AFT Construction Podcast

Transitioning from MLB to Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy with Willie Bloomquist

Episode Summary

Listen in as Willie Bloomquist discusses his journey as a professional athlete and why he decided to turn to entrepreneurship following his retirement from MLB. He also shares his love for the outdoors and the business that resulted from that passion. Finally, Willie talks charity and outreach and why philanthropy has become a huge priority in his life.

Episode Notes

Willie Bloomquist is a former MLB player, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Throughout his career in baseball, Willie played for the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, and Arizona Diamondbacks, and has played every position aside from catcher and pitcher. After retiring from professional sports in 2016, Willie explored his other passions through the avenues of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. His passion for nature led to his founding Elite Outdoor Adventures, a company which “allows you to spend one-on-one time with a professional athlete or celebrity participating in a pastime that you both enjoy.”

Listen in as Willie discusses his journey as a professional athlete and why he decided to turn to entrepreneurship following his retirement from MLB. He also shares his love for the outdoors and the business that resulted from that passion. Finally, Willie talks charity and outreach and why philanthropy has become a huge priority in his life.

Topics Discussed:

Connect with Willie Bloomquist:

Resources & People Mentioned:

Key Quotes from Episode 


Episode Transcription

Brad Leavitt: [00:00:00] I am Brad Leavitt, host and founder of A Finer Touch Construction, and we're super excited to bring this amazing guest list to you of people that specialize in business, marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, and most of all, how to build a great company after construction is a local, commercial and residential general contractor located in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Brad Leavitt: [00:01:57] And we're very excited today for our guest, Willie Bloomquist, who is a former Major League Baseball player, played for the Mariners for the Diamondbacks. He's also a special assistant to Derek Hall right now for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the front office and is also an entrepreneur. He started Elite Outdoor Adventures. We're going to tag his social media in here so you can see what he's doing. We talked about this in great detail on the podcast. But the reason we brought Willie on, one of the things, you know, we spoke about heavily is balance, right? Understanding, you know, the ups and downs of an entrepreneur, training, specialization, versatility.

Brad Leavitt: [00:02:31] I mean, all these things are so applicable from sports, athletics, as well as business owners and entrepreneurs.

Brad Leavitt: [00:02:37] I know that a lot of you will gain a lot of insight and experience on Willie's, everything he shared on an information standpoint and things that we can do and internalize to make sure that we're have our systems in place and, you know, successful business owners.

Brad Leavitt: [00:02:53] So we spoke heavily about mentality, positivity, who we surround ourselves with, you know, how we focus on success, not failure. You know, being in the big leagues. One of the examples he gave is, you know, you fail seven out of ten times and that's a good thing if you're batting 300. So you think about how to turn that into being proactive and and then how we navigate through social media and, you know, some of the trolls and negativity out there, how we see past that and of course, how we're balancing life and taking the experiences we have and applying them to, you know, our careers and future endeavors and how he's applied his experiences as a college athlete and balancing athletics and academics and then the major leagues and training and staying healthy. And how that applies to what he's doing now, and especially the charity aspect, which I really love, Willie dove into great detail. He does a lot with Phoenix Children's Hospital and he does a lot now with children and the military with his new business, you know, taking these excursions with celebrities and athletes and in the public. Right. They can be part of this. So you're going to love this episode. Willie nailed it. So definitely stay tuned for this one. So welcome to AFT Construction podcast. I'm Brad Leavitt.

Brad Leavitt: [00:03:58] And today we're super fortunate to welcome Willie Bloomquist with us. Welcome, Willie.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:04:03] Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Brad Leavitt: [00:04:05] Yeah. So, Willie, for those of you that recognize that name, former Major League Baseball star, you know, you play to ASU you have roots here, at least with us, even though you're not from Arizona. But I know you worked with the Diamondbacks and we were talking about how you're the special assistant to Derek Hall but you took a volunteer furlough just because of covid and everything else and it's allowed you to pursue the entrepreneurship that you're doing, which is really fun, you know, after your professional career. So I guess Willy to start this, you know, one of my questions for you is you had a very versatile career, right, in the major leagues, you know, being one of only six players to start 40 games in all the infield and outfield positions, you know. So what do you feel contributed to that success, being able to play and learn so many different positions, you know, as far as your baseball career?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:04:53] You know, well, I think it was just, you know, growing up playing a variety of sports. You know developed some different athletic tools, I guess, to to have in your bag and then, you know, I'd always been kind of a shortstop and a pitcher like everybody in high school. But then I got to ASU, and guys are pretty good there. So, you know, I had to had to adjust. And, you know, I just kind of kind of wanted to just play, you know, I wanted to be out in the field and play somewhere. And we had some pretty good, pretty good players there. And I think it ultimately the mindset of who I played for Pat Murphy at the time, the mindset of just doing whatever it takes for your team to help your team win. And for me, being a part of on the field somewhere, I didn't care where. And so, you know, my first year I bounced around as a freshman and then my sophomore year I played a significant amount of left field. And that's kind of when I learned how to play the outfield and a little bit of second base and then my junior year played shortstop. So, you know, it started kind of in college where I was bouncing around a little bit. And then, you know, when I kind of got into professional baseball and started making my way up the ranks as a second baseman, you know, I got to the big leagues or was on the doorstep of going to the big leagues and had a guy named Brett Boone, a second base who the year before had had thirty six homers in one hundred and sixty RBIs. And I can't compete with that. So, you know, I was forced into a decision, you know, sit behind Boonie for three or four more years or learn how to play other positions and, you know, try to break into the big leagues that way. So obviously I chose the latter and that was ultimately a smart decision.

