#208 – 4 Degrees & 5 Businesses With Devin Miller

Thomas Green here with ethical marketing service on the episode today we have Devin Miller. Devin, welcome. Hey thanks for having me on and excited to be here. I’m excited to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do. Yeah, that’s probably a whole story in and of itself. So I’ll try to keep it at a more reasonable scope.

But so, um founder owner of Miller IP Law. So we do intellectual property, patents, trademarks, copyrights and focus on startups and small businesses start to rewind the journey just a bit, you know, so journey probably started a bit more in uh college and so I ended up getting four degrees, which my wife always jokes is three degrees too many. So um got electrical engineering degree, mandarin chinese degree, a law degree as well as an M. B. A. Degree or uh and so with those um you know kind of I always had to pass that I wanted or that that I found interesting. One was the startup and the small business side um and the other was the the legal sites, but specifically for intellectual property. So really throughout my career I’ve been kind of chasing both and pursuing both at the same time. So I started my first startup, that was what I was doing both the lottery in the N. B. A. Degree. Um That’s now an eight figure business and I still am involved with that business.

Um started a few other businesses since as well as pursuing full time legal career and continue to do that with the miller, I peel on and running the law firm. So I’ve been kind of always chasing both the entrepreneur side as well as the legal side. And then on top of that and the most important thing to me is the family. So I’ve been married for 14 years and the father of four, so when the oldest is 11, he’s my son and then three daughters Down or down to six years and age. So between all that Houston busy and make it makes life enjoyable. Thank you for the introduction um is impressive stuff. Um so which is why I said I did want to ask you about your story of the 4°, which one was the first one? So I always I always took the approach that if I’m going to get it, if I’m going to be in school and getting a degree I might as well do as much as I can while I’m there. So I always did dual degrees. And so when I was doing the undergraduate I did both chinese and electrical engineering at the same time. And then when I did the law degree in the N.

B. A. Degree I did both of those at the same time. So first two were chinese electrical engineering, second or seconds, that was MBA and law degree, Who inspired you to do that. So the first time you went to college you got 2°, what the what was the thought process there? And you know why why did you do that? Yeah, so undergraduates it’s an easier question. I don’t know I’m graduate school as much but no I do but uh the so when I was doing undergraduate, so I started out went to school, I went to Brigham Young University in Utah here in the US and uh I was really looking at doing electrical engineering. So I did start out an electrical engineering degree, did that for about a year and decided I wanted to go serve a religious mission for my church. And so I ended up um, after your first year of school, taking a break, going in serving a religious mission in Taiwan, which is uh, is chinese speaking, mandarin, chinese speaking. So I did that for two years, I went and served a religious mission and then when I came back and was picking up the electrical engineering degree, said, hey, well, if I already uh put in the time to start learning the language and then coming up to speed on that, why, when I add that as a second degree and so that’s where I added on that second degree was in chinese as I was also pursuing an electrical engineering.

And then on the second one, it was kind of, when I got to the end of Electrical engineering, I looked at it and said, well, you know, that was kind of was the main focus. I had chinese, but as far as career aspect, it was more always on the engineering side. And I got to the end of undergraduates said, well, you know, I like engineering, but I don’t want to be an engineer in the sense of the typical prospects for electrical engineering is going to be that you start out on the bottom of the rung your small cog in a big will you take 20 or 30 years of your career? You still, you work your way up and eventually you actually have maybe a bit of, say your influence on the projects you’re working on, but it’s a long haul and you’re oftentimes working on long projects for a long period of time. And I just said, you know, that isn’t what I want to do with my career. And so I was kind of trying to decide what I wanted to do from there and that was where I kind of had to pass that I was interested in. One was I always found the business side, startups, entrepreneurship interesting. On the other side, I also found the legal side specifically specifically with intellectual property and patents and trademarks and working with a lot of inventors and startups and small businesses also interesting.

And so I was kind of weighing those, I said, well I could do one or I could do the other and then I just said, why do I have to choose? Why don’t I just do both? So I went straight down the middle and decided I would get both of those degrees. And then as I pursued my career, I’ve always been doing both. So I’ve always had, you know what people call side hustle, I always call a second full time job, but I was always doing the full time attorney and then right alongside of that, I was always doing my other second business until I could get those up and going then when I started my own firm about three years ago, that’s when I kind of combined it all into a unitary or unified effort. Okay. And the electrical engineering, um, should we say the fact that you didn’t want to do it as a profession? Was that a realization of doing the course or was it you actually knew that in advance? Um, it was more towards the end of the degree when I kind of looked and started to look at the job prospects and kind of, what was the opportunities, what would I be doing? Who could have worked for? They were all good jobs that would have been good paying and I would have got a lot of good experience, but I’m just looking at the prospects about, you know, junior year, about a year out and saying, what do I want to do is I’m graduating and kind of, where do I want to go?

