Pursue What Matters
Episode 28: Entrepreneurship with Paul Adams
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? Long days, sleepless nights, high tolerance for risk, a freakish ability to ride the rollercoaster of a startup? Or maybe it’s the freakish ability to stay on the ground when everyone else is riding that roller coaster? Well, one thing is for sure, being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. And I’m so excited. I’ve got a great guest with me today who is going to share with us his journey. And let me tell you, it is a fun ride. So buckle up and join us.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:40
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. I am so excited to talk to our guests today. And I think I may be just as surprised by what we talk about as everyone else. Because who knows what this guy will come up with. But it’s always guaranteed to be fun when he’s around. So I’ve got Paul Adams with me today. And I’ve known Paul for, I think, like over a decade now. And he’s been a great friend for a long time. And I have so much respect for him both personally and professionally. And I really thought it would be great to get his perspective on entrepreneur life. You know what it takes to make it work. He’s been very successful, not just once but several times with business startups and certainly get his perspective on how to manage the ups and downs decision making, and especially how to find that elusive life balance because he’s got a great family and has found that elusive life balance that is so important. So first, let’s do a proper introduction of Paul. So Paul is a Utah native originally from Provo, but is definitely a familiar face in silicon slopes, as he’s a well known entrepreneur with over 17 years experience in all online marketing disciplines, including conversion optimization and user experience. So Paul knows growth and is no stranger to the upper rankings, on Inc 500. With his most recent exit of skyrocket media, also known as best company.com, which was the fastest, the second fastest growing company in Utah. More recently, Paul joined the bite BYU TV team in an effort to grow its reach to a household name status as co founder and he oversees all digital marketing there. So Paul is definitely a family man. He’s a father of seven, married to his, you know, high school sweetheart, they actually met when they were 14. And he’s as funny as they come and I’m so excited for him to be here. So let’s go ahead and get started with Paul. Okay, so Paul, give us some background. If you don’t mind. Tell us a little bit about your growing up. As I recall, you did not grow up with silver spoon in your mouth?
Paul Adams 2:27
No, no silver spoon. I did grow up with a lot of wooden spoons though.
Dr. Melissa Smith 2:35
My husband had wooden spoons broken over his backside and my kids are like, what?
Paul Adams 2:39
What is it with wooden spoons already? Yeah, so I grew up in good old American Fork. I travel I mean, I moved around a lot from west side to East side to south side to end up. And you know, finishing my career in American Fork on caveman Boulevard going to American Fork high school with a solid 2.6 that’s all you need to wrestle.
Dr. Melissa Smith 3:02
That’s all you need for American Fork high school.
Dr. Melissa Smith 3:10
But yeah, so I was I grew up here after I was adopted. I was four years old when I was adopted. I was supposed to be given away at birth. And my adoptive parents were there. And I don’t know my mom totally pulled a Lord of the Rings, you know, scenario and she’s at the volcano and they’re, like, thrown it in the fire. And she’s like, no, and she wouldn’t give me away.
Dr. Melissa Smith 3:31
Oh, my goodness.
Paul Adams 3:32
So took me back to the trailer, no place like home and the abusive, you know, boyfriend that she had at a time turned into a husband. And I was I’m one of six five. I’m one of five. I’m kind of in the middle. I’m the fourth oldest. I’ve got two little brothers. Okay. Anyway, was just a nightmare scenario. And at four years old, finally my adopted father stepped in and said, this ends now. Do you want I called him Uncle Dave because I didn’t know you know, what was gonna happen. He’s like, you want to come live with me? I was like, sure. grabbed all my stuff literally in a Ziploc bag or plastic bag like a garbage bag.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:07
Paul Adams 4:08
Threw it in his car. We went to McDonald’s, we went home. And to this day, my mom who adopted me said, You never once asked, you never once turned around and said, When am I going to see my siblings? When am I gonna see my mama? Never once, and you just sat in the car happy as a clam drove to our house. And you never mentioned your family again.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:24
That’s how that’s how you know
Paul Adams 4:26
I was like, really? Like, not even my you know, and I was like, you know, my siblings were the nicest when we were younger. But you know, your siblings usually mean anyway. But anyway, yeah, that’s so from four years old on it was you know, very middle class hard working insurance agents that they were one for Allstate one, one for an independent on his own. You know, my dad sold insurance. So yeah, grew up around here. Very modest. And, and in, you know, very loving home.
Dr. Melissa Smith 5:28
Paul Adams 6:04
Yeah it was good. Very cool. Very cool.
Dr. Melissa Smith 6:06
And tell us a little bit about your relationship with your wife and just tell us a little bit about your family. Cuz she’s a big part of who you are.
