"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch
"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch

Episode 146 · 1 month ago

"What are They Building?": Creating Change in an Industry

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What is it like, stepping outside of your comfort zone? What is it like to have your business step out to create a new business venture and others ask, "What are they doing?" 

Change can be hard, especially stepping into an area where there may not be a lot of competition. 

Glenn Pasch speaks this week with Paul Daly and Kyle Mountsier about their new venture, Automotive State of the Union, a media project to connect to all levels of the automotive industry.  

Great conversation and passion about leading, connecting and delivering value. 

Sign up for their newsletter: https://www.asotu.com

attend conference https://www.asotucon.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kylemountsier/Paul: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pauljdaly/ 

About Glenn Pasch: "Everyone finds themselves in charge at some point in their lives. Yet many of us lack the skills to generate consistent results. My goal is to help you learn the skills to adapt and grow in your personal and business life.”  

Glenn Pasch is CEO of PCG Digital, a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in helping businesses create and deliver customers raving, recommending & returning for more. 

He is author of 2 books including "The Power of Connected Marketing" and has spoken and educated audiences throughout the US and internationally.   

Thanks for making this a top 30 podcast in Personal Development space https://bit.ly/3pmbArb 

Let’s Connect:   

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glennpasch/​

Personal Website http://glennpasch.com/

​Company website: https://pcgdigital.com/

What's it like taking a step out of your own comfort zone? Well, let's expand that. What do you think it's like to take your company and try to create a new company that's outside of the comfort zone of what everyone is used to, and they're looking at you from afar going what exactly is going on over there? What are they trying to accomplish? But over time the goal is is to expand everyone's viewpoint, to really embrace change. But sometimes when you have to embrace change, you have to be the first one. So it's sort of move to a new circle of influence, and that's what my guests are doing. Paul J Dally and Kyle Mount Sire are the creators of the automotive state of the Union and their goal is to build a new version of a media company meets information hub, meets community, meets town square, that puts its arms around the whole of the automotive industry, not just a certain piece of it, and create content and share content and give voice to everyone who's working in the industry, as well as expanding that content to see how that industry fits into other retail, which fits into the economy at large, which fits into pop culture, and everything in between. It's an exciting adventure that they're going on and I can't wait for you to meet them. They're two of my favorite people and they're going to talk about their upcoming event, which is in September, of two twenty two, whenever you're watching this, a SODACON, which is a new version of a conference in the automotive industry, and I can't wait for you to hear about it and hear their vision and their passion. As they said, we have a lot of fun in this as well. So let's dive into today's episode of you're in charge now what with Paul Daily and Kyle mounts here? All right, I am back with two of my favorite people, Paul Daily Kyle mance here. Now, wait, I know I don't have a beard. I tried. So, for those of YOU UM watching, I have three hats that I have been given. I've have this one and clarity, I have this one right, and then I have the so toa hat here. So I think we're gonna put the SOCIA hat on. Beautiful. That one doesn't fit me, so I guess I gotta go back to you. We got need one of these guys. This is the mammoth hat. You need one of these, guys, because I've got the big head and this one makes me look like I'm wearing my kid's hat, although I'll tell you my kids good as hair stayed in place a lot of GEL. But anyway, that that is one thing, folks, if you are doing uh, putting out swag, you gotta have swag, one that looks good, but it's good quality, because my kids love it and they fight over these hats. So, anyway, I'm glad you're in here. So there's number one. Point one swag. Would make sure you have good swags. So eyes, I really want to talk about Um. You know what you're doing currently with the automotive state of the Union and the evolution of it and your upcoming a sodacn but I want to go backwards a little bit because you know, Paul, when you and I first met years ago. I remember now how many years, but it's been a while. I have our first photo. Actually, do you really love that, because that was a CBT. I believe is that it wasn't you, and I was like, he seems like he knows what's going on and he's smiling. So I'M gonna go talk to him smiling. He seems harmless. You're standing in front of like the Vista Dash, like Demo Board. I remember that's where we were. So the point what I'm what I want to talk about for for both of you. But Um and Kyle, will get to you in your journey here for a second. But you know, when we first met you were just had sold your previous business. You know, you had the agency and you were creating content right out of the gate. But it's been this evolution now of you know, your agency side and your consulting side and and all of a sudden, you know, automotive state of the Union was more of a you know, started clubhouse and a little one event and now it's taken on this life of its own. So what I want to talk about is why? Why? Why this new iteration or this new sort of UH path that you're taking this on from agency life too. I want to call it media and maybe one FT in each. So talk to me about why that and and and and what it's been like for this transition. So you know, the timeline as it as it is. Is that a soda? My desire was always to serve the industry. I fell in love with the automotive industry coming into my first company, even on the fixed stop side, and then, you know, started making content inside of that industry for our own culture. Then started servicing dealers with their marketing because, like, I believe that brand marketing was the way to actually turn for retail automotive and so I was just making content to serve...

