Starting A Business During The Pandemic?!
Derek talks to Denver Entrepreneur and all-around creative Nick Holmby of Dude, IDK Creative. They discuss how he started his business during the pandemic and how he's been able to build from the ground up.
Derek: Super happy to be doing this podcast and super happy that you're on the other end of the camera here.
Nick: This is weird!
Derek: We're gonna bring this guy around to the other end so we can get the perspective of the people that are actually influencing our world. That we have no idea about it, which is people that are in the media, so tell me how did you get in your business because your backstory is nuts?
Nick: I’ve done everything from running a clothing store to working in a coal mine in Wyoming to running a ranch crew, doing Security for doing corporate investigations, to running the comedy club and now I am an all media person.
Derek: So do you feel like that because you come from a rural part of the country moving into the cities- and that gives you a wide perspective, has helped you capture things in a different kind of way, or has helped you look at humanity.
Nick: I think about that all the time I'm like- if you want to be an actor or be in a creative role of scriptwriting or directing or something like that, you have to see the world through many lenses rather than just growing up in a small town. As I moved from place to place, I've seen different stereotypes. I feel like I was at a point where I always knew what I wanted to do, I always worked small roles and other things such as YouTube series and all that stuff, but I got to a point where I'm like, I can do this myself so why am I working for other people and not showing my "own" style.
Derek: This is the point that I'm trying to draw, I feel like we get really isolated in our ways of thinking, and someone like you with a lot of different jobs. I feel like your past work experiences really provide a fully rounded perspective on humanity. Here in the United States at the very least, how has that contributed to you developing your business in a way that can capture more people, or is that your goal? Is your goal to capture more people or to niche and captures some people?
Nick: It was a niche, more just comedy. I left the comedy club to continue my own business that I started during the pandemic and then it evolved. I started working with small businesses, people that I'm sure we'll see in this podcast, people I love and adore and who've built something from scratch just like I have and then I realized I want to cap their small businesses by starting from the ground up- that is what I want to be involved with.
Derek: But I feel like media and advertising has completely shifted and as much as we talk about corporate America and the top one percent I feel like small companies like myself and other companies that you work with have really come to the stage now and can come to the stage because the stage is at ground level it's on Social Media, it's where we're all at. So how do you shift focus and really draw the "spotlight" on us and then what's your end-all goal?
Nick: I think that our end-all goals are very similar that's why we work well together, I think that having a creative exposure that's not the same as everyone else is very important. I mean considering the mailers we sent out you don't have any other real estate team doing that, you don't have other people having our style.
Derek: Why do you think they're out of touch though, why?
Nick: I think that everything evolves and with the presence of Social Media and the way it changed from MySpace to what TikTok is now, it's so different. So I even suggested to my neighbor to start Tiktok if he wants to start a business as he can just record a 10-second video and post it. As you get people who are willing to help out in some way.
Derek: That's how I feel too. And like we get a lot of feedback from our realtors on our team and I think that the most common feedback is they're scared to get in front of the camera. I think that the reason behind that really is that they're scared to show their humanity. But like with the dawn of reality tv and Social media I think it's cooler now to be just a real human than ever before. I mean to all the people out there that are scared right now to start something on Social Media because they don't have a million TikTok followers because they didn't start four years ago what do you say to them?
Nick: Just start and do it for real. I know that some might say that it's so easy saying it and not doing it. Well, you can just record yourself in front of your computer or voice-over yourself talking about your product or concern.
Derek: Meanwhile, I know that someone will be commenting or critiquing you.
Nick: Yes, the trolls who are jealous, and to get them to stop by not minding them and continue doing stuff. A great example is the Kardashians, do you think they care about what they say about them.
Derek: They don't care about what we're saying about them, they just look at their bank account. And that's what we have to stop doing, giving them so much attention. We need to stop caring about what other people think or might think because the moment we do that is the moment we help ourselves. We're all scared, does it matter if you piss people off that is what I get a lot. I go to a lot of conferences and they're like don't take stances, don't piss people off and I'm always like take stances to piss people off find your audience, what do you think?
Nick: I'm a big person that thinks any exposure is good exposure. It's like being in a pro wrestling life to me, you're either the hero who is at the top or the villain or the guy that they're gonna boo because you're in between.
Derek: I love where this conversation is going because like to me you're looking at other people, you position yourself as a "human-first" perspective. It is caring about other people, it is giving them what they need, it's knowing that at a certain point you're a human just like them and by giving security you can receive security whenever you're with the right tribe of people as long as they have that ethical foundation. So when you're looking at businesses because it's hard to tell, like I've worked with a lot of people and investors that like- I'm like this is a really cool person we're vibing go sideways and in those really negative times they're a totally different person.
Nick: I have a friend in my hometown who sold his chiropractic business. I mean he is one of the smartest people I know and he sold his business and now he's a tattoo apprentice all the way. He has always been good at Art, way back in high school and now he posts stuff on Social Media. So if he can do that we can do whatever we want. You just have to have a critical perspective from the outside world- kind of motivating you to get better.
