Episode 19: Whitley Dykes, Dumps Like A Truck

Dumps Like A Truck is a food truck with a cause. Authentic Chinese Dumpling Truck that helps educate and put shoes on the feet of children living & scavenging for survival in third-world trash dumps.

We sit down with Whitley Dykes to talk about life, family, faith, and reasons why he and his wife started Dumps Like A Truck. It’s a longer episode that normal….and one you won’t want to miss a minute of. It was good for our soul to sit down with Whitley and I know his story and his mission will impact you as well.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/dumpslikeatruck_foodtruck/
FB: www.facebook.com/FoodTruckWithACause/

Episode 18: Ron Anders – Mayor Pro Tem, City Councilman, Auburn, AL

We sit down with Ron Anders to discuss Anders Bookstore, being the mic man at Auburn University, former president of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, mayor pro tem for the City of Auburn, city council member for Ward 2, and now mayoral candidate.

Episode 17: Kathy Powell – State Farm Insurance, Auburn, AL

Kathy Powell came back to Auburn in 2004 to open her State Farm business. She is proud to have been awarded Best Insurance Agent in the OA News Reader’s Choice Awards in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Kathy has built a team of licensed, caring professionals who are proud to work with their clients and potential clients.

We sit down with Kathy to talk entrepreneurship, leadership, legacy, community involvement, and how she built her agency into the business it is today. You don’t want to miss this one!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KathyPowellStateFarm
Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/kathy-powell-state-farm-insurance-agent-auburn
Website: www.kathypowell.net

Episode 16: RADM John Franklin Calhoun USNR

I sit down with my father-in-law, Jack Calhoun, to discuss life, flying planes, the US NAVY, sailboat living, naval air stations, city colleges, and real estate development.

Navy Career:
Commissioned ensign United States Navy, 1958, and advanced through the ranks to rear admiral, 1986. He was the Commanding officer Attack Squadron 12, 1973-1975, Attack Squadron 174, Cecil Field, Florida, 1977-1978. Executive officer United States Ship Independence CV 62, 1979-1980.

Commanding officer United States Ship Detroit AOE 4, 1981-1983. Executive assistant chief of staff Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, 1983-1984. Commanding officer United States Ship Constellation CV-64, San Diego, 1984-1985.

Division director Office of Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, 1986-1987. Commander Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, since 1987.

More information on RADM John Franklin Calhoun USNR – http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-06-06/business/9306060376_1_real-estate-

Episode 15: Mike Jones, Mikes Merchandise

Mike’s Merchandise was started in the early 1980’s, in the back of Ray & Mike Jone’s, Guntersville Alabama machine shop.

We recently sat down with Mike in his 180,000 sq. ft. old cotton mill conversion, situated along the beautiful banks of Lake Guntersville, and discussed how it all got started and how he grew the business into a multi-location operation. A true gentleman, entrepreneur, family man and rags to riches story you don’t want to miss.

Episode 14: Taylor Jones, The Tiny Closet

Taylor Jones is the Founder & CEO of The Tiny Closet, located in a retrofitted and solid pink school bus. The concept is great, but the brains and family behind the concept are even greater. We talk fashion, entrepreneurship, marketing, and all about the pink school bus on this episode.

Show Notes:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shopthetinycloset/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/shopthetinycloset
Website: https://www.shopthetinycloset.com


Tony: I’m sitting here at the Tiny Closet with Taylor Jones, Taylor CEO and founder of the Tiny Closet, thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

Taylor: Of course I’m all about talking about myself.

Tony: Tell us a little bit about your story. Where did you grow up and where did your love of fashion come from?

Taylor: I grew up in Auburn Alabama. I’ve been here since I was 5 years old. Like I was telling Holt earlier I really didn’t grow up in fashion. My mom did, mostly. She was always very trendy and like it wasn’t the typical mom look I really wasn’t a big girly girl. All through high school, I was in t-shirts and sweatpants as much as I could be. And. I had a lot of trials and tribulations that happened to me and circumstances through high school with exes and was in a terrible relationship and it brought me down and all my confidence was shattered and I really was kind of told like you’re a woman and that you have to be in the kitchen that you need to be a housewife. Women aren’t supposed to do this and not supposed to do that and I just didn’t think that that’s who I was at all. So I decided I wanted to be my own boss and yes so this is kind of what happened.

Tony: Well cool, that kind of goes a little bit into my next question about how did you get this job. So what made you think about buying an old school bus and painting it pink?

Taylor: Well to me it’s all about an experience. There’s a lot in our industry now that like Macy’s and J.C. Penney’s are all closing down their huge brick and mortars and I really wanted to do something to where people could still try the clothes on and see them that have that experience because I’d much rather spend money on an experience than I would a product.

Taylor: But if I can get someone to experience it and see something inside of it that I love then want to buy then that’s a relationship in itself right there.

Tony: I think the cool thing to is that you do have a website people can buy things online and so bring them the experience out where you know people see pink boxes drop on the street that picks their interest.

Taylor: They think it’s crazy.

Tony: Its genius marketing. It’s in a school bus. It’s tiny in size but awesome inside but it’s just genius marketing.

Taylor: Oh yeah we want we said we want to take it during game days and like we’ve got speakers outside of it and just go through downtown not even stop just have this huge pink school bus go by and we’re like that would be perfect just for our marketing. You know I don’t even have to stop.

Tony: Absolutely. We were talking a little bit earlier about how it’s kind of a family thing. You don’t necessarily have people working for you but there’s a lot of them working with you. Tell us a little bit about that aspect of the from the from the business side all that goes in the background.

Taylor: Well it’s really me that I do the buying of the store the marketing and the social media wise of it. I understand that a ton just because I do have a great following on there and I do a bunch of research about how to pique people’s interest on social media because you’re not one on one talking with them. You’re trying to show them something. Mom does a lot of the finance and the shipping part of it the stuff that I don’t want to do the boring stuff to me. Dad is the one that created the school bus. He was the one that allowed this crazy idea to happen. And he loved every part of it. My brother created our website and the kind of answers questions whenever I have them. And then my boyfriend takes all of the photos and helps me edit because it’s weird…we had a professional photographer come out and help us and we had like other models with me. And nothing sold when they did it but when he does it I think people think like oh this is so cute like it looks like a candid like that Instagram boyfriend took. I mean if it sells and I hate it for him because he asked me the other day. So am I going to be doing this the rest of my life? I was like well if they sell you’re going to have to be sorry. He has no idea about anything with camera stuff. So we’re learning as we go.

Tony: Yeah well I think the COO aspect there as well. You have that relationship so it’s just like you said it’s fun. It’s you know it’s it’s real it’s authentic and that’s what draws people to your business because it’s you. You own your own business but you’re also part of the business. Right. And it’s you model the clothes you show and the items for sale.

Taylor: And that’s what whenever before when we first kind of started and launched it wasn’t me in the photos and I had people tell me like people know you they know you. So they want to wear what you’re wearing. So if you’re modeling them a little better. And I was like OK cool. So once I did it I was like great. I tried to get out of modeling for years now, and now right back into it.

