Today from LearningFromOthers, Data Analytics Guru, Darren Squires, former president of Fans Sports Apparel went owned by LHM, Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment and now the chief analytics officer Tingey Injury Law Firm. We talk sports retail, scaling supply chain and crazy Vegas tourist.

00:01:20 Background of Darren
00:03:52 Process of logistics and Jazz Team Store
00:08:14 Strategizing logistics
00:15:40 Bird scooters
00:17:00 Talks about fan stores and revenues
00:21:53 Struggles on turn around
00:28:33 Finding buyers
00:35:23 Emphasizing on people and skills
00:38:37 Difference in the newer generation
00:41:27 Process of logistics and Jazz Team Store
00:43:05 Vegas-esque calamities
00:55:00 Career successes
00:58:50 Random Question Generator

 

Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.



Hey, another session of learningfromothers.com. Damon Burke from SEO national joined with Kyle and today’s guests, Darren Squires from Timmy injury law firm in Las Vegas. And also has an interesting past with LHM, Larry H. Miller sports and entertainment. So we’ve got a diverse background of different types of businesses and manage the projects to talk about.

So excited for today’s call Darren Squires. Thanks for joining us. Hello. Great to be here. All right. Um, so why don’t you give us a crash course on, um, so right now you work at teeny Andrey law firm in Las Vegas, Nevada, um, and that give us a quick summary, what you do there. And, um, a lot of our audience being in Utah will be interested in your background on where H Miller sports and entertainment.

Tell us what your responsibilities have been there. And then we’ll kind of work our way backwards and see how you got to these prestigious and. The teams that you’re working with. Great. Yeah. So, uh, right now at teeny law firm, I’m actually, uh, on the business side, I don’t have a legal background. It’s the first time I’ve actually been, uh, With a legal, uh, type company.

So I, uh, helping them on the business side, they want to be able to grow and, and develop and open new locations. And so kind of helping them figure out how to, how to take something that’s not very easily measurable and figure out how to measure it. So when we open up a new location, we can actually. I see and understand how things are going and have expectations for how all of that should be developed.

So, uh, that’s really, there’s, there’s, you know, technicians out there as the EMS might call it. Uh, and so, um, there’s a lot of technicians kind of going out there, helping work with them on developing that. So. Uh, but yeah. And then with Larry H. Miller, uh, prior to coming out here, I had actually, uh, been, uh, in the role of president of fans, which is well known here in Utah.

Uh, it’s been part of the Larry H. Miller group, uh, since the 1980s when it was started. And I have been just about four years. And, uh, had, um, gotten involved out there, uh, initially over planning and forecasting and inventory management, which is where I have a lot of background that supply chain, uh, type of position.

And, uh, when Steve starts, who had been the president acting as president and out there took his current role as president of the Utah jazz. Uh that’s when I stepped into the role of president out there. And, uh, in a time where it was really a lot of things going on and got to be involved in a lot of different things.

Fans is not just in Utah, there’s stores all over the country, really over a hundred stores, 120, uh, at the time. Yes. So it was very involved with, uh, stores all over the place. The renovation, uh, of the, uh, arena that happened last year, we were very heavily involved there for the store, a part of that as well.

Well, and so kind of have some fun experiences out there, uh, along with the perks of just being involved in sports, when you’re a sports fan, it’s kind of the Holy grail of, uh, being involved in sports. A professional team. Yeah. You know, um, like we were talking offline before we started, uh, I went to a concert this week at then an arena and the remodel is amazing.

Um, it’s such a big difference. Um, what are, you know, we don’t need to go too far to this question. Um, but, but I’m curious how, how long of a process was it to tackle the logistics of a remodel of a building that bag? Well, just for the store part, we started more than a year in advance, uh, for the arena itself.

It was probably at least two or three years in advance. And as they started to get an understanding of what they wanted to do, and they worked with, uh, people conceptually to figure out how to make that work. Uh, they brought us in on the store site to be able to talk because where our store location had been, was going to be completely gone.

And so we need to find a new location for the store. And then we had to figure out within that, how do you actually set the whole thing up and, uh, and try to build it so that I was actually just a really fun, one of the most fun things that I’ve done recently because, uh, we really had control of the concept and the design, uh, and working with the jazz, obviously to make sure that it was them, but they were looking to us for ideas.

And so. Uh, for example, after the remodel and before the season started me unveiled and Rudy go Bair mannequin, uh, which has now taken a pretty prominent, prominent spot there in the arena. And, uh, just become kind of well known. And that was really coming from our group as we were working on trying to, we wanted to really find something that would connect with fans as they were coming to the game with the players.

And so, uh, that’s, that’s where Rudy go. Bair man can came from. We have, uh, built little shoe boxes that are cut out in the floor, so you can come walking up and you can see in front of the go bear mannequin, you have a pair of his shoes and want to just do like a, an image of it. We wanted the real shoes and so people can put their feet right up on the shoe.

And, uh, you know, trying to find ways just to make it where you feel like you have some measure of interaction with the players. So that part was a lot of fun to be involved in. Yeah. So for, for our listeners, um, uh, the store Darren’s referring to is the jazz team store. Um, that kind of replaced, um, you know, we’ll, we’ll talk about that a little bit.

So, um, as Darren’s responsibility with fans shifted to the jazz, pushing the retail through. The new entity, jazzteamstore.com. There’s a physical footprint inside the Viven arena that Darren was able to build out and sell, uh, licensed merchandise. So that’s cool. Um, yeah, I think it’s great idea to get some of that interactivity in there.

