The Uncommonwealth Podcast – Matt Simpson

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Here is the transcript from our latest podcast with Matt Simpson.

 

Jason Heflin:

Hi everybody, welcome to the podcast. This is Jason Heflin with CrowdSouth Marketing. Today we have Matt Simpson on the podcast. He is a local bank president. He also owns some real estate and just has some really good advice. We have Chuck Gregory on here with me who’s Director of Operations here at CrowdSouth, as well as Rachel Kirby, an account rep.

 

Rachel Kirby:

We talked to Matt about financing your business, talking to your kids about money, mentorship, and 90s hip hop.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s a fun one, so let’s get started.

 

Jason Heflin:

Hi everybody, welcome to the podcast. We’ve got Matt Simpson here with us today, Chuck Gregory, we got Rachel Kirby, and myself Jason Heflin. So, Matt welcome to the podcast. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Matt Simpson:

Hey, thanks. My name is Matt Simpson, obviously, and I’m a local banker here in Bowling Green, and been here for… It’s, I don’t know, 12 years? We lived in Nashville for about 6. I was a banker there and been back here about 12 years now. I have a family here, wife, two kids, and really enjoy Bowling Green.

 

Jason Heflin:

What brought you back from Nashville?

 

Matt Simpson:

Without banking, it was really kind of cost of living in Nashville. It’s even worse now, but-

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh, gosh, yeah.

 

Matt Simpson:

… 12 years ago, our oldest was two years old, and down there it’s a lot of private schools, and cost of living is pretty high, so we decided to kind of make that move back here. Be a little closer to family and just mainly for the cost, but we like Bowling Green. Bowling Green’s a great town, it’s got a lot of small-town feel still to it.


Jason Heflin:

And you grew up here?

 

Matt Simpson:

Pretty much, yeah. I was in fourth grade when we moved here, so Bowling Green’s… I went to high school here.

 

Jason Heflin:

And you moved from where?

 

Matt Simpson:

We lived in Ashland, Kentucky. My dad was a long-time basketball coach in the state of Kentucky, and we moved a few times when I was younger for his jobs.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay. Cool. Tell us a little bit about your education and then how that got you into where you are today, which is president of a bank.

 

Matt Simpson:

Okay, so I was probably your stereotypical young male. I was pretty mischievous, wasn’t overly studious. Even though my parents were teachers I was kind of a late developer, a late bloomer, so I really struggled a lot early in school. Looking back now was really frustrated with a lot of things and didn’t really know why I struggled or what those things were, but I kind of into high school, I was kind of the same way. I played sports, but I really wasn’t just ready for the academic side. I graduated into high school and went to Transylvania University, which is in Lexington.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s also where vampires live, right?

 

Matt Simpson:

That’s exactly right.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Matt Simpson:

There’s actually a dead body that’s entombed in the basement of the university.

 

Rachel Kirby:

On purpose?

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah. It was an old president from the… I think it was maybe the 50s? 40s? They entombed him in the basement, and once a year the fraternities and sororities go down there and they spend the night with the body. So that’s-

 

Jason Heflin:

You guys can’t-

 

Chuck Gregory:

Is he like Lennon in the glass coffin where they can see?

 

Matt Simpson:

So there’s that. I mean that’s-

 

Jason Heflin:

Is it exposed, or…?

 

Matt Simpson:

No, it’s entombed in a room, so-

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay.

 

Matt Simpson:

… It’s not where you can cuddle up with it or anything like that.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay. All right, well, good to know. Note to self-

 

Matt Simpson:

So if you’re ever up there at Transy then you can-

 

Rachel Kirby:

Did you do it? Did you stay the night?

 

Matt Simpson:

I did not. I was too chicken to do that. But Transylvania’s a good school. It’s a liberal arts school. My first time away from home, it was a learning experience. Some things were done well, some things not so well, but graduated there and kind of got into banking kind of by accident. My spouse kind of asked me if I wanted to try it out, and I did when we were in Nashville. I got my MBA when I was down there at Lipscomb University, so I ended up… I guess the moral of the story would be, is don’t give up. There’s some reward in consistency and kind of hanging in there and allowing yourself to mature a little bit as a person. Once I was in the workforce I could apply what was being taught in school. So I struggled with the application part, and once I had a job I could relate what was going on at the bank with your accounting classes, or your management classes, or marketing classes. But it just took me little bit longer to apply that. So, anyway…

 

Jason Heflin:

So were there other jobs you had along the way before you worked at a bank?

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah. My first job out of college was with a company called Lucent Technologies, which was at one time the most widely held stock in the world, and it went bankrupt. They lost more money than WorldCom lost, and if you remember WorldCom and… I can’t think of that other company. What was that other company called that lost all that money in the Dot Com Era? I can’t think of what it’s called.

 

Jason Heflin:

Napster?

 

Chuck Gregory:

That’s Dot Com.

 

Jason Heflin:

MySpace?

 

Matt Simpson:

But-

 

Jason Heflin:

We could go all day.

 

Matt Simpson:

… Yeah, but, I worked for them for about three years, and then I kind of got into banking, and that’s kind of where I’ve been the last 17 years, I guess.

 

Jason Heflin:

What do you like about it? What do you love about it? What’s keeping you there?

 

Matt Simpson:

Probably, this is going to sound really corny, but probably people like you, Jason.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Aw.

 

Jason Heflin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), definitely.

 

Matt Simpson:

Love you, buddy.

 

Jason Heflin:

Extra [crosstalk 00:05:41].

 

Matt Simpson:

No, the customer interaction. I think that when you’re with small business people, and you can kind of grow your career with them and work together to kind of create a partnership between the bank and the customer, I think it’s really fun and makes it exciting. I love to see people succeed. Like a lot of jobs you got some paperwork and other things that are not quite as glorious, but just the customer interaction and seeing people succeed is probably the funnest part.

