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Episode Zero - Rylie Mills

Unknown Speaker 0:41

with me and we're back part two of what we originally thought was going to be episode zero. And as we were working on episode zero, it became clear that we needed zero a and zero b. Because when we're, you know, typical, if you're going to be interviewing somebody, you get their story, and then you're done. And now we were kind of given the background of both our stories. So where we did all of Kirk, it's like, man, sorry about that. So it just became apparent as we were doing this, though, were those let's, uh, let's pause and we'll bring it back. And we'll do episode zero Kirk and episode zero Riley. And so this is the Reilly version of episode zero that we're on to. So, yeah, um, me and Kirk, as we mentioned, in his episode, we what makes this unique is we both took a different path. And Kurt took more of the academic studying abroad, going to universities, not all over the United States, but all over the world. And so I didn't I, I didn't know, you know, when I was in school. I was, for lack of better word. I wasn't motivated. But I, I always asked why I was that kid growing up on the road trip, and you almost get tossed out of the car. Look at the mountains. Why? There's an Indian why? There's, there's a, there's checkout this landmark. Why? Yeah. Why? Why? Why is he doing that? Why are we doing this? Where are we going? And I did that I was very much like that in school. Why are we learning this? What is the purpose? And the answers they you know, because you have to write the typical, because I said so? That's what everybody does. Yeah, I've always done and that's not a good enough gotta do. That's not an acceptable answer for Rylie mills. Clearly, not clearly, it boils down to so I would find myself you know, why am I doing this? You know, and I started my high school career going in and being like, Okay, what do I need to get out of here, and at the time was insane was to math to science, three history, or social studies, whatever you call it, um, and for English? No foreign language, which I think is probably one that's required today.

Unknown Speaker 3:59

Probably at most parts of the

Unknown Speaker 4:02

so I didn't have to I didn't take any foreign language. I didn't do any of that. I you know, there's obviously you have your health class and your physical education and shop and all those like one credit things, but did all those but there was once one year where they were like, oh, there's like a handful of students and we don't have they're just a weird schedule. Um, we're gonna make up a class and it was like a business class kind of math oriented, you know? And I thought, okay, great. So I'm going to knock out two math in one year, and I'm done with math. Yeah. And they're like, no, no, no, no, that's not the way it works. That's not how that works. What do you mean, this doesn't count for math? No. What does it count for? Oh, it doesn't.

Unknown Speaker 4:46

Why am I doing it?

Unknown Speaker 4:49

Why are we gonna do it? Yeah. Like, what is the logic here? Like, for something like this now and it's not gonna do any purpose. Now though, I will say maybe My logic was a bit naive and flawed in my youth of, because now as I'm sitting here, 30 Plus, I've got every avenue of my existence, I've taking a piece from it and put it in my toolbox. So that's the more mature me not to say that I'm not sure. But the more mature me says we all you could probably learn something, yeah, that might benefit you in the future.

Unknown Speaker 5:31

So add to that,

Unknown Speaker 5:32

imagine that funny, funny way to look at things. But

Unknown Speaker 5:37

I like the analogy of, you know, tools in the toolbox. You build all these skills over life. And, you know, the older and more experienced you get, the more diverse of a toolbox you have are exactly.

