Episode 11: Warrior Mode

Jay, William, and Dana talk about their prospects for landing a Paycheck Protection Program loan, what they think business will be like when shelter-at-home ends, and why they decided to lay off people even though they expect to get forgivable loans: “The bottom line: we cut 40 percent of our payroll yesterday. My decision was, I would rather cut deeper, fewer times. So I'm going to do this once.” Plus: the daily routines of business owners stuck at home.

Episode 11: Warrior Mode

Guests:

Jay Goltz is founder and CEO of Artists Frame Service and Jayson Home.

William Vanderbloemen is founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group.

Dana White is founder and CEO of Paralee Boyd hair salons.

Laura Zander is co-founder and CEO of Jimmy Beans Wool.

Producer:

Jess Thoubboron is founder of Blank Word Productions.

Episode Highlights:

Jay Goltz: “When you’re an entrepreneur, it is this moment, this situation, that truly makes the difference between you and everyone else. It gets down to this whole team thing. There’s no team in losing money.”

William Vanderbloemen: “The bottom line: we cut 40 percent of our payroll yesterday. My decision was, I would rather cut deeper, fewer times. So I’m going to do this once.”

Dana White: “My business is going to be a bounce back. Women are coming to get their hair done. They are emailing me: ‘Could you please take me privately? I won’t tell anybody.’”

Full Episode Transcript:

Loren Feldman:
Let’s start with a quick update. How are each of you doing? Where do things stand with your businesses? Dana, your hair salons, obviously, are still shut down. How have you been spending your time?

Dana White:
I’ve been spending my time getting ready for who and what Paralee Boyd will be when we reopen. I’ve been spending my time trying to understand small business loans and grants and county grants and loans and just trying to wait for applications to be ready online. Things are changing by the hour, so I spend my time staying in the know and trying to keep up with everything so I can get as much help moving forward as I can.

Loren Feldman:
When we spoke last week, we talked about the possibility of your creating haircare kits to keep your customers healthy and engaged during this period, but you weren’t sure about the timing of it. Have you gotten any further along in your thinking with that?

Dana White:
I have, but the timing is still not something that I’m going to be ready to bottle and label. You hear different things about how long this is going to go, and so I’m just gonna keep moving forward. And if we find that we do have the time for it, then I’ll do it, but for right now, it’s just a matter of just taking it day by day.

Loren Feldman:
William, I know you’ve invested a tremendous amount of time in analyzing the CARES Act and figuring out what it means for businesses like yours, as well as for faith-based organizations that you serve, and I want to talk about that. But first, what’s going on with your business?

William Vanderbloemen:
Well, I think, Loren, we’re all learning as we go. I’ve led from my gut for a long time, and now I’ve learned some things where I check my gut against stats and data. And I have a fantastic CEO who makes his decisions through thinking so our gut and our thinking lined up a while back, saying, “This is just not the time to sell,” particularly when you’re selling to people who are trying to provide hope, whether that’s through a school or a nonprofit or a church. So we made the decision, knowing it would cost us sales. Our sales bill out later, so we won’t see the revenue dip from that until summertime.

Loren Feldman:
Your revenue is still good now? And you expect it to hold up for a couple of months?

William Vanderbloemen:
Through April, and it’ll trickle down. But the gist of it is, we sell something, and then it bills out over either three or six months. So we’re still riding the tail of sales. We had a very, very strong January and February—our best ever—and that was really good. But we knew this would this would hurt.

I’ve told our staff three things. First of all, connection trumps content right now. Connection is key. I have a list of 15 pastors who I personally call every single day. I’m amazed how long people want to talk. Because loneliness is the signature of hell in any faith. We’ve said, when you connect, care for them. I saw on Forbes yesterday, one of the trending articles was, “Five alternatives to, ‘How are you doing?’” Because nobody’s doing well. Care for people in their moment. And then finally, produce content.

In the last week with this CARES Act we’ve been able to do all three things at once. And it’s been a swamp of business for us at geometrically higher web traffic than we’ve ever, ever, ever had. Hasn’t produced one sale. But you guys all work with sales funnels, and you know, there’s the top, and the middle, and the bottom. I think we’ve actually created a new part of our funnel called the tippy top. That’s not why we decided to serve, but people are like, “I trust you more than my bank right now. We’re not doing a search, but whenever we come out of this, we’re calling you.” That was not the intent behind the service. The service was really just like, this is the right thing to do right now. But I think on the long side of this gap that we’re in, it will prove very fruitful.

