James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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4 Ways to Use Your Employees to Build Company Culture

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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In this episode we talk to Josh Feinberg, President and CEO at Everlasting Capital.

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About Everlasting Capital

Welcome back to the B2B Growth Show. This episode is sponsored by Directive Consulting, the B2B search marketing agency. We’re here today with Josh Feinberg. Josh is the president and CEO of Everlasting Capital. Josh, welcome to the show.

Thank you very much for having me.

It’s a pleasure to have you on the show. Today, we are going to be talking about the four ways to use your employees to help build company culture. Before we get into today’s topic, maybe you can tell our listeners a little bit about what you and the team at Everlasting are up to these days.

Absolutely. Everlasting Capital started five years ago in a basement and off of a $3,000 loan. I started the company in the basement that was 50 degrees. I had nothing besides a computer, a phone, and a jacket to keep me warm and made 400 calls. Then to speed up to now, we are a company listed on the Inc. 500 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. Everlasting Capital is an international business financing firm that lends to companies that are looking to purchase equipment, looking to purchase inventory, expand their company by using marketing. We really lend to the small to medium-size business market that traditionally can’t access band lending and we’ve created the opportunity to be able to help companies like that accessing funding.

Wow, that’s incredible. Kind of in the vein of that idea of micro-financing?

Correct. Correct. Our dollar amounts are anywhere between $5,000 all the way up to $150,000.

Got it. Got it. Well certainly, congratulations on your success. I think it’s a great story, especially because we’re going to be talking about company culture today and you starting in a 50-degree basement. I can only imagine what that kind of culture looks like today. How many employees do you have today?

Today we have 13. We have 13 employees. Over the years, we’ve been up to 20. We’ve been down to five but we’ve really, right now, we have a sweet spot of the right amount of employees along with the quality. At a lot of points in my career, over the past five years, we always thought that quantity was better than quality but the big thing for us is that we’ve noticed that quality of employees and company culture is so important in the growth of this company and I’m sure growing any other type of entity would be the same way as well.

Hire Good Culture Fits

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. It’s been kind of a focus of ours on the show, in 2018, growing in the right way. That’s why we’ve been so fortunate to get guests such as yourself, onto the show to talk to us through this process. You’ve seen it. You’ve been growing your company, on the Inc. 5,000 list and again, we’re going to be talking about the four ways that you’ve actually used your employees to help build your company culture. I know that the first thing we’re going to talk about, and you’ve seen it, you’ve done it, you’ve just explained is hiring people and not only that, you’re going to be hiring people that fit your culture. What does that look like Josh?

Culture is a huge key in Everlasting Capital’s success. What does that look like right because Everlasting Capital’s culture looks a lot different than most companies because most companies try to have that corporate type feel, hit your goals or you’re out. We do require and we do expect a lot out of our employees. However, some of the things that differentiate us and really makes our culture is the go-getter attitude because most people come to us look to change their lifestyle.

Most of them came from a job where they were capped out at a certain income and they wanted to live a different life. What does that look like? They wanted to spend more time with the family by going on vacations or they wanted to be able to go out to dinner more. They just wanted to live life a little bit more where along the line, including buying homes, cars, just changing their lifestyle and trying to get out of obscurity. What we need to do and what we’ve done over the past five years, we need to make sure that we’re hiring the right people that fit our culture.

When people come in and we’re interviewing them, we need to make sure that they’re going to mold in what we need them to be within the culture. We’ve had sales superstars come in here for interviews. We’re talking to them, they sound great. We know that they would be really great on the phone, however, when we do our interviews, we do a group interview so we have four of our top sales reps also asking them questions. What we’ll notice is they’re not really listening to what we’re saying, they’re just kind of waiting for their turn to speak and when they speak, they don’t even acknowledge what they were saying.

We know that just from interviews, who’s going to mold and who’s now. The reason being of why it’s so important to hire the right people that fit the culture is that if there’s somebody that has a bad attitude, that’s being really negative, that kind of spreads like wildfire. We’ve noticed that over the past five years, when we have somebody that comes in and is really negative, it kind of brings down that culture. Our culture’s kind of a laid back type atmosphere but everybody knows what their specific duties and what their job roles are. When somebody comes in and throws that off, it spirals around the entire office where people just aren’t having the progress that they really want because of specific individuals that come in. You need to be able to make sure that you’re hiring the right people that fit that culture.

