The Uncommonwealth Podcast – Tyler Brown with FHG Clothiers and ManBox

Tyler Brown

Here is the transcript from our latest podcast with Tyler Brown.

 

Jason Heflin:

Hi everybody. Welcome to the podcast today. Today, we’re going to be interviewing Tyler Brown of FHG Clothiers and MANbox. This is Jason Heflin, one of the owners at CrowdSouth, a marketing agency based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Louisville, Kentucky. We’ve also got Chuck Gregory, our director of operations on the podcast and Rachel Kirby an account rep/project manager here at CrowdSouth.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Hello. So today we talk to Tyler about his journey with FHG, his background in the military, and taking over a family business.

 

Jason Heflin:

So here we go. Hey, everybody. Today we have Tyler Brown of FHG Clothiers and MANbox. He is owner of two brands that are very interesting and we want to learn a little bit more about his journey as an entrepreneur and a business owner. So Tyler, welcome to the podcast.

 

Tyler Brown:

Thank you. As he said, I’m Tyler Brown and I own FHG Clothiers here in town in Bowling Green. So we have a store location here in town, but also the main thing I get to do is I get to travel around and see a lot of guys in their office and home and stuff. So it’s kind of a cool different dynamic than normal stuff.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. How much of your time is travel do you think?

 

Tyler Brown:

On average, I’m on the road about three days a week.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay.

 

Tyler Brown:

Probably should be a little more on some weeks, but three days is kind of the average. And I do about a two- to three-hour radius from Bowling Green.

 

Jason Heflin:

Are those overnights or do you always come home?

 

Tyler Brown:

Always come home. Every once in a while there’s a chance to stay overnight and kind of make a little weekend out of it and my wife and I will go or something like that, so.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Are you going to individual people’s homes, like an in-home service?

 

Tyler Brown:

At times, yes. The main thing I do is I go to guys’ offices and that’s just easiest place to catch guys. But I will go to guy’s houses and stuff and there’s a handful other ways I’d like to be involved and kind of built up that relationship with them too. And so I’ll meet those guys and some guys really they prefer me to go to the house and just kind of gives them a chance to not be at the office, I guess, kind of separate themselves from the two.

 

Jason Heflin:

So if you don’t mind, explain the concepts of the two businesses so that we understand it.

 

Tyler Brown:

I guess we just started kind of the core of it. So my dad was in the clothing business for a long time. The company he was with before we’re doing this entity he was with for about 20 years, but he has been involved in clothing basically his whole life. So even in high school when he was playing football and doing normal high school kid stuff, his job was working in the local clothing store, so he’s always kind of been involved with it. And so here’s where the company for about 20 years and then he and I went out on our own about six years, seven years ago ish.

 

Tyler Brown:

And so it kind of merged and went out from there. But beforehand he was mainly a guy that would go and call on guys in an office and build those relationships. But as we came into the current entity, I do that as well as we have a physical brick and mortar store in Bowling Green.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay, great. So you grew up around here or where did you grow up?

 

Tyler Brown:

Yes, I’ve been here… I was technically born in Somerset. I just want things where you’re born there and you live there for a couple of years and you don’t really remember it, and then you travel a couple other places. But I’ve been here since 3rd grade, so yes, I would say. yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

And have you lived anywhere else?

 

Tyler Brown:

Somerset, Mary and Florence Y’all.

 

Jason Heflin:

Florence Y’all [inaudible 00:03:16].

 

Tyler Brown:

[inaudible 00:03:16] Covington kind of area.

 

Jason Heflin:

Almost Ohio.

 

Tyler Brown:

Almost Ohio. So, because dad when he was with that entity before where we’re at now, he had an office in downtown Cincinnati so we looked up there. So, but really Bowling Green since 3rd grade. So the things I remember are here other than the random obscure kind of memories you have. So yeah, I would say Bowling Green and I’ve been here, went to high school here, went to Bowling Green High and then went to Western. So I’ve been here.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay. What was your experience before this education? I mean, I know you’re in the military, you’re still in the military?

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. So I had the, as one of the things, I had this kind of growing up, you have those jobs you think you want to do or whatever and always wanting to be GI Joe and all that kind of thing. And then you start figuring out that the army itself and warfare itself obviously is not necessarily a glorified thing. And so once I figured that out but realized I still wanted to do it and kind of that purpose and that service mindset and I was like, well, that’s definitely something I want to do. And the original goal was to go active duty. So after I graduated high school, I had… When I came out of high school, I was a little chubby.

 

Tyler Brown:

I broke my leg my junior year playing football, I played football, Bowling Green but I was playing backyard football and that’s how you always hurt yourself and stepped in a hole and split my growth plate and my ankle and ended up being in a full leg cast for six months and just sat around and played PlayStation, ate food and then-

 

Jason Heflin:

I need to break my leg.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, got a little chubby. So I was getting out of high school and as what I’m saying, so it was like I still want to do the army, but my self-image was a little down and obviously, but then also there you can’t join when you’re 240 pounds and not be able to be in shape. So I went through kind of a transition process where I kind of got myself in shape and ended up going to college for the army. So I went and did ROTC at Western and I was blessed enough to be part of a program called the SMP program, which is anybody that’s interested in that kind of stuff called the simultaneous membership program. And it’s while you’re in the guard, while you’re also in college and in ROTC. And so the eventual goal is you graduate college and you’re commissioned and then you stay in the guard, you kind of have a home already, kind of know the guys already.

 

Tyler Brown:

But the cool thing is you’re getting paid to be a regular soldier in the army and the guard while you’re in college on top of doing your ROTC stuff and other jobs and stuff. So it’s kind of a cool way to do it and it gives you some extra kind of experience and time and money that you wouldn’t have if you just graduated and went straight out. So I was going to do that, but I was going to move away and I met my wife as all things that girls do to guys and kind of changed my life plan a little bit. And dad was kind of thinking about moving out of entity he was in. And so at that 2011 mark when I was graduating and commissioning, we had opportunity to stay here and move into what we’re doing now. So I had some things after that.

 

Tyler Brown:

I had a deployment basically right out of school and different things like that and took a little bit to kind of get settled back in the Bowling Green, but-

 

Jason Heflin:

How long was the deployment?

 

Tyler Brown:

We were gone for about 11 months. So I kind of had a world wide thing, I graduated December 2011, commissioned and became an officer. And then at that point I met my wife literally the week or the day of graduation kind of, was our first kind of thing. I kind of showed up and was in uniform and surprised her after we only had one day she was like, “Who’s this weirdo that kind of stalked me?” But she gave-

 

Rachel Kirby:

But then [inaudible 00:06:21] in that uniform and she was like, “Oh, hello.”

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, but she gave me her number on Facebook, so she’s the weirdo.

