Dustin Jackson with EZN

Dustin Jackson with EZN

This week on The Mobile Alabama Business Podcast, we sit down with Dustin Jackson with EZN. Listen in as we discuss how he grew his business from a sign in the yard to the multi-revenue source engine it is today!

Produced by Blue Fish


Dustin Jackson: I'm Dustin Jackson. I own EZN, a multitude of businesses under that name, but that's who I am.

Marcus Neto: Very cool. Yay! Well, welcome to the podcast, Dustin.

Dustin Jackson: Thank you.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. So normally when we get started, we want to hear a little bit about the story. And I mean, full disclosure for those of you that are listening, we just met.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. Yeah.

Marcus Neto: So I know nothing really about you, or where you came from, or all that stuff. So I'm learning this along with you guys. So tell us the story of Dustin. Where are you from? Where'd you go to high school? Did you go to college? What'd you study? Are you married? All those kinds of things.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So funny story is you actually do know me, you just don't know it yet.

Marcus Neto: How is that?

Dustin Jackson: Blue Fish designed my first EZN logo back in 2014, or 2015. When I started, you had an employee here.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And I don't know if we should mention him, but anyways, but you guys...

Marcus Neto: No, it's fine. Was it Rhen?

Dustin Jackson: Rhen, yeah.

Marcus Neto: Rhen Bartlett, okay.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. And so he designed the logo for me, and then like I said, that was our first logo coming out for this business, for EZN. When it was first starting out, it started out very small and humble as a little small storage place. But yeah, so it was a small project, and we just hired you guys.

Marcus Neto: Well, I apologize that I didn't remember that man...

Dustin Jackson: Oh well, like I said...

Marcus Neto: I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

Dustin Jackson: Exactly.

Marcus Neto: So don't take that any way, but no, that's cool.

Dustin Jackson: It is. But yeah, so I'm originally from Birmingham. I've lived in Mobile for 14 years, and this is home sweet home now. I go visit Birmingham, but this is home. Love the water, we live on the water. I am married with four kids, ranging from 13 to two.

Marcus Neto: You figured that out, now right?

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. I was adding, making sure...

Marcus Neto: No, no I meant that...

Dustin Jackson: I didn't leave nobody out. There's one important one though, by the way.

Marcus Neto: I meant, you figured out how kids happened not...

Dustin Jackson: Oh, yeah, and that I can count too.

Marcus Neto: Of the ages.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. Don't ask me their birthdays, but yeah, we did figure out what caused the kids. We haven't stopped. We've stopped practicing to the full extent.

Marcus Neto: There you go.

Dustin Jackson: No, but no, all's good. We love them. Went to high school in Birmingham, started junior college. We went to junior college in Birmingham, Jeff State, graduated with two year degrees from there and then went to South Alabama to finish up civil engineering, which I don't use at all. I own a detail shop at a storage facility, but I am practicing some of my engineering and drafting talents right now. We're drawing my site map. I'm drawing my own site map for a boat show that we're putting on this year.

Marcus Neto: Oh, very cool.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. So...

Marcus Neto: Those skills still come in handy every once in a while.

Dustin Jackson: They do.

They do. I don't think having an engineering mind, you ever really turn it off. It's all numbers and calculating and stuff and that's just kind of what goes on, but the actual skillset itself doesn't get used that much.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, no, that's cool. Now. I mean, go back to your first job. Were there any lessons that you still remember from that?

Dustin Jackson: So I guess I would call a serial entrepreneur because my first job was actually working for myself. I think all kids, I had a grass cutting business, but my first official job, I owned a paintball field and I went and started it in my backyard.

We had some acreage there in Birmingham, some woods and went and actually some of it was ours, some of it was family. And so, I went and politiced to use that land and roped it off and hired my friends from high school. And we started a paintball field.

Marcus Neto: That's cool.

Dustin Jackson: And then come to find out, there was a farm down the road and the guy was upset about the cows and the paintballs and stuff. So I had to sign to close there, but I didn't give up. I went and leased some property at 15 and down the road. And then...

Marcus Neto: Wait a second. I'm sorry. Did you say you just leased property at 15?

Dustin Jackson: At 15, sure did. Yeah. Sure did. And moved there, signed the contract, everything in my name, which is illegal. By the way, the contract was not valid.

