Do A Little Everyday
The Inventive Journey
Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Do A Little Everyday
Do a little everyday. This is based on a concept I have for my show called the wheel of momentum. If you have ever seen a large engine they have what's called a fly wheel on them. It's to help keep the momentum of the engine going. You see them on big old machines, sometimes they have monstrous fly wheels, 20 feet in diameter. My advice to folks would be give a little push at minimum everyday. I don't take days off anymore. Sunday, Saturday, during the week, whatever it might be, I don't take a full day off anymore because if I do I lose that traction, I lose the momentum. By giving a little push, or a big push, or a huge push every single day on my business, on my product, on my show, on whatever it might be I maintain that and gets easier over time.
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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do a little every day and this is this is based on a concept i have for my show called the wheel of momentum and it's if you've ever seen a large engine they have what's called a flywheel on them and that that's to help keep the momentum of the engine going and things like that you see them on big old machines sometimes they have monstrous flywheels you know 20 feet in diameter things like that and my advice to folks would be give a little push at minimum at minimum a little push every day i don't take days off anymore sunday saturday during the week whatever it might be i don't take a full day off anymore because if i do i lose that traction i lose that momentum and by giving a little push or a big push or a huge push every single day on my business on my product on my show on whatever it might be i maintain that and it gets easier over time [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's built several businesses the seven and eight figure companies as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we held startups and small businesses with patents and trademarks and today we have another great uh guest on the podcast rob conor conlon and i i i should have should have pronounced that better but i feel like i stumbled but uh conlon is that right that's correct conlon yes all right um and rob is for about 15 years he worked for somebody else and he found that uh his what he thought was his dream job about 2014 worked for an inc 5000 company who thought it was going to be great um company ran out of uh grew the company for a while then it ran out of track and within all of that he decided hey i'm going to start to go down the more of an entrepreneurial journey so he went worked for a small company worked for all a subtotal of 90 days after which he decided why don't i do something for myself so with that much of an intro rob and i'm sure you'll give us a lot more detail welcome to the podcast hey thank you so much devin it's great to be here and describing this journey is actually something i've wanted to do for a long time because uh it's a it's sort of the earlier part you get sometimes i'm sure you have guests who have the later part like yeah 20 years ago i did this but a lot of this is really recent for me so i think that's going to really be something that a lot of folks will probably like to pick up on because you too can start to be an entrepreneur honestly no absolutely not i think for everybody it's always interesting you know you when you finally step back and say you know think about what is actually how you actually got to where you're at today with your business and with your startup and doing the things you're doing is often a good point of reflection that you never really sit back and say how did i get here and why am i at you know why why do i care about this and why did i decide to come here so it's always kind of a fun discussion so with that let's go back here to the beginning of your journey and kind of tell us you know kind of you worked for the you know 15 years for someone else what that was and kind of start from that point sure well got out of high school got you know into college got college job it's in corporate america it it was great i met a lot of wonderful people there i'm still in touch with a bunch of those people a lot of them are still remain my friends to this day nothing to knock about corporate america learned a lot there spent about 10 years in various jobs that would be described as big box retail or boutique retail which was actually a really interesting transition but that's not what the show is about the next step from that was i said god i'm sick of working these garbage hours for for really not a lot of pay let's try to do something else and i did and it fell flat in its face i started working for for the baseball team here in milwaukee the brewers and that lasted 90 days now this is not the first time in my entrepreneurial journey that something will last 90 days uh that i bit off more than i could chew as a young person i was like 25 and really like yeah i can do this no you're you're a at 25 sometimes so that fell flat on his face and it led to the first stint i had of being unemployed and this was in the depths of the great recession and that really was a a terrible thing um i was newly married and you want to put your marriage through a test be unemployed within the first three months that that'll just get you going thankfully i never had to go through that i could imagine here first of all being newlywed period is always stressful because you're putting two different lifestyles and different families and everything else together and you know your in-laws and their in-laws and then right but on that unemployment kudos to you so right and somehow we made it you know how you made you you know you married the right person when you can make it through something as