Make Time For You & Your Family
The Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Make Time For You & Your Family
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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Make sure that you carve out time for yourself and your family. When you're running a startup, you can get so focused, and so in the weeds of running that business, and it can be mentally all consuming, and you can't lose track of what is truly important. So, carving out that time to go for a run, carving out that time, or a date night, carving out that time. That is super intentional for your kids. That is going to be beneficial to your family, but then also for your business, because it'll give you that time away to relax your brain so that you can come up with better ideas for everyone, this is Devin Miller here with another episode of the inventive journey, I'm your host Devin Miller serial entrepreneur, growing several startups and seven eight figure businesses, as well as the founder and CEO of Miller IP law, real startups and small businesses with their patent and trademark, you ever need help with a strategy meeting, grabs. Now, today we've got a another great guest on the podcast Jason Gilligan. I'm always, I always want to say Gilligan so I always look at it I'm like I know it's not killing it, but I still think it'd be elegant so, anyway, with that quick introduction, and Jason so he grew up in Michigan went to college, I think, North Carolina, and didn't go back to Michigan wanted to stay in North Carolina did medical care, medical malpractice, and then worked at the Edward. Edward Jones I made some time today as a financial advisor for a little while as well. Also did professional books and things. That sounds exciting. And then I did SEO and SEM for digital marketing, for I think about 15 years or so, and then started to get the entrepreneur by fell in love with podcast started his own podcast company wife also started a podcast, helping her with that and then beginning a time of entrepreneur thing and see if we can make that much as an introduction. Welcome to One A winding journey, that, that you listed out there. But thank you so much for having me on the podcast. Absolutely. So, quick 32nd or 45 seconds every second run through of your journey, but I wanted to take this a bit back in that growing up position, getting a college in North Carolina and oh yeah absolutely so, like you mentioned, grew up in Michigan right around Detroit. So just north of Detroit Southfield area. Still a very sad, Detroit Lions fan den in my lifetime. The Lions have one exactly one playoff game that won Super Bowl my new one playoff game. Still, still managed to root for them. But on that note, see I'm in Utah, so we have the jazz. We don't even have the only one that ever had was when I went to school in Cleveland, Ohio. And that was the you know the Cleveland bear or Cleveland Browns crown, and I don't think there were any better. So, the only one I've ever had the opportunity to report didn't have any better or didn't have any better odds of yours. Yeah, what are we doing with our lives like we need to come up with better teams I think it's so yeah I grew up, I grew up there, Michigan, and went down to Carolina so UNC for college. And for me it was just a chance to get away and go to somewhere new, somewhere warm somewhere not so great, it's not so full of potholes. Honestly, at the time as a 17 year old guy was 60% women. When I did my two are there, I was like oh my gosh this is amazing here, and that a good business program as well. So yeah, I fell in love with, with Carolina, and you know man when I, when I thought about moving back or where my next place would be, or after college. There was just no way I was leaving this triangle area in the triangle area is Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill. There's no way I was I was leaving North Carolina got the beaches, we've got the mountains. It is gorgeous. And there's a great tech business community here as well. So now he said okay, let's just go here and lives in North Carolina, and then do that for a while now, how did you get into Medicare now. Yeah. How did you get into it. Yeah, so I actually knew a guy that went to Duke, and Carolina and Dude, we've got this fierce rivalry but you know we hang out sometimes. And his dad ran a medical malpractice insurance brokerage out of Houston. So, after school, we went down there for three months to train in Houston, and then came back to Chapel Hill, to start up that branch of medical malpractice insurance services. And so our job was to call on hospitals and doctors and say Hey, who are you using for your malpractice insurance, we can probably get you a better rate can be quoted for you. And this is, you know, free Salesforce free like massive databases that we could get into. So I just created a big huge spreadsheet of all the hospitals and through the risk managers were who the CMOS were for all these different places, and, and just call them the circle calling them and we were successful at it. And we did that for I think that sounds about right as a long time ago now Devin but yeah that sounds about right. I did medical malpractice for a bit of time and then remind me where I need to go from there. After that was Edward Jones. So, I always wanted to get into the financial industry from an early age, you know I was interested in stocks and things like that. And I think I didn't realize with being a financial advisor, it is predominantly a sales job, I didn't realize that at the time, and I like sales a great I love sales, but I kind of thought I would be a financial advisor but it was literally going knocking on knocking door to door and that's the average junk models, and say, Hey, my name is Jason And mind you, I'm 2324 year old kid. Hey my name is Jason, if, if we had ever Jones have a trade or a stock or a bond or something, you might if I give you a call and that's how you got your call is what's going door to door, and doing that so it didn't work out all that well for me. Mostly because I started to get distracted by what would be my next career path, which was playing poker online, one question before we do that because I think