Um, and I can only imagine, I remember I was reading ms. Mitchell shoe Donovan, Mitchell shoe, um, the size 17. And, uh, I CA I I’m sure that, I mean, what size is. Do you know what size that she was a part of the statute? A Rudy go, bear shoe is a size 20. Wow. Yeah. That’s yeah. Hard to believe until you’re actually putting your foot.

Like, you know, when we did it, we kind of thought, Oh, kids, it’s going to be fun for kids to be walking up, putting their foot on and see, but you got adults who are all walking up there and putting their foot, you know, with, especially with go bear where, you know, it doesn’t matter who you are. Uh, your, your foot is knocking, ready to go.

So it’s been fun to go to those games and to watch people interact with the mannequin and, uh, you know, people also with the shoes and, you know, it’s, it’s fun when you have something that you in your mind, you’re kind of picturing what that will be like, but you just never know if that’s really going to turn out the way that you want.

And so it was really fun with that to be able to see the, you know, I like was perfect. It turned out exactly how it was envisioned. And so, you know, it’s always really satisfying when, when you can go to a game and you can watch it and be like, Oh, I had a, I had a hand in, you know, helping to bring that, uh, for people to be able to experience.

Yeah. Yeah. Um, is it so, um, From your background in retail with fans. And then now being involved with Teenie law firm is, is legal, a big difference in strategizing and logistics from your past experience in retail and going over to a service based industry. Yeah, actually a completely different one of the things that has taken a little while to get a feel for.

So when you think in terms of, you know, uh, retail and wholesale, which is what I’ve been doing for 20 years, uh, that’s very measurable because it’s really, you have a unit, a unit available and you can measure those units in dollars attached to the units. And so. So really that’s your goal is, is being able to measure those, but they’re all trackable and, and, uh, and very defined, you can say to your soldier, it didn’t sell, going into a service industry was a bit of a challenge because there’s nothing to measure.

You know? Uh, initially when I first got there, I was trying to say, okay, You know, what, what are we trying to measure? And so we’ve started to put things in place. It’s really a combination of tasks with time. So when somebody comes in and they open up a new case, you want that case to be able to progress at a piece at a certain pace.

And so there’s certain things that you have to do. So we kind of bucketed taken and said, okay, in the first couple of months of a case, Here’s everything that needs to be done within those two months. And then we’ll move into a different part of, uh, of managing that case. And so now what we can do is we can say, um, as somebody is managing a case, are they completing all of these things on time so that the case moves forward and that the client who comes walking in the door is having a positive experience.

We really buy an experience has been. And the backbone, you know, I’ve been in retail, you talk about customer experience. And in this case, when it’s a service industry, the client experience, uh, where they’re coming in and you really want them to feel like it’s all about them, there’s all these tasks and other things that have to be done that can sometimes take people’s focus away from what it’s really about.

And that’s that client and making sure that. When, when it gets to the end of the case that they feel like, wow, this was just really handled, uh, you know, in the best way that I, that I felt was possible. And these cases go on, you know, a lot of them. So on six months, eight months, a year or two years, depending on how complicated they are.

Uh, and so, so there’s a lot of touch points that you want to make sure that you’re creating a consistent experience for them. That’s what I was going to ask is on average, how long, how long a case takes. And obviously that can vary, but so it sounds like, you know, six months, two years is average and then two months or two years, it’s kind of the more extended cases.

Yeah. Yeah. Some of the, you know, uh, some of the simpler ones may take a few months, uh, and what’s interesting is that within these cases you have. Dozens of variables, uh, that can add to the complexity of the case or managing, you know, the numbers of cases as you get more and more cases, because none of them are identical.

You really have to have it set up in a way where, where that individual case you want a structure that can handle all cases. But then that’s, that’s, you know, enough to be able to handle any case that comes its way, but then flexible enough to really individualize the treatment of the case. And, uh, and so, yeah, it’s, it’s that kind of complication, uh, not to mention, just figuring out on the data side, what to measure and how to measure it because once we even figured out, Hey, this is what we want to measure.

None of that was being captured or tracked. So then you have the other complication of saying, well, if we want to measure it, how do we actually start collecting that data and getting people to operate in a way where we can get that data and start to see what what’s happening relative to what we want.

So give our listeners an example of the type of cases that you’re working with. Uh, so. A lot, most of what we end up with is, uh, motor vehicle accidents. And, uh, in Las Vegas, you know, you have a lot of traffic in a very concentrated area. Uh, actually quite, uh, quite a few accidents. Uh, I did not realize how many, uh, personal injury firms were down there until, uh, I actually, I think going down there and it’s like, wow, there’s, there’s a lot.

And there’s a lot of accidents that happen within that area as well. And so. That’s really the bulk of what we work on. Somebody gets in an accident, you have the car that’s damaged. You have potentially an injury to the body that you really need the proper medical treatment for. And sometimes people are like, Oh, I’m just going to get it out.

You know, I’m just gonna feel better. But the problem is is that you need to get that injury healed. So avoid having the longterm impact of that injury. And you have a window of opportunity to be able to approach the insurance company and make sure that that, that insurance coverage can help pay to get that injury healed.

And so sometimes you have to kind of walk people through that concept to make sure they understand that if you have an injury, uh, you know, let’s, let’s get it fixed right now. Um, because that can become part of your case. So. Uh, we also do workers’ comp uh, we do litigation for these a lot of times when you’re working with the insurance companies, uh, you know, you can not come to terms on what a fair agreement is for the client.

