Rocket IT Business Podcast | Brandon Hutchins | Leading Change Through Influence | Ep. 22
In episode 22 of the Rocket IT Business Podcast, Matt Hyatt sits down with fellow entrepreneur and CEO of Gaskins Surveying and Engineering, Brandon Hutchins.
As an employee turned business owner, Brandon’s passion for supporting his peers makes him an amazing steward of the organizations he leads.
As if one business weren’t enough to keep him busy, Brandon is involved in multiple businesses at the same time, while serving as a hands-on coach for his leadership team at work and the new entrepreneurs he mentors.
In This Episode, You’ll Hear More About:
- The transition from employee to owner
- The Influence Model
- How to grow through acquisitions
- Managing multiple businesses at once
- Serving as a pastor at work
Gaskins Survey and Engineering
Integrity Construction Management
Colleen Frangos (00:00:00):
Today’s podcast is brought to you by Rocket IT. Experiencing malware, data loss, or a recurring technical glitch? Your technology should be seamless to your team. Visit Rocket IT.com/roadmaphelp or click the link in the video’s description to see how you can benefit from one of our personalized roadmaps. [inaudible]
Matt Hyatt (00:00:34):
Hello everyone. I’m your host, Matt Hyatt. And this is show number 22 of the Rocket IT business podcast. Today we’re talking with my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Brandon Hutchins. Before we dive in, let me tell you a few things I like about Brandon. First and foremost, Brandon has a big heart for people around him and I think that shows in everything he does. He’s an employee turned business owner, and he’s been an amazing steward of the organizations he leads and yes, that’s right organizations, plural as if one business weren’t enough to keep him busy. Brandon is involved in multiple businesses at the same time. Brandon is also a very hands-on coach for the leadership team at work. He leads a men’s group through his church and actively supports and mentors, other entrepreneurs all while raising a family with his wife, Nancy. Brandon, welcome to the show.
Brandon Hutchins (00:01:21):
scraping here. Thanks man.
Matt Hyatt (00:01:23):
And I’m so glad to sit down with you. We had a little chat beforehand catching up a little bit, but I always enjoy spending time with you. Brandon, you live on the other side of town, so we don’t get to see each other in person too often, but glad for technology like zoom, let us get together and hang out a little bit.
Brandon Hutchins (00:01:41):
way on the other side of the world in Marietta, Georgia.
Matt Hyatt (00:01:44):
That’s right. Well, you know, it’s probably not very many miles, but as we all know, traffic is horrendous around here even during the pandemic. And so,
Brandon Hutchins (00:01:52):
but it’s still, it’s still not just skipping the job.
Matt Hyatt (00:01:56):
So I want to kind of start off in the way back machine here a little bit, I know you graduated from Georgia tech, which means you’re super sharp. I know that engineering background right out of school, you landed the job, a little tiny company called Kirsten young. I’d love to kind of hear a little bit about that. How did that happen? Was that your, your aim and was it what you expected when you, when you got in there?
Brandon Hutchins (00:02:22):
Yeah, I’ve thought through that period of time a lot, and I have a senior in high school. I have one in college and one is a senior in high school and two that are younger, but we’ve been talking about college and we’ve been talking about career and all that kind of stuff. And to be honest, man, I didn’t know. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I you know, I liked math. I like the technical side of things and I was thinking about sports to a certain degree. And anyway, I ended up going to tech and without that vision, for what I wanted to do With my life and I kind of looked around, I was very driven. The joke that I kind of have is I kind of looked around and said, well, the Coke building is kind of one of the biggest buildings I sure would like to be the CEO of Coke one day. So
Matt Hyatt (00:03:16):
There you go. There’s still a chance.
Brandon Hutchins (00:03:18):
Yeah, there’s still a chance. But you know, I, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And consulting really felt like a great Avenue for me. It’s like, you know, I’m going to be exposed to businesses. Hopefully I can add some value to them along the way. And you know, it was a really good fit for me. It was great, because there were just a ton of sharp people. I loved the way they structured their business and got to travel a lot, which at the time was kind of cool. I don’t know if I’d love that today, but back then it was nice and just made a ton of friends. And I think one of the things that I really enjoyed at Ernst and young, they did a good job of showing you how to, how to do well. They define success for you, you know? So it was like, Hey, if you want to win here, here are the bullets, you know, in my personality is like, give me a checklist or a bullet list. And I’m like, yeah, that. So if I want to do well, that’s what I have to do to either, you know, get good ratings or get promoted to the next level. And I appreciated that and they did that while connecting the culture piece of the equation. So I think that was the first time my eyes were open to what a good culture look like. And I really enjoyed just being with the people and meeting tons of friends that really, I kept in touch with even some to this day. So I was only there for two and a half years and it probably felt like 10 as fun as it was, we, we worked a lot. That was you know, that’s kind of, you know, somewhat of the tradition as the younger folks in the organization. We, we worked a lot and but I enjoyed it, you know, I think when you’re doing something that you’re enjoying you, the time seems to fly, you know?
Matt Hyatt (00:05:21):
Brandon Hutchins (00:05:21):
And so we, yeah, I piled in the hours in that period of time.
Matt Hyatt (00:05:27):
So you mentioned something that I think a lot of young people face is, you know what, before we know it, we’re legally an adult before we know it, you know, 20, 22 years, 25 years old and not everyone’s sort of figured out what they want to do yet. I think college can be a great place to figure that out, but I am curious your, your degree at Georgia tech, did that kind of line up with what you were doing at Ernst young?
Brandon Hutchins (00:06:00):
So as an I E it’s kind of, it’s definitely not open-ended, but I think what I ended up doing and consulting was not traditional industrial engineering work. I think traditional industrial engineering work would be more like maybe being a production manager or assembly line manager at a distribution center, you know, maybe even, maybe even air traffic control, you know, things that deal with scheduling and time and efficiency and process. That’s really a lot of what I used to do but I think that’s one of the reasons why Ernst and young and really at the time, the big six consulting firms really liked IE’s because it was kind of a people dynamic and a process. And those were kind of the big buzz words at the time, people process and technology. And so, you know, at tech, you had the technology and the IEP process and, you know, I think they, they were looking for people that could relate with other people too. So it seemed to be a good fit.
Matt Hyatt (00:07:14):
Yeah. So what was the, what was the transition from there to Gaskins and am I missing anything in the middle or was it, Hey, I’m leaving arts and young I’m going to work for, for Gaskins.
Brandon Hutchins (00:07:27):
It was tough. It was tough. I probably here’s, here’s the little
Matt Hyatt (00:07:30):
Cause Gaskins was as a small business, when you joined, right?
Brandon Hutchins (00:07:33):
Matt Hyatt (00:07:34):
You probably came from this very rigid, structured environment to something less than that.
