning company, and his new book just Out is Painted Baby. He's also a professor and partner with Northern Colorado Juujitsu, and there's more but no time to mention it all. I have to say. It's pretty cool hosting a guest with a fresh book out. Just like the big time podcasters do. More cool than that though was being inspired by all the energy and conviction that Matt brings into a conversation. Matt's a high motor guy guided by his faith and varied experiences and supported by his awesome wife, Emily, the E of M and e painting. There's a lot of ideas Matt shares in this one that make your business life easier, and Matt somehow makes it seem easy to become a black belt while coaching kids sports, traveling the world, writing another book, and running two companies and selling real estate on the side. I had only just met Matt previously, and so you'll be learning all about his story alongside me in this one, and it sure was fun. So please tune in for my conversation with Matt help. Welcome back to The Local Experience Podcast. I'm honored today to be joined by Matt Sharp and Matt is a serial entrepreneur. I've gotta grab my notes here. He is the founder and president at m and e Painting and Roofing, uh, founder and professor at NOCO Juujitsu, the author of Painted Baby, and become an award-winning company, a real estate broker and investor. and the inventor of the pirate patch. I think I wanna start with the pirate patch. Let's do it Okay. And thanks for being here, Matt. And, and to give credit to, uh, two wonderful business partners. So, uh, juujitsu co-founder with, uh, Troy Petty, Jonn, long time training partner. And then, uh, yeah, pirate Patch was kind of a, kind of a wild story. I got in the residential paint, repainting contracting business in college. And, uh, we're sitting there in 2010, me and a good friend from high school, we came up painting together. His name's Dave Sword. We had just been fired from an interior paint job because we promised that we could fix this. Drywall texture patch Hmm. On a customer's wall before we painted it. And every time we came across these, we'd go to the, you know, home Depot loads, get the can of a orange peel or whatever. Yeah. And the knockdown, orange peel's. Not that the, the knockdown was tough though, so we had just, you know, failed miserably again, at trying to do this. We didn't wanna spend, you know, $300 on a $400 job, bring a drywall guy out to do it. So we're sitting at a Qdoba eating burritos, just, you know, defeated. Right. Fired from this job, And Dave draws this little stencil out on a napkin, and we're looking at this thing and he says, man, if we could build this and, um, manufacture this, this would be a perfect way to fix texture. You stick it on the wall. Hmm. Spread the joint compound, peel it off, and boom, you've applied it and knocked it down all at the same time. Right. And that's, that's the tricky part is actually when do you knock that texture down? Yeah. To give it that, that flat top. And I, I jokingly said to him some, I'm a sales guy at heart. I said, Hey, if you can design it, he's the technical inventor, the very, you know, pragmatic right guy. And I said, Hey, you design it, figure it out. We'll go sell a bunch of them. And, um, that started the journey of, of, of doing that. And yeah, we ended up manufacturing it, patenting it. Wow. And we had it at one point in, um, ACE Hardware, Sherwin Williams. We were wholesaling it to the, you know, the big box guys and, um, just kind of taking a beating. It wasn't making much margin by the time you, you know, by the time you, by the time you beat, they beat you up. Everybody gets a cut, everybody gets distributor, gets a cut, and it's get paid little and paid later. A lot later. Well, and it's pretty light, right? So just direct to sale online. Well, so, um, I had a friend of mine and, um, she runs an Amazon business. So like back in the day, 2011, 12, when, you know, people would, you know, purchase a product, white label. and sell it on Amazon. She would get to a point where she'd make a thousand dollars a month on a basic office product, a pencil holder, a paper. Interesting. She goes, Hey, you gotta sell on Amazon. She goes, this, I'm, I'm killing it on Amazon. I said, I don't understand. We don't understand that. She goes, listen, you charge retail, they take their cut. You just, you ship everything there and you don't have to mess with it. You're not collecting money. And so, um, yeah, we launched it on Amazon in 2013 and we watched our Amazon sales as well as margins. Grow and, and grow a lot faster. It was a lot more profitable. We actually ended up pulling out of the stores. It just, it just wasn't working. Yeah. It's a single skew item. Yeah. Um, but you know, this, this story's cool because it went from an idea on a napkin. We were told by everybody that this will never work, this would never be successful. And, you know, it took us a number of years to turn profit. Yeah. But I remember when he and I, Dave and I pulled that first profit check, it was kind of a, Hey, you know, you. you can do this, you can take an idea and and roll it out. And how much does it cost now? And do you buy like, sets of them or does it work forever once you've sold this, this template thing? Yeah, so for the consumer, it's a, you know, it's a reusable product. It's a 1999, you know, it's like $22 on Amazon. You buy it, you can use it, and then you can, you know, clean it up and, and reuse it. Um, it'll get bent quicker than it, you know, breaks down. Right, right. And, um, yeah, and I mean, our margins on it are, are great. You know, we're ordering them in the, in the 10 thousands now when we're, when we're restocking and everything like that and sending 'em into, uh, to Amazon. Um, the Covid supply chain got a little interesting. Right. So, so we stocked up just wondering that, that, that might, uh, might slow down. But yeah, it's been, it's been a great story. It's a That's cool. It's a mailbox money thing, right, for sure. Well, and, and like everybody wants one. I'm sure if you wanna sell that little business, somebody would be interested. We, we had a, we had an offer from a company that they consolidate, um, very unique niche businesses that sell on Amazon, and we actually had a, you know, we had an offer from them. Things didn't end up really, you know, materializing from there, but Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's on, it's on people's radar. We've thought about going on the Shark tank and, you know, for fun, but, uh, we, we like where it's at right now, and. We both have other businesses and other ventures that we're working on. So, you know, we get together over here and there, grab a burrito, go, go back to the same Qdoba Yeah. That we, that we originally had the idea at, and just, uh, kind of, kind of pinch ourselves sometimes, you know? I like it. I like it. Yeah. So, um, I guess let's, uh, let's jump over to really your, your main foundational business is, is the m and e painting historically with the dancing sign guys? Uh, that's right. But now painting and roofing. Mm-hmm. uh, you've added that a few, couple, few years ago now, or, yeah. During covid. Yeah. Okay. We were, you know, coming out of 2019, that last hailstorm where we were, um, you know, trying to refer business and, and find a reputable roofer that we could get in the flow with. And we're like, we gotta, we gotta figure this out. If we can figure this out, we can really serve the customers a lot better, especially when they get hit by, by the hail. Right. Because a lot of times you got roofing and. From a gutter situation. Got everything. Yeah. Roofing, paint, windows, gutters, and we've been able to, you know, roll that all. Oh, so you can do windows and siding and everything too? Yeah. Or you've always done siding probably. Right. Does that come with the painting business or not necessarily? Right. It's kind of, kind of two approaches to siding. So if you have a couple, couple boards here and there, small section, a lot of our crews can do that. Okay. But if a, if a house just gets blasted by hail or they've got vinyl siding and that whole side elevation gets destroyed, we'll bring in other contractors that Gotcha. That are a little bit more skilled. But yeah, we've been able to roll it all up to where we, you know, customer works with one company and, um, we get the fun, exciting experience of dealing with all the insurance companies. I love that. Love that I'm sure you don't do it too much. Uh, no, I'm, I'm pretty actively involved. We launched the roof and get, cuz it's a, it's a different, it, it's a different beast. Different animal. Yeah. Dealing with insurance of all insurance companies with that. Right. Like with painting, it's rarely, occasionally. Mm-hmm. but Yeah. Well, I've heard you tell the story of kind of launching m and e painting and stuff. Yeah. But, um, I guess let's start by describing m and e. Now, operationally, is it, um, is it a, a subcontracted paint organization? You have trusted crews and you can flex up and down. Is it new construction and repaint? Is it all repaint? Like what is m and e painting? When you say that I'm painting and roofing. Yeah. So on, on the painting side. Uh, mo most of my experience and where we really have a strong base and proportion of our work, residential and commercial repainting. Um, we little bit of new construction, but didn't really, didn't, every time we think we want to get back into that, we decided to go back. Go back to the repaint. Yeah. So it's mostly homeowners and business owners. They own their building, so business to consumer, kind of a offering consumer, hence the sign spinners at Harmony and College and whatever. That's a fun story. I'll share kind of that was a, a dare. I started all that on a dare back in 2007 or eight. And, um, yeah, and we have a, we have a, a group, a real solid base of, uh, trusted crews that we've worked with for, uh, a long time. Most of the painting industries, uh, Uh, turned towards that subcontracting model. Yeah. Because you get, you know, downtime in the winter. What's nice with these guys is they show up and they've got van tools, equipment experience, right? They don't want to go do estimates and paperwork and accounting and you have to sell the job. They just say, give us the job. That's your value add. In some ways, again, we're, you know, the sales company, like we love the, the marketing and the sales and serving the customers. And then, um, you know, we'll always have, there's always, um, you know, some in and out. Like, there's guys, Hey, we're gonna go start our own company. And uh, or they, they move. We grow another, another crew comes in. Yeah. But we've had 80% of our crew, I mean, they've been with us for a long, long. That's cool. Long time. They're good, good guys. Um, yeah. And then roofing, you know, roofing's kind of the same model. That's a subcontract model, right? But what's cool with the roofing is, um, the thing with the hailstorm is company goes from doing no business. A hundred roofs, 200 roofs, thousand roofs, Right. So they're pulling crews outta Texas, Oklahoma, like guys that they, they don't even know. We have one crew. It's uh, two brothers and a, and a friend. Oh, interesting. And then they've got a, a good set of guys, you know, about eight to 10 guys. We have one crew. They've roofed for couple of decades. Yeah. And a very, very close. So in some ways you're their sales organization. right? You get X cut and whatever, but you don't have, you get the monkey round with all the insurance and finding the customers and stuff, and they just get to keep their guys busy all the time and, and they don't wanna do that. Yeah. They've made that very clear and we've made clear what we're good at, what we like to do. So yeah, we specialize and it's a good, you know, it's a good teamwork. Yeah. Fair enough. Mm-hmm. um, I guess while we're talking about all these different business interests and things, let's, uh, cover. Juujitsu. So I was gonna teach, call you a teacher of Juujitsu, and you're like, no, I'm a black belt bitch, so you call me professor. I said, bitch, she didn't say it that way but that would've been cool. Right. I'm a black belt bitch. Right. Well, you were so scary already. Yeah. No, technically, technically when you, uh, you know, you're a student until you become an instructor at some point. But then yeah. When an instructor, uh, earns their black belt in Brazilian jiujitsu, they'd be referred to as a professor. Yeah. So I, I jumped on the mats for the first time in 2007. Okay. Um, not knowing I was even going to attend a jiujitsu class, I was, uh, walking into an MMA gym thinking that kickboxing was happening. Right, right. I was gonna go punch people Right. Get punched. And I was a big, you know, big meathead at the time, uh, had started following mixed martial arts and ma and um, had trained another martial art for four, five years or so. Okay. So yeah, I jump in, I go, Hey, ready for kickboxing? They go, yeah, you just missed that class. But, uh, there's some guys wrestling around and some gals wrestling around. The pajamas were, yeah, they're in gees, looks like pajamas. And, um, you know, this, this little tiny guy looks at me, his name's no. And he goes, Hey, big guy. And he squeeze, you know, squeezes in my arms. He goes, why don't you go, um, work with that little guy over there? He's like, but take it easy on him, And he said, I want you to watch, I want you to watch this for a minute. So, you know, one guy's grabbing another guy, throwing him to the ground, getting on top, you know, cranking his arm, choking his neck. I, oh, it's easy. I'll go, I'll go, you sure you want me to go with this guy, this little guy, this little guy, guy. And Noah just slaps me on the back. He goes, just, just go easy on him. So I said, all right. So I, I went after this kid. I'm 27, 200 pounds. And, um, this guy, he's a teenager. And, um, I