cass ward they don't teach this in business school

“That Flexibility Comes with Handcuffs.”

In today’s episode, I talk with Cassmer Ward, the founder of Nexagy and several other businesses, about the handcuffs that come with business ownership flexibility, finding balance in work and life, and how being of value leads to sales.



They Don’t Teach This in Business School is a podcast where our award-winning host, Julie Bee, discusses the behind-the-scenes realities of being a business owner. In each episode, she talks about lessons learned on the business owner’s journey that only experience can teach.

In today’s episode, Julie speaks with Cassmer Ward, the founder of Nexagy and several other businesses, about the handcuffs that come with business ownership flexibility, finding balance in work and life, and how being of value leads to sales.

Cass is also the author of “How Much Does it Cost to Make a Donut?”, an accounting book for entrepreneurs.

You don’t have to be an accountant to understand accounting. In fact, you don’t even need to like accounting. However, most aspiring business leaders, managers, and owners must have a basic foundation in accounting principles to make decisions. Instead of teaching accounting concepts with numbers, math, or debits and credits, “How Much Does It Cost To Make a Donut?” delivers accounting knowledge and bookkeeping basics for entrepreneurs in a series of relatable stories.

Find out how YOU CAN WIN an autographed copy of Cass’ book by visiting our Instagram page on Tuesday, November 8th.

Have weekly leadership tips and insights delivered straight to your inbox – sign up here.

If you’d like to connect with Julie, visit her Website or social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Julie has spoken to countless organizations for 14+ years on topics including leadership, management, employee engagement and morale, workplace culture, small business ownership, and entrepreneurship. If you are an engaging, relatable, and inspiring speaker for your next event, book Julie to speak to your group.


[00:00:00] Julie Bee – Host: In today’s episode, I talk with Ka Ward, the founder of Nexi and several other businesses about the handcuffs that come with business ownership, flexibility, finding balance and work and life, and how being of value leads to sales.

[00:00:16] Midroll Spot: Julie has spoken to countless organizations for 13 years on topics including leadership, management, employee engagement, and morale, workplace culture, small business ownership, and entrepreneurship.

If you’d like an engaging, relatable, and inspiring speaker for your next event, book Julie to speak to your group. More

[00:00:40] Julie Bee – Host: Welcome back to They Don’t Teach This In Business School where we discuss the behind the scenes realities of being a business owner. I am Julie B, and I really appreciate you tuning in here today.

Today’s episode is special because I get to interview Kam Kamer Ward, founder of Nexi and several other business. He is [00:01:00] also an adjunct instructor for the McCall School of Business at Queens University. Him being a business owner and someone who actually does teach in business school, he is especially qualified to discuss what they don’t teach you in business school today.

So I know we’re gonna have a fun conversation. Cass, welcome to the show. I’m really glad to have you here today. Thanks for having me, Julie. Yeah. First question from the business ownership side of things, and I know you’ve got a lot going on, but why don’t you just give us a brief overview of what you do as a business

[00:01:30] Cassmer Ward – Guest: owner?

So, yes, my background is in accounting. I started my career very early on. I I tried the corporate world. I worked. For a large bank here in Charlotte. And it, to be honest, it just did not take, I, and when I say it did not take, I did not take, the corporate world did not care for me. I ended up with a much smaller company and I, you know, at a young age was able to, to reach the role of chief financial officer for a company that honestly was close to going bankrupt.

And you know, it was a great. For [00:02:00] a, a fledge link company and we were able to figure out over years how to make it profitable. And from there, grow to about a 25 million a year company. After I left there, I went and started a small boutique engineering firm that was, uh, intelligent design engineering. Uh, we’re celebrating our 15th year this year, but we, we set up so quickly that there really wasn’t a need for a full-time cfo and I, I found myself with not a lot of work to do, so I just said, Well, why can’t I do this for other.

