"Join over 25 million other readers that have been educated and inspired to transform their life and business"

How to Achieve Business Success by Staying Focused (Episode 89)

Rick West is the CEO and Founder of Field Agent. Field Agent connects brands, retailers, and agencies with customers across the country and around the world to help you win at retail.

His platform harnesses smartphones across the country, bridging the gap between you and your customers. Rick created Field Agent to solve retail’s biggest problems. Rick’s app helps you make money while you are on your phone.

Traffic Guide

Free Download

The Ultimate Guide to Website Traffic for Business

 

What you will learn

  • The value of leaping into the unknown and pivoting as an entrepreneur
  • How developing business relationships and connections really matter
  • Insights on how to scale a business
  • Being significant by staying within your rails and not chasing shiny objects
  • Bringing your focused attention to your intention
  • How opportunities reveal themselves with new technology
  • The power of crowdsourcing
  • The real entrepreneur’s mindset
  • Saying no a lot more and deselecting as a way to find success
  • Using technology such as smartphones and mobile apps to scale a business
  • Why product-led growth is an important B2B approach
  • Eliminating friction to drive business growth

Transcript

Jeff Bullas

00:00:03 - 00:00:55

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Jeff Bullas show. Today, I have with me, Rick West. Now Rick is the CEO and Founder of Field Agent. Now, that doesn't mean FBI by the way. Okay, so we want to get this very clear. Rick has created an app and been using it to do mystery shopping enabled by mobile phones and digital technology, crowdsource resources and people to help him find out what really works inside a retail store. And he's got a mantra, you're click away from stores and shoppers everywhere. Field Agent connects brands, retailers, agencies with customers across the country and around the world to help you win at retail. His platform harnesses smartphones across the country, bridging the gap between you and your customers. Rick created Field Agent to solve retail's biggest problems.

Jeff Bullas

00:00:55 - 00:01:02

and Rick allows it to take you so you can make money while you are on your phone. Welcome to show Rick, it's an absolute pleasure.

Rick West

00:01:03 - 00:01:06

Well, Jeff, thank you for having me today. I look forward to our conversation.

Jeff Bullas

00:01:07 - 00:01:58

So Rick, you've been in corporate and you've then leapt into the unknown and became an entrepreneur about 10-15 years ago. So I want to explore that a little bit today. And because a lot of people have trouble making the start of leaping into the unknown, leaping into the gap, which they don't know what the outcome is going to be and as humans, we all like certainty, so, let's wind it back a little bit. So obviously you have a passion and a lot of expertise and experience in retail, especially consumer packaged goods, also known as CPG, which is an acronym, which we're going to try and avoid today after we talked because I could use it too messy and no one would know what I'm talking about.

Jeff Bullas

00:01:59 - 00:02:26

So we're gonna try and use plain language here, which we do. So Rick, when you went to university and I noticed that the University of Kentucky before we leap into where your career started. So, University of Kentucky and you did a BBA on Personnel Industrial Relations. So what made you choose that particular education and college?

Rick West

00:02:26 - 00:03:21

Well, you know, Jeff for many of your listeners that are out there. At my university, we call business basically post engineering. We called engineering pre-business. What I realized very quickly when I went to university to study engineering. After about three weeks, people in my class were still reviewing things. They covered everything I'd ever covered in high school on Calculus and Chemistry and I realized I'm in so much trouble. Jeff, in between the breaks I was not talking about the next theory and the next algorithm. I was just trying to figure out where my girlfriend was and what's happening at the university. And they were just talking about numbers and math and I thought I'm in so much trouble. And then someone introduced me to this thing called the College of Business, it's basically for me, you know the way I grew up,

Rick West

00:03:21 - 00:03:58

I realized pretty quickly that with a business, you could go the technical route or more a general route in Personnel and Industrial relations today that we call that organizational effectiveness which is primarily how to manage teams, how to become an HR organizational effectiveness type person which was really in a sweet spot for me. I was an athlete, I was a leader in school so it took me right into that mainstream of how people think, how they act and how to lead people. And that's really where I started to get excited about school and started to drive my university experience from one of being, I knew nothing to “Gosh I think I can really make this work.”

Jeff Bullas

00:03:59 - 00:04:06

So, you started one degree in engineering. Is that what you're saying? And then you did startups, did you pivoted?

Rick West

00:04:07 - 00:04:08

I pivoted. Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:04:08 - 00:04:20

So, welcome to the real world. Well when I started I started doing accounting and within a few weeks I realized that this was going to slowly kill me if I kept doing this.

Rick West

00:04:20 - 00:04:22

You understand?

Jeff Bullas

00:04:22 - 00:04:53

I do. And I was so bored. I took my pillow one day to the back of the classroom and the lecturer was horrified. Well actually the whole student body took their pillows because he was the most boring lecturer we had ever experienced in our lives. Yeah. Well teenagers. Right? That's what we were, we're just bad field agents really. So pivoting, I totally get it. But you gotta be brave enough to pivot realizing that you've made a fucked-up a mistake.

Rick West

00:04:54 - 00:05:34

What would you do, Jeff? And so what you learn pretty early on is that this is my opinion. Being successful wasn't the issue for me, it was being successful in an area where I could actually have some impact of being significant was really important to me. I honestly believe if I had lowered my head and studied the way I needed to, I could have overcome my background to really become an engineer, but I would have hated every moment of it. So you find that with many people in corporate America today, you're in a job you can be successful, but it's like pulling teeth, right? You hate every moment of it. So for very few of us in this world,

Rick West

00:05:35 - 00:06:02

not only can we be successful at what we do, we can be significant in what we do so that we're operating in an area, not only can it be really good at it, but I can enjoy what I do. That is a very, very rare case occasion, but we all can find it, we just have to be brave enough to pivot from being pay the salary I'm okay, but I can pivot over here to something I know I'm going to be passionate about because trust me being successful is not the issue.

Jeff Bullas

00:06:02 - 00:06:33

Exactly. And the Japanese have a term called Ikigai, which seems to be the innate ability, what you love doing and why you're supposed to be here on the planet. And you obviously made that decision early and decided not to follow a life of misery in the corporate world but decided to do something you really love doing. So you do degree, you've pivoted and how did you join Procter and Gamble? Because that was your first gig, wasn't it?

Rick West

00:06:34 - 00:07:20

Well it was and it may be unique to your listeners or it may not, but what I have found is that success most often follows the path and depth of relationships. Okay, that's tweet worthy, that's social media worthy. Success most often follows the path and depth of a relationship. So for me, for the time I was 12 years old, every job that I ever had, from delivering newspapers to being a delivery person working in the university, having odd jobs to my job at Procter and Gamble, it all came through relationships where someone recommended me. So for PNG, a fraternity brother of mine was working there. He said "You've got to talk to this guy, Rick West!" and I'm like, I don't know what Procter and gamble even is.

Rick West

00:07:20 - 00:07:58

Next thing I know I get a contact out of nowhere. The guy said "Hey, I should talk to you" and Jeff, I went through a six month process in two weeks because I had a relationship with someone that pulled me along that said "this guy can do it, he's the kind of guy we're looking for" and then voila I'm at PNG and really made no sense at all for me to be there because I would have never made the classical college recruiting process. The GPA wasn't there, it just would not have made sense. But I had a relationship and it drove it to that point. My wife also graduated about six months later,

Rick West

00:07:59 - 00:08:25

she got a job at PNG, Procter and Gamble. The relationships that I had connected her and she also had about a 17-year career there as well. So relationships matter and that's the only thing that your listeners remember today, is that just because you know someone doesn't mean you have a relationship. Developing a relationship that matters will help you a year, three years, five years down the road. I cannot under emphasize how important that is.

