Don't Believe Your Own Lies
Devin MillerThe Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Don't Believe Your Own Lies
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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don't believe your own lies i think from a young age we start telling ourselves a lot of lies in in our self-talk you know why why do i think i can do that why why am i the one that could be able to do these things you know we have a lot of that negative self-talk and i think we just need to change that to the why not [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host evan miller the serial entrepreneur that's grown several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks if you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com and grab some time to chat now today we've got another great guest on the podcast jeff hague or hey piggy hey peggy all right i was looking at him like i want to say hey but i think it's higgy so um so with that so jeff graduated from college with the degree in entrepreneurship and uh got a job offer to go to a bank but decided i think it was to be go to the rodeo circuit maybe even be a circus club but i'm not sure but he'll fill us in on that and uh then went back um to the after uh doing this rodeo circuit for a short period of time back to banking got the job that he was originally offered and worked there for about five years and then at the office or was it the office i saw a client that was doing some log homes um decided i don't know if it was on spur of the moment or not but he decided to quit his job and go make log hopes for a living so and fill us in on that and uh so went into manufacturing in springville utah or here in utah um and then pivoted a number of times with the businesses including doing retail locations and other things um and then i actually reached out to some of the competitors and started to to make the deal with them and to incorporate that kobe came along had to shut down and uh then decided to uh pivot yet again um it's easy to explore some other other opportunities with mentorship and focusing on coaching and other things so with that much as an introduction and hopefully it's mostly accurate welcome on the podcast jeff hey thanks devin appreciate the opportunity to be here absolutely so i just took a much longer journey and condensed into 30 seconds so why don't you take us back in time to when you're getting the entrepreneurship degree in college and how things how your journey started from there yeah absolutely thanks so yeah i when i graduated from college my major was in entrepreneurship i always wanted to be doing things on my own but when the bank came to me it was a good job offer but i was rodeoing professionally at the time i started rodeoing in high school and did it for a number of years and yeah i just wanted to play i guess and after a while i did decide i should go back and talk to the bank and so i continued to rodeo but i did get the job at the bank and i'm just just out of curiosity because i just tried to picture my mind's eye so the big kid gave me an offer and said you know you got a good degree would like to extend an offer they're barely going to go do the rodeo for a bit and then a few months you know a little while later you come back and say well maybe is that job offer still open so how did it go kind of coming back to them and saying well you know rodeo's still fun but i may actually want to work for you was it a a good conversation an awkward conversation or how'd that go you know i was lucky i had some really good guys that i worked with at the bank because while i was going to school i was actually working at the bank as a teller and so i got to know him and i was working at the bank that was had the regional office in the same building so i got to know a lot of the higher-ups and so they were really good about it and you know i think they they came to me with a really good offer and when i turned it down i think they were a little surprised but they also knew that rodeo was a big part of my life and you know i just won a couple canadian championship intercollegiate titles and stuff so they they knew what i was doing and whatnot but when i went back to them um yeah they were just like yes offer's still there if you want it and it's great but the funny thing is even you know five years later when i went to them and you know during the time i was at the bank i got into real estate bought a mini storage business and stuff like that when i went to him five years later and said you know i'm i'm gonna start a manufacturing company i'm gonna start making artificial stone veneer and this was in canada at the time and my the regional vice president he basically said to me says you know i knew at some point you're gonna want to do something on your own good luck if it doesn't work out you've always got a spot here so they they were awesome to work with so that that always gave me a little bit of security if knowing that if i wanted to rodeo they were gonna let me if i started a business and failed they're gonna take me back so that was pretty good that makes for a bit of a nice safety net and uh now one question before you get into doing the you know log homes and the manufacturing getting into that what was what was the point that you know because they obviously kind of saw it and were supportive of it but what made you decide okay i know i don't want to do the banking industry anymore you know what made you kind of trigger and say okay i want to do something else i want to go pursue this or explore kind of what was that what culminated in that so in the banking industry it was cool because i i was the type of kid that i just wanted to get school done with i wanted to get it done and move on and have a career in rodeo and whatever so when i got to the banking industry the thing that i loved is their continuing education um you know they they gave me so many opportunities to take more courses and do more stuff and so it also gave me the opportunity to climb the ladder really quick um i came into the industry working as a we called it at the time a personal financial services officer which did loans and mortgages and stuff and then i got into the investment