Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur

How Mike Buckman Turns Love for Nature into Entrepreneurial Gold

May 02, 2024 Thomas Helfrich Season 1 Episode 47
How Mike Buckman Turns Love for Nature into Entrepreneurial Gold
Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur
More Info
Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur
How Mike Buckman Turns Love for Nature into Entrepreneurial Gold
May 02, 2024 Season 1 Episode 47
Thomas Helfrich

Send us a Text Message.

Never Been Promoted Podcast with Thomas Helfrich

In today’s episode, you will get an intimate look into how Mike’s early experiences fishing and hunting shaped his life’s ambitions, and how he navigated the challenges of leaving a stable but unsatisfying corporate job to pursue what truly makes him feel alive. His journey is one of bold decisions, leadership, and the relentless pursuit of happiness through connection to nature and community.


About  Mike Buckman:

Raised with an inherent appreciation for the outdoors, Mike Buckman’s story begins with childhood days spent fishing in streams and exploring the wilderness. This early bond with nature was not just a pastime; it was the foundation of a deep-seated passion that would later define his career trajectory. After several years in high-paced logistics and IT roles, Mike reached a turning point. The disconnect between his professional environment and his personal passions became too significant to ignore, leading him down an unconventional path toward entrepreneurial success.


In this episode, Thomas and Mike discuss:

  • Career Transformation: Mike discusses the pivotal moments that pushed him to transition from a lucrative corporate career to starting his own business centered around his passion for the outdoors.
  • Launching Network Outdoors: Insights into how Mike and his partner built a business that combines professional networking with the shared love for hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities.
  • Leadership and Empowerment: Mike shares his philosophy on leadership and how empowering others has been a cornerstone of both his corporate and entrepreneurial endeavors.


Key Takeaways:

  • Passion as a Career Driver 

Learn how aligning career with personal interests can lead to greater fulfillment and success.

  • The Power of Networking

Explore how Network Outdoors has created a niche community where business professionals can connect in a meaningful way through shared outdoor activities.

  • Navigating Entrepreneurship

Mike offers advice and personal anecdotes on the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship, particularly when it revolves around one's passions.


"Turning your passion into your profession is not just about doing what you love, it’s about making what you love something that gives back to others and enriches your life exponentially." — Mike Buckman


CONNECT WITH MIKE BUCKMAN:


LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-buckman/

Website: https://networkoutdoors.com/


CONNECT WITH THOMAS:

X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/thelfrich | https://twitter.com/nevbeenpromoted 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hovienko | https://www.facebook.com/neverbeenpromoted 

Website: https://www.neverbeenpromoted.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neve

Support the Show.

Serious about LinkedIn Lead Generation? Stop Guessing what to do on LinkedIn and ignite revenue from relevance with Instantly Relevant Lead System

Never Been Promoted
Support the Entrepreneurial Journey
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Never Been Promoted Podcast with Thomas Helfrich

In today’s episode, you will get an intimate look into how Mike’s early experiences fishing and hunting shaped his life’s ambitions, and how he navigated the challenges of leaving a stable but unsatisfying corporate job to pursue what truly makes him feel alive. His journey is one of bold decisions, leadership, and the relentless pursuit of happiness through connection to nature and community.


About  Mike Buckman:

Raised with an inherent appreciation for the outdoors, Mike Buckman’s story begins with childhood days spent fishing in streams and exploring the wilderness. This early bond with nature was not just a pastime; it was the foundation of a deep-seated passion that would later define his career trajectory. After several years in high-paced logistics and IT roles, Mike reached a turning point. The disconnect between his professional environment and his personal passions became too significant to ignore, leading him down an unconventional path toward entrepreneurial success.


In this episode, Thomas and Mike discuss:

  • Career Transformation: Mike discusses the pivotal moments that pushed him to transition from a lucrative corporate career to starting his own business centered around his passion for the outdoors.
  • Launching Network Outdoors: Insights into how Mike and his partner built a business that combines professional networking with the shared love for hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities.
  • Leadership and Empowerment: Mike shares his philosophy on leadership and how empowering others has been a cornerstone of both his corporate and entrepreneurial endeavors.


Key Takeaways:

  • Passion as a Career Driver 

Learn how aligning career with personal interests can lead to greater fulfillment and success.

  • The Power of Networking

Explore how Network Outdoors has created a niche community where business professionals can connect in a meaningful way through shared outdoor activities.

  • Navigating Entrepreneurship

Mike offers advice and personal anecdotes on the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship, particularly when it revolves around one's passions.


"Turning your passion into your profession is not just about doing what you love, it’s about making what you love something that gives back to others and enriches your life exponentially." — Mike Buckman


CONNECT WITH MIKE BUCKMAN:


LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-buckman/

Website: https://networkoutdoors.com/


CONNECT WITH THOMAS:

X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/thelfrich | https://twitter.com/nevbeenpromoted 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hovienko | https://www.facebook.com/neverbeenpromoted 

Website: https://www.neverbeenpromoted.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neve

Support the Show.

Serious about LinkedIn Lead Generation? Stop Guessing what to do on LinkedIn and ignite revenue from relevance with Instantly Relevant Lead System

1
0:00:06,000 --> 0:00:29,000
Welcome to the Never Been Promoted podcast with Thomas Helfrich. Get ready for a thrilling adventure as we uncover entrepreneurial journeys and life changing business insights every week. And now, your host, Thomas.

2
0:00:29,000 --> 0:01:15,000
Welcome to another episode of Never Been Promoted. We are here to create more entrepreneurs in the world. We want to make them better at entrepreneurship and better at life. And we're doing this through the teachings and learnings of other people's stories. So other entrepreneurs that are down the road, they've had experience, they've had good times, bad times, and everything in between. If this is your first time coming, thank you. I hope it's the first of many. And if you've been here before, thanks for coming back. Our guest today, his name is Mike Buckman. Mike, how are you doing today? I'm excited for the conversation. You're the co-founder of the Outdoor Network outdoors, right? I think I read that earlier. And you're an outdoors guy. I don't think you always were, but maybe take a few minutes and give your backstory a bit, just a few moments about yourself.