grabbed him. He then grabbed me right back, put me on my back. He's sitting on top of me like, wait, what? What's happened? So I just try to give him the old bench press and he grabs my arm, spins around it like a little monkey you. And, uh, that pretty soon you lays it out. Cranks my arm. Yeah. And they're like, tap out. Oh yeah. We forgot to tell you. If you want 'em to stop, just tap. Just tap out. So I'm just getting murdered, you know, getting, getting tapped out. But I, but I left that experience. I go, man, that, that kid can do that to me. Imagine what I could do to Right somebody else. Twice. Twice. I'll take Hulk Hogan. Yeah. The whole thing. Right? It's leverage, it's technique. Yeah. It's timing. But it, it, it changed my perspective on, you know, how you could win a physical engagement. Yeah. Yeah. It's been cool because it's really, um, it very much parallels leadership in business. A lot of the lessons that I've learned on the jujitsu mats. I have a little video series I'm releasing. Okay. Um, every couple of weeks I'd like to, and I, I want to get more into the jujitsu Oh. Later as well, because, I, I, you know, I listen to a lot of podcasts and Rogan is one of those, and he's got some of the martial artists on there. And if there's a martial arts category, that's really intrigued me for, for me mm-hmm. you know, for my body type and my mental intellectual wiring, it's jujitsu. That's something that's been tempting me as, as I've instructed it, right. Over the years and, and gotten to teach more and more the, the big strong, you know, ex-professional football players, like, like those guys, they, they have a, they have a hard time. They come in real hard charging. They get, everybody gets humbled very quickly. But the big, the bigger guys get humbled really quickly. I did. And they j it blows their mind. They're like, how did this little person do this to me? Right. But where you wouldn't think, what's really cool is the, maybe the, the small, quiet, intellectual. Introspective, very methodical. Like you're running routes and scenarios in your brain, right? Like running the tree in the chain, right? Yeah. They, they soak that up, you know, and they don't have strength. They don't have any of that to rely on physically. Yeah. Yeah. So it's, it's a mental chess game. Yeah. And it's really cool and so many defensive opportunities and things. Right. Like even if you're not as strong, you can Yeah. Kind of neutralize Yeah. A lot of the other person's efforts, the, the idea is, you know, what could a hundred and 140 pound woman that gets confronted by a 200 pound man and, and the man is not trained. Yeah. Uh, right after a year or two years of training, that woman should be able to completely defend, escape that situation, if not control, and ultimately, you know, submit that person and render them ineffective or unconscious. Wow. Um, that's a good, uh, call to action. Well, and, and people that the, the, um, with parents, I teach kids, they go, this is, this is violent. I go, no, no, no. This is actually the most gentle and kind. way that your kid could stand up to themself against somebody else if you had to pick 10 martial arts to get your ass kicked by. Yeah. Um, like it's not fun. It's not fun to get worked on the jujitsu mats, but you, you know, you just, you tap when you want it to stop. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but, you know, other arts are kicking a guy in the head, smacking 'em in the face. Like, you can't, you can't do that. Right. Um, so yeah, it's, it's the gentle, the gentle art. Yeah. Yeah. I like it. Uh, and so describe to Jim just a little bit, like, is that you have half dozen teachers in addition to yourself that Yeah. Teach different classes. And you've got, is it mostly kids? Is it adults and kids? It's a, it's a good proportion of, uh, youth. So I run the youth program. Troy and I we're partners. Okay. And then there's another black belt. Professor there, he teaches some of the nogi and, uh, the combatives class. Okay. So Nogi is, you're not wearing your Yeah. Gee, you're just wearing, you know, shorts workout t-shirt. Yeah. Um, but then we've got, which is more like maybe directed toward the martial arts, uh, MMA type fighters or, yeah. So like, it's, it's gonna be more like wrestling. They're literally just wearing, you know, shorts. Shorts and a t-shirt. So if I'm gonna, you know, if I'm gonna grab you and you have Agh, I'm gonna attach to your gee. Mm-hmm. uh, gee's. Typically a little bit slower. There's more friction between those, those uniforms. No. Gee, you're, I, I can't grab you by anything. I've gotta come grab you by the back of the neck Right club. The back of your neck, So different, different ways you attach to that person and Yeah. But a lot of the same fundamentals is the, gee, almost like a shock absorber. Between you and the other. It's more of a handle, It's a way to get grips. Yeah. You know, so like, I'm looking at your vest right now. Yeah, yeah. Which I could choke you a lot of different ways with that, with that vest. Or, you know, you're out, out at the bars and guys got the warm, you know, big, thick winter jacket. You know, it's, it's what you would, you know, grab on and, and attach. Yeah. Yeah. Attach to the other person with Fair. So, but yeah, we've got some other instructors and um, you know, we serve children, families, we've got men and women, entire families training. Um, and I'm real passionate about helping, helping law enforcement get home safe. You know, so teaching them ways to control a, a situation. Yeah. Um, those without hurting that other person, without hurting that other person and themselves. And I, and I watch a lot of, uh, tape of law enforcement. There're obviously not trained mm-hmm. and it, and it's embarrassing to see like some of the, you know, it's, it's a danger, it's a dangerous job. Yeah. And, uh, yeah, that will get you home safer. Just, just a basic training. Couple days a week for six to 12 months. Hmm. Gonna make a huge difference. And we've had students, so we had a student get, get attacked. Guy went for his gun and he used juujitsu. It, it saved his life. And the other guy's life and, and the life of other, other people is the middle of the day in a McDonald's filled with wow. Moms and kids, effectively is when this happened. So what happened? Like a crazy guy with a gun attacked this kid. No. So crazy, crazy guy. I think they determined just, just a transient, right? Transient or homeless person comes into McDonald's, screaming at the workers, screaming at the, yeah, I've seen that before. Um, they call the police. So this guy goes into the bathroom and kind of corners himself in the bathroom. So, uh, Dylan our student, and he's a, you know, officer in Loveland. He, he gets on and hey, he is in the bathroom. Goes in the bathroom, uh, the guy opens the stall door, raises a pair of scissors. So Dylan goes, okay, you know, do I shoot him, engage with him, what do I do? So he told him, put the scissors down, the guy throws the scissors down. And just, just charges at 'em. Oh, wow. They're in a pretty confined space. Right. Just imagine a fight fighting in a McDonald's bathroom. Yeah. Not a lot of room to move. Yeah. Move around any bathroom really. And we were a week prior to that in this is when the gym was still in the basement. We were working just a, just a body full takedown. And I joked with them, I said, Hey, first person to use this out there as you're working, gets a free t-shirt. Just, just totally joking. And he calls me, so he, he wanted the t-shirt, he takes the guy down, but he, he didn't control him. And it, it went down to the ground, back to the feet, down to the ground. And then second or third time, the guy grabs his gun and he said that's when it, that's when it really was. He tried to get the police officer's gun away. Yeah. And then at that point, did he get it? No, but at that point, because they're locked in there pretty good. Usually they are, this officer has the option. Uh, to use deadly force. Yeah. Right. And he goes, no, I resorted to my juujitsu and my training and I got, got my wits about me and, you know, controlled them, turned them over, got the hand off the gun, got him cuffed. And you know, he said, he goes, obviously I was, I was safe. But you know, that guy could have been an officer that was untrained, would've ended up dead Right. Or ended up killing that guy in a bathroom. Right. On a Friday afternoon. Yeah. So, yeah. Yeah. Well, and you know, a lot of grace for that transient, you know, he was obviously having a bad day and Yes. Is got a lot of mental disorders and things like that, you know. Um, yeah. Anyway, I digress. So, no, absolutely, absolutely true. I mean, it's, um, it was a, it was a crazy situation, but then it's, you know, you remember. Why you're doing this. It's for, for, for moments like that. And, you know, kids getting bullied three months later, he's not getting bullied anymore. He's got the tools. Like I got severely bullied growing up and I didn't have those tools. So that's a big, that's a big passion of, of mine. We're gonna jump in the time machine in here. All about little Matt here in a little bit. Let's do it, man. Love it. Um, but before we do, we're still gonna check in on the, um, books. Uh, you wrote a book a few years ago already, or quite a, quite a while back, was the award-winning company. That was 2011. Yeah. Oh, wow. 10 years ago. It was, I've seen that before. You know, I saw it on your LinkedIn profile and stuff. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I should have a copy. You didn't bring me a copy of that one. Oh man. I just have painted baby. I'll get you, I'll get you one. Well, and, and then painted Baby. I, I saw a talk where you basically, uh, outlined what I imagined as kind of the. The format of Painted Baby and, and told a story to a men's group that, uh, yeah. That I was at. Um, how would you describe that book? Your newest Painted Baby? So, the subtitle is, connect with Clients through Brave and Vulnerable Storytelling. Mm-hmm. And, and the premises. Um, we go out in the society, social media, business relationships, like we're, we're always putting our best, most perfect foot forward. Mm-hmm. So five star a plus shiny marketing brochure. Sure. You know, this is how we're conditioned, like go scroll through social media, like we had the most amazing vacation, and we paint a picture of perfection and it prevents true connection. So the thesis that, that I propose in the book, and this was through. A really funny story. Not it's funny now wasn't funny then. It's just that when you're real honest, vulnerable, and you share your shortcomings in business, you'll actually build more and deeper relationship and trust with your, with your customers. And it, you know, seems pretty simple, but, but we don't do it. Everybody's posturing your overpromising and you can't, you can't meet that. And, um, yeah, we share an experience of, um, I was about to close the biggest business deal of m and d painting's life, like 15 times the size of a normal contract. And we're, we're sitting here very similar to this, and I'm sliding the contract across the table. Hey, all right, let's get this done. No, I'm not ready. And we'd done business with this gentleman before and he goes, I want to know about a time you screwed up and what you did about it. And that just short circuited me. Like, think about sales. Anybody that's a sales professional that's features, benefits, build rapport, you know, pre, pre-close questions and then ask for the business. But you don't, you don't show. imperfection. You don't show flaws, you know? And, um, I, I went through this process of telling him a couple of times that we had some small screwups. I said, fine, you wanna hear about a time we painted a baby? And he leaned in, he was engaged. He, he laughed. He goes, what? What did you just say? I go, yeah, we painted a baby. Like that was our worst moment. And, uh, we're at a job site in Windsor Paint sprayer, explodes as a painter's getting ready to spray some doors. Black. Yeah. And the mom, the homeowner, and her nine month old baby, they're standing, she's standing right behind the painters. She comes out every couple hours admiring the paint job, bringing the guys, you know, drinks and whatever. Yeah. Snacks. And I'm 20 minutes away, like I'm not on the job site and I get this phone call. I hear screaming and crying commotion. And, and my painter, Raul, uh, gentleman from Mexico, and I, I speak Spanish, so we'd always speak a kind of a mixture of Yeah. Span. Span each other. Sure. And he'd go, Hey, Matt Mateo, he call me every week. Mateo, I spill paint. Or he'd, he'd joke with me, he was just being, being a goofball. And it was a little different kind of a phone call, Matteo, I come quick, I pink the baby man and the pink and the boom and he just hangs up the phone and yeah. I pull up to the job site. It was a, it was a disaster. And um, you know what you do at that point, right? The point of the story is what you do in that moment and how you handle that. That's how you show your, your core values and what you're made of. Like, just cuz you wrote it on a nice poster, put it on your website and it's never been tested. Yeah. Or confronted with an opportunity to show something different. Right. It's what I like about your theme and, and as I heard you unfold it, is it matched up with my own observations. One of the, one of the reasons I'm critical of, of government, for example. Mm-hmm. They never confessed that they, I used to think this way and now I think this way. Mm-hmm. like they, they, they won't own the fact that they were ever wrong about anything. Yeah. Or just that they did it like, or they even did it. bill, bill Clinton, every, everybody knows you did it, man. And you're trying to wordsmith your definition of relations. Right. Um, yeah. No, so it's just like it's, uh, I