Episode 10: The Frontlines of The Frontlines: Kroger Health President, Colleen Lindholz, is Leading the Charge at the Intersection of Healthcare and Grocery

Kroger Health, the healthcare arm of America’s largest grocery chain (The Kroger Co.), serves more than 14 million people each year across 2,200 pharmacies, 220 clinics, and multiple telehealth solutions. As the country’s 5th largest retail healthcare organization, it sits in a space of its own at the intersection of food and medicine. Colleen Lindholz has been passionately guiding the company’s work in this area for years. Today, she’s taking on COVID-19 while also preparing the company for a world where healthy diet, immunity, and wellness will be more important than ever.

On this Episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

11:07 The opportunity of a lifetime. “It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to lead on the frontlines of the frontlines. I’ve been in the industry for 25 years and I’ve never seen a time like we’re seeing right now. I’ve never seen people come together like I’m seeing right now. The collective efforts of the 460,000 people that work for The Kroger Company across the country has just been amazing. Amazing to see people being a part of something bigger than themselves…Every decision that we make is grounded in our values and our purpose…to feed the human spirit. We’ve never seen it like we’re seeing it right now come alive, whether it be in our stores or beyond our four walls. The work that we’re doing with the government to expand the COVID testing locations has just been a true testament to who we are and what we believe in. It’s definitely been a whirlwind, but it’s an honor to be a part of it.” -CL

12:18 What companies need to be doing right now. “Now more than ever it’s so important for companies to really live and breathe their values, purpose, mission, and vision. Lots of times its words on a paper, but I’ve always seen it come to life in the work you’ve been doing and what Kroger’s been doing. But it’s so critical right now…People are looking for hope and inspiration during this time.” -KS

27:41 Colleen on the power of commitment. “It’s a lot about commitment, it’s a lot about where you come from, who you are, your purpose in life in general. I know why I’m put on this earth, and I’m not going to stop pushing for change, I think that there’s a lot of change that needs to happen in our country, and I believe in it. Commitment, when you commit yourself to something, and you say, ‘I’m going to go do this no matter who pushes back.’ When there’s adversity and doubters all around you, you just have to stay persistent.” -CL

37:54 Traits of great leaders. “I really believe the greatest leaders lead with integrity. They lead with passion, as well as intellect. If you just have the smarts but don’t have the passion and integrity, you’re not going to be a great leader. When you have all three amazing things can happen.” -KS

40:06 The most important value. “I think just being authentic and being who you are and not trying to be something different, and doing what you say you’re going to do. Don’t go say something and not go do it…I want people to say, ‘She’s real…what she says, she goes and does.’ I always put authenticity and trust up there. With my team, I tell them, ‘If I cannot trust you, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, it doesn’t matter how many letters you have behind your name…it doesn’t matter what your experience is, it doesn’t matter to me.’ It does not matter, what matters is that I can trust you.” -CL

47:57 Kash’s One Big Thing. “When you want to succeed – when you want to win – you want to have not only the best people that do great work, but people that you can trust. The people that you’ve already been in the wars with, that you’ve been in the trenches with. That you trust to have your left side, your right side when you’re going into battle. You have to have that shared mission, vision, and values. You have to be able to connect ‘on the court and off the court’ because if you don’t, you’re never going to make it happen.” -KS

Episode 9: David Callinan aka “The Boston Barber” Gives You 50 Minutes of Straight Fire

After laboring through job after unfulfilling job, Davey Callinan found his passion in the real and raw sanctuary of the Barber Shop. But along the way, this Master Barber from Black Label Barbershop discovered a greater calling that stretches far beyond the confines of his chair. And he shares that gift with everyone he meets.

On this Episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

21:15 How Davey became a barber.  “It was something that really taught me about finding security in myself. A confidence builder. You have to accept your flaws and that no matter how old you are or how mature you are, if you don’t know how to do it, you don’t know how to do it. So, the kid could be ten years younger beside you doing better than you, but you can’t have an ego because it doesn’t matter. Where does your experience lie?”  -DC

22:37 Keeping the right people around you. “People forget how important it is to find that person who can guide you through your personal and/or professional life. People always attach themselves to the wrong type of people. But you took a moment after ten years of grinding on things that you didn’t want to do, that weren’t fulfilling you, that you knew weren’t unleashing your full potential. You said, ‘This is a person that I see doing something and I want to follow in his footsteps. And maybe I’m not going to be a carbon copy, but I’m going to take some things, I’m going to learn some things, I’m going to make them my own, I’m going to go build something great.’” – KS

