One Day at a Time with Matt Wren

1,000 Stories


Joe Mills: What are the unique experiences that drive business leaders to keep growing, and how can the lessons learned from those stories enable others to do the same? I’m Joe Mills,

Reid Morris: and I’m Reid Morris,

Joe Mills: and together we’re investigating who it takes and the tools to use to build companies and culture.

Reid Morris: Then we’re sharing those stories with you.

Joe Mills: This is 1,000 Stories, an original show from Element Three.

Reid Morris: Okay Joe, so next guest coming on the show. We’re starting to explore, you know, these different areas, where can we learn from, right? Tell me a little bit of background on, on our conversation with Matt and where that’s coming

Joe Mills: from. Yeah, so Matt leads this development for Moser Consulting, large consulting firm here in Indianapolis, a very successful group, and he’s been there for, I think six or seven years now.

Really built the sales function for them, which is great. But the thing that has me very interested, after talking to Matt and hearing a little bit about his. Is that I feel some connection with him in the sense that he was a college athlete, definitely keeps his feet inside of the athletic space, you know, huge sports fan.

He carries that identity with him in a way that I think is really impactful, actually positive a lot of times, and I struggle with this, I think people transition out of athletics in a difficult manner and they don’t know quite how to use what they learned, but not make it their whole world. And like it’s a, it’s a interesting thing to navigate also.

He fills his cup up in a way. I don’t know how he handles it all. He’s got like a few businesses on the side, one’s growing a bunch. Like I’m just interested in, dude, you’ve packed your world so full of stuff. What are you doing? Why? What are you searching for there? What is it like fulfilling you in what, what has motivated you to build your life in that capacity?

Yeah, so there will be

Reid Morris: two pieces to it, right? There’s. Why do you choose to do these difficult things? Yeah, like we’ve explored before as well. How do you do it right? Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot going on and I think it’ll be interesting if in that conversation, the same way that you even today draw all these parallels to athletics and you can now retroactively think.

What are the tools that I learned? What are the tools that I can use in a different way now? Yeah, right. If he pulls from that experience in the same way or not, if it was a chapter and then he uses other things, like I think there’s a number of different paths that you could explore that could make it a really interesting conversation.

Joe Mills: Yeah, and just as you were talking, the thing that jumps into my head as well is I, I’m very interested in how he responds to the question of what do you do? Oh, yeah. Like, imagine you’re like a cocktail party and it’s like, oh, like what are you up to now? I just, when you have irons in so

Reid Morris: many fires, what’s the one that you

Joe Mills: say and what’s your identity?

I’m like interested in his identity statements.

Reid Morris: I think. I mean, this could be a whole other rabbit hole, right? But we’ve touched maybe lightly on others episodes of the show around like identity, role theory, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And oftentimes we think about in the context of someone who has a given role, right?

Right. Business development manager, market manager, whatever that is, and how you separate identity and role there. But when you have eight roles, maybe it makes that easier and maybe it makes it more

Joe Mills: challenging. Yeah, I’m, I’m fascinated. That’s a really interesting place to go. Yeah, I think I might start there with him.

Awesome. Appreciate

Reid Morris: it.

Joe Mills: So just with some background that I know you have your hands in lots of. Yes. I’m curious, when somebody asks you, like you’re around at a cocktail party, whatever, and somebody’s like, oh, like Matt, what do you do? What are you gonna do right now? How do you respond to that question?

Matt Wren: It actually just happened.

Uh, we just moved into a new neighborhood and was at a 40th birthday party meeting a lot of the new neighbors and. It was, it’s kind of weird cuz I always say my full-time job is MOS consulting. So, um, being the vice President of business development, being there for eight years, that’s still my full blown passion of where we are and where we’re continuing to go.

Then I say I do a lot of other things and that, I think that intrigues people a little bit more cuz they want to know what else that I do. So from the main ones I extract, we started that over five years ago. So extract energy, like I said, it was C, b, D. Then I say we also have a digital ad agency based out of.

One of my business partners brought this idea to me to work with somebody out there to do something different. And so it’s, uh, worked well for that. And then last year got involved with one of the best Porsche racers in the world. His name is Matthew Graham, goes by Maddie Graham. And we hit it off. And one of the companies that actually one of my business partners was like, Hey.

He’s like, how about you come out and help out? Do. Advertisements and working with Maddy, get his brand out there for next year. And I was like, yeah, that sounds awesome. Like who doesn’t wanna be involved in, you know, racing, growing up from Columbus, Indiana where Tony Stewart’s from and doing a little other thing.

So added that into it. And then last one I got brought into probably a couple weeks ago was a credit card processing company where you actually just get a help people save money on their credit cards.

Joe Mills: Can we talk a little bit about what you went through when you were transitioning out of. . I love the conversation of transitioning out of what the original

Matt Wren: path was.

