50 episodes

In this show I have the opportunity to sit down with hundreds of small business owners and help tell their story. We spend less time talking about profits and revenue and more time about how the business came to be, what got them started, why do they do what they do, and what keeps them going. This show is focused on small businesses in Utah but I may one day branch out to other states.

The Company Next Door Ete AhPing

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

In this show I have the opportunity to sit down with hundreds of small business owners and help tell their story. We spend less time talking about profits and revenue and more time about how the business came to be, what got them started, why do they do what they do, and what keeps them going. This show is focused on small businesses in Utah but I may one day branch out to other states.

    Mike Will: A Great Clean (Heber City, UT)

    Mike Will: A Great Clean (Heber City, UT)

    Today, Ete sits down with entrepreneur Mike Will of A Great Clean, located in Heber City, UT. Mike is a passionate musician (check out Mike Stance and Unfailing), a pug owner, a heat-hating snowboarder, and owner of a successful carpet-cleaning business. Ete and Mike met in a hot tub at the beautiful Mountain Valley RV Resort in Heber City, UT.

    Big ideas from this episode:
    A “free roaming spirit” can lead to entrepreneurship.
    ​​I kind of was able to connect that idea of that free roaming spirit, of wanting to be out in the world sharing a message, with my idea of also wanting to manage myself without needing someone else to tell me what I need to do every day. And so the idea of music led me straight to entrepreneurship.
    Claim the right name the right way.
    I realized that I hadn't trademarked it properly…and ended up losing the company to another company that is very popular in this area…
    Sometimes you have to let go and start over.
    …I was contacting attorneys and finding out that I did have a case. What I realized then was that it was going to become a case of the deeper pockets. I needed to have money to go to court. And I realized I needed to take a step back from something that I had been focusing on every day for three years. And it was actually kind of a relief.
    Shift your focus when you need to.
    And I just started moving in the direction of, okay, I need to focus on one thing at a time now, because if I spend this time trying to build another clothing company…I'm just gonna spend so much energy and not really give what I need to to the business that's actually going to put money in my pocket. And so when I realized it was time to focus on the carpet cleaning, I just did what I need to do.
    Your business needs to work for you, so  only work with the clients who will honor that.
    I've been doing this now, for three years, four years that I haven't been answering my phone, my business has not suffered for it. I have found the clients who are willing to work with me in the way that I'm asking them to. And in that sense, I'm allowing the people who are good for me to come into my life.
    Charge what you’re worth.
    I started off at 25 cents a square foot...then realizing as I got better, that that is the the poor man's carpet cleaning. You know, like, if anybody's charging you 25 cents a square foot, they don't know how to charge what they're worth, or they're beginning,
    You might not need employees.
    But I've also had employees that I've trained and spent time training–time and money–and to have them leave and realize, Oh, now I've built my business up to this point, a now I either need to find somebody that I can train again, or what I took a deeper look at is, if I was to just handle this on my own, which I know I can, would I  make more money.
    Connect with yourself, be yourself, and believe in yourself.
    …have a meditation practice, a way to quiet the mind a little bit in order to hear what the heart is telling you…that's been one of the ways that I've truly been able to connect with that belief and self.Do what feels right to you. Don't let anybody tell you what the right way to be you is.So when you hear self doubt come up in the mind and you know, in your heart, you want to experience what life has to offer you, in order to receive what it is that you want, you've got to believe in yourself.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Season 3 Recap

    Season 3 Recap

    A full year and thousands of miles in the making, Season 3 has officially come to a close. Today Ete takes a look back at some of his favorite moments from this season. He's had the chance to speak with entrepreneurs from across the country and across industries, small business owners who are still in elementary school, to those who have their sights on retirement. This episode is dedicated to remembering their stories and the things they taught us. With gratitude to all the great people we've met–who've shared their time and a bit of themselves with us, and to all of our listeners, we present our Season 3 Recap.
    Interviews from Season 3:
    Scott Abbott: Pronexis + Founder of Five Star Painting (Springville, UT)
    Nick Coleman: Ivan Carfax (South Jersey)
    Doug Trace: Trace Photo Studio (South Jersey)
    Jace Kandle: Lake Kandle (Sewell, NJ)
    Steve Castellano: ANS Construction (South Jersey/Philly)
    Steve Poponi and Dave Downham: Gradwell House Recording Studio (Haddon Heights, NJ)
    Dean Johnson: Healthy Homes Pest Control (Palmyra, VA)
    Debbie Wilds: Shear Wildness (Goochland, VA)
    Joey Maxwell: The Studio Creative Group (Deland, FL)
    Britton Frankel: DynoClimb (Deland, FL)
    Chelsea Conrad: Bodhi + Sol Spa (Deland, FL)
    Ryan Begin: KG Showroom (Ormond Beach, FL)
    Liz Robinson: Ted's Shooting Range (Queen Creek, AZ)
    Carter and Keaton Fife: Fife Bros Poop Patrol (Gilbert, AZ)
    Spencer Owens: Bell Rock Finance (Mesa, AZ)
    Gavin Hallock: Kash Financial Services (Gilbert, AZ)

