SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

Leadership Lessons From A Brutal Path: Author Jeff Giagnocavo on Overcoming Your History

Your past doesn’t have to define your future.

In this episode, Jeff Giagnocavo, the owner of Gardner’s Mattress and More, joins Mark Kinsley to co-host today’s Sleep Summit Show. Together, they explore how leaders can create safe, nurturing spaces for their teams and Giagnocavo shares how he transformed his childhood trauma into motivation to lift others up.

Three key takeaways from this episode:

1) Leaders must demonstrate vulnerability and find empathy to understand their team. Suppressing emotions creates barriers.

2) Reframing problems as opportunities allows creativity to flourish. Teams should bring solutions, not just issues.

3) Turning trauma into power requires recognizing that today’s stresses aren’t yesterday’s hurts. Leaders must respond with patience.

Plus, get a sneak peek into Giagnocavo new book “The Space for Leadership.” In this book, he focuses on high-ticket small businesses and coaches them to grow through vision and strategy. By opening up about overcoming abuse, he aims to help leaders and teams unite in purpose.


Mark Kinsley: He’s the owner of Gardner’s mattress and more the founder of the big ticket life. And now the author of the space for leadership. Jeff Gennacavo is here on the sleep summit show and it begins right now.

Mark Kinsley: Welcome to the sleep summit show. I’m your host, Mark Kinsley. First off, super excited about sleep summit coming up.

We just announced that HGTV stars, Dave and Jenny Mars. From the TV show, fixer to fabulous are going to be speaking at sleep summit. I’m going to do a fireside chat with them. And then you are going to be able to get your picture taken with Dave and Jenny, who are amazing people. Uh, and we’re going to be talking about how you can actually remodel your business.

To give it the upgrade you need because of course, and their whole thing is fixer to fabulous, taking something that needs a little work and making it better. Uh, and speaking of making things better, uh, my life is better right now because Jeff Gennakovo is here on the show. Jeff, it’s been a while since we caught up and now you are launching your brand new book.

Give us the lay of the land. What’s been going on with you?

Jeff: It has been a while since we caught up. In fact, I think we burned. About three green rooms, pre shows worth of time warming up, just catching up. So it’s good to be here, man. Appreciate you. Yeah. So, uh, the space for leadership, uh, is my new book. Most of you in the industry know I’ve written a couple of books for the industry, but this is like my first big book.

Like this is, this is a book meant for the people, the people in the industry and outside of the industry. Uh, really, I mean, it’s all about impact. Uh, it’s all about my personal story. Uh, as a child, I was, uh, violently, sexually abused as a kid from age seven to 12 and, you know, the realization, and this might sound odd for people to hear this, um, but I’ve, I’ve come a long way in my journey and being connected to faith and, and understanding that there is far greater power above us.

Uh, so it may be odd to hear this, that I, that this was given to me. And that’s an odd thing to say. It’s an odd thing to hear. It’s an odd thing to hear the phrase when God will do no harm, something that I still, when I hear that phrase and say it, there’s a tremendous amount of questioning behind that phrase, but ultimately it comes down to faith.

Right? And we have faith in business. Uh, we have faith that. In those bad weeks, those rough days, you know, where you just can’t pull a sail to save your life. You feel like you couldn’t give things away. You have to have faith that at the end of the month, your month’s going to work out the end of the year, your year is going to work out.

And that phrase of this has been given to me. I get it. I get that. That’s a rough thing to hear and accept. I get it’s a rough thing to hear that God will do no harm. I donated some sheets and pillows and I think, uh, a boxed mattress to, uh. local charity event for a child that passed away from leukemia at the age of six.

How do you settle that? A child passing from childhood cancer at age six with the phrase that God will do no harm. And I’ll, I’ll move on and just say, if we think we go about this life and all things are just coincidental. I think it’s a fairly sad way to live. And so the book, the book is about taking that trauma and whatever yours is, it’s not meant to be a contest.

We’re not meant to be strewed out on the trauma highway weighing who’s got it worse than the other. It’s how it’s affected you, how you turn that into a power and transformation and really how you lead others. Because I guarantee you on your team, everybody around you is dealing with something and that’s something creates a clash in their life at home and their space and time outside of their environment with you and on a level outright or on a level behind the scenes, it’s being brought into the space you’re occupying with them.

And so you have this, you have to decide how you’re going to lead that space. Are you going to walk around with the shield to create space above to bring people in? Are you going to walk around the sword where you cut people down? And so the book. Digs into all that. And I’m so happy that I’ve been able to get it out and tell this story and share it with others.

