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Scott Knudsen
Devin Miller
The Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
5/3/2021

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Listen. Find a problem. We were in a hospital once when I broke my back. It was a family and doctor-owned hospital. It was family so, my wife and daughter were there and, my daughter was ten at the time. She said hey I would like a milkshake. They said we don't have any milkshakes. So They called down, and they had a chef at this kitchen. So they made her a milkshake. The next day they had milkshakes on the menu for the kids of the family. They fixed that little problem. I think that it's fixing problems and looking for solutions, and then it is just listening to the people around you. You put them in your sphere for a reason. You hire your attorney. You get your bookkeeper. You have to listen to the people around you. Then you ultimately have to make the right decision.

 


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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listen find a problem and and figure we were in the hospital once i broke my back and it was a family doctor owned hospital and it was family so my wife and daughter there my daughter was at 10 at the time great hospital and she said hey i like milkshake and they said we don't have one we don't have milkshakes so they called down and and they had a chef at this one at the kitchen so he made her a milkshake the next day they had milkshakes on the menu for for the kids of the family they fixed that little problem and they made it and i think it's fixing problems it's looking for solutions and then it's just listen listen to the people around you put them in your in in your sphere for a reason you know you you hire your attorney you get your bookkeeper you have to listen to the people around you then you ultimately have to make the right decision [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 grown several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where he helps startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com and grab some time with us to chat now today we have another great uh guest on the podcast scott knudsen first of all i have to say he has one of the best backgrounds and the best outfits i think of any guest we've had on here or if not if not if that close and i may be a bit or a bit partial because i'm a small town guy and i like rodeos and cowboys and everything else so this is a if you're watching it on the video he has a great outfit and a great background but that was a bit of a quick introduction to him so he's uh by his own words has bounced around a lot throughout his career and done a lot of exciting things so he graduated from college with a business degree um worked for a fortune 50 company and sales for a period of time um always was doing that they're doing things on the side love to innovate love to create he was in rodeos for part of the time as well i think he said or died three times had some concussions maybe even got hit by lightning and he'll clarify for that um and then also there was during a longest journey there was a bad drought that happened about eight years um had to uh start to thin his herd that he had on his uh ranch or on his uh on his ranch and uh turn that into an opportunity to do some international branding um and to take the horse horses overseas as well so turn that in also did a non-profit with his uh daughter in the theater and was doing it as part of that started his own brand which is a cowboy entrepreneur a couple years ago and has been doing some speaking with running non-profits writing a book doing a show and a whole bunch of other things so with that much is an introduction welcome on the podcast scott hey devon thank you so much for having me on your podcast man it's a great show for sure absolutely excited to have you on so i just gave you or gave everybody the quick run or 30 second run through of a much longer journey so take us back a little bit in time to kind of coming out of college getting the business degree and how your journey started from there absolutely so coming out of college i had a business degree and i love business and i've always been somewhat involved in business different things even as a kid man i loved it i loved figuring out uh situations where maybe i could do something to maybe make a little bit of money and and uh and grow from that and in business you know when i graduated from tarleton state that's where we started we we stayed we rodeo we trained horses we were on the road a lot with that worked for the fortune 50 company in sales and sales management and just took it from there but it's been a great journey there's nothing more fun in business so so now and that jumped over a whole bunch so i'm going to unpack that just a little bit so you know you came out of school and you worked for the fortune or fortune 50 company you did sales how long did you do that for 14 years 14 years and i loved it man i worked my way up and and we did we did great i enjoyed it but it's something whenever i'm speaking out you know i talk to the to the younger guys and people wanting to get into business go try something go learn and and and get your get your foundation see what you like network and then get out there and start your business so no and i totally agree on all that and i think you know even if you're doing a full-time job if you ever have any aspirations of being an entrepreneur doing your own projects start doing it don't wait to you don't you don't have to be full time on your projects to get going on them try it out sometimes you'll