...the industry with the mentality that, like, you know, really Gary v Model Right, like Jab Jab Jab right hook, right or, in the best case scenario, like Jab Jab Jab Jab Jab Jab Jab right hook, and so that was the mentality that I was in. So as we serve more with the agency, I just got more, uh more relationships across the country. And then the pandemic hit and no one knew what was going to happen and because of all these relationships I had built over the years, I was just on zoom calls with people all over the country, a lot of dealers across the country, and no one knew what to do or what was coming next. And everyone just seemed to feel better when they were sharing what they were doing and hearing what other people were doing, because there's a big like Oh, you're you're dealing with that too. This is what you're doing, and there's so much variety, even from the states, right state to state, was so, so different, and so I just thought, how can I scale that feeling that everyone seems to have when they're together? And I said, let's do a live stream and I'll, you know, grab a few of my my special forces, true in congruent my agency at the time, and it's like, let's sneak into the office, hopefully we won't get shut down, and let's put on a live stream. Asked everyone I knew to introduce me to people that I thought would be good on the stream. Everyone showed up. Every industry partner said yes, we'll promote the event. There was no money that changed hands and just thousands and thousands of people showed up. And then so we did another one. Actually, I was looking at the the shows that the initial live streams that we did, we actually did three of them within six weeks in the very beginning. We did one early April, one late April and one mid May, and then we just that's how it started. So to that point and and and you know, during Covid I think clubhouse was a big leverage point for a lot of us to to have that meeting point and collaborate and and and join. And to your point, I think we leverage, all of us leverage these different platforms to just connect again, because you did feel so isolated and even working for your clients, who felt like I'm just working with my client Um and I needed we all did. I I'll speak selfishly. I needed input from people. I needed to connect with people in a phone call was good, but seeing faces and joining around. But, Kyle, during that time for you, your path was a little different because when I first was introduced to you and met you, you know, you were in the dealership and, as I said in the preview, for many people looking at you, they were that was you know, if you were a marketer in the dealership, you were at that elevated position, meaning that you had multiple UH dealerships. You you had autonomy to make decisions, you were the one who was leading the charge and for many people were going, Oh man, I'd love to be what Kyle was doing and and and then all of a sudden, you know, a certain period of time you're like, all right, I'm done with this part of my journey. So talk to me about your transition and why you made the jump out of retail. Yeah, so, initially, when and I did, and I still have a great relationship with the dealer group that I left and I did, I have had a great role. Um, I'm I'm. I always have had an entrepreneurial spirit. So, uh, you know, even working at Nelson, I was also u pastor at a church and on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit and and you know, I think through the eight years that I was with Nelson I think my job role changed, you know, nine times, maybe right, because I was always just search like where can I fit in? Where can I plug things and and and find new gaps to fill? And you know, through that last couple of years I really had just a desire stirred up in me too, you know, have some level of greater impact on the automotive industry, and so it kind of all came to a head in those last you know few months of like yeah, that the energy for me in particular was just like there there's more that I want to to have the ability to impact past like conversation ends or linked in or anything like that. And so the transition made sense you know, internally for us as a team, and then externally, meeting Paul and meeting so many others in our industry. And initially, you know, we set out, Paul and I set out to to build contagious, which was which was going to be kind of a learning system for marketers to find their way to the place that I had gotten to write, whether it be, you know, marketers that were experts or or just bringing more marketers into the industry and doing that. And the belief was really founded on that the marketing department can be and become the heartbeat of the dealership, because a lot of marketing people kind of have their heads up for what's happening in culture or technology or, you know, the way that people are experiencing, you know, consumer experience inside and outside of auto and so it's this place where you can cultivate brand, cultivate the empathy, like you were talking about what Paul's Agency, uh congrument did, and so that was...

