Josh McCarter, CEO of Mindbody, dives into what drives him, his triumphs, and his appreciation for life changes. Press play to discover more! ‘Mindbody emerged from the simple idea that small business owners deserve the time to focus on what matters most: their customers. Our software has transformed that vision into the world’s leading wellness services marketplace, linking hundreds of thousands of passionate health, wellness, and beauty professionals to the millions of clients they serve.’
Welcome to the built on purpose Podcast, where on each episode we interview exceptional leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, philosophers, and straight up interesting people to explore their outlook on life, work and leadership. And now, here’s your host, CEO and co founder of Y Scouts, Max Hanson.
Welcome to Episode 52. The Built on Purpose podcast with Max Hanson brought to you by Y scouts at Y scouts we deliver purpose align and performance proven leaders. Speaking of today, our guest is Josh McCarter. Josh is currently the CEO of mind body, the world’s largest wellness marketplace. Some interesting statistics on Mind Body include they have over 70,000 fitness, beauty and integrated providers running on their platform. They have 1.3 million plus users per month. Is that correct? With three and a half million workouts in services book per month, generating more than 1 billion in transactions per month. Wow. Prior to mind, body, mind body Josh is a well traveled serial entrepreneur and successful business leader. Outside of work. Josh has served on numerous boards, most notably the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and young presidents organization. Josh has an adventure have traveled to more than 50 countries and traverse the US on his Harley. Josh, welcome to the built on purpose podcast.
Thanks, Max. It’s great to be here.
Well, let’s start out I want to talk a little bit about the mind body mission is to leverage technology to improve the health and wellness of the world. It’s frickin awesome. Tell me a little bit more about that.
Yeah, so our purpose statement is actually to help people lead healthier and happier lives by connecting the world to wellness. And so that’s obviously a big remit. When you think about all of the different wellness activities that the people can take on. And certainly during the pandemic, if anything we’ve seen is that the world is not well, the people that are getting, you know, impacted by COVID, in many cases have underlying health conditions that could be avoided if they practiced a better wellness regimen. So you’re despite the fact that COVID really impacted the wellness industry. We’re really optimistic about the tail winds that we’ll have coming out of it.
Yeah, I mean, just when I think about, you know, company’s missions and purpose statements, just to be a part of a company that’s doing something that’s providing so much good in the world is so powerful. So yeah, super lucky to have you on the show. And I’m glad you’re in that role.
Yeah, thanks, Max.
But let’s I want to jump into the obvious. And I did I told you kind of when I’m walking up here, I was watching a video. It was I think it was a CNBC interview. And he was talking about the you know, some of the obvious stuff, given the COVID environment, you know, gyms, salons and spas reducing capacity and you know, an upwards of 50%. I find it absolutely fascinating on what you guys are actually doing as a company in pivoting your you’re investing in your infrastructure and building your technology and making those pivots. Let’s talk about those pivots. I think it’s a it’s really cool.
Yeah. So as a global provider to the wellness industry, we started seeing the industry shutting down in January and February overseas. And then about a month later, it hit us here in the US. So think about like March, mid March. And as that happened, everybody started thinking, Man, how are we going to stay connected with our customers? How long is this going to last. And in the fitness industry, it was relatively easy to see a line of sight that you can do virtual wellness, you can have a virtual fitness class or a one on one instruction. And we have actually been building out a platform and a strategy around delivering something was fully integrated with our software for fitness businesses to be able to use to do video on demand to do live streaming, and some other ways that they could stay in touch with their with their members. Well, that obviously got accelerated. We were planning on releasing that at our bolt conference in August, and we ended up accelerating it and we got it out the door in May. And so the the focus on that was really trying to you know, give our customers an alternative to zoom that they could have fully integrated with their business management system. Because you can imagine if you’re doing zoom versus something that’s integrated, you know, it’s not behind a paywall. So how do you sell those classes, it’s not tied into your CRM system. It’s not tied into your marketing systems. And so that’s one of the things that you know, mind body has has become known for is really building this all in one solution for wellness businesses. And we just look at the virtual side of things, as an extension of that platform. And now we really predict that the future of wellness is going to be what we call a hybrid model, where you will be doing classes in person, but you’re also going to have to deliver virtual classes that may be on demand, it may be streaming, it’s been really interesting to see how in certain markets, people are more interested in on demand. And in other markets, they’re more interested in streaming. So we think everybody needs to have both capabilities. And then over the next you know, year, it’ll probably settle out and we’ll see what happens as we get more through the pandemic.
That’s interesting. So in a way it almost it almost fast forwarded some of your plans that you kind of had in motion.
Yeah, in a way. Absolutely. And I think that it was it wasn’t as much of a pivot as it was an acceleration. Now we also serve the spa and salon industry and you can’t do virtual haircuts and you can’t do virtual massages. And so that industry, what we focused on was what we call a low touch client experience. And so if you think about going into, you know, any salon or spa right now, you’re not sitting in the waiting room like you used to, you know, we used to have nice lounges and areas that you could hang out, maybe sit in a massage chair, you’re not doing that now. And so what we’ve done is a way for people to notify the business, through messaging that they’re there, they’re ready, they can get checked in, they can go straight into a chair, they can go straight into a room, they can do all of their payments, and they’re tips through a mobile phone, much like you would do with with an Uber, and then all of the rebooking, we’re driving actually through an AI NML product that we purchased last year.
Okay, that sounds convenient. I can’t wait to wait to use that I’ve actually used the platform before I met you. I was scheduling back and you could go to yoga studios, scheduling yoga, and realize that I was using the system. So in we talked a little bit about this personally, but you’ve you have a dev team in India and just trying to talk about where it’s a company geographically spread out, how has that started to adjust? And what what are some of the pivots that you have made as an internal team?