Yeah. Oh, it was dark. Uh, yeah. ,

Joe Mills: I mean cuz like you were gonna go try out in the NFL and you got. Right before it. Right. So

Matt Wren: I got hurt after I didn’t get picked up and I was going back to focus on what I was going to, on what I was gonna do. And I was working for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and they had the NBA D League and worked with some amazing people.

Jeff Potter, who was the president, John Zilo, who owned the company. And you know, so I was like, I’ll go back up there. Cause I actually wasn’t gonna go work for the Pacers to sell tickets. Mm-hmm. . And then I saw what they were gonna pay me. And that was a little different question . Um, but they’re still a wonderful organization.

Um, . And so I went back up there and I was like, all right, I’m gonna finish out. I was the, again, the dumb football player that was like, oh, I gotta go to school five years. I’m not gonna finish a four. I’m gonna make my last year partying fun. So I like literally had six credit hours of an internship, three hour online class, and then I went to The Bahamas.

Wasted so much money. So if you’re listening to this right now, don’t do that cuz literally I’m still paying. I had a full ride and then I have to pay for my fifth year and I went to a very expensive school. So I’ll try to finish in time. Finish on time. Kids. Yeah. . So going up there, I was actually on my way to work for them.

and I just, I got rear-ended, wasn’t even a sports accident, and I looked up and I saw the person as the gentleman wasn’t paying attention, he was in his work truck and hit my tow hitch and my L four and L five spinal fu and together they touched. So basically three months later I had my spinal fusion.

So I spent almost. A week and a half in the hospital. My dad stayed with me the whole time. Um, I had to learn how to get outta bed again, learn how to walk again, learn how to sit on the toilet again. Like it, it was a very dark moment for me. Um, well, I can

Joe Mills: imagine if somebody whose body had been a, the tool to get them places.

Yep. That, that moment where it ceases to be that tool is,

Matt Wren: really challenging. Oh, it was horrible. I was like, man, like I remember when Dr. Hicks told me, he is like, son, you have two choices. Either you can play football, you take a hit and you’re paralyzed, or you have the surgery now and you can walk the rest of your life.

At that time, I really wanted to say, I’ll take the hit. Yeah. . Um, that’s athletes right there. Yeah, you’re right. You totally I’ll take, I’m gonna be fine. I’ll be fine. Nobody will hit me. Nobody. Yeah. And as a long stopper, we all know this, they still try to save us, but you still get, you get banged. It was literally the best choice that ever happened to me.

Now that, uh, and, and, you know, looking back at it and looking at the journey that I went to, but during those times, living back at my parents’ house, trying to finish out my last semester of college, what I think what Odyssey helped me is to go back to winning. . I wanted to be back faster and still start my life.

So I remember my parents had a long staircase at three houses. Later things got better in life. I would walk up that staircase and I had a goal every day of what I was gonna do. Mm-hmm. , I would push myself harder. than what I was supposed to so I could get back. Mm-hmm and you know, three months into it things started to get better.

Cuz thankfully my oldest brother Chris, who is just a rockstar in the IT industry and his wife, his, well Tara, they’re both in it. And my older brother was kinda like a dad. I mean, he’s successful. Went to college. Graduated college. Yeah. Been in the IT industry for. God, it was like 12, 15 years before I got in and he’s like, Hey, I wanna introduce you to somebody that’s an IT recruiter.

And he’s like, I think this would be beneficial cuz this is after I had my spinal fusion, after I tried out over in Cleveland for long snapping and I didn’t really know what I was gonna do with my life. Like I had no clue. So he was like, go meet with this person. And so I did and we hit it off and listened to my brother.

He was like, dude, if they offer your job, you gotta accept it. So I got through, I was fortunate enough to get the job offer and I accepted right on the spot and. I really didn’t even know what I. Until I went down to Austin, Texas, which is weird cause the company I work for is headquartered at Baltimore, Maryland, extremely large.

But for some reason I went to Austin, which I’m not gonna complain cause cool spot. This is very cool. Even back in 2008, but went down there and this company came in and it was like, what’d you go to school for? And me being, you know, smart ass that I am, I was like to play football, duh. Um, but he’s like, no, what’d you really go to school for?

I was like, sports agent, right? I wanna be a sports agent. Just my path went a different way. And he’s like, so what does a sports agent do? Do you meet with the. , you mark their athletes skills, you get ’em a tryout, then you negotiate their contract, you keep ’em happy, simple enough. He’s like, what does an IT recruiter do?

Meet with your prospective candidate, learn their skillset, market their skillsets, get ’em interview, and then you keep ’em happy. And that that right there clicked for me. So it’s how do you relate what you do to other things and from that point forward, I’ve been in the IT industry now for. Hold, am I 15, 16, 17 years?

Something like that. So it’s a passion. Cause I, that’s all I’ve done. Yeah. So to me, to talk about MSPs, to talk about Red Hat, Atlassian, Microsoft, Oracle, right. All those, yeah. You know, buzzwords that are out there in the IT industry. Cloud C C D automation. You can see I light up when I talk about it. Yeah, totally.

