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Up In Your Business Home PageAbout Kerry McCoy

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Round up: Barry Corkern, Matt McLeod & Ryan Herget

March 3, 2017

Due to a scheduling conflict, this week on Up In Your Business we will be airing a compilation of previous broadcasts- featuring Barry Corkern, Chef Shuttle’s Ryan Herget and Matt McLeod.

Barry Corkern, founder of Barry M. Corkern & Co. advises and assists clients in making financial decisions, by providing them with information, that will aide in the strategic thinking of their life-long and multi-generational goals. Corkern also advises in fiduciary audits and when needed gives expert testimonies under oath. For more information about Barry and Barry M.Corkern & Co- http://www.bcorkern.com.

Find resources and links for Corkern’s full interview.


Ryan Herget, following in his father’s footsteps as an Arkansas business leader, started his path as an entrepreneur as a teenager. Today we know Ryan Herget as the founder of Chef Shuttle. Its mission…. to deliver a variety of products in a timely fashion. This Restaurant delivery service has expanded to more than 42 cities across Arkansas and Tennessee. You can find more information about Chef Shuttle at https://chefshuttle.com.

Find resources and links for the Herget’s full interview.


Matt McLeod is the owner of Matt McLeod Fine Arts Gallery. He is a painter, sculptor and muralist- s
pecializing in fine art for residential, commercial and public art projects. McLeod spent a fifteen-year career in advertising, before becoming a full-time artist. Matt spent the last eleven years in fine art, developing paintings into his bold, vibrant style – what he calls Energetic Color. Learn more about Matt McLeod Fine Arts Gallery at http://www.mattmcleod.com.

Find resources and links for McLeod’s full interview.

 
Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com
 

EPISODE 15

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

[0:00:07.9] TB: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Be sure to stay tuned till the end of the show to hear how you can get a copy of this program and other helpful documents.

 

Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.

 

[EPISODE]

 

[0:00:19.4] KC: Hello, thank you Tim for that intro.

 

[0:00:22.2] TB: You’re welcome.

 

[0:00:23.3] KC: You’re listening to Kerry McCoy and like Tim said, it’s time for me to get up in your business. If you're just tuning in for the first time, let me explain what the next hour will be like. Think of it as continuing your education. According to the United States Census bureau in 2009 which is seven year old data.

 

The average American spends 100 hours a year in their car. Add that up over a lifetime and you spent years driving in your car like three or five years driving in your car. If you’re in Arkansas and you do a big commute, you probably spend five years of your life driving in your car, that’s like a college education.

 

This got me thinking and in September of this year with the help of John Kane, I started this show, Up in Your business with Kerry McCoy. The mission, to turn your drive time into learning time. For small business owners or for those who dream of owning a small business. I use this platform to share my business knowledge and wisdom with you.

 

Our listeners, while you multi-task at driving or cleaning your house or doing homework, you can learn, you may be even asking yourself, what makes this lady qualified to give me mentoring advice? I’ll tell you, experience. 40 years ago with just $400, I started Arkansas Flag and Banner. Since then, it’s morphed into flagandbanner.com with sales nearing four million, that’s worth saying again, I started Arkansas Flag and Banner with just $400 and today we have sales nearing four million.

 

I started by selling flags door to door then went to telemarketing. Next mail order and catalog sales and today we rely heavily on the internet. In addition, over the last 40 years, I’ve navigated Flag and Banner through two recessions and two wars. I hope I don’t ever have to do it again. When people find out I’m that woman who owns Arkansas Flag and Banner, they often say, I have heard about you and began asking me business advice.

 

I amaze even myself with all the knowledge I’ve gained. Four decades ago when I started Arkansas Flag and Banner, I supplemented my income by waitressing. All while I pedaled my flags door to door. After nine years, did you hear me? Nine years of working a part time job, the company had began to grow and solely support me. My first hire was a book keeper to handle the clerical side of my business.

 

My first expansion was to begin the manufacturing of custom flags. So a sowing department developed. The next decade ushered in desert storm war. Flags were scarce so a screen printing department was hardly built to meet consumer demands.

 

In addition to sales and manufacturing, Flag and Banner now has a purchasing department, a shipping department, technology department, marketing department, call center and a retail store. I spearheaded the development of every one of these departments.

 

This is usually when I introduce my guest isn’t it Tim?

 

[0:03:17.7] TB: That is correct.

 

[0:03:18.8] KC: Who is usually another fellow entrepreneur and we talk candidly, we share our stories, our business experiences, our lessons learned and we do this through curious conversation and storytelling. I call it reality radio. Because it’s live and uncensored. But because today is a holiday, it’s going to be a little different.

 

Rather that interrupt our fellow entrepreneurs on this holiday weekend with an appearance on our show, we’re going to air excerpts from previous shows. Tim and I picked two prerecorded interviews, edited each of them down to about 20 or 25 minutes and presto, we have today’s show.

 

Our choices are Barry Corkern’s interview, he is a financial planner who gives advice on what he deems best practices for retiring and succession of your business. And the other is Matt McLeod’s interview, when he took a leap of faith and turned his passion into his business and opened McLeod Fine Arts Gallery.

 

Before we get started with our two awesome condensed interviews, I want to introduce my technician and the person you’ve been hearing, my partner in crime, Mr. Tim Bowen.

 

[0:04:34.4] TB: Hello.

 

[0:04:35.2] KC: Okay, let’s get started Tim.

 

[0:04:37.0] TB: Alright, who do you want to start with?

 

[0:04:38.6] KC: Who is our first one? Let’s do Barry Corkern.

 

[0:04:41.1] TB: Alright.

 

[0:04:41.7] KC: Barry is the founder of Barry M. Corkern and Company. His company and his life’s work has been to help clients execute and make informed decisions about their retirement and their family legacies. Barry also advices in fiduciary audits and when needed, gives expert testimonies under oath in a courtroom. That seems scary.

 

He’s pretty much the real deal.

 

[0:05:03.6] TB: Yeah.

 

[0:05:04.1] KC: In 1983, he received his CFP, I love all these acronyms they have. Certified financial planner designation in 2003 from the university of Pittsburgh, he received his AIFA designation, Accredited Investment Fiduciary Auditor.

 

Making him the first and solo AIFA person in the state of Arkansas. Barry is founding president of the Arkansas chapter of financial planning association where in 2004 he was presented with a lifetime achievement award. Money Magazine designated Barry Corkern as one of the best 200 financial planners in the whole United States.

