The Primitive Podcast: Alex Fairly

Posted by Kade Wilcox | May 19, 2020

The Primitive Podcast with Alex Fairly

Alex Fairly is the CEO of the Fairly Group, three companies laser-focused on helping companies mitigate risk. As someone who admittedly views the world through a different lens than most, Alex explores how he uses these unique skills to his advantage in business.

Transcript

Kade Wilcox (00:00):

Hey guys. Kade Wilcox here, host of The Primitive Podcast. On this week's episode we have Alex Fairly. Alex lives in Amarillo and is the CEO of the Fairly Group, a family of companies, Fairos, FairosRX, Occunet. What a phenomenal leader. He's made a huge impact in Amarillo. There's so many things that he does that we didn't even get into. I'm sure you grow tired of me saying this, but this was an absolutely great episode filled with great wisdom from a really good leader. So I hope you enjoy this week's episode. And again, I want to thank you for listening. We really appreciate your time. I appreciate your attention and I appreciate you being willing to follow along with The Primitive Podcast.

Kade Wilcox (00:56):

Alex, thank you so much for joining my podcast. I know you're extremely busy. You have all kinds of irons in the fire, and so the fact that you would take time to connect with me and to share with our audience about leadership means a lot to me. So why don't we start by telling the audience who you are and what you do for a living and a little bit about the Fairly Group and then we'll go from there.

Alex Fairly (01:17):

Okay. Thanks Kade. Listen, we always have time for you. You've done really some incredible work for us over the years since we've known you. So we're happy to stop and visit any time. So I am the CEO of a group of companies that we refer to as the Fairly Group. It's actually three companies and essentially we're in the risk mitigation or risk management business. And so one of the companies does mostly risk consulting. And then another company called Occunet works in the medical space where we negotiate and manage what our clients pay for medical bills. And then we have a third company that's really kind of a startup. They've just been officially open for business since January 1st and that company works in the pharmacy space. And so it's kind of a combination of companies that is just helping our clients manage the cost of their risk.

Kade Wilcox (02:16):

What kind of background do you have that you would get into risk management? I mean, I remember several years ago when I first met you, it was your diligence within the major league baseball space that helped you identify this unique opportunity you had. So do you mind going into a little bit about, you know, you're not a typical risk management guy. You're very creative, very innovative, and so do you mind giving some insight into how you found your niche?

Alex Fairly (02:44):

Yeah, no problem. We do a lot of work in sports. We work for all of the major leagues except for the NBA. So the NFL, major league baseball, major league soccer, the national hockey league, and a lot of division one and two athletic departments. And people know us as that, but that's probably far less than half of our business now. The background is, I began in the insurance business about 26 to 28 years ago and I just was immediately turned off by it as a young man. They hired me to sell insurance and it just felt from the very beginning to me that it was a tad unfair to my clients. Like the carriers, the insurers, you know, they had all the data, they had all the money, they made all the rules, they wrote all the contracts and of course I had small clients back then.

Alex Fairly (03:42):

But what I felt that I came to know early in my career is that nobody was managing risk. Really insurance companies finance risk, they gather enough money from everyone around the table so that on your bad day, Kade, they've got enough money to give you money back if your building burns down or someone sues you or you run over someone in your car and that's financing risk. The way they make sure they keep going is just to get enough money from you. But no one was focused on could we make it cost less? And so my mind just went that way. Getting in the sports business was really almost an accident and just a place we landed when a small little minor league hockey team showed up in Amarillo and we just chased that world down for 15 years till we had it all. We work for Viacom and CBS and Tyson and Asarco and it doesn't matter the class of business, the principles by which we manage risk, they work anywhere. So it was really just more of the way my mind was led.

Kade Wilcox (04:54):

Do you remember back to that moment where you had this light bulb moment? Because you know, things like healthcare, finance, insurance, I mean, they're not exactly notorious, at least from a public perception standpoint, for being innovative, for trying to cut costs, for trying to think differently. Do you remember back that far when you had this light bulb moment where it all made sense to you and you started to see things from a different lens than even the industry sees now. Like, do you remember that process? What was it like?

