Hulet Smith is the Co-Founder and CEO of Rehabmart, a company that serves patients, families, and caregivers by offering a wide selection of innovative rehabilitation products, superb customer service, and value-oriented discount pricing. As Occupational Therapists, married family guys, and fathers to special needs children; Hulet and his co-founder Mike Price understand the challenges of raising special needs children. Hulet is a father to a daughter who was born with Cerebral Palsy. As such, Hulet considers it a fortunate privilege to be able to give back and occasionally consult as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, serving children and families living with Cerebral Palsy and brain injury. Hulet spends the majority of my time securing new opportunities, promoting efficiencies, and exploring business alignments for Rehabmart.
Bryan Wish: Hulet, welcome to The One Away Show.
Hulet Smith: Thank you, Bryan. Happy to be here.
Bryan Wish: Yeah, it’s great to have you for the audience so they know Hulet and I relationship goes back to 2015, maybe 14 at Athens, Georgia, and he has become dear mentor and someone who I really look up to. Hulet, it’s an honor to have you on the show. What is your one away moment that you want to share with us today?
Hulet Smith: I’ve had a couple one away moments in life as most of us have, but I chose to discuss the moment when Megan and I, my wife, first learned that our first child Sophia had just been diagnosed with a brain bleed. We received the news when she was at about six months gestational age, maybe six and a half months. And it happened when Megan went in for an ultrasound, her last ultrasound and the ultrasound technician found that when that she went over the baby’s brain, they saw what appeared to be a stroke, a brain bleed with fluid sitting in the ventricles, making the ventricles 10 times larger than they should be. And then within days, they had referred us to what they call maternal fetal specialist, who even does … They do more in depth, 3D ultrasound, so that it gives them really high resolution pictures of not just a brain, but they can look at the entire fetus. And we saw how severe the damage was.
The maternal fetal specialist reported that there had indeed been a severe bleed and it affected the visual cortex. It looks like the visual cortex part of the brain had been destroyed. He used the term hydrocephalus, which is water on the brain. And he also used the term called ventriculomegaly, which just meant the ventricles were about 10 times larger than they should be due to all the pressure that was sitting on the child’s brain. He didn’t recommend it in an amniocentesis to look for genetic issues. And he discussed the possibility of terminating the pregnancy at which my wife had a really quick response to, but she essentially said, “Nope, we’re going to go home and we’re going to figure out a way to fix this.” And I remember that moment she said that, and she said, immediately, just out of her mouth, she says, “Oh no, we’re going to find a way to fix this.” And so at that point, the journey began. We’ll call it our family journey, Sophia’s journey.
Bryan Wish: Wow. Well, for I’m sure any mother who gets that news and obviously as the father, so hard to probably process and handle and just feel the weight of the news that’s delivered, knowing that something you’re going to have to live with for the rest of your life, once the delivery happens. I’m curious, you talked about, when going home and processing and Megan and you kind of having to face reality a bit, and what was in front of you, what did that look like? I mean, can you maybe take us to the home and share any of those memories or conversations around how you were going to respond to this?
Hulet Smith: Yes. We went home and they actually printed a picture of her face. They took a picture of her face. She was turned at a great angle and they could … We took the picture home and we saw, like most parents, we thought our baby was beautiful and we were concerned would she make it all the way to the nine months before they do delivery? And she did. She made it to full term, 39 weeks about a week, just shy a full term. But what did we talk about? We went home and Megan went back to her initial statement. She said, “Well, we’ve got to fix this.” And so her mom’s a physical therapist, a pediatric physical therapist, and I’m a pediatric occupational therapist. We had a little bit of a head start, I guess, people tell us that was a blessing.
That didn’t feel like a blessing at the time. I mean, like any parent, when you receive news like this, the biggest concern is he said, there will be no visual cortex, no primary visual cortex. They said she’s probably going to be blind. She’s going to have a brain injury, which we call that cerebral palsy typically is what the diagnostic term is after the child is born and is diagnosed with a neurological injury or a brain injury. Those are tough diagnoses. They talk about the possibility of the child having a seizure disorder. And of course, nothing was a hundred percent because she hadn’t been born, but this was unique because in a sense, most people learn about this after the child is born. We’re learning about this almost three months before she is to be born.