It’s like a passion for me because it’s helping people out as well.

Joe Mills: You actually experience what the impact is. Yep. And you experience the people and it’s like, sure. It’s not like sexy. Label like an NFL for example, a thing that people like consume and it’s entertainment and it’s a, a fun thing. But if you’re fully present and you’re fully engaged in what it is, regardless of the circum, like regardless of what it is, it can be fulfilling.

Oh, a hundred percent is like, but if you were checked out and you were daydreaming and you were worried, worried about the thing down the road and you were not like being where you’re at, you’d probably miss the nuance.

Matt Wren: Yeah. Well the funny part is, but how you know you went to an NFL stadium, right? You don’t have wifi.

How many people are gonna be upset? Yeah, everybody . It makes the world go round. It does really think that too. Yeah. So I think, you know, being a part of this industry as long as I have, I’ve been lucky cuz it’s taken me down a very fun journey. Everything we do involves it. I think

Joe Mills: you have to be open. to receiving that journey, or you will miss it.

Correct? Yeah. Yeah. That’s like a lesson from this conversation that we’ve had is like, see where you’re at, be there and it will give you opportunity. Be open to somebody introducing you to somebody brand new. Yep. Who brings in a new business opportunity for you that is fun to work on together.

Matt Wren: So again, trying to reset that.

I was fortunate enough to go work for probably the largest staffing firm in the world and that really trajected me. Cause I had three amazing people that was a part of my life there. Donovan, Hank, and Mark. Mark. And I didn’t see eye to eye in business, but outside of work we were rarely good friends.

Mm-hmm. . But having Hank and Donovan who were two of the higher-ups in the organization to mold me to becoming a. , really, I can’t thank them enough. Like they know, every time I see ’em, I say, I tell ’em thank you. But, um, they were so influential in my life, like to show me how to be a leader, to treat people the same across the board.

And, and again, having those people that are. Influential in your life. Uh, I’m very lucky to have people like that, and so that’s why a lot of the companies I like to get involved in is, is more of the, of course, yes, I wanna make money, who doesn’t, but um, yeah, it’s a prerequisite to doing business. Can we tie all the stories together of how you help people out and then build a network around awesome business people?

Joe Mills: Well, that’s what I was gonna ask you is when I meet people who do a lot, and you have clearly, I imagine your schedule is pretty full and who make the choice to do. It can oftentimes from the outside look like I’m just jumping at opportunities because they’re there. What’s your decision making process like for how you say Yes to an energy drink?

Yes. To a credit card Processing? Yes to an advertising opportunity. Like what’s the thing that is in your brain when you say yes

Matt Wren: or no? For me, it’s more talking over with my business partners. We as a organization of the people I work with, can’t be successful without each other. So when somebody brings an idea to the table, it’s not, no, we’re gonna, we’re not gonna listen.

We’re gonna know. We all need to understand it and how can we add it to our portfolio of businesses,

Joe Mills: so, so it’s the same group that is in all of these together. There’s

Matt Wren: three of us that are in everything together, and then we have a couple on each other ones. But sure, we try to bring everybody that we can at each opportunity.

Joe Mills: That’s interesting. So this is like, that actually adds even more layers of decision making conversation. It, it does.

Matt Wren: But now that we’ve done some, a couple things that are successful that we trust each other and each person has their own niche of what they’re good at. . And I think that’s what is really good for businesses that everybody, so if you’re good at marketing, you rock with marketing, you good with sales, you rock with sales operations, or you are actually good at running the full company.

Sure. So having each one of those and then they can give an idea to what will make sense in the portfolio and I think it actually makes a better decision tree for us. Yeah. How’d

Joe Mills: you get so close to those people that you decided to? So background, I owned a gym for a little bit about five or six years.

And in that time I had two different business partners and it was great. It was awesome having partners. In hindsight, it’s such a huge decision about who you partner with and it is like a life changing decision for you. And when I had my first partner come on board at, I was 23, about to turn 24, and I don’t think I understood the level of that.

And what that meant people told me is, but I didn’t totally understand it. So as you built this relationship, how did you go about decid? Hey, these are people that I’m gonna tie my wagon to and we’re gonna tie this wagon together and we’re gonna drive forward on it. How did those relationships.

Matt Wren: So one of ’em literally is my childhood best friend.

I am two weeks older than him. His dad and my uncle are best friends, so I’ve, we’ve known each other for 37 and a half years, literally. That’s amazing. We grew up at, he went to our cross town rival, and then I went off to college. He stayed in and played semi-pro football and did a few other things, but we’ve always just stayed close and it’s just somebody you can trust.

They have their back and he’s done some really cool things. He moved out to Vegas and. A bodyguard for some of your bigger EDM agents. And then also Matt Morgan, who sold Reef for 1.3 billion. And Matt taught Kyle, uh, just a crap ton about CBD m. And so then Kyle brought that knowledge back and we started talking about different things for that.