    • 42 min
    Gavin Hallock: Kash Financial Services (Gilbert, AZ)

    Gavin Hallock: Kash Financial Services (Gilbert, AZ)

    Today Ete sits down with Gavin Hallock, founder of KASH Financial Services located in Gilbert, AZ. Kash provides advisory and consultancy services for business projects and improvements, external CFO services, and cash flow management for businesses.
    Gavin has more than 15 years of experience working with small to mid-size companies. He has a BS in finance from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in accountancy from University of Phoenix. He also has an IRS Enrolled Agent designation.
    Gavin is married and has 3 children. He enjoys running and cycling.
    In this episode:
    On finding his business idea
    “I always analyze things. Because part of being a commercial banker, I was always talking to business owners, asking them the questions. Hey, why did you struggle in this? or Why are your margins down in this? Or why are they up? And what are the reasons? I'd always ask the why. And so in the back of my head, I was always like, hey, these business owners need help, they need some advisory help...that right hand person to be there to help them excel.”
    On clientele
    "So from the beginning, I thought, oh yeah, I could take on all these different clients. And and now I've realized like hey, you can take on clients, but you really need to take on the right clients."
    On networking
    "I've developed relationships with many different local business owners, where they provide the solutions, and then I can use that as a network and help these customers find the right solution at a good price."
    On business ownership
    "And it's kind of funny because, like, it's a different stress when you own a business than when you work for somebody."
    "I always analyze things. And sometimes you get this analysis paralysis, but you can't do that as a business owner. You have got to be like, alright, this isn't working. I got to move forward with this."
    On mindset
    "And you can't beat yourself up as a business owner. You can't. You have to continue to move forward. "
    On unexpected paths and pivots
    "But to me, it's that the pathway that I took to get to where I'm at today, it's allowed me to, to learn so much, and also have this big skill set… "
    "Maybe in six months, I have to pivot and do and do something a little bit different. And that's what I've learned from the beginning. I've only been in business, like really in business, for like, eight, nine months. And then you always have to pivot, until I think you establish yourself. And I hope this is the path. But who knows..."
    "Yeah, I think you always have to take a pulse check and say, hey, what, what's going on? Is this working? If it's not working, then maybe what things might work, and kind of toy with that while you're still doing what you're doing."
    On getting ideas
    "When I'm out there on a hard run. Like say I'm doing intervals or whatnot, the only thing you can do is just say like, Okay, I gotta get through this. But like, as soon as you're done, you're resting...that's when my biggest ideas come out. Or if I'm driving on a road trip with my wife, ideas start coming to me because the kids are back there watching movies and I'm there with my wife and and that's when you're just driving and there's no other distractions."
    Advice for Entrepreneurs
    "First thing, if they want to get into business, I would hope that they have meditated about or prayed about it."
    "Don't think that it's gonna happen overnight."
    "Set those goals out there, even if they're lofty, but celebrate the small milestones."

    "Just do it. Just keep at it because consistency builds results."

    • 50 min
    Spencer Owens: Bell Rock Finance (Mesa, AZ)

    Spencer Owens: Bell Rock Finance (Mesa, AZ)

    Meet Spencer Owens, co-founder and Principal at Bell Rock Finance,  which provides investment financing—acquisition and renovation—for fix & flip, commercial, construction, and land/lot real estate projects. Bell Rock is located in Mesa, AZ. 

    In this episode:

    2007: "Yeah, great time to start a wealth management, financial planning type of an office." (6:04)Changing strategy to fill the "hole in the market." (10:47)"It's okay to not know how to do everything.": "Surround yourself with people who know things and do things that you can't do." (13:01)A "business divorce:" "Our interests weren't aligned to the owner had a different vision for where he wanted to go." (14:53)"Yeah, probably should have hired a trademark attorney when we signed up for our name." (17:54)Competition grows: "When I started lending, there was one big name in town. And now there's dozens. And so and we're all battling..." (21:23)The differentiator: "speed and convenience." (21:53) "When you call Bell Rock Finance, and speak to one of us, you're speaking with an owner, you're speaking with a decision maker." (23:45) "We have a process":  "I can go run our systems and our tools, and I can get you an answer within an hour." (24:19)"This business is work hard strike while the iron's hot. Be wise with your own own income, save as much as possible. And just keep doing it as long as the market will support it." (26:57)"I have friends who are in corporate and they'll they'll take a week off and worry free stress free. That looks nice...But then you look at the the ceiling that you're put on, the income ceiling, the progress ceiling, whatever you have in in those positions."And I think having a hobby, having an outlet is absolutely paramount and important in everybody's lives." (31:41)"We've had some some crazy experiences where people have really wronged us. And we've had to, you know, get lawyers and trudge through those those sticky situations, but it's just head down, grind through it, and have faith in your in your passion in your vision that you will get through it and that it'll be better on the other side." (32:17)