challenging as that so flash forward a little bit had a job hunting experience where i actually had to give of myself before i got a job i'd volunteer with a local uh non-profit and that got me my next gig which was great learned a ton about that and then learned that i didn't want to work in non-profit because there was no money in it at the base level you had to climb the chain so left that and and really was was again job hunting and stumbled upon literally stumbled upon people would ask me years later bob how'd you find out about this great company here and i said dumb luck i got really mad one night and filled up satellite applications and this is the one that responded to me so it wound up being an inc 5000 company really really great company awesome culture i was employee number 38 and i thought i literally used to say i'm going to retire from this company to people and that was 2014 to 2019 and in my time there did a lot of really great things uh i've got awards that are you know in my pocket and things like that uh built a team from 11 people all the way up to 140 it really was a fantastic journey and the interesting thing was there was a toolbox that i kind of assembled myself of people and skills during that time which came in so handy a little bit further down the road much like that whole that first 90 day unemployment thing which is where i want to kind of go next eventually as you said devin the track at that company ran out it was kind of going the company was going a bit of a different direction and i was maybe i don't want to say old guard because i like to be very flexible with you know learning and growing and things like that but the company was moving a different direction and they had replaced most of my functionality with other people who were honestly hey they're great people and b they're just better at it than me you know i'm a fairly jack of all trades kind of guy and i happen to hire people who were masters of those aspects that i needed their skill set for and that was cool until i came back and said hey i can help and like no you can't so to their credit uh again so i left this that company after literally five years to the day and to their credit they made it really easy for me to kind of go off and say i'm going to do my own thing uh they've set me up to you know bridge the gap we'll say uh between working and and finding the next opportunity so i was really really pleased one thing i think is just like it's interesting so i like to read and oh my wife always kind of makes fun of me so most of the time my life is with startups in small business both my own and working with others and then most time when people ask me what do i like to do and it's a hobby or in my free time i like to say do startups so um but one and with that being i like to read a lot of books and it's kind of how a lot you know i i don't like to read a lot of fiction books are just kind of fanciful i'm not a huge harry potter reader or something like that but i do like to read business books and one of the ones i read was on the starting of netflix and it's called that will never work and i mentioned a couple of episodes but one of the things they talked about was you had mark randolph which was the original founder and ceo of uh netflix um well before you have who you have today with hastings and he was talking you know and one thing that he found is you kind of have different people for different stages of the company right and this and you mentioned kind of jack of all trades and start up small business and start get going you're smart a smaller business you tend to need those jack of all trades and somebody they can do a lot of things and if they're not expert at any of them they can get them done reasonably well over you know different they're wearing different hats bingo and if you get going farther in the company as it grows then you need more specialists right you need less of the jack of all trades and something that somebody can do things very well and very specific and tailored so kind of with that you know that's where i think that kind of almost reflected you said hey i was kind of a jack-of-all-trades and then they brought in people that could do something very well in you know very specific and tailored so then you transition now so anyway this kind of was thought it was an interesting private corollary there well it is and the really funny part is that i hired all the specialists and then they replaced me which was and there was even a point in time where things had gotten inverted at that company where they became my bosses i'm like i i hired three out of four of you here but how did this happen so yeah like how did this seriously though really weird interviewing with people who you've interviewed before but anyway so you said okay now i've i've become i'm the jackpot trades i'm not the specialist i'm gonna go start a not more of an entrepreneurial journey so maybe picking up from there right exactly and that's what i did so i said oh my gosh i have this idea for a job board because i really remembered back in the day when i uh had no job that i really wish there was something that could be a specialized job board for me and i had this idea for about three weeks until i got another position and it fell flat and it taught me little bits and it taught me that that starting something up was a lot harder than i thought it was i thought you know people really like oh yeah i founded a company yeah that takes a lot of work and so this this other project it's still in existence um i'm not going to talk about it much more than in you know the vagueness here i think i have a web domain and a really crummy site and a couple other things now you have to at least let us know what the web do maybe no i'm not going to because you guys are going to go at it it's literally it is a pile of sticks