Supply Chain Now Episode 463
“The best way to learn is to connect with different people, and the way that you connect with people is by finding commonality.”
Ryan Schreiber, co-founder of Kinetic and Director of Engagement for CarrierDirect
While it is absolutely advantageous to have a learner mindset or a growth mindset, we’re not all born in that frame of mind. Many people have to learn to control or change their mindset, and it is an effort that never ends. That is the mindset journey that Ryan Schreiber, co-founder of Kinetic and Director of Engagement for CarrierDirect, now finds himself on.
Despite the fact that he admits to ‘recharging’ as an introvert, Ryan is a natural connector, looking to learn from and assist everyone he crosses paths with. In fact, key to his style of learning is talking to literally anyone who will speak with him, whether he initially thinks they can teach him anything or not.
In this conversation, Ryan talks with Supply Chain Now Co-host Jamin Alvidrez about:
· Why it is so important for leaders to build or assemble a support base for themselves because we can’t all be right and strong all of the time
· How we should each think of ourselves as a ‘bootstrapped’ startup if we want to achieve our very best
· What we have to be willing to do if we really want to solve problems.
Jamin Alvidrez (00:07):
Hey, freight tribe. Today’s episode. We talk with Ryan Freiburg, truly one of the great connectors in logistics and transportation. So who better to talk to us about the power of intentionally networking? He also shares some great personal insights on how to develop a growth mindset and the importance of paying attention to the customer experience. All right, let’s get into it and thank you so much for listening. Let’s go. Hello and welcome to a logistics and transportation experience with Jayman today. I’m fired up. I’m fired up every day, but particularly fired up to have a friend on, uh, Ryan Schreiber. He’s an experienced Renaissance man, a freight advocate for the future transformation evangelist. I had to look this one up believer in conversational UI, a successful serial entrepreneur and logistics, meaning he’s done a wider range of things and crushed it. We look forward to hearing about that.
Jamin Alvidrez (01:12):
A Juris doctor, Magna cum laude, a law from Michigan state law school, and last but not least the father of cats. And I’ll give you the pride of a champion at school. Ryan Schreiber. Welcome. Thanks, dude. I love the name of the podcast. It reminds me of this Michael Vick commercial from like the late nineties. Do you remember that one? It was like a Nike commercial. Yeah. Oh, Michael Vick experience. And like, I love that name anyway. Thanks anybody. Who’s watching this who hasn’t seen it. Go look that go Google that it’s one of the best commercials of all time. Vic is such a beast. I think he’s wildly under appreciated. Obviously he had the little dog issue, but yeah. Yeah, absolutely. But I agree. He was, he definitely changed the game in a lot of ways. Being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, I had to see him twice a year, but the Buck’s always handled them.
Jamin Alvidrez (02:03):
So it was, it was fine. Yeah. You got yours in 2002. You got you a ring. I was there too. I was in San Diego. It was awesome. It was one of the best that’s red. I’m a huge Keyshawn Johnson fan. So I was, I was rooting for the bucks. Just give me the damn ball. That’s my philosophy on life too. We can actually end this podcast right now. That’s my philosophy. Just give me the damn ball. You guys have similar swagger. You go out and get it and make it happen. And you’re right. And that’s why I’m fired up to have you on because as you probably heard me say it a lot on this podcast, I want to focus on adapt and thrive, right? So there’s a lot of people out there covering the tactical side of logistics and transportation and they do it very well. I want to get in your mind, you’ve been successful at a lot of different stops. You’ve done a lot of different things. So the questions I’ve put together here are honestly, they’re selfish questions, ones that I want to know the answer to, to try to help my mindset. See what I could borrow from you, copy from you or just distinct and motivate me first. Let’s get to know you as a, as the kid a little bit. Let’s, let’s take it way back. Where’d you grow up,
Ryan Schreiber (03:11):
Born and raised in Tampa, Florida. So I lived in Tampa, Florida from birth until I graduated college. And then I struck out and moved to the Midwest. And I’m actually about to move back to the, to the South of here in a couple of weeks. I’m moving to Texas with my wife because she hates winter. So yeah, the Texas we’re moving to San Antonio. That’s where I, that’s where my wife’s originally from. So, you know, when they say happy wife, happy life, right?
Jamin Alvidrez (03:35):
Hey, I can not argue with that. That’s awesome. Your cats. Aren’t going to hate that either. No, they’re going to love it. Favorite toy
Ryan Schreiber (03:43):
As a kid, favorite toy? I don’t know. Like I probably a basketball. We play basketball a lot growing up, like just me and my friends. We would just go to the park and play basketball all day. So like, I mean, you know, it’s not a power ranger or anything like that. Although I remember, you know, power and just rubbing when I was a kid, but hoopin is probably the thing that I remember the most. Just like doing all day, every day, growing up. When’s the last time you shot a basketball? Um, it’s been a while. I like somebody brought this up the other day. It has been a couple of years since I’ve actually played basketball. Like first day of college to the end of law school, seven straight years. I played basketball like on average six days a week. And then since then in the, in the 12 years since I graduated law school, I’ve played basketball. Like, I don’t know, 10 times,
Jamin Alvidrez (04:28):
Man, gotta go pick up a ball. I got to say like I was in the same boat as you. And uh, we started going to quarantine time and I just started, uh, to try to stay sane. We just started shooting hoops again. I’m not great by any means, but it’s still therapeutic just to fire up some, uh, jump shots. Yeah,
Ryan Schreiber (04:46):
I agree. I mean, the transition into the Coran times was really interesting. I mean, I went from being on the road 70% of the time to being in my inside the four walls of my house, 99% of the time. So I bought a bike to do exactly what you’re talking about. I just like ride my bike around a little bit and clear my mind. And it’s fun.
