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True Grit with Craig Kautsch
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True Grit with Craig Kautsch

Author: Craig Kautsch

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If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur struggling to find timeless principles to apply to build your business, the True Grit Podcast will help. Building a company and life with meaning takes True Grit. Every week it’s Craig’s job to tease out the effective strategies top performers employ to build their businesses and live a balanced life. Craig Kautsch is an entrepreneur in the real estate space. He’s the owner of a portfolio investment company that has bought, restored, and financed almost 1,000 homes. He also founded two mortgage companies and a real estate brokerage with over 100 agents. At 47 he keeps himself busy with his wife of 25 years, two twenty-something children, yoga, 4 motorcycles, mountain bikes, and an electric skateboard (25 mph.) Learn more at: craigkautsch.com
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Dr. Phillip Shero

Dr. Phillip Shero

2021-06-0701:05:10

Ever make a deal with God? Listen to this wide ranging conversation with Dr. Philip Shero.  He’s the president of Mastermind Leadership, a cutting-edge executive coaching, team development, and strategic planning consultancy.Dr. Shero holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University, as well as a Masters from TCUHelping others grow as leaders is Dr. Shero’s driving force. He brings two decades of leadership development and strategic planning expertise to some of the most well-known medium-sized finance, non-profit, and construction companies in Texas. With a long track record of success in coaching existing and emerging leaders at the CEO, partner, and senior management levels, he has become known as one of the most dynamic and engaged leadership and strategic planning coaches in DFW. His national reputation is growing through his expert leadership training seminars; senior leadership retreat facilitation; strategic planning services; and a full line of job benchmarking products. Over the years he’s created a dynamic duo with his wife Laura who is working on her doctorate in Quantitative Behavior from Baylor...Philip has dedicated his life to developing leaders and is firing on all cylinders right here in Cowtown.I hope you enjoy this episode!Useful Links and Book Mentions:"The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick LencioniMasterminds Leadership
Todd Tarver

Todd Tarver

2021-05-0359:31

Ever wonder how to turn your hobby into a passion? My next guest is Todd Tarver.  A motorcycle racer slash mechanic turned entrepreneur.  Todd owns Straight Line Motorsports which he founded almost 20 years ago. Over the years he has grown his company into one of the top 3 largest KTM dealers in the country. He was a professional racer in the 90s and won the famed enduro race from Vegas to Reno in 1998.His friends describe him as a teenager caught in a 40yr old body.  Enjoy our fun conversation about the adventure of owning an extremely successful motorcycle store!Useful Links:Straight Line MotorsportsKTM
Darrell Bevelhymer

Darrell Bevelhymer

2021-03-1501:12:32

Want to hear what the founder of a 9 billion dollar company thinks about?ScalingCultureMarketingBuying and selling companies (he’s lost count)C.S. LewisMy next guest is Darrell Bevelhymer who is a private investor and considered a Founder of Tenaska, Inc., one of the top 25 largest privately-held companies in the United States at over 9 Billion dollars in revenue; and one of the largest private, independent, energy companies in the United States. Tune in while we have a really cool discussion about faith, business, and giving.  Darrell oozes wisdom and you don’t want to miss this episode of the True Grit Podcast!Useful Links:Thoughts From the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter HenrichsenTenaskaColtala Holdings
Brian Byrd

Brian Byrd

2021-03-0801:09:26

My next guest is Dr. Brian Byrd a true entrepreneur who has decided to run for Mayor!  He comes from a long line of entrepreneurs and earned a degree at UT in Marketing and International Business.  His life changed forever because of a knee injury in college. He was introduced to the medical field through having surgery. The lightbulb went off and he immediately started shadowing physicians while he was still in college.He followed through and opened Texas Family Medicine right out of medical school.  Then he launched Texas Hospice in 2007 and sold it in 2013. What Next??He successfully ran for City Council and served for 4 years and is now running for Mayor of Cowtown!Useful Links and Book Mentions:Brian Byrd"Surprised by Oxford" by Carolyn  Weber
Jeff Sanders