Paul Adams 6:16
She is who I am. Yeah, yeah. I wouldn’t be who I am without her. Yeah. Absolutely. She’s. I don’t know. I think I think guys when they, especially when we’re younger, we’re looking for other things, you know, yeah. But my wife always had like, this kind of sweetness to her. And I was I just never Yeah, she is just absolutely. You know, it’s, it’s almost like the perfect ingredient. You know, whatever it is, whether it’s a little you need a little bit of melancholy. You need a little bit of happiness and get a little bit of, you know, stalwarts or stubbornness or whatever that is. She’s that sprinkling of ingredients to make me better. So yeah, she’s, she’s made we met. We were 14. Wow. sparks flew, emotions ran high. We actually kissed quite a bit when we were 14. We did
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:10
Wow. Don’t tell your kids.
Paul Adams 7:12
But my kids are not allowed to kiss. So…
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:14
That’s a good rule.
Paul Adams 7:15
Yeah, it’s good. Not until they’re 30. And we we would see each other every two years because her family would come out for a you know, they would come out for this family event and my family come out for this family event. It was in the same place it was this. My adoptive parents this family reunion, right.
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:34
Yeah. Family reunion. You met your wife at a family reunions always fun.
Paul Adams 7:39
It was always fun to explain that story to people in California. Being from Utah.
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:44
Paul Adams 7:46
I’d always get asked. So you guys are from Utah? Where’d you guys meet? Oh, a family reunion. That checks out, I mean, you said you’re from Utah.
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:56
Paul Adams 7:57
How many kids you have? 12? I”m like nah, 7
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:00
Just 7. Makes perfect sense.
Paul Adams 8:03
Check all the boxes. But we do, we have seven beautiful kids, five daughters and two boys. So if there is any donations that would like to go to this podcast for me for a marriage fund.
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:19
You’ll need it. You’ll need it.
Paul Adams 8:20
Yeah. And they’re all just beautiful, gorgeous. And as sweet as they are on the outside is on the inside there.
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:27
Yeah, kids, and I can attest to that they are they’re just, they’re just the sweetest family in the whole world. And like they really, really are. They’re just good. They’re just good. Okay, awesome. Okay, so tell us a little bit about how you came to your career and how your how your path has unfolded. It’s It’s so interesting to know.
Paul Adams 8:48
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:49
Yeah, isn’t that the truth?
Paul Adams 8:51
Oh, yeah. Constant journey, for sure. But I actually got started when out of high school. When my wife and I got married. She was like, great, what are you going to do? And I was like, I don’t know, I got a solid 2.6 in high school. Just to throw that on there. Like, this is what you get. Get ready to be a big spender. Now hop in the dumpster, as long as we have each other. But my dad, and mom had their insurance agencies and they were like, well, you can just take over my insurance agency. When I retire. My dad was like, you’re gonna get licensed in PNC and health and property and casualty and health and life and all this kind of boring stuff. And I was like, I just don’t want to do that stuff.
Dr. Melissa Smith 9:44
Can you? Can you imagine, Paul as an insurance agent. I mean it…
Paul Adams 9:51
It would be so bad. It would be so bad. Like I would just every five minutes I would yell out I’m dying. That’s just never really been my jam. And I knew it wasn’t. And so like any good teenage kid, I lied to my dad and said, Okay, I’ll get licensed and went over on the computer in his office and just started playing around with, you know, different things that were going on, namely Napster, right, early and early 2000s. And he would, he would often ask me, you know, like to go and drop off these checks, or these bills to his clients, right? Because he wanted me to interact with people. And, you know, look, people in the eye shake, good firm handshake, and all this stuff. And there was a guy in Alpine who owned a web development firm. And in early 2000s, this is right after the dot bombs like this. Yeah, big, big deal. And they were building these websites, and they all look terrible now, but you go back then I was like, Oh, my gosh, it was like $20,000 for a small little website. Yeah. And as I would drop the bill off, I would be all the programmers were out in the open. So I come over, I’d be like, what do you guys working on? What are you doing? Because I’d be waiting for that. Yeah. And oh, yeah, we’re doing this stuff’s called HTML. Oh, wow. Like how do you do that? What’s the tat? How do you How did you do that? And, oh, that’s flash and bla bla bla bla. And I’m like, Oh, this is it was blowing my mind. So I, I would literally, like, get the money or drop off the check and then hang out for a couple hours. And talk to the guy. It’s actually a really nice guys out of Alpine. His name is Michael Flynn. He’s in a few of the LDS films. Yeah. He’s the Stake President in the Best Two Years that comes in writes the prescriptions anyway. Really, really cool guy. Yeah, I love Mike Flynn. And he actually, at his generosity allowed me to stay there loiter, and I would learn things, and then I would go back to my dad’s office, and I would, you know, first I built him a website, right? Yeah. And it was terrible. It was like, for a quote, and that quote was spelled k w o te, O bad 2.6. And so then his clients would come in, and my, you know, I build my dad, these presentations and these things like that in graphics, right? Mm hmm. And his clients would come in and be like, Oh, can you do that? for my company? Yeah. And it became like this funnel of business. Wow. Like, people would come in, and they start dropping checks off to me, like, Oh, can you give this to Paul? My dad’s like, Are you done with your licensing yet? You know, like, I’m working on it. Wow, I’m doing these websites for his clients. And that’s kind of where it first started. And from there it was, I mean, that was like, 2001 2002. Uh huh. So from there, I ventured out California wanting to leave kind of leave the state go on to bigger, better things and swarm to my parents that never work at an insurance company. Mm hmm. And went out to California worked for an insurance company. Yeah. One of the first online insurance companies that was online called INS web.com. Okay, and they were huge $400 million investment company, funded by, you know, VC firms and big, big deal, right, they would take the lead online and turn it into an auto policy and then write every you know, everything. Yeah. And I got to come in and be mentored by some of these guys that had this vast knowledge in online marketing at the cusp of the beginning of the of the, you know, 21st century.
