Episode 44

Becoming Unrecognizable with Darren Adams

Today, we're diving deep into the transformative power of personal development. Personal development isn't just about reading a specific book, attending a seminar, or doing a few workouts -- it's about fundamentally altering how you perceive yourself and your potential. This week's guest is Darren Adams, owner of Dryfork Diesel in Missouri. Years ago, Darren found himself heartbreakingly stuck with a broken body, limiting beliefs, and an underperforming shop. In this episode, he’ll share his wild journey of self-discovery and doing the HARD work to transform himself in mind, body, and spirit to become absolutely unrecognizable from his previous self, truly becoming the beast-mode version of himself who serve his family, shop, and community in ways he never thought possible. Change is hard, but staying stuck is harder. Choose your hard.

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Transcript

Thomas Hays (:

Darren, welcome to the show.

Darren Adams (:

Thanks for having me.

Thomas Hays (:

Absolutely, man. I'm super excited. We we had dinner. What was it last month? and I learned a lot about your story and I am super excited that you are willing to come on the show and share a bit of it because You have gone through pretty amazing transformation And done some things that you know, I don't think a lot of people even know are possible in ways that you've changed your life so Yeah, this is gonna be great man

Darren Adams (:

Yeah.

Thomas Hays (:

So for those that don't know you, who are you?

Darren Adams (:

So I'm Darren Adams. I live in Southwest Missouri, born in Northwest Oklahoma. Spent most of my young adult life here in Southwest Missouri, high school, college, all of that fun stuff. Grew up, my father.

was a master senior master for tech apprentice there as it relates to the industry apprentice there when i started 14 i believe it was they let me show up at the dealership after school and started apprenticing there ended up doing a bunch of training with the ford program um long story short ended up opening

Went to Kenya at the end of it, kind of frustrated with the dealership world and in 20.

this year,:

hat and there was. So back in:

Darren Adams (:

Some of the local farmers had me work on some heavy duty trucks, big trucks, that kind of thing. And started organically from that. Have a lot of cool pictures and memories from 2030 trucks sitting around in my mom, mom and dad's backyard and my mom getting annoyed with how many vehicles were setting around. So 2015 we, my dad actually was ready to get out of the dealership life as well. And so he

ing for that. And that was in:

ow we got here got married in:

six, four and two. So we got quite the show there at the house and we love them.

Thomas Hays (:

And I love the fact that your story started like most other shop owners where you were a technician, you know, didn't love it, but instead of like, you know, going to open a shop immediately or doing something else, you went to Kenya. I mean, I haven't heard that one yet. Uh, how long were you there?

Darren Adams (:

Yeah.

Darren Adams (:

So I left early August and got back late September. So about now I got back, picked up my toolbox, went to the like got online and filed my fictitious name and figured out an LLC and stuff and went and filed all that paperwork 10 years ago this week.

Thomas Hays (:

Wow. How old were you? Wow. That's a lot of confidence, man. That's kudos.

Darren Adams (:

I was 20. Just turned 21.

Darren Adams (:

You know, maybe it was confidence, maybe it was naivety, maybe a little both. The funny story behind that is I was on the flight out there. So if you've ever flown long distance international, there's never a quick path there. There's multiple air trips, had a layover in Paris and overnight layover in Paris. So French are known for being very hospitable and welcoming.

Thomas Hays (:

Maybe both.

Darren Adams (:

sarcasm. So if you've ever been there they are learn as many French words as you can so you can have as much grace as you can while you're there. That's a whole story in and of itself getting off the airplane and you're getting on trams and stuff trying to find the hotel you're going to and you just kind of get dumped off in the middle of nowhere you can't read anything. But met a person there that we just struck it off he spoke he was from England he spoke

Thomas Hays (:

Yes.

Darren Adams (:

I spoke English, of course, you know, commonality unites and we're like, Hey, it's us. We don't understand anybody else. It's so funny how when it's very easy to know, and this might come up later, but it's very easy when we know what the enemy is. It's not that the other people were enemy is just, they weren't our friends. It's very easy when you're in a wild situation like that to find the one thing that you unite on and that is such a powerful bond where I could have met the guy here in the States.

Thomas Hays (:

That works out.

Darren Adams (:

And we might not have hit it off at all. Long story short, he had a pretty cool story himself in his life and he was about 10 years older than me and he goes, dude, you're young. He's like, you're not married, you don't have kids. Why wait? Like don't wait and get married and have kids and all of that. He was like, you can do it, but the best time to do it is now. If you fail, what's there to lose? And I was like, that's a really good point. So.

Probably if it wasn't for him and I have no idea his name where he's like we never exchanged information It was just a stranger in the middle of Paris somewhere. That was like go for it. It's like let's do it So then went continued on to Kenya I was actually over there because my college major was agronomy plant science and animal science and so Was actually over there to try to help with their

Thomas Hays (:

that.

Darren Adams (:

production at this orphanage where they had an overrun of children and struggling to buy enough food and all of that and so Ended up running a construction project while I was there didn't had no intention. They were supposed to be done with the construction project I was supposed to come in and help with the agriculture side of things and I got there and had to finish a construction project too Which I'm not I'm not avid I've done some DIY stuff, but I've never been an avid carpenter or construction worker but we got a

I got a good experience of that over there too but anyway lots of pictures and good memories.

Thomas Hays (:

I mean, it sounds like that was not only that conversation, but that trip was really a push to, into your next season.

Darren Adams (:

It was.

Thomas Hays (:

Uh, and, uh, you know, I think it's really amazing. You know, there's these people that, you know, God puts in our life and sometimes, you know, it's out of absolutely nowhere. And in the moment, we don't even know sometimes how pivotal that conversation is. Uh, and so I love the fact that guy, you know, really just was able to lay it out for you, uh, and give you, you know, that confidence and lend you that courage to take that leap. Uh, that's.

Darren Adams (:

Absolutely.

Darren Adams (:

Yeah.

Thomas Hays (:

That's amazing. If you're listening, English dude, you know, thanks for, uh, pushing Darren. Yeah. So you get back to the States, you're, you're like, I'm, I'm going for it. You, you, you file with the state, you know, you're all legal. Now you start working.

Darren Adams (:

shooing me out the door nudging me out of the nest.

Thomas Hays (:

your dad's working with you. What was it like in those early years? I mean, did you guys, you said there was a hole in the market. Did you guys take off really quick? You know, what did the business look like at that point?

Darren Adams (:

So I started off with a, this might date me a bit, I started off with a newspaper ad that said diesel mechanic $50 an hour. And I ran that in a couple of the local newspapers and had a cell phone and a laptop. My dad, the only thing that he really did was he was kind of my technical consultant in the evening. I had rebuilt transmissions by that point and done major overhauls. I mean, we...

We grew up My dad didn't really have hobbies all he did was Mechanical, you know in the garage that was how we spent time together as I'm one of four boys So we had no sisters So it was the shop was bigger and more we spent more time out there than we did in the house, obviously So the early days was You know, I followed up every lead that I got it might have been from 70 miles away

But every lead I got from anybody needing an engine rebuilt to injectors or whatever, um, I was, I was writing the phone number down and a certain, I had one notebook for that for leads to follow up with. And I was calling them back and it was pretty lean and mean. I mean, a laptop and a cell phone and I ran the laptop off the cell phone and. You know, didn't even have Mitchell at the time, just kind of made some documents for receipts and obviously that outgrew that pretty quickly. And, and.

added Mitchell and shop information and all that. But he, my brother actually started helping me apprenticing because I just in about, and I think a year or two later, because I was just the book work and trying to get a handle on getting a P&L and all of that kind of stuff. I wasn't being able to get between falling up with customers and invoicing as the story typically goes. I just, there was no way to keep up.

