Michael: Hello everyone and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And this is the podcast that works with you. Business leaders, owners, anywhere in between.
Kathryn: In between.
Michael: It's going to be a punchy day today, folks because our goal here on this podcast seriously, is to help you build profit, purpose and legacy to find the fulfillment between, or the nexus... that's my big word for the day. Nexus between financial fulfillment and personal fulfillment.
Kathryn: You know what? Any word but pivot is good by me. I'm just tired of that word.
Michael: Yeah. We're not going to pivot. Nexus is the word of the day.
Michael: What was that kid show where, "Yay!" And the whole room blew up when there was a word for the day. Remember that?
Kathryn: Yeah, I'm sorry. I didn't grow up in America.
Jordan: Word party?
Michael: I'll think of it in a minute. Okay. So folks, the voice you just heard was the voice of our guest today.
Kathryn: Of the guest that we haven't introduced yet, but has been tolerating our banter.
Michael: Kathryn, will you introduce our guest?
Kathryn: So we are so happy to have Jordan West with us this morning. And Jordan is going to tell us about himself because it's much more fun than just me reading a bio.
Michael: Yeah. I'm tired of reading bios.
Kathryn: But bios are... they're not exciting.
Michael: I don't like it when people read our bios.
Kathryn: They don't sound right. But Jordan ultimately, he's an e-commerce brand expert. That's really kind of the summary of what I get from Jordan's bio, but he didn't just get there. He didn't just get born that way. So Jordan's been through some great successes, but he's also had some pretty hard learning experiences, especially buying a restaurant and having that not go as well as he predicted. So we're going to talk about some things that shaped you, Jordan, as you journey to where you are today. I'm-
Michael: And before we welcome him completely, I just want to tell everybody, here's two things that I'm excited about.
Kathryn: I stopped on I'm. You do know that?
Michael: I know.
Michael: That's what standing on somebody else's line is all about.
Kathryn: Just go for it.
Michael: You interrupt them completely.
Kathryn: Yeah. Feel free.
Michael: We've met Jordan before, we've talked with him before and I like him because first of all, he does have some real-world pains and experiences. He's not just a got lucky and everything was great, which if you listen to this podcast...
Kathryn: [inaudible 00:02:10] magazine at 29 years old.
Michael: ... you know we really don't believe in that. Second, his picture looks just like who he is and the authenticity and all of that is him. So welcome to the show, Jordan.
Jordan: So the photo thing. It's really the fact that I just couldn't have gotten a better photo. That's just the way it is.
Michael: [inaudible 00:02:32].
Jordan: Yeah. So that's why I'm going to go with that.
Kathryn: We were just laughing that a lot of people have kind of these glam shots and when we get in front of them on a podcast. You're like, "You don't quite look like your photo." Not that you're not wonderful genuine humans, but for you, it was like, "This is Jordan. Oh, yeah. That's Jordan."
Michael: So now that we've spent 23 minutes of this podcast doing banter for our folks. Okay. So Jordan, give us a short introduction to your history in business, not your entire life. Let's not go back to the crib. How did you get into business? And what's been your journey? Give us the 30,000 foot and then let's dive in and start talking about some of that today.
Jordan: Sure. I'll give you just the Coles notes. Just really easy. I was 23 years old. I think it was either 22 or 23. And I was thinking to myself, "Man, I want to own a business."
Kathryn: [inaudible 00:03:22].
Jordan: Like people do. Yeah. I'm like, "I want to own a business and I want to figure this out." So my family actually, owned a mill at the time.
Michael: Like a saw mill?
Jordan: Yeah. Like a cedar mill.
Michael: Those are common?
Kathryn: [crosstalk 00:03:37] cedar mill.
Jordan: Yeah, we owned a cedar mill. I can actually see it from here.
Michael: Okay. I think that's just cool.
Kathryn: That is cool.
Jordan: Yeah. I mean, it's cool except when I asked if I could be a part of it, they said no.
Jordan: They were like, "No, we don't want family involved."
Kathryn: Like just no?
Jordan: Okay. All right. Well, I mean, I guess I'll just start my own thing or I'll just do my own thing. Oh, you know what? I always forget to mention this first. I've never mentioned this on a podcast before.
Kathryn: Oh, go. Do it. [inaudible 00:04:04].
Jordan: And I've been on like a billion podcasts recently. I actually first started with a multi-level marketing scheme, which I think is how everyone needs to start. You need to go through that, I think, first. So this was World Financial Group. I forgot all about that until right now.
Jordan: Because it was like a month into being married, I remember my brother in law came over and he's like, "Hey, you should try this thing." And so I did. And you had to actually get certified in World Financial Group. You had to get certified, there's like two certifications that I had to get and I did end up getting these certifications. Crazy story. When I got the certifications... I drink a lot of water and I just had to pee all the time. And in this test-
Kathryn: So you're healthy [inaudible 00:04:48].