And that’s when I started Nexi G and said, I’m just gonna do fractional CFO work for, for businesses anywhere from less than a million to 15 million in revenue that don’t need a full-time cfo. And over the, over the, the course of those 14, 15 years, I’ve been able to work in non-profits, manufacturing, media companies and just getting a really great experience, especially in the accounting and finance world through, through all these different in.

[00:02:55] Julie Bee – Host: And you are quite the content creator yourself. You wanna share a little bit about your, your [00:03:00] TV show?

[00:03:01] Cassmer Ward – Guest: Yeah, sure. So, yeah, I, I, as you mentioned, I, I’m an adjunct at, at Queens University in the Mc McCall School of Business. And we turned my entrepreneurship class into an online class few years ago. And we really, we spent some time and money in it to say, Hey, how can we make, how can we make a online class feel like a Netflix series?

And we professionally shot all our lecture. . And from there we also, we used business case studies with interviews of business owners. Well, those business interviews, those interviews with business owners were so, came out so well, We said, Why not release these to everyone? And we released them as a, a limited series called Influencing Entrepreneurs.

We had such a good time next year when my class run, I was like, Let’s just do the interviews over again. And again, and we just finished actually our fourth year doing it. And it’s been a, a great experience talking from with entrepreneurs all the way from people who have not even generated revenue yet to those who have exited and sold for multimillions of dollars and [00:04:00] everything in from in between, including, you know, minority owned businesses, non-profits, technology companies, just all, you know, the what, the diverse landscape that comes with being an entrepreneurship, being an entre.

[00:04:14] Julie Bee – Host: Yeah, it’s, it’s a really great, it’s a really great show and I, when I watch those episodes, I even find myself saying, Oh, that’s interesting. You know, it makes me think about entrepreneurship differently in, in a lot of ways. So, Kas, one thing I wanna ask you is, I don’t think I’ve ever asked you this before, but what is your favorite part about being a business?

[00:04:37] Cassmer Ward – Guest: Wow, you know about being the business owner. I will tell you it, it’s weird cuz may, maybe I’ve gotten older, but I will tell you probably for the first 10 years of owning the engineering company and doing, you know, just kind of working as a consultant is when I went to my office, I could go in flip flops.

To me that was worth. The money I wasn’t making at a larger company. [00:05:00] It, you know, people were like, Oh, but you can make your own hours and you can, like, all that’s bull crap. Yeah. Like that. All of that is a curse, you know, there, you know, I, I literally just went on a 10 day trip where I was out in the wilderness for five days and when I was in the top of a mountain and cell signal came, I had to look real quick to make sure nothing was on fire at work, back home, so, mm-hmm.

Mm-hmm. . So yes, there’s flexibility, but that flexibility has handcuffs that are much greater than that flexibility. Mm-hmm. . But I did like the entire, I got to be around. People I liked, I got to be around pe, I got to do business with people I liked, you know, early on in any, any small business owners, you know, you, you trying to figure out what you do and what you don’t do or what you shouldn’t do, and getting to the point where you say no for the first time.

Yeah. And when you finally get enough confidence, you’re like, No, I do not want to do work with this type of business owner. Somebody who knows it all, somebody who has all the answers, somebody who’s a poor leader. [00:06:00] So really the, the, the, the flexibility between flip flops and the choosing who you get to work with, to me is the real, real big win.


[00:06:10] Julie Bee – Host: after, after the first 10 years, it sounds like. It, it becomes more about who you get to kind of lead into your inner circle. That sounds like what is really the, the favorite part at this point for you in

[00:06:22] Cassmer Ward – Guest: business? I, I would, And when you find those right people, it’s the appreciation. Like, you know what’s funny?

I, I was talking with a, a, a group of clients and I was, I was actually giving them an example on how they could deal with their customers. You know, it was a, it was a service company. They were giving services away that they should have been charging extra fees for. Mm-hmm. , But they were so happy. That they were, that they were delivering above and beyond what the scope of work was.

