Michael: Hello everyone. Welcome to HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And we are part of a duo. We're married, we run our company Half A Bubble Out and we run HaBO Village, the HaBO Village Podcast, where we're encouraging leaders of small businesses to be passion and provision leaders that are creating companies that have more profit and more joy so you can go farther and faster in your company and experience your dream of owning a business.
Kathryn: Okay, we're done. No, we're not done. We're just starting.
Michael: We're just starting. Today, we're going to be talking about being back after a hiatus. We're going to be talking about what we did on that hiatus and a big project and talking to you about what it takes to go into building a large project, new product for your company. Some of the fears, some of the excitement, some of the hard work. And then we're going to kind of set a pace for the rest of this year a little bit and see what's going to happen. So welcome, roll music.
Michael: All right. Welcome back, and today we're just going to start talking about where have we been for the last six months and what's been going on. And the big theme of today is talking about big projects and big endeavors that you want to take in your business. What does that look like? What are the challenges of getting there and how do you get through them? So talk to us. What have we been doing? Tell everybody who's listening.
Kathryn: What have we been doing? So we have spent, we spent June through December and then into the early part of this year we built and launched a full course called the Passion and Provision Course and all the things that we've been talking about on this podcast about multiple places where we need to have minimum competency, casting vision, leadership, marketing and sales.
Michael: Yup, all the cool stuff.
Kathryn: All the management, all of that finance. We built an entire course to deliver training around those six core concepts of running a passion and provision company. And it was a lot of work. I think there's 78 videos or some such thing.
Michael: Seventy-eight videos. We did a lot of work. And built a lot of projects. But what we are doing is really going after having over 50 some podcasts. Because when we started our podcast we really went, "Okay, is there a market for this? Do people really care? Is the way we approach things and the wisdom, unique wisdom that we bring from our experience and knowledge, is it going to be a value?" And we keep hearing back over and over again that it is. And that's really exciting to us. And what we realized is with our consulting and our firm Half A Bubble Out, that there's so much value in so much need. And we love helping business leaders, entrepreneurs, small business leaders of profit and nonprofit organizations that have people and visions and dreams and run into challenges. We love helping them get unstuck. And so we went, "Okay, the next thing that's really needed is a course. There needs to be something out there that's going to be of value." So we've spent last year working on and it was a labor of love. It was painful.
Kathryn: It was so painful.
Michael: It was a race. It was an endurance race.
Kathryn: Wasn't it? It was. So we did a beta launch and we had just a handful of people going through it and we were staying ahead of them at about a week at a time. And our staff was like, "Whoa," because we were building curriculum and so between the video and the editing and the curriculum build and all of the tech built in the background to get this thing, it was a massive endeavor.
Michael: Yeah, it really was. Well, and one of the things that some of you may be going, "Oh, my gosh, why did you do that? You sold something you didn't have built yet?" Yes, we did.
Kathryn: Welcome to being an entrepreneur.
Michael: It actually is a very established product strategy as oftentimes, especially in bootstrap companies where you go, "We're not going to invest all this money in creating a product that we aren't a hundred percent sure will take off." So what you do sometimes is you plan it out, you strategize, you think about everything, especially if it can be delivered over time. And then you sell and then you build. Actually, that's been a strategy for decades, probably centuries, "Can I sell?" I'm sure that Ford did something like this. I've heard stories of different companies where it's like, "Okay, can we sell 500 of these? And then if we can, we build up." Matter of fact, we have a client right now who sells farm equipment, very expensive farm equipment in the nut harvesting industry and they never build and then stock their floor and then sell tractors after they'd been built. They always sell orders for next year. They take the orders and they do it. So you've probably heard of that strategy.
Kathryn: Well, and I used to work for a software company where it was known that we would be creating the product while demoing the product and then the product people would have to actually develop it. So the client would say, "Can you do this?" And we'd be like, "Sure." And that's part of how you grow and innovate. The other thing that's very, very true, depending on who you are as a leader, is there is nothing like having somebody expecting a deliverable to hold your feet to the fire to get that thing done. Because the truth is all of us are doing many, many things. We built this while also still servicing all of our clients and spending literally about half our time every week it felt like in the office or in the studio.
