My guest for Episode #212 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Matt Shoup. In 2005, Matt was laid off and then founded M & E Painting, which grew quickly — and has produced over $30 million dollars in revenue since 2005. Matt and M & E Painting have received dozens of business awards.
He's the author of books including his latest, Painted Baby: Connect with Clients through Brave and Vulnerable Storytelling.
Click this link to receive Matt's free tool kit packed with resources to build your business and advance your leadership
Matt was named one Colorado Biz Magazine's Top Five Most Influential Young Professionals (2010), one of 40 Under 40 Top Business Leaders by the Northern Colorado Business Report (2013), amongst other awards.
Matt has founded 6 successful companies and grown them all from the ground up. All of these companies are being run by extraordinary people! Along the way, Matt received his Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt.
In this episode, Matt shares his favorite mistake story about the time employees of his company accidentally painted a baby due to an equipment mishap. What happened and why did he end up writing a book about it to encourage business owners to own and share their mistakes to connect deeper with clients?
Questions and Topics:
- A potential client asked him — “Tell me about a time you screwed up and what you did about it…”
- How you reacted to the mistake? Had time to think while driving over there? – Reaction vs. response
- Learning from that accident to prevent it?
- Not painting a picture of perfection…
- Tell us about the time you met Kevin Harrington… Episode 1
- Using that story to sell more painting jobs?
- Effective in sharing the story proactively?
- What’s your secret – what’s your painted baby story?
- “I thought selling was telling…”
- Right color on the wrong house – how did that happen?
- Mayor of Colleyville – demo-ed wrong house
- Starting companies and handing them off to be run by others?
- “Can the business run without you?” — “Can it grow without you?”
- Lessons from jiu jitsu – practicing and teaching it?
Scroll down to find:
- Video of the episode
- How to subscribe
- Full transcript
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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)
Mark Graban (0s):
Episode 212. Matt Shoup, serial entrepreneur and author of the book, Painted Baby
Matt Shoup (7s):
Painting a picture of perfection prevents true connection between humans.
Mark Graban (15s):
I'm Mark Graban. This is my favorite mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes because we all make mistakes. But what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at myfavoritemistakepodcast.com to learn more about Matt, his company's, his book, and more. Look for links in the show notes or go to markgraban.com/mistake212. As always, thanks for listening. Hi Everybody.
Mark Graban (55s):
Welcome back to My Favorite Mistake. I'm Mark Raven. Our guest today is Matt Shoup. Back in 2005. He was laid off. He then founded M&E Painting, which grew quickly. It's produced over 30 million in revenue. Since then, he and M&E Painting have received dozens of business awards. He was named one of Colorado Biz Magazine's, top Five Most Influential Young Professionals. He was one of 40 under 40 top business leaders, as named by the Northern Colorado Business Report among many other awards. He's founded now six successful companies. He's grown them all from the ground up and, and they're all being run as he describes by extraordinary people. And there's a lot to talk about and lot I want to ask Matt about today along the way, among other things he received as Brazilian Jiujitsu black belt.
Mark Graban (1m 43s):
He does all kinds of things. Matt, welcome to the podcast. And, and first question is, do do you ever sleep?
Matt Shoup (1m 50s):
I do. I do. I get it. Good. Seven hours on average, and it wasn't always like that, but, but I do, you know, I get up, I get up early some days a little earlier than others, but if I know I'm getting up real early one day, like today, go to bed a little bit more early.
Mark Graban (2m 4s):
Yeah. And we'll, we'll, we'll come back to this later. Probably one of the keys is not trying to actually run all six businesses.
Matt Shoup (2m 10s):
Nope. Do what you're good at. Triple down on that. Hire the rest, trust people, and you gotta rest. That whole lie that they tell you of get three hours of sleep and grind, grind, grind. You'll, you'll die at like 42 if you haven't already. Right.
Mark Graban (2m 24s):
So we're gonna come back and, and, and talk about the different businesses. We're also gonna talk about, and I think this might be part of Matt's favorite mistake story, but I'm gonna introduce the book and the title anyway. It's called Painted Baby: Connect with Clients through Brave Invulnerable Storytelling. So Matt, here you are. Be vulnerable, man. What, what, what, what's your favorite mistake?
Matt Shoup (2m 48s):
I've got so many. I've got so many personal ones and business ones that, the premise though, that overlays all of the stories will talk about is that painting a picture of perfection prevents true connection between humans and business, life, leadership, family, whatever domains of life you have, it's people serving other people. And to the degree you do it well, there's, there's rewards, there's service, there's contribution to other people. But we live in a society where you just pull up social media, right? Perfect life, perfect, perfect life, perfect dinner, perfect vacation. And it's easy to take a ten second snapshot and make it look like that. So, but, but it sets this expectation that everything's like that. And we know, like we know in our brains that it's not, but there's just this drive and this push in society to be perfect.
Matt Shoup (3m 33s):
So for a long time in business Painted Baby was born out of this story where I'm sitting across the table from biggest business deal I'm ever gonna close. It's 20 times the size of my normal paint job, and I'm giving him a plus five star tip top reviews. I had the $5 shiny brochure. He was even in it, he was a previous client had painted for him before and he wouldn't find the contract. I'm trying all different kinds of closed techniques. And he takes my brochure and he throws it across his office and he says, your shiny marketing brochure is crap. Tell me about a time you screwed up and what you did about it. And he literally leans back, takes us at the coffee and, and folds his arms. He's a straight shooting dude. And I'm sitting here for the first time in my career as a businessperson, a salesperson, and a marketer.
