Moving CEO Mindset – Part 1

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SUMMARY

In this episode, Louis Massaro shares how to adopt a Moving CEO mindset for your moving business.

  • “The difference between a moving company owner and a moving CEO is mindset. That to me is the differentiator. That’s what helped separate myself to be able to get to the levels I did.”
  • “I think the hard times make you ask the questions. There’s got to be a better way. Like how do I do this? How do I run all of this and then keep growing?”
  • “If you’re stuck at a certain level and you feel like I don’t know what to do and maybe you’re trying some different strategies, you’re trying some different approaches, you’re doing a lot of trial and error, your mindset could very, very well be the thing that’s stopping you.”
  • “Mindset is the one obvious quality that I see not only in the people that I work with, but in all the other moving company owners who are succeeding at high levels in the industry.”
  • Watch the video to get full training.

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TRANSCRIPTION

Louis Massaro:
Hi my friend, welcome back to another episode of The Moving Mastery Podcast. My name is Louis Massaro. I’ve got my main man, Chris, with me today. And we’re going to be diving into strategies on how you could take your moving company to that next level. What’s up Chris?

Chris:
Hey, hey, hey. Here we are. What is this, day 22 of quarantine?

Louis Massaro:
Oh, it’s got to be longer than that. It’s got to be longer than that. It feels like we’re on lockdown for quite a while now, but we’re in the house. I see you there. I miss you, man. I haven’t seen you in a while. It’s been a while since we’ve been together. It’s probably been what, three weeks at least?

Chris:
At least, yeah. You know what though, it’s an amazing time we live in. We get to still do this. We get to share the podcast with these people and it’s still an amazing time to be alive. It’s different, but we’re making the best out of it.

Louis Massaro:
That’s it. It’s different. And you know what? Fortunately we all have access to tools, the internet, video conferencing that we could still operate and manage our day to day. Hopefully we’ll be past this soon, but we got to keep it going because you know what, business doesn’t stop. This will end, COVID will be over. We’ve got to make sure that you’re still marching forward with your plans, executing on your priorities and building your moving company and taking it to the next level. So in these episodes we’ve been letting Chris take the lead, either with some questions or pulling stuff from different areas. What do you got today, Chris?

Chris:
This one, I think we’ll do a little differently. I just had a general question. I’ve heard a few people ask about this and talk about this. For me, I think it’s something that I’m curious about and I think it’ll be something that you’ll bite into and enjoy talking about. What I’ve noticed is, obviously I think everyone in the audience knows that you were a very successful fixture in the moving industry. I feel like it’s important to figure out why, why that is. So my question to you and I wrote it down, so I’m just going to read it to you here. My question to you is, what is the main difference that you see in yourself and other people that have succeeded at high levels in the moving industry? Is there any common personality traits or skills that you all have?

Louis Massaro:
Okay. All right. No, I like this one a lot. You’re good, man. You’ve been picking the good questions. What happened? You want to go with your own this time, you didn’t find anything that excited you or what?

Chris:
No, I think I’m I am personally curious about this one. I know just from my perspective, I get a chance to work with you closely, so I observe a lot and I can definitely say that there are some big differences that I see in you as a company owner and a leader and something that I feel like should be shared with the rest of the world. It’s maybe a little bit of a selfish thing on my part to ask this question, but I think [crosstalk 00:03:13].

Louis Massaro:
No, I think it’s good. I think it’s good. Really what it all boils down to, there’s of course the process, there’s strategy, there’s leadership, but it all really starts with mindset. And I think you’ve heard me talk about the moving CEO mindset.

Chris:
Sure, yeah.

Louis Massaro:
The difference between a moving company owner and a moving CEO. That to me is the differentiator. That’s what helped separate myself to be able to get to the levels I did. That’s what I see those same qualities in people that I work with and other people succeeding at very high levels in the moving industry. And it’s really that mindset. It all starts with the mindset and the mindset you could have before you even get started. For me when I first got started, it was, I’m going to make a million dollars in this business. I’m going to become a millionaire in this business. That was my mindset at 19 years old. That’s what I thought about. You can have some strategies. You could have some processes, you could have some things in place, but if you don’t have the right mindset going into it, then it’s going to be hard to sustain that because it’s not an easy business.

Louis Massaro:
This is by no way a get rich quick business, but it is a solid business. It is a business that if you do it the right way, can take care of you for your life. So to answer your question, I’m thinking through it as you’re saying it, but it’s definitely mindset. There are certain things… Let me first, before I get into the mindset of it, talk about when I say moving company owner and I say moving CEO, for me, I ran my business. I started in 2000. It wasn’t until I hit the recession period about 2008 that I had to completely shift the way that I handled and ran my business. The first shift basically was when I opened up multiple offices, I needed to find a way to manage those differently than I managed the one office.

Louis Massaro:
That was a little bit of an adjustment. I changed the way I looked at things a little bit. But I was still operating from that original mindset, that moving company owner mindset. I don’t in any way, shape or form say that as a derogatory, it’s a progression. It’s a progression from going from moving company owner to moving CEO. You I know what I mean?

Chris:
Yeah.

Louis Massaro:
So I’m not saying moving company owners like a bad term by any means. But for me that was the mindset that I had for eight years until I was forced to come face to face with the recession, come face to face with my business being bigger than it had ever been at that point and just went under a major expansion period. Then all of a sudden things shift in the economy, things shift in the way marketing happens. It really required me to look at things differently. That’s when I started looking at, I said, you know what? I need to handle my business like a CEO. I need to look at this differently. Because even though at that point I was, I think I hit the eight figure mark already at that point. I could look at that success and say, okay, I’m already where I want to be, but I knew I wanted to go further. But what got me to that level, I knew I needed a different mindset. I needed a different set of tools. I needed a different strategy. I needed a different approach to be able to go further.

