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Productivity And Profitability Through Workflow Optimization With Theresa Valade, Success Trek (MFGMonkey Episode 12)

MFG Monkey | Workflow Optimization


Supply chain support/procurement, process improvements/implementation, support, and talent development can help the current talent not feel so overwhelmed when a company is understaffed or has a staff of low performers. We both offer strategy support to help a company run more smoothly. 


In my mind, this topic is still relevant as we all try to figure out who can help pick up the pieces as the states begin to open. 


THERESA VALADE, sparked by an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, decided to launch Success Trek in 2005. She has been helping small to mid-sized companies that are ready to take their business to the next level or in a time of rapid growth ever since. She is passionate about strengthening companies from within so that everyone and everything works better together. Theresa is known for her contagious energy and remarkable ability to inspire others to contribute more to what they do best. After more than 20 years of working in Operations Management and Consulting, she has seen how a happier workplace can increase the number of satisfied customers and improve the bottom line.


Her expertise includes improving day-to-day operations, empowering leaders and teams, and strengthening workflow processes in various industries. Theresa’s hands-on experience and education—a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University Northwest—benefit her clientele when they are getting ready to move to the next level or in times of rapid growth.


Theresa’s collaborative approach to building trust with her clients allows her to identify and isolate deficiencies in operational workflow processes and procedures, team dynamics, and individual performance. Based on her findings, Theresa recommends best-fit solutions and guides companies back on the path to productivity and profitability.


Theresa is an active professional member of the Society of Human Resources and the Association of Talent Development. She also serves on several civic and non-profit boards as an organizational change and leadership development expert. Theresa is a dynamic speaker, educating her clients about how to maneuver through the roadblocks that are getting in the way of achieving their goals more quickly.


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Productivity And Profitability Through Workflow Optimization With Theresa Valade, Success Trek


We have Theresa Valade, CEO and Founder of Success Trek. I’m excited to connect with you and get this going finally. 

We finally are going to make it happen, that’s for sure.


Our companies met at a mutual client of ours. Then you and I met and had dinner a couple of times or one time. I can’t remember. We just hit it off, and we thought we would have fun doing a podcast together, so here we are. Tell us, tell us a little bit about yourself and your company, Theresa.

I probably should tell start with the story. The story about entrepreneurship and started my company 15 years ago. It’ll be 15 years starting in October 2024, and I grew up in a family business. My grandfather started an electrical wholesale company. Then he opened a construction company, and then he opened a motor repair shop. All needs of a very small community where I grew up in Indiana. 

As a young lady growing up, I had more interest in being around my grandfather. My father also worked in the business. As I got a little bit older, my grandfather would let me write the checks for accounts payable because everything was done manually back then. I also remember helping them count manual inventory. All the nuts and the bolts, I was in charge of all that. 

All of it was manual, and we had it. I think part of that drive and that interest in creating something always got me fired up. As I went through school and all that good stuff and started my career in hospitality management, I have a degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, in Hospitality Management.

I just saw my story sisters just a couple of days ago. We had a little reunion. Anyway, the long and short of it is it just didn’t happen for me right away about this business piece until I was about 15 years ago, but started working in the hospitality industry. Then I found myself jumping jobs quite a bit because of how I’m wired. I enjoy going into an organization, understanding more about it, and supporting people to get the work done. That’s the biggest driver. It’s seeing the people succeed and not having to struggle as much as I had to struggle in some of the jobs that I worked. That became the evolution. 

I think that that’s where you and I had that chemistry together, we both started our companies because we wanted to see others succeed. I’m much you. I’ve had several jobs. I would get to the point where I was freaking bored, and it just wasn’t much more for me to accomplish. I either wasn’t likable enough in that role to be pushed on to the next level or whatever the reasoning was, which I, at this point in my life, don’t care. 

I found myself in my own company. I’ve talked about this in the past, as I have always wanted to own my own company. I never really thought that it would come true for some reason. I always had that self-doubt and I’ve started a couple of companies, I’ve spent a crazy amount of money trying to get them off the ground and trying to force it, and it just never happened. I earned my MBA that way, but it’s fulfilling in our role now to go in and help a company with what they’re challenged with to accomplish that goal and to herd everyone together. I think both of us herd cats for a living sometimes. 

