Brandyn UImer with Atlas Industrial Outsourcing

Brandyn UImer with Atlas Industrial Outsourcing

This week on The Mobile Alabama Business Podcast, we sit down with Brandyn UImer with Atlas Industrial Outsourcing. Listen in as we discuss how he started Atlas, and what he is doing to increase his business!

Produced by Blue Fish


Brandyn Ulmer: Hi, my name is Brandyn Ulmer and I am the owner of Atlas Industrial Outsourcing.

Marcus Neto: Awesome. Well, Brandyn, thank you for coming on the podcast today.

Brandyn Ulmer: No, I'm happy to be here. It's good to see you again, brother.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, absolutely. And so normally, how we start is we start by getting some of your backstory. So why don't you tell us the story of Brandyn. Where are you from? Where'd you go to high school? Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? Married? Fill us in on some of the-

Brandyn Ulmer: Not a problem. So I was born in Houston, Texas, actually, and very quickly moved to Mobile. Grew up in Mobile, went to high school at Satsuma, graduated in 2004. Left there. When I was 14, I started playing music. So I started bouncing around playing music a little bit, and I did some work in California, and when I got back to Mobile, it was too late to apply to college. So my dad said, "You're either going to go to work or you're going to go to school." So I actually ended up going to Faulkner for a couple of semesters on a full-ride music scholarship.

Marcus Neto: I can't imagine why.

Brandyn Ulmer: I play guitar a little. Yeah.

Marcus Neto: A little?

Brandyn Ulmer: Not so much anymore, but back in the day it was pretty much, that's all I did. But I actually xended up leaving that scholarship to loosely go on tour with the band, 3 Doors Down. I used to be the guitar player for a band called Top Of The Orange, out of Mobile, and we were managed by Matt Roberts, who's the guitar player for 3 Doors Down. And oddly enough, his father is my business partner at Atlas, and so fast forwarding through all that.

I am not just married. I'm happily married, and there is a difference. No kids. We own some property over on Dog River. We're actually working on some real estate stuff. We're, we're currently developing a wedding venue and some geodesic dome camping tree houses on our property.

Marcus Neto: Oh, cool.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: You haven't mentioned that before.

Brandyn Ulmer: Oh, that's a new thing. Remind me when we get off. I'll show you some pictures.

Marcus Neto: That's so cool.

Brandyn Ulmer: I know. We've got this property, and it's just been there for a while, and the convenient thing about it is that we're about five minutes ... You've been to my office in Berkeley. My house is about four minutes from my office over on the river. So we're going to be about five minutes from the new airport. So the location is killer.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, it's perfect.

Brandyn Ulmer: So it's a lot of good stuff. But in a nutshell, that's really it, man. 2017, we had the-

Marcus Neto: You are completely glossing over your history as a musician, and I find that unacceptable. I mean, no, seriously like anything-

Brandyn Ulmer: So I invented guitar.

Marcus Neto: Yes. There. Let's start there.

Brandyn Ulmer: No.

Marcus Neto: It started as a lute.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah. So no, no, I started playing guitar when I was 14. About six months after I started playing, I played my first gig in a bar at Winners Marina. I was in a band called Exit 13 with people who were substantially older than I was. When I was 16, I left that band and joined a band called Bad Influence, and when I was, I want to say 18 ... Yeah, I was 18. I founded the band Top Of The Orange with a guy named Jeff Beretiech and a lyricist named Bobby Hamilton. Bobby's actually currently working with Doug Kiker, the American Idol guy from Grand Bay, and they're out in Vegas right now doing some stuff.

Marcus Neto: Wow.

Brandyn Ulmer: But it was really cool. The Top Of The Orange era was awesome. We had a killer group of guys, still friends with those guys, even though I don't get to talk to them as much as I would like to because everybody grows up and gets busy. But the vibe was there. The songs were there. Just the camaraderie on stage was there.

Marcus Neto: You've played in front of crowds, though. How big? Just to give people an idea of ...

Brandyn Ulmer: I think the biggest crowd that we ever played for was at ... It was at one of three places, and you've got to understand, I was in a rock band in my 20s, and so there was a lot of drinking.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. A little fuzzy there, folks.

Brandyn Ulmer: Somewhere between, yeah, either the Alltel Pavilion, and I can't remember if it's in Raleigh or Charleston. So it was either the Alltel Pavilion, the Verizon Dome, or HiFi Buys Amphitheater in Atlanta. All of those are big amphitheaters, and they have these big grassy nulls that go up. So it felt like 20, 30,000 people. I mean, we've done the Bayfest crowds, and that was always great because those were pretty good sized crowds. But when you have a dedicated space that houses, I don't know, 30 thousand ... I hate to throw a number out there because when it gets that big, it's just literally a sea of people.

