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George Huff


George Huff

@0:00 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I'm here with the CEO of Opal George Huff.

George, how are we doing?

@0:11 - George Huff

Doing well, doing well. Sun is shining here in Portland, Oregon, so get a little bit of free happiness.

@0:17 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

We are speaking to a local Pacific Northwest entrepreneur. They're located here in Northeast Portland, Oregon.

@0:25 - George Huff

So I'm very excited to have this conversation before we start talking about Opal George. Give us a little background.

Who is George Huff? Well, let's see. I grew up in Alaska, had a dream of being an entrepreneur, getting into tech, sparked at a pretty young age, and couldn't wait to get out of there and pursue that dream elsewhere.

So ended up in Oregon State University, ended up in Portland, Oregon afterwards, and kind of started cutting my teeth from there.

There's a whole lot more to that story, but that's the sort of short version of it.

@0:59 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Got an entrepreneurship that way. And so what did you study over at Oregon State?

@1:03 - George Huff

Well, I'm an accountant son, so I might say that I'm very practical. So I didn't really see degrees that I wanted other than a business degree.

So I decided to go that direction. It felt very practical. I could use it and apply it to anything.

And that's really, that was all my mother's emerging at that point, being a little bit rudderless in some ways, like many entrepreneurs probably are.

@1:26 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

So talk about the transition. You mentioned you went from Alaska down to Corvallis, right? Corvallis to Portland, Oregon. What, obviously you said you mentioned your reasoning from leaving Alaska to Corvallis.

Why did you leave Corvallis to Portland?

@1:41 - George Huff

I graduated. And my girlfriend now wife was from the Portland area. So I ended up here nationally. But it's been a great spot.

I mean, I got here in 2004 in Portland. And just such a cool, cool time to be in Portland, if you know the city at all, obviously you do.

But to be able to be here as it was sort of emerging as this creative hub and being someone that's a creative and entrepreneur and technology driven, you know, those are all really interesting things for me to be a part of and you know, some of the brands that are here, Giant Footwear brand out in Beaverton, you may have heard of them, you know, seeing how they did business, getting really close to that was really inspiring.

So, but that's how I got to 400.

@2:24 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And so what was your kind of first venture into this entrepreneurial world?

@2:31 - George Huff

Well, you know, if I look back, there's probably like many small false starts that you get as you are, you know, just you kind of have this weird thing where you like to start projects, right?

And projects oftentimes turn into businesses. And so my first, my first like formal LLC was actually a music label that I did out of Alaska called Home Skill at Records.

And it was all about just finding artists and recording them. You know, this was like really pre streaming. So it was a lot of like download our mp3s off our website kind of thing and you know, we couldn't make any much money doing that.

So we started throwing a festival to go with it and that ended up making a little bit of money.

But you know, it was, it was that sort of initial like, hey, why don't we just try something? Why don't we just start something?

And I've taken that into a few different endeavors since then.

@3:18 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And so tell us, where did the career path lead from there?

@3:24 - George Huff

Well, I did that. I did that kind of while I had my, my one in. I mean, I, my professional career, the only job I've had was a website designer and builder, right?

And I did that for about two years. And so while I was doing that, I was doing the music thing.

But very shortly into that journey, I realized that I kind of wanted to be my own person and go off and, and blaze my own trail.

I had that calling I think all entrepreneurs have. And so I went from building sites that other people sold like the project to, to like actually running an agency.

And so I did that for about five years. I have years, had a team of about 10, 12 people that a lot of high-end stuff, products and high-web design, that kind of stuff.

But that wasn't, I learned very shortly that that wasn't the kind of business that I wanted to be in.

I was very much gravitating towards the SaaS industry and technology, in general. Some people were, technology oriented that I could sink my teeth into for a number of years, which really ultimately led me to Opel.

@4:25 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yes. So speaking of Opel, what is Opel? What does it do?

@4:31 - George Huff

Well, if you think about large organizations, they are spending so much energy with humans and agencies and whatnot, putting together campaigns and content.