Yeah. So I think the the first part is, is just the pandemic itself has caused you to reassess your overall real estate footprint pre pandemic, we had 14 offices. And you know, now we still have 14 offices, but nobody’s going to the offices. In fact, the only office that we have open right now is in Sydney, Australia. Our UK offices were open for a couple months, last couple months, and then they shut down a week and a half ago when the UK went back down on lockdown. So right now we’re reassessing our real estate footprint really trying to say, Okay, what makes sense in this new hybrid work model, we we surveyed our team, almost half of the team said, Hey, you know, either we don’t want to come back full time, or we want to come back in some kind of a hybrid fashion fact, that thing was closer to 75%, when you put everybody together. And so that makes you really look at your real estate differently and say, Hey, do I need all of this space, even with social distancing, that’s not going to last forever. So say, it’s another year. And the surprising thing for us was that we were able to keep up productivity, we thought, you know, Hey, everybody working from home, and especially for those, you know, parents that have young kids that they’re being, you know, they’re working, and they’re being teachers as well, we thought, Man, our productivity is going to fall out. And we found just the opposite. And so that’s been, that’s been a great learning for us. And so we are going to lean and we think it’s actually a benefit to offer to our customers and prospective recruits is the ability to have flexible work arrangements. And then with India, you know, we’re looking at ways that we can tap into different talent pool, certainly, you know, India is known for a lot of things, and tech development is one of them. And as you get to a certain scale, like us, you know, we’re operating in over 120 different countries. And so we’re competing with companies that are already developing in, you know, Eastern Europe and in South America and India. And so, frankly, to be cost competitive, we also have to tap into some of these other labor pools. And you know, interestingly, the way that our business has grown, some has been organic, some has been through acquisition. So around the country, we have different pockets of developers that have come from different acquired businesses. And so the it’s already distributed development that’s happening now, and are what we call our center of excellence in Puna. India is the only place where all of the disciplines are actually housed in there working on all of the products. And so we acquired a business there last year, that only had about 40 people in it, they were kind of a dedicated developer for mind body. And we’ve scaled that now to about 150. I bet by the time we exit next year, it’ll be 250 to 300.
Yeah, you know, and as as preparing for this, and just kind of reading through some stuff. You always remind yourself when you’re a world wide company, there’s, you know, countries are operating differently. And this pandemic is different, but how is it? How, what are some big differences that stick out to you different markets and end users in different countries, where you see a lot different type of activity versus the US because of the because of COVID?
Yeah, I mean, I think the first part is, is how do the countries respond to it? Right. And, you know, certainly in some of the Asian countries like Singapore, and Hong Kong and China, they went hard on crack down, and they really stamped out, you know, COVID much better, frankly, than we’ve done here or what we’ve seen in Europe. And so some of those countries, like I was just giving a report today Thailand’s up 24 25% from last year, whereas the US is down 35% in New York and California are down 55% compared to last year. And so so that’s one thing is is just how the original approach happened, you know, whether they enforce masks and social distancing and how they close different, you know, markets. Now as things are coming back online, you know, people seem to be doing it fairly consistently. So it’s, it’s all about cleanliness, right? Like you don’t want to go work out or get your hair cut or go on to a massage table if it hasn’t been cleaned and disinfected. So So that’s kind of universal. Number two is we’re definitely seeing distancing so in the, you know, in the gym setting, it might be shutting down certain machines like you know, in the big box gyms where they’ve got, you know, 50 treadmills, they’re doing every other one or every two. And in some cases, I’ve seen this more in Asia than in Europe. And here, they’re actually putting up Plexiglas in between the areas so that it’s really like your own kind of cube that you’re exercising. And if you’re on some type of a cardio equipment, and then in the, you know, and more of the boutique fitness, the yoga polities and spin, it’s really all about capacity. And so what what’s happened is, is, you know, most markets when they reopen, I think California honestly was the most extreme anywhere, I’ve seen it 10% capacity. Imagine you had a yoga class with 20 people, and now you can have two, you’re not even gonna open your doors to do that, right. And so, so what, what we’ve seen is, is that, you know, most states are getting and countries 25% capacity, 50% capacity. And so the ones that start seeing more traction, the, you know, the entrepreneurs that run these businesses have to get creative. They’re thinking of, what can I do outside that don’t have limitations on outside, maybe before I only had four or five class times during the day. But now I can offer 10 class times during the day, they’re going to be smaller classes, but I can keep the revenue coming in and making that work. And then you know, of course, we’ve talked about virtual and that’s another way that people are driving revenue during these times.
Yeah, by the way, when I go to the gym, prior to COVID, and people didn’t have a towel, sweating on equipment. Question was like, What are you wiping the equipment off? There’s certain positive things that COVID has.
Yeah, for sure.
One is cleaning your equipment when you work out? Yeah. Tell me about. Tell me about your journey becoming the CEO of mind body. You know, I know I saw you this summer and you had just become CEO, right? Probably in press releases. I didn’t see it. I was probably paying attention to stupid politics. I should have been reading press releases, but So congrats on that I was in August, if I believe is correct. Yep. And so my, I guess what I want to get into here is, you know why when we look at companies, especially when we hire leaders, for companies, we usually see a visionary and then an execute or Yep. And it is come, you know, come to mind, as I look through kind of your profile that I think you’re the combination of both, which is kind of rare. But what is what is further evidence of this is you bought so you are running, you’re the CEO and co founder of Booker, correct? Yep. And that was for how many years?
I started that in 2010, or joined it in 2010, I was a spin out from a company I was on the board of they had started building a technology module in that business that we thought could have some real legs. And so we I ended up leading the spin out of that and raise the capital, and then built that for eight years. We sold it to mind body in April of 2018. And then I joined mind body at that point is Chief Strategy Officer
Gotcha. And then he went from chief strategy officer to President and then right promoted to CEO?
Yeah, yeah. And it was, it was an interesting kind of timing, because we sold in April of 2018. Mind Body was a public company at that point. And then we ended up announcing that we were taking the company private with VISTA Equity Partners in December of 20 2018. And so that was really totally unexpected to me. And frankly, to the rest of the management team, it wasn’t you know, we had no view that that was, that was the outcome that was going to happen for mind body. And when VISTA came in, you know, they assess the management team, they were talking about kind of their longer term vision. And they asked me to step in as president. So I did that in in early 2019. And then, as we started going through, they’ve got a big playbook that they run with all of their companies, their best practices, and frankly, it’s really good. And, and so I was kind of the lead sponsor be as President, I was the one that was kind of the senior most person ensuring that we were executing against that playbook.