Loren Feldman:
Are your employees all still working?

William Vanderbloemen:
No, no, we did furloughs and layoffs yesterday.

Loren Feldman:
How did that go?

William Vanderbloemen:
Well, how does it always go?

Loren Feldman:
Sometimes better than others.

William Vanderbloemen:
I mean, if my pastor friends are listening, they’re gonna get mad at me right now. But did you guys see “Good Morning Vietnam”?

Loren Feldman:
A long time ago.

William Vanderbloemen:
Yeah, yeah. And Robin Williams did the weather forecast for Vietnam that day, and he said, “Today the weather will be hot and shitty, and another front of hot coming through.” So it never goes well. It’s awful. But I think that, unlike some businesses, we actually take time to pray with our employees before and after, and that’s a long separate episode, but it is a painful time. But in order to see the other side of this gap, we just had to make some changes. And hopefully we’ll be able to bring everybody back. But it is what it is.

Jay Goltz:
How many people are we talking about, William?

William Vanderbloemen:
We did a combination of things. First of all, I threw my salary away for the rest of the year as a first move, and made sure everybody heard that. I’m not taking a salary and my lead team all very willingly agreed to take a 25 percent pay cut for the remainder of the year. That was where we led from. And then it was a combination of layoffs, where we’re probably not gonna bring you back, you need to go look around; furloughs, where this is probably going to lead to a surge of business later and we want to let you know we’d like to bring you back; and then pay cuts. And we chose not to cut people’s pay at the bottom of the pay scale because they’re already living—I don’t want to say hand to mouth—but a pay cut would hurt them more.

Jay Goltz:
It’s so funny you say that because I sat down with my CFO. We haven’t done any pay cuts yet, but I came up with the exact same formula you did. We’re gonna go to the top people, meaning over 100 grand, and say 25 percent. And our line in the sand was 60 grand, that if you make less than 60 grand a year, we’re not touching them.

William Vanderbloemen:
Yeah, that’s almost identical to what we did, Jay. And the bottom line—you asked what it was—we cut 40 percent of our payroll yesterday.

Jay Goltz:
Yeah. I’ve got 115 employees. We immediately let go of 10 of them, and the rest of them, we’re waiting to see. I haven’t done the pay cut thing yet, but most of them are on furlough now.

I will also tell you that, if you talk to the law firms—my daughter-in-law is a labor attorney. She’s with a big law firm, and even the head person there, he says something about “our understanding.” They’re not even sure. It is not crystal clear. What’s the difference between a furlough and a layoff? It would be really helpful if somebody in the government would simply give us some guidance.

Loren Feldman:
The rules are changing every day, literally. They’ve changed every day this week.

William Vanderbloemen:
Jay, I would just encourage you next week—this week we’re not focusing on layoffs, we’re focusing on the CARES Act—next week, go to churchcovid19.com or schoolcovid19.com. I should probably have synagoguecovid19.com. There [will] be resources on exactly that. I think I understand it, but there is a serious gap between the need for knowledge on that and actual knowledge. And it is changing everyday, so we change the site in real time.

Loren Feldman:
William, I’m curious. Especially given the nature of your business, how exactly did you do the layoffs? Did you do them over Zoom?

William Vanderbloemen:
Well, so that’s the hard part, right? I mean, it’s hard enough anyway, but you’ve got to do it over Zoom. So, a couple mechanics: right or wrong, my decision was, I would rather cut deeper, fewer times. So I’m going to do this once, and if we get through Q3, and if we’re still in a mess, and it’s an ice age and not a winter, then we’ll have another round. But what I didn’t want to do was have two people get laid off this week and then two people next week, and then everyone’s wondering, “Is it my week this week?” And my best people start looking around. I didn’t want that. So we decided we’re going to cut deep.