Jamin Alvidrez (05:04):
Talk to me about that. You, uh, you’re a road dog, a road warrior. However you want to put it. Um, you would, you were someone that was going to all the shows going to visit all the different brokerages and transportation companies around the country. What was it like going from a hundred miles an hour or two a to zero?
Ryan Schreiber (05:22):
I don’t think I ever got to zero. You know, I think that, you know, adapt and thrive like very quickly, everything happened very quickly. And I asked myself, how do I take, you know, I have no control over what’s going on in the broader economy. What’s going on with the health and welfare of people. So very quickly, I, I focused in on like, what can I do? What can I do that is going to make a difference for me and for the people with whom I have relationships. And so, you know, I certainly like our, my business dried up really, really quickly, but I focused in on and my efforts in, on connecting people, which is, I think something that is my super power. So I started doing like weekly calls with clients or bringing my clients together so that they could share what’s going on with them and the best practices that they had kind of sourced through the whole COVID shutdown, early phase shutdown, I’ve participated with other organizations to be the voice of trucking and transportation to shippers about, you know, Hey, here’s, what’s going on with drivers and, you know, they’re, they’re facing food insecurity.
Ryan Schreiber (06:34):
So, you know, it was just really, it was a quick turn, but I like, I don’t think I ever went to zero. Yeah. He just,
Jamin Alvidrez (06:41):
It took, took a different way to connect with people.
Ryan Schreiber (06:44):
I liked that a lot.
Jamin Alvidrez (06:46):
You know, you mentioned it happened suddenly and I think for all of us and you, and you walked us through your thought process, is that something you internalize and kind of have that internal conversation or does it come naturally to you
Ryan Schreiber (06:59):
Just, just pivot and act, most things don’t start out as natural, you know, your whole, your whole podcast is around mindset and anybody who’s listened to anything else that I do has heard me talk about having a learner mindset or having a growth mindset. That’s not my natural state of being, you know, as, as a human being, like when I was born, you know, nature versus nurture. But certainly like when I, as I grew up, um, I was a very negative person and I had a very fixed mindset and, you know, it’s natural and people like me who are very passionate and very driven. And I had to learn to challenge myself to, to, to have a growth mindset, to have a learner mindset, to come into every situation wanting to learn. And so I think the same thing is true here. Like I certainly now it’s intuitive and natural for me, but I, I probably, at some point in my life, I had to learn how to say, okay, how do I take control of this situation to the extent that I can cause I can’t control everything a what can I control so I can focus on those things and be, how do I have an impact on those things as much as I can.
Ryan Schreiber (08:09):
And then maybe the third part is like, what can I learn from this?
Jamin Alvidrez (08:12):
I like that still, was there a moment either growing up or in your professional life where you sort of drew a line or like, Hey, I got to snap out of this fixed mindset over into what you described as a learner growth mindset. You know what, there was, I, um, I, it was probably
Ryan Schreiber (08:28):
2013 or 14 and I used to jokingly just kind of say I had, I was, I was building a brokerage. I had started this brokerage as a sister company to a, to a food distribution company. And I, and I, you know, I was growing the brokerage and I just was so stressed. I mean, every day was stressful. Like it, you know, just trying to figure out how to grow a brokerage and how to deal with the human problems. And whenever people would ask me how I was doing, I would always jokingly say, you know, everything’s terrible all the time. I would just say, and I would say jokingly tongue in cheek at one day, I kind of just stopped and talked to myself like, like the universe, you know, the kind of the, not to get hokey about it, but the energy that I was putting out in the universe and what that actually meant in tangible terms was I was saying it’s so often that it was something I thought about all the time.
Ryan Schreiber (09:20):
I thought about being able to say it. And so it was the undercurrent of so many things that I would say. And so I changed. I was like, I’m going to change this. I’m going to say something different. And then I, then I started saying a quote from the big Lebowski. Everything’s fine, dude, nothing is fucked. So it’d be like, if people are like, how’s everything, I’ll be like, you know what, everything’s fine all the time. And nothing is fucked. And it’s, and it’s transportation. Everything is fucked all the time, but I would say it and it’s amazing how quickly my stress level came down. And that is, was a real turning point for me in terms of how I realized the way that I think impacts the way that I feel. And I can have the control over the way that I feel by changing the way that I think.
Ryan Schreiber (10:12):
And it didn’t happen over like, you know, certainly like, you know, if you have to read your it’s just like anything else, you have to practice it still today. I find myself being negative sometimes and I have to stop myself. And that’s all you can do is, is, is focused on improving, you know, incrementally. So yeah, there was, there was that moment. I remember I was on the phone with one of my clients and I remember who the client is. I’ll maybe text him and tell him to listen to it. Nobody here would know who he is. Nice. I like that. Yeah.
