Joe Rinaldi | [Top Agency Series] Servant Leadership and Rebounding from a Crisis

What was the hardest was the hardest part. Did you have to lay anyone off was it was it trying to because I know one of the things you did was kind of have to pivot the business away from big projects to smaller ones. Was it convincing everyone of the wisdom of that strategy?

Joe Rinaldi 5:08

Yeah, part of it was that that there was there was retaining the valuable team we have, you know, you mentioned that I worked with Brett when he was at Happy Cog. I mean, there were people who, who sat at desks at Happy Cog, who were my colleagues who you could build an agency around each one of them overnight, like just some true like Game Changing talented people. And our business was designed to work with, you know, a small, powerful team, the biggest challenge I have is giving them a reason to stay, you know, finding a way to retain the team and, and adapt in the face of the challenges we had, but at the same time, not make it this, you know, morbid rescue slog, it had to be that we were reinventing this I remember at the time, like, trying to pull from like a movie franchise that gets rebooted. Like when Daniel, David Craig took over, Derek took over James Bond bond, you got to take the best of the old and what the current context is, and some innovative new things. And if you can mix all those things together, then you get, you know, an interesting kind of combination of the heritage of the thing plus the ambition of a new thing. And that’s truly what I tried to focus on the most in my time there was like, can we make this an optimistic, hopeful, excited, new chapter as opposed to, you know, I’m here taking care of this wounded animal instead, which was certainly a path that could have gone down at the time.

John Corcoran 6:40

Yeah, I’m sure you studied a lot of leaders. I’ve never heard of a Leadership Studies degree, but it sounds like fascinating. Were there any particular leaders that you drew on drew inspiration from?

Joe Rinaldi 6:51

I think the viewers I always drew from it, they’re, they’re a part of a philosophy called servant leadership. That’s, you know, not that unknown of a concept anymore. But in, you know, 97 when I was graduating from college, 96 Greenleaf was really the only real author writing about at the time it hadn’t taken off in kind of popular leadership culture, I don’t think that the same way leading from within the the, you know, being a servant leader, really making sure that your version of leadership is, you know, from the context of the team not dragging from the outside, that was always the version of leadership that spoke to me, and I know, there’s, you know, lots of people that I would, I’d be ashamed to compare myself to them, or to point them to some people that I would, you know, look at aspirationally. But that was really the goal, my goal was, like, listen to as much as I can understand as much as I can, you know, kind of Route my decisions in the broader team context. And, you know, try to lose all the eyes and embrace all the weeds and figure out how to move the ball forward from there.

John Corcoran 7:58

Yeah, Warren Rustand, and Verne Harnish to past guests on this podcast and talked a lot about that about servant leadership and how to go about it. Easier said than done, though, because there are certain things that you need to do, you can’t, you know, as we were talking beforehand, can’t give up all of your authority. One of the things that you did was you tore up the handbook. And this is relevant to today, when we’ve got a real labor crisis right now. And people are calling it the great resignation, people are leaving. But that’s one of the first things you did as the newly minted head of this organization, you said, we’re gonna work together and tear up the handbook to talk a little bit about that approach and how you went about it?

