Listen in on my interview with Thomas Scott who is a professor at BYUI and founder of Mission Shoe.
Thomas shares his story from selling insurance to using the last of his money to purchase shoes from Brazil – leading to a business that still stands today.
Entrepreneurship requires sacrifice and when you are willing to fail, that’s when you succeed.
Welcome to the entrepreneurs of Christ podcast for men of the church, Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who want to escape the day job and answer the call to entrepreneurship. The job is your prison. And this podcast is your escape. The reason why it’s your escape, is because you get to hear amazing stories like this one that I did with Thomas Scott. And these stories are here to inspire, to guide to give you ideas and ways to be able to pursue that call that’s within you. Now, I’m in the business of making that process of starting your business easy, and fun, and enjoyable. And something that doesn’t have to take away from the things that you love and the things that you want to make sure don’t fall, like your family, or like your faith. And so this is the reason why I created the path of honor program. It was a way in which we could escape the duty bound dad prison, and become a man of honor a man who honors His Word to himself when he plans a man who honors this spirit that prompts him to take action, a man who honors his family, by building relationships that are meaningful with them. All of this is really what I want to help you do. Now, there are some things that we’ll talk and I’ll kind of share more after we dive into the interview with with Thomas here, that that are kind of the pillars for this program. So go ahead, listen to this podcast. And I’ll share more in the end. Okay, let’s dive in with Thomas Scott. All right, everybody, this is Tyson Bradley. And I’m here with Thomas Scott. And we are going to learn about his experience His story getting into entrepreneurship and building his company. And I want to just jump right into the questions we will get to know him and his story through this whole process. So Thomas, when did you know you first wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Thomas Scott 02:38
You know, I get this question a lot. I really do. People always ask and they say, hey, so when is did you feel? Did you have this edge? Do you have this thing? Look, I don’t even know, I know that I tried to start my neighborhoods first recycling program by charging people to pick up their cans in newspapers. I know that when I was 11, we tried to do a play on my front lawn that I had written and produced and tried to charge neighbors for. I know that my dad got after me because I was taking neighbor’s rocks, painting them gold and selling them as fool’s gold, for realizing that that was technically considered stealing my neighbor’s rocks. So I’ve always kind of been one that just tries to have ideas. I think it’s kind of innate, you know, the nature of man is one of creation. And so I feel like we have this opportunity as individuals to create and we want to do that. We want to do that, as business owners as creators of products of things of services. And, and it just seems to be something that you want to do you want to build something. And so I want to build something.
Tyson Bradley 03:52
Did you go to school before you jumped right into entrepreneurship or
Thomas Scott 03:56
so when I started, I mean, obviously, you know, when I was 11, I was I was hanging out with my elementary school cohort. But when I started actually doing this, right when I started working on being a self employed person, an entrepreneur, which is also code for unemployed person with a hobby, I had finished two years of my undergraduate work. I was laying in bed with my dear sweet wife, and we had been married for let’s see, we were married in May. This was in probably November of the same year, so not not six months. And I leaned over and I looked at her and I said, Honey, she said, Yeah, I said, I want to want to start importing some shoes out of Brazil. And she looks at me, she says, Okay, do we have the money? And I looked at her and I lied a little and I said, Yeah, and that’s how that’s kind of where it all started. I had my associates from BYU Idaho, we were in Phoenix, Mesa area. She was finishing her degree day too. And I was an insurance agent, actually, at the time that my first career was was an insurance property and casualty insurance. So I was doing that to pay her way through school. And I decided that I was going to take $2,000. And the extra bedroom of our little apartment above the people that were way too loud all night long. There below us that we decided I decided I was going to start importing these shoes out of Brazil. And this was our first generation mission shoe that we brought in this was, when I started in Brazil, I went through three pairs of American shoes in nine months, and then decided to buy one of the shoes that was through the mission office called the support the dummy stone, or the mission shoe. And they were built for the postal workers of Brazil. And they lasted a long time, and they were very affordable. And so we said, well shoot, I’m going to move forward with this kept some packaging. I called just cold call these guys and said, Hey, I want to start bringing your shoes into the states. So our first additions were us just bringing in what they were building. And then after a while, we started doing our own design work, we started making the more Americanized, that was in 2008. We fired up a website, right? And what was crazy is that if you for those of you who may be old enough to remember 2008 was things were starting to fall apart, right? And insurance. We were losing, you know, a policy a week to foreclosure, things were just things were really, really interesting. So we came in at a time when the market was fresh with Okay, the work of the