"Who knew that right after celebrating the ball dropping in January that 2020 would prove to be the year that would shit in everyone's cereal?"
Chris and Jinx discuss the origins of Unfuck My Business and how they brought together people with expertise in technology, marketing, and operations with the collective intention to help businesses. And all it took was a pandemic and a pitcher of mimosas.
In this episode: Chris Delany, Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins
Chris Delaney: [00:00:00] I bet you're wondering what the fuck we're even doing here. It's a monumental occasion, but I want to share with you something that's been a huge principle for me in my entrepreneurial journey, along with my entire lifetime. That's the only thing certain is that everything is uncertain. Once we allow that to be the thing, we embrace everything changes. But who knew that right after celebrating the ball dropping in January that 2020 would prove to be the year that would shit in everyone's cereal? Chances are you came into 2020 with a plan and bet the farm on an industry you've been slowly trying to dominate for the last five plus years. And now you're trying everything out and doing everything you can to take that SBA loan money to make it last as long as possible.
[00:00:43] You and I both know that the last six months, it probably exposed some bad habits and decisions you've made, but you just continue to excuse and sweep them under the rug. You're probably fucking amazing at what you do and wake up every single morning, thinking about how you can serve the world and the moment you open your doors, you secretly hold out hope for the strategy that will scale you into the next Amazon.
[00:01:04] Listen, Jeff Bezos just added $13 billion to his net worth in a single 24 hour period. That'd be nice. Running a business is hard and it's even harder when you have to do everything yourself. It's even more difficult when you have every single social media guru out there trying to sell you and tell you need the overnight success and the grind and the hustle.
[00:01:22] And if you just paid 97 more dollars for the next mastermind, or course we'll figure it out. Listen, fuck the courses and fuck the masterminds. You don't need tricks and you don't need the bullshit. You need guidance from people who've been where you are and know what it takes to unfuck the problems you've created.
[00:01:39] And that is why we're here.
[00:01:59] I'm gonna to share with you all a little bit about the story of how, what we've created has come to be. In the beginning of 2020, I realized that the business that I was creating was going to take what I saw as a vision in my mind, I'd been working on for over a year with my partners and was going to scale uncontrollably.
[00:02:17] We had our strategic plans in place. We had everything that we needed. We had the funding, we knew we were going to take it to that next level. As everybody likes to say from the stages. But when COVID hit, everything began to change. Everything changed because we not only knew we were going to hit a recession this year, but we also didn't plan for the fact that Karen's are gonna be sitting there fighting over TP and the aisles of Walmart and Costco. Who knew that restaurants were going to close? Who knew that flights were going to be grounded and we were going to be quarantined for a quarter of the year or more? I certainly didn't. And as that happened, I had to ask myself the question. How do we respond to this? As things began to take shape, I just knew that there had to be a speed to market. There had to be something that we could do. And that's where another principle that served me so well, came and popped up in my mind as I sat there in front of my journal and tried to figure out what the fuck do I do with my own businesses.
[00:03:07] And what I realized is I spent four years building relationships with incredible people. I was discerning and who I partnered with. I was always thoughtful in my approach. And I always kept those relationships open, honest, and wanted to meet the people who really gave a shit about what they did for a living.
[00:03:22] And as a result, I built this incredible network of doers. Not people like to sit around and commiserate over a drink and commiserate about how much shit has to happen, or how much they're grinding. And try to tell you how wonderful things are when they're in front of their rented Lambos or anything else.
[00:03:36] These are the kinds of people who are really gifted at what they did. And they were so passionate that they had gone all in, at different moments in their life and they failed repeatedly until they finally hit that grand slam home run in their own life. I needed those people, those kinds of people that I could bring together and help the rest of the country.
[00:03:52] If not the world, understand how to actually bring evidence-based experienced ideas into practice into these businesses. How can I bring the experience of people that have expertise in technology, expertise in marketing, expertise in operations, and help us come together and collaborate when the world is saying compete, I said, collaborate.
[00:04:13] And when that happens, I said, who would I bring together as my all star team? And then I put together my list out of the 5,000 Facebook connections, the bunch of people on Instagram, who would I bring to the table? If I had to make my all star team without time or money being a problem, who would I bring?
[00:04:30] And then I made my list. I put that list together and out of that list are 50 or 60 people on there. And I reached out to every single one of them, as soon as I could. I'm going to introduce you to somebody who's been pivotal to help me bring this to the market and helping bring this idea to fruition in just a moment.
[00:04:45] But I knew in this moment that it was time to serve. Maybe you've had that experience before as well. You've had this great idea, but you know, it's bigger than you. And that's what this was. I knew my business needed to stop for a moment, but I was being called to something else, but I knew I couldn't do it by myself.
[00:05:01] And when I thought about this and the initial time I was sitting back and forth, hemming and hawing over how much time would take, how much effort it would take. I remember building a relationship with an individual that a year ago I had met when I moved to St. Pete and it was somebody I met at this incredible entrepreneurial social club here in St. Pete, shout out to Michael Novilla and Nova 535. Because this individual showed up and I could just tell the people looked at him as if he was the resource as if he was the person who owned the room, he knew what he had to bring to the table. And there was no doubts that he led from that expertise and nothing more. He was just who he was, he wasn't trying to be anybody else. And it was incredible. And building this relationship allowed me to go to him and be that sounding board back and forth to bring this idea to the market. But to tell you a little bit about this individual, I'm gonna introduce you here just a second.