25:57 Our reason for existing. “I hadn’t been through it, I hadn’t experienced the sacrifice, struggle and suffering you need to go through to become humble enough, bold enough, and smart enough to be able to get over your fears and insecurities. That enabled me to finally love myself, believe in myself, and then start seeing people and saying, ‘I see something in you that maybe you don’t see. But I want to get it out of you, and I’m going to push you.’ I personally believe if we don’t get it out of you, what are you here for? If you leave something in the tank and the world doesn’t get to benefit and be blessed by the gift that you have, why the hell are we here?” -KS

30:20 The power of self-belief.  “When you truly believe in yourself, you stop considering what someone else is going to perceive you to be in the process of getting there. I feel like a lot of people all too often consider the thought of what they look like making the move because they’re thinking about the step they’re making and not the destination they’re going towards.” -DC

32:47 Expecting the punches.  “When I believe in myself, I could be down in the dumps, I could be knocked down on the ground on my hands and knees. But the thing is I know, personally, beat down, I’m going to get back up. So, if I see you give up on me, that’s fine, I just take inventory of that. I don’t let that weigh me down…When you make tribulation your tradition, you don’t get bogged down in a hardship. Because sometimes people get so bogged down…when you make it your tradition you accept it as the norm. Because I got news for you, and you already know it, when you’re going through a tough time, the universe doesn’t have any quota for you in your tough time…the next ones on the way. The quicker you get past it and accept it, and improvise, and adapt, and overcome, and move forward, the better off you are.” -DC

49:10 Kash’s One Big Thing. “The one big thing for me is that the universe is always talking. If you’re focused, faithful, and resilient towards your vision, the place that you want to go, and the person you want to become. If you keep believing you’re going to run into people all over that will help you get there. It might not be with money, a job, or with advice in the standard typical way. It might be with just one word, one look, or a high five. I’ve had that so many times in my life, if I look back at the road that we’ve been on the last ten years. Because I kept the belief and I was centered in where we wanted to go, I was blessed to run across these people. And you can’t overlook anybody…Be open, be willing, and be ready to take that inspiration and guidance from anyone and anything that you see because the signals and the signs are out there. The people, those beacons, are out there for you, if you’re willing to hear them. On the flip side, no matter who you are, what you do, what your job is, how young or old, you could be that person that’s inspiring someone, motivating someone, or pushing someone to go do the thing that they want to do. That’s a powerful thing. That’s a power that every single one of us have and it’s a power that we often forget.” -KS

Episode 8: Gym Studios Founder, Shawn Martinez, Lost 50% of His Revenue Overnight – Now He’s Planning His Comeback

After growing his company with a first-of-its-kind business model that pushed him to the forefront of Austin, Texas’ fitness scene, Shawn Martinez lost 100% of his locations when gyms were forced to close due to Coronavirus. Now, he’s balancing the need to recover with the urgency to evolve.

On this Episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

18:37 Shawn’s growth strategy. “It’s always been about relationships. Relationships have always been our currency…I didn’t want [the strategy] to be volume, I didn’t want to just be at every apartment in the U.S. We’ve always been very selective about what properties we partner with. We want to make sure the gym is hospitable to training, we want it to be top notch, we want to pick property managers that believe in the vision so we can work together and really be a blessing to all the people that live there by doing some really cool programs and just being creative in the space. We weren’t really in a rush to grow, we wanted more of the right partner.” -SM

24:36 The impact of COVID-19. “We make money two main ways. The apartments pay us a fee for our program and then we make revenue from our personal trainers. Without gym access we literally lost 50% of our revenue overnight. I wasn’t going to take a penny from our trainers if they weren’t going to be able to get access [to gyms]. I had to rethink how we were going to be able to hold on to our trainers.” -SM

28:03 Supporting the personal trainers. “One of the things I really respected about the Besomebody chapter that I was part of is that you guys took the time to interview and put together this really high-quality production of people talking about themselves, what makes them ‘them.’ I feel like there’s so much power in that, and that’s what we’re doing. What makes these people unique, and not as trainers, but as people. And we’re trying to pump that out to the world and trying to get [the trainers] some business.” -SM

29:18 The power of brand equity right now. “Brand equity, brand purpose, what your brand believes and stands for is so important right now. This is the only time – definitely in our lives, in this generation, most likely in the last century – that everyone in the world is experiencing the same thing at the same time. We’re all feeling the same thing, we have the same fears and anxieties. We also feel for our neighbors, our colleagues, our businesses, our friends that run local establishments that are going through this. Now is a time where people are rallying together, people do believe we’re in this together. The companies and businesses that double-down on purpose and values and show who they are in a positive way, are going to be rewarded with business after this is all over.” -KS

