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BombBomb’s Darin Dawson is out to “re-humanize the planet,” and he’s doing it in ways you’d never expect.

(0:00:01) KL: Are you crystal clear on your purpose in life?

(0:00:04) Intro: Welcome to the Behind the Billboard Podcast, a living, breathing, interactive conversation about getting better as a leader, a team and as a person. We believe that success is all about people and we are on a mission to help you grow. Here is your host, Kris Lindahl.

(0:00:24) KL: We have a special treat for you. Recently, I flew out to Denver to interview one of my great friends who has had a huge impact on my life. His name is Darin Dawson. He is the president and cofounder of BombBomb. BombBomb is an incredible company that is doing really phenomenal things. Their goal is to re-humanize the planet. Sounds lofty, doesn’t it? If anyone can do it, it is BombBomb. Their culture is incredible. Their core values make perfect sense. Their purpose is crystal clear. I love BombBomb. I love being around their organization. I love being around their people. It is just a great place to be, so I hope you find as much value in this interview as I did. Enjoy!

(0:01:05) KL: Darin, welcome to our podcast. I think listeners are going to really benefit from hearing your story about your company and what you have built. It is unbelievable. Take me back to the beginning because I think too often in life we are always focused on what people look like today and you think about a marathon and you are looking at how someone finished in their time and we are not looking at the starting block or how they got prepared on how to become a marathon runner. So, take me back to Michigan days and way back about how it started.  

(0:01:35) DD: Wow. Way back. Yeah, so it is interesting. My cofounder and I, his name is Conor; we both grew up in a small town called Jackson, Michigan. It is not terribly small, like sixty thousand folks, maybe. It was a blue-collar town, right? I grew up on a hundred acre farm. I was working on a farm when I was young bailing hay and we had like five acres of grass to mow. It is like the Midwest, kind of.  People are hardworking. They do what they say they are going to do. I think that those values really formed both of us into preparing us for what was happening or what was going to happen. It is crazy. I love the people in that town and I feel like everyone from that town is a salesperson. They are super personable. Not unlike, I have been to Blaine. You can walk in and you can know people quickly. That is how we hit it off really fast. They are just good folks. They work hard. I am proud to be from there. I moved here from Colorado when I was twenty-one years old. 

(0:02:45) KL: What led you to move to Colorado?   

(0:02:47) DD: It is a great story, actually. I moved here for a girl. When I think back about it, it is funny. This is the way that I tell the story now. She was going to the Air Force Academy, and I hope she hears this podcast, this would be great. Alisha, you are awesome. I moved here and I didn’t know there were like four thousand dudes and like two women basically. I’m exaggerating, but there are like hardly any women there. So it just didn’t work out and I look back and I am like, it makes sense. It makes sense to me. It was great to be here. It was great to get to Colorado. I moved here with one of my best friends too and I ended up staying even though that relationship didn’t work out and I still call her a great friend and her brother was my best man in my wedding, as an example. It again, is just where I am from. It is where she was from. It is where we are from. It is like that and it is hard to describe. We moved out here and stayed out here and have been here 23 years in Colorado. We are in the Colorado studio today. Kris came out from Minneapolis. We met at the airport. I came from San Francisco and Kris came from Minneapolis to be in Colorado for a night and it is a lot of fun. But yeah, I love Colorado and have been here 23 years. When I moved here I started a painting business. That is part of Conor and I’s story also. We both started a painting business. It was called Pinnacle Service Group and we learned about painting and what we really learned about was selling. This was in the nineties. We moved here in ‘95, so maybe ‘97 to 2001 we were painting houses and painting apartment buildings and stuff. We realized we were really good at talking to folks and convincing them they should do things with us, which led to a career in sales. I worked for a marketing firm for a while and I really feel that this was again, a very critical thing to have happen for me. Maybe the most was growing up in a hard working place where I learned a work ethic, but then, it was I was in the right place at the right time with a marketing firm and they were doing what they called new media back then. Digital marketing, email marketing and paper click marketing. But back then it was like before Google. Yahoo was the thing and MySpace.  

(0:05:00) KL: AOL.

(0:05:01) DD: AOL. Right. Exactly! Everyone opened every email, right? So we learned a lot about that and so that is where BombBomb was kind of born there. We created a product that followed up with people that visited apartment communities and Conor was like, “Dude it would be way better if there were video in that email.” 

(0:05:20) KL: What year was this? Just so we have context for people listening.   

(0:05:24) DD: The idea that video would be better, I think, really was like 2005? The painting business had shut down, so I went to this marketing firm and then Conor was selling billboards for Lamar Outdoor Advertising. I was working at a marketing firm and he was like, “Video would be better.” “It would be better if we had a video in this.” That was like crazy talk then. It really was. Conor really cobbled together this idea and I think posted a video on a server in the closet of him talking about billboards and then sent it to all of his customers and everyone loved it but they were more interested in what company did you use to do what you did there. It was like a link to a video. But in like 2005, there wasn’t a camera in the iPhone. People are using flip cams and flip phones.   

 (0:06:17) KL: Razors!

(0:06:18) DD: Yeah! Razors! Maybe. That would have been like crazy then. A Razor. Most people are still rocking a flip phone. So anyway, yeah. I remember him being like, “We are going to use BombBomb URL.” We would like buy URLs. That was like the thing back then, too.  

(0:06:33) KL: I think it is still a thing for most entrepreneurs. 

(0:06:37) DD: Yeah! Exactly. We were like buying URLs like crazy back then. He wanted to buy, like but it was taken and we had no money. They have offered to sell that to us now, but he bought and he was like we are going to use the BombBomb for this. I am like, we are doing this. We are going to build this business together and so we did. We didn’t know anything about developing software, okay? So, I think this is the interesting thing. Back then… there is like a startup culture now. There are incubators.

(0:07:15) KL: Yeah. It is like cool to do this now. There is a like a culture around it. 

(0:07:18) DD: We were entrepreneurial. We just thought it would be cooler and better to send a video than a text email and had no way of getting that done. Also, we were in Colorado Springs. It is not like Silicon Valley so we had to figure that out. We met our other cofounder Kevin Dibble. Great guy. He had just sold his company and was getting an art history degree in Colorado Springs. Conor befriended him and convinced him. He had run like a hundred developers. So he convinced Kevin to help us build this technology of ours. I don’t know, it just so crazy I think all along the way. I don’t believe things happen by accident. I am a faith-based guy so I just see divine intervention. I can tell you all along the way we have been given these right people at the right time and I can tell you story after story about that. Kevin rolled in and did that and helped us out. We started rolling. Now, I kept my day job. I was working at an NBC affiliate. Conor quit his job quickly. He dove into the deep end of the ocean and just started swimming. I was like, ah… I just got married and we are trying to have a family so I am going to keep my day job. I did for a while and we figured out how to make software, which was a big deal. I convinced eight of my buddies and all of us put our own money into this and that is how we started and I love that story because it is different now and when I tell people that they are like, “You never took venture capital?” And I am like, “No. I didn’t.” It is weird to them and I like that. I like being weird. 