Unknown Speaker 5:48

So, um, I've also said like I was entrepreneur, before I knew what entrepreneur was. And with that with that, too, I knew I didn't know if going to school was or not going to school was the right decision. But I knew it was the wrong decision going to going to colleges and whatnot. I knew that was I just knew there was nobody that told me no. And at the time, the internet is pretty new for us. It's not the internet that we know today. No tick tock, no, Facebook, like all that stuff's not happening. This is like, you know, yeah, dial up, and there's terrible website, and definitely not on your cell phone. And so it was different. So you didn't now you've you're just bombarded with all this media and content, right? Take in. So there wasn't anybody, you know, Gary Vaynerchuk, or Tony Robbins, or whoever motivational speaker in my ear saying, you know, like, I'm not this isn't I had no influence outside of like, teacher and parents. But I just knew this isn't the right choice. And it was incredibly scary. Because all of my peers and classmates and teachers were saying, you're an idiot. If you if you don't do this, you're going to end up working fast food all of your life. I found that incredibly insulting, because then I would say what if that's what I want to do? What if that's what makes me happy? Hmm. Why would you say that? You're implying that's a bad thing. Mm hmm. And, and so I just, that was always my perspective. And, and I think that at the time, I didn't realize this, and I think we have, like we've mentioned in your episode, that failure is not necessarily a bad thing. And I think it's emphasized it like, Don't you dare fail this class. But on top of that, I think we have a flawed view of what success should look like. And for me, like, if you're happy, and you're getting self worth, and you're generally making good decisions and contributing to what you do, and it's helping a service. Yeah, there should be no reason that you're not you're not successful. And so to me to say, you're gonna end up doing this. To me, I thought that was incredibly insulting. Wasn't that and working fast food wasn't my passion. However, Miss whatever. Not important enough to remember. I have never worked fast food in my life. So thanks, you were wrong. I shouldn't say I take it back is tomorrow, something can happen off to go ply McDonald's. But that would be okay. And I would learn something and it would just put another tool in my toolbox. But I did work my very first job in high school I quit sports, too, because I you know, people again said, Well, you're gonna be great at football. You're gonna we can't wait till you get into freshman year. You're going to be great at football. You're gonna do great. And here these people are telling me what I'm going to do. Guess what? Making money sounds better to me. I think. I think I'll just quit sports altogether. Yeah, because another thing too is like I just wanted to get out I did not want to be in there. I don't know what it necessarily was. But I just didn't want to be there because Oh, yeah, I love football. Let's play football. I love that. Summer what come in lift weights here in school and no wait a minute. Tried to say almost got me fired. Oh my god. Oh my I need a break from you people. That was when I realized that like playing football and taking that route was a job and it meant dedication and being doing this offseason things. Yeah. And I was like, You know what I know. I don't think that sounds appealing to me. So I started working and I got a job at a cafe and

Unknown Speaker 10:23

five bucks an hour. Mm hmm. And which was actually good back in the day. Yeah, yeah, the waitresses made two because they got the tip. Right. Right. And you know, I'm right out the gate. My perspective in this was in the for any young kids listening that are fight for 15 and demanding your high minimum wages. I didn't do that. I didn't take that route. I thought demand I didn't. I thought I'm gonna go in there. And it's always to preach to you when you go camping or you're in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and stuff like that you when you go camping, the number one rule is, you leave it better than you found it. Yep. And so I was going to say, I'm going to come in here and make this place better than before I was here with the intention in mind that someone might notice that why like, the trash used to be building up in here. And now it's always gone. The floors used to have dirt all over them. And now they're like shining, you know, so what's the difference? Not only was I doing my job, I was helping others helping out with others. I was bussing the tables, even though it wasn't what I was supposed to do. And I made sure you know we had a cart with three levels, it gets put the rubber bins in plates, those were never full unless it was like lunch hour rush, you know, eventually you do start to not be able to keep up at some point. But I made sure I could very well just sat back there and took my time and milked it on the clock wasn't what I did. And started my start pay was five bucks. But within two weeks, I got $1 Raise. Hmm. And actually, throughout my other jobs that I took after into, you know, after you get out of school and my first jobs, probably not my first job out of school, like real job was Cabela's in the call center, probably not that one. But after skip ahead a little bit, after Cabela's, I went into the trades. Same thing happened, you know, I don't remember. I think I started at nine, you know, but this is starting in the trades, you know that you might sound that might sound really low, but I'm saying starting in the trades with no degree, no college gonna have to learn on the job starting at nine. And within two months there, I got a raise. Because it was just apparent that not only was I going in learning electrical, I was going in, I was learning the plumbing and I was learning the H fac. And oh, I can take this class to install water heaters that only takes me taking a test and don't have to be a licensed plumber, which you have to have your every you know, there's different rules for every place in the country. But uh, here specifically, it was only by city. And I think it's three years for to take your dream and test. But to do a water heater at the time, you could just read a book and take a test. And you could install water heaters. And so I was like, Yeah, I'll do that. And very quickly, I found myself on call. So I always had an approach of do more than or do more fighting, make it better. Find any job that you can take and like there wasn't asked of you and overachieve and over achieve and just saying you know yeah, if you want to protest and make signs you can do that but just an idea that maybe another alternative might be doing your job and doing it better than you're asked to do it right and doing more than that might be another way to get ready Yeah, you know show show that you're valuable. Yeah, show that your instead of whining and pissin and moanin maybe shows great value demonstrate value. Yeah. And and it will come a lot faster than protests and signs will. But yeah, so I did that. That was my first thing that I got into to the call center stuff I was started out with placing orders and all that kind of thing. But then I escalated up the ranks there and got into his highest customer services you could be