Jeff Sanders

2021-03-0101:11:28

Ever wonder what your real purpose is? Do you struggle with getting off track and at times move away from what really matters?My next guest is Jeff Sanders. Described as a leader of leaders.  He has the unique combination of business acumen and the ability to impact the trajectory of careers of those he leads.  Jeff Sanders is the President of Leader Xchange: a nonprofit right here in Fort Worth, that gathers and trains faith-based business leaders to use their profession as a conduit for ministry.  Jeff also served as the President of Tarrant NET for 17 years.  Tarrant NET is a nonprofit ministry dedicated to unifying churches across all races and denominations in Tarrant County.   Jeff is also a start-up expert in the Church world.  If you thought building a business was hard...try planting a church with a volunteer army that has limited time and split focus.Listen in while we discuss the real makeup of a successful leader!Useful Links:Leader Xchange"Spiritual Leadership" by Oswald Sanders
Emily Stroud

Emily Stroud

2021-02-2201:09:09

Ever wonder how people write and publish a book?My next guest is Emily Stroud who wears a lot of hats as a mom of two kids, businesswoman, and entrepreneur. She graduated from Texas A&M University and got her MBA from TCU.   She’s Fully licensed with FINRA, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)  a Member of the Association of Investment Management and Cambridge Investment Research.Emily is a published author and wrote a book called “Faithful Finance” and followed that up with a TV show on Pure Flix Streaming called Faithful Finance Live.  She has two decades of experience with helping people make smart choices about money. She knows that money can be one of the great causes of stress in life—but that it doesn’t have to be that way. Finances, in fact, can be a great source of joy, security, and hope.  She launched Stroud Financial Management to be the vehicle to change financial lives!Listen in while I deconstruct her incredible journey and pull out useful strategies applicable to us all!Useful Links:Faithful Finance"Faithful Finance" by Emily Stroud
Lee Hargrave

Lee Hargrave

2021-02-1501:10:29

Want to know how to build a tribe?My next guest is Lee Hargrave. A Former Rocket Scientist and founder and owner of Fort Worth's premier health and fitness facility, EnduraLAB. Through experience, multiple degrees, and certifications, Lee has taken an analytical approach to take the guesswork out of better health and fitness. Lee created EnduraLAB in 2011 and has taken it from a community running group to a world-class 7,000 square-foot training facility. Lee’s unwavering commitment to growth and development has led to an extensive educational background with degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, and Masters in Business Administration from Indiana University. He has taken his analytical and inquisitive nature and applied it to the programming, biomechanical analysis, and coaching of athletes. Today, Lee continues to push his fitness to the limits and surrounds himself with leaders in all facets of fitness. This has allowed him to do what he loves: guiding athletes to understand and increase the top end of their genetic potential. He is a hardworking visionary that will stop at nothing to make EnduraLAB the best of the best.Listen in while we discuss tribe building, fitness, diet, and good sleep hygiene.  Lee is a mad scientist!Useful Links:EnduraLAB
Tony Ford

Tony Ford

2021-02-0801:02:51

“I lost 4 million dollars last week” A jaw dropping answer to one of my questions!  Tony Ford was an awesome interview.  A true leader of leaders! He has been described as a personal Warren Buffet, Dalai Lama, Bobby Fischer and Vince Lombardi all wrapped into one guy.One of his clients said “He is the single greatest human asset we have in our corner.”Tony Ford’s passion for over 30yrs has been helping Fort Worth businesses succeed and this has inspired him to create one-of-a-kind solutions to accelerate their growth.  Success Fort Worth is the most recent addition to this long list of “Fort Worth Focused” initiatives.  He’s owned a wide variety of companies over the past 40 years.Tune in to hear me tease out some of the lessons learned along the way!Useful Links:Success Fort Worth
John Askew