Kathryn: So the truth of it is that if you are already busy and there's a big project in front of you, it is really, really easy to put that thing off and put it off and put it off because there's no time to do it. So sort of creating everything and selling it ahead of time also holds your feet to the fire on the deliverable end and it does it.
Michael: Oh, boy does it.
Kathryn: Oh, boy does it. And that was part of why it was painful is because our feet we're definitely, there was a lot of hot coals.
Michael: There was a lot of hot coals. Okay, so here's one of the things that happened. So we said we would talk about this whole idea of getting into this process and you need a form of accountability that's going to hold you. We've been working on a book, right? The book for two years now and-
Kathryn: Oh, two and a half.
Michael: Two, two and a half.
Kathryn: Yeah, a while.
Michael: I don't think it's been longer than that, but I mean quite frankly we don't have A, people waiting for the book and we don't have the pressure and the stress at the same time that that whole thing of, "Okay, well, we need to get it done. It's important but it's important but not urgent." And you kind of figure out in a product if you can sell it, you also have that extra added urgency that helps push some of us into making sure something's going to happen. And it's not the ideal way. The ideal way is if you can work on and be disciplined enough and find the time to work on things that are-
Kathryn: Important but not urgent.
Michael: Important but not urgent. That's ideal. But sometimes you also need the cash. And if you can sell a bunch ahead of time, then you can afford the process and work your way into it. So that also is a way of figuring out how to finance the development and taking pre-orders. Matter of fact, that's what happens on Kickstarter. Kickstarter and all of those things. A huge chunk of those companies they sell and it's upfront, "We're looking to raise money." "We're looking to develop a product." But they tell up front everybody they don't have it developed. Not everybody does that, but that's a style for Kickstarter. So when you're doing these kinds of things, you're going, "Okay, what's that next big project you might be thinking about right now that you've been putting off?" What's that next big product release or product creation that you think, based on your experience in your market space, you're like, "This would really be good if we could add this other service, or we could add this other product and what's it going to take to develop it and how do we test for interest in it?"
Michael: And there're different ways you can do it. Sometimes when you do surveys, if you do them correctly, you can actually get good data on what people actually want and would spend money on. The danger of using surveys on what would you like is you don't ask people, "What would you like?" A better question to ask them what they would have paid for in the past if had it been available. You may think that it's just a subtle shift. It's actually a very important neurological and psychological shift because they're thinking about what would I have actually done? "Oh, I would've actually done this." In the past, "No, I probably wouldn't have bought that." "Do I want this? Yeah, it'd be great if I had that." If you ask people what they want, you can get a lot of people who say they want it and then they don't pay for it. We've experienced that too. It can be a dangerous thing.
Michael: But you're looking for opportunities, so what can I get? What kind of interests is there? But if you think there's a project or something like that that you want to start, you think would be really valuable or even you're thinking on the early end, "What would be a great new business to start?" Because you're listening to this because you're thinking about a side business that you want to start or something. I realized some of you are in that place or you may be running a side business, evaluating it and thinking about it and then just going, "When are you going to start? When are you going to start, and how are you going to do it?" And it's not easy. I don't want to make it sound like it's a no-brainer and I don't want to make it sound like every idea that you work on has come to fruition and make it
Kathryn: Well, and for us, this project was eight years in the dreaming. I mean, so it to get to the point where we actually did it was for us fairly monumental step because there's all of this knowledge and stuff that we've accumulated over time that we've been trying to figure out how do we potentially make that available to a larger number of people than those that are going to walk through our door that have lots and lots of resources to pay for one on one consulting, for example? And so it has been kind of a big part of our passion and our drive to create accessible training around the concepts of passion and provision. So there's an incredible power in it for me at least, and I'm sure for Michael too but in having actually achieved it, having actually put something in the can so to speak. To be able to look back and go, "My gosh, we actually did that."
Michael: It feels so good.
Kathryn: Yeah. And now, kind of moving forward, as we find people who are going to be part of our tribe and want to be kind of in this passion provision model, we have something to point them towards to help resource them along the way. And that is no small thing because we haven't had that before. So there's this incredible energy and excitement that comes from having completed something that you've been noodling and dreaming about and hoping for and praying into and all of those other pieces and parts. You just kind of get this, "Oh, my gosh, we actually did it."
