Nick Schucet’s Interview with Kevin Hundal

Narrator: (00:02)

You’re listening to the million-dollar seller podcast with your host Nick Shucet. Today’s show features another amazing entrepreneur who has found success online. Now let’s learn what it takes to be a million-dollar seller. 

Nick: (00:21) 

Alright, welcome to the million-dollar seller podcast. I'm your host Nick Shucet. Today we have Kevin Hundal on the call. He’s a million-dollar seller, been a part of the group for a while now. He’s also the founder of Atrend that creates happiness through music, and he’s also an EOS implementer and for those of you who don’t know what EOS is, that’s the Entrepreneurs Operating System.

A lot of people on MDS run that, and it’s a pretty well-known business system around the world. Kevin, thanks for coming on the call, man, I’m excited to chat with you. I know we’ve had a couple of delays but why don’t you go ahead and just introduce yourself a little bit and let the listeners know about you? 

A Big Family’s Journey Into Entrepreneurship

Kevin: (01:04)

Yeah, Nick, first of all, thanks a lot for giving me some time today. I appreciate it. Looking forward to this... Yes, my story is... I’m from an immigrant family. So, first generation here, born and raised in Chicago. My family is from the state of Punjab, which is in Northern India. So parents... actually father came here as an Engineer on a visa in the seventies and brought his six... five brothers and one sister all to Chicago.

So, I’m fortunate with a pretty big family here in Chicago. It’s interesting, our house was called the Hondel Hotel when we were growing up. We always have guests and people coming in from Punjab to visit us. So yeah, I grew up in Chicago in a family where everything was new to my parents and new to their siblings and trying to raise a family and also try to find financial freedom and appreciate the opportunities that come with the United States.

So, really, in that journey, got to really see a lot of creative things that my parents and my uncles and aunts did when it came to entrepreneurship and business. So, kinda grew up around a lot of that from jewelry stores to print shops to convenience stores, so we got to see a lot of those things come to life and along that some failures as well, right, so that kind of was always in front of me growing up as a kid. 

Kevin’s First Entrepreneurial Adventure

I think it was some of that kind of entrepreneurial thinking that led me to my first... what I’ll say is my first enterprise. And talking about that enterprise was actually in fourth grade. I remember I went to a school called Stone School here in the suburbs of Chicago and used to go to Sam’s Club with my mother, you know, Costco as we know it in Sam’s Club, and buy some volume things.


And as I go through the aisle, I’d see blow pops, you know, the big boxes you could buy a discount. So, started having her... persuaded her to become an investor and lend me some money, and it started with fifty bucks, and I bought a couple of those blow pops boxes, I put them in my bag and went to school the next day, and I sold out. I sold out at lunchtime, like in ten minutes of them.

And now, I do the maths, I think I was operating on like a 45% gross margin. I was killing it, I was like, this is great, and so, that was my first entrepreneurial journey. But you know, competition came in pretty quickly, two or three weeks after that, and all of a sudden, everyone had backpacks with blow pops and different flavors.

Then, I got a rude awakening to understand what governance is because the Principal shut down that operation pretty quickly. 

The Hundal Family Business

Kevin: (03:43)

Yes, so... it’s interesting. I think it’s always embodied in who I am as a human is just looking for opportunities in fun and interesting ways and with that, my father started his... from 1970 to 1990, really tried to find his way in building something for his family and working here. And he got himself into a financial advisory position.

So he took some of the tests that were required for them, became a financial advisor, and was pretty successful in it up until the early 90s when he decided to take the entrepreneurial leap and try it again through a new journey which was manufacturing holiday yard decorations. It’s interesting... you think about it, an immigrant from India making holiday yard decorations, and those decorations were reindeer and sleighs. 

If you can remember back in the nineties or not as prevalent now, but you’d see in lawns... people have reindeer and wooden sleighs on their lawns with lighting on and things of such. And we started actually manufacturing those in the 90s and I was about 13 years old when that business started.

So, I remember working in the shop more and working on the CNC machine and having accidents and watching this manufacturing thing come to life, which was a very big learning experience not only from the standpoint of business. But just seeing how my father and he brought his brother in and he brought his brother-in-law and you got this family dynamic of everybody working together.

