Momentum Podcast: 710
Owner and Operator Alignment with Brent Pohlman
by Alex Charfen
In an entrepreneurial business, when an owner and an operator are aligned, the company grows exponentially. Today, we're joined by Brent Pohlman and D'Anna Berkey from Midwest Soil Labs. Their company has experienced a renewed focus and purpose. They've invested in infrastructure and they're building a whole new culture with unshaken leadership at the top.
In this special presentation from the Charfen summit, Dana and Brant share their amazing story. Midwest Labs is over 46 million dollars in topline revenue. They analyze one point eight million soil samples. They just purchased a new building in campus. And they've had the best year in their company's history in this presentation. And they're going to talk about how their alignment and support for each other are helping lead and transform the culture at Midwest labs.
“When a CEO and Operator are aligned, their business can grow exponentially.
Alex Charfen, a business growth coach who helps entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses, gives practical, tangible, and actionable tips that you can implement into your business right now.
This is a special presentation by Brent Pohlman, CEO of Midwest Soil Labs, at the Charfen Summit. Their company has experienced massive growth in leadership over the last year, and that growth can be attributed to the alignment that has been created between Brent and his Operator.
By the end of this 13-minute podcast episode, you will understand:
– How to create a better culture focused on relationships in your business so that you can trust your team as you grow.
– How a company aligned with the owner/operator's vision creates trust in the direction the company is going.
– How alignment between the CEO and Operator of a business creates support and momentum for the employees of that business.
The Momentum Podcast is created specifically for entrepreneurs like you to get into momentum and take the rest of the world with you. If this episode helped you do that, take a moment and leave a review. Let us know how we have helped you make a bigger impact on the world.
Our entrepreneurial journey doesn't end here! Be sure to check out our Facebook Community filled with entrepreneurs just like you who are getting into momentum and building world-changing empires —> https://charfen.com/community
If you are an entrepreneur who is listening in and you can relate, then be sure and head over to https://momentumplanner.com/mps and gain access to one of the most requested business tools to grow and scale your business in any market condition, even in this one.”
Full Audio Transcript
[00:00:01] This is the Momentum podcast.
[00:00:04] In an entrepreneurial business, when an owner and an operator are aligned, the company grows exponentially. Today, we're joined by Brent Pohlman and D'Anna Berkey from Midwest Soil Labs. Their company has experienced a renewed focus and purpose. They've invested in infrastructure and they're building a whole new culture with unshaken leadership at the top. In this special presentation from the Charfen summit, Dana and Brant share their amazing story. Midwest Labs is over 46 million dollars in topline revenue. They analyze one point eight million soil samples. They just purchased a new building in campus. And they've had the best year in their company's history in this presentation. And they're going to talk about how their alignment and support for each other are helping lead and transform the culture at Midwest labs.
[00:00:59] I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop. And we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate. There could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be. Brett and I have been working together for a while now. It has been one of the one of the more rewarding relationships of my consulting career. I think Brett and I met each other at the same time or the right time, like at a perfect time for both of us. My wife always reminds me of divine timing. And our relationship, I think is an example of that. I feel like in Brant, you know, you can confirm or deny this, but I feel like Brant was looking for exactly the type of help that we provide for organizations. And I was looking for a large organization that I can say, hey, this stuff works no matter what size the company is. So Brant Brett came to us as a 50 million dollar organization, a legacy organization that he took over from his father in the past couple of years. He's bought his father out. He's completely shifted the organization, bought a new campus. The the amount of progression and the amount of evolution that I've seen. And Brett in the last two years has been extraordinary. And I think he's one of the most intense and at the same time laid back CEOs I've ever worked with. And that wasn't how we found Brant. That's what he's evolved into. And so, Brant, you you're an amazing individual. I'm excited for our whole group to get to hear from you on what it means and why it's important to have operator and CEO alignment. And with that, Brant, we'll let you take it away. And Eddie, how are we doing this? Brent's going to keep an eye on you and then you're going to flash him. Timing, right? So, Brant, can you see Eddie?
[00:03:31] Yeah, perfect.
[00:03:33] So that he will tell you when your time's up. And if you have a presentation, you can go ahead and share your screen.
[00:03:37] So let's get into this. Yeah, we're going to get into this data is a must see CSO chief strategic officer. And the reason I call our CSO is because someday I don't think I've told Alex this, but I'm going to she's going to let go and she's going to let go to everybody else, because I think it's again, it's a domino effect in a large company like this. But today she is just headstrong down and she's going to share a little bit from that operation side. So this is going to be fun. I can't wait to do this. So let's get right into it. So back a couple of years, it was really Diana who encouraged me to attend. I had just set the record straight again a little bit about Midwest labs. I'll give you the real 30 second speech where the largest school testing lab in the country, we do food, water, soil, environmental testing. We have two hundred twenty five employees. I'm sure I'm leaving something out there, but we'll get into it more. But but yeah, that's the background. But basically, it started two years ago when Diana said she knew that we were coming off some really hard changes in leadership. I went through the billionaire code and I said, I think I need to go to the summit. And she knew in our environment that was like you didn't you really didn't do those things. And she came from a background of franchise model and owning your own companies and says, I think you really need to go. So with her encouragement, I did attend and it's been a game changer. And in that time, two and a half, almost three years ago, it'll be almost three years. She was hired to come in to do sales and from sales, she's moved in less than one year. I put her up on the C suite because of the again, her background, her leadership. She's an entrepreneur and she has taught me so much. So through this, again, I wouldn't be where I am today without her leadership and and again, her hard work and diligence in helping us, helping this company grow. So I'm going to let her talk a little bit about this Costco project, some of you may not know this, but we do a little work with Costco. So, Dan, I'm going to turn it over to you.
