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July 9, 2020

Episode 036 - Rod Rackley, President of OOH at Circle Graphics

Episode 036 - Rod Rackley, President of OOH at Circle Graphics

Today's guest is Rod Rackley.

Rod is the President of the Out of Home division at Circle Graphics, the world's largest producer of grand and large format digital graphics. An engineer by training, Rod doesn't just understand the advertising ecosystem, he's developed systems for advertisers to consistently get their printing done quickly, affordably and at the highest quality. 

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So soft intro and, uh, and we'll get rocking. Welcome to out-of-home insider today's guest is Rob Rackley. Rod is the president of the out of home division for circle graphics, the world's largest producer of Grande and large format, digital graphics and engineer by training rod doesn't just understand the advertising agency.

He's developed systems for advertisers to consistently get their printing done quickly affordably and at the highest quality available Rod's also an entrepreneur himself helping build Anthem displays a digital billboard manufacturer based here in the United States, providing a viable alternative to Chinese manufacturers, 250 digital billboards already entertaining communities around the country.

That further ado rod, welcome to the. Thanks, Tim. Um, I sounds like you may have talked to my mom to get some of those talking points. I mean, I have a fan out there at least I, I appreciate it. Um, and listen, I want to thank you for what you're doing. Uh, you probably don't get paid every day for what you're doing, but I really enjoyed since I've been back in the industry of watching your podcast and seeing the connection you have and promoting out of home to the industry in our little ecosystem.

So thanks. Well, I appreciate that. And I look forward to being a part of it as we continue forward. Continuing forward, though. Right. We've got to understand where we started from and you've got an interesting story, right? You're a Louisiana guy started out with Lamar how'd you break into the at-home business.

Um, well, I, I graduated from Stanford in engineering and Dawn. I was going to stay out there, uh, in, in the bay area. Um, but I moved back to Louisiana, uh, to work in my family's business, which was a publishing company. And then, um, like a lot of family businesses and perhaps too strong headed guys in the same room, my dad and I decided we couldn't work together.

Um, but, uh, then I didn't really know what to do. I, I just gotten married. Uh, I enrolled in two lanes, executive MBA program and a good friend of mine. The former CFO of Lamar guy named Jack Rome said, let's go have lunch with Kevin Riley. And so we had launched and, and I, uh, uh, told him I wanted to do some internships at a bigger company.

Uh, I was still in my twenties and, um, he said, well, I'll give you a job for nine bucks an hour. You can help me with some projects. I think he was bidding on a wireless. Um, TV spectrum at the time within five or six months, he decided to take the more public. And this was in 95 and, and, uh, man, I just, uh, couldn't be more grateful for that opportunity.

Learned a lot. I remember we'd go up and help write the perspectives in New York while you're studying it on the weekend business school. It was a pretty unique time for me. And then. Uh, I got a chance to work with Sean Riley and Bob Switzer at Lamar, we did something like 400 acquisitions over that first five or six years deployed almost $2 billion, uh, to roll up a lot of the industry.

It became either you were a buyer or seller, um, in that, in that time. And, um, thanks to Lamar Lamar's great leaders, Lamar Kevin Riley, senior. Uh, we had, we were just, just big enough to be one of the big boys. So I did that for, uh, 10 years, uh, when I was about to turn 40, I wanted to do something a little more entrepreneurial and a guy named Hank redless and I become friends and it started circle graphics and was printing out here in Colorado and, uh, was doing some posters for Lamar and Bob Switzer.

And I came out and, and, uh, and looked at the operation that we're doing a good job for that. And, um, Decided to, to move the family out to you, to Colorado. It's been a good move. Uh, we've enjoyed it. I spent another 10 years. I said, I'd spent my thirties at Lamar, my forties that circled the first time, took a little break when we had sold to a private equity firm in 2012.

And, um, Got my daughter through high school. That was a really great time. And, um, she went back to college. I said, I'm kind of bored at 55. I probably should do something else. And, uh, have enjoyed going back to circle and, um, working with my friend, Andrew cousin, who's a great CEO and, and, uh, circles, a great company.

We've got another division. That's that's remarkably up 200% during COVID it's our wall to core business. Uh, where people are home saying, I need something to refresh that picture of my, you know, my kid when, when they were in junior high, they're in college now. So we've seen a real, uh, uh, remarkable uptick in that business, which I have nothing to do with.

