WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 92 · 1 year ago

#92 Ron Lovett - Scaling Culture & Entrepreneur - BrianVee WhyWeWork


Ron Lovett is a business ninja with a heart of compassion for people. Ron is surely an entrepreneur with his manny ongoing business ventures, but he is also a keynote speaker and author of two books (Outrageous Empowerment & Scaling Culture); also, Mr. Lovett, is the host on the successful podcast Scaling Culture.

Contact Info

Ron’s Profile

Ron's First Book - Outrageous Empowerment

Coming Soon, Ron's Second Book - Scaling Culture

Scaling Culture Podcast


m.youtube.com/watch?v=NpQ6N0qGlb4 (Personal Website)
ronlovett.ca (Personal Website)




"Ron Lovett is an entrepreneur and leader with a passion for change. He builds brands that challenge and disrupt their industries. Ron loves going back to the drawing board by creating companies with a purpose.

Always in pursuit of a smarter, better way, he relentlessly researches best and simple processes and is quick to execute. Ron also enjoys leveraging his best practices to provide consulting services to other businesses.

His private security company, Source Security & Investigations, which was sold in 2017 changed the security industry. Passionate in his mission to develop the culture in his organization, Ron’s hands-on approach is key and that rock star culture is what sets Source Security apart in an otherwise tired, boring industry. Not only did this help the company attract the best talent, they have accomplished three times the industry average profits, and grew from a local Halifax-based company to over 1500 employees across Canada.

Ron was the founding member of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Atlantic Canada. After serving as president, he is now membership chair for this chapter that has grown to 38 members since inception (www.eonetwork.org).

Over the years Ron has been recognized with many awards for the success of Source Security & Investigations and his leadership within the company, including:
- BDC Young Entrepreneur Award
- (x5) Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO Award
- Junior Chamber International Outstanding Young Person Award
- Remy Martin Bold Five under 35
- Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist" (LinkedIn, 2021)

...welcome to why we work with your host Brian V. As he speaks to people like you from all over the world as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice, which would be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going and keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here is your host to why we work. Brian V. Um Brian V. And this is why we work today. I have the great pleasure speaking with Ron. Love it. Ron is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of Outrageous Empowerment. He also has a podcast called Scaling Culture. Today I want to talk to Ron about culture in the workplace, how the employees and employers can contribute so that we can have an environment that works well for everyone. Join me in my conversation today with Ron. Love it one more. 54321 I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure speaking with Ron. Love it. Ron is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker and the author of Outrageous Empowerment. He also has a podcast scaling culture and today I want to talk about culture, culture in the company and how the employer and employee can contribute. So everyone is an environment that works well. Join me in my conversation today with Ron. Love it. I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure speaking with Ron. Love it. Good evening. Or maybe even afternoon. Find, sir. Good morning, man. It's nine. It's 10 after nine in East Coast time. Yeah, You got me. You got You got the son. You didn't introduce me. Your old friend. Well, I kind of wanted to, But then I was like, Man, this guy's so business. And I'm I'm from sackful like you're from Sac Vegas. But Vega's Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. And it's good that you say that wrong, because I was thinking about this interview today, and I was thinking, You are a guy that I've always appreciate it. And you may not know my view of you or I may not know your view. Careful, Brian Aiken. Do taekwondo too. Careful what you say now. No, but I've always appreciate it. Your view on things, the way that you approach people, the way you treated people the way you have treated me. And I would say we've encountered one another a few handfuls of times gone to the same places. But I think it's a mutual friendship and respect for one another. And I just wanted to say that I do appreciate the work you're doing and we'd like to I'd like to get into that now, but just you mentioned friendship. And I appreciate the work that you're doing, especially there in Atlantic Canada, and you're you're grinding it out, and I truly appreciate that the more that I see what you're doing, it's very impressive. So so can you give us a snapshot of what you're doing right now? I did give a brief introduction, but just a little snapshot of who you are. Yeah, this is kind of chapter to write for me in, I guess, in the career journey. Eso You know, I don't know what you said in the intro, but I was in private security, industry and and serial entrepreneur construction restaurants and kind of done a bunch of everything imports company and I used to import s i e. From Brazil, Brazil, before anybody knew what it was I had lighters from Thailand and clothing and carpets in Morocco. I mean, I was just kind of really unfocused and trying to do all kinds of things. And anyways I sold...