Jeff Bullas

00:08:25 - 00:09:19

I totally agree that relationships and humanity and connecting with people is very, very important and I totally get that. So, the power of human networks and relationships create opportunity and quite often they show up when you least expect them. So, let's wind back a little bit. So you grew up in Kentucky you grew up in a coal mining area and you could have become a coal miner or you could become an entrepreneur. So that was interesting to hear and then now you're actually in Arkansas. So the interesting thing I want to hear is okay, so you're Procter and Gamble and never quite a while.

Jeff Bullas

00:09:19 - 00:09:28

So what did you learn from Procter and Gamble? What are the sort of things that you learned? What were some of the most valuable things of learning that you had working for PNG?

Rick West

00:09:28 - 00:10:06

For that corporate world has the good and the bad, Jeff. I mean if I was going to work anywhere in corporate America, I would go back to Procter and Gamble today. The corporate culture was great, how they trained you and what I learned pretty quickly is it was interesting if you think of sports teams or you think of clubs and how rotations work. Procter and Gamble did a great job of making you an amazing General Manager as if you use a sports analogy, you know, ricket or soccer or you could use American baseball. People try to specialize

Rick West

00:10:07 - 00:10:48

and the way Procter and Gamble came in saying “Gosh Rick, you were really, really great at this technical role, we're going to put you in a sales role and train you there.” “Rick, you've mastered the sales role, we're not going to put you into a finance role.” And then what happened over time, even though I wanted discussion, maybe I wanted to stay in sales, you want to stay in finance, what you started to realize over time is they were building you up to become this person that understood business. And so the one thing that PNG prepared me for was that I would be able to manage a business, I understood every facet of the operation as opposed to being very specialized. Now there's nothing wrong with being an amazing quarterback, an amazing picture, an amazing goalie, there's nothing wrong with that.

Rick West

00:10:48 - 00:11:30

But those roles are few and far between. As you know, as an entrepreneur, you've got to go broad and specialize within a specific field, but the breath was really important. So that was one thing, I think the second thing that Procter and Gamble really helped kind of drive home was that as you're working with clients or in this case customers is that the customer is always right and I know people listening, you're really smart, I get it. I mean everyone's really smart, they know exactly what they want, but the sooner you realize that your customer is right and I know it's an overused term that the customer’s right, the better off you're gonna be. The best advice I ever received outside of PNG was week 2 of my entrepreneurial journey.

Rick West

00:11:31 - 00:12:23

He said, “Rick, write this down. This will be the best advice you've ever received” This guy's name was Dr. Steven Graves or Dr. Graves, he’s an amazing author, great cult coach. He said “Rick, as an entrepreneur, you're only as good as you invoice and collect. Everything else outside of that means you have an expensive hobby.” He said, “Rick, don't overthink this because every person within PNG thought everything they did was the best, oh, here's a great product.” This PNG was quick to say, it doesn't matter how great you think it is, if the customer is not willing to pay for it, it's just a really interesting idea. So we came into this entrepreneurial thing saying, yeah, but my baby is beautiful. No one would ever say their baby's ugly and you realize pretty quickly

Rick West

00:12:24 - 00:12:51

that all of your friends and family would tell you, “oh, it's a great idea, Rick, we love your idea” then it was time for someone to pay for it and they wouldn't pay for it. He said, well the customer must be wrong because obviously I have the best idea in the world. PNG helped me understand early on, is that you've got to have a product, you've got to have a service that your customer wants to buy. And so I took those two things with me over my entrepreneurial career over the last 20 years.

Jeff Bullas

00:12:51 - 00:12:56

I think that's a great insight and I think what I love is don't over complicate it.

Rick West

00:12:57 - 00:13:06

Oh yeah, someone will pay you money, you should follow that conversation, no matter how unsexy and uncool it is, follow that path.

Jeff Bullas

00:13:09 - 00:13:38

Okay, so you're Procter and Gamble and moved around the world a bit. You go to Asia, you're in Thailand, Hong kong. So, what happened to tip you into going “I want to be an entrepreneur”? What happened there? Like you worked for Procter and Gamble. Obviously, they've looked after you. It's a safe corporate job. You can turn up 9-5 or 9-9.

Rick West

00:13:39 - 00:13:41

You know, it's 24/7. But yes, I agree.

Jeff Bullas

00:13:41 - 00:14:05

Yeah. Well, in China they got a term which there the young millennials are actually, well young people are kicking up against is the 969, 9-9, 6 days a week. And there's a movement against that sort of almost unhealthy attitude to being owned by the company called Lying Flat. But interesting about work-life balance. So, that's another topic entirely.

Rick West

00:14:05 - 00:14:12

Yeah, we can talk about that later. I can tell you exactly where I am on that scale and what happened to me a few years ago. But hold onto that thought, keep going.

Jeff Bullas

00:14:12 - 00:14:31

We’ll come back to that. So you're at the safe corporate job, you're doing well, you've learned a lot along the way. You've got some real insights into what it means to run a business because you're managing, you’re a General Manager. So what happened to you going “I want to be an entrepreneur”? What took you from leaping into the known into the unknown?

Rick West

00:14:31 - 00:15:16

Sure. So from a Procter and Gamble standpoint within a safe corporate entity in the United States, maybe even Europe we could argue that it is fairly structured, It’s regimented and you had a clear path. In the late 90s when I was coming into Asia, Hong Kong had just been the handover. Just happened back to China. We're having riots in Indonesia and Malaysia, it was crazy. It was still kind of you know the wild wild West, you know what's happening. So what I realized pretty quickly as an expatriate in Asia, I understood for the first time what it was to be like an entrepreneur because that safe infrastructure that you had in corporate America really wasn't there.

Rick West

00:15:17 - 00:15:54

And so I had autonomy, Jeff. You could just take this machine of people and you could go drive something that you saw without a huge amount of corporate structure and there was so much white space. You know we were literally coming into countries and helping countries understand what a universal product code was a UPC barcode. And it was just this craziness of technology that was happening. So it was just exciting everything was happening. And then when I knew pretty quickly, after a couple of years in Hong kong when I just started back in Bangkok. I knew I didn't want to go back to a cubicle in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rick West

00:15:55 - 00:16:38

I knew I didn't want to do that. But what's happening is that as I started that first of three years in Bangkok, the company asked for 2000 volunteers that were interested in taking a package to volunteer to leave the company. A good friend of mine, Henry Ho, who was back here in Northwest Arkansas working for the PNG team. We've worked in Hong Kong together and he said “Rick, we should take these corporate packages and use it as seed money. Let's go start our version of Procter and Gamble, the customer team, that concept. Let's go do that for all the other consumer product groups here in Northwest Arkansas, we can make this thing happen.” So I was really struggling with that and then back at my home church in Florida when I transferred from,

Rick West

00:16:38 - 00:17:21

they wanted me to come back and be a business manager. And so I had two kind of interesting entrepreneur opportunities. I knew I didn't want to go back into the real corporate world. And so when I left I made the decision to come to Northwest Arkansas. Jeff, we started on September 1st, it was great, we're gonna make this thing work. On September 11. I had our first business trip, we're going to see our first client, Jeff. We're using all of our savings. We're excited. We're abandoned brothers, we're on the flight, we get to the airport and our flight gets canceled and we realized we're gonna miss our very first client call. We're gonna miss it now. We were staying with friends. We had no money, we were staying in their home, the hotel but we're gonna make this entrepreneurial thing work right.

Rick West

00:17:21 - 00:18:02

We have just adopted a child from China. I'm telling her I've got no car, no house, no job but daddy loves you. It's all gonna be okay. So I'm here in this airport. I looked at my business partner, I said we're toast, I guess we gotta go get a cup of coffee and Jeff as we walked into the cafe, we saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center. It was September 11, 2001, we started our entrepreneurial journey the day the United States changed for the next six months. No one wanted to talk to anyone, there was no business and I sat around cabin explaining to my father-in- law why I made a decision to leave corporate America

Rick West

00:18:03 - 00:18:09

And we're all looking at each other saying what have we done? That was our beginning, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:18:11 - 00:18:12

Welcome to humanity.