Joe Rinaldi 8:39

Yeah, I mean, I, my goal was to try to help folks see this as an opportunity. You know, we’re changing everything, everything’s, you know, on the table, we can talk about anything, we can scrutinize anything, you know, this is an opportunity that we can reconsider, you know, the blocking and tackling of how we typically do this. So one way that I tried to do that was I tried to organize us around, you know, questioning, questioning all of the core, you know, expectations in what had been our employee handbook, opening up a dialogue, you know, not forfeiting control and making it kind of an open, democratic process where everybody’s just voting on things willy nilly. But really trying to like, curate the recommendations from the team find one or two or three or four things that would move the needle for folks and have an impact on their morale and their enthusiasm and, you know, just their motivation to be there and then build out from there, like, find a few things that we can kind of, you know, stem from, and one of the, you know, I asked broad questions to kind of give folks a chance to wax philosophical about things and one of the themes that came up again and again, was this friction between what had been our, like scheduled working hours and what people prefer, you know, there was this, actually, no, it wasn’t like it was arduous or anything, like the expectation She was you would be at your desk by nine. And there was like a fixed working day. And that was how you logged in and out. And folks said, like, you know, actually, I’m most productive in the evening, I’m a, I’m a coder, I like to do this stuff that like, you know, six to seven o’clock at night and get like a chunk of work. And then I had other folks that said, like, I’d rather like half my morning and come in later. So what we arrived at was, we embraced core working hours, which was, you know, 10 to two, Eastern was a core time when everybody was online. So we had a big Philadelphia presence, we had folks kind of working throughout the country where we’re all online from 10 to two Eastern, so we could have team meetings, we’d have client meetings, we could reliably bank on each other being available then. But then we had folks that they started their day at 10. And worked late, we had folks that started the day early and ended it too, we had folks that worked 10 to two, and then came back online later. And it was really up to them to tailor the balance of their hours around what made sense for whatever their lifestyle or their preference or their their, you know, work habits. And I think that, if nothing else, I think that people felt seen, I mean, that was as much the purpose really was, for people to feel like they’d been heard to feel like that they’d been seen the the output of changing some things was almost, you know, academic, it was more like, if we are all co authoring this, if we are all contributing to what the next version of this is going to be, you know, all of our signatures are on the declaration here, we’re all kind of invest. So that was truly, truly, truly, if I’m being honest, what I was trying to do was to, you know, kind of manufacture that investment by by giving people the chance to kind of manipulate a thing but their fingerprints on it, you know, make it what they wanted it to be the output hopefully, would have been some optimization like that, or some other like wrinkles in our process, but But truly it was at its heart, trying to create that that core, that would be you know, you need some entity to be within to serve and lead, you need to create this kind of structure that you can lead from within. And I felt at the time that we were fractured and frayed. And we needed to kind of like coalesce around that. So that exercise I think was, I think scary for some people like I got hired here, now you’re pulling the rug out of these assumptions, like what does that mean? So I think it was, you know, complex, but I ultimately I do think that there was a benefit to the folks that contributed who felt like, they don’t maybe move the needle a little bit towards themselves in terms of like how their workday was organized, right.

John Corcoran 12:31 

And I want to in a moment, I want to ask about how that relates to what the work that you do with clients today, and what companies are seeing today with the great resignation, and all that kind of stuff. But in addition, another challenge that Happy Cog had was that this is one of these agencies, which emerged with the emergence of the web, and these big projects will come along. And so that was really what they stuck with. And that’s a risky scenario, because you lose one or two projects, and boom, there goes half your revenue or a quarter your revenue for the year, which people are depending on. So that was another big challenge you had on your hands, which was moving away from that. So how did you tackle that big challenge?

Joe Rinaldi 13:15

Yeah, I mean, the focus in my mind was to just diversify our revenue in a way that we were not, you know, out there Whale Hunting anymore, looking for massive projects, and then living with the gaps in between things like retainers, things like services, where we’re, you know, focuses of the business that I wanted to kind of get in place that we had more Cash Forecasting, bankability reliability, and, you know, it doesn’t doesn’t insulate you from everything. But when you have some retained services, when you have some steady income, it prevents the needle from dropping below a certain sea level, which, which is incredibly valuable. So, you know, we I think that the first client that we got into a multi year retainer was David’s Bridal, we had done a full redesign of their e-commerce site and had this great partnership. And why made, you know, great effort to move them into some kind of structured, ongoing monthly retainer, you know, maybe every six months, or I think, six months at a time, that just gave us that amount of bank on like, we knew we had those checks coming in reliably, and we could do great work for them. So, you know, moving into, I think there was some, there was unknown. And I think there was this fear that if we became a retainer, partner, we’d be woken up by a beeper at three o’clock in the morning because the site was down and now we’re the Geek Squad figuring this out and, you know, just putting the right guardrails and expectations in place to get on the same page about No, no, this is just a, like a ribbon of work that we’re going to work on. It’s a certain size and scale project will flow through this work stream. Some are too big will have to be separate projects, some are going to fit in their cozily and we’ll work on those and, you know, the effect was profound and it’s one of the core things In what I kind of coached my my clients into is the value of account management of really, you know, squeezing the orange juice out of the oranges you have and making sure that you’re really focused on on capturing all the value in your existing relationships. It’s, it’s the easiest place to sell, it’s the smartest place to sell, it has a profound impact on your, your viability to have some of that context lined up. That’s one of the major major, major themes and all of my consulting and helping agencies get better at bizdev, or improve their sales process is looking at account management as one of the biggest cornerstones of your business development playbook. And it can be just as creative and just as exciting. And just as interesting is, as you know, new leads and new projects and new clients tend to be you just have to again, design it the right way.

