Matt Rosenthal is a technology and business strategist as well as the President/CEO of Mindcore, the leading IT solutions provider in New Jersey. Mindcore offers a broad portfolio of IT services and solutions tailored to help businesses take back control of their technology, streamline their business, and outperform their competition.
Matt Rosenthal is a technology and business strategist as well as the President/CEO of Mindcore, the leading IT solutions provider in New Jersey. Mindcore offers a broad portfolio of IT services and solutions tailored to help businesses take back control of their technology, streamline their business, and outperform their competition.
Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to The Lucky Titan and today we're here with Matt Rosenthal and this guy has an awesome track record in working in a non sexy industry, but making it hyper successful by making it a sexy industry so stoked to have him here on top of that, I am excited to talk about his new show that he is launching called digging in, it's gonna be an awesome show so I'm excited to talk about all that with you today, Matt so say what's up to everybody and we'll hop right in.
Matt: What's up to everybody Josh, awesome had a great conversation with you before the show, I love it. Great. I'm excited.
Josh: I sometimes wonder if I need to just record those and make those the episode The pre interview because everybody's kind of relaxed and laid back and bragging about themselves and then I'm like, this is perfect. I can I could put that in and that'd be amazing content but
Matt: listen, if you want off there, relax, and I'll brag about myself, I'm just kidding.
Josh: We need. That's all we need.
Matt: No, you were telling me it's not even really about us right? You have a really great audience and it's about them. So let's hopefully we can share some really good content today. And people get some useful information.
JoshL I'm sure they were we all these conversations are always just, they flow better, right because we're asking genuine questions, giving genuine answers so I do want to ask you kind of my first genuine question here with when it comes to building so it's, it's mindcore.com, right? It's kind of your core website and this company is built, like I said, kind of in a non sexy industry and I can say that confidently, because I've worked with a lot of IT companies, and they're very hard to work with typically, because it's not sexy, they don't have a good website, it's not user friendly, it's hard to work with them, because you never know what they do so walk me through a little bit of your brand journey with that company and making it become the successful company that is today.
Matt: It's been a long journey, right? It's been I think I started in I mean, I know I started it was like late 90s, it was 98 99 I started, it was nothing like what you see today, or I was not feeling like who I am today, it's it's really been an interesting journey, our business, I mean, you really describe it really well, there's nothing sexy about it aut at the same time, every business relies on on technology and on what we do and they rely every business relies on having a trusted strategic IT advisor, you know, and people that can that can help you reach your own business goals so in a way, where I am today, the evolution of it has been that yes, we had to go through the the break, fix, you know, model and then something called managed services model, we went through all these different models over the years but there's been one thing that's consistent, and it's like a thread that's like, always read through there that's never changed, which is you really need to have a connection with people and the relationships that we have with the customers who ultimately all become friends, you know, we're not a billion dollar company, maybe one day, we're at a size where, even though we're a multimillion dollar company, I still know all the clients, we all still know all the clients and it's a relationship business that is sexy to me, that's exciting to me, because while we're solving these problems, no matter how its evolved over the years, while we're solving their business problems with technology, we're really connecting, and we're really building strong relationships and we're really giving people reliability, and then a guidance in something that they have no idea about. And those become really fun, really inspiring, and really growth based conversations, that's been the case for all these years and that is something that if you know, one any if one thing you've taken away from, from this conversation today, it should be that the relationships that you have with your clients and your employees, if you have them is so important and it withstands the test of time and it withstands the problems and the complaints about invoices and all the things that any service business has, the evolution of the business is always going to continue to pivot you're gonna change but the one thing I've done is have relationships. So over the years, we've really been focused on that and I've been focused on that but I had to learn that over time, back to your question, I had to learn that over time and it took years and years and years for me to figure out it wasn't about the money, it wasn't about how big can the business be? It actually is about truly helping people. It's about connecting with people and delivering a service that people really feel good about so I jumped around, but that is who we are and that is how we deliver our service and it is what we believe in and look now we're doing a lot of phone systems for people Microsoft Teams, cybersecurity is like the number one conversation I'm having with people now, Cloud a couple years ago, it was like new servers, new computers and before that it was like remote access and VPN, it always changes it's it's it's not sexy but it's the fact that people rely on you and have so much trust in you that I find really exciting.