Mm-hmm. , that they also, they, for, they, they had foregone $10,000 of services they should have billed out for, and of course incurred $4,000 of labor [00:07:00] costs that should have been attributed to other projects. Mm-hmm. . And when we were trying to talk about like, how do we see our value and what do we bill for?

I, I said, you, have you ever been to your parent, your grandparents’? and they’re like, The Internet’s broken, and you unplug the router and you plug it back in and it’s working and they’re like, Oh my gosh, you’re a technical Jesus genius. You are just like Bill Gates. I say like, that’s what we’re chasing and that’s where there’s value because I will tell you there are companies out there that ch charge older people.

A couple hundred dollars to come to the house to unplug the router and plug it back in. Mm-hmm. , we’re not looking to gouge anyone, but if we’re gonna spend our time and resources, we still want that outcome where they’re so grateful that we did it and we showed up to where they’re not, they’re not upset that we’re charging them for it to where they’re begging us to take their money.

[00:07:56] Julie Bee – Host: That’s what I think every business owner wants. But you know, it does [00:08:00] come with what you said earlier about the handcuff. I think what you really wanna make sure of is before you kind of get to that point, you do know who, who you want to work with, what an ideal client looks like, because sometimes if you take money from the wrong types of clients, Yeah.

I, And we, Yeah. I could turn into it. Yeah. Anybody who’s been in business for, I would say more than a few years, has had the experience of dealing with a tough client. And that’s something that you just learn over time, who, who’s a good match and, and who’s gonna actually fit within. within your system of how you work as well.

Yeah. So Cas, I know you, you talk to a lot of business owners and I’m just curious, what is something that you find the business owner, the founder, what are the things that they typically have the hardest time getting off of their plate? Maybe they’ve tried to hire for it, or maybe they’ve tried to delegate it, but it always seems to end up back on the business owner’s.[00:09:00]

[00:09:00] Cassmer Ward – Guest: Well, you know, it is funny cuz I, I sometimes I am the hire of resistance. I’m the last person they brought in. Yeah. And it’s after people have told them for years, you need a, some sort of director of finance or fractional cfo. So it, I’m gonna be honest, it’s the numbers. And the problem is, and, and I, I, I deal with this with clients I’ve had for several years.

It’s the not understanding the numbers. They’re like, The numbers don’t make sense to me. And they’re looking at a profit and loss statement, income statement. They’re looking at a balance sheet and. Is one of those things the owners wanna make sure they’re not losing money, right? Mm-hmm. , the, the, the worst thing that happens is a lot of these owners or management teams, they look at the bank balance and they’re like, It’s positive, It’s positive.

And I’m like, If that’s how you’re measuring your company when it’s bad, you’re gonna find out in the wrong way. Mm-hmm. like that is not how you do it. You lit, you know, in being an accountant by trade, I really spend time going. [00:10:00] Account accrual versus cash methods of, of accounting. Mm-hmm. , but, and, and transaction processing.

But I, your, your audience doesn’t want to hear about any of that. , They could read

[00:10:09] Julie Bee – Host: your book if they want, if they wanna, they could read your book .

[00:10:12] Cassmer Ward – Guest: Exactly. But, but going back to the point, it really is getting the, the, the management team, especially the owner, comfortable with the numbers. Because what happens is sometimes they even hire directors of finance, CFOs, all that, and they get these big dashboards.

Mm-hmm. , these big, huge, beautiful dashboards. Mm-hmm. that, that are great. They have a ton of information. They still don’t know what to do with that information. Mm-hmm. and at the end of the day, they’re not. No business owner, no, no. Leadership team, ownership team board director sits down and says, Okay, priority number one, how are we gonna get profitable tomorrow or more profitable?

Mm-hmm. , that is such a macro thing that that’s why people hate the numbers, because the answer is, I don’t know how the hell yeah. Tomorrow. What are we doing? Yeah. How about next [00:11:00] year? Yeah. Yeah, exactly. We sell this one thing, you know? It costs us this much to make this one thing. Plus we have all these people and all these resources to do it.