Jordan: .... it was a three-hour test. Again, I've never talked about this before, but I feel so open with you guys.
Kathryn: I know.
Jordan: You made me feel comfortable.
Kathryn: Given the [inaudible 00:04:56] to the show, that's not surprising.
Michael: Continue to share with us. Let it out.
Jordan: So it was a three-hour test. I'd studied like crazy and I knew my bladder is just not going to hold. I know it's not going to hold. You weren't allowed to get up and go to the washroom.
Kathryn: Oh, dear.
Jordan: So I passed the test, but I also went out of there with wet pants.
Kathryn: Wow. That's commitment.
Jordan: Yeah. Because I was like, "Well, I'm going to do it." I know if I have to come and retake the test, the same thing is going to happen.
Kathryn: Tell me that you were alone in a room not like with 35-
Jordan: No. There was like 200 people.
Kathryn: Oh my God.
Jordan: It was 200 people taking the certification for whatever... I had almost blocked that out of my mind.
Michael: I would too.
Kathryn: I would too. Yeah, that can be really traumatic.
Michael: And then you didn't make any money. So the sacrifice was-
Jordan: Oh no, I mean, it cost me so much. I realized I'm like, "Multilevel marketing, that is just not for me." That is not what I want to be into. So I ended up searching on Craigslist for business about a year later and I was like, "Okay, I want to get into a real business." I don't want to be involved... That's where all this came from, right? And so I found a Taco Del Mar restaurant that was for sale for $35,000. So Taco Del Mar is like a chain restaurant. We're actually owned by Subway at the time. I found out, though, that at the exact moment that I was buying it, they were in bankruptcy. So I decided... I was like, "Well, what's the worst case scenario? I'm going to lose 35 grand?" As a 23 year old I'm like, we didn't have kids or anything. We owned a condo. I was like, "Yeah. I think I can do that. That's fine" So I scraped together-
Kathryn: [inaudible 00:06:19].
Jordan: Yeah. And I-
Kathryn: That's 23 years old out there going, "What? You can recover from 35 grand? Don't do it, you idiot. What are you thinking?"
Jordan: Yeah. Well, it actually ended up over five years. It was five years of my life and about 150 grand. So at the time, that was very difficult. That was incredibly difficult. I won't go into too much detail there just in case we want to come back to that. But yeah, I had to talk [inaudible 00:06:42] for five years. Finally, got out. I sold it for 25,000 and that was again, a horrible experience. I was terrible at negotiating at the time. Within that, we started having kids and my wife is a fashion designer. And so we started a baby clothing company. And so that ended up sort of taking off. It was incredible. We had our one wholesaler reach out. We got this $500 order. We'll go like, "Oh my gosh, this is incredible. This is a real business."
Jordan: And then we started to advertise on Facebook. Like, Carmen, can we please... Carmen's my wife. I'm like, "Can we please just try Facebook advertising?" This is in like 2015. Can we just try it out? I had no clue what I was doing. I knew I was special because I was using ads manager not boosting posts.
Kathryn: You were ahead of her.
Jordan: But I was using ads manager. I look back on these campaigns now. I was using ads manager to boost posts. That's all I was doing. It was just like, I was just taking posts and then just literally saying, "Get me as much engagement as possible." The return on ad spend on those was like 75.
Jordan: A dollar in 75. And I was just telling Facebook... I'm like, "Just find me people to engage with." I had no clue. Somehow I installed the Facebook pixel on the website. Somehow we chose Shopify, I don't know how. Like Shopify was not-
Michael: That was genius.
Kathryn: That was genius.
Michael: Because our first e-commerce [inaudible 00:08:02] that we still have, we went through three before we landed on Shopify.
Michael: And that was-
Jordan: Also, I don't know how I did. And I should have taken $10,000 that I didn't have at the time and put it into Shopify stock because I think it'd be worth... I don't even know now. Like 400 grand or something. But anyway, I didn't.
Kathryn: But at least you all had [inaudible 00:08:22].
Michael: Could have, should have, would have. Okay. All right. So...
Jordan: So we grew that, ended up... From that, my wife and I... I'm not like you guys, we can't work together day to day. It just doesn't work. It does not work. So I did-
Kathryn: Did she fire you?
Jordan: No. I just decided to start a marketing agency because I was really good at the marketing side. And so I brought a partner in. We've grown Mindful Marketing, which is our marketing agency now to... I think we're at like 15 or 16 employees. We're hiring again today, so we have another...
Jordan: Yeah. So that's wonderful. And then we're in acquisition mode right now. So we're acquiring two new brands, one in the States. We're Canadian, we're acquiring one down in Arizona and one about an hour away from us, both in the outdoor space. So our brands are in-
Michael: So international acquisition now.