Brad Leavitt: [00:06:36] Well, I think what's fascinating, there's so many analogies, you know, when you think about sports of business, right? Because I think a lot of people from afar, you look at, you know, maybe a successful business and you're like, oh, it just came easy or it just kind of happens. But you don't realize the work behind the scenes. And I think the same thing with athletics. You know, I play sports not at your level, of course Willy But you think about, OK, well, Willy's just talented, you know, but they don't realize, yeah, you may be talented and it'll get you so far maybe in high school, but then you get to ASU a very talented school. You get to major leagues. And now, you know, there's a lot of work and dedication behind the scenes. And so speak to that. Just the amount of time that goes into perfecting that craft, and especially for you to learn different positions because most people specialize. And here you are now playing all these positions, learning the different angles, you know, to to, you know, when you're on the defensive, you know, now field and in the infield. And so, you know, talk to just the work that goes in behind the scenes that people just don't see.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:07:27] Well, I mean, I'm glad you touched on that, because that's if there was one thing that I guess I'm proud of about myself is the fact the amount of hours and work that I put in behind the scenes and, you know, talent wise, look, I I wasn't very talented as far as once you get to that certain level of major league caliber talent, I wasn't the most talented guy I never will be, never claimed to be. But I what I will claim to be is not outworked. Nobody is going to outwork me. And that's if I'm going to not be good enough, that's fine. But I'm not going to leave it to chance based on that. I didn't work hard enough to give myself every opportunity. And for me that was that was kind of my mindset going in. You know, it was instilled in me at a very young age from my from my parents and my coaches that I had growing up, that the hard work really doesn't guarantee you success, but without it, you don't have a chance. So for me, that was going into it, that that was kind of my mindset on things. And, look, I had to get better at a lot of things. You know, there was not an easy path for me to just go and show up and throw my uniform on and run out there and be a superstar.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:08:41] I had to grind. I had to work extra hard in order to even compete with those guys. And I knew the minute that I stopped working hard was the day that I might as well take my spikes off because I can't compete with it with those guys without hard work. So and then the variety of position thing, that's just one position. And I had to try to play six or seven of them, you know. So you put the hours in it at shortstop, for example. And, you know, once you kind of start fine-tuning yourself to a point where, OK, you're at the caliber, possibly a major league level there, you got to balance and relearn it backwards over at second base and learn how to turn a double play there. And then you've got to go to third base and learn how to be, you know, a guy that can fill in at that spot. And, you know, and you have to swallow your ego and your your pride a little bit in the fact of knowing that, look, these guys are playing one position and they're getting really good at it.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:09:36] That's just not your role right now. So, you know, if you had an ego at the point where you just say, I just want to play one position and see how good I can get there, you know, for a guy like me, that's not going to work. I'm not good enough. You know, I got to be able to play a variety of them. So it became a challenge to continue working at those other positions. And for me, I ended up embracing it. After a while to where it was kind of fun, come to the yard seeing where I was going to play today, you know, and that was that kind of became a niche for me and a fun thing for me to do.

Brad Leavitt: [00:10:09] I love that because, you know, I think about business and you think about businesses that succeed right now with covid, you know, you're dealing with all these different changes and nuances, right. With stores closing and every state's different. Every governor's different. And so how do we how are we versatile as a company? How are we honing in on what can make us successful no matter the industry? And, you know, the application for you is that, you know, the hard work behind the scenes, all the preparation and all the time. Because what I still have a hard time understanding, you know, what people don't realize, you know, if depending on if you're planning to shift and if you're in second base, it's a whole different position and where you need to be to turn that double play as opposed to third base and shortstop. And then in the outfield, you know the angles if you're in right field and left field. And so, you know, I don't think people realize the amount of time it takes for someone such as yourself behind the scenes, the time they're putting in and just like business. Right. And how does that set you up? I guess from a business side now you're doing entrepreneurship and just the ability to not so much work on the fly, but prepare yourself because you've done the work like you understand the relationship side, the hard work, and now you can put all that together.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:11:15] Well, it's Lou Piniella told me once, and I'll never forget it, was that no truer line had been spoken is be comfortable with the uncomfortable and especially with a guy in your role with you never know what's going to be thrown at you. You've just got to learn how to be comfortable with it because you're never going to actually feel warm and fuzzy and cozy.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:11:36] And I think you can take that into any industry or any world or any walk of life as you really never know what's going to be thrown at you. But all you can do is prepare yourself the best you can to be able to deal with different elements and different variables that are thrown at you on any particular time. Obviously, we're in the middle of a pandemic.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:11:56] Who would have ever thought this? Right. But, you know, not saying anyone could could plan for this and be ready for it, but you can be ready for change on the fly. You know, if something goes haywire, how am I going to adjust and succeed, you know, and smart people and people that are able to adapt are the ones that are able to survive. So, you know, in the business world. So it's you know, the environment right now is very tricky, obviously, when it comes to so many different different lines of work. But, you know, ultimately those that that don't panic, reevaluate, where can we go and how can we stay successful as a business and as a person? So, you know, those are the keys kind of in any walk of life.

Brad Leavitt: [00:12:44] I love that you said that because, you know, for anyone that's an entrepreneur, it's funny because, you know, there's an article I read and it says it changes whether you're up or down, you know, and it could depend every five minutes of the day. Right. Because the setbacks, the challenges, which is very applicable to your entire career. Right. There's the ups and downs and you and you mentioned be comfortable with the uncomfortable. And I think that positive mindset, having the ability to understand the highs and lows, how to work through that and understand that there is a solution, that positivity. I mean, that's what makes you successful, you know. So I guess Willy before diving into some of the business side that you're doing, you know, going back to that, you also played quarterback in high school. You know, you won the state championship. And so what made that end decision for you to say, do I want to stick with football? You know, I'm a talented QB, do I want to go the baseball route. Was there a different passion? Love, because I think you have to have passion behind you if you're going to be successful. So, you know, what kind of navigated, I guess, that decision for you?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:13:38] Yeah, well, I'm five, ten and one hundred and seventy pounds.

Brad Leavitt: [00:13:43] That doesn't matter today though. But back then probably, right?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:13:46] Well I mean those boys would put the pads on, get pretty big and you know, it's truth be told, I think I have more of a football players mentality, I guess because I love football. I love the game of football.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:14:01] At the end of the day, I just knew I was better at baseball, even though I probably actually liked football more. I was better at baseball and knew that if I was ever going to go play and be a significant factor in college, that was the route I was probably going to need to go. Like I said, size was a factor as far as if I were to if I were to have gone football, I probably would have been somewhere, you know, maybe in the big sky or somewhere in that type of conference or, you know, maybe NCAA or, you know, I wasn't I wouldn't have been a big time football player. And for me at the time, I knew I had an opportunity to to play Division one and possibly PAC twelve or whatever PAC 10 at the time in baseball. And that was that enticed me that that that kind of got my my juices flowing and then, you know, had the opportunity to, you know, when I started getting looked at from a from a professional standpoint in high school, I didn't know how good I was, you know, at that time. I mean, and, you know, I had scouts talking to me and saying I was going to possibly be drafted and that type of stuff. So I figured, shoot, maybe I'm maybe I am okay at this sport and this is probably the sport I should choose, if people are looking at me from making a profession and living out of it. So I chose that route. And obviously I think it turned out OK.