The people’s dynamics are the most difficult part. When you think about your core business of supply chain, logistics, and support, there are a lot of challenges that come with that work. Then it’s all in alignment with this process improvement component, where I think we both get excited about how we can help a company move past some of the ways that they’ve been doing something traditionally. 

Then how can we help them see something a little bit different that is more efficient, bringing the folks along with us? Sometimes we want it more for them than they want it themselves. I think that’s hard for folks like us who are drivers and not that the folks that we work with are not drivers. That’s not what I’m saying, but I just feel we all get into the world of our status quo. I think it’s back to that. We have to get out of our way. I feel our job, when we go in, Dustin our job is to help them move through that. 

I think that you and I can get laser-focused on an issue. When we’re in a customer, we’re laser-focused on their problem, and we don’t see anything elsewhere. I think sometimes when you get in there, people wear so many hats because it’s not pre-2008 when you had a body for each task. Now you could have one person wearing five different hats for five different people, and they just get paralysis by analysis, and they don’t know what the hell to do and so therefore they just don’t do anything. 

I think that we see that a lot where I know we together we did where you say, “Let’s focus on this and accomplish step one and not jump to step seventeen first.” It can be frustrating, but it’s amazing when it all comes together and you look back and it’s complete. That’s the fun part. Tell me about one of the biggest challenges that you’ve been tasked with one of your clients and how that turned out. I’m putting you on the spot. 

I think one example that comes to mind is a family-owned organization and it transitioned to second generation. That always comes with its own set of challenges, and even though we work with a mix of different sizes of companies and different kinds of companies, there’s no question I do tend to gravitate towards family-owned business because of how I was brought up. You attract what you think about. 

This second-generation person found himself in this. He wanted to see change, but his father still wanted to be involved in the business. I was brought in more to support. Just training team members on the leadership development side of things because they had several supervisors who were promoted from within. Great tactical workers, just because they worked well, doesn’t mean that they could supervise folks. 

That was the original reason why I was brought in to support that. Then it organically became the conversation with the second-generation entrepreneur of how do I move my dad through the transition and get some folks that have been with our business for a long time to get on board that we’ve got to do things differently, or we’re not going to be here down the road. In the middle of working with them, 2008 happened.

It had its own set of challenges but thank goodness we were able to move them and transition them into a place where they were bought by one of their competitors. They didn’t want that to happen but the reality is that they did set themselves up for organizational success so that when they were marketed, they were certain when the buyers were looking at them, they were more attractive and valuable because we spent time building the infrastructure of his executive team. 

We did training of their supervisors and then we also worked a lot with his dad to support how we’re going to communicate with him and then what his role was within the company. It was challenging, but then we were all able to stay in our lanes without Dad stepping back in. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Dad or maybe it’s somebody else who got shifted in a company, but that can be challenging. It was a success story. It’s sad, but the next chapter was exciting though, too. 

Did they think that they were going to sell when you started with them? 


What made them realize that selling or doing an acquisition was the best for everyone? 

The biggest key was that they could no longer competitively offer prices of what they were selling to their market. 

What was the reasoning behind that? Their buying power?

Fallibility. They were small. 

They just couldn’t scale. They probably didn’t have the cash to figure out the technology to scale. 

Couldn’t scale, yes, nor did they want to. We continue to have strategic conversations about what’s the rate of return as it relates to if we were to scale or increase our warehouse. Build our buying capacity. We went through all those strategies versus is it time to let it go? We did the pros and cons, but it became their decision. 

Again, Dad stayed out of it. He did a really good job of letting his son take the reins and do the assessment, and several of those folks I still talk to today, the son stayed on board. They kept him on board for marketing and sales to support their customer base from a relationship standpoint, which was difficult for him because now the business was run differently. 

No control, I still stay in contact with him today, and he just did a really good job. I think that sometimes you have to tighten your lips, but it was very successful. A lot of his senior team leaders are still there, except for the financial person. Their production person is still there. Their customer service person is there. They have several team members on the customer service team who are still there. That, to me, was a successful merger scenario. 

