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One Source Direct is a small business community focused on helping business owners connect. In this episode, Adam Torres interviewed Scott Le Beau, Founder & Chief Connector at One Source Direct. Explore the One Source Direct story and upcoming book Scott will be launching with Mission Matters.
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About One Source Direct
One Source Direct is inviting small business communities, independent business alliances, neighborhood associations, and local economy-minded business networks and organizations, to collaborate with us as a community partner to build and support small business initiatives for impact at scale.
One Source Direct is a business community information search tool designed for entrepreneurs, small businesses, freelancers, designed to expand your circle of online influence.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on Be Our Guest to Apply. All right, so today I have Scott Lebo on the line, who I’m proud to announce is one of our newest authors in our business.
Series and books. So excited to have ’em part of the, the community of course, and as an author. Scott is the founder and chief connector over at One Source Direct Scott. Hey, first I just wanna say welcome to the show and welcome to the community. Well, thank you very much for having me. I’m looking forward to it.
Yeah. So we’ll, we’ll talk a little bit today about the book that’s coming out, and this will be more of a teaser for everybody watching because just so you know, we’ll be bringing Scott Scott back on for a second interview so we can do a deep dive in the book after it’s already live. But really today we’re gonna dive into One Source Direct and the meaning and the mission and how it’s also how OneSource Direct is helping business owners.
But to get this episode started, we will start it the way that we start them all with our mission matters. So Scott, we at Mission Matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives and experts. That’s our mission. Scott, what mission matters to yield at OneSource Thread? Our mission matters simply because small businesses matter.
You know, if you think about it every day in the us, how many countless businesses you know, fail? And do they fail simply because, you know, they lack the brand awareness of their competitors? Or do they fail because their product may be of lesser quality or, or their service might be of lesser.
Especially now with so many con you know, consumers researching products online before they buy, you know, the competition for a business ticket get the page one of the internet search is huge. Mm-hmm. And that normally comes at a great deal of expense, whether that’s time, effort, or money. So what we did is we built a platform that allows users to connect directly with one another.
And in doing so, we do not have search. Hmm. Which we hope will actually save, you know, the the business owners some time, some stress mm-hmm. And a little bit of money too to help them grow in other areas. Yeah. The One Source direct solution was designed, so businesses compete solely on their product, service and their service area.
And we’re driven by the idea that businesses should compete regardless of their size on equal terms, and have an equal chance to generate and promote their business, generate leads, and promote their. So as we look to lead the evolution of business social media communities, we very much understand that the success and goals of these small businesses is very much aligned with our own, which again, to us is something that really does make a lot of sense.
Yeah. Well, Scott great to have you on the show and big fan of the One Source Direct Mission. That being said, let’s, I wanna, I wanna go a little bit earlier in your career, like, when did all of the, when did being an entrepreneur, like when did all that be bekin begin for you? It probably started when I was in my, you know, like high school years.
There were different things that I built and in fact, I was telling my son about him, one of ’em a few weeks ago. But I think just that idea of being creative and You know, realizing that I think if you put your mind, you can pretty much do anything that you want. So it started. I mean, I really continued throughout my business career.
So, you know, obviously you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. You’ve been different businesses, different things, different markets, different cycles. We just came outta the pandemic, so we’re, you know, people are out and about, like things are, are thriving in certain areas, not so good in other areas.
Just depends on where you’re at. But that being said what would you tell to that next group or that next crop of entrepreneurs when it comes to starting their first venture? What advice would you give? I think just don’t be afraid to try something. You know, I mean, I, I tell my kids, I said, being, you know, at my age, you know, when they’re younger, I said, you know, you’re never too old to start something.
Mm-hmm. And I think that with every failure comes a lesson, and I, it’s really important to kind of take the emotion out of it and figure out how you can do something better, faster, stronger the next time, you know, and continue to learn from your mistakes. And listen to people. I mean, I’ve been fortunate in dealing with so many people over the course of.
