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Ep 61- Navigating the Entrepreneurial Landscape with Chuck Leblo

Ep 61- Navigating the Entrepreneurial Landscape with Chuck Leblo

Navigating the Entrepreneurial Landscape with

Chuck Leblo

In today’s episode of Building Texas Business, I speak with Chuck Leblo, founder of Interact One. Chuck shares his entrepreneurial journey from working in the corporate world, where he was overwhelmed by paperwork, to starting his own business.


Transcripts are generated by machine learning, so typos may be present.

BTB (00:00):

Welcome to the Building Texas Business Podcast, interviews with thought leaders and organizational visionaries from across industry. Join us as we talk about the latest trends, challenges, and growth opportunities to take your business to the next level. The Building Texas Business Podcast is brought to you by BoyarMiller, providing counsel beyond expectations. Find out how we can make a meaningful difference to your business at and by your podcast team where having your own podcast is as easy as being a guest on ours. Discover more at Now. Here’s your host, Chris Hanslick.

Chris (00:43):

In this episode, you will meet Chuck Leblo, founder of Interact One Through Interact one. Chuck helps business owners solve problems and stresses the importance of building trust with clients as the foundation to successfully growing your company.

Chris (01:02):

Alright, Chuck, I want to thank you for joining me here on Building Texas Business. It’s, it’s great to have you on the show.

Chuck (01:09):

No, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Chris (01:10):

So I know you’ve, you’ve got a business or two you’re involved with now and maybe others you’ve had before, but let’s just kind of start by you telling the listeners kind of a little bit about yourself and, and the company that you got and what it’s known for.

Chuck (01:27):

Well, I, I’m pretty boring story, but, so Interact one, really, we’re, we’re known for being problem solvers. Right. And, and not the type problem solvers. Like, I need a guy whacked. Right. Yeah. We’re solving problem.

Chris (01:40):

We gotta stop the recording right now,

Chuck (01:42):

<laugh>. Right, right, right. So, well, I can send you some money. You can be my legal counsel. Right. <laugh>. So, but <laugh>, but no, we solve problems for businesses. Right. And, uh, we’ve been doing that for, you know, about 17, 18 years now. Uh, I’ve always, uh, been known as a, a natural problem solver from the time of a, of a kid all the way through the military, through my corporate days and into my business. So it was a, a natural, natural evolution for me to just basically start a company that solves problems.

Chris (02:16):

Alright. So I guess, you know, you’ve mentioned a lot of, I guess, background going back from your childhood and, and military service. What was the real inspiration for you to kind of becoming an entrepreneur and, and, and actually starting a business?

Chuck (02:29):

Well, so 20 years in corporate America, I was, I was, I started out as a problem solver on an engineering basis Right. In telecom. And then I got into the business side and I solved business problems, which were more to do with like profitability. Right. Okay. And one day I was sitting there and I looked around my office and I just saw stacks. And this is 20 years ago, right? Everything wasn’t digitized then. So stacks and stacks of, of invoices and contracts and lease cost routing guides and all of this kind of stuff. And I realized I was wasting my life away just doing that, just spending all my time. I was heavily compensated for what I did. Most people would die to have the job, but I was just like, I’m not spending time with my family. I’m working 20 hours, sometimes 20 hours a day.

Chuck (03:23):

Right. And I said, enough is enough. So I started my, at that point, you know, I, I had the funds available and I started my own company. Now, unfortunately, in retrospect, I started a company doing basically exactly the same thing that I was doing for the telecom companies. I was controlling profitability for helping other telecom companies do that. And then helping Fortune 1000 clients and government agencies do it. So, uh, so that was like my little step into entrepreneurship. ’cause I was really doing the same thing, but just doing it on my own. But then about five years later, six years later, is when I really said, no, we gotta go full tilt into just solving problems. I wanna solve ’em for all types of businesses. So really it was just sitting, sitting there looking at all the boxes and just depress the heck out of me.