Uh, but, uh, it's nice. Uh, It's nice to soften the blow of some of the downturn in COVID. Um, so when you went back, there's a great team at circle. We're excited to sort of re-engage on a number of fronts and, uh, try to get back to a place at the top of the mountain and, uh, be of service just like you will.

Sorry. That was a little long. No, no. It was all the right pieces. And I, I, and I really love having you on the show because a lot of the conversation it's about digital. It's about programmatic. It's all of these things, but fact of the matter is four to one is still static inventory. We still need to print a lot of beautiful creative.

What can we be doing differently? Just that, you know, in the conversation to encourage advertisers, to consider the power of, of a static design.

It's a great question because, uh, most of the sizzle, even at a industry conference is, um, is about digital. Um, but yeah, there's a lot of weight that can be delivered in a static campaign. Um, a lot of exclusive messaging, not sharing a board with anyone. I think there's, there's certainly going to have to be a.

Some, some better strategies to use static. Um, the product is remarkable. Uh, it looks beautiful. Uh, every printer produces a very nice, uh, printed, uh, I think people are amazed at how it is. It don't know the industry, how inexpensive production is for that large of a tapestry. Um, but digital is also put pressure on the static workflow.

We, we, we have to be more efficient. Uh, we can't have. Uh, national advertiser have a great experience with our medium, particularly on the digital side and say, no, I don't do static. That's a pain in the butt to get on the street. The workflow has to be dramatically simplified. I saw what they Westberg had made this point in his blog today that we, we we've got to quit shuffling spreadsheets around and, and then call him for specs to the billboard companies of, we have to do a national spec database.

We have to make this workflow mirror. You know, they've raised the bar where someone can execute a campaign from their desk, um, you know, in a matter of hours or certainly a week. And so a production of stuff. We used to do the same thing and we can, we just been talking about it for a long, we were talking about it.

Uh, uh, most of my first tenure, and we're still talking about it. You know, some folks who've done a good job, you know, I know you've had my friend, John Laramie on it, project X, they, you know, they've done a good job at quick start a good job, some of these others, but we have to do even better. Um, oh, I think circles doing our part.

We have four factories. Uh, we have API integration. Uh, we are building this national spec database, but I just fear that, uh, that there's too much friction in the process. So we were doing a good job. You could have gone to an old triple-A show, Tim you're too young, but you could have gone through an old AAA show 15 years ago when they were talking about what, you know, they had the panel of ad buyers up on the stage.

What can we do to get more? Uh, ad share. Well, you got to remove friction in the process. You know, it's too difficult to buy. I mean, we've been talking about it for 20 plus years. We actually just need to do something about it. Okay. And I just, I think the, like the media companies are doing what they can do in terms of softening up, putting their avails online, getting over this, uh, psychological hump of, oh my God.

They'll know too much about our business. Uh, printers have to do what we can, uh, buyers, you know, buyers have to do what they can, uh, but we really need to do it this time. Um, because the internet is very efficient process and getting stuff on the street. Uh, it needs to be. It's funny. I was, uh, I had a conversation with a, a student student who's doing his grad work and he's doing a capstone project on financial analysis on an out of home.

So I thought that that was kind of cool. Right? Here's a young person. Studying the, the financial aspect of our business. And he asked that question. He said, why are operators so hesitant to put inventory availability, pricing, things like this. So even from an outsider's observation, He is observing the friction in the industry and he has zero experience.

He's never worked a day in this business, just from a purely analytical standpoint, identifying friction. And when we think about where a lot of the money's going, it's really easy to spend money on a Facebook ad or a Google ad. So it's clear that you guys are addressing, how do we remove some of the friction in this process so that we can get more money, make it easy for people to spend money, spend more money with you.

Yeah. I love something that you're quoted as saying, right? Speed, quality or price. You shouldn't have to pick two. You should be able to get all three. How, how do you deliver that? Is it, is it a philosophy? Is it a process? Is it a little bit about. No. Um, no, those are, those are table stakes. Uh, you know, that's just, that's an old school way of thinking that you can get two out of three.

Um, you know, probably very real. Um, but it's, uh, I would say it starts internally, you know, you have to, uh, your, your team, uh, both production team, your sales team, your customer service team has to know that those are the table stakes. Uh, that, that they have to, it has to be a quality product. It has to be fast.

It has to be a fair price, uh, in there there's a lot of excess capacity in our industry. Tim, anyone you and I could go buy a five meter printer, uh, in either your garage or mind we could set up and be printing bullets. You know the next day, no question about it. So there's not a huge barrier. So all these other things matter, uh, we've got a board, uh, this morning going on sunset Boulevard, um, with a post date of Monday.

