Start Small With Your Purchases

Start Small With Your Purchases

Seth Goldstein

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
11/17/2021

 

Start Small With Your Purchases

Start small. Be methodical with your purchases. You might think you need XYZ to do your job. How can you go about doing that with what you have? Let's say it's a small business that once to start doing website design. You don't need adobe creative suite. You don't need this five hundred dollar a month piece of equipment to do stuff. How can you figure out how to do it with a text editor? How can you figure out how to do it with what you have on your computer? Or what can you use the trial for? A lot of companies give you a trial for a month. Try for a month.

 


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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 start small be methodical with your purchases you might think you need x y and z to do your job how can you go about doing that with what you have let's say it's a small business that wants to start doing website design you'll need adobe creative suite you don't need this you know 500 hour you know a month piece of equipment to do stuff how can you figure out how to do it with a text editor how can you figure out how to do it with what you have on your computer or what can you use the trial for because obvious companies give you trials for a month try it for a month [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 in the seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we help start up some small businesses with their patents and trademarks you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com and we're always here to help now today we have another great guest on the podcast uh seth goldstein and as a quick introduction to seth so water in high school wanted to start or one or got into uh doing web design as a junior and i wanted to do some digital marketing but that didn't exist in 2000 so went into or went to college and got a major in history and journalism to learn how to write and fell in love with their journalism and then also started doing websites on the side as well did journalism for about six years got burned out with that so decided to go full time into web web design and uh for the first five years was uh figuring out how to do that had a uh son that was born decided to go back to corporate america for a bit of time decided didn't love corporate america but learned a lot about business so left corporate america and started his own thing and been doing it ever since so with that much as an introduction welcome on the podcast app hey devon wow well that's it now see you guys out later he summed it up right just like the old seinfeld you'll leave on a high note so even a high note no absolutely no that's exactly kind of how it worked so i like people yeah yeah the brief and condensed version of it but let's let's take a bit a journey back in time to high school and hear the full or full-size version of the the journey so tell us a little bit about how the journey got started in high school for you well the journey got started everyone in a college in high school knew i was gonna be a journalist before i did i started the school paper which then fizzled after i left the high school but you know it they all everyone knew when i came back after college to visit and say hi to people they're like oh we knew you're going to be a journalist and i'm like how did it well school paper you ran the school paper i'm like oh okay i just thought that was for fun i just thought i was being creative no but they actually thought that you know i was going to be a journalist and sure enough i was um but i also really i really liked web design i like being creative like creating things so the idea of me doing the newspaper in high school was that i went to a small prep school two hour two hour train trip hour train trip away from my house so i had to accept the you know southeastern regional whatever except it stands for um the regional rails you know into philadelphia and out to the western suburbs from the northern suburbs every day so four hours round trip so i had plenty of time to kill so i was like let me think about what i can do during this time god forbid i did my homework you know god forbid but i did my homework but that was quick and i got that done and then i had they give us a laptops back then these are a lot bulkier than we have now and and there's no wi-fi back then or anything like that so what can i do on this computer no internet at the time you know it was internet but not on the trains what could i do so i opened up i opened up page maker or or publisher one of the two and started just fooling around in there like let me start with school paper the little prep schools they're very all about us having these side projects these side hustles so i did that and i got some kids to write for i was the only junior and senior that was in the respective years was allowed in the staff lounge to print it out on a white copy paper so i was the only one i had that privilege like go for it seth so i did that then one of the development director's son was doing web design and he came he and his wife their team came to our our career day and started talking about web design they're like this i'm like this is cool the web was kind of sh it was aoli but used right after aol it's really when people are like oh i can actually go to the web and type www something and get somewhere down just press buttons and so i started doing that i helped build up the school's what first website which is when i was like a little extra credit fun little activity we did did that went off went off to university of delaware and i'm like i want to do advertising i want to do web design didn't really exist i mean it was all kind of