Marcus: Welcome to another episode of the creative power hour. I'm your host, Marcus Whitney, and today. My man, Joshua Mundy!
Joshua: This is an honor man. Yeah, thanks for being here, man. Hey, you know, I would show up. Of course. Come on, man. Marcus Whitney called me and said, come on, let's do something now. This is great, man.
Marcus: I mean, you've been so important to the city for a long time, but I think everyone now, you know, is there's people I know from circles that should not know you. And that's just a Testament to, the grind that you have, just the grind that you've put on. I want to tell your story because I think if you're talking about what's happening in Nashville right now, I feel like the trend and the theme of this show has really been, I'm bringing the people on this show that are really driving the president in the future of this city. You know what? I'm saying you have to be in that conversation. So with that, we always start with the origin story.
Joshua: So yeah, I've been watching all the podcasts. I know how, you know how already have a theme in mind but you know, the origin story starts. I'm originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, but I've been living in Nashville all my life, so I moved here when I was five years old from Lafayette, Louisiana. And you know, my mother and father were together, they split up. Okay. And so it was raised by my mother and my brother, older brother. And uh, so went to high school here, you know, all those things
Marcus: Where did you go to high school?
Joshua: I went to high school, Hunter's lane. Yeah. But my entrepreneurship, uh, started probably when I was like in the fifth grade, so fifth grade, uh, my mother, but you know, worked hard. But I knew it was a struggle. So I didn't want to ask my mother for anything. So I said, you know what, I'm going to create ways that I can make money. Okay.
Marcus: So let me ask you, in fifth grade how you said you knew it was a struggle.How did you know it was a struggle? What, what were the, what were the signals for you? I mean, I look at this, there's some obvious things, but just like what, what did you pick up when you were in fifth grade that you said, this is a struggle, I need to do something.
Joshua: So it was just like a, you know, asking my mother for the, the latest Nintendo system, you know, the SegaGenesis, all those things. Or I would see kids with the Jordans. I would have the Stadia’s on, you know, Stadia’s from Payless.
Yes. It looked like Jordan for the kids telling me these ain't Jordans. And you know, so like I figured it was like, okay, something is different, So instead of me continuing to ask my mother, I was like, you know, I'm going to create something so you know, I would go and get these, this candy from the store. I won't tell you how I got it, but I got, I got candy from the store and we will sell it. So that's what's really started. That's what created the engine of like, Oh okay I like this. I can buy something for $10 and sell each individual thing for a dollar.
Marcus: The flip game
Joshua: The flip game was incredible. So it just really sparked my entrepreneurial journey, literally at that age. Um, so it was making good money, you know, selling candy, selling, uh, when we would sell sugar. Okay. So, okay. You probably don't know this, they probably didn't do this in New York.
Marcus: No. tell me...
Joshua: so they have the Koolaid. Yup. Okay. That already has the mixed in with the sugar. Yeah, of course. Yes. So we would put that in like these Ziploc bags and would sell that for like a dollar 50. And people loved it. They loved it. So that's how it's a hustle. I tell those stories cause now people look at me like, man, you got really hustle up. I've been hustling all my life. Yeah. You know, it's just a part of my DNA. My makeup went from there, was working, selling stuff. And then when I was like 13 years old, I got my first job at Arby's. So a lot on my application. The Sal was 16 years old cause I wanted to work. I've always wanted to work. I always wanted to provide for myself and make sure my mom was good. So we just always knew how to work. So worked at Arby's and along the way with, you know, they took me through, uh, high school. Uh, worked at a couple of other jobs in high school. Uh, went to MTSU. I graduated in 99, went to MTSU and went to MTSU for two years. Uh, and I dropped out cause like I could not take being a broke college student. Like it, it just didn't register with me. You know, it's like I can't, I can't do this. I gotta go, I gotta stop making some money.
Marcus: So, let me ask you a little bit about that. Cause I, I had a, I had a similar issue in college. Um, why didn't you buy that? You could stick it out and then you would get the reward turned on, on, on, and at the end. What, what was, what was what, what didn't work for you about that?
Joshua: It was like I didn't want to get a whole bunch of student loans. Okay.
Marcus: So you knew, so you knew I knew to do stuff. You knew enough to like understand that game?
Joshua: Yes. Okay. I knew like, okay, we have to pay for this ourselves. So like my mom, we was all like scrapping to figure out how to pay for college. Yeah.
Marcus: You understood economics man. Like you weren't just like head in the clouds like, no,
Joshua: like I understood. I'm like, okay, well I'm not going, I can't do this if we can't afford to do it. Like, you know, I'm like, well my mom couldn't for it out of her pocket, you know? And then we was already come out to come out of pocket for, to make it work. Yeah. It was like, okay, well this ain't, this ain't working here. Like I had to go out here and make some money. Like, I have to go out and work. So I tried to get jobs in Murfreesboro just around the time I just wasn't getting hired. So I was like, okay. I came home for the summer, got a job at sprint PCs, so right in Metro center. And it was like when the economy was booming, so I was making good money.
Marcus: What year was this?
Joshua: So this was around, uh, 2000, 2000. Okay. So 2000, 2001 the economy was okay.
Marcus: Okay. And also, um, like the Nextel telephone was pretty dope back then. Right. So sprint was kind of on, it was on, sprint was on dope, man.
Joshua: I mean, working overtime, I was making good money. So I mean, I'm like, okay, I'm 18, 19 years old and I'm making $60,000, I'm working overtime and all this other stuff, making good money. So I'm like, hold on. And then I started really like looking, I'm like, okay, you graduate and you make $35,000, you get 50,000 in debt. Like it didn't matter.
Marcus: It doesn't work. The math doesn’t work
Joshua: So I was working at Sprint, left there. Uh, they started working at this place called park center. Now this, this is a story that we are just going to table at the park center story park center. Come back to it. We're going to come back, okay. Okay. It all kind of wrapped up. So the park center was a place that worked with individuals with mental illness and we would teach them job skills to help them get employed. So I was working around in that industry for like two years. Um, during that time I started my first company, which was a janitorial company. That was my very first company, which was a janitorial company because it was an easy entry to get in and only cost me 15, $20 to get in. So I was already printing business cards on, on job paper. I'll do it all the wrong stuff, get sales calls on, on their time, you know, print all the brochures out man.
Marcus: But isn't that how come on, that's, that's how you start. That's how you start. You start.