I remember packaging and all the moms were on the factory floor packaging reindeer and sleighs to meet orders for ACE hardware. 

Pivoting Away From the Obstacle

Kevin: (05:25)

It was just a very... special time of family and trying to build something together. Unfortunately, that business had a lot of shake-ups with Asia starting to bring in products. And some of that started happening in the late nineties. We had to look for a pivot in the business, and what were we gonna do with the organization we had one piece of machinery, which was a CNC router. 

They cut MDF pieces and things of that sort, and that’s what really led me to Atrend in 2002... is saying what can we do with the infrastructure we have in place and how do we utilize it to do something, build something. And that started the company in 2002, which is Atrend and just still kind of the main business, the MDS business if you will, today. 

Nick: (06:20) 

Man, Awesome. What a great story. It sounds like you learned a lot of great lessons early on in life that really set you up for this entrepreneurial lifestyle. I think it is always great to hear about these different paths that we take as individuals with similar goals in mind. Right. I always wanted the freedom that comes with entrepreneurship.

But I didn't really have those examples early on in my life. Or, the ability to like, make those mistakes, even though there was like that deep hunger inside of me to do something that I felt was great. And school certainly wasn't feeding that. So, I don't... there were no blow pops being sold, which I think is also interesting. Or maybe I just wasn't privy to it at the moment.

I'm not too sure, but, I kind of always felt like I was just really pushed to like... hey, you know, get good grades, do what we tell you, show up here in school and, you know, maybe you'll get a good job and retire someday and have a few good years left in you. And which shot me down a pretty dark path for a little while. But, you know, here I am, I emerged, doing well for myself, which I'm grateful for.

But you know, I try to give my children those examples that you've just touched on man, where they have that opportunity really to get out there and fail and fall on their face a little bit and, not take that easy path in life that doesn't have that big reward side of it, man. So that's so cool that you had those special moments with your family. I'm sure that kept you guys really close.

What's the family dynamic like for you at the moment?

The Perks of Growing Up in an Entrepreneurial Family

Kevin: (08:14)

Yeah, you know Nick, I’ll just touch on that because a memory came to mind as you were talking about it. And it's the appreciation of, kind of, growing up in an entrepreneurial family and business, you know. There's the good, the bad, and the ugly, as we all know today as our own entrepreneurs.

Witnessing Tough Situations

Right, and our own businesses is that it was really a time in the mid-nineties. Whereas that business became so difficult that I recall my father having a tough time writing a $500 check. And that's when I really understood what entrepreneurship was. It was like, okay, you gotta be able to write these checks. You gotta be able to cover payroll.

And, you know, being 16 years old, 15 years old, and seeing that is a good life lesson in entrepreneurship that you don't get, you know, in school all the time in a very kind of direct manner.

Learning Consistency

Kevin: (08:56)

So, yeah, it was great growing up today still very much you know, the family is still entrepreneurial in a lot of ways. My father's still involved with Atrend, which is great. You know, I get to see him. We've got a manufacturing plant here in Chicago and he's 80 years old, but he's there. He loves coming. He's on the floor, he's walking the floor. He is talking to the guys.

And, you know, there was a time where I was like, Hey dad, you know, it's time to retire, we gotta... and one of our customers said, Kevin, that's the worst thing you can do. Let him come, let him do the things he loves to do. And he still does. So still very much involved. I mean, it's been a whole life's journey and we're still, you know, we get to work together in a lot of different ways.

And my brother's involved in the business, my cousin's involved in the business. So that family dynamic, if you will, is just transcended over, you know, a couple of years here.

Nick: (09:51)

Man. That's amazing. I'm stoked to hear that he's still in the business and just rocking and rolling with you, man. That’s great. Yeah. My father recently retired. He ended up starting his own business. As an engineering consultant, he was pretty well respected in the engineering world around here. And I think, gosh, he was probably like in his late 50s or something.

When he finally started his own thing I've always wanted to do something with him and I try to get him now. And he's like, nah, man, I'm done. He's like... I'm out. Like, you know, I just wanna do whatever I want. I want to do it and I don't want to deal with taxes anymore and making more money and stuff like that. But he was a great example for me as a father, he made some tough decisions and always had my back when I really needed him. 