the largest, most, most jobs if you're successful and good at it, have the sales aspect. I don't care if you're a dentist or a doctor you still have to get a good recommendation. If you're you know almost most jobs. If you haven't asked. Now some have more than others. Now let's not get from having the ability that allows you to prosper and a lot of. Now, isn't that in mind. I don't know if I can make that same argument for posting I guess yourself until you're putting your whole face on but it's a little bit of a stretch. How did you get into doing a professional poker thing going from Edward Jones, financial advisor to saying this is how you risk your money and how you save it, how you multiply it and say, take a very high risk approached by money and seemed like an out winner out play on people. You make it sound like it was a bad idea, period, two ends of the spectrum. It is two ends. Yeah, I just got hooked in the, the Rounders movie and you know you watch, I don't know if any of your audience remembers this way back when, but you know the Chris moneymaker. Megan, winning the World Series of Poker and the fool of TV, and everybody was going on, it seemed to the, the online poker sites right so PokerStars Party Poker. And I found out that I could win some money doing that if I play discipline, and I played my game that could win some money, and so I was distracted with my job at Edward Jones by playing poker, as I was making more money doing that. And I decided okay you know what, this is what I'm going to do for a little while now, mostly played online. It was a while back then, I mean it was just a lot of money coming in from people that were just looking to have fun. Wednesday to to Vegas 1520 times to play in some some tournament out there, including the World Series of Poker a couple times which never really cashed in that but you had a chance to sit next to sit next to artists and and saw Phil Hellmuth do a rant. Even with the cameras off. He is that guy that will be the poker brat and jump out of his seat and rant on whoever he thinks is playing poorly. But yeah it was it was fun. It wasn't the most healthy lifestyle, because you're kind of staying up all night and you're on your computer all the time and you just don't really realize what time it is sometimes. And yeah, if I was going to move on in my life, and have a wife and a family. I had to get serious about my career, definitely makes sense that no one this kind of curiosity and it gets to personally connect me super curious, you know because I read it, there's kind of those you know we have them become out or you have something funny like counting cards and playing, you know, playing blackjack and other things, glamorous and can you make as much money as money out of people go broke or kind of, how was it for. So, you can make money. There are people that made a ton of money on poker. Is it glamorous. No, I mean, you're, you're, you're spending hours at a table or at a virtual table and just within your own thoughts, Like, it is hours of boredom, followed by moments of terror. Right. So no, I mean it's not glamorous by any means and most people do lose money, because that's how the casinos make money, so like, 90% of people that are playing, are going to lose money. So now you said okay I tried this, not a healthy lifestyle probably not conducive to a family. I'm not going to be rigid the people on TV, probably not. And so, you know, then where did you go from there kind of how did you decide, what would your next, or I guess two questions. Try not to calm down. What made you decide to give up poker and just the healthy lifestyle and went to a search engine optimization, firms with the were the world's largest SEO firm, and we were told to say we had a 98% retention rate for our clients. And this is back in 2006 Something like that, where he was very much. Seo was like a voodoo practice, you can say anything, and they trained us to say anything. And people would believe it and that particular company, so I worked at that company for less than a year, that particular company, that ended up going public, it was like 200 people, and Devin I kid you not, if we hit our sales goals. Everybody would line up, and the exact pass out $50 bills to everybody. So, as an attorney you're probably like that is not tax. Tax healthy right there. But at the same time that's what happened and like, you know, we played basketball all the time, you know, total bro culture total, total growth pro culture, but the company had gone public and the company that, that, while the company that took it over essentially realized that it was all smoke and mirrors and the CEO, literally, ended up getting dragged out. And so that was, that was fun to see. After that, anyway. One of these days I'll write a screenplay about it or maybe I'll do like a narrative podcast about that. I can get some of some of the guys involved from there. But after that, I want to hit on one of my biggest. There is a place for SEO for social media marketing and all those. And yet, I think for the general public, it is one of those. It's so hard to know whether you're getting a stellar job it's absolutely worth the money, or whether he gets someone that you have to give me a call months before you can deal and see any results and then you know you might see some results or it will take longer than the last four months. And so that was, I think that's kind of you mentioned that the biggest price with the industry, there is a lot of even today I think even more so back then but even today it seems like the new normal changing your analytic methods, it's so hard to know what were what is, what is accurate and what is when is difficult service. Yeah, it is really hard, and that was a challenge and I stayed in the SEO industry for a long time went to a bigger, not a beer company, not at all bigger companies but a much better company. In my 12 years with that company and they were doing things that they said they were going to do, actually getting our clients ranked. And so it was, it was a company that had those, those morals that you don't always see in the SEO industry. That makes sense. I think if you can get that good reputation or not just focus on it by trying