[00:05:49] My counterpart, right? I'm going to talk to you a little bit about him as an individual. This is somebody who starts off his introductions as the grumpy old bastard of tech. It might put you off. If you lead from a place of weakness, and he's going to ask you to check your sources, because one of the main things we need to know when we came to the COVID table was what's the information that actually matters.
[00:06:12] So much information businesses run on information. How can we synthesize and execute? He's a guy that can sit down and have a drink with and not feel like it's arbitrary or anything in the conversations we have. They're meaningful. And we're constantly thinking about ways that we can do business together.
[00:06:27] And with that said, I want to bring Chris Jenkins to the table. I want to say welcome, brother. I want to say thank you so much for joining this journey. We've been doing this for a little bit under 20 weeks right now. And this has been an unbelievable journey so far, and I want to welcome you to the fray brother.
[00:06:45] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: [00:06:45] You know, I'm really glad to be a part. And, and what's really funny about that is I had no inclination at all that we would ever work together. When I first met y'all my experience was maybe not quite entirely the same, and that's through the lens of my own perspective. There's been a number of industries over the years that I've had bad experiences with. I've mentioned SEO all the time.
[00:07:07] You cannot check your inbox daily without some other spammer, you know, promising you for $99 a month. They'll put you on the front page of Google. SEO has been an industry that's been filled with very self serving people who don't really give a shit about their customers. They're just trying to churn and burn and make money.
[00:07:24] And unfortunately, the coaching industry. Is also that way in a lot of ways. And so when I first was introduced to you all sort of as coaches, I don't even know if that's how you described yourself up front, but that was definitely sort of the nature of the business. I had some, some pretty deeply built in prejudices and biases.
[00:07:46] Yeah. Which I have expressed many times freely. And that was something for me to get past. And what's funny is. You know, I think that for the most part, you took it in good grace and there were multiple meetings where you did very consciously reach out and connect and talk. And we started chatting a little bit.
[00:08:02] And I think that for me, one of the sort of turning points of the epiphany moment, I was listening to you and somebody was talking about, you know, having some systemic or structural issues in one of our group meetings. And you took that and you dissected it and you broke it down into a series of very concise and distinct answers following like quick little numeric sets of.
[00:08:22] Of how to put data together. And for me being a heavy data and analyst type person, I was like, I instantly got it. And I was like, man. Okay. You know, I, I don't know about the coaching side of things, but it's clear that you've got some systems approaches to how you do problem solving that I think I actually liked.
[00:08:38] I think that maybe, we do some things kind of similarly. And so that was just like one of those moments that really sort of cracked that wall for me, that, and you intentionally and consciously choosing to engage with me despite the fact that I am the grumpy old bastard. Okay. And I think at some point in time, I don't even know exactly when, but it just, the needle turned and I'm like, now this guy isn't who I thought he was.
[00:08:59] And I think he's actually really bringing some, some real solutions to the table, adding value. You know,
[00:09:09] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: [00:09:09] And, uh, you know, anyone who's spent any amount of social time with me knows that, uh, given any prompting, I'll spend a late night drinking and talking about all my perspectives of the world.
[00:09:19] And I've never wanted one to be worried about the social mores or conventions holding me back when I go out and open up. I go hard and you hung, you know, through multiple of those nights. So that was like a real sort of bridge building that started to happen there. And it really like you, you started expressing that you didn't like the idea of being labeled as a coach either.
[00:09:40] I think for a lot of the same reasons and for this, if nothing else, for the idea that it tied you into the niche of having to do one-on-one service with people, versus being able to scale business ideas and solutions and management and all the rest of that. And so I was like, okay, you know, Uh, like, I, I really ended up on this complete one 80 from my initial perspective.
[00:09:59] I'm like, okay, you've completely won me over. If this was the, the court shit dance, you've done a good job there. But, uh, right before COVID started to really manifest and how widespread it was, you'd reached out and said, let's, you know, let's go get brunch and let's stop saying, we're going to do business together about something.
[00:10:15] Let's go actually talk about what that might look like. You know? So we went out to a place that I like here in St. Pete and started with mimosas at around I think noon, maybe
[00:10:43] And we're not giving you any more pitchers of mimosas. And then transitioned on from there and ended up spending the whole day together. And so you delivered me stumbling back to my house, uh, later on that evening, after some karaoke and a local dive bar. And during the course of that day, I think we had the entire conversation about life, love and liberty and pursuit of happiness and all the rest of that.
[00:11:05] And kind of talk through not just what things we bring to the table and what our goals are, but also what our beliefs are and what our values are. And really I think, in some unexpected ways for me, I realized how deeply aligned some of our desires and some of our goals and some of our core values are.
[00:11:22] And it completely moved past this idea of coaching, this whole thing that I was so hung up on. Neither of us are really trying to go down that path. And neither of us, like these bullshit mastermind courses and “power millionaire mastermind classes”, and there's like not a single millionaire in the leadership team. So like, fuck, are you even offering
[00:11:46] Chris Delaney: [00:11:46] the world as I see it is just awash in information, right? We're in an information economy right now. So much access. And the challenge is, that we don't have the skillset to really suss through all the bullshit. And I kind of realized that early on and, and, you know, coaching was a skillset that I have.