3
0:01:15,000 --> 0:02:43,000
Yeah, sure, man. I was raised, as soon as I can remember, back. Something I've always done with my father was we were out in the stream fishing or in the ponds fishing. I was raised that way. It's something that I grew to love at a very, very young age. My first job, I was working at a local sporting goods store here where it was a small one time shop, and it was the place that all the people in the local area came to to get whatever they needed for hunting and fishing. And when I was 14, that's where I started working. And ever since then, I wanted to figure out a way to have a career doing something that loved, something that you have a passion for. But I was talked into going a different route and went into computer networking. Did that for a little while and absolutely hated it. Sitting behind a screen for 12 hours a day was just not my cup of tea. And then I went into the logistics world. Started as a part time doc worker and worked my way up to terminal managers in various different locations, but still never really. Never really feeling the fulfillment of doing something that you know, you love doing. I love the people I work with, but, you know, the job that you're doing, it was just a job at that point. It wasn't. It just didn't fill the void that was still there to be. Figure out a way to do this more often and make an impact for people that maybe aren't as fortunate as I was to be raised in it, to have an understanding of how it all works and how to be successful.

4
0:02:43,000 --> 0:03:34,000
You make a good point, and I think on anyone's journey who gets to entrepreneurship, there's usually a reflection point where you're working for others. Just doesn't feel right anymore. Like, in the circumstances of life change, like, your kids are older, maybe you get laid off, whatever it is. I think we were talking about, we were talking on camera. You've been promoted lot. So tell me about before you've launched this. You have this tie back to something from your childhood that was pure, it was fun, it was clean, it was something you loved truly. That was something. Looking forward to. Tell me, tell me a little about your journey. You know, like you, you said you, you know, you networking, this. How did it feel along the way? Like, how. Tell me about kind of the describe. Like, you know, your, that angst, I guess, is what I'm probably looking for, that that is missing from a promotion. And you get it and you're like, ah, no, tell me about how that hit you a little bit.

5
0:03:34,000 --> 0:08:57,000
So I started, I was doing the networking thing and started as a part time warehouse employee at night just because the first child was on the way. So, like, all right, got to start saving. Got to start figuring out how to, how to make more money. You know, kids are expensive. That's what they kept telling me. And as they get older, they get more expensive. But, you know, so started the part time job as a doc worker and something that I, it took me until I was, like, 23 years old, and I realized, like, my dad, he raised me in a way not to do anything half assed. Like, if you do it, do it right. If I cut the grass and I missed spots underneath the tree, you know, you lower the wheels on the lawnmower a couple inches. All right, go cut the whole yard again. So you learn not to miss spots, right? You learn not to take shortcuts. If you're going to do it, do it right. Well, at a very young age, like that sunk in, and that's just, that's the mentality that I had. So in the workforce, you know, as a part time doc worker, whenever there's things to do and I saw things unknown or what have you, I just, I did them the way that I knew they were supposed to be done in a very short time. They offered me a management position. I never had any aspirations of doing more than the part time position, but the logistics world intrigued me, so I took the position. I became one of the youngest managers that they ever had. Within FedEx and, you know, it was fun. It, you know, being in a position of leadership, I did enjoy that. I liked being able to make things better for other people. I liked being able to, you know, be in a position when somebody had a problem or somebody, you know, was in need of learning how to do something a better way. I was the one able to show them. I enjoyed that thoroughly. But it was in an industry that, you know, it was just, it was, it was still just a job. Right. I then got an opportunity to transfer to a different company within the logistics world, but it was in a hub, so it was a lot higher visibility, a lot more things happening. I had 141 employees underneath of me. So, you know, you go there and you're running that facility and again, being in a management position, being in the leadership position, that is a position that I thoroughly enjoy. I love being in a position to be able to make an impact for multiple people. But, you know, the impact that I was making was, it was, you know, I made things better for people and I knew that, but it still wasn't what I really wanted to be doing. It wasn't, it wasn't what I wanted to make the impact in. You know, when I wasn't working, we were out. We were either hunting, fishing or playing baseball. My kids, they love sports. So it was either one of the three things that we were doing. And, you know, as it progressed and you get to upper management positions and you're in, you know, a position in the corporate world that I thought I wanted to be, too. This is where I wanted to get to and I'm there. But then you realize, you know, you're, you're still working for somebody else. I got, got into some difference of opinions with moral things that I thought were morally wrong with one of the companies, and we decided to part ways. So I parted ways and I realized, like, you know, wow, having a job, it's not really financial security. It doesn't do much for you. You know, at any point in time, you're somebody that can just be a number that's not there, right? So even, even in some places they maybe do it where you don't feel so much as a number, but nonetheless, you know, you are. When it comes down to it, you know, if they can find somebody else to do what you do, maybe they don't do it as well as you do and they don't have, have the impact that you do, but they meet the metrics that they want them to meet and they survive. Right. They get by so from there, I went to a privately owned company, which I really enjoyed. So I worked directly with the owner. We made a lot of changes. We grew the business, then the business sold. That was part of the plan, but I wasn't a part of the sale. So my role after the sale, going from a privately owned business to a corporate business, you know, corporately owned business that had multiple locations. You know, my role as a GM role was divvied up into multiple different positions, and I was left on the outside looking in again. So I was, I was let go back in October of last year, and, you know, I'm like, you know, here we are again, relying on somebody else to tell me when to be where I need to be, there, how much I can make. I'm capped. I can't. I can't do any more than what, what you tell me I can do. And now I don't have no income. So that was really what pushed me over the edge to really delve into this. You know, it was always there. It's been going on for three years, but it was always a side, you know, a side gig, if you will, something that we were doing and my partner and I, and it's growing. It's been exponential growth the last six to eight months. It's been great. But, you know, really diving in and putting in the effort, going 100% these last couple months has really made a big difference, and it's exciting. I'm really looking forward to where things are going to be, and I'm making the impact that I want to make. I'm sharing my passion, something that I love doing with others, whether they're new at it, whether they're experts, whether they've never even stepped foot into the field for any reason. We've covered the bases from people from that level to people that have done this growing up just the same. And the impact we're making and the people we're bringing together and the friendships that we're seeing come from this and subsequently the business deals that are coming from people that, you know, you trust and feel as though you can do business with. It's been a great journey.