Did they stay in the same building or did they move their operation? 

They stayed in the same building. 

Were you involved with anything after the acquisition? 

No, I transitioned out because they had it right there. They were a larger company. They already had a lot of times I would support HR functions too, as it relates to training and development, not the government, not employee handbooks. I don’t do any of that stuff. I don’t do the governance stuff on the HR side, but they needed some updated job descriptions. I’d help with some of that. For the most part, we had all of that done and ready for them. Again, we set them up in a very competitive place to be bought.

That’s great. That would be interesting to know, because I’m just a nerd like this is, what the new company did within their walls after they took over to make them scalable and continue to succeed. That’d be a cool case study, too. It sounds like the things that you get involved in, you have so many opportunities and so many stories of case studies. I’m sure even the ones that aren’t “successful” still have a hell of a story to learn from and to tell that unsuccessful experience to the next company that you help that’s going down that same path, “I’ve seen this before. If you keep going down this path, this is probably what’s going to happen.” 

You and I both have strategic brains. That is also our connection of being able to look at the big picture of the organization even though we can hone in on a specific challenge or a problem that they’re having, offer, and identify ways to solve their problem. We’re always looking at it from an organizational development perspective. 

Again, it’s connecting the people and the process to the strategy. I always say we strengthen, our tagline is strengthening companies from within so that everyone and everything works better together but that’s not always simple. The people dynamic is just really the hardest part. You and I’ve had some conversations around. We, outside consultants, have a different connection versus being an internal consultant. 

We need to strengthen companies from within so that everyone and everything works better together. Share on X

I do feel sometimes that, as an outside consultant, we do have our work cut out for us, not in a bad way. We’ve got several stakeholders on the line, that we’re trying to understand where they sit at the table and what’s important to them while we’re out here thinking strategy about how that specific thing needs to shift. What questions are we going to ask to help everyone? They usually know the end goal, but getting there the same way is not always easy. 

I think one of the challenging things is if two people are in charge, or two people that think they’re in charge, or one person always thinks that the other person’s in charge, and they say, “No, that’s Joe’s decision.” You go to Joe, and he says, “No, that’s Steve’s decision.” You’re like, “Guys, let’s get in the same room and make a decision.” It doesn’t matter who makes it, but let’s make one together. And I think that that can be certainly a challenge.

One of the things that I certainly took away from you and learned, and I don’t even know if I’ve ever told you this, but we seem to be so customer-focused, we don’t want to upset them. If we see something and we have a policy or a procedure and the customer doesn’t want to follow that, a mistake that I’ve made in the past is deviating from that to try and make it easier for them, and it’s turned disastrous. 

Stay On The Rails

One of my takeaways is, no, we have to stay on the rails. This is what we’re doing. I think that as long as you get through that in a fun way where you don’t alienate them, it’s going to turn out better for everyone in the end instead of deviating from what is right to appease them short term. 

I think that is so true. I think about the whole bumper cars thing. With the bumpers on the outside, we have to set up our boundaries. Now, we can bump inward. We can meet our clients where we are, where they’re at to a certain extent, but to your point, we can’t sacrifice what we know to be true to get the result. To make sure that we all stay open, honest, and transparent. There are no curve balls. 

We can't sacrifice what we know to be true to get results. We have to stay open, honest, and transparent. Share on X

It’s really easy to get there because we want to be so accommodating, but the other thing is that being wired that way is also something that we have to be mindful of. I think we’re both wired. I had my struggles early on when my team members would say, “Theresa, you’re overly accommodating.” That’s what they would say to me. 

Again, I’m grateful for my team members because we have a very open dialogue like that, but I would hear them chirp in my ear, and I would get better. The first five to seven years of the business, all of a sudden you look at your P&L and your project, and you’ll say, “My God, what did I do?” That’s lessons learned. I hear you, Dustin.

I think that that confidence comes with time. I know that each year, I become a little more confident, and I’m a little more willing to say, no and not just no, but, “No, and this is why.” If we can figure this out and sure, let’s move forward, but I can’t do this for this price because we’re going to lose money, and I’ve sent enough dollar bills off the door in the past. 