And the way that they stay organized across all of that, like the planning side, all the way to strategic planning side of the execution side, is really like done in like spreadsheets.

Like for all the veneer you see on the outside of a brand, any pickety brand in the world. on the inside, and it's kind of chaotic, right?

Because it's really hard to keep a lot of people aligned. So I just had this vision early on with some of the brands that I work with in my own agency capacity of like, what if there was a system that helped everybody stay aligned around plans, calendars, content?

And wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't that be a smoother process on the inside? And that's been the mission of the organization.

To this day, we're still working that same problem because it's a really tough one.

@5:30 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah. And so who is the typical client of Opel?

@5:36 - George Huff

So I like to think about it as, our typical clients are usually large organizations. So like Target, Starbucks, those size organizations.

I like to say, though, that if you have, if you can fit your team in a room or the famous Amazon example, if you chair two pizzas, right, in a room.

That's probably not the right side. Like once you get beyond that, once you start having more coordination issues and planning issues, I think something like Opel starts to make a ton of sense.

And so we found that our sweet spot really is, you know, getting North of 30, 40 marketers on a team and having to coordinate and share plans with partners, with share plans up, share plans with adjacent teams with an organization, just to have a central place to do planning starts to create a ton of just organizational and cultural unlock.

@6:30 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, kind of take me to that process of start and Opel. Like how, you know, obviously you guys identified a need, right?

That you needed to fill, there's a void there. How did you guys go about starting to create in this brand and building it up and bringing on clients to the point where you were able to acquire a client like Starbucks and Target?

@6:51 - George Huff

Yeah, I mean, that's such a fun part of an organization. To be honest, we didn't actually start with a great insight of

of, you know, I would look up at 3 a.m. or whatever and I realized there's this burning problem. Our journey was a little bit different and I'd say that's sort of been true of Opal always.

Like we're a little bit unorthodox but it was really, we had a group of people at my agency and other agencies were kind of adjacent to us and said like what if we, what if we just started working on a product, a software product like we're getting out of this agency business where you know it's kind of feast for famine and we wanted something to create more steadiness and what we were doing.

And so we started working on a couple of different products, hence the name labs, right? We were very much in a, hey let's start this thing, let's tinker, let's, let's try stuff.

So we had a product that was more like if you took Slack and you said it was more of like a message board rather than instant chatting, we had that product like before Slack came out and turns out Slack figured it out really, really well.

It had been a nice business to ride the rock ship on. We did another product that was called Brainstorms, it was just way ahead of its time but during the pandemic it probably has been really useful.

because people were all digital and all about. And once I sort of, you know, you kind of align and you learn lessons to those different products, you know, the first one, you know, I think we were, we weren't quite, but both those first few products, we were more of a vitamin than a pain pill.

And, you know, at the same time, I'm trying to keep, and, you know, keep in mind, I'm trying to start a product company, a SaaS company out of an agency.

And that's like, that's a death wish for anybody to start that path. Like most people don't survive it or they pull out.

And so, you know, at the time, I was doing different consulting gigs with teams that were trying to scale social and to scale content within their organizations.

And I would take like, like, I'm really, really good at visual design in keynote. And that was like, that was a skill set that I had.

And so just be able to like, take people's marketing plans and content and put them in something that they could like, show their boss or show their bosses boss or whatever.

I just sort of said, like, what if I made that automation? Like, would that be valuable to the world, right?

And, turn up, we put a prototype together. And because we had these relationships with bigger companies, we were able to go and kind of shop this prototype and say, hey, this is kind of direction.

This other thing we're doing called Opal is going. And the response that we got to that prototype just resonated incredibly.

And we were able to get our first five customers, get them up and running on the product, have them have success, be willing to be a reference for other customers.

And once that moment happens, funding is easier. Getting to the next customer is easier. You just start to get this momentum in market.

@9:36 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And it's an incredible time finding product market fit. One of the things you mentioned is you were working in an agency trying to create a SaaS company.

@9:45 - George Huff

For the answers at home, one, what is SaaS and what does it mean to be a SaaS company? Yeah, SaaS is, it's an acronym.

