Michael: Hello and welcome to HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And this is a podcast where we talk about issues for leaders that want to grow passionate provision companies that are full of profit and joy. And one of the ways we're talking about this lately is the idea that it brings you profit, brings you purpose and brings you legacy.
Michael: We're kind of playing with that because as we continue to grow and evolve just like you do, you're trying to figure out more and more ways to articulate what you're doing, how your company is growing and changing and adjusting and how do you best articulate that.
Kathryn: My other favorite phrase is moving into the concept of saying part of passion provision and part of what we believe is that if you want to have a meaningful life, you need meaningful work.
Michael: And isn't that a great saying?
Kathryn: I love that. Thank you Jim Collins.
Michael: Jim Collins said that last year.
Kathryn: He's moving us from good to great, continually. He's just a smart guy.
Michael: And Jim, since I'm sure you listen to this podcast, I just want to say thank you.
Kathryn: In fact if you can endorse our book when it comes out, that'd be awesome.
Michael: By the way, a little tidbit, our book is coming out in spring of 2020 and we're really excited about that. Been working hard. Finished the first draft and now we'll move to editing soon.
Kathryn: Which is a great segue into today's topic.
Michael: Which we had a question that came in.
Kathryn: Thank you, question asker.
Michael: Yes, Steve Rider, who listens to the podcast is a friend. We love it and if you want to have any kind of questions, we would love them. This is really helpful and he says this, "How did you move from talking big ideas to starting to execute them and then struggles, stumbling blocks, victories, steps, et cetera."
Kathryn: A great question.
Michael: It's a great question. Steve has a audio engineering company and does several things with podcasts and stuff like that. We work with Steve. And one of the things that he's doing is he's expanding with employees around the globe, working with folks in other countries as remote employees or contractors, doing a great job. But we've watched Steve go from a corporate career that was a very successful one, at the national broadcast level and then go into small business. And as being successful at the corporate level we've seen over and over again, brings a lot of great skills and a lot of great pieces and parts of knowledge and experience to starting your own small business.
Kathryn: But it doesn't all automatically transfer.
Michael: It doesn't and it's really tough for a lot of folks and you have this and really, Steve had a phenomenal idea, I thought, business idea a couple of years ago, three years ago and started working on it and started looking for funding and everything else and really ran into a place where he just kind of hit some brick walls.
Michael: Big idea, wonderful idea. And I really liked it and I think some day it actually has the chance to take off.
Michael: But not all big ideas that we have as entrepreneurs, not all good ideas, we have entrepreneurs have the right time and funding and everything else. And so we're going talk today about-
Kathryn: Kind of our process, right?
Michael: Yeah. Well how did we get here? Because we literally have two companies, our marketing firm, business consulting firm, we have our hay business that we started, that is growing and have a partner in that. And then we have started adding to our services, what we call HaBO Village. That is for training and coaching of small business leaders who want to build passion provision companies. And then we're writing a book, our first book ever. So there's a lot of things that we've seen over the years and Half a Bubble Out's been in business 17 years now, as of the recording of this. So when we talk about all of these processes, there was a lot of big conversations.
Kathryn: There were a lot and there was a lot of time that went by when it was like, are we ever going to do that? Or are we just going to talk about it?
Michael: Well and I think one of the most significant moments I knew because when I was younger I had a lot of talk and a lot of ideas and I lived in the idea land, but I never could get anything really going. And I had to learn certain skill sets and learn certain patterns that were really important for that.
Kathryn: And bring along really helpful humans.
Michael: Hugely helpful.
Kathryn: To help you.
Michael: Well, and one of it was finding a great partner. It just so happens that my partner is also my partner, my wife, and that really turned out to be something that was pretty important for us, of realizing when you're going through life, we don't get to clarity alone. We say that all the time and we say it on this podcast a lot. You need people with you and partnerships are absolutely critical for successful businesses.