Chris:
Did you know that or were you forced into that because of the recession and all of that? Do you think you would have found that mindset otherwise?

Louis Massaro:
I don’t know that I would have. I think the hard times bring out, they make you ask the questions. There’s got to be a better way. Like how do I do this? How do I run all of this and then keep growing? So it was more of looking at it and saying, okay, the way that I run my day to day has to change. It has to be different. In order for me to grow, I need new systems, I need new meetings, I need new reports that I’m going to look at. I need a new way to be able to essentially manage my business. My day needs to be different and so-

Chris:
It has to be.

Louis Massaro:
Has to be. Has to be.

Chris:
Yeah.

Louis Massaro:
Anybody, if you’re stuck at a certain level and you feel like I don’t know what to do and maybe you’re trying some different strategies, you’re trying some different approaches, you’re doing a lot of trial and error, your mindset could very, very well be the thing that’s stopping you. It doesn’t mean that when I say your mindset, that that’s something that’s fixed, that that’s something that is just part of who you are. That’s just where you are right there in your evolution as a business owner, as a leader.

Louis Massaro:
So it’s taking a step back and saying, okay, who do I need to be today? Because here I was seven, eight years into the business, I started as a 19-year-old kid and sure, I am matured a little bit and my business acumen got better along the way, but I was still operating from that place. That initial place. I needed to really have a mindset shift and an identity shift to be able to view myself differently, to be able to step up into the role that was necessary at that time. Not even to grow, but where my business currently was, I needed to adjust and think about things differently. Does that make sense?

Chris:
Now, you say mindset, is it about your attitude or your discipline? What’s really the foundation of it?

Louis Massaro:
Yeah. With myself, I look back and I’m like, okay, what was it that allowed me to get to the level that I got to and what is allowing the companies that I see or the companies I work with that are performing at high levels, what’s allowing them to get there? One of the first things that stood out to me the most was essentially them saying, I’m responsible for my results. I am responsible for my results. The reason that’s so important is because, again, I talk to a lot of people. It’s great because my experience now of the moving business has been broadened so much because it’s not just my experience that I had in the year, was it 20 years since I started? It’s not just that now, it’s all the companies I’ve been working with. I get to see so many different perspectives, so many different personality types, so many different skill levels, so many different mindsets.

Louis Massaro:
The thing that I could say that everyone has that’s succeeding at a high level is that they take responsibility for the results they’re getting. Meaning, they know first and foremost, everything is on them. Their employees mess up, it’s on them. Their marketing’s not working, it’s on them. Their sales people aren’t closing at the rate they want them to close, it’s on them. If they pick the web marketing company to handle their web marketing and they’re not doing a good job, it’s on them. It’s a trait that I had. It’s a trait that I see that they have. It’s like, look, ultimately, I can’t blame anyone for anything. I need to take ultimate responsibility for everything that happens. Not only in my business, but in my life.

Chris:
What about a situation we’re in now where, God forbid, the economy is so bad or whatever? How do you take that on?

Louis Massaro:
When I went through the recession, it’s like I had to tell myself, look, you got yourself here. In other words, I could have said, Oh, the recession, it’s not my fault. I was running my business great. Everything was good. It’s the recession. That’s what messed me up. But in reality, had I been looking, it’s easy to look back and say, I should have been doing all this stuff. But the only thing you could do is change it moving forward. But I looked at it and said, listen, I’m in the position I’m in today because of the decisions that I made.

Louis Massaro:
For me, I was in a tough spot when the recession hit because I’ve just bought a whole fleet of long distance trucks, brand new. Financed a million too in trucks. My yellow page bill was 250,000 a month and it was starting to not work anymore. I had all these offices I was running. At that point I was over committed, over extended. I took a big leap in a big reach at a time when then all of a sudden the recession came. Like you’re asking right now, we’ve got the COVID thing going on. The difference is the people that understand that they’re responsible for all their results, they know that where they are today is a result of the actions they’ve been taking for the last six months, the actions they’ve been taking for the last year. And they know that if they’re in a bad position right now, they’re able to totally look and go, yup. It’s because I didn’t do the stuff that I knew I needed to do six months ago.

Louis Massaro:
My focus wasn’t where it needed to be. My priorities weren’t where they needed to be. That’s why I’m in this position now. The people that are responsible, the people that look at it and say, I’m responsible for my results are going, okay, what can I do now? I can’t control whether they open up, what stages they’re going to open up the economy back up and let people get back, when restaurants are going to open. I can’t control that. What can I control? I am responsible for my results. I am responsible for what my company’s producing, my employees, how I get them to contribute to my business in these times. A lot of people were like, Hey, I’ve got people there at home. Okay, what can they be doing to help you in your business right now? You’re responsible for that, not them.

Chris:
So whether you’re owning up, whether it was actual result of your actions, or even if it wasn’t, it’s like humility, you’re just accepting what it is as it is. And you’re saying, okay, rather than dwelling on whatever is wrong or whatever’s happening, you’re saying, all right, let’s fix this. What can I do? Where am I going to go? Where do I want to go and how do I get there?