That’s awesome. Crazy times to be promoted as CEO. Yeah. When all of your customers were shut down. Yeah, yeah. But, but I think they picked the right guy. Yeah. Thank you. So I’m gonna move on a little bit. switch gears. Tell me about your nickname shooter..
Yeah. So you know, I’ve had a couple of nicknames in my life. None of them have ever really stuck for very long. So shooter was from when I was at a company called arbetet, where I was one of four partners. It was a technology distribution company. And this place was like the Wild West. I mean, we were selling computer we called them commodities. It was basically data center equipment, servers, and storage and memory and hard drives and so forth. And this was very much like a brokerage. When you walked into the office that everybody had three or four screens, we were taking data feeds from distributors around the world. And we were always just like, it was always about closing deals and how much GP Did you book that day and you know, very much like a, you know, the boiler room kind of mentality. And and so I came in and very quickly became one of our top salespeople, I was VP of Biz Dev, I was one of the partners, but everybody all the way up to the CEO had their own book of business. So I had to build my own book of business. And so I came in and I just I started, you know, shooting down deals, they were saying, you know, hey, you keep shooting down these deals, and you’re making it happen. And so that’s where I got my nickname shooter. And then you know, I’m sure at one Christmas party or something, somebody was drunk and they’re like, shooter McGavin thought oh man, now I gotta ditch that This nickname because you remember that guy from Happy Gilmore? That’s not that’s kind of damning with faint praise.
Very true. Very true. We’ll get into the Christmas party story too. I’m just kidding. So another, what is a motto that you live your life by, like, obviously, I personally know you, but I think it’d be fun to talk about this. And share with our audience.
You know, the one thing that I that I always agree with, is, if you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. And, and to me, it’s really about how to live your life with intentionality and purpose, right, as you’re thinking about things you want to achieve, you’ve got to have a positive view of it. Because if you think oh, man, I’m not gonna be able to get that done, and I got, I can’t get the team together to build that, or nobody’s gonna buy it, if I build it like that negativity, you know, if your glass is half empty kind of person, that’s what your life is gonna be, it’s gonna be half empty. And so I really think this idea of, you know, putting positive energy out in the world doing things that you know, where you are really striving for things, bringing people along, building people up, and carrying them along for the ride and having them carry you to when the appropriate times. That’s, you know, I think that’s a great way to live life.
You know, and, and that’s what makes you an amazing leader. Tell me, just just looking across, I always like to talk about what I call about life resumes. Yeah. So into thinking about your life experiences and resumes, tell me about what would be maybe one of your top experiences, and then we’ll talk about maybe something that was maybe, you know, maybe one of the worst experiences, but best learning experiences from it.
So yeah, so I’ll break it up into a couple of things. So life experiences, probably most challenging my dad died when I was 12. And my daughter got diagnosed with Type One Diabetes when she was four. So both of those were life experiences that you never wish on anybody. And, you know, certainly changed the course of my life. And interestingly, though, you can look at both of those and say, Man, really horrible, you know, things to have happen. And, you know, again, going back to life is what you make of it, I think that I’ve actually turned those things into positive, things become very independent, you know, as a result of not having a dad and my mom was a huge influence in my life. And then with Charlie, you know, her type one has given us like, a different sense of purpose. And for my wife and I, we’ve gotten really deeply involved in charities, we’ve raised millions of dollars for it, I’d never wish it on anybody’s kid, it’s a horrible disease to have. But it’s also something that, you know, as a family, we’ve it’s kind of united us around something, some, some commonality. And so that’s, that’s really positive. And then on the other side, like positive things in my life would be really, you know, I look at my wife and think about my marriage, we’ve been married for over 20 years. And she’s a great life partner, she brought me you know, two amazing kids and has supported my career and been, you know, just the best that I could have asked to have her as a partner. And then on the business front, I think, you know, the two things that I would say that are, you know, highlight So, you know, or one highlight was certainly selling Booker and, you know, you have as an entrepreneur always this desire to build something that is meaningful and makes a difference, and then that somebody is actually willing to pay for it. Right. And, and so that happened, and we sold the business again in 2018. And so that was great. And, and then lowlights, I would say, you know, usually have to do when you have to make some really tough decisions about your business. There was a time at Booker where I had to go through a downsizing and, you know, say goodbye to about 100 employees, and that was really challenging. You know, now here with COVID, we also had to go through a massive restructuring in what we planned for it, and in March, we executed it in early April, and we ended up having to let go of 600 employees and furlough 200 additional employees and you know, no matter how you’re wired like doing something like that is just horrible. And imagine having to do that remotely right like this was we’re doing it over zoom calls and emails and so forth not something where we can actually look these people in the face they’re getting let go for no fault of their own. They did nothing to deserve it. But we you know, we’re staring at the real prospect of you know, losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Yeah, yeah. Well, switching gears a little bit Do you feel like in in we’ve never talked about this but you feel like you’ve found your purpose in life and business?