side but they got me to the point where i got trained to do the business loans and then i was managing my own branch within a couple years and as the branch manager i also had the opportunity to continue doing all the business loans and so that's what i was really passionate about is working with these entrepreneurs and you know working with the entrepreneurs and just sitting down with them and saying you know tell me about your business what are you doing and really learning the ins and outs of it from a banking perspective what they were doing right what they were doing wrong and you know that's kind of what gave me the opportunity to start looking at things i was with one of my clients in in his office and he was making log homes and he had a catalog on his desk for artificial storm veneer the artificial stone that they put on the front of all their homes and i got looking at it and my brother had done some of that that work before so i kind of knew what the product was and i thought you know what that's something i can figure out and so that's kind of where it started you know a lot of people start a business because they're in that industry or something like that i i wasn't in the masonry industry i wasn't in the home building industry it's just something that i thought you know that looks like there's a need for it and i can figure that out i found someone in missouri that taught me how to do it and started from there started a manufacturing in southern alberta and then moved a second facility into utah so now you so kind of getting that so you say okay you know fun to you know i'm probably the same way different industry but i work with a ton of startups and small businesses it's always fun to see all the things that they do and the things they come up with and how their business goes and some of them are successful and others you know falter some of them don't work out but it's kind of fun to get that a bit of that insight so to speak as to how it's going so you know as you're now making that transition doing the leap over to doing your own kind of manufacturing business getting into that was it you know kind of everything you hoped for and it went well and because i know when we talked a little bit before you mentioned that there was some you know you had to do some pivots and you had to adjust and go different ways so kind of how did that journey go as you're getting into it and what caused the pivots you know what um i i started it and you know in my mind i did i did my business plan looked at everything and i was pretty sure within three years i'd be sitting on a beach retired and living the good life right i think that's every entrepreneur's dream it's kind of like everybody's like you know i know that most are smart startups and small businesses never make it past the first few years but i'm going to be different i'm going to be rich and i think that if you didn't have that exactly that perspective nobody would ever get into they thought this is going to be horrible it's going to be hard it's going to be a lot of work a lot of extra hours and i don't know if i'm going to make it they'd probably say i might just stay in the bait so so go ahead exactly so so the way it started you know here here i am suiting tai every day working at the bank and i walk away to start this manufacturing company and in the beginning i mean it was me doing everything i built the factory i started the production all those things and so i i would go in to do my banking and my staff would look at me and i'm covered in head to toe with concrete and die and everything and they're like you sure you made a good choice here but you know i remember when i went down to missouri learned how to do it i was on my way home i'm sitting in the airport in dallas and i remember thinking you know what this is easier than i thought it was going to be this is this is going to be a no-brainer and i had i had seen one of my competitors product they had a color that i thought you know if i can create that color that's going to be the most popular stone out there and the color was called dakota brown and so that when i got home got back to canada after i went through the training i was going to create this product i was going to create a stone this to match this dakota brown and it was going to be the first stone i made and it was going to sit on my shelf forever saying you know there's kodiak mountain stones first product we ever made type thing well we we did it and the next day i came back we went to take them out of the molds and see the products and stuff and i pulled that out and that beautiful brown stone that i was expecting was a bright pink and so that stone that i kept thinking is going to be the first product it's going to be on my shelf it is out in the middle of the field however far i could throw that dang it i don't want this anymore so what it turned out is even on the manufacturing part of things it was a lot steeper learning curve than i anticipated um you know sitting there going through the training it looked pretty simple but it wasn't and that's everything from colors to profiles to you know you've got to get the engineering and the testing and all that dialed in and it was tough so we finally got a lot of that figured out and started selling product and building our building our dealer network and things were going pretty well we were in canada we advanced into the u.s market opened another factory in utah and we were doing a lot of good things it was moving along well and then 2008 yet and it hammered us you know we're we're tied directly to the housing market and so that was kind of our first pivot is we had to look at things because what happened was there was there's really good margins in the industry until 2008 and then we're dealing with guys like owens corning and all these big companies that had the ability to say okay no we're gonna put our price point at this and it drove a lot of people out of the market i remember there was a job in salt lake that we were bidding on and the whoever it was that got the job they i found out the price and it was basically my cost to manufacture the product and they were doing the product and the installation for that just because people