That, you know, there’s times I call myself, myself, a selective introvert. By that I mean, you know, it’s, it. There, there are times I need to just, you know, be quiet and listen to people. I think if you do that, yeah, you can learn some amazing things. Hmm. Where did you get the idea? Or like how, how did One Source Direct come about?
Initially we wanted to help community banks because community banks in the US are actually at a level that we haven’t seen since prior to the Great Depression. And knowing that the majority of them really kind of struggle. know, people wearing multiple hats, you know, limited budgets and also, you know, the, the access to technology.
So we started off there and as I started talking to more and more people, we started to realize that, you know, this, the needs of a small business are very similar to that community bank. So really taking advice of a friend of mine that told me to expect to go somewhere that I don’t expect it to go, we really started to take it from there and just kind of build on it a little bit, you know?
And. Again, I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of businesses, some that have been successful and some that, you know, I’ve had to work out, which is a very humbling experience. Yeah, so there’s, I think, you know, there’s been a few factors that have led to this and I think each day I look forward to, you know, working more and more with small businesses to, to see how we can make this better for them.
What are some of the, the opportunity areas that you find, and I know by the way, it’s gonna be different from banks to one small business versus another, but I know when you’re creating a solution and, and an answer really to a problem, like some of the same themes tend to arise. What are some of the, the the solutions that One Source Direct provides to its clients?
Well, I think just the simplicity in terms of getting, you know, connecting somebody that has something which we call a need versus converting that into a lead for someone. Like right now, the search process is overwhelming to say the least. Hmm. Well, inside the platform, if I’m looking for something and you have it and our areas align, you automatically get it.
So that simplicity is a big part of I think that’s probably one of our biggest opportunities. Also in the US there’s about 12 million small businesses that don’t even have a website. Yeah. You know? So there, there’s a lot of opportunities to help the smaller and the micro businesses out, and really to kind of help them take their experiences to the next.
And so when I think of this, I think of, you know, really that the, the feel of the platform and, and the idea of being able to connect with a community. I almost think of it kind of like a, a, a Chamber of Commerce, but online like, am I off on this? Or like, that’s how it kind of feels to me. And, and that’s a big, I think that’s a big part of it.
It is, you know, a Chamber of com commerce is a community and that’s really what we’re building. You know, the big difference between the Chamber of Commerce and us, let’s say, is just really the, the scope of their, their neighborhood, where so many. You know, chambers are just local. I mean, you do see some national ones, but we have the ability to operate within that local and also more of that national our expanded market area as well.
Mm-hmm. So, Go ahead. And what, and when it comes to, like, linking people and, and like the idea here is that you can, you know, not only find what you need, but you can also connect with other people that might need what you have. So lead generation and really just adding value. Like, like tell me a little bit more about that and how that came about.
Probably came more from my personal searches because in my, my roles I’ve had to look for, let’s say commercial underwriting software. It’s nothing short of a nightmare because you go there and you go to page two, three, and four, and then next thing you know, I’m getting, you know, a call from my IT area, tell me that I’m in websites I shouldn’t be, and all of a sudden I click ’em on and they’re in a foreign language.
Then I’m getting pop-ups. So a lot of it came from just that frustration. You know, and again, so how can we make that, you know, better? The other things that we’ve built in is, you know, so many small businesses may have like repetitive purchases, like mm-hmm. One of the people I’ve, I worked closely with, he’s an attorney and his law firm uses a lot of paper.
So I’m like, you know, you can receive what’s called an offer through the platform, so I can set my profile up so that anytime that paper’s on sale, I would get a notification through the. So there that office manager’s not freed up to make sure that she doesn’t miss or they don’t miss a sale. Yeah. You know, and save the firm money, so, so you can do that.
The other thing, you know, there’s so many opportunities for small businesses to learn. Like if you’re familiar with the employee retention credit mm-hmm. Most people don’t know that exists. But I can set up my profile so that if an article comes out, out on it, That I can have that come directly to me.
Mm-hmm. So it’s not just connecting with that need and that lead, but it’s also connecting in other ways. You know, that that small business that may have a newsletter that just sits idle on their, you know, their website waiting for someone to stumble on it. Now they can take that and push it out to people that actually wanna get that type of information sent to them.
