The Lucky Titan

It's worth sucking at first With Brian Johnson

July 29, 2021 Josh Tapp
The Lucky Titan
It's worth sucking at first With Brian Johnson
Chapters
The Lucky Titan
It's worth sucking at first With Brian Johnson
Jul 29, 2021
Josh Tapp

Brian Johnson is a veteran of the logistics industry, award winning franchise entrepreneur, President of Strategic Innovations and Vice President of Bubbles. Utilizing his passion for service, sales and mainly people, Brian provides strategic leadership to the Bubbles and Strategic Innovation Teams. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, life would eventually take Brian to the Bay Area California. It is here he found his passion and love of business. After a brief stint in Corporate America, the entrepreneurial ‘bug’ hit him. He started his first business in 2006 and would go on to start multiple others, culminating in the successful sale of his thriving logistics business. Brian’s expertise is in SaaS Platforms, International Logistics, final mile delivery (end consumer and business) and challenges associated with fulfilling package deliveries around the globe. Brian thrives on ‘getting things done’ and delivering results through collaboration, partnerships, and relationships. With an enthusiastic and friendly attitude, Brian radiates a sincere passion for delivering value and results. Brian holds a B.S. in Business Marketing from San Francisco State University. As a singer-songwriter Brian channels his passion and enthusiasm for life through his beat-up old guitar. He is an avid reader and attributes much of his success to a lifetime learning philosophy. In his down time, Brian is writing the next New York Times Best Seller. He lives with his two boys in the Central Valley, California.

Links: https://www.bubble-meets.com/


Show Notes Transcript

Brian Johnson is a veteran of the logistics industry, award winning franchise entrepreneur, President of Strategic Innovations and Vice President of Bubbles. Utilizing his passion for service, sales and mainly people, Brian provides strategic leadership to the Bubbles and Strategic Innovation Teams. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, life would eventually take Brian to the Bay Area California. It is here he found his passion and love of business. After a brief stint in Corporate America, the entrepreneurial ‘bug’ hit him. He started his first business in 2006 and would go on to start multiple others, culminating in the successful sale of his thriving logistics business. Brian’s expertise is in SaaS Platforms, International Logistics, final mile delivery (end consumer and business) and challenges associated with fulfilling package deliveries around the globe. Brian thrives on ‘getting things done’ and delivering results through collaboration, partnerships, and relationships. With an enthusiastic and friendly attitude, Brian radiates a sincere passion for delivering value and results. Brian holds a B.S. in Business Marketing from San Francisco State University. As a singer-songwriter Brian channels his passion and enthusiasm for life through his beat-up old guitar. He is an avid reader and attributes much of his success to a lifetime learning philosophy. In his down time, Brian is writing the next New York Times Best Seller. He lives with his two boys in the Central Valley, California.

Links: https://www.bubble-meets.com/


Josh: What is up everybody, Josh tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan and today we're here with Brian Johnson, he's the president of bubble meets, this guy has done some amazing things in his career, you know, he's done multiple different startups worked in many different sectors and this is one of the reasons I was excited to have him come on, because he's able to talk about the differences between like the IOT space versus manufacturing versus some of these other spaces, which might even seem mildly similar but they're really not. They're very, they run very differently and they're very different sectors to go into so I think he brings a very unique opinion to at the table. So Brian, say, what's up to everybody and we'll hop in.

Brian: How do you all, my name is Brian Johnson, and it's great to be here, I'm excited to do this today.

Josh: It'll be a blast. So Brian, let me ask you this first off, you've done a lot of different sectors. So what is your favorites, what was the one he felt like, hey, this just stood out and above the rest.

Brian: there's the easy sectors that are mature businesses that you you know, well and have long standing relationships with and consumers and businesses have long standing relationships, the space I'm in right now, the SAS space, and really that lightning quick development where you see progress, it's a fantastic spot to be in and the future growth in those industries and the amount of capital that's received and, and raised is extraordinary.