Chris (04:14):

Yeah. The guy sounds like you’re in a situation where you lost your motivation and you had to kind of look introspectively to go, how can I regain the, the motivation and inspiration I had about what it is I do?

Chuck (04:27):

Yeah. I wasn’t excited about it anymore. Yeah.

Chris (04:30):

So, so you step out on your own, whether it was kind of that in that first venture or the five year later, let’s talk about that. I mean, what were some of the, the lessons you learned that you were like, Ooh, I wish I had a, someone would’ve told me this, right? It was like some, I gotta imagine some things kind of hit you in the face and, and you had to learn to adapt really quick to now, you know, owning your own show.

Chuck (04:53):

Yeah, so the first thing I learned was when I took that first step right, to where I owned the company, doing exactly what I was doing before. And what I learned was, one, it’s feast or famine out there, right? As a consultant, it was a, it was feast or famine. The second thing I learned was, it’s okay to keep your toe in the corporate pond. Right? So what I would do is, during those types of famine, I would go get a little gig, you know, part-time gig, help a company out to, to pay the bills. One, one of one examples is we did, uh, an analysis for state government, uh, where we, we looked at five years of their telecom bills going back, we got ’em about 5 million bucks back. Okay. Uh, we renegotiated all their contracts, saved ’em about $3 million a year going forward. Wow. It took us two years to do that analysis and to start getting that money back. And we were paid on a contingency basis. We got a percentage of what we got them back. So two years without money. So if I hadn’t known at the time that it’s okay, it’s okay to be, and, and it’s okay to be a part-time entrepreneur, and in most cases it’s better to get your side gig going before you take a full-time side before you take that side gig full-time.

Chris (06:13):

Yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting, uh, perspective, because I don’t know that it, I’ve heard people use that term before, but I think that there’s some truth to it about that Okay. To be a part-time entrepreneur to kind of get your legs underneath. Yeah.

Chuck (06:25):

Yeah. Well, most people think that they have a, a side gig and then that side gig becomes their new job. I looked at it as that, that my business was my job, that I looked at the corporate America side as the side gig.

Chris (06:39):

Yeah. Okay. So, so you get, you kinda learned that lesson and you move forward. What were some of the things when you look back that you feel like were the, the, the, the decisions you made that kind of set the foundation for your future success? Because any, anything, right. You use any analogy you want, but, well, I’ll say you gotta have a strong foundation to be able to build from, uh, anything that’s, that, you know, comes to mind that you really look back on and, and are kind of proud of the early decisions you made in the way you set things up.

Chuck (07:13):

Well, I think that you have to, you have to choose your clients wisely, right? There, there’s an old saying out there that if everyone’s your potential customer, no one’s a customer. Right? You have to, and, and I’m listen because I’m not perfect in any means. When I first started, what I started going just after telecom companies and that, ’cause that was what I knew. I’d spent 20 years in telecom and I had to learn all o other aspects if I wanted to do this. So, you know, I became an expert at digital marketing, right? I already knew operations from telecom, I already knew finance from telecom, right? Technology, of course, I knew that one. I didn’t really know a whole lot about HR or legal, but what I didn’t know was marketing and sales. So I had to become an expert in that, right? And that was really the, the, the catalyst is when I went from just being a, just knowing, just doing telecom companies to now specializing in really all types of businesses, but only particular size businesses.

Chuck (08:19):

So I, I, I learned that I didn’t want to do business with those big Fortune one thousands anymore, the big electric providers, right? Those were our clients, telecom companies, those were the, the state agencies, government agencies and things like that. I didn’t want to deal in that arena anymore. I, uh, because I can impact a small business much more, right? If I save a small business, you know, a hundred thousand dollars a year or fix a problem that’s, that solves, that’s worth a hundred thousand dollars or $200,000, that’s much, you know, much more impactful than getting a state agency back $5 million because it’s not real money to them anyway. Right. It’s just taxpayer money. It’s not like they’re gonna give it back to the taxpayers. They’re gonna find someplace else to spend it.