it probably looks better than than this website it really is it's i i so can i press you to give me i just now now i'm more curious to see what it is all right well you know actually i don't know if the domain's active anymore no it would be let's let's let's just use real time what's the domain uh domain is uh gun careers careers.com all right i came from the firearms industry and calm i'm going to pull it up and it's probably i haven't touched that in it it is selective it does have something there pull something up i don't know how well it is all right so now that we've made that decision nick you just mentioned it and then you described it as a sixth i had to check so continue on it's pretty pathetic right it's pretty pathetic but again that was the first first try so i got this new job and i was there for 90 days and the company that hired me wanted me to be this sales wizard but they didn't want to spend any money on marketing so that kind of doesn't work too well yes you can cold call yes you can do all these things and i said uh-uh this isn't for me so we parted ways now here's the part where it really gets to what we're doing today and today is we go back to that thought of joblessness from 2012 and a little bit early 2019 and i said to myself god this is just awful i really hate looking for a job because it's a problem that doesn't doesn't really have an answer you never get feedback because legal departments at companies are always going well no you can't tell them that because we're gonna get sued or whatever it might be which is not a bad thing and again you being uh who you are devin know why you tell the attorneys tell companies that that in that case because they don't want to get sued but i made a passing joke to my wife uh on that said man this is just absolute hell i hate hate searching for jobs and i feel like i never find anything good i wish there was a resource out there that i could tune into and and find some some help and there are resources you can have a career coach but you're shelling out cash for that you can have a professional resume rewrite shelling out cash for that you can have a a head hunter and that's another kind of big thing you know a couple thousand dollars perhaps and i didn't want to do any of that because as as somebody who was still looking for work you know we tightened our household budget so i kicked this idea around in my head of what could i make and i said why don't i make a podcast and i said oh okay everybody's podcasting now and that that's a good thing but i knew that podcasts don't necessarily make money unless they're connected to something else so if you look at the big podcast people joe rogan michelle obama you know these people who have networks number one of people but they've also already got they're already kind of successful so they bring their own audience with and i said man it would be really interesting if i could build an audience and then build a company around it and i sat on this idea for about six months and it marinated and marinated and it what started as a joke eventually turned into the show and if you look at and and rush up to today it's more popular than i ever thought it would be you know we're pushing towards you know four digit downloads we're doing all these things and the part of the journey that i thought was really interesting was i started with a microphone this headset and my personal computer and i went i i got to get more stuff i got i got to do more than this because everybody's doing video everybody's doing all this stuff so i almost out of necessity sold my services for voice over and you mentioned when i first got into this yeah we talked about that before we did the show i'm like yeah you have a great you know some people say have a great face for or for radio which is always i get that too i'm not saying you do but that's fine you have a great voice for radio and it's just kind of one of those deep voices that you just always kind of i always picture when i hear the radio ads or the commercials or someone that's doing a show it's always that kind of that radio voice which is what we talked about i think that there's absolutely you have that yeah and i went to school for that and so it's it's part natural gift it's part you know learned thing but i had to actually sell the voice to a gentleman who was helping with the podcast he wanted an audio book read and the company was founded because he had a company and he wasn't willing to pay me under the table which is which is fine and and good and legal and that's the way it's you're supposed to do things on the up and up but i couldn't take the x number hundreds of dollars without basically building a company uh in this case so i founded westport studios llc and the podcast recruiting hell became the flagship product of that so building the actual organization around the show when the show came first was really kind of the challenge and i wound up with a lot of i guess dead ends if you will or roadblocks i should say not dead ends because we eventually got over them but there were a lot of roadblocks of i loved doing the show but i still have to do the business part of it i have to kind of almost make a again back to the jack of all trades thing i have to be the sales person i have to be the marketing person i have to be the founder the content creator the videographer that everything and it's it was so difficult to spin it up at first because it i had accumulated that toolbox of skills from you know my inc 5000 job and things before that i used to hang out with all the marketing kids so i thought i thought i knew a lot about marketing and compared to somebody who maybe never hung out with a marketing person or anything like that before i think i know a fair decent amount but man it's the it's the old albert einstein thing or was it einstein we