Louis Massaro:
Listen, you’ve got to accept the fact that in business stuff’s going to happen. A downturn in the economy is going to happen. You’re going to hire a mover who’s going to end up causing you a lawsuit. There’s going to be a bad review because of something that happened or there’s going to be great reviews and those reviews get taken down. There’s going to be things that are outside of your control, but if you start to blame them for anything, it takes away from your personal power of what you could really do to move forward. Because all that mental energy that you’re wasting going, Oh, they did this, or it should have been that way, or poor me, this happened to me right now. Instead of saying, what can I do to determine what my results are going to be right now?

Louis Massaro:
We’ve talked about this before, the people that are going to thrive through this COVID situation are the people that are looking beyond it. That are taking action every single day today and looking and saying, where am I going to be six months from now? I’m looking past this. I’m doing what I need to do today. I’m making sure my crews, we’re practicing safety, we’re communicating it to the customers, but I’m looking past it. I’m implementing the processes that I know I need to implement. If they’re listening to this podcast, they’re somehow in our world of either just listening to this podcast or they’ve been to events or they’re in programs of ours and there’s a lot there. You could dissect this whole podcast alone and make yourself a checklist of things to go start implementing. It’s a way to look at it and not say I’m to blame, but it’s to say, I’m responsible.

Louis Massaro:
I’m responsible for the results that I get in my business. I’m responsible for the life that me and my family get to live. I’m responsible for the employees that I hire on with the expectation of, this is the type of position and this is the job that I’m offering you and this is where you can go. I’m responsible for supplying them leads so that my salespeople could book moves. I’m responsible for supplying my movers with the proper equipment so that they could go out there and safely do a good job and not hurt themselves and not damage any furniture. Listen, this business, there is so much responsibility and so much liability that if you don’t have that mindset that you just come in and say, I’m accepting it all, then you’re going to waste a tremendous amount of energy on, poor me, this happened to me. There’s countless scenarios and situations. And not to say that you don’t feel it and it doesn’t suck when it happens, but it’s just like, okay, great. What do I do about it now? How could I change this?

Chris:
Yeah, yeah. It can’t be just the mindset though. What are the other elements of that CEO position?

Louis Massaro:
There’s still more to the mindset.

Chris:
Okay.

Louis Massaro:
It’s not just about responsibility. One of the other things is a lot of people don’t have the belief in themselves. I’ll hear from people in different formats, whether it’s social media, whether they come to an event, whether they come in a program, whether I get to speak to them personally, whatever it might be, were asking, what separates the people that are succeeding at a high level versus the people that are struggling? Another thing is that the people that are struggling don’t believe that they could get to that level. They look at it and say, they’re at that level, they built that big company. But that’s not something that I could do. So the difference in the people that do for myself and for the people that are succeeding at high levels, and when we talk about succeeding at high levels, it doesn’t mean they’ve got offices all around the country. There’s people that have, they’re like a hometown dominator. They’re just in one city, but they’re just crushing it and they’re profitable.

Louis Massaro:
To me, that’s succeeding at a high level. You don’t have to have 10 offices to be succeeding at a high level. You’ve got to have your one business and that business runs smoothly. It runs efficiently. It takes care of your customers, you get good reviews and it generates the money that you want for yourself and for your family. To me, that’s succeeding at a high level.

Chris:
Yes, sounds great.

Louis Massaro:
The people that are doing that, they look at it and they say, you know what? If they could do it, I could do it. If Louis could do it, I could do it. If that company can do it, I could do it. And that’s something that was in line with my thinking early on. I started to two rental trucks out of a truck rental yard. I just, I don’t know, maybe it came naturally, but I think it’s something that can be learned. Not even learned, it’s more of having an awareness of it. Like, Oh man, yeah, I see the way that I think about this and if I think about it differently, it could allow me to really unblock some of the stuff that’s holding me back.

Louis Massaro:
From that truck rental yard, I’m like, I’m seeing these big companies and I’m like, you know what? If they could do it, I could do it. They started somewhere small too. They didn’t just start where they’re at. I might not get there tomorrow. I might not get there next year. But what why is it that that company can do it and I can’t? There’s no college degree necessary to build a successful moving company.

Chris:
Yeah. Put your pants on just like everybody else.

Louis Massaro:
That’s it. I think that’s another one. Either you take responsibility, and you just have to believe at each and every step of the way that you can do it. Know that the people you see with the big companies, it didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen without struggle. It didn’t happen without hardship. It didn’t happen without all the same problems that you’re facing today that they overcame, found a better way and were able to reach that higher level.

Chris:
What is it that would make someone believe that they couldn’t do it? Or why do you think somebody would feel like they can’t do what those big companies were doing?

Louis Massaro:
It’s was a few things. I think number one is just programming. Childhood programming and just the way that each and every single one of us was brought up differently and dealt with things differently. I’m not an expert on parenting and how those mindsets were formed and how they were developed, but it could be that first failure in the business. You tried something and you fail. And then that self-talk starts to tell you, you’re not good enough for this. You can’t do this. You don’t have the education, you don’t have the background, you don’t have the experience. You’re also at your, just how you view yourself. If you view yourself as a mover who starts their own business just so they could work for themselves, if that’s your mindset, if you’re just looking at it and saying, Hey, I just want to work for myself and start my own business and if I could make a living, great. Versus, no, I’m going to build a company to where the business and the company runs without me and pays me, it’s just a different mindset.