Chris (09:04):

Right? Right. Well, you know, I think there’s some truth to what you’re saying is as you’re starting out with the new business, it’s very important to be really laser focused about who that, who your customer is. And, and, and stay kind of within those bounds and not start to chase every little thing that may come your way. Because it may not fit your skillset, it may not fit your purpose. And it can be distracting.

Chuck (09:30):

It can be distracting, and it’ll give you, you know, doubt as to what you’re doing, whether or not you’re competent. Right. And that’s, that’ll kill you as an entrepreneur when you start doubting yourself and doubting your abilities, then others will.

Chris (09:47):

So we’ve talked a little bit about kind of getting started as you were kind of moving through the process. You’ve talked about kind of focusing in, I guess that after about five years on really just being a problem solver, let’s talk maybe a little more detail about what are some of the things you’re talking about when you say, you know, we, we solve problems. I know they can vary, but I just curious about some kind of specifics to the extent you can share some specifics on that.

Chuck (10:13):

Sure. First of all, I always tell people, is your problem worth at least $2,000 <laugh>? That’s how much don’t be coming to me with a problem. Right? That’s not worth some money. I’m not doing it for free. So, lemme give you an example. So about a year and a half ago I got called by a customer of mine that was, uh, a roofer. And he goes, Hey, I’ve got this company that I want to, uh, outsource my, my back office to, and I don’t need you to vet ’em. So that’s a problem. I said, okay, fine, let me vet them for you. So I did that, and they were a good company, right? And about, uh, six months later after that, I get a call from that company and it was the owner of the company and she held up a little sticky note and it said, hire Chuck.

Chuck (10:56):

And I said, what’s that? And she goes, when we had our conversation, I know that I, I knew that I needed a chuck. And I said, okay, so how can I help you? And she goes, listen, I’ve been in business for almost a year now. You know, we’re, uh, an outsourced va you know, virtual assistance company, and we’re just not really making, we’re not growing fast enough. We’re got about $14,000 a month in revenue. Uh, and I said, okay. And I took a look into her organization and we started making some changes. And uh, first thing we did was we rebranded her as a business process outsourcing company instead of a virtual assistance company. Uh, then we made some operational changes with her personnel, uh, helped her grow and hire the right people, got all of her people certified in the softwares that were, they were using so they could truly be viewed as an expert instead of just a, a virtual assistant In less than a year, they went from $14,000 a month revenue to $140,000 a month in revenue.

Chuck (11:53):

Okay? Wow. Just by the changes that, that we did. Another company, a telecom company, Swiss Tele, a telecom company, right? They, they were getting a lot of short duration calls that they were being billed for, and they didn’t know what the problem was. So we’ve got a problem with this. So we did an analysis of, of, of tens of millions of, uh, TCAP messages, which are getting technical here. And SS seven, it’s like a phone record, but it’s the digital version of it, right? And we found that what was happening was down the line, one of the providers that they were connecting to, ’cause remember you go through several switches, you call from the us it might go here. But anyway, one of those switches was giving back what’s called false answer supervision before the call was ever answered. So that’s why they’re having short duration calls.

Chuck (12:37):

People would call, it would ring nine, 10 times, no one would answer and they’d hang up. But it was showing this answered, right? Okay. So we fixed that problem. So really, it’s a, it’s any type of problem, right? It’s like, I wanna open a new location. Okay? Right. So one of the things that we do in, in our LinkedIn reach out that we, that we do, how we find clients is we just ask people what their problem is. And these, and we tell them, everyone, we tell them how we would solve the problem. One is, what’s the true problem? And what’s the real problem? ’cause a true problem is, or their problem might be, I need more revenue. Okay, so what’s the real problem? Right? Is the real problem. You need more revenue because your costs are too high. Because if your costs are too high and we bring in more revenue, we put you out of business ’cause you’re selling low costs, right? Is it because your marketing? Is it because you just don’t have the right staff in place? So we do that analysis and take them through that, uh, and either fix it for them and hand it back to them. Or once it’s corrected, we can monitor an ongoing basis.