It's really cool. We got to play with a lot of really big acts. I could start name dropping, but I'll tell you if you heard them on the radio between 2004 and 2012, we probably played with them, either here at this [inaudible 00:05:00] as support, or actually out on the road a little bit. We got to play with Poison at The Wharf. That happened.

Marcus Neto: I'm trying to imagine you in tights and big hair.

Brandyn Ulmer: There's actually footage somewhere online of us playing Bayfest, and I am wearing leather pants. We let that happen.

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Brandyn Ulmer: Back when I could wear leather pants. It's a funny story, man, because we sound checked, and after we sound checked, I had a guy, I heard clicking, and I thought some woman was chasing me down the hall, and I turned around and it was C.C. DeVille, and he was wearing these boots. He was wearing these platform boots, and I swear to God, I thought his makeup was spray painted on, like he put it on with a paint roller or something. But no, it was really funny because ... Do you know Noel Broughton? Noel, he owns Brickyard and a few other places downtown, and he's got a very unique voice. He talks like, "You can't really understand Noel when he talks."

Marcus Neto: I've met him before.

Brandyn Ulmer: He sounds just like C.C. DeVille. So when C.C. DeVille was like ... I was like, "I thought it was Noel fucking with me." [inaudible 00:06:05]. Radio edit?

Marcus Neto: No, you were fine.

Brandyn Ulmer: I really was like ... I heard, and he was like, "Hey, man, you're a really good guitar player." I was like, "Noel?" I was like, "Oh. No, that's C.C. DeVille."

Marcus Neto: That's too funny.

Brandyn Ulmer: But no, it was really interesting. And then-

Marcus Neto: I ask you that to ask you this question, why did you exit out of that? I mean, obviously, you have a lot of talent. I mean, what was it that made you leave that and come start a business?

Brandyn Ulmer: We had a really interesting run with Top Of The Orange. We went through three singers. The first singer, it didn't work out, we'll just say for personal reasons. Second singer, he decided he wanted to go in a different direction. He got to a point where just the lifestyle really wasn't for him. And then the third singer that we brought on that was incredibly talented, but he was used to doing things one way, and the structure that was in place, it was kind of a challenge, not just for him, but also for the existing management company. And it really got to where it stopped being fun.

I know for me, personally, when I started playing music, it was because I loved it. I loved the way it made me feel. I loved hearing something in my head and figuring out how to make it in thin air. I loved the hearing something on the radio and then putting the puzzle together of figuring out how to emulate that sound, because it was just super rewarding. And then being fairly decent at it, you start to get that notoriety.

One of the things that was really important that I learned from the band is that when you start believing your own hype, you're done. By the late second, third singer, I think that for me, personally, it had become more about what music did for me than how it made me feel. We were at that point of almost, but not quite, when it came to the career. And so it was one of those things where we're as close to rock stars as you can actually be without being actual rock stars. And so people knew who we were. I don't remember having to pay for alcohol when we'd show up anywhere. It was that lifestyle.

I mean, and I was never really into like the drugs or anything, but I drank like a fish. And obviously, there were other things that came with that, but that stuff became more important than what got me there. And so for me, I think I lost focus, and it quit being fun. The last album that we did with Josh Ewing, who was the singer at the time, it's really special. It's really good. We got to record it in New Orleans at Piety Street Recording, which is actually not there anymore. But we did that. And then after that, we parted ways with the management company. And then I think everybody just got to a point where it was like, "Okay, well, we had a good run. This was fun."

Marcus Neto: Yeah. It just kind of dissolved.

Brandyn Ulmer: Oh, yeah. I mean, people were getting married. People were getting older. People were wanting to concentrate on career, and it was one of those things where there was no weirdness, no hard feelings. It was just mutually reaching a point of, "I think it's time to move on to what's next," you know?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Brandyn Ulmer: And from what I can tell, all those guys are doing their own thing. They're happy, they're successful, and so it's awesome.

Marcus Neto: No, that's cool. And I don't know that we've ever talked about this, but actually, I was a musician. I studied music at college, was a vocal performance major, played guitar, led worship in front of plenty of people. Never achieved any fame. But I'm relating to your story about, "Hey, it just ..." Because, I mean, if you ask me, I've got guitars. There's probably four or five guitars in the room next to us, and a bass guitar. And there's a PA system in the back. I can't tell you the last time I picked any of them up.