You’re talking about the school of hard knocks. I think about the same thing too, even though I have my MBA, but I still feel these past years have been the best schooling ever. To just get in and just do it. I think about business development. What I like about your brain though, Dustin. This is just something that I think about. When I first started the business, you have to figure out how to sell. Just because I’m good at my craft. I never really sold. 

Now, granted, I did work for Kendall-Jackson Winery. They saw that I could sell something, but that was the only thing that I’d sold. Anyway, the long and short of it is just the balance of us teaching ourselves some different skill sets, even though we may have, on the surface, developing those skills of business development and marketing. Where I see that your brain is always marketing. Finally, after 15 years, I do feel I have those 10,000 hours. I feel I’m almost a business development expert. That is not what we coach on because that isn’t my forte, but I’ve had to learn it. 

One, that was for me; I dealt with something exactly opposite of you. I was always in sales marketing and a mediator where I could help. When I first really started selling, I got my first sales job in a bar. This isn’t a joke. In a bar talking to mutual friends, and I just really got along with this guy, and I ended up working for him for a while. 

It was in sales, I had never been in sales before. Sales went up 15% in the first year. I had all these old-school guys ask me, “What are you doing?” “You don’t even know what the hell you’re doing.” “How are you being successful?” I said, “I don’t know.” I got to show up every day. I get up in the morning. I work until I can’t work anymore. Then I get up and do it all over again. 

That taught me. You don’t have to know what you’re doing. You just have to be there, willing to help and to solve a problem. At the end of the day, sales to me are problem-solving. If you can identify an issue, offer a solution, and then follow through and execute, that’s all sales is.

Typically a salesperson. I always could identify an issue and offer a solution. Then I’d have to bring somebody else in or a team of people who are way smarter than me to do it, and then hopefully it all holds together. When I started my own company, I could sell. Now I have all these opportunities. We’re quoting, everything’s going well. I asked, “Who’s going to fulfill all this stuff?” “God, it’s me.” 

That was a big learning curve, but I’ve always been very process and system-driven, where I just went back and said that I did this in sales. I have a sales machine that just over a decade that I’ve built. And it’ll never be perfected because it changes so much. For fulfillment, we just need a system. We just bought really good systems, hired good people, and I lean on them. I’m excited. Did you meet V yet? Vienna? 

Yes. Tomorrow, we have a conversation. I ended up canceling the event I had because we just had a low turnout, which is what happens sometimes, but we have a call tomorrow. 

You’ll love V. You two are wired very similarly. She’s an ops ninja, she’s going to take us to the next level. She came from the Japanese manufacturing world for 25 years. She did accounts receivable, accounts payable, system build-out, and inventory control. We’re excited to have her on. I think we get you two together. It’ll be really good for all of us.

I think she’s got some good challenges in front of her, too.

Yes, she does. We have tasked her with running our WMS system that we just launched, and it’s a great system. I’m not the right person to take charge of that. I got it to where it is now, and it’s usable. I told Vienna, “This baby is all yours. You take it and run with it.” What took me probably six weeks to learn, she picked up in one or two days and is off running. It’s just such a breath of fresh air. 

How is your warehouse going? 

It’s going well. I think we’ve got every documentation I had to trade in one of my children to get past the next thing that they want. I think we have given them everything that they need, so they know that we’ll pay our rent, but it’s fun and scary all at the same time. It’s 20,000 square feet with, I think, just a little over a thousand square feet of office space. A lot of space, and high ceilings. One of our customers, with whom we signed a contract that we start on July 1, 2024, is getting down to the wire, they want to start moving in the product on July 1st. Not everything’s completely done with our warehouse yet. 

Is that the one that you have to have refrigeration for? 

No, we won’t do any refrigeration or anything, but they are kegs. Unfortunately, they’re all going to be empty. What we’re going to be doing for the company is we will receive in the dirty kegs from the brewery that they rent off from our customers. We’ll clean the outside off and decant them. We’ll empty them, but we don’t have to sterilize them. Then we rewrap them and stack them. 