Kathryn: Complementary skillsets. Somebody who brings out the best in you, somebody who helps you be better. Because one of the things is, I will tease Michael about the fact that I'm the only reason anything gets implemented. Other people will say that too. Which really irritates him because it's not true. And part of the reason it's not true is because while I have helped him and been instrumental in helping us move in the implementation world, my help has also meant he has grown incredibly. And his gifting in being the idea guy has stretched me to be more creative and fluid and all that stuff. So there's a real powerful joy in sort of having a complimentary partnership and having people alongside who can help kind of bring out the very best of that strength and help you navigate the weakness of that issue, whatever that thing is. Because every strength has a weakness.
Kathryn: So let's talk about this whole concept of moving from big idea dreams, to boots on the ground implementation. So where do you want to start with that Michael?
Michael: Well, I want to start with a conversation I had with Andrew at an Applebee's probably 20 ago and here's what happened. Andrew is a very good friend of ours and he's also our pastor. I've known Andrew since high school and he graduated two years behind me in high school and all been committed to this community. And Andrew said to me, "I think it's going to happen." And I started to wonder if Half a Bubble Out was ever going to happen.
Kathryn: Yeah, this is the original leg before we ever started Half a Bubble Out.
Michael: Before we started the company at all-
Kathryn: I was working corporate, Michael is finishing school. We were still dreaming, still trying to figure out what the future looked like.
Michael: And the idea had been something we'd been talking about for probably two or three years. And I was starting to wonder ... I was at a moment of vulnerability. Is that ever going to happen and Andrew said, "I believe it is." And I said, "Why do you think this is different than any other time in my life?" And I was probably 33 at the time because we started the company when I was 34 and he said, "Because you have continued to talk about it and you haven't let it go, you didn't jump to a new idea." And I think that's one of the first things that happens is to move to a big idea, you have to hold onto something. There is an incredible amount of perseverance that's needed. And what you don't know is, you don't know if it's the right time. You don't know when it's going to gain traction. You don't know if it's the right idea. But if it's going to take root, it takes time and persistence in figuring out how you're going to do it, is one critical part.
Michael: So perseverance is important, but I think one of the second things that was important to us is making sure that we went from what was in my mind, of these grandiose things, huge things, that we we're willing to figure out, what could we do that would be baby-steps? Bill Murray and Dreyfus and-
Kathryn: What about Bob?
Michael: What about Bob.
Kathryn: Baby steps.
Michael: Baby steps.
Kathryn: Baby steps to the door. We had baby steps too.
Michael: It works. Yay.
Kathryn: So in our original iteration, it was baby steps to the guest bedroom where the computer was set up. Baby steps first project, which was a video for basketball and designing someone's logo. I mean, we're talking, probably the very first thing was just start. Whatever it is, because you don't get to start grandiose. You have to start small.
Michael: Most people don't.
Kathryn: Most people don't.
Michael: Most people don't, every once in a while, and this, quite frankly, that's a really important point. Most people don't, and most of us that are entrepreneurial, that want to start everything else, we've studied, we've listened, we've heard stories, we've read the newspapers and the magazines of these amazing things where people like ... some of the richest people in the world are at least 10 or 15 years younger than us. I'm bitter. I mean this is wrong.
Kathryn: Working on forgiveness.
Michael: It was like-
Kathryn: Working on joy for others.
Michael: But they get to, they start. I started in a college dorm room and now I own a $20 billion company.
Kathryn: Right. And those are the stories that get published on Inc Magazine and Forbes and all of that. And so it makes starting, it makes taking small steps hard because it feels like, well how long will this take if I keep taking these tiny little steps?
Michael: Absolutely. So that's one of those things that you've got to be careful of, you've got to protect your mind and your emotions. There is a place of tension where you have to be able to dream and imagine and problem solve and let your brain go crazy to solve some problems that you're going to have. Most of the problems you're going to have. But what you need is you also need to make sure that you're protecting yourself and not letting yourself get these grandiose ideas, you have to keep them in perspective. And quite frankly, American media, and I say this all the time because being in marketing and advertising and all that stuff too, we've seen it over and over and I've studied it, but American media, American advertising, American news is a business and they put stuff there that will get people's eyes to look and move.
