Ep. 267 INTERVIEW – Tom Fulmer
INTERVIEW with Tom Fulmer, serial entrepreneur. Successful Entrepreneurs Create Systems – Tom shares gems like, “If you want something done right, hire the right person to do it – and ONLY RARELY is that person YOU!”
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Joe Pici (JP):
Welcome to the sales agent. I’ll tell you what the guests I have today. The one word that always pops out is entrepreneur. I don’t think I knew. I’ve known the guy for 20 years, and I don’t ever know that. Anyone that has always been that serial entrepreneur can’t wait to get to him. But before that, welcome to the sale, says podcast, believe it or not. This is podcast number 267 and we want to thank you for your loyalty. I’ll tell you because you were in over 100 countries more and more downloads. And we’re becoming a very popular podcast, but we want to thank our sponsors. Pici and Pici Speaking coaching training consulting firm specializing in helping our clients recapture lost. Have no get in front of that Target Market, negotiate higher fees, and some more virtual e.com, which is our membership platform. I’m out there live every Thursday night. Ecourse is downloads, and we’re featuring right now. A free webinar.
But now we’re going to get to our guest. Tom Fulmer. Gosh Tom. I’ve known you for a million years.
Tom Fulmer (TF):
Yeah. It’s been, it’s been quite a while. I started looking back the other day, how far back that was, and it was right after I moved to to Florida. So we hear well, That was in 2002 that the Florida. So yeah, so I’ve been up 19 years. .
So Tom, if you can take a few minutes here and and let our audience, our team get to know you who you are and how you got where you are right now.
Yeah, so that’s been a really interesting story and it’s going through a lot of different phases. As you said, I’ve always been a Serial entrepreneur when I graduated from college, I Degree in accounting. So I of course, did the next logical thing and became a tennis pro. And so, I did that for the next eight, eight years. And during that time. I just stumbled into my first opportunity to own a business, which was running a tennis facility. And then from there, kind of had the bug to do some things launched a joint. Venture, with my dad for Power Equipment Company, start looking for something else and stumbled into the mortgage business. Again, an opportunity. I started talking with someone and said, hey, this sounds good. Good. And so I just got my license started working with a company realized after about six months. I’m doing all this work. I’ve got the some the second producer in the entire company and ran into somebody else who wanted to grow their Mortgage business. It was just them. And I took them, we partnered with them and took them from just him and myself to 18 Brokers and about about eight months. And during all that time. You know, one thing that was a common theme was was training development and and say,
Because without sales, none of these things happen, exactly ants. And without training, your people, you don’t have any to support to make any these things happen. So I kind of built a niche in that communication skill set and my communications and work with you back in the end the day. When we first met on human behavior, understanding people that was really, you know, the foundation to launch that National Drug Screen, which is a friend of mines company. He brought me on the head of Business Development and where we took them from half a million dollars to about probably do over 7 million this year.
Because again, when I view you from 2002 till today, I see entrepreneur. So what would you say if you were talking, if you were brought in to a conference or if you were doing coaching and for people that wanted to be entrepreneurs, what would you tell them? The characteristics and and they needed to bring to the table to be successful?
Well, one of them. One of the big ones stands out that that actually you helped me, see a much more clear focus on was simply with simply Clarity, you know, if you want to do that, what do you wanting to do? And then developing a Clear Vision of where you want to be and then having the commitment to do it. So if you’ve got a Clear Vision and you’re committed, you’ll make it happen. Those are your two key characteristics and the one I suffered from, you know, early on, in my years was not having a Clear Vision. I knew what was Is going on right now. I stumbled into some things things went pretty well. The most part. But if I had a Clarity of vision of where I wanted to be and I didn’t have a problem with the commitment, the commitment, the only share the commitment was not knowing exactly where I wanted to go. So I didn’t know exactly what to commit to. So for new entrepreneurs, you know have that Clear Vision where you want to be and talk to people, talk to people who’ve been there, done that, and even another Industries because even when they ask you questions, you’re going to think of things you never thought of. And when you’re better prepared, then you’re going to Be successful. I mean entrepreneurs can be successful relatively easily if they go through that process. What I find that most people do though is kind of what my first path was. You kind of felt something you liked, you started doing it and you just were doing the day-to-day where you were doing it because you like to doing it, not because you want to grow a business and when you change that mindset, that’s when everything changes or that’s that’s a big portion of e-myth, huh. I wish I read that many years.
Of us, you know, the majority of business to start that way. But here’s another question in the same vein, what I met you, you were very young. You’re not as young as you were then. And so, you’ve got some experience. You’ve worked with companies. You’ve worked with individuals. What do you believe are some of the challenges or gaps that people have when they decide to be an entrepreneur did decide to be a business owner. What? What don’t they do? That would help them to be more successful other than creating that Clarity.