Matt Shoup (4m 19s):
I was child, you don't do this. This isn't normal. You don't share mistakes, you don't, you put your best foot forward. Right? Right, right. So I share a couple stories that he wasn't as interested in. I painted the wrong color on a house, not a big deal. Happens a lot. We painted the right color on the wrong house once. That's a great story, and happy to share more, but he still wouldn't sign the contract. I'm like, I gotta tell him. Painted baby. So I told him about Painted Baby had never shared the story before. We were painting on a job site. Mom was coming out every day to admire the paint job, say hello to the guys, like sweetest lady in the world, nine month old baby in her arms. And she was bringing out snacks this morning, setting him up on the back deck, and my painter's getting ready to spray a garage door with black semi-gloss paint, one in a million chance that this paint sprayer would jam like it did.
Matt Shoup (5m 5s):
And that, and another one in a million that she's standing there with a baby, right as he pulls the trigger. Boom, paint everywhere. Paint like paint a baby. And that's a, that's a bad day for us in business at the office. Yeah. At job site. Yeah. So I'm sitting here just a few years later thinking that I need to paint this picture of perfection, telling this customer the worst story of my career, what I did about it. And then he sticks his hand out to shake my hand. He says, you're the kind of guy I wanna do business with. Let's do this. And, and it, it threw me for a 180. And then I really went on a journey of exploring how, how do people really connect? How do we build trust? How do we establish trust and rapport? Not, not the whole old school. They need to know you, like you trust you that trust in the no, like trust is, you're not gonna kidnap my wife or steal the, the purse.
Matt Shoup (5m 52s):
No, no, seriously. Right. Don't steal the baby. Try not to paint the baby. Not, not gonna kill me. But that deep trust, like, hey, if something goes sideways, right? I know their brochure says they stand for integrity and values and vision and family and excellence, but you know. Yeah. Because because when there's none of that being compromised, you don't have to show any of it. But what happens when, you know what hits the fan? And he wanted to know. So I told him, and he goes, I like how you handled that. And I initially equated that to share a crazy story about painted baby, get more sales. And, and I didn't realize that it's no show up as who you truly are. You're brave, your vulnerable self, not how social media thinks or expects you to show up.
Matt Shoup (6m 32s):
Just be you with the big cauliflower ear. I've got a big receding forehead e every, every couple of weeks. It's getting bigger. You just, just show up. You're not perfect. Just beat you. And people are gonna love that. They're gonna laugh at that. They're gonna connect with you. And then that's what builds trust. And then that's what gets you business, not not being Yeah. Buttoned up.
Mark Graban (6m 50s):
Yeah. Wow. Yeah. So when, when the baby got splattered with paint, though, like, I mean, how angry was the response then? I'm just curious just to button up how, how, how you dealt with that in the mo in the moment before we step back to kind of the broader picture of, of sharing that story.
Matt Shoup (7m 9s):
I love that you esca because we have, we have gotten a lot of paint on a lot of things. In my 20 years of doing business, we have, we have been in commercial parking lots, spraying oil, and we've painted 32 cars, right? When somebody's car gets sprayed with paint, they get angry. The, the driving underlying emotion was, was fear and chaos with the baby. So we've had accidents where people fall, people get hurt, baby gets painted. Mama wasn't like, Hey, painted my baby. What happened was my painter Raul, amazing gentleman from Mexico, English, second language, my second language is Spanish. So we're always Spanglish. He's a funny class clown. He calls me up, I'm 20 minutes away from the job site, come quick.
Matt Shoup (7m 50s):
I painted the baby. Oh my gosh. And hangs up the phone. I just heard woman hysterical, baby crying. When I got there. She wasn't mad. It was, Hey, is baby okay? There's that fear, right? And where's the paint? Is everything we need to go to the emergency room? Do we do, yeah. How do we triage this? But it was an honest accident. Right? Right. I've been in situations where a painter was just careless and spilled paint on something that was very valuable to somebody. And they're pissed because they knew they were careless. I knew they were careless. And you've gotta own, you've gotta own whatever it is and respond to whatever emotion be, becomes present as part of that mistake.
Mark Graban (8m 28s):
Right. Well, there's, and there's a difference between careless or a bad decision or something just went wrong. Right? So what was the learning Yeah. From, I don't know, the details of this equipment, of like what made it pop splatter? Like was there a way to learn from that so it could be prevented to not do that again, whether a baby was there or, or, or not.
Matt Shoup (8m 51s):
So, so when the spray tip, there's a little key that you put in the, in the spray gun, and it creates the spray pattern. So there's different size keys. They make different size patterns. What we had established is it looked like the gun hadn't been just cleaned out enough, the filters, things like that. And the key was just off kilter. But usually if your keys off kilter a little bit, it just doesn't spray. So I think it was, it was open just enough to let paint go everywhere that it wasn't supposed to versus just not going anywhere. But it, it had never happened in 8, 7, 8 years prior to that. It's never happened since. So I mean, we just, what we, what we say is, you know, stay in the house when we're painting, especially when we're spraying, there's big machines.
Matt Shoup (9m 32s):
We've had dogs come and chew on the pressurized hoses and we, we've painted dogs, but, you know, painted dog's not as cool of a book as painted baby.
Mark Graban (9m 41s):
Right. So I mean, there's, yeah, there's, there's, there's, there's the mistake. There's how we react to it. You weren't there when it happened. Raul called you. I mean, how, how do you remember? Cause I think, you know, how a leader reacts to a mistake is really important. Like how, how, what do you remember about like in the moments, the surprise and what you were feeling, and did you have to like, consciously think about, okay, I need to react in a certain way. That's helpful.
