“I was really doing this to solve a problem. Failure didn’t occur to me, success didn’t occur to me. I was focusing on a problem that needed to be solved.” – Mandy Barton
Alan: Welcome back I’m visiting here today with Mandy Barton she is author of the book “step one jump”. Mandy welcome to today’s show.
Mandy: Thank you for having me
Alan: So for the listeners here can you give me background of how you got to where you are today and your pathway and then we can jump into the book.
Mandy: So I’m in the transportation trucking business, so I’m in logistics. I got started because right out of college I couldn’t find a job and I was going to work for a temp agency and I was going to take anything they could give me and I got hired onto a company that Fed-Ex eventually bought and so I got into third-party logistics. Everyday when I would go into work I would have problems with my brokers. So they would take all of the really easy freight, you know the Houston to Memphis and then when I had the Amarillo load they would leave me hanging. So I found that I was spending my workdays really ticked off all the time. So when you’re in your early 20s and you’re really naïve you think you can do things like start truck companies and so I did that. And I really started to not quit. Not quit on my customers because as a buyer that’s all I wanted when I was in the customers seat. So that’s how I got started, just jumped right in, and five years of really difficult startup and I’m sure that I was out of business two or three times there but I was working too hard to notice.
Alan: You know when you’re trying to gather courage to say, “I see there’s a problem and I need to fill the void”. Were you prepared to do this and fail or did that really cross your mind?
Mandy: I was really doing this to solve a problem. Failure didn’t occur to me, success didn’t occur to me. I was focusing on a problem that needed to be solved.
Alan: So when you went into solving the problem was there a certain way that you approached this or was it “I’ll figure this out as I go through this”?
Mandy: You always think you know how, I just knew that I wasn’t going to quit. When I couldn’t find the truck either on one of these difficult loads I would continue calling my client and let them know that I was working on it. Let them know what I was doing and what I was in the process of, because when I was in that seat I just got abandoned. So I thought how hard is it to just not quit and not quit trying? So that’s what I did, I didn’t quit trying.
Alan: So when you stepped into logistics the company is it a softer base for delivery, or did you have to go out and buy the trucks? How did you go out and say “I’m in business as a trucking company now”?
Mandy: I obtained broker authority so I had legal right to broker freight in the country, anything but household goods. So my old co-workers were my first clients, they eventually moved on to new employers and became my first clients.
Alan: So this fits very naturally into a book that you wrote “Step One Jump!” Something that you not only wrote about but is also a true story on processes that you used to get this going. Can you tell me how long did it take you to get this book?
Mandy: It was year and a half in the works and when you meet with any kind of success in life you have more people wanting to know how you did it and wanting to pick your brain. And that’s what happened to me, and it was becoming 4-5 times a week, so I decided that I was going to put this into a blueprint to the best of my ability and be able to hand that out.
Alan: So when you finally got through writing the book, and the process of putting it together. What was the timeframe of having your editorial work done?
Mandy: Yes we had an editor go through it after I was done writing it. So the whole process took a year and a half.
Alan: A year and a half…
Mandy: And that was really getting after it.
Alan: So Mandy I want to get into this Step One Jump! which is really a process on how to take a person that isn’t satisfied with their life and how to create a real change for them but I need to take a quick break.
Mandy: Ok sounds good.
Alan: So we will be back after these messages with Mandy Barton.
Alan: Welcome back I’m here today with Mandy Barton and we have been talking about her book Step One Jump! The book was inspired when Mandy solving a problem that she saw in the Logistics industry and going out and starting her own trucking company. Then wrote about her experience to help individuals walk through the process for those who were seeking change in their lives. Mandy I want to start into this with the first place that you recommend that people start looking into for change.
Mandy: So the first thing is I’ve always been really good at keeping what’s important on the front burner which is something that I think a lot of people aren’t really good it. So what I have in front of my face all the time are the goals that I’m after and the quotes that inspire me. I use a digital picture frame that sits on my desk and it just rolls through the goals for the year, how I’m tracking towards them, the quotes that inspire me. We all have those times when we are excited and on fire about life and when I’m in that mode I write notes to my future self having a down day. So I can get myself back on track very quickly.
Alan: You know it’s not easy when you’re running a business to always keep upbeat is it?
Alan: And so you’re advice on keeping things on the front burner. When you encounter a problem in business and sometimes these problems are not always easy to deal with. What advice do you have for the person who wants to take it off the front burner and put it on the back?
Mandy: You have to have a goal that you’re working towards. Without a goal, mischief and mayhem happen in that space. When you’re focused and excited about achieving something and you’re committed to it, all the noise falls off, all the down stuff because there is something that’s in it’s space.
Alan: So how important accountability to yourself?
Mandy: It doesn’t work without it. It’s all the tricks. The tricks that we use in procrastinating, all the “I’ve got to check my email, I’ve got to do this…” All the things besides the important thing that I’m supposed to do that day. It’s getting to know your own tricks and, as I say in the book, tricking your trickster. When I have to do the hard thing I know the process that I have to go through. I bury myself in email response; I do silly things that are not the most important. So I do circle the most important thing to do that day and I don’t let myself do other tasks until that is done. And if a certain task shows up on my to do list for more than three days in a row I don’t write it anymore and I know that I won’t allow that.
Alan: So if that task of 3 days is important what do you find yourself doing?
Mandy: I find myself often doing it on that third day because I have a rule I won’t write it on my to do list because it will be forgotten. It works for me. If you don’t do this it’s about to go off the radar.