We’ll have roughly 20,000 to 30,000 kegs in the warehouse at any given time. Then we’ll have trucks every day coming in and out, picking up new, clean kegs and dropping off used ones. That’ll take up quite a bit of the space. It’ll take up between 7,000 and 8,000 square feet of space. We are very close with another customer, it’s a launch, it’s a brand new company. 

It’s going to be amazing, and I’m having their CEO and the president here in a couple of weeks. I don’t even know if I can talk about them and name their names yet. They have tagged us on LinkedIn with a few things. It’s amazing. It’s one of those products that you look at and you’ll say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” It’s so simple.

We went out; we have coded all nine parts for them right now, and we’re going to be doing everything from handling all the manufacturing for them, we’ll get it into our warehouse box; packing; picking; and shipping individual items to the customers. We are working through this right now, where all their orders will be pushed into a fishbowl in which Vienna knows exactly how she wants us to work. Thank God, because I don’t. 

That was another big software that you got to pull these pieces together so you can track and run these reports and real-live inventory. 

Yes, everyone can log in. Our customers can log in and see exactly what’s in WIP, what’s on our floor, and how many orders got shipped out that day. They’ll get email notifications or how it works if we’re shipping products that we sell. The customer gets email notifications when it ships and when it’s delivered, and things that. That’s super exciting. They’re projecting 5,000 shipments a day when they mature, which is insane to me. Hopefully, we crawl, walk, and run. We don’t just get fed with the fire hose right out of the gate. That’s never fun or successful, but it happens sometimes.

I was telling you about your recent podcast with your friend Aaron. Just him getting started up. We all have to start somewhere. Sometimes it’s not always the ideal way. You’re going to go through your transition as well. 

It will be fun, and I think that that’s my drug. Everyone has their vice, and I’ve noticed this over the last couple of years. Every time I get comfortable, I do something to make myself uncomfortable. That’s what gets my juices going. If I get too comfortable, I sleep until noon. Everything’s running. Nothing needs me.

It’s running, so I need that next challenge that I don’t sleep well and I get up in the morning and it’s like, “How do we figure this out?” Fortunately, I’ve been able to surround myself with good people who work for me, good people who I’m just friends with, like you, and we can help each other out. That’s what I enjoy about owning my company. 

The Challenger Sale

You said something earlier about selling and the 2008 economic downturn before all this pandemic stuff, but did you ever read that book, The Challenger Sale?

No, never read that. 

Maybe six months after maybe it was 2009 or so. When you talk about the business development side of things and helping organizations, that’s what I find when I go in there. They can tell you a lot of symptoms about what’s happening in the organization. It’s very difficult, right to get to the root problem. The Challenger Sale, that’s one piece of the business development side of things. 

I think the other important piece is just something that we take, not for granted, but it’s the underlying root of who you and I are, and that’s relationships. The Challenger Sale was just talking about how certain companies stay afloat versus other companies that lean heavily on a lot of online marketing. Those kinds of things did not necessarily come out on top, but it was the companies that focused on personal relationships. 

I think that even during this time, there’s no question, I do believe that my pipeline is going to be affected. I’m very blessed that several clients during this pandemic have been able to pivot along with me. For some of the work that we do, you can’t just go in and do a skill-building training in person during this pandemic. That affected some of the work that we did. Now granted some documentation that we do for the training tools and onboarding. We’ve even been able to do a couple of strategic retreats with both teams and executives via Zoom. 

It’s a little different because the Mojo is a little different. The Association of Women in the Metals invited me to come speak next week for our webinar. We’re addressing the challenges within their industry with the furloughs and layoffs. We’re talking to folks that are left behind, feeling they’re the last person standing. Again, back to relationships. It’s just that ongoing thing that I think that you and I do. It’s just important to us.

I can’t agree more because I’m very system-driven, but I’m very old school in the fact that when I was traveling, I put a lot of air miles on to fly to California, and I would be there for 30 minutes. They ask, “Why did you fly out here?” I reply, “Because it’s important.” We won the business. We need to sit down. One of the principles that we represent is Springfield Spring and Stamping in Springfield, Massachusetts. They have another division in Bristol, Connecticut. 