wild west back then and so i was like well what can i do i don't want to take accounting i do not want to take accounting i wish i took some business classes i did not but i went and i was like well journalism kind of shows i can write and history shirts that i can write keep in mind they're two different complete different writing styles one's big long convoluted paragraphs one's like every sentence is a paragraph so i always got a's in my history classes in college but never got a pluses because i could never write like a historian ever because they were all coming i couldn't i could not form a paragraph in my head they were so used to writing for the eye but anyhow long story short i actually talked to now president biden he was a senator at the time a university of delaware grad go blue hens and he was walking by the press office apparently when i was talking them on the phone that's something delaware related and he got on the phone with me and started talking to me nice guy definitely a genuinely nice guy regardless of what you think of his politics or anything like that he's a sweet guy and he's like i know the review i'm an alumni and we talked for a half an hour and at that point i was like this is cool i got like been by the bug of journalism and so i got out of college joined a um evening paper out in south central pennsylvania called the evening sun did that for seven months even cops reporting still a lot of gnarly stuff cars wrapped around trees and poles no murders or anything because nothing happens out in south central pennsylvania there's more cows than there are humans but those humans get a little lacks with their driving skills and crash their cars and that was that's a whole nother story so left that went back to back to the east coast of pennsylvania and worked for the local paper here for the remainder of my career and it was a township township store stories you know arguing with the township supervisors like yeah please give me your tax records and need to see them open law you know sign sunshine law and all that stuff so did all that got out of that and i went to sales for a little bit while i was doing that my wife my now wife my then girlfriend and fiance was like except you're miserable you don't want to do sales necessarily sales no one question before so you were in journalism and then you jumped over to sales so is that kind of the interim you're burned out with journalism saying i don't necessarily want to do that so what made you go to sales it was a job it paid the bills it was literally something that like everyone's like hey you're social you're friendly try this kind of one of those things you go on the monster.com you go on the career builder ever there's tons of sales jobs so i worked for a small am a national not a small a national container company selling big container boxes to construction sites anyhow so that long story short i went into web design there's no website you should need to get a portfolio put together so you can get to get the job you have to have experience to get the experience that whole rigorous did that went back to university arts got a certificate in web design i did that for five years before i realized i need to get a full-time job because my son was born he had some complications at birth he's fine now and going into corporate america you know whereas you went to school for nine years as we talked on my podcast the nba did jd all that stuff i did i did the the journalism degree but then i did it in real life mba where i kind of figured out oh okay this is what business is oh here's some business experience wow i should have taken some business courses so we got after about a year there i was like i don't like corporate america i just don't i am an entrepreneur i like being creative and all that stuff left left corporate america went back into gold see me again and i've been there ever since and by i don't regret my time in corporate america because i learned a lot more the second version of gold cmu is a lot less of a cluster than the first one so no no it's interesting because i'll give you this a little bit of a parallel in the sense that you know as you're well aware and we talked before i run my own law firm and i love it and i think it's a great thing but i worked for you know big law firm for it was am1 law 100 big firm lots of attorneys for about you know uh several years of my career that's important and that that is corporate that you know for law that's corporate and i kind of had the same realization not that i didn't i didn't dislike it but i just say it i don't fit well with it and i like to do my own thing and have my own direction do things differently and i think a lot of times better and so when i was looking at it basically saying you know i wouldn't change it i would still go to get that corporate experience because it gave me a lot of great resources for how i'm going to you know good tools for how i'm going to run my own law firm in the sense of you know what are good practices what should i be considering and then i say and the things i don't like i'll just go out the window but i think that it's it's one that is just because you don't the experience isn't one where you want to do long term it can still offer a lot of expertise and a lot of good experience yeah when i learned when i went both these experiences journalism like everything you learn in college they say throw out you have the basis but learn in the real world everything in sales are like you know i'm glad i took that year of sales because it was like a sales training i don't know how does it because when you're running your own business you kind of got to sell so yeah yeah doesn't matter which business you're in you're always in the sales business in the sense always whether it's a product a service or anything