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Be Ready To Keep Trying

Be Ready To Keep Trying

Cody & Thomas
Devin Miller
The Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
2/17/2021

Be Ready To Keep Trying

Be ready to keep trying and keep reformulating. Even though master Yoda says there is no try, only do, it's going to feel like a lot of trying for a while unless you are extremely lucky and/or skilled. If you are not coming at this already from having the full skill set and the full finances and the full social relations that are just going to guarantee your success no matter what. If you come from any background where you have to struggle to make things happen mainly due to financing, then be ready to just keep hanging in there and keep feeling your dream and just trusting that you have a good product.

 


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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ai-generated transcription

be ready to keep trying and keep reformulating i mean even though master yoda says there is no try only do uh it's gonna feel like a lot of trying for a while unless you're like extremely lucky and or skilled or have like if you're if you're not coming at this already from having the full skill sets and the full finances and the full social relations that's just going to guarantee your success no matter what if you come from any kind of background where you have to struggle to make things happen namely due to finance then be ready to just keep hanging in there and keep feeling your dream and just trusting knowing that [Music] 

hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller serial entrepreneur who's grown several startups in the seven and eight figure businesses as well as a ceo and founder of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks now today we have another great couple of guests on the podcast and primarily i'll introduce cody and then cody can introduce uh both of or both of you as you you wind it in uh but it's a quick background so cody um and is a uh less lestel let's doubt it's italian for the stars all right cl i was close um but anyway so cody uh grew up in a bit of a i guess a difficult home um had to or had some adjustments as things were going by um and really found that through the kind of the experience of games or games and yoga that he was able to work through some of those experience or work some of those uh difficult upbringing and uh be able to figure out what he or how to cope with that so to speak um so then he took a year off after graduating high school um got a job i think working for nintendo assembling some assembling some of their products and then went to community college after the year off um for a period of time um most people chose their own major and uh cody i think decided to do comparative literature or comparative history of ideas unless he uh he can correct me where i'm wrong and then after he graduated um did or thought about doing some grad school um but was on medical leave and then uh after after all of that brings him up to where he's doing today of deciding how he wants to make an income and what they're working on today so with that much is an introduction welcome on to the podcast 

thank you devon happy to be here and uh thomas harper is my colleague that we'll get into as we kind of get through my journey at a certain point we form a business together um and a partnership in that so i'll share a little bit more about his background when we get there so well fair enough that sounds perfect oh go ahead no it's just saying thanks and i'm yeah all right 

well maybe then with that let's dive into a bit so yeah so why don't we start out with your journey cody and then as is thomas's journey interweaves with yours we can certainly hear a little bit about how he came aboard but uh why don't we start back to back in history to kind of the upbringing and kind of how you found that games and yoga kind of uh was a co or a mechanism to deal with that yeah 