Michael: It's not because it's realistic, it's not because it's possible. It's for shock and awe. There are a gazillion stories that could make the evening news. There a gazillion stories that could make Apple headlines. There are a gazillion stories that could make any podcasts.
Kathryn: CNN, whatever. Yeah, totally.
Michael: But the, I have a successful business, I've worked 15 years, we make $5 million a year and we make widgets. There's nothing sexy about it and nobody wants to talk about it. But when you say, "I started with nothing in the garage and now I have $100 million company." Or with chewy.com and we went from zero to two and a half billion or three and a half billion in revenue in seven years. And then we sold for two and a half billion at the seven year mark. I mean that's awesome. But those things are so rare because there's so much capital, so much money and everything else.
Michael: And quite frankly, the majority, like 98%, 99.99% of small businesses that start and grow and are successful and move to the next level, they don't have those massive inflection moments where everything explodes.
Kathryn: Most of us don't have access to that level of capital.
Michael: So the first thing there is to really believe that you have to say, "If that happens, great, but I'm not going to run my business on that hope." Because that will be a stumbling block to you. It's like trying to jump the Grand Canyon instead of a puddle and you're like, "Oh, I can do that. Somebody else did." And Evel Knievel broke a bunch of bones doing it, so don't do it.
Kathryn: A friend of ours here in town uses the term and we laugh every time we see him, but he's like, "Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run."
Michael: Yeah, crawl before you walk, walk before you run. He's been telling it to us for 20 years. He's a very successful small business owner. He does very well for himself. He's created quite a bit of wealth. He owns property, he owns buildings. And what he says to me in the beginning, he says, "I learned that lesson because I made the wrong mistakes." Almost ruined him a couple of times. He made the mistakes and he's like, "I've learned to be more cautious and to be wiser about steps I'm taking so that when I add up all these solid steps, they add up to something significant."
Kathryn: So we started Half a Bubble Out.
Michael: Started Half a Bubble Out. We got into it. We were willing to take small steps. Small clients. Stay in the garage, everything else. Probably the next thing is it took longer than we expected.
Kathryn: Oh everything takes longer than we expect. It just does. So then, we did actually have a couple of dreams along the way that didn't work out, a couple of really big ideas. We had this amazing idea for online video called 118 seconds.com and we worked that thing and we fleshed that thing out. We designed the website, we started content, we did everything and it's a long story but bottom line, it didn't work. It sort of was right in the beginning of the recession and nobody would fund it and we had high level people who were looking at it and willing to fund it, but we just couldn't find the right partner and we just had to shut it down and probably two years of blood, sweat and tears on this one thing that at one point we were like, "This is going to be great, this is going to fund our future." And it just died.
Michael: So here's one of those things that happen. We managed to connect and build a relationship with a ex or retired senior VP of Walmart. He has been a mentor of ours over the years and a great friend and a great brother in Christ. And he loved our idea. He loved us and saw and believed in us and he started pitching his idea. Here's one that's just a timing issue. The video was just becoming, starting to become more of a thing on the internet. It was post the tech crash of 2000, 2001. The tech bubble exploding, probably four or five years. There were a lot of people that he knew that had lost a lot of money in that and they were just like, they were older investors that were like, "You know what? I don't want to continue to throw my money away. I don't want to invest in tech. I want to invest in other sectors, health care or different things like that."
Michael: And then just the climate, it wasn't quite into the great recession yet, but it was just tough. And so it was just the wrong time for the idea. There wasn't enough traction. We couldn't get investors.
Kathryn: And then we did find one investor, but it wasn't the right fit. It wasn't quite enough. And that's a whole different story about why not to move forward with something.
