Supply Chain Now Episode 516
“Practice what you preach and never forget what got you here…”
Michael Neme, aka Midwest Mike, is a sales and Supply Chain fanatic. Not a guru that talks at you, but a legit practitioner of the art of sales in Supply Chain. In this episode of Logistics & Beyond powered by Supply Chain Now, Mike shares his mindset with host Jamin Alvidrez, and some of the keys to his passion: Supply Chain Consultative Sales.
Jamin Alvidrez (00:08):
Welcome. Today’s episode, we’re joined by Michael or Mike Nimi mid-west Mike. Some of you may know him as he is a tattoo lineup. He has tattoos that say real is rare. Your silence will not protect. You never forget what got you here and love is my weapon, which those are all, some pretty strong statements, but it lets you know, Mike, he’s a supply chain. Professional works for global trans right now. And you probably have seen online his videos doing sales calls. He is a student of the game. And today I want to get into his mindset, figure out what makes him successful, why he’s successful and how he goes about attacking the, a wide world of logistics sales and see what we can learn from him. So what’s up, Mike? How you doing?
Michael Neme (01:06):
Pretty good, dude. What’s going on?
Jamin Alvidrez (01:09):
Yeah, thank you for joining us. You know, I consider you a friend and I really enjoy every time we get to talk kind of you think different, man. I mean that in a good way, there’s no backhanded way there. And, and so I’m just looking forward to kind of asking you questions in this format. So even selfishly I could learn from how you look at logistics.
Michael Neme (01:32):
No, I appreciate that, man. I mean, I think that, I mean, like you said, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re friends outside of this and we always, you know, shooting ideas off each other. So we’re always learning, man. I don’t think I’m anything special. I just love supply chain logistics, way more than probably any, uh, anybody should.
Jamin Alvidrez (01:55):
Well, you know, I, I don’t throw that around when I say you’re a student of the game. I really mean that. And I think to your, to your point of, you know, we all have things about us that are special, but man, nothing can substitute just doing the work and like being a student, have you always been that way where you you’ll totally immerse yourself into whatever you’re interested in at the moment?
Michael Neme (02:20):
Yeah. To a point is probably unhealthy. What do you mean by that? I don’t know. Old DP. I remember I was being called up for a president’s club humblebrag, but no, I forgot what he said exactly what he said, but he was just like at, for those of you that did you know that? No, Nimi, you know, that dude is Liz and breeze act company, but to the point where it’s probably unhealthy, you know, and I was just like, yeah, probably, but to your point, I mean, have I always been like this? Yeah. I mean, I’ve always been a type of person where it’s like burn the boats. Right. If I am going into it, like, is that the next tattoo? It shouldn’t be, just get a, I should just get a leg of a leg of motivational quotes, but no, I just always thought like, there’s just always more you can learn and you know, it’s like, even like I look back at like, I’ve always been somewhat healthy.
Michael Neme (03:23):
Right. Let’s get off the top of the supply chain for a second, but I’ve always been pretty healthy. But dude, I remember when I got out of college, I took it to the next level. Like, I, I mean, it was like, I was, it was like, you didn’t even want to go out to dinner with me. Cause it was just our breakfast with me. Cause I was like, is there a way to get like no oil on my aways? Like it was just like, almost like, but yeah. So that’s, I mean, I’m just literally burned the boats. I am just always wanting to, to see chasing, to get to my full potential right. Of something. I want to be the best at. Yeah. I want to be the best, but I’ve always wanted to like constantly just, I don’t know. Yeah. Improve. I mean, it’s just hard. It’s really hard sometimes to explain that mindset, but end of the day burn the boats. I’m going all in. It’s no hat. There’s no, there’s no half in half out.
Jamin Alvidrez (04:12):
I like that. And we’ll circle back to that as well. And I can imagine it is hard to explain because it’s just who you are. Right. So let’s get to know who you are a little bit better by starting. Uh, let’s start with the childhood. Where’d you grow up?
Michael Neme (04:25):
Uh, Michigan. What part of Michigan? Everyone says Detroit. Right. But no, uh, well funny. I did, uh, I did live in Detroit for like six years of my life, but um, McComb township, like East side anchor Bay at, for anyone that knows anything about Michigan, but yeah, I lived out there, uh, went to school at central Michigan fire up and yeah, that’s where I where’s my childhood.
Jamin Alvidrez (04:54):
You ever get in any fights on the playground when you were young?
Michael Neme (04:59):
I mean probably a couple, but I mean, if, if you look at me now it’s like a guy that has loved this as a weapon tattooed on him. It’s a lose lose for anybody that wants to fight someone that has that mindset. Right. You beat a guy up that literally lives that love is my weapon mindset or you get beat up by the guy that lives, that mindset. It’s not a win-win so no, I mean, I could probably bet in a couple of fights when I was say it’s a weird question, but like when I was younger, but now dude, I love it. Like I don’t have energy for negativity like that.
Jamin Alvidrez (05:32):
I can, uh, I can dig that for sure. You ever, uh, have any confrontations or were you the one patching things up and bringing different groups together and I’m talking to elementary school style. I’m not sure.
Michael Neme (05:45):
Oh, I was like, uh, what do you want to do to me? Like it throughout my life? Yeah. I’ve always been so diverse. Like I have some friends that are like to the, I say gangster and you look at me, I’m like your standard white person. And it’s like, but then it’s like, you can flip a totally opposite and I’m hanging out with, you know, hippies that are, you know, protesting and stuff like that. I just had a, such a diverse profile and I think it all started from, I mean, my mom even said it, she goes, you know, I remember like when I was like five, I was like, I want to meet two people in edit. And that is kind of where two new people a day and had, and have some type of enlightened conversation, whether it’s 30 seconds or 20 minutes. Right. And if I see that person again or not just always, like, I was just always curious of, you know, Hey, what’s up. Like I am that like to the point was like, shut up, dude. Nope. We don’t want to talk to you. I’m on an elevator and I want to talk to you. So my range of friends, people I surround myself with are so broad.
