Adam Torres and Joseph Fannin discuss creating a successful business.
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The entrepreneurial journey is different for everyone. In this episode, Adam Torres and Joseph Fannin, CEO of Fannin Professional Services, explore how Joseph built Fannin Professional Services into a successful business.
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Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and I’m happy to announce that I have on Joe Fannin on the line today. So let me just tell you, we’ve been working on this book project now for, geez, Joe, I don’t know how long it was. Six months, a year. I lose track.
But man, I’m so happy and proud now that we’ve come to the point to where we can talk about the book. So for anybody that hasn’t caught maybe some of our previous episodes or work together Joseph is the CEO of Fanon professional services. They are going through a rebrand and we’re going to talk about that as well.
So exciting, exciting stuff. So they will be known in the very near future as elephant. Some more coming up on that as well. But first off Joe, Hey, your, your intro is getting longer and longer as you come back on the show, man. It’s great to have you back. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.
It’s been fun working through this process. Well we’re, we’re glad to have you back on. And as you, as you’re aware, and as our audience is aware, we’re going to start this episode, the way that we start them all with what we call our mission matters minute. So Joe, we at mission matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives, and experts.
That’s our mission. Joe, what mission matters to you? Well, I’m going to skip from the business mission and go to my personal mission, which is to pay it forward to other entrepreneurs, young minds, and those seeking to excel in life. I have a passion to help others and their creative journeys. And that’s really just it.
That’s why I wanted to do this chapter in the book and just kind of keep on with this. Yeah, no, it’s awesome. And and it’s great having you back on. And I think just I don’t want to, I never liked to assume that maybe some of our newer audience we’ve been blessed. The audience has grown. We have new subscribers.
And if you haven’t subscribed and you’re watching this, hit that subscribe button now, but I don’t want to assume. So maybe let’s start back in how you became an entrepreneur. Like where did all this start for you? Well, I was a young man and you know, I didn’t, didn’t really have a plan to be honest.
I had some skillsets and I was determined to get out there and work. I don’t know, you know, if I told you this, but I had shingles and it was in my face and it was hard for me to get out there and work for about five or six weeks. I was in so much pain. And throughout that time, I I took all my savings and I built a website.
I built a a Yeb. The Yelp page and I did everything I could just to get out there. And eventually I just I just started a business and I didn’t have a business plan. I didn’t really have much other than a bunch of squeegees, a truck and ladders. And you know. I just worked on my reputation and getting in front of people and eventually within like six months.
I was so busy. I had to hire people and that was a new scary thing was just how do I do payroll and how do I do, you know, counting. And so I just kept learning and I kept reading. I pushed my own boundaries. Yeah, I want I want to stay in that earlier kind of segment a little bit longer because I feel like so many of us are are given these challenges in life.
So you you had, I mean, a very painful one shingles and and others have maybe it’s a it’s a job change. Maybe it’s the, you know, the pandemic changed their situation, lots of different things. Where did you like, get that inspiration or like, how, how did you turn that, you know, perceived really bad time in your life, even a pain, physical pain, like, how did you make the best of that?
And like, and use that energy or whatever we want to call it to like, make it into something good. Like what I’m just picturing myself, like I’m in pain, I’m doing this and that, like my first thing I’m going to be, I’m going to pick on myself. It’s not, Hey, how do I build my website? I’m like, man, I’m in pain.
Like, I’m not feeling this. You know, I think it was a few years of frustration and, and you know, working for other people and, and not really getting the value I felt I was putting into those companies. You know, I was a loyal, determined hard worker. I showed up early. I worked late and I knew that if I could do that for someone else, then for sure, I was going to do it for myself.
I mean, at the beginning I was working seven days a week My, my wife at the time, we, we both worked just nonstop. We didn’t have any children. However, we had just bought a house and so we had bills to pay and I just kept going and going and don’t get me wrong. I made a lot of mistakes. I wasted money on advertisement.
I you know, just fumbled through many things, but welcome to the club. All the entrepreneurs that are listening to this are like, Oh, that’s my guy. Joe’s telling the truth. Thank God. Like this isn’t all just a rosy journey. So go ahead. Well, you know, and, and the thing I think I, I guess I did the best was just.
Getting back up when you fall down and, and try again and, you know, change or pivot when you need to. And you know, hiring was one of the hardest things everybody knows that recruiting is very, very difficult. I was very fortunate. I think my third hire is actually still working for me to this day.
