With a multi-million-dollar pool, manufacturing and retail business, Rusty Britton is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. I met Rusty through my CEO class which his wife Bethanie participated in (probably with aspirations to contain him!) and we worked together on their company Playbook™. Rusty is one of the most natural leaders I’ve come across – with a commitment to his employees and customers that is almost palpable. Rusty helps make his customer’s back yard dreams a reality – and I imagine he filled out this questionnaire while sitting in his own hot tub drinking a beer, watching an Oklahoma sunset in his back yard. Enjoy!
1. What is your business?
Country Leisure… We help make customers back yard dreams come true.
2. Why did you decide to do the work you do?
I don’t think I did. I mean who in their right mind buys a company that only makes a profit four or five months a year and has to hold on like crazy to keep from losing it all back the other seven or eight months of the year just to turn around and do it all again. That being said, it’s kind of like a drug – not sure why, but I love it.
3. What is your ideal customer?
25-year-old to 55-year-old working mothers.
4. What is it that your customers or clients really want?
To live longer, healthier, lives in an environment that brings the family closer together.
5. Which two organizations outside your own do you know the most people at and why?
G & A and Pool Corp. These are our two largest vendors.
6. What is your MBTI?
7. What are you known for?
I guess…a hard-headed son of a bitch that shows up and works his ass off every day to try and provide a better life for my wife and children than I had when I was growing up. With the hope that the Lord respects the man I have become, my wife knows what is in my heart, my kids know the value of a hard day’s work, and the plan we are trying to prove out is successful.
8. What do you love about what you do?
Interacting with so many different types of people, helping people find solutions to their problems, watching the development of our team, taking a thought, a dream, an idea and turning that into something that is real.
9. When you aren’t working, what are you likely to be doing?
Spending what little free time I do have with my family and trying to find a way to make that time meaningful, but sometimes it is only a brief look that says I love you, I need you, you are beautiful, or thanks for being there. Just this last week I got to go to the girl’s last swim lesson and saw the proud look on Pax’s face as she swam across the pool unassisted.
10. What are you reading now?
Why Does E=mc2 (and why should we care).
11. What is the coolest app you are using?
I’m not very techy – my map app, but during the summer my weather app gets worn out. (Plus my GPS app that tracks all my guys’ movements!)
12. Do you have a favorite “life hack?”
So, I’m a little embarrassed I had to look this up. I think this one may work. I use a zip lock bag to pipe in filling when I make manicotti.
13. What was your latest “Aha!” moment about?
Realizing we are an above ground pool store that sells a few hot tubs.
14. What have you gained from your work with Mettise?
15. What were you doing the last time you laughed your head off?
Watching a movie with my wife.
16. What was the worst job you ever had?
Working at the Federal Reserve cash processing (night shift). Fun fact, I worked here leading up to Y2K when the FED was stocking up new cash preparing for the Y2K crash that never happened. We knew that we would be receiving large quantities of new bank notes and expected to receive them in armored trucks underground in the secure vault where we received deliveries daily from banks. This was not the case. They were mailed through regular mail and delivered through the front door daily for a few weeks by our regular postal worker. These packs (BEP packs what we called them) were unassuming, but each pack held 16,000 bank notes and weighed 30 lbs. We received mostly 100’s and 20’s. I thought it strange but successful. Imagine for minute – the postal carrier has 8 to 10 packs on their truck at the start of a shift; they park at the end of one block, leave their truck (unlocked) to walk their route, then they come to the FED front door and hand load a hand truck on the street with those packs and leave them at the front desk for maintenance to bring to the vault. On the days we received 100’s, that equates to 16 million dollars on that unlocked truck at the end of the street, and no one ever knew, not even the postal worker who delivered us hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of a few weeks.
17. If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for?
I’m a pretty good bullshitter.
18. What do you consider your best find?
Bethanie but she found me.
19. How do you relax after a hard day of work?
On the patio, at least three sips into my COLD beer with my wife and kids… Or the last three or four seconds right before going to sleep. I take a deep breath and pray that I am lucky enough to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.
20. If you were a crazy dictator on a small island nation, what dictator stuff would you do?
We would have a luau on the beach at sunset every night. I would toss out anyone who did not pull their own weight (no free luau’s) but maybe free health care if we could develop trade with larger islands near us to pay for it of course.
21. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
I think in the broadest sense, my blessing on a decision they have made or are going to make.
22. What is worth spending more on to get the best?
23. What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?
24. What do you want your epitaph to be?
Hold my beer and watch this.
Interested in more profiles of cool people? Check out Cathy’s blog.