find out hey i don't like being an entrepreneur it's not fun it's not for me i don't like reading everything another time just say i love this and this is what i want to do but until you get going you'll never know either way so you so now you were doing the sales of the fortune 500 or fortune 50 company were you doing other i assume what were you doing other projects on the side were you doing the rodeo at the time were you doing other businesses or kind of fill us in was that did you start your entrepreneurial journey after the fortune 50 company or while you're working there definitely so we started voting even before college and we started training horses for other people before school as well and then we had an education company a franchise we we grew to a couple of towns in texas and at the same time we started doing the fortune 50 come it was a great opportunity so we took that job fair is a great way to learn it was a great way to network it was a great way to see the systems in place for a fortune 50 company which is on the inside out it was great great learning opportunity and at that time you know we didn't have podcasts like cures and other ways to learn you know so i figured we just had to get in there and learn different systems and that's what we did and implemented some and maybe not some so and no one i think that's cool now one i'm going to take as short as i know it's about your journey but you did rodeos for a period of time and i think you mentioned you died three times is that right i did it man i did um you know just part of part of that world you know um uh and we were hit by lightning down at the born and we've uh died you know three times so you gotta help me under how did you die three times because that's not part of my world that i don't know anybody else just died three times and lived i didn't want it to be part of my world either but nobody it just happened and uh but all three times i learned from it you know i learned um uh just so much but you gotta tell me how did it happen what part of the so how did it happen or give me an example of how you died just because i can't let you go without understanding how you died and came back to life absolutely so one was the lightning strike of course one was the broken neck um i had a horse flip over on me and the last time you know i try to be fit you know i think that's part of the journey is to take care of yourself be fit me mentally confident as best you can so when you're doing your job our job as an entrepreneur is not eight hours it can be 12 15 every day and you know i wanted to be fit so i carried this water bottle with me and plastic water big jug and i cleaned it out and drinking that water working out well i was slowly killing myself because i wasn't bleaching it i didn't know to and i got the e coli and some other things and and it it got me and you know i wouldn't do anything silly i thought i was taking care of myself but it kind of backfired on me but um so you tried to be healthy and it killed you so maybe that's maybe the takeaway is don't be healthy just do whatever you want because it's going to kill you either way get you some chocolate pie and just enjoy it all right for the listeners i don't really recommend that but that is funny so yeah and then now last question that i'll get back to your journey when you died each time did you see the walk towards the light and all of that or is that a true thing because i've never been ever had that experience so i was kidding or was it just simply a black and then he came back to or came back and realized man that's a great question no one's ever asked me that um there was something especially the third time um there was definitely something um i could see some things um but you know when i came back man and you know we were in the hospital for a while after that one as well you men you just love on everybody man you just look at everything a little bit different always was that way but now you just appreciate every day and and you know the conversations whether it's business or family it's you just enjoy it so much more like heck i was looking forward to doing this show just because um you know you just enjoy every moment so it changed me for the better i mean i was always someone that loved people but this just helped me get through you know uh more no and that and that is cool and i said i think that it that's a great way to look at it is you know now i am all the more appreciative for what i have and what or what's going on with life and to be here and be with family and everything else and so sunday the whole concept you know you know in our world in our business world things happen all the time maybe not that severe but stuff happens and when we got hit by latin we embraced it i mean once we could um write and read again we embraced it and that became the the brand of the ranch and that became the brand on horses on the trucks and that's kind of our story so that was our brand and you know branding is so important our business i figured that's a true story it means a lot and and we didn't want to run from it and and i think that's so important when you make a mistake it's okay and that's what we talk about and that's that that's what our vision is you make a mistake learn from it tell other people so they don't hopefully have to fall into that trap and go down the road and that's what we did well that's awesome and i like the approach of learning from it because i i don't know that most people are probably gonna get struck by lightning or die three times or anything else but i do think that you're going to hit the bumps and the the speed bumps and things that you