We have a great relationship at the moment as well and just had a nice little trip with him and my oldest son. So we're still pretty close and he just lived a few minutes from me. 

The Transition Into the World of Amazon

Nick: (10:55)

How did you end up... like get transitioned into the world of Amazon? It sounds like you started in a retail store, and then maybe... Did you guys get a website and then go to Amazon or what was that like?

The First Pivot: The Speaker Boxes

Kevin: (11:09)

So Nick, in that 2002 and I called this, the first pivot. And the company’s had different pivots and we're kind of in one as well today. And I'll talk about that later... is in 2002. Really, looking at what we can do with that piece of machinery and, what business could we really start utilizing that machinery from, we started making speaker boxes in 2002. 

So the big speaker boxes in the trunk that usually wake up people at night, that's probably some of our products in the vehicle down the street kind of thumping down the line. Right. And so it started there, and we started. Actually, our big break was getting an OEM contract where we were doing white-label products for an OEM at mass volume.

We started manufacturing and then sending it right into their DCs, and they would load the goods with sub-roofers and then further distribute them out.

Distribution and Dealership

Kevin: (12:00)

And that kind of then morphed into us getting our own distribution network set up and then getting into dealers. So traditionally it was always a B2B business. Really when the B2C arm came in... and it really just came in because we got approached by Amazon directly in 2008 by the vendor central team. 

My consumer electronics show, I remember I was there and they came in my cousin Ernie Stone, the business was there and he took a meeting with them and they were like, we see your product on Amazon. And it actually had been going through one of our distributors. They would further... they were further selling it on Amazon. The volume had grown and Amazon was seeking out vendors.

Putting More Flashlights Into the Business

So we became a vendor central partner in 2009, I wanna say with Amazon. And really, it was just kind of a... it's on the side thing.

  • We've got the B2B business
  • We've got a whole rep network
  • Our brand is growing
  • We're in all the key retailers in the USA

And we're moving into Canada, where it was just kind of on the side, right? It was like this thing, the peels come, let's just keep filling them, and if they keep coming, great. And, you know, as we started to look at our business and margins and simplicity and complexity of different things started putting more of a flashlight on that business, I'd say in 2016, is where we started putting more of a flashlight.

We actually didn't move into Amazon Seller Central side until 2018, I wanna say. So it took us a little bit of time. We were really just fulfilling Amazon as a B2B customer, and selling products through Vendor Central is kind of how we got started into it.

Nick: (13:41)

Okay, nice. You guys still have the vendor central account. 

Kevin: (13:43)

Yeah, we do. And now putting a lot more actually energy around in MDS. Of course, has been great because they've got the special groups of the vendor central folks. So I'm in some of those groups and now we've definitely got a bigger light put on it just cuz we see the opportunity.

Nick: (14:00)

Amazing. Yeah. I've heard some good things about Vendor Central, just like you guys get some extra love on the ranking side. It seems like, but I've heard some stories as well that aren't positive at all.

Kevin: (14:14)

Yeah. I was gonna say it comes with the good and bad, so right. You get both sides of it.

What Kevin Will Change if He Were to Start Over

Nick: (14:19)

So, you know, Kevin, one thing I'm wondering, man, if you were starting again today in like a similar business, would you do things differently? Like, you know, it's so cool that you guys were able to have your own manufacturing, but like, do you think that would be hard these days if you were just starting up? Like what would you maybe do differently now?

Keep It Simple

Kevin: (14:39) 

Yeah. it's a great question, Nick. I think about just simplicity, right? And a lot of it is for me as an entrepreneur what is the lifestyle I want, right? What really is gonna make me happy? And I would probably make all the decisions around simplicity, right? Simplicity and Agility. We learned this even though COVID is a big infrastructure, a big warehouse with big payroll, and big inventory holdings.

Agility is hard in a lot of ways. There are benefits to that. Of course. But I think for me personally it's inward of what type of life I want and whether am I building a business that is really gonna support that. And that's gonna support the folks who are working in it for the things that they want as well. So really, people focused and the business should drive the lifestyles of the folks involved in it.