 

Nationally recognized again in Bloomberg’s Wealth Manager Magazine. Barry’s firm ranked 54th in the top of the list of wealth managers in the United States. He was once the host of his very own radio show, Ask the Experts that was on KARN. Now, he has a reoccurring expert guest on THV 11’s morning show in little rock Arkansas. Last but not least.

 

Barry coauthored his book Widowed beginning again personally and financially and he pulled from his own experiences with widows to write this book. He Published it in 1999, profits from the sale of his book are donated to nonprofit organizations that assisted widows.

 

This was a hard hour to cut down to 20 minutes because we talked about everything. But, we did it, for you to hear now, we have it for you. Thank you.

 

[0:06:29.5] TB: Alright.

 

[0:06:30.7] KC: Barry Corkern.

 

[0:06:31.5] TB: Barry Corkern.

 

[0:06:34.4] KC: I asked you on today because I got an email from a listener and I quote, she ask, can you speak to the issues around multi-generational businesses and succession issues? before we get to the listener’s question I want you to tell us about yourself, what are you doing right now and what is your current passion?

 

[0:06:52.8] BC: Wow.

 

[0:06:54.5] KC: Catch you off-guard?

 

[0:06:55.8] BC: Yeah, just a little bit. You know, having been in this business for decades, we establish plans and strategies with families and my practice is maturing to the point where I’m seeing those plans actually be executed and come into play and we’re seeing wealth and opportunity move to the next generation and so for me, that’s very exciting to setup an estate plan or a trust 20 years ago and to see it actually do what it’s supposed to do and to do it very effectively.

 

[0:07:28.0] KM: How’d you do? Did you do good?

 

[0:07:30.4] BC: Well sure, we did very well.

 

[0:07:32.4] KM: Sounds like you did 54th in the country.

 

[0:07:36.9] BC: I think that for financial advisers to get to the point where your practice is maturing and you’re working with the children, the second generation and having a voice to the third generation, their children of the wealth that mom and dad put together is very interesting, very rewarding work.

 

[0:07:54.8] KM: I bet. Barry, you’re a small business owner, you started this business and you also help small business owners like me. To speak to our listener’s question, let’s say you’re ready to start thinking about your exit strategy for you in your business and I think your three choices are these and you may have more. Pass it on to a family member or you could pass it on to your employees, ESOP, I love that.

 

Sell it, figure out what the value of it is or dissolving it. Where do you want to begin on that topic? Which one?

 

[0:08:22.6] BC: You know, obviously very personal family decision about whether I guess the first discussion is are we going to pass on to the kids and so when your kids are five or six years old, kind of hard for you to imagine them even being interested or wanting to be involved. In your business at all.

 

As your children get older and they develop their own interest and their goals and what they want to do, it’s not uncommon for the children not to do what mom or dad did. It takes a while for a business owner to determine that there’s not going to be a family member who is a good candidate to step into their shoes when they retire.

 

[0:09:07.3] KM: You say there usually is a child that wants to go into the business or there usually isn’t?

 

[0:09:12.0] BC: There usually isn’t is it?

 

[0:09:13.1] KM: Is not.

 

[0:09:20.3] BC: Yeah. I think more often the case that the children just develop other interests and other passions that is not the sell flags or give financial advice or whatever the business is or that maybe they’re not as skilled or equipped to run the business that was started by the previous generations. It’s not uncommon at all and it forces the business owner into one of the other alternatives but the first evaluation is, do I have anybody in the family that’s going to do this?

 

[0:09:48.1] KM: You don’t know.

 

[0:09:49.9] BC: You don’t know. It’s almost like you don’t’ know until it’s too late because you don’t know until they get through high school and college or tech school and get their education and kind of get that youth part behind them and then begin to try and think about what they want to do with their lives and so they might be for me, it took a long time.

 

[0:10:08.2] KC: I went to you when my kids were young remember?

 

[0:10:10.6] BC: Yup, right, I do.

 

[0:10:12.8] KM: You help me do a very extensive plan about succession of my children and then we had to redo it again. How often do you have to revisit this –

 

[0:10:23.1] BC: At the time in your case, when we looked at that, your kids were really young and we really couldn’t assess their ability to run your business or their desire to run their business. It was about how do we capture that economic value of what you have built and then pass that along to them because the presumption was that they weren’t, we didn’t know whether they were going to take on the business.

 

When your kids get older, you begin to kind of sense or feel, they’re not going to be canons or they are. Yes…

 

[0:10:55.3] KM: When do you bring them in and ask them? When do you bring them all in and say –

 

[0:10:58.9] BC: No, the parents you know –

 

[0:11:00.8] KM: You don ‘t ask them.

 

[0:11:01.1] BC: You just need to review this every few years and here’s our plan and you know, gee, how do you feel about your son and daughter and their skill or ability or interest in running your business and if the answer is, I’m not feeling it then it’s not going to work out.

 

I think that’s a little bit of the problem because it takes a parent a number of years. I think maybe if I just kind of give it another year or so, my son or my daughter’s going to be a good candidate and then you know, maybe it still doesn’t work out. Then you find yourself gee, here we are, my kids are in their 30’s and I’m in my 60’s and you know, kind of behind the curb to make a decision here.

 

[0:11:38.6] KC: How do you transfer the business and they will move on to selling it or dissolving it. Your kids do want your business.

 

[0:11:45.5] BC: That’s probably the most complicated of all the options because selling it is a different path and that’s actually easier than integrating the children and probably the biggest problem with having the kids step into the shoes of the member who started the business is, the member lingers and stays on.

 

The loyalty that the employee has to the company but I’ve worked for this person for 40 years and now this young whipper snapper is coming in here and it’s just a different, very difficult transition for employees to make.

 

[0:12:27.6] KM: What we did and I’ll just share, I don’t think it matters, we did a board so that if I pass Arkansas Flag and Banner goes into a trust and then that trust I believe, gosh, I’m trying to remember, I think we have a trust with, and the trust – then Arkansas Flag and Banner was a part of that trust.

 

Then there was a board of three Arkansas Flag and Banner and one was you of course, of course you’re my agent too. Then the other one was a family member that rotated on and off every year so a new family member and then we had just a professional, a bank trustee or something.

 

[0:12:56.2] BC: Let’s kind of go back to that, when you talk about small business, it could either be sole proprietorship, it might be a partnership or it might be a liability company, it might be a corporation. There’s legal issues about how you treat all of those.