Chris (13:42):

So when you do these projects, are you, I assume you’re not just a one man show, you’ve got a team working with you, and how have you gone about, I guess, building that team around you to make sure you have the right people?

Chuck (13:54):

So what I did is, listen, so experience is important. Diversity is important, right? And diversity from a sense of people with different backgrounds are gonna have different ways that they interpret a problem and the corrective action that they would find for that, right? So although I’m the chief strategist for the company, I don’t really go by the title CEO, but I’m CEO and chief strategist, I’m more of a strategy kind of guy. So I do handle a lot of the problems when, you know, name of the companies interact, one, you’re gonna interact with me, right? In most cases. But what we did is we wanted to find people like me because I, I don’t know everything. Let’s surround yourself with people smarter than you, right? So we go out and we find fractional people just like me, right? Possibly someone that’s got a full-time job.

Chuck (14:46):

They are ACOO of a company, or they’re an entrepreneur, they own, own their own company, or they’re a, an accountant, right? For finance issues, IT professionals, right? And we’ve built a network of these people to where we hold all of their information so that when the problem comes in, we have three or four or five, in some cases, 10 people that we can send that problem to and see what their thoughts are on it, and then engage that person, the one that we want to engage with to help us solve that. And then we do the program management or the program project management of that to get the problem solved. So it’s not a lot of, uh, we have a lot of employees, but we have a lot of fractionals working for us.

Chris (15:29):

Okay. That’s an interesting model. I, I mean, it makes sense given what you’re doing and you can kind of pick the right person for the issue at hand.

Chuck (15:36):


Chris (15:37):

So we were talking a little bit, uh, earlier, and I know, you know, we talked about challenges you’ve faced in being an entrepreneur, and I just want, you know, maybe share some of the challenges you’ve gone through and how that’s impacted the business or changed what you’ve done from, you know, from a, I guess a business strategy.

Chuck (15:56):

Well, I mean, if you’re in business, you’re always gonna have challenges, right? <laugh>. So, you know, starting from the very beginning, just being able to redirect yourself. You know, don’t beat a dead horse redirect, you know, make a decision one way or the other. Lead follow, get outta the way. All those little sayings they say is be, you know, do that, make decisions. Some of the, you know, the first one was switching from being just strictly telecom to really handling smaller businesses. That was one then we diversified into where we had our own public relations firm, because a lot of companies, what they were, what we found is a lot of companies have an issue with actually people knowing who they were, right? So we created that company and being able to, to, in the economy, be able to utilize, you know, both companies, right?

Chuck (16:47):

When, listen, when very small businesses, they can’t afford a a lot sometimes, uh, but they can afford a little bit. And that’s like the PR company. One of the challenges that we had with that di diversification is when Covid hit, right? We were leading up into covid. We were spending probably, probably 90%, well, 70% of our business was from a revenue perspective, was coming from the PR firm. And these are small clients paying 395, $500 a month, right? For our PR services. And the interact one, the more consulting the high dollar ones was really just me at that time. Okay. And when Covid hit, basically all those customers called me, Hey, we don’t know what’s going on. We’ve gotta stop. And we’d let everyone outta their contracts for sure. Uh, but we lost about 90% of that business. And at the time, I really didn’t, that’s a big hit.