Lord isn’t going to stop. Therefore, we need to provide something that is more affordable than $200 echoes or you know, $170 rock ports. So we jumped in and tackle that market because I knew dumping that I had that pain point when I was out in the field. I had shoes that fell apart. I had shin splints for months. I mean, look at me, I was the scrawny city slicker being thrown in the middle of Brazil. I don’t even know how to sweat right? Like I was just not even made for this. I remember distinctly there was one time I was in Brazil, and my trainer would jump up into the rafters of this house that did it had a roof but it didn’t have like a ceiling, right? And he would jump into the rafters and he’s just wow, there’s no neck kid from like, like American Falls, Idaho, right football player. And he’s got like this, you know, his head and his neck, just one piece. And he would be up in the rafters like, and this isn’t like 615 and I looked at my watch and I said, well shoot, it’s not 630 yet, so I guess I’ll just chill here for a while. As he’s up in the rafters right. So super city slicker kid learned a lot of lessons. But, and one of them was how to get shoes that work anyway. So that was the that was the pain point mission shoe was my first brand. I brought him up, we got the exclusive contract for North America. And you know that first year, I remember when I got my first online sale. And I was blown away that anyone would trust me to buy something on the internet, right? I was like, Oh my gosh, someone bought something. Because I was mostly selling out of the trunk of my car. And someone bought it online. And I’m like trying to package it and whatever boxes I can find. I call my dad I was like, Dad, hey, do you have any old boxes lying around is like for what I was like to get shipments out and he’s like, that’s the most unprofessional thing you could possibly do. It’s like don’t do that. I was like, it’s recycling. It’s heavy. Come on. But anyway, so we started mission Shoe, and I decided to go back to school and 2009 I went back to finish my, I guess it was the end of 2008 went back to go finish my undergrad. And I used it as my laboratory. Right. So I had this opportunity to say, Hey, I had a professor that came in and said, Hey, this is you should do this with marketing. And oh, it’ll be so great. And this is how things work. And so I go take it, and I go use it and try it. And it would fail. I come back and say why didn’t it work? Or I use it and it would work and I was like Guess what, and this is my projects and these were my internships I won competitions and, and it was really cool to have this own child I was raising right this business child that I had birthed in my early marriage experience and to watch it grow and fall and fail and do that. So when I graduated from my degree in at BYU Idaho in 2010, I wasn’t enough to live off of so I was I graduated wasn’t enough to live off of right it was we were pulling in, you know, under it was under 100. But it wasn’t enough to take home to support my family of four at the time we had had two kids and so I decided to try and I like well do I go work for a company? Right do I was still doing insurance still because I should mention this I was always I always had my insurance gig, I had my full time gig. And then my startup was my side hustle. And I tell this a lot when I teach my classes, I think you have very similar in some of the stuff that you talk about. But I talked about a side hustle turning pro, right? You have your side hustle. And eventually the hope is that it grows enough that it shrinks your dependency on corporate or, you know, being hired by somebody else. So I was making good money as an insurance agent working at an agency in Rexburg. At the time I’d moved from the agency from Arizona up here, I was doing that. And then I put my feelers out. I said, Okay, what’s out there? And after a couple of completely failed interviews to actually work for somebody, I had a company that was based in Arizona that said, Hey, we want to bring you on, because we want you to do everything you’ve done for mission shoe for us. Right. I didn’t get hired because I had a piece of paper. I got hired, because I could show what I have done. Not what I could do, if that makes sense.
Tyson Bradley 11:11
Thomas Scott 11:11
So anyway, they let me work remote. I stayed in Rexburg, because I had my infrastructure here. And I said, I will work for you. And this is how much I am an hour. And I will, I will only work a maximum of 25 hours a week. And I figured that was enough to at least put food on the table. And they said, Okay, great. 25 hours a week, that’s great, because we don’t want to pay you for the whole man anyway. So I was like, awesome. So I’m doing this consulting with them, you know, I was managing all of their, their web presence, I’m doing that I’m growing mission shoe, right? It went from like a $4,000 on the first year to 24,000 to 48 to 50 something and, you know, we’re growing and, and in trying to get somewhere with it, right. And, and so I worked with them, they ended up being bought out ran into the same situation where I said, well shoot, I’m not making quite enough, I’m close. So I had another opportunity with another company to win manage their web presence. And I was only working 15 to 20 hours a week for them. So as you know, I’m slowly weaning off of these people, they’re willing to pay me for my talent set, as I’m growing my own talent set on the side. And they liked having this thing on the side because as long as I was focused in on them and clocked in with them, I was learning and making mistakes over here, right? And it wasn’t doing it with their product. Did that for a couple years. And then they ended up getting bought out and me and that ownership I decided to part ways. And then I was this was 2015 should have you’ve been cliff jumping? Have you ever jumped on the water?