It stands for Software as a Service. And most of us are using SaaS products today. So Zoom is a SaaS product.

Slack is a service. SaaS product. Most of the big kind of like stalwart technology companies have turned all their products into SaaS products because there's just its subscription revenue versus sort of like buying box software.

And it was just a major shift in the industry, you know, a circuit 10 years ago. And so we were like, well, wouldn't that be great to get subscription revenue that you could guarantee a month over month over month over month?

And then you build a business that's right size for that revenue that you have. So that's what that's the, I think, kind of short version of that there's lots more to SaaS, but that's the simple version.

@10:33 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

No, that's perfect. Now, now, what would you say, you know, starting in old bowl, what has been one of the more difficult aspects of growing this company?

@10:42 - George Huff

Well, I got 10, I've had 10 years of working on this company. So there's, there's a lot of so many lessons in it.

I think the difficult aspects are, you know, I think, I think that there's kind of a couple different things.

Like the first phase of it was, here I was this starting like founding CEO at the company. And you know, I don't care who you are.

I mean, I think this is generally true, maybe some people will fill this way, but like really don't know anything.

You know, you only know that you got a pretty good gut and you know, I think you're trying to do your best, you're seeking out advice, that kind of thing.

And I think that your growth at that stage is like really taxing because you're, you know, you're kind of faking it to a certain degree.

Like if you really know yourself, you know, they're like, I'm just making this thing up. And I'm trying to hustle my way.

So like those are the things that kind of get you to a certain level. And then there's this next level where, you know, you truly have to professionalize.

And I think that you, you struggle in that because you don't really know what that even means. If you're honest with yourself, right?

Because like the things you need to be a scrappy entrepreneur are very different than things you need to professionalize a company.

And so it's like you kind of almost like do nothing and give people responsibility. and see what happens, you know, which is like so, like, is this someone that goes and seizes the moment?

Trying to do that, I think, is really, really hard, and then figuring out, like, what kind of leader you need to be at these different stages.

So, that part's been a challenge, and then just who you used to round yourself with. I think values really, really matter a lot, and, you know, that was something that we didn't always get right.

So, the landscape changes, and there were way too many founders of Opal in the beginning. For better or worse, again, we were very unorthodox, but you end up kind of seeing who's in it for the long haul, or sees the same vision, or whatever.

And I think you just, you adjust accordingly. And I think that, you know, eventually you get kind of down to an essence.

So, there's three of us now at the founding table, which are still operating, day-to-day operational at the company. And, you know, one is ahead of product, and the other one is the head of corporate development, and it's president of the company, operations.

And so, to have those two where we're working, We're like, we've been through this journey together. Our bond is forever.

And our values are very, very intrinsically tied together. And the outcome is tied together. And so I think having, if I didn't have partners along the way, I think it would be really hard.

I look at people that are doing it solo. I'm like, that was harder. There's so many hard things. I mean, it gave her a little like a go ahead and go ahead and get on that question.

@13:24 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, and it kind of sounds like you had a transition at some point where you mentioned you had quite a bit of founders.

@13:30 - George Huff

Now you're down to three.

@13:31 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Talk us through that period.

@13:33 - George Huff

And what kind of made the decision to kind of come down to three? Well, I mean, you don't really lose founders, so to speak.

I mean, if you're a part of a company, part of a part of a part of a company forever.

But I think that the kind of moving on day-to-day operational role, I mean, that's no one starts a company and thinks that we're like, oh, I'm going to be the one that peels off, right?

But that's kind of inevitably what happens. It's just not for everybody anymore, right? Or some people just really shouldn't be a organization anymore.

And you've got to make. You had to have like those kinds of tough conversations that are so hard to have in a founder capacity more so than a you know employee employer capacity and so that's been the um, you know, it was really like do they fit anymore or are they slowing us down?

