Aaron Spatz 00:10
Good morning DFW. Welcome to the Dallas Fort Worth Business Podcast. I’m Aaron Spatz. Hope that you’re having a fantastic week as we, as we approach the tail end of our week is super excited that you’re here. If you’re enjoying the show, again, I’m going to do the whole obligatory like, subscribe, comment, share all that jazz, if there are people that you would like me to interview, if there’s if there’s people that are just intriguing to you. Tag them in a post, that’d be kind of cool. Hopefully doesn’t take them off, it’d be kind of cool. If there are things that you really love about the show, there’s things that that you’re seeing, and that you’re hearing that that really, really resonate with you. Drop me a line podcast at Bold media.us. I love hearing from you. I love getting your feedback. So let me know what what you’re enjoying. Maybe what you’re not enjoying so much. But would love would love, love, love to interact with you. Super pumped today, we have Kimberly Haley Coleman joining the show, she comes to us with a wide variety of background in and experience. So I’m excited to speak with her this morning. Kimberly, I just want to welcome you to the show. Thanks for being here.
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 01:11
Oh, Aaron, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Aaron Spatz 01:14
Certainly, yeah. So you’ve got such a, in what I could tell a very amazing, very diverse story. And so what do you would like, share with us a little bit, because you you’ve kind of got your hand in a lot of different things. So what are you up to?
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 01:31
So right I do I have such a weird career. And I’ve really been drawn to strange things my whole life. But I right now. I’m really focused on trying to provide jobs and joy to people in a unique way. And I hope that that’s what we’re doing right now. I know, we’re providing jobs. And I think if we weren’t providing joy, we wouldn’t be doing a good business now. But about a month ago, I started a new business called the tickle bar. And it is and isn’t exactly what it sounds like and where a lot of our growth and fun has been.
Aaron Spatz 02:10
Oh, that’s so cool. Yeah. So that, obviously, or maybe not. So obviously, I have never heard of such a place. So take us on a quick tour, let it like, share with me, what the heck is going on at the sickle bar?
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 02:25
Right. Okay, so I think there’s a whole field of affordable luxuries that women do that may be off the radar for men, which may sound sexist, but I just don’t know a lot of men who go and get their hair blow dried every week. And women ever since the dry bar came out, it’s become a normal thing to go to the driver, not during the pandemic, not as much. But for this price point of about $45. They’ve been going out and doing that. Why? Partially because yeah, they like how it looks. And they want to get their hair looking great. But the other thing is they really enjoy how it feels, right? And getting to catch up on email and listen to music, whatever, while they’re getting their hair done, rather than taking that time out of their day. But also, there have been things like getting their nails done their lashes done. Getting a foot massage, back massage, and of course that’s not gender specific. But all of those things are affordable luxuries have been a piece of common Joy during the pandemic. Yeah. The so what we were trying to do is, hey, what new can we do? What can we provide that’s not already been provided? Okay. And when we were looking around at things that people might want to do, this was something that no one was provided. I’m sorry about that noise. Anyway, so the so we started thinking about what kinds of things are not being offered that people might be willing to do. And I grew up enjoying getting my back tickled, my mother would tickle my back to get me to sleep. And I’ve also enjoyed when I go to get my hair done when I get it washed, just that feeling when they’re scrubbing your scalp. And I started thinking about why can’t we do that in a way where you can go and get it done anytime you want. And not just for five minutes, but for you know, 1020 30 minutes. That’s really the genesis of it.
Aaron Spatz 04:21
Wow. Well, you know, like there’s been a, you hit on your on a couple things there. And so the pandemic has been one of these things where people have been locked down either into their homes, they haven’t had as much access to different things. They, they were social people like we’d love to get out. We’d love to like meet other people we’d like to go do stuff. And so what I what I kind of see you doing here is like you’re you’re creating a nother experience for people. It may be non standard like right like as a guy. I’m like this. This is a very, very novel idea to me. But it’s a if you’re addressing it And you’re also creating opportunity for people to experience something, something unique, where it just helps them get out of the house helps them do other things. And I think it’s kind of interesting, because you’re starting, you started it in the middle of a pandemic. And so I’m curious, like, how How’s business been? What’s been what’s been the reception? Like, What have people said and in with with their experience?