Jamin Alvidrez (10:43):
The stories that we tell ourselves, the self-talk,
Ryan Schreiber (10:46):
It matters. Uh, I don’t, I don’t find that too,
Jamin Alvidrez (10:49):
To be hokey at all. So would you have some checks and balances with yourself to, to regulate that, that self-talk or when you catch yourself slipping, is there something you do to bring yourself back or it’s just such second nature. Now,
Ryan Schreiber (11:03):
Another really great question. I do think it’s probably second nature, but I think it’s really hard to self-regulate for a lot of people. And particularly for somebody like me, who thrives off of my emotion, I think that everything is almost, everything is a two sided coin. It’s your super power in certain circumstances and it holds you back in others. So for me, I think it’s probably my family and my wife, like just having that, you know, everyday when I come home, I want to make sure that I’m, or every time I talk to my wife, I do my best to like check in with myself to be like, am I going to be, you know, am I going to be the husband that she deserves it? I’m not like I never, I literally never am. My wife is amazing. She’s the best. And like, I, you know, and I like, uh, I’m the kind of person I like tease my wife a lot.
Ryan Schreiber (11:55):
And she hears me kind of like tease her. I tease her to other people a lot. Um, so if she’s ever home, she like hears me on the phone, but like, um, my wife did this silly thing, how funny, but I try and check in with myself to say like, am I bringing this to her? I’m trying to get better at doing it in the moment. But certainly like every day I had that touch point with myself, but it has, I mean, to your point, it’s become a little bit ingrained in my mentality cause I’ve gone through the reps and I don’t do it every, I’m not great at it every day, but I just try, what is it that, that
Jamin Alvidrez (12:26):
Make sure your wife’s so rad and, and that you respect and, and really though those words you shared and the mentality is stinking beautiful. What makes man, what is she, what does she do that we can all borrow to kind of conjure up that sort of, uh, uh, respect.
Ryan Schreiber (12:42):
When I first started dating my wife, I knew we were going to get married. My wife and I just had our five year wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Congrats, thank you. We’ve been together for close to 10 years now, but I knew we were going to get married when we first started dating. And when somebody would ask me, what do you love about your wife? I would say that I’m, I’m never a person who has, um, hesitated to express myself and be who I am and, and, and be comfortable with that to varying degrees. I would say that my wife made me more me than I had ever been before and one, and I think that’s like the highest compliment that I can ever. She didn’t change me. Totally. She just made me more me than I’d ever been before. And then one day I asked her after we’d been married for a little while, why did you fall in love with me?
Ryan Schreiber (13:26):
And her answer was because you are who you are and you don’t care what anybody thinks about it. And certainly if I was like a serial killer and I didn’t care what anybody thought about it, she probably wouldn’t have given the same answer. Although actually, maybe my wife, cause she loves that true crime stuff, but I like most people, you know, but, but I’m not, but I’m not perfect. And my wife knows that I’m not perfect. And she doesn’t ask me to be perfect. She asked me to be me. And so like all the other things, her love, you know, her compassion, my wife is the most naturally good person I’ve ever met. I think most of us have to try to be good. My wife is naturally good. I certainly do. It’s the mix, you know, it’s, it’s like a natural empathy that she has that just makes her good in her heart. Whereas like I have to be like, am I making the right decision here above all other things? Like, that’s why, that’s why, I mean it’s selfish, but my wife, my wife builds is a foundational sort of piece of my personality at this point because she just enables me to be me even more than I’ve ever been before, man. That’s awesome. So how is her rock solid
Jamin Alvidrez (14:31):
Example helped you? You know, you you’ve had a successful career started and exited in various fashion. My God, different businesses. How has her example helped you be a leader in those different organisms?
Ryan Schreiber (14:44):
My wife is the only reason that I’ve been able to do anything in my career to your point too, around mentality from earlier. You know, when my wife and I first started dating, I had been starting and building a brokerage and I, and the owner of the company was just somebody that I had a really toxic working relationship with. And she helped me like, not just, just from being there, she helped me recenter, you know, and think more longterm and kind of like push it up. But, but even, but every step along the way, I have only been able to do what I am able to do because I know, I know my wife has my back and I don’t have to question it. And if I fail, I know that she’s going to like, you know, she’s going to be there to like support me.
Ryan Schreiber (15:32):
You know, she’s not going to criticize, you know, she, she’s not going to be there to criticize me. She’s not going to be there to, and in very tangible ways to like, look, I tried 2016, I left a brokerage and I tried to start an independent consulting business at the time. And I way overestimated how ready I was for that thing and the network that I had to do it. And like my wife, you know, my wife had to kind of like, I mean, I made enough money to help us pay our bills, but like, but my wife really shouldered the burden of our, uh, of our lives at that time. And like, didn’t complain, like didn’t yell at me and didn’t call me a failure. Or at any day made me feel like, you know, she loved me and she supported me and she just like, you know, she, she was very stoic, uh, in a manner of speaking through that time and, you know, enabled me to do all take, take the risks that I’ve taken and to, and to try and, and to succeed and also to try and fail. I have failed at a lot of things, a lot of things in my life, in my career. And I just, I, you know, she always made that. Okay,
Jamin Alvidrez (16:37):
That’s beautiful. A good rider die is a irreplaceable for sure. Um, so what, what advice in, so taking her example, you, you know, you as a leader, what could we then as leaders of organizations, what can we borrow from that when we’re dealing with our people, our employees, whatever you want to call them specifically during uncertain times, um, you know, I guess various things
Ryan Schreiber (17:06):
Civically they’re just support each other. And what we see, what I seen a lot in my career is that support is, and this ties into my wife, my wife, didn’t like Pat me on the back every day and tell me I was doing a good job. And she also didn’t shit on me, which like was helpful. Yeah, no for sure. All of her, you know, everything that she, it was all of the other stuff. And, and that her, that her actions backed up any of the words that she may have spoken to me. So I think that’s, that’s the one thing in terms of how you, as a leader can kind of support your team. It’s, it’s back it up and support people, you know, with your actions. Um, and it’s not the big actions, it’s the little actions. It’s the every day, the, every interaction actions and be vulnerable, ask for help, ask your people for help, you know, openly communicate with them and be honest with them.