So how many of these items do we have to sell to become profitable? Some people have not even done that exercise. Then it’s like, well, if we need this machine that’s $20,000, but there’s one that makes it $40,000, well, what will the $41,000 one get us? The 21? Can it lower costs elsewhere? Can you know? And really, so what you end up doing when you want to talk about it, you.

Attacking the numbers. You really do it bit by bit, step by step. You don’t make a decision that now makes you profitable. It’s a series of events, it’s a series of decisions, it’s a series of assumptions, and they’re not all right. Mm-hmm. , they’re what we have to the best of our knowledge. So what that happens is the owner gets really, you know, like, I just wanna be profitable, you know, like, Getting into that [00:12:00] detail, which most entrepreneurs do not like to do in the first place.

Mm-hmm. . But that’s where you really gotta dig down. And if you don’t like to do that, you’ve gotta get the people that love to dig down in the details.

[00:12:11] Midroll Spot: You can have weekly leadership tips and insights delivered straight to your inbox. Sign and if you’d like to connect with Julie, she’s available on the web and most social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

[00:12:28] Julie Bee – Host: Hey, this is Julie B and you’re listening to, They don’t Teach This in Business School. I’m here with Cas Ward, founder of Nexi and several other businesses, and he’s also an adjunct lecturer at a school of business here locally in the Charlotte area. And Cass, we were just talking about, from what I’ve observed, you’re, you’re able to have.

A work life balance. You know, you get to travel and it just seems like you have some of that. I know you work your butt off too, but how do you make sure that you are working on the high [00:13:00] impact, the, the, the activities that are gonna bring the highest impact to your businesses and not get distracted by the other things that are really easy to get distracted by?

[00:13:11] Cassmer Ward – Guest: Well, About three or four years ago, I believe, and I believe me, and you were working together through mm-hmm. , through some of this, probably . I really had to start making a list of what do I not want to do anymore? What do I just not want to do? And a couple years before that, you know, I, I had two boys that neither one of them drive were driving, so I was a full-time chauffeur.

Mm-hmm. , I was, you know, getting them to and from school every day. And I just was really busy, you know, trying to bounce being a parent. And, you know, there were times they were with their mother, but when they were with me, I wanted to make sure I was a hundred percent in mm-hmm. and. Over time. And, and it was, is my girlfriend I’ve been with for, for last several years that she’s like, You know, what do you wanna do?

Saturday’s? Like, Oh, I gotta mow the lawn. She’s [00:14:00] like, Why are you mowing the lawn? And I was like, I don’t know. That’s just what you do. And she said, I mean, if you think about, you know what you do for one hour of work, you could pay somebody to mow your lawn for the entire month. And I was like, That’s not, that’s kind of true.

I’d be better off working that hour Saturday for a client than I would doing that. Mm-hmm. . And it was really weird. So I had this information and I, I, I was, you know, you kind of putting two and two together and while I had the information, I did nothing. I made zero decision. until finally I just, I even write about this in my book.

So I, I start making, I, I get all this information of what’s the best decision, the best return on my money that the next thing was, is like I was still paying like $150 a month in a cable bill. Mm-hmm. , you know, so I have all these personal things going on in my life. Mm-hmm. . And I made this spreadsheet of like, what if I got rid of cable and I got Hulu and Netflix and like me and my son sat down, made a whole list of all of the shows we watched, The Walking [00:15:00] Dead and Community and all this.

And it’s like, if we get all these streaming services, what could we, you, what would we be missing? And we would miss nothing. And I, I figured out I would be saving $110 a month. Mm-hmm. and I still did. Decision paralysis. Hmm. So I share this whole story with my accounting class. I go through the spreadsheet with them, I put it up on the board, we work it all out.