...that company. My my main business was sourced. Security is, you know, you knew that company and I sold that in 2017 to Allied Universal out of California. So I call this Chapter two, you know, because the question was, What's next? What am I going to dio? And it's funny, Brian, because most entrepreneurs that I speak to that's it, that that's Ah, that can be a dark time for them. It's like, Wow, I was just you know, I did that business for 15 years. That was my identity. That's what I did. And then they sell it or close the business. And it's like this. They go into a dark place of like I've lost my sense of purpose and identity. I looked at it the opposite. I looked at it and thought, Man, I've been grinding that business. So that industry that was a grind, you know, we had over 3000 employees across Canada on my phone rang 24 7 for a period, you know, I would fly around concert a concert. I'd be on tour with Jay Z or a C. D. C. Just answering the phone. 24 7. You couldn't even have a conversation with me once we got our culture right, which I know we're going to talk about. Things really changed, but I really looked at that. Wow. I can take what I learned in that industry and apply it anywhere. I have no handcuffs on any more. I could do anything. And that was really exciting to me. And so, you know, today my main business. So one of my main companies is called Vida Living, which does workforce housing so affordable living for Canadians today? Because we have properties in Winnipeg, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. We've got just over 600 units, apartment units. And and it's about trying to create a place where Canadians are proud to live affordable places that people are proud to live and not need to live in. Um and I'm having lots of fun, you know? And then I've got my other business. Conley, Owens, Um, which does people in culture training. We've got a masterclass coming out and we'll do, uh, consulting application design. And we'd run a peer to peer program. And then I actually linked up with a small entrepreneur here and got into a roofing business. So I want a company called Novas, which is the Latin word for innovation. Nervous roofing. That was kind of our That's something I fell into during the pandemic, and that's that's it. Then raising kids. I got two kids and one in the oven and things were good. Ron, bring us back. Like I said, we grew up in more of a high school time. But what would have been your very first job? The first thing that got you out of the house? Yeah. Well, what was your motivation to do it? You know, my very first job, like, not something I did on my own. But my job was paper routes, you know, and I feel like that was the thing to do. And I had to. I had chronicle Harold back then and I had the daily news. Um, and you know, and so I had the two papers and I was always hustling. I mean, I hustled all the time and, you know, it wasn't great. You know, my mom would tell you stories that, you know, she would, um the guy would come to collect their portion of the daily news, and sometimes I would have spent all the money. And you have to write E. I got fired from the Daily News for throwing out, right? Right. I think that was my last day to my mom said this isn't a good job where I have to pay them for your portion. Anyways, um, that was probably my first job. But, I mean, you know, I guess the why behind that. I really enjoyed it. I like getting out. I liked, um You know, I like the different aspects of the job of trying to sell people the paper and collect the money. How old were you on? Oh, man. I mean, I got probably what, 11, 10, 11? Something like that. 12. That's good. And that's and you said you have an idea of this podcast. And the idea is to encourage people even who have Children. You said you have to one in the oven. Three idea of encouraging kids to get out and toe work and to remind people of the paths that we have taken to get where we are. So as you started Thio, get older and into your teens. What are some other jobs that you had? And how did that start to shape you? Because, Ron, I'm listening to the stuff that's coming to you. The experience. You're on boards,...

...you're on CEO Acceleration Accelerator, Canada Expert. You're you started the celebrity connect. Yeah, that was a company with Shaun Majumder that I started. You know, the Canadian comedian Shaun Majumder? We had a company called Celeb Connect. Yeah, Yeah. I mean, I kind of got a bunch of things, you know? You want a lot of things. So where is this spirit of it? I mean, that entrepreneurial spirit. Where is that coming from? From you. You know, um, so my background my, my you would have known this, but my parents separated a very young age told right. My father was from Florida and my father was in the drug business. I mean, he was in the drug business, you know, you know, with connections. Allegedly to Pablo Escobar and s o he hustled. You know, he, um I didn't meet him until I was 21. And, of course, I had my own path at that age until the age of 21. I was also, you know, playing on the other side of the fence. And, um, weirdly enough because I didn't know my father and, you know, because I was involved in the pot business, and I just I always I think a few things. Look, I always wanted to to build my own life. I knew that my mom had no money. We live with my grandmother until, you know, in stints with my aunt, until we bought our first home when my mom remarried, a guy named Barry Love it. That's why I changed my name because my original was Ronald Frances Po the third, because my father name was what he was. Ron poem. My grandfather's Ron Po. And so, you know, look, I I just always I think there was two things that drove me one. I used to I didn't love my household, you know, my mom travel a lot and my stepfather was home and we didn't have a great relationship. So So so doing any type of work or going out with escapism. It was just me ways to get out of the home, that was for sure. And then I wanted to make my own path. I just thought, you know, I always you know, I I used why and why not a lot. You know why? You know, why do people do things this way? And why not do it a different way? And I've always had, you know, I've got a d h d. And I'm dyslexic and and and so somehow I don't know if its DNA or how it worked out, But I've got a very strong thirst for learning. I like learning new things. I like doing new things on dime. Very. And I wanna be clear. I'm What's the word? You know, I'm, uh You know, I'm selfish about what I learned. If I'm not interested, I'm a horrible learner. I was bad in school, you know, I didn't do well in school at all, but if I'm interested in the topic, I'm a really good learner. I could be a great listener or a horrible listener, depending on what I'm listening to. Eso Yeah, I think those air some of the reasons. Yeah, yeah, I I think at a high level. You know, I think today I have different reasons to and, you know, as that went on, by the way, I you know, because I think I have different wise a different stages. So I think there's three phases, right. My first phase was Get out, Get away, Get out of the house. Um, you know, make some money, um, create a new path for myself. Second phase was I'm gonna prove to my stepfather, who really didn't have any didn't believe in me or my father who left at a young age that I could do something really great. So I was really out to prove, you know, And that was in my own head. You know, I don't I just That was the driver for a long time. And then when I've had my own kids and sold my first business, um, have a different wine. Now, I my I think the white today is is to, you know, to show show my kids three importance of work and how you can connect to your work and to help people. I certainly am involved with businesses that that are in a transition state of, of giving back and and personally I'm in a bit of a transition of giving back and some of the stuff I do, too. So it's a different why I think you get two different wise at different levels or my my path has been like that. It's it's really interesting you say that I would say I have in some ways very...