Josh: Love that absolutely love that, It's kind of interesting to watch, you know, all the different sectors and how they kind of intertwine with one another with with strategies but we've been finding, it's so much easier to so in your case, right come from a manufacturing space, for example, which is kind of a more fundamentally sound business model, there's just kind of generic practices that you can use but if you take those practices, and you translate them over into a new industry, like the IOT industry, which for those of you who don't know, that's the Internet of Things industry, so you're coming into that industry, where you can kind of take those, those practices and translate them over and they work almost better because the competition's lower in this new than new sector so I really, I think that you've got such a unique take on on strategy so let's talk through a little bit, Brian, tell us a little bit about your story, where you came from, because you have come across so many different industries, like what brought you to where you're at now, with bubble meets

Brian: You know, I would say that the main industry that I got really comfortable with, which actually right now has explosive growth in software and in IoT is the very mature industry that's becoming young again, of logistics, COVID, is brought on a spur of needing a ton of SAS players, a ton of new IoT technology, especially in robotics, which is growing at a fast pace, I really enjoyed that and when I transition to the IoT space, knowing what I know about the logistics industry, and seeing where the market was headed, I was just blown away because here I am used to really basic parcel delivery do you know you know, the ins and outs of international shipping, you know, the ins and outs of global mail, which for your audience, that means very small packages shipped in enormous quantities, you know, who's going to deliver your packages, with those companies are looking to do the largest in the world, like a DHL or UPS and an Amazon how do we do it quicker, faster at a lower cost and I think most importantly, for the people that are doing the best, how do we make our end customer the happiest and there's actually two end customers in there, it's not only the person that receives and ships the package, it is the individual it's also manufacturing the package so you get this whole chain of lifecycle where the shipping industry is looking for you in new and unique ways to really explode their business and I think we'll see a greater contraction in shipping, especially when it comes to what's referred to as the less than truckload world where it's very fragmented not only in the United States but globally but you get into that IoT space and it translates perfectly, whether it's from the logistics industry or getting into Straight up manufacturing so like you said to your previous point, it's all interrelated, connected together and so IoT helps software software helps IoT manufacturing involved but the core of that is the knowledge capital that people bring and at some point, some individuals think AI will take over that, they might a little bit but you still have that human capital, which is, you know, kind of what you and I are doing today.

Josh: I think sometimes people overvalue those things because of the shows we watch but they don't actually look at the the need for social interaction as well, and how important that is, like you said, the key relationships that are absolutely crucial when it comes to, to owning and running a company and the customer experience and so for you, you know, you've you have worked in so many different industries so what's kind of the, you talked about, you'd create a list of seven things that for for marketing and for growth and for growing a company, can you kind of walk us through what that is and how that works?

Brian: Yeah, sure. I gave it a title, Ironically, and I called it pulling back the bow, to rock it the arrow for but so one thing going from a small business owner, to growing to those various stages, having multiple people working for you, where then you have departments and then you can grow companies absolutely massively but in that startup phase, you know, especially in I'll stay in the tech world, SAS world, IoT, robotics, right now, is anything we're doing is worth sucking at first, you started out you're gonna suck at it 99.9% of the time, your products probably not going to be that great because if you spend too long on r&d, everybody else has passed you up, it doesn't matter how great your pet your your software is, doesn't matter how great your product or your robots are, someone's always looking to get to the market first or second, they might pass each other up or go back and forth but saying that, you know, and looking at that, you're gonna suck to begin with and the key right now for everyone is speed and you had mentioned earlier there's interconnectivity and knowledge, capital, and these relationships and one of my mentors calls that the power of proximity being on proximity, the people that are better than you and one of my mentors personally told me we talked about the smartest person in the room, I'm never going to be the smartest person in the room and my father told me the definition of wisdom is realizing you know, absolutely nothing, which I believe wholeheartedly, I've only had one person disagree with me on that.