Unknown Speaker 14:50

the next step up would have been into the corporate realm of Cabela's. I didn't take that route, but every little aspect of my life Life and in jobs that I've had, I've added to that toolbox. So Cabella is there was extensive training on customer service. And what's an opened in question, what is a closed in question, teaching you because you were not only did you want that they want you to take orders and take them quickly. But sometimes people call you they just want to talk, you know, and they want you to know how to be respectful to the customers and make those customers feel like you chatted with them and listened to their every need and everything they wanted. But you dang well better be off the phone in two minutes. So they gave us the tools to learn how to like that. Yeah, you know, ask questions that aren't open. So it gives them an opportunity to run their mouth for 510 minutes. So it's closed ended question when to use them when not to use Yeah. And

Unknown Speaker 15:53

valuable lesson for business in general.

Unknown Speaker 15:55

Right, right. Then there was an incentive, if you could get them to sign up for the Cabela's club visa card, they would give you $5 For every pre approved person did, they accepted that application. And so they provided you with a script, that was a really good script, but you're sitting there tied to this desk, which is initially why I ended up not liking the job was I was stuck in, I was sunny with a high 75 Perfect weather and I want to move and I want to be outside and not stuck to a cubicle. Yeah. And you would start to figure out, okay, well, I know when I get to whatever this is in the script, that's where I lose them. And so you start to play around with the script and make it your own. And then before long, it's not a big deal to sell for five a day, and kind of get five bucks, you know, you know, then you're adding, you're definitely increasing your, your, your hourly rate per day. So, all those things, you know, but then, as I started to realize, you know, this is great, I've learned a lot, it's just something I'm not this, isn't it? Hmm. Um, I always called them my grandma's, these little ladies that were in cubicles next to me. And they, they would they would come in, and I and I worked every shift there too. So but they would always be in there, like five, six in the morning bunch. And then I would come in at eight because, you know, face it, I'm a college age kids in this timeframe. And five, six in the morning doesn't sound that appealing. Although I did do it a few times, I would come in at eight. And when I would get there, they had already read the paper for the day and would take out the classifieds and put it on my desk because they would know that I wanted to look and see what jobs were in. And so I found one that was with a heating and air company that also did electrical and plumbing. And so I started doing that. And the thing about those companies that I really advocate and there's that's one of those, it's kind of like nursing, you could go anywhere you want in the country, probably the world and you have a job. Because those are in demand. Yep, they're in demand, there always will be in demand. Yep. Because people are always going to get sick and die. Yeah, and stuffs always gonna break. And you've got to have the knowledge to fix it. So those two jobs are pretty sorta sure will always be around. Yeah. And if there's, you know, if there's a robot that comes to replace it, that robot is going to break it. Someone's gonna have to know how to fix it. Yeah. And so it's relatively safe, and you can do it anywhere. And so you end up working in every industry there is you've got residential homes, you've got commercial businesses, then you've got industrial, like factories and plants and power, power companies. And then medical where you're going to doctors offices, and no ours and all of a sudden you're forced to know things about these industries that the average person does. And I actually think some, you know, some countries make kids go serve in the military. Somebody's got a lot of countries, I think we should require four years of the trades.

Unknown Speaker 19:18

Because it just gives people an appreciation for it and appreciate it and learn the life experiences that it provides. Yep, yeah,

Unknown Speaker 19:27

but life experience but you just learn some basic principles of how stuff works. Chickens don't. chickens and eggs don't come from the grocery store. No, they come from farms. Did you know this? Yeah, Walmart's not where the eggs come from. Yeah, amazing. We

Unknown Speaker 19:44

had chickens on our farm. Oh, okay, we're

Unknown Speaker 19:46

gonna do this.

Unknown Speaker 19:47

I'm gonna cut into that one.