Nick: (15:31)

I love that man. Cause I think that's why we all become an entrepreneur. I really believe that's like the fire that burns inside of us. It’s like, we want a simple life that allows us to be agile, like you said, and, and do the things that we want to do. And I think it's easy to lose sight of that as you taste a little bit of success. Right. And like you start to think about things like more money, more revenue and you know, more profits and stuff like that. And you know, speaking personally.

Like I kind of got obsessed with that stuff for a while and I think really it was like the kids, you know, having kids in a family that really check myself and be like, Hey, wait, what a minute? Like, why am I doing all this stuff again? Yeah. and just really taking that step back and being like, well, you know, like I really just wanna hang with my kids and I wanna be able to surf when the waves are good.

Those two things mean a lot to me in life and fuel a lot of happiness in me. What is it for you? Like what is the lifestyle that you are after?

Personal Purpose: Oneness

Kevin: (16:40)

Yeah, you know, on the video, you'll see it here behind my... behind me is oneness, right Nick, I kind of went on a journey in my own ups and downs of life and peaks and valleys and came to the understanding that my personal purpose in life is oneness. Right. And that's really about elevating anything that I touch in every human that I encounter and how can we elevate one another.

So really that energizes me, that brings me happiness. Right. I have not been blessed to have a family yet hopefully in the future I will. And I'm sure priorities or continue to shift, but that one thing will be constant is how do we just create a humanity that brings out the best in everyone and, in that is, you know, there's a lot of things I try to do as we've talked a little about is running.

Be Productive With Friends and Loved Ones

Kevin: (17:24)

So it's always like, let's bring everyone together, bring all the friends together, how do we do a run? And then how do we go and hang out and have fun together and do productive things? Or how do I bring my family together across the nation who haven't seen one another? So I just look for opportunities, just take that thinking, and weed it into everything I do in my personal life.

And I find that makes me actually the happiest. Right. And I'm with you too. There was a time when you were counting the ticker. when you're growing your business. It's like, alright, 1 million in revenue, 2 million in revenue. It's like, wow, I've got more money in the bank account, but I really don't feel any better. Right. So I think that's it. And I'm fortunate that I've been able to go on a journey to discover some of that so far.

Kevin’s Discovery of Oneness

Nick: (18:04)

Amazing. I love it, man. Like I'm a big fan of that sign you have up there. And I remember my experience with kind of realizing that we're all connected in ways that we really don't understand from a scientific perspective. right? Cause they'll say, oh yeah, we really can't prove these things. There are some things they've proven that are pretty interesting out there, but it still kind of escapes a lot of us I think.

But I think it's also one of those things that's like right in front of our faces. Like, you know, when you connect with someone that, and this happens often in MDS, I think whereas you go to an event, you meet someone, you maybe had a couple of conversations with online, but there's this like instant connection and you know, there's something special there.

And I think it has to do with, you know, being on similar journeys, similar struggles, similar goals as well. And you know, I've been pretty open and honest about my ups and downs in the group and have connected with others as well. I mean, what are some of these things that you went through throughout your life that kind of led you to this discovery of oneness?

Opportunities and Challenges of the First Generation

Kevin: (19:17)

Yeah. You know, again, growing up in a first generation here, being an Indian family in a predominantly Italian neighborhood, we grew up in a neighborhood where we’re maybe one or two of the only Asian families.

So with that comes opportunity and it comes challenges as well. And as a child, not really understanding why, you know, I was treated a certain way or I felt a certain way or maybe why I was bullied which occurred a lot of times through my young childhood and not really coming out of my shell.

From Introvert to Extrovert

I was more of an introverted person. Now I'm a very kind of... I'd say I am an extroverted person in some ways, but really through some of those challenges growing up that really forced me to really self-reflect on myself, was it me? What, you know, what is society? Is it the way my family raised me and you know, why are these challenges present?

And as I became an adult, really understanding that, you know, it wasn't something perhaps that I was doing. That there were opportunities for others to look at themselves a little bit differently and how they treat other people. And that was really at the cusp of a lot of it that, you know, led me into just wanting to be better for people, right?