He’s our operations manager. He’s been a solid factor in our company. I like to say that he’s the spine of our company. So that’s nine years he’s been with us and he’s become. My little brother, basically, he’s a good friend but he’s just been so solid and I was able to take all of my skill sets that I had and hand those over to him.
And now he’s got more experience than I do. Cause I’ve been out of the field for so long. But now, you know, I’ve worked into administrative roles and sales positions and, you know, had to take on the CEO role. Hmm. How was that initial, like, like that initial, I don’t know if I’d call it transition, but that growth period of like letting go of some of that control.
I know me, I struggled with it. Like our first couple of hires, I’m like, Oh, they’re not going to do it right. It’s not the same thing. Or I had this, that, but at some point, like, I’m like, I just can’t, like, I’m working a hundred hours already and it’s ridiculous. Like other people can do some of these functions.
Like, how was that journey for you of kind of letting go? I would say I was a little fortunate. I was distracted. My daughter was born and I wanted to be at home more. And so senior time for nursing. Why don’t I let go? Have a daughter. Okay. Got it. Thank you. Not necessarily, but that was the pivotal moment that it forced me into being able to let go, but I definitely was on the phone trying to call, Hey, are you doing it this way?
You know, and I wanted to micromanage. Definitely my OCD was coming out, but I was fortunate to have a good, solid guy. that could take lead. And actually at that we had just hired another person and he worked for maybe two weeks and then just didn’t show up. So then it was just him again by himself.
And, you know, then I would, I would go out and help, but I think, I guess really it’s just giving the best you can to set them forward. And I’ve always been a person that’s like, extra prepared, always had the tools we needed, always had the resources. And I never would just falter to, you know, getting by with cutting, cutting corners or anything.
I never liked to do that. You know, we built our name on quality and professionalism and we’re still doing that to this day and will forever. So, you know, as you mentioned in the very beginning, you didn’t have necessarily a business plan and you were, you know, kind of green as an entrepreneur, right? But like, where did this idea of and maybe this was part of the beginning?
I don’t know. But where did this idea of you creating this culture around what you did? Where did that germinate from? Or how did that begin? Because I feel like, you know, not to not to stereotype, but I’ve hired I’ve I’ve You know, I’ve worked in a lot of different areas. I’ve had a lot of different types of companies and your ideology and your, your kind of methodology and the amount of like importance you put on culture and give back, like, I only hear about those in like tech companies, sometimes large tech companies.
I don’t usually hear that in the services industry and my, in my experience, at least like, where’d all that germinate. I think it’s culminated over the years through, you know, networking and going to events and, and meeting other people and, and take a little nugget idea from here and there. And so eventually, I guess it kind of put together when I was that young and I was looking for a job and all I was getting, it was a paycheck.
It was kind of hard to count on the future and plan. And I knew like I wrote in the book, I knew I wanted to propose to my girlfriend at the time. I wanted to start a family. I wanted to have a future, but. When you’re just working for a paycheck, it’s really hard to be motivated to continue on that journey.
So I knew if I was the one wanting that, then of course, anybody that was going to be working for me most likely wanted it as well. So one of the first things I put together was just pay time off. It was scary. I didn’t know if I could afford it. You know, I tried to make sure, okay, this is how much money I need to have put aside for just in case.
But that’s some of the things that was able to create a culture that. And then from there, after we had the paid time off you know, we started doing company outings where we’d just go and have fun. And just schedule a day where we had fun. And a couple of times I would do it as a secret. I would schedule a bogus job and tell all the guys to meet me there.
Yeah. Yeah, we did that with the best, best boss ever. So I imagine what, like, that must’ve been like for them, like for real, like for real, for, Yeah. So we did it at the K one electric go kart track. It’s an indoor go go kart track here in Austin. And the guys almost caught me cause they were like, what’s up with this job?
It seems weird. What are we, what are we going to do? And I was like, don’t worry about it. Just, just show up. We’ll meet you there. And they showed up and I was in there filling out the form, signing the waiver. And I was like, Hey guys, I’m going to need you to power wash the building clean up the windows and I’m going to be in here racing.
And they were like, what? What do you mean? And I was like, I’m just kidding. Get over here to sign up. And so we, we had three trucks show up and it was like sets of guys walking in. We just kept the joke going and it was hilarious. The final, the final team were like, okay, I guess so. And they like walked back out the door.
Thinking that we were being serious. So we had to like run out there and catch them. That was, that was one of the funnest times to do that. Oh man. Best boss ever. That’s awesome. That’s, and I love this idea because it’s, and I remember I’m glad, man, you took me way back the first time we gave somebody a day off and we gave, we started doing some of those things for around the holidays and things like that.
