Ben Gold is the president of QuickBridge, which offers working capital financing. He’s also a natural leader. He lives by a simple rule - discipline is freedom. Toward the end of our conversation, he shares a paradigm switching thought that I wanted to highlight for anyone listening to this show between the ages of 24 and 40. There’s a whole world of successful leaders out there that want to pass down knowledge to the younger generation. They’re just very selective about who they share it with. Enjoy our interview with Ben Gold.
Quick disclaimer: these transcripts are auto-generated. They are best used in addition to the Podcast audio not instead of. We cannot guarantee 100% accuracy.
James Fratzke: [00:00:00] Ben how are you this morning? Thanks for being on the show.
Ben Gold: [00:00:03] I'm doing well thanks for asking. Thanks for having me.
James Fratzke: [00:00:06] All right Ben. I want to start with kind of da funny personal story of my own which is in 2015 I picked up from the newsstands “Inc. Magazine's Top 500 fastest growing private companies in America” and over the last two years I have intended on digging into this magazine. I brought it with me to Europe and different places around the country with work travel and I have yet to dig into it. But ironically this 2015 issue is the one where your company. QuickBridge is number five of the fastest growing 500 companies in America. So I've been bringing you along with me on all my trips.
Ben Gold: [00:00:44] Yeah that's funny. Yes, we are. We were number five in 2015.
James Fratzke: [00:00:51] Yeah. And you were on the list again in 2016 and your growth was something crazy like over a thousand percent. So by all accounts you sir are running a very successful company. What is the secret behind QuickBridge's success?
Ben Gold: [00:01:06] Well, it's interesting. Being in the lending industry right and everybody has a different objective in financial services and in our space, there's retail and there's a whole wholesale. And on the retail side, it's a company that typically is marketing directly to the small business owner and then they're trying to find what we would consider to be wholesale, which is QuickBridge. That’s how QuickBridge was built; to actually be the ones that lend the money out to the small business owner, service alone and carry on the relationship. We were always on the wholesale side when were first started the company — so part of it is timing. We happened to pick a really good time to start a company that lends to small businesses which was 2011. Part of it was just we'd already had I'd been in small business lending starting back in 2002 when I was a junior in college. So just have a lot of relationships and the other guys that we started the business with also had a lot of relationships. And so we just started out you know pounding the pavement, calling our friends saying hey how are you guys as a retail broker, finding customers that are in need of working capital loans, that’s what we wanted to provide and if so there was one or two major players in the industry. If the one or two major players in the industry don't buy that deal or lend that money out to that small business owner what do you do with that file. And we didn't realize at the time that we were we had sort of stumbled on a larger niche than we had anticipated. So a lot of it is if you read about some of the other companies in the space a lot of companies that had tremendous growth during that same time period we did. And really we were just sort of riding on the coattails of some of these other guys that, building good relationships running you know, a sound business being a company in financial services that was trustworthy that these other companies felt comfortable either sending their customers to us or if it's a customer that they weren't able to do business with making a referral or a hard handoff to us just because we were sort of doing things the right way so to speak. Our story is definitely atypical. We started off because a guy down in San Diego who happens to be a fairly wealthy guy teamed up with a guy that I was working for here in Orange County who's also a wealthy guy and they really they came up with the idea and they put the money up so different than I think a lot of entrepreneurs that decide they're going to go into business for themselves and deal with all the challenges of bootstrapping a company and trying to raise capital and hire people and office and computers and all the other stuff. When we started QuickBridge I was a W-2 employee of my previous employer who put half the money up to start QuickBridge and we didn't have any expenses and we had at the time for me seemingly unlimited capital because these two guys that really put the money up also had a lot of wealthy friends and family that were looking to invest in them. And in 2011 there weren't a lot of really great opportunities to get in on something and so I would just contact these two guys and say hey we had a great funding day can you wire me 200 grand, could you wire me 400 grand, can you wire me this and they would just send it. So my experience being the operative business really I was sort of put in place to be the professional manager for lack of a better term because it’s very different than I think what a lot of others deal with. So to kind of bring it back to the question the success was it's a lot of a lot of hard work. I mean we worked. We were here at the office for a lot of hours a lot of weekends. All the other stuff we didn't have a big team at the time so was a lot of accountability on myself and the other guy that was running the day to day with me. Good relationships good timing and to have access to capital so that we could grow without having to reach out to some either venture fund or some angel investor or anything else that would sort of provide onerous terms to us as we were getting our business off the ground.
