Terrific and raw discussion with Chuck Winslow of G2G Trailers on two main topics: 1) the journey of the entrepreneur, and, 2) mental health for veterans.
You will absolutely love Chuck’s honest approach towards business and also his ability to be open about the mental health journey and his solid advice for others that are struggling in this area. It really is a great discussion on what every veteran needs to know about mental health.
So incredibly excited to welcome our guest on the show this week, Chuck Winslow. Chuck is a fellow Jarhead, comes to us via the Marine Corps and he’s been up to a whole bunch of other fun and exciting things. You know, most recently as the owner of G2G Trailers. And so Chuck, I just want to welcome you, man. Thank you so much for being a part of the show today.
Hey, man, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me, Aaron.
You got it. So the question I love to lead off with is what led to your decision to join the military? What was your childhood like?
So growing up, I grew up mostly without a dad. My mom, single mom, four kids, lived off the system for the most part of my life. So for me, it was always a way out, way to get away way to kind of restart, reset myself, start my life off as an adult on my own terms, set my own boundaries, do my own thing. So I come from a small history of family in the military. My grandpa was in the Air Force. My brother went into the Marines before I did. My uncle was a Jarhead. So I have a little bit of family history there. But for me, most of it was, I always had, when I got turned 18, I graduated, I’m out of Maine, I’m leaving and I’m going to do something different with myself. So kinda what I did.
Yeah. No, I’ve noticed it’s always fascinating to see people’s stories as to what inspires them to join. And there’s tons, I mean, tons of folks, it’s a great way to get away from your current situation and to go challenge yourself, go learn, go grow, and go serve. And so I think that’s really cool. What did you do when you’re in?
I was a grunt. I was a ground pounder. So two years I spent in 36 in North Carolina then I did my MEU. So I floated around for nine months. And then when I came back, I got transferred to CBIRF which is Chemical Biological Incident Response Force. At that time, which was in 2000, they were a newer unit, only maybe less than 24 months. We moved to Washington, DC or just outside of Washington, DC so they could be closer to the president and kind of wrapped around that whole anti-terrorist program that the government was starting to put in play. And then I got out in ‘02 and kind of started my new life.
Wow. So what was the decision for you in terms of getting out? What were you considering or factoring in terms of your exit from the military?
The inability to be able to pass my new physical. So I couldn’t re-up due to that. Busted up back, my leg. So just some normal stuff, but I wasn’t able to keep my PFT up to where it needed to be. As anybody who was in military understands what that’s like and so I had to make the exit. I got recalled in ’03, wasn’t able to pass the physical then so they sent me back home. Kind of the rest is history from there, unfortunately.
Sure. Yeah. When you got out, that transition process, I know it was different for everybody. I mean, everybody goes through a whole different process. What was that like for you and where did you end up once you decided to get out?
So you mean as far as like what the military does for us or just kind of an overall?
Yeah, no, I’m more curious, like, what your plan was. When you were deciding to get out, did you know where you wanted to go? Or was it kind of one of those things you just kind of figured out as you’re running?
So the only thing I think we – cause I was married. So I was newly married about two years. We were going to go to Indiana. That’s where my wife’s from. So we came back to Indiana. That was the only thought process we had, right? Let’s go move in with your mom. And then I got 60 days of leave. We’ll figure it out from there, right? So I hung around for about 30 days, did nothing. It was kind of nice. Got to relax and not have to worry about where I had to be or what I had to do. And then I looked in the paper, found a job, literally never missed a paycheck. Went from my last paycheck from the government to my first paycheck at my job and have worked ever since. I’ve never missed a beat.
Wow. That’s crazy. So tell me about the journey that you’ve been on. So you were doing sales with the trailer company and then that’s kind of led into some other opportunities for you. So what was that like?
Yeah. So when I got out of the Corps, I got out in ’02. In early August of ’02, I started with a trailer dealership in Indianapolis. Just me and the owner and another older gentleman in an office room in Greenwood, Indiana. And so I started learning about the business. I love sales, so it was a natural thing for me. I didn’t know anything about trailers, but I know I can sell. So it was just learning a new product. Started out on ground floor from there and worked there for almost 17 years, helped grow the business to almost $13 million and ended up running 20 employees at one point and helping grow the business and do all the marketing and do everything. And for me, the next transition was to take what I learned there, take what I love, which is helping people, put those two things together and figure out how I could do it on my own, how I’m going to fail on my own, how I was going to win on my own, how I was going to succeed on my own and just really do it the way that I wanted to do it.
I have a lot of goals behind this business as far as helping veterans and first responders. I’m working on a program right now called Fill The Trailer where we’ll fill a trailer around the holidays and give back to the kids that don’t have everything. I grew up on the system. So for me, that’s a 360 moment that hopefully this year we’ll be doing, where I really can take where I was as a child and go all the way back and do that for other kids that are just like I was as a kid. I can’t wait. It gives me chills even just talking about it. I really look forward and hope that this year is the year. With everything that happened last year, we couldn’t do it. So hopefully this year it’s something that we’ll be able to do before the year’s over and line up with police departments and fire departments and get those toys distributed to local kids that need them and really put some smiles in some people’s faces this year.
