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About this Episode

In this episode, how did Greg Esterhai, co-founder of Interactive Promotions Group, build a business from a dorm room into a lean, mean profitable machine? Two friends with a general idea quickly found a strange niche and parlayed that into a specialized empire. We visited Greg at his office in Haverford Pennsylvania and learned his truly unique story.

Episode Transcript

Greg Esterhai 0:00
So we went into what was the only cell phone store in the Philadelphia area which was on Market Street, Sprint store. And I remember we walked in there and this is when cell coverage didn’t work, even like outside of the city of Philadelphia, got our phone, got a phone number so that we could you know, put this on a business card. And then as soon as we drove out of the city, the phone didn’t work anymore.

Angela Giovine 0:23
Pop culture has become obsessed with entrepreneurship stories from Silicon Valley, and big startup. But the backbone of our economy is made of small local businesses. Every day, millions of small business owners deliver quality products and services, support the local economy, employ their neighbors and follow their passion. We think their stories are worth telling I’m Angela Giovine. Welcome to the extra ordinary small business podcast. Today on the show. How did Greg Estherhai, Co founder of Interactive Promotions Group, build a business from a dorm room into a lean, mean profitable machine? Two friends with a general idea quickly found a strange niche and parlayed that into a specialized empire. We visited Greg, at his offices on the mainline near Villanova, Pennsylvania, and learn his truly unique story.

Angela Giovine 1:26
Have you ever attended a sporting event? And they were giving away a car to one lucky spectator, if he or she could bank a half court shot? Or have you ever gone to a charity event where you could win $25,000 if you sunk a hole in one? Well, what you may not realize is adding this type of fun contest to an event isn’t as risky as it sounds for the event planner. All it takes is a special type of event insurance. That’s the basis of what interactive promotions group does. This story is unique in so many ways. Technically it operates as a traditional brick and mortar, but most of its business is brought in via the internet. This business is also the type of business based on its very impressive performance financially. It typically attracts investors, capital and even buyout offers. What’s so refreshing to me about Greg Esterhai’s story, is that while all of that has been available to them, they choose to continue to wholly own and operate their business. We learned a lot about niche operations, business partnership, and having conviction and vision that helps you achieve your goals.

Angela Giovine 2:48
Greg, tell me about your company, you’ve got such an interesting company, what is the name of your company and what are the products that you sell?

Greg Esterhai 2:56
We do a few different things here. The name of the company is Foresights Sports and that’s our incorporated name. And we have a couple DBAs because we do several different things and reach several different areas in the insurance marketplace, one of which our first real DBA was US Hole in One. And that’s sort of our bread and butter, still accounts for I’d say 75% of the business that we do. Then we have Interactive Promotions Group, which is a division off of US Hole in One and the two of those really combined into the prize indemnity insurance space. So what that is, is essentially, we are an insurance broker, who works with groups that run events such as a golf tournament, or they’ll be doing some short of a charity basketball tournament. We’ll deal with different companies car dealerships, casinos, essentially anybody who’s running an event where they want to give away the potential to win a big prize. So you’ll see this in the world of Hole in One Insurance for instance. So our business really revolves around price indemnity insurance. And we have these different divisions within our company basically set up so that we can market ourselves, you know, appropriately to the different groups that might need this.

Angela Giovine 4:09
So a group has a golf outing, for instance. They want to do a contest hole in one contest where they might win $25,000. So instead of praying nobody wins the hole in one, what they’ll do is they’ll insure that contest through you and pay the fee to you and then if nobody wins, they’re covered and they’re safe but if somebody wins, your company helps them pay that prize.

Greg Esterhai 4:36
Yep, that’s exactly it. So it’s a real niche, you know, insurance product and when people ask me, Hey, what do you do for a living? You know, when I’m sitting at a wedding, or I meet somebody for the first time, you know, I always pause and I think, Okay, how am I gonna explain this to this particular person? Because everybody, you know, thinks of it differently and a lot of times you know, the answer for most people is I’ve never I never knew that’s how that was done.

Angela Giovine 4:55
Right. People just assume someone just has really deep pockets and is able to pay the price money, so it’s not really something that people think about ensuring. Have those contests always been insured, or did it used to just be like, cross your fingers and hope somebody doesn’t win the pot?

Greg Esterhai 5:09
No. Well, the industry really started back in the late 80s, early 90s. And a couple of our current competitors really were the leaders in this in starting out. And you know, the story’s told that that one of these competitors who really started this industry was an insurance broker. And so when it comes to them and said that they wanted to do a fishing contest, where they were interested in having the contest in which if somebody were to catch a tagged fish, they would give away a million dollars. And this guy thought, Well, that sounds like a neat idea. You know, we could probably figure out what the odds are on that. And he went to the London market and went to Lloyd’s of London with this idea, and they insured it. And he essentially started right from that moment on focusing on prize indemnity.

Angela Giovine 5:53
Wow. So it’s a relatively new industry then.

Greg Esterhai 5:56
Yep, absolutely.

Angela Giovine 5:57
Now, tell us about how you started this company? How did you think to get into this area?

Greg Esterhai 6:03
Well, for us, we’ve just sort of stumbled into it over a few years at the beginning of starting a business. My business partner and I, we’ve been best friends since we were in second grade. Grade school friends, went through high school together, went off to college, separate colleges. I was a bio minor and psych minor with a health major, the idea of maybe going into medicine or doing something you know, in psychology, but my friend had come to me our senior year and asked me if I had ever thought about starting a business and if I was interested in doing something with him, and I thought, Well, that sounds intriguing. We were young, naive enough to realize that, hey, sure, we could probably give this a shot. And our plan was at the beginning, we were going to run golf outings and tournaments. The thought was that we were going to go out there and, and help these different organizations, run these events, help them raise money, put on these charity type tournaments. We both enjoyed golf and that was you know, thought, Hey, this is great. Why not? So we did. We started that our senior year in college and when I say started, I mean, you know, we were again, I had no idea really what we were doing, but it was our second semester.

Angela Giovine 7:01
full time student and you decided to start a company?

Greg Esterhai 7:04

Angela Giovine 7:05
out of your apartment or your dorm room?

Greg Esterhai 7:06

Angela Giovine 7:07
so to speak.

Greg Esterhai 7:07

Angela Giovine 7:07
In separate locations.

Greg Esterhai 7:09
Correct. Yeah, exactly. So I remember, you know, one of the first things we said we needed to do was we obviously needed a phone number for this company. So we went into what was the only cell phone store in the Philadelphia area, which was on Market Street, Sprint store. And I remember we walked in there, and this is when cell coverage didn’t work, even like outside of Philadelphia, got our phone, got a phone number so that we could, you know, put this on a business card. And then as soon as we drove out of the city, the phone didn’t work anymore. That was you know, that was really it. So we yeah we, did that for you know, basically graduated probably six months after we’d started the business

Angela Giovine 7:40
When you started the business, did you have clients right out of the gate?