James Fratzke: [00:05:17] All right. So you're a very humble guy and that's one of the things I appreciate about you the most. You call yourself a good professional manager. I would call you just a great leader. I think you have this natural ability to lead. You said that you didn't necessarily have the idea for Quickridge to be frank. You're the one that helped to grow this company from two employees to now over 70 employees. So can you think of that moment you realized hey I'm a good leader. Like when did that happen in your life
Ben Gold: [00:05:50] Good question. I never really thought about it. So what I will say is it's often like anything else right. It's something that that takes practice. And I also don't have a fear of public speaking. Is good. That typically helps in those situations well so I don't know. By the fall in college I sort of got put into a lot of different leadership scenarios and it really made me comfortable with leadership quite frankly. And I go him before that can you also just require practice. So I've got a lot of practice being a quote unquote leader and felt good about it. And as I entered the working world the company that I was with was a small business and I quickly rose the ranks of that company and became vice president of operations and led people there. It wasn't a big group as maybe 10 at the most and got a chance to get in sort of like the inner circles of that company with the owners there and see how their leadership style was. And then you know it just becomes like a quest for knowledge. So start reading about other leaders that you know sort of like their style or the way they present themselves or some of their philosophy and you know trying to figure out my own style and to think like at least for me once I got a taste of it I knew I didn't want to go back. So now being in the position that I'm in I won't I would always look to be a president or a CEO. And for me it's like OK maybe this isn't my forever gig but really enjoying it for now. And I want to get this to be as successful as it can possibly be and then whatever I look for in my next chapter it'll be similar type if not on a bigger scale or something like that. I mean there's sort of just I guess for me my natural inclination is to keep pressing forward and that that doesn't change as it relates to leadership. And I enjoy it.
James Fratzke: [00:07:53] So you just said a lot of things I want to unpack and maybe walk through a few. Let's start with leaders that that you admire. Can you think of a handful of leaders that you look up to and you try to model yourself after?
Ben Gold: [00:08:06] So it changes often but there's like guys that I'm totally in awe of right? Guys like Elon Musk there's a guy named Max Levchin who runs a company called Affirm. They just raised a giant round of money. It's like a two-billion-dollar valuation. They were both original PayPal mafia and then a guy like Reid Hoffman is another guy PayPal mafia. So like those guys just because the way they think about things that scale and just how smart they are. I'm just more envious than anything so like that. Elon Musk is just amazing right? It's just the stuff that he thinks about and the scale in which he does it. Like I said this is incredible and it's so fortunate to be on the planet at the same time as a guy or even like a Jeff Bezos right. You're like gosh it's just so amazing that you can have that that that mental wherewithal and everything else to lead that at that size of a company. The guy's been in the news a lot maybe I can pronounce his name, runs Social Capital. He was one of the early guys in Facebook. I really like his style. Guys like Chris Sacca who was an early investor and does he knows all around Silicon Valley. I really like his style. Mark Cuban I sort of like his style and then really any of these like Harvard Business Reviews or anything that I read was more geared towards servant leadership and appreciating your team and I really like thoughtful responses like you know I'm a big sports fan so the things that Gregg Popovich said recently or Steve Kerr really you know guys that sort of step outside their normal comfort zone and talk about something that may not directly apply to their field but might be adjacent like social issues or anything else you could tell the convictions to say it and how well thought out it is that it also applies to how they go about their day to day and how it influences the culture of those organizations. So those things are really important to me too. It's not just like what you do within the organization but also how you think about other things outside the organization that probably affect you in a way that you may not fully comprehend at the moment but how you think about those things. Typically, you'll see within those organizations that the culture is pervasive amongst all the people that are involved.