Matt Shoup (10m 9s):
What was interesting is, I, I remember this very vividly. I'm doing a bank deposit 20 minutes away. The house is in Windsor, Colorado. I'm in Fort Collins. And Raul calls me, I'm stepping into the bank, and I just hit silence. He usually called me put, and then he called me again. I hit silent again after like three times. Like, Raul, leave me alone. You, you got this right? And I put the phone in the pocket, get out of the bank. I missed eight, this eight, nine, ten phone calls. Like I should probably call him back. So literally, mate, mate, come quick. The paint, the boom. Oh my God, I got the baby, the paint. I the baby hangs up the phone after hearing this chaos. So it was, it was a little bit everything. It was fear was shock. It was what the heck's going on.
Matt Shoup (10m 49s):
Mark Graban (10m 49s):
It's interesting that he hung up. Yeah. I don't know. Like, he probably had to get back to it. It's not that he didn't want to hear you, let's say yelling at him. It's just Right. That
Matt Shoup (10m 57s):
Gave think about
Mark Graban (10m 58s):
How to react, or,
Matt Shoup (10m 59s):
I, I had a 20 minute drive that, that I probably did in 12. I mean, I flew over to the house and, and he must have called me. I never really asked him how, how many minutes after you did this or this happened, did you call me? But it was pretty fresh. And by the time I got over there, I just, I didn't know what was going on. I didn't call anybody. I just, I just said, get to the job site to find out what's going on. And there's two things, I actually distinguish this in the, in the book, in the later chapters is there's reaction and response. So if, if I say to you, Hey, did you, did you get a haircut? And, and you see my face, you think I'm judging your haircut. So you're like, screw you, you're bald too. My haircut's better than you're, than you have. I'm not balding reaction, but, but, but I was doing this because I had something in my teeth.
Matt Shoup (11m 44s):
Right? Sure. So you, you didn't understand the perspective of where I'm coming from. But we react so much where it's this knee-jerk. We don't take time to take everything in. So I say a response is, when you have time to really look at what's going on and then decide how you're gonna speak, act, behave, show up. So I get there and bosses, sorry, Raul's brother bosses standing at the pickup truck, and he's covered in paint. He's got drop sheet's covered in paint. There's a trail of black paint going up the driveway. So I say, Hey, Bloss, what happened? He's like, no, say man, just go. No, say, I don't know. And he go to the back and he points here, he put his head down. He just didn't know where to start. And I followed the paint trail and res down there.
Mark Graban (12m 22s):
Did he, sorry to interrupt. Did he put his head down? I mean, he was probably ashamed or just embarrassed or, right. I mean,
Matt Shoup (12m 30s):
Wasn't, it wasn't shameful. I mean, I had a really good relationship with these guys. I'll talk more about my, my poor crappy leadership and people skills in, in a little bit. But it was just that, I don't even know what to say. N no one had ever seen this happen. You know, spill a little paint on the flagstone to clean it up. But this was, he, it's just like, where do we start? Because I walked to the backyard, it was, okay, is baby okay? Baby's okay now, where do we even start? There was paint in a 30 to 40 foot radius of, of everywhere. So yeah, lots of emotions, but I never, I I never got mad at them because there was no carelessness, there was no anything like that. Just an accident.
Matt Shoup (13m 11s):
We couldn't figure out how it happened. And we, we made it right. It, it cost a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of energy. But we cleaned it up. Yeah.
Mark Graban (13m 20s):
Wow. But, so let, I want to come back to, to the story and your, your, your business again. But like, as a quick detour, like hearing how that, that client asked you that question, like that's a, that, that question is, is so fitting for this podcast. Tell me about a time you screwed up and what you did about it. Yeah. Whether it's a favorite mistake or not. So, so I love that that would be a great job interview question. If you're looking to hire someone into an organization, have you ever turned the tables and asked that question of when the leaders that you hire to run one of your businesses?
Matt Shoup (13m 53s):
Ab absolutely. And you know, as, as I'm a salesperson at heart. So this changed our sales in such a significant way, not just in the touchy-feely hey fund story. It raised our close rate, 10 to 15% depending on how, where and when you measured, when we implemented this. So bottom line profit. So for me as a salesman, when when somebody's selling me, I had somebody in here today, we've never had an unhappy client. I'm like, well, then you're lying. Or you don't have a culture in which those clients can tell you they're not happy. And I'm not gonna hire you. Like I shut 100% down. But yeah, when we hire, when we hire people, here's, here's what happens with the hiring, right? Here's my resume, it's my shin.
Matt Shoup (14m 33s):
It's a shiny marketing brochure of a potential team member. It's not gonna suck. Some will be better than others, but no one's gonna turn in a bad resume. And they don't expect that question. They, they want to tell you how awesome they are and what their references are gonna say. And I say, Hey, tell me, tell me about a time you got written up. Tell me about a time, a time you got fired. Tell me about a time you let go. What's this gap in your employment history? And there's something there, but we are conditioned to not go there because there's a fear of judgment and repercussion and shame and, and guilt. Cuz again, you look at, you just look at society and how they, they react and respond to that. So people just, it's not an, it's not a natural thing.
Matt Shoup (15m 16s):
But what I'll do in a situation like that is I'll go first. So I say, listen, you're coming to work for a company that wrote the book, like we wrote the book on this and we're, we're all about that.