(0:09:10) KL: That is why I was so excited to have you on because your story is just so unique. We were just talking about this before we went on the podcast. There are so many ways that you can decide on how to scale a business. You can take on a lot of money. You can sell equity. There are so many different ways. I love the bootstrap approach. 

(0:09:27) DD: We take bootstrap to a new level, man. I think they call us cockroaches in Silicon Valley. There was an article I read one time and it said there are unicorns and cockroaches. Cockroaches grow mechanically and just hustle and that is what we did. We just did that and Conor drove a Honda Civic for 12 years and I drove a Camry and I think that was the Michigan in us. We didn’t need to make a ton of money we weren’t living in San Francisco or New York we are living in Colorado Springs, Colorado and we lived below our means. We just took care of it that way. We were raised that way. That is how we did and I don’t think we would have made it if we wouldn’t have done that.  

(0:10:10) KL: It is interesting that you say that because there are so many businesses and business leaders that really are not that humble and they get a little bit of success and especially coming from an environment where you did and where I came from. They get some success and all of the sudden they are like this rockstar and you watch the social media, the vehicles, the planes, the jets and it is like this is what entrepreneurship looks like.  

(0:10:34) DD: Yeah. And it can become a pose. I mean, look. If you got it, great. But, if you don’t then don’t spend money you don’t have is a think I was raised with so we try not to do that. And I wasn’t always great at that but I think I grew up… I think I was 31 when we finally started doing this and I got some of that crazy out of me when we were in the painting business. It was not this way. We were not as frugal that honestly, that was a failure for us and I think we learned from that and formed us making better decisions later.

(0:11:04) KL: I love that you said that the failure is what you learn from. In our organization, we talk about every time we fail it is like a learning opportunity. 

(0:11:13) DD: Every morning in our company we do a stand up and everybody in the business stands up and we ask a few questions. We ask, “Do you need help today?” “Are you stuck?” 

(0:11:28) KL: I love that 

(0:11:30) DD: We go through our KPIs, our key performance indicators and whatever their deliverables are, and then we talk about what are you going to do today. It is a form of accountability. But there where are you stuck, or do you need help is about this because I want to find failure because I do find that if you are not stuck, then I probably have a real problem. If you are not failing or you haven’t failed or I am all good, then we are not being honest. If we are honest about that we are failing a lot and we need help and we need each other to pull us through. So our entire company does that and I love it because it is all I know. I have failed at some stuff and I have won at some stuff but you have to fail to learn. 

(0:12:07) KL: For sure. When you talk about failures, I think where listeners could really get a benefit is back to like the early days you mentioned you brought on the additional partner and you are starting out. What are the challenges that are happening early on? Obviously, you have software challenges, especially in those years. What things are happening and also as these challenges are happening, what is the state of mind of you and your partners? 

(0:12:34) DD: It is day-by-day man. It is day by day. 

(0:12:37) KL: So, if you look at the beginning. The beginning of BombBomb. What happened? If you look back to the major roadblock where you were like at the pivotal moment where I don’t know if this is going to work.  

(0:12:48) DD: So, I quit my job in 2011. I have a son, who is now nine and twin girls who are seven. The twins are just. So Ang and I have these twins and I quit my job. I had a good job, but Conor finally convinced me like I need you, so now is the time.  So we did that and I remember just right out of the gate we were trying to find what market we would go after. I think finding who your customer is, again, I think there is a lot more help than there was then. Today it is like, what is your addressable market? That is one of the things that a business advisor would have asked me back then if I was in an incubator. 

(0:13:28) KL: Did you even have business advisors back then?

(0:13:30) DD: No, I didn’t. I had friends but they weren’t selling software. 

(0:13:36) KL: You probably didn’t have a budget for any sort of… 

(0:13:38) DD: Yeah. No, we had money but we were burning through daily so we were trying to figure out who would buy this. We kind of started in the non-profit space. We still have thousands of non-profit customers and I love non-profit users. It is a great use case for raising money and all of that but they take a long time to make a decision, they just do. So that wasn’t working for us because we had raised money from our friends so we were kind of going through it quick. I remember that we were getting a lot of real estate leads all of the sudden miraculously and I am like, “Well, that is interesting.” And I remember some of our sales folks being like, “Hey, we are getting some of these real estate leads.” And I am like, “Well, where are these coming from?” There was this guy that had this blog and it is called Tech Savvy Agent and he wrote a blog post about us so we are getting these real estate leads. So I call him up, his name is Steve Pacinelli. Fast forward, just to let you guys know that Steve is now our CMO of the business and that is what I mean that stuff you guys… Okay, look. I don’t know. The universe? For me it is God intervened in our business like a lot so this is another one of those spots. So I call Steve and I am like, “Hey, man. Where do I send the check? This is amazing.” And, I am like, “Who are you?” And Steve goes, “You know, you should be in real estate.” We hadn’t even thought of it, really. And he goes, “ And you should go to this event. It is called Family Reunion with Keller Williams.” Which is actually where Kris and I met. So I remember going out there and meeting Steve and being like wow. This is a big deal. This guy is an executive. He is working for this brand called Move, which is like Most people probably know what that brand is. Great dude. I end up taking him to this expensive dinner, which was more money than we had because you know; this guy is a big deal. I remember him being like, “Do you just want to go get a beer?” And I was like, “Yes! He is like us! This is great.” So he ended up being this great fit for us. He was a great advocate and now he is our CMO and eventually Conor and I were like, we need to get Steve onboard. So we flew him to Colorado, him and his wife to get together. That was a big deal because I knew for Steve this was like a family decision and that is the kind of people we want at BombBomb if you think about it. It is a family. So we flew him and his wife, Gretchen, out and we had a great time meeting both of them with our wives and convinced him to leave his very well paid and taken care of job to come to the startup in Colorado and he got to stay in Philadelphia. He still lives in Philadelphia. That was one little thing. It kind of spun away there, but that was a big pivotal moment from where we were to getting into this real estate space. So we get Steve. We start getting into real estate and we start doing these shows and so that kind of solved our cash problem. I love Gary V and how he says cash is oxygen to the small business. I won’t steal that quote. I love that quote. “Cash is oxygen.” It is amazing and it is so true and we needed cash in the business and I remember being like, we have to figure this out. We had just spent a lot of money to go to this trade show. We had sold our accounts. We were trying to do the year up front, which is a big deal, and we did. So, we sold three hundred accounts in a day and a half and we made like $40,000.00 in cash, which is like, whoa. Okay. We can do this. 