Mark Kinsley: It takes a lot of bravery to even start talking publicly about that level of trauma. Is that something that you’ve only recently done or is this something that you’ve been sharing with people trying to shine a light, let people know they’re not alone? When did that start happening for you?

Jeff: Publicly since the beginning of the year. And you know, it’s, it’s really funny that I own a business and have made my life and put a roof over my head and provided for my family, you know, being a sales person, if you will, and owning and leading sales organizations, because you have to ask for business.

Uh, I didn’t share this story for years and years because in my teens, when I attempted to, uh, with family, um, You know, it was shut down and I realize now, you know, then it was immensely hurtful and really continued to have that negative frame in my life and the impact. But I realize now, you know, those folks just didn’t have the tools.

They didn’t have the capacity to understand and, and, and again, I’ll frame that back to, to people listening. Like, if you’re struggling with the people on your team, like, why don’t they get this? What don’t they understand? Understand first, they’re not you understand you as a leader. Haven’t given them the tools to succeed every single problem you’re facing in your organization.

I can guarantee you comes back to how you lead and how you look to understand and find empathy with one another. And so, you know, we’re not, you know, as, as you grow up in life, it’s not like you’re given a handbook as a child, as a teen, as a young adult, as your first, like, where’s that handbook series, right?

Where, where’s life for dummies, right? It just ain’t out there. So how can we expect the people around us to have these tools to succeed if we, as leaders, aren’t giving them to them?

Mark Kinsley: It sounds like as a leader, in some ways you’re saying, uh, there’s a level of vulnerability that a leader needs to demonstrate. And then there’s this level of coaching to make sure that you’re surfacing, whatever it is that somebody around you is dealing with and then bringing them into. Um, their own best self is, do you get into that coaching piece of the, of the puzzle?

It sounds like.

Jeff: 100%. Yeah. 100%. And that vulnerability is, is what really, I guess, if there was one single thing within the book that I asked people to take away, it’s that if you as a leader can’t be vulnerable, how, how in the world do you expect any growth to happen for yourself and with your team? Because your team’s just coming into their job to do the job.

And that’s what you have a business for. Like, I get there’s a balance there. I get you didn’t ask to be their leader in that way. Keep in mind, these people spend the majority of their waking hours in a week with you.

Mark Kinsley: What

Jeff: Yeah, they’re doing a job. Yes, there’s an exchange happening. Work for wage. I get it, aren’t they, they have a right to have an impactful life too.

And even if that impact is bringing it to you. Where you employ them. So be a be a leader to make it the best they can.

Mark Kinsley: What did you learn about yourself, Jeff, when you wrote this book? And I want to start with, uh, maybe some of the areas that it shined a light on where you maybe felt like, Oh, I’m not the best at that. I think, you know, personally, just to, to kind of, you know, add some fuel to this fire before you do, you know, over this past year, I’ve had a lot of time to maybe not a lot of time, but I’ve taken intentional time to reflect and I’ve realized there’s some areas in my leadership style that are lacking.

And did you, did you surface anything when you wrote the book or going through that process that you said, yeah, that’s, that’s not where I’m, I’m the best,

Jeff: Yeah, no, 100%. And it’s every I battle with it every day. There’s a chapter called new cuts. Uh, what’s it’s called? New cuts don’t equal. I should know this. Sorry. New

Mark Kinsley: trust me, I’ve written a book. I get it. I don’t have everything memorized either.

Jeff: Uh, what is it? A new hurt doesn’t equal an old scar. All right. So that, that’s the chapter that made it to publishing. I was beginning to iterate, uh, an original version, the draft version, a new hurt doesn’t equal an old scar. And so this goes to how we’re leading our team, right? Like they’re, they’re bringing their own baggage.

To work, you know, your friends and your family outside of your business have their own stuff going on and we’ve all got this baggage and I talk about it in this chapter, like we’re all just kind of like in a crowded room with these big old rucksacks are going to bump into each other.

Mark Kinsley: Hello.

Jeff: but that baggage somebody’s carrying isn’t meant for you. And so that cut that wound that they give you today, isn’t the equivalent of that old scar. And I realized sharing the story that. No matter the feedback I get, it ain’t gonna be that man doing what he did in that basement all those times.