Josh: What and I love your take on that, because the brand is really built around your relationship with them not around the service you provide, because it changes so frequently and it's kind of funny, I had a conversation with a guy the other day who deals a lot with kind of customer service, I hate that term because we just imagine somebody with a headset and you know, kind of that gatekeeper nobody likes to deal with but he was I asked him the question I was like, so what's kind of your process to relationships and he says, that's the wrong question there's no process to relationships, it's not something you can teach, it's all about how you deal with people so I'm kind of curious with you, where you've, you've got a good team in place, how are you helping them your team members to continue that culture, especially when a lot of them are it people who usually don't like people?
Matt: Oh, my God, that's so true. That was that that in and of itself was a process, you're writing that gentleman's right. It isn't a process but hiring the right people, is a process and it does so I've listened, I've had some people that have worked in my organization over the years that were super technical, but to your point, they couldn't speak to anybody they were a train wreck, I mean, it does generate complaints, and it just does generate unhappy customers because they they can't connect and they can't feel good while they're getting the service so about seven or eight years ago, I began doing behavioral assessments and personality assessments when I hire people, I mean, people have been doing that forever but in our business, it's not so common people usually hire because they want somebody super technical. I hire, in fact, I'm interviewing people right now I have about 12 interviews set up for next week the reason I get involved in the interview process is the is the answer to your question, I don't ask any technical questions, I save that for my engineers, I want to hear the tonality in your voice, I want to hear how you sound over the phone, I want to feel the good vibe over the phone but we look for people that have high levels of empathy, high levels of patience, you know, conversely, somebody who's the opposite of that we don't want once somebody meets those standards, now they're in alignment with the belief system and the culture that I have so up until I started doing that, we had people that would come and go, and it was always like, uncomfortable and you know, it doesn't feel great when when you have people that really can't communicate with your customers, when the customers either were, you know, became customers because of me or because of other people in my organization that are emotionally intelligent and are strong in communications and so then we make promises and we bring people into our world, only to have them not get that same feeling when the service is being delivered so years ago, I was like, forget, I can't do this anymore we can't operate like this, I mean technical people that have personalities that have the right behavior, the right combination so we give disc assessments, you know, DIFC behavior assessments and we're looking for somebody for people that have just the right combination of those behavior types and just the right combination of personality traits, where they're, they're understanding, they're confident, they're, their certainty comes through in their voice, you know, it's like, absolutely, I can help you and yeah, I understand exactly what you mean and let's take a look at this versus Ouch, I'm not sure. Well, I think I can help, I mean, you could lose customers that way, you know, just the difference in that communication so that's how we do it, I have made the mistake of going against my gut feeling in the past and I brought people on because they seemed really good and I thought it was gonna work out and then I get these results back from these assessments they're not tests, they're assessments, because there's no right or wrong and it would say, Oh, this person has less of this and more of this and I think, Well, I didn't pick up on that. So they seemed good let me take a chance, every single time I've done that the person ended up not working out so these assessments are always right, in my opinion, they've always got it right and what they do is they help you manage the person to help you understand how to manage the person because everybody's different so if I have somebody who's who shows that maybe there's one weakness in one area, it doesn't mean I shouldn't hire them it just means that if everything else is good, I have to I have to, we have to train them, we have to help educate them and help them develop a different area of their behavior so they can be better in our culture but I will tell you that we've had people just leave straight up leave the culture because as we've evolved over the years to become more, more dedicated and more, you know, our culture's our culture, and if we're not gonna change your culture to fit the employees, the employees have to fit the culture and that is just the way it is now and we I've listened it's cost me a fortune, making those mistakes and learning Man, but now that I know it, I wouldn't, I would never go back to any other way, these people that we that, that we hire become a part of our family, it's a work family, we spend more time with them than anybody else and they spend more time with our clients than anybody else so the clients come on because of the beliefs that they have in us and our employees have to just authentically be of the same belief, they have to be cut from the same thread and if they're not, they're not good, they're going to leave on their own, because they're not going to feel good anyway you know hope I answered your question.