Brandyn Ulmer: I know.

Marcus Neto: At some point in time, it just stopped being something that brought me the enjoyment that I got out of it, and it just went away, and I wasn't sad about it. Does that make sense?

Brandyn Ulmer: It does. It makes perfect sense. But for me, the interesting thing is that the whole time I was doing the music thing, I was also doing the staffing thing. So my dad started a company in 1999, and when I was 12 years old, I remember it being the most exciting thing in the world because I was like, "My dad owns his own company. That's awesome." And he was nice enough to let me design the logo, which it was a ... The company was called Temploy, and the logo was a T and a P and a little lightning bolt. I totally ripped off the flash symbol. I had no idea. And it was one word, Temploy, but I was 12 and I put letters for both syllables. And the cool thing is my dad didn't even care. He was like, "That's the logo," and he just went with it.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Brandyn Ulmer: But I remember showing up down there one day, and the model that they had of that staffing company was something that's called daily work, daily pay, where people would show up, they'd get a time sheet, they'd go out and do a construction job or a warehouse job, some kind of job. And they would come back with this time sheet, and you would actually cut their check for those hours that day. And they had a computer system that they couldn't figure out, and I was always fairly decent with computers. And so I sat down and just followed the instructions and pecked away and printed my first paycheck when I was 12. And I was like, "Hey, look. Here." And my dad was like, "Okay, so here's the thing. You just do this now because I don't have to pay you, and you figured it out, we're a startup."

And so all of my weekends and the weekends and all of the summer breaks and everything, I spent them in the office. Funny story, I remember we got to play with 3 Doors Down and Lynyrd Skynyrd at the grand reopening of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum, the first show after Katrina. And I remember getting to hang out with Gary Rosington, and I want to say ... What's his name? The guy, Rickey Medlocke. He used to play guitar for Blackfoot. He was playing with them, and a guy named Ian was playing bass. It was just a really, really cool vibe. And I go home, and it's like stepping off that stage, and Dad's like, "That's cool, but ..."

Marcus Neto: I need you to sit down and-

Brandyn Ulmer: "I'm going to need you to go back to work." But it was one of the best things, man, because it kept me grounded. It kept me realistic because my dad used to have this thing where he'd go, "How much money you got in your pocket? I rest my case. Go." And so it was good, but I did that all the way through. And so when, I want to say in 2009, my parents sold the company to somebody from Dallas. And I worked with him for a while, while I was doing the band thing. And he was pretty cool about it. He's very flexible as far as the traveling hours and stuff. But when the band came to an end in 2012, I was like, "Well, I've got to do something." I've historically identified as an achiever. I did high marks in school. I was always in some sort of honors program. I was in PACE. But just for me, it was like, "If you're going to swing, swing for the fences."

Excuse me. And so now it's like, "Well, if I'm in staffing, I guess I'm just going to be in staffing." Excuse me. So I cut all my hair off and flew to Dallas, and I told the guy that owned the company, I was like, "I want to be your COO now." And he's like, "Okay. Are you qualified?" And I was like, "Well, look, I'll tell you what. If you find somebody better hire them, but for now, let me run with this." After that, I cut all my hair off and decided that this is something that I was ... It was sort of already my career path, so if I was going to do it ... Dad always told us if you're going to do something, you should at least try to be the best at it. If not, what's the point.

And so I was like, "I don't know enough about this stuff." And so I cut all my hair off. I flew to Dallas. I became the COO of the company that I worked for at the time and started just reading up and understanding. I read a book called The E-Myth Revisited, and I think I read the toilet edition. It was the really condensed 15-minute version. And I was like, "This makes a lot of sense, the importance of consistency and process management and KPIs and deliverables. This is clicking." And so I started to write down processes that we were doing on sticky notes, and I would take the whiteboard and I would put these things down and start to generate what makes sense in putting them in order and started to really build what became the backbone of Atlas while I was at home doing my own research to try to figure out what I could sell on implementing into the existing company.

And some of the ideas were never pitched. Some of them were just looked over because people tend to like to do things the way that they do them. So I was just really fascinated. And then after a while, I started to realize that pretty much any business is you're either selling a good or a service, and you can break it down into human resources, sales and marketing, operations, safety, and finance. And different types of businesses lean on those different things in a different manner, but it's still there. And so through starting with Dad, working for the other guy, actually working for yet another person in between there, I got to sit in all of those seats.