So our c e O of Extract is actually one of my college teammates. Oh, cool. It, it’s just a PAs in life that you connect with the right people. Now, Blake Williams, who is the president and owner of Amp Factor here locally, we just met probably two months ago. We had a lot of common connections and one of our good friends, Juan Fernandez, who owns MSP Growth, correlation was like, you guys need.

We were joking cuz we wish he would’ve introduced us a little bit sooner, but we just hit it off. We have a lot of same beliefs, a lot of the same business mentalities that he owns, a few different businesses and you know, he was like, I need somebody that can help sell certain things the way that they do within the tech industry.

And as well as, um, I needed him because he’s a marketing genius like realist. So it’s just weird. Like we met and we just hit it off and we started talking and I was like, Hey, I wanna bring you to this. He’s like, I wanna bring you to this. And things are just rolling that


Joe Mills: just in two months. Like that.

Like trust established. Good to go. Yeah. Interesting. So there’s a, it’s like on one hand you have people who you have a very long relationship with and on then that’s a very quick relationship. Are there any common themes that you. B, between those, you know, one’s a college teammate. So you played together for four years in being in a college athlete.

Athlete myself, I know that that is a, you get a bond that’s really hard. It’s a whole different bond. Right? Describe It’s a whole different bond. Yeah. You basically do life, really important moments of life together. And then somebody that you bring in, you meet in an adulthood, which is like always harder to make close relationships during Oh, a hundred percent.

But I’m curious like what are the similarities among those? That make them all

Matt Wren: good partners. Yeah. So it was funny, uh, so Blake and I were talking to the c o of a very large M s p outta Boston and he literally asked us the question of, would you rather play for a winning team but you sat the bench, or would you rather be the best player on a losing team the exact same time we said the exact same answer?

Mm. And just like, what’s your answer? Oh, I wanna be a, a person assist the bench on a winning team. Okay. No matter what. Let’s break that out a little bit. So, um, Backstory, I played for the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana in four years. I was 51 and four in college football, so I probably have legit one of the best records in, in collegiate history to be able to say that.

So we were 40 and on our regular season, Our first year we, our freshman year, we lost in the final four to college. I don’t wanna talk about. And then the second year we lost in the national championship game to that same college. And then our junior year, same thing. Lost the same college. They just, they kicked our ass, to be honest.

They, they had the better team that day. And then at my senior year, lost to another college in the final again. Right. And then the national championship game. Yeah. So we lost three. We’re like the Buffalo bills, uh, just couldn’t win the big. But from that, what what we were taught was every week, if we were number one, number two, or number three, that we had to be better than everybody else.

You had to learn from that moment to make yourself try harder, hit the weights more, work out, whatever you had to do. Better than anybody else because we know there’s somebody’s coming for us. It’s

Joe Mills: like you got the big target on

Matt Wren: your back a hundred percent. Mm-hmm. and everybody wants to be in our shoes.

Yeah. And I’d like the same thing when we knew that for that other college I was talking about, like we wanted to do everything we could to beat them. Yeah. We focused on every game one game at a time, but at the end of the picture, we knew it was gonna be us two in the national championship game. Yeah. So, working harder, like whenever we’re doing sprints, we.

F it. We’re gonna do more sprints at the end of it during conditioning, because that’s gonna lead us to that fourth quarter to win. Mm-hmm. . So I think that mentality from winning those games and being part of a winning program really flipped the switch versus. Being on a losing team. Maybe you don’t have coaches that care about you or teammates, but then knowing you have young bucks, you have senior people that are trying to get to your spot as well.

Cause they wanna play on that field. Everybody’s job means something. And I fully believe that like from, you know, my dad was a janitor, like janitors, like if we don’t have them, we don’t have a lot of things. Like everybody has a purpose in. and until everybody can accept that, and it doesn’t matter, you’re, if they’re the ceo, the president, an investor to VP, to director, I mean, a pyramid scheme is a, that’s a pyramid scheme.

It is realistically, right. Um, when everybody can understand that everybody’s job helps everybody that makes an an organization a well own business. . Yeah.

Joe Mills: Well, actually that’s an interesting part that I’d love to hear your perspective on. I’m somewhat of an individual contributor in the sense that I don’t have a sales team with me that I have to lead.

You now do mm-hmm. . But when you, you built all of that, right? So when you got into mos, were you the only,

Matt Wren: so there’s two other sales reps and they had accounts that they were just supposed to farm out, but they didn’t really hunt the business. Uhhuh, , right. I think there’s four types of sales people. You have hunters, you have farmers, you have unicorns, you have super unicorns.

Okay, let’s talk about all four of those. So hunter’s, what it is, you actually go hunt the business farmer. You can. You’re not a good hunter. You don’t go out and grow new companies, but you can farm your current organizations to expand your presence. There a unicorn. Somebody that can do both. So they can hunt, they can farm, and they can actually spend time doing both, not just one or the.

