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Episode 15 | Safety & Small Business with Jason Fontenot by LAPCO FR

Safety And... Small Business: Lauren sits down with Jason Fontenot, CSP, CMC, owner at Mold Man Solutions to discuss shifting from a successful safety career to starting his own business, lessons learned in the transition, what keeps Jason up at night, and play Either/Or: a game of famous entrepreneurial quotes.

 

 

 

Transcript: 

This podcast is sponsored by LAPCO Manufacturing. LAPCO: premium workwear since 1989.

 

[music]

 

0:00:27.6 Lauren Brizendine: Hello listeners. Welcome to Safety And, a laughing and learning podcast where we talk about safety and whatever else is on your mind. And today my guest, Jason Fontenot, has chosen to talk about safety and small business. So welcome to our show, Jason.

 

0:00:50.0 Jason Fontenot: Hey. How's it going Lauren?

 

0:00:51.7 LB: It's going fantastic. Now you are a CMC, CSP, and owner of your own small business called Mold Man Solutions. Can you tell us a little bit more about this career path and how you ended up as an entrepreneur? Because I know that entrepreneurship is certainly full of twists and turns, so I'm sure you have some great stories as to how you landed here, and we're ready to hear 'em. So...

 

0:01:26.5 JF: Not really Lauren, I knew since birth that I was gonna be a mold man, and I was gonna be mold-testing residences, [inaudible] my entire career. I've been planning my whole path for this moment. No, everybody knows that's not how it works. Everything's [inaudible]…

 

[chuckle]

 

0:01:42.3 JF: No. I won't... I'll spare y'all too many details, but you go to college. 'Cause back in my generation, which I'm 37, okay? In my generation, everybody's parents were, "You gotta go to college. You gotta go to college." So, you go to college. You don't know what you're going for. But you go. And you're like, "Okay, well, I like science stuff, so I'mma do biology, I'mma do research." Well, you graduate, and you realize, well, there's no research jobs out there for you 'cause your GPA ain't quite as high as the next person.

 

0:02:07.1 LB: Mm-hmm.

 

0:02:07.8 JF: So, what do you do? You got your degree; you go get a job. And you just land somewhere, and then you get experience there, and they put you at this plant called Exxon, they put you at this plant called Shell, you learn something called industrial hygiene, you realize it's not like a dentist stuff, it's actual safety-related items. And then you do industrial hygiene for a while and you realize, well, that's just a... Not just a, but it feels like there's a bigger focus of experience there called safety. And you start [inaudible] how can I become a safety guy? Well, you gotta get safety experience. And you look around for safety jobs and you land one, and you find somebody that's about to retire, and they just wanna teach you everything they know before they retire, and you get really lucky and fortunate with that, and they teach you everything they know.

 

0:02:51.4 JF: And then you move up, and you work 12, 14-hour days and you work long turnarounds at plants and stuff, and become a safety manager. And then they throw more stuff at you. "Hey there's this fire protection thing that you gotta do in this plant, you know about that?" You have security, you have employees now. And so, [chuckle] you do all that and you keep going, and finally you get to a point to where someone says, "Hey. Hey, Jason. Hey, why don't you come do some consulting, you'll make a lot more money. Come do some consulting. You can do a whole bunch of other stuff, you don't have to be locked into a plant, one job. You can go see all kind of other stuff and do your special projects and make hundred thousands of dollars." "I'm pretty comfortable in the safety manager job, but I'll take a shot." And you go take a shot and, of course, it's a little bit of a snake oil, it's not really what it's meant to be. But you learn a lot of stuff along the way.

 

0:03:44.0 LB: Definitely.

 

0:03:45.3 JF: And then you land in what I'm doing now, which I'm sure we'll talk about it a little bit more about that later on [chuckle] but...

 

0:03:50.8 LB: Well, no. You bring up some excellent points. LAPCO started off as a small business with a similar story. Sometimes school is not for you, sometimes you do better if you're out there getting that experience. Which is why I'm really excited about our show today because I feel like everyone goes through what you're talking about at some point. You're chasing your career, but also wondering what's next?