So bring it. Like, that’s the power I’m in right now. That’s the gap I’m in right now. It doesn’t, it doesn’t bother me, any feedback that I’ve gotten. And I’ve gotten some negative feedback, and it’s like, alright, whatever. You think that’s gonna hurt me? After you’ve heard my story, no, it’s not. And, and so daily I deal with, I have to recognize, okay, this moment isn’t that this, this bump with me and my team isn’t that this customer saying no to this proposal, it isn’t that so don’t internalize it and then outwardly express it.

With that rage without emotion without anger because it’s not the same thing. It’s just a moment momentary bump of that baggage Just bumping up against you, but they’re not asking you to strap it on. They’re not asking you to carry it.

Mark Kinsley: this is a really good pause point. I think from an emotional intelligence standpoint, what you just described. So I want to double red underline that so often, I think it’s not that other thing during this moment and it gets conflated, it gets mixed together. And a lot of times, whenever, you know, for example, you know, whenever anger spouts out of us, a lot of times anger is the easiest emotion to access.

Um, and so what is underneath that anger, I think is what a lot of good leaders are able to tease out when they’re patient, when they ask the right questions, when they give people space to lead themselves. Um, so I think that’s a very common thing and, and I, you know, I’m guilty of that myself. Sometimes I’ll have to, I’ll have some sort of emotional reaction that comes out as frustration or anger, and really, I need to sit down and process my emotions.

Uh, because I, I don’t access them as easily as some people. And so I need that space to lead myself to find out what is the real issue and then put a plan in place for myself so that I’m not the worst version to the people I love or to my employees or to the people that I, that I want to serve.

Jeff: Exactly I mean, it’s a it’s a it’s the exact feeling it’s the exact takeaway. I want people to have with this Um,

Mark Kinsley: what do you, so in the kind of like the description of the book, you talk about techniques for creating a safe and nurturing space. That fosters collaboration and growth. Give us, give us some of the goods, you know, what are some of those techniques that a leader can deploy or employ to create a safe space and a nurturing space that fosters that collaboration and growth.

Jeff: yeah, I mean, I think the 1st thing folks here that we’ve got these, these monikers, these, these means, and these things we see across social media about, you know, after feelings, uh, You know, all the, all the associated stuff, right? Well, the reality is feelings are human. We’re all humans. We all have them. If you need to be the macho guy, fine.

Let’s talk about organizing and stacking your emotions. Let’s talk about putting them in the right box. Let’s compartmentalize it, but you got to look at it. And I think that would be the single biggest tip I could share is. If you need to put in a box, put in a box, but you got to look at it. You got to understand that it’s there.

It’s there. It’s there for the people. You lead, uh, the boxes that you give them, right? The ways you interact with them. You got to understand happens and your folks, uh, you know, they create their own, um, their own definitions about you, about the way you lead, about the culture that’s been created. And so you have to either you.

Help eradicate that, solve it, or you have to put new stuff in that, in that, in those moments and in those emotions and in those feelings for people. Uh, but you have to understand that, um, as a leader, every single moment is an opportunity to lead or an opportunity to create another hurdle. So I think those two, those two themes would be probably the single biggest stuff to, to keep in mind.

Mark Kinsley: When you talk about, you know, surfacing emotion and giving it, giving it some time and some breathing room, it reminds me of, uh, another book. Um, so when you’re picking up, when you’re heading over to Amazon, you’re picking up the space for leadership by Jeff Gennakovo, uh, check out, uh, the six thinking hats by Edward de Bono and the six thinking hats all have a different color.

And so as, as a technique for your team, you can train them on putting on certain thinking hats. And for example, the black hat is completely negative, like only negative thoughts, only things that are threats. The white hat is just information. Like give it as if it’s a white sheet of paper printing out from a computer, completely information.

The red hat is emotion. And so sometimes I think we, we look at decision making and we try to make it logical only, and we try to take emotion out of it, but emotion is there as information. I, it’s one of the things that makes us uniquely human and you, there are two things you can’t control. You can’t control your thoughts.

You can’t control your emotions. You can figure out what to do with them, how you’re going to act on them, but you really can’t control them. And science has proven that. Um, however, whenever you’re talking to an employee and you see that emotion, maybe you can say, Hey, I, let’s red hat this, you know, I hear some emotion there and then you give it, give it that space knowing that it doesn’t matter.

You don’t have to justify it. You don’t have to, uh, figure out a way to explain your emotion. The red hat just gives people the space to be completely emotional. And then we’ll put on a different hat. Once, once we get it out there.