Tony: Yeah. It’s probably a little bit more a better experience knowing that it’s your products.

Taylor: And it leaves me a little bit of money not having to somebody else to do it.

Tony: Tell us a little bit about what is next for the Tiny Closet. Do you have any big plans that you can share?

Taylor: Yeah, of course, we kind of somewhat announced it, we are coming out with our own private label of clothing where we get to actually kind of design some of the clothes and we get to hand-pick them and have our own label on it. It will be called Top Left because it’s our more high-end brand. So it’s like everything that you have this expensive you want it up on the top shelf to the left so that way it doesn’t fall. So it’s called top left. We’re excited about it. We’re nervous about it because you just don’t ever know how people expect you to release a product. And just to continue growing. We are going to move to Nashville in a couple of years and we’re hoping that that kind of market as well because market the market in Nashville is like huge now like economically it’s grown so much and we really think that our kind of trend will work well there.

Tony: Yeah I love love the Nashville area. Franklin Tennessee area. There’s so much cool culture there.

Taylor: Yeah and even when we were in Nashville this past weekend we always when we go like we’re never on vacation we’re always somewhat working. We’re always giving out cards or putting stickers places. We’re always working and I love that because it’s I’d rather be at a job where I love than to be somewhere that I hate. So but there was also like another kind of like I guess pop-up. It was like a flower track and it went around and I thought that was the coolest thing because the first thing I wanted to do was put it on Instagram. So that was kind of another reason with the buss I wanted it to be like Instagrammable.

Tony: Everybody sees it drive driving them we’ll take a picture with it really quickly. Yeah. Or you know if it’s a game day. Yeah, I was just genius and I think it speaks to the true entrepreneurial spirit too when you just mentioned two years from now you want to move to Nashville but you’re already working in that area. That’s always planning ahead as an entrepreneur as a business owner. Even that far out in advance which is not two years now a long time away when you’re grinding every day in a business. It is. Yeah it’s really difficult to prepare for. That’s awesome. It’s great.

Tony: What principles have helped you personally that you may be transferred over to your business have worked?

Taylor: It’s just the whole concept of whenever we did do this it’s just it blows people’s mind that it was me that did it because like I said if you knew me in high school like I did the bare minimum I got through school. I didn’t care to do school. But I also think that my parents are going to kill me for saying this but I don’t necessarily think you need school sometimes. I’m not a very good student. I made B’s and C’s. Like I said bare minimum but I mean high school yeah, of course, you need high school but once you get into college it’s kind of like if I’m this creative person why do I need this. I mean I’m almost done with school now so I can’t drop now. But I was like this huge creative person. I see more of like a colorful side, a bigger dynamic of it, and there are some things that look very limit me to it so I stay in school kids. But like at the same time like do you want it.

Tony: I don’t know if you listen to Gary Vee. I know Holt listens, or we used to listen to GaryVee, now we’re taking Gary’s advice. But, it’s all about passion, and sometimes you know it’s good to get a college degree if you’re in college and your parents helping you through.

Taylor: My boyfriend does like nursing school, of course, like yes please go to school like you need.

Tony: But there are certain jobs where you have to go to school. But like you said being creative. I mean I want my kids to go to college I’m saving it for their college. I want them to do them you know to do what they want to do. But there is a lot of you know four or five years of waiting when you’re happy when you could be doing.

Taylor: I mean I feel like that now there are classes in my major because I’m in fashion merchandising that have helped like having one lab that was photoshop so of course that helps but then there are other ones that I’m like. I feel like I’m constantly repeating over and over and sometimes my professors don’t. Whenever I say like I can’t be there because we’re headed to the Mart in Las Vegas and we’re learning about this huge mart that I’m going to. And they’re like I’m sorry that’s not a university excuse. I can’t I can’t make up that excuse and I’m like well I mean I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do and some of them are really good about it and some of it I just I feel like in my major particularly it’s like it’s who you know where you are at the right place at the right time. So but like I said if you want to be a doctor or engineer please go to school.

Tony: Please…we need strong buildings and sound bridges.

Taylor: We need them all to save lives. Exactly.

Tony: There needs to be some kind of really cool hybrid of you know education but also I mean you know you have to have technical schools that you know or trade schools where if you’re going to go be a mechanic or write you know somebody like that be really to see some type of hybrid where you get the standard education that you need. But then instead of going four years maybe two years and then two years working out of extended internship or an extended hands on.

Taylor: Like I said in my major there’s like we have to take marketing and I remember getting into marketing thinking oh this would be great. Understand more about it. But it had nothing to do with what we were learning about with my major. Like I need like fashion marketing like classes. And I think the only ones that you can really get like that are like in New York at FIT. Like that’s about it and Auburn actually has one of like the top fashion industries in the country.

Tony: So it just blows my mind sometimes that I’m like. And I hope none of my professors are listening to this because you’re doing a great job. If you are. But we need better classes.

Tony: There is a word that I’m about to say it has a negative stigma attached to it’s called failure. Right. What do you think about the word failure and how do you how do you deal with it?

Taylor: I think everybody needs to experience failure and rejection because this is not one of the industries that everybody gets a participation award. You have to be able to fail to get up and keep going again because there have been many times where I have completely failed and I’ve seen somebody that posted this. She’s actually a boutique owner herself. But she posted the thing with entrepreneurs how it’s literally like a roller coaster.

Taylor: You go up and down like some days you’re up top and you’re thinking I’m making so much money I’m winning and the next second you’re just like oh my god I’m failing nobody’s buying anything. Oh my God here we are 10000 followers. We’re back down to ninety-five hundred. Like where did we go wrong? So I really think that if you don’t fail you’re not going to understand those highs and whenever you get those highs you’ve got to understand that there are going to be lows too.

Tony: Yeah I think it’s real important. What’s been the hardest thing for you and starting and running this business?

Taylor: The hardest part to me is since I am my own boss I don’t have that person above me saying you’re doing a great job like you’re doing awesome but like I need you to maybe fix this a little bit. It’s me doing a trial and error of things. I mean of course, I’ve got a tremendous amount of support from my family and loved ones that are saying oh my god you’re doing great. But then again that’s just family and friends.

Tony: They’re very biased.

Taylor: Exactly. So that’s probably a really hard part about it is I don’t have that top person saying that knows what they’re doing. It’s me telling myself like you know what you got this.

Taylor: I keep a journal actually that I take with me all the time so want to look at my lowest point of the job. I’m like this is what happened today. And then when I’m at my highest point I write that down as well. So in like four or five months, I can look back at it like oh my gosh Taylor look that was such a small thing but you got through it. And this is how you did it.

Tony: That’s so smart. Or any other sources of inspiration that you kind of follow up on blogs or podcasts or any type of reading that you do to kind of keep yourself inspired?

