Be A Life Long Learner

Be A Life Long Learner

Rachel Merrill

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey

Podcast for Entrepreneurs

1/26/2021

Be A Life Long Learner

It's really important to surround yourself with great people by being a great person yourself. By that, I mean something that has been super beneficial to me is I have put a lot of effort into being a life long learner and being hungry to learn, and being humble to learn. I think sometimes we love our ideas as entrepreneurs saying this is it. I think as I have had the mindset of this is an awesome idea and, I am excited about but, there are so many ways to go about this and collaborate and create. Every day I am trying to learn something new.

 


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The Inventive Journey

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

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it's really important to surround yourself with great people by being a great person yourself and by that i mean um i think something that has been super beneficial to me is i have put a lot of effort into being a lifelong learner and being hungry to learn and humble to learn um i think sometimes we love our ideas as entrepreneurs like this is this is it you know and i think um as i've had the mindset of this is an awesome idea and i'm excited about it but like there are so many ways to to go about this and collaborate and create um i like every day i'm trying to learn something new [Music] hey everyone this is devon miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's grown several startups to seven and eight-figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and if you ever need help just go to strategymeeting.com and we're always here to help now today we have another great guest on the podcast rachel miller and uh rachel first of all um went to byu so go be cougars that's my alma mater as well so that's always fun and uh then she uh started working with a doing a couple or some work with a startup company and one of the things that the ceo at the time was interested in was in mental health and so she got interested in mental health and did some or continued to kind of or play in that space while she was still in school and then as uh as things have continued to evolve that is now letter to where she's at today and she'll talk a little about that more in a journey so with that much as an introduction welcome on the podcast rachel thanks so much happy to be here devon so i gave this a brief introduction but maybe taking us back in time a little bit and i think you uh were you studied or studied design management at byu is that right yes i studied experience design and management in the business school so it's fairly new but so that sounds like a fun or a fun a fun degree so now as you're doing that um and i think you mentioned that you were doing that and you started working for a startup i think where you're still in school is that right yeah so i started about my junior year kind of that summer i started working for a startup company convoy events and we did we kind of like to build community um from audiences they said turn audiences into community for making impact so it's pretty fun so that's where i started working with them and went through the end of the school my school experiences kind of from that and then transitioning to where i am now so now now diving into that just a bit more tell us so you were working with the the startup you were doing uh you know doing i can't i mean you mentioned was it vibe is that right i can't or the name of the company oh convoy events yeah so we were doing we were doing corporate events for different local companies here and uh the utah area tech companies and we put on travel events corporate business events um community events and so i was very excited about just like i love people and i love bringing people together for good causes so i was very excited to be a part of that and then as i was a part of that journey um i actually the ceo of the company so it's a small company of about 10 people talked to me and he showed me a list of things that he was interested in doing and trying and on the list one of the things that caught my interest was mental health for leaders and ceos in the area and i was like oh like i'm you know i'm interested in the topic i have had experiences with people i'm like i i like want to make a difference in that space and so uh we just started putting together like a monthly breakfast or a lunch where we bring different leaders in the community together to talk about mental health um and we realized that there were so many things in the community where especially in the works place where like there were so many issues and so much stigma around the topic um and while we were having some of these things they kind of started because uh some great friends in that the community that did travel together in the events side of things um there was some actually some mental health crisis and tragedies that occurred which um really was heart-wrenching and kind of jolted people to to say like what needs to be different we need to make a change in our workplace cultures so that people feel more safe and open to actually like talk about things that are struggling they're struggling with things that are hard and also like let's be able to have more normal conversations about this and so having leaders come together and talk about these issues while also having um seeing a great need for it it was cool to be a part of that in some of these initial conversations and as as they progressed it was like well if we really want to make an impact like let's build something let's do something formal um and i saw a room of passionate leaders and realized they just needed an engine to move things forward and i was like i want to be that person i want to be that like i want to take these ideas and like make them happen like they're so powerful and so cool like let's make this happen and so i just started putting in more effort and energy towards making some of these dreams and some of these uh seeing these gaps and saying let's let's fill this let's change this let's let's change the conversation let's make a difference so so now as you started working on that was that now an initiative within the startup that was part of your job was hey i'm going to do it as a side hustle do it on my own accord was it you know ceo's supportive or kind of how did you start you know you kind of have that this is needed but then you actually have to figure out how to start to build something or start to address it so how did you how did you kind of dive into that yeah great question so the ceo of the events company trent and i started having conversations and said okay like you know at first it was kind of like one of the projects that i just and the initiatives i did with the convoy events company and i just helped lead that because we were passionate about the topic um and then as we started discussing it was like well we really need to make this a thing so trent and i had a conversation we're like okay let's see if people in the community are doing what we think needs to be done and if it exists let's support and if not like let's create it and we had this conversation like um like this is going to be a lot of work and he just kind of looked at me he's like are you up for this and do you want to do this because it's going to be a lot of work and if you're going to like make this a real thing and found something like this it's going to take mindset shifts it's going to take time and energy and i and i