Mike Fata feature #36 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature # 36: Mike Fata presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on Mike Fata
For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the privilege to interview Mike Fata. His entrepreneurship journey began with one simple decision: to get healthy. It was a simple decision to make, because he was 300 pounds and struggling to find the energy to work and to see my own future. That’s how he ended up co-founding Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods in 1998, and beginning the journey to dedicate over 25 years of his life to studying and practicing natural health. After serving as Chairman of the Board and CEO until 2016, he helped guide the 9-figure strategic sale of the company to Tilray in 2019. Since then, his life’s purpose is celebrating and supporting sustainable, health-giving, and kind business ventures as an entrepreneur, board member, advisor, and mentor. Currently, he is Chief Executive Officer of Fata & Associates, a best selling author, a keynote speaker, host of Founder to Mentor podcast, 9 Figure Growth Coach, Global Growth Advisor of Mid-Day Squares, Chairman of the Board of Nuts for Cheese, Lifetime member (Past Chairman) of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), Lifetime member (Past Chairman) of Young Presidents Organization (YPO Manitoba) and investor/advisor to a portfolio of companies.
The company Mike founded was first sold in 2015 to a private equity firm. Then in 2019 he oversaw the full sale. He told us it was hard to sell, but it was a long time coming. Mike always knew there would be an end. There were positive aspects, but what isn't often shared or made common knowledge is the reality of a sale and what accompanies that, a grieving process. That part of life, that ability to show up and lead the team or have any integral part in the business is gone instantly, it dies overnight. Withing 2 months of completing the sale, Mike got divorced and then lost his mother. He referred to this period in his life as "the triple grieving process". Mike compared the sale and owning the company to parenting more than business. That connection he had created over 20 years. We asked if it was hard to walk away from his creation, but his answer depicted what makes him such a great leader, "The company was a much bigger than just my decision to sell. I had to put the interests of everyone on the table and make the best decision for the company. 2019 was the peak of the market and provided us the best move."
Writing a book
We asked Mike what led him to writing his book, "It was on my to do list for over a decade. I was aware that my life path was unique and unconventional. I didn't grow up with rich parents, didn't go to university, I found entrepreneurship and pioneered a new industry (hemp) and created the level of success I and my company had. I wanted to share my story for others like me to have the visibility that it is possible." He told us he finally came to a place mentally where he felt he had the capacity to start the book. But he credits his "aha" moment to help others. There was only so much 1 on 1 mentorship he was able to do. by writing the book he could share his story, expand his reach, and help educate people.
One of the things he told us he learned is he was a born entrepreneur but a learned CEO. When he took on the challenge of writing his book he knew he wanted to apply that process to it. He began by educating himself on the publishing model as he knew self-publishing was his desired path. After hiring a self-publishing agency that assigned a writer to work with Mike they put together a full timeline and gameplan that essentially covered 16-17 months. The book began shipping out March of this year.
We were curious what advice Mike would give to someone who wants to write a book? Here is what he shared with us as he feels he now has the knowledge to mentor on the book process.
Why do you want to write it?
Future schedule - have to be clear where you will be in the future because it is a 18-24 month timeline
Right fit to have synergy (His example: "Anyone that interacted with my brand knows my growth story...losing over 100 pounds, dropping out of high school, starting a new industry and business, growing it to 100M company. My story is authentic to me.)
Writing is only half the battle. After must not only promote it, but also market it
Bring a good process to it. Being prepared and applying the process allows it to be a good quality product.
You can find Mike's Book here.
Mike's passion for helping has translated to one of his roles of coaching and mentoring individuals 1 on 1. One reason for his success in this arena is he deems it, energy-giving. He told us he is at the point in his life where he doesn't give time to anything that drains energy. He enjoys the time he spends and said the benefit for him is watching the development and ultimately the success.
We asked Mike what is the most fulfilling part of coaching, "I enjoy the growth, finding individuals and seeing the positive impact I help create is hugely satisfying. I consider myself a strategist at heart, being able to devise a plan and conquer a challenge."
To work directly with Mike, visit here.
Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
During writing the book, Mike took another opportunity to expand his reach, the first way he did this was with the newsletter he created. Read his newsletter The Unstoppable Entrepreneur for inspiration and actionable advice to become unstoppable: www.mikefata.ca/newsletter
He informed us that he had very little of a social media presence until the pandemic. During that period he jumped on LinkedIn (profile here), and started to connect with friends in the community. Immediately started sharing not only stories but also lessons. Little by little some traction started to develop and the following grew. As the book got closer to being completed he started the newsletter. Instantly it was a success. To him the book was long form, sharing on LinkedIn is short form, and the newsletter is medium form. Always under a 5 minute read and usually less than 750 words. Impactful providing different thoughts on not only business but also building business. He told us it was the fastest thing he ever built, within 10 editions he hit 10K subscribers.
We were curious how he continuously finds content. Mike shared with us, "I'm using this platform to document my personal journey. my learnings on how to make friends first, do business second; how to find the right mentor; how to structure a board of directors or advisory board; ageism." Again his goal to give back and help by sharing his story, sharing the things he has lived and experienced to the masses for reference. Being able to provide his journey by displaying his authenticity.
Listen to his Founder to Mentor podcast, where Mike connects with world class founder mentors to inspire your personal and professional growth:
Mike told us that the podcast started on clubhouse during the pandemic. He has access to world class founders, especially in the natural space. Having an interest in not only talking to them but hearing their story was the motivation. He realized the value associated with each story and wanted to share them as people will be interested to follow the personal and professional growth. In a little less than a year and a half, the podcast has about 40 episodes.
We wondered how Mike made sure that the podcast was different from his newsletter and he shared with us, "This is conversational, but always try to bring out their story and their brand's story, also the uniqueness and their authenticity."
Mike told us the biggest joy from the podcasts is hearing the inspiring stories and providing the channel for these founders to give back. "It fires me up, healthy examples that I want to bring into my life."
Throughout his career, Mike has many accomplishments and success to his name, so we were dying to know, what is next? He confided that is his current dilemma. Starting about 4 years ago he reinvented himself. Mike began creating projects that he wanted to and since their inception, he has focused on continuous improvement for each. Between watching the community, talking with founders, he did share that the juices get flowing every now and then, remember a born entrepreneur. But currently, he is looking to optimize what is currently on his plate.
We asked Mike if he ever envisioned starting a company to selling it to being where he is today and he shared, "I've always had a bigger picture mentality and surrounded by great mentors. I've been able to watch them and tweak it to fit my current situation. My focus isn't on operating a business but instead investing, mentoring, and coaching. I started my company at 21 so I have so much time now to give back. I joke I'm a recovering entrepreneur, I still have the spirit, but don't need to have it now, instead want to help others have it."
We wondered if Mike had one moment that brought him the most joy throughout his two decade plus career, "The look on my Mom's face when the business sold. I hired her and worked with her. She was a single mom who raised her boys. To allow her to look back on the journey and see the success we created, meant so much."
Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
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Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
We asked Mike if there is a challenge that he'd like to tackle next, he informed us, "Maybe create a new project, I'm really into learning, I love it. So maybe something along a pitch option like a Shark Tank style. Time will tell." KLS wants to thanks Mike Fata for his time in sharing his story and current projects for today's "Together Talks" feature.
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Mike Fata feature #36 of Together Talks
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign "Together Talks" if you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
Our precise and reliable effort.
We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
What makes KLS different?
There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.