don't expect and don't go your way and you can either learn from it and take it or you can you know get down in the dumps and let it get you get you down but either way you're gonna hit into those so you might as well take it as the opportunity to learn so now getting back to your journey just a bit so now you did sales you know with the fortune 50 company for you know or 14 years or whatever you mentioned now at what point did you kind of say i'm not i'm going to just go out on my own do my own thing do my own entrepreneur thing build my businesses kind of was there a trigger there was a kind of a slow hey enough of what we're doing is taking off that i want to do it full-time or kind of how did you transition over to kind of doing your full-time gig yeah you know it's just a natural progression um i i just love what i do and i just want to do more of it and i had a lot of support from family and friends and and in the business world and like you said the beginning you know some of the like the drought that really could have set us back we just found another market to go to and it just happened to be international and once again it's kind of you know hitting those bumps on the road as an entrepreneur you just have to figure out a way to be creative and work around it it makes sense yeah we love it man so so now you make that and it's kind of a grand gradual transition away from doing that you know working for others working for yourself now what was kind of the initial hey this is my full-time gig this is what i'm focusing on what was that initial entrance into running you know doing everything on your own it you know the initial one it was a little bit scary for sure i mean everybody gets nervous you know even when i was doing my own thing riding you know you'd always get a little bit nervous but i think it wasn't scared i think it was more just adrenaline which that's a great thing and and i had that and as i saw the success and people were telling me you needed to do this more and more we we just listened you know we we had a good business plan and we had the right people around us and uh we did it um so and and now what was that first business is that curiosity you know uh so we we trained horses we boarded horses we we showed horses we did we did a lot of that and then it transitioned over to the cowboy entrepreneur a couple of years ago and it's still in the nucleus of the entrepreneur that's our main thing now and but it's branched out where we write for a magazine we're working on a book we've got the network show we go around the country speaking so we have that nucleus we don't have a bunch of different things we have the one main thing that branched off and that's what we focus on so if i were if i were to summarize so you're working with this doing sales fortune 50 company you're starting out doing kind of rodeos doing ranch on the side you know or really i always say a side gig is really just a second full-time job but you know you're doing all of that and then you say you kind of gradually say okay we've got enough business in place we can support ourselves we'll kind of this is what we're passionate as drive is we're going to use our own thing so you started with that nucleus of kind of doing the ranch doing the horses and then it built it out from there and kind of continued to add on whether it's the the book and the show and the speaking gig and other things it kind of build out from that nucleus is that a fair summary that's perfect yeah it just kept growing and it always evolves any business evolves just like a life you know and as it does the right people come into your life and you you cherish those and listen to those and the ones that aren't uh maybe the best you kind of call them out a little bit you just grow your your brand that that definitely makes sense so now i'm going to you know so now remind me because we chatted a bit before the podcast you also got into helping your daughter do a non-profit with theater or kind of how did that fit into everything or is that just a psychic thing or how did how did that come into play absolutely yeah my so my daughter she she's loved to act and sing and dance forever and they asked me to volunteer at the community theater i don't know anything about it and i got into it it was kind of fun you know we do the p l's and we get the actors which are kind of like your employees and you put up a show and you market it it was kind of fun it intrigued me and i was doing that and i became president of the board and i said why do you have to have starving artists i don't understand that why does a non-profit have to be a non-profit why do you understand the tax purposes but why do you want to run it that way so we ran as a business you know we we raised the price of tickets we put out a better product we marketed it right and all of a sudden we start making more money during cobit we stayed open and we did it safely and we um we just kept growing and now we're going to expand the theater to triple the footprint we hired more staff you know that's a lot of fun one theater of the decade of the whole region of texas so it's a great deal but we just ran as a business and now when i go around the country talking i talk to non-profits in the horse world you know that are rescue and horses and we talk about you know fun ways to make more money or get your brand out there as opposed to just trying to make it because it's a lot more fun if you have a bottom line that's in in the black and not red no i agree i mean you know it's kind of the old saying is you know you know money can't buy happiness but i always look at it as money if you don't have any money money