Episode 1: An Introduction

Welcome to the inaugural episode of The Buck Stops Here Podcast! If you’re looking for silver bullets, you won’t find them here. We have no time for BS and aim to cut through it with wit, sarcasm, honest forthright conversation, and Occam’s razor when need be.

Episode 1: An Introduction

In the final part of this series on AI, David goes over the problems presented by AI and what to look out for when you start using it in your business.

At its essence, this podcast is about responsibility for the actions that you take in your business and in your life. It aims to provide real actionable advice in business, marketing, and advertising through interviews, editorial positions on business news, real stories of business challenge and success, and to generally inspire business people to achieve more in their personal and professional lives. So pull up a chair and don’t be a stranger. We would love to hear from you and would like to see what topics you would like to see us cover in the future.

Show Notes

Coming Soon!

Show Transcript


Audio recording is commencing, and starting camera recording as well. Going to clap to sync it all up.



I love how that makes the sharp spike in the thing. Hello, everyone out there. Those of you who are joining us on the website and watching the video, or on YouTube, and those of you who are listening to the podcast. Welcome to The Buck Stops Here Podcast. It’s a business podcast designed to inspire, inform and otherwise help you cut through the bs that you deal with in your daily life as a business owner, both professionally and personally. My name is David Maples.



I am your host for the podcast. I am also going to be the primary person talking on it. Just to give you a little background on myself, I have run several successful businesses right now. I’ve been running a digital marketing online marketing agency for the past 13 years. I have degrees in management and marketing.



I’m also a lawyer with expertise in intellectual property law as well as Internet law. The question is, so why the podcast? Why this podcast in particular? Originally, I wanted to name this podcast the No BS Business Podcast. Kind of the idea is that we cut through the BS that exists in your daily business.



We were really thinking about naming it that, and we’ve been toying around with doing this and actually launching it for really the past 18 months. And then the pandemic happened. It kind of put everything off, but we really sat down and we were buying domain names for it, et cetera. And we realized that the knobs was not kind of what we wanted people to see when they were looking at the podcast. The more we thought about it, we thought there were better and perhaps more elegant ways to pursue what we were trying to get across.



Just before the pandemic, my wife and I were on vacation down in Key West, and President Harry Truman, who is kind of a personal hero of mine. We were down at his little White House down there in Key West, and he always famously had a placard on his desk that said The Buck Stops Here. That’s actually a replica of the one he had made for him when he was in the White House. And we kind of thought that kind of perfectly encapsulated what we wanted to get across with this. Really what it came down to is that you, as the CEO and chairman of your business, have to realize that you are responsible for making decisions on a day to day basis, okay?



And ultimately, those decisions are your responsibility, and you’re held accountable for those things. This also goes into your personal life. You actually need to understand that everything that happens to you for good or for ill, you have some level of accountability in your life or in your business or anything else you’re doing. And you have to understand that the buck stops here with you. Historically, in the American Old West, when people would play poker at taverns, they would pass the buck knife around and either sit in front of the person who was dealing cards or be stuck into the table in front of that person to designated that person was responsible for everything that happened at the table at that point in time. And if you chose that you didn’t want to deal with the hand of cards, you didn’t want to be responsible for that, you just wanted to bet and gamble, you would literally pass the buck knife.



You’d basically say, I’m not responsible for it. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be responsible for everything that happens at the table right now.



I just want to do my thing. And the idea with it is, as a business owner, you have decided at this point in time that it is your responsibility. You’re responsible for everything that happens at your company, that happens to your people for good or for ill. And we really decided upon visiting that little White House that that was really kind of what we wanted to do in this process. The genesis for the whole thing was that there’s a lot of BS out there.



Someone out there is always selling something. If you are like me and you run a business, do you realize that every other minute somebody has done a blog article or has a LinkedIn post or puts their TikTok channel up and it’s like the three things you need to do. The silver bullet you need to catapult your business to the next level. And the reality of it is that’s all BS.



It really is. There is no silver bullet. But yet the Internet is awash with them. There’s all these things. The magical one thing you need to do, the one thing you need to focus on in your business.