Kathryn: [inaudible 00:09:11].
Michael: It's very impressive.
Jordan: It's not as hard as you think.
Kathryn: Between Canada and the US, probably not as hard as it might be between Canada-
Michael: I don't know. Canadians make it really difficult on Americans.
Jordan: Yes. We make it a lot more difficult on Americans than Americans make it on Canadians. It's really true.
Kathryn: That's because they have a queen. So they have to make it much more difficult.
Michael: Do you claim the queen?
Jordan: Are you calling Justin Trudeau a queen?
Kathryn: No. I'm British and you have my queen, sort of. She's on all the pictures. Come on.
Michael: And on your money, right?
Jordan: [inaudible 00:09:40] and the coins. Yeah, on coins.
Kathryn: I mean, you still are [inaudible 00:09:44] Elizabeth. Come on, do it.
Kathryn: On it. So you have to make things more difficult because monarchy. I mean, really.
Michael: Just that you know the queen-
Jordan: That's the 30,000 foot view of what I've done, I guess, in business. Oh, and I was a paramedic through out all this time too.
Jordan: Yeah. So I always had to have that little security in the background and I loved it. I loved it for so many years. And it's interesting because I just came to the conclusion about a week ago, that that was one part of my life I had to cut out. So kind of sad, but-
Michael: When did you cut it out?
Jordan: So we had our third child our year and a half ago, and so I went on parental leave then. I had this great schedule. It was four on, 12 off. So it was like a halftime gig. And it was one of those things where it was like, "It's still nice to have this go out and interact with people." I was still running the businesses at the time and it was always like the security blanket. And I look at it now and I'm like, I went back for one shift since that during COVID and I'm like, "This is horrible." The environment is horrible. It's a union type environment. It's got nothing to do with my life anymore. I really loved helping people. And I was reading a book recently called Impact. And in Impact, Braden Douglas, he talks about how helping is not impact. Right? And I'm like, "Ah, interesting." I did a lot of helping then and I think it made some sort of impact on people in their worst days. But that helping is not the kind of impact that I want to make now.
Jordan: I just turned 35 last week. And I kind of feel 35... I'm like, it's kind of a big age in my head. I want to make bigger impact than just helping and just make... I love what you guys were talking about before. I am not into just making money for the sake of making money. Right? What am I going to do? Buy a boat? I mean, that's cool.
Michael: I mean, that's not a bad idea.
Jordan: People want to buy boats. It's not a terrible thing, but if that's my aim in this life, right? Is just to own some million dollar yacht, I'm going to get there. That's not a problem. If I wanted to go buy one, I could go buy one. But what a horrible existence, if all that I'm living for, right?
Kathryn: Right. Yeah.
Jordan: And that's the difference, right? And so I found that with like... Paramedicing was like this band-aid to help me feel like I was making some kind of a difference. And it was like, "You know what? It's not a part of my life anymore." I did it for 13 years and it's sad. It's so hard to give that kind of stuff up.
Michael: Okay. So there's a couple of things here. This is good.
Kathryn: This is Jordan. Here's our failed restaurant to our successful EMT, built a baby clothing brand and successful [inaudible 00:12:24].
Michael: You're assuming he is a successful EMT. He was in a union, lots of people could have died underneath him and we don't know this.
Kathryn: I am assuming that.
Jordan: Yeah. I could have really done anything and would have never gotten fired. So...
Michael: I mean, once you're in a union, in a socialist country like Canada.
Michael: Just a little American humor. That's really bad. Okay. The first thing I want to talk about that I find very interesting is this idea that even though you had this challenge with the Taco Del Mar and you lost all that money and everything else, you had a... I'll call it a risk mitigation plan. And it sounds like it was driven by your own emotional desire, but it reminds me quite frankly, of the book Reluctant Entrepreneur. I don't know if you're familiar with that.
Jordan: I've never read that one. No.
Michael: Phenomenal book, but the guy's whole premises... He's a very successful older businessman. I mean, he's older than us by... He's probably in his '70s or '80s now I think, and his whole premise was, this whole idea of rolling all the dice, going all chips on black. And that's the way that you're supposed to build a business and that's the way that it's... If you don't do that, you're not a real business person or a real entrepreneur. He just poo-poos on that. That's silliness and that's ridiculous. And you actually should be wise and you actually should be... Don't put your family and everything at risk. You don't have to. There's really smart ways of doing it.
Michael: And you managed to do it and went there. I mean, you said that that's kind of part of your DNA, but why do you think you were wanting to make sure that you had... First of all, as an entrepreneur kind of guy, why did you go become a blue collar entrepreneur skills type of job person? And then why do you think you stayed with this in the beginning? What was your mindset there? I'm trying to understand because I think it's cool.