I got to be the marketing guy and the sales guy and understand an end-to-end sales process and really understand the difference between marketing and sales. Marketing drives them into the funnel. What is a funnel? You know what I mean? Understanding all those things, and where do you measure each of these benchmarks, and what is a conversion rate? What's a click-through and what's a ... And then once you get to the end of that funnel, well, then what? Well, we've got to onboard them. Well, what does that look like? How does credit work? How does business credit work? And I was just fascinated with all these different pieces, and so before I knew it, I had started to build all these process maps for what we do. And I got to test the concept when I worked for someone else, and it's not near what we're at, at Atlas now.

It was very, very much infinitesimal, I think, that these ideas may work. And when the opportunity presented itself, I got a phone call from my business partner at random one day. He was in Houston. It was right after, I want to say, Hurricane Harvey that hit Houston. And he was like, "Hey, I want to start a staffing company." And I was like, "Why? Why would you do that?" And he's like, "What do you mean why?" And I was like, "You've never done it ever."

Marcus Neto: It's just out of the blue.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah, it's like, "Look, it's not as simple as it sounds." I mean, and believe me, there is absolutely companies out there that just hire whoever walks in, and they throw them out to work. But if you want to do it right, it's not that easy. And he's like, "Well, I was under the impression that you owned the company that you're working for right now. I didn't realize that you didn't. Would you be interested in starting one?" And I was like, "When are you going to be back in Mobile?" And so he came back to Mobile, we sat down and we talked about it. And my partner, Darrel, is probably the dream business partner because he is basically an angel investor.

If you ask him his job title, he will tell you it's cheerleader. He is, "I trust you wholeheartedly. I've seen what you're doing with the place." And after he put up the seed cap to get started and the occasional little bit just to get it running, they say that starting a company is like building the airplane after you've jumped off the mountain.

Marcus Neto: There is some truth to that.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah. And so we founded the company on November 17th of 2017, and then we weren't really operational until 2018, around February, and had a really, really stellar performance in terms of revenue. But more importantly, we learned so much about what not to do. I'm a lead guitar player and a CEO, so I tend to have a little bit of an ego. And so I was convinced at the beginning that I was going to be immune to all the woes of being a business owner because I am special. I am not special, man. And understanding cash flow cycles and dealing with people. Somebody once said that if it wasn't for the employees or the customers, this wouldn't be a bad gig. He was a customer of mine just being funny. And don't me, I love my team, and I've got some great customers, too.

But just learned a lot about entitlement within an organization, the importance of tying individual performance to compensation, being consistent in the way that you deal with things, being fair, constantly fair, being transparent, just telling your team what's going on and what you need to do, and understanding that emotion and control are on the opposite ends of a seesaw. And the more emotion you have, the less control you have of any situation. And so when things go sideways and when the world's on fire, and it will always catch on fire in some capacity, you've got to remember that when you sit in our seat, your team is looking to you.

Marcus Neto: Yep.

Brandyn Ulmer: "Hey, everything's on fire. What are we going to do, boss?" And so that's where paying attention to that seesaw and going, "Well, I have to maintain composure. I've got to be the duck kicking under water, sometimes," but level so that we can deliver. And the older I've got, and the more I understand emotional intelligence, that's been really rewarding. But it's been a really, really cool experience. This year will be our five-year anniversary.

Marcus Neto: Oh, that's really cool. I'm sitting here looking at my sheet, and you've knocked out probably about the first five questions. So I'm going to get us back on track here by asking you ... You mentioned something to me earlier, and you can use that if you'd like, but are there any books, podcasts, people, or organizations that have been helpful in moving the business forward?

Brandyn Ulmer: Absolutely. So not just the business, but me, too, honestly. As far as the business, a friend of mine named Marcus Walden, who is now in Salt Lake City, he's a branch manager for a company called ANCON out of California, and he turned me onto a book called Traction by Gino Wickman. And it's the book about what's called the Entrepreneurial Operating System, and it's an operating system for your business that really, really makes the whole process very simple, understanding the importance of having a vision. What does that really mean? How to manage people, how to develop job descriptions and put the right people in the right seats. The right people are people that share your core values. In order for them to be in the right seat, they have to get it, want it, and have the capacity to do the job. And if they can't check all three of those boxes, then they're in the wrong seat.

They may be great people in your organization, but they may be doing the wrong job. And understanding how to strategically put people where they can be the most talented and that they can succeed the best. Then everybody wins. Understanding metrics and why metrics are so important, being able to keep score and see, and even being able to see into the future a little bit, even though that's tough to do sometimes when you're depending on that sales funnel to drive what's going on, really trusting and understanding your metrics and comparing them year over year or month over month. It's really good. So that book has been incredible.

