THE THOUGHTFUL ENTREPRENEUR PODCAST
Andy's entrepreneurial journey began with his first business, a junk removal service, while he was still serving in the military reserves. After getting laid off in 2009, he realized his skill sets didn't align with the civilian world. This led him to get serious about his business. Starting with environmental consulting, he eventually expanded into junk removal.
The junk removal industry, as Andy pointed out, has seen significant growth due to society's increased consumption and shorter product lifecycles. The barrier to entry in this industry is relatively low, requiring a solid back and a pickup truck. However, those who build sustainable businesses with great marketing and best practices will withstand market fluctuations.
Andy believes that language plays a crucial role in overcoming imposter syndrome. By changing how we speak to ourselves, we can shift from a mindset of fear and negativity to positivity and confidence. His book teaches readers how to use language effectively to succeed in all life aspects.
Andy explained that people who have eliminated limiting language have experienced a transformation in their mindset. They become aware of the possibilities and open themselves up to new opportunities. Individuals can communicate more clearly and confidently by eliminating words like “if” and “just” and focusing on positive outcomes. This shift in language also extends to the organization as a whole, positively impacting culture, profitability, and overall success.
Key Points from the Episode:
- Transitioning from military life to civilian life and applying military discipline to entrepreneurship
- Andy's experience starting a junk removal business while in the military reserves
- Growth and challenges in the junk removal industry
- Overview of Andy's book, “Words Effing Matter,” focusing on the power of language
- Coaching and consulting small groups on addressing imposter syndrome and limiting self-beliefs
- The role of language in overcoming imposter syndrome and shifting mindset
- Impact of eliminating limiting language on mindset and opportunities
About Andy Weins:
Andy Weins is a dynamic advocate for veterans, entrepreneurs, and community involvement, showcased through his consulting, teaching, podcasting, and writing efforts. With a background of almost two decades in the military, including service during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, he continues his commitment as a U.S. Army Reserve Career Counselor.
Hailing from Wisconsin, Andy offers practical advice to elevate veterans, entrepreneurs, and business leaders underpinned by data-driven methodologies and real-world experiences.
He co-founded Green Up Solutions for environmental consulting, Camo Crew Junk Removal for waste disposal, and Young Guns, a community fostering entrepreneurial growth. Awards such as the 2023 Waste360 “40 Under 40” recognition and the 2022 Outstanding Business of the Year—Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business honor reflect his impact on waste management and business development. Andy embodies a Midwest-based, empowerment-focused ethos, serving as a source of inspiration and strategic guidance.
About Green Up Solutions LLC:
Green Up Solutions is a seasoned environmental consulting firm specializing in demolition, deconstruction, and sanitization services, boasting three decades of experience. As a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, we pride ourselves on delivering unparalleled discipline, efficiency, and professionalism to the realms of demo and deconstruction.
By collaborating closely with clients, we grasp the intricate interplay between our tasks and project advancement, ensuring our work sets the stage for the project's overall success. Our mission is committed to harmoniously balancing environmental considerations with project objectives, epitomizing our dedication to quality and sustainability.
2:11 – “Being an entrepreneur was in me and I did all the things other than entrepreneurship. I work for the big companies. I worked for small companies, I joined the military, I deployed. And finally when I looked at myself in the mirror, I said, what? Was I put on this earth to be in entrepreneurs? That's that's where I'm at and that's where I really lean in. That's the life I live and the life I love.”
8:57 – “We know that thoughts are rooted in a language. When you change the words and the language you use within your thoughts, you change your perception. When you change your perception, you change your actions. Your actions become habits.”
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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. It's speaker, soldier and entrepreneur Andy Weins. Andy, I'm also going to add you're also an author and podcaster. Your book is Words Effing Matter. And yes, it's the full F word. And then your podcast is Let's see if I got that, Oh, where did I have it? I had it just over here.
Josh (00:01:19) - It was cool. And I don't have it's Trash Talk Business podcast. Very, very cool. Oh, and also welcome home transformation from troops and boots to veterans in the civilian world. Very, very cool. Andy, it's great to have you on the show. Hey, thanks for having me. Josh, Anytime. I can have a fellow veteran business leader, I'm always thrilled to do so. I just kind of in a very poor manner. Intro to you. I'll let you do a better job in terms of like your impact today.
Andy (00:01:46) - Well, that's what you know, speaker, soldier, entrepreneur. That's that's the evolution of my life, right? We I've been talking about this since the day I was born. I my mouth gets me into a lot of situations, good, bad or indifferent. And so I've always been one that's been vocal. I really found my voice in the military community. And then eventually when I got back from my last deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I really leaned into what I was put on this earth to do, which would be an entrepreneur.
