Branding Matters

Mitch Freed - Make a Solid Succession Plan

July 01, 2022 Branding Badass Episode 67
Branding Matters
Mitch Freed - Make a Solid Succession Plan
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Mitch Freed, the new CEO at Genumark  - one of North America’s most trusted branded merch makers for over 40 years. 

Mitch isn’t the first Freed to be on my show. You may remember his dad Mark Freed who I had the privilege of interviewing on one of my very first episodes. Since then, Mark has stepped down as CEO, passing the torch on to his first born son.

I Invited Mitch to be a guest on my show to talk about succession plans. I wanted to learn what finally led him to Genumark after starting his own business. And I was curious to get his POV on the pros and cons of taking over a family business.

Genumark is the official sponsor of Branding Matters. From promotional products, custom uniforms, and clothing, to sports co-branding, web stores and warehousing - Genumark is your #1 partner for creating brand awareness. And being ISO certified – you can rest assured ethical sourcing and sustainability are front and centre. If you’re looking for help  with your next project, email brandingmatters@genumark.com today.

Joelly Goodson :

Hi! I'm Joelly, your Branding Badass. Welcome to Branding Matters - a podcast I created and host to help you create brand equity. Branding Matters is brought to you by Genumark; one of North America's most trusted branded merch makers for over 40 years. Branded merchandise is one of the best ways to create brand awareness. Whether with your team or your fans, there's no better way to show your appreciation, connect with your audience and build community than combining thoughtful design with great products that tell your brand story. When you partner with Genumark you get more. More personalized service. More creativity. More innovative solutions. And more importantly, you get it all from a talented team of branding experts who have the experience and know how to make your job easier, and best of all, more fun! From promotional products, custom uniforms and clothing to sports co branding, web stores and warehousing Genumark makes it happen. And being ISO certified, you can rest assured ethical sourcing and sustainability are front and center. Genumark is big enough to matter, but small enough to care. So if you're looking for the right partner to help you create brand awareness, email brandingmatters@genumark.com to start your next project today. That's brandingmatters @ GENUMARK.COM. Speaking of Genumark,I'm excited to share that today I'm sitting down with the new CEO of Genumark - Mitch Freed. Mitch isn't the first Freed to be on my show. As you may recall, I had his dad Mark on one of my very first episodes. Since then, Mark has stepped down as CEO and has passed the torch on to his firstborn son. I invited Mitch to be a guest on my show today to talk about succession plans. I wanted to learn what finally led him to Genumark. And I was curious to get his point of view on the challenges that come with taking over a family business. Mitch, I'm really thrilled to have you here today. Welcome to Branding Matters.

Mitch Freed:

Thank you, Joelly, it's fun to do this with you.

Joelly Goodson :

Yes, it's great to see you. Before we get right into it. I want to talk a little bit about your background. I know that you went to Western University of Western Ontario, which is where I went as well. You went when were you did you graduate?

Mitch Freed:

I graduated in 2010

Joelly Goodson :

in 2010. Okay. And you did your undergrad there. Is that right? Yeah. So

Mitch Freed:

I did my I did my undergrad there. And I went to the ivy Business School, graduated with an HBA

Joelly Goodson :

and that stands for what HP honors a Bachelor's of

Mitch Freed:

Business Administration.

Joelly Goodson :

Right. Okay. And then did you go right to grad school after you took some time off? No. So where I went to grad school, which was at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern in Chicago, like a lot of MBA programs in the States, you definitely need work experience. So after my HBA, which was at Ivy, I worked in management consulting for three and a half years, I learned a lot, but knew pretty quickly that it wasn't going to be where I was going to spend my whole career. So to be honest, I had wanted to go to business school in the States for a long time. But then I, I really used business school as as like a stopgap way to reevaluate things and change career paths. Really at the end of the day. So so when you so when you finish at Western and you said you got into management was that? Did you work for a company? Or was that when you started your own? Because I know you started your own company was that? Oh, no,no, no. So I worked for a management consulting company was a company called se cork consulting, which was the largest independent Canadian consultancy, strategy consultancy. There's about 250 consultants I want to say and then a couple of years into that experience cepcor Consulting was acquired by KPMG. So I did about half my time at like a boutique key type of firm. And then that was eaten up by a big four accounting firms. So the two experiences at quote unquote, the same place were extremely different. It was cool to be part of a merger and see the the positives and negatives and the challenges in managing integration. So then after that, so then you decided you got your experience, and then you went and did your MBA. Right? Correct. Exactly. Okay. And then when you finished your MBA, tell me about that. Was that when you started your own business?

Mitch Freed:

Yes. So when I was in Chicago, I was doing some soul searching and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I ended up meeting somebody who was a speaker in one of my classes, and he had a fantastic career in the entertainment space. And I just really took a liking to him and I admired him. And we got to know each other a little bit. And we actually started a business together.

Joelly Goodson :

Sorry. You said in the entertainment space?

Mitch Freed:

That's what that's what the business was that I started after Kellogg. Yes.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, I didn't know that. Can you share a little about that?

Mitch Freed:

Yeah. So it was called Pop Experience. The idea there was that we would license pop culture brands and turn them into very, like experiential museum type exhibit experiences. And we had gone down the path for a couple of years made some good headway. But at the end of the day, we just had some issues with fundraising and and the idea is became very large very quickly. And just for a number of different reasons, it didn't get me further than a couple of years pounding the pavement, but it was an amazing career experience, for sure. And then after that experience is when I joined Genumark. That was three years after I graduated from business school.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay. And then for whatever reasons that didn't work out, and you know, here you are today, but what I'm curious to know, you know, a lot of founders out there, they always talk about how your failures really help you learn and grow, right, based on what's happened. So do you mind sharing a little bit about what you learned from the failure of that business?

Mitch Freed:

Absolutely. Let me try and articulate this as best I can. Listen, the the biggest challenge at the end of the day was winding it down. You know, we had raised significant amount of capital from people that we that we knew within professional networks, personal networks, it was always a high risk venture. Anybody that we raised money from, you would have hoped, understood that and I would say we were very, not pleasantly surprised. But we were thrilled with the response at the end of the day, because we were lucky that we had a we had a group of investors that really did understand that. Listen, like, I poured my heart and soul into that concept that company for years, and I certainly thought it was going to work out. And I thought we were going to be successful, I wouldn't. It was. So it was mid 2014 until the beginning of 2017. So it was two and a half years of a lot of stress and exciting times, ups and downs. And at the end of the day, the hardest part was still making those calls and saying we were gonna wind it down. But that was really hard, right? Having to go back to people and say, Hey, listen, we're done. We've decided that it's best to move on, we're gonna go our separate ways. And we give you back what what we didn't put to use, oh, man, the anxiety of that whole experience was brutal. And then you look back and think, you know, if you work with great people, and then in that scenario, I'm talking about the investor group, you almost got to evaluate it at the beginning and say, Okay, there's a high probability that this isn't gonna work out how they're going to do if we lose all their money. But there was such a strong understanding from that group. And you learn how important transparency is you learn how important being as open and honest as early as you can, with that group of investors? I don't think we surprised anybody. When we made those phone calls and said, Hey, this isn't working worked like that. I mean, that's a failure. Right. But at the end of the day, it certainly wasn't a career failure. I don't feel that way at all.

Joelly Goodson :

It's a huge learning experience, right? Yeah, I mean, they say you can't succeed without failure. So if you had advice, if you had one word of advice to give, let's say, a founder, who's listening who is looking to raise capital, I mean, a lot of startups happening right now, what would you tell them?

Mitch Freed:

I would say, go for it. I would say, if you have an inkling if it's something that you wanted to try and do in your lifetime, or if you just have this idea that you just got to see through, do whatever you got to do for yourself to manage yourself through the process, because it's hard. Get yourself ready, that there may be a failure around the corner.

Joelly Goodson :

There's no guarantees, right?

Mitch Freed:

I mean, yeah, but you know,what would really stink is if I didn't have that experience. And I was sort of doing what I'm doing now. And I you know, if I was like, Man, I wish I would have tried to start a company one day, that would have been a really cool experience. What if I would have done it? Like, I don't have that regret? Ya know, I've done it. I tried it. It didn't land the way I wanted it to. But I would say if you have an inkling and you want to try something, what's the worst that can happen? You're only going to gain experience. And, you know, maybe it'll become the next Elon Musk, but whatever, you know, at least we'll have that experience. And then you'll go on and do something else. And you won't have that regret that man, I wish I would have tried that. So I would say just go for it. You know, just do the best you can. Like I said, Work on yourself to make sure that you can handle the pressure. But once you've gotten yourself in check, run with it. You never know what's gonna happen.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, I love that advice. That's great advice. I'm reading I actually just finished reading a book called The Power of Regret and it's very interesting study about how he talks about regret is the most common emotion after love worldwide, if you can believe it, and he talks about demographics and men and women and one of the biggest regrets is, you know, not being bold and going looking back in your life and not taking in specifically business wise and not taking those risks and doing those things and saying, I wish I started my own business.

Mitch Freed:

Yeah. I mean, that was the biggest learning. And that was the biggest. That was the best part about that experience. I did it. I tried it. I'm thrilled with where I am right now professionally. Like, I probably learned a lot.

Joelly Goodson :

So then tell me about the moment when you decided that you wanted to join the family business? How did that come?

Mitch Freed:

Okay, so after that business was wrapped up, or as it was wrapping up, I had to figure out what I wanted to do next. When I was in business school, before I met my partner, and that venture, originally, my plan was to start my own search fund, which is basically a one man or one woman private equity fund, where you look for one business to buy and run where, you know, very often it's, it's a fresh MBA graduate, like I was, that's like a very common place, there's actually, they call it the search fund mafia, which is a group of 35 to 45. Investors that literally their business model is Chuck small checks was many search funds as possible, in the hopes that a couple of them hit big, with the expectations that a few of them don't go anywhere. So raising the capital for a search is not that difficult, to be honest. And there's many businesses that have been bought by a search fund that have turned into fantastic stories. So my idea was to basically find a business and run it. And I was talking to a friend that was in the middle of running his own search fund, he was very close to making an acquisition. And, you know, he said to me, you know, just to be clear, I don't have a family business at my fingertips, I'm doing this search, because I want to run a business, I want to have some ownership piece in it. But you've got this business, that's basically, you know, around the corner from you at your fingertips, whatever you want to call, like, why aren't you thinking about that? My initial response was, oh, well, you know, my dad and his team have things really figured out there, they have a Lean management structure, that I don't think there's any place for me there. And he, you know, he kind of called BS on me. And he said, You know, I think you have to have a good conversation with your dad, because he only has a couple of options, you know, in the next 1015 years, he's either gonna sell the business, which might not be his first choice, but he may have no choice. Or he's, you know, may have to find somebody to run it for the foreseeable future and fit someone he can trust, then, you know, maybe that can work. And he can own it for a lot longer than if nobody was there. So I thought, okay. That's pretty interesting. And you never thought about it before that conversation? No, and I am a little embarrassed to say that because it probably sounds a little bit obnoxious to say, like, How was that possible, but it just, like, it just wasn't part of the conversation? I don't know what to tell you. I think, you know, my dad always was super supportive. And me figuring out my own path. There was never any pressure. I think, personally, he felt like, those were his two options, either you're gonna sell it one day, or he was gonna find some type of successor and either take part in it or have someone run it for him whatever it was, but yeah, he didn't stress too much about it, I suppose. And yeah, there was no, there was no pressure there. So that being said, I knew tons about Genumark. Like I had done several summer jobs at Genumark, I worked in the warehouse, I had done data entry for our programs when I was in high school, like, I definitely knew the business, at least the basics of it. And we would talk about business all the time, because we both took a liking to business professionally. But yeah, it was only when I got pushed by a friend that it really turned into something real. And the joke of the conversation was, he basically spewed out the same thing. Well, I got two options. I can either sell it in a few years, or I'd have to find someone young that I trust. And it's amazing.

Joelly Goodson :

So tell me about when you approached Mark about it. Mark is your dad, by the way for people who don't know.

Mitch Freed:

Yeah, so I mean, so that's what I'm saying. Like, after I'm meeting with my friend, I have such an open and honest relationship with my dad that I I just called him like I didn't, I didn't stew on it for weeks on end or get nervous. That day, I called him like, after that. Yeah, that's amazing. That lunch, because I just what was I going to do, I was then going to like, spend all this time potentially looking for a business, which could have been a year or two. Or I could just get to the point and see if this made sense. And if he thought it could work. And you know, lo and behold, kind of made sense. And it was a conversation where hmm, maybe we should really think about this and explore this because it could be it could really work for both of us. And that's really how it's felt since then.

Joelly Goodson :

That's amazing. So what would you say was his initial reaction? I mean, was he just so thrilled and touched by you calling him and asking him? I think you'd have to ask him, I don't I don't know. I'm sure he was.

Mitch Freed:

Maybe he probably just went into thought and he's a very methodical person is as you know, Julian, uh, he, he was open to it for sure. Yeah, and encouraging of it one way or the other, whether I decided, like, if I was gonna join or not, and then you know, he set it up as like an exploratory thing because when I first joined Genumark, I actually joined as a consultant. I didn't join with a specific role. I literally came in 2017. My initial plan was to talk to as many people as I could what I basically did for three months, without much of a mess. enddate To be honest, and then I officially joined in March, and I took on a strategic initiatives role, but it was always meant to be inviting and open ended. And that's what I'm saying. Like, even when I joined, he wasn't like, Okay, if you're coming to be committed, it wasn't like that, which I think it is like that for a lot of people. It was like, Okay, come dabble for a couple months, see if there's something here. And that's how we did it. And yeah, they kept the pressure off. And it allowed me to get excited about it on my own.

Joelly Goodson :

And when you decided you were going to do it, did you guys ever sit down and put together a formal succession plan as far as like how it was going to work?

Mitch Freed:

You know, we decided in 2019, at the end of 2019, that the beginning of 2022, which would basically mark my five years of the company, was a good time for me to step into the CEO role. So we only created like a timeline that was really just shared between the two of us in 2019. And then, in 2021, about mid 2021, we started talking about how it would work with the executive team. And then we planned for it and then made the announcement in January of 2022.

Joelly Goodson :

So talking about succession plans, you and I've talked about the show Succession, which is a huge success. And you said you're a big fan, right?

Mitch Freed:

I love Succession. Yeah.

Joelly Goodson :

What do you love about it? Why do you think it's so popular and so many people love it? I love it, too.

Mitch Freed:

Well, I mean, first of all, the characters in that show are outrageous, outrageous characters,

Joelly Goodson :

Right? You know it's losely based on Murdoch, right. Did you know that?

Mitch Freed:

Yes.

Joelly Goodson :

Then there's denial. But then there's some that say, there's a little bit of truth in it. Oh, no. It has to be a big family business. Big media conglomerate. Yeah. Also, you know, Rupert Murdoch is not originally American. He's, it's the same with oh, God, I'm forgetting the character's name. I think he comes from the UK or something in the show. But The dad is Logan.

Mitch Freed:

I think he's from Scotland and the show or write or

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah. And I was actually surprised. I was surprised because I had no idea. And I remember watching the show, and then I saw him interviewed. And he had this really thick accent. ,

Mitch Freed:

Oh, well, I think I think they used his real accent. And I think he sort of he definitely lessons it for the role. Yeah, you know, they definitely embrace the fact that he wasn't originally American. Like it's the same. It's a Rupert Murdoch story. Really, it's very similar. I love that show. I think it's I think so at the end of the day. Succession is a really interesting topic. There's so many interesting family dynamics at play. But I think the characters at the end of the day are just so crazy. And it makes it so entertaining, which I think is also why it's so like, in our family is the opposite. It's my dad, and there's two of us, it just so happens that the other one of us isn't even in the business anymore. So couldn't be more opposite. Like it's just so simple, and easy. And not like the conflicts are so nothing. And I mean, obviously, I mean, of course, it's off the wall. And it's crazy, and I love all the characters. But it's interesting, because I have three siblings. And even though it's more nothing like that. I do like the way they sort of take the piss out of each other, right? Like that only siblings can do, right, so you'll see them to act a certain way and that you're like, Yeah, I do that with my brother or my sister or whatever. Not as much. But I love that dynamic between the siblings. You know, some of it's ridiculous, but who's your favorite character? I love like the one that makes me laugh the most is Kieran Caulkins character. Well, yeah, totally. Oh, man, I think. Yeah. He killed him. He's my favorite character, hence.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, well, clearly. I wonder why do you think it's such a popular show? And then another one is, you know, another one dealing with succession plans is Yellowstone. I know you say you've never watched that. That I love Yellowstone.

Mitch Freed:

I hear. It's so good. It's next on? You know what, we just had our third child. So we're my wife and I are very behind on our shows. So well,

Joelly Goodson :

I recommend Yellowstone just because if you'd love Succession, you'll love it. It's great. It's really just Succession in Montana. Western version. And it's a lot of fun. So why do you think these shows about family succession plans are so popular?

Mitch Freed:

Oh, man, what a great question. I think it just makes for great characters, stories. And as an audience, you know, you love to see a good conflict unfold. And I don't know, maybe the family business setting is sort of like the perfect landscape for watching characters to act a certain way, but then be conniving behind the scenes. I mean, listen, you hear a lot of stories out there in the world of family businesses just completely imploding and the family's falling apart as well. And I guess it makes for interesting television.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah. And maybe some people connect to it on a certain level. Who knows, right? So continuing on that succession plan and what what experience you've been through for people out there who are listening, whether they're people like your dad who are looking to leave their business or retire and have their child takeover? What advice would you give to them? Based on your experience?

Mitch Freed:

Yeah, I mean, I would say that there are two options. The first is you can sell the business, if you don't have the right person in place, that's your son, daughter, whoever it is, maybe it's a niece or nephew, forcing, it would probably be a disaster. Listen, I have people like I, there's someone in particular that I think of that has said to me, oh, my gosh, family businesses are just a disaster, you know, don't don't even go there. It's like, Well, okay, that was your experience, there was potentially people at play that shouldn't have been in the professional seats that they shouldn't have been. And that's really how that story didn't go so well. But every story is a little bit different. And don't force it, I would say, because you got to be honest with yourself with the next of kin, if it's not meant to be, and if it's not going to be a good fit, it's going to be a way bigger disaster than that first option to potentially selling the business. So I think you got to really evaluate if that person is a good fit or not for succession. And what I would say is, if you're unsure about it, there are professionals out there that can help you with that decision. You can have I mean, you could also you could put in place your own board your own advisory board. There's also literally family business consultants that do this for a living and evaluate family dynamics and figure out what's the best for the family and the business. And they take both into account like getting professional help to make these decisions is a great idea. We haven't really gone down that path yet. So far, it's been pretty simple to be honest, to figure out the next steps. But listen, we may be in a position where we need to in the future. And I don't think we're afraid to get help if we need to. So I would say if there's hesitation about the successors, get help get another opinion, it's very easy to become biased and to be clouded in your ways. The idea ideal situation is that your son, daughter, niece, nephew, whoever takes over like, the pride in having that succeed is amazing. But oh boy, if it doesn't succeed, that could cause so many issues. So yeah, hence why the TV shows are so popular because of all the issues. Right? Exactly. It's great to watch. It's not great to have in your own life.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, exactly. Well, I think that's great advice. Thank you so much for sharing that. And you're doing an awesome job, by the way, so your dad would be very proud.

Mitch Freed:

Appreciate it.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, so I want to talk a little bit before we go, I want to talk a little bit about more about our business because, you know, we are in the branding business, right? I mean, ultimately, we help our clients create brand awareness with very cool swag and ideas and uniforms and all the rest of it. So what is your you know, I talk a lot when I leaders on here, we talk a lot about personal brand stories and how that's so important in a business. And so you know, you just shared your personal story, and how do you see the future genuine mark? And how are you going to instill your personal brand story into the future of the company? And where do you see the future of genuine are going? Because I mean, really, you're gonna this is going to be now your baby, right? Your dad's passing the baton on and saying, Here you go. And it's gonna transition. It's not gonna happen overnight, obviously, but I'm just curious to get your if you've even thought about it. Maybe you haven't even thought about it, which is totally fine.

Mitch Freed:

Well, listen, I'm competent to put my twist on it, if you will, for sure. Right? Something's been going really well, with a company that a new CEO comes in. How do you how do you maintain that going forward? Yeah, I think for me, I'm lucky. I happen to know the visionary of genuine Mark really, really well. And I would say if you're the CEO, coming into a place another CEO, and that's that company that you're now at the helm of was a really successful company and doing really good things like get to know that person that you're replacing if you can, I realized that not it doesn't always work that way. Because there may be awkward things someone's like go and then maybe you just you just can't but so the obvious thing and genuine Okay, he's my dad, I know him really well. I understand sort of how he built his company and what it's all about. But I think where we've also been very successful is in building and maintaining right sleeve, which is a company that our family had nothing to do with until 2019. We knew a lot about them. That was not a company that we just, that's just sort of came across are desperate like hmm, that'd be interesting if we bought rights. I mean, we knew right sleep really well. We were friends with the Grahams. We knew how they built that company why they built that company what was special about that company and let's be real, we're bigger company than right sleep was I'm sure a lot of people when they heard that Jenny Mark was buying rights sleep. They're like, Oh man, Jenny Marcus can eat right sleep up and it's gonna be like a classic corporate, you know, merger and they're gonna lose rights. He's gonna lose everything that makes him special. Like I'm tooting our own horn a little bit but I think that because we understood the rights the brands so well and knew the founders so well and still are friends and still can talk to them and still call them when we have any questions. We haven't lost it like we really haven't like I don't think that a rights leave call client has felt the difference at all in terms of losing that brand as they've continued to work with REITs live under the genuine umbrella. So for me, if you're going to maintain a brand, you got to know where it came from, you got to know the backstory, knowing the people behind it is so important. And then like I said, you can't always know those things. But if you can, you're going to be way more successful in maintaining it. And then in terms of infusing your personal brand story, I would say just, I'm unabashedly mean, like I'm not scared of being who I am, I'm I am confident in, in what I'm all about, I told the ridiculous, I mean, I talked about that, actually, you know, going into the next year, or two or three, I just hope that everyone's going to bring their own personal selves to work every day, the example I gave is, you're gonna walk by my office, if you're in Toronto, have this ridiculous stand up treadmill desk, because I like to get my 10,000 steps today, I don't care how silly I look. You know why I'm on the on my treadmill while I'm walking, while I'm talking. Like, I just don't care, it's who I am, I care about that. I care about health and wellness, I'm not trying to promote anything to anyone else, I'm just being me. And that's really how I plan on infusing myself because I'm just not going to be hiding it. And if, you know, if someone has to call a meeting at five o'clock, I'm going to tell them, I can't do it. Because I got to bathe my kids, that's what I do, I got to get home because bath time is at 6pm Doesn't really matter if it's a client, or if it's someone who's on my team, just gonna be me. And that's how I plan on infusing me throughout the company is not about changing the company. It's just that I hope that our team members will really know who I am. Because I'm not going to be holding much back.

Joelly Goodson :

No, I love that. I mean, you're basically maintaining the brand integrity of the business, but also infusing your own personal authenticity into it. So you're kind of bringing those two things together is how I hear what you just said.

Mitch Freed:

That's how I tried to answer it.

Joelly Goodson :

I have one more question I just thought of I want to ask you. So as a child coming in and working with your dad, were you, was there anything in particular that you learned about your dad that you didn't know, that might have surprised you ?

Mitch Freed:

From a business perspective, there wasn't a lot that I like, if anything, it was just a lot of reinforcing the good qualities that I've always that I've always seen in him, I think it was just reinforced in seeing him as a business leader, right? Like, I always knew that he was super supportive to me, and a really good listener. I think it's super cool that he's that way too, like at the company. I don't know,

Joelly Goodson :

So he's not necessarily different at home than he is at work. He says, that's, that's very different, right in their personal life and in their business like, and he's just the same.

Mitch Freed:

No, I find him like he's a good listener, and he can be assertive when he has an opinion. And he's kinda like that, at work and at home. Very similar. So I mean, maybe that's a surprise maybe that he wasn't so different in sort of both environments and both atmospheres. But there weren't any major surprises. Maybe that wasn't the answer you're looking for. That is the truth. No, that's great. I love that. I was just curious. I'm because you know, you sort of have the behind the curtain scene, right? You see him at home, and then you see him at the office. And, you know, because I always felt same thing. And I think you're the same way to is, and I'm like this, you know, what you see is what you get, and I'm the same whether I'm on my podcast, or you and I are having a meeting or whatever. Totally. Listen, and that goes to your question of brand integrity, like, look how it's worked for him, like he's the same person that at work and at home, and look what the company is turned into. So for me, if nothing else, it's just to reinforce that professional, we should be our authentic selves. Well, it just makes for a way better environment.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that. Well, that's a great way to end it. Because I totally agree with that. And no, I wasn't surprised that you said that. It was actually nice to hear so well. Thank you, Mitch. Holy cow. It's been it's gone by fast.

Mitch Freed:

And you think tons of fun. It's so great seeing you. In this way. Joelly. Like I remember you telling me. When did you start? The podcast was beginning

Joelly Goodson :

January 1 2021.

Mitch Freed:

Yeah, Iremember you telling me that you were thinking about doing this. It's incredible how consistent you've been with this. Like, I'm just so blown away by how much time and how professional you are. conducting these conversations and interviews. I think your podcast is amazing. And I'm not surprised that it was fun to talk to you. But But yes, the hour just flew by. So I'm super proud that you're representing yourself in this way. And it's looks so good for our company, as well. So thank you for putting in all the effort to talk about a win win. So it's great.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, I really appreciate you saying that. I love it. It's fun, and I get to meet amazing people. And so it's yeah, it's a win win, I think for everybody. So if people want to learn more about Mitch Freed, where can they find you? Are you on social media? What's the best way?

Mitch Freed:

I think to like LinkedIn is where I'm the most active. I guess I'm everywhere. But Twitter. I'm just scrolling. I'm not posting much. Facebook. Oh gosh, I've been on Facebook a long time. I'm the most active on LinkedIn by far.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, and then if they want to find you, they can just go to genumark.com. It's all there. by my picture, you can find my LinkedIn. You can find my my phone number, you can find my email address. Don't show up at his house. He's busy. He's got three kids.

Mitch Freed:

There you go. Exactly. But no, I'm around so people can find me for sure.

Joelly Goodson :

Awesome. Okay, well, thank you so much. It was really nice talking to you and learning all this backstory and everything else. And hopefully we'll see each other in person soon.

Mitch Freed:

Absolutely. Thanks. Joelly.Thanks for including me in yuor podcast.

Joelly Goodson :

And there you have it. Thank you so much for tuning in. I really appreciate your support. And I hope you enjoyed the conversation and maybe learned a few things to help you with your branding. This show is a work in progress. So please remember to rate and review on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. And if you want help getting your audience to fall in love with your brand, please feel free to send me a private message on LinkedIn or Instagram under you guessed it, Branding Badass, I promise you I reply to all my messages. Branding Matters was produced, edited and hosted by Joelly. Goodson - also me. So thanks again. And until next time, here's to all you badasses out there.