Unknown Speaker 19:48

I know no joke. When we lived in Omaha. Shannon told me that this young girl that she thought eggs came from the store. Imagine When we educated her her expression when we told them where they really come from

Unknown Speaker 20:06

the chickens behind Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 20:10

Imagine the video on YouTube that I showed her. I mean, it's amazing. They give up eggs. Yeah, I think she's a vegan now. Possibly, just kidding. But I mean, it's just you, you you gain knowledge that you just wouldn't have known. Right. And it just, you know, I think again, more tools in the toolbox, more tools in the toolbox, and we're getting to like, technology is great. But we've actually literally kind of built a matrix of what we live in. That the world is actually black and white. And we've actually built this space that's gray. And when and a lot of our social issue problems, I believe is when everybody that now lives in the gray. We get our food from a store, we get our food from fast food. Our power comes when we flip the light on. When life black and white shows up, power goes out. food shortage, that's when chaos happens. It's because we know we've got so many people that are living in only operate in the gray, they don't know how to handle black and white. And that's what I think the trades offer is you get that foundation of how stuff works. Where does the power come from? You know, all y'all these electrical cars. How does heat work that well, electrical cars that are actually powered by burning coal? Yeah. No, that's where the electricity comes from. Yeah, my favorite. There's a video that uh, the guy ran out of. He's his battery went dead in his Prius. And so he was going to get a gas can to charge the generator to power. So you still need gas kids? Yeah. It's a lose lose there? Yes. Not. Not yet. So yeah. He just gives you this. I think it just is important to have a basic understanding of how the black and white works. So when the gray when the gray falls in falters, then you're not so panicked. Yeah. I think it's a good thing to have. But eventually to I started getting burned out of the trades. And

Unknown Speaker 22:31

so what did you do then? What was your well, catalyst for making the reason was his thing that it's great money, and

Unknown Speaker 22:39

it's everything. But be prepared to get the phone call in the middle of the night on Christmas? Eve, that target doesn't have heat? Yeah. And you're the guy to take and then when you're walking across the roof in the middle of Nebraska and a blizzard, on the roof of the mall, getting ready thinking you're going to bed, the town two hours away, the county courthouse boiler just went out. And so now you're taking the four by four trek through the blizzard to the middle of nowhere courthouse. And then by the way, back in your hometown, where you're out of three houses heats just went out. And so when you get done there, and so you end up there's it's it's pretty intensive. And if you're the one on call, yes. And there's no you don't you don't stop until you're done. And so it was, you know, wanting to start a family and be on call and, and stuff.

Unknown Speaker 23:36

I on calls not just for doctors.

Unknown Speaker 23:38

Right? Right? It's not. So I made a transition. And also in all while I'm doing all this too. I was making a move and had my own little side hustle. I bet a lot of people here probably don't know that. I had a brief moment where I was into very into music. And as all I what I wanted to do, I didn't touch on that was what I really wanted to do. When I was in high school, I liked music, I wanted to be a musician, I want to be a musician, or if I couldn't be a musician, I wanted to tour and set up the production and be involved part of the production. Yeah, and actually, I would say throughout any of these careers, I always, I don't ever want to be like the star. Like I always want to be she wanted to be producing I always wanted to be part of a team. Okay, and and that's probably part of it too. Whenever I felt like the team dispersed or wasn't part of a team anymore, or there was a chance for me to take it over and I lost interest and I was like, You know what, I don't want to be part I want to be a part of a team. I want to build something other work together. And so then I moved on to a different thing. And so while I was in high school and I was in bands and stuff and then when I was doing the trades I started doing my own thing and music I started I actually went and I recorded a song. And then I started to think about like, okay, how can I market this to make myself bigger I, the company that I was recording through, there was a vast network of musicians from various genres across all of the country. And so I thought to myself, well, I'll go play shows with these guys at different things. YouTube was, was getting big, where people were, it wasn't like today where there's tons of social media influencers, but that was kind of a thing where I was starting starting. And so I created a YouTube channel where I really didn't focus it on me, I focus it on the band or artist I was playing with, okay, and I built this video episode, featuring them that way when their fans went home, and then one of them Yeah, wanted to look up the artist, they would in most, a lot of the times, they end up on my channel and subscribe to my channel. And so I was building my brand and my name by advertising these other artists and stuff. And so that teaches you that like, don't go into it just trying to blur you know, word vomit you over everybody. Be good, right? Collaborate? Yeah. And like before you get, and you have gained so many more followers by promoting somebody else, because then they're going to want to know, well, why are you doing what you do? Yeah. And so I would do that. And then I got to a point where I had a single and a lot of these other bands had a single and I'm needing a way to pay for my production. I'm like, well, I'll put out a CD, a sampler, like a compilation, you know, you have these Wow, and all these different, you know, infomercial, you know, best of the 90s or whatever, right? Right, sampler. compilation, dis I was I'm gonna make, like I say, artists sampler. Yeah, so my idea was, is my song in Nebraska. And I know these artists that are in Atlanta, Georgia, and Ohio, and Florida, and Seattle, and California, they'll also they'll all contribute a song, they'll all pay me pay me $200 or something, and I will in return, I will put the artwork build the who actually used the money to manufacture all the discs, the CDs, because it was still CDs, it was kind of going into download cards there for a while. And iTunes, but manufacture the CDs, the physical copies, and then their $200 would buy them X amount of copies that way when they did shows, when they did shows in Atlanta, the people about your music, right, the people were getting my music from Nebraska, they were getting music from California, Seattle, wherever. And, but it was all branded under me as like the, like my channel as the like hub of it all. But I was promoting everybody and, and so the the record indie record label that we were working with, started going, what's going on this that whole, like, I know, somebody's gonna notice. And then, so the the the rep that I was dealing with a guy like the call from the big guy, you need to bring him in