Paul Adams 11:55
So not your traditional insurance?
Paul Adams 13:19
No, no, we partnered with eBay we partnered with edmunds.com and all these really rad people that I got to rub shoulders with. And they were really harsh, too. They just, you know, I’d be like, what do you think of this landing page? And they’re like, wow, wipe the crap off the screen? And then show me what you really have? Ya know. So started from the bottom there. And, and I was very blessed to be able to just be around these incredible people. And, you know, grew that grew my position and to the point where I was ready to move on to another job position and wanted to move to new startups. And Utah is the place for that. So found a job opening out here came into a new startup and, and just kept putting my myself in the company of, you know, pretty smart people. Yeah, they were taking risks. And I didn’t have to take the risk because I was just getting paid. You know, it was free tuition.
Dr. Melissa Smith 14:15
That’s fortunate. Yeah.
Paul Adams 14:18
and watched a couple go down, watched a couple, you know, explode, and then decided to go out on my own and consult, okay, through the different variations of, you know, knowing who people were, and about 2008 everybody kind of, I mean, the whole economy, took it down and everything just went to garbage. And at that point, it was like, you know, total recession. I had to go out and really like it was wasn’t just like, clients were coming through the door like, Yeah, I remember the one night I put together a flyer that was like recession proof your business come to this seminar. And I was like, if I get responses that come to the website and register then I’ll rent the building.
Dr. Melissa Smith 15:02
Right? That’s like that’s bad.
Paul Adams 15:04
Yeah, minimal viable products. Let’s just do this. And Rachel and I drove around and did the windshield thing. And then we mailed some out. We did, we sent out like, 1000 of them right to this local area. Mm hmm. Nobody came like nobody registered. It was bad.
Dr. Melissa Smith 15:20
You didn’t rent the building.
Paul Adams 15:23
That was actually the up side. Yeah, so I didn’t have to do that. And at that point, it was like, it was kind of like, that’s when you had to go out and hustle, right? It was calling people that you already knew. And saying, I can convince you to do it better. Let me show you how, let me you know, do these things. And so from consulting, that’s actually where I met my current partners now that I’m in, you know, in the company that I’m in right now Byte. They were one of my first customers, okay. And the relationship that connection there was from one of the startups that started out here that I came from California for ended up tanking, because the, you know, the business partners were just, you know, they were they were bad with their money. I’ll just say that. Yeah. And one of the sales rep guys, as guy’s name is Steve’s great guy. He was like, I’ve got a couple of hot shots out of LA, that are looking for online leads for this. I was like, Yeah, sure. Send it my way. Mm hmm. And we ended up connecting, and I was doing consulting for them. And yeah, and it worked out really well. And, and, anyway, long story short, I know I’m being long winded. But long story short. From there. I started my consulting agency called skyrocket consulting. Yeah. All these different various clients and then became just like this guy, guy that works pantless in his basement, just doing consulting and doing all this, you know, online marketing, conversion optimization, my design background helped with that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 16:56
Paul Adams 16:58
I knew that I needed more people on board with me, okay. When I went to my buddy, Brian Brenton. And I was like, are you guys in that building at the mouth of Provo Canyon? He was like, Yeah, I was like, Can I use that front office as a front? He’s like, Paul and I’m like, No, no, it’s it will be legit. It’ll be legit. Trust me, just, if anybody comes in and says is this Skyrocket consulting. Can you just tell them I’m out? Yeah. And then I’ll call him back. I need your address, right? And he’s like, well, there’s an empty office, why don’t you just come in and just use the office like, you have to wear pants. And, and at least until you’re in your office, because the office lock?
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:40
Yeah, is this glass?
Paul Adams 17:45
I ended up wearing clothes, and getting up and taking an office spot in this building. And then creating all these different email addresses for my kids.
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:58
That’s why he has so many kids!
