61 episodes

Sharing experiences, insights, and the drivers behind why my guests have built what they have built and how this applies to what drives you.

Driven By with Sam Coates Sam Coates

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 210 Ratings

Sharing experiences, insights, and the drivers behind why my guests have built what they have built and how this applies to what drives you.

    Building What I Wish I Had with Sam Sawyer

    Building What I Wish I Had with Sam Sawyer

    My guest today is Sam Sawyer. Not many would leave their career at the top of their field to launch a startup disrupting the space they once built their career in. After leaving Dallas, Texas, and working for Silicon Valley Based ZeroDown Sam launched Archetape, where he is Founder and CEO. After an early-stage investment round by Mucker Capital, Sam is building out Archetape and growing it throughout the Southeast U.S.A. Sam believes the future of residential real estate will continue to change dramatically and disrupt the old way agencies do business.

    I had a great time with Sam where you’ll learn:

    Contrary to standard behavior- why you’re better positioned to take risks and build companies in your 30’s and 40’s versus playing it safe  
    What makes a great early-stage investment relationship. Why Mucker Capital is a great partner and what they do to invest in and deliver value to their founders  
    Why raising too much funding can crush you.  
    The impact of Zillow and how this transformed the industry  
    First Principles thinking and why this drives how they build this company  
    And much more!  

    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Sam Sawyer!


    First principles- https://medium.com/the-mission/elon-musks-3-step-first-principles-thinking-how-to-think-and-solve-difficult-problems-like-a-ba1e73a9f6c0
    Sam twitter- @samHsawyer

    • 1 hr 30 min
    The Mecca of Soul Food with Patrice and Jerry Thompson

    The Mecca of Soul Food with Patrice and Jerry Thompson

    My guests today are Patrice and Jerry Thompson. Patrice and her family own and operate the legendary Four Way Restaurant out of Memphis, TN. The Four Way attracts visitors from all over the world. In addition to being known for its famous soul food, the Four Way is also a place with rich history and significance. In this interview, you’ll hear how Martin Luther King spent a lot of time at the Four Way during the civil rights movement. Additionally, this restaurant has seen guests such as Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Ike and Tina Turner, The Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many more. 

    This interview is a great episode where you’ll learn:
    The Four Way is much more than only a restaurant. 75 years later, you can see the pride, the vision, and the sacrifice generations prior have made to get the Four Way to where it is today. Why the Four Way was a place of love and community during segregation and how it remains that way today The challenges of running a restaurant during a labor shortage and the Covid-19 pandemic. How they’ve learned to pivot and adapt to make it through Their vision for the future and how they want to see their once-booming area return to what it once was And much more!  

    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Patrice and Jerry Thompson!


    • 2 hr 4 min
    You've Got To Be Willing To Let Go with Harry Smith

    You've Got To Be Willing To Let Go with Harry Smith

    My Guest today is Harry Smith. Harry is an author, former public accountant, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Can you imagine moving to a new city at the age of 37 and taking over one of the largest private companies in that city while it’s facing chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    After growing up in Florence, Alabama, Harry was recruited to Memphis, TN, to take over Schilling enterprises. As of 1980, Schilling Enterprises ( real estate, HVAC, trucking, automobile sales, and the auto parts industry) had over 100 Million Dollars in revenue with over 1,000 employees. After large contracts with Ford Motor company created significant consequences for Schilling Enterprises, Harry led the turnaround effort, saved Schilling Enterprises, and turned it into a successful ownership group that acquired and sold automobile dealerships.

    In Addition to his work with Schilling enterprises, Harry also owned Schilling Farms (448 acres outside of Memphis, TN and partnered with and later sold to Boyle Investment Company), was a partner in Circle Y Saddles (the largest saddle manufacturer in the U.S.A.) and much more!

    This is a fantastic episode where you’ll learn:

    Why growing up with a single mother taught him entrepreneurship and work ethic at a young age  
    What he did to survive when taking over a company in dire straits.   
    How to buy it right. How he analyzed and acquired underperforming businesses and turned them into valuable assets  
    Why his success boiled down to the importance of him finding the right partner  
    Why He’s grateful for second chances  
    And much more!  

    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Harry Smith!


    • 1 hr 43 min
    Even The Best Are Allowed A Few Strikeouts with Andy Cates

    Even The Best Are Allowed A Few Strikeouts with Andy Cates

    My guest today is Andy Cates. Andy is an entrepreneur, investor, and community activist.