Unknown Speaker 28:41

a small, you know, little guy a little to entrepreneurial,

Unknown Speaker 28:45

record labels and music companies when they are kind of like, in charge of like, recording, recording it and processing it. When it gets into distribution. They actually be the ones that like to do it. Yeah, maybe. And so because of that, they're like, hey, we need to talk to this guy. Yeah. But they weren't. They weren't like mad. They were like, Man, that's a good idea. Come do it for us. So yeah, so it's like, hey, you know, I'm sorry to burst your bubble. You can't do this. But we really like where you're going with it. Good idea. And so that led me into actually kind of, I don't want to say I was an a&r guy, but like, anything like dealing with the artist, so the record label didn't have to whether it was setting up and scheduling their studio times to end the way this work. It was it was kind of it was a different it wasn't just like, the typical standard, you know, big label where, okay, here's $20,000 Go make a CD and bring it back to us. This was all independent. And so what it was, was the, what they did was, maybe it was a $20,000 deal, the band had a monthly payment. So it made it manageable. Mm hmm. You know, and if there's five guys in a band, dude, you got to contribute like 50 bucks, you know, to pay off your CD. And though it sounds for most people, that wouldn't be that big a deal. Some of these bands didn't have jobs and, and so they weren't making a move. They were wanting to be, you know, motley crew and, and these people they see on TV while not putting any effort into their craft, and that's the people I had to deal with. But, I mean, some of them were great. And they, they were very professional and did a good job. But I'm not, that was a small spectrum of what I was talking about. But so I took on a position where I would work with them to grow their social media to make sure they were paying their studio time because you had to pay in the contract, you didn't go to the studio right away, you had to get into a month, one, two, and three, you know, get some money coming in, then we'll go record six songs or whatever.

Unknown Speaker 31:25

And then space it out and get those you know, work on. While that's doing we're working on the artwork, and we're working on projects and getting, you know, your social media up and going and what are you doing good, what are you not doing good. Basically, my job was to make them feel like they were doing something productive, while the record company was bringing in enough money to, to actually send it to the stadium because you couldn't be like, well, you know, you're only going to go to the studio after you pay X amount, then they would be all bummed about it. But so we had you know, we had a process to like get them work through and work through. And the they were actually good at developing artists because some of them had very, that worked with inside the label had success in building bands. And that's they were good at it. But so then I did that for a while and I I kept doing my YouTube channel and promoting and in for me that kind of as you had your little brief moment in the entertainment industry, you said you had that smoldering in the back well, doing this YouTube channel, I was you know, I started out just doing it on my own and like not knowing anything about anything. But now I find myself like getting editing software and, and figuring out how to, you know, make the sound quality good with the video quality and learn in teaching myself that like, I mean, this sounded like crap. But if I get a better mic, and now it sounds like really good. And like finding out they like, well, maybe this is what happened. But I can cut and paste and edit this and kind of tell my own story of the event of the night. that really excited me and like got my my ears perking. Like oh, so that's kind of the smolder for me like in the background, I've always like really liked the idea of taking something and like turning it into something different. Being able to edit it and tell a different story than maybe what really you know, what it looked like in live and being able to cut and edit and manipulate and turn it into something that was like wow. So that was always something for me that was very interesting. And then