Brandon Hutchins (00:07:38):
So quick backstory, because I feel like it’s, it’s important. So Gaskins Gaskins was founded by my stepdad, Johnny Gaskins. And so when I was growing up, Johnny, it was very important for him, for me to work. Even though I played a bunch of sports and was really involved in school and church, he was like, when you’re not playing a sport, you’re going to work. And so every summer and winter I was working on a field crew at Gaskins. And so to be honest, I hated it. I mean, I hated it. I just you know the, especially in the summertime with the, the bees and the sweat and, you know, I just, I, I, I knew early on that it would be better for me to use my brain than my brawn in my work. And I have tons of respect for folks that do, you know, have a trade and, and really work with their hand. You know, I just, that’s just not, wasn’t going to be my best for sure. So anyway, I just, in my mind, when I thought of a career for me, I felt Gaskins was the least place in the whole world that I wanted to go work. And really the only reason that I did.
Matt Hyatt (00:09:03):
What a cruel twist of fate.
Brandon Hutchins (00:09:05):
Yeah. You know, I guess as part of my life, and maybe this is, you know, just part of my story, my faith has been, you know, it’s the most important thing to me. And, and it’s really the reason why I came to Gaskins. I really felt like both me and my wife, Nancy, we both just felt led that I needed to talk to Johnny about potentially coming to Gaskins and I did not want to do it, but I felt like that’s what I was supposed to do. And I’ll save some of the details of kind of what actually happened. But Johnny actually was offered to sell the business in 99. And ultimately he decided not to, and he wanted to grow the business. And so he was like, why don’t you come on board and help us grow the business and help us grow the business. And he was a funny guy. He was like, he, he was a very shoot from the hip type of a person and highly relational. And he Matt, you know, me, I’m a very structured you know, linear thinker type of a person. So we’re pretty opposite. And he, his, his offer to me started with, you know, Brandon, I don’t even know what you do really at Ernst and young, but I just want you to come over here and just do to Gaskins what you do to all these other companies. And you know, as someone who needs clear expectation and needs clear direction, that was the direction that I got. It was kind of, like
Matt Hyatt (00:10:41):
So he didn’t give you the bulleted list?
Brandon Hutchins (00:10:41):
Yeah. I said, can you define my job a little more than that? And then he was like, no, you’ll figure it out. And so as someone who, whenever I do not have structure around me, I’m usually one to try to immediately create structure. So I would, I would always bring my job responsibilities to Johnny and say, Hey, this is okay if I do this. And he’s like, I don’t care. Yes, yes. Do it.
Matt Hyatt (00:11:11):
So you’re a pretty humble guy, but what was this a rescue situation of, Hey, Brandon, come in and turn things around or was it really just, you know what, I’ve got a plan now and it’s to, you know, to the moon baby, and I want you to come help me.
Brandon Hutchins (00:11:28):
It wasn’t, it wasn’t a rescue because, you know, Johnny was doing just fine. And the business was a nice business. They have 40, 40 to 50 people at that time. He started in 75. So that was about 25 year is 25 year old business. And they were doing fine, but there were things that I hadn’t been exposed to when I was working there through time that I knew needed to change that he wanted to change. I think he just wanted it to be better. And he wanted to, he knew that grow the business at the time, really focused on him. Like every all roads came back to Johnny and that was, he was kind of in an unhealthy place personally. And so I think he needed, he needed help taking the business to the next level,
Matt Hyatt (00:12:29):
Brandon Hutchins (00:12:29):
Or, or as we used to say, going from an entrepreneurial type of a business to a professional organization. And that’s what we did. We did a lot of that working together. But, but back to your last question, man, it was like oil and water. I mean, it was really hard because the environments were just completely different for sure.
Matt Hyatt (00:12:57):
Right. Well, I know a lot of businesses dare. I say, most businesses do hit certain plateaus and certainly for a smaller organization, one of the plateaus is okay, everything’s tied to the entrepreneur. And how do you disconnect from that? And how do you develop a leadership team that has not just responsibility, but authority to make decisions and things like that. And then of course there are the processes, you know, I can’t imagine the, probably a more stark difference between an organization like Ernst and young and pretty much any small business,
Brandon Hutchins (00:13:33):
Matt Hyatt (00:13:33):
You know, in terms of structure there’s just, it’s going to be night and day, I would think so. I’m curious. What, so what was your approach and what happened? What, what, what are we talking about here? Are we talking about, Hey, come on in 1999 and two years later, everything’s humming. Is that how it kind of worked or was there more more to it?
Brandon Hutchins (00:13:55):
Matt Hyatt (00:13:58):
And by the way. And when you joined was the plan I’m going to own this business someday?
Brandon Hutchins (00:14:04):
No, my plan, well, that might’ve been part of Johnny’s plan, but that was not part of my plan. You know, I really thought I’m going to get in and get out. I’m going to, I’m going to get in and I’m going to change a bunch of stuff. And I’m going to get back to the dream that I had, you know,
Matt Hyatt (00:14:28):
How’s that working for you?
Brandon Hutchins (00:14:28):
And here I am 21 years later after that, but you know, but it really hurt me the way I approached what I did. The results were good. We, we experienced a lot of growth. We went from like 3.4 or 5 million to 4.8 to 8 million the first year. And we went, wow. We went from, actually, I remember we had 56 employees to like 47. So we went down in employees and up in revenue
Matt Hyatt (00:15:01):
That helps about a….Usually.
Brandon Hutchins (00:15:02):
Yeah. Johnny was very happy that that was so good. He w he was happy, but to, I tell ya, I I think I pressed a lot of buttons and pulled levers in the right ways for the business, what the business needed, but it was personally very difficult for me because I wasn’t, I, I don’t at that time in my career, I would just say, I didn’t see people. Well, it was just more like moving chess pieces on the board, implementing strategy and really forcing my agenda more than really doing things with care. And, you know, I kinda viewed my job a little bit as Johnny’s linchpin, you know,
Matt Hyatt (00:15:50):
Brandon Hutchins (00:15:50):
You know, it’s like all the things that he kind of secretly wanted to do, basically, I was like, well, I’m going to go do them immediately. And I don’t even care what the repercussions are because they need to happen. And as you can imagine, I wasn’t the most popular person in the room. And if I would’ve known that I would be here 21 years later, I, I probably would have gone about things a little bit differently, but I think I would do things differently anyway, kind of knowing what I know now and really the change that has occurred in my life as a leader.
Matt Hyatt (00:16:31):
Right. Yeah. I mean, just saying, you know, the word linchpin and not taking people into account so much is sort of the polar opposite of the Brandon Hutchins. I know. So I’m sure we’ll get into a little bit of how that version of you is developed and, and gotten there. So I know from talking with you in the past and from my show notes here, that you spent about six years as employee, and what happened during that time and sort of changed your mindset. You know what, I, I we’re, I really want to own this. I want to run it and I want to own it. How did that occur?
Brandon Hutchins (00:17:13):
Well, the running, it was a different path than the owning it path, for sure. Yeah. The running it part. I think over time as I began to change as a leader, I really began to see, I mean, honestly, as, as I began to change personally, as it relates to people and the way I saw people in the way I wanted to care for people, it was interesting how I to enjoy my job a whole lot more and develop relationships, friendships, clients, employees, and it kind of, you know, it really turned from the thing that I at least wanted to do in my whole life to something that was so I was so grateful for. And I have just a tremendous amount of gratitude for the opportunities that I’ve had along the way. I guess when I became CEO, I was like 31 or 32.