We did a phone interview. I talked to his consultant. It was this whole string of everything. Norm’s a great guy. I can’t wait for him to come on the podcast. He’s probably one of the funniest people that I’ve ever been around. We get through all this. Norm said, “I’m going to get you my contract, and we can get going.” I said, “Let’s pump the brakes a little bit, Norm.”

He’s a Puerto Rican guy, he’s very boisterous. He said, “What the hell do you mean? Let’s just sign this and get it going.” I said, “I’m going to fly out there, and I want to walk your facilities first.” He said, “You can see everything online.” I replied, “I can, but I want to meet you. I want to see your quality processes. I want to see your on-time delivery. I want to meet your people. I want to talk to the people that we’re going to be talking to.” 

It’s a big difference to walk around that. 

He said, “I’m not going to pay for you to fly out here.” I said, “I don’t expect you to. I’ll do it on my dime, and if you choose that I’m not the right person or we’re not the right people to represent you, then we just took all the fun out of it. We took away two years of us being frustrated.” I flew out there, and I think we spent a day and a half just laughing. 

We didn’t talk about a whole lot of business. It was, it was Norm telling jokes is what it was. We have a great relationship. He tells that story to everyone. We get along really well. They’re the number one spring manufacturing and foresight stamping company in the US period, bar none. I hope somebody is reading this and you email me and challenge me on this because I will win. 

They are. They’re just they’re amazing. They do medical and firearms and they both have to work all the time, 100% of the time. There’s no other company out there doing what they’re doing. We just launched a new website yesterday. I don’t know if you have seen that yet. We kept it a little secret until I guess now just to work out any bugs that are in there. 

One of the key metrics that we put on becoming a partner is Quality, On-time Delivery, and Likeability. It’s simple, but that likeability piece you were saying is so important that if you don’t each other, why are you working together? Unless you’re both just so desperate, but if you don’t get along, just stop working together and move on with your life, because your life is going to be a whole lot better if you do that. 

I learned that the hard way because we worked with a company that could do some amazing things. They manufactured things for me that other manufacturers struggled with. That’s why we concentrate on things that are hard to manufacture. If we don’t have a manufacturer, we go find the manufacturer.

They were good, but they were God-awful to deal with. It was so uncomfortable. I dreaded calling them. When I started hiring people, I said, “You call them, I’m not calling them.” They would call me, and they would ask, “What is going on over there?” I replied, “I don’t know, but I’m glad you’re talking to them now, not me.” It was just this joke, and then finally, it just got to the point where, “This is stupid. This is 90% of our headaches. Let’s just move on with our lives.” 

The companies that are so systematically driven online with sales, I would love to know how successful those companies are without any customer support versus a little less efficient, but their customer support is amazing. I would have to make a bet that their sales volume is lower. The number of widgets they sell may be lower, but their revenue is higher, and their gross margins are higher. I feel you and I could talk about, if we were drinking, if we had a cocktail or two, this might be the longest podcast ever. 

That time, we’ll bring Jason along with us. 

People, Leaders, And Culture

Yes, absolutely. That would be fun to get all three of us on a podcast, have a couple of drinks, and just talk about whatever with zero agenda. That is the tough part about doing these podcasts through Zoom. This is flowing pretty well, but sometimes you can tell on some of them, it gets to a point that’s forced a little bit. If you are in the same room and you’re talking or you stand, it just seems to me that you have that chemistry. You and I are a big believers that your heart gives off signals when you’re in the same space. When you have good chemistry with people, it’s just everyone can feel it. 

It’s no different than me going into doing a skill workshop with live people versus a webinar. You can make the most of it on a Zoom call, but the interaction and the transfer of learning in person. That’s another story I’ll bring up. I know we got to wrap up here shortly, but one of the things that I thought was so interesting about three years ago, I was hired to help with a company. They retrained 400 of their supervisor level and above. 

They’re still in existence today. They’re merging actually with another home intravenous care company. They’re becoming larger, but at the time that I was working with them, their focus was all about, if we focus on our leaders and our people. They were shifting cultures. The previous culture was from a corporation organization and a small private company bought them. 