Brad Leavitt: [00:15:28] So, you know, what's fascinating to me is when you speak about college athletics, you know, right now, you know, I always talk about, you know, the student athlete, which in reality, you know, with the dollars behind it and the commitment from you as an athlete in college, it's a huge commitment. And I know going through college, how difficult it was just being a student. Right.

Brad Leavitt: [00:15:44] And getting through and then a student athlete where you're traveling and you're on the road, you know, in life to be successful, you have to be able to multitask. You have to be able to prioritize your schedule, you know, and understand what's important to work on as a business owner. So, I mean, how do you even do that in college when you're playing at that level, ASU and you're putting in the time in the film room and the practice facilities and training and then still focusing on school? I mean, how did you even balance, you know, that part of your career? And how did that prepare you, I guess, for your future?


Willie Bloomquist: [00:16:10] Well, I think that that's something you have to learn, you have to learn to do, otherwise you end up becoming just kind of a mess, really. If you try to be all things to all people, you'll never you'll never that'll never work. You know, Murph told us when we got to ASU you can have a baseball career, an academic career and a social life. You got to pick two of the three because you can't do all three. And he said, you better pick baseball because you're here to play baseball and you better have an academic life because if you're not eligible, you don't get to play baseball. So if you want to try to mix in a personal life and in a social life, it you can't do all three. There's not enough hours in the day. So you've got to prioritize what's important.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:16:52] And I'm not gonna lie as a freshman. I thought I could do all three and, you know, try to experience college a little bit and go out and have fun.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:17:00] And man, you show up for a for a morning workout and you're just you're dragging and you just can't. I learned really quick that he was right, you can't you can't manage all three, you have to you have to prioritize what's important. And, you know, ultimately that's that's what you decide to do. If you want to be great at something, you've got to dedicate yourself to it and let it be let the other distractions or factors come into it that deter you away from being great, then that's your own fault, you know. And for me, that was just kind of the, again, a mindset that I had when I made the decision. I wanted to go to issue and play there and win a national championship or attempt to win a national championship. You had to do things that other people weren't doing and a lot of a lot of time that that takes sacrificing what what is fun in order to do what you need to do to become better at your craft. So again, back to kind of prioritizing what's important and what you need to do in order to be successful.

Brad Leavitt: [00:17:59] I love that you said you used the word fun that sometimes you have to sacrifice fun. And that's the hard part, right? I think to be successful in any industry and especially in athletics, you know. Yeah, there's the fun part which all of us, you know, probably more catered to as human beings. It's pretty natural. But to be able to put that off and have the discipline to focus on your craft and focus on your business or focus on your athletics athleticism, right in training is so key. And, you know, for you with your career, especially when you enter the big leagues and, you know, as you know, social media has completely changed.

Brad Leavitt: [00:18:31] It became very prevalent when you're in the big leagues and now even more so, you know, how did you see, you know, how did that make an impact, I guess, in your life and some of the athletes life with just the access to, you know, local media, to local fans, you know, on the fan base? I mean, how did that change that whole dynamic with social media, you know, and in your career?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:18:51] Well, when I played, I didn't really like to look at that stuff because, you know, you hit the nail on the head, people have access to you to say whatever they want. And a lot of times it's pretty harsh. A lot of times it's in good fun. But, you know, they don't have to they aren't held accountable for anything they say. But if you as an athlete, fire back at something, you're held to a completely different standard and it's blasted all over ESPN or whoever.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:19:19] It is not saying me personally, but a lot of these guys that are they're much bigger names, you know, it follows you forever and you can't get away from it. It's different than somebody sitting behind and in their mom's basement, you know, saying a hate, something hate hateful toward you or whatever.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:19:36] So you have to learn to navigate that accurately.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:19:39] And to be honest, I still it's very difficult to get your point across and words and in text, you know, to throw something out there on Twitter or whatever. So I don't I don't do a do a whole lot on that. When I do, sometimes I get myself in trouble because I don't say what I actually mean to say. But, you know, it's it's one of those things that you're never going to please everybody on that. However, it can be used as a good tool for awareness, you know, and doing things that you try to do good for people as far as maybe doing a charity event or whatever to get the word out or, you know, on some guys are really good at getting their point across in text. I'm not one of those guys. But, you know, for me, I'm more of an Instagram type of person where I like to be able to put the picture along with it and be able to describe what we're doing here.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:20:30] You know, it's kind of more me, I guess. But, you know, social media is definitely a lot of these guys are pros at it where they brand themselves and be able to to throw themselves out there and want to portray a certain image. And they're masters of being able to do that. I I wasn't I didn't like it. I when people start getting getting.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:20:53] Dirty on Twitter or something, I'd want to fight back. Yeah, and that's just my mentality. I just want to respond to this guy. But then you got to respond to that one and that one and that one. And it just it overwhelms you. So you just got to learn that you can't you can't you can't fight the world on that stuff. You just use it for what it is, throw it out there and be done with it.

Brad Leavitt: [00:21:13] See, I always wonder, you know, just the thick skin, if you will, or challenge of being an athlete. Because I look at social media. I mean, for us, it's pretty easy in the sense that, you know, as a business owner, you know, we're showing these beautiful construction projects, you know, progress, these beautiful commercial, and residential. And for most people, like, they gravitate towards it. Right. They like it. And occasionally we get some trolls or some bad comments. I had someone that reached out and they're like, Brad, you know, in a recession, you know, you must feel really guilty posting these homes on the top one percent.