don't know one percent of anything or something something like that i mean it was scratching the surface literally and going this is so much deeper like what is seo what is google and building the company into something that's not just the the tagline at the end of end of an episode of the show the you know recruiting hell is the production of westport studios building that into something that can a business owner or a person or an author could go to and say ah gosh i really have something i need an audio book from or i want to get this this sales pamphlet digitized or whatever it might be who can i approach turning that into a brand that somebody would walk up to and not have it look kinky or hokey or anything like that was a real challenge so you did so rewinding just a little bit and you did see sure one question i had and then we'll jump to your normal story yeah yeah so you got late year after 90 days either kind of quit laid off type of a thing on the job prior to this what did you do as you were building this or how did you support yourself you kind of said hey i'd love to i think podcasting is where i want to start i can't sell if i can see if i can build a business around that if it wasn't successful out of the shooting you didn't have a whole bunch of clients or anything else how did you support yourself or how did you get the business up and going good question and i have to have to tell you you know you say the the 90 days parting thing the afternoon that they let me go i was literally three minutes from actually walking into their the ceo's office and saying man this isn't working i'm gonna resign he called he like beat me to it i'm like come on you missed my chance to go and say like but the the positive thing about that and again is the guy who runs the you know the careers podcast um him letting me go was an unemployment plus because the business let me go not me saying i quit if you will so that's a that's a good thing but to get into the like the building part you get you get out of that and you feel this weight kind of get off you when you're out of coming out of a bad job or something that wasn't wasn't good for you and i went home and i'm not gonna lie i played video games i played a truckload of video games because it's like a little vacation after this really stressful 90 days and then i said yeah i got to get on the job hunt uh but supporting the household here i have i have a i've talked to her about her twice or three times already delightful wife she is smart she's hard-working she actually works for a law office and she just i could not do her job and i could not be who i am without my other half and it's a huge testament to as i said earlier picking the right partner and the the poor girl right now as we're recording this she's she's at work and i know she's been having because of the the covid and everything like that it's been packing all the cases together and she's been just pulling you know 12-hour days and things like that and it's just finding somebody who loves you that much to work those hard long hours while you're picking something up is really really the big thing and again i i don't want to say you know i say i played a lot of video games right away yeah there was like a week of like yeah i took four days off that's cool but i did get back on the on the job trail and it was the little bits of things that i did every day of like just the brainstorming at first over the first few months going i should make a podcast what do i want the podcast to be about what do i want what do i want the format to be about do i talk about this do i just do i rant about how bad the jobs market is or things like that forming that and putting it into a a concrete thing that you can show to somebody and actually in the first couple months i did show it to a very good friend of mine and he's like i have no idea what the heck you want to do and it just just shattered my my confidence and i'm like is this a bad idea and he goes i get that you want to talk about jobs but all it sounds like you want to do is rant and complain and that i think it's going to turn people off and so credit to him and big thanks to him it sent me back to the drawing board to say that product didn't ring with somebody who at the time he was actually looking for another job he works logistics for a major uh major retailer and he doesn't work in the best of environments i mean he works does heavy work all day long with he he calls them scumbags they're just not reliable people they don't show up for work so he has to do more work but uh he was again looking for a job and he's going i wouldn't listen to this and i said okay so we go back to the drawing board and we came to the current incarnation which again has changed but also the means to continue to create it as the flagship product of the company and doing audio for people is is kind of a little niche thing and when you find that niche and get really really good at it i won't say that i'm really good at it but if i look at the growth i've had over the past year or two in how i mix audio how i would bring something to to life for a client it's it's night and day it's it's it's just outstanding so that's the kind of the the reboot that happened early in the journey if you will so now you did all that so so help me understand in in you you get the idea you start the podcast you say we're going to make this into a business so and now i have to figure out how how to actually make money off of it right which is always right any business has to make money or you know you can't live on uh dreams and wishes forever and something you have to make money you'd be surprised how far dreams and wishes have gotten me so far man it's but at some point you have to make money even if you're amazon at some point you have to actually turn the process um so you know and