 

Jason Heflin:

Right, right.

 

Tyler Brown:

Because we had not known each other, went to elementary school and it’s actually cool. We live across from that elementary school now and our daughter will end up going there. But we went to elementary school there together at [Natcha 00:06:36] but I hadn’t seen her since then because I went to city schools after that she stayed at the county and I randomly saw her[inaudible 00:06:42] game and started doing the Facebook creeping thing and sent her a message like, “Hey, let’s hang out.” And she was weird enough to give me her number. And so I gave a rose to a girl in 4th grade at Valentine’s Day and she said that’s the only reason she gave me a date, it was because she remembered that I was kind of a nice guy.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:06:57] paid off.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Yeah.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. So [inaudible 00:07:00] open doors and pay for things and all that stuff. But anyway, so I did that and I graduated college, met her literally then and was gone to my officer basic course in February of that next year, so 2012, drove home when I wasn’t supposed to on Memorial Day and I was at Fort Sill on Memorial Day overnight basically, proposed to her and then drove back without a pass and was not on leave. So it probably could have gotten in trouble.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Would you get in trouble now for saying that?

 

Tyler Brown:

Probably not.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Okay.

 

Tyler Brown:

No, [inaudible 00:07:28].

 

Jason Heflin:

No one’s going to listen to [inaudible 00:07:30]the top brass.

 

Tyler Brown:

The top brass.

 

Jason Heflin:

All right.

 

Tyler Brown:

So she said yes, and then I came back in about July of that year. We got married in October and then I was deployed in January the next year. So the first two years of our dating and marriage, I was only home for like six months, which is probably why it worked out so well.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. Well, that’s a baptism and fire I guess as they say, if he can handle that-

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. And that’s-

 

Jason Heflin:

… you’re going to be okay.

 

Tyler Brown:

… that’s the thing. So now she’ll see stuff on Facebook and she’s not downplaying anybody that is struggling with a husband being gone for a couple of days or something like that. And she’s like, it ain’t nothing.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, you’ll get through it.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

We’re fine.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’ll be tough. But you’ll get through it.

 

Tyler Brown:

So I came back from that in 2013, the end of 2013 and then started doing this with dad in that December.

 

Jason Heflin:

And where did you say you were deployed?

 

Tyler Brown:

So we were actually in Jordan is where we were deployed to and just doing some stuff with the coalition forces and things like that. So it was great to have an appointment and to have the opportunity to experience some great things. But I was blessed enough to not be in a situation where it was a strenuous kind of combat environment. So I’m very blessed for that. And so it’s one of those things where we talk about it, but at the same time [inaudible 00:08:35] deployment at all, but I didn’t really do it much compared to some of the guys that did some other things, so.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, yeah. So that’s a little bit of world travel. That’s fun.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Do you like to travel?

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

That wasn’t like for fun, but was that-

 

Tyler Brown:

Well, we got to do some cool things like where while we were there, we went to Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade when they’re going where the Holy Grail is, there’s that rock face, that’s in Petra and that’s in Jordan. So I got to do all that kind of stuff and like the Jesus’ baptism site, things like that.

 

Jason Heflin:

Wow.

 

Tyler Brown:

Now, I love to travel and I’ve been blessed to be a lot of places all over the world, and experience a lot of cool things. And I’m a super history nerd, so any chance I go… Like we went to France, my wife and I surprised me, we went to Normandy and did a whole D-Day stuff and we’re there over D-Day and did all that. She’s in the museum with me and I’m spending like an hour on the same plaque reading things and looking at the map and doing stuff and she just sit over there like, ‘All right, what’s next?” So, but.

 

Jason Heflin:

How do you think that… because I really believe in travel and especially getting out of your comfort zone, going to other countries, third world countries if you can. And how do you feel like that travel shaped you as a business person? Do you feel like that… because it does change the way you see the world

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, it’s one of those things where I would rather not be known as much about a businessman as I would about the other things that I do while I’m in business. And so when you go around the world and see those places, and especially like you talked about some of those third world countries and it just blows my mind that then you come back and hear people complain about stuff on Facebook and they’ll have their phone service for a day and you’re like, it’s really not anything to be concerned about, but it does kind of shape your image and even business-wise because you see just.

 


There’s a dude that literally you could just find a couple things and start selling them and start a business just on the street selling some things and it could turn into something.


 

Tyler Brown:

I mean how people on the streets like in Jordan; for example, there’s a dude that literally you could just find a couple things and start selling them and start a business. [inaudible 00:10:18] just on the street selling some things and it could turn into something kind of CC entrepreneurs in all parts of the world in different forms. And they probably put a little more work into a lot of the ones around here because we have the access to all the technology in the comfort of being an American ’cause we’re still in the top 1% of the world, even if you’re a “poor person” in America, so yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

I think that’s a good observation because like you said, the guy who might find a few things and just start selling them is an entrepreneur. And that kind of shows that anyone can can do it if you want to, if it’s in your blood, which is not in everybody’s.

 

Tyler Brown:

No, it’s not.

 

Jason Heflin:

Well, that’s interesting. Did you ever see anything in your travels that was kind of life-changing or humbling or anything that just was like a wake up moment, like, “Wow, I didn’t know things were like this”?

 

Tyler Brown:

Well, again, I think a lot of the way I see the world or the way I do things it’s almost like you’re reading an Epic like Lord of The Rings. I see things happening in life. I’m like, “Man, this could be a movie with sound and stuff like that,” but being on the beach in Normandy on D-Day and standing there and like you see Saving Private Ryan and you see whatever and you know that it was a hard thing and you read about it. And you hear veterans talk about it and older men talk about it, and still might not talk about it to this day, even though it’s been so long, 75 years or so ago.

 


When you see [Normandy Beach] and realize that man, the struggles I got going on ain’t much. It does put a lot of stuff in kind of perspective. So a lot of travel for me has been great eye-opening. But to me it’s been a very humble in a lot of ways.


 

Tyler Brown:

When you see that and realize that man, that struggles I got going on ain’t much. It does put a lot of stuff in kind of perspective. So a lot of travel for me has been great eye-opening. But to me it’s been a very humble in a lot of ways. And again, seeing the history when you go to some of these countries and the history’s thousands of years old, when you come to America and it’s like we’re worth hundred years old and really we’ve done a lot in that 300 years. But our history compared to what the rest of the world is, is so minor. So I think taking those lessons back and being like, if we want this to last, we got to kind of change the way we do certain things, so.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Do you have a bucket list of where you’d want to travel tied to certain historic events if that’s how you pick stuff?

 

Tyler Brown:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes and no, but the way I pick stuff and the way my wife picks stuffs is different. So hopefully if my list and her list, there’s a couple places, hopefully, will merge.