(0:16:57) KL: Before that show how long did it take you to get that much cash? 

(0:17:00) DD: Like begging friends for that much. I don’t know. There was no way. It might as well have been a million to us.  

(0:17:07) KL: Right. Yeah, in that short amount of time.  

(0:17:10) DD: It was crazy. So we started looking at what other companies are like this and we got to RE/MAX who is in Denver here and is arguably now our largest customer and we are so close to…

(0:17:23) KL: That is an amazing company, too. 

(0:17:24) DD: Right. So, then Keller Williams, and then we just started doing more trade shows with realtors and selling and it turned out to be, what I would call now, a good solopreneur product. There are a lot of products out there and that is a hard way to go, but blocking, tackling or hand-to-hand combat is what sold to individuals at trade shows.  

(0:17:44) KL: It is so funny so when you say hand-to-hand combat because I have been to your booths and I was there early on when you were at Keller Williams. 

(0:17:51) DD: Yeah, you gave us a lot of suggestions. 

(0:17:53) KL: Those are literally like the early days of you and I building our friendship but watching you in action I wouldn’t trade that for anything I have lived in my life because you literally went from early morning until it was closed to throwing a party at night for agents brokers and teams and doing the same thing the next day. You had soldiers in that booth than non-stop worked.    

(0:18:21) DD: That is the Midwest hustle again. 

(0:18:23) KL: I can’t even name another booth that was at that event that had a work ethic that was somewhat close to what that was and that is why I am so interested in your story because I have watched it and I wanted the listeners to hear it and experience it because there was a ton of hard work. My favorite quote is hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work. I have watched so many talented people not willing to do the hard work that you guys did. You obviously had some amazing people man that booth and build BombBomb but it was incredible to watch the level you guys worked at. You had a presenter going nonstop at all times talking to every single person coming to that booth.    

(0:19:09) DD: It got crazy. Look, if you can present to no one… we would train people to present to no one in the booth which is very hard because if you don’t have feedback from a human being when you are presenting, or if you have ever tried to present to two people. I think a lot of people when they run a business or own a business or they are in a startup, they quit too soon. What are you willing to do? Right? I think we give up or we just won’t go for it. I just knew that I had a lot of my buddies’ money on the line and I wasn’t going to let them down and it drove me to present to no one. Here is a key to success if you are ever in a presentation in a trade show environment. If people are walking by and you present to no one, guess what happens? People sit down and start listening to you. I discovered this. I just have to keep talking. If I keep talking and I exert enough energy these people will sit down and listen to me and then I know they will buy what I have because I believe in it. If you don’t believe in what you are selling, forget about it. I truly believe that this is better. I believe it with my whole heart and I know it is transforming for people when we see other human beings it makes a big difference. So, that is what they got to hear once they sat down. I appreciate that because those days were hard. 

(0:20:38) KL: Really hard.    

(0:20:39) DD: Because you had to win there. 

(0:20:41) KL: And you are on your feet all day. Your voice is nonstop. You are hoarse. You are shot.  

(0:20:47) DD: You have to make the money back, too because it was like you laid the money out and you had to make it back. If you didn’t, it was bad. You could shut the doors if you didn’t make that money back in those days. We have really perfected the trade show thing and it has really been great. I just came from a show like that. Not quite as crazy as that one. It has been a big part of our story. 

(0:21:09) KL: So you have all of these people in your organization at that point that are working in those booths and doing those things and I think one of the things that really stuck out to me is when I think of other booths that I have been to in trade shows and environments that I have been to and I am talking to a cofounder or a CEO or a president, whatever the title is. Someone really high up in an organization. A lot of times it feels like they are at a different level than the people that are working with them. When I go to your office or I go to your trade show booth, it is true bottom up leadership. Your boots are on the ground right next to them. You will step up, jump up, and grab a client. We will be mid conversation and you will jump over and help someone who isn’t being helped. How do you build an environment like that? Obviously you have the background from the Midwest that makes you hardworking and similar to me, but how do you build an environment like that because I think there are some people who are listening who are business leaders have a big disconnect from their sales force or their employees or their staff where they maybe look like they are elite or are at the top and they are just barking orders. How do you truly get into an environment like that? You do it better than anyone I have ever seen. 

(0:22:11) DD: Thanks. I want to be that person. I do. I think sometimes some of the folks who are our sales people would love me not be in that booth sometimes, honestly. I want everyone would works at BombBomb to know that I am willing to do what I have asked them to do and I want them to know that I did it and I will do it. Any job is not beneath anyone. We are all in customer support and we take care of customers. We care about the outcome of the customer and they are more important than we are, and I want to lead by example there. I think the whole premise of what we do, and the whole premise of what business should be about, is solving the problem of the people that have given you money. I am still blown away that people are willing to give us money for this thing that we built. It is humbling to me.   

(0:23:02) KL: You know what is so interesting about what you just said there is that you guys truly want to help and solve a problem. There are so many companies that we both mutually know that are just taking money and they don’t put themselves at a level or hold themselves accountable. Just like you said earlier. I took my friend’s money and this had to work. There are so many people that are willing to take that money or collect money from customers. When I think of the fitness model in the different fitness industries, and they are not all this way, but if they sell a membership to the health club, if everyone showed up to the health club, there would be no equipment to use. A lot of those organizations have no interest in helping the people there to become more healthy. They are just trying to sell the front-end thing and you can feel it. 

(0:23:47) DD: It is never lost to me that someone is working on their business and decided to subscribe to our service and they are trusting us with the $400.00 a year.   

(0:24:02) KL: For some people in their business that is everything they have. 

(0:24:07) DD: Exactly, and I get that. I was there. I lived it.  I take that seriously. Conor takes it seriously. Our team takes that seriously. Everyone at BombBomb. I think that has lead us to make this a great company. I love BombBomb and all of the people there and I think we have done well at putting the right people in the right seats and getting them to be a part of the business. We just won a great award actually. We won Best Company to Work in Colorado.  

(0:24:35) KL: Congratulations. That is a big award. Like really big. 

