Fuel To Fire
Gabriel Flores 0:00
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I'm here with Midori. How are we doing? are doing great. I'm excited. We've been chatting, we've been chatting already. So we've been already talking. But before we get into everything, we're going to talk about fuel to fire later on. But before we get into that, let's give him an introduction. Who is Midori?
Midori Verity 0:25
Yeah, I'm a, just a crazy serial entrepreneur. I've yeah, I've I've been owning businesses right out of college. So it's been not to age myself, but too late, over 25 years, and it's in my DNA. I love business. I'm not good at anything else. Gabriel, I'm just good at business. And so luckily, I found that niche early on. But that's that's why I am I've owned several businesses over the years, worked with startups to Fortune five, hundreds
had, you know, have have a lot of bruises and scraped up knees from entrepreneurship, but also have some pretty big wins. So that's who I am.
Gabriel Flores 1:10
So you're one of those people that went to college when you're like 10 years old, huh?
Midori Verity 1:14
That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Got it.
Gabriel Flores 1:19
Nailed it. Where did you go to school?
Midori Verity 1:22
UC Davis, California. Yes.
Gabriel Flores 1:25
UC Davis, not too far from go to Portland, Oregon. So let's let's talk about Field of Fire. What is fuel the fire?
Midori Verity 1:33
Fuel, the fire is an accountability group for highly driven people, entrepreneurs who want to accelerate their goals. We work a lot with women, we also have groups for men. But really what it is that I've seen, Gabriel is that there are similar issues that I see for entrepreneurs, losing the focus on their big fat goals. And then also feeling like they're alone on their own island. Right. And so that's where I came in, and the field of fire system, it's just really, really simple. Because we're busy. You know, as entrepreneurs, we're busy. And we want that support. And we want to have our questions answered right now. So we can keep on moving forward. So that's really kind of the crux of fuel the fire.
Gabriel Flores 2:25
You know, one of the things you mentioned, I hear pretty consistently on this podcast, is that sense of loneliness, that feeling like you were on the island, but and I must admit, you know, I'm down in my basement, you know, cracking away at the small business trying to create, and it does fill up how, what what advice do you give to individuals that do feel that?
Midori Verity 2:46
Yeah, I mean, think of times when maybe you're in high school or in college, right. And there's a big project that was due. And then you got together with your, with your classmates who are pretty intelligent, too, you know, and focused, and how much faster you're able to come up with ideas, and get creative, and solve problems and get things done. Right. And so, as entrepreneurs, you know, we're a buyer, especially now, so many of us are working from home. But that's a huge part of it is to find an accountability group, at least an accountability partner, who is at your level or higher, so not your mom, not your bestie, but someone who understands what you're talking about, who is invested in it, and speak your language. Really, that's that is what I have seen be a huge accelerator for entrepreneurs.
Gabriel Flores 3:45
You know, I agree with that. In fact, you know, one of the things I tried to hammer home was the importance of networking. How important how would you say important networking is?
Midori Verity 3:56
Oh, my gosh, it's, it's huge. And I didn't realize how important it was. But okay, so let me just back up for a minute. So one thing that I talk about quite a bit is knowing your zone of genius. So when I say zone of genius that and for those of you who aren't familiar with that term, it means what do you really good at? And what do you love doing? So some people are really good at networking, other people that scares the crap out of them. And if they put them in that situation, they're gonna go hide in the corner, and then go home and feel embarrassed, and so it doesn't work. So when you ask me, How important is networking, if you are the personality style, that can converse really well, I have a client named Renee. And she is such a natural at networking. And so we've been looking at all these different types of marketing for her and I said, you know, Renee, you just kill it when you go and you network. Let's amplify that. Let's find you some grips. So really, to answer your Question. I would say it depends on what you're really good at. And what comes naturally.
Gabriel Flores 5:05
I like that answer. I think that's a that's a big point, too. You know, we can be the jack of all trades, right? And I can teach you how to be like good customer service, I, you know, customer service tend to be my bread and butter, right? I can I can teach you how to be good customer service. But I can't teach you to be a people person. You know that that's hard. That piece that you just you are not right. Yeah.