[00:12:03] I consider myself really good at the ability to get to a core issue and help people have the tools they can to get through it. Is it the thing that I would want to do for the rest of my life? No, because you're taking on people‘s emotional challenges, which is okay in a moment, but man, you're carrying that stuff around so much. The skillset of learning how to work through emotions, I think is such a crucial key thing because when I lost my corporate gig four or five years ago and had to pivot into being an entrepreneur, like I don't even know what the fucking entrepreneur was, what they did, how it works.
[00:12:30] I just knew I needed to find a job and the job market wouldn’t have me. As part of my personal story, but that was key for me because I had to realize - how can I apply skills that I have to a market that gives no shits about you as a human being, you know, idea of tying your sense of self worth to a market…
[00:12:46] That's like, how can you help other people? And I think the challenge for me is the coaching industry, as I see it portrayed on social media. Which, let me be clear. The coaching model can work with low startup if you're really good at what you do, but you can't outrun the idea that your results speak for themselves.
[00:13:03] So there are some people that I really respect and have built sound businesses, but I think the challenge for me when I can't go and look up a fair market value of a good coach, I can look up a digital technology officer. I can look up a CEO. But I can't find a coach, you know? So it becomes a whole entire thing where it's people learning how to sell courses to those who want to build courses.
[00:13:25] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: [00:13:25] So much of the data that, that you see in the coaching industry. It's what they call curated coaching, right? Because they're not talking so much from their own personal experience. They're not talking about the hardships that they've faced and overcome. You know, they've been trained by someone on a set of systems and they're just reteaching those systems.
[00:13:45] And those systems are, you know, to be perfectly honest, generic, you know, maybe they work for you, maybe they don't. Maybe they're what you need, maybe they're not, but it's not really coming from a place of personal leadership or expertise as much as it is them teaching what they've been taught.
[00:14:00] Chris Delaney: [00:14:00] It's tricky, right? The idea of a life coach, you know, who, who would you want to learn from somebody who hypothetically knows how to get through shitty situations or somebody who's actually gone through real life experiences and has principles to back it up? And that's where, you know, the idea of recognizing you within that group of people.
[00:14:16] I mean, here's a group that we were going to, when we first moved to St. Pete, we were like, we got to build a network of people. We do business online. I was still new to the online space. I built a lot of my businesses offline. I love handshakes. I love in-person. I love being around people, I've traveled a ton.
[00:14:30] And what I recognized was there's 40 people in this group, many of them, newer entrepreneurs, and many of them, you know, we're in that phase of, of hunger, and being lost in the beginning, which is a place we should all be. Because it weeds us out. There's no problem in having a job by the way, don't glorify entrepreneurship.
[00:14:45] Cause I say, you know, adding a business into your life to solve a cash flow problem is no different than adding a baby to a bad marriage. It's the same complications. You're going to be dealing with this thing for a long time. So maybe you're feeling resentful about the fact that you have a business right now, it's sucking up your cash flow and you put nine or ten years into it right now and you're looking at your profit and loss and you're like, what am I going to do? That's why we did this.
When I met you, it was clear that you just went all in on who you were. I look for people who are the same when they're sober, when they're drunk, when we're high, when... whatever that is, people who are the same across the board, because it's easy in today's social media world to say one thing in private and other thing in a public facing way.
[00:15:25] And I liked the sincerity and I also realized, I know shit all about technology. My skill set is soft skill in front of people, breaking things down. And if I need to reach people digitally, that's a person I want to build a relationship with. And I've never been one to think that there's obstacles in the way of time and money.
[00:15:43] If there's a vision and we can see a pathway forward, I believe that people will find a way to make it work.
[00:15:49] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: I think it was like three or four days later when we had the first meeting right after we did our all day.
[00:16:00] There were some karaoke. Chris got a bit drunker before I did. And what he does is he always repeats himself a little bit, but his whole entire thing is he looks like he's kind of examining things and being really discerning. And he's like, we're going to do something. I don't know what it is. We're going to do something and maybe, it’s important to get “the shrug in”, and maybe it doesn't happen right now.
At that point, I was like, I have something there's something I want to do. And it started off with, I got some great fucking people in my network. I want to put them on a zoom call and I want to pitch a vision of how can we solve problems for businesses locally and globally - because it's all the same. Because people are going to need to have this thing and they're not ready for it. And I was like, do you think it's even a call is a good idea? And you gave it the thumbs up. And I was like, let's fucking go.
It has to be about us talking about problems that we've solved and bringing that experience to the table.
And B I didn't want it to be connected to anything with a sales pitch in front of it. That was just, those were two big concerns for me because I didn't want it to be something that turned into another spammy group.
[00:17:10] Yeah. And with you being an alignment on those two things. I was all for it.
[00:17:14] Chris Delaney: [00:17:14] Yeah, it was, you know, the, the prerequisite was, it's not for everybody. In fact, we had disqualifiers, we didn't have qualifiers. It wasn't like, this is for you. If it was like, this is not for you. If you know what you do, it's just a hobby.
