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A Story of Redemption, Gratitude, and Triumph with Home Furnishings Expert Joseph Alcantara

Charlie welcomes Joseph Alcantara, a Home Furnishings Expert, and a four-time Million Dollar Memory Maker to the podcast.

Joseph recalls his years of experience with the Company, from overcoming difficulties and adversities, to celebratory moments and achieving incredible success.  Joseph shares his perspective that his specific circumstances of adversity actually worked to be the best thing that ever happened to him. 

Joseph recalls some of his favorite memories at the River, including participating in the Company gala and getting to meet Inky Johnson when we unveiled our Company’s Purpose Statement at our Leadership Summit, as well as the challenges with liquidating a store but then the benefits of relocating to a brand, new store that has become the talk of the town. The work can be hard and challenging, but always dynamic, rewarding, and interesting. 

He gives advice on how to succeed on the sales floor, what to do when adversity comes your way, the importance of goal-setting, and how to ensure you win the mental game. During the pandemic, Joseph learned how to smile with his eyes and remain approachable despite the mask.  Joseph also shares his commitment to his customers by being available and trustworthy. 

Joseph discusses the pride he shares in helping the Augusta store grow two designations from Silver to Platinum.

Joseph’s story of Thriving this year is one of going forward and continuing to progress regardless of the circumstances. And he tries to follow the advice of you reap what you sow.  His message of positivity will resonate with any new hire starting on the sales floor.

Joseph’s advice: True to our Company’s name (Broad River Retail): Rivers are sometimes calm and sometimes rocky, but enjoy the ride and cherish every moment.  Our company truly cares for its Memory Makers as it cares for its Customers.  And, this is not just a stop; this can be a career at the River.

Quotable from Joseph: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

_______

We hope you enjoy this episode, and subscribe to our podcast for a new story each week.

Visit storiesfromtheriver.com for more episodes.

Stories from the River Podcast explores the personal journeys of Broad River Retail’s very own Memory Makers. Whether it’s interviews or standalone narratives, Stories from the River will bring you closer to what it’s like to thrive inside the company. This show will share personal experiences from stores, distribution centers, call centers, and corporate campuses, giving listeners a front row seat to what it’s really like to be a Memory Maker furnishing life’s best memories every day.

This show is brought to you by Broad River Retail. Visit www.BroadRiverRetail.com.

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FULL TRANSCRIPTION

Charlie:

September 30th, 2016. Also known as the turning point of your career. Tell us about that? 

Joseph:

Yeah, turning point. It was fast going before that time everything was going smooth. I thought it was. And then that day happens and a couple of mistakes. Wrong judgment, you know, and then everything was taken away from. During that moment I don’t really know what to think, what to say and what to feel. And then I realized that actually, that circumstance happens for me. 

Looking back now, that actually has to happen for me. I drew closer to my faith. My family has been around with me through that moment. And then now where I’m at right now at Broad River, I’m so thankful that actually happens for me because it made me be thankful of everything that’s going on in my life. 

Intro

Welcome to Stories from the River, a podcast brought to you by Broad River Retail, where we’ll explore the personal journeys of our Memory Makers and share real stories from across the organization. And now for your host, President, and CEO at the River, Charlie Malouf.  

Charlie:

Let’s go back a little bit before that date. Can you tell us a little bit about your story, your career, your background, before joining Broad River Retail? 

Joseph:

Yeah. Born and raised from the Philippines. I had to leave the country when I was 19. I live in Dubai for about four years, worked mostly in an office, set up admin job, and then moved to Singapore to join my girlfriend, now my wife who started working there. And there is when I actually developed my passion for furniture I had been hired to do first like office job an in a furniture set up. 

It was a very small furniture store. They, they build furniture for you, design and everything like that, lease and sale. It was something that I don’t know anything about. And so that four years helped me be more passionate about it. The customer service and stuff. 

So forward to the when we moved to the United States back in 2015, I told my wife I had to work in a furniture company. And luckily this is where we landed to in Aiken, and then Augusta was the closest store for me. You’re giving given me a chance and the rest is history I guess. 

Charlie:

Yeah. Well, I’m so glad that we did. And by the way, I know you drew, it’s Masters Week as we recording this. 

Joseph:

Yes. 