[00:05:54] Sure. So I think this one, but I'm guessing why you have this slight up is that this project was kind of a turning point for us and it's been one for the books. And so, you know, I think there's been discussion around us being a rather large company in this group. But, man, if you think we're big, Costco is just a beast, a beast. And we had the opportunity to sit down when they were looking at a chicken plant here in Nebraska. And so if you guys are Costco members and you get the rotisserie chicken, it's all part of that. And it was quite the experience for us. We went in I think I was very much a new guy at the time, and right away they told us no thanks for go in a different direction, you know. Thanks for coming with us. And we had a really kind of pump the brakes and say, you know what? Come come check us out. Come to our campus to see who we are and what we're about. And it really kind of ignited this. We'll call it a large project, but really a turning point for us. And our business, too, is to be able to take on a giant of a client like this. And really. Kind of fire starting our infrastructure and our process, and so this has been a really, really great experience for us as we're kind of building a a new business but having to align it and unite it with our current state business. And so we have been part of building an entire analytical lab for them. And we are in kind of the homestretch of that right now. But yeah, it's been quite the experience.
[00:07:46] And yeah, you want to talk a little bit about last year to some of the highlights from last year.
[00:07:51] Yeah, so 20/20 was a weird year. I think that we had started out with kind of the I wouldn't say status quo, but kind of the regular cadence of just planning. And there's always there's plenty of work to be done and kind of the Steady Eddie and. As as we've all experienced, the covid piece kind of hit us and we had to. Really dig deep, and I think it kind of forced the Band-Aid of of comfort from us and a sense of there was a lot of things that we thought, oh, we should do this. We want to do something different, but maybe next year. And we kind of were slow rolling some things. And what it did is a bit kind of forced our hand to make a decision into leaps of change and pushing us out of our comfort zone. But we had a heck of a year through a year of a lot of adversity and a lot of new and change and comfortability. We hit record number of soil samples. We cleared two million soil samples. We had a record breaker for our top line revenue and our profitability. We had it isolated. So this is a big one for us. And in regards to kind of a metric of allowing us to have our accreditation and do what we do, and we had the cleanest record to date, so we were pretty darn proud of that. And along with all of these things happening and new dynamics for our teams, our employees, we were able to bring on new employees. We were able to promote new employees and also bring on this new leg of business and and really creating a whole nother lab on top of that. But I'll let you talk a little bit about the new building and even the TPP discussions and your decision there.
[00:09:43] Yeah, I mean, with covid, we kind of knew that some campuses would come come available and when the we had an audit or we had some consultants come in and just say to take 14 buildings, they said to fix those up and to continue to grow, you'd have to spend two to three million on each one. And we said, oh, goodness, that there's no way I can't do that. So thankfully, covid came along, gave us some 2.8 million and PBP, which again, we never used, which is amazing. We never used a dime of that. And we found a building as we get to hear this building of one hundred seventy six thousand square feet on twenty seven acres. And it was all left March 16th here with fourteen hundred cubicles. And I think right now they're being loaded on trucks and I don't care numbers of chairs, all kinds of things. But what it really showed is we needed to have the strategic part which we're going to get to here, but we need to grow. We need to facilitate growth. We can fit all 14 buildings inside this one so that it's just amazing it came around this time. But again, something some of the benefits of covid were the campus in that. And that's what leads me to this next part. I really think the the overall success was the two of us. I mean, working together with a leadership team, I would tell you, both of us, I don't know, we probably break the cadence a little bit. We're both high eyes. So if you see us, we both get very, very excited about things. We have to be around people, but we are definitely high. We are the same person almost. It's kind of scary. We have the same strengths. We have the same D profile. So we are it is crazy that we are the same person going through this. And with that, let's see, let's start getting into some questions. I'm very curious what Dean is going to say to these questions. All right. Greatest learning here, Deanna. What do you think? Greatest learning of twenty. Twenty.
[00:11:43] Oh. Well. I think 20, 20, we were talking about it just on some of the results, but I think. It was the stress test, you know, these things came that were really no one could could even plan for and, you know, for for our business, we're very much an on site. Hands on. I mean, it's a laboratory. So it's not like you're taking a laboratory remote and you're doing it from home. And these are things that require a lot of different intricacies. And I think through that, we we prove that you can hold true to your core values and your morals and your belief system and come together and when you can and when you come together with a common goal. And you really lock arms around it, your team and your business can be unstoppable because there was a lot of things that I think in the older culture and before even Bren's time that it was. But forgive me, Ram, but it was it was Budson, say, from eight to five, and you needed to be on site. And it was a very standardized type of way of working. And, you know, overnight we had to deploy, you know, work from home for, you know, almost half of our organization. And I think the biggest learning is that we're we're a good company that that showed that we can be great and continue to be great.
[00:13:18] Hey there, this is Eddie Kurk with Alex Charfen team, thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Momentum podcast. Listen, if you're ready to take the next step, if you're ready to understand the systems and processes and frameworks that we teach entrepreneurs to grow and scale their business with confidence, we're ready to help you. If you go to billionaire Koch Dotcom right now, you can get on a call with a member of our coaching team and find out which one of our coaching programs best fit the needs of your business. Right now, we know that when you are clear on where you're going and you're excited about the outcome, you will put the accelerator pedal to the floor and you won't let up. Let us help you get into momentum, grow and scale your business and make the impact that you've always known. You should go to billionaire coach Dotcom. Right now. They get started. We'll see you there. "