(0:24:40) DD: I just thought that was such a testament to the people. We do these fireside chats every quarter. I didn’t want to do them at first and Sandra, she runs our HR, she was like, “You really need to do this more and communicate more.” I’m like, “Okay, you are right.” As we are growing we have 140 people right now and we are doing these fireside chats and the question is always about culture. How will you keep the culture going at BombBomb? At this level, I can only do so much. It has to be about you guys. I am going to be flying a bit more; you are not going to see me as much. This has to transmit beyond us and be around us and we have really made that a focus, like you really have to carry the torch now. I thought that award was really such a testament to that happening because you don’t vote for your company being the best company to work for because of the guys that started it. It is about the people you work with. You feel that culture more than you feel the core values of it or whatever. It has to be a fun place where you are working. I love that. I love that award. I feel like that customer first focus is transmitted to being the vibe.   

(0:25:49) KL: You mention culture and the culture at BombBomb is incredible. There is a second part to that which is the core values and you start bringing in a certain type of person and you can feel it there. What stuck out to me is you mention Steve and you mentioned the dinner and Steve was like, “Let’s just go grab a beer. We don’t need to go get all fancy.” That is who Steve is. That is who you are. That is who I am. I think there is a different level of humility in your organization. When you look at the beginning from where you are today, how did the core values evolve and how did you figure out what do we stand for? Who are we hiring and who are we attracting? It has become really obvious to me and anyone from the outside who is close enough to your organization that things are really humming along and it is a really good place to work. 

(0:26:38) DD: This was all Conor. He really put a focus on the core values. He was reading this book. We are big Rockefeller Habits people and this was a book we read called Scaling Up 2.0 by Verne Harnish. In there it talks a lot about core values and so Conor really made that a point early really before we had any employees we had the core values. There used to be twelve and we narrowed that down. Now, the first one is relationships, then service, flexibility, fun, and humility. Humility is a core value, and service and flexibility. In a start up you are always pivoting and changing this today and we are moving away from that now. Relationship is number one because we want to re-humanize the planet and that sounds nuts but you have to be bigger. Conor is the dreamer and the apostle. I am the rubber to the road executor. I make those visions a reality and sometimes say, “Yeah, that is going to happen but it is going to take a few years, bro.” We work well together. We are very symbiotic that way. Back to back is how I like to think about it. So, yeah he came up with those core values and it really translated into this culture. The core values though, without some sort of goal like re-humanizing that planet to coincide with them, that is what really makes a culture catch fire and get around a bigger purpose. I love that our core values speak to purpose because of the re-humanizing the planet purpose. And then, a year and a half ago, or maybe even two years ago now. We are in this meeting and we were talking about re-humanizing the planet, like what does that mean? Is it too big?   

(0:28:31) KL: Who actually came up with that?

(0:28:32) DD: That was Jonathon Bolton our SVP of Sales. We were talking about humanize the planet and it was kind of like this re-humanize because we have given ourselves away to this automation and text and social media and we are portraying what we want people to see and it is so fake and it is not real. I think our goal and our big goal is to bring humans back to talking to humans again. Then it lead us down this road and it worked for our software, where sending videos is better. You guys can’t see me right now but my hands are moving a thousand miles a minute. Kris and I are animated talkers and in a video that comes through and it is authentic. I think people right now want authenticity like they want water and I think we are dying for it. Literally. So we are trying to do that. But if you think about re-humanizing the planet with technology. Well, okay, but how will we really re-humanize the planet? That really makes you start to think about the de-humanized people in this world. Who is de-humanized and how can you make an impact there and how can we really re-humanize the planet? Well, you have to focus on the people that are being de-humanized. Right now we have more sex trafficking going on that we ever have in the history of time. More slavery in essence. Homelessness is a problem where we are at. Kids on the streets. We have families that are homeless. So, we decided to help the de-humanized. Then people really jammed on that. People wanted to work at BombBomb. It is the best recruiting tool ever. Start caring about other people and make money and have jobs in the process. It was kind of the idea. We took on a project with a great non-profit called Dream Centers and they do two things. One is they have Mary’s Home where they specifically get families off the street and into housing and help education and it is usually a mother and kids that are living in their cars. It would blow your mind to see how many people are actually living out of their cars. They are trying to get the kids to school and they are living in a car. And then going to a job but they don’t have a home. They are homeless. They can’t go to a shelter because DHS might take the kids from them. This whole organization is designed to get them back together as a family in a safe place. If you don’t have a home you are not fully human. The other thing they do is they have a women’s clinic that offers free healthcare for women in our city. We really felt like to start; we needed to start in our own backyard with our own community where we are actually growing and stuff. We did that in Colorado Springs and we actually worked out where we work with the Springs Rescue Mission, which focuses on the homeless. We gave hours for BombBombers. If you work at BombBomb you are a BombBomber or Bombers, you get to go to Mary’s Home on the clock and there are hours they can go and serve at Mary’s Home and we clean up the yard, or we do Trunk or Treats for the kids. We went down and did a rescue mission and feed the homeless and stuff like that. This year, we are doing some cool stuff. This has always been the heartbeat of Conor’s. When we started we thought that we would do BombBomb and he would be gone after it started to make some money and he would go live in Africa because a good friend of ours has an orphanage over there. This year we are really looking to do more internationally because there is really this genesis story of BombBomb where if we could make enough money doing this, he could live in Africa and really help these orphan kids that live in the slums. It is a really heartbreaking story but I love that that is part of our story. But to me, that is what we are doing this for because I still don’t need a lot of money. Right? How can we make an impact? I want to make a dent in the universe. I want the epitaph to be like this, and not startup in Colorado Springs does well. You know? 

(0:32:45) KL: I love that you are trying to take steps towards making a dent in this universe. I don’t think that you will ever feel like you have completely done it though, right? 

(0:32:52) DD: So that is interesting that you say that. If you think about you and I as entrepreneurs, we are drivers. You and I are drivers. You can channel that in a way in this. Like your Be Generous. Look, if you can never be satisfied with how generous you are trying to be or never be satisfied by re-humanizing dehumanized people that is great. If you can never be satisfied by the next million, I think that is a empty place to go. If we are never satisfied and we can stay focused on that, the rest will take care of itself. That is what I think.

(0:33:28) KL: Yeah. For sure. I have seen too many business leaders and business owners that are so motivated by money that are miserable.

(0:33:38) DD: Miserable. Because they are chasing the wrong thing. It is like sand. Holding sand. Right?