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 05:22
Right? Okay, so I have to say, you know, I have a totally separate business that I run that is kind of going on in the background here. Now, it’s unrelated, but one does feed the other. Okay. And, and one of my other hats. I’m the Executive Director of Global where, and a 501, c three nonprofit, where people do humanitarian assistance projects abroad. And so you know, in places like Cambodia will assemble wheelchairs for landmine victims in Guatemala, we’re installing concrete floors in the homes of single moms, things like that. But obviously, with the borders closed, and airplanes not running, and the general safety risks that really impacted our business, and we did offer, we still offer virtual experiences where you can interact with our communities to help them but it’s not going to be the same until it’s safe for everyone to travel, we do have a few locations open. But anyway, so as a part of offering these virtual experiences, we thought that if we offer some other experiences in a different capacity, we can donate those any profits back to global wear to help support it and its community. They are related in that sense. But in terms of the reception we’ve had, I really never anticipated the kind of public interest, we do everything with a little bit of a wink by calling it the tickle bar as opposed to the back scratch store. It’s gotten a lot of people to give us a second look. And that was intended to obviously save in terms of marketing, advertising dollars. The big surprise for us and offering these services, we thought it would be all women and about 20% of the people of our customers right now are men, which was really surprised. And, you know, there you might think that people would be coming and asking for things that they aren’t, we were a little worried about that too. Even though when you walk in our setting is more like the dry bar, there’s more of a luxury feminine feel to it, frankly, it becomes pretty clear pretty quick, what we do and what we don’t do. So we’re really not having to field questions that you might think are inappropriate, right? Although you go to our website, we do try and hook you a bit with that. Sure. But anyway, so we’ve we have seen a great response. And I you know, it’s interesting, we keep adding to our services in ways that we didn’t think we would as an example, while we do people’s arms and back and hair, we weren’t anticipating that people would ask for the same light tracing on their feet. Because the kind of tickling we’re not doing isn’t that jabbing rough make you laugh or squirm or torture kind of tickle. It’s, it’s more of a light scratch light tracing, right. And so I never thought about doing a feat. But the other thing we’re doing article Graham’s where we will send someone to your house. And we are thinking, you know, if we’re going to do this, we might as well do it and outrageous way and have somebody in a big huge unicorn costume carrying wine and ice cream for maybe somebody who’s going through a breakup. And just make it really, really funny. We’re doing it in a safe way with masks and hand sanitizers and shields and all of that. Our big goal here is if we’re not providing to and making people smile, then we’re not going to be successful. We’re not doing what we set out to do.
Aaron Spatz 08:57
You know, it’s a it’s a very simple mission and vision that you have. And I think that’s, I think that’s the brilliance of it is. So if you are like you’re you’re continuously going back to that, like you’re continuously thinking, okay, are we bringing people joy? You know, are we doing these things? And so when so when you’re making these decisions, and services are expanding, and you’re in you’re having opportunities to do other stuff, if you’re just thinking about how does this go back and tie into what to what we’re, why the heck, we’re even here. Right. And so, I think I think it’s interesting, like it’s a it’s a really fascinating concept. I think it’s a like, I mean, just the my brain is just spinning 1000 miles an hour just with I think it’s I think it’s exceptionally fascinating. That was birthed in the middle of a pandemic and so I think that you are addressing a, like a pent up need to get out. And this desire to get some space this desire to pamper or whatever the like the word is, I’m struggling for words here.
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 09:58
even touch it No touch when we’re not able to hug our friends the way we are, we would even go into, you know, I’m used to going to dinner clubs and book clubs where we would, you know, sit together and our arms around each other and, and we’ve just have a very limited capacity for that right now. So we’re hoping I feel like this does address a piece of that of just real physical human connectedness in a nurturing caring way. And what we don’t know is what will this look like after the pandemic, when we’re not limiting how many people we can see at a time? And when people are people who are really immunocompromised, who, who aren’t even going to the grocery store, we’re thinking that this obviously isn’t the best time for them to come in, in the same way that they probably shouldn’t be getting their nails done, we also think this isn’t the best time to go and get you back to gold by someone else. Those people, are they going to come out when the pandemic is over? We don’t know, we really don’t. So, in some sense, there’s an experiment here. And we’re seeing will this work? I have been very surprised at how many people have contacted us about franchise opportunities. You know, I think there are natural hesitations and skepticism about whether or not something like this can or should be done during a pandemic. And again, I think those are healthy questions to ask. And I certainly ask them of myself when we were doing this. Because you’re right, anybody who’s starting something new that is involving humans being together, there is an element of risk. Sure. And so I do acknowledge that but but it is, it’s a whole new world, I you know, in terms of the science of what joy are people getting a relaxation out of that kind of gentle touch, as opposed to a deeper tissue massage, where you might have say, oh, too hard or not hard or whatever. This is very different. Nobody should ever be saying that in any of our typical bar sessions. Hey, that was too deep. It’s a different kind of touch. And I really hope we can get some science and research into this to see why do we do this for babies to get them to sleep? What is it it’s so natural for a mother to do that? Or even gently go over their scalp? Why is that working? And why does it last for some of us a whole lifetime? I have to say, I think there are people that this will never be for there are people who don’t like the idea of getting a foot massage or a back massage. And I acknowledge that. But if you have this conversation, and I urge you, if you’re looking for conversation topics to bring that up, we I heard the craziest idea ever this woman with a tickle bar, see if there’s somebody in your small inner bubble you’re talking to that says, You know what, I think that’s actually really a good idea. Because what my experience is, in a group of four or five, there’s usually one who just can’t imagine it being a better thing and at least one person who thinks it’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever
Aaron Spatz 13:10
No, I, there’s a, like I said, I think I just I think there’s an element of just incredible genius here, when it comes to like how you’ve positioned the company, everything from the name to the way that you’ve branded it to just the, the, the world that it was birthed into, right. I think there’s I think there’s a lot there’s just for me, just as I cuz I love studying business, I do a ton of business consulting. So like, for me, this is something really new. And I just love studying the idea, the concept of it. So I just I’m genuinely fascinated. When I when I walk into one of these, I’m not sure. But I love but but I I love the like and so like I support what you’re doing 100% I think it’s I think what you’re, what you’re providing people is an opportunity, like we’ve said, probably 10 times now at this point, but for them like to get out of the house, to get social again, to remember what it felt like to like, hug somebody, you know, like, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of these things that we’re missing, and depending on how you’re wired, right, like some people aren’t huggers. I enjoy I enjoy hugging people close to me, like when I when I haven’t seen them in quite some time. Right. So it’s like, some people could could care less. And so you’re absolutely right. I think what I think is going to happen is you’re you’re already filtering out your audience, you’re already filtering out who your ideal customer would be. And so it’s really like a yes or no, it’s not like I feel like it’s not there’s gonna be people are curious, right? Like, if I was just genuinely curious, I might just go in there and like, what is this? What is this thing all about? But then you’re gonna have a whole nother group of people that is like, Yep, I love that. Like, that’s exactly how I’m wired. That’s that’s what I need on there. You know, and so I think it’s cool. I’d love to shift gears Real quick though because you, you have made it A career of global where, and you’ve done a ton of stuff through that I was doing quite a bit of reading on the organization. So literally all over the world, you have this concept where people can, it’s like, and I’m probably not gonna say it as eloquently as, as you will, right. But to some extent, they’re, they’re taking a vacation, they’re taking some time off, to go serve and to go to go address needs, wherever those needs might happen to be all over the globe.