Jamin Alvidrez (06:51):
So let’s go back to that real quick. So you, what you’re saying is when you were five years old thereabout, roughly. Yeah. You were so cognizant of networking at that young age that you set a goal for yourself. Uh there’s so many things right. In that you set a goal for yourself one and then the goal was two new people a day to engage with.
Michael Neme (07:11):
Yeah, it was roughly, I mean, it could have been, I say five to make myself look older, but it could have been, I probably was a little bit older, but like, yeah. I mean that was,
Jamin Alvidrez (07:18):
It would be a cool story even for 35 still to be that intentional about it. So I mean,
Michael Neme (07:25):
It’s like, that was just always, yeah, that’s always been my goal. And even to this day, like, I mean, it’s funny is like my, my girlfriend now is like, she even said that she’s like everywhere. I turned my head, we’d go out. I turned my head and there he is making friends with everybody talking to somebody and it’s just like, I don’t know. There’s just the world is IB. It sounds cheesy, man. But like the world is so big. Like I just love, I want it. I want like, even if I, I want to meet people, I want to know how everybody thinks what their opinions are. And I’d rather surround myself. A lot of times with people that I know they say surround yourself with people with the same mindset or growth, that’s fine. But a lot of people out there that don’t share or that, you know, I might disagree with on their beliefs or opinions, they’re still a mindset of they want to grow too. And I think it’s, you know, it’s, it’s really intriguing to me to like branch out to those types of people and really see how they think like no opinions wrong, or even if it is wrong, there’s still a reason why they believe that way. And I want to know if that makes sense.
Jamin Alvidrez (08:27):
It makes total sense. And I really appreciate that, that sort of curiosity, to get to know people why they think the way they do instead of just shutting them down of like, Oh, I don’t think like that. And then shutting down, I think is something that’d be really healthy for us all to, to copy from you. So a favorite toy as a child
Michael Neme (08:49):
Legos or puzzles.
Jamin Alvidrez (08:52):
Nice. So, okay. There’s still that, that builder mindset, um, a hundred
Michael Neme (08:57):
Percent. A hundred percent.
Jamin Alvidrez (09:00):
Yeah. So you had mentioned something to me before that you, cause we’ve kind of talked about this a little bit. How do you feel about instructions that came with the Legos?
Michael Neme (09:10):
Didn’t look at them and why is that? I don’t know. It’s like if I think about, if I, now I know it’s, you know, I just always thought like, I’m going to figure out a way to put this together. There’s no white way right now. It’s like, I look at it. It’s like, how can I do this? You know, I was probably thinking about that and I’m going to do this more efficiently. There’s gotta be an easier way. There’s gotta be shortcuts. Like even to the point where it’s like, I don’t know why I’m just going to go with it. Cause it came to my mind. I’m a huge deer Hunter, right? Grew up in the Midwest, big into bow hunting, even like building my tree stands. I remember I’d be like, and there was times where I was like, , why did I throw that? Those instructions away? But it’s like, I just wanted to figure it out. I wanted to figure it out. I wanted to figure out how to, you know, there’s, there’s gotta be an easier way or more efficient way to put this puzzle together. These labels together, maybe build something. I didn’t even know that, that I could build from this, this puzzle, this as like a bill of . But I, I, you know, I built an air, but when I’m with it, you know, so it’s like, I just love that type of work.
Jamin Alvidrez (10:12):
You were meant for supply chain before even knew it supply chain was.
Michael Neme (10:17):
Yeah. I didn’t know. Yeah. Right. I just knew about . When I think about shipping, I was like, nobody, I never went to school and said, Hey, I’m going to be in logistics. Hell. When I first started, I was like, okay. So wait. So in shipping, like that’s what I knew about shipping was removed. You’re moving to pocket FedEx,
Jamin Alvidrez (10:37):
I think. Yeah. I think that’s how it starts for a lot of us. So then how have you found that, that, that mindset, that curiosity, and then also that drive to find a different way or your own way, uh, or a more efficient way, as you said to build something, how have you found that’s translated to your success in logistics?
Michael Neme (10:58):
Bringing more to the table? Cause let’s face it, man. There’s a word commodity. We are, I mean, in India I would say in an industry that’s such a commodity. How do you, how do you, you know, make a, make a splash with the masses? And that’s it, it’s like always like, you know, even when I’m not going to say I was like this and I’m still mad, no like industry guru, but like even in the beginning, even though I might have not, I have not, I didn’t know anything about what I know now. I just knew that we could save you money. I think I posted something about this, but how do I get that meeting? Right. That’s like, how do I step outside? And my brain started working in the sales process in the beginning. It’s like, okay, I can worry about all, you know, I’ll, I’ll do that on the backend.
Michael Neme (11:45):
Think about solutions and what really is moving around in the supply chain. But I need to get a meeting first. Right. So while people were just doing the standard, like cold calling door to door, dude, I was dropping voicemails at 2:00 AM. And to be like, I mean, and again, it sounds insane, but I mean, I am insane. It’s like, you know, and so it was like figuring out ways. Like I was, you know, if I got ghosted or I wanted, I really wanted a meeting, I would send it, I would look up like gifts online to get like there was this one Africa, this one company that it was, you know, you can buy these, uh, like balls. Right. And I had a couple of meetings with this, uh, uh, CEO of something like a large company. And I wrote a note on this ball or wrote the note on the ball with a Sharpie.