Jeff: Yeah, a hundred percent. I’ll really bring this down to a real tactical. Surgical, uh, example. So just this morning before we got on our show together, um, I guess we had a, an interaction with a customer that was less or just disappointed that their boxed mattress, and this is a premium, uh, natural latex product, uh, wasn’t completely inflated the minute it was popped open.

And I don’t know all the details and it doesn’t even matter. What matters is the emotion of that, of our customer. And so the lesson is always set expectations, our mission in our business. And it’s on our wall, right? Like there’s not a lot of stone around anymore. People don’t chisel things into stone, like the 10 commandments are, but our mission is if it were chiseled in stone, is this change the way you feel about mattress stores as our customer.

And so everything we do, I remind my team always like, is this interaction on point with the mission? Is what we just said is what we just did is how we just presented on point with the mission. And so this interaction missed the mission, the miscommunication between delivery and sales missed the mission.

And so my message to the team was, Hey, we failed you having a document that you can hand out at the point of sale, at the point of delivery on an email. It’s now fixed my VA, my graphics VA. I sent it to him the minute I got it. By the time I had opportunity to respond and collect my thoughts, I had to.

The PDF back I says now fixed and we added to our email follow up. So now there’s three opportunities to set this expectation. And the only thing that I added to remind everybody from an emotional standpoint is the mission. And my expectation is that everyone here is on board with the mission, period, full stop.

And if you can’t be, let’s have a discussion about that. And, and so compare that a few years ago, Jeff, that would have been a category five Jeffisode. Flip out, yell, you know. Negatively react, kick a door, launch a, launch a box mattress across the warehouse. I’ve done all that, all that stuff. Sorry. I just almost cussed on your show.

I don’t want to do that.

Mark Kinsley: You can say, you can say shit. Don’t worry.

Jeff: All right. Very good. Yeah. I mean, I’ve done all that stuff. Um, you know, some, some select moments, maybe a response has been deserved, but not that response.

Mark Kinsley: What changed? I mean, what changed in you

Jeff: Man, you pull no one, the realization that you pull no one, you pull no one in doing that, you know, throughout this process of creating the book. I mean, I’ve been, I’ve been in marketing mode of this book for six weeks. Uh, and I’ve been dribs and drabs. I talked about my past on my podcast show. So people that are connected to me and tuned in, they’ve been hearing it.

And so it wasn’t just brand new news this week. And people said, man, I never knew this about you. I never knew you had this big of a heart. I never knew this. I never knew that. I’m like, it’s always been there. It’s just, man, it’s been hard to show it. And I realized I’m the only one stopping me from that, you know?

Mark Kinsley: and what happens when you stop yourself from that versus. Letting yourself be free in, in that truth,

Jeff: well, I mean, when I say I was the only one stopping myself from that, I was the one choosing to be overly negative, to be overly upset. Right. And I guess I could sit here and say, I’m justified in that. You know, um, there’s, there’s folks that are out there in this world, abusing alcohol, abusing drugs for far less reason, you know, in their upbringing, that’s not me, but that’s how they dealt with it.

And for me, it’s like, I chose to deal with all that with anger and again, I guess you could say it’s rightfully. So how does that ultimately help? How does that response ultimately help me live my life in a way? I want to live my life positively. It doesn’t. And so when you realize that you’re the one in your own way, it all starts and stops with ourselves.

And so that other message about the box mattress thing, as I said to the team, I’m sorry that it took this long for us to give you this tool, but now we got it in the toolbox. A

Mark Kinsley: taking responsibility for what you can control, not what, not what’s not there. I was, you know, I’m always, I used to be frustrated to no end when people would say, here’s the problem I would always want. Great that thank you for identifying that. What’s, what are some potential solutions to that problem? I don’t want to just hear about problems.

I want to also hear about solutions. So it’s, you know, put on that, put on that green, green hat of creativity and then, and then do something with it, do something about

Jeff: Yeah. I tell those around me on the various teams I have, don’t bring me the problem. Bring me an answer. If the first thing you’re bringing me is the problem. I don’t, I don’t need you on the team. Problem’s going to get to me anyway. Buck stops with us, right? As business owners, right? Isn’t that the mantra?

It’s the reality. So don’t bring me the problem. The problem will eventually find me. It’s how, just how it goes. You’re here to bring me the answer. And I want to set you up with enough, enough initiative, enough, uh, space, enough ability, enough support to get that creative hat on and bring me that answer.