else if people are going to pay you for something you have to be able to sell them or be able to explain to them so i always think sales experience is always good no matter what you're doing oh absolutely and especially as a lawyer too i mean i'm sure you're like because you have to sell and you have a big price tag so it's like you know say with web design i mean basic website for me is around 6 500 i have to sell that this is the value of this this is the reason why you want to pay this versus going on fiverr and that's the whole idea is that you gotta sell sell the value sell the you know hey you're also dealing with me do you like my personality you like working with me that kind of thing so the sale every bit of experience i've had there's been no no regrets because everything is built upon experience no and i think that that's that's definitely a good point so now they say okay did corporate america didn't like that got the sales experience want to do my own thing so what made you decide i mean i know you had that interest earlier and you kind of get it off and on but how did you decide okay i'm just going to make the leap and i'm going to go do web design for my full-time gig and see if i can make it go of it ironically the first at least goes to we have ghost media version one version two both of them were like well the first one was like you're going to get a job seth that's my other now wife said you're going to get a job the whole idea is to get the experience to get the job turns out i didn't want to get the job i'm kind of she realizes that now that i didn't want to get the job i kind of like enjoy being on my own but also once you get into an entrepreneurial mindset it's hard to get out of it and be able to work for the man work for the woman work for the person and that's the thing and i realized that i got i'm completely unhirable now i'm hireable to work with a company i'm hireable to you know i work with some big startups and you know they bring me in i have to work on their timetable i work on you know we meet weekly and all that stuff but still on my own boss like i can tell them alright this isn't working see you later and i can go leave and you know bad thing there is i don't get unemployment that's the bad thing but other than that i mean i i i've liked being an entrepreneur i my brain's meant for that i feel like people have the brain for it or they don't no i agree some people think they have the brain for it and still don't but that's the difference you gotta try it though oh i completely but i think even yeah that's a complete aside but i think even the people that don't have the brain for it the thing they do go out and try it see if you'd like it and if you don't then you know that you don't want to do that anymore and it's kind of a bite i tried it and it's not for me and i will go and be happy where i'm at because i know that it's not something i want to do but so now now following on to your journey is okay you decided okay i i don't want to do corporate america i got some good experience i want to go do my own thing i'm going to do web design so you make that leap now was it a good leap was it you know hey i started the business day one i was making raking in the dough and i had lots of clients was it a slow burn and a slow build and figuring out how you reach people or kind of how did you go about doing that well version one was a dumpster fire i'll tell you that right off the bat like i had no idea what the heck i was doing um kicked off a bunch of clients you know figured stuff out and all that stuff version two came out of corporate america no kind of having my head screwed on a little bit straighter and really figured out that i need to have a process in place i need to have the stuff written down i have to have things you know i have to say hey do i need a designer and i have a designer now that i work with do i have do i need a copywriter you you have to realize what do what you you're good at and hire for the rest i'm sure devon you have a paralegal you can't do everything i'm sure you have other lawyers in your firm too because you can't do it all yourself you know there's a part of me that wishes i could do i think there's always a part of entrepreneurs who think they can always do it themselves and then as you grow and get big you're like okay i even if i could though i could do it all myself i don't have the time to do it all myself so you have to afford you also have four kids i mean if you wanna have you know you have to even outsource to them sometimes too so it's like exactly so so now you so you did okay version one was a dumpster fire we said okay coming out of corporate america got the experience and i'm going to do it a bit different which will hopefully work better what was that difference kind of what did you learn and how did you make the second go round better than the first it was the processes i learned in corporate america i worked for a subsidiary of merck and so it was i mean i really went into corporate america not like small business america but corporate corporate america and realizing they had their standard operating procedures everything had a place now i'm telling you right now five six years out of that you know version two not everything has its place you can look at my desk and everything has its place now either even in the physical world but the idea was that with processes i'm able to be more efficient with my time realizing that i shouldn't be doing all the design work myself i should be the one that's doing the biz dev going out there and it goes back to sales you know going back and selling but i'm the thing is i think the different thing with that with sales is that i was selling context boxes construction sites i mean there's a sales person for everything but i wasn't selling