Wow. Well, you know, I I’d like to take a second and just go back cause you summed up a 16, almost 17-year stint with this company, and man, that’s incredible to get in on the ground floor of a company like that and see it grow so much year over year. And I’m sure, you know, you experienced the highs and the lows of that. But I mean, tell me what was that like being able to learn so much as you’re growing with this company?
Overwhelming a lot of times. You know, I’m not a book-smart person. I wasn’t a kid that did well in school. If it wasn’t for my eighth grade teacher, I probably would’ve never graduated high school. So I’ve always been very thankful for him for playing a role model for me, acting like a father, helping me get through the course of a troubled youth, I guess. Not in a way of getting in trouble, you know, when you don’t have a dad and you don’t have somebody, you kind of decide you’re going to do your own things. And he kind of got me on that path and got me graduated, got me into the Marine Corps. And so for me, it was a lot of overwhelming trying to learn a lot of stuff cause I didn’t really know how to learn. When I started there, I could barely spell.
And so over the years, you know, I saw myself growing. I saw myself learning something. And I’m the type of person that I want to learn everything there is about the business I was working for. Whether it be the administrative, how we can streamline a process to make it quicker for the people that are working to maximize their efforts, to maximize their sales, to maximize company profits. So those were things that I always was eager to learn, eager to teach myself. The CFO of the business, I would learn from him. So I took anything that he was willing to teach me and I would take it, and I would put it away and I would use it when I needed it. And I use it today in my own business. I just like picking at his brain or picking out the owner’s brain and just asking questions.
For me, it was always about asking the questions and then figuring out how to take the answers they gave me and apply it to what I’m trying to do. And so if there was a new product that came out, I would learn it and then I would start teaching new salespeople, that as a salesperson, I was doing that because I had higher ambitions than to be just a salesperson in the business. So if I showed that leadership role, which was taught to me in the Marine Corps, that I could train the salespeople, that I could get them to be better salespeople, that they would eventually put me in that position and eventually that’s where I ended up.
Wow. Well, no, I mean, so it sounds like, to me, I mean, you were completely self-taught and you were just eager to learn, eager to figure things out. And I mean, I’m trying to get my head around it all. Because I mean, you’re coming into an organization with – I mean, correct me if I’m wrong. I mean, you didn’t have any other experience other than the military. You’re coming out of the military and jumping into this company and they were kind of helped with guiding you and molding you as you go in, but then you are also being proactive and asking questions and learning and applying yourself. And so it’s fascinating to me. It’s really neat. So, I mean, what were some of the biggest moments for you there in terms of things that you learned or the realization of say, cause you mentioned sales earlier, so what were the things that you felt like you were really starting to understand as it related to sales? We can just park there for a second.
So I did sales as a youngster. Phone sales and door-to-doors, right? So I have some knack for helping people. But for me, when I took the job, it was just sales. But what it turned into was I learned that what I was doing is I was helping people, right? Enclosed trailer business is not – it’s kind of like the home business. There’s houses that are for sale and you get what you get, it’s done up. You can change it around, you can do some stuff once you own it, but rarely you get that foundation of what you have. Then there’s the customer side of it, where you get to design and create something for somebody. And for me, that’s the cool part, right? That’s where you take what’s up here for somebody, put it on paper and then have an end result where it shows up at their house or wherever it’s going. And they have something that the both of you took that were in your head and you were able to design and create that.
So over the years for me, I fell in love more and more and more with that aspect of it and not trying to sell somebody something that was just sitting there. I preferred the one-on-one, the design creation process of it. And at the end of it, the customer being as satisfied as they are with what you provided to them because you kept your word, you’re honest, you’re upfront. You told them what you could and what you couldn’t do. You never told them that you could do something that you couldn’t. And by doing those kinds of things, I was able to create some great relationships that even today, when I left that business, those people have found me on social media have come and bought from me already. You know, and I’ve only been gone for just now two years. And to me, that’s the ultimate thing, right? I did so well there that they said, “Hey, I’m going to go with him wherever he goes and I’m going to want him to do the work for me as well.” So that’s really cool. But the biggest thing for me was learning the design process and taking somebody that’s not creative and turning myself into a creative person in order to be successful at what I needed to do.
Wow. Go ahead. Sorry.
I was gonna say, to what you said a second ago about how I self-taught, I think this about anybody. Most businesses are not going to sit down and teach you everything they need you to know. They’re going to give you the basic stuff. If you want to be successful, you have to take that information that they give you, research it, expand on it, research your competitors, everybody that you’re going to have to come in touch with, in order to be successful in that job. And then you can get to that level where I feel like how I got myself to where I got was by doing those things.
Sure. No, I mean, it’s being proactive and seizing these different opportunities and really applying yourself. I mean, no one’s just going to come knock on your door and say, “Hey, you’ve got this great opportunity. Do you want in?” You gotta be the one to proactively seek any kind of opportunity out. And then once you’re there, to your point, maxing that out. Like, okay, well, what else can I learn? How else can I contribute? And I think it goes back to the one thing that you said a few minutes ago, which is helping people, right? So you made that connection in sales. This isn’t necessarily all about quota and numbers and how many of these units we can get moving. It’s also about how do I help somebody? How do I help them achieve their goals? How do I help them take their vision and bring it to life, right? So you’re putting yourself in the shoes of the customer and how to most effectively help them out, right? I mean, that’s basically what you’re doing.