Matt Hyatt (00:18:19):
Wow. Pretty young still. Yeah. And was Johnny still better at that?
Brandon Hutchins (00:18:25):
Yeah. Johnny was there and he, you know, I just, I feel, I, I feel so bad about the way I, I’ve just learned so many things about being the number one versus being the number two and probably as being the number two. I think you just have a propensity to look at number one and think of all the things that they should be doing better or why they’re not perfect and why the attributes that you have are better than the attributes. That number one has, you know, you begin to inflate your own virtue and deflate the virtue of the person above you. I actually, I think you can do that, not just on a one two, but anytime you look at a supervisor and you feel like you should be promoted and, you know, I just felt like Johnny was so gracious with me. He was so patient and gracious. I was so driven and I wanted more. And he, he just gave me enough rope to do what I needed to do, but also enough accountability to kind of keep me in check. And, you know, I think he just knew it was time when he began to see me start really loving people, I think was when he really started to consider, Hey, I think Brandon can lead this organization and it’s time. And the real, I know this is something that you want to talk about at some point, but there was a, there was a person Jeremy Kubitschek was a real influencer in our transition of the business. And
Matt Hyatt (00:20:15):
So Jeremy has been a guest on our podcast before, and many of our listeners are familiar with giant. So good. Yeah.
Brandon Hutchins (00:20:21):
Yeah. So Jeremy, I met Jeremy in 2003 at a, at a conference and we hit it off immediately and we circled back about a year later. And then we started working together. He started working with me and with Johnny and our leadership team and helped really Johnny to begin to transition the business. And there was really one day we were in the conference room and Jeremy did this and he said, I want you all each to take 15 minutes. And write down on a piece of paper, what do you actually want to do? And what do you think you’re good at? And we both wrote down the pieces of paper, slid it over to Jeremy. And he’s like, I’m just going to read these out loud. And he’s like, Johnny, you don’t even want to be the CEO. And you don’t even think you think Brandon would be, you know, it was like all these things. It’s like, why don’t, why don’t we just let Brandon be the CEO and.
Matt Hyatt (00:21:21):
Brandon Hutchins (00:21:22):
Matt Hyatt (00:21:24):
No, that, that was Jeremy’s idea basically.
Brandon Hutchins (00:21:27):
Well, yeah. It’s like,
Matt Hyatt (00:21:29):
I mean, I guess it was Johnny’s idea, but he’s the one that brought it out of you.
Brandon Hutchins (00:21:33):
Well, on the two pieces of paper, it was so clear that Johnny wanted to be in more of a founder type role and more of a mentor type role on the technical stuff. And he was like, I don’t want to run the business. And Brandon that’s, this is what he wants to do. And he’s good at it, you know? And it was like this epiphany. And literally, I think maybe the day was February late, February of 2006. He, we had a town hall meeting March the third and he was like, okay, you’re going to be the CEO. We’re going to announce it today.
Matt Hyatt (00:22:09):
Brandon Hutchins (00:22:09):
And I was like, what? Like, I don’t know about that. And I actually, it was very emotional. I keep this behind my desk, but Johnny he had this hammer that is, that his dad gave him. And he said, I don’t have this anything too special, but I just want you to see this as assemble of me passing the gavel to you. And so I keep it, I keep it here behind my desk.
Matt Hyatt (00:22:44):
Love it. It shows up pretty well
Brandon Hutchins (00:22:44):
Yeah. there’s a lot of backstory and I won’t bore you with a lot of backstory from 2006 to 10, but essentially he was diagnosed with ALS in 2007, the recession we started to be, we started to feel the effects of the recession of late 2007. And God-lee, if you want to hear more, I’ll tell you more. But through that period of time, it was, it was pretty dicey. And as we talked about ownership, as he was getting more sick, it was something that I was very interested in, but I wasn’t, you know, I, I wasn’t really sure about our future as a company or my future and my role and what was I going to do with the rest of my life. And so I was, I was really hesitant about going the ownership route, but anyway.
Matt Hyatt (00:23:45):
I would imagine, You know, and the really, I guess we would call this the construction industry once you started to see it. I don’t think there were a lot of people diving in and say, you know, I want a piece of this action,
Brandon Hutchins (00:24:02):
But yeah, it was it was scary. And actually Jeremy, once again, was an influencer in in that decision and, you know, I was, it was 2010 and we were talking and I was like, well, maybe, maybe giant. And we can talk about that later, but you know, is there going to be a path of recovery for Gaskins and Jeremy, he said to me, you know, he’s like, you’re too committed. You’re like, you, you will not leave. You will not leave this thing in the works. I know you too. Well, you know, he said, if, you know, stop thinking that you might just do something different. Cause you won’t, you’re going to see this thing through. So you might as well, you might as well buy it, own it, you know, for your efforts, if, if it does work out. And, and so that was really the push that I needed. And I ended up buying half of the business, which I could have never afforded, you know, years before, but we had, we, we were hurt very badly in the recession big time.
Matt Hyatt (00:25:17):
Right. So you ended up buying the business in 2010, by that time you’d been in there 10, 11 years, something like that. What a, what a cool story. I, you know, I think that there are lots of, lots of folks out there that sort of dream of being an entrepreneur someday and struggle to figure out how to, how to make it happen. And, you know, there are extenuating circumstances here. There are fortuitous circumstances here in a Johnny owning the business and, you know, being your stepdad and, but you made it happen and he made it happen amidst a crisis really in the industry. And it seems like it’s working out. Okay. it seems like it’s gonna work out fine.
Brandon Hutchins (00:26:04):
Well, multiple people, you know, when, as in the last five years are like, of course you would have. And I’m like, well, I’ll tell ya. It was probably the riskiest move I’d ever made in my life.
Matt Hyatt (00:26:19):
Right. You’re not a big risk taker, are you?
Brandon Hutchins (00:26:19):
Yeah you know, me well enough to know that I’m I’m pretty safe, I’m in the safe zone. And it was definitely the most money I’d ever, you know, when going into debt it was, it was in hindsight it was like, yeah, it’s greatest decision, you know, from a business standpoint that I had made, but at the time it was, it was tough.
Matt Hyatt (00:26:46):
Yeah. So tell, tell me, what does Gaskins look like today? What’s, what’s sort of the primary focus and how big is it? Where, where do you do work? Tell us a little bit about that. And then I think we’re going to move on from it.