Obviously when you're working that cheap even back then the dealer that I worked at was only 70 or 75 bucks an hour on diesel work, so 50 bucks an hour sounds ridiculously cheap today, but it was really 70 cents on the dollar give or take it wasn't it wasn't that crazy underpriced My first parts vendor was a guy I had known in a long time They didn't even want to deliver out to me because I was five miles outside of town But he gave me a $500 line of credit

Darren Adams (:

on nothing other than the fact that he knew me and he said if you pay it off frequently, you know we'll get your credit line upped as long as you keep paying your bill and he gave me a piece of advice and he's like never let a friend or a customer, either one, take a vehicle off your lot without getting paid and he said I've seen more repair shops go under because they let people that have no business

you extending credit to them taking vehicles because then you have no way of collecting on that money. And I've slipped up a couple of times down through the years, but it's the words were so true and I agreed with them. I was like, yeah, you're right. And then there were times I wanted to, somebody's trying to lean on me. I was a little, I was green. I didn't know any better. And those words came back and I was like, no, he's right. Pete's right. I better not, I better not let him go. And it's that, you know, talking about the people that.

stepped in at that at that right time and just had a word sometimes you don't realize how powerful that one little One liner might be in somebody's life and it was for me anyway

Thomas Hays (:

That's a really wise piece of advice he gave you. Yeah, if you're listening and you're that guy that's like, especially, I think this happens more in a small community. You know, I live in a small community and there's just a different sense of your neighbors, but yeah, don't do it. It doesn't go well.

Darren Adams (:

Yeah.

Darren Adams (:

Absolutely.

Darren Adams (:

Yeah. It's so easy to become enemies over the thing. And one of the lines that I've used a lot was I value our friendship and our relationship so much that if this is a deal breaker, just please use somebody else that you can do this with because I don't want it to come between us. It's going to get awkward real fast because that's what happens.

Thomas Hays (:

Yeah. So you, I mean, really figuring out a lot of things, you're taking advice and wisdom from other people. You know, you're recognizing when, okay, this system doesn't work. I should probably get, you know, Mitchell or some sort of shop management software. Like it sounds like you're, you're really pretty quickly getting some things under you and getting a foundation.

What were sales like in the early years?

Darren Adams (:

Yeah, so I remember getting 30 to 40 thousand dollars a month solo and I thought you know because I was trying to do I was trying to myself do about 200 hours a month That was my goal was to do 200 hours a month by myself because I knew I could do 70 80 hours at the dealership um, and I knew I was going to be less efficient, but In the early days I was also working and this is true up until about

years ago. You can ask my wife unfortunately. I was working six to nine ten like and that's not three hours it's like 15 to 18 hour days consistently.

Um, and not that that's healthier than anybody should do it, but I didn't know what else to do, uh, the trucks were there, um, you know, and, and somewhere in the midst of that, I definitely got some, I got frustrated and burned out. And again, another person came in. I talked to a guy, went to vision for the first time up in Kansas city, found a, just was trying to find, yeah, trying to find a Duramax class cause I was getting Duramax trucks and I didn't really understand much about them. Didn't know how they work. So.

Thomas Hays (:

That's a good show, man.

Darren Adams (:

I found a class and it was that weekend. I found it Friday and the class was Saturday, the next day up in Kansas City. Had no idea the event existed. So I call them up all of a, I gotta be there tomorrow. So I hustle up, I'm in Southwest Missouri, it's two hours away. I drive up to Kansas City. While I'm there, I meet a guy.

Uh, his name is joe sievert if anybody knows him he's a big part of the vision board Yeah, I think he's vp of something up there And he was telling me at the time how he had a shop doing a million dollars a year and he was making 20 net and I was like Holy cow, man, like that's 200 grand. You're making 200 grand a year That's crazy talk um and obviously looking back now i'm like

Man, that's, you're just barely getting started. But at the time, I mean, he was seasoned and seasoned operator and I was, you know, I was making 30, 40 grand a year net maybe. Um, and so I just thought that's, that was enormous numbers. This is money I'd never, I was hoping I could make six figures one day. I mean, that was kind of the big dream was maybe I could make six figures one day and, you know, have a newer truck.

vision changes as time goes on obviously. But yeah, that was a, when he shared that he spent, bless his heart, he probably spent, I heard him mention that to somebody else and I was walking by and I heard him mention that in conversation to another person and I just like stopped and I turned around, I walked back and I walked up to the circle and I just stood there until those two were done. And it was probably a 30 minute conversation. When he was done.

He looked at me, he's a shorter guy and I'm six one and of course he's, you know, kind of waited on them to get done. He comes over and look, he's like, how can I help you? And I was like, you got to tell me how. And so we did. And we sat there for probably, I skipped the next class. I don't know what it was, but we skipped the next class and he just sat there for probably an hour, hour and a half talking to me about that. And funny enough, I just, I just talked to him to yesterday or day before.

Darren Adams (:

um about something completely random but let me in got in that in that 20 group for a while and really helped move the needle forward um it was helpful i got i was with that group for a while and it was it was helpful and then i kind of got to the point where it was like that's not i'm not getting a lot of value out of it and so i decided to uh to move on from there but again just that just a person right there you've always got to be hungry for

You can get caught up with going to everything, but especially in the early years in the grind, you might trip over your next million dollars and not know it if you don't stop and ask. Because there are some gold out there from guys and even though he wasn't, that one man wasn't the end all be all for my shop, it helped me turn, because I was at a point where I was like, I'm gonna shut the shop down.

I knew some friends in I've been through a breakup at that point all at the same time. So it's kind of like a saga story and I'm like I've got I either got to make some serious net or I know I can go make a hundred fifty grand because that was my like if I can make six figures were met and so that was I knew some friends in Oklahoma City and Dallas both and I just knew I was like I could go move in with them. I know I could find a dealership around there. I have a lot of my

I had all of my online stuff, they just never sent me to the in classroom stuff yet. And so I could be up to senior master certified super quick within a year or two. You know, I'd be making six figures in a year. Easily. Um, and he was there and that was the guy I needed to talk to so that I didn't bail off the boat and go another direction. And I'm glad I did now, you know, my life would be very, very different. You know, had I not taken the chance and started the company, had I not went.

Thomas Hays (:

Yeah.

Darren Adams (:

Okay, I'm going to stick this out another year. We're going to make this happen. There is a way it is possible Sometimes that's all people need to know is that it is possible And They're like, oh, okay You're saying it's possible. All right, i'm going to take it and run with it Uh, sometimes you just have to do it in faith because it doesn't seem possible at the time, but sometimes that's all you need

Thomas Hays (:

Yeah.

I'm seeing a theme with you where this hunger you mentioned a little while ago, it's led you to be humble and to recognize when there are these people that you need to listen to. That is a huge lesson that it sounds like you learn pretty early on. That's, I think, served you really well in those early years. And I think that all of us,

need to be mindful of that phenomenon that happens. And I think a lot of times, you know, if you're not recognizing through that humility that you do need answers, you'll miss it, you know, and all these opportunities are put in your path. And you know, if there's that, oh, I got it figured out, you're never ever going to hear what you need to hear to move forward.