(0:33:42) KL: You mentioned something earlier that stuck out to me is the social media side of it where there is all of this pressure to live this life that doesn’t exist. We compare our entire life to other people’s front end. There is Hollywood out there and we need to look and act like that and we don’t have their cars and we don’t have their belongings. It is by design. In a way, marketing has created this imagery that we need these belongings and these things and that is why I love the re-humanizing aspect of what we are doing because that is what we need to do. Especially in the world we are in today. We are in a really bad spot. If you look at the political and all of the things going on. It has gotten so out of control that we have forgotten how to be good neighbors or how to be good to each other. It is a terrible place and whatever we do, as long as we are going that direction every little step we take is more than if we didn’t take any steps forward. And sometimes it can be a daunting task. BombBomb is a very successful company but if you look at the landscape of the entire universe…

(0:34:44) DD: We are nothing! We are a speck of sand.     

(0:34:50) KL: Right! So the core values and what you stand for, they blend in professionally and personally. You are helping and donating to these things personally and professionally. Sometimes in business I will watch business leaders be like, “Well, if we donate to this gala,” or, “If we sponsor this this thing,” and it is like this sexy event that we go to… 

(0:35:07) DD: What is my ROI on that?

(0:35:07) KL: Correct! That is exactly what the problem is. Why not just do something to do good? 

(0:35:15) DD: Conor and I actually struggled for a long time. Even now talking about it. Again, I think it has to do with where we are from, but you don’t talk about that. 

(0:35:22) KL: It is hard.   

(0:35:25) DD: It is. But I did come to realize that other businesses need to do this.  

(0:35:28) KL: They have to.    

(0:35:39) DD: It is their responsibility to take care of their communities and make more of an impact. We can’t just be about making money. We have to something. We can change it. We can if we started thinking that way. I would rather be that voice like, let’s change our minds. Let’s be generous. Let’s make an impact. What does the tombstone say? What do your kids think about you in the long run? I don’t want them to be like, “He founded a software company.” I do not care about that. I want them to be like, “He care about people and made an impact.” “He re-humanized the dehumanized.” They were about that. I would rather everyone know that rather than what BombBomb did or when they went public or not. None of that stuff really matters. Not in the long run. 

(0:36:18) KL: I remember when I did the exercise where I was writing my eulogy. What it was going to say and what people were going to do and it was so fascinating. I would challenging everyone listening to do that exercise because it is a really deep exercise but I think it gives you clarity on why we are doing this and it is interesting that everything I wrote didn’t say anything about real estate or coaching or speaking. None of that stuff had anything to do with my eulogy, or to your point, what my tombstone is going to say. I know for some people that might be a little bit deep but you really have to figure out what is the impact of what you are doing and what is the point of all of this? There was something that I just heard and I don’t know if I am going to get it exactly right but Warren Buffet said the way that he measures success today is how many people he that thinks love him actually do love him. Think about that!

(0:37:07) DD: Yeah. That is fascinating. 

(0:37:08) KL: When you think about the people around you, you want to be loved but then you start to think about do they actually love me? This is coming from one of the richest guys in the world. He didn’t mention anything about money or success or belongings or anything else. Are people that I think love me, do they really love me? When I heard that, I was like wow. That is a really different way of looking at it. We all want to feel loved and we think we are loved and whatever but when it really comes down to it and it is our funeral are the people there that are crying… do they really love us? Did we do the right things throughout our lifetime to gain that love? Those are challenging things. I think we are in a place in time in our industry where there is such a divide and separation from wealth and to your point, the homelessness and the sex slavery, and all of the things that are happening. If all together we start to do little things and I am sharing this because, to your point, when you come from where I came from or where you came from, I don’t want to be in the spotlight and I don’t want to be glorifying that I am trying to be generous and give back my time, treasure and talents. It becomes really challenging. Now, when my mindset is when I share this podcast or a post or a video or I send an email or a text, I encourage other businesses to step up and to be leaders and make a difference. If we are quiet we are not able to get those other companies to step up and gain traction alongside us. I think sometimes, some businesses…

(0:38:38) DD: Are like who is with me kind of thing. 

(0:38:39) KL: Right! And some businesses do it in the wrong way where they are like, “Hey, look at me,” and all of this attention and I am writing this check or doing this big thing or whatever it is and those are for the wrong reasons but if you are really deep at your core trying to get other people around you that are successful to donate or whatever and to give back their time, treasure and talents or whatever that is, we can do really big things. It has become more clear to me the more success our organization has had. What you said is the people in your organization come in and like you said, it is the best recruiting tool and it takes a life of its own. That is why you start to have the same type of people in your organization because they want to do those things that you are doing. They don’t leave either because they are bought in emotionally to that re-humanizing the planet and there is a bigger purpose to what is happening.   

(0:39:22) DD: I think it is interesting. It does attract a diverse group of people. They want to be apart of it. It is almost counter cultural to be like, we are about relationships, humility, service, flexibility and fun. I am into that. It attracts a diverse group of people. I think you need that in a business. If you have different ideas about different things but we can come alongside each other on these ideas and how do we accelerate them and work with people who care about these things? 

(0:39:54) KL: So are you have become crystal clear about your purpose, not only personally but professionally as well within BombBomb, what types of things have shown up that employees at BombBomb, things that they have done that you are like, “Wow, that was incredible,” just from either like a core value standpoint or within one of organizations that you work with where you are like, “I love being a part of this,” and they are setting the stage and raising the bar? There have to be some examples or some things that you have seen where, either as a group collectively or like, where you are like, “I love what is happening” here?

(0:40:23) DD: When I see them down there, like when we started to do the thing with the Springs Rescue Mission. Everyone lined up to do it. I didn’t know and then it was filled and everyone wanted to do that and help the folks at Mary’s Home and I just think that we have a great team who is always thinking about each other too. We have this thing called The Awesome Office and it basically celebrates an individual that best exemplifies the core values and they are nominated to The Awesome Office by their peers and they get the office for a two-week time period. It is a corner office and it has a great view. It is a big office and beautiful and then they get their picture there and they are nominated for things like, I nominate Kris for humility because he did this, this, and this. I get to hear these stories a ton and it is a lot of fun to hear about and I love that it is the peers that are doing it. People get nominated into The Awesome Office for service, for flexibility, for relationships, right? That keeps that moving. Right? I love rewarding that. We put them in the office and they get to be in there. We have one of those classic open office plans, which has its pros and cons, but being in an office like that is amazing to them. It is a little cold. I have heard it is a little cold.  

(0:41:42) KL: Leading a 140 people is a task in itself. That is a really big task. 

(0:41:47) DD: Yeah! You never sign up for that. I told Conor, like gosh, I knew we would have all of these people but you can never really envision what that is like. People have these expectations of you and it is hard to live that out and it has been the hardest part. I am just real honest with folks. And these fireside chats are great because I am like, “Hey, I am going to fail you.” I am not superhuman. I cannot do this 100% all of the time. I strive towards it. I want to be this person. I think that transparency helps. It is hard dealing with people and spending a lot of time in the office dealing with stuff and just helping people. It is life. This is life. They spend more time there than they do at home. 