Greg Esterhai 7:43
No, no, I mean, we had more of an idea than anything. So our plan was that we were going to start to you know, go to our individual colleges and our connections and network, you know, that we had which was limited, obviously, at the time only being, I guess, early 20s. So we know we didn’t have anybody you know, right out of gate, and just sort you know, hit the street. And that’s where we really started to figure out as we would sit across the table from these different groups and tell them our grand ideas of coming in and helping them, you know, blow up their tournament and really make it something special and raise a lot of money for them. And then they would look at us and say, Well, how many of these have you done? And we’d have to say, well, you’re our first customer, and it was tough, you know? So we realized that maybe this isn’t easy.

Angela Giovine 8:21
Right. What experience do you have? Well, not

Greg Esterhai 8:23
Right. Not a whole lot. But that is when you know, probably within the first couple years, we started to see the one thing that a lot of these groups were asking for, was this hole in one Insurance. And that was sort of a staple a lot of these tournament’s that we started to realize this is more of a product, you know, like a commodity that we could actually sell, as opposed to like a service, you know, that we were initially thinking we were going to do

Angela Giovine 8:42
So fairly quickly, you switched gears?

Greg Esterhai 8:45
Yeah, so we graduated in 98. And then I’d say probably by the 2000 2001. We were focused pretty much on hole in one insurance at that point.

Angela Giovine 8:55
And you had pretty strong growth. You grew your business pretty quickly from the get go. How are you able to grow and become so successful so quickly?

Greg Esterhai 9:05
Well, we were just fortunate to be sort of in the right place at the right time. And I say that just, if you think back to the early 2000s, this is right at the beginning of the internet boom. So again, we were young, limited home, didn’t have very much money, when we started the business, you know, it was off of a, I think was like a $4,000 loan from my dad.

Angela Giovine 9:22
I was going to ask how do you get the money to even start?

Greg Esterhai 9:25
Sure. Well, we were bootstrapping it. We had very low expenses, but you know, just needed enough money to get that letterhead together, and business cards, keep paying that cell phone bill. When we were getting into it, we realized that a lot of the competitors and there were probably two or three at the time, who were selling hole in one insurance and who were actually you know, people that we were then buying the coverage from, at the beginning and then reselling it. But when we realize you know who those competitors were, they they tended to be you know, almost like crusty old insurance guys. Like the traditional guy who you know had been doing insurance and they’d been doing it this way for so many years.

Angela Giovine 9:55
Not looking to change things up, shake things up?

Greg Esterhai 9:58
Exactly. Do anything really different. Certainly not marketing any different than he had, you know, for all those years because it was successful. I mean they were able to grow their business pretty quickly because it was sort of a booming trend in people who are running outings and those sorts of things to have these types of prizes

Angela Giovine 10:10
And it was more handshake than it was the internet which you had said-

Greg Esterhai 10:14
That was our big you know, entry point there because we again being young realizing that this whole you know, worldwide internet thing is probably going to stick around we’re like Hey, maybe we should jump on this. And did. So we we were fortunate enough to grab the URL hole in one insurance dot com, and that’s exactly what we did. We just focused all of our efforts really the beginning to just market ourselves online. And we’re fortunate enough to be able to you know, rank well and all the different search engines for the different keywords and that sort of thing and just a lot of scraps some market share pretty quickly.

Angela Giovine 10:43
Right? So how many contests are you ensuring a year now?

Greg Esterhai 10:47
Sure, we do about 10,000

Angela Giovine 10:49

Greg Esterhai 10:50
events. Yeah, it’s it’s, it’s national in scope, so here in our office in Pennsylvania, we’re pretty much just pushing paper. You know, so it’s not as though we have clients who, who come to us, you know, off the street. Majority of its, you know, people finding us online at this point we’ve expanded obviously our marketing in different areas. And that’s where, you know, I spoke at the beginning of, you know, this is US Hole in One we’re sort of talking about, obviously with the hole in one insurance, but about, I’d say almost, it’s probably been eight to 10 years now, we then started interactive promotions group, which is just a whole different division that focuses on all the other contests and games outside of golf.

Angela Giovine 11:23
And what are those types of contests?

Greg Esterhai 11:25
So that would be something you’d see, you know, at a basketball game like a half court shot or field gold kick at halftime. We deal a lot with casinos, who will give away big prizes. So you’ll see dice rolls and crack the vault promotions and, you know, all sorts of different contests, anytime you really see anything out there where there’s a potential to win a big prize, but again, you know, nine times out of 10, that person is probably walking off the court not having won anything. It’s most likely going to be an insured prize that would be done by somebody like us.

Angela Giovine 11:53
Interesting. So because you got into it at a opportune time, have you seen more competitors enter the market? Or is it really stayed with small number concentrated?

Greg Esterhai 12:02
Yeah, there have been a few over the years. It’s one of these things with with what we do. You know, we are insurance brokers. So it really is an insurance product. And I say that, you know, insurance regulations, it’s regulated at the state level. So different states consider what we do insurance, you know, at different degrees. So, that said, the barrier to entries is a little more difficult because it does require, you know, being fully licensed and keeping up with that, we’ve got to find a carrier who wants to back you. So there’s been a few smaller companies that have come into the market, you know, over the years, but as far as our our marketing in online, I think our advantage was that we got it right at the beginning. So, again, our URL being hole in one insurance dot com. helps us stay at the top, you know, a lot for the key terms that are important to us. We’ve done pretty well, as far as managing to stay ahead of the curve, I think.

Angela Giovine 12:49
And you mentioned, you bootstrap, and you started with family and friends loan, and took it from there. Other than the cell phone bill, I mean, you’re in a service based business that I guess there weren’t ton of startup costs really.

Greg Esterhai 13:01
There really weren’t? No, fortunately not. We had first started working, I’m trying to remember back, you know, it was my business partner was living at home, I was living at home, we were, you know, back with our parents post college

Angela Giovine 13:13
No, wait, let’s pause there. So you just finish four years in college,

Greg Esterhai 13:18

Angela Giovine 13:18
Your parents think, Okay, maybe my son’s going to medical school,

Greg Esterhai 13:23

Angela Giovine 13:23
And you’re like, Guys, I’m coming home.

Greg Esterhai 13:26
Think I have an idea.

Angela Giovine 13:26
How did they react?

Greg Esterhai 13:28
No, they were great. I actually remember I guess it was, it’d be Thanksgiving of my senior year. And I remember where I was in telling my parents that because I didn’t know you know, what they would think is this great idea or they just going to roll it out.