6
0:08:57,000 --> 0:09:03,000
Seconds like, tell me about what you're doing in this, in your business right now.

7
0:09:03,000 --> 0:10:51,000
So network outdoors is the name. And it, so it came from looking back on the relationships that I have, the longer stemming relationships that I have, and my partner as well. They all generated from meeting that person at an outdoor event, whether it was on a fishing trip, on a hunting trip in an outdoor store. The common theme was that the passions that we had were similar and in line with the outdoors. And I have relationships with people that, you know, 20 plus years that you only see a couple times a year when you go on fishing trips, but when you see them, you pick it back up like you never, like you never left off, you know. You know, even, you know, you have some of that with people that you went to school with, but, and it might just be me, but most of mine, most of those petered out after a couple years, but these, these relationships have, have lasted. The ones that, the longest ones that I have all stem from that. So we made it intentional to put those people together, find people that, that have a passion for the outdoors but also want to network and grow their business, whatever that business is. It doesn't mean every, there's, there's outdoorsmen's in every type of industry, every type of industry that's out there. So, you know, instead of doing the conventional networking event, you know, where you're, you're, you know, going to a, some hall or some, some, you know, building in the town to go meet up, whether it's lunch or what have you. We hold events where we're going out, we're shooting trap or shooting skeet, we're going on hunting trips, we're going on fishing trips, going out, taking the boat out on the lake, and, you know, talk business for a little bit. But, you know, at some point, ultimately, you're connecting with the person. When you connect with somebody, those are the people that, it's just easier to do business with those people. You have, you know, a connection, a relationship that's built from that connection. It's just a lot easier to relate.

8
0:10:51,000 --> 0:11:06,000
You touched on lots of things I want to circle back to, but just from a, you know, let's say someone's listening, they're what I would call a hyperactive buyer. I'm one. How do I. Is it an invite only? How does someone get involved in it?

9
0:11:06,000 --> 0:12:18,000
No, it's. So we have the website networkoutdoors.com, but our members have been phenomenal. Like, when we get somebody in their ambassador for what we're doing, they get in there, they're like, man, this is great. And it's been a lot of just word of mouth. So we have various chapters and we have nine states, 16 chapters, I think, is what we're up to now. So we're hopefully, I mean, I want to have multiple in every state when we're said and done, but the way that it works, you know, you don't have to pay anything. You show up to the meetings. It's a, you know, a prospective member, if you will, comes to the meeting. We provide food and drinks, and then the, you know, we take the time to go around the room. Everybody introduces themselves. What got them into the outdoors, what their passion is in the outdoors, and what industry that they're in. What work do you do, what is your livelihood? And then from that, it's just a real quick, you know, blip around the table talking about what you do. And then from there, we go have fun, and we go shoot trap or we shoot skeet. And then after a couple rounds of that, you know, we come back. Usually it's back inside to the clubhouse or what have you, and then hang out and just, you know, catch up or talk to people that were maybe in an industry that you need help from, where you need something with, or maybe it's somebody you can help with connecting them to somebody else and so on.

10
0:12:18,000 --> 0:13:44,000
You know, I think that the role modeling event, I think some of your posts I've seen on LinkedIn, you know, about how your son got hooked. I love a good pun on fishing. My son is the same. It's annual fishing derby in the lake we live near. And, you know, he's one at one year, and, you know, the next year you catch eight, you know, or, you know, 1.8 more pounds of fish and you're in fourth place. Actually, I'll be, I'll be. I love this story. So the, you know, we, we hit our limit for this fishing derby, and we had the biggest bass in the entire derby, and it turns out when the kids division, a catfish can count towards it, so somebody caught whatever size cat. Anyway, so I was a little pissed about that, but I was like, oh, that's the deal. I'm gonna go get some liver. We're gonna go hit a pool. A couple of the pools. I know I'm gonna pull out, you know, six eight pounders and come in 48 pounds, and we're gonna, we're gonna tell the. Tear this thing up. Anyway, the point being is you've gotten your kids hooked in. I think the more dads. I'm going to say dads. I'm not saying it's a men's only group, but from my perspective, the more dads that can be out there as role models that are doing outdoor things, I think that's way better. I mean, I play games with my kids, but I'd much rather go out and fish with my children. And I think that's a fantastic place to be. You also, though, I seem to have some kind of a faith based piece. Do you bring that into your business at all, or is it just kind of prevalent in just your demeanor and who you are? You want to talk about that a little bit?

11
0:13:44,000 --> 0:14:16,000
No. Absolutely. Yes. I definitely am a person of faith, and anybody that knows me knows that's the case. We say grace before we have our meals and things like that. I'm not one to preach to anybody. You live by example, and if you want to know anything or if somebody has something, I'm always quick to tell them, hey, I'll add you to the prayer list and make sure we keep you in our thoughts and our prayers for whatever struggles or tribulations that you're going through. But, but being grounded and having.

12
0:14:16,000 --> 0:14:16,000
Just.