Um, because some people you know, like if you're a founder you do have a voice at a table and some voices will slow you down or keep you going from a direction You need to go in I recently became CEO again After about a four and a half year hiatus in 2021 Do largely do these kinds of things like we needed to move in a direction And we needed to move like with kind of a renewed bigger in that and maybe in the founding sale you kind of need that uh, I guess more entrepreneurial spirit and a ceo that that innovator back at the helm to get the company to where it needs to be um, so that that's been the um That's been the role i've played in the last couple years You know, you bring up a great point, you know innovation and and you know putting your product out there and moving forward How does opal brand and market themselves?

@14:59 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

How do you get clients like?

@15:00 - George Huff

You know the target in Starbucks of the world Yeah, it's a great question. I mean there's so many There's so many different opinions on like what works.

I think that Ultimately, it's going to be what works for your door business And so I think you can kind of listen to a lot of different people talk about How they did it and I think you can learn a lot of different pieces of information for us, you know, we tried the whole Like we originally had done like a lot of worded mouth And a lot of events so we go to different cities and an event strategy worked really really well for us We didn't do much of a digital marketing Like the people who's our platform from that.

We didn't do much of a digital marketing push Over the last few years. We've done more of a digital marketing push a lot of paid media that kind of stuff and You know, I don't I'm not convinced that that works better than like the old tried and true playbook It just and especially post pandemic where people have this longing and this desire to connect and opal really puts on a good show We do a great event.

So what we do like our number One thing is we go city to city and we bring together our customers and our prospects and say, hey, what our customers are selling for?

So I think that we all could attest to the fact that if your friend who you admire and respect tells you something is great, you're way more likely to believe that than if you see something on a paid advertising that talks about how awesome and great it is.

You know, and I think it's, you know, you cut to the chase a lot faster if you can have your customer speak for you.

So, and it kind of lines up everybody's incentives. Like for us, the incentive is to provide a great product and deliver a great service to our customers.

That's our wheelhouse. That's what we're going to do as best as we can possibly do it. And I think that the results are starting to speak in that sense.

People really are, we're doing a lot more events and people are just like fired up about our direction. This sort of revitalized product experience that we've put out.

Yes, so we like that strategy. It's just makes something great. And then people talk about it.

@16:59 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, you know, one of the things you've. kind of consistently mentioned is the pandemic right during that time. You mentioned you had a four year hiatus, came back in C.

Y. Oh, 2021. How did Opal continue to operate during that pandemic time?

@17:14 - George Huff

And how did you continue to be successful? Well, I don't think we were successful in that pandemic time. I think we really struggled for a few different reasons, right?

Not just, you know, if our bread and butter was hosted events, you can't do that anymore for two years, basically.

I think that that's, you know, and then you go, okay, well, what's our other market? Like, well, we have nothing because we don't have an investment in that.

We're different than that now. I think we're now we have a really great content marketing strategy, but I'm a big fan of more organic though, not paid.

But, you know, that's that side of it. I think the other side of it that is, that was hard for a lot of companies, including ours, was going remote.

And I think that that's where, like, I think there was probably already some cracks starting to show in terms of

of, you know, we're just feeling a little bit stagnant as an organization. And I think the pandemic really accelerated that for us.

It's a way to struggle through the pandemic. And it's part of the reason that I'm CEO now is because it's like, okay, well, if we've got to be a remote organization and we've got to revitalize the product and we've got to like, you know, excite our customers, bring back sort of like the entrepreneur, innovator, personality type, who just sort of juices the whole org in that direction.

And which is like a weird thing to say about yourself. But like, I think I undervalued that the first time around, that was just me being me.

And I go, well, that's actually a necessary component for like us as an organization being successful.

@18:37 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Did you ever have a moment of during during the pandemic or even throughout all polls growth of self doubt?

@18:45 - George Huff

Oh my God. Well, I mean, I kind of said it earlier, right? Like, you know, the reason I didn't, it wasn't like we were not performing and then I got kicked out of the CEO role or something like that, or I got voted out or it was it was significantly less dramatic.

It was like one conversation with another co-founder. He said, you know, I think it's time that it is a long of those professionalizations.