Unknown Speaker 33:55

added tools to your toolbox again, tools to the toolbox. You were working towards that you were learning and building new skills. So right

Unknown Speaker 34:03

and so found a girl yeah, yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 34:12

Find them find a different one. Yeah, it's just kind of the way the world

Unknown Speaker 34:16

right and so I ended up getting married and she got a job right out of college in Omaha. So I left the big metropolis of Kearney and moved to Omaha and we lived in La Vista and and I was doing I didn't do h fac and heating and air in Omaha because I had seen a crazy amount of crazy in Kearney. Like the things I saw in Kearney last thought Okay, anybody that knows Nebraska knows there's a difference between Kearney and Omaha big difference. Big difference if you see a crate and if I'm seeing what What I'm seeing that I think is crazy in Kearney. I cannot fathom. I'm crazy what I would see in Omaha. So I was like, Absolutely not. And also, I mean, this wasn't a deciding factor, but a lot of the shops are union and stuff in Omaha Lincoln area. And so like, that's a whole nother thing that I didn't want any part of right. So I was like, I'm not doing this work. So actually, when I went to Omaha just worked in a factory, like a distribution center for a retail store. More Tools though, toolbox, and picked up something else. Yeah, you know, and it was, and that was kind of why I was doing that was in the timeframe of when I was doing the music stuff. So I really didn't want a job that I was a career. Yeah, I just wanted to punch in, punch out the bills, yep, pay the bills, and then I would go home and do the music stuff. And so while we were in Omaha, there's two locations that are in the Omaha area that me and my wife love to go to. And most anybody in Nebraska will know these two locations. Apple Jack festival in Nebraska city. Yep. And that was pumpkin patch. And like, you know, with the time we didn't have Milo or a family with kids and everything yet, but we were like, exploring all these options of things that we wanted to take a family and we loved. You know, go into valleys go into Apple Jack vallas is a pumpkin patch. I don't think I said that.

Unknown Speaker 36:36

But yeah, I think I know where it is. Yeah, it's

Unknown Speaker 36:37

just right outside of Omaha. Yep. Apple Jacks in Nebraska city. And there was this element of like, it was something to do, but then there was vendors and like craft shows and things going on. And like, it was just kind of a hoppin thing to do where it was an event, like a celebration, you know, a festival or something like that. And so we were started to feel like, you know, he lived in downtown Lavista which is just a suburb of Omaha, like you don't know where Lavista and Ralston Papillion. And all those things start or begin really all blending together. They're all like Omaha Bella, yeah, all that. So, we loved where we lived, but we, we both had an urge to like, be outside, like have some land and not be so close to your neighbors, you know, and and then we wanted to be close to family, like I was saying, right, right. And there were you know, things happening where we wanted to be able to get there faster and quicker. And so it's and it's funny, like our paths like you were coming back to your hometown. I'm originally from Annesley, Nebraska, which is just kind of west of here on Highway two riders. Yeah, it's like a half hour so like you got Ravenna then there's Litchfield and then there's Mason City, but then there's Annesley. And so Shannon grew up in Grand Island. So we're maybe we're not native to Ravenna, but we are native to this Yeah, so like, drove past this this town many times? Yeah. younger years and youth but never was until recently well working trades it brought me into town. Yeah. So it's funny like I I do know things like do drop in. Yeah, because I lived here but because we knew as contractors.