 

In small business owners, there’s not a board of directors and the idea that you adopt a board of directors, even though you’re the only person running the company…

 

[0:13:23.2] KM: That’s what you do?

 

[0:13:24.4] BC: That’s exactly what you should do is that you should have a kind of a quasar board of directors or real board of directors that help guide that business to you know, down one path or the other and so in the absence of the business owner who has all the experience and knowledge to do that and you lose that person, the board of director steps in and they guide the business and it doesn’t necessarily trigger the sale of the business because the business owner has passed away.

 

It just says that this committee of three people are going to be good stewards of the business, whether they keep it and then nurture it to see if one family member steps into those shows or whether you sell it or some other transition but the whole idea is to capture the value of the business. It doesn’t degrade or decline in value so that –

 

[0:14:18.9] KM: So that you can sell if you want to after you’re gone. Here’s me, I don’t ever want to sell my business probably. I mean, I might, I don’t know but right now I don’t think I’m going to sell my business.

 

[0:14:27.0] BC: You will never sell your business.

 

[0:14:29.0] KM: Yeah, you know me. And, I’ll never retire. Will I?

 

[0:14:31.9] BC: No, you will never retire.

 

[0:14:34.2] KM: I’ll be sitting at the desk and all of a sudden one day I will have a heart attack and they’ll find me in there with my cup of coffee and they’ll come to you and they’ll say mom is gone, what did she have in place? You will say, we now have to start a board, Arkansas Flag and Banner will now be run by a board and no longer by Kerry McCoy and these are the board members and you all get together and I’ll facilitate and we’ll make decisions as a group and if you all want to sell it, we’ll sell it.

 

If you all want to grow it, we’ll grow it. If you all want to work in it, you can work in it. It becomes their decision on what they want to do with their life and the business that I left.

 

[0:15:18.2] BC: That board of directors or in some cases a trustee committee, actually has the primary objective of stabilizing the business.

 

[0:15:27.5] KM: That’s you, you’re saying that’s you?

 

[0:15:30.1] BC: Well, that’s the whole –

 

[0:15:30.1] KM: No, the whole board.

 

[0:15:30.8] BC: Yeah, the whole board.

 

[0:15:31.6] KM: Okay.

 

[0:15:32.8] BC: Whether it’s selling flags or you're selling chickens.

 

[0:15:35.6] KM: Or you have a restaurant.

 

[0:15:36.2] BC: Or we have a restaurant, whatever that business is, is that they are to step in and stabilize and maintain and manage, make sure that there’s a good manager and the business is managed well to be profitable and stabilize. It’s good for the employees, it’s good for whoever gets the value of the business but the whole key to it is that board or that trustee committee needs to have, if they don’t have any experience running a restaurant, they need to get a third party there that knows how to do a restaurant so you need somebody who has keen business sense and specific experience with that industry and then somebody who has an interest in making good decisions for your kids.

 

That’s why we kind of have three, a committee of three –

 

[0:16:26.4] KM: Even that committee of three could vote, I want to have a committee of five and get two more people they want on there once that happens. They could say you know, we’re not smart enough, let’s get a lawyer and an attorney on this board with us?

 

[0:16:36.3] BC: In your case, the committee would meet, they would get together, they would evaluate, do we see anybody in the company who would be a good person to promote to manage the business and has the skillset or we’re going to do triage, we’re going to hire somebody short term just to keep daily operations going, while we interview a new person to run the business and hire them to do so.

 

[0:16:59.5] KM: Tell me what triage means? Quit using big words on me. What’s triage, it’s got to have something with three.

 

[0:17:05.7] BC: Emergency repair or emergency attention.

 

[0:17:09.5] KM: Just like surgery.

 

[0:17:11.2] BC: Yeah, well that’s what they do in the emergency room of hospitals.

 

[0:17:14.8] KM: Okay, we hire a triage comes in and stops the bleeding and –

 

[0:17:21.0] BC: You have to immediately take the steps to keep the business stabilized and moving forward.

 

[0:17:25.3] KM: And keep everybody feeling confident.

 

[0:17:28.3] BC: Yeah. As soon as you communicate that to the employees, there’s somebody in charge, there is a plan, it’s being executed and it’s going to be in our best interest.

 

[0:17:36.7] KM: There’s somebody in charge, there is a plan and it’s being executed and it’s going to be in the company’s best interest.

 

[0:17:42.5] BC: Yes.

 

[0:17:43.1] KM: Those are awesome. Those are exactly the issues, you said that perfectly. You really need advice from somebody like you? This is a deep subject.

 

[0:17:53.2] BC: It gets very complex, even for a very simple business, it gets very complex very quickly.

 

[0:17:59.3] KM: Right. Okay, let’s say because we could spend forever on just that subject. Say you decide you want to dissolve the business? My parents wanted to dissolve their business because like you said, I didn’t want it. I had my own thing going and so they want to dissolve their business and they did it, how do you suggest, I know they did it by inventory reduction.

 

How else, what are your suggestions if you want to start dissolving your business and taking the money out of it?

 

[0:18:24.0] BC: Well, once again, it depends entirely on the kind of business and what the assets are in the business and for each kind of business, there are certain legal issues that need to be addressed and then there’s income tax issues and so somebody owns a manufacturing firm has a completely different set up or disillusion issues or you’re going to dissolve the business as compared to a consultant or somebody that has a hair salon.

 

They’re just very different businesses. Depending on a variety of factors, there’s, in some cases a lot to consider. In cases where somebody has a corporation where you retain wealth inside your corporation, the challenge is to get that wealth out of the corporation, you can just stop doing business and the challenge is if you got wealth inside the corporation, you left money in there, it’s how do I get it without tax efficiently?

 

Depending on a variety of factors, you develop a strategy that might take a few years, actually to unwind that and then be permitted to dissolve the corporation.

 

[0:19:34.6] KM: My parents, they just began to cut their expenses so they went from back then, you had lines coming in so they had like four lines coming in, they went down to one line coming in. They saved money on their telephone bill and then they began to save money on their utilities, then they begin to cut back their pay roll. They begin to take the money out over years out of the business, they reduced their inventory and by the time they finally quit working, there wasn’t much left in the business.

 

[0:20:02.0] BC: Right, that’s an example of a business that required a slow process by which you slow down the business.

 

[0:20:09.8] KM: That’s what they did.

