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Episode 30: The Role of Building Trust, Slow Growth, and Quality Content in Business Success with Paul Jaroslawski

Brent – 00:00:01:

Welcome to Freight Nation: A Trucking Podcast, where we explore the fascinating world of trucking and freight management. We dive deep into the freight industry and uncover why the trucking industry is more crucial to our country now than ever before. Stay tuned to uncover the driving forces behind successful trucking businesses and hear from the hardworking truckers and leaders who keep the world moving. Let’s hit the road. All right, what’s going on, Freight Nation? Welcome back to another episode of Freight Nation: A Truckstop Podcast. At Freight Nation, we’re here to bring the stories about freight, transportation, and trucking alive for you to hear and to enjoy. So thanks for joining us today, whether you’re watching or whether you’re listening. We appreciate you just listening along, and we hope our goal in producing this podcast is for you to learn a story about somebody else’s adventure into logistics and how they created success or are creating success. And could benefit from that. And you could figure out what your pathway is gonna be. And because the one great thing about transportation is there’s opportunity for everybody to create what they want. And today’s guest is one of those people that is the new blood in the marketplace of creating a new thing. And he entered into the marketplace, got some experience into it, then created something on his own because he saw an opportunity out there that could fit his goals and what he wanted for his adventure into transportation. So joining us today is the president and founder of, I know you’ve heard of him before, FreightCaviar, Mr. Paul-Bernard Jaroslawski. So Paul, thanks for joining us today on Freight Nation.

Paul – 00:01:37:

Thank you, Brent, for having me. You actually pronounced my last name correctly, which I’m shocked by. So good job on that. But yeah, definitely looking forward to being on the show and thanks for having me.

Brent – 00:01:44:

Yeah, man. Well, these pronunciations of names is important because I always congratulate people when they actually get my last name correct. It’s Hutto. I get all kinds of things since I know you do too. I did business in the Japanese market for a bunch of years and pronunciation of names in the Japanese market is very honorable. So I just wanted to honor your name. So just so it’s a freight nation, it’s a little bit of an international flair today because Paul’s joining us from his office in Poland, which is super cool. You know, the greatest thing about the internet is the world is flat today and we’ve all benefited from it. And so Paul, again, thanks for joining us and I’m looking forward to you telling the Freight Nation watchers and listeners just really about your story and everything. So you’ve got a really, really cool story. So you’re, and I said young blood in the beginning because Paul’s, you’re 30 years old. And so you’re sort of the new part of what’s going on inside transportation. There’s a lot of participants, men and women like yourself that are beginning to find their way on what transportation is going to mean to them and how you’re going to move transportation forward. So I love for the freight nation watchers and listeners. I love for them to hear where you started, how you got in to transportation. So tell that story.

Paul – 00:02:44:

Of course. So my start in logistics transportation occurred in 2015. I had just graduated college. I went to U of I in Urbana-Champaign. So I grew up in Chicago, born and raised. My parents just immigrated from Poland in 1988, but I was born in the States, did all my schooling here or I guess there. And in 2015, I graduated U of I. I was a psych degree and I had a bachelor’s degree. So I was planning on getting a master’s, but I went to the career fair because I don’t want to get any more student loans. So I was like, I’ll see what’s out there. Right. And while I was at the career fair, I ran into my fraternity brother who was there with Trek Freight Services. Trek Freight was a brokerage out of Lincolnwood, Illinois. They got acquired by Becker Logistics a year and a half ago or maybe two years ago.

Brent – 00:03:25:

Okay.

Paul – 00:03:25:

So that was in 2015. And he was like, Paul, you should work, come work for my dad. And so, you know, I easily got the job as a freight broker working at Trek Freight Services in 2015. And to my advantage, I knew Polish and no one else in the office knew Polish.

Brent – 00:03:41:

Right.

Paul – 00:03:43:

So all of the Polish trucking companies out of Chicago, and there’s a lot of them.

Brent – 00:03:45:

There’s a lot. Yeah, sure.

Paul – 00:03:46:

Yeah. I had built up relationships with them and they all always reached out to me. I was a Polish guy, Polish broker. So yeah, I didn’t expect, you know, learning Polish as a young kid and going to Polish school every Saturday to be advantageous as I grew older. But actually helped me make more money because I was selling more freight. But I ended up being a Trek for a year. And after that year, I was actually considering going to do my master’s degree in psychology. I was kind of like overwhelmed a little bit. It was a lot of work, a lot of stress, too. I traveled for half a year and I came home broke. And I was like, all right.

Brent – 00:04:20:

You came home broke. You came home motivated.

Paul – 00:04:24:

Exactly. I had no other choice. So, yeah. I had like $35 in my bank account, but it was nice because I knew someone at CS Recruiting, which is Charlie Safra’s recruiting company. And Charlie’s…

Brent – 00:04:33:

Oh, yeah.

Paul – 00:04:34:

Yeah, she’s on LinkedIn. Yeah. So I knew someone at CS Recruiting and I had reached out to them and they got me four job offers in four days. So I ended up going with Everest Transportation Systems out of Evanston, Illinois back in 2017. It was just seven guys in a small office in Evanston back then. And then after 10 months, they asked me if I wanted to move to Ukraine to open up like an outsourcing operation for them. It would just be for the US operation, but outsourced in Ukraine. And I was 24, single at the time. I love traveling. I’m like, of course, like, yeah, send me. I’ll go to Ukraine. So I ended up moving to Ukraine in November 2017. And I lived there for three years. After that, I ended up quitting in November of 2020 and I moved to Poland. And then that’s when I started doing FreightCaviar. It was literally just a random idea I had. There was really no thought process behind it. I just started making memes on Instagram.