Jordan: So I'm a huge believer in self-awareness, right? And so I think that there's some incredible self-awareness tools out there. One being SrengthFinders, absolutely love those guys. Number two being Enneagram, another great way for us to figure out sort of who we are. So I think a lot of this is explained on the Enneagram. I'm a two, so a helper, right? A two, three. So three being the achiever, right? And two being the helper. And I think that's what really actually gives me a super power in business. Right? It's that relationship all the time, right? I literally just want to help. At our agency, if I didn't have my other partners here, we wouldn't charge anything because I literally just want to help people. The biggest arguments we have here are on how much to charge. Like, "No. Do we need to do that? To charge that much?" Like, I don't know. "No, we can do it for less for them." Right? Always. Because I just want to help.
Jordan: And so being a paramedic was the perfect way for me to be able to exercise that and to get to talk to people. And it was one of those things that for ages, I had so much life in it. There was a time when I didn't and it was just kind of done. And I was like, "Huh, it's time to sort of close the store." That's my explanation.
Michael: How much of it was ever any concern of, "Do we have enough money?" Are we going to take care-
Jordan: I think that there was a little bit of that there. So I actually grew up a pastor's kid and we had no money ever growing up.
Michael: Oh, interesting.
Jordan: Yeah. So the business skipped my dad's generation or it skipped him. And we were always super... Like I would ask for anything and it was always no. So I started working from when I was really young, just because we had no money growing up. Right? My parents didn't own a house until I was 20 or something. And it was just that kind of life, right? Of pastors just don't get paid a lot.
Jordan: And at least in the realm where he was pastoring and so it was very difficult growing up. And so I think a lot of that, is that sort of like, it's probably a little bit of baggage from growing up. Being like, "I will always have enough money." Right?
Jordan: And you guys probably know from... I don't know if you guys grew up in the church, but for me it's like there's always that part of giving as well. Right? So I always wanted to make sure there was enough to give, enough that my kids had enough, enough that we could just be comfortable. And I think a lot of the things that I've done have been a reaction to that. Right? A reaction to just never having anything growing up.
Michael: Yeah. No, that's really interesting.
Kathryn: It sounds interesting. One of the things that we talk about even in our book is... Michael and I both grew up somewhat in ministry. Michael would say he was born in a Pew and my dad was a pastor. Not always, vocationally. He was a nurse/ pastor. He always did the bi-vocational thing until he was much older and then he finally stepped into full-time [inaudible 00:17:16].
Michael: And my dad was a volunteer worship leader my entire growing up.
Kathryn: Yeah. So we had the bi-vocational but certainly, that mindset. And neither of our parents were good with money at all. It was live to the edge of whatever you have and always have lots of debt. And so the stress that that caused was tremendous in our families. So we've talked a lot about having to unlearn those things to run a successful business because you do. You bring all that into your business with you and if you're used to living on the edge and you can't imagine having a cushion because there was never a cushion.
Michael: I didn't know what to do with cushion.
Kathryn: If you've got a cushion, you spend it. I don't know, buy something because-
Jordan: You spend it. Exactly. Yeah.
Kathryn: ... now there's money there. Good God. Let's go on a vacation.
Michael: Because we haven't had one in a long time or something, right?
Kathryn: Yeah. So...
Michael: Yes, totally. So that's so interesting. Okay. I didn't know that part about your history. Okay. So you come forward, you've got that mindset, that context of your growing up, everything else. You become a paramedic partially because you're a helper. I'm one of these guys that's always looking for a backdoor too. Not that I want to take it, sometimes I want to take it, but I want to make sure that if I go into a room, proverbial room of negotiating or anything, there's more than one way to get out.
Michael: And my perspective is, sometimes God puts you in a room intentionally with only one way in and one way out and you don't get that. And unless you want to be over manipulative and controlling, you just got to live with it and deal with the room you're [inaudible 00:18:48]. But a lot of times I'm always looking for something and a lot of times it's wisdom. It's like, okay, have a backup plan, have an emergency plan, have a... But we've had to come to that conclusion over the years of learning that it's like, this is actually wise. That's okay. And we're going to have enough and-
Kathryn: And yeah, so there are times though... I mean, I wanted to just kind of say there's a both end here.
Kathryn: It's a bit of a paradox because I think there are times where you come to a place where you have to say, "I'm all in here." To be able to go where you need to go and achieve what you need to achieve and you have to start paring things away.
Michael: Well, and here's what I do. I think in the midst of... Make sure I'm communicating clearly. I really do believe that wisdom says that you're protecting yourself and you're being careful and you're not living a life that's just a thrill-seeking edge out on the edge all the time. And yet I do believe there are times when you have to put... especially as a business owner, you have to be willing to put all the chips out on black. What do you think, Jordan?
Jordan: [crosstalk 00:19:52].
Kathryn: [inaudible 00:19:51] is your interview. I don't know.