[00:17:25] If this is something that you're doing your, your MLM and you're like, I'm an entrepreneur. Get the fuck outta here. This was something that we wanted that was gonna be principle-based and founded upon people being secure and who they were and led. You know, these are people who are going to give from an abundant place of knowledge.
[00:17:39] And it was pretty quick, you know, that gave me the confidence to make a decision to put your shit on hold because listen, I mean, what do you have to lose in this moment? And you figure it out. You put together a quick ad hoc plan. And my first plan was I got to get people on the phone. So I spent the next few days hopping on my Facebook messenger, sending voice memos, calling people I have the numbers for and pitch them the vision.
I'm tapping you because you are somebody. I deeply respect. I have a lot of love for you. I love where you lead from the world needs what you have, because you can help businesses. Right now. These are people with families and money invested in their business, and I'm putting a call together.
[00:18:14] I don't know where it's going to go. But if you're down and you're interested and you feel what I'm feeling right now, I need you to hop on the zoom within two days (Tuesday Night) Many of the people that are going to hear from, as the show develops, you're going to hear their stories of that call that they got, because these are the people who also have businesses and they're invested in and have momentum.
[00:18:36] But by March 16th, we had our first call for the core collective - CORE now stands for the collective resilient entrepreneurs, resilient being the key. [CORE changed to Unfuck My Business in Oct 2020] Right? These are people who've gone through. Some shit pivoted, made some moves and adapted and are resilient. I mean, how has resilience for you been a big part of your life
[00:18:53] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: I was so impressed with that, for sure. I have to say it was, you know, first of all, seeing how much work you'd done to, to go in and really dig through your network and find some people that you thought were going to be quality and getting them into the call, but then also hearing so much collective intention because everyone was facing these problems.
[00:19:13] Everyone had these worries. Everyone had these concerns. A lot of people had businesses that were already being impacted, you know, especially with things like travel, being shut down. Everyone had a lot of worry for - how do we overcome the situation? And more than that- how do we help our local communities?
[00:19:29] I mean, that first call was like, that was one of the biggest drivers looking around seeing how many of our local business partners were being heavily, heavily impacted by these shutdowns. You know, and trying to figure out what can we do? And so from there, my first thought, cause I'm always, you know, an infrastructure, technology guy and all the rest of that.
[00:19:50] And it's one thing to jump on a zoom call or, or a hangout and share good intentions, but it's another thing to coordinate and organize and translate that into action. So for me, infrastructure was immediate. I'm like, okay, we need to get people together into a place where we can have continuous conversations.
[00:20:07] So I set up some dedicated Slack channels for that. And then just started looking around and seeing who were the people who really are participating actively in these conversations, because it's always been my experience that leaders make themselves known in any group of people, right? You always know who the leaders are going to be because they're the ones who will always do, when nobody else is doing.
[00:20:29] And I called our first channel that we put together for this, the doers channel, because it was people who had said, okay, I'll spend a couple of hours on this here or there. I can contribute this amount of time or that amount of time, and trying to make sure that we had systems in place and infrastructure in place to collect that and organize it into a collective action was a real important first step to me and getting that together and starting to see the conversations that developed.
And we very organically formed a leadership team based on the people who were willing to commit to put the time and effort in. And all of this is fundamentally predicated by - there's no revenue here. There's no pitch here.
[00:21:06] There's not anything, we're just all in alignment on: we know that we want to help provide solutions and make things better. Seeing that grow over the last 20 weeks or so, it's just been really incredible. And especially as the vision is clarified a lot more, I think since then,
[00:21:26] The goal is to get the people who do shit through people. And I think that's something that many people don't think about or learn very early on. When you have leaders, leaders can carry leverage with many other people. So you don't need to have thousands of people in a collective group. In fact, the communication gets terrible.
[00:21:43] It's really about - how do you identify the relationships in your network that truly want to do things and people filter through there. You know, there's some amazing people who just said, listen, I got to figure things out for me right now. I can't dedicate a lot of time to this, which is fine. But it was amazing to me that the people who identified themselves and said, you know, I came with the pitch of, I don't know what this turns into. You and I were trying to figure out what it was.
[00:22:05] I was like do we turn this into a think tank. I brought the word that you hate, which is mastermind because the coaching space is just shit all over that word. And you know, for me, a mastermind is not what people believe it to be. I've been a part of those. They've been incredible. And there's something to be said for collective intention, like you said, and we just went for it.
[00:22:22] And CORE became a thing where we brought some amazing people in who led from their expertise. We have people who stepped up to the plate who were in banking, Jen and Victor Bolevar, which is amazing. We had Daniel Laura came in, it was operations, she used to be the CEO of a medical center and has an incredible business of her own.
[00:22:39] Robin Sayles, Marc Ensign from the marketing perspective came - in incredible people. These are people who have exceptional businesses already. And I came to them and I said, Hey, I want to add some more shit on your plate. Do you have space for that? And I can't pay you,
Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: which is always a great pitch. (laughs)
[00:22:54] Chris Delaney: If you're looking for a startup pitch, uh, we have no capital. We have no products. We have no revenue. We have a great vision. I don't know where it goes from there. What's your revenue in 10 years? I don't know, dude. We'll figure it out.
[00:23:14] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: And what was really amazing out of all of that, we started getting some quick hit wins. Early on.
