Balancing work and play is one of the larger challenges we all face regularly. Jeff Lin from Bust Out Solutions joins us to share his journey in how he built a successful agency while balancing his passion for family, sports, and his work.
Show Transcript (BETA)
Kurt: Jeff, thanks for joining me on the show.
Jeff: Thanks for having me.
Kurt: How are you doing?
Kurt: So you\’re over at Bust Out. when did that start? In? 2005?
Jeff: End of 2004 beginning of 2005.
Kurt: Okay. And so what do you guys do there?
Jeff: So we design and build custom web and mobile apps.
Kurt: Yep. Very much like what we do here.
Kurt: Yeah. Foundry. So what crazy idea got you in to, I\’m going to start a company doing this. Building these software solutions for folks.
Jeff: Well, I never intended to,
Kurt: Oh, you tripped and fell and now you\’ve got a company with the what? Like it doesn\’t, dozen people there?
Jeff: Yeah. 15.
Kurt: Yeah. 15.
Jeff: it actually started when I was in Hawaii.
Jeff: I had just finished six years at re tech as a software engineer. And I was kind of exploring, what I want to do next in life. software was never really my thing. I kind of stumbled into the hat too. and so I was taking some time off and I had an opportunity to house it in Hawaii,
Kurt: Which you, you know, always should say yes to.
Jeff: Yeah. My brother-in-law\’s from there and his, his parents were going to be gone. And. I was just going to go crash at their place, with no plans. Just kind of flew out there. And I ended up spending time basically every day in the mornings at a coffee shop. this was 2004. And surprisingly, there wasn\’t a lot of free wifi back then in Honolulu.
Jeff: Unless you were at the resorts, like the hotels. So I found the one coffee shop in Kaimuki that had a, free wifi and a, I bought a bike and, I bought some books. I can\’t remember what books, programming books learned in program. I was still expanding my knowledge and I would just go sit at the coffee shop and like hack hack at things and tinker and, slowly started running out of money
Kurt: As you do when you\’re just how sitting and not working.
Jeff: Yeah. and so I actually ended up, building a piece of software for a friend\’s company in Boston. And they paid me $1,000. Nice. And you know, that pays for more meals and more coffee at the coffee, at the coffee shop. And then it sorta clicked. I\’m like, I could just stay in Hawaii for a while and build another piece of software for 1000 bucks.
Kurt: And this is 2004 for remote working wasn\’t really a, it wasn\’t even coined really.
Jeff: It wasn\’t really a thing. I mean, this, you know, just to kind of put it in context, this is, yeah. 2004 smart phones didn\’t exist. Yup. Wifi was scarce, at least in Honolulu and slow. I\’m shooting slow. and so it, it wasn\’t on my radar of like, you know what, I\’m going to start a remote company and I\’m gonna, you know, build up a business.
It was like, how can I just stay. a beach bum longer. so I\’d tinker in the mornings and then I\’d go hiking or go to the beach in the afternoons or like go hear music or I didn\’t have any friends there, so I was just kind of hanging out and, kinda made it a game to like break into private resorts and, go to the private beaches.
Actually, there are no, there are no private beaches, but there are private resorts. Right. so I was just fooling around. Yeah. and then realized that I could make money. Like part time, to fund more of this fooling around you. and eventually I came back to my parents house in Ohio, in Oberlin, Ohio.
and I started substitute teaching. I was really kind of like searching for what was next. And then kind of another opportunity came up to do some consulting, some software consulting and Williams-Sonoma. And that\’s basically when like, you know, I incorporated the business, in early 2005 to actually operate as a, as an entity.
But it was still, it was, you know, I was going to go to Williams-Sonoma and help them out with some stuff and then figure out what I was going to do. Yeah. but that kind of really set me on the path of actually building a team and building a business.
Kurt: Yeah. That\’s really cool. I think that a lot of folks have a similar stories for silly in the software business.
It is that, Oh, people will pay me to do this and I don\’t hate it. Yeah. And sometimes it\’s fun, actually. Yep. which is very different than other jobs that you could probably get. Right. It\’s at the time, right. Especially with whatever background you had in education and whatever. Right. it was pretty open door policy to, in the software world, right?