Marcus Neto: Null and void. Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: It was. It was. Have a business license in my name that sits in my office at 14. And so...

Marcus Neto: I didn't even know that you could do that?

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. You sure can. You can have a business license in your name, have the lease and all. It's still folded up the way it was with my signature on it and everything. It's really funny.

Marcus Neto: That's pretty cool.

Dustin Jackson: But that was it. I mean, that was my first job and I learned a lot. I mean, when you jump off and it's when it's all on your shoulders, you find out real quick how much there is in business and what it takes to really run a business and what it takes to get people to help you run that business because you can't do it by yourself.

Marcus Neto: For sure.

Dustin Jackson: And at 14 and 15 and 16, it's like getting thrown in the deep end and learning how to swim. So...

Marcus Neto: Yeah. No, it's true. I often tell people that... And there's a passage and I can't remember, I am horrible at...

You'll learn if you listen in this podcast, I'm horrible at remembering specifics. But I remember the idea, right?

Dustin Jackson: Absolutely. Yeah.

Marcus Neto: And so, but there's the lamp onto my feet idea from the Bible where it's like, you have to keep taking steps and walking by faith and each step illuminates the next step.

Dustin Jackson: The next step.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. The next step and so owning a business is much like that in that there are problems that present themselves or steps that you have to take by faith, but you really don't have the full picture of what's coming until you start moving in that general direction. And so, that's why I often encourage people just like you have to take action.

Dustin Jackson: Just keep going...

Marcus Neto: Keep going.

Dustin Jackson: And don't look back. So it's okay to look back and see where you've come from, but don't focus on anything this way.

Marcus Neto: Right. Use...

Dustin Jackson: Good or bad. Just kind of...

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Use it as a historical like, "I don't really want to make those mistakes."

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. Okay. Yeah, right.

Yeah, exactly. And that's what's fun about business. It's what's fun to me about business is you never know, every day is a new challenge and that's what keeps it interesting. That's what keeps it fun. I wouldn't know what to do if I was going somewhere eight to five, doing the same thing every day.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: It's just not my style.

Marcus Neto: So no, I completely get that. Now, how did you get started in EZN?

Dustin Jackson: So I had sold off a software company and moved my office back home, to have a home office and realized, like I said, I had four kid. I had three at the time and realized real fast I didn't want to have an office at home.

Marcus Neto: I feel you.

Dustin Jackson: So I needed an office outside of home and I needed a reason. And so I had owned a little piece of property there in Saraland. And basically man just cleared the property off, just drove past there one day said, you know what, I had my camper and my boat there. And I said, this will be a perfect storage spot.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Small cleared it off, put a fence around it, stuck a sign in the yard. And it started from there. And when I tell you it grew like wildfire, it was really crazy. And I would love to say, I just had this vision of this huge storage facility in detail. It wasn't that, man.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: I needed a office. And so I just...

Marcus Neto: And then really all of this is just bullshit. You just needed an office, some place to go every day...

Dustin Jackson: Yeah, man. I'd love to say like, "I just saw this huge vision", but I didn't. And I needed an office. I cleared the property, started getting phone calls, started putting stuff there, filled it up, was fixing it by another acre behind this little small property and the city wouldn't rezone it. And it was on residential and mine was commercial and would not. I fought them on it. And because I thought that's where I needed to be.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Dustin Jackson: Well it ended up God looking out for me. It wasn't meant to be, where I'm at now, which was right up the street, which used to be the old Ford lumber property in Saraland, that pushed me there. It made me have to go dive off in.

Marcus Neto: It's probably a hell of a lot better facility...

Dustin Jackson: About six and a half acres. I mean all paved, all fenced buildings and everything. So yeah, it was much better and it's been work, filling it up. It didn't just happen overnight. It seems like it has, but it doesn't. It's work every day.

Marcus Neto: So you and I talked about this beforehand, because I was just, I mean admittedly, I was doing some research and just trying to figure out what is the actual business, but why don't you tell people? I mean, because it encompasses a number of different things.

Dustin Jackson: It does. So EZN, I mean first and foremost, if you drive past EZN, you see all the boats and campers in the buildings, that's storage, we store boats and campers, big equipment uncovered and covered. So EZN is known for their storage.