 

Jason Heflin:

If it was purely you.

 

Tyler Brown:

Purely me, I would do Italy, I would do all the Greek and Roman different stuff in the Mediterranean basically anywhere. And then actually have a friend in Israel and we’ve been talking about going to Israel and doing the Holy land stuff and even outside of there, again, a religious aspect of it, the historical aspect of it where the cradle kind of humanity and seeing all these different cultures intersect there. So definitely that anywhere in that Mediterranean kind of thing, it’s not a place I’ve been that I would like to be. I’m into Japan, I love Japanese culture and kind of that samurai period of stuff and different things like that. And I’d probably like to go do some stuff there.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Rachel Kirby:

I can vouch for Italy, it’s pretty cool. But my main like drive for trips is food. So Italy’s a nice cross section of really great food and very historical important things to go do and see.

 

Tyler Brown:

I’m all about building trips around food.

 

Jason Heflin:

So what’s your next goal, Rachel, for travel?

 

Rachel Kirby:

I would really love to go to England. Japan is also up there for me, but England is a little easier just because there’s no language barrier there.

 

Jason Heflin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Chuck, what about you?

 

Chuck Gregory:

I’m a national parks person, so-

 

Rachel Kirby:

I thought you were going to say Nashville.

 

Chuck Gregory:

No, not [crosstalk 00:13:41].

 

Rachel Kirby:

I’m going to get out of the city.

 

Jason Heflin:

We’re going to make your dream come true, Chuck.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah. No, I’ve just got a big bucket list of a bunch of national parks. I’m probably going back to Yosemite this summer, but I’ve been there a couple of times, so I’d like to start knocking some new ones off. So I just like being out in nature, not around a lot of people. So that’s…

 

Jason Heflin:

Chuck has the pushpin, Matt, by his desk of all the national parks where he can keep track of it, so.

 

Chuck Gregory:

One day I’ll fill it up.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. And that’s things people don’t, I mean today with technology, people are like, “Well, I’ll just Google some pictures of it.” But there’s nothing like actually going there and-

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s not like being there.

 

Tyler Brown:

… just smelling the air, you know?

 

Rachel Kirby:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah. Especially sleeping in a tent and waking up and I don’t know, stuff like that.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Getting eaten by a grizzly bear. Really can’t compare that to online.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah, a little bit of fear adds flavor. Yeah. It exciting. That’s right. We did have a bear outside of our tent one time.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Just, yeah, bring the bear spray.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

What did you do about the bears? So tell us this bear situation real quick.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Well, this is before we went to the high country. We were in Camp Curry where there was like a city. Anyway, it’s a ton of people. But the two 16-year-old summer volunteers, these girls were walking and probably weighed a hundred pounds soaking wet and they’re like, “Go away, bear,” with flashlights because this is after dark. “Go away, bear,” and we’re like inside afraid to look. So two teenage girls scared them off. It was-

 

Jason Heflin:

Well, I’m glad you had some protection with you.

 

Chuck Gregory:

The bear just looked annoyed and lumbered off back into the woods.

 

Tyler Brown:

Well, at that point I’m sure they see it so much that they’re just like.

 

Chuck Gregory:

But you start thinking like this cloth, there’s no way it can come through this.

 

Jason Heflin:

Right.

 

Chuck Gregory:

No, no way. Yeah, you just, “Just zip the door shut and you’ll be fine.”

 

Jason Heflin:

So Tyler, back to business stuff. This I think one of the more interesting pieces of your journey is the fact that you did kind of start this kind of with your dad kind of in tandem. You kind of took some over from him. Tell us a little bit about how that worked because I think a lot of people there are a lot of different ways to into owning a business. Some people stumble into it, some people, there is a business in the family, like your case and you become part of it. And then suddenly, and I don’t want to guess, but I mean, you’re really good at it and so suddenly you’re like, “Well, I’m good at this. I can do this. It’s part of me.” So how did that happen for you and where do you see it going is another question.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, I think it’s kind of unique because I mean, yes, I kind of came into a family business, but in the same sense dad kind of created this business for, I mean really in the scheme of things for me probably, which is a really cool thing that he did that knowing that he wasn’t going to be doing it forever, but it was a family business in a sense that I’ve kind of always been around it as helping dad even in high school when he got new garments in and like de-tagging them or whatever kind of thing. So always been around it and been with him when he’s gone to stuff and seen him wear a suit, probably more than most kids see their parents wear suits.

 

Tyler Brown:

So always been around it, but he kind of created this industry in a way for him but also for me in a sense. So tours are kind of cool, kind of a different aspect in a sense I guess. But when he left the company he was with, he’d been there for those kind of things where hee had to make that decision. And you know my dad very well too, but he had a lot of things going on health-wise or kind of wake up call kind of stuff that happened to him and he didn’t feel like he was able to fulfill his true purpose in life being in the structure he was in. So leaving that and allowing him to kind of make the rules and the decisions for himself allowed him to really bring in those other aspects that he wasn’t allowed to do when he was kind of in that kind of corporate structure.

 

Tyler Brown:

Because dad worked with guys for again twenty-ish years and he came to the conclusion that a lot of these guys he saw, he kind of was their best friend in a sense. He was about the only guy that they ever confided in and he could never figure out why he’d be in a guy’s office and that guy would start talking to him about life struggles and issues with his wife and his marriage and things like that. And dad’s like, “Whoa, dude, I’m just trying to sell you clothes.” But then it came as dad kind of sort of developing those relationships, he figured out these guys, really, a lot of these guys as successful as they are, they’re at the highest end of that success ladder making a lot of money a year.

 

Tyler Brown:

They don’t have anybody to talk to. And so the things that he was sharing with those guys and as he started realizing that these guys are one looking for a friend, but even just the spiritual guidance and just this kind of access to somebody that’s willing to talk to them on more of a equal level, not a yes man and it’s not their wife and kids.

 

Tyler Brown:

And so when he left that structure, he wanted to be able to make those decisions and kind of impact those guys’ lives a little more than just give them clothes and take those relationships. So when he created this, for us it was that same kind of concept where before, and he told me he’s before we pay ourselves every month we give a large percentage to local organizations and nonprofits and charities and ministries and different things like that. And he basically told me one day, “If I ever find out you’re switching that and paying yourself first, then I will come back in here, no matter how old I am and take this thing and go.”

 

Rachel Kirby:

He will turn this car around.