Rick West

00:18:12 - 00:18:49

Yes, it's crazy. Now we had amazing alunches, we set, we pontificated. We did great strategy sessions. But the origins of that question, what made me feel like I should leave is I knew I didn't want to get into the corporate structure. I wanted to have more autonomy. I took a skill set that I knew and I want your listeners to understand this. I didn't change and completely leave my platform, I took the platform that I knew, the skill set that I had and I wanted to bring that to other companies like Procter and Gamble and I knew that I could be successful doing that and that's the problem I was trying to solve.

Jeff Bullas

00:18:50 - 00:19:40

So you took your experience, your innate ability because you all decided what that was at college. So that pivot has already happened saying I'm not going to do something, I don't really feel comfortable with, that's not me. You gain a lot of experience in what 15-16 years, built up a lot of expertise and then share that with the world through being an entrepreneur. I think it's really interesting to hear that I talked to a guy called Dave Lewinsky in San Francisco recently on the podcast and he said “What are 2 or 3 things right down in a business plan?” and he said, “Number one describe in one sentence what you're doing. So if you explain to someone and lift between floors, you could tell them in one sentence. Simplicity”

Jeff Bullas

00:19:41 - 00:20:25

“and number two, write down all the things that make you uniquely qualified to offer this service or product.” And I did that actually after the podcast interview and I was in the middle of trying to decide what sort of product to launch that we're doing in the next month or two. And I wrote down 10 things that made me uniquely qualified. I'll tell you that was the most insightful thing that I actually ever did because a lot of people try to just chase money and sure we're going to make money, but that's just a measurement of what you're really doing. That's just a measurement of whether you're hitting the mark, whether the shoppers are actually buying stuff in the stores that you're actually going into.

Rick West

00:20:25 - 00:21:06

Yeah, so that's practically speaking for me and a few of these are my life lessons people. So another life lesson that I want to give your listeners, they can write this one down, right? But in my opinion, to be significant, Jeff, this is exactly, we're going to be significant. You have to stay within your rails, going left and right to chase shiny objects is not the way to be significant. You might get a little bit of help over here and this was fun for a couple of days and you thought you were successful. Meanwhile, you're so broad. Create some rails. Now there's some flexibility within rails, right? Maybe two or 3°, but stay within those rails

Rick West

00:21:07 - 00:21:20

and you can be significant there because over time you will become the expert, people will go to you, they'll come back to you year after year because you're great at what you do. Chasing shiny objects is a dangerous thing.

Jeff Bullas

00:21:21 - 00:21:50

Oh, very much. A lot of people go, well, here's the latest social media platform used for advertising going, there's another one, here's another one. So it's called distraction and you got to be very careful that you don't get distracted by chasing shiny new toys. They don't lose your focus. One of the phrases I like using the moment is discover what your intention is and why you're here, that's your purpose and then you need to bring focused attention to your intention

Rick West

00:21:50 - 00:21:51

I like that.

Jeff Bullas

00:21:51 - 00:22:20

And when you do that and you step into that every day, what am I doing to move my intention for with focused attention And there's some great books around like the one thing, which is a great book and what you did is you've obviously been very focused on taking what you learned at Procter and Gamble and then bring it to the world. So you've had a really shitty six months

Jeff Bullas

00:22:22 - 00:22:32

but lots of coffee and lots of great conversations, didn't drink too much as well as I have too many coffees,

Rick West

00:22:32 - 00:23:03

You know, believe it or not. I'm not even a caffeine guy. I was more over here having, you know, well, lots of decaffeinated iced tea and water, trying to figure things out. But yes, so we're going down that path and I'm not trying to drown my sorrows and sugar and I'm being careful about that. But what it helped us do, obviously, was just a very focused and then once things began to open up again, we stayed within our business plan because we had a great business plan to start. We kind of stayed down that route. And so, Jeff about the next 7, 8 years,

Rick West

00:23:03 - 00:23:34

we did that customer team experience. We had a shopper marketing firm, we did shopper research, we had a distribution warehouse function, we did brokerage with brands. So we tried to provide all those evidence, data analytics, very, very broad. And then around 2010 or 2009, we got ready to make another pivot. And so this was the one that took us to Field Agent. So in 2009, imagine sitting around the table with your smartphone and at that time if you're in the business world in 2009 you had a Blackberry.

Jeff Bullas

00:23:34 - 00:23:36

That's right. The crackberry.

Rick West

00:23:36 - 00:23:42

It was the crackberry. I had my Nokia BRick. It was a 7130. Amazing phone.

Jeff Bullas

00:23:42 - 00:23:47

Is that the fold out one which you actually used?

Rick West

00:23:47 - 00:24:20

No, this one was the solid one I had in Asia. You can play snake on it. But making that phone, you could take any country dropping off a building. The phone worked right. So we just had our new iPhone 3S. This is pre-selfie days, Jeff. So if you’re a listener, remember there was a day called pre-selfie, there's no front facing camera, there's no video on the camera unless you jailbreak your phone, which is very hard to do. iPhone 3S just came out with an amazing 2 megapixel camera. Jeff, 2 megapixels, right? The lens was amazing. Right?

Rick West

00:24:21 - 00:25:13

So we're all sitting around the table trying to figure out with anyone using this data capture device called a mobile phone to capture information across the United States and other countries because we were flying all over the country. Canada, Mexico, Europe just to do in-store intercept, understanding and capturing data is that someone's got to be using the phone to do that. And Jeff, they weren't. They were not using the phone, the business model at that time was to get downloads, have people click on apps or click on ads. So we thought we'd kind of flip it. So we started working nights and weekends again after seven years of having five LLCs, and we’re managing five separate companies. We worked nights and weekends and in April 2010, launched the first app in iTunes that paid cash. Everything else was badges, points. Yes we did cash

Rick West

00:25:13 - 00:25:55

and we're also the first app to use geo location to qualify or to quality control data coming back in. Now, we started that because it was solving a problem for us and our clients which is getting data at near real time at mass scale as opposed to taking months and after about six months realized this is the company we can scale. We decommissioned and moved on from five profitable LLCs and put all of our eggs into the Field Agent tech basket and we lowered our heads and said, “Let's go scale this thing!” It was a big pivot.

Jeff Bullas

00:25:55 - 00:26:00

So you made your other companies redundant effectively by doing this?

Rick West

00:26:01 - 00:26:46

Exactly, because the other company and again, what you think of your listeners is that it's great to have a lifestyle or boutique business. But that business always required Rick to be in the meeting. But where's Rick? Where's Jeff? We can't start till Jeff gets here. We can't start till Rick gets here because they needed the partner, they needed the big guy to come in. With Field Agent, our clients are like Rick who? I'm agnostic to who I am because of the scale that was going to happen. So we realized pretty quickly to do the marketing and within the app we do sales, marketing, radius and reviews within research. We do research and mystery shopping. We did that manually before with the app. We realized we could productize this, create a marketplace so that

Rick West

00:26:46 - 00:26:58

people that work at retail could come to our marketplace and they can click click doing mystery shop, click click, go to a card, your ratings and review. It changed the world and completely disrupted those worlds.

Jeff Bullas

00:26:58 - 00:27:05

So opportunity revealed itself with new technology, which is a democratization of the smartphone.

Rick West

00:27:05 - 00:27:07

Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:27:07 - 00:27:14

And you went from being people that look like mystery shoppers wandering the aisles with clipboards.