Mark Graban (15m 26s):
Yep. And that, and that's how as leaders, we can create that culture, right? So if somebody didn't have that workplace, I've seen people have come into this, this software company Conexus, that I'm involved in a little bit of, in previous jobs, if they made a mistake, they would've gotten yelled at in kinex. At conexus, they get a more helpful response. People don't get yelled at. We figure out, okay, well why did it happen? How do we prevent it from happening again? But you can't, like people have that history. You, you can't tell them, well, this place is safe. Right. It takes, it takes time. Yeah. People to, to believe that okay, what they're saying is true. The leader, you know, the, like you said, I'll go first. That's really powerful when the leader setting that example, right?
Matt Shoup (16m 8s):
Yeah. It, it is. And you know, I've got a really fun story of a team member. He's one of our best team members that ever worked for us. And he's a, he was a four-time felon, turned full-time pastor. And he came to work with us from 2012 to 2019. And I feel like he needs to come onto your podcast. So I don't wanna share all of his stories. If
Mark Graban (16m 25s):
You can make that introduction. Yeah.
Matt Shoup (16m 27s):
Should I hold it? You wanna hold it? Let me do this. I'll give a, I'll give a little teaser. So, so he, he, when he came to us, he had found God, he was Jesus, believing Rick everything, you know, he was quoting the Bible. Just, just good clean, awesome dude. Customers loved him. And two to 3% of the time, he would just go a little gangster in his tone, in his voice. He'd be, praise the Lord, praise the Lord. What'd you say to me? Go, this guy's got some mistake, Maybe. Yeah. Yeah. So we have a leadership position come open and he was a subcontractor. And I go, Hey, if you're coming in full-time, we need to sit down, talk about some different things. And he goes, Hey, I gotta tell you something. I've got some felonies. And I laughed. I'm like, did you get a ticket at, at bible study?
Matt Shoup (17m 7s):
You get a parking ticket? You know, he is like, no. He goes, I, I've got four felonies and we need to talk. And he sat down and he shared this story stories in the book and he, he shared some really heavy stuff of some poor decisions he made and got in a lot of trouble for it and took accountability for it. But at that moment, he's like, Matt, I could either not tell you this and you find out another way, or I tell you this and, and how did I respond? I go, you're the kind of guy I wanna work with.
Mark Graban (17m 34s):
Yeah. Yeah. Wow.
Matt Shoup (17m 36s):
And, and we, I, I worked with him, mentored him, our company paid for his life plan. I knew he wanted to be a pastor. I knew he was gonna be here for five, six years. And I remember the day I was hiking in Spain, he finished his life plan and he messaged me. And when you finish a life plan, it's, it's, why do you exist in one sentence? And he tells me, and I go, well it's, it's time to go be a pastor. And he goes, yep, I'm gonna, I'm gonna give you two months instead of two weeks. And and I'm so proud of him. I mean, yeah. And he's, he's in the book and he's gonna be on the podcast when we launch it. But just stuff like that, it's not, this isn't just customer facing. It is, it is human facing, however humans interact within business.
Mark Graban (18m 12s):
Yeah. So before coming back to again, like, you know, talking about using the Painted Baby story and, and some other things about your businesses, I think it's so powerful when, when you talk about this, this notion of not painting a picture of perfection. So I just wanna call back to two previous guests, one that you have a connection to. So one was Dan Garrison, who I think was, was one of the first 15 episodes I his distillery. If you go to garrison bros.com, they're about us. Page doesn't start by listing all the awards they've won. It starts by telling about how the first barrels they ever tried aging basically all exploded and leaked cuz it's too hot in Texas.
Mark Graban (18m 52s):
Like there's something cool about that. And they're willing to share mistakes as they did Yeah. On the podcast. So I think that's cool. But we wouldn't be having this conversation here in episode 200 and something, if this idea I had, would people be willing to talk about using your language a time they screwed up and what they did about it, what they learned. If Kevin Harrington in episode one had not been willing to come and be vulnerable that way. Right. This is a guy who's been so incredibly successful and it would
Matt Shoup (19m 23s):
Mark Graban (19m 24s):
If you wanted tell those success stories. Like if, if he had come on and said basically like, my favorite mistake is said, I've been too successful and I don't smell the roses. Like, that's not an interesting podcast series. So he was, he was So he set the tone. He's part of why we're here. But you met Kevin. I was wondering if you could just kind of tell us real quickly about meeting him.
Matt Shoup (19m 43s):
I did. I met Kevin back in 2012, 13, I'm not, not a hundred percent sure of the exact year. I was part of Entrepreneur's Organization. And they threw an event in Las Vegas was a regional event. They did something called Pitch Tank. And at that time, our company, pirate Patch, the company's called Rye Makers of the Pirate Patch. It's a drywall repair tool and we now sell it on amazon walmart.com. But we were just getting it launched and phenomenal product. When you see what it does, it speaks for itself. It sells itself. You are a sales guy.
Mark Graban (20m 16s):
Matt Shoup (20m 17s):
Yeah, it is. I mean, it's like you, you have a texture issue. It's a, it's done. You use a spray, can you wanna kill the spray can? So yeah, we, we got to, no, we got to jump on stage in, in a big auditorium in Vegas with Kevin Harrington, another successful entrepreneurs sitting there on stage and pitched the product and there were eight of us. And then we won the pitch. So after winning that pitch, what you got to do after that was go to a private hotel suite, sit right across, and he's the, he's the nicest guy, sit right across from him and pitch the product because he has the as seen on TV brand, which this would actually be per perfect for. And he, he declined any interest in it. It really had no sales.