And then the super unicorn, which is less than the 1% is somebody can do all of that, but manage cuz not your best salesperson should be a manager. Yeah. Ever. Yeah. Because they are usually. Don’t have the mindset of lead by example where cases that does work, but it’s super hard to flip your mindset from that.

Now, I think sports and certain other areas in your life that you’ve done, if you’ve led people before or you’re in a peer group or in you’re something else where you can learn from others and you have a willingness to. . That helps out tremendously. So

Joe Mills: you, you, do you feel like the prerequisite to managing well is a willingness to learn from others?

Well, a hundred

Matt Wren: percent. Okay. If you walk into a room and you think you’re the smartest person, you need to move immediately. Mm-hmm. , no matter what, because everybody has value in that room. Everybody, from my perspective, you’re gonna learn from anytime. Like, I hate the word networking. I literally hate it.

It’s the worst word in the world. I know we talked this last time, I loa it like, oh, I’m going to a networking event. So what you’re gonna

Joe Mills: slap on a name tag and start throwing your business card at people? Correct?

Matt Wren: Yeah. And I’m like, so like I have this big thing and, and there’s a few others that do like, it’s changing all that.

So I’m going to connect. If you can connect with somebody, they’re gonna remember you. Then they’re gonna ask for your information. You have digital cards or you LinkedIn. And that’s how we all communicate our texts. They are like, at the end of the conversation, I wanna connect. I don’t wanna network with you, I wanna connect with you.

And you know, even these kids coming outta college and even some of the veterans that’s been in there, they still think some of these networking events are, are worth it now. . If somebody’s like, oh, I’m having a network event, I’m like, okay, I’ll go do your connecting event. Right? I try to change their mindset every time.

And I met with somebody and she’s now starting to use the word connecting versus networking and when I, I’ll meet with anybody, I have no issue with that. I just like, again, cuz I wanna learn from them. They have a different path on what I’ve been in. I have a different path. I just ha, I met with a lady that’s like with another one of our competitors.

She’s in sales. She wants to, you know, talk. She wants to potentially own some businesses herself. So I got connected to her and I was like, yeah, you could text me, you can call me anytime. I’d love to help you because I’m gonna still learn something from you of what you’re doing. And it’s probably gonna be selfishly still advocating for something that I’m doing.

Mm-hmm. for that. Or I can share that with somebody else. It’s really

Joe Mills: similar. We just had a guy named Kevin Burka on, and he. Talked about the same thing where he was like, everybody can teach me something. And he’s a PhD in mathematics.

Matt Wren: Super smart, right? Super smart. Like will be the smartest dude in the room.

Totally. From

Joe Mills: the way that we define smart and his perspective was really similar to yours, where it’s like everybody’s got a purpose and everybody’s got something to teach me. And so that’s the way I walk into a room is I might be the smartest over in. Avenue. Yep. But in all the other ones, I definitely am not.

I’m, I’m curious to go back to that, like that purpose statement you made where everybody’s got a purpose here. Yep. My assumption is that you figured

Matt Wren: yours out. , uh, I’m still learning. Mm-hmm. It, it, it’s interesting, right? In any organization, if I own it, if I’m a part of it, whatever it is, somebody asks me to take out trash, I’ll take the trash out.

Mm-hmm. , I’m not too good to do that. I should never be like, oh no, you need to go do that. Yeah. Because that’s your job. No, I’ll jump in. I’ll help out. Sometimes at Moser, we have our front office manager. She’ll go to our other offices to help with lunch or something like that. She says, Hey, can you unlock the door for me?

I’m like, yeah, I’ll make sure it’s locked, so I’ll unlock it. I’m like, too. Good to do that. That thing I love about that. She feels comfortable. Yeah. With asking me to help out.

Joe Mills: Feel like that’s a sign of organizational health? Yes. Is that, you know, and trust with a VP next to their name is not intimidating to somebody else who’s a hundred percent asking ’em to do something like unlocked doors, take trash out, stock the fridge, whatever you, you mentioned like you’re still learning the purpose thing.

Do you have any system or anything for how you think about learning about it or like how you reflect?

Matt Wren: One thing I try to do is I live one day at a time, but I don’t look at my calendar till that morning of, oh. And I think why I’ve done that is to clear my mind of a lot of different things because, and I’m like, all right, well I have this big meeting with this CEO of this company.

It’s like that big game. At the end of the day, you’re still thinking about that, but you’re not living one day at a time. Mm-hmm. . So like I would literally in the morning when I wake. I look at my calendar and I’m like, okay, what am I doing today? Now, like I said, if I’m traveling, it’s a little bit different.

I have to to plan out. Sure. Cause I gotta make sure. Right. But having that one day at a time mentality has really helped me live in the moment as well as making sure I can give my best effort to everybody around me. . Now some of my business partner are like, dude, we gotta think about this meeting two weeks ahead.

I was like, well, that’s what I was gonna ask. Ask.