John Askew

2021-02-0101:12:16

My next guest is John Askew, one of my hero’s!He’s built over 600 custom homes and knows what it’s like to take some punches along the way.  I’ve never seen such fortitude in a businessman...He’s battled cancer (his wife had it at the same time), going broke, heart attacks, and more.  He’s in the arena like no other.  Tune in to this episode. This man will inspire you!John was voted the Best Builder in Tarrant County by the Fort Worth Star Telegram Reader’s Choice in 2013, 17 and was voted Best Builder in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Magazine readers in 2015.  He was also a finalist for the Entrepreneur of Excellence.   He was also awarded First Place in 9 of the 13 categories in the 2008 Kaleidoscope of Homes in Fort Worth. He presently employs 19 people and builds between 25 & 30 custom homes a year ranging in price from $500,000 to $3,000,000. Besides building custom homes, the company has also built several commercial buildings in the Parker County area for medical and general office use. John built my house back in early 2001 (when I was 29yrs old) and has been a friend of mine ever since….I hope you enjoy the show!John Askew Custom Homes
Brian Mulhall

Brian Mulhall

2021-01-2501:11:59

We are all aging...want to stay a supple leopard?  My next guest is Dr. Brian Mulhall. Owner and founder of Active Spine and Sport Therapy.  A clinic centered on the rapid treatment of musculoskeletal aches/pains while teaching patients about their condition and how to treat themselves to reduce their need for future care. Pretty much every local elite athlete uses his clinic to get “fixed.”  Dr. Mullhall has more letters behind his name than any other doc I know.  Listen in while we talk about the body and his unusual philosophy about how to keep people healthy.  He will likely change your mind on a few things along the way.Enjoy!Useful Links:Active Spine & Sport Therapy
Walton Lawrence

Walton Lawrence

2021-01-1801:14:17

My next guest is a local entrepreneurial enigma...no one is quite sure what he does and he kinda likes it that way. I’ve been friends with Walt Lawrence for 20 years and have always been amazed and slightly mystified by his approach to business.  He graduated from the University of Texas in 92 with an English Literature Degree.  He spent seven years dedicated to the Retail Commercial Real Estate business, culminating in becoming President of Woodmont's Brokerage Division by age 27...he cold-called The Mills Corporation in the mid-90s and convinced them to come to Texas, which resulted in exclusively representing them for both Grapevine Mills here and Katy Mills Mall in Houston, as well as representing Bass Pro Shops adjacent to each location.He’s had over $1B in real estate transactions to date.Resigned from Woodmont in December of 1999 to pursue his self described "A-D-D" Business Plan of numerous other ventures, which has resulted in ~20 Different entrepreneurial endeavors over the past 21 tears in a wide range of industries.Walt’s most recent venture, Clear Sky Partners, is a small business accelerator that forms close partnerships with uniquely differentiated organizations and atypically talented people striving to solve big business problems so they can more rapidly and efficiently expand into their target markets with proper execution.Walt has been married to Stephanie for 24yrs and has 3 kids...the oldest just turned 21…I honestly haven’t been this excited about a podcast interview in a while!Useful Links and Book Mentions:MediumAntifragile WikipediaAntifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
John Townsend

John Townsend

2021-01-1159:32

Ever wonder what the meaning of emotional intelligence really is?  My next guest is Dr. John Townsend has written over 30 books on the topic.  He has sold over 10 million copies, including the New York Times bestselling Boundaries series.  John is a nationally-known leadership consultant, author, and psychologist.  John founded and operates the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling, and the Townsend Leadership Program. Both of which I’ve been deeply involved in. Dr. Townsend travels extensively for corporate consulting, speaking events, and to help develop leaders, their teams, and their families. John has a weekly video call-in program, Dr. Townsend Live.“If you don’t work on your insides...I promise it will sabotage you!” - John TownsendListen in while we unpack some really cool ideas that will help you connect your head with your heart!Useful Links and Book Mentions:Dr. TownsendBooks by Dr. TownsendAuthors Chip and Dan Heath
John Kelley