Matt Shoup (20m 57s):
So it was, it was sitting there, it's, Hey, do you believe in this product and our capacity to, to grow it? And for whatever reason he said, no, it's nice to meet him. And you know, we tried wholesaling it to big box chains and we're losing money. It's a single skew product. But we found great success on online. But it was an idea on a napkin eating burritos after we got fired from a paint job because we couldn't figure out how to do knockdown texture. And we were over promising underdelivering and these spray cans were garbage. And everybody said we couldn't make it work. And now it's a great story. We've sold tens of thousands of these things. Wow.
Mark Graban (21m 36s):
So back to the Painted baby story and a great story. And you, you mentioned, you, you know a little bit already about how using it, you know, is raise your clothes rate and you're being authentic and vulnerable and talking about how you handle a problem, even if people don't ask. Tell us about the progression then of of, of realizing, Hey, this might be effective if I shared it proactively with others. I I'd love to hear like some of that thought process.
Matt Shoup (22m 0s):
Yeah. It, it's effective if you share it proactively. Absolutely. In, in business, but in life. And I would share that at that point. And I don't see a difference between business and life. I tell people, your business will only grow to the degree that you do. It'll only be as healthy as you are. I realized personally that I was being the buttoned up five star version of Matt and I wasn't being real with others. So as I start doing it in business, I also start doing it personally with friends, with relationships. But I, I'll use the example of, do you ever see the movie Eight Mile with Oh yeah. Eminem. Yeah. I, I grew up in
Mark Graban (22m 33s):
The Detroit suburbs right off of Five Mile.
Matt Shoup (22m 35s):
Okay. Okay. Not the
Mark Graban (22m 37s):
Same, but yeah. Yeah.
Matt Shoup (22m 38s):
Every business has a dirty little secret. And I, and I challenge businesses. I say, Hey, what is that secret? If your competition got ahold of it and they went out and they spun it to use it against you, what is it that's, that's your painted baby story. In, in eight Mile, right. Eminem goes to the final rap battle and he, he knows what they're gonna say against him. So he just comes out and says it all against himself and then says, what do you got? Because you went to private school, so how good are you? And the guy was speechless. So proactiveness of get in front of the story, own and control the narrative. And when, when a company's gonna knock you to sell themself anyway, if they're gonna rap battle their way to success for themself, then it says a lot about them.
Matt Shoup (23m 20s):
But you'll leave that, you'll leave those people speechless. And then it's like you got nothing to hide. And, and it, and it just sets this expectation that, listen, we've painted a baby. If something goes wrong here, we'll take care of it. Just call me. And the customers, they're more relaxed about it. They don't default to high emotional intensity levels of anger and distrust. They're like, you told me this might happen and now it happened. And boom, we're Johnny on the spot. Fix it. Yeah. So make it right. Yeah.
Mark Graban (23m 44s):
So before we recorded, maybe you know, you can let me share one of these. You showed me a picture of, it looked like a yard sign, like you would put in the yard of a house you were painting. Is that, was that the context of it with the painted baby photo? Tell tell us, tell about
Matt Shoup (23m 59s):
That. We can, we can pull it up. Do you wanna screen share?
Mark Graban (24m 2s):
No, cuz we, well we have a lot of people listening, but maybe I can share it. I can superimpose the,
Matt Shoup (24m 6s):
We'll, the link to the page. Yeah, yeah. There's a page. Show
Mark Graban (24m 9s):
Notes. Yeah. Yeah.
Matt Shoup (24m 10s):
So, so after I leave this sales appointment, I shared this with my sales team and they, they're like, Matt, you didn't close this deal because of that. So I went out and tested this hypothesis and I measured the results. And when we finally realized this works raised my clothes right, I, I then trained at the sales team. Cause it can't just be me, it has to be the team. Once we did that, I go, Hey, let's take this to people that are not our customers yet, that were not in front of for sales opportunities. So we did the photo shoot, we, we took my daughter, she was three years old, brought her to the office. This is a real live shot. Like we legitimately painted her. And she went through all the emotions of that. And then we took some of the best photos and we, at that point, were doing a lot of outdoor advertising, direct mail, so bus stops, bus benches.
Matt Shoup (24m 53s):
We had the crazy sign spinners with the painted baby, direct mail, painted Baby was our thing. It was 2013 we ran with that campaign. And just the, the lead generation increased the different types and deaths of conversation. However you measured there was definitely tangibles, but also just this intangible, just easier to do business now.
Mark Graban (25m 16s):
Yeah. Wow. Wow. That's great. So we'll share, I'll, I'll make sure some of that is available there. People, if they're watching or if you're listening, can come to the show notes. And I, and I love what you describe of like testing a hypothesis, measuring the example like that that's, that's modern startup love language, if you will, of like being willing and able to do that instead of saying like, I, I've got this idea. I know it's awesome, let's go do it.
Matt Shoup (25m 45s):
What, what's interesting in, in business, and I've been in the personal development, leadership, you know, what can I read? What can I take in to make myself better? And you hear this inspirational message, you can do it. Okay great. That makes me feel really good and tingly and touchy feely. How do I do it? Or start with why. I remember when I heard Simon Sinek live in person, start with Why. And I leave that, I go and I told my team, we gotta start with why. And they're like, well how do you do that? Well, he didn't talk about that. He just said, start with why. So I love inspiration mixed with practical wisdom. So, so painted baby, it's this combination of just amazing stories from wonderful people that that'll make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. But then it's like, okay, what is the framework?