Josh: Yeah, absolutely and I completely I completely believe that. And it's interesting to watch how a different companies do it right because, as you said, there's there, It's more of a hiring process and now you're saying I will never deviate from this, this disc assessment and for those of you listening, who haven't done that, I would highly, highly recommend doing the disc assessment that that one to me is, honestly the best I've ever taken because I grew up with parents who we kind of were clumped into four categories and I was told over and over and over again, I'm like, the read the clerk, whatever you want to call it and what I do know is that
Matt: you're a D?
Josh: What was that?
Matt: You’re a D?
Josh: D, yeah
Matt: Oh, interesting
Josh: is when I, I went and took this, I thought I was a, I don't know what it would be, but it's like a red blue right? So I thought I was really detail oriented person and when I took the disc assessment, I found out that I was very, I'm a D I, so I'm actually very interested in people and
Matt: it’s great combo.
Josh: it's a fun combo, I guess but it's, it's really bad for operations and I was wondering why my companies weren't struggling so bad but when I finally gave that to is actually my brother's my partner, and he's very, very strong with operations and, and systems, our company started to take off because I could be the dancing monkey, and he's the guy running the company right so it's, it's cool to just kind of feel your point there and saying, I mean, people are going to look for tech guys who are just that blue, I don't know what it is, and the disc assessment but you know, they're very detail oriented, but if they don't have any sort of empathy, or people skills, and how hard is that to manage somebody like that?
Matt: It's extremely difficult and then it's like, Wow, did I do them a service by hiring them, right, cause we don't have the time to help them change their person out of the behavior but then when you mix personality in with behavior, because they're not the same thing so you could be a, I was a strong D, when I did mine, many years ago, I was a strong B, I was nothing other than a D and I was trending towards being more of a D and I'll tell you something about me, I went through about five years of therapy two to three times a week and because I didn't want to be that strong D, I got my company, this is very valuable right here ready to go
Josh: this is a piece of gold Mic drop, everybody, this is our 30 minute segment,
Matt: I got my company to a certain level and I'll never forget when this business coach slash slash psychotherapist looked at me and said, you're unbelievable, you have talents that you don't even realize you have but if you do not deal with this D behavior type of yours and learn to be more of a blend, which you can and I had an emotional intelligence IE IQ score, that wasn't a 99th percentile, it's a whole different thing to learn about but it's like a sixth sense. You can read people's emotions through their their body language and their tonality and so I could read a room, I could read faces, I can read, I can, I always thought I just had this sixth sense, because I grew up like poor and I had to survive and I always thought it was like street smarts and apparently, it was a combination so he said to me, he was here's the problem, you've taken your company about as far as you can take it. He goes, because you're such a strong D, that you suck the air out of the room like you'll just walk into a room and you're like, boom, you this, you this, you this, because I see things other people don't see, which is an important characteristic of a leader, as but the problem is that, as a leader, you also have to have the other important characteristic, which is the ability to have compassion, and empathy. And I had this much and he told me, he's like, I can work with you and I can turn you into a rock star, you can run a billion dollar company but you need to decide you want to do it, you need to be where and accepting of who you are put it behind, you will work on it, but you will not take his company any further that was five years ago and he was right and I don't really I don't actually see him anymore we got to a point where he's like you're done but if I took the behavior assessment, now I know that I would be a blend of all of them, if you own a business and you think that being a leader and being an owner is about telling people what to do and managing is about you know, having a heavy fist or whatever that expression is having a heavy hand it's at times is necessary but understanding people and understanding how what you say impacts how other people feel is more important than being somebody who raises your voice or is bossy or, and I tell you used to be and I got and this is why this guy said to me, he's like you will not, I got this company to substantial multi million dollars and I did it off of hard work, relentless nonstop focus on growth, I was just non-stop but I knew that I couldn't do that anymore because it was I was, you'll it'll burn you out, like you have no life you can go a lot farther. When you have that combination of a D and I and I mean, it makes it all together. So I would encourage everybody to your point to go get one if you're an owner look at yourself, put your ego aside, get out of your own damn way and realize what you can do, how much power and how much potential you have, and how much you could