Michael Neme (12:34):
It said, let’s get the ball rolling. Like things like, things like that. You know? So it’s like always been my mind. It’s always been already tell it’s always working. And I think it’s, you know, I say it probably I’m ADHD. I know how to, you know, and a lot of people won’t look at that and they’re like, always like, you know, add people. You think they they’re jumping across the walls and all this. And it’s like, no, I’m not like that. It’s just my brain is I utilized it and used it as a strain. My brain is always working and it’s definitely got some downturns on it. Cause again, my brain is always moving, but it’s always with that mindset. Like what can I do different next? What can I do next? What can I do next? What can I do next? What, what are these people not doing? And that goes back to also observing I’m the big observer in how everybody is moving,
Jamin Alvidrez (13:23):
Man. There’s a lot of quality points in there. One thing you said that that really resonated with me is you had mentioned really always thinking and being very intentional and trying to think, not just categorically following what everyone else is doing or what the, you know, comparing it back to Legos, what the directions or the instructions say there was trying to find a different way. And, and I think that could be really helpful for, for some of us to adopt.
Michael Neme (13:53):
It definitely comes with negatives. I’ll tell, I’ll say that. I mean, sure. Oh it does. But I mean, I mean, I mean, I’m not, you’ve said it, people should adopt it or you know, can benefit from it. Yeah. I just always feel a little weird with them. It’s always a weird feeling to go on a ramp. It’s always a weird feeling talking about yourself. Right. It’s like, I always feel like who the heck am I right? And don’t get me wrong. I’m confident and whatnot. I know my, I know what I’m bringing, but I don’t know. It’s just kind of always, I’m not that person you compliment and I’m just like, you would think that would just like from the masses. I always said like, people probably think I have an ego, which we all do to some extent, but I’m always like, Oh, did they just say I looked at today? Or I’m just like, that person was like, I don’t want the, now I’m a, nobody
Jamin Alvidrez (14:38):
I can empathize with you. There. It is sometimes a little uncomfortable to talk about ourselves. So let’s give you an out then for a moment, a little reprieve, but it is your mind. We want to understand, let’s give you a chance to brag on someone else who is, you know, you can go, who is the biggest or one of your first mentors,
Michael Neme (14:57):
Don Layton, Sean Layton. I would not be what I am hands down today. Like it not to get all of a sudden. I know, but that dude changed the way that dude is just a hands down. That dude is great. He is someone that I always say is, you know, in a manager’s role. Right. And when I first moved over, when I first started at worldwide express, he wasn’t even a manager. I had a manager for like two months, but you know, behind the scenes, he was already getting ready to move. Sean was a senior rep. I looked up to him. I remember he took me on my field ride. Cool, dude, I saw this guy that I was just like, man, this guy’s a stud and he’s always ripping the bones. Like bye. Like I just, I miss those days. But so he kinda at first was just like, came along with me, showed me the ropes.
Michael Neme (15:49):
But like then he came into manager role, like three months onto my trip to my son and my career. And the thing about Sean put aside the fact that he, he gives the reason why I’m here today and that’s scaled on so many different levels. He’s the guy that I’ll tell. Can I tell the story? Absolutely. So, you know, the first six months of my career, five months of my career, I think it was, you know, I started, I started like late in 2014, but like I, I was, I was the next day. I always say like back Sean Layton at that point. Well, I had a very serious, I was engaged. I had a very serious, uh, relationship and we all have those one moments that just kind of mess our mess, our hat up, you know? And it could be anything for anybody. Well, I remember, you know, everyone’s hiring on me and then that ends and I let that, I don’t get sob story, but I let that take a bet, affected me on so many different levels to where I didn’t sell a deal. I didn’t sell the deal for like five months. And I never knew this
Jamin Alvidrez (16:58):
Just to make, just to make sure I follow the story here. Cause this is, this is great. So your, your relationship, you had some personal things go on that then bled over into your, you allowed to bleed over into your work
Michael Neme (17:10):
Hundred percent. So you get this new, new guy hired on everyone’s high on them. They’re saying, you know, Hey, he’s the next show and late. And then all of a sudden December comes right before the new year. And you’re really kind of starting to get a little traction. Boom. And I do too, just like ruin. Like, and it wasn’t like I lost my work ethic. Cause that was the thing is, but long story short that right there, what he did this dude literally put his own job on the line. I should have been fired. I wasn’t selling anything. I was letting emotions. I get it. You know, people are you’re, you’re making, you gotta make people money. Right. And you can’t. I could sit there and yet stinks that I had to go through that, but I would have understood, but I didn’t, I me, he never told me the guy that the mole, this story is even just being a good human and knowing that this is what a manager need is like, is anybody can be high on someone when they’re making, when they’re doing great for that person, it takes it.
Michael Neme (18:10):
There’s very few people that still sit there and tell you, put their job on the line and say, I said it from day one. He’s going to be the best thing in this office. And I still say it today. He’s just needs to, he just needs to break, please. He just needs to break this emotive. He’s an emotional person. He wears his heart on his sleeve, which is good and bad. I ended up turning it up just below in and out the water the next six months on never I’ll, I’ll tell him this today. I’ll never forget that I’ve been throughout my career to this day. I posted a thing about it. He still gives me advice. Doesn’t benefit him. And the dude is just like it almost like not even we get, I get a little sun and that whole button like this dude is just like, no, I actually get sad. Actually give a little of a sudden meadow. But like, yeah, that dude shaped my sales career more than I can even say.