Taylor: Yeah we actually travel. That’s my huge amount of inspiration. We travel so much now. I told my mom that at the beginning of the show I was like I want to travel like when I’m stuck here in a town that it’s so small you know everybody it’s hard to get inspiration in. And so when we go to Nashville I love to go see all these different places eat different foods like be inspired by the fashion there. We just got back from Shreveport Louisiana for the Miss USA pageant and there was inspiration there because I got to dress up and do photos here and there and then we were in Nashville this past weekend and we head to Dallas on Sunday and then we go to New York in August and we’re in L.A. in July. So if I don’t travel I get so stuck in one place that I’m like I need to branch out to see what exactly I need to do. Like in September we go for Fashion Week. We may not go to any of the show. But to walk around New York and to see the different trends and window shop your understanding what will slowly drip down into Alabama. So we get there and it’s it’s just it’s more of just the travel.

Tony: What’s your favorite place that you’ve been so far?

Taylor: New York. New York is always like my number one. I always say it’s like the hustle city because you wake up like you could wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning. All right. How do I need to make money today? So that’s my favorite place. L.A. is pretty nice too but that’s more of a place where I just want to go and lay on the back. Yeah. But yeah its always work.

Tony: Well if you were to give someone some advice. I know you’re young but you’re you’re running this business. You’re grinding every day. If you were to give somebody a piece of advice that was just starting out maybe still in college about to graduate from college you want to start their own business what would that be?

Taylor: Do it just do it. I actually had the idea of the store way before we even started it. And I was so scared of failing and not knowing if people were going to like she thinks she is this trendy person, she thinks that she is perfect that she can do this. And I was terrified so I actually waited about seven months to actually finally just say just do it. Just start. I had my parents pushing me saying just do it. Just do it and I was just like, No I don’t know what people are going to think. I’m scared. My advice is to just do it. Just push the button. Launch the website, launch the blog, the podcast, whatever you want to do and just do it because you’re never going to know until you press submit.

Tony: That’s great advice. Well, I have one last question for you and this kind of sums up everything that we’ve been talking about so far and it deals with legacy.

Tony: When you look back on your life when you’re when you’re ready to leave this world you look back on your community your family your friends your business the people that you’ve impacted. What do you want them to remember you by them? What does that legacy look like?

Taylor: I wanted people to always think like oh she did this because she wanted to inspire others. Like I said that I did go through something very traumatic in high school with an ex. And I never wanted to be defined by that. I wanted to be defined as Taylor Jones who woke up every single day busted her butt, got to where she was and tried to make a difference in women’s lives by like we’ve always said that you can’t, a pair of clothes can change the world. But putting in a certain outfit on another girl to help them change the world makes it even better. We always want to be able to inspire women that no matter what happens to you no matter what people have ever said about you. You can be so much more than what your past was. So my legacy will always be to that I worked hard. I inspired and now have we changed the world with a big pink school bus.

Tony: That’s awesome. Well, Taylor thank you so much for taking some time out this afternoon to hang out with.

Episode 12: Rusty Herring, Cornerstone Family Chiropractic

Rusty Herring is the Founding and Lead Chiropractor of Cornerstone Family Chiropractic located in Auburn, Alabama.

Cornerstone Family Chiropractic provides very specific care and attention through state-of-the-art technology, premier office amenities, and attentive and involved staff members. Dr. Rusty and everyone at Cornerstone truly have a heart to serve others by helping you get back to the things you enjoy most in life! Whether it’s participating in recreational sports, playing with your children, or getting back your golf game, their mission is simple: to provide chiropractic care that is affordable for the whole family.

Their goal is for every person in the Auburn/Opelika area to express their health potential! At Cornerstone Family Chiropractic, they’re here to help individuals and their families achieve better health and to equip our community with better health strategies.

Show Notes:

Website: http://www.auburncornerstonefamilychiropractic.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cfc4health/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cfc4health/


Tony: Welcome to the leadership legacy podcast I’m sitting here with rusty Herring the founding chiropractor of Cornerstone Family Chiropractic located in Auburn Alabama. Rusty thank you so much for taking some time out of your day.

Rusty: Yeah man excited to be here.

Tony: Tell us a little bit about your story where did you grow up and where did the love of Alborn come from.

Rusty: Well I grew up in Opelika so I grew up an Auburn fan my whole life. I’ve always loved Auburn and I grew up watching Auburn sports and my brother went on to play football there and he and I are best friends so I went there and graduated there and then I went up to Atlanta for chiropractic school for four years.

Rusty: Catherine and I met at Auburn and she finished school year after me joined me in Atlanta and then we looked around at places that we wanted to open a practice and didn’t find any place in the country that we loved any more than Auburn so I came back here in 2011 right after I graduated and we opened our practice August 1st 2011.

Tony: What made you want to go into chiropractic care?

Rusty: So my dad’s a chiropractor, so it runs in the family. So my dad and I have two uncles that are also chiropractors and just grew up around chiropractic and worked in my dad’s office some and just the idea of being in a industry a service industry that gets to make an impact on people’s health with something that I knew that I wanted to do. And I entertained some other forms of health care but ultimately didn’t find anything that I felt led to do more than chiropractic.

Rusty: So that’s really what got me to chiropractic school. And then when I was in chiropractic school I actually faced a pretty major health challenge helped my health wasn’t really a priority when I was in grad school. I was focused on school work and coffee and staying awake and we’re doing 40 hours a week in class and studying another 40 or 60 hours and just grinding it out and get pretty sick and through chiropractic care helped me regain my health and really helped me to not only regain my health but the protests my health and realize the impact that care product can have on someone’s overall health and daily function and quality of life not just the Musculoskeletal symptoms.

Tony: When you’re looking for somebody to help you in this practice whether it’s somebody that’s answering the phones or helping you schedule appointments or other doctors what are some of the things that you look for them when when you think about hiring them?

Rusty: Yes so we look for people that are genuine and authentic people that strive for excellence. People with a willingness to grow. They’re hardworking joyful people that are fun to be around. And also selfless individuals people that are willing to help you out and do whatever needs to be done for the betterment of the whole team.

Tony: I think that’s important not only to have a surround yourself with those types of people in your business but also for the customers as well. People coming in here may not be feeling good. I mean more than likely the first first time a customer comes in here they’ve got an issue and they need some help and then hopefully over time they’ve started managing that through the services here and they are feeling better as they come in. But that first impression that person is coming in with pain maybe can’t stand up straight and having somebody here with a smile having somebody it doesn’t matter. You know what kind of day they’re having they’re all. They always have that smile. They always have a good attitude and a good personality. Or at least project that even when they’re when they’re feeling bad or down it makes a difference in the end the customer service as well.

Rusty: Absolutely. Something we talk about quite a bit is just making that choice a conscious choice to bring our best.And it’s always a choice every day.

Tony: Well tell us a little bit about Cornerstone Family Chiropractic. It’s chiropractic care but it’s kind of it’s kind of different than traditional type of chiropractic care. If people who are listening you know they go I call and I call them the bone crackers. This is a little bit different of a service here. Tell us a little bit about what kind of services you provide.