 

[0:20:10.6] BC: You lower the volume of sales and you use various strategies and techniques to get the wealth out of the corporation tax efficiently into their hands and sometimes that takes two or three years. What’s interesting about that is they couldn’t have done it abruptly.

 

They couldn’t have said, hey, on December 31st, we’re just going to kind of stop doing this, we’ll shut it down, give the employees a bonus and call it a day.

 

[0:20:36.1] KM: Why couldn’t they have done that?

 

[0:20:37.0] BC: Because there has to be a business purpose for you to continue a business and deploy some of these strategies. Because it was a taxable event to take everything out of the corporation.

 

[0:20:48.9] KM: Because it would have been too heavily of a tax burn if it had just stopped. Then you can distribute your assets, you pay off your debts, what’s the biggest mistake that most people do when they do this so they don’t think about the tax ramifications?

 

[0:20:59.3] BC: Yes. It’s very easy to make a misstep in dissolving a company only to be hit with a gigantic tax bill a year, a year and a half later because you didn’t realize what you were doing.

 

[0:21:12.2] KM: All your life you’ve worked and now all of a sudden you exited not very strategically or intelligently and now all the money you’ve made, you’ve had to go to pay the taxes?

 

[0:21:21.5] BC: Your nest egg is scrambled.

 

[0:21:23.1] KM: Your nest egg is scrambled. Alright so now you’ve got to get all your papers in order. Are there any special papers at closing your business?

 

[0:21:31.2] BC: It’s a nightmare. What are you talking about?

 

[0:21:35.0] KM: He’s so honest. Alright let’s move on to selling it. Now we’re going to selling your business.

 

[0:21:41.5] BC: Well let me –

 

[0:21:41.2] KM: You didn’t talk about ESOP where you could pass your business onto your well –

 

[0:21:44.7] BC: Yeah, let me just speak to someone that has a business that is over broad fit and they just want to unwind it. All of these licenses for city license and state and payroll taxes and all of these things that we do that are regulations and businesses are required to do, you’ve got to unwind all of that. You’ve got to send the notices to say I am not going be in business anymore. Depending on the business unwinding it can be extremely complex.

 

[0:22:14.9] KM: What if you said “no I am not going to do that. I’m dead, I don’t care”? What would happen? Who would they get?

 

[0:22:19.9] BC: They will find you.

 

[0:22:20.8] KM: They’ll find and dig you up.

 

[0:22:22.4] BC: They will find you, yeah.

 

[0:22:22.9] KM: Well you can’t retire and do that. If you retire they will find you but if you just drop dead, it’s your kid’s problem. Too bad.

 

[0:22:29.0] BC: Well, if you drop dead obviously not a problem but if you are trying to retire and you just close your business –

 

[0:22:37.0] KM: You are going to get letters from the IRS for the rest of your life.

 

[0:22:39.6] BC: And they come knocking on your door.

 

[0:22:40.9] KM: Okay, you’re selling it. How do you come up with the value of your company because I’m always disappointed in this? I always think 42 years, it’s got to be worth something and they come in and they go, “$200,000”. I’m like, “What?”

 

[0:22:54.1] BC: Yeah well businesses trade based on the price agreed to by a willing seller and a willing buyer. So you’ve got to have those two.

 

[0:23:02.6] KM: So Google is way overpriced or was it Yahoo? Which was sold that was way – oh it was Facebook sold way overpriced.

 

[0:23:10.4] BC: But we’re talking about a restaurant north of Little Rock and so how do I sell that and the value of it is that a business owner plays two roles. They are the manager and the owner. The owner is getting compensation for making the investment and the manager is getting compensation for working. So most of us are both, managers and owners. So we’re investors and employees and so the value of the business is really driven to the investor, is really driven by how profitable the business is for the owner because –

 

[0:23:48.3] KM: So they look at the owner’s salary.

 

[0:23:50.3] BC: They look at the manager’s salary and how much can I make in salary or compensation to run this business and that’s a factor in how you value that and there’s a lot of people who don’t make a profit as an owner. They are only making enough money to pay their salary.

 

[0:24:15.3] KM: They’re just making salary.

 

[0:24:16.3] BC: Yeah, so that means their business isn’t worth as much as they think that it’s worth.

 

[0:24:20.5] KM: Well I have a lot of inventory. What’s inventory worth? It’s not worth what I think it’s worth.

 

[0:24:26.6] BC: Well it depends on what the inventory is.

 

[0:24:28.2] KM: It’s probably aged, it probably has something to do with the age of the inventory.

 

[0:24:31.4] BC: Yeah, well it depends on a flag that sits on the box for three years looks like the flag that’s at a box that you got yesterday. So it depends –

 

[0:24:41.7] KM: Oh it’s not perishable you mean?

 

[0:24:43.0] BC: Yeah, so it really depends on what the inventory of what we are talking about but the components of the value of the business are the earnings and the inventory and do you own the building and the land where your business is.

 

[0:24:54.8] KM: Because you might sell the building with it.

 

[0:24:56.9] BC: Yeah, so there’s just a lot of it –

 

[0:24:59.0] KM: Does your accountant help you value it?

 

[0:25:01.9] BC: Well there are some accountants who are eligible or qualified and trained to appraise businesses but that’s a very expensive process, very expensive –

 

[0:25:12.2] KM: I get emails all the time from people saying, “Do you want to sell your business?” Do you use those people? Do you?

 

[0:25:18.6] BC: Well those people are intermediaries looking for deals so that’s –

 

[0:25:25.0] KM: So if you are desperate you use them to get it done quick?

 

[0:25:27.4] BC: Well I am very uncomfortable with those people who are out and looking for businesses to –

 

[0:25:32.8] KM: What if I want to sell my business tomorrow. How would I go about it?

 

[0:25:35.4] BC: Probably the best thing you do is go to your competitor. Because they understand the business, they could use the inventory and –

 

[0:25:43.0] KM: So you look for a synergized partner, is that the right way?

 

[0:25:46.4] BC: Yes, somebody who could appreciate that and maybe you’re doing business in a way that is better than theirs and it might be a smaller business or a larger business but going to a competitor or someone who owns the business that might be a compliment to their business.

 

[0:26:03.0] KM: And add on to increase their product line.

 

[0:26:05.6] BC: Yeah to something that makes sense for the business that they do.

 

[0:26:09.4] KM: So before we change off the succession subject and we didn’t talk about ESOP’s for passing it onto your employees, I love that one. There is a lot of grocery stores out there that are employee owned and I love that. Have you ever done one of those?