Yeah, it’s a good question. So um, interestingly, I had a coach years ago when I was at the the technology company Arbor tech. And I felt at that point that I was a bit lost like you know, here I am, I’m in my 30s making more money than I knew what to do with every we had you know, we were fastest growing company in the US and entrepreneur, multiple placements and eight Best Places to Work in Orange County. And, and I still felt lost. And so I got a coach, a guy named Vance Caesar out of Orange County, and part of his program was really thinking about kind of your beliefs and your values, and then thinking about your purpose. And so part of his you know, process was you will Write a purpose statement. And think about it. And it actually took a while to kind of get there as you start because you have to kind of clear your mind right to be able to think about, okay, what am I put on this world to do? And so I came up with a purpose statement. This was when I was probably I’m 47. Now, so I was probably 30 to 33 then, and, and that has been something that has helped me like kind of figure out, hey, am I on track or not? And, and the statement itself was to live and experience life as an adventure, building rewarding friendships and partnerships along the way, while enhancing my life and the lives of those around me. And so it’s it’s a, it’s a pretty big, you know, you can fit a lot into that, right? But it does help me think about like, hey, am I doing things that am I enhancing my life and I am I enhancing the life of those around me, it could be my employees could be my family, it could be my business partners. And you know, also thinking about, you know, really living life as an adventure like I like, you know, like you said, I’ve traveled to over 50 countries, I love riding my Harley, you know, and I also just, like, you know, kind of doing fun things and different things. And you know, I don’t want to live a state life, you know, we’re all only on the earth for so long. And I want to look back and say, Hey, man, I’ve lived my life without regrets. I’ve done everything I set out to do and more. And, and I’ve also impacted people in a positive way,
ya know, and I’ve seen it. He recently came over to my house for Halloween, and he was Joe exotic. There’s a picture of this online. So we’ll talk about but he still has a mustache. You guys can’t see this. But he still has the mustache from the costume doesn’t have the handlebars. But he had the best Joe Exotic out. There was actually another guy that showed up is Joe exotic. And he had him beat and the other guy had a knee brace on. Yeah. So he had some extra gear.
And his name was Joe.
And his name was Joe. Yeah, he still he didn’t he didn’t hold a candle to, to this. But on a serious note, I think I have met, how I came to know Josh is I hired a head of sales that was working for mind body. And she came over and work for me and kind of made the introduction. And I just kind of poked around. And I asked her name’s Christine. And I asked Christine about Josh. And she said, and he knows how to have a good time. And so I asked, you know, some stories and and, and now that I’ve gotten to know him, it really holds true. But let’s dig into that a little bit. I mean, you, you know, you seem to always have a good time, obviously, you’re getting a lot done at work, you’re making a lot of big stuff happen on the work front, but you always I feel like you balance it well. And you do it naturally. It’s not like you’re having a good time. And it’s an artificial, you know, good time, I think it’s all across your life, but talk about why that’s important, and how that comes naturally for you both inside the office. And then personally
Yeah, so I think that, you know, fortunately, I’ve just got a positive disposition. And I think I’m just naturally wired like that. But there’s also a part of it, which is, man, when you’re grinding as hard as we do building businesses and so forth, you’ve got to have a release, right? You have to have something and you know, people talk about work life balance, or work life harmony, but it’s real, like, if you’re just grinding away, you know, 7080 hours a week, and you’re not able to unplug and spend time with your family and develop friendships and you know, go out and see the world, then I think that you know, ultimately you’re going to crumble or your your relationships that are the most important are going to deteriorate, right your relationship with your spouse or with your kids and so forth. And so that’s one thing that I’ve always really, you know, tried to try to invest in. And then when it comes to the work side, you know, I want people to see me having fun, right? Like, I mean, I’m not going to be hammered at a holiday party or stumbling over, but I’m going to dress up like a total idiot. I’ve got more holiday pictures of me in you know, a Christmas tree suit or dressed up as the Grinch or like all of these different things, just to have fun and to be able to lead by example, and tell people like, Hey, man, don’t take yourself so seriously. Like, if you know if you can laugh at the CEO, you can come up and take pictures with me like it be accessible, right? And right now like this mustache that I’m growing. I’m growing it for Movember. And so this is something I’ve sponsored at the company, I usually do a matching donation for whatever we we raised for the Movember foundation. It’s focused on men’s health this year, they focused a lot on first responders and mental health of men in particular, that are obviously struggling as everybody is with with COVID. But, you know, I reached out to the team, you know, in our Slack channel, we have a wellness Slack channel, and I kind of challenged the team. I said, Hey, guys, you know, I’ll match everybody’s donation up to x, and let’s grow out our facial hair. Let’s post pictures of our progress every week. And and it’s just something to have fun, right and be able to laugh about.
Yeah, yeah. No, and going back to things you participate in. You know, since Charlie was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, you obviously joined the nonprofit to help drive awareness and money. And I really admire that about you. You also were both in YPO. But you’ve been on served on the board. And so you really one that serves and puts a lot of time and you put in what you you know, get out and so where did that come from? I mean, where did you start? Thinking that way of like to put you know that much time and effort in something in order to get something out?
Yeah, it definitely happened later in my life. And it was around that time that I started seeing my coach because that was also when he was the one that suggested I joined YPO. And it was also at the same time, more or less the Charlie got diagnosed. And so, you know, my wife and I were saying to each other before all of that, man, we can’t believe what a charmed life we’re leaving, we’re so blessed. We’ve got you know, we have solid job, we’ve got our health, we’ve got good income, we have good friends like and we were living in Corona Del Mar at the time. So you know, right next to the beach, and just a beautiful lifestyle there. And when Charlie hit it, just when her disease hit, it really kind of rocked our world. And immediately, like the very first thing I did was I tapped into my YPO network because we weren’t able to get her into Children’s Hospital of Orange County, she got like the the pediatrician said, Hey, we think she’s got type one. But the only way you’re going to know is if you go there, and we couldn’t get a bed. And so luckily, two of my forum mates were on the board of chalk, I gave them a call they got us right in got us connected with the President. And so, you know, we saw from that really, you know, one they now why did they get involved with chalk, because, you know, one of their sons had a brain tumor. And so it just started getting us to think a little bit more lenient, less selfishly and more about how can we bring great things to the world. YPO has been transformational for me. And one of the blessings that I’ve had from that is that my forum made a guy named Mark Moses. He, I think, you know, Mark, yeah, he started the father, daughter and father son programs in YPO. And I took Sydney to this when she was my oldest, who’s now 19, when she was seven, in California. And it’s basically an extended weekend where you bring fathers and daughters of the same age together, and you bring resources in child development resources to talk with you about how to help your kids grow up, don’t solve all their problems for them, how do they develop leadership skills and grit, and then also have one on one time with them. And so I ended up taking that he started, you know, building that program out, I took it and ran it for eight years, with both of my kids at different areas. And so that was one where I look back, like as much as I was giving to other dads, about 25 dads and daughters that would come to each of these, I was getting so much back in return in terms of teaching my kids about leadership and giving back and also the relationships that they build, especially with social media. Now my kids have, you know, friends that are in Jordan and Israel, and then you know, the Philippines because of these type of events.