And, uh, we're going to print that today, ship it it'll be in LA tomorrow morning. It'll be posted at that, but that can't be like, you know, pulling a lot of strings that just needs to happen. Um, uh, particularly when you're in a recession or downturn because of. You know, you, you have a rough running end, you know, then it's gotta be on the street.

Whereas if we're in the good times, then you have, uh, you know, you have less demand. Uh, but I want to go back to something you said on the, on the ad spin to, and another thing you would have heard 20 years ago with, you know, AAA, we're going to go from four to 4% of the ad spend. 8% like they have in Europe.

And yet we, we don't, you know, we may have clawed up a little bit, uh, but, uh, and that's probably attributable to digital. Um, but we need, we need to, to finally do some things and I I'm certain that the. Powers that be are considering that, but it's going to be through a moving friction, making it easy to buy, um, and getting an ad on the street, you know, quicker and faster.

I think I'm going to say cheaper that's that's short to our point about it. Uh it's I hate these downturns. Did you know that in oh eight, no. Nine? Uh, yes, it was terrible. But it took until 2014 to get those ads, those ad rates back. So I sympathize with the media guys. You don't, you drop rate and it takes you forever to club that and claw that back at 2% a year, you know, on a big spender.

So it's, it's a, it's a tough time and certainly for these guys, and there's a lot of smart people, uh, At clear channel and Outfront Lamar, the big guys who were really trying to hold the hold the rates in, in this particular time. So a little bit, a little bit all over the place there, but we're all going back to the same thing.

Let's remove friction, make it easier to buy so that when some people will take a chance on how to home more than they have. Considering right. W what, what we have ahead of us in terms of removing that friction, just working together to sort of shore up some of the, the fragmentation, um, that's inherent with our industry.

What are some things that will always work or are there like, are there two or three things that have stood the test of time that are important for out of home to carry forward as we go through this transition? Uh, no particular, I think product standards, you know, are helpful. Some, some very smart. You know, put some nice standards in place in terms of, uh, the rectangles and the proportionality of those, uh, uh, bulletin junior bullets in the poster junior poster.

Um, you know, we need to, to keep standards front and center, particularly on digital imagery. Um, this, uh, this production spec database, uh, is, uh, is another. That I think, you know, we need to solve, uh, there's not that many ways that, uh, that a clear channel cable system poster, you know, should be made. Uh, and that, that spec really shouldn't change.

Or does it really matter that you have a four inch pocket or a three inch pocket on a. With a six inch bleed on a 1448. Why, why do they have to be so different around? I had a really pleasant conversation with Kim Frank and geo pass a few weeks ago because I hadn't really formally reintroduced myself to her, but so you've got these geo paths ID.

They have the lat and the lawn. They have the impressions, they have the really important stuff. I get it. But th that, that record should tail off to the right, with, uh, information on that particular space. What, what, what the product spec is for that space, if it does have a special. A bleed. If it does have a special finishing requirement, if it's a wall, what are the T pocket requirements so that it, uh, that it gets home and doesn't fly off.

Uh, where does it ship to? Oh, it ships to New York, but knows their mass PEs office of in another state, uh, or a different area. These are things that every printer deals with and they, they are each solving on their own some better than others. But, um, if they don't have that information, you, I guarantee you.

Uh, the New York sales office, uh, of some of these big out-of-home companies gets production shipped to them. If someone looks up their address on the internet and ships it to them. Um, so mercifully we don't, but, uh, it is, uh, to finish my point then I think, I guess I think that the product spec database should reside at geo path and should be in this record.

Um, and that everyone should be able to access it. So that at-home is what it's easier to buy. And so Jen was very, she goes, yes, it makes sense to me. Let's do it. Uh, and then you can as well, not every panel is, does have a geo pass, you know, uh, is not audited. Um, so, um, I'm beating this on the Strom a little bit, these days about this national spec database, just because if we do it, which we're going to probably be forced to do.

Um, and, and unfortunately, although I'd love to, we don't print everything. Uh, so then who else is everyone going to have to build their own database? Is everyone are the people at clear channel, some, some poor guy or gal who channels to answering the phone from printers saying, uh, okay, I'll send you that spec for the 50th time.