Joe Mills: We could plan for it. Ask you like, how do you balance that with being able to give your best effort, like from a preparation standpoint,

Matt Wren: put it on my calendar.

Joe Mills: like put preparing on your calendar? Yep. Oh, okay. I live off my

Matt Wren: calendar. I think a lot of people do, right?

Yeah. If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t exist, then my wife hates it also about me. Cuz she, I was like, Hey, well send me a calendar invite for this dinner that we’re gonna do. She’s like, you can put that on your own. I’m not your secretary . And I’m like, well touche babe. I love you but um, you know, I need to have it on there cause I’ll forget.

Yeah. And I’ll look and then somebody else will book it. So yeah, trying to use something like Calendly or whatever else that everybody has access to each one of those things. And the same thing with my business partners. They’re busy as hell too. So we all try to make sure if we have standing meetings, whatever, we do have it on that day.

But also like from my morning, every morning from eight to night, I leave. as so nobody can schedule over it. Yep. Because that is my preparation time. Okay. Right. So if it’s going into a crm, it’s going into our engagement app, it’s going to whatever that relates. Cuz eight to five is mos every day. I don’t tie any other businesses for my eight to five and, and making sure that I have everything that I need, starting from nine to five

Joe Mills: after that.

Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It’s interesting, like I, cuz you hear two sides of the conversation a lot where it’s like, try to live in the. That’s like the recommendation, but be really prepared and, and, and block your time and live off your calendar. And like those have always felt like competing conversations to me where it’s like, Hey, be right where you’re at, but also make sure that you like, have your calendar perfectly and you’re prepared for things.

And it’s like, this is, feels like talking on two sides of my. See, I like that you’ve like operationalized that in a

Matt Wren: way. Everybody’s gotta find what works best for them, right? Mm-hmm. , I mean, what I do may not be best for you, may not be best for him, may not be best for the girl down the hall. You gotta find out what’s best and just like whenever you give a an elevator speech.

not Ella personally. I, I started my organ, uh, my career with one of the largest IT staffing firms, and they wanted everybody to look the same. You couldn’t have facial hair, which makes me look like I’m five . Um, you couldn’t, they’re killer beard now, right? Literally. I look like I’m five without it. Um, but you know, you had to talk the same way.

You had to do everything the same way, and I hate. I absolutely hate that. How

Joe Mills: do you coach your team now

Matt Wren: that they need to listen? So anytime we hire somebody new, we have a, you know, similar to everybody else, 30, 60, 90 day, right? Crawl, walk, run. But they gotta go meet with all of our VPs, all of our directors, all the salespeople, business development managers and account development reps, whatever it is to listen how they tell their story, so then they can modify it to the way that fits their personality best, because you want them to be a.

Yeah, I think that’s bigger than anything else because if, like I tell it, they didn’t walk in my. . Right. They need to start walking their own story. They’ll be like, oh yeah. Some of the people here, this is how they talk about it. But this is the way I’m gonna say are 30 patients. Mm-hmm. , they’re, they’re gonna sound similar.

Yeah. They sh at least should. They should. Yeah. Sounds similar, but it’s gonna have a little of their flavor in it. Sure. And I think that right there shows more authenticity than anything else. And then you’re not a bunch of robots. Yeah. Coming across the board. Now, whoever does that works for them, but this is just my, you know, my preference for that.

Mm-hmm. ,

Joe Mills: I’m curious. how you view the separation of like work and life. We’ve had this come up a few times mm-hmm. , um, on this show with people who have just jammed schedules. Yep. And I’m curious, like you mentioned, hey, it’s eight to five, Moser, I don’t pull any of my other businesses into there, which means I imagine like the, the four to five hours after work sometimes can be really jammed.

Yep. How do you think about the balance of work and life? Do you see there being a balance there or do you just see them as one? What’s your

Matt Wren: perspective on that? My mentor Brian Neal is. Challenge myself and our peer group multiple times, and it’s literally the hardest thing to do in your life. When you take personal days, you shut everything off, you turn like there.

There’s progressions to it right at the end of it, it’s literally you shut your phone off and or if you turn it back on, you delete LinkedIn, you turn off your emails, you make sure that you are spending time with the ones that you love, or even if you need a personal. That like, you know, for me, just even go driving, listen to music, going to a concert, something like that, that I don’t check anything I have to check out because you will drive yourself to the ground.

And so when he told me that, I was like, dude, no way in hell I can do that. There is literally no way. The first time we did it was actually during C O V D. My wife, myself and four of my neighbors went to Cancun and thankfully my. didn’t allow emails to come through Mexico. Just do two prior, you know, being an IT company.

Yeah. Uh, so it shut it off for me. So I think it was day two, it finally shut off. . I thought the world was gonna end. I literally did. Because you were freaking out. Oh, I was freaking out because there was a huge deal that was gonna happen that I had to help with. And it wasn’t that I didn’t trust my team.