The one good news, a few days later after am the amniocentesis results came back, was that genetically, everything looked normal. We said, okay, great. It could be worse. We could be dealing with some type of down syndrome, which you make her condition even more challenging. Any nugget of good news you hang on to that. But then we started thinking about … Megan and I are kind of integrated medicine health nuts. I think the first we probably went through the Kubler raw stages of grieving. And first point was probably extreme sadness. And then later on, there was probably some anger. There was also some, I hate to say this, maybe some finger pointing. Like one time we had just moved into a house and I wanted to carry some plywood up to above a bonus room.
And we had to cut in half and we didn’t have anyone. It was just Megan and I, and she helped me carry some plywood up the stairs, a couple pieces, I think it was. But you go back to maybe I shouldn’t have done that. You start trying to look for, what did I do? What did we do? We had an argument one time, a few months back. And it was like, “Did my blood pressure go high that time?” I wish we hadn’t done that but we did a little bit. Maybe she did and I was just trying to … But the point is, maybe this was just all part of the process because we went through all those stages of trying to figure out what did we do wrong.
If we did this, we wouldn’t have caused this to happen to our child that we love so much, but fortunately we didn’t spend too much time on that. We pivoted to the to do. Megan and I are both are really big into, once we accept that this was, whether it was the carrying that ply wood up the stairs or maybe there was no reason at all. Obviously we’ll never know the etiology. We asked the doctor and they said, you don’t have a genetic issue so we don’t know. My wife’s blood pressure was normal. Her vitals were normal. The blood tests looked normal, so everything looked normal. We were looking for an answer as to why. And we realized pretty quickly, we’re probably not going to get that answer.
Instead of focusing on why this happened, we spent a little time trying to figure it out. But when we found out there probably wasn’t going to be an answer. The things that we had left was okay, let’s focus on the now. Let’s get real and let’s focus on what we can do now. So we made our list and we started talking about things that would be helpful, but not harmful. We had the benefit of working in NICUs and rehabilitation with kids and with adults through our rotations, but also in clinical practice. We decided that we didn’t want to give Sophia a lot of drugs or any drugs at all, any pharma, unless we really had to. We knew that she might have seizures. We started looking at modified diets that potentially could help with seizures.
We started looking at things like hyperbaric chambers, and early on, this is probably not too normal, but early on we started planning her kind of rehabilitation program, her nutrition program. Megan decided that she wanted to try to be a breastfeeding mother for as long as possible. And so the idea was that we were going to do everything that we could do that we thought that would be good and safe because we felt like, why not? This is going to give Sophia the best chance. We knew there wasn’t a cure, but what we wanted to help her achieve was progress on this thing, what we called the path of wellness. And that was a term that we had learned about from a guy named Glen Doman, who was a physical therapist, but he started the institutes for the achievement of human potential in Philadelphia.
And we read his book. It was a book called What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child. And one of the things that we took away from that book was that he had this term called the pathway to wellness, and he believed that there was always a pathway to improve wellness if you just wake up every day and just do your best, just do your best as parents, give your child the best nutrition for their specific circumstance or their disease or their disability, whatever the circumstance was. And that really resonated with us. Okay. Yeah, we can do that. We can wake up every day and within our resources, what we have, we can do our best. We focused on creating a list of things that we could do that could potentially impact Sophia’s development in a positive way.
Bryan Wish: Well, it’s so admirable. I think you could have taken the news and really dwelled, done all the finger pointing, stayed angry, not accept, but you and your wife seem to really take it almost such bravery and courageousness.
Hulet Smith: I must say we did not spend a lot of time with the finger pointing. Obviously we went through that phase probably for half a day. But we decided shortly thereafter, obviously that’s not very fruitful. And so we really pivoted quickly into things that we felt could bear fruit.
Bryan Wish: Yeah, no. I mean, extremely evident and extremely just brave to accept it and then, okay, how can we create the most optimal situation forward? Growing up the clothes around the house was in every crisis there’s an opportunity. And it seems like you found the books, you figured out the diets, the things that could help Sophia enter the world in a way that was more conducive to just an environment she could better exist within. That’s just incredible how deep you guys went in the preparation around when she was going to be born.