reach more potential No matter if you're at 1 million, 5 Million, 20 50. I don't know, you know, who's watching but you can always reach more and it's not even at that point about money by the way at that point, it's you're helping more people, you're employing more people, you're putting more food on people's table, it becomes about everybody when you after you reach a couple of million dollars a year in revenue you've made you have enough money when your business is doing that, you're fine, your lifestyle is good lose, lose the idea that it's just about you and and because it's what you've was, as you're building it, it was all about you, it's no longer all about you, when you reach a certain amount of multi-millions, when you reach a certain amount of seven figures. The disc assessment will tell you who you are and it will tell you where you need to do your work as well the personality assessment and you should take it seriously and oftentimes, you can tell by people around you, people's reactions to you, if you stop and you just pay attention, tell you everything you need to know and it's enlightening and so if you want to take your business in your personal life to the next level, that's what you need to do, I've been there, I mean, I was you know, I was the I was that guy who was like uptight I was suck the air out of the room. It'd be like, he knows everything he's got an answer for everything. He's got a solution for everything okay, well, what does he need us for there's, there's multiple truths in those things, right? I mean, yes, I own the company and yes, I've done every job in the company and yes, I know but I get people around, you need to feel that they're valuable and you need to realize that they're valuable and believe it and treat them like they're valuable and I'm not talking about financial so it's a long conversation, we could do a whole video on that but what's the goal
Josh: the entire course on that
Matt: if you haven't, if you think you've if you if you're stuck, the first thing you should do is look at yourself don't look at your employees, don't look at your sales numbers, don't look at anything, look at yourself first and say what am I doing to, to contribute to why we're stuck, I can tell you, and you can edit most of the you can edit this down to 20 minutes, right go on, I'll tell you something interesting, I did a I built my company from from nothing, right, I was I built several companies but when I finally said, Okay, I'm only doing it I'm not gonna have five other companies and my IT company because that's what I had at once at one point, when I finally started focusing on the IT was just me and I had been an IT Director for a multibillion dollar company you know, in New York City, I ran the corporate headquarters. I've been there done that climb the corporate ladder had, you know, 40 people working for me but when you're on your own, and you're doing your own thing, so I started in my basement, and it was just me. And this is important, I began with the end in mind and I did it from the very first step, every process I put in place, I put in place because I knew other people at some point would have to follow these processes, I knew that the processes would, at some point, make it so that I could work on the business and that in the business, right did that when I was just you know, it was just me so when I focused primarily on that I'm the IT business and nothing else, I grew 30% year over year, for a couple years in a row, I got more employees and I got some employees and everything was going well, I did a merger so I took my business to at the time was $1 million, became several multi-million dollar business did another merger so I did two mergers and I'm sorry, one merger and two acquisitions in four years and through that, at our peak we hit you know, we were beyond seven we had hit eight figures and I learned a lot in that process about myself and this is where all of that project coaching and that that therapy kind of came in because I have taken on three partners during that process, and you try getting along with three partners and two of them built their own little businesses themselves and yet they need they're supposed to follow me as the CEO, as the President as the visionary, who unfortunately, operationally was still, you know, I saw things that they didn't see so it creates this this interesting dynamic, where you do have to begin to look at yourself and say, Wait, I was in my basement, it was just me five years ago, now I have this thing and I'm on a treadmill, I got stuck, I got stuck so I ended up going through one of the reasons I got stuck in this is what I was getting, I ended up going through a divorce of what these businesses with these these partners, I ended up right now there's no more partners, I ended up, we ended up the decoupling the business, we all went our separate ways, I ended up with the company and pretty much all the good accounts and at that point, I'm like, Okay, now, there's nothing in front of me, like, there's nothing stopping me, like, now I can go to town with this, I'm going to explode this thing up next thing, you know, COVID hits so that was about a year, I'm getting things off the ground and then about a year later, COVID hit so I spent one year recovering from the business, separate all the separations, business was growing the whole time, through all of it and by the way, that's one of the processes in the workflows