Brandon Hutchins (00:26:59):
Okay. Gaskins is a surveying and engineering company in Marietta, Georgia. We do have four offices. We serve most of Georgia and some of surrounding States. And so when I say civil engineering, really I’m talking about like civil site work. So we might design residential neighborhoods or commercial retail, that kind of stuff. We do a lot of different surveying and for public private municipal industries. We, so I’ll just give you this stat. So we had gotten down to 18 employees and we’re probably about one and a half million in revenue. And the recession at that point of our top 20 customers that we had at the time 18 of those 20 either went out of business or stopped doing work altogether as amazing. And so what our industry looked like before the recession looked completely different growing out of the recession. And so, you know, now we have about a hundred people or offices we’re in Lawrenceville, we’re in Newnan and we’re in Canton. And two of those happen through acquisition and one was more of an organic growth situation, but yeah.
Matt Hyatt (00:28:26):
Awesome. So we may, we may come back and touch on that topic just a little bit because there’s, you know, there that we could do a whole podcast on just, you know, how, how to grow an organization, how to scale and how to do it well, and there’s lots of lots to unpack in there potentially of, for example, how do you, how do you develop a leadership team to do that? Well, how do you have a geographically dispersed team? That’s not, you know, you’ve got four times the overhead that I do with my one location over here. And so how do you, how do you do that? You know, there there’s a lot that we get into there, but, but there’s a lot of other things I want to cover too. And I’d like to kind of go back to the giant part because that’s how you and I met, right. We were both active and helping with what Jeremy was doing and giant. So tell us a little bit about that. At some point you transitioned from being a customer of giant to really roll up your sleeves and becoming part of giant. Tell us about how that happened.
Brandon Hutchins (00:29:27):
Well, I was, I’ll just say that I was so impacted by Jeremy and my time kind of in those early years that as giant impact came, I was a part of buying into that and kind of the whole leadership company that was created there. And I think my exposure to the content with Jeremy and the content through giant impact, and then ultimately when he came together with Steve Cochran it, it was kind of embedded in me and it had created so much change in the way I thought about things and my life and my purpose. It was just like, why would I, I, I’ve got to give, I’ve got to give away. What’s been given to me. And so I, it, it really wasn’t even a question of what I’d be involved in giant worldwide is just like, how much can I, that reasonably makes sense? And so you and I, in those early days when giant worldwide was formed driving to, I think Jacksonville, is that what we drove to Jacksonville.
Matt Hyatt (00:30:46):
Yeah it was either Jacksonville or Gainesville.
Brandon Hutchins (00:30:46):
getting our Myers-Briggs training, kind of getting ready, which was awesome. I mean, I loved the, just kind of like more tools in the tool belt on growing myself and also people around me and my business and to help others. So that was that, that was a fun, that was a fun little journey.
Matt Hyatt (00:31:06):
It was so giant, worldwide. Yeah. You and I kind of came up together through that. And one of the cool things about giant worldwide is they’ve done a great job. I think of taping, taking leadership principles and concepts and turning them into a vocabulary and really simple illustrations or tools so that they’re memorable and easy to deploy and use in an organization. There you go. Exactly. There’s the toolkit right there. I know that I have, I have some of my favorite tools out of, out of that toolkit. I’m curious. What’s what are some of your favorites? What are the ones that are go-to for you?
Brandon Hutchins (00:31:50):
Well, some of the, probably some of the more foundational ones are the ones that I use all the time, and it’s hard to just name them and not describe them. But there’s one about knowing yourself to lead yourself, you know, there’s men that I just feel like that’s so applicable. There’s one called the influence model where I, it was really a part of Jeremy and I’s time together in the early two thousands when he developed it and I kinda was tweaking it and living it and implementing it. And so naturally that, that tool, you know, you probably made me cry if I think about all the, all the, all the impact that it’s had in my life and, and others, but, you know, we, I use that and, and hiring recruiting and hiring, yeah. Building trust.
Matt Hyatt (00:32:47):
Just a quick overview of what the influence model is.
Brandon Hutchins (00:32:53):
Yeah, sure. There, so essentially the influence model is a tool that’s used to help almost give a linear path on how to have influence with another person, how to build influence with another person, how to go beyond a transactional relationship, to basically a meaningful in-depth relationship with somebody else. Or if you, there is a relationship in your life and you don’t have the level of influence that you think you should have, or would like to have. It’s a, it’s kind of a diagnosis tool that I, you know, I’m like, why do I not have relationship? And it can help you with that. So the four concepts that I use the most for hiring and recruiting are building trust. Basically, you’ve got to check four boxes, character, chemistry, competence, and credibility. So when my team, when we’re looking at folks, we’re, we’re trying to check those boxes. And we use that language to communicate with each other and like hand this really smart candidate. They, we know that they know their stuff, but, but they can’t really translate it in a way that connects to what we need in our business, which is a credibility issue, right. Or man, they’re really smart, but there was just no connection whatsoever. It seemed like they, you know, they, they only cared about winning or it was all about money to them. And so that’s more of a chemistry character issue. So we use that pretty frequently in our language.
Matt Hyatt (00:34:40):
Yeah. I think those are great concepts to be thinking about because I, I know, I know from experience and I bet you do too, when you decide that you need to hire another person and add them to the team, usually it’s, well, I don’t need them. Now. We try to plan for those things and we’ll probably get better at it over time. But oftentimes when you’re trying to grow a business, I need that person three weeks ago, or I’ve opened a position and it takes three months to fill it by the time that it actually gets filled. Wow. We’re really kind of hurting for this position. So often there’s a lot of pressure to pick the first human that walks through the door that knows the stuff.
Brandon Hutchins (00:35:24):
And man it’s hard to say, no, it’s hard to say no, when you know, you have a need. Right.
Matt Hyatt (00:35:30):
Yeah, Exactly. So I like the idea of intentionally going through those four check boxes as you call them, just to make sure that it’s right, because we all know that. Well, I think we do, maybe, maybe we don’t all know, but, but you, and I know that as painful as it is to be without someone in a position it’s way worse to go ahead and get the wrong person in the position and then just deal with that.
Brandon Hutchins (00:36:00):
Matt Hyatt (00:36:01):
just takes, it takes a Lot. So I like the intentionality. So I want to talk a little bit about that acquisition piece that you were discussing. This is, this is something that I certainly have a master at. I think some of our listeners probably would be interested to hear how, how does, how does that work? How, first of all, how do you find an acquisition target? How do you decide whether or not it’s a, it’s a good move for your business and the other person. And is your approach typically to bring the entrepreneur along with that acquisition? Or are you really looking for an asset type purchase? Can you tell us a little bit about how you, how you go about that?