Charlie:

And you drove up from there, and I’m wearing my Masters’ pullover for you. That Manny got me when he went to the Masters and played there I believe. So you talked, we talked, let’s go back a little bit before September 30th. When did you first join Broad River Retail? 

Joseph:

It was January 26, I believe. 2016. 

Charlie:

Okay. And in your tenure you were off to the races then we had to part way on September 30th of that same year. 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

And then you moved onto a different company for several months. And then how come back that you came back with us? 

Joseph:

It was Manny really that I would say one of the main reasons I was able to come back. I was in discussion and then Manny made a phone call directly to me and he said, just a phrase: “We want you here.”  And the next day I did tender and said: “Hey, I think I wanna I wanna go back to Broad River.” They have given me a chance for redemption. I think this is it for me. 

Charlie:

I love it. I love it. Was it really about the opportunity, about something about our company, or was it just that shot at redemption? 

Joseph:

Well, it’s a mix of everything. First of all, like everything was going well, from the day I joined to that point, like, I thought that I had the opportunity to be a special you know like it was made in heaven, like…

Charlie:

in 2016? 

Joseph:

In 2016. 

Charlie:

Remember, I think you do remembers. Remember the Chat with the Champ? 

Joseph:

Yes.

Charlie:

You were like the first Chat with the Champ that we did like in April 2016. I can’t believe is that long ago. So yeah, you were, you were off to the races in just crushing it. 

 Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Yeah, okay. 

Joseph:

So I thought that month, which is April as well which is a massive smack right. I thought that was the springboard for me. I have no, I have nothing when I come here and when that month happens and that definitely like changes the trajectory of where I’m going to become with the company. 

I mean again, the September happened, but I wanted to go back. I said this is home. I mean, I felt that I’m always welcome. And if Manny will call you personally, that means something that means a lot. 

Charlie:

Yeah, absolutely. So you’ve had two, not one, but two-day ones. You had your first day one. 

Joseph:

Yes. 

Charlie:

And then you had your second day on which do you remember more? 

Joseph:

Oh, the first one. 

Charlie:

Okay, tell us about the first day, the original day one? 

Joseph:

The original day one. I was- it was overwhelmingly exciting. I have been out of work for the last four months. There was there is a process in getting work for me when I moved here. So I moved here like the year before, somewhere in the middle, like September. And then the process has to be submitted. I got it in early January and then and then I got a call. 

You know, the process, a background check has taken longer because I’m from overseas, right? So I think everybody was so accommodating, like very approachable. But really that day was just excitement full of excitement. I have no, I have nothing that I would change about that day, but I’m just really excited until now. 

Charlie:

That’s great. Until now. Let’s try to keep that excitement high. You’ve been a Sales Manager with us and now you hold the title of Home Furnishings Expert. When did you first become a Home Furnishings Expert? 

Joseph:

Um, two years ago. It was also the first part of the year and then, um, pandemic happens and well, I lost the title and then I got it back last year, so… 

Charlie:

That’s awesome. 

Joseph:

Yeah. I wanna keep it. 

Charlie:

Yeah. So we need you to keep, you keep it. That’s like the cream. That’s like the top, the peak performed designation, right? I mean, we have fewer experts and we do $1,000,000, Memory Makers. 

Joseph:

Oh yeah, yeah. 

Charlie:

So by the way, how many times have you been a $1,000,000 Memory Maker with us? 

Joseph:

About four years. Well, it will be the fifth year this year, hopefully. 

Charlie:

That’s awesome. So it’s been a good illustrious career and we’re so glad that you came back and you’re doing so well right now. So you talked about a low point that you turned around and you talked about what that meant for you, what have been some of the high points like our purpose is furnishing life’s best memories. What have been some of your best memories at the River? 

Joseph:

There’s a lot. Every day you actually mix memory with either mostly of your customers, but of course, with everybody that you work around with, you know. I think Gala is, are one of the best was, but the one that stood out the most for me is like that Purpose 828. 

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Joseph:

We got Inky Johnson yeah. From then on I followed him. 

Charlie:

Yeah, yeah. So that’s good. Yeah. You’re one of the special invitees. 

Joseph:

I was. 

Charlie:

For that summit, when Inky came to speak to us. That’s great. We got to do more of those now that the pandemic’s over. 

Joseph:

I hope so. 