Jamin Alvidrez (19:06):
I think that’s completely legit and reasonable that you would be sentimental. I mean, that type of leadership and mentorship is rare. And so when you come across it appreciating it, the way you clearly are, I think is, is huge. What’s, what’s something specific that we could learn. Uh, we as an audience, what can we learn and copy from, from Sean? What’s maybe something simple and specific that we could copy that, that Sean Layton taught you,
Michael Neme (19:38):
Practicing what you preach or never forgetting what got you here. Like every manager, I think not every, I always do you think it’s fair to say that like every manager is not for everybody, right? Like some managers might kill a rat, right. That, you know, could it potentially scale in another with another manager, but Sean, to me, I knew that he had the, he had the credit. Right? I would say it’s like, what I do. I want to go to you get those people that have never been award and they do college. And maybe I’m not, I don’t know the depth of that topic, but to the more, the point is like they go to war. I don’t want to follow someone that in the battle that has never been in battle. Right. That just says, Hey, go fight. I want to, um, I’m going, I’m going with the person that has done it before, because they have done it before.
Michael Neme (20:28):
Right. And it wasn’t like, he just literally just from day one had, did what he said he did. And he also never, it was coolest. Cause we, we both grew up together. Right. He was a new manager and we’ll talk, we laugh about it. Like after up a ton of times with me and so by, but there’s a learning experience. But something that I always thought was good is he knew what I needed. Even when I didn’t need it. He knew that, okay, I can’t really tie the student down. He said it he’s, he, you know, he’s different to me. I’m going to let, I’m going to, I’m going to give him some rope. Cause if I don’t and knowing that, just realizing that, you know, working with each rat, cause he had a team obviously after, right later in his career and everyone was different, but he just had a really good way of one practicing what he preached, bringing on new ideas and really just letting you kind of find your way to your own self. If I should add that. Yeah.
Jamin Alvidrez (21:35):
Tell me if this is fair, but what I’m hearing from some of the stories and examples, you’re saying that I want to copy from Sean or be reminded of, is not treating everyone the same, not managing, meaning, managing each person very specific to their personality, their needs, their strengths, their weaknesses, not a one size fits all type of approach to management,
Michael Neme (21:59):
Hands down. Like I was the person that, you know, Sean had to say shut the F up. And I knew it’s like, okay, like he knew he had and where I wasn’t, you know, he knew he had to be dominant at times, but he also knew that there was like when to do it and when not to do a little bit like, okay, I don’t need to get on him for leaving cuts all over his desk because he’s not in that mindset right now. We’re not like that’s going to come later when it becomes like a manager. He can’t be just doing things like that, but he just knew how to handle it.
Jamin Alvidrez (22:32):
Yeah. Thank you very much for, for sharing all that. I can definitely tell how much it means to you along the same lines you had a post the other day that I thought was beautiful and really is something that I have come to respect about you. This is along the same lines of a mentorship or coaching where it does not only have to come from a quote unquote manager or leadership role. Can you tell us the story about, and I apologize if we get this wrong, it was a, a gal who was, was she a manager office manager. Okay. So this gal is an office manager and yet she had a giant impact on your career and you were able to see her as an individual, not just look at the title and say, Hey, what can I learn from this person? Talk to me about that and that, that approach and how that’s benefited you. And
Michael Neme (23:26):
I just really noticed, like we do these trainings and April would always be doing like our Excel spreadsheets for the sales team and everything. And I was like, you know, I need, I wanted to, you know, I was, I should say, I’m pretty analytical, but not to the point where I can literally bust out pivot tables and really maximize like Excel with formulas. And she was, had a master’s degree, super smart. And I think a lot of people just slept on her. Right. And I just took, I mean, she helped us a ton, but I just said, listen, if you mind, if I pick your brain on these excels, we did an Excel thing training and she spearheaded it in the beginning, like both brought on someone else, like an outsider in our office. But she was like, literally schooling this person with some questions.
Michael Neme (24:19):
And I was like, dude, her husband at the time was like, they were just smart people. And I was like, man, this is someone I know I could like, that will help me. And you changed it. Like I literally would, if I could, there was nonstop sitting with April, sitting with April sitting with April. So I’m not, I mean, she did, she loved her job. Everybody treated her well and all that. Like she was like family, but like while most just thought of her as I let me, can you set, you know, send me some slips. I don’t need her to do, I don’t need her to take the trash out for me. Right. I want to use her to her full advantage. And if she’s willing to share her expertise with, in this case, Excel numbers, I’m all yours. And got it. You know, I posted on that post where I was just like, you know, I was meeting with a lot of CFOs and I just remember it was, looks like him laughing.
Michael Neme (25:18):
And I was like, it was, it was actually funny. We were going to lose the account. And a lot of people were like, don’t say anything. Like don’t say anything. And I knew that he was wrong. The CFO is wrong with his data. He wasn’t, you know, I’ll go in low adapt. He wasn’t looking at the inbound stuff. So he was saying, Hey, cost per pound, isn’t adding up. And I was like, that’s also what I knew. It was like, y’all would have to not, they could like you, cause he did because I threw the pitch out where I was like, listen, you trust me. And then I finally, I was like scared of this, boom, here’s a pivot table. The cost per pound is accurate and you’re just not factoring in all your inbound shipments. And he just, literally, I remember him looking at me, just laughing and then going into when the hell does a salesperson know what a pivot table,
Jamin Alvidrez (26:07):
That’s such a good example because we all have those Aprils in our office or in our lives that maybe, you know, if we’re not careful, you just look at a title and forget to find out what we can learn from them and, and get to know them more in depth. So that is, that’s a great way to approach people is, uh, not as a title, but as a person, an individual. And sometimes, you know, that can be tough as we get going through our day, our office life, you just kind of get used to someone’s given role and forget to look at them even outside of that. So yeah, I know, I preach
Michael Neme (26:44):
A lot about like executive executive. That’s not me saying nobody’s, you know, they’re the smartest or not. They just get they’re the ones making the decisions. So that’s, so that’s the reason why I’m reaching that. But like I don’t treat, I treat everybody in the company the same. Right. I mean, and I know that’s a cliche quote, like treat that CEO, like you are treat the janitor, like you would treat the CEO or vice versa, but not really. It’s like, there’s a lot of people that get slept on that. I took advantage. I didn’t want to take advantage, but I realized Hackman, these people are very smart, smarter than me. I’m going to surround myself with these people. They knew things that I maybe I don’t see in it. And being able to be so heavy in, you know, sales and, and having a, uh, analytical background, but yet not the person that, you know, typically would have an analytical background. You would think of like that sits in a dark room and just crunches numbers. So having both those right. And I, and again, I’m not the, the they’re far more people that, you know, are data savvy and just data savvy. But I was able to blend those two together and it’s really helped me in my career.