Kathryn: Also, just an incredible, incredible gift for our team because, as you can imagine, as a leader of the company, you probably if you have employees, there are things that you want to do and you may be there're even things with us that you've been talking about and you've been talking about them and you've been talking about them. To actually pull your entire team together and get them done is super powerful. Super powerful. I mean, we did everything in our world from actually building a studio, including a big stone wall that was quite a project.
Michael: Yeah. And I mean, we've talked about this a little bit. We've had a studio for a long time, but we used it in totally different. And it was kind of a makeshift, set things up, tear them down. So we kind of remodeled it and turned it into way more of a permanent place. And yeah, now we have a stone wall that there're pictures on our Facebook Page at different places like that that you can look at probably on our Instagram page too. And you can see this wall that it's permanent now. It's not going anywhere. It's a big brick wall. It's not brick. It's a big stone wall. And it looks cool by the way. It's very impressive.
Kathryn: And we worked hard on it. But it was really fun for our team to come together and be part of again, that vision, mission, purpose of creating something very tangible that moves us towards our BHAG. Right. So we talk a lot and we train a lot. And what does it look to have a purpose and vision and clear values and goals and in some ways, what are your big hairy audacious goals? That's the BHAG. Right. And part of our BHAG is to reach 10,000 companies with a message of passion and provision. So to have created something that's more accessible where people don't have to be sitting in front of us to access it, that begins to help us live into our BHAG.
Michael: Yeah. So you go, girl.
Kathryn: I know. I'm so excited about it. I'm so excited about it.
Michael: Yeah, you know what? This is good folks because what happens is a quite frankly this podcast is a good example for me. I was just thinking of rehearsing what you've accomplished because there's been lots of days where enthusiasm and excitement was hard to come by. The reality is, and you all know it and this is part of it. Some days are hard. You're not sure if you're doing the right thing. You're not sure if you're wasting money on building projects. You're taking time away from something else that you know for sure is a good thing or your doubts and you're wondering, "Is that a better use of my time? What will happen?" And there's no quick woo. It's all like, "We made a million dollars the first time we launched."
Kathryn: If only.
Michael: I'm like, "That's not it." And that's okay because it's a long-term play. And as much as you hope and set goals for things that are higher, you also, it's okay to miss those goals and continue to move on. But we've set goals that we didn't hit. And we've been disappointed by that and had to reframe and build in the community. Because that's another reason, you don't get to clarity alone and you don't stay optimistic alone.
Michael: It's very hard.
Kathryn: You have to have people outside of you remind you of what you've accomplished. So we did a lot of that. When we were done, there was some goals that we missed and we winced a little bit, maybe a lot. But the reality is we had people around us going, "But wait a second, look what happened and look what you did," and all of that. And then for us, one of, for me, and I think for our team, one of the most powerful things was, there was one person that went through the course who said, "This has changed my life." Okay. Well, to have the privilege of adjusting someone's paradigms and helping them think differently and encouraging them in all of the areas of business and helping them be more holistic. All of those things that cause us to sort of want to come to work every day, to have somebody verbalize, "This course, this thing you did was life-changing for me."
Kathryn: Now, do I want that person to be a 100,000 people? Yes, I do, but you have to start somewhere. And so just that reality of knowing that it actually made a difference in the lives of some people was really, really important for me.
Michael: Yeah. Well, yeah, hearing somebody say, "This is life-changing." You're like, "Really? You think so?"
Michael: I mean we think it's cool, and you get into that scenario where you're thinking about that, "What does that look like?" And really doesn't matter to anybody? And when it does, one of the things that's really interesting is when you're trying to stay motivated and stuff, because we've been mentoring people for 35 years. A long time.
Kathryn: I think that's too much.
Michael: But a long time. I mean, we're-
Kathryn: Did you start when you were 15?
Michael: Actually, technically I did. I'm 51, right. So at this point, at the recording of this podcast.
Kathryn: At the recording of this time and podcast.
Michael: I am 51 years old.