Ryan Schreiber (18:03):
But then as a leader between like, and then, and then the other part is as a leader build and, you know, build a support base for yourself, of people that can help build you up and that can help support you because we’re not all strong all the time, and we’re not all going to be right all the time. And we’re not all going to have easy decisions all the time, build a sport based to people that you can trust that you can be vulnerable with. And that will support you when you make a bad call, you know, so that you don’t feel like you you’re on in it all alone and you can’t walk it back or whatever, you know, build yourself a board of director, a personal board of directors, if you will.
Jamin Alvidrez (18:38):
Oh, I liked, I liked that expound on that, you know, companies have,
Ryan Schreiber (18:42):
I have a board of directors to help them, you know, figure out sort of where they’re going and, and to, to help challenge the way they’re thinking about things. You know, a board of directors is essentially like a place of accountability. I have to, as a, as a, as a, you know, a CEO of business or what have you, I have to go to my board of directors and I have to, I have to say, here’s what I want to do. And here’s why I want to do it. I can’t just fly by the seat of my pants all the time. And they’re there to suss out for you where you, what you’ve thought through and what you haven’t, they’re there to kind of hold you accountable to the commitments you’ve made and not let you make excuses for yourself. They’re there to empower and build you up and make connections for you, et cetera.
Ryan Schreiber (19:28):
Right. And there, there’s a like, and they’re there to kind of keep you honest with yourself and like tell you when you need to do better and push you. And I think a lot of that comes down to when you have mutual respect with people, like, look, I’ve failed in, like what drives me every day is not having to tell my wife. I failed again, even though I know that I will, at some point I will have to go to my wife and say, look, I did this thing. And I thought it would work and it didn’t work. And I know that I’ve said that before. I hope you still love me. And the same is true of a board of directors. It’s like, uh, when you have that mutual respect, you can go to them and say, look, look, we, this, this didn’t work out the way that I thought it would. Let’s, let’s figure out where, what to do next.
Jamin Alvidrez (20:08):
I love that. So from a super practical standpoint, someone’s listening to this, it’s clicking with them like, wow, whether I work for somewhere in I’m entrepreneur, doesn’t matter. I am, you know, I’m, Jaman inc you’re writing. We’re all our own businesses. If you will, everybody’s a startup. Yeah. That’s such a
Ryan Schreiber (20:27):
Right. That book, like, think of your, think of yourself as a startup. And there’s all of these lessons that come with startups and it’s not raised a bunch of venture capital, but I mean, things like be close to your users and like iterate quickly. Oh, you know, there’s all of these lessons of startups that I think are really applicable to everyone’s professional lives. So yeah, Jamie, you’re Jamie inc. And you’re a startup and you’ve got to figure out how to bootstrap. Maybe eventually you’ve got to raise money for yourself, but like you’re bootstrapping your professional life and you should think about it that way. So, but, so I apologize for cutting you off, but
Jamin Alvidrez (21:04):
It’s a fun way to look at it. So then what would be some practical steps now? I’m like, okay, that, that idea of, of having my own personal board really resonates with me, how do I start that? How do I, how do I dig in and, and start that process and put together a Jamie
Ryan Schreiber (21:22):
Board talk to literally everyone. It doesn’t matter if they’re in your industry, if they’re out of your industry, if they’re older than you, if they’re younger than you. If they’re, I mean, in fact it’s better when they’re not, it’s better. When if you know, diversity means a lot of things, diversity means diversity of skin color and diversity means diversity of socioeconomic status. Diversity means diversity of gender and diversity means diversity of age, of sexual orientation, of background, of experience. It means all of these things and they are all valuable to your experience. It’s because they can challenge your preconceived notions of all of the things that are set in stone. One of my favorite phrase does is nothing is impossible outside the physical limitations of the universe. Everything else is a problem to be solved. What I mean by that is like, if you want Jamie and inc solve the time travel dilemma, or there’s, you know, solve the faster, so faster than light travel, you probably can’t do that because it’s a physical limitation in a universe, but work backwards from the end.