That’s amazing. It’s amazing I am I’m being coached by a guy that’s partners with Mark Moses right now really
So when thinking about all this, because this is I love talking about what makes people great leaders and this humbleness, and this, this giving back and just everything that you the authenticity that you bring to the table as a person makes you a good leader. But when were you first called to be a leader, because everything you’re talking about was kind of happened for you a little later in life. Yeah. And I frankly, I’ve only really had conversations about business stuff and YPO stuff that’s more recent, and I’ve never really dug in going back into your life. Like when were you first called to be a leader? What did you do that got you into that position?
So I’ll tell you two quick stories. So the first one is, is that I didn’t even know what leadership was when I was a kid. And one time I was with my grandma, I was probably seven or eight years old. And we were messing around some kids from the neighborhood and I in her backyard, she had this big kind of big property with an orchard on the back of it, and I start picking up some oranges, and I’m throwing them against the garage at the back of the house, making a mess. All the kids are laughing and everything and my grandma comes out, she starts yelling at me, what are you doing? Don’t you see the mess that you’re blah, blah, blah. And so I was like, man, the kids scatter, right? They all go running everywhere. My grandma comes and grabs me and pulls me into the garage and she says, Josh, you’re a leader, you can’t behave like this. Because you can lead people to do good things. And you can lead them to do bad things. And you’re obviously leading kids the wrong way. So he’s like, so she grabs a broom and a mop and something else and gives it to me and she says now go lead your friends to go clean up all that mess. It’s like that that was literally the first time where I realized that, hey, maybe I do have a leadership quality, but it’s you know, when you’re a kid, you just kind of Don’t you know, you don’t think about it as much. You know, I was fortunate that you know, I worked as I mentioned, my dad died when I was 12 I got my first job when I was 12. And so I was working, you know, first detailing cars at a Volkswagen dealership in San Diego. And then I started working in a bike shop and within like two months, the guy laughed and basically said, hey, you’re managing the bike shop, you know, I’m gonna go do these other projects. And so pretty much I was managing that I was started managing people at 14 years old. And and then in college, I sold cars and I just kind of kept every job I had, I was able to, you know, rise up through the ranks through performance pretty quickly. And and that’s kind of how the leadership team it wasn’t. You know, I always tell people, my companies you know, don’t wait for somebody to tell you that you’re a leader you you have the opportunity to exhibit leadership every single day. And you know, also make sure that you know, you’re you’re not always the one that’s kind of the squeaky wheel because Sometimes that’s not the kind of leader that people want. They want the steady leaders, the people that are they can always rely on. And, and if you’re at the right shop, they’re going to recognize that and they’re going to value that. And you’re going to get promoted based on that.
And what type of leader do you think you are at this point?
Yeah, I mean, I usually subscribe to the servant leadership, you know, concept, I did hear a new version of it called empowerment leadership, which I like a lot. Because the idea you know, is that you need to have the right team, build the right team, and then empower them to be successful. And you know, for me, I always say, my job is to clear the land mines, like, I’ve got to make sure that you’ve got, you know, you’re the domain expert in your area, I need to make sure you have all the tools necessary and the runway necessary to go be successful. And, and so that’s, that’s really I try to hire the best people and get out of their way.
Yeah, that’s a that’s a good way to go about it. For sure. What are some fun leadership lessons that you’ve learned over the years?
Leadership lessons? You know, so a few so one, I heard from Robert Smith, who’s the the chairman and CEO of VISTA who now owns mind body. And and I love the saying it’s be a learn at all, and not a no at all. And I think that that’s something that you know, you can you can really take in a lot of different ways you can take it in your personal life, and you can take it in, in your business life, that that’s certainly one. You know, we have a value at mind body that’s humble and helpful. And I think that, you know, I’ve seen that leaders that are the opposite of that, like, if you think of the opposite of humble and helpful man, that’s really not a leader that you’re going to want to, to work with. And and then I also think that you know, this concept of really hiring the best people and building a team and letting them be successful and get out, get out of the way. And also giving them the accolades for the work, you know, like I I try when I’m talking when I’m doing a board presentation, or when I’m talking with other folks, it’s not about me, right? It’s not about my success. It’s about Jimmy success for bringing this idea forward and opening up a whole new market for us. And so those are, you know, some things that I think that especially younger leaders, a lot of times don’t think about, because they are thinking about, hey, how do I stand up above from the crowd? And, you know, I just appreciate on our team that we do have a culture of people that, you know, at every level level, from a, you know, manager to a director to a VP, you know, they don’t always try to take credit for what’s happening. It’s always a collaborative effort. They’re giving, you know, praise to their team. And I think that that goes a long way when you’re developing your leadership skills.
Yeah, no, I 100% agree. I think anytime we look at companies that have their what we see is great values. There’s always a learning value. Ours is relentless learning. Yep. And yes, it’s it’s terrible working for no at all. Yeah, especially super talented people. They just shut down, they could bring in new ideas. It’s it’s stifling innovation. So
well, that’s that’s one thing I you know, in terms of, you know, leadership thing, where I’ve seen people fail with leadership, it’s always been people that come in with that I’m a no at all, I’m the smartest guy in the room. Because a few things happen. Number one is, is that they don’t retain people that are smarter than them. They don’t even think about recruiting people that are smarter than them because they either don’t want to be challenged, or they think they know everything better than anybody else. So why why are they going to stretch for that, you know, a plus player in a perfect area, or particular area, my uncle told me, you know, early on, he said, and he was a very successful entrepreneur. He said, you know, a good CEO surrounds himself or herself with somebody that makes up for their weaknesses. And, and I thought that was really smart. And then later, you know, I drew a corollary, because of somebody that I worked with, it was, you know, always the smartest guy in the room? And I said, Yeah, but, but you also have to recognize, right, you have to be humble enough to recognize where you’re strong and where you’re not. And frankly, a lot of people don’t.