As you go onto the property, you'll see a big building on the left and that's a retail store and we sell things like ATFCO, HOOK, LAIC. We're known for our local brands, hats, t-shirts, all kind of outdoor apparel. And then of course, now EZN is really known for our detailing business, where we detail automobiles, boats, planes, we're doing a jet next week, a Falcon jet. So...

Marcus Neto: Obviously you go to a jet.

Dustin Jackson: Yep. We go to a jet.

Marcus Neto: I was going to that say, nobody's...

Dustin Jackson: Really, I mean I'd love to see it land there, but I don't know how it turned out for the jet, not even prepared...

Marcus Neto: Landing a jet in your neighborhood is probably not a... Yeah, that's wrong.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. So they're parked at Brooklyn and we got the job. It's not our first plane. We actually did a Cessna for a friend of mine per my insurance company. We've only done one plane. This will be our second one. And so, we done the little Cessna out and then we were acquired by this owner to go do their jet. But yeah, I mean we do everything. We do big rigs. We do automobiles, like I said, boats and stuff.

Marcus Neto: Wow.

Dustin Jackson: Yep.

Marcus Neto: No, that's really cool. Now, do you remember, and I mean so you've been at the entrepreneurial game if you will, for a long time, but I'm speaking specifically about EZN. You had an epiphany moment driving by your boat, your camper were there and you said, oh, I'm going to make this into a storage place. But do you remember after that, as you started to build in all the facility and stuff like that, do you remember a moment where you thought, okay, this was the right move, I've stumbled onto something here.

Dustin Jackson: I remember the point where I thought it was the wrong move first.

Marcus Neto: Okay. Of course.

Dustin Jackson: And so we moved up to the big property and shoved all chips in, I mean took my life savings at that point and bought it...

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And said, okay, we're going in. And it was in the middle of the summer. And I didn't think about a storage facility in the middle of the summer, whether we stored boats and campers, people are using our stuff. And so we go in assuming that this place is just going to fill up because the other one did and the phones weren't ringing.

And we had 20 or 30 items that we brought up from the old storage facility. But it was months, before really the phone started ringing. And so that moment, I'm standing out in the parking lot and I'm looking around like, "I've really messed up here."

Fast forward, probably a year after that, after I was dodging boats and campers coming into the parking lot and looking around and everything's just plush full and it's like, "Okay, this thing could work." And so, just those moments and like I told you before, when you're running a business, you don't look back that much and I don't, I'm always looking forward.

So to define that moment of clarity or moment of made it, it's really hard to put a pin on it. But I do remember standing out in the parking lot and looking at everything, being full and business going on, people pulling in the parking lot. Like okay, this thing could go and we were already all in at that point. So it wasn't...

Marcus Neto: It's like phew! Thank God.

Dustin Jackson: It wasn't like this beautiful. It was like a...

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. Now I can stay in my house.

Marcus Neto: Not that angelic voices were singing from on high. It's like, wow God, thank you. Phew. So...

Dustin Jackson: That worked.

Marcus Neto: I know. Now, if you were talking to someone who wanted to get started on running their own business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Dustin Jackson: To not be naive and think that you're going to work less as owning your business. I tell everybody I work 80 hours a week, so I don't have to work 40.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Granted, there is some perks, you can pick and choose some things. But to be ready to work, if it's going to be successful, it doesn't happen out of the box for most people.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Dustin Jackson: I know there's those one offs that just hit boom it works...

Marcus Neto: The unicorns.

Dustin Jackson: But a lot of the time, yeah. I mean the majority, any business that I've been affiliated with and anything that I've ever seen is you got to work for it and don't think that it just happens because you put an open sign on the door, you got to work it, you got to network, you got to talk to people, you got to tell people what you do.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I almost laugh. Because, I own a... In case, you didn't know, I own an advertising agency, right?

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. Yeah. I'd heard.

Marcus Neto: That's what we do.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. Y'all design logos too.

Marcus Neto: Exactly. But I laugh because I look back and at one point in time, I really didn't advertise the business and it wasn't until I started pushing on the accelerator pedal and advertising the business and promoting it, where things started taking off...

Dustin Jackson: Sure.

Marcus Neto: To the point where we were at close to a hundred. Well, I won't say that we were definitely over 50, 60% growth year over year for a number of years until COVID happened.