John Corcoran 15:56

Right. Right. And that’s the key thing, right? And it’s, it’s interesting, because you came from the world of business development, and there tends to be a tension sometimes can be a tension between sales and business development and the fulfillment team sales, business development, sales, like oh, it’s easy, we’ll just we’ll create this will create this thing, and then they sell and then the fulfillment seems like well, what do you think? What did what do we have to do? Then you rose to level a president, but did you experience some tension? When you started rollout those types of projects? That some pushback, was it the way you described, it sounded like not that hard, but but I also know from personal experience, and from talking to others, that it can be a huge challenge to make the kind of pivot. Sure, and I think

Joe Rinaldi 16:37

that I don’t, I don’t, I didn’t recall experiencing a lot of friction. I think that the things that reduce the friction were, one, I wasn’t insisting that we hunkered down into a retainer with a client that folks were frustrated with, or cranky about, you know, this was a client that we had a great relationship with. The folks that worked with that client, we’re excited to continue working with that client. And I also I was like, painfully transparent, like, we need this, like, we need a version of this, we need to start to focus on locking these things in, so that we can, you know, put this money in the bank reliably, so that we can have this, you know, cushion that we can exist on at some point. And I think, you know, I think it’s, it’s not, you know, everybody’s job to worry about those things. It’s not what they want to do, they want to do their job. And sometimes that kind of insight can be a burden, and it can be stressful and scary, like, part of it was also just creating the space to talk it out. Like, if you have questions, come ask me questions, if you have concerns, tell me your concerns, like, I get that this is different, I get that this is unknown, you know, as similarly, we’re not committing to this for two years, like, I think the first version of it, we move signed by them in three months, and then six months. So it was, you know, we’re going to take this for a test drive, and we’re going to, I’ll have your back if this isn’t what you want. And we’ll figure all this out. But luckily, the team was on board, we had a good client that was willing to kind of be the first attempt at this. And then, you know, in time, they saw that they weren’t a production team getting orders barked at them to knock out you know, somebody’s to do list. They weren’t staff augmentation, they weren’t, you know, on call for website support or maintenance. Like, it’s you know, it’s on us if we can choke this roadmap of work with amazing things we can do and and improvements we can focus on and interesting projects, then we took out all the crap we don’t want to do. Like we forced all that stuff off the map. So we don’t have to do that work. It’s a matter of just again, getting everybody on the same page about it. And the client also acknowledging and respecting the fact that we’re not selling you support, we’re selling you ongoing product development, we are selling you, you know, innovation evolution and growing what we worked on, and if

John Corcoran 19:01

your guardrails around what yeah, totally, you’re not gonna do it. So tell me a story or give me an example from your current client work that you’ve done, where you’ve helped a client through this process. You can keep it anonymous, but where, you know, you’ve gotten some pushback where the team is freaking out or doesn’t want to do it, but they’re highly fluctuated dependent on large projects like how did you take them through the process?