you're not going to be happy and so there's there is a diminishing return meaning once you make it so far you know money doesn't have the same return of happiness but if you're if you're a non-profit you're always struggling you're never having ability to grow it you're never do what you need to to take care of it you're not going to be happy and it's not going to be a successful business so i agree whenever you're going to do something figure out a way to combine your passion with making it profitable and giving a product that people want and then you'll have the best of all worlds that's right devon i mean that's so important plus when you have that income coming in you can do so much more with it you know if we didn't do that at the theater there was there would be a lot of people not having a job during cobit and we even added people during code so by running it like you're saying the right way at risk for profit we were able to help a lot of people so so now that that kind of watch you know and there's a whole bunch in your journey that we jumped you know went through in quick fashion but it kind of brings us up to where you're at today if you're doing cowboy entrepreneur and for i think it's cowboyentrepreneur.com you also um you know doing your speaking gigs during your show doing your books doing um running the non-profit as as as a for-profit so now you know looking kind of a bit into the future you know the next six to 12 months kind of you know crystal balling it where do you where do you see that heading or where do you see where do you see things going for you i just see it getting larger and just bringing in more people to help us grow and as we grow the company grows and the people get to enjoy the benefits of that as well you know hopefully we're out on the road a lot more during covet we weren't as much but we figured out different ways to do it which that helped us i think is going to help our brand down the road i do see more speaking gigs i do see a lot more writing the articles the book i can't wait um network tv so um there's there's a lot of exciting stuff going on and that's the fun part about business man that's what i love it's the energy and as you bring on more good people around you um everything just travels faster and you don't know where it's going that's what we're thinking but somehow our roads it's not a straight line of success like that ladder of success it's kind of windy you know it goes up and down and back around all of a sudden you're like how do i get here you know and that's what's so fun about it so that's our plan but i'm willing to change if it's going to help the help the brand all right and then i'll ask you kind of one follow-up to that any new different or exciting business ideas that you're looking forward to adding on either to the nucleus or kind of like the theater that you're going to go in a different direction that you're saying hey here's something that i just can't i can't not do and it's a fun or exciting opportunity in the future you know there is um the theater is running great and and my time is almost over i hate to say that because this one's taking me away so i want to be fair to everyone but i love getting the youth involved in our business and learning and having mentors and i'm trying to be out there for them to just ask questions and and and like in the circles i am now i might not know all the answers i don't know all the answers but i know people that do you know so i love working with the youth and i love speaking at universities and having interns and and uh just helping and and and some of the interns aren't youth i mean they're older people you know and they they they're ready for their their journey and uh but that's what i love i want to do a lot more that for sure no i think that sounds like a fun you know i it's always fun when you can find a way to be impactful with the people that you're you know that you're on the journey with in the sense that you know if you can not only first of all i always say you know we need to if all you do is chase your passion you're not gonna be successful and if all you do is chase money you're not gonna be successful you have to find a way to combine your passions with something that people actually wanting and willing to pay for and then you've got the best of both worlds and then even more so if you can then find a way to make it impactful so and then you kind of get the trifecta of you know is it's you're passionate about it you enjoy it it makes money and you're able to affect other people for the positive or all fun places to go so so now as we we kind of gone through your journey and looked a little bit into the future it's a great transition to jump to the questions i always ask at the end of the podcast which 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 man i made so many uh you know but i think that made me better so uh i think one of the worst ones i try to do everything whenever i started my business all of them even the education business all of them i tried to do it all and that was i was running like crazy in just a lot of different directions as opposed to focus on the business and growing the business and i should have you know hired a bookkeeper had an attorney there to help me and had the right people and you know when you start out you can make excuses in your hand like i can't afford it well maybe you find other attorney in another book keep starting out maybe y'all can trade favors you know maybe there's a way to be creative and and you know like i said back when we started there wasn't a podcast you know we read books to get better so there's a lot of ways to get more