Chuck (17:43):

Yeah. It was a very big hit. And I didn’t really know what to do. But then I started thinking, well, people really have problems now, right? They, they’ve got problems that need solved. A lot of the problems were, you know, during covid is, you know, how do we maintain a remote workforce? How do we keep our store open but just have deliveries? How do I, we keep our employees engaged? How, you know, how do we give our customers engaged? How do we trans, uh, transfer our shop from totally brick and mortar to an online? Right? So it was a godsend for me as far as building back up or getting more involved in the interact one business. But, ’cause if I didn’t have that, I don’t know where I’d be today. I’d probably be dipping my toe back in the corporate pond again. Right, right. But, uh, you’ve gotta be able to,

Chris (18:34):

Yeah. The ability to, I guess, you know, kind of pivot when necessary and, and, and kind of keep going is critical.

Chuck (18:43):


Chris (18:43):

For an entrepreneur, especially small business owner. Um, yep. What other, I guess, excuse me, what other advice, when you think about how you interact with your, you know, your partners, your kind of your, these, maybe these what I would call maybe alliances you have with other fractionals, but may maybe there are other type of partners you used to keep your business successful. Uh, whether that’s, you know, banking relationships, you know, accounting, legal, what are some advice you have on that, on, you know, best practices to make sure you kind of surround yourself with that kind of strong team that you need to kind of have a stable business?

Chuck (19:24):

Yeah. So listen, a a lot of small businesses out there, right? They try to do it all themselves, right? And don’t, right there, there are professionals out there that can help you. And even if you wanna build everything in-house, you know, make sure that, you know, like you said, have a strong relationship with a banker, a financial person, you know, some sort of business coach maybe to help you, uh, do things. Uh, what what I do is I just try to teach, treat everyone with respect. And as a consultant, sometimes we, especially when we’re solving problems, right? I can’t, someone can’t say something to me and me go, well, crap, how stupid are you? Right? <laugh>, you’ve got to treat that business owner with respect. And sometimes if they’re making boneheaded decisions, there’s a little bit of dance involved in it, right? Sure. So be respectful and earn people’s trust and with, with whether it’s your business partners like me, you know, all the other c-level professionals that I work with, right? ’cause most of the people that that, that we bring on as our partner con or our hybrid, or partner or fractional, whatever you want to call it, consultants that we lean on in areas that we don’t have the expertise. They’re all c-level. Okay? So you’ve gotta be respectful of them and trust their decision. Now we have a leave Adam first, right? Uh, trust just isn’t given. Uh, but, you know, be respectful and widen your network, right? You’re only as good as the people that you’re surrounded by.

Chris (21:01):

Yeah, no, that’s for sure. And they’re a reflection of you, right? If you’re bringing them in, whether that’s an employee and you’re putting ’em on a project or a consultant and you’re bringing ’em in, whoever that client is sees them as a reflection of you. Absolutely. So it’s important to make, make sure they align, you know, with your fundamental values.

Chuck (21:18):

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Chris (21:20):

So, and one, I think you referred to this a a minute ago, when you’re talking about certain problems you’ve been helping people solve any, anything you’ve seen in the last couple of years where you’ve, you’ve been involved and, and, and maybe in certain projects and, and develop some, I don’t know if there are best practices, but I’m thinking about work, the work remote world we’re in, and helping companies kind of navigate to a place that w can work for the business to remain profitable, but also allow for some of that flexibility. Anything you can share on that regard?

Chuck (21:55):

Trust. Right. So one of the biggest problems, just

Chris (21:59):

In case you cut, just in case I didn’t hear that clearly. I wanna make sure the audio’s clear. You said trust,

Chuck (22:04):

That’s what I’m trying trust, right? That’s my Texan coming out trust. So what happens? And it, and it’s, it’s instilled us in from the very beginning, oh, 40 hours a week and this is your rate, right? And how do I know that my people are working if they’re not here? And I can see ’em behind a desk. And my, my answer to them is, the work being done right? Is the work being done? And you as a manager, which is what I tell the business owner, you as a manager need to make sure that you’re giving them the work that can be done in the time period that you want it done in. Right? You know, if, if you give someone three things to do and they can do it in four hours instead of eight hours, well those are the things you needed them to do and they did it.