Rick West

00:27:14 - 00:27:15

Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:27:16 - 00:27:21

That looks like an FBI agent because they're wearing that same sort of suit all the time.

Rick West

00:27:22 - 00:27:24

You could see them coming. Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:27:24 - 00:27:32

And then you move to these people just on their phones, just looking like they were just doing normal stuff because people can't get their heads out of their phones

Rick West

00:27:33 - 00:28:12

Now again. If you're talking to your listeners today Jeff, which is interesting is that remember in 2010 we would have large executives of large companies say, “well Rick when they take the picture on their phone, who's going to train them on how to take the photo on the phone” Rick, when they take the photo, how are they going to upload the photo to their computer to send us the photo?” I mean that was the world we were in today. It's like, well of course they would use the phone. Of course they would do all of this. Of course they would capture video. Well, are you sure someone would be willing to take a photo inside of a story. That feels kind of weird. I don't know.

Rick West

00:28:12 - 00:28:27

Well, today that's second hand nature. So we were so early on, it took us almost three years to get past the “Trust me, this is gonna work. People will take a photo. They will.” No one believes us.

Jeff Bullas

00:28:27 - 00:28:29

Oh because they're stuck in the old way of thinking?

Rick West

00:28:30 - 00:28:30

Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:28:30 - 00:28:35

Yeah. And I do love the term field agent like,

Rick West

00:28:35 - 00:28:37

I like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:28:38 - 00:28:54

Because you're undercover but you look like a normal person cause you don't have a clipboard, you have a smartphone. So this is pretty insightful because this is very early on. In fact, the app store must have just being started.

Rick West

00:28:55 - 00:29:33

The app store started that summer and about six months later we launched, it took us a while to find the right developer. He's a partner of ours, Kelly Miller, he became the third partner in the business to be able to drive that. And it was new for him to develop an app, which is fantastic. But when we launched, we were the number one app in business for weeks on iTunes because most people were going down the game right, remember they wanted eyeballs for ads and we were coming into business. Most of the B2C business were like calendars and calculators. And we actually had a revenue model which blew people's minds and then shortly after that, the floodgates opened and everyone realized it could be a revenue model.

Jeff Bullas

00:29:34 - 00:29:55

The other thing you did, which I found interesting in our conversations before we left on the hit record button was essentially you crowdsource resources as well. In other words, you didn't have him, you don't have employees doing this. I don't think you actually have freelancers doing this, is that correct?

Rick West

00:29:56 - 00:30:37

Correct, right. In this gig economy that people would understand today or the 1099 economy, the non-employees, we look at this as we're not trying to become someone's part time job, we want to supplement people's income. So the average person for us is they're going to a restaurant tonight, they're trying to decide where they want to go to a restaurant. They look at our app and say, “Wait a minute, Field agent has a way for me to sample a beer. They'll pay me for the beer and pay me to try it and I can get free pizza. I'm going to go to that restaurant” or “I'm on my way home, I have to go shopping. It's retailer A and B.

Rick West

00:30:37 - 00:31:19

Retailer A, there's nothing. Retailer B, I could make $15 today while I'm at the retailer. So I'm gonna go home and go to that retailer.” So it really is truly crowdsourcing. It's not people saying what are the 10 things? I'm gonna make 10 $20 today. It's where people are. So because of that with a couple of million users and hundreds of thousands of interactions, Jeff I can capture 5 10,000 locations in the afternoon, just like that. You can launch in an hour. I've got thousands of pieces of data coming back in because of the number of people looking at their phones trying to make 3 $5, $10 a pop. It's crazy how fast we get data in.

Jeff Bullas

00:31:19 - 00:31:26

Well I could imagine. But there's a challenge with that. You would have had to get to critical mass so you actually can't collect enough data.

Rick West

00:31:27 - 00:31:53

So it's interesting. It's the number one question our clients are asking. They still don't believe me. So Jeff, you have to believe this face. Like I'm telling you the truth here. We started out at 11:00 on April 17th. I'm in my home, Kelly Miller is in his home. He said, “Rick, I'm gonna push the button to start it.” What we didn't realize was there was an app that would tell people when they were new apps within a couple hours we had like 5000 users. Like this happened.

Rick West

00:31:54 - 00:32:39

Like that right within three days. CNET, Wall Street Journal, all these people picked us up based on our press release because we said we were paying cash. So we had 20,000, 30,000, 50,000 people. And over the last 10 years we average 5000 plus organic users every single week that download our app because they've googled or someone has told them how to make money with their phone. And Field Agent is the top way you can make money with your phone. So we're not having to recruit, we're not having to find, we actually have more people than we need. I wish I had more jobs to give them. But how do you feed two million people a day? You can't do it. So we're probably feeding 20 30,000 people a day. But again, because of the crowd source random nature, that's okay

Rick West

00:32:39 - 00:32:45

Because people are making extra $50 or hundred dollars a week. That's a great shot in the arm. Why not?

Jeff Bullas

00:32:45 - 00:32:51

Yeah. I just want to come back to that. But first I want to quickly have a quick chat around

Jeff Bullas

00:32:54 - 00:32:58

Timing. You got your timing right?

Rick West

00:32:59 - 00:33:00

We did.

Jeff Bullas

00:33:00 - 00:33:14

If you had launched this 6-3 years later, you would have been bottom of the app store. So you saw an opportunity. It showed up. And that was around a kitchen table wasn't it? You're looking at the phones?

Rick West

00:33:14 - 00:33:17

We're all sitting around the table. Yes, discuss the break.

Jeff Bullas

00:33:17 - 00:33:19

Just with your partner, friends, family..

Rick West

00:33:19 - 00:33:53

We had a couple of business partners, we were trying to solve a problem with our research. We had three people sitting around the table looking for companies that were using a smartphone and no one was doing it. And we said, we don't want to be those guys that are sitting at a party saying, well we invented Facebook, we just didn't have time. We said we're gonna look like idiots and you have to be a person. There were no fewer than five people over the next six months after we launched and said “Oh I had that idea. I just didn't do it.” It was comical, of course they had that, they didn't have the idea, Jeff, come on.

Rick West

00:33:54 - 00:34:12

Real entrepreneurs, if they saw something like that, they launched it and while it may have been in their head, they didn't really have the idea. They had the thought and you and I both know there's such a difference between thinking something and taking an idea, ideating and taking it to a place that can be successful and that's what we were good at.

Jeff Bullas

00:34:13 - 00:34:34

Exactly. Magic doesn't happen from an idea. It's about taking an idea and stepping into the gap and actually acting on the idea. You don't have to solve the problems with that, you just need to step into that. That's it. Act and just do one thing every day.

Rick West

00:34:34 - 00:34:42

Yeah, there's a great apple evangelism back in the day guys and this guy Kawasaki, if you've ever ready and his stuff

Jeff Bullas

00:34:42 - 00:34:43

Yeah.

Rick West

00:34:43 - 00:35:31

In his clip, he has a great clip that I was showing my team as we get ready to launch and hit the premise. He said, “Hey, if we had waited for ethernet and cat five cable and Wifi and all these things to happen, the world would have passed us by.” He said, “So when we sent out the Macintosh, the Macintosh was an elegant piece of crap. It was out there, it had no hard drive, it had no connectors. It didn't do anything, but man, you can draw pictures and look really, really cool,” he said, “but because we launched it and listened to our customers, the Macintosh turned into what it is today.” And so his premise was, he said, “I'm not telling you to ship crap.”