13
0:14:16,000 --> 0:14:34,000
A reassurance that, you know, that there's something more than, than what we are is definitely, that is, that is something that is, that is prevalent and it's made known. But again, it's not something. If somebody's not, they're, they're never going to feel uncomfortable that they're not. And if they are, you know, it's not going to be a, you know, not, you know, a place where they.

14
0:14:34,000 --> 0:17:06,000
You know, they were like in the middle of the. As your high lows are shooting. It's funny because I recently did a post. I do post on Sundays. Just as I love to give little tips for entrepreneurs as a good hack for a LinkedIn, if you see a little down arrow and people looking at your profiles and stuff every weekend, go do a fun post on a Sunday that's meaningful to you. Just take that. It works. Don't do it for the purposes of, you know, philanthropy for profit or something else. Just do it because it's something that's interesting to you and for no other reason. But I did one because I've put on a bit of a faith journey in the last few years, and I wouldn't call it religion. It's just more of higher purpose, bigger power, better, better behavior of how you teach and or not teach, live right, and just how you treat people grace all the kind of things that go with it. And I did a post of, hey, you know, have you, is faith integrated into your business? Like, is it there? And it's funny because I've really, since in my journey, I've really put into this idea of altruism and service into the things I do in my business that would not have been there three, four years ago. It would have been me, me, me, no doubt about it. And even this podcast, the community, cut the tie that we're starting all that stuff that's to help entrepreneurs become better if we make money from it. That's awesome. Great. I'll put a lot, I mean, almost all of it, I'm sure, right back into the community because it's not our primary income, but it's because there, I have a sense of something bigger now. And I think what you're tying it to is it's even one step past because you're tying it to actual nature. And I love that. Like, you're making, and there's careful, right. Making the business out of your passion can quickly ruin that passion. So that was my, anyway I just wanted to appreciate and maybe just put out there. If anybody who's just wherever they are in your journey in life, just know that if you're tying something bigger, it has more. Everything you do in life becomes more valuable and you get focused on what is valuable. So take, take that where you are. I will get off the mountain nouns and let you talk here. But tell me about that, though. So you've made a business that's tied to a passion. You've gone through a few exits in the corporate world, disagreements, all the things that happen. Your self identity gets wrapped up in a passion, and it gets now wrapped up in a business. Are you worried at all about that kind of tearing down of a passion and self identity? If something, you know, it's the risk side of this fails or it doesn't work.

15
0:17:06,000 --> 0:19:10,000
No, I'm not. And there's a couple reasons for it. But just to hit back on what you just alluded to there a little bit being a bigger purpose, one thing that I do believe is we were all put here to serve others. And the more that you do that, and the more that you can give back to others, whether or not you want to call it karma or it comes back around, whatever you want to call it, that's been something that's been true. I've watched in my parents life, they're 82 and 83 years old now, and they never did anything but give back to the community. And that's something that, within what we're doing, what we're creating, each chapter, each quarter, we do different works with nonprofits, and each chapter has four different nonprofits that we try to do work with each year, whether it's circling back to the same ones or not, but always giving back to the community and trying to create places where, you know, it's going to be a legacy versus what, what it is now. It'll be something that'll be here to secure this type of activities for generations to come and, you know, making that more prevalent to others and understanding that conservation comes from, you know, mostly the outdoors world, the people that are involved in hunting and fishing, while they have all the lovers of nature that say you shouldn't kill or you shouldn't do any of that, they don't donate any money to conserve any of this stuff. Billions of dollars a year come from the hunters that are out there doing this and conservation. The biggest conservationists are us as hunters, trying to make a bigger awareness of that and then at the same time, bridging the gap for people that want to do this, they. Even if it's for just a reason of being more self reliant like they want to, you know, if. If things go in a way where they want to be able to provide for themselves, whether it's farming or being able to trap or kill their own food, and, you know, self sustain that way. We've had a couple people that came to us for that reason, other than the enjoyment, it was more of a, I want to be more reliant on myself. I want to be more self reliant. So this is what I want to learn to do.

16
0:19:10,000 --> 0:19:10,000
Yeah.

17
0:19:10,000 --> 0:20:16,000
You know, bridging that gap is something that I enjoy doing, and I love introducing people to this. I've been very fortunate over the years to be able to be in a position to take people for their first time, whether it was the first time killing a certain type of animal, or whether it was the first time catching a certain type of fish or getting their personal best. And when you're able to be involved with somebody's first time doing something that only happens once ever, you can only do something for the first time, one time. And to be able to be a part of that, it creates such a, for lack of a better term, an adrenaline rush. It's more than that. It's a whole feeling of just ecstasy, if you will. It's amazing what it does for you to see the enjoyment and their excitement and knowing that you contributed to that and you see what stems from that. It wasn't a one time thing. This is something they're going to go do and talk about and tell their friends about and then try to repeat as much as they can. There's no second to that for me, and I want to be able to repeat that as many times as I can throughout this journey that we're building.

18
0:20:16,000 --> 0:20:59,000
You said earlier that kids get expensive to get older. So does hunting and fishing. You don't want to create, by the way, a hunter job or a golf widow or a chess widow. You want to keep these people included in your life. So don't go disappear every weekend. You got to balance guys, you know, but coming back to the passion and stuff, you know, to me, you know, I think if you can make a business around something you love to do, and the business itself is set up to further facilitate that, and you can keep the identity of yourself in that as part of the core tenet of the business, I think you're safe. I think it's when people maybe say, oh, I love art, and they just, like, they have to go create a bunch of stuff they don't want to to make money. That's where I think it breaks down.

19
0:20:59,000 --> 0:21:02,000
You're not saying, yeah, I mean, making a physical product, or if you were.