Josh: I completely agree. So we're, you don't have to today, so in this Coronavirus, taken a note, they're really quick, but this, it's just kind of reminds me of a quote by Garrett JY, He said, if you're familiar with him or not, but he's like, when you get started at anything, you're you're gonna suck, because you suck. If you keep sucking, you'll eventually suck less, to the point where you become good and I love that because especially when it comes to business, and code going back to your analogy of like pulling the bow backwards, in order to get the momentum to send that send the arrow forward, that most people aren't willing to take that step backwards, I mean, we want to come in and make revenue day one, when in all reality, that's just that's not how business works.

Brian: It's it's the risk in most people don't have the stomach for it, they absolutely don't have the stomach for especially when it starts to get into you know, you're an entrepreneur and starting out and the decisions are $1,000 then you grow then and decisions start becoming $25,000 and then Holy cow, I have a million dollar decision that I have to make, that is a that can be two things that can be what's called stress or in the same vein, as stress is a word called you stress the positive pressure you put in yourself and when you look from an entrepreneurship standpoint, that positive pressure just makes you better, I want to get better every day of what I'm doing now and as long as I make those incremental improvements, especially understanding the SAS space eventually catch up pretty pretty darn quickly and the people that aren't willing to really absorb, it'll hamper and there's the old quote is, you can be in an industry for 20 years and only have one year of experience and it's the same experience that a person has with one year.

Josh: Love it. So So walk us through those seven steps, I'm just kind of curious what those are, because I think they'll be crucial to this interview.

Brian: You know, it'll, it'll go back to what I just said about those decisions, you can't get what you have, with the psychology you have today, I wasn't prepared to make $25,000 decisions when I was making $1,000 decisions because I had to worry about, okay, I have a six month old at home, I have all these outside factors, you get that fear of failure going on so it's a lot of times it's ready fire aim and we discussed that that earlier and growing your socket psychology, and a lot of that has to do you know, for me personally, you know, when I hear an entrepreneur say that they don't read, or listen to audiobooks, he kind of makes my jaw drop and there's other facets of that learning in different ways but right now, you have to keep up with that speed of knowledge, we were talking about advertising in the phonebook, yeah, you got to have new and interesting ways to advertise and then trailing on that, like number three, when I started out in the business, and this is a useless life skill, but a very useful business skill, is understanding finances, I needed to learn how to master Excel, I needed to learn if I need to do a pro-form or do projections, I, I can't count on anybody to do it when I'm new in the business but I sure as hell need to know if there's 50 people working, that I can read exactly what they're doing and if you're not monitoring the finances, it's a recipe for disaster because all of a sudden, you know, I think I'm making money, but I'm actually losing $1,000 a month, $100,000 a month and that goes into the same thing that the finances, and that's kind of number four, is you have to do a plan anything that's measured gets improved, that's not me talking here, that's science proven over and over and over again, we have to plan, you know, with what I'm doing currently, we there's massive amounts of planning that needs to go on. There's all these dancing pieces that need to work in unison, and things fall out and but once since we're constantly measuring that, we know when those pieces fall out, we know quickly versus six months, six months down the road and the largest companies in the world, they know that to a tee, they know it within an hour and that's the value to them from the SAS space, they can look at this piece of software, they can look at this piece of AI, they can look at this functionality of an IoT products, and no immediately and so that, that planning parts huge and that goes in tandem with everything else because when I thought my first business was failing, and I had to take those steps backwards, eventually, my work and effort caught up to that actual plan and surpassed it and I looked 12 months after I made that plan and I said Holy shit, I actually beat that and that gets into my next point, you know, celebrating the $500 million acquisition was fun and for most people and things I've read that uniqueness and fun wears off pretty quickly, even though you can buy a heck of a lot of toys, and help a heck of a lot of people feel back a lot of people that's, that's much better but it's as an entrepreneur, it's celebrating the little wins and I'll tell you it being interviewed by you today is a little win, you know, I get to up my game, talk to someone that's professional, the podcasting industry and I feel more knowledgeable and better after I get out of this, then when I start you know and, and for example today, you know, I thought about an idea of integrating Spotify and Pandora and one of our waiting rooms and that's cool, it'll be done this afternoon, it's like, Man, that's awesome that's fun so it's it's celebrating the Little wins, then I'll just I'll just go to the next one and I should have started with this one first but I put it kind of number six, just because everything else falls in line and there's many books written about this is it's what's your Why? Why am I doing this? And when I was, quote unquote, less mature than I am now, my why was radically different, you know, a lot of very young entrepreneurs, they came from a background like me, my why was based solely on how much money I can make, it's buying that $100,000 car, it's showing people the vacations I can take, it's wearing the incredible clothes, it's buying the incredible house, that's fun, till it's not fun anymore so it has to be bigger than that and really understanding that from the get go, I think is a fundamental part of entrepreneurship and when you're in that, that area of pulling that bow back to the very start and when you're wondering how you're going to pay that bill, and you know, that you have a baby at home, like we talked about, that y becomes pretty damn important and the most successful entrepreneurs, they might not have made the most money, but that y can change all the time, they can change all the time and it's always keeping that why front and center and I'm pretty damn happy with my why today because if I would have always kept it at money, and ego, and things along those lines, because entrepreneurs Believe it or not, tend to have a pretty damn big ego