...similar experiences in that my mom and dad, I was They were divorced when I was in my mom's belly from what I have been told, um, and what you remember from what I remember and the idea, though, is those wise still, for me overlap. And while it's great to have Children and a dear wife and Thio and they still overlapping, I feel like as I mentioned to you before, this is that my mom passed away. I did a lot for my mom, like the idea of to impress my mom or to show my mom. Look, you know, I was a complete waste of your time and effort and some of those overlap. So it's funny, how were encouraged, and it's funny what motivates us through our lives, but it's good that they do change and they do kind of fluctuate with importance in our lives. So as you went into and through high school, how did you start toe meander about getting serious about your work? Yeah, you know, I mean, high school was a crazy time for me. E don't know if I was serious about or even even after high school. Like even eso after high school, you know, I worked as a dishwasher at East Side Mario's s Marios, right? The first one that opened and embarrassed like I was there as a dishwasher. I was doing those high school Quebec trips I was selling to high schools to to run their Quebec trips and that, thank you very much for those trips. They were great, right? You're welcome. And then I was working as a kayak instructor at Sea Sun Cock, and then I was selling pot to my friends, you know? I mean, I had four jobs, and so, um, you know, and and I really enjoyed the I much more enjoyed stuff that that had no ceiling to it. And what I mean by that is I like the sales job Mawr because there was no ceiling. The efforts that I put in was the outcome that I got. And and so my first, you know, other sales job that I got from that was I was selling cell phones for it was clear that back then, who was acquired by tell us and they had that talk. You knows what Talk 30 or something. All you could talk for for 30 bucks a month. And I was and I was an outside sales guy. Zero. You know, everything was commissioned based, but I was a top sales guy in the province, like I crushed the corporate guys who were making 40 to 60,000. I mean, I was just crushing them. Andi, I really enjoyed that. I really like when there wasn't a ceiling. I don't like ceilings where you're paid 15 an hour, and that's your ceiling. You know, maybe you get the odd bonus, but that's really your ceiling. I didn't do as well in those environments. I when I was thinking earlier, and it was something I was going to say, and that reminds me, how would you? I mean, you can't grow up with hard knocks, you can't choose to. But I think the hard knocks that people go through and maybe what you've gone through really helped you 2 to 1. Appreciate what you have, but also see the different side and see different angles. And to be able to approach situations like you have with these big businesses. And I believe you know, reviews that I hear of people talking about you is that you really get it. You really understand the problems, the issues that are going on a business, and for a person who is so young, he's Onley in your forties and doing so well, I think by looking back and seeing her knocks while one could dwell on them, they have actually helped you a lot along the way. Yeah, I don't disagree, but I I you know, I think that there's four categories you can run into If you have ah, hard upbringing, your hard knocks, whatever you wanna call you can either. You know, just marinate your own self pity, right, and that's no good. You could unfortunately become, you know, become what you grew up in. And so, you know, you take on a lot of maybe the bad things of those hard knocks or third, you make a big shift and you totally shift. You leave everything behind you totally shift. But then there's this fourth that a guy talking about one time, which is it was very interesting,...