James Fratzke: [00:10:26] The other thing that jumped to mind for me that I want to talk about is you said you worked at a small company before that gave you the opportunity to kind of move up the ranks quickly. I've been in that situation before and I think that secret sauce that helps people move up in small companies quickly is hard work. Now I want to put that in relationship to — I was looking at the Glass Door review for QuickBridge and this person left a glowing 5-star review. But this was their one con — be prepared to focus and work. Do you think we have like a hard work problem in the workforce today? Because that's their con — like; oh when you're showing up to work be prepared to focus and work. What do you think about that?
Ben Gold: [00:11:15] So I want to be super careful about that topic because that really is something that when I read that it affects me right and there was another more recent Glass Door review that wasn't so kind that you know something that you know is sort of try to focus on to get better. So I always think of when I'm like walking into the mall or going anywhere and I see people that are doing really difficult labor. Right? You know like if you work in a store and I guess this shouldn’t be called difficult labor or you know if you look at guys that are digging ditches and everything else like really hard labor where you go in a store or like a retail store and so many folding clothes for eight hours. Right. That's a really difficult job right. In high school I mean in college I worked at a hotel in Anaheim and like you're standing on your feet for you know 8-10 hours interacting with people all day long. It's tough. And all this stuff is hard work. So who am I to say that that whatever the person is that out there they feel like they're working hard. Who am I to apply my standard to their work ethic right like that it's that they feel like they're working hard then they're working hard. That's how they feel how I look at it in terms of the team is are we being the most efficient that we can be are we providing them like the best tools for them to be able to do their job and if they feel like they're overworked then that's something that we can fix systemically or if it's specific to that individual like they're the only ones that feel like they work hard. You know how do we sort of tease that out of them to help so that you know they feel like it's fair. And I don't I don't want any one person with an organization that I have to rely on that person's hard work in order for us to be successful that's a failed system. Right. The system should not be like everybody needs to come in and kill themselves for 10 to 12 hours a day in order for Quickridge to be successful so that my vision as the president can be fulfilled. Right. That's not the point of this thing. I need to be able to provide an appropriate work environment and systems and processes and policies and everything else so that when everybody comes in they know exactly what they're doing. We're all like marching to the same be we are all walking towards the same goal. And then in that process. Yeah sure there's going to be hard work no doubt. Right. Like if you're coming here because we're a small business we can't afford to have like a department where you look around the department you're like well I don't really know what that person knows. I don't know what that person does like 80 people like we know what everybody does. Right. If one person calls out sick it has an impact it totally has an impact right because we don't have the. We just don't have the you know the capacity or the margins what are we going to call it to be to be able to flex up and say like OK we're going to have just three people that just kind of hanging out. And when people call in sick it sort of gives the opportunity for those people and step into that role. So yeah there's an expectation of hard work. We need to do a good job when we're very first on-boarding somebody that they understand the expectation right that they know that the job is not easy. Don't think there's a work ethic issue. I think there's a disconnect from probably management to people within the company of hey we need you to work hard in order fulfill our vision. And I also think that a lot of small businesses because they don't invest in their tech appropriately or they make bad tech decisions and we've made plenty bad decisions over our six and a half years. A lot of those times it creates unnecessary hard work for the team because a system down or something doesn't work. And so I have to do double entry into here in here and here in order to make sure that the CEO can get some print out on a report. Right. So it's always like that we're solving for resolving for me to go to look at a pretty report or resolve them for the job to get done quickly for like the best use of time for everybody on the team.
James Fratzke: [00:15:24] So let me shift gears to Ben gold and your personal life. So you personally. Are there any successful habits that you do day in day out that help set you up for success in your work week.
Ben Gold: [00:15:37] Yeah. So I get up every morning at 5:00 have all my clothes and everything laid out from the night before I get dressed in gym clothes. I go to Starbucks coffee and then I drive to the gym I go to this place called Motion fitness here in Irvine my class starts 6:00 a.m. I've been training with the same guy for almost about two years now. The group fitness high intensity interval training type thing. It's awesome. I get done with that at 6:55ish and get showered and change there at the gym. And I'm in here in the office were our office and Irvine also probably about like 7:35 - 7:40. So every morning Monday through Friday that's my same routine. I love routines. There's like there's a guy who's been on the news on the book tour recently that is a former Navy SEAL that wrote a book.