Charlie:

In-person. Yeah. So we just changed the Store. Well, let’s talk about the new Augusta Store. So last year you were involved with the shutdown of the original old Augusta Store, where you started the Augusta Georgia Store. 

And we moved into the bigger, fresher, newer, Augusta Store. First of all, what was it like to shut down a store and sell off all of that inventory? 

Joseph:

It was challenging I would say. First of all, challenging in the sense of you can have to help move furniture, you know, wrap furniture for five hours. And in on weekends, when there’s no help, you’re going to have to carry furniture, a lot of furniture. 

Charlie:

So physically demanding. 

Joseph:

Physically. However, it has given us the opportunity a lot more opportunity, because this is the talk of the town. So people are coming in and shopping around and all that. Good stuff. 

Charlie:

Well, let me ask you this. Did they ever mistakenly think our customers that we were going out of business for good? 

Joseph:

Yeah, there are a few. So we have to be very clear in saying that: “Hey, we are moving to a better location. This is not a liquidation sale. “ 

Charlie:

Yeah. Yeah. 

Joseph:

So every time, yeah, we have to say that. 

Charlie:

Okay, Well, now we’re in a new Store. What can you tell us about the new Store? 

Joseph:

Oh, it’s amazing. We thank everybody that put their, you know, visual, their everything, the decorations and everything is just perfect. It’s amazing. 

Charlie:

Well, it’s really unique. I mean, it’s the first time we ever converted a grocery store is a former Kroger. It’s long, it’s our largest store over 47,000 plus square feet. Almost 50,000 square feet. It’s a two-in-one but it’s a combo store with two entrances. How do you explain – can you explain to our guests what that means? Like to have a combo store with part home-store, part outlet. 

Joseph:

Yeah. So normally what I normally tell our customers is: “Hey we are the best of both worlds”, right? Yeah. We can get there any of your needs. If you need something for your, your own room or you need something for rent, or we got something for you and we even have something that you can carry out the day. So it actually brings a lot of foot traffic and we love it. We’ve benefited from that. 

Charlie:

Do you think you personally have benefited? 

Joseph:

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, absolutely. That’s great. 

Charlie:

And so I know you love selling sleep and mattresses and you have a lot of success doing that. How have you been enjoying that expanded beautiful new sleep gallery? 

Joseph:

I think that’s the best sleep gallery. And I always tell the new hires whenever they are like, hey, look across the street, we have the best gallery. You got all the potential, you have all the opportunity, the tools that we have here. And so I think this Store is doing really good in sleep, so. 

Charlie:

Yeah, absolutely. Very well. COVID. We’re two years in COVID happened. Did you furlough during COVID for a period of time? 

Joseph:

For a short period of time, yeah. 

Charlie:

Okay. And then when you came back and we had to wear masks, how was it selling face to face, you know, doing that face Retail with the mask during a pandemic? 

Joseph:

It was different. First of all, you have to be creative in expressing and speaking to the guests and you have to be able to adapt. Like, I mean, you want to be safe, both for customers and yourself, but at the same time, listening more closely and smiling with your eyes instead of your mouth.

Charlie:

How do you do that? 

Joseph:

It’s kind of hard, but…

Charlie:

Smiling with your eyes over your mask, yeah. 

Joseph:

Yes. 

Charlie:

Yeah, because you can see that. 

Joseph:

You can see that, yeah. And then the enthusiasm, I believe. It does get us more creative in expressing ourselves. 

Charlie:

Absolutely. That’s I just can’t imagine the challenges. Yet we still broke records last year. 

Joseph:

Oh, yeah, yeah. 

Charlie:

So yeah, that’s great. I love seeing you light up when you think about it and look back to that. So yet another great year last year, I guess your fourth year being $1,000,000 Memory Maker. During a pandemic stimulus and everything else in the Supply Chain, what was your mindset throughout the year last year? 

Joseph:

Um, it was a little tricky for me. Situation is different for me because I thought that for half of the year we have to go back. 

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Joseph:

And we had been extended, so the situation is tricky, but the mindset always be is always give your best. Like I always give my best every day I step into that Store it’s not just the Store, but basically, in everything I do in my life, I want to be the best version of myself. 

Charlie:

Well, you don’t take it for granted, right? 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Because you know that you could be forced to leave. 

Joseph:

Right. 

Charlie:

So it’s a whole other perspective of appreciation, I imagine.  