 

0:04:20.8 JF: Yeah. I would say, looking back on it, college... Having the degree opened some doors but, absolutely, you can go on a trade skills to do other things without doing that and still do very, very well. And I would say there's probably... Nothing I learned in college applies to what am doing today. [chuckle] But having the degree opened some doors. I don't know why we have this theory that, "Well, we're not even gonna look at this resume because they don't have a degree." I'm hoping that fades away over time at some point.

 

0:04:49.5 LB: Oh, I'm sure. And there are definitely... We see statistics that there are jobs in the trades that are really on the rise. And I'm sure after everything we've gone through, I would imagine more small businesses or people are getting more creative on what they can do with their profession. But tell us a little bit more about maybe some of the things that you didn't really know when you first started your business. Because I'm sure there were some surprises, maybe some expectations that turned out differently. So, tell our listeners more about some of those.

 

0:05:29.8 JF: Oh God. There's so many, there's so many. Let me tell you, if you've never ran run a business and you wanna run a business, let me just tell you, you don't know anything. And you need to know going in there, you don't know anything. Okay? You might think you know and have an idea, but you don't. And I was that guy with the big ego. I thought I knew what it was, and I don't know what it was. You hear about small business owners and they, "No, they work long hours." You hear... But then you're like, "Well... Yeah, I work long hours. Big deal." No, no. [chuckle] When you run a small business by yourself and you're starting out, long hours mean 16, 17-hour days, seven days a week for months on end. And there is no holiday, there's no benefit package. You don't get vacation; you just do it. I would say one of the things that I didn't know was there's a lot of things about... You gotta learn things about taxes, you gotta learn about how to get an LLC, you gotta... You got to learn about lawyers. Where you didn't have the possibility of being sued before, now you do, you gotta have an insurance for that too and...

 

0:06:31.4 LB: Yes. But can't you just YouTube everything though? Can't you just... [chuckle] No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I know it is a lot of hard work.

 

0:06:39.5 JF: You can... Let me tell you, the best thing you can do with the internet for starting a small business, it just leads on the path to finding the right people. If you don't meet the right people in your area that can help you out, if you don't find the right CPA to help you with your accounting, if you don't find the right... If you don't find business owners that you can lean on to give you information, I don't know how you could do it. You're not gonna get it from the internet. You gotta talk to people.

 

0:07:02.8 LB: Do you think this is why some people maybe don't start their own business? Or a better question is, why do you think maybe some people don't start their own business?

 

0:07:15.6 JF: I think I talk to a lot of people, including myself, and I think we're all sitting there waiting, "Hey, maybe we wanna start our own business," but we're waiting for that idea. We need to get that... We need that million-dollar idea before we jump out and try to take a risk and do something. And I did that for 10 years, and I feel like I wasted that, just waiting for an idea to happen. And I don't think it works like that, I think you have to start a, let's call it a side hustle. You have to do some things on the side outside what your normal mainstream career is and see how it works, and see if you can't figure out a way to make that what you really wanna do your career. You have to go to do it, little bit of it, you have to start doing it. If it doesn't work out, big deal, you still have your mainstream job. But just sitting there waiting and collecting a salary and waiting for an idea to happen that's just gonna magically change everything, I think it's a little bit close to winning the lottery ticket. You gotta go... You gotta go out and do it.

 

0:08:07.7 LB: And it's interesting you talk about the side hustle, because I know a lot of people who have their day jobs and their side hustle, or maybe their day jobs and more of a passion project. And I don't know that we always talk about how hard that is when you're transitioning from what you're doing into having a small business.

 

0:08:31.5 JF: Yeah, it's very difficult and there's a... I think the biggest thing I would say is the reason why people don't go start their own small business, is just the fear that if I leave my job now and this doesn't work out, what's gonna happen to me? I don't have the money saved up, I can't pay my bills, and the list goes on. And that fear keeps them from starting. What they don't realize is that they could leave their job today and get a similar job somewhere else if it doesn't work out, it's not the end.

 

0:09:00.5 LB: Right.

 

0:09:00.6 JF: But if you don't take the risk, it is the end. [chuckle]

 

0:09:04.0 LB: Well, I was gonna ask you a little bit about that. How do you overcome that fear and really take that leap forward into doing something for yourself?