Yeah. And that’s kind of how I built my business off of. Not worrying about having a lot full of trailers that are done and ready to go. And do I lose business? Yeah. I’ve lost probably 10 sales this week because I don’t have inventory and I don’t have that stuff. However, my ultimate goal is not to have that. My ultimate goal is to build relationships and build one-off trailers based off of what a customer wants and create whatever it is their dream. I’m working on one for a lady here on a cupcake trailer. She owns a cupcake business. She has a brick and mortar. What she wants to do is she wants to take that mobile. So she can go to different events and sell cupcakes and expand her brand line. I helped her design what it is she wants and now we’ll see that end result whenever it’s done. And she’ll be able to now be brick and mortar and be mobile. And with COVID and everything, it’s really going to expand her business.
Yeah. No, that’s really cool. So take us through then. Since you brought it up already, but the transition in a way from this former company and the launching of your own company.
Yeah. So when I left there, I left there February 12th of 2019. And so it was about four months after my wife was diagnosed with kidney disease. And so at that time, we made some changes in our lives that we thought were going to be better for us. By stress, by just a mixture of things, the what-ifs. I’m not a what-if person, but that kind of makes you think for a moment. If something was to happen, what does it look for our children, right? Where’s dad at? How’s that life going to be? So I made that transition about a month and that was literally with – when I left there, you know, honestly we weren’t on best terms in the crew, the owner and stuff, just because we didn’t see eye to eye. My beliefs and stuff were in a different view than where theirs were.
So when I left there, it was kind of more of at that point on a whim. What are we going to do? Started my bank account at 25 bucks and said, “Hey, let’s swing the bat and see what happens.” Somebody I knew hired me to consult on a job. And so I ended up consulting on a nice trailer job for them and help them design it and create it, manage the project, went down to Tennessee every week and really enjoy that part. So that was where my consulting came in and it showed me that this is really even more what I love to do is because I really got my hands dirty. I really got to go to the plant and manage the project. And that was a lot of fun.
And then when that was done, I decided to start G2G Trailers and really push for that one-on-one projects with everyday people. I started focusing on the circle track racing, dirt track racing, sprint car racing. Because I spent so many years in the drag racing industry, I wanted to do something new, but also something on the same level which I understood. So I found my ideal client. That’s what I kind of put it in a box for the first year and spent last year focusing on dirt track racing and sprint car racing and things like that in order to start building my clientele up before I start expanding my horizon into the more mobile offices and things like that.
Sure. Wow. So, I mean, that’s pretty neat that you’re able to kind of see part of the process. I mean, obviously, you’d already been in the business for quite a while, but then being able to go on this other consulting contract and kind of see, again, seeing a little bit more behind the scenes of how it all works and a few other things. And so what I’m hearing you say is it gave you a little bit of time to further refine your idea or further refine what is that you wanted to do. And so, I mean, how was that then getting your first bit of business? What was that like for you?
Exciting, scary, overwhelming, you know, all the things you didn’t know because it happened quicker, right? Like I said, I left on a kind of a whim, but it was exciting. It was what you said. I got to see a different side of it. So I’ve sold I don’t know how many thousands of trailers over the years, but I never went on a weekly basis and managed the project. Went through it with the builder, crawled under the trailer while it was being built and made adjustments and changes, videotaped it, sent it back to the client. Those were all things I was doing. So that way, the customers on the other end were able to see exactly what was going on through the whole process and if they want changes made, we were able to do that.
So I was able to take what I learned there and really put it towards how I communicate with manufacturers differently today than I did when I was working for somebody else. Because now I have maybe a little bit better understanding about what they’re actually doing on the ground floor, what it takes to do what I’m asking. And so that helps me communicate better with my end-user saying, “Hey, man, I’ve been there. I’ve been on the floor. I know what they’re doing. I know you wanted an X amount of weeks, but there’s no way and here’s why. Let me explain to you what the process is.” So by being able to do that, I’m able to better educate my buyer and which makes them a more powerful buyer. And hopefully they choose to do business with me because I am giving them the right information that they’re looking for. And sometimes you can empower somebody and they can take that somewhere else. And that happens, and that’s okay. But you know, for me, they need the information to make proper decisions and it’s my job to give them as much information possible for them to make that proper decision.
Wow. Yeah, that’s terrific. Again, you’re getting a lot of different experience there. So the consulting contract coming to a close, you’re getting to a point now where, you know, it’s time to make this thing happen. And I think I understand the business, but you know, so you’re helping your clients design a trailer and then you’re kind of managing that design process, but then you’re sending that off to a fabricator or somebody to actually complete the build of that trailer for them. Correct?
Correct. So for example, so Monday, Jason, customer of mine, we’re working on a project that is a partial conversion toy hauler but not a full blown toy hauler, but he wants it made a certain way the way he wants it. So he and I are working on the design of it right now. I sent him some stuff today. He’s going to try to figure out how he wants it laid out. We’ll do a blueprint. He and I will go back and forth. And then once the blueprints exactly the way he wants it and then we both sign off on it, and then I take that, find the manufacturer that I want him to build his trailer. Cause I use different manufacturers based off of what my client wants. And so I get that to the manufacturer, I get it ordered with them, make sure they are on the same page as what he and I are on.