Um, so those are sort of in the trench issues and they do not have any interest as much to some of your listeners. Um, one thing that I'm excited about is this proof of performance. So talk about friction in the process. Um, I remember a member when I first started, uh, at Lamar, I went up to Tommy people's desk and he had a stack of Polaroids of, for proof of performance that some agency had been hounding them so that they would pay the bill that was probably three or six months past due.

And they needed proof of performance. So they took, they took a 12 month proof of performance, uh, uh, fixtures to prove that had been up. And I remember flipping through the Polaroids and I said, Tommy, does it bother you that this bird is in the same position on this picture? Uh, 12 times in a row,

a dead bird shows up every month at the same time. Uh, It's always been a bit of a game on proof of performance and it hasn't gotten that much better. I mean, we're still emailing stuff around the ops. Poor ops guys have to hang it. Then I had, where's my camera. I take a picture of it. Then that's got to find its way into an email and it's sent to the agency.

So one company that's doing a great job of sort of rationalizing that. Um, Many people have done on the front end, uh, with the buying and getting the panels, getting the proposals, and God knows what, you know, getting, getting the rights identified, you know, locking the rates in going back and forth. But, uh, the back end has been a little ignored and so pop tracker, pop tracker, uh, run by a great guy and a friend of mine, Tom Sherry.

Uh, they've sort of stitched of this back in peace. You know, they have mobile apps where the Lamar or the clear channel or outfit ops person. Um, and I'm sorry to focus on the big three, but the, anyone can use it. That gets a national bond. They take a picture close up, but glamour shot, distant shot, uh, loads up to the system.

And now it's there and it's date and timestamps and it verifies that it went up on time. Went up early, uh, or stayed up later, um, you know, for extra credit. And so we're, uh, working a partnership with those guys. I think it's a nice piece to have the production and the pop together. You know, the production.

We only own it for a week, week and a half, and then it gets handed off. We think it's, you know, we were all in port. We're a very small piece to this, uh, this, uh, value chain of getting a campaign up on the street quickly. Uh, but with this partnership with cop tracker and, and, uh, an initiative called full circle, an agency agency specialists will now have the ability to.

Uh, hit submit on that thought we get the via API, we get the order. We go after the creative, we get the creative approved, goes up on the street op track that takes over. They now have proof that it went up and it's going to be a slick system to match what I think are world-class systems on the front end, you know, getting the order in the house.

And then as you're an expert at, then you can figure out the attribution. Now that it's up on the street and you know, how long it's been up, you know, how many people saw it. So I think we're coming along with a better workflow and the big three can solve the problem. And they've spent a lot of money doing it, but just like, I'd like to print everything and they'd like to post everything, but most big national buys are across the big three and the data then needs to be integrated up for those guys into a common system.

Uh, so that, that agent, and then it did into media ocean, you know, it was the final step for a lot of these agencies, uh, into the, into the master, uh, platform. So we're compliant with all of those capturing all the right fields. Uh, and I think a little apologetic for hijacking, but this is something I've been working on pretty intentionally for the last month.

Uh, during the downturn to, to understand the workflow and try to get some solutions in place first and foremost, recognizing we don't really, we don't really ourselves need a great system. We have my short wheel. It's a great system, but, uh, no, one's no one's saying, man, I can't wait to buy out a home so I can use, uh, circles or online orders.

You know, the less they have to interface with that, the better frankly, they just want to print it and up on time. So, um, I know we've talked a little bit about contract or I'd encourage you to, to maybe talk to Tom at some point and understand that that back end piece, he spent six years, you know, millions of dollars developing this.

The software, not it's a pretty slip system. A lot of agencies love it when they use it to track a campaign. I know Talon used it for Wendy's campaign recently. Absolutely loved it. Yeah, I'm sure of it. And first started to get my break into this industry that is at a home. I had a great conversation with Rick Robinson and I asked him, what are the, what are the most important things that I can do for your planners, for your buyer?

What can I do? That's most helpful. And the thing he emphasized the most was get us a good clean proof of performance photo and get it quickly. And that sort of set for me, the, the, the ball of motion. I said, well, how, how can I do that from a local level? Um, you know, here in Eastern pencils, So I went to, I got a dash cam for my truck, so I could just drive past and get a nice shot of it.

Right. But it was when I started doing that, I'm like, how is this not easier? How is it like the idea of, I should be driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour with a digital camera in my lap, trying to take a picture of this thing. That's crazy. So we know that there's a solution out there. I think that's great.