And you know, they’re like, So are you gonna do it? And I was like, I don’t know. I’ve been saying I’m gonna do it for a year, but I probably wouldn’t . And one of my students said, I know what I’d do if I switched over. And I was like, What? She’s like, I could have made, and I looked at the savings and I was.

Oh my God. Like that would save me four Saturdays a month. Mm-hmm. like, and let me tell you, I didn’t do a good job of it in the first place. Yeah. I actually went home, made the decision, hired a maid, you know, that only comes every [00:16:00] couple of weeks or whatever. Mm-hmm. and I realized I’ve had all the information to make the right decision, but I needed it put into context on what will help me make the decision.

From there, lawn service came along from there. When I work with you mm-hmm. , it was one of those things like, these are the things I don’t like doing. How can I fig, how can I spend that time doing it elsewhere? Mm-hmm. and how can, and it just started to snowball and I really had to take a deep look at is I spend a lot of time with numbers where people still will not make a decision.

Even if it shows that they will save hundreds of thousands dollars, they will still do nothing. And I was like, I’ve gotta figure out the context of what they’re made. What is the thing that you’re like, Oh, it’s not about the $300,000, it’s about the ability to expand our factory, or it’s about the ability to get rid of this division and lease that space out, and that’s where the return is.

It’s like saving money isn’t enough. It’s the icing. It’s

[00:16:54] Julie Bee – Host: really, I, I think it’s all almost impossible to separate work from life. And I think the sooner [00:17:00] we, we accept that and kinda look at it together, the better decisions we can make. I don’t know if you’ve had a, I mean, I don’t know if you agree with that or not, but No,

[00:17:08] Cassmer Ward – Guest: you know, it is, and, and it really is a whole contextual issue.

You’ve really gotta think about how, how do I make this, you know, what’s gonna be the, the, the impetus to, to pull the trigger or make that, that next.

[00:17:23] Julie Bee – Host: That kind of leads me into a question that I’m, I’m obviously talking a lot about right now, and I want to ask you, have you ever gone through burnout? And if you have, would you share, uh, a story about it?


[00:17:34] Cassmer Ward – Guest: it’s weird cause I, I will say I, I’ve gotten to a point of burnout, but. Have not had, I, I’ve seen it happen in really bad ways where people stop their business completely. Mm-hmm. , I’ve gotten to a point where I’m just like, I gotta figure out if I, I’ve gotten to the burnout point where I either am like, this is my crossroads.

Do I, do I plow ahead? And stick to the plan, or do I need to stop? Let some people [00:18:00] go, let some clients go and just do a few things, you know? And, and my burnout gets to the point where my burnout isn’t about work. I actually, probably, when I don’t have a lot of work, I, I’m like, Hey, what am I gonna do next?

Like, I’ll find something else. So I don’t mind the, I don’t mind the, the whole activity, you know, All, all the, what’s the best way? I, I don’t mind being busy all the time. Yeah. What I will say is probably the first half of this year where my burnout comes in is the heaviness of decisions. And the first half of this year was very, very difficult for me because, so now I’m sitting in, you know, up to 12 to 16 board meetings a month with, you know, ownership teams and leadership teams.

Mm. Dealing with very heavy issues. You know, you know, a, you know, a leadership team member had died. They have to fire somebody for a cause. They have to fire somebody because, because the business isn’t doing well, people are leaving left and right. I mean, I’ll tell you that the people issues [00:19:00] that happened the first half of this year were very, very heavy.

Likehmm . There were people that were just like, I don’t wanna work anymore. And they’re like, Why don’t you wanna work here? Or they’re like, and they’re like, No, it’s not that I don’t wanna work. I just don’t wanna work. And, and I, I’m not exaggerating. I’m selling my house and me and my wife and kids are gonna go move in with my parents.

And I’m like, What are you gonna do? Or like, we’ll figure it out. And I’m like, I mean, how do you, you, you know, and, and so, so imagine there’s no answer to that. There’s no, Yeah, yeah. Imagine 10 of those things coming in a week and trying to manage everything that the heaviness of it got really, really, you know, I could imagine, and it’s nowhere near the depth of a grief counselor.