Rusty: Sure. So we’re different in a lot of ways. We’re different in that we use the most advanced technology and technique available to us today. And as new technology comes out we use it so we strive to stay that way. You know just on the cutting edge of technology available because we know technology does make things more efficient more reproducible and ultimately more effective. And so we are different in several aspects. One is that as opposed to focusing more on symptoms we focus more on function and by that doesn’t mean we aren’t concerned about how someone’s feeling symptomatically we want them to feel better but we know that we need to help their body function better in order to get to feeling better. And so we use some very advanced technology. It’s called a static electromyography and that is reading neurological activity in a muscle. So it’s not measuring pain or symptoms it is measuring function. Good analogy there is you get to the dentist 30 40 years ago. They had to look in your mouth to see if they could see any cavities. And eventually x-rays came along if you x rays and now you know they can use the laser and detect the density of certain areas and if it falls within a certain density range it may be a tiny tiny microscopic cavity doesn’t even need any attention at this point but if it gets bad enough they’ll fill it in all fields of science research advances in technology advances. And with that technique advances as well and that’s where this technology allows us to measure how someone is functioning so that they don’t have to wait until they have symptoms that are glaring symptoms to start making progress.

Rusty: And then another major difference you mentioned the more older method of adjusting and a lot of people they think of chiropractic may think of that you know twisting and turning approach. Here we use an adjusting instrument. So it’s very gentle yet very effective.

Rusty: The way that adjusting instrument works is as you know but it’s it’s force forces mass times acceleration. Newton got that right. It always will be. I’m pretty sure he nailed that one so that older are probably used more mass with less acceleration human hand can only move so fast to generate that corrective force an instrument just kind of flips that equation uses more acceleration with less mass generating that corrective force and because of that acceleration component we do all of our adjustments with someone in a relaxed neutral position. So there’s never any twisting involved of their spine. Yeah.

Tony: For disclosure, I’ve been a customer here for several years and the way that you introduce customers that have been here for a while is their legacy members. Oh it’s interesting you know legacy and leadership legacy. I was thinking about that on the way over here.

Tony: I thought that was really cool but I’ve been I’ve been a customer a patient of both types. Obviously with the more traditional method and now come in here at Cornerstone. The traditional kind of worked more to maybe alleviate the symptoms maybe is what I kind of feel. It took a lot longer to get better to a better function. But it’s it’s kind of amazing. I was telling Dr. Joe I think or maybe Dr. Shane the other day I was in here and I was having a pain down my left leg a little adjustment move the nerve around to get it to where it needs to be and it’s like immediate relief.

Tony: It’s not always going to be that way for everybody. I mean there’s going to be like you said there’s there’s progress to that to that functionality, but it’s just crazy how sensitive the nervous system is and when that’s aligned. Now how much better you can feel.

Rusty: Sure. And another difference you mentioned there. Exactly. We are more focused on the function of the nervous system as opposed to the whole musculoskeletal component. You do have both components involved in all forms in chiropractic. Some focus more on the Musculoskeletal aches and pains. We focus more on the neurological function and overall function of the body.

Rusty: That applies to anyone of any age which is why we see so many children we see several hundred kids a week every week here and not that they have symptoms but preventing them from having symptoms and a lot of them used to have symptoms that are functioning better and parents want to keep them functioning well as healthy kids grow up to be healthy adults.

Tony: I have a two and a half year old and when she was really little I mean really little like maybe less than a year old. She took a tumble down the stairs she was crawling. She was fine.

Tony: Thank God she was fine. But you know we brought her in for you to check her out. And I’ve heard stories of people bringing their kids maybe you know the week after they’re born just to go ahead because they’ve had the most traumatic event in their life come in through the birthing process and so going ahead and getting them aligned and getting them functioning properly from the nervous system side.

Tony: It’s just amazing how a lot of people think well it’s when you’re old and when you’re when you’re hurting that you need a chiropractor but no you go ahead and start your health can be better long term.

Tony: So you have some really cool events here for for your patients and for the community as a whole. I see a poster here for Mudbugs and Mustaches 2018 where did the idea come about. For those community events and the dinners with the dock where they come from?

Rusty: Some of them were ideas that we had. Some of them are ideas that we get from just masterminding with other colleagues, friends from chiropractic school. Our Back to School Bash our biggest event that we have every year and as we were kind of planning that year first year that we were going to open we knew that we wanted to engage the community and keep the community engaged and have events that brought the community together. So as we were getting preparing for our Grand Opening. Well nobody wants to come to our grand opening but they might want to come to a fun festival. And so that’s kind of where that all started.

Rusty: And then we just we like to have fun. And these events give us that opportunity to have fun to build relationships and yeah and a fundamental value of ours. Here we talk about almost daily with the team is building long lasting relationships based on trust and whether it be. You mentioned a dinner crawfish boil. We have ladies night out. Back to School Bash a lot of different events. They give us an opportunity to build those relationships and spend time getting to know the practice members because day to day basis we are helping a lot of people. And to keep everybody’s time as efficient as possible we don’t just sit around and chit chat and let people wait for an hour and a half like like some health care offices. We are as efficient as as we can so that we get people in and out and on with their busy lives and those those events give us an opportunity to fellowship a little bit.

Tony: I think that’s I think that’s important from a services. You know it’s not just about the transaction between OK you have a service I’m a paid for that service. It’s all about that from a business standpoint is that you want to you want to you know develop a relationship with your customers so that you know what they need. And they feel comfortable but more the biggest part of it for me is just building that relationship. I mean because when you have customers that trust you when you have just people in the community that trust what you do they see that you’re a genuine person you’re genuinely trying to help them and do business. They’re going to they’re going to be more likely to refer you to their family members or to their friends when somebody needs help.

Tony: So you know build that long term relationship helps kind of future of future approver business and like to continue to grow and reach more people but also it really it’s all about personal relationships with people because I think in today’s society with social media and even podcasts you know a lot of people can kind of get in a solitary place where they don’t necessarily want to get out or they don’t know they don’t have opportunities to talk to people and when they have events to come to and they can bring their family and they can meet new people or get to talk to you and get to feel like they know you more personally it builds that trust.

Tony: Well what’s next for Cornerstone?

Rusty: Well we’re always asking ourselves that question what’s next then in the near future we’re going to be expanding our facility. We purchased this end of the building back last December and so we’re going to be doing a renovation to some of the office spaces here and about triple our square footage and renovate that space.

Rusty: So we’ll be doing a build out there expanding our facility so that is going to increase our capacity and then down the road once that starts to fill up. We’ll see. It’s all at the rate Auburn grow and we need to start entertaining another location before long. So we’ll see.

Tony: Auburn is kinda interesting and kind of think of it as being in a bubble. So there is there’s this bubble around Lee County where you know when things go bad and the economy. And I hope I don’t jinx Auburn and Lee County, but it seems that overall generally yeah people were still struggling in Lee County and we need to have better services to provide for them.

Tony: But it seems as a whole that Auburn is kind of like in a bubble.

Rusty: It’s kind of its own economy. Yeah yeah.