Darren Adams (:

Yeah.

Darren Adams (:

Man, that is so true. There's a legitimate phrase for that. It's called the Dunning-Kruger effect, and you may know all about it.

Thomas Hays (:

No, tell me.

Darren Adams (:

So in the flag behind me, it has the crest on it and the American flag built into one. You know, you might understand a fair bit about a subject and it might be one of the stars in size comparison to the whole subject, but because all you can see is the blue right around you, you think, man, I know quite a bit about this subject. And it...

Until you actually get around people that are 10, 20, 50, 100x past you, do you realize, wait a minute, I don't understand any, like I'm barely scratching the surface. And it's so easy when you keep, when you're a goldfish in a little fish bowl, you feel pretty big.

You get tossed in the ocean and you're the size of a clownfish in the ocean. You are, you're nothing. And you know, the main, one of the mistakes I've made, and I see tons of, when I was a youth, uh, youth group leader for several years, um, in the church that I used to go to, I was, um, one of the things I really, really tried to impart to the young people there was stop paying attention to your broke.

dumb friends that don't have any life experience and they're giving you relationship advice and all they have is like a trail of bodies behind them, right? Of bad relationships. And I think we all fall into that trap where we ask questions from people that are comfortable and they're familiar to us. We seek familiarity and we don't even, we don't ask the right questions from the right people. We ask people that were comfortable asking right around us and we don't realize that.

Thomas Hays (:

Yeah.

Darren Adams (:

I need to be asking marriage advice from somebody that's seven years old and has a 50 year marriage. Now I also need somebody shoulder to shoulder with me that's relevant and helps me adapt to today. But there's timeless truths out there that you're not going to get when you ask your Uncle Ricky that's been married four times. Good luck getting solid marriage advice. But we see that happen over and over again. We get shop owners that...

And I've done it you ask advice from another business. I had a great story about an uncle from my wife talking about an uncle Ricky His name is not Ricky, but the example fits there. I was asking him business advice early on Well as I got older and started Do it was I quickly realized wait a minute. I'm Far surpassing his business acumen and like the size and scope of what he's trying to run. He's running a good old boy

little glass shop, you know, I don't know what kind of revenue he's doing, but it was a janky outfit. And I, but early on I thought he had it all figured out. And not that every piece of advice he gave me was bad, but it wasn't great. And you don't realize how much information you're getting is bad until you, until you put yourself around people that are, like I said, 10 times ahead of you.

There's so much value that and sometimes you have to pay to be in the room Sometimes there's no other way to get there except pay to be in the room But if you if you're in that room The chances of you growing like if they're 10x ahead of you the chances of you doubling is pretty solid If they're 20% ahead of you, you're not gonna see the needle move There's just it's I mean if you get you just barely move forward. You're never gonna hockey stick

Thomas Hays (:

In your experience, which I mean, dude, we could end the episode right now. And there's, you know, there's so much wisdom that if someone listens and implements, like you're going to do really well, um, but I do want to dig into a little bit of what you said. When you're looking for someone who can pour into you, how have you been able to recognize that, you know, the difference between the, you know, the facade that someone puts up and what's really

the curtain for you to know hey this person is legitimately someone that can pour into me.

Darren Adams (:

funny you asked that so I'm a Missouri boy so you it's called the show me state for a reason I'm a little I'm fundamentally I'm pretty cynical I don't naturally trust people I had a psychology class in college that was one of those like he did an experiment on us in class he broke the class up into three groups

and So two of the groups went out he shows us a video and he asked us all a question about the video And it was a picture of a vehicle Encountering a telephone pole. Okay, so that's the overarching theme. So one group he asked How fast was a vehicle going when it bumped the pole the next group of us he asked how fast was a vehicle going? when it

smacked the pole and then the third one was how fast was the vehicle going when it Crushed into the pole Okay, and obviously from that setup that I did of that story, you know, the outcome is that the people were primed to give a Low answer a medium answer and a high answer and averages came in and I don't remember the specific averages But that was just a huge light bulb moment to me that people are always manipulated

by their environment and the priming that's happening to them all around them. And we don't even understand all of the things that are encountering to us to do that. So yes, how do you know how to notice somebody like who's signaling, who's noise, who's the racket that's just running their mouth. And some of it is just a sixth sense. Like you just been around and heard some people, um, you know, and I've also been duped.

And I think that's how you like when you realize you've been duped and you've been paying attention to somebody super easy to do in the online scope of today is somebody can, you know, rent a Lambo and run out on Airbnb and drop 50 K on a weekend and shoot a bunch of videos. People do this and get a ton of content and

Darren Adams (:

You just got to be wise. I don't have a great answer other than, you know, the Bible says, look at the fruits. And so one of the things that I always, one of the filters that I always looked for was, I don't want billions of dollars, but my kids want nothing to do with me. That was always one of my filters. And so when I would start paying attention to somebody, I never asked, but I would always start just,

Thomas Hays (:

Good.

Darren Adams (:

Paying attention, are they still married to their same wife? To me, that's not that that's an end all be all, but like how good are they at their relationships? Have they married every other year to a new person? I'm sorry, I'm probably not gonna take any advice from that person because there's something wrong. There's something wrong up here. They're either selecting a bad person or they're a bad person. And either way, I don't want their advice on something.

If their kids want nothing to do with them like great they're super successful but you tiptoe into a subject and you ask about kids and They don't have a great relationship with their kids. I'm gonna wait that differently. So there's very few people that are winning in all three areas of health wealth and relationships and When you find people like that You have to and you can't I don't trust people like boom. I become their friend right off the bat and it's

It's a good and bad trait, both. It's a double edged sword because there's times that, you know, I don't get brought into the fold, so to speak, in an inner group real fast. But I've also been burned where I started trusting people and. You know, they led me astray and I didn't realize it for quite a while. So, um, you know, but the modern day night project, there's, there's a lot of hurrah and macho men and stuff in that. And, you know, some of them are genuine, like some of the best men I've ever met.

on the face of the planet. And there's some dudes that are just chest thumpers and just got an ax to grind and an ego to stroke. And some of them are all over social media and it'll come out and wash. Like I think they're headed to a train wreck. I've seen enough, I think they're headed to a train wreck. But I don't know if that answers your question, but you have to know what your core values are as a person and what you value because otherwise you will be, you will be just, as it says, tossed about.

every wind you'll just be the wind comes um but as time goes on you start okay great they're crushing it in their house in the toilet one of the is ask people you know look at their you find out real quick what's important even my own if you're not

Darren Adams (:

If it's not a non-negotiable, if you don't have a set time, it's date night every week for you and your spouse, and you're not taking your kids on dates, but you've got 87 meetings and these objectives, and you're gonna do that, and you got you, you all the time, but there's nothing in your schedule for your family and your health and your relationships. Cool, you're winning in one aspect. There's so many other aspects of life.

And so anyway, went a long tangent on that, but there's so there's more than just meets the eye That's that's the rule. There's more than meets the eye and you have to dig deeper And find out the whole package because you might take a piece of advice And get some unintended You know, you're getting the whole recipe there you take a bite of brownie. There's a lot of ingredients goes into a brownie besides just Cocoa powder and you think oh, I like the chocolate flavor

but you're getting a bunch of other stuff with it. And what is in the recipe? Because you're getting all of it.