And I said, well I enjoy this stuff, I enjoyed the coursework. I, I find it interesting, but the job prospect is more of, I don’t know that I wanted to do that is, you know, kind of looking, what do I want to be when I grow up and said, I don’t know that I want to do that when I grow up and so what do I want to do? And it kind of gave me that? Well let’s, what are the other options and that’s when I started kind of saying, well, what else do I enjoy and how can I incorporate engineering into what I do or what I do? And so most of the startups I’ve done have been on, have an engineering slant and technology slant, not all of them, but a lot of them and same thing on the legal side with intellectual property, a lot of the patents I work on are going to be electrical and software related and other things. And so I get to leverage a lot of that. And yet it kind of provided a career path. So I was kind of figuring that out, I said, well, this provides me with the career path that I want and that’s kind of what I see myself doing in the future, while still leveraging the degree in the background that I enjoyed. So you get out of college or university day one, what happens uh, undergraduate or graduate, should we say, after I’ve completed your qualifications?

Fair enough. I was just trying to think, you know, what college could be of an undergraduate at the easy answers. I went off to law school, NBA school. Um No, so as I was coming out of, so I was wrapping up and I said, as I mentioned, was doing that, I did a law degree in the NBA at the same time. Um and so I had, you know, during, while I was doing the law degree in the N. B. A degree, I had, I’ve always been working as a law clerk or working as a law student and a couple of different law firms and so I garnered experience there. So I was, you know at that time as I was coming out graduating, I had, I had been married, I was married, I had a two year old, I had a toddler or a new board. Um I have been working 20 hours as a law clerk and then I’d also done my first startup and that was all going and so as I was coming out I was looking at okay probably to start out with my career at least on the legal side I need to do or have some additional um experience and feedback in other words I didn’t feel like I was ready to just jump in and try and start doing my own law firm or do my own law practice, I wanted to get some good experience, best practices and kind of get some good understanding so that was going to go work for someone else for a period of time and so I was applying for different jobs and um I was applying and I went to law school in Cleveland Ohio, so I was looking around there, I was more interested in going back to where all my family was and where I was raised in Utah but I was also looking across the country so at that time I had a job offer and I just would just about accepted in texas and so we were planning on going to texas at the last minute, a law firm that I had applied for and connected up with in Utah said, hey, we’d like to make an offer for you and said, great, I want to come back to Utah make me an offer now made it so that I still, I didn’t, I didn’t just jump out and say whatever you want to pay me.

So they still are still negotiated, but I got a job offer. So I started working as a law and the law firm here in Utah. Um, it was a mid sized law firm and at the same time, I also started my first startup. And so that was one where I started out as a business competition as I was graduating, I bought out the other partners or the other people, the teammates and the in the competition. So I owned it outright. And uh, I was working on that nights, weekends, evenings and I also had my father and one other individual that it also showed interest, expense interest. And so we’re all kind of bootstrapping that and so fast forward a little bit three. I worked for the law firm. I was at there for about three years the same time, I took the startup that we were bootstrapping. We got an investor in the invested seven figures. We were getting that up and running running those full full time. Um I switched over to a bigger law firm. Um It was, it was a Fortune 100 law firms. Am law 100 law firms, so pretty large law firm.

Um and got it continued to get experience there, continued to build the original startup, did one additional startup and then that was kind of the start of my career, which I can kind of continue to work for other law firms and also pursue a couple different startups on the side as well up until about, you know, for seven years of my career until I decided to make the jump and do my own law firm, Thank you for the for the description, I feel like in the description I missed a whole lot of detail that I need to get back, but I was like, I really need to ask you about the fact that you did a startup during your studies because like, that’s a really interesting thing, but then I kept saying, okay, I really need to ask about that, right, I need to ask about that. So we’re gonna start off with just that that question, what what was the business that you started up in when you were studying and why did you choose that one? Yeah, so I looked back and I look back and say it was probably crazy because I didn’t really have the time and I didn’t really, I don’t know that I intended to do it as much as a startup and I just thought it sounded like fun, so kind of setting the stage and I kind of mentioned it briefly.

So at the time I was, I was a junior or it was a four year program. So between when you do a lot of green, an M. B. A degree, normally if you did them separately would be five years where you condense them, it goes down to four years. And so I was in the third of the 40 year program and at the time I said I had a two year old, had a newborn, um was working 20 hours as a law clerk, earning both degrees and as if I wasn’t busy enough, I saw and I can’t remember as an email or a flyer, but it was basically saying, hey, there’s a business competition where you come to the introductory meeting, it’s a multidisciplinary competition. So you have engineers and you have attorneys and you have designers and you have all these different types of degrees. You form a group, you figure out an idea you entered in the competition, you can win a little prize money said, well that sounds kind of fun, why not let’s go try it out and do it. And so I went to the meeting, met three other people or teams were typically in groups of four or five, so um that three other people that didn’t have anybody on their group either, we formed a group and the first year we entered in, um, an idea that was to make make gym bags less smelling, so in other words, to make them less stinky, it was kind of a fun idea.

We pursued it, entered in the competition, didn’t really think, I don’t think it had any where it wasn’t really gonna go, anywhere wasn’t really practical as far as in the marketplace, but we took second place and had fun, got a little bit of prize money and when I went out from there, the next year that it came back and we’re all, we’re all juniors during the third of a four year, different four year programs at the time. So we all came back and said, hey, we had fun last time, do we all want to get together and enter in the competition again? They all said, yeah, that sounds like fun. And then we said, well did we like our idea from last year and we want to continue on? And I said, no, not really, that’s kind of, you know, it was a fun idea, but why don’t we pursue something else new and different? And so we were kind of brainstorming, coming up with different ideas and we had some really dumb and stupid ideas, like self packing boxes and other things that would have just never worked. But, but I remember as we were kind of brainstorming and after one after brainstorming session as I was walking home. And at the time I got into running marathons and I still love to run and run about nine miles every morning still. But at the time I got my first marathon, one of the things I did horribly was I didn’t stay hydrated, hydrated as well.