Dustin Jackson: Sure.

Marcus Neto: And then we contracted a little bit last year, but it wasn't what it could have been...

Dustin Jackson: Wasn't detrimental.

Marcus Neto: And so, all I'd to say is, and I mean this year we will grow over last year. But all I'd to say is it is amazing to me just how much effort you have to put into something just to let people know that it exists.

Dustin Jackson: That's exactly right.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: And so yeah. It's your words of wisdom there for sure. Anything that you can talk about that you're currently working on?

Dustin Jackson: Well, speaking to what you just said about having to tell people what you do. So our retail store on our property doesn't have a storefront. So it's a block building and it's got a glass door that doesn't even face the road.

Marcus Neto: Oh, wow.

Dustin Jackson: And so you talk about getting the word out or telling people what you do. If you're in the middle of six and a half acres and a busy road, people don't even know...

Marcus Neto: Somebody who'd buy boats and RVs and stuff.

Dustin Jackson: And you're selling t-shirts and hats and shorts in there.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: So you got to tell people what you do. And we've been able to use social media and I've used social media for a long time. I knew that that was the window to the world basically. And it only became more and more prominent that way. So we've used social media to advertise that store as the window to our store. And that was a huge portion of the store's success was to just get in front of people and stay in front of people because they're not going to drive by and go, "Hey, there's a bunch of campers and boats. I think I'll go buy a pair of shorts."

Marcus Neto: Yeah. No.

Dustin Jackson: That just don't happen. So...

Marcus Neto: I wonder if they have the black ops clothes, that I was looking for...

Dustin Jackson: Right? Yeah. Here's that hat. But yeah, so just speaking of that, you got to tell people what you do. And we tell that story over and over almost on every hour on our VIP page, on Facebook telling people, "Hey, here we are. This is what we got."

Marcus Neto: Right.

Dustin Jackson: But what was the question though, I did...?

Marcus Neto: No, no, no. What are you currently working on that you can talk about?

Dustin Jackson: Oh man, I'd love to talk about our boat show. We had one last year, first weekend of March. Mobile was shut down due to COVID, they're indoors. Same way with Belgique, same way with Orange beach isn't indoors, but they were having issues that they couldn't do it and Panama city.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: So that's a big portion of our first quarter income for retail, was we always set up as a vendor inside those boat shows, a very large spot. And so I'll never forget the second week of January, we come back and get the emails that they had canceled. And I'm like, "We can't cancel. We got to sell. We have all this inventory ordered up to participate in these shows and we got to do something." And...

Marcus Neto: I ain't never thought about that. I mean, you start ordering inventory...

Dustin Jackson: Oh yeah. We order...

Marcus Neto: Something like that, ooh.

Dustin Jackson: We ordered it in the spring for the fall. So anyways, a year ahead of time.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And so, we had that moment where we got to get out and do something. We got to make something happen. And it started small, we were just going to do a little show on my property and then quickly started calling a few friends and they're dealers of boats. And they're like, "Man, we're coming. We'll bring everything we got." And I'm like, "Yeah, yeah."

Marcus Neto: Wait, wait, wait.

Dustin Jackson: So then we migrated to another piece of property there in Saraland and quickly filled it up just to verbal commitments. And I'm like, "This ain't going to work." So then we ended up at the Battleship Park. I mean it went off great. We had six weeks to plan it. Our team came together, took over a monumental task and just handled it.

We had over 50 vendors, we had over 150 boats there and it was just a hundred percent success. And when, usually when you do an event that big or you do something that big, there's going to be something like somebody didn't have a great experience, you should have done something differently. And it just wasn't the case, man, everybody left there and just high five and best show ever. They just loved it.

And so, fast forward to now we're planning boat show number two because boat show number one was such a huge success.

Marcus Neto: Very cool.

Dustin Jackson: So that's going to be first weekend in April 2022 there at Battleship Park, bigger and better...

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Dustin Jackson: 100 vendors, 200 boats, other things, other cool things coming. I don't want to make those announcements yet.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. No, its cool.

Dustin Jackson: But just know that once we make those announcements, some cool stuff coming so...

Marcus Neto: That is really cool. Because I know, I mean people love their boats in this area. Although I don't know that I'll ever, I just, and too many headaches for me. But...