Yeah. No, it’s great. I think it’s a great idea. And as you kind of and I, I know in my opinion, when it comes to software, when it comes to platforms, like we’re always trying to improve, we’re refining, we take the user feedback, we, we, we make it better. We make it better. I mean, at Mission Matters. This is this particular interview, the format, I think we’re probably at like the 10th inter iteration minimum, and we’re already on.
About to launch the fourth website, and we’ve only been in business now for Gwe on six years. So you know, always reiterating, trying to make a better product and to, you know, get, get, add value to the business community. So that being said as you continue to roll this out, as you continue to grow it, like what are some of the things that are on your roadmap?
Well first we’re, we plan on launching we’re gonna looking to do a crowdfunding campaign and take on some early adopters, the around April 1st. Mm-hmm. And that’s no fool. And we’re also going to, you know, use the early adopters to help us, you know, not just. With what we’ve built already, but we already have seven enhancements that have been line and have been designed, and all of these have been designed with the help of small business owners.
So the feedback that we’re gonna get once we go live will help us expand in about six months to markets outside of the us. Hmm. But again, everything we’ve done, there’s been a lot of involvement. There’s been a lot of back and forth. Mm-hmm. But I’m, I’m really kind of curious to see where we go, because my mindset is that I wanna be able to use our users as my board of directors that will help guide where we go.
Mm-hmm. You know, I come from banking and I know you’ve, you spent some time in banking and board of directors are very prominent in the bank. But, you know, again, having people that are on the ground using the site will be mm-hmm. A very good guide for us where we. What would you say is a, is a good user for the site?
Like what’s a good, what’s a good profile for someone that you feel will get value out of being part of the community? I think typically small businesses that have less than 50,000 or 50,000, it’s really small. Mm-hmm. 50, you know, employees are less. I think that that’s really kind of the market that we’re going after because they’re the one that lack a lot of the resources that they need, whether, mm-hmm.
Something as simple as an HR department, you. In most cases you have your HR department and accounting doing the same, you know, job. And that’s, those are kind of two unrelated fields, so, yeah. So I think that the smaller businesses less than 50 are really what we’re looking for. Yeah, it’s interesting that you say that because as we, you know, we started, when I think about, you know, US mission matters.
I mean, we started with two people, myself and the other co-founder, and then you, you start adding more people, you add more services, you grow, you test. And so this is for individuals that write, bootstrapped it or started small and then grew it over time. And for those type of individuals, we’re always looking for resources.
We’re all look, always looking for new solutions. And we all, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t. So you may not be at the part where you want to, or the time where you want to, as you as using your example, hire somebody as a full-time HR person and build out that department. Maybe it makes sense to do fractional, maybe it makes sense to do a fractional c f O.
Maybe it makes sense to do a lot of other things. So I see like the value of community and also learning and, and figuring things out with each other. I mean, I feel like that’s a big benefit. Right. And you know, again, just the access to information so that it can help. You know what you don’t. Yeah. You know, if I can just set my profile, so I, maybe I want accounting tips, so I keep up to date on some things that are relevant to what I do or mm-hmm.
Hr, things like that. So if it comes across my desk and I have a few minutes to take a look at it, I’m aware of it then so I can deal with it rather than having, you know, a lawsuit or an examiner come flying in and, you know, having a little conversation with you. Yeah. All right. I, I wanna spend some time on the book because the book’s gonna be coming out.
And again, as I mentioned before to everybody, we will be bringing Scott back on the line, so we’ll have another interview. So we’re, we’re gonna keep it kind of high level today. And I know we’re still in editing and refining and everything else, so there, you know, content can change. But Scott high level, like what are some of the things that you plan to propose in the upcoming release?
Again, I think just showing a diverse background of where I’ve picked up on things, you know, and really kind of looking at my life’s experiences and, you know, I think writing the book was fun for me. Yeah. Because it, it does make you reflect a little bit upon, you know, upon the things that you really didn’t think had an impact on you.