Jeff: It was, it was, yeah. I got my start in the software industry in 98. Yeah. And, that, again, like I said, it was unintentional. Was looking for a job for a year to kind of bridge a gap between undergraduate and grad school. and I was going to do anything. I applied to be a dishwasher at glacier national park and surprisingly didn\’t get that offer.
Kurt: You were where you overqualified?
Jeff: I don\’t know, but I didn\’t get some job. I applied to be a soccer coach and science teacher at a Quaker school. In Pennsylvania. I did apply for a healthcare consulting business consulting, and then a friend of mine was a software engineer at re tech, which is now Oracle retail.
It\’s still here in Minneapolis. And she said, well, you should come be a programmer. And I kind of laughed because I had never written, I had written some code, but. I didn\’t, I didn\’t know what I was doing. I like a professional, no, not even close. I had never taken a computer science class. so I thought it was kind of a joke.
A lot of things in my life start off that way. It\’s kind of a joke and it actually turns into something . and. I got a job offer and cause the start of the.com boom. So they were hiring, I think it was one person every other day while they were growing pretty fast. And when I started, I did six, six weeks of just training. So nine to five classroom training.
Kurt: And you got paid for that, right?
Jeff: I got paid, I got, I couldn\’t believe it.
Kurt: Pretty sweet deal.
Jeff: Yeah. I couldn\’t believe that.
Kurt: Hard to find that these days.
Jeff: No. Impossible. I mean, I had just finished college where you\’re paying to go learn and then all of a sudden I\’m getting paid to learn and, yep.
So that was great. But then I ended up, turning down grad school to stay with software and cause I, you know, I\’m like, Hey, this is actually kind of cool. I\’m learning. It\’s fun. I liked the people I was working with. and what was supposed to be a one year time filler ended up being a six year job.
Kurt: And you stayed there for awhile.
Jeff: Yeah. It was, I mean, it was great. We, there\’s somebody actually just, Started a Facebook group for re tech. Oh, cool. Yeah. Just recently. And it\’s kind of fun to reconnect with
I can imagine. Got there. Started old stories, right. A lot of old tons.
Kurt: Battle stories.
Kurt: so then, so let\’s fast forward, so bust out, you, you moved to Minneapolis and you decide you wanna set up shop and start building web apps and mobile apps for people.
Jeff: Yeah. Setting up shop here was also kind of a matter of circumstance deal. my, Exodus to Hawaii was the start of me never coming back to Minnesota ever again.
Kurt: Right. yep.
Kurt: Leave it behind
Jeff: yeah. And on my way out, I met a girl,
Kurt: as you do, as you do,
Jeff: who is now my wife and the mother of our three kids. so. I mean, I love Minneapolis. yeah. I\’m just, you know, not from here. And you know, had a sister who was here for college as well, and swore never to step foot in the, this cold state ever again.
Kurt: Yup. And now here you are.
Jeff: But I, you know, I had, I have great friends here, met my wife and. Decided you have to set up shop here and settle down.
Kurt: So you, obviously, you\’re running this business, you\’re been growing it since 2004 and, But I also know you have a lot of outside interests other than just being a tech leader of a company.
Right. What are some of the other things you do besides run bust out?
Jeff: I\’ve, I\’ve played soccer my whole life. Yeah. I\’m, I\’m getting to the age where it\’s dangerous. I actually just had a, a checkup with my doctor and I said, should I reconsider this soccer playing thing? And, and he said, no, you can just keep playing.
It\’s better to be out there playing sport than, than not. and then he just kind of said, ah. You might get injured at some point and then you would have to call it quits.
Yeah, I know that risk
Jeff: Yup. I\’ve been a, I\’ve been a music lover my whole life, so I do a lot in the local music community. mostly appreciating and listening to music, but, you know, I\’ve done some, Ben have been a violinist since I was four. My parents started me in violin.
Kurt: That\’s when I started violin lessons.
Jeff: Oh, do you play?
Kurt: Yeah. Well, I did. It\’s been, I\’d been since I was a teenager.
Jeff: Once a violinist, always, that\’s true. Wish would have known that we could had a jam session.
Kurt: Oh God. Nobody would listen to that.