[00:23:20] I mean, it didn't take long for this manifestation of people coming together with a commitment to collectively help the people that were in this group. I think pineapple pickup was one of the first ones that came in, like right off the bat where they had something, they knew they had something, but they weren't sure exactly what, and it's funny because a few of the businesses that they've all had, these similar things, they know there's something, they need some encouragement, they need some constructive criticism.
[00:23:46] And then maybe they need a little help figuring out some of the details along the way, whether that's operationally or infrastructure or how to clarify their marketing message or something, you know, stuff that we almost take for granted because we've been doing it for so long. It doesn't cost us anything really.
[00:24:04] It's already natively in our expertise and you can have such a big impact on someone by spending just a little bit of concentrated time and giving them some of that experience.
[00:24:14] Chris Delaney: [00:24:14] Yeah. I mean, I think we can both agree. I mean, you can share any differences you have. I mean, fundamentally what I've seen from many of the businesses that I've connected with their core issues lie in the fact that they don't identify clearly what they sell, who they sell it to and where they're going and what I got really sick and tired of what were businesses that were coming up to me and business owners who were trying to out-market their problems.
[00:24:38] And so it would look like an ads manager or somebody trying to get them for five, $10,000. Up to 50 grand, you know, within a year with this business as cash strapped and not seeing a return because they don't know how to measure success. So it was people with great intentions who have great skill sets, who were intuitive to build their business, but didn't have the structure.
[00:24:58] They didn't have the understanding of the acumen, right? An understanding of how to make great decisions. And in this marketplace, people eat you up like crazy. Every, every 21 year old with a Tai Lopez course in their queue is probably eating you up for breakfast with their Facebook ads. I was like, how can I help people understand these principles in a leveraged way?
[00:25:14] Because then you can do it at scale. And we can leverage our time way better, because it becomes different. Like we're not trying to do anything outside of our lane. We're not trying to bring something that we just learned. This is us bringing it to the table. So what, what would take somebody three, five hours it takes us like 30 minutes, 20 minutes.
[00:25:29] And it was cool because the initial conversations we had were, how can we help? Then we brought people in, and then it became straight up focused energy and effort on solving this problem right now. So over the course of these 90 to 180 minutes, we would go through and we would have a full action plan for somebody leaving these meetings and they would come back Tuesday with their results.
[00:25:53] They would go do shit and come back, do shit and come back. And what I loved about that was it was electric and every single Tuesday, it was incredible to hear about the progress that was happening. But then we also had this incredible communication back and forth between people. And the speed of the communication became like light speed very quickly.
[00:26:14] Not without it’s challenges. Right? We had some inertia challenges in the beginning with things like Facebook groups and shit like that. I understand that, but I can't stand Facebook groups. Um, so I needed the help there. I knew my weakness,
[00:26:35] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: Go sign up for our Facebook group.
Chris Delaney: I love the people in the Facebook group structurally. I can't stand Facebook Groups. If I can sit in your home and talk to you, have a drink with you, I would love, but I think we needed to have people who could help us bring that together.
[00:26:38] The other thing I love too, is that we had people who could speak from different sectors of the marketplace and the shout out to Jen and Victor, having them in the group, you know, having the big and credit union banking experience to be able to help us understand what's going on. And I mean, you were having conversations about high level economic principles that, I would leave their eyes glazed, like, okay.
[00:26:58] I mean, these were incredible conversations. So, I mean, for you, I know you had so much going on, you already hold an executive position. You have startup businesses that you're a part of. How did you make the decision for you personally, to develop more time in decor, without there being a value proposition, immediately there a pathway forward for revenue or anything like that?
[00:27:16] Like how, do you as a leader embrace that and say, I'm just going to go all in on it. Well,
[00:27:22] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: [00:27:22] I think part of it is a shared vision and the details of that vision can be variable, but the core of that vision, shout out core, is this idea of intentionally trying to be a rising tide that lifts all ships.
[00:27:36] That's always been an important concept to me. One of the things that over the years I've had countless mentorships and countless opportunities where I sit as an advisor on a board or even an active board member, helping to shape the strategy of businesses and trying to guide them around problems that I've faced in the past.
[00:27:53] I mean, all of my business experience comes from failing, right? Every single bit of it. I have failed in at least a half dozen businesses. And I learned something in every single one of those scenarios, you know? Until I finally landed on a business model that worked for me and I was able to grow it.
[00:28:11] And finally, I'm exited to the symphony agency in 2015. And so, when I'm providing this business advice, it can be contentious sometimes because I deliver it with such absolute authority, but that's because.. Hey, listen, those are the rocks that I ran aground on. I'm trying to be a lighthouse for you to steer you away from that, you know?
[00:28:34] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: [00:28:34] It's so important to me. Like I, you know, I guess part of it is I'm enough of a narcissist, just that I enjoy the teacher role and, you know, being the advisor role. There's certainly personal feedback that I gained from that and personal value that I gained from that and the business model aspect of it, or the lack of revenue isn't really a turnoff so much because I already have a company and a job and all that, you know, where my revenue is basically covered. So that's not really a focus or... It's not really enough of a driver to actually get me to join. The vision is really what it's about for me. You know, I've always been the kind of person who would take time in the evenings and on the weekends or for a lunch meeting or something like that and go sit with a business owner and spend an hour, hour and a half, two hours talking about their business struggles that they have and the problems that they're facing and giving them some strategy input and some suggestions, guidance based on my experience and this mission just took all of that time that I was putting into that anyways and started to provide a little bit more structure around it.
