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The Story of Culbertson Resources Inc. | Stories With Traction Podcast


SUMMARY: In this episode, Ui Culbertson and Matt Zaun talk about Ui’s upbringing and how it positioned her for the business world.

UI CULBERTSON: Ui is the President and CEO of Culbertson Resources Inc.

For more info, check out Culbertson Resources Inc. HERE

MATT ZAUN BIO: Matt is an award-winning speaker and storyteller who empowers organizations to attract more clients through the art of strategic storytelling. Matt’s past engagements have catalyzed radical sales increases for over 300 organizations that range from financial institutions to the health and wellness industry.
Matt shares his expertise in persuasion with executives, sales professionals, and entrepreneurs, who he coaches on the art of influence and how to leverage this for profits and impact.

For more info, check out Matt Zaun HERE


*Below is an AI-generated transcript, which may contain errors


Matt Zaun 

In January, I spoke in Houston and met someone who shared a powerful story with me.

I had to have her on the stories with traction podcast. So today I'm joined by you. Colbertson, who is the president and CEO of Colbertson Resources Incorporated.

Walking with the show, you.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

Thank you. Glad to be here.


Matt Zaun

Well, thanks for your time. I appreciate it. And when you had shared your story with me back in January, I just I felt it really compelling.

I I I when I heard your story, it just really exude grit.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

And it was just an incredible immigrant story. So can you can you dive into that? Sure. And you know, I have a sister.

first and one brother and we were all born in South Korea and my parents made a decision to leave South Korea in 1972 and we all flew to Corpus Christi, So that must have been a crazy culture shock.

Oh my gosh. Because the only thing I saw on TV in Korea was blond and long-legged blondes and mansions and we got to Corpus.

don't think I saw one blonded a person and I was like, where are the mansions? Anyway, it was a very big shock.

Yes, we lasted there about a year and then my family moved to Houston, Texas.


Matt Zaun 

All right, so that's still a culture shock. So take me. How do you feel at that? So first off, like take me through a feeling.

Are you excited? Are you fearful? What was the main? feeling when you first arrived in the United States?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

I think there was a lot of fear. We left a very comfortable environment with, had laborers very cheap and curious.

We had a couple of live-in namies that helped us through it all that. talked to another country where one little room apartment with no help and nobody spoke to me.

My dad came a earlier actually and he started working as a mechanic. It was quite interesting because back then, back in the 70s, there really was no any other agent kit that I recognized.

I went to about as white school as there is in Marland area in Houston and Bel Air High School.

Then I went to Texas A&M. I mean, it didn't get any wider. You I think I just remember just trying to fit in.

I just remember, I tried to master that. can't, you know, English because, you know, we, I was a little more advanced in math, I guess.

So what they did was they just put me to first grade, let me learn the ABCs to kind of catch up.


Matt Zaun 

Did you say Bell Air High School?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

Bell Air High School.


Matt Zaun

Okay. So I was, I was raised in Hartford County, Maryland, and there was a Bell Air High School. Oh, really?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

It's For sure. This is like in Marley and Mary and Houston, which, you know, kind of a nice area.

But yeah, it was, yeah, I was, I don't even know the feeling. It was just kind of crazy. We were kind of raising ourselves because my parents, I mean, which kind of looking back was really sad how hard they had to work.

Like my mom, you know, being a very strong business person in Korea had to, you know, started out by cleaning hotel rooms in Holiday Inn and my dad being the mechanic and we basically My older sisters went to work and they pulled their money about their first gas station Wow And it's a pretty you know lot of people know but they have for like 30 years is right at shepherd and Durham, which is kind of center of houston and uh, they had for a long time and um I mean You know, they were there were like workhorses Basically, they worked 18 hour days and made sure that we all got our education because they knew that was a path forward Because they didn't have that opportunity in korea, so If we went to school, were they were going to pay for our college that there was not going to be any debt, you know so um Yeah school was very important to them because I think it was denied for my parent or at least my mother my dad was college education So


Matt Zaun

And so you have your parents, eight sisters, one brother, and I hear you say you moved into a one room apartment when you first got to the United States.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

Yes, basically. It was like everybody was my youngest sister was, you know, we're all born in Korea. So my youngest sister was only six months old at the time.