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 15:29
You’re set it just right. That’s exactly it, you know, about 20 years ago, when I was traveling a lot. For my other job. And I’ve again, I’ve had some strange jobs, I used to put dead people into space, for example, work for a company where we put people’s ashes in space. But anyway, so I would be traveling in other countries, and wanting to volunteer and give back. And I found that it was really difficult find a place to do that, where they would let you do it short term. Most people would want to spend the time only if you in terms of training, if you’re going to be there for a few weeks. So almost everything was set up for students, college students, high school students, retirees, or Peace Corps volunteers that could give 27 months of their life, which wasn’t me. And so I started organizing these volunteer trips abroad and bringing people in, I found it just wasn’t difficult at all to get people interested. And that’s when I realized, hey, there’s the need for people to give back in this very concrete way. And that was the start of that. And we’ve been very lucky to have all sorts of communities come to us and say, Hey, we want to work with you, we want to be partners. And I think it’s important to say to with what we do, we aren’t, you know, heroes with capes saving people’s lives, we are very much working as equals side by side, with local communities on projects they pick that are important to them. So it’s a two way street. And we’re learning from each other. And we because we’re nonprofit, and because our volunteers are carrying on the work that we do, when people participate, the cost for them to participate is a tax deductible expense. So it’s really been an interesting thing we’ve seen that I didn’t anticipate 20 years ago, that’s been an area where we’ve really grown in terms of corporate participation and businesses, instead of just individuals. As an example, you know, we have companies like Google or Facebook, Microsoft Vivint, where people will send whole groups or smaller groups, and the foundation arm of the company will help pay those expenses for them to go, it’s a non taxable benefit to the employee. It’s a benefit, obviously, to the community, that staff members who get to go come back, re energized and grateful for what they have. So it’s really an interesting piece of service that we did not I didn’t anticipate 20 years ago that we would be working with businesses, as much as we do, since we’re set up these really tightly short term one week programs. And actually, we tailor shorter for corporations, where we get a lot done in a short amount of time, that’s a really good fit for your, you know, 40 year old doctor accountants teacher who can’t take six weeks off.
Aaron Spatz 18:31
Absolutely, no, that’s a it’s a fascinating study. Because you’ve, I mean, again, it’s been it’s been 20 years now. And you’ve been it’s been all over the globe, you’ve you’ve adjusted the format into a variety of different formats. And, you know, one thing you said I think really caught my attention was the, how you you’re you’re there to partner with with the local community, you’re not there to like be the, you know, the hero saves the day. It’s really, it’s really partnering resources and understanding like, Okay, this is what you guys need, we’re here to help you, you’re gonna help us with this. And you’re gonna help kind of direct where we’re going, rather than it being like, Hey, we’re gonna go in here, we’re gonna build this for you. And so it’s, it’s a, it’s a different approach out. I’m curious, just because of how global the organization is, but like, how have how have these different communities reached out to you? Like, how did one like how do they find out? And then to, like, how do they reach out to you and form some type of relationship?