Joe Rinaldi 19:29

I think what I have zeroed in on that I’m good at in my sales consulting I think it’s a lot of great sales consultants out there and people that know a hell of a lot more than me as well. But where I’m good I think it’s because I I learned what I learned at Happy Cog, I came in at a time where Happy Cog was this pretty singular agency and had this kind of self esteem and role in the industry that I just that’s what I learned. I didn’t know anything else. That’s what I thought this was it’s like the whole Bane from Batman thing where he was like, you know, you really adopted the darkness I was born there, like I was born in that kind of energy of having this autonomy and having this kind of control and vision. So what I’m good at is I think helping clients who want to take more control who are ready to kind of have more of that kind of command and energy in their relationships and start to be more of a, you know, leading their clients not just taking orders from them, like, you know, calling their shots, I think, truly where I’ve helped my clients dial up, especially their their retainer business, is by throwing out the assumptions of what a retainer should be, which I think is sometimes over informed by technical support. And maintenance is like the baked in version of a retainer for a lot of technology companies like, that’s what we would do, we would, you know, write and do hosting, we’ll do this. And instead, stealing from the playbook from full service agencies who have account management down to a science, like full service agencies, their business is built on account management, it’s their bread and butter, they want six year long AOR relationships and growth, and they want to take over the whole marketing plan, like the ambitions of a traditional agency are, are endless. So they are great at manufacturing healthy and valuable, you know, retainers or, you know, accounts that then behave that way. So part of it was just was stealing some of the playbook from traditional agencies, and, you know, quarterly business reviews and annual business reviews and pitching work and strategy and measuring effect, and just having more vision for what our retainer could be, as opposed to, I’m just really grateful, you’re cutting me a check for $5,000 Every month, it’s like, No, don’t, don’t do that, go to them and explain to them the value they’d get out of a 10k retainer, a 15k retainer, one of my clients just sold a 30k a month retainer for a 17 person team, like, wow, it wasn’t and, you know, they were appropriately wonderfully grateful that I help them out with that, because it’s huge for them to have that kind of revenue. You know, it is locked in as it is, you know, every retainer, for the most part will have some kind of out, there’s always some, but it’s not engraved in stone, but they have a contract that says, you know, barring some kind of unforeseen circumstance, they’re in a year long retainer next year for $360,000. That’s not bad.

And, you know, they’re gonna engineer that retainer, to be a vessel through which interesting projects flow through, they’re gonna write, you know, what’s in the backlog, they’re going to pitch ideas that the client hadn’t come up with on their own. That’s my biggest regret. In my time, when I was doing this at Happy Cog was, I didn’t see the possibility of the retainer being a great avenue to sell, work, you’re excited about to the client, you have all their attention, you understand their brand and their experience, and they’re ever their goals. So well. There’s always some things that they need to focus on that they’re not seeing. It’s, it’s almost a crime not to surface those and suggest those to the client and give them a chance to say, oh, that sounds like a great idea. We should do that. I mean, the simplest version was when we were working with David’s dad identify that, like, listen, even if every bride in the US buys a wedding gown from us, there’s only so many weddings that happen every year, like we just decided we can’t grow beyond the total number of weddings in the United States. And we can’t have a business with that kind of cap on it. So we want to become a company that sells continua dresses, and prom dresses and mother of the bride dress is going to be every major milestone in a woman’s life, we wanted her to come to us to find the right gown or whatever for that. And what we should have done was we should have gone back to them, I should have pulled our designer aside and our project manager and said, design a homepage for a prom site. Just mock it up. Like we know their brand. We know their business, we built their e-commerce site, we understand their UX, like all of this, like give me four hours on a design give me four hours on a on a scope of what it would cost to do it. When we you know, a project plan. Let’s sketch it all out and hold it up to the client and say, Do you want to prom site because nobody wants to go to a wedding site to buy a prom dress. And you know, you want to grow your business? This is what it could look like. And the goal wouldn’t be I mean, it would be amazing. If they looked at that and said, yes, we’ll gladly spend, you know, $300,000 on that project, let’s go. The goal I’ve learned is just exhibit that behavior. Doing that alone is valuable enough. Like you’re saying we were thinking about you on our own dime. This is an idea you hadn’t thought of yet. This is the way this could look, this is how soon we could get started. This is how thoughtful we are about your business. I think the goal in that interaction is for the client to say, well, I don’t think we’re going to do that because of this, this and this. But now that you bring that up, what if we talked about this other thing over because that’s what always happens? That’s what always happens is for whatever reason, you know, clients are wonderful and People are amazing. But we’re all flawed machines, and we don’t calculate things precisely. And had you not poked at the client with that idea, this other project that you were just as suited for before, but they weren’t thinking about you for, for whatever reason, would not have surfaced as a part of that conversation. And you and that’s what your goal is, is to say to them, Do you know we could do this too, you know, if your team is dying to work on an iOS app, and you’ve only been doing websites, it’s an iOS app to the client, if your team wants to, you know, move in another direction, pitch that direction. But at a minimum, again, at least you’re exhibiting to the client, like this idea shows we get you, it shows that you matter to us. Let’s talk more about these kinds of things. And why don’t you welcome us into a part of the conversation that maybe we only have one hand in, and we’re not invited to yet, which is like, what are we doing next year? What are our goals? Like? What should we be doing what should be worried about, like, it’s a way to fight your way into that conversation. And then, like I said, that what I’ve seen time and time, again, is you aim for one target, and you wind up hitting another because the energy of that conversation erupts into some other unforeseen opportunity. And now you’ve, you know, grown your your retainer plus a big project, or you’ve added something massive to your retainer, it’s, that’s, to me, that’s always been the fun part of sales is making it a creative exercise. And, you know, it’s not speculative, you understand their business, they’re paying you as part of retainer, this is paid informed work. I know, it’s not spec work. It is yeah, like sound reasoning. And it’s an interesting conversation to have. And, you know, people don’t,

