“Culture is the DNA or soul of the organization. It’s how the company shows up.” – Tony Gareri Click to Tweet 

When it comes to scale, culture is king. You can’t successfully scale a business without having established core values to help build your team, and great internal culture to keep them for the long term. Tony Gareri is the CEO of Roma Moulding, widely considered the gold standard for incredible company culture. Matthew Bertulli is right there with him, famously managing to keep 10 of the original 12 employees in his company Demac MediaIn this episode the three of us sit down and have a frank conversation about everything from seeing A-players move on, action items for creating great internal culture, working with family and spouses, and why they chose to scale their businesses.

Have your notebook handy because this one’s a gold mine…

 

Show Notes:

13:25 –

Q: At what point did your wife transition out of the company?

A: (Matthew Bertulli)

  • We “retired” her out of the business because she got uncomfortable with how big the business was getting.
  • It just didn’t work long-term.

23:30 –

Q: What’s your longest standing employees?

A: (Tony Gareri)

  • He still has employee #1.
  • He did this by creating employing loyalty through a great company culture.

41:00 –

Q: How hard was the transition for you having to take over your father’s business?

A: (Tony Gareri)

  • Very hard… Tony’s father thought that “work had to be hard, and if work doesn’t hurt then you’re not doing it right.”
  • This was in 2008, which was horrible timing.
  • Tony knew that the business was failing so he proposed that he should take over his dad’s position.

47:50 –

Q: How did you effectively take over the business and change the company’s culture?

A: (Tony Gareri)

  • He was a skeptic about company culture at first.
  • He knew that if he could make people feel great coming to work every day that he could build something special.

50:01 –

Q: Do you miss the days of the familial feeling you had with a smaller team?

A: (Matthew Bertulli)

  • There are serious pros to having a small team.
  • It was a lot of hard work having that small of a team, but he still has nostalgia for the early days.
  • If there’s a way to grow the business without growing the team, then that’s the way to go.

53:30 –

Q: Are you nostalgic for the early days of MMT?

A: (Jayson Gaignard)

  • The size of MMT hasn’t changed and never will.
  • MMT scales according to the caliber of people, not the actual size.

58:25 –

Q: In regards to scale, how big should you get? For how long? And how far?

A: (Matthew Bertulli)

  • That’s the hardest question to answer, because it’s always changing.

1:04:25-

Q: How do you decide on the direction you want your life and business to go in?

A: (Matthew Bertulli)

  • Simple is really difficult right now.
  • This question is answered based on what you value and how do you get more of what you value.

1:08:12 –

Q: How has Demac grown to this point?

A: (Matthew Bertulli)

  • It’s been painful…
  • We built a lot of remote teams and have started to implement a formal structure.
  • Matthew got a lot of mentorship from different industries that he was able to implement.

1:13:35 –

Q: What are the sacrifices of scale?

A: (Matthew Bertulli)

  • I love what I have, so he thinks the sacrifices were worth it.
  • The thing is that I don’t get to talk to those customers that I once loved. I’ve basically been kicked out of my own business.

 

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