Matt Shoup (26m 27s):
There's six C's of storytelling, three C's to change your story and then three C's to create and tell your story. So I take people through a step by step process to back up, you know, cause if not, it's just a fun story. And people, you know, the en the engineer personality styles are gonna say, well what do I do now?
Mark Graban (26m 47s):
Yeah. Or there's, you know, yeah, I mean there's, I mean there's different levels of learning from a mistake. Story of like, okay, if I run a painting company, I could avoid that exact mistake. That's not gonna apply to many people dealing with a mistake that you've made in your work. That's something that applies to so many more people. Yeah. And that's where the power of sharing that and then giving people frameworks of, of what to do. That's, that's,
Matt Shoup (27m 13s):
And then, and then how to tell a, how to tell a story. I mean, I think for, for me, as a salesperson, for so long I thought selling was telling or telling was selling. And I was just tell and inform. But there is a process and I break that. There's a whole section. I break the process of how do you hook somebody with something shocking, surprising, wonderful, engaging, intriguing. Then how do you build up to an insinuating event, which ties back to a hook which drives your receiver of that message to some kind of response that you want in that business relationship. So the, just the power of storytelling is, is amazing.
Mark Graban (27m 46s):
Yeah. Maybe this is the last paint related story. There's other businesses and lessons we can talk about here, but you said you come absolutely back to it. I'm gonna point you back to the, you know, even if it's a quick story right. Color on the wrong house. How did that happen and how do you make sure, hopefully that doesn't happen again.
Matt Shoup (28m 3s):
In Fort Collins, Colorado, there's a, there's a neighborhood with a blue sky drive and a blue sky court with a 20, 24, 26, the address, I can't remember the exact address, but there's a 24, 26 blue sky drive. Blue sky court. So real busy in the business back in the early days, I send the crew out with the job jacket. All the specs go to 24, 26 blue sky. And they show up to blue sky and they scrape it, mask it, hawk it, spray paint, primer all over the house. And I said, make sure to trim Mrs. Jones' bushes cuz kind of older can't, can't do it a lot herself. So we even trimmed her bushes, right? And they called me up, where's the paint? Said paint's on the front porch. I had it delivered.
Matt Shoup (28m 43s):
There's no paint on the front porch. I go, guys, you know what, what's going on? We're back and forth. It's right on the porch, right next to the flower pot. There's no flower pot, Matt on this porch, but where the heck, where the heck are you we're 24, 26. Blue sky Court said, court what? And I pull up two minutes later to the drive, there's nothing going on. I just didn't, I'm not attention to detail guy. I filled this job jacket out. And they're like, you didn't tell us. I go, so how did you decide which house to go to? Well, this one needed painting.
Mark Graban (29m 13s):
Oh, so you admitted so that, that was your mistake. That
Matt Shoup (29m 17s):
Oh, that was absolutely 100%. I am a, I'm a type D I'm a di on the disc. I'm very visionary, inspirational, motivational. I, I will, I will run everybody off and jump off a cliff with this amazing vision and have no parachute or structure or plan. I'm not a detail guy. I was rushing here, here you go. 24, 26. And I had to sit outside that house all day to wait for the homeowner to get home. I mean, imagine you pull up to the house and they ripped your roof off or your gutters or did, did this. And you're like, honey, did you, did you call some painters without me? And he pulled up and he was angry. He was angry. And I had to manage those emotions. What he said to me was hilarious.
Matt Shoup (29m 58s):
So we had, we had been marketing all over town, we put our name on everything and his exact words were, I know you guys are marketing horrors, but I didn't know this was one of the ways that you got around.
Mark Graban (30m 10s):
Matt Shoup (30m 12s):
And I said, listen, I, and I'm thinking, I go, you know, I'll try anything once I wonder what the return on this investment is. And, and I, and I said, listen, I go, here's what happened. You and your wife pick a color, let me know what it is. We'll come back and give you our best of the best top of the line paint job. And we paid for it. And he called us back three years later to paint an interior bedroom. So it did work, but the but the return on the money wasn't, it wasn't there. So I didn't do that again. Right, right.
Mark Graban (30m 38s):
Don't, don't go intentionally making that mistake to drum up. No. Gotcha.
Matt Shoup (30m 43s):
I'll try everything once. Right. You gotta, you gotta be creative in marketing. Experi. But yeah, I mean that was, that was my mistake. And again, that the, the lessons between the stories is obviously details matter, but painted baby, it's fear, it's chaos, it's concerned different emotions. This guy comes back, there's, there's just anger and you, whatever that emotion is, they have every right to have that emotion. You don't know how people will react or respond, but you have to respect it whether you agree. Well, that's not how I would respond if he painted my baby. Well, it's not your baby, it's her baby, it's his house. And, and then try to take a motion out of it as much as you can and, and, you know, logically deal with it, still care for the person. Don't be cold and catless. Right.
Mark Graban (31m 24s):
Right. So I, I wanna ask you about these other businesses, but real quick, just I can't help it mention, because you, my, my town in Texas, I won't name the name or don't know, people could Google it, but the mayor of our town owns a demolition company. He's second generation of this demolition company. They were in the news because over in Dallas, they literally demolished the wrong house. And I've seen something like that pop up in the news a couple of times in different parts of the us. I mean that's, that's boy, that that's, that's different than starting to paint the wrong house.
Matt Shoup (32m 2s):
Yeah. That, that's, that's a bad day at their office. Right. Like that, that's a painted baby store. De demoing. Yeah. Demoing the office.