Joseph:

That’s correct. 

Charlie:

That’s fantastic. Since you’ve been a Memory Maker here at the River, what is it, so what is something that you’ve learned about yourself, you know, or about what you’ve been able to accomplish that surprised even you? 

Joseph:

Actually, that’s a lot that the Broad River has offered me. But one thing that I would be forever grateful for is going to be that I was given the chance to step out of my comfort zone. I was given a chance to lead, you know, in Sleep Department in Agusta for a long time. 

I mean, the only reason I really stepped down for now is because I might be going back again. I hate it. But the opportunity that was given to me is something that I would carry in my life wherever I go. And if I stay, then basically I learned something for myself, you know. 

Charlie:

I love that. So did you expect before you started to be this successful- to achieve this level of success? 

Joseph:

No. Expecting is a different thing. But actually, I think I want it from day one. When I hear stories about; “Hey, there was a President Club and all that is going on around that, being successful in the business.” I said I want to do that. And then that April of 2016 happens and then I said, Okay, then I think I, I can do it. 

Charlie:

I love it. Yeah, success builds upon itself and that confidence builds upon itself. 

Joseph:

Right. 

Charlie:

So other than that, what do you think differentiates your level of performance from others in Retail Sales for us who don’t achieve that level of performance, what’s the differentiator? 

Joseph:

I would say the commitment that I put in there in the work. Whenever I build or I deal with the customer, I try to build that relationship and, they will have my information, and my number, they can call me 24/7. I always tell them. 

Charlie:

Really? 

Joseph:

24/7. 

Charlie:

You are always available. 

Joseph:

I am always available. 

Charlie:

Do they, do they do that? 

Joseph:

Yeah. Yeah. And there were, there will be days when I’m off and I would say whenever I say something or whenever I promise something to a customer, they call me on my off day and I say: “Give me tomorrow, I’ll be right with you. “ Then that’s the first thing I have to do. I never break any promise. I try to, at least and be always trustworthy for the guest. 

Charlie:

Yeah, I know. I like that. Hey, do you set goals for yourself? 

Joseph:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

Do you have goals for this year? 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Do you mind sharing them? 

Joseph:

Well, if I am going to be staying, which I hope and pray. 

Charlie:

Yes, please. 

Joseph:

I want to go to the next level. I mean, I did almost 2.3 last year. Of course, I wanna go up 2.3 or 2.4 this year. But at the same time…

Charlie:

1.3 or 2? 

Joseph:

Sorry, 1.3 I was just watching Leah.

Charlie:

Leah.

Joseph:

So 1.

Charlie:

You gonna get to $2 million. You’re gonna get there, I know it. I know. Yeah. Especially that big beautiful store. 

Joseph:

Oh, yeah. 

Charlie:

So how important is goal setting in general? 

Joseph:

Very important. That’s always my blueprint, right? It is my reminder if there are days that I don’t feel like, hey, this is your goal. 

Charlie:

That’s it. It keeps you on track, like…

Joseph:

Keep you on track. 

Charlie:

The goal means something to me. I set the goal and wrote it down. I’m not going off track even if I don’t feel like it. 

Joseph:

Right. 

Charlie:

Yeah, that’s wise, counsel. So, Joseph, help us get to know you a little bit better. With three simple words. I’m going to ask it this way. Let’s say you’re done working. You’re at the end of your career and you’re looking back at the career that you had, okay? 

And people, you know, as they do to anyone, they’re going to talk about you and don’t know what you meant to them or how they remembered you. What three words come to your mind is the three words that you want to have be said about you or to describe you? 

Joseph:

I would say, first of all, I want to be the fun guy. 

Charlie:

The fun guy. 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Okay, I love it. 

Joseph:

So, I always think that people may forget what you say or what you do over time, but they would never forget how you made them feel. 

Charlie:

Yeah. Yeah. 

Joseph:

Right? So if I would leave anything is going to be that. Hey, that’s that guy is one. like I mean, he brings brightness in the room. 

Charlie:

Love it. 

Joseph:

Well, the second thing I would say, is I’m just the simple guy to you. What you see is what you get. I always try to feel or treat everybody with fairness, whatever our relationship is. 

Charlie:

Yeah, genuine authentic.

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Okay, so fun, simple? 

Joseph:

And the third one I want to be the guy that is optimistic. You know, for whatever is going on out there, there could be highs and lows like you said. I always look for the brighter side of it. 