Yeah, no, absolutely. Let’s begin a hiring. I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk a little bit about hiring. So how do you like I guess this is both we this can go towards mind body. And you personally, I would have to say, some of your success has been from being able to hire talented people, right? What do you what is it that you do? Is there a certain you know, certain interviewed styles or anything that you do in particular, that helps you be so effective at hiring great leaders?
So I would tell you that again, it’s about the team, right? Like, it’s not me, that’s just doing the interview process. I’ve always had kind of like a battery of of interviews. Usually we’ll target specific people to focus on certain areas. And so if we identify like, we’re recruiting a CFO right now, our CFO is retiring. And so we have an outside agency that we’re working with, and they’ve brought, you know, a handful of different candidates to us. And so I think by the time that we would get to even like bringing somebody to our board, they’re going to talk to 10 different people in the company, because especially a role like a CFO or a president. It’s just vital that you know a number one is fit right like is there a fit is there a core values fit is there a culture fit They’re, you know, kind of a skill fit. And, and so one person in a 45 minute interview cannot assess that right? And part of it is, is how do you bring the I want to bring people along in that decision. So that it’s they don’t feel when somebody comes in that it’s like, oh, hey, Josh, you know, pick this person, and now we got to go work with this person I want them involved in the decision making. And it’s also kind of a recognition that, you know, somebody else might pick up on something in an interview that you don’t because you didn’t ask that question. Maybe they were going down a different line of thought. And so, you know, I would say that there’s only you know, when I look back, I think I’ve made two or three hires that I deeply regret. And that’s after hiring, you know, I mean, hundreds of people, but you know, probably 50 executives during my career. And so I think that’s a pretty good hit rate,
ya know, and going back to that relentless learning mentality, I always feel like, interviews are won or lost. And the questions that candidates ask when you open it up, like, hey, do you have a question? The types of questions they asked whether they’re like, no at all questions, like pointing things out, or if they’re truly curious questions. Absolutely. But speaking of curious, what do you what are you curious about now? What are you most curious about now?
I mean, I think, you know, two things. One is, is kind of a What is this world look like? And specifically in the wellness industry after the pandemic? You know, the industry reports say that 25% of the industry is going to be gone. And so, you know, what I wonder is, okay, well, how fast is it bounce back? Right? And what does the new normal look like for the, you know, for the wellness industry? Are we still going to be operating on, you know, reduced capacity? Are we going to be operating, you know, with just kind of hybrid models, and virtual and so forth? And so I think that’s like, you know, that’s one area that I’m, you know, I’m curious, and then probably as everybody that you know, depending on the time that you’re listening to this would be curious about is, hey, where do we land with the election and everything that’s going on in, in politics right now?
Yeah, no, absolutely. In what do you find? Obviously, you’ve done a lot of things, right. You’re very humble person. But what do you found? What do you find most challenging in life right now? I mean, work in life,
I think, I mean, so most challenging would be, I think, just the division and everything that exists today, even with among my own friend groups, you know, you get into certain, you know, whether it’s politics, or, you know, globalization or climate warming or trade, there’s very, there’s so much polarization now that, you know, trying to find that common ground is is definitely challenging. You know, the, you know, the other part that I look at and think what I’d really like to see this get, you know, get settled, is, is just, you know, as we’re thinking about the the broader competitive landscape, you know, when we look at peloton and what’s happening there, and you have a lot of people that are saying, hey, it’s all about virtual in the in the future. I don’t think it is, man. I think that technology is important, but I think the community is even more important. And, you know, again, some of those same forces that are you know, pulling friendships apart are also kind of pulling communities apart. And so I think that that’s another challenge that we’ve got as a as a society is, you know, how do we bring communities back together and and and do that the wellness community has always been kind of a very tight knit community. And we just had our bold conference today, we had over 1000 people attend that. And it was great to kind of just hear the stories of you know, of survival and struggle and grit and everything. That’s, you know, that’s been happening there. So yeah, so those are a couple things that I challenged by, I will tell you, like, jokingly, but one of my biggest challenges in work is I’m horrible with Excel, it is just something that I’ve never been good at, and I’ve never taken the time to get good at it. And now I have you know, a bunch of people in FPA and data science they can, they can do all the Excel work for me.
I think one thing that’s changed, even since I’ve known you is you traveled a lot for work. Yeah. And I think you you’re the type of person that you you just it was part of the job. Yeah, but I think you actually enjoy it. Yeah. So you’ve had to change your lifestyle, which has been good for me, because I get to see you around town right more often. But it’s been quite a shift. You correct?
Yeah, it’s been a huge shift. I mean, I’m normally you know, racking up a couple hundred thousand miles a year, gone 50% of the time. And so, on one side, it’s been great to be home. You know, last year, my daughter was a senior in high school. And so we got to spend really an extra six months together. And you know, before she took off to Cal Poly. And so that was great. And, you know, I’m home now I’m cooking most of our dinners. I love grilling, we got a smoker and a grill. And so I’m always out there, you know, doing that. But it has been a challenge also just being home more and you know, it’s because I really miss the team. Like I miss seeing people I like going on, you know, trips meeting my you know, taking out the the top performers and all of our offices going and doing town halls and so forth. And so now we’ve just had to adapt to be able to do that with zoom. And you know, it’s definitely not the same but it’s better than nothing.
Yeah, I think you’re like me, I think when people will appreciate when you come out to see them more in the near future once we get further down this and I look forward to that because I’m the same way Old school and the right way where you know, you make it you make the trip to meet somebody face to face, shake their hand, maybe not shaken. Maybe an elbow bump these days. Yeah, but that’s, but no, I agree. So tell me speaking of COVID. And so I talked to you, obviously, pretty often throughout it, what have been some COVID like blessings for you like this? I mean, obviously, this hasn’t been great for a lot of people. But I think when you there’s things that certain people take away, that it has forced them to maybe think differently, what are some things takeaways for you that have been positive? I mean, more time with your family? Yeah, with your wife?