James Fratzke: [00:16:34] I think you're talking about Jaakko Willink right.
Ben Gold: [00:16:36] Yeah. And he talks about you know just if you can set your clothes out a night before. Do those things kind of set yourself up in the morning? So I literally don't have to think right. There's no decisions being made in the morning. I just have to wake up somehow stumble into the bathroom get changed right, without waking up my wife and get out the door without disturbing the kids. And then I drive the same way every day. I get to the workout class and all the things the guy tells us exactly what to do. In a group of people that can watch them if I get lost in anything and I've been doing you know there for a while now so I kind of know the drill. And then I you know shower change or drive to work the same way. So I've done a lot since I've been awake. I've been awake since five and by the time I get to work it's 7:40 so its almost three hours of like being awake and not having exercise and everything else. But I haven't had to make a single decision. So mentally I still feel really fresh and full of ideas and excited to get the day going everything else and then I sort of several and you know try to knock out the e-mail thing in the morning and kind of just take it from there. So if there was like a daily routine it's definitely that.
James Fratzke: [00:17:45] I think you touched on two things which are important. Which the first one is discipline like doing the same thing over and over again just is good for the soul. I think the second thing is cutting out those decisions. Like a lot of people think for 30 minutes what do I want to eat for lunch today. But what if you just ate the same thing over and over again lunches feel it's just to kind of keep you going. It doesn't always have to be Filet Mignon right. So I think that's a good call out.
Ben Gold: [00:18:12] Eat to live. Yeah. Yeah. You know we talk a lot about here at QuickBridge about decision bandwidths because we have underwriters or credit analysts that are making decisions about whether to say yes or no to a potential loan and we try to be careful about the number of decisions that they make in a day because every person only has so much suspicion bandwidth and so to your point if you're spending one of your larger decisions every day of like where am I going to get a lunch like it wears on you. You know I just it just makes it complicated. Now it's something that I need to be listening to myself because I always have a challenge every day of like well now what are you for lunch. And you know it's never easy. I need to do a better job pointed that out. But yes. Absolutely. The more that you can preplan for yourself or be in a routine of I'm definitely a believer in discipline is freedom. Since I started getting into that routine it's totally changed everything that I do because you become a lot more mindful about what time you go to bed what you eat at night you know. And then when you get into your day you just feel great. So it definitely has been a big game changer for me. Just having that discipline.
James Fratzke: [00:19:25] Right. Well let's talk a little bit about work life balance. Do you wake up at 5:00 you go to the gym. You go to work. What time do you leave the office typically?
Ben Gold: [00:19:35] I try to leave by like f 5:45 I'm usually home by about 6:15-6:30.
James Fratzke: [00:19:41] I mean obviously it's a little different for everybody but do you have what you would consider work life balance in your life.
Ben Gold: [00:19:47] So the greatest perspective on this I've heard I had an opportunity to meet Jamie Dimon and somebody asked him that question. And what he said it's like a barbell right for him. So he's got to work on one side and the family on the other and kind of like everything else in between. It doesn't matter all that much. And I sort of feel the same way. And what he said is that like if you try to break it down day by day so you're like OK. So for me I get home at 6:00 my I have two sons six and two. The Younger one goes to bed at 7:30 and the other one all the money goes to bed. Usually we try and get him down by 8:00 But he can manipulate us to stay up later. So there's not a lot of time there. Right if I were to think I quote unquote balance you know. So on a daily basis it's on me that when I get home to be present and with my kids and give them the opportunity to enjoy them as much as I can during that short window of time but there's not balance there. I've spent more time driving some more time like in a car throughout the day than I probably spent with my youngest my younger son. Right. And coverall amount of time like at the gym and getting dressed like all the stuff it's not like a fair balance. But the way he looked at it is like don't look at it like on a day to day basis look at it on a longer scale like a month or a year. Right. Right. If I look back on this month and I'm like OK did spend a lot of time with my family. Do we enjoy each other do we have like cool memories. It's obviously really helpful that my wife's documents everything on Instagram and/or Facebook or it's like OK we really did do a lot this month I guess was a cool month with the kids. You know that stuff always helps and you could just tell also in terms of you know with young children they did hold back their feelings and trying to be nice to make you feel good about yourself. So like if I'm not there for them or if I'm not if I'm if I'm not being present when I'm when I am physically there like you can tell right the way they interact with you is different. So I just I just try to always be mindful that as best I can often not perfect but I don't stress out about work life balance day to day. I try to think about it like as I'm thinking about the month or even longer term of OK how do I make sure that I'm you know allocating appropriately over the course of a longer period of time with my kids.