And so, uh, you know, they do have something that we consider a fair agreement and we settle with them and if they don’t, then, you know, we have litigation attorneys as well, and we’ll just take it into litigation and, uh, and. You know, work through the courts to make sure that they get treated fairly. So, Kyle, um, I don’t remember how long ago the conversation was, but Darren, um, I had mentioned, I liked how you guys have like the consistent phone number with the characters in a row.

I can’t remember. What’s your guys’ phone number? Yeah, it’s the (702) 333-0000. Yeah, that’s what I was saying too. Cause I was just in Vegas, in August. And um, when Darren had mentioned all the, uh, injury law firms, maybe that’s being. Thingy. I, I started to notice the billboards and they all have catchy numbers like that.

Yeah. Like it’s all seven year old too, and then easy digits and then four easy digits. Like you can’t miss it. Just, you know, just driving by. And there’s just an assault of the billboards all the way down. L and the teeny law firm was started more than 40 years ago. So they. I think they got one of the first picks of what do you want your number to be?

You go ahead. And, uh, that’s where the zero is. Zero, zero, zero is kind of easy to remember. So, Hey, before we move on, um, does Las Vegas have those scooters yet? Darren? Are you familiar like that? Huh? The bird scooters everywhere. I haven’t seen them anywhere, but who knows? You know, they must be it’s in the Utah Valley.

There’s um, I’m starting to see like the injury billboards for those. So I was wondering if you guys had picked up any cases on those, but not that not that I’ve seen, but I don’t know that much. It may be something that we may see more of your overs or the next, you know, it’s funny that you say that the concert that I mentioned earlier, that we went to, um, we wrote a scooter from my wife and I wrote a scooter from dinner.

Oversee the arena. And then we bailed out like a little early on the concert to go ride scooters. So at the end of the day we were riding scooters and you know, what my wife said was that she had just read an article in the news that the injury claim to ER visits are, there was just a thing on the news about how astronomically they’re growing in Utah.

And those are the only been here for a couple of months and they zip and people don’t wear helmets and. So, so Darren, maybe we need to talk offline about proactively strategizing versus

I have to work on the SEO visibility for that. Yeah. So yeah, that phone number is funny. Um, you know, I brought it up kind of joking, you know, it really was interesting, but uh, Darren said there’s a good chance that he was the one that started that trend. So, um, uh, we’ve kind of, um, We’ve talked about a couple different areas.

You’ve worked with, you know, fans, um, jazzteamstore.com teeny. Um, so what’s kind of go back a little bit and see, talk about how your career has progressed. And I had asked you offline what your greatest business achievement was, and you had commented on the fan store turn around. Um, I want. I want you to elaborate on that, but before I forget, I want to tell the listeners about a comment that you made, and you can talk about this too, that I found fascinating.

So when you talk about the fan story, um, uh, you can talk about the NFL impact on sports merchandise sells and, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I want to say that you said at the peak time of the year, NFL related merchandise can make up to 75% of the cells of a retail memorabilia store. Is that right?

Uh, yeah, yeah, it’s, uh, it can be during that Christmas time period when you’re going into the NFL post season and really the NFL and NBA is underway and mob is obviously in their off season. And so during that time period, you can be two thirds to three fourths of the business. So really, uh, NFL is just a massive, uh, Forced to be dealt with when you’re in the retail company.

So for us, that was, it was definitely something that you, you know, we had core teams. If you’re built into a market that has an NFL team, the Seahawks with the Rams, moving to LA, uh, the Raiders, you know, we, we had all of those markets where we had a lot of stores built in there. And so the performance of the team.

We’d have a massive impact on that Christmas revenue, which makes it very difficult to forecast because you’re making those purchasing decisions, you know, as much as, you know, 10 months in advance, and sometimes you can buy somethings, you know, right there in real time and try to get them shipped within a few weeks.

But it’s very difficult to make that movement. And, you know, a good example, a couple of years ago with the Cowboys. Uh, they had, uh, Elliot and, uh, Prescott who were both rookies and they both had a phenomenal rookie year and the Cowboys, uh, or I think 12 and four, if I remember right that year and, uh, really on top of the NFC.

And so you think about the year before they had actually really struggled. And so coming into the year, when they started off doing really well, and they really started gaining traction. Uh, nobody had forecasted the kind of revenue. Plus you had two new players that everybody was coming in and everybody was buying.

And so we were literally that whole year just chasing and chasing, uh, into product and trying to catch up with the demand because, and it wasn’t just us. It was everyone. And so then you have the problem that even the Cowboys were struggling to keep their own business in stock. And so. You know, there, there are certain things within that retail model that are far more complicated than a traditional retail, mostly, which is kind of where my, my most of my career has been.

And so usually you’re just dealing with demand and you can control a lot of variables, but you can’t control player gets bad publicity or does something stupid that, you know, we can’t control if the team ends up trading or cutting a player, uh, and you have a whole bunch of their product. Uh, you know, available.

And so when Mac those from the Raiders, I get straight from the Raiders to the bears, you know, suddenly everyone who has all those Mac jerseys, who was rarely one of the top selling jerseys in the country, uh, suddenly you’re stuck with it. And you know, with that inventory, you start liquidating it right away.

You know what I mean? It loses depending on the player, it can lose a lot of value very quickly. Uh, Mac may have a little, might be a little bit easier to liquidate because he was so well liked within the Raider nation. Um, and, but a lot, yeah. At times, you know, you’re just having to just liquidate it and take whatever you can get to get your, try to get as much money as you can out of it.