...kind of like the heartbeat of what we said, that that you could really shift the culture of the entire industry around the marketing departments and individual dealerships. Well, what happened in those first few months was. You know, we we had both been a part of. I had been a part of what Paul had thrown, Um, the family reunion at digital dealer in Tampa, and we're like we've got to do that again. So it was kind of this like all right, I'm I'm just like I'm gonna slot in and help out with that right, because at that point it was still kind of soda. Is Definitely Paul's right, and just kind of slotted in and this energy started forming and we're like are we building this thing? is like a contagious or a congruent thing, or is it? So does thing on its own? And you know, there was all this energy around doing an event at Vegas digital dealer that year and, Um, like you, I think you kind of asked this to Paul, like why is this kind of the why where has this kind of taken shape? And it was really that event that that provided the impetus for more energy around automotive state of the Union. Um, later that's become a company, but it's crazy. Uh, you know, I'll never forget the night after that event and we're sitting in this this uh, so, Darren done video the event and you'll get if if you're coming to a SODOCON, you'll get to meet Darren don't. But he's just this like he's just a gritty thinker, right, like when you when you think about the people that are just constantly thinking past the energy of what everybody else is. He's that and he's sitting there and we're all sitting back and we're all just exhausted toast after like and he's like, I don't think you understand what what you're trying to do. We're like, we we don't think. I guess right. Yeah, but to but to that point, I just want to go back to one thing you said, Um, because I want the people who are listening, who are in the dealerships ill, you know, you were blessed with you know, of course, your role changed nine times, as you said. Part of that is your entrepreneurial initiative and your impetus to move forward. So that's a good lesson for everyone who's listening, who's in that position, is raise your hand, get involved, you know. But also on the flip side, you obviously we're working with leadership that embraced that or encouraged that and and I think I remember how to be a conversation with both of you about, you know, the first iteration of, you know, contagious, where you were saying, you know, we want to be that those people that can train those people. Well, I want to build the Kyles that are there who who don't know where to go for the training and don't know where to go for the education. Um, and I thought that was admirable. I know how difficult it is because we've done some training with our agency too, and it's just very, very, very tough. Um. So again for all of you out there again, I know we're heading over to you know about automotive state of union, but it it. Don't miss that desire to raise your hand. If you want more, you have to raise your hand. You have to get involved. Notice how many times Kyle said I just inserted myself. I had know where it was going. I just raised my hand to help. I just want to be there. You know, Paul and I have known each other and we do that for each other. It's like what do you need? Need help? Okay, we're there. No questions. It's just like, okay, we're here, we're showing up. That's really important for building yourself your career. Be At a company. Um, you know, the be careful of everything being transactional, like I'm not going to unless I get X. Yeah, you know what's crazy, like in that timeline, how many people were either like, whether they knew it or not, you know, whether it was direct mentorship or indirect mentorship, were impactful in allowing me to learn across the automotive industry, somewhere like very, very direct relationships, like hey, tell me about what you did when x happened or when you were trying to figure out why, and then somewhere, you know, just paying attention into live streams and conferences and and linked in and learning and, uh, you know, Google was my best friend. Right. It's like because, because there isn't a lot of learning, you know, across the industry outside of like sales and fixed stops. Right, there's just not a lot of option. That's where we spend our time as an industry. We've trained sales, F and I and fixed stops and that's where the majority of it goes. And so if you're in any space, it doesn't matter if you're an accounting or in any space across the dealership or dealer group that doesn't have like a widely served learning environment. It's not like the people there aren't people or resources out there to go do it. You might have to do a little bit more digging or self taught learning, but there's definitely an interest in like collaborating as an industry. To mention there's so many people out there that will help you, and that's the other uraging thing for all of you who are listening to this. Don't be afraid to ask, because most people will, my wife used to always say. And to your point, and this is where the Mentalit he has to change. The further way you are from the...

...money, the less important you are. Right. So think about that. The less marketing sometimes is seen as a spender of money. Right. Sales is, oh, I have money. And so to your point is, just because you're not on the front line of sales or they're not providing doesn't mean that you're one. You can't find your own training. Number two, you can't find collaboration. Reach out to people, ask questions. Don't be afraid. I will guarantee you all you're listening. You reach out to either of these two gentlemen, they will answer you and they will help you and mentor you. So so, Paul, then in that conversation that that Kyle was talking about, to get on track, back and track about a soda, because I'm fascinated with it. You know you're having this. We've all been there. Post post event. You're just yourself right, you're drooling on yourself, going I just want to go to bed. Um. But when Darren said that to you, I don't think you know what you have or what you can do. And what did did you see it? Did you know what he meant, or was it one of those things? He explained we we he explained it a little further and he says what you've done is you've assumed the center, meaning that the center. He's like, what you're saying is that the center of the conversation in retail automotive has moved from what it has traditionally been and you've gone and stood in that spot. That is the new center, and you've brought all the people around you that are thinking in that way where it's going to be. And now you have assumed the center. And that's really what happens in times of massive disruption. The center moves and the people that assume the center first are the ones that are able to lead it into the next iteration. And so when Darren said that, it like it clicked for us right because we're kind of walking away like it's this is just what we do, right. We we just do events and we meet people and we put people together and we have conversation. That's just the nature of how we operate. And for him giving some outside perspective on his observations after seeing so many different industries go through transition and being a part of their teams in the innovation there. And and so the next day, like it was just that was just drilled into our heads and we had a key or we had a workshop to teach Um mid morning at digital dealer and it was we were teaching it together and the room was packed and they hadn't closed the doors right and and we were walking there and we were just I was like, I don't understand, this is the strangest thing. I am not motivated to do this right now. And it's the most it's the craziest feeling because, like you, you get excited to teach, you and usually excited to be in front of people, excited when there's a packed crowd. Right, all that is great stuff and you know, we went and we did it and we had a great time in the room, but it's that thing that Darren planted in us. We were like actually, a soda is how we are going to move the needle and retail automotive much more quickly and much more impactful across the entire dealership. And you know, so kyle and I we were talking in and he showed me some things and ideas, because at the time we had a weekly email and he showed me like kind of a business model. He knew of to move it to a daily email and then started like the fledgings of how this would actually become a media organization. And we're in in like what casino? Was it the Blaggio? No, it was in UH. Well, we well, we kind of got ice cream at Harris, which was hilarious, like well, it's really hard to find ice cream in Las Vegas, but they don't make ice cream anywhere. It's crazy. And then we came back, I think it was digital deal. was at the was it at the R? No, it was at the Mirage. Mirage right, so where we went and we had a walk to go find ice cream and we'll come back and we're standing in the lobby just eating ice cream codes like a couple of twelve year olds in the middle of a casino and everyone's on their way into the digital dealer party for the night. So everyone's like really dressed up, but we're here eating ice cream cones, huddled over Kyle's phone and he's like, Oh, and then we could do this and look at this and look at this, getting super excited out the future of a soda and and so that moment for us is I think we can both look back to that moment and say that's when we realized that this is the this is the building we needed to build in this industry for this time. and Uh so that was that was definitely a flag in the ground moment for us. That that we always go back to. No, and I think that's, you know, again just unpacking a couple of things that you were saying. Is that that idea of moving, you know, any time you move, any time you try to do something. And and rereading the book that you had reminded me of, and I read it, I had to go find it on my shelf again, which was the innovation stack by Jim mcklby, and I know you're interviewing him for your own podcast and he's going to be speaking at the event in September. But the interesting thing that he talks about is the idea of when you're trying to do something, you can either replicate what's currently out there, which a lot of people do, or you have to go out and you say I'm going to try something completely different, but in that completely different it then stacks on top...