I would totally edit that out. So then, so, so there\’s that. but you\’re also doing stuff, in, community outreach, right?
Jeff: Yep. For with music. Yeah. Yeah. So I\’ve been, involved with the Schubert club, which is Minnesota\’s oldest arts organization where, coming up on 140 years, soon, I think we\’re in 130 a long time.
Yeah. and I also am on the governing board of the st Paul chamber orchestra. and the might, Ken, my involvement started. But six or seven years ago when I joined a group called theory. Okay. Tough word to pronounce. it\’s, it means arts ambassador. Oh, yeah. And it\’s a group that was started at the Schubert club, which is super cool.
It is a group of young people, and I think they define young as under 40. So I don\’t qualify anymore. Right. but at the time it was, it\’s a group that gets together and you see performances all around the cities, of all different types, theater, dance, jazz, classical music orchestral. And, they, they organize it.
So you can actually, get a behind the scenes look. So either meet some artists or, I remember one of the coolest ones was we got a tour of the Guthrie theater, like kind of backstage. and so that\’s kind of my, my first step into being involved in the arts, the local arts scene. It was a ton of fun.
I highly, highly recommend it to anybody, even if they don\’t think they like the arts. cause I never thought I liked, theater that much. but then you see, like, you see good theater, you see good theater, you see tons of just different kinds of theater. you know, you see the big productions. You see what I\’ve seen one person plays, but you know.
You kind of think, I don\’t want to pay money to see one person talk. but it\’s more, it\’s just way more than that. and so theory really kind of exposed me to a bunch of, little niches around the twin cities that I honestly would not have found or been exposed to. And so that\’s really kind of opened my eyes and then like, you know, it\’s fun to do, go out and see shows with friends.
Right. It, I totally go by myself too, but it\’s a lot more fun if you bring some friends. So I started inviting friends and, brought my wife along or girlfriend at the time. no, she was my wife at the time. Anyways, bring, bring friends in with me and then, Then they bring their friends and, and then you soon realize that, Hey, it really only takes like a few people to kind of move where your social scene is.
you know, instead of just like going to the same bar every weekend, which is fine. I used to do that too. try something new. Yup. You know, I\’ve never been to the Dakota goat. Go to the Dakota. Yeah. It\’s great. Sarah and I just went to the mixed blood theater last, last weekend place. Yeah. We didn\’t even know what was playing.
We were just like, you know what? We\’ve got a babysitter. Let\’s go somewhere and kind of spun the dial and like, let\’s go to mixed blood. Picked up last minute tickets and saw an amazing play. and so it\’s things like that where I like, I enjoyed so much that I want. Others too. Yeah. As well.
Yeah. You want to expose other people.
Yeah. In theory. So one of the aspects of, of the thyroid group with the, 20 or 25 or so participants is, their tickets are subsidized by the Schubert club. but as part of that, their obligation is to then like use social media. To kind of spread the word about whatever the program they just saw.
Yup. so it\’s, it was, it\’s kind of a really nice way of. having peer influencers in the arts.
Yeah. And a very diverse group too, I can imagine. Right. Very, very mixed. all different ages and backgrounds and such, right? Yup. So that\’s a lot, you know, how are you, how are you best balancing between.
You\’ve got this company, you\’ve got a bunch of employees you\’re responsible for, you\’ve got this family and three kids and you\’re responsible for, and then you have these outside interests. Like how are you balancing these things? How is that? That seems like a lot going on. To me
it is a lot. especially recently, like there\’s been days where it, Sarah and I just kind of look at each other and we\’re like, where this is nuts?
are we doing this to ourselves?
Yeah. because our kids are, we have interests too.
Yeah. I was going to say the urea, the ages where. They\’ve got soccer too, right?
Yup. Yup. They got, I and I maybe stupidly volunteer to be their coach. Of course.
Well, as you should be, who else would be better, obviously?
But yeah, with, yeah, it gets crazy. We use Google calendar a lot. you know, we schedule in personal time, like, you know, babysitters, get on the calendar alongside work meetings and, it\’s, it\’s a little ridiculous sometimes and sometimes I think I just need to like. Do nothing. Yeah.