Jordan: Well, no. This is just a great discussion because I kind of agree with both, right? I've lived my life making sure that there's always backup plans. Right? And so that's why actually giving up paramedicing was such a difficult decision. It's like, "No, this was my backup plan." But now I look at how much I got paid and I'm like, "Our family could never live on that." That's not a backup plan. I haven't done that full-time for about four years. I'm like, we're in a different place now. That wouldn't work. I don't even know what I would do. Also there's like, "What does that cost me in fulfillment?" I'm just not fulfilled there anymore. Right? And so I don't want to be doing that if... And it's okay. It once fulfilled me and now it doesn't, right? And similarly to lots of the things that we do. Right?
Jordan: And so I don't in just going all in. One of my best friends, he did that and he's been doing that for the last seven years with the company, and for him he has no backup plan. And for them they're not profitable right now. So what does he do? He's got nothing. Right? Absolutely nothing. And so the stress of that is just incredible. And so for me, I've created backup plans. I've got the marketing agency, we own some houses. We've got all of these things that I've kind of spread out to really mitigate that risk, hopefully. And then now taking these other huge risks, but to me they're still calculated. Right? They're really calculated, these acquisitions. I'm not going into these blindly just for fun, right?
Michael: No, absolutely. Well, the old proverb of having eight different pieces. Solomon didn't put all of his grain on one barge, he put it on eight different barges, as Ecclesiastes talks about. Making sure that if there was a storm, he wouldn't lose all of it. And I like that. I think it's wise. I really do. I think the opportunity to put stuff all in, sometimes life just says to you, "This is a season, it's moments are different." I really liked what you said a minute ago about being fulfilled and fulfilled for something with being a paramedic and how it was significant for a period of time and now seasons change. And that is knit.
Michael: And sometimes we're always looking, especially if we're early on in a business or we've been doing a business long time. I mean, we've seen this with both cases when we wrote the book Fulfilled. That you can be in business a long time and still be looking for the pot at the end of the rainbow and not just the money pot, but the fulfillment pot. You don't ever get it because you think it's one thing. You think it's going to be... This one thing will make me fulfilled the rest of my life.
Kathryn: Yeah. Well, and we had a... it wasn't a financial thing, but we had a similar thing because the other thing I think that happens that was true for your paramedic stuff, but was true in my life was, when we stepped into business... I mean, we were a little different because we were together, right? We're talking both careers. This was the financial provision and I stepped away from something pretty significant to join Michael in this. But it was a harder transition for me to do that. I was a little bit reluctant. And one of the things I got to do was do this teaching Stan, which is part of my passion, for about six years where every Tuesday morning I was teaching. And Michael was like, "Yeah, I need you to feel good doing that."
Michael: It was important for your emotional health for sure.
Kathryn: It was really important because I just needed something that said... For me, I'm not sure how I'm going to make the impact I want to make in this business yet. It took me a little while to get there. And so this other thing allowed me to have that transition time. And then when it was done, I was much like you. "I'm done." I no longer need to do this. I'm no longer capable of doing this and doing my best over here, so I need to pair that away. But it was a really important transition too, into being kind of all in for me. So it's an interesting journey being an entrepreneur.
Michael: Let's talk about your wife for a moment if you don't mind.
Kathryn: Poor Carmen. She's like, "What? Talk about me?"
Michael: So how did-
Jordan: She'll never listen to it. I even don't think she's ever listened to one of my 180 podcast episodes, so...
Kathryn: Well, you might want to turn on at the HaBo Village. It might be more interesting for her.
Michael: I don't listen to any of our podcasts. Okay. So what's the journey of your marriage and how she's reacted to everything from Taco Del Mar through being an entrepreneur and all that kind of stuff?
Jordan: Yeah. It's interesting because she is also such an entrepreneur, right? And always wants to push forward. We've had different journeys though, right? Like for us we just came off a very... with one of our advisors, a very heated discussion on the next person we need to hire at our... So we have three brands, three clothing brands right now. And it's turning into quite an operation and she still has direct reports. Every single person directly reports to her.
Jordan: Like, "How do you do that?"
Jordan: For me with all the business stuff, nobody at that company reports to me because I just couldn't do it. I'm just there to advise. Right? And then here similarly at our... Sorry, I'm at our marketing agency. I basically just have two people that I talk with and that's it because I've understood that. For her, in her strengths makeup, she's an executer, right? She is an executer and just in her head, incredible designer, but does everything. And so that's been a really difficult part of the way that the two of us have been because I feel like I've kind of solved that. So I don't need to work until 10:00 on my computer every night. Right?