...of itself with well, then that's going to lead to another problem or another thought or another thought. And so, yeah, his his phrase that he uses in the book is so we had to ye, I wanted to do this if we're gonna do that. Well, so we had to do this. We had to do exactly and we've we've, you know, in our career, my brother's and I in the automotive we've felt some of that. But you're making a bigger jump. You know, we when, when we started our events, let's say there was only one other event and we did ours, but it was different because we said, well, we don't want to be them, but we still needed to be in a certain framework. But it's this evolution. What of what I'm seeing now and and and why I'm focusing on this is because I think there's some confusion when you move to that center or shifted and start gathering the troops and people are there. We have all these people on the outside and I've heard it a few times, and that's why I wanted to talk to you about it. Is People are going, what the hell are they doing? What's point being? Because I think they're trying to still look at through the Lens of where they are, you know, from their circle over there. They're looking at it across the way. Go, what are they doing? That doesn't look familiar. I don't know what they're doing. They're gonna fall in their faith, whatever it is. To Talk to me about that either. Have you heard that? Is that something you care about? Is that something you're addressing um or is it just now? In time it will clarify itself. Yeah, I love that question. First of all, that's question. You know, there's there's one one thing that we always do, and you know we did it individually and when we got together we just kind of double down on this mentality and it's we swing for the fence every time, and sometimes in the beginning, in earlier. So we were just, you know, it started out swinging for the fence. We're gonna and we'RE gonna. I'M gonna have Jason Stein and Jim Fitzpatrick on together. We're gonna get Rhett Ryker at the chairman and n a d a on this live stream. Is that? You know? Ever, never did that. It all came together and then we start, you know, doing things together. We threw the troublemaker event in Vegas and like, we swung big. We're gonna do live content at the event, and things worked. Things didn't work right. We have enough people there. It was kind of a mess. It was hard to hear, but everyone still right and like legit. It's like that's that's a growth, that's a that's like, okay, we have to learn from that and move and then when it came to do in a daily email, like hey, we're just gonna, we're just gonna start writing it. So every single day kyle and I would get together and spend two hours writing an email that was going to go out to our email list every day. And then and then the transition like to to get to your question. You know, what, what the hell are we doing? Like we are building a modern media company for retail automotive. We like to contextualize it this way. We're building a record label. Well, we're building death row records, right, and we want to change the face of hip hop on the planet, right. So we we want to be the label, right, that people look to to curate the artists that they like and to give them commentary on that and to get all the people that are great at that together, so then we can constantly provide them with a steady stream of information of pop culture, of things that help them actually implement in their regular day to day and also know what's coming over the horizon at least have a good feel. Kyle had a great just one liner that he popped out. Who are you on? We were with Steve Greenfield. Kyle. I was like I already did. Kyle said every horizon has a now, and so you know that that just so aptly envelopes how we run as a Sodo. So, Um, we brought on some investment. We brought on seven dealer investors. So we're all the only dealer owned media company and automotive. Um, you know, like we know, it's like this is never trying to displace like automotive news. Automotive News is does really important work and we couldn't do what we do unless they do what they do. We're trying to envelop a more I mean a whole list, a more holistic lane where people can connect and talk about the important things in auto in a way that we just think modern people communicate everywhere else outside of auto. So yeah, so you know it's people are like. So why does a media company matter to me in my business? And a lot of times when you hear media company, you think like Automotive News, CNN and Wall Street Journal. And the way we're the way like are when we say modern media company, we're contextualizing that for like the way that people communicate, whether it be social media or in person events or Webinars or, uh, you know, micro events or or or or even email newsletters, right, is that? Like there's so much out there. There's just like, I mean you know this because you're kind of around a lot of different things. Like you could spend all of your hours of every single day trying to consume all of of the things that are trying to like lead a conversation into whatever's next.