Mark Graban (32m 9s):
I I don't think they could turn that into a marketing campaign though. I mean, the way up, you know. Right. You know,
Matt Shoup (32m 16s):
If you follow the, if you follow the framework though, right? Because there's, there's a, there's a, there's a, how do you address situations like this? It's understand the severity of the situation. You just demoed somebody's home. That's, that's pretty damn serious. Take full ownership, accountability, responsibility, make sure everybody's okay. Create a plan of action. You have to now sell that to the person, to the family whose house you just demoed. Take action on that action. Get by in, keep checking in on people and then tie it right back to, Hey, I know we screwed up, we dropped the ball, but was this a home run the way we picked it up and, and hit it? They they could do that. I don't know what they did. It would be interesting to see.
Mark Graban (32m 52s):
Yeah. I mean, but your, to your point earlier, competitors are certainly bringing it up. You don't wanna hire them. They're the, they're the, yeah. The clowns that knocked down the wrong house. Forgive me for putting it that way. That's how someone else might say it.
Matt Shoup (33m 4s):
Po possibly. But, but like how great would their website be if they say, Hey, you've probably heard we were the guys that knocked down this house, but look what we gave 'em back. We gave 'em this house a and they and they go above and beyond. So yeah, it would be, it would be interesting to see. We should swing back around and see what they did. I'll see if they can come on your will they come on your show.
Mark Graban (33m 23s):
We'll see if they are like you and others on this podcast who are willing to talk about mistakes publicly, we will. There's only one way to find out, say, Hey Mr. Mayor. Hmm. And try but back to your businesses though, Matt, now we're again match out painted baby. You know, we started, you know, six different businesses as mentioned, handing them off to be run by great people. It sounds like hiring detail oriented people then is, is key. Tell us more. That
Matt Shoup (33m 51s):
Helps cuz I'm not, yeah, I go get, I go get all the money, right? And then I don't know what bank account it's in or if the books are balanced. But what, what I've found as an entrepreneur is when we first start, there's three different phases. It's grow scale and then build. When we grow, it's an acronym. You're grinding, repeating, operating and working, and you're doing everything within the business. You have to, you don't have resources. You need to learn what you're good at and just establish, it's important that a business owner knows and understands everything. But you're gonna find real quickly that you're gonna be really good at something and then you need to hire out the rest. And to do that, to get to that scale phase, you have to answer the question, can the business run without you run without you?
Matt Shoup (34m 33s):
Can you take a, a three day vacation and not have the wheels fall off? If not, you're stuck in the growth phase. So when you start bringing in people, there needs to be clear job descriptions. And I just wrote a blog about scale, about what that means. You need to give people roll rope permission to do things, A clear job description and celebrate even if they make the wrong decision. We need to let them do what they're good at and let go of control. But then the next question is, can the business grow without you? So it might run without you. Like I, I can, I can go take a month in Spain, the business will run, but I'm still in that scale to build phase. And what happens with build is, is it's when the business goes beyond you where you could get hit by a bus and they understand your vision, your purpose and everything, and, and you invest and you pour into these people so much that, that they become better than you.
Matt Shoup (35m 25s):
I remember when I, I, I now have salespeople that outsell me and I never thought that day would come in business because that was my thing. I was so proud of it. It's hard to let go of. So, you know, as an entrepreneur, just, just find, yeah, find out what you're good at, really lean into that and, and pour into people. Don't be afraid to invest in people. And if you go, well I can't, I can't trust, you know, can't trust this person. Well, they're either not trustable or you don't trust anybody. Where's that come from? And that, that sec the, the first to second phase, even the second to third phase, it requires exploring a lot about yourself and what kind of programs and beliefs and mindsets you have and run in your life.
Matt Shoup (36m 4s):
Mark Graban (36m 6s):
So maybe other question about that, like how, how do you think about the risk of hiring somebody who turns out to be a mistake or you think it was a mistake of like investing in them and building up, building upon whatever potential you saw in them versus saying, yeah, oof, no, that wasn't right. I need to replace them.
Matt Shoup (36m 25s):
So I mean we, we've had, we've had stories like Rick where the guy comes to us out of prison and, and I'm still hanging out, pouring into that guy. He trains jiujitsu with us. He hasn't been in a while. We'll have to remind him of that. But you know, you have a story like that. And then I have a story of a guy that embezzled $40,000 from us and was just totally full of crap and he pulled the wool over our eyes. I'm looking back, we should have seen the signs. It helped us. It was an expensive lesson that helped us realize some things. And then everything in between is this, and I think this is the entrepreneur or kind of the, the pull on an entrepreneur's like why would I invest all of this? We, we actually had a gentleman who left, started another painting company, totally lied about it, stole customers.
Matt Shoup (37m 7s):
He did it in a very lack of integrity way and it showed who he truly was. So that's great. Go do your thing, dude. I'll do mine and we'll see where we end up. But you, you look at that and you go, why did we invest in that guy? You know, he look at what he did, it's like, well, do you want them to stay stupid and not poured into, and not that they're stupid when they come here, but do you want somebody to not grow and stay where they're at? Dave Ramsey says that, do you wanna grow them? And maybe they leave or have them stay where they're at and he calls it stupid and stay. So, so yeah, I just, I, I stopped, I ran betrayal programs in my life for a really long time. I got bullied a lot growing up. I had situations where people that should have been encouraging me and uplifting me didn't.