Kurt: so are you system, are you a systems guy or is this kind of like however you wake up in the morning, or how do you, when I, when I go, what I mean by how are you balancing it?
Like, is this intentional. these things, are you very intentional about it or is it just kind of like, I just know when I\’ll push it too far and I backed down.
part of it is, I don\’t know how to say no.
Jeff: Like, you know, honestly, part of
it is everything seems like an
opportunity. That sounds like fun. Yes, yes.
Let\’s do that thing.
Like, you know, my kids said, will you, I want to do soccer? My seven year old five-year-old said there are two different teams, different age groups. Like. and I\’m like, do you want me to be your coach?
Like, yeah. I\’m like, great, I\’ll do it. Yup. And two kids playing each twice a week on different days. And me playing once a week on my team meant that I was going to be on the soccer field five days in a row. Yup. For a season. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday I was on the field. Oh my gosh. And I\’m like, Oh, that sounds awesome.
Because I love being on the field. And then you realize that is. A ton of time.
That\’s a lot of time.
Yeah. And it kind of
Kurt: crunched us showing up for the view. You got to prep and then you gotta tear down and all that. So there\’s a whole,
Jeff: you sound like you\’ve done it.
Kurt: I\’ve done versions of it. Yeah.
Jeff: Yeah. and so it\’s, it\’s semi intentional in that, like, I, I think about it and like, yeah, that sounds really cool.
and I\’m going to do it. And then I get into it and there\’s, there are moments where it\’s like, this is just too much. and so, you know, it\’s, I\’m working on it. There are times when I know I\’ve over committed or I\’ve, I\’ve done things that are stretching me thin and I kind of know when that\’s happening because, you know, maybe I lose my temper and, I\’m trying to be in two places at once, which is never cool.
but at the same time. I know that if I have to kind of rush to get the kids home, get them fed, and then leave to go play soccer, you know, on Thursday nights and I\’m out on the field for two hours, I come back a new person. Sure. And you know, I, that is a commitment to play on this team, but at the same time, that commitment is helping to keep me sane.
Kurt: So do you feel like some of these outside things help feed the positivity and things you\’re trying to do at bus town? Or distract you, does it, is it, do you know what I mean? Yeah. Cause I, cause again, like I get the same thing because we were building this company here and, I\’m doing, I, I\’m doing a podcast with you right now and now working on stuff for Foundry.
You get back to work. but I\’m super passionate about this cause I, you know, this is how I, this is how I grow and I learned from these conversations and, other people who listen to them. have given me the same feedback that this is, this is a way that they can look at how other people are living their lives and G check check themselves a bit.
Right. So, but for you, like you\’ve got employees you\’re responsible for, and then here you are, you\’re out all night playing soccer and going to plays. Yup. Right.
Jeff: I think my teammates would probably hate me more if I didn\’t do these things because I\’d probably just, yeah. If I, I\’m the type of person that if I.
Get consumed too much by one issue or one problem or one thing. yeah, that I\’m probably unpleasant.
Kurt: You\’re going to hammer it into the ground.
Jeff: Yeah. you know, even there\’s this thing that we do around the office where if we encounter a problem, whether it\’s, you know, tactical problem or business problem or whatever, there\’s a problem.
we drop it. We stopped trying to solve it. You know, we try, we try a little bit and we\’re like, you know what? We, I don\’t know what the solution is. Well, then what do we do? We leave it alone and, come back to it later. You let it simmer, let it simmer. And oftentimes the answer just kinda comes at strange times and you\’re like, Oh, all we had to do is, you know, this.
And, And then you don\’t spend the time stressing about it because you\’ve just like, let it go into the back burner of your mind. and then when the solution comes, you\’re like, cool. That was easy. Like I\’ve kind of, we figured out a solution to the problem without working at it, at least not consciously working at it.
and it\’s a hard thing to do and it\’s hard thing to master. but it\’s definitely something that I think everyone should try. I do it at home too. I did it last night with my kids when they were trying to try and get them to practice piano and they just weren\’t having it, and I started to get really mad at them.
I\’m like, just sit down and you got to just play these three songs and then you\’re done. Yeah. And we couldn\’t even make it through half of the first song. And so instead of like losing my temper at them, I just got up and I said. We\’re not doing this right now. And I walked away and I think, I don\’t know what I was doing.