James Fratzke: [00:22:10] I think a lot of people whether you're an entrepreneur or a leader or just a human being we find ourselves getting stuck in these time traps like social media or YouTube as a successful leader. Do you get stuck in those time traps too and if you do like how do you work yourself out of them
Ben Gold: [00:22:27] Yeah I did. You know especially those like a lot of I like political news. There's a lot going on. It's hard for me to not be on Twitter to check out to see what whatever's going on or things that they mindful not to pay attention to in previous years it might have been fantasy sports. I had to remove myself from a lot of fantasy sports leagues. That type of stuff. There's not a whole lot right. I mean again can't go back to the discipline it's really trying to figure out who do I want to be as a business person who around me as a family person that type of thing. If those missing and those things congruent to the way I'm behaving. Then it's easy for me to audit myself to go like dude just cut that out. That's silly. You know focus your attention back here. And you know as long as I'm self-aware enough and being honest with myself I feel like I can I can navigate pretty well through the day without too many of those "Times sucks". And before you know you know a lot of the things you realize they really just our time sucks and they're not as important and it kind of goes away it's somewhat interesting. It's like sugar you know people go on these no sugar diets and suddenly realize oh maybe I didn't really need sugar all that much I wasn't you know I feel a lot better without it. Something like this time sucks. Maybe I don't need fantasy basketball. It's kind of a waste
James Fratzke: [00:23:51] What does success look like for you. Like what is your guiding light both professionally and personally. I guess it will probably tie in a little bit to what we just talked about with work life balance. I'd love to be able to kind of wrap it up into a very succinct thought.
Ben Gold: [00:24:06] There's another group of CEOs that I network with them. We've talked about a lot of these same things. And something that we've been exploring this year has been around purpose and I didn't have like clear purpose until recently and really what I want my purpose to be is to be a role model so that has become my guiding light. So that means for my kids the means for people that work here it's for anybody that I interact with but I hope that I can put myself where you know somebody interacts with me in any capacity and in my life and says hey you know what. Like that somebody that I think is doing good stuff whatever good stuff is. And I would like to try to emulate them because that's how I look at a lot of people that I look up to and like wow that I really enjoy the way that person does whatever that thing is right I'm going to do my best to emulate it in the way that I know how to do it or the way that's best for me. And I don't expect to impose my values on anybody or do anything other than to lead by example and to try to choose the right thing in any of these situations as they kind of come up. And for me that's served well where I don't necessarily have like an idea my mind of what success looks like let's just say like 10 15 20 years down the road if there is any one thing I take that back is any one thing that to me would be success is and sounds kind of silly of saying they were. But if you go to if you go to a wedding and my parents my parents were divorced when I was 15. If you go to a wedding and the mom and dad are still married and they're at the wedding together of their kid. So with my two boys getting married to a picture I have in my mind a success is my wife and I are there together at their wedding. And although it's just a moment in time the culmination of events that are had to occur in order to create that moment in time is what I want to see happen where it's like a great wedding. All of our family and friends are there and everything else. And my wife and I are there and we're happy. Right. Like that's like the one thing that if I had something in the future that I really want to anchor to it's that. And so it's you go through like day to day it's like OK well how do I how do I interacted today or how do I get to there. Sort of the one thing that I have in mind.
James Fratzke: [00:26:36] I think that's such a great example of creative goal setting though. Like Shaun White the snowboard extraordinaire there one of his crazy goal as he likes to set crazy goals is I want to wear this crazy sweater. Wow. I'm on the medal podium you know winning that gold medal. It says kind of like that fine kind of crazy idea. And so to your point you're saying hey my idea success is having this culminating moment where my wife and I are still together and we've positively impacted our children's lives and we get to enjoy this moment when they're getting married. All of the things that you have to do in order to get to that mission are so clear that I think even though it's a big idea it can help you make those smaller decisions as well.