In other words, I was trying to get my faster time and I didn’t want to stop the hydration station so I didn’t drink as much as I should, which was looking back with another stupid idea, but at the time, so I said, you know, wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a watch that would be able to tell your hydration levels. And this was way before the days of Fitbit, It was before the days of Apple watch or any other wearables out there. And so I said that would be kind of nice to be able to have a watch that told you, hey, do I need to hydrate? You know, my going in the high dehydration direction. So I said that would be kind of a fun idea, went back pitched it to the group and they said, oh yeah, that sounds like a great idea now, how are we gonna build it? And so my father at the time and he’s also an electrical engineer and he had a lot of experience in medical devices. So I kind of called him up and said, hey, I got an idea, we’re looking to figure out how we can monitor hydration on the wrist or you know, we’re using a watch, any ideas on how you do that? It’s got a couple of ideas. And so I was getting right around christmas time at that point. So he said, why don’t you come home over christmas break? We’ll build up or well, testing things out, build up a prototype and you can try and go back to Cleveland and do that.

And so sure enough, came home over christmas break, we put together a very rough prototype. Um kind of tweaked it back and forth a little bit, went back to school in Cleveland Ohio and started testing it out. And sure enough, while it wasn’t perfect, it showed promising signs. So we developed that for the rest of the year, entered in the business competition took second place again, although I think we should have taken first. Um, but it was a bittersweet with, but at the end of that I said, okay, you know, I think this is a good idea, I think it has actual market potential that could go somewhere. And yeah, we were all graduating, we’d all had plans to go different directions. We all have different careers and so I said, I don’t think that’s a good way that we’re going to have a successful company, how about I take the, winning my winnings from um, the business competition and just by you guys out. So basically I said rather than me getting the winnings, you guys can have them and instead of instead of the money I’ll just take ownership of all of the project and have full rights to it, they said great we’ll get some money and I continued to pursue on. So that was the 1st, 1st business that I started when I was in NBA school and then I said I continued on for that for several years after um, it went through some and bootstrapping then had investors and then had a emerged with another company that was actually doing diabetes monitoring.

So we leveraged a lot of the technology we had originally been using for hydration monitoring to go for a much bigger market market which is diabetes. And so that one is still in process there. They saw that businesses now soft launch they’ve on boarded clients or customers and they should have more of the full product launching in about a year or so. So how long ago was that that you, you came up with that idea that would be about 11 years ago, something like that. Okay, so you know in some sense it’s still going still still operating and the other there’s still part of the company still have ownership in it. I’m a bit more passive as as I still have ownership but I don’t, I’m not quite as active as on on some of the aspects of it companies up and going is now in a figure business and continuing to launch product and gain traction. So it’s it’s fun to see continuing continuing to mature. Yeah. Well congratulations on taking something which was just an idea to all the way through to what it is today regarding the other businesses.

The first question is, how many other businesses have you been in? And what was the next one after the one we just talked about. Yeah so the next one. So I guess of how many businesses I’ve been in. So if I just anything that I would count the business I’ve been in is anything that I founded co founded her owner and owned. Um so that 1 C123 if you count the law firm, I think it’s been five. Um So the next one after that was it was the next one was kind of more of just a fun business. And so it’s actually a friend that it was starting it and then I joined quickly after and became part of the founding team which it was just kind of a fun religious products. And so um for I’m a member of the church of jesus christ of Latter day Saints, otherwise nicknamed mormons. And one of the things that was just kind of it was just kind of a small niche kind of fun religious product. It wasn’t a necessity. That was kind of one of those where it has some of the um uses that within the, the religious religious aspect. And so we said, hey, we can make this easier for people to be able to give some blessings and do some other things.

So we started that this kind of as a fun, fun kind of small business that was still going today. Um, it’s actually my favorite business and not because it makes the most money, it probably makes the least amount of money, but so I, I ended up buying out the partners and I’m full owner of it. But why is my favorite businesses? Because I’ve now have been able to hire my kids to do it. And so um, they are always, you know, it’s one of those where it’s fun my, I have my office space here or the law firm and some of the other businesses and my son that’s 11, he loves to work and has a little bit of spending money and so he actually gets to come in and do something there about once a week after school, he’ll come in for a couple hours, get to work and get to earn some money and actually contribute and learn the value of having your own business and, and working hard and earning money. And so that was kind of my favorite business because it’s a small business that makes probably 20, a year, something like that. Um, so it’s not a huge business on the other hand, it’s one where I get to work with my son in the business, which is more rewarding than some of the other businesses has been bigger, so that’s probably my favorite and that would be the next business I started after as I was also pursuing the bigger business with the wearables.