Rick West

00:35:31 - 00:36:13

He said, I'm telling you to ship great breakthrough ideas with elements of craftiness and letting your customers tell you what to do. And that was really important for my team to understand because we were trying to do perfection. I kept saying, we don't know what perfection is, we need to get that 80, 70, 80%. It can't be crap. There could be a couple of edges on it. And it was surprising how quickly our clients said, oh, you can do this, you can do this. Our agent said add this, add that and that was the, that was the leap we had to make. So real entrepreneurs will listen to Jeff, you've got to get in the game and then once you get in the game, listen, and don't think your baby is beautiful, change the way maybe looks a little bit

Rick West

00:36:13 - 00:36:15

and let the customers drive it.

Jeff Bullas

00:36:15 - 00:36:32

Yeah, exactly. So, what we have is minimal terms kicked around a lot is called minimal viable product. Okay, so launch a minimal viable product, another term, I heard a little while back, which I really, really love is called minimal. Lovable product.

Jeff Bullas

00:36:35 - 00:37:06

So I'd like that too, because the reality is that they've got to like it or love it. In fact love it, it's better than liking it because it brings a lot more passion to the equation. But what you gotta do is you've actually just gonna launch a product without overthinking it. And the thing too is it's just like, you know, Mike Tyson said, “everyone's got a plan until they get hit in the face, right?” So, but the reality is that you don't know what this journey is gonna be like, trying to predict the future, as we know, is very, very difficult.

Rick West

00:37:06 - 00:37:09

Yeah, just pretty fast. Doesn't it?

Jeff Bullas

00:37:09 - 00:37:28

That’s right. So this is why I believe hard goal intention is actually a better word than a goal in the sense because you're moving into an intention, which sounds a bit fluffy, but the reality is that the house will reveal themselves along the way and the house is only revealed by action.

Rick West

00:37:29 - 00:38:04

That's exactly right. Exactly. So Jeff, see, here's another, you know, life lesson for your group that's out here listening to your listeners. I probably over-said this to my team, but it's relevant in this conversation. I believe in saying, “let your yes be yes and your no be no”, do not live in the world of maybe. What happens to product designers and big idea people, maybe we could do this and maybe we could do that. Maybe we could do this and maybe we can do that. And I keep saying develop your rails, say no to these things, say yes to these things and let people react to that.

Rick West

00:38:04 - 00:38:32

If you have 1000 maybe’s, you're not gonna get anything done because now you're listening to all this noise. You need five or six really good guesses in there, let people react to it and evolve from there. But saying no, de-selection is one of the hardest things an entrepreneur has to do. You have to deselect the shiny objects. Deselect all the static. You've got to get into that lane, big yes, that's when you're going to find success, you've got to be able to deselect..

Jeff Bullas

00:38:32 - 00:38:37

I totally agree. And I think one of the things we have to learn as humans is to be able to say no a lot more.

Rick West

00:38:38 - 00:38:39

Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:38:39 - 00:39:21

Because you know, this is a term I came across recently too, which I thought was really cool, was yes and someone sent you an email wanting to do something right but because the reality is if you keep reacting to that, you are just on someone's to do list. Yeah, so what you understand is this is gonna move what I'm doing forward or is it just gonna be a distraction? This is the yes and the no and saying no to those shiny new objects and I'm not going to be on someone's to do list and we have to ignore, which is as humans, we want to please. And that's a real challenge sometimes.

Rick West

00:39:22 - 00:39:52

Yeah, it really is. And in many ways to think about just the cultural aspect of the ethical aspect of allowing people to be released because as a leader, as an entrepreneur, especially when you have an organization and then saying, “Gosh, I wonder what crazy idea Rick is going to come up with today.” That's more stifling than you think because people need to know where you're going. They need to understand that you have a plan on where you're going and that you're passionate about it. And if you keep going left and right,

Rick West

00:39:53 - 00:40:15

people will walk away. They have to see that you're about something bigger than themselves, that you're passionate about where you're going and that you're, you're flexible to move a little bit left and right, but you do have a clear path. And I think for a leader like this out there, especially if you're going to be on your own, you're gonna eventually start a staff and start a team. You've got to have people confident in where you're going.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:15 - 00:40:48

Absolutely. I think they've got to see that vision. And the bigger the vision with, that's bigger than yourself to make a difference in your own small niche, wherever that is very, very important. Otherwise you're just gonna distract your own staff and then they get demotivated and yeah, so when did you realize you're onto something that were kicking goals?. When was that moment?

Rick West

00:40:48 - 00:40:56

There were a couple of different, the first one was what's that quote is like the best form of flattery is what

Rick West

00:40:59 - 00:41:20

when someone copying you and said, well we realized that about 8-9 months in, we had company after company of two guys in a basement rolling up and flipping up their version of Field Agent, we said, “Man, we are onto something now” that’s number one. Number two,

Jeff Bullas

00:41:20 - 00:41:22

Imitation is the best form of flattery.

Rick West

00:41:22 - 00:42:06

So that's number one, number two is that we were disrupting some brick and mortar research, mystery shopping, auditing type companies and when they started to panic and started talking bad about us saying things that weren't true and trying to tell their clients so you can't use that, it's terrible. We knew that we had poked the sleeping giant and those were two ways that we had affirmation pretty quick. They were onto something and then basically at an age old thing we had people giving us tens of thousands of dollars, they were paying us for real money and that's one way. But that copying and the competition saying bad things about you. We knew we were under something, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:42:07 - 00:42:25

I love it. You had the wisdom collectively to actually leap into that and start using the app store and crowdsource your team. So you wouldn't have a big employee base at all just be more like management based, wouldn't it?

Rick West

00:42:26 - 00:43:16

Well, it's management based on various things, so now if you fast forward 11 years and we're in seven different countries, you look at the scale, we have around 80 employees today, you think about sales, marketing and HR. We have a big QC base to be able to pull this data and we try to keep as much of the in-house as we can. But the scale across the countries to your point, there is minimal staff. There might be two people in the UK. There's a small team in Australia, a couple of people in Mexico, couple in Canada because the technology infrastructure that we have in the brand marketing is all driven by corporate and when you push that out, it really is exactly were saying to be a franchise distributed model of what we do,

Rick West

00:43:16 - 00:43:19

It's really easy to start up, it's very little, very low overhead.

Jeff Bullas

00:43:21 - 00:43:40

The other thing you mentioned, which I'm very curious about because one of their goals is to help people start a side hustle and maybe make it a main hustle if they really want to take it to the next level. So you're offering an app that people can make money from their mobile phones was essentially a side hustle?

Rick West

00:43:40 - 00:43:41

Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:43:41 - 00:43:59

So, I'm curious about what is something you're saying you have about 20-30 thousand. So very serious side hustles that use your app and make money from, what are some of the top earners in the money from that side hustle using?

Rick West

00:43:59 - 00:44:43

Yeah I think of a couple of million downloads. A couple of 100,000 and they're active Today, we probably have 20,000 that are cranking through things over the course of the year in US dollars. The most someone probably makes is around 12 - $15,000 which is a good supplemental piece of income. We have people that use the app primarily to pay for their smartphone, you know 18 c fees to pay for their Apple fees. We have people that use it just enough to buy a wedding ring or just enough to take a cruise. So people use this for fund money, supplemental money. But we also have people on the other extreme that said listen

Rick West

00:44:43 - 00:45:02

“I lost my job and I needed some quick cash and I made $50 this weekend or captured $100 this week.” So those are the folks that supplement that are coming in. And so when you multiply that across tens of thousands, 100,000 people it's a really neat economy that we've created.

Jeff Bullas

00:45:02 - 00:45:08

So across those 20-30,000 what would the average annual earnings be? I suppose if you just took that

Rick West

00:45:08 - 00:45:17

I think the average person is probably making $50-$100 a month, probably $500,000 that range.

Jeff Bullas

00:45:19 - 00:45:44

That's really cool. Because I think it's interesting watching what's happening in business, I'm sort of looking at that and going, we're in the biggest when the biggest evolution of how we do business, we've gone from local to global. For you to go global, which is what you're doing, if you didn't have the smartphone, it would be very difficult

Rick West

00:45:44 - 00:45:45

Right there.