But you’re getting pennies on the dollar by the end. So you had talked about the fan’s running into a bit of financial struggles. Um, what was that kind of already in motion before the whole, uh, NFL issues with, um, I’m struggling with how to decide, how to handle, um, the whole national Anthem thing. Um, and then you talked about, or you had brought up that you helped with the turnaround.

So tell us what the struggle was and tell us how you kind of started to turn it around. Sure. Well, when I, when I first, uh, had the opportunity to join fans, they had really, uh, gone through a few years of very rapid growth. And I think this is something that’s really very common, uh, theme and a common struggle for companies.

I’ve, I’ve kind of developed a, a history of going in to places where maybe they’ve, they’ve run into troubles and trying to help them. Build their way back out of troubles. And so with fans, they had done a pretty rapid expansion into a lot of different markets and, uh, and had really built the infrastructure much more than what it had been before in anticipation of a lot more profitable sales and profitable markets.

So what happened is that they had an existing infrastructure for the, you know, six, seven markets that they were in, that they could manage. But when they went from six or seven markets to more than 20 markets, uh, the complexity of that became far more than, than what the system that they had in place could manage.

And so, uh, they ended up really, uh, not hitting their sales goals for those stores. And that meant that their infrastructure became a burden. And it really meant that they went from profitable to unprofitable. Um, and, uh, you know, they’ve gotten themselves into a situation where they really need to figure out what’s our pathway back to profitability.

So I kind of joined as they were rebuilding the executive team and was able to, uh, work with them. Uh, yeah. You know, and the team that was there and kind of help bring in other people and build out infrastructure and processes and start working on what is our plan for where we are today. To start working our way back.

So, you know, for the first year it was still actually pretty tough because we were still, you’re buying stuff 10 months in advance. You have a really long lead time. It’s very difficult. So we spent a long time building things out, right. And after the first year, uh, we actually started to get really good traction.

We got everything in place that at least to start, that we wanted to. And once all of those things worked its way into what we were actually buying in that ended up in the stores, uh, for really a period of two and a half years, we had a very consistent month over month growth, both revenue and earnings.

Cause we also worked on the, on the infrastructure side to try to streamline that and cut out some of the costs as much as could closed unprofitable stores. So really there’s a whole combination of things that we did. And for two and a half years, every single month, uh, we, we saw earnings improvement, uh, and we’re really able to get back to where we needed to be.

Um, and we were right on the verge of that, uh, when the whole NFL season started last year, uh, we really had a good path forward for that year. If the NFL season would’ve been even just flat, what had been the prior year. Uh, but. As we all know, uh, there were a lot of, uh, yeah, external factors that were happening, especially the visibility around some of the national Anthem protests, uh, that when we came into the season right out of the Gates, uh, we could just tell that some of the demand was off.

Um, and. And then as the season progressed and you started to get that much more visibility, uh, and president starts sending out to be, she had a lot of different factors started to come into play. Plus our poor teams also were struggling on the field, which didn’t help either. Uh, and so you kind of ended up with the perfect storm, uh, that, uh, the kind of stalled, uh, that progress and, uh, you know, difficult because of the fact that the NFL is such a big portion.

If you get any kind of decrease on the NFL business, it’s just almost impossible to overcome. There’s none, you know, the other two weeks are both very big, but especially when you have NFL combined with Christmas, uh, you know, it makes it where that’s really just a thing that’s very difficult to overcome.

So that’s kind of where, uh, you know, we ended up, uh, stalling out a little bit on the progress, but even up to that point, Uh, you know, we had made such good progress and really had gotten into a point where, uh, you know, it could be sold and that’s where they started to look at it and say, well, uh, you know, let’s look at the transition here.

And they were able to find a buyer and that’s when I transitioned out. How long of a process was that sale? Um, you know, w it’s, uh, it was fairly fast relative to. Some of the others that I’ve seen, uh, you know, it was probably overall, maybe six months or so, uh, kind of going through and vetting out different potential buyers and you kind of have to get the word out.

Uh, I would have thought that it would probably even take longer than that, but I think what helped reduce some of that time is once they found the right buyer of the actual closing process, ended up being very quick. And so, uh, So that helped shorten probably what that window would be. I would have expected it to take maybe up to a year.

Uh, but I think it was probably around six months from, from the time that it started to finish. Okay. Now I’m forgetting my Utah roots. Where, where are they now? What did they rebrand them in? Oh, it’s still fans. Oh, is it? And they’re still have as many locations cause. But, uh, not as many, there’s still, I don’t know the exact count, but it’s still, probably 80 to 90 as far as I know.

And there’s still quite a few here in Utah and, uh, you know, instill the different parts of the country. So I’ll go to the mall very much. Yeah. There’s, they’re still all over, but the, the arena before the remodel, the arena actually was also called fans. And now it’s called Utah jazz teen store. And so in the Utah jazz have actually routined that store.

And so, you know, now that soar is actually part of the Utah jazz organization. Cool. With the transaction, that with the business, that scale we’ve talked to business brokers and are familiar with that process, but when you have a, uh, A business of that scale. How do you put the feelers out? I don’t imagine you go through like a traditional business broker.

Like how do you find buyers? Yeah. Well, you have limited, uh, windows of opportunity because, you know, unless you have, uh, somebody who’s just a, uh, private buyer who might want to do that, which, you know, may be difficult to find. It really is a matter of trying to find other businesses, uh, you know, who might want to do it.