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 19:28
Yeah. So it’s interesting, because when I started this, I used to go into communities and ask, you know, what are your needs? What projects do you have? How can we help you? But now I’d say we get five to 10. It’s usually email week and often through LinkedIn, frankly, which is, I’m connected to a bunch of people on LinkedIn. And that’s a big piece of it, where communities will say, Hey, we’ve got a project and we could use some funds and extra hands to help us pull this off. And so now they come to us. And we’ll evaluate, okay, where do we? Where can? How can we do this? Is it safe? Does it meet with our criteria and principles? There are things we won’t do. We don’t put volunteers high on ladders, or operating heavy equipment and machinery or you know, touching bodily fluids in a medical environment, that kind of thing so that we don’t do just anything. But really answers your question, Aaron, it’s mainly them coming to us telling us what they need us for. And that has been so key because then there there’s community buy in, rather than us coming in and saying, Hey, can we do this? Or hey, can we do that for you, it’s really been ideal that they’re coming to us. And really, you know, we’ve got a, I’m actually going in a couple weeks on one of the projects we’ve been working on. For the past, I don’t know, year or so, I’m developing what’s similar to the Inca Trail and Peru. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. It’s the 26 kilometer hike to Machu Picchu. And it says, Ancient Trail of ruins, and people will make these pilgrimages and it’s, it’s broad business in terms of camping equipment, and the guides who take you in the people who make your food and the entrance to get in, and so on. So Mexico has this network of icy Enders and ruins and send notice and beautiful natural sites in the totally overlooked part of the Yucatan to the west, which is in the same peninsula as Cancun, but nobody ever sees it. And it’s mostly indigenous people. Anyway, we’re working on this beautiful project. In Mexico that’s helping develop there. It’s called the Camino del map. And we’re getting to work with them on hey, let’s get the Welcome Center and the ticket booth and the bathrooms and everything set up so that the local women’s cooperative can cook meals for visitors and fix their bikes and be the guides in charge to go into the Sonata is and really revitalize in a very sustainable way, this community that will bring fun eyeballs and awareness to an area that really needs it. So when they come to us, that is what leads to the very best scenario and generally that is what’s happening right now.
Aaron Spatz 22:25
Right? And it’s it almost sounds like there’s there’s too many coming in which I think is a that’s a good problem to have, that we’re able to, you’re able to have that and do the things that you want to do and and help partner with with communities and local groups that that really could you didn’t I’m not saying? Like everybody needs the help, right. But it’s it’s helping you prioritize what you know, what’s most important. So when we come back from break, I would love to understand where did Kimberly come from? Like, where are you from? What’s your story? Like? How did you how did you first get into business? What, what really just struck such curiosity and you to get things moving, and I’d love to kind of hear the Genesis story as soon as we get back. So this This show is made possible by our amazing sponsors. And so our show sponsor today is first response AC and heating, they primarily served the Fort Worth side of the metroplex, I’m telling you, these are guys that are honest, trustworthy people that will actually tell you what the heck is going on with your AC or with your heating system. And so what makes what makes these things very difficult is there’s a knowledge monopoly of what’s going on. So they AC plumbing, electrical, they all have more knowledge than you do they have training have a ton of experience, most of the time in what it is that they’re doing versus what you know. And so there’s usually a very wide gap. And that’s where you got the commission sales stuff, you’ve got the a you know, the screw is rusted out, I need to charge $800 replace it because it’s a special thing, right. And I know I’m making like making fun of this. But there is a there’s an element there of distrust is really the point I’m making. And so when you find an organization that will shoot you straight, will sometimes tell you hey, it’s not as bad as you thought it was. They’re not looking to increase or dramatize the problem. That that is priceless to me. And so I’ve been I’ve been very fortunate to work with them. Love Love for you give them a call. If you have any AC Heating needs, they’ll shoot you straight. If you need it, they will tell you, but if you don’t need it, they will also tell you that as well. And so they’re they’re incredibly trustworthy, honest people, and I feel like that is just priceless in our in our operating environment right now. So Kimberly, I just I’ve enjoyed our discussion so far. And it’s just been it’s been fascinating to see just you’re just this very diverse journey of you know, starting starting to tickle bars just a few short months ago. And then you’ve been doing global wear now for 20 plus years. So like I would just love to kind of peel the onion back a little bit more so like tell us a little but more about you like, where are you from? Where like, where did the whole story for you start when it comes when it comes to business?
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 25:06
Well, you know, I am essentially a Texas girl, although because my dad was in the military, I was born in Florida and then lived a few years in California. Okay, I’m definitely a Texas girl. And my, I was fortunate that my grandmother traveled a lot. And she and I were very close. And I took a huge interest in travel through that. And my education and background was also very international in terms of study abroad, and what my degrees and graduate degrees were in. And so that was always in the background, and a part of my interest always loved. For I got an MBA in international business, I got a master’s in art history, and it was really about loving other cultures. And I’ve found that most of what I’ve done is, in some way been related to that all of the different positions I’ve had. And I think most people unless you’re a doctor or lawyer, I think there are so many business people that really didn’t know what they were going to do when they started out. Right. I have two teenage daughters, one who’s a junior right now and Hockaday. And she’s going through that looking at what colleges and what fields of study. And it’s obviously I think, a difficult choice for for anyone to know what to study and what to go into. But in terms of the areas where I’ve had success, they all tied back to things that I was always interested in. And I think their school and hopefully, other schools are doing their best to try and encourage that right now. Instead of saying, Hey, you have to have a 4.0 and a pluses and everything. And big piece of it is to looking at your life in terms of what you enjoy, and not just hey, I enjoyed this because it was a great teacher. But you know, I enjoyed this subject matter. And and I’m not talking about just within school, so I really let those passions fuel where I put my time. And I and my parents, I was so lucky, I’m really grateful that they never my whole family’s in medicine, literally my whole family. And they never said, Look, we really think you should do this, we really think you need to continue the family tradition and go into medicine and didn’t discourage me, but they did not make in any way. An expectation that was a huge gift, really freeing financially, financially scary. Because if you’re going to be a doctor, at least you have some sense of what that equation could look like. Whereas if you know you’re just getting a business degree, obviously, it’s much more open fields. And you know, especially today in today’s environment where kids getting into school debt, you know, that’s scary, and then not knowing, Hey, what is our economy going to look like? We know certain industries are going to take longer getting back to normal things like business travel and hotel world. You know, the book hasn’t been written yet. What is the coming year gonna look like next year for that matter? And how do we need to adjust and shift? So I think for our kids and those in business school right now and looking at what they’re going to do and the Dallas Fort Worth area. There are a lot of questions for people just starting out, right.