Brandon Hutchins (00:36:47):
Well, I wish there was like a one path and a clear path for each of the acquisitions that I’ve done and I’ve done more than just for the new locations. I think the consistent thing in all the acquisitions have all been about just trying to find great people. And
Matt Hyatt (00:37:12):
So it’s more about the talent rather than necessarily the customer base,
Brandon Hutchins (00:37:17):
Right? Which in my business, you know, we’re a service-based business. And so you’re really only as good as your people because our people are, they’re the ones doing all the interfacing with the clients and producing the product and with the counties and municipalities. And so there, you know, so anyway, I, it has been a good mechanism to, to, to draw in great talent. And sometimes it’s been very intentional to try to go into another location as we’ve strategically said, Hey, we want to be in Lawrenceville. But, but the Lawrenceville was probably more of a, it was more of an organic growth situation. So I have been intentional to look for opportunities. The best connections have always been through just word of mouth and people just making people connections. And, and then after that, it just starts, with just getting to know people for me, this is my way is the chemist. The character chemistry piece is, you know, when comes to an acquisition character, chemistry leads by eons. You know, it’s like it is a big deal for a person who owns a business to give up ownership of their business and understand that is a big deal a big deal to have it and to carry the weight of responsibility. So I know when I’m talking to somebody who, who has been carrying that weight, you know, I’ve just tried to sit in their shoes and say, is my situation better than their current situation and how can I make it better, the perfect fit, you know? And so I, this is part of knowing myself is I really love business. I enjoy the business part, you know, the complexities, the, you know, the, just the internal guts of a business. And a lot of people in my industry who have small firms, they’re kind of the, the maybe more entrepreneurial. And so they don’t really love the business part. They just kind of accidentally got into that part. You know,
Matt Hyatt (00:39:48):
Brandon Hutchins (00:39:48):
they were just great at what they did good at the profession, but they’ve kind of hit a wall and can’t get to the next level. And so for me, I’ve kind of identified. So you know, more generally, it’s a identify who are you and what do you want? And from an acquisition standpoint, who is the best candidate for you to merge with? And for me, it’s merging with that entrepreneurial type person that needs help with their business.
Matt Hyatt (00:40:19):
Brandon Hutchins (00:40:19):
And I want people who are just great with serving others and doing a great job with their trade, whether it be engineering or surveying,
Matt Hyatt (00:40:28):
You know, I kind of feel like it just leans back a little bit on the influence model deal, because my experience has been that few entrepreneurs are willing to offer up, Hey, you know what, I’m really in over my head here. And I’m really struggling and I need help. Can you help me? You know, not many, not many people are willing to do that really at all.
Brandon Hutchins (00:40:49):
Which is the whole piece of self preservation, right. Influence model is, will people be willing to admit that they’re holding on to things that really are outside of their strengths zone and do they want to change, you know, do they want to be healthier and happier in their business situation?
Matt Hyatt (00:41:10):
Hmm. Yeah. I love it. Well, I think you must be quite good at it for four is a pretty good, pretty good number. You’re shaking your head.
Brandon Hutchins (00:41:20):
I mean, I would say mostly I’ll pray about it and you know, and I can’t tell you, this is probably important to know I’ve had so many conversations, so many, you know, every acquisition transaction that happens, you know, it’s maybe five to 10 to one, you know, it just it’s, you know, the first conversation is easy. Second conversation is easy and then you started getting to the details, right. And then, you know, and then that’s where the self-preservation part kicks in with a lot of folks and, and a lot of times money and real estate, you know, those, those are just typical roadblocks. And ultimately at the end of the day, the person has to be willing to let go, right? The control piece is the number one piece at the end of the day. And it may make sense in every logical way, but they say, you know what? I just can’t do it.
Matt Hyatt (00:42:27):
Brandon Hutchins (00:42:28):
I just can’t.
Matt Hyatt (00:42:31):
So I’m going to get a little bit personal here. Have they all gone swimmingly well, or have there been any missteps?
Brandon Hutchins (00:42:40):
Well, I mean, every, every time you merge cultures, even if you think you’re aligned, there’s always going to be, there’s always going to be tension and change, right. It’s, it’s really a change management exercise. It’s like, there’s the excitement from your organization of bringing somebody else on. And then there’s the, the acquiree that’s like, everything’s going to change for me because in our experience they’ve been smaller organizations blending into our bigger organization. And, you know, I think, I think they’ve all gone pretty well because I think they’ve all been focused on the person. You know, it’s like, I don’t want to get rid of you. I have no desire for you to be gone I want you, not only do I not want that, I want you to be part of our family. You know, I want to be, I want you to be part of our DNA. And I do think that there’s a real strong sense of belonging for each of the ones that we’ve done. And you know, I’d love to do more. They’re hard to do though, because there are always things that I just didn’t think about or I missed, or it’s like, dad-gum it, I forgot to think about their server capacity versus our server capacity. And we’re going to have to renovate the building, but I didn’t think about the three months it’s going to take, what are we going to do in the meantime before, you know, just the, the weeds, you know, getting into the weeds. There’s always stuff, you know, but, but I, I feel like that’s part of, that’s just part of business, right? It’s just solving problems. It’s solving problems everyday.
Matt Hyatt (00:44:32):
Well, you know, on that topic, I would imagine that some of the biggest challenges when you’re doing an acquisition of another firm is how, you know, you’re going after them in part, because you want access to the talent and you probably want to retain the customers too. And so how do you transition? Well, I make that a good experience and sort of a good news event for the employees and customers of those acquisition targets.
Brandon Hutchins (00:45:02):
The biggest thing to me is like really paying attention to the, the owner that’s coming in. If they’re happy, they’re going to have a positive message that they’re communicating to their clients. If they’re happy, they’re going to be like, Hey, this is better. And let me take that. I feel like that’s part of like the dating process is identifying, are we actually better together? Do we have a story to tell? And if you can check those boxes that when you actually do come together, it’s like, well, here’s the story. Like, all you gotta do is tell the story because it really is better. You know, it’s not, you know, we, haven’t done acquisitions where we’re, where it’s paid tons of money and the owner runs off in the sunset, you know, it’s, it’s a different structure. And so there needs to be a great story on why we’re better together. So that we can tell that story. And it’s a true story, you know, you’re just speaking from your heart and people can see authenticity. Right. You know?
Matt Hyatt (00:46:15):
Right. So tell me a little bit about how you view your role in the organization today. You’re you know, obviously you’re wearing the CEO hat, you’re leading the organization, but you’ve got a dispersed workforce at this point. I got to think there are some folks on your extended team that don’t get to see a lot of Face Time with Brandon Hutchins, but what’s, what’s your approach. And I, I also hear, and I think probably our listeners hear that there’s a strong faith element here too. And I, I kinda like to hear how you, how you interweave those two facets of your life.
Brandon Hutchins (00:46:56):
Yeah. Well, in terms of my role, I can tell you, you know, I’m in a phase right now where I need help, you know, I need, I need operational help in the business. I think, I think these, the last two growth growth areas for us, Lawrenceville and Newnan, I think under underestimated just the geography and how it was harder for me to have a presence, you know? And so it was kind of pulling at me more. And the reason it’s pulling at me is because I want to be with people. I want to be with the people I want to, I want to, I want them to know that they are known that they’re not a number that they, you know, you, and I’ve talked about this before. This idea of being a pastor at work is like, I literally, I want to know them and I want to know, how can I support you? How can I support and challenge you in a way to help you to get to where you want to be like that, that is what I want for every person. And man is really challenging right now to, to just do that and be that, and especially.