 

Jason Heflin:

So in a sense you’re sort of a consultant somewhat early on?

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely.

 

Jason Heflin:

… To some of these businesses?

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely, absolutely. You’ve got people that will come in from, say, the first time and they’re going to say, “Hey, how do I buy this rental property,” or, “How do I get a loan to start my own business?” Well, I may not always be able to loan you the money, but I can give you the advice that you’ll need to… Okay, here’s what you need to be thinking about. Here’s a business plan you need to put together. You may need to get a partner. You may need to get somebody to sign with you to do this thing. Here’s maybe something that you’re not thinking about that maybe I’ve run across with another client that I can pass on that information to them.

 

Jason Heflin:

What is the number one mistake you see these new entrepreneurs making as they walk in your door? “Hey, I’m thinking about doing this, can I borrow a gazillion dollars?” And you go, “Well, hold up, let’s think about this.” And then you help them through. Is there a big blaring mistake you see people make?

 

Matt Simpson:

Probably not anything too glaring. I’d say the number one thing is people just don’t do enough research. They don’t spend enough time. Some of them, the most successful business people, men and women, that I’ve seen are the ones that will sit down and just… If they want to do something they will research it to death, and they’ll be prepared. So, I don’t mind helping clients do that. First time most people don’t know, but with the invention of the internet there’s so much information out there that if you say, “Hey, I want to start a T-shirt company.” Well, you can get online and study how other companies have done that in startup. So the information is there, all you got to really do is kind of go out and grab it, and then when you talk to someone like me that can kind of help you through the process of how do you present yourself when you go for financing. Here’s what a financial institution is going to look for. This is what you expect the cash flow to be. Here’s what the numbers might look like. Then you start to form this kind of a plan on what that’s going to look like.

 

Rachel Kirby:

When people come and they need to do researches, are you pointing them to a specific websites, or companies? Where would they go? Where’s the best place for them to go to find this information?

 

Matt Simpson:

Well, honestly what I do is I take information and try to gather it. So, for example, if I had a client that, say had a name like CrowdSouth, and someone was asking me about marketing, what I would try to do is go, “Okay, I’ve got a client, that’s their expertise,” and I would try to line them up with that. If it was web design, or whatever the topic is what I would try to use the resources and relationships that I have to, If I can’t answer it, put them in a position with someone that can get them that information, and say, “Hey, this is something you might want to think about, and might want to tackle.”

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, and you mentioned before we started the podcast, you mentioned youth sports and how you participate in that. You’re a mentor and a consultant somewhat on the business side for some of your banking clients, but at the same time you’re also doing that outside of work. So, is there a tie there? Do you think you just are a natural coach, you want to help people? I mean you come from coaches and teachers-

 

Matt Simpson:

Right.

 

Jason Heflin:

… And here you are coaching and teaching.

 

Matt Simpson:

I think some of it comes from… I’m not a great teacher, probably not a great coach either, but I think some of that comes from the desire from when I was younger of not having a mentorship, and I would like to try to give that back to some kids, my own kids and other kids that are out there. Mentorship is very important whether you’re talking about sports or your spiritual life, or your professional life, or whatever it may be. There seems to be a lack of mentorship, and really, to be honest, we live in such a “me” society now, really social media, really drives that individuality and your desire to be heard. Well, what it’s done also is it’s taking away some of the desire for an older person with more experience to lead or mentor someone younger. So you’re always looking inward and you’re not looking outward enough, and that’s going to affect the younger generation because they need that. And, well, where I’m going with that is that I didn’t have a lot of that, so I feel like I want to give that back if I can, and again, it may not always be the best coaching or the best mentor, but I try to help kids when I can, and I enjoy it.

 

Rachel Kirby:

How do you find the kids? Is it through a program? Networking?

 

Matt Simpson:

No, it’s really through just my kids play, and so I’ll coach those teams and… Basketball, baseball, and coached soccer before, and so it’s really crazy, because I’ve got a lot of friends now that I didn’t know 10 years ago that I would not have had if I had not coached youth sports. Meeting the parents and the kids I’ve developed a ton of relationships, business-wise as well, that youth sports brings, but there are issues with youth sports, and there’s a lot of people doing it for the wrong reasons. But, that’s typically how I’ve gotten in with those type people is just through my own kids and their involvement.

 

Jason Heflin:

Which leads me to those parents that take it a little too seriously. Do you have anything that’s ever happened, or a parent that did anything that you were like, “Wow?” I was at a soccer game not long ago watching one of my friends’ son play, and this parent was not happy with a call, so he ran out onto the field screaming and yelling. Other parents had to get involved, it got a little physical, everybody got nervous, it was weird, and he was yelling at this teenage female ref who was just there volunteering for [crosstalk 00:12:26].

 

Matt Simpson:

Doing the best they can.

 

Rachel Kirby:

How old were the kids playing?

 

Jason Heflin:

What’s that?

 

Rachel Kirby:

How old were the kids playing?

 

Jason Heflin:

They were probably eight or nine.

 

Rachel Kirby:

And they got… Yeah, that’s crazy.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, yeah, anyway, he was sort of dragged away, and I don’t know if you’ve ever run into that, but that’s the kind of thing where I think you’re speaking to it a little bit. People need the right… They don’t just need a mentor, they need the right one.

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely. Yeah, it happens. It’s happened this year in basketball. I’ve seen it happen in baseball, and it’s sad, it really is, because you’re supposed to be an adult, and I know that we’re not perfect, I’ve certainly screwed up before as well. But the one thing that I think that we talked about with social media has ushered in is this kind of inward looking, “Hey, I’m worried about me and myself and what I can get and what I can gather.” Well, it’s at the expense of everybody else, including children. So, we all need accountability, every one of us. And it doesn’t matter, again, if it’s faith, work, whatever you’re doing, we all need accountability, and if you don’t have accountability in place in the area of youth sports, in the leadership of a league or whatever it is, then you’re going to struggle, because when you have an issue, you got to be able to stand up and go, “Hey, this is not how we’re going to do things.” If there’s a parent that’s acting up, and you’re the coach, you have an obligation to tell the parents that this is not how we’re going to behave. If we can’t behave properly, then we’re not going to play at all.