Because one of our challenges, we still had a whole bunch of some stores that were very profitable, uh, in our stores were kicking off actually a lot of money, uh, you know, especially as we were getting back to the end of the turnaround. Uh, but the infrastructure costs. We’re still very difficult for us to overcome.

It’s very difficult to get, you know, when you have a distribution center and you have, um, you have no good way to be able to reduce that cost, or it’s very difficult to be able to do that. And so, um, what we ended up doing, uh, is you start by making a list of people who are in the competitive market and start to talk to some of those people.

Uh, and then, uh, you know, the people who ended up buying it kind of came through a connection of someone else that we had been working with on a different part of the business who was able to bring those guys to the table. So, you know, I think mostly at least for, for the process here, it was starting with people that, you know, uh, at least informally.

And, uh, and trying to see if there’s interest there. Uh, since they’re the most likely ones to be able to bring it in, if they already have something that’s actually an infrastructure in place and they can say, well, let’s just bring it in. And we’ll, we’ll put that on top of our own infrastructure. Then all of that profit from the stores, uh, can flow through for them.

And, uh, and that’s where, you know, because it was as much a, an infrastructure challenge as anything. Uh, you know, that’s where we felt like there could be some opportunities, uh, you know, with, with actual people in the competitive space. So Kyle made joked about not going to the mall as much. And as I kind of look at your offline information, you got a lot of experience with those mall oriented stars.

We got Payless, Abercrombie and Fitch. American Eagle and DSW. So you’re, you’ve got a pretty extensive bag it’s done in the retail space. Um, did you go, did you have any education or schooling that kind of put you down that path? Well, it’s kind of funny cause, uh, I, I, my first job out of college was, uh, Payless and it was really, uh, by default, you know, I was, I made it and finance knew that I love numbers and spreadsheets at that point in time, we’re kind of still new on the scene.

And so, uh, I. He knew that that’s what I wanted to do. And so I just started to interview for different companies and, uh, Payless was one that was both interesting. Uh, and, uh, you know, was they made a very good offer, uh, you know, they’re in Topeka, Kansas. So that was kind of, uh, somewhere that was a fun place to go to, but also kind of right out in the middle of the country.

And so. So we ended up going out there, uh, just because it was the best thing in, in front of us at the time. And, and that, I didn’t know that I wanted to necessarily be involved in, uh, retail or supply chain, but that really over the next 20 years, as you start going down that path, you know, you start to build, uh, the expertise and the, and you know, are able to, uh, accumulate knowledge.

It becomes a really, uh, difficult to, to make a change. But one of the things I always focused on when I started at Payless, I was there for a few years before I went to Abercrombie and Fitch. I actually learned a really valuable lesson there cause I had a very, very good thing going at Payless. Uh, in terms of, you know, early in my career, I felt like I, I had a good reputation there and I had good career possibilities.

But they were 4,300 stores and I was very entrepreneurial. And when Abercrombie came along, it really kind of fit what I thought that I wanted, uh, which was to be in somewhere. That was a, uh, you know, at that point in time, they were really just coming onto the scene. Uh, uh, nationally, they were still a very well known brand and very strong, but they were growing very rapidly, still, uh, less than a billion dollars when I joined.

And so, uh, So I kind of made that jump and ended up in a situation where I thought that, you know what I can duplicate, you know, I can duplicate the success, uh, career success, wherever I go. When I went to Abercrombie, the cultural fit just wasn’t as good for me. I, you know, it was, uh, quite a bit different run, quite a bit different from how Payless was.

And so I actually only ended up there for, for a year and a half before I went to American Eagle. Uh, and, you know, I felt like that was, that was a good one for me. I think if I were to go back, that’s one of the few things in my career that I would change, uh, where I, I would have been a little more patient at Payless and kind of still gone down the road of some of those career opportunities and me not made that jump quite so soon.

But once I did get the Abercrombie, I was more in the planning and forecasting and that’s where. I really started to, um, make sure that from that point forward, that I always had that element in whatever job I was doing, because I knew that that was transferable. Uh, and it gave me flexibility. Uh, if I ever did decide to make a jump, like I just recently did, uh, that, that, that was a skill set that could transfer into any kind of business, be able to know how to measure things and forecast things.

And. And, uh, you know how to do that in a way that you can get accuracy is, is, can be very difficult to do. Uh, so that’s, that’s been something that I’ve been able to take with me and, and I feel like that’s led to some, some of these opportunities along the way. Yeah. You mentioned that offline, that kind of what you just touched on, you know, be patient when you’re in there.

A good situation. And I think somebody had a good advice. She had mentioned that line was, uh, to think of your career in terms of skills and not a title or salary and focused on building those skills to create value for the rest of your careers. I think that’s good advice. And it makes sense for the context that you just described.

I did. It’s actually something that I think is I try to emphasize with people. Well, especially when they’re early in their career, Uh, to think of your, to think of things through the lens of skills, you know, people get so tired, tied up in, uh, you know, a title or, you know, a specific salary. And the reality is, is that, you know, career is a very longterm, you know, situation.

And so, especially early in your career, titles and salary really don’t matter. If you can learn how to develop value. And if you can think of it in terms of that, what am I trying to do? Right. I can either do a job and do a task. And there’s a lot of people who can do that. But then, you know, you’re kind of always trading your time for being able to do a task.

But if you can think of it in terms of creating value, if you start seeing how do I learn, how to create value and what are the skills that I need to be able to gain now, I’m just going to get those skills. Let me get whatever company I’m working in. I’m going to try to figure out how I can acquire those skills at some point in time, my sick years, but at some point in time, yeah, you accumulated enough skills.