Kathryn: Wait, well, what is it? It's in our house it's, "You are at level 51 in the game of life buddy level 51."
Michael: I don't know how I feel about that level. So I'm good with the level for you, but I'm not sure I feel ... I like being old. I like being years old. But level 51. I'm at level 51. So you know what I don't like about it?
Kathryn: Tell me.
Michael: Here's what I don't like. I'm never going to catch up to you.
Kathryn: And you know what? I was about to bring that up, but I wasn't sure you would say it. I'm a level 53 so he always feels like he's behind.
Michael: I am okay with her being older than me.
Kathryn: I'm not.
Michael: But I'm not okay with you being ahead of me.
Kathryn: Because I'm ahead of you?
Michael: Is ahead of you.
Michael: Everything, are you kidding me? I'll never be able to catch up.
Kathryn: That's awesome.
Michael: Yeah. Well, okay, so it's all in perspective folks in how you frame the conversation. Okay. So where was I? I don't even know where I was on that. Oh, mentoring.
Kathryn: Mentoring. Yes. I said you started at 15.
Michael: Yeah, so I was fortunate because I had lots of mentors growing up all the way through and I was really fortunate that I was in boy scouts because actually part of the model, I never even really thought about this until this conversation. But I started cub scouts when I was in third grade and mom and the other guys that I knew as moms were den mothers and those things that I don't know. Some of you might relate to that. Some of you may have never heard of those terms at all. But what you were always in that idea of how do you help the younger kids? And what does that look like?
Kathryn: And it's funny because when you say that, in sixth grade, I was tutoring and mentoring second graders in math and English. Right.
Michael: And Jenna got to do the same, our daughter, she got to do the same thing in the context of being a reading buddy and stuff like that. I mean it's nothing compared to what we do in our life today. But it was on scale, the same thing. It was pouring into somebody who was younger helping them out and building patterns and then it was reinforced that it was important. So all that to say we've been mentoring and pouring into people for a long time.
Michael: Now, one of the things I was kind of where I was going with that was there are some guys now that we're part of my mentoring group that I poured into. Then when they were in college, here in Chico, There was four or five of them and now they're all over the place.
Kathryn: They're scattered abroad.
Michael: They have careers. Some of them have gray hair, one of them has more gray hair than the rest.
Kathryn: He really hates that.
Michael: Does he?
Michael: Well, he just does. And you're looking at that and you go ... As a matter of fact, he has more gray hair than me.
Kathryn: That's what I said.
Michael: Oh, I meant the rest of the guys.
Kathryn: Oh, no, he has more gray hair than you do.
Michael: Did he say that when we were camping?
Kathryn: Yes. He really hates that.
Michael: Yeah. But that whole process of, I didn't talk to some of those guys for years after they moved from college and moved on. It's just time in life and they got a family, they got married and then they start having kids and you went from talking to him multiple times a week and pouring into their life cause they were college students in a college town to not talking to them for months or maybe a year at a time and sometimes two or three years because of just life was going on. It's easy to think, "You know what? Did it really matter? Did it really matter that I poured into anybody or them or any of that?"
Michael: This all goes back to the podcast and how it's impacting and what we've been doing because seeing those people in the course of everything else going, "It really does matter," and you can even hear about it years later that the guys have come around now that they're turning 40 or moving into 40 quickly or towards that and they're starting to say, "This meant something to me. This was powerful the way you did this," or Tammy from our first youth group when we were pastors, we just had the chance to really get to know one of our kids.
Kathryn: The Seattle version.
Michael: She's 42, kids, married, great husband, great life, has really just done a great job and is just a neat lady. She is no longer one of our kids.
Kathryn: We hadn't seen her for 20 years and we just got to be with her and her family over the last several months. In a season, it was really fun.
Michael: It's probably six, nine months and every person we have met that she's introduced us to, she introduces us as, "These were my youth pastors when I was in high school." And you go, "Okay, today's kind of a conglomeration of why are you doing what you're doing? You're doing it to have an impact." Hopefully, you're doing it to have an impact. If you're not thinking about the impact you're making on people and then trying to make a difference in the world around you while you were selling your products or services, you want to do more than just make that thing happen. You want to make sure that you're helping people be successful and achieve their goals and dreams in life.