Paul Adams 18:00
It really helped out, it really did. So like, the whole experience would be client would call in, Hey, can I get this done? I would CC an email like DAX when my son dax@skyrocket Like, absolutely Hey, DAX, can you go ahead and take care of this. It would send it straight to myself. And then he would respond. I was having conversations with myself with a client in between, not not like not knowing that this was the same person. Because they would be like, there’s no way this is happening. And I had some clients that would fly in from out of state. And they would come in and my buddy, Brian, who’s just this, just this really awesome guy really helped me out. All these people were walking around. And I would talk to the receptionist, and I would buy her lunch. So anytime somebody would come in she’d be like, Oh, are you here for Paul? You know what? Let me Yeah, hang on a second. Let me let me call him out. She called my cell. And it would look like it’s going to a phone line. I’d come out and be like, Hey, how’s it going? Give me five minutes, I’m with a client, I would go into my office and I would sit. I would sit like this because I was too busy.
Dr. Melissa Smith 19:08
And it looked like he owned the whole building!
Paul Adams 19:10
Oh yeah, and then I came out like, I’m sorry, like, because they didn’t have signage up. So I come out sorry. be right with you. Come on in, you know, and they come and sit down and I’ll get these contracts because people you know, they would they would see the outcome. Right? If I couldn’t perform that’s one thing.
Dr. Melissa Smith 19:26
That’s exactly right. That’s right.
Jackson Smith 19:29
That’s why it’s not like, that’s why it’s not I’m the music man. I wasn’t lying. It was the best app. It was the best band outfits. But, but anyway, yeah, I built my client base up to the point where I didn’t need to go into the building anymore. I had some good solid clients. And at that point, you know, I had a couple people come in and want to partner and grow it and make it big and do real things and have a real office. Yeah, real boy. And so I was like, You know, listening to those signals, you’re like, yeah, I think we can grow this and brought two partners on and we went from Skyrocket Consulting to Skyrocket Media, okay. And we all, you know, had two other partners. So all three of us, you know, took the bull by the horns rented out a space in PG and, and went for it. So with my client base and landing page optimization and online marketing, and then, you know, one of my other partners did affiliate marketing and, you know, it was a, it was we complemented each other. You know, it was a good, it was a good partnership. So from there, we started bringing all these clients, and then we evolved once again, when a lot of our clients, it was kind of like the ad agency model where it’s like, you know, what am I paying you for? Like, nobody was really doing branding. It was. It was it was the scenario where we had a company say, you guys will be competing against our internal marketing team. Okay, if you win, you get the contract. If you lose, we walk in, I’m like, Okay, yeah, we can beat anybody, right? Like the whole prideful thing going on. And we did we destroyed them, like they were looking for leads at a $10 per clip. Yeah, we’re getting them for $4, the marketing team was at $15. More like, we get in the guy. And it literally was like, the owner of the company is like, Okay, you know what, one more month, let’s just do one more challenge. There’s a little bit of a hiccup we just bought, brought in this new guy. And at that point, we kind of said, You’re fired. He was like, excuse me, I’m firing you. So you can’t fire your clients, we’re firing you. And we’re going to make you a buyer. Not a client is like, What do you mean? So what we ended up doing was, we knew the landing pages that we were using to drive the leads, and all these different ways that we were driving business for them. And we’re like, what if we took all the volatility out of this and just give you a flat fee for every lead that we passed to you? Mm hmm. Okay, because we, I mean, I told him, I said, you don’t want an agency? Yeah, you want customers? And he was like, Yes, great. And I know what your costs are, I know what your expenses are. And that’s when we evolved as a business, which was building up Web web properties to drive customers to other businesses, right. And that’s where we came into the review space, where we were kind of the white knights and coming up with a review space that actually didn’t lie to people about referring them to companies that was paying us more. Yeah, you know, built in an algorithm and all this really cool stuff. And anyway, it was really neat. And that’s where we kind of evolved to Best Company.com. I made it there. I bought, I paid, you know, 1000 bucks for that URL, which is great. Right? Yeah. That brand, bring everything in? Yeah, totally. And, anyway, so that’s where that kind of evolved into a business to where we were calling our own shots. We were building, you know, web properties that we loved. And, you know, that was the that was the evolution.
Dr. Melissa Smith 23:14
Wow. And talk about a skyrocket. I mean, that business exploded.
Paul Adams 23:18
Yeah, it was, it was fun. I mean, we, after two years, we, we had about an 8,000% growth.
Dr. Melissa Smith 23:25
Paul Adams 23:27
Yeah, revenue. So I mean, we, and it’s amazing, when you see those kind of numbers, you know, you want to put your names in lights, so that you can commemorate it, and, you know, have memorialized. So that was really fun. Being able to be in all those lists, and yeah, those claims. So it was it was really fun. I mean, but you know that that’s a balance of being like not being beating your chest about, you know, how great you are versus you know, having some recognition. Good recognition vs. bad recognition.
Dr. Melissa Smith 23:56
Yeah. Like, you can’t, you can’t, you can’t buy into it too much. Right. You know, like, you can acknowledge, like, hey, like, we’ve done some really good stuff here. Yeah. But if you let it become part of like, ego, like, you’ll lose your soul.
Paul Adams 24:14
Oh, yeah, take away your perspective.