Ryan Schreiber (22:23):
And so all of these diversity can help you. So talk to everyone, talk to the janitor, you know, talk to the people that you think. And, and most importantly, talk to the people whose opinions you think are can’t add anything to what you already know. Cause those are the people that you can actually learn the most from, I think, because you’ve sort of like you’ve pushed their experience out of your mind as an example. And that’s the first step talk to everyone. And then, you know, settle in on a core group of, of a few people who you can, you know, who you feel like you can be the most vulnerable with who you feel, you communicate the best way and who you feel like will challenge you, not tell you what you want to hear, but challenge you and then set a regular cadence for checking in with those folks, whether it’s once a month or once a quarter or whatever it is, make sure you touch those people all the time or excuse me, on a regular basis. So, you know, so that you can, you can really drill in on those things that you want to improve and be better at. Yeah. I love the idea of
Jamin Alvidrez (23:27):
Very intentional networking and, you know, that’s something that you, you practice what you preach. You’re, you’re very good at that. Um, I think you described it, uh, before your super power being a connector. And I have, I’ve been on the fortunate receiving end of that. You’ve connected me with a lot of great people and I’m appreciative for that is that ability to connect. I mean, in high school, where are you, where are you connecting the jocks with the science folks? Is that something you’ve always had or is that developing
Ryan Schreiber (23:54):
Over time? Yeah, I think I’ve always been a bit of a social butterfly in that, like in my heart, I’m a little bit of a, of an introvert in that I like to just like, kind of be by myself and clear my own head, but, you know, that’s how I kind of recharge my batteries. But outside of that, I’ve always been somebody who wants to learn. And the best way to learn is to connect with different people and try, and, and the way that you connect with people is by finding commonality. And then I think you can just naturally extrapolate that to, Hey, you’re a jock and you’re a science nerd, but like you both, for whatever reason, really, like, I don’t know, you both really like this, you know, obscure cartoon or something. And like, I don’t like that thing, but the two of you guys like that thing, and that’s pretty cool. And I don’t know, I’ve never met anybody else who likes that thing. And I think that comes from having that just like desire to learn, which is, is a little bit different than having a learner mindset. But I always, I, this is about, I comes from a desire to gather information, I guess, is a better way to put it. So I’ve heard
Jamin Alvidrez (24:58):
You quoted as saying before, you know, well, let me back up something I’ve observed that has made you successful in my mind is just your sheer ability, love, and being a practitioner of hustle, right? Hustle can be a real, real buzz word in the world. Um, but you actually embody it and you have a lot of respect for people that do. And I’ll never forget. I heard you one time say I love hustle, but I’m not into hustle
Ryan Schreiber (25:26):
Corn battering. If that’s where you’re going with this, I struggled early on in my career. I haven’t always hustled. Like, you know, when I was, when I was growing up, you know, I’m like, look, I’m a, like not too, I’m a pretty smart guy. I was able to skate by, on being slightly above average intelligence. Sure. And I mean, that was true in high school where I went to a pretty good school, but like I got back and then I went to a state college in Florida. That’s like, okay, you know, it’s an okay school. It’s not bad. It’s not good. Then I was able to skate by, you know, and then I got to law school and I had to work a little bit, but like, to be honest with you, like, I didn’t really work that hard. Like I worked harder than I ever had more, but I didn’t really work that hard when I was in law school, I was working in the admissions office and my job was to call prospective students and like talk to them about what it’s like to be masculine.
Ryan Schreiber (26:21):
And this, this girl, I suppose she was a woman, I don’t know at the time, but you know, I’ve talked to this woman and she said, look, I got a lot of friends in medical school. And I got a lot of friends in law school. And like as law school really that hard cause like medical school seems really hard, but I never hear this medical school students talking about how hard it is, but I always hear the law school students talking about how hard it is. And I’m like, law school is not hard. You have to just like, you know, you got to do some work or whatever, but I certainly don’t think, but it’s the type of people, you know, it’s those type a personality. So hustle porn is this sort of like deification of hustle and it’s unhealthy. And like, candidly, like I work too hard.
Ryan Schreiber (27:00):
I am a workaholic, you know, what have you, but that shouldn’t be celebrated. And, and as I got into my career, when I started, like when I was like, okay, you know, now I’m a hustler and I didn’t have to hustle. And what have you and other podcasts I’ve talked about sort of my journey and how, like I had no choice, but to hustle, I struggled with people who didn’t work as hard as me. Cause I see myself as really solidly average in most things. And so if somebody doesn’t do what I’m willing to do, they must be below average if I’m at work. And so, you know, hustle was one of those things and I had to learn that like I’m a pace setter, which means I work really hard. And, and, and, and, but it’s okay if somebody doesn’t keep up with me, it doesn’t mean that they’re not doing their job. It just means that they’re differently, differently wired. And that, and that’s okay. As long as they’re getting the results that they need to get, they don’t have to be me. And that’s what I mean by not sort of celebrating this hustle porn, because it’s, it is, it’s the two sides of the same coin. The other side of the coin is I probably work in unhealthy amount and I probably shouldn’t. Yeah.
Jamin Alvidrez (28:03):
That kind of self realization. It’s always fascinating to, to come to different conclusions and then see how we can, can tweak ourselves or
Ryan Schreiber (28:12):
To be clear that I’m not doing anything about it. I’m still working just as hard as I’ve ever worked. I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked before that, around at times. But like, at least I know that I should think about doing it differently eventually, I guess, but I’m not asking it of other people as much anymore. And that’s the kind of the glorification of hustle porn.
Jamin Alvidrez (28:29):
Got it. The hustle part. Yeah. That always stuck with me. I think that’s a good, good way to put it or the deification of, of hustle. You’ve also been quoted as saying your main motivation is to in your career is to help businesses, to help people. A lot of people say that not a lot of people mean it. It’s not genuine. So how is that something that you keep genuine inside of you and what advice would you give other people to make that? Not just words, but a reality and be sincere.