 

Jason Heflin:

Setting an expectation up early.

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely, you have to.

 

Jason Heflin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Matt Simpson:

Yep.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, and my friend, who was the parent in that situation that I described, I said, “So, how did you handle it afterwards? I left after the game, but how did you…?” He said, “It was a great teaching opportunity.” He said, “We kind of bonded over it in the car on the way home, and we said, ‘Well, what do you think about that?'” And his son said, “That was crazy, that’s not the way you’re supposed to act.” He said, “That’s right, absolutely.”

 

Rachel Kirby:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jason Heflin:

He said, “But, you never know what’s going on in other people’s lives-“

 

Matt Simpson:

That’s right.

 

Jason Heflin:

… “And so, remember that. He may have a lot going on.” So he said, “I turned it into a teaching opportunity.” He said, “I don’t know if I did it right, but I did the best I could.”

 

Matt Simpson:

I’ll tell you a funny story. My youngest son’s nine, and we were playing basketball. It was a bad situation. We had a coach from our team that was just stirring things and making things bad, and the fans were kind of getting into it like what you were talking about-

 

Jason Heflin:

Mob mentality kind of.

 

Matt Simpson:

… Really it disrupts the game, and you’re there for the children. We’re not there for you, we’re not there for me. It’s not about me or the parents. So my nine year old was clearly just kind of disturbed, because he really hadn’t been around anything like that, and he was pretty quiet on the way home. We got home, he shut the door, and he goes, “Dad?” And I said, “Yeah, buddy?” He said, “Thank God I’m raised in a Christian household.” It was cute, but the point is-

 

Rachel Kirby:

It was sincere.

 

Matt Simpson:

… Well, they know. They’re not stupid. They know that this is not right, this is-

 

Jason Heflin:

We don’t give them as much credit as they probably deserve sometimes.

 

Matt Simpson:

… Yeah. I mean it’s dysfunctional behavior.

 

Jason Heflin:

Although they can be little jerks sometimes, but yeah.

 

Matt Simpson:

But I think people take coaching lightly. It’s not just coaching, it’s-

 

Jason Heflin:

They’re watching you. They’re watching everything you do.

 

Matt Simpson:

They’re not listening to you, they’re watching you.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yep. Man, deep.

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah, we got real deep.

 

Jason Heflin:

Deep thoughts. So, is there anything you wish you had known starting out your career, don’t go all the way back when we were young and silly, but is there anything when you started in banking, let’s say, that you wish you could go back and tell your younger banker self, “Hey, man, this is what’s important?” Is there anything like that that you have in the back of your head that you wish you would have known?

 

Matt Simpson:

Maybe, banking is not a get rich quick profession. It’s a long term get into it, you grind it out… I guess maybe just a little more patience maybe. I think I’m starting to sound like my parents now, but I think it happens every generation. Every generation wants to be wealthy quicker. They want to have more quicker, but a lot of people don’t want to put in the time and the effort for what it takes to do those things. TV, internet, social media doesn’t help, because you don’t see things posted that are terrible.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Matt Simpson:

You don’t see someone on there going, “Hey, here’s my beat up car. That’s pretty cool, huh?”

 

Jason Heflin:

Right.

 

Matt Simpson:

You see somebody with a sports car, or whatever, and visually you want those things, but you don’t have any clue what it takes to obtain those things. We’ve got a generation of people that really don’t want to put in the work to reap the rewards.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, yeah. It is a challenge, and being a parent, you have to say, “Okay well, I need to change that with my kid.”

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah, you get that figured out, let me know, because parenting’s a whole nother podcast, I think.

 

Jason Heflin:

How do we spin that off into different things? Yeah, yeah, no, I completely agree with all that. So if you could, not something you could tell yourself, but is there anything you would change, or would you just keep it? You like the path that unfolded for you?

 

Matt Simpson:

I do. I think I’ve kind of branched off a little bit into a little bit of real estate on the side of being a banker, and I’ve really kind of enjoyed that.

 

Jason Heflin:

Was that a hobby initially, or did you do it… Did you stumble into it? How did that happen? How did your first rental property happen?

 

Matt Simpson:

Well, I think lending money to a lot of people that did real estate, I think that kind of piqued my interest, but I think also too was, as you all know, business, especially small business now, there’s not a lot of jobs with pensions anymore-

 

Jason Heflin:

Right.

 

Matt Simpson:

… So, the banking industry doesn’t have a lot of pensions, and I could see down the road that, “Okay, if I’m going to have something to live on when I get older, what’s that going to be? What’s that going to look like?” You all know it’s very difficult to just save enough money to retire on just out of your check… It’s important, you need to set up retirement accounts and do those kinds of things, but you also are going to need something else, probably long term, and if you start early enough it can be real estate. So I just kind of started off small. I tell all the clients the same thing, which, in full disclosure as a banker I lend to a lot of people in real estate, so I try not to have any conflicts of interest. If there’s a piece of property out there that me and a client like, then I’ll back away and let the client take that. I try not to get in the way of people who are actually doing that for their main source of income for a living.