Tyson Bradley 12:44
I mean, I’ve jumped off of high high places, but I haven’t done a specific cliff jumping So
Thomas Scott 12:50
okay, so yeah, if you’re, if you’re on a high, you know, I’m not I say cliff jumping, I’ve never done this. I’ve haven’t done a lot of this. But I know that when you’re standing on the edge of a rock, and you’re standing and you’re looking down and you know that it’s deep enough because you’ve seen other people go right, you know that there’s enough water down there, you have to reach this point where you just have to jump right as scared as you are as cold as the water as as much as you’re worried that you’re going to die. You have to jump and then when you jump and you land in that water it’s a whole mixture of feelings mixing between fear and cold and, and success and even a little bit of like you feel bad because you just got you know, you got slapped, there’s pain. going full time was like that. For me. It was this I finally got to the point where I it was time for me to try it. So I hired someone who is now my business partner. I brought him on. I said, Look, I can’t afford you. But we’re going to have a great ride. So come on board. And let’s get moving. So that was when we launched the Ski back brand. So we had mission shoe that was in 2008 2011 we launched what was called the vertical foot care and that’s like our shower sandals, two care kits, etc. And then in 2000 and what I just say 15 2015 we launched kai back Outfitters and kai back they’re kind of like our active men’s flip flops, sandals, men’s wear that kind of stuff. So but the whole time mission shoe still there. We’re still outfitting, you know, 1000s of boys across the world and taking care of their feet. So we had three brands, technically four, but we won’t talk about one of them because it’s a sad tale of well for another time. We had three brands that were going and he took my sales, the multi-channel marketplace distribution, basically, that means selling on our own sites on Amazon, eBay, etc., and took our six months supply and burn it out in three months. And he says okay, how long before we can restock? I was like, Dude like 90 days and he’s Like, what? Because where he came from, it was like a 14 day lead time. Anyway. So we suffered through it. This was we’re operating out of what I called my shofice is the shop office on my property. Yeah, it was awesome. I mean, I went from that apartment. At one point, I had like six storage units that I was operating out of, I had a retail store, and then I decided to bump off the retail store. Now, this is our world headquarters, right that we’re able to have here. And But anyway, us together. He just killed it. He did very, very well. And so I said, Let’s be partners, and for the last five years going on six, you know, we joke. I don’t know, I guess this works for this podcast. We joke that he said he’s got a home wife and a work wife. Right? That’s kind of what we have in this partnership because it’s just we’ve been through hard times and good times.
Tyson Bradley 15:55
Thomas Scott 15:56
Anyway. So that was our that’s kind of the journey. I don’t know, that kind of leads us somewhere. It’s a lot of talking.
Tyson Bradley 16:04
Yeah. No, there’s so much. So much value in there in terms of your story. And one thing that I just want to highlight is, is something that I’ve noticed, because I had a, you know, somewhat similar journey in terms of, you know, I’m working this full-time job. And then I’ve got this side coaching thing that I’m doing and being able to build that up to a place until I believe enough that I can shift. And I can do that in a way that I feel secure that I feel like I can still provide for my family that I that we can still make this thing work. Now, I would say there are probably three main things that you know, the would be entrepreneurs struggle with its clients, its capital, and it’s the clock, it’s being able to say, okay, they stay stuck in their day job, because oh, you know, how am I going to get the clients? I don’t know how I can even get clients to, they feel underfunded. So there’s like, they wish they had more capital to make something happen. And then, of course, there’s the clock and where do I find all the time with the kids and with the church callings. And with the corporate job I already have or with whatever day job I already have. So you mentioned some that kind of some of that was that was kind of large for you. But would you say there were any other like, top three challenges that stopped you from getting off the ground? Or that were part of the challenges is getting your thing off the ground?
Thomas Scott 17:34
You know, I can appreciate the question. Yes. What are their top three challenges? Right? I mean, I don’t want to sound that Sounds Sounds like a clickbait I’m about to try and click on. But start your business with this one weird trick, it will get rid of your body fat?
Tyson Bradley 17:49
Thomas Scott 17:49
So no, I’m uh, but what I’ll dig off of what you your three C’s, your clients, your capital, and your clock?