John Corcoran 26:39

in a sense, it’s like, it’s like you’re getting paid to pitch the client more ideas, in a sense, but I love that you said that, even if you don’t succeed, or even if they do something smaller or different, it’s still a success, and they still appreciate that you’re coming to them delivering value, giving them creative ideas.

Joe Rinaldi 26:59

That’s great. That’s the biggest part of my consulting too is focusing on process, not results. You’ve got to be process oriented, you can’t be results oriented, that’s too uncertain selling, nuanced, bespoke, complicated client projects is a is a, it’s not selling 1000s of things, it’s selling maybe dozens of things. There’s not enough like reps at this, where you can look at like a quantum kind of quantitative approach to crushing this, it’s too nuanced. So if you get hung up on results, you’re listening to the noise, not the signal, you have to focus on process. And the process that feels responsible in this case is surface these idea, ideas at respectful intervals, the right way, exhibiting the right behavior, the hope is that this will net out some thing. The goal is to execute that process, though, over and over again, in the hopes that you create the opportunity for a positive result.

John Corcoran 27:56

I love that. Yeah, that’s great. I want to pivot from that to talking about your latest project. So you and another guest on this podcast, Brett Arnade have been kind of experimenting with, with the new business model working doing direct client services work, I kind of joked with you beforehand that you advise agencies, and this is kind of the non agency agency model. Yeah, don’t call it an agency agency model. So what is this and tell us a little bit about what the experiment looks like.

Joe Rinaldi 28:28

So this is all inspired by another colleague of ours, who we had the joy to work with at Happy Cog, Anthony Colangelo, who is an iOS engineer who’s also like a semi famous podcaster. His Main Engine Cut Off podcast is like 10s of 1000s of subscribers about commercial aviation. He’s brilliant. And allow been working in iOS for the past since he left Happy Cog that’s Happy Cog around five years ago, and he’s been working in iOS, since he’s recently left his full time position to go out and do client services work. And my comrade, you know, we’ve had lunch together every Wednesday forever, we’ve just always been friends and stayed in touch, even when we didn’t work together. And in our conversations, you know, my fear was, he can only sell so many, you know, hours of his own, before he’s tapped out, like the only way to make more money is to charge more or to work more hours, how can you work smarter, not harder, make money when the lights are off, like expand your business. And he has no desire to run an agency to grow a team to be responsible for those things. Like that’s, that’s the tension is like the way that you get there as you you build a team and then you have like a more robust capability and you you can kind of tackle things that you might not be able to tackle solo. So there’s this gap between where he’s at and what he could do. And the metaphor that kind of came out of all this, which is a clumsy metaphor, and I’m still working on it was, you know, in a way, Anthony’s a food truck so it’s the food truck and commercial kitchen metaphor. And what we saw this kind of kind of came up in conversation with Brett. He was talking about having ordered pizza during the quarantine during the pandemic. And when the pizza arrived it was in a Chucky Cheese box. And he asked the GrubHub delivery like did you pick this up at Chucky Cheese and here this Chucky Cheese had like created a delivery sub brands for like Italian food and was selling pizzas not as Chucky Cheese but using the Chucky Cheese kitchen. And there were these, the kitchens are and there were these commercial kitchens that had been spun up that had a huge commercial kitchen. And they had like an Italian desk, Chinese food desk, a Mexican food desk and out of this commercial kitchen, they spun up this delivery services where you know, we’ll all cook in this one kind of hub. And we’ll sell this food door and you know are

John Corcoran 30:46

In a Chucky Cheese Kitchen? 