Yeah, if there’s, if there’s any particular business where you get to spend more time with your family, that’s the one that you want to, should we say focus on or grow right, but before I asked you about the next three, um why do you do it? You know, I don’t know if I have a great answer in the sense, you know, it’s kind of one of those is that, and you know, if you’re born with it, do you grow into it as a kind of happenstance, And for me it’s probably all the little bit of the above and since, you know, I, I don’t know that I can pinpoint there was something that just innately, I, all of a sudden had woke up one day and decide that I want to be an entrepreneur, I wanted to do startups or small businesses or wanted to pursue any of these, it just kind of one that just naturally as I was figuring out what I wanna do, what I enjoyed, this was what I tended to gravitate towards and then, you know, kind of as I started doing them, then I found out that I enjoyed them. Love them. And I find that, you know, the joke is is you know, when everybody, anybody asked me what my hobby is is usually start ups and the reason I say that is usually if I’m sitting there and I have free time or if I’m doing yard work or doing something where I don’t have to expend a lot of mental energy as I’m performing the task.

My thoughts is generally wandered towards start ups and new businesses and new ideas and how to pursue things and how to grow things and how to market things and all that and that’s just kind of where my thoughts naturally go and so I think it’s more out of a sense of enjoyment and excitement and and and like loving to do it, but I just naturally continued down that pathway of, you know, and when I find an opportunity, that’s something that excites me that I think that I could do something with that combines well with the other efforts that I’m doing than it just tends to naturally fold in and I just find a way to fit it in and and continue to pursue it. So I don’t know if there’s any better overriding reason other than I just tend to, I started, I tried it out and found that I enjoyed it and continue to do it ever since. Yeah, enjoy it. What what people refer to as the passion, right? You say it’s startups, are your passion? Is that fair? Yep. Absolutely, And the next one, the next business? The 3rd 1, yeah, so I would say the next three have all kind of been a joining of different efforts and so the next one would have been the law firm, which is what I’m doing now.

So Miller I p loss started that about three years ago, so I had been doing, I’ve worked for a couple of the law firms as I mentioned before And what I found is one is that when he was working for other law firms that you have a diminished, you know, there’s really one path that generally goes is a law firm, you work for them for a long enough period of time and you either make partner or most of the time you grow out of the law firm and eventually let you go or they kind of put you to the side and so and so I said, okay, you know, do I want to be partner? Is that something I want to do when I was working for a big law firm well respected, I was working for clients including amazon and intel and red hat and ford and others, so certainly name recognizable clients. And yet on the other hand, I was saying, you know, one is, do I like working for this client? Well they’re they’re cool clients, but I much I have a much smaller impact or be able to have guidance or direction or insight or be able to, you know, be more involved with the business. And so with that I was kind of stepping back and saying, you know, if I’m looking and saying the law is going to be a big part of my career, where where do I see myself going?

And I said what and what are the clients like and what are the type of work that I like And really I found that I gravitated right back to hey, the clients that I find fun and exciting that I love to work with tend to be the startups and the small businesses, they’re more fun. You get to have more strategy with them, you have more impact. They have kind of new and innovative and different technologies and it’s kind of hey, this is a one shot, we’re gonna shoot for the moon and hopefully we make it. And those are just the ones that I had fun. And so I said the law firms I’m working on now, they’re not focused on those type of clientele and not only are they not focused on it, they’re not set up to really handle them. And so I said, you know, they’re too expensive for most startups and small businesses, they really don’t take good care startups and small businesses because they’re focused on the larger clients and not only that, I don’t have the ability to really Set myself up to in a direction or two, be able to handle those clients because you’re you’re working with a much larger law firm, a lot of employees, a lot of people that are managing owners and everything else. And so you only have a very small control over what you can do beyond the work that they’re hiring you to do, which I get and understand.

So with all of that I said, you know what I’d really love to do is simply just go and be able to start my own thing and be able to set it up in a way that I can have better do the dual off from the way that I think it should be done. And that includes you know, and I usually one I’m ever doing or doing the law practice, I always ask, you know, are we doing am I doing this? Because that’s the way that it’s always been on legal field because it because it makes sense to me about half the time, it’s because it actually makes sense to me the other half of the time it’s that’s because it’s the way it’s always been done and if it’s the other half of that’s the way it’s always been done, then I always looked at as an opportunity to do it better or differently. And that includes how we do pricing and how we do client intake and how we do managing relationships and how we leverage automation and how we do a lot of things differently. And so that was kind of the genesis for saying you know what I was looking at what kind of clients do I want to look at or work with kind of what or what do I want to be able to captain my own ship, be able to make my own directions, implement new programs approach things differently. All of that kind of came into what I really need to do is start my own law firm because that will be here put me in the direction I want to go.

And so about three years ago as I was working for other law firms doing the other couple startups and I said you know and I think it’s reached a point where I feel like I have enough experience enough ability to go out on my own and also have you know understanding how to do client generation and and get business and do all that. I decided to branch out on my own and start my own law firm. So that was kind of the third business that I went went after was to do my own law firm. And it also made it nice because I was also kind of feeling like I was getting stretched in a couple of directions the more I was with another law firm, the more I was having to do that and I couldn’t it was becoming kind of a conflict with pursuing some of the other entrepreneurial endeavors. And if I could start my own law firm then it gives me more of the flexibility. One week I can completely focus on the law firm the next week I can you know largely focused on some of these other startups and small businesses that I’m pursuing or the next day or the next hour. And it gave me that flexibility that is wanting to pursue so that I could chase after all the passions at the same time. So that was the third business and then doing there and started up the law firm and enjoying it ever since. And um you specialize in intellectual property.