...he said, You know, cause I was talking about these three and he said, Well, run there's 1/4 because there's some stuff from your path you should carry forward But there's some things that are helpful. You can't just throw everything out. And he was right, And that made me go back and say, What things am I going thio to carry forward here? Um, because, yeah, I think that those air probably for major buckets. And, you know, I think you're absolutely right. And that's something that, you know, keeps me up at night. A little bit now is is my Children have a very different life than I have, you know, And how do I instill those values? And, you know, it starts with small things. Like when my daughter wants something in the store, I say we can't afford it. It's bullshit. But I say we can't afford it, and it cuts her off and, you know, I was joking the other day to a friend of mine. He was like, Jeez, Ron, you know, like you can't afford it. That's kind of silly. And I said, No, it's not it Z I'm playing chess here and these were some early stage moves that someone will remember later. And and I said, You know, And I said, And sometimes I'm tempted to just shut the water and the lights off in our house and say, We just couldn't afford it right. But maybe that's going too far. Well, its's true. Last year my kids wanted a bike, so we went on. There's an app You can get used stuff, kind of like a Craigslist or something. Here, it's carrot. And I said, We're buying used bikes. We're just gonna buy these bite. If this is the bikes that you know, they could have a bike. But it was like 25 bucks on my dear wife was like, No, no, let's buy a new bike. I'm No, no, We're gonna learn a lesson here. That money is money is not free. So what is it that you're doing now, Ron In In What is a process that you go through in the work that you do? Yeah. So? So Look, I've learned a lot. I think there's from a work perspective. I think there's two themes that are important to me and that I've carried for and cared for into my work today. And I'll call this in Chapter two. Um, and those two things of this one is the power of a strong purpose. You know, having a purpose. Everyone has their personal life, but your business should have a Y. And you know, my my purpose in the private security industry was to change the industry, do everything different if someone said they like this than or here's the way to do things And I would I would literally try to find a different way to do things. And so did you know that right away? Or did you learn that you learned it as you learned that I learned that I didn't even you know I had the company for 15 years? We didn't even land on a purpose until year 10, 10 11, actually. Right. I was at rock bottom and I figured that out. So So my point on that is that carry forward was a few things. I wouldn't start a company today without baking in the purpose. So, for instance, the purpose that be the living is to revolutionize affordable communities. And for me, this is really important. I was talking about this with an investor yesterday. You know, as Fluffy is that sounds especially maybe to an older generation, in some cases, because I don't think a lot of business had purpose. You know, the entrepreneurs that or maybe in their late fifties sixties and some still don't today. But for me, what that does it doesn't just drive. It's not just the North Star to say, Hey, team, are we doing this? Are the technology we're using doing? This are the service we're providing doing this. But it's for me to say, Okay, Ron, if that's the company purpose to revolutionize affordable communities, then Brian, if you approach me and say, Hey, Ron, we should invest in this condo project that has 10 condo units in a commercial property below. That has nothing to do with revolutionizing affordable community. So I'm out, and so it actually puts handcuffs on me and and forces me to focus, and that's very important for me. As an entrepreneur, I need the purpose to keep me in a lane. And so it's easy for me to say No, I had, You know, when I started Vita, I had 60,000 square feet of commercial property that had nothing to do with revolutionizing affordable community. So I sold it all. And so it's kept me extremely focused. That's lesson one strong purpose to not just guide the company, but in some cases, if you can...

...create a purpose that keeps you, you know So, for instance, if my purpose Brian was create the best experience for tenants on the planet, well, that's too broad. Now I can do your commercial project. I can do your I'm gonna become a master of nothing, right That that so I wanted to keep affordable and communities in there to keep me in a lane. And that attach is with my second, um, real lesson that I've carried forward and I threw entrepreneurs organization. They do this they do on Entrepreneur Master Program. In conjunction with them. I teach here where now Eo Entrepreneurs Organization would have maybe 12,000 members worldwide and typically 1000 apply to get into this thing and and they'll they'll shortlist it down and they'll take about 70 entrepreneurs each year as a three day program. It's a three year, three day, three days each year in Boston. And so I got in maybe four years ago and it was incredible. I mean, it was 65 entrepreneurs from 29 different countries like that is like to me, that's my tribe. Like, I mean, I just feel so at home with these folks. And so there was a speaker that said, Look, if you want to build what they coined Brian, a unicorn company which just meant, like some company that does incredible things, right? Hey said you taken industry and you really look at that industry and you pick out 10% that you can really focus on. And then you own 70% of that. 10. You just you You're so focused. And so what he means is, you know, if you if you're gonna get into carpentry, then you could build houses, you could build shelves. You could do flooring, but But what if your carbon, who just does flooring that's the 10% that if you think about this logically, you become better. You become better at at just dropping floors. You figure the best mature the best way to do it. And so you're so narrowly focused that your knowledge is better. Your relationships within the flooring industry are better because that's all you do. You're just gonna beat everybody, you know. And so So I really took that to heart. Because in my security business, you know, I did go from a place where and I talked about in the book Outrageous Empowerment where we went from, you know, we were maybe a $3.5 million company that had 650 customers to a $10 million business that had 82 customers. So I did get focused, but But on Lee halfway there because our customer was was it had to things that it had to be asset backed and so, you know, it had to have a arena or a hospital in the physical guarding space, and it had to have 24 hours of service to fit our model. But if I had to just said whoa, okay, great. But let me take it down a notch. We'll just do airports. I would have built $100 million company. I know I would have. And so I've tried to take those two lessons as I move forward. Strong purpose and a narrow focus. So in Vida that that focus is the sea asset multi family asset class. I'm gonna own it. I'm going to create the you know, Vida living is that will be the category. It'll be the apple, the google of that space. Well, own it in, um and I think I'll stay in that lane and I'll beat everybody. And so course I'm, as you could tell, a little competitive, too. But that is what is what is that niche that you're in with Vida living specifically? So we're in what I call Workforce housing. So you have different asset classes, right? You have CSX class, which is, you know, which is challenging buildings. So that could be in spry field, right? Or or North Dartmouth and just challenging stuff. I bought the stuff in Fairview that I mean, some of these buildings were condemned by the city. They just said these were too dangerous. They kicked everybody out so that that's CB would be a little nicer older. Maybe it's 10 years old, but but it's been looked after and would have higher rents. Then you have a which is basically new construction. It's brand new, and then you have developers who build a, you know. And so I'm gonna own see, because what you see in this space in real estate is people start, you...