Tony: And it just continues to grow continue new neighbourhoods continue to be built and more people continue to flock here for the university and for industry. And I think that’s I think that’s an interesting aspect from another business owners just know and hey you know with the growth of Auburn hopefully the growth of the business you may look at a new location or some kind of get away from what you do professionally.

Tony: What drives you to get up in the morning?

Rusty: Yeah that’s a great question and I would say helping others is really what drives me whether those you know others as my family serve in them providing for them serve and practice members our team be in there to be a leader for them or you know being there for a friend just helping others is the driving factor for sure.

Tony: What do you think that came from?

Rusty: I think a lot of it came from our upbringing man the calling that God has put on my life. My parents have always had us very grounded and just wonderful, wonderful people who love love the Lord and loved others and have only done that through what they say but done that through their actions as well. And I think that’s where a lot of it comes.

Tony: What principles have helped you personally and and in business here as well?

Rusty: Yeah several principles that come to mind one just being simply do the right thing for the right reason.

Rusty: When you make check your motive and perspective and no matter what the choice is you can make one that’s a sound decision another Prince was the choice that we have to bring our best.

Rusty: Another principle is fact meaning principle shared with me by a guy named Ronnie Dos and you love him. You should check him out. He’s got podcast. Great leadership guy. I happened to meet him years ago right as his career was I guess you could say. And it’s really infancy. He now does leadership development and training for NASA, Tesla, and AT&T and Mars Candy Bars.

Rusty: I mean like you know I think five billion dollar companies last year. And then there’s Cornerstone. Yeah it is. So we do leadership development with him. We have some live Google Hangout calls with them every other week and he taught me this principle that has really been certainly impactful. You know life changing.

Rusty: It’s called “The Fact Meaning Principle” and that is facts are facts and there are objective. There’s no emotion attached to them and there’s no meaning attached to them. The fact could be that I was about to pull in a parking spot and you whipped it in front of me and the meaning that I could place on it. Well there’s a thousand different meanings. Yeah well the meanings that we place on it are going to make a huge impact in our minds and our energy level and attitude and perspective on life.

Rusty: And so many times we place a meaning on a fact that doesn’t serve us it doesn’t uplift us and doesn’t see the best in others and so we place that meaning on it and we may not even remember the fact but we typically will remember the meaning.

Rusty: So we go through life just remembering the meaning that we place that got Tony Oravet it cut me off that day and he’s must be a jerk. And you know you just carry that the meaning that could be completely inaccurate and it has nothing to do with the fact.

Rusty: And when we can learn to do one of two things One is the simple thing would be not place meaning on it. So just how it happened is what it is. I’m just going to move on with my life and not bog myself down with negative negative self-taught.

Rusty: And then another meaning is if it’s not a positive meaning then we’re just going to let it go. So the meaning that we’re going to place on the fact it’s either got to be positive or we’re going to let it go and just leave the facts the facts.

Rusty: What it does it helps us to really extend grace to others are much easier and to not carry around negativity. Another principle or really live by as we either go through life or grow through life and get lots of folks have probably quoted this thing you’ve heard most recently about John Maxwell. He says change is inevitable. Growth is optional. And the very true are always striving to grow.

Tony: Through growing and through learning there is a word out there that a lot of people attach themselves to there’s there’s a stigma around this word and that word is failure.

Tony: As a business leader as a business owner as someone who has people under them and kind of looking up to looking up to you what does that word failure mean to you and how do you how do you deal with it?

Rusty: Yes I am a competitive person so I don’t like to lose or fail. So to speak. So certainly try to avoid it. But, when I do fail personally or professionally as a team as an organization when we don’t meet expectations we certainly try to learn from it and seek to grow from that. We look at that as an opportunity to grow. We didn’t meet expectations and so we either have to serve better or change our expectations. And that’s one way that we strive to to avoid avoid failure and serving your patients.

Tony: I’m sure that there are times when patients come in and they’re happy or they’re angry with maybe something that’s been done or maybe they got a bill wrong or they don’t feel like they were treated well or maybe it’s just something completely random.

Tony: How do you deal with with an angry patient or are with an angry customer and where some of the skills that you’ve learned to deal with?

Rusty: Yes so I saw this question and I kind of had to laugh and say you know I guess it’s either unfortunate or fortunate that bends on one side of you are on.

Rusty: I guess you could say fortunately for us the bar has been set pretty low for health care because so many people are used to waiting an hour or two and a health care office and unfortunately a lot of people that are at a health care office have to be there and health care officers know that and therefore you know we hear it all the time that you know the stories of just lack of customer service or lack of profit even professionalism is going above and beyond within a health care office. So it really doesn’t happen all that often here we typically far exceed expectations for what people were expecting. We strive every day to set the expectation and to communicate clearly so that there are not unmet expectations. So much of disappointment or failure like we talked about is derived from just the lack of communicating and setting an expectation. And so we we strive to do both and ultimately meet or exceed expectations.

Rusty: And one thing I’ve learned is when someone does act a certain way that’s me and maybe ruffle some feathers of a team member is another concept Ronnie Dos talks about as everybody is dealing with the human condition meaning that they’re acting that way for a reason doesn’t justify their behavior. But it’s just you know what. However they’re acting. There’s a reason.

Rusty: I believe that people that are acting that way or are hurting people people that are sick are going to do sick things and you know it was kind of another side of our mission not only improving the health of people but overall improve the overall well-being of the community if you can improve everyone’s health.

Rusty: But understanding everybody’s dealing with the with the human condition allows us to give them grace for how they’re acting and also very kindly if if we’re not the right place for him will tell them our office may not be the right place for him and we aren’t the right office for everybody and we’re not here to help everybody. We’re here to help those want to be helped. We do want help as many as we can but we’re not here to help everybody.

Tony: I think it’s important for businesses to understand as as you grow and you know make sure that you know that you’re honest with yourself into what kind of customers that you want. You didn’t also like you said helping those customers find another service provider. Because this isn’t the right fit for them. There’s still hope for them. You know I kind of get down that next path line. I think that’s important especially in the service industry and in the medical industry as well.

Tony: Yeah but what’s the hardest thing that you’ve faced so far and in running your own business?

Rusty: Juggling the tasks and roles so that balance between working in the office as opposed to working only office you know different seasons call you two different roles and tasks.

Rusty: And when I’m covered up working in the office it doesn’t allow me to work on the office. It’s hard to plan for the future and think ahead and do other things that are working on the practice when I’m covered up working in it. So finding that balance between the two is certainly the biggest challenge faced.

Tony: We talk a lot about leadership and about you know mastermind’s and just getting inspired from other leaders and learning from them and learning from their mistakes and from their successes to better yourself and your practice. Maybe one of the best books you’ve read recently to help with?

Rusty: Strong Fathers Strong Daughters. Here’s a book that I’ve read recently that that’s just awesome that just helps and be a better dad. And of all male roles in life. I heard it said if you win in the marketplace but fail at home you failed.