So our goal is to to kind of amalgamate that and like do the do do the work of finding all of that so that people can start to have a conversation around their dealerships or there or like industry partners and dealers can have more of like a place to say, yeah, this is a conversation thread that we can have that purposes us towards solving the consumer experience or the employee experience. Because if we know that, if we solve the consumer and the employee experience and automotive, like automotive not just survives but thrives from a retail automotive perspective, and so that's like the end goal is like we're building a media company that that crafts and creates a conversation on ensuring that the consumer and employee experience is fixed in a way that sees sees retail automotive not just survive but thrive. And so there's a lot of different lanes that that that that can I tag onto that for one second? You can, because even as you're saying modern media company, and that's how we talk about it, we're hesitant to say this word because it's becoming a buzzword now. It's the same buzzword that brand was, you know, for the last two or three or four or five years. So we don't like to sling it around, but the reality is is that we are and have been and are going to be laser focused continually on building a legitimate, like dollars, that like community, like a real community of the people who think the same way, who constantly interact with this conversation because, you know, like you get new sources that drop a story and then the conversation disperses to dozens of sub communities around automotive right, and they all have kind of like a unique there. You know, communities gather because people have some, you know, common traits and common, you know, perspectives on how things should go. So what we're trying to do is build the single biggest community, and automotive so has that mindset of the News Center. So so to that point then. So, so I'm gonna play Devil's advocates. Some people here are going to go and say, well, we have automotive news and for many of us we know automotive news serves a certain audience. Right. So when you go into a dealership, it's usually on the dealer's desk. It doesn't get down to anyone else. It's a lot of time it's, you know, manufacturer level, global issues. It's not really focused on the day to day, so to speak, of an individual dealer. And they that highlighted dealership going look at this great idea. Someone will say, well, you have CBT out there and CBT is still a media player and they've done a very good job over the years of creating shows, so to speak. You know, my brother had one and a bunch of other people would go on and they would and it was all informational to help you, you know, and that focus more on a lot of it was tier three issue, you know, the individual dealer. So someone just listening to you is going, yeah, but we sort of already have something like that. But what I'm hearing is, and correct me if I'm wrong, the way I'm it's clicking in my head is, yeah, that's a place for me to go get my information and they do a good job of curating same thing, you know, and they've used it in Northwood University when I taught there. You know, CBT and this one, and you know because it sort of went through and did as you said. I think it was kyle sorting through everything and saying here's a couple of things that are important that you should focus on, but the conversations all spread out to your own little individual place. It sounds like the community is becoming to say this is sort of the town square where we want to create one this information hub that is relevant and Newish, I guess, because a lot of times in your newsletter you're talking about a variety of things. It's just not car, car, car, it's what's going on here, what's going on there, which again is part of the the viewers daily life, because they see that now you're having this hub where I can get a lot of really good, interesting things. But now you're saying I'm also going to create an area where you all can communicate with each other, either in person online. However, and and and I, is that the piece that's different than everyone else's? Differentiation factor? For sure, I think one of some of the other others are this Um. We just we approach automotive through a much broader Lens Um, you know, we we back it out and we say this sliver is the automotive industry and here's the economy and here's or here's retail in general, all retail, and here's the economy and here's pop culture, right and so like we zoom out often every day actually, and we say, like, you can't understand what's going on here, where this needs to go, unless you really have the context of all the other things spinning around it. I think that's a big differentiator for the way we approach automotive news and the O in the middle, a s o t you were like that, oh in the middle is meaning something to us because we've decided that...

...we are going to draw a big circle around the entire industry, meaning we want a lot of tendants to be interacting with the contents. We need to make content that they will find engaging and we need dealer principles to engage with the content. We need them to find things that are interesting and again, we think all of that converges in this big kind of ecosystem of, you know, Automotive News, World News, Retail News, culture news and like even things like what the kids are at. So those are two differentiator factors. I know there's they're more, but those are just pop into mind and like why are we different? Those are two things. No, but I think that's important for people to understand. As they said, I think that's part of the potential confusion because they're trying to look at what you're doing through the same lens of other places that they receive information. But I remember when you and I first talked about this, and maybe kyle was there, I can't remember. It was early on. Maybe it was just the two of us, and that was the thing that stuck with me. As you said, I want everybody at the table for the information or aving access to it. It wasn't just the dealer or a manager or it was like I want a lot of tendants, I want the frontline people, I want the people behind, I want everybody who touches this. I want the vendor community to read this and be engaged with this, because it all impacts it, and I like that idea of I think every business sometimes can fall into. We only look at our own industry for feedback or new ideas, versus saying, well, wait a minute, look, I just went on a great vacation, so to speak, and I love the customer service there at that hotel and it made me feel good. What could I take from that and see if I could do something in the dealership with this right. I think by expanding it, one it allows a break mentally of this is the automotive article in my head's like, you know, versus. Look at N F T S or Hey, look stranger things, like things that you're throwing in from the pop culture. It just is refreshing. But ultimately it is this bonding of everybody together. I think that, to me, is what's exciting about what you're trying to build here, because it's not just a media company. And that's where I would challenge you to say to your point is we keep saying that, but it's it is that idea of it's this community hub, town square, and we're going to talk about a lot of things, but the ultimate goal is to make our industry better. Yeah, yeah, we, we've we've kind of recently been calling it kind of a beacon, like here's a lighthouse that you can walk toward and whether you're far away from it or close to it, like it's still something that you can walk toward and look too. So you might be like look, you might be way out there going all of that stuff. Doesn't make any sense. Like you it's hard to spell N F T blockchain doesn't make any sense. A new consumer experienced single point of contact, one price doesn't you know, whatever it may be, agency model, all of that doesn't make sense. And there's no way. You know, I'm I'm I'm, you know, Pencilan on paper, you know, in in a four square still or whatever, right all the way to, you know, like maybe like the center of the little light, which was Brian Kramer trying to transaction in the in the metaverse. Like, wherever you're on on that spectrum, you're a part of the community and like the desire is just to draw closer and have more conversations with more people across the industry. So the and and the other part of that is what we recognize is that if you know the dealer principle, the industry partner, the o e m Rep, the consumer and the lot attendant aren't all involved in the conversation, then we slow down innovation. Right. And that's funny you say that, because I think that's absolutely true, because you know I've said this multiple times because it was said to me. Is that, yeah, it may it makes sense to you, Glenn, in the boardroom or in your office and your executive meeting but down here in the front line that doesn't work. And unless we don't have that connection up you know, then then then we're just either pushing our ideas down and its frustration and I think the more connection you have. And the other thing that I think is something that is that I would highlight because I like it, is that your stuff is entertaining, meaning that it's not heavy handed. The I love the daily conversation the two of you have because you're excited about it, your passion is about it's not fourteen hours long. It's like hey, fifteen minutes, ten minutes, we're in and out. But it's a place where people can touch base. It's like your morning news show. You know what's going on, what's happening, here's the weather, here's this sports I got a couple of highlights onm off and run and now if I want to go dive deeper into something, I know where to go. But it's building those trusted resources around that. And initially when anything's new, people are like, well, I don't understand, but I think it's that commitment to that you know, because we have to you know. Um, then it figures it's foul.