Yeah, definitely those, um, you know, I think some other you know, positive takeaways. One is, it just kind of reinforces that, you’ve got to be agile in your thinking. So your, you know, your comment about, you know, always growing and so forth, we have a value that’s consciously evolving. And so, you know, for us thinking about consciously evolving through the pandemic, it’s both ours, our software, it’s how we’re managing our team, it’s our office footprint, it’s all of those things, we, frankly, have become so much more efficient as a business as a result of this. And we’re able to, you know, we had, we had to think about the business fundamentally differently. And it’s kind of like, hey, if you were given a blank slate, how would you redesign this business to be successful going forward? And, and so I think that that’s been you know, for me, one of the the great takeaways from this is, is that, you know, you can have a quantum paradigm shift, you know, this was forced on us by COVID. But, you know, think about how do you reinvent yourself and, and know that there’s always a, you know, there’s always opportunity to improve and, and so I think that that’s something that we’ve seen, that’s been really positive coming out of COVID
Yeah, amazing. So what’s one thing that you wish people would stop saying? I mean, and I always think at COVID I write for me it’s like the new normal Yeah, just kind of you know, the new normal is just normal for me, but anything that like sticks out?
I haven’t heard it in a bit, but unprecedented. God that words are crazy, right? Like if I hear unprecedented again, it’ll all go nuts. The other one that’s like, no, it has nothing to do with COVID. But it’s also started dying down. But you know, years ago, I used to go to the UK quite a bit. And I always laugh because they had the you know, keep calm, you know, Mind the Gap, keep calm carry on. Now you started seeing keep calm, whatever, everywhere, right? They had, you know, everything had sayings. And that just drove me nuts. Because I didn’t feel like I could escape it.
What do you think in the, in the future, going back to wellness and fitness, from what you’re saying? And kind of what I think too, is people are always going to want to work out and people are always going to want to be, you know, part of a community. Yep. Do you think this comes back? The wellness industry comes back stronger at some point. I mean, that’s, that’s what I’m gathering from. Yeah, like very strongly, but yeah, about that.
I think so. I mean, we were sharing just today that like in Australia, that, you know, has done extremely well, I mean, they’re an island, they can, you know, lock down a lot better than, than most other places can. But they’ve really bounced back, you know, better than than most of the England we call the English eight countries that we do a lot of business in. And what they’re seeing is, is that their per location bookings are higher than what they were before. And what we think that is, is that people have just been bottled up, right, like, if you think about the amount of services that you forego during a year, if you’re not going to a gym, you’re not going to spa you’re not going to salon, now all of a sudden, you probably got some money that saved up or you’ve got credits at your, you know, at your gym, or you know, your spa if you have a membership. And and I think people are going back and taking advantage of that. But I also think there’s one other part, which is, you know, there’s been a spotlight put on health and wellness during this and and, you know, I was just watching the news last night, and they were talking about, you know, how people with type two diabetes or people that have cardiovascular issues and so forth, that they’re likely the ones that are going to be getting the vaccine first, right? And so you think about that, and you go, yeah, they are definitely the target. That should get it first. But man, I don’t want to be in that category. I want to be healthy, I want to, you know, be able to, you know, live without, you know, worrying about some of these comorbidity issues. And so I do believe going forward, that people are going to be more, you know, thoughtful about their health. You already see like Millennials are very engaged. I think Gen Z is going to be there. You know, baby boomers were the ones kind of early on with the, you know, Jane Fonda and VHS and now they’re a big component of our business. And as Gen X, you know, that we’re in. As we start aging out and we start getting more into our retirement years, I think we’re gonna be, you know, a lot more conscious of our own health than our parents were. And just like, our parents are a lot more conscious of their health and working out, like my mom does yoga all the time, she can do a headstand, I can’t imagine that she’s 72 years old. I was worried about her breaking her neck, but you know, she’s, she’s incredible. And so and I think about like the difference between her and her mother. So I think that it’s something that over time, just generationally, it’s not even going to become an A, you know, a thought it’s just going to become part of kind of what society does.
Yeah, that’s what I think about the travel industry too. I mean, everybody that’s used to traveling, it’s just pent up and they want to travel so many places, I would say I’m the same way. And that opens up, I’m traveling probably more, just in case something happens again. Speaking of traveling, so you’ve you’ve traveled to 50 countries. Yeah. What have been, what’s what’s been your favorite place to travel to? And kind of why I mean, just in somebody that’s traveled that many countries, that’s that’s kind of what you never talked about.
Right? Yeah. I mean, they’re all unique in different ways. I would tell you that India, I thought was going to be one and done check the box. I went there for the global wellness summit with my with my family. We loved it and want to go back, we did the Golden Triangle. And, you know, we went to it’s a ogra, Delhi and Jaipur. And so we saw the Taj Mahal and so forth. And I was just blown away by the vastness of the of the country. It’s kind of like going to the US and saying, Oh, yeah, I know, the US and you went to Texas, right? Like, that’s kind of like the space that we went to it wasn’t, you know, you didn’t see Miami, you didn’t see New York or San Francisco or LA. And so now, you know, I really want to go back and explore India, my mom who has gotten really into yoga, she got into a major car accident, could not get help, here in the US from Western medicine was basically becoming a cripple, and went over to went over to India. And she lived in, I forget exactly the part she was in, but it was basically an aerobatic hospital for a month and a half. And she came back walking, doing yoga, all of the arithmetic, you know, treatment that she had. So I think that that’s something that I want to explore it at some point in my life. But there’s a lot of places I haven’t been, you know, I’ve been going to 50 countries. You know, I haven’t been to Israel. I haven’t been to Jordan, I haven’t been to Peru to Machu Picchu. So those are some of the places that you know, I’d like to go.
Absolutely. It’s been a bucket list stuff. So in your profile, I mean, obviously you traverse across the US on your Harley. Yeah. Have you done a lot of that? What are some other things that you would like to do on the the bucket list side of things? I know this is a sometimes a tough question.