 

Tyler Brown:

He will turn this car around. And so it’s been cool to kind of see that and see dad kind of take those relationships and take them much more beyond again, just a clothing guy. I remember when I first started working with him and kind of apprenticeship kind of underneath him and go on these calls with him and see being these guys’ office. And they would sit there for 45 minutes and talk about everything but clothes. And then dad be like, “Well, I need to get going to my next one.” And he’s like, ‘All right, well, you know what I like, I need a new gray one,” or whatever. Dad said, “All right, got you.” And he would leave. And I’m like, “[inaudible 00:18:54]-“

 

Jason Heflin:

He barely talked about clothing.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, I’m like, “Dad, you got to make [inaudible 00:18:57] money. We got mouths to feed, we got businesses to run, I need you to make this sale, show me how to do it so I can go out and keep doing that.” And so I started realizing that the clothing is just a very, very small aspect of kind of who we are and what we do. And so the first day, I think one of the first things he did when he developed FHG was decide that FHG, it’s clothing with a purpose, it’s personal service with a purpose, everything, and it has a purpose other than just being a clothes guy.

 

Tyler Brown:

And so that’s been kind of cool, so as dad kind of created this entity and with the goal of me kind of taking over it and eventually him not working because theoretically he is our only employee, even who come in like once a week and be like, “Hey, you need to do this.” I’m like, “Wait a second, you work for me, bro.” And for his birthday, I didn’t give him birthday card, I gave him a number one employee card-

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh, yeah.

 

Tyler Brown:

… but.

 

Jason Heflin:

Let him park up front.

 

Tyler Brown:

That’s right. Yeah, and we’ll talk. I came out of college as a history major, which is really useless unless you’re going to teach or argue with somebody. Basically a history degree is just good for winning arguments about history.

 

Jason Heflin:

I disagree. Just what you mentioned earlier about history. I mean, history teaches us so much and when we forget history, that’s when we get into trouble. I mean you’ve got two great things about what you’re doing. You’ve got the history background, which says kind of here’s what not to do. And then the relationship piece, which your dad taught you and we all around the table know that because Rachel, Chuck, myself, what we do for CrowdSouth is communicate with clients. And if you don’t have that rapport, if they don’t trust you, then it’s not going to go anywhere. It’s just going to end poorly. So you’ve got that early on… How old are you?

 

Tyler Brown:

I’m 31 now.

 

Jason Heflin:

So you got that early on in your career. I mean, wow. It takes so many people a lot longer to learn that it’s all about relationships.

 

Tyler Brown:

And that’s kind of what we’re going through right now. And kind of as we adjust business that we kind of want to be known for what we’re for and not so much about our product because anybody can go anywhere and probably find something nice and good product wise and one person can convince you that something is better than another one. But if people start realizing what you’re for and less about your product itself and more about what you’re for, it kind of doesn’t matter what your product is. People are going to want to do business with you. They want that relationship and they want to know that what they’re spending money on, what they’re investing in is not only bettering them in some way, but it’s bettering other people because that allows me to go out there and keep investing in other men, but then also take that money and invest it in local stuff in the community and things like that.

 

Tyler Brown:

So I think once you start changing your mindset that you’re for the customer more about than what you are your actual product and the goods you’re trying to pedal that once you have that concept down it really doesn’t matter what other stuff you do because the outcome is going to come. You can’t control results but you can control the efforts you put in, you can control the products that you put in and the results are going to happen if you do those right things.

 

Tyler Brown:

So simple as writing a note to guy. I write notes to all my clients after we do something together and sometimes not and I haven’t seen him in a while just write them a note and it’s amazing getting a text back from them and be like, dude, exactly what I needed. I need somebody to tell me that they appreciate me today kind of thing.

 

Rachel Kirby:

So nobody does that. That sets you guys apart from big box stores or online competitors.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, I like to think so unless I just hire somebody to write notes for like thousands of people, which would be a terrible job.

 

Jason Heflin:

Is there something you wish you would have known that you’ve learned over the course of doing this?

 

Tyler Brown:

Obviously, I wish I would’ve known everything. But a little things if I would put the effort into even learn some ins and outs of the way garments are made and what wool is and things like that so I can educate myself that normal kind of stuff. But probably the biggest thing, not so much something I wish I would’ve known, but what I wish I would have done when I first kind of started doing this was put the effort in then. Because really, I mean dad and I were doing this again about eight -ish years total, probably seven years.

 

Tyler Brown:

And if I would have put the effort into it that I have been putting into it the last two years and really kind of grasping the concept no telling where I’d be right now compared to where I am right now. And again, understand when you’re talking about revenue or whatever, but just talk about even just the clientele and the impact I’m having would be a lot greater probably if I would’ve just put that effort in instead of just [inaudible 00:23:02] things we make a goal. The problem with making goals, it’s great to have goals, but the problem with making a goal a month is say your goal is to achieve this number of sales in that month and you achieve it in the second week, the next two weeks I’m like, “I ain’t doing nothing. I got my goal.”

 

Tyler Brown:

And so that’s the only downside, so I want to set those goals kind of lower. When I first started doing this and I would achieve those goals, I just kind of hung out, just waited for the next thing and not realizing that if I would have just continued with that effort and kept doubling down on it where that would be, tenfold kind of thing, so.

 

Jason Heflin:

What’s the hardest lesson you think you’ve learned through the course of working on these businesses?

 

Tyler Brown:

Obviously any type you’re doing sales type things, learning how to be okay with somebody telling you no is a big deal. I think that’s why the military has been good for me too, is because I’ve been chewed out before and I’m going to be chewed out again at some point in my life. And you just kind of have to be okay with it. They can’t take your birthday, you’re going to be okay. And so somebody telling you no is just a part of the game. And dad always kind of jokes around, when I first, and even now, but like I’ll call him after I have an appointment or something sometimes. And he said, “Well, how’d it go?” And I’m like, “Well, nothing, just kind of stonewalled me and he said maybe check back with them a couple of months.” And dad’s like, “Well, we’ll need to sell some clothes in a couple months.”

 

Tyler Brown:

And so when you start realizing not necessary about today but what the future’s going to hold then and do it. But getting used to know and then probably managing expectations because when I first started doing this, I would bend over backwards sometimes for some guys that are never going to be pleased because they’re just some guys when it comes to the ego with the mentality, they’re just never going to be pleased. So now when I see those guys that I’ve been dealing with, or I get new guys and I kind of feel them out and kind of realize they might be those guys and be like, “I’m just going to be honest with you, what you’re expecting to come out of this product is probably not what it’s going to be. You’re going to find something wrong with it. Just know that beforehand because I can’t keep making adjustments or doing these changes and do whatever because it’s never going to make you happy.”

 

Tyler Brown:

So kind of managing that expectations thing. And there’s been a couple of clients who, they were good clients money-wise, but the heartache it caused me to try to take care of them, I kind of had just washed my hands a little bit like, “Dude, more than happy to help you, but I don’t think I can meet the needs you’re wanting. So if you want to reach out to me down the road, great. But I just can’t see you anymore.”