32:20 The value of vulnerability.  “All those times where I was very nervous to hit ‘publish’ or ‘post’ on the post because I thought, ‘I’m being so honest, I’m sharing my soul.’ Those are the posts, messages and stories that connected the most with people. It wasn’t about the likes and the comments, it was the fact that somebody said, “Thank you so much for sharing that. That really impacted me.’ There is so much power in being courageous enough to be vulnerable.” -KS

40:12 Kash’s One Big Thing. “Where I’ve seen the most value in our journey and in my personal life, is taking the time to really invest in those select few. All I need is a ‘starting five’ and someone to ‘come off the bench and shoot the three.’ That’s all you need – you don’t need a lot of people, you just need the right people. When you have the right people around you – the people that believe in you, that will push you, that will call you out, that will stand by you when times aren’t that good – then you have a powerful weapon in your arsenal.” -KS

Episode 7: What is the “New Normal” in Grocery and Marketing – HEB’s Ashwin Nathan on the Impact of COVID-19 and Meeting Challenges with Innovation

Ashwin Nathan leads the marketing & digital efforts for HEB, the largest grocery chain in Texas with over $20B in revenue and more than 120,000 employees. COVID-19 has impacted their marketing, operations and supply chain, and has forced them to innovate faster than ever before in order to serve their community safely today, and in the future.

On this Episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

11:49 The impact of company culture.  “Being at HEB the last three years has been eye-opening in terms of watching a company connect its purpose to what it does every single day from a business standpoint. We exist so we can take care of our community, so that we can take care of our fellow Texans. We’re essentially a public service…It’s humbling to be a part of this with 100,000 other people who are just committed to serving Texas.” -AN

21:52 Marketing amidst COVID-19.  “I think the most immediate thing is to pull a lot of marketing, go dark in a lot of instances. In the sense that the most important thing is to make sure that you are not putting messages out there that can make things worse. For example, when you have marketing for specific products, whether it’s ice cream or paper towels or certain brands in the store, all of that right now is irrelevant. Your job right now is to make sure you’re helping the company with whatever is necessary from a customer messaging standpoint to make sure they understand that we have the supplies, we just need time to put it up.” -AN

23:57 COVID-19’s lasting impact. “All of our screen time is up 50% – we’re on social more, we’re watching the news, we’re waiting for that 5:00pm press conference every night – I really do believe that those types of habits, as well as people’s comfort with e-commerce, delivery, and things like that – will have people venturing into that process that never had to do it before, never wanted to do it before. I think they’re going to become new members of that ecosystem. There’s a lot of habits that are going to stay long after this virus is over.” -KS

25:03 This is the time for content creators. “Overall there’s going to be companies that are born out of this crisis and channels that are discovered out of this crisis. For all the bad and all the struggle, there’s going to be some winners…this is THE time for great content creators. If you’re a content creator – a writer, videographer, photographer – this is your time to create the best content you’ve ever created. Because you have eyeballs – you have opportunity. There’s going to be people that gain awareness during this crisis that will maintain it afterwards.” -KS

29:33 Leadership lessons for the “new normal.” “For me, there are a couple of things in the ‘new normal’ that I really want to do. One, support local businesses as much as I can. That’s something that from a new normal standpoint, the new normal for those guys is a lot worse than folks like me who are in a different situation. All of us have to figure out how do we continue to support local entrepreneurs, local companies, local businesses, our community – I think that is going to be critical and hopefully that brings us together. From a business standpoint, it’s brought more clarity to me in terms of what are the things that are most important that I have to continue to do to drive success with my team and make sure that we operate as a team, and make sure that we are contributing to the growth of the business.” -AN

38:08 Kash’s One Big Thing. “This is the time for great content creators to step up. You’ve never had all this luxury to sit at home and create. We’ve all had day jobs we had to go to, we’ve had stuff to do. Even if you’re working from home you still have more time, no matter what someone tells you. This is when you should be writing, taking photos, making that video, starting that podcast, starting that blog. Whatever it is, now is the time. It’s not just because people want to consume it, it’s because this is when you can refine it and focus on it. If you’re great at it, figure out which channel is best for you and go all in on that one because then that will be a platform for you long after this is over.” -KS

Episode 6: Olympic Gold Medalist and Two-Class UFC Champion Henry Cejudo Shares His Redemption Story

After working his way up the ranks of the UFC, Olympic Gold Medalist, Henry Cejudo, lost his first title fight. And it wasn’t close… Then, in 2018, he found redemption by defeating all-time great, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Henry and Kash share their parallel paths and talk about their friendship that has endured the ups and downs of winning, losing, and coming back stronger.