Michael: Well, and don't get in bed. I think that's a really important idea of moving ideas forward, when you're dreaming big, don't get in partnership with the wrong people. Because even though you have an opportunity to jump, here's an idea, 118, we weren't getting money over here because of the environment, the financial environment of the country at the time. We had an opportunity over here, but it was the wrong fit. So ultimately we took the whole entire idea and put it on the back burner. Took a lot of lessons from it. But we kind of parted the thing out and applied it in other places and we never got to do that. But if we had chosen that partner, we would have tied up the next two to four years of our life. The company probably would've failed because it was underfunded and we would have had a horrible experience because it was the wrong partnership.
Kathryn: Yeah. And we might have tanked Half a Bubble Out at the same time because we might've had a hard time keeping both going.
Michael: Yeah. And we actually watched some other deals that those guys were in and it didn't go well. And so our estimation actually proved to be accurate when we watched other deals that they were involved in. So that was one of those things, is making sure you didn't partner and sometimes you just have to let an idea go away.
Kathryn: Well, and I will tell you to be honest, that experience made the HaBO Village idea for me harder. So emotionally I was like, "Okay, so here's this next big idea and I've seen that thing before and you know what? That thing is going to die and we're going to invest all this time and energy." And so it took longer for me to warm up to actually making the decisions and investing financially, emotionally, and then physically into the Village. Because we'd had this thing that we'd invested a ton in, that went nowhere. So that's another piece of the puzzle is, you have ideas and when they don't work, how do you bounce back so that you can step into the next idea and not be so terrified that nothing happens.
Michael: So and a great analogy of that is when we get a physical injury and you go through that process where you pull a hamstring or you or-
Kathryn: Turn your ankle.
Michael: Turn your ankle. But what happens is we actually get healthy and get repaired, but a lot of times, a lot of people will still favor that spot because they're afraid it's going to get hurt again. And when they do that, they throw off their posture and they actually cause other problems in their body. Because they're the compensating for that. They're favoring it. And nothing's wrong, everything's fine, but they're afraid it's going to get hurt again. You start to protect that spot that was hurt once before and in business you're protecting that. Like, "That hurt. I don't know if we can go forward." And some entrepreneurs just continue to go, go, go. But they are losing money all over the place and they're being foolish. And it's tough to figure out where the difference is between foolishness and why is risk.
Kathryn: Yeah. So what would you say the timeline was? Between when we started to dream and you specifically, because you're always the initiator of these things. I don't dream anything up specifically.
Michael: It's part of my job.
Kathryn: So when would you say, how long was the gap between when you initially were like, "Okay, this, I cannot get this idea out of my head." So he had the idea, "I can't get this idea out of my head, we actually need to do some thing." And I would say, yeah, so well, just answer that question. How long between initial idea and when we actually were able to take some steps forward and you were able to push past all my angst and every thing else?
Michael: Well it wasn't just your angst, it was also we were busy at other things. I mean, I want to be fair to you and I don't want anybody to think that you were the only thing holding us back. My own self discipline, my own ability to stay on task ad on stuff that was important, but not urgent. That quadrant, if you're familiar with that at all, there's four quadrants and a lot of times we work on things that aren't important but are urgent. And if we're growing, maybe we moved to important urgent, but we really, the place where a lot of leverage comes in our organizations and our growth is to work on the things that are important but not urgent and find the time for them.
Kathryn: And we had a pretty big delay even when you started dreaming about this, we had some pretty big delays just surviving the recession. I mean, let's face it, some of it was just like, "We got to hang on, we can't do anything new."
Michael: So let's talk about HaBO Village real quick, and the timeline. We had been playing with different pieces and parts of the idea for a very long time. I would say that HaBO Village has some pieces and parts of the idea of things that I thought about when I was teenager. But when it came to really what it is, it was 2012.
Kathryn: And when did Aaron come in and do his master's project?
Michael: It was 2010, that the whole thing happened. And then a friend of ours, who she's referencing now, Aaron Johnson, he left corporate America, kind of did a middle career retirement. He had been a CEO of a software company and he went back and got his MBA and then was kind of like, "I'll figure out what life's going to happen after that." And so he and I went out to lunch. We were having tacos in that little taqueria, a little hole in the wall taqueria. And we were talking, I was telling him about this dream I had about HaBO Village. And in the beginning you have to understand, that I envisioned a full, entire small town.