Midori Verity 5:27
But I do think and I have seen this so many times, even if you're an introvert, I've seen introverts go from the person that's hiding in the corner. Yep, to being that person who can get out in front and they shine, they have to go home and sleep afterwards. But you can, if you really know that there's gonna be a lot of value for you in networking, you can get better. Yeah. So
Gabriel Flores 5:50
now when was when was filled fire established.
Midori Verity 5:53
It's a new company, this was during the pandemic 2020 20. So we've been around for 18 months, as of this recording,
Gabriel Flores 6:03
what has been kind of difficult about starting, especially during a pandemic? Um,
Midori Verity 6:10
you know, just growing, really growing, because for me, I am I do enjoy networking, I do enjoy getting out there. So luckily, I've been, I've been working with entrepreneurs for a while. So I had an email list. And then referrals has been good. But that would be the hardest part is really just getting the word out there in person so they can see who I am. And going from there.
Gabriel Flores 6:35
And what why, why did you feel like you wanted to create this company? Because you mentioned you've been a serial entrepreneur for 25 years? Why did you decide, you know, it, now's the time to create this.
Midori Verity 6:44
Yeah, for the same reason, pandemic. You know, I saw so many people, so many entrepreneurs, when the pandemic hit, that just kind of froze, they didn't know what to do, their whole world got turned upside down, and they were frightened, rightfully so. But when you've been an entrepreneur, for as long as I have, you're so used to getting punched in the gut knocked out, it means that you just learned to rebound a lot quicker. And so one thing that I have learned from doing this for so many years is to look for opportunities, and stay focused on what my zone of genius is. And also what am I passionate about what do I love, and I love helping entrepreneurs. So that's really what fueled not to use the word redundantly. But that's what fueled fuel the fire was I saw a need, I knew that I could help these entrepreneurs. And and that's that's really the impetus for starting.
Gabriel Flores 7:40
So how did you create How did you go like grassroots efforts? Financing? Did you go like venture capital? How did you end up kind of creating the company?
Midori Verity 7:48
Yeah, so totally out of pocket. The nice thing about fuel the fire, it wasn't a huge overhead really were the main asset is not to sound egotistical, but it's me, you know, I'm the one who put it together. But it's the concept behind it. So it's the entrepreneurial, small pods that we have. And then the summit goal mapping system, which I've been using for years, I didn't have a name for it. But the problem with entrepreneurs is we go into business because we have big goals, right? We're excited. We want to do these meet these incredible things, and create a certain type of lifestyle. But along the way, we're so busy putting out fires and going after different things that we get sidetracked. So by having what we call the summit goal mapping framework that acts as your blueprint on how to get to where you want to go and stay focused. And then you layer that with the accountability groups. And that's your one two punch. So anyway, that's that's kind of, you know, how it how it's all worked, but those, those are the main assets behind feel the fire
Gabriel Flores 8:57
Nice. Now let's, let's take it back 25 years, you know, because you're you're right, and then you're not being egotistical, but these individuals are kind of paying for your 25 years of experience in entrepreneurism. Right. Let's take it back. What was your first? What was your first company?
Midori Verity 9:12
Yeah, it was an event business where we did rentals. And we financed that with credit cards. So if you're talking about financing,
Gabriel Flores 9:23
let's get back back to the day. Good stuff.
Midori Verity 9:27
We had no credit. Yeah, my husband and I, we got married straight call. We met in college, and then we got married right after. And we're like, and we were in a recession at that time. So like, what should we do? Let's start a business. Had nothing to lose. We had no assets. And so I had a little room on my credit card. And so that's where we started. And that's when Google AdWords had just come out probably about two years into our business. So we were in the Yellow Pages paying out the nose for that. And then I was one of the early adopters of Google AdWords and And our business took off from that. But yeah, so that's
Gabriel Flores 10:05
what are some of the biggest things you learn from that first one?
Midori Verity 10:10
systems, you need systems. And when you think that your business is so unique that that general principle business principles won't apply to you, I would invite you to rethink that. And so once I learned about frameworks and systems, and how to keep on improving those, that's when things really started to change, because I could put people in the place to take over things that I was doing. And that's, you know, obviously, that's been something that's been going on. And then finding someone who can help you. Those were big things. So when I talked about systems, I went through the whole E Myth program. So for those who are new to business, or wanting to learn systems, get the E Myth book by Michael E. Gerber. That's a good start place. I went, I did go through the program. But he's kind of the godfather of small business.