And that’s the big thing in this industry, where I think a lot of people fail, is that, you know, my end-user and I have a conversation, but that conversation that we have also has to get to the factory so they understand exactly what he and I spoke about every single time, right? So it’s about having a good line of communication between the customer and myself, and myself and that manufacturer. So that way, when that trailer is completely built and that manufacturer never talked to that customer, there’s not a hiccup somewhere in between where we forgot something, we didn’t do something.
And now granted, what I’m doing is not unique as far as that. There are many people in the industry that do just that. But do you do with the care? Do you do with the desire, with the excitement in order to get exactly what your customer wants? Or are you the type of person that just says, “Well, it’s just a little bit off, Mr. Customer. Don’t worry about it.” Well, for me, that’s unacceptable because that’s not what my customers want from me. They want their trailer to be perfect. And when it’s not, which sometimes it isn’t, right? We deal with that, then I’m on that phone, making sure we figure out what happened, how do we get it fixed? How do we get it resolved? So that way my customer is never just sitting out there wondering, oh, I got a trailer now, nobody wants to help me because they got my money.
Right, right. Yeah. So I mean, really what you’re doing is it’s very involved in terms of how you are helping the client realize what it is that they’re taking, again, from concept all the way down. So, you know, again, going back to the start. I’d love to understand, you know, when those first couple of orders came in, right? So what was that like when you’re getting to the end of that consulting contract and you’re launching the G2G Trailers and you’re open for business now, what was that like? Tell me, talk with me through how you got everything set up in your business and how you made sure you had all your processes in place. But then that first order or those first three orders, how quickly was that all coming to you?
So, I mean, I’ll tell you. The first one I did, I think my wife would tell you, I ran around the house like crazy. Cause it was like, you know, it’s really happening. We’re really going to do this, right? And I think the first one happened so quickly, I didn’t have everything set up, right? I didn’t have CRM or are there already up. Because I’m a big social media guy. I like to do a lot of stuff on Facebook. I feel like that’s a great clientele for me when it comes to the racing so I spend a lot of time on there. And when the first one came in, I wasn’t even prepared for it. It was just, “Hey, I saw your ad. I’m interested. Let’s do something.” We talked and he bought, right?
Yup. But the downfall is that ended up going upside down. The customer decided at the end of the day, due to whatever reason, it wasn’t gonna work out for him. And that’s part of the business too but I was able to learn from that, right? I was able to ask him what did I do? What could have been done differently? So I always use those tools as well. But once I got him in place, I had to get my CRM set up because I didn’t have that. I had to get an accounting system for QuickBooks. I didn’t have that set up yet. So it was more of a once that first order came in and it was like, oh, crap, I really don’t have what I need in order to get my customer what he needs. So, you know, I did some research, found what I wanted and what I needed.
And then not long after that, the next one came in and then the next one came. The first few months of 2020 was extremely good for me. I did really well. The sales were coming in. And so honestly, I am now trying to figure out what we missed last year as far as what we didn’t get set up properly. As far as even the QuickBooks, I just finally got my QuickBooks set up the way it’s supposed to be. And now that that’s done, the CRM program, we were working on it today. I brought someone in to help me today with that. I’m trying to get that updated so we have all our customer’s information in there. Because I’ve been just running by the seat of my pants for the last year just trying to, you know, again, customer service is everything for me. So trying to stay on top of making sure I’m following up with my customers, getting in what I say I’m going to get him. So that way I’m not just leaving them out there in the dust. That’s super important to me too.
No, that’s nuts. I mean, you’re just running a gun at me, man. Like things are really taken out. Did COVID have a pretty big impact, negative or positive?
So I think it had both. So from a business standpoint, it had a negative on us. The first six months, like I said, it was really good. The last six months was horrible. We lost everything we made in the first six months plus probably about 20% or 30% on top of that. But you know, the last couple days have been extremely good about as far as leads coming in and my marketing starting to work really well. So I like to look at the positive and say, you know, that was a learning curve for me. There was a lot of things I learned over COVID on how to be a better person, how to be a better business owner. I used it to learn. I went to seminars and I taught myself a lot of new things. So I use the downtime. But the biggest thing, I think, for me for a positive is I ended up starting to substitute at my kid’s school.
Well, that’s cool.
You know, I don’t talk about this a lot, but I battle some depression and I was in a bad spot. And the school, the kids really kind of pulled me out of that. It really helped, I’d say, fix me. It gave me something positive to look forward to every day even though the business was not doing well. It gave me the energy to start working harder on my business. And so I always say that was the big positive from COVID, for me, was helping out at my kid’s school and helping mentor kids, working with kids because I really enjoy that aspect of doing things in life.
That’s cool. So, I mean, it was both a really dark time, but also a really bright spot as well. So yeah, I think I can see that, right? The business wasn’t going the way you want it to go, but then you’re also able to really dive into how you tick, right? And just being able to go on that journey of just kind of discovering a little bit more about yourself and being around those kids and just all the experience and how that’s so rewarding and fulfilling for you.
Yeah, I learned a lot about myself. I’m still there. I do it. So up until Christmas, I was there five days a week. And then I decided to make the move going three days a week, two days at home to work more on the business, more effective, which has been great. You know, it’s been a really good balance. And so I still go to the school. I still get that energy from the kids. I still get to help the kids, which is a mental energy, you know, it’s mental for me. That really does well for me and it gives me to want to come home and work a few more hours at home on the business because now I’ve got kind of that stamina from them, and I come home and I’m empowered and I work on that. So it’s been a win-win for me.