Kathryn: Yeah. We actually had an intern working CAD to build out what that would look like.
Michael: Yeah. And it really was ... I figured out how to put it into a size of about 600,000 square feet and build a small little village that was actually a place where you could get amazing training as a business leader, for your small business on how to build a passion provision company that involved coaching and mentoring and skill development for you and your team on a regular basis. And the idea of we brought you into proximity, then all these things would accelerate, the timeline and the ability would happen.
Kathryn: And if you had consultants that were onsite that all were working together and actually talking to each other.
Michael: Had a shared common purpose, common values, and a common behead-
Kathryn: So that we were working on your business holistically. So it really was this, it was a business campus, essentially.
Michael: It was.
Kathryn: It's way too complicated to explain, but the reality is-
Michael: But that's what started in 2010, was this idea. Again, I mean, it was so vivid to me folks, when I say you have to go back to the simplistic, you have to be willing to start with the little things and not get overextended. I wasn't looking, I mean, I was just like, it was hard to get out of my head on what I had envisioned this thing could be, that may take 20 years or may never ever happen, in the way it is. And so I was describing it, Aaron came along, he used us as his master's, his MBA final project, and he helped me build the business plan. And he suggested, what if you inverted it and you actually built this thing online first. And then maybe someday you could grow and gain it because it was just going to cost way too much capital and way too much money to build a village.
Kathryn: And then you need a proven concept [crosstalk 00:21:39] and all those things. So he did the first round of what would online looking like.
Michael: Yeah, we built it. And the model that we have now is actually amazingly close to that. But that was probably 2012 maybe 2013, it's 2019 now. It took us several years to get out of the recession for me to figure out how to wrap my arms around that. What does it look like?
Kathryn: You started Rabbit Hole Hay, in the meantime, that's taken up a little bit of time.
Michael: We did start Rabbit Hole Hay. And that was like ... We knew we couldn't start the village right away. We didn't know what that looked like. We were trying to survive. We started Rabbit Hole Hay and that just took off. And in business sometimes folks, you start something little and we literally, we bought a bale of hay and put it in the back of our office. And if you got hired here, you got asked in the interview process if you are allergic to hay, in a business office, in a consulting firm.
Michael: And all of a sudden that had traction and then it took off. And then we had an opportunity to bring on a partner that would run the day to day operations. And now that has a run rate of over three quarters of a million dollars a year at the moment. And so you're taking advantage of opportunities because you also know that there's capital that has to be tied up in things and there's capital that is going to be freed up if something connects and takes off.
Kathryn: And so we had that going.
Michael: And then we sent our daughter to college.
Kathryn: Yeah. There's raising your family. There's things that get in the way.
Michael: There's things that happen. And then we realized we had to start doing some of this stuff. So we started getting some of the education and training we needed to run an online process. And in the last couple of years we've been doing that. We built the content, which took us six months to build out all of the content along with our other daily stuff.
Kathryn: Well, and part of that, one of the interesting things about, so we finally knew, okay, we're going to do this online. We know what we're doing. But, I would say one of the most significant things that we did last year was, we were at a conference and it was a conference that was a training conference for us on building membership sites, building online chain membership. All that kind of stuff.
Michael: It's a business model.
Kathryn: Yeah. And Stu, the guy leading the conference basically said, "What's your date for launch? You need a date." And Michael and I sat there and I'll never forget, this was in June.
Michael: Late May.
Kathryn: Late May. And we looked at each other and we said, "Okay, we have to set a date." And so we did.
Michael: Yeah, we did.
Kathryn: We set a date for the end of September. I think we ultimately launched the middle of October. We had to push back a couple of weeks, but we set a date and that alone transformed everything because it meant now we were shooting at something. And that meant we had X stuff we had to do and blah, blah, blah. And there's a wall behind us that you can say ... I mean, that was part of ... We had to build a set. We had to do all this stuff.