Wednesday evening, I sent out an email saying, “Hey, guys, I appreciate all the hard work. Who could have seen this coming? We’ve analyzed our second quarter and what happened,” and this is how severe it was for us, Loren. January, year over year, we were 18 percent ahead, this year over last year. February, 18 percent ahead, this year over last year. Q1, so you add March in, we’re 18% below, year over year. It eradicated all our sales growth and then took us down below. It was bad.

Dana White:
I have a question: so your best people are looking, they’re gonna go elsewhere. Where are they going to go?

William Vanderbloemen:
I think there’s always room for really talented people.

Dana White:
Everything is shut down right now. Some of my staff threatened to quit. I discouraged it because I laid them off and provided temporary leave early, like March 15th. And they’re like, “Okay, I’m going to quit.” And I said, “Well, before you do that, I know you don’t like being laid off and it’s emotional right now. But if you quit, I can’t pay you unemployment. I have to report that you’re no longer an employee. So they’re like, “Well, I’m just going to go get another job.” And we said, “Okay, but know that this is coming down the pike, and we’re going to be a state disaster area. Nobody’s hiring right now except for grocery stores and some convenience stores and people who need help with stocking and stuff. And even then, they’re going to hire an influx of people, and then when this abates, they’re going to lay off more people again or they are going to let people go. So with your industry, where are good people going to go and get money faster than already being on staff with you?”

William Vanderbloemen:
Well, it’s a great question, and I don’t know the answer. We’re making it up as we go. If there’s any way I can provide certainty in the middle of this incredibly uncertain time, I’m trying to provide it.

Jay Goltz:
Well, here’s the word I’d use, and I’m 100 percent with you on this. This is about avoiding “collateral damage.” That’s what this is about. And it’s about confidence, and if you do your first cut, and you stick, “Okay, he knows what he’s doing, and we’re in this together.”

To your point, the dripping of every two weeks, it’s not a good thing. It’s bad leadership. So the answer is, if we can provide a sense of stability, “Okay guys, we made some adjustments that should get us through this whole thing,” then everybody’s a little calmer. We don’t need to make people start thinking, “Boy, he sounded really nervous. I wonder if he’s gonna be out of business in six months.”

William Vanderbloemen:
That’s exactly right.

Dana White:
That’s why I did it, yeah.

William Vanderbloemen:
Jay, to your point, I sent out this email the night before, saying, “We’ve looked at Q1 and Q2, and possibly Q3. The fiscal outlook is not good. And in order to be able to serve our clients on the far side of this, we’re going to have to make some changes. So join me tomorrow morning.” All staff on Zoom, unfortunately. We met for an hour and honestly, I approached it like a funeral. No laughing, no jokes. As much as you want to lighten the moment, it’s just not light. I told people what was up and then everyone received a personal Zoom meeting throughout the day. That was probably a long day for the people who had the 4:30 and 5:00 meetings.

Firing over Zoom is a really interesting thing. I don’t know that there’s a playbook, but we decided—even though it cost time and money—it’s worth it to care for our people, and probably worth it from an HR standpoint, that every call involved at least three people. There were no one-on-ones.

Jay Goltz:
Smart.

Loren Feldman:
People didn’t find out at the big group meeting who specifically was staying and who was going.

William Vanderbloemen:
No, in fact, I was late for our recording today because we have our weekly all-staff right before this. This was the weekly all-staff right after yesterday, where we have the Zoom call, and everybody’s looking to see what panels aren’t there. We had to go through, “Okay, here’s why. Here’s the why behind what we did.” We didn’t share that during the adjustment meeting. Nobody wants to hear that. Not then. But afterward, today, we spent a long time saying, “Guys, here’s the why. Here’s what the sales funnel looks like. Here’s how long it’s going to take to refill it. Here’s what that means for the sales cycle. Here’s what that means for revenue.”

Even with the CARES Act, what we don’t want to do is burn resources so hard through the summer that we wake up in the fall, and we have to fire people right when our surge is coming back.

Loren Feldman:
Well, that’s what I want to ask you, William. Everybody on your staff, I’m sure, is well aware how much energy you’ve put into figuring out how the CARES Act works. And I suspect that they understand that that act was designed to try to keep businesses like yours from having to furlough or lay off people.

Did that sow confusion? Were they understanding that you had to make this move? Or did they wonder why the CARES Act wasn’t saving their positions?