I did something else. and I felt better. I\’m like, all right, I\’m not going to battle them. I\’m just not. Yeah. cause that\’s just gonna make me grumpy and then I\’m going to yell at them and then they\’re going to cry and then blah, blah, blah. You know, this
Kurt: and then I\’m going to feel like crap later.
Jeff: So felt the downward spiral coming and I just said, you know what? I\’m not going to go down that spiral. It\’s just . Ignore it. And then the next thing I know, I hear Josephine playing the piano by herself. Solved itself.
Kurt: Yup. It did. It\’s all it itself. So then do you, when you\’re coaching like employees and things, you know, obviously you\’re, you\’re, you\’re leading by example because I\’m guessing you want your employees.
To also have a life outside of a crate. Like Carolyn here likes to say like, the employees at Foundry, like, your job should be the least interesting thing about you. Yeah. Right. Yeah. what are you bringing to, to the, to the culture that we\’re building here, right. so do you, do you, do you feel like you have to be very intentional with some folks about that, or do you feel like leading by example, does it for you or is it a mix of both?
Jeff: it\’s definitely. I don\’t think I lead by example. I think everyone on the team has their, really creates their own example for each other. you know, we have a team of, of 15 people and I believe only two have degrees in computer science from, from college. And so it\’s, it is probably pretty typical of, of people around, around my age, and, and younger, well, and maybe plus or minus 15 years.
and so people have. Created their own outside interests, and it kind of just, they\’re human beings, so they bring it with them. and, and, and you S you start to then, like, you know, you hang out with them, you go out to lunch, you talk about random things that they\’re doing or random things that I\’m doing and, and every now and then, like, you know, pick up a new hobby because someone that you work with introduced you to it.
but also, I think we have a, we have a. Culture where w w at least I, this is where I try to lead, lead by example, where work is not, like, that\’s not the focal point of the day. It\’s like, like we have no office hours. We, we tried to do this thing where there\’s some ad agencies that had summer hours, you know, like Fridays off for our Friday afternoons off like after lunch.
Like, Aw, that\’s so cool. and I\’m like, I want, let\’s do that. Let\’s have summer hours where like, you know, after noon on Friday, you could just go do whatever. and we closed the office and we tried that for about a week. I\’m like, that just, it didn\’t feel right for us. Because it took me a while to figure out why it didn\’t feel right, because I wanted it to be like those cool ad agencies that, you know, they let their, let their people go and then I\’m like, do you know, charged?
Kurt: great. They are even more productive while they\’re here. Right?
Jeff: Yeah. And then I realized the reason why I wasn\’t working is because we have never specified when you have to be working. When or where you work. And so for us to specify when you couldn\’t work,
Jeff: seemed a little seemed, it just didn\’t work.
Like, all right, at noon, stop working. And everyone\’s like, why? I\’m in the groove. Right.
Kurt: Like, I\’m going to just keep going. Yeah.
Jeff: Yeah. and once we realized that. It was because we were kind of being hypocritical. Yeah. Like we don\’t specify when you work or where you work. So why specify the opposite? Yeah.
so as a compromise, we, we have a thing where we, we schedule no meetings on Fridays. Nice. And th th that made more sense. Yes. You don\’t have any meetings. You don\’t, you don\’t have any obligations to clients. at least like scheduled obligations to clients that you want to go kayaking for the day you go
Heads down code all day. You do that. Yup.
Kurt: Yeah. Cause again, like that\’s when I go back to the leading by example type of thing. Because what I\’ve experienced myself is, you know, I mean there\’s some times where you have people that don\’t take any time for themselves.
Jeff: Yeah. And. Unhealthy.
Kurt: It is, and I believe like someone in your position, someone in my position, like it\’s important to not necessarily give them permission, but to show them that, yeah, why this is important for their future selves.
Jeff: Right. But also, you know. W we had, I had a teammate who said, we want to make sure work never feels like work or what, sorry. We, we want to make sure that work never feels like a job. yup. And so we have, you know, a team of people who actually really love what they do. You know? And I remember once, I was at home.