 

[0:26:22.0] BC: Yes, we’ve actually worked with some people that have done that –

 

[0:26:24.5] KM: We’re they successful very much?

 

[0:26:25.3] BC: Yeah, many times they are because most of the time they are leveraging these ESOP’s, that means a bank has to make some loans to the plan to cash out the owners and so in order to get a bank involved at an ESOP, there’s a lot of eyes and –

 

[0:26:48.0] KM: And then it has a board probably.

 

[0:26:49.6] BC: Yeah so in order words that’s vetted. I mean it goes through a process that if you put in a leveraged ESOP then there’s elements in the plan that lend to its success.

 

[0:27:01.8] KM: And then all the employees pretty much keep their pay. They just get stopped in that right? They just become partial owners just like stock in the company.

 

[0:27:08.9] BC: Yeah, they are working for themselves if you will.

 

[0:27:12.1] KM: If I did go and sell my business to somebody to a synergized company for me, I know the flag company let’s say, would you owner finance it? I had a girlfriend owner finance to sell her business and then it went belly up and she ended up not getting any money. Have you ever seen that where the owner finances it?

 

[0:27:30.1] BC: Yes.

 

[0:27:31.5] KM: You don’t like it I can tell.

 

[0:27:32.1] BC: You’re right.

 

[0:27:34.0] KM: I could tell the look on your face. You’re not a banker Kerry, don’t start financing people.

 

[0:27:39.3] BC: Yeah, I mean if you are selling a land and a building I mean it’s not –

 

[0:27:42.6] KM: Well you could go get it back.

 

[0:27:44.2] BC: Yeah because you can get that back but –

 

[0:27:45.1] KM: But you can run your business into the ground and now you’ve got it back and you got to start all over and you were trying to retire.

 

[0:27:50.1] BC: Yeah, you know if the bank is not going to lend the money then there’s no reason for you to lend the money. So by and large I am not really crazy about that.

 

[0:27:56.6] KM: So you know the story of the town cobbler whose children have no shoes?

 

[0:27:59.2] BC: Yes.

 

[0:28:00.0] KM: Do you have a succession plan since I’m all wrapped up in your life? I am listening to this answer really closely.

 

[0:28:07.1] BC: Yes, I do because there’s a short term and a long term succession plan.

 

[0:28:11.7] KM: I can tell it’s private. Wow, he was good wouldn’t he?

 

[0:28:15.5] TB: Yeah, that was a good one.

 

[0:28:16.3] KM: He wasn’t going to tell me his succession plan but I’m hoping it’s good. Our next interview is Matt McLeod, a highly successful painter, sculptor and muralist specializing in fine art for residential, commercial, and public art projects. After graduating from Southern Methodist University aka SMU in 1987, Matt spent a 15 year career in advertising before becoming a full-time artist. In 2015, just one year ago, he opened his very own McLeod Fine Arts Gallery in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

He has a wonderful story of hard work and faith. I hope you enjoy his story as much as I did and now my interview with artist, painter, sculptor and muralist, Matt McLeod.

 

[0:29:03.2] KM: Welcome to the table, accomplished artist and entrepreneur, Matt McLeod.

 

[0:29:08.8] MM: Thanks Kerry.

 

[0:29:09.6] KM: You’re welcome. Matt, you say about yourself, and I quote, “I paint energetic color.” What does that mean?

 

[0:29:18.4] MM: I think that every artist is always trying to, at some point in their career, find out really what they're trying to get out with their work. Artwork is a communication with the viewer and every artist that matures begins to realize that they're trying to say something and they’re trying to get at something. I think in my evolution what I’ve been exploring is that I believe that we’re all made up of energy. I don't know whether that's our spirit or what it is about us as people that are living and walking the earth but at some point, we all very much are interested in connecting with each other.

 

The great thing about art form is it's an ongoing process of connection. The more I examine that and the more I tried to boil down the essence of humanity, the more I got in touch with the fact that we’re really human beings that have and contain a sense of energy. What I'm doing with my paintings is trying to explore that all the time, and I’m trying to essentially look at things that I see around me. Often, they’re rather mundane things.

 

But if I can take mundane things, explore what I believe is the essence of life and make that subject sublime by communicating the energy that I feel that we all share, then I’ve really done something. I’m able to connect with the viewer in that way. I may have made a big circle on that, but essentially, what I'm doing when I try to show energetic color is I use the tools that I have which are paints, colors, shape-making and to try to communicate the energy that I feel that we all share. That's in a sense, energetic color.

 

[0:31:06.5] KM: That was absolutely beautiful. It was. We are all trying to connect with each other.

 

[0:31:14.6] MM: I think so.

 

[0:31:15.5] KM: Art is so subjective and addictive. There’s entrepreneur inning.

 

[0:31:24.8] MM: Yeah, it’s good for me.

 

[0:31:25.9] KM: Once you buy one piece of art, whether it's expensive or not expensive, you put it in your room and you live with a little bit and you become addicted to more art.

 

[0:31:36.8] MM: I believe that to be true, Kerry. Really, the people who live with fine art, unique works of art, know that to be true. The best art is work that you will come back to, that you will want to live with and that speaks to you. You can't really put a price. I don’t know if we said expensive or not but you can't put a price tag on something that makes you feel really wonderful every time you connect with it. It’s something that really gets at your core.

 

[0:32:03.5] KM: There are some pictures or rather art that I have on the wall that I never get tired of looking at.

 

[0:32:08.4] MM: Right. That's the beauty of living with art.

 

[0:32:11.3] KM: Oh it’s nice.

 

[0:32:12.0] MM: When people really start to get in touch with that, they just become collectors.

 

[0:32:15.7] KM: Yeah they really shouldn’t because it’s addictive. I mean it really is.

 

[0:32:21.2] MM: No, they should because it’s addictive.

 

[0:32:23.3] KM: When did you first know that you had this gift or is it just always been there?

 

[0:32:29.2] MM: I don't always look at it as a gift, but I appreciate you saying that because that means that you see it as such. I think artists know that they have to do it. I think there's a little bit of talent. I tell people that when I teach students, I say, “You have to have a little bit of talent, and then you have to have a whole lot of work.” If you put 10% talent and 90% work ethic, and you work at it really hard every day, you’re going to get really good at it. I think that’s —

 

[0:32:56.9] KM: It’s just practice?