something i was passionate about whereas now i'm selling something i'm really passionate about and i love and i can talk about it inside and out and upwards and downwards and all that stuff and i'm able to really be past and people see how passionate i am about it and i won't work with that guy because he seems because they don't know until they work with me that he seems to know he's talking about and he but he's fun to work with and i want to be that guy that's fun to work with you know i want to be the guy that can actually get the solution out there for the person deliver a website on a reasonable timetable and not jerk their chains in any way you know because i mean web design just like in the legal profession there are snake oil people in there and i haven't been i'm not one of them i know and i i absolutely agree on this thing and you know those are the people that give the attorneys a bad name then it's like ah like we're not all like that trust me but it it you know you have to but that's the same thing on web design because you know earlier on i designed our first website and now we have something that does a much better job i think we did it i did a decent job but it was one that i was not a designer and i've come to find out i am not the person that makes it look nice i can have the conceptual the idea the direction of what i want to accomplish but to make it look polished and just out of the park i have to rely on someone else and i think that that's something that you kind of come to figure out you know where are your strengths what are the places you can really add value that's revokes your time and the things that yes you might be able to do if you had enough time but you're not going to add that same level value that's where you need to hand those off oh absolutely and knowing that and being brave enough to do that but just also another thing is just because you hand something off this means you're hands off it means you hand it off you still have to kind of keep an eye on it because regardless of how good the person you hand it off to is every once in a while i mean they dropped the ball but if they drop the ball you're dropping the ball because the buck stops with you not them you can't say well my designer dropped the ball who cares you're the one that i'm dealing with you drop the ball you fix it so the idea is you have to stay on everybody you don't want to micromanage it micromanagers managing is the worst thing but you want to at least check in and say hey how's this going how's this going a lot of fun changes i definitely agree and i you know i think that's one thing that my my philosophy is you start you give them a little bit of rope you keep you know you start they start out you give them some training give a very small amount of rope and they have to basically earn the trust because you're right if you if something gets screwed up the people that or the client isn't going to come to the person that you you know that did that thing they're going to come to the boss and say what are you going to do to fix this this is messed up and what am i paying you for and you're going to be the one to fix it so you still have to have that accountability now i'm going to refocus or just shift back to the journey a little bit so now absolutely you made this shift you said okay 2.0 learn my lessons from corporate i'm going to do it a bit different and i definitely agree on you know processes and and having that in place so you have that all figure you start to get that figured out now how long have you been doing the the version 2.0 and how long you've been offering that service six years it's been six years since corporate and i think it's been a total of i'd say i've been doing i've been doing it you know above board where the irs knows about me since 2000 to 2008 the best time to start a job you know right now go wait wait till there's a crash in the economy and then go start a job why not exactly people can really afford websites then luckily then i was charging a lot less than i am now so they were like oh we can afford it we can afford that you know yeah you know no no but i think that so now you've do it but doing it for six years now so you have the better corporate experience but how is that six years gone maybe has it just been a rocket ship to the top and it's been non-stop growth and bringing out bombers it's definitely been bumps and especially with kovid shockingly i was about the same as it was in 2019 as it turned out to be in 2020. i didn't make more money because it was kovit for crying out loud but a lot of people i was i actually positioned myself not knowingly for a for a job that everyone needed someone's help on they needed to get online they needed an e-commerce store they needed some seo help they needed everything went online because nothing in the real world the in the physical world could be dealt with could be a freaking pandemic you know we we and we didn't and the thing about that is we didn't know what we know now about covid that you can touch things and not really get it it's airborne which is imagined much better than touching things but regardless last year and this year 2021 has been gangbusters because i've been able to capitalize on the fact that that you need to be online you need to have an online storefront for your store you need to have that presence for your legal firm your consulting company you can't because you're not going out shaking hands as much you're doing it over zooms and as good as that is it's not nearly as good as is knocking on doors so it's been very good lately but it's definitely it's entrepreneurship it's it's a roller coaster i mean there's there's months where i'm like my wife will look at me she does my books and she's like you didn't bring anything in this month i'm like oh god it feels