And if you do that consistently over a long period of time, then you can, you can, all of a sudden you can make it to where the money and the titles and everything become more a result of those skills. Instead of the other way around where you take the unit on you’re chase the money and the titles, and then try to figure out the skills, you know, once you get into that role.

So what I saw early on in my career, I felt like people who got money and titles about skills were the ones that got the targets on their back. Some, you know, could, they could be more vulnerable. Um, and so, uh, that’s where I kind of decided that I wanted to make sure if I ever walked into a position that I felt like I already.

I would always be learning something, but that I already had a solid enough foundation of skills that I felt like I could, I could handle that position. No titles is something funny that we’ve seen over the years. We had one large company that we did some consulting for who was going through a big growth phase.

And so they were hiring. Several layers of, uh, you know, skill sets and management and whatnot. And what was the one? I was just trying to think how goofy they were, the value of growth, or like, you know, what I’m getting at is, you know, have you noticed probably more on your retail experience, more so than tinny?

Um, because you know, it’d be to work in the legal field. You have said, you know, uh, go to school. And so you’re going to have a more mature, uh, workforce. But in the retail space, have you noticed any difference in the newer generations? Um, you know, we’ve been talking with other entrepreneurs and other guests, and it’s interesting to get the perspective on the work ethics of the up and coming generation.

Do you notice any of that with your retail space or any people that are pursuing, uh, you know, glamorous titles over putting in their time or. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s funny because I, I think there’s some, uh, there’s some times where you can mistake youth for a different trend in a different generation, but if you go back, there’s probably always some element of youth for people, no matter what generation they were coming out from.

Uh, so I definitely think that, uh, you know, in any, this new generation coming up, I actually. I think that, uh, there there’s a lot of very strong workers and people who are really dedicated. Uh, I think probably the biggest couple of the differences that I’ve noticed would be flexibility. Uh, the value of flexibility.

So, you know, there’s always been such a rigid structure, I think within the corporate world that says, this is the definition of. I have a job and you know, you’re here from this time to this time and there wasn’t any other way to connect in unless you were there. You know, you took your, your, uh, papers with you or your laptop and, uh, the con connectivity wasn’t there.

So I think that with the new generation, there’s so much more ability to be flexible and they’ve grown up in the world where that flexibility is there. Uh, I really think that. That that sometimes can, is what gets pegged as, Oh, they’re not hard workers or they’re not, um, you know, as dedicated as the people before him.

I think at the, at the end of the day, um, you know, when I look at, uh, when I look at a lot of the workers, there’s, there’s, I don’t necessarily buy that. Although I do think that there’s elements of that exists, that exists. But personally, I think that there’s elements of that that have always existed. Um, it’s a matter of finding the right people in the quality people, no matter, you know, whether they’re just starting or whether, uh, you know, they’re what generation they come from.

I think quality is quality and those people, uh, are the ones that you want to try to find and build your organization around. And in ages almost irrelevant is someone who’s older or younger. If they’re quality, uh, they’re going to add value. And that’s really what you’re after. So it’s almost like the corporate world is being stubborn and not evolving more so than, uh, than the newer generations.

Just do it with, like you said, they grew up with that. So it’s normal. Yeah, I think, uh, and I think you’re seeing companies that are making, uh, some of those changes, uh, you know, and there’s difficulties with it because some people might want to work from home. Uh, but you might be in a position or a company where working from home is difficult in face to face meetings.

You know, it’s, it’s difficult when you’re doing anyone who’s been on a conference call knows, uh, how difficult it can be to still get the same feel, uh, as you can, especially if someone is dropping off or jumping in or has a bad connection. And you know, when you’re sitting in a room and there is a different feel there.

And so I don’t know that there’s, um, Necessarily that we’ve come to the end solution for some of these things. But I think the evolution is starting, uh, and has been, you know, underway in technology over time. I think we’ll probably continue to, to allow more flexibility and remove some of the, uh, the difficulties that come with that flexibility right now.

Uh, you know, I think people will continue to come up with solutions to, to bridge those gaps. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, I want to get back to Timmy a little bit. So, you know, you talked about, um, Vegas, a high concentration of traffic in a specific area. So, um, yeah, being that Vegas is obviously largely driven by tourism.

And a big part of that tourism is drunkenness. So do you have any, you know, just Netty, stereotypical, like Vegas ask, uh, calamities that come your way? Uh, yeah. Yeah. Without a doubt. Um, you know, it’s funny because it’s funny that there’s, uh, no. Common theme. Sometimes it feels like between clients walking in the door, you know, and so that, that kind of a combination of things, uh, variables that exist in Vegas means that you get a whole lot of unique cases walking in the door.

And so, you know, you may end up with a hard thing is, is that you end up with people where, you know, you really feel an obligation to try to help them get help. They’ve actually been. No damage because of some of this craziness that can exist. And so I, you know, but yeah, yeah, you end up with people who, uh, you know, you have cases of people who are doing things when they’re driving, instead of paying attention to what’s on the road, that you’re just like, I can’t even believe that this is possible.

And, and, uh, So, you know, without going into too many details, because, you know, obviously when, when a client comes in, there’s some confidentiality there, but yeah, without a doubt, uh, you see things that are, uh, are crazy that you think now this probably could only happen here in Vegas, or I don’t know where there, maybe there’s other cities out there where that’s the case, but, uh, uh, Vegas definitely has its own unique mix.