William Vanderbloemen:
Well, Loren, I’m the wrong person to ask because I doubt any of them are going to tell me the truth. You know, the first day you’re the CEO is the last night you hear the truth.

Jay Goltz:
I’ve gotta tell you, I think you’re both exactly right. Loren, you’re correct. People are a little confused, like, “Oh, well I thought they were going to come and save the day.” But William, you’re also right. No one wants to come right out and ask you, “Hey, by the way, am I gonna get paid when you get all that money from the government?”

I had my six key people on the phone with me yesterday on a conference call. They all have been with me literally 20 years-plus, and nobody wanted to ask me. At the end I go, “Anybody have any questions? Do you think we’re doing anything wrong or right?” Don’t think that I don’t have in the back of my mind—I called my cousin, who’s one of my people. I go, “Neil, do you think there was any passive-aggressive whatsoever? Is anybody wondering, ‘Should Jay be paying all this?’” And we both agreed, “No.” But I don’t know if anybody…

William Vanderbloemen:
No, you can’t know.

Jay Goltz:
I can’t know. When you’re an entrepreneur, it is this moment, this situation, that truly makes the difference between you and everyone else. It gets down to this whole team thing. There’s no team in losing money. There’s no team in this situation. It’s the boss and what we’re going to do.

I just want to make the public statement that there’s a range. On the left side of it is, they’re just employees, business is business, cut them off. In plenty of big companies, that’s how they operate. And that is what it is. I’m not in that camp. On the far right is, they’re my family. I’m going to do everything possible to save them. And then there’s a little bit to the left of that: they’re like family. I’m in that category. They’re like family, which means I’m going to do everything possible to make their lives easier, lower anxiety, and try to get through this whole thing. But they’re not my children and I’m not going to go broke taking all of my last money that I have very little left in cash.

I read an article about a company that’s paying their 10 employees because it’s not fair they should have to suffer through this. Really, it’s not fair? Where does that come from? How is that not fair to employees? I mean, this has nothing to do with fair. This has to do with, if somebody’s got a ton of money, and they can pay their employees through this whole thing, hats off to them. Really. But the fact is, most businesses just don’t have that kind of money sitting around. I certainly don’t. And I’m going to do everything possible, including helping them get unemployment. If anybody’s gonna starve, I’ll give them money. If someone’s been thrown out of their apartment, I’ll give them a thousand bucks, two thousand bucks. But this mentality that the boss somehow should be responsible for everybody, 100 percent, is just not…

Loren Feldman:
William, I’m curious, I assume you’re planning on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

William Vanderbloemen:
Yes.

Loren Feldman:
What do the layoffs mean for that? Don’t you have to keep a percentage of your employees in order for those loans to be forgiven?

William Vanderbloemen:
Well, Loren, there’s a page full of resources about this at churchcovid19.com.

Loren Feldman:
But I’m talking to the guy who knows.

William Vanderbloemen:
So, the answer is, my current understanding of the current interpretations, is that what is forgiven hinges on a comparison of your current payroll, January through March, against your last year average monthly payroll. We’re a little leaner than we were last year, intentionally. We actually grew but got leaner, and so we stood to have 91% of the loan converted to a grant. We were gonna have to pay 9% back. By making the cuts we made, it drops based on what is your payroll on June 30. We’re going to have to pay about 76% of the money back, but the money we’re going to save in payroll from today through June 30 is far greater than that. And frankly, it’s also cash on hand versus a loan owed to the government.

Jay Goltz:
With a little maybe thrown in there because, who knows? There’s always a maybe. The other issue to this whole thing is, if your employee said to you, “Jay, I’ve gotta ask you a question. If you get all this money, are we going to get paid back?” My answer is, just like William is saying, I don’t know that we’re going to have this great bounce back that people are in their houses and they want to get more framing done, they want to buy more furniture, things are roaring. Or my customers are going to be devastated themselves. I have no idea if this is going to be a bounce back, a little bit down. So I tell everyone, “I have no clue.”

Dana White:
Mine is going to be a bounce back.

Jay Goltz:
Sure.

Dana White:
Women are coming to get their hair done. They are emailing me. “Could you please take me privately? I won’t tell anybody.”