like i did because i've been working on stop all month but it just so shocked and it land in that month no no i i think that you know it's interesting how you know going back just a little bit we said of the colbit thing you know i first of all i'm tired of hearing about copenhagen but out of all of that i think everybody is just completely fatigued with or hearing about covet and everything that's going on but i think that the interesting is you know is people that either realize it or position themselves well or already positioned were the ones attended to pivot and thrive and yet it's also interesting that you can have two businesses that are the same and saying oh cobit has been a blessing you know in the sense that the business has been up or it's been a complete downer and they'll be in the same industry and yet one will figure out how to navigate it and to adjust to it and adjust their sales process and their pitch and everything else and others are just wanting to stick with the old way of doing it which doesn't lend itself well so i think that it's great that you're able to figure that out or at least keep things moving forward and it was figured out for me which is always the best way to have it so so now you so now that kind of catches us up to a present before we dive to the last questions at the end um you know just looking a bit into the future the next six to 12 months kind of where do you see things headed what are the next steps for you really i see myself pivoting more and more into optimization and so you build the website but you build the website and does it exist if no one knows it's there it's like a tree falls in the forest it did fall because it's a physical object if you build a website and it's just up there no one knows it's there i was it's a waste of hard drive space literally and so my goal is to get all my clients and help other companies get found online so my big push is pushing my seo expertise and all that next you know six 12 months out there and so far we're also we've also niched down the company a little bit we're focusing more on funded startups legal firms you know b2b companies that are helping other businesses get fat you know with their services and stuff and the but since i live in the philadelphia area which is the biotech and life science capital of the world i'm focusing on the biotech sector for websites and optimization because it's a they're kind of like an offshoot of the startup world it's in the you know biotech world no that's my goals for the next few months a few months really hone on those no i think that that sounds like it'll be a fun and exciting direction and definitely one to keep an eye on so well now as we do or start to wrap towards the end of the podcast uh we will jump to the two questions i always ask the enemy's podcast now as a reminder to the listening audience we are going to do the bonus question where we live years and talk a little bit about intellectual property which is always a fun topic for me so if you want to hear that their question and answer make sure to stay tuned if not i understand it's not for everybody no worries but um before we jump to that the last two questions i ask on each episode 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 oh wow that is a good one worst business experience that i've learned or thing i did was i over promised under delivered and it was something else it was back before i got into wordpress it was 0809 and someone wanted a store i'm like oh i can do that because of course you fake it till you make it and not always wise and what i learned from it was that you don't fake it till you make it you actually know what you're talking about first or at least let them know that you're going to learn with them prepare them with expectations saying hey i've never done this before here's a price break on what i'm going to give you so i can learn it because i've done that recently with doing a learning management system for a client i said normally i'm gonna probably charge you know five six seven eight grand i'm gonna give it to you for a thousand because this is our time essentially but we're gonna learn how to build it out with you because we've never done one before and they were ecstatic like we'll be guinea pigs you know and because we're getting a huge price break and then we get to learn on the job and that's what i learned is that like if you're not if you have to learn don't fake that you know it just admit it say hey i'd love to learn with you and i'll do it for cheap because i have to figure it out you know and it might take eight weeks versus three or four so no i think that is uh definitely a good point it is one that's hard because you always your tendencies you always want to over promise because then you can land the cell and they'll go with you and you know you think oh well you know they'll they'll still be happier i'll figure it out and then when you over promise when you actually go to deliver they're saying well you said you do all these things it would be different and it ends up having the adverse and so is i think to your point much better to set realistic or you know react or expectations are based on reality and then when you either meet those or you exceed them it's a much better experience and getting to the end so i think that that is one it's easy to do because you're wanting to land the cell and you kind of feel like oh i'll make these promises and we'll we'll get we'll beat most of those expectations kind of like politicians usually do not get into politics but you know so i think that that is a great uh lesson to learn under promise over deliver absolutely flip that around yeah so now the second question i always ask is you're talking to somebody that's just getting into a startup or small business would be the one piece