And the reality of it is that’s just crap. And you, as a business owner, in your heart of hearts, you know that. You recognize that. If there were that many silver bullets out there available for whatever ails you, there’s a lot of werewolves that need killing. The fact of the matter is that that’s not the way this works. Not at all. It’s important for you to think about the different things that matter in your business.



There is no single thing you need to focus on. Obviously, there are companies that need to slim down their product lines, slim down their service lines, and really get smart about focusing on the core thing they can compete on. But for smaller companies and even middle size and large size companies, you have multiple revenue streams. You have multiple things you’re trying to do. And the idea of jettisoning all of those when you’re a small company is literally ten amount to courting failure.



Because for you, you’re supposed to diversify your risks to some level. They tell you that. Financial advisers tell you that. You need to diversify your risk. You need to diversify your portfolio. Putting everything on red 22 or black 22, whatever it happens to be, is not a strategy for making your business successful.



The idea that you can boil everything down to the one thing that’s going to make you successful is just a lie. Now, in my career, I’ve worked for thousands of other companies. I’ve done work for literally thousands of companies. I’ve done business consulting. I’m a brand strategist.



I basically give them ideas for strategy for things they need to do and move forward in their business. So I have a lot of experience doing that. And I’ve done this for all kinds of people. I’ve done work for Fortune 100 companies, and I’ve done stuff for mom and pop lawn care service companies. Right?



And I mean, these companies range from the multi billion down to the $250,000 year kind of companies. Done work with all those. And at the end of the day, what you have to realize is that the problems you face as a five to ten person company are really similar to those that are faced by 50 to 100 person, 250, 25,000 person company, et cetera. A lot of the problems you face kind of boil down on four major dimensions. You’re worried about your cash flow. That’s always important in your business.



You’re worried about your people. You’re worried about the strategies you employ, and you have to know how to move all these strategies forward. You really have to know how to execute them. That’s not my stuff. You can go to any of these business consultants or business coaches out there and you get that information.



Actually, one of the frameworks that I’ve had some training in and worked in actually before is the Scaling Up framework. They talk about those things, cash people, strategy and execution. What you have to understand is you have to get really honest with what you’re trying to do, and you have to understand that you’re responsible for everything that happens on your watch.



So with the podcast, just to kind of introduce it, we’re going to have a lot of episodes. We’re going to try to drop one of these episodes per week.



We’re going to have a lot of different things we’re going to try to do. We’re going to have some confessionals where I always have believed that failure is a much better teacher than success. If you’re just successful all the time, then what’s the point? Right? It’s the things you’ve actually worried about and tried to figure out, like, how do we do this?



How do I be more successful in my business? What do I do? And when you make a mistake, you’re less likely to repeat it. When you’re successful and you don’t know why, it’s kind of like you’re just that person living that charmed life. We’re going to do interviews with business owners in a wide variety of disciplines.



We’ll have some strategy episodes where I talk about advertising and marketing, digital marketing in particular. We’re going to do some No BS segments where we look at kind of the soup du jour of the day and kind of analyze like is this BS or is this something you should look at? And I will say, for everybody out there, your mileage might vary. Everybody has a little different angle on what works for their business. I will tell you that my goal with every episode is to make sure that it doesn’t waste your time and that you walk away with some actionable intelligence.



We will be putting on some webinars. A lot of these will be free so people can sign up for things. And full disclosure, we will have obviously some stuff that we promote, et cetera. There are business on the show, merchandise and other things that you can buy if you’re interested. The pact and promise I will make with all of you as my listeners out there, is that we will not ever shill or promote something that we have not either vetted or tried ourselves.



And we will try to give you honest feedback on there, because I believe the world doesn’t need another podcast promoting silver bullets. What we need to do is look at these things honestly and say how this might work for you and your business, and hopefully at the end of the day, give you actionable intelligence to move things forward. So, this is an introductory episode, there’s not a whole lot more to this. Just to introduce you guys to the podcast. What I do want to say is that it’s important for you guys to do a gut check.