Yeah. You know, like I look at my 30 plus year banking career and I’m realizing that all these different things I picked up along the way. Mm-hmm. But I, I really enjoyed that part of it. And some of the stories, you know, when I, I was talking with the, the writer, You know that to me, I just mentioned kind of in passing, but they’re like, no, that’s a kind of a good idea.
So I think it just, it was nice cuz it made me reflect a little bit more on things and again, it, it kind of helped me bring things together a little bit more. And understand why we do this. I, and I like your background as you mentioned before. So for those who have been listening to the show for a long time, they know, you know, I was in finance for almost 14 years, so that, that’s right.
What I did prior to media. But in which I do full-time now, but. That being said, I feel like there’s so many individuals that are in these type of professions that maybe don’t take that leap. And I don’t wanna sound biased cause I’m a publisher and I, and I publish people, right. But whether it’s books, whether it’s a podcast, I’d rather kind of frame this more so along the lines of content creation, like having all of these life.
Experiences that you can share with others so that they can benefit and you’re sharing with people really even outside your circle. So, sure, you may mentor somebody or sure, you may, you know, share with your, with your children or with your family. But like, if you take your, take your experiences and you put them into something like whether it’s a, again, in the form of a book or something else, like you have that multiplying effect where you can help a lot of people, right?
So, Scott, what would you say to those that are sitting out there? I like to say sitting on that gold mine of knowledge, whether they’re monetizing or not, that’s not what I mean, but just the gold mine of knowledge when they haven’t like taken that step to create content, whether it’s a blog or whatever their form of content is.
What would you say to those individuals? Just have faith you know, and when you, you talk about your banking career, think about how bankers are looked at, you know, we’re, we have to know about all these different industries. We have to know about all these different products and services. You know, we get called on, you know, from people Hey, I, I need an accountant.
I need this. Or, you know, do you know anybody looking for this? So I think that, It’s possible to reach a larger audience than, you know, you really do believe. And I, you know, that’s one of the reasons I really appreciate this opportunity. And it usually takes a few successes, you know, to, to really kind of steer my day sometimes, you know, as you know, you have those failures.
We’re like, oh, this, I can’t believe this happened to me. Yeah. And next thing you know, you’re like, something positive. It’s like, I’m good for a week. Yeah. You know, and, you know, don’t be afraid of it. You know, just maybe think back to some of the interactions you’ve had where you were able to help somebody, you know, and, and maybe go back to them and say, I’m thinking about doing this, what do you think?
And get their feedback, because again, that’s someone that you probably shared something with that found value in what you’re doing. They might know people that need, you know, could use that assistance as well. You know, and what’s that saying? I’d rather try and fail than not try at all. Mm-hmm. You know, and I think I can speak to that.
I think that comes a lot out in this book where, again, my selective introvert personality where now it’s like, you know what, let’s go to the mountaintop. Let’s fine. Let’s see if we can help more people, because that’s really. I think you’re gonna find your value. It doesn’t, it’s not gonna come from dollar signs.
It’s gonna be that inside value that will really help you. Yeah. And to me, my view, so when I start obviously finance, mm-hmm. I always thought it was like, I didn’t really understand, I didn’t under really understand the, the importance of sharing your story. I didn’t understand the importance of, you know, paying it forward in that manner.
I always thought like, oh, who’s gonna care? Like, who wants to hear about me or who wants to hear this? Right? Or, but what I realized have, once I, you know, did make that transition and now that we’ve published, you know, over 300 authors, I’ve recorded over 5,000 interviews, I only say that to say that like your voice is gonna resonate and it’s gonna inspire somebody more than mine.
Mine is gonna inspire somebody else. Like all these other things, it’s not about like competition or what’s like all these other things, vanity metrics, all of that doesn’t matter in my opinion. What matters is that you’re authentic in telling your story, really for the benefit of others. Yeah. And again, the more you can do that, I think that you’ll, it’ll, it’ll truly help people.
I mean, You look at what’s going on in the world and there’s so much negative stuff out there right now where you really don’t even wanna flip the TV on anymore or turn the radio on, you know, or search the phone, whatever. So again, you know, the more positive things that we can do to help people, I think will just help, you know people in general.