Mm-hmm. . But I could imagine hearing that stuff over and over gets to be a

[00:19:41] Julie Bee – Host: lot, and especially when you, with what you do, because you’re going into these leadership basically. I. Leadership team meetings, board meetings, that type of thing. And being the, the head financial person in the room, the, the fractional cfo, But you’re not doing that for just one company, you’re doing that for, Right.[00:20:00]

Multiple companies. And so yeah, that, that is something that when you start to see, you know, mul, multiple clients being impacted by the same thing and you are hit, you are feeling it as much as they are. Times, you know, 10 or whatever, 16. Yeah. It could really, yeah, it can really weigh on you. And I think that’s something that a lot of, I know we’ve had that, I’ve had that in the marketing industry with, most recently with covid and supply chain issues.

I mean, that, that whole, you know, having 10 clients who literally could, had to stop selling because they couldn’t get their, their raw materials to make the things that they were selling. That was, you know, a lot to, to handle. And that’s nothing compared to, you know, people dying or losing employees because they just don’t wanna work anymore.

There’s, there’s no Right. How do you, how do you overcome that? You know, how does that business

[00:20:55] Cassmer Ward – Guest: and it’s a very helpless feeling, you know? Yeah. Cause, cause you know, people like the, the accounting, [00:21:00] cuz they’re just like, Oh, well at least we can talk through the numbers of this or mm-hmm. , you know, you know, there.

There’s, I guess, comfort with some of that. Yeah. But when it’s, when it’s, when it’s human people, you’re like, What? What the hell are we gonna do? Yeah. .

[00:21:16] Julie Bee – Host: Well, and then you get into the whole, you know, that kind of trickles into having the whole loneliness at the top thing, but you. I mean, you’re in a unique position where I feel like you’re having that repeatedly because you’re in that, you know, you’re at the top for your own business and your own, you know, your own entity, but you’re also at the top with a lot of these businesses that you work with.

And that’s, that’s something that, how, how do you overcome, or how do you make sure you don’t get into that loneliness that, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs feel being at the top.

[00:21:49] Cassmer Ward – Guest: I’ll tell you, I do spend a lot of time with, I, I do look for outside continuous professional development. Mm-hmm. , like I am always, you know, looking for a class, looking [00:22:00] for a seminar, looking for whatever I can find to, to, you know, get us.

You know, to, to get the help, or not help but perspective, that’s probably what the best word for it. So I’m always looking for ways that I can be around people having the same problems as me and just, you know, it starts off with listening. It starts with sharing, and then, you know, something comes more and more, but you, you’ve gotta seek ’em.

you know, I mean, there, there’s, And then not only that, sometimes these groups are 50 to a hundred people, but then you gotta find your core of three or four people. Cause I don’t wanna share my stuff with a group of a hundred people. You know, I, I, I really like a forum setting.

[00:22:45] Julie Bee – Host: It’s a process. You’ve gotta find your, you gotta find, usually you gotta find the group and then you gotta find the group within the group that you feel comfortable enough being vulnerable with and opening up about things.

And that’s kind of how I think, I mean, that’s how. You know, manage that feeling of [00:23:00] loneliness at the top. And I think that’s really common. But it, it takes work. I mean, you have to find it and then you gotta maintain it. For sure.

[00:23:06] Midroll Spot: Yeah. Julie has spoken to countless organizations for 13 years on topics including leadership, management, employee engagement, and morale, workplace culture, small business ownership, and entrepreneurship.

If you’d like it, engaging, relatable, and inspiring speaker for your next event. Book Julie to speak to your. More

[00:23:31] Julie Bee – Host: Hey there, you’re listening to, They Don’t Teach This In Business School, and I’m the host Julie b. I’m here with Cass Ward today, founder of Nexi and several other businesses.