Unknown Speaker 38:45

If you're in such and such a town, you knew exactly where you're

Unknown Speaker 38:48

going. Yeah, you know, that was the other thing about you all the best places. Yeah. Everybody else in the business told you where to go. Fun fact. Yeah, another I could share some more knowledge with you rule. Well, you know what the first rule of plumbing is? Don't chew your fingernails. Because you got to point a toilet. Clean and poop. Don't shoot your fingernails. Actually, that's rule number two. You know what's rule number one? What's your mouth shut when you're digging a drain? Don't be don't be doing your drain. Because when it blows back, it's you know where it's going. Yeah. So, and yeah, so rule one keep your mouth shut rule two. Don't bite your fingernails. Okay, I was explaining do drop in the things that I knew about Ravenna from the trades. Ravenna was not our first choice of house. We actually had two houses go south on us that we were trying to get before we landed here. And funnily I was like when I think Shannon's dad said I think there's a there's a house in a van. I was like, I love that. I don't want to I don't want to No, no, no, let's not do that. I don't even really I don't even really know why I think it just had this. You know, one of the things that like, you know, that people like somebody told you a lie about me that I know. Right. And I know you continue to believe. Yeah. So I didn't really know anything. I just knew I Oh, no, we don't want to live there. Yeah. And but when we decided when the first two places fell through, and then we decided, Okay, open your mind a little bit. Let's go check it out. And we got there. And like, instantly, I just love the set, like, the atmosphere of how it felt.

Unknown Speaker 40:38

And your probably your proximity to town is great.

Unknown Speaker 40:40

Yeah. And the other thing about it was, at the time, 30 minutes to her parents 30 minutes to my parents 30 minutes to Kearney, 30 minutes to Grand Island. I was like, it's like the central. Okay, yeah, it was a central location. And when you're talking in the scheme of like, being not so far away from family, when stuff goes south, I mean, our centrally located, it's easy to get anywhere. And so that was what attracted us. And we, and it was the one that worked out. But when we decided to move, we said, you know, we want to have a little bland, I, in my mind, after doing when I was doing the music thing. It got to a point where everybody had a band, you can throw a rock, and I bet they got a, you know, a YouTube page or, you know, some type of, you know, music page. Everybody was doing it. And so this market was super saturated. And I was trying to get well known. Having some success in some areas and others it was like, you know, like, Well, everybody's doing this, you know, it's, it's the chances of being successful, just because of how many people were doing it are very few and just don't knowing, like, if I'm doing it this well, there's billions more doing it way better than I am. And so I was like, I wonder if I could take everything that I've learned promoting bands and the YouTube and the editing, the customer service, the trades, I wonder if I could take all of that and apply it to something that's not so saturated. And I'm gonna have all these tools. Right, right, right. But not the competition. Yeah. And so I decided I wanted to start my own company. And it was going to, I knew that I had all this experience at promoting events and promoting concerts and doing that thing. And I like the idea of tourism, and I knew always knew that I love this area, too. Like, this is my home. I was born in Kearney. And I think it's the best place ever. And so, but there wasn't valleys and there wasn't Nebraska city with Applejack festival. And like, I was like I want to build a company that has pumpkin patches and has, you know, things where people can come and experience and has a bit of tourism because Nebraska ranks actually if you look it up? I don't know. I think it's I think they say it's like,

Unknown Speaker 43:26

what's always rare, very poorly.

Unknown Speaker 43:29

I don't think it's 50 anymore, but I think at one time it was

Unknown Speaker 43:32

yeah, it was right down there. Yeah, no, unfortunately, we're not wearing my in Nebraska. It's not for everyone T shirts are one of these days.

Unknown Speaker 43:41

Um, yeah. So I wanted to come up with a company that was not as saturated and could have some maybe tourism aspects of having events and doing things outside the box to bring people to this area. Because one thing and I still hate it today to hear somebody say there's nothing to do here. And I stand firm that that says more about the person in the slice. Yeah, yeah. And so I that was my mission. And so I wanted to start this company. And I knew I wanted to have events and we got the we finally got a house and we're here in Ravenna. What would be the perfect you guys like we'll have events all you'll have Christmas events and Halloween events and all these different types of events. big ones and small ones. Blue ones and red ones. But so I thought, well, going into my toolbox are the tools that I got, what tools do I have? And so if I want something to be big and known, then the best way to do that would be to See a tie into something that's already established. And in this area junk John happens. It was an established event that not only is it established, it draws 20 plus 1000 people to the central Nebraska. So I'm like, okay, junk, John. I need some barnwood and some broken window screens and junky things, and I'm going to decorate them and make them look unique and goofy stuff for ladies in the go to that type of thing. So that's, and that's where Mills farm Nebraska was formed and started has nothing to do with farming. We used to have the chicken eggs and we had bees and honey for a while and we've been we grow sunflowers and all that stuff. And but as I was doing that, I wasn't wrong to start, you know, with that event. And the the goofy barn woods, def turned into putting vinyl on Windows. And then because I worked at or not Cabela's worked at Anderson brothers worked at a trade company. I knew a guy who was head of the sheetmetal and building and he started cutting these American flags out of metal. And he'd post them on his Facebook. And because I knew him, I was like, Dude, you should let me sell those for you. And he was only he's a hunter. He's big time Hunter. He's a big time duck hunter. He's a big time fisherman. So he was mainly only doing ducks and geese, and selling them really well to hunting like Facebook, buy sell trades, and hunting pages and hunting groups. And doing really well. But then I kind of came in and was like, well, we should put like an eagle. Like gave my perspective and different like, well, maybe we could maybe we could make this or maybe we could make that and like kind of opened up the product line a little bit. And so then we started not were we just selling to hunters. But we were selling to people that like to shoot guns who were in the military. Were just patriotic, you know, had patriotism and a lot of red, white and blue everything. And so it kind of opened us up when we got into Facebook. You know, there was one time when I was still doing the trade stuff thinking there's no there should be no reason that I can't go home. And make this is kind of funny now but 20 bucks after work. Because of the the technology everything that we have today. This is just a couple of years ago. There's no excuse for not being able to produce immediately you can sell on the internet and you can start a company in an hour and make your first sale, huh, you can do it. It's possible. But it's on you,