Joshua: So when I got my first customer, I started growing my business, started growing my business, and then that really had to make a choice. So like I, I came to the fork in the road. Okay. I was like, either you're going to be a full time entrepreneur, right? Or you're going to work for somebody because somebody is getting cheated on, you know. So in 2003, uh, I went to church and, uh, Bishop Walker, he preached a sermon called water walkers. Preach that sermon. I heard loud and clear gossip. That's the time I turned. I typed in my two week notice and I didn't turn it in. I got scared.
Oh, come on, man. Was height. And then, I never usually go to like services outside of Sunday. Okay. So this time it was preaching at TBN to TBN is like a huge Christian network. I never go to these things. I went and he preached the same exact sermon. Literally the same exact sermon. And then on Monday I turned in my two week notice and haven't looked back. Okay. So for over 16 years, man, I've been 16 years, 16 years. I've been a full time entrepreneur.
Marcus: So let's talk about the transition from, uh, the cleaning business [inaudible] to music city cleaners, which is how I got to, I actually got to know you through the, through the winners circle, but we'll, we'll come back to that. So talk about like, how did you evolve from running a cleaning service to running a cleaners? Okay, so let's, let's talk about dry cleaning, just so we're clear.
Joshua: So let's talk about something in the middle. Okay. So it was running a successful janitorial company. Uh, with me, somebody gives me an idea, I'm running with it. Like I, I just, I'm going. So, uh, 2006, 2005, 2005, I was building a janitorial company, Bowman. So that janitorial company, and I had, uh, a friend of mine came with the idea of opening up a cafe across the street from, uh, from MTSU So cafe, front of MTSU out there though, all the way out there. I mean, okay. Oh man. You know. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I went there for a little bit. Right, right. Okay. So it was the same concept as a cafe Coco. Okay. Stay open 24 hours right across the street from the cafe. Coco
Marcus: Cafe Coco was popping to come back before Nashville was what we have today.
Cafe Coco was the place that had absolutely no question. I was like, okay, I'm going to build that same type of model yet. Not knowing that Murfreesboro, it's, it then was a good old boy. Yeah. I'm talking about a system that I've never seen, right. So every time I, I have to talk about this because it's like laying out my story. Uh, so then 2005 put in over a hundred, probably $150,000 of my money, you know, that I've learned. I was already doing real estate and stuff, so I had a lot going on. Uh, and I'll have the probably the fastest opening and closing of a business probably in the history you're looking at the guiness book of world records bro. My face will be right there. Bro, I was open for every bit of 30 days.
Marcus: I don't know, man.
Joshua: That's $150,000. So we built it out in like two months. We built it out in two, three months. It was an old house. Put this money in and what's probably, we were closed by December. Opening in November. Closed by December, they changed the locks. It was, it's a lot to that story, but change the locks and everything.
Marucs: So paraphrase what happened.
Joshua: A lack of plan.
Marcus: Yes, sure. Okay. Is this your first time? Dues paid.
Joshua: Like you know, just, just the lack of plan.. Just all the requirements.
Marcus: Requirements you didn't even understand and they changed the rules on you I'm sure.
Joshua: I won a coffee shop but y'all want to make me put like a $30,000 grease trap in the ground. I'm not frying anything. But they changed the rules on me, man. Made me pave a whole parking lot. I mean, they would just change the row. They were like changing the rules on me in such a way that it just, it just couldn't work. It couldn't work. Couldn't work. So for two years, man, I hustled for 2006 to 2008 I did whatever it took because I made that promise to God. I said, God, no matter how hard he got in entrepreneurship, I'm never going back to working for anybody. Yeah. Like, no matter whatever I gotta do, I'm going to grind. I'm going to hustle until I get to this point. Till 2008 we're in the middle of a recession. All right. I'm in North Nashville. I've mostly lived in North Nashville my adult life. Uh, so I lived in the hood. Yeah. This is before North Nashville was North Nashville. So I was riding my bike and I saw this location, man. So big red buildings
Marcus: What year again?
Joshua: This is 2008 so this is August, 2008 middle, I mean the heart of a recession. So til 2008 I saw this big red building right on the corner and I was like, man. I gotta have that. Like I don't know what I'm going to do in this space. Why do I have to have it? It had a for lease sign. So every single day for about, probably about two weeks, I came to that spot. I looked in the window and I was like, man, I gotta have it. So the landlord came by, it was like, bro, you here every, every day. Like you just should. Just get it. Yeah. And why are you telling me that? I'm like, yeah, you're right. You're right. Oh should get it. Not having a plan, not knowing what I wanted to do, what you want, the space.
But I wanted the space and I probably had around, I was broke, man. I probably had about $50 in my bank account. Okay. Like I really didn't have any money. Okay. All right. So I signed a lease paying $2,000 to like $2,000 a month lease. And I didn't have any money and I didn't know what I'd do to get money.
Marcus: No way to get money. So you're just down 2000 a month now. That's exactly, that's it. On the hook and down 2000 a month.
Joshua: So I called every friend I knew. I was like, Hey man, you want to go into this business with me? Hey, you want to go into this business with me? Hey, want to go? So I had a buddy of mine named Tony. He was like, okay, all right, let's do it. So he had his half. I still had to come up with my half. So I called my dad. I said, dad, look, I have this idea. I know I failed. I know I failed. You ten hundred times. Right? But I think this is gonna work.. My dad was like, okay. You're like, you're not on drugs. You're not doing it. You're taking risks and you go. So that's my half man. So from 2008 and to this prison, man, we've been in business for 11 years. Let's list my family is now, I'm not in the dry cleaning business. My family is, my family has never been in a dry cleaning business. I have no experience in the dry cleaning business by no means. But it was just entrepreneurship.
Marcus: Entrepreneurship. Yeah, right. Just figure it out. I figured it out.
Joshua: Yeah. So you know, for 11 years, man, we built a successful business. Yeah, yeah it is. And that's how we've kind of connected. But we connected on some other stuff as well though.
Marcus: I mean, there's a couple of things about that to me. So one is, you know, you called it North Nashville, but we now know that area is Germantown. It's German town. Right. And um, man, what has happened around you? I mean first Tennessee park, Oktoberfest with Monell's, I mean all the development that's happened there, just everything, everything, everything. Everything. I mean that's happening in Germantown is one other person I know besides you who had that vision, actually there's two other people I know who had that vision to get engaged in that neighborhood. One is my buddy Nick Holland, who was the first person who I did the show with.
Joshua: Nick Holland. Let me tell you about Nick Holland. Nick Holland’s dad gave me my first contract over at Holland equipment dog. That's how I know Nick. Because Nick, we used to do the computer stuff for him and me and Nick would talk about entrepreneurship. He would have all his little computers and stuff on the floor. That's how I know Nick. Man, you're like, it's crazy. Right?
Marcus: That's crazy. That's crazy. That's crazy. I didn't know that bro. That's, I didn't know that. Nick
Joshua: Man, his dad gave me my first, I had my first contract with them.
Marcus: Wow. Yep. Wow man. Yeah. Okay. So you know Nick was in the neighborhood. I mean cause he was in the neighborhood, he bought CenterSource, that building and I mean it was early. Nobody was over there. Nobody knew. And then a really good friend of mine, keto Neil, had a house over there. I know. Okay, great. Okay. So those are the people who I knew who introduced me to that neighborhood.
Joshua: I didn't know about Germantown. You know what I'm saying? I was, I wasn't, I didn't even really know about it either. I just knew that I saw space. I was like, man, this is golden. I want it. I'm going to sign the lease. And you know, it worked out luckily. But, and then too, that's me and me and me and Mignon, from the cupcake collection. We opened up our businesses on the same day.
Marcus: No, what?
Joshua: So November the 10th, 2008, me and the cupcake collection, open up. Our businesses opened the same day. We got to know them from, with just us just meeting. We've just met and like, we're like family. Like we've been through this together. Open up on the same day.. 2009. Yes.
Marcus: So let's talk about the winners circle for a second, because that was, that was really how I got to know you. Yes. Um, and I think the things that I learned about you from that have really, uh, everything that I see you doing now really is still sort of reflective of the, of the winner's circle, that energy, that energy that you, you brought with that. So, um, nobody who is listening or watching right now knows what the hell I'm talking about. Talk, talk about the winner's circle. Like what was the vision for it? How, that happened. Cause that was, that was something I looked at and I was like, shit, I want to be part of, you know what I mean? I keep cutting you off. You brought like a, like a Wu Tang, like energy, you know what I'm saying? Uh, to entrepreneurship. Stuff.
Joshua: So anyway, so the winner's circle was birthed out of a need to share information. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So throughout my journey, like I never really had anybody like sit down and give me the game preach. Okay. So it was like I reached out to people that don't need it. I made attempts to say, Hey, I would love to have your guidance. Hey, I would love to, you know, let's do lunch. You know, I want you to mentor me. Nobody would respond back. So I had to figure out this hard ass game by myself, right? So that means falling on my face as losing tons of money, still making mistakes, like all those things. So I was like, you know what? It was really birthed out of, I went on a trip with DJ Wilson, Afonzo and Ryan. So we went, uh, to Atlanta one year for new year's Eve, I think it was 2015.
Yeah. And I was already kind of toying with the fact that I, I want to start bringing people together to really share information so that we can, it felt right. Like, yeah, man, some brothers around me that's really trying to push forward, do some things. I was like, man, this is the winner's circle. There it is. Right? This is the winners circle. So I was like, okay, well I'm not going to do the typical Nashville thing and make it clique-ish and like, you know, we're just this. I'm like, no, we're gonna come together and we're going to share and we're gonna come together and we're gonna bring people that have never come together before and we're gonna share information and we're going to share knowledge. And that's how I reached out to you. Yeah. Yep. It was like, man, you need to meet this guy named Marcus Whitney. I didn't, I didn't have, I had my preconceived notions of what Marcus Whitney looked like. Yeah, sure. Right, right. When I saw Marcus Whitney and dreads, I was like, Oh, this is a brother. Yeah. Right, right. It felt different, you know what I'm saying? I'm like, okay. So that's when I started putting these workshops together. We'll come together and we were just doing stuff for the community because it came from that need. It just came from a need of man, look, we got, we got all gotta be successful. We can't be the one person, we just can't have one of this and one of that. We all have to come and be successful. So it came from that need. So we would come, you know, you came and spoke at a workshop, do workshops
Marcus: Which was packed by the way. Packed. I mean like, so like that was the thing. The brand wasn't old, but like you had, you had energy and you had an audience. You know what I'm saying? People were like, yes. People were, were giving feedback
Joshua: because it was, it wasn't before a time where now you have workshops every week. It's very oversaturated. So they see one success. We were coming in a time where nobody was doing it. Right. So it was new. It was a hold on. These guys want to just come and give information. They want to bring accountants and lawyers and all these people and they just give knowledge. Wow. They were, you know, we have 60-70 people a week. Come in and get a game, man. So that's what it was birthed from. And that's what, you know, we still continue to build up on that. We don't brand it as much. Now everybody's working and doing that thing, but it's everyone's house. The unit stays tight though. Yeah. He just stays tight.
Marcus: So, so that, you know, I, I've really learned about you through the winter circle and then, you know, music city cleaners and, okay, cool. And then you were like, yo man, I'm, I'm creating a space yes. For us. You know what I'm saying? And that became the lab. Yes. And I'm like, I knew it was going to be a thing. I knew it was going to be an important thing, but I think what's happened since then is really pretty remarkable. You know what I'm saying? So, so let's, let's, let's first talk about the, the lab, uh, and, and how you and Robert collaborated on that. Robert, Cheryl, and then let's just talk about what the hell has happened
and since the lab started, you know what I'm saying? Cause like it's just, yeah. People, people talk to me, you know, talk to me about, Oh man, you've got so many things. I'm like, have you met Josh Mundy? Like every week? Like honestly you make me tired. No man, man, I'm telling you I can't, the amount of stuff you put out in the world at the quality and then you know, just as somebody who has been at your cleaners and likes to see you, you're still, you know, like, like you still actively. Yeah. You're hands on in the business. And so, because I know the type of entrepreneur that you are, when I see you coming out with the J Street Lives and these other things, we're going to get into all of them. I don't want to leave the listeners behind, but I did just want to set it up that the, the, the volume and the quality is tiring for me. You know what I'm saying? So you're not just an entrepreneur, you also got another level of energy. Like I don't, I don't, you know, I don't have that. I don't have that kind of energy. You know what I'm saying? Like, I have to conserve my energy. Like, you know, I try to, I try to put things out in the world, man. But like anyway, anyway, so talk about the lab.
Joshua: So the lab, let's give the art the origin story of the lab. Yeah. So, uh, to that, when did the entrepreneurs center open up? 2010 2000 to 2010 so probably around 2011. That's when they were on Broadway. So I'm just an entrepreneur, have, I have a ton of ideas to come up with new ideas every day. And uh, so I went down to the entrepreneurship center and I just had an eye cause they were like, okay, this is a new place called the entrepreneurship center. Right, right, right. I'm like, I just went down there. I was like, okay, I'm fine. I can just talk to them about any type of idea I have and you know, and they go to just tell me this or that and yeah. And you know, see me on my way, bro. They tore me a new one. Yeah. Oh my God. Yeah. So I had this idea of like these, so this one, QR codes are like really, really popular. So I had this idea of, it was like a QR code that kept your like information. Right. So like I said, use the get hurt out of town or something. Like they can scan your information.
Marcus: I do everything that we need to know about you.
Joshua: emergency contact, all that other stuff. So that was my idea. Never was a dog man. I thought it was a dope idea. People have done it and like, yeah bro. Oh they tore me a new one. So like LaShawn, I went to Shawn's office. I was like, you shy man, never go to that place.
Marcus: you might've been one of the first people, you know who's a legitimate entrepreneur or to like provide that feedback. Cause you know, I mean I think, you know, now they've almost entirely pivoted to try to support people. You know what I'm saying? But because, because over time that kept coming up, you know what exactly that kept coming up anyway.
Joshua: Yes. So I was like, I'll never do anything like that. I'll be like, I'm never going to that place. Right. So, um, I always was interested in doing something around entrepreneurs like, you know, so from the winner's circle, so when this space came available, which is right next door to my dry cleaners for the listeners, this is how it makes it, it looks easy, but it's, you know, it's right next door, right. So, uh, the space came available and I was initially wanting to do like a club or something like that or a bar or something like that. And my landlord wasn't having it. He was like, nah, man. He was like, they ain't gonna work. So I was like, so I remember that time that they talked really crazy to me at the entrepreneurship center and I was like you know what? , we need a space, we need a space that the average entrepreneur can come and work.. And come to workshops and do all these different things. So I was like, so again, I called Rob, Rob didn't know anything about no coworking, anything. He was really all in on like the club stuff. And I was like, Rob, man, we need to do a coworking space. He was like, man, I don't know what a coworking space that I was like, bro, like we are going to have shared this, this, this and this. I had to sell them on the vision and he was like, all right, cool. Let's do it. So man, we like literally again, uh, started the construction like in August. I mean, we started in like June, it was open in August. So we've never, you know, opened up a coworking space and not known that space. But yeah, we made it happen. And you know, we created a space that's, it's a staple in the community.
Marcus: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And then, and then, uh, not too long after you opened it, uh, I believe you started collaborating with Will Acuff and Corner to Corner. Is that right? Am I remembering that correctly? So, uh, we, the wheels story is that, so Jeff McGruder, Met Will. Okay. And so Jeff saw what I was doing, we were doing with the winter circle stuff, and it was like, Will had the infrastructure. And that's why we really don't do a lot of like the workshops and stuff anymore because...
Marcus: Why would you? They're killing it. They're killing it.
Joshua: Will and Shana and Tiffany. They’re killing it. We don't have to do everything. And that's what this, that's before he had a team, it was just Will and his wife. Right. You know, that was just really, yeah. And I was like, okay, you have the infrastructure, you gotta be teaching these classes for 10 weeks. Right. Okay, cool. We're going to send everybody your way. Yeah. Like we're gonna create a pipeline and it will, I'll catch him on the backend. Yeah. Okay. I want you to handle the starters. Now we're going to create this whole pipeline of ecosystems that works. So yeah, that's how I got involved with Will. And I'm like an ambassador for what they're doing. I mean, they are, I mean,
Marcus: when I did the keynote Tab was the one who was, you know, you know everything. I was like, Oh, y'all like, yeah, okay. Okay. So, so, so the lab you and Robert opened it and it's a coworking space but you weren't really allowed to set up a club or bar but
Marcus: you have the only coworking space that I know
Joshua: cause you have to be versatile. Yeah, I know when it comes you have to maximize space bro.
Joshua: it solves two problems. All so you can, you can wind during the day, during the day when you can grind a grinder today. Okay. Yeah. You can wine at night. Right. That's how we had that wine and grind. You know, like you really, it covers all facets of a person. Yeah. We're not 100% like working of course. Not of course the time. Like you have to have some balance. Yeah. And I like to have a good time. You've been to my parties.
Marcus: I have been to your parties. I've been to your parties. They are always fun. Yes. I like to know, always packed. I've never been to an empty party.
Joshua: No. Like I like to have a good time. So it's just kind of like we started doing events because you know, really like the coworking, it's not very profitable, like you know, not like that. Yeah. But you know, we had to do different things to bring revenue within the space.
Marcus: Right. So just a consistent theme here, the distance between an idea popping in your head and you doing it is very short, bro. It is very, very short.
Joshua: It's very short.
Marcus: Like you don't have the, Ooh, maybe I should check with somebody about this.
Joshua: No, I just do it man.
Marcus: You don't have that, which is it. So many people have that thing and that is, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but just as a matter of fact for you and the number of things that you do, it's basically like - idea, I should do it. I do it. Right. That's basically how you live.
Joshua: There's a million people a day that don't wake up. When I wake up, it's another opportunity to get everything out. Cause I don't know. Tomorrow's not promised. Right. So I operate in that vein. Right. It drives my wife crazy. But she rides man.
Marcus: I mean, I tell you what - nobody would know it. No, no, no, no. Nobody would know it.
Joshua: Nobody would know it because it's like, okay, I'm going to get out of his way because he's going to do it. Like I, I have to do it. I have to get it off of me. Man. I can't, I can't carry it on. So like, so with any idea, I get it. I sleep on it. I say, okay, it’s time to execute. Yeah. I think it's a great one. All right. It’s time to execute. Yeah. It's just how like I've moved and that's how I been. Like movement, movement, movement. It attracts everything else. But I have to move like I have to move. Yeah. And everything else comes together. It all, I promise man, my movement and everything else, it just aligns, right. It's just like the the world says, okay, this crazy man is doing something else. Let's help him out. Let me, let me put this in place. Let me put this in place. It always works that way.
Marcus: Now we're going to run down the list of things that I've seen you doing the last year.
Let's just call it the year. You may say, Oh, that was two years ago. Three years ago. I was going to put it inside for a year. Cocktail Crush probably more than a year at this point, right?
Joshua: it's, it's over a year now. It's over a year.
Marcus: Cocktail Crush is more than a year. Okay. Let's talk about cocktail crush because I thought that was brilliant. Just a brilliant idea, a brilliant brand. At some point we're going to circle back to that how much of a creative you are because of this is creativity. That's really what this is, is creativity and execution. But it's so much creativity. But, but cocktail crush. Yeah. So what inspired you? First of all, what is cocktail crush?
Joshua: Cocktail crush. A mixology class. So you learn how to make six drinks by a world renowned mixologist. Yep. Okay. Crazy how cocktail crush happened. So Ivan Ratliff. Yup. It's a guy. He does all like my marketing and branding stuff. So I was in the lab, talking to him and I was like, yo, I have this crazy idea of doing like this mixology class. And Ivan said, are you for real. I was like, yeah. He said, man, look at this. And he had a flyer with a mixology thing that he was wanting to do. We've never talked about this ever. This is like the universe Yeah, yeah, yeah. It blows my mind every day, man. It freaks me out. I mean, I literally love it. Freaks me out, man. So he had the flyer already designed and made up. Wow. And so we sat down, we were reaching out to the same exact person. The mixology guy. Yeah. We were reaching out to the same person, didn't know that we were reaching out to the same person to get the dude to do mixology. Wow. Really, man. So we finally got him, we put the plan together and it's been running for a year and a half now.
Marcus: And how often do you, do you throw them?
Joshua: Once a month.
Marcus: So, okay. So you've just added another very regular thing to your life, right.
Joshua: Once a month. Right.
Marucus: And of course it's not just your life cause you've got, you know, a beautiful family that rides with you on all these new crazy things that you keep coming up with. Okay. So, we got the cleaners clean and are still rocking about the lab, still rocking, rocking. And that's a, that's a day in, day out thing. If you've got a membership, you got access to it. It's got to be there to perform for you. Right? Like I'm just trying to make sure we keep track, but listen to this. So we've got the cleaners open every day. We've got the lab every day we have cocktail crush. Yes. Right. Which is now once a month a thing. Okay. Table for 20.
Joshua: Yes. So table for 20 is a mastermind dinner. I wanted to bring people that have never met before to a table to have dinner to network. So just a new way to network. Yup. Uh, so I didn't like the whole traditional stuff. I wanted people to build like authentic relationships. So through those relationships I've, I've met Jason.
Marcus: Jason's best man in my wedding were my best friends. Jason Moore, incredible CEO. Come on, sob.
Joshua: Met Jason through a table for 20, I guess. I don't know if you told them to come.
Marcus: This is why I said you have to be on the show cause he found out and I guess somehow he knew that we knew each other and then he was like, Hey, tell me about this Josh Monday guy. And I was like, Oh, legit. Legit. You know what I'm saying? Like you should, you should do it. You know what I'm saying? And um, and I, you know, I honestly like the reason why I haven't signed up for it is cause I want to make sure people like him go to it. You know what I'm saying? Like, because I'm not saying I'm going to know everybody at the table, but like I just think, I think it's so dope. He would never meet though. He would never meet those people and never, never meet those people in Nashville. I just think it's so dope the way that you kind of put that thing together.
Joshua: So I just invite that, I invite like a special speaker or something. We'll have a topic that we'll talk about discussing with banter and Dan, it's just mostly just networking and people getting to know each other. And I, and what I do is I get people to sign up first and then I'll pick the 20. Okay. So it won't just be so heavy. One side it'd be
Marcus: like curation to it.
Joshua: different backgrounds, different experience, different uh, job titles. You know, I just try to bring everybody together. We do that once a month, once a month. And I've actually fought, I, I've, I've fallen off a little bit on that, so I'll probably do it like once a quarter now. Once a quarter. Okay.
Marcus: That's, that's healthy man. Awesome things bad man. It's okay. You're right. Okay. Okay. So we got, we got the cleaners, we got the lab. Yes, we got cocktail crush. Yes, we got a table for 20 yes. Okay. Let's now turn to welcome to Nashville week, which only happens once a year. So this is yo, this is dope. It only happens once a year, but you don't sleep during this week. Basically. I saw the stories. No, no, you don't sleep so, so, so talk about welcome to Nashville Week and, and sort of the need you saw and then how you know what it is.
Joshua: Okay. So welcome to Nashville week was curated again with my curation partner. I call him my, we, we do a lot of stuff together when it comes to branding and stuff. So yeah, Ivan, we were just having a discussion and we just saw like how many, so many people like, Oh Nashville talking about new Nashville, new Nashville, talking about Old Nashville. And people are not really mixing and mingling and everything is siloed and everybody's in their cliques and we don't get to meet anybody. So the welcome to Nashville Weekend was a proper way to welcome all the newbies to Old Nashville. Pretty much. Okay. Welcome everybody to the city desk. So it was just a creative way to welcome everybody to this city to show you like it is some dope people that's really living here, but let's really, let's get to know each other.
You know what I'm saying? I've been living in the city for 20 years. Like, what can I connect you with? So it was just a very creative way to bring people together. And so we created a whole weekend. So from Friday night we did cocktail crush. Saturday did a big day, party Sunday we did a brunch and it was just like a whole really dope weekend. I mean, that's like one of my top things that I've done and poured out.
Marcus: It was, it was a big deal. Um, my, my sisters, uh, and my brother in law and my, and my nieces and my sisters, really good friends were all in town that weekend. And so I had some things that I already laid out before. I knew welcome to Nashville weekend was happening, but they came in town that Friday and we did the Friday cocktail crush and it was, it was so dope.
It was such a dope way to kind of kick everything off cause they were just like, this is crazy. Like, you know, like look, they live in New York, you know what I'm saying? And not to say like they didn't expect Nashville to have anything, you know, kind of popping like that, but they were just like, what? Like what is this? You know, and they, and they had a really good time and they just thought, it was like really unique and you know, it's not something that you're going to find in New York. Do you know what I mean? And then I had to follow the rest of the weekend through Instagram stories, but it looked incredible, man. It looked incredible. It looked incredible. So, so just, just quickly, what, what will all the different um, activities that you had going on?
Joshua: So we had the cocktail crush Friday that we had a big day party.
So like, we brought everybody together. We had all these people that were like staples in Nashville come. So like the [inaudible] and, uh, Clint with slimming Huskies every day. Everybody was staples from the radio stations. Like everybody that was state to old Nashville Marcus: and welcome to the newbies.
Joshua: Yeah. It was like a welcome committee. And then Sunday we did a brunch. Nice. Nice man. Dope man.
Marcus: So, so again, we got the cleaners, we got the coworkers, we got the mixology, we got the dinner party and now we got the week, the weekend. Okay. What am I missing? Cause cause, cause it cause I mean I can run down the list. There's the, there's the planner. Okay. So speaking businesses, there's the national blockchain. But what's important that J street lot.
Joshua: I mean, okay, we can keep going. Uh, so yeah, so the really big thing we go to the pivot. Okay. So, uh, so I created a nonprofit called the 42 group. Okay. Uh, so we provide housing for individuals actually for men to have mental illness. See how it goes back to the parts of the heart center. So we have uh, two houses that we provide housing. Wife pretty much runs that. House managers in that kinda runs itself. Amazing. But yes, what we do, cause now Nashville is super expensive, but these guys only make $700 a month. SSI and someone's got to protect them. It's a protection pretty much. Yeah. Yeah. So they live in a house, they get a meds. Uh, we cook for them, all that good stuff. So they, it's like community arm that like we really tied in. We're their family much. Amazing. So that's happening. And then pivot technology we have to talk about, we have to about that.
Marcus: We also need to talk about the annual party. Last year was a white party Christmas party, which, which, which funds? The nonprofit, which funds the nonprofits. But let's talk about pivot tech.
Marcus: So you can really see how the crazy though man, like the list of things. I mean, look man, when I talk to people it's like, okay, I saw there, I got jumpstart, I got health further, I got the content and then it kind of stops. It's like, no, that's it bro. Dog. We've like, we're 10 things in and we're not even close. We're not even close. I know I'm leaving shit out. Like you're a mad man. You, you, you understand. This is insane. It's insane. I mean, I, I can't, I can't imagine how, I can't imagine having all those things running around that would drive me nuts.
Joshua: August made me realize like, Josh, you need to dial it down. August here cause I put this calendar together. Right. And it was so much stuff. Right. And I was like, I can't do that. It was every day it was something, it was like this workshop, that workshop , I'll do this, this, this, this. I'm like, okay Josh, you got a dial it down. Yeah. Okay. So September I have really taken time.
Marcus: Good. An incredible son. And you are a very active, engaged father. I mean like I'm engaged, right? I mean you're at all the games, you're, you know, you're doing all the things
Joshua: people would think like, like no, I'm at home at like six 36 37 I'm at the house. Right. So like I tried to maximize my time, but all right, so pivot tech. Yeah. So pivot tech came from, we went to Austin, Texas for leadership.
The leadership connect through the chamber. Chamber of commerce. Yep. All right. So this is a group of people that put together via the chamber that goes and studies another city. So we went and, and, and they're not just like any group, they're emerging leaders, right. I mean like, like these, these are people who all entrepreneurs young from young, right.
Joshua: No, duh. This was, so this is like all the heavyweights. Oh, okay. This is the heavyweights. Okay. I don't, I don't, I don't even know about this. Okay. So this, so this called, so leadership cohort, it was like they get the young, the young up and coming entrepreneur. I knew about that. I know about that. All right. Okay. But they put us on this trip with the big, big dog. So you were part of the, the, the, the emerging group and then everybody with like the, so we already got a pack.
Yeah. Yeah. We got a pass to get in. Yeah. Yeah. Pretty much.
Marcus: This was them like integrating you into the, that's great. I'm actually really glad to hear they did that. Yeah. That's all I, that's awesome.
Joshua: The big CEO, big corporations, big corporations, the construction companies, like all of the amazing organizations in Nashville, we was able to make some mingle. That's dope. I've met some incredible people. I meet some incredible people. I probably would never even get a chance to meet.
Marcus: Yeah. But they met you, which led me to, which is, which is amazing. Yeah. Yes.
Joshua: So we would go to these different coworking spaces and all the spaces. This is my first time actually going to Austin, right? This is my first time.
Marcus: Okay. Yeah. Get it. Get on yo the seat. Like I'm sitting here, I'm trying to pay attention. I'm already done it.
Joshua: So we went on a trip, we studied all their infrastructure, and we would go to these coworking spaces. All their spaces would do it. Nothing but tech. Yeah. I mean that's Austin. I've never been asked. Yeah. Yeah. That was my first introduction to Austin. I honestly didn't know. All I know was that festival that takes place in Austin, but I did not know that festival South by Southwest. Exactly. Yeah. I did know, so I'm looking around, I'm like all this tech stuff going on. It changes you, right when you say it changed my life. I tell people, I said, man, love Austin. Changed my life. Yeah.
Marcus: All right, so I'm so glad you had that experience because South by Southwest 2007 is exactly why I'm who I am today. Really? Absolutely. Wow. Absolutely. Like if you check any of my stories, I always basically say there's like before that, you know, cause even with Emma and other things, dog, when I went to South by, that was the, that was the, the turn for most of the pivot. That was the turn. That was the turn. So like I'm so glad you got to go to Austin and like
Joshua: so I experienced it. Yeah. Came back home and was like, yo, I'm going to start a tech school
Joshua: once again. Idea. I'm just going to do it now.
Marcus: Tell everybody your background in technology.
Joshua: No background. Instagram and Facebook does that count? Does that count?
Marcus: I don't know even what to try to tell you what I thought when you sent me the text message.
Joshua: I said, look bro, I'm opening it up and tech school. I need you to support Marcus. I need you behind me, bro. I didn't get a text back right away. Like he left me on read for about three days. Oh look, let me tell you,
Marcus: I had to shake off all the responses that came in my head and then I was like, okay, okay. Okay.
Joshua: Because I say they know what I'm going to open up a tech school. So first of all, when I was in Austin, I did not see, so the whole trip other than the African American people that was on the trip, I probably saw six black people, in Austin. Okay. So when we go Austin, when we went to all these, these people in their techin’ and coding and all this, use these bootcamps. Yeah. I don't see not one minority. Yeah, let's not even go black. Just wouldn't minority right at all. I hear you. Okay. So I was like, you know, I'm going to start a tech school and I'm going to target African American people and minorities. Yeah. Alright. Right. Because they're not underrepresented in the space. Cool. So let me just say you all right. I throw it in the atmosphere. Boom. Yeah. Let me just tell you how I came together doing an atmosphere. So I was talking to a guy that has a tech background. My name is Quan. I let him know, I said, man, look, I'm interested. I starting this tech school. He was like, yo, I, I w I want in on that. I was like, all right, cool. You have a tech background. I need, you have validity like I need you. Like even though I know I can do it. Yeah, but I need you because you can talk the lingo and the terms.. So he said, all right, cool. Let's work on it. One night I was in the lab. Okay. I cannot make this stuff up. I tell you stories I how the universe works. So when I'm in the lab teaching a class called Leaper's. Okay, so just helping part-time entrepreneurs become full time entrepreneur. Right. Generally never in the lab around seven o'clock I was there that night. Two guys come knock on my front door. I'm thinking they're there for the Leaper's course, so I answered the door. I'm like, Hey, y'all here for the course? Come. We're just now getting started, and it was like, no, we're here to see the space. I'm like, okay, you hit a cowork. They was like, no, we're not here. And I'm like, well, this is the space. You know us $99 a month. I'm selling the coworkers. They're like, no, no, no, no, no, no. We're here because we were looking at the space wanting to teach software development.
Marcus: Wow. I said, really? I said, man, look, I'm, I'm trying to open up this tech school. I said, I need to talk to y'all. Talk to them. They're my instructors on the software development side. Wow. One has 10 15 years experience. He went through the Nashville software school, works for ACA front end, a full stack developer come knocking on the front door telling me that he wants to teach software development, man. I said, yo, I need you - sign them on. Wow. Another day I go to the lab. Never generally there on a Saturday morning there was a guy in there teaching something and I was wondering, I'm like, bro, I didn't, I didn't see this book and what he said, what did you even doing? Like I didn't see this book at all. After it was over, I circle back around. I say, yo, what you, what you're doing man? Like you know, he's like, yeah, I booked it online. I was like, Oh, I didn't see it, but okay, all good. Yeah, but what did you teach it? He said, man, I'm teaching CQL.
Joshua: I said, for real? Wow. I said, bro, I'm trying to open up this school. I need you. Wow. He said, I'm on board. And just like that. So with him, he brought his boss, his boss runs business intelligence for Arden, and so he brought his boss, boss. He's like my boss, he said I'm good, but my boss wants to be involved. So now his boss is going to be running all of the curriculum that's over Pivot Tech. So I have to already, they were already teaching, we've already built to built curriculums and they both have the passion that I have - to make it happen. So pivot tech school went from, I just threw it in the atmosphere. Wow. And really got your movement movement, your movement. It doesn't matter like you are never, if you wait on everything to come together, you'll be waiting forever. That's right. All right. If you wait for the right amount of money to come in your hands, you're going to be waiting forever. You just have to go. Yeah. Once you go, the universe just comes and just wraps his arms around your crazy self and say, I'm going to make it happen for you because you believe enough that this fool with no tech background, by no means. I mean just the entrepreneur man. Like
Marcus: I mean that, that story in particular, um, man, that there, there is definitely some magic going on with you man. That is, uh, that is, that is, that is remarkable.
Joshua: you know, it's like I have moments in life, like when I, it just sometimes like it really freaks me out and like those moments like, Oh man, like, like God, you really be like talking to me. You know what I'm saying? Like yeah. Yeah. Cause he when he gives it to me, I have to do it like, and it, something comes over me bro. So I knew when I sent that to you, you was like, this boy is insane, but, but I didn't kill you didn't kill me.
Marcus: No, no, no. I mean your track records. Yeah, pretty strong. You know, I was mostly just like, uh, you know, honestly, I just didn't know you were going to be surrounded by every, everybody that you needed in as fast as you were, which was really, that's the remarkable part. You know what I'm saying? From the point, I mean, for context, you sent me that text 60 days ago. Yeah. I mean, 60 days ago, it was two months ago. Yeah. You're, you live, right? We're, we're live. We're live.
So courses start January 06, 2020 we're currently signing people.
Marcus: You're enrolling.
Joshua: We're enrolling people now. Uh, because what we want to do is, is that our target audience generally doesn't have a lot of tech background. Yeah. So we want to have some onboarding time. Yeah. So like two or three months of pre-work. Of just getting the understanding of what software development, what's coding. What’s Java? what's all these things? So when they start the class, January 06, 2020, they're not just completely lost. They have some type of understanding. So we start onboarding as soon as possible. Yeah. Okay. So as we onboarding, we just creating our, our systems and just developing all of those things while we're onboarding. So it's just like all those things are taking place right now.
Marcus: One thing I'll tell you that I think is going to be sort of a unintended consequence in a good way. What you are doing with this, you know not everybody is going to be successful. Right. Is that what I'm saying? Um, but their ability to navigate the online world after any amount of immersion in this is going to be drastically different. And that literacy is so profound. Um, I can't even really like there's no way for me to really quantify it. So I didn't start selling things at, you know, in, in fifth grade. You know what I'm saying? I mean I started influencing people, but I didn't have that same need cause my parents were like, I didn't, I didn't need for things.
You know, I didn't have Jordans, but that's cause my parents were not going to buy those. You know what I'm saying? They were not, they were not into that. You know what I'm saying? But I did have a Nintendo, but you know what I'm saying. So like they made decisions and I didn't, I didn't have to hustle. That was something I had to develop later on in life. More around, you know, being a young dad and family and things of that nature. But the technology piece, man, the technology piece and going back to, you know, Austin and South by Southwest, that has been so major in my, really in my success. You know what I'm saying? Just just in my, my literacy in, in the, in the conversations that I can lead with people because man, technology is in everything. It's in, it's in everything.
It's in everything. You know what I'm saying? And your ability to, um, be a better operator of a business or be a better marketer or any of those things. So predicated on your ability to be, uh, fluent in these languages. You know what I'm saying? Like, the more you can go under the hood and talk into the layers, man, the more you really understand what's going on. It's like understanding the fundamentals of anything. You know what I'm saying? If you're working at a surface layer, that's fine and you can, you could paddle real hard and you could get there. But man, if you understand how to do those deep strokes, you know what I'm saying, way more efficient. And so I just think the people who are going to go on to get great careers and, and, and, you know, increase their salary by $30,000 a year, that's fantastic.
That's great. But I just want you to know every single person that actually puts their energy into, into learning and really tries hard, even if they don't have that, the aptitude to really be a programmer man, they're going to benefit so much, understand the world around them. Very, very different. So anyway.
Joshua: Yeah, man. I mean we, we understand the undertaking.
Marcus: It's great though. It's great. No, it's, it's great. It's incredible. It shouldn't be. Yeah, it's, it's amazing.
Joshua: You can change someone's life. Like literally, we're changing lives.
Joshua: you live in Nashville.
Marcus:L Look, okay. Like this. This is my story, except I didn't have anyone, I didn't have a school. Like I had to go to the, to the, to everything and like learn on my own, but you're talking about going from waiting tables to you know, a salary job with benefits come on and like then within three years being early at Emma. The changing point is learning how to code. That is the, that is like there is no Marcus, this whole story does not exist without learning how to code with what you're doing. I mean so it's like I'm just saying like this, this is today's transformative
Joshua: It is transformative to people's lives. Nashville you know we have a big gentrification thing going.
Marcus: Of course. By the way, this is global. This is a global thing, not global. I just got back from England. Gentrification is global.
This is a global thing is taking place. People say Nashville all the time and always be like, yo, hold on, hold on. It's happening.
Marcus: Gentrification is happening in New York, in Brooklyn, the skyscrapers in downtown Brooklyn. Come on, like, come on, like, you know, Jay Z, he said he could have bought Dumbo for what? Right. For little to nothing. It's worth all this money. Dumbo.
Joshua: But it's transformative in a way that, okay, what can we do? Not that, you know, we gonna keep sitting and talking and having these meetings and discussing it. No, what can we do tangible to give people the skills that they need so you can thrive. You can thrive within your community. So we have to give a foundation. The school, a school is foundation.
Marcus: Look, man, if, you know, I just sort of see a world where, what corner to corner is doing and what pivot tech is doing. You know what I'm saying? Like I'm not saying you guys need to enter into a partnership or anything like that.
Joshua: but, but, but intertwining.
Marcus: But I'm just saying that, that, that business education and that technology education and um, what that means when those two things, you know, because, because look here, here's one thing I'll say, man, you know, you go, you go into these, into these, these tech schools, people learn. There's a, there's a huge shortage, a shortage of tech workers. We've got an Amazon moving to Tampa. It looked yes, in terms of like workforce development and all these things. That's incredible. But even behind that, the like the power that you have to take an idea and bring it to life through hustle, a lot of that is really because you know of, of who you are from that you know, that kid in fifth grade, you know what I'm saying? Like, like that kernel is sort of never gone away. You know what I'm saying? [inaudible] you still are running on that same kind of energy, you know what I'm saying? Um, but man, when you look out into the world, it's like this show, it's like we talked about when you, when you first walked in, it's like this show, right? It's like, Oh, you mean this is just iPod touches?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like the number of people who would just be like, I just can't, you know, and for me, I'm like, Oh, I know the two I can put on a whole show for $500 you know what I'm saying? Like I just bought this, I bought this, I bought this, I sync these things up. I get this app, boom, boom, boom. All of that comes from me. Understanding technology at the core, like, like I don't code anymore. You know what I'm saying? I don't code anymore because there's apps that will code for me. You know what I'm saying? But like I understand how to put things together and there's so much power in that. You know what I'm saying? Not everybody. I don't look, I don't have the hustle that you had. This is the truth. I really don't have the hustle that you have. But what you're doing with pivot tech is going to be able to empower a bunch of people who don't necessarily have that kind of hustle, but they have a different kind of inclination to be massively successful.
Joshua: Man, everybody's not an entrepreneur. No. You know, so it's like, okay, well can we take your skills and a little sauce to it to give you a chance, a fighting chance to live in the community that you grew up in. To live like you want to drive up whatever you, whatever you want to do, whatever your goals are. That's right. Like I'm here to give you that. It's massive, man. That's message. That's what pivot is all about. Massive man. It's just, it's a God thing, man. Yeah. It's, it's really bigger than me. Yeah. It's something like totally bigger than me. Yeah. And when we, when we got into it, I knew it. I sit down, this is bigger than just me. This is going to transform 90 people's lives in the first year, and then each year we've just gone double it up. Yeah. So you just,
Marcus: and I mean, Oh man, it's, it's a, it's massive man. It's massive, you know,
Joshua: that's pivot man. I mean, my stories, I know, I, I know it feels like it, but like how the universe is talking to me right now. Like, it, it really, I have to, I have to get it out. Like I have to get it out of me. I can't carry it on a 2020. 2020 is the year of perfect vision. So like, I want it to be, I want to be fresh, I want to have like all new stuff, like all this stuff I've been carrying, like some of this stuff I've been wanting to do in 2015, it just manifests as deaf in like 2017, 2018 2019. Yeah. But like, I want to be fresh 2020 light.
Marcus: Well, man, look, I'm, I learned some things from, from this hour about you and, uh, you know, and I'm, I'm, I'm happy that, uh, you're, you're on this platform and thank you for taking the time to, you know what I'm saying? Share this because you know, there's, there's, like I said, man, um, there's, there's no way when we look back 10 years from now at the city and how it's evolved that like your name is not going to, there's just no way. There's no way your name is not going to be in the book. It's just no way. You know what I'm saying? So, so it was, you know, I want, I wanted to make sure I had it on the record.
Oh yeah. That's what this show is about. You know what I'm saying? You know, I, I get my credit for identify and I'm not sure when does this show drops, but we have our annual Christmas party. It's going to be, it'll, it'll be before that. Okay. It'll be before December the 13th, man, 2019 hopefully you can make it this year.
Marcus: I hope to make it and this is a fundraiser for, for the nonprofits, which is called again the fortitude group. Yeah. Amazing man. Amazing. Well continued blessings, man.
Joshua: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me, man. This is so dope, man. For what you do, bro. A lot of people don't tell you, but thank you for what you do, man. You've been a great example of what can happen, man.
Marcus: I appreciate it, man. I appreciate it, my man. All right, until next time, peace