Dustin Jackson: Yeah, yeah.

Marcus Neto: I love having friends that have boats.

Dustin Jackson: Absolutely that's the best kind of boat to have you, your buddies boat's the best one to have...

Marcus Neto: Yeah, exactly I'll pitch in on gas and...

Dustin Jackson: Absolutely.

Marcus Neto: Help you throw some lines on a pier or something like that. But...

Dustin Jackson: That's right.

Marcus Neto: I don't know, maybe one of these days, but...

Dustin Jackson: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: Well if you look, actually you know what, I'm going to throw this question out just as an aside, I always ask this question. Who is the one person that motivates you from the business world? Do you have an answer? Because I know that...

Dustin Jackson: I have a few, I mean...

Marcus Neto: Yeah, go ahead. Because I think people struggle with this one because they...

Dustin Jackson: No, I don't struggle at all. Gary Vee's, a pretty given one just because of that same mindset, that same just drive and passion to work and grow. Not to get political and I don't know that I want to say, I mean, Donald Trump, just pre-presidential Donald Trump, just the magnitude of his name, his name's a verb, like he got trumped or whatever. And I always looked at that like, "Man, that's saying something."

Marcus Neto: Right?

Dustin Jackson: So I...

Marcus Neto: Don't care who you are, but to be able to make the kind of money that he made in real estate. And say what you will about him as a president, it doesn't matter. But to say, to be able to do what he did in New York City, of all places. That's not a small feat.

Dustin Jackson: No. Not at all.

Marcus Neto: I mean, come on, they're building skyscrapers. This is not, I didn't build a house, I'm like blocks away...

Dustin Jackson: Like a few houses, right.

Marcus Neto: I'm building skyscrapers in New York, there's some success there.

Dustin Jackson: And did a lot of good there. So those are... I just look at that and I mean those are big time idols and as such like that I look to and try to obviously I'm going to...

Marcus Neto: Emulate in some way.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah, that's right.

Marcus Neto: For sure. And in the very least in the attitude with which they approach their work and the seriousness with which they take it. So Gary Vee is somebody that I've known and followed for a long time. And I think, we just talked to Lynne Chronister, she's being released the week before you. And so she got a number of hats that she wears over at University of South Alabama. And I won't even try and remember her title.

But one of the things that she said was that a lot of people are, the 58% of their students in 2019, graduated in State Mobile, which I thought was an interesting stat.

Dustin Jackson: Absolutely. Yeah.

Marcus Neto: Because I had not heard that, but then the thing that she said was that a majority of the students, now have this desire to work for themselves. And a buddy of mine, Matt Jones, who lives in Huntsville, used to live here. We were having this discussion a decade ago about the freelancer economy and how things were going to independent contractor situations and stuff like that. And it's just interesting to me because I think we're now seeing all that, we're seeing the solopreneur that wants to do whatever...

Dustin Jackson: Venture out.

Marcus Neto: Yeah and have the freedom...

Dustin Jackson: And I think there's a certain coolness factor to it that's come along. And unfortunately when you get knee deep in it's not that cool. It's a lot of work.

Marcus Neto: No, it's not.

Dustin Jackson: But I think there's that coolness factor of this is mine and I own it...

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And I control my destiny in a sense. And so like myself, it's not a choice to me, whether I wake up and go run a business, it's just innate. I couldn't...

Marcus Neto: It's the only thing you can do.

Dustin Jackson: I can't imagine not...

Marcus Neto: You are unemployable at this point in time.

Dustin Jackson: Absolutely, 100 percent. I've been that way since I can even remember. So there was never that coolness factor. It was just like life. That was life for me. So I think that it does have a coolness factor to it. And I love it. I mean, I love to see people starting business out. We get phone calls all the time of just people that see our business, see our Facebook and our marketing and stuff. And they want to know how and why. And we love to answer those questions because we want to see other people doing the same thing...

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And it's fun to see other people succeed and along with us and all of us grow together.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

I thought that was interesting from the standpoint of, I think Gary Vaynerchuk is the guy that has done the most...

Dustin Jackson: Absolutely, no question about.

Marcus Neto: It for making it sexy, to being an entrepreneur, to the detriment of a lot of people, because they're not meant to be entrepreneurs.