I mean, we were still very young as a company, so it was like. I was just used to working every day. I didn’t even understand what a holiday was at that point. So we’re really, you’re taking me way back and I’m like, well, I don’t know if it’s a holiday or not. I just have to get this work done. Right. We have to deliver for our clients.
So obviously as a, as a founder and somebody that’s trading their kind of a big portion of their life in the beginning, when you bootstrap a business to do that to see and to be like, Oh, wait a minute. You can’t like. You don’t, you can’t enforce that on the individuals that are working for you and believe in what you’re doing.
Like they’re not making that trade off. They can be very bought in, but, but there’s a line. So when you, when you bring that up, I’m like, Oh yeah, it is a thing. Any of the other, any of the other founders out there that are listening to this, they’re going to be probably remember the first time they implemented that, assuming they’re not a funded startup and all the other things.
But if you bootstrapped it and you grinded and you did, you know, built. Brick by brick, like you get what you just said. Yeah. But another thing that I took from another company that I thought was At first, it just hit me hard because I didn’t realize this, but a lot of people don’t have a birthday, like they have a birthday, but nobody celebrates them.
And there was a, I took a business course online in 2020, it was, I think it was during the pandemic and this couple that had started a big company well, that grew big in town. They found out that people weren’t getting a birthday cake, or they weren’t being able to celebrate with their families, you know, they were working paycheck to paycheck.
And so they, they hired a baker to start making cakes because they had so many people on staff. So they had a full time position baker, baking cakes, and they would deliver them to the people on their birthday. And so I adopted that. I don’t bake the cakes, but I’ll make sure we get a cake, and we have a card, and we try to make it an event.
Oh, Joe, where’s your commitment, man? You don’t bake?
I don’t know if if I should, they’re like, no, no, we can’t, we don’t want but, and, and also feedback from my team is it does hit positively that they, they. And half the time I’m giving a hard time because there’s a cake left the next week. I’m like, Hey, you didn’t even eat it, but it’s still the, it’s the intentional moment to say, Hey, happy birthday.
We’re here celebrating with you. You know, and that, that becomes more important every year after year because they can anticipate it. Yeah. And so the, the book. So just diving a little bit further into that. And for everybody watching, just so you know, we’re not going to pick it apart because we want you to buy the book.
So there’ll be a link, a link, a link in the show notes. Yes, we do sell books. It’s okay. Just pick it up. It’s on Amazon. All good there. But Joe, in terms of the topic, you sharing your story what do you hope that your, are some of the things that your readers will walk away from after, after kind of digesting the material?
Yeah. I think the best part about it is that there’s no better time than now. If you have an idea, you need to get out there and execute it. You know, especially after the pandemic, 30 percent of businesses closed down. I was fortunate enough to be well established at that point. We did a little pivot and we were able to move forward with it, but looking back.
Had I not been established as much as we were, it’s could have been a lot different for us, you know but I, I hope that readers can take that as a motivation to get out there. And even if it’s just a side hustle and you keep your current, you know, job, just get out there and try. And all you can do is just keep moving forward.
You know, what Wayne Gretzky says, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. Yeah. And yeah. You’ll never know until you get out there and actually do it. Yeah. I want to talk a little bit about the the rebrand you’re going through, because I mean, I find the reasoning, I find like the, like the concept I’ve seen some, some of the, first off, I love, I love the way it’s coming out.
I know nothing’s finalized, but I got, I know some of the concept that you and I’ve talked about in the past. So I think it’s gonna, it’s just going to be awesome, but, elephant exterior experts. So obviously you already, I mean, you’re already successful with fan and professional services. People know the name.
Why the rebrand? Like what kind of drove that? Well when I was naive and young and I started this business, I had the hardest time deciding what I was going to name the company. So it just became phantom professional services because I put my name on it and I knew I could stand by my own work.
Yeah. That was quite closed minded. And as I learned, it became better at branding and sales and understood the process fan of professional services. Quite does not explain what we do. We had people thinking we were in the white collar services you know, recruiting staffing, they didn’t know what we did.
And so it was just after, you know, so many phone calls of having to give my elevator speech time and time again. I decided, you know, I need to work towards something that makes sense. The other thing that’s driving that is also, you know, my team, we work together as a team. We are a family, but I never really thought that this was going to be like a selfish thing, putting my name on it, but they’re wearing my name.
They’re doing their own work and they should be known as well as being the expert. It’s not just me. So it’s kind of twofold. But it’s also to kind of get out there. I’ve worked on only referral based business, a little bit of cost for click ads here and there, but now we’re going to just jump out there and get in, get in the face of our, our competitors.