Mark Kinsley: it. Speaking of bringing answers to people, I want to get into your, your big ticket life, you know, we opened the show talking about how you’re the owner of Gardner’s mattress and more, and of course, you know, being a couple of guys in the, in the mattress business, that’s how we’ve originally connected. Um, and now of course, you’re the, the, the author of your new book, the space for leadership, Edward, Amazon, check it out, pick up Jeff’s book.

Um, but I want to talk about this, uh, this big ticket life, but before we get there, um, let’s do our sleep summit quiz question and just know it’s coming folks. We’re going to find out the strangest place.

But here we go, I’m going to give you a, this could be a softball for you. Maybe, maybe not, but we’ll answer it at the very end of the show. So here’s the quiz question, but, but be thinking about your answer and we’ll see if Jeff gets it right. The record for the longest time, any person has gone without sleep is how many hours.

So we’re going to measure it out in hours. The absolute record. I’m going to do some quick math here. I’m going to break this down into days. I’m yes. I have a giant calculator sitting beside me. It’s a Casio. It’s a DM 1200 BM. I’d never looked at that number until now, by the

Jeff: It’s an antique. I think

Mark Kinsley: I got it. Cause I was like, man, I just, I got to

Jeff: just, I iPhone has been out since 2007.

Mark Kinsley: I’m banging on this 10 key, baby. Okay. So divided by 24. Oh, okay. Hold on a second. I’ll show you the calculator, by the way, if you’re watching on YouTube. Uh, or on Facebook or wherever we put out the videos, I’ll show you the calculator. It’s coming, but I don’t want to give away the number yet. Oh, wow.

That’s a long time. Here’s the, here’s the Casio.

Jeff: That is, that is an antique. Those ones

Mark Kinsley: of my head almost. Um, so, so Jeff, um, be thinking about your answer and then let’s get into this, this big ticket life. So I love the name. I don’t know. I don’t a hundred percent know. What this is, but I know a little bit about it because you focus on helping business owners who basically sell infrequent high ticket purchases who are in the brick and mortar space.

But, but tell us about big ticket life. What is it? Is it consulting thing? Is it a mastermind? Is it a group who gets in, give us the lay of the land.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s a little bit of all of that. And so you nailed it. Like the, the, the businesses that I attract to, and I feel I can bring the most value to because my relationships on a business end are revenue, share, and equity positions. So I don’t really work on retainer. Uh, I don’t really work on fee. Per se, uh, those things exist, but they ultimately work against revenue share and or equity.

And so it’s very connected relationships measured on these 2 hands because that’s what the time allows. Right? I want to do life and business on my terms. That’s kind of my tagline. Um. You know, uh, we talked in the pre show about getting to sleep summit. Uh, I will do everything I can to be there. But the core focus, because we have 29 varsity football games to make a division 1 college football offer happen for my son.

That exists right now. That’s the timeline. Our family is on and he is on and I’m there to support him for all of those games. Uh, I’m all my businesses are set up to be able to do that and be connected and present, right? Life and business on your terms. And so. The Big Ticket Life is about those kinds of relationships with those kinds of businesses, being able to affect major change and create something special together with a handful of businesses.

And yeah, they’re typically like your home remodelers, your deck builders, your HVAC. I’ve got, I’ve worked with some chiropractors in the past. Some big ticket financial advisor type folks. Um, right now I’m on a franchise group for a different iteration around Topgolf called Link’s Golf Cafe. Uh, there’s some big news forthcoming there.

Um, and so it’s those kinds of relationships that I, that I work with. And, you know, I’m that visionary that really helps the great integrator run business. The guy or gal that is great at doing their teams. Building their teams, delivering the service, swinging the hammers, turning the wrenches, but they don’t have an ally for big ideas.

In fact, they often get shot down. You know, I’m their custom auto in their corner. You know, they’re the Mike Tyson that can throw a punch, but I’m the guy that can bring them into the Octagon for an MMA fight. I’m the guy that can bring them into WWE and get them a whole new paycheck. Okay.

Mark Kinsley: Tell us a story. Give us an example of that because I’m, I’m very fascinated. Number one, selling mattresses and being in business. You have created an incredible business, Gardner’s mattress and more, and the experience that you focus on, the way you serve your customers, the reviews. I mean, the proof is in the pudding.

Like you have so many happy customers, so many great reviews. I know you have a lot of dedicated, um, employees and customers who come back to you time and time again, but when you get outside of the mattress industry and the mattress business, and you start being the visionary for other companies, what, what are some of the stories that, that come top of mind for you that have been really fun or impactful?