It was a matter of my type A personality. . Yeah, yeah, yeah. Being there. So when it shut off, I, all I remember is going to the bar with two of my buddies and I was like, dude, we’re doing shots. Like I need to embrace my mind from the day. And I think we were there for another three to four. And I didn’t even check my phone one time.

It was the craziest thing in the world. And now

Joe Mills: you’re fine. When you take, when you take time off, do you just turn it off? I

Matt Wren: shut it off. Everybody knows that if it’s off, they need to get ahold of me. They have Kelly’s number so my wife, they can call her even though she hates that. So they, they literally know it needs to be a 9

Joe Mills: 1 1.

It needs to be like a true emergency. Yeah.

Matt Wren: Like has it ever happened? It hasn’t, not yet. Yeah. In the, in the two years it hasn’t happened. Yeah. Which it just shows so many people say this, that if you run the business successfully, You really wanna work yourself at a job. Mm. Plus that shows how you grow leaders too.

I think

Joe Mills: one of the things that always comes to my mind with that is, and I feel like salespeople or anybody who really is a frontline revenue, whether your title is sales or development or whatever, it’s addicting to be part of the winning a hundred percent. And so working yourself out of a job. It’s really hard for your ego.

Matt Wren: I would agree. I mean, for me, it’s a drug like right. I I outta most salespeople it is, right? Yeah. To, no, I’m totally with you. I can never stop selling. I don’t care what I’m doing. I’ll always bet. And that’s the thing is, the other thing is people are like, oh, I hate sales. I hate salespeople. I hate selling.

I’m like, do you talk about your company? Do you talk about what you do for your company? I was like, you’re selling right then. Yeah. You don’t understand that you’re doing it. And so for me is. . I don’t think I could ever work myself out of a job, but I wanna be involved. I wanna help out. I want to lead, I wanna mentor gift.

The job changes.

Joe Mills: It does change. Correct. The leading of the mentoring still pulls you away from that frontline like experience feeling

Matt Wren: A, and I think that’s rough as well because I am a big train the trainer mentality. Like I think that is the most important thing that if I ask my team to go document sales, , I should be documenting the Salesforce.

Mm-hmm. , right? Because I’ve had other bosses that were hypocritical when it came to that, and I hated that about ’em. Mm-hmm. . So it’s like you, you know, each path that you take, you learn from each path. So I’ve instilled that into myself that if I’m gonna go ask ’em to do something, well I better be doing it as well.

Or if I have it, I won’t ask ’em to do it until I start. . Mm-hmm. from that, so that train that trainer. So I, that keeps me, I think, as well aligned with the business from a standpoint that I can’t stop doing it. And I, I think it’s more for CEOs sometimes that what’s their exit planner or what they want to do or do you wanna get to a board member type position, but most of them are still gonna go do something else.

right? I mean people like if their company’s bought out, they have to be involved for, depends on their contract. One to two years, whatever it is. But they, you don’t see them go to Tahiti and sip my ties on the beach all day. Yeah. You hear them doing something else cuz I think they get bored. Yeah. I haven’t had had that opportunity yet.

Yeah, but you don’t strike

Joe Mills: me as somebody who could sit on a beach very long.

Matt Wren: No, I have adhd. It’s not gonna happen. Like I’m gonna like call somebody else. Like, okay, what can we do next? What business are we building next? Yeah, yeah. Let’s

Joe Mills: go have fun. How much of a plan do you make? down the line. , are you a planner?

Are you like, I know where I’m going in five years now I’m going 10 years.

Matt Wren: I’m a dreamer. Okay. And I think, you know, any successful business person has to be a dreamer. So yes. Like I, I have goals I want to hit. Right. One goal the first time I make 1,000,001 organization, I’m by myself a Rolex. Fun goals like that.

Yeah. Yeah. Right. Or I’m gonna take my wife and kids over to Europe cause we’ve never been, um, but like, things like that, like different things of life or we want to finish in our new house, we wanna finish our basement. So how much money do I have to. Outside of my bill money and my fun money mm-hmm. to make that, to finish my basements.

Sure. So things

Joe Mills: like that, you walk those back into like your day-to-day. I’m curious. I, I don’t, I’m curious, cuz again, going back to this like one day at a time thing, which seems to have served you quite well. I was gonna walk that staircase, I was gonna make that sprint happen. I was gonna take this interview and I’m just gonna show up and do my job on a day-to-day basis.

I’m curious about how that like parlays into long-term vision and planning for. Uh, yeah,

Matt Wren: I have a vision. Like I, I think that’s something, again, the dreamer in me, that’s a vision, right? I tell everybody that I work with what I think I would like for them to happen. Then I get their opinion and then we try to figure it out.

Then they’re gonna be more the optics to get there, and then I will figure a way how to help us get there. Um, But yeah, it’s definitely a vision. At the end of the night, like I’ll reflect on what happened with that day. Then try not to think of, okay, well this happened, so I gotta do this, this, this, and this, this, and this.