20
0:21:02,000 --> 0:21:37,000
Like, we don't, you know, we don't only kill for trophy. We actually want to harvest. And, you know, there's got to be a part of this kind of give back or. And you're. And you're right, by the way. You know, I'm not one who's ever been hunting. I don't judge it. I just have never seen the need and never, like, you know, I'd be okay with it. I think on my end, I think it's not so much about having a trophy. It'd be more about as long as we harvested the food. To me, it's no different than eating a cow. Like, it's. There's no difference. I was just the one. I was just the executioner on this one. Right? I hunt pigs all day. I like bacon. Just to be clear. I will take a hog in, every inch of it will eat. Right.

21
0:21:37,000 --> 0:21:38,000
Everything.

22
0:21:38,000 --> 0:21:48,000
Some salt in that shit. I'll just. We'll cook every bit of it. That's fine. But I. Deer gets a little gamey, so I don't have any interest in, you know, it may be jerky out of it. If you can jerkify the whole.

23
0:21:48,000 --> 0:21:59,000
Is that a word? And that's. That's all in how it was harvested and how it was processed. I. I've had people tell me that, and I've cooked them venison, and they had no clue.

24
0:21:59,000 --> 0:22:04,000
If it goes wrong, just make jerky out of it. And that's great. Sideways.

25
0:22:04,000 --> 0:22:07,000
Yeah, there's always the backup smoke.

26
0:22:07,000 --> 0:23:04,000
But listen, what I think is, though, is that what you're tying to is you've taken, it's basically you've cut the tie, if you will, to corporate because you're just kind of sick of being. I found that my identity was so wrapped up in my success and what I provided for work, I had a tough time on that. That's something of, you know, things are going great. All of a sudden you're like, you're out, like what? And like, you know, there's no contingency for that. And then as you get older and if you've taken risks to take other jobs and not stayed in one long, which is, you know, the cog at the wheel that's required, you're screwed. Ageism will start coming in in your forties that, you know, you're too expensive basically relative to what you can do in your just. And once you put the word founder on your LinkedIn, forget it, there are no more interviews you're going to get. Speaking from experience, about plus 1000 applications my first year when I was building my company. I'm actually glad no one though called me.

27
0:23:04,000 --> 0:23:27,000
So yeah, you're hitting on something there because when I first got out, I put in applications, but the whole world of being hired, I haven't had to put an application in 20 years. Everywhere I went was intentional and it's a huge difference from what it was then. I mean, with AI and everything being automated and you know, your resumes, you almost have to cater a resume to every job and you know keywords and it's a fool.

28
0:23:27,000 --> 0:24:21,000
You're selling one time yourself and you got to close one deal. And I will tell you though, the AI, that's my background and I will tell you, I use that just to see if I could get an interview like where you're, you're matching your, your history and everything to it. It doesn't matter if you put the word founder on there, it's over. I mean, it's over. You, you entrepreneurs don't put the word entrepreneur, founder, CEO of anything. You will not get a job. So just go all in. But I will say so now that the court said. But you're about six, seven months into it or whatever. So tell me about the future a little bit. Like, you know, what are you worried about? And we'll back into some of your challenges along the way here. But what do, you're in a really critical spot, right? Because if you don't create money, then you get social pressures from the family and other things. But you don't want to give this up now for sure. That's clear as it comes. And so tell me about what you're kind of worried about moving forward here.

29
0:24:21,000 --> 0:24:33,000
I think it's probably the biggest worry that anybody in any business is worried about, and that's. That's profit is cash flow. To be able to sustain, it's not about. I don't. I don't want a luxury, a life of luxury. I don't need to make millions. I just.

30
0:24:33,000 --> 0:24:37,000
You buy ammo when you sustain and get by right below a certain level around, you're like, I want to stock up. And I.

31
0:24:37,000 --> 0:24:54,000
If I didn't do that right, and, you know, that's. That's always the biggest. That's always the biggest worry. You know, you got bills that are never going to stop coming. You know, as an entrepreneur, you got to get out there and get your own medical. You're all that stuff that was, you know, in the corporate world, you didn't really pay a whole lot for.

32
0:24:54,000 --> 0:25:45,000
I would tell in comparison, amazing. I've had never had better care when we were first starting and just on Medicaid, and you feel embarrassed to be on it, to be clear. But then I was like, I got heart stuff done, ekgs, I got nuclear. I was like, I did a lot of shit in a year to learn about myself, of things I would never have done on regular insurance. And it was better service. It got done faster. I didn't pay anything because I was in a spot where I didn't. But that embarrassment of having to go on Medicaid because it makes you feel like you're, like, poor. It's just where you are in your life. And I was like, you know what? I don't care. I'll stay on the shelf here forever if I had to, because it's so much better anyway. I know what you mean. In the beginning, you're like, this is actually. Actually think this is how healthcare should be. I shouldn't have to be spending $18,000 a year to keep my wellness just in case.

33
0:25:45,000 --> 0:25:46,000
Just in case.

34
0:25:46,000 --> 0:26:01,000
It's ridiculous anyway. We won't go down that rabbit hole, or we'll have to start drinking. And I quit drinking, and I will, you know, it was a choice. I wasn't. Was like I had a problem. I didn't check myself in anything. I just got bored. Where did I go with that? Here we go.

35
0:26:01,000 --> 0:26:01,000
All right.

36
0:26:01,000 --> 0:26:02,000
What do you worry about? The future.

37
0:26:02,000 --> 0:26:05,000
Good thing.

38
0:26:05,000 --> 0:26:13,000
Hey. Firearms and alcohol and have gone together since the eighties, so. No.

39
0:26:13,000 --> 0:26:13,000
Yeah, right.

40
0:26:13,000 --> 0:26:15,000
Not firearms and alcohol.

41
0:26:15,000 --> 0:26:36,000
Like, public service brought alcohol into the prohibition, was led by. Led by guns. But that's really the big one. And, you know, it's a big thing to be able to. To make sure, you know, we create something that's going to want to be something for people that they want to be doing.