yeah so it's interesting i didn't actually start linking the two together until very recently the past maybe three three years or so um but along the journey um video games and dungeons and dragons namely like uh mario bros uh all the original hit nintendo games all the snes games super nintendo playstation that was always my like my retreat my escape from a lot of a lot of drugs and addiction and alcohol in the household where i grew up so um i either had video games or school to kind of escape to and retreat to and it was in high school my father shot himself due to uh heroin and alcohol addiction mainly and i was fortunate enough to have access to a yoga class in my high school it was actually yoga lotties so they combined yoga and pilates and it was mainly the the pe teacher was really originally an old school traditional pe teacher but she wanted to try something new and introduce she had picked up the yoga practice and so she wanted to start sharing it at the high school and eventually got this class approved and i was the first part of the first cohort of this yoga class at edmonds woodway high school with miss holland and that class just that process of being acquainted with the practice of yoga got me through so much in high school uh that i i think if it was not for that practice i think i would either be not alive today or in much worse shape for sure and um at the same time i was also you know i started playing dungeons and dragons like pencil and paper role-playing games with dice and pencils and papers around the table actually we would skip recess to go to the library to play d as soon as i was in uh first or second grade i started skipping recess to go play dungeon dragons because it was just the level at which you can just be in your own land of make-believe the land of your imagination and create that with other people just through our words and sharing stories was just such a powerful experience for me uh that i was immediately drawn to that and i actually as soon as second grade created my own started creating my own pencil and paper role playing games like i made a version of grand theft auto that you could play with dice and pencils and paper and so kind of just carrying those two things on through you know introduced to that kind of gaming and then all kinds of video games growing up and then yoga by the time i was in high school um i kind of like totally ditched video games um and dungeons and dragons too and any kind of role playing anything that i felt wasn't serious um when i was when i did my undergrad through comparative history of ideas i focused a lot on like community organizing and social movements and started getting acquainted with a lot of critical history uh stuff and that kind of just made me not want to waste time anymore with games i wanted to be real serious and be real grounded in this world and i kind of interpreted it like uh the story that i had growing up was that like the world had already been conquered and there was like we were living in the utopia it had already been achieved as the american dream and so there was no nothing like exciting for me to do no more exciting quests or anything and all the jobs that were kind of advertised through my schooling um were just seemed really boring to me so i just always wanted to escape into another reality and create something else in a land of fantasy but then once i started learning more about uh a lot of the real world problems um uh and how my own struggles growing up were connected to all different kinds of struggles with people all around the world um that kind of made me think okay i need to stop escaping into a fantasy land and do something socially useful and relevant and then it was kind of after several years of uh being really involved in in local social movements local and global movements i i kind of just came to a point of feeling really stuck and like it wasn't really useful like i was kind of wasting a lot of energy and effort um other than like it was useful in that i was learning um and teaching and growing with all kinds of people along the way but i wasn't getting the kinds of results of transforming the world that i wanted to see and so then eventually kind of arrived at this point where i'm now fully two feet uh back in the world of gaming and another two feet planted in the world of yoga and i don't know how many feet i have at this point um or how many arms i think it's just two and two but somehow i if i'm moving fast enough there can be two in all these places at once and 

um so one question oh yeah maybe just diving into that so under high school you know you kind of found your escape and then you're graduating from high school you're saying okay took a job for nintendo for a period of time and then decide you wanted to have a bit more of impact or get a bit more serious and doing things and i think you mentioned that you know you went to community college for um for a period of time and then you decided hey this was you were working or focusing to the level you wanted and didn't you know weren't uh as as focused on the major in that as you wanted so you made some adjustments and changes and then you're trying to you know decide how to find that path to make that impact or to make those adjustments or you know to make the the impact that you're looking for so maybe then with that i think if you're you're in between or you're on medical leave right now between schooling before you go back and maybe dive into a little bit of what you're working on today or kind of what what is what's the plan as you're looking to try and make that impact and grow something or build something 