Add in the evening and I had my laptop open and Sarah walked by and kind of looked at my screen and, and said, well, are you working? I\’m like, no. And what I was doing at the time was actually reading the source code of the Nike website cause I thought it was really cool how they implemented something.
And I\’m like, I love Nike. I\’m sure I\’m a big fan of the brand and you know, as on their website. And I\’m like, Oh, that\’s super cool how they did this. So I\’m like, kind of like poking at the source code. She goes, looks like work to me. I\’m like, actually, this is fine. This is fun. It\’s, I don\’t know when working,
Kurt: I know you married a nerd, right?
Jeff: Like, yeah. I don\’t know. I might define it as like, work is what I get paid for. Yeah. This is how I make money. But that is by no means like. What I do.
Kurt: Yeah. Well, and I, I\’ve heard some people that I really respect people who have been mentors of mine and such, you know, kind of express like there\’s been this, this, this whole time during like the early two thousands and such where people were trying to work life balance, work, life balance, work, life balance.
To where exactly what you\’re saying is like, there is no work life balance. There\’s just life. Yeah. And if you can figure out like a kind of, you know, like a mantra like you just said, right. Which is when I\’m getting paid, I\’m getting, I\’m working. And that could be at two in the morning. It could be.
9:00 AM right. It could be whatever, but every other time it\’s like, that\’s, that\’s my time. Right? Right. And so I can imagine, you know, again, you know, obviously you and I both are probably for the most part, hiring a lot of people that are a lot younger than us, that sometimes this is their first job or close to it.
Right. and then. Teaching them how to work. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. Cause again, like especially like a place like yours that doesn\’t have so many constraints, some people don\’t do very well in
Jeff: that. Definitely not. It\’s not for everyone. Yeah. and I\’m not saying that this is the way, the way to run a business.
Yeah. there\’s. We, we have w we have interns in the summer. and a lot of times the interns are, you know, considering what, where to go after college. And, you know, I say get, take a job like where you, you are a cog in the machine to get that experience. That might be for you. Then have a side hustle.
You know and see if that\’s for you. Like you need to try a bunch of different things. A bunch of different things. Yeah. Yeah. Cause if you don\’t try a bunch of things, you don\’t know what\’s going to click. Yeah.
Kurt: Well, but like I said before, and I hate this term, but I mean, I felt like this, even in my. Teens, early twenties, like somebody had to give me permission to do that.
I just, what I felt like. Yeah. I, I wasn\’t able to just be like, well, of course I\’m going to, I mean, I did have things like a side hustle and a job and stuff, but, those things were just natural, you know? But nobody told me to turn that nobody gave me permission to turn that side hustle into a business.
I felt like I would have needed somebody to do that. Yeah. You know?
Jeff: Yeah. I, I feel like I, yeah. Where I grew up, there\’s a lot of people who kind of, Mmm. Walk to their own drum beat for better or for worse. I\’m not saying it\’s always like, you know, the, the Harvard dropout that starts Facebook. You know, it\’s not, not everyone\’s like that, but there are definitely like my peer, my peer group growing up, was very diverse and they, people kind of did their own thing.
And there was a sort of culture in Oberlin of, of like almost working against the system, but not. For the, not
Kurt: for the sake of working, it\’s
Jeff: not to be contrarian, but to just figure out your independence. so I feel like a little bit of that is kinda been instilled in a lot of my friends growing up. and it, it, it shows in their, in our adult years, it kind of shows like, I can\’t, honestly, I can\’t think of a single, like.
Middle school, high school friend that has like a quote unquote normal job. And I guess what I mean, I don\’t even know what I mean by normal job,
Kurt: but yeah, right. Yeah. Well, and speaking of side hustles, I mean, you\’re doing, you\’re still continuing high side hustles, right? Or you\’re doing Airbnb now, is that, yeah.
Is that the next venture? The next, then next. Jeff venture.
Jeff: It\’s been fun. The days when my, you know, we all have kind of tough days at work. but the days where my wife comes home and she\’s had a tough day, or it\’s frustrated, I\’m like, you know, you could quit and you could run the Airbnb business.
Kurt: There you go.
Jeff: Turn it from a side hustle to, to
Kurt: the hustle. That\’s right. Yeah. Yeah.