On this Episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

6:17 Kash & Henry’s parallel paths. “If you want to be great, there are going to be a lot more downs than there are ups. You’re going to lose a lot more than you win on the journey to greatness.” -KS

18:31 Losing the title fight. “When you truly reach success man, you have to freaking really fall in order to reach success, because that’s exactly what that fight was. As an Olympic Champion, I was undefeated going into the UFC, fighting for the title, fighting the Pound-for-Pound Great. I’m a very confident human being, but what Demetrious Johnson was able to do to me in 2 minutes and 36 seconds…I ate some humble pie, maybe for the first time in my adulthood.” -HC

27:50 Henry avenges his loss. “It’s good to question yourself. You cannot be 100% confident or 100% sure on anything because that just means you’re not being challenged.” -HC

32:34 Fighting for the flyweight division. “It was my duty to save the flyweight division… As long as I became champion, the whole flyweight division, which is 57 people, was going to be saved. And the only way to save the flyweight division was to open my mouth and start talking, to amplify the [Triple C] personality. So, sure enough, after my fight with Demetrius Johnson, I called out TJ Dillashaw for the fight…the most important thing about that was I saved the whole flyweight division. That’s the whole moral of the Triple C story.” -HC

40:33 Kash’s One Big Thing. “But all I can tell you is we got knocked out. And we got knocked out so publicly. I didn’t want to go out or check my messages, he didn’t want to check his messages. But saying, ‘You know what, I’m gonna take the hit,’ you take the hit, and keep going. And that is the story of Henry Cejudo. And honestly that is the story of Besomebody.” -KS

Episode 5: From Spirits to Sanitizer – This Entrepreneur Pivoted His Entire Business to Help First Responders & Healthcare Workers

Eric Baumann did everything from wash kegs to clean floors as he worked his way up the Brewery world. Today, the Karrikin Spirits Co-Founder and Master Brewer is spearheading his team’s efforts to switch production from alcohol to sanitizer for healthcare workers & first responders.

On this Episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

7:39 The official launch of BSB Group International (plus: we’re hiring!“We said we’re going to ramp up our hiring. Most people are not hiring right now unless you’re a grocery store, delivery driver, things like that. Because you want to be careful about your cash in hand, your cash outlet. But we said we’re going to take a step forward and be a little bold, we want to expand our team.” -KS

16:16 Becoming a Master Brewer. “I started with home brewing…I just wanted to get my foot in anywhere. I was willing to wash kegs, make soda, do whatever I could do to just get in a brewery. And fortunately, we found a brewery up at Grand Teton in Idaho and that’s where I started just washing the kegs, cleaning floors, and learning from mentors.” -EB

23:57 How the pivot happened. “Overnight, we changed the company. You know, the immediate thing was we really wanted to get [the sanitizer] out there to help society. That’s the main relief effort, to get the sanitizer into people’s hands that are essential to everyday life and business, and that are going to have the biggest impact on people. Like Amazon or Kroger or places where [the employees] are in contact with hundreds and hundreds of people daily. So, that was the initial thing, the humanitarian side…Then it became a whole thing overnight, it’s wild.” -EB

30:48 Layoffs, revenue & rethinking investments. “[Layoffs], honestly, are awful. It’s something you never want to do as a business owner. It’s something you never thought you’d be doing. It’s a very surreal moment, but we were faced with no choice. We’re a startup, we started a year and a half ago. Everything we’ve made we put back in the company. We don’t have the war chest. Even companies that have a war chest, nobody really knows where this thing is going to end, or when, or how.” -EB

35:44 The silver lining of innovation. “One of the other silver linings of this pandemic is it’s forcing all of us as entrepreneurs and business owners to be much more maniacal about the details, the strategy, and the decisions that we are making. We have to take it to a different level because we understand that we are working within an environment and a climate that is so uncertain. Every choice matters so much right now. Some of the aggressive choices we might have made six months ago, we’re thinking differently…but I do believe we’re going to see great innovation out of it.” -KS

43:23 Kash’s One Big Thing. “There are only two points that matter: the moment and the vision…the moment is what you are doing right now. What are you focusing on, what are you pouring your energies into, what are the strategies that you are turning into execution to ensure you’re doing the right thing, right now? The vision is that beautiful place that you want to get to, that beautiful thing that you want to create. Everything in the middle doesn’t matter. You can’t get attached to it.” -KS

Episode 4: After Leading at Starbucks and Lululemon, Performance Kitchen CEO Christine Day Has Seen It All – Now Taking on Coronavirus

Christine Day helped elevate Canada-based Lululemon to one of the premier sportswear brands in the world. Then, after witnessing her mother struggle with complications from Type-II diabetes, she knew she had to do something. Five years later, her growing company, Performance Kitchen, is taking on the frozen aisle, chronic disease, and Coronavirus.