just like thought about it and i was like yeah like i just want to take that leap and go for it and then we had awesome leaders from other companies like homey and chat books and people who have been huge supporters um and some of those members are on our board and so have created kind of like we had a bunch of company leaders who wanted to support the cause um and support the efforts and i was in the position to be able to put in the time to actually like help create those things and then have some some support from these great leaders as well so that's kind of how it it morphed and then became like let's all found let's all create a non-profit and then trent and rachel found it to to be the instigators and the ones who push it forward so okay so no and i think that makes perfect sense so now as you so you started out kind of working for the startup you he the ceos and interested in the mental health you know space arena you had a few additional catalysts that kind of prompted even more focus on it and he sounds like you guys kind of got together and he said okay this is something that we all have interest enough and it's needed and it can it should be addressed he started the non-profit now you know was that the the ceo of the startup that was the one the driver of that or did he turn the reins over to you and say here's your non-startup go you know go get it or kind of how did you make that and i think that that kind of timing would coincide if i'm writing correctly if i'm wrong um with the kind of graduating or finishing up your degree is that right yeah so it was towards i was in my last semester and so he actually turned the reins over to me a lot and said hey like like this will be an awesome thing like you know you take the lead go for this and so um my last semester i actually kind of took i worked it's like a to take less classes and actually spend more time on the business um and so we started i started like doing legal work different things like figure it all out and um had help and support to actually like put you know put it all together and formalize it and yeah and it's been really cool because uh trent gave me a lot of the reigns but he's also been there too so we've been like great partners in it um but there's been i definitely have received a lot of the the reins and kind of direction to actually like go for it and that that was a really cool experience and feeling a lot of trust and being like wow like okay like i have the trust i have support let's go for it and um and then he said i'll be you know i'll be here to answer questions support and help and then uh get it off the ground together and you run with it and i'll be there too so it was really cool so that's kind of how it went and then i graduated and so uh in april and so we both then founded that so we're the main drivers of that so so now graduating and kind of now go jumping right into your own non-profit you know startup type of a thing how is it gone has it been great and rewarding and you know exciting has it been overwhelming and you know stressful all of the above or kind of how is that gone to you know because a lot of times you graduate you work for a bit of time or you do you know you work have a bit of mentoring and it sounds like you're the ceo's still mentoring you but to dive into taking that on is a bigger challenge so how's that going for you yeah so it's definitely been a mix all of the above there's been so many things that have been rewarding like i think i have personally grown so much because i've had to step out of my comfort zone in different places and lead big meetings make huge decisions learn about areas of business that i had only you know surface level experience in from business school and then actually like diving into like understanding them and making decisions um so that was it's been stretching in that way it's also been so rewarding to see people come together and like as we put so we focus the organization is a room here and we focus on mental fitness in the workplace so a huge thing that we're doing is reframing the conversation to mental fitness this idea that like um we all have physical health we all have mental health and it doesn't matter like we should be able to talk about physical fitness and mental fitness kind of in the same way without having like a stigma around like if i talk about mental health people sometimes immediately associate it with like severe illnesses well that's a part of it but it's not like the whole picture when we talk about physical health and fitness people aren't just talking about like extreme diseases you know they're talking about i went to the gym i did exercise i did nutrition i'm doing all these things to help myself um so i wanted to have that better conversation and it's been so rewarding for me to see people have mindset shifts that like hey mental fitness is for everybody it doesn't matter if i'm experiencing mental illness or i'm not maybe you know or if i'm experiencing ups and downs of life like we all know 2020 was a crazy year and with so many ups and downs and i think people recognized even more like hey like i need to be doing things proactively to take care of my mind just like we proactively do things to take care of our bodies and so um the rewarding part has definitely been seeing people have mindset shifts and we've had so many people just reach out to us saying like thank you for opening up the conversation in a new way because they've just never known who to open up to or to share about and they've had i've gotten so many messages from complete strangers friends people that i didn't even know were were struggling with um conversations in this area in their lives were able to then say oh thank you like i've been looking for opportunities to just like open up and talk about this or like um this is so needed and and seeing all those messages and also being able to hear people's stories and see mindset shifts has been so amazing and so worth some of the things where i feel lost and like oh i'm so new to this but um it's like i want to be good at this i want to learn i want to be successful because of the impact that i'm seeing it have on people's lives and their mindsets and then their ability to kind of uh to handle the challenges that come their way in life and so i think that's been really really cool and rewarding for me no i mean that's awesome so now you so with all that in mind as you look towards you know the next six to 12 months kind of where you guys are heading and what you're planning on doing what does that look like or kind of where where is that headed yeah so room here are one of our biggest focuses so we want to change the conversation and we're helping companies and individuals pledge to be allies for mental fitness so companies can pledge and it's a company they pledge to measure their mental health culture make plans to improve and then share what they're learning with their community and so we've partnered with some phd researchers actually from byu have background in psychology clinical work and organizational behavior and so we've created some benchmark surveys and things that help people measure inside of a company culture where they're at in stigma burnout and some of these key areas and mental fitness and then so then we're helping companies to actually create mental fitness plans and provide some services and resources for that so super excited about that um and then for individuals who pledge to be mental fitness allies um we're creating this community where people can step up and be be leaders and be people who can be open to the conversation receive