Brad Leavitt: [00:21:40] And I turned it into, you know, there's ways to turn that into positive where it's like, well, you know, instead of going after this troll, I just did a video and said, look, we're grateful for the people that are willing to invest in their home and their lifestyle because that employs, you know, construction, that's pretty unique. And it employs designers and architects and engineers and, you know, painters and drywallers I mean, so many people are impacted in their families by by someone investing. But but it's different as an athlete because, you know, as you mentioned, people can hide behind their screen they have a confidence that they wouldn't have. If they're meeting you in the you know, in the bar, the street Willie right or somewhere else in public. They're not going to say a lot of the stuff they're going to say behind the scenes. And so I guess, you know, how do you navigate just the mentality to stay positive and not let that get you down, especially in baseball that's probably more of a mental sport than the others where you're at the plate and you're thinking about the pitch and, you know, you can go through slumps. It's such a different sport. And so it's hard. And and I think it was Derek Jeter, if I'm not mistaken. He always said I don't hang around negative people. I always hang around positive people because in my profession, like, it has to be positive all the time.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:22:42] Right. And like I said, that's why I I chose not to I don't even know why I had a dang Twitter account when I didn't play because I was one of those type that that bothered me, you know, when people would say stuff and I would think about it, that's why.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:22:58] And again, this is the evolution of kind of the athletic world is when I first cracked into the to the big leagues, we didn't have Twitter. We didn't have that type of stuff. We had the we had The Seattle Times, we had the news, the local newspapers, not the writer, you know, and then, you know, as kind of toward the latter part of my career is kind of when the Twitter stuff started coming out. But, you know, I would see guys that that would laugh at, you know, what people would say back to them, you know, and they're ripping on them or whatever. And they'd laugh and say that. And I'm like, man, I don't laugh at that stuff. I get pissed off at it. So for me, it was probably better that I just stayed away from it. And that's why I didn't I chose not to really read anything when I did play because I knew it would affect me. Now that I'm done, I don't really care so much anymore. But, you know, when I did it, I was so mentally try that had to be so mentally sharp in order to compete at that level.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:23:53] I couldn't afford to have any other distractions. And for me, that was kind of along the lines of what Jeter said. You try to be around positive people and it's a game of failure. You know, baseball's a game of failure. You failed seven out of ten times. You're doing pretty good. You don't need people piling on when you do fail. And believe me, I failed a lot. So it was I probably failed more than most. But, you know, you had you had to try to remain positive and try to grind through it and surround yourself with good people that are that they care about you and care about your well-being and your career.

Brad Leavitt: [00:24:27] I love that you say that. I mean, you talk about failure and it's funny. There's an architect, Mark Candelaria, who's here local. And he was on my podcast at the very beginning. And one thing he said constantly, and he always says this when I'm around him, he says, you know, don't focus on your failures because most people forget about that. Right. They they look at your successes. And a lot of times we internalize our failures and we think about that too much. And it impacts in our day to day where we need to focus on the positive stuff. And and I've seen them in my career, especially as being a business owner, that the more positive people I'm around and the more people that are ambitious and looking to succeed. Right. That's who you want to build that culture around. You want to be around them. And, you know, I guess, you know, from your side, Willie being an athlete, I mean, how you know, when you're an athlete, you're almost your own enterprise, right? I mean, you're not doing your own taxes, but I mean, people don't realize when you're playing in other states or filing different tax returns for all the states you play and, you know, in addition to your home state and then you're trying to manage the finances and life and contracts and all that stuff. And so did you have any training or, you know, understanding of how to set up budgets and living expenses, especially knowing your career is only going to be so long? I mean, it's very applicable to business that we're forecasting and trying to understand, you know, margins this year and how we're building our company for the future and putting the right cash back in the company so that we're strong and could be there for our clients. So I guess, did you learn on the fly? Did you have training with that? You know, and how has that impacted, I guess, your business career?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:25:52] Right, well, real quick before I touch on that, getting back to the failure thing, I think one thing that it's important to learn on and surround yourself with positive people and you can't really look at failure as a negative thing and those that can master that have a much better chance of being successful. You have to look at it. Failing at something is is a positive, if that makes sense, because that lets you know what you need to work on to become better. And for me, that was that was a big thing, is when you fail at something. Instead of dwelling on it and beating yourself up over which I have a tendency to do from time to time, is you have to look at it like that. That's only going to sharpen me up for for later. You know, that's what I have to work on to become more successful, whether it's a business or whether it's on the athletic field. So I think when when you can train your mind to view failure, as as more of a positive it ultimately will help you in the long run.

Brad Leavitt: [00:26:48] And I love that you said that if I interrupt you real quick, Willie, because you know, Dave, who's a mutual friend of ours that actually introduced us, you know, Dave's been a mentor of mine and he always says, you know, as you mentioned, challenges are opportunities to succeed. Right. And you talked about that, that if you look at failures, as, hey, this is a chance for growth, it's a chance to re-evaluate where I'm at, you know, in my life and what I need to do. You know, you can utilize that and build off that, which is going to help the trajectory of your career and your life, I mean, in a positive way.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:27:16] Right. And I think that's, again, when you do fail because it's inevitable rather than having like you call them the trolls or whoever on Twitter burying and piling on, you've got to have people around you like, OK, now we know we've got to work on and use it as a positive and help you sharpen it up for for, you know, down the road. And it's only going to make you a more of a complete player or a complete business owner or whatever it is. And so I think that's important to try to train your mind to think that way, you know, but to answer your question on kind of budgeting and learning on that type of stuff. Yeah, I mean, that's the unique thing about baseball players or athletes in general, is that you don't know when or how long your career is going to be.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:28:05] I mean, you're one blown out knee away from never playing again. You know, obviously, there are some guys that make a whole heck of a lot more money than than the rest of us and make millions and millions, you know.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:28:17] But for me, I knew I was really never that type of player. I was going to have to be smart about the money that I made. And and, you know, when you're done playing that in a perfect world, that money's got to carry you the rest of your life. So you have to kind of be smart about it, not not take the carrot, if you will, to go out and buy a new car every chance you get or going out and getting nice things that you normally would and at the time can afford. You know, you have to budget and be smart. And, you know, I have four daughters. I have to budget for them and a wife. So, you know, I definitely have to be ultra sensitive when it comes to budgeting and understanding that they're going to cost me some money down the road, you know, on some things. But you know how I learned that. I think, you know, from from an age of being fortunate to be in, my parents raised me in a way that, you know, to be smart about that type of stuff. And then obviously having some mentors when I did get to the major leagues and start making a little bit of money that, you know, some older veteran players that, you know, took me under their wing and said, hey, you know, one paycheck is goes to your investment guy and the other one goes to your house payments and get that, you know, the goal is when you're done playing, have your house paid off so you don't owe anybody anything, then everything's just free and clear.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:29:40] And for me, that was at the time and still was probably a very smart decision that we decided to make that was to, you know, get everything paid off. So when my career is over that I'm not in debt to anybody free and clear and can move on and and then live within your means from then on out.