Michael: Whether you're an engineering firm who does engineering to design plans and design where the water treatment is going to happen and all of that kind of stuff. You don't just do that to doing consulting like we do to providing hay to people who have pet rabbits. You're thinking through, "Why do I do what I do? What's the why behind the why behind the why?" And it's you're doing something that is needed in the world to make people's lives better. To help the world be a better place to help people's lives be right or place. And the more you can remember that you have a purpose and what you're doing as a company has a purpose, it's going to help you push through those hard times of what is the hard times that are just normal. The hard times of that new project, that new service or that dream you have of adding that new thing or going into that business and you're doing, "I think this is something that could happen."
Michael: You need the fuel to go through it. When you hit those moments where you go, "Is it worth it? Does anybody care?" You have to realize that you're going to find those places. You're going to find those people. And even though nobody's telling you right now that what you did last year or five years ago matters, there's somebody who's thinking, "Without that person, something would've been different in my life." It did matter. They're just busy. But you collect enough of those stories, you get them coming back. Because I mean a lot of it for me is about motivating us to get it, to start it and to keep going and to get it done.
Kathryn: Yeah. Well and I don't think Michael will hurt me for saying this, but part of what happened in the middle of our development of this massive project as we live in Chico, California, which is just down the hill from Paradise, California. So as we're in the middle of developing this, we have this small little event that hit the global news called the Camp Fire. Talk about having to really figure out how to push through and keep going when literally a ton of people we knew who had lost everything. There were people who were enrolled in the course who lost their homes, lost everything. And the idea of does anybody really care? I mean there is nothing more profound than seeing people having this incredible loss and feeling like, "I don't even know how to keep going. I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to finish. I don't know how to care."
Kathryn: I mean, it was super, super intense and yet there was that sense of, "Okay, but this is long-term and the events of today aren't the only thing that's going to matter long-term. So we need to keep going. We made a commitment. We're going to do this thing."
Michael: Yeah. That was really hard.
Kathryn: Yeah. It was really hard. It was really hard. It happened right smack in the middle of-
Michael: So at some point, there are lessons that we're learning out of a major natural disaster that impacts your community. There's stuff being learned left and right, and we just haven't been able to codify it all yet. But those are things are going to be coming out because this last six months, not only did a project change our life, but the natural disasters in northern California changed our life and put a mark on it for better, for worse for the rest of our lives.
Michael: So there are things that happen. We built a model a long time ago trying to understand for ourselves what makes a successful company profit or nonprofit? And one of the things that is in that model are all these things that are outside of your control. And one of them is actually natural disasters. And I've always had it listed as a bullet point.
Kathryn: But now it's a larger bullet point. Oh, this stuff actually happens.
Michael: Yeah, I'd never lived it. I never lived something that profound, and now we've got to an experience of it. God willing, we'll never have an experience like that again, but hard things happen. Okay. So I think we're running down to the end of our time today. What I want to talk about real quick is just where are we going? I'm excited about this year and I'm excited about things we're accomplishing and how our dream and how our vision and our business is getting sharper and sharper. And, we're after 17 years of being in business, we're having even more clarity and moving to another level of focus and another level of contribution.
Michael: If you are new to this podcast, what we're about is we're about helping business leaders understand the message of passion provision. This idea that you can have a company that is very profitable and successful financially, it's healthy emotionally. It's a healthy culture, which we believe healthy cultures are absolutely critical, and then from there, it's actually fulfilling. That a business could be fulfilling because we believe that there's a myth out there. The myth that we're fighting against is this, that you either can have a job you love and that's fulfilling and nurtures your soul, or you can have one that's profitable. And most people go after the one that's profitable so that they can have enough money and free time at some point in their life to actually pursue more of the things that nurture your soul and give you fulfillment. And we're here to say that we believe the entire model of business that was actually designed. Well, we believe God designed it. I'm going to say that.