Brent – 00:05:24:

Right. We’re going to jump into FreightCaviar in a minute, but I want to talk, I want to back up a step because you mentioned something that the mother of invention, which is you came home broke. And look, I’m sure there’s tons of people listed today at Inside Transportation that that is the motivator. I know it was one of the motivators for me in my life, which is I better get serious if I want to eat. You know what I mean about life. So I want you to talk a little bit about that and then talk a little bit about psychology, because I studied psychology for one year in college. And I think everybody ought to study psychology because it’s the human condition. Right. We’re all studying the human condition and how that helps you. So talk a little bit about Covenant Hope Broke, but then talk a little bit about how your psychology experience has helped you in business, because I think that’s fascinating.

Paul – 00:06:13:

That’s a good question. In terms of being broke, it was kind of funny. Like the first day I was at Everest, my boss needed my account information for bank information so they could, you know, set up my payroll. And I was so embarrassed because I logged in and he just saw my account. There’s like $35. So he’s like, this is why the guy wanted the job. So I mean, it was definitely motivated. And my parents were immigrants. So like they still live paycheck to paycheck. I grew up in a very diverse community in Chicago, but I traveled the world a lot. My dad used to work for an airline. So I used to travel like really cheap all around the world. So I was still so grateful because like when I traveled to like third world countries, I was like, wow, I literally just won the lottery by being born in the US. And I think a lot of people take that. They don’t actually like realize how amazing it is to be born in the US. And I noticed that. And even though like my parents came from like, you know, like it was a tough like economic situation at home. It was still just amazing to be born in the US and have so much opportunity.

Brent – 00:07:06:

Yeah, for sure.

Paul – 00:07:07:

But I mean, I just went to work and I started working a lot at Everest, started making good money and can’t complain. But in terms of psychology, psychology wise, well, you know, it’s funny, because in college, you have like all these textbooks, you’re reading all these books. And then after like 10 years, you kind of like you think back and you’re like, I don’t even know what I remember. You know, so like, obviously, you pick up on some things. And it’s helped me a lot. What I do have to say is that I read this book that was written by a work psychologist. This was when I was just moved to Ukraine. And it was like, on the various differences in work culture in different countries.

Brent – 00:07:39:

Right.

Paul – 00:07:39:

And I had to like learn about this, because working in Ukraine is a little bit different than working in the US.

Brent – 00:07:45:

Sure.

Paul – 00:07:45:

Yeah. So that book, I forgot what it was called, but it was phenomenal. And in terms of psychology wise, like, it definitely has helped me kind of understand, you know, like myself better. My family does like have some history of like mental illness as well. So like, just kind of like grasping with that fact and kind of like understanding where that came from, or maybe like the factors that might have caused that. But overall, like it definitely helped me understand myself better and kind of just operate better in the world. And so like, if I compare myself now to back then, I’m just a completely different person.

Brent – 00:08:14:

Yeah. Well, I love that. I love the statement. So here’s a couple of takeaways for Freight Nation watchers and listeners. So Paul’s experience where he’s in college, and he’s learning psychology, and he’s learning things. I love what you said. I don’t even find you said, I don’t even know if I know what I remember.

Paul – 00:08:27:

Yeah.

Brent – 00:08:28:

But it’s so true that you take all those experiences. And the reason I want you to talk about psychology for a second, Paul, is that the most diverse, complicated thing to understand is the human being, then it’s hard to understand yourself. And then you’ve got to understand yourself and understanding others. And so Freight Nation watchers and listeners, this is super important. I mean, you’re negotiating every day for freight to move freight back and forth inside to help our economy, United States work and the global economy work as well. And so, understanding that dynamic and understanding another person, even their culture. So I appreciate Paul bringing that out. And Paul, I want you to talk about this for a second, because this is fascinating that you were talking about, okay, so you were of a Polish family born in the United States. I love how you say you won the lottery because most people People don’t realize how much benefit and opportunity we have in the United States. It’s everywhere. And how you were able to take that sort of understanding to create opportunity for yourself when you’re in Ukraine, but also when you were trying to move freight in your first job in Chicago. But how all that dynamic and understanding the culture helps you create success. So talk a little bit before we jump into FreightCaviar and your super great endeavor and everything. Because one thing about Freight Nation we always talk about is what are you learning through the process? How do you take in someone’s experience and learning from that? So talk a little bit about the dynamic of understanding another person’s personality. That’s one thing. And then their culture. So talk a little bit about that and what you learned that you applied that you would want to teach somebody else.

Paul – 00:09:48:

Sure. I love this question.

Brent – 00:09:50:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:09:51:

It might take me a while just to kind of dissect it.

Brent – 00:09:54:

Bring it on. No, this is great. It’s what it’s all about.