Angela Giovine 13:40
Right, and your parents, are they entrepreneurial themselves? Like, did you come from a family where this is typical?

Greg Esterhai 13:46
No, not necessarily. My mom’s dad had his own lumber mill in Manayunk. So, he and his brothers yes, they had their own business. So I think my mom was exposed to that, my dad’s a physician, so

Angela Giovine 13:57
So he was thinking you were following in the foot steps?

Greg Esterhai 14:00
No not necessarily. I don’t know that he hadn’t been medicine went through some hard times but

Angela Giovine 14:05
Right, that’s true, that’s true.

Greg Esterhai 14:06
so I don’t know that he was necessarily pushing that on me either. So no, they’re both very open to it.

Angela Giovine 14:12
And did you have a significant other at the time?

Greg Esterhai 14:15
I did. My now wife, so she was great. We both graduated University of Richmond together at the same time in in 98. She stayed down there for next year enjoyed, you know, being with all her friends while I was home,

Angela Giovine 14:27

Greg Esterhai 14:27
with my parents. Yeah, she ended up then moving up to the Philadelphia area, she went to temple graduate school, and we ended up getting married a few years later.

Angela Giovine 14:35
So you were able to then take that $4,000 loan and then make sales and from the sales you made, you’re able to keep growing the business off of the revenue. Now, how long was it before you were able to even pay yourself?

Greg Esterhai 14:50
Both my partner and I, we had, you know part time jobs on the side, for probably the first couple years. And so it probably took, you know, three four years before we took a meaningful salary

Angela Giovine 15:00
Yeah. So if you could go back, and you could get more investment money up front and pay yourself a salary upfront versus being scrappy, starting with the loan, do you think it would have changed anything? And for the better for the worse?

Greg Esterhai 15:16
I never looked back thinking that well, we should have done that. I think we were just fortunate that we were in a spot where we were again, 22 23 years old.

Angela Giovine 15:24
Nothing really to lose, yeah

Greg Esterhai 15:26
Exactly. You know, both of us had girlfriends at the time. So it wasn’t like we were out, you know, trying to, you know meet people and-

Angela Giovine 15:32
Right, you’re not in the bar.

Greg Esterhai 15:32
It it was fine. You know, living at home was just the sacrifice that we were both willing to make. So I don’t I don’t know that you know, having taken a salary if we take in money or investors you know, at the time would have necessarily interchanged anything.

Angela Giovine 15:44
Other than your friend that you started with, did you have other friends that were starting up or were they

Greg Esterhai 15:49

Angela Giovine 15:50
going on a normal job?

Greg Esterhai 15:50
You know, most everybody that we knew was getting a job right out of college. You know, making this what seemed like a gazillion dollars, you know, coming out of college for their first job. Then I remember, you know, thinking I’m living at home not making any money.

Angela Giovine 16:02
Right, mentally, how did you push through that?

Greg Esterhai 16:06
I think both of our you know, as far as our personalities are concerned, I think we’re both pretty motivated, hard working, you know, people. So it was one of those things, as you’re sort of floundering at the beginning, trying to figure out what you’re doing, and you know, what the plan is and how we’re going to actually turn a profit. I think in the back of our mind, we both just felt like we knew we’d be successful.

Angela Giovine 16:24

Greg Esterhai 16:06
It’s just gonna take time it was

Angela Giovine 16:25
Right, right. So how long into the business before you kind of felt like, Okay, there’s a here here, and this is something we’re going to be able to stick with?

Greg Esterhai 16:36
I’d say probably four years if I had to pinpoint

Angela Giovine 16:39
Okay, so you think

Greg Esterhai 16:40
which, you know, we realized like, Okay, this hole in one insurances, you know, we could figure out how we could scale what we were doing. It was, you know, something that other people were selling, but weren’t necessarily selling well, you know, we thought we could be pretty competitive in it.

Angela Giovine 16:53
So during those first four years when it was touch and go, what were some of the times that where you thought this isn’t going to work? What were some of those moments that you had to push through?

Greg Esterhai 17:02
You know, at the outset, it was three of us that were in the business to start for about the first two years, a third high school friend of ours. And he went back to law school because again, at the beginning, we weren’t making any money. He didn’t have, you know a girlfriend, he didn’t necessarily love living at home. So I think, you know, he got tired of that, which totally made sense. But I guess, you know, probably at the beginning, you know, when we were going through that, and, you know, the three of us going in different directions, that was probably a tough moment where it’s like, is this really worth it? I don’t know, maybe he’s onto something, maybe we should go back to school

Angela Giovine 17:33

Greg Esterhai 17:33
should go get a real job. Probably at the beginning. I think that’s, that’s the hard part. And the other part was the fact that you know, you’re not making any money and you’re living it at home, and there’s no guarantees that this is gonna, you know, be successful. So you start to worry a little bit about whether or not you know, you’re, you know, life is passing you by and all sudden you’re passing these opportunities where you could have gotten a good job out of college. And now what? You know, what you’re going to do.

Angela Giovine 17:52
What were some of the indicators or moments for you where it was like, I’m on the right track, I need to double down here or big down domino’s for the business?

Greg Esterhai 18:01
I think it was probably for us, when we got hole on one insurance dot com, when we had that URL, that was sort of a high five moment. You know, when we were able to look at each other and be like, Well, that was big. You know, that was a pretty pivotal point, I think in probably you know, what is going to be our business career.

Angela Giovine 18:17
Was it an auction? Did you buy it off of someone?

Greg Esterhai 18:20
Yeah, we bought it off of somebody, my partner, just I remember reached out to somebody who had been sort of squatting on it.

Angela Giovine 18:26
Because that’s such a shady industry that whole, like people squatting on URLs. You don’t even know who you’re doing business with.

Greg Esterhai 18:32
Exactly. And you have no guarantees and you know, I think especially back then, you know, only years ago was that, but I can’t remember what it was it was $500? A thousand dollars maybe, something, you know, pretty inexpensive for the value that it you know, gave us. But that was one moment that I remember, you know, looking back and be like that was significant.

Angela Giovine 18:49
Right, right. The definition of the word entrepreneur is a risk taker, but there’s sort of an equal reaction. It seems to me in educating myself in and and reading and learning about business owners, people who take big risks, sometimes they fail but very often, that big failure, the pendulum swings back the other way, and then you see a bigger equal, if not bigger reward. So can you think of any times where you’ve had taken big risks that have either not gone the way you thought? Or were big payoffs?