Wow. So, business started off going really strong then it was really suffering. And so you’re saying now, you feel like it’s kind of turning back up again. Where is that demand come from? You’ve mentioned marketing. Are you running any kind of paid advertising?
Just guerilla marketing on social media, you know, reaching out, referrals. So, I mean, I’ve been in business less than, you know, just hit a year, really selling less than a year, and I’ve already had four referrals. So probably a quarter of my customers have referred other people to me. That’s, unheard of in this industry. So that’s been great. I’ve sold two trailers in the last two days, which has been positive and it’s because of that guerilla marketing over the last six to eight weeks that I’ve been doing. It’s now starting to come in in droves, which is a blessing, to the point I had to bring somebody in today – a friend of mine – just so she could help me enter some stuff in the computer and keep me going so I’m not falling behind, which hopefully that continues. So I can hire somebody either a part-time or full-time position to take some weight off of me. But you have to have generated business over and over again to be able to sustain paying for somebody because I would never want to bring someone in and then have to fire them a month later because business got slow.
Right. Yeah. 100%. Well, then, so you’re in a really neat spot, and I think to really ask this question. So there’s a lot of people out there that are curious about launching their own business or getting started, or they’ve been working corporate for a while, now they want to go do their own thing. But what have been some of the big lessons learned over the last year? I know we’ve already covered a little bit of it, but then what advice would you have for those that are looking to start their own venture?
So advice for starting your own venture. I think anybody should do it. What I would say, though, is don’t do it like me. Plan it out. Really have a good plan in place. So that way, when you do step off, you’re ready to go. Get a name of your company locked in, get a website locked in, get a website built, get a social media platform going where you just slowly building that up. So when you do go out and you do swing for the fences, you’ve already got everything up and running and you’re not trying to do it all without the other income coming in. I left a good paying job without any income coming in all to start this. I should have started it, built my stuff up and then had a plan, but that’s not how Chuck Winslow works, right? So if I’m going to do it, I might as well do it the hard way.
So for me, my thing is go out and do it. I think everybody should always follow their dreams. I think there’s too many people who tell people they can’t do something because it’s a challenge or they’ve never done it before. I was listening to a podcast yesterday and they were talking about go open a business in something you don’t know. If you’re passionate about something, feel free to open a business and just bring people in around you to build that business that understand how to do those things. If you’re passionate about candy and you want to own a candy store or a mobile candy shop and you don’t understand how to get the distribution and you don’t know how to get this, well, then bring people in around you that know how to do it, but still do something you’re passionate about. Don’t be afraid to go and follow your passion, which for me, that’s what I’ve been doing this year, which is connecting with people.
That’s really what I love to do. And so this year, I’ve made it a point to make sure I schedule so many meetings a week that it’s just connecting, just getting to know people. How can I help people? You know, to me, that’s super important and it makes me a better business owner because I’m learning from the people that I’m connecting with and I’m asking certain questions that I can get answers out, that I can then utilize for myself or I figured out how I can help them, which is a win for me because it’s that connecting aspect that I really enjoy. But I would say if you want to open your business, you just need to go for it. Don’t be afraid to do something. If you fail, you fail. And if you’re not a salesperson, I try to tell everybody, everybody’s a salesperson if you’ve ever had a job because you’ve interviewed and you’ve showed yourself to your current employer or your past employers. So it’s just a mindset. It’s all it is.
No, that’s solid. Sales can often like scare the crap out of people and I’m not sure why. There’s this misnomer. There’s several books written on it. I mean, I could sit here all day and talk about this, but some of the best advice that I learned around sales is exactly what you said earlier, which is about helping people. And so a guy I’ve had on the show previously. Yeah. I’ve got his books back here on my shelf. But Bob Burg, you know, he’s a renowned sales trainer and author of a few books. And so it’s like you said, it’s helping people, it’s creating opportunities for a sale to happen. And you’re not forcing yourself onto any situation. It’s just you’re allowing that opportunity to present itself and helping answer questions. And again, going back to BEING customer obsessed and helping them solve their needs, solve their pain points, solve their problems.
Yeah. I don’t remember the last time I asked for a deposit. I mean, I don’t know the last time I asked somebody to give me a down payment on a trailer.
Because it just happens, right? They were like what’s the next step? Where do we go from here? So I build that relationship with them where I don’t have to feel… so sales doesn’t have to be ask for money, ask for money, ask for money. It can be build confidence, sell yourself by just being you and being who you are, giving the information to the client, making them an educated buyer and showing them the pathway to where they want to be. And they will follow you if they really want the product. And if they don’t, that’s okay, too. But if you did right by them, they’re either going to a) send you somebody, come back to you later down the road. I’ve got people that have never bought from me. They’ve gone out and just did Google reviews for me because I wasn’t able to help them, but they couldn’t believe I went above and beyond just because even though I wasn’t selling them something to help them out.
That’s so cool.
And that’s how you build a long lasting customer base, where people are going to want to continue to work with you. And when you do have mishaps, they’re not as irritated because they know the type of person you are. They know it’s not on purpose. They know you’re going to take care of them. And that makes things a little bit easier too.