That's right. I mean, look, we've we make we've made a lot of mistakes. We're making a lot of mistakes and we know that's the that's just the nature of moving fast and that's the nature of trying to figure out what is the best iteration to deliver and that is constantly changing, Um, you know. And and so I know, like people that have, you know, sponsored with us in the past or people that have, you know, seen some of the content, thought it's maybe like, is that too goofy, or is that too disorganized? Um, I will say this. We we've always as an entrepreneurs like we learned quickly and uh, like as things come up, like we're solving. We're constantly in a state of solving right. So I feel like as more people come onto this team, and we have some really amazing a players that are either on the Asda team now or are about to join the Asota team, and so we're learning every day, um, and we're working harder and we're big differentiator here. We spend a lot of time listening, we spend a lot of time in the comments. We've been a lot of time paying attention to everything else that's going on in automotive and I'm not. I'm not even saying like we're not even really paying attention to what the other media outlets are doing right, because we're we have our thing right and we know absolutely that's that's you know, we were saying this at a SOTOCON and as we were presenting, you know what this event is going to be and it's very different and unconventional and we hope that by putting on an event this way, we believe that automotive events in general need to change. We're not saying that they're terrible, they're bad, like we need a lot of what's going on, but they need to think a little bit differently about the approach and then some of the events need to stay like they are. To write, like, there's definitely this. We're hoping that through putting this out there, like we can only have six people at our event, right, there's a lot more than six hundred people that need to be with other automotive professionals, and we'll be at the other events too, right, but we're saying hopefully, by doing this it gets people to just even approach a little differently or look at what's working, like your events, you and Brian, the events you put on really are some of the best, most substantive events I've ever been to an automotive because they're crafted around like being together for a longer periods of time and they're crafted around conversations more than just one way dialogue, and so like, there are a lot of things that that we feel are most beneficial for the auto industry. That element right there is like perfect. I love going to a passion but Um, and so I APP and so to all that to say, it's like we're learning really quickly, we're adapting really quickly and and we're trying to, like Kyle said, like be the beacon, not just it's for anyone, which means the other media players too, because if if, like if one of US loses, kind of all of us lose, and that's how we're approaching this right. So, so there was something you said and I want to again. I always like to highlight and pull things out, because we all talk very, very fast. Kyle talks. Asked enough to be from the northeast. He has enough energy. He's like he's definitely speeding up. We're going to adopt him to be in honoring northeasts, the UH. But you said that. I'm all we're always in a state of problem solving, right, because I think we have all of a tendency. I'm guilty of it too, is overthinking, and I remember reading a book Seth Godin one of his first books, Lynch Pin always said you gotta have a ship date, you know, you gotta have a ship to get a date and go as good as it's going to be, get it out, because you'll learn more by getting out than overthinking it. So I love, love that idea. So literally we will. We post stuff on social that the last the last thing that one of us says is it's good enough. We'll fix it. We'll fix what we didn't on the next one because, like, if it doesn't go now, like it's either not relevant anymore or we didn't try hard enough or we didn't get the research right. Well, yeah, we, we, we, you know, my brothers, you know, and we we laugh. He's the gas on the break at times, but he's notorious for we're going to do an event and I'm like, well, let's talk. He goes all right, I picked the date and the venue and I'm like, well, what how are you talking about? He's like, we'll figure it out and I was like, all right, I guess we'll figure it out. But so talk to me about it because I want to pivot. We have a little bit of time uh left here. Um, I want to talk specifically about the event, because you know you're heavily influenced by looking at other events outside of automotive. You know you're just at vicom, Gary Vayner Chuck's event. So talk to me about what what can people expect? Because if the expectation, this is why I want to highlight, if the expectation is I'm going to go to something that is similar to what I know, and now I show up and there, well, where's? I don't even know. I'm just pictures out of the air. Where's the exhibit hall and where are the sponsors and where are the where are the rooms? And you're like, Hey, it's just open space and whatever. It is like what's different and what do you what should someone expect when they come? And should all get tickets, because I'll let that. Will make sure it's...