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s a really good point. And I think that all business owners who are service-based or even product-based where they do a lot of relationship work, have to know when to when it’s not right. You know what I mean? Maybe this person just needs to work with somebody else. Maybe we’re not the right fit for you. And do you make recommendations for them? So when you break up with somebody, it’s me, it’s not you. And I’m sure it doesn’t happen often because you’re, again, you’d say, I’ve been chewed out before. I know how to get through those things and shift the conversation, shift the relationship. But in those instances where that doesn’t work, how do you handle that?

 

Tyler Brown:

When-

 

Jason Heflin:

And maybe it hasn’t happened, I don’t know.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, I don’t know if it’s really like I can’t kind of change that aspect or change that mindset on them.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Do you ghost them?

 

Tyler Brown:

Ghost them… I don’t think it’s really happened. I’m trying to think if in that situation, if I would, I’d probably just have to reiterate the fact that and be like, “Look, I’m cool with it, but just know, almost like sign a contract before we do this again to be like these are your expectations, these are the ones I can meet. And so we have proof now that this is what I said I could do and what I couldn’t do.”

 

Jason Heflin:

Right.

 

Tyler Brown:

But hadn’t happened yet because actually it’s kind of funny though, the main guy that I did this with, that kind of always pops up in my mind when I talk about kind of managing his expectations and just bending over backwards and everything. In sales and especially in personal relationship type sales, referrals are honestly the best. I mean I can pick up a phone book and call every attorney in town and it’s miserable. But if you have a guy that you’ve been dealing with and he says, “My buddy, he’s going to do an appointment, just call him.” Those are the best things, but there’s this guy, he’s a very influential person type of guy that is a very well connected throughout the country.

 

Jason Heflin:

You mentioned attorneys, is it the hammer?

 

Tyler Brown:

It’s not the hammer.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay.

 

Tyler Brown:

It’s not the hammer.

 

Jason Heflin:

Could’ve been.

 

Tyler Brown:

It could have been, but he was very successful and making a lot of money, but he never… as much as I asked for help… and dad always said, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I mean, you’re a young guy and most guys that are businessmen appreciate someone asking for help because they were in the same boat you were at some point.” And so I’d ask him for help and never got a referral from him and dealt with him for a couple of years. It was one of those things where he talked about his friends and talked about these guys that he was involved with. But I’m like, “Wow, if you appreciate our relationship, why would you not talk to them about me or whatever.

 

Tyler Brown:

And the moment, it was like the next day that I said, “Hey, I’m not going to deal with you anymore. There’s expectations.” He gave me six names.

 

Jason Heflin:

Really?

 

Tyler Brown:

And it was one of those things where it’s almost like you kind of had to like man up to him, I guess in a sense-

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, Put it all on the table [crosstalk 00:27:33].

 

Tyler Brown:

Swing up and hit him on the chin a little bit and just kind of be like, “Oh, whoa, that was kind of being [inaudible 00:27:38] here you go. Go for it.” So it’s kind of strange what came of that when I thought it was going to be like breaking it up and I’m never going to see this dude again.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Tyler Brown:

So-

 

Jason Heflin:

Tell us a little bit about MANbox and how that works, so.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yes. So we have FHG, which is our brick and mortar store here in town, and then also the entity of me going out and seeing guys. So it’s just FHG is the company, but we have a program called MANbox that kind of umbrellas underneath it where we came to the conclusion that in today’s world when you’re dealing with brick and mortar stores, especially in the retail business every year is a terrible year for retail. It just continues to be a terrible year for retail. So if you don’t figure out how to adjust to that, then if you’re opening a brick and mortar store, you probably should just look for another job immediately. And so-

 

Jason Heflin:

Did you hear that everybody?.

 

Tyler Brown:

That’s right. Again, you got to adjust to the world and to the concepts. And that’s why you see some of these places, even in Bowling Green that are great places that had great relationships and have been friends with people for over the years, but never adjusted to the next generation or the age group or even to the times kind of going out of business now. But dad’d be in guys’ offices or I’d be in guys’ offices and they would sit there and say, “I really like the clothing I get from you. I like the suit, I like the sport coats, the shirts and I wear them to work. I wear them to court, I wear them in my meetings, whatever. But I’m not in a suit all the time, so I go to these other stores and get clothes. But I wish I could just have you take care of it because you’re so easy.”

 

Tyler Brown:

And so we’re kind of like, “Why would we not try to do that?” So when we first started in Bowling Green, we had a store and it was almost like a closet, but it was really just a place for us to put stuff on the shelf. So it is a box program where it’s almost kind of in the vein of a stitch fix or trunk club… They’re not a sponsor, but where you send a guy a box that’s preselected garments kind of based on his style, his sizing, he keeps it for a certain amount of time. He tries on what he wants and sends back what he wants to keep and then I just charge him for what he kept.

 

Rachel Kirby:

And it’s more casual pieces?

 

Tyler Brown:

It’s more casual, it’s your jeans, your polos, your sport shirts, your golf wear stuff, socks, underwear, belts, whatever. And then I’ve got a guy that literally just get socks and shirts, he don’t want pants. It’s just one of those things you start figuring out the guy a little bit. But the goal is to just keep them from ever having to go to a store. Because if I get a guy’s measurements down, I get his styling down, he should probably never have to go to the store now because the MANbox provides that casual aspect of the things.

 

Tyler Brown:

So when we opened it here in Bowling Green, it was really just kind of a closet office home base that had shelves that we could put the stuff on, we could pull them off, put them in the boxes and send them. But we started having local guys come into that space and want to buy stuff so I’m not going to turn that down. And so as that grew, we were like, we need to try to do it real retail space. And so that’s where it actually, Steve Sheldon came to us. He was a good friend of ours and spent… His son owns [Tenados 00:30:10] and he was like, “I got the perfect spot.”

 

Tyler Brown:

And a guy that’s like that, that has been as successful as he’s been when it comes to business and he tells you you should probably do something, you should probably at least think about it. So we moved into this spot where we’re at now and it’s been a really great move, but it has allowed us to have more inventory to put out more boxes and then the boxes go hand in hand with the customer. So I’ll deliver a guy a suit that he ordered and I’ll drop the box off with him and he’ll send it back to me in a week. And now he’s got his basic casual stuff and his dress stuff. His wives love… not his wives. I guess-

 

Jason Heflin:

Whoa.

 

Tyler Brown:

… they could-

 

Jason Heflin:

Whoa.

 

Tyler Brown:

But his wife loves it and mom, girlfriend, whatever. And because they’ll sit there and tell him what he’s keeping because that’s how most things go in our world, the lady will tell the guy what he’s keeping then.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. Well, I’ve been in your space several times and bought things from you guys and it’s really… I think you’ve done a good job designing it for men because you don’t have a thousand options because guys can’t do that, just typically putting some-

 

Rachel Kirby:

Overwhelming and-

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s the paradox of choice, right?