And yeah, yeah, I mean, I there’s definitely more countries I want to go to I just you know, I listed some of those. I’d love to do another you know, trip on the on my Harley somewhere, you know, kind of long distance. I’d love to drive a Formula One car. I’ve never done that before. So you know, doing something with a car. I’ve always wanted to get my pilot’s license. And so that’s something my wife’s, she has to she has a father and a stepfather. They were both Navy fighter pilots. And so she’s not thrilled about me wanting to do that. So we’ll we’ll see if that ends up happening. But she gives me a lot of leeway on my Harley. Not sure which is which is more dangerous. Right?
Tell me what it is about. I’ve written motorcycles. I grew up riding dirt bikes and written a Harley. It’s a long story. I had a friend getting axed on a Harley. So I just promised I’d never ride a Harley. So I’ve never had that experience of really going on long trips on Harley’s, but what is it about riding a Harley, that is get you in the zone that is most fun for you, you know,
I think there’s a couple things. So the first is, is I just I love the feeling like it’s like freedom, right. And, you know, I always envisioned myself as like, you know, a cowboy back in the 1800s driving across, you know, going across country on a horse, but I’m on an Iron Horse this time, right and, and so you see parts of the you see parts of the country that you wouldn’t normally do, I love road trips, but you know, I wouldn’t normally go off and take a weekend and drive around, you know, certain areas like I like I do on my on my motorcycle. I love the smells. It’s really funny. Like I say this, my wife’s like, You’re like a dog or something right hanging your head out the window. But like, I love the smells, when you go through you smell the wild wild flowers, you smell the pines, you smell like all of that. And, and that’s great. And then the last thing is, is that it’s like it’s really my Zen place, it’s like the only place in my life where I can be 1,000% present, because you have to be man, you’re you know, when you’re zipping along, you know, I go a little too fast on time. So you know, so you’re going along at 90 miles an hour, you stuffs coming at you super fast. And that pothole that is 100 feet in front of you is going to be on you and you know half a second. And so you’re always scanning you know everything in front of you. And so you have to be present. So I’m not thinking about my earnings release. I’m not thinking about a board meeting. I’m not thinking about you know what any of these things, it’s just you’re 100% present and so for me, that’s what I love about it,
man, amazing years were typical guys that really like to go fast, right? You know, do things cars, but Well, I’m gonna I’m gonna go into some rapid fire questions. Sure. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Well, now that I live in Arizona, the first thing I do is I have a glass of electrolytes because I wound up in the hospital one one day after working out and not having had electrolytes. So that’s the very first thing I do now.
What about a book that you’ve read more than once?
Um, you know, so I’m not a big book reader. And so I would say that probably the one and I recommend this book to a lot of young leaders at mind body is Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I think I think that’s a great one.
Awesome. What person has had the biggest impact on your life?
Well, I break it up into into three on on who I am as a person and a human, my mom for sure. Because I mentioned my dad passed away and she raised me I was not an easy child, you know, at that point at 12 years old impact on kind of like my life and and the happiness that I have and how I live today is my wife. Absolutely. We’ve been friends since since junior high and didn’t start dating till after college. And then on business was my uncle. And he, you know, was a serial entrepreneur also went bankrupt. And you know, so I saw the high highs, the private jets and the house in Aspen and I saw the man I’m destitute right now and then came back and built a company and took it public. So really, you know, talk about grit and determination. That was something I learned from him.
Yeah, you’ve talked a lot about him. And in our conversations, yeah. If you could teach one subject to children in school, what would it be?
Grit. I think it’s, it’s really one of the things that people you know, need to have if they’re going to be successful in business, especially if they’re going to be, you know, entrepreneurs. And I also think it’s in life too. Like, it’s, you know, we think about the pandemic, right, like, if you’re not able to handle adversity and be able to muscle through it, and so forth. It’s, you’re gonna have a challenging time right now.
Absolutely. Are you a morning or night person?
I thought that Yeah, what’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done lately?
You know, I gotta say, I’m not super spontaneous. I’m definitely more planned. You know, I mean, the normal times we plan out our life, you know, six to nine months ahead of time. So I think the most spontaneous thing I’ve probably done was, you know, take it take a day off, and I went did tactical training with, you know, with an ex marine? That was the most spontaneously got did.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I think just kind of all of the division that’s happening right now, you know, and the lack of discourse and and, you know, engagement positively, like, I always like to assume positive intentions, you know, and that, you know, that there are ways for people to bridge their differences without being so polarized. And I just, I feel right now, like, as a as a society, we’re becoming a lot more polarized. And, and I just, I wish there was more room for dialogue. Awesome.
Awesome. Well, I’m going to start winding it down. I think. I try to keep these to about 45 minutes. Yeah, totally. Listen to them. But you’re listening to the built on purpose podcast with Max Hanson, brought to you by why scouts, you can find all of our past and future podcasts at yscouts.com Josh, I’m going to give you the last word, what advice do you give everyone as we face an increasingly challenging COVID? environment?
What advice? Well, man, that’s a good question, Max. I think that, you know, right now, it’s, it’s you got to have patience, because this is not going away overnight. And, you know, I think that it’s it’s important to, you know, pay attention to what your local, you know, municipalities are saying about how because everywhere is different, right? Like how you’re going to deal with it here in Scottsdale is going to be really different than if you’re in Boise or other places. And so, I don’t think that there’s a, you know, one size fits all approach to this. And so I think that people just need to have patience and recognize great progress that we’re seeing on the, you know, on the vaccines. And so hopefully, you know, by the time we’re in summer, we’re at a point where people that want to get vaccines can and for those that don’t want that, that there’s at least therapeutics that are out there. So I think it’s patients and everybody right now has been so pent up that there’s a lack of patience, and I think that’s what we need.
Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks again for today. It was wonderful having you on the show. And I look forward to maybe do it again sometime. Yeah.
All right, Max. Thanks, man. Thanks, Josh. I appreciate it.
Thanks for listening to the built on purpose Podcast, where on each episode, we interview exceptional leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, philosophers, and some straight up interesting people to explore their outlook on life, work and leadership. You can hear any of our previous shows 24 seven right here on Star worldwide networks or wherever you get your podcasts.
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