Yeah. It creates that accountability and the transparency in what we do for someone who's buying it. And at scale, to be able to roll it out to some of the, you know, the biggest buyers, the biggest campaigns, the biggest agencies getting adoption there, and then creating that demand down to the local level.

It sounds like a great solution, um, for, for something that will create confidence in buying out of home. Is this something that, that it is timeline or is this already. Uh, are you guys already doing this? What's now we're built, we're building, we're finalizing the dashboard, which is really a. Uh, a glimpse of information into both our systems presented in a way that, uh, that an agency or a specialist would want to see it.

And we've talked to, uh, certainly the folks at Billups, uh, told them this was coming. So we're probably five to six weeks out. Um, but it's, you know, it's been, wireframed ever, you know, we know. There are no hurdles other than just programming the seeing out. And, um, the, the goal here would be okay, well, you don't have to pay students, separate people.

We're going to, you know, w w w print the thing and pop tracker will come along as a benefit of that. Uh, of that relationship. So that day she doesn't get hit with another bill. Um, but you know, I like it because it's not theoretical. It's, you know, getting things executed and over the line and my career has proved to be, um, if you don't, if you don't get in there, fight every day.

Uh, to get a good idea across the finish line and just becomes another good idea that that wasn't executed. That's why they don't sign NDAs and silicone valley for ideas anymore. You know, everyone's got a good idea, but this thing is already done. The operations people who were the keys to this in all things really, it seems, uh, are taking the pictures already with the handheld app on their iPhone or smartphone and up and uploading them.

So it's already happening now. We just need to pull it in. Um, and get it executed and there's some, you know, there'll always be some, some little issues. Do we really want to track 1000, uh, you know, shelters, uh, across the, the, the five boroughs? Uh, are we gonna take, you know, they want that now. I think then there becomes a representative sample of, uh, of a large campaign, but for most things, you know, they wall in Dallas.

They want to know, I want to see a picture of it when it posted. I'm gonna see what it looks like from a glamour shot. And we don't need guys, you know, Drive and, and taking pictures, the operations guys ought to be taking it at the time it was installed abuse. It's a key piece of you know, of their workflow and completion.

So anyway, I think that's a big one, uh, for, for us. Um, on the agency side, you've also got some of, you know, I talked a lot about the big three, but we've got some interesting programs for the independent billboard operators. Just little things, Tim, have you ever seen, I'll send you, I'll send you some of you ever seen our little metal billboard frames.

All right. Well, you'll get some, I apologize. I didn't have one at my desk here, but we've got, we've got. Yeah, I think it's a great way. Billboard sales reps have for years taken a many, many print of their billboard and their nice metal desktop frames that go back to the, thank you for your campaign last month.

What are we going to do that? Uh, in the fall? You know, sales 1 0 1. So we're going to, you know, we're going to make those available in. Uh, along, if you give us your print job, you'll get a mini insert and a billboard for the special program with these independents, because it's just a great sales tool to get out and get back in front of your customers.

And I've walked through agencies in New York and you see our metal billboard frames and Denver, any, any agency you have that you know of all the chotskies they've put up. They love these, these very cool metal billboard frames. And I'm not talking about something that's dinky that falls over. When you walk past it, these, you could club someone on the head with these things are nice.

No, you'll have. I got one. Actually I was, I was a client of Adams before I ended up working at Adams and at my age brought me one. Uh, now that you're talking about it and I had it on my, I thought it was so cool. I thought it was awesome.

To do that in an AEs, you know, an account exec or a rep's day. Ah, I got it. Now. I gotta, I gotta order that. I gotta get my creative of print out on a color printer. Then we're going to stick it on there. Put the frame together. So this and these are, uh, these are not high tech solutions here. And if somebody should have people rolling their eyes, but every little thing helps when you're trying to stand out.

Yeah, it does a, what the hell does a radio person, their customer do they go to the trouble of audio clip and now we're going to, we're a visual medium, so let's give them evidence. Um, and, and then ask to get back in front and have them have that reminder of a successful campaign. So a thousand little things, a thousand little things in the detail, as they say, I like that we haven't asked, but I'll give you a quick update just on what we're saying.

Um, it looks like, um, April was probably the worst month. Uh, we climbed back. Uh, uh, a little bit in, um, may and June is June is lucky and pretty, pretty good. You know, we're, we're, we've been down single digits, double digits now, but low double digits and, uh, And transit's still a tough story out there. Uh, those guys are getting clobbered, but, uh, I think as a function of, you know, some of these companies doing more local business, even if nationals off and my sales rep, we had a breakdown call a Wednesday and they're starting to see some pickup, you know, reporters starting to quote stuff.