Michael: This is the set we use for HaBO Village training course.
Kathryn: So setting a date on the calendar and then driving at that date was super critical for us. And really as a team saying, "We are not missing that day. We are going to launch this thing in whatever form it happens to be, we're launching it. We're going to throw our baby out there." And I'll tell you what you guys, it's intimidating. There's a certain level of courage because you're launching this thing into the world and what if nobody cares? And again, you're hearing these stories of, "I opened my membership site and I had 500 people." And you're like, "Okay, we opened ours and we had 12." And yet that is actually really successful. It's a good beta test.
Michael: We were selling a course, we decided not to do the membership. And then we had the natural disaster of paradise burning to the ground.
Kathryn: Yup. And that took out at least 10 of our 12, not took them out, literally, physically, but they just stopped caring about building their business at that point, for very good reasons.
Michael: For those of you who don't know, aren't here in Northern California, the fires of 2018 that destroyed a town. We're 15 minutes away from the town. We have the Costco, where they all come to shop. That's how close we are and how integral we are. So running through that, then all of a sudden you have this big thing that has this huge problem that gets thrown in and I mean a town burning down is kind of a wrench that goes-
Kathryn: If you have local businesses and it's a wrench because not only did it impact obviously the people who had signed up to take the course, but it impacted our clients. So we had clients that were like, "I can't market, I can't." You think about the property management business and we have a great client who did a ton of advertising for their properties. Well, they didn't need to anymore because they were maxed out with a waiting list because there was nowhere to live.
Michael: So the cash we were using, the revenue from the company we were using to help grow the extra ventures, billing went soft. Didn't go away, but it went soft and we had to go into the phase of, okay, it's going to take longer because we don't have as much cash and we need to whether some things and so on. So you slow down a little bit. And I would say that a couple of other things that are really important, one, that I've actually been practicing even more lately is this whole baby step thing. What little thing can you do today or this week, that you can just do? It doesn't feel like it's going to be significant. It probably isn't significant, a significant percentage of what you need to do, but it's little and you can start stacking those things on. I've learned-
Kathryn: What thing can you do to move that project forward?
Michael: Little thing can you do to move that project forward and it may take ... You're like, "I need three hours or I need 10 hours." Well what can I do? What chunk of it can I do that's going to take an hour and find that time and slot it in. And what I'm realizing is if I think that it's going to take me five hours to do something, but I don't have five hours, I can't find the five hours to do it or better yet it's going to take me 25 hours to do it. And I certainly can't find five hours that I think if I only do an hour at a time, it's going to not take me 25 hours. It's going to take me 50 hours. And I'm realizing that it does take a little longer, but it's-
Kathryn: But at least you're moving forward.
Michael: Moving forward. And it only takes me 30 hours, 35 hours. It's not taking a huge percentage more. And I get to move forward. And all of a sudden when I move forward four or five hours, that's where the encouragement comes. And a lot of times we don't do stuff because it seems discouraging just to do a little and we look at how much we don't have done and it gets overwhelming. So emotionally we're handling that. It just seems like I'm moving a huge mountain with a tablespoon. And why would I ever start? Because-
Kathryn: How do you eat an elephant, Michael?
Michael: One bite at a time.
Kathryn: One bite at a time.
Michael: You know what? I totally appreciate that saying, I've never seen anybody eat an elephant.
Kathryn: Who would want to eat an elephant?
Michael: That's just mean. Elephants seem like nice creatures. But that said, it's important, the mental game on this thing that we've been kind of alluding to and talking about the whole time of discouragement and everything else, little pieces at a time, moving forward and what has happened when we have applied having a team around you, even if it's just one other person who can encourage you, who could bring some skillsets to the table.
Michael: I believe that this relationship is more powerful because we encourage each other. Our partnership with the other company, with Rabbit Hole Hay, is significant because we are able to sit there and be thinking partners, but we're not alone. And that is incredibly important. So when one falls, the other can pick the person up.