Jeff: Yeah. So, uh, like links, golf cafe, there’s five revenue streams within there. One of them is, is my idea and that’s business meeting space and continuing education credits. And so we’re building that as part of the program for businesses, because when a business just goes to the golf course that received for golf may or may not be able to be written off.

And if it is, it’s only a 30%. But if you’re investing in continuing education and you’re investing in a membership where you can prove you have routine business meetings and we provide you that space and we provide you that continuing education through that physical place of business, you can write off your golf membership at links Golf Cafe at 100%.

Mark Kinsley: Didn’t realize that. So from a tax perspective, if it is classified as continuing education, boom, it’s a full write off.

Jeff: That’s right.

Mark Kinsley: Otherwise, if it’s a business meeting, you said it’s, it’s 30 percent

Jeff: Yeah. And I mean, again, I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a CPA, but these are things that have been told to me and I’m not your lawyer or your CPA. And I’m saying all that to appease, appease the lawyers. And I do everything I can to have only one federal agency in my life. And that’s the IRS. And I don’t even like them in my life, but I digress

Mark Kinsley: Nice. That’s cool. So right now, in terms of the big ticket life, that is pretty much something you’re attracting. Like you said, it’s a smaller group of people because you want to keep it an intimate. And as you know, different projects come up, you’re able to choose from that. Now, is it a group that gets together with each other or does it pretty much just flow through you and you’re, you’re in that consulting capacity?

Jeff: in the consulting capacity. It flows through me. Yeah. I mean, I’ve done events. Um, You know, like I’ve been asked to do coaching, right? So I view consulting and coaching as two very different things. Coaching to me is far more, um, generalized, uh, the person will bring different problems and we’ll work to massage those problems out consulting through big ticket life is, uh, the goal there is to grow 3 to 500 percent in 5 years.

And get to a cash event. Now, maybe that cash event is that integrator business owner that’s been at their business 70 hours a week for the last 17 years. That cash event is they get to check in twice a week. Like I do in my retail business. And enjoy life the other five days of the week and still get paid and still turn profit at the end of the year and have to decide how they’re going to dividend that out.

That’s a cash event, a cash event might be taking on equity. Uh, it might be, uh, selling. Okay. So it’s a very defined goal, the coaching business, which is over my shoulder and battlefield Alliance. This is about helping people in their business, especially if they have teams solve that clash between work and home and give folks who lead their people.

A road map of success, habit stacking, uh, and coaching to those modalities around proper habits. So we elevate the human capital in the business consistently. So that’s that part. So there we have more meetings there. We get together for sure. Um. But in big ticket life, it’s, it’s pretty much my direct relationship, which is again, why I say my, my client counts measure on these two hands.

Uh, and right now it’s one hand. Um, and, and that’s okay. It’s, it’s intentionally what I want. You asked for some ideas. So here’s one other idea and we can move on. I don’t want to. Uh, monopolize the airwave any more than I already have. So I have a, a client that, uh, manufactures their own decking material.

And I said, how, you know, you got all these colors, right? And, and, and essentially it’s like 70, you know, it’s like 31 flavors of brown and gray. Right. I said, how much is it to put color in? Because the customer base that buys this stuff is largely male driven. Yes. The spouse, the wife is involved. But a lot of times there’s opportunity to do something special.

So the topic of color came up and so I’m a Philadelphia Eagles guy. And I said, you know, how hard would it be to do green and Eagles silver and are black. He says, it’s not hard at all. We have those pigments on the shelf. I don’t have a lot, but it’s like an order at any time. I’m like, great. Let’s do that.

And let’s build decks in fan colors and team colors.

And so, you know, the overlay of colors is there’s a, there’s a lot of like red in a lot of team colors. You know, it can be the Arizona Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals, football, baseball. Uh, who’s New Jersey devils on hockey. Okay. And who’s red in basketball. I’m not a basketball fan really at all, but, uh, Miami Heat’s got red in it, right?

So the overlay is tremendous. The cost is very much nothing, but the premium is 20 percent more.

Mark Kinsley: And he’s actually rolled this out and people are building fan color decks to this day. It’s happening right now. Beautiful.

Jeff: Yeah. And so it’s, and so it’s not the whole deck, right? Cause you have to think through, well, what if we sell this house and, you know, a Cowboys fan would happen to buy a Philadelphia Eagles fans house. How would that work? Right? Massive seller concession, terrible butting of heads at the closing table. Uh, the Eagles fan would have to hand the Cowboys fan of VCR to watch their super bowls on and on, right?