of advice you'd give them start small be methodical with your purchases you might think you need x y and z to do your job how can you go about doing that with what you have let's say it's a small business that wants to start doing website design you'll need adobe creative suite you don't need this you know 500 hour you know a month piece of equipment to do stuff how can you figure out how to do it with a text editor how can you figure out how to do it with what you have on your computer or what can you use the trial for because obviously companies give you trials for a month try it for a month see if you absolutely need the whole creative suite which i pay for and i use maybe a third of but for me it makes more sense for what i need is all over the place in there but maybe you only need one tool and it might be twenty dollars a month in that korea suite and i'm not only busting adobe i love adobe but there's also alternatives you can go to alternative to to.net type in a software that's really expensive and it gives you a bunch of alternatives to it that are sometimes free like is a free version of photoshop in my opinion not as good photoshop's been around since the 1980s camp has been around since 1990s different applications but look if you're just starting out there's free versions on the web that are free that you're not ripping them off it's completely legal but you can do it with half the budget you don't need the best of the best to start off no and i think that that is definitely a good point and especially because a knee jerk a lot of times as a as a business you're getting going especially if you don't know is oh i i work for big corporate america and this is what they use and i need this tool because this is a tool that will get it done and sometimes that's true sometimes they're just not a replacement you have to pony up but don't let that be your knee-jerk reaction of because this is a tool that they use i have to use a sole it may be that you start out using the the free version or the less expensive version and it's not quite as good but it gives you the ability to get started and then as you grow and you're saying okay now we can afford those more expensive tools and it'll be beneficial be worthwhile but a lot of times as you're getting started go for the less expensive option to get started as you're figuring out because sometimes you also figure out that better tool isn't always better and i don't need this cheap tool i don't need that expensive tool i need something completely different as you figure out your process so i i think that's that goes with pocket and that's the same thing with podcasting too you owe me a giant mixer you don't need the best of the best of the best mic you don't need to you can use zoom which is perfectly fine you don't need to use you know riverside.fm or any of those other things you can just start off small get going just do it don't definitely think i think that that's a i love it just because i think there's you know and as you grow you may think okay now we're at take the podcast now we're getting a bigger audience so maybe we'll get a bit better microphone or a bit better lighting or we'll use this platform because it you know will save my time and it'll decrease the amount of time it takes to process but as we get going a lot of times you don't even know if you're if the podcast is going to work and if it's going to be a long term thing you're going to keep going so why go in and invest a huge amount when this may or may not work for you or maybe might not use it so i think that's a great amen amen yeah well that was before we get to the bonus questions we wrap up the normal portion of the episode if people want to reach out to you they want to be a customer they want to be a client 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 you contact you or find out more best way to get in touch with me is go to goldstein media g-o-l-d-s-t-e-i-n-media.com you can find me usually as seth goldstein online there is a more famous seth goldstein imagine that who's an action and investor in silicon valley so he's usually seth on things i'm usually seth goldstein we get each other's tweets all the time so we're always forwarding each other tweets it's kind of funny but um so i'm usually seth goldstein everywhere i'm usually the more vocal loud obnoxious one so seth goldstein everywhere goldstein you somewhere you can find me on entrepreneurs enigma on multiple places i've that dot com digital marketing dives the other podcast and yeah look around i'm pretty i'm out there so all right well i definitely encourage everybody to reach out connect and whether as you're looking for a new website or just want to make a new best friend there's always a great option that a great resource to have well thank you again seth 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'd like to be a guest on a podcast we'd love to have you just go to inventiveguest.com and apply to be on the show make sure to also like subscribe share because we want to make sure everybody finds out about our awesome episodes and last but not least if you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything else with the business go to strategymeeting.com grab some time with us to chat well now as we wrap up the normal portion of the episode we're going right into the bonus question which is always a fun thing because we're going to shift gears a bit and talk about a something that's always near and dear to my heart which is intellectual property so with that much um turn it over to you to ask your top intellectual property question all right this one this one happens all the time being in web design people always ask is this trademarkable and i'm like i don't know i'm not a lawyer i'm a web designer and usually meant before i knew dev and i'll be