Michael: And that's part of our faith journey. I mean we were pastors for crying out loud so, and we believe that it is actually in the DNA of business that when it's done wisely and you have somebody who can help you think through it, that you actually have something that is, you choose well, you start a business that has a potential market. You know how to do things that grow and you could have that community around you and knowledge that you can grow a financially successful business that actually keeps people in a place where it's emotionally healthy and it accomplishes something bigger than the team themselves. And it's fulfilling for you as a leader. It's not that it's not hard. It's not that it's not hard work, but it's the type of work that's fulfilling, not the type of work that drains the life out of you and sucks the life out of you.
Kathryn: Or your people.
Michael: Or your people. Okay. So I think I kind of want to say it one more time in this way, cause I think this is where we're going for the podcast for HaBO Village, even for the course as we built it to take from something that Donald Miller said in his book a couple of times, Story Brand, great book, and really has done a great way of narrating what we've been doing for years with clients. Because many of you don't know our tagline is telling your story. We believe in story. But it's this thing, there're really three things that human beings crave and there're three things that we're pursuing. One is you're trying to solve a problem and you as an entrepreneur, you as a business leader, you're trying to solve a problem, being profitable, being successful, starting a new business, starting a new product or service.
Kathryn: Meeting a need of a client, somebody out in the industry. So there's a need you've identified and you're trying to meet that need. You're trying to solve a problem.
Michael: Yup. That's number one. Number two, we're all trying to solve an internal battle at the same time. Are we enough? Are we enough to accomplish it? And there're days where we go-
Kathryn: I got this.
Michael: I am, no problem. I mean, I got everything I need. And then there're those days where you go-
Kathryn: I got nothing.
Michael: I want to find a corner and crawl up in it and-
Kathryn: Cry. I'm a girl I can cry.
Michael: You're a girl you can cry. I'm a boy, I can cry. But it's that second, and Donald talks about it as three different storylines, three different challenges that are happening for us. And that first one is, "We have an external problem we're trying to solve". Then we have the internal problem of, "Am I enough and can I do it because every time we risk and go for something new that we've never done before. The question is can we do it?" When I went back to college, after we got married, I always said, "I'm smart enough and I know I could do it. I know I could do it. I know I could do it." When I started back at college at 30 years old, the question I had somewhere deep inside-
Kathryn: Can I do it?
Michael: "Can I really do this?" Oh, my gosh, can I really do it? And when I hit Spanish I really wondered if I could do it because I'm not a language person when it comes to foreign languages, especially Spanish. And I wondered about that. But then there's this third struggle that we're all trying to strive against is, is this good versus evil? It is, "There're things in the world that just are trying to stop us from living a life that's full, to the fullest, that is abundant and we're emotionally and physically and spiritually and relationally full."
Michael: And there are just things in life that just kind of want ... They seem to conspire to come against us. And it's like this grand story of are we going to be Victoria's? Can we do it? Because there's something out there that's trying to stop us, whether it's the economy and everything else. And we believe that there's that lie that says business is never supposed to be fulfilling. Work is never supposed to be fulfilling. It creates money. And that's for whether you own a company or whether you work in a company and we just think that that's bolics and we just can't stand it.
Michael: But that for us is that third fight, that third thing. And these three things are the things that I believe our course does. Our podcast does, and we want to do going even better into this next year is how to create content that's entertaining, educational all at the same time. That deals with those three things. How do you solve those real problems in your life? How do you continue to find the encouragement, and the motivation to go through days where today you have great motivation, but you're just pumped a little bit more? We want to pump you up and encourage you. "We want to pump you up."
Kathryn: Thank you, Arnold.
Michael: And then and to move forward, and then what does that thing that is really giving us purpose and meaning? Can this job or this business that we have that is actually encouraging and exciting that we think we can do? Does it also contribute to a way that like, "Oh, wow, it's fulfilling, and it's fulfilling partially because it's the right work for me? Its good work that has a good result that just not only meets my needs but the people around me and improves the world. Fights against that evil, the evil overlord, that's oppression." That said, that's where we're going. We hope you join us on that journey because we're pretty excited.
Kathryn: We're pretty excited.
Michael: I'm pumped. I'm pumped. Come on.
Kathryn: I am pumped as well.
Michael: I'm ready to, oomph. Okay. So I think that's it for today. Thank you so much for joining us. This is HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And we wish you a great week. Take care, and we'll see in the next episode. Bye. Bye.