Is that right? Yeah. So we specialize intellectual property to focus on startups and small businesses. So we do patents, trademarks, copyrights, we’ll do some other business related loss. So LLC formations N. D. A. S. Independent contractor agreements and those types of things. But yeah it was primarily focused on intellectual property. So if someone was to say you know, tell me about that business like meaning I have no background in in that business at all. What would you say to them? Yeah I mean it’s really focused on helping startups and small businesses capture their intellectual property now, intellectual property kind of is to help people kind of conceptualize you think about it? The easy thing to think about when you’re thinking about property is real, a real property, right? So you can own a house, you can own a car, you can own a, you know, a smartphone or anything you own that is your physical tangible product. Now, what’s difficult when you get into business is a lot of times what it what you have is less tangible products. So if you think of a brand, a brand isn’t something that you can hold in your hand, but yet it’s very valuable and you can actually develop it and it’s an asset of the business and you think of Pepsi and coke and Nike and Apple and Samsung and all of those big businesses.

Oh, a lot of what their value is is in the brand. And so how do you leverage that and how do you protect it? Same thing with an invention. If you’re to create the world’s next best invention, A lot of what goes into it is going to be the R. And D. The research and development, the time and effort, The blood sweat and tears of figuring out how to make it because once you make it, it’s kind of like the magic trick and everybody can, once it’s out of the marketplace, you see that you know how the magistrate works, it’s easy to reproduce. And yet it’s very hard to come up with in the first place. And that’s kind of the same thing with inventions is once you figure it out and you put it out in marketplace, people can reverse engineer and figure out how it works and replicate them. So with intellectual property is really how do you go about protecting those kind of intellectual intangible aspects of your brand, of, all the of your inventions, of your creatives and all of those things and that’s where the intellectual property comes in is really looking towards hey one is how do we protect it, how do we fend people off from knocking it off and then how do we create this as an asset of your company, that’s investable, license, double sellable and those type of things and that’s where intellectual property steps in and that’s why businesses of all sides including startups and small businesses are leveraging it as a way to fold that in to increase the value of their business and and further give them that competitive edge.

Any misconceptions that are common in what you do. Um Now that’s a that’s a whole long, that would be uh several hours at a co op on that one. I mean some of the bigger misconception, I think one of the bigger misconceptions in the legal industry in general and certainly holds true intellectual property is everyone with the advent of the internet and with Youtube and with everything else because everybody thinks that they can be an expert at everything and so, you know, that includes the legal aspect and so, you know, people come to the, hey I can d I y this, I can do this myself, I can go watch a five minute Youtube video and I’m just, just, you know, just his experience as an attorney, but that’s been doing it for 10 years because the Youtube video told me so, and so I think where people are trying to grab or grasp is is you don’t understand the difference in value of watching the five minute video and trying to do the step by step versus have someone else experience and be able to do that. And it’s easier if you’re saying, hey, I wouldn’t go into, you know, I’m not going to perform a surgery on myself and try to be my own doctor, I probably not gonna try and go build my own house because it’s not going to turn out well.

But when you get to some of those that are less tangible legal aspects of some of the other things that they put up on videos and D I y than that is, you don’t understand the difference in value. And the easiest way, I tend to explain it is, you know, let’s say you had a, you’re out in the out in the middle of nowhere and you have a need for a shelter, shelter over your head. Well, if you had a tent with you, even if you had no instructions, you could go and figure out how to build a tent. And that’s kind of the, you know, you could put up a tent of time and effort, you could do that, that would be kind of if you did it all on your own without any help. If you want to watch Youtube, I’m sure there are videos out there of how to build your own home home home home on Youtube and you can go and build it is probably a bit better and shelter than it would be attending. You put up but only a little bit better. Or you can go and hire a builder, someone that has experience that knows how to do electrical and how to do plumbing and how to do in a C and how to make a roof that doesn’t leak and put up all the amenities and put up the flooring and all that. And that’s a lot of the same thing with an attorney and yet it’s kind of one where there’s a lot of time to disconnect and people think well, you know, it’s much the same as if you were to try and go build your own house and watch Youtube, how would it turn out the same thing with a lot of legal aspects?

Could you go watch a Youtube video, could you probably get something in place? Yeah. Is it gonna be the same level experience and it’s gonna be the same level as a nice house. If you’re paying ability to do probably not. So that’s probably across the all the legal industries including intellectual property, I think where the legal industry, as you’ve had the advent of Legalzoom and D. I. Y stuff and Youtube and all that is how you help people understand that while they’re all those other options and sometimes that’s the best you can do and that’s all you can afford. There are, there are drawbacks and there are reasons why it doesn’t make sense to always pursue those. Thank you for that. How have you found juggling Therese a family life with how active you are in business and entrepreneurship, um, better than I used to be? So, I mean at the start of my career it was one where I tended to focus probably too, I don’t know, probably the answer is I focus too much on work and it was usually, you know, I think it is a issue that most if you’re an entrepreneur minded love startups or small businesses, you tend to one, you tend to enjoy and so you just tend to put in a lot of hours, but to, with a business there’s always, are always fires to be put out.