This podcast won’t be for everybody. There’ll be a lot of kind of tough love segments in it, too, where we talk about stuff. But at the end of the day, you’re responsible for things that happen to you. The pandemic was not anything any of us could have predicted. Well, that’s not true.



There were some people out there who predicted it, but just most of us didn’t realize it would happen. It would happen at some point in the future. But it’s one of those things that you think about. It’s kind of like when you’re measuring risk for your company. Everybody here, every company business owner out there has some kind of insurance.



You’re either required to by law or you’re required to do it. You’re doing it because it’s just a smart thing to do. Risk is what insurance is supposed to measure. It’s supposed to be a measurement of that. And so you have a lot of different risks that happen in your company.



Whether or not you’re prepared for those risks is up to you. And you have to think about those things. And with every risk, you want to kind of score it, hypothetically speaking, on a scale of one to five. What will happen if this event happens? If my business burns to the ground. If my business partner dies?



If you’re a small mom and pop company, what if you and your business partner decide to get divorced? When you start your business, you don’t ever think about those things necessarily. You think about, oh, it’s always going to be great. But what if it’s not? What if something happens?



What if you get sick? What if your heir apparent decides that they don’t want this anymore? These are all measurements of risk, and you need to kind of rate those on a scale of one to five. What happens in your company? What happens if you get sick?



What happens if you don’t do something appropriately? And then you want to also measure it by what’s the likelihood that this will happen? Our company is headquartered in Louisiana. We get hit with hurricanes with some great regularity. The chance of a hurricane wiping out your business is a real thing, but you can mitigate your risk.



The worst thing that I see when I deal with business owners, if they act all the time like these risks were not foreseeable, how would we know that a hurricane would come in and flood us? Well over 100 year span, the chance is pretty close to being 100%. And for you to say that you couldn’t have possibly planned or predicted this, is a lie. And the worst kind of a lie is a lie you’ve told yourself. If there’s something in business and you can see it being out there, there’s a way to mitigate that.



Do you get business stop loss insurance? Do you figure out how to put things up on blocks? That’s at least some way to raise your stuff up and not get it flooded. The idea with these things happening and there being never events, and there are some, but very few. I don’t think any of us really need to be predicting what happens if there’s a massive super tsunami. Nobody will be there if that happens or if an asteroid hits the planet. Those things undoubtedly will happen along some time frame.



But in the hundred years you exist on this planet, it’s probably not very likely. But the other things, the loss of a loved one, the idea that somebody is going to sue your company, the idea that you guys are going to mess up because you will. Because unless you’re a robot, and even then, there’s no guarantees. But for that, at the end of the day, you have to realize that these things happen, and you can kind of always break them down on the same things. You will have personnel issues. You will have the person who’s your trusted confidant in the company.



At some point in time, some of those people will get up and decide to leave or whatever happens. What happens if there’s a death in their family? What happens if they suffer a great loss? Maybe they’re not into it anymore. And everybody goes through these kinds of life cycles.



They happen in all companies. So the big thing is this podcast what I’m asking you to do as my listener is to get really honest with yourself and really be frank about where you want to go, what you want to do and what you want to get out that work you do every day in your company. And I think if you get really honest with yourself this is going to be a great resource for you and your business and you’re going to really see your company grow and thrive over time and you’ll probably be better for it. One of the things we are going to talk about in this podcast a fair amount is how do you balance work and life? A lot of us who are very driven business owners don’t have a lot of time for other things and one of the regrets they have late in life is that, oh, I didn’t spend enough time with my kids. That’s one of the things you need to get in touch with very early on and remember you are making sacrifices.



You are giving things up to have this business. There’s a lot of great stuff that comes out of it but there are a lot of challenges with it as well.



With that I just want to welcome you guys to the show. I’m very excited to have all you guys here and as always our door is open. We are open to feedback follow us on Twitter or on Facebook and on LinkedIn and on Instagram and we hope to have good content put out for you guys on a weekly basis and hopefully you’ll find that yourself in a much better place being a listener. Thank you very much. Again, my name is David Maples.



Take care.


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