Hulet Smith: Well, we did. We read a lot of books. We actually went to Philadelphia and attended a conference for our course, with Glen Doman, What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child, excuse me, What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child, we did that. We also started looking at, I’d found out about this guy in India, at the Center For Life Sciences. And Megan’s like, “I’m not so certain,” but he had a homeopathic medicine that was supposed to be an excitatory agent. And you have to be careful these things, because parents who are desperate are looking for the latest, greatest herb or stem cell. And we were healthcare professionals. I actually did get accused because we were looking at a lot of things. But the truth is that we did look at a lot of things, but we didn’t do a lot of those far out things. Hyperbarics at the time was considered somewhat fringe by some people.
But we looked at all the evidence, there’s a lot of literature on it. A lot of studies and mild hyperbarics we decided to buy a hyperbaric chamber. And we spent about 15 years inside that chamber doing about four to five dives a week, Sophia and I at about 1.2 atmosphere. A very mild pressure. The whole point with something like hyperbarics is, is there was only upside potential. And there was zero downside. For another thing we decided against, at the time stem cells weren’t approved in the US. We had saved her umbilical cord stem cells, but there were some trials later on that were starting at Duke, but the science wasn’t there yet. So we never got to use Sophia’s umbilical cord stem cells, even though we paid to save them. There was some stuff going on in China where they were using donor stem cells.
Again, we chose not to do that because the efficacy and the safety wasn’t there. Even though we explored some of those things, we really only did things that we knew were safe. Breastfeeding was safe, improving her diet was a modified ketogenic diet, more protein ish. But that was later on, we did some really good kind of evidence based, a few vitamins just to support her vitamins and minerals, but nothing outside of the realm of what was, kind of, I won’t call it standard medical care because most we did do it. We were on a gluten free, Cayce free, so free diet. We cleaned up her diet and made it really clean. Doman had a brain food diet, which was essentially just a really healthy clean diet. What do we have to lose? We decided not to give her any artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners.
We cut out most of the inflammatory proteins like gluten and Cayce. But you’re not going to be doing any harm with that stuff. It’s not a cure for brain injury, but she became a really healthy, at least immune system wise. She became a very healthy baby and then toddler. And that allowed us to focus our efforts. If you have a healthy child, that’s not sick with colds and flu and whatever else, viral pathogens all the time, we were able to focus on her therapy program and her reading program and her language program. Essentially just doing life, because children learn by experiencing life and so a good life and a good family with great language, great music going to play a lot outdoors, getting the right amount of sunshine, hanging up upside down on the monkey bars obviously with dad standing there supporting, but that’s the way kids learn.
That’s the way the brain makes connections. And with a normal kid that’s healthy, that becomes pretty natural and pretty easy with a kid like Sophia who didn’t take her first steps until she was five years old. These kids with developmental disabilities, they need a lot more support, a lot more help to do all of these activities. But I tell you, Sophia got to experience all of that. I mean, we had her on a bike with support. I mean she went everywhere that we went, we were at the playground every day. She needed help to climb up the stairs but we were putting the feet there. She was climbing up the stairs and she was getting to the slide and she was going down the slide. I think she got as many repetitions on all of that as did our typical normal developing kids.
We have four kids behind her that obviously didn’t take even 1% of the work that we get put into Sophia because Sophia required so much support, but that was really our goal just to give her the reps, give her a better shot and just to support her and empower her so that she could develop optimally and become the best that she can be. And we still say that to her. Sophia we’re here to help you become the best that you can be. Whatever God has for her, we’re supporting that. Because I don’t want to be that pushy parent that believes that … As a dad did I want to fix her fully? If I could have cut off my arm or sprinkle the dust or wave the wand. Of course, I wish there was a way that we could completely regrow the brain tissue that was damaged, but since that’s not possible yet with modern science, the next best thing is just to find acceptance and then support her in becoming the best that she can be.
Bryan Wish: Well, five years to walk but also just the dedication and over the period of time, just to help her come into the best version of herself. It’s just so commendable, I was thinking, as you were talking. What for you as a father and maybe for your wife as a mother, would you say has been the most challenging part of raising a child with disabilities, but then also on the flip side, where have you found the most joy and sense of reward and fulfillment through watching Sophia develop?