Jordan: And she does. And so that's really hard because I think that people in general, especially as spouses, don't want to be told what the right thing to do is all the time. Right? They want to come to it on their own. And I'm very similar to that. It's funny with my business partners. I'll eventually come around to this idea and I'll realize, "Oh my gosh, there's something that they told me like two months ago." I just couldn't hear it then. And I didn't even understand it then, but I had to come to it on my own. And I feel like that's very... there was a light bulb moment from an advisor to her yesterday with a new hiring we needed to make it's like an ops manager type of person that just needs to be a shield for her. And it was like, "I've been telling you that for a year that you need that person. I've been telling you for a year." So... I didn't say that. I haven't said that. So hopefully, she doesn't listen to this.
Michael: Good. Well, man, you are a mature individual. I don't know. I would want to believe I was mature enough not to say anything, but I would be dying to say. Would you be willing not say I told you to?
Kathryn: I don't know. I'm pretty sure that we're going to solve a couple of things in our business pretty soon and finally going to yield and you're going to be like, "Finally. I've been telling you that for five years." So no, I don't think you'll be gracious, but it's also our business.
Jordan: I just know how these things work.
Kathryn: Well, it's also our business and we're in it together all the time. Right? So it's a little harder to hide the styles.
Kathryn: So, gosh.
Michael: Okay. So I just looked at the clock and I'm like, "Wow, man. This thing spinning fast." So let's dive into your unique fashion of the way you address business and coming at it from an Enneagram two. Coming at it from understanding delegation and you don't have to be in the middle of it all, you have some very... I mean, if I was coaching you, I would go, "Wow." Okay. You're doing really well because you've got some really solid foundational pieces of understanding and mindset figured out. Where do you think the places are, you want to grow in the next 10 years?
Jordan: I think I just want to keep working within my strengths. Right? So when I think of like Clifton Strengths, right? My biggest strengths are WOO, which is Win Others Over, positivity, maximizer, includer. I forget what the fifth one is. But when I think of that, the big one that I think we'll leverage and will help. And part of, I think, my impact, is the maximizer piece. So what a maximizer does is, they look and find other people's strengths and they put them into that role that is perfect for them, where they can thrive. So for me, I think that's where I'm going to get a lot of my satisfaction of my impact and why these acquisitions are so exciting to me. So exciting because I'm bringing along a business partner who is now going to own a stake in these two companies for working there. Right?
Jordan: And really find he wasn't in a role that was perfect for him before and now he's going to be. And so for me, I think that's kind of what my 10 years down the road looks like. Is really having that time to think and find the right people to put into the right places. And I think that's where people can thrive in their life. Right? They even get to thrive and I get to thrive just looking at them doing it.
Jordan: So that to me, I think I'm going to continue to do that. Continue to make new relationships like this. I think it looks like a lot less striving and a lot more just like, "Okay, I think I know myself now." And you know what? I'm probably going to get to 45 and be like, "Oh man, when I was 35 I didn't know myself at all."
Kathryn: I can guarantee it.
Michael: It happens.
Kathryn: [inaudible 00:29:23]. He won't be, "I didn't know myself."
Michael: No. Not at all.
Kathryn: It would just be... yeah. You're going to start asking different questions.
Michael: If you're on the trajectory that it looks like you're on right now, I mean, you look at 25 and you go, "These are the things I didn't fully understand about myself or know yet." Because there's some things you can't know until you're in your forties. And there's some things you can't know until your fifties. And we didn't believe it until we started crossing those thresholds and with leadership development, it's actually incredibly... I mean, we didn't find out probably until the last five or seven years, how we could model out and understand it's actually critical and important that you can't learn those things ahead of time. Because if you could... I mean, the comment we were talking about earlier that one thing is fulfillment.
Michael: Well, you can't learn everything that you need to know in life by the time you're 25, 35, 45, 55. It's not possible. And so there's parts of us as leaders that... I mean, we talk about this all the time and then we have a leadership coach that reminds us when we forget looking at ourselves in the mirror that says, "These are things that you're going to continue to grow because that's the season of life and those lessons are only in that season."
Kathryn: Yeah. Well, you take a Jim Collins, he'll talk about leadership development is really you moving from Jordan 1.0, to Jordan 2.0 to Jordan 3.0, and those are seasons of development. Right? So even for us, I mean, I'm not embarrassed I'll turn 55 in a week and a half. 55.
Michael: You know [inaudible 00:30:59] of your age.
Kathryn: I mean, good God. I look good for 55, but nevermind.
Jordan: Sorry, 55?
Kathryn: Right? Thank you.
Jordan: No way.
Kathryn: Thank you, Jordan. You can stay. I was about to hang up on you and cut you off right there for not having a response. However I was even just processing this morning. I'm in a season of transition where I need to transition to, well, at least 3.0 if I'm not already 3.0 then 4.0 I don't even know where I am, but because those numbers are super arbitrary, but I know I have to move to the next level of leadership in where we're going.
Michael: You're going to a perfect 10 baby.