I think I'm on the CEO. I was like, okay, right? Because I've been carrying this, this, this like feeling that I've been making it up, right?

And like I really didn't know the next steps. And, you know, I just, and I thought that like other people must know because they're either, you know, older with more experience or whatever, whatever, whatever.

And I think that something gets lost when you have the founding CEO moved out. And so like I think that I both like experienced that self doubt in that run up when I stepped down.

But then like coming back into the shoes and the role and having observed someone else do it for a bit and saw like what worked and what didn't.

Really, it kind of, I got excited about it, right? Like at first there was that moment like, you know, oh my God, I'm going to be the CEO of Opel again, right?

And this company that was like high flying when I left was like struggling. post like during the pandemic. And so there was definitely a moment of like, can I do this?

Can I not do this? But like, time and experience does matter. But it matters in ways that you can't let it's not like time and experience gave me answers to all the questions I didn't have.

Time and experience gave me the ability to know the knowledge that I will be OK no matter what is thrown at me.

I will be able to work through it. I will be able to figure it out. And I have the tools and capabilities and the people around me that we can figure it out.

And I think there's a deep piece in that. And so that's really where I try to rest my own mental state as I'm building business.

It's like, you know, there's going to be highs and lows every single day and like, don't get too excited and don't get too afraid.

And if I can kind of stay in that sweet spot, slightly excited, I think it ends up well. Like, I think the company, you know, you go to work every day and work.

And that's why they call it work. And that's what we do, right?

@20:51 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Work problems. You know, one of the things you mentioned is you kind of felt as a CEO, you didn't know where you were going, right?

You're where did you go, though, for advice? Did you go to seek out other CEOs?

@21:03 - George Huff

How did you kind of get over this sense of Feeling like he didn't know something I had I had I mean like I said we had a lot of founders So I think that you know there's a blessing and a curse in that right you have a lot of people that are intrinsically motivated and Going willing to go the extra mile to build the company and do the things that are necessary to make it successful So but but the downside is that I think we were really insular.

I don't think I did a good job at that the first go around I think I sort of You know I kept I kept to myself or within that little kind of group of people and because you know I I like to say like be wary of like leaving your own height I think what happens is like you get success and you're in this little group.

It's been successful So why would you go outside and look to others to like get to that next level which is very arrogant?

I recognize that but I think that that's kind of what happened to us and so to so this time around you know There's a couple different CEOs.

I talked to I've gotten great board members that I'm close With we just brought on another board member who's more

like it's a current CEO, just to have that as a sounding board of like, even simple things, right? Like, how should I run a board meeting?

You know, I think for people that are building companies and they get a board, you're like, I don't, you know, like I made this up to get to hear and I have board meetings and I've raised money and like, you know, it kind of makes people's heads as well.

No one says that, right? Everyone's like, oh, God, everyone's kind of fronting. But the truth is, is like having operators who kind of run a 100 board meetings to call on and say like, is this normal?

Is this not normal? Here's what I was thinking. Yeah, you'd be foolish not to seek that out, I think.

And it's really true for anybody in any size company that they're starting.

@22:38 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, I completely agree. And in fact, you know, folks listening, I don't think there's ever a point in your professional career that you're not constantly learning, right?

And you mentioned the board meetings. And I'm just kind of creating a board meeting or a nonprofit and going through the legal paperwork of creating a 501c3.

Having a quorum and, you know, and to your point, you know, George. to try to identify individuals that truly are there to support it.

So for example, find somebody that professional operations, find somebody's professional in product development, find somebody professional in business development.

Because those are areas I'm probably not the most expert in, right? Find every people. But those are the folks that are going to be able to help me build this nonprofit into something that we really want to be and something sustainable, right?

Me and my two other co-founders, as you mentioned, trying to identify people in this profession, in this space that have a little bit more to offer, just so we can kind of continuously grow.

Now George, where do you see Opal growing in the next five or 10 years?

@23:40 - George Huff

Yeah, I always make this statement like no small dreams, right? And I think that when you're in a fear state, your dreams get smaller, your world gets smaller, everything feels like so even time span gets smaller.