From a managerial perspective, some of the things that have been really good for me are a book called The Mission: The Men and Me by Pete Blaber. Pete Blaber was a special forces commander, and I've read some of those books that are very beat my chest military, rah, rah. He's not that guy. He's a solid leader. For example, one of the things that I took from that book that's super important is reality is only reality when it's shared. My reality and your reality may be very different. Human beings tend to take things personally. We think that when somebody's laughing, "Are they laughing about me?" If you're in our seat and you have employees, if you go into a closed-door room, if you don't regularly communicate with your people, they don't really know what's going on in an organization. So it's super important that you're sharing that reality. And that helps with customers, too, because they have their reality, and if you're not sharing that, then you can't really develop the situation.

The other lessons were, don't get treed by a Chihuahua. Don't take something that's a really small problem and blow it out of proportion. Yeah. Another one that was really good was always trust the guy on the ground. At Atlas, that's really important because we have hundreds of employees, but they work everywhere else in the country. Very rarely do we see them. And so if someone calls me and says, "Hey, there's a safety issue," I have to take that at face value. I can't just assume the worst about somebody. I mean, we've got great employees. We have killer training program, and it's really tough to have to sometimes go toe-to-toe with your customers. But if someone's telling me that something is potentially going to put them in harm's way, then-

Marcus Neto: You've got to listen.

Brandyn Ulmer: I've got to listen, man.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, for sure.

Brandyn Ulmer: That one has been really, really good. And probably one of my favorite books that I've read recently is a book called Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy. My partner's son, which is really confusing, because they're both named Darrell. So I'll say big Darrell and little Darrell. Big Darrell is my partner, little Darrell, which I'm sure he will hate when he hears this, but little Darrell, he's a good friend. And he was actually in Top Of The Orange for the first leg of that, too. He called me up one day and he's like, "I got a book that you need to read." I was like, "Yeah, Okay." And when I say read, most of the time that means I listen to it in my car, full disclosure. I turned this thing on, and it was ... I swear, man, it felt like every book I had read in the last five years boiled down to the point and put all in one book.

Marcus Neto: Interesting.

Brandyn Ulmer: There were elements of atomic habits. There were elements of some Zig Ziglar stuff. There was a lot of psychology, a lot of understanding, a lot of it ... I mean, it was just a really, really, really powerful book, man. And there's so much contained in it that I almost can't pick one favorite piece. Actually, I think the piece that was really, really interesting was in order to be your best self, you have to allow yourself to be your best self. And that means that, ultimately, you have to forgive three sets of people.

The first thing is you have to forgive your parents. And it's weird because some people have weird relationships with their parents, and he teaches that in order for parents to truly love kids, they first have to love themselves. Then they have to love each other. And then they have to truly love the kid, not look at the kid like an extension of them. When they realize that kid has their own ego and their own goals and their own personality, you have to embrace that.

And I don't have kids, so I can't empathize with that. But I know how my dad was with my little brother, and coincidentally, both of them are not with us anymore. My dad died of a heart attack and my little brother actually overdosed almost a year ago, and he had it pretty rough because my dad was a football player and he really pushed him in that direction. I don't know if that had anything to do with what drove him down that path. But it was really interesting to hear that in this book. But forgiving your parents, man, the thing that I realize, I'm 36, and I think about the fact that when my dad was 36, I would've been 15. And I think about the hellion that I was at 15, and I think I'm learning new stuff all the time. I'm figuring out new things every day. And you think you're in a good place, and then a year later you think about where you are then and go, "Wow, I didn't know anything." And all these things just compound until you get to the point where it's like, "How would I deal with a 15-year-old kid right now, based on what I know?"

So I think that part of what Brian Tracy was trying to say is that in a lot of cases, your parents are doing the best that they know to do because there's no instruction manual. And so, forgive them. The other thing is forgive other people. Don't carry weight that you don't need to. Don't let people take a print in your mind because at the end of the day, it really doesn't have a whole lot of bearing because nobody's thinking about you as much as you think they are.

Marcus Neto: For sure.

Brandyn Ulmer: And then the third thing is that you have to forgive yourself for things that you may have not accomplished. And that leads me into the other book, which is one that I've read that ... I don't know if I can say it on the podcast, but it's The Subtle Art of Not Giving-

Marcus Neto: A Fuck.

Brandyn Ulmer: Exactly. I don't know if you've read that one or not, but it's a pretty quick read, but it was pretty solid.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Brandyn Ulmer: I learned a lot about entitlement, and it really snapped me out of some stuff because after dad, that was pretty heavy. And then I decided that I was going to dive in and start a company, and then COVID hit, and then my brother passed away. But don't get me wrong. I'm absolutely grateful. I'm super blessed, and I'm very, very happy, but it was just a lot of things in a row at one time.