Aaron Spatz 28:28
Tons. I mean, there’s there’s a third, it’s a it’s a journey, and you’re trying to adapt to the environment. I mean, well, I think one of the big pushes, I think in the last 10 years has been stem right, so But science, technology, engineering and math. That’s been like huge push. I’ve even heard and had some really interesting debates and lively discussions with people as it relates to trade school. And so like how there’s a massive shortage of people that are like skilled trades. And so how the and I mean, I’m a huge believer in higher education, I think it’s I do think it’s important. However, I think there’s also another group of people where like, that does not interest them at all, I don’t care I really want to just focus in on a trade and so it’s, it’s it’s a very fascinating study, because you’re you’re right, there is a there’s like this divergence of opportunity, and it’s kind of what do you choose? And then kind of looking looking ahead, which is kind of what you’re talking about, is well, where do I Where do I foresee us as a as a world for that matter? Going over the next 10 2040 years? And it’s it’s a for young people that are out there like trying to understand like, do I go to college? It’s Question number one, but then if I am going to college, what the heck am I studying and what do I what am I trying to do? It’s a very daunting concept for people and I know a lot of people have struggled with that.
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 29:55
I think you’re right, they do and and I think you know, if somebody were to ask me Hey, look, I’m just really worried about being able to support myself and making really good money, I think I might tell them, hey, you know, being an electrician or appliance repair is such good honest work, there’s such a need for it, you’ll, you should be able to always demand fair and livable wages with something like that. So I think for so many people, that’s the best route to take. You know, right now, what we’re doing with the tickle bar is hiring people who were not requiring master’s degrees and PhD is for what we do. And we’re providing good, honest work, right. And right now, especially for women, who’ve been especially impacted with the pandemic in terms of their loss of jobs. I really was hoping and looking for a way to hire women who don’t necessarily have legal degrees or who aren’t in a position to charge $60 an hour to help someone with their electricity. And that was a big goal of mine. And I, obviously, in a society like ours, I do think we’re able to pivot and react to whatever the market needs. It’s just in a timeline now where there are so many unknowns, there’s going to be people who, who hit homeruns, and those who will miss the mark because of that. Uncertain landscape.
Aaron Spatz 31:31
Sure. Well, in let’s let’s just go ahead and go there. So you talked about the the unknown, I think I really do, I think there’s a lot of unknowns. But yeah, if you could kind of kind of point to something or put your finger on something like where, where do you see the metroplex, in terms of where it’s evolving in terms of business? Like do you? Do you see certain businesses now becoming more in demand that maybe hadn’t previously been in in a in as high of demand?
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 32:01
Right? You know, I think Dallas is so interesting. Unlike New York, where people are moving out of the city, it seems like just the opposite is happening here, for so many reasons. And obviously, we’re still going to be a transportation hub, a warehouse, in terms of construction and sales were very well poised to weather this. Even in the medical industry. I mean, our medical complexes here are huge. And I think after a pandemic, there’s going to be further investment into preventing pandemics and how do we do things remotely. And Texas is a place where people are able to work from home because without having to pay Manhattan style, rent. So we’re really positioned, I think, ultimately, to be a really healthy environment for businesses. We’re seeing it everywhere in terms of the businesses moving here, I think some of that was a surprise. And then some we’ve been seeing happen for years. Moving from places like California to Texas, I think what’s going to be really fascinating is what will happen in commercial real estate with the very real possibility of many companies, downsizing their actual in office workspace, and with the need of more and more residential space is some of that going to ultimately be converted into living spaces. It’s hard to imagine because Dallas, unlike many other parts of our country, or even Houston, is so much more zoned that it will mean it will look and function very differently if that happens. So I’ll be curious to see. But I’m sure those conversations are already happening. Now that turnover will
Aaron Spatz 33:48
will go, yeah, no, it’s it. This has come up repeatedly in terms of your what’s the future of commercial real estate. And I know there’s a lot of nervous and also a lot of very excited people out there because there’s a there’s a ton of uncertainty as it relates to long term leases for office space. What does that look like? You know, two years from now, three years from now, is that does the pandemic permanently change the look and feel of companies? Or is this simply something that okay, you know, our lease on this building is five years or 10 years? And, you know, let’s just pretend, a year from now or two years from now, this is completely behind us and we’re back to whatever normal would would be called then is it still important or is it too late? Like have we already adapted to the extent we’re now to ask people to come back in the office is actually now a major inconvenience and I also think it’s going to be a recruiting factor and retention factor for companies because now those that embraced it, people I’m telling people love it, they love the fact that man I can sit I can sit at home. I can go right down the hallway or downstairs, go grab a cup of coffee. I can I can run around outside if I need to real quick or whatever. There’s a Oh, and let’s not forget commute time, right? So depending on where you’re coming from, I mean, that’s, that could be a couple hours a day that you’re saving. And so it’s it. Some people love it, I think I think there may be some type of a hybrid version of this where you know, where we, where we end up, it’ll, it’ll be fascinating, for sure. It’ll definitely be fascinating. I would love to learn more, or at least understand, or let me do this. You know, like, for those that are out there considering business, like there’s, there’s a lot of folks that are listening to this that are they’re either in business, right, they’re in their professional journey. This is like the, this is the business podcast for DFW. But then there’s also another group of there’s a subset of those people that are curious about the prospects of starting their own company, starting their own business. And so just any, like, any stories related to business startup, and that whole adventure of what that can be, I think people are generally curious. So it would be I would love to hear your perspective, or your advice for folks that are considering launching a brand new business.