Charlie:

That’s great. That’s such a great characteristic and trait. So I know that it always takes a village. There are always contributors to help us be successful. Who are some of the unsung heroes in your world and what do they do to help you be successful? 

Joseph:

Well, my world, I mean, almost everybody, I would say. But if I would give somebody the credit, I would give it to my wife. I mean…

Charlie:

Smart man. 

Joseph:

Well, basically, she’s, she sticks with me through whatever has happened. And she is the first one to encourage me. And she critiques me, I mean, from time to time, which I love. 

Charlie:

Yeah, right. 

Joseph:

In the store ever since I joined back, I think Jason has been the consistent person, you know that…

Charlie:

Your General Manager? 

Joseph:

My general manager, yeah. He has been a consistent person that has been there. I mean, we took the store from silver to platinum together. And I think he cares deeply for everybody. So yeah. 

Charlie:

That’s phenomenal. And go from silver to platinum, so tell our audience what that means? 

Joseph:

 Yeah.

Okay, so that’s the store designation. 

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Joseph:

Um, when I first joined, we just, I think just stepped down to the silver, and then when we come back, Jason and I, so we got it through the gold. And then when we moved to the new store, even in the process of moving to the new store, we hit that platinum. So that’s actually like how well the store is performed. 

Charlie:

Yeah. So silver is 6 to 9 million, and gold is 9 to 12 and so you got to beyond 12 million on your way to titanium. 

Joseph:

Oh yeah.

Charlie:

Oh, yeah. I mean that’s more like doubling the sales. That’s phenomenal. That’s really great. Okay, word of the year. We love a good word of the year and this year it’s THRIVE. 

Joseph:

Right. 

Charlie:

What does it mean, and you thrive last year, you know, during the pandemic, but what does it mean for you to thrive? 

Joseph:

Um, I think for whatever the circumstances, you just have to keep going. Flourish on whatever you do, and whatever I do, I try to keep going forward, in a positive direction of course. 

Charlie:

Yeah, I think moving forward and that’s exactly it. That’s like the definition of THRIVE. 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Moving forward. And doesn’t mean that it’s always linear. Sometimes it’s you know, two steps forward, one step back. But over a long period of time, it’s going forward because you have to step back, but you still use that to improve and redeem and go forward. 

So, then if others are coming to you to say: “Joseph, you’ve had so much success and you’ve thrived, how can I thrive?” Like, what advice would you give to a fellow Memory Maker to help him or her thrive this year? 

Joseph:

I would say don’t be content, don’t be complacent, keep going and stay hungry. I am a student of life. I am a student of this business. And I try to keep, you know, my mind open. I try to be a sponge to learn a lot more new things. 

Charlie:

And where does that come from? Where does that hunger and that openness and that willingness, that desire to learn come from you in your opinion? 

Joseph:

I think it’s the purpose again. And then the commitment and then and in the goal that you want to achieve, just stay, yeah. 

Charlie:

Got it. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Joseph:

Oh, that’s a lot. But one thing that’s stick or it got stuck with me since I was young is one of my father’s. It was in Filipino, but I think what he meant is like, you reap what you sow. 

Charlie:

Yeah. 

Joseph:

Right. So if you plant kindness or love and goodness kindness and all that good stuff, you actually eventually the universe will have its way giving it back to you. 

Charlie:

It’s great advice. That’s great advice. So someone starting on the sales floor today and it’s a brand new hire, what advice would you give that person? 

Joseph:

I always actually been asked for that whenever there’s a new hire. 

Charlie:

I’m sure that they come to the expert, ask the expert, yeah, what would I do. 

Joseph:

And typically I would say, don’t get caught up on the emotions of the highs and lows of this business, especially when you starting. Be patient, but at the same time, there will be days that you feel that everything’s going on your way. And there will be days said was, what am I doing wrong, right? 

So I would say again like I always say, keep going. Sometimes it takes just one, and you can change your day, you can change somebody else day or life, you know. 

Charlie:

We heard Leah talk about that. It’s advice she’s got. It takes just one. And it’s so true like it’s the mental game on the sales floor. 

Joseph:

Yes. 