Gabriel Flores 11:12
I'm writing this one down, you keep talking.
Midori Verity 11:15
Yeah, I can talk forever. But yeah, that's that's kind of where I started. And, you know, some of the other challenges is one of the thing that I see with so many my clients is they're afraid to hire to make that first hire. Yeah. And I'll tell you, if I didn't hire you. And I probably wouldn't be talking right now. Because my business will be so small. So kind of the other part that I work with my clients quite a bit on his mindset. What kind of mindset Do you have? Do you have a mindset for abundance? Or do you have a scarcity mindset? If you have a scarcity mindset, it's gonna be very hard for you to grow your business and be successful. So really working on your newer neuroplasticity and creating a growth mindset? And what do you need to do to grow your business? Who do you need? Because I guarantee it's not just you, who, who feels your weaknesses? Who can you delegate to, to help you move forward quicker?
Gabriel Flores 12:17
You know, that's, that's a big point, too, because I think a lot of folks, one, the systems that you mentioned, you know, I think creating some type of structure around your operational is very important. Because if you're sick or out for a day, you can't do everything, right. And you have to be able to have somebody be able to kind of walk in right then and there and know exactly what you're doing. And documentation is alive. Seems like I have spreadsheets in front of me of just like, Okay, after this interview, this is why I do have to interview after interview after like, step by step right to kind of takes me so even if I'm not here, and if somebody decides to become the host of the show, they have now a process to kind of follow you know that and I think that's so, so important. Now, what did you do after that? You were kind of mentioned in write your first job. When you started to grow? What did you sell it? Did you What do you end up doing? How do you move on to the next one?
Midori Verity 13:05
We still own it. You still have it? Yeah. And the beauty of that when I talk about systems and hiring is that I don't do anything with it anymore. Oh, so yeah. And we're going to Europe, relating this this coming Monday, we're going for three weeks. And so that's why it's so powerful to have these systems. Let me just give you give an example. So people can see this. So one of my clients, she is she has a triathlons company, she's, she's a fitness coach, and she has a triathlon company. And when she came in to fuel the fire, she told me, she's like, I want to grow this so that I don't have to do everything anymore, and that I have a team in place, so that I can go do the things that I'm really good at and that I want to do. I'm like, okay, great, let's put this into a framework. So at that point, she had never had an employee. And so we use the summit goal mapping framework, we keep it really, really simple. None of this is complicated. But as long as you follow the system, you're going to hit your goals. So we knew that her big objective, which we call summit goals, so that's the very top you know, those are 12 months to two years out, was that she wanted to have a full team in place so that she could go and do what she wanted to do. Then we just go down to what we call approach goals. Those are your quarterly or 90 Day goals. So when you think of approach think you're approaching that summit, that top part, right, so you just chunk it down into 90 Day goals, what needs to happen this quarter, to get you closer to there. So that's one of the quarters she focused on systems and that's all she has. She just really zoned in on creating strong systems. next quarter. She she had people in place for hiring but then she started training the leaders so those leaders could then supervise the people Banette beneath and that takes her out of the equation. Fast forward. She is six months ahead of her big summit goals. She has now scaled into other states. And she has a full team in place. That is how you grow a business. And it wasn't. It's, you know, it sounds so simple. But all she did was she had the roadmap for it. And she followed it, she stayed focused on it, and she followed it.
Gabriel Flores 15:20
You know, I think one thing I've never highlighted very much is like the importance of planning, like strategic planning, like quarterly goals, biannual goals, annual goals, right? Five year goals. Why? Why did you kind of how did you first and foremost, because this is kind of your system that you can create? How did you how did you kind of create this? And then to, why do you feel planning is so important?