Tyson Bradley 17:57
Thomas Scott 17:57
I’m gonna kind of take that and use that as a segue of what my challenges kind of looked like something that, you know, as I mentioned, when I looked at my wife, and she said, Do we have the money? We’ll start with the capital, do we have the money? The answer is almost always Yes. The question is, what am I willing to sacrifice to do this? Right? And whether that’s I’m willing to sacrifice my good name and credit, whether I’m willing to sacrifice, you know, if I had taken that $2,000 guess what, we could have gone with just the two of us on our beautiful Hawaiian vacation, and what would my ROI have been a really great Hawaiian vacation. I’m not saying that’s bad. I love to try. We got to go to Hawaii, I got to speak at BYU Hawaii, about entrepreneurship. And it was a wonderful trip took my wife camped on a beach that got flooded out. Actually, we didn’t because I’m a scout and I know how to do tents. But the poor couple just down the little band basement. They’re from San Francisco, they had no idea what to do. They got they had to go sleep in their car, Kitty and bean or their names. As a matter of fact, it was kitty and bean. They are this awesome hippie couple from San Francisco that she wanted to just invite us in for. They were like they couldn’t cook their food because everything got washed out. So they said, well, we’re having pineapple and brandy for dinner. You guys want to join us for like, Hey, I think we’ll pass there. Anyway, but this I mean, what, what are you like, what do you choose to spend your money on? My kids always tell them asked me, Well, can we do this? And it’s not? Well, we don’t have enough money. It’s we’re choosing to spend the money in other ways. And so if you’re in a situation, or I guess I should tell us more like it’s from my perspective and not when I teach. But in my situation, I had to ask myself, I had to say, Okay, what kind of house Am I going to live in? Okay, if I want a house that stretches my mortgage budget to the limit, then no, I can’t That’s where my money is being chosen to be spent. But if I downsize on a house, I mean, if you have a house, you have honored, you know, $120,000 inequity on a house, you can sell a house for 350,000, downsize to something that’s, that’s, you know, you basically pay cash for, then now you have this freedom of, you know, 1112 $100 a month, and who knows how much an interest that you’re able to spend on what you’re doing, you lower that basic expense of what’s in the household. Because now, when you’re looking at it and saying, Oh, well, I’m making 85,000 a year at my career job, but it sapping the life out of me, great, then get rid of the house that requires you to have an $85,000 a year job and move into a house that you could do with a $40,000 a year job. And then you have that extra that you can do. I feel like young kids super easy to slight young kids, I love my children, but you can slide them when they’re young, they’re fine hand me down pants, not a big deal to them. Now for some of the viewers or listeners that are looking at, you know, well, I’m dead in the middle of my career, it is it’s a little bit tougher. If you’ve got a 17-year-old, you know, I’ve got a 13-year-old girl, and that lifestyle doesn’t cut it as much as it used to. Anyway. So that’s something to consider that that’s the see on Capitol clients. How do you find people that you’re, you know, your buyers? Essentially? I, I don’t know the answer. That’s always hard. I think that’s a question that everyone that’s trying to sell something has always had, you know, from the days of the barbed wire salesman of the 1800s. How do I know that when I get on this train, I’m going to sell barbed wire to a cattle rancher in, you know, Arizona, they don’t know. So that’s something it’s just pounding the pavement. It’s getting yourself out there not being afraid, I still ask myself that question. Where are my customers? Right? Why do they care about this? Why do they care about this? You know, how can I convince them to, to spend their money with me, cuz money is a hard-earned item, you know, it’s something that you have to work hard to get, and then other people work hard to get it. So it’s kind of this, this, you know, conundrum you get into, and then clock I’m gonna say to say the exact same thing as with money. It’s not you it’s not that you don’t have enough time. It’s that What are you choosing your time to be doing? There’s a talk by Elder Bednar where he talks about spinning plates. And eventually, you can’t spend all the plates right, you have to put some plates down. So what is the sacrifice, and there were some times where my sacrifice was I’d put my kids to bed, I’d kiss them goodnight. And from 10 o’clock to one o’clock, I’m doing work. Because that’s what I had to do. I was replying to customer emails. I was in Germany sitting in a corner. I was on their, for my master’s program. I ended up I did some international travel. And I was sitting there in a corner of my hotel room, my roommate is asleep. It’s 1130 at night, and I’m sitting there doing that. I’m not watching Netflix. I’m not reading a romance novel, right. I’m, this is what I’m doing. And I’m enjoying it. So my hobby is there. So that hopefully, it pays off in the end, as far as that’s concerned. So anyway, Does that help? No. Are we good?
Tyson Bradley 23:27
No, no, it makes makes perfect sense. Because I think sometimes, especially with all the information out there about getting clients and this way in that way, it can actually be as simple as what you’re saying in terms of pounding the pavement, you just have to meet people, you have to tell them what you do, and you need to make them offers. You have to give them an opportunity to exchange this value. It’s like I’ve got this shoe and you need a shoe.
Thomas Scott 23:56
So let’s connect. Hey
Tyson Bradley 23:58
so let’s connect.
Thomas Scott 23:59
I have a question for you, Tyson. Did you go to a senior prom?
Tyson Bradley 24:03
Thomas Scott 24:03
you did. How did you get a date to go to your senior prom?
Tyson Bradley 24:07
I asked them in a fun and creative way.
Thomas Scott 24:10
Okay, if you had not asked them, would they have gone with you to senior prom?
Tyson Bradley 24:14
No, they would not.