Charlie:

There are going to be super highs and super lows, and some of those lows could be from the cancelation or delivery issue but maintaining that even keel and just staying forward. If you can win that mental game, that’s great advice because you can be successful. But you got to expect it. 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

There’s going to be lows and expect adversity. 

Joseph:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

But what are the critical qualities or characteristics of a peak performer on the sales floor? 

Joseph:

Um, enthusiasm. Always be that friendly face for the customers. The guest that you encounter with. You don’t know what they have been dealing with the whole day. You know, sometimes you think that is they really are talking to me or whatever, but be that light, be that the positive person that actually cares for them. That’s the main thing. 

Charlie:

I think it’s great advice. 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Okay, Joseph, if you could go back to your original first day and give advice to your younger self or just tell your younger self: “Hey, here’s what life is going to be like at the River. “ What would you tell that younger Joseph? 

Joseph:

Um, well, River as it is, there are parts where it’s calm and there are parts that are loud and rocky, right? So I would tell myself that – hey, just enjoy the ride. I mean, the day will be different, different days and different, you know, but enjoy it. Like, cherish every moment. 

Charlie:

That’s a really cool answer. And so the River has its own unique culture, and every Store has their own unique culture. What do you love about our company’s culture? 

Joseph:

Um, this company, first of all, truly cares for all the Memory Makers at the same time as they care for the customer. Right. So we have put in place a lot of different aspects as far as helping guests get a better experience. 

And at the same time, you recognize everybody. I mean, you empower each HFCs to what they are good at and help them be better. So that is showing the love and care from within.

Charlie:

Yeah, I think that’s I appreciate you saying that. And so, you know, everyone always has an opinion from the outside looking in, right? 

Joseph:

Yeah. Because they’re not in it. They don’t understand it. So if people what do you think, like from the outside looking in would be one of the biggest misperceptions about our company from others? 

Joseph:

Maybe that this is just a stop, like I’m looking for something better. But actually, this is this is a career you can build a career over in the River and you can go grow and move forward. 

Charlie:

That’s great, yeah. And it’s there’s so much opportunity still. 

Joseph:

So much. 

Charlie:

We need great people who want to grow. 

Joseph:

Absolutely. 

Charlie:

I like say we will grow as far as our people will take us. 

Joseph:

Right. 

Charlie:

Or not. So we have to have growth-minded people. What is something about you other than being a fun guy that would surprise your fellow Memory Makers? 

Joseph:

Um, that I was supposed to be a teacher. 

Charlie:

Were you really? 

Joseph:

Yeah, I graduated in Bachelor’s Secondary education with my wife in the same school, and that’s where I met her. 

Charlie:

What subject? 

Joseph:

Is possibly a Filipino. So I wasn’t able to use it when I go abroad and I never use it anymore. 

Charlie:

Okay. Well, how do you apply that teaching mindset In Retail? By helping the new hires or? 

Joseph:

Right, or being patient. Just being patient teacher being a teacher. I mean, I think she’s more patient than me, but I think being patient on everything that’s happening and just be calm as you can be because everything will work out just fine. 

Charlie:

Those are good transferable characteristics. We love our teachers. But hey, if you’re a teacher and you’re enjoying the River, you can be a home furnishing expert, those are transferable skills. But if you love teaching, keep doing that. 

Okay, If you could change one thing about the company today with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be? 

Joseph:

Um, I have heard that before. Mostly the, I think the Delivery and the Supply Chain would be the right answer. But one thing that because I have gone through the moving sale, I think I would want the selling of the accessories a little bit more quicker. It was kind of a pain when we were moving, we have to ring up like 300 accessories. And if we can do like, you know. 

Charlie:

No no, actually, yeah, I’ve heard that. We have to figure that out. How can we have express check out faster for accessories. That is, that’s we got to figure that out. Will Loop, Stacy McCormick, you gotta come up with something here guys. 

Okay. Let’s say that I’m about to retire and I’m, we’re looking around for my replacement and you’ve done such a great job. So we’ve selected you to be the new President and CEO at the River. And today is your first day in the new role. What is your what would be your first order of business? 

Joseph:

Um, that’s going to be hard, but I guess what, what I’m going to do is I’m going to declare that day to be Charlie Malouf day. We’re going to celebrate you and all that you have done. 

Charlie:

Oh come on. Yeah, okay. 

Joseph:

Festivities and stuff. 