42
0:26:36,000 --> 0:27:12,000
It does make sense. Free. I will tell you, there's no way in hell there should be a free. It is free for the exclusivity of like minded people. They pay for that. And the fact that they can meet with a bunch of dudes and they know that system, randoms are going to come in there, and everyone's kind of validated that they are of outdoor belief. They have maybe some type of faith, whatever it is. I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it'd be because if my marketing hat, that's what you'll make money on by people who want to have that experience, and they don't. No one's gonna be around to ruin it for them.

43
0:27:12,000 --> 0:27:19,000
No. And there is a paid. There is paid memberships, but the initial come out. Check it out. See, it doesn't cost you any because.

44
0:27:19,000 --> 0:27:21,000
I was like, man, don't give this away.

45
0:27:21,000 --> 0:27:32,000
Yeah, there's a yearly. A yearly fee and then a monthly fee. And the monthly fee, essentially, just if you're paying a monthly fee, you tend to go. Right.

46
0:27:32,000 --> 0:27:35,000
There's no doubt. Yeah.

47
0:27:35,000 --> 0:28:02,000
Right. And that's. So that. That just covers the cost of that. We're not. I'm not making any money on the monthly fees. It's just to get people there to put them in a place where they're. They're paying to be there, so they're more likely to show up. Then we have a yearly fee that we pay. And we. We also incorporate our network within different guides. So we connect with different guides. So we have member pricing for certain things that are significantly better deals for people that are within the network. So there's a perk to that as well.

48
0:28:02,000 --> 0:28:37,000
Yeah, I mean, and that's a great business model. Right. Cause you take people who get basically. I mean, that's the other side of your business, right. Is you get guides who can pay to be referred in that also get preferred pricing, but they also get their cost of sales to zero. And so they're, you know, you're handing people deals. I would think, too, like a annual event. Like, you know, like, I know it's outdoors. This might be different, like, but just. Just the idea is like, you know, close quarters training or something. You guys show up to, like, some kind of fun. You show up for this weekend you do some like, you know, call of duty action going with paintball or something or going through stuff like this.

49
0:28:37,000 --> 0:28:55,000
So we are, our Dallas chapter. We did airsoft and then our, our Dallas north chapter. We did. We did do that. We have a, there's a, one of our members, one of our corporate memberships is one of those facilities. And it's.

50
0:28:55,000 --> 0:28:56,000
That is pretty awesome.

51
0:28:56,000 --> 0:28:56,000
It's pretty awesome.

52
0:28:56,000 --> 0:28:57,000
That'd be a fun week.

53
0:28:57,000 --> 0:29:14,000
It's a great team building, and it's a family environment. It's something that you get the whole family together to do. And, you know, that's, that's huge. I think if you can get, you know, wives, kids involved as well. It's not just about, you know, the business owner. We want to get everybody involved.

54
0:29:14,000 --> 0:29:53,000
Side note here for anyone listening, can go get a coffee. If you don't hear this story, one of the funniest videos I've seen online is, I think it's in Dallas, actually. It was Dallas SWAT versus a professional airsoft team. And how tactically fast Dallas Wat, destroyed this team. Like, not one guy was lost or hit on the SWAT team. And they just surgically went through and absolutely annihilated, like, a professional airsoft team. He wasn't even on the same. And I'm thinking, and that's Dallas SWAT, who's, I'm sure, excellent. But I imagine what the SEALs team would do behind that or Green Beret or somebody like, it would be, he'd be off the charts.

55
0:29:53,000 --> 0:30:00,000
I was invited to a couple different ones, and there was one where that was the case. Like, there was a, these guys were just full decked out, dude. And it was, it wasn't even a competition.

56
0:30:00,000 --> 0:30:21,000
It was like, first of all, you look at him. Wow. How am I going to beat that? And they, you know, it's just amazing because I don't think people realize, like, the science of, of that type of interaction. But, uh, what you're, let me ask you, so what's your favorite, uh, kind of hunting experience you've had? Like, what's one, what's. Or what's one maybe that you haven't had as well? Because it's like, this was the one I was, oh, my gosh. It was awesome. And now I want to go do.

57
0:30:21,000 --> 0:30:27,000
So my huge passion is archery hunting for whitetail. I I, that's something that I love. I love bow hunting.

58
0:30:27,000 --> 0:30:36,000
That's hard. That's Rambo ish. I mean, that will always be what I like. You might be Rambo. We don't know, that's what I always.

59
0:30:36,000 --> 0:30:39,000
That'S what I love doing it. And one of my bucket listers, I.

60
0:30:39,000 --> 0:30:41,000
Want to go to Alaska, America, get on a plane.

61
0:30:41,000 --> 0:30:51,000
I want to go. Yep. It's just very, very expensive to go hunt. To go do like a doll sheep or a mountain goat hunt. It's like 45 grand.

62
0:30:51,000 --> 0:31:15,000
Is it so much like, did the payoff? I, it's, you know, that's your life goal. What's you gonna take that money with you or that memory? So you know how you do it? I'm gonna tell you how you go now and you go find ten other guys like you and you tell them, hey listen, it's fifty k to go. That extra 5000 from those ten just paid for yours.

63
0:31:15,000 --> 0:31:42,000
Yeah. Or, you know, my goal is to connect with a guide out there. We're gonna make it a network outdoors trip because we do have some people in the network that are, you know, they're financially in a place that is where they're good, right there. They're in a place where that's, they do those types of trips. They go elk hunting two or three times a year where it's 20 grand. They do it a couple times a year. You know, they're, they're in a position to do that. So my, might I find a guide that wants to partner with us. We make this a yearly event. And forgetting him, five or six.

64
0:31:42,000 --> 0:31:50,000
This is anything like, you know, you know, sorry.

65
0:31:50,000 --> 0:31:52,000
2 seconds.