Thomas Scott 24:16
I know this is super silly. But it’s asking for the sale. And sometimes people just say No, that’s okay. Like you get turned down by if you got turned down by girls when you were out there fishing the ponds of dating this. That’s fine. st, you have to be okay with a couple of knows. You know, there’s a sports store retailer that I thought we were a great fit for with some of our chi backlines. We’re both small, both emerging. And the answer was no. And I was kind of offended because I’m like, people gave you the opportunity. So why are you not letting me have the opportunity? But that’s part of it. People say no people. I had a couple somewhere that was in California, we were trying to outfit her feet, we had like seven different kinds of sandals sent to her house. Only one of them worked for her feet. Of all the stuff I designed, right of all of the insoles and the, you know, all of this, you know, 3d printing different ways to fit people’s feet? And the answer was no, there was one. I got one date that was it.
Tyson Bradley 25:22
Thomas Scott 25:23
Anyway, so yeah, it’s just, it’s a matter of the clients, you just have to ask, you know, and it gets annoying, you know, don’t be one of those where you trick someone to your house to have an MLM meeting when it was your wife’s ex-boyfriend and you thought you’d maybe get on a good term with him and his wife. And next thing, you know, there’s an MLM, meeting and, and some random person in front of you trying to tell you that you should sell their product. And then your, your wife’s ex-boyfriend starts crying about how he wants us to support his family. And two and a half hours later, you’re finally cooking pizza rolls, right? Don’t do that just to sell. If it’s alright, I’d love to share something that those that listen would appreciate hearing. This is something that I teach. So obviously, yeah, steal it, that’s fine, you know, even whatever. But I talked about the four C’s of the customer catch, right. And especially when you’re online when you’re trying, to get someone and turn them into a customer. And that’s the Connect, convince, capture, and then convert in the time of social media. I mean, even if you’re looking at it from any perspective, right, we’re looking at the way human nature is, you don’t if you show up and someone pounds on your door and says you need to buy this barbed wire, no one’s gonna buys. It’s just it’s not there. In today’s world, the first in that first connection, why to work with this particular company, you talk about people who love their brands, their Apple, their Patagonia, you know, they love their Nike, they have a connection with that brand, for whatever reason, they have that connection, then you have to convince them to come to you, right, come to my site, come to my listing command see what I have you convince them to get there. So once you connect with them, you invite them over, right? Then you want to capture their attention. So you’ve already had that connection, but you want it you want to capture them in such a way that they’re like, okay, you have me, what do I need to do to be a customer, and then you walk them through the process to convert them. So those four C’s of that customer catch that idea, it’s not just given me the sales pitch, again, dating comes to mind a lot, because if you go on a first date, and I can joke about this here because this is, you know, the readers or the listeners are in this, if you want to first date and say, hey, guess what? You should marry me. It doesn’t go anywhere. I mean, if it does, there’s a big problem with the other person I feel like because if they’re willing to say yes to someone that you know that you go to the door, you get them in the car, you sit down, you’re like, I really, I love you. That person should probably open that car door and walk back to their house. And we treat sales like that so much we treat, you know, when we’re trying to convince people to come to us, it’s just, we sit down, we pick up that phone, and we’re like, Hi, this is Thomas from Chi back Outfitters, and I want to sell you stuff, hey, we should have a long term relationship together. And it never works that way. And the people you do get that way turn out to be miserable customers. But the ones that you connect to the ones that you work with the ones that you, you know, you convince to come over and hey, you know what, why don’t we go out to the movies together. And then eventually, you convert them into a customer, eventually, you have that relationship. And then for the next five, eight, ten years, they are loyal to you. They are an Apple fan, right? They love opening the iPhone box, and they’re like, oh, wow, I’m so glad I overpaid for this piece of plastic and machinery, you know because they get to open this intricate box. It’s his opening experience. Anyway. So yeah, there there was a tangent that we just ran off on.
Tyson Bradley 29:11
No, this is so good. Cuz, you know, it’s interesting, because when you talk about these, these four C’s, you know, one thing that I find has been, at least maybe not a challenge. But I like to think about it differently, like the convincing stage. Because convincing when I get into convincing energy. It’s almost like a grasping, like, you have to have this. And no one’s appeal to that. That’s the mall sales guy that you try and avoid.
Thomas Scott 29:45
Oh, yeah. Hey, no, this Hey, so
Tyson Bradley 29:47
let’s Hey, right, right, right. Instead of that, like when I think about convincing, you probably associate with this too, but it’s the alliteration works wonderfully.
Thomas Scott 29:58
We’re both C’s. Apparently, we both come up came up with see things, right.
Tyson Bradley 30:03
So, so when I think about convinces, like, you know, I think a lot of the connection, and a lot of what attracts people to you, is the ability to, you know, connect on a genuine level. It’s like, what is your story? Like, what’s the story behind mission shoe? And it’s that story that just says, oh, man, yeah, I don’t want to have three pairs of shoes go away in nine months, like, I want to have something that can last and it’s good and it’s good quality. It’s like, that’s what I think helps attract people is them knowing your story. And you also be able to share kind of the unique solution that you have to this pain point that they have, and help them to get to their happy ending, which is having a mission without having to worry about buying a bunch of shoes, or even just, and not only, it’s not just that like it is about me being able to walk and feel comfortable. If you’re going to do a lot of walking, having the right shoes can save your back can save your lace can save your feet, it goes beyond just having a shoe. I don’t know, what do you think?