were just trying to buy work and so it really made us decide you know what markets are we going to play in and what aren't we and so at that time we actually backed out of a lot of the u.s markets and still just focused in canada we still manufactured in utah but most of our business was in canada um we ended up opening some of our own retail stores and eventually what we did when we opened the retail stores one of the things i wanted to do was you know someone comes in and they don't want what we're selling well i don't want them to go down to the street and buy from someone else so i went to my competitors as the manufacturers and said i want to distribute your product and at first it was yeah okay what are you trying to pull here you're our competitor wait a minute you're a competitor why would you want to sell our product exactly but fortunately they gave me a chance and you know after a while and when they figured out no he's not trying to pull a fast one on us um it ended up being a really good relationship and we were able to do really well that way and you know the the economy and the housing industry is it's like a roller coaster and so we had a lot of up and downs and a lot of different things and we we tried i mean i remember in the fall of 2016. in our calgary market we had a store up there in calgary alberta we had really had our best year up there and it was kind of like okay this is our breakout year 2017 is just going to be amazing well during that time there was a provincial election changed the whole alberta is an oil province the oil industry dropped out and by spring we're in the industrial park and it was like a ghost town and so there's another pivot we had to take and figure things out and so i mean long story short we ended up in 2017 getting out of the manufacturing and just focusing on distribution which was a pretty good situation we still had a number of issues that we had to deal with at different times and i had moved down to arizona here and we were looking at doing some expansion into this market covet hit right when we're in the middle of putting that together our investor anticipating that the real estate market would fall out here probably wrong yeah yeah hindsight hindsight's really 20 20 on that one but then with everything in the canadian market we did get in a situation where we were going through shutdowns and stuff with the with koved and it came to a point that in in january we had to make the decision of what we were going to do and we did shut that business down so i mean it was from 2005 to 2021 great business a lot of great things that we did but yeah unfortunately it was something we shut down now one question kind of is on that shutdown because it sounds like you know you were almost the opposite you're looking to expand into you know the arizona market and continuing to grow in that you know and definitely get you know an investors you know having here a bit you know betting on the come or having an investor that's going to come in and some cash was it one that the business was already struggling or having difficulties and that the investor pulling out was a final nail or is it more of hey we're making we overextend ourselves or kind of you know what causes it to say you know we have a business that made it through the housing recession everything else and they one that we ended up needing to shut down you know if you don't mind they're kind of providing a bit of insight there yeah you know what one of the one of the things i reflect on and you know i talk about lessons learned you know because so for the past three years i've spent a lot more of my time as a business coach and you know failure is something you talk about a lot in business and one of the things that i reflect on there is you always hear the cliche things you know fail fast fail forward all those things and how much you learn from failure which is true you do learn a lot from failure but when you're in the middle of your own failure it still sucks you know there's nothing fun about it and it's hard and you know looking back now there's a lot to reflect on i learned a lot but in my own case i look back now and say you know it we shut down in 2021 but in reality we failed a lot sooner than that and there was really a number of things that happened i don't feel like we had a full recover recovery ever after 2008 because every time that we got there like i said we got there in the fall of 2016 things were great and awesome the oil market falls out in alberta and all those things happened we put another deal together with a company out of salt lake that we were going to take over their production and it was going to give us a new network within the us but what happened was i i actually thought you know i want to head this up and make sure we get this all taken care of so as soon as we put this deal together i started going out and visiting with all their distributors but what had happened is the year before they had kind of decided we're out of this business and started to neglect it and so all their distributors jumped ship on them and so here we are thinking we've got this whole distribution network and i'm going out there meeting them all and they're saying no we switched last year we don't deal with them anymore and so that was another kind of kick in the side so yeah it was it was never a real full recovery after 2008 it was always building up building up we'd get to a peak and then also get hammered with something again and so it was it was a lot of difficulties that we dealt with um so was was covid the big thing no it was kind of just the final straw in my in my mind no and that that you know is one of those where because i had one of those businesses and was a bit different but this is a side note it was one where we were going along and we actually had a frivolous lawsuit now you know people think oh you're an attorney that's that's not a big deal it's like no it still takes a lot of time and effort there's one where basically stopped the business kind of in its tracks and we're building momentum and going down a given path and then we had that lawsuit and it really kind of you know hit us you know hit us financially even though it ended up working out