yeah yeah sure and um uh for clarification on the schooling tip i did i finished a two-year aaa degree uh edmonds community college i transferred to a four year at uw that's that comparative history of ideas program um actually it used to be a program now it's a full-fledged department it just became a department two years ago then i took another year off after finishing my undergrad um and was mainly traveling but then that evolved into this whole autonomous master's degree through the university of the earth in oaxaca was primarily studying plant medicine addiction and alternatives to education i've always been very interested in creating alternative or preferred spaces and preferred modes of learning that are able to function independent of the education system and eventually i went back after doing the work through university of the earth in oaxaca 2016 i started my phd in future studies and indigenous politics through the political science department at university of hawaii in manoa i added a concurrent masters like some reason i just wanted to keep adding education even though i've like declared a long time ago that i want to focus elsewhere and it's kind of been this this struggle going back and forth of like wanting to have a space that is the type of education and the form and feel of education that i want um that's as intense and that you can dump as much time and effort and energy and attention to as people do in a phd program but it doesn't come with all the bad sides of it that i really don't like that i won't spend too much time talking about now so so now with with all of that in mind so now maybe link's in so how did thomas get involved how did you guys can connect it up and then what did you guys kind of partner up with to start working on yeah so we we ended up linking up um so i've we've known each other for god since i was probably i mean you probably know me since i was a baby since i can remember this guy's been around and um we so i started medical leave initially um uh august october 2019 um and then i was teaching full-time for seattle public schools and then which i've been doing for several years as a substitute teacher and then covet hit so during the pandemic i was on standby as a teacher when they closed the schools last year and we're roommates we live in the same house and he'd introduced me to half ball before but kind of once we had enough all this down time this whole uh eruption or convergence or i don't know what you want to call it convergence of the virus the convergence of the virus helped hatch the whole uh world half ball league where we're not um you know really able to we had enough free time and leisure to focus on what actually just the dream and making it happen um so i don't know you want to share a bit about half ball and i mean he introduced me to the sport when i was like a little kid but i didn't really play it until like this last year we started playing a bunch yeah uh originally from philadelphia born and raised and uh been in seattle since 76 i've uh worked for the airlines i worked in hawaii for a year for windjammer cruises i've also been in the rest of my business most of my life doing catering and uh yeah grew up playing this game a half ball in philly decided to make it a business turn it into a business so now so 

so now you so how did you guys did you you decided to make it a business thomas and then got with cody or how did you guys kind of say hey well this is a fun sport it's something that we want to grow and introduce to more of the the you know the country of the world how did you guys kind of connect up and decide that's where you wanted to kind of put your passion or put your time and effort 

pretty much it yeah and uh i got the vision of uh being a world sport yeah and he's been holding on to this for for a minute um and uh a long minute that is and um i i've been running agile that's the academy for gainful and immersive learning experiences for about four years now um and that's been mainly functioning as a website and the the actual programs and teaching after school programs summer summer programs that i've been running uh learning and teaching through video games usually minecraft but also creating our own video games with all a whole range of tools right and then it wasn't until march um march 2019 that i officially established lastel group llc um which is the umbrella focus kind of that holds that whole space for all these different visions um and some of them get acted on one at a time and they start growing like this and i it primarily what listel group llc is is a talent relations agency so like how i told you lastel means the stars well we see ourselves as being among an extremely abundant uh pool of human talent of stars and lastel group is in the business of making new constellations so the timing just happened to be right that when cosmo was sharing this vision of half ball being a world sport with me i also happen to have just started a business who that's in the business of linking people together and making dreams come true right so um i said i'll take you on as my first client on contingency uh you don't have to pay me anything i will just be using all my skill sets and relations and everything's to help make this happen and partner with you on this so now we're to the point where i'm the cfo and treasurer and secretary uh owned 29 of the stock 2.9 million shares who registered a delaware c court um i paid 29 those shares and he's the ceo and president uh with 5.1 million shares and control over the remainder so um and this is like we're learning as we go along right and i i learned how to do that process even from somebody who just told me along the way as i was working on one of my other businesses and visions years ago they said oh what you need to do is use clerky.com and go register this way and now we have a c corporation that i'd like to talk to you later about 

cool that's certainly that's certainly an exciting exciting journey and a fun one to hear so now as you guys kind of look to you know six to 12 months kind of where do you see things going how are you partnering together how are you going to launch it and how you're going to bring it bring it to people 