Matt Shoup (37m 48s):
So I was always looking over my shoulder for the bully and I was always waiting for the relational shoe to drop. So, so I brought that into business and I didn't wanna invest in people for a really long time. I was a, I was a poor leader, bad with people. I was a jerk of a boss. You work for me or you're fired and go to your job and I don't care how your weekend was, I don't care about your personal problem. Get out, get outta here. Go make me money. That, that was me 12 ago.
Mark Graban (38m 13s):
That's, that's a, a favorite mistake worthy story as well. My gosh, that could be a whole, a whole episode of how did you discover that? I mean obviously like there's there's growth mindset, there's development. You can become a better leader.
Matt Shoup (38m 29s):
Yeah, yeah. These were lessons I learned. Lots, lots of different ways that, you know, kind of the, the long story short, I get fired in oh five in a very nasty way. Bank president comes in, he says, put all your shit in the box. You're fired. Go do that painting thing. You dirty little painter, he cinches up his tie. And I was a pretty angry young man. I had a lot to prove. So I go, you know what? I will and I'm gonna make a million dollars and I'll come back and wait it at you. So I did and I grew my business out of anger and, and literally the drive, like the drive mark was to become a millionaire, make a name for myself and try to gain acceptance from people that may or may not ever give it to you. But I realized I start winning these awards, right? I'm standing on this million dollar mountain and nobody's there with me cuz nobody's staying in the business.
Matt Shoup (39m 12s):
And I'm working with a coach 2011, 12. And I go, why, why does everybody, why can't they work as hard as me? I can't believe this bad. You know, it's their fault. He goes, it's your, it's your fault. You hear yourself. He's like, you're such a victim. He's like, stop being in a crybaby. You suck at leadership, you suck at people. You're a jerk to work with and would you work for yourself? And he was right. And he goes, listen, this is gonna go one of two ways. He called me out and I had to consider where things were going and then commit to change. It's the three Cs of changing your story. I talk about it in the book and then from there I go, man, I go, I just started getting into this personal development, this leadership stuff and I just, I just dove in headfirst. And then you have to come back.
Matt Shoup (39m 53s):
If you're that leader right now or that business owner who's not quite the leader yet, you, you've gotta admit it's paint a baby, right? You gotta, Hey, I screwed up, here's what I'm gonna do. And some people were with me, some people were not. Some people left. So it's okay. Wow.
Mark Graban (40m 10s):
Yeah. Well, I appreciate you, Matt, sharing, you know, all those stories and reflections and, and tips. So much great stuff that, that stuff that you've shared here. More in the book, again, painted Baby connect through, connect with clients through brave and vulnerable storytelling. One, one last question before we go, Matt, why don't you know, you, you mentioned practicing jiujitsu and that's one of your businesses. I don't know anything about Jiujitsu compared to other martial arts is, you know, you talk about being angry. Is Jiujitsu kind of more aggressive or avoidant, you know, avoiding contact kind of style? Does that have any connection to your personality at all?
Mark Graban (40m 52s):
Or is this a bad question?
Matt Shoup (40m 54s):
This is an awesome question. Jiu-Jitsu is actually called the gentle art. Jujitsu is a cousin to judo, right? So the the gentle way, and I actually have something I talk about a lot. I have a video series called Matt on the mats, but it's, it's the gentle art of leadership. So if you look at jiu-jitsu at face value, you watch mixed martial, martial arts, right? It's everything that happens when you get to the ground. Judo is how do you throw the guy to the ground and pin him? Jujitsu is what happens. It's this human chess match of leverage technique and, and timing. And what's interesting about it is I was 26, 220 pounds of pure muscle ego attitude walk into a jujitsu class and they said, go with that kid over there. He's 15 at half my age, half my size.
Matt Shoup (41m 35s):
And he kicked the crap out. Me, choked me, submitted me. You basically choke people and wrist, arm, leg lock people, they tap out, you submit 'em. But jiu-jitsu exposes your personality if you are a hard driving, aggressive, fast moving, that's how you're gonna approach jujitsu. If you're very methodical, introverted, process-oriented, you'll just see people, I'll see them on the mats when I teach and they're, they're just watching and processing and, and it's just this computer program. So it really parallels and exposes your personality. Yeah. Wow. We could do a whole nother podcast. Yeah, maybe we could
Mark Graban (42m 13s):
Really, we could do, we could do that. I hope. And we should appreciate you, Matt, sharing your story and exposing your personality and thanks the way you go about things. This has been, this has been really enjoyable, very insightful. Thank you so much. So again, Matt, Shoup the book, painted Baby Connect with clients through brave and vulnerable storytelling. Look at, look at Matt's daughter there. That's adorable.
Matt Shoup (42m 38s):
And she gets a cut. She gets a cut for her college and wedding fund of every book I saw, but I think it's gonna be wedding before college cuz she's boy crazy. And she's 12 now and I'm not, I'm not excited about it.
Mark Graban (42m 50s):
Good luck to you. So Matt,
Matt Shoup (42m 51s):
Thank you sir. Thank you. Thanks.
Mark Graban (42m 53s):
Really enjoyed it. Thank you.
Matt Shoup (42m 55s):
Same here. Thank you.
Mark Graban (42m 56s):
Well again, thanks so much to Matt shoup for being a guest here today. To learn more about his book Painted Baby and more look for links in the show notes or go to markgraban.com/mistake212. As always, I want to thank you for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive. I've had listeners tell me they started being more open and honest about mistakes in their work and they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me email@example.com.
Mark Graban (43m 37s):
And again, our website is myfavoritemistakepodcast.com.