[00:00:00] Teri Holland: Are you ready to unlock the true potential of your business? In this episode of Success in Mind, I'm speaking with entrepreneur Joseph Choi, who shares his journey of launching a shelf genie franchise, and achieving his business goals. He highlights the importance of trusting your gut, building a strong team, and dropping your ego to ask for help with expert insights on marketing, personal development, and finding purpose.
[00:00:25] Teri Holland: This episode is a must listen for anyone seeking success in their business. Joseph Choi grew up in Toronto and has made Vancouver his home for the past 18 years. After a long time in the investment and banking field, he made it a goal to change his career before turning 40. Which he did at 38. Since then, he bought all the Shelf Genie franchise locations in the lower mainland and was given the moniker of the Cabinet Whisperer winning both the rookie franchisee of the year and Franchise of the Year in his first two years of [00:01:00] business at the end of June Shelf, genie will be expanding into the Okanagan.
[00:01:04] Teri Holland: If you're ready for whole life success, keep listening. All right. So I am so excited to have you here with me today, and I wanna jump right into learning more about you. So can you just tell us a bit about who you are and a bit about your
[00:01:21] Joseph Choi: Yeah. Um, well thanks for having me first of all, Teri um, my name is Joseph Choi and I am the owner of Shelf Genie, uh, here in Vancouver.
[00:01:28] Joseph Choi: And starting next month we're actually gonna be also opening it up in the Okanagan, so I'm quite excited about that. Amazing. Um, yeah, um, I guess my story really started with my daughter. Um, I was in the corporate world, um, for 18 years and uh, I got to the point where I just didn't feel like it was my jam, you know, just looked around the office.
[00:01:49] Joseph Choi: Walls and I go, you know, is this really me at the end of the day? And I really lost interest, um, in the investment industry. Um, not because of I wasn't good at it, it [00:02:00] was just one of those nagging feelings that, you know, I got more purpose than what I'm doing right now. Mm-hmm. Um, and the other reason was my daughter, um, one of my goals was because I've only had one child, I, I want to kind of spend time with her as much as I could.
[00:02:12] Joseph Choi: And so one of my goals was to actually, um, be on all her field trips growing up. And then she was three at the time. And so, uh, I met a franchise broker and he kind of took me down this road of, um, understanding, you know, you know who I am as well, uh, what I want to do, do I want a brick and mortar, or do I want to, you know, work from home.
[00:02:31] Joseph Choi: All those kind of questions. And based on an algorithm, it kind of spat out like five franchises that might be suitable for me. Ooh. And the funny thing was that he, uh, he said, I got this dark horse for you. Uh, it, you know, it just started like about five years ago and, uh, it's called Shelf Genie. I went, Hmm, okay, let's hear about this.
[00:02:51] Joseph Choi: Uh, and, uh, and then they get you to do your due diligence, uh, with all these different companies and they wanna make sure that you talk to all of them. You're not just [00:03:00] kind of like dead set on one of them. Uh, but in my stomach I went, okay, this one sounds really interesting. It's not just a digital marketing company.
[00:03:07] Joseph Choi: Um, So I kind of dug around and I went, oh, this is really interesting. I've never even heard of this before, like the possibility of doing. Pullout shelves, uh, inside people's homes, uh, sounded really interesting. So we kind of, you know, went down these, uh, different rabbit holes. Um, and then eventually, um, I, I traveled to the different head offices and, um, you know, once you meet these people, you know, it's, it's not like.
[00:03:32] Joseph Choi: You know, it, it's something that's not real anymore. It's, it's literally an office. You literally go into this lobby, it's a full on kitchen with all these pullouts and everything, and it went, oh, like I didn't get a chance to meet the CEO yet. I'm just like playing around. Um, and then you, um, and then once you meet the, the people behind the scenes, uh, you know, their executive and whatnot, it felt like a really good fit.
[00:03:53] Joseph Choi: Um, nice. And so, you know, I wanted to kind of merge, you know, my time with work, but also merge my time. With, uh, my [00:04:00] daughter because, you know, I'm a believer of, you know, life is too short. Mm-hmm. You know, and, you know, I was leaving home at 6:00 AM and getting home at 6:00 PM and I went, oh wow. This is the way to do it.
[00:04:11] Joseph Choi: I just didn't feel right. Yeah. It didn't matter how much money was being thrown at me at the time. Um, so anyways, uh, yeah, I just kind of, uh, embarked on this franchise where, um, it didn't really exist in Vancouver whatsoever. Um, and so I went, um, uh, I went to get trained, um, and just started being a student of the business.
[00:04:32] Joseph Choi: I, you know, asked me if I've held a hammer before. Yes, I have. Um, asked me if I've ever sold a pullout shelf. No, I haven't. Um, but you know, like what was really interesting, what caught my attention when I signed the contract, um, was that I attended their first, their conference, um, before I was even trained and they had this, um, Guest speaker.
[00:04:53] Joseph Choi: Her name is Lisa McLeod. And, um, she wrote a book called Selling with a Noble Purpose. Oh. Um, and if you haven't [00:05:00] had a chance to read it, it was, it's, it's amazing. Um, and it's all about the belief system. And what she did was in her 25 years of research, um, she did a study on like, who are the best salespeople in the world and, and what really draws them in to being really successful.
[00:05:15] Joseph Choi: Yeah. And her conclusion was that, um, she found. The successful people were the ones who had a really strong belief system. It wasn't your typical car salesperson, it's actually people who really cared about the people that they serve, meaning that you serve with a servant's heart. Right. You know, we, we've heard that before, but it really hit home for me cuz I meant, man, I, I care about people I love.
[00:05:39] Joseph Choi: Mm-hmm. You know, I love making people happy. I love helping people. And even the people around me when I was asking, uh, about this business, they go, yeah, I think this is like something that you can do because I want an impact for clients and I want the client to kind of come back to me years from now and tell me what great work.
[00:05:58] Joseph Choi: I've done, uh, [00:06:00] and it could be anybody, right? I think that's what we, yeah. We really want, it's not just about the dollar figure. And I think when you kind of put that higher purpose first, you know, the, you know, the dollars start to roll in. Mm-hmm. Um, and so, uh, yeah, so that's kind of how it all started. Uh, and uh, what was really interesting, uh, was the franchise.
[00:06:20] Joseph Choi: Said to me, Hey, well why don't you, uh, get a PR company since, you know, nobody's ever heard of this in Canada. And, um, so I hired a PR company and lo and behold, um, the Vancouver son picked up my story and um, and I told this guy, Gord, who's the reporter there, I said, Gord, like, um, I don't wanna talk about myself.
[00:06:39] Joseph Choi: Like, I mean, I, I said I, I flipped through the Vancouver Sun and in the business section there's always this new business and it's about the owners and. All that stuff. And I said I just, mm-hmm. I don't think that's really good substance in terms of telling my story. I said, um, I'm gonna wait until I can find a client that has the same belief system as I do as far as like what attracted me to this business.
[00:06:59] Joseph Choi: [00:07:00] And so, um, he met with one of my clients and he saw the work that, that I did, uh, for them. And he just went like, this is just crazy. Like, how, wow. Like, how is this like, like possible? Um, And so, um, he wrote this two page, um, article about my client. Um, uh, on December 31st, it was actually launched on December 31st.
[00:07:22] Joseph Choi: And, um, it was something to the lines of, you know, cabinet whisper, like something along those lines. He kind of coined me the cabinet whisper. Oh, that's cool. Like right off the get go. And, um, and then we started our trade show season, and this was like in 2014. So, um, right when our trade show started, had all these people with this, these clippings of that story, And they brought it to our booth and you got, we, we read your story and what you did for Vince and Suzette and you know, they just went, oh my God, it was such, you know, and I think you probably still find it on the Vancouver Sun online.
[00:07:51] Joseph Choi: Um, but it was just so amazing just to see this traction. And so in, in that month of January, we booked like, A hundred appointments. Wow. And this will be [00:08:00] like our fourth month in business. Right. That's incredible. So these little things that you start to build upon. And so that was a real springboard for us as far as, you know, getting some, some type of attention.
[00:08:11] Joseph Choi: Um, and so throughout our. You know, our, our trade show season that we started off, um, we had, uh, a lot of people still remembering that story. And eventually, um, Vince, my client, uh, he was the biggest skeptic of this business. He was the husband. And guess what happens? He's a former c e o, he's retired, and he, he goes, you know what?
[00:08:30] Joseph Choi: I wanna work for you. Wow. Yeah. He said, I wanna work for you. And so, you know, he's, you know, he is an amazing guy and, um, and, and so he started helping out trade shows. He actually became one of my designers for a brief period. Um, and he even held onto that newspaper. That was his, his thing was every trade show he did, he always had that newspaper with him cuz it was him on that, in that picture with his wife.
[00:08:53] Joseph Choi: Right. And he was telling his story as well. And it was just, it was very magical when we first started off, uh, right off. [00:09:00] And so, um, we actually became the first franchise, um, to hit a million dollars in revenue in our first 12 months. Wow. That's amazing. Yeah. And so it was really, I never even thought I would even hit that Mark ev like ever.
[00:09:13] Joseph Choi: My goal was 250,000, to be honest. Wow. Was my, yeah, it was crazy. And so, um, I think it has to do with, there's a culmination of things. I think part of it is motivation, the hustle, you know, just getting out there. Um, and I, I, I told my team as I was building it out, I said, you know, part of our year one is that we're gonna learn, we might have some growing pains, but after that year one, we're gonna celebrate regardless of what we've done.
[00:09:38] Joseph Choi: Yes. But the main thing is that we're gonna try to spread the gospel of this business cuz we are not a roofing company, we're not a window company. We are a company that is very niche, but we gotta get out there. Um, and so, you know, I think the networking aspect helped a lot for me, uh, in my opinion. Uh, I was, uh, yeah, you know, if you know B Nni, um [00:10:00] Oh yeah.
[00:10:00] Joseph Choi: Right. Uh, I was a serial B Nni guest. I wasn't a member. I was, I was just going everywhere. Just like, just showing up and just kind of just doing that 32nd elevator speech. Um, and then just kind of going to the next thing. But I did end up joining a networking group. Um, and I have to say that really helped me a lot because you, you never know unless you ask for help who people know.
[00:10:24] Joseph Choi: And I found that really fascinating. So, um, I've, I've learned over the years to ask for help. Cause I tend to be the person who just wants to learn and just do it and all that stuff. And I think if there was any tip that I could give anyone would be, no matter what you are, where you are in business, always be curious and always ask for help.
[00:10:43] Joseph Choi: Oh, I love that. And is like literally dropping the ego, right? Because that's what it is. Sometimes we're building a business. We, we get kinda quiet because maybe the business isn't happening as quick as we want to, but sometimes we got, we can't even think like that. We gotta think about who can, who's out there.
[00:10:58] Joseph Choi: That can really help because it [00:11:00] human design. By human design. We want to help when someone yes, is like drowning, right? You're gonna react. I know that's really extreme, but if you, if you do ask for help, people are out there that are willing to, to lend a hand. It's not like they're opening up their wallets and giving you money, but their advice is worth a lot.
[00:11:20] Joseph Choi: It's huge. It's huge. Yeah. Um, so whether it was like, you know, looking for, you know, trade show staff or looking for a design team and just building that out, um, all the way to even finding a trailer, you know, to house our stuff. For the trade shows, just, just all these little things. And so rather than having to reinvent the wheel with maybe something that was done already, um, usually each week I would ask a question deliberately just to see, just to field the, the group just to say, Hey, like, I need some help guys.
[00:11:50] Joseph Choi: This is what I have this month or this week. Nice. Um, and and that way you just kind of chip away at these little things. Yeah. Um. And, and don't mind if I'm [00:12:00] just kind of rambling along the way. I Oh, no, no. As I'm kinda thinking about my past here. Yeah. Um, and, um, I remember, uh, seeing this guest speaker, um, and, uh, and I took something, every guest speaker, I take something away.
[00:12:12] Joseph Choi: So this guest speaker talked about the one thing. I'm not sure you've ever heard of that. Yeah. Before, right? So, um, you know, again, the one thing is like, whether it's the one thing for the day, for the week, for the month, For the year. You know, you kind of like, and those that it's kinda like a to-do list, but a really refined to-do list.
[00:12:29] Joseph Choi: So, you know, there was one month I said, you know what guys? I really need this. My goal this month is a higher. A designer, not just any designer to fill a warm seed. I'm looking for very specific person, like an All-star that I can make. Either I can make into all-Star or they have the proficiency and belief like I do to become awesome.
[00:12:50] Joseph Choi: So nice. And so whoever I bring on board, I said, you know what? My job here is not only for you to just do this kind of work, I said, my job is to make you [00:13:00] awesome. So the first thing I did was to actually become, I was the first designer in my business so I could actually go and lead from the front. And then, cuz all my designers can see my results just as much as I can see their results.
[00:13:14] Joseph Choi: So, you know, the, you know, the, the frying pans kinda getting hot here, right? And I'm going, okay, I gotta, I gotta like step it up here. So in my first month in business, my goal was to be an awesome designer. And so guess what I did. I looked at all the results in our system, like who in North America are like the top, top dogs as far as being a designer.
[00:13:36] Joseph Choi: And what I did was I just kind of called them up and just started getting these golden nuggets of wisdom just being thrown at me cuz I, you know, I don't want to be them, but I think that some of the stuff that can impart on me can probably culminate into something really good. Um, so in my first month of business, We were just rocking, like I was just my own designer.
[00:13:56] Joseph Choi: That's it. And then the second month I brought on somebody else and [00:14:00] then, you know, the next couple months brought on somebody else. And I feel that. When you ask the question of like, how do you get past a certain threshold as far as mm-hmm. You know, either revenue or income. Um, in my world anyways, I think that you do have to build out a team.
[00:14:13] Joseph Choi: Yeah. You know, like you can't do everything. Like I just, I just know that I would've been burnt out without the support of my team. And it's not just anybody, again, it's just people with the right mindset that works with you to kind of toe the rope and share that same belief system. Yes. And I think that's, You know, and, and when you impart that tho those kind of philosophies with your staff, and maybe they never even heard of the stuff that I'm talking about, but when they start seeing it and they start believing it and they start seeing you in action, you're not just sitting on an ivory tower, but you're in the weeds with them.
[00:14:44] Joseph Choi: Yeah. You know, when you start off the business especially, um, it, it builds that belief system that, um, is hard to, um, it's hard to take that away anymore because they've seen you in action. They wanna be just as awesome. Absolutely. [00:15:00] And I think that's, that's such an important piece of it because so many starting out business owners that I see, or the solopreneurs is that they, they think that they have to do it alone.
[00:15:10] Joseph Choi: Right. And I love that what you were saying is that. You can't do it alone, you're not gonna get there on your own. You need a team. Yeah, absolutely. Like, unless you're in a specialized field, of course. I mean, you probably, you know, could, if you're a lawyer maybe, or one of those things. Yeah. But yeah, if you're a solopreneur, um, I think, you know, yeah.
[00:15:27] Joseph Choi: Having, having the people do, you know, again, you know, you, you are not in your job. You know, you're so, you're not running your, you're not in the business. You're running your business. That's always in the back of my mind. Right? Yeah. Even my first year I was like, you know, like eventually, yeah, I might sell this business, so I wanna make sure it's set up so that whoever buys it, it's pretty turnkey when, you know, when they take it over, there's a team in place.
[00:15:50] Joseph Choi: Like all those kind of things. And I find that there's a lot of businesses out there that don't think like that. They don't think about, Hey, I'm creating value while I'm using my time to build this business. How do I [00:16:00] go about making it so that it becomes something that could be sellable in the future?
[00:16:05] Joseph Choi: Definitely. So it's not even just about the income necessarily, but you know, like I don't have a, a pension or any of those things. Right. So I need to make sure that I have something that I can use as a pension one day. Definitely. Yeah. Yeah. And so when you were starting out, did you, did you have a sense that this was gonna work, that it was gonna be successful?
[00:16:27] Joseph Choi: Or were you scared? What was going on in your mind at that time? That is such a great question. So I just got goosebumps because I remember I was, when I, sorry, I heard about Shelf Feeney. I was like, I asked a whole bunch of people. I went, you know, this is a business. This is how it works. And I was quite shocked how many naysayers there were about like, I don't know, like, they were like, I don't know about this.
[00:16:46] Joseph Choi: Business, like if this will work and all those things. But in my stomach I went, I gotta trust my gut. Mm-hmm. Like I really have to trust, trust my gut, because there's a lot of people just kind of going like, don't spend your life savings on this because you're buying your [00:17:00] franchise and all this stuff.
[00:17:00] Joseph Choi: And it's true because some people, you know, you hear stories about people dumping in money and it's their life savings and it doesn't happen the way it should or should have happened. Right. Um, But I really strongly felt about this business. And so, um, I was scared. Yeah, I was scared to even sign the, uh, franchise document cuz like the disclosure agreement was like this thick, it was like, don't know how many pages I had to go through, but there was a lot of pages, all these things and, um, And so Yeah, you're like, you're literally going into a field that you've never done before either.
[00:17:34] Joseph Choi: Yeah. And that's what shocked a lot of people because I used to be, yeah. I used to wear a suit and all those things. Right. Working downtown all the way to a guy wearing a jeans and a shirt. Right. Yeah. And people are like, are you, what? What's going on? Like, do need help? Is this a midlife crisis? Yeah, it's a midlife crisis.
[00:17:49] Joseph Choi: Like that's, and so, um, Yeah. Like one I, but all I have to say, like one of my goals was to, to do something entirely different before I turned 40 was also in the back of my mind. So I [00:18:00] always wanted to have my own business. My, actually, my first business was actually a college pro painting franchise. Oh, wow.
[00:18:05] Joseph Choi: Um, in university. Yeah. So I already had a taste of it. I didn't make much money off of that. Um, but, you know, that was my fault. Um, but you, you learn from it. Yeah. Um, but yeah, it was, it was scary to. To dive in. And I think there's a lot of people out there who are working their careers and whatnot that have this desire probably to take the plunge.
[00:18:24] Joseph Choi: Mm-hmm. But I think, yeah, just trusting your in, trust, your instincts first so that you do have this belief. If your belief is strong enough, I'd say go for it. You know, like, especially if it's a franchise, I'd say go for it because, you know, there's, there's probably a good chance that the revenue will come in sooner than later.
[00:18:41] Joseph Choi: Um, yeah. But, As far as, um, yeah, like as far as fear, doubts, uncertainty, those all come into play. I mean, that's just a natural human instinct. Uh, but if you can kind of not control it. But I think if you can, um, harness that into something of more positive in nature and go, you know, I believe in [00:19:00] myself. I believe what this is all about.
[00:19:02] Joseph Choi: I think, um, it, it takes you. Further than being stuck in your own head and going, oh my God, did I make the wrong decision? Did I do this? Did I do that? Like, you're just talking to yourself, right? And just really psyching yourself out. So, um, so I try not to psych myself out. Um, I just try to just show up every day and just, just again, chip away at.
[00:19:23] Joseph Choi: Whatever I have to do to build this out. Um, and then just kind of prioritizing the things that are really important, again, for that week or for the day. Am I gonna pick up the phone and call five people and make that a goal for the next month? You know? Right. And, and that kind of rule. Um, And again, another guest speaker that I, I heard from and he kept talking about this was Yeah.
[00:19:43] Joseph Choi: Building habits and rituals. Mm-hmm. Just kept talking about that. Habits and rituals. Habit. And I went, yeah. Like, it's not even just about the business, like I'll talk about my own health, my wellbeing, uh, what do I do to kind of, you know, maintain myself. And so, um, yeah, like, um, you know, like health wise, yeah.
[00:19:59] Joseph Choi: I wanna [00:20:00] make sure that I exercise and I take care of this. This is the most expensive. Thing that we'll ever own is our own body, right? Yeah. Once that's gone, it doesn't matter how much money you make, you know, it's, you know, you're hooped in my opinion. Yep. So you have to, you know, uh, like would you trade, you know, if your life was online, would you trade all the money that you ever made so that your body is in great shape, right?
[00:20:21] Joseph Choi: So mm-hmm. So I always focus on, I do focus on that, um, And then yeah, like, and, and then yeah, just trying to find the right people, whether I have that interview a hundred people, I wanna find that right person that again, has that same belief system and they're gonna tow the rope just as long. Yeah. Just as much as I'm towing the rope.
[00:20:38] Joseph Choi: And the cool thing is, the first designer I hired, um, um, had this belief system, had this fire in her. She actually became the franchise, sorry, she became the designer of the year. Oh wow. In she three, which has 60 locations in her first year. Amazing. Which is really cool. And um, and, and with her contribution and mine, uh, we actually won the rookie [00:21:00] franchisee of the year in our first year.
[00:21:01] Joseph Choi: Wow. First in Canada. Uh, and our second year, we actually won the franchisee of the year first in Canada as well. And it was just like that momentum. Amazing. Just building, building, building. Um, but I think having a good. Check and balance with your team is important as well. Mm-hmm. Because sometimes we're kind of all siloed, right?
[00:21:19] Joseph Choi: Yeah. And sometimes we need to have these conversations, even if it's through Zoom, um, or even a coffee. Um, because, you know, not every day is gonna be perfect. And so even for, for our team, you know, they may have a down day and sometimes you just need to have a chat so that their mindset kind of reframes a little bit.
[00:21:35] Joseph Choi: And I think the mentorship is very important. Mm-hmm. Um, and I even tell my team, I said, if you're moving on one day, uh, you know, I wanna still make you as awesome as possible. So wherever you land, you know Yeah. You're gonna keep building that momentum in your life. Yeah. You know, as much as I want my people to stay with me as long as possible, you know, the other thing, fun part I think of owning a business is that you can really impact people.
[00:21:58] Joseph Choi: Yes. Having your, that you have on [00:22:00] your team. Um, and, and so, you know, like, like I said, I, I, I want them to be with me for the long term, but, you know, nowadays, you know, not everyone will kind of stick around for, for that length of time. But funny enough, um, my two full-time installers are still with me since day one.
[00:22:15] Joseph Choi: Wow. Wow. That's incredible. And that speaks to the culture that you've created, right? Right. That that's that they wanna stay and that they, they must feel fulfilled. Yeah, exactly. And I think, you know, when you fine tune processes and systems and things just start to hum. And not everything's perfect, of course.
[00:22:34] Joseph Choi: But when it does hum, you know, it's like I'm passing the baton to you. You're taking it, you're running with it. You're providing great service. Yeah. And we want to hear those great reviews online and building that reputation. Absolutely. So that's the other thing to segue to. Don't mind if I, if I do that, go, go for it.
[00:22:48] Joseph Choi: One of my goals was to, um, yeah, have as many reviews online as possible because I knew even in 2014, our behaviors, we were changing in terms of how we did our due diligence with products and services. [00:23:00] Mm-hmm. Um, and so I wanna make sure that I gave my team the best chance possible. To go into a home. Um, and the fact that the client would've done their due diligence before they came in, and that way it's already kind of, you know, you know, half the battle's already won as far as building their trust.
[00:23:16] Joseph Choi: And it's not just kind of coming in cold and talking about who we are. They can Google us and, you know, they can see what people are saying about us. All those things. Um, so I, I, I made sure that we were diligent in either getting clients to like us on Facebook or writing reviews. Mm-hmm. Um, And so that way again, yeah, just builds a lot of trust and momentum, um, for, for future revenue.
[00:23:39] Joseph Choi: Definitely. Yeah. You'd mentioned habits and rituals. Yeah. So what are some of the habits and rituals that you've implemented for yourself that help you to keep performing at your best? Um, like what's a day in the life of Joseph Choi? What does that look like? Um, Yeah, no, it's a good question. Um, you know, like as an entrepreneur you definitely wear [00:24:00] so many hats, right?
[00:24:01] Joseph Choi: As just like yourself, right? And, um, each day is, each day is definitely different. But I do, I have to say my Google calendar is. Like my second wife, so to speak. It does tell me what to do. Uh, every day I go through it and I do have a to-do, I do have a to-do list. I try not to make it too long, but I do make sure that, again, there's certain things on, whether it's a weekly, a monthly basis, I do on a regular basis, whether it's having a team meeting, uh, whether it is to call those five clients that I need to call, whether it is to call, uh, once a month a particular franchise who I've never spoken to before, and just introduce myself and just network.
[00:24:38] Joseph Choi: Nice. There's all these little things that, you know, um, again, it just becomes habitual and, and therefore after a period of time, it's just becomes a part of you. Mm-hmm. And that's, I think that's, I think that has helped a lot as far as, you know, framing when you wake up. It's not like, Hey, I'm waking up and I'm, I'm doing work right away.
[00:24:58] Joseph Choi: Yeah. I might be meditating, I [00:25:00] might be, I'm doing lots of yoga right now. Um, and so I might be doing something first. Um, but then once I, once my mind is clear, then yeah, I just, I do get right into it as far as like, yeah, what, what do we have to do? And usually there again, there's things that are reminders for me to get done first.
[00:25:16] Joseph Choi: Um, and then, Yeah, if my day ends at 12 o'clock, that's great cuz I've done a lot of, um, if I'm booked an appointment or I have to get out there to network, then especially early in the early stages, that's exactly what I did was, you know, drive to downtown Vancouver to the biggest B N I group. Um, and, uh, yeah, just kind of show up, so to speak.
[00:25:36] Joseph Choi: And that's, I remember doing that quite often. Um, but eventually, yeah, it is about, um, Just being relentless. I think having a tenacity to say that I'm gonna build this out, I'm gonna build a strong brand, that is my goal. Um, build a recognizable brand. And even to this day, you know, like I, I need to kind of spread the word of who we are cuz not everybody knows who we are.
[00:25:59] Joseph Choi: So I, [00:26:00] I know I still have a lot of work to do. And so whether it's, we just did an Italian day festival on commercial drive just a couple weeks ago. Okay. And, and the cool thing is actually like the people who kinda came by, you know, were some of our previous clients or, you know, they've heard of us, they've seen us on TV or, or, you know, commercials.
[00:26:18] Joseph Choi: Uh, and so I always kind of, when I'm talking to 'em, say, oh, how have you heard of us before? And, and that way it's kinda like a nice little gauge as far as like, you know, if, if they haven't, all right, well let's talk about what we do and if they have, well, I think I'm, I'm doing my job. Yep. Yeah. Um, so in, in the day of life of me, uh, again, different hats, whether it is, you know, you know, you gotta, you gotta check your marketing.
[00:26:40] Joseph Choi: Like, for me anyways, I, we spend a lot of marketing. So, as I mentioned, we do commercials now, uh, we do, um, a lot of direct mail, you know, and we got, you gotta like gauge your r o i on those things that you're spending. Cuz I think over the years what I've seen, even with shelf Jeanie franchises and other franchises, I find that a lot of people are not, [00:27:00] As adept in marketing.
[00:27:02] Joseph Choi: And I find that that's a very key piece. Um, and my phrase is always, and I'm telling these other, I'm always saying to the other franchises, I go, always ask the question, where are the eyeballs, right? Yeah. Right. So if you fall the eyeballs, then your marketing should work. You know, when I go to a coffee shop, do I see a lot of people reading the newspaper in 2023?
[00:27:24] Joseph Choi: You know, not so much. But in 2014 it was, and it was actually working for us. Um, we advertised quite often in the Vancouver Sun. Um, but at some point, um, we could just see the numbers and you have to pivot really quickly. Um, or else that money will dry up really quick, especially if you're, you're, if you don't have as large of a buffer to pivot, um, people will close down really quickly.
[00:27:47] Joseph Choi: Yeah. So, you know, marketing is. Quintessential in our world as far as you know, how, whether you'll, you'll find success, uh, and especially the way marketing has changed over the years, [00:28:00] especially going online like we we do now. Um, I think you have to have some level of, of expertise to make those kind of business decisions and where to.
[00:28:09] Joseph Choi: You know, marketing I, like I said, is a roulette table, and you wanna put the chips hopefully in the right places that you're banking on. That'll work. But there's, there's just so many options now that, you know, um, I think you, depending on your occupation or your business, um, I think you need to, um, be very good at, um, knowing where to put your chips, uh, from a marketing point of view.
[00:28:31] Joseph Choi: Yeah. Yeah. So when you're looking at, say, How to prioritize your time or how to prioritize what it is that you're investing your energy into as a business. Mm-hmm. How do you gauge that and look at what you need to focus on? Yeah. Um, so, um, I, I am a spreadsheet person, so I, I have, uh, I, I kind of like. Do the lay of the land and like, do I go radio?
[00:28:54] Joseph Choi: Do I go TV or, and all those things. And like, what are the chances of, and, and so I kind of like, yeah, I, [00:29:00] I put all these different buckets in there, but I just try to choose like four or five marketing vehicles. So, That I believe that will work like in my point of view because I've done enough due diligence and um, so I try not to spread the money out too thin.
[00:29:14] Joseph Choi: Um, cuz I don't think that's the right way to do it, I think. Right. Um, you know, having the key areas of digital, uh, some paper now. Um, and, um, yourself as a, also a marketing person to kind of get out there, especially, especially nowadays with the economy kind of being shaky, right? Yeah. Um, I feel that you need to build at a stronger round game and kind of getting out there and building relationships, right?
[00:29:40] Joseph Choi: So one of the things that I, um, we just, uh, did recently was yeah, we're, we're joining the professional organizer of Canada. We're gonna be associate member, we're gonna go in and, and I know quite a few of them, uh, which has been great over the years. Uh, and they're a great referral source, but kind of know who your tribe is as far as your, [00:30:00] uh, referral tribe, if you wanna call it that.
[00:30:02] Joseph Choi: Mm-hmm. Um, and have a, and, and, and be very creative as far as how to. Create a win-win proposition. You know, maybe I, I kind of, uh, you know, give back something for referring and, and vice versa. Um, and, and, and kind of building that funnel and then looking at another part and another part. Um, and another, another one I'm looking at is, um, looking into the over 55 communities.
[00:30:25] Joseph Choi: Oh yeah. Where, you know, where are they? Um, do I, do I go in and grab a whole bunch of business cards to figure out. You know, who's the person that can open the door for me to do like a lunch and learn? Right? You know, I'm thinking about those things, you know? Um, cuz again, if, if, you know, we, I think we've all developed some level, level of attention deficit.
[00:30:42] Joseph Choi: And so our mind is gonna go from one thing to another and you go, Hey, it's my turn. I wanna, you know, show you who I am. Uh, then yeah, I wanna be ready for that. Um, and then having those processes and systems in place that when the time comes, you can go and present. And, and show who you are and, and obviously being very [00:31:00] authentic because I do wanna help people live in their homes longer.
[00:31:03] Joseph Choi: Like that is my intent. And I want to have as much of our product in people's homes so that people will remember it and show it to their friends and family. So I don't care about how big the job size is. I do care if we can put our, some of our stuff into people's homes. And again, I want it to help them every single day.
[00:31:24] Joseph Choi: Awesome. Yeah. And what is it, I'm just really curious, what was it about Shelf Genie specifically that when you, when you were presented with this, that this spoke to something deeper inside of you? What was that thing? Yeah, I thought about my parents. It's, it's funny you ask, I thought my parents, I went, man, my parents would, you know, really like this.
[00:31:45] Joseph Choi: And I was thinking, man, like if they get older, you know, maybe they don't have to move in with me. You know, I've made it so easy for them to, to, you know, DJ to their kitchen, you know, manage whatever. Um, that yeah, they don't have, they, they can just kind of live their [00:32:00] life the way they want to live. Uh, and I was think about those things and then I was thinking about all these people who probably don't even have.
[00:32:07] Joseph Choi: Any of this stuff who are bending down, hurting their backs and their hips and whatnot, just to pull out that past iron pan, you know? Um, and, and so when visualizing like that, I went, oh, there's, there's something, there's something here. I just feel it. I just, I just feel it. Yeah. Yeah. That's incredible.
[00:32:25] Joseph Choi: Yeah. Um, what is it for you that's, That you think gives you that mindset, cuz you have a, you have an amazing, positive mindset. But where did that come from for you? Did you just always have that? Did you learn it? Um, I don't know if I learned it. I think, I think things that happened to you in the past, you know, creates who you are today.
[00:32:47] Joseph Choi: Mm-hmm. Um, but I think just being a student and just kind of learning from other people really, um, yeah, I do listen to a lot of. Podcasts, um, and, um, self-help books and things like that over the years. And [00:33:00] I think that's helped frame my mind because, you know, it, it's almost like it is, it is like having a coach, which, which yeah.
[00:33:07] Joseph Choi: Is a great thing to have by the way, uh, is to have a coach that's on your side that will make you accountable. You hear about all those things, right? And self-help. Mm-hmm. You know, you know, create your own circle, find five people to be your board of directors and you hear all the, those things. But I think the execution is, The difference maker when you're actually doing it.
[00:33:26] Joseph Choi: Yeah. Right. And, and again, putting whatever you're listening to into something, uh, real, um, you go, wow, I just, I just told my my partner, uh, what I plan on doing. I want her to make me accountable for it. I just did it. You know, like that kind of feeling. Um, and so, um, yeah, as far as like having a positive mindset, I.
[00:33:49] Joseph Choi: Yeah, I think I've always had that because, you know, I didn't grow up with a lot of money. I came here, we came here when I was two from Hong Kong. And, um, yeah, all we could afford were these plane [00:34:00] tickets. That was it. Wow. And that's how we got here. And we stayed at our uncles for two years. Um, and I honestly didn't want, and I see, I saw my parents, you know, struggle, so to speak.
[00:34:09] Joseph Choi: Um, and so I think for me, I just, Want to help. It goes back to helping. Yeah. And um, yeah, on average I had two jobs in high school, two jobs in university, um, just kind of working. And I think through all this work experience, you kind of pick apart some of the things that may, may define you. And I think sometimes we're kind of have blinders on.
[00:34:31] Joseph Choi: We're just working, working. And you know, my revelation honestly didn't happen until I had Bell's Pal. I woke up with half my face paralyzed Oh, wow. When I was 25 years old in Toronto. Um, and I was a workaholic. I gotta the point where I was working so much that I didn't, I couldn't separate work from personal.
[00:34:49] Joseph Choi: Mm-hmm. And so that was my, my wake up call. Um, And then, uh, I read this book called, uh, Tuesdays with Maury. Oh, great book. Yeah. Right. And I bought that book for many people. Um, [00:35:00] it's a really easy read, but one of the things that Maury said to, uh, Mitch Alm, uh, the author, he was like, if you're on your deathbed one day, what would you think about?
[00:35:08] Joseph Choi: Right? Mm-hmm. Would you think about the car that you bought, your certifications, or would you think about the memories? Would you think about your family? Right. Yeah. And, and that made me like go, like, I gotta get outta Toronto. Like, like, I'm gonna be that guy in my forties with a heart attack if, but at this rate, Where I was going.
[00:35:24] Joseph Choi: Wow. Uh, and so happened that an old boss that moved over and brought a bunch of us along to help start with this company. Um, and that's how it got me out here. I love the outdoors, all that. It was, it felt like a, like a right fit. The energy, I guess the energy was there where it's like, ah, this is right for me.
[00:35:41] Joseph Choi: Um, and so yeah, I just embarked on that. Um, That journey. Like my, my family, all my family was still in Toronto. Um, and I said, I gotta do this, you know, so I did it before I turned 30. I was 29 at the time when I moved here. Um, and I'm 48 now. So, you know, it's just, it, it's been an [00:36:00] interesting, you know, uh, buildup to kind of where we are today.
[00:36:04] Joseph Choi: Uh, but when I look back, I think it was the best decision ever. Uh, cuz it definitely changed my trajectory. Uh, With where things are at and having a kid doesn't, having, having a child obviously changes that too. But for sure, I think there's these milestones that, that hit you. And I think there's certain junctions in life that wakes you up.
[00:36:25] Joseph Choi: Mm-hmm. From just being, having blinders. You know, sometimes we get, we do have to get our heads out of the weeds and, and question things like, is this right for me? Is it about the money or is it about the experience? Like all those things. And so, Going back to Tuesdays with Maury. Yeah. I took that one to heart and um, and made the move.
[00:36:44] Joseph Choi: Yeah. That's amazing. And I. So, how is life now for you? You know, you mentioned earlier that you wanted to be able to, to take your daughter on all her field trips. Like have you been able to create that lifestyle that you were looking for? Oh yeah. Like my [00:37:00] daughter just, uh, Chelsea just turned 13, uh, last month.
[00:37:03] Joseph Choi: Um, but I mean, I haven't done a field trip with her in a while. Um, but, uh, the times when she felt like, yeah, dad can come and dad is still cool kind of thing, you know, I did, I was the, I was definitely the mom amongst. The moms, you know, like I was just, yeah. I was just, I was always there, you know? Cause I wanna see her grow up.
[00:37:21] Joseph Choi: I, I don't wanna be contributing, you know? Mm-hmm. To, to that experience. And selfishly, yeah. I wanna be on that deathbed one day and be able to think about those things as well. Definitely. Yeah. So if you, if you had to do it over again, if you were starting this business from day one, is there anything that you would've done differently?
[00:37:40] Joseph Choi: Um, I think, mm, I think starting, I. I think knowing your business and knowing your tax, tax laws and all those things. Oh yeah. Right. Um, cuz once, once you get into business, and if you don't know that stuff very well, like you can have the government come after you in, [00:38:00] in different ways. And, and we got slapped on the hand once with that.
[00:38:04] Joseph Choi: Uh, yeah. And it wasn't, it wasn't, we were charging PST basically, and they said we shouldn't have charged it and then we remitted all the P S T and they said, oh nope, we get to keep that. I was like, well, I wanna return it to my clients. You go, well, you'll have to tell your clients, come to the government and collect that.
[00:38:19] Joseph Choi: And I'm like, that's just crazy. Wow. Yeah, it was just insane. Yeah, because they said it was a very gray area with our business because pull up shelves. Anyways, long story short, they said that you need to just charge G S T. And uh, that was a big learning lesson for me. I, I bet. Uh, I, yeah. And then the other thing, um, as far as, you know, you know, starting out, um, I don't think there's too much to change with my approach, I guess, but I think if was for, um, anybody, it would be just to get out there, you know, know your geography, know where your clientele is, um, and you know, um, [00:39:00] you know, build out content so that you can develop trust as quick as you can, you know?
[00:39:06] Joseph Choi: Um, yeah. I think that's how we, we all transact these days is by doing our own due diligence before we. You know, we want to, uh, do business with someone. Um, but yeah, no, I, um, let's just say I have no regrets with, with how, how things have been played out. Yeah. Good. That's great. Yeah. And any last words of advice for us before we, before we wrap up?
[00:39:30] Joseph Choi: Um, I think, yeah, just having the internal purpose, the internal why, um, you know, you're just believing in yourself. You know, it, it, it, it's so true. Like again, it's just. I, I feel like I'm just telling this, uh, self, you know, doing a self-help right now, but it is so true. Um, yeah. You know, like if without that, you know, you can have money rolling in, but you know, it, it's money is just energy, you know, it can come and go at any point in time.
[00:39:57] Joseph Choi: Um, yeah. And then, yeah, having that mindset to [00:40:00] persevere and, and chip away, um, would be, would be my thing. And yeah. Ask. Yeah. Asking for help. It's fantastic. Thank you so much. I know I got a lot outta this conversation. I know the audience listening is gonna get a lot outta this conversation, so thank you so much for spending some time with me today.
[00:40:18] Joseph Choi: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. If you enjoyed this episode today, please leave a five star review and share it with a friend. I hope you have a fantastic week and we'll be back again next week. Bye for now.