Josh: that's already cared for entrepreneurs ego. 

Brian: If I would have kept it that I would be miserable 

Josh: and I envy sitting out at wondering what you did with your life.

Brian: and it's, it's, it culminates into, if things aren't just in this might sound counterintuitive, if things are just not flat out working and you're doing all of these things, especially in light of COVID, today's economy, remote and virtual work some people refer to it as the power of the pivot, you have to pivot, you have to find something new that you can go to and a lot of individuals take that as a failure and it's just kind of like my whole career, I can take everything I learned and transition to a new industry and all those basics, I don't know one industry doesn't translate to they translate to every single industry and that pivoting point is, is an absolutely huge thing right now and it's unfortunate, I know a lot of people that are struggling out there, because they refuse to let go of, of their past and what they're used to and getting out of your comfort zone as an entrepreneur, super scary, you know, when I when I get in front of an audience and have to speak to a lot of people that can sometimes be scary, doing interviews can be scary, now I have a new great skill that I can use not only in my professional life, but in my personal life and it just becomes a lot of fun and how can I do this whole thing, just to wrap up this little version of wisdom I've gained is how can I do it all and have fun and not take myself too damn seriously, we're just building software here for God's sakes. Hopefully, it'll change the world but it's just software.

Josh: Right, I agree with that when and I thank you first off for sharing those steps because I'm wrapping it up with that because of fun having fun with it is the important part, I know a lot of people talk about this, you know, you need to have you need to work with what your passion is but I just think you need to get passionate about what you're doing, learn to have fun with everything you're doing because work isn't fun, nobody wants to work. We'd all rather be sitting on a beach doing nothing and the reality is that if you get passionate about it, as you're saying you'll watch as a success just explodes so I want to ask you this, Brian, first off, where can people get at to you guys and see kind of what you're doing over a bubble meets.

Brian: Sure, or you can go to www.bubblemeets, bubble-meets.com. We have working beta right now, which is pretty damn cool and again, the cool thing about the SAS space is it gets better and better and every day, I wish I could show people what's behind the scenes but I'll put the the trailer from the 19, late 80s coming soon. 

Josh: Awesome. 

Brian: And that's one of the joys you get out about doing this and the passion is seeing that constant improvement.

Josh: Right? And I see the software is going to be amazing so make sure y'all go check it out. See if it's something that you could use, especially as an entrepreneur who does a lot of video conferencing, this will be something that you're gonna love. So Brian, I just want to end this interview with one final question so if you could leave us one final parting piece of guidance would that be

Brian: follow this number one follow the seven steps I told you because they're relative for every single person, not only professionally, but personally, number two, this is going to sound like a very basic thing, if you're struggling with the concept if you're struggling with how to do something, odds are you can find it on the internet for free, number two, and Tony Robbins calls it CNI KNI i, constant, never ending improvement, that's what needs to be focused on, if you can make those .1% 1% improvements every day in your business, the compound effect is where you look back and say, holy shit, I can't believe this is happening.