William Vanderbloemen:
Totally, totally.

Loren Feldman:
Are you gonna apply for a loan?

Dana White:
Absolutely.

Loren Feldman:
Do you have that in the works?

Dana White:
I do. I’ve been in touch with my banker, and we’re just waiting for the loan to be active. I also have a girlfriend who has the paperwork ready to submit through a certain lender. And I went to treasury.gov yesterday after [Treasury Secretary Steven] Mnuchin promised that it would be ready today through all banking institutions. I went to treasury.gov and looked at the sample, and it’s going to be a fairly easy application.

Everybody’s staff is different. And so with my staff, they assume that I’m a millionaire—except for my leadership team. My leadership team understands, but my team that’s on the ground, some of them believe that, “Dana, she’s a business owner, she’s a millionaire. So why can’t she pay us through this pandemic?” They’re not connecting that revenue equals payment. I had to learn that less is more for me and swift, decisive action is what they need. Gradually laying people off would have been the worst for me and waiting to do it would have been even worse. And now it’s a matter of keeping in touch with my operations person, letting her know what I’m doing every day, and understanding that these programs and the stipulations and qualifications around these programs are changing hourly. And now it’s just about getting the loan process.

Loren Feldman:
Dana, if you get the Paycheck Protection loan, will you bring back those employees so that the loan will be forgivable?

Dana White:
Absolutely.

Loren Feldman:
And do your employees know that?

Dana White:
Yes. I’m going to need to bring everybody back.

William Vanderbloemen:
So Dana, I sent the same text to the woman that cuts my hair. “Come on, Caroline. I’m not going to tell anybody. You could just sneak over cause it’s getting bad over here. I’ve got enough working against me. I don’t need a bad haircut too.”

I think that every smart business owner is going to have to look in the mirror and say, “Let’s assume there’s a bounce back. How fast does my business bounce in a bounce back?” Dana’s going to bounce back immediately. I tried to buy clippers on Amazon last night. It’ll be like a year till they show up. You know, it’s ridiculous.

Restaurants should bounce back pretty quickly. We will not. We will start conversations once churches start meeting and then we enter the sales cycle. Fortunately, we’ve been pretty anal about keeping our data. We know exactly how long a sales cycle is, so back to the original, “What about PPP, and why does that create confusion?” We actually created a slide deck this morning that was pretty simple, that just showed our income versus expenses and what that means for net income if we don’t do anything, and of course, it’s way down below the waterline, and what happens if we don’t do anything. But we take the PPP, it takes us a little less down below the waterline, but it stays below the waterline through the year. And what happens if we reduce expenses and keep our powder dry and take the PPP, and it puts us in a healthy but certainly not greedy position. We just put it out there very transparently in front of our people. Right now, I’m getting slack messages from all of them. “Thanks so much for the graphs. Thanks so much for the graphs.”

Jay Goltz:
I’m in between both of you. There’s no question people need to get their hair cut, so you’re in a good place. And there’s no question you know how long your sales cycle is. I literally could either have a great bounce back because people have been pent up in their houses and they want to fix their house up, or they can wait until three months from now. I don’t know which way it’s going. But I’m certainly letting everyone know I’m planning on bringing them back. I’m telling you, my average person has been here 10 and a half years. I am fully committed to digging in and doing everything I can to make sure we bounce back.

What I’m doing now is, I’m working on a new marketing thing. The second the green light is on that this is over, quote-unquote: “Hey, you’ve probably got stuff to frame. We have a lot of inventory and blah, blah, blah.” We’re working on it, because there is some stuff I can do to prepare for that. And then the other problem with this is, it’s not going to be a light switch going on. It’s going to be, “Okay, the government stopped the stay-at-home order, but still stay six feet away from people.” And there are still going to be people, including me, who are going to think twice. I don’t know that I do want to go in a big group of people.

I’m already getting pressure. I have a lot next to my home store, a big lot. It’s filled with plants in the summer. And people are asking us, “When are the plants coming in? Because I saw my landscapers working, and you should be able to open. You’re like a landscaper.” And I have to explain to everybody, “We’re not like landscapers. They’re outside by themselves. You’re inside looking at them through a glass window.” It’s not the same as going into a lot with a bunch of people mingling around to buy plants. And there’ll be some vigilantes that will see us doing this. Literally, in Chicago, they have a bounty now—you call 311, and you can get a reward if someone’s operating their business. Someone’s going to call up and say, “Those greedy people over at Jayson Home are out there subjecting their employees to…” and I’m not doing it. I’m just not.