 

Matt Simpson:

But, I started small. I got some advice from some veteran guys who had done it a long time that said, “Look, start small, there’s no reason to go buy a million dollar property right off the bat, because one, you don’t know if you like it. Two, you don’t know whether you want to manage it or not, if you’re going to like that aspect of it. Or three, what if it doesn’t go well? It’s going to be tougher to absorb a million dollar hit as opposed to a small $60,000 rental home.” So, just starting small.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, one thing we talked about early on was Chad and I, as business owners, wanted to buy some property, and one of the first, I think, pieces of advice you gave us, or we at least talked about it, and you steered us, is you said it’s great to be owner occupied in a rental property. So, like in the instance of the building that we’re in now, Chad and I bought this building because we could occupy it. We knew the tenant. You want a good anchor tenant. Well, what’s a better anchor tenant than yourself, if you believe in what you do?

 

Matt Simpson:

Yep. Yeah, and two, you can also structure it where as the owner you’re actually paying yourself rent, so your business entity is paying your real estate entity rent. So there’s benefits to that in other ways. From the tax side you’ve got interest and depreciation that you can write off on your taxes, and there’s a whole… Consult your accountant about that, but-

 

Jason Heflin:

I like the caveat. I was waiting for that.

 

Matt Simpson:

… But there’s some benefits of being owner occupied, definitely.

 

Jason Heflin:

Is that something you recommend to business owners a lot? Are there instances where you say, “That’s probably not for you?”

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah, the funny thing is that the world’s changing pretty quickly, so office space in general is kind of hit and miss, I think. It depends on kind of what your business is, what you need it for. Retail is changing quite a bit, so you may not need a huge space to be functional. I would say if you’re going to start off, find something small. There’s plenty of office space out there, I think there’s some in this building we’re sitting in, where you can rent a small space and start, where you don’t need 3,000 square feet.

 

Jason Heflin:

You can do a little test run.

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah, and you don’t want to get tied into a long term lease that’s going to financial bind your company from the beginning, so man, look, I encourage people to do it like they did in the old days. You had people come up with a product, a lot of times they’d sell it out of their quote, unquote, trunk of their car. Well, your small office space can be your trunk of your car until you can get things up and established.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Do you specialize in a particular kind of real estate? Commercial…?

 

Matt Simpson:

Most of mine is residential. Duplexes, single-family homes. Commercial is another animal. I think you’re starting to get into more money, bigger type deals, which in commercial, the key is to… You just got to have these tenants. Residential you’re typically going to have more pull of a potential renter or client base than you will in commercial. In theory, if you’re going to buy in commercial, you really kind of need to have your tenant set up before you buy. It’s hard to speculate on commercial real estate.

 

Chuck Gregory:

How difficult is it to find what would be a viable rental property, because my perception’s always been that realtors have their fingers on the pulse of, if they’re also buying real estate, that they probably get first round, and then their friends. So, I always figured just someone who’s looking and trying to figure it out, you’re looking at third round draft picks at best. Stuff that doesn’t have enough margin to interest them.

 

Matt Simpson:

The answer is yes, and no. Being at the bank I hear about a lot of properties and stuff first too, that’s kind of why I kind of put that part out about trying not to compete with my clients. But I wouldn’t let that stop you because not everybody can buy everything all the time. When it comes to realtors there are… Again, that’s probably another podcast, but I would much rather have someone who’s extremely hungry than someone who’s just going to send me listings all the time. I want to see the listings too, but it may not be something that’s listed, you may be driving by and go, “Hey, man, I like that property. Let’s see if it’s for sale.” And you may find somebody to go, “Okay, I’ll knock on their door, or I’ll send them a letter.” A lot of deals are found that way.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Okay.

 

Matt Simpson:

Sometimes when it’s listed it’s hard to find a deal and make a good margin on it, but it can be done, you just got to-

 

Jason Heflin:

And where we are-

 

Matt Simpson:

… Cast a wide net, I think.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Do the leg work, right?

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah. Absolutely.

 

Jason Heflin:

And where we are, it’s a seller’s market right now-

 

Matt Simpson:

I think so.

 

Jason Heflin:

… And that’s tough, because it’s hard to find a quote, unquote deal. You’re in this real estate part of your life with some family members, right? As partners?

 

Matt Simpson:

Yes.

 

Jason Heflin:

How’s that? You have a good situation… Do you run into that a lot when you loan money? Family members going in on these things together?

 

Matt Simpson:

Not a lot because it’s a challenge. I think any partnership, whether it’s family or somebody else, you’ve got to make sure that it’s… I would advise anyone, young, old, indifferent that you’ve got to have the legal documents drawn up properly for your partnership. It’s not anything personal, it’s just business. You’ve got to make sure… I’ll give you an example. If me and you were in business together, and say one of us passes away, well, you may not want to be in business with my spouse, and vice versa. You don’t know the spouse, that’s not what you signed up for. That was not your partnership. So you have to have a partnership agreement that’s in your documents that lays out clearly, “Hey, if something happens…” You can put anything in there, but for example, “In the case of a death of one partner, we will get the property appraised by three different appraisers,” or whatever that number is, “The other person can have the first right of refusal to buy it out, or we’ll market it and sell it.” So you just kind of always kind of cover your… Most partnerships work out pretty good. I’ve seen some dissolve friendships, so you just want to make sure you cover yourselves.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Is that what you and Chad have done?

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh yeah. It’s all black and white.

 

Matt Simpson:

It’s on a napkin.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s filed in the napkin drawer. Most plans start on a napkin, right?

 

Matt Simpson:

What’s that?

 

Jason Heflin:

Most plans start on a napkin?

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, most good plans.

 

Rachel Kirby:

I thought it was if you and Chad died Chuck and I get the business.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, pretty much.

 

Chuck Gregory:

It’s [Poppy 00:26:01] and [Lucien 00:26:01]. We’ll be managed by six-year-olds.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Yeah.


Jason Heflin:

We do joke about that, kids taking over a business, and that’s a good question for you with the real estate. Do you foresee you handing that down to your kids?