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

And it’s all good quality. Like you can’t pick something off the shelf and then be like, “Well, that was, that was poor quality, it’s not like Old Navy. It’s the opposite end of the spectrum. And so you’re going to pay for that. But then also the pants I’m wearing today, which I bought from you I’ve probably had for two years, and they look like I just pulled them off the shelf. And so do you ever get anyone that wanders in the store that says, “This is not for me.”

 

Tyler Brown:

Every once in a while you’ll have it, especially because our storefront now is more open to the public, you’ll have that, people had to search us out before and so if they were searching us out, they were probably going to do business no matter what. Now, you’ll have those guys stumble in because we have a normal kind of retail hours and time. But most of the time a guy will come in there and they kind of understand that it’s something different. I mean they understand that it’s not an Old Navy, the stuff they’re going to find there is the quality, is that something you have to make an investment in and that if they make that leap and make that investment, then in the long-run it’s going to pay off for them.

 

Tyler Brown:

But now we haven’t had very many people come in and we’ll have somebody come in and will start walking around and be like, “I’m waiting on my pizza next door and just want to check it out.” But not very much, which has been great for us because obviously everybody comes in door, you want them to be client of some sort.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. What-

 

Rachel Kirby:

Are there pieces of clothing you suggest spending more on as an investment piece and then different pieces you could maybe save on if it’s just new customers who don’t really aren’t familiar with your brand?

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. We have guys that come in here and because guys are… we’re procrastinators and we don’t like to try clothes on and things like that. But it’s one of those things where if we get a guy-

 

Rachel Kirby:

That’s not just guys.

 

Tyler Brown:

I know, but guys are really bad about it because they will just like, and then they won’t end up bringing it back, their wife will bring it back and she’s like, “I don’t know what the issue was, but he just told me to bring these back.” So if we’re going to get a guy try something on, it’s great for us because we actually know he’s sizing and stuff. But that investment side of things, once we can kind of get a guy sizing down, we can really help him on that investment side of clothing. But if you’re kind of starting off, you’re a young guy, who’s kind of getting into the business world, you obviously need to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. And so if you want to be that executive level guy at your firm or whatever, you probably need to dress like that.

 

Tyler Brown:

So investing in a suit… there’s a SNL commercial or a commercial bit where the Joseph Banks has a sale on suits and they get like 10 of them. And the great thing is because you can get them, it shows a little girl spill her juice or something and her dad’s like, “No problem,” and he takes his suit off and just wipes it up and then throws it away because he can just go get new ones. And so investing in good-quality suiting, what it does for a guy, it just kind of blows my mind. It allows him to have a product that is going to last them a long time.

 

Tyler Brown:

We’ll have guys that dad’s done business with that he’s dealt with for so long that they’ll come in and we’ll kind of jokingly be like, “Let me see your suit,” and we’ll open the pocket, and we’ll look at the tag. And it was in like 2004 and he’s still rocking it. The style might have changed a little bit, but the-

 

Jason Heflin:

Nah.

 

Tyler Brown:

… suit itself-

 

Jason Heflin:

Nah, I’d say no. 16 years now, still the same.

 

Rachel Kirby:

I feel like men’s trends don’t change as much. But are there things that you see now that are maybe different than when the store first opened?

 

Tyler Brown:

A little bit, and part of that is these guys want to have… The whole skinny pant thing just still blows my mind.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Good. I was hoping someone could explain that to me because I don’t get it.

 

Tyler Brown:

Obviously, you got to dress for your audience and you got to know what town you live in and things like that. But the suits that don’t have any break on them, they hug your leg, you’re not comfortable in them. As cool as it might look, it’s not comfortable, it’s just not. So that whole idea of kind of that skinny tight fitting, tailored inset Italian kind of looking suit has in the last couple of years has been a big thing. But I don’t think it’s something that will continue. I think eventually it will go back to…

 

Tyler Brown:

And you haven’t seen it a little bit now. I think most recently on… it probably was the Grammy’s I guess, all the guys were wearing suits where they had longer legs. They even had cuts at the bottom, which are not something that you’ve seen very recently. And then the suits were even fuller looking. And so I don’t know if that’s coming back or not, but the whole-

 

Jason Heflin:

You’re supposed to know that, Tyler.

 

Tyler Brown:

I know I’m supposed to know that, but that’s why I think it’s crazy when these guys come in here and just want to say that the education process of stuff for guys, they see something on TV they like or Instagram and they want to get that. But my goal is to kind of talk them through it and be like, “Well, in the long-run, is this going to be a good call for you? Do you really want to spend money on this knowing that you’re going to get a little bit of use out of it? Which is probably a terrible way to be a salesman and make money because I’d talk guys out of stuff sometimes more than I do talking into it.

 

Jason Heflin:

But that’s true. I think-

 

Tyler Brown:

But it’s helping our relationship [inaudible 00:35:44], right? I mean you’re doing what’s best for them in the long run.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. And I’ve bought pieces of clothing… When you go on vacation and you’re like, there’s the hemp necklace with the shell on it, and you’ve been on vacation for a week and you’re like, “Oh, yeah man, I’ll wear that all the time.”

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. I’m a beach person now.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, I’m a surfer now. And then you get home and you’re like, yeah, that’s going in the trash. So yeah, I mean kind of that… not that, but it’s kind of that thing where you really think, “I want to be that person.” And then you’re like, “Nah, I’m not that guy.”

 

Tyler Brown:

No, and again, my goal is just kind of, when I see these guys, I try to one, obviously what their occupation is, where they’re working, what towns they’re working in, and helping them figure out that kind of image that they need to present. We do a lot of Derby business because it’s Kentucky and people go crazy over it. And so these guys will get some of these crazy, absurd, random things for Derby, which is cool. But you’re literally going to wear it probably just then. And so-

 

Rachel Kirby:

What’s the craziest Derby outfit someone’s had recently?

 

Jason Heflin:

Non-jockey.

 

Tyler Brown:

Non-Jockey. I did almost like lime green jacket for a dude with white pants and it looked really good.

 

Jason Heflin:

Really?

 

Tyler Brown:

But it’s one of those things where I told him, I was like, “I don’t know how after you’re going to wear this.”

 

Rachel Kirby:

What was his skin tone? I feel like you have to be a very certain complexion to pull that off.

 

Tyler Brown:

No, he was pretty pasty like me, but he is one of the things where, so we’ve got, again, as you adjust to the world you’re in and technology and things like that, I’ve got a program that allows me to… because sometimes it’s hard to… So the way the custom thing works, let’s start there. So I come into a guy’s office and I lay out the fabrics, after I kind of do an inventory of his closet or whatever, we kind of talk through stuff, I lay out the fabrics and I kind of show him through these books and there are little swatches, a couple of [inaudible 00:37:26] swatches and if you’re getting a navy suit or a gray suit you know that’s what it’s going to look like.