(0:42:37) KL: Leading people is a lot of pressure. I think of like my daughter Victoria. No one can really prepare you to be a parent, right? It is the same thing. You scale your business and I am so fortunate to have such incredible human beings in the organization. We have smart people that are great people but like you said life is still life and it still shows up and there are struggles and there are successes. Not everyday is perfect and everyday there are challenges. What are some simple steps from a leadership standpoint of leading people that listeners could benefit from?

(0:43:12) DD: I think lots of channels of communication. I know that is kind of broad, but give them ways to communicate to you if you are the leader. One of my fears is that we will lose that if I am honest. I don’t have the tight relationship and I used to know everybody. I knew their spouses and I knew their kids. I knew everybody. Now I don’t know them as much and I want to. I want to but there is not enough time in a day. So, as you scale, you have to create channels of communication to get to you. We use Slack and I tell them I will take an appointment with anyone at anytime if you want to go to lunch or you want to come talk to me. So many times I think we think we are giving the vision of where we are going, and you can tell them you think that you did it. Everyone has different communication style for how they read things and hear things so creating those different ways for people to connect. Some people when you say it at an all hands meeting and that is fine. Some people might need to hear it for the first time from me. Some people may need to have a real one on one chat with you to understand what that means. There are lots of forms to get to you. I don’t want to be the person in the office that they just walk by. I want to be approachable. I am not always as approachable as I could be. I want to be though. I have a desire to be. 

(0:44:25) KL: You mention the different forms of communication. I have an education background so I know a lot about this but people learn differently and some people could be auditory and there could be ways that different people could listen and learn. 

(0:44:39) DD: Right! Like send them a video email. Tell them. Sit down with them. Sit down with the teams you have created. I think our leaders are so pivotal to this. Years back, I said, “Guys, I need you to help me better communicate to your teams what is going on.” That is a form of leadership. We have to give leadership to empower our leaders to do that. We created a leadership, kind of a monthly thing that we do where are investing in our leaders. It has been a bid focus for us this year, investing in our leaders at BombBomb. How do we grow leaders? What is the library look like? What are the books that every Bomber leader should read and kind of be our language around BombBomb, so that has been a big thing? John Maxwell’s Five Levels of Leadership. The Verne Harnish book I mentioned before about scaling up. We use this process for hiring called Who and then making sure that everyone is using the same language.  

(0:45:35) KL: That is critical that everyone is using the same language but you mention The Who. What does that look like?

(0:45:40) DD: The whole philosophy is around this concept of finding and hiring A players. Right? So creating this ideal profile that is an ideal fit culturally. It is an interview process, right? It is how we talk to people and how we source folks and interview folks and talk to them and it is great. It is a pretty well accepted human resource type of system. There are A, B, and C players. You want these people that you have them in your organization now, but how do you create more of them and how to do you get A right players you have now to excel and grow? I think a lot of people now are just unhappy with their jobs and sometimes it is in the wrong fit. The culture might be the wrong fit for you. Whatever it might be. I think it helps people seeking jobs too to think this way. What is the ideal fit for a business for me and not just any job I can get?  

(0:46:33) KL: What is interesting is, and the reason that I ask that is I kind of want to set up the second part. I have been very close to you and I have watched the growth of your organization and not every hire you have made was good. Whether it was personally your decision or if it was someone in the organization. But, I mean that is business and that is the way that companies work. What are some of the mistakes you have personally made, as you are hiring people? I think hiring the wrong people, as you know, you are constantly living if you hire the wrong people it gets really expensive and then there is turnover, it can be damaging to culture, there are so many different things.  What are you learning about bad hires you have made along the way?

(0:47:05) DD: I think that one of the things that we fell into when we were trying to grow fast is you lower your standards and don’t hold out for the best person for the job sometimes and that can become an issue. I think people go to fast and we went too fast. We have done that before. 

(0:47:25) KL: I mean for you that was like a thirty plus percent growth. That is crazy.

(0:47:28) DD: It is hard.  

(0:47:30) KL: It is hard because you probably have an immediate pain point that you are trying to solve. 

(0:47:35) DD: I get that. So the hiring process has to be lock step rock solid so we really refined that more and hired an internal person who their only job is to recruit talent to BombBomb and look for those folks that work for us. That was a big thing for us. When you are starting a business it is kind of like who you know. Who you know comes to work with you when you are in a startup and you are doing whatever you can and sometimes you cannot pay anything. I think a lot of startups are started that way, especially with the initial founding team and then as you scale, how do you scale quickly and have a great hiring process in place? I think we need to do that better. I would tell you for me, the hires that I have made, it was really fundamentally I didn’t really believe I was the one to take the company to the next level.  

(0:48:31) KL: It is funny. There are certain things that I have had a long the way and it is like our own insecurity but we are the pulse of what is happening and we are trying to talk ourselves out because we aren’t qualified. 

(0:48:40) DD: A lot of the times I am rejecting the voice in my head. Sometimes it gets the best of you and you are like, okay, I am going to hire this person because they know more than I do.  

(0:48:52) KL: They are polished up and they have this great resume. 

(0:48:54) DD: Exactly. I think Conor and I both dealt with that, like are we the guys? We went through that phase and now we know we are. This is our destiny. Like it is Star Wars. This is what we have been given and this is what we have been entrusted with. This is what we have been called to. 

(0:49:20) KL: It’s so crazy it is like your identity.  

(0:49:23) DD: It is because it is bigger than a job. I don’t work. I don’t work. I don’t feel like I work. I have a hobby that pays and that is a great place to be but I didn’t own that and there was a hiring situation we had and it is over now but I did not believe in myself. I had a coach that kind of grabbed me and was like, “This is you man. You have what it takes. You can do this.” I have had a lot of great mentors in your life, but as you grow, you have to find these mentors that can almost scale with you and understand some of these problems. Problems like having 140 people working for you. Like, whoa. That’s a new one. Can’t help you there, bud. Finding that right fit there and then a couple of things with that voice. I didn’t go to college, man. Like I didn’t go to college. And when I did go, but I didn’t really go.    

(0:50:19) KL: What? Did you go to party instead of study?