Ben Gold: [00:27:23] Yeah so that's something that I've sort of worked through more recently but it's tough for sure.
James Fratzke: [00:27:30] You talked about your life goal and how you wanted to be a role model. In another word that jumps to mind that similar role model is mentor. Can you think of any mentors that really positively impacted you on your journey to run this successful company?
Ben Gold: [00:27:45] I've had a lot of really great mentors. I still have a lot of really great mentors so I'm involved in the organization called IPO which is what I was alluding to earlier with a group of CEOs. I happened to be to Chapter 45. I happened to be the second youngest guy in a chapter so it was a lot of guys that are just amazing people that really help because mostly because have been in situations that either in currently or recently and they can act as a sounding board and kind of give me their experience. The two guys that provided the ID and the money to start this business they've become great mentors in mind. One of them I started working at his company when I was a junior in college so him and I have known each other almost 15 years. So he's been a big part of my life and a lot of times he might never realize he's a mentor. But there are certain things I get from him so I really like the way that he is with his family and I like. You know I think you and I talked about this before but he lives a very low leverage lifestyle. Right. And by during his years where everybody else was spending a bunch of money he saved it and really at this stage of life in the mid 40s now is was able to take that and that bet on himself and is absolutely crushing. And then the other guy that is the partner in the business he's just think big. He really thinks way bigger than I could have ever thought of my own. And so having him in my life really helps because he's stuck on a problem and really it just requires you to step back and look at a bigger picture. And he's great at and both of you guys have just a ton of experience in the field in this field specifically. So it's great to have them you know in my corner and they own the majority of the business so I'm really the steward of their money. It just so happens that they also happen to be great mentors.so those are the two primary guys. And then through IPO actually get assigned a mentor. He's been incredible. So you know I just get I get a lot of mentorship but I think a lot of young leaders will probably experience the same thing where if you put yourself out there and you don't try to act like you know it all and that you're better than everybody else or smarter than everybody else then there is an older generation that wants to pay it forward and they're just selective of who they choose to pay it forward to. So you know the more opportunities I get in front of guys that you know are on the other side of this thing where they've put in their years and they've played all the dragons and now they're just enjoying life but want to tell their stories or mentor someone in some young leader it's out there for sure and so I've just been fortunate to be given the push.
James Fratzke: [00:30:46] Another resource that seems to have worked out for you is going to college you went to Cal State Fullerton. So did I so go Titans. What. There seems to be this narrative going on in the world today in relation to entrepreneurs or leaders and maybe just in a broad sense that the college system is broken and maybe it's better to just get into the workforce and start gaining your experience there. You've had some perspective. You've had some time. What's your first reaction to that.