Thomas Hays (:

Yeah. Uh, again, ton of wisdom in that. What I want to really take a look at is how you got here. How did you get to this place of wisdom? And, and I mean, you know, really beyond your years, I mean, you're, you're not, you know, you're, you're in your thirties, right? Yeah. Oh, okay. You're younger than me. Uh, you're doing good, man. So.

Darren Adams (:

I'm 31, yeah.

Darren Adams (:

I'm an old soul. I grew up without TV and without cell phones and I got called Amish boy in school. They thought I had wooden phones the whole bit.

Thomas Hays (:

Yeah.

Thomas Hays (:

Yeah, we're, I think we're cut from similar cloth there. Yeah, we're old millennials. So let's talk about.

Darren Adams (:

I even got gray hair to prove it. I don't know if you can see it. I got a little gray coming in.

Thomas Hays (:

Well, I've got a lot coming in. Yeah. Uh, so let's, let's talk about how you got to this place. I know that. You know, the shop doing reasonably well, you know, you're growing all these things, but I know that there was a point we talked about, you know, before the, before the episode of really what became your, you know, rock bottom, dark night of the soul, whatever you want to call it.

And I believe that season and what came out of it is a lot of, you know, really why you possess the wisdom you have and are as successful as you are. So tell us about what led to that. What was that like? Walk us through that.

Darren Adams (:

Okay.

Darren Adams (:

So I'll start by running the clock back to Kenya. So when I was there, I saw the need there. And Kenya is probably one of the best third world countries to visit as far as the risk. If you hold your iPhone out in public, it's going to get stolen.

There's riff raff going on. Don't steal anything. I got involved in a car wreck. I was driving the van, got involved in car wreck, almost got burned alive. They went and got gas and was gonna burn us in the van and all, I mean, you've seen videos like that. You've seen pictures of that in third world countries. But.

It's not, I mean, it's not as crazy as a lot of others. It's a relatively safe speaking country overall. There's health risk. You know, we could talk a long time about that. There was a guy that stole some potatoes in the market. And so I'm driving through, there's just crowds of people in this guy. I hear pop, pop. And, you know, 50 feet away.

This dude's down on the ground and he got shot three times guns are illegal by the way over there But got shot three times because he stole some potatoes from a lady. So it's just It's a totally different Situation in a lot and you don't realize The stress that people are in just existing day to day and so what I saw was A world filled with

Thomas Hays (:

different world.

Darren Adams (:

a bunch of, I'm gonna use the word, corrupt men and bad leaders. And so I had a very, like a light bulb pivotal moment was like, I was talking with this person, we were talking about earlier about meeting somebody and unite quickly when everybody else is different around you. And you know, unfortunately when you're in that area and everybody else is speaking another language and you're picking up on Swahili here and there, learning a few words and trying to communicate because there's the English is...

struggle at best. I'll put it that way. So, you know, you're trying to communicate, you're trying to learn as much Swahili as you can and all this. You're just inundated with information, and you meet somebody. There's, you know, one instance, I met somebody from Germany and they spoke terrible English, but we were able to speak enough English that it we could understand each other. And we actually talked for quite a while. But it's just weird how you meet somebody from the Western culture in there. So what I saw was

this giant void and America's 5% of the world population, 5%, we're nothing. There's so many people in this world that aren't, like I'm so blessed, I won the lottery being born in the United States, I truly believe that. And so first of all, I saw this obligation. So after I talked to that guy from England, I was like,

If I don't mash the gas and give it a shot then I'm letting all of these children There's a wonderful little girl named husna that just you know, as it typically goes, I think tj was just I don't know if he was in Kenya or rwanda or he was over there in that east africa Um area and they just have a way to steal in your heart And I remember leaving on the bus and her standing on the sidewalk because she couldn't go with me So it's a nine-hour bus ride back over horrific roads and

Thomas Hays (:

I think it was in Kenya.

Darren Adams (:

police stops and spike strips and the whole bit to get back to the capital city to get on an airplane and leave. And I have this kind of sinking realization that I get to leave and go home. I'm so privileged. I have such an opportunity to go home. I'm going back to an amazing prosperous area with freedoms and opportunities. This girl is realistically looking at a shoddy education at best.

The chances of her getting anything further than you know, what we would consider probably grade school education is very low And she's probably going to have a handful of kids Because of rape and all kinds of stuff like her outlook on life. I broke down on the bus Leaving and I still have this image of her tears falling down her face On the sidewalk as i'm on the bus looking out the window and realizing we just have

Like I always had this hope of going, my home has opportunity.

Her opportunities are nothing compared to what mine are. And I'm letting her down. I'm letting the 95% of the world down, let alone right around us, if I don't take advantage of what God's placed me here and around. And maybe I'm not the best steward that he has, but I've got to continually become a better steward. So the element that I really got from that is there's such a severe lack of leadership.

Everything rises and falls on leadership. And I really got a great picture of that. And so that led me in a sense on a journey of, like I really got this deep vision of where there is no, where there's no vision that people perish and where there's no clear leadership, nothing can assemble. Cause here I was, I'm one dude in the middle of the African bush trying to help a handful of people. I can't have like,

Darren Adams (:

You've never heard this story. I've never had any massive impact that you've seen. I've never, not that it needs to be on the news. That's not what I'm going for, but my impact is tiny. And I want to do the impact that I can, but without leadership, you can't magnify anything. So that was kind of the, that was the, like this deep, I've got to learn leadership. And so that then sent me down, obviously a wild rabbit hole of, you know, I'm 20, 21 years old, something like that.

And I'm reading Entree Leadership and John Maxwell books. And I think Extreme Ownership had come out by that point somewhere in through there. And I had read that. And I just went on like a book tear. All of, you know, as Aaron says, I've heard Aaron Stokes say, you're full of piss and vinegar. I mean, I was, I was that I had, I was a lot full of ambition and just going for it. So that probably was, that was probably like the, the

essence of what started like a personal development journey. I'd never seen the human aspect. I'd always been very emphasis on the intellectual side, like learning math, learning science, like being, and that was what I was brought up in is like the smarter you are, the better you are in a sense. And then I realized that, wait a minute, there's this whole other human aspect that if you don't have, you'll never have, you'll never scale.

You never have the ability to rally the troops around a common cause so that you can actually solve problems in the world. It's just you fixing another car. It's just you helping one more person, which is needed. We need all of that in life, but leadership is a magnifier. If you don't have leadership and a vision and money, you're really not going to change a lot. And so that was probably my, my early, um, flight down that path. Um,

And then you said, I think the, maybe we'll re-ask your question because I think I got off track.

Thomas Hays (:

That's OK. I'm going to just make a note here for the editor. OK. So I'm going to just go back into the question, and we can dive into it a little bit.

Darren Adams (:

Okay.

Thomas Hays (:

Okay, editor, I'm going to go back in.

Darren Adams (:

It was something about how do we get.

Thomas Hays (:

Well, yeah, yeah. OK, all right. I'm going to restate it.

Darren Adams (:

Yeah, I'll let you ask it. Go ahead.

Thomas Hays (:

I'm trying to remember what I said in the beginning. OK.