John Kelley

2021-01-0401:11:26

Imagine being newly married, strapped with school debt in a new town where you know less than 5 people. This week’s guest is Dr. John Kelley. Owner and founder of Kelley Orthodontics.  Dr. Kelley attended Baylor University and received his Doctorate in Dental Surgery (DDS) from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston.  He and his wife Allision moved to FW in 1999 and founded Live Thankfully which is a not for profit that’s had a huge impact on our local community.Hop in and listen to his out-of-the-box approach to business!P.S. John and I have spent 100s of hours training together in the dark on bicycles…(he’s an athletic beast!)Useful Links and Book Mentions:Kelley OrthodonticsThe Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Best of 2020

Best of 2020

2020-12-2801:18:13

Thank you so much for listening to the True Grit Podcast and reading these posts this year!  The feedback has been great and it’s been a neat way to keep in touch in 2020.  Please keep the emails/texts/calls coming! I love hearing from each of you :)If you’re like me, you are super relieved 2020 is over.  It has launched some businesses into the stratosphere and has crippled others (strangely binary). I’ve been writing down some of my takeaways from the last 12 months to make sure I’m metabolizing what I’ve learned.  What a freaking rollercoaster!Recording the podcast every week has been a no-joke endeavor.  A little more involved than I expected but the upside has been worth it.  Spreading the wisdom of these salty entrepreneurs and celebrating the grit and fortitude it took for them to succeed has helped a lot of up-and-comers.  I’m always surprised by what I learn and love hearing about YOUR lightbulb moments (MY FAVORITE part of doing this.)The final episode of 2020 is a few highlights from my interviews and a little update on what I’ve been up to personally. I can’t wait to see what YOU pull off in 2021! Go Team!
Andrew Sage

Andrew Sage

2020-12-2101:12:09

How do you weather the storm?  When things move up and down and are volatile what steps do you take to recover?  How do you pivot? How do you thrive?  My next guest is Andrew Sage, founder of Broad Wing Aviation.  A local company that buys and sells airplane parts all over the world. Broadwing Aviation was formed in 2002 and produces around 40mm in annual revenue and employs 34 people. But recently due to the covid mess has reduced his staff to 16 which we will cover a bit later. Broadwing Aviation creates greater efficiencies in aftermarket parts procurement by serving as an extension of the customers’ supply chains and purchasing departments.The founders of Broadwing Aviation have no shortage of shared experiences in the commercial and military aerospace markets. Andrew met his partners Mark Anderson and Michael Mills at a new start-up aftermarket parts company in the late 1990s. It is here they developed and refined the individual skills that would lead them to the genesis of Broadwing Aviation.It didn’t take long for them to notice a trend: Parts supply companies operated by telling customers what they need instead of listening to customers’ needs. The result was a gradual decline in the level of customer service. This was not acceptable. They knew they could establish and grow a company providing a far superior customer experience….and so Broadwing Aviation was born!Andrew has two kids and has been married to his wife Amy for almost 25 years!Enjoy this broad-ranging conversation with founder Andrew Sage!Useful Links and Book Mentions:Broadwing AviationShōgun by James Clavell
Ken Schaefer

Ken Schaefer

2020-12-1401:16:00

Curious about how to market to your customers? Want to know the strategies to build a great culture in your company? My next guest is the head honcho and namesake of Schaefer Advertising, Ken leads client relationships and manages strategic planning and brand development. His over two decades of marketing experience began at Procter and Gamble, and he later moved on to the agency side at Ogilvy & MatherSchaefer Advertising employs 40 people and just this year celebrated their 25th year in business. Ken has built the agency on an immovable foundation of core values, which are centered around the company’s mission to “Make Life Better.” Ken is a relentless strategist and has focused his teams on building solutions that provide real, measurable results. His company is recognized as an award-winning marketing partner within the healthcare, real estate, and destination and entertainment industries. Under his leadership, Schaefer Advertising has seen steady growth year over year, and nearly 150% revenue growth over the last three years. It has won the award of top places to work in Fort Worth 2x so he has a good understanding of what Culture is all about. Ken is a leader of leaders, a savvy business guy, a culture warrior, and a family man who has been married to his wife Lori for 26years and has twin boys who are seniors at TCU…I’ve been looking forward to this interview and I’m excited to give you a peek behind the curtain of his business and marketing mind!Useful Links and Book Mentions:Schaefer AdvertisingAuthor Malcolm Gladwell
Ted Kitchens