Hulet Smith: Well, I think the most challenging part is, at one point, Megan we sat down and she said, maybe we shouldn’t be having a lot of other children because, I wanted this big family. I was pushing for having several kids. And Megan said, “Well, we need to consider changing our plans.” But I’m a pretty pushy driven type A person. I remember saying, you know what, no, we got knocked down. We’ve got all this to do with Sophia. I acknowledged that. But I remember thinking our plans shouldn’t change. We can still just do it all. I would not give that advice to anyone. I don’t think that that’s necessarily… Maybe I was young and dumb, but it was what came out and that’s what I believed at the time.
And so we wound up having four more kids after Sophia, we were going to stop, I think at three. And then I was like, “Let’s try to have a boy.” Because we had had Sophia, then we had Olivia, the second daughter. Then we had Ava. She’s like, “Okay, we’re done.” And I’m like, “No, we’re going to have a boy.” And so Megan read a book about how to have a boy. And we had a boy. She’s like, “Okay, we’re done.” I was like, “Well maybe, but maybe what if we change our mind.” And then surprised a couple years later we get the fifth one and then Megan’s like, “Okay, I’ve shared enough already.” And then it was over. We were blessed with five kids. I think that leads to the challenge because I’ve always been very entrepreneurial.
Early on, I think we did about everything we could do for Sophia. I don’t have regrets with that. We had a busy practice. We had a couple other business startups, including Rehab Mart, our main company. We were doing all this using the bootstrap method, meaning we had no venture capital. The main support we had was ourselves, our own resources. I have my business partner, Mike at Rehab Mart, but we were bootstrapping this ourselves and operationally my job, Mike, on the Rehab Mart side, my job is the operation side. I ran the office, I built the building, I built the campus, we hired the people. He runs the website and writes most of the software, but balance, the biggest challenge for us was always balance and it still is.
And as we’ve gotten larger as a business, we employ a lot more people. Our business has gotten larger. Until five years ago, I was still trying to run our practice. I was trying to practice as an occupational therapist and run all of that and be part of the startup. Rehab Mart at that point, I guess wasn’t a startup, but it was scaling and growing. And yet we had five kids to divide time amongst. And that’s the biggest challenge. It’s still my huge challenge is making … I spend a lot of hours at work now.
I still feel like we’re blessed. I look at the cup it’s like 90% full still because we’re blessed. We have a beautiful home and we live in a great part of the country. Our kids go to good schools. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for. And I tend to spend my time saying, look, family, we’re so blessed. We have all of this. And dad works a lot. Get over it. I’m kind of a little bit old school with that, but I have to realize that what they tell … I have to make sure that as I grow and mature as a father and a leader, maybe I need to be a better listener. And when they say well, you being home more for dinner is important and traveling a little bit less.
And I’m also kind of a sports person that I love the lake and I love snow skiing. And I love taking my kids in all these trips. And sometimes having such a large family, Megan would go, “Well, if we just had two kids we could all fit in a regular rental car. We could go more places.” You have five kids and sometimes you want to bring a friend, you need to rent a church bus.
Bryan Wish: All the things you didn’t consider early on. I’m sure it’s hard. Growing my dad is very entrepreneurial similarly. And there’s always those competing demands and what’s right for the family, what’s right for the business. How do you blend the two. You took on a lot. You took on a serious load early in life and is impressive what you’ve done considering how much you piled on the plate. Something I want to lean into is talking a little bit about Rehab Mart. And you were saying a bit earlier when Sophia came into the world, you looked at diets and hyperbaric chambers and nutrition and rehabilitation practices. It seems like that maybe was the early ingredients for Rehab Mart, plus all your other knowledge in the medical space. I mean, where’d the light bulb go off for you to say, you know what, there’s an opportunity here to help people who have to be caregivers for children and people in their lives with disabilities?
Hulet Smith: Well, the light bulb initially went off in college at the Medical College of Georgia. We had a guy named Fred Sammons that came by our school and he was one of the founders of a company called Patterson Medical. It used to be called Sammons Preston. It’s been purchases now, I think called Performance Health. But Fred was an occupational therapist and he had a big thick catalog. It looked as thick as the Sears and Robic catalog. It probably wasn’t quite that big, but it was pretty thick. And he sold all of these gadgets for rehabilitation. It was the physical therapy supplies, but it was also the occupational therapy gadgets. Shoe things and dressing hooks, and reachers, and fancy shower seats and all these different tools for the job of living as I called it, or back in the day we called it ADL tools, which is ADL as activities of daily living.