...know, the barriers of entry. It's cheaper to buy a really challenging building because it's cheaper, you know. And so they start there, they figure out the business a little bit. Then they go upmarket. They buy B and then they buy a and then they start to develop well with my purpose. I'm just going to stay and see, and so we only buy stuff and see it has to be. You know, there's a saying in the industry that I learned this stuff all the time, but they say it's gotta have some hair on it, like you need to do some work. You know that building needs to have hair on. It is an industry term, and so we don't buy anything that doesn't have hair on it. you know that we bought a building in Winnipeg and I would argue it's the probably the most challenging building had the most challenging tenants in Winnipeg in the city. And so we'll go after those. And you know, there's that old saying, Can you turn garbage into gold? And that's what we like to dio, um, is shake something very challenging. Turn it around so that it's safe. Secures continues to be affordable, provides great amenities, great sense of community, and we can attract the right tenants will have the confidence to come back and live there with their families, you know. And so it's a it's a different model. How would you? Because I like what you're doing with ease and you're you're developing communities. You're having people in the buildings. This is your plan as you go forward to bring their assets that they bring their skills, their talents, and and really invest in the building and making community. Can you comment on that? And also how that maybe transfers over into what you're known for and that's culture and like your podcast that you have scaling culture and building that culture, making a good community? Yeah, So So, Yeah. So what we do is and and again, this is in the spirit of doing things differently. So the CIA asset class that workforce housing that affordability sector, those who are in it do two things when you apply Brian, they'll say, Okay, we wanna make sure that you have income, whether it's government assistance or or a job. And there's two really things they focus on. Criminal background check. Are you criminal? In some cases and a credit check, those were really all they dio. Our application process is very unique. It comes from how I used to screen security guards now, security guards, we were we would screen for our values, our company values. Um, I don't think that's really fair to due to a potential tenant, because people are very different value systems. They don't work for me. But what we do do is we screen for our pillars and are pillars. We have four pillars Brian, Safety, security, cleanliness, community and opportunity. And I'm gonna s Oh, well, the the application, if you haven't seen online, really ask questions around those four things and are they important to you? If they're not important to you, and safety is not important security. You're not going to be a good fit. It should be important for you to live in this community because it's important to your neighbors. And that's our That's our process and the last piece opportunity. This goes back to what you're talking about. It really is about getting into someone's untapped potential. And what I mean by that is, if you're a painter, maybe you do repair maintenance work. Maybe you're a plumber, whatever that is, we'll collect that data and give you first right of refusal on small projects on the building or on Vita. So, for instance, we just went to our entire community, said, Hey, we need a journalist who does journalism and we have three people say, I'll do it. I'll write your newsletter. And so we have people that do customer service calls, administration stuff. We'll tap into the community to build it up and farm out small jobs just like you. No different than if you, you know you've got a small business. You want to find a bookkeeper, you go online. We'll we'll do that to the Vita community. And so it's a very different approach that I took and talk about in the book Outrageous empowerment because we had no mid level management. And we had all of our frontline security guards doing, you know, very interesting projects for the company. You know, I'd have Ah, in...

Vancouver. I could have Ah, security guard. That was from India. That was better than the accounting at my office. That would I would say, Hey, um, instead of pressing the button to let the trucks in all night, you wanna get paid $150 and reconcile our books every week, and I say, Yeah, no problem. Great. Now I'm finally, you know, using my brain. This is what I'm really you know, this aligns with my skills and so so I believe. And I don't I don't think most people have tapped into this in a model like Vita, But in companies, we have all these untapped resources that we don't use because you know, Brian, you're the accountant, so you just do accounting. But what else do you like to do? And that that's my methodology and work is connecting people's passions and skills to company needs. And so I've just double down and do it. I'm doing that in with Vina. I'm doing that in communities now on DSO and and look it. It pays off in a few different ways. People have a sense of ownership now, a sense of pride there. You know, if you're painting units, you care about the building. All of sudden, you've got sweat in this thing, you know, we recycle the money, and so you know you've got a job, and now we pay you and and there's a high likelihood you'll pay rent to, and that's that's very powerful. Um, yeah, it's it's got and and And the third is, of course, it saves. You know, it's a win win. So let's say, Brian, you paint the unit and the usual cost for a two bedroom is $1000. You'll probably do it 35% under market, so we offer it to you at $650. You win. You're like, Yeah, I'll do that 6. 50. Well, we just saved 35% and you just made $650. And so it really works well and you know it doesn't come without challenges, and we have to figure it out as we go and have strong systems and processes and accountability and checks and balances. But it's great. I was a resident manager in Halifax for a few years at a big company there, and it's it's a little different. Yeah, quite different. Well, the other thing, too. This is interesting. And I'm sure this will hit home for you. But what I my really saw in the private security industry that what would happen Waas. You know, we build a company health accent, and Brian, you'd be the you'd be the operations manager. It means you hired, fired, scheduled, right? And all of a sudden we grew. We get more contracts. You'd be doing this for 100 security guards and you would maybe last two years before you burned up. Maybe because your phone rang too much. You just guards weren't showing up. And you get their uniforms on clients. Economy is a disaster. And so my model was two. Piece that off. All of a sudden, Brian, I removed you and I had the frontline leaders doing the same job that you would have done at a micro level. I'm using the same playbook at Vita. And what I mean by that is we don't have property managers, you know, we have building ambassadors. And so you probably ran a 60 plus unit or something like that. What? Well, what was it? 300. 300 right? Your phone was ringing like you wouldn't have lasted six months, right? That's that's why we quit after three years. That zit almost right, it almost killed our marriage. Is this is it? So in my model, we have building ambassadors that run between a 12 unit and a 40 unit, but that's all they run. And so you know, my the 300 units. I have 18 people doing that, and and and that's not full time work. That's what I call side Hustle. I'm a carpenter and I run my 12 units on the side and 12. I live in one, so I'm running 11. It's fairly simple or 20 you know, and so we pay them a very reasonable amount. But we spread it out and they are on a team that can then leverage each other right? So they're on a team that is on workplace saying, Oh, you know, I've got this challenge and someone jumps and said, O Brien, here's how you deal with that or let me come over and help. It's a very different atmosphere. No one's getting, you know, they're not quitting their jobs over this, and that's not the purpose. The purpose is they're like they're getting ahead because they're saving their being compensated. So whether they adjust that against their rent or put in their pocket, they already have a full time job. So they do this on the side, and it it balances...