 

Matt Simpson:

Possibly, I guess part of this was the way I was raised, but I’m not just going to give my kids things. They’re going to have to earn what they get. If they show interest in it and they want to learn the business of mowing the yard and painting when people move out and doing those things, then I’ll be there to support them, but-

 

Jason Heflin:

Hold on, I’m hearing that you’re trying to… You want a handyman, right?

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely.

 

Jason Heflin:

Property manager.

 

Matt Simpson:

Well, my 14 year old, he’s getting close to-

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, he’s just right. He’s the right age.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah, it’s the perfect lawn mowing age.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Matt Simpson:

I’m just afraid he’s going to cut his foot off, but…

 

Jason Heflin:

Did you mow the yard as a kid?

 

Chuck Gregory:

It builds character.

 

Matt Simpson:

Let’s see, I’ll give you a good story.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay.

 

Matt Simpson:

As a young man, we worked in a tobacco field.

 

Jason Heflin:

I hated that work.

 

Chuck Gregory:

I did that.

 

Matt Simpson:

It’s tough.

 

Jason Heflin:

That was the worst thing ever.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah, it’s not fun.

 

Rachel Kirby:

You’ve done that?

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Chuck Gregory:

I’ve done that [inaudible 00:27:09].

 

Rachel Kirby:

You’ve done… Okay.

 

Jason Heflin:

Rachel, you’re the only [crosstalk 00:27:10].

 

Rachel Kirby:

I have not, no.

 

Jason Heflin:

Tobacco.

 

Chuck Gregory:

That’s the way they harvest all that. It’s not changed in 200 years. It’s not mechanized.

 

Rachel Kirby:

I’ve read books about how they’ve done it, does that count?

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh yeah, that totally counts.

 

Matt Simpson:

That’s probably as close as you want to get.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Right.

 

Jason Heflin:

So, you cut tobacco?

 

Matt Simpson:

So I cut tobacco and my parents… I had a little bank account as a kid. I also mowed a ton of yards, so I was lucky enough to go to college on a sports scholarship. I had all my schooling paid for, which was nice, and a big deal for my parents, because you just don’t have that kind of money to go to private school, but I went all through college. I was still able to keep that money. I didn’t spend any of it. It was roughly about $14,000. So, when I got married, we bought our first house in Nashville, I was able to put that $14,000 down on our first home. It was a pretty big source of pride, and I know $14,000 is not winning the lottery, but it was a lot of money to me.

 

Jason Heflin:

You earned it.

 

Matt Simpson:

It was a lot of sweat and blood, probably, and tears of saying, “I don’t want to mow,” and my dad going, “Well, you’re mowing anyway,” into it. So I’ve tried to get involved, I talked to a few classes at Western, I’ve tried to get more involved in the high schools here to talk to kids about finances. What it looks like at a young age, just start your own savings account somewhere, because it really builds some pride and some understanding of the value of money and not just relying on your mom and dad to bail you out every time you’re in trouble. So we’ll see where that goes, I’ve put some feelers out about that. I’m kind of passionate about teaching young kids that. But that’s kind of the story of saving some money and having it pay off.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Do you talk to your kids about money? I feel like my parents never really talked to me about it, because they thought, “Oh, we don’t want to worry her about it.” But now, as an adult, I feel more stressed because I felt like I didn’t really grow up knowing that much about it.

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah, I talk to them all the time about it, and it can start with simple things like… It may sound silly, but when you leave a room turn the light off. Electricity’s not free. I explain to them, not just say that to them, explain to them, “Hey, when this bill comes every month from BGMU, this is the cost of you leaving the light on and leaving, or going outside and leaving it on.” So the value of a dollar can kind of start with some of that stuff, and we have those conversations. I still don’t think they fully understand until you start paying for things on your own, but we try to get them to pay for things. If you want something, you need to try to earn some money and figure out a way to buy it on your own. When they see something that costs four, five hundred dollars they’re, “Whoa, that’s a lot of money.” I’m like, “Yeah, it takes a lot to live.”

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, in very, very small ways we’re already doing that with my son, who’s four and a half years old, and so he has a little bit of money he has that people have given him, 30, 40 bucks in his little piggy bank. So when he wants something and I don’t want him to have it, I say, “You want to spend your money on it?” And he says, “Sure.” And so I’ll say, “Okay, well it’s in the bank at home, so we’ll go home and then you tell me when you want to come back to the store and I’ll bring you, and you can buy it.” And he has never reminded, he always forgets. Then we’ll look at his money at some point, and he’ll… So it wasn’t as important to him, is the point, that he thought it was.

 

Matt Simpson:

That’s a great point, because you’ll have kids, if you have multiple kids, they’ll be different. So, you can tell at an early age if a kid’s a spender or he’s a saver, because they may say, “Yeah, I don’t want to spend my money on that. I don’t want my money to be gone.” So you can pick up on little cues with kids on… Okay if I feel like I’ve got a kid who likes to spend and doesn’t think about anything, then maybe I need to coach them a little more about… It’s kind of like in sports, if you use a basketball analogy. You can kind of shoot the ball whenever you want, but it may not be the best shot. You may not be open, and it may be a awful shot selection.

 

Jason Heflin:

Right.

 

Matt Simpson:

Maybe you want to spend money that’s a little better selection than just randomly spending money.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Are you a spender or a saver?

 

Matt Simpson:

I’m probably a saver. I don’t-

 

Rachel Kirby:

That’s good for a financial advisor.

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah, I don’t watch every dime to a tee, I’m not a type A personality. I still really don’t balance a checkbook, but that’s mainly because I’m at the bank and I can see my account pretty easy. With most people now with the mobile app… People still need to balance their checkbook if you write checks, but you can also, with the availability of the mobile app-

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s balancing itself almost in real time.

 

Matt Simpson:

Almost in real time. So, definitely need to know what’s coming out and going in, and I do, but whatever is left over we kind of… I’ve got my investments and things that I do with real estate and other things, but outside of that we just kind of spend and use what we live on.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Jason and Chuck, what are you?