[00:29:38] So for me, I love the idea of the structure and I love the fact that I can keep doing what I've been doing, but now also have the input of other experienced business owners and other people who are more gifted and talented at things that I'm maybe not. And so having that come together as a team where it's like, okay, well, I can give you some advice on this, but let me reach out to this person for advice on that and having that sort of collective set of resources to execute on this mission, I mean, that's deeply appealing to me and that's a big part of the reason why I joined.
[00:30:09] Chris Delaney: [00:30:09] Yeah. I mean, I would constantly be working with clients on strategy. I’d say to myself, we need somebody in digital, or we need somebody in marketing. We need somebody who understands the financial side of things, because I've seen some people stretch themselves thin trying to be super valuable to everybody and trying to be anything and everything to everyone.
[00:30:28] And I was like, I'm going to bring this person to this person anyways. Like how can, how can we bring this all together and shortcut the time, you know, we talk about speed to market in terms of how to solve a problem. How can we solve the problem faster? Do we need to spend three, four or five hours with somebody we can short cut this in 15 to 20 minutes?
[00:30:44] Those have been some tough conversations, right? I mean, we've had some folks come into our group and not return. You know, we've also had people who stuck and stayed who said y'all were right. And they're showing up every single week, 20 weeks in right now. And we've had some other big wins too.
[00:31:03] I mean, think about somebody like Jennifer Madson with Bad-Ass Babes. Here's somebody who has massive experience in her toolkit. I mean, she's worked with major firms. She's done so many things as an executive coach and as a business owner, as an entrepreneur. And how about that, walks into a meeting and says: I have an idea and all she needed was just the Fuck Yeah! And what do we need right now? And I know that you took the lead on that. What, what, what do we need from that, that turned that into a win? Like how'd you guys flesh that out?
[00:31:26] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: I'm going to backtrack just a half a second here. When I first invited Robin Sayles to attend one of our meetings, right. It was in the course of that meeting that we started talking about putting the podcast together.
[00:31:37] And that just became a thing where we collectively agreed that this is a direction that we wanted to take, but we didn't stop at that agreement. We immediately made a plan for action and started following up with it. And you know, when she messaged me the next day and said, thanks so much for inviting me to this group.
[00:31:51] It's so nice to be part of a group of people who are ready to take action. Right? That's a big delineator. So much of this, in so many of these groups, all they ever do is talk, drink and talk, drink and talk, drink and talk. Nothing ever gets done. And so working with Jennifer Madsen was a great example of that, where she had an idea, she thought it was executable.
[00:32:12] We all agreed that it was like, the idea sounded great. I was, I was on board from the second she pitched it. We all agreed that she should move forward with it. We outlined some key things that needed to happen. And then right there in the meeting a couple of us, shout on Kathleen Seide, came together and said, okay, listen, your first step here is you need to get a website up.
[00:32:31] All we need to really accomplish for this as a landing page, who can we get together to do this over the course of the next few days? And literally by the end of the week, we'd stood her up on a host. We had a little website landing page put together. She had some initial messaging in there, so it wasn't just, you know, hey, we all agreed that it's a cool idea so come back next Tuesday and talk about it again. You know, instead it was by the time next Tuesday had rolled around in that seven day period, the business was up and live. And that's the kind of thing that we're talking about in this group that we're, we're dedicated to taking immediate action to execute on the visions that we're spelling out.
[00:33:08] And when we see something where there's an obvious plan for improvement, we don't debate it philosophically and chew on it for three months, we outline what the problems are. We create a path of action and we immediately execute on it. And that's one of the biggest differences I think about what we do.
[00:33:24] Chris Delaney: I think there was a great shift in that. I mean, I know people who spend years putting together a podcast. The biggest challenge, I think for many people is they don't quite know. I got this great idea. Maybe I have this little business and it's paying me a little bit of money. And, you know, people are telling me it's going to cost me, you know, $15,000 - $20,000 for personal branding, all this stuff.
[00:33:43] They don't know how to make the decision. And one of the biggest takeaways for me has been our conversations about how do you begin to actually build real equity as a team? How do you begin to slice pie? Right? Shout out to Mike Moyer for that book recommendation that you gave us - Slicing Pie.
[00:33:57] So, I mean, as a leader, this group has grown me tremendously because every single time I show up, I have to show up completely engaged because these are people who are really doing shit. Right. It's like, I forgot who said it today or this week? I think it was Robin actually. She said she had a lot on her plate and she said, oh, I can, I can delegate this out to the team and they're going to do some stuff.
[00:34:16] And that's the kind of culture that I think is what's needed right now so quickly, should the pivot be happening, but also having the team put together. And that's the relationship piece you said, shared vision. And I think what I hear from many people is they just don't articulate a vision enough.
[00:34:33] They haven't spent time with it. They're not quite sure why they're doing it in the first place. I know you talked a lot about assignments and next start with why. And I think so many people, I haven't even begun to understand why they're doing it in the first place. And there's been tough experiences happening. I know that you had a really tough experience during COVID, as well with layoffs and some other things going on.