    Here’s a little about Andy...

    - Founder and CEO of RVC Outdoor Destinations
    - Managing Member of the Value Acquisition Fund
    - Founding Chairman and President of the Memphis Fourth Estate (Daily Memphian)
    - Founding Chairman of the Soulsville Revitalization Project (one of the largest inner-city revitalization projects in the United States)

    With several others responsible for bringing the Vancouver Grizzlies Franchise to Memphis, TN

    And more!

    I had a great time with Andy where you’ll learn:

    What it’s like living with the fear of failure, but why even the best hitters are still able to have a few losses  
    How he assesses opportunity early and his process in picking talent and building things from scratch  
    What he’s learned about crossing racial lines and building trust and getting stuff done  
    Where he’s failed by not growing opportunities fast enough  
    And more!
    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Andy Cates!



    • 48 min
    You Can't Put Me In A Box with Karen Carrier

    You Can't Put Me In A Box with Karen Carrier

    My guest today is Karen Carrier. Karen is an artist, chef, and entrepreneur. Karen began her career in New York City after dropping out of college and enrolling in culinary school. She got her start working with Chef Susan Trilling, and the rest is history. Karen is nationally recognized by publications such as New York Times, Food and Wine, National Geographic, Garden and Gun, and more. Karen has been invited twice to cook at the acclaimed James Beard House in New York City. Karen has served as a personal chef for Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise, Francis Ford Coppola, Jim Jarmush, and more. 

    I had a wonderful time talking with Karen where you’ll learn:

    Once an artist, always an artist. Why she didn’t conform and has always pushed the envelope   
    The relationships that shape you early on and how this impacts your craft  
    Even after four decades in how she has hustled to survive the Covid-19 pandemic  
    From concept to execution, how she launches her restaurants   
    Celebrity or not- we’re all the same, and how she’s confident with her craft. “This is what you do; this is what I do.”  
    And more!
    Please enjoy this week’s episode with Karen Carrier!


    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000464/- Jim Jarmush
    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000129/- Tom Cruise
    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000338/- Francis Ford
    https://www.nytimes.com/- NYT
    Garden and gun- https://gardenandgun.com/
    food and wine- https://www.foodandwine.com/contact
    James Beard- https://www.jamesbeard.org/
    susan trilling- https://seasonsofmyheart.com/
    national geographic- https://www.nationalgeographic.com/
    Karen Carrier: https://www.lebonappetit.org/karen-b-carrier

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Why Stop When You're Having Fun? with Hilliard Crews

    Why Stop When You're Having Fun? with Hilliard Crews

    My Guest today is Hilliard Crews. Hilliard is an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Hilliard left his family's business and started MCR safety in 1974. As of 2019, MCR had sales of 255 Million dollars worth of Personal Protective Equipment. You may not know that Hilliard's first year in business, he made just $3,000 and got a job working at night at a truck line to supplement his families income. Hilliard and MCR Safety averaged more 80% growth compounded annually for his first ten years in business.

    In addition to founding and selling MCR Safety to Bunzl Corporation, Hilliard also is the largest shareholder of Triumph Bank, a real-estate developer, venture capital investor, and philanthropist.

    I had a great time interviewing Hilliard, where we discuss:

    The fun you have when you find what you're good at and the market rewards you  
    Why leaving a family business can be a good thing and what it took to get MCR off the ground  
    How he won with service and why he's adamant about continuous improvement   
    The impact of selling through distributors and why he couldn't have grown this quickly any other way  
    How he is using his family office to accelerate the pace of change for causes he cares the most about  
    And more!
    Please enjoy this week's episode with Hilliard Crews!





    • 1 hr 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
210 Ratings

210 Ratings

CameronRushing ,

Well done!

As a former Memphian who loves to keep connection to the city, I especially love hearing these stories from respected Memphis business leaders. Sam has a natural ability to drive free-flowing conversation and allow his guests to take center stage.

steve of the south ,


So impressed with Kat. Authentic, vulnerable and smart. So grateful to have listened

DeniseS77 ,

Highly recommend episode with Kat Gordon

Very thought provoking. Sam is so good at asking questions that get the people he’s interviewing to open up. His podcast with Kat Gordon would be beneficial for any of us in assessing our motivations in life. She is so honest about missteps and doubts she’s had along the way, yet was willing to adjust the course of her very successful business. Good lessons in life here!

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