...all posted. You should definitely get tickets to this event in September. But what about it? What should people walking in expect if their only lens was previous automotive conferences a lot. So give me a few, Kyle. Yeah, I'll give you a few. But really it's interesting because some sometimes setting is everything right, and not that it's all things, but you there will be a lot of experiences that are somewhat similar in just like the way that they're presented, but the space in which they're presented will allow you to kind of like open your mind. Actually, Michael Cirillo was with us the last time we're in Philly and he was like, I know you two with the beards and the black hats. I'm just like, either at the grow a beard or something to hang out with you. I'm just go buy one. I don't know. Anyway, I'm sorry, go ahead, but no. He walks into the venue at what's called the axfinity live center. It's in uh, you know, when you get there you're gonna be in between the four ballparks that are in Philly. They're all kind of on this massive land grab and then right in the center of them is this exfinity live center and it's Um, the only way to describe it. Is the largest bar that I've seen anywhere, wrapped by four restaurants that are also bar ish Um. That's like a total event space meant for like I mean literally that when they sent us the original like here's the private events like look and feel. They had like wood shopping and clay shooting events here right. So it's not it's not a hotel or a conference center or anything like that where you would go into a banquet hall. That's four white rooms, four white walls and some chandeliers. So immediately walking and walking into the space there's like literally a chickens and pizza and a Geno's cheese steak in the actual event space, bars everywhere and an elevated v I P center, screens, Ribbon Banners. So just like the way your brain will start to engage, the content that you're about to receive will be different. You know, I talk about in speaking doing pattern interrupts. We're literally inserting a pattern interrupt into your brain as you walk into the event space. So that's like groundball, ground level, like what to expect walking in. So all of that happens in one space and then the rest of the event is what we're trying to do is kind of pull the best of like Ted talks meets south by southwest. So short bursts of nothing longer than twenty to thirty minutes of content, so that you're not kind of like, Al Right, here we go. I wish this speaker was over fifteen minutes. Te Thing, right, um meets the south by southwest feel, which most people say when they go to southwest. It's the conversations and the engagement in and around the topics that and and the and the kind of like like south by southwest starts throwing concerts early in the day. Now we're not throwing concert at eleven or anything like that, but that the party and the environment are conducive to conversations, rubbing elbows, being shoulders and being in and among the people, not totally spread out where you can't. That's actually something that we that we kind of like took from the past events. Is Like, how can we keep people close and not lose them to other spaces? Right, there's not eight hotels that you can go have lunch at. Everything happens kind of in that same space. So you just you create conversations around it, Um. So that's a major other thing. And then the majority of our content is going to be fireside chattish. Um. You know we're gonna do some cool stuff like pitch tank live, which people might have seen on clubhouse. Or actually, we've got a thing dealers pitching vendors, whether it be four or five Um kind of solutions that, uh, we don't perceive have been created in automotive that the vendors and dealers and o e m s in the room might actually have to work to solve. UH, and and we're hoping that there's a synthesis of some new partnerships to come out of that. Actually. So, no, I love that because, you know, we've been thinking about that for we've already got our full conference set. But for next year is to start cutting down the time and having more speakers with less time, versus trying to fill an hour or try to fill fifty minutes. You know, there's Hay to say there's very few speakers that you want to or what happens is you start going okay, let me start on a new topic instead of let's just focus on one for twenty or twenty five minutes, and people go okay, Great. I like that, um so, and I like that idea of the space because it's what it sounds like. I saw the floor plan. In the perspective it seems like it's a free flow, like I can go listen to somebody over here for a little bit, then I can flow and it doesn't feel that odd. You know that odd feeling when you get up in the middle of somebody's presentation in a locked room? No, no, I can think about it and get you going and the speakers looking at you, versus that sort of free flow of well, let me come up here and listen for a little bit or what's going on over there. So it's I like that idea flow or that word flow. I think that that's a really cool thing to to to...