Ben Gold: [00:31:19] I mean there's definitely for some guys. And again I kind of maybe just related to sports or there's some guys like LeBron James. I mean who is anyone to hold him back from entering the NBA straight out of high school. Right. Like he was ready. You know Mark Zuckerberg who's anyone to keep him in school he was ready. You know that type of thing. But there's only so many of those guys. Not everybody can claim to be the next Amazon or the next LeBron James. Mark Zuckerberg. I think sometimes you got to take a step back and be a little self-aware and realize that those guys are like once in a generation level talent. Right. Like it just doesn't that type of talent doesn't just exist everywhere in the world. More than likely you’re not that you know what I mean like I know I'm not that I know I'm not as talented as Zuckerberg or not even close. So part of it is like OK well what do I need to do in order to make myself better. Learn more about the world understand what's out there. And for most of us that requires going to college and colleges much more at least in my experience much more than education. And you don't have to go to some super expensive school Chapman or USC or anywhere else. You can get a great education that Cal State Fullerton. It's all in what you make of it. The power of going to USC or an Ivy League school or anything else is that the network and the opportunity that'll forge you once you get out of school. But a lot of times you can make that opportunity for yourself especially an artist give another point at Cal State Fullerton because Cal State Fullerton if you go to school like Cal State Fullerton in orange county and Orange County is an incredible market to meet people and to get out there and everybody loves a good underdog stories so like the fact that you know somebody came out to Cal State Fullerton that does well for themselves or works hard. I think people want to see that person do well. You know I don't think there's you know you hear a lot of you know like oh the Harvard MBA and haha they make fun of them like nobody is ever like oh look at that dumb Cal State Fullerton. That never happened. You know what. No one's going to talk trash on the underdog story. The guy who you know maybe you're not a lot of money or they had a situation with their parents during their high school or maybe in high school never even thought about college and just kind of ended up applying Cal State Fullerton for the last minute getting in and kind of going from there. That's why I love Fullerton like everybody that goes there has a just an awesome story at least a lot of the guys that I interact with and it's just cool. That's the type of story I want to invest in because you know that's the greater the stick-to-itiveness so many that you know what. Maybe you got knocked down a little bit in high school and that's why they didn't end up at like a higher in college or maybe they had a family situation. That's why they didn't end up in some name brand school. But everything that I got out of that education really helped me being a good leader be more thoughtful be more curious and really put me on the path to learning what I'd say more than anything in my experience. I don't hate to overgeneralize but when dealing with a college graduate versus a non-college graduate my experience has shown that the college graduate oftentimes can be a little bit more self-aware or more willing to make improvements. And again I don't want to overgeneralize it but oftentimes for the non-college graduates. If you're providing them constructive feedback it can be met with a little bit more resistance because I don't know if it's an insecurity or what. But just the sheer fact that they didn't have that additional education that additional exposure to other people more diversity more mm ideas that type of thing you know it can lend itself to leading to somebody being closed off. And so if for nothing else college gives an opportunity to meet new people learn new ideas. And like anything else. I mean if you go travel if you read anything the more you learn the more you realize you don't know. And that's a healthy place to be. As you enter the work world especially as a young person because if you come to a company like ours and you pretend like you know everything it's going to be difficult for you. You know in the beginning. Right. And so it's just it's just better to have that open mindedness. And again in my experience generally speaking those that graduated college tend to be a little bit more open minded. Maybe I'm biased because of my education but.
James Fratzke: [00:35:49] That sounds about right. As we get to the talent of our time together this is what I like to shifting to a rapid fire question. Q&A mode So I'll ask them things and you kind of just give me the first thing that jumps to mind is that sound doable.
Ben Gold: [00:36:03] Yep.
James Fratzke: [00:36:04] Cool. So here's the first question I love asking everyone is if you could write a postcard to anyone on the planet past or present. This could be a superstar or a family member. Who would you write the postcard to. And what would it say.
Ben Gold: [00:36:17] Howard Stern thank you for all the years of entertainment. I enjoyed listening to Howard in the morning.
James Fratzke: [00:36:24] I hear that little let me do a little personal connection to that real quick. My dad was never the type to shelter or censor anything from us so as he drove us to school in the morning we were listening to Howard Stern. So I have a close relationship with him as well when he was still on public radio before he went to Sirius. Yeah. Do you like to read Ben?
Ben Gold: [00:36:50] I do but I really like a lot of other short essays I'll read books I'm reading the book right now. that book is great. Especially can i go back to Cal State Fullerton real quick? like really the books that really stuck there are now Grit. And then David versus Goliath those really aren't my two favorites right now. Malcolm Gladwell.
James Fratzke: [00:37:14] Yep that's a good one. What I like about that one is he goes to the story of David and Goliath and you realize that David just kind of changed the rules. Goliath was challenging somebody his size with his acumen. But David came and just did it differently and I think there's a good narrative there.
Ben Gold: [00:37:31] Well it's like who has the advantage. You know when you really think about it right and like anything you know who has the advantage in certain situations.
James Fratzke: [00:37:39] Is there a topic or subject that you're super curious about and it keeps you up at night.