Yeah. No, that’s a solid point. And there’s another thing that you’d said about getting a business started. I’d seen this video, you know, people may have their own different views of these two individuals. So I don’t need any hate mail. I’m just going to use these two people as examples. But you know, Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary were having some type of discussion. I don’t even remember what show or whatever it was on, but it wasn’t the big show we all know them from. It’s something else, something informal. And there’s been like this subculture of entrepreneurship that states that you’ve got to bet the farm and go and go start your business from nothing and take that risk.
I get your situation was a little bit different. You made a conscious decision to step away from something else and then you ended up going and pursuing this. But to the point that you were saying earlier about just going and doing it, some of the advice that they had said was also, you know, like working that second job, right? There’s nothing wrong if you’ve got a corporate job, then guess what? You give everything you got to your corporate employer from eight to five, and then you come home and then you’re dedicating another chunk of your day to go pursue your business. Or you’re working on your business during the day and then you go get a night job, right? Whether it’s bartending or throwing packages around at FedEx or whatever the case may be, whatever you gotta do, right? So there’s no shame in whatever that journey looks like. And I think they aren’t — and sorry, I’m getting off on a rant here.
Go ahead. I’m listening.
But the entrepreneurship journey gets so dang glamorized and romanticized, I mean, very similar to like military culture, right? Going in, you’ve got this romantic perception of war that gets portrayed on TV and film and everything else. And then it’s like, ah, and trust me, this is coming from a guy who didn’t – I didn’t see like direct combat and still I was contributing to the war effort. And I got to understand very, very, very quickly how just nasty the entire thing is, and it’s similar to business.
It’s like, okay, entrepreneurship doesn’t mean like, all right, man, I’m going to go start my business. And then like a Lambo just materializes into your driveway and your house transforms into this palace. It’s like, no, you’re, you’re signing up for a whirlwind of a journey. And we so often focus on the material, evidence of their success rather than the other part of that journey, which was like the 80% of their journey, which is all the hard-fought lessons learned, the tears, the pain, the suffering, the persistence, where that battle was actually fought and won. And now here they are today, right?
Yeah, I mean, the 1%, right? The 1% of entrepreneurs that go out there and start. It’s easy. They got it right. They get the money, they got whatever. The 99%, it’s ugly in order to get to where we want to go. It is not glamorous, right? You can’t make your car payment this month because you didn’t bring any money, right? You can’t make this payment. You got to figure out what you’re going to pay. But do you want this business? Do you want it enough that you’re willing to destroy everything – as far as your personal and your credit – in order to get to where the ultimate goal is, which is to be highly successful. Well, if you’re willing to do that, it’s down and dirty. You have to be willing to say no, I’m not going to go out drinking with my friends because I don’t want to spend $25 on drinks tonight because that’s a week’s worth of ads on whatever platform, right? Turn into sales.
So you gotta be willing to make those things. No, I don’t want new clothes because that money can be spent on the business. I’ll buy the other stuff once the business is making more money. And it took me a while to learn that. I’m not going to lie. When I first started, I’ve always been the type of person, and unfortunately, that has been, I work hard, I play hard. I make my money. I pay my bills and I had a lot of fun. Well, that’s not really a good thing to do as a business owner. So it took me some lessons not to live that way anymore and to be very frugal. Hard lessons, hard learned, school of hard knocks, but here we are. And you know, I think my family is going to be stronger because we’ve gone through that over the last year. My kids have learned that things aren’t just given, that you got to work for it and that you may want new shoes, but you can’t have them because dad’s got to sell a trailer before you can get new shoes, dude. But you know, it gets them to understand as well what it’s about and the whole process this is about too.
Yeah. Well, and you know, and I’m going to dive into another topic and if you’re uncomfortable talking about this, we will move right on. So, no sweat either way. But you mentioned the topic of mental health, right? So what is that like for you in terms of trying to keep yourself in a good mental state? I don’t know how else to say it, but what does that struggle look like for you and how have you – I mean, cause, man, I can relate from a standpoint of the stress and all the things that can pile up. Maybe I can’t relate to the extent of the stresses that you felt. So I’m not going to pretend to have your same experience, but I’d love to understand how you’ve been able to kind of cope and deal with all that.
Yeah, I’ll talk. So if my voice cracks up a little bit, I apologize. So for me, my childhood wasn’t great, right? I had an abusive father, abused my mom growing up. And for me, I suppressed everything. Don’t think about it. I don’t have to worry about it, shove it in the back of your head, move on kind of thought process. And for a lot of my life, that’s how I was. Never got help, never talked to anybody, so on and so forth. And so for me, I never realized I had depression. Didn’t know it. It’s kinda one of those things unless you go through the whole thing, you don’t really know that it’s real. All those people, they’re really not real. They’re just wimps. They can’t handle stress, right?
I was that kind of person. Those are kind of the thoughts that I used to have. And then probably about six years ago, I fell off a roof, broke my ribs, collapsed my lungs. And I will tell you that that took a toll on my physical, everything, my entire body. I almost died. And from what my doctors told me, pretty much my body did everything it could to fight to keep me alive. And so, you know, it kind of messed up my brain wave. I don’t even know how, whatever, but they ended up putting me on anxiety medication and they ended up put me on depression medication, started getting me some help. And I started identifying my past, identifying where the things were coming from.