 

Tyler Brown:

But some of these plaids and bolder window panes and checks and stuff, it’s hard to see kind of, they just have to trust me and be like, “Hey, that’s going to turn out good. And they’re like, you sure?” I’m like, “Yeah.” So that’s how dad kind of had to do it forever. But now through one of the companies we work through, they have basically everything physical product, they have digitally as well. So I can actually have a model and design the full outfit down to the buttons, the thread color of the shirt underneath and the lining, whatever and make the whole thing and send it to him or show him right there in the office, “This is what it’s going to look like.”

 

Tyler Brown:

So he kind of knows and gets that idea. So that has really helped us keep guys from really doing some of those things. I see on college game day and dude wearing them and they’re like, “Man, that’s really cool I’m going to wear it.” You’re never going to wear this man. And again, go for it. Not going to turn it down, but I would rather you get something that you enjoy and you’ll keep coming back and doing business with us. So having that is great because also guys will send me pictures of their wives dress they’re wearing to some charity ball or the Derby or whatever and I can then send them a bunch of images made up that match that outfit and their wife can pick it out. I’ve got his measurements, I can just make it for him and go from there.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, that’s neat. It’s progressed a lot since 30 years ago.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. And dad now, it’s just kind of him talking about how he kind of had to just… some of the stuff he’s put to [inaudible 00:38:43] very good. He has great style and he can conceptualize the way certain things look much better than I can right now just because obviously the years he’s had doing this, but even shirts underneath certain things or whatever and I would never choose that actually turned out to be really nice. I don’t know how he did it back when he didn’t have the images to kind of actually make a 3-D model and see it kind of thing.

 

Jason Heflin:

He has to see it in his head.

 

Tyler Brown:

And he does. And he’ll tell you, he’s always been a big dreamer and he’s the guy that will come up with the big goal, the kind of end-all goal and gather the people up to try to complete that goal. And so I think that really kind of goes back to not just in life and the way he is church wise or whatever. But the aspect of, he can even do that with clothes, which is hard for me still to do.

 

Jason Heflin:

Wow. What recommendations would you have for someone starting a business? Maybe someone who’s never owned a business, never run a business. They’ve always been working at a business.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. The passion side of it, you can never replace the work ethic and the passion that you have for the business. It’s one of those things where owners always talk about having an issue of, “I can’t find somebody that works good, I can’t hire any people that work good,” because no one will ever share the same passion and the same care that you have for your business. And so if you can find those people, great, but don’t get frustrated when you are doing it and nobody can see that same kind of goal that you have or that same kind of image of your business that you’ve kind of created in your head and they’re not grasping that.

 

Tyler Brown:

Don’t get frustrated with them, they’re not the passion that you had there. They don’t have that work ethic that you had that want to make this succeed. So just know it might take you a little bit to find that person and it might be a long time of you just doing it by yourself. And that’s okay. I had a guy that is a very influential mentor of mine that said, “It’s okay, you have to put your head down for four years and work really, really hard because you’d be amazed at when you look up what it is.”

 

Tyler Brown:

So that kind of thing, if you’re starting a business, it’s not going to be easy. No one’s just going to walk in and write you a check for like a hundred grand and be like, “Glad your business is cool.” So just putting it towards it, and again, not be afraid to hear no because you’re going to hear no, no matter what business you’re in.

 

Jason Heflin:

What is a failure and what is the biggest success that you’ve had? And it could be with a client, it could be maybe opening the store, whatever. What are the biggest kind of ups and downs because it is very up and down.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. Again, that failure would probably be the, I like to think I work hard, but I don’t do it 24/7. I work hard for several weeks. I think I did really good. And then just kind of stop and I’m like, “Well, wait until the next month to start up and I’ll work hard again.” And when you find yourself… when you do that, you get to that next week and you’re, “Well, I’ll wait till the next week.” So that’s probably the biggest failure of mine. Obviously, having a wife and a two-year-old now, that changes my perspective a little bit because as I see her continue to grow up, I’m like, “Well, there’s no time to really slow down,” and just hope I can make this life successful for her.

 

Tyler Brown:

So probably the biggest success would be grasping that idea of what dad put forth at this business. That it is not about us as much as it’s about our clients, that we’re for the community, we’re for the people around us more than even for ourselves in a way. And so that would probably be the biggest success is grasping that because then that changes the way you do everything else, if all that makes sense, that’s probably [crosstalk 00:41:54].

 

Jason Heflin:

It does. Yeah. No, it’s, and I love the part of your business, which is very community-focused and giving back. So many people say they do that, and for me, I have to have people holding me accountable for that. I’ll write a check to this randomly or write a check to that, but it… Rachel’s really good at that with us. She’s doing a food drive right now. What else? What did you? What did you before that? What was the effort? Every few weeks it’s something that will [inaudible 00:42:17].

 

Rachel Kirby:

We did Hope-

 

Jason Heflin:

Hope House.

 

Tyler Brown:

[inaudible 00:42:22].

 

Rachel Kirby:

Hope House. Hope House They had a affordable Christmas toy drive, so we did that.

 

Jason Heflin:

And what was the result of that?

 

Rachel Kirby:

We did over 50 gifts.

 

Jason Heflin:

And now we’re giving food to brass. So, but with that, Rachel kind of owns that for us and makes sure that we continue to do that. For you, it’s just, you just do it. You don’t have to think of what are we going to do this? You have a dedicated every month, right?

 

Tyler Brown:

Well, we kind of switch it up and we choose different things, but we try to have it kind of thought out like, this is what we’re going to do this… A lot of times it’s for sponsorships too, we might do a big sponsorship on an event and then also donate money at that event kind of thing, just depending on the organization or what’s going on. And it’s one of those things where starting off business is one of those things I was kind of nervous to tell people this how much money we give away because obviously you want to be humble and have that humility about it. But as I started talking to more and more guys, successful businessman, they were like, “Why would you not tell people what you do?” Because they’re going to buy into that.

 

Jason Heflin:

They buy into it and it inspires them to maybe, hopefully do it themselves. And which leads me to my next question, which is what would you recommend for people who own a business who say, “You know what, that’s a good idea. I always say, I’m going to do that. I never do it.” What would you tell them to do to get that started? What’s an easy thing they can do to get that rolling?