Andy (00:02:11) - I'm a fourth generation entrepreneur. My grandfathers owned a scrapyard and our great grandfather owned the scrap yard. My grandfathers were a farmer and a dentist, respectfully. And my my dad's been a remodeler for 30 years. So being an entrepreneur was in me and I did all the things other than entrepreneurship. I work for the big companies. I worked for small companies, I joined the military, I deployed. And finally when I looked at myself in the mirror, I said, what was I put on this earth to be in entrepreneurs? That's that's where I'm at and that's where I really lean in. That's the the life I live and the life I love.
Josh (00:02:42) - You know, I think I don't know what the stats are for sure. I don't know if you've come across this, but the rates of veterans that actually start a business, I believe that's a little bit higher than average, you know, So I don't know if you know anything about that, but I wonder mainly what I want to ask you is you already have that entrepreneurial spirit.
Josh (00:03:00) - I had it when I was in the military. The military isn't necessarily designed to encourage a bunch of entrepreneurs in its ranks, right? It's usually like, this is the mission. We're all going to work together and that sort of thing. How did you find your entrepreneurial energy and spirit jive within that military culture?
Andy (00:03:23) - So so I'll answer the first question that wasn't asked What is the number? Veterans are almost twice as likely. The number is 1.9, the National Institute of Health. So there's the first thing. One of the things I talked about in my book and in life, I never think write. I make data driven decisions. So I research, I analyze information, and then we make a decision based off that. So there it is, twice as likely. And I will answer yes. Veterans. It's interesting, the the military community does not promote individual thought, ideas, entrepreneurship, having your own vision. And so what I think happened, what happened to me, at least what I theorize happens with a lot of veterans and they tell me this is they have this ambition to go see the world and take things on.
Andy (00:04:02) - Right? They're ambitious. They want to get to their hometown and then they join the military. And that seed never leaves. And then when they get out, they've had this years of structure and discipline, and then they apply the structure and discipline with the vision. And that's what makes them successful entrepreneurs versus people that jump into entrepreneurship without that discipline. Because a lot of entrepreneurs have great ideas and maybe even great products and services, They're great at doing the thing. They lack the structure and discipline day in and day out to run a successful organization. And that's the difference between the person that's has a hobby and truly has a sustainable, repeatable business.
Josh (00:04:39) - Yeah. And so Andy, talk about like, so you started your business while you were so you, you're active and you've been a reservist now for some time. When did the business get started?
Andy (00:04:55) - So I joined the reserves from day one. I deployed. Okay. Okay. Got it. Got it. Reserves from day one. Yep. And I joined in 2004.
Andy (00:05:02) - I deployed to Iraq in 2006, came home in seven, and I deployed to Gitmo in 14 and most of 15. And what happened is in 2009, early 2009, I got laid off in 2008 like a lot of people, and got to a place where I was basically unemployable. So I'm 24 year old combat vet and my skill sets didn't line up with the civilian world. So I started driving around the northwest side of Milwaukee, picking up appliances and other scrap on the side of the road. And that turned into my first business, which was a business card and a personal checking account that I did for a number of years in the side. When I got back from my last deployment, that's when I got serious. I got an LLC, Green Up Solutions. We started with environmental consulting, got him to junk removal. I had ten junk mail franchises across the country. Within three years, I got out of the franchise world because again, it was that structure that didn't fit my vision. And so I got away from that, sat through a two year non-compete, and in March of 22, I got back, got back at it, started commercial crew, junk removal.
Andy (00:06:02) - And it's been it's been a ride ever since. I love it. Junk removal is the industry that I love. I grew up in the waste and recycling industry and so I was able to take my knowledge and apply it with military culture and build a successful small business here in my community.
Josh (00:06:18) - Yeah, and tell me about the that industry for, for junk removal. Like how does it work? Is is it profitable? How do you get business for it? I'm super curious.
Andy (00:06:29) - Yeah. Back in 2014, when I was really getting serious about it, the industry was about $5.5 billion. It's a sub segment of the waste industry now. It's about a $10 billion industry. It's doubled in ten years essentially. And there's several contributing factors. First off, we as a society buy more and keep it for less time. Let's think about it. Our grandparents and our parents have furniture since we grew up. People now are replacing their furniture every 2 to 3 years, so there's a higher demand. Landfills take less material and there's less and less people that have trucks and trailers in the means to move material themselves.