Thomas Scott 31:14
Well, I mean, I’m on board with that distract from that is you’re, you’re talking about storytelling, and I have a buddy that I should probably pass it his way. I think it’d be fun to talk to him as well. But one of the things he talks about is as much as you don’t want to admit it. Every company is now a media company, Every company has to tell us a story, their story. Although that’s not always the case. I mean, what story does Walmart have? Right? You have your Sam Walton story, but it’s way beyond that. But yet, I can guarantee you that 99% of the listeners of this podcast have bought something from Walmart in the last 30 days. That’s just you have you and if you haven’t maybe it’s because you live in a different place that doesn’t have a Walmart and you have like, I don’t know Prady managed a or whatever prep to a manager or something anyway, but telling that story, especially as a small startup, you know, what makes you different. Something else I talked about is among things is we talked about spoons and how spoons had been around since ancient Egypt, right? But yet there are still companies that make spoons. And you have to say, Well, what makes your spoon bigger, better, faster, stronger, you know, to quote, The late Daft Punk since I decided to break up a couple of weeks ago, they but the idea of if you had to sell a spoon, why is your spoon better and if you just come across as a sterile my spoons better because it’s made of gold? No, If your spoon is better because it was forged in the hand-made oven that you made with your bare hands of clay and then hit it with a mallet and then cooled it and then gold plated it with gold that was mined from your bare hands in Montana. There now you have a story. That’s that is that’s a spoon worth buying? Because it’s cool now depends on the price point we’ve you know, we won’t go again that’s a story for another day is trying to how much do I charge for my product? But yeah, just the vision of what makes it better? why one of the biggest challenges that we’ve had, some of our sandals are me to the product. totally honest. Some of our shower sandals. They’re just they will fit your feet better than other people’s Well, maybe. Right. And then there are other products like our mission shoe, like our drifters that are like hey, this is how we designed it. This is what we did. This is what makes a difference on your feet. But telling that story is hard Tyson it’s it is hard because there’s so much noise. So many people want you I mean, just look at Tick Tock alone you have microseconds to capture someone’s attention before they just, it’s like media like Tinder is what it is. That’s like no, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, watch. No. That’s it. You have these seconds to capture the time to try and tell that story.
Tyson Bradley 34:19
No, I love that. Now, this is you know, maybe more down the road of your experience. But what would you say has been your biggest surprise about being a successful entrepreneur?
Thomas Scott 34:33
Oh, okay. the biggest surprise is that you never arrive. It’s you have to find joy in the journey. Cuz you never pull up to that train station. Every time you think you have it figured out. Something else pops up. Something else exists some other, you know COVID who would have thought that we would stop sending missionaries to foreign countries for a time, not the mission shoe guy. Who would have thought that when travel was at its absolute peak, that we were moving sandals to people that were going to Thailand and the Bahamas, and you know, the Pacific people going to Australia, that all stop, like fast? So when you think you never arrive, the challenge is as soon as you think that you’re a successful entrepreneur, I think that’s probably one of the biggest, and people will debate me on it other entrepreneurs well, and I, that’s fine. But I never feel like I have arrived at a position where I’m like, Well, here I am, you know, I think about when, if someone’s ladder climbing in a corporate environment, they always want to get higher, they always want to go one step further. But eventually, they get to a point where some people are comfortable where they are. And that’s where the career sets. And with entrepreneurship, if you’re comfortable, you’re probably in the wrong spot. And that’s, that has been something I’ve had to come to terms with in the last probably 12 months, 18 months, I was comfortable, had a nice check rolling in, things were good. And then there was this wrench, and all of that work I had done, I had to pivot I had to change, I had to modify our entire business model. Tyson, we have shower sandals and our vertical line that people use for going on trips, going to the gym, and going back to school. Guess what, three things didn’t happen last year,
Tyson Bradley 36:33
going on trips, and going back to school and
Thomas Scott 36:36
go into the gym, all the gyms are closed,
Tyson Bradley 36:38
going to the gym. Yeah,
Thomas Scott 36:40
you know, all of a sudden January, which is usually like a great month for a shower sandal lines. It wasn’t there. So yes, you never arrived, you’re always on the train. Sometimes the train is faster, sometimes the train is slower. Sometimes the scenery is good. Sometimes the scenery is boring. But if you just sit there reading a book, until you get to the train station, the train station is when you die. That’s it? Do you have to find joy in the roller coaster of entrepreneurship? If you went to Disneyland and got onto the roller coaster saying, great, when is it going to end? That’s not why you get on the roller coaster, you get on the roller coaster because you want to do things you want to see things you want to experience things. That’s entrepreneurship,
Tyson Bradley 37:24
you know, it kind of reminds me of getting on my first roller coaster. I was terrified. Oh, I think it was it was screaming California, California Adventure. And that ride, you get on and it’s like 54321. And it just launches us zero to 60. And you know, two seconds, and I close my eyes, like for the first 30 seconds. And I’m just like, holy cow, this is awesome. Like, this is super fun. So I, I’m with you, I think that there’s a piece here of recognizing that if you’re so focused on getting there, that idea of once I get there, then life will be happy. That’s you’re missing the mark. Because the point is to be happy. Now, the point is to enjoy the process of creating something amazing. And knowing that there is not better than here. Once you get money or once you get whatever you think there is, you don’t feel any different, you’re gonna probably feel the same. So you may as well just enjoy the process so that the whole thing is fun. But I don’t know, what would you tell kind of those, you know, the would-be entrepreneurs that you wish someone had told you?