Midori Verity 15:47
Without a plan, you're kind of running blind, right? That's the biggest thing that I see for clients is that they're running around all the time. We talked about a second ago that, you know, they're, they're putting out fires constantly, there's a lot of demands on an entrepreneur, especially a small entrepreneur. And so if you don't have a plan, and if you don't have consistent accountability, someone that you're answering to, to keep you focused on that, that make you find a way to find a way to get those goals, then it's going to take you a lot longer, not that you won't, but it's just going to take you a lot longer. So the systems that I have in place are trials and errors, right? You know, from owning businesses for so long, I found ways to make it a lot easier and more enjoyable to achieve the things that I wanted to achieve. And so that's really where it comes from.
Gabriel Flores 16:35
You know, folks, I hope you guys are taking notes, because this is just like, free knowledge that's being dropped on me all right now. And I know you actually have a system that folks, please again, we'll have the information on the newsletter, so please subscribe to the newsletter. But again, this is really information from a season entrepreneur that's really trying to provide some insight on how this individual has been come successful. This is the roadmap they use. Now, again, there's many roadmaps out there, and some of them might be for you. And some of them might not be for you. But again, right now, this podcast is free for everybody. Just want to let you know, this is some free education. Now, you mentioned how you created and how you establish a field fire. Now what was you mentioned kind of what the the hardest part about getting started, you know, especially during the pandemic, but what has been easy about kind of you've done a lot of other entrepreneurial work. What has been kind of easy about this one? Or has there been anything easy about feeling a fire?
Midori Verity 17:31
Yeah, I think when I started this, you know, it was it was based on what I really wanted in life, I'm at a stage now where I can I can create a business that is completely in alignment with what matters to me the most. And that's what fueled the fire and bodies. And so the part that, I don't know that I'd say it's the easiest, but it's the part that I enjoy the most is the part that makes me want to jump out of bed every morning, is being able to work with the clients. Yeah, working with the members, and seeing their growth and being able to help bounce ideas, you know, I might not have all the answers, but I can probably lead you towards the right answer. And just, you know, I get fueled up by, by what they're accomplishing and what they're doing, because it's working. And that feels pretty darn good. So that's what I would say, I don't know that I'd say the easiest, but it'd be the thing that I love the most.
Gabriel Flores 18:28
And what what would you consider what is your typical client, so folks that are listening right now, who would who was like folks you work with.
Midori Verity 18:35
So we have two tiers, we have our ignited group, which is for businesses that are bringing in under a million dollars in revenue per year. And then we have our spark, and that is for entrepreneurs that are bringing over that there's just different different conversations for those two different groups. And so that's where our clientele is. Right now. Is those two groups. The ignited is primarily women entrepreneurs, the sparked we have quite a few men in there, too.
Gabriel Flores 19:05
Gotcha. Now, how do you define entrepreneurs? Do you also allow, you know, CEO executives that maybe are part of a small business to join? Or is it primary like, you know, founders? Or how do you how do you define it?
Midori Verity 19:17
Yeah, that's a good question. So yes, we do have on we do have CEOs and executives that are in Field of Fire, they need to be someone who can give back to their group, right. So that's what we screen every single person who comes in. So as long as they have some kind of amazing skill, we brought someone in this quarter, who is great at partnerships, she has a lot of skills and partnerships and like, oh my gosh, she'll be so valuable and fuel the fire and we can help you too. And so she's part of it. So we just need to make sure that there is there's value for everyone that's involved. So yeah, that's that's how we monitor that.
Gabriel Flores 19:57
You know, that's I feel like that's the key to any business. is find a way to provide value. And people will pay for value. Right? Whatever is valuable to them, they'll pay for it now, you've been doing it, you've done a lot, you've been doing this for 25 years, now you're starting to feel the fire. What motivates you?
Midori Verity 20:16
You know, again, it's that passion, my core values is my zone of genius. And when you can live and play there every day, that's pretty darn good. That's a good feeling. And so, you know, that's usually the first thing that we do with our clients when they come in is we call it the personal mission statement. And so we have them write out figure out what that is, what are those three things that that move you so much, and then you create a personal mission statement about it. And then so even if you have a business that's established, you can tweak it, and you can tailor it. So it's in alignment with that more. And yeah, that's, that's kind of what keeps us going.
Gabriel Flores 20:54
You mentioned your zone, what is your personal zone?