Brad Leavitt: [00:29:58] I love that and there's so much, you know, you know, it's very applicable to us and businesses. Right. Because especially in you know, I apply it to my market construction, architecture, real estate design. Right. Is that there's these ebbs and flows. And we all know that. Yeah, it's been busy for the last couple of years. You know, interest rates are low. A lot of people are investing. A lot of people are moving, relocating because of covid and especially in Arizona, where hitting us you know, a lot of people are moving here because they want to get out of other states that are more confined or restrictive or tax heavy. And so, you know, but it's important to understand the slow times, the rainy days that will be coming and how do we prepare as a business, you know that we're not just cashing out, that we're putting a nest egg in there as we think about our employees and their families and, you know, our clients and to make sure we're here for the long run. And what's amazing, I love that you shared Willie you talked about mentors because, you know, for any business or any any one in their career, like if you have mentors that are going to give you some good advice that have been through it, you know, then you don't have to make that failure on your own. Right. You can learn through them and through their wisdom. And what I love that you did. And maybe this goes back to just the balance you had in college at ASU and just your lifestyle. But you did a lot of work with the Phoenix Children's Hospital, you know, giving back. And so what inspired you, you know, to get involved with Phoenix Children's Hospital and the charity aspect, you know, and spend that, you know, some of your free time, you know, in that realm.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:31:23] Well, for me, I was at a point in my career when I started getting more involved with, you know, wanting to do something for kids.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:31:33] You know, I think I'd been in the big leagues eight years. And for me, it was just more of a I was just trying to survive in the major leagues. Give me one more year, one more year type thing. You know, and I had been, I think, in there eight years.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:31:45] And and I was at the point in my career where, you know, starting to get a little bit older and I got an opportunity to come back here to Arizona and play for the Diamondbacks. And, you know, I'm like, man, this is I've been pretty blessed, you know, with things that have been given to me in my life. I've had an opportunity to play in Seattle, the hometown that I grew up in, and now I'm getting an opportunity to play in my second hometown here in Arizona. And for me, I just wanted to do something. I'm like, I haven't I haven't made an impact with anybody or anything. And I've been in the major leagues eight years. I haven't used, you know, this platform that I've been given to to do anything really.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:32:28] And it's it's time to do something and make an impact or try to at least make an impact and help somebody, you know, help out in some way, shape or form.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:32:37] You know, my wife and I are passionate about kids. You know, we like kids and and that in our military, you know, we're kind of the two things that that I have a soft spot for that I like to help try to help out when I can.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:32:52] And that was just one thing that that, you know, there's a lot of people out there that have been dealt tough hands and it's not fair.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:33:00] There's a lot of areas in life where life isn't fair to people and especially the kids, you know, you see these these poor kids that are that are fighting cancer, fighting a disease that's life threatening. And, you know, they did nothing to deserve this. And here we are that get to live, you know, fortunate and do some things that we get to go out and play baseball for a living. So for me, it was one of those times in my life where I, you know, it's time to get back, help out these kids and do something where I can give back to them. And and selfishly, I feel better about myself because I do that. And so my wife and I decided to create a foundation down at the Phoenix Children's Hospital in order to help out down there. And it was through my years that Arizona was was a success and we did something we set out to do. But that kind of that kind of laid the groundwork for for wanting to get back. And from a charitable standpoint, like I said, just just the way it makes you feel when you help somebody else out unsolicited and you just do it because you want to do it, makes you feel pretty dang good inside knowing that you helped somebody out and create some great friendships and and understand give them an understanding that we're all in this together. We're all trying to make the world a better place, or at least most of us are trying to make the world a better place. And we understand that there's people that have been dealt really tough hands that if you can help out. It's it's not your job to help out, but it's why are we on this earth, you know, to make it a better place and to help people out when when when you can and are able to. So that's just kind of laid the foundation of what we do. And now moving into the business world, we still try to do that where we give back to certain causes.

Brad Leavitt: [00:34:48] I love that you do that because you think about what's your mark, what's your impact. And you know, you know, especially when I was doing more research and preparation to speak to you Willie, I mean, not only was I fascinated, you know, we spoke about this just the versatility of your career. I mean, I don't think people realize how difficult it is to master so many positions and play it at the level that you did, which is just absolutely incredible. That's why there's only six players that have done it. Right. But going to the charitable aspect, that that to me really stuck out because one of the early mentors in my career, I mean, he lived by this saying that I remember for the rest of my life. And it's and I've said this before, but, you know, it's generosity precedes prosperity. And it's not just the financial thing, but I think as a person, you know, the more good that you're putting out there, the more you're serving, you know, whether it be the military, your children, you know, or people that have had a tough lot in life because it does happen. Not everyone's dealt the same hand. Right, and the same cards. And so the more that you are impacting others and being a mentor and reaching out and utilizing, you know, your platform for good, you know, it just builds on what you're doing. Right. There's so many I'm sure you've seen so many things that have been uplifting to you and your wife and children and a great example to them as a father where you're giving back. And I'm sure you've seen benefits not from a financial side, but just life. Happiness, right. From doing that.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:36:01] Well, I think zero having zero to do with from a financial standpoint, but I think. The amount of gratification you get from from helping somebody that didn't ask for help, you just want to go help someone just because. I you can't put a price tag on it in my mind, we tried to instill that to our kids as well to where, you know, especially around the holidays, you just we we create gift boxes and just give to people, you know, and they they question, why are we doing this? It's like, well, just do it and then go give it to somebody and you'll see why. And then once you.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:36:42] You see the impact that you had, whether small or big or whatever, and you can't put a price tag on the internal feeling you have when you when you help influence someone's life for the positive. And for me, that's that's kind of what it's about. You know, when when you get back and you do some charitable stuff because it's like I said it, that that impact you have on somebody when when it's unsolicited to me is just it's the ultimate pinnacle. You know, if you can do it, do it. There's a lot of good that a lot of people that need help and on certain walks of life. And, you know, rather than being behind your keyboard and hating on people try going out try and going out and loving on somebody serve, someone helping, helping somebody out here and there, you know, it actually makes you feel pretty good inside.