Joe Rinaldi 30:48

Well this the Chucky Cheese was the pizza. But there’s other instances of this where it’s more of a robust commercial kitchen is not the Chucky Cheese. But it is essentially like we are a a back office of a kitchen. And we have seven different sub brands now that farm out of this kitchen into delivery services and it just allows these, you know proprietors to stay in business when their businesses are closed. So thinking about that and thinking about Anthony and thinking about his goals. It sounded a lot to me like in this world of this food truck analogy Anthony is a food truck a food truck could only sell food on location where they’re at and the hours are open. They’re limited by the wonderfulness that is their food truck Enos. Right. That’s, that’s their limitation. But if you can back the food truck up into a commercial kitchen, you can retain the specialness of that food truck and the food truck can still do its thing. But it opens up scale at a commercial level that the food truck by itself doesn’t have the interest or desire or capability to do. And in our world. If Anthony is a singular practitioner, I mean, this is a guy who was the lead iOS app at dark sky for two years. And when I say lead only iOS app at dark sky for two years before they got bought by Apple while having a full time job. Like he’s profound in his capability. So if he’s a singular kind of offering, if you can back his food truck up into the blocking and tackling that an agency needs which in a lot of ways is sales and project management. Brent and me you know Brett is an expert in project management is consulted on it is you know, is the name brand. He’s he’s he’s more synonymous with project management than I’ll ever be with sales. But I focus on business development. He focuses on project management, if we can together augment Anthony’s capabilities and sell more for him or help him sell more. And if we land a project, someone like Brett was a an amazingly competent Pm is now going to pm that project and Anthony doesn’t have to he just gets to be the lead iOS engineer he wants to be but now he can work with a big team of designers and other developers because Brett is going to pm Matt and keep the business moving forward. So if I go out there and I fish and I bring in leads where I help maximize Anthony’s potential on that front and manufacture more opportunities. Brett’s there in the commercial kitchen to deliver on those responsibilities. So you get again, sales and delivery. But it’s an opportunity to scale what Anthony’s doing on a project by project basis. Like let’s hire the consultants we need for this thing. Let’s assemble this team have a grown up like Brett run the hell out of it, it will be the best run project that Anthony and I have encountered in the last five years. And it allows him to scale his business to more than just individual hours will contribute to his own business. Now we can have a project where he’s flying solo, you can have another project where he’s just working as like the iOS developer member of a team, he can take another lead in and give it to another iOS developer that he’s worked with and build it around them because he’s the lead source, but they’ll crush it like just gives a flexible model to this, but has like what I guess our hypothesis is that the project management and sales part of this can’t just be spun up out of nowhere and then shut off out of nowhere. No, certainly

John Corcoran 34:06

that’s those are highly skilled areas. They are easy to

Joe Rinaldi 34:11

persistency Yeah, so yeah, if this works, then other food trucks in theory can back up to our commercial kitchen. And we can do the same thing for Ryan Irelan who’s a Happy Cog alumni who is synonymous in the craft CNS world and is doing consulting work and can we build products around Ryan that let him be a technical leader and not have to run an agency because he doesn’t want to he has no desire to do that. But it’s Yeah, it is the most elegant way to kind of magnify your your impact Yeah,

John Corcoran 34:40

or as we’re you know, embracing this digital world more and more people have networks and connections and people become more influential in different communities. And you know, they they have those connections may have leads coming in but they just didn’t have a way to fulfill on it. So yeah, that’s an interesting