Kathryn: Thanks honey. Maybe level 55. That's what we call it in our world. It's not age it's level. I'm level 55. I get 20 levels on you.
Jordan: I like that.
Kathryn: Come get it.
Michael: Waw. That just took a turn [inaudible 00:31:46].
Kathryn: I know. So anyway, all that to say leadership development is one of those things and it's fun to meet you in this place where you know that you get to develop leadership. You know that you have more to give than you're currently giving and you're on that path. It's just really fun to meet a younger leader who's heading that direction. So...
Michael: Migrating to those things doesn't mean you can't be successful in where you are, but every new season requires new things to walk through it.
Michael: Okay. Now we're going to move out of teaching mode.
Michael: No. I was there with you. I stepped up on the block.
Jordan: Yeah. Now I love those guys.
Michael: But I mean I love talking to you. I'm enjoying this conversation a lot, even though we probably need to figure out how to start winding down a little bit. I don't want to stop the conversation.
Kathryn: Well, we can always have Jordan back to talk about e-commerce. I don't know.
Michael: He may not want to come back, but-
Kathryn: To talk about actual like his actual business, which might've been... He wanted to be on the podcast. It's certainly [inaudible 00:32:53].
Jordan: Can I just say that I think for entrepreneurs, this kind of stuff is so much more valuable than tactical... Me telling you how to run a gated launch to make money without you being a leader that actually knows the direction because really as a leader you're not necessarily the one that's implementing tactical sort of things all the time.
Michael: Wait a minute. Say that again for people. Say that one more time.
Jordan: As a leader, you are not implementing tactics. Right? You're steering a ship.
Michael: Here that coming?
Jordan: Yeah. Exactly. But like you're steering this big ship, right? And so if you think about that, let's follow that same analogy as you're steering this ship, right? You can't be running over and telling people what to do all the time and micro-managing all these little things. Right? And so making sure that you're kind of the healthiest that you can be to steer the ship and then also know the pitfalls to go in. I love the fact that I've had things go wrong, right? That I've had terrible things happen. Not at the time. I wasn't like, "Oh man, I'm just so blessed to lose all this money." To me 150 grand then, it would be like 15 million now. That was a huge hit. That was bankruptcy basically. It wasn't, but it was close.
Jordan: And so knowing like with the ship analogy, there's a rock over there, right? The rest of the team does not know that because they haven't hit that rock. Right? Or maybe knowing that I don't know where the rocks are in this part of the ocean. I need to bring an advisor in to really tell me that there's these rocks. Like the conversation I had just before this with an advisor where I was mad. I was like, "No, don't tell me the things I don't want to hear right now."
Michael: Yeah. Totally.
Michael: Now that's really good. That's really solid. Okay. So what else ... If we're talking to the leaders right now of businesses who are either thinking about starting a business or they're in the middle of it, they've been in this journey, a lot of the folks here are in the journey for a while. They're in companies that are fairly solid companies.
Michael: What do you say to them? What's your biggest takeaway right now and recommendation for the next 12 months based on where we are in the world right now?
Jordan: Yeah. The biggest conversation that I'm having with other leaders is that self-awareness piece. Right? I think a lot of people still aren't there and they don't know themselves yet. Right?
Kathryn: Do you know what the statistics are? There's a statistic out there that I read recently that... and I wish I could find it, that 80-
Michael: It's from Cron.
Kathryn: Oh, Ian crone, who does the Enneagram stuff [inaudible 00:35:33]. He's [inaudible 00:35:34].
Jordan: Yeah. It's okay.
Kathryn: He says 87% of people are not self-aware.
Kathryn: That's a big number.
Jordan: I totally believe that. And it's funny how people will look at tools like the Enneagram and like StrengthsFinders and all of those, and they'll find ways to pick them apart. Go ahead. That's fine. Go ahead and pick them apart and say, "Oh, that's wow. Everyone's talking about the Enneagram." Yes. For a reason, right. There's a reason why it's really good to know yourself because then you're not going to have to do those things. And there's times as leaders where you're going to have to do stuff you're not good at. Right? But when you really know yourself and you know what you can handle and what you can't, oh man, does that make hiring easier. Right? Because then you can just start to find people, right? And put them into place. And yes as somebody who's really good at that, that's easy to say, but I think that that's the role of a founder and a CEO and it's those big directional kind of shifts. It's not being the mechanic on your boat. Right?
Kathryn: It's funny our leadership coach said something yesterday that I think is really valuable. And he said there's levels, right? So there's self-awareness but beyond self-awareness, there's actually self embracing. So I can be aware of who I am, but still not comfortable with it. And so even that shift-
Jordan: That is such good advice.