Matt Zaun 

Wow. So how did you handle that? How was that? mean, that is even that's something to overcome. Did it help you when it came to communication or learning how to work with people?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

mean, what take me through what skillset someone would acquire by living in a one bedroom apartment with roughly a dozen other people.

We were very young. So I think you kind of get used to that. you know, I didn't look at it as a bad experience.

In fact, the house we moved into after that, we were only in the apartment for like probably less than a year, six, seven months, and then my parents bought a house.

But the house we moved into wasn't much bigger than the house. myself right now. I think that what it does teach you is that, I mean, become very resilient.

And you don't, you're not given anything and you become very self-sufficient too. And we had to, we really worked hard to support our parents.

It was usually other way around, you know, where parents try to support you. But I think for us, we knew how hard they were working so they wouldn't go to college and do all that.

we took it on ourselves to make sure we keep the house in order, you know, and cook meals and everybody can't fool together, worked as a team.


Matt Zaun 

So based on this experience and, you know, all the grit that it would take to do this, did school come easy for you then?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

Because, you know, this was so hard, did it make other things in life easier? You know, uh, easier in sense that you're, when you watch, you know, somebody go through that kind of obstacle.

Yeah, everything seems, it really is. There were a lot of things that were non-negotiable, like making it in life, hard work, picking yourself back up.

Those kind of things, you know, even for my recruiters today, when they say they can't do something, the conversation usually goes, well, let's just kind of figure this out.

You can or you will not. You know, it's a choice. And so, they're always taken back. I think when you have a parent that didn't even speak the language, they can send kids to college, you know, just through hard work and grit, when they say America is a really a land of opportunity, it really is.

And if they can make it without speaking the language, you know, I really didn't have any right to say that I couldn't do anything with my parents.


Matt Zaun 

Sure. So, all right, so speaking of your recruiters, that's a great.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

segue into the next phase of your life business.


Matt Zaun 

from school, did you recognize that you had like an entrepreneurial type spirit or was there an aha moment?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

used to, hey, I'm going to go into business. What was that like? Well, I think, you know, I have many siblings and we all have different personalities.

And I think based on your personality, you get different message from your parents. And I was, I was probably little more like my mother that was a little more driven in that way.

But I felt like I had the better chance because I spoke the language. went to college, you know, so I, well, initially in college, I was just going to try to graduate college just so I can go to work.

know, but I went, I thought about it one time taking art class. And I remember my mom saying, well, you're going to to pay for your own college.

And I said, really? she goes, well, you're not going to make any money going to art school. So, and I said, well, I guess I'll take account.

Okay, you can draw on your own time. They were like, no nuns and people. They gave me four years to graduate and that was it.

But my dad's point was there's all these cars waiting in the driveway to get out.


Matt Zaun 

So you can't block the driveway.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

So I mean, when you're under that kind of deadline and that's the one you just get it done.


Matt Zaun 

Sure. So why recruiting?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

What sparked that in you? Well, you know, so I wasn't accounting for five years and I hated probably every minute of it.

You know, and I just remember thinking I need to, I was trying to figure out who I was, where I'll be good at.

a recruiter called me and to place me somewhere else in accounting. And I guess he saw my personality and he said, have you thought about being a recruiter?

you know, back then, this is going back 30 years. I mean, I didn't remember what recruiting was. mean, it certainly isn't what it is today, but I like what he represented.

He said, you're not going to get paid anything. But Sky is the limit. And he told me that I could win a trip to Cayman Island and I can take my boyfriend.

And I said, I'm in. I figured I was going to give it all I got for a year and if I didn't make it, then I'll find something else that would be passionate about it.

But I feel like it made sense to me because I was able to leverage my accounting degree. It wasn't, you know, it wasn't a wasted four years and I could get into something that I could potentially make a limited amount money, I guess.


Matt Zaun

Sure. So from when you started, what does the business look like today from when you started? Is there a different focus?

So there are certain industries that you're helping fill roles for.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

Where is it today? Yes. you know, my boyfriend is accounting and finance. And, you know, I do kind of executive recruiting in that space.

But, you know, we're into engineering, oil and gas and we're into data science, consulting. thing works. And it's actually putting the business together is a lot more hard than I thought.

mean, being a recruiter was much easier than putting a business together. Yeah, it was 10 years of really hard work.