Dustin Jackson: Right. Yeah. Right. Bill Gates, I mean the mindset there and I mean, he's done a fantastic job, but it's just a rough style of ownership and management, but it worked.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: I mean, it worked huge. But Gary Vee, I'll never forget when I first started listening to him, it was not like I'm listening to him for ideas. And it was the listening to him going, "Wow, there's somebody else that thinks like this."

Marcus Neto: Yeah, for sure.

Dustin Jackson: Like there's somebody else that they don't have a choice in this, it's just like, you get up and you go every day and that's...

Marcus Neto: It's intrinsically part of who you are.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah, man. So that's what really steered me to following him and really appreciating what he has to say.

Marcus Neto: No, completely 100% agree. So besides Gary Vee, you can't use him as a answer to this next section, but are there any books, podcasts, people, or organizations that have been helpful in moving you forward?

Dustin Jackson: Books? Man, I read every day, all the time. "Can't hurt me", was a good one, David Goggins.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Just a soul searching kind of book.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Figuring out who you are. I did 75 hard, by the way.

Marcus Neto: You did?

Dustin Jackson: This was man. And that was with, I done that last year, right at what? The fourth quarter maybe. And went through it the first time. No fails.

Marcus Neto: Good. Because, that's I mean...

Dustin Jackson: It was tough.

Marcus Neto: That's saying something.

Dustin Jackson: It was life changing.

Marcus Neto: And let's pause for just a second. So 75 hard is something that Andy Frisella...

Dustin Jackson: Yep.

Marcus Neto: Put together. He's the owner of 1st Phorm.

Dustin Jackson: That's right.

Marcus Neto: Number one, S-T, P-H-O-R-M, which is a supplement company. He's based out of St. Louis. If, I look...

Dustin Jackson: St. Louis, I think so.

Marcus Neto: Yes, Andy, if you're out there and you're...

Dustin Jackson: Andy?

Marcus Neto: You hear this, so sorry, dude. But anyway, I'm sure he's hurting that, I can't get that right.

Which is billions...

Dustin Jackson: Trillions.

Marcus Neto: Of dollars that, but anyway, so he started this because he has a podcast. He is an amazing individual from the standpoint of, he wants to educate people and help them become better. But he started a 75 hard program, which is 75 days. It's a gallon of water every day or something like that. It's a diet or something like that...

Dustin Jackson: Yeah.A gallon of water, work out twice a day.

Marcus Neto: Work out twice a day.

Dustin Jackson: One of them has to outside, rain or shine.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Read every day. Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Take a picture. Which was weird, all right. So the picture thing, and that seems like such the easiest part.

Marcus Neto: Nope.

Dustin Jackson: But man...

Marcus Neto: Extremely important.

Dustin Jackson: It's every day, you can't forget it. And like me, I'm just not a picture taking person anyway.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And so to ask my wife to take this picture, it's an awkward moment for me.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Strict diet, got to stick to a diet. Can't fail. Not one time. If you fail any of these in one day...

Marcus Neto: You have to start over again.

Dustin Jackson: Start all the way over.

Marcus Neto: And he didn't charge for this.

Dustin Jackson: No, the app's like three bucks or something. I mean...

Marcus Neto: Yeah and then you don't even have to use an app.

Dustin Jackson: No you don't. Nah you could just...

Marcus Neto: I mean, he's got a book now. I don't think you have to use the book. I just told you the program.

Dustin Jackson: That's right. That's right.

Marcus Neto: Really the book is just to help you...

Dustin Jackson: Guide you along and...

Marcus Neto: Figure it out.

Dustin Jackson: But it was so life changing in the fact to watch the self-discipline...

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: Is where it was at. And to hold yourself accountable to every decision you make. And it was incredible the mind change and where I was from start to finish.

Marcus Neto: Because it makes you intentional on everything that you're doing, that means you have...

Dustin Jackson: Everything you do.

Marcus Neto: To do these things...

Dustin Jackson: It's a... Yep.

Marcus Neto: And you can't let any of the other decisions that you make affect your ability to get these small things accomplished.

Dustin Jackson: Right? No alcohol. That was a big one. That was a big one. For me, that was a real big one.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: I love a cold beer, but yeah. I mean, it's conscious and you got to make those decisions every single day, day in, day out, seven days a week, holidays, birthday. My birthday was in the middle of it. I mean my wife...