Charlie:

That’s not what I was looking for, but I was looking for how you can do some things. Anyways we’ll take it. I am afraid to pull the onion back on because I don’t know where that might go. Okay, getting back to you then, what do you think are, have been the secrets to your success? 

Joseph:

Um, that’s no secret, but I think it’s more of like finding the right balance and enjoy what you’re doing or what I’m doing, at least. Like I try not to get burned out, in anything in any aspect of my life. So I try to have time with my family, with my faith, with my health. And then at the same time, then I can maximize everything that I do for the company and for my guests.  

Charlie:

Yeah, that’s great. I know you love your family. I know you guys just went to a movie last night. I’m taking my family to see the same one. Sonic.  

Joseph:

Sonic. 

Charlie:

So, how much has, along these lines, how much is luck or good fortune played a role in your success versus hard work and skill um? 

Joseph:

I’m a firm believer of the saying that the harder you work, the luckier you get. 

Charlie:

That’s a good thing. Yeah. Let’s say that again. The harder…

Joseph:

– The luckier you get. 

Charlie:

That’s Joseph Alcantara right there. That’s quotable. The harder you work. Okay, I gotcha. Well, we’ll accept that answer. 

Joseph:

Okay. 

Charlie:

Mentorship is clearly vitally important. 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

Where or from whom do you receive your mentorship? 

Joseph:

A lot of different people I mean, literally every call, like conference calls and stuff, every time you all speak. Um, basically, I try to emulate that and the attitude, the positivity, the positivity, and everything. Yeah, I learn everything. I learn everything I know from everybody that I have come across with, and I’m just thankful for it. 

Charlie:

That’s great. Is that same true for your inspiration and your motivation? 

Joseph:

Yes. I would say. 

Charlie:

So, continuous learning, personal growth, and development, I think is so vitally important. What do you do to improve your skillset or how you, you know, especially having that teaching background, well, how do you sharpen your saw? 

Joseph:

Um, continuous learning. Uh, like I said, being hungry all the time, being a student of, of this game, of this business, and at the same time, when I, when I do teaching or I train, I learn something. So it is something that when you share the knowledge, you actually gain something. 

Charlie:

I like that. I like that. Because when you’re teaching, you could either through the questions they ask you. 

Joseph:

Right. 

Charlie:

Or the ideas they serve up to you, you can still be a sponge and keep going.

Joseph:

Oh yeah. 

Charlie:

That’s great. Or you can figure out a way to teach them better, differently. That actually resonates. Well, maybe I should try that for myself. 

Joseph:

True, yeah. 

Charlie:

When you start working for the day and have some time for yourself or your family, what do you like to do for fun or just to relax? 

Joseph:

I cook a lot. 

Charlie:

Yeah, well, so tell us what you cook? 

Joseph:

Well, mostly Filipino foods. So I would typically on my off days I would cook for the family. But at the same time, you know, I would make sure that I have time for them. I think it clears my mind after a long week of work when I cook, then basically I love that when they enjoy it. 

Charlie:

So that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s great. That’s fantastic. Okay, Joseph, this has been fun. Final words of advice to someone who’s considering joining the company, who’s not a Memory Maker, and they’re thinking of coming to the River. 

Joseph:

Yeah. 

Charlie:

What advice would you give to that person? 

Joseph:

Well, first of all, I want to use Manny’s words. We want you here and you know, take it from me. This has been the most rewarding that it could be. I think this was my first job. And then and if I have a choice, this is going to be the last. 

Charlie:

That’s fantastic. 

Joseph:

So, I would like, we would like you to be here.  

Charlie:

Well, you’re doing a great job at the Smashville. You guys are smashing records. That is Joseph Alcantara, Home Furnishings Expert, one of our favorite Memory Makers. The original Chat with the Champ from April 2016. 

And we hope you enjoyed this podcast. If you did, please give us a review wherever you listen to it. Subscribe on YouTube or Apple, Spotify, Google Amazon, or wherever you catch your podcast. And new episodes drop every Wednesday. 

Joseph, this has been fun. Thanks so much for driving up on the Masters Week to join us here for Stories from the River. 

Joseph:

Thank you. 

Welcome to Stories from the River, a podcast brought to you by Broad River Retail, where we’ll explore the personal journeys of our Memory Makers and share real stories from across the organization. And now for your host, president and CEO at the River, Charlie Malouf.

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