share with business owners. What, what is that story? That if your competition got a hold of and went out and ran with it about you Yeah. It, it would put you under Right. Or it could severely harm your competition. Yeah. You should run with that story. You should lead with that, with that story. Yeah. There's, there's power in it. Yeah, for sure. I, uh, I like it. Um, So what do you want to have happen with this book? I want to get it into as many, as many hands as possible. So I've learned, I've learned so much from 2011 when I wrote the first book Yeah. To now. And I actually started Painted Baby in 2015. Oh wow. And, um, yeah, just, just learned it's, well, even kind of busy doing stuff. Yeah. But I, you know, I kind of chickened out and put it down and I let, I let you know, criticisms of like people that just don't matter really, really. Um, slow that journey down a little bit. Mm-hmm. glad I waited cuz it's a much better book because of it. The, the idea and the messages had a chance. It's the marinating to develop. Yeah. So it's a much better book. But, uh, I've had some, some people pre-reading it and just the feedback that they're, that they're getting, they're like, this is an awesome book. It has changed my business. It's made me think differently. I had one guy about. Uh, cancel his podcast. Like he was ready to shut it down cuz of some things that happened and he read the book. He's like, I'm, I'm keeping this thing going. Oh. So that's cool. Yeah. I wanna, I wanna speak more and, um, you know, I've got other books that, that I want to keep writing, but I just wanna share, share this message with people. I think the, um, the, the wave of just people and businesses, especially being more vulnerable and real and and honest is, is coming and somebody needs to lead that, you know, lead that char. That's what, that's what I was, uh, starting to pick up is, is you want to be one of the voices of the. be real. It's better. Mm-hmm. in business movement and, and that there's power in your story, right? Yeah. So I have business readers read this. Well, I didn't, I didn't paint a baby. I didn't have anything go wrong. It's like, well, yeah. What's your, what's your personal story? You know, you've, you've gone through adversity and challenges and things where you've showed up not perfect, and there's, and there's power in that story. Yeah. So it's an encouragement to everybody to explore their story, capture, craft, and communicate those, those moments that really matter. And that can show, show who you really are, you know? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I like it. And do you actually spend any time doing real estate, like showing houses and things like that? Or is it more you can buy and invest and do stuff with your broker's license? Should people call you if they're looking for a first time home? Absolutely. Yeah. Oh yeah. So the real estate check, real estate story. Tell me about the real estate thing. So, ny, you know, NY takes off, uh, out, out of the gates. Oh five, right? Get fired, take the a hundred dollars start m e it, it goes, it goes crazy. And start investing in real estate. And we got to a point in 2014, 15 where things were operating pretty smoothly without me, was, you know, kicking up some, some good cash flow. And I had this, um, maybe myth or, or belief like, I'm gonna retire, right? I'm gonna retire in 33, or whatever it was. And, uh, I go to Spain every year. I lived there in college, fell in love with it. So, uh, family and I, we spent the whole summer in Spain, stepped away from the business. Um, that's when I was gonna really start riding a lot more. Mm. And, um, I had spent a lot of time with a gentleman who does a lot of home flipping. His son. My son went to school together. He's like, hi, you gotta check this out. So I'm always looking for opportu. So I came back from Spain and I got licensed in real estate and, and not, right, not knowing that I didn't need a license to flip, uh, get the license end up, um, joining C3 real estate. I know John, John and Jesse, I knew John Moore back at the, back in the day. Yeah. And then they're like, Hey, you gotta hang your license somewhere. And then people started calling me. And I love, I love that aspect of helping people. Yeah. And you know, real estate can, um, direct and change your legacy. So you're helping somebody contribute to their legacy through real estate and just being an advisor for them, and then the business just, just happens. Yeah. But I've got a team member, uh, gunner, who does a lot of the showings, a lot of the, you know, backend coordination and, you know, we're looking more, we did our first flip this year, and I'm looking to invest more in, in some other kinds of deals. And it's, it's fun real estate. Uh, real estate's great. I, you know, it's, it's among the most financially successful people I know. Uh, real estate investing is common to. over 75, maybe 85% of them It is Yeah. In the long run. And I can't find anything else yet that I can bring you a dollar and you'll give me $5 worth of something you can't do that with. Right. Well, and it goes up in value while it creates cash flow. Mm-hmm. nothing does that really? Not much. No. No. And it's, and it's fun. Um, and it's, uh, it's, it's just been, it's been a cool, it's been a cool journey. And it's fun to show the, show the kids, they joke with Emily and I Oh, you go into the flip who has the flip? They, they make fun of it. That's what we refer to it as. And how's the market? It's, it's changing. It's, it's interesting. It's, it's still, believe it or not, it's stable. It's still a seller's market, you know, in terms of just not enough inventory. But what happened was, I mean, with, with rates as low as they were, and the desire for everybody to want to live here and be here in northern Colorado, just that craziness of, they, they couldn't keep up supply. Yeah. Just access, access, demand. Yeah. And it drove, it drove the prices up, but yeah. Right. As rates started, started increasing and real, where it really affected is that new first time home buyer? Yeah. They qualify. For a $400,000 house. And then a week later, three 70 week later, 3 40, 3 30, and, and then that, that, you know, fell right there. Aren't those? So there was just, it was, uh, I think December stats, I was looking at it, it was, it was a third to 25% of the sales for year over year. From December to December it was, it was a lot lower. Yeah. Um, but I mean, transactions are still happening. I think this market's great because it weeds out, you know, 18, 19, 18, 19, 20, the, the years, right? Yeah. Yeah. It was pretty low hanging fruit. Like you could get your license show up to an open house, Right. Don't be drunk. No, really like it, it wasn't, it wasn't that, that hard not to knock. Like there's, there's work you do as an agent for sure. Go meet somebody, but yeah, you're an agent. Yeah. But when things get tough, you've gotta get creative and you've gotta be a, a great business profess. On top of being a real estate. Well, and one interesting thing, like with all the houses you've painted and neighborhoods you've been in and yards and stuff, like, just from being around, you know a lot about the marketplace, right? How neighborhoods transitioned. Right. From a new owner occupied. Yeah. And plus over 15, 20 years almost. Yeah. And I've been here since I was 10. So really seen the landscape change and, and develop and, um, yeah, there's a lot of, just a lot of other value that being here brings to, you know, buyers. Buyers and sellers. Yeah. So, yeah. Um, ready to jump in the time machine? Let's do it. We'll go to the way back, Um, so you moved here when you were 10, but, uh, where did you get born and stuff? I was born in Tnic, New Jersey. Tnic? Yeah. Northern New Jersey. Okay. Bergen County. And then grew up in Montclair, which is also in northern New Jersey. Is that pretty urban environment or Not super. Cause I know there's parts of New Jersey that are like, Boonies, like the Pine Barrons and stuff like that? Yes. Yeah. You've got, I mean, it's, it's funny, everybody goes, oh, that's the armpit of the East coast. And you know, there, there's these stereotypes, but New Jersey has some beautiful, the garden state baby. Beautiful scenery out there. Yeah. But no, where we lived, I mean, it was a, a beautiful area I lived, we lived in, uh, upper Montclair, so there's kind of our, our school was kind of this melting pot of different racist socioeconomic, there was kind of upper and. Clair, right? Yeah. There was a kind of a division of the, of the tracks there, but um, sure, yeah. It was school, but it was still one school until Yeah, till every, everybody kind of combined there, the elementary school. But no, I just remember, you know, as a kid, um, not really fitting in much. I was very smart, so I'd finished the, the schoolwork quickly and just didn't fit in with that sit down, shut up environment. Yeah. And I got bullied a lot. You were pretty driven, obviously. They were just, just smart and they didn't know what to do with me. Like, it was always teachers, always calling parents. I don't know what to do with 'em. They're like, give them, give them more work. Give them something to do. Um, so that was, you know, I got in trouble a lot. And what were your folks doing? Do you have other siblings? Yeah, I'm the oldest of four. Okay. And then my mom stayed home and, uh, and my dad worked. Yeah. So pretty, yeah, pretty traditional roles and like traditional Joe paycheck kind of stuff or what was he doing? Yeah, no, dad was, uh, he worked with, um, you know, worked with, uh, trucking, trucking companies and kind of union, union type companies. Okay. So yeah, it would be that, uh, employee. You know, employee base of of work. Sure. So you didn't really have an example of entrepreneurism in your, so he, he immediate life or He, he loved fish, so he had a fish collection. Oh. And, and actually sold fish. So had this Oh, he, he, it was like a fish deal, like breeding and whatever. Yeah. Yeah. He'd fly 'em in and then, um, I remember he was putting ads in the paper and things like that. So yeah, it was, it was pretty, pretty cool. Pretty niche. Like, uh, my brother was all into snakes and everything. Like I'm totally scared of snakes and reptiles. Not, not my thing. Um, but yeah, I mean, I just, um, yeah, business, the first exposure to it was I asked my parents for some money, uh, for $200 to buy a boombox. When I was nine, nine, almost 10 when we first moved out here. And they're like, Nope. You know, you mow the lawn, you get $4 a week. That's, that's a year of work. Right. Said, well, can I go mow some other lawns? That's fine. So went around the neighborhood and knocked on some doors and, and nine, yeah. Yeah. Nine, nine and a half. 10. Yeah. Like the mowers bigger than me. I'm pushing this thing down the street. But when, when I did that, I'm like, man, you can go out, do something, set a goal, make it happen. Um, and that was a big part. Business became a big part of my A plus B. Got a boombox. Exactly. And um, but it gave me some, some confidence, you know, cuz again, like getting, getting bullied and picked on and Yeah. Were you just a little guy? This little guy? Yeah. You know, buck teeth, um, just easy target. Right. So I was Kurt the squirt by the way, you were until like at the end of my sophomore year of high school, I was five one. Ooh. Okay. And I was four 11 in seventh grade. So basically from seventh grade through 10th grade, I did not grow when everybody else grew. And I got bullied like crazy as well. Yeah. Well, and there's those, you know, those things, right? So you get the, get the, the, the glasses, the buck teeth, you're really short, you're overweight, right? Whatever kind of those general things are. But like when we teach jujitsu to the kids too much smarter too. Yeah. Or super smart but don't, don't be an easy target. Right. When I, I didn't know, like I was a pretty easy target and then didn't have any tools to set boundaries and defend myself. And I was just, just scared like that. And even emotionally, like when you react and you can't really manage to like defend yourself in a way either. Physically, or mm-hmm. mentally, emotionally. Yeah. Then they just keep doing it cuz they see it bugs you. Well it said that fight or flight. Right. And it's like, oh, I'm gonna cower up and this, like, this girl says one same girl beat me up all the time. Uh, but it's just that this girl's gonna beat on you. You wanna call her out, you Nah, it's cool. Like, I forget, I forgive her. Okay, good. I mean, it's, uh, she was struggling with something too, probably. Yeah, no, exactly right. You know, everybody follows an example that, that they're seeing and it's part of their environment, but it's, uh, no it wasn't, it wasn't fun at all. Yeah. So, yeah, again, I wish I would've, uh, discovered jiujitsu 20, 20 years earlier. Right, right. And so that's kind of the, you know, the mission as I'm out there on the map. And you wouldn't be here now writing this book if you had No, no. And I've got a third book in mind. I was actually just don't tip your hand. Not a business book either. No, I'm, I'm working right now on, on just, just getting the ideas out of the brain on the paper for a children's book. Oh, fun. Mm-hmm. Yeah, I like it. Uh, anti anti-bullying, how to stand up for yourself, all those things. Yeah. So very, very much will align. Very similar story and, um, implementing the tools I learned as an adult into this child's life and story. Well, and probably a lot of the lessons that you observe as a professor Yeah. At the JI Jujitsu Center, right? Mm-hmm. absolutely. Like seeing their own stories of success and overcoming and whatever. That all filters into a good place. Yeah, no, it really does. Um, so what brought your family out here to Fort F or was it to Fort Collins proper or? It was Loveland. Yeah, Loveland. So we, we moved to Loveland then to Fort Collins, back to Loveland. So pretty much northern Colorado. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so my mom's brother moved out here, Fort college in Okay. Seventies. Fell in love with it. I remember when we were younger visiting once. Yeah. Yeah. And then, yeah, I think it was just get, getting outta New Jersey. I mean, like I look back, um, I keep in touch with one friend from elementary school and my second grade teacher. Yeah. Those are my, my two connections. Connections, yeah. Um, but we, we went through the fifth grade yearbook, right. Of, uh, I was just back out in New Jersey a couple months ago. and dead in prison. Disappeared. Got the whole neighborhood pregnant. No, for real, like, like I would be dead in prison. Not a successful breeding ground necessarily. Be a drug dealer. Yeah. Yeah. You could be a successful drug dealer. I crushed it in drug. Could have spinning signs and stuff like that. Spinning signs and teams and everything. And probably some corrupt officers. Absolutely. Stealing you evidence so you could just gotta pay, sell it on the streets. Absolutely. All that. Yeah. Looking for an angle. Um, so your folks were still together and stuff. It was just looking for a change of pace. Dad found a new job or just even they just moved up and loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. Yeah, they was combination of like, Hey, we need to, like they, I think they were seeing where things were heading and the direction and then I also. you know, from a property standpoint, like property values, but, but more so taxes Right. Started going crazy. So I mean, if I'm, if I'm them back then looking at, at those different scenarios like Northern Colorado, amazing place to raise a family, you know? Yeah. So there was, there was that drive, especially at that time, motivation. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And then, um, he ended up finding, you know, finding workout here and, and it all, it all worked out. Might a big but boom, so. Yeah. And so did you, like, you're a pretty big guy now. Did you have a growth spurt? Did that change things for you? Uh, like as a teenager, were you, you already said you were smart. Were you athletic? Were you involved with. So I was never, never, like, never the popular kid. Never the sports kid, like business was, was my thing. And I was pretty lanky, kind of, kind of tall and goofy looking and lanky until, uh, 10th grade started lifting weights in, in 11th grade. And I mean, that, that became my, you know, my thing because you, you know, you lift some weights for a couple of months and you start Oh, yeah. you start seeing those changes. I took a weightlifting class and gained like 25 pounds in a semester. Mm-hmm. in college, and then people, uh, people then I shrunk back down. Yeah, yeah. Up and down. Um, but yeah, and then, you know, people start, it, it was interesting. I mean, people would start responding differently to you in, in treating you differently. So, I mean, it was a, it was a false sense of, of confidence and, yeah. Security. Talk to me about that. Like from a, from a differentiated standpoint, like I'm mm-hmm. when you say that statement, I'm like, well, so the, you know, the, the 40 year old men treat you differently. The, the girls at school talk to you differently. They're moms look at you differently. No. No. So in, so in high school, no. I mean, I remember is this one of these like core memories, right? I remember standing in the lunch line in ninth or 10th grade. You think about like those things that you remember, right? And I'm skinny, little goofy looking Matt, big old Jack dude right next to me. And I just remember this girl saying, she's like, yep. Squeezes his arm. Right, right. Squeezes my arm. She's like, yeah, the girls, the girls prefer this. Right. Whether that's, whether that's true or not, but yeah. No, the the girls It's true. Start girls. Start girls start looking at you. Yeah. Um, you know, the people that were were pushing me around stopped pushing me around as much. Sure. Between 10th and 11th grade had kind of a changing of, of that friend group that I, that I hung out with. So yeah. So then I ran some track in high school and then I was actually working just an hourly job at a, at a subway sandwich shop. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So go to school, go work out, go work, come home. And that was, that was high school. Yeah. Little bit, little bit of fun too. Yeah. I'm sure. Yeah. Did you, uh, go off to school then? College? I did. I went to Colorado State University. Okay. Graduated hometown. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Graduated high school in 99. Went up to CSU and it was funny, like that's just what everybody was doing. So that's what I did. I had really no direction of what I wanted to do. I, um, got ahead of studies in Spanish. That, that came very easily to me. Okay. And then I ended up elementary tutoring my senior year of high school. So like, senior year of high school. You don't have that much like, that many classes you need to, the load isn't that heavy, so you, yeah. So I was over there and I got, um, asked by the front desk, they go, you speak Spanish? I've got a mom on the phone who works? Where did you learn Spanish? It just in class. Really? And I, but I used it outside the classroom so much. So elementary tutoring, I, I signed up for elementary tutoring cause there was a cute cheerleader that was, was over there. So that's why I end up at the school. But then the school says, Hey, can you come just help on this phone call? Oh, can you come do parent teacher conferences? Right. So I was literally like their translator. Right. And there's always Spanish parents that, a lot of ESL families. What I've heard is that, um, from teachers actually just recently was that the Spanish families tend to be a lot more involved with the student in the conferences and things like that. And the education, they're more interested. Whereas like the average suburban family is like, why did you send my kid to detention? Oh, cuz he wasn't listening. Because you haven't taught him anything about listening, It's just, but they don't, but they don't always translate well. Right. Because they have a hard time communicating with everybody. Yeah. I mean, it was great. I think there was a, there was a mix of everything. There were definitely some very, very involved parents. Oh yeah. And like, you know, kid kids acting up a little bit. Mom, mama would, you know, she put it on 'em a little bit. Yeah. And then there were some that, that weren't involved. I'd say it was probably a a Oh, so sometimes you were really the, the adult like, or semi adult like person that would help these kids, like be guided into the school system? Yeah. No, and I think they would just, people look at me, even even adults, anybody, they look at me and they go, you know, I speak Spanish. They hear it and they, they go, that, that shouldn't happen. That just doesn't, that doesn't look like it's supposed to work out that way. Fair. But no, Bils a great relationship with, uh, you know, the teachers there and, uh, and the students and, and the families. Um, but yeah, so that led into, in, in college, I'm, I go, you know, I'll minor in Spanish and I actually wanted to teach elementary school. That was the original when I was waiting for CSU to bring in this program that they kept talking about. Uh, but right before my junior year, at CSU Spanish professor pulls me aside. We're we're still great friends today. She's like, Hey, have you ever thought of, uh, studying abroad? You should go to Spain. And I'm in this Spanish culture class. Yeah. So she'd say, Hey, I just taught you about this. Like flamenco and girls, and say like, she was appealing. You would like Spain, all this stuff. She goes, you would love my country And let me guess, she's also 27 and beautiful or something. So you're like She was old. Yeah. She was older. No, she was older. Yeah. Older, married. It was never, never like that. Well, no, but, uh, she was appealing to the things that would, would be very easy to appeal to. Right. And I signed up, I just, I go, you know what? I go, what am I gonna do next semester? I'm gonna Yeah. You know, do the college painting thing again. And I signed up, got all the paperwork, visa, passport. And then couple months later I'm, I'm landing in right outside Madrid, Spain. Cool. Living with a family for a semester. For a year. Yeah. For a semester. Okay. Mm-hmm. Yeah. That's cool. And then the end of that, we, we traveled all around, you know, a lot more of Spain, Europe, Italy, we, you and the family, or you and just me and another, uh, guy. His name was Justin. Just, it was another CSU student program, whatever. Yeah, we just cruised around. How cool is that? Three weeks after the school was done. I don't know if we've talked about it, but my wife and I have hosted, um, now we're our ninth, I think, uh, exchange student. Yeah. And we just got rid of an Italian, brought in a Portuguese or a Brazilian gal. Yeah. And uh, I just really love that experience and, and partly because like I wanted that experience when I was. Your age in our story here when I was 20, when I was 19, and, and you guys as the host family, like you make such a difference in that, in that kiddo's life and you really make that experience. Because I remember my host family, they were, they were amazing, just an amazing family. And I'd go to school and tell everybody about it and they're like, ah, my host mom sucks. Like they're just, they're following the contract. I get a glass of milk at breakfast, sandwich at lunch, and I mean, it was. They were, some of 'em were doing it for the money. Yeah. This family was doing it because they, they really cared. So I remember sitting around, you know, for lunches and dinners. I, I drink whiskey with Hostad. He's like, all right, here's all the profanity that you need to know. Right. Here's what you need to avoid saying. So he was, he was that guy. And then, you know, pepita the mom, she's like, oh, Miguel. She's like, you need to stop that. You can't teach him these things. He goes, but he nee he needs to know these things. And they, they're very helpful. Useful. I th I think I probably had a lot in common. I gave, uh, Manuel, I got her first motorcycle ride of her life yesterday. Okay. Uh, we took a little That's awesome. Tour around Bingham Hill Road and around the lake and Yeah. And they'll remember that. They'll remember that for the rest of their life. For sure. I think she'll have a motorcycle in three years. Yeah. Sorry, Manuel's mom and dad. Um, but here we are. So, um, I'm feeling like, uh, we're gonna transition to a quick break. Tell the rest of that story. Get the founding story on m and e and, and be back in a little bit. Let's do it. Okay. And we're back. So, um, we were basically in college and in Spain when we left off. Yeah. Yeah. And uh, like you give a pretty good advertisement for either hosting or going Yeah. On a foreign engagement. What would you say were the big walkaways for you, other than a better Spanish language and, and meeting lots of cute Spanish girls? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that was it. No, just those No, I'm just kidding. that was enough. When you get, when you get thrown into a, a totally different culture, and I, and I actually share this with students, you, you expect that there's going to be this, this culture shock cuz you're going to a totally, totally different environment. But I mean, you're learning another, another way of life, another way to view things. It put my perspective of the, um, just the history of the United States. They're like, you guys have no history, you know, a couple hundred years old. So, I mean, you just, you're going to a country. Thousands of, of years of history. But where, where the lessons there really still stand true today is, you know, you get put into an environment where you're, you're lost. You don't speak the language, you don't understand the, the cultural nuances and cues. You're really out of your comfort zone. Yeah. Like you, you had to wake up every day and decide, Hey, I'm gonna stay here and I'm gonna, and I'm gonna see this thing through you. Really, you just get pushed outta your comfort zone. and, um, at that time of your life, it's such an impressionable time where, you know, you're, you're pivoting. It's, it's a big turning point, you know, 18 to 20 I bet. In a way. Yeah. That Spanish culture teacher that encouraged you, uh, was an impact maker for your life. Could she Yeah. Believed that you would be good enough to do that or whatever, and be, be be able to survive and thrive. Right. Yeah. And she's still a great, great friend, Maria. A lot. She still teaches at, at csu and, uh, I stay in touch with, with her a lot. And, uh, yeah, it was getting, getting outta the comfort zone, obviously the, the language skills that, that you picked up and just the people like I've got relationships. Yeah. These friends and relationships that I would never have had. And I mean, like now I actually bring business owners and leaders over to Spain. We're, we're taking a trip in September. To hike the Camino. So, um, I, I fell in love with the country, you know, it's just, it's another piece of my heart is there, it's just a part of, part of my life. I don't know about that. That's, it's, it's a, that's a whole, that's a whole nother another thing, it's a 70 mile, the whole Camino is like 500 mile hike. Yeah. People do it over 30, 40 days. Um, but yeah, just the love of another culture, learning the language, uh, meeting new people and just really appreciating and looking at things through a different perspective. What I tell students though is, you're gonna expect this culture shock, right? It's a shock to the system. And then you either adapt to it and say, Hey, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go