Kathryn: Because I can be like, yeah. I'm not good at that and I hate that and I dwell on it and it irritates me. It drives me crazy. There's a self embracing piece of being comfortable and confident with what you're good at and what you're not, and not having that hold you up. So that's like-
Jordan: I was going to say, do you know how long it took me to figure out that I wasn't good at executing?
Michael: How long?
Jordan: I don't know. 15 years, 20 years, I guess 35 years.
Kathryn: And how long had Carmen been telling you that? I'm just kidding.
Jordan: I mean, this is the thing. I would just notice all the time the balls would get dropped and I'm like, "I can't do." I could at a time get things done, and I was like, "Why does this drain me so much to get things done?" As I became self-aware and I'm like... I remember when the first time I did StrengthsFinders, I'm like, "Why are there no executing skills in here?" I'm the kind of guy that gets things done. And then I realized, I'm like, "No, I'm not." I inspire others-
Kathryn: I'm the kind of guy who gets people to get things done.
Jordan: Exactly. And then I realized... I'm like, "Oh my gosh, I'm really good at..." The shadow side of it is manipulating people to get what I want, right?
Jordan: That's totally the shadow side of it. The good side of it is actually inspiring others to be the best selves that they can be to get stuff done. And that was really hard. And I think that's part of that embracing and being like, "Oh man, I'd love to tell you I can get something done for you, but I can't." That's just not me. And I'd love to impress you and say, I can do it, but I can't. But I can have a really good conversation with you, I hope. I make you feel like you're super valuable and special and... Yeah.
Michael: Well, bringing up the shadow side is important because if you don't know that, those things can go sideways. Our gifts have liabilities to them if we're not aware of them. And self-awareness is really important for that.
Jordan: It absolutely. And then knowing your team with that, right? Their basements or their shadow sides of their strengths that they have. We run all of our companies based on StrengthsFinders. It's just-
Jordan: Yeah. So we run everyone through that and that's how we have our management discussions as well. So it's interesting I didn't mean to do this, but every person that's in a leadership role around me is an achiever. Every single person. I'm like, "How in the world did that happen?" [inaudible 00:39:18] achiever-
Michael: Because it wasn't intentional?
Jordan: What's that?
Michael: It wasn't intentional?
Jordan: It was not intentional, but now that I think about it, now it's intentional. Now I think about it and I'm like, "Oh yeah, I just need an achiever to get that stuff done for me." Achiever and responsibility. They are two rarely big executional skills, which my wife has both of.
Kathryn: I always look at people who have WOO and I go, "You have WOO and I have Responsibility." Not fair. Here's just so much funner.
Michael: WOO is cool. I like having WOO.
Jordan: Yeah. I know [inaudible 00:39:54].
Michael: I'm a total WOO.
Kathryn: He's a WOO.
Jordan: Yeah. Makes total sense.
Kathryn: My best friend is a WOO. I'm very attracted to WOOs, but I am Responsibility. [inaudible 00:40:03]. Okay. We should wrap this up because it's clear we're going to have Jordan back to talk about his e-commerce business at some point, but we really are going to have to wrap this up.
Michael: Yeah. We have a new friend in Jordan. Thank you, Jordan, for just spending time. How do people find out more about you? Because I'm sure that they're going, "I like this guy. How do I hear more about him?"
Jordan: You can connect with me on LinkedIn. I post every single day on LinkedIn. If you want to learn more about e-commerce, that's where I post all sorts of stuff about e-commerce on LinkedIn. I hope you guys can tell I really believe in transparency. I really believe in authenticity. They're not just buzzwords for me. I really truly believe in them. And yeah, so if you just search Jordan West, I think it's Jordan West Marketer on LinkedIn.
Michael: And you have a podcast [crosstalk 00:40:50].
Jordan: [crosstalk 00:40:50]. Yes.
Michael: Where do people find your podcast?
Jordan: Secrets To Scaling Your Ecommerce Brand. Yeah.
Kathryn: And we'll put all that in the show notes too. So Secrets To Scaling Your Ecommerce Brand.
Michael: So that's really good. Jordan, thank you so much for taking the time today and joining and being real and being honest and being vulnerable. And we appreciate that. And we appreciate the work you're doing. Keep doing it.
Jordan: Thanks. This is a memorable discussion for me. So thank you.
Kathryn: Excellent. And for us, it's been super fun.
Michael: Scarred and need of counseling. Folks, we hope you've enjoyed today's conversation because that's what this whole thing, this whole journey about business and fulfilled and passionate provision is all about. It's about living life really, one day at a time and looking for our best selves in the midst of it. And there's a whole lot of stuff that came out of today's conversation that goes into a passion and provision company. But ultimately, we want to see that you're using your gifts, talents, and skills, and finding fulfillment in these companies that you're running and that you can find passion, purpose, and legacy. So till next time, I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And you are?
Jordan: Jordan West.
Kathryn: He never does that. That was awesome.
Michael: Have a great day. Talk to you later.