[00:34:51] And we've also had to experience things like people having to shut their businesses down. So the other, the other interesting aspect that I think is so crucial though, is that as much action as we take. There's also a level of almost, I don't like to use the word family, but I will, because I think it's family and the definition of people who won't allow you to sit in something just to commiserate, but will allow you to like really express what you need to express.
[00:35:15] We've had conversations as things have gone on about, what was going on with the racial paradigm recently, you know we've had really heavy hitting conversations about diversity. How do we actually understand how to bring diversity into our businesses? How can we be more sensitive to our communities?
[00:35:30] How can we do this work together? And we've also spent a lot, I mean, these calls were initially 90 minutes. How many times have you gotten off those calls at two, three o'clock in the morning.
[00:35:39] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: They are after midnight, almost every time. Now my wife's in the back, like waving the flag, like, hey, you know, it's late...
[00:35:51] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: [00:35:51] You know, when you think about it, that really is a Testament to the value that's coming out of these meetings because of the fact that - who voluntarily spends four or five hours on a Tuesday night, deeply engaging with other people's business problems. I don't think that like, that's not something common.
[00:36:11] Um, so the fact that we're having this sort of engagement from the people who come in, they're really, it's, it's a Testament to the value that's being provided.
[00:36:18] Chris Delaney: So the podcast itself, I mean, we put this thing together and what was it? Three weeks.
Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: Yup.
[00:36:30] Chris Delaney: Within three weeks we have eight people, nine people working on this project. And what an incredible opportunity. I mean, Robin took this thing, laid out the project management tools. Laid out the pathway forward. Jennifer came to the table. We now have a producer as well. Shout out to Faith. Who's going to be editing up many of the shit that you and I talk about because we're buffoons anyways.
[00:36:51] Chris Delaney: [00:36:51] And I know people who've been in it for years trying to get a podcast together, you know, so the, the Testament of being able to put this plan and the action forward, I think is so crucial.
[00:36:59] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: [00:36:59] And then the really one of the key points of, or the reasons behind creating the podcast was that, you know, these small group meetings that we do are highly valuable and highly productive, but we can't really bring those to a much larger audience because we lose the benefit of having that sort of small group conversation.
[00:37:16] So, yeah. Taking the things that we learn and these Tuesday nights and taking the problems that we hear and the questions that we get and turning them into something where we can deliver a really rich, diverse message across a number of topics and a number of formats to as wide an audience as possible just seemed like the logical next step of what to do with the things that we've learned here.
[00:37:36] Chris Delaney: Yeah. I mean, knowledge being able to be transferred. The big thing is this has to be global. We've had people on the initial calls and in part of our network as well. This is not just a local Florida thing. We've had people from Europe, Canada, all across the country who come in. So the impact of this so far has been pretty far reaching and the solutions that have come to the table...
[00:37:55] I mean, I'm, I'm super excited for actually seeing in the next 12 months, what solutions come out of this group, that's kind of incubator that’s happening. And then where we're able to be to, to help businesses as a team. I mean, being able to walk into a business with a group of people that are skilled in what they do are professional, but hard hitting in their approach.
[00:38:15] But also fair I think is, is unlike anything I've ever seen before from, from anything. And I think this podcast is also a great way for us to pull up the principles and share also have a good time. Cause I know people are gonna get to see our happy hours and stuff like that as well. So. We’re some pretty fucking entertaining people sometimes.
[00:38:34] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: Part of the equation here, I mean, I know that this our episode one, so, you know, let's go ahead and address the title real quick. Unfuck My Business is certainly a bit edgy and obviously not for everyone, but our message and our mission is a little bit edgy and not for everyone. You know, the people who I think that we are most suited to help are people who are looking around going, “Hey, my business is fucked. How do I fix it?”
[00:38:57] And there have been a ton of people over the last three months that have looked around and said, “my business is fucked”. So that central idea of unfuck my business, you know, this isn't, how do I squeak another 2% of net margin out? You know what I mean? This isn't like, how can I make them minor iterative improvement over the next five years?
[00:39:19] You know, this is, Hey, I've got fucking problems here. I really need help. How can I unfuck my business? And, and I'm super looking forward to seeing how we can take some of these things that we've talked about and lessons that we've learned and really help a lot of people unfuck their business.
[00:39:37] Chris Delaney: No doubt. I mean the fact that people are coming into these meetings and within the first time they sit down with us and they're going into their financials, they're going into the meat of their business. They're opening up what they've been building for so long along, that takes a level of trust that most people spend years building with people.
[00:39:56] And until we understand what's really going on under the hood, there's no way we can provide a solution. That's what I love so much about this group. Cause it's not uncommon for a brand new person to pop in… we had somebody last week who's been doing the same thing for nine years.
[00:40:11] And it's we asked him, if you had to start all over again what would you do differently? It was a totally different business!
Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: Yeah.
Chris Delaney:You know, so being able well to hit that and say, okay, well, if that's the case, what do you need to build that business? Who do we need to talk? You have everyone here...
[00:40:29] And the other aspect too, of people have this inclination of, I have to add value to a group before I can take from the group. But we created this from strength. From the point of, this is an opportunity for you to actually come and make an ask. Because to me, the ask tells me that you, as a business owner, as a CEO of your business, understands what your business needs.