 

0:09:16.6 JF: I wish I could be honest with you and tell you I was just super great at overcoming that fear, but I had the right friends that pushed me constantly and said, "Hey, you need to go do this, you need to go do this." Not one time, not for one week, I'm talking months. "You need to go do this." And putting the right people around you, help supporting you, was probably the reason why I was able to get away from that fear. It was not easy. We're on a podcast, I'll be honest with this. When you have a safety manager job and you're making over six figures, you should be ecstatic about where you're at. You're blessed, you got it. Why would you leave that? People would love to have that position. Why would you leave that to go do something else? You're crazy. And look, there's a lot of friends out there that are gonna tell you that. There are a lot of people out there to tell you you're crazy for quitting your job, you're crazy for taking that on. You gotta be willing to take that on too.

 

0:10:07.5 LB: Well, that's part of why I love this particular episode is because... I say that it's a laughing and learning podcast because certainly we wanna learn from each other. But I also think there are moments of inspiration. And that's what your story really sounds like. And just having that support system, especially if you know you're about to do something where, I don't wanna say it could be perhaps a lonely path, but if you're doing everything, I'm sure there are these moments of vulnerability. So having that support system and you just mentioning that I think is great, and maybe it can inspire people to... Who are listening, who are like, "What should I do in my six-figure job?" to maybe look at their life differently.

 

0:10:54.4 JF: Yeah, I hope it does. You might have a six-figure job, but you still wanna run your own business, you still wanna do your own thing. You can leave that six-figure job and if it does not work out, you have... You wouldn't have got that six-figure job if you didn't have the experience and qualifications to get it. And I guarantee you there's a similar one out there. If everything failed, you could go get another one. Okay?

 

0:11:14.3 LB: Right.

 

0:11:14.8 JF: It's not as big of a risk as you think, I guess is the mindset that I developed when I went on my own.

 

0:11:21.5 LB: Well, I wanna talk a little bit about specifically what you do. Your business is Mold Man Solutions, so I definitely want you to tell our listeners a little bit about your business in addition to what we've been talking about how you got there. But what exactly does the day in a life look like for you?

 

0:11:42.6 JF: So, I was talking about starting a side hustle, okay. I made one contact with a big restoration company. When I say restoration, that's a term they use for if your house gets flooded or storm-damaged these people come fix all the water damage, okay.

 

0:11:53.8 LB: Mm-hmm.

 

0:11:54.2 JF: And they had mold in there, and they said, "Well, we gotta make sure that the homeowners aren't gonna be exposed to mold once we finish. Can you come do testing for that?" And I was like, "Well, you know, I'm an industrial hygienist. Absolutely." And now that's just something consultants say, you don't... You've never really done it; you just say you can do everything.

 

0:12:08.2 LB: Right. [chuckle] Of course. I think that's what everyone says.

 

0:12:11.6 JF: Yeah. Absolutely true.

 

0:12:11.8 LB: Like "Oh, sure. I can do this."

 

0:12:14.5 JF: "Anything. Space? Tomorrow. Let's go."

 

0:12:15.8 LB: Yeah, exactly.

 

0:12:19.0 JF: I'll invoice you.

 

0:12:20.1 LB: Yeah.

 

[chuckle]

 

0:12:21.8 JF: No, but they... And you're like, "Well, I have enough contacts." So, then you start calling every industrial hygienist that you know, and then you start looking at stuff on the internet. And you figured out "What equipment do I need?" And you have some knowledge to it, and you go, and you do it. And you think that you do a really great job at it, and you really... Reality is you probably did about a three out of 10, but just enough to get by. But you think you did a 10 out of 10 because you'd spent all this time trying to figure it out, but you did it. And you see what kind of money it generated and you're like, "Well, you know, that's not so bad. That wasn't so bad. I could do this." But while I'm out there doing it, what I'm seeing, and this is really what forced it, I saw a lot of workers, hourly workers out there doing... Oh my gosh, the safety aspect just doesn't exist in the industry. I'm sorry to say, it doesn't exist. It is not like working in a chemical plant, okay.

 

0:13:07.5 LB: Right.