I was, I was disappointed to hear publicist had closed their New York office for the rest of the year, but I guess that's just a function of waiting in line for an elevator. Um, but starting to see some quotes on the national level, local business, certainly picking up, um, and then transit, they shouldn't take longer to come.

Yeah, it's great. I think that a lot of the listeners are going to be, uh, be happy to hear that we've got a lot of folks tuned in that are in the business development side, the sell side of the business. And everyone's kind of asking everyone, Hey, what are you hear? And what do you hear and how are things for you and things picking up.

So that's good. And I appreciate you sharing that piece of feedback. As, as an entrepreneur, as a business leader, this has really been, um, a master's class on running a business in a time where there is no playbook. If you, if you had to put your finger on like one key takeaway from this timeframe, what would you say?

Well, we're, uh, we're a private equity owned company. And, uh, having been involved with this company before private equity and after, um, and then, you know, taking a break and doing a startup, uh, private equity brings a lot of discipline to the process. You know, those. Uh, basically you have to bet on a company and then they have to bet on management and then they have to hold management accountable for the things that we said we would do.

And I have no problem operating in that world, but that is the world. Okay. You have some smart people. And so the levers that they have, or are in, and, and sort of understanding that the business and the addressable market and the business, and then trying to understand the people and then, and then bringing in the right team.

Uh, and, uh, you know, even coming back to a physician that I had been successful at before I went through a pretty rigorous, which I liked, you know, in my earlier self might not have liked it, but I, my wife even said to me on a trip that I was headed down to Miami, she goes, are you tired of this? I said, no, I love it.

You know, they just got, I love those, the industry and talk shop. Just, just like you see on that smile, breakout on your face. I love talking about at-home business. So, uh, but there's a discipline that you have to operate in, uh, in that environment. And when, when this thing hit, I was really impressed, uh, because you did not yet early March, you know, you still got your vacation plans.

You're talking about this and that. I, uh, I think our CEO was, uh, you know, was, was doing. Tablet of acquisitions. He was looking at that. Those are the discipline that those guys brought, which not every company has with guys. You need to plan for a big downturn. Okay. And so we, we plant early, you know, um, and I felt like, sort of one of the big boys, you know, we can serve cash.

We did the right things. Uh, so that that's important as opposed to putting your head in the sand and not, you know, I'm not sure what's going to happen. So I think we did the right things there. I would not have done that on my own. I would say. Other than that. Um, I always, you know, I always address the recession as a time to improve because when you're, when you're blowing and going, you know, in January when we were making plans for huge growth year and what have you, it's tough to ask your people.

To, you know, to take our top five projects and this re-engineer these fraud, these processes, and do this. And, uh, because there's not much time to do it. So in a downturn, you know, don't, you know, don't knock off early from work, get to your, to do list. Um, mine's 19 pages long for God's sake, get to the to-do list and let's knock off some stuff because isn't the time.

It's a time to kind of get it implemented and be ready to roll. When we come out of this. So, um, and then I try not to do things a lot different. Um, uh, I was always amazed when I was your age about how a guy could go. And in my case, it was, uh, uh, Scully when Scully went from Pepsi to apple. Okay. But that same as mine, that, you know, Steve jobs said, you know, you're going to sell sugar water for the rest of your life.

You're going to come help me change the world. And I went to college with Scully's kid. Uh, so I was kind of attuned to that whole move back to, and you probably weren't even born, but I was always amazed at how someone could go from selling sugar water. Uh, computer company, you know, and you see that all the time, wait, that guy was in the apparel business, and now he's doing this in the it business, but it's because they have a set of principles.

They have great people, skills, they're great leaders. Uh, they, uh, they know how to get things done. Um, and so you don't, you know, it's, it's more of your habits that you acquire in your work career that are going to take you through. You don't have to stay, uh, in one industry, but you do have to develop. Uh, skills that are translated or repeatable in a certain work philosophy and leadership style.

So you have the bug, my friend, you're never going to get out of the out of home business and I'm glad for, and I won't either, but we could, you know, we could, you could take your skills somewhere else if you had to, and your, uh, ability to reach out and talk to people, which I love saying. So you're going to.