Jamin Alvidrez (27:52):
That type of humility and self-awareness is huge. And, and I appreciate you approach people with that curious and growth mindset. That’s something we can all benefit from. You do a, uh, quite a few posts where you’re recording or taking a video of you making sales calls. Is that something you’ve always done? And why do you do that?
Michael Neme (28:16):
Yes, I could probably, I probably have a million video that is not nothing but, uh, no. Yeah. A lot of videos I’ve always reported myself. Like even when I first started my career, I would always, I still play today. I am a, how do I put this animated? I should say, mannerisms, you stay be all over here. And I always said, okay, I wanted it to control my mannerisms. Right. I wanted to know how my body worked, language, my facial expressions, facial expressions, craziest to the T Rouse. Like that looked just like weird. And like, I was like, yeah, either way. I was so nitpicky and critiquing myself to again, take my mannerisms and begin to take my mannerisms from like throwing my hands up like this, just to like, if I watch them now and it’s more like controlled. Right. And it takes time and you really don’t, you can’t get better if you don’t have, if you’re not looking at like gang tape.
Michael Neme (29:10):
Right. Everybody, you know, I look at it as I look at it as a sport. And should I said that what was good? What was bad? What was so yes, I do always like if I can, I will always post videos or not post, but for myself take that role plays. And it’s just interesting to me. I, like you said, you say student of the game, it’s like, again, I just don’t understand it. And I literally read that Dan, I live and breathe it in. I am. I know I’m probably insane to a lot of people, but do, this is me and this is who I am. And I love mastering. I’ll never master this crap of, I don’t even know what I’m really trying to master, to be honest with you, but I’m always looking to just get better at what I’m, what I’m doing in my industry right now.
Jamin Alvidrez (30:02):
I love that because that, that kind of passion and drive is, is so rare. When did you, and I’ll just call it what it is. When did you fall in love with logistics?
Michael Neme (30:16):
This is like a funny question. Like, I don’t, like, I don’t have a fun question, but it’s just like, I don’t even know if I love logistics. Like I just, I don’t, I just don’t even, I can’t even really pinpoint why I think it’s just because it’s always moving. It’s always crazy. But I think at some point it’s funny is because I always say is like, I think it’s love sales at, at a point. Cause I’ve always kind of been, I don’t want to say what was me because I was never liked though. Like, but I have always felt like it was always like kind of an underdog, right. It was always like, ah, he’s a one-off right. And I think a lot of people think of underdog and they think of like, doesn’t do well. Right. That’s not true either. It was a different type of underdog.
Michael Neme (30:59):
And I think it started with like for instance, first came into work and it was like, I had long, long hair. I was a little bit quote unquote called goofy. Well, people take him seriously. And I just had this into this and it’s sit like this, sit chip on my shoulder where it was just like, I am constantly ready to prove someone wrong. And it’s just in my head. I don’t got to flex it. I don’t want to say it. I know it. And that I think is what initially drove me to just sales in general. Right. Just proving it’s like, Oh, you don’t think I can set the meeting with that billion dollar company, CFO. I’m goofy. All right. I’m putting in, I’m putting in a year, I’m getting chills because it’s like, that’s what drove me. And then just, it just so happened that I started that sales career and that passion in supply chain.
Michael Neme (31:54):
And then I was just like, I’m taking this batch and now it’s like, Oh, he’s not the most funding is I think about it that some of these people that used to tell me like that, where the quote unquote numbers, people, business savvy. And I will, I will literally walk circles around them right now. And I laugh about it because it’s like, and now I just, I guess I dove into really the supply chain aspect of it too. You know how everything works. And I don’t know, I’m ranting right now. So I got to take a step back, but it’s like it, sales is what drove this passion that which led is led into flagging.
Jamin Alvidrez (32:33):
So the PA the passion is, is sales and yeah. Yeah. I like it. So let’s talk about that for a minute, because I actually think it does not get talked about a lot, and that is having a chip on your shoulder. We hear athletes talk about it a lot, but when it comes to, to sales or a professional level, it’s something that we kinda kind of sweep under the rug or don’t act like we have, I a thousand percent operate with a chip on my shoulder and you clearly do. And I love it. Yeah. So talk to me about that, where what’s the chip on your shoulder and have you always had that?
Michael Neme (33:10):
Yeah, I mean, it’s just, just, like I said, it’s like, you know, when people think of underdog, they automatically assume, like not talented, I’ll say it probably I’m if it naturally talented is a thing I got that, you know, I’m your typical salesperson you would look at? I don’t believe in natural talent, but I’m just saying, so it wasn’t like that.
Jamin Alvidrez (33:35):
So we’re, we w we each, your we’ll say born with some natural talents to some yeah.