like let me go ask this person over here or let me go or let me go google that you know like there's certain things i know that are trademarkable like the logo clearly it can be trademarkable it's a mark you can see it but there's other things out there and i can't think of anything off the top of my head what it is but like it's a probably you can't i can't show you mark seth goldstein obviously because there's more out there be a lot of lawsuits and they won't go anywhere so like what is trademarkable yeah and i'll kind of give an answer what is trademarkable what are some things that aren't aren't necessarily trademarkable or difficult to trademark a lot of times so generally for trademarks what is trademarkable is anything that's identifying of a source of goods and services so let me unpack what that means is basically if that's the legal or the legal definition of all unpacking put in a little bit more plain speech which is so if you're providing a service or you're selling a product if you have something with your brand that helps customers to know hey this is a person that's selling this item or for selling the service that's what a trademark is meant to or protect so that's a lot of times why you think of a name of a company name of a company it lets you know this is the company that's selling the product i know who it is i know if it's good quality or bad quality or if they've been around for a while they have a good reputation or not same thing with the name of a product hey i know what this product is i can go and look at the reviews or i can understand what the specifications are so that's kind of why generally with trademarks you'll see a name of a product you'll see a name of a company a logo sometimes a catch phrase you know for you to think of just do it or melt in your mouth not in your hand those are all cash phrases you know which companies they go with and so those are kind of source identification tells you who's selling things no okay when you get into what are some of the things that are difficult to trademark something that is what's called mirror first of all if somebody else already has the trademark for something that's the same or a similar product or service and they've already previously trademarked it you can't go get a trademark if you want to try and go get a trademark for the word nike and you're going to go sell at players athletic or sports gear and apparel you're not going to be able to get it it's already taken good luck but you know so that's the first one if it's already something now if it's something that's completely different you want to go do nike um and do you want to go sell automobiles then you you know you're two different your completely different industries different goods and services now don't go do with nike because they're really famous but if you're to do something that's a little bit less famous kind of that same ideas if you're completely different products industries then you're typically you're more uh you're fine on that front a couple other things you can't trademark or difficult something that's merely descriptive now what is merely descriptive means it means that it's really just a term that everybody uses to describe the product or the service so give me an example i want to go start a fruit stamp and i want to sell the world's best apples and i want to name my fruit stand apple everybody is going to think that i'm just describing the product that i'm selling i'm selling apples that's how everybody refers to the fruit apples is an apple so i really can't go and just simply try and trademark the word apple for my fruit stand because it describes exactly what my product is exactly what i'm selling people don't think about the brand they just think that that's a fruit that i'm selling now are you selling computers or yourself i was gonna say if i go sell smartphones and computers nothing to do with the product it's you know completely different differentiated then you're fine so that's another one that is your you you can't do as if it's merely descriptive the last one and there are several but the last one that typically comes up is the one you hit on it's difficult to trademark your a first name or a last name a surname or something of that nature and the reason is is a lot of people have the name they're that have the same name so if you're thinking miller miller miller is a very common last name so guess what i got two problems with trademarking the word of my company i've got miller and ip law miller is my last name tons of millers ip law describes exactly what my services i'm offering are and so i can't trademark miller ip law the words now i can trademark the logo the look and build the logo how it's designed you know how it has the you know the chalkboard on the angle and those type of things that i can trademark but i can't go out and i can't just say i can't stop other people that have the same last name miller from going out oh god imagine that and it'd be great if i could if i stop everybody that has a last name from miller from starting a law firm that would be awesome but it's not fair in the sense that you can use your last name as part of your name and it's not it's something that you can't box people on so those are usually the common ones that pop up that you're not able to block or the things that you can trademark and things that you're or can't you have or can't block people out from doing so that's a much i could go and offer a long time i'm sure you could basis in an idea so that's a great question definitely a fun one so with that we'll go ahead and wrap up this episode thank you again again seth for coming on the podcast oh it's so much fun it's been a pleasure and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you sir

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