Brad Leavitt: [00:37:34] Yeah, I love that. Because, you know, one of my other thing that, you know, a mentor taught me, he said, you know, we judge other people on their actions and we judge ourselves and our intentions. Right.

Brad Leavitt: [00:37:43] And so you think about that, that, you know, especially now without getting political, I mean, we're in this political climate where there's so much finger pointing and everyone's so angry and, you know, they have their sides they're not budging. But you think about if we went out and learned a little bit more about other cultures, other people serve them, you know, spend time, give them back. I mean, the unity that comes from that and just the instruction you're giving your children, especially, you know, it's seems to me I have six kids, five daughters. So I understand, you know, what it's like having daughters and trying to teach them and help our kids understand just some of the benefits they have learned here in America that's different than other countries. You know, but I guess getting back to just the business side, I mean, as an athlete, you know, your window is is so big depending on the skill level. But at some point you're still young, no matter you know, how long you've played. You have to move on in your career. So, you know, how did it change? How did you get involved working for the Diamondbacks? And now it's phase two of your career. You know, how do you transition from athlete to now business mindset entrepreneur?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:38:38] Well, you know, obviously, baseball's in my blood and I've done it for so long, that's what I know.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:38:45] And, you know, for me, I wanted to stay around the game in a certain capacity.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:38:49] However, I also didn't want to be so married to it anymore to where I can't get out and explore other things in my life. And this was kind of the perfect situation for me to come here and work at home with the Diamondbacks, where I worked for for Derek Hall, who is tremendous on just kind of letting me not only do what I want within within the organization, as far as, you know, helping out in spring training to to going out and visiting some minor league clubs on the road to helping guys here and there, to doing some community service stuff, you know, talking to corporate sponsorship, you know, that type of thing. You know, it's a whole variety of different things, but it's also gives me the flexibility to where I don't have to be there every single day I can I can be at home, raise my kids, be at home with my wife and do some things like that, and then also explore some other entrepreneurial things that I like to do on the side as well. So it's just kind of been a great fit. All in all, I'm still around baseball. I still am involved with it. I'm still a part of a great organization, and yet I still get to do what I want to do on the side as well.

Brad Leavitt: [00:39:58] So what are some of the entrepreneurial things you're doing outside of still working? I know you're on furlough right now, but you're very involved in the front office there with the Diamondbacks. But what are some of the other ventures you're pursuing, you know, at this time?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:40:10] Well, I'm a I'm an avid outdoorsman, I love to hunt, love to fish, I like to golf. I'm not very good at it.

Brad Leavitt: [00:40:16] But I like I'll say that there's something about baseball players like I love golfing, too, but every baseball player so good at golf and even if maybe every drives not perfectly straight they make great contact.

Brad Leavitt: [00:40:28] I mean, there's something about that hand eye coordination and just, you know, it's very applicable to what, the golf career, I guess.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:40:34] Yeah, but that ball doesn't move. So you think you'd be able to hit it straight, hit it square. But man I can I can hit a pitch coming ninety eight miles an hour but I can't hit a ball standing still. Strange how that works, but boy, it's a, it's a mental mind boggling sport for sure. But you know, I like doing a lot of different things in the outdoor world.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:40:54] And so for me, when I got done playing, I wanted to create something adventure that could kind of combine athletics and athletes along with doing something that I enjoy that I'm passionate about in the outdoor world. And so what I did is created Elite Outdoor Adventures was it's basically a company that that I don't want to call it a booking agency, but creating events in the outdoor world, intimate events, you know, groups of 10 or 12 guys and putting together a really fun, you know, bad ass fishing trip or bad ass hunting trip type thing and bringing, you know, a lot of times bringing a celebrity guest along with us, you know, whether it's a current or former baseball guy or football guy or MMA fighter or whatever it is, you know, from the network of people that I know that, you know, let's be honest, people like knowing about their career and their sport, and it gives them an opportunity to kind of dive in and find out, you know, hey, what's it like walking into an octagon with the dude and fight for a world title? You know, what's what's that like? I could never do that. Explain to me what that's all about. And, you know, you like to kind of hear the inside scoop of what it is. This gives people an opportunity to spend three or four days with the person and and go on a fishing trip and talk talk shop and get intimate and get to know somebody on a personal level. So, you know, and at the same time, the number one thing is, is, you know, we pick a charity, you know, and do it for a good cause and and have a big charitable tail to it.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:42:28] So, you know, combine those kind of three things, you know, into one adventure, if you will. It's been a lot of fun. So we've had some good times.

Brad Leavitt: [00:42:38] I love that because, you know, you think about, well, how does your Major League Baseball career impact your career after baseball? And you've really set the tone for that. You know, you talked about that you're, you know, serving the community, you know, building that network, build in that Rolodex, if you will, Well now you have, you know, players and athletes that you've met over the years from from these things. And now you can even turn that into a business now after your career is done and utilize it, you know, for the charity aspect. And so do you typically go on the excursions? Is this something you're setting up from more of a leadership standpoint and putting it together from the charitable and and maybe the celebrity or athlete that's in there? Or do you try to attend those as well?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:43:17] Well, I usually I go on all of them so far, but it's going to come to a point in time where I can't do all of them. I want to stay married and stay, stay, stay at home, you know, not get in the doghouse too much. So for me, but at least initially, going on, making sure everything's run very smoothly, you know, and being an outdoorsman myself, I know what I like when I go on a certain trip or things should be done a certain way, you know, and for me to to lay the groundwork with these different places that we go like this is how I like to do it.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:43:52] This is how it needs to be done. And because when I when people go, I want them to get off the plane and not worry about anything other than just having a great time and then get on a plane going home, going, wow, it was all included. Everything was done to the nine first class and that's kind of the whole idea behind it. So in order to do it before I start delegating that role of doing that, making sure everything's done properly, I got to do it myself a few times. But we're getting to the point now where, you know, I can start having some other people run the show on some of these trips and am confident they can do a good job as well. But I like going because I get to meet a lot of great people on them and, you know, a lot of different connections that you meet on these type of trips.