well at that time we're saying you know what are we going to do here and we're having to deal with it and we kind of give us pause for the business and you know it was one where we then when we put a pause on the business it causes us to reflect back as to you know does this make sense the path we're going down is there a better way you know we're grinding and trying to work it out but you know does it make sense and because we had that pause we actually took it in a completely different direction worked out great we ended up acquiring the other business and filed a frivolous lawsuit for pennies on the dollar and merged with another company that's still going there going strong today but it's kind of that same thing of you know sometimes when you're going along when you don't have something that causes you to change you think oh we can keep it going and we can keep it making working and it's sometimes that abrupt thing that you know finally is that kind of nail in the coffin that causes you to have to reevaluate and see what makes sense and kind of sounds like you have that and that's where you transition you into to shut down the company and uh mentoring and coaching is that right yeah so while i was well while i was down here i mean throughout the whole time i had the opportunity um whether it was with my real estate business or with this business i had an opportunity to mentor a lot of people and you know there's a lot of times i remember sitting in meetings with my cfo and talking about different things and things we had learned as we built this business and we would joke about okay that's that's got to be a chapter in the book or that's something we'll teach when we're coaching people and you know i had taken some certifications for coaching and different things but i hadn't really dove into it and he called me one time and said you know i've got someone i'd like you to meet you've got you've got a similar background and i just think you should meet and he's actually there in arizona as well so i went and sat down with him and he did he had a he used to have a manufacturing company in the uh real estate market and he's now a successful coach and so we sat down and we were talking about things and as i talked about my goals of becoming a coach at some point and some of the things i wanted to do the thing that kind of was a turning point for me was he just looked at me and said okay you've got the qualifications you've got the experience you've got the certifications why aren't you doing it if you want to do it why aren't you doing it and yeah i guess you're right that's a good question i don't have a good reason and and you know i the one thing about uh my manufacturing company was the people that i worked with were incredible so the guys that were running the operation up in canada were just just the most outstanding guys you could ask for and so it was running pretty smoothly and it wasn't something that i needed to be putting full time into and so that gave me the opportunity to start spending some of my time doing the coaching and and looking at other options for that no well that sounds like it's a great pivot and kind of as a fun journey so now as you kind of got into coaching you have a bit of you know not a long er track record yet you're still getting going so getting up and running how has it been so far have you enjoyed it is it been a good pivot a good switch or are you wishing you'd gone back to manufacturing or kind of how is where does that put you at today you know it it's it's pretty awesome i mean it's just like when i worked at the bank i get to work with entrepreneurs i get to talk about their businesses i get a and and one of the things i mean whether i'm coaching doing one-on-one any of my group coaching or any of my mastermind groups i remember it was right during everything with 2008-2009 i was at a business conference in hawaii and i was sitting at a lady was sitting at a table with a lady that owned a scrapbooking company so here i am i own a stone company she owns a scrapbooking company in my mind we have nothing in similarity but during our conversations she started talking about some of the things she did with her scrapbooking business and how she had to pivot it that it just was like that's what i need to do with my company and you know the fact that i was able to take an experience from someone in a completely different industry and apply it to my business was just kind of an epiphany moment for me and that's something that i love working with entrepreneurs i love working in my masterminds because what it doesn't matter the business they're in there's so much that overlaps and you know being able to help one another that way and so that that's been really good and you know the other part is i've been a basketball coach for 20 years and so i've got this mastermind group that i hold every wednesday night and during basketball season i would hold it from our film room at the school because as soon as i was done i had to go out to basketball practice well one of my assistant coaches was part of that mastermind group and so he would be out in his truck and in on the call and then we'd go into basketball practice after and he'd say you've got to teach this team what you were just teaching in that class and it's when i really started looking at you know athletics and entrepreneurship and life there's so many things that cross over and i had i'd been asked to speak at a conference and i i was asked to speak on self-talk and at that point it's when i really started doing a lot more work in mindset and what i ended up doing is i started working with my team a lot more on a lot of the things that we teach and talked about with my entrepreneurs but then during all this pandemic i actually had one of my business clients talking to me and with her knowing my background in sports she says you know what i've got a son that his whole focus in life was to get a college scholarship to play football but during the pandemic he's lost all motivation he's lost his drive and you know he just has nothing there anymore and so i had an opportunity to work with him and really take him through a lot of the stuff that i worked with my entrepreneurs on with mindset and