Chuck (22:52):

So why shouldn’t they get paid what you would’ve paid them, which was eight hours? Okay? But then again, if you don’t have your finger on it to where you know how long it takes them to do something, then that’s on you. That’s not on them. Hmm. And if you give ’em too much and they’re not getting it all done, then that’s when you’ve gotta start looking into it. Am I giving them too much? Right. So the main thing with work remote that I tell, like I said, I tell people is trust your people. Trust, trust yourself that you made the right decision when you hired them. Right? Or it’s your fault anyway. And then trust the fact that they’re working. Uh, I’ve seen businesses that are like, well, they’ve gotta log into this system and stay logged in. Okay, well they could be logging in while they’re taking a nap. That doesn’t mean that they’re doing the work. Well, you know, we make ’em have a zoom open so that anytime we can look and see if they’re working, I said, you know, I would quit. I don’t, I’m gonna do the work. But if, if you’re insisting on having a camera on me making sure that I’m doing work all the time, then it’s not a right fit. Right. There has to be trust.

Chris (23:58):

Yeah, you’re right. I mean, I think, you know, in addition to trust, I think, uh, what I’ve seen, and I think you’re saying this as well, is you gotta communicate clearly what the expectations are, right? So when you talk about these assignments, I mean, you know, not only is the work getting done, is it getting done timely and efficiently and correctly? Um, right. And if so, then you know, you’re onto something. And if not, then you gotta correct that from a work performance standpoint, uh, and be able to say, look, this is what the assignment was. This is what the deadline was. And, and if it didn’t meet the standards, be able to explain why. And then yeah, you’re right. And take, figure out what’s the right corrective action from there.

Chuck (24:39):

Yeah. Expectations are everything. And then being able to, you know, another thing you do is get buy-in from that remote worker. You know, how, what can you do? How much can you do it? You know, it’s like my telecom days, the old telecom days, you had what was called a occupancy rate. So you had a call center where people are answering the call and they, oh, I want a hundred percent occupancy. Which that meant that 100% of the time the people were on the phone and it’s not possible. Right? Even the best call centers run at 60 to 65% occupancy. Right? And you gotta realize that’s the way your people are too. If you’re paying ’em for eight hours, you know what? You’ll be good. You’re doing really good if you’re getting six hours of real work out of ’em because the, you gotta stop. And I think sometimes as as American culture, we really, I guess we really think that our employee employees owe us when really we owe them.

Chris (25:45):

Yeah, that’s a good point. So let’s talk a little bit just about, you know, maybe on your personal leadership style. How would you describe your leadership style? And first there, and then, you know, how do you work with some of your clients? Maybe help them with their leadership style when those opportunities present themselves?

Chuck (26:05):

Well, I think that in the business that I’m in, I have to be collaborative, right? You can’t make all the decisions and do everything yourself. And really, that’s what I, I business owners have to do. I all the time telling them that you’re, you know, you’re micromanaging your people. You know, give ’em some room to breathe. Let them have some creativity, let them help make decisions. Don’t just tell them what to do. Ask them what needs to be done. And that’s kind of my leadership style, right? But then I’ll always go back to problem solving. So I wanna know what the real problem is, what, not just the problem, the the problem, you think the perceived problem, but what is the real problem and how can we correct this with any decision that’s made?

Chris (26:47):

Yeah. So kind of, we talked a little bit about this maybe, but I wanna ask you a, maybe a different way. When you think about yourself and your career, any kinda setbacks that you’ve encountered that you look back and go, man, that was a tough time, or, I made a boneheaded decision or whatever, but I, I, what I learned from it benefited me so much that I, I can look back and be grateful for that experience. Anything come to mind for there that you can share?