Michael Neme (33:41):
Yeah. I mean, yeah. Like, I mean, maybe that will STEM from, like, I started early and wanted to meet two new people. Right. But I think that, again, natural talent, those people that say I’m a people’s person. Okay. I just have a, we, it’s just a weird vibe on that because it’s just like, I don’t, you have to work on sales. But I think that the ship started when it was just like, yeah. Through, it was like, you know, I, I don’t even know, like really, I don’t even, maybe it was just this, uh, subconsciously or, you know, I, I just self thought in my head, I was an underdog or just had this random chip on my shoulder. And then it led into my career where it was like, cause I am, I hate saying it, but it’s like, I guess I am different.
Michael Neme (34:24):
And, you know, to the point where it’s like, it’s like, he’s goofy and I can be goofy as hat he’s really open. Right. And that’s like a weird thing to people. Like, I think it’s good to be, I forgot her name, but she talks about like, you know, being vulnerable. I was very, like, I was, I’ll tell you everything. And people used to judge that like internally in my company. And it was just like, dude, that hurts though, too. Right. And I could sit here and say that I got that. I’m tough on this. It’s a hard road. I don’t think anybody ever realizes, like, I’m killing it. Right. Making great money. But that is still hard. Right. It’s like knowing that these people are saying these things about you and you know, I, you gotta have, I don’t know. I just turned that into, like, I get choked up a little bit, but like, I just turned that into like motivation. And it was just like, I had this sick desire. Sorry. I just, I’m not thinking about like other things, but I had this like sick desire to just like, prove everyone off. Just like a mother cry about the grind bypass.
Jamin Alvidrez (35:29):
No, I really appreciate you being this open and authentic with us because we, we can all learn so much from this. So what would be some advice or lessons learned? So you, you’re definitely talking about some of the pains of living a transparent and open life. And especially as we’re having to put more of ourselves out there on, on social platforms and, and grow in our careers and be put ourselves out there, be open. And that, that takes some bravery because man, I’m with you, it, it hurts to get talked about it. It hurts to, to put yourself out there, like we can, we don’t have to act like, uh, all Billy bad-ass is right. Like,
Michael Neme (36:15):
And I mean, again, if people like, don’t worry about other people control what you can control and did I believe that? Right. But I was thinking about this other day and it’s just like, dude, like, I think that the biggest thing is you just can say that, but it still sucks. Right? And there’s going to be like massive amounts of time in your career. I don’t care who you are that you can tell yourself to control what you want to control. Don’t worry about other people. It’s , dude. I it’s true. And figure out how you can do more of that and not let things like really tie you down that you can’t control, but dude, be your human and know that you have to just embrace that too. And then figure out a way to turn that into motivation. And just in my case, proving everyone wrong. And I’m not close there yet. I’ve done. I’ve had little wins, but it’s common dude. And I’m like, literally it’s just a good feeling to finally start really like, like it’s hard to say, but like really just say feeling yourself, but like starting to really like eight years in believing in like, okay, this is what it’s all for. So it’s crazy that I’m like emotional about this. I mean, I’m a numbers person, but like
Jamin Alvidrez (37:32):
I don’t find it crazy at all. We’re talking about him.
Michael Neme (37:36):
Oh, you know, it’s like, most people you do do this . Like dude, most people do this stuff like for, I mean, and I’m not do live your life the way you want to live your life. Right. I don’t care if you want to work, don’t want to put effort into it. That’s fine. It’s not for everybody working hard is not for everybody. I don’t advise that. I mean, I don’t think I don’t need people to stay up for 24 hours because they got so excited about learning how to price things. Right. So it’s like, I don’t expect that, but it’s just like, it, it’s just, this is my life and I love it. And I just want to, you know, it’s like, I just, it’s good. Things are happening. It’s just nice to, it’s sad that it had to be like, this is what motivates you. Right. There’s it’s almost a little bit sad where it’s like, dude, you got so many of these people that just like, literally talk so much and don’t do anything. And that’s what I had to motivate me. Like I don’t want not the best way to get motivated, but I’m gonna use it as fire. So what would be your advice? Cause there’s a guy
Jamin Alvidrez (38:36):
Or gal out there listening to this right now. Who’s in a spot where they’re at their company. Maybe starting to put themselves out there, but then they’ve gotten some, some judgment. I mean, I know when I’ve, when I’ve at different times posted things as simple as on LinkedIn and really kind of showed myself, people would be like, Oh wow, that’s Stu just little comments, right. That, and it eats you of like, man, should I fall back and be a little bit more like everyone else or wait for other people to start putting themselves out there. What would be your advice to, uh, you know, someone out there right now who knows in their heart of hearts that they’re holding back a little bit of who they are and they’re just going 80 or 90% putting themselves out there, but speak to what and, and you started to at the end there, what amazing benefits there can be when you go 100 and he, you know, put yourself out there, come what may
Michael Neme (39:36):
Easy to just say be authentic. Right. But I think that what it looks like, you could just tell like true, authentic people like you can, and I’m not talking about political views, your opinions, but just someone that’s just like, it’s just, I would just say go like I don’t, that’s a hard question that isn’t really, that’s a really hard question if I like, cause I, cause I do care so deeply about what we’re talking about. I didn’t want to just get some watered down version of you.
Jamin Alvidrez (40:05):
Yeah. Because being you, that’s the thing like being you being authentic.