resources on how to engage in mental fitness in their lifestyle and really um just change the conversation and be be people that create psychological safety in the workplace so the next six to 12 months we're we're really helping hoping to help a lot more companies um we're specifically focusing on the tech space right now but we we hope to expand other places as well but we want to see um we'd love to see longer than 12 months we'd love to see all tech companies all companies have mental fitness plans in their organizations just like they have plans for other areas of benefits and health and things like that we'd love people to have mental fitness plans so yeah this next year we're really focusing in on um helping people build their plans building the conversation in the community in bigger ways and helping companies to really implement and measure change so that we can track that change and actually show what things are making the difference for organizations and people awesome well i think that that sounds like it's a it's an exciting uh direction to be and uh it will be a fun uh fun next year for you so now as we you know so we start to wrap towards the end of the podcast and you know we discuss a journey i always ask two questions and so we'll jump to those now so the first question and so along your journey you know and i know there's lots of journey left to come but along your journey so far what's the worst business decision you ever made and what did you learn from it yeah good question so i've actually thought about this one because um i am pretty much i haven't had too many like too a long time in this space um i don't have any like huge business decisions where i feel like i totally made a huge mistake i think i've had a lot of little learnings like one of the things that i've learned for sure is that uh things often take longer than you think they will so i guess we've been developing out different content pieces or some of our research um it's like recognizing that like oh some of these things take a lot longer than i thought they would and so and so some of my business decisions that i've learned is like okay it's important to to not make too strong of promises too early if you're not sure that things are really going to map out the way that you that they are planned out for and recognize that things do take longer than usual and so being able to be good at communicating that um and giving a timeline but also recognizing that like there are some of these factors and i think um so i think that's something that i've learned a lot of is how to how to communicate well you know timelines without uh being way too overly optimistic to a place that then it causes you know a little bit of like backtracking so i think that's something that i've learned um in business so far and in my experiences no i think that's a great lesson to learn i think it's one where you know it's not it's an entrepreneur you always tend to be optimistic you always think oh well yes everybody else is going to take them twice as long or it's going to be twice expensive but we know what we're doing and we're going to do it differently and then you get into and you come to find out no really does take twice as long and it takes more than you ever enter or more costs than you anticipated so it's a lesson a good lesson to learn and certainly so or one that a lot of most entrepreneurs entrepreneurs will have to learn at some point now second question i always ask is it now if you're talking to someone that's just getting into a startup or a small business what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them yeah so just getting into a startup and starting a business um i think the one piece of advice i would give is it's really important to surround yourself with great people by being a great person yourself and by that i mean um i think something that has been super beneficial to me is i have put a lot of effort into being a lifelong learner and being hungry to learn and humble to learn um i think sometimes we love our ideas as entrepreneurs like this is this is it you know and i think um as i've had the mindset of this is an awesome idea and i'm excited about it but like there are so many ways to to go about this and collaborate and create um i like every day i'm trying to learn something new so i spend time reading or i spend time talking to people who are more expert at things than i am because i think entrepreneurs who are who recognize that that they can make a difference and have the drive and passion to do so but also recognize that the biggest differences that they will make will be because they're connected to great people and are great learners and are willing to like learn and keep growing i think that makes the biggest difference in it's made that one of the biggest differences in me moving forward um because i think i recognize that i am not expert in a lot of these fields and a lot of things there are things that i am i am really good at and i do have strengths and i need to recognize that but if i stop my if i stop learning and i stop talking to experts and stop talking to people that are great influences then then i i just limit myself and and the ability for the missions and the efforts that i'm trying to put forward so i think yeah be a lifelong learner and be humble and hungry would be my kind of piece of advice for any entrepreneur no i i think that's great advice in the sense i think that even if you were an expert every no matter your industry almost everyone is still evolving still changing and things are always or even if your industry doesn't change whether covid comes along or anything else it's always good to be learning and to be expanding your knowledge base such that you can better be prepared to anticipate those changes so i think that's certainly a great uh great lesson to learn are things that people should take to heart well as people are wanting to reach out to you they're wanting to find out more they're wanting to support the nonprofit they want to use it in their company they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to connect up to you and and find out more yeah great so people can look at our website room here.org and that has a lot of information about us you can sign the pledge learn about that if you want to connect with me personally you can reach out to my email rachel room here.org um and then we also have an instagram uh channel room here so people can learn a lot more about the initiatives we're doing the efforts we're doing in uh companies and if companies are interested in the resources the surveys and the mental fitness plans that we're helping people create um yeah reaching out to me or through our website to sign the pledges is the best way to do that awesome well i definitely encourage everybody to reach out to you find out more or be a supporter and you and use what you guys have going on so well thank you for coming on the podcast it's been a pleasure now it was uh all for all of you listeners um if you have your own journey to tell feel free to apply to be on the podcast by going to inventiveguest.com if you're a listener also make sure to click subscribe so you know get notifications as all the awesome episodes come out and also leave us a review and last but not least if you ever need help with patents and trademarks feel free to reach out to us we're always here to help just go to strategymeeting.com thank you again rachel it's been fun it's been a pleasure and uh wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you appreciate it

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