The Bullying

Some of the hardships I came through being bullied as a child and all the way up into high school. And that also, I think presented the challenge of saying, Hey, you know what I remember I was like, I'm gonna come back to my high school reunion and I'm gonna be a great human being, who's very successful. And, you know, success to me then was, well, I want authority because I wanted to have authority.

And you know, maybe that wasn't the right way then of looking at it, but it drove me really, I'm not gonna fail at whatever I'm gonna do. And I think that's driven my thinking around the oneness purpose from the onset.

Nick: (21:03)

Awesome, man, I love it. You know, I think the mindset is the one thing we can carry with us no matter where our journey takes us. Right. No matter the ups, and the downs, that's the one thing that can always be there, keeping us on track to what we feel our purpose is throughout this life. And it sounds like you've kind of carried that throughout yours as well.

And you've identified it in one word, which is great and not easy to do man. So that's cool. And it sounds like you've taken these experiences, these lessons, and this purpose and carried it over to helping other people with their businesses to support their lifestyles. Which kind of reminds me of Tony Robbins. He gets a lot... he gets a bad rap, you know, some people like him, some people don't, but you know.

I remember listening to him in the past and early on and that was his message, “Hey, take care of yourself, be happy, and make sure you're honest with yourself,” which I think is a big piece of the success for me, at least in my entrepreneurial journey. Making sure I have those honest conversations with myself and I call myself on my own crap.

But I think that's where a coach can be beneficial. Right. Because no matter how good we get at that, I feel like we could still fool ourselves. We read this book once called “The Elephant in the Brain” and it was written by a psychologist or psychotherapist. And it just really opened my mind to how smart our minds are and how we can really deceive ourselves as kind of a survival mechanism from a very animalistic perspective, for lack of a better word.

But let us know, what are some things you're doing from a coaching perspective and helping people with their journey through business?

The Community

Kevin: (23:10)

Yeah Nick, I shared I'm also a professional EOS implementer, and I know that it's in the community. A lot of MDS folks run on the system. I've had some conversations with a few folks. It's the entrepreneurial operating system and really it's a system to help entrepreneurs really manage human energy, starting with their own. And typically the visionary thinking and bringing it all together and letting it build a beautiful business.

The Book: Traction

And I got really involved in EOS because, in 2009, someone handed me a traction book when I joined the entrepreneur’s organization, which is separate, from the Chicago chapter of it, which I know some of the folks in MDS are involved in as well. And I joined an entrepreneur's organization, someone handing this book traction, cuz I was like, I have no idea what's going on.

I have no idea how I'm running this thing, and I'm just burnt out. And the book really changed my business and it changed my own personal life just from a freedom standpoint.

Knowing One’s Place

I fell in love with the system because of its simplicity and I became a professional implementer in 2016. This really fits my own personal value system of oneness and taking care of people first because I was able to see what it did for me and our organization and wanted to share that with others. So I started mentoring companies like 60, and 70 companies.

I was mentoring startups as a giveback and I found myself teaching a lot of that methodology to these startups. And we started seeing success. So I decided to join the community in 2016. Today I spent a good amount of my time doing that work cuz it helps the entrepreneur really get their hands around the business and the leadership team and it makes a huge impact.

So it's very rewarding work for me. Sometimes someone hands a check and it's like, wow, I got so rewarded today in the work that we did that the check is like second, third, fourth down the line of the “I should actually give you a check back. Thank you cuz the work was so great”. We did today, right? Yeah. So that coaching or you know, business of mine through EOS really has helped me live the life I love which is why I do it.

Kevin’s Take On Work-Life Balance

Nick: (25:19)

Man. I love it. I think for me, you kind of touched on the essence of entrepreneurship for me, which is that drive, that desire to go work your ass off for something you're excited about and that you believe in. And I think that's like... EOS can allow that to open back up again. Whereas if you don't have a system to follow and you're just going through the motions, you kind of lose that.

You started to become an employee in your own business. And I always relate stuff back to surfing, right? So I always think, that if I moved somewhere, just gave up everything and went, I was able to surf, and Nicaragua was somewhere.

Eventually, maybe two weeks down the line, maybe six months down the line, I'm gonna have that drive that urge that kind of obsession, and be compelled to get on the computer and do something great. Because it's there, it's that fun, burning inside of you. You know, I think... like an unpopular opinion that I've always held is that for me, there was never really... I didn't believe in work-life separation.