are so critical, because they're bigger than any one person, they are the glue that holds the business together, you need to have bulletproof processes or workflows, or you'll crash and burn so we get to the point where COVID hits and I'm like, Okay, this is interesting, I wasn't planning on this so now we go into the year two of being on a treadmill so instead of instead of focusing on growth, we I go into, I sat down my CFO, my Listen, I need like a six to seven phase plan, of if we need to how we're going to lower salaries, how we're going to do X, Y, and Z, but I do not want to have anybody lose their job and I said, we'll figure it out if we need to, because we were going into COVID very strong so you know, I we had no growth, focusing on I'm staying still was the plan, we don't we were we weren't even trying to grow, we were trying to stay still, because we didn't know what was gonna happen whole year comes and goes, we ended up growing through COVID because our services are needed so we grow through COVID and we really streamline even further, we tighten things up even further but basically, we're on it, we're still on a treadmill, we're still stuck and it's very interesting, when you have two years, when you're doing very well, your margins are high, get rid of all the partners, it's just me my vision is I'm finding myself super, super frustrated because I got these plans, and I got these marketing plans and I got this podcast I want to do and I got all this stuff and yet, I'm like, wait, should I spend the money on this because God forbid, my clients are impacted during COVID and I have a sudden, it's not what I think it is or it's six months from now, it's not what it is now all these things are going through my mind so I'll tell you what I did there, in COVID, I stepped on a gas, I put my foot on the gas, I said screw it, we're going down, we're going to go down with a fight. We weren't going down, we were going up anyway but I'm like, if we do end up going down, because it's all unknown, we're gonna go down with a fight, I doubled my marketing budget and we just want to add things much, much harder we revamped like the way we were doing everything and now we're coming out and COVID is doing the tail end of it all, I'm in better shape now than I was probably at any point in the past five years. Now I want to bring all together for you one because I'm emotionally in a best place of my life emotionally, psychologically, physically, I'm in phenomenal place so my health is great and the business is super healthy right and so we're in a position now where, okay, great, I can get my podcast off the ground, I can try and help more people and the funny thing is the services that we used to try to convince people that they needed cloud cybersecurity and collaboration tools, three C's, people were like tripping over themselves to get to us to help them with their cloud cybersecurity, and collaboration tools, which is basically office 365 with teams, or Google, you know, whatever people want and so the business just started growing and I wasn't nothing, I wasn't doing anything to grow, it was organic so it is a very frustrating experience to be stuck. However, there's nobody could do anything about being stuck during COVID, if you were fortunate enough to have growth during COVID, which we did awesome. We're in great, great, great position right now but here we go now for anybody who did what they should have done over the past year you had you had an opportunity of a lifetime, stop re-assess your business reassess where you're going, what your roadmap is, who your target market is, who you're going to help right? How efficient you are, how you're spending your money, assess it all and hopefully everybody did that and now you're leaning, you're a lean, mean fighting machine, you're ready to go, excuse me and here we go take night get on that treadmill, Instead of being a neutral, put it on like a 15, incline and put on like for start running up the hill because that's what that's what's happening right now so being on a treadmill could be good, it could be bad, depends how you look at it and it depends what you do when you're a neutral depends what you do when you're stuck, I told you this long, long story because I recognized I was stuck and I had reasons for being stuck and I hated being stuck but I had a plan through through being stuck and now that the the environmental factor factors around me are have released me from being stuck now I can go and the key thing is, a lot of people didn't pivot over the past year and say, sorry, my throat is getting dry a lot of people over the past year didn't pivot and say, Okay, I'll give you a great example, I have a customer who's in the catering business, the huge, huge, I mean, they cater massive, massive institutions, they almost went out of business during COVID, because nobody's catering events, their catering was specific to us certain niche and I felt so bad for them, because we do their cloud services, I really felt so, so bad for them, because they've been around for like 40 50 years, they were the go to an overnight they're almost out of business that's an example and I love them, they're great people, if they hear this, don't be insulted but they didn't pivot right, it's because they weren't thinking about it, who ever would have thought the unthinkable was gonna happen? Well, you need to if you're an entrepreneur, and you own a business, and