(0:50:23) DD: Yes. It was really bad. Conor didn’t either so we have just always had that voice. I was in San Francisco last week and I was hanging out with all of these people that were like, “I went to Stanford.” “I went to Harvard.” I didn’t but I am doing the same thing you are doing. So, I don’t know. I guess that voice got me and that is a lesson if I were to say one thing to business owners. It’s you. You have what it takes to do this. You are called to do this. Own that. Grab it. Own it. Frankly, I am fine when I am not the guy because the business becomes this thing bigger than you. It used to motivate me that it was my buddies that gave me the money, but now it is 140 people are their families. I am not going to be this egomaniac and not be humble enough to know, “Okay, I need to put another person in this seat” because I am not going to be the one to do it. But, right now, I am the one to do this. I have what it takes and I am going to own that. I think growing that team, and we are larger now, but that senior team and the leadership team in general is the leaders of BombBomb. It is my job to empower them. I am a pretty good motivator. 

(0:51:30) KL: Yeah! I mean, I am motivated right now listening to you. You have used this word quite a few times but it is empower. There are probably leaders that are listening right now that could do a better job of empowering the leadership team or the people in their organization. You mentioned something else that really stuck with me and we talked about the insecurity where we didn’t think we were the person for that job or didn’t think we were qualified or maybe we didn’t have the background of running a business, or to your point, not going to college and we have all of these things going on and it is a reminder that we have to control that self talk. The way that we talk to ourselves and that negative self-talk is how we create that doubt, and that is a really important piece to success. You start talking negative to yourself and anything that you are thinking privately shows up publically. People can feel it! If Darin shows up insecure, and he is the right person to do this position or that position, I think about if you are a general in the army and you are like, “Hey, we are going to war,” and the general shows up and is like, “I’m not sure if we are going to win or not” or goes, “I am running to the back of the line quick.” Ah, no thank you. Surrender, please. Right? It is hard because we don’t have experience and we are learning as we go and I wouldn’t trade it for anything but it is still interesting.  

 (0:52:48) DD: I am okay with admitting that I am learning as I go, but for a lot of people it is like, “I got this.” That is dangerous. That is maybe more dangerous than being like, “I’m not sure I do but I am going to figure it out.”

(0:52:58) KL: What you said earlier was the transparency piece. That transparency piece of being vulnerable and transparent and being like, okay, here is where I am struggling and here is where I made a mistake and then owning it. Too often I see business leaders that down own if something is not right. If you drop the ball, it is okay, let’s just figure out how to get it better. Here is what sticks out to me more than anything and I think it can go one of two ways. I think about if you are in a business with a spouse or, in your case, you are in business with your best friend. I have watched a lot of partnerships with friends. 

(0:53:30) DD: My first wife.    

(0:53:31) KL: Well, it sounds like Conor is a good first wife to have. But it is interesting because those types of friendships, I have watched it go both ways. I have watched the partnerships that no longer even talk and then to yours where it is an ongoing thing. How have you two together worked successfully to get this company to this point and still be buddies?

(0:53:53) DD: A ton of marriage counseling. Kind of. There are good times and bad times, man. It is interesting. It is like a marriage because you need to focus on your relationship there just as much there as you would with your marriage or your kids. It is that important. We were lucky enough to be, and again, it is just… you are telling me these two guys from blue-collar town in Michigan who never went to college but are running this business. It’s crazy. But if you don’t believe in God, that should be a thing for you. But just think about that for a minute. Anyway, where we are from I think just has so much to do with it. We understand each other in a deep way. It is kind of like when you are with your kids and they will go to dad and try to get something from dad, and then they will go to mom. That is a lot of what goes down at BombBomb sometimes and we always know like, “He didn’t say that.” I think that is a great gift that we have. We know each other well enough to know where we are coming from. We have never had a disagreement that we didn’t come to a conclusion and agree on. We might disagree, but we have never had a time where we were like, we are not coming together on this. It has never happened and God willing it won’t ever happen. I think it is so important. You have to work the relationship. You have to be focused on it. We have a coach now too that is really pressing us on this because as the business grows it gets more complex. You are tied at the hip, man. We are filing taxes together and there is so much there in the partnership. It is so real. Our families are close. It is great. It is Uncle Conor to my kids and same with his. It is one of the perks, man. One of the perks. 

(0:55:42) KL: It is one of the most unique business relationships that I have ever seen in my life. 

(0:55:60) DD: Thanks. So I am president. He is CEO, but we are back to back in that business and I wont have it any other way and I couldn’t see doing it without him and I know he feels the same way. That is it. I know he feels that same way. I don’t think BombBomb would have happened without both of us and I do believe that it was our calling to do this together. I think it is more a part of our story and it is just fascinating how we met and how this happened. It is just cool. 

(0:56:19) KL: The thing that stuck out to me leadership or whether the owner or founder or just a leader inside of another company is trust. What you just said there was that trust. If someone comes to you and says, “Mom said” this one thing, and you are like, “No, I know she wouldn’t say that.” That is really critical to have that trust.  That is one thing I have watched closely over the years. You guys trust each other and that is really important in business. I have seen a lot of organizations where they do not fully trust each other. 

(0:56:51) DD: They have these competing priorities. We have the same worldview and the same idea about what we want the end to be like. It is not like he is saying, “Oh, I just want to make a bunch of money” and I am saying something different. He is saying the same thing. We are focused on the same thing. What is on the epitaph? What is the end about? So we are on the same page there. The fun thing though is now it is translating to our team and they are like that. Steve and JB, Jonathon, Patrick, Clint… those guys. I trust them with my kids.  

(0:57:24) KL: Yeah, you have incredible people. I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of them and you have a strong team.   

(0:57:29) DD: The team is so critical. There are a lot of gaps that I have but they have what I need. I think as a leader you have to know what your weaknesses are. I go fast. I need someone who can go, “Lets just go a tenth slower for five minutes.” Alright, fine. What do you have to sat? I need that person to say that. Sometimes I break glass but that is my role. I always tease my team, like I am the guy that when your foot is on the gas, I am reaching over from the passenger seat and putting my foot on your foot and telling you to go faster. But it takes all of us. I need to push. They need to slow down. The middle is where it happens and I love that our team is really growing and we are feeling that getting congeal. We are getting close. It has been a long day already.  

(0:58:23) KL: So within the entire organization I have watched all of these people and I think we sometimes we take too lightly how important the people are. I have watched founders of businesses that think they have developed the whole thing. What you said there is what I think what is so important in leadership and it is know your weaknesses. Too many people are not willing to look in the mirror and admit where they are not strong. Like you said, meeting back in the middle and being like, “Hey, Darin is not great here” and then we will meet in the middle and solve that problem and that someone will take that weakness or that blind spot away from me but so many leaders are not willing to be vulnerable like that. I have watched it in the real estate industry for example where we have one person doing seventy different things. That has been the model for thirty years and it has been acceptable and there hasn’t been any team environment in real estate. It has been an individual agent with one assistant trying to do everything.   