Marcus Neto: And it could have sent you down a number of different paths.

Brandyn Ulmer: Oh, for sure. And full disclosure, I was absolutely depressed, and clinically, full-on, I have no issue talking about it because, to me, addiction and mental health are one of those things that are super stigmatized, and I think it's something that-

Marcus Neto: It shouldn't be.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah, exactly.

Marcus Neto: It shouldn't be.

Brandyn Ulmer: It really shouldn't. I mean, it affects everybody in some capacity, whether directly or indirectly by somebody that you know. But that book was really good because it taught me about entitlement. I'm not the only person that has problems, and I'm not the only person that has had to deal with the things that I'm dealing with. Doesn't mean that-

Marcus Neto: You're not a special unicorn.

Brandyn Ulmer: Exactly, man. It doesn't mean that I'm not entitled to feel any kind of way.

Marcus Neto: For sure.

Brandyn Ulmer: But I'm not the only person that's ever had to feel this kind of way. And when I heard that I was like, "Holy shit, man.I think I actually may have checked out on my little brothers and my mom and all the other people that had to deal with Dad or had to ..." You know?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Brandyn Ulmer: And I think that by the time I had got around to when everything happened with Chuck, my little brother, I had got to that place, and it really gave me that past experience to be able to help usher them through what's going on. At least that's my perspective of it. But in a nutshell, those books have been super helpful.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, that's really cool. I've mentioned to you before that Traction is something that a number of people have been talking to me about lately. And so I'm definitely putting that as a must-read, and hopefully by the time this gets released, I will have finished that one. What is the single most important thing that you've learned about running a business? And before you start answering, I've got two more questions, and we're already at 40 minutes.

Brandyn Ulmer: Okay.

Marcus Neto: So-

Brandyn Ulmer: Oh, I ran my mouth, so I can-

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Brandyn Ulmer: Surmise this. All right. Hmm. I think that the most important thing that I have learned about running a business is that you cannot do everything by yourself. You can't. And a lot of times when you own a company or when you create a company, when you read Traction, you'll learn about their definition of a visionary, somebody who sees the things that aren't there. You create these workflows, you create these models, you create these leads, you create these products, even in some cases. And visionaries have to have integrators. Visionaries build the train. They don't care if it's on time. Your integrators make sure it's on time. They make sure your machine is running, and you have to have the right people in the right seats, and you have to trust your team, and you have to bring on the right folks, and you have to hire for fit, not for skill. You know what I mean? Hire the people that are going to be good in your culture. You know what I mean?

For example, if I find somebody who has been hydro blasting for a thousand years and they come to me and they don't have a job, that's a big old red flag, first of all. But more importantly, if they don't fit the culture that we're trying to push, which is rooted in the core values of safety, professionalism, strong work ethic, and honesty, then they're not for us, no matter how talented they may be, because it really ends up creating more problems than it solves. And I think that's true for any industry.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I think, inadvertently, I've always been that way. I mean, the number of the folks that work here weren't necessarily ... They didn't have the skillset to do the job that they're currently doing, but I saw an aptitude in them and a willingness, and pushed them in the right direction. I mean, Jared started with me as a part-time videographer, and now he's the project manager and my right hand.

Brandyn Ulmer: Jared is awesome.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, he is.

Brandyn Ulmer: Jared has done some fantastic work for us. And I sing your praises often.

Marcus Neto: Well, I appreciate that.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah. Because, I mean, I haven't launched the new website yet, but it looks really good.

Marcus Neto: When it's up. But, I mean, just being able to recognize that people, intrinsically, their personality has certain characteristics that may lend themselves to certain positions within your organization is where I see this. And so recognizing that somebody's attention to detail and their ability to think about processes clearly and their patience with clients and stuff like that. Jared exhibits all of those. And Jared, I'm sorry that I'm using you as the example, but you're an amazing human, and I think you can handle it. But yeah. So, I mean, having somebody start with me as a part-time videographer and then having a conversation with them in the hallway one day and saying, "You're not living up to your potential as a videographer. You may enjoy that, but you really need to be a project manager because you have this, this, this, and this." It was an easy conversation, but also a difficult conversation. And I'm sure Jared has felt a majority of that difficulty because he's the one that has had to grow into that position and done it amazingly well. But now I'm still really looking forward to reading that book.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah. Well, we have a saying around Atlas. We say, "Get comfortable getting uncomfortable," because that's where the growth happens. I mean, when you go to the gym, you get sore because that's where the growth happens. I just recently finished the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, and one of the modules that they have is leadership. And they teach in the leadership module that there are different types of leader. There are expressives, there are drivers, there are what they call the amenable type, and then there's the numbers folks, and that's another where I can't remember what it is off the top of my head. But the neat thing about when they gave that class is I was able to look at our staff at Atlas and realize we're really well balanced. Analytical. That's the other one.