Chuck (27:17):

Yeah. Back when I kind of first started the interact one on the marketing side, when I was learning marketing, I had a company come to me and it was like, we want you to help us acquire more customers. You remember back when, uh, deregulation happened on electricity in Texas. So we started working the problem. And the problem that we gave them was, you need to have a door to door team that needs to be trained this way and done this way and do all this kind of stuff. And they said, okay, great. Do it for us.

Chuck (27:51):

And 286 people later, right? Five locations across the state of Texas, A lot of money, but it wasn’t worth it. And it, it almost made me to where I didn’t want to even continue. Right? Wow. It was so stressful having that many people that are working on a commission only basis, right. Selling electricity, training them, you know, looking at the, at turf and all of that kind of stuff. So it was very profitable, but it’s one of the things that if I had my, if I go back in time, that’s maybe one thing that I would’ve changed is I wouldn’t have went down that path. It took so much energy and took three years of my life to do Yeah. That I could have done much greater things, I believe.

Chris (28:47):

Interesting. So that, that kind of segues well into the next question I want to ask you. And that is, how do you go about maintaining, you know, there’s all the, you know, the, the typical word is work-life balance. And, and I’m kind of a believer, and I I’ve had some other guests on the podcast kind of agree with this. It’s more about work-life integration than how do you know, manage both? ’cause you have work and you have your personal life, and how do you integrate those that you can show up effectively in both? Uh, what are some of the things that you do to try to make that happen in your life?

Chuck (29:18):

Life? I take naps <laugh>. Right? Love it. I, I, I’m a big proponent of taking naps, but really, okay, so I’ve got maybe a different viewpoint because I listen, I, I, I did the corporate Americas gig for 20 years and I had my business grew it very big, then pull the back small. I work because I want to work. There is no work life balance. I have life and I work when I wanna work. And if I wanna work five hours this week, that’s what I work this week. If I wanna take a week off, I take a week. And I know it’s different for a lot of entrepreneurs, you know, but I’m entering the, the, the Twilight State. I know I don’t look it, but I’m pretty dang old. Right? <laugh>. Um, and I think that for, for the younger people starting out or, or, you know, mid, mid age, right?

Chuck (30:17):

It’s important, right? Don’t do what I did in the first 20 years of my career where all I did was work and I saw my kids on weekends, which initially, which, which eventually led to a divorce, which meant that I only saw ’em every other weekend, right? Yeah. You know, 14 years ago I started over again. Wonderful woman, she keeps me grounded and, and she is my li makes me wanna be a better man. And we started, you know, a, a new family. So that helps out too. So I’ve got an eight year old son now, right? And I’ve got an eight year old granddaughter and I’ve got an eight-year-old grandson, right? Oh, wow. Uh, yeah. So it, it gives you the, it, it, it, it, it’s allowing me to have a second chance with that. And I’m not gonna fail it. So Yeah. I don’t necessarily know how you do it, whether it’s working out or yoga.

Chuck (31:06):

I listen to one of the, one of the people on the podcast, they were doing yoga and all this kind of stuff. I know that you have to have something that stimulates your brain at all points in time. I’ve got an eight year old that does that. I’ve got, you’ve gotta have something that, that exercises your body. I’ve got an eight year old that does that <laugh>, right? I coach, i, I help coaches lacrosse team and the day after practices, I can barely walk. So I don’t know if I have a great answer for it. I know it’s important, but I, I’m not there anymore. I just, I work because I wanna work.

Chris (31:37):

Yeah, no, I, I think every, what I love there, everyone has a little different take on it because look, everyone’s situation’s different. And so yeah, you’ve gotta, you gotta figure out what works and, and your ecosystem and your environment and that includes right. The family and the business and the career and all those things. And, and those things can change over time. Just really can. Alright. Yeah. So, you know, Chuck, I appreciate all this, this has been really good stuff. I’m gonna turn it a little bit to the lighter side. Ask you, what was your first job?

Chuck (32:10):

Like real job or entrepreneurial job?