Derek: I also want to go into your mindset! And tell me this is okay about the world and where it's at because I feel like the media mindset of the world is like World War III, Coronavirus, and other fears. Therefore, what is the entrepreneur's mindset like?
Nick: Everything is adapted you never want to crash across a boundary, though you never want to make a Tiktok that's insensitive to anyone other than cussing. Well, for me if you support it, yes, if you don't support it don't talk about it.
Derek: How do you determine where that line is now though?
Nick: I think studying every day is everything. I always make it a point to send you Tiktok or Instagram, I'm screenshotting things and saving things instead of blabbing something out. Look and see what people are saying and do your research.
Derek: There are people that regurgitate that I feel inadequate or like socially unaccepted if you don't do want they wanted. I get the social pressure if I don't post or repost that too. So they're regurgitators and they're synthesizers. So the synthesizers are that laser-focused on your craft, your profession, your goals, and your motivation. In other words, your wildly important goal is to direct all your energy and actions towards that. How do you get on and research as much As you do, but also maintain a level head, maintain your own identity, maintain your own individual level of thinking because I feel like a lot of people lose that?
Nick: This is what separates entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs- you're able to see this stuff and get your own opinion versus following someone else's aspect of something. We cannot please everyone so everything goes back to the hero and villain no matter what. We're trying to improve that is why we must continually learn things. Sharing your opinion now is hard to do because you might get canceled, but don't be afraid to say your feelings about something and start a blog. I even name my business “Dude, I Don't Know LLC”. If you really care about what you're doing, start a foundation, put yourself out there, and make something of yourself.
Derek: Is there room for everyone to be an entrepreneur? Because I think a lot of what we're talking about is claiming your individuality. And one way that you express that is by doing your own thing. Is there a way for someone that is part of the 9-5 corporate job to pursue being an entrepreneur? Because there must be consistency there to still be their own person.
Nick: When you say there's room for them, I think there's a difference between sheep and wolves. I think that you can transform into a wolf and become your own wolf, but people are okay being sheep, what's the difference between happiness and complacency is that I get bored easily.
Derek: Me too, I feel like when I got into being an entrepreneur, it was like this very romanticized version of like I want to be my own boss. I want to do my own thing, I don't want anybody telling me what to do. Then I realized that being an entrepreneur and being your own boss, you have to work better with people than ever so. You simultaneously have to work well with people and then hold your own ground on where your brand is, where your identity is. How do you find that balance without being frustrated? For me at first, it's like I don't want anybody telling me what to do, but then I realize that I actually have a bunch of people to answer to.
Nick: Well, you got to take so many sacrifices, of which I wish I found sooner but didn't take until 30. How I wish I found it when I was 21.
Derek: I think it's totally fine and sorry to interrupt you, but like to find it later in life like you did because you came into it with so much seasoning I always remind people like Ray Kroc started McDonald's in the latter portion of his life you know what I mean like there's so much that went into him before that it's never too late.
Nick: And I think Oprah started when she was 38 and now she's one of America's richest people. For me, it comes back to sacrificing so many things in my personal life. Entrepreneurship, I love the challenge, I love the honesty of like- "hey man, can you change this and that I'm gonna change it you either agree with it or not it's your brand.
Derek: Like happiness, I feel like passion and purpose is the amount of passion to where you got up at 5:00 AM and you stayed up until midnight. And for those of you out there who feel like you're living in a monotony, if you're living in the day-to-day in other words you're not actually living. So what I like to ask everyone is, how and where do you find the passion?
Nick: The passion came to me when I was coal mining and I saw my bank account, and I was getting paid crazy money. Coal mining can be crazy money, but I couldn't keep up with my paychecks. I forget when my payday was and I'm like you don't want to pay off my car. So I was gonna move to my parent's basement because I wasn't living there by the way. My parents were retired from big cruise liners, they usually pinpoint the map for the place that they wanted to travel to. We have a dartboard in the basement and one day I am drunk, "I'm like I'm gonna blindfold myself and I'm gonna go wherever this dart lands". I threw the dart at the board and it landed in the Pacific Ocean and I'm like "Seattle's close enough, it was actually closer to Hawaii but I'm like I can't afford that." I spent my 7 days off and I just went to Seattle by myself. I didn't want to be there but I'm learning my passion isn't settling. And in entrepreneurship, you're never settling as you're always adjusting.
Derek: But the intensity behind it which is I think what we're seeing is what this brand is really like. How can we form a new generation of business owners? How can we empower that next generation? So we'll leave it here in one sentence that inspires you every day to wake up and to do what you're doing.
Nick: "Don't settle for monotonous life!"
Derek: Amen to that! Let's do that.
Well thanks for being here with us virtually, that was our first episode. Don't forget to give us a follow as well as on our Social Media accounts.
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