And Cass is also an adjunct lecturer in a school of business. And Cass, I wanna switch lanes here and talk to you about that because. I was in business school. I graduated from business school, and I gotta tell you, we did not learn a whole lot about entrepreneurship. Now I know a lot [00:24:00] has changed, but when you’re, when you’re teaching your classes and you have, let’s say you have a student who expresses interest in entrepreneurship to you, how do you approach that conversation with.

[00:24:12] Cassmer Ward – Guest: You know, it, it, it, it is a difficult, it, it’s not meant to be a difficult con conversation, but you really gotta ask hard questions. And it really is, you’ve gotta ask you, you’re, you gotta find the right way to say, Do you have the guts to do this? Because it is not an easy road. And they don’t teach it in business school.

They don’t teach the feeling, the loneliness, all of the, the things that come with entrepreneurship. And I remember when I was getting my master’s, I was getting my degree in entrepreneurship. Mm-hmm. , or not my degree, but I was finishing my entrepreneurship class. I’m sorry, I was getting me at my mba.

Mm-hmm. , but I, I remember they had a special speaker come. And the speaker came in and was talking about like, Well, this is how you do this to build a business and this is how you do this to build a business. And he’s like, But the thing you’ve [00:25:00] gotta ask yourself before you do any of this is. His name’s Paul Solitary.

I, he was, I, this is still one of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. He said, If you wanna start your own business, you’ve gotta go in willing to know that there will be days you throw up in your trash can . Wow. Yeah. And, and I gotta be honest, there is no greater truth than that statement. Like, and you’re like, Oh, that’s an exaggeration.

And no, you get there and you’re like, No. That’s it. That literally is the, the price of admission. And it, whether it’s the loneliness, whether it’s the helplessness, whether it’s the, I don’t know where to even frigging start. It builds up and it, it, it, it is a, it is a, it is a mountain to overcome.

[00:25:45] Julie Bee – Host: The other question though, if, if you, let’s say you ask a student that, or, or a student asks you that and you’re like, Okay, yeah, they, they probably have, have the guts.

How, if you talk to ’em about it more, how do you keep them excited about, [00:26:00] you know, being a business owner, but also leveling out those expectations with, with reality? How do you make sure that they, I mean, it’s hard to make sure at that, at that point, but how do you really let them know? You gotta, Yeah.

It’s, it’s great sometimes, but sometimes it just, it, it can really suck. And how do you, how do you have those conversations?

[00:26:21] Cassmer Ward – Guest: Because, Well, and, and the thing is, it’s kind of what’s driving you. Mm-hmm. . If the drive is to do this, I’m going to create this product or create this service because I am passionate about it and I want to do this over and over again, and I want, this is what I want to deliver.

That passion won’t. If it is, I wanna do this so I can be rich or wealthy in any of those, then usually by the time you make that statement, they’re done. They, they, they really are. So, so if you can talk them in to say, Hey, maybe you just do this and you break even. Maybe it’s a nice hobby. Maybe it’s a way where you have a time to where you can develop the product further [00:27:00] and you keep working through it if that passion is still there.

Mm-hmm. , those are the baby steps that start snowballing. They really will turn into something. Big. If you’re like, Oh, I can do this and make a quick buck, or I this, you know, owning a business, I get to keep all the money and everything. Mm-hmm. those hard truths will, will, they’ll, they’ll squash the, the passion of anyone that I guess they will squash unfounded passion.


[00:27:25] Julie Bee – Host: Yeah. If you go into business ownership and the main reason is to make money that’s gonna. You’re not, you don’t make it very far. And I, I honestly, I think that’s why so many businesses, you know, there’s all of the statistics about how business, how many businesses fail in the first year. I think it’s more about, you know, they just don’t have the passion to keep going.

I mean, there are some truly not, not great business ideas that, that get launched, but I think it’s more about they just don’t have the passion. They don’t have the enough to keep going because they went into it thinking they were gonna make money [00:28:00] right away, and it just didn’t hang. Cas. One question I’d really love to ask business owners is, and I wanna make sure I ask you this question, how do you define success?