 

Jason Heflin:

I’m like my son. If it’s in front of me and it’s shiny and I have the money in my pocket I’ll buy it, but if I have to go home and think about it, I won’t buy it.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah. I was probably a spender at first, but after being married… My wife’s definitely a saver, and she made me one too.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, it’s about checks and balances.

 

Chuck Gregory:

But we’re both savers.

 

Matt Simpson:

She made you want to.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, checks and balances.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah, she would always say, “Do you have to have it right now?” I was like, “Well, I don’t guess so. Not right now.”

 

Matt Simpson:

“Do you want to sleep on the couch, honey, or not?”

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah, so, she was good at that.

 

Jason Heflin:

So, I don’t know if you know, but I won an award recently for Most Likely to Tell His Life Story. What was it?

 

Rachel Kirby:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Is that what it was called?

 

Rachel Kirby:

Yeah, we did superlatives, and yours was Most Likely to Tell Someone Your Life Story.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, yeah.

 

Matt Simpson:

There you go using big words again.

 

Jason Heflin:

I know, I have a good tobacco story, though.

 

Matt Simpson:

Oh, let’s here it.

 

Jason Heflin:

I got a tobacco story. So I was cutting tobacco-

 

Matt Simpson:

Chewing or working in it?

 

Jason Heflin:

Well, a little of both. So I did it every summer in high school, and I did a little bit in college, and then finally gave it up and found something else I could… I made less money but I hated cutting tobacco. So anyway, we, my cousin and I, were out once working for this guy, and you’ll take whatever work you can get. You’ll take whatever help you can get when you’re the farmer because they can’t find labor, so we’re all out in the field. It’s a mix of people and cultures and… It was a great experience. You learn a lot, you get to be buddies with people you might not otherwise be friends with, and as a teenager you learn terms and things that your mom probably didn’t want you to learn. But this guy rolls up, and he is… I forget what the license plate was. I need to make something up for the story, but it was a northern license plate, and he pulls up in this old beater in the field, and he says, “I hear you guys need help.” And the farmer’s like, “Yeah, you ever cut tobacco before?” And he said, “No, I can figure it out though. I’m a hard worker.” He’s like, “Okay. Well, we’ll take it. It’s going to be this much an hour, and come on over.”

 

Jason Heflin:

So we were showing him how to do it, we had cut it, and he was spiking it. So when you spike it you put a little wooden stick and you put a metal spike on the end of that stick, and then you slide the stalk over it with one hand. So he was taking the stalk of tobacco and putting it on the end of that sharp metal point, and he was using two hands to push it down. The spike would slide right by his head every time he did it. We were like, “Man, you can’t do it that way, you’re going to get hurt. You need to do this.” “But I keep missing when I do that.” “Well, yeah, you’ll get better at it. Just trust me it’s just way better.” So of course a few hours in everybody hears the… We all look over and he has the spike sticking through his shoulder where he had impaled himself, and-

 

Rachel Kirby:

Better than the neck?

 

Jason Heflin:

Better than the neck, I guess. Better than the head.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

So he pulls it out, and we get the bleeding stopped. Then, of course we didn’t have a first aid kit, so we-

 

Matt Simpson:

Just put some tobacco juice on it.

 

Jason Heflin:

… He poured a bottle of water on it, and then wrapped it in duct tape, and then started working again. The farmer came over, the land owner, and said, “Man, you need to go to the hospital, so go on. You can come back tomorrow, but go get it checked out,” because that spike was not exactly clean.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Right.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’d been laying in dirt and inside plants. So, we never saw that guy again. He didn’t come back.

 

Matt Simpson:

That’s my next question, did he make it back?

 

Rachel Kirby:

He needed a mentor.

 

Jason Heflin:

He did need a mentor. He could’ve used you.

 

Matt Simpson:

Well, you tried to mentor him, and he wouldn’t listen.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s true.

 

Matt Simpson:

So you have to be… In sports they call it being coachable.

 

Jason Heflin:

What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong in that situation?

 

Matt Simpson:

Well, you were probably 14, so you probably didn’t have a lot of authority.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, he was probably 35.

 

Matt Simpson:

But it’s funny you should kind of say that story, because it leads my mind to think about learning lessons the hard way. I was a lot like that growing up, I had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way. If you can learn to listen a little better, I know it’s hard, it’s a trait that we all don’t like, and again, social media, we all want to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. We’re even on a podcast, we’re talking. We don’t take the time to listen, “Okay, maybe I probably shouldn’t do that. Okay, this guy’s a farmer, he’s been doing this. I’m new to this, maybe I aught to listen to what he’s saying.” You just hope that when you raise kids, even as an adult, can you learn lessons without really making a bad mistake? That’s what they tell you in banking a lot as a lender. You’re going to make some bad loans, but hopefully they’re not so big where it costs you your job or really costs the bank a lot of money. Sometimes you just got to stick to the program and be consistent with what you’re doing and not deviate too much, and if someone wants to give you some mentorship then you need to receive that.

 

Jason Heflin:

Did you ever have a big failure in your career or your life? You mentioned loan bankers might have a loan that doesn’t work out, and as long as it’s not huge, you can recover from it.

 

Matt Simpson:

I think if we were honest with ourselves, I think we fail way more than we succeed, and it could be your work, but it could be those daily decisions that you make anyway. You’re just going to probably fail more in life than you succeed, and you got to be prepared for that. It doesn’t have to be that big of a deal. You just learn how to deal with it and lean on your support system, or if you have accountability partners, or a mentor. It was a big decision. I asked for that help, “Hey, have you been down this road before? What can you tell me about it?” But I fail all the time, I think that’s kind of what builds how you live the rest of your life. Are you going to let it keep you down, or are you going to try to find a way to fight through it and say, “Hey, man, I screwed that up. I need to go back and reevaluate and try not to make that decision again.”