I believe in focusing on my children and being present when I'm with my kids. But for me, my work was representative of who I am as an individual. I wonder with all your experience in this world, what's your take on that work-life balance slash separation?

One Hat Fits All

Kevin: (26:54)

Yeah. I think our business is... the way I've always seen it is they're really a reflection of us, right? So it's... I've always started and didn't discover my personal values until 2017 or 18. And, taking those personal values and aligning them with the business, then it made it somewhat seamless from a value standpoint. And just from a happiness standpoint.

It was transcending throughout my life from my personal life and my family life to my business life. It really... so that it didn't feel that you were putting so many different hats on all the time cuz that culture was built around the personal values that I shared. And I think with business and personal how do you have a work-life balance? I think if you can get folks to their unique ability, it doesn't feel like work anymore.

Doing What You Love for Business Removes the Stress

So when you're doing the things that you're doing for your business, when you're doing the things that you love and you're great at there's no amount of money you have to pay me, I'll just keep doing it cuz I love it and I'm great at it. And it feeds my human energy. So I think as you know, I work with entrepreneurs, really getting the entrepreneurs, getting the owners and the leaders in their unique ability and then stemming that downstream.

It just creates an environment where everyone's like, this is a lifestyle I'm in, this is not a job. Like I love doing the things I do and not easy. But I think if you do that, it really helps to eliminate some of the issues that we find in work, and life balance and the drain that we get, not only as entrepreneurs, but our people get as well.

Nick: (28:25)

Amazing, man. I love how you touched on the human energy perspective of it and how there are two different paths. We can go down a path that sucks our energy and you come home and you want to crack a beer or smoke a joint or yeah, sit on the couch and watch Netflix.

Kevin: (28:45)

Or all three at the same time. Laughs 

Nick: (28:51) 

And then there's this other path you can go down, which actually fills your energy and keeps you fueled and you just are always in a good mood and, you know, maybe not always in a good mood, right? We're always gonna have our ups and downs. But you have this energy to deal with things in a different way instead of shying away from them, turn your back or ignore them.

What are some things that come to mind for you that we could share right in this moment that you think would help people experience that?

The EOS Life

Kevin: (29:27) 

Yeah. A book that I just finished and I don't know if you've come across it yet. Nick is the EOS life and Gina Wickman did a great job with this book. And although I'm a professional implementer and I teach a lot of this, they were able to connect the framework to your personal life. So they made it very personal and they called it... “What's called the EOS life”.

It's a great book I'd recommend. It's five things that I think would resonate with all of us entrepreneurs especially MDS members I’ve gotten to know more and more of them. And we all share this. As you mentioned, similar value system, which makes it such a beautiful community, but it's five things. It's

  • Doing things you love
  • With people that you love
  • Being compensated appropriately
  • Having time for other passions
  • Making a huge difference. 

And all five of those give you a framework of things you could be doing in your business, as well as in your personal considerations of how can you check the box on those five things. There are actually some tools you can go use and start using those tools, so you can really get to those five things.

Cuz to me, I always tried to put those five things in different buckets and words and I really just couldn't capture all the words correctly as my brain was going in a lot of directions. But as I read that book, it's like, wow. Yeah, those are the five buckets that really I'm most interested in that would make me happy. And that you would build a great business for me and the people who work in it as well.

So, for our listeners, I think everybody should pick up a copy. It's a great book. There are some great tools in it to use.

Nick: (31:03) 

Awesome. Yeah, I haven't read that one yet, but I love EOS because I feel they give you two important things that need to come together in a package. It's like this excitement, this hope right? Which can be fleeting. Right. We see it a lot on social media, you see a post, you get all excited, and motivated. But then that kind of withers away and you don't do anything because the tool was missing, the application was missing.

And I think EOS is very good at getting you very excited about things and then giving you something to do to actually experience that consistently throughout your life. I remember when I just first started 10 meetings and I told people that are trying to get into EOS I'm like, Hey, just, do a level 10 meeting. Go watch this video on how you run a level 10 and just start doing it and, you know, connect it to something like a one-year goal or an overall.