And you know, for me, it’s been a blessing to identify it. I get more comfortable talking about it as I talk about it kind of thing. Because there is a stigma and you don’t want somebody to be like, I don’t want to do business with that person. I don’t wanna do business with that person because they have X, right? They’re not stable. They can’t take care of you, right? For me, that’s been the stigma. But at the same time, I’ve lost friends overseas. I’ve lost friends to suicide. And so for me, it’s more of my business is driven of giving back to veterans, right? Every time we sell something, we donate something from the proceeds back to help veterans or first responders. And so for me, if I don’t start talking about it and I don’t start addressing it, then I’m not helping the people that I’m trying to help. Everybody’s situation is different. Everybody has their own battles that they deal with. And we shouldn’t look at them as some are real and some aren’t real. We should just know that some people deal with stuff that you’ll never know what happened. And just be there to listen when somebody needs you to listen.
So it’s tough. I think I’ve worked really lot to try to not have to think about it. And once I stopped working 70, 80 hours a week, and I really kind of had time to think about life and kind of play that stuff through my brain, I think things started to catch up with me if that makes sense. But right now, other than this moment because I’m talking about it, I’m in a really good space. Over Christmas break with my kids, I did some really deep soul searching about myself as a person and my life and where I wanted to be and how I wanted to get there and really kind of cleared my head and did a lot of praying and stuff like that. And so for the last eight weeks, things have been extremely good. I always say upstairs, right? Things have been really good. But just like anybody else, you have your moments, but you have to know that there’s people out there who are willing to help. So if somebody is listening to this and you need someone to listen, (463) 204-8050. I will be more than happy to be your ears.
Yeah. I appreciate you sharing that, Chuck. It’s something that doesn’t get talked about, I think, quite to the level it needs to. And I mean, you hit right on the head. I mean, this is my opinion. I feel like the stigma is slowly vaporizing. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as it used to be, but I certainly understand what you’re saying. You can go like break your leg, right? Or you could fall off a roof or have an accident, right? And obviously, you’re going to go to the hospital. It’s probably important thing for you to go to, right? So why would we treat our mental condition any differently, right? So if there’s things that are just not quite adding up or there’s some type of problem or some something that’s you’re trying to deal with or process or whatever that looks like for each person, why wouldn’t you go get the help? It’s the same thing, right?
Because as a Jarhead, you’re taught that you can’t think like this. Everybody else has, but I’m only gonna speak from a Marine standpoint, right? We’re supposed to be the baddest of the bad, right? We’re the top dogs of everybody. And so for us to show a sign of weakness, it’s very hard. It’s hard for us to put that out there when that’s not how it’s supposed to be. And I’m hoping someday that our government will get to the point where we really create some groups that these issues can be talked about. You know, they send you – and I’ll talk about this because this is a veteran group and I think it’s super important and I hope somebody hears this, is that they send a 20-year-old into a group with a 60-year-old men. That 20-year-old needs to be in a group with a 20, 25-year-old men and women, not with 60-year-old people who are dealing with different things in a different time of their lives. And I find that that has been some of the biggest challenges about getting the help that you are supposed to be getting is that they kind of put us all together instead of really looking at us from a standpoint of, hey, you’re a 20-year-old, how are you going to relate to a 60-year-old man, you know, or 60-year-old woman, you know, whatnot.
But for me, that’s super important is figuring out why we’re not getting the help to the people who need it, whether you’re a veteran or not. Some people do really well with group counseling, some people don’t. Some people do really well with one-on-one, some people don’t, right? And so I think no matter who the person is, no matter where they are in their lives, if they need the help, the brain is the most important part of your body, but yet like what you said, if I break a leg, I go into the hospital and I’m treated, right? But my brain where everything is supposed to be going on, it’s supposed to function everything, we don’t pay enough attention to. And I sometimes struggle with trying to figure that out as well because it doesn’t make sense to me.
They just want to give you drugs, right? I’ll put you on pills or whatever. Right now, they got shrooms. You know, if you live in Colorado, they legalized that. But if you want something, that’s all they want to do instead of giving you a platform to talk about it. Because once you talk about it and you get it out there, your shoulders will drop a little bit. The tension in your body will go away a little bit. But if you throw a pill in your mouth, it doesn’t do any of that for you.
Wow. Yeah. Because I mean, we’re people, right? We need connection with each other. And that’s where a lot of the freedom happens, man.
Especially after the last year. You know, 2020 is going to do a toll on people with depression. And it already has. Nobody ever talks about it, right? We don’t talk about what has happened due to COVID for the people that battle mental illnesses and mental disease because they’re stuck in a home where they’re not used to. They’re not working like they’re used to. You’re not around people like you’re used to. So you don’t have that platform to bounce whatever off and now you’re only talking to yourself, which makes that depressant even worse. To revert back, that’s why going into the school was such a huge thing for me because I was able to be around adults. I was going to be around kids. I love coaching. You know, I’ve coached youth sports for the last 20 something years. And so for me, it was about being back involved with people, which is that helped me. I was lucky enough to find that. My kid’s principal, Bobby, was lucky enough to invite me in to help me, where most people don’t have that. And I worry about those kinds of people over the last year. There’s been a lot of stuff over the last this year that have killed their selves or whatever the situation is because of COVID, and I just hate seeing that.