Greg Esterhai 19:24
You know, in 20 years, I would say that, although I consider both my partner and I, you know an entrepreneur, I would actually say that that’s one thing that we could probably both look back on and say, I wonder if we took enough risks. Because I can’t honestly pinpoint anything too significant. You know, the risks that I can think of that as small businesses contemplating or going through as they try to build their businesses, you know, should we take money? Or should we not? Do we want to get investors who are going to, you know, be a part of this? And we’ve gone back and forth on even those types of discussions

Angela Giovine 19:54

Greg Esterhai 19:54
over the years.

Angela Giovine 19:54
So as of now, you have stayed

Greg Esterhai 19:57

Angela Giovine 19:57
internally owned,

Greg Esterhai 19:58
Correct. We’ve never

Angela Giovine 19:59
small business by those terms.

Greg Esterhai 20:01
Absolutely. And we’ve struggled with that, and you know, absolutely have had, you know, people come to us.

Angela Giovine 20:05

Greg Esterhai 20:06
so yeah, and

Angela Giovine 20:06
That’s interesting, so it’s not like something where you’ve thought, Okay, let’s go out on the road, you’ve actually had people approach you

Greg Esterhai 20:12

Angela Giovine 20:12
And say, do you want to take it to the next level?

Greg Esterhai 20:14
Right, exactly. And for us, we just need to look and see okay, what does that next level really look like? And we’re getting, you know, more money or investors or an infusion of cash really do anything for us. So, again, we don’t know what the answer is because, you know, we’ve always

Angela Giovine 20:27

Greg Esterhai 20:27
looked at the opportunity, and you know, respectfully declined.

Angela Giovine 20:30

Greg Esterhai 20:30

Angela Giovine 20:31
Well I think the part the people really forget about when you’re taking somebody else’s money is No, it’s not a loan, so to speak, they’re taking a piece of your company but, they’re looking to get their money back.

Greg Esterhai 20:44

Angela Giovine 20:44
So it may not be defined as a loan but you are expected to not only return their money, but in a lot of cases 10 x their

Greg Esterhai 20:52

Angela Giovine 20:52
their money or whatever it is. So, to your point, you know, how does that change quality of life? How does that change your business day to day? And I have to imagine those are a lot of thoughts going through your mind, when you’re when you’re making those decisions.

Greg Esterhai 21:06
Yeah, that’s that’s exactly it. I mean, it’s been 20 years that we’ve been doing this and having never really worked for anybody else our entire lives, you know, we’re obviously pretty blessed to be in the situation that that we’re in. So to potentially change that, yes, it could be exciting to think that well, you know, if we did this, what would what would that next level look like? But it is also a little scary.

Angela Giovine 21:26

Greg Esterhai 21:26
To think that your life might may change, you might not be able to be a good soccer games or whatever it is that you, you know, enjoy.

Angela Giovine 21:30
And I mean, there’s always a what if, but it’s sometimes just good to be grateful that you know, for what you have and thinking about what you have, I mean, you could end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater or messing up like something that’s just you have down perfectly. So I can totally relate to that.

Greg Esterhai 21:47

Angela Giovine 21:47
So you said your co founder is one of your oldest and best friends. That’s gotta be a relationship that’s up there along the lines of a marriage, right? What is that dynamic like? How do you to work together as partners?

Greg Esterhai 22:01
Yeah. And it’s evolved over time. I mean, we were legitimately, you know, best friends from the day, you know, second grade on really. So, in starting the business, obviously, like you said, it’s a you know, it’s a partnership, it’s a marriage. You’re getting into it, and you’re gonna know everything about this person, you know, and all their quirks and the ways that they do business versus the way that you think you should be doing business.

Angela Giovine 22:20
Was he entrepreneurial as a child?

Greg Esterhai 22:23
He was, yeah, he probably was more so than I was. For us, It’s honestly, it’s worked out really well. I mean, sure we go through times where we we look at each other, and we’re, you know, trying to figure out, okay, what’s your role? What’s my role? And how do we do this the best way that we can? But you know, he is much more visionary than I am much more of a big picture type of guy. Where he’s thinking, you know, big picture.

Angela Giovine 22:44

Greg Esterhai 22:44
strategies. Absolutely. So again, he’s the one who had the idea.

Angela Giovine 22:47

Greg Esterhai 22:48
I’d be in the doctor’s office right now or in hospital probably.

Angela Giovine 22:51

Greg Esterhai 22:51
otherwise, so you know, he really is the one who came up with the big ideas along the way. You know, whether it’s getting hole in one insurance dot com, or you know, the new ideas of let’s expand out to other things.

Angela Giovine 23:00

Greg Esterhai 23:01
I’m much more operational

Angela Giovine 23:02
Get it done. Figure out figure out how.

Greg Esterhai 23:05
Exactly. So constantly he’s coming up with ideas on what Okay, that sounds good, but now talk me through like how we’re going to get to this point.

Angela Giovine 23:11
How often, how often do you have to talk them back? Like that is way too out there? We can’t do that?

Greg Esterhai 23:17
Well, I don’t know that that happens that often. You know, honestly, because I think we’re both on the same page honestly, you know, most of the time. It’s just a matter of executing, you know, these things that we’ve been thinking about. So that’s been the biggest thing for us is just making sure we understand each other’s roles and know that okay, this is what you’re good at, this is what I’m good at, let’s work together to obviously create something.

Angela Giovine 23:35
Yeah. When you have disagreements, since you are friends, does that affect how you have business disagreements? Do they feel more intimate, so to speak?

Greg Esterhai 23:45
Right, for us, and you know, our wives will joke because and it is sort of unfortunate, but they’ll joke about the fact that you know, I may not know what’s going on in Jim’s life and he may not know what’s going on in my life because we don’t you know, even though we might sit across the hall from each other, I don’t have any necessarily time that I’m sitting there telling him about my

Angela Giovine 24:02
Right, you’re not chit chatting.

Greg Esterhai 24:04
whatever it is, exactly. Our wives will joke about that if we all you know, go out to dinner one night, they’ll say, Well, I don’t understand like I just asked Greg, you know what’s going on with this? And he had no idea and I’m

Angela Giovine 24:11

Greg Esterhai 24:11
sorry we’re guys.

Angela Giovine 24:12
Right, right. Yeah, it’s true, it

Greg Esterhai 24:11
Over time, I mean, we also are leading you know, pretty different lives right now. Jim’s in the city with his wife.

Angela Giovine 24:19

Greg Esterhai 24:19
And they’ve got a little daughter, number two is going to be on the way, and I have my kids are older and we’re out in the burbs. So we don’t see each other a whole lot.

Angela Giovine 24:27

Greg Esterhai 24:27
You know, outside of work. You know, when we get into, you know, discussions or if we disagree, you know, with something, I think the nice thing is we can look at each other and be like, you know, this is like my brother, you know,

Angela Giovine 24:36

Greg Esterhai 24:36
this guy forever. I’m not going to

Angela Giovine 24:37

Greg Esterhai 24:37
you know, both our personalities such I think we

Angela Giovine 24:39
inherent trust there.