Andy (00:07:03) - So the demand has gone up in junk removal. And really, it's it's a piece of the waste industry that the big players really don't dabble in. They do curbside trash. They like receptacles that they can dump and tip. And so there's a big market for people that want to get into home services. It only requires a, you know, a strong back, an ambitious attitude and a pickup truck. Right. People say, well, why is it so successful? Why do people so people get it? Well, the barrier to entry, if you want to clean gutters, you need a ladder. If you want to be a carpenter, you need a hammer and some knowledge. You want to do junk removal, you need a strong back. And so a lot of people get into this industry and there's people that have gotten because it's been good the last few years. The challenge is when the real estate market drops, junk removal drops. And so a lot of people that were, you know, easy come, easy go, well, they came in easy and they might go out pretty easy to.
Andy (00:07:52) - It's those that build the sustainable businesses the best practices great marketing they'll be here you know the test of time will will will not eliminate them.
Josh (00:08:03) - Yeah so let's talk about Andy, your work today, particularly your book. So the subtitle for the book, Words Matter Retrain Your Brain to use language that Serves You. Tell me about the book.
Andy (00:08:15) - 2014. Right before I deployed to Gitmo, I had the honor and the opportunity to attend Master Resilience training from the US Army. And in there I learned a simple model within the first hour. This is an 80 hour training. The first hour they teach you a simple model. It's called ATC Activating event, Your thought and then your consequence. And that's sat with me for the last ten years. I went from this idea that things happen to me and that I had all these obligations and transformed this idea that happened, that things happen near me and I can make it a choice whether it happened to me or for me. And when I look at my future, are there things that I get to do, an opportunity or things that I have to do, an obligation? It's been ten years.
Andy (00:08:57) - I've researched psychologists and sociologists. I researched and spent time with Dr. Bill Crawford, who's written several books about the brain and the way our thoughts and our act. I got with an author, a ghostwriter, to work with me about 18 months ago, and I started writing a leadership book called Hustle Struggle Grind The 13 Lessons of Life. And after eight weeks of outlining, she goes, You're not a leader. You're not writing a leadership book. We're writing a book about words. That is your secret sauce. That is what separates you from everybody else. We know that thoughts are rooted in a language. When you change the words and the language you use within your thoughts, you change your perception. When you change your perception, you change your actions. Your actions become habits. And what I realized on this journey. Is when I got disciplined about the language I use. I got more disciplined about my life. I'm more disciplined about my fasting. I'm more disciplined about going to the gym. I'm more disciplined about who I spend my time with because I'm disciplined about my words first.
Andy (00:09:53) - And that's something that's been extremely transformational. And it's been a ten year journey in this one thought. And so the book came out in June of 2023. It's my opportunity to share myself and my vision of what I've learned with the world.
Josh (00:10:08) - Yeah. And, Andy, are you in? So obviously you're speaking on that. Are you doing coaching and consulting as well?
Andy (00:10:15) - I've done coaching and consulting a number of years where I what I love doing is getting consulting opportunities with small groups, 6 to 20 people where we can talk about limiting self beliefs. We can talk about those vulnerabilities. We have that what do you call it? In other words, escapes me. Uh, now I'm all over the place. Um, whatever. When? When you. When you. When you think you're not good enough. Yeah. This.
Josh (00:10:46) - This syndrome.
Andy (00:10:48) - Thank you. Why I was raised. And thank you, imposter.
Josh (00:10:51) - Good. All good.
Andy (00:10:51) - So I'm like, It's right there.
Josh (00:10:53) - I know the term well, because I can live it every day.
Andy (00:10:55) - Okay, so this is the beautiful thing we hear about imposter syndrome. I hear other speakers talk about it and, oh, you got to get over and you got to overcome it. Within the book, we teach you how to overcome it by the use of language. I have this wounded child inside of me that says I'm not good enough before I get on every podcast, every stage, even when I'm at a networking event, I get up to do my 32nd pitch. I have this moment of of nervousness and it's my choice. Do I have anxiety because I anticipate a negative outcome or do I have excitement because I anticipate a positive outcome? That is a choice you can make in the moment. You're nervous because you care how you show up as a choice, and the choice is really the language you use even now, right? I'm stumbling on the word and I'm willing and vulnerable enough to stay on that point and allow someone to let me, you know, I let them in, be vulnerable.