Jeff Bullas

00:45:45 - 00:46:05

You've got to recruit, pay for employees the upfront cost for you to do scale is difficult. But the other thing I really like about it and this is the other thing about business and talked about before, you have to turn up to a meeting with “Where's Rick?”. Okay. And you actually fired that Rick

Rick West

00:46:06 - 00:46:47

In many ways that Rick has gone. So what this Rick does, if you think of me showing up at a large multinational company and we're talking about marketing plans and research plans, they no longer need that. So what I spend most of my time doing, obviously as a leader is the CEO of a company driving things is really to use my internal customers to come and say, “Okay, let's look at how we're doing quality control today and do that same type of creative process through them.” or “Let's look at how we're looking at this vertical and we're really going after the club channel. So how do we talk to Costco, how do we talk to Sam's Club?” So the passion that I get from that is exciting because I have all these internal customers coming in.

Rick West

00:46:47 - 00:47:11

But that concept of Rick, I think what people appreciate and we heard this early on, I remember, was that a client call a few years ago and he said, “Rick, I've talked to three companies like yours today and thank you for the pitch, but this guy is basically gonna cut your price in half so I'm going to go with this guy.” He said, “I know he doesn't know what he's doing.

Rick West

00:47:13 - 00:47:25

You're the only guy today that knows exactly what he's doing. I love your business model, I appreciate it. It's really, really cheap.” And I told him, “Don't worry, I fixed $3 haircuts.”

Rick West

00:47:27 - 00:47:38

Okay, so what do you mean? What I said, “Listen, when you get the $3 haircut and you walk in the office and people are like, what happened to you? Call me, I'll fix it for eight bucks.”

Jeff Bullas

00:47:38 - 00:47:43

I love that analogy. We fixed $3 haircuts. I'm actually, I'm going to write that down right now, Rick.

Rick West

00:47:43 - 00:48:06

Yeah, good. Because what was happening, if you think about the private equity and venture capital money that was coming in. People were buying clients and they were buying them and they just said, “Listen, trust me, I can do this”. I knew they couldn't do it. And what they didn't realize was what's so interesting, Jeff, some of the companies that were competing against us, they would use our app to collect data and then resell it.

Rick West

00:48:08 - 00:48:22

Yeah. And so we wanted to become the last person standing. And sure enough, a year later, after the contract was over, he said, “Oh my gosh, that was painful. It was cheap. It was painful.” And now he looks great. His haircut is amazing.

Jeff Bullas

00:48:22 - 00:48:25

Well, you're really just a hairdresser in disguise, aren't you? Really?

Rick West

00:48:26 - 00:48:59

Very much so, but that tells people when they look at legacy systems. Legacy systems because they have been doing work for 5, 10, 15, 20 years because of their cost trucks from where they are, they're 50 or $100 haircuts and there are people that want to continue to go to the hairdresser for $50 and you should continue to go there. But eventually I said, “Gosh, but I can get a great haircut for eight”, but I'm telling you, Jeff, be careful about the three because you and I both know for that kind of haircut. It's not too pretty.

Jeff Bullas

00:48:59 - 00:49:06

No, exactly. One love is that you haven't invented an industry, but you've disrupted it.

Rick West

00:49:07 - 00:49:08

Yes, exactly.

Jeff Bullas

00:49:08 - 00:49:29

You do it a lot better and you do it at scale. And I think that the other lesson that entrepreneurs need to learn is how can I find myself and scale this business where I don't have to show up all the time. And this is the whole thing about services and business especially is normally you, if you're the consultant or you're the coach, you're the one that people are wanting to show up.

Rick West

00:49:30 - 00:49:30

Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:49:30 - 00:49:37

You're gonna work it, “hey, you don't show up. So how can you scale this baby?” That's really what you got to ask as well.

Rick West

00:49:38 - 00:50:23

But what I want to encourage your listeners, especially ones that are entrepreneurs and want to go down that path. Do not apologize for being a one person show and being a consultant going out on your own. Don't apologize for that, but don't complain to me because you can't scale that. And so you have to go hire three people like you and pay them all $200,000 a year. Like I don't want to do that, then stop complaining. Be okay with your three clients. Well, I want to do 10 clients. You can't do 10 clients, you can't scale that but don't, that's okay stay where you are. Be happy with that lifestyle business. But if you want to scale, you've got to use technology, you have to understand processes and that's not for everyone, but everyone thinks they want to scale this boutique,

Rick West

00:50:23 - 00:50:29

lifestyle business and that's really, really hard to do without hiring 10 people like you, which is really expensive.

Jeff Bullas

00:50:29 - 00:50:47

So on the discussion of scale and back in 2010 when you started and you realized that the mobile app and the smartphone are liable too to scale, how many customers did you have back then as opposed to how many customers do you have today?

Rick West

00:50:47 - 00:51:37

Jeff, we started out with probably four or five customers when we’re starting out. Quickly made 10, 20 or so the first year we probably had 30-40 customers that were pretty consistent coming in. And then we had a bunch of trials and demos like little dabs here and there. Today, we probably have in any given month, we have, you know, well over thousands of logos today that use this. But I would say that we have 300-500 active logos in a month right now of multinational companies that are using our service that are coming in every day every week, that's processing through data, that's using our service. Over the course of the year, it's well, you know, well over 1000 but again, that's where we are today going forward, which is really our future.

Rick West

00:51:37 - 00:52:19

We started to productize this service to make it even easier to click, click and go to a cart. And so our goal and you don't want to roll your eyes, your listeners say, “Yeah Rick, everyone says that”, but there's no reason in the next year or two as we start bringing in more and more products in our marketplace, that not that kind of compliment that retail solution we're providing that we wouldn't be doing work with tens of thousands of clients in the next year or so that are clicking going to a cart clicking going to a cart because we have productized those service. Product led growth is the way of the future. It's the amazon effect for the business to business, e-commerce

Rick West

00:52:19 - 00:53:14

business to business e-commerce today is click get to a demo, click get to a salesperson and Zoom exploited this. So with Covid, Zoom came in. They were 30 million users. During Covid, they scaled 200 million users and I saw a study on this and or and these numbers are close. Don't quote me on the numbers, they were close. In order for Zoom to scale from 30 million to 200 million, if they did it the traditional way, click get to a demo, click talk to a sales person. It would have taken 103,000 people 10 years to get to 200 million users that they scaled it at a product leg growth B2B approach in a matter of six months. That's where we're taking Field Agent today. We're going from that click to a salesperson to a click to a cart.

Rick West

00:53:14 - 00:53:19

We're productizing this so that anyone could use it 24/7 click two a cart.

Jeff Bullas

00:53:20 - 00:53:27

So you talked about B2B, does that mean that you're targeting businesses that sell the business more, is that what you do?

Rick West

00:53:27 - 00:53:59

Well, instead of going to the large enterprise thousand logos that we talked to and engaged and helped them to design a product to use our service. We're now saying there's another 90,000 businesses that can be a mom and pop, even your listeners today. I'll give you a great example. If your listeners wanted to send me an email, we'll see if they can figure out how to send me an email. If they sent me an email, I'd give them a credit to use our product today and they can say, “hey, here's my service, here's my idea. I want to do research based on this demographic.” They can go in today,

Rick West

00:54:00 - 00:54:40

click click, go to cart, launch it in a matter of hours, they get 50 responses back to not their mom, their brother, their friends, they get 50 potential core shoppers telling them what they think. That's unheard of because normally what would happen Jeff is you have to talk to an agency, schedule a meeting, three meetings later. Two proposals later. I can launch your product in six weeks and I'm saying don't talk to anyone. Go to our website, click into the marketplace and for $8-$9 a pop. Go execute the survey. You can do this from a B2B perspective overnight.