Kathryn: Michael and I made a deal a long time ago. We can't have a bad day on the same day.
Michael: Yeah. And most of the time, that's worked out.
Kathryn: Most of the time it works out.
Michael: Actually, it has. So when you do that and you say, "Okay, I'm going to set the goal, I'm going to be willing to realize that it can take longer than I think.. I'm going to be ready to do that." And then you just have to be creative and be nimble to deal with the discouragement, the naysayers, sometimes your people closest to you are just struggling and they become naysayers because they're struggling with hope or what's happening or how are we going to do this?
Michael: And then you've got to make sure you're willing to pause things because if you're not taking care of the basics in life, you got to make sure rents taken care of, the family's taken care of and your own relationships are taken care of. And you can't let the other stuff stop you. But it may mean that this thing's going to take three times, four times as long. And it may mean that this idea isn't going to work. But I'll tell you from experience, we have seen enough ideas survive and thrive and we've had to let some ideas fall. But there was a point at which, multiple times, where I thought, we're never going to get anywhere. We're never going to be successful.
Kathryn: Well, and I want to talk about one more piece of our puzzle because we keep telling you in recent podcasts that we're launching a book.
Michael: A book.
Kathryn: Right. A book.
Michael: Glad you brought that up.
Kathryn: So the book, oh my gosh. It has been such a process and-
Michael: People say it is but you don't know until you do it. Well you don't really know how to do it, till you do it.
Kathryn: And I think we started to try and write it about five years ago and we've just been ... we were plodding along and then we found someone who we did some trade with who we adore but could never quite find our voice, she was kind of an author and-
Michael: She was an author.
Kathryn: Not kind of, she's a very successful author. But really had a hard time with our voice.
Michael: It just didn't work for all of us.
Kathryn: It just didn't work. And so we shelved that thing, November of 2017, we just kind of stopped and decided to put our focus then on building out the online content and actually doing the video training. We came back around to it and ultimately part of the reason we know we're going to launch a book is because we hired somebody to help us, who knows what they're doing. So we said, "Okay, we need somebody who does this regularly to help us through the process." And so we bit the bullet, paid the money, hired the big gun and said, "Okay, let's do this." And that process, it's been incredibly hard work. It's scary as all get out. Because what if you all don't care. I mean there's always that stuff. But getting that outside help some sometimes to move the project along, is also a piece of, I think, how you can get unstuck because we were so stuck.
Michael: Yeah. And there's an accountability function. We hired a consultant company to help us. We wrote a check, we ...
Kathryn: Which then makes you invested in making sure it's going to happen.
Michael: And there's payments and we were able to set it up in payments to help cashflow. That was helpful. But really realizing this is important. And being committed to the process, I was amazed at how many people, they've done over a thousand books with this company, little plug, we're working with Scribe. And quite frankly, if you're thinking about writing a book at all and you want a company to help you with it through the process, Scribe is amazing. They've done a phenomenal job, up to this point, the people we've interacted with in the company have been top notch and really supportive. But one of the things I was surprised about was how many people aren't committed to the process. They write the check and they're not committed to the process.
Kathryn: Yeah. And they never publish anything.
Michael: So taking consultants and saying, "I want you to help us." And then doing-
Kathryn: Doing all of the hours and all the part that you have to do to make that happen.
Michael: So here's one of the lessons that as an entrepreneur I struggled with for years, was the wall. And it's this place where you're living with all these ideas and you want to go through the wall. And the walls invisible, but it seems like this big barrier that stops you from getting ideas to take. And part of it is you haven't learned the skills. I hadn't learned the skills, and I've noticed this with a lot of visionaries and idea people and entrepreneurs, they haven't learned the basic skills of just planning out an idea and then being willing to start it and then being willing to go with it and realizing that it takes long. So when it starts to slow down, when it doesn't happen fast, continuing to stay with it because it's that repetition that will actually cause momentum.