Rusty: So it’s something that no matter how busy we get or how big or the office grows, is it’s always a priority. I’m always I am reading other books about leadership, business, and finances. But I’m always wanting to always have a book on my spiritual walk or growth my relationship with my wife or my relationship and my kids and that one really has affected me quite a bit and and just the next level of being intentional with my daughter. It’s really helping me see things from her perspective much more and having daughters you get a down.

Tony: Yeah no that’s that’s to read this right now do you have it on it.

Rusty: No I’ve told tons, I can’t believe him guilty about it. I’ve told tons of dad about it and I can’t wait to read that.

Tony: Yeah because that’s I mean we’re in a transition period with all three of our girls. We’ve got a two and a half almost three or all of them we’ve got a nine year old who’s you know go into fourth grade and then we’ve got one that’s just now finished elementary school going to middle school and so they’re all in very nice seasons of life and so trying to wrap myself around that has been my ultimate test.

Tony: Well if you write a book about your journey so far in life you know business does growing up everything. What would that be?

Rusty: This is a great question and a tough one. I came up with something. It may be a little cheesy because they’re all start the same letter it’s “Passion, Purpose, and Perspective”. Believe it would be that because our passions oftentimes reveal our purpose.

Rusty: Certainly was the case for me with that if we can have perspective as we go through life that is going to I believe is going to help us to make the greatest impact on society and make a positive influence on those around us.

Tony: What’s the advice to someone wanting to get into your industry? Any resources you can share. I know that here we see a lot of the guys that are maybe even going to start working in this facility. Interns Yeah yeah. Interns that or were doctors that are you know really were going through a school to get their degree. And they are you know interning here or just learning what’s what’s in the box to somebody that’s wanting to get into industry is it. Is it internships. What is it?

Rusty: So chiropractic specifically, there’s an organization called Ampe that it’s a professional development organization. That’s to be a leader in the organization. It’s an awesome organization great people great resources and really helps to help grow and develop people. A lot of our interns that come through have been plugged into that organization as a student. They come here and learn kind of the final details hands on a room running a practice and then they go out and open. And that’s ultimately a big part of our goal is building others up and send them out because yeah there’s our whole country is in dire need of improvement in their health outcomes. We can certainly make an impact on that.

Tony: We’ll get one last question that I ask everybody when you’re looking back on your family and your friends and your community and the patients here. And just just society in general as you’re getting ready to step out of this world go out and meet your father in heaven. What do you want them to remember, what do you want to people that you’ve been surrounded with your memory. What do you want it to be?

Rusty: Man this is a super deep question.

Tony: Save the best for last.

Rusty: Yeah I thought long and hard about it.

Rusty: I would want I want people to remember me as a man that loved God loved his family and loved people. I don’t particularly want my legacy to be about me but rather leave my family with kids and grandkids that are making a positive difference in the world. Leaving a practice that is making a positive impact in the community leave friends and family members feel more empowered to make the most out of life because of our relationship and time together. If I can do that I think you feel like I will have fulfilled my purpose to what I was called to.

Tony: Rusty, Man I appreciate it. Thank you so much for sitting down with me this afternoon and talking about leadership and legacy. Yeah man appreciate it.

Episode 11: Stone Ray, Auburn, AL

Auburn, AL is changing faster than we can keep up with it. How do we make sure that the changes help keep the “Loveliest Village on the Plains” the loveliest village for our children and their children? We sit down with Stone Ray, an architecture student @ Auburn University to discuss his passion for town planning and urban design and the challenges the City of Auburn has to deal with in order to get it right.

Show Notes:

Stacy Norman Architects: https://snarchitect.com/
Stone Ray: Facebook


Tony: I’m sitting here with Stone Ray. He is an architecture student at Auburn University and he’s working as an intern for Stacy Norman architecture firm. Stone thank you so much for sitting down with me this afternoon.

Stone: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Tony: So Stone tell us a little bit about yourself Where’d you grow up where did your love of architecture and design and town planning come from?

Stone: Yes so I was born in Birmingham and I lived there until about middle school until I came to Auburn. I’ve been around sort of construction and development throughout my life. My father and his father were all developers and so I’ve sort of been around that sort of artistic idea how to develop real estate and being in the School of Architecture at Auburn University which is nationally ranked programs so we get a lot of feedback from people all around the globe and we have opportunities to go abroad and this stuff is really opened up. Opened up Ways of Seeing. Design through a larger scale which is on the city scale or the region scale. And I became interested in it and read about it more and watched lectures and all of those types of things and it boils down to a sort of a passion and Urban Planning and Architecture in the long term if you think about it a city is sort of the largest thing humans design right.

Stone: You can design products industrial design that kind of thing. But the city is the largest scale and it’s become an important issue especially in the 21st century dealing with all types of. Housing problems transportation problems. How do you you know create a place that actually functions the way it needs to function in today’s world. Right. And in some places it’s moved by things like climate change and in some places is moved by their local economy and their employers in what

Tony: How did you get the job here as an intern for Stacey Norman?

Stone: Oh well I asked him. You know Stacey’s great. He’s my professor in the fall and he led my class to do a design project for the Bank of tumor’s corner which is a project his firm is doing so we all get to sort of get an in-depth look at how that process took place and sort of the constraints of downtown Melbourne and being able to sort of put our own touches to it.

Stone: So at the end there was 27 different different versions of it which was really interesting to see being exported by the school.

Tony: You know we were talking a little bit earlier about the way that there are several architectural firms here in Auburn but because of his ties to the University he’s kind of the only architecture firm that may employ interns to to help get their feet in the door…

Stone: Yes as far as I know Stacie’s farm is the only firm that employs people. Right. A firm with an office where there are several practicing architects in town and there was other firm in town I forget the name of it but it moved out of here. So the office is sort of being flooded with a lot of work relative to our fast growth but I suspect will be more in the future. But it’s sort of really interesting that there’s really only one here at the moment you know based out of here.

Tony: Yeah especially with everything going on especially being downtown to it’s really interesting.

Stone: We’re tight next to City Hall. So we get a lot of work from the city of Auburn in Auburn University and and private developers and that kind of thing.

Tony: What drives you to get up in the morning not only to go to school and learn but to you know to come to an office every day and just work?

Stone: From a smaller scale there is something different to see and Auburn every day as far as development goes but it’s the same story for most cities around the United States and around the world. So there’s new issues there’s new things to read about. It’s a profession or urban design and planning is a profession that’s constantly changing and it’s a profession that constantly keeps you looking 20 30 years in the future. So I guess that’s a that’s a reason to get up right. So yeah yeah. You know it’s not a day to day thing it’s you constantly have to have your Future growth goggles on. Right because the decisions you make are not present decisions their future decisions.

Tony: One of the cool things that I saw when kind of learning more about you was your 2050 plan for the City of Auburn and the way that Auburn is growing a lot of people were kind of upset about it. Some people you know embrace change and want to see that happen and so it definitely is interesting to see the different perspectives that people have of how they want their loveliest village you know to grow. Yeah but stay the love of this village.