In other words, you’re always, you’re having things that need or the need and quote your immediate attention today. And so you’re always saying, well I just, I just need to get, there’s just one thing done. I just need to get past this week or this month or this one’s just extra busy and yet you always have something that’s going to pull out your attention, that’s always going to be that thing that is the fire that you have to put out today this immediate and you tend to kind of put the family on the backbone and so I was guilty of that, you know, and not completely didn’t just disregard my family, but I didn’t give them as much attention as I think they deserve earlier on in my career because it took me a period of time to really figure out, you know, for me, it was basically the coming to the realization there’s always gonna be fires to put out every single day of the business and I’m gonna, when I get into work and get into the office, I’m going to put out as many fires as I can and get as much as I can done and work as hard as I can. But at the end of the day, once, once I’m done and I’m going home, I need to be home, I need to be not trying to pull out the computer again, not to responding to clients, not taking calls, I’m not doing other things will be there and focus with the family.

And so as I started out earlier in my career, it was way too heavily weighted towards trying to put out the fires and always dealing with the next problem rather than focusing on family and now it’s a much better balanced where if I’m at work, I work as hard as I can. I always, you know, I eat lunch at my desk cause I’m working throughout the day and I don’t take a lot of lunch breaks and I want to get as much done as I can because I love and enjoy it. But then when their time comes around and it’s time to go home and be with the family and I say, okay unless the building is burning down and this is absolutely necessary so that the company doesn’t go under, he’ll be here tomorrow and I’ll come back and so it’s one of those where I think for the first five or six years of my career I was, I lacked on it. And then I started to have that realization. I made the pivot in the ship and I think there’s a much better balance now. Have you got any thoughts on work ethic? Um simple work hard. I mean I think that it really is about as simple as that. You know, I think that there, I don’t think that hard work is the only thing that’s gonna make you successful and I think that, you know, it’s not all talent and it’s not all hard work but hard work and make up for a lot of lack of talent and you know, talent because you can’t make up for that much hard work.

In other words, you can be the smartest person in the room and if you don’t work hard, I don’t think you’re gonna be successful vice versa, you may not be the smartest person in the room, but if you put in the time and effort you can make up for a lot of your shortcomings. And so I think that work ethic is one where I don’t know if it’s, you know, I think it’s part of ingrained you’re born with it, but also a lot of times I think as parents and that’s why I said my favorite businesses, my ability to work with my son because now and I also have all, all of my kids will come in on saturday, they help clean the office. I don’t hire a professional staff and I’m sure that they would be a little bit cleaner and a little bit nicer, it still looks good, don’t worry. Our, our our offices are any by any means dot dies, but it’s an opportunity for the kids again to learn to work. And so for me, I think that you have to give your kids the opportunity and exposure to being working and make that tie in association with, I work hard, I will get paid if I get paid, I can make the error, I can buy the things that I want and I can have the lifestyle that I want and not that money is the only thing, but I think that you need to do that and and it’s not only I think in the workplace like, you know, we do yard work and we, we go out and my kids see me working in the yard every saturday and we don’t hire people out, we don’t have somebody come to the lawn, we do it ourselves and we have, you know, a bit of land and we, we make the kids work on the land and they have to have, they have projects and things I do and I think that the more people work hard and just get that, the better off they are.

So like as a snapshot of let’s say what you’ve achieved and how hard you work. I say, you know, you said you got 4°, you’ve done five businesses. Um, you know, big family. Um, I think people would think, you know, this guy works really hard and some people might say too hard. So what do you make of the the new sort of, you know, we shouldn’t be working too hard. Should we say message or the more you should more focus on life balance than than work? What do you make of that message? It’s not for me. I mean I think that if you look at it, the overall message is people are miserable, they’re unhappy, they’re tired. They don’t want to do the things which in that case figure out what makes what makes you happy to do and I don’t always think it’s the more trips, I don’t always think it’s a nicer house or the better vehicles or the always working from home or all of those things and I think that what they’re finding if you’re to go out and I find it interesting topics so I tend to like to read the studies and kind of working from home, it hasn’t made people happy, even having more money, hasn’t made people happy, even having better things or more vacations and it gives you kind of that temporarily temporary happiness when you go on the vacation.

Yeah, it’s fun to go on vacation. You have a week or two off and then you’re right back to where you’re at before the vacation and it’s really, I think that where people are getting a misconception is that work is a bad thing. Your work isn’t fun or work can’t be something that you enjoy now don’t get me wrong, I, I don’t have not every day in my life is blissful that it’s not everyday that I come into work that I just excited and love doing work but the vast majority of them are and so you know, I think that I found that a lot of times workers, you know work and family and doing all the things that I listened and having, you know doing startups and doing my own business and and having kids and having a family, people look at and say, oh that keeps you busy and that’s a lot of work and when you relax and I say, why do I need to relax if I enjoy them? Probably having a good time and life is happy. I don’t need to relax because I am relaxed. I am doing the things that I enjoy and I think that’s where there’s kind of been that shift in, well families are just going to be work and I, you know, you see all the television shows and having kids is miserable and everybody complains and yeah, it’s fun. I love being with my kids.