Paul – 00:09:56:

Yeah, this is definitely great. I mean, okay. I do want to just, I guess, begin that like every year for me is like attending college, you know, especially. Ever since I became an entrepreneur and it’s like year four now, which I can’t believe, I feel like I’m a senior in college in the world of entrepreneurship. It just, you learn so much every year and every week you pick up on things and it’s like, okay, it’s like I’m getting a business degree, but instead of going to college, I’m actually like practicing it in real life.

Brent – 00:10:24:

For sure.

Paul – 00:10:25:

But in terms of like just relationships and like culturally, psychologically speaking, I mean, knowing Polish for me was such an advantage because everyone that spoke Polish, like all the Polish trucking companies they wanted to work with me.

Brent – 00:10:37:

Right.

Paul – 00:10:37:

So right off the bat, there was like that trust factor. Oh, you speak Polish. I speak Polish. You have the same background.

Brent – 00:10:43:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:10:43:

Huge. And I think to translate this to our audience listening right now, like, you know, first of all, if you have some kind of background from like another country, maybe not the United States, you know, like definitely find out someone that has a similar background to you and try to work with them. There’s like a trust component. You know, you want to talk to that person. You have similar, probably like maybe hobbies or personality traits. And I think it’s important overall. Let’s say like background aside is to definitely build relationships with people that you enjoy.

Brent – 00:11:10:

Right.

Paul – 00:11:10:

You know, like we go through life and it’s like, like we’re all going to be dead in some time. It’s like, there’s people out there that are amazing people, whether it’s on the brokerage side, trucking side. And it’s like, definitely like, I forgot. I think this is Charlie Munger currently reading his book.

Brent – 00:11:26:

Charlie’s great. Yeah. Who worked with Warren Buffett.

Paul – 00:11:28:

Exactly. Yeah. Who just passed away, unfortunately, a few months ago.

Brent – 00:11:31:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:11:31:

It’s Charlie’s almanac. I forgot the book. I have it somewhere here. But early on, he basically said like he will only work with people that he wants to have like good relationships with, like make a long term relationships with.

Brent – 00:11:42:

Right. Amen to that. I believe in that 100%. Yeah.

Paul – 00:11:45:

Yeah. And I think in life, it’s so much better to simplify things. People like to overcomplicate certain endeavors, especially maybe like relationships. It’s like, who do you actually like working with? Who do you trust?

Brent – 00:11:56:

Right.

Paul – 00:11:57:

And if you’re a trucking company, maybe you could recall that broker that you had like a really good load with, like call them up, you know, like try to see if you could work more with them. Same on the broker side. And I think like what helped me a lot was definitely the relationships that I built. And a lot of them were Polish trucking companies, but there were so many more American based trucking companies that it was just that we just had a good relationship. And I don’t know if that completely answered your question. I don’t think it did. But if you could maybe remind me of what part of the other question was.

Brent – 00:12:22:

When you’re looking at. Okay. So you talked about culturally in your experience with understanding language is important. All right. When you speak somebody else’s language, especially fluently, boy, there’s commonality and trust really quick. So Freight Nation, watchers and listeners, man, that is so key. And so language like English or Polish or the different languages, that’s one thing. Understanding somebody’s personality is another thing. So that was another part of the question to you, Paul, was when you’re talking to somebody and you’re really thinking psychologically about their personality. I’m an extrovert extrovert. Okay. Sometimes I can overwhelm the introverts. I’ve learned over my 50 plus years that I got to bring my emotion down a little bit when I’m talking to people that I can perceive are introverts, whether it’s virtually or whether it’s face to face, face to face, I have to come down even further because of my personality. And so understanding that helps you navigate business more. So talk a little bit about that, Paul, and kind of like your psychological background, how you’ve applied that to your relationships in business.

Paul – 00:13:16:

Sure. So I’m actually more of an introvert myself. I’m a pretty cool guy. I’m just kind of chill laid back.

Brent – 00:13:22:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:13:23:

I have. I have like a few close friends. I never really liked to party. So never was a party person.

Brent – 00:13:28:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:13:28:

But at the same time, like, I think there’s this misconception, like that people think, oh, like you need to be like an extrovert to do good in sales. But it’s like, yeah, you just got to find your people.

Brent – 00:13:37:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:13:38:

And in terms of like, I don’t think I’ll be able to answer this question completely. So I do apologize, Brent. But I think it might take me a little bit longer just to maybe think about the way like personalities might affect the relationship. And also, how do you like discover a personality?

Brent – 00:13:52:

Right.

Paul – 00:13:53:

But what I’ve learned through my time is, you know, face to face always beats, you know, like digital connections.

Brent – 00:13:58:

Oh, yeah. Agreed.

Paul – 00:14:00:

I did a lot of like visiting trucking companies around Chicago whenever I had the opportunity, especially the companies I worked with often. And that was just huge because then you go back to the office and that relationship on the phone is completely different. You’re like, you know, you already have some like maybe talking points about the visit or there is just a closer relationship then. And I realized every time I would visit a trucking company that my relationship was so much better afterwards. And when I would call them, it was just like so much more fun to talk to.