there's a few different ways that you can go about a podcast right as far as making money one it can be hey i've got a services i'm trying to generate you know whether it's marketing or income or people knowing you know spreading the word and letting her letting people know how great i am and something and so it's kind of supportive of a different business right so it's kind of that marketing branch you can also do it as you mentioned you know whether it's a you know ben shapiro or a hannity or a you know mad house or if they have podcasts you know some of them do and some of them are more radio but same ideas it can be or advertising right they get they get enough listenership and they do that how do you do it if you know but it sounds like with you you're saying hey i'd like to build this into a concept so was it hey i'm going to provide the services as i build my own podcast so that others can use it or maybe how did what's the plan or already in process of monetizing it or making it into a business sure the plan that that i initially had was you know what i'm going to bake this show and so many people are going to listen to it there's going to be people who are like you know i had a company i have a company i should talk to my boss and and get this guy to record ads for us and things like that well that was not working obviously uh as i said before most of the big folks have an audience and they bring that with them when you're coming from being basically being nobody you know and i have i have a network i have people that i i know from work and that follow me on linkedin and things like that but when you have a network that that's not this you know juggernaut of of influence it's really hard so you have to go out you have to network you have to find the other people in your space and that's what i did i found the other people in my space as a podcast and this might actually be regardless of industry find the people in your space that can benefit and learn from you and you also learned from them so i stumbled upon this community uh which i think it's we'll talk about this for you a little bit later it's called podcast town and it's a it's a basically a forum if you will for fledgling podcasters this is great and i met a whole bunch of amazing people through there some of them have been guests on my show some of them have uh consult i've consulted for they've consulted with me and i started building that little by little off of that you know somebody says hey i want to uh i want a new intro for my for my podcast rob you do audio can you record that for me absolutely how do you want it to sound the best example i can i can probably give you and this is kind of a funny uh funny example is a guy i play play a game with he uh was going to be on some some live streams and he was going to try something completely new with his play style uh in the video game and he wanted something that sounded a lot like the 1995 chicago bulls entry for him that would introduce him by his name and he said rob can you can you whip this up for me and i said okay how do you want it to sound he goes 1995 bulls with a little bit of pro wrestler mixed in and i said okay so i went to the drawing board again this was he said you can make it it doesn't have to be perfect it should be great but not perfect okay give me uh give me a few days and it didn't take me long but i whipped together this thing sent it back to him that basically is a a hype song for him and he was beyond thrilled and it's these little bits of kind of almost piece work that have have fueled my company and it's you know there's an audio book that i recorded full length audio book like i've never put out an audio file that long before in all of my broadcasting experiences that was that was hard there were so many cuts things like that but it's you know now i have something as a portfolio that i can show to somebody and say hey are you an author are you trying to get on audible uh i've done this before and i can help you uh and the other part of that is you know they're the streaming world and things like that as much as i'm not a huge fan of that there's a lot of people out there who are willing to pay 50 100 bucks to get a sort of branded snippet for their their video game thing it's an investment in their brand and again tapping into those adjacent industries to audio which is video and youtube and all these other things that's been the main way that i've been growing my business oh cool yeah it's been fun awesome some real characters that's for sure i can only imagine sounds like a fun place to go well as we and there's always so many things i would love to dive into that i never had time but as we're starting to wrap up then i always have two questions that i asked towards the end of the podcast so why don't we jump to those now rock and roll so the first question i always ask is what was the worst business decision you ever made and what did you learn from it worst business decision i ever made was to purchase t-shirts before i ever had any like income stream like it's good to invest in like your logo and things like that but somebody got a little little anxious and kind of burned some of the uh startup cash investing in t-shirts so i didn't wear one today because i looked nice for this but it's uh you know they've got the logo on them and things like that they're very nice but um thankfully they're all gone which is good but it's investing in the wrong thing putting and not being like a penny pincher almost be scrooge man when you are in the early phases the uh biggest thing you can you can do is be absolutely horribly stingy with the financial resources you have and i think that's probably the best way to do it and there are some times where you need to pivot a little bit and say yes this is a worthwhile investment but then you snap right back