 

0:13:07.7 JF: When you're doing residential and commercial, I always heard that it wasn't... That safety wasn't a factor, but it's just not. They don't wear PPE a lot of times, they don't... They're on tops of ladders, they could fall 10 feet down an attic to their death at any moment, cutting tools, the list goes on. And I started hearing them talk about mold and I was like, "Look, I'm not an expert at mold. I have a biology degree. I have to go back 10, 15 years to rekindle what I know about it. But what you're talking about just doesn't make any sense." I said... And as I started doing more and more of this on the side, I realized that there's not a lot of knowledge with mold exposure and mold in houses in the industry, or even residents, or even the internet. It's really bad.

 

0:13:48.8 LB: Yeah.

 

0:13:50.0 JF: And I said, "I don't have to be the... I don't have to know everything about this stuff. If I know a little bit more than everybody about this stuff, I know a lot." And it started with that, now granted I've developed and become a much better professional since. But I thought that there was a huge gap in knowledge in the industry. And I thought with everything that I did in my career leading up to that point was enough skillsets to say, "I can do this." Well, at least I thought so at the time. There's a bigger aspect after that. Yeah, doing that and having to build a network of people is a different story, but...

 

0:14:28.0 LB: Well, you bring up a couple of interesting points. First of all, I love the idea of just faking it until you make it, because I think a lot of us... Sometimes you just have to go for it. And like you said, maybe you did a three job, but you did the job. It's a step in the right direction. And the other part is, talking about that million-dollar idea. Sometimes it's not a million-dollar idea, you're actually filling in a need, which it sounds like you saw in this particular area of work, like "They need this, they need this type of expertise, and I can be that guy."

 

0:15:07.7 JF: Yeah. And you're not gonna get the million-dollar idea, you have to go and do that to see that, that opportunity open up. The more you do, the more... I guess the simple way to say it, the more you go out and try and do things, the better chance you're gonna have that opportunity open up to go run your small business. If you're waiting for it, it'll never happen, in my opinion. Maybe it will for some people.

 

0:15:28.1 LB: Yeah. Some people get lucky, but you definitely make a valid point. Now, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing you and your work as it relates to safety? I know you talked about the lack of education perhaps on some of the residents. But what are some other issues that you come across?

 

0:15:52.1 JF: This is actually a pretty difficult topic to talk about, okay. So, through my career as a safety... If you're a safe professional, and you're working at chemical plants, you're on the safety professional route, you're a certified safety professional, you're bound to your ethics, not taking a blind eye, and doing these things. When you're running a business, your goal is to make a profit. [chuckle] So you got this balance of making a profit and not turning a blind eye to what you see. It's very difficult to go into a field and see a big project that you've set up, you've set a scope of work for these people, and they go out and do it. And they're doing all these hazardous things that they shouldn't be doing. And you could go in there and you could start telling people stuff, and you could start shutting it down, but these people are paying your bill.

 

0:16:41.7 LB: Yeah.

 

0:16:43.3 JF: Right?

 

0:16:43.6 LB: Yeah. I know.

 

0:16:44.0 JF: So, it's a really tricky balance on how you can deal with that. And I think that if I didn't have... I feel I don't know how other people would do it, but if I didn't have the skillset of being able to talk to people well, and not be so aggressive, but still getting the result that we need to do like, "Hey, you're gonna... " You can't just go tell him, "Hey, you're gonna die standing on that ladder right there".

 

0:17:06.1 LB: Right.

 

0:17:07.1 JF: You have to gab, I guess, on how to get the safety items corrected. It's very difficult to do that without upsetting your clients. It's extremely difficult, especially in this industry.

 

0:17:18.9 LB: Oh, I'm sure.

 

0:17:21.1 JF: You... I'm not gonna say I'm even perfect at it. And I'm not gonna say honestly that I haven't had a blind eye since I've been doing this. Because it's so many things, if I went after everything, no one would work with me. And that's very, very different than where I came from, I was working in a plant where you mentioned the word "safety", people reluctantly understand it, even if they don't want to. No issue, no foul. It's not like that when you're in the... When you're running your business in the residential and commercial setting. It's a little different, it's difficult.

 

0:17:56.8 LB: Right. And especially, I know, people are like, "The customer's always right." Do you face that in a lot of your jobs?

 

0:18:06.9 JF: Yeah. Everybody likes to say... And I said it, I was the guy. I was like, "Look, I know money is no issue. If we're gonna do the right thing every time and... " Now, I'm personally gonna do the right thing every time. But go in there and if I go beat them up for every little thing they do like that, and they're not my company... But [chuckle] it's a difficult thing to deal with. Let's say there's several nights where, when I started this business in the first three to six months, where I kinda had to do a gut check.

 

0:18:35.7 LB: Yeah.

 

0:18:36.7 JF: I'm not even gonna joke around, I had to sit there at night by myself with a glass of Crown Royal in my hand and do a gut check.

 

[laughter]

 

0:18:43.6 JF: "Hey. Yeah, you're doing real well on the money side, but you're seeing a lot of things out there. And your whole safety mindset of what you become, you know you're not out there giving the knowledge that you're supposed to be, you know you're not out there trying to help these people with that." And it's like, how do I find that balance to make peace of what I'm doing? And it took a year. It took a year for me to find peace and balance, and I realized what I really needed to do is make better relationships with the owners of those other companies, to help them understand the liability of it, and they just didn't know what they didn't know. Okay. It wasn't like they were trying to maliciously do it; they just didn't know. They don't work in the same type of settings where I came from, they didn't know what that was about. Build relationships with them, and all of a sudden, you started seeing things turning around a little bit.

 

0:19:26.9 LB: Well, first of all, Jason, I just wanna thank you for being so vulnerable. I like that you're really opening up and just being very real with the topic of small business and some of the challenges that you're facing, 'cause I'm sure there are people listening that have thought about starting their own business, and I think just your candidness is hopefully... People can take that to heart and just know what could be ahead of them. So, I just wanna say thank you for that, 'cause it's really been just great listening to your story. Now, I will... I tend to get a little personal in these interviews sometimes, but I wanna talk a little bit about your work-life balance. Because a lot of what you're talking about; keeping the customers happy, wearing all the hats of a small business, how do you balance it all with yourself personally and professionally? You talked about some of those nights where you're up with the Crown Royal. Tell us more about what that looks like.

 

0:20:33.3 JF: Yeah, the answer to the work-life balance question is real simple: I don't know. I don't know how you balance the work-life balance.

 

[chuckle]

 

0:20:40.0 LB: You're just living it and seeing what's happening, what'll stick.

 

0:20:43.5 JF: I'll tell you what I see. I see some people, even with the biggest names in the world, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. Somehow, I think they have some sort of work-life balance, somehow they've figured out, and they run some of the biggest companies in the world. Even locally, I see some of these multi-million-dollar owners, they seem to go on vacation. They go to Florida, and I can see it on their Facebook, and I'm like, "I can't take a day off. My business would go to the ground. It would burn." They figured it out. I have not figured it out. But I feel like if they can do it, I can do it.

 

[chuckle]

 

0:21:22.4 LB: Yes, of course.

 

0:21:24.1 JF: The work-life balance, how do you do something like this if you're in a relationship with somebody? How do you do something like this if you have kids? I don't know if you ask the right person right now. Ask me next year, when I'm out for a week and people will say, "Hey, you gotta go hire people." Hiring people isn't easy either, okay. You gotta find the right people, you gotta train them, you gotta pay for them. It's not as easy as that. Maybe it is, maybe I'm not good at it, but...

 

[chuckle]

 

0:21:55.9 LB: Well, that leads me maybe to my next question: What are some of your goals for your business? Are you looking to hire people in the next three years, or one year or three months or...?

 

0:22:10.2 JF: I'm kind of scared to give too much of my business plan out, but...

 

0:22:14.7 LB: Well, no. Without spilling your secret sauce. We could be pretty broad with our goals.

 

0:22:22.1 JF: I think in a very short period of time, I've come pretty dominant in what I do in my local area in Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Louisiana and New Orleans, and Lafayette, okay. I think my plan in the next few years, I'm gonna put offices in all these locations, and I'm gonna be training people to do similar stuff with what I do. And there's really no stop for me, there's no reason I can't extend that to Mississippi, I can't go into Texas with this. There's opportunities to do all these things. Now, that's a vision.

 

0:22:58.5 LB: Every plan starts with a vision, so I'll take it. You don't have to get into the details, but I like your answer.

 

0:23:07.6 LB: Safety And Podcast will be back after this message from our sponsor.

 

0:23:13.0 JF: Hi, this is Jason Fontenot from moldmansolutionsofla.com. Don't let mold affect your home, your business, or the health of your family. I have dedicated my career to helping people solve mold problems. And with a simple inspection and testing of your residence or business, I can tell you everything you need to know. Make it easy. Just give me a call at 978-4444 or visit moldmansolutionsofla.com and let this Mold Man find a solution for you. Call the Mold Man at 978-4444 or visit moldmansolutionsofla.com.

 

0:23:43.8 LB: So welcome back, listeners. I am talking with Jason Fontenot who is the owner of his own small business, and we are talking about safety and small business. So, I just wanna wrap up with a few more questions regarding small business ownership, and that's, maybe, what are some common misconceptions that people have about being a business owner? I know we touched upon the fact that some of these people are out living their lives and posting on Facebook, and they have all this work-life balance. Is that a misconception? Just the idea of work-life balance. I don't know.

 

0:24:24.4 JF: I don't know. Going back to work-life balance question, maybe it's just a matter of where you feel comfortable... Maybe you just stop. Maybe you say, "I make this amount of money and I'm good here and I'm not gonna pursue anymore." That's just not me. So maybe that works for some people, but I would say, and I joke about this all the time with my friends and stuff staff, they say, "Hey, you know, you should run your own business. You can be your own boss." Well, let me tell you that's a huge misconception, 'cause you're not your own boss. You're always working for somebody, whoever is paying you. Whether it's a customer or a big business client that you're working with, you're working with somebody, you just got a lot of more bosses when you run your own business. Unless you're on top, unless you're Amazon. [chuckle] Your small business, you've got several bosses. And the other one is, "Being your own boss, you can make your own hours." Yeah, right.

 

0:25:11.4 LB: Yes, you hear that all the time.

 

0:25:14.2 JF: No, you can't make your own hours. No, that's not true. You just work so many hours that you have no hours left. That's [inaudible] hours now, so it ain't like, "Oh, I'm just gonna take vacation today." When someone needs something from you, a product or whatever you're doing service for him, what, are you just gonna... You can't just take vacation; they'll never use you again.

 

0:25:31.6 LB: Yes.

 

0:25:33.3 JF: You just can't do that. So, the misconception of that it's so great to be your own boss and run your own business. I'm not gonna say it's not a great thing, but it's not great because of that, okay.

 

0:25:45.2 LB: Right. Well, I like that you threw out probably the two most used statements that you hear is, "Be your own boss, make your own hours," that might literally be the slogan for small business ownership. So, I'm glad that you're just kinda keeping it real and telling it like it is. I do wanna ask you, what has been the most eye-opening lessons you've learned in running a small business?

 

0:26:17.3 JF: I would say there's so many. How important people are, like other business owners. If you're running a small business and you don't make connections with other business owners to get help, I don't know how you could be successful. I would say the other most eye-opening thing, this one's a little bit different, okay. But after working in the residential and commercial setting so much and seeing what goes on, there's a lot of crafts out there. There's electricians that come to your house, there's plumbers that come to your house, roofers, floor people, carpenters, and you think that these guys are just, or girls, just come to your house on random occurrences. I would say 50% of every person that come to your house, whether your pest control or roofer or whatever, is given to you by a lead from somebody else.

 

0:27:08.1 LB: Yeah.

 

0:27:08.8 JF: And what I mean by that is that the plumber comes to your house, and he comes, and he fixes a pipe in your bathroom, but your toilet overflowed. And then he says, "Oh man, I fixed your pipes, but you got all this water damage on the floor, maybe you should call Company X, they can probably come help you out." And you don't know any different, your toilet doesn't overflow all the time, so you call Company X, they say "Yeah, we'd love to come help." But the reality behind that is the plumber got $100 for making that recommendation, from Company X, for that lead.

 

0:27:35.0 LB: Yes.

 

0:27:36.9 JF: If someone's gonna give you a recommendation at your house, they're selling you. Just know that they're selling you.

 

0:27:42.7 LB: Yes.

 

0:27:42.9 JF: There's no personal... It's very rare you get a real personal, real-life recommendation like that. They give you multiple companies. Alright, they're just trying to help you. If they just give you one company? They're selling you. Because they're making a profit on it. And I would say 50% of the time that's what's happening. I didn't know it was like that, but definitely in my area, it is like that. And it's all about leads and giving back and this, and kickbacks here and kickbacks there. I'm just telling you, from what I see it's all about that.

 

0:28:12.5 LB: Well, you are keeping it real, and like I said, that's what I love about this interview. So, thank you so much for sharing your story, sharing your experience. I do like to give our guests an opportunity if you have a website or any place where people can find you or learn more.

 

0:28:35.4 JF: You can visit my website, at moldmansolutionsofla.com. It's got some information on there on what I do, but honestly, you can always reach out to me and contact me if you have questions about starting a small business, that number on that website is my cell number, okay.

 

0:28:50.4 LB: Yes.

 

0:28:51.4 JF: You can text me. Text is always great, I'm usually on inspection or doing something, but I will get back to you. I love to help people trying to start their own business. If you're serious about it, reach out to me. I can help you. I can give you a little bit of advice on where to go, okay. So...

 

0:29:06.3 LB: And I think it's important too, 'cause you talk about that network, and this is just another way to be there for each other. And I also feel there's a resurgence of having more small business interactions, just as consumers. There's a really big push to support small businesses. So, whether you're about to start one or you're just looking for a service, definitely go visit Jason and all the fabulous work that he's doing.

 

0:29:39.4 JF: I appreciate that, thank you very much.

 

0:29:41.9 LB: Now, we end every show with a little bit of something fun, which we always like to do because I never know where these stories are gonna take us. I feel like your journey was a very inspirational one, so we're just gonna make it fun. And today, I've chosen a game called either/or, which I will basically read you a quote from an entrepreneur, and it was either this entrepreneur or this entrepreneur that said the quote. And you just have to guess if it's right or not. It's just like I said, a fun little palette cleanser. And then maybe I might just add this 'cause I'm working off the cuff here, maybe I'll let you end it with your own personal quote. We'll go through a few entrepreneurial quotes, but I'll let you create your own. Jason, what is your quote to the world? So, give it a little bit of thought, this is all about fun. No high stakes here. So, are you ready? First of all, that's my only question.

 

0:30:50.1 JF: I've never been ready, even when we're starting this business but we're gonna do it anyway.

 

0:30:55.2 LB: Yeah.

 

0:30:55.8 JF: It's not about confidence but lack of fear, okay. So, let's go, let's do this.

 

0:30:56.8 LB: Yeah. Look, you might just get a three, but you still did it, no. You're gonna do great. I like to set people up for success. So, I hear this quote all the time, I didn't know who said it until just now as I'm looking at it, but the quote is, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." Now, was that Peter Drucker, who honestly, I don't know what he does, but that is an option. Or was it Steve Jobs?

 

0:31:33.5 JF: I feel like that's Steve Jobs.

 

0:31:36.5 LB: Okay, actually, it is Peter Drucker who I...

 

0:31:39.3 JF: I don't who Peter Drucker is. What is this?

 

0:31:43.8 LB: Okay, yes. I did not know who he is, but I am learning that he is an Austrian American management consultant, educator and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. So, if you wanted to learn something new for the day, [chuckle] there's your new thing. But I hear that quote all the time, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." And honestly, I didn't know who said it either, so we'll give you a redemption one for sure.

 

[chuckle]

 

0:32:21.5 JF: That's actually a pretty good quote it ties in a lot of what I'm doing, honestly.

 

0:32:25.0 LB: I know, that's why...

 

0:32:26.0 JF: [inaudible] a need for mold testing out here, and all of a sudden it's a product so... And actually...

 

0:32:32.8 LB: Yes.

 

0:32:33.6 JF: That makes sense.

 

0:32:35.0 LB: I love it. Well, the next quote is "Every time you state what you want or believe, you're the first person to hear it. It's a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don't put a ceiling on yourself." Was that Oprah Winfrey, who I hope we all know who she is, or was that Bill Gates?

 

0:33:03.2 JF: I don't see Bill saying very many inspirational things I'm gonna go with Oprah Winfrey on this.

 

0:33:06.8 LB: Yes, you are correct. It was Oprah who, if you listen to any of our other shows, she is... She's pretty inspirational. Whenever we talk about inspiration Oprah always comes up. [chuckle] So... Alright, I have a couple of more for you. The next one is "One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don't choose your passions; your passions choose you." Was that Jeff Bezos or was that Donald Trump?

 

0:33:44.4 JF: Donald Trump.

 

0:33:45.8 LB: Oh, it was actually Jeff Bezos. I was trying to the topic... I was...

 

0:33:50.1 JF: [inaudible] Jeff Bezos, I just didn't wanna say it was Jeff Bezos. I just wanted to give Trump one out there. But yeah, it's definitely Jeff Bezos who said that.

 

0:33:56.0 LB: Okay, 'cause I was gonna say, I was like, I was trying to tie it into the topic, 'cause I know we talked about him earlier. But I will give you one more, and then maybe we can create your quote and end our show on that nice note. But the last quote I have for you, and we've all heard this one, is "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." Was that Vince Lombardi or was that Thomas Edison?

 

0:34:25.5 JF: Vince Lombardi.

 

0:34:27.6 LB: Are you being funny? I'm like I know... It was actually Thomas Edison.

 

0:34:34.1 JF: Of course, it was Edison.

 

0:34:35.7 LB: Yes, no.

 

0:34:37.2 JF: He was a big entrepreneur, he had a lot of business things going on, of course, it was him. It was work, work, work.

 

0:34:41.5 LB: Yes. Well, all of these people and you as well are amazing entrepreneurs with amazing quotes. And thank you for being a good sport just to play our game. Like I said, I love to just have a little bit fun with our topic. But before we leave, do you have perhaps your inspirational quote that we can be like, "This quote... Jason Fontenot." What was that quote?

 

0:35:10.0 JF: That quote is, "If you have a mold problem, moldmansolutionsofla.com."

 

[laughter]

 

0:35:15.0 JF: Best inspiration you ever need right there.

 

0:35:18.5 LB: That is the best entrepreneurial quote I've heard in my entire life. I feel inspired.

 

0:35:25.7 JF: Well, yeah, that's... It's inspired me, and it works for me, so...

 

0:35:30.8 LB: Oh my God, Jason, you have been such an amazing guest. Thank you again for being on our show.

 

0:35:36.5 JF: Thank you, Lauren. I appreciate it.

 

0:35:41.5 LB: Special thanks to Jason Fontenot, owner of Mold Man Solutions, for being on our show to talk about safety and small business.

 

[music]

 

0:35:50.7 LB: If you enjoyed listening to the Safety And Podcast today, be sure to like, review, or subscribe wherever you get your podcast. Also, if you're interested in being a guest on our show, please email marketing@lapco.com, that's marketing@ L-A-P-C-O dot com. Since this is a safety podcast, we should probably mention this disclaimer, the Safety And Podcast is recorded and made available by LAPCO Manufacturing Inc solely for informational and entertainment purposes. The statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed in this podcast should not be considered by any listener as professional provision and/or direct a specific course of action. The statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed here, including by speakers who are not employees or agents of LAPCO are not necessarily those of LAPCO and may not be current. This podcast may not be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied, or duplicated in any form by any means without prior consent from LAPCO Manufacturing Inc. This is Lauren Brizendine with LAPCO and remember, safety doesn't happen by accident. So, stay safe and see you next time on the Safety And Podcast.

 

[music]

 

0:37:04.0 LB: The Safety And Podcast is produced by LAPCO Manufacturing with marketing and media by Lauren Brizendine and Tiffany Giroir, sound editing by Christopher Hamlin, and music by Smokehouse Beats.

 

0:37:17.7 LB: That was easy. Cool.