Greg Esterhai 24:40
Yeah, exactly. So yes, we might disagree, but I think the

Angela Giovine 24:43

Greg Esterhai 24:43
the day, we both respect each other and

Angela Giovine 24:45

Greg Esterhai 24:45
you know, what’s best for the company. So

Angela Giovine 24:47

Greg Esterhai 24:47
we’re gonna see through it.

Angela Giovine 24:48
Yeah, I think one thing that is really an asset for small business owners who have partners, is when you’re on your own, you have to have an advisor right? You have to have someone to go to to vent.To ask for advice, and a lot of time is spent, than giving that person the backstory. Giving that person the context of the situation so that they can give you halfway decent advice. When you have a partner, they’re right there with you. They have a context and so you’re able to get real time concentrated advice and moral support.

Greg Esterhai 25:22
Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest benefit is just being able to bounce ideas off each other. The difficult time is, like you said, you know, when you’ve got two different opinions on something, and you don’t have a third, you necessarily, you know, breaks that tie, but it’s just been 20 years.

Angela Giovine 25:33
It is amazing to have a partner that you can go to with that kind of thing but I imagine that there are also times where you maybe are looking for someone outside of the equation for either advice or someone to vent to. Who are people in your life that you look to as business mentors,

Greg Esterhai 25:51
You know, being in a small business, I don’t know why this happens or if it happens everybody, but you tend to just meet and start to hang out with more small business owners, I feel like. So I have a pretty good network of that, not that I unnecessarily sought that out or wasn’t just specifically a part of a club of small business owners, but I have a few good friends you know, who are a small business owners. So we will from time to time even get together as a group do lunch, spitball, just talk about our businesses,

Angela Giovine 26:14
Not an organized thing?

Greg Esterhai 26:16
No, no. It’s just, you know, more casual. So I can certainly think of, you know, a few people, you know, the top of my head, who fit into that category of us being able to talk and just sort of talk through things as things come up. My sister also actually owns her own business. She and her husband started a business about three years ago as part of a therapy practice. So it’s great because we can always chat about things and you know, help each other through different things that we’re doing.

Angela Giovine 26:38
So it’s typically not people who are necessarily in the same industry as you but people who have experienced being a small business owner or entrapreneur?

Greg Esterhai 26:45
Yeah, for sure.

Angela Giovine 26:47
And do you find that those people tend to give you more tactical advice? Or s it more of the fortitude, morale?

Greg Esterhai 26:54
I feel it’s almost more of like a sounding board. You know, again, you talked about you know, it is nice to have a a business partner who, who you can bounce ideas off of, but it’s more of a sounding board to be able to sort of vent and or, you know, process through some sort of major decision that we’re trying to make here as a company and we’re trying to figure out okay, well, I think I know where you know what Jim’s perspective is on this. I’m not sure what my perspective is. What do you guys think about this, that or the other thing?

Angela Giovine 27:18
So we’re sitting here in your office in Haverford, are we in Haverford?

Greg Esterhai 27:22
Yeah, Haverford yeah.

Angela Giovine 27:24
right now, which is near Villanova on the main line right outside of Philadelphia. Your office is a converted townhome? Or

Greg Esterhai 27:32
single family home I guess. It’s like a lot of these houses on this area.

Angela Giovine 27:36
Yep, we’re up here on the third floor. And how many employees work here?

Greg Esterhai 27:41
So we’re a little seasonal still because golf and hole on one insurance is still like I said, you know, 75 80% of our business. So we will have anywhere from 15 to 20. It you know will bulk up in the summertime. So we’ll be up around that 20 range.

Angela Giovine 27:54
And those people are processing or selling?

Greg Esterhai 27:58
A little bit of both. So we have again, you know, couple different divisions with what we do, so we have some people who are doing actually now at this point, outbound sales for a lot of the non golf related stuff that we do. A lot of people are incoming sales and processing contracts and with every contest that we do, we’ll send out a package of signs that, you know, typically will go out on the golf course or on the basketball court or wherever it might be. So if you know people who are handling the art and design for that, then we just have sort of your traditional marketing, you know, head of marketing and office manager and people like that.

Angela Giovine 28:27
Got it. And so you’re fairly lean for the number of policies that you write a year. Is that by design? Is that just the way that the industry is able to work? Is it because of you’ve used certain technology?

Greg Esterhai 28:41
Yeah, I mean, our goal is always you know, from the beginning to try and be as efficient as we possibly could be. So that said, you know, we within probably the last, let’s say year to 18 months, we just came out with a new online purchase process, which allowed us to become even more efficient. People can really get online if you need to buy a hole in one insurance. You can certainly pick up the phone and you’ll talk to somebody and they’ll sort of walk you through it here. But a lot of people now are really able to just go online, jump on our website, within you know, a couple minutes, they’ll have a policy purchased, they’ll get their signs will be shipped out to them the next day, they can make a change too if they need to, they can, you know, make a payment, all that sort of stuff through the website, which just allows us to keep us as lean as possible.

Angela Giovine 29:20
I think that’s so fascinating because of your age, because you’re young, and because you have had people come to you to try to invest in you. You did always keep that mindset of lean. It’s so easy to be seduced by the like, vision of we can have this huge office

Greg Esterhai 29:41
Right, right. Absolutely.

Angela Giovine 29:42
we can have a private chef.

Greg Esterhai 29:43

Angela Giovine 29:43
And is it really just like you are grateful and realize what you have that has kept you from kind of getting there? Yeah.

Greg Esterhai 29:51
I think it’s also just sort of our upbringing, both you know, both Jim and myself, yeah.

Angela Giovine 29:55
It’s just so popular now, you know, like that’s part of why I’m doing these interviews to begin with is

Greg Esterhai 30:00

Angela Giovine 30:00
that it’s just so sexy across Shark Tank to you know, Mark Zuckerberg and the Silicon Valley on HBO. Everyone wants venture money, and and you know, I just think it’s fascinating that you have been like, you know what? No, thanks.

Greg Esterhai 30:15
Right, exactly.

Angela Giovine 30:17
So you’re saying your upbringing?

Greg Esterhai 30:18
Yeah. Well, I just think it just the way that we were raised, you know, we were always sort of grinding it out, because we started the business so long ago and we were young, and we were grinders, and we liked working hard. You know, that’s always sort of been more of our focus and who knows, it could be to a fault. Looking back, it’s hard to know what would it look like if 10 years ago we had taken money from, you know, this group and then expanded into this area and all that.

Angela Giovine 30:38
Right, right.