Chris (32:12):

No, that real job. I mean, I don’t know, like in junior high you had a paper route or

Chuck (32:16):

Yeah, no, I didn’t, I didn’t do the paper route. So my f for my, ’cause I was raised by a single mom. Right. We didn’t have anything. She was a waitress. So I went into the family business and I bust tables and wash dishes at a restaurant

Chris (32:30):

That will humble you really quick. Right. Make you hungry. And not for food, but just hungry to say, I, I, I want something different.

Chuck (32:37):

Yeah. I know that I want, I always knew that I wanted to, to, to have something more than what I had growing up.

Chris (32:42):

That’s good. I know you said you listened to some of the prior, uh, podcast episodes, so I know you’re ready for this one. Tex-Mex or Barbecue?

Chuck (32:52):

Well, it depends where, right? Sure. <laugh>, you know, so I, I do my own barbecue. Okay. So if I’m eating out someplace, I don’t necessarily do Tex-Mex very well except for guacamole. I make great guacamole. But, so I would say if I’m eating out, it’s a Tex, I eat more Tex-Mex than barbecue. But I enjoy barbecue,

Chris (33:15):

Man. I may have to see if you can ship me some of yours and I bet it’s pretty good. Yeah,

Chuck (33:18):

That makes a pretty good barbecue.

Chris (33:20):

I love the honest answer there was, it depends where, ’cause so many of us have, well if it’s, you know, if it’s this that I’m hungry for, then it might be this barbecue joint or this different Tex-Mex place. So I have to share, I just saw and I, I share with my girls those, you know, the ROIA in Austin then there Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> signs there, there was, I saw a picture of this one. It says Texan, a person who chooses a restaurant based on their chips and salsa

Chuck (33:45):

<laugh>. Yeah. You know, that’s very true.

Chris (33:48):

Isn’t that true? Uh, what

Chuck (33:49):

We need is a TexMex barbecue.

Chris (33:53):

Yeah. Well we have some of that here in Houston. We have some, uh, places that are using like brisket and their tacos and things. Okay. So it it, it stays

Chuck (34:01):

Like they have Korean barbecue, right? Yeah. They have Korean barbecue. So why not, you know, Tex-Mex barbecue and, you know, have more of, you know, the beans would be more of the, the, the barbecue style beans with some jalapenos in there because I, I put jalapenos in everything. So yeah. Everything to me is Tex-Mex.

Chris (34:20):

I like it. Well, we, you and I may have to get offline and we may come up with a new restaurant concept here. Yeah. So, okay. Last question with

Chuck (34:27):


Chris (34:27):

Yeah. Everything. Jalapenos. Last question is, if you could take a 30 day sabbatical or just get away, where would you go and what would you do?

Chuck (34:38):

Well, so sabbatical means something different Right. And, and getting yourself in a different thing. So I, so I like, we twice, at least twice a year we go to the Smoky Mountains, which is my, that’s my spot. Right? When I first time I went to the Smokey Mountains, I was like, this is where I belong. Right. But a sabbatical might be a little bit different and I think it would be really cool to go over to Africa and do a photo safari. Yeah. I, I don’t want to shoot the animals anymore. I did that growing up. I don’t need to do it anymore. But to get ’em on camera and to live in the camps and stuff like that would just be, that’d be something to be really cool, you know, for 30

Chris (35:22):

Days. Yeah. It’s a bucket list item for sure.

Chuck (35:24):


Chris (35:25):

That’s great. Well, Chuck, I, uh, I wanna thank you again for taking the time. You know, come on the show and, and share your story. I love hearing kind of the career you’ve had and, and the way you’ve, you know, evolved and, and, uh, and I love this the way you’re helping companies solve big problems. So really appreciate it.

Chuck (35:42):

Well, I appreciate you having me. It was fun.

Chris (38:10):

And there we have it. Another great episode. Don’t forget to check out the show notes at and you can find out more about all the ways our firm can help That’s it for this episode. Have a great week and we’ll talk to you next time.

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