Dana White:
For Paralee Boyd, it’s a matter of managing the influx. So right now with the unemployment going up, I think they’re going to add $600 either a week or per pay period to the unemployment. That will be more than what some are making at Paralee Boyd. And so I’m expecting some of my staff to not come back. I have to scramble, hire, and then manage the prospective volume because this is where Paralee Boyd comes in. Everybody’s going to be running to their stylists to get their hair done. Stylists are going to be booked weeks out. Paralee Boyd is going to be one of the only places where you can come, walk-in only, seven days a week. We’ve got to manage the volume.

Our message now to our staff is, “I understand that you want to leave. However, look at your hiring cycle. You have to one, find a job; two, get hired; three, work for two weeks or a week and a half before you get paid. When we reopen, you can come and make money that day, because we’re going to be slammed.

Jay Goltz:
Well, I think there’s two parts to it. First, one of them is, can they make money sooner? And part of it is, they just want to give you a hard time. They’re just angry. Part of this is they’re just mad, which is unfortunate, but I get it. They don’t get it.

Loren Feldman:
Do you have any of that with your employees, Jay? Do you think your employees understand what’s going on?

Jay Goltz:
I believe so, but I have to tell you, I have people—I get choked up when I say this—I have people [who say], “Jay, we’re going to be okay. We’re getting through.” They are on the mission with me. They’ve always been on the mission with me. And the people that weren’t on the mission with me are long gone. I couldn’t be prouder. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that every single one of them comes back.

I was on a business group with a guy one time and he’s got like 10 employees, and he says, “Oh yeah, my guys are trying to unionize.” And I go, “What? You’ve got this little company.” “Well, I don’t know why. Blah, blah, blah.” And I said to myself, “Something’s wrong with this picture.” And previously at another meeting, he said he didn’t have a bonus plan one year, so he put a note up on the bulletin board: “There’ll be no bonuses this year.” So I got an idea of what his management style was. I just said to him, “Let me ask you a question. Do you ever loan your employees money?” “Oh, no, never. I would never do that.” And I’ve gotta tell you, it was that moment that I figured out, at the end of the day, it’s about one thing. Do they think you care? Period. I’ve given out literally 200, 300 loans over the years. At any given time. I’ve got five people that owe us money. They’re paying it back. I’ve gotten stuck once—once in 42 years. If someone’s going to have their gas shut off, and you can’t lend someone 200 bucks who works for you, they don’t think you care because you don’t. And taking it today, my employees know we care. That’s what my bottom line is. They know we care.

Dana White:
No, not at all. I disagree. The good thing is that, in previous podcast [episodes], we’ve all talked about the different dynamics there are with staff, and there were things that I’ve shared with you, like, “You’ve had to call the police on your staff?” Yes. I’ve had staff ask me for loans. We’ve helped one person. We helped one girl whose mother kicked her out of her house. She was living out of her car, and we gave her spending money for food, clothes, and we temporarily put her up in a place. We never saw her again.

Jay Goltz:
Wait, how old was she?

Dana White:
She was in her early 20s.

Jay Goltz:
And how long had she worked for you?

Dana White:
Exactly.

Jay Goltz:
No, how long had she worked for you?

Dana White:
Under a year.

Jay Goltz:
Okay, so I’m just saying, in that case, I get it. I’m not saying this always works. I’ve got people who worked for me for—my average person has been here 10 and a half years. It’s not the same thing. And they’re also not 20. I’m not telling anybody, “Go loan your employees money.” I’m just telling you, in my case, it’s been a tremendous benefit for them. I’m happy to do it. And certainly you have to be careful doing it.

Loren Feldman:
We’re running short of time here, but before we end this, I’d like to go around and hear a little bit about what your daily routines are like. William, I’m curious, forgive me, I’ve lost track of how many kids you have, but I know you have a number. How many of them are with you right now?