Greg Esterhai 30:38
It’s hard to know, but at the end of the day, you know, we’re also not just doing this for the money. You know, we enjoy

Angela Giovine 30:44
Your lifestyle.

Greg Esterhai 30:44
Yeah, the lifestyle. Absolutely and having that small business feel and having an office that I can drive into and have, you know,

Angela Giovine 30:51
No one to report to, no one to answer to.

Greg Esterhai 30:53

Angela Giovine 30:54
Me, owning your decision.

Greg Esterhai 30:55

Angela Giovine 30:56
All of those kinds of things.

Greg Esterhai 30:5

Angela Giovine 30:58
It’s sort of priceless.

Greg Esterhai 31:00
Hard, exactly. It’s hard to put a value on that for sure.

Angela Giovine 31:00
Yeah, I’m sure that’s one of the things that you have got to go back to over and over again.

Greg Esterhai 31:05
Exactly, right.

Angela Giovine 31:05
I think it’s commendable because there are just too many people who treat venture money, like it’s monopoly money at this point where like, to go for what purpose?

Greg Esterhai 31:15
Right, exactly. No, I agree

Angela Giovine 31:16
to ask why. So we were talking about your team being able to be small, it’s really because you’ve always questioned the why and and being lean and continuing that. Do you think that that sets you apart in the industry in terms of utilizing technology?

Greg Esterhai 31:32
I think because we were younger, new on the block. You know, several years ago, I think we were more inclined to understand the value of technology. So I think that’s always given us an advantage.

Angela Giovine 31:43
It’s in the DNA of the company, so to speak. You were founded with technology.

Greg Esterhai 31:49
Correct, exactly.

Angela Giovine 31:49
Whereas your competitors,

Greg Esterhai 31:51
A lot of them

Angela Giovine 31:52
had to adapt and retrofit. So

Greg Esterhai 31:54
And or haven’t .

Angela Giovine 31:55
Or and or haven’t. And you must look at them and go like

Greg Esterhai 31:58

Angela Giovine 31:59
Yeah, but it’ll happen.

Greg Esterhai 32:00
You know, that said, Yeah, and it will. But there’s also something to be said for more traditional marketing too, which is what we’re realizing, you know, outside of the golf. And what we do, you know, a lot of the other contests and games. There is a lot to be said for, you know, creating a network and having a sales team who go out there and really meet people and hit the streets. Because I think that’s how a lot of businesses really still done today.

Angela Giovine 32:20
Well, it’s so interesting, because I was literally last night listening to how I built this podcast with the founder of TempurPedic. And same thing, he kept thinking, Okay, one of these big guys Serta’s going to come out with memory foam at some point and kill us. And they just kept not changing, not changing, and now TempurPedic owns Serta.

Greg Esterhai 32:40
Right, right. Amazing

Angela Giovine 32:41
It’s like, it’s amazing. It’s amazing, when you have that sort of question, everything. mindset from the beginning, it’s kind of changes who you are. Has technology changed over the life of your business? And how has that evolved your business? I mean, certainly social media has gotten bigger, has that affected you in any way?

Greg Esterhai 33:02
Yeah, I mean, we’ve tried to stay ahead of the curve, you know, with with a lot of this stuff. So you know, as soon as something’s coming out, and I remember Facebook, for instance. We were in business for several years leading up to that. Again, we were like the first ones to feel like there was some importance there. So getting friends and fans and you know, likes and all that was important. And I mean, it’s still valuable, obviously, just being connected with, with people who who buy our product. I like to think that we do that better than you know, any of our competitors. So yeah, we’ve just always focused on that, like I said, you know, almost to a fault, you know, in that we have probably over the years neglected other areas that we could have been marketing in, but we’re learning and we’re still growing.

Angela Giovine 33:37

Greg Esterhai 33:37
That’s, that’s the plan.

Angela Giovine 33:38
You started with golf, and then you went into these other types of prize insurance. Have there been other expansions? And are you constantly thinking of other expansions?

Greg Esterhai 33:47
Yeah, we are. We’re always thinking of, you know, new things that we want to areas that we want to get into. So yeah, we haven’t we actually have another smaller division that deals with weather insurance, for instance. So that group specializes in covering events against rain. So if you have a wedding or a fair festival or an outdoor birthday party, something like that, that is bringing in a certain amount of revenue or some some sort of an event that you know, you’re going to be, you know, at a loss, if you’re going to lose you know, your deposits or whatever it might be, you can insure that against weather. So there’s all these sort of niche type Tiki little insurance products out there.

Angela Giovine 34:21
Do people buy weather insurance for their weddings?

Greg Esterhai 34:23
Yep, absolutely. Yeah. And the idea behind that is you know that there might be some extra cost involved, if you end up having you know, your wedding and it ends up raining and you’ve got to then you know, get a tent and you’ve got to move it indoors, you got to do

Angela Giovine 34:36
Those tents are not cheap.

Greg Esterhai 34:37
Exactly. It’s nothing, you know, it might not be significant,

Angela Giovine 34:39
But it is for an individual.

Greg Esterhai 34:40
Absolutely, who has to do that. So they’ll buy a policy and so that’s an example of you know, like, that was a company that we started probably five years ago. You know, just devoted you know, a few people to that department and marketing it online and you know, trying to market it in other ways just continue to grow.

Angela Giovine 34:55
So most people would think oh, insurance is like kind of a dry industry, of course, being in prize, it’s like a little more exciting. But what are like the parts of the business that are the most exciting for you on a daily basis? Is it creating those processes, managing people? What are the highlights of your job?

Greg Esterhai 35:16
Yeah, for me, because I’m more operationally minded, it’s definitely the day to day processes of trying to make us as efficient as possible. I think that that’s sort of what my focus has always been, you know, over all these years. And I enjoy that, you know, the idea of having a list and being able to check things off that list. You know, that’s, I’m just one of those people who enjoys that. So, same thing here. You know, as far as running the business, it’s thinking of all the different things that we need to get done in the next, you know, month, two months, quarter a year, and just burning through those, you know, different items,

Angela Giovine 35:4
Checking them off the to do list.

Greg Esterhai 35:48
Yeah, exactly. You know, that’s sort of what I enjoy.

Angela Giovine 35:50
Since it started with just the two of you and you’ve grown to a number of employees, I imagine you’ve done pretty much every job within the company at some point, what were some of the first things you were excited to get off of your plate and move to another employee?

Greg Esterhai 36:08
Well, I can think of two. One is being on the phones with customers,

Angela Giovine 36:11

Greg Esterhai 36:11
which I occasionally will still jump in and do just to remind myself what my employees have to deal with on a daily basis.

Angela Giovine 36:18
Right, right.