Jeff Bullas

00:54:41 - 00:54:43

So what you've done is you're removing friction?

Rick West

00:54:44 - 00:55:15

It's frictionless. Exactly, it is frictionless. The user interface is there. and because of that, we have our current field agent products, we're now bringing other products in the compliments. So we're now bringing in third party e-commerce products. We're bringing in merchandizing products. We're bringing in data analysis products, those products are operating in our marketplace so that our clients that love the service and products that we've provided, you can now go broader across the retail solution landscape, but still have a great experience in our marketplace.

Jeff Bullas

00:55:15 - 00:55:21

So are you bringing your app into the e-commerce space? Is that what you're saying?

Rick West

00:55:21 - 00:55:50

Our app executing it to the e-commerce space? Absolutely. And in some cases we're not even going to use our app, we're gonna be using a third party providers technology to possibly do some web scraping. Maybe they look at pricing over the web and we're gonna scrape that. So there's other facets of that. We want to be the solution provider at scale. So we provided a marketplace with no friction that you don't have to talk to anyone and you can get to result in a matter of hours.

Jeff Bullas

00:55:51 - 00:56:00

So what you're doing is your moving into user experience research that's not on a boot scheme store, but also online, is that correct?

Rick West

00:56:00 - 00:56:32

Absolutely. Absolutely. It's gonna be a very, very broad experience because our clients told us “Rick, I would buy more things from you if you would scale broader.” Remember those rails? I'm staying within the marketplace, retail, but the rails are going a little bit broader outside of crowdsourcing and providing other solutions, but I'm staying within my rails of the marketplace. So they have one log in, one payment process, one client services rep, you know, one piece of experience, but they're getting broader products across that.

Jeff Bullas

00:56:33 - 00:56:36

And you're also becoming a data company where you already are?

Rick West

00:56:37 - 00:56:39

We already are. Yes sir.

Jeff Bullas

00:56:40 - 00:56:42

So in other words, you’re not selling products, you are selling data.

Rick West

00:56:43 - 00:56:49

Well, we're selling products that use data. Come on, Jeff, you get it.

Jeff Bullas

00:56:49 - 00:57:11

It's fantastic. Well, that was the next question I did have was about e-commerce because e-commerce as you know, has been accelerated 10 years by Covid and so you're moving to the space evolving the product of a space that is not only in the physical side of things but also the virtual and digital side of things.

Rick West

00:57:11 - 00:58:04

You think about the research side of this is that you're saying I want to contact a research firm and understand how people use this website or they do a home delivery, how they experience home delivery. You go to a research firm and they provide tense, you know, participants and they do a study in two cities and I come to your saying, I'll do a thousand cities this afternoon, across 20 different demographics, 10 different ages, across five different retailers. How fast and how much data do you want? They're like, I don't get it. And I said, “Trust me, I have the scale to do delivery, pickup, e-commerce, and understanding videos” and they're like, “Rick, that's too much data.” I said, “Well you can go talk to the 10 people over there and spend about $20,000

Rick West

00:58:04 - 00:58:43

Or you can go get 1000 people with me and spend 10. Your call. I mean you could go spend 20,000, get 10 or spend 10,000 and get 1000 but hey, I don't want to twist your arm” and people like, “Well I never thought of that kind of scale” and so that's the piece that Covid brought to us is that while we're never going to be the look at the keystroke on a website, that's not us. But when you look at the engagement of the commerce, pick up delivery, what products look like when they get home, what the experience is like I can do that at scale across any domain you can think of and drive it home very, very quickly.

Jeff Bullas

00:58:43 - 00:58:52

So what you're doing is you're capturing the offline user experience as part of the commerce of the e-commerce process. Is that correct?

Rick West

00:58:52 - 00:59:18

Listen, if you want someone to look at keystrokes, there are companies that will cook, go do that. It's going to tell you what but I have near real time data coming back in by your core consumer, shopping from the zip code or the postal code of the specific retailer and I can do that this afternoon. Who else can do that for you? And you don't have to talk to me. Yeah, click click part Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:59:18 - 00:59:23

And you don't want to talk to them. It doesn't scale you.

Rick West

00:59:23 - 01:00:01

Well, why would you go to Amazon and buy a TV and say well I don't want to buy the TV until I talk to a sales rep. Really? You're gonna buy a $3000 TV and not buy it until you talk to someone? No. Are you going to buy a $90,000 Tesla? I'm not gonna buy it until I talk to someone, you're buying it online. So you're telling me you won't buy an $8 audit till you talk to someone. Come on, see the world Amazon has democratized this and the Amazon effect is in B2B. And we're on the front end of that curve, Jeff.

Rick West

Yeah, it's very interesting that you mentioned the sort of car buying model, I've actually just bought a car sight unseen

Jeff Bullas

01:00:02 - 01:00:06

and so why couldn't you buy a $9 audit from me?

Jeff Bullas

01:00:09 - 01:00:36

It's crazy. But it's so hard because of the legacy systems, there's still a group of people who say, “Well, I want to go to the car dealer and talk to a person. Pay more money, have a bad experience but at least I got the car I wanted” and you're saying have a great experience. Don't talk to anyone, get the car you want to deliver to your home. It's frictionless. Why wouldn't you do that? We're doing that across research, data, marketing, e-commerce, that's what we're bringing.

Rick West

01:00:37 - 01:00:41

So you're reading the business of mindset change to sell your product? Well as in people are used to doing things the old way, you're going, there's another way.

Jeff Bullas

01:00:48 - 01:01:26

Well, and again, B2C has proved because what's happening in our world, the B2C effect of Amazon and others, those people are now executives and purchasers within the B2B world and they don't want to buy things the way they used to, they want to shop on their own, they want to do their own version of a demo and trial. They want to do the research at their leisure. They don't want to talk to someone, they really don't. And so that's coming up and that's moving up and it's putting pressure. But if you're a legacy system and you have the founder's dilemma, it's really hard for you to think I'm going to get rid of all my car dealerships, right?

Jeff Bullas

01:01:26 - 01:01:58

Because you have a legacy system and Jeff, you and I both know that's what happened to blockbuster. Blockbuster went away because of the legacy founder mentality. We see it in cars, you see it in real estates and we're saying in the retail category, retail solutions, we think it's right for this. They're gonna go the way of real estate, cars and others. You're gonna have people that live and when they die off, no one's gonna care. You can do everything for sale by owner, you're gonna buy cars online and you're gonna buy retail solutions online via Field Agent.

Rick West

01:01:59 - 01:02:06

So what you're really saying is that disrupt yourself as a business before someone else disrupts you.

Jeff Bullas

01:02:06 - 01:02:38

We are back to 2010 for Field Agent. It is as exciting as I've ever been. First launch, because I see in people's eyes, they're like, “You're right, I really don't like to talk to you” and you know, it's like, you don't and you're right, I would spend 10,000 over here and not talk to anyone. Why wouldn't I spend $1,000? Yeah, I'll just log in Rick. But we're so early on, it's to the equivalent of what I'm trying to explain to people. This is how you send a photo on your phone,

Jeff Bullas

01:02:39 - 01:03:02

we're in that same mindset, Jeff, trust me, you don't have to, you can just buy this online and it's so hard for people to transition. So we're probably about a year ahead of ourselves, but we're pushing it hard and once people taste it, they're never going to go back to a meeting. They're never going to have that meeting again. They're all going to go online and do B2B e-commerce, the Amazon way via the Field Agent marketplace.