 

[0:32:57.7] MM: Well there’s a part of being able — First of all, you’re not to going to practice unless you love it and so there's a response that you’re going to have as a visual art form. For me, it's looking at something and recreating it and recreating it in a really interesting way. I really get a kick out of the viewer that sees something that I've done. Essentially, what I'm trying to do is I’m looking at something and I take it apart and then reassemble it using my own ability, creativity, and energy to make something that I hope is even more.

 

I love that part but you have to be in love with it to practice it. My best answer to you is that it takes a real desire to do it, because you kind of really get a kick out of it but then you have to pile a bunch of hard work around that.

 

[0:33:43.2] KM: Well that takes me to my next question did you study art?

 

[0:33:46.3] MM: No, I didn’t. Actually, when I went to school at ’83 to ’87, I didn’t know anybody in Little Rock that was making a living as an artist. I wasn’t one of those kids that just didn't know what he wanted to do. I thought I would try to get just a general liberal arts education, maybe get a degree in business and SMU's got those things. I went there to originally study business and decided that I fell in love with the communications college there and got a degree in advertising and thought that, in the advertising business, I’d be able to combine both business and creativity. You can and so that's what I ended up, getting a degree. I really did not study studio art at SMU.

 

[0:34:29.3] KM: So you had to decide to quit working and getting a regular paycheck. Look, he's smiling. To decide to take that leap of faith. Was there something that triggered that?

 

[0:34:44.6] MM: Yes. It was pretty profound in my life. You talk about leap of faith, and that's really what it was. If I take you back about 15, 16 years ago, I was working for Martin and Melissa Thomas. They were my last employer. We went through 9/11 together. They had a small firm at that time. I was trying to find out what I wanted to do. I was really studying a hobby of painting at that time. They were tremendously supportive people and very much about living your dream and finding out what you’re really good at and utilizing your talents.

 

That discussion, that sort of environment, made me think about “What am I doing and what am I really want to be doing?” I guess you hit a point in your, I sort of think of midlife at some point, mid 30s, early 40s, something like that. You get, “What am I doing? What do I really want to be doing?” I knew I was in love with my hobby. I had lunch with a guy one time and he said, “What are you really passionate about?” I go, “Well, I’m passionate about being your account executive.” He goes, “Okay, let’s set that aside for a second.”

 

[0:35:50.3] KM: Push it.

 

[0:35:51.2] MM: Yeah, exactly. He smelled it out and he said, “Hey, you’re a good account executive, but I get the feeling you’re really passionate about something else. Don't think about the question, just tell me right off what would you really love to be doing right now?” I said, “I love to be a painter. I love to be an artist. I just don’t think I can make a living doing this.” He said, “Well you know whether you make a living doing it or not, I think you need to give it a shot. You get one life, and I think you ought to give it a try.” That was profound for me. I’m not trying —

 

[0:36:18.4] KM: So he’s in your Christmas card list every year?

 

[0:36:20.4] MM: No. As a matter of fact, I lost touch with them, and I need to find out who that is, who that was. It was actually profound and I didn’t know it at the time, but I did think it was a God moment. I thought it was Him. I’m not here preaching religion, but —

 

[0:36:31.2] KM: You did go to Southern Methodist University.

 

[0:36:32.5] MM: I did. I have my own faith. I thought that was one of those moments that just didn't come out of a coincidence. That was meaningful.

 

[0:36:43.4] KM: Yeah. You have those moments, don’t you?

 

[0:36:45.0] MM: I do. We all do. That was a moment and then post 9/11. That’s what I’m really trying to get at. The economy was terrible. I don’t know if you remember that moment. The world changed.

 

[0:36:56.0] KM: Yeah, I do. I was selling a flags like crazy. It wasn’t terrible for me.

 

[0:36:58.2] MM: Right, well good business for you.

 

[0:37:00.0] KM: I’m sorry but it’s true.

 

[0:37:01.5] MM: But it may have been one — Well I hate to look at it that way but that was only business probably that I knew of that was doing anything. Most of the people that we were talking to and trying to either find accounts or service their accounts, were not spending. Everybody was freezing their spending. We lost one account because they just reviewed it every three years and the other count was acquired. The rest of our accounts that we had on staff weren’t spending.

 

One morning, I have this conversation Martin Thoma. He sits down with me and another person says, “I haven’t been drawing a salary from my own business in the last two months and we’re going through a tough time, and we’re going to have to cut back, so I’m going to have to let you off.”

 

The first reaction when somebody tells you they’re going to let you off is like, “Oh, my gosh! What am I going to do? This is terrible. This is horrible.” I took it another way. I went, “You know, Martin. This is a good thing, and I think this is a God moment for me.” I think I’m supposed to go be an artist.” He said, “Matt, you’d be a great artist!” He said, “I want to support you. I want you to leave today and go be an artist. We’re going to help you with a severance payment to help you do that.” They are really wonderful people over there.

 

[0:38:07.0] KM: I almost feel sorry for people who have a really great job and a really great income and everything is really cushy and good, but they are not fulfilled because they don't get pushed out into the world to go and find out what their path is and what their passion is and where they should be because it's too soft where they are.

 

[0:38:25.4] MM: I couldn’t agree more, Kerry. The scary thing about it was I had a house payment, two car payments, a child, just all the reasons that have to just try to be secure.

 

[0:38:36.3] KM: I wish all of the people I let go would be that nice when I let them go and they go, “Oh, this is really nice. Thank you.”

 

[0:38:42.0] MM: It’s a sudden leap of faith, that’s really what it was. I just thought that these were two very significant signs that I needed to go give it hell and try.

 

[0:38:50.6] KM: They absolutely were.

 

[0:38:51.5] MM: Either just fall on my face or die trying. I don't know that I had your guts to go sell things door-to-door but I took that moment and just ran. I just worked as hard as I could.

 

[0:39:04.2] KM: I went to your first show. I didn’t that was your first show. I thought it was when I was there that night. It was in 2006. It was at Local Color Gallery up on Kavanaugh and I think when I was reading that I thought, “I remember that being your first show.” That has got to be — Talk about baring your soul, ready to show your work, and for people to judge it, and to judge you; how hard was that?

 

[0:39:32.1] MM: It was really hard. It’s scary as hell. I wouldn’t kid you to tell that it was anything else. It’s just absolutely scary. It's like you’re holding up your children and you’re just hoping that nobody says that, “Hey, your baby’s ugly.” You know?