Matt Zaun 

So speaking of family and speaking of business, so I have three children myself and my oldest, his name's Elliot, and he's constantly talking about business.

wants to start a business. He has difficulty in launching and sustaining a business.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

If you were to give my nine-year-old advice for the future regarding business, what's one piece of advice that you would give him?

Talk less, listen more.


Matt Zaun 

So let's talk about that. Is that for clients?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

Is that for team members? would that be applied? I think it's in everything. Recruiting success can't fairly easy for me.

That was was my natural talent. But that didn't mean it prepared me to be a business owner. You know, and hence that's why I joined, you know, VISTEDS so that there are so many moving parts.

And I wanted a business that I can scale little bit and that's a whole other conversation than just being a business owner, of an independent small business owner.

And yeah, I mean, you have to be a really good student is what I would say. I think it was Dalai Lama that said, know, when the student is ready teacher arrives.


Matt Zaun

For sure.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

And I like that.


Matt Zaun 

Yeah, you know, it's interesting that you say, you know, listen more than you speak because I've had the opportunity now in the last four years to travel all across the United States.

I've spoken now in almost every US state, every industry, tons of different businesses, a lot of successful people. there is one reoccurring theme that I was shocked.

So if you would have told me this before I started doing this, I wouldn't believe it. But one of the reoccurring themes is humility.

It's amazing how there are some super successful people out there that you would never know the depths of their success.

I can't tell you how many times I'll go into a business and I'll be shaking hands and someone will say, do you know who that is?

They'll say that's the owner of the entire company. are massive companies, right? And you would never pick them out in a crowd at that.

know, run the whole enterprise. So I think it's interesting because, you know, in mass media, Hollywood shows, we don't really view the individual that is the business person as a humble person, right?

It's not an attribute that correlates the Hollywood image. But it's interesting that in real life, like, like they are listening, they are taking feedback, they are growing, they are developing.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

So I really appreciate you mentioning that. I think that's an outstanding point. No, I think you're right. find that because I, you know,

I found my friends are business owners and I find that the most successful ones are the quieter ones. Ones that got the humility piece and vulnerability piece and that's how they grow and learn.

so I had to learn from that. think being a recruiter, it's a little more of an egomaniac kind of work.

But what I find some of my biggest rivalry are people that really know how to listen and just tell discipline.


Matt Zaun 

Sure. So take us through the next, let's say, year.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

What are some goals that you have on the horizon or your company? The part of the difficult thing was really stabilizing my back office.

You know, and that's what a lot of people don't get. know, and I think the pandemic was good for me because it allowed me to look inward.

I mean, it should have taken the whole world to slow down for me to slow down, but it did.

I appreciate it. I actually enjoyed that time to really focus on. I streamline everything of my back office during that time.

And anything that could be done online that I did, accounting and finances back office, you know, all our accounting is done there.

That way our support is that it's allowing me to be able to scale, you know, from this point forward.

And that's part of biggest thing about running a business a lot of people don't know is finding that stability.

So that you can grow.


Matt Zaun 

Sure, sure. So for anyone listening that might be interested in your services, what you do, do you have a specific territory, specific roles, what's your main focus in regards to recruiting?


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

Yes, we, I do a lot of accounting and finance work as my space. And, you know, I did first, you know, 10 years of my career was a lot of SEC focused technical, but we do a lot of operational accounting well and get.

engineering and data science. Those are the three area buckets that we're really focusing on at this time. We do lot of work in Houston as we're located here, but a lot of the work can be nationwide.

We do Dallas, some in New York. With all the internet it's wants to get more information or they want to reach out for your services.

Where's the best place they can go to get that information? So our website, you know, it's my last thing, cul-versinresources.com and it should have all our contact information on there.


Matt Zaun 

Perfect. I will include that in the show notes. People can just click and go. You know, I really appreciate this conversation.

I appreciate listening and hearing stories like this.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

It just it shows what happens when people are forced to.


Matt Zaun 

Utilize great, right? And you've done that you've really done that and I think based on what you've done You know, you're you're an extremely successful business woman But yet you still talk about listening more than you speak And I think that that is incredible skill set that we could all learn from so thank you so much for your time today And thank you for this conversation.


Ui (Culbertson Resources)

Thank you. I really enjoyed it

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