all in. I'm gonna lean into this and, and, you know, become Spanish or whatever the culture is. Right? And you've probably seen your students do this or they go, Nope, I'm gonna, I'm gonna stay home. I'm gonna stay, yeah. I'm gonna resist it and resist it. And they either go home or they, they go home at the end of the experience and they don't have the experience. They didn't assimilate at. And then they're so happy to be home, right? Yeah. Yeah. They're like, you know, screw, screw this place. They're, you know, stuff is what, whatever. And they just complain about it when I got back. So when you assimilate to that, they don't tell you about this. It's reverse culture shock. So all of these students that stayed with you, they had this wonderful experience, wonderful family, they're gonna go home and nothing really changed back home for the 3, 4, 6 months they were there. And all of a sudden in this country that you're from just looks different and, and it's the weird, it's the weirdest thing coming back cuz you don't expect it. So it's kind of this, you kind of get hit from the, from the side a little bit. That's cool. I just got a text this morning as a matter of fact. Uh, no, yesterday morning, I'm sorry. Uh, from Enrico, the Italian exchange student that we just sent back about 10 days ago or 2015. Uh, and he said, um, you know, it's great to be here, but I miss Colorado so much. Yeah. Yeah. And I could just hear it in his voice almost. You want to go back? Yeah. So I always ha have had that longing to, uh, to go back, but one of the coolest things, so I, you know, Maria Delmar, so you just think, you know your listeners, you, you, she just 20, 22 years ago, Hey, you should go check out my country. I go have this experience. We now have sent 17 students to Spain, uh, through a scholarship that we started at, at csu. It's a study abroad to Spain Scholar Scholarship. Basically what you did, funding somebody else to do that. Mm-hmm. Yeah. It's an endowment. So we just keep pumping money into it. Oh, that's cool. It kicks off. It kicks off scholarship money. So, you know, just that impact that she had on my life, that experience that I had, now we get to give that to other students and now those students are coming back and like donating to the scholarship. So it's a cool cycle of cool thing, contribution. And they're a long thinker, kind of, aren't you? It's fun. Yeah, no, it's been really fun and I love the coffee. Right. So, um, we have a little Spanish coffee bar in our lobby of our office. We have all the businesses in. I, uh, I bought one of your little coffee pots and gave it to my wife for us talking supper. Yeah. So all that money goes to the scholarship. Oh, good. Yeah. So it's a, it's a cool little way to, you know, share the culture, share the coffee. Um, and, and I think you can connect over drinks, coffee, whatever. Yeah. And yeah. And it gives back. So it's, it's been, it's been fun. Yeah. I would highly encourage it, um, for anybody, anybody to do it. Yeah. Let's, uh, let's get into the business journey a little bit. The launch of m and e, because you were, was it true? Do I remember you were a college prop painter? Yeah. Worked with, uh, it was College Works. College works. So it wasn't like the big brand, the college prop painters or whatever, but there was several different college student kind of Yeah, there's two or three. You got time off. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So they, they just say model though, right? They come on to the campus and recruit students and Hey, we're gonna, you know, let you use our online. You're sticking around here this summer. Yeah. What are you gonna do? You gonna deliver pizzas or work, work waiting tables? I mean, that's kind of their pitch. They go, Hey, you can learn about business. And um, you know, as long as you work hard through the summer and follow some parameters, you're gonna be guaranteed you're gonna make 2,500 bucks. But you can make 10, 20, 30, $40,000 in a, in a summer. Yeah. So, yeah, so I jumped in, I got recruited by them and, uh, worked four years through college, minus that semester that I was in Spain. And I made over those four years, like over six figures. And I just shared that because I spent three times when I made, so I graduated college. Right. You didn't actually, yeah. You're still broke when you graduate college made a bunch of money. You lived Well, yeah. Lived well, had fun. And, but I didn't think I'd stay in that business. I, oh, I'm gonna, you know, we're gonna graduate. What did you go to college for? Did we even talk about that? And then we got to Spanish minor. So the, the minor, so my Maria Delmar, her pitch was, Hey, turn your, turn your minor into a major, which I did. So I majored, yeah, in Spanish. And then child development and family studies. Oh, yeah. They, they didn't bring that elementary ed program in to CSU until my senior year. And then it was a cohort. You couldn't load 'em up. You had to basically stay in college for three and a half more years. I was done by that point. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I have a early childhood education. Never, never used it. Really. Did you go right into business after, or did you Yeah, right in, I was just hanging out with my buddy last night. He's a big Cowboys fan. We watched the, uh, playoff game. Okay. Uh, they crushed the Buccaneers. Okay. I think that was Tom Brady's last game. I don't know. I mean, he said he was retired and then came back. Yeah. So who knows? Anyway, I don't know. Uh, so, but he taught for, I wanna say two years or, or maybe a year and a half. Yeah. Probably two years. And he was getting ready to be sucked into the industry and, and he was like, I can't, you know, I just, and he went on a trip to Spain to see his, to see the exchange student that had lived, stayed with their family earlier. Yeah. So he took a little sabbatical in the summer after his second year of teaching. Okay. And was like, if I ever wanna go to Spain, Like, I can't really be a teacher. I'll never have enough money to go to Spain Well, and I, you know, and I taught, so as I, when I graduated college and then, and then launched m and e I had the opportunity to teach just after school, couple days a week, Spanish elementary school kiddos. And, you know, I just give a lot of props to the teachers. They come in, they've got the hard, they love the kids, but I didn't like, I didn't like the politics. And, um, it's not that I didn't like the parents, but some of the just expectations and things just, just wasn't cool. Yeah. You know, it's like I'm not here to babysit 'em here to teach your kids, and if they need discipline, I'm gonna discipline 'em. And it was interesting, but I, I don't know how teachers can, can put up with that. I think a lot of things got in the way of, of teaching and just that passion that the teacher had for the student, for the topic. Bringing that all together. Yeah. Just too, too much of that. But um, yeah, I graduate college and I go, I'm not gonna, you know, I'm gonna get away from this painting thing. Got into the mortgage business. Okay. And, um, really didn't care for it. I was at a, um, telemarketing, you know, BC paper. Okay. Pretty hacked shop, you know, kind of a place. And then conservative bank, a good first job kind of. Oh. And then a conservative bank. Yeah. So kind of the, the worst of, best of both worlds, depending on how you look at it. Right, right. But yeah, I'm working at this local, local bank here, and, uh, they brought in a new bank president, and he called me into the office one day. This is March, 2005. Okay. He says, put all your shit in a box and, uh, get out. You're fired, I didn't, didn't, yeah. And I go, okay, well are you sure? Yeah, yeah, I'm sure. Were you producing? Were you I was just getting started, you know, I was just a couple, couple months in with the spank date. They wanted me there because I spoke Spanish. Oh. They had me going a gree leave and then back to, uh, Fort Collins. And then just one of the, one of the things I remember, this guy was just, he was an arrogant prick. I mean, he really, he really was. Do you wanna name him? No, it's okay. No, I'm just like, no man, it's fine. Like, you know, he was, Hey, same thing. Like, I forgive him. Yeah. Um, and yeah, he was, he was a prick though, and he said, oh, maybe you should go back to that painting thing. So that's what, that's what made him a prick, like, fine, you fired me. I don't work for your p and l or your bottom line. That's right. But he, I go, okay, well maybe, maybe I will. So I jump in the car and I've got a 10, 12 minute drive home. And I'm like, I gotta tell Emily something when I, when I get home. So I called couple of the painters that I worked with college painting, and I said, Hey guys, are you, you know, one of them told me, he goes, you're not gonna like this banking thing and they're not gonna like you. You'll, you'll be back at this painting thing in a couple of months and if, if you ever are, call me. So I called him and I said, Hey, give me a month and uh, I'm gonna line you up with some. And that was, that was how m and d started. I came home, told Emily, she's like, you're home kind of early today. is is E Emily? Mm-hmm. Yeah. And, uh, yeah, somewhere along this way you fell in love. Did you, you didn't bring her back from Spain? No. Um, no. Where's Emily enter the picture here in this storyline? Right after I returned from Spain in 2002, I met Emily at the end of that summer we were out salsa dancing, so I met her at a, uh, salsa dancing club. Her friend drug her there that night. That wasn't really Emily's thing. She's like, Hey, just come, come hang out with me tonight. And yeah, I bumped into her. I, it was love at first sight for me, not. So much for her. Took her, took her a little bit, little bit longer. You seemed persistent. That's okay. I was, yeah, no, I, I pursued her for sight. I pursued her. Yeah. Well, well, honestly, there isn't much most women like, more than to be pursued. Mm-hmm. uh, as long as it's not creepy. Wasn't, yeah. Didn't do anything too creepy. Nothing too creepy. Hey, that's maybe, maybe some borderline things. But she, she stuck around. She hung around. But yeah, so in that, in that process of, you know, graduating college, that was my senior year. So right before senior year, you know, we we're beginning our relationship. I graduate, transition into the banking as she's finishing up school. She was a year behind, but we had the same, so I meet her at the bar and she says to me, um, she goes, do you wanna be my fake boyfriend tonight? Cuz these, these guys were bugging her. I'm like, I'll be your real boyfriend forever, She goes, well, if you ever want a chance at that, just one thing I want you to remember. Don't forget my name. It's the only thing. Next time you see me, don't forget my name. Run into her a couple weeks later. And, and she goes, I looked at you and I saw in your eyes that you forgot my name. And then she goes, what's my name? And I go, ah. And I forgot But yeah, so we, we start our relationship and Well, and that's like part of the love of the Painted baby story is you just being authentic. Like Yeah. I'm sorry, I forgot. I, I don't remember. But you're really, but you're really cute. You, I hang out Um, yeah. So as, as we, as I'm getting fired, you know, we had just moved into, uh, you know, a condo and, um, had to pay the bills, had to make, you know, $2,800 and 28 days. And she just said, what are you gonna do about it? And I said, we, you know, I'm gonna get back to painting like temporarily. I didn't think m Andy would, would turn into this. Yeah. Um, so yeah, took the last a hundred dollars we had, that was the minimum that you needed to open up a business bank account, and then just went out and started pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and generating, generating business. And you were kind of that right from the start. Like, have you ever painted anything? So, no, not college painting. They were really good at training you in the sales and the marketing. Yeah. Um, not so great in my experience. I didn't really learn how to paint. Yeah. Um, I hired a couple of guys. You've done his little texture thingy and stuff, but that's, no, I mean, more of a hack thing too. I'm a sales guy. Yeah. So, I mean, I had some really good painters that, that worked with me. So I've, we, we joke like, I'm not good at painting and, um, you know, some people they'd, uh, well, so you're not painting it. No. But you don't want me painting it. I'm running the business. So that's been great. That allowed us to, to grow and scale, I think, quicker. Yeah, for sure. Because that the, you know, the thing you're delivering wasn't tying you down. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and that's, I mean, Getting out of the deliver of value seat is a big challenge for small businesses. And you started kind of not really there. Well, not that you, you delivered value. Mm-hmm. you sold it, you did the paperwork, you did the estimate, you did the conversation, you did the billing and the collection and the, you know, those were all valuable steps, but not what the customer came to buy. Yeah. So, and you know, you look at Michael Gerber EMyth, like, I was never the cake baker. Right. So, and, and that's hard. Cause I speak with, it's a really interesting perspective to shoot it from business owners. They go, well, I'm really good at my craft or my trade and, and I want to grow the business. And, you know, you're just self-employed at that point. You know, you're just, you're still exchanging your time for money just now. Now you're your own boss. And that's usually worse than the, than the previous boss. Right. Sometimes that, that, that, that jump over to the business owner side of things where you have to trust and put faith in and let other people operate those certain parts of the business that you know, you're not good at or don't want to do. Yeah. Well, and most of us shed those things one at a time. in some ways, and you were just like, I don't, I didn't start with them, so, no. And they did. The guys would joke, I'd come out to a job like, Hey, gimme that ca gun really quick. They're like, don't touch it. Right? I'd ruin You're holding it backwards, Matt. No, you gotta put the pointy in that way. Pretty embarrassing. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I want dip into like, I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like m and e kind of didn't have a huge amount of evolution. You've got kind of a long-standing crew you've done and tried different marketing tactics, some of which have been great, some of which probably didn't work as well. Yeah. All that kind of stuff. Um, like anything you want to say to people on that front, like in the B2C space of this, I consider painting to be something that is almost like gasoline, like people need to buy it on a regular basis. Mm-hmm. it's not, well, gasoline is a little more urgent, right? There's a little more inflexible demand there, but, things need painted once in a while and somebody's gotta do it. Yeah. How do you decide who does your painting and stuff? So, yeah, from, from the actual application of the painting, I mean, it's, it's gotta be, you know, great people that do great work and they're reliable and they're, and they're honest. And I've learned a lot over the years of, of painting. Just the, the industry itself, it's pretty fragmented. So you have a lot of like, pot and brush. They're called pot and brush guy. So it's, you know, Bob in a truck, he's got a couple of houses. He's got a ladder. Yeah. He's got a ladder. Um, you know, then you've got like the multiple generation, Hey, my dad and my granddad we're, you know, we're, we're painters. Right. Um, you know, that those old, old craftsmen, but there's not a lot of the, the tradesmen, like they all do, like a lot of guys do great paint shops in town. Right. But I saw that there was that lack of just like the business and the s. the customer service, the attention to detail. So a lot of the trades, what's the series of steps that we go through every time? Mm-hmm. whatever. Yeah. And it's like, you get, you know, oh, I, I, I've heard time and time again. Well, why didn't, why aren't you hiring this person that did it last time? Well, he did a good job, but he never answered his phone. Never called back, was, was horrible on the business side. So he was a, a painter, a craftsman, trying to figure out business and not doing a great job at, at it. I say, Hey, we're a, we're business owners, we're entrepreneurs, and we just happen to paint. And, you know, you need to follow the same kind of systems and processes and procedures and your vision and your culture, right? All these things that make a great company, um, just like, you know, an Amazon or, or any kind of company, right? You look at these, these local companies, OtterBox, mad Wire, like they've got a vision, they've got structure, and we, we almost worry about what we're delivering last, not, not that. You don't want to think about that. Yeah. Yeah. But a lot of businesses forget that they're just so tied up in the. In the weeds. Yeah. Yeah. So one question that just came to mind is like, because you've got mostly a subcontractor organization mm-hmm. like what is it that you do and can do to try to like build the community or the culture of m and e painting and communicate those standards and expectations and things like that? So, so our whole company, I mean, we went through, went through the uh, uh, Strat Up Life Plan Patterson process. So, you know, coming out of that, it's, we exist, well, you and all your subs and all your, the whole company we got, we got together with the whole company. This was back in 15, 2015 or 16. Okay. Yeah. And you come up with your existence statement, right. If you gone through this process and our statement is to enhance the community, inspire leaders, impact lives. Wow. And, and we just, we just happened to paint. So in terms of the, the culture that we build, like we come out to somebody's house. Yeah, they called us because they need blue paint on the wall, or this scraped or caulked, but it's like, Hey, you know, this is like, this is who we are. I'm very focused to the, the evolution of the businesses. I was good at the Xs and os. We, we grew revenue very quickly, didn't really understand people, leadership, culture and seeing the value that, that the people have in the business. Yeah. And, and your contribution to them. That, that really matters. So that's the big focus right now. So when you talk about culture, it's um, you know, everybody after a year with us, we pay for their life plan. Unlimited vacation. Do you wanna hear? Yeah. An interesting direct challenge. Uhhuh Uh, it feels like that's a matte mission statement and because of some of your, like Jiujitsu and your book and your kind of expanded vision for where matte fits, I might submit that m and e might need a more. Focus and define for the next leader of m and a because probably you're not gonna be operationally leading m and e as much. Yeah. And it sounds like a lot more Matt statement. It is. It's very Matt filtered and agree. You've done it and you've done it. Would, oh yeah. So it's not a criticism, it's maybe an encouragement. So No, no, no. I don't take it as that. I think, you know, a bus, a business is just an extension of the leader that, that leads that business for sure. But but then, yeah, when it comes to that transition, cuz we're sitting at a point where I, I was faced with the, okay, at this point right now, do we want to grow, do we wanna scale this all over, right? The state, geographically, do we wanna stay in NOCO and, you know, broaden out our service offerings, do we want to franchise? We looked at all these things, right? And then I have these other opportunities, right? So, I mean, I love, I love where Emy. The opportunity it provides for people. But yeah. Like where, what it is, it is, it's an extension of me. All of the businesses are no KO jujitsu. It's to improve and protect the lives of Yeah. Others. And in our community. Yeah, same, same mission kind of. Yeah. And it is. Yeah. And so, so it attracts the people that, that believe in that and align with it. But yeah, like when I step out, they have to believe in it. But the company also has to kind of take on a new, deliver quality paint for the right price, or, you know mm-hmm. whatever. It's gonna have its own thing, but it might have to separate itself a little bit from, we were just talking about that with, we've been rechecking in on mission, vision, value stuff with local think tank just today. Yeah. And one of 'em was, you know, like free thought and liberty and stuff like that. And Alicia challenged me, she's like, that sounds a little more like Kurt stuff. Mm-hmm. than it does like local think tank stuff. And I'm like, yeah. Yeah. And, and to some extent, since we wrote that a couple, three years ago, This podcast and some of the ways that we write about what our mission is and stuff. Mm-hmm. it kind of communicates that Kurt's that guy already. Yeah. And so maybe that doesn't belong in this list, but still here. Well, I think it depends on what, you know, where, where does the leader, owner, founder of that company, where do they want it to go? Right. Right. From there. Cause I think m and e I mean, I don't think it will ever stop having my influence values, you know, mission, mission that we have. But yeah. When, when it becomes led by, well when you go on your book tour, you're gonna have to find somebody to like, make sure the pink gets done on time. Oh yeah, no, all that. And they're doing a great job. Yeah. Write, write about 15, 16. Like when we spent that summer in Spain, that's when the business was really set up to a point where I could step out of the daily ops. I just focus on the, the leadership, the bigger, bigger picture. Cool. Good for you. Development of, of people. Yeah. And just, just investing in them. Yeah. So. uh, is there other business things you'd like to accomplish? Like do you have other businesses that you want to start even at the moment? No. Okay. No. You're pretty content right now. Yeah. You're, you're kind of, I'll write more books, right. I've got, I've got some other write more books. Inspire more people. Yeah. Encourage more kids. Mm-hmm. and, and other young leaders, things like that. And see where it goes. You know, jiujitsu wasn't even supposed to be a business, just the way certain things worked out. We've, we've got a business and it would've worked out, so I'm sure more of that will, will come along. The local think tank wasn't even supposed to be a business. I, I was just gonna do it. And my friend Mike was like, well, you're never gonna get good attendance if you don't charge for it. Mm-hmm. And you will never, like, you need at least cash to be able to buy people coffee, to see if they wanna be a member of local think tank. Mm-hmm. Yeah. You know? And so, so I get you. Uh, well, and as business owners, it's always, you know, you hit. I think we, a lot of us, a lot of the people I spent time with you, you hit this big accomplishment, this big goal. You don't even take time to Yeah. Appreciate it. And yeah. You know, you're always like, what is that next thing? And yeah, I'm just at a season where like there's, there's next books. I've got the next three to four just up here, but it's just one at a time. Like it's, it's get get Paint a baby out there. Yeah. That's the next thing. Yeah. But yeah, more more will come for sure. Well, I'm gonna expect you to sign that for me. Absolutely. Absolutely. And, uh, we'll make sure we share it out there with the, uh, yeah. Podcast share and stuff like that. Thank, um, let's go Faith, family, politics. We always talk about those three things. Cool. Uh, do you know where you'd like to start in that? Start with Faith. Yeah. Okay. That's it. It, so I didn't, I didn't grow up with any kind of, uh, faith, nothing belief in God. Anything, anything like that. I think just the people that I had experiences with and the environment that I was. would say, ah, those guys, you know, they're, they're hypocrites and they're pushing, they're pushing their beliefs and pushing their things on you. And, um, with, you know, the environment I grew up in, like getting bullied, right? You have, you're, you're trying to grab onto these things that you think are going to bring you identity security, and, you know, weightlifting was one. And then the, the crowd I started running around with in college, like, it was, it was drugs, partying, drinking, chasing girls, like every weekend. So, you know, I went and studied during the week and my weekends were pretty, pretty consistent with, uh, with partying. But I remember getting on the CSU campus, you know, and you've got the guys, Hey, you wanna take a survey, come to a Bible study? Yeah. And then you had the, the bible box guy, right? Telling you in the plaza you'd walk by, you're gonna go to hell Right? Right. Not that guy. So it was an interesting time where it was that. I've never been exposed to that, so I didn't know what to think about. Just 0.0. Your parents didn't come from a faith background at all, or had abandoned completely. Never. Never, like talked, never heard about Jesus before. You were never talked about. No. I remember there were these crazy, these crazy kids in high school. Uh, we called 'em the, the Bible thumping twins, and they were, as they were all about Jesus. And then they went off and, um, they ended up joining a, a pretty sketchy, weird organization. Probably call it a cult, but what I, what I say now? So I found Christ in college. Okay. In the back of a police car in handcuffs. And, and I'm happy to share that story. Um, but leading up to that, every experience I had with a Christian or, or somebody that, you know, professed that belief in God, they either draw you towards that. And make you go, yeah, I wanna learn more about that occasionally or not. So I just had a lot more knots Yeah. Than, than I did. So, you know, going to college, I was just, just doing my thing and I never, never really was forced to think about that. Yeah. So yeah, there were all the people that I said, you know what I don't like, I don't wanna have, I don't wanna be like you guys. Like, that's not what it is. I remember this, um, little guitar playing dorky kid across the hallway in one of the dorms. This is just so, I mean, it just is what is what it is. Yeah. Yeah. And they'd have their little bible studies and I'd walk up, be coming home drunk at, you know, one, two in the morning and it wasn't like, Hey man, how are you doing? Do you need anything? I'm here for you. Oh, are you drinking again? It's just very, very judge, very judgy, you know? And, and we'll call that guy, uh, we'll call him Bob. Yeah. But just, just, I'm like, don't be a bob, you know, with that. Yeah. Yeah. But anyway, I'm out partying one night, new Year's Eve. Um, I'm super drunk and I tried to walk home, um, from Elizabeth. in Skyline Drive. Mm. Skyline comes out on Prospect. Yeah. And I thought it went straight. I walked home from Elizabeth and Skyline one time, so Skyline doesn't go straight through to Prospect. So for those of you that are really, really local and I'm really, you know, intoxicated, I go, I'm just gonna walk straight. So Skyline, like through the Walgreens parking lot or something almost. Well, I walk straight to a, to a house and I'm like, well, if I just keep going straight, I'll, I'll head out on prospect and I know where to go from there. And I try to climb, try to climb this fence, maybe, maybe this high, and I'm not doing a good job. And I, I see the, the headlights come up behind me and door open, door close, and I'm trying to navigate this fence. And a guy grabs me by the collar