Marcus Neto: No cake, no ice-cream, no nothing.

Dustin Jackson: No, man, but it was great. It was great.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: I loved it. So those things and I read all the time. So to just nail it down to one is tough, but a compilation of everything is really what defines me.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. It's cool that you mentioned 75. I think only one other person has mentioned 75 hard. And I know he's got a lot of listeners in this area. I mean, I would seriously suggest that if you're out there listening to this and you haven't looked at it, like go take a look at it.

Dustin Jackson: No, absolutely.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Andy Frisella, A-N-D-Y F-R-I-S-E-L-L-A, I think...

Dustin Jackson: I'm glad you took on the spelling of that. I had the first one down, the Andy one. I was like, "I could have nailed that one."

Marcus Neto: I had it on the bottom of my shoe. That's why. Right.

Dustin Jackson: Nice.

Marcus Neto: But no, I mean, it's a really good program and I think there's a lot of... And I think discipline is something that we just lack a lot of in our society.

Dustin Jackson: Absolutely.

Well, it's you get everything you want, it's on demand. And the more that we get it, the more we expect it like this whenever we want it. And so something like that forces you to change that and just build it.

Marcus Neto: Where you have to be focused on it.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: Well, what is the most important thing that you've learned about running a business?

Dustin Jackson: The most important thing I've learned that it takes a team. You can't do it all by yourself.

And I never had the problem of trying to do it all by myself, but I think to open my mind and to learn how to build a really big team and keep the relationships and keep the same family atmosphere that I loved through all my businesses.

And they were all five to 10 employees. And now that we've grown to over 30, I want that same feeling. And so learning how important that is and how to nurture those relationships and how to give everybody their own time is super important as we grow and get bigger, those things are still very important to me.

Marcus Neto: So how are you intentional on making sure that you maintain those relationships?

Dustin Jackson: Oh man, we did a booze cruise last Saturday and we do it annually and I load up all of our employees and their plus ones, whoever it is, friend, girlfriend, husband, wife, whatever.

And we get on boats and we go out to an island and we take over the island, man. We just go out and have fun. And we have fun together outside of work, we shut the company down and we go have fun together.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: So... And those things are important and then they cost a lot. And it's a commitment on ourself, our team, its financial commitment when you shut down the business and you're paying for everything to go.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: But it pays dividends, when you talk about building the team and the family atmosphere outside of work, and people are throwing the football or sliding down the slide or whatever it is, just having fun with each other. And it's not about business and it's not about work. So...

Marcus Neto: No, I think one of the things that a lot of businesses lose sight of is that, yes, you are a paycheck to people, but you're also a place where your employees spend more time than anywhere else.

Dustin Jackson: Absolutely.

Marcus Neto: That may be bad.

Dustin Jackson: Yep.

Marcus Neto: And if you can, and not that you would do this with a bad motive, but the more that you can make, someone's work life a fun and reasonable thing where they enjoy each other's company and can relate to each other and have friendships and stuff like that. I mean, let's just be honest. It's going to be something that they think about...

Dustin Jackson: Sure.

Marcus Neto: If somebody comes along and offers them another job.

Dustin Jackson: That's right. If the decisions to be made there...

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And we're comparing, it will...

Marcus Neto: What's the work environment going to be like?

Dustin Jackson: Hopefully have that.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And empowering our employees, we do a profit share. So everybody knows the numbers, we don't hide behind the numbers. We have great months, we have bad months and everybody knows when we have each. And everybody's voice matters in my companies. We bring them together, we solve problems together. I don't rule with an iron fist. We come together and we solve problems and it's not always rainbows and butterflies, but you know what, at the end of the day, everybody knows that we got each other's back and we're there together.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, no, it's really cool. Hardest question. This is literally the hardest question. How do you like to unwind?

Dustin Jackson: Michelob ULTRA.

Marcus Neto: It's too easy.

Dustin Jackson: Too easy, I mean, unwind. I don't know that. And that's probably, I don't know that I ever unwind. I don't know that it ever really turns off, but on my boat, I love to get in the boat and cruise. I'm not kidding about Michelob ULTRA. No, being with my family on the boat, just going cruising. Winter time is brutal...