Brad Leavitt: [00:44:39] Yeah, I'm sure you make a lot of good connections. And what's really important, I mean, you think of the business aspect as I'm sure you're learning and developing now with that, you know, the career venture you have just in the Elite Outdoor Adventures is, you know, there has to be systems in place. Right, for you to be successful. As you mentioned, you know, Willy can be out there and you understand, you know, the communication and the scheduling and the protocol and you know the environment you want to create to make this, you know, a capturing experience for for those that are, you know, participating in.

Brad Leavitt: [00:45:10] In your business, but what's really important, as you mentioned, is, OK, well, how do I start training? How do I start developing those two so I don't have to be on every excursion and then making sure that, you know, every time you hire someone, you know, you're almost taking a step away from your culture and you as a person Willie. And so, you know, how does that impact I mean, you've had a lot of experience networking and training and all this. So how does that now work into training a staff and training people to make sure that everyone has that same experience as if you were there?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:45:40] Well, I think it's it goes back to the fundamentals of what makes a successful business or what makes a successful athlete or person.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:45:48] There's a right way to do things in a wrong way to do things. And it's very cut and dry. But it's. You want to do something 90 percent accurate or do you want to do it all the way accurate? You know, it doesn't. Those little things and little details paying attention to little details matter at the end of the day, you know, was your footwork right on a double play. Well, you might get away with it this time and the next time, but there's going to be a time where that rears its head and and you don't get the play made because your footwork was terrible. You know, it kind of same thing goes for business wise, where if you don't if you don't do pay attention to the little things you're doing on a on a on an outdoors trip, it can backfire on you. And for me, I've learned that obviously, as I do, these people like things a certain way. You know, a lot of people are very go with the flow and just happy to be there. But there's obviously those people that are kind of more high maintenance that like things done to a tee. So you might as well set that standard of doing everything accurately and. Right. So everything else is easy underneath that umbrella. So, you know, for me, that's just kind of teaching teaching the guys that that, you know, that I kind of hired to go with me on these type of things and grooming them and teaching them like you've got to pay attention on this trip in particular. You've got to pay attention to these type of things that that this is what can backfire or if this happens or if we have bad weather, you've got to be able to adjust and and still keep it fun and entertaining for people. So, you know, those types of things that take some time, but but they're grasping it and start to learn how to do it.

Brad Leavitt: [00:47:27] Yeah, it's funny, you know, now that you say this, I'm like, man, I should've had Willie on a long time ago because I guess early in my career especially, you know, I look at things like, OK, I have an idea of how I need to run things and I can go do it. But then one thing that we're lacking as a company, just being transparent, especially in the early on, is we didn't have really systems. Right. We didn't have protocol. We didn't have S.O.P you know operating procedures. And so we really didn't have systems. And I've learned over time that the more you have that, as you mentioned, the more that you're dialed in, the more communication, just like you, you know, the analogy of footwork, you know, turning a double play that if I had these systems laid out for my team and staff and you know, what allows us to be more efficient allows us to be better communicators. That allows us to have happy clients. At the end of the day, which is what you alluded to, I mean, if no matter the personality, whether they're difficult clients or easy clients from a personality, if you have protocols and standards and communication, you know, their guard is going to be let down and they're going to enjoy the experience. And I think that's really the key that you're that you're selling right now.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:48:23] Yeah, and that's that's the idea behind it is, is that people get comfortable with those that are there and understand that we got everything taken care of. All you got to do is just come and enjoy yourself and, you know, and and make memories and help out a good cause. Now, if you're going to be an ass on that trip, sorry dude you know you maybe ought to look in the mirror and maybe change yourself a little bit?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:48:49] And, you know, we kind of have that a little bit of that rule, too, to where somebody is that difficult, which we've never had to come to it yet. But if somebody is that difficult, here's your money back at the next flight home, like, you know, this isn't what this experience is about. It's supposed to be enjoyable. It's supposed to be fun guys that go with the flow and have a good time and help out a great cause. So if you're going into with a different mindset on on, I'm going to try to be difficult on this trip then probably probably not for you. We'll do the best we can to make everything very smooth. But at the end of the day, if we're not doing our job, that's one thing. But if you're just looking for things to be difficult, then probably not the right group of guys to be around. So we haven't had that yet. Knock on wood. But, you know, that's part of the part of the protocol that we look for in and inviting people on this type of trip as well.