And so taking over Opal, I knew that I was going to be in a turnaround. I am someone that is dogged when I want something, right?

Like I just go for it and go for it and go for it. Like I'm relentless. And if I kind of like laid out the valleys and hills that we've been through over the last two years, I mean, it's sort of like most people just kind of look at you like, they kind of start like leaning away because they're like, that's stressing me out.

@24:18 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

You know?

@24:19 - George Huff

So the thing is, is, but why do you do those things? Like, why would I even go through this?

Right? I've got an extreme attachment to this company. I was the founding CEO. The thing that we're pursuing was my initial idea.

I care about it successfully, deeply. And so I've gone through it though because I, you know, I didn't think that I never like going into thinking like, oh, I just want to have the experience of turning around a company.

Okay, I've done that and it's hard. And if it's like talk about turning around a company, I can tell you what we did and you can maybe take some pointers from it.

But I've done that now. And that's, I think, turning around a company is the hardest part of the company.

The thing that I really get excited about is that our product and our what we like why we exist in the world, what we exist to solve has not been solved in a way that we think is sufficient.

And it's been people are still using spreadsheets and they're still using PowerPoints. They're still using all this stuff to just organize on online marketing teams.

And so there's this opportunity is still there. And it's such an important piece of the marketing technology stack that I think it could be huge.

And I still feel that way. And when I first started, I thought it could be huge. I just thought that we at some point we'd kind of lost the plot a little bit.

And in doing all this work over the last two years, we've gotten to this place where we really know ourselves again.

And it could be huge. And I want that experience now of scaling a company to significantly bigger size and building a household name company.

That's what I'm doing this. And again, to my point I made earlier, that's what I'm relentless. Right? We've been throwing a lot as a company over the last five years.

But to be in this state where now where our product is hot again, our customers are excited about what we are doing, and our prospects, the people we sell software to are like, wow, I've never seen anything like this, you know, 10 years later after some of our initial innovation, it's cool.

And I just, I think that we're kind of at that, that, that cost per right, of being on the map again.

So I'm really excited to ride that wave. And again, I think Hopa can be a household name within, you know, our customer space.

@26:36 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

You know, one of the things you mentioned, you seem to be very ecstatic and you have a big drive.

Where does this passion, you mentioned, you know, this is your idea, your original idea. Where does this passion for the idea come from?

@26:52 - George Huff

You know, that's a, that's a great question. Honestly, my, this is the absolute truth and it's going to sound kind of corny but I saw my friends getting killed from this problem and I'm going to be literally killed I just mean that like they were they were trying to do their jobs as marketers like some of the most creative thoughtful smart people in the world and they're like stuck in these in these like tools that just suck all the creativity out of you and the side of organizations that have so many people that are like wanting to know what's going on that it's just like you spend so much of your time trying to tell everyone what's going on and so a little of your time doing the work that actually is marketing and so yeah my friends were really the inspiration for it and to this day you know I've got close friendships with so many of our top customers you know we're you know we go out and see them a couple times a year and spend time with them and break bread with them and so just to kind of hear that that's they're still out there it's like it's the spirit of like these people that I believe in I think marketing is such a powerful vehicle with an organization and to be able to support them in the way that

that we do. The other part of it though is I just once I like I don't really give up on stuff, you know, like I just and so I feel like the job isn't done.

That's another huge part of it, right? The job is done when you know we're either on the mountaintop or or we're not, right?

I'm going to grab my guest to be extreme, but like that's it, right? And I that's why I got this journey and I have noticed I had to do anything else.

@28:28 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

This is what I want to be doing. I love it. Now what advice would you have for aspiring entrepreneurs that are listening?

@28:36 - George Huff

So we're talking about people that are that are that haven't got their business going yet, but they're starting to spend some time on it.

Is that the is that the person that person or the person that's currently just started their business right now, there's probably going through the what I've seen a lot of other entrepreneurs go through is where they are kind of going through the motions of starting something but having.