    • 40 min
    Carter and Keaton Fife: Fife Bros Poop Patrol (Gilbert, AZ)

    Carter and Keaton Fife: Fife Bros Poop Patrol (Gilbert, AZ)

    Meet Carter and Keaton Fife of Fife Bros. Poop Patrol. (You can email Fife Bros. Poop Patrol at jacquie.m.fife@gmail.com). Carter (10) and Keaton (7), sons of Rusty Fife interviewed on Season 2 Episode 1, are by far the youngest guests who have been on the show. The 2 brothers own and operate a dog poo pick-up and removal service in Gilbert, AZ.

    In this week's episode:

    Serial Entrepreneurs: salsa and poo (and citrus) removalPreventing a Turf War: respecting boundaries and territories A growing clienteleMarketing Secrets: your Mom on Facebook and flyersKnow your expenses (about $14)Picking up 4 weeks of poo at the house with 4 bulldogsMa’am and Sir: showing respectDouble Check for Poo: offering great serviceTime Management: baseball, play, and pooWord of Mouth: Brittany’s beer-drinking party neighborsSaving up means “good kid money.”Dreams: architecture, professional baseball, and shoe salesA Phil Knight fanGreat Advice: get help, quality service, be kind to your clientsThe elevator pitch“Sometimes you’re just gonna have rude people…”Failure doesn’t have to be “sad.”Two kids define success.You can start a fire with a pee bag.Survival essentials? Root beer floats and a bed. Alternatively, water and an AR-15.

    • 33 min
    Liz Robinson: Ted's Shooting Range (Queen Creek, AZ)

    Liz Robinson: Ted's Shooting Range (Queen Creek, AZ)

    Meet Liz Robinson, co-owner of Ted’s Shooting Range, located in Queen Creek, AZ. Ted’s Shooting Range offers firearms educational classes, and includes a gun range, a retail firearms store, and a dive shop.
    Some topics of discussion
    A multi-faceted business: classes, range, and retail (5:27)Shooting as a skill that offers a level playing field (8:19)A sales boom: “Liberal” first time gun buyers (12:17)A perspective on guns: “It's a tool of a sport that I love to use.” (13:44)For traumatized women, guns can help them “feel like they're getting control back of their life.” (15:36)2020-2021: millions of new gun owners (17:24)A woman-owned company: earning a place in a predominantly male industry (36:18)Women gun owners: “we don't treat them like they're stupid” (37:40)Race and gender politics in business (throughout)Guns and the current political climate (throughout)Business lessons and ideas
    A serious responsibility: when you have to say no to a customer (18:05)A partnership between two very different people is a good thing (20:12)“If you have an employee that just is not working out, don't don't hold on to them for too long.” (22:15)Personnel issues: “I listen to my employees a lot, not just the management, it’s the employees.” (22:13)“I won't tolerate racism.” “Won't tolerate it in my employees. I won't tolerate it in my customers.” (22:36)“Lead by example, how you treat them is hopefully how they're gonna treat the customer.” (28:37)Success is “how I feel inside.” (30:10)Franchising hesitancy (30:48)“Be flexible. Because you never know where a good thing is gonna come from.” (33:24)“If you're so rigid, it's going to just in some cases, I think it just destroys businesses” (34:15)Miscellaneous interesting stuff
    Who the heck is Ted? (:34)“When I was eight, I was a janitor.” (2:48)A toy gun under her pillow (6:40)“My kids starting shooting at 3 and 4.” (7:06)

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

ilikewinter ,

Great to hear the depth of each entrepreneur!

This podcast takes the time to really listen and dig down into topics that naturally come up with each guest in regards to their business. But it's not just about business — it also brings in the ties to everyday life and dreams around each business and business owner. I really enjoy Ete's interview style (reminds me of the host of "How I Built This" — if you like that podcast, you'll like this one!). Each conversation I've listened to so far feels like a comfortable conversation and makes me wish I could meet each guest and see their businesses in person. I've really enjoyed this by-proxy exploration of small businesses across the States and hope to see it in Canada one day, too. :)

banjolucy ,


Thank you for letting people tell their stories! I’ve been going to Debbie Wild’s salon for years; it’s wonderful to hear her tell the story.

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