So I've got one money guy who is an absolute analytical, Mark, and he is brilliant. But then I've got another guy in finance, and he is a driver. And that's great because he's the guy on invoices. So when it comes to collections and it comes to making sure the money's moving like it's supposed to and things are driving, he's a driver, and it's great. And so every different piece, it's really nice. And so I've got an operations guy who's a driver, but then I've got a safety guy who is an amiable, and so they balance each other. So where this guy could be kind of-

Marcus Neto: It's just a small difference-

Brandyn Ulmer: ... over the top.

Marcus Neto: ... between the two, but it really just boils down to their personality.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah. Pretty much, and the way that they deliver. You take, for example, my safety guy. I say safety guy. He's a master trainer in NCCER, Dr. Tray Hood. You met Doctor-

Marcus Neto: I had an adjustment ... Well, no, I haven't actually. That never happened.

Brandyn Ulmer: We adjusted your seat.

Marcus Neto: Yes.

Brandyn Ulmer: But no, he is an absolute amiable. He doesn't like to hurt feelings. He doesn't like to deliver bad news. He wants to be liked and loved, and he wants to be that guy that people trust. And then I've got Patrick, who is a pure driver. "Get it done."

Marcus Neto: Pay me now.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah. I mean, that's Chris in finance, but you know-

Marcus Neto: Oh, I'm sorry.

Brandyn Ulmer: No, no, no. But in the operations side with Patrick, I mean, this guy is managing, moving hundreds of people through four different time zones at a given time. They dispatched 89 people over the weekend in nine different directions, airplanes, vehicles, different safety. I mean, it was crazy. So he's constantly driving. But if it was all drive, all the time, they wouldn't know if they had anybody to talk to. So outside of Jan in HR, who does a great job, Doc, who they spend more time with, because he's the one that developed them, it's like nature and nurture. You know what I mean? And so it's-

Marcus Neto: [inaudible 00:38:18].

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah. Pretty much, yeah. And it was really, really neat to be able to see that. And so you can do it all by yourself. You've got to put the right people in the right places, and you've got to trust that they're going to do the right thing by setting very clear expectations.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Well, last question. How do you like to unwind?

Brandyn Ulmer: [inaudible 00:38:40] Yeah. The interesting thing is I think I'm a serial entrepreneur and I don't know how to relax. I don't know how to slow down. I mean, we-

Marcus Neto: I was talking to Chrissy the other day. We went to the pool, and we were sitting there, and I was like, "I'm really uncomfortable." And she was like, "What do you mean?" I was like, "We're sitting here. We don't really have anything to do. And I don't know how to deal with that."

Brandyn Ulmer: Right.

Marcus Neto: It was just really weird. And actually, we got up and left, which was probably not the right thing to do. I should have probably forced myself to stay there. But I was so uncomfortable with just sitting there.

Brandyn Ulmer: I understand. I read something that was really helpful one time. It was in a book. I can't remember the book, but it talked about their core four, which was you have body, being, business, and balance. Right? You've got your health, which is your body. You've got your spirituality, which is your being. You've got your business, which is obvious, and then you've got your balance, which is that whole/work life situation. You can only make deposits in those four areas. And if you over-deposit in one, then you have to under-deposit in another. And the deposits are basically time. We have a finite amount of time during the day to do with what we will, and it's super important.

But the thing is, when you're a visionary or when you're a driver or you're a builder, just somebody who creates things, you recognize opportunity and you recognize the idea and you get excited by the premise of going, "I'm going to turn this into a thing." Right now, me, I have Atlas Industrial Outsourcing, Atlas Industrial Leasing, Atlas Property Holdings, I've got Table 10 Properties with my wife. I've actually just launched a software platform that ... Well, I launched it into development. So I guess I'm in development on something that's called Planet. It's an operational software. And then I'm starting this cryptocurrency education company with some friends. And I don't know how to slow down. My wife and I, we tried to go to Harris the other day just to-

Marcus Neto: Just to relax.