Greg Esterhai 36:19
Now, but that’s, yeah, absolutely. The beginning, it was just us. You know, when the phone would ring, and we would you know, the calls would bounce between my partner and I, and so you’d be talking to customers, so and then also, the other area within specifically hole in one is, you know, we do create these signs and send these boxes out, you know, to all these different tournaments. So that’s just one of those labor type things that you’ve got to do and get done and do it right and get it out. But that was nice once we were able to get to a point where we said you know what, it’s worth paying somebody else to do this.

Angela Giovine 36:46
We can

Greg Esterhai 36:46
I don’t have to do this anymore.

Angela Giovine 36:47
Yeah, yeah.

Greg Esterhai 36:48
that was nice.

Angela Giovine 36:48
What are some of the parts of your job even today that are things that you maybe don’t look forward to?

Greg Esterhai 36:55
Firing somebody.

Angela Giovine 36:57
Yeah, that sucks, yeah.

Greg Esterhai 36:55
because we’re at a point now where we have top level people that do a lot of the, lot of the hard stuff, you know, that we used to deal with on a daily basis, which is nice getting ourselves away from the business, you know, on a day to day basis. But, you know, when it comes to dealing with employees, in hiring and firing and having to let somebody go, you know, even if they’re not bad, but you just, you know, unfortunately, we don’t need that position anymore. That’s definitely tough.

Angela Giovine 37:20
Yeah. Have you ever had to fire because of performance?

Greg Esterhai 37:23
Yeah. And I’d say that’s easier, honestly, than you know having to, you know, let somebody go just because, like we don’t think we need that position anymore.

Angela Giovine 37:31
Right, right.

Greg Esterhai 37:33
So being in business for this this long, and also because we are seasonal, we will have, like I said, some employees that will come in in the summer will probably with us for you know, maybe four five months and then we’ll have to let them go. You know, all of them typically understand, you know, that’s that’s the nature of what our business is at the time but

Angela Giovine 37:47
And everybody comes here to work. It’s not a work from home thing.

Greg Esterhai 37:52
Just about everybody comes here. We have one employee who’s actually remote at this point, who’s down in Virginia Beach. He’s one of our sales guys for our interactive promotion.

Angela Giovine 38:00

Greg Esterhai 38:00
So he works remote. We have a couple employees here who will will work remotely, you know, a day or two a week as well, but just about everybody’s here. Then in our busy season, it will really be a lot more of a call center type feel when you’re here. So that’ll be the phones will be ringing and you’ve got a lot of people on the phones answering.

Angela Giovine 38:15
So what’s the thought process but because it is, like you said over the phone, over the Internet, and it could be done remotely? What’s the thought behind having everybody in one place?

Greg Esterhai 38:25
Certainly at the beginning, you know, when you didn’t have quite the technology, you know, that was more difficult to have people work home.

Angela Giovine 38:30

Greg Esterhai 38:30
You know, but you’re right. Now that we’ve got, you know, phone system that’s voice over IP and you know, you’ve got everybody’s got a computer that they can take with them. I think we allow a few people in our company to work remotely, they tend to be people that are not dealing necessarily with customers on a day to day basis. I think it’s for us, I feel like we have a little bit of a better handle on you know, how our employees are dealing with our customers. You know, when everybody’s here

Angela Giovine 38:54
Sort in efficiencies.

Greg Esterhai 38:56
Yeah, absolutely. And then absolutely comes with efficiencies for sure.

Angela Giovine 38:59
That makes sense. What is the most gratifying part of your job, whether that be the insurance industry in and of itself or a small business owner?

Greg Esterhai 39:06
I think it’s dealing with our employees. I enjoy that. You know, we’re pretty fortunate to be able to have and always have really had a young, fun, good group of people. I enjoy, you know, coming to the office and seeing that.

Angela Giovine 39:22
Interacting with employees.

Greg Esterhai 39:23
Yeah, exactly. So, I think I get a lot of energy from that. I mean, I used to be young and I thought I was a young fun entrepreneur at one point, but now I’m realizing how old I am with all these young employees. I enjoyed that being with you know, employees who work hard enjoy being part of a young company like this.

Angela Giovine 39:41
How do you recruit them?

Greg Esterhai 39:42
Mainly online, you know, we’ll, we’ll go through the traditional means of, you know, advertising jobs. A lot of people will come to us also, though, friends of other employees or family members, you know, we have two employees here that are cousins. Actually we have two different sets of two cousins. Yeah, just all sorts of different ways really.

Angela Giovine 40:01
Yeah? Are there certain things that you look for in terms of characteristics or resume attributes that make you think this person will be a good fit for our company?

Greg Esterhai 40:09
Think it depends on the role, because we really do have people who are customer service, they need to be good on the phone, personable. We have that type person that you’re hiring, so sure we’re looking for somebody you know, different than somebody who’s dealing with share marketing or design and they’ve got to know our background, that’s one thing. But at the end of the day, you know when were doing interviews and we’re bringing people in, and we’re, you know trying to figure out whether or not this person’s going to be a good fit. You know we’re really just looking at them as a person and their personality. I would see look at their references

Angela Giovine 40:37

Greg Esterhai 40:37
their resume and all of that.

Angela Giovine 40:38
The culture fit.

Greg Esterhai 40:39
Yeah, just exactly just more of a cultural fit. You just look and say, Okay you know, are they going to mash well with this group.

Angela Giovine 40:44
Sure, sure. You talked earlier about how you guys were such grinders and worked so hard. Talk about that a little more. Was it a sleep under the desk kind of thing? How hard were you working in the early days and has it changed?

Greg Esterhai 41:03
I would say, you know when I think back, obviously where we were working in the business, I mean working hard at that. At the beginning trying to figure out Okay, what are we, what are we going to sell? Like what what is our business? But then once we figured out what our business was, then it was working towards Okay how are we going to have more clients? How are going to build it out? But I also think back to, you know when we were starting the business, it was, you know we had a couple part time jobs. So both Jim and myself, one of the first jobs I can remember was working at a credit card processing company. Where we were on the phone doing collections and

Angela Giovine 41: 32
While having a business?

Greg Esterhai 41:33
Right, while running this business that was within the first you know year I’d say.

Angela Giovine 41: 36
Right, but that’s so important because I think that’s something people gloss over, because you have to pay the bills.

Greg Esterhai 41:41
Right, exactly.

Angela Giovine 41: 42
You maybe living a home, but you know you got to eat, you’ve got a car.