Joe Rinaldi 34:57

Yeah, that’s their, that’s one of Anthony and Ryan on. And there’s their superpower to St. Anthony’s cases. He’s been to every iOS conference under the sun, he has made a commitment to growing and building his network of other folks who do this work other iOS, he’s got that kind of Rolodex and my, you know, life prior to getting into this development. I was a recruiter for six years, I helped create a professional community in Philadelphia called Stila made that, you know, it was a pretty, you know, interesting organization in Philadelphia for three or four years where we were just convening creative. So like, I’ve always been a community builder, I’ve always been a people collector, I’ve always been like a connector of some kind. So, you know, finding the people for us. So far, you know, and again, we’re trying this, this is an experiment, we’re seeing how viable This is. But the last thing I’m worried about is being able to find people, my biggest concern is that I’m a white guy, Brett’s a white guy, Anthony’s a white guy, I don’t want to do this, if it’s just going to be propagating opportunity for people who don’t struggle to find opportunities. Like for this to work, this has to be an avenue for other folks from other backgrounds to build more diverse and interesting teams. Because I, to me, that’s just like a moral obligation like that. That’s something I learned early on, I think it was double down on that when I was working with SuperFriendly for the past couple of years, Dan Mall’s, you know, singularly committed to that as well. That’s just a core part of this. So if in this, we can create a foothold for other folks to climb on board to be that’s what that’s when this would be successful. This is just, you know, me hamster wheeling leads for Anthony, and we’re just, you know, lining each other’s pockets. I think that’s a pretty meager version of what this could be. My hope we can scale it.

John Corcoran 36:50

Yeah, yeah. Well, I know we’re almost out of time. I want to wrap up. There are some fascinating companies out there that help with that. is one I know also just interviewed Sarah Hawley from Growmotely that are helping, you know, women to work remote jobs. So I can connect you with those resources afterwards. Yeah, yeah. But I want to wrap things up with the question I was asked which is, you know, I’m big fan of gratitude. If you look around at your peers and contemporaries, others in the industry, how are you wanting to find that? Who do you respect who you admire? You mentioned Brett, you mentioned Anthony mentioned that a number of different names here. Who would you acknowledge?

Joe Rinaldi 37:27

I think the person that like leaps to mind immediately is Nancy Lyons, at Clockwork.

John Corcoran 37:33

Also another past guest, she’s great. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Wonderful.

Joe Rinaldi 37:36

I mean, then Lucky you. I mean, just somebody who is one of the most authentic people you’ll ever meet in your entire life. One of the bravest people you’ll probably meet in your entire life. She’s funny as hell, I mean, doesn’t hurt that she’s hilarious. She’s somebody that I you know, if you’ve worked for Nancy, I can imagine the people that work for her would walk through fire, like, she just has to inspire that from all the people around I hope to hope she runs for office, like that’s my sincere hope is that, you know, she’s running for some kind of elected position that I can vote in at some point. I was I’ve always been, like, I was like, shocked by her at first and how, like, amazing she is on like, minute one. And just getting to know her, like a little bit over the years through the bureau through owner camps and things like that, you know, she’s, she always is who she is. And the character she brings to things is, is is kind of amazing to behold so I always think of her when, you know, what kind of decision am I going to make I try to like, you know, use her as a little bit of Northstar for that. I you know, enjoy when I get to check in with her from time to time, but I think she’s really amazing.

John Corcoran 38:48

Yeah, is the name of her agency and she has an awesome book Work Like a Boss: A Kick-in-the-Pants Guide to Finding (and Using) Your Power at Work. I love that great title.

Joe Rinaldi 39:01

So that’s like that’s like her in like a title.

John Corcoran 39:04

Yeah. Joe, where can people go to connect with you and learn more about you? 

Joe Rinaldi 39:09

Sure. I’m on Twitter at Joe Rinaldi. My website is for my business consulting. On inside, you can go to And you can see some of the illustrations I do from time to time I’m working on Star Wars prints right now they’re gonna turn to a poster. So that’s like a very little side channel thing. Yeah. So that’s where that’s where you can find me.

John Corcoran 39:31

Cool. All right, Joe. Thanks so much. Thanks, John.

Outro 39:35

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast.