Most staffing & recruiting leaders achieve a small fraction of their potential. This directly impacts what their organizations and teams achieve. Learn how to do far better than you currently think you can.
In this episode you’ll learn:
- Why mastering emotions is so important to success
- The power of getting around the right people
- How to break through limiting beliefs that have you stuck
- The importance of being willing to take risks and fail
Read more about how to make admitting failure a strength.
Brad Wolff: 00:01
Welcome to the “It Is About You Podcast”. Today I’m honored to have as my guest Dave Fox with “Focus GTS” out of North Miami Beach.
Dave Fox: 00:19
Brad Wolff: 00:19
Dave, welcome to the show!
Dave Fox: 00:22
Thank you for having me!
Brad Wolff: 00:24
Absolutely! So if you would tell me a little bit about yourself and Focus GTS.
Dave Fox: 00:29
Yes! So, Focus GTS is a Niche Staffing Company. We actually started out in the I.T. Space. We started in January of 2018 and I’ve actually been in the staffing and recruiting space for 10 years. And strangely enough, Focus GTS actually started by accident. I wasn’t planning on starting a business, but we had an interesting series of events that occurred, that led me to start my own company.
Brad Wolff: 01:01
Wow! So if you would, tell me a little bit about your origin story that brought you where you are today, including what caused you to start Focus GTS.
Dave Fox: 01:11
Yeah! So Brad, I’ve been with, like I said, “I’ve been in the staffing industry 10 years and I was working for a Global Firm called The Specialist Staffing Group”. They’re one of the largest firms in the world based out of Europe. And I started in their I.T. Banking Space like most people I stumbled on to staffing by accident, started in their I.T Banking Space in New York City where my wife and I lived and I was helping place the people that build Trading Systems for banks.
And I ended up discovering this new technology. It’s an Adobe Technology that started becoming big. And one of my clients, I was sitting across from him at lunch one day and he says, “Dave, can you find me someone with C.Q. Experience?” Never heard of it before in my life, but I looked at them, I said, “Absolutely! I can do that”. Very confident, I guess you could say.
Went back, started looking around, there was nobody that had the experience. But I do … with people. And basically that led to me being given an opportunity to recruit for that technology full time. And it led for me launching a new brand in the United States for that company. And we actually created the largest and fastest “Internal Startup” in the history of the Specialist Staffing Group.
Dave Fox: 02:26
And it was crazy because our first year out we won team of the year, we just killed it. And based on this one technology. So then, I decided that I wanted to move to Florida because, I was doing quite well and I wanted
So I negotiated 10 weeks where my wife and I went and traveled to 7 countries in 10 weeks all over Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, board Bora, came back, moved down to Florida. And I know what you’re probably thinking. You’re like, “You went and took us 10 weeks sabbatical and then left the company you worked for what a jerk!”. But that’s not exactly what happened. I had no intention of leaving.
But somebody approached me about three months later on LinkedIn and he said, “Hey, I’ve heard good things about you”. I started multiple staffing firms in the UK and I’m looking for a partner, would you be interested? And initially I was like, “Absolutely Not!” But this person was quite persistent and he continued to reach out to me and we had several Skype conversations, phone conversations, and finally I decided to take the entrepreneurial jump. But the only downside was I actually hadn’t met this person in person. I’d only done many Skype and many video interviews.
So in November, 2017 I put in my notice at my company and they be in different things, but I told them I wanted to leave and my last day was November 30th, so December the first week of December that year this guy comes down to meet with me in person and we are going to be looking at offices and interviewing people and getting ready to launch January 1st and strangely enough after spending about an hour with this guy, I realized I was like, there’s no possible way I can partner with this person.
Dave Fox: 04:30
It’s just not going to work. There was so many red flags and it was funny because my wife Britney was actually, had gone to New York that week because she was closing her last Real Estate deal from when we moved out to New York City. And I didn’t tell her, so she came back and I was, I didn’t tell her that I was like apprehensive about this guy because I was wondering, I was like, maybe I’m just nervous, you know, doing something new.
So I didn’t tell her. I let him meet them in 15 minutes. She’s like, there’s no way you can work with you guys. So, I broke that law. It was kind of tricky, but I broke it off and now I was like, what do I do? I can’t go back to my company because I’m not that type of person that just wants to go crawling back.
And so we decided to launch “Focus UTS” in the second bedroom of our condo in January of 2018. we got some phones. We incorporated the business and got started. And
Brad Wolff: 05:39
Awesome! Wow! That’s a very interesting journey. And when you think of entrepreneurs, my experience has been often it’s unusual things that you wouldn’t have predicted that occur. So, tell me what excites you the most about your organization and what you do?
Dave Fox: 06:06
So, I think what really exciting is we created an organization where we’re not just trying to make people better at their job, but we want people to thrive personally, professionally, and financially. And everybody says it’s strange, you kind of have to be here to see it, but everybody describes us with the word “energy”.
We bring the “energy” every single day. When you go on the sales floor, like I can see my team right now, they’re all standing up there selling the energy is high. We have music on in the office all the time. So it’s like, we’ve just created a culture where everybody wants to win and I believe that, that is what’s going to attract people that want to work here as we grow, because we’re expanding greatly from that second bedroom.
We now have 13 of us. We just hired two more people that’s going to be 15 and we want to fill up our office here in Miami by the end of next year.
Brad Wolff: 07:04
Wow! So the energy in your office that you’ve, the culture you’ve created of high energy and enthusiasm is really had a real positive effect on the work that people do.
Dave Fox: 07:18
Brad Wolff: 07:18
Okay! And based on your experience, what do you see as the “Key To Success” in the business that you’re in?
Dave Fox: 07:29
I think the “Key To Success” for anybody in recruitment, because most people start off, you know, either on the sales or recruiting side, we do full desks on everything we do here. I think the “Key To Success” is really being able to master your emotions.
This is such an up and down job. There’s so many ups and downs. You know, one minute you can think you have a deal, then you get an offer from a client? The next day you call the candidate and they’re like, Yeah! I never told you, but I took another offer or something like that.
And you can do everything right. And it’s just so much up and down. And I always tell people, it’s like, it’s not about you might have a good day, one day or a bad day because if that is … for a problem in life because life is like that. It’s just that this can literally be from like minute to minute up and down.
So it’s really just keeping that emotional, even keel and knowing that if you’re doing the proper inputs in the job, the results will come over time.
Brad Wolff: 08:22
So, any particular “Keys” that you can share on what helps your people master their emotions? Because that can be easier said than done.
Dave Fox: 08:32
Yeah! So, as far as mastering your emotions, I think. So, I’m a big Tony Robbins fan. I’m actually a member of his platinum partnership. And one thing that, you know, he always drives about like your state, your state is your most important thing.
So, being able to recognize when you’re not in the right state of mind and then knowing to change it is very powerful. So, you know, there’s three drivers of this state, it’s Physiology, Language and Focus. So, when you really good state, a radical change in your “Physiology” is one of the easiest ways to change it.
And then changing your “Focus” and the “Language” or meaning of whatever story is going on in your head that you’re telling yourself is really dictating your experience. So, that we drive that a ton here.
Brad Wolff: 09:25
So, you’re a trainer, you’re regularly practicing this?
Dave Fox: 09:28
Yes, All the time.
Brad Wolff: 09:29
With your people? Okay.
Brad Wolff: 09:33
So it’s, it’s choosing your state?
Dave Fox: 09:35
Yeah! Absolutely! That’s a big deal.
Dave Fox: 09:39
Yeah! So that you can master the emotions to be even kill here for the most part. And then it’s just, you know, about a skills issue. If you can then, you know, up skill yourself that you become good at the different skills you need in this job, you’ll be successful, I believe!
Brad Wolff: 09:55
Okay! So with respect to things that you think you and your organization do best. Share with me what’s the first thing that comes to your mind in that regard, Dave?
Dave Fox: 10:09
So, aside from, you know, I think our culture, which is great. We’ve really gone
Brad Wolff: 10:37
Dave Fox: 10:38
Yeah! Pushing stuff out, we captured content like
Dave Fox: 11:09
There’s so many skills you don’t have. So when Britney, my wife and I started Focus GTS, we realized that there was a massive skill gap. We knew how to do a lot of things very good, but there was tons of skills that we didn’t have. So, we immersed ourselves in getting around the right people and we spent a lot of money that first year of our personal money to get in the right groups of people and get around right people.
So, one of the things basically got into that really pushed me in the marketing direction was, I joined “The Mastermind” of a gentleman named “Tai Lopez” and he is an Online Marketer, he’s one of the best out there. And we were just literally like every month we were traveling to LA or different events that he was having and learn so much about marketing and the power of marketing that you, it’s been something that’s been really valuable to us and something that we’ve really gone all in.
Brad Wolff: 11:58
So, when you’re talking about
Dave Fox: 12:15
Yeah! I really believe that getting around the right people is so important
And I don’t, I think, I don’t think I’m like every single person that I work with. I like to think that sometimes we bring the average up, but at the same time, I do think you need to get around people that think bigger than you, that have better ideas than you, that can teach you things that you don’t know. and if that costs money, you know, you have to do that to succeed because it’s not just what you know is who you are. Right?
Brad Wolff: 13:02
So, that’s has been it, you put your money where your mouth is, you go and you tell,
Dave Fox: 13:17
No! I think last year I spent over $70,000 on Personal Development and this next year it’s going to be even more than that. And the value that I got out of
Brad Wolff: 13:40
So yeah, you’ve learned a huge lesson that a lot of people from my experience really want to avoid. It’s an investment, not a cost if you’re doing it right.
Dave Fox: 13:49
Brad Wolff: 13:49
So would you share any “Key Things” that you’ve learned in being around the right people that
Dave Fox: 14:03
I think for me the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that success, first off, success leaves clues, right? So you can shortcut your way to success by looking at people who’ve done what you want to do. No matter what it is. If it’s in fitness, if it’s in health and wellness, if it’s finance, like there’s so many different areas of our lives, right?
But you can shortcut success by finding people who have been successful and then modeling what they do. And that’s the fastest way to do it, right? because you can either learn from your own mistakes or learn from the mistakes of others. I’d much rather learn from the mistakes of others and shortcut my way to it.
But the other real key, I think is that a lot of people have this notion that it such a long time to amass wealth or all this stuff. And the fact of the matter is it doesn’t, most people that amassed great wealth, it doesn’t take them working for like 50 years and then retire.
Like that’s not how it’s done. More often than not taking calculated risks in the right place and going all in and, you know, failing some and learning from your mistakes and all that. So, I think those would be two of the real big things about it.
Brad Wolff: 15:23
So, you hit on a “Key Thing” there I just want to highlight Dave, which is “The Difference in Belief” between, “Oh, it’s going to take 30, 40, 50 years!” versus “it doesn’t have to take that long!”. There’s no fixed reality to that.
Dave Fox: 15:42
Brad Wolff: 15:42
So, we’re talking about an area of limiting belief, assumptions, whatever it is. I wonder if you delve a little deeper into that?
Dave Fox: 15:49
Yeah! It’s interesting because, you know, I think we all have so many limiting beliefs and I think a lot of the beliefs we have come from just society in general, right? Like I was talking to some people the other day and we were like, actually it’s our team here, we’re going through a program that we’re doing together. Just a, you know, we’re taking like an hour once a week just to try to better ourselves.
And we were talking about, you know, but just kind of dreaming big and having, and they were like, you know, I don’t know if it’s normal to think like that. And I was, I actually argued that I think it is normal. Like if you look at like kids, right? Kids grow up, they have all these great dreams and beliefs, they can be anything.
And now all of a sudden life happens and they get hit in the face and most people give up on what they really want or they settle and they’re like, “Oh, you know, maybe I actually can accomplish this” or “maybe this isn’t for me or maybe”, “maybe I’m not meant to do this”. And they just give up and they settle. And I think that’s one of the most difficult things to see in people. Right?
I love helping people overcome those things where they’ve settled in and realizing, you know, I don’t have to settle. I can actually create what I want work. It’s going to take commitment and I’m going to have to change the way I think about a lot of things. But you know, more often than not it’s a problem mentally I think.
Brad Wolff: 17:21
So, what have you found to be most helpful, Dave, in breaking through limiting beliefs? Because, as you said, we all have a lot of them, we don’t even know what they are until we identify them often.
Dave Fox: 17:34
I think, the big thing is you need to question. I think oftentimes, I think limiting beliefs are often tied to negative emotions, right? So when we start to recognize negative emotions in our life, figuring out, “Okay, why am I feeling that way?”, “What’s the need that I’m trying to fill in my life?”, “What is this serving me?”, “What am I afraid of?”. And then starting to kind of untangle that and then you can start to see, “Okay, I’m feeling this way because…”
I guess a good example would be we were talking and one of the guys was saying that he feels like he focuses a lot on his bills and gets stressed about that. It’s like I’m having another kid, I have all this stress on bills and stuff. And I was trying to explain to him that, you know, that’s not something that money is necessarily going to solve, right?
Dave Fox: 18:30
Because the more money you make, you’re spending more different things. You’re going to have the exact same thing more often than not with as actually is, is it’s tied to a scarcity mindset where someone believes that there’s not actually enough.
And when we start and then we start to think about it, it’s like that’s not true though because there’s way more resources out there then like you know, if you distributed wealth evenly in the world, there’s enough money for everybody to be a millionaire, right?
So it’s not a shortage of resources is more often than not a shortage of resourcefulness. So being able to change that belief and be like, “wait, I’m thinking from a scarcity mentality, there’s way more of that enough”. And then starting to focus on how can I go get what I need rather than feeling like everything’s trying to be taken from me.
Dave Fox: 19:18
So, we kind of unraveled that together and it was really powerful because as I explained to him, I was like, money’s not going to solve that. And you don’t have to live in a situation where you’re constantly stressed like this, that you know, like, it was interesting too because the other thing that I’ve really realized recently when talking about this type of thing is ultimately everything we ever want in life, we only want for feeling the feeling that is going to give us.
And so often we look at a goal and it’s about accomplishing the goal. But it’s not about accomplishing the goal. It’s about who you have to become to a conversation. so when I’m talking with people about this, I’m like, think about it.
There’s a gap between where you are and what you want to have in life. And the person that has it and where you are right now are different people. So if you were all ready and you’d already have what it is you want. So instead of thinking about what it is you want, why don’t you think of becoming the person that would already have that? And it’s a different way of thinking.
Brad Wolff: 20:20
Right! So being precedes doing and having.
Dave Fox: 20:24
Brad Wolff: 20:24
And people often think, I want to have this, not realizing you’ve got to be a certain person. Which will cause you to do and then have, they have it in reverse order.
Dave Fox: 20:35
Brad Wolff: 20:36
So, you hit on a really “Key Thing” that I want to see if you would expand on a little bit more. You talked about big part of what you’re doing is helping people in your organization develop personally, you and the people in your organization. What is your definition of “Personal Development”, Dave?
Dave Fox: 20:58
So, I think “Personal Development” is doing things you know you should do, but doing them at the points in time when you don’t want it to be doing. Because ultimately we always, you know, there’s always times when you’re like, I know I should be eating healthy and you do eat healthy, but then there’s the time when you know you should be eating healthy and you don’t want to do it.
I don’t think it really counts unless you’re actually doing it when you don’t want it. It’s easy to do things when you’re motivated and don’t want to, but it’s when the rubber meets the road, when you’re getting that resistance and something inside of you giving you that push back that you’re like, “you know what, no! I’m going to do this”. And that’s when I think real “Personal Development” and Growth Habits.
Brad Wolff: 21:41
Yes! And I talk a lot about, growth lies in the uncomfortable, discomfort zone. It doesn’t lie in comfort. And then that’s something that I think a lot of people really miss. And I think you hit on that big, really in a major way. Are there any particular facets of personal growth that you think have been the biggest help in your organization’s success beyond what you’ve already mentioned?
Dave Fox: 22:13
So you only get like one shot out of so much effort to actually do something. And if you’re not ready for that, you’re going to get crushed, right? So, it’s way better to practice, on other people here or just train on your own
Brad Wolff: 22:59
So in addition to what you’ve already mentioned that you do, is there any other regular practices that you feel are “Key” to your own Growth and Development? Because you’ve indicated, you see your success is about you in your own “Personal Development”. So is there anything else that is “Key” that you haven’t mentioned?
Dave Fox: 23:18
So I think like for my own “Personal Development”, I did something that was very difficult earlier this year that was really, probably the most groundbreaking thing I did.
There was a challenge that came out that was called “The 75 Hard Challenge”. And it was basically the idea that like “Repetition” is the mother of all Skills and “Consistency” doing difficult things day in, day out. So basically, it was a challenge by this guy named Andy Frisella. He’s the CEO of “1st Phorm Nutrition” and it was a simple challenge, but the challenge was this, for 75 days you had to do five simple things.
The first thing was you had to choose a diet and stick to it. The only facets, it could be any diet you want, but there are no cheat days on the diet, so you have to follow it into a tea and no alcohol at all.
Dave Fox: 24:08
So that was, the first thing to choose by. The second one was you had to drink a gallon of water every day for 75 days. The third one was you had to work out two times a day, every day for 45 minutes.
And one of the workouts had to be outside. So rain, snow, whatever, you had to go out and do it. You could wait until later in the day, but you had to get that second outdoor workout in. The fourth one was you had to read 10 pages of a business or self-development book every day. And the final one was you had to take a progress picture every day.
So we actually started this challenge with 12 people and my wife and I were the only two people that finished, well actually no one other guy finished it with us, but he actually started over and then he finished it after us.
So if you messed up on any of those things at all, you had to start from day one or you could just quit. And it was challenging. You’d be surprised if people were messing up on taking their pictures.
Dave Fox: 25:13
One bite of something that’s not under diet, you fail. You’d have to restart. You miss a workout.
Brad Wolff: 25:17
Oh, it’s all or nothing. It’s
Dave Fox: 25:20
Yeah! So, It was a really good growth experience, because you know, we started it in July, so it was throughout the entire summer, 8th of July and I finished on September 20th.
And it was challenging, but it was such a good growth experience for us because It really showed like, “Hey, if you really commit to something that’s hard and you’re focused on it, you can achieve it”.
Brad Wolff: 25:46
I’ll tell you what, what I hear out of that is you’ve developed a tremendous amount of grit.
Dave Fox: 25:52
Brad Wolff: 25:53
And that is the ability to keep on going even though you don’t feel like it because you set a goal and made a commitment. That’s developed. A lot of people think, well I’m, you know, I just wasn’t born with it. That’s a thing a lot of people use as a
Dave Fox: 26:07
Yeah! It’s funny too, because I actually I’ve been running quite a bit when I did that and about two weeks in, I injured my Achilles. It’s still bothering me, but I pushed through the entire way until we were done.
I was actually at the doctor this afternoon. I’m getting some like electroshock therapy on it to try to heal it. But it got a small tear in and it’s really hurting me.
Brad Wolff: 26:31
Wow! So Dave, what’s the “Greatest Success Story” that you’ve been part of in your career so far?
Dave Fox: 26:43
It’s hard to say! I think the “Greatest Success Story” is we’re writing it right now, chapter by chapter. Honestly! you know, going from not really knowing what we’re doing to having a business now that’s thriving, that’s growing.
You know, that was profitable and really adding a ton of value to our clients candidates. I feel like, no, I think that’s the biggest win for us every day.
Brad Wolff: 27:17
Right? So, there’s what you’ve done in the past to you isn’t the big success story. It’s what you’re doing in the present. That’s what I hear. Okay! And this is something that I like to ask, because I think it really tells a tremendous amount about that person and where they are in their own development.
Do you have any particular failure or obstacle you’ve overcome that’s been pivotal to your success?
Dave Fox: 27:40
Yeah! Absolutely! So, when I was a teenager, I was actually a drug addict. I was hooked on methamphetamine using cocaine, all sorts of stuff and I actually spent a year in a recovery center and that’s when my whole life changed.
So looking at that, that was a huge challenge that I had to overcome and I believe that I would be dead or alive right now if that was not something that was dealt with and put behind.
Brad Wolff: 28:19
And it sounds like your experience of what you learned there is what set you off on the path of Personal Development and that anything is possible if you approach it in the right way and keep going.
Dave Fox: 28:30
Brad Wolff: 28:31
Okay! Is there anything that we haven’t discussed that you’d like to mention?
Dave Fox: 28:38
I think the biggest thing is like, and the message that I want to get out to people is like dream big and don’t be afraid. Like I think the biggest reason people fail is because one, they’re not specific enough on what they want. So you have to be specific, but you also need to think big enough. That it actually excites you. I think so many people, they set a goal for themselves that if they achieved it, it really wouldn’t.
I mean, it would be nice, but it’s not going to impact their life in such a radical way that it would drastically change everything and you need to set a vision and a goal big enough that every single day it just, you’re like, “this is what I’m going through”. Because when we talk about those up and downs and the instability, it’s not just a recruitment.
Dave Fox: 29:29
It can be in any industry, right? You’re going to face resistance and you need to have a big enough why driving to everyday that if you cannot, that you can tap into it. No matter how bad the day is going, and remember be like, “this is why I’m doing this and yes, this sucks right now and I’m dealing with some resistance, but I know why I’m here and I know that the reward is going to be worth it”. because it really comes down to three beliefs. You need to know first and foremost that it’s there.
Whatever it is that you’re, you’re going after is there. The second one is that you will find it. And the third one is that it will be worth it. And if you have those three beliefs, they will triumph over any negative things that come against you as you’re trying to achieve what it is you’re trying to achieve.
Brad Wolff: 30:22
Absolutely! And it sounds like from what you’re describing that is a huge selling point for the right type of person that you want as an employee in your organization is who you’re going to become from working here. Is the biggest income that you’re going to get?
Dave Fox: 30:39
Yeah! I truly believe that.
Brad Wolff: 30:41
Yeah! I get that. Not many, I talk about organizations choosing to become flexible, adaptive, learning organizations where Personal Development is their Key Asset. Not many companies actually do that though.
Dave Fox: 30:56
Brad Wolff: 30:56
So, it’s encouraging when I talk to people that actually are putting that into action and then demonstrating the results of taking that choice and putting it into form. So what is your website? Go ahead and share your website for the audience.
Dave Fox: 31:15
So I have two, “FocusGTS.com” is our company website.
Brad Wolff: 31:41
What type of content are you going to put out through the personal website?
Dave Fox: 31:45
So on our personal website, we are building a company that we believe is going to be worth over 9 figures. So if people follow me on Instagram, we are, I call it “Documenting The Journey Of Building A 9-Figure Company”. So if anybody kind of wants to see what’s the day to day grind, like, what’s going on, what am I doing? I try to document as much of it. I don’t post all the time, but my story is usually that stuff.
Brad Wolff: 32:14
Great! And I definitely encourage any listener to tune into what Dave saying because I know for a fact that what he’s saying are the difference makers and the kind of life we have and the results that we get because we are co-creating all those things, It’s not just happening.
Dave Fox: 32:34
Brad Wolff: 32:35
Dave, any particular books that you highly recommend reading?
Dave Fox: 32:39
Yeah! So, I read a lot, I think I’ve read like 30 books already this year. We have a whole bookshelf in our office. I’m always getting my assistant to get us new books. Right now, I’ll tell you what I’m reading right now. So I just finished a book called “The Road Less Stupid” like Keith Cunningham. It’s a great business book just finished that.
The other one that I’m reading right now is a book called “Game Changers” by Dave Asprey, and it’s talking about, what are the things that successful people kind of do in their lives. So it looks at a bunch of different aspects around like happiness and wealth and physical stuff, all that. So it’s really good.
Brad Wolff: 33:26
Awesome! Well, Dave thank you very much for taking this time. I think what you have, what you’re offering and what you’re talking about are things that really make a huge difference in people’s lives, whether financially or any other measure.
Dave Fox: 33:42
Well, thank you for having me and it’s been my pleasure.