Alan: So as you find yourself scaling your company and trying to work with more companies and individuals how important is hiring the right people in that process?
Mandy: Your team is everything. The right team, we all have the weaknesses that we need to compensate with our team. I say that having been a solo artist for a long time in my company and the growth happens a lot faster when you get the right team around you.
Alan: What is the process and how did you make that decision and say “I’m not going to make this just about me, but I’m going to bring people in to help me”?
Mandy: My results weren’t going as fast as I wanted them to and that’s the importance of having that big goal that you’re excited about because that outcome requires me to be different and to do something different and required me to be a different person and not someone who had to do it by myself.
Alan: So Mandy I need to take a quick break
Alan: I’m visiting today with Mandy Barton, author of the book “Step One Jump!” We will be right back after these messages.
Alan: Welcome back I’m here today with Mandy Barton she is author of the book Step One Jump! So Mandy we were talking about identifying a problem in the logistic space of not getting the service that you needed to get the deliveries consistently and so you decided that you were going to jump out and do your own company. Then you found yourself needing to bring others in. In your book you talk about “the dream muscle”. What is “the dream muscle”?
Mandy: Well we all have on. Children don’t have a problem with this. They may be the first person on Mars, they aren’t hindered. Somewhere in our early 20s our dream muscle atrophies because it’s not getting worked anymore. We wanted to get that degree, and we wanted to get that job, the kids, the marriage whatever it was, and we were not taught to set the next one, and when it’s not exercised the muscle gets weak
Alan: So when you are bringing people in and exercising that muscle, how are you getting them to consistently follow that same process?
Mandy: Well I have all the tools that I used to get myself unstuck, which I detail in my book, but it doesn’t work if there isn’t a big dream that you’re going after, if there’s nothing inspiring about your future.
Alan: So the vision is that as you scale that out you suddenly find you’ve got one employee and now you’re up to 17. How important is that technology as you do this?
Mandy: In the logistics business it’s very important. The reason for that is because 90% of the capacity in the US is Mom and Pop trucking companies with less than 20 trucks. These big retailers and manufacturers need a lot more trucks than that but they are too technologically advanced to talk to the mom and pop trucking companies and so I’m that intermediary. I speak on the computer to the big guys and on the phone to the little guys.
Alan: You know that’s interesting the way you put that. I’m on the phone, one on one, with the little guys, and with the big guys the computer is fine.
Mandy: And I consider myself one of both I’m definitely still a little guy in a lot of ways. So I like that aspect of the trucking industry. There are a lot of very real authentic people in the business.
Alan: So in dealing with a company, we live in uncertain times. Often people will work for “I need certainty I need to know what’s happening in the economy, where it’s going” and unfortunately we can’t necessarily predict that. But in your book you talk about never giving up or never quitting.
Mandy: That’s the secret weapon.
Alan: How do you deal with that?
Mandy: That’s the thing that makes it all work. No matter how many failures or whammies you get hit with, if you’re never going to quit, never going to fail, truly fail.
Alan: In this process of logistics, by the way the company has done remarkable success. Were you doing it for the money or for something else?
Mandy: No I was doing it because I was a customer and I was being quit on when the tough load was there that needed to be covered. I quit so that I wouldn’t quit on the tough loads, that’s all I did. Surely I can just not quite. And in doing so I’ll build the relationships and get the easier freight as well, and that’s how it worked out.
Alan: So following and pursuing the passion despite good or bad times. So as a person walks through this process of change, how do you advise them to reinvent themselves?
Mandy: If I could have seen my success now then, it would have scared me to death. I couldn’t see that far. I always tell people the path becomes clear but you need to get on the path first. You then can take the next step and next step and your can see more and more as you go. I would have run screaming if I had seen all that there was today, I wasn’t ready for it.
Alan: You know when you look at the future, what vision do you have?
Mandy: It’s a constant pattern of growth, for the company and for the people. I’m excited to see what happens with my people and with myself.
Alan: What advice do you have for the aspiring entrepreneur?
Mandy: Just jump! Just get in there and do the first thing you think of and kick down go around, crawl under, adjust, readjust and just get on the path and get started.
Alan: In the process of working through, we talked a little bit about accountability; do you advise people to have a mentor or a coach of someone that they can come to?
Mandy: I have several chapters in my book devoted to this subject. I’ve always had a coach, and always had a mentor. Always be a coach and a mentor because there is something that you can teach someone. You also get the process of giving and receiving as you are a mentor and you have a mentor that’s been where you want to go.
Alan: What’s the difference between a coach and a mentor?
Mandy: A coach will get in your business, a coach doesn’t care about your feelings, a coach is committed to your outcomes and a mentor has been where you want to go.
Alan: When everything is said and done and you look at the philosophy of life what do you want them to say about Mandy Barton?
Mandy: Say that she was constantly growing and pushing it.
Alan: So Mandy, for people that are wanting more information about the book how can they get more information on where to get a copy of your book “Step One Jump”?
Alan: Mandybarton.com Is it paperback and hardback?
Mandy: It’s paperback on Amazon, the kindle and nook versions are on Amazon and the audio book version is supposed to be out today.
Alan: Audio book that’s the perfect thing for the person driving on the road seeking self-improvement
Mandy: That’s right
Alan: I love this, for the times of constant change that we have it’s very timely. So I would like to thank you for being on today’s show.
Mandy: Thank you for having me it’s been fun.
Alan: I’ve been visiting today with Mandy Barton; she is the author of the book “Step One Jump!” We will be right back after these messages