And you know, see how it goes. And that's just a simple way to get started. You know, a lot of people, for whatever reason, don't want to hire an implementer, they don't want to go all in. But I think that allows you to have a small experience. That can really lead to some big results. And it's, I mean, pretty easy to implement a level 10 no matter where you are in life.

I remember I've even tried to carry some of these principles over to my personal life as well. Like a big whiteboard. In the house, I have this big giant whiteboard and we would have family meetings.

Kevin: (32:41)

Right on. I love that. I love it. 

Nick: (32:43)

So, we would do the positive and the negative and like set a goal for the week and the things we were doing to get closer to that goal. And we did that consistently for like... I think like nine months then we moved into a new house and it kind of slipped away, but you know, I need to get that back going again. Cuz those were special moments with the kids.

Yeah. Yeah. They're not gonna learn that stuff anywhere else. You know, most likely.

Family Core Value System

Kevin: (33:13)

Yeah. I love it. A family core value system, all that stuff. Like I eat that stuff up. There is something, Nick, think about the VTO. So in EOS, we know the vision traction organizer as your two-page strategic plan. There's something called the personal plan that EOS has as well, that I'll be happy to send you an email on. It's actually a whole template, but it's for the personal family to work through and with your significant other or life partner.

And you can kind of build it out and make a really cool exercise of quarterly and annual meetings. And it's really fun just to have a great way to do something together and build towards something together.

Nick: (33:50)

Amazing, man, I love it. Like I kind of thrive on structure. I learned that early in life when I was going through some not-so-good moments and had to dig myself, you know, outta some bad situations here. And I learned that structure helped me really become the person that I wanted to be versus kind of just out there winging. Yeah. 

Kevin: (34:14)

Yeah. Out on the surfboard. Just winging it. yeah. Yeah.

The Implementor

Nick: (34:20)

So yeah, I would absolutely love to take that and check it out and complete it, man. It sounds great. So talk a little more about where you're at now with your implementation business and what you guys are working on. Do you have a team of people who work with you on this? Or is this something you do kind of solo?

Consults for Visionary and Integrator

Kevin: (34:45)

Yeah. So the implementation, the EOS business it's you know, the role is of the implementer who's trained to be coach facilitator, and teacher. So that's kind of my role. It's really a one-on-one relationship with the visionary and the integrator and then working with the entire leadership team. So it's just myself, I've got an executive assistant who handles a lot of my communication.

And the high-detail stuff that I don't love doing, kind of with the visionary characteristics I have as well. So I've got somebody who does all the scheduling and puts all the things together. And I get to show up pressing in with the most human energy to do a great session with my teams and provide the highest value I can.

So, you know, in some of that simplicity, we talked about going back to 2002 and having a business that's manufacturing and B2B component and B2C component, I fell in love with the simplicity of it. So that's part of why the coaching business is also something that I'm really passionate about. So it’s me and my EA, and we seem to have a great rhythm.

We run on EOS, so it works right. And we eat our own sandwiches. So it works for us.

How to Hire the Right EA

Nick: (35:56)

Amazing, man. I'm wondering cause I'm sure we have a lot of visionary-type people listening to this and we have a lot of those types of people in the group as well. What type of advice or process would you share with someone who wanted to hire that EA that could really fill that gap and those high-detail things that allow them to really focus on what they're best at?

Culture Index

Kevin: (36:24)

So, Nick, I use something called culture index, which is a profiling tool that really helps you… It's 19 typified patterns. In those 19 typified patterns, I found visionaries, probably the majority of MDS members as well. There's a typified pattern called the technical expert. So they're basically the opposite of how a lot of us think about how we work.

They're self-starters, which is great. They're very deductive, fact-finder, and fast-paced, but they have a very high attention to detail. So think about the folks who love checking the box. They love checklists. They love keeping things nice and organized. So I never make a hire without that tool anymore. And my assistant is a technical expert and compliments me really well.

So number one is just having the right fit and we do quarterly calls on our patterns and why we might be rubbing each other the wrong way.

Open, Honest Conversations

Right. And having some of those open, honest conversations to just help build the trust. But that has been vital for us. Also, I recommend a daily 15-minute daily huddle, just if you can do a daily huddle with

  • What are you working on?
  • What are your needs?
  • Where are you stuck?