Dr. Melissa Smith 24:16
Yeah, sure. Exactly. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about your decision to leave that company or, you know, and you decide how much you want to share about that?
Paul Adams 24:27
Oh, yeah. I mean, it was it was I think we all kind of get to the point where, well, maybe we all don’t reach that at the same timeframe. Yeah. But we all get bored. We all get we all we get stagnant. And I think it was when, you know, we had a quarter where we did extremely well. And before that, it was a quarter that we did very, very poorly, and we had to kind of rustle up the troops and we had to change we had to pivot very hard. That that, that period when we’re pivoting and we’re we’re hustling, and we’re pushing/ That’s when it’s exciting. It’s not exciting when it’s kind of like on autopilot. Yeah, it’s like numbers are good, consistent 50% growth. Yeah, blah, blah, blah. And there’s not like a real driving factor.
Dr. Melissa Smith 25:14
Paul Adams 25:17
And the perspective wasn’t really strong. It was like, Yeah, I mean, sure, we’ll get over there someday, like, yeah, it’s like, how do you get to, you know, Aruba? Oh, yeah, we just take a plane, but you don’t have the details. Like, anyway, I think it came, you know, across where, you know, there’s the, you start talking about other things you can do and where there’s alignment on. I want to do other things versus I want to have things stay the same? Yeah. Is where there’s misalignment a little bit, and there was some misalignment with the partners. Yeah. And so, you know, that was, that was the main, I think, the main driving force behind that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 25:58
Paul Adams 26:00
And then they stayed on they, they continue to push and drive and do a great job and building that business and, and doing what’s best for that business. And, and I’m glad, I’m glad that they’re able to do that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 26:12
Yeah. Well, and I think I mean, I think you speak to a really important point, right? That you’ve, you’ve got to keep growing, you know, personally, and that that’s, it’s so much bigger than just what’s happening with revenue, you know, and that you’ve got to have that alignment for yourself in terms of, you know, okay, like, Am I growing personally, and I love I love what you say about, you know, the challenge, like when you’re, when you’re facing those challenges, like it can, it can suck, like, it can be really painful. But those are the moments that you know, you’re growing up and show and sometimes sometimes that steady path is, you know, it’s like, okay, like, I don’t like this is the easy road. I know, but I don’t know that I’m really growing or learning.
Paul Adams 27:04
Absolutely, you’re going backwards. And if any of the last two years have been anything for me, it’s been if you’re not extremely uncomfortable and being pushed hard, like there’s a little bit of sweat on your upper lip 24 seven, if you’re not feeling that you’re not feeling that growth, because at some point, you’ll be able to stop rest and go. Wow. Okay, How’s it? Wow. Yeah, big hill. Okay, cool. You know, like, yeah, if you’re not feeling that you’re you’re really not pushing yourself and it doesn’t have to be in business. It can be in your relationship, or your marriage and your you know, what your hobbies, whatever it is, but like, there’s, we live in a world that’s full of comforts, right? I mean, I use my voice to turn off my lights. I use my voice to start my car and back. Like the the amount of like laziness and crap that we like. It’s amazing. My so my, my, my five year old boy goes, so we ordered pizza. And Papa John’s comes in, we should have them sponsor this one, by the way. They come to the door? And my my five year old son goes, Yeah, I didn’t know there’s a doordash for Papa John’s. This kid does not even understand. But he thinks he can doordash anything. Yeah, the mailman is a doordash for mail. Why don’t we just doordash that? Yeah. Yeah.
Dr. Melissa Smith 28:35
But you know that it must have really taken a lot of courage because you like, I mean, this was your baby. And you were you were sitting pretty. So I mean, at one level, it sounds like like you knew because there wasn’t alignment. But what did that take for you to actually walk away? I mean, tell us a little bit about the emotion
Paul Adams 29:02
The emotion is always like, I think we always fear the unknown for sure. But when when you’ve when you’ve helped build something from the from the ground up? You want to see it become you want to see it realized on something that’s in your mind. Yeah. And when it doesn’t become realized whether whether I stayed or whether I didn’t. And that did not happen. That’s the realization you have to come to that, hey, this might not be exactly what I thought it was. And that’s the hard part. In that change, right? So, you know, and when that change happened, you know, I didn’t want to see, I didn’t want to eat I didn’t want to sleep. I was just like, you know, like the last, you know, five years in my life I you know, put into this, like, what am I gonna do next? How am I going to do it? How am I going to execute? Yeah, how much of this was a unicorn and how much of this is replicatable?
Dr. Melissa Smith 29:59
Yeah, big question.
Paul Adams 30:01
Yeah. Oh my gosh. And I think that’s where you have to, you have to fall back on, you know, your belief systems, right. So like, I’m a religious person, you know, there’s a lot of prayer involved. There’s a lot of meditation involved and realizing what’s really important, I think, is the biggest thing, you know, and I always tell this to my kids, too. I’m like, when you’re grateful, you’re invincible. I love that, you know, yeah, if you’re in great if you are absolutely grateful for the greenness of the, of the leaf on the trees, and for the smell of grass after a storm, you know, or something like that. And everything is, you know, brings gratitude to you. You’re absolutely invincible, like you can find anything, just put a positive spin on. Yeah, and wake up in the morning and go do it. Right. So, and I’m a type of person that’s, I would rather like if I was carrying a basket of apples, and four apples fell out, I would just go pick four more. I wouldn’t go back and try to find the four and put them back.