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 36:04
So I, one key thing I’ve learned over the years, and it’s very personal to me is that if your idea when you tell it to other people doesn’t at least meet some strong resistance, then it’s probably not going to succeed. And it’s the opposite of what you would think, right? You would think, hey, if if I start telling people this idea, and they all think I’m crazy, then then I need to drop the idea. That’s what you would think would be the normal thing. But again, at least with the success I’ve had, it’s been that way, if I were to say, hey, look, I’m going to open a Pancake House, at Mockingbird and Abrams to compete with all these others. It’s a business model that’s worked people done it before you can do it. But if it’s not unique and unusual, is it really going to be a home run? Probably not. So I feel like looking for that thing that excites you and you think is awesome, great. But then other people aren’t quite sure. Makes sense, then at least I feel like that idea is worth probing a bit. And again, like I said, When I told people about the tickle bar, you could imagine the amount of resistance, I mean, even with my own family tree, shaking our heads like this doesn’t make any sense at all. And that also means that your market may be smaller, it may only be 5% of people. But those 5% are awfully passionate. And I think we do realize that looking for those very strong, loyal, defined demographics of a market are big key to success. So I wouldn’t shy away from that. The other thing, which is related, in terms of advice is not shying away from discussing your business ideas. I think a lot of people are afraid that if they share and discuss their ideas that someone will steal them. And I just feel most people won’t actually take the time to do any of these businesses, because they’re already in a lane, they’re already doing something. And it takes a whole lot of commitment, and gumption, obviously, to start anything. So being free in terms of having discussions about your business ideas, both with business people, but also just with a normal population of people you respect and admire, and not being afraid of a potentially surprised or horrified response or skeptical respond to your business idea. And it’s actually through those discussions that you’re likely to further home what that idea is, and again, a lot of people because they’re just so afraid that someone will steal their idea and run away with it, that they’re hesitant to have those discussions. And so that’s one of the reasons I think a lot of businesses never get off the ground, is if you’re not talking about it and thinking about it and it’s not present in your life, then you’re probably not doing it either. And when you start talking about it, even if it means defending your idea or changing your idea reacting to what people have said then at least that starts you on the path of realizing your actual business goals and helping you realize what are the potential pitfalls and weaknesses in that idea and it’s really through discussing it where you’re going to more quickly find the answers to that. So those would be my two areas I’d right no I
Aaron Spatz 39:34
love that. I love that and I the the fact that you that you purposely chose to say something along the lines of You know if it if it doesn’t sound like a crazy idea, then it’s probably not worth pursuing like that. That is actually I’ve heard that only one other time from somebody and this is a long time ago. But it’s what what like what I feel like you’re really saying there is the essence of what it means to be an entrepreneur. So there’s an I’m probably gonna piss a lot of people off when I say this and that’s okay. It because it’s it’s actually even pointed out myself it to some extent, but they’re like, again one man’s opinion right but there’s there are entrepreneurs and there’s business owners and that they’re not always necessarily one in the same so entrepreneurs are busy thinking about and carving out new ideas and new and new spaces and new ideas. And so a lot of times it is going to sound wacky it is going to sound psychotic and crazy until it’s not. Right like so yeah. And that’s what’s funny about it right? So you, you, I cannot imagine the amount of backlash or the amount of criticism or the amount of raised eyebrows at your at your newest venture. And people calling you crazy or whatever, right? There’s any number of things right. For the record, I don’t think you’re crazy. But I am a little crazy. i Okay, start a moderate dose of crazy because always really helpful, right? It just kind of keeps us on our toes. Right. And I think I think one element of what you said, I think is just a part of who you are, is gumption like, I think there’s definitely an element of you that is you have had a bias to go do stuff that you have had a bias to go, at least try and figure it out and go explore and go create and go see what all there is to see. And I think I think that’s been probably one of your biggest strengths. And again, like you and I have only known each other for now 41 and a half minutes. But the but I feel like that has been probably a hallmark trait of your career. And I think that’s what’s helped open up a ton of opportunity for us because you’re not afraid. You’re not afraid of the criticism necessarily. You’re more intrigued by the idea. And then let’s be real though, you might take the idea, it may sound crazy, you do further investigation of it, you start asking the right questions. Maybe it is crazy, you’re like, Okay, well, that was a good idea. I’ll put it on the shelf, maybe I’ll revisit it in a couple years, kind of iterate on it a little bit. But then you pull another idea off the shelf and start working on. So I think it’s terrific advice. It’s a it’s a it’s a very unique perspective. I think it’s very helpful for people.