I'm looking forward to experiencing. As far as format goes, UM, there's a main the main hall is going to the main stage, but the main hall cannot fit everybody that's going to be at the event, right, and then the four other rooms are going to be three of those rooms are going to be side stages and another room is going to be kind of like have some meetings and listen to some podcasts, because we're doing some live podcasting in there. So there gonna be main stage events which are if you want to be in the main hall, you can. If you want to be in the other stages, you can. Literally it's gonna be simulcast to all the rooms so you can get comfortable where you like. Um. And then the side stages are going to have topical so one room is on marketing and technology. So that's only about our content. People think because we're marketing guys, it's gonna be a marketing conference. It's not. Um, it's a holistic conference. One of the room is going to focus on operations, the other room's gonna focus on sales leadership and culture. So it's going to be this, you know, some main stage content, then breaking out for some side stage content and then lunch and then back together for some main stage content Monday night, where at we turning flipping the whole venue into entertainment mode. So we're going from conference mode to entertainment mode. Five thirty programming ends, WE'RE gonna feed everybody and drinks and then we're opening up the venue to anyone who works in a dealership anywhere can come for free and there's gonna be a silent disco, live Karaoke, a Dj and then we're bringing in Nashville's hottest party band to play an open air concert at night. They're called twelve south and they're gonna destroy the place. Is gonna be insane. So we want we want, you know, technicians and a lot of tenants and B DC Reps and every manager that you know can't fly somewhere to just drive in and be a part of the event. So it really is going to be a pretty holistic event. There's no exhibit hall, but there are lots of what we call meaningful activations of our sponsors, who were calling collaborators, uh, working on a lot of creative ways to get people to actually understand what you do and interact with you. And so yeah, it's gonna it's gonna be altogether different, though. Well, listen, I could sit and chat with you guys all day. Love chatting with the two of you. You're some of my favorite people out there. Um, I just appreciate the way that you are like and and you do this on if if people, this is their first year in charge podcast, go back and listen to all of them, because the first time I was on I was like man, this guy, this guy comes with the questions right though, questions. So it's really thoughtful. It actually, you know, it provides us even the space to kind of like work out and think what we're doing. We said some of the things we said for the first time just now and I know we're both thinking like we should talk about that. Boy, that's awesome. So, Um, I'M gonna cut my question short. Usually I asked five questions of each because I got two people, but I'm I'm curious. Um, I love asking this question to people. So so to each of you and you can answer in turn. I want to go backwards to fifteen, sixteen year old Kyle, fifteen sixteen year old pole. If they, if that person saw you today, what would they be surprised at? That's first. Number two is, if you're looking backwards at that sixteen year old, what's still consistent? What's the trait that still is there in all these years that you've grown? So whoever wants to jump all first, all right, I'll go first and let you finish, because this is really easy for me. My sixteen year old stuff would be like what right? I had no plans or idea of what it was to be in business or do anything. We didn't have any relation with even even the manager of a Burger King Right. So I didn't know any leaders, I didn't know anybody, so I think I would have zero context to process what I do for a living, not to mention there was like no real internet either. Right, so, okay. But secondly, what is consistent when I look back at fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, two consistent items. Number one, I work really hard. I was working really hard from a really early age with jobs and always putting my hand to something, both like for money and then just because I enjoyed working. It was just part of my you know, part of WHO I am. The second thing, Um, what is consistent is that fact that I just really liked people. I really like I was the kind of person that was friends with every every subgroup and every click, and I really was just kind of that that kid that didn't have like one click, but I just was cool with everybody. So I think those two traits have carried right through into my forties and we'll probably continue on. I agree. All right, Kyle. What about you? Yeah, so, yeah, similar in the fact that it's like you're doing huh right, because I thought at that point like I was gonna be leading worship at churches for the rest of my life, right, I loved playing guitar and singing in the one nine yards and, uh, you're doing a podcast with WHO and flying across like my dad never flew in a plane, like he was always home that type. So, like you're flying across that, you're doing all this stuff in business like that would have just been mind boggling to me to say that it was that that...

...was a possibility. But the through line is is that, Um, and I'll never forget, but I think I was. I was actually fifteen years old. It was a summer when I was it was a fall actually fifteen, and I was at like a weekend youth retreat thing and Um, I'll never forget this, like this moment and I'm sitting Um by myself out on like a park bench. Um, just you know, I was I was actually a very introverted at fifteen. That kind of turned at age sixteen, and I think it was this perspective that I had when I was fifteen. It was this like Oh my goodness, people are like broken, hurting, separated, Um, not like there's no commitment to a future mindset with themselves. And I saw this in teenagers and also, like my dad was a pastor so I saw this in the community that he was building. And so it's wild because that summer, if you would have the summer of fifteen, if you would have met me, you would have been like, Kyle never talks to anyone. The summer of sixteen you would have been like, why is this Guy Everywhere? Um, and it was just I think it was this flip of like I just have a passion for seeing people um see themselves, see others and and be together and and have that like that innate feeling of community. And so since then it's been that trajectory and so, uh, still building that even today, and I love that, love that, love that. All right, as I said, everyone audience. So before we leave, tell audience how they can connect with you. Tell them where to get tickets to the event, where to sign up on email, all the rest. Let's roll. There are two things that we really hope everyone watching listen to this will do. Number One, we hope you will get our daily email where we try to pack all the stuff we just talked about into an email you can read in just a few minutes. You can get that at a so too dot com, a s O T U Dot Com. Secondly, we really want to meet you in person at a Sodu con. So you can go to a SOTU CON DOT COM. You can see all the fifty plus speakers we're gonna have there, you can see the venue, you can get all the information and we help you buy a ticket. And please do it sooner than later, because we are pretty convinced that you're gonna some people are gonna log in and get the old sold out with. We're about terrible, terrible terrible field. All right, and both of you guys, they can find you on Linkedin, social media everywhere by your names. Well, I'll link it all in the show notes. Um, as I said, guys, I appreciate an audience. You know the drill. Make sure that you share this out. There is someone in your network that could benefit from up Paul and Kyle said today. So please be that person that shares it out. Make sure you subscribe, rate all of that stuff. Would love to hear from you as well. Um, you know, remember, this podcast is to help you guys out there. When you first take charge of an idea, you're trying to lead something. We're here every week to give you the skills to help you improve. Both personally and professionally. Thank you, because I know there's a lot of places for you to watch and gain content and uh and your attention this short period of time means the world to me. Thank you all so much. Appreciate it, you two. I cannot wait to see you in person. Thanks again and we'll see you next week.

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