Alex Fairly (05:25):

I remember, I don't know if it's the moment, it may be the moment, but it's a very finite memory. We had written the insurance, like I said, on this minor league hockey team here. And we found out in the process that some employees of the teams were literally cheating the insurance company. And we went to the insurance company and said, Oh, we gotta change some things to fix this. It's not right. Everyone in that business was doing it. It's not like we found one guy in Amarillo doing it. They all did it. And we went to the carrier who wrote all that business all over the country and we said, Hey, we got to change this. And they just looked at us like we collect enough money. It's okay.

Alex Fairly (06:18):

And I was just appalled by the carrier saying, as long as I can charge them enough money, I don't really care what it costs. And I remember that probably happened over the course of maybe the first season we worked with these guys, it actually happened in the first off season. They were cheating in the off season. They were getting these players on worker's compensation so that the coach would say, I can't give you as much money as I want, but I'll get you on comp in the off season and then you'll make more money. And they were just taking the money from the carrier. And I was blown away that the carrier didn't care as long as they could get enough money. And I just remember thinking, we gotta change this somehow. So that was a seminal, maybe not moment, but experience.

Kade Wilcox (07:05):

Yeah. That's fascinating. One more question related to this and I'll move on. I just think there's so many things that are relevant today that are these huge complex problems, these things that have always been what they've been. I'm curious as to what kind of encouragement you would give someone if they were in a similar kind of scenario, whether they're in an industry or sector or whatever that is. Healthcare comes to mind, right? It seems like healthcare is this ticking time bomb and someone's going to have to innovate, someone's going to have to solve, someone's gonna have to bring forth solutions. So what kinds of things would you encourage someone to think through if they're trying to disrupt or change or challenge or create something? What is it? Is it just effort? Is it just luck? Is it just being in the right place at the right time? Like what kinds of things do you think have to take place for someone truly to make an impact in an area that really needs to be transformed?

Alex Fairly (08:07):

Yeah. So I have an opinion about that. First of all, I think it's a small percentage of the world that is willing to work hard enough to make things better. Everybody says they want things to be better. Like I don't go call on a single prospective client out there and say, Hey, would you like this to cost less and run better? And no one ever says no, I don't care. They all say it. But there are very few people in the world, percentage wise, I don't know if it's 10, five, 20, 30, 40, it's not 50. That really are willing to put in the hard work and the effort. So the first thing I would say is you've gotta be willing to work so hard because the world lives in paradigms.

Alex Fairly (08:55):

Like when I went to the insurance carriers and said, we've got to change this, this is messed up. So many times people would say, Alex, this is just the way it works. And they literally would get irritated with me when I would say, well, then why does it work this way? Why? And they would say, shut up. It's just the way it works, just roll with it. I learned that it's more my personality, it's nothing to brag about, but for some reason my mind wakes up every day saying why? Who said it had to be that way. Not in a rebellious break any rules sense. So I think you gotta be willing to work really hard and I think you gotta be willing to ask why and question it and when the whole world is going one way and you think there's a better way, to have the courage to say, I'm going this other way and we'll see what happens.

Kade Wilcox (09:52):

Man, that's really good. Thanks for sharing that. And it's not just applicable to the insurance world. It's applicable to education, it's applicable to healthcare, it's applicable to the financial sector. There's so many ways to make a great impact and that's really good. So you're the CEO of the Fairly Group family of companies, so you've got a lot of responsibilities. I'm curious how you see your role as the CEO, as the leader of the organization. What kinds of things come to your mind when you think about your leadership for the Fairly Group and the family of companies?

Alex Fairly (10:27):

Yeah, so primarily my role is just that, it's to lead and I have strong opinions on leadership. I think it's really important. I think there are a lot of people in the world in a position of leadership, but they're not leaders and they don't know what leadership looks like and they don't know what healthy leadership looks like. But I'm also involved strategically, which is a portion of leadership, but folks that you lead need to see a vision and they need to feel like they know the direction they're going. And so strategy is part of leading. But I would say, I get involved in the weeds here and there on several things. I know the people that I work most closely with are constantly reminding me to stay out of the weeds, we just need you to lead. And so my primary role is to lead our companies.

Kade Wilcox (11:27):

What does leading strategically look like for you and casting vision. Those are two things that you just mentioned there. What does that look like practically? What does strategy development for Alex Fairly look like? Is it on a weekly or monthly or annual basis? Like what does that practically look like?

New Speaker (11:48):

Thinking strategically about where we ought to be and where we're going and if the plans we thought we had are working is so interwoven into every moment of my day. I don't have like a two hour strategy session or spend a week on it or two days in a retreat once a quarter. Thinking strategically happens so often, I could never even separate it out of my life. And here's the thing is the person at the top of the organization, if folks don't have a vision, if they don't know where you're going, they can't also follow well. Like you know, great leaders don't have to beg people to follow, people follow great leaders without ever being told. But one of the core things about leading is you've got to be able to say to folks, Hey guys, that's where we're going right over there and right now that's what we think it's going to look like and we think it's going to take this long.

Alex Fairly (12:54):

And here are all the things in the way that we can see right now. And when you can show folks a vision, it blows my mind sometimes when I hear leaders talking and they never stop and tell their people what their vision is. Like you can't effectively lead people if they don't know where you're going. So we just communicate that. We had a meeting this morning of all of our people in our company and we've stayed in close touch with him through these last, six or eight Covid weeks because especially now that they're at home and not here, you got to tell him what's happening, you have to encourage them, and you got to tell them it's going to be okay, and you got to tell them how your company is doing financially. Cause you know they're wondering. Strategy and vision setting, you can't be a great leader if you're not doing it all the time.

Kade Wilcox (13:48):

That's really good. Would you say vision is the same thing as strategy? Like it's so ingrained into your role as a leader that it just happens consistently and regularly? Or do you have a model or a process that you go through to ensure that you're constantly keeping the vision and casting the vision to your people in front of them.

Alex Fairly (14:07):

Yeah, so I would say it's a little bit different. You're casting vision sometimes in a conversation that came up in the hallway that you didn't even plan to have. And in the moment you realize someone needs it and you do it. But really casting vision strategically, while I'm thinking about it all the time, casting vision is something that is more deliberately planned. You gotta gather folks up. It might be a group of your core executives that's just five people, or it might be one of our three companies, or it might be all of our companies together, or it might be a team inside of one of those companies. But you've got to deliberately stop and plan to cast vision and explain. And sometimes you're casting a vision of all of our companies and how they're working together to go somewhere together. Sometimes it's just one company. Sometimes it's literally casting a vision about a client that you feel like this is the direction you need to be heading with as you're giving them advice. So to me, you have to make plans to cast vision and you gotta do it at every level of the organization.

Kade Wilcox (15:17):

Yeah. It's so good. I've never asked this question before on any of my podcasts, but I keep having this thought. It's related to two things. The first is, do you think you can cast vision too much? Like is there such a thing as overdone or communicating vision too often and then a similar question related to offering encouragement and affirmation to employees. Like can you thank them enough? Is there a balance there or is there such a thing as over the top related to either of those things?

Alex Fairly (15:52):

Yeah, so my answer is going to seem a little odd, but it gets to the core of what I believe about leadership. So I don't think you can cast vision too much if you're doing it authentically. If you're casting vision because you think it's good for you and it gets people motivated and keeps them going, that's not authentic. And you can do that too much. You're casting the vision. It can't be about you as a leader, it really isn't even purely about your company. It's about your understanding that those people deserve to know what's happening, where you're going. And it comes from a genuine appreciation of those folks who are killing themselves for you every day. And so we don't do it so that I can make more money next year or so the company that can be just that much bigger, like those things may or may not happen.

Alex Fairly (16:47):

But we're casting vision because we know our employees' lives are better when they know what's happening and they know where we're going. And so it emanates from an interest in them. And I think that's one of the core things that we believe about leadership. And we don't let people leave here if they don't get this. And that is that it is never about the leader. Whatever you are doing as a leader, it shouldn't be about you. It's gotta come from you being genuinely interested in your folks and your team and their colleagues and how they're doing and not just on the job, how they're doing in general, how they're doing at home. And so if you genuinely appreciate those folks, and I don't really know how you couldn't because no company goes on for five minutes without those employees. Like ours are incredible. We say we love them. They blow our minds. They work so hard and we care about them and so we wake up thinking about them and helping them and inspiring them. And when you do it that way, you can't cast too much.

Kade Wilcox (17:59):

Yeah, that's really good. How do you, do you have a formal way that you meet with your leaders? Or is it also organic? With the number of employees and companies you have, I would assume that you have intentional leaders running departments and different companies. What is your interaction with your inner circle, you know what I mean, like your direct reports from your leaders. What does that look like?

Alex Fairly (18:24):

No, so you've uncovered a serious weakness I have as a leader. I'm really comfortable not being structured. In fact, probably too comfortable. I frankly love it. I love the fluidity that comes from not having every moment of my day planned out. And so if you were to talk to the people that I lead, they would all say we wish he would be a lot more structured. So I don't have a formal set of meetings with my leaders. Kate, it's probably really bad. I've had them come at times saying, Hey, we need more of this. We need more communication. There's constant communication, but there's not as much formal planned communication. I think it's probably a really good idea, but I can't say that too strongly because I am not great at that.

Kade Wilcox (19:23):

Hopefully none of them listen to this and then hold you accountable to it. But yeah, that makes sense. I think everyone has their own personality in which they lead from and it's clearly worked for the Fairly Group. So certainly all of us could get better, but it's hard to say there's a prescribed way that one ought to do it.

Alex Fairly (19:47):

One of the reasons that it works here is that we keep very flat organizations and my door is open and anyone can come in and we have a culture here where people know that they're not just welcomed, but encouraged to come in and say, Hey, I need to talk about this or I'm frustrated with this or I think we're doing something that's not going to work, or I think you promised something that we can't deliver or whatever it might be. So it's very fluid with constant feedback both ways. There's probably more feedback coming at me from my folks than me going to them. And so I think that's the reason we get away with it, but we still probably should do a little more formal.

Kade Wilcox (20:26):

That's good. Thanks for sharing that. That's great. How do you treat failure? You've been at this for over 20 years. Certainly you've probably experienced your bumps along the way. How do you treat or approach or learn from failure?

Alex Fairly (20:40):

Yeah, so I'll say two things about failure. One thing is there is nothing in the world that I hate more. Like I literally, I loathe failure. I hate it. We were working on a project last week, which we're about to get an answer on this week and at least as of Friday I felt like we were probably gonna fail. We were fighting, but if I was betting when I went home on Friday, we were going to fail and I literally just had a miserable weekend because I hate losing. I just hate losing. We don't lose very often, fortunately. I will also say about failure. It has absolutely provided the times of the most learning and the most valuable ever in my career. And so while I hate it, at the end of a failure, I need to know personally that I did every single thing I could to win.

Alex Fairly (21:37):

If I gave everything I had and there was nothing left and I lost, I don't like it, but I at least can live with it. But then secondarily, I have this need to debrief after failure and make sure there's no lessons there that there aren't for me to learn. If you fail and didn't try hard enough, shame on you, you're probably going to fail a lot more times. If you fail and afterwards don't stop and debrief honestly and say, is there 1% of this that I could have done better or different, then I also think you're a little bit foolish. So we take those seriously. Sometimes it's a little bit painful. Folks don't love it. You just want to move on and say, could I just leave that behind? But I've grown by far and away the most in my career from the losses not from the wins.

Kade Wilcox (22:28):

That's good. How do you stay encouraged as a leader? You're leading a lot of people, you're moving really fast, you've had a lot of success. How do you not rest on that past success and how do you stay encouraged and sharpened and inspired and constantly challenging yourself to grow?

Alex Fairly (22:48):

Yeah. So I would answer that in two parts. One part is I'm just naturally driven. It's nothing to brag about. In fact, I have to work way more in my personal life on turning the dial down and turning it off, you know? But I am just very, very driven and I don't get very often tired and I don't get down and I don't get discouraged. So that's just a fortunate thing. Nothing I do, just how I got wired. But the second thing is I am totally inspired by the people around me. Like I work with people that love to win and they work really hard and they have high expectations. And I can tell you that, while I'm probably here before they get here and here after they leave if I ever let up or lost a little bit of heart, I can tell you I would hear from them, they would be disappointed. And so my people and my colleagues and the people around me, they totally inspire me and keep me going in the moments that I needed.

Kade Wilcox (23:57):

Yeah. That's good. So you're inspired, you're motivated by your team. What else motivates you? I mean, winning, does winning motivate you? It sounds like it does. Does money motivate you? Does solving complex problems motivate you? Like what are some other things that help fuel that natural drive and ambition that you have?

Alex Fairly (24:17):

Yeah, I'm definitely motivated by winning. Some people hate losing and some people are motivated by winning. I hate losing, but I'm more motivated by winning. Winning motivates me. And the other thing that motivates me though, Kade, and this has been true more and more in my career as I've gotten a little bit older. I'm 56 now, so hopefully I have 20 years left, but I've also been at it for 30 or so. The richest part of my career, the very best part of my career is earning their respect and making a difference in the lives of my clients. I don't think many people get to learn that because we have done very well here. And when I was young I thought I wanted to make money, but at some point you figure out it doesn't make your life really any better and it doesn't motivate me anymore. And the richest part of my life is seeing my clients do well and finding out that I've earned their trust and finding out that they want to come to us because they believe that we'll be honest and give them good answers. And also you hopefully get that in the lives of your employees. So that's probably the main thing. That's what I love and why I'm motivated.

Kade Wilcox (25:48):

How do you work with your clients? I mean, again, because of your size and scope, the number of employees you have. I really admire what you just said in terms of making a huge impact in the lives of your clients. And I guess on a personal level, I really resonate with that because we're obviously not in insurance and risk mitigation and things like that, but we're in the business of impacting people's businesses, which oftentimes are the most intricate thing to their life other than their family. And so how do you do that at your size and scale and scope and yet still try to do the role in the job of the CEO? Like what does that look like?

Alex Fairly (26:26):

Well, first of all, your clients are a priority. So when they need you, you're stopping and helping them. I can tell you like the last six weeks have been, this past Saturday is the first Saturday since Covid started that I didn't work. Our clients need help right now. I've worked far more hours and so they're just your priority. And so you help them. We have an outward mindset here where I'm thinking about my employees, I'm thinking about my colleagues, I'm thinking about the people who work for me and so you're just motivated to help them. And my folks know that's a priority for me. So I just had a guy walk into my office and tell me about a problem we have in St. Louis with a major league sports team there. And it's a big problem and it comes from the Covid thing. And my employees know, when I walk in Alex's office and I got a client with a problem, he's going to stop everything and be interested in it because I care about those clients. So if your priorities are outward thinking, your employees, your clients, that comes easier.

Kade Wilcox (27:42):

That's good. That's really good. I have found that as a young leader to be really challenging. Not the caring part. I care too. What I found challenging is balancing what feels like all my other responsibilities and the more I focus on those responsibilities, sometimes it feels like I get further and further disconnected in a way from the client, which is the source of our entire company. And it's been challenging. And then sometimes when I do have to get involved, I'm so disconnected from the day to day of it that it's hard to really figure out where to fit. And so I appreciate what you said there and have found. We're nowhere close to the size you are, but have found that to be challenging in my own own leadership. So thanks for sharing that.

New Speaker (28:34):

So one of the things I've always admired about you and knew from the very moment I met you is how much you love your family. And so I'm curious as to how you've tried to approach balancing ambition and work and effort and running and building a company with your family, which from the moment I met you was clear they were the more important thing. So what does that look like throughout your career and what's your approach there?

Alex Fairly (29:05):

Yeah, so the very first thing about that, they are important to me. And I don't know if I ever specifically said that to you, but people who around me would figure that out pretty fast. I mean, the first thing is you just have to agree and decide that they're your priority. So my kiddos and being a great dad and my wife, they were going to be my priority. And if I ever had to choose between one or the other, my family was gonna win out on that. And so I did a lot of practical things cause I don't have very many clients in Amarillo. So most of my clients I have to travel and usually it's, I say 80% of my travel is in either New York or Los Angeles where all my large clients live.

Alex Fairly (29:47):

But I was never going to trade that for being there for my kids and being at violin concerts and being at basketball games or track meets or whatever. So basically like what I did there, again, the first key is you just say that's my priority. Like it's winning. There's gotta be some balance. I knew that time was going to come and go and it would be gone. So like for instance, I had a travel budget throughout my whole career and my travel budget was 50 nights a year, which when you think about it, it's just a night a week, it's not that much. And I basically budgeted that I wouldn't be gone more than 50 nights. And I scheduled my life around shoving as much into travel. I did a ton of day trips where I went somewhere where I took a five o'clock flight so I could be in Chicago at 9:30 and if I wasn't home at 8:30 at night, that counted as a night out and I got to where I was really good at getting through the end of the year and still had nights left to be gone and I just made it a priority.

Alex Fairly (30:51):

And what I found, like I missed some opportunities because of it, but I would say what I found, I think my career went better because of it. Now my kids are grown, but when I said to my clients, I can't come there. I remember saying to the CFO of major league soccer once a meeting that was scheduled, three owners were coming. They were all NFL owners and major league soccer owners. Major league soccer was founded by three NFL owners. There was a meeting set and one of my kiddos was in a basketball season and they kind of accidentally stumbled into the playoffs. It's actually a tie playoff game that all of a sudden popped on the schedule next week. And this kiddo of mine, it was their last year ever to play. And I called them and said, I can't come to that meeting.

Alex Fairly (31:43):

And it was like tomorrow. And they were like, Oh, these people are on their way to New York already for this meeting and like, what's going on? I said, well my 11th grader has a playoff game tomorrow. And then there was this pause on the other end and after about, it seemed like four minutes, but it was probably, you know, 11 seconds that the CFO of major league soccer said to me., I told him it's the last basketball game he'll ever play. It was Kayla, you know her. And I said, and the CFO of major league soccer said to me, Alex, if you'd missed that basketball game for us, we wouldn't want you to be our broker. And that was way more my experience than someone said, you're not serious enough. No one ever said your family is too important. You're a loser. So I just made it a priority and live my life that way. And I'm actually getting to work harder now than when my kids are grown. Like when my kids graduated, my last one I was like, I can turn the gas on. I don't have to rush home then you work all week if I want to.

Kade Wilcox (32:48):

That's great. That's really great. You work closely with several of your kids. What has it been like being a dad and a boss and having a collective effort from your kids with your work? Like has it been a great experience?

Alex Fairly (33:05):

Yeah, it's been incredible. You have to work at it. I went and interviewed 11 family business owners that I knew before we did it. We never planned to do it. I didn't really want to do it. They never wanted to do it. When it started becoming potentially reality, I made a big investment. And when you go talk to family owned businesses, frankly most of the stories are kind of painful. And so we did a lot of work and planning and the very first thing we said is that our personal relationship would be the priority. And my boys said to me, if ever I gotta give up you being my dad, I don't want to work with you. And so our priorities were straight. And then you just have to know there's going to be some bumps just like there would be in your marriage.

Alex Fairly (33:57):

Like you have some days you wake up and you're not that great to be married to that day, but you work at it and it's a priority. And overall it's been really, really incredible. And we just live by the same principles. We live life. I think about them, I'm concerned about them. I'm holding them accountable. They've got to still perform maybe even more than anybody else. And you don't do favors openly. That makes people not respect them and all those basic principles you live by, you just keep doing that. And it's a huge blessing to get to work with three of my boys who work with us.

Kade Wilcox (34:36):

Yeah. That's awesome. Two more questions for you and I'll let you get back to work. I'm sure it's piling up on you. You're a problem solver. You're a creator. You create these unique solutions. You see things differently. You have a unique vision compared to most people. I guess I have two parts of this question. Do you ever personally feel a responsibility to contribute what is very clearly your unique gift set and skillset to other major problems that have nothing to do with your business? So maybe I'm not saying politics, but politics or other societal, complex problems, do you ever wrestle with that? And then I guess the second part to it is what would be your advice to people who have these unique skills that really are different and really can be used for the greater good and solving problems and creating opportunities for others. What would be your advice to people who just feel like they have more, but can only do so much? How would you interact with all that?

Alex Fairly (35:48):

Yeah, so I don't wrestle with that at all. And the reason why is one of my core beliefs is that life is better when you're giving away and sharing. So for instance, I'm involved in something going on right now and it's going to take a bunch of time and there's going to be some stress and tension associated with it cause everyone's talking to the people that I think could do better, are going to have to be challenged.

Alex Fairly (36:23):

I think in life you got to give yourself away. Whether that's what I put in the contribution plate at church on Sunday mornings or what I'm doing with my time or people that our companies can help but we don't charge because they just need help. And so as our businesses have grown and we've had more and more influence or opportunity or voice, I think that responsibility grows. And so when those things arise where we're needed and we think we can make a difference better than anybody else, we stop and we help. And sometimes you don't think you have time, but you always find time. And I just think that's a rich life. Like in a way if I were selfish because I believe I would still do those things because they make my life richer. It's the same thing. When you think about it, what I said about leadership, it can't be about me. It's gotta be about my folks and I get a richer life from that. So we think that's a responsibility. The more voice you have, the more means you have to give away and share. And we look for opportunities to do it. I would say to anybody, look for opportunities to give yourself away. Your life will be way, way better.

Kade Wilcox (37:39):

Yeah. That's good. All right, last question. If you could speak to your younger self, so like when you were just getting started out, or maybe after a handful of years after starting your company and running it, so if you could speak to your younger self, what advice would you give yourself based on what you know now?

Alex Fairly (37:56):

Yeah, I think I would say relax a little bit and let it come to you. I was so driven that I was going to win by trying harder than anybody else. And some days it would have been better if I just acted like I've been there before. And as you get older and more mature, it seems to get easier, but really you just have some confidence and you're just relaxed a little. It's kind of like raising kids. Your first kid, you're panicking if they're not walking exactly this much by this day. And we have five kids, by our fifth kid, we're like, yeah, they're not walking. I think I would mostly stress myself out a lot. I stress myself out a lot and many times it just didn't help and I didn't need to and things just worked out anyway. And I think I would mostly say, relax and enjoy it a little bit more and act like you've been there.

Kade Wilcox (38:55):

Yeah. That's good. Alex, I admire your leadership. I've always liked listening to you and observing you. I resonate with a lot of I think your personality and the way you approach things. And it means a lot to me that you'd be on this podcast and that others would get to learn from you. So thanks for all your valuable time and for your contribution and just really appreciate you being on.

Alex Fairly (39:21):

Sure. Thanks for having me on. It's great to talk to you. Any minute you ever need I have it for you.

Kade Wilcox (39:23):

I appreciate that.



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