some time and I loved them, as hard as you are doing that is doing that. I think for five years with one company. And then along the way you've kind of got the entrepreneurial thing and kind of a steady, slow thing was the kind of you know like oh I want to do this and I'll try something out on the overnight and you kind of have that. Well, always looking for the entrepreneurial win. Like, I'm just that anti guy, that that is always looking at where where's the marketing inefficiency, how can I make some money doing this or that, like, Okay, so my wife started a company back in 2010, and she's a wedding planner, and I was very involved in that and helping her out and making sure her rankings were good, on Google to that she would get the leads, you know, help her out with payroll and all those things, and her company continued to grow, and as she was doing that she was bringing in more people that you know I became less and less relevant. So, you know, I got some ideas like one was a marketplace for couples and vendors, it was, it was like the Uber for the wedding industry, where we were developing technology and we developed it, it worked. But we didn't reach the marketing challenges there, where we had to market both couples, and two vendors. And we didn't have money to go about doing that. So, had that idea had an idea for kind of invitations where if you just send a list for night invitations, but thank you cards, so if you sent out a list of your gifts, and the people that got them for you to this company, which are called the grateful, which I don't know why but that's why I call it that, that it would then spit out it was send a thank you cards for you so write these nice thank you cards for you and send them out those cool idea. I didn't know how to run it, run that particular kind of business, but so these are all things that I was, was working on. All the while doing my job. And then I found podcasting. Nice podcast and felt like you're not putting more developers kind of wonder, as you're trying to stumbled upon and so to speak, kind of fell into sound like I wasn't necessarily going to go out. This podcast. It was sound like it kind of started era supportive of what you were doing and then it became really focused Is that about right. Yeah, so 2016 2017 just fall in love with the storytelling aspect of podcasting right influence was how I built this by Gyarados. Love that podcast. He's just the greatest. Interviewer And by the way, if any of your listeners have kids out there, the podcast that he does with Mindy Thomas Caldwell and the world is amazing, like it is a cartoon in audio. They take scientific scientific research, and turn that into a cartoon basically on audio, where they go to place all these things, and my kids just love it. Anyway, so started falling in love with podcasting around 2016 2017 And I went to my bosses and said hey can I start a podcast for our company. I'll do it, I'll do all the hostname, whatever else, literally mine, I'm sure, go ahead. It'll keep you happy for a little while longer. Yeah, it'll keep you happy for a little while longer, why not. So I did that and it was like a how I built this before our clients so we sold the e commerce Store so we I interviewed them about their journeys in developing their e commerce companies. It was called my digital story and we did 10 episodes, I wanted to take it further and interview other e commerce companies not just our clients, just for networking purposes. They didn't really share that vision they want to be just about our clients which is cool, like that's that's their prerogative. I think it was a mistake I think it could have been a great networking opportunity. So, 2018, I convinced my wife finally to start her own podcast so as I mentioned, she's a wedding planner, and I've been bugging her to write a book about all her different stories about the wedding industry and the mothers of the bride outbursts from brides and grooms or whoever, like she's got amazing stories to tell. And she's like no no no I can't do that I would have to do have to be my last year in business basically, you know, to be able to write. Because you know my clients wouldn't want to think like I could one day share their stories, like well what about what about a podcast, where you get other vendors to share their stories. Fine, I don't even listen to podcasts but I'll go ahead and do this thing. So we started weddings for real, and it is three plus years and she's at episode 143 And what we start to find and what has happened to her career, is she has gone from wedding planner to industry thought leader, speaker, and online educator, so she now has a platform, an online education platform where she trains, the next generation of wedding planners and a better wedding planner, and she's got 350 members in this in this membership site, which is awesome, and all started from that podcast. I started to see how effective this can be for building personal brands, and for building companies. And, like, Okay, I'm falling in love with this I'm, I've spent too long at this one company jittery starting to think about my legacy. What am I doing with my life and you're proud of, to produce out there, and I wanted my own company. And so I did in 2019. Finally, the company that I was with, and started out on my own and then started building up. That's awesome and I, I think that, you know, one of the misconceptions. I think that we would kind of, you know, three podcasts not overnight. million downloads on our first episode and everybody else, or maybe if you have a marketing budget. Maybe, but even that I think is one where I think it's kind of started. It is a great way to connect people make connections with network. Non, or even more much more easily reach out to people that probably otherwise wouldn't be able to get a chance, because you're offering value, I think it's a great platform and it's also one where people love, I love to listen to a podcast, podcast there, and beyond and Dr. Kelsey was a podcast. That is, you know, kind of 19 year old business and you know that kind of future kind of thing within Europe, as well as you know the industry in general, where do you see me. Oh wow. So you hit on it quite a bit