Yeah. No, for sure. So you hit on another really great, great topic. You’ve taken something that could be really difficult, and no doubt, it is difficult, right? I’m not making light of that. But you’ve also figured out a way to make it into something positive too, right? So like you decided to go get the help, which I think that’s one of the big things that I’ve learned. I think a lot of people have learned. Nobody’s just going to randomly know that someone’s dealing with some type of problem, right? If I want help, I gotta go ask for it. It’s not just going to land on my doorstep, right?
So we don’t have a blinker going off on our shoulder that says, hey, I’m having a bad day today.
Right, right. So you need people that are close to you that you can open up with and that you trust. And that’s so important. And then that circle grows with the amount of people that you know and how comfortable you are with being really open with people. Because I was going to ask you. So the bright spot, right? So just using your journey, you proactively sought out an opportunity to get out and to make a change, right? And so that’s been one of the highlights of this last year in kind of powering through, and processing rather is probably the better word, of the things that you’re dealing with. And so speak to those out there that may be dealing with this. For those that may or that are dealing with some type of depression or any other issue that they’re just really trying to grapple with, what advice do you have to those people?
You’re not alone. I think that’s the biggest thing. I think the stigma thing is, I agree with what you said a little bit ago, the stigma is starting to go away. More people are willing to talk about it. Celebrities, athletes, you know, they’ve talked about it, especially over the last, you know, if you see the last 24 months or so on social media. But get help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it be from a friend or a stranger, you know, with technology the way it is, you can have video meetings with people. And I tell people, if you don’t like the person on the other side of the screen, if they’re not a good counselor for you, you can hit exit and find another one. Find somebody. Counseling is finding somebody that you’re comfortable enough with to open up and talk about the past.
I’ve been married for almost 21 years. And there’s probably dozens of things that I’ve never discussed with my wife because I don’t like to go there. And it’s a very uncomfortable place for me. However, I met a new counselor this summer, and within 20 minutes, she had me go opening up and talking about my past, right? It was that she asked the right question. She probed the proper way. And now I have somebody that I can trust and in an enclosed environment where I feel comfortable to talk about my past. And so for me, it’s don’t be afraid to go out and find somebody. Again, call me. (463) 204-8050. If you want somebody to talk to you and listen to you, I will be that person. And if I’m not a good fit, we’ll find somebody for you. I work with different people that this is what they do. And so I just want people to know that there is somebody out there that is willing to listen to them no matter what. Text, phone call. There’s apps that you can get that are helpful, where it’s private. They can talk you through it.
Just biggest thing for people is that you’re not alone. You’re never alone. You never have to be alone, but you have to be willing to ask for help. If you don’t ask for it, we don’t know because it’s the biggest thing. My brother is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and if you look at him, you wouldn’t know that he battles with all kinds of internal issues. If it’s in your head and you battle with those internal issues and you don’t talk about them, then we don’t know. We can’t help you. So you have to talk about them so we can help you.
Yeah. That’s solid. And you know, Chuck, I just want to thank you for sharing your story and being so open. Because I’m telling you, it’s not talked about enough and it takes somebody with a courage and with just the authenticity to open up and get really real about their story. And because that in and of itself is going to be liberating for some. I promise you. At least one person watching or listening to this is going to be impacted by that in a very real way. And so whether or not they even reach out to you, you may never even know, right? But it takes having that conversation. I mean, I applaud you, man. And I really want you to know, I really do treasure that. And I just want to thank you for getting really real about that struggle because it’s not talked about near enough and I appreciate you going there.
Yeah. You have to be true to who you are. So I appreciate that. And the reason why I’m okay with doing it is because I use the phrase I am who I am. I’m not shy to put myself out there and let people know this is me. If you like me, cool. If you don’t, that’s okay too. But I never have to be fake around anybody because I’m never anything different. And so if you’re going to ask me a question, there’s probably nothing you could ask me that I wouldn’t answer because my past is somebody else’s future and they can learn from something that I went through. Then I’m helping somebody, like you said, even if I don’t ever hear from them or nobody ever reaches out, that’s okay. You know, I want people to know that I’m here. But if somebody hears this and it makes their day better or they call a counselor or they say, “Hey, you know what, man, it’s been a rough week. I need to call my counselor and I need to get a meeting,” then this was all worth it for me.
Yeah, for sure. Well, you know, so again, how can people get in touch with you, learn more about G2G Trailers and all the things that you’re working on? What’s the best way for people to reach out?
Yeah. You can follow me on social media @G2GTrailers or @chuckthetrailerguy on Facebook and Instagram. Go to my website, g2gtrailers.com. Or always feel free to call or text (463) 204-8050.
Awesome. I could not get all of that in one shot. So we’ll just go to the website. So g2gtrailers.com. I cannot even say that five times fast.
It stands for Good 2 Go Trailers.
Oh, nice. Okay.
You know, the military term. I always use that phrase everywhere in everything. And then I created the little Chuck the Trailer Guy stick. That’s my online emoji. You know, that’s what I have running on race cars this year. So it’d be cool to see that out there and super excited about that.
Yeah. That’s freaking awesome. And that’s really clever marketing, right? It’s a clever way to kind of get your brand out there and show people what it is that you’re able to do, and again, how you can meet their needs. So that’s awesome. Well, Chuck, once again, I just want to thank you. This has been a blast and I just really appreciate spending some time with me, man. Thanks.
No problem. I appreciate you having me.