I pulled the trigger on it. And I think a lot of people get in a state because either outside, it's why a lot younger people have an easier time starting because they don't have as many constraints, right?

They don't have to have a mortgage. They don't have kids. They don't have a spouse, whatever that might be.

So they have a tendency to be able to go all in faster. Where if you're trying to balance a full-time job and start this thing on the side and you have a family, I think that's really hard.

And so it's going to look a little bit different for everybody. I wouldn't be as cavalier as to say, oh, you should just get going and start.

But at the same time, that's what it takes. You kind of have to create your all-in moment. And I think that's easier said than done.

And it looks a little bit different for everybody. But to do it, you've got to commit. You've got to really commit.

And whatever that looks like for you, you've got to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary. And I think that's the part that's hard.

And then once you get started, it really is. There's a matter of sticking to it. I think you're going to get a lot of things that tell you that you're out of your mind.

And you've got to just keep pushing through that. And eventually, if you're willing to keep going and pushing through hard things and you're willing to sacrifice, then you will find success at some point.

It may not look how you envisioned it. A lot of people hear about pivots in at least in the tech space of like, oh, Slack famously started as a gaming company, and then they became the collaboration software for the masses.

Like, no one saw that coming. But it was because they wanted to stick together and they wanted to keep working the problems.

And they just were willing to try different stuff. So I think having an idea where you want to go, but not being so rigid in your thinking that you missed the opportunity that may be in front of you.

So a couple of different things there. But that'd be my advice.

@30:48 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

That's phenomenal because I think you're truly identifying the diversity of entrepreneurship. There are those solo entrepreneurs that are able to dive in and straightforward.

There are individuals like me. myself at work full time that are slowly building something. And as you're speaking, Georgia is very resonating with me.

And I'm sitting here. Yeah, I'm going nice and slow building up and doing this podcast for about a year and a half.

And I looked down on my desk and I'm like, well, shit, oh dear, I'm at least I'm doing something because I forgot there's a nice little check right here from this podcast, you know, so it's it is starting to build, right?

It's starting to build in and you, it's true. I think, I think at some point you got to you got to do kind of got to do it, right?

Kind of get out there and network, but you also have to be willing to make this sacrificing, get out there and network, meet with the people, meet with the community, really learn, try to try to be an expert in your field.

I'm trying to get to this point now where I feel okay. Now I know how to edit. I know how to do all these things.

Now it's time to outsource it. Right now that we've eventually will get there. Now for the folks at home, how can

They learn more about Opel if they want to find you on the internet, if they are social media website, how can they find your information?

@32:07 - George Huff

Great question. So from a From a just like I want to go from this to like learning more about Opel.

We have a URL for you. So it's shades That's slash shades And then otherwise, you know, we're all we're in all social media Obviously so it's at work with opal.

I believe on instagram and opal on facebook and opal on like den as well And then you know, obviously through our website welcome to to look me up as well George huff and you know happy to kind of engage in these topics.

It's something i'm passionate about and I love Helping out other entrepreneurs or trying to get started and whatever they're doing Perfect and again, that's opal slash show slash shades.

@32:50 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

This information will be on the shades of entrepreneurship Newsletter which is a great time to plug the website go ahead and visit the shades of to subscribe

You can also visit at the shades of the on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook as well as TikTok. You will not find me dancing, but you may find some clips of these conversations.

George, thank you again so much for your time to see you. Opal, is there any last words you want to say for the listeners at home?

@33:17 - George Huff

Just want to say that perseverance, keep going, keep doing what you're doing. There's people out there like myself who are always cheering on those who are starting to journey or mid-journey or whatever it may be.

@33:29 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Thanks for having me, Gabriel. I appreciate it. I love it. I love it. Yes, folks, listening, your biggest fan is someone you probably have never met yet.

So keep going because trust me, there are people out there that want to see you succeed like myself and George.

George, the CEO of Opal, thank you again so much for the time. For those listening at home, please follow me at the shades of E on the social sites.

Thank you and have a great night.

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