Michael: It's very difficult when you launch a plane or a rocket from the Earth's surface and go up, there's tons of friction and gravity and everything else, and then all of a sudden there's a point at which you break through and you break through the gravitational pull and now you can be in orbit and there's nothing, you're not getting pulled back.
Michael: That huge process in any project can take months, years, sometimes, for a project. And so I needed to learn those skills and a part of it was self-discipline. It really was. And so we talk a lot about it's free to iterate over here. It costs money to move across the wall. It takes energy and it costs you so many ways to move across the wall, but if you stay here and don't know how to get over this, having the team, the people around you, people who encourage you, learning those basic skills and maybe hiring people and sometimes when you're starting out with pizza or coffee or whatever and just saying, "I need help."
Kathryn: I will feed you if you help me.
Michael: "I need help because my brain doesn't work this way and I'm learning." But it's like having a splint on. You need to have somebody that keeps you straight, because you want to brand out all over the place, to where you can heal and start to grow in that direction.
Kathryn: I would say too, this is one last thing, is that if you have an idea and you've been talking about this idea and you've had people speak really positively about that idea and they have said, "I really believe in that idea." It's important that you take note and you write those things down because sometimes you just need somebody, you need to go back and be able to be reminded that it's worth pushing through. That it's worth staying there and actually moving to that next level. Because giving up on a great idea, i think of this visual of the cartoon where the guy is digging for gold and you can see in the cartoon that he's dug this huge trench and he's right up against this wall and he's giving up. He's like, "I just can't do it anymore." And his treasure is a half an inch away. All he has to do is push through.
Kathryn: So the ability to push through, to persevere, to be like Buffalo, that's all in the story, let us be as Buffalo. Anyway, the ability to push through is really critical and you sometimes just need other people to remind you that there's hope.
Michael: Yeah, absolutely. You got to have it. You've got to have certain key elements. Those have been important to us. Knowing it takes time, knowing that you've got to stick with something, knowing that you need a team around you to encourage you and you have to be able to let ideas go sometimes. Because they're still incubating or it's just not the right time for them. And sometimes it's really difficult to know, do I persevere or do I let go? It is not always easy to know which ones are which. So having that idea and just dealing with, sometimes circumstances are what they are. And having outside input and voices. This is how we've done it. We've moved through, we've fought the discouragement. Perseverance has been key. Learning and growing and being willing to yield to a growth process.
Kathryn: And willing to risk failure. And that's a real hard one for me.
Kathryn: Repeatedly. Yeah.
Michael: I mean it's tough.
Kathryn: Because you're going to invest in ideas that don't work sometimes. Or don't yield the promised land that you had hoped.
Michael: Yeah. And that doesn't mean it's bad or anything else, but it is tricky. So big mental game. So I think that's it for today. We went a little long, but I think this is really a cool subject. Thank you Steve for sharing the question. If you have any questions, we would love to hear them. It is so much fun for us to speak to those questions and talk about it on the podcast. And what we're hoping is today's podcast is helping you understand some of the insights that helped us survive and thrive because we live a Passion and Provision lifestyle. We live a Passion and Provision business. And it's good. And it's possible. And we have friends in other companies that have done it also. And so we want to encourage you and give you hope that it's possible. Maybe your great idea, you're just sitting there trying to figure out if it's going to work or not or is it ever going to work and you're going, "Do I have enough energy or momentum or emotional stamina to go another week or month?"
Michael: And we just want to say, you know what? If you believe in the idea and you think it has possibility and you have that team around you, or you need a team, put a team around you and just push forward.
Kathryn: Baby steps.
Michael: Yeah. Baby steps, real important. All right. There's more we could talk about, but we're definitely out of time today. Thank you so much.
Kathryn: Thanks for sticking with us, if you're still hearing this.
Michael: We love it. And thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our journey with you. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I am Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And this is Passion and Provision podcast, helping leaders build passion, provision companies filled with profit and joy, so that there's more profit or purpose, with a great legacy. So we love you and take care. Bye. Bye.