 

[0:39:45.7] KM: You're exposing yourself to all that criticism.

 

[0:39:47.8] MM: You are and you just have to — You said leap of faith, that’s part of it, and part of it is you just have to thicken your skin. This is the way it’s going to be. I have to put myself out there, and putting myself out there means that I open myself up for criticism and that’s just it. At some point, you have to say to yourself, “Okay, look. Not everybody’s going to love me” and they don’t and so you have to focus your attention on the people who do love you.

 

You can start with your family. I think one of the best things to do is just sort of start accounting the people who really love and care about you. I started with my family, my friends, and just anybody that I thought would come and support me in that way. You put it out there in the public, and if people don't like you — most of the time, what I found is people keep it to themselves and they just don’t come. People who do love you and really want to support you will come over and over and over again. That's the real blessing of it.

 

[0:40:42.8] KM: So Matt not everyone starts a business about their passion.

 

[0:40:46.5] MM: Right.

 

[0:40:47.1] KM: Talk about opening your gallery and fears you had to face. I know when you start painting, you probably didn't think, “I'm going to open a gallery one day,” because nobody knows. Speaking to you and Bob about what you are saying about you never know where life’s going to lead you. You just have to do these leaps of faith. You probably didn't ever think, “Oh, I’m going to start being an artist, and then I'm going to open a gallery.” I know when you decided to open a gallery, I want to hear why and how you opened it because I know there had to be more sleepless nights.

 

[0:41:18.3] MM: Sure and they’re still are. You talked about living your passion and once I became an artist, that’s really what it was all about but at some point, I think what we've all been talking about starting off was very modest means in trying to drive your business. At some point you realize, “I can only make so much money doing this.” It isn't all about money but at some point, we’ve been talking about responsibilities and obligations; car payments, and electric bills and mortgages and sending kids to college.

 

[0:41:52.1] KM: Less stress, the nicer you are.

 

[0:41:53.5] MM: Right and those are very real. I just thought I really like working with other artists. Part of my background in advertising business taught me the business side of things. I really learned how to be a business person within somebody else's business in that experience but I understood client relationships. I understood working with the team, I understood working in delivering on deadlines. I began to see that those experiences led themselves to something that was more than just being simply an artist. I thought “Well you know, I’d like to combine those two things” both my business skills and creative skills. I saw an opportunity to open a gallery and —

 

[0:42:37.3] KM: How’d you see an opportunity to gallery? Someone just called and said, “Hey, you want to open a gallery here?”

 

[0:42:42.0] MM: No, I’ll tell you. I began working with another artist to try to do some public art projects. I became interested in working large. I’ve always enjoyed painting large canvases, and I began to want to be a muralist and work on some public projects. I actually got a meeting with Mayor Stodola about some ideas that I had. At the time, he's always looking for ways to improve our city. They can’t fund art projects and that’s the really hardest part for the city. They just can’t do it.

 

[0:43:12.1] KM: They need to call the tourist and visitor information center. They got all kinds of money down there.

 

[0:43:16.1] MM: Don’t tell everybody. I’m working on it right now.

 

[0:43:20.2] KM: Just a tip.

 

[0:43:21.1] MM: But no I appreciate but you’re right. They’re very interested in seeing creative things happen in our city and make the city better. A lot of times, they have to go find other funding sources but that’s an interesting thing. That’s something I learned. In that process, he said, “You ought to go talk to this guy who’s bought these buildings over on Main Street, because they’re looking to create a creative corridor in that area and we’d love to see some visual arts in that area.” And I did.

 

I met with a guy named Scott Reid. I don’t know if you know Scott or not but he’s been kicked around a little bit. He’s from Portland and he bought the buildings over on the 500 block of Main Street. He’s actually a decent guy and they ran out of money on the different parts of those projects. That’s not really what I’m getting at. One of the things that I was part of that whole conversation and quite honestly before I get away from that whole topic, I think he's a decent guy and the people who are trying build and he’s had difficulties with, they’re really great people. Those deals were money, and finishing the project, it just didn’t work out.

 

[0:44:22.2] KM: We’ve all had those dead-end streets. Everybody has.

 

[0:44:24.5] MM: That happens in real estate development.

 

[0:44:25.9] KM: It happens in everything.

 

[0:44:27.0] MM: I don’t want to say bad thing about anybody that’s part of any of that.

 

[0:44:30.3] KM: No, we won’t let you.

 

[0:44:32.7] MM: Well good. So part of that conversation was that I could can see that the city and the developers and people who wanted to really come bring Main Street back and revitalize it wanted to see real creative elements down there. I thought, “Wow! I want to be a part of that because not only I can be an artist, I can be part of revitalization of Main Street and this is my Main Street.” That really resonated with me. So I began showing up at meetings and I began to contribute.

 

[0:45:03.8] KM: You landed the mural on 6th and Main Street.

 

[0:45:05.8] MM: I did, and it was part of that same –

 

[0:45:07.7] KM: Beautiful. Does it have a name?

 

[0:45:08.4] MM: Beneath the Surface.

 

[0:45:09.9] KM: Oh I love it.

 

[0:45:12.8] MM: Thank you.

 

[0:45:13.1] KM: And then you ended up looking at it every day because your gallery is right across the street.

 

[0:45:17.4] MM: It’s kind of fun. I like looking at it because its public art and I love public art.

 

[0:45:23.6] KM: I love graffiti. I know that’s weird. I do.

 

[0:45:28.6] MM: Just as long as it’s not graffiti over my mural, that’s okay with me.

 

[0:45:31.2] KM: Yeah, right? That’s not good.

 

[0:45:33.3] MM: But I think there’d be some cool things that we could do to some street artists, graffiti artists, that if we find a place that really makes sense to do it and do it really well. That could be really fun. That’s art from the street and that’s really what it’s about.

 

[0:45:44.7] KM: I’ve got a wall.

 

[0:45:45.4] MM: Well you know, maybe that’s something we could organize. Yeah, absolutely. Just showing up and having conversations with people who are trying to create something really interesting and vital and creative in the city is how I ended up finding space in that building to open a gallery and I was able to do a mural across the street.

 

[0:46:07.6] KM: That is an A. You got the rep on one corner, you got the mural on another corner and then you’ve got your gallery on one corner. What’s on the fourth corner?

 

[0:46:15.5] MM: That’s really cool. Well Cranford Company.

 

[0:46:19.1] KM: You got an ad agency that’s close to your heart on the other corner.