Brent – 00:14:27:

Yeah, no doubt. Well, hey, Freight Nation, listen to what Paul just said. He went in person to meet people. So here’s a huge, huge pro tip, Freight Nation watchers and listeners, is people do business with people they like, they know, and they trust. And it’s a whole lot easier to develop those things when you go see them face-to-face and in person. So whether you’re a carrier, whether you’re a truck, whether you’re a small owner-operator out there, a carrier, go see the broker. Brokers, invite your carriers to come see you because, boy, does it make business a whole lot better. All right, before we shift into FreightCaviar, I got to ask you one very, very important question. How many times have you called your mom and dad? And said, thank you for putting me in the Polish school on Saturdays because how it’s helped me in my career.

Paul – 00:15:10:

That’s actually, I love that you brought that up, Brent, because it was honestly such a hassle to wake up like at 8 a.m. Every Saturday. Like all my friends are now waking up, they’re sleeping in and I had to go. And honestly, like I’ve told them many times since then, I’m like, this has helped me so much in my job.

Brent – 00:15:26:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:15:26:

And I never knew it would.

Brent – 00:15:28:

Yeah. So parents’ wisdom is really important. I know as an adult, I’ve thanked my parents over and over about just all the things that I thought they were forcing me to do, but they were really saying, hey, son, this will benefit you. So super important. Every Freight Nation, go out and thank your mom and dad for not killing you and for giving you good things in life that help you out. All right. So first of all, let’s shift into FreightCaviar . So that’s a public entity. It’s a media business. So you’re communicating to the public marketplace. So there was a time, though, that you were sitting there trying to figure things out, working in the brokerage part of the marketplace, but you’re trying to figure things out. What was that time like? You kind of got to the point where you said, nope, I’m going to give that up and I’m going to launch this thing that I’ve just got this burning desire to do because that’s entrepreneurship. Then say small trucking companies, entrepreneurs, brokers, entrepreneurs. So where was that moment that you said, I think I can do this?

Paul – 00:16:22:

So this is interesting because I never intended FreightCaviar to be a business when I started it.

Brent – 00:16:27:

Oh, you did?

Paul – 00:16:29:

Yeah. So basically, I quit. I quit my job at Everest back in October of 2020. And the next day, I was at the gym. And I was actually in the process of opening my own brokerage. And so I had a few weeks in between then where I was like, I literally was at the gym. And I just had this idea. I was like, I’m going to start making freight memes. And before this, there was accounts like USA Transportation, Detention Denied, I Hate Freight, all these accounts that me and my colleagues at work would always be laughing at. And it was really just a spur of the moment decision. I was at the gym. I’m like, I’m going to do this. I’m going to get 10,000 followers in 10 months. And that was my whole mindset. I opened up the brokerage and I had one customer. We were moving a couple loads per week. But in the meantime, all I did was just spend time on Instagram, literally day by day. And I ended up getting 10,000 followers in 10 months. And I’m like, okay, this is pretty cool. And then I ended up getting a few sponsors, like, shout out to Text Locate and Ascendtms They were like the early sponsors, the first ones that kind of like, okay.

Brent – 00:17:29:

Ryan and Tim are good guys. Yeah.

Paul – 00:17:32:

Yeah, exactly. They’re like, Paul, you have this audience on Instagram. This was just when Text Locate started. This was August of 2021. Ryan just launched the app and he reached out to me. He slid into our DMs on Instagram and he was wondering if we could help him promote Text Locate. And at that time, I literally was like, Ryan, honestly, I’ll promote you for free as long as you can just mentor me, help me out a little bit.

Brent – 00:17:54:

Good guy.

Paul – 00:17:54:

Yeah, great guy. I talk to Ryan all the time. I’m talking to him tomorrow. But yeah, and he literally just, you know, took me and like, kind of was like, Paul, like, you could turn this into a business. This could be like, you could just get sponsors, like, you know, like, you could turn this into a company. It definitely sparked like this idea where I was like, okay, like, you know, this could be definitely bigger than it is right now. At that point, we’re just on Instagram. And so I just started posting that on LinkedIn. And then a few memes went viral on LinkedIn, which blew up our account, which was great. But October of 2021 was like the time where we had this audience. And I was like, Okay, what else could we do? And so we started a podcast with back then in October 2021. And then I started a newsletter, the newsletter, the reasoning behind that was because I used to read The Morning Brew, and I still read The Morning Brew every day. It’s like a business digest newsletter, five minutes to kind of get an idea of what’s going on in the world. And as a freight broker, I would always read that I always enjoyed it. It was like, kind of like the way I started my morning. But I was like, it’d be great to have that. But for freight and logistics, just to kind of understand what’s going out in our industry. So that’s when I started a newsletter. And you know, it took some iterations and some time to actually get up to where it is now. We just crossed 10,000 subscribers last week, which is like a huge feat for me. But that was kind of like the beginnings and it was still kind of slow. But then I took it like full time, kind of like mid 2022 was when I was like, Alright, this is what I’m going to do full time. And then I met Krystian, who’s my co-founder. Now, we co-founded ShipperCRM, and we’re backed by Triumph and Tim from Ascendtms. So it kind of evolved, like this idea, I didn’t just start one day with like a business plan. I was like, this is going to be a business. It just kind of, you know, became what it is through content and my time being spent on social media, where it is today.