confidence and all of those things and it really helped them and so one of the things that i've done recently is i've started to work with athletes a lot more as well and i've got a program called the confident athlete program that we focus on those things with the mindset the confidence and all those different things because just like in entrepreneurship we put so much focus on the physical aspect of our business or our sport or whatever we're doing but we often neglect the mental game and so that's been that's been a fun way to kind of take the business in another direction as well that i still my my main clientele is entrepreneurs but i love to work with the athletes as well so that's awesome sounds like it's been a great uh great pivot and a great journey so well that was uh we are reaching towards the end of podcast we've kind of gone through where you started to where you're at today always ask two questions at the end of each episode so 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 what'd you learn from it you know what talking about what happened with the company and you know what i had mentioned that it didn't fail at the pandemic it happened before that is one of the things that i really feel is i i remember sitting in a staff meeting talking about some of our things once saying you know failure is not an option we're figuring this out we're going to push through this and i think one of the biggest lessons i've learned is failure is an option and you've got to be able to as an entrepreneur you've got to understand that that it can and if you if you've failed and you're still trying to push it on when it's not going to happen it ends up costing you more pain more money more everything so face the fact when it's happened and figure out what you can do what and focus on the things you can control because there is a lot of things that we were trying to fix that we had no control over so i yeah so i thought i i think that's that's great feedback because i think you know first of all you know failure is is something to learn from and it's usually one where you don't want to fail and nobody wants to fail i don't think anybody is but i think that learning that you can fail and it's not the end of the world and you can or pursue other things you can still be successful it's a great lesson to learn from the you know the closing of a business or having to go in a different direction so i think that's great or great insight second question i always ask is if you're talking to someone that's just getting into a startup or a small business what'd be the one piece of advice you give them i guess one of the the biggest things i would say is one don't believe your own lies i think from a young age we start telling ourselves a lot of lies in in our self-talk you know why why do i think i can do that why why am i the one that could be able to do these things you know we have a lot of that negative self-talk and i think we just need to change that to the why not because you know a lot of people look at entrepreneurs and stuff and think oh they they must have had everything perfect and it just worked out for them but the reality is that it's all the same i don't know that i bought other than in the books movies or television shows i've never met an entrepreneur that's actually had that journey which is like yeah had an idea and we just it was perfect it worked all out in that in those three years we made millions and we now are retired on a beach so no i think that having that you know you have to have the understanding that things you know things are not the same in televisions and movies and tv shows and that overnight success is really ten years in the making that people have to go through those failures and that up and downs and pivots to figure out how to or where their their success lies so i think that's a great piece of advice well as we wrap up and i think sorry i was going to say and to add to that i think one of the best things to do is if you're in that position make sure that you have a coach or a mentor that you can lean on because someone that's been there no i think that having that person you know it can be a business partner a mentor something that's unrelated a friend but you know something that you can gripe about when things aren't going well you can bounce ideas off with and you can just have someone there i think is invaluable and you know i think whatever role that is definitely having that person in your corner makes a huge difference so well as we wrap up the podcast there's always more things i want to talk about than we ever have time to talk about it but if people want to reach out to you they want to contact you they want to hire you as a speaker or help them get some mentorship they want to be a customer client they want to be an investor they want to be an employee they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you and contact you find out more absolutely so jeff hagee.com is my website and most of my contact information is on there but my email is jeff jeff hagee.com on instagram it's jeff hagee coaching and you know i've got things like my i've got a free momentum series if you're trying to figure out your goals and everything like that jeffhaggie.com momentum and it's a great free resource to jump to all right well i definitely encourage people to check it out find out more and definitely a great resource so well thank you again for coming on the podcast it's been a fun it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners if you have your own journey to tell and you would like to be a guest on the podcast we'd love to have you so just go to inventiveguest.com and apply to be on the show two more things as a listener one make sure to click subscribe so you know when all of our awesome episodes come out and two make sure to leave us a review so everybody else can find out about all of our awesome episodes and last but not least you have any health patents trademarks or anything else in their business feel free to reach out to us just go to strategymeeting.com and grab some time with us to chat well thank you again for coming on the podcast jeff and wish the next lead of your journey even better than the last thanks time [Music] you