All these problems come up. Um, But you do it in these discrete areas, right? So a lot of the, a lot of what people are doing in the backyard, especially the last two years is very intricate, very big decks. And so you carve out a space, you carve out a part. And the main eating area,

Mark Kinsley: you know, sometimes when I, when I look at these almost like one off products that are part of a bigger line, even just using it as marketing, you know, find the customers that are going to go all in. With the Eagles green and then outfit that thing. And now you’ve got a big marketing asset you can use that calls attention to your product in a new way, because otherwise it’s just commoditized, boring decking, you know? Yeah. Love it.

Jeff: yeah, and I mean, you know, this guy happens to be in New Jersey and happens to be right in the backyard of where almost all the Philadelphia professional sports players live. Cause it’s right across the bridge

Mark Kinsley: Yeah. Boom. There you go. Then you get more, you know, athletes building decks with your stuff and you’ve got another marketing asset. Cool stuff. I love it.

Jeff: All that good stuff

Mark Kinsley: What’s a, okay. So maybe, maybe it’s, maybe it’s on a deck. I don’t know. Where is the strangest place Jeff Gennakova has ever slept,

Jeff: in the woods against the tree in deer hunting season.

Mark Kinsley: but what happened? Tell us a story.

Jeff: So way, way back, I went out deer hunting with friends and I had always done like turkey and duck and geese, which is a lot of fun here in Pennsylvania because it’s in the fall. It’s not cold. It’s fun. Uh, it’s a group thing. You can get a little louder to a degree, but deer hunting is like next level.

Ninja quiet. You know, whispers, if that, you know, some guys take it to the nth degree with all the scent stuff, both dampening your scent and improving the scent of the dough, uh, you know, which I’m, I’m dancing around it. You basically rub dough pee on you. Yeah, which I’ve never done, but I’ve had friends that have done this.


Mark Kinsley: asking for a friend, right?

Jeff: yeah, yeah, yeah. Like I can firmly attest. I have never spent a dime on dough urine to go hunting for a deer. Uh, I have friends that have, and so I guess I’m like 21, 20 years old. I’m up in Northern Pennsylvania, Tioga County. And these guys all want to like sleep from about 830. I’m like, we’re going to bed.

Yeah, we go to bed, sleep. We get up at like one o’clock and we traipse out in the woods and we sleep in the tree stand or in the hut or against the tree. And I was low man on the pole. So I’m at the tree at the end of the field where we’re driving out. So I had to sleep against this tree in the middle of the winter Thanksgiving weekend.

It’s freezing. It was awful. Just awful

Mark Kinsley: you Did you harvest,

Jeff: No, we didn’t. I went home. I was so upset. I’m out. Like

Mark Kinsley: I’m out, I’m going to be a sleep guy at some point in my life in the future. I have to prepare by sleeping in a bed that

Jeff: I went home. It was, it was just a terrible thing. And I spent all this money on this clothing. I like here, take this. I’m done. I’m never doing this again.

Mark Kinsley: Just shut it off. Take, um, all right. So have you had a chance to think about the, the sleep summit quiz question? Okay. So the record for the longest time a human being has gone without sleep. Hours. What’s your guess?

Jeff: I’m going to guess 108 hours.

Mark Kinsley: 108 would be wildly incorrect. Way, way too low. So,

Jeff: Well, that’s like, I mean, that’s almost five days.

Mark Kinsley: yeah. Yeah, this is gonna be crazy. So if you haven’t, I, I’ve actually seen a little documentary about this now. I think now I’m gonna, I’m gonna double check this, uh, state. Okay. So I’m gonna double check this. Okay. Yeah, I was pretty sure. So I had a stat that was incredibly wrong. Um, but I just, I just got it right.

So Randy Gardner did a sleep deprivation experiment. He was 17 years old and he stayed away awake for, yeah, you got to be 17 years old to do something this crazy. Um, and he stayed awake for 264. 4 hours. That’s the equivalent of 11 days and 24 minutes before dear young, Mr. Gardner finally nodded off. From what I heard about this guy, he was hallucinating to a very high degree.

Um, he was driving around in a convertible for a lot of it. Just trying to stay awake at two 64. What’s what’s your, uh, what’s your record? Do you, do you know off the top of your head?

Jeff: Yeah. I mean, I had back in my, you know, when I was on the wholesale side of our industry, I had some, uh, 48 hour moments, probably crossing into 50 hours. So some trips back and forth to Arizona to do some service work and LA quick, like, yeah, really stupid coast to coast travel, do some training, come back home, get on the road, go out and see local counts.