...of it. It works. Sometimes it's busy. Sometimes it's not busy, but allows them to participate in their community and get ahead. So it's a very different model. What about you, Ron? You're a busy man. So what takes up your time through a week? What are you doing that? How do you balance that all out? Yeah. You know, I don't even really believe in in balance anymore. I think that you get pulled in different directions and you need to lean into it and accept it. You know, I've got young kids and they're up a lot. You know, Little Jacob pee the bed at four AM and I have to deal with it on dso e mean there's a few things that I do and I try to do recently I don't try to take on too much. If I take on too much, I lose. You know, I just I'm spread too thin and I feel deflated. Bond. So what I mean by that is, you know, I had a great, you know, called life Coach business coach. I had this great coach for a few years. Um did two years with her. It was amazing. And then I've now moved on to fitness coach. That's my next thing that I want to take on. I've got a guy you don't know if you know Arnold Smith. He grew up in the pubs and Halifax. He's been excellent. So I'm doing that now. I'm trying. I'm trying to take on my fitness all of a sudden, um and so because I only have so much time and families first for me. I mean, I in my calendar, I could show you, but in my calendar, I know when I pick up my daughter and when I have, like, you know, Wednesdays, for instance, I pick her up at two o'clock and I'm with her. It's Daddy Date. That's today. Um, And one day a week, I keep my son home and I spend time with him and then on the weekends. I'm very purposeful about my time. So much so that I now have two phones. I have a phone. That is my work phone that I don't bring with me. When I'm with my Children, I have Ah, I gotta Pablo Escobar burner phone again. That that nobody has a number two that Onley my wife and my assistant and and some family members will have that That because I'm addicted to my phone. And and I know I am self aware enough to know my own demons and say, Okay, how do I hack the system? You know, it reminds me years ago of my wife today. Years ago I used to have a Toronto phone and a Vancouver phone Halifax phone, and we were going on one of our first dates, and I brought and I said, Oh, I gotta go put the phones in the car. She said, What do you mean? I said, Well, I've got these three phones. I'm just gonna put them in the car. Why do you need to do that? I said, so I don't I don't use them. I don't Don't Don't bother us. I wanna show. You shouldn't have to do that. And I said, Well, maybe I shouldn't have to, but what I do on So I know myself and I think that's one of the important things that has been helpful to me is, you know, not bullshitting yourself but having self awareness to say Wow, you know, I don't have the discipline to not look at that phone and see if someone's email me about work. So if I put the phone away, then I don't have it. And then I can't use it no different than chocolate. If there's chocolate, the house, it goes, I'm a chocoholic. If there's no chocolate, I don't need it, you know, Eh? So that was a bit of a ramble, but purposeful about my schedule. I just every minute is important to me. Times more important than money. And so I all we have is time, right, Ron? What advice do you have for people thinking of starting as a paper boy getting into work, young kids or changing your job. Changing your career. Some advice for people who are just getting in work. Yeah, so I think there's 22 pieces, um one. And this goes back to Maybe what you said about me in the beginning is there's an old saying, Very good friend of mine was speaking, named Rob Steal, and he was talking about a message from his father. And he said, There's two types of people in this world. There's people who network up. And then there's people who network up to the sides and down, and I really try to be Number two I e. I would give a tenant having a hard time as much time as I would if I ran into Barack Obama. I just don't give a shit about who someone is, and I think that everybody's got a part to play, and it's very important that you treat people with respect and equally because you you know, one it's good. Carmen, too. You just never know where someone's gonna be, uh, in life, and you should always prop everybody up and then and then to, um,...