Louis Massaro:
In other words, some people believe in themselves and some people don’t. It doesn’t mean that you can’t believe in yourself. What it means is you’ve got a first see it and you’ve got to first be able to see somebody doing it and then also have it somehow demystify it for you. Meaning, that’s what I’m hoping to do right now. I’m hoping to say, look, it’s not that big of a mystery. You can do it. The level that you want to get to, you can do it. I barely graduated high school. I threw a yellow page ad into rental trucks and just went at it. What really allowed me to keep moving forward was this constantly looking for the things that were wrong and then looking for the solutions.

Chris:
Yeah, you want it to get better. You wanted to be better.

Louis Massaro:
I wanted to get better and it was just because I felt so lost, because I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, I knew that I had to work extra hard to figure it out. And because I believed that number one, I was responsible for my results, but number two, if they could do it, I could do it. I started, I had this little black book, I talk about it sometimes, I kept in my back pocket that I just kept notes in. And every time I ran across a problem, that’s an issue. I’ve got to fix that. I don’t know how to fix it right now, but let me write it down so I could figure out how to fix it later on. I didn’t allow problems to just happen and happen and happen and happen. I stopped, I identified what the problem was. I wrote it down and then I obsessed about fixing that issue so that it no longer happened because at first it was just everything was an issue. Every day there was this massive issues.

Louis Massaro:
The difference between being able to scale your business and just struggling is getting the problems sorted out so that you could just figure out the right way to do it and do it over and over and over the right way. Instead of every day struggling doing the same thing and trying to figure out the same problem, is taking a step back to figure out what that is. For me, there was nobody in moving, showing you how to do it. So I studied other businesses. I talked to other successful business owners that I knew, figured out what they were doing. I’m like, okay, how could I apply this here?

Louis Massaro:
I would take bits and pieces and just start putting it all together. And I didn’t take everything. I listened, I absorbed, but some stuff made sense for me and for my business and some stuff didn’t make sense for me and my business. I just knew that it was not possible. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. It shouldn’t have been that hard. I’m like, it was a rude awakening because I didn’t think it was going to be that hard. But then I’m like, okay, it is that hard. But then I just went back to, okay, if they did it, I could do it.

Chris:
Did you start with problems that just happened over and over again, the obvious ones, you start with that and then start whittling it down from there or did you do it all at once? What’s the process there?

Louis Massaro:
It was just every day, whatever the problem was, I just added it to the list and then would start to see a pattern of problems that stemmed from the same place. So you’re like, okay, if you’ve got five problems written down that you’re trying to deal with and you could identify a common theme across them and then you’re like, okay, well, what can I do that will help all of these? That’s compound problem solving right there. You come up with a solution that doesn’t just solve one problem, it solves multiple problems and then you make sure that that stays in place and it continues to happen that way. That’s how you start to get out of the hole. That’s how you start to get out of that place where you just feel like, man, this is never going to end.

Chris:
That’s what the bigger companies were good at. Right?

Louis Massaro:
I don’t know what they were good at. I just know this stuff that they didn’t accept. I think that when you don’t know any better, I didn’t know any better. It’s like, it’s easy to accept things. And I don’t mean accept them like I’m responsible because it’s the opposite. If you’re going, Oh, that’s just the way it is. People don’t want to book with me. I’m like, no, I’m responsible for my results. Why is it that they don’t want to book with me? What could I say to them to make them want to book with me? When I first started, every single person that called up for a quote was like, yeah, sure, we’ll send you a three men a truck and all the equipment, $75 an hour. That was it. Didn’t matter if it was a studio apartment, didn’t matter if it was 12,000 square foot house, it was a mansion, it was three men at 75 bucks. Because I had no idea what I was doing. So it was like, okay, this seems to be working. This is great. People are booking, people are booking.

Louis Massaro:
Then all of a sudden, you get the chirp chirp on the Nextel walkie talkie and it’s one of your movers. And he’s like, “Hey, I think one of my helpers is drunk and I just confronted him and he blew up me and he walked away and I don’t know where he’s at.” So you’ve got to deal with the problem at hand, you’ve got to deal with the problem at hand, but then you’ve got to be able to go, okay, how do I make sure this doesn’t happen again? And that scenario was like, okay, now I’ve got to go out to this job. I’ve got to get on this particular job, the one I’m thinking about was, I went out there, first of all, it was three and a half truck loads-

Chris:
Wow, that’s a big [crosstalk 00:30:12].

Louis Massaro:
… and I sent three guys at 75 bucks. I had no idea how to estimate. I had no idea how long something should take. I had no idea how much fits on a truck. So I’d go out there and come to find out it’s an NBA player, highly known Olympic, all star champion, world champion. I’m not going to say his name because I don’t want to get involved with that. But-

Chris:
What happened? Was he so mad?

Louis Massaro:
He wasn’t there, his dad was there.

Chris:
Okay.

Louis Massaro:
His dad was fortunately a cool guy. Was just being cool about it. So now I jump in as a mover, his dad jumps in as a mover. I’ve got my two guys there and then me and the dad are moving for two days. Just moving stuff, getting through it. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t know how to resolve it. I didn’t know how to fix it. I just tried to make it right. That problem presents opportunity to create better processes and create better systems to say, okay, how do we make sure this doesn’t happen? Because what was the problem there? The problem was number one, didn’t do a great job of hiring. Because I was just, Hey, you want to work? Sure. Here’s a shirt, get on the truck. No problem. This is very early on, this is when in the first few months and had no idea how to estimate a move.