educated so um definitely surround yourself with talent that's going to save so much time because no and i like that you know if you don't know quickbooks or how to be a bookkeeper or whatever and you're over there at night trying to do that well that's some time you could be doing watching a podcast or reading a book and getting more educated and setting your plan for tomorrow or the next week so it kind of sets you behind when you think you're trying to help yourself no and i absolutely agree with that now you know it's one of those where it was one of those where i think it's the most entrepreneurs and mostly you know somebody does a startup a small business you have a bit of it more than a bit of a type a personality you always want to get it done you want it you want it to get done right you think you can do it better you you don't want to spend the money because you're in startup mode you don't have the money to spend so you're always trying to yourself and yet more often than not you know there are areas where you can do yourself or even if it's not perfect if your marketing is not perfect maybe you start out into your own marketing or you do you know that but there are areas where it's much better even early on to get that expert advice because it's going to pay much greater dividends and it's going to avoid those issues not only that i like to your point that it allows you to grow your business because now you're focusing on the areas you are passionate about i don't like to do taxes i don't like to do bookkeeping and so you know if i can find someone else to do that it frees it up for my time to spend it on the areas that i can drive the most value into the business absolutely absolutely so now i'm going to jump to the second question which is if you're talking to somebody that's just getting to a startup or a small business what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them listen find a problem and and figure we were in the hospital once i broke my back and it was a family doctor-owned hospital and it was family so my wife and daughter there my daughter was at 10 at the time great hospital and she said hey i like milkshake and they said we don't have one we don't have milkshakes so they called down and and they had a chef at this one at the kitchen so he made her a milkshake the next day they had milkshakes on the menu for for the kids of the family they fixed that little problem and they made it and i think it's fixing problems it's looking for solutions and then it's just listen listen to the people around you put them in your in in your sphere for a reason you know you you hire your attorney you get your bookkeeper you have to listen to the people around you then you ultimately have to make the right decision no and i think that that is it's it's easier certainly easier said than done because often times you you know it's harder to listen than you might think in the sense that you just want to go out and do it you think you know what you're doing and yet if you take the time to slow down listen to what the market is telling what others are telling customers are telling you and everything else then you're going to find those opportunities from because most people don't take the time to listen so i i definitely like that slow down listen and then take that feedback and sometimes people's feedback is not always helpful but you're going to get a lot of good feedback a lot of helpful feedback that makes your makes your journey a lot more successful absolutely well now as we wrap up the podcast and always a lot more things and someday i still want to hear what happened on the last type that you died or what that journey is maybe off the podcast sometime we'll have to chat but if people want to they want to reach out to you they want to find out more they want to read your book they want to hire you for a speaking gig they want to get a horse from you they want to be an employee they want to be a customer they want to be your investor they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out or find out more oh thanks devin uh website cowboyentrepreneur.com and we're on all social media sites under cowboy entrepreneur and they can find us there and they can message us and and text us and we we respond to every single one we make a point of that so it's important if they're spending their time to get a hold of us we're going to get back to them well that's awesome well i definitely encourage people to check out the website check out the socials reach out find out more because there's a lot of i think a lot of lessons to learn a lot you guys are going on that you can learn from and a lot of fun things just to check out so with that we'll uh we'll go ahead and wrap up the podcast thank you again for coming on scott it's been a fun it's been a pleasure and now for all of you that are listeners if you have your own journey to tell and you want to share it feel free to apply to be on the podcast just go to inventiveguest.com we always love sharing your journeys two more things as a listener one make sure to click subscribe and your podcast players so you know when all of our awesome episodes come out and two leave us a review so other people can find out about all the awesome episodes last but not least if you ever need any help with patents trademarks or anything else for the business just go to strategymedia.com grab some time with us to chat and we're always here to help thank you again scott and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you devin i appreciate it was so much fun having me on i appreciate it so much absolutely

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