Matt Hyatt (00:48:20):
yeah. and that’s the pandemic
Brandon Hutchins (00:48:20):
Yeah. Just like being with people. It’s hard. I love it. That zoom is more acceptable, you know, that’s a good thing. And so, you know, that’s something that I probably should just be more intentional with is just setting up more kind of face, face to face meetings through zoom than I’m doing. But, but yeah, so my role, I I currently just feel like I’m so head down in dealing with, you know, a lot of the problem solving and just growing the business pieces. And I don’t feel like my heart wants to be more people focused and even external focused. And so I guess I’m just being vulnerable as I, I, I, I know that I want and need to, to be more in that zone than I am today. And I’m working on, I’m trying to, you know, I’m trying to grow that part of the business so that I can shift my role a little bit in that capacity. And what was the second question you asked?
Matt Hyatt (00:49:29):
Well, actually it, let’s, let’s kind of zoom in on that you know, pastor at work concept because the faith, the faith integration that’s right. So how I would like to know a hundred something employees while I, I actually don’t know how, but I have not noticed on your website, we are a faith-based organization at Gaskins. And so I would imagine that with a hundred something employees, not everyone, when they apply for a job at Gaskins is saying, Hey, I really hope my CEO is sort of a pastor minded person. That’s going to invest in me personally. So how do you tell me about how that works at Gaskins and sort of what your approach is and, and what do you hope to achieve with that approach?
Brandon Hutchins (00:50:19):
Right. Well, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t say that we are overtly, you know, I don’t like that’s not something that I really care about posting on the website. I just want to live that, you know, I want to live, I just want to be that in the way I live life and do relationships and would love for people to say, man, he seems different than maybe the normal CEO. I mean, Hey, don’t get me wrong. We have that. We have to be profitable. We, those are the things that kind of make the, make the things spend. But, but I think just trying to love people, well, you know, that’s that, that’s what I want my focus to be everyday, and I’m not great, you know, I’m not great at it. There’s some things that we do that I’m glad we do. And I feel like we need to do so much more, you know, we have we have a team that is called our giving team. It’s like an independent team and I’ve asked them just to really make connections within the company. And if they hear about needs within people in the company, that they’re there to help, you know, financially if people have that kind of need or man, and the COVID stuff, we’ve had multiple people who have experienced kind of the more difficult version of COVID. And they’ve been out of work for awhile and, and they need help. And, you know, this group is, I, I just, I love their hearts for the way they’ve wanted to kind of rally around people. And so the giving team is kind of a cool thing.
Matt Hyatt (00:52:03):
Yeah, that’s really cool. So how do you, how do you do that, Brandon? Do you just set aside in your budget hey I’ve got X number of dollars available for the giving team and let them have at it?
Brandon Hutchins (00:52:13):
Yeah. You know, the funny thing is I felt like they used to do that and just kind of identify a number. And I just at this point I want to, I want to say yes to everything, you know, I like, I want them to have the, the mindset of just, Hey, how can we help people? Even if it’s, even if it’s not a ton, you know, for each person, it’s like, how can we help every person? Wow. And we’ve had a couple of deaths within the company through the years and, you know, just be able to rally around spouses of, you know, and do some different things. It’s I, I just think that’s important. The other piece that you might probably want to know, I do this class, one of my favorite books. Have you have you read leadership and self-deception
Matt Hyatt (00:53:07):
No, I haven’t.
Brandon Hutchins (00:53:10):
It’s a love, it’s a, it’s a short read. It’s.
Matt Hyatt (00:53:15):
Those are my favorite.
Brandon Hutchins (00:53:16):
Yeah. It’s, it’s an allegory book too. So I’m, I’m like the worst reader in America. So when you hear me say that I’ve read a book and read it multiple times,
Matt Hyatt (00:53:25):
Brandon Hutchins (00:53:26):
Like that’s actually saying something because I don’t read a ton of time, but but anyway, this book is an allegory and, and it walks through the story about how this one person is coaching a new manager to understand the philosophy of how they do business and why they do it. And I read the book and I was like, man, I’ve loved. I love what he’s doing. And, and it caused me to say, I need to do that. Like whenever we have new employees at any level, we have this thing called the connections class. And we talk about what’s our history, our vision, our values, expectations for every employee, my share, my heart, my story, you know, and, and that, I really it’s a mutual responsibility. Like I can’t, I can’t see my field guys every day. It’s just not, not possible. They’re, you know, they’re gone, they’re out of this office most of the time, but I’m like, man, when you, when you’re even close to my office, just come say, Hey, like, you know, I’m just the CEO, you have a different title, but we’re both human beings. And I want to know you, you know, and you know, I’ve got indirect employee directories that I, that I try to, you know, study up on and, you know, it’s got spouses and kids and that’s just important to me. Other people like that’s dumb, but it’s just important to me, you know? And so weaving my faith into that’s just part of my faith is how can I love people? Well, well, number one, I need to know them. I need to know what’s going on with them. And, you know, I want to be able to walk with them and pray for them when they’re going through the adversities of life, because they’re absolutely plenty, you know? And the funny thing is when, so right now my dad is in the ER, he has COVID.
Matt Hyatt (00:55:35):
Oh I didn’t know that.
Brandon Hutchins (00:55:35):
and he’s, he’s in the ER right now. And it’s just amazing just to see the number of employees that have reached out to me and just said, Hey, I heard about your dad praying for him, you know?
Matt Hyatt (00:55:48):
Brandon Hutchins (00:55:48):
You know, like it’s, you know, you can get emotional just thinking about that. People, they, they really want to care and they do care. And especially when they experience here on the other side. So yeah.
Matt Hyatt (00:56:06):
Well, I did not know about your dad. I hope he’s recovering well.
Brandon Hutchins (00:56:09):
He’s getting better every day. He’s getting better every day. So hopefully he’ll go home tomorrow.
Matt Hyatt (00:56:16):
That’d be great. So tell me, you’ve got another business, at least at least one more that I even know about it. I think there might be more, how many businesses do you, are you involved in right now, Brandon?
Brandon Hutchins (00:56:30):
Matt Hyatt (00:56:31):
Brandon Hutchins (00:56:32):
Matt Hyatt (00:56:34):
Brandon Hutchins (00:56:34):
There, there are several.
Matt Hyatt (00:56:36):
Yeah. So I know, I know about Integrity. Tell us about Integrity.
Brandon Hutchins (00:56:42):
Integrity is a construction management and general contracting business. And.
Matt Hyatt (00:56:51):
So for our listeners, what you see behind me is Integrity’s work. They,
Brandon Hutchins (00:56:56):
Yeah, the renovation on your building, that’s right.