You're going to be, you're going to make it Tim. I'm confident of that. I appreciate that. It's it, it I'm a car guy. I grew up in the car business. I sold cars. I worked in the service department. I drove the parts truck. I moved the cars in the parking lot. I was in the Marine Corps logistics background. My degree is in finance, but I love out of home.

And I want to, I just want to draw emphasis to everything that you just shared. The folks that are gracious enough, and I've done interviews on this show, all top leaders in our industry. Right. And that. That's the same answer in, in, in this, in the framework of the answer. It's, it's that it's discipline.

It's being a people first leader. It's not wasting this time. Right? We've all been reduced to the same speed. If the speed limit is 35, we're all reduced to 35. We can go faster than that, but it's your choice of whether or not you want to drive the speed limit or just take the time off and park the car and hang out and eat snack.

So I really appreciate you. No, and I want to thank you too, if I, uh, I'm not a big regrets guy. Um, but, uh, one that I have is not, is not serving in the military. So, uh, true. Sincere, thanks for your service. Thank you for the support and a Patriot as a Patriot at heart. So I appreciate it. I appreciate you saying that, Ron, this is, uh, this, uh, uh, the final segment of the show.

I'm calling it questions from Carlos Carlos Davala he's the marketing manager for InMotion meets. Uh, they do some pretty cool stuff, wrapping up some big tractor trailers out in California. He said, Tim, can you start asking the guests some like, like same questions? Cause it'd be cool to hear some of their unique answers.

So Rodney, down for that absolutely questions from Carlos. Now, I don't know. I don't know if your answer, because my answer to this would be, would be probably likely yours, but if you weren't in out of home right now, if at-home just disappeared, what do you think you would be? Hmm. Well, um, I just, I probably real estate, uh, I don't, I don't know why, but I've, I've, uh, I think that's a fun industry.

A lot of people's skills, a little bit, you know, decent technical, but you're out in the. And you can make a lot of money. Carlos Topol is real estate for me. We talked to, we talked a little bit about what you're most excited about with circle, with, you know, with working with pop trackers, some of the great things coming down the pipe, maybe personally, what are you most excited about?

That's a good one. Um, personally, I'm most excited about, uh, Kind of this next phase with my, my family, um, my three siblings and I are spending more time with my parents and, uh, as they age in place and, uh, I always knew the time would come, but it's coming on as fast. And so I think just sort of working together to figure out, uh, some of the intricacies around.

Uh, that's a really a kind of a gift back, you know, I think you have an opportunity, uh, in life you're you receive a lot from your parents. You know, my folks were always big about education. We'll pay for your education. And so I do that, you know, with my kid, but, uh, it's tough to see them vulnerable. But at this point, but I also know that if I only talk to my parents once a week, that, you know, my dad really enjoyed hearing from me every day.

So I'm going to do that. They're 84 now. And, um, so I'm excited about, uh, fulfilling that, uh, you know, loving obligation.

Yeah. How about, uh, your reader of podcasts or what, what do you, where do you go for inspiration on I'm a reader? Um, I, uh, I love to read, uh, read Charlie Miller at Burkhardt taught me this. Like you get a book, like a hardcover book and then you'll kind of struggle through it. He said, no, anytime I get a hardcover book and I want to read it, I just buy it on Kindle.

But I read, I read probably a book. Um, went through my world war II phase. I've I've read. If you can read five books on something, you're an expert. I'd probably read 30 books on world war II. The problem is my memory is not great. So I have the equivalent of a five-year five book knowledge on it, but no, I love world war II stuff.

I'm in a guy's book club. Don't judge me. Um, so we, we read, uh, it's generally. Uh, about, uh, you know, narrative biographies and things like that. So, uh, I enjoyed the Koch brothers book recently, um, just because of all this political nonsense, I'm reading a book called the righteous mind, like good people disagree about politics and religion and what have you.

And, uh, that's, uh, been a fascinating book because I, you know, I, I. Uh, uh, conservative myself, but I have, you know, some, some people I really respect a lot, uh, are sort of on the opposite sides of the political spectrum for me. And, and this book just talks about one of the reasons is they just, you know, P some people may feel, and you're probably like maybe a very patriotic.

You know, I, I was a team sport guy, you know, I, I really took the cross-town rivalry seriously. Like I still don't like those guys from high school. And, and, and so some people just kind of carry that around. They're very patriotic, they're very loyal to a tribe and it's not that they, they don't care about fairness and equality.