Yeah, so it’s learning that starting a business is not about doing a business. It’s about building the systems in place. It’s about getting the business done, but not necessarily you doing it. That kind of reminds me of a quote that I always heard a lot of my quotes. If you ever hear me speaker, not the normal quotes and and they’re just, they’re just not like or say My mama taught me different. So she
Like credit for that but it’s you know, if you want something done, right, do it yourself. That’s what their mindset is because they know it they have the passion about doing it but it really should be if you want something done right? Meaning building your business or how you deliver your services hire, the right person to do it. And only sometimes an often rarely is that you and once you realize that that again, that was good. So, you know, if you want something done, right? It’s not about doing it yourself, if you want something done. In right, hire the right person to do it. And rarely if ever is that person you, you know, you’re the one that needs to have that vision and used to drive that along and if you’re the one who’s good at doing the business, then you need to hire somebody that can do that. Other business part. They can lead you. They can be your CEO and you can function within the business if that’s your your role. Because some people are in that, and it’s okay to hire somebody to help you grow your business and to think strategically and do those things. And, I think that’s where a lot of entrepreneurs.
Sidetracked, because they always feel like it’s them. And I hear people all the time, you know, from chambers and other things that always come back to you. I just can’t get people to do the right thing. I’m always having to do everything myself and I want to run through the right, I have to do it myself and that’s a problem, you know, you can train people to do the right things. You can attract the people to do the right things. But but that’s a, that’s a big gap that I see from people. They don’t, they don’t understand when they should do something and when they should hire it out. And that’s, you know, not only In my experience, but companies I’ve worked for people that I know that have been successful, you know, we actually won the top 50 companies to watch in Florida. Ward back in 2018, is a Second Stage Company because we took that mindset and we fully embraced it and every time like for instance, you know, you know, you know me joy, I do a lot of different things that I like doing a lot of different things. Yeah, but what I learned to do, was, when I had to do something that wasn’t the best use of my time. I immediately started looking to how can I replace myself?
Position, how can I automate it? How can I hire somebody better? How can I train somebody differently so that I don’t have to continue to do it. And that’s the real Gap that I see in entrepreneurship.
Okay. So because I know that you were brought on through a contract basis, by your friend. You’re still an entrepreneur. But you’re serving a very vital role in that company. And so I know you’re involved in some way, shape, or form and hiring that right person. Yep. So in this economy, where in where people are struggling to find the right people that we have a shortage of qualified quality people that want to work? What are some of the things you’re doing? Tom, because you’re talking to a lot of entrepreneurs out there. You’re talking to top level people out there in man. Sprint CEOs, CFOs, and they’re all struggling. With this, what would you say to them?
Yeah, hiring people is always the challenge and finding the right fit for your team. You know, one of the things that we’ve implemented was Behavior assessments and we actually did Behavior assessments not just on applicants and employees, but we did it on the people who are successful in the type of position. We were hiring for so that way we could best match those up coming in. So that’s one way. Obviously, getting it front of them in the first place
Is a? You know, we’ve used different services, but we found that we’re just as successful reaching out to people within our spheres of influence and network. If not more. So, you know, for long term that way we’re getting those referrals in and then properly going through and doing the right interviews, the right types of questions. We have a multiple interview process that we put in place and that seems to work fairly well and then we have a discussion about that a lot of bigger. ER companies is they get larger? They have to go through a very canned process and I think you lose the ability to give somebody a chance. This could be really successful in a role because their resume doesn’t look right, because they don’t have a certain, you know, degree or something like that. We’re still small enough and functioning like the things with National Drug Screening where we’re doing hiring because we’ve heard quite a few people of late in that, you know by looking at it from some kind of that perspective and saying, okay, we see that there’s some
Apps here, but let’s go in depth and have the right kinds of questions. The right type of situational things to see if we can give somebody an opportunity who may not otherwise fall into that role. And we’ve actually had a few really good people that just, I mean, just phenomenal and I’m still surprised that that we connected with them. But that was the process. We use in that as we’ve evolved. That seems to be much more effective in finding the right kind of Staff. But it’s definitely a challenge out there, especially depending on what, you know, type of Industry you’re in Some are much more difficult than others. Okay. So the drug testing company, can you tell us something about that in the role? You’re playing with them? Yeah. So my role is the vice president of Business Development. So when I came on board with them, that’s the role I’m operating in to basically grow sales marketing. But, but my role again, Joe had that sink and show Riley, who’s the president of the company. Actually had that same kind of mindset because of, you know, he knew me back from other companies that I had years ago. We served on boards together.