Paul Adams 31:00
Okay, that’s some great perspective. Right there.
Paul Adams 31:03
Yeah, I just that’s, I mean, I, I’ve always been like that. Yeah. Like, you know, like,
Dr. Melissa Smith 31:07
Because some of us would sit down and cry about our four apples. Or we’d freak out who took my four apples. Or we’d go and try and pick up the four apples. But it’s like, I’m gonna go find four more apples.
Paul Adams 31:19
Somewhere out there. There’s there’s a branch to go out there and find four more apples, you know.
Dr. Melissa Smith 31:25
That’s an entrepreneur for you right there.
Paul Adams 31:27
Yeah. And then I found a peach tree.
Dr. Melissa Smith 31:32
And the peach trees are a lot better than the apple.
Paul Adams 31:36
Oh, my gosh. But that’s the truth. I mean, what was funny is during the whole time, my my mom who adopted me, was going through a very nasty divorce. And so it was kind of this rebirth for both of us. Yeah. Like, she would come over. She would just be like, do you want to eat lunch? Like, yeah, oh, my goodness, how much we just sit on the back porch. And, you know, I just say, remember the time I you know, what a great, you know, and we’d have these these moments, but we kind of felt like, we walked through hell together. Wow, as she went through this, you know, really bad divorce. And this guy that was just, you know, didn’t do all the right things. And, and she, you know, going through that together actually brought me closer to my mom. Yeah, I mean, half glass full. That was a really positive thing to go through. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, I think with anything, you have to give yourself a couple days, right? I mean, appreciate the valleys as much as the peaks. But, you know, after two days, I was like, let’s do this. Yeah, you know, okay, let’s, okay, what, whatever it is, it is let’s, let’s continue to grow. And I was very blessed to be able to have a lot of different opportunities. You know, as as I was going through that, as well, you know, so, you know, nobody was starving, nobody’s losing, you know, and a lot of that was, you know, due to you know, the good people that I am still doing business with. And, and even my, my business partners, they were, you know, very amicable and very, you know, very helpful. During that time, for sure. So
Dr. Melissa Smith 33:13
Well, and one thing that I would say about you is like, Paul knows how to do relationships, you know, and I would say that, I mean, I think that’s one of your greatest gifts, like, both personally and professionally and like, like, you know, I talk a lot about when it comes to leadership, emotional intelligence, and it’s like, sure, like, Okay, you’ve been talking about your 2.6 on your, you know, your GPA, but it’s like emotional intelligence is off the charts with you. And so we think about, like, you know, how to connect with people, and you know, how to build relationships. And so when we think about you going on to like, the next thing, even though there was probably plenty of uncertainty, it’s like, you had built so many strong connections that I’m sure, I’m sure you had plenty of people that were like, Paul, Paul. Oh, come on, come on.
Paul Adams 34:07
Well, I mean, there was I do have a very blessed to have a lot of really amazing people that are just good people. Yeah, that I could have called at any time. And they’d have been there for me for sure. For sure.
Dr. Melissa Smith 34:20
But I mean, you you cultivated those connections, right? I mean, I like I think that’s really a strength of yours. That like you, you, you know how to do that. Like you care about people and, like we know plenty of people that don’t know how to do that.
Paul Adams 34:37
Yeah, I’m sure they’re out there for sure. Yeah. In fact, I, you know, I have, I’ve always, you know, I think I owe this to my dad, who was just this amazing example of, of charitable…charity and just the most kindness heart like yeah, you know, yeah, he would he would give the shirt off his back to anybody that was scary looking or had a neck tattoo or you know, was just, you’re like, Whoa, back away, he would actually put it Oh, yeah, yeah, he would pull his hand out his pocket and pull out his money clip and, and do what he could even if he didn’t have it. And, you know, I think it taught me a lot growing up that everybody has a backstory. Yeah, everybody has a backstory, and I teach my kids today, like, with bullies with, you know, these kids that, you know, now this this girl, like, clawed my face, or Jim called me this or whatever. And I try to teach them I’m like, Well, you know, you’re not you. Maybe she doesn’t have the kind of home life that you have. Maybe she doesn’t have, do you know anything about her? you should probably try to find your own killer with kindness, all that kind of stuff. But in fact, I wrote an article on my LinkedIn on, on how customers work the same way. Everybody has a backstory, right. And the perfect marketing is being at the right time at the right place. Right. That’s this perfect marketing. Yeah. And if you understand their backstory, which is just demographics, right? If you understand their backstory, you can produce the perfect product at the perfect time, right? Alexa helps because it’s always listening to you whether you like it or not. But that’s it’s very true about relationships to everybody has a backstory, everybody has understand, like, if you took, you know, Micah, for instance, off the street at face value, you were cheated. But if you step into his shoe and get to know the man and you understand like, Oh my gosh, Oh, and he does this. Oh, and he does this. Like, Oh my gosh, and even you yourself, like, you can’t take anything at face value. Yeah, you can’t take anything for what it’s worth. And if you try to seek to understand that backstory, yeah, even the people who wronged you, or even the people who you know, despitefully use you. There’s reasons behind it. And sometimes people are just jerks. But, you know, you give them the benefit of the doubt. And then I think that’s a lot of cultivating that, you know, that emotional intelligence is just really just understanding.