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 42:05
You know, because I’ve got these two teenage daughters, so much of what I do at some is filtered through that lens. And so I’m cognizant of the fact that they’re looking at what is mom doing and saying, and I have to tell you, amongst the critics in my world in terms of this idea why they thought the underlying idea was great. Oh, my goodness, they are absolutely embarrassed when they go to my website or look at our marketing. They really, they’re they’ve been the biggest critics as far as that goes. And of course, they look at things like Instagram and Tik Tok in a way that I don’t. But anyway, I do think it’s important that girls and women be taught to be bold with their ideas and Be not afraid to fail that if you do fail, if six months from now, or a year from now, the pandemic proves that tickle bar doesn’t work in a post pandemic world that I’m not, you know, that they need to see that is totally okay to start a business. And if it doesn’t work out, shift, you know, one of my big mentors, I worked it’s only virtual, I wish I knew him in real life is Richard Branson, who has really been shameless about trying just about everything in anything. And in many, many cases in areas where he has absolutely no expertise, just the will to do something. And we’ll go and assemble the best minds with the humility to, for him to be able to say, hey, look, I really don’t know that much about telecommunications or aerospace or anything, but I don’t mind going to the people who do. And for women, as you were mentioning earlier, how there’s been an emphasis and focus on STEM. And I think equally, while we’re trying to, we’re saying things like, hey, while kindness is important, also being confident and bold, are important characteristics of a successful business person, male or female. And so anyway, that’s in the back of my mind, too, that horrible girls will not wait for people to just say, yes, good girl. That’s great. That’s a good idea. You need to go with that one. But be willing to go Yeah, I’m going to be a unicorn on this. And I’m sure I’m gonna have parents say no, please don’t tell my kids just to try something crazy. But ultimately, I think the safer, easier bet to wealth again as being an electrician, you know, but so it’s if you’re, if you’re not wanting to do that, and you’re wanting to take a crazier bet, then it means having to face that uncertainty of where you’re going with your ideas. But hey, in the world of being an electrician, there’s a lot of areas where we’re seeing in all sorts of businesses way their ways they are altering their business. I’ve been really happy to see that in medicine. All of a sudden that pandemic has really helped with the tele telemedicine, right. It does. Development. I think we’re many of us are happy for that when we’ve had things my gosh, do I really have to spend an hour commuting to work? from my doctor today and sitting in a room for 30 minutes waiting to be seen. So anyway, I do think that boldness may be one of the best things that comes out of this pandemic, in terms of encouraging new and interesting ideas.
Aaron Spatz 45:13
You know, there’s another thing that occurred to me as you’re speaking. So there’s, there’s an element of boldness, but I and there’s definitely an element of humility that I’m that I’m even like, kind of sensing as you’re talking here. So it’s like, you have the boldness to go try ideas go explore. And and I could not agree with you more by the way, I think it’s important that we instill self confidence we help we help our, our kids, we help our next generation have the identity that they need to have in place when they go out. And they try to go make decisions. And whether it’s a career in a in a high rise building, or they’re, or they’re starting up something or they’re working in the trades, whatever, whatever it may end up being, but instilling in them the confidence that is necessary to go and not be afraid to try different things. And then and where I knew that the the humility trait existed in you is when you said, hey, if this doesn’t work out six months, in a post pandemic world, I have no problem shutting this thing down. And I think that is probably one of the biggest strengths of anyone in business is understanding and putting the pride and ego stuff aside. And recognizing, hey, if we got to shift, we got to shift. If this isn’t working, it’s not working. If it is working, let’s double down and do more of it. Or let’s look and see how how we can make this even better a better experience. And so it’s, but I think so many people get stuck in this in this mental trap of like, Man, if I have to shift I have if I have to change anything, that means I suck? And I don’t I don’t necessarily I don’t believe that I think it’s actually a tremendous sign of maturity in humility, and adaptability and resilience that you’re able to like, okay, look, there’s a difference between giving up and there’s a difference between responding to the market and just being smart, and not not being dumb about this. So that was just that was an observation I had, as you’re, you’re talking there, because I could not agree with you more. And I think it’s, I just I find your perspective to be very fascinating. Well, there,
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 47:15
you know, there’s a quote, I that has always been in the back of my mind that foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds this idea that just because something worked one way at one point doesn’t mean it always is or that your perspective on anything should always stay the same. Because the situation is always changing. And look, this environment this year, has been the biggest evidence any of us needed in our lifetimes that hey, things change. And if we can’t adapt and change and pivot with them, that’s on us. So one of our greatest strengths is the ability to do just that. And in order to do that, we have to be willing to say, hey, look, I was wrong, or whatever I was doing now, hey, maybe it was good at one point, but obviously, it’s not good enough now, and so I have to change. And it was really rough for us. You know, in January, we shut down our China programs a year ago. So this has been on our minds very quickly. And in March. You know, I had to furlough a couple of people that was very painful and make changes