Rick West

01:03:02 - 01:03:51

So we live in a fantastic world now, I could just sit like a coon here and never leave it. I've been in lockdown for about four months in Sydney and lockdowns and very kind world, but still able to walk to the beach, walk parks, how we need it, eat out at restaurants. I think when I go to a restaurant, I'm gonna have agoraphobia because, I'm just thinking about this again, life has been so simple. This is my daily routine. I go for a walk. I go for a bike ride. In fact, I don't have to worry about booking restaurants and thinking about what I'm gonna do. It's really simple. You're offering a solution for a post-covid world where everyone's just staying home a lot more and cocooning.

Jeff Bullas

01:03:51 - 01:04:14

So think about the person that used to fly to a location, They fly to Melbourne, they fly to Sydney and they would walk around the store and they would look at the retail environment and they would go engage and spend time. And I'm saying stay in your home, let me give you a video this afternoon of any location you want. Let me bring that location to you and you never leave your home.

Jeff Bullas

01:04:16 - 01:04:42

“That's a really good idea, Rick.” Of course it is. Let's go make that happen for you today. And oh, by the way, you can click and do as much or little video. You want a two minute video, you want a one minute video, you want to look at three categories. You want to look at one, you want to go to two whatever you select and it's very intuitive. We eliminate the friction to your point and you get all that data back in so that you can work on the important things, which is driving your business.

Rick West

01:04:42 - 01:04:47

Exactly. And I had a bit of an ‘a-ha’ moment a couple of days ago. I have a natural path of use for the last 10 years, cedar occasion just to fine tune the athletic machine that sits here.

Jeff Bullas

01:04:58 - 01:04:59

I'm with you.

Rick West

01:04:59 - 01:05:55

And as we get a bit older, there's a few creaks and groans. But, she said reply to the confirmation of the meeting by hitting Zoom if you want to do it virtually. And I went, I thought about it. Okay. So I could actually go and see her. I think, okay, I gotta park, get over there. I'm gonna sit down and say, Okay, if I sit down with her there, what's the only difference it will be? Well, she won't be able to measure my body fat. I think that's about the only thing she can't do. So I thought this tournament, wow, I could run a lot of meetings on Zoom now that I'm so used to doing in real life. But I have a great relationship with my natural path. I've sent a lot of people to her

Rick West

01:05:55 - 01:06:22

the physical connection I think is that humans are still very important. But then you got to work out, is this a good use of my time to actually get in the car and drive to the other side of the city? And do we need to leap in a plane? Do we seem to turn up to a conference? Look, we're still going to do this and it's I'm finding this mindset change quite fascinating.

Jeff Bullas

01:06:23 - 01:06:54

Well, it's an exciting time to be able to use technology to do those things now. What we're going to find is that now when we have that human interaction, we sit across the table from someone, it's not going to be for everything. It's going to be for the right thing. I'm not telling people don't go to stores. I'm not telling people you shouldn't interview people across the table. I'm not saying you shouldn't go to people's homes and try things. But what I am saying is that when you want to do scale, don't fly to 10 cities. What are you doing?

Jeff Bullas

01:06:54 - 01:07:17

So I think we're gonna find that just like how we talked about deselection, I'm going to deselect the meetings and use Zoom for that. But I'm going to select those one or two really important things and make the effort to be in person to go do things. And I think we're going to find that there's a happy medium, right? We pendulum way over here. I don't think it's going to go back, but I think we're going to be in a good spot. I really do.

Rick West

01:07:18 - 01:07:34

Well, I think so too. And that's the paradox of life is that you've got one extreme over here and another extreme over there and the truth sits in the middle somewhere and that's the paradox.

Jeff Bullas

01:07:35 - 01:07:37

It is, yeah.

Rick West

01:07:37 - 01:07:57

So I'm waiting for your time. Rick, it's been an absolute pleasure just before we finish up here. What's a couple of things that you'd like to share with the audience that are your words of wisdom from your experience as an entrepreneur? What are a couple of things that you'd like to share with our audience that you think they should need to know?

Jeff Bullas

01:07:58 - 01:08:29

I think the first thing as an entrepreneur is the thing that I found out early and I'm telling this to a person this morning. One of the first things as an entrepreneur you have to make a decision is are you going to go solo or get married? You have to understand, are you going to do this alone or do you need a partner? And I understand that a partner, it means that you're married, you're joined, you're severed, you're connected in this way. There are some people that think they can do it alone

Jeff Bullas

01:08:30 - 01:09:09

and they really shouldn't. They need a partner, they need the other person. There's another person that says, “Gosh, I need a partner” and they have no business at all going down that path. So you gotta start out with that saying you need to know yourself. And so nine times out of 10, Jeff, I'm gonna say, don't ask yourself that question. Go find three really close friends, ask them the question, “Do you think I would be better if I had a partner ?'' I'm gonna say, “Oh my gosh, Jeff, do not part with anyone. You drive them crazy. You're on your own or if you would die, you couldn't do this on your own. So I say start out with that. You need to understand that. The second thing is, this is important part about getting started

Jeff Bullas

01:09:10 - 01:09:48

is that I know people say, well gosh, I'll try this on the side and I'll try to make this happen. Live like no one else today, save your money, do whatever it takes and give yourself a window that you can jump off and be all in for a period of time, is it three months, is it six months? I don't care what that is. Do you borrow the money? Do you save your money for a rainy day? Do you have a partner that can help support you? But being a halfway entrepreneur is a really dangerous thing. It's a hobby again, so whatever, do whatever your version of what it takes, again, partner or by yourself,

Jeff Bullas

01:09:49 - 01:10:29

once you get your idea and where you're gonna go, what does it take for you to be all in for a finite period of time to go drive your product and service and I think that will do you a great service to see whether or not A. You can do it and B. If you have the right product, then you can quickly fail, succeed, move on, come back, but to dabble and to wait, take years and months, this entrepreneur world is not for you. If that's you, I can already tell you already you're going to struggle being an entrepreneur. Okay, so those are the two things that will help you to start with and once that happens, then it determines what the product is. Is it

Jeff Bullas

01:10:30 - 01:10:37

something they do on their own? Is it something they can scale? That's a totally different business set that we can talk for.

Rick West

01:10:37 - 01:10:43

Thank you for that insight, I think it comes from years of pain and learning.

Jeff Bullas

01:10:43 - 01:11:04

It is growth, my friend. It’s growth learning this, but people need to use that sounding board person, right? The two or three friends that are there, find someone that can tell you the truth, not someone that can give you, “Oh yeah, you'd be great.” Find some people who tell you the truth and they go jump off. There's nothing like jumping off.

Rick West

01:11:05 - 01:11:16

That was pretty exciting. So how can people find you and Field Agent? What's the best way to contact you guys?

Jeff Bullas

01:11:16 - 01:11:51

It is fieldagent.net. All one word. Fieldagent.net click on there. You can go right into our marketplace, see what we're doing. You can find me on Linkedin, request the Field Agent guy there, click on their Connect. If you want to use our service to help you figure out how to be an entrepreneur. I'm now your new best friend. I can help you do that. On the other hand, if you're just trying to figure out, “Hey Rick, would you give me a little bit of time to help me think through concept where I want to go because you're a friend of Jeff’s, you can be a friend of mine, You'd be surprised what I would say yes to, to help you along your journey. So I want to look like help to your listeners, Jeff.

Rick West

01:11:52 - 01:12:20

Well it sounds like you might be fantastic. One of our alumni was trying to help people start a business and help them make the leap. I'm just so thankful to hear your stories and your journey and it's been fascinating. I've loved hearing every part of it, you've so much to share with the world and you're bringing back that gift to the world to share it with. So, thank you very much Rick. It's been an absolute pleasure.

Jeff Bullas

01:12:21 - 01:12:27

Listen, I appreciate it. Listen, let's not be strangers, Jeff. I look forward to doing this again and have a blessed day,

Rick West

01:12:28 - 01:12:28

Have a great day.