Do you, is there an identifiable percentage, uh, injuries that are, uh, caused by locals versus tourists? Um, you know, a lot of what we deal with are people, uh, who are local. Uh, and then there they’re definitely tourists as well. So, uh, you know, I do think that. It depends on where the accident is happening.

Cause you got to figure that a lot of the tourists are congregating on the strip and they may be going, you know, anywhere within the city, but that’s the highest concentration. And so, uh, there’s a lot of accidents that still happen kind of in the surrounding area, uh, as well. And I think that the fact that you have a lot of people who don’t necessarily, uh, know where everything is.

Uh, contributes to some of that because, uh, you know, you got a lot of freeways going right through there. There’s a lot of construction that’s going on on those freeways. And so, you know, I’ve found with myself like, uh, you know, having been here in salt Lake before, uh, sometimes once you get out on the freeway, especially I use eating going East and West, which is, you know, not quite as, as congested as

And sometimes, you know, you can find your, your thoughts wandering a little bit, just because you have a big open, uh, freeway. And I think with that Vegas I’ve found that that’s actually not the case. Uh, you know, you got to really always be focused on what’s going on around you. Cause, uh, there’s, it’s just a more chaotic feel to it.

And it’s not even somewhere like Chicago where you may have that chaos, but there’s also a lot of gridlock. Um, you know, sometimes it’s chaos, but it’s still moving fast enough that it can cause, uh, you know, some complication too. I think the taxi drivers, I guess, are crazy. I think you have to be crazy to be a taxi driver period.

I’ve never written in a taxi that I think I’ve enjoyed well, and with the rise of Uber, You know, uh, that’s actually, we’ve been in an interesting thing to watch as well. Well, because you start to see more Uber related cases coming through the door, uh, where, uh, you know, people were involved there too. And so, uh, there’s, there’s some conflict there between the Uber drivers and then, and the cab drivers that over time, we’ll see where that goes.

But, but in terms of accidents, you know, that is something that, that is becoming more common. I actually have a, an experience in Vegas with the Uber driver. So, uh, we flew down, we just did like a one day trip with a friend, you know, from SOC city. It’s just an hour fly when it’s 7:00 AM came back at 7:00 PM, something like that.

And so we had an Uber driver and he comes whipping into. One of the casinos and tags, the curves, and we all go fly in and then we’d get out and he blew his tire and, and the dude, like it wasn’t his first time because he was like, Oh, that’s cool. Don’t worry about it. And just like, shut up all that sod.

Yeah. He didn’t care. Yeah.

You know, one thing that I thought was interesting is as we’ve been working with you and Timmy is you talked about, um, you know, most of the. Clients that you deal with it. It’s not the stereotypical thing that people assume, where are they they’re going for like a big payoff and then a financial windfall, like most of the people that you deal with, they just want to get taken care of, right?

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s actually something that we put a big focus on is we want people to get treatment and we want to make sure that that is, uh, Getting better. I mean, you know, people get, get worried for all kinds of reasons about, uh, whether or not they should treat, uh, you know, they, they worry about the doctor bills.

They worry about all kinds of things. And so I think that, you know, more than just managing the legal process, you’re really, they’re trying to help them make sure that by the time that their case is closed, that there whole, again, as much as they can be, you know, relative to the circumstance. And so, yeah.

Um, yeah, I think that there’s, you know, we don’t want clients who are coming in and who are, you know, trying to fake something and are trying to get money, uh, just because they’re, they’re trying to fake an injury. So, uh, whatever it is, we, we try to make sure that it’s authentic. We try to make sure that they’re, uh, you know, with the doctor who can help them too.

Uh, navigate that process on the medical side, we help him on the, the damage to the car to make sure that that also gets repaired. You know, it’s, uh, it’s actually the thing that, you know, I had not really thought about before I started working there about how really complicated it is when you get in an accident like that.

And, uh, and really how severe the injuries can be. You know, and you see some people who really, you know, and be dealing with, uh, side effects for, for years, uh, or the rest of their life, you know, under the worst case scenario since. So you definitely feel it. Okay. Different kind of obligation to, to try to make sure, uh, you know, that they’re getting taken care of.

Sometimes there can be a bad rap for a personal injury law firms, you know? Uh, and so. When I first went out there and I first started meeting with them, like kind of understanding what they were doing was important for me. And as I, as I started to realize how much they really were just about trying to take care of the clients, uh, and that, that was a core part of really what they’d been doing for decades.

Uh that’s where that, that was important for me in making the decision to go out there. Well, so they’re out in Vegas, you’re in Utah. So you commute, right? Yeah, fly out every week, uh, out and back, at least for right now. Yeah. For now that sounds like there’s a window of opportunity that you’re considering moving.

Uh, well, yeah. My daughter is a senior in high school, so, uh, kind of became a no brainer as we talked about it. Uh, go ahead and, and wait through her senior year and then. And then see how the community is going. And I think as we get into next spring, we’ll kind of just sit down and see how it’s going and try to figure out what we want to do longterm for that situation.

Nice. So as we start to wrap up here, um, so, so you’re in Utah outside of work. What do you do? Uh, well, I, uh, with the kids always have some sort of a thing going on soccer and, and, uh, Basically a cross country. Well, they definitely keep, uh, keep a busy, I try to stay active. Although sometimes I go back and forth on how active.

I always think I should be more active. Uh, then I,

yeah, it’s easy to start and not quite as easy to keep doing it. So. Uh, but a couple of years ago I started golfing. I actually didn’t start until just over two years ago. And I spent the last two years kicking myself for not starting sooner back. They’re actually really, really, uh, take into it. Uh, although I still have a long ways to go before.