If we focus on our leaders and our people, we can shift cultures. Share on X

They wanted to blow up the culture and get rid of this rigid hierarchy and all these processes. Their process and procedures are good, but when they start driving and taking autonomy from decision-making and allowing people to handle situations, that’s when it becomes challenging. This organization was so cool. I went all across the country, and 25 people in a room, that’s it. 

I travel across the country, and we had classes throughout a three-day Leadership Development Training series from eight to five for three straight days. You talk about the transfer of learning, though. A lot of companies stopped doing that because of cost and expense, but when you whole people together and again it did depend on what their schedules were like. 

Even though we were in California, maybe we had some people come up from Florida or Boston. We did try to do it regionally to try to keep costs down, but it was a really neat. Back to what you’re saying, the research behind the connection of people is when you’re together. Again, I’m grateful for Zoom during this time.

It’s interesting that one of the clients that we had postponed one of the skill-building workshops, I emailed them and said, “With all this shift and change, maybe we should go ahead and move forward with a video conference, do a video workshop.” Her immediate reply back was, “No, we want it to be in person. However long we need to wait.” I just found that super exciting that people get it.

It is exciting, and I think that I’ve been on four Zoom calls today alone, which is great because you can still communicate. It opens it up. You’re still face to face, which I’m a massive believer in, but you do miss that interaction. I’ve been in several meetings just in the last week where people are finally starting to open up their doors and you have to put on a hazmat suit to go in, but you find both of you reaching out to shake each other’s hands. You’re like, “I don’t know if they’re comfortable with that or not.” 

You miss that. You’re bumping feet and heels, and stuff. It’s amazing because you can see just the energy. You feel it. You feel the energy go out of yourself. I don’t think I’m a big Zen person, but maybe I am. Then you can see the other person, their energy goes out because they’re used to shaking hands. We just had that conversation. 

One of the first things you teach your child is to shake somebody’s hand and look them in the eye and now, that all goes away. I was walking my dog the other day and I started talking to this guy. His wife had talked to me about something, and I reached out to shake his hand. I didn’t, it was my first experience with this. 

He said, “Don’t be offended, but we’re in our 70s.” I was like, “My God, I get it. I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel awkward.” He said, “No, it’s a tough thing for me. Not to shake your hand, because it’s just it’s a natural thing to do, but we just need to be conscious about this.” I get it. The last thing I want to do is read in the newspaper that something happened, and it’s shortly after I shook your hand. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself with that. I think that we’re going to stop taking those things for granted moving forward, these personal connections. 

When we do get in our warehouse and we have our studio and you and Jason come down, or I’m able to come up there and we set everything up and we can do this together, it’ll be a whole different topic. I think that we’ll appreciate it even more because of what we’re going through now. It is interesting. I do want to be respectful of your time. I don’t care how long we talk. This thing will record for days. I know that you are probably extremely busy. We are starting to see things pick back up. That’s exciting.

It’s nice to see things back open again. That’s for sure. 

For the first time since St. Patrick’s Day, I went out with four or five of my buddies, and we grabbed a beer or whatever. I don’t even know what day today is, but it was one day this week, it was the first time that we got together and went to the local pub to grab a drink together. The energy was just that everything was far away. You can’t sit at the bar. 

The energy is off in it, but it was good just to see that next step. It’s one of my favorite things to do is go out and eat. We talked about that. That’s a whole other topic. It’s the same thing. We go to visit somebody, and they will say, “I’d really like to go to lunch, but nothing’s open.” You build a lot of rapport, breaking bread together. 

Thank you so much for coming along. Anyone who wants to reach out or have questions and get a hold of Theresa, email us at We did that on purpose to be funny so people remember it or you can go to our podcast, it’s and that’ll be the next website that we launch. As always, down in the description, we’ll have Theresa’s bio. I’m sure we’ll tell a funny story that’s not true about her. You can get a hold of her and hit her website too there as well. Thank you so much for coming on. It was a ton of fun. Talk to you soon. 

Take care. 



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