...you know, if I had to speak to my old self young entrepreneurs, you know, they're full of piss and vinegar. Um, you need to learn the skill of listening at an early age that comes way late in life. I didn't really learn how to listen till I ran into my father, who was, ah, horrible listener. And I was like, Oh my God, I'm a horrible listener on How did this happen to me? I didn't know this guy. And but to listen, you know, sometimes when I'm talking to an early entrepreneur and and having a discussion, they're already ready. Tiu defend any points I haven't, and that's not the purpose of the conversation. The purpose of the conversation is just listen is just to absorb information. And I think that's important is to really listen because there's so much knowledge out there. And if you don't, you know people are environments where they're not listening. They're listening. They're actually thinking what they should say or or they're uncomfortable with the conversation because maybe someone dug at their current process or idea and then third, which I spoke about in. And as I was in seeing this entrepreneur conference a few years ago and there was There was a panel of some older entrepreneurs, older gentleman that were in their sixties, and I basically said to the crowd who are in their early twenties And I said, You know, there's a ton of knowledge up on the stage a ton, but for your generation, if you don't get someone on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, you can tap into the knowledge you need to go old school. You know, if you want to talk to these individuals, you need to show up with their office. You need to call, Um, walk in. You need to go old school and they'll give you the time. But they're not on Lincoln. They're not on. You'll get me on LinkedIn and I'll take your call, No problem. But not these guys and these individuals. And so I think that's very important that we, um, that we lean into that and that that that this this younger generation of entrepreneurs, you know, you've got 20 year olds. I'm 40. They skipped by me and go to the 67 year olds and go to them because that's the only way you're gonna get that knowledge. Sit down, bring them a coffee. Have a discussion. There's so much knowledge that I believe won't get transferred because young people don't have the confidence to do that or think it's even that it's even an option. So those three things I think are are helpful to get in tow work. Yeah, great advice for on you mentioned to me. I don't know if you have a new book coming out. Yes, sir. Scaling culture goes in line with your podcast. Yes, Scaling culture. You know, when I was building the private security company and you know the book Outrageous Empowerment is really a story. It's meant Thio. Hey, grab some popcorn and and read the book. It's a fun read and it's up and down and it starts off almost like it's gonna be a biography and then kind of shift into business a little bit. But I was always looking for the how to the playbook, the 123 punch, the system I could use, and I had the blindfold on the whole time as I was trying things. And it was it was a grind, trying to create culture in a command and control industry like the private security industry And so I wanted to write the playbook like the one at the book I didn't have, you know, and it's the full cycle book it is, it really is. And I haven't read a book like this, but it's how to create culture, how to create your core values, how to execute your values, how to screen for your values had on board for your values. How toe operate as a team, um, had implement a culture of change and change. Management had a create a culture of inclusivity and diversity and learning and innovation. Uh, a culture of coaching. It really hits on all the key buckets that you need to have an incredible culture. And so, yeah, I'm really excited and we're launching with a master class that...

...could be taken. That is really a shortened version of all that. So I'm excited. I think it's good. I I'm an avid reader. I've read probably every culture book there is, and and a lot of it is we see two things you know, it's theory. You should have a good culture and treat people well. Great genius. But how do I do that? You know, and then you have to is. We studied these companies, but I've lived it and I think there's there's very different between like, Oh, I I got to see a little bit behind the curtain of what that company did to Here's what I did here was the roadblock. Here's the challenge. Here's how I got around it. Here's the system I used. That's a different conversation. I really wanted to create a book where someone had the highlight. I was like, Oh, that's gold. I need to go and try that. You know that That's the vision for this book. Besides your own companies that you're working with. Do you see another company that's able to do what? What you're purporting what you're saying is that one of the best ways to create culture a good culture? Um, sorry about what do you mean, like do I do I kind of envy a company not envy is is there just someone that's they're doing a pretty good job and you can I think from them. Yeah. Look, I think that lots are doing a good job, you know, And I've got I've got to know lots of them through our podcast. you know, it's been great on DSO. You know, if you know, Southwest Airlines has always been a Nikon for me. Sherry Conway Perez is one of my key advisor advisor. She's actually writing the foreword for the book. She's on our board. She's just phenomenal. And that company has just done a phenomenal job. I don't care. Anyone can poke it anybody any time. But I'll say pound for pound. They've done an incredible job, and the book Nuts was one of my was pivotal in my journey because I just couldn't believe the stories of, um, Herb Keller and what he was achieving, who was theory? Jinnah founder. And it was just It was incredible, so inspiring on DSO. I always love Southwest Airlines, you know, and there's lots of companies that I think are doing a great job. They really are. And I think you're doing a great job, Ron. It's scaling culture E. I have a few more questions for if you don't mind, what is? What is your overall goal? Maybe an overarching goal that maybe you have for your new book coming out. You have the master class, but you have your you have your hat and a lot of different things. So do you have an overarching thing? Yeah. I mean, I wanna be in industries that I can challenge status quo, that's for sure. I mean, I like industries that I can flip on their head like private security. See the private security industry? We flipped it on its head. I'm now doing that in the roofing space, you know, affordable living and workforce housing. I wanna flip it on its head. I'm not a technologist. I have a high I Q, Maybe not I Q. But I can I can flip something upside down, and I really get energized about that. So that's one. But But, you know, with Vida, it was Could I be in a business? The question was, could I be in a business? Um, that was safe, Um, that that that could create wealth and have strong cash flow safe being asset backed and have a social impact. And the answer to that was Vita. I mean, it was You've got asset backed, you've got it's safe, you know, it's it's the you've got a building which which is an asset. Its produces cash flow, and we're making a social impact. I mean, I think it's kind of like this Golden Triangle. That's why you know, the plan is 10,000 units in five years, and I'm sure in Year seven I'll be blanking saying, Wow, we've got 40,000 years 10 was pretty small because I think that our model can work globally. And so you know, I wanna have an impact. And that's, um I think that's mhm, poking at old industries and trying to have some type of impact that's beyond financial, I think is important with the impact that you're trying to make and that I think you are making. Is...