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s an invaluable lesson, I think, for business owners, entrepreneurs, people who want to run a business or be a leader. I was like that a lot when I was younger. I just would make decisions on my own, or I would jump into things at first and wouldn’t ask for advice. I also have a couple of mentors that I talk to regularly, and I tell them… I don’t say, “Hey, what do you think about this?” I make sure and say, “You’re my mentor. I really trust what you believe, what you say.” That kind of sets the stage, “I’m going to ask you something that I really need some advice on.” But I think it’s key to be humble enough to do that.

 

Jason Heflin:

I spoke at a university level. They had this speaker series, and for some insane reason they asked me to come talk in this entrepreneur series, so I went and talked to it. I got in there, and I think it was unexpected for those who were putting the series on, but they were like, “What do you want to talk about?” I said, “I’m going to talk about failure.” “Okay.” So I basically went down, I had a PowerPoint presentation and up on the screen I had all my failures. Everything. All the businesses I’ve owned, five different businesses in my life, and some of them I came out okay, some of them I squeaked out barely, and a couple didn’t work out. You win some, you lose some kind of. It’s one of those things I don’t think enough people reflect on that, I don’t think I do it enough, so I think it’s important that you say that and ask for help.

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely, and for young people… My 14 year old, Jake, who doesn’t like school that much, but you’re required by law to go to school, I’ve encouraged him. I said, “Look, man, start a business. There’s no age cap on what you want to do.” As you know, I think I told you he’s in the process of trying to… So he’s learning things about starting a business, and we haven’t even started it yet.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s a good reality check, too.

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely.

 

Jason Heflin:

“Hey, this stuff’s hard.”

 

Matt Simpson:

You got to come up with a name for your business. You’ve got to register it with the state, that’s $40. You’ve got to-

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s a lot of money for a kid, too.

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely, and they think that you can just kind of go do something. So the process… You hear the process a lot now. That’s kind of a term a lot of people use, but the truth of the matter is that you’ve learned a ton from your businesses, the ones that didn’t work out.

 

Jason Heflin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Matt Simpson:

You take what worked, what didn’t work, and you use that with the next business. I want to encourage people to do that with their children. Help them do it, and they’re going to learn a lot just by going through the process of trying to do it on their own.

 

Jason Heflin:

Having gotten to know you over the last decade or whatever it’s been, I know you’re a 90s hip hop fan.

 

Matt Simpson:

Word.

 

Jason Heflin:

Word. See? You can tell by the language that he uses. He really knows his stuff.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Matt Simpson:

I embarrass my kids daily.

 

Jason Heflin:

Who’s your favorite 90s hip hop artist? We’ll go around the table and do this.

 

Matt Simpson:

90s hip hop, man, I tell you, when I was at high school and The Chronic by Dr Dre came out. That was a game changer. Him and Snoop, and it just really was… You had Nothin’ But A G Thang on there, and that was just the classic early 90s hip hop that was kind of ushered in into the next kind of guys of Tupac and Biggie and all those guys.

 

Jason Heflin:

Chuck, what about you?

 

Chuck Gregory:

I was not into hip hop. Early 90s I was more Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the grunge bands.

 

Jason Heflin:

If you had to pick one?

 

Chuck Gregory:

Oh, jeez.

 

Jason Heflin:

Forced to pick one?

 

Chuck Greogry:

I don’t know, does Prince’s Bat Dance count? That was good.

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh, Bat Dance? Who did that, Prince?

 

Chuck Gregory:

Prince, yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Prince did it, but somebody did it… Nobody did it with him?

 

Chuck Gregory:

No.

 

Jason Heflin:

I don’t know, does that count as hip hop?

 

Matt Simpson:

That-

 

Jason Heflin:

(singing)

 

Matt Simpson:

… I will say that was the biggest curve ball. I did not expect… I could have had 1,000 guesses and I would not have guessed that.

 

Jason Heflin:

Who’s you’re favorite hip hop artist? Prince.

 

Chuck Gregory:

You could just say name one, and I’d be like, “I just don’t know”-

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay.

 

Chuck Gregory:

… It’s not my thing. It’s cool, it’s just not for me.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s all right. Pass, pass.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah, I’ll pass.

 

Jason Heflin:

Rachel, what about you?

 

Rachel Kirby:

Well, since I was a baby in the 90s, I just googled 90s hip hop bands.

 

Matt Simpson:

Whoomp! (There It Is).

 

Jason Heflin:

She really did.

 

Rachel Kirby:

But Salt-N-Pepa was on the list.

 

Matt Simpson:

Salt-N-Pepa.

 

Rachel Kirby:

I did say it-

 

Jason Heflin:

Salt and pepper.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Salt and pepper are my two favorite seasonings.

 

Jason Heflin:

I love that.

 

Rachel Kirby:

But, yeah, they’re good. Push It.

 

Jason Heflin:

Real good.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Matt Simpson:

I got to back-

 

Chuck Gregory:

I’ll change my answer to that. That’s better than mine.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay, that’s cool.

 

Matt Simpson:

I got to back my man up over here though, that I was totally into the grunge era as well. The Alice in Chains, the Pearl Jam, Nirvana…

 

Jason Heflin:

You probably had hair down to your chest and…

 

Matt Simpson:

No, but I wore a lot of flannels-

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay, that counts.

 

Matt Simpson:

… And our man Chad Webb likes to wear a lot of flannels-

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah, he does.

 

Matt Simpson:

… so he’s carried on.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Still, yeah.

 

Chuck Gregory:

When he’s not wearing his hoodie.

 

Jason Heflin:

Or wearing a flannel hoodie.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Chuck, is that a flannel, what you’re wearing?

 

Chuck Gregory:

No, it’s not flannel. It’s more denim.