Thomas Scott 38:39
I don’t know, I don’t know what to say to that one. I mean, just all this stuff up until now, I think that coming back to the very beginning as we come full circle to, to the beginning of the interview, when I said the power of just creation, we love creating things as children of God, we love creating things. Entrepreneurship is a space when you love those who love to create, but only if you want to use it as your vehicle. So this is something out. So I feel like there are two kinds of people that do work. There are ones that do it because it is their vehicle of success. And there are others that use it as fuel to power a vehicle of success. Let me explain. So if I being an entrepreneur and what I do, what I’m building here is my like, I feel accomplished when I do this. For many people that I know, they want to work the nine to five or the eight to five or the whatever you know so that they can earn the fuel to do what they love. Cave work isn’t what they love. They earn the money to get to put fuel in the tank to do the things that they love. And that’s okay. Like I think that’s something that people who get into want to get into entrepreneurship and then realize that it’s not for them. They feel kind of the sense of Guilt almost like I’m a failed entrepreneur, look for every Captain Picard, there has to be a Riker, for every Captain Kirk, there has to be a Spock. And if you are part of a small organization, and you are head over-engineering, it does not do not mean that you’re a failed entrepreneur because you’re not the captain of the ship. If you had a captain full of captains of the ship, nobody would go anywhere. So Little Star Trek reference. So for those of any way, let’s see, see, see if that goes over anyone’s head. But it’s okay. When it when it’s when you’re using your career to feel what you want to love. But for those of us that want to do what we love, and use it as the vehicle of what we want to do that it can be very rewarding, just to understand that it is a lot of work. It’s a lot of you know, you might have debt loads that you don’t appreciate or want, you might have customers that you hate, you might have, you know, firing employees, that’s never fun. Like, I don’t care who you are, unless you’re absolutely heartless. It’s never fun to hire somebody I had, I’ve had friends who had to fire people that were embezzling money from them, right. And if you’re working for Walmart, and you’re a cog in the system, and someone’s embezzling money, well, it’s time to remove that cog. When you’re in an office of five people. And someone that sees you every single day as embezzling money. It hurts, it hurts a lot. And, and so those are the things you go through as an entrepreneur. But roller coasters aren’t for everybody. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everybody. But for those of us who come to realize that it’s fun. Yeah, why not? If you go spend five grand on a razor, yeah, great, you’ll go have fun in the mountains for a while. It’ll be fun. 10 grand on a razor, or spend five grand buying a popcorn machine, and then running it at the local farmers market just to see if you can do it. So anyway,
Tyson Bradley 41:55
love that. Well, before I asked you this last question, anything else that you would want to share with our listeners that haven’t shared already?
Thomas Scott 42:03
I think I have spoken a sufficient amount this afternoon.
Tyson Bradley 42:09
Awesome. Okay, last question.
Thomas Scott 42:11
Are my vocal cords being dry? So
Tyson Bradley 42:15
question. So how has building a business, strengthen your relationship with Christ,
Thomas Scott 42:21
look, selling stuff, making money. That’s not what the Savior really cares much about in my opinion, it’s what you do in the process that matters. I think of the story of the five talents that came back and 10 talents and the son two talents to four, and the one that was buried, I even want to flip that on its head, the one that let’s say the one that got five talents buried him because he’s like, I can’t lose five talents, that’s too much money to lose. My relationship is sometimes very, it can be temperamental, it can be where I get a little frustrated, because why am I not being blessed with my five talents? You know, why am I not seeing the success of my friend or my colleague? or Why is my life, not them, and then you come back and you say, That’s the most prideful way to approach the situation. But I feel like being an entrepreneur affords me the ability to have the flexibility to go help. I’m helping somebody move on Friday at 4 pm. Right? I probably couldn’t do that. If I had an hour and a half commute. And I lived in a major city and I had to travel out to a suburb, it affords me the ability to go to my kid’s things when I let it because if I if again, with time you come down to the clock if you give the work priority, then you will miss your children’s lives. And you start seeing the parables of Christ in a different light, you start seeing stuff like when Christ tells Peter throw, you know, throw down your nets on the other side. And Peter’s like, that doesn’t make any sense. And sometimes I didn’t cast my net on the other side. And I realized why I should have and those are the lessons that I learned with my growing relationship that I have with Christ.