And so initially we were probably more focused on teenagers and adult that were living and aging and even senior citizens, seniors that were aging with the challenges that come with aging and having to modify and adapt their homes to be more independent and stay as independent, as long as possible. We started thinking in those terms, and then we thought walking home from one of Fred’s talks, Mike and I together were talking about how amazing the internet was going to be. And the internet was really young, still in ’94, ’93, ’94. But we started talking, I guess, between ’94, ’95, about the possibility of putting these tools online and supporting caregivers and educating people about all these amazing products, these gadgets that people could use if they were living with, not just adults, but really anyone. Because as therapist, we work with people in the NICU, from birth.
So we work with babies in the NICU when they’re first born. And also we work with people all the way up until the end of life. As we graduated and became practicing therapist, we started realizing that our job was to support just humans, wherever they’re at in the lifespan. And that the internet had this amazing power. Not only could we actually sell product and hopefully one day make a living doing it, but we could also use technology to consult with patients to empower patients, caregivers. But increasingly we started leaning on the term caregiver because the word patient sounds very clinical. And at some point, when you start thinking about the lifespan, you realize that the order we get, you realize that if we live long enough, we’re all going to be givers and takers and caregivers. We’re going to have needs.
And we’re going to have psychological needs. We’re going to have physical needs. And really it’s all about community. And today I probably used the term caregiver, maybe when I was a young therapist, I would’ve said, oh no, there’s physicians and there’s therapists and there’s nurses and we’re these professional healthcare. And we are, let’s acknowledge that it takes a lot of work to become a doctor, a physical therapy or a nurse practitioner or a physician, medical doctor. But at the same time, there’s a lot of notability that I think I want to cast out into the world that if you’re willing to learn to care about someone for their healthcare needs and healthcare it starts with motivation. It starts with psychology, because there’s a lot of depression. There’s a lot of stuff that comes in psychologically when you learn that you’ve had any healthcare challenge, especially a major healthcare challenge, like your child was form a cerebral palsy or autism, or your partner just had a stroke or they got diagnosed multiple sclerosis or even cancer
I mean, there’s so many diagnosis out there. And the great thing about therapy is that we work with anyone. It doesn’t matter what the diagnosis is. The only thing that matters is that we have someone who has suffered some type of healthcare event and they want to rehabilitate, they want to get stronger. They want to become more independent. They want to live a more purposeful life. And so a good therapist or a good caregiver, what we’re here to do is listen to the patient’s goals. This tragic thing happened to me, but now they have to get to a place to say, you know what, I want help and I want to use you to help me get better.
And that’s our job as, not only therapists, it’s also our job as partners, as spouses, as parents, as friends. If I’m just your great, great friend, and I want to step into the gap, my message is there’s so much great information out there to help people, to help caregivers step to the gap and serve. I think what you’ll find is when you actually step into the gap and whether you do at home or you take a mission trip or a service trip, or you just go to a devastated area, like an island, that’s been hit by a hurricane, doesn’t matter where you’re serving. If you’re helping people that are in need that have had any challenge, but specifically healthcare challenges diagnoses, you’re helping them get back on their feet and you will receive … I’ve done.
I do these trips to India, to the Center for Life Sciences every couple years. And people from all over India come to this place with their kids. These kids have brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism, spectrum, genetic issues like down syndrome. It doesn’t matter what the diagnosis is. We’re here to help. We write rehabilitation programs. We work with nutrition, but what we do, we really work because many of these people are going to be leaving after a week and going back to their village. What we try to do is impart knowledge to parents, grandparents, caregivers, so that they can make impact up on the life of, usually it’s a child or a teenager suffering with the disability or the diagnosis. But that’s what we do. We empower care to make impact, to be facilitators of change.
And then we actually give hope that there is a pathway to wellness. Sometimes it’s not the complete wellness of being a perfectly, what we define as a perfectly healthy, strong person, but wellness oftentimes is a place that is so much better from where the person started. And it’s a really exciting thing. When you can actually listen to a family and group of people along with the person, the patient will call them again. I don’t like the word patient because they’re just the person who’s in need. As long as we can listen and help that family get to a better place and help that person start developing on that pathway to wellness, it’s a really powerful thing to be a part of.