It sounds like you engage your current employees to help that process, almost like a litmus test to see if they’re going to be aligned with the existing employees that you have.

100%. 100%. They know kind of who we’re looking for, including myself, I know what we’re looking for so if they gel and they’re getting along in the interview, we have a pretty good idea of who’s going to be able to make it and who’s not just based off of trial and error over the years.

Make Sure Your Employees Align with the Mission

That’s interesting. Keep that in mind, not just having what you said, not having the right skill set but also gauging whether or not they are going to be a good fit. You can kind of gage during this interview process, if you’re being intentional about it. The second thing I know that we were going to be talking about is having the employees know the value and the mission of the company. What does that look like? Is that you educating them at the beginning, also during the interview process? What are we talking about here?

I mean, employees know the value and the mission of the company right? That kind of goes back to the story of how Everlasting Capital started. They know the value of the company because we started from absolutely nothing. Me being young, I was 19 years old when I started the company and that really kind of derived the value and the mission of Everlasting Capital. As far as value, our main value is to be able to build wealth and help people change their lifestyle by being able to increase income. As far as at mission of the company, the mission of the company is to scale and grow. Obviously helping small to medium-sized business owners act as funding but the mission of the company is to really scale and get to a very large organization by being able to grow people’s income but not only that is to build individuals teams.

For example, when somebody becomes a senior finance manager here, which is like the top level, that’s when we start to put people underneath them. As far as the value and the mission … when they get to the top level where they’re starting to see life-changing income but then they have the ability of being able to put somebody underneath them and really watch them change their lifestyles whether they didn’t have a home and they lived in an apartment and now they’re buying houses or they didn’t even have a car and they’re buying cars, being able to see the value of really being able to help others grow their income by being able to offer an opportunity to be able to just live a different lifestyle.

The value and mission of the company are to obviously help that small to medium-sized business owner but it’s really to just build our employees up to get to the next level in life.

Interesting. Interesting. To make sure that your employees know that their financial well-being is … it almost feels as if that’s kind of baked into the value and mission of your company.

That’s exactly it and I’ve tried to do that over the past five years of really showing the value of the mission and also the appreciation right because at the end of the year, we take all of the employees on an end of the year trip, whether it’s to Puerto Rico or Las Vegas or somewhere and it’s funny. We have season tickets to the Patriots, we do all these things. It’s funny when you really show the appreciation to your employees and you start to do these little things and they start to say, “I’ve never done this before in my life and I’m making more money than I ever have and I’m making first life experiences almost every single month,” it really starts to show a fire and create a team and culture and it’s just unbelievable how it formulates.

Good Decisions Aren’t Exclusive to the Executives

Very cool. Josh, let’s talk about this third point; knowing that good decision not only come from the executive but they can also come from the employees as well. How do you capitalize on something like that?

Again, again, that kind of relates back to culture. Being able to have a wide-open company, being able to talk about every single decision with your employees. For us, 98% of the decisions that we make, our employees are involved in. Whether it’s on a new lead source or whether it’s on; how are we going to be able to work with this client to make terms meet? Also being able to say, “Hey, listen, if you have an idea on how we could really increase market share in a specific industry or you have an idea on how we can access more leads, feel free to be able to present that to us.” We’ll be wide open to the idea and be able to formulate a plan to be able to do it.

A lot of times I’ll say, “Listen, create a business plan. Tell me exactly how you would want us to do it. What’s it going to cost us and let’s see if we can make it work.” The same exact way I started this company, I let them run their ideas as well.

Win as a Team

Incredible. Josh, just this fourth and final point, I love this idea that you realize that you’re a team, not just a bunch of individuals. How do you using your employees to build your company culture with that thought, how does it work at Everlasting Capital?

It’s a wide-open floor. I don’t have my separate, own office. My CFO doesn’t have his separate, own office and we wouldn’t want it because the thing is, every single time we hit goals, we’re in the office, we’re cheering, we’re clapping. Just like last month. We hit our goals like four times over. We hit it and then we hit the stretch goal and then we hit another stretch goal, then we hit another stretch goal. Everybody’s clapping. The thing is that we know we wouldn’t be able to build this company if it was just for us hiring a bunch of people, throwing them on the floor and having our own offices.