But I’ll write those down. Like I sleep with a notepad next to my bed. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and write something down. Cuz sometimes in your dreams you have some of the best. Coolest things and you’re like, oh, was that real or was that right? Um, writing that down or putting in my, in my wife, she’ll be like, what are you doing on your phone?

I’ve had that ass at 4:00 AM Yeah, at 4:00 AM right. , what are you doing on like, no. I’m like, she’s like, it’s like the State Farm commercial. Yeah.

Joe Mills: Who are you on the phone with? Uh, it’s Jake from State Farm. What’s he wearing? Khakis. Hideous . What’s awesome, man. I love the, I love the energy around the one day at a time thing.

I enjoy the message of like, be where you’re. go one day at a time. And also I think there’s some trust there of be open to what is coming to you mm-hmm. and like trust that things are gonna work out. Yep. Um, which I think are really fantastic lessons from, from what you’ve experienced and how you operate on a day-to-day.

Matt Wren: A hundred percent. I think everybody should at least try it, right? Yeah. Give it a try. If it’s not for. , it’s not for you. Right. Like again, everybody should, they have their own way of doing things and like we all listen to different ways of leaders doing things, but like to me is like, how do I make it my own?

Mm-hmm. and how do I make it work for myself versus trying to mold myself into something I’m not.

Joe Mills: Mm-hmm. I love that as an end. That’s awesome. Authenticity is very, very important. Thanks. Coming on Matt. Appreciate that. No, thank

Matt Wren: you so much for having me. Uh, it’s been a lot of fun. Awesome.

Reid Morris: Okay, Joe, so just wrapped up with Matt. What were some of the things that you took away from that conversation with him?

Joe Mills: Well, one that just popped into my mind is that most of the people we talk about with a lot of irons and business fires tend to be CEOs or owners. And he exists in the organization at his main priority, full-time job, but then exists in different roles in different organizations, like sort of across the map.

So it’s interesting to hear. sort of give empowerment to people who aren’t owners of companies. Mm-hmm. , I think kids sometimes feel unattainable to be, um, well, you know, I’m not a, I’m not a ceo, I’m not the owner, I’m not the founder. I can’t do any of that. It’s sort of taking that framework and just flipping it on hiss head so that it does seem real.

The other thing I really liked was his message of like, just being where you’re at one day at a time. Mm-hmm. , don’t stress about what’s coming. Like I liked that energy from him. Yeah. To the first

Reid Morris: part. You know, the idea of, we spoke to how the people that are his partners in these different organizations he came to at different stages of his life, their lives, right?

But that idea with surrounding yourself with people that you’ve established a level of trust with to fill in those pieces, right? You don’t need to be the c e o of every organization that you found or whatever that is, right. . So really getting strong people around you to help support the things that you’re passionate about and wanna change is, I mean that’s really important and I feel like we haven’t touched on that explicitly a lot so far in the show.

Uh, and, and that’s something that is a really good

Joe Mills: takeaway for a lot of people. Yeah. The benefit of building a team is certainly something that came through and like, I didn’t ask the question cuz the obvious answer is yes. Like, did you learn that in sports? Of course. But it was interesting to see. Find people who compliment you.

Find people who can fill a gap that you don’t have and then like build it all on trust. You know, you mentioned it’s my youngest ever childhood friend all the way through somebody I met two months ago. Mm-hmm. . Because if we jive right, and the trust is there, it

Reid Morris: works. And going to your other point around taking it a day at a time.

I really resonated with that because I frequently am that person that wakes up and is like, what’s on the calendar today? To his point, really, I schedule things for in advance. I’m always, I’m meticulous with planning out my world, but as soon as it’s planned and like wipe it from memory, I’ll wake up in the morning and be like, so what?

What does today hold? That’s

Joe Mills: kind of interesting. Interesting. Oh man. I historically have not been that way, and I think I will try, I oftentimes am stressing about a thing four or five, seven days in advance. Mm-hmm. .

Reid Morris: And I mean, part of it’s probably that I’m thinking about all the things all the time. Yeah.

Always. Yeah. But in terms of like the actual physical things on my calendar and to his point of putting like prep time on the calendar mm-hmm. , so you know, you’re sort of giving yourself that cushion the day of to like actually go about it in the right

Joe Mills: and appropriate way. Yeah. And it gives the brain space to know that like, oh, I don’t have to worry that I’m not preparing.

That’s where I get to is, I’m like, am I ready for that or not? It’s like, no, no, I set the time. I. We’re good, we’re done. Don’t worry about it. It’s gonna go. It’s freeing. It’s freeing. Yeah. So I like that a lot as a, as a part of the conversation, and

Reid Morris: I’m sure people have done that different ways, the different people we’ve talked to.

I’m sure some are serious planners and know everything about every day for the next two weeks and some people, you know, yeah. Live more in the moment. But yeah, it was just kind of a fascinating little tiny nugget of just a way to approach. You’re

Joe Mills: scheduling in your day. Yeah, I enjoyed it. Cool.

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