Matt Hyatt (00:56:58):
Brandon Hutchins (00:57:00):
And that, it probably describes me some, I am Matt, you know me? Well, I am not a very innovative person. Like I do not, you know, I am not cutting edge with anything, but I feel like I’m always looking for that intersection of people’s desires and opportunity. And if I can help, if I can help make those two things come together, I love doing that. And I love business. So it’s kind of like with Integrity, there was an employee who had a lot of experience with construction management and there was a big need in our industry. There was a Gaskins employee that there was just a need, a lot of, a lot of that sector of people during the recession had, had really gone away. And there was a need and I was like, well, Hey, you know, if this is part of what you want to do, then let’s do it. So essentially we just started Integrity. And it, it has shifted a few times since that original foundation, that one guy ended up taking another business opportunity. But Matt Donald came in about four, four and a half years ago and it’s just done a great job. And it’s part of his heart’s desire to be community minded. And he really, he was the one that added the GC side of the business onto the construction management. And, you know, it’s been great. It’s again, a lot still challenges all the time and lots of problems to solve, but you know, having partners, you know, that’s another, that’s another whole topic, you know, trying to be a good partner to the other person and provide support and challenge and some mentoring and also a lot of freedom. It’s you know, that’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but Matt’s doing a great job. I’m proud of what he’s doing at Integrity.
Matt Hyatt (00:59:15):
Yeah. I’ve gotten to know Matt a little bit and definitely a good guy and I can see how you guys get along I bet.
Brandon Hutchins (00:59:22):
And he’s a completely different voice than me, which I think is a part of, that’s a whole nother thing. But with him as a connector and me as a guardian we’re, we’re really are, we’re very different in our personalities. And I think what we bring to the table is very different as well.
Matt Hyatt (00:59:42):
Oh, that often really we’ve talked about this before. I think sometimes a lot of times people see those differences as problems and, and folks have a hard time getting along because they see the world differently. You talked about that with Johnny. I talked about that a little bit with Matt, but the reality is as many times that’s, what’s real strength when you can bring those two different worldviews together for a common good. Seems like you’ve sort of mastered that approach.
Brandon Hutchins (01:00:14):
Well, I mean, mastered is, you know, I’ve definitely matured more. And I think that begins with, you know, that was part of my giant journey as well. The first step was seeing people as people, right? Not as objects. I think that was the 2d part of my growth. And then the, the three dimensional part of my growth has been learning to value, all kinds of people who are different. You know, it’s just natural to think that the way you’re wired is the best way to be wired. And so you only want to, you only want to have people who are wired just like you and maturity comes. I feel like when you can begin to appreciate people who are different than you and bring different things to the table, you know, and I, I’m not perfect at that, but I’m trying to, I’m trying to get better at really recognizing man situationally. There are tons of people who are way better than me at certain things in situations, and I’m better than them in certain situations, just depending on just your voice and your wiring and nature, nurture choices, all that kind of stuff.
Matt Hyatt (01:01:30):
I remember way back when, before I got familiar with Myers-Briggs and got kind of plugged into the giant nomenclature of the five voices, I was kind of a DISC guy. I liked the the DISC assessment, but I just remember specifically talking with the test consultant where we bought the disc tests. They would say, Hey, you know, you’re probably going to want to have your team charted out on this DISC chart and you want it to look like a shotgun shot. You know, you, you want, you want some D you want some, I, you want S, you know, you want to, you don’t want to have everybody grouped in together. And I’ve found that that’s completely true that when you’ve got a diverse business with multiple voices at play boy, you can get a accomplished when you kind of bring all those strengths together. And yeah, there’s some friction from time to time because somebody acts differently or communicates differently than, than than we do. But ultimately that’s a strength. You also see that in just relationships, you know, we all have heard opposites attract, and I can’t tell you how many couples I know. And Maureen and I are a couple like this, where our personalities are very different and that could be seen as a negative, but in reality, bring, bring those two together and we can accomplish a lot together. You know, that, that opposites attract is actually a really positive thing.
Brandon Hutchins (01:03:02):
Matt Hyatt (01:03:03):
You and Nancy, you’re basically the same person. Right?
Brandon Hutchins (01:03:08):
It was embarrassing because one of the first books that came out was from giant was the five voices. And I actually didn’t really know Nancy’s voice at the time. And and I was speculating in the book. It says and it wasn’t actually what her voice ended up being. And I was like, yeah. Show you how much I know her, it turns out she’s a grade of which, which is kind of my nemesis voice. And it’s kind of hardest for me to kind of see and navigate and know, but, but you know, I think the creatives are awesome. And I, I look around there, there’s a, there’s such a low percentage of creatives in the world. And yet I know, and I’m friends with many creatives it’s it’s mind boggling. I don’t quite understand
Matt Hyatt (01:03:59):
We’re a lovable people
Brandon Hutchins (01:04:04):
Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes, well, maybe, maybe it’s my problem solving is maybe I’m just trying to fix them. Right.
Matt Hyatt (01:04:12):
There’s a lot of work to do. There are ample ample opportunity. So speaking of Nancy you’re, so you’re running several businesses, a couple, several is what you said you’re active in your church. I think I counted four kids and they’re all over the place, college, high school. And then a what middle school you don’t have? You don’t have anybody in elementary still, right?
Brandon Hutchins (01:04:40):
Matt Hyatt (01:04:41):
Well, you do have elementary.
Brandon Hutchins (01:04:42):
12 ninth, fifth and sophomore in college.
Matt Hyatt (01:04:45):
Wow. Yeah. How do you balance that? I mean, that’s a lot, that’s just a lot. And, you know, and you were even talking about, you know, multiple locations in this business and trying to be present with a hundred people. How in the world do you balance all of that or do you?
Brandon Hutchins (01:05:04):
Well, I think in general with, you know, multiple businesses and home life and a concept that there was a couple that let our small group, this was, this was probably the early two thousands. And they, they are very intentional couple and have lots of influence in the community. And, you know, I remember Cindy talking to me about overlapping and how important overlapping has been to the way they do all that they do. And I would say that’s something that has stuck with me and I try to do that within. So my, my business relationships and friendships many times have a lot of overlap. And so I, I try to be intentional about you know, maybe checking boxes is the wrong word, but you know what I’m saying? I’m trying to connect and be intentional with people and it might, it might influence multiple situations. And then I’d say with my kids, they’re really great. And they’re all different, which is hilarious they’re. You know, if you’re, if you’re a parent of multiple kids, it’s funny because they’re not necessarily going to be just like you and they’re going to be different than you. And so all of this leadership training has helped me a lot to see my kids for who they are like as individuals. And I try to see them individually and be with them individually with four kids, you know, they want to be known, you know, I think that’s just a desires I want to be known. And so I might try to take, take one to breakfast or take to lunch. We try to do some special trips that are just one-on-one. And we try to do some that are family too. So I try to Nancy and I try to go on a date every week with us. One of the things early in our marriage, we just felt like was important and we see experiences as important as well. And so we, we just try to be intentional. That’s really that seems like such a generic answer, but that’s, that’s probably, my answer is just being intentional. There’s so much wasted time. Like I waste so much time and there’s just so much wasted time that if you are intentional about the way you use your time and I’ll brag on you, Matt, you’re like your schedule, I’ve seen your schedule, your fella coded schedule. I love it. I mean, you’re very intentional with how you use your time And, You know, I, I try to be, and, and I think when you are intentional, it does help you to be able to balance things I’ve been working more recently that has to do with probably capacity of kind of what I was saying before about my role. And I really don’t like that because I really want to be more present. I want to be more present mentally and physically with my family and, and with my friends and, you know, and with the people here at work, you know, so,
Matt Hyatt (01:08:39):
Yeah, well, that’s a lot. Tell me you as you look ahead, what’s, what’s, what’s next for you? What’s what does the future look like? We’re all, I think we’re all sort of, okay, we’re going to get through this pandemic finally. And, you know, we’re all going to go take a trip somewhere and maybe sit on a beach and have a cocktail or something like that. But, but beyond that, what’s, what’s sort of your your plan for the next several years.