Thomas Hays (:

Editor, if I'm, I want to take it back, I think it was around minute 30, 32-ish. I want to have that question restated. I'm going to restate the question, but if I miss some of that original content, just go ahead and spice it in, or just leave that full question and then let's take this following answer. Thank you.

Thomas Hays (:

So Darren, you're on this journey and you have the shop and you're trying to pick up as much as you can. You have these people in your life that are influencing you and you're making all these changes and the shop is growing. And, sorry, you're definitely gonna have to splice some stuff from the second and first and then this answer.

Darren Adams (:

You would ask something about wisdom and how I, like how I had maybe how I've grown or something.

Thomas Hays (:

Oh yeah. Uh, have grown. Yeah. So, I mean, Darren, you, yeah. Okay.

So Darren, I mean, just what you're saying, you possess a wisdom that is definitely beyond, typically what a 31 year old would have. And one thing that we've talked about.

Uh, in the past is, is some of the journey that you had even beyond, you know, this season in your early, you know, twenties and mid twenties, uh, you know, I know that really before you absolutely just broke through and, and flipped the switch as you've said, uh, to me before it happened to you, you experienced this dark night of the soul, this rock bottom in your journey. Um, I would like to talk about that. What was that?

Darren Adams (:

Hmm.

Thomas Hays (:

rock bottom that really catapulted you through.

Darren Adams (:

Yeah, so the, I think the understanding that, we talked about the Dunning-Kruger effect earlier and how I thought I was learning a lot and becoming a better leader. And then just some of those realizations that, man, I am not, when you get around people that truly are, you're like, wow, I've got a lot of room to grow.

And some of it just comes with age and maturity as well. But quickly found myself in a situation where I was wrangling the business and making it happen, forcing it along the journey. But I found myself in a place where...

Darren Adams (:

I found myself in a place where my health had deteriorated significantly. I'd always been pretty active as a young person. And, you know, I had...

Darren Adams (:

I was at a place where I could walking up a flight of stairs was just terrible.

You know, getting quite a bit of weight, went into the office, getting quite a bit of weight. Um, I actually started having a situation in the morning where, uh, I called it rigor mortis where I would wake up and I could not, I couldn't set up out of bed. I had to roll out of bed onto the floor, uh, and crawl into the living room and get in recliner for a couple hours and sleep there kind of back and forth. Sleep went way down the hill. I wasn't getting good quality sleep at all.

Thomas Hays (:

Wow.

Darren Adams (:

the stress of growing and customers and all of that. It was 2018 is when that really, really set in. I kind of hit a wall with the growth of the shop as well. I was stuck about, you know, I think I had done a $200,000 a month, but I was in the mid-100s and just, you know, getting by. Net profit was up. I was north of 15% and the group I was in was like,

Whoa, you're crushing it. And I was like, that's okay. You know, I'm kind of used to it. I feel like I got a lot of low hanging fruit still, but at the same time they were telling me I was, my numbers were all wrong and I was like, but I'm making more net than anybody in the group. So I don't understand what I'm doing wrong there, but you know, so.

I kind of hit a wall with that and my health was down the tubes and I started having this situation where I just, you know, maybe God let me go through this so that I have more empathy on people that have chronic pain. I don't know.

t it was debilitating. And so:

become an amazing friend of mine. And when I signed up for a marathon, he decided, okay, fine, I'll do it with you. And so we have a great relationship that's lasted to this day, really. We bounce a lot of stuff off each other and he helps push me at times. And I push him at times now and challenge him in certain things. But.

Darren Adams (:

That was kind of my first glimmer of like, I got to do something. Uh, and a phrase that I've learned later since is action alleviates anxiety. Hey, it's a little acronym action alleviates anxiety. So that was an, uh, an example of that. I took some action. I signed up with a personal trainer showed up, puked the first day. I should puked the first three times I went.

Um, it was supposed to be an hour workout. Didn't even make it 30 minutes. And he wasn't even trying to push me that hard. It was like, I think I could barely bench press like 95 pounds, like put a 25 on each side of the bar and we talked about it here not long ago and he was like, dude, you were in bad shape. Like you were in not, not like physical shape, like you were in a bad situation, you were in a bad condition health wise. Um, and.

So that started it and then I joined another coaching group, ShotFix at the time at that point and got a few light bulbs from that. Started looking at my numbers a little bit differently, looking at things like what was important, what numbers, what KPIs were a little more. Like the first numbers were great, but these are kind of the next layer of the onion. Let's get a little deeper in there and that was very instrumental.

Darren Adams (:

really great mentor and friend of mine owns a steel construction. So they make manufacturer steel buildings all over the U S they built a few airports and maybe some stuff for Walmart and stuff, big super centers and stuff. Um, built our building here as well, because we knew the guy. Um, so that he has his plant where they build the giant I beams and then ship them all over the country and all of that.

Very great. He and him and Dave Ramsey are on a somewhat personal level. He goes out to Dave Ramsey's events all the time Um, he's got three brothers and they're all phenomenal people just amazing humans anyway, we sat down I got the opportunity to go to breakfast with him one day and uh, we've been able to do it several times since but he took me to breakfast and We we were sitting there and one of the questions he asked me was uh, when did you realize who told you and when was that moment that you realized you went from a boy to a man because

It's a question that a lot of young men have is, you know, where was that moment that we switched from a boy to a man? And, you know, am I enough? That's one of the common questions we ask. We're constantly, subconsciously asking from our fathers or our male role model in our life, am I enough? Do I have what it takes?

wered question. And so that's:

Um had you know rural community small community we had I had some farmers, uh show up and Literally cussed me out to my face and tell me that It was they were under stress looking back now. They were stressed out crop prices were way down We had pig farms around here that they just had to slaughter all the pigs and haul them off like it was just There was no market. They couldn't there was no place to ship them So they just had to go bury them dig a giant hole and bury thousands of hawks

Darren Adams (:

And it was a terrible situation. And looking back now, I realized they were under a ton of stress and they were just, we all as humans try to give off what we don't want.

we have negativity poured onto us and we're just, most negative people are just trying to get rid of it, man. They just, they got so much of it. Their cup is overflowing with negativity and they're just trying to get rid of it. And I was pretty insecure at the time and I took that super personal. One of them in particular, you know, read me the riot act, told me I'd be begging on my knees at his doorstep and all kinds of crazy stuff, you know, for his business. And I was like, wow, that shook me up for a long time because I had a lot of pride

doing a good job and trying to do right by people and all of that and it was just kind of like slapped up against the face like no it's not that's not enough so again several books and just I was at a place I remember probably the most profound moment is I had learned at that point that my pain would disappear if I got in an ice bath.

And so I got up one morning and it was it was pretty bad You know, I was taking probably 20 ibuprofen a day entire, you know, mix just way too much way too much

That was I would get up in the morning, crawl the recliner, had a little cubby hole there, I put ibuprofen in it the night before because I'd feel great the night before. I could walk around, I could do what I needed to. The next morning, I couldn't get in my car first thing in the morning. My head wouldn't bend enough to get in the car. So ice bath. So we're...