66
0:31:52,000 --> 0:31:59,000
This part is taught, brought to you by network outdoors. And as he searches for his plug, you can go to network outdoors.com. Right.

67
0:31:59,000 --> 0:32:00,000
There's a plug within a plug.

68
0:32:00,000 --> 0:33:40,000
Plug in something. I was like, well it's, I like, by the way, I don't know if you guys aren't, you guys aren't seeing this. If you're listening to this right now. He has an extension cord that has like, this guy's organized. You can tell how organized he is, how he has wrapped this extension cord. I see your business though because you have so much passion in it and I'm going to put my marketing hat on there and I think this for entrepreneurs listening. Do what you want with this. You don't want to exclude, but at the same time you need an exclusion. And you know, if you keep this very male focus, some hint of faith piece exclusivity and like, you know, it's simple but we really like, we take pride in what the hell we do. So no half assets. So when we do it, it's nice. We get good food, we get good steaks. We have. We try to stay at a nice place or get the right, like, setup so you feel comfortable and you have fun. Whatever it is. That brand. People were like, hell, yeah. If someone could set all that shit up for me, I'm in, right? I'm. Cuz that's what I want. I need the man time. I need the outdoor time. I want my son to be part of it. Whatever it is. I hope you do it that big. And I think. I think you'll see, like, incredible, even more growth than you've already seen because it's even. I'm excited I haven't been there to do it because I think it'd be fun. I've never done anything like that. I don't own a gun. I know. Wait, wait. I know. Don't come out of your seat. I don't own a gun. I know. I live in georgia. It's okay. I've got this one right here. Points to right arm and left arm points to left arm. Those are all the guns I need. That's right. I would bow hunt. I think that'd be hard as hell. I think bow hunting. Do you keep it like 50 yards? What's the. What's the technique that. To make sure the thing doesn't run off for 2 miles, and you're like, damn it.

69
0:33:40,000 --> 0:34:08,000
You practice a lot. Yeah. You know, you owe it to the animal to be good at whatever you're doing. I feel like, you know, no matter what you're doing, you should be proficient and good at what it is. So a lot of practice, but, yeah, for the most part, 50 yards or so with a compound bow is my. My goal. The big thing with bow hunting, though, is doing all the scouting and the homework, right. To set it up to where you're within 20 yards, 25 yards. Like, that's the adrenaline rush, having him right in your face, where you can see his eyelashes. When you're closing the deal, I will.

70
0:34:08,000 --> 0:34:13,000
Say if you'd like to. My backyard has about eight to nine every day.

71
0:34:13,000 --> 0:34:17,000
Don't. Don't offer if you don't mean it. I'll come down, we'll fish and hunt.

72
0:34:17,000 --> 0:34:49,000
You can fish, and you won't have as many deer when I leave. It's. I mean, they're all over. We live on the back up to a golf course, and in this area, like, they're deer everywhere. I mean, there's just like, you know, eight point couple. The. Probably that lower buck behind you. What is that, 12348 or so? Yeah, like, they're all over like, little whitetails, they're like, just lay in the backyard and you're like, get out of. My God. I will say, I think what you're doing is amazing. I really do. What is, like, maybe your biggest challenge right now?

73
0:34:49,000 --> 0:35:13,000
Just overall awareness, like, trying to figure out the process with social media to make a bigger footprint there. I'm not huge into social media. I never have been, but I need to. I need to be more so to have a bigger footprint. A digital footprint is huge, obviously, with a networking group. So that's my hurdle.

74
0:35:13,000 --> 0:36:48,000
Yeah. I personally work with tons of entrepreneurs, hundreds of them, with this exact problem in mind. And I will tell you, it's one thing, because the passion is not there to do it. If you don't want to be on social media, it's even harder when you have to be. And the second piece is, wherever you are in your journey, you're going to have to do a lot on your own. Otherwise you're paying someone to do it. And so there's this balance of not only do I want to not be there, I can't afford to hire somebody, and I don't want to do it. And so this becomes, like, the thorn in your side of how you do it, but there's options, right, with just how you outsource certain parts or just focus on the one channel you want to find the people that you want. And it might be LinkedIn, it might be just Instagram, whatever it is. I'm one who says pick the professional route first. So if you're trying to find other professionals that have the same interest, then make, you know, LinkedIn's the place to be. Right. And so you don't have to do it all at once, is my point. And because it's, every time you add a new channel, it's like almost a new business unit you're gonna run. Yeah, 100%. And so, you know, if somebody who has YouTube has every social media channel on the planet, I'm only on social media like an hour a week total. My team does all of it, because I can't. I can't even is what I say. Us gen xers don't do that social shit. So getting out there, so marketing, and then, you know, and then it's just a matter of that. So you have a great community, I think, you know, I'll tell you, entrepreneurs, like, since you have a community base, how many people are kind of, do you feel like, you know, if you could call on if you needed help?

75
0:36:48,000 --> 0:37:15,000
I have a vast variety, very fortunate in that regard, tons of sounding boards and willing and open to lend an ear and give advice and give their input. Many of them have been there, done that scenario. What I like best is talking to somebody who's made the mistakes that they can point out to, hopefully help me avoid making those same ones. Those are the ones that I like talking to the most.

76
0:37:15,000 --> 0:38:02,000
Well, yeah, so we'll take that one offline. On the social media side, I'll help you save a ton of money and actually be effective with it. I will tell you from your own growth. So, entrepreneurs, you have a network of some sort. Let's take your top 20 people. Go each, ask each, or segment your groups in 20, and ask each one of them to find one other person to bring along. And every time you do that, it's 20 becomes 40, becomes 80. You won't need to do social media. That group will do it for you. So you guys just post this, tag that, and just, you know, network outdoor, like, and it's very simple. Take some shots of you doing some cool things that we love to do, put it up, and this will help us grow with the. With the right group that we want to be with. And if you ask them to go do it, you won't have to do anything. Yeah.