Ryan Schreiber (29:01):
Good question. I did a, another podcast a couple months ago and, and, and it was all about, uh, getting to know your customer. And I talked a lot about,
Jamin Alvidrez (29:11):
Go ahead. If you wouldn’t mind, go ahead and plug that podcast. I’d like, I really enjoyed and learned a lot from listening to it. So I’d like other people’s benefit if they haven’t heard yet.
Ryan Schreiber (29:18):
Yeah. Uh, it’s called get, uh, you can find it on my LinkedIn, but it’s, it’s called, uh, really getting to know your customer, but it’s by Betsy West for, uh, who I believe I’ve, uh, somebody that was one of the people that I connected you with. Um, and her partner, Tony. Um, I think I forget his last name. I think it’s Grover, I talked on that podcast about putting your customer at the center of the journey. I mean, so like the way that you really help people, uh, or excuse me, really help businesses is by putting the business at the center of the journey or the person at the center of the journey as a sales person or what have you. And so realistically like that, that’s kind of how you can help hold yourself accountable to that. Like, am I solving my problems or am I solving the customer’s problems?
Ryan Schreiber (30:02):
Am I solving my problems or am I solving, you know, Jameson’s problem. If Jaman is not at the center of what I’m trying to solve for, I’m not looking out for him and solving for him, I’m solving for me. Uh, and that’s not it’s okay. Like it’s okay to be selfish sometimes. Certainly that’s kind of how I think about executing it, I think as is Jameson is Jamie at the center of what I’m trying to do. So like when I get off a call with anybody, my goal is to make sure I have things that I can share with them. And so what that does is in that call, I’m thinking through what does Jamie need help with and what can I connect Jayman to? What does this business need help with and what can I connect them to not how do I fit what I’m trying to do with what Jamie needs and what Jamie, what the company needs
Jamin Alvidrez (30:50):
Like that, then you know, those nuances of where your mind’s at and the way you’re thinking and framing up and where you’re positioning your customer in this story or journey those nuance. It may not seem like a big thing, but those nuances do come across to other people, whether they, uh, inherently recognize it or not.
Ryan Schreiber (31:08):
Jamin Alvidrez (31:10):
I like that. Alright. So let’s switch gears for a minute then I think we’ve, we’ve learned some good stuff about how you manage, how you manage yourself, what what’s made you successful. Now, let’s see what we can, uh, copy from you about where where’s your focus right now, logistics and transportation. During this time look with, with all due respect, to the very serious economic health and other issues related to COVID, it would be very easy for us to talk about the negative side of things. What is a positive that you’re focused on? That’s coming out of, out of this time, specifically in logistics and transportation,
Ryan Schreiber (31:49):
Specifically in logistics and transportation, is that, is that folks need to, uh, you know, people are really being insightful about like the vulnerabilities of their business. And I, sir, I hope that continues on, I mean, we tend to have short memories, particularly in America, but, but people are really, you know, a net positive here is that folks are looking at their business and being like, you know, Oh no, you know, I had one customer who was a big manufacturer of basketball. So like nobody’s buying basketball. So like, you know, now I’m screwed or, you know, baseball bats or something like that.
Jamin Alvidrez (32:21):
Yeah. I told you, you should be shooting hoops and supporting them.
Ryan Schreiber (32:23):
No, actually sporting, apparently sport, you know, there’s like a bike shortage in America right now, but, but, you know, looking at their customer segmentation or looking at, you know, looking at feeling a bunch of pain as they went to this remote environment of work around what their technology was like, and, you know, their exposure to the economic realities of their business and having to make some really difficult choices and, you know, not just laptops, but pay cuts and then things like that, that, that, that really hurt cashflow. I mean, you know, logistics and transportation is a really a cash heavy business. So cashflow becomes a real problem looking at who’s our real partners, right? Like shippers that turned around and go, sorry, you’re on a 120 day payment terms. Like, because, because our cash flow, you know, if they’re in it, but some of them are in a tough cash position as well. So looking at all of those things, and I think that could be a net positive, certainly if people are able to really take that mentality forward into the future. So what are,
Jamin Alvidrez (33:19):
What are you focused on? What are you working on right now? What are you excited about and dive in into? Cause I know you always got something going on.
Ryan Schreiber (33:27):
To me, everything comes back to, to, to helping businesses improve in this industry. And I think that we’re at a real inflection point and one of the things I try and focus on is making things easy for people. Like I like, I don’t, I believe that good technology and good business, uh, strategy. Isn’t one that, that pushes people past what they’re really ready for. It, it slots into how they work and how they think and how they want to do their job and, and drives improvement over time without them even necessarily realizing it. So obviously, you know, with carrier direct, we’re working with companies on exactly that, but I think there’s real opportunities here in freight tech to do that. I’ve started, uh, started a business with, with one of my good friends, to focus on freight tech and helping get better technology to the market.