Darren Adams (:

Ended up spending like 10 minutes in the, I put a deep freeze out on the back porch and just plug it in and, you know, adapt and, you know, when it freezes over, chip it off and unplug it and kind of was working it that way. It was a cold morning. It was probably frost outside. And I remember sitting in there just, honestly, just crying. Not a crier a lot, but just crying. Cause I was like,

whatever it was, 28 years old, it's progressing fast. Doctors have no idea what's going on. I just, I'm in extreme pain early in the morning. I can't move. It gets better throughout the day and then it all sits back in at night. Can't hardly, I can't sleep in my own bed. I was at the point I was pretty much sleeping all night in the recliner just because that was the only position that kind of felt good, but even at that in the morning, it would take hours for me to get to the point

and like set in a vehicle and get my head down and get a drought. So that was kind of, but I realized that the more active I was, the better it got. So it's kind of like almost the opposite of arthritis. I don't know how that works exactly, but the more physically active I stayed, the better my health was. So like, well, maybe that's a sign because I would go to the workout. I'd have 5 a.m workouts with a trainer and like I hardly got any sleep.

forced myself to go in there and then he'd put me through a workout and I would feel halfway decent afterwards. So start putting the puzzle pieces together and so all wrapped up in that is this, is this, you know, I'm just, my health is going downhill, the business is doing okay, but it's really just stuck. It's not going anywhere. I had big aspirations. I was wanting to go multi-location. I was wanting to grow the shop. I was wanting to become a better leader. I was wanting to become offsite. And I'm still stuck in a treadmill.

mill phase. Just kind of that realization like my 20s are basically done and things are getting more overwhelming and I'm getting worse health-wise not better. So anyway insert reading some books and the modern day night project came up and it

Darren Adams (:

was I had done a lot of reading on rites of passage for young men and how almost every culture down through time has had rites of passage for young men as they transition into adulthood whether that be dumping them off in the freezing water in January in the middle of Idaho or something as a native tribe or you know whatever drink in your first

pint of ale or something, you know, the Irish or some folklore around that. Anyway, almost every, every culture has had some sort of rite of passage from, from a child into adulthood. And we just, the only thing that I had come to possible, uh, possibility was when a young man asked for a daughter's hand in marriage was that was kind of a.

You know, you'll never be good enough for her, but you've passed the test so to speak. If the father can put his blessing on you when you ask for a daughter's hand in marriage. Like that was a form. That was about as close as I got. Um, and so this program showed up. It was a meandering path to get there. And I signed up. Uh, I think it was like $10,000 at the time.

to sign up and go, it was a serious chunk of change. And we talked about it, you gotta pay to pay attention. And I knew that I wasn't gonna, I was in a situation where I was comfortable, but more importantly, I wasn't uncomfortable enough because there's no transformation without pain. And I needed something to hurt enough to kind of snap me out of it, so to speak. I knew that, enough that.

I was in a spot, I was just kind of in a trance. I was going through the motions. As the book Outwitting the Devil says, you're just in that hypnotic rhythm. You're going through the motions, I'm doing some workouts, but I'm not getting better. I'm not getting the results I want. My health is continuing to go downhill. The shop is just kind of sliding sideways. My relationship is mediocre at best at home. I have very little relationship with my kids because I'm at the shop from six, seven in the morning until eight, nine, 10 at night.

Darren Adams (:

And I was like, something's got to change. So I signed up for this event. I go out there and obviously there's a ton of training ahead of time. And it is for a. Midwestern civilian like me, it's unlike anything I've ever experienced before. And there's details that I.

that I can't share because it's proprietary and it's part of the experience. I don't want to run it for anybody that would ever go out there and do it. But one of the things we talked about in that is flipping the switch. And I never realized what they were talking about until you're there. And I can see it in the pictures that they sent me afterwards. So they have a camera crew and they're doing pictures the whole time. And that first night it's 38 degrees and raining in Southern

California if you can believe that our clothes were frozen together the next morning and we're out there all night calling through Just a gravel dirt pit Hands and knees all scraped up Over and over and over and just you know doing and there's so many teaching lessons in there I can't even only have time to go into that but there's so many teaching lessons that they are

Looking back and I watch other groups go through it. I'm like, ah, they're about to get the lesson on the you know listening to authority just because it's authority and You know, there's so many good great lessons in there That's actually the takeaway from it is all of those all of the lessons that come in that's it's really great programming but they have to is the sense is or the saying is you have to break you down before they can build you up and You can see the light dim in everybody's eyes that first night people are ringing the bell and quitting I mean people have paid ten grand

12 grand, whatever it was, it was a lot of money. And people were ringing three hours in and going, I quit. Grown dudes are going, I quit. And in the pictures you can see everybody's cold. We had five people going to hypothermic shock.

Darren Adams (:

A couple of them ended up in the hospital. A few of them like stayed in the fight there and actually ended up graduating later. But it was, it was some pretty gnarly conditions from, from a hyperthermic situation and the next morning we got like an hour of sleep, maybe I don't even know if it was that, and we went out to the beach and did a surf torture. Spent a couple hours in the beach, Newport beach out there, same conditions, 40 mile an hour winds, 38, 40 degrees. Um, and just, you could see everybody was just.

exhausted but more importantly their spirit had left. Everybody's struggling, everybody's suffering and there's something magical about when you get to a point where you've invested enough. I think a lot of shop owners can relate this like I've put enough into this taking this back to that I was like I've got to make the business make good net profit or I'm going to close the doors. It's like we're at a crossroads.

And so you get there in this experience, you get there where you come to a fork in the road and you're like, am I going to quit? Am I a bell ringer or am I going to push through? And you can see the light bulb come on in the pictures. You can see this happen. This transformation happened where guys go from just this very defeated. Their countenance is down. Uh, you can just tell in the pictures and the videos are just, they're beat down to

they get this look in their face of like, it doesn't matter what you do to me, you will have to take me out of here in a body bag. And we did, we got to bury ourselves alive, rider eulogy, get in a body bag, get dirt poured on top of us. And, you know, there was evolution after evolution of, you know, pushing you beyond what you thought was reasonable or even legal. We'll say it that way.

Um, but there's something about doing that and testing yourself beyond your wildest imagination that allows you to turn abnormal into normality. Uh, I mentioned something about a friend that he runs a 5k every day. And three years ago, I was like, that's insane. That is not healthy for you. Um, it's not a big deal, man. It's like 30 minutes of cardio. People go to 30 minutes of cardio all the time. It's just your mindset. It's that story. You tell yourself of, Oh, I would never do that.

Darren Adams (:

I've had people like I will never own a new truck. That's just insane. Why would you ever buy a new truck? That's a waste of money. Well, then now I have to deal with that cognitive dissonance in their mind When it comes time for them like wait a minute I Know it makes sense I'm so busy working on my old truck every weekend or every once a month to keep it going doesn't make sense for me anymore That's a bad use of my time effort and energy

So flipping the switch is, in essence, the only way that you can do it, that I have found, is you have to put yourself, willingly put yourself through suffering that you, because life, what's the saying, life sucks and then you die? Like it's just part of life. And so one of the ways I've reframed success for me is the degree to which I get to choose the suffering that I endure.

If I choose what I struggle with, that's a win. Because if I don't, something's gonna come along because we will naturally calm down to the point that we allow a struggle to come. If we don't put effort into our relationships, one day you'll wake up and your relationship will be no more, and that's a struggle. Or you can struggle to get out of the shop and go on a date with your wife, or take your daughter.

Chuck E Cheese or whatever it is that's mini golf or whatever it is that's important to her or him and You can endure that small micro dose of this is frustrating. I have to shut it for the greater good for playing the long game down the road of

Darren Adams (:

I just lost my train of thought.