That kind of thing. And knowing my skill set. I was also doing things like helping with processes internally helping with it. Bring out. I’m big on technology. I love to automate things. But without losing the high touch, right? Automate to improve the touch not to not, they replace it. And so when I came on board, I applied those skill sets to do that. One of the first things we did with four people in the company. When I came on board, there’s four people or five because another one started the same time. I did we built an org chart? Org chart had like 40 spots on it and my in Jesus name and killings. Our VP of operations was in a whole bunch of those spots and we number them we have to figure out which ones we want to replace first. And so we started looking at that and you know, it’s every small company. Everybody does everything and that’s one of the challenges with entrepreneurs. They’re doing everything. But they don’t have a plan to replace themselves, and they don’t have an order of which they’re going to replace themselves. This going to be the most effective. So we did that, and part of that process.
You know, we look at our automation for our systems, you know, a big thing. I do training on this business systems. And, you know, we looked at say, what kind of CRM can client relationship management system. Can we put in place to automate it? So we took a basic CRM and we found a another service that has some additional features and do some custom work on it to automate all of our process. So not only do we track sales and marketing, but we also track operations. We actually have operational stuff that functions out of that CRM, which was a great find again that came from Working and and from many of the skills are getting out just meeting people and talking to people. I literally stumbled into the developer for this and of course I reach out to the CEO because you know, that’s that’s one of things you want to do. Reach out to the person in charge right away. And yes, if it’s going to be a set and all that helped us do a lot of Automation and that really helps across the board because that made it easy for people to work that, made it easy for us to track what’s going on. As soon as you know, tracking is really, really important. Your metrics was sales, but also,
Like, you know, setting up accounts or response times or follow-ups? You need to have automation. So you don’t have to keep it here. And again, entrepreneurs, try to keep everything here, you know, everything here on a calendar, and you can’t do that. You know, my wife were used to always joke with me. She’s like, what are you doing? What are you doing? Tomorrow? I said, I don’t know in it. I’d pick up my phone. She’s like, well, you don’t need to go. Look. I said, well, I’m not going to know unless I go look because I fill my mind with other things. I’m always thinking ahead. I’m always, you’ve always been that way.
You were automated before automation was in. I mean, I remember, When I first met you you were playing with gadgets and stuff that people weren’t even aware of. I mean, when I first met you, I had a flip phone, you know, right? And and and so, you know, in our second interview, we are going to be talking about this. Let’s see here. I know you have an Endeavor coming up. Biz Babel. Yes. Okay. I’m going to let you go into more depth than that, but can you tell the people little bit about it and then we’ll get into it in depth in our Our next interview.
Yeah. So this is an idea that the Amy I came up with, you know, like like you and Dawn we really like being around each other, probably more than being around other people many times. And so we really enjoy working together. And so, this came as a project, we said, how can we help other people be successful and, and do something that we can do together and my wife’s a very detail person. He likes to see process procedures. He’s actually think through things where I’m more of the
Big picture, let’s put it together. I can get into the details. I just don’t live there and don’t see them quite the same way. Right? So when we put those two thoughts together, we said, how can we provide resources to those, you know, small, but growing companies to the mid-sized companies here, the that are already doing a few hundred thousand dollars a year up to, you know, 78 million dollars a year because that’s the range where they suffer the most. We have the most potential in either, they crash and burn, are they take off? And so that’s what we did is we figure what
Resources, can we bring to the table to Encompass helping those types of companies grow and expand? And that’s the business Babel idea. And that’s something that we’re officially launching coming up or still, we still have the cover page on the website for it and still putting some stuff together for it. But uh, yeah good. Well, I’m going to get into more depth within our second interview, but Tom if a person wanted to get in touch with you have a conversation with Tom Fullmer. What’s the best way for them to find you right now? If you want to find the A bit about what I do. We have my my previous website, which is asked Tom Fulmer.com. That’s a SK t om ful mer or just you can email me at Tom and asked Tom Fulmer.com or Tom@bizBabel.com. I have you know, of course technology have emails out the Wazoo, but that’s really the best way to go. You can see a little bit about me there. If you want to give me a call and you know, Jen knows I’m always happy to talk to people and it’s a 3-2 1403, 2203 call. Text. You reach out to me if I can be of help. I can always point you in the right direction because, you know, I believe in paying it forward, a bunch of people did that for me? And I do the same for others.
Tom. You’re awesome. Can’t wait to get to interview number two, but hey team, take out your phone. We have some special things for you, put the word sales, edged one word, text it to five, five, six, seven, eight. That’s going to take you to a peachy peachy link. Take you to a splash page right now. We’re featuring when you hit that. Yeah, there’s links to our podcast. Yeah, there’s ebooks. But right now, we’re featuring The now. Nine Essentials of sales, success a free webinar, taking advantage of that. And also please, do you get dude, your peachy a favor. Google gurus dot-org is open for voting. Now go to Google gurus dot-org. We would certainly appreciate if you would go to the vote section. The sale Section vote for Joe peachy, then, go over to the workshop area and vote for the Pici and Pici repore Mastery sales training program. We would certainly appreciate that. But thank you. And thank you team. We’re moving over to sell more virtually.com
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