Dr. Melissa Smith 37:06
And yeah, right. Like, it makes relationships better, but it makes your life better too. And it’s, it’s cultivating the output, right?
Paul Adams 37:14
If you if you have that output, as soon as you start investing in somebody in their background, right, and like, oh, tell me about this. You know, if I’m like, talking to Joe, see, I’m talking to you, and I’m interested in what’s going on in your lives. And I’m saying, Wow, that’s really great. And not only that, but I follow up with, you know, good luck today at Orange Theory. Or, you know, that actually makes a difference. And the output is so much better. Like, you’ll always get a two to one return. And that’s kind of how we are with our kids to where you know, my wife always says you’re withdrawing, stop withdrawing, you need to deposit start depositing here, it’s on empty your overdraft protection shows yellow overdraft protection. You know,
Dr. Melissa Smith 37:56
It’s great. It’s great. So tell us, what are you up to now? And how do you how do you make business decisions? And how do you know? Like, how do you know what, what’s, what’s a good idea? And how do you keep focused?
Paul Adams 38:12
There’s a lot in there, boy, but yeah, what I’m up to now is I’m working with a couple of buddies out in LA that were my first consulting clients, when we were in the base, when I was in when I was a pantless. marketer, and, and they’re just good people. They’re from different walks of life. They live in a different world, but they’re, they’re really great to work with. And doing a startup for the invisible braces, it was called BYTE. And I got a call. And, you know, I wasn’t really interested in starting new ventures. Again, I was kind of working on a couple other side projects, and he says, You got to come do this thing with me. It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be fun. I was like, ah, I don’t know what Okay, what is it? He’s like, it’s this invisible aliner or company. We branded it Byte. I was like, Okay, keep talking. And I was like, what’s the web address? He goes, it’s byteme.com and I was like, I’m in
Dr. Melissa Smith 39:10
It’s like a domain after your own heart!
Paul Adams 39:15
I mean, he’s like, but I haven’t told you the rest yet. I’m like, doesn’t matter It doesn’t matter. I’ll be in LA tomorrow. And one of the things I liked at Skyrocket was Skyrocket or Best Company has this great algorithm and a promise to the customer like we’re gonna help you make better decisions, which helps improve your life. That was a big piece of this as well getting into the invisible aligner space because anybody that has confidence issues because of their teeth, and I had a brother who lost all his teeth to you know, drugs, drug use and stuff like that and, and he was able to get them all replaced with brand new Wow, beautiful teeth. Such a good looking guy. And he has all of his teeth now. And I’m telling you this this guy’s countenance his his output, just like a new person. Absolutely. And with Byte, it’s great because we get these reviews and even letters and like people that are saying like you’ve changed my life like this isn’t because A, My teeth are straight and whiter. But B, it’s because I could afford it because I didn’t have orthodontic insurance. So it’s very rewarding. That’s so cool. So that’s really it. That’s, that’s one of the other reasons why I love doing that. But always having a purpose behind you know what you’re doing. Yeah, having that spark, like, what’s the spark that’s driving me. But as far as like, yeah, that was a good decision, anything that has to do with electric scooters. It has to do with online payments. You know, I don’t think that there’s like a formula that you can say this is going to do great. I think that it has to just be something that you know, that you believe in, and that you’re like, yeah, this is this is something that I think will do well. That’s the first idea. But for me, I one of the things that I really learned, you know, through my whole experience is I used to live a business life where I thought it was my duty to bring home the bacon and fend off the you know, the said criminals coming to steal our flock of sheep or whatever. And I kind of left my wife out of business decisions. And, it was a huge mistake on my part because I was missing a big piece of like, were the smart part of my brain is
Dr. Melissa Smith 41:46
Yes, such a huge opportunity!