On this Episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

8:54 Christine’s time at Starbucks & Lululemon. “Being so amazed by [Howard Schulz’s] passion, and purpose, and the type of company he wanted to build…What hooked me and really shaped a lot of my management philosophy was working for somebody who was really out to change the world through a cup of coffee.” -CD

15:06 Christine’s pivot to pursue her passion. “For me, I’ve always had a health & wellness bent to everything I’ve done. I’ve loved food and cooking and had a huge interest in it. But what really took me over the edge was my mother, due to a pancreatic illness, ended up with Type 2 diabetes and at the end stage of that, after 25 years, unfortunately went through limb loss and then ultimately dialysis. During the end stage of that journey, particularly after limb loss, going to the grocery store and trying to find food that actually met the doctor’s orders…I was shocked to see that there was nothing in the prepared food aisles that actually met the standards.” -CD

23:35 The mixed impact of COVID-19 on the food/grocery industry. “One of the biggest silver linings I really believe that’s going to come out of this is that people are going to demand more better-for-you options in the grocery store. They are going to demand to know what’s in their foods and they’re going to want more of those whole foods. They’re going to want to understand how they can boost their own immunity.” -KS

26:00 Food as medicine. “There’s been this juxtaposition where everybody knows that food can be a strong enabler on the preventative side of healthcare. We can help prevent disease before it starts. But I’ve also heard the other side of the debate where people say, ‘Hey that food as medicine concept is for the haves, not the have-nots.’ It’s almost this elitist concept. I think the struggle is for the big retailers to understand that this is relevant for everybody. Now, coming out of this pandemic, we really believe that people are going to be demanding it.” -KS

32:26 Leadership lessons from SARS & The Great Recession. “Having been through crises before, it’s so important to hold the vision for what the future can look like and take the actions that you need to take now to ensure the survival of the company and the care of your people and your customers. But really the long view helps. And that perspective of resiliency and the path forward and the view to what the possibilities are coming out the other side – it’s so critical to keeping your team engaged.” -CD

45:07 Kash’s One Big Thing. “People are going to look at food much differently. Fifty percent of this country has a chronic disease. We spend over $3 trillion on healthcare, yet we’re the most unhealthy country on the planet. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension – that is the epidemic. We’re talking about a pandemic, that is the epidemic that this country is dealing with. I’m hopeful and optimistic that after this people are going to start caring more about health.” -KS

Episode 3: Coronavirus and Hospitality – This Restauranteur Had to Cut His Staff in Half

Shawn Rao, Co-Founder and CEO of SynGroup built his business into a $20M force in the Texas hospitality industry. He was planning a venue opening in April. Then Coronavirus hit, and he had to lay off half his company.

On this episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

3:31 The world just changed. “Because of [the impact of COVID-19], we’ve decided to pivot our podcast focus from the conversations, insights, and guests that we’ve already recorded and that we had planned …to pivot to focus on businesses, entrepreneurs, and leaders who are on the frontlines of what’s happening with coronavirus and are contending with this pandemic in real ways.” -KS

15:27 Shawn’s lessons for entrepreneurs. “When you’re an innovative mind…you take the best of the best [in each industry] and always want to apply it to the craft you’re doing. And if you can take a little, piece by piece, you can always innovate and always learn.” -SR 

26:55 Adjusting to COVID-19. “We realized we had to pivot, we had to do some sort of pivot, to make this even a fringe-worthy concept, to make us sustainable for our employees.” -SR

36:02 An opportunity for community. “It’s an opportunity for all of us to come together to appreciate each other and to support each other. A lot of things that we took for granted before, we’re not able to interact with anymore. And then we see people that we used to walk by all the time and we never thought about -now we know that the patronage that we share, the business that we give, really makes a difference. I’m hopeful that we’ll come to a better understanding of how we’re all connected and how we’re all helping each other grow.” -KS

41:17 The most important aspect of leadership right now. “Everybody can be successful when times are good, but this is what I’m made for, when times are bad, to step up, be a leader, and be a role model. And show people what it means to be resilient and persevere.” -SR

44:51 Kash’s One Big Thing. “The importance of being able to stand out in front of the situation, of the crisis, of the circumstance. To stand in front of your team and your employees and to be able to clearly communicate the goal, the vision, the mission.” -KS