Tyson Bradley 44:15
Love that. Well, I appreciate you taking some time and sharing just your lesson. So thank you, Thomas. And we’ll hopefully connect soon. Another time.
Thomas Scott 44:26
Yeah, that sounds amazing. I’d love to connect again. Well, I appreciate being on the show. Yeah, I’m if you need anything else reach out Norma.
Tyson Bradley 44:34
I guess one thing that I forgot is if people want to learn more about you want to connect with you. What would you What do you send them? Oh, gosh, I don’t even have a thing. Well, I would say probably just shoot me an email as old school is that is I’ve been trying to be more accessible online. Being the owner of a company takes a lot of my time, but because you know i I love getting on the phone and I love helping people I love doing this obviously doing this takes time away from that and this and the other thing but yeah Thomas@kaiback.com KAI BACK Thomas@kaiback.com or Thomas@missionshoe that’s easy to remember Thomas@missionshoe.com and yeah Connect connecting those faces LinkedIn to LinkedIn. I’m actually very active on LinkedIn. Well, we can even scratch that probably the best way would be LinkedIn. Thomas Scott, owner of BRUSA distributing that’s the boring name of the conglomerate of all of my brands. But yeah, let’s, let’s connect let’s do cool things together. It’s Yeah,
Thomas Scott 45:38
its life is all about
Tyson Bradley 45:39
go buy a mission shoe, or some ski back stuff.
Thomas Scott 45:42
You should go buy it. Because if you go the next time you go to Walmart great, that executive gets another jet plane flight, you buy it, you buy someone from the small guy. That’s another dentist appointment. That’s another kid’s soccer game. Right?
Tyson Bradley 45:58
Thomas Scott 45:58
that’s the difference between those of us who are ground-level working, versus those who were at top level flying. So anyway,
Tyson Bradley 46:07
we love that. Awesome. Thank you so much, Thomas.
Thomas Scott 46:10
Take care. Appreciate it, man.
Tyson Bradley 46:12
Okay, we’ll talk to you later. All right, was that an awesome interview with Thomas, he has a great energy about him love what he shared. And some things that I want to highlight is when he talked about cliff jumping, he talked about this idea of standing at the edge and just jumping knowing that you have to, at some point, let go of the full-time business and commit to your own. Now, I, I, I went through my own journey. And there was a moment where I let go of the full-time business to pursue and go full time into my own business. And there were moments that I thought, you know, you might compare it to jumping, and you might compare it to being scary. But I also felt very reassuring. And I also felt very secure. Because I had made that transition in a way that it didn’t need to be scared that I was so confident in what I was able to create and knew that I would be able to build this business and to make it work and that it would provide for my family. So I want to make sure and as part of the path of honor program, I want to make sure and let you know that it doesn’t have to be this scary, jumping off the edge of a cliff kind of experience. And that part of the pillars and these are things that you know, in previous podcasts that you will see it and what we’ll keep talking about these pillars is that of one becoming a time Bender, you really understand how you can create the time to have the business because once you start on this journey, you’re going to need time to do the business. And as you get more clients, you’re going to need more time to be able to do the business now. The second pillar is that of becoming a connected coach. Now, this is all about you, understanding your mindset, and how to reprogram your brain to fulfill all your goals. And it’s also about understanding how you can help your clients and understanding how their brains work. So that you can help them accomplish their goals. Whatever your product or service is. When you understand your client’s mindset and their brain and their challenges. You can serve them better, you can take them farther than any other competitor out there. And the third piece is becoming a servant CEO learning this skill is imperative. It is about owning your story. It is about utilizing your values and being able to serve your customer and having that be your focus. Because when you or others-focused and you are constantly in service and giving value in a very specific way. They will be attracted to you. It’s the same thing that attracts you to any other entrepreneur that may attract you to me is because I am seeking ways to give value to you to help you take these steps and to help you do them in a way that is enjoyable and not a burden. And in a way that actually helps you create the results. So these pillars are imperative, they are so valuable. And when you have each in place, you will win. So I want you to go ahead and go to entrepreneurs of Christ. And you’ll be able to find the download or find the link to be able to schedule a time to meet with me. All right now, this discovery call will help you understand what’s involved, and we’ll help you particularly understand what’s in your way of making the business reality and making your dreams a reality. So check that out. Schedule a call with me, and we will talk to you soon. All right, check you later. Bye
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