...there something that people may not understand about you, that they would give them a better appreciation what you are accomplishing? Mm. You know, I mean, I have my own personal vision statement. I have my own, you know, person that that that I certainly want to become in the future and and one of the there's some key items in there and one is that I'll always help people. Someone needs a hand, you know? It drives my wife crazy. Why do you helping these people? You don't even know them And look, I think that we all as Canadians, you know, and and a lot of people globally, um, won the lottery. You know, if you can get fresh water in some cases, you won the lottery. And so, um, I certainly feel like I won the lottery 10 times over, and I also feel like I've I've, you know, and luckily, I enjoy it, but but you have to pay your dues. And so I've had a lot of people help me on my ride. I've had a lot of people answer my phone call a lot of people that have stuck their neck out for me, and so I'll continue to do that for folks. There's it is not often that someone reaches out to me and I don't give them time. And so I think that we don't understand. And we underestimate the impact that these micro conversations have. I know that when someone reaches out to me and have a conversation that probably never gonna call me again, they're going to take that information, maybe take some of its metro, some out and move on, and that will have its own impact on guy. Think that um that that's important, Ron, Just a couple more thinking of adversity that we all face. Do you have encouragement for people who are looking toe work? Can't find work, they're out of work and they're facing some sort of adversity in their life. But work is good, even though it's tough, you know, I don't know if that's the right answer, and there's no one answer to this. But I just believe from my own experience that in most cases we get in our own way that we created, you know, our own blockers and we get our own way in their own belief systems of what we can or can't do. Um, prohibit us from doing great things. And so So I think in some cases it's just about a state of mind saying, You know, I can do this because people follow the process too much. You know, someone applies for a job, and they doesn't matter what the job is, but they go on the online application and they put an application in. I would never apply for a job, Brian, if you put an ad up, but I need a job, I'm showing up with a coffee. Hey, Brian, I saw the ad up. I did apply, but I wanted to have five minutes of your time. I would send a package to your office. I would show you that I'm very different. And that's just because of of confidence and a belief I could get in line with everybody else And you're not gonna look at my resume. And so I think it's time to shake things up. And people have to get out of their own way, lean into things, get creative and and, you know, really punch above their waste on how they're trying to achieve their goals. If you just sit back and you know we're back to what was May I have applied for 10 places and and if you want, that's gonna be you. Who allows that to conquer you and say that you know that have applied for 10. There's nobody getting back to me. I can't get a job. I'm done now. You know that. I would say that's your fault, you know? And look, there's other issues we have, you know, mental health issues and what not That could complicate that, but overall, e think that's a big theme that I see. How can people get in contact with you, Ron? Yeah, You know, I mean, I'm active on LinkedIn. Not not I'm not on instagram or Facebook much, but I love it dot c A as well. Yeah, I love it. That CIA. Yeah. So I do some speaking and, um, mostly around people in culture. Um, but yeah, Ronaldo dot sand linked. And there's the best ways Thio and I think the book outrages empowerment on Amazon. You could grab it on Amazon Incoming scaling culture in your podcast scaling culture part. That's right. That's the scaling culture podcast, which, if...

...you're a culture junkie, it's great. They're just We've tapped into people that typically don't have a large voice, but have a ton of great content experience. And that's that's our goal is how do we How do we untapped there? You know those individuals so so they can share their knowledge with everyone. So it's been a lot of fun, Ron, One final question. And, sir, why do you work? Yeah, I think for me it's a connection to, um, passion and purpose, right? And so a zai mentioned if if I have strong purposes. And I believe in those purpose in the companies that involved with and then it gets me up. It gets me jazz. And my passion is helping people on flipping things on their head. And so if I get that align, then I'm then I love what I'm doing. And so I'm I'm very blessed and lucky to be in industries that I'm doing that exact thing. Ron Lovett, entrepreneur, Keynote speaker, Author of Outrageous empowerment and Scaling culture. Thank you for your time. And I appreciate the work that you do, Ron. Thanks, Brian. Thanks for having me. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian V. Be sure to subscribe, Follow and share with others so they to be encouraged in their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive be a joyful day in your work.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (123)