Brandon Hutchins (01:09:06):
So I’m 46. And so I’ve begun to maybe look at chunks of my life, you know, maybe fifties, the next milestone. And, you know I think my latest thought is just trying not to get too far ahead of myself. And I really I’m excited about what we’re doing at Gaskins and, and Integrity. And I know that giant will always be a part of my, you know, my heart and my life. And so, you know, I want to do more of that as I can, and I want to be giving away. What’s been given to me. And so leading small groups, it really just feels like probably more of the same. But I will say in particular, I just really loved business. And so our mutual friend, Chad, you know, Meryl who.
Matt Hyatt (01:10:01):
He’s been on the show also.
Brandon Hutchins (01:10:01):
I’ve got some connection with them and partner with him on some things. And it’s been really fun to see, to see businesses kind of, he and I look at some different stuff together and I feel like I’m always kind of in this state of learning, you know, when you, when you get to see other businesses and other CEOs and the way they do things, that’s a learning opportunity, right? It’s like, man, you know, I need to, I need to really consider that. That’s a great idea. And so the more I get exposed to more businesses, the more ideas it gives me about, you know, my own. And so that’s not a real clear plan for my future. It’s probably just the more of the same. And, and if I was being really honest with you, Matt, I would just say, I just want to be wherever the Lord wants me to be. And I’m, and I’m open to that because I just know that when, when I’m trying to get my own way, I’m probably missing out on probably the best things that are in store for me. And so I’m trying not to think too much about it, even though, man, I can’t wait to be empty nesting like you.
Matt Hyatt (01:11:23):
Yeah, that’s pretty fun. I, I’m not, I’m not gonna lie. It’s pretty fun. It’s nice. You know what, It goes by, it goes by super quick though. And I know, you know that, but I think people really learn. It goes, you know, where that phrase comes from time flies you know, when they’re, when they’re parents, but you know, Maureen and I are relatively new empty-nesters over the past year or so, and look back and say, gosh, you know, in some ways in the middle of parenting is same. Like this is our life, right? And then when you’re an empty-nester and your kids are off on their own and doing their own thing, it’s like, wow, that was really a flash in the pan. You know, it was 20 years basically. And if you are lucky enough to live to 80, it’s only 25% of your life. It goes by very, very quickly.
Brandon Hutchins (01:12:14):
Yeah. I know for me, it’s going to be more like 30 years because of the spread spread spreading years.
Matt Hyatt (01:12:23):
We kind of knocked ours out back to back. So we go through that pretty quick. Well, that’s awesome. Brandon and good job. Let’s move on to the lightning round. So this is just a few questions that we try and ask every guest of the rocket business podcast and, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’m going to be very interested to hear your answer to this. Tell us about one person who has made a profound impact on your journey.
Brandon Hutchins (01:12:46):
All right. I’m going to pick two just because I’ve talked so much about Jeremy, Jeremy for sure has been a catalyst for a lot of positive change in my own life. So Jeremy has been very influential in my life. There’s a guy named David Eldridge. Who’s my pastor. And you know, he’s my best friend too. We planted a church together in 2006.
Matt Hyatt (01:13:16):
In your spare time.
Brandon Hutchins (01:13:16):
and and we, we have lunch together every Wednesday and I would just say his, his, so it’s been like 20 years. We’ve gone to lunch every Wednesday. And he, I would just say he has been such an encourager and just a model for me just in living life and bouncing ideas off of and sharing burdens and problems. And, you know, it’s interesting, you know, he knows more about Gaskins than anybody. And he’s not even in Gaskins. And so anyway, I just, he has been very influential just by being there sharing time and then just living his life with integrity and character. So.
Matt Hyatt (01:14:09):
Mentors are so important. And it sounds like you’ve got two really great ones.
Brandon Hutchins (01:14:15):
Matt Hyatt (01:14:17):
Nice. What’s the single most important lesson you’ve learned in your professional career
Brandon Hutchins (01:14:23):
Easily. The, the people that like seeing people as people and then valuing seeing them and then learning how to value people that are different from you.
Matt Hyatt (01:14:35):
Brandon Hutchins (01:14:35):
Probably both of those lumped together, the people part for sure. But I’m naturally, I’m naturally more of a competence type person, you know, naturally. So me learning that other side changed everything for my business and life.
Matt Hyatt (01:14:55):
I love it. So you said you’re not readings, maybe not your favorite thing. Are you a podcast guy? What, what sort of has your attention right now and how do you learn new things?
Brandon Hutchins (01:15:08):
Well, I love talking to other CEOs for sure. Like I love that’s that’s that’s my best tutorial and I I’m, I’m bluff. I’ve, I’ve read a lot of books. I don’t listen to podcasts, but I don’t. Yeah. I I don’t read a lot of new books. How about that? It’s kind of like if they get, if they get tested and people are like, Ooh, I love this book. Hey, the advantage is a great book and I hear three people say that, then I’m like, okay, well then I’ll read that book.
Matt Hyatt (01:15:47):
So you got to have the public vet it for you, right?
Brandon Hutchins (01:15:50):
That’s right. That’s right. That’s kind of the story of my life. You might be you’re, you’re more cutting edge than I am.
Matt Hyatt (01:15:56):
I don’t know.
Brandon Hutchins (01:15:56):
So I’m going to wait. And so books like Great By Choice, Integrity Leadership, and Self-Deception which I mentioned. There’s one called the pursuit of God that I just read. That’s. Wow. That was pretty awesome.
Matt Hyatt (01:16:17):
Fantastic. So if people want to learn more about you or Gaskins or Integrity, what’s the best way for them to reach out and find more information?
Brandon Hutchins (01:16:27):
Probably just email me. It’s email@example.com. Our phone number 770-424-7168. You know probably call me on my cell, but I’ll let, I’ll let Matt filter that and then
Matt Hyatt (01:16:46):
There you go. Nice job. All right. On that note, I think it’s time to wrap things up, Brandon from myself and our audience. Thank you for joining us today and to our listeners, thank you for tuning in. Should you have any suggestions on future topics that you’d you like to hear more about, please email us at podcastsatrocketit.com and finally, a quick plug for Rocket IT. We help businesses leverage technology to create seamless networks that encourage productivity and profitability. To learn how a personalized roadmap can bring efficiency to your business and clarity to your team. Visit Rocket IT.com/roadmap-help or click the link in this episode’s description.