Tony: What principles have helped you personally going to school, going to work in design and design and different plans for different cities?

Stone: And things like that what principles have kind of helped you personally as far as you are talking about design decisions or design decisions or you know your decisions on where to go to school and what to study and things like that.

Stone: Well I’ve decided come to Auburn because of their program here. It’s it’s really, it’s a nationally ranked architecture program. It didn’t really make sense you know to go out of state you know for something lessor. As far as design decisions go obviously like you mentioned 2050 Plan which was just a schematic you know ideas and they’re not really binding decisions but they are there an idea of the future which is basically what planning is and a lot of the inspiration comes from the history of a place you know. You know I’ve studied a lot in my hometown of Birmingham a very historical towns as well as Auburn and you know to a lot of folk Auburn historically is a small town and that’s definitely true but all cities molt. So you sort of have to use that history to guide yourself in directions that provide for the 21st century needs you know. Planning like I was saying earlier is all about looking you know at least two or three decades ahead of you and if you just think about the present or what it is today or what it was yesterday it’s sort of a distortion field

Stone: You know and you’re not able to sort of have a vision right that you know maybe that the founders of Auburn had you know back then. You know I’m sure they wanted to grow into what it is today.

Tony: What’s been the hardest thing in keeping up with with the changes that are happening here in Auburn and and in your hometown? What’s been the hardest thing and you know keeping all that in perspective as you do look to the future. Is it coming up with new ideas or what’s the what’s the hardest thing?

Stone: It’s all happening very fast so it’s difficult literally to keep up with but at the same time that’s what makes it exciting. Yes because it’s not boring you know. You know you can imagine what it would be like if we were in a city that was going the opposite direction you know and it was dying you know and it’s young folk were flooding into suburban towns into other cities with nightlife and that sort of thing. So to be in a place like Auburn it’s really interesting to see sort of the day to day involvement of the folk here and of course it’s a lot of mixed opinions but I think that what I take away from is at least they’re involved know at least the conversation is never ending. Right. And that is the most hopeful thing for the future because if it were a conversation to be had. Then you know there perhaps might be more to worry about.

Tony: Yeah I like the way that the city council kind of involves you know the community in a very healthy way. I mean I know some of those meetings can get kind of can get vocal for sure. But it’s interesting to see you know how how much of a community how much the city council and the government here in Auburn wants to have the opinions of the citizens because of all the changes that are happening right especially out you know the Donahue side of town and and in downtown as well. But it’s it’s really it’s it’s welcoming to know that City Council is so open to you know obviously that’s what they’re supposed to do. But not only allow people to have a platform just to voice their concerns but actually to hear them and sometimes vote things down because of what the citizens have to say.

Stone: Yeah I think the city council is doing a great job on the public input side of things. I’m not saying that I’ve never disappointed in the decisions of course that happens. And then of course there’s missed opportunities in that not everyone knows everything but they also have a very hard job on their hands based on the sort of speed that we’re seeing these changes. Right. So it’s unprecedented in a way and we’re lucky to have people willing to serve and we’re lucky to have a school like Auburn University there to support you know future decision makers and that sort of thing.

Tony: Well we talked a little bit about that the sketch that you that you did for Auburn 2050 and you’ve got a lot of you got a lot of press on that and Al.com and you had a lot of good comments and a lot of people that were you know just concerned in general and like you said before the those none of those changes you know those are just ideas. Sure. And things that you thought about that will be good for the city.

Tony: So 2050 is a long way down the road. Sure. I mean it’s 30 years away. When we think about that far out or even a 2030 plan or 2040 plan or a five year plan right. What are some of the what are some of the things that the city of Auburn is going to have to get right in order to maintain the loveliest village on the plains feel, without sacrificing moving forward altogether?

Stone: Well I think it’s sort of there’s a number of discrepancies there. The nickname the loveliest village you know it comes from a poem you know and it was written in a time when Auburn was indeed a village. And it’s interesting the definition of a village is a compact human settlement. It’s about density is what it is. And back then Auburn was a place in which it was small enough footprint wise where you could live here without a car. Right. And cars weren’t sort of the prominent way in which we plan cities and it very quickly grew out of that. In the mid 20th century you know after the Second World War. This is the story of all cities especially cities across the south. When we started to design cities based on the automobile and it’s very obvious that cities are sort of changing their minds and now that we’re in the 21st century. Obvious because of what you’re seeing in downtown Auburn and I’m not saying it’s the best moves but it’s definitely it’s definitely saying that we’re interested in a different type of direction than what was there before those buildings. And you mentioned 2050 you know being so far off. And that’s true. You know it’s hard to sort of grasp that. Or you know that’s 30 years from now you know but 30 years ago was only 1990. You know. Yeah. Wow. So if you think about it that way you know think about Auburn in 1990 and think about Auburn today. It’s doubled in size you know. So that’s why you sort of have to sort of keep that in mind constantly.

Stone: You know if you take projects if you take decisions you know based on the present you know people tell me you know. Whatever building is proposed that happens to be however many stories you know six or seven stories and people say no Auburn is a small town. You know it but they’re thinking of the present.

Stone: Yeah. You know what. All right. What will it be. You know I don’t know is this going to fall on line with that the 2050 track. Probably yeah you know. So I think it’s sort of really important to always sort of have that perspective in the back of your mind. And that’s that’s the case for Auburn but it’s the case for a lot of cities right. You know there’s several cities that grew faster than we did. You know Atlanta it’s not that far up the road in Atlanta used to be the place. The place to be. And now it’s having to spend tons of money and effort and time to retrofit itself to become a 21st Century City. Atlanta was the poster child of automobiles drive until you qualify. We’re going up we’re going to carve a highway through the city. We’re going to cut away. You know all of the amenities about urban life and sort of they went after silver silver bullet ideas. You know oh we’ll get an Olympics maybe that’ll help that we get an aquarium. Maybe that will help. We’ll get an airport maybe that will help you know and the traffic never got better than the quality of life never got better. And before long you know cities realize that the young folk were were migrating to other places like Portland you know who ever heard of that you know. And to you know Soho you know and to Key West and to Miami Beach and all these places that were sort of single handedly revitalized starting in the 90s and into the 21st century that today other cities that were his sort of successful in the past and up and coming ones like Auburn are sort of starting to understand.

Tony: That’s good. That’s a perspective that I had not thought about. I mean especially you know when you look at you know what’s happened to other cities. Yeah and you know 1990 in Atlanta they’re getting ready for the Olympics and the think 1990 I mean me and I just got an instant I feel old. But yes 30 years ago 1990. I mean that’s kind of crazy to think about. And yeah you know that’s not even an entire, that’s not in my entire lifetime. And so to think you know what’s going to happen when I’m 60 or when I’m 67. Right. Right. How’s Auburn going to feel is it going to be. You know we’re looking at a massive apartment complex on one side and the other two brand new ones going in over here and the other one down the road.