Darren Adams (:

You do the like so you choose your pain and suffering like you either have micro doses today that you get to choose or you wait for it because of basically at atrophy you let it you let the situation atrophy to the point that becomes so big that now it's forced pain and suffering on top of you. Yeah, that's probably the best we could go down a deep rabbit hole on that, but that's probably you have to struggle is going to find you.

If you don't create it yourself, it's going to show up in your life. If you just let your hand off the throttle, everything falls apart. If you don't do anything, if you own a home, you don't do any maintenance ever. At some point, the house just needs to be demolished and start over. If you don't do anything with your relationship, if you don't take any proactive activity on your shop or your business or your health, wealth, relationships, anything, everything atrophies to nothing. And so. You either choose the small.

dose that you get to choose today to make you a little stronger or you just let off the gas and let everything coast down to nothing and you get that struggle but you don't intentionally choose that. And to me that's one of the things that drives me is it's kind of a weird, probably a twisted way of looking at it but if I choose the pain that I go through I also get to choose the joy as well because there's always sunshine on the other side of the storm cloud. There's always...

you know, a rainbow after a storm. And there's always, everything in life is a double-edged sword. And so you have to choose what you're going to struggle with. You know, they say new levels, new devils, you know, everything, money solves money problems. It doesn't solve all the problems, it solves money problems. And then you're left with everything else. And I've seen that over and over again, where people, they make a lot of money, and all of a sudden, now they have the problem in their head, the story that their dad told them.

or their mom or their mother-in-law or you know, you're not smart, you're not strong, you're not good at math. We've all had stories of some sort, some negative stories spoken over us and the recipe to fix that is you have to intentionally put yourself through something that makes the abnormal normal. You have to make like...

Darren Adams (:

Sunday we got up at 5 a.m. I had three or four guys that met me there, started a little band. At 5 a.m. we started working out, not like a music band, but a band of guys, band of brothers, there we go. You're like, oh, music, what? So we started working out at 5 a.m. and we said we were gonna go for three hours. And so we just did a horrific three hour workout the weekend before we ran 15 miles with a weighted vest on.

Thomas Hays (:

Oh, okay. Either way.

Darren Adams (:

and we do that not because we're I don't do that I barely post about it at all I don't want any accolades or anything for it I do that because I don't want any music I don't want anything going on it is my time to deal with my inner dialogue what am I telling myself when I'm going through tough things when I'm stepping into the ice of you want to get better at firing people do ice baths man like

There's nothing that never is easy. It's never fun, it's never easy, but you realize the faster you get in, the faster you get out. The faster you get in and just take it, and you just jump in, you let that cold water come around you. You're struggling with firing people, you're struggling with having difficult conversations. Do something uncomfortable on the other side, like in a completely different area of life, and exercise that muscle of, I don't have to seek pleasure all day.

I'm going to seek what makes me stronger and seek to be respected instead of liked, loved, and praised and all that stuff. Anyway, I'll pause for a while.

Thomas Hays (:

No, that was, I mean, that's perfect. Editor, don't put that in. What I just said, keep all of what he said, yeah.

Darren Adams (:

Yeah.

Thomas Hays (:

Okay, I'm gonna go back in. Wow, Darren, I mean, it sounds like that the transformation made you unrecognizable from your former self.

physically you found how to overcome You know the pain the chronic pain you were in and it was through struggle It was through the uncomfortableness of getting up moving your body pushing it you know beyond what you thought it could and then you decided to take on more pain and you went to the The modern night program and you went through What was you know, probably physically the most demanding thing, you know, you'd ever experienced at that point

And and you didn't give up your you chose your suffering because you knew on the other side you were gonna be someone that you didn't recognize but in a good way and It's really clear to me just hearing your whole story that you know, that was a pivotal part in your life

Darren Adams (:

Yeah, that's great.

Thomas Hays (:

I'm curious, you know, you come back from the modern night program. Uh, you really have this revelation about what suffering can look like in, in how it can be leveraged for positive in your life. You have this revelation about flipping the switch and, you know, changing the narrative of what you believe about yourself when, when that, all that clicked, what did that do to your personal life and your shop?

Darren Adams (:

Oh so a lot so I think sometimes I don't see everything because I've been there for the whole bit of the journey. Um pictures are worth a thousand words. I have a picture Um a picture six months apart, uh right before right after that experience and If you know, I did send it to you but Most people when I show them the comparison

they think it's years apart. There is something that changes in a person's actual, there's like some scientific stuff behind this, but there's something that actually changes in a person's bone structure. You've all seen the look in a person's eye before and after going to war. And...

Darren Adams (:

I'm not even claiming anything close to what the military endures with death and suffering over there at all. But there's definitely something about going to battle with your inner dragon. And the way I know to teach that is if you...

If you think of a dragon and a bear and the dragon is, you know, the mythical beast in your head that is You're struggling against And it's loose like you're in you're in the building with it and it is just loose and running around When you're listening to it roar and you don't have it locked in a room

where you know where it's at and it's secure, it runs your life. And so, you know, to further on that, you've gotta speak to yourself and not listen to what's the racket going on in your head. Because we have so many thoughts, I don't think there's like 50,000 thoughts a day or something like that, and 90, 80, 90% of them are negative. We're just wired to see the risk. We're wired to see the downside. We're wired to see the problems.

And the bear is those things that you're walking on the path and then boom, this external opposition shows up. And so you, one of the ways you know.

that you it's a good time to keep moving forward is when the dragon is roaring in your head and the opposition is pushing against you that's probably a good time to keep the gas pedal mashed down because if you turn around and retreat you're going to go back to familiarity and you're going to have all those same sufferings but that's the roadblock to keep you from transformation so how's it been different um we

Darren Adams (:

We did, I think we had been in the 200 range for a long time, 200K a month. I was dealing, I was putting up with a whole lot of just really pathetic people in the shop. I was a people pleaser and I was just allowing a bunch of really bad behavior. And I just, my confidence went through the roof. My wife tells me all the time how different of a person I am.

That means a lot to me because she sees it. Um, I don't need her validation because and that might sound weird to say it firsthand, but I don't genuinely need anybody's validation Because if I give you the power to validate me, I give you the power to unvalidate me as well

So my validation comes from God and inside. Like if you tell me now, like I hate your guts and your worthless, like cool, you're just a human man and you're gonna be dead and you're never gonna come to my funeral and you don't matter. And I think that we give so much credit to people that aren't gonna be there for you. We listen to people that are just don't matter. We listen to people that have.

Aunt Josephine or whatever that has something to say about us. We listened to that and we take that into account when it's like, cool, you have an opinion. Great. I'm going to go over here. And we.

That ability to just let it roll off is really hard to come by. I think.

Darren Adams (:

too many of us shop owners, especially me early on, maybe some people don't struggle with this, but I think we care too much. We care too much what people think of us and what people say about us. Our ego and our identity is wrapped up with what other people say and not who we are. We don't have a relationship with the person in the mirror. We have a relationship with what other people say about the person in the mirror. And we don't really, it's like, no, I know that guy and I like him, he's a good guy.