is, you can't expect a viral sensation at all, unless you are a celebrity already and you have that opportunity to have that viral sensation is worth so much more than selling ads, like, if that's your goal, or your podcast. You don't want to, you don't want to do that like your goal should be top of funnel marketing, right. And so creating something where people can bet who you are. And this person knows what they're talking about so that they can amplify their expertise is our tagline is also to create that content. So the podcast can be repurposed for social media or books, or blog posts for so many different things. So you've got that topical marketing, you've got the content creation, and then some networking is the networking and business development, so like, you know when you're reaching out to somebody to do your podcast, maybe it's somebody that you feel like, could be a client of yours, like I had a, I have a client who hadn't even put out a podcast that was just reaching out and saying hey you want to come on my podcast. They have a $30,000 piece of business because it starts to spark up a conversation. As you look back at 10 years ago, going round of golf with a prospect, right, is treating them to that. Well, I feel like I passing you from the new golf, instead of let's go for a round of golf is hey do you wanna come on my podcast, you have a real insightful conversation. That's not so sales oriented, and yet it's got that that business development focus or that business development goal for you while creating amazing content. So you asked where the industry is going. It is these niche podcasts, it is, you're coming up with, like, everybody should have a podcast. Every business should have a podcast and every personal brand should have a podcast because of all those things, and you don't have to have a huge audience to connect with the right people, you can connect with who you want to work with. That's what's important. I think that's the right I mean I think you can have a much smaller. Now the nice thing about podcasts and most people don't say you never very seldom you know the audience, people getting started with people who have a million followers we have five followers, which is nice for the podcast hosts in the sense that it gives you a much lower very good interest when people reach out to people and they're just excited to tell which worries somebody wants to hear they want to be on their share. So I think that it gives you a lower barrier to entry and just get started. Get going. And then you find that right group that is important to you and then he lashes out so now. Now as we start to reach the end and you're always somebody deveined, we'll have to have you back on Simon's next topic. But as far as your journey, we've kind of reached out into creating your journey not where it's at today and it's time to transition to the two questions that we left. Bonus. In last a little bit about that. More than companies in the last few questions. First question I was asked, Along your journey. What was the worst business decision ever made. Only guy. I keep making the same mistake but in the realm of the same type of mistakes, and what's really hard as an entrepreneur and a solopreneur initially, is you have got to wear so many hats in your business, there's this great book called The startup hats by David Gardner and he talks about the 11 startup hats that you have to wear so maybe one hat, one hat is the marketing, you know one hat is HR eventually one hat is all these different things, there's 11 has to do at all you have to do every single thing, including all the BS work, then the challenge becomes, if you, if you get to that point where you're, you've got demand for your product or service or whatever, then the challenge comes. How do you take those hats off, like how do you hire the right people, how do you come up with processes so that you can hire the right people and, you know, if you want to take a hat off, that you have in place, and I keep making the same mistake of doing the business rather than growing the business. And I have to focus on that, every single day, every single week, is my role as CEO of this company is to grow the business, not to do the business. And yet, you know, I like we have clients and it's all great that they're paying clients. But, you know, we're not rich enough yet where I can hire for everything, so like that, that continues to be a mistake that I'm making is not focusing on the growth, but rather on the doing of the business, I think, if for anybody listening to this, you've got to quickly figure out how to get to that point where you can grow rather than do now and I think this is a hard balance, especially with small businesses start out as the owner or founder whatever you want to call it, you're filming sales and marketing, you know, doing the website, firing firing all those and as you grow you know you can add you have revenue bringing other people in it's that balance. What do you what do you give yourself, where's your best your best return on your efforts to know because you still have to get done and so it's always hard. A lot of things would be great. Things are gonna be the most impactful. Just gonna want to get to that mistake that's easy to make and everybody. Second question I always ask is if you're talking to somebody just getting into a startup or small business, what do you want. What's a really good question. I mean, one piece of advice that the one piece of advice that I would give to them is, make sure that you carve out time for yourself and your family. When you're running a startup, you can get so focused, and so in the weeds of running that business, and it can be mentally all consuming, and you can't lose track of what is truly important. So, carving out that time to go for a run, carving out that time for a date night, carving out that time. That is super intentional for your kids. That is going to be beneficial to your family, but then also for your business, because it'll give you that time away to relax your brain so that you can come up with better ideas for the growth of your company. So as busy as you are, as busy as you know you need to be for the startup to be successful. Make