Louis Massaro:
I realized very quickly that day and I think the pain of having to go out there and face the customer. Especially his son was someone that I looked up to, and having to be there, it’s like the guy who just ruined their move. It just made the pain of it. That’s why I always say when bad stuff happens, feel the pain, take care of the customer, feel the pain. But then go fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s actually pretty funny. A couple of years later I ran into the father at a car wash and he came up and I had a nice car at the time and he walked up. He’s like, “Man, that’s nice.” I turned around and I was like, I saw him and I’m like, Oh.

Chris:
You knew who he was right away.

Louis Massaro:
Right away I knew who he was. I didn’t know what to say. I was like, “You remember me by any chance?” He’s like, “Yeah, that’s why I came up to you.” I’m like, “Man, I still feel so bad about that. If you ever need anything, I was just getting started.” He’s like, “I know, I see your trucks all the time now.” Ended up hitting it off with him, ended up meeting his son. So it all worked out. But the point was that things sometimes have to go wrong for you to realize that it’s not right. Sometimes you don’t know what’s right until you know what’s wrong.

Chris:
Yeah.

Louis Massaro:
I knew just blanketly, just sending out three men at 75 bucks an hour to anybody that called was not right.

Chris:
You figured that out. Really, what you realize is that CEO mindset is about not just accepting, living with that like, Oh well, stuff like that’s going to happen. It’s like taking the initiative to say, okay, what can I do to make sure this will not happen again?

Louis Massaro:
Yeah. One of the things that just stuck in my head and really became the prompting point for what I wrote down in that little black book was saying to myself, there’s got to be a better way. And it was like sitting there on that job just dealing with all that, I’m like, there’s gotta be a better way. Because I don’t believe that the owner’s position is to be out on the move. You know what I mean? You can’t run your business and you can’t grow your business if you’re out on the truck. If that’s the way you start, great. But you got to get off that truck as soon as possible because you’ll never be able to work on the business. You’ll never be able to grow the business.

Louis Massaro:
There’s got to be a better way. That was another major point that I saw that with myself. That was my main theme. I could credit that statement to helping me build everything that I’ve ever built. Just looking at it and saying, all right, there’s got to be a better way than this. Even if there’s not, you’re going to go on a search for it. You’ll go on a search, you’ll try to find what that better way is, and then if you can’t find it, it’s like, okay, I guess there’s not a better way, but at least I went. And then you accept it, you accept responsibility for your results, but you went and you looked for that better way. You go and you learn, okay, how do I learn how to estimate? You go and you learn, okay, how do I screen movers to make sure that they’re not showing up drunk and walking off the job and all of that?

Louis Massaro:
I noticed that with the people that are succeeding in high levels, especially the people that I work with. The people that either are at the seminars, people that are in our courses, private clients that I work with one-on-one, it’s like they’re looking for the better way. That’s all I hope to shed light on. That’s why we’re doing this podcast. There is a better way. You know what I mean? It doesn’t have to be so challenging. It doesn’t have to be so hard. And that’s why it’s mindset. We’re only talking about mindset right now.

Louis Massaro:
Take responsibility for it and know that you’re strong enough to bear that burden and know that Hey, if somebody else out there did it, so can you. Doesn’t mean you want that. Just because someone opened up 50 franchises doesn’t mean that’s what you want. Because if it’s not something that you want, if it’s not something that is truly in line with what you and your heart desires, then you’re not going to have that sustained momentum to go after. But if it is something you want and it’s in line with your life goals and your vision and everything you want for yourself, you’ve got to know that you can do it.

Chris:
Even if it’s a process or something you’ve been doing for years a certain way and it works, you should still look at it and say, okay, how can we make this better? Even though it’s working, it’s not causing us any trouble, there still could be a better way to do.

Louis Massaro:
Unless you’re 100% where you want to be. In other words, you’re enjoying the quality of life from a financial standpoint, you’re good, you’re not worried about money, you’re taking time to spend however you choose. You’re not stuck at your office. You’re not dealing with stress and losing sleep over the business. Unless that’s your scenario. You should look at every single thing that you’re doing and say, there’s got to be a better way. How could this be done better? That starts to just open up the… That gets the wheels turning. That gets the wheels turning it. Once you start to discover those things and once you start to implement those things, then you start to build that confidence like, okay, all right. Well, maybe Louis is right. If they can, I can.

Louis Massaro:
I took responsibility and I started to look at it all and say, okay, if something’s happening I’m responsible for those results. I looked for a better way, I found a better way, implemented the better way, maybe I can do it. And what happens there is that your perception of who you are and what you’re capable of opens up. That for me was the metamorphosis from moving company owner to moving CEO.

Chris:
That’s cool.

Louis Massaro:
It took me seven, eight years to be able to have enough confidence in myself and feel that I had enough experience in myself to say, you know what, I’m going to shift this and I’m going to take a whole new approach and I’m going to, to me, it was a CEO thing, not because that’s what was on my business card. It wasn’t about that. It was like, what identity can I give myself that’s going to allow me to see myself differently than that 19-year-old kid that started and didn’t know anything except I’ve been working hard for a few years?

Louis Massaro:
I needed to shift. I changed the way I was dressing going to the office. I started wearing slacks and dress shirts. I had my office and my team, at that point I had a call center and corporate office. I had them do the same and I started to shift the way that my day to day was run. I had a whole new set of reports that I was looking at because I would sit back, there’s got to be a better way. That was the start of all the conversations, was looking for that better way. And I’m like, okay, what am I trying to accomplish here? What do I need to see? What do I need to know? What is the ultimate goal of what we’re trying to do with this company and how can I feel a sense of control over all of that? Because I think that’s what happens for a lot of people is that as it grows, it just feels like a wild beast that needs to be tamed.