[00:28:11] Cassmer Ward – Guest: Well, I personally define it as, as balance between personal life, family, and business. I do like when there’s a balance between all of them. It is, it takes a lot. I’ve, I’ve got a very patient and understanding family and, and a great relationship with my girlfriend and trying to balance all that to where you can be present with each and every one and show up.

The same is, it does take some work, and I’ll tell you when we talk about the personal side too, is there are times I just need to be by myself. Like I just need. And making sure to be, you know, communicate where I’m not like I need everybody to go away or whatever. Just like. I’m gonna have this time for myself.

I mean, I’m here for you if you need an emergency, but it is a, it, [00:29:00] it a like a balance that, that you gotta to work through. So you spend the time going through what’s important today, What am I working towards? Am I working towards a vacation? Am I working towards getting a new client? Am I working towards moving my son into college this weekend?

Like all of those things. Mm-hmm. just, you know, finding that balance. How

[00:29:21] Julie Bee – Host: do you know you’re

[00:29:22] Cassmer Ward – Guest: balance? It’s when I get to the point where I don’t have anything to do . And oddly enough that balance brings with me like, what can I get into next? And sometimes it’s writing a book. Sometimes it’s making a a, a video.

Interview series. Sometimes it is going on a 50 mile backpacking trip. Sometimes it is going through three or four seasons of a television show and Netflix in one weekend. . There’s nothing

[00:29:50] Julie Bee – Host: wrong with that. Exactly. List. Cass, I have. I’ve really enjoyed talking with you in this interview. It’s been great. I do have one last question I want to [00:30:00] ask you, and it’s a little bit different for you because you actually do teach in business school.

So if you could teach anything you wanted to teach in, in the college courses that you teach, what is the one thing that you would want to make sure that the future business owners and those classes.

[00:30:17] Cassmer Ward – Guest: It’s funny that number one, that marketing and sales are always considered synonymous, but there’s a marketing class and they don’t teach sales.

So I’m gonna go with sales, but here’s what I wanna say about sales. More important than sales is networking. I think good networking is more than enough sales that you need to worry about as far as getting out there and early on. I, I, I, I would tell you probably to this day, I’ve always hated networking.

I don’t wanna go out there so I can meet Julie and see if she needs a fractional cfo, and I hope to God she doesn’t try to sell me what she’s selling and like, The thought of that is just exhausting because you, you know, what I figured out over time is [00:31:00] I will help anyone. I will give them every bit of advice.

I will tell, you know, if I were to meet with you, Julie, and you’re like, What do I have a CFO do, I will tell you every single thing that I would do to make your business better if I, you were to hire me. Mm-hmm. . And if you said, Well, I, I’ll do that on my own, I’d be like, I would, I would consider that a success.

I don’t need to make money off of that. Mm-hmm. , I don’t need to do that. I just like to help people. And over time when you get to a a point where you’re spending more time helping one another and being a resource for one another, that’s where true networking turns into sales. And, and I see that with a lot of these, with a lot of younger salespeople that go through these sales class.

This is of getting to Yes. And, you know, getting to the decision maker and all that. And Yes. You know, there, there are certain sales that require maybe a little bit more of that mm-hmm. , but long term sales and things that will, will sell over and over. Being a resource is the number [00:32:00] one thing that you know puts you in front of people.

And here’s the thing, I might help 10 people and it might take five years. One of them will eventually call me.

[00:32:08] Julie Bee – Host: I think that is about the best that we can end this interview on cas. I really enjoyed it. I just wanna thank you again for being on the show today, and I know our listeners are gonna get a lot out of this interview.

So thanks for being here. All right. Thanks a lot for

[00:32:20] Cassmer Ward – Guest: having

[00:32:20] Julie Bee – Host: me. And that’s a wrap on this episode of they Don’t Teach This in Business School. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any future episodes.