And just keeping that kind of activity there. And then we run a level 10 meeting in its pure EOS format. We've got rocks, she's got rocks, I've got rocks, we've got scorecard metrics. So anything that's personal all the way to family. So, for example, I'm always super anxious about my credit score, cuz growing up as a kid, it was bad. So it's like every month it's on the scorecard, where are we at?

And I'm checking those things on the scorecard.


So right. I kind of have weaved everything into the level 10 meeting. And ultimately it worked really well. And I'd say trust has been at the core of it because I can entirely hand over all of my information to this individual. And they then can make decisions on my behalf which has been really well. So investing in trust has been important and I'd say that's something to continue to do.

Nick: (38:26)

And what about EOS helping you live that lifestyle that you want? Like how about... have you gone away for three months and not had a level 10 and how did that go for you? And like what do you think about some of us that might be having multiple level tens a week? Is that a good or a bad thing? Like what, what are some kinda green light, red light things you would consider here that might be happening?

Kevin: (38:55)

I, so, you know... going back to the earlier comment of unique ability when we're flexing our behavior modifying, which we have to do in a lot of ways for our businesses, depending on where we're in the growth phases. When you find yourself doing the things you hate and you suck at, you're probably not gonna do them that well. So looking for solutions to those things is really important.

The Accountability Chart

I'd say going back and using a tool that EOS calls, the accountability chart, which is the org chart. I say on steroids, it's really, what's the major function. So if I'm visionary and my name is in that box, what are the five accountabilities that I have getting really clear on those and then naturally getting an integrator is vital. I think for every visionary, because really the integrator is charged with running the business plan, right?

Kevin: (39:41)

They're really high detail, connecting the dots, the left-hand knows what the right hand is doing. I know for myself, I've had to sit in that box and it was an energy drain for me, kind of building my business. I no longer am, but I was terrible at it, but I had to do it. And I did it for as long as I could. And I think I held onto it probably for too long, but finding the right integrator for any visionary is a game changer.

And that's what EOS really calls rocket fuel because then you're not really required to be in all the level 10 meetings. And you're really doing the same page with your integrator and making sure that your VTO is getting... the goals are getting met and you're helping to problem solve. So I always go back to what's the accountability chart. Do you get the right people in the right seat?

Nick: (40:26)

Okay. All right. I remember I met with Mike Jackness from “Why the name of the company is slipping my mind,” EcomCrew... Mike from EcomCrew and he called his integrator. He was like, yeah, she protects, she protects the team from me. she's the protector

Kevin: (40:49)

Well, we call it no end runs, right? Because the vision is used to going around everyone and doing what they want.

Nick: (40:55)

Yeah. Oh, man. He's such a great dynamic man. Well, Kevin, thanks so much for everything you've shared, man. I feel like we got a lot of value out of this call and that members and listeners are really gonna have some great things to check out. You know, I think so many people are in this position where you know, they want something different.

They need a little structure, and a path to follow and EOS is clearly successful and something that can be replicated and, something, people can kind of sink their teeth into, and just give it a shot. And there are so many people out there who can support them on this journey.

Why don't you let the listeners know where to reach out to you if they want some help or maybe if they want to look towards their local community, I think there are some resources they might need as well.

Kevin: (41:47)

Yeah. So my rule always is that, especially with MDS members you can reach out to me and I'll give you as much time as I have just give me a cold beer when we meet in person sometimes. Yeah. So that offer stands for all our listeners, yeah, you can email, anyone can email me at Kevin EOS, (

I'd be happy to share tools and help you to brainstorm and even happy to connect folks who are looking for somebody maybe locally in their city and help them in how you can make the right decision for the right implementers. So anyone can email me and I'll be sure to reply and try to do my best to kind of live on that oneness demo and give back and help first, wherever I can.

Nick: (42:33)

Awesome. Kevin, thank you so much, man. It's been a pleasure chatting with you and I'm looking forward to having a beer in person soon.

Kevin: (42:41)

Awesome. Thanks, Nick. I appreciate it.

Nick: (42:43)

All right, bye. 


Thank you.

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