Michael Neme (40:13):
Yeah. And you need to realize and be okay with that. But I would just say is like, I guess, are we talking to the persons out there that, you know, maybe we’ll say underdog or we’re just, you know, knows they have like this they’re watering themselves down and pull up, let me take a step back. People that like, I always say be you, but just realize that some things that being, you might scream, but still I’d rather get screwed. It’d be comfortable. And just, it is such a nice relief to be you. But I would say this is, that’s how you’re going to step outside the box and don’t let any, like, there’s just so many people are telling you what to be to look this way. Act this way I am tatted up. I’ve wore suits, head to toe. That’s fine. I liked suits all that, but it’s like, I never quit. I never just start, just go with it. I know this is like, so watered down. I wish like,
Jamin Alvidrez (41:14):
So what I’m hearing, I don’t find watered down because actually I think even the, and I mean this respectfully, the messiness and the how it’s kind of hard to corral. This shows people that even someone like you, who’s very authentic puts themselves out there. It’s not that clear cut. So I think that internal kind of back and forth battle and journey and figuring this out. I think that alone, lets some people know that, Hey, like even someone like you who puts themselves out there and is more transparent than most, it doesn’t mean it’s clear, cut and easy. But what I hear a lot of is that you have a lot of self-awareness. So how do you go about, are there some intentional things you do to take stock of who Mike Nimi is and what you want to show more to the world and what things may be you want to we’ll call it, protect your downside. And I’m talking professionally here. Are, are there some intentional self analysis things that you do?
Michael Neme (42:19):
Yeah, dude. I mean trust. I mean obviously, you know, I’m sure no one, no one’s thinking that I’m perfect or you know, just this super vulnerable, authentic, free living, loving life kind of person, but you know, I’m, I am self-aware and even when I mess up and do things that like I would say is, you know, there’s good people that do things and then realize it and correct it. And then there’s just people that continue to do things. And I think the self-awareness is looking at yourself, I’m talking deep, I’m talking like things that you don’t want to admit to yourself,
Jamin Alvidrez (42:57):
Legit eye contact. I do,
Michael Neme (42:59):
I do it. I used to do it every month. I would spend no joke. I would spend a weekend by myself, whether it was, you know, when my girlfriend lives with me now. But like if I had roommates, why wouldn’t just go get a hotel room or I would go up to when I lived in Michigan, I’d go up to my cabin. And I just really, that was just critiqued myself and literally pulled out things again that you don’t want to admit to yourself that is holding you back. That is wrong, whatever it may be. And that’s just having that, self-awareness it, you know, helped, helped me even quick when I could realize, okay, you’re doing something stupid, having that practice right of self-awareness and those, you know, once a month, you know, reflections, self-reflection powwows or that’s a weird word, but you’ll be able to, I’m done with it.
Michael Neme (43:57):
That’s helped me. It’s like, it’s, it’s uh, it’s working out, right? It’s like we, we, we take care of our bodies. We are trying to take care of our bodies to feel good. We work out to look good. We dress well to, to look well, right. Nobody really thinks about those things. Like self-awareness mental, you know, mental stability. So that makes with ID, call them a life coach. But I started going to therapy after that breakup and continued to constantly go and putting those things together, little tips and tricks that I taught myself and the self-awareness has helped tremendously. Like it’s it does like self-awareness and being able to realize that is key and I don’t know what that is for everybody else, but for me it was going to a deep, dark place that I needed to go and, you know, continue, have to go sometimes where it’s like to get better. Like I’m always trying to improve that.
Jamin Alvidrez (44:52):
I like that being intentional with your mental and emotional health, that’s something we can all, you know, copy. That is so cool.
Michael Neme (45:01):
I don’t know. And it’s like, and again, it’s like, people just overlook that so much. And I know it’s a big topic and it’s like, this is from someone that doesn’t really hire.
Jamin Alvidrez (45:10):
I think it’s a big enough topic, especially in, in logistics because we’re in a burnout, heavy industry. So I think it could be a bigger topic. To be honest with you.
Michael Neme (45:20):
It was funny is because it’s kind of off topic, but it from like mentally and who I am is I’m very emotional. Right. And I remember I took on my career, everyone spent like, and I would say, emotions make you emotional logic makes you wealthy, but you often don’t, you often see people that are super emotional. Right. And that aren’t lot, but they aren’t the most super logical and don’t really show much emotion. Well, I was always been told is, you know, you’re super emotional, super emotional. Well, I ended up, we ended up taking this test and I was always like, I’m there. I knew I was logical. Like I was locked to the point where people, I people off. Because if you told me that it was red, I can logically tell you that it’s blue and people don’t like it. But yeah.
Michael Neme (46:09):
But it’s like, I was always like in that mentally excused, people are in my head. Cause I was like, man, I’m super logical. Why does everyone think I’m emotional? I just get excited. So I remember we ended up taking the test in one of the comp company I worked at and my VP brought me and he goes, dude, what? Like the top one, the top logical people thinkers in our company. And I was like, yeah, Mike, you knew this right. You knew I was logical. I’m just super. I love I’m passionate too. So figured like that was a big mental drain for me. Cause I was like, ah, I’m pumped up. But I’m like, I’m bringing logical things to you. Like, and that’s kind where I got self-awareness was I was like, all right, well I know a logical, but I’m not going to walk around with this test, letting everyone know that I’m logical.
Michael Neme (46:57):
Right. I got it. How do we come off more logical? And it was, you know, mentally or self-awareness. It was like, okay, you kind of, again are a little scatterbrained, you know what you’re talking about? You know, these points you want to make, but now how do you get that across with one, your passion and still being logical. And it was just like, I guess self-awareness on that. And where I started thinking, okay, bullet points, right? Everything’s bullet points, right? Bullet points and meetings. Any time you want to have a conversation, say shan’t have some bullet points for it. So then it’s like, okay, you can be as passionate as you want rant when you want and still have those bullet points to go to,
Jamin Alvidrez (47:38):
Oh, the game always prepared. I like that. So, all right. We know the, uh, switching gears a little bit. It’s so easy to come up with negatives of the past few months, but what has been a positive lesson or experience you’ve had these past few months that you you’ve learned that you could share
Michael Neme (47:57):
Going all in on myself, dude, like I’ve always done on myself, but it was like, I got no boss. So I, you know, I, you know, I got four different avenues I’m working on right now when it comes into, you know, what I’m doing for income wise, but just like building myself. Right. And it’s really starting to cook. Right. It’s it’s like, I don’t have to deal with any negativity. I don’t want to deal with negativity. I don’t have to, you know, I’m not, you know, I just don’t have that. I just am like, light is good. Probably need to lay off the healthy Cheez-Its or those healthy snacks, but like other than you know, and the gym closed again. But that’s, but regardless, but no, it’s really just like both. Like it’s just, I think it’s really been able to, you know, especially in our industry though, to really show like, to scale at what I’ve been really good at, I don’t want to say social selling, but like, cause now it’s like the new normal.