Marcus Neto: So here's follow up question.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: What's your favorite attainable boat?

Dustin Jackson: Oh man! If, I could just...

Marcus Neto: Not one that, may not be one that you currently have, but one that is attainable to you.

Dustin Jackson: I want one that I can live on. I mean, that's my end goal. As far as boats concerned, 50, 60 foot, something that we can stay on. And I mean, we detail a lot of them. We have a road crew that goes out and does nothing but 50 foot and larger boats.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Dustin Jackson: So I see them all the time and I'm drooling on the side of them secretly.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: But yeah, I mean, I'd love a large boat that we could go in and stay for the weekend and just enjoy it. That's just where my peace is outside of work.

Marcus Neto: If I was going to have a boat, which I've already said on record on tape...

Dustin Jackson: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: That I don't ever want to own one, but I have a friend who has a 63 foot boat.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: And the fun that we can have on a boat of that size is just absolutely incredible. You've got interior space that if it's too hot, people can go in cool off.

Dustin Jackson: Yep.

Marcus Neto: You've got a little galley that you can fix some food and a couple of refrigerators that you can store some things in and stuff. A couple of cabins where people can sleep if you're doing an overnight or something, but they are a lot of fun, but also really expensive.

Dustin Jackson: They are. I love the freedom of it, to be able to unhook and go wherever you want to go. I mean, I think there's some value there as far as freedom of the mind, as freedom of the body and you can go do what you want to do and you don't like it, pick up and go to the next place.

Marcus Neto: One of the best experiences I've ever had on vacation was, Kristy and I went down to St... Was it St. Thomas? No, it wasn't St. Thomas, St. John? What's the other virgin island, is it St. Thomas? I forget. Anyway...

Dustin Jackson: Not sure. Yeah.

Marcus Neto: We went down to an island and one in the US virgin islands, and we rented a sailboat with some friends and it's a long story. I will spare you the gory details.

The friends actually ended up getting in a fight...

Dustin Jackson: Oh.

Marcus Neto: Which we don't need to expand on, but the time that we spent on the boat was absolutely amazing because we could go to any bay, we could go to any little cove, we could...

Dustin Jackson: Sure. Wherever...

Marcus Neto: We could go off and snorkel with sea turtles, if we wanted to, we could go off and naked snorkel with sea turtles, if we wanted to, which we've done, I can say bucket list item.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah, right.

Marcus Neto: If you want to naked snorkel in the Caribbean, you can do it. What it is, it's a very free thing where it's just like, "Hey, where do we want to... Hey, let's go get some tacos over at that place at the other island, blah, blah, blah."

Dustin Jackson: Right. And just pick up and cruise over.

Marcus Neto: Where do we want to anchor for dinner or for staying tonight and stuff like that.

Dustin Jackson: Yep.

Marcus Neto: It was a really good time. All right. Well, where can people find you?

Dustin Jackson: Pretty much any social media, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, all the above, our podcast is there on Spotify and YouTube of course.

Marcus Neto: Very cool.

Dustin Jackson: Like I said, so anywhere, find us at EZN, find us at Detail Bookie, which is my software company.

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Dustin Jackson: We develop the software that runs my detailed business.

Marcus Neto: I do remember having conversations about that about a year or so ago.

Dustin Jackson: Yep.

So we developed that software and yeah. Yeah. We'd reached out to you about doing some marketing for us.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Dustin Jackson: And I forgot about that actually. So yeah, we built that software up, it run my company so well, we said, let's take it to other detailers and we lease it as a software service to them.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Who knows it better than you do?

Dustin Jackson: That's right. And it's doing great, man. It's finally taken off. So we do a weekly podcast that you can find on our Facebook Live or YouTube.

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Dustin Jackson: And then of course it's air on Spotify. So...

Marcus Neto: Very cool. Well, I want to thank you again for coming on my podcast.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Marcus Neto: To wrap up any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share.

Dustin Jackson: No, man, I appreciate this time and opportunity. I respect everything that you got going on down here and a beautiful place. We need some windows in our building, I know that, but love it here. I love what you're doing and I appreciate the time and opportunity.

Marcus Neto: Thank you. Yeah, Dustin, 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.

Dustin Jackson: Yeah, you too. Thanks.

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