Ryan Schreiber (34:23):
It actually solves people’s problems and helping them. So helping the freight tech companies actually message what they’re building in a way that, that people understand what types of improvement they should expect and then helping them get that in front of people and educate and educating the market on sort of like what, you know, why technology’s not bad, why it’s not scary, why it can help your business, but also that it can’t solve every single one of your problems because you have to get better. It’s like, you know, I’m a big guy. You guys, you know, you’ve seen me on pictures. I’m, I’m, you know, I, if I go on a car, if I do a juice cleanse for four days, uh, like I’ve done recently, I’m not going to be skinny. All of a sudden, and the same thing is true with technology. You can’t just buy a piece of software and all of a sudden be skinny, right? It’s about enabling people to be better. And so spreading that message and doing that with my friend, Nick Daniels, and just kind of that’s, that’s that transformation evangelism I’m out here. I’m not asking people to change. I’m asking people to keep doing what they’re doing and maybe just think a little bit differently about it. I like that
Jamin Alvidrez (35:27):
People approach the technology. And what I heard in there too, is the way you communicate it and show that the story and the journey that’s a lot employing a lot of empathy.
Ryan Schreiber (35:36):
Um, because I, I, my observation
Jamin Alvidrez (35:38):
Is a lot of times the full journey and the future state of utilizing, or even not utilizing certain tech isn’t ever really told at the desk level. And so adoption becomes this really messy ambiguous thing.
Ryan Schreiber (35:52):
And it can be very scary. Yeah. Customer success is a train wreck in logistics, by the way, and like transportation and that’s true of operating companies and providers, but also technology companies. They focus on the how, I mean, it’s two things. One, they focus on the how, and not the why they focus on what button to click and not, you know, how to think about improvement. And then the other is not really trying to understand their customers. Like we talked about before, you know, transportation providers, if you ask them, you know, uh, what’s, you know, what their customers want or need, they talk about the things that, you know, it’s, it’s the phrase. If you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. They talk about how many they need more trucks and how they need more. They need tracking tools and whatever. They don’t actually listen to what their shippers or they’re like.
Ryan Schreiber (36:45):
And then to the extent that they hear what those people say, they say, Oh, well, like you can’t have like, well, that’s not reasonable to ask for, well, it’s what they need. So like, let’s try and figure out how to get it to them. And the same is true. Freight tech with freight tech. It’s a lot of, well, like this tool will help them. Okay. I agree with you that it will help them if this, and if this, and if this, and if this, and if this, but these are a lot of problems to solve and you’re asking people to, uh, to change. I don’t like that is a recipe for failure, no matter how good your user interface is, no matter how good your workflows are when you demand people change. Especially if you don’t tell them the story about why it’s better for them, especially if you haven’t built a, like a, and I’m gonna use the word relationship, but that’s such a loaded term, but if you haven’t built the relationship with them so that, you know, there’s trust in your tool, that they can change, excuse me, that they can benefit from doing what you want them to do.
Ryan Schreiber (37:47):
They’re overtaken by fear, fear of change, fear of the unknown fear of being replaced. All of that becomes the story that they tell themselves. And so, yeah, I mean, absolutely G-Man like customers, customer success is, is a freaking train wreck.
Jamin Alvidrez (38:03):
Oh man, that’s so exciting. And I think so needed. Um, it’s just a, I’m going to call it a niche. It’s not even a niche. So that opportunity is so huge. And I’m pumped to see the development cause you’re involved in Nick dangles as well, who you’ve introduced me to. And if anyone out there is not familiar with through years, connect with him on LinkedIn, he puts up a lot of practical and tactical, uh, content that I enjoy. So, uh, going with the down that same line, let’s talk robots, AI,
Ryan Schreiber (38:32):
Conversational UI. Okay. Now
Jamin Alvidrez (38:36):
Bear with me on this question. Cause I, I had to look up conversations. Okay. And it sounds like, Oh man, I just, I had this thought, do you think we’re going to need to change more the way we think and communicate to match that technology? Or will we get where that technology is going to totally
Ryan Schreiber (38:55):
Really meet up with us? Yeah. It, the whole point of the conversational user interface is it meets you where you are. I mean, I believe, I believe that to the extent that you can, you need to meet users and you need to meet people where they are in their journey and that is applicable across every problem that you’re trying to solve. You need to think about it through the lens of meeting them where they are. And as we think about that through the lens of technology, conversational user interface really just means that language is the way that we are most used to engaging with each other and it should be, and can be the way that we engage with software. Uh, and so, you know, when I, Jaman what I want you to do something, I don’t say, Hey, Jaman, uh, erase that thing behind you. Right. Like I say, you know, I say that, I don’t say Jaman scroll over to your right, reach down, pick up the eraser, like go back up and then, you know, and then move right and left 90 degrees. But that’s how we are. That’s how we have to interact with software today. You know, conversational user interfaces is saying let’s like, you know, uh, solve the problems through natural language, which is what we’re most used to doing. And yes, it’ll be, it should meet us where we are. That’s very cool.
Jamin Alvidrez (40:19):
I love that. All right. Well let’s let’s end. I would be remiss. It’s I mean, it’s in your tagline. I mean, I even, uh, have a cat mug today. Yeah. There we go. Our field. So you are the father of cats, a couple cat questions. First does somebody have to be a cat or dog person? Can you be a cat and dog?
Ryan Schreiber (40:42):
You certainly can. I’m not, but you certainly can be.
Jamin Alvidrez (40:45):
So what is it about cats that you will?
Ryan Schreiber (40:48):
What I love about cats is you have to, uh, you have to like earn their love. Like you, don’t just kind of, they don’t like love you just because you show up, you have to, you know, you actually have to put something into it to get something out of it. And I think I find that I just find that in life, the things that are the most fulfilling are the things that you have to go and get and do something about, you know, to, to earn it. So, so true.
Jamin Alvidrez (41:17):
Now this next question, not a joke I’m being serious actually, right in line with what you’ve said. Are there any lessons or stories that you have utilized in your professional life, from observing
Ryan Schreiber (41:28):
And interacting with your cats? Yeah. Give people space when they’re pissed off. That’s it?
Jamin Alvidrez (41:34):
That’s simple, but that stinking real
Ryan Schreiber (41:38):
Totally. When you’re also pissed off. Yes.
Jamin Alvidrez (41:41):
I would have saved myself a lot of heartache applying that several occasions.
Ryan Schreiber (41:45):
Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. Always look for opportunities to deescalate the situation.
Jamin Alvidrez (41:50):
I love it. Is there any last little nuggets you want to leave with those in the freight logistics, transportation space, something they could beg, borrow or steal from, from your mindset or what you’re focusing on?
Ryan Schreiber (42:03):
I actually think that they can beg, borrow or steal from your mindset. Jaman, you know, positivity is the thing that comes through with you. And I think the thing that people struggle with the most in their journey, mindset journey is even where to start and that things are hard for them. And, uh, that the things are not that things are the are easier for the people who are further along in their journey than them. And, you know, Jamie, uh, I, I, I met you and learned about you and your positivity before I learned about your mother passing. And when I realized that that had happened to you and I realized how close in proximity that had happened to you, but how positive you were. And, and, and like, not just in the words that you say, but in the way that you act that was unbelievably inspiring to me and was proof positive about a lot of the things that you preach and that we talked about today. So I would say, I mean, I mean, like, don’t listen to me, listen to Jayman if you were able to do that, and you were able to like, get yourself into that mind space, you know, after Sandra suffering such a tragic loss like that, it’s amazing
Jamin Alvidrez (43:14):
Meet you at the, uh, let’s let’s listen to my mother. Cause that’s where that comes from for me. So I’ll meet you there and, you know, uh, to, to play off that just to briefly, you know, and I think a lot of people miss that I always try to share is being positive, does not mean you do not acknowledge or negativity or that you ignore negativity or don’t have any of it. That’s not it at all. In fact, sometimes it’s just embracing the negativity or the, you know, Hey, this sucks, but here we are, what are we going to do now?
Ryan Schreiber (43:46):
I totally agree. Yeah. You don’t solve problems by ignoring them. You solve problems by tackling them and embracing them and like, that’s good. You don’t, you know, if you know that, that’s how you, uh, that’s the only way that, like I was talking earlier about checking in with myself before I, you know, go to my wife and spend time with my life. I mean, you know, I agree with you, man. Like I’m sure that you were sad. I’m sure that that was really, really hard, but it’s, that’s not the same as, you know, that’s, uh, you can still be positive through those things. They can be decoupled everybody. Like I agree with you, dude, for sure. No.
Jamin Alvidrez (44:19):
Well, Ryan, thank you so much for lending us a piece of your mind. And um, if, you know, just take away immediately, I’m sure I’m going have many percolating through, but just of when you ended with there is that we are not powerless in our journey. It’s not always gonna be great. We’re not going to crush everything we come up against, but if we acknowledge it, take action, you know, with, with hustle and just really have, have some fun with it and work hard and work together, we can really get through and not just get through it, but thrive. So thank you so much for that Ryan we’re we’re really getting into yeah. Yeah. Thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun. Lastly, where can people, where where’s your, uh, your playing field? Where can people find you and engage with you? Yeah, I mean, check me out on LinkedIn is obviously the number one place, any of my content always makes its way over to LinkedIn. So Ryan B Schreiber I’d love on LinkedIn, uh, and, and I’m happy to connect with anybody and chat, whatever. Alright, thank you so much that got AC everybody.
Jamin Alvidrez (45:23):
Woo. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I just love learning from people’s mindsets. Well, if you enjoyed it, please like comment, share all that good stuff and Hey, sincerely, if there was something you didn’t enjoy or think we can do to improve and by we, I mean me, please let me know. I truly value your feedback and I’m so grateful that you listened to tell next time [inaudible].
Ryan Schreiber has lived his career at the intersection of transportation and technology. Ryan is the co-founder of Kinetic, as well as the Director of Engagement for CarrierDirect. Ryan works with clients ranging from Freight Tech companies to Transportation Providers, to Shippers on walking the fine line between challenging the status quo and dealing with the realities businesses face. Ryan is a serial entrepreneur, having started multiple businesses in the industry and brings that experience to bear in helping shape the future of the freight.
Jamin Alvidrez is the host of Logistics & Beyond, powered by Supply Chain Now. Jamin’s unique perspective, love of people and positive energy lead him to found Freight Tribe. Freight Tribe helps companies and people of Supply Chain & Logistics showcase what makes them special. He began his career in Supply Chain, Freight & Logistics in 2004. For the past 16+ years he has focused his passion in the Third Party Logistics world. Jamin prides himself on his diverse experience working on all sides of the business during his time at CH Robinson, FreightQuote, and AgForce Transport.
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