Bryan Wish: Yeah, it’s super cool. And I love what you said, how it kind of started in college. I mean, you must have been really paying attention to the signals and the magazines and what you were seeing and saying, okay, how do we bring these tools, gadgets, products online in a way that can then educate people. And you’ve seem to really build a platform for people to find the ways in which to bring home that knowledge and the tools around it to make the situation at home better, which is so aligned with what you do in India, helping spread knowledge and share these rehab programs, which is incredible to me. And this is just me because I’ve gotten to know you and this is in the realm of spreading knowledge and information and just I’m connecting the dots here.
Something that I believe you have done so well at Rehab Mart is using content as a means to spread knowledge and information. You want to give people access to these tools and products, and so you’ve built a very aligned business and purpose driven business. Could you maybe share how you’ve gone about creating the content and pages and a way in which to get in front of the right people? I mean, I think it’s just such a fascinating part of your business yet so aligned to who you are at your core.
Hulet Smith: Yeah. I think this was definitely a learning process over the years, but what we learned just by being here, we started the business in 1998 Mike and I are still here, 23 years later, but we learned that people, no one wants to have to buy a wheelchair or standing frame or a certain parallel bar on the ultrasound machine. They’re trying to solve a problem. These are just tools that we sell. It’s just stuff. I only admire tools or stuff in the respect or the capacity. The understanding that these tools have capacity to actually rehabilitate someone. If it’s a modality, an ultrasound machine or a shockwave device, and it can help tissue heal, then great. I admire the shockwave technology and understanding how to apply the technology and put the settings at the right frequency.
But you start to realize that it’s just a tool. And so I only admire the device from that standpoint because my passion is all driven by using activities, exercise, sometimes tools or modalities like the hyperbaric chamber or an ultrasound machine or a shock wave device. But we’re actually applying those tools or using those tools as a resource to achieve outcomes. And there’s a lot of science and technology and evidence behind all of that. You do have to spend some time understanding all of that. That’s our job at Rehab Mart. We sell stuff. But the reason we sell stuff is because we’re providing know in education and we created a platform called caregiver university on Rehab Mart. Essentially it’s a fancy blog, but it has thousands of articles.
Some of it comparison guides. Some of it is actually introducing a new technology like shockwave. Sometimes it’s a series of articles or guides, explaining the complexity of hyperbaric chambers. There’s high pressure hyperbarics, medium pressure hyperbarics, mild pressure hyperbarics and it’s all measured in something called atmospheres … Excuse me, ATMs or atmospheres of pressure. We can get really scientific. The point is, is that what we try to do with caregiver university is take some of these scientific principles and break them down so that the average person can read them and understand them. Now we’ll still put a hyperlink out to the published research on the NIH or whatever. And if you are very geeky or scientific, you can of course go and read the full scientific article. But that’s one of our goals is to be as evidence based as possible, but to break knowledge so that people can access it as caregivers or as just patients who are trying to solve a problem.
But at the end of the day, we’re just trying to be problem solvers. What I’ve found is we hire a lot of experts. We have a beautiful campus where we put a lot of money into what we call our creation department. They’re people who work with data, they’re content creators. And we partner with nurses and therapists and physicians and others for some of the content. Some of it’s more basic, and we can do it all in house. But the point is, is that when we give away this information and we empower people, sometimes they may go buy from a competitor, they might not always buy from us, but the point is we’re putting out the information and we sell over 100,000 products from over 600 suppliers.
We’ve got supply chain issues, just like every e-commerce provider. Our products sit in over I think 5,000 warehouses nationwide. Right now a bunch of them are stuck on ships because we’re mid pandemic and we all watch the news and we see that some of these ships are sitting out at sea for up to three months. That’s obviously a huge challenge because of the current times we’re living in. But all that stuff is important. We run a business where obviously I’m very aware of all those challenges. I’m part of the operations team here. And so part of those meetings that we have weekly, where we’re trying to solve really complex problems with the supply chain partners and with some of our own warehouses that we manage direct. But the core mission still is … I’m like, “Please, God, let’s just get back to normal with supply chain so we can start focusing our core issues, which is really to educate people, to empower caregivers.”