Ted Kitchens

2020-12-0701:15:55

If the faith doesn’t work on Monday morning the faith doesn’t work at all. My next guest, Dr. Ted Kitchens, who has been my spiritual director for over 20 years. He’s taken the complicated and mysterious Bible and given it life by distilling the useful elements and giving them handles for me to hold onto.He led the church from a handful of members to around 12k members so he knows a thing or two about scaling an organization. Ted was the senior pastor of Christ Chapel for more than 35 years, tenaciously preaching the Bible with Monday-morning relevanceHe has a master's degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary and Dallas Theological Seminary, where he later returned for his Ph.D. Listen in while I draw out some helpful principles that you can apply to your life and business.  You’re going to appreciate his leadership style.Useful Links and Book Mentions:Christ Chapel Bible ChurchGood to Great in God's Eyes by Chip IngramThe Supremacy of Christ by Ajith Fernando
Lori Atkins

Lori Atkins

2020-11-3001:07:29

Do you have a strong personality that is often misunderstood?  Do you want to understand how to be more present in your work and home life?This week’s guest is Lori Atkins, MD an OBGYN. She was one of those little girls that always wanted to be a doctor.  She left home at 15 and went to college on a wing and a prayer.  She earned her undergraduate degree at Baylor University and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  She did a residency at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.  One of her nurses, Jen Villegas describes her as “a brilliant surgeon...far and away the best surgeon I work with.  She has unbelievable intuition. It’s almost like she knows what’s going to happen before it actually happens.”What’s rare about Lori is she’s much more than just a doctor. She’s a business owner.  She entered private practice in 1996, and since graduating residency has built THREE successful practices and helped to nurture and promote the career of her partners as they have joined her.  She has been a mentor to many during her busy career and knows a thing or two about growing a business.Fitness and a healthy lifestyle have always been important to Lori and have been a priority in her life. She began teaching yoga in 2007. She is a 1200 hour certified Baptiste Yoga instructor.  She is married and a mother of 2!Listen in while I deconstruct what it takes to make a difference in the lives of those around you.  Useful Links:FĒNOM Women's Care
Matthew McDonald

Matthew McDonald

2020-11-2301:05:38

Do you ever avoid conflict? The truth is, there is a price to pay!  This week’s guest is Matthew McDonald who is a conflict expert...more specifically a guy that knows how to keep the peace!  Prior to founding Peacekeeper Works LLC, Matthew practiced law for 25+ years handling litigation of all kinds including employment, insurance, and business-related matters.  As we all know...the costs of conflict are real–attorneys fees, litigation expenses, employee turnover, and broken relationships.  Unresolved conflict is corrosive. It consumes time, energy, and resources better spent elsewhere. Yet conflict is universal….and the good news is Matthew has a dynamic perspective on all of it!He’s a father of 4 boys with one in heaven and has been married to his wife Alicia for 34 yrsListen in while I deconstruct the nuances of conflict and tease out some strategies we can apply to our businesses.Useful Links and Book Mentions:Getting to Yes by Roger FisherPeacekeeper Works
Randy Gideon

Randy Gideon

2020-11-1501:16:08

Want to know why entrepreneurs get stuck?  Get some useful pearls of wisdom from this week’s guest, Randy Gideon!  Randy is the founding principal of Gideon Toal.  For the past 30 years, he’s had a broad-ranging mission to provide project oversight for architecture, management, master planning, and interior design projects. His cluster of companies have employed 100s people and are involved in projects that add up to between 2-300million annually.  He’s an award-winning architect and was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He has served on the board of several prominent civic organizations including Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and Streams and Valleys, Inc. and was President of the Texas Society of Architects. He’s been married to his wife Beth for 27 years and has been an inspiration and mentor to me over the years.Useful Links:Gideon Toal Management ServicesBad Blood by John CarreyouThe Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
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