I mean, even saying hi to somebody on the streets sometimes, or listening to somebody when you, you know, meet ’em at a coffee shop. Listen to their stories sometimes, you know, I think you’ll, you’ll find that you can help others as well. So, Well, Scott I just have to say it has been great having you on the show today.
Great. Learning more about what you’re doing at One Source Direct, and I’m thrilled to have you in the upcoming book. I mean, we’re gonna have a lot of fun. We’re just getting started on promo and as we finish up the content. That being said what’s next? I mean, what’s next for you, your career?
One Source direct. I mean, what’s next? Oh, there’s a lot going on at once. I think again, the big thing is gonna be the rollout. You know, sitting down with the crowdfunding. People tomorrow have a conversation. But now it’s really just a matter of, you know, sitting down and, and talking to some people about, you know, some of the different posts that I wanna write, some of the different videos we want to create to help support this.
We’ve been very fortunate. We’ve been able to partnership with, you know, a couple small groups. One is a group called Trap House. They deal with minority and indigenous owned businesses. And since we’re gonna be able to private label site, there’s value added to their members in several different ways.
So we got a lot of that going on. Again, just trying to figure out where we’re gonna go in terms of what enhancements do, will our first adopters, our early adopters prioritize. I mean, you already, like I said, we already have seven of them done, you know, and it’s really about how do we make this whole thing, you know, better, faster, stronger.
And if you saw the article in the California Business Journal Dilemma fan outside in engineering and. Even though we have the ideas and we worked on ’em, you know, on a small scale, but small businesses, I really am looking forward to having conversation with the larger businesses too, are the, a larger community to get their feedback because again, they’re the ones that are gonna use the site.
We’re just the placeholders in terms of building it for them, so, mm-hmm. So again, I think that’s, that’s really kind of be the fun for me over the next few months as I sit down with people and, and have more, you know, conversations and. Again, you know, if something’s broken, I don’t know about it. I can’t fix it.
So, yeah. So they actually, it’s be a busy couple months, but it’s gonna be fun. Yeah, no, this is, this is gonna be awesome because I, and I can’t wait, and I, like, I always see this, so when somebody, you know, they’re, they’re launching, they’re doing crowdfunding. They’re, you know iterating, reiterating. I’m excited when next time I bring you back in the shaft of the book’s done.
And we can kind of recap and say, all right, last time we talked and we get the updates. And this is one of the fun parts about I believe mission Matters in the Mission Matters community. We really are a community. We care about our authors, we care about our guests. And really what we’re trying to do is build an ecosystem of individuals that support each other and that can learn and grow together.
And again, we’re awesome to have you part of the community. Thank you that. Thank you. Scott, if somebody is listening to this or watching this and they wanna follow up, they wanna learn more about OneSource Direct, they want to, to follow your journey as well. I mean, what’s the best way for people to do that?
Well, easiest way of course would be to email [email protected]. My phone number is (414) 238-3340. You can go to our website OneSource direct.net. You can check out our demo videos, which again, were built by somebody that I’ve never spoken to. So the 4, 4 2 minute videos are, are very, Provide a great overview from a user perspective on how it works.
And you can also go there and in the next few weeks and sign up to get a free, you know, free user profile, which will, you know, give you the basics of the platform. But again, we have a lot coming out, but just get ahold of us, jump on our mailing lists and give us any feedback. And like I said, if you want to talk, just gimme.
Perfect. And we’ll be sure to put the, the links to that in the, in the show notes so that individuals can click on the links and head right on over to the website. And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or engaging in an episode, we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs and executives, and having them share their background, their mission, what inspires them, and really.
Them motivated to get out there in the marketplace to make a difference. If that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or exciting, du week, welcome. You 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. Scott, again, been a pleasure.
Can’t wait till the next time we get to do this Thanksgiving for coming on. Thank you very much for having me, and again, I agree. I encourage anyone to, to reach out to you because your group has been very supportive and great to work with. So thank you, Adam. I appreciate it.