Like just. Crazy, crazy stuff. I like my sleep. I have a nice mattress. I enjoy sleep. I really like, like it. There’s a mattress in this podcast studio for grand outlet.

Mark Kinsley: you got a mattress in the pocket? I said, well, I can’t see it, but maybe we’ll, uh, maybe you can give us a behind the scenes, maybe you can like post it on your Facebook or something like that. So people can go check out your page and buy your book. Hey, how, how do you want people to get a, get ahold of you?

Obviously the book

Jeff: Yeah.

Mark Kinsley: for leadership is up on Amazon. So you can find it there. Where else can they get in touch with, uh, with. With Jeff, I’m

Jeff: So I, you know, when I do podcasts, uh, I guessed quite a bit, I have my own show, but the jeff g. com is like the clearing house for everything in my world. Specific to the book. The jeff g. com slash book, uh, takes you right to everything about the book. There’s a, and there’s a button to click over to Amazon there.

So you don’t have to search. Um, I’m doing some bonuses with the book, so you can read about those bonuses and those calls happen later in September. So you won’t miss out on anything. Uh, if you do happen to miss the live. Jam sessions, there’ll be recordings, but the jeff g. com slash book for the book. And then just the main site, if you want to connect with me any other way.

Mark Kinsley: I mean, I don’t really know why you chose that URL because I’m pretty sure most people can spell Gennakovo, right?

Jeff: So my kids, football coaches call them ate an avocado.

Mark Kinsley: By the way, if anybody’s interested, it’s G I a G N O C A V O Jeff Gennakovo.

Jeff: Yeah, just, just like

Mark Kinsley: you get it, it rolls off the tongue,

Jeff: see, it’s just like Smith.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, I’m sure. Have you ever met another Genacavo out there in the wild world that you didn’t know?

Jeff: There’s a Dennis Giannaka out there that no one in my family knows of, and it’s spelled the exact same way. So that second G is an Ellis Island insert, you know, so really only our family should have that. But I ran across that name, not in person, but the name at a rental car counter. I forget where, but it was at a rental car counter.

Like, Oh, Dennis. No, my name is Jeff. Oh, we have Dennis in here too. Just like it was Jeff Smith and Dennis Smith. And like, Whoa, wait a minute. There’s another Dennis Chernakovo like spelled like this. Yeah. G I A G N O C A V O. I’m like, no way. I don’t know that guy.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, Uncle, Uncle, Uncle Denny, the

Jeff: Yeah. No, nobody knows uncle Denny. So Dennis Chernakovo, if you happen to catch this, like reach out, I’d like to know who you are.

Mark Kinsley: I know there’s a basketball coach. His name is Mark Kinsley. And there’s like a lighting designer out of Chicago. His name is Mark Kinsley. But I never actually met another Kinsley in person. It wasn’t part of my family. Until I was in Marina Del Rey.

I was at the Ritz Carlton for a conference. And I walk up to the bell desk. And I look at this woman and she looks like my cousin Pam and I look at her name tag and her last name is Kinsley and I took my ID. I go, have you ever met another Kinsley? She’s like one. But of course I’m in a hotel. So I see a lot of people.

I’m like, this is so strange. You look just like my cousin Pam, but we couldn’t make any connection. So, they’re out there. Our families are out there somewhere, I’m sure.

Jeff: Yeah, it’s so funny that doppelganger thing, like you look at my facial picture and you look up Ben Roethlisberger,

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, yeah.

Jeff: like not

Mark Kinsley: had multiple people say that they’re, like, out of nowhere, they say, uh, Gavin Newsom,

Jeff: Oh,

Mark Kinsley: guess is the governor of California.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mark Kinsley: So, I get a lot of Gavin Newsom out there. I don’t know if that’s a compliment. I don’t think it is. I think they’re taking a jab at me.

Jeff: Yeah.

Mark Kinsley: Alright, find your

Jeff: I would say I would say Gavin Newsom looks like Mark Kinsley.

Mark Kinsley: Thank you, Jeff. I appreciate that. Step up to the mic. Newsome. Um, Hey buddy. It’s great. Congratulations on your new book. Uh, congratulations on all your success with your, with your, your continued success with Garner’s mattress and more, your, the people you serve with a big ticket life, um, living your truth, bringing that to people who are going to hear that message and be able to connect with it and, uh, being an inspiration to people.

So congratulations. Thanks so much for being on the show, man.

Jeff: Thank you for having me.

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