 

Tyler Brown:

Well, for us, I think the easiest thing was when we make our goal for the year of what we want to achieve, what our monthly is going to be to reach our yearly. You start with the end in mind basically. So when we figure out, we basically agree how much money we want to give away in 2020 like we did last year. We want to figure out how much money we gave away at 2020 and then we back plan from all that. Then what do we need to do? What things do we need to do to make sure we achieve that? And how much money we want to give away. Obviously-

 

Jason Heflin:

That was part of your annual planning process, part of your budget?

 

Tyler Brown:

Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jason Heflin:

Say, okay, well, this is what we’re going to try to hit number wise and this is what we’re going to pull out together.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah, which is great. Again, when I’m working in a month, I’m like, man, these are my personal goals for myself to be successful. But at the same time you’re like, actually our goal this month is to achieve a number that reaches that end goal of what we’re going to do for that year.

 

Rachel Kirby:

How do you divide it out? Are you sponsoring events or are you giving to certain groups?

 

Tyler Brown:

Both. And it just kind of depends. We’ll have the guys and that’s what I think too that’s hard… Excuse me, that’s hard when people realize that your community focus, you’ll have every person come into the store like, “Hey, can you donate to this? Could donate to this?” And that’s one of the things too. You got to be okay saying no. And yes, you want to have that bleeding heart a little bit and give money to everybody and help out everybody, but at the same time, you’ve got to be smart about where your money goes because unfortunately in today’s world, not every organization uses money as it should be used.

 

Tyler Brown:

And so we really try to find those ones that line up with kind of our mindset and our goals. So sometimes it is just writing a check, “Hey, here’s this amount of money for this organization, have fun with it. We know you’re going to use it appropriately. Or we wouldn’t have given it to you.” But then other times it’s, I’ve got a client who is part of an organization that’s hosting an event and he’ll come to me and be like, “Hey, man, in March we’ve got an event, would you like to help out?” We’re like, “Sure, we’ll do a sponsorship for that kind thing.” Because we know that money in that sponsorship is going towards those goals too, so.

 

Jason Heflin:

I’m going to wrap it up with a question that’s really big, but what’s your longterm… your ultimate goal for the business? What’s the end game?

 

Tyler Brown:

End game… So-

 

Jason Heflin:

30 years from now.

 

Tyler Brown:

Well, is for my dad not to be working anymore, which 30 years, you’ve got to set that right. What I’ll say in it, that’s really far. He shouldn’t be working 30 years from now because he will be like 90. He’ll be 80-something. Don’t tell him I said 90, and so.

 

Jason Heflin:

We’re not doing the math here [crosstalk 00:46:01] if you’re listening.

 

Tyler Brown:

Because when we started this originally, I mean the goal was for him to be doing just here in a couple of years because he’s a minister at a church here in town and then he runs [inaudible 00:46:09] ministry that’s in a couple of states. And so he just does it and because of his heart, it’s lay led because he doesn’t want money coming to him. But he puts a lot of time and effort into it that he shouldn’t have to and still then have to work a regular job like he’s doing now to make ends meet kind of thing.

 

Tyler Brown:

So eventual goal is for obviously him not to have to work, but 30 years from now the goal would be to be impacting men in more towns. And with that, being able to then give away more money to the people in those communities. We’re very much Bowling Green focused, but there’s no reason why like an Owensboro, I’ve got about 20 clients that I deal with pretty regularly throughout Owensboro. Why I couldn’t be involved with helping people there? I mean there’s [inaudible 00:46:46].

 

Jason Heflin:

Well, through MANbox. I mean where do those boxes go? Do they just-

 

Tyler Brown:

Go all over. I mean yeah. Yeah, so.

 

Jason Heflin:

Where’s the furthest place you’ve shipped one?

 

Tyler Brown:

Well, we kind of had to pull it back a little bit, but the furthest we shipped one was probably in the Carolinas. I think we did one.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay. So kind of Southern.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. And so we kind of adjust that because again, because we are smaller, we cannot adjust shipping based off how much UPS charges you to the certain states, but. So 30 years from now, obviously, I don’t want to stop working because most people that stopped working nosedive life-wise, health-wise pretty hard. So having purpose, but I would like to be in a position where, I’m not on the road selling like I’m doing now because it does wear you out. I mean being in a car all the time does wear your body out. But being in a position where I could have other guys come to me who are doing what I’m doing now and I feel like I’m pretty good manager of people.

 

Tyler Brown:

I mean obviously the army pays me to do that and if I’m not doing that, something’s wrong. So taking that concept of almost being a military structure I guess, and have people that are going out in these towns and impacting these different men and then we’re able to provide more resources to those impacts, I guess is as a big deal. Because in the end of it, 30 years from now, I’m afraid what male leadership will look like in the home and in this country. And so if that doesn’t get straightened out and men don’t start stepping up and actually doing what they’re supposed to be doing in life, I mean the average get average age of a video gamer now is in his 30s and that’s very different. Most 2/3 of male millennials still live with their parents.

 

Tyler Brown:

And I know there’s other things that play into that, economics and things like that, but guys need to be risk takers. They need to be willing to go out and achieve goals. And so us being able to do that 30 years from now hopefully will be a little bit of impact where you kind of have a bubble of guys that are willing to make life better for other people.

 

Jason Heflin:

But I think that’s a very noble mission and I really, I’m glad you came out today. I’m excited to see what happens next. We’ve been kind of with you on this journey a little bit and it’s been fun to see the business evolve and grow and-

 

Tyler Brown:

You guys made us look a lot better originally than we probably were.

 

Jason Heflin:

And then you make me look good when I come in there.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. We still-

 

Jason Heflin:

I’m now wearing the 10-year-old jeans.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah. We’re still trying to get Chuck a hoodie that works, but-

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. Yeah, a fashion-forward-

 

Tyler Brown:

Hoodie.

 

Jason Heflin:

… business meeting hoodie-

 

Chuck Gregory:

[inaudible 00:48:58] business casual, but yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Don’t give up on that.

 

Tyler Brown:

I’m trying to put a hoodie inside a sport coat, just a hoodie inside a sport coat [crosstalk 00:49:05].

 

Chuck Gregory:

Unzip the collar and just pull it out just pull it out?

 

Tyler Brown:

Just for you.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay. Don’t steal that idea, folks. Well, thanks for coming in today, Tyler. I appreciate it. Thanks for sharing your story and we appreciate what you’re doing for the community too.

 

Rachel Kirby:

Yeah, thank you.

 

Tyler Brown:

I’m just glad to be here. I know, I’m rumble on, mumble on or whatever the word is.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s okay. I do it mostly all day, so.

 

Tyler Brown:

Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

All right, well, thanks again.

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By Chad Webb

Chad Webb (who is 40) is one of CrowdSouth’s Partners and brings years (not quite 40) of experience managing multi-million dollar website projects to your business. He loves hoodies, puffy vests, jeans and flip flops.

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