I feel like I’m where I want to be. Uh, but it’s been really fun to go around to different courses. And play those courses and really, uh, you know, be able to adjust experience, uh, how unique each of those golf courses are. So, so on that personal level, uh, golfing has actually become something that I can see myself now doing, uh, for a long time going forward.

It used to play a lot of basketball, but, uh, tore my meniscus a few years back and. You know, start starting to get old enough where, uh, the wear and tear on the body for that, uh, is a little more. And so golf is, has been something that, uh, that I think would be a lot of fun going forward. You’re right there too.

Right. Kyle, then you just start like two years ago. Yeah. It’s quite a lot more. Yeah. I mean, I played in high school and then didn’t play for 10 years and yeah, I haven’t been out, I didn’t go out this year, so I didn’t catch the bug. I think as much as Darren did, but. You know, one of the main reasons why I don’t, I don’t golf.

I don’t start as exactly what Darren said. Like I’m afraid that I’ll like it and I’ll be mad at myself. That’s okay. It’s worth, still being mad at it. I’m saying if someone at work, it fans actually, who got me started, he’s a huge golfer. And so he’s the one that actually got me into it. And, uh, and I have not regretted it.

It’s a. You know, it’s, it’s been well, I mean, there are times when I hit a shot and I regret it, but that’s just individual shot or around, I, I thought it would be a far more of a linear process where it’s like, okay, I’m going to improve from here to here, to here, to here over time. And I found that it’s kind of more up and down.

I’ll go out one time and just feel like, wow, that was awesome. I was getting all the shots I wanted and it all, everyone going generally where I wanted it to go and then I’ll draw the next time. I feel like I hadn’t even spoken before. So it’s just been funny to see. I didn’t expect there to be that much variances I, as I got into it.

Yeah. Well, you talked about, you know, you got to put more time in and that kind of brings me to the last topic. Um, I had asked you offline if. You know, what are some of your career successes that if you can humble brag about, and you had mentioned that, uh, success is difficult to achieve because, um, you know, it requires consistent behavior.

Um, and, and what I really liked, what you said is that hopefully your character is your currency. I thought that was a good phrase. Um, you know, you want to elaborate on, on any of your career successes? Uh, well, yeah, I mean, I think, I think for me, I have. You know, when you, when you’re working, I’ve worked in a lot of smaller organizations and I’ve worked in a lot of big organizations and you run into people of all types.

And, uh, and some people are very successful regardless of what their relationships are with other people. And some people aren’t as successful and they have great relationships. So I kind of think of it as a hybrid. Of, you know, being able to develop skills, but I decided early on in my career, you know, that I, I wanted whatever I did to be authentic.

I wanted people to be able to, uh, genuinely feel like, you know, I, I had the skill to be able to help them or work with them. Uh, but that also could take good relationships from it that, that I could go to anybody throughout the, my career. And, uh, and they would be able to give consistent feedback for who I am, uh, you know, both in terms of my skill and just in terms of, uh, the character, uh, of my personality.

And so, uh, you know, definitely, uh, that there’s. That’s something that is difficult to do, I think because you really just have to try to be that person over a long period of time, but also in different circumstances. I think really when things go very, very badly somewhere, it’s a really tough situation.

The tendency is for people to look out for their own interests, which is natural. And I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that. Uh, but I think you also want to make sure that even though you’re watching for your own interests, that you can balance that with the interest of others as well.

And so, you know, that’s, that’s trying to be my focus as much as possible as to make sure I want to be successful. I want to have a good career, uh, you know, but I wanna make sure that I’m helping other people to be successful as well, along the way. And, uh, you know, hopefully that, that can resonate with people.

Um, and you know, that that’s. One of my other goals beyond just career successes is being able to, to have people who hopefully would, would feel that way about, uh, our interactions over the years. That seems to be a common trend with, with all of our guests, that at some point you reached a certain level of success that you’re comfortable with and, and a form of.

You develop an interest in giving back in one way or another and helping other people achieve success as well. Yeah. So what, so tingeylawfirm.com. is where you can look up, uh, where Darren’s at. Um, any other websites, context of jazzteamstore.com as well. Um, any other contact info or anything you want to throw out there?

Uh, Nope, those are the two, two big ones right there. I still been involved kind of helping the jazz team store get up and running. And so we’re looking forward to the, uh, the upcoming season as well. And I think there’s a lot of excitement there too. So it’s been, been fun to kind of be involved on a couple of different fronts, but those are, those are both good spots to be able to go visit well, Darren, I appreciate your time.

Um, We don’t tell our guests in advance, but we end with a random question generator. Ah, nice. We’ve got a random question. And your question is what is one thing that you would change about your home?

Oh, wow. Well, uh, that’s, that’s definitely not my, uh, domain anyway, because my wife is very, very good at, uh, At being able to build things out. But, um, I think that, uh, probably, um, from my wife’s first name effective, she, she has gotten some chickens recently, uh, that have become, uh, you know, uh, first time that we’ve actually tried to manage chickens in our yard.

And so she started talking about goats. I have not warmed up to that idea. But she might say that she wants a nice area for first, some future goats to be able to bring them on board as well. So I might still fight against that for a little while though. It’s kind of hard when you’re gone for the week though, and you just going to come home and there’s yeah, that is true enough.

And, uh, and that might very well happen one day. All right. Darren Squires,tingeylawfirm.com. jazzteamstore.com Uh, Darren, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you. Thanks guys. Thanks a lot.

 

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Darren Squires: Successfully Scaling Supply Chain

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