Chad Jenkins Interview Highlights
Horses, they don’t speak but if you take the time to listen to them, they have an awful lot to communicate. Such lesson was learned by a young boy growing up on his family’s farm in South Carolina. The time that Chad Jenkins spent learning to listen to his horses, set him up for succeed later on in life.
Chad went on to start SeedSpark, a company that focuses on helping companies remove obstacles that stand in the way of their growth. How does he do it? Listening. [“It’s] helped me all throughout life, looking backwards to the needs of your clients, to the dangers they face, to the opportunities that exist or also to the strength that they possess. If you’re truly listening and get to that root core, you can be hugely impactful and valuable as a true partner to that organization”.
Bio: As a lifelong entrepreneur driven by natural curiosity and an ownership mentality, I have a deep-seated passion for understanding how businesses work – all of them.
With this experience comes the ability to understand and identify key areas of a business that may be negatively affecting growth. I’ve learned to find and leverage the secret sauce, the game-changer needed to drive businesses toward exponential growth. This is, as they say, my highest value role.
I work directly with leaders driving businesses of every size across every industry, analyzing their goals and every aspect of their operation to identify high-priority objectives that will fuel growth – or eliminate those that are prohibiting it. The result is a proven track record of high-growth companies and partnerships across many industries that help business leaders not only enable their team to reach its full potential, but also to reach their own.
Stay curious and intentional, always remembering that the obstacle is the way.
Alan Olsen: Welcome to American Dreams. My guest today is Chad Jenkins. Chad, welcome to today’s show.
Chad Jenkins: Thanks so much, Alan. Great to be with you.
Alan Olsen: Chad for the listeners, you have a remarkable background. You’ve helped lots of entrepreneurs get companies launched. But how did this all begin? Can you give us your your background story?
Chad Jenkins: Yes, sir. My story is kind of long at a very, very early age. I grew up training and trading horses, like even rotting horses before the time I could walk there for so little time to think do not verbally speak. And it was required to do a lot of listening is even though they do not speak they do communicate a good bit. And that carried with me into business. At also a very early age. I started a landscape company shortly middle way through middle school, and began to move out parcels for bank that had expansion lots that didn’t need landscaping, but they needed Bush hogging. While growing up on a farm and around horses, I had tractors and bush hogs. So my cost of goods was pretty low. And that really started my first business that just continued to evolve in selling it shortly after high school. Getting involved in a business that was classified as America’s Country Store is a Purina concept that existed before Tractor Supply. And we were the first one in the country. I was maybe around 21 I believe when we did that. It evolved to being exposed to Nextel telephones. Oddly enough, I had a lot of guys that would go and deliver feed and shavings and panels and gates, I’d become the largest peddling gate distributor in North and South Carolina. Again way before Tractor Supply existed. And a gentleman came along and asked me would I have any interest in Nextel telephone. And I did because of the immediate in I related to the immediate response from being able to dictate the outcome from a transaction whether to park the trailer here deliver the hay day or dump the savings over here. And it enabled me not to have to be on site or have a bunch of communication. So it’s all about efficiency in each and every business, including doubt when so I ended up selling the America’s Country Store. And at the time, of course, Nextel walking into a very large agricultural store. Thought I was a joke about being selling Nextel is even though I didn’t really cared for Nextel per se, I definitely cared for the impact they had on business. And I became the largest Nextel distributor in North and South Carolina, in about six months. So they quickly came back and said, Hey, we have to make you official dealer. We don’t really understand how you’re doing this, but you’re making a very small city look like it’s selling more phones than a very large city. One thing along that path that I was exposed to is everyone’s cell phone bill was messed up at that time. And I also identified with the ability to look at some numbers, projects, and tramping, watch people’s behaviors, resulting back from watching horses behaviors, and predicting what response they were going to have. So just same skill just apply in a different way. And I began to charge $5 A phone to make sure your wireless bill is correct. And the proactively move you to a better rate plan structure based upon your 2000 people who were using phones out in the field, which got me into software, and which is one of my organizations today that still exists since 2006. Along the way, many other companies leasing company has the same service organizations that I helped with Nextel who want a GPS that maybe they were not in a capital position to be able to invest in GPS equipment at that very early stage. It was one it’s quite lucrative, but two is also kind of expensive. So from being back in the agricultural store, I had to figure out what her floor plan inventory was really quickly. And a lot of horse folks tend to like to buy bigger horse trailers maybe than their pocketbook. So I was exposed to financing and participation, a basis point when you’re financing them. So I took that knowledge when I ran across the landscape companies that needed GPS but didn’t have the capital to invest in it. I created a landscape company. I’m sorry, a leasing company to turn the paper on that. Four or five IT companies and some various and sundry commercial construction. Oh, just Oh counsels actually.