Jeff: yeah. When we had our third, third child, three years ago, We needed a bigger house. And so we moved. we moved like two weeks after Eleanor was born, which that is a dumb,
Kurt: that\’s really rough.
Jeff: I mean, you moved and you have a three year old.
Terrible. Imagine moving with a three week old. that was a, that was like one of the stupidest things I\’ve done in my life. Yeah. But
Kurt: you live in Mueller,
Jeff: but we moved into a bigger house and we kept the old house and we put it on Airbnb. and it\’s been great. Has it? Yeah, it\’s been fun.
Kurt: Was it really nerve wracking at first?
Jeff: I think more so for my wife than, than me. I mean, also, well, I mean, we also were. We had a newborn. Yup. two mortgages. Yeah. A newborn, a two year old, and a four year old at the time. Right. So, and I\’m like, Hey, let\’s start a business. Let\’s go furnish an entire house and then see if anyone wants
Kurt: to stay there.
Yeah. Let\’s do that. That sounds like a great idea.
Jeff: but I think in hindsight, you know, Sarah probably had a little bit more. Like caution and sense to evaluate the risks. And I admittedly was probably just like, like, this sounds like a cool idea. Let\’s away.
Kurt: Ready, fire, aim, right?
Jeff: Or just ready.
Kurt: Fire, aim.
What is that? I don\’t know. That sounds exciting.
Jeff: It was, it\’s been fun. I\’ve met people from all around the world. I don\’t meet all my guests. but it\’s basically, yeah, we get anywhere from three to six guests a month now. we\’ve been doing it for three years.
Kurt: No, that sounds like fun.
Jeff: Yeah, it has been fun.
It, it\’s, it opened actually. If anything, this helps me look at my business differently, like my bust out there, because we\’re essentially running a hotel. Yeah. yep. And I don\’t know anything about the hospitality industry. So I had to learn, yeah, I had to learn things. And our Airbnb guests are not the same types of get customers as you know, a bust out client.
It\’s just different, you know. I had never worked in service industry, like, you know, restaurants or I never worked in hospitality and so to, to learn things like. Leave the towels out is, you know, simple things like that. Like crease the bedsheets. Yup. you realize like what triggers satisfaction in a customer and things that I, you know, since hospitality was totally new to me, everything was brand new.
Yeah. Oh, use use white sheets because it looks clean. you know, leave a, a note. leave some treats out, do little things, and then the return on those little things is, is, you know, it\’s essentially a five star review on Airbnb, but also like a connection to a person, appreciation, good vibes, all that thing.
and so then I started looking at how we are treating our customers, bust out customers. I\’m like, Oh, we could be doing this a little differently. You know. We go crease their bedsheets and wait. No, just kidding. Well, metaphor that metaphorically. Yeah,
Jeff: Do we, do, you know, can we do these little things that have no impact on the software, but.
Leave an impression and strengthen the relationship.
Kurt: Yeah, I think that\’s a really powerful realization cause I, I see it over and over again in kind of the agency world where they either way overdo it or it\’s way underwhelming. And I like what you were saying though, I think it makes sense that some of these things you\’re doing outside is helping improve the business.
It\’s helping improve the experience that the customers are happy having. It\’s probably also. The increasing the engagement and experience of the employees are having as well as they understand why. Yeah. They\’re doing that, right? Yeah. That\’s very cool. Yeah. Well, Jeff, I want to thank you for joining me on the show.
Sure. Thanks for today day. It was super fun. So if I want to know more about bust out solutions, where do I go or what I find? Where do I find that
Jeff: bust out.com? which is great because we\’d finally acquired that domain after me nagging the guy for 15 years,
Kurt: just 15 years. Yeah.
Jeff: To give it up. Yeah. A bust out.com
Kurt: bust out.com.
Cool. And if I want to follow Jeff and his musings, where are you most active?
Jeff: I post on Twitter occasionally. Jeff Lynne, J. E. F. F. L. I. N. I try to be capture that, that username on most social networks.
Kurt: Okay, cool. Yeah. Well, thanks for joining me. I really appreciate it. I learned a lot.
Jeff: Thanks for having me.