Andy (00:11:45) - It's like, yeah, you're going to stumble in life. That's a reality in human. That's human, right? We talk about in the military, embrace the suck. Now I've transitioned that to embrace the struggle. Every journey is worth the every journey has a struggle and it's worth the work to put in. And that's what this work, this book is all about. Put in the work to yourself. This is not how to be the best communicator with your employees. It's not how to be the best leader within your organization. This is what are the words you're telling yourself to be successful at all the things that you do. It's a choice you make.
Josh (00:12:21) - What sort of impact might you imagine would take place, you know, after you spend some time? Because obviously you've spent a lot of time with your own people and you've been doing this a little bit now with other companies. But what transformation do you expect? And let me ask you two to kind of talk about how might someone know that this what you're talking about is is an issue that's negatively impacting their culture and their organization, their profitability, like impacting everything.
Josh (00:12:51) - And, you know, how does the transformation usually look once somebody hires with you and they start doing this work.
Andy (00:12:58) - What you see is there's language that is limited and people within the organization stop using the language. I've done a few classes and consultants on on this exact topic. I've also gotten feedback from people that read the book and they say, I didn't realize this limiting language I used. Once I eliminated that language, it opened up my eyes to what is possible. So we eliminate certain words like if it's not, if it's when we lead with positive outcome, positive intent. So when this happens, this is my plan of attack. Is there a chance that it doesn't happen? Yeah, there's a chance. When anticipates it happening. So now we predict it happen. And when something else changes or something else happens, then we can adjust. We eliminate other words like just just as a is a it's a lazy crutch word, right? Just justifies. Hey, I just need a minute of your time.
Andy (00:13:50) - Well, it's only just this thing. No, mean what you say. Say what you mean me what you say. If someone says, Hey, I only need a minute of your time. Only a singular. Okay, I will give you a minute of my time. I'll give you an idea when you come back. A third, fourth, fifth, 10th time. Now we have to have another conversation. And it puts the onus on the speaker to effectively communicate what they truly need out of this world. And then the people around you will respond. It's about using a clear, creative, confident brain to respond to situations versus using our lower lizard brains that operates out of fear to react to situations. And that's when we freeze, we fight, or we fly away from situations that are deemed uncomfortable. How do we lean into the discomfort? That's what this book will teach you. And when you start using that language, you'll start hearing other people using limiting language. And it's an opportunity then to to ask the questions, to truly understand what they need, want and desire out of this world.
Josh (00:14:49) - Yeah. Again, the book is words. The F word matter. Retrain your brain to use language that serves you. And this just published, Andy, This is just.
Andy (00:15:01) - Published June 14th, Flag Day, Army birthday. You know, we just we had ourselves a big party. Yeah.
Josh (00:15:08) - And and as well. So I also want to encourage to our friend that's listening who should be reaching out because listen the book's great you know maybe they get it for their team or whatever, but who who should be reaching out and inviting, having a conversation with you about maybe working with their team? What what types of companies would be a good fit for you?
Andy (00:15:33) - Leaders that want their employees to use more confident, creative language. That's what it comes down to. Most leaders within organizations read the book and a lot of it, it's like, Yeah, this all makes sense to me. Once you start listening to what your employees are saying, what you're reading in emails, you'll start to pick apart, Well, hold on, this is limiting language.
Andy (00:15:51) - So this is an opportunity for leaders in leadership teams to come together, talk about their vulnerabilities and what language they can use so they can start taking more control and regulate really is the right word so they can regulate themselves in real time to get the best outcomes. So it's those that want those workshops, those trainings where we can have a conversation very open, very honest. It's catered to the individual organization based on what their needs are. That's a beautiful thing. I've done keynote speaking for years. I've never done the same keynote twice because not and I've never had the same audience twice, not the same venue twice. And so because there's so many lessons within the book, we develop the best strategy for the audience. And we do that in real time.
Josh (00:16:35) - Awesome. Andy Weins. Your website is Andy Weins. That's w e i n s. I also just want to throw a shout out out there to to your junk removal. So it's camo crew junk removal, which you can see and I know also, Andy, I just want to give you a shout out to because I know you've done some good volunteer work and help some great organizations.
Josh (00:16:59) - You and I both kind of serve the you know, we do some pro bono and some nice good stuff in the veteran community. So I just want to say thank you so much for that as well. So, Andy, any final like if someone goes to Andy Weins, what you'd recommend that they do.
Andy (00:17:14) - By the book and challenge me on every idea you read that you don't agree with.
Josh (00:17:20) - Love it. Andy Weins, thank you so much for joining us again. Speaker, soldier, entrepreneur, author and podcaster. And it's been great, Andy, having you on the show. Thanks. Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up My Influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the thoughtful entrepreneur and Facebook.
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