I have a daddy daughter dance after work today where I’m gonna go with the three of all three of my girls to the elementary school, we’re gonna have a 19 fifties dancing. I’m not a big dancer so I’m not excited about the dance part, but I am excited about going and doing that for my friday night evening with or with my daughters after work because it’s fun and enjoyable. I like being with my daughters and so whereas a lot of times people got the conception, hey family is going to be a burden. It’s going to be expensive. You’re gonna have to spend a lot of time and you’re not gonna be able to, you’re gonna be strapped down and and those are things that I think that it’s just, it’s a wrong conception and yet people have been so ingrained that it’s one where they don’t understand that just because you’re doing these things doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoyment. And a lot of times it’s a lot more fun and enjoyable and it gives your life purpose rather than the next car, the next vacation. And the next thing that’s a fleeting your temporary happiness rather rather than something that’s long term and sustainable. Great answer and comes back to what you said initially about what you enjoy doing and what your passion is. And I often refer to it as like holidays. So you know, why do I need a holiday when I enjoy my life?

So did you want to mention your other two businesses at all? Yeah. So a couple other businesses. So the next one that we’ve done and so the last to have kind of grown out of um, the law firm or I guess more of the purpose or mission of the release for me of helping startups and small businesses. So the next one that is that was growing out and this one has been about a year old and so it’s a bit newer is we do a web development and web design business and now is really more out of that we’re looking to, how do we help startups and small businesses when they’re getting going well, we certainly have the intellectual property so they can come get a patent or trademark or other things. But a lot of times they also are needing help and getting a web presence as we shipped more to online, especially with Covid. But even really before Covid And I’m sure way after Covid, because I’m tired of hearing about Covid, there is still the need to have that online presence and that have that ability for people to find out about you in the shop and do those things. And so we really were saying, how do we expand out and help the startups and small businesses beyond just the legal aspect. And one of the things that they often need earlier on is that they’re going to need a website and they’re going to need web development and so how do they go about doing that?

So we kind of branched out. We started a firm, it’s called Action Design um designed with a D um that is really, it’s grown out of the law firm, so we split it out as a separate business, but it really kind of goes hand in hand with the, with the law firm is it’s really expanding the mission of helping startups and small businesses. Um The next one is, I’ll tease out there, but it’s just getting ready to launch and so it hasn’t actually launched out there, which is a different law firm that is basically helping people to find legal loopholes in the law. And so one of the things that people are often looking for is they don’t want to go spend an exorbitant amount of money on an attorney, they don’t want to have to go and do not leave any lawsuits, they just want to be able to say, hey, what is the ways that I can get this done without having to go in and go through the court system and get tied up. What are the legal loopholes? Not illegal, not promoting doing anything illegal, But what are the ways that you can have a legal loophole? So last one where it’s a fun one that there were just building it out, getting ready to launch. It hasn’t gone live yet, but that will be one of the other ones that will be the fifth business that has been working on as well.

Do you feel like you deserve a little bit of a high five? You know, I’ll take a hi five when anybody wants to give me one. I don’t know that I feel like I deserve it any more than anybody else, but if anybody wants to give me a high five or anybody wants a high five, I’m happy to give him one. So, um, what’s next for you? What your, what your goals, you know, I think on, it’s probably on the business side is continuing to just pursue the brand or the things that I’m passionate about and where I’ve really found at least for the time being and where I continue to expand out as mission is really to help startups and small businesses, both the startups and small businesses I like to do, but also in a broader sense helping other startups and small businesses and so with that we’ve really, I’ve really been looking at identifying the different areas that we can expand out that mission and that can be with web development, that can be with additional legal services. We also have as part of the law firm, D. I. Y. Legal services, so we can help to have better options for people that can’t afford attorneys, that’s gonna be kind of on the business side. On the more personal side, you know, the thing that I’ve been excited about and passionate about is so my wife and I um we acquired some land, we have about 20 acres that are that we are getting ready to build on.

I haven’t done it yet, We uh but we’re getting ready and one of the things we want to do is to, I love orchards, I love trees, and I love fruit trees in particular, and so I’m excited and that’s going to be one of the next projects that I have planned out in about a year, is within about the next year, we’re gonna, I’m gonna start doing a fruit orchard, it’s on the on the land that we have as well as we’re getting ready to build a house and my goal is to have 100 fruit trees. And so that’s one of the kind of, not necessarily, I don’t know that I’m ever gonna probably make a business out of it, but I think it just really sounds fun and so I want to go and do a fruit orchard. Um it’s not a real orchard, it’s not a big one, it’s not like we’re gonna be doing anything with it just for me, it’s fun as a hobby, but that would be kind of it. So on the business side continuing to expand out and help more startups and small businesses on the personal side and continue to be a good husband and father. And on the personal enjoyment side I’m gonna go go plant my 100 trees. Well, thank you for sharing what you, what you’ve done previously and what you intend to do. I think it’s it’s amazing what you’ve gotten done. So congratulations.

Would you say you’re a successful individual? Yeah, I would say I’m continuing to get closer to success, but I don’t define success by business. And so I think a lot of times the thing that people trying to find their success by is there, how much money’s in the bank account, how big their businesses are, how much employees? Great. That’s all great metrics if they want to measure them by, for me, success is at the end of the day have I been a good husband and having been a good father and that one is a continual process and until the, until the kids are out of the house, they’re all, they’re all their successes on their own. I don’t think I have reached success, but I’m heading, I’m striving as as much as I can in that direction. I I feel like I’m making progress even though I’m far from perfect on it. So I don’t know that I attained success, but I’m at least making good progress towards it. That’s a great way to define success. So, um and I also think it’s very, very valuable to define your, your own version of what success is. Is there anything I should have asked you about today? Oh, we can talk about things for a long period time. We never got into politics, which I enjoy.