Louis Massaro:
That’s what happens when your ambition too is moving faster than your, I don’t know, you got your foot too much on the gas and not enough on the brake. You know what I mean? You’re going way too fast because you’re thinking about stuff. Then there’s the opposite. You’ve got this vision. I started and I’m like, Hey, I’m going to be a millionaire in his business. So it was like, put the gas down and go for it. But then you find yourself in a position where you’ve got to backtrack to get things in place.

Louis Massaro:
At that point, I didn’t feel that I had the ultimate control over all my locations. I didn’t feel like everything was running exactly the way that it needed to be in each office. I didn’t feel like I had the clarity to be able to see what was going on, to be able to see the numbers and be able to run my business off of those numbers. I didn’t have the structure to be able to have certain meetings with my team so that they could fill me in with what was happening because I was in a different place. It’s like I got promoted. It was my business, but I got promoted. It was like the job that I had at the beginning was essentially a dispatcher. Then I got promoted to an operations manager. Then maybe a vice president of some sort. And then it was like, no man, I need to promote myself here to CEO.

Chris:
Yeah. It’s that mentality. You have to have that CEO mentally, it’s the only place you can… You had to go through all of that to get there.

Louis Massaro:
Unless somebody came along and told me this sooner.

Chris:
Right.

Louis Massaro:
That’s what I’m hoping to share is, look, I don’t care where you are. I don’t care if you’re that 19-year-old kid like I was in the truck rental yard, adopt that CEO mindset.

Chris:
From the get go.

Louis Massaro:
Yeah, right off the bat. You’ll still have to do what you need to do. You might be wearing the CEO hat and also wearing the dispatcher hat and also wearing a moving consultant hat and also wearing all the hats, but you’ve got to be able to get that as soon as possible because it’ll save you so much just torture. And it’s different. I remember having people in my office, caught somebody talking behind my back. Like, Oh, he thinks he’s running a Fortune 500 company. This is a moving company. Somebody that had experience in the business that I brought in to help run long distance.

Louis Massaro:
It didn’t bother me because not everybody’s going to get it. Not everybody’s going to understand, but if you’ve got the vision of what you want to do with your company, you’ve got to be able to just step into that different way of looking at it and embrace that CEO and say, okay, I’m a moving CEO. What do I need to do to be able to run that business from that place? Because it’s a whole different, if we split the screen down in the middle right now, we did a little documentary of like, okay, here’s somebody that’s been in business 10 years, that’s just been with the moving company owner mindset and these characteristics and here’s somebody that made the shift to moving CEO, you’d see a totally different story.

Chris:
Yeah.

Louis Massaro:
You know what I mean? A totally different outcome. Totally different quality of life. Totally different quality of business. It’s just night and day.

Chris:
It’s a different life. A different reality.

Louis Massaro:
Yeah.

Chris:
Wow. Did you literally make this decision to become the moving CEO in a day? Is it just you had a problem and you said, okay, this is it. Now I need to change and it was just like that?

Louis Massaro:
No, it was a lot of different things happened. It was having to dig myself out of the mess in the recession. Realize that I started, I was like, okay, I didn’t do long distance for eight years and all of a sudden I’m like, okay, get 12 trucks and let’s haul everything we could book from all the locations. And it was a whole different… Then I went back, it was basically I put myself back in the position of a long distance dispatcher, if you will, to learn that whole thing because it was a totally new business. Then just realizing, Oh my God, you don’t realize when you can’t see it and you haven’t been there before and you haven’t tested your own bandwidth and your own capabilities, sometimes it seems like, you know what? Yeah, that’s okay. No problem. We’ll get some trucks and we’ll just haul the furniture. We’ll haul the shipments and it’ll be no problem. I didn’t see everything else that was going to come with that at the time.

Louis Massaro:
It was like I was running all the offices, the call center, the long distance piece, bringing on a team to help run the long distance stuff. Looking at it like, I can’t be in the business again trying to run all of this right. Not because I didn’t want to, it’s not that it bothered me, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, it’s that I knew there was nobody at the helm. There was nobody running the whole thing. If I’m sitting there worried about long distance shipments and this and that and the call center, I knew that I needed to step back and take a different approach.

Louis Massaro:
It wasn’t about the micro, it was about the macro. Wasn’t about every little thing that was happening day to day. That was the part that I had to start unwinding. I had to start looking at it and going, okay, look, I’ve got to simplify this and put myself back in a position where I could be at the helm, back in a position where I could lead the company, the whole company, not just little sections of the company. There’s always got to be somebody at the helm.

Chris:
Yeah. Okay. So it’s about deciding to take charge, to take control?

Louis Massaro:
In a different way. Yeah. It’s playing a different position. You’re giving yourself a promotion or you’re on a basketball team and you’re like, okay, I’m much better off as the point guard than I am playing forward or you’re playing far much better off being the quarterback. In other words, you have to decide where you are better off. Again, it all comes down to mindset. Somebody could come in and go, Hey, you should be in this position. But it’s really just the mindset of first understanding that’s where I need to be, that’s where I need to go.

Louis Massaro:
At the time I’m reading books on great CEOs Jack Welch from GE and different business books. Good to Great, talking about different businesses and what it took for those leaders. Businesses that were much bigger then moving. It put me in a mindset that was like, okay, that seems so far beyond where I’m at, but I think I could take a lot of this and shrink it down into this moving business and still apply it to here. So to answer your question, this is the type of stuff that was going on. Another part of it, if you look at how it all came together, my CPA, sitting down and had a mentor relationship with him where he was just telling me straight up, look, you’ve got to run this thing differently. You’ve got to know these numbers. Well, years prior before that time period I was like, yeah, okay, whatever, whatever. I’m making money, no problem. Yeah, I will, I will. It finally just clicked one day with all of that coming together.