One more thing I’ll add, I love going to conferences and the shows and especially if there’s an amazing technology that’s taking us to the next level. I always come back like a kid in a candy shop and I’ve got this new piece … For me the technology is what I get excited about. I’m like, “Oh gosh.” The latest thing I think was new shockwave. There’s a new science that says the shockwave can actually recruit mesenchymal stem cells and cellular growth factors for soft tissue injuries. And as long as the ligament or tendon wasn’t fully detached that we could revascularize and we could achieve healing and sometimes maybe even avoid surgery and actually make the rehab go faster.
Things like that get really exciting to me. I love it when we can save someone rom having to undergo a more invasive procedure like a surgery just by using nutrition, wellness, exercise, and potentially a modality to achieve a great outcome. And some of those injuries obviously are things that you can get a full recovery over. And it’s not something like cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis that people often live with lifelong. There’s a spectrum of stuff we work with, but that’s a really long answer, but that’s kind of what we do. And I guess to sum it up, I’d say I’m probably, I’m for sure much more passionate about solutions and about conveying the information in a really easy to understand way. We still sell products and gadgets and we’re a marketplace, that pays the bills and products are part of the mix, but I’m really more passionate about the solutions side of our business.
Bryan Wish: That’s amazing you Hulet. I mean, just knowing you all these years, the passion that you have for what you do, why you do it, how you do it. I mean, you’ve been passionate about the content side since I met you five, six years ago to educate and spread knowledge. And it’s very evident, just the internal alignment to the success that you guys have had. And it’s taken a lot of work, but you’ve done it from a place that is a really good place. And I’m just so inspired by who you are and how you’ve done it. And I appreciate all the knowledge over the years. Hulet, where can people reach out, find you, find Rehab Mart and get in touch if they wish.
Hulet Smith: So we’re just online, just rehabmart.com, R-E-H-A-B-M-A-R-T and that’s where we’re at. You can also Google my name. I have a blog and I’ve got some helpers who need to update it more often with more fresh content on the Rehab Mart side, we publish daily, but huletsmith.com is my personal blog. It’s just H-U-L-E-T-S-M-I-T-H.com. One last thing I’ll add, I found that just getting away knowledge and sharing information that’s good and useful, that the universe always gives back. I’ve never had a hard time being successful by giving. And I think I should probably give more. If I look back, I think the more you give and the more you put out there, at least in this great country we live in, I have more resources than I ever thought I would have.
I started with a family in a small town in south Georgia. We weren’t wealthy. I started working at 12. The typical story. I worked a full-time job, my first two and a half years of college and went to college during the day, worked at night. Borrowed money to go to school and it’s been fine. I didn’t go to any elite preparatory schools. I started in Griffin, Georgia, and I think I was on the south side of the track. Actually, I think I was the only white kid in my third grade class, which I’m really proud of. It wasn’t the highest academically performing school, but at least with my story, I had a good family.
I kept showing up every day and I just kind of believed that if you just keep showing up and putting out knowledge and just continue to share, things work out, not only okay, at least in my experience, things work out beyond okay. Beyond your wildest dreams. And I don’t think it’s anything that magical. I don’t think I’m special. I just think that for whatever reason, someone shared enough with me, my parents, my grandparents, other influencers in my life, just to work hard, keep showing up, keep doing what you know to do, keep learning. I love to keep learning about science technology and information. There’s a lot of noise out there as well. So sometimes you have to weed through the good information versus the bad information. I just want to put that out there. I tell young people, I don’t have a secret other than just keep sharing knowledge, keep learning and keep showing up and it all works out.
Bryan Wish: Awesome. Hulet, I really appreciate you sharing. You are such a giver at heart personally, professionally in all areas of your life and I’ve witnessed it firsthand. Thanks for showing up today with such authenticity and I’m really excited for this to impact the people that listen to it.
Hulet Smith: Well, thank you for giving me this platform to just talk and share some of my passions and things that are important. I love doing it and I wish you all the best with the podcast. I know you’re going to have continued success with The One And Way Show.
Bryan Wish: Thank you.
Hulet Smith: Thank you, Bryan.