Have you ever started a business you didn’t know anything about? On the show today is Josh Watts, CEO of MedTrust Holdings, a private ambulance provider who specializes in “inter-facility care”: the medicine in between buildings when patients transfer from one facility to another. Josh got into the private ambulance business after beginning in aviation sales and recruitment, and shares what that journey was like, the challenges along the way, and what it’s like to be one of the fastest growing companies in South Carolina. Listen to the full episode here:
The journey to MedTrust
Josh shares how he started in sales and recruitment in the aviation industry — that is, until 9/11 happened and he ended up moving departments. There, he met his wife who was working in pharmaceuticals, and that’s when he fell in love with healthcare. He worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative, and even got into real estate, but nothing felt quite right.
Eventually, he was approached with the idea of starting an ambulance company. The problem, they said, was that most ambulances are run by burned-out paramedics. The industry was ripe for innovation — not a dramatic one, just one about taking care of people better — and in 2012, MedTrust was born.
Growing pains and motivations
In 2014, one of the co-founders passed away. With an investor and a right-hand person on board, they tore the company down to the studs and had to decide what they wanted to be when they grew up. Many companies want to be everything to everybody, but a company serving many audiences doesn’t serve any of them well.
They made the decision to focus, and built the foundation from a system and people perspective into the company it is today.
Josh has two ‘why’s’ that spur MedTrust’s growth:
First, if you truly believe what you’re offering is dramatically better than what other people are currently experiencing, then you want more people to have that thing.
Second, there are 160 families that depend on the company; the families of the people who work for MedTrust. Josh wants to build a company worth owning and a company worth working for that is able to provide that opportunity for the staff.
Challenges along the way
The initial challenge was showing that they could serve one hospital, since they had never done it before.
As the company grew, so did the challenges. Josh shares that currently, their main concerns are 1) maintaining the company’s quality and performance while his attention as CEO is divided, 2) growing without falling over as they add more and more clients at a faster and faster pace, and 3) expanding and being experts in an altogether new market: Florida.
So the team took time to engage with their clients on a deeper level and focus on areas for improvement. For patients to come first, the company has to take care of their employees, and Josh shares what that means for them. He also shares how they recruit the right people by leveraging MedTrust’s differences and core values, and Kevin coaches Josh on how to make those core values come to life as they scale the company.
What message would you like to pass on to other business owners?
Don’t be afraid of losing control by bringing in really smart people and look for them beyond the four corners of your area. Challenge your team: Can you take all that great knowledge and build us a different, better box?
It’s easier to see the opportunity for innovation from the outside, but it takes humility to say, “I don’t know everything.” That creates a unique partnership.
Transform YOUR Team!
If you’re a leader who is, or wants to be entrusted with the transformation of your team, join me and 6 other leaders for a year-long journey of transformation that will help you release your brilliance, and help others do the same. Email Kevin@Kevindmonroe.com to begin the application process.