It's just, it's not as important to them as the other. This is other things and like, Uh, you may have a person that, you know, that, that drives by it, a dead animal in the street, and it ruins their day, you know, and a deer got yet, you know, my God, I grew up in Louisiana. I don't blink when I see that. But the point is that we all feel things a little differently across this spectrum.

And in this particular case, these five moral foundations and I believe that's true, you know, I believe that's true that no one is a bad person. They just, they, they value certain things. Uh, a little differently and it's not that the other people don't value them at all. Plenty of my left leaning friends are super, you know, they're they're Patriots.

Um, probably wouldn't go to Oregon, someone else over ideas like that. But, uh, you know, it was, we might say anyway, that was a good book. Um, Well, as I'm reading the empire of cotton right now, which is interesting in terms of, you know, a little thing like cotton used to run the world. Yeah. It's amazing. And another two other good books written by the same author, uh, Todd and saw.

Cod, which is about sort of a similar vein, not these are not all by the same office, Cod and salt or by the same author. Uh, but uh, talking about this, the role of salt in the world, and then, then, uh, Uh, and one of the things that was interesting on Cod was like Christopher Columbus, Seuss, I guess, statues they're tearing down.

Now. He was by no means the first guy to see north America, apparently the boss, which is a sort of country, uh, in Northern Spain on narrative, a narrative Spaniard. So, uh, I know this boss country, these guys, these people were amazing. The boss, they spend vented wailing, iron making, and they were fishing for Cod up in Nova Scotia in north America.

For decades and decades before Columbus found it, they were like, Hey, don't tell, don't tell anyone you saw us here. Right? Yeah. That's an efficient hall. And they would take it back, you know, and sell it throughout Europe. Uh, and then they were like, Hey, don't tell anyone, you know, we were here. So it's crazy, crazy to learn about some of this stuff, but those are two good books.

If you have some extra time, what else does Carlos have for us? Those are the core questions. Let me see if there's a bonus here. Oh, okay. This is a fun one. This is a fun one. It's the right, right question for you. If you could have a billboard anywhere of any type, would it say, and what would it be? Yeah, well, that's kind of an easy one for me.

Uh, I probably learned it too late in life. Um, I had a. I had a tragic week here and I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for his family, but there was a fellow named Steve being, uh, who committed suicide, uh, on Monday in Los Angeles and Steve and I went to Stanford together. And when Steve turned 18, he inherited $600 million and, uh, that's a lot of money and he dropped out, dropped out of Stanford, um, which I don't blame him for.

I had a, sort of a great Gatsby life and, uh, tragically took his own at relatively young age of 55. And, uh, Steve and I hadn't had contact in, in, in many years, but we were always good friends, but he obviously traveled in a different circle than I did, but, uh, it was depressed, you know, and that's a real thing.

And, uh, I tell, uh, tell myself and my daughter, you know, constantly the gratitude. The secret to happiness is being grateful for what you have, and that's why the whole keep up with the Joneses. And it's never enough. And there's always somebody, someone that has more than you, if you're not grateful for what you have.

So genuine gratitude, um, is, is the secret. Uh, in my opinion, to success, that would be on a billboard somewhere. And I would hope that, you know, that we could all truly understand that that's that's truth or as LeBron, James says, those are facts. Well with that, I'm grateful for you doing this and being a part of the out of home insider movement.

If it's such a thing, I really do appreciate it. Rob, where can people find you connect with you? Learn more about circle graphics. Where's places. Check out. Well, the first part is easy rod. And then the last part is the longest URL known to the at-home industry only because we couldn't acquire circle graphics.

So it's rod at circle graphics, online.com and, uh, certainly love to hear from anyone. I appreciate, uh, all my friends out in the industry, let us know if we can help you. And then Tim, I want to just say to you there's anything I can do for you. Let's stay in touch. I appreciate your enthusiasm and, and, uh, you know, you're putting in your 10,000 hours as a.

Uh, Gladwell says so famously and really you need to put in 10, 20 and 30,000 hours, but you're putting in your 10,000 hours and it's going to pay off for you. And you know, I'm going to be around for a few more years. So if I can ever help you let me know, buddy. Well, I appreciate it. I look forward to us being able to do this in person someday.

Yeah, very good one. Don't forget to subscribe down there in the corner. If it's been helpful, please share it with your network. Share with somebody who could benefit. And as always, if you want to get swagged up, you can visit O O H swag.com. Don't forget to use promo code insider for 10% off your first order.