Alan Olsen: So Chad, the company that you’re currently CEO of SeedSpark, Yes, how did you step into that role and it give me the elevator pitch exactly what you do.
Chad Jenkins: Personally, I create organizations that remove obstacles that are preventing small to medium sized businesses from reaching their full potential and growing. SeedSpark itself is a manifestation of partial of that on many different organizations, unfortunate to own quite a few seats. Spark itself does that by way of removing the obstacles that exist in cybersecurity, and managed services IT it has an additional division that focuses on automating business processes, so that we write custom software applications and ERPs that wrapped around a legacy or legacy organizations processes. So the implementation and the onboarding, some pretty sizable change comes over time, because we partner with that organization to develop the right amount of technology, and implement the right amount of technology along their journey, versus what is commonly known. And there’s app developers everywhere. But normally in this can be a little bit more lucrative. They build an application and sell it many times. My passion is the way business cycles in business happen. So our software and business process automation division wraps the technology around the way your organization operates. And then lastly, and you can kind of see a team up here, we secured the business for cybersecurity and managed IT, we’ve improved its velocity and scale by creating the right amount of technology where they can get more through the pipe. Now it’s time to fill the pipe up. So another division inside the SeedSpark umbrella is a digital marketing, creative and web web division. So we do tons of digital marketing and SEO, we’ve even built custom digital marketing platforms. For others, that we one division of Spark takes advantage of services for their clients. That is what spark does all board have access at the wireless company, managing a bunch of wireless accounts, I could not scale quick enough and train people on how to spot trends and how to communicate directly with customer service at a wireless carrier. So wrote the business logic went and found two software guys, and before too long, I was in the software business.
Alan Olsen: Chad, you’ve seen a lot of careers and companies startup over the course of a time when you are assessing differences between success and failure over a career. What criteria would you say the one thing is that will make that difference of as successful as a person finding success in their career?
Chad Jenkins: Listening. By far, we were given one mouth and two ears using proportionately. I very much tried to adhere to the methodology to listen for the intent to understand and not to reply to carrying that forward, which I had to do, as I mentioned, at a very early age, but what I was dealing with in business was nonverbal. It’s helped me all throughout life and that belief, looking backwards to the needs of your clients to the dangers they face to the opportunities exist, or also to the strength that they possess. If you’re truly listening and get to that root core, you can be hugely impactful and valuable as a true partner to that organization. And success.
Alan Olsen: What role does a CEO play inside of an organization?
Chad Jenkins: What a great question, when sometimes depending on the size organization could be what role does the CEO not play. So in this particular sized organization, which you that run rate of this is around 20 million in leadership always along the way, no matter the size. The ability to see and paint a bigger future for each and every team member, both internal and external, is a requirement of the CEO through engagement or programs or initiatives that are supported in the organization. And we must be able to see forward we must be able to I believe we must be able to see dots that are exist for a business that we’re serving or for one of the team members that they are just unable to see them and connect in themselves. That in my eyes is many contributing factors to successful SEO.
Alan Olsen: So Chad, what is one thing that I should do to ensure my success tomorrow?
Chad Jenkins: Focusing on those that you’re engaged with, in three more questions is a rule that I also live by, when we think we know the answer three more questions in that helps get to the root so you can really understand what is the impediment, or the obstacle or trying to traverse?
Alan Olsen: When I’m looking at a company that I’ve successfully launched? How do I create that mini me?
Chad Jenkins: Those are very difficult. We are here at SeedSpark and all about organizations. We use a ton of Kolbe culture index. We cards in front of each and every office, which is not uncommon these days to help people understand how to communicate with each other. But it’s people, people people!
Alan Olsen: How large is SeedSpark?
Chad Jenkins: Revenue wise, mid 20s, headcount wise in the 75? I believe. It seems like every day we were hiring more people.
Alan Olsen: And then when you’re looking at building out the organization, what is your vision for SeedSpark in your geographic reach?
Chad Jenkins: Yeah, so currently, we do have clients across North America, we have a footprint in the southeast physical footprint. We’re exploring acquisitions, both in the northeast and also the Midwest. Those are areas that we serve today, primarily our business automation division, and some in our Managed Services Division. But we are definitely beginning to enter the stage which we grow through acquisition, not just organic. There’s a lot of opportunity on the horizon for us.
Alan Olsen: A true entrepreneur. Are you having fun with your company and the growth so far?
Chad Jenkins: Absolutely! Always have fun. Very, that is also the most important.
Alan Olsen: Chad how would a potential client or one that is interested in your mind. Go ahead and reach out to you?
Chad Jenkins: Yes, sir. You’re welcome to fund this online seedspark.com Or you can also find me at Chad Jenkins on LinkedIn.
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