77
0:38:02,000 --> 0:38:21,000
And that's something that I've always struggled with is it's not asking, asking for help or asking people to do something for. For nothing. I'm quick to do that, but I have a hard time asking others to do that. And that's. That's something that I know I have a struggle with, that I got to get. Get beyond now. It's okay. To those that are willing to help, it's, you know, you gotta let them help.

78
0:38:21,000 --> 0:38:50,000
Well, right. And. But you can create incentives. Right. So part of it is, it's that humility of. I absolutely am terrible at this. I know we need to do this because I want to make sure that we're, this group survives, it thrives, you know, and it grows. I need your help. That as you have trips experiences, you go do it for you. And if you ask for that help for people who are there, who know that's going to help you. And they're early kind of founding members, you know, you're just to comment back to them that, hey, this would mean so much to me, and you make it right whenever you can for them.

79
0:38:50,000 --> 0:38:50,000
That's all.

80
0:38:50,000 --> 0:39:18,000
I mean, that's. That's all people look for, is that, you know, at least most guys. Right. Are just affirmation, you look good today, honey. You're important to me, honey. Like, that's all we need. We don't need gifts. We don't need it. I mean, maybe permission to buy our own gifts, maybe, but that's still I'm autobiography in here just a bit. All right. All right. This is consciousness of time. Mike, where do you want people to go to get ahold of you and who should get ahold of you?

81
0:39:18,000 --> 0:39:56,000
Anybody interested in whether or not you're trying to bridge the gap to, to get into the, to the outdoors. We have people in all over the states that can, you know, help with that, be willing to be mentors to guide you through that process. You can get ahold of us. You can go through our website. It's networkoutdoors.com. And then you can reach me through social media on LinkedIn. Mike Buckman. You can get me@miketworkoutdoors.com and I'm always willing to lend an ear and talk and share more of what we're doing or help you through a problem that you're dealing with that maybe I have experience and can help you with.

82
0:39:56,000 --> 0:40:16,000
Yep. That's great. So, networkoutdoors.com, a bunch of other social media being the links. All right, so one of the final questions I want to ask, I'll usually find one. I'm not gonna ask about books or anything I normally do here. I want to know, in the, in the Hollywood world, animated included, who is the greatest character with a bow ever?

83
0:40:16,000 --> 0:40:17,000
Oh, man.

84
0:40:17,000 --> 0:40:19,000
And you gotta say why.

85
0:40:19,000 --> 0:40:47,000
So the one that sticks with me the most is, see, I was gonna go marvel just because I love Marvel, but the one that I see more, more people relate to or more people know about. And I think that it's huge that they see. It is the movie brave where it's the girl shooting the bow and it's animated. So it gets young kids going. And I think that's one that I thoroughly enjoy watching and seeing the most.

86
0:40:47,000 --> 0:41:06,000
Do not Kevin Costner or Robin Hood, just to throw that out there, that one. Do it for you. Okay. I wasn't think brave too. I mean, though, Rambo is a little more violent with it. And every boy growing up who watched Rambo wanted a compound bow with some kind of explosive tip, to be clear. But it, right?

87
0:41:06,000 --> 0:41:07,000
Oh, yeah, actually.

88
0:41:07,000 --> 0:41:16,000
Yeah, actually, you know, you know, you can take a helicopter in Texas, right? And shoot two, two, three. You know, that's a great grenade launcher at pigs while you're flying a helicopter. I don't know if you've seen this.

89
0:41:16,000 --> 0:41:20,000
Oh, yeah. No. One of our chapters in Texas is.

90
0:41:20,000 --> 0:41:20,000
That's.

91
0:41:20,000 --> 0:41:27,000
That's something that we're gonna do. We're shooting an ar and going to eradicate hogs. They're a problem. They're a nuisance. They ruin property.

92
0:41:27,000 --> 0:41:53,000
Right. I just. The fact that someone could just maybe do a grenade launcher off of a helicopter. Just decide. I almost want to do it just to see what happens. Yeah, don't want to shoot that one back into the helicopter. You want to aim that one down and away. Listen, thank you. Thank you, Mike, so much for coming on. This has been very fun podcast. And just channel listen. Get a hold of Mike. Networkoutdoors.com dot Mike, thanks for coming on today.

93
0:41:53,000 --> 0:41:55,000
No, I appreciate you having me, man. I really enjoyed it.

94
0:41:55,000 --> 0:42:42,000
Yeah, this is great. And listen, if this was your first time listening, thanks for staying this long. And if you've been here before, as you know, I give out dad points. Spend them wherever you can and let my kids know where you can spend them. And let your kids know, too, because everyone knows dad points. You get a lot of them, but no one knows what to do with them. So it's great. I really appreciate anyone who's an entrepreneur who's out there taking that risk. I am here to help you kind of be better at what you do, be better at life. And if you can get something from any one of the stories you have, you've gotten what you need. If you'd like to come on the show, by the way, always, you know, reach out. We'll get you through the process to see how your own story can help somebody. But until we meet again, thanks for listening to the Never Been Promoted podcast. Get out there and go unleash your entrepreneur. Thanks for listening.

95
0:42:42,000 --> Unknown
Thanks for listening to Never Been Promoted with Thomas Helfrich. Make sure to check the show notes for our guest, contact information and any relevant links. Connect with Thomas personally at neverbenpromoted.com.



Podcast Introduction Guest Background
Transition to Entrepreneurship
Detailed Entrepreneurial Journey
Business Focus and Activities
Business Model and Networking Strategy
Personal Insights and Future Aspirations
Integration of Personal Values in Business
Challenges and Marketing Strategy
Guest's Favorite Outdoor Experience and Aspirations
Closing Thoughts