Paul Adams 41:49
Yeah. And, partnering with somebody that’s never going to be, you know, betray you, stab you in the back, like, their best interest for you is their best interest. Yeah, yeah. And, and it was a huge, like, paradigm shift for me where, you know, I thought that if I work really hard, and I did midnight crank sessions, I’d pulled all nighters, that I would be able to provide a better family a better life for my family. But it’s it’s not. I was actually reading this earlier today. What does it mean to preside write to? And it’s not to stand above but stand with? Yeah, and stand by? Yeah. And so from that point on, you know, the last few years, it’s been an absolute, like, deal breaker, if it’s doesn’t include my wife. You know, like, yeah, she’s the first person I go to, a because she knows me. And then I’ll educate her on the situation. And she’s brilliant. She’s, she’s way smarter than I am. And she’ll, she’ll play devil’s advocate, she’ll have caveats. Plus, her gut check is unbelievable. Absolutely. And so she, and she’s, she’s smarter. I’m technically because she has way more college experience. She’s getting her degree, right now.
Dr. Melissa Smith 43:07
That’s right. She’s in school right now.
Paul Adams 43:08
She’s She’s a very smart cookie. But, but I think the the principle of it all is if you have that resource. You’re You’re an idiot, if you’re, if you’re wasting it, if you’re not taking her by your side, or if you’re a couple or whoever, right, I use that resource. And it was kind of funny, because even when my partner’s from LA called me up and said it might meet up calm. I actually went over to her, I was like, by the way, I just got this phone call, like, I don’t know, what do you have this? And she was like, I kind of like this.
Dr. Melissa Smith 43:46
A little irreverant…
Paul Adams 43:47
She’s like yeah I’mkind of digging this. I was like, really? Like, I’m digging this. With that there’s the confidence. There’s evidence that you go into it, and you’re like, but you go into it together. And making decisions for the family includes work, it includes big purchases and includes all these different things. But you’re way smarter, and the outcome is way better when you include both of you.
Dr. Melissa Smith 44:11
Yeah. And it’s Yeah, it’s something that you’ve shared together. Well, and I love that you’re speaking to that, you know, that. It’s, it’s something that you do together. And I, I think for sure part of it is also perspective, right? Because sometimes, like you’re, you’re in the middle of it, and what I have found for myself is I just tend to lack perspective. And so sometimes, you know, being able to take some of the business decisions home to mica and just say like, this is what I’m dealing with, and like, he doesn’t even need to know all the details. And, you know, just like from 10 feet away, he’s like, Well, that doesn’t make any sense. Or, yeah, like, you should totally do that. It’s like, okay, I just kind of need that reality check. So right sometimes, you know, our spouses can lend such valuable perspective and it’s like, gosh, why would we not?
Paul Adams 45:10
I think it’s a stigma right now, in our culture in our day and age where, you know, we men feel like they need to go out and, you know, I’ll do work and you do home. All like, and, and I think there’s a lot of women out there that are cranking that are like doing amazing things, or CEOs. They’re doing all these ones. Yeah, I have five daughters, right. So I’m, like, always like, what kind of a doctor are you going to be? Or what kind of tech CEO do you think like, online payments? But I try to teach like my daughters, all these things, but my wife is a driving force behind a lot of that. And it’s, I’m glad to see a lot of the, you know, the culture change a little bit, you know, where there’s more recognition there and there’s Yeah, standing there. But anyway, I was it was, it was a huge pivot for me to see that and to understand it and go, Wow. You first profusely apologizing to my wife like, Okay, well, I kind of felt like, a kid coming home, like after outside, like, doing something very bad idea. You know, like, I’m gonna go hang out with some snakes, you know? And I’m like, coming home with just like, like Fang wounds everywhere. Okay, do you? Yeah, I shouldn’t have done that. Catch you next time. Can I? You know, what do you think? And you know, her just patiently be like, Yeah, well, I told you snakes bite, you know.
Dr. Melissa Smith 46:45
I love it. Yeah, no, it’s great. It’s great. Well, Paul, it has been such a pleasure having you join me on the podcast, and like, you bring such great perspective. And you’ve had so much, so much great success. And it’s just fun to, it’s always fun to see what you’re up to. And I have no doubt that you will continue to have great success. And you know, you the thing that I’ve always really appreciated about you is you’re so grounded. You’re so grounded in like, what really matters. And so I have no doubt that you’ll have a lot of success, because you you’re really clear on what really matters. And so thanks for like, I just yeah, it’s just fun to fund to see how you’re gonna grow. So thanks so much for sharing some insights with us today.
Paul Adams 47:34
Yeah, thank you. I love your podcast. I love how you put it on Instagram with like, the audio tidbits in it.
Dr. Melissa Smith 47:42
Hey, that’s that’s Josee, Josee is our project manager. Yes. Yeah.
Paul Adams 47:47
Yeah. It’s like I’m surrounded by intelligent powerful women right now.
Dr. Melissa Smith 47:52
Yeah, we’re all better for that. Right. Yeah.
Paul Adams 47:55
Well, I had to come in here and you know, dumb down the room a little bit. Thank you.
Dr. Melissa Smith 48:03
Yes. Well, thank you. It’s great. So we will include some links in the show notes to your LinkedIn article. And then maybe some of the other things that Paul is up to so make sure you head on over to my website to check out the show notes with all the great resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-28 thanks to our project manager, we got that once again. That’s www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-28. I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai