A conversation with Tre Gammage about his experience in the program.
Alzay Calhoun: Well everybody I'm here with Tre Gammage and Trey runs a business. So Tre, please tell us about your business, what you do, what you focus on, what you specialize in.
Tre Gammage: Yes, indeed. I run Gammage Enterprise, which is actually a rendition of my grandfather's company which was all about service. He said, "Don't ask me what I do, tell me what you need and I'll make it happen." So it started from there, but I try to much more focused than that. And I work with students, I work with middle school students and supporting teachers and administrations to keep kids in class, so in short I work with principals to help keep kids in class. I want them to say, "Stop, Don't, and do your work." Less.
Alzay Calhoun: Yeah, yeah. All right. So you have finished the program, you have survived the program. Tell us about, tell me about what you enjoyed most about the program.
Tre Gammage: Yeah, I think the accountability. You know, I'm a young business owner, I started Gammage Enterprise in 2017. And I've done a lot of different things to work on my business and grow and develop my business. But at the same time, one of my coaches used to say, "You don't know what you don't know." So every week you know, being knowing that I had a call with you and with whoever else was in the course, made me feel accountable to do the work and do the right things and watch that process work. So that was great. And let me see, oh the personal feedback. You know, aside from having the one on one Thursday call, the fact that you responded to the course work that I did and gave me personal feedback on that you know, in an online video. So that was great, like that was so valuable to me. I really value that kind of critical feedback. And there was times that you really pushed on that. Like it's not just, "Hey, you know, that's cute. But let's do that." And you're really giving real feedback.
Tre Gammage: Asking, not just telling me and answering, but asking me to justify why this is what I'm saying.
Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Tre Gammage: And that's important. So those would be the two biggest things. I've got some notes too that I enjoyed about the program.
Alzay Calhoun: Okay.
Tre Gammage: The personal feedback and the coaching calls.
Alzay Calhoun: Do you have, you said you have notes, do you have more notes about that? Because if you do, I'm listening.
Tre Gammage: For ... no. That's about it on this. That's the gist of it. That personal feedback really was helpful and spot on. And the accountability. Those two factors are great for someone like myself, who's doing okay, but wants to systemize. I want to be able to own my business, not have to run it.
Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Tre Gammage: So those two things are helpful.
Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So let me ask you about that. When you joined this program, were you looking for accountability and feedback? If you're honest, x number of weeks ago when you joined the program, was that front of mind for you?
Tre Gammage: No, not at all. Not at all. I didn't think about it one bit. But once I, when I got into the course from like module one, you're like, "Hey Tre, you're in, it's time to go." Like here's your welcome video, I'm going to unlock these modules at a time. So it's not even, you know, I've been through a lot of courses. And you know, they let you pick, "Hey, start where you want to start." But no, start right here. Because I'm going to give you feedback on every step. Before you move forward, I'm going to check for understanding and make sure you know what just took place right now. Because that happens on the modules, whether it's the video sequence, and I watch one video and I have a question. And you already laid it out, you laid the expectation. Don't get stuck in paralysis, just keep moving. The next video answered my question. You know?
Tre Gammage: And if that wasn't the case when we got on the call and you asked what's the most important thing, I got that question answered. If that didn't happen, when I turned in my homework I got the feedback on it and got my answers. So there was so many levels of support and accountability at each step. I didn't have an excuse not to provide quality premium work with whatever I presented to you.
Alzay Calhoun: You know, I ask that question because most people, when they begin this program, are not looking for accountability nor feedback. You know, we all get you know, we all have our different versions of this problem, we all get here different ways, and we all kind of want what we want, right then at the moment.
Tre Gammage: Yeah.
Alzay Calhoun: And I think you're going to get us here in just a moment, but the accountability and the feedback is what allows for the stuff that you want. It's what allows for the other things to happen. But you know, no sales pitch, let's keep going. So let's flip that. What did you enjoy least about the program?
Tre Gammage: I'd say the only thing that I can really nit pick, and this isn't really a big problem, but I thought that the course platform wasn't the prettiest or most elegant you know. And it was a simple, bare bones structure. And I think that was intentional, but you know, I've seen different fancy courses with the fun log ins and you've got all your different module things set up. And it's fun to look at. I think on the other browser, I can see everything fine. But it's like you know, that's what I liked the least about it. The online platform could be cuter.
Alzay Calhoun: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I got it. I got it.
Tre Gammage: But it did what it's supposed to do. Like I'm not distracted, I don't need anything else. Like there's no progress file. Like, I'm good.
Alzay Calhoun: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I appreciate that. I appreciate that. So what was, as you reflect on the complete experience, what was the number one thing that you took away from your time in the program?
Tre Gammage: I think it's how to look at my business as more than just myself. Even though I'm still doing all the work, right now I'm going through my LinkedIn process and I'm doing everything I need to do. It doesn't feel like I'm doing as much, because I have systems in place. I know who I'm attracting and I know what they need, or what I have to offer them. And when they're attracted to that, I know what I'm going to provide them, and I understand how I'm going to keep them as a client and I'm going to continue to add value to them. And it's in simple steps. It's in a simple document that I can [inaudible 00:06:40] out to anybody that's working with me.
Tre Gammage: And it doesn't take a lot of time, you know? So I can refer to it when I get lost, when I get stuck. I have you know, in school you have a student handbook or school handbook. I have a business handbook, whatever that's called. Operations Manual. Now I have something I can turn to that's tangible, say, "Hey, here's my best practices." And I feel like I have best practices now. And want to continue to do that and keep them simple.
Alzay Calhoun: So you've gone as far as you can inside the program, inside the finite time that you have inside the program. But we all have more work to do, so in your situation, what do you have left to do? What's the next thing for you?
Tre Gammage: Next for me is keep on working. You know? I've been doing the LinkedIn process for about two weeks. I've got 40 leads, a couple different kind of responses, trying to get them set up on podcast interviews and have those conversations. So I haven't had too many conversations. But we're also right here on the holiday time, so I understand that it might take a bit more time to set those up, and it'll be down the road a little bit.
Tre Gammage: But then see what adjustments I need to make in terms of how I'm approaching people or what I'm sending to them to connect, details on that. But number two is getting my podcast in order, which I already had one for two years, but rebranding that and just focusing it on education and what my service is, and embedding that in my process. So you know, you mentioned something that's feedback the other day about there should be no question as to what time this interview is, how long it's going to take, what questions I have. And that's something I know, but need to format that in the right process. So it's just as repeatable as acquiring the time. And three, it solves the school's problem.
Tre Gammage: I just had one conversation that, you know, with a school that has a problem I can solve and they're bringing me on to do that.
Alzay Calhoun: So I want to introduce something, and I want to see what happens here. This could go really well, or it can go really poorly, because you don't know if this is coming. So let me, I want to ask you about, because you mentioned podcast more than once. And podcasting is not part of the program, it's not part of how the program is laid out. So you already had a podcast already, but you found a way to make the podcast make sense inside of what you're doing. As you productized, you found podcasting can work inside. Explain that, as it relates to your situation, explain how in the world a podcast makes sense inside of your productized thinking.
Tre Gammage: Yeah, that's a good question. That's probably one that's good for me to articulate myself. Because so before, and I mentioned, I'm doing the same thing but not doing as much. Before, my podcast was a business or a service so to speak, speaking was a business or a service, and my consulting was a business or service. So I was trying to run three different businesses. From the book, the one thing from watching videos from you is like, "Look, focus on doing one thing well." And I've always heard that, but it's like, "Man, I can only do one thing." And that's what this course made me do as well, is only focus on one thing.
Tre Gammage: So I haven't done a podcast episode or speaking engagements in a couple months because I'm focused on this. But through the process, I'm just like, "Oh wow, I'm trying to have conversations, that's the same thing I've been wanting to podcast." I need to provide content, I don't like to write. I can do it, but I like to talk. That's much easier for me, that's a skill that I'm versed in. So that goes well, and I think people enjoy me better when they can see me. I'm [inaudible 00:10:46] conversation versus writing. So it fits, when I'm contacting people and I'm seeing if I have a problem they can solve I'm also trying to have a conversation with them. And that's what the podcast does. And that's an opportunity to put them under good light, add value, and it's also an opportunity for me to create content and chop it up and use some quotes or transcripts, whatever the case.
Tre Gammage: So it's two fold, it doesn't add anything, and I get to 75 podcast episodes, so.
Alzay Calhoun: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). So I'm going to recap that very briefly, because you know, here's what I heard on my end as a business coach, and how it relates to folks who could be watching this. Number one, podcasting was a side project. It was something else you were doing, and you just said that, but podcasting was a side project. And that's what I heard. You were telling me about it, and I was like, "That's a side project." So this whole idea is to blend your efforts. So you've got ideas here, you've got effort here, you've got things here, you've got things there. All these different assets.
Alzay Calhoun: So that the challenge becomes, the magic becomes, how do we blend these efforts, right? Some things might need to go away, maybe. Or maybe they fit inside what we're doing here. So when you focused your efforts. And once you got focused, and we realized that conversations are valuable, you should be talking to more people, right, anyway? You happened to have a platform that enabled more conversations. Well, there we go. It just, it fits right inside the mix. So you, kudos to you Tre, because you allowed that change to happen. You could have been hard headed about it.
Alzay Calhoun: No, I love my podcast as it is. No, I want to do this as it is. But you allowed for these things to come together. And in doing so, it becomes not only easier for you, but easier for those you talk to, to engage with you. It's better for both sides. So kudos to you for allowing that shift to happen, because you could have fought it. You could have fought it and kept all your side projects. Right? So.
Tre Gammage: Yeah.
Alzay Calhoun: Good deal, good deal. Now I think there was something else I wanted to bring up. Oh. So Tre, if somebody was, is watching this interview, they are thinking about joining the program themselves, what would you tell them?
Tre Gammage: Get ready for your business to make sense.
Alzay Calhoun: What's that mean, Tre? What's that mean?
Tre Gammage: Again, you don't know what you don't know. As a new business owner, or as NLC, you know some of this, a tenured business owner. There's some things in your business that you don't even know that you don't know, and that's a problem. So, and you don't know what you need. Like I didn't realize that I was running three businesses and needed to run one. But going through the program, I had the accountability and the assets I guess to really make sense of my business and have a justified reason for that. So I feel much better walking away, about what I'm providing to people. What I'm saying, what my reputation is going to ultimately be. Because I understand what I have to offer.
Alzay Calhoun: When you say make your business make sense, and you talked about some of the accountability, et cetera, feedback. Was that comfortable for you? Was that change comfortable for you?
Tre Gammage: No. No. I don't think it was. In a way it was and in a way it wasn't. I mean, I'm used to, change is supposed to be uncomfortable. So that's why I say yes. Like it was hard to do some of those things and think about my business in a different way, but like the way it was done was not uncomfortable. What was comfortable was knowing that I understand where I'm going, what was uncomfortable is to change my mind and look at it from a different way. So it's a little bit of both. But that's a challenge that I was accustomed to as an athlete.
Tre Gammage: And just, if you take a step with your left foot instead of your right, you're getting called all kinds of other names. So this is.
Alzay Calhoun: Right. Right.
Tre Gammage: This is a little different, but in that same. But I know that my coach was coaching me for something. I was doing something wrong and I had to get it right, and he was going to help me.
Alzay Calhoun: Yeah.
Tre Gammage: So same thing, same thing here I guess you could say. But now I don't get called names and stuff.
Alzay Calhoun: Right, right. We don't do name calling. But yeah, I wanted to highlight that. I realize that you come to the program seeing your business a certain way, and this program asks you to see it differently. And that shift, it sounds really smart in a video, but that shift in reality is uncomfortable.
Tre Gammage: Yeah, it's not fun.
Alzay Calhoun: It just, it just isn't. It's the nature of the beast. It just isn't. But if you can withstand the discomfort, if you can kind of hang on long enough to get that pivot, to get that shift, what you find on the other end is a whole lot more peace.
Tre Gammage: Yeah.
Alzay Calhoun: And I'm into the peace. I'm very much into seeing this better. It being better, offering more value, and just being good about it. The kind of, the whole kind of personal piece of it. So solid, solid. Tre, is there anything I forgot to ask? Is there anything, any feedback for me, any feedback for the program?
Tre Gammage: I think people have to be, you've got to be ready to take this step. You've got to be in a place where you're really, I call it getting unstuck. And that's one of the things I like to talk about, is like, I'm in level two and I'm trying to shift to level three, but it's the same hump that I just can't seem to get over. You've got to be comfortable with realizing that hey, I can't do it on my own and I need help to do that. So you have to be comfortable enough to humble yourself or understand that hey, I've tried this, and I've tried this a couple different ways and it's not working.
Tre Gammage: You know? And I've done my research and I feel comfortable investing and also committing to making a change to get over this hump. Because it's never been hard before, and it's going to be difficult this time as well, but you've got help. You're not going blind. You're going with help and you can see.
Alzay Calhoun: Thank you Tre. Solid, solid last words. Thank you again for your time. Thank you for your effort and your diligence inside the program. Your business is better as a result. I think your clients will also appreciate the improvement. So good luck to you sir, in the future.
Tre Gammage: Thank you very much.