sure you carve out that time know and I think, I think, if you wanted families. If your family, your kids or your wife, that are being paid attention to failing there is going to have a big impact. You want them to feel to be able to remove yourself or you know, your own business when you're there because you're always worried about, like your failures and vice, and vice versa, if you're doing well, it has positive effects on the other one you can on things you know having that time to decompress and eat I always joke that, you know there's laundry. The office was great I think got another idea or something we wanted to start with podcasts at 99, or 90, very little podcast for a run, listen to podcast I don't have emails coming in I don't have anything else in this community. Think about the things that I normally don't think about during busy day. I think both of those are a great way to make sure that you have those times to give her the support, have a good family, and also have a time to actually on your other great piece of advice. Yeah, I love it. Now as we wrap up before we do the bonus question that people want to reach out to they want to be a client they want to be a customer they want to be an employee, they want to be an investor, they want to be your next best friend, any or all of the above. What's the best way to reach out to them contact. My next best friend, sure. But, yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn, Jason Gila Kim di l li k i n, and then your fluence.com. So if you got your phones, calm, the contact form for you can always just email me directly Jason at your ruins.com. All right, well I definitely encourage everybody to reach out. Find out more as I'm like, their networking program. Definitely reach out. Thank you again for coming on the podcast like to share your podcast. This might be on the Genesis one mixture podcast. All of our previous reviews. All our last strategy meeting.com And now we've just wrapped up the normal time when I get it, we get to switch gears a bit and talk about the air go over and talk about that subject that is near and dear. Fingers whatnot that alternate over you ask your number one intellectual property. And I appreciate that. So, we just made. T shirts, and we've got a couple mottos that we put on T shirts. One of them is just press record, so there's there's a couple meetings there. One is for all those pod curious out there, I tell them just press record and see what you have, like, just, just do the thing just just start podcasting, do what you have, it's not live, you can always throw it out. And then the other meaning is for all the producers, editors out there. Remember to press record, anyway, so we put that on a t shirt so just press record, and then your phones on the back, the other one we did was record drunk edit sober, which means that you don't have to be drunk Sure you can, but you just want to be loose right when you're recording something you want to be able to dig in deep and say, Hey, We don't have to air this, but I have to ask, or this can be off the record, but I have to ask. Just, just be loose with everything and be comfortable, and then when you're in the editing process, that's where you can cut things out so record drunk edit sober, we put that on T shirt as well as an IP attorney. Do I need to be concerned about this like I haven't looked into trademarks or anything like how does that all work with that and especially when you get into coding. So there's typically two ways that you can protect, if you remember was. I'll get to how you protect it before you get to the question is, most relevant we should you know the word worthwhile. I would look at that as kind of given part of your brain and it's something critical to your brand and something that you're building it around to where it is something that identifies you at your business, where somebody else will be knocked off. That kind of urge know that when you're getting on cash rates like that I wouldn't, I would definitely have that value to your friend. On the other hand you're like Nikes just do it, and everybody associated with melting your mouth on your hand, you know, whatever, make you whatever you're, you know got mail. Whatever your catchphrase is, you're going to say okay that is a big part of the business, and then you're going to want to protect. So, first thing is, see whether or not it works. The second thing, and let's say now you get the point okay it's worthwhile to be part of our brand, then there's kind of two ways. One is if there is a unique look into this field, meaning it's not necessarily the branding part and he just created a cool looking shirt as assigned to it as you know, graphics, that's going to be on your copyrights anything it's kind of on that creative side where you just make something with the unique will look and compare predictable profits copyright basically allows a player to put on their own shirts on their website, it gives you ability to stop. The other one is on trademarking anymore for the brand is now that is the difficulty when you get into clothing lines. Most of the time when you see a cool t shirt, and it has a cool thing on it, you don't think about that being part of the brand using that's what he's saying. But he sees your, I'll give you an example, my favorite teacher is the simplest teacher but I always love it and it's just kind of fun to write by otherwise by the Buddy. Buddy shirt for his last favorite shirt. I love the shirt binding crowdfunders I have no idea whose brand it is and it has nothing to do with branding, and sometimes the problem is, trademark brand itself is tough to miss identifying associated with your brand name you can protect your trademark. Funny catchphrase clients can't really do. It's not really part of your trans, two avenues, both of which can give different points of attention, depending on the design is more tied to the brand. With that, that's my answer to your pop intellectual property advice from them if you were any of the audience has any other questions or want to grab some time with Mr. Jeff, feel free to go to strategy. COMM And sign up here. It's been a pleasure, and reach the next leg of your journey possible. Thanks so much.