quick, right. And I think one of the biggest things people have seen are a reluctance to change thinking, looking at the evidence where at least when I I’ve followed David Campbell’s podcast, for medical stuff on Coronavirus, he’s great. And he said back in January, hey, look, there’s no way this is going to be less than a year and a half. So even though it was painful to sit and look at that, you have to our business isn’t going to be normal for at least a year and a half. So I need to quickly make changes and not sit around and wait for that information to be proven wrong. And you’re right, it is so hard to do that because it means painful changes. It means things you’ve already invested invested in, mentally and physically and financially. You’re pulling the plug on and it looks like wasted money. But in the end, it’s it’s better because you you act quickly. And actually there’s some statistics showing that a lot of women owned businesses reacted quicker than male run businesses back in March. Now I’ve only looked at a couple of studies. So I don’t know how widespread widespread that is. But it’s interesting to think about and why that might be. So so I don’t know, but But I do think there are lessons here that right now during the pandemic were able to see that. First of all, keeping a big cash cushion is much more important than a lot of people might have been thinking and that willingness to change your business quickly if need be keeping certain capital expenditures low and fixed costs low so that you can react quickly and we’ve always done that with globe were always been very much focused on variable costs, rather than fixed costs. And that saved us even back in 2008 2009, when during that financial crisis are a little bit different each time?
Aaron Spatz 50:11
Well, you know, there’s a there’s an opportunity in every single situation, so it on its face on face value. People may call it a quote unquote, failure, or it may, there’s any number of ways to say this. But there’s, there’s always a learning, right, there’s always something that you can take from that and move forward with that. And so like, I just I want to say that I think it’s important people understand that, but to the, the ability to make rapid decisions. And, you know, hindsight is always 2020. So there’s, there’s a ton of decisions that were made, you know, March, April, last year that companies had to make, I had to make some really, really tough calls, especially if you’re in retail, and in some of the other outlying reasons travel, travel, holy cow. Yeah, like hotels, right? Traveling, business travel, especially, I mean, DFW, we are like, as I tell people, we’re halfway to everywhere, here in the United States. So if you’re a sales guy, I mean, there’s tons and tons and tons of salespeople that live here, that corporate headquarters in Seattle, or in DC, or wherever, but because they’re here in North Texas, they can get anywhere they need to go, you know, it’s it’s only a few hour flight. But there’s been a lot of really tough decisions that people have had to make. And I it is it’s a it’s a fascinating study to understand how risks have been mitigated, you know, the the tough calls that were made, but then also adapting and changing the business. And I know it’s a goofy example. But like, the most obvious one to all of us is going to be like the restaurant business, right? So there’s a ton of companies ton of restaurants now, that had never even considered curbside or delivery or any of those options. And now they’re like, 100% doing that. And so that that’s a very small, like layup of an example. But I know there’s hundreds of other examples across different industries where similar shifts and pivots had to be made in order to adapt to the current environment. It’s, it’s, it really is fascinating.
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 52:03
Yeah, and no, it really is. And I think we’ll be able to look back and I’m sure anybody and just even in DFW can look and see which restaurants kind of rose to the challenge quickly in which in a state of panic, they just shut their doors without figuring out hey, how can I quickly turn around and make this work in a different way? And I you know, it’s hard not to be led by fear, because we’re getting, obviously, messages of, of uncertainty and fear in every direction we look right now. And even with new administration coming in, what’s that going to mean for tax laws and everything else? So, but I look in places like pecan Lodge, you know, they very quickly turned around and pivoted and also learn how to serve others. And I think that component, as long as you’re keeping in mind, serving others, and doing it the right way, it does come back to you, you know, people are not going to soon forget how pecan lodge reacted in this pandemic, and they will be rewarded for it for a long time to come. And this is that time this is during those dark times when people couldn’t get access to housing and food and jobs, who is there to try and lift people and support them and provide meals. So it’s an opportunity. I think, you know, we’ve seen it when you look at Nordstroms, how they actually define themselves more when things go wrong. And when they go right in here, we’ve got so many things going wrong. Let’s look around and support those businesses who are supporting each other and looking for new and innovative ways of doing and I’m glad that your podcast is helping highlight those things because otherwise it might be something where you’re only really seeing what’s in your neighborhood. There are plenty of good examples of companies figuring out great ways to move forward.
Aaron Spatz 54:01
Absolutely. And like I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed speaking with you Kimberly’s has been this has been a blast. I just want to thank you and again like how do people get in touch with you? How do they reach out
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 54:13
to more people bar.com is the best way you can find me on LinkedIn and Kimberly Haylock on vertical bar.com is the best so check that out and come and see us and let us give you a good scalp scratch sometime. Aaron.
Aaron Spatz 54:26
Absolutely. I you might just have to talk me into it. This has been this has been a blast. Kimberly, thank you again so much. Appreciate it.
Kimberly Haley-Coleman 54:34
Thank you and take care