of the jacket and the, you know, back of the pants, spins me around, slams me up against his car, and his wife's in the car with a kid. And I go, what is this guy doing? He's Fort Collins police. He says, put, put your hands behind your back. And he puts me in handcuffs. The police car pulls up. They, you know, he hands me off, gets back in, the car, drives off, and, um, you know, the cop, this, this is a defining moment and this officer doesn't know this. He's drive, you know, he's driving me around and he goes, you see all these calls I've got on the screen right here. It's a bunch of drunk kids like you. So he's doing cop talk, you know? Yeah, yeah. He, he's not, um, sharing the Bible or sharing Jesus. And he just goes, Hey, are you, are you not so drunk that you need to go to go to the, the drunk tank? Whatever that is. So we've plenty of people in there already. I don't wanna go there, man. He goes, do you know what they do in there? I'm like, just, just drive me home. He said, do you know where you live? He drives me home, walks me to the door, and then the last thing he said to me was, Hey, you know, you should, you should really think about the choices you're making and where that's gonna take you in life. And that's it. It was just police talk, you know? It wasn't, hey, well you need Jesus or anything like that, right. But, um, I just, I remembered those words. I went home, got got extremely sick. Woke up the next day and I'm like, man, I could have died in that field. Just two weekends ago, I was, I was drugging it like crazy in Vegas with a, with a group of guys. So I just started looking back and I'm like, okay, I'm gonna die one day. What, what does that look like? And then I went back to all these relationships and these contacts I had with followers of Jesus and the ones that just loved on me, that just cared for me that were there for me. That they, they supported me. Yeah. No matter what, they didn't judge me. Ge guess who I called? Like it wasn't Bible, it wasn't libel Bob across the dorm. It was, it was these people. It was a roommate that I was living with. And, um, a couple of weeks later, yeah. Gave my life to Christ. Wow. And from there, then things changed, right? Because I'm going back with the same friends. They're like, what are we doing this weekend? Well, I don't, I don't want to get drunk, but what like what do we, what do we do from here? What others do? We, and, and this's been a journey that's pre Emily. Right before I met, right before I went to Spain. Yeah. So Spain in a way, just being away from everything that I knew here. Yeah. That was a great time to grow in my faith and figure out who I was and start to just peel back those layers of yeah, my story, you know, to see, see what life's all about. And how's that play or fly with, with your family? Has, has your, your mom and dad like accepted that for you and your family, or is it weird still, or No? It, it was never, it was never weird. It was just, yeah. It just was not, it just wasn't talked about. Yeah. So I mean, like, they. Um, that's not the path that the rest of the family decides to, to follow. I mean, your siblings included, like, yeah, no, yeah, yeah, yeah. But, but I mean that, that just, that's, and it was just like that. It was like you made a decision, you stuck with it. Is Emily already from a faith background and And she was, yeah. And she grew up, she grew up in a faith background too. Yeah. So, I mean, when I, when I met her, um, you know, having, she's like, this guy looks like a meathead, but he seems like he's real about his faith, so that's cool. Yeah. And I was still new, you know, I was still like a, still like a baby man. A bit of a meathead still. I was still a meathead. I'm still a little bit of a meathead. You totally are. It, it's okay. It's okay. I still look. Yeah. Um, anything else that you'd like to say about faith? Like if there's somebody that's like listening to your story and that little, that little nudge. That's so interesting cuz I had people working on me for years in different ways. Yeah. Uh, and including myself, cuz I lived with a religious studies major in college. Mm-hmm. and da da da da. And I was pecking at the edges for quite a while. Yeah. And you just like, you know, two weeks you were like, ba, bing, ba boom, I'm changing. And I, and I had explored up to that and I go, you know, I don't, I don't know about this, this because I, cuz I just remembered all of these, these negative experiences and these negative people. And then a, a guy that was, you know, mentoring me, he goes, yeah, but what about, what about this, this gal, she's really consistent in your life. Yeah. Like, she just, she just loves you for who you are and, and where you're at. Yeah. And I think for, you know, for some Christians, they go, I've got, I've gotta convert this person. I've gotta like get a, get a check mark that I, that I turn somebody to God. Just love people. Love 'em where they're at. Love 'em when they're down and out. And just remember when they, they'll they'll be ready for that conversation at some point. And then they're gonna look back on everybody they had an engagement with. And it might not be with you and, and, and, and maybe let that be you. And maybe that's not you. Like, that might not, you might not be that person, but just, just love on people and um, don't say it, show it. So where do you, where do you choose to. Practice your faith. Do you have a church you call home? Yeah, we go to Timberline here. Okay. Yeah, so we're both involved. Emily, uh, she volunteers with, uh, vacation Bible School and Cool vbs. And then my son, he's on the, the young team, young, uh, teens joy team. And then I do, I do security there. Oh, yeah. Luckily a nice formidable plus, you know, juujitsu, so that's fun. Yeah. I get, I free coffee and make sure everybody's, everybody's behaving. It's, everybody gets free coffee. It's pretty chill. Yeah. Cool. They, they do. Yeah. It's not, I'm not that special. so, uh, so that was faith, family or politics would you prefer? We've talked about some family already, but, uh, yeah. Uh, let's talk about Emily. Um, Emily's awesome. Yeah. She's, she's amazing. She's my best, best friend. Better, better half. We very much, uh, compliment each other. Yeah. Yeah. So I've. she shakes her head at you. Yeah. And then she still loves you anyway. Well, it's, it's funny cuz we do, we do a lot of like disk personality profiling. We do couples nights at our office where we bring couples out and I mean, I'll, she's the, the stabilizer, the, the steady bring everybody together. And then, you know, she's like, I spent all day, all week, all month getting everything good. And then you just come and shake everything up. You've got a new idea. But it's been cool. Like, I feel like she's, she's mellowed me out. She's chilled me out a bunch. Yeah. Yeah. But then I've also, like, we flipped our first house. I've been trying to get her to flip a house for a year. That's too risky. That's too risky. We went and walked one back in a, she's like, let's do it. So yeah. We, we compliment each other. Yeah. And, uh, just, just love. Well that's what what we're here for, right? We're. as a partnership, a husband and wife we're here to contend with and sharpen each other and make each other better. Like, that's kind of the point. Yeah. Like we can be lousy and miserable and depressed by ourselves. And, and I think and we shouldn't do that in relationship No. And it's been fun cuz like, as I get to share, like my business story, my faith story and, you know, she shares hers. It's been fun. Cause we've gotten to spend some time with some, just, just new couples. Right. Just getting a engaged, just getting married and really been able to share our story of seekers and searchers sometimes. And, and just help, just help people. Yeah. And then two beautiful kiddos. Riley. He's, he's 15. He's a freshman. Okay. And he's going to res, he uh, just played football over there. First year of football. And Hailey is 12. Okay. She's sixth grade at, uh, Colorado Early college. She'll switch over to Rez, um, next year when she starts seventh grade. Yeah. Um, we always look for a one word description of the children. Are you prepared for that? Mm-hmm. Riley, start with Hailey. She's sassy, but in a, but in a good way. Love you. She's very fiery. She doesn't take any trash from, from anybody. I like it. Um, Riley's loving. Oh, and steady. That's a pretty cool pair of characteristics. Yeah. Um, do you know the Johnsons, by the way, over at Rez? Uh, my, uh, uh, let's see. Sam and Isaiah. They would be like 16 and 17 now, or 15 and 17. No, we're just, we're just getting to meet some of the families. We know some of the football families. That's my wife, brother's family. Yeah. Okay, cool. And they both play both ways in football actually. The Johnson's, Sam and Isaiah. Okay. I'm gonna ri Riley will know for sure. Yeah. He'll know. He'll know them. I think. I feel like I saw Riley. I think I've seen, I've seen you at the, you've been at the games. Yeah, I've made a couple games. I've seen you at the games. Yeah. Anyway. Um, so like what was it about you that, other than your persistence that caused Emily to think, yeah, this might be the guy for me. I. if you had to speculate, it was handsome, charming, Um, and you are handsome. You've got some sweet dimples, by the way. Yeah. The is the dimples. Those, those didn't hurt. Um, God, that's a, that's a good question. You know, I think she, she saw, she saw the potential. I mean, we've talked a lot about this cuz I was like, I was new to my faith journey Yeah. Was never super serious about, um, you know, about dating. Didn't really ever have long term relationships. Yeah. But she's just like, you know, I knew you loved me. You accepted me for who you are. That was one of the big things that she had gotten out of a previous relationship. Mm-hmm. And the guy was just shitty to her, like all, all the way around. And she goes, man, when I, if, if this guy's serious, she goes, I'm gonna be goofy. I'm gonna be, I'm just, I'm gonna be me. I'm gonna let it all out. She cranked, she cranked it up, you know, tenfold. Oh, I like it. And just fell in love with it. So, you know, that, that was a, that was a big thing. And um, we just, we both pushed each other to. To be better. Yeah. And um, and we had a lot of similar, you know, goals and wanted, wanted to raise a family. Yeah. I told her, this is the creepy thing. She would tell you, it's creepy. We were just getting going, dating, and I'm just sitting there one night just looking at her. I go, we have really cute kids one day And we're, and we're a couple, couple weeks. She goes, you're you're creepy dude. Yeah. Yeah. That's weird. But we do, we have beautiful, beautiful kiddos. My wife told her mom, like, after our second date, I'm gonna marry him. And, uh, we knew right away just know. Yeah. And, uh, God bless her for recognizing that. Absolutely. Um, and what was it in particular about her that really drew you to be persistent and to turn your focus? Yeah, just, um, just a, just an amazing, um, amazing heart and love and care for people and just accepting of me and who I was and believing in you and believing in me and yeah. You know, just when, when I got, when I got fired, you know, there was no, there was no, well there was no doubt right? She said, what are you gonna do? Yep. I'm gonna go out and start a business. She's like, well, it's, it's one 30. I said, yeah, I'll see you, see you dinner. She's like, cool, I'll, I'll have dinner ready, She's like, I believe in you. Just go, go after it. You know? So she's always, always believed in me and, you know, going, being a business owner, going through just, just a lot of things, just personal struggles, everything. Right. She was just there, just as a steady rock and she's hot as heck. freaking hot separately. Yeah, absolutely. So, um, I think that handles family pretty good. Yeah. Is there anything in the extended family or principles of your family, do you have any house rules that you'd care to mention or share? So, so in our house, um, we, we say shops always stop for to help. Always stop to help. Oh, if, if you can, that's nice. And I think you're gonna ask me a loco experience and I'll share that with you. But that, that really came, I like that came into play. Yeah. Just love people, be there, you know, understand who you are and that you bring value to the world. And, um, and you're not perfect. You know, like we've, I've imperfectly parented both of my kids. Sure. Perfectly husband. And you just, you grow and learn. And I have another question about your family. Why do you say Matt, she, instead of just Matt Soup, because everybody calls you Matt Soup. Cuz that's what it looks like. It it look, it, look it does. So like soup, right? Yeah. Or shout. Yes. That's just English. Well, okay. And half my, half my family, I've got a cousin, they go, they say Shup. We've just, it's always been sh So tracing back, you asked me, I think before we went on air, the family genealogy, we started as, S C h a U B. Oh, okay. And at some point I didn't find where or when that changed. Yeah, yeah. With the spelling. So that's, that's how it started originally. Well, that makes sense. So the descend from the accent or the, the emphasis was kind of on that shall mm-hmm. already and the piece snuck in there from somewhere. It it did, yeah. B went to pee and, and then, um, but no, I mean, it was really cool in, uh, in high school. Yeah. With sing the shoot, the salt and type of song. I, well, I can't help, but that's my walkout song. That's my, that's what, when I think of you, I actually think, shoot, shoot. Yeah. Because I didn't know until this fall that you said shout a lot. A lot of people don't. And sometimes, like if I'm in a quick interaction, I don't, I don't stop to clarify. Correct. Anyway, that's okay. I've been called lots of other things. Okay. They're a lot worse. There. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Um, so politics, uh, uh, what do we got fresh in the political spectrum? We've got, uh, you know, Elon's at Twitter, releasing all the stuff, and we've got, yeah. You know, this guy that like lied on his resume to get at Congressman John We've got, uh, what do you, what do you wanna say about politics? Where do you, politics? Where do you, what do you say politic? I don't, I don't talk much about it. So if, if somebody's, well, what, what side of the coin are you on? It just feels like, at least at, at this point in history, like, like strongly, you gotta pick sides. And as soon as I say I'm this, then you make all these assumptions about me. Yeah. Yeah. I, I think I can generally say that, you know, um, people I've talked to that have gotten into politics with really good intentions, they, they find out pretty quickly that it's a, it's a different kind of game. I think. I think a lot of them swamp. Yeah. They have to, they have to compromise some values. I think they're all, they're all, they're all liars. I left. Right. Well, why do you have to pick one? Like that's what what I feel is like, yeah, 30 40% of America is fiercely independent because mm-hmm. fuck those guys. Well, I don't need, I don't need, but then they have to vote for one or the other. Yeah. They just look at, you know, I, I don't think the government does anything well or efficiently or profitably, so I don't need them telling me how to run a business. Like we had some interesting run-ins during Covid with the health department and the gym. Okay. And, you know, that's where I drew some lines and said, this, this isn't happening. This isn't Okay. You're overreaching, you're a private, we're a private gym and you guys can screw off. I trespassed 'em. Yeah. They were, they were threatening me and just doing all kinds of things. Oh, really? Unreasonable things. Did they push back and lock you down? Um, I trespassed him so they're not coming down. I mean, some, some 25 year old kid called and threatened me with, with complete things that were not true. And I challenged him and he said he'd come down. With the police. And I said, they're already here training, but I've just trespassed you all so you're all on notice. Don't, don't come to my property And you can't, you can't. You had, you had nothing to do with, um, setting up this gym. Yeah. You're telling me that I'm a, that I'm a public gym. I'm a private indoor recreation facility. Cuz that's what I paid the, the city government on my ceo. And you can't call, you can't call now cuz people are getting sick with Covid and tell me something differently. And, um, I said, come, come on down if you want, but you, you can't pull my liquor license cuz I don't have one and you're not gonna threaten me. Like we stand up to bullies here at no code Fujitsu. And, and they stopped calling. Yeah. They stopped calling and. And we weren't being, you know, we, we weren't having a covid party and trying to get everybody sick, but Right. I go, you guys are all responsible adults and I trust your decisions. If you're sick, stay home. Stay home, let's come wrestle. Just like anything else. And it's not like a little mask is really gonna keep you from transmitting something if you're resting around with a guy in a robe. No, not with jiujitsu. I mean, you're, you're literally, you're like sweating on each other. You're, you're sweating on each other. Yeah. Yeah. When, when you watch that from the outside, not having seen it, you're like, that's a pretty intimate sport. You guys are close friends. She's friends. Yeah, it is. Yeah. So, no, no, just, just politics. It's, um, you know, I don't, I don't get too, you choose not to participate and you wish it was smaller in general? Uh, no. You're not. Hmm. Because that's what I sensed there was like, let me just be me in this. Yeah. Let me, let me do my thing. Like it, the, the, the business teacher in college that's never run a business. that's teaching you about how to run a business who has had no, no experience, like, you know, you guys, you guys haven't proven to me that you are. Resourceful with the money. Yes. Yeah. That we're, that we're paying you. Um, just, just things, things like that. You know, let, let me, let me do my thing and we'll, we'll ask you, you know, we'll ask you, I need to pay taxes for, for roads and services Sure. And things like that. But's, um, yeah. Just not, not down with them. Not down with them interfering and things that they don't need to interfere in. And, and I think, and I think they all lie. I mean, I think a, a good, honest person that, that works their way up to, to that those higher levels of government, you gotta, you almost compromise the beast. Get corrupted by the nature of the beast. Yeah. Mm-hmm. there's a new hashtag running around on the internet for the, uh, climate change group and with Davos meeting and stuff like that. And it's a hashtag you first. Okay. Like if you want us all to all starve for energy. Mm-hmm. you first. Yeah. You know, and, and Germany's maybe leading the way with that conversation. I don't know. Yeah. Yeah. And, and they'll quickly change. I, I predict that Germany will start reopening nuclear plants soon, and they would be fools not to because they're losing all their industry. Like Siemens can't manufacture stuff. You can't even, you can't manufacture solar panels or wind turbines. Yeah. If your energy is 35 cents a kilowatt. Yeah. I, I think just thinking about what you're saying and kind of circling, circling back around, is it. It's unfortunate, it's sad. It's, it's a lot of things to see that, you know, you get in a poly, it's so just divisive. It's us against them. When you, you've, you've gotta pick a side of the coin, you know? Yeah. Like, if you, if you love, well, you don't have to, if you just let everybody kind of be, then you don't have to. If you like this, you must hate this. Yeah. And just, but that's, that's media. It's a whole nother topic. Right. That's the media and, and all of that. But it's just, it's too, it's too divisive. And we, we need, we need a leader that can bring people together, solve real issues, be honest about stuff. It's paint a baby, right? Like, share where we've screwed up, made mistakes. Yeah. Be real. And, and come fix stuff. And yeah. Take some accountability. A leader for that and a culture that welcomes that person. Yeah. You know? Uh, so because this, this, just, this can't continue. I don't see just this, no. Only bad things will happen from me. going well, going well at all. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Agree. Um, I feel like we can jump into the local experience. Yeah. The craziest experience that you'd like to share with our listeners? Yeah, this was a, this was a wild one. Uh, and I shared this actually in, in the book. So I go to Spain every, uh, every year with one of the kids. I alternate father One of your kids father's son. Okay. Yeah. One of my kids, not just some random kid. Well, yeah. Hey, So we go, so we go, we spend a couple weeks and I was over with, uh, with Hailey a couple years ago and, um, visited a friend and we were driving from Malaga, Spain over to Aliante, so kind of down south, up the east coast. And she had stayed up with her friend late the night before. They're like sneaking chocolate and eating sweet. So she's, she's pretty sick. Like she throws up in the car. Gotcha. So I'm like, Hey, just go to sleep in the back of the car. So I'm driving the, she's like 10 or something. She just is when she's 10. Yeah. And we're driving, driving the A seven beautiful views and, you know, just open road and then all of a sudden you start to see. taillights and the cars are backing up. So we slow down and, you know, creeping, creeping along us, something's going on up here and we pull up on, on a pretty gnarly, uh, traffic accident. So there's a car busted up in the front. There's glass everywhere and there's just people circled around. This guy who's splayed out on the highway, just bleeding everywhere. He's got a leg broken, totally broken upside down, and he's, and he's screaming. So we, we just, we stop for help, like, we stop, you know? So pull over it's family. Make sure it's safe, family. Yeah. And I get out and I walk up to the guy and they're just standing there looking at this guy, and I was like, is anybody gonna help? And he's screaming in English, Spanish and Russian. So come to find out, it's a, it is a Russian, Russian guy, um, with a dog who tried to commit suicide. So he, he walks in front of cars, let his dog go, just stood there, looked up. And this car just. Smashes in. So the driver of the car hits young guy and his girlfriend. They're, they're hysterical. This guy's pretty messed up and nobody's helping him. And I'm like, somebody call the ambulance and I'm certified in first aid. So I'd start doing my thing and this guy standing here, he's like silly medical, I'm a doctor, smoking his, smoking his cigarette. Like, your doctor, are you gonna help this guy? Like, I think that's what you're supposed to do, right? I called the ambulance, that's what I did. He's smoking. So this guy continues to get, you know, agitated. Agitated. So, Tending tending to him, right? And, um, then the police show up and the paramedics show up, and all of a sudden he starts freaking out, looking everywhere. And he's, and he's screaming, you know, something in Russia, he thinks he's gonna get arrested or something. No, his dog. So he's walking along with this dog, and when the car hit him, his dog takes off somewhere. So, and then, and then he starts physically fighting, right? So it's like, I've got this guy's bleeding everywhere. He's severely injured, he's now, now trying to fight. And I was this intermediary translator and not my business, but here I am. But, but here I am right with this guy's blood. And, and we're like, we gotta find this, this guy's dog. So I, you know, said, hold on, go to the car. Haley like, loves, loves dogs. We, we see the dog like nestled under these, these bushes, and it's just baking. It's hot. It's a hundred, a hundred degrees, you know, southern Spanish, middle of the summer. And this dog's freaking out. So sh I go grab Haley outta the car. And I'm like, don't look at what's going on over here. Just go hang out with the dog. So she goes, hangs out with the dog. Show the guy, he immediately calms down, they get him in the ambulance and you know, they finally put the pieces together of, of what happens. But I mean, it was just this crazy chaotic situation where people that stand were supposed to stand up and do something, didn't. Yeah. And you know, this 10 year old girl just brings, like, her love of dogs, change the whole situation, bravery into this situation. And the guy, like, I, I, I don't know what happened to the guy, but I just remember I, you know, we took a photo of the dog, Hey, your dog's okay? And, and he's good. He calmed down, got in the ambulance, and, um, yeah. It was just, it was a cool experience. I mean, I, I, I think that's cool. It was okay, but it was, it was a wild how powerful for her situation. Yeah. Right. Also, like, I'm sure that she didn't maybe know the full extent of it at that time, but has heard more about it since and stuff, and just to be. to see your impact. Yeah. I think the lesson is like the little, you know, the little things that you might not think are important now that Yeah. You carry, or that, that you can use. Those skill sets really, really changed a situation and like in a, in an environment. Okay. Doctor's supposed to be helping. Yeah. And little 10 year old girl comes in and just totally comes down this, this situation. So it's just, it's, it's leaders. Leaders need to step up, you know, and go first. I dig it. Yeah. Um, if people wanna read your book, get the details of that story, otherwise, or like where do they, where do they find you? Where do they buy? Um, pirate patches? Yeah. So pirate patches are on Amazon. Google it. Uh, yeah, matt shop.com is my main Okay. Hub. And then the book painted baby, excuse me, launches January 31st. Okay. So you can't even get it yet, be on Amazon? No, it's uh, it's up for like pre-order, but I'm not really prerelease really pushing the pre-order. No, we've got, we're gonna have a hardcover, paperback, e-version and then I'm going next week to finish up the audible. and Audible will launch in a couple of months. Cool. That's gonna be a secondary launch. Your voice, I presume I'm reading it myself. Yeah. That's the only way to do it. I, they told me, they told me not to, they said, you're not a professional voice actor. I go, yeah, but like, this is, this is my, my, my story story and put so much into this. And I love reading and author's book and I know it's them. Cause I've gotten a chance to read a authors and I love that. That's, and you get to put your personality into it. As somebody who has listened to a lot of podcasters and, and listened to a lot of audible books mm-hmm. like podcasters don't respect authors that don't idolize their own damn book. Yeah. They don't, they don't wanna see that. They publisher recommend it against it. And I said, I'm sorry, I'm, I'm, I'm doing it and you can, you can sculpt me later or whatever, or whatever. But I trust, you know, I'm, I'm excited about the process. Cool. And the whole, and the whole book. I opened it up with a kind of off script. Hey, it's not gonna be perfect. Well, I miss you very well. Once that's out and about, we'll make sure we put a link in the podcast episode to have that and, uh, Yeah. Thanks for being here. Thanks for sharing time. I understand you're gonna head off to Colorado Springs this evening to be a big winter storm. Beat the storm. Yeah. I've got a speaking gig down there on Thursday, so I'm gonna get down a little early. Get settled. Awesome. Yeah. Well, thanks for making time today. Thank you. God. Speed, Matt.