(0:59:26) DD: I would say that is the gift of Conor and Darin’s relationship is we have each other and so we get done maybe what one of those CO’s gets done in a day, and it takes two of us a day, but I go home to my family and I get to be at my kid’s sporting events and I get to take vacation. We are going to a third grade choir concert. Kris and I are tonight! I have been gone for four days and I was like, “Dude, I can’t miss it.” I have to be there because it is so important. They need to feel me that being a dad and a husband is it. It really is the first thing. I got to do that. I think Conor has allowed me to do that and I him I hope and then my team greater, and even more. We care about family.  


(1:00:16) KL: As we finish up here could just give us like a sixty second overview about what your product is? I obviously use it and love it. Our company absolutely kills it with your product. People listening might not know exactly how it works.   

(1:00:27) DD: We make it super simple to create a video and built relationships. The idea here is that at any time you are sending a text email or a text, and you think, you know what? It would be better said face to face. We enable you to do that through apps. We have a mobile app. We have a Gmail application. We can send mass email or one to one. What we are trying to help you do is build face-to-face relationships that scale so you can be one on one. Like say I met some folks this week. I will send them a personal video that says, “Hey, Dan. It was great to meet you last night at dinner. It was a pleasure to get to know you and hear about your family.” That is what we need more of, not more email or text. People say things on email and on social media that they would never say to a person’s face.    

(1:01:25) KL: Never. 

(1:01:26) DD: And if you could see the other human being you wouldn’t say it. The empathy gets ripped out of those communications and I want to see that more. We need to care more about people. I think face to face, more often, for more people will have benefits. One, your business will grow for sure. Two, you will build better, deeper, and stronger relationships. That is my favorite thing about BombBomb for me is that I get to travel a bunch and hang out with people like Kris who are clients that have become friends. I know they are friends because we communicate and I see them more either through face-to-face or zoom or video email. Face to face is where it is at but it is hard to do. My friends are all over the country and in Canada or whatever. I love that I get to see their faces using this product. Our whole core is speed to video and we work where you work. If you are on Android or you are on an iPhone or Gmail or Outlook, we give you Salesforce and a CRM that you are using. We want to work where you work and we want to make it easy and fast through videos and you can track it all. I know Kris opened by video and watched it. I know everything about that communication. In the sales environment and the customer sales environment for better communication if you are running a business your customers should see your face they should see you more. The question is, if they did, do you think it would help your business?  

(1:02:59) KL: I know what the answer to that is. 

(1:03:00) DD: The whole point of sending them an email or a phone call is typically to get face to face. If it is in a sales context, I want to get face to face with them. So we are trying to solve that problem and we are trying to re-humanize their communication. We already went through why.  

(1:03:18) KL: One tip that I will leave people with about your product or any product is I think the biggest miss in running a business whether you are a leader or employing a company is the one to one sending versus mass. When you talk about video and re-humanizing. I think too often what happens is someone does one video and sends it to 10,000 people, and they think that they sent 10,000 videos. They sent the same message and it was just a generic cookie cutter video. The real value in what you have built, because I use it all of the time, is the one to one where you are sending it directly to that person and it is specific to maybe a life changing event that is happening in their world or maybe it is just to show gratitude or whatever it may be I would just challenge people that if you sign up for BombBomb and you see all of the platforms you the biggest mistake you have is sending one to masses.  

(1:04:14) DD: It is about authenticity. We just met this great guy, Ryan Clune here at iHeart Radio. They were super hospitable to us. They walked us in here and we are in this great studio and it was kind of cool right. So he is getting a video email thanking him. The easier thing is to say thank you and be sincere. I use inflection like every human being does. That is where it is at. I guarantee you that thank you will feel more heart felt in a video than in a text. It is obvious for every person on the planet.

(1:04:51) KL: That was like a five star welcome for us at iHeart in Denver. It was hard to top that. 

(1:04:55) DD: I feel like a VIP and I don’t know if I am.   

(1:04:59) KL: So a huge thank you to iHeart. That was unbelievable. So, the last question I have for you is I have watched over the years we have had a lot of fun together. We are doing all of this and we have talked a lot about why we are doing all of this, but you talked about it with joy and BombBomb. How do you bring joy to yourself in the professional environment and personally? What brings you joy?

(1:05:18) DD: Seeing people succeed. That is the heart of it. That is why I got so fired up a second ago. I know you will do better if you do that. I want you to do better. I love working on our sales folks. I am a sales person at heart. I have been saying I want you to win more than you do and I need you to pick that up. I want to see people win. I love hanging out with other people in business. I love breaking through with them. I am a connector. I dig it. I want to see people find their calling and stop doing things that are sucking the life out of them and get after it. I got some great friends and just recently, there is this one guy that half of his business got bought and it was amazing and he is just going to win. I just want to see him win. I love being a part of other people’s story and help and encourage them along the way. 

(1:06:21) KL: That joy piece, and what you said there about watching other people win is probably one of the most enjoyable things as you scale your organization and as a leader because when you look back at the early days of your business, you couldn’t help enough people. You didn’t have enough time. Now in our organization we have these incredible people and I have amazing friendships there and to watch what they are doing professionally but also personally and how they are making an impact. I eat that up.  

(1:06:53) DD: I love watching you do your thing. I went to Minneapolis and I just love watching you do your thing. I am doing it now because I get to be a part of you winning here. It is so fun. 

(1:07:03) KL: I just want to say thank you for coming. It is so rare to get someone of your level to show up. I know that sounds funny to you. It would sound funny is someone said that to me but I really mean that. Like, I know you haven’t been home for four days. You land at the airport and you meet me and you come to iHeart and I sincerely appreciate you coming and I know people will find huge value in this. IT is real. This is who you are.    

(1:07:29) DD: Oh yeah. This is all you get. I don’t even know how to do that really. I need to be better at it.  

(1:07:33) KL: If you loved this episode, make sure it share it on social media and leave a review. When you leave a five star review, we would love to have that, but also leave some comments about what things you loved about this interview because I think it would be helpful for both Darin and I to learn from this interview because we are constant learners too and if there is anything we can do to improve we would love it. Thank you for tuning into the Behind The Billboard. Don’t forget to hit subscribe. Thank you for tuning in and thank you Darin for being here. 

(1:08:00) DD: Thanks, bro.  

(1:08:01) Exit: If you loved this episode give us a great review. Subscribe and share us socially so we can spread the word and build the community of difference makers. If there is a leader who inspires you, send your suggestions for future guests to Kris’s team at so we can get better. 

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