William Vanderbloemen:
Well, I’ve lost track of that, Loren. [Laughter] We have seven children. Two of them are out of the nest and employed and for now their jobs are safe. It’s amazing what you pray for in these times. We have four in the house in secondary school or lower and then one in college who’s now home. We have five at home. And thankfully, we have enough space that we’re not—my poor brother’s in this tiny little house in the D.C. area. He’s got three kids, and the oldest one’s five, and they’re crawling all over him. I don’t know how both of them try and work during the day—but we’re fortunate to have a little bit more space and be in a neighborhood where you can take a walk.

We have decided that I think remote work takes twice the focus and discipline of working in an office. I have dedicated spaces. My laptop really doesn’t leave this little bunk room that I’m in today. It’s like I walk in the office, I walk out of the office, and we have a very… almost like running a military base routine. I mean, it is down to the minute so that the kitchen isn’t open all day, and there’s not noise when I’m on something like this. It’s posted every day. And there’s a spreadsheet of which kid’s doing which chore. So for me, I am staying up a little bit later. I’m working probably a little too much. I’m finding that the work-life balance is harder to keep in sync.

I worry about some of my highest achievers. I worry that they’re not able to turn it off when the office is right next door to their bedroom or in their bedroom or whatever. We’re trying to keep a schedule, both to not overdo and to not underdo, and I don’t understand… I don’t even know what “Tiger King” is. [Laughter]

Loren Feldman:
I was going to ask, is anybody watching?

William Vanderbloemen:
No, I’ll download that later. But right now it is, burn the midnight oil. We are taking time, like all the kids stop what they’re doing at 3, and we all go downstairs and have an afternoon coffee. We always have dinner together, and we’re actually a little more disciplined about family devotions now than we were before. Every night at 8:30, we stop and we’d have a little evening tea and talk, and so it’s pretty regimented. Adrienne gets the credit for that.

Loren Feldman:
Jay, how about you? Did you get out of your bathrobe today?

Jay Goltz:
Well, today I came to work, because I was doing the podcast, and I needed to hook up here, but I’ve been home more in the last two weeks… I’ve never been home the entire day doing nothing, ever. I feel like I’m on a month of Sundays. Every day feels like Sunday.

I don’t have kids in the house anymore, but I was working all day yesterday. I spent more time on my phone for sure than I’ve spent in the 15 years I’ve lived in this house. I ordered a headset because of that, because it’s hard to sit there on a phone all day long. I’m dealing with employees, I’m dealing with the bank, I’m dealing with my CFO. I am in full-out warrior mode and I would suggest to anybody who is listening to this who’s in business, who wants to stay in business, I would suggest move from worrier to warrior. Big difference. Focus, figure out what to do, and do it, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m kind of on adrenaline at this point. I am fired up ready to go. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to save my employees’ jobs, to save the company, and to take care of the customers.

Loren Feldman:
Is your wife enjoying living with a warrior?

Jay Goltz:
Mmm. Hmm. She’s kind of used to the drill. You know what she said to me a couple of weeks ago? She goes, “You know, you were talking in your sleep. You were really angry.” I go, “Yeah.” “Is it at me?” “No.” She goes, “Okay,” and that was the end of the conversation. She didn’t bother asking me who I was angry at. But no, she’s used to it.

Loren Feldman:
Dana, how about you? What’s your daily routine like?

Dana White:
I’m up later than I normally am. I wake up, I have a light breakfast, and then I’m on text messages, emails, and Facebook groups that are addressing the latest with these issues. I’m applying for grants and loans and seeking advice from my accountant in planning what the next iteration of Paralee Boyd is like. I don’t eat dinner until late—later than I’d like—now. And then I go to bed around 10-ish, but I don’t go to sleep until the wee early hours in the morning and that’s also because I’m up binge-watching “Tiger King.”

Loren Feldman:
You are.

Dana White:
Oh, I am. I’ve been so plugged in all day. I think that’s exactly how long it takes for me to take it down. And so, I’m with Jay. I’m in warrior mode. Let’s go. Let’s get to work.

Loren Feldman:
Jay Goltz, Dana White, William Vanderbloemen, thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it. Stay safe out there.

Dana White:
Thank you. You too, Loren.