Chris:
Okay. Let me see if I can remember where we’re at here. You’ve got, there’s got to be a better way.

Louis Massaro:
There’s got to be a better way. That’s one of them.

Chris:
And then, if they can, I can.

Louis Massaro:
Yup. If they can, I can.

Chris:
Then what was the first part? You take responsibility?

Louis Massaro:
I am responsible for my results.

Chris:
Yeah, okay.

Louis Massaro:
I’m responsible for my results. And that’s in life. You know what I mean? That’s an all around mindset because I truly believe that how you do anything is how you do everything. So it’s like, look, if you’re going to be on point in your business, be on point in your personal life. If you’re going to be on point in your personal life, be on point in your business. Just easier to just be on point. Now you’re responsible for all your results. You might go make a bunch of money and you might say, Hey, I’m going to make a ton of money in my business because I’m responsible for that. But then you go and you blow it and you don’t set up your financial security for the future. You’re responsible for that too.

Chris:
I see.

Louis Massaro:
Listen, there’s a lot of responsibility in owning a business in general. There’s a lot of responsibilities just in operating as an adult in society. Now you take on owning a business, you’ve got yourself, you’ve got your family, you’ve got your customers, you’ve got your employees, you’ve got to take care of all of that and you’re responsible for it.

Chris:
Yeah. Okay.

Louis Massaro:
And the results that each and every one of them get.

Chris:
Yeah, that’s a different attitude. That’s a lot of humility and humbleness going on there to get to that place. Like you were saying before, you didn’t have anybody to tell you about this or show you this, but do you feel like, do you have to go through all of those experiences though? It feels like there’s part of it that hardship is good sometimes.

Louis Massaro:
Yeah. Listen, put it this way. If you aren’t feeling any hardship at all, you’re not going to seek out the answers. In other words, if you’re listening to this right now, it’s because there’s something in your business that you feel can be improved upon or you feel like there’s got to be a better way. So you don’t have to go through massive hardships to be able to do it. Everybody gets on their path in a different way. Everybody gets there in a different way. Like things now, I’ve shifted in certain areas where it’s like all I did was hear somebody say something on a podcast or whatever and I’m like, click. I just clicked.

Louis Massaro:
My hope is that this helps it click for somebody. This helps it like, okay, yeah. Maybe instead of just looking at how everything’s wrong with all of that, let me just shift the way. Let me look at it from this way. I’ve been looking at it like this, let me try on for size how Louis is looking at it and see, okay, I could see how that might impact my business and my life.

Chris:
Being open to that.

Louis Massaro:
Well, yeah, you got to be open. You’ve got to always be open to new ideas but with a filter. You’ve got to be open with a filter. Don’t just take anything I say and run with it. You’ve got to put it through your own filter of like, do I see that that can make sense? Because otherwise, there’s so many people given so much information talking about so much stuff out there. These days that you could end up going down so many different rabbit holes trying to find a solution. Like I said earlier, when I was taking bits and pieces of information from mentors and different business owners that I knew and books, I would take some and leave some. It wasn’t all for me. The same way if you get one thing out of this episode, great. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to take all of it and adopt all of it. I think that’s important to distinguish there.

Chris:
It’s important to take chances too. You got to gamble a little bit, see what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

Louis Massaro:
That’s all about entrepreneurship.

Chris:
Yeah.

Louis Massaro:
Another thing is, you look at it and you say, what’s the worst that could happen? Anything you were ever afraid of doing, say what’s the worst that could happen? Can I live with that if that were to happen? A lot of times when I’m teaching people delegation it’s like, okay, well you’re afraid, you’re fearful of giving that over to that person. What’s the worst that could happen? Maybe you’re handing over the reigns for dispatch. Well, they could put a guy in the truck that doesn’t have a license and, okay, well what could happen? I don’t know, he could run right through a school. That could happen with a guy with a license too. You’ve got to just be able to go to the worst case, see how likely that is and then bring it back and be like, okay, now let’s look at what’s the best case scenario.

Louis Massaro:
The best case scenario is now you’ve removed yourself from this batch. You’ve put somebody in that position, you’ve given them the processes, you’ve given them the role description, they know exactly what to do. You’ve done the best you can to train them and now you freed yourself up to work on your business and enjoy your life and not be stuck there all day dealing with it. Getting out of your comfort zone, I think is exploring the worst case and the best case scenario. And it’s all about your actions, the actions that you take. Every single day, if you know where you want to go, you know where you want… It’s like, what I’m doing today, is that taking me towards where I want to go or is it not taking me towards where I want to go? You’ve got to make the decision to go towards where you want to go and you’ve got to make the decision to…

Louis Massaro:
Obviously when you think about worst case scenario, we were talking about the dispatcher and delegating that roll out to somebody. You think through obviously what the worst case scenarios are and you put checks and balances in place to do your best to ensure that those things don’t happen and then move forward. When we talk about getting out of your comfort zone, you’re going to have to go towards that imaginary wall and step outside of it and see how that feels and then take another step outside. You might feel a little nervous, but you’ve got to just keep going. Whatever you’re afraid of, you really need to go at that. What you’re afraid of, you need to go towards because as humans we were afraid of so much stuff that’s just not necessary to be afraid of.