Midori Verity 20:59
My zone is motivating and inspiring entrepreneurs. I can one thing that I'm really, I've become skilled at, I guess, from doing this for so long, it's being able to talk to someone who's in business, and being able to see the things that they don't see, for instance, talking about one of my clients, who is a college professor, she came to me she has a PhD. And she said to me, Midori, I'm really not a true entrepreneur. I'm a professor, what do you mean? Do you have a business? You know, she's just starting then. But she's like, Yeah, you know, I just at work. I'm a professor, I'm a teacher, and I'm like, wait, we can we can leave this in. And that's such a huge asset that you're not seeing, you're missing that mark. And so now, we have made that part of what she talks about all the time, she has a Ph. D. And she didn't see it, because everyone around her had a PhD. But now we're using that as her lead, you know, that's resented Tina. So she has been able to get into corporations to be a leadership coach, or mentor, and she's, uh, she, she just texted me, she has already for months ahead of time, hit her big summit goals for the year. And she has more people in her groups than she had anticipated. And it's because we just tweaked the things that she already was good at. And, you know, made it into something that she can finally see and grasp and put it into her mindset that okay, I believe this now and I get it. So, you know,
Gabriel Flores 22:33
I think that might be one of the hardest things about your that concept of zone of genius is for the entrepreneur is determining or coming to the realization what those two are? Great. I think that might be the hardest part is determining what is my zone of I'm thinking to myself, like, I like to talk.
Midori Verity 22:53
Okay, well, let's do an exercise around here, because I think this is fun for everyone listening. Okay. So think of all the things whether it was when you were in high school, or when you're volunteering or in any kind of job that you've had, that you loved, that you did really, really well or people have told you, you're gifted, so you'd like talking. Gabriel, right? So I'm guessing that you you're super outgoing, so you're probably a really good networker. That's probably one of your Zona geniuses right there. Right? One of the things that is also important is what are your weaknesses? I'm wondering, how are you at organization.
Gabriel Flores 23:32
Um, that's why I get these processes in place.
Midori Verity 23:36
Yep, so that's usually the yin yang of that. Right? That's, that's pretty typical. So knowing your zone of genius is important. So you are outgoing, you can walk into a room, you can probably host an event pretty well. But to make your business successful, you need an implementer you need a person who's organized to help you get these systems in place even more or help you execute them more consistently. So you can do what you really love. Stay focused on that you love to talk you love podcasting, you're a natural at it. So you can go play there more because that's really how you're going to create the most revenue for you. Just focusing on what you're the best at
Gabriel Flores 24:17
you know, it's kind of funny you mentioned that because I feel like I'm being in my wife is the Yang she's the organizer, she keeps things on track. She doesn't really want to go out and network with many people she's fine staying at home and, and you know, hanging out but it's, it's very true. You know, there's there's, I can motivate a crowd very well. But organizing a conference I can get to as well.
Midori Verity 24:43
Okay, so let's talk about that. So so if you think about what you do, and you want to get more clients and you want to get spread the word about you so you know the conference is going to be good for you to host an event a live event will be really good. If you're spending time trying to organize it, you're wasting your time what you should be doing is focusing on what? How are you going to deliver your message? How are you going to impact these people through being on stage? What can you do to ignite the people that come? That's your zone? Do you see how that's gonna be so much more powerful for you. And then you have someone, whether it's your wife, if you can kind of somehow schmooze her or do a deal with her to get her to help you with the organization or you hire someone, a BA or somebody to help you with that part? So can you I'm hoping that people who are listening are starting to see how when you focus on what you're really good at, and you put more time into that you're gonna love your business more, you're gonna accelerate it a gazillion times faster, and you're gonna put more money in your pocket. And then also, you're not going to have a headache at the end of the day in general, because you're not doing things that you're not good at.
Gabriel Flores 25:51
Yeah, no, I'm literally right now. My, the the wheels are spinning in my head, like, oh, yeah, this makes sense. I shouldn't be spending all this time on this, like, you know, looking out for these events and scheduling them. And yeah, outsourcing. Outsourcing is a good thing.