Michael Neme (48:57):
Now this was just week I was sending out video messages in 2017, but you know, or I was, you know, vertical marketing is the thing. So it’s like, it’s really nice to in my end is it’s like, okay, I’m, I’ve already got steps, steps ahead. And now it’s like, this is where I double down triple down for apps. And you know, it’s just been nice and not having to deal with the, the BS of, you know, just dirty freight or, you know, I never sold it, but like just little things like that, like, you know, hit a quota. You wanna make it as funny as like, money’s great and I make great money, but it’s nice to not have. And I can, but I can focus on laser focused on, okay. I want to specifically work with emerging to grow stage CBG companies. So I might bring on two, three deals a year and I don’t have to, I don’t even have to worry about it. I got enough money. I could focus on this, give that into boutique service. I want to get and not have Joe blow telling me, listen, you’re a little bit too emotional and you haven’t moved loads. Cool. And then I can focus on building my, uh, you know, I won’t go into depth with that, but you know, building some of those other platforms that I’m currently working,
Jamin Alvidrez (50:08):
I like that. So you have a definite vision for yourself. Again, I guess this comes back from, from self-awareness you have a vision for yourself, you know who you are, what your pitch to hit is, and you’re going after it, man, Mike, I, this, this is great. I, I could keep going on hours. There’s much more we could learn from you obviously. And we’ll definitely have you on again, but I am just very grateful for the, not just the time you spent with us, but also how raw and authentic you are always. And, and you were here with us because you’re a student of the game, but it’s so much more than that. It’s truly putting yourself into the game and being transparent and open. And I know one thing that I really took away is it’s not just transparency and openness with those outside. Uh, you know, those you work with or your clients are, or who you’re talking to on social, but it’s in the mirror, it’s with yourself and that’s where things can really get special when you’re willing to be open with yourself. So I, I really appreciate you, Mike, is there any final words you want to leave us with blow our minds?
Michael Neme (51:23):
I don’t have to cry, right? Try not to cry on a podcast.
Jamin Alvidrez (51:26):
No man. It’s real. Where can people, uh, where can people find you? How do they get in touch with you and engage with you? LinkedIn, Michael, Michael Nimi on LinkedIn, right? Yeah.
Michael Neme (51:36):
I’ll give you, I can give you my tag handle. I’m starting to really target companies. I’m Instagram. I want to say I had to clean it up a little bit, but if I’m going to, again, I didn’t want to make a whole new one and you know, nothing’s crazy on it, but you know, I, I there’s some posts I probably should be like, alright, but Midwest Mike, 87 is my Instagram. Um, and then yeah, my contact information on my cell phones on LinkedIn. And if you’re looking to them like, Oh, I gotta plug in your emerging CBG brand. Seriously. I I’ve worked with multiple different sectors, but I’m really focusing on those go to stage emerging CPG brands. Because again, you’ll see my post today. My guy, Mark, Samuel, I want to, Danek how to interview her. He interviewed a private equity guy that gave some really sweet pointers on, you know, what he looks for.
Michael Neme (52:26):
You know, some things he looks for when he’s investing in companies and their brands and gross margins was one of them. And knowing that, you know, a lot of companies, especially these emerging CPG brands are not at that bare minimum 30 to at least 40% gross margins and are more, more focused on scaling and revenue versus scaling or increasing gross margins in the how, how much impact the supply chain and operations piece has on it. It’s some good stuff. So give me a buzz. It’s worth it. To be honest with you, it goes, it’s a free, it’s literally a free consultant.
Jamin Alvidrez (53:02):
Nice. I love it. Well, Mike, thank you very much, everyone. Who’s listening. Thank you. Remember real is rare. All right, Becca, do you see everybody.
Michael Neme is a Franchise/Agent owner with GlobalTranz and VP of Supply Chain Solutions at Hook Logistics, which allows him to give their customers a one-stop-shop for all and everything supply chain/ops and tech-related. Head down—all gas. No brakes are his motto, whether it is in his personal life or professional life. He has been in the industry for eight years and has worked for some top asset and non-asset-based 3PLs, giving him a deeper understanding on how both asset and brokerage works. In a traditionally transactional sales industry, he has never sold a transactional deal. He has and still always look at his customers’ business like the way he looks at my own. “Let’s set this up for the long game and make strategic decisions like playing chess, not checkers.” His goal is for his customers to have a person and team they can count on to continue to build out tailored and scalable solutions that enhance efficiencies and increase customer profitability.
Jamin Alvidrez’s unique perspective, love of people and positive energy lead him to found Freight Tribe. Freight Tribe helps companies and people of Supply Chain & Logistics showcase what makes them special. He began his career in Supply Chain, Freight & Logistics in 2004. For the past 16+ years he has focused his passion in the Third Party Logistics world. Jamin prides himself on his diverse experience working on all sides of the business during his time at CH Robinson, FreightQuote, and AgForce Transport.
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