Brandyn Ulmer: Just to relax. And I'm sitting there in the cabana, like, "I could be working on something right now." You know what I mean? So it's just-

Marcus Neto: Well, I can relate, because, I mean, a fun thing to do when we get together with people is we'll throw around ideas, and sometimes the ideas, they're stupid and you know they're stupid before they even come out of your mouth. But at the same time, I have told people in my life, Rick, who is a mutual friend of both of ours, he comes to me with all kinds of ideas. And I tell him just flat out, "Ah, that's not a good one, but keep trying."

Brandyn Ulmer: Keep them coming.

Marcus Neto: And Barry is another one that is always coming up with ideas. And the reason why is because it's a muscle.

Brandyn Ulmer: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: And the more that you can come up with those ideas, the better those ideas get to the point where then now we are coming up with some ideas that are worthwhile.

Brandyn Ulmer: Everything starts as a concept, and sometimes you'll come up with an idea out of nowhere, and it's a completely spaced-out idea. But then you think about it, and it's like, "Well, okay, we obviously can't have robots running all the things," but let's back that up into some blue sky reality and go, "Maybe some automation of some of this stuff does make sense." We can't make the robots push the buttons, but we can-

Marcus Neto: ... make them do work if we push the buttons.

Brandyn Ulmer: Exactly. So throwing those ideas out there, eventually something sticks, or if anything, having all that creativity in one space, it's going to motivate people to want to continue to throw ideas out there. And when you get enough creative people in a safe space where it's like, "I'm not going to be judged for throwing a crazy idea on the table," there's no telling. I mean, isn't that how the iPod happened?" You know what I mean? Some of that stuff at the end of the day.

Marcus Neto: Some of the stuff that we've come up with as human beings is mind boggling, when you think about it, and it was all just started with some guy thinking, "What if?"

Brandyn Ulmer: That's it.

Marcus Neto: Dot, dot, dot.

Brandyn Ulmer: That's it.

Marcus Neto: So try that when you're with your friends next time. Where can people find you?

Brandyn Ulmer: Best thing to do is go to the website, That is the easiest way to reach us if you are looking for a job or if you are looking for some help.

Marcus Neto: Very good and social media as well? Outsourcing on Facebook and-

Brandyn Ulmer: We are. Facebook, LinkedIn, probably all the other ones, too, to be honest.

Marcus Neto: Very good. Well, I want to thank you for coming on the podcast. To wrap up, any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share?

Brandyn Ulmer: No, man. I appreciate you having me. I think that what you're doing by having people here to just discuss these things is really cool. I look forward to coming to one of those ideal parties and just knock some stuff around, man.

Marcus Neto: Exactly. You mentioned the podcast. This is also selfish because I invite smart people to come on a podcast.

Brandyn Ulmer: How did I get here?

Marcus Neto: They get exposure because of it, and then he's being funny, but he is an extremely smart individual. But I invite smart people, and they talk to me about things that they've learned, and I'm learning through them. And I'm also understanding where I probably need to put some time. So for instance, if three or four people in a very short period of time mention a book to you, then read the f-ing book, Marcus.

Brandyn Ulmer: I've had four or five different people in my office. I actually have gotten to a point now where I will buy four or five copies of this book and leave it on my bookshelf. I have a friend who owns a fence company. I was talking to him yesterday, and I was like, "There's the book. Read that, and then we'll have this conversation." I've got another friend that just started a construction company, "Read that." When we started this crypto thing, before we ever dove in, I gave both of these guys a copy of Traction, and I was like-

Marcus Neto: Read this.

Brandyn Ulmer: This first.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Brandyn Ulmer: All the other stuff, the product is obvious. The way the machine will run? This. Read this. So the number of, I call them OSMs, the oh shit moments. When you read something, you go, "Oh shit."

Marcus Neto: [inaudible 00:44:59]

Brandyn Ulmer: When they boil it down and you read some of the stuff, it's like, "Fuck. Yeah." And I tell you, I fought it for a long time. When I first got the book a couple of years ago, I would read it in sections, and then I would butt up against the wall and have an issue, and I'd be like, "How do I deal with this?"

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Read the book. Yeah. Yeah.

Brandyn Ulmer: "Why didn't I just do that?" It's definitely worth it. And there may be some pieces that you retrofit into your organization, and obviously, you don't have to uproot your entire operating system and move into the EOS. We don't use EOS. I use components of it that made sense for us.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Brandyn Ulmer: But it's really, really well done.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. That's cool. I look forward to reading it.

Brandyn Ulmer: For sure.

Marcus Neto: Well, Brandyn, I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It's been great talking with you, man.

Brandyn Ulmer: Thanks brother.

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