And it sounds, you know, maybe sound interesting from a, from just saying that, but you have to have a conversation. You have to be able to look at yourself in the eye in the mirror and be like, I'm proud of that man. I'm proud of the person that that's or woman, you know, um, I'm proud of the person that person is, you know, that they have become. And I don't need someone else to come along and tell me, you know, really anything like it, it's, it's just words at that point. So, um, we went from in the shop and went from like.

250 that was in I went through that program in February and in August we broke $500,000 and we've been we've had a few months that dipped under 400 just mark it was a little weird we just trying to figure some stuff out but we've been we've been consistently in the 400s this year four to 450 often like that's just clicking along up there

And again, we're in the middle of nowhere. We're like, we're seven miles from a 9,000, 10,000 population town. We're three miles from a 900 population town. There's, it's just farm country out here. So, you know, we, we don't look like a lot. And when you walk in the shop doesn't feel like it's crazy busy. But we just have a lot of great people and

they do what they need to do. Systems are there, they're better than they've ever been. Like there's always room for improvement. Never peak is a core value of mine. The best is yet to come. But, you know, I'm super, there's kind of a blissfully dissatisfied. I'm super grateful for where we're at and how far we've come. But I also, I also see the potential of the future. And, you know, that's a, that's a very, I'm very grateful to be in that spot.

Darren Adams (:

where we're at now, relationships is probably the most, probably the even more important thing is it's funny how when you fix yourself, people start being attracted to you instead of beforehand.

people even, there's times people don't even notice you. But when you do the work inside yourself and you really, just the only way I know to say this, go to battle with yourself. You go to battle with your inner dialogue, you go to battle with who you are as a person, what you've told yourself and what you've allowed the racket to go on in your head. When you go to battle with that, in whatever fashion that looks like, whatever way that looks like, the right people start showing up.

And I've talked to some other shop owners and I'm like, dude, you keep getting donkeys in the barn because your barn is built for donkeys. If you're not, you don't have your shop built for thoroughbreds to come in and really perform. Everything is built around having mediocre people on staff. And when you level up as a person, a rising tide lifts all the ships. The law of the lid. Like if you're not.

pushing yourself to the next level, what will happen is the people that are growing and developing under you, they will become equal with you and then for them to continue to grow, they have to exit your company. So you're raising people up and people get you hear this story people gonna try man I hate training people because as soon as I get them kind of close to what they need they leave. Well, yeah, because you're not growing. You're not continuing to push yourself to the next and fight that next battle.

whether that's internal, external, facing the dragon, facing the chaos in the world, the crazy situations, if you're not facing that next battle and going to the next level, then you're not creating the gap for that person to continue to level up. And when they hit a ceiling and you're their ceiling, they're either gonna go around it or they're gonna fall back down. And so you don't want them to leave, so that means you must continue to grow. So I don't know if that...

Darren Adams (:

helps tie in with anything but it's just relationships on all fronts it's this crazy thing men want respect more than anything but

It's kind of like if you go into business to make money you'll never have money but if you go into business for a purpose or a cause or a passion the money will show up as a byproduct. It's kind of the same way if you're like I must be respected nobody's ever going to respect you but if you do the things that make you respect yourself and you lead yourself first other people start respecting you more and more as time goes on.

Darren Adams (:

a strategy I learned called wolf pack leadership and there's always somebody in the front in the middle in the back and The alpha is typically in the rear There's some lead people up front and there's so many great analogies out of that both from jumping into the team With you like in the trench jumping in the trenches with them Jumping in with the weak and the vulnerable That's where they put the young pups in the in the older ones of the group is in the middle and then they've got their strong forgers in the front

forge a path through the snow and then their alpha leader is at the very back and looking at the rear guarding the rear covering and if you're not in that place where you're actually protecting the people nobody's ever going to respect you because the moment that you don't protect them all the respect that you built just gets removed away from you. So anyway I just you know one of the one of the lines of you know they call it a creed one of the lines of the creed

Darren Adams (:

for the for the modern day night men themselves there's so many elements of that in I've got to protect my people from a wild customer situation the company and if I don't protect

Darren Adams (:

from a cancer inside the company. I'm not a great leader at all. So anyway, I don't know if you have any follow-up. I got off track again, I feel. Keep meandering on you.

Thomas Hays (:

No, it's really good, man. Real quick, editor, I'm just asking a question. What was the name of the degree that you got? Mm-hmm.

Darren Adams (:

Oh in college? I don't actually have like 120 credit hours but I don't have a degree. I studied um agronomy or plant science, uh animal science, electrical engineering, and manufacturing engineering.

Thomas Hays (:

Or what did you study? What was it called?

Thomas Hays (:

Etter, I'm going to go back in.

Thomas Hays (:

Taryn, I'm getting a picture here of what the result of your transformation is. I know you mentioned earlier that in school you studied science around plants and things like that and you've become a tree, a really tall mature tree that has wide branches and you have a covering over the people that you have influence over.

And I love what you said about as a leader, you have to continue to grow above those you lead or they're going to recognize, Hey, I'm at the same level as this guy I want to grow. I can't outgrow him. I'm out.

And so what you've done is really remarkable, man. And you are such a good example of when you do the work, and the work is different for each person, but it always involves some sort of pain and some sort of dealing with your demons or whatever you want to call it, dealing with false narratives, whatever that is for you, health, whatever.

Darren Adams (:

That's right.

Thomas Hays (:

not only is your life improved, but all the people that you influence, they are affected.

Uh, so Darren, I I'm so grateful for you spending the time giving us this insight. Uh, and I know that there's people listening that are having revelations. Um, and, and your, you know, influence is continuing to spread and I'm, you know, it's amazing to hear how quickly that grew the shop and what that's done. You know, I'm sure for your community and your employees and, and ultimately, you know, your family as well and the legacy that you're leaving.

Darren Adams (:

Yeah, that's super important to me is leaving more important things than money because again money only solves money problems but if you don't have any problem solving abilities

you're pretty you're pretty short-handed when it comes to life. So yeah that's there's a whole other conversation about legacy and what does that actually mean. I think a lot of people get confused as to what they're doing and they try to leave a ton of money and my perspective is probably very different on that. We'll see I'm pretty young I got a lot of time to figure that out I hope but we'll get there.

Thomas Hays (:

Absolutely, man. Well, Darren, I have one more question for you today. If you were a vehicle, what type of vehicle would you be?

Darren Adams (:

Okay.

Darren Adams (:

Great question.

If I was a vehicle, what type of vehicle would I be?

Darren Adams (:

Well, I've always had a...

Darren Adams (:

kind of an old soul in a young body. And so it would probably be something.

Darren Adams (:

I would probably be some sort of LS swapped classic vehicle. That's probably the best representation of who I would be and who I am. It's probably a lot of modern performance, but definitely some taste and eccentricities of the days gone by. How about that?

Thomas Hays (:

nailed it. I think it's great. Well, Darren, thank you so much again for spending some time with us and we'll have you back and talk more about some other things going on in your life. Actually, editor, I didn't like that close. I'm going to retake that.

Darren Adams (:

Absolutely. It's been great.

Thomas Hays (:

Well, Darren, thank you again for spending some time with us today. You've imparted a ton of wisdom and I'm so grateful.

Darren Adams (:

Thanks for having me on Thomas. It's been great. I had no idea I would enjoy this.

Thomas Hays (:

Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, you did great.

Darren Adams (:

Thanks.

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Success Leaves Clues: An Automotive Industry Podcast

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