Brent – 00:19:34:

Well, that’s fascinating. So you made the decision, you started getting, you got your 10,000 followers. So I want to talk about the business of this, of running a media platform, because I think this is fascinating. So one thing Freight Nation watchers and listeners, this is super important. So Paul had an opportunity because the ability to distribute his content. All changed when the internet came about. And so there’s all these giant distribution channels. And how are you leveraging your brand and what you would like to do in the market on this sort of free distribution that’s out there? And it’s not necessarily free because it takes time, effort, energy to do it. That’s what’s fascinating to me. So the power of distribution when it comes to the internet is the greatest thing we’ve seen in all of our generations so far when it comes to launching a product in the business. And so I just think that’s really neat because you brought that up about how you’re able to leverage that to get to 10,000 people following you. That’s an amazing thing. So you got FreightCaviar launched. You got another endeavor, which we’ll talk about sort of the very last of the shippers’ theorem. So we’ll talk about that in the very end. So I always like for entrepreneurs to talk about how easy it’s been to start your own business, how everything went your way. It was never a problem. Yeah, that’s not the way it goes. So talk a little bit about the struggles and the things like you had to think differently about or overcome or deal with. Talk a little bit about that because, that’s really some of the keys that I like for our Freight Nation watchers and listeners to really take away from these podcasts.

Paul – 00:21:01:

Yeah, definitely. Well, so I’ve learned a lot. I mean, I would honestly say the best thing about being an entrepreneur is the knowledge you gain. Because like once it’s gained, you’re going to have it for the rest of your life.

Brent – 00:21:11:

A hundred percent. Yeah.

Paul – 00:21:12:

And I have to say, like, I could give you some more context here. So when I left Everest in October 2020, I opened up a brokerage. I also opened up like a restaurant in Poland. It was like-

Brent – 00:21:22:

A restaurant?

Paul – 00:21:22:

Yeah. I opened like a small, like fast food, like American food restaurant in Poland.

Brent – 00:21:27:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:21:27:

I had that open operating for a year and a half until I closed it down.

Brent – 00:21:30:

Okay.

Paul – 00:21:31:

I was working as an agent for a company out of Texas. And then there was this other partner that I had that wanted to open up another brokerage because she thought that she could get a lot of clients for it and just outsource it all to Poland. And I was like, I could follow these four projects at once. No problem at all. Like I’m capable of it.

Brent – 00:21:48:

Oh, sure.

Paul – 00:21:48:

And then after one-by-one, everything just started falling apart besides FreightCaviar. And honestly, FreightCaviar was the one where I was like most passionate about. I didn’t like running a brokerage. Honestly, running a brokerage. People think. It’s easy. It’s like really difficult. There’s so many nuances that goes into running a brokerage. And then like essentially operating as a bank for these shippers a lot of the times, unless it’s a smaller shipper. But like these larger shippers like are just, you know, paying you within 90 to 120 days. It’s just, it’s a painful process. And so.

Brent – 00:22:17:

Sure. Yeah.

Paul – 00:22:18:

I kind of realized I’m like, you know, I had this conception. I was like, I want a brokerage. I want to make a lot of money. I’ll sell the brokerage eventually, you know. And then I was like, okay, that’s not how I want my life. That just sounds painful and awful. I want to like kind of live my life now the way I would love to live my life, you know, even in 10 years, you know, maybe like I’ll change a few things. But overall, like it’s like, how do I get that? So that was like the first kind of like, I guess, part of kind of realizing like the maturity. I was like, I was a freshman year one. And then year two, becoming a sophomore, I was like, okay, time to get more focused on one thing and just focus on one thing. But overall, like there’s definitely a lot of difficulties, especially in like running a media company. I’ve never run a media company. I don’t even know like what exactly is a media company, you know, it’s like. Okay. And how do you price things? How do you get customers to sponsor your stuff? And then how do you show them ROI and provide them analytics? And so luckily I saved up enough money before I had left Everest to where I had a nice cushion where I could experiment. Because I think if you don’t have that cushion, like I would have been back at a job within a year for sure. I would have been okay. I’m broke again. Time to get another job.

Brent – 00:23:22:

That cushion is called operating capital there. For the Freight Nation, it’s called operating capital.

Paul – 00:23:29:

Operating capital. Yeah. I would call it also R&D, research and development. Yeah, that goes into it. And so in terms of like getting FreightCaviar up to speed, getting actually to like, you know, being like a business like we have Deepak here in Poland to help me with it. We have a great writer, Adriana. We have amazing social media managers like we have a group of five now. And it’s like, okay, you know, obviously we need to get paid. We need customers. But it’s also like building a relationship with your customers. You know, it’s like, okay, like how do we improve this? And it’s not like something that happens in one day or in a week. You know, I’m continuously reading business books, listening to business podcasts, continue writing down notes. I have a journal where I have like all my thoughts and ideas and kind of like my priorities. But there’s just so much focus and concentration that has to go into like one thing, like an entity in order for it to be successful. And I don’t get when people say like, oh, I opened up as a side hustle, a trucking company. It’s like, what does it even mean? Like, unless you have like a full time, like. Operator at that business, like there’s no way you could have a side hustle of a trucking company or like any business for that matter. I think it’s really difficult. You can make a few thousand dollars maybe per month, but it’s not going to be that successful. So it’s like being focused and concentrated is definitely something like a huge takeaway. And then like building a relationship, finding the people you want to work with and actually like just focusing on them. Like what I’ve been grasping with lately or what I’ve been kind of like really trying to teach myself is to be more patient because things take time. And I was, I guess, typically kind of like an impatient person. Like I kind of wanted results quickly. And it’s like what I got away from this podcast I listened to last week. It’s like thinking 10 year timeframes. You know, it’s like the Japanese even I think thinking 100 year timeframes about your life. You know, it’s like, how are you going to go through life? If I think instead of like doing a one year or one month timeframe, I think in 10 years, like is today a successful day? If I think in a 10 year timeframe, it’s a lot better like to be maybe easier on yourself, but also like more understanding. Like in 10 years, like this is going to be great or within 10 years, this is all going to work out. Maybe today was a rough day, but overall, like there’s a lot more days to come. So there’s a lot of takeaways. And yeah, running a business is difficult. And I honestly think if I were to go back and work for someone right now, it’d be life on easy mode. Like life would just be so much easier, but I wouldn’t have that independence and the freedom that I’m like, this is mine. I’m building something that’s my own. And I think that’s beautiful, especially since we have this one life. It’s like, let’s build something. You know? And I’m not here to like make a ton of money. Like sure. Money’s amazing. Don’t get me wrong. I want to make a lot of money, but that’s like secondary to like having that freedom and independence. And then going back to Charlie Munger, Charlie Munger also said that like when he was just starting out as an entrepreneur, like his main goal was just independence and freedom. He didn’t want to go work for someone. He didn’t want to be, you know, stuck to like specific hours. Like if I wanted to, you know, catch a plane right now to the Philippines, I could do that and I could still work. Funny enough, my friend is actually flying from Rosko to the Philippines today. And he asked me if I wanted to fly with him. He’s also an American living in Poland. So just funny insight there.

Brent – 00:26:33:

Well, super good story about your experience on that. And I love it because I know that the Freight Nation watchers and listeners will take away a lot from that. I think a couple of things I took away from this. Number one is you talked about maturing. What comes with maturing is patience, is like understanding that you can continue to move forward even when things aren’t necessarily going your way that day. That’s a great thing. I love what you said about focus and concentration on one thing. All right. And I’ll bring this back to you, Paul. Well, you know this in psychology, the human brain doesn’t focus on multiple things at the same time very well. And people talk about this all the time. They say, I can multitask. That is the quickest way to an average return at best. So if you really want to be excellent and great at something, Freight Nation, focus. This is great advice from Paul. Put your focus and your concentration on one thing and do it over and over and over again. That’s fantastic advice, Paul. Fantastic advice. So thank you for that wise counsel. Let’s talk a little bit about FreightCaviar. Then we’ll swap into what you guys are thinking about for continue to grow the enterprise. So as you were building it, so you said, I’ve never owned a media company. I didn’t even know what it was about. So what were some of the operational things that you guys did that you found success in as you continue to build it out? Because, I mean, you talked about it just kind of like a fun platform to inform the brokerage industry, inform the carrier marketplace, inform the transportation marketplace. But I’m sure as you develop some of those things, things kind of continue to iterate and change. Talk a little bit about how you started building FreightCaviar’s ability to deliver great quality to your watchers and listeners.

Paul – 00:28:10:

Luckily, I would have to say that we had an influx of companies reaching out to us to sponsor us because we were putting out a lot of content. A lot of the content was doing great. People were reaching out to us. It was very fortunate for me because I didn’t have to do a lot of outbound sales or cold calling where people had no idea where we were. It’s like, why are we going to sponsor someone that we don’t know? So I would say, first off, creating content is a blessing when it comes to sales. And that helped a lot in terms of getting sponsors on board. And then once we had the sponsors on board and we had them featured in our newsletter or podcast, a lot of them saw the amount of leads they would receive from being promoted, especially since our audience keeps growing and keep getting the spotlight. And a lot of the companies that we work with in terms of sponsors typically are freight tech companies. There’s also freight factoring, Otero Solutions that we work with as well. But typically they’re freight tech companies because a lot of our audience is freight brokers. So we were kind of fortunate in being able to kind of figure that out along the way. We’re like, okay, we have this newsletter. There’s ad slots here. Let’s put a customer here. Let’s put a customer there. And then get some maybe feedback from our customer and overall see how it goes. But a lot of our customers have been with us for a long period of time because we provide good value and they get leads from us. So that’s one thing.

Brent – 00:29:24:

You began to continue to iterate your business. So you found that was successful. Okay, what if we did this? The sort of iteration of business that you’re developing, testing, and then implementing, into your platform. That’s not easy because everything you do is public.

Paul – 00:29:41:

Yeah. It’s definitely not easy. And sometimes I wish it wasn’t all public. But I mean, that’s how we operate as a media company. Overall, I definitely have realized that at the end of the day, like quality is the most important. Like, you know, you could try to put out as much content as you want. And like at the end of the day, like I do recommend people for people to post a lot of content because you never know what’s going to do well. And I kind of realized that as well. Like put out a lot of content, like maybe on social media, you know. Like social media is very forgivable when it comes to like, you know, one does well. One post as well. The other post might not do so well, et cetera. But you really don’t know what content will do well until you start posting. But when it comes to like the newsletter, I was like, well, if we increase our newsletters to five times a week, we could, you know, increase our revenue by 40%. Because we’re basically sold out of slots for our primary ad slot until August.

Brent – 00:30:29:

Right. You need inventory.