Brad Leavitt: [00:49:45] I love that you're doing that vetting, though, and it's such such an important part of it. And I guess before I let you go Willie I have to ask this, because I'm sure it's not that it's easy now, I'm sure. But I always wonder, especially Major League Baseball players, how do you balance family and life? You're playing one hundred and sixty two games. You're traveling six months. You know, you're away from the family or away from home. These are you know, you're practicing. How do you stay healthy for that long of a grueling season? And I'm sure there's some sort of balance. And now that you can apply that balance and skill set to this part of your career where not that it's easy now doing this, but at least you've been through some tough times where now you can use that experience and really such as set yourself up for success. So I guess how did you balance being on the road, staying healthy and playing those long, grueling seasons as a professional baseball player?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:50:32] Well, that's it's not easy. It's like anything else in life, you kind of.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:50:36] And we talked about earlier, you got to prioritize, you know, on on what's important and and what you want to be ultimately. So I couldn't have made it through this lifestyle without my wife and got to give her props for her being awesome and being basically a lot of times a single mom when I'm on the road and traveling around and playing, you know, and there's some. The question was asked of me once, now that you're in the big leagues, is it better or worse than you imagine it to be? And. I didn't have an answer for it because there's parts of it that that suck, you know, and I know for you, for you, you play in the major leagues, but there's parts of it that are not easy on a family and not easy. Not easy on a on an athlete from a mental standpoint, you know, in a lot of people deal with with depression and anxiety and that type of stuff as an athlete.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:51:32] But then, you know, to bring that home and be able to cut that off and come home and be a happy dad or try to be a good father and a good husband when you get home after a bad day at work or a bad day on the field, that's not always easy. And so you learn to try to learn to balance it, you know, and.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:51:52] It takes a it takes a good woman to understand the mood swings and the different ups and downs that I had to deal with going through my career, and like I said, I touched on earlier, I failed an awful lot at this game and had a lot of rough days where I'd come home and just shake my head and just want to crawl into a hole for a day or two. But you can't you know, you've got one hundred sixty two games. You got to bounce back and come at it the next day. And I think having a good family support system at home certainly helps, but certainly learn how to how to deal with those failures and learning how to adjust. And all that stuff is not easy. How to take care of your body on the road when you're traveling, you know, getting massage or taking care of yourself with the hot ice cold, hot ice, hot tub, cold tub, ice baths type thing, you know, and managing that and being able to take care of yourself, staying exercised, staying healthy that way, eating healthy. All that stuff plays factors, you know. And then on the flip side of it, now that I'm done playing.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:52:56] I still got to manage the same thing at home, you know, when I get home now and now, I'm home all the time and I'm used to kind of being, you know, having an escape here and there and being on the road.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:53:05] And once in a while and, you know, like I said my wife's a saint.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:53:10] I don't know how she deals with all this chaos and making lunches, running kids everywhere and ballerina costumes and all this stuff.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:53:16] And it's a constant work in progress. But nonetheless, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Brad Leavitt: [00:53:22] I love that. And it's funny. I love how you just brought in that, you know, even as an athlete. Yeah, there's a lot of benefits, but people don't realize you're still people used to have families and you know, something simple. You know, I think about it where, you know, if you're playing in New York and you're traded to California, I mean, what people don't realize, they think that's just an easy player transition, but they don't realize now your family has to move and relocate. Your kids are in school. I mean, and this can happen on the fly. You're not prepared. You have a house or rental. And so these are things where you're uplifted as a family. In my career, I'm not just told one day, hey, Brad, you need to move to Florida tomorrow. Right. And you have to adapt and figure that out and still transition. And, you know, I think that's the one thing that I think most of us in the public don't realize, just, you know, the sacrifices the athletes make just in the front office side as things are moved and contracts are traded and how that moves around.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:54:10] Yeah, and I think, you know, now working on on the other side of the equation and and kind of seeing, you know, being in a room when my friends are being talked about, we're possibly thinking about trading this guy or that guy, I'm like, oh, gosh, poor guy, you know? And I got to keep my mouth shut because I'm not allowed to say anything but just going mad. But I guess one thing with the Diamondbacks that I can't speak for the other organizations, but I am very grateful to an organization that takes all that into consideration and that understands that.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:54:44] Athletes aren't just pieces of meat, they are actually have families, they are good people, they you know, and there are adjustments that have to be made when you do get traded or whatever.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:54:54] But, you know, they factor all that stuff in so great organization to work for and be a part of. But, yeah, from an athlete standpoint, it's those are the things that a lot of people don't see. And, you know, we don't expect them to see and understand and realize it. But that's what makes them, you know, the common fan versus the actual guy that has to deal with that and adjust with it. And that's what makes it such a just one variable that makes it such a tough career and a tough thing to be successful for a long time.

Brad Leavitt: [00:55:25] Yeah, well, I commend you. I mean, Willie you've led a great career. You've been a great example. You do a lot of charity work. I love what you're doing now, you know, so for our listeners, you know, how can they find you? How can they learn more about, you know, Elite Outdoor Adventures, you know, where, you know, how can they find more out about that?

Willie Bloomquist: [00:55:42] Well, like I said, I'm kind of more of an Instagram guy versus Twitter. I do have a Twitter account that's Instagram account is [00:55:50] at Elite Outdoor Adventures Twitter account. Is at Willie Bloom? [00:55:55] Like I said, I'm not on Twitter a whole heck of a lot. I'm more of an Instagram person just because I like to share the pictures and the videos of what we're doing. And that's kind of more fun. So those are the two things, LinkedIn as well. Same thing on there's I think it's at Willie Bloomquist on LinkedIn. I'm not on that a whole lot either.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:56:17] But mostly Instagram is the best place to find find what we're doing and what we're up to nowadays.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:56:23] So I'm excited for the future in this venture and having a lot of fun doing it. So hopefully anyone that's listening wants to go on a fun fishing trip or hunting trip with some good dudes and have a good time and great memories. Come on. So we got some good ones coming up this year and going back to Alaska, Montana doing some things like that. So we have a lot of fun and meet some great people along the way for a good cause.

Brad Leavitt: [00:56:49] Well, thanks again, Willie. I'll make sure we put that on the show notes and we'll tag you, of course, on Instagram, the Elite Outdoor Adventures so they can find you. So can't thank you enough. I know you're busy with everything and family, so thanks for making time to join us today on the podcast.

Willie Bloomquist: [00:57:02] Awesome buddy appreciate you having me. Thanks, guys.

Brad Leavitt: [00:57:06] So, again, a big thanks for Willie for making time to come on today, and just as a recap, some of the things we spoke about, you know, we talked about, you know, everyone's dealt a different hand. How do we use that for good? How do we make an impact, you know, not just in the business we're doing, but in the community and society. And I love that. I love that he shared that and what he's doing and how applicable that is to all of us. You know, as business owners, what are we doing to give back?

Brad Leavitt: [00:57:27] What are we doing to better our industry, our trades, our craft? You know, and of course, the systems, you know, he talked about. Now, as an entrepreneur, you know, the importance of systems, you know, that he can scale and now built his business. And I apply that to us as a construction company. You know, what can we do to better our systems and create a better environment for our team to be successful? It's so important to understand that. And, of course, you know, one of the quotes that we spoke about was we judge others on on their actions and ourselves and our intentions.

Brad Leavitt: [00:57:57] And so think about how that applies to business and life and to your staff, especially with employees. You know, I look at that with the strengths and weaknesses that my team has and how can I put them in better positions to be successful.

Brad Leavitt: [00:58:09] So big thanks to Willie for making time speaking to the positivity, how important it is to be positive, you know, for all of you listening that are entrepreneurs and get discouraged, it's reality. It's going to happen. But the more that we accept that this is part of the process, the easier it is to navigate through that and understand that there's going to be highs and lows and, you know, have that positive mindset, surrounded with positive people, as Jeter said, you know, and as Willie said, you know, you put yourself around positive people and you're going to be successful. That's super key to business. Super key to athletics. So thanks again, Willie. Thank you all for tuning in and joining and hopefully you enjoy the new podcast form that we have.