to being uh tight-fisted no and i agree but and i think that there's two extremes right and you got to kind of find them in the startup absolutely you got to be penny pincher because you only have so much and always have more things to spend on than you have money to spend when you get to a point where i found it's a hard thing sometimes for startups is eventually if you are making money rather than being a penny pincher not in the sense you don't wash all the money but you need to reinvest in the business right and that's always how the hard thing is you go from hey we don't have any money i've got to pinch every penny and we can't invest you hey we're making some money do i hold on to this for dear life and never let it go because i finally made some money or do i say i've got to reinvest in the business to grow and i think that's always an interesting transition to may as things grow right and that's actually kind of where i am right now with that you know that little balancing act of if it's like a hose valve you can't turn it on too much because if you do your money's gone yeah but if you if you don't turn down a little bit you know if i don't put 10 bucks towards spreaker who distributes my show this week it trends downwards exactly so all right so now second question so now talking to someone that's just getting into startups or a small business what be the one piece of advice you'd give them do a little every day and this is this is based on a concept i have for my show called the wheel of momentum and it's if you've ever seen a large engine they have what's called a flywheel on them and that that's to help keep the momentum of the engine going and things like that you see them on big old machines sometimes they have monstrous flywheels you know 20 feet in diameter things like that and my advice to folks would be give a little push at minimum at minimum a little push every day i don't take days off anymore sunday saturday during the week whatever it might be i don't take a full day off anymore because if i do i lose that traction i lose that momentum and by giving a little push or a big push or a huge push every single day on my business on my product on my show on whatever it might be i maintain that and it gets easier over time if i look at what i've done today right before you and i got on this interview i put out four days worth of micro content through social media which is derived from my my main show i have done and that would in the past that would have taken me a whole day took me like two or three hours now and that's the easiness the efficiencies that you build by continuing to basically practice your business every single day um no i think that's a great thing and even if you're just getting started out just doing that little bit if it's a side hustle if it's something that you're just trying having that discipline of every day i'm going to do a little bit to move it forward um is is at least it gets you started and going and as you said almost builds that momentum to where if you never get going if you don't do something then you're always going to be thinking i should do this or i could have done this and you never do and i think that's a big part of moving that moving that business forward is just that continual momentum and focus on it so i think that's a great piece of advice right and it's almost like working out it really is you know you go for three weeks to build the habit and you have to keep going because if you take those days off that are not the scheduled days off you know what i mean uh you you lose that you say i'll go tomorrow i'll go tomorrow i'll work on my business tomorrow and that's then it dies no absolutely well as appreciate first of all coming on and now as people want to reach out to you they want to use your radio voice or your radio phase no i'm just kidding i'm willing to be on camera too they want to use your services they want to use your radio voice they want to use your production services or they just want to find out more about you or otherwise connect up what's the best way to reach out to you sure best way is through website uh that's recruiting hell.com recruiting hell.com or westportstudiosllc.com recruiting hell is obviously for the show westport studios for the actual studio and then of course i'm all over the social media world you can follow us on instagram uh linkedin's a big one for me because my show deals with job hunting and people being out of work as they are with the pandemic and all the crazy stuff going on in the world right now uh that's where you'll usually find me as linkedin and instagram uh again rob conlon or i believe i'm on there yeah my name is robcon i'm not robert but uh send me an invite seriously i would love to put my network to work for you and uh the only thing i ask is that when you do send that invite make sure you leave you put a note give me a reason why i should be part of your network and why you should be part of mine awesome well i definitely encourage everybody to reach out to you connect up learn more about recruiting hell in or westport studios and certainly uh you have a lot to offer and appreciate you you'll be willing to help others out that are in the job search definitely thank you again for coming on now for those of you that are listeners of the podcast if you have your own journey to tell we'd always love to hear it so feel free to apply to be a guest at inventivejourneyguest.com and if you are a listener make sure to click subscribe so you get notifications of all the new episodes that come out and lastly if you ever need help so patents or trademarks reach out to us in miller ip law rob thank you again it's been a pleasure to come on and uh good luck with the next leg of your journey thank you devon really appreciate it it's been a lot of fun all right you English (auto-generated)