you're listening to this, think that the unthinkable is gonna happen, because the unthinkable will happen so plan for it, I'm fortunate enough to be in a business where I have multiple streams of revenue I pivoted two years ago, because I thought it was a smart thing to do in general, because my business gets stale every three to five years, you got to keep moving with it with the times. So I moved into Cloud cybersecurity and collaboration tools, well, COVID was one of the worst things ever but for my business, it was one of the best things ever, everybody needed cloud cybersecurity collaboration tools, I actually began to stop talking to people I had relationships I was developing with, with vendors, and in new products and services, I stopped all of it stopped on my list, I said to my team, I'm like, we got to focus on a few things and we're going to do way better than everybody else and this is going to explode in the next couple of years we began to focus very hard and very specific on cybersecurity and right now, my cybersecurity business is beginning to explode and yeah, there's more awareness about cybersecurity but a year to three years ago, it was there was a lot of awareness, I'm putting a lot of effort and attention and momentum into it and I'm getting a return on him doing webinars, huge do webinars, inform, educate, help people learn business, just find you, you don't have to go looking for it and same thing with clap so pivoting is a critical, critical aspect of being successful and so what you're under seven, give a seven figure business, seven figure could be, whatever $5 million a year, well, do you want to be at $5 million a year, five years from now, no, you should be at $25 million a year, you got to pivot quickly, you got to let go of bad ideas that didn't work and realize all right, it was a good idea but I'm the head of this company, or I'm a decision maker and I'm just going to leave that behind because it ain't a good idea anymore and, and you got to be able to whatever, even if you've got money to something, you've got to be able to leave it behind. I've done it 10 times, you have to be able to leave it behind and aside from pivot, and you have to be able to push through the fear so I put, like I said to you before, wasn't sure if I should spend money on marketing, I stopped, I meditate every morning so I was in a quiet moment and I'm thinking to myself, alright, what's the worst that can happen if I don't invest in my business? Well, if I don't invest in my business, the worst that could happen is probably going to happen so what's the worst that could happen, if I do invest in my business? The worst that could happen is the business will grow, I'll be more known the business will be more known and more people can, can benefit from our services okay, so we have no debt, we have a line of credit, we have cash in the bank so I had this conversation myself like year and a half ago, why would I not go all in on marketing so I double a double the marketing spend, and I'm about to actually increase it again, I can tell you now a year later, and I get a lot of return on the investment upfront but when I knew that it's an 18 to 24 month game and I'm beginning to get tremendous amount of attention now for things I did a year ago, year and a half ago so don't be afraid to put money back into the business and if you're an owner, don't be afraid to take a little less of that money out of the business and it'll, it'll maybe, you know, if you're taking 300 grand a year out of your business, maybe take 250 and put the other 50 into marketing, it'll pay you back, six months to a year later, 10 times over and that's how you get unstuck you put money into marketing. If you don't put money into marketing, I don't know how you expect anybody to find you so I'm going to give you a chance to talk because it's your show.
Josh: Hey, my goal is to talk 5% of the time so we're doing great here. I'm trying to put out valuable content now I'm over here like trying not to just jot down notes all the time, I have to go back and listen to this but I I love that you're giving so much value and I hope people will will look at that and say okay, how can I get more of this value so from all of you, make sure you go check out since the digging in podcast, it'll be on iTunes, Spotify, wherever you watch or listen to podcasts, it's on YouTube as well. Make sure you go check that show out and I do want to get a little bit more value out of you today, Matt, before we sign off, I will also say before I do that to make sure you go check out mine-core.com, that's their core website but Matt, just to kind of wrap this up with one beautiful bow. Um, could you leave us with one final parting piece of guidance as an entrepreneur who got on stuck?
Matt: Yes, ready. Okay be relentless, you have got to be relentless, you you, you can't slow down, you can't. You can't get weak, the mind, can't let worry and fear get in your way. You You have to you have to be relentless, your business is relying on you to grow, to educate yourself to learn, like I said before, to pivot pick the right products, you got to you got to let the challenges I mean being an entrepreneur every day, I mean, I get my butt kicked at least 50 times a week, you know, and everybody does, yf you if you own a business, if you're an entrepreneur, you're gonna get your butt kicked, do not lose focus on what's most important and be relentless about it, that's it.