Tony: I love the idea of having a big city feel in a small city. If it’s done right. Yeah absolutely. I think this I think the city will get it right and the developers that have come in so far have done a really nice job of kind of mix and the two feels. So it’s going to be it’s going to be fun to see what happens.

Tony: What do you think about Auburn as being and kind of like a bubble like or Lee County being in a bubble like as far as the economy. You know back in 2008 the economy was kind of bad in Auburn you know the things that just continue to kind of grow and progress. What do you think of the idea of Auburn and Lee County kind of being in a economic bubble?

Stone: I mean there is some truth to that. As far as growth goes it definitely stands out against the rest especially in Alabama or Auburn is the fastest growing city in the state and it’s one of the fastest growing in the country.

Stone: But it has to do with a lot of factors that fall into place really nicely. That has to do with the school system is a huge one. Yeah you know that’s really exciting to me to think about the future of downtown Auburn and urban areas of all because we have one school system right.

Stone: That’s the only challenge and other cities to get there are tons of people who would love to live in the inner city but they can’t because they can’t make a rational decision about sending their children to school. Right. So we’re sort of lucky to have that on our side. Yeah the quality of life here. You know we have a great park system. You know we have great city services. We have very low crime. That’s clean. You know all of this sort of checklist items that that folk look for are here. We obviously have Auburn University which is excelling and it’s in its field as well under President Lee it’s sort of going to expand in other directions and towards research in R and D and that type of thing.

Stone: Manufacturing jobs you know Alabama is really attractive to that type of thing and Auburns capturing a number of them. So the dominoes are falling in our favor and they have been for some time that’s why 2008 wasn’t the worst year it still was.

Stone: It still affected us still affected Absolutely. And I’d say we’ve rebounded from very swiftly.

Tony: You can kind of see that too in the the property value and the amount of property that we’re starting to lose and having to start annexing in. Well kind of switching back to you.

Tony: What’s your advice to someone wanting to get into the architecture urban planning industry was some advice that you could give them that they are just starting out?

Stone: I would say continue to read and to study sort of the current aspects of it and it mainly the issues. And I think that you’ll find some very interesting topics and then you’ll find that there’s a huge demand of people to solve them. You know architecture you know if you think about

Stone: You know architecture you know hundreds of years ago it was all about the master builder. You know someone who had the craft and skill to do things and create you know the great cathedrals and things that you see across Europe and then you know after the Second World War when architecture turned interest into basically a form of engineering and how do we just construct what we need in the program that we need. And don’t forget about the cars. Yeah.

Stone: You know so we sort of lost we sort of lock for a long time in America we sort of threw away the knowledge we had about creating great places you know and if you think about cities that you live in or that you visited the ones that are memorable and the ones that you like to live in in the end the best parts of let’s say Auburn you know Toomer’s Corner is arguably the best intersection in the city and it’s because it’s the oldest and the most urban. You know it was it was a it was conceived before cars existed and you can see the newest parts of Auburn and how they’re not memorable.

Stone: You know and there’s a I forget who it was but it was a great quote or a great sort of anecdote of he was showing slides of suburban America and he was describing. This is how this is what’s happening today. This is how we’re building our cities and he said these are places not worth caring about. Right. I think anyone would say downtown Auburn is worth caring about. That’s why there’s probably some people involved and saying yay or nay to things that are happening because they care about it which way or the other they just care about it. If you think about a place like Opelika Road or Highway 280 in Birmingham those are places that you just complain about not because they’re not worth caring about their first generation. You know sprawl type development and the anecdote was if we build enough of places that we don’t care about them we’ll have a nation that’s not worth defending you know and if you think about you know soldiers fighting for us overseas you know what is their last thought of home. You know is it you know the curb cut between the Kmart and the parking lot you know. Or is it a really great space. Yeah. You know a place that’s memorable and a place that will be there for generations to come.

Tony: Think about just as general citizens you know and our legacy. You know even leaving something that that we can be proud of for future generations and that kind of leads me to my last question for you which is you know as you know you’re young as you think about you know when you when you leave this world what what do you want people to remember you by. As as Stone Ray the person and I kinda what your legacy would be?

: I’m not too worried about me or my name or anything but I would say I’m just here to sort of transmit the places that I impact better than I found. Yeah. And I think that’s the job of any designer or any architect or planner or whatever you know you know that you arrive into a place and that you do your best just like your ancestors did before you have to leave it better to those that don’t come because there’s never not going to be issues right in the 21st century is sort of a whole different. It’s all about convenience and it’s all about retrofitting us to be more sustainable than the 20th century. If you can if you think about it it’s total polar opposites.

Stone: And I’ll give you one more anecdote from one of my favorite planners and architects His name is Andreas Dewani and he owns DP which is the firm down in Miami. And you may have seen some of that work. They’re famous for designing seaside and Rosemary Beach beach beach and all of the famous towns on 30A as well as hundreds of them across the nation and master plans for downtowns and he does in a lecture. He described that in America the 21st century didn’t start until 2008

Stone: In the 20th century it lagged a little bit. We still we still kept consuming and building like we were in the late 90s until the market crashed and there were several things that sort of broke the back of development planning. And what we uncovered is that we were broke and we needed some new ideas. And that is when sort of there was a huge push for you know New Urbanism in places that didn’t have it. And there was a huge uncover of a demand of folk who wanted to be able to live in a place that was functional. Not only for those who could drive. Yeah right it was like a design revolution a design revolution it’s a great way to put it. Yeah and it’s pretty obvious that Auburn is catching on to that. I wouldn’t say that they’re all the way there. I still think we have problems when it comes to design but we’re definitely on a different track. Which is promising.

Tony: Yeah absolutely. Well Stone man appreciate your time.

Stone: Thanks for having me. I enjoyed it.

Tony: And I look forward to hearing more from you and catch up with you down the road. All right. Perfect.

: This is your host Tony or of the leadership legacy podcast. Thank you so much. Listen to this past episode. It would mean the world to me if you would go and write this podcast on iTunes and share it with your friends.

Episode 9: Whitney & Ashley, Shanty 2 Chic

We sat down with sisters Ashley & Whitney, two power tool-wielding DIY queens, on a mission to create beautiful and affordable furniture, turning houses into homes. Self-described coffee enthusiasts and treasure-weavers, the two sisters transformed a hobby into a dream career. The self-taught carpenters post their journey online to inspire other people to “pick up that scary tool and go!” Hosts of HGTV’s Open Concept, and designers of the Shanty2Chic Home Collection exclusively at At Home Stores nationwide.

We talk about growing up, starting the business on an idea, and how they landed themselves on a HGTV show and in the At Home stores nationwide.

Show Notes:
Website: https://www.shanty-2-chic.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shanty2Chic/252700455901
Instagram: https://instagram.com/shanty2chic
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/shanty2chic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shanty2chic
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/shanty2chic

Episode 8: Wren Aaron

We had the honor of sitting down with the one and only Wren Aaron. Wren is the campus pastor for the Church of the Highlands, Auburn Campus. Before taking on the role of campus pastor, Wren was instrumental in helping get the college ministry launched.