Greg Esterhai 41:45
Absolutely. So that was, you know example I look back on that and you know I I can see Jim sit next to me in this huge call center in Horsham where we were. And you know, it was one of those things that they would throw up targets and goals that you have to meet, you can incentivize by you know how much calls you made and how much money you brought in, and all these different things and Jim and I would just crush it every month. We’d hit you know the goals and we’d like supersede every goal that they had, because again we were in you know we we’re college graduates

Angela Giovine 42:12
Not exactly the, yeah

Greg Esterhai 41:13
Not who they typically have in there you know, doing this collections calls.

Angela Giovine 42:16
Plus you’re in there going, I’m learning this is what I’m going to do and

Greg Esterhai 42:20
And was one of the best, honestly one of the best things that could have happened because it gave us the ability to, realize what it was like talking on the phone, talking to customers

Angela Giovine 42:2
Did you take that job knowing this will be a learning experience for that reason? Or you just

Greg Esterhai 42:20
No, I don’t, I you know I don’t think we did, but I will tell people even to this day, you know, when we hire new people and they’re getting on the phones for the first time and they’re you know going to have to deal with customers and you know, for me it second nature obviously at this point. But I will always say I remember, you know, when we took that job, that that was so significant for us because it really made us so comfortable for different areas. When you get on the phone and ask people for money or or demand that they pay money that they owe you,

Angela Giovine 42:58

Greg Esterhai 42:20
That’s that’s you know, gets

Angela Giovine 43:00

Greg Esterhai 43:00
gets pretty easy from there.

Angela Giovine 43:02
Right, yeah. Then when you’re selling them something that you want, that’s a lot easier.

Greg Esterhai 43:05
Exactly. So I mean it was, at the beginning it was a lot of of that. You know having part time jobs, working the business. And dealing with the fact that your friends are all out making you know, what seemed like a lot of money at that time.

Angela Giovine 43:15
Right. So you were working during the day, full 40 hour a weeks?

Greg Esterhai 43:18
Yup, yeah

Angela Giovine 43:20
And then, in your free time,

Greg Esterhai 43:22
Yeah, for you know, to to actually like you said, pay the bills.

Angela Giovine 43:25
And how has that evolved? I imagine as you’ve gotten some stability you’re not feeling the pressure to work all the time?

Greg Esterhai 43:32
Yeah, and that’s a balance. You know that my partner and I both trying to you know maintain. Because it’s one of those things that sure, we could probably just sit at home, not you know come in to the office if we needed to. We have ourselves pretty well positioned with the different employees that we have here, who are great and do great job. We obviously want to stay involved but it’s it’s questions for us and what took us a long time was to figure out Okay, how can we take ourselves out of the kitchen, right? Get ourselves out of the business of the day to day grind, hire good enough people that can can do that well. So that we can then go out there and really sell. So that’s really what our goal has been over the last you know year, I don’t know I’d say last 3 4 5 years. It’s really been to get ourselves out, so that we can be out there networking, meeting, thinking of big ideas, implementing you know, new lines of business. So yes, our our work life has certainly changed in that regard. Which is nice because you know, we both have kids and

Angela Giovine 44:21
Right, it’s not sustainable to work that hard for that long. But would you say working that hard made the difference between success and failure?

Greg Esterhai 44:29
Yeah, absolutely. Because at the end of the day, I don’t think we would have been able to do what we did. And I certainly don’t think we would have been able to do what we did if we didn’t have our 2 different personalities. So both were were motivated to working but then brought you know, 2 different skills sets to the table which is what most so significant..

Angela Giovine 44:44
Sure. It could have been more difficult if you are both, process oriented or both big picture but you had a really nice, natural yen and yang.

Greg Esterhai 44:53

Angela Giovine 44:53
Okay, finish this sentence. I would not be standing here today if not for

Greg Esterhai 45:00
It have to be my partner, Jim. You know, because again he’s the one who brought it to the table and I mean, I truly believe that. Had it not been for him, you know A I wouldn’t have you know had this idea or he wouldn’t have had this idea and and I wouldn’t have been involved. But B, he’s really the guy who who comes up with a lot of different ideas that we can then you know bounce off each other and then bring to formation

Angela Giovine 45:19
If it hadn’t been for Jim, you’re pretty confident that you would not be a small business owner?

Greg Esterhai 45:25
Yeah, because it really was not on my radar. I don’t

Angela Giovine 45:27

Greg Esterhai 45:27
as far as I remember, I I don’t think it was on my radar. I mean, I obviously must have had some inclination or you know I said yes, as soon as he said Hey, what about this idea? You know we started to go through the process. It wasn’t like yeah, they going to twist my arm or

Angela Giovine 45:38
Someones had to point you in the right direction.

Greg Esterhai 45:39
Right, so I think you know, who knows.

Angela Giovine 45:41

Greg Esterhai 45:41
You never know where you would end up.

Angela Giovine 45:42
Right, but you most likely would have ended up in graduate school?

Greg Esterhai 45:45
It feel like probably, exactly.

Angela Giovine 45:46

Greg Esterhai 45:45
If I were kept going to school, or

Angela Giovine 45:47

Greg Esterhai 45:48
you know done something within the list of field that I was you know studying in school.

Angela Giovine 45:52
What’s one piece of advice that you would give your 18 year old self ?

Greg Esterhai 45:57
I would say, it gets back to, you know what were talking about earlier. The idea of risks. We took a risk at 22 and I’m glad we did, obviously. And I think that’s important. So if I were to look back or if I think you know, looking forward, 8 years for my for my kids, right? What would I tell them? I would wholeheartedly support the idea of taking a risk, especially when you’re young. You know, I’m talking about it you know, telling this 18 year old Hey, you’re still young,

Angela Giovine 46:23
No mortgage, no kids.

Greg Esterhai 46:24
Exactly. This is the time to do it. Just exactly why we did it, because it was it is a no brainer. We for years, you know I have friends who, always talk about How I wish I had started a business where I’ve got this idea now, but now I can’t do it because I’ve got you know wife and kids and all that. And that’s true, I understand that. I you know, I wouldn’t be able to do what we did, you know now,

Angela Giovine 46:41
Not, not easily

Greg Esterhai 46:41
But, exactly. So I would say, absolutely you know, take risks because now is the time to do it.

Angela Giovine 46:48
Do you wish you had started your business at 18, and not 22?

Greg Esterhai 46:52
No, because I think there’s a lot of value in

Angela Giovine 46:54
Being a kid?

Greg Esterhai 46:54
Yeah, being a kid and being in college and learning. You know I can’t imagine, you know, even though I’d I haven’t taken a business course a day in my life but being in college and you know, learning how to learn,

Angela Giovine 47:04

Greg Esterhai 47:05
and to think differently. yeah to deal with people. You know that was all good stuff.

Angela Giovine 47:09
Sure, absolutely. Well thank you for spending the time with us today Greg.

Greg Esterhai 47:13
Absolutely, thank you.

Angela Giovine 47:15
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