We realize that every single one of our employees is just as important as we are because without them, we wouldn’t be able to get to the point where we’re at and where we want to go. A lot of times, because I’ve been an employee before and I felt like I was just an individual trying to hit my own goals. Now, here, everybody has their own job duty, their own expectations of them and their own goals but the thing is, is if every single one of those goals that we set together, it kind of molds all together because they have certain responsibilities and so does all of us. If one of us doesn’t hit our responsibilities, us as a team fails.

It’s not just that one single person did so we really need to make sure we’re building each other up as a team rather than just saying, “You’re an employee. You need to make this many calls and if you don’t, you’re out the door.”

Yeah.

You know what I mean?

Absolutely. Are there other ways that you think people can … We’ve got a wide variety of listeners to the show. Are there any ways, any tips, any tricks, any strategies you think can be applied kind of across the board or things that you can get people thinking about in how to realize this fact and sort of push out this idea that hey, we’re all a team. We’re not just a bunch of individuals? Obviously, your particular layout, one of the things that you do is, you don’t have a separate office. You celebrate landmark goals together. Are there any other strategies you can provide our listeners with when you’re trying to reinforce this idea that hey, we are a team and we fail and we succeed together?

Yeah. I mean, the biggest thing is one; being able to think outside of the box. Think outside of the box. Try to figure out different ways to be able to work together as a team. Figure out ways that you can kind of match people up and create individual partnerships within the company, between employees. Two; give back to your employees because there are three main things that really, really motivate people. One of them is money, two of them are incentives, three is training. If you can accomplish all three of those goals together, you’re going to be able to … that’s the recipe for success, at least with building a team.

Obviously, there’s a lot of other topics but we’re talking about building a team here. That’s the number one recipe for success, by being able to build a team.

Yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. That sounds fantastic. Josh, obviously, you’ve sort of walked us a little bit through your personal journey from basement to where you are now, which is incredible and I think one of the questions that we’ve been asking our guests this year is; what kind of a legacy are you hoping to leave behind at the end of the day? Whether that’s personal, professional or a combination of the two, what does that look like for you?

Professionally, I want to be able to leave a legacy to others to show that anyone can make it. I was 19 when I started the company, I went to an alternative high school and I attended one college class. Not everyone has to have a college degree to be able to be successful so if I can show anyone that one; with enough determination, enough hustle and enough outside of the box thinking, you could be able to be successful. If I could leave that to anyone just by being able to show people the success of Everlasting Capital and the success that’s coming, that’s what I would love to leave behind.

As far as family, my wife, my two beautiful children, and my son and my daughter, I would just like to be able to leave them, if I had to leave my legacy to them, to be able to show them that anything’s possible, that being able to live a great life isn’t unimaginable. Anything that you think you can do, can absolutely happen if you put your mind and you put enough effort towards it.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Both of those are very important messages. You’re a walking example of being motivated. Like you said yourself, it’s not necessarily a traditional path to what people consider success, at least these days. That sounds crazy but you’re a perfect example of that. It can happen, you work hard, you’re motivated, you treat people right, you have the right incentives. You’ve said yourself, one of the things that you’ve literally baked into your company culture is the financial well-being for your employees so that sort of speaks to the character of someone who is outwardly thinking, thinking about the success and well-being of others. Josh, I think that’s a great legacy to leave behind. We really appreciate you sharing your wisdom on the show today. If any of our listeners are interested in connecting with you, they’re interested in connecting with Everlasting Capital, they want to find out more about today’s topic, whatever it is, what’s the best way for them to go about doing that?

You can contact me or anyone at my company. You can go to www.everlastingcapital.com. You can call in directly to our phone number that is on the website and you can ask for me and I’ll be available. If I’m not, leave a message and I’ll be able to get back to you.

That’s fantastic. Again, we’ve been talking with Josh Feinberg, President and CEO of Everlasting Capital. Josh, thank you again, so much for your time today. It was a pleasure having you on the show.

Thank you very much John, I appreciate it.

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