Chris:
Yeah.

Louis Massaro:
And it’s really that wall, that invisible wall, that comfort zone. So if you start taking some of these principles, and we’ve got, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to even get through all of the moving CEO mindset today, but we might have to do-

Chris:
Oh, there’s more?

Louis Massaro:
Yeah. We’ve expanded upon this, so we might have to do a part two of this.

Chris:
Oh, okay. I’m up for that.

Louis Massaro:
Yeah.

Chris:
That’d be great.

Louis Massaro:
I don’t want to make the episode too long. But if you’re taking on the responsibility, I’m responsible for my results. I realize how many times I’ve said that, it’s just so important to adopt this mindset. That you’re responsible for it because so many people want to blame other people and you’ll never get what you want by doing that.

Chris:
No.

Louis Massaro:
You’ll never get it. Where you are today is because of everything you’ve done up until this point. That’s it. That’s it. The decisions you’ve made, the actions you took or did not take, that’s why you are where you are today. And there’s nothing to be overly excited about. There’s nothing to be upset about it. It’s like, okay, here’s where I’m at. I’m responsible for these results. Good or bad. Okay, well where do I want to go next? Okay, well I’m responsible for those results, let me start taking the actions and implementing the things that I need to do to get there. And then believe in yourself.

Louis Massaro:
To me, the easiest way to believe in yourself is to look at it and say, if they did it, I can do it. I’m not talking about if you’re five foot two, and you’re looking at LeBron James like, if he could do it, I could do it. You might have a difficult time doing that. But if we’re talking about building a very successful moving business, if they did it, you could do it. If I did it, you could do it. And if you just make it your daily mantra, if you will, there’s got to be a better way, there’s got to be a better way. And it doesn’t mean you’re dissatisfied with each and everything. You’re just exploring, how could I make it better? Then it becomes a game. Then you start to have fun with that game, and then you just start to tweak and modify. With that, you gain confidence, which helps you break out of the comfort zone you were talking about. And then you start crushing it.

Chris:
Yeah. Wow. Cool. Well, I’m looking forward to continuing this conversation, but that’s powerful stuff. And really, it’s just a slight shift in your mind, your attitude, whatever it is. It’s this much, you’re just turning the dial that much in and it can make all the difference.

Louis Massaro:
How you look at things. If you shift that, it’ll shift your whole world for you.

Chris:
Yeah. Cool.

Louis Massaro:
So let’s do this. I think we’re getting close on time here?

Chris:
Yeah.

Louis Massaro:
Let’s keep going, but let’s do it as a part two.

Chris:
Okay.

Louis Massaro:
Because I want to finish this because this is strong and this is like, I could teach all the strategies and all the tools and processes. All that stuff, but if the mindset is not there and cultivated, it’s going to be a hard time. You’re going to have a hard time really implementing it all. Because there are so many roadblocks, there are so many challenges. But most of the challenges are all mental challenges.

Chris:
Right. That’s the foundation.

Louis Massaro:
Yeah. Most of the obstacles that you run into are all mental. You take two people and put them in the same problem, the same predicament. It’s the mindset of how they deal with it, how they approach it, that’s going to get them out of it. You think about one moving company owner gets a bad review online, or has a good review that’s filtered and you get another one that had the same scenario. One person could sit there for two days obsessing about it while the other one dealt with it, accepted it as part of the business, understands that they’re responsible for their results and moves on and says, there’s got to be a better way. What could I do to fix it and uses that time productively to come up with solutions to fix whatever the problem was.

Chris:
That’s the difference.

Louis Massaro:
That’s the difference.

Chris:
Cool.

Louis Massaro:
Listen, if you’re out there, you’re listening to this right now and you feel like that’s not your current mindset, just know you could adjust that. Just know that you’re not stuck, you’re not fixed where you are. Every mindset, every view of the world can all be shifted. It could all be changed. And if you heard anything today that you feel would serve you in your life and your business, allow yourself the opportunity to start looking at it differently. Allow yourself the opportunity to say every morning, I am responsible for the results that I get today. I know that if they did it, I could do it too. It might be hard work, I might hit a lot of roadblocks along the way, but if I keep saying every day there’s got to be a better way, then I will find that better way. I’ll find a way around those roadblocks and I’ll get to that level that I want to get at.

Louis Massaro:
Hope this helped you. We’re going to do a part two of this. We’ll put it up there soon. Until then, go out there every single day. Profit in your business, thrive in your life. If you like this podcast, if you like this episode, if you want to keep hearing stuff like this, do me a favor. Head over to iTunes or Apple Podcasts. Leave me a review, let me know what you think. If you’ve got any questions or anything that you want me to address directly, send me a DM on Instagram. Just go to @LouisMassaro on Instagram. Send me a DM, we’ll go through them. We’ll check them out and then we’ll possibly bring it on The Moving Mastery podcast to do an episode. And listen, keep going, keep pushing.

Louis Massaro:
I know we’re in uncertain times right now, but just know the COVID stuff’s going to pass. Even if we go into a recession, this business, this moving business is as close to a recession-proof business as it gets. People need to move. They always need the move, whether they’re moving from their big mansion because maybe their restaurant didn’t make it and now they need to move into a townhouse. Either way, you’re there to help them. You’re there to serve them. People will continue to move. Don’t let the news, don’t let the media, don’t let all the doomsday stuff gets you down and think that there’s no future here. Keep pushing, my friend. We’ll see you at the next episode.

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