[00:40:48] And I think that's a great paradigm, too, of being able to help people understand that the relationships are required, that you leverage that you do something with them. And then when you're in a spot where you can return the favor, return the favor.
[00:40:59] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: We're the fight club of business groups. If it's your first night, you have to fight. No exceptions, right? And if it's your first time coming to a meeting, you have to ask, no exceptions, whatever your ask is we don't care, but you have to make an ask.
[00:41:14] Chris Delaney: 100%, man. But we also broke the first rule, which is we're talking about it right now.
[00:41:19] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: No, that's true.
[00:41:23] Chris Delaney: Well, I mean, you know, you come into that group or listen to us in this podcast. You're going to know if it's for you because you're okay with the language, this is your people, you know, our entire thing is about cutting the fluff and getting right to it so we can help as quickly as we can. And to me, there's no greater definition of service.
[00:41:38] Then trying to get to the core of the problem and actually waking up every single day and asking yourself, and Robin said this before, I love it, who can you be a hero to right now? And if you've been doing what you've been doing for a long time, you probably know far more than most about what it is that you do.
[00:41:50] And that person needs literally like 1% of your knowledge and an actionable way to go do something with it and then come back and then go do something else and then come back. And I think that's fucking crucial.
[00:42:03] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: And speaking about us as the hosts of this show, circling back around to that initial meeting. We are about as odd a couple as it comes, when it comes to personal styles and communication styles and all the rest of that. But one of the things that I think we have in common is that we're both very contentious in that people tend to either love us or hate us. So if you're hearing us now, I imagine at this point, you've probably already made that decision and hopefully you'll be back for the next episode.
[00:42:31] Chris Delaney: Yeah, if you stayed on longer than my intro, Congratulations! This is a choose your own adventure novel now.
[00:42:40] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: A very profane choose your own adventure novel.
[00:42:43] Chris Delaney: Yeah, but you know what? Fuck it.
[00:42:46] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: So our next steps, we're always going to have a call to action at the end of every episode, Chris, why don't you give us our call to action for this one?
[00:42:54] Chris Delaney: So I think the big thing here is, we talked a little bit about what you can expect from us. And I think the key to all relationships is clear expectations. And so we, as a collective, as a team, want to make sure that you get unfiltered insights from experienced business owners and entrepreneurs.
[00:43:10] We've talked about this, we said it in different iterations throughout the show. Yeah, the thing is that we want to make sure that we want to give you actionable advice. So you will definitely be getting a call to action and some homework at the end of every single show. Do it, come back with it. That's going to be your show of gratitude the us for taking the time to give you the knowledge you're going to need to help your business stay resilient as fuck.
[00:43:30] We're going to be talking about what it means to be resilient as you listen. So ideas are a dime, a dozen. We know that, but the results require that the idea that you have be vetted. They have to make sure that the idea is clear, it's concise and also has been jumped through the ringer. So come talk to one of us, reach out to us.
[00:43:46] I know we're going to have some contact information as well. You can throw some ideas our way, but here's my homework to you right now.
[00:44:00] What's the big idea you're sitting on right now right now? Now is the time where, you know, there's nothing to lose. It requires that you understand what the idea is. The second thing is, as I mentioned earlier, I had a big idea and I didn’t know what it was gonna turn into, but I know I needed my, a team.
[00:44:09] I needed the folks who were going to help me bring it to fruition because I couldn't do it on my own. And I needed a core group of people, we are going to say core a lot. Right. Because of course it makes sense, but I knew who I needed. I just didn't know who exactly it was, but I just reached out and just said, “Hey, listen, here's the idea. Here's the vision.” So the vision came first.
[00:44:25] So, who do you need on your A-Team? Do you need somebody in marketing. Do you need someone in operations? Do you need someone to help you understand how to take leadership and ownership of your business?
[00:44:42]And the third thing is this is a big one - Who do you need to become as a leader to cast the vision that will get these incredible individuals, and this is why it's so important to me to show gratitude to my team, the people who were involved in this to invest the time, energy and effort required to bring this to fruition. It's important that you understand that these are folks who are going to give all their time and energy to this, and we should always be grateful for that and always make sure that you're unfolding that vision so that people can see the pathway forward and be open minded to it.
[00:45:05] So, what is the big idea? Who do you need the help from and how can you grow as a leader to actually pave the way forward and help with that vision and be humble too. I learn something new every single day, mostly about zoom right now, but listen you need to be humble.
[00:45:22] Here’s something I want to share with you. I've been sharing principles throughout, but clarity of action is not a matter of chance. It's a matter of intention. So you gotta take this shit seriously and get it done. So we want you to go do your homework. We want you to make sure that you're paying attention to what's going on in your business.
[00:45:38] And most importantly, we want to make sure that you get your homework done and show up. So with that said, that's it for this episode, the first ones in the can major victory for us! And we'll see you next Tuesday. Take care.
[00:45:57] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: What the fuck are you waiting for?
[00:46:00] Chris Delaney: Take what you learn in this episode and do something with it.
[00:46:03] Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins: You'll find all the links and resources we talked about in our show notes for this episode.
If you've read this far, we fucking thank you. See you next Tuesday.