 

Rachel Kirby:

It’s a checkered-

 

Chuck Gregory:

Denim.

 

Rachel Kirby:

… Denim button up shirt.

 

Matt Simpson:

But there was actually, to me, there’s never been another kind of grunge era-

 

Chuck Gregory:

No.

 

Matt Simpson:

… situation since the 90s.

 

Chuck Gregory:

I played [crosstalk 00:44:10] back then.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Have you heard of Emo Music?

 

Matt Simpson:

Emo? I thought that was an animal.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Not emu.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Oh, he’s that… On Sesame Street, right?

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Chuck Gregory:

The red guy?

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Emo?

 

Rachel Kirby:

Elmo?

 

Chuck Gregory:

Oh yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Well…

 

Chuck Gregory:

I don’t know a lot about Sesame Street either, it turns out.

 

Matt Simpson:

This turned quick.

 

Jason Heflin:

It did, it always does.

 

Matt Simpson:

Okay, what about you?

 

Jason Heflin:

Chad left me in charge. That was a huge mistake.

 

Chuck Gregory:

That was a mistake, yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

I would say House of Pain.

 

Matt Simpson:

House of Pain.

 

Jason Heflin:

And not Jump Around. All the other stuff. I think for me as a-

 

Matt Simpson:

The Irish, Boston, red headed street…

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, I had an Irish heritage, and I thought, “Oh, I can be a rapper, too.”

 

Chuck Gregory:

Wrong.

 

Jason Heflin:

I couldn’t. I couldn’t be a rapper, by the way.

 

Matt Simpson:

You didn’t want to be Vanilla Ice?

 

Jason Heflin:

No, no. I was so disappointed in that. I was like, “Oh, come on, man.” And then they came around, and I said, “Okay that’s… Yeah, all right. I can get on board with that.”

 

Matt Simpson:

But then he went, House of Pain’s lead singer went whitey for the blues.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, he did a little bit of a kind of a country-ish thing.

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Matt Simpson:

Not bad.

 

Jason Heflin:

Not bad? Don’t mind it? And you still here Jump Around every time you go to a basketball game.

 

Matt Simpson:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s all right.

 

Matt Simpson:

It’s not Prince, but it’ll do.

 

Chuck Gregory:

[crosstalk 00:45:25]

 

Rachel Kirby:

Can I say an unpopular opinion?

 

Jason Heflin:

Absolutely.

 

Rachel Kirby:

I do not like the Beastie Boys.

 

Jason Heflin:

I don’t know Dre, maybe [crosstalk 00:45:37].

 

Chuck Gregory:

[crosstalk 00:45:37] 80s. I should have picked them. I did like the Beasties a lot.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Rachel Kirby:

I don’t get it. I don’t get the song. It’s just a guy kind of yelling.

 

Jason Heflin:

What song?

 

Rachel Kirby:

Any of them.

 

Chuck Gregory:

You just have to take yourself back to that time. There was nothing like that at the time-

 

Rachel Kirby:

When I was a baby?

 

Chuck Gregory:

… When they came out. Before you were born.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Before I was born, yeah.

 

Chuck Gregory:

When you and Chad weren’t born yet.

 

Jason Heflin:

I’ll send you a few tracks. Maybe some-

 

Rachel Kirby:

Chad and I are not the same age.

 

Matt Simpson:

You need to send her Hey Ladies.

 

Chuck Gregory:

That was funny, he said you are.

 

Jason Heflin:

(singing) I’ll send you a few hidden tracks that I think you’ll like.

 

Rachel Kirby:

All right. And then I’ll make you a Broadway musical playlist.

 

Jason Heflin:

Absolutely. Please do.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Or, or, an all-female band playlist. Those are my favorite.

 

Matt Simpson:

She would have liked the grunge era with Little Affair and-

 

Chuck Gregory:

L-Seven and-

 

Matt Simpson:

… Garbage.

 

Chuck Gregory:

… The Riot Grrrl movement.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Yeah, there was [crosstalk 00:46:29].

 

Matt Simpson:

Veruca Salt.

 

Jason Heflin:

A lot of combat boots.

 

Matt Simpson:

Absolutely.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yep. Doc Martins.

 

Matt Simpson:

Cranberries.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Yes, they’re good, Cranberries.

 

Jason Heflin:

Well, Chad, if you’re listening we have gone over time talking about hip hop music and-

 

Chuck Gregory:

Bat Dance.

 

Jason Heflin:

… Bat Dance.

 

Matt Simpson:

Dude, I’m going to go to bed tonight thinking, “Where in the world…”

 

Jason Heflin:

I haven’t thought about that song [crosstalk 00:46:55].

 

Matt Simpson:

This guy has a tremendous imagination. You’re not going to live that one down, bud.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Oh, I’ll own that one. That’s…

 

Jason Heflin:

Matt, thank you today-

 

Matt Simpson:

You’re welcome.

 

Jason Heflin:

… For coming and spending some time. I know you’re busy, you got a family, you’re running a business, and you’re president of a bank.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Multiple businesses.

 

Jason Heflin:

He’s got a lot going on. He’s a busy guy.

 

Matt Simpson:

Well, I appreciate it. This was fun. I hope you invite me back sometime.

 

Jason Heflin:

I will.

 

Matt Simpson:

You can still tell the country drawl on how I speak, but I hope it’s not too annoying.

 

Jason Heflin:

No man. Your brain makes up for it.

 

Matt Simpson:

Goodness.

 

Jason Heflin:

Love you, Matt. Thanks.

 

Matt Simpson:

Thanks guys.

IMG_5607

By Chad Webb

Chad Webb (who is 40) is one of CrowdSouth’s Partners and brings years (not quite 40) of experience managing multi-million dollar website projects to your business. He loves hoodies, puffy vests, jeans and flip flops.

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