Ben Gold: [00:37:43] There's nothing that I'm like I'm really that's sort of out there that I'm like so overly consumed with that I can't stop learning more about it. You know you just sort of like interested to see what comes of like self-driving cars and if that's going to be a huge game changer for society. And from the sidelines rooting for a lot of these guys like you I'm certain Jeff Bezos and you know Max (n floating and all these dudes like that seem to be doing really good things and hopefully that sets the example for what the future is going to be. I went to this really cool talk from Peter Diamantis. He runs Singularity University and he's this the whole theory of abundance and just talking about how much the future would be different it was super inspiring all that stuff so I don't think about it too much because I don't plan on getting involved in any of that. I just want to be a consumer and enjoy more of it. And in any way I can cheer them on being great. For me it's you know like raising two small children just making sure that I'm being a good dad and making it home every day.
James Fratzke: [00:38:55] Well that's important, and speaking of that let's get this next one is going to be a little bit personal but Ryan and I are parents got divorced 13. It sucks right. Like it impacts your life and I think you made a point that I resonate with which is that's why marriage is going to be so much more important to us because we went through that experience of having parents get divorced so for you. What is that one takeaway that you could share with an entrepreneur or a leader somebody that works long hours that's trying to make their marriage work. Like what's the one thing that makes your marriage successful. If you could boil it down to one tip or trick.
Ben Gold: [00:39:33] It's making a decision every day to be successful at everything that you're doing right. So if your you need to be successful work you know you need to do in order to do that if you need to be successful at home that you need you. I truly believe everybody knows what they need to do in order to do it right setting with fitness. I like it. It's not overly complicated fitness you just have to go in every day and workout just nobody wants to do that. Right. Like I don't want to have to do every day I just have to be super nice to my wife and be helpful and be present everything else is just like I think a lot of times you get sort of stuck in the day and you're like it's hard now for me to choose to be too busy to be nice. You know sometimes there's just those days that happen right. And then those days can be two weeks or months and then the whole thing and then that sort of relationship deters. So it's like every single day I'm making the decision I'm like OK I'm not feel like it but I'm going to do it because I know that's the right thing to do. So the easiest now I think is the fitness but it was work like I know what you do every day. I can choose to not do it.
Ben Gold: [00:40:34] No problem I can just be lazy and sit here not go to the things I need to go through. You know we'll have one outcome or I can choose to do the right thing and we'll have a different outcome. And same thing for marriage. So it's just like being mindful of the stuff being self-aware and choosing to be successful in everything.
James Fratzke: [00:40:53] Right. All right. Two more questions this one super rapid fire so you got to rattle it up fast but can you go to Starbucks in the morning before the gym. What's your drink order.
Ben Gold: [00:41:03] Just a blonde roast drip.
James Fratzke: [00:41:07] Yeah that makes sense. Nice and simple. I wasn't sure because you said Starbucks and I think oh what are you getting the caramel macchiato that seems counterintuitive. And then the last question.
James Fratzke: [00:41:18] And as we wrap up our time together is there one thing that you'd like to share with the audience that you didn't get to share today. Principle something that's important to you that you think would be meaningful to share.
Ben Gold: [00:41:29] I just say like a cross of kindness like if everybody could just be kind and thoughtful and self-aware will be great. I'm not saying I'm perfect but it's something I think about often and you'd be surprised if you think about it in that way. How complete the other parts of your life and the impact it has.
James Fratzke: [00:41:50] I think that's a good takeaway to end on now where can people stay up to date if they want to you know get in contact with you or they want to see what you're up to. What's the best place online for them to do that?
Ben Gold: [00:41:59] I'd probably check LinkedIn the most centers of interacting you know. If somebody wants to shoot me a message online, then it's gold. QuickBridge it's pretty easy to find I'm usually pretty good about responding to those if as long as they mention how they came to know me. You know I don't usually accept invitations or in mail from people I really truly don't know. But outside of that I don't, I'm an absorber of social media like Twitter primarily. I'm really I'm not a participant. If that makes sense.
James Fratzke: [00:42:30] Right now take a passive approach. I'm the same way. So all right Ben Well thank you so much for your time today. We appreciate it and have a good rest.
Ben Gold: [00:42:40] Awesome thank you.
Rand Fishkin Explains Why Meeting Your Customer Where They Are Is The Future
What Mid-Size Companies Should Invest In to Ensure Their Future