We never got into all the legal or illegal, different cases that are out there that I enjoyed. We could talk about. One of my favorite pastimes is I have and it’s an actual, just the podcast we’re getting ready to launch. We already have one podcast which is the inventive journey. This one just kind of a fun one. I love to do great idea, terrible idea where I throw out an idea that I usually have more ideas that I’m never going to pursue. And so myself and now we’re having guests on the podcast, which is great idea, terrible idea, which we spend a couple minutes say, here’s a crazy idea I’ve always wanted to pursue and then you actually engage the audience and people vote on it and they think about whether that’s a good idea what they can pursue what the feedback is and this kind of so we can talk about things for as long as you wanted. But no, we we’ve covered a pretty good, pretty good landscape and I think it’s been an awesome conversation. So I think while there’s always more things to talk about, it’s been a great conversation. Well, there’s a special mention for your, for your podcast as well, because how many episodes are you on now? I have had two were right around 400, I think we just crossed the 400, mark not too long ago. So we’ve been doing it for a little over two years and it’s been a fun thing.

It’s again, it’s kind of help retail the journeys of how much they are similar to this podcast. We tell the journeys of how people got to where they’re actually interviewing founders, co founders, startups, and small businesses. And that one is just really from the idea of one is to help everybody understand there isn’t one right journey, everybody, it’s not like television and books and the movies where everything is perfect and you have an idea and the next day you’re a millionaire and you don’t, you only have to work two hours a week and and their life is wonderful. There’s a lot more to it. And that’s not how reality is. And so I started the podcast really more is to help the startup startup, and small business community people to be able to promote their or promote their journeys, promote their stories, promote their business, but also just for those that are looking to say, hey, how do I actually get to be an entrepreneur and, and or entrepreneur do my own thing and it’s kind of, hey, here’s a lot of different ways that people got to doing it. So I love doing it. It’s called the Inventive Journey we’ve done now over 400 episodes and and we’re expanding out there continuing to expand on that front because this is something I love and enjoy. I think for most people doing 400 episodes in a podcast is going to keep them busy enough, let alone all the other stuff you deal with.

So well done, congratulations on all that. Have you got any closing thoughts for us today? Um no, I think that probably just reiterating what or what I’ve already said, which is find the joy in what you’re doing and I think that, you know, now I’ll caveat with the proverbial thing that people say that I absolutely disagree with, that just find your passion and pursue it and you’ll never work a day in your life well, you have to find a passion that people who are willing to pay you for just because you enjoy it and love something doesn’t mean people are gonna pay for you in the marketplace and doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful at it. But if you can find that mixture between something you’re passionate and enjoy and people want to pay you for and it’s what I wanted in the marketplace. That’s going to make it for a fun and exciting journey. So find the passion that people are going to pay you for and then go after and pursue it. I enjoy sitting on the couch and eating pizza, but I have yet to find someone who’s willing to pay me for it. Yeah, that, that, that would, I would, I would have to give a lot of thought into how you’re going to make that into a business. Maybe if you could be a food critic, maybe you’ll start your own food critic blog and you can call it eating couch on a pizza or eating pizza on a couch and you can say what is the world’s best pizza.

So there’s your business opportunity. I, I look forward to it and becoming an opportunity. We’ve just come up with your next business idea, I think. Alright, let’s do it. It’ll be a great time. Um where do people find you devin? Yeah. So I’ll give you three ways that you can connect up with me. So, um, on the lost sight, if you are a startup, small business or an individual or you don’t know what you are, but you want to talk about patents or trademarks, intellectual property. If they want to do a one on one, free strategy meeting, they can just go to strategy meeting dot com. Um it links right to my calendar, then grab a one on one session with me 15, 20 minutes. It’s free of charge and we just talked through what you have going on and how we might be able to help. So strategy meeting dot com is the first way the second one is if they want to go out and check out the law firm, Miller I. P. Law, they can just go to law with Miller dot com. Um and then that will take you to the website. We have a ton of material, we have podcast, we have videos, we have logs, we have just about any way that you like to consume information is there and we’re always looking to help startups and small businesses. The law with Miller is the second one. Law with Miller dot com.

Last one is I’m not very active on most social media platforms, but I do enjoy and love linkedin. So that’s usually if I’m on it, I’m on the social media platform, that’s where I’m at. If you go to meet Miller dot com, that links your right to my linkedin profile. If you want to connect up with me, they’re always happy to chat. So strategy meeting dot com to grab a one on one time with me to chat late. Lost stuff. Law with Miller dot com. If you want to just go to the website and meet Miller dot com if you want to connect up with me on linkedin. Well I do, whenever I speak to high achievers like yourself, it does, it does give me a bit of a boost to to know that there’s more to do. So you’ve done that today. So I’m always glad that I can add one more thing to do in a good way. In a good way. So thank you for being a great guest today. Hey, my pleasure. Thanks for having me on.