Unknown Speaker 48:18

you got to make a move and do it.

Unknown Speaker 48:21

You have to do it. Yeah. And so I started out doing this i so i It's funny because and my brother made huge amount of fun of me. Because I what I did was I we had a whole bunch of cherry trees on in our little tree strip on our property. And I would dig, dug them up and sell through it on Facebook said hey, a tree here and I'd do it on $1 auction. So people would bid by $1 Start at $1 $2. And people were wasn't me doing it there was getting up to 3040 $50 a tree. And all I had to do is click one button and and then do it again and do it again and do it again. And that was selling four or five trees. Yeah. And then so you know 40 You know, so $20 a day well now here I am selling like five trees a night for 4050 bucks. Yeah. And so you know what, I just kept expanding it and it was funny to like, even way back when I was a lot younger. I was like you know, I bet I could go to Goodwill and like put it on eBay. And I had this guy was working with these like tearing idiots and I did start out I tried it and I bought some like some like college decals that was like college sports team found them at like Goodwill for like 25 cents I sold it for like 20 bucks. I proved myself right but because this one guy said I was an idiot. I like kind of was like maybe he's right. It was My bad for listening to him. Because I even proved it to myself. I could do it. Now you go on YouTube. Yeah, there's like it's there's a whole there's a like a word for it, you know, like sourcing your products at retail. I think retail arbitrage. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Like could have been on the ground floor

Unknown Speaker 50:22

retail arbitrage. Because my cousin sons is actually doing that.

Unknown Speaker 50:27

Yeah. And like it's a big thing you go to Goodwill or Salvation Army? Yeah. Even like TJ Maxx is Yeah, like that. And like, they can buy it really cheap and try it. And then you check out the Amazon, eBay price and wham bam, there you go. Yeah. And so those are the types of things I was doing that birth Mills farm, Nebraska. And so I was doing that here. Getting involved, joined the Chamber of Commerce here. And then the director stepped down and found myself in a position where I thought, well, I was trying to do this thing with events. And not that like it didn't work. But the signs took off. And it was took off last year. Yeah, I did, I did really well. And so I ended up like, well, the these two things are really parallel. And like, if I'm, if I can make the chamber successful, my business will be successful, and vice versa, if I'm success, so successful, because what I'm trying to do in my business is bring people to this region. So if I'm successful in my personal goals, then the chamber will be successful, and just vice versa. And so that's where we're at today. And then I call up well, and if you don't know, Kirk is on the chamber board and also economic economic development board. And so that's how we met. And we start, you know, comparing and contrasting ideas. Mm hmm.

Unknown Speaker 52:01

We both shared a passion for the community. Yeah, for bettering the community for bringing more events and activities to the community, right, and just natural.

Unknown Speaker 52:12

And then one day, I call those like, Hey, you ever thought of doing a podcast? What do you think about this? Yeah, and here we are. Hey, Riley here. Thanks for listening to this episode of maker move podcast. For more content, check us out on all major social media platforms and make a move Until next time, get off your butt.

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