good question 

or are you still figuring that part out 

oh yeah no there's some uh yes and no i think we have a lot figured out but since we haven't actually done it before it's also constantly figuring out what works and what doesn't and readjusting along the way so right now um we have a kickstarter that's live uh that's gonna be up on february 15 at midnight pacific time is when it closes down and that's running for that's to cover what we're calling sacred tech 2021 2077 that's a year-long game-based business incubator that people we have up to 18 participants or up to 18 teams it can be individuals or groups that we're walking folks through the process of starting a business using this game-based approach where we um i want people through this whole world building session where you play as a part of a divine council of creators people who are able to create whole planets we create planets together and then you're actually the whole focus is alien and indigenous sports and technology so at the end of this year-long simulation um we have what's called our intergalactic pitch event that's going to be taking place at the hawaii star visitor sanctuary it's a real place on earth um in uh in pune in kalapana on the big island of hawaii and at this intergalactic pitch event is where that's actually going to be like the the culmination of the full first year of the half ball season so timed with the equinoxes and the solstices we have different peaks of our first year of the half ball season as a worldwide sport um you know we've connected with the the president of uw university of washington um because i connected with her a lot when i was in undergrad there and we've been sharing with her our vision for the sport she wants us to bring it to campus and share it with folks in the spring she says folks are going to be getting back together and playing uh there's uh there's some commotion like business incubator there for folks in the uw community and i'm an alumni so we're connecting with resources there in terms of collaborations as we do this incubator but really this this idea of sacred tech so it's called sacred tech 2021 2077 right and it's a 56 year simulation because are you familiar with cyberpunk 2077 

well maybe just we're running a bit towards the end of the podcast so what we'll have to do is probably wrap up and maybe we could get into that more but you know kind of what we're talking about is you know you have a few of the different projects you're going on it sounds like there's something an exciting journey yet ahead and there's some opportunities as the campuses open back up as you guys are looking to expand and as you're engaging the audience but maybe you know as we run out of time but before we do i always have two questions that i ask at the end of each podcast um so maybe we'll jump to those now so the first question i always ask is along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what did you learn from it 

it's got to be those apple watches man yeah yeah for sure yeah um 

all right you'll have to fill me in on the inside joke a bit on that one 

we just uh we start we open up a new communications line through a company that will not be named with a product that will not be named that's a little wearable device and um they feel like dangerous and harmful to my body physically and uh you know we wanted to kind of try this new like wearable sports um technology because it really seemed in our realm and uh yeah just not a good investment oh fair enough you might have been looking for a juicier response than that but that's the first thing that came to mind is this apple watch all right fair enough well maybe then and then with that let's jump to the second question which is a long or you know if you're now talking to someone that's getting into uh just getting into a startup or small business what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them be ready to keep trying and keep reformulating i mean even though master yoda says there is no try only do uh it's gonna feel like a lot of trying for a while unless you're like extremely lucky and or skilled or have like if you're if you're not coming at this already from having the full skill sets and the full finances and the full social relations that's just going to guarantee your success no matter what if you come from any kind of background where you have to struggle to make things happen namely due to finance um then be ready to just keep hanging in there and keep feeling your dream and just trusting knowing that yeah because there's there's been times where i i've felt like i'm producing a whole the new worlds literally uh that i put all of my effort and energy and vision into and i don't feel it reciprocated at all and i just wanted to give up and now i'm to the point where i actually can see that i'm cresting that horizon right cresting that hill and seeing the a whole new horizon beyond what i was seeing before and i can actually look back and see all that i've built along the way and i'm sharing workshops with other people that are wanting to know this knowledge and all of a sudden things that i felt like were failures um were not at all or they weren't just failures maybe they were failures too but they're more than that right and they have extreme value and i would i would say kind of the takeaway a little bit of you know what you're saying is as you're getting all going along your journey you're going to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented but also be ready to you know be along for that a bit of that ride as you're you know having the ups and downs 

well as we wrap up or with the podcast definitely appreciate both of you guys coming on it's been a fun time it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners that uh if you ever have your journey on journey to tell and you'd like to share a bit about your journey feel free to go to inventiveguest.com apply to be on the podcast and if also if you're a listener make sure to subscribe and leave us a review as well so that we can make sure that everybody finds out about the podcast and last but not least um if you never need help with patents or trademarks feel free to go to strategymeeting.com and grab some time with us to chat well cody thomas thank you again for coming on it's been a pleasure and wish the next leg of your journey you've been better than the last 

thanks appreciate it 

thanks so much you

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