Paul – 00:30:31:

Yeah, exactly. Create inventory. But then I was like, well, that would dilute the quality. It’s like, I mean, I don’t know how I could put out a daily newsletter and actually have it where people actually want to click it and open it every day. So maybe I will be able to figure that out. And if I do, that’d be amazing because then we could increase our revenues. But for the time being, I’m like, okay, let’s focus on quality. And something that I actually just working on this week, Brent, I actually wanted to talk to you apart from this is that we’re going to be bringing on or capping our sponsors at 13. We’re bringing on 13 sponsors and we want to do like a long term relationship. With every single one of them. And honestly, just be focused solely on them. Well, they’ll see like, first of all, we’re a small company, so I don’t want to bring on too many customers and then provide lower quality service. Right. And there is something I saw on LinkedIn today from Nick Dangle saying people like, you know, a lot of brokers just bring on as many customers as they can. And then they realize, oh, they can’t really service them that well. And that’s a problem. Right. Because the customer doesn’t want to work with you anymore.

Brent – 00:31:32:

Right.

Paul – 00:31:32:

So it’s like I’ve kind of embraced this recently. Where it’s like I rather grow slowly, but like really effectively and actually have really good relationships with my customers versus trying to grow as fast as I can, you know, every year. And like I’ve seen companies that do that and I feel like it never ends well. And people want to always make more money. And so they’ll do anything for it. But then it’s like you end up making more money in 10 years if you grow slowly, but more effectively and have everything in place with the people in place, provide good quality, have good relationships versus trying to grow really fast. And, you know, a couple of years. Within 10 years, you will grow faster if you grow slower now and actually like slowly get into things. And so I think building on the topic of patience, like embracing just like really slower growth, but actually having really good relationships with each and one of my customers and sponsors. I guess that’s like the aspect that I’ve been kind of trying to like really hone in on. And it’s like, okay, we don’t need five newsletters now because the quality is going to be bad. People won’t like them. Let’s stick to three, because three is good. It’s the perfect number. And how can we serve our sponsors with three newsletters a week and how can we grow as a company? So I hope that answers your question.

Brent – 00:32:44:

No, it did. It’s fantastic. So I’m writing things down because you’re giving great advice. I like to call them pro tips. So how do you apply all this, what you just said? Because you’re a media company. People go, well, he’s a media company. How do I apply that to my trucking business or my brokerage business? Well, I love what you said about quality matters. Quality matters. No matter what it is, if you’re a carrier, quality matters. How well are you servicing the customer from a standpoint of on-time delivery? How are you helping them have a better relationship with their customers, the shipper that you’re bringing those goods to if you’re a trucking company? On the brokerage end, how well are you developing the quality of which you’re dealing with, the relationships with the carriers you’re working with? All these things matter. And I love what you said about the long-term. The long-term always matters. It’s almost from a human standpoint, there’s two types of mindsets. There’s a Western mindset, which is what we have in the United States. Fast, fast, fast. Get it done right now. There’s an Eastern mindset. Take your time. Be thoughtful about it. Understand the long game. In other words, how’s it going to be in five years? Because you said you always measure yourself like in a 10-year gap. Now, in other words, what’s it going to be like in 10 years? So these things matter. You were talking about long-term quality and long-term relationships. And I tell you, I think that’s so smart because no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re running a trucking company, whether you’re running a brokerage company, Freight Nation, you’ve got to make sure you’re focused on quality and on long-term relationships because those things, as you work on long-term relationships, the repetitiveness on that has the lowest cost because you can work quickly because the relationship, the communication is a lot faster. And I love what you said about not bringing on too many clients at one time because it’s a lot harder. It’s a lot more expensive to bring on new ones than it is to service the ones you’ve got and create great quality with them. So that’s fantastic, man. So that is, and I’m telling you, Freight Nation, this is such great advice to you. So take these things down and listen about how Paul has grown FreightCaviar. Now, granted, he comes from a mindset of working as a brokerage company, right? He also comes from a mindset of a family that made sacrifices to create a future for their family here in the United States. So all these things work towards how Paul is bringing FreightCaviar to success. So super cool. Let’s shift the last couple of minutes because every entrepreneur…

Paul – 00:34:55:

And if I could…

Brent – 00:34:56:

Yeah.

Paul – 00:34:56:

If I could just add one thing to that.

Brent – 00:34:57:

Go for it.

Paul – 00:34:58:

Okay. And this is something that I’ve realized, and maybe it took me a while to realize this, but there’s so much noise out there.

Brent – 00:35:04:

Oh, yeah.

Paul – 00:35:04:

Especially when you go on social media and you see all these companies and they’re bragging about how much they’ve grown in a year or how many employees they have or, you know, there’s just so much, all this noise that could deconcentrate you and make you think, oh, no, I got to grow faster. But at the end of the day, like, you got to, like, mute that noise and just focus on, like, that one customer and that one load, whatever it may be. And because a lot of that stuff is, like, honestly fake. You know, people lie on social media all the time. They exaggerate. It’s just not true. It’s, like, just focus on what you have in front of you and, like, mute, like, turn off all that noise. So… I just wanted to add that.