Midori Verity 26:06
It isn't, it might cost you money in the very beginning, right. And so that's, that's something that that trips up people sometimes is, oh, but I don't have the money for it yet. If you can put it on a credit card, if you can find the money somewhere. And you really plan out. This is where the summit goals come in as well. Where are you going? And if you know that you can get there, and why you're going the slow route to get there. You see what I mean? If you can invest in somebody else who's going to help you do the things that you stink at, or that you really don't want to do, and you can focus on the things that you're super good at, you're going to get to those revenue goals, those those personal goals so much faster. So that's another thing that I invite everyone who's listening to think about, how can you get there quicker?
Gabriel Flores 26:50
That's a great point. In fact, folks that are listening, a great episode is Bob Thomas, peak Asset Management talks a lot about leveraging debt. I mean, that's that's a great point, you know, leveraging the debt that's available now. What keeps you up at night as a small business owner, as an entrepreneur, you know, running to bid well run any you have own two businesses right now going at the same time, what keeps you up at night?
Midori Verity 27:14
What has kept me up all night, or not all night, but up at night for the last 18 months is I'm constantly thinking, how can I improve our program? How can I get better results for the clients. And this is one thing that I've found from owning different businesses over the years is when you focus on the outcome for your clients, you're going to have more success, right? And you're going to feel better about your business. And so that's what we've been doing the last 18 months, it's just really refining things getting, I figured out that I needed to have a facilitator in each group. So we got someone on when we trained him and and he's training other people now. And so that's what keeps me up at night.
Gabriel Flores 27:53
Man, you got you got a lot going on. At one time. It seems like now where do you see fuel the fire next five years?
Midori Verity 28:00
Oh, gosh. Yeah, our goal is to become the most goal centric, successful company for entrepreneurs in the Western world. And so that's what I see I see bigger partnerships, I see us getting into corporate, because it's all the same proprietary systems that we use, and that we've proved. So now it's just we're at that stage, we were in three phases. We finished up phase one where I kept me up at night trying to improve the program. Now we're in phase two, we're accelerating. We're bringing in more members, we're doing partnerships, and then we'll go into corporate next.
Gabriel Flores 28:39
Nice, nice. You really do you got the roadmap. I love it.
Midori Verity 28:43
I got the roadmap. This is not that complicated.
Gabriel Flores 28:48
You keep saying it's not that complicated. I mean, everybody's listening, like, whole it sounds so complicated. But it's it's nice, because I think you're encouraging enough to also like, hey, no, this is how I did it. It worked. For me. It's worked for other people. It's a tested and true concept that's working and make sense. Now what is what is the last kind of what some last nuggets of advice you would give the listeners?
Midori Verity 29:11
You know, just stick to it. If you want something bad enough, make sure that it's in alignment with your core values. And with what drives you and your zone of genius. And stay persistent. Get an accountability person for you. Because it's tough. I don't care how seasoned you are as an entrepreneur. I've been at this for a long, long time. I have an accountability group. I use the summit goals. I use these things that are proven I don't care how advanced you are in business, it's comes down to the same foundational tools, right? So that's what I suggest.
Gabriel Flores 29:48
Yeah, build that foundation. I really love it. Now, before we go, how can the folks get a hold of you? Where can they find you on the social website given the information?
Midori Verity 29:57
Yes, I'm everywhere. I Um, but what I would like to share with the clients, we've talked a lot about systems, and about goal setting. And so I'm happy to share our goal mapping framework is called the summit goal mapping framework. It has a video training in there as well as a templates. And it's what I use and it's what my clients use and it's very, very simple. All they have to do is just go to fuel to fire.co forward slash goals.
Gabriel Flores 30:27
Perfect, perfect. And folks, I will have the information on the newsletter so please subscribe to newsletter. We'll also have the information online you can follow me at the shades of E on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and the Tick Tock I have like two videos I know I'm sorry, I will do better about the TIC tock people other than that, thank you so much such such a great Midori awesome conversation I'm honestly I'm thinking like my the hill the wheels are starting to spin I'm thinking like all these goals in my head starting to break down 2023 is right around the corner folks. It is not too early to start creating your your goals for the year and then break it down. You know break it down to the month break it down to a quarter right? Make it easier making it consumable, right you don't have to Rome was built in a day. So you don't have to build your Rome in a day either. Midori, thank you so much again for your time. I really do appreciate it for all those folks. Thank you and have a great night.