We’re going to be a household name with the new brand. And I’ve been rolling with just kind of no marketing and now we’re ready to just get out there and take another big share of the market. Yeah, and I think it’s such a a testament to the work. So what I mean by that is to be able to, you know, build the way you have and to do it really, you know, internally with by having a great culture by delivering on your word.
Obviously you have to do great work or else you wouldn’t be growing, especially you’re, you’re not looking at the, you know, sometimes rotary door of clients, right? Like that. And that’s some businesses with, you know, great, great marketing may, may do. And so now what’s interesting to me is, so you have this.
Awesome. Solid foundation you’ve built through the years. You have a solid culture, solid crew, and now you add this next piece to it. Ooh, man. I’m excited. Joe, I’m like, come on, Joey. Make some time for me over here, man. I’m like, yeah, so I just think, I just think you’re poised to just, like you said. Take market share gone to the next step and really provide more value, provide more jobs, provide more for the community, continue to be more blessed so that you can continue to find ways to be a blessing as well.
It’s awesome. Right. And it’s also given us an opportunity to kind of change some of the things that we, we’ve learned that we don’t want to do, you know, pivot a little bit. We modify our services that are a little bit more what people are wanting now versus what they wanted 10 years. When I started this company, Austin was growing 150 people per day.
And now we’re at like 175, 200. I don’t know. The numbers just keep growing. So that was one thing I was fortunate enough to, once I did get out there, there was so many new people moving here, looking for quality work, but they didn’t know where to look. They didn’t have any friends or neighbors that they knew.
And so that was my, my first goal was just get in front of people. Well, now we don’t need that. We have a lot of referrals. We have a lot of current clientele. There’s also new people moving here. And so we’re just going to jump out there and get right in their face. Yeah, it’s exciting. Well, Joe I just have to ask, I mean, yeah, a lot on your plate.
You’re doing the rebrand. Obviously we’re going to continue to promote this book. But I have to ask, I mean, what’s next? I mean, what’s next for you? What’s next on the vision? Well obviously elephants in the works, we should have that done in the next few months. We also have another brand that we’re going to be working towards.
It’s going to kind of a sister business. I’m not gonna, I don’t want to get into that just yet, but it’s going to say, man, I thought I was breaking new news. That wasn’t in the prep. What’s going on? No, don’t do it. It’s okay. I was just got a little back off. It’s cool. But there’s just going to be some collaborations.
I actually I sell cleaning chemicals to my competitors as well. And so I’ve built relationships with a lot of people that are in the same industry. And we all have our niche and we have our qualities and the things that we’re good at. And we have things that we don’t want to deal with. So that is also kind of kind of come together as an association in our industry here in Austin.
And we’re going to do our collaboration. I mean, that’s our whole business is collaboration. And, and so there’s, you know, there’s probably a handful of guys that I’ve known for the past few years that we were handing work to each other. And so I want to bring this together. I want it to be more congruent.
And you know, that’s just part of it. I really enjoy helping people. I’m fortunate enough to have started this company. I’m comfortable. I enjoy helping. And so this is just another way that I can help others. Fantastic. Well, Joe, I mean, obviously I wish you all the best and I’m excited to continue to be on this and this journey with you and to continue to get your message out and your values out.
But that being said, if somebody wants to follow up and connect and they want to learn more about fan and professional services, or maybe in the future when, depending on when they’re, when they’re watching this, it might be elephant exterior experts by then, but how do people connect with you and your team?
Well, our current website is phantomprofessional. com. You can always give me a call 512 786 1211. I usually answer if I don’t, I’ve got an answering service. They pick it up and they’ll give me the message. I’ve kind of fallen off on social media just due to our referral base. I don’t really do a lot of marketing, but you know, we do have an Instagram and Facebook out there.
You can find us by looking for Phantom Professional Services. Awesome. And we’ll put, we’ll put all that information in the show notes so that you can the audience can just click on the links and head right on over. And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters, and if you haven’t hit that subscribe button yet, hit that subscribe button.
We have many more. Mission based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing. The whole mission matters platform is based on bringing business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives, having them share their story. Well, you know, what motivates them? What gets them fired up to go out into the world and to make a difference?
That sounds like something interesting to you hit that subscribe button. Joe, really, it has been a pleasure as always having you back on. I’m pumped to continue to promote this book with you and wishing you all the best with the, with the rebrand. I’m sure it’s going to go awesome. I’m excited. I appreciate you having us on.