Brent – 00:35:41:

No, I’m glad you did. Focus, persistence, and determination is what creates success. Go read the quote from our president, Calvin Coolidge, back many years ago. Focus and persistence and determination wins out every single time. All right, so I want to shift to the last couple of minutes we’ve got here. I want to shift to every business needs to continue to focus on new opportunities. So you guys, when you said you partnered with Krystian who brought in, he’s now your co-partner there in working on FreightCaviar. But he brought, I don’t want to talk deeply about the product, but just about what it means in a business to continue to have new opportunities. So you guys, you partnered with Krystian you brought in ShipperCRM, which is a great opportunity. But talk about why you brought that in and then what that helps from the standpoint of the sort of future of the business.

Paul – 00:36:23:

Sure. So it’s actually, I should have maybe brought this up earlier about like the impact of like the powerful impact of having like a media business. Is when you have an audience, it’s like you could really sell anything. I mean, you know, if I wanted to start, let’s say-

Brent – 00:36:38:

Distribution.

Paul – 00:36:39:

Yeah, it’s distribution. And then they like, you know, everyone is trying to market their companies and have the world know about them. But it’s like when you have a list of companies that already know you and people that know you, especially in this industry, it’s a lot easier to actually start something. And I know that Craig Fuller from FreightWaves often mentions like the negative customer acquisition costs that FreightWaves has for the sonar business. And I think, you know, back in August 2020. FreightCaviar was still relatively, you know, maybe not new. It was two years after I had started it. But it was, you know, the newsletter probably had like, I don’t know, a thousand subscribers. You know, that’s kind of the thing that I mostly focus on nowadays. But it was like, okay, like we had this audience and I was talking to a few people that were like, Paul, like you should just, you know, partner with like a, you know, tech guy and, you know, create like some application for the industry. And, you know, like back then I was like, yeah, that’s like unbelievable, amazing idea. Like, that sounds so easy, like partner with a tech guy. I have this audience. We’ll just sell it to them. Perfect. And then you kind of realize like there’s a lot of complexities and nuances that goes into building a tech company. Every business is difficult. Obviously, there’s different rankings. I would say that owning a restaurant is probably the most difficult and never open up a restaurant. I learned that the hard way, but like you can learn from my mistakes. But when it comes to like the tech side, like there’s actually sorry, there’s a funny meme out there that says like, we don’t do this because it’s easy. We do this because we thought it was going to be easy. And it’s like.

Brent – 00:38:07:

Yes, it’d be that. That’s a good one.

Paul – 00:38:08:

Yeah, yeah. And honestly, it’s true. But at the same time, it’s crazy when I think about now, if I were to tell myself five years ago, that in five years, I would be a co-founder of a SaaS product and a co-founder of a media company, I wouldn’t believe it. Sometimes it’s difficult. And I like doing that kind of test where it’s like, literally five years ago, I would have been like, there’s no way this is going to happen. But we ended up launching ShipperCRM. It took a little bit longer to build than we had originally planned for it. Officially launched the last month. We’re backed by Triumphpay and by Tim Higham from Ascendtms. And honestly, it’s been amazing. We have feedback calls with our customers. Our customers are loving the product. We still have a lot to do. There are obviously some bugs, still a fresh product, but there’s still a lot of impact for the industry. And it’s really perfect for freight brokers. And that’s our audience. So it’s like a match made in heaven, where we have the audience and we have the SaaS product. And it’s like, how do we get. Also, how do we help our audience? Because if we could help them land another shipper or more business, that obviously is going to be great for them. So I love how it all turned out. I don’t know. It’s unbelievable. But it hasn’t been easy. It definitely hasn’t. There’s a lot of work that goes into it.

Brent – 00:39:18:

Yeah, as I say, an overnight success only takes 10 years. So what great advice, man. I love the fact that you’re continuing to try to expand your business because businesses either grow or they die. You have to continue to grow them. So great advice, Paul. Thank you so much for giving that to the Freight Nation watchers and listeners today. So Freight Nation. All right. So look, we’re going to wrap this thing up. But let me give you a few of the pro tip points here. First off, thank your mom and dad for the hard stuff. Always. All right. Make sure you thank your mom and dad for the hard stuff. Continue to learn. Build relationships that you enjoy. It’s all from Paul, build relationships that you enjoy. You like doing business with them. Focus and concentrate on one thing. Do it really well because quality matters. Focus on long-term relationships and don’t grow too fast. Be patient with what you’re doing. Take opportunities to grow because you want to do this for the long term. So, man, Paul, what great advice to the Freight Nation watchers and listeners today. Thank you so much for being on Freight Nation Day. I really appreciate you joining us.

Paul – 00:40:11:

Likewise, Brent. Thank you so much for having me. This was amazing. Love talking to you. And I look forward to interviewing you soon. We got to plan that out.

Brent – 00:40:18:

I’d be honored to be on your program. So, hey, all you introverts out there, say, man, look, introverts create great success no matter what. So you just kind of focus on what you’re doing. But all right, Paul, thank you a lot. Let me know what you want me to be on the FreightCaviar podcast. I’m honored to be on. And Freight Nation, don’t forget, as we always say, work hard, be kind, and stay humble. We’ll catch you next time, Freight Nation. On behalf of the Truckstop team, thanks for listening to this episode of Freight Nation. To find out more about the show, head to truckstop.com/podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes. Until then, keep on trucking and exploring the open roads with Freight Nation: A Trucking Podcast.

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