 

[0:46:22.6] MM: The Cranford Brothers, Wayne Cranford’s sons formed their own marketing communications firm on that corner but right next to them is Ballet Arkansas.

 

[0:46:30.2] KM: Oh, that’s right up there with my heart.

 

[0:46:31.9] MM: Yeah, they’re moving in.

 

[0:46:33.1] KM: I saw that sign when I was down there last night and I was wondering.

 

[0:46:36.0] MM: Man! You talk about beautiful artists and athletes. Oh man, yeah, well right, the ballerinas are beautiful. There are unique combination of athletics and art form. It’s just really cool to see them and have that energy down there. Hopefully, the building is going to get finished relatively soon. Hopefully, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is going to move in next to them. I don’t want to speak for them. I’m not doing that, but the initial design was to have them be right next to Ballet Arkansas. Well Ballet Arkansas, the Rep has got an annex theater right next to where Ballet Arkansas is.

 

[0:47:08.7] KM: Really?

 

[0:47:09.0] MM: Yeah, you should check that out. That’s really cool. They do real small intimate performances, black box in the round type of place.

 

[0:47:18.7] KM: Oh, I love that. 20 years ago when we used to have another mayor — What was his name? Dally. I sent him a letter when I bought the Taborian Hall on 9th Street, and I sent Jim Dally and said, “North Little Rock has got the art district. Can we be the theater and performance district?” He loved it because we have something like seven theaters between all the way up to 6th Street or maybe it was 9th Street because you can do the children’s theater. If you go from 2nd Street all the way to 9th Street, Little Rock has, I think, seven theaters.

 

[0:47:56.4] MM: I think it’s a great idea to create a performing arts club in that area.

 

[0:47:59.3] KM: Well it sounds like it’s happening.

 

[0:48:00.6] MM: I’d love to see, but I’d also like to see a visual arts component of all that.

 

[0:48:04.2] KM: Well, that always goes with it too.

 

[0:48:05.6] MM: Sure.

 

[0:48:05.9] KM: So was signing the lease scary?

 

[0:48:08.4] MM: Absolutely.

 

[0:48:09.5] KM: How long — I don’t want to ask you how long you have to sign it but I know you had to sign it. To me, that was one of the scariest things about the Taborian Hall, was signing the paper that said you’re going to do this for so many years.

 

[0:48:20.6] MM: Yeah, it scares the hell out of you. You know you’ve committed to a certain amount of money. The other thing is payroll, trying to meet a payroll every week. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you. I’ve got one employee that is just —

 

[0:48:30.6] KM: Are you punching a block these days? Do you have to be at the gallery all the time? When I moved to Arkansas Flag and Banner out of my home and into a storefront, it was a shock.

 

[0:48:39.8] MM: Absolutely, and it’s a shock for me. Yeah, it feels like I’m there all the time. Fortunately, I did hire Carry — I call her Carry, Caroline Crocker and fortunately, I did hire so I can occasionally get away. I went to a wedding this last weekend and I’m going to the Razorback game tomorrow.

 

[0:48:54.2] KM: I saw that on Facebook.

 

[0:48:55.6] MM: Yeah, go Hawks! I get a day off every once in a while but there’s very few days off. When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like its work all the time. I know that sound cliché.

 

[0:49:07.2] KM: But you’ve only been doing that a year. I’m going to ask you that in five years. I’m here with my guest; Matt McLeod, from the McLeod Fine Arts Gallery on Main Street in downtown Little Rock. You’re listening to Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy. If you’re got questions for me or Matt, you can call us — Hold on. I’m fixing the radio — At 501-433-0088 or you can — Tim is not in very good — Or you can email me, questions@upyourbusiness.org.

 

So pricing your work. Every artist I know sells too cheap. Then you could tell I’m a business person. I’m like, “That’s too cheap. I know how much paint cost. I know how much time that took,” but artists never think their time is worth anything. I know that was your problem in the beginning and you’ve finally parsed over to the other side.

 

[0:50:04.2] MM: Have I?

 

[0:50:05.5] KM: I think so because your prices last night were right up there where they should have been.

 

[0:50:09.0] MM: Well good. I’m glad to hear that. I still think I’m a bargain, but you know —

 

[0:50:12.1] KM: There you go. That’s the entrepreneurial spirit.

 

[0:50:15.4] MM: Well you know, I have to tell you quite honesty, people in Little Rock are on a shop for a bargain, and so that’s part of it is that you have to understand what your market is willing to pay. I think people do need to spend a little more on really quality art work. Really, the reality for pricing — That’s what you’re asking, right? There has to be a pragmatic side.

 

If I was to tell another artist, I would say, “Okay, look. Be ultimately pragmatic. Look at what your materials really cost you. Look at the time that you’re going to put in on it and what’s that? If you put an hourly rate on that, what would that come up to?” Then look at it as “How many paintings am I selling a year, and what does that mean and what do I need to make and how do I cover my cost?” Because the thing that breaks my hearts is to see artists who are really talented who can’t make a living.

 

You were mentioning part-time work, and that’s part of it too. Some people go back to wait tables and I’ve done all of that. I’ve done anything, everything.

 

[0:51:11.2] KM: I think most artists don’t have enough business sense. You and Matt Matthews, both of you are my friends, and you both have got some business background, and you understand an income statement and a balance sheet and it’s not just, “Oh, I bought $10 worth of paint, I’m going to sell it for $20.” There’s overhead, there’s employees, there’s advertising. There’s a lot that goes into it. I think too many artists don’t realize all that goes into it.

 

[0:51:41.6] MM: I think that most artists work on — I can’t remember if it was left or right side of their brain but –

 

[0:51:46.8] KM: Oh! I looked that up because the last time you and I had this conversation, neither one of us knew, they work on the one you don’t think they’d work on. They work on the right side.

 

[0:51:54.2] MM: Right side of their brain, and that’s the creative side and they want to stay there. It feels good to be in that part of your brain actually. A lot of artists wants to stay in the right side of their brain and actually that’s good for me be because they allow me to use my left side of my brain to help sell their work and handle a lot of those business things.

 

[0:52:12.7] KM: I noticed at your gallery you had — Probably, your art was the least amount of art last night. There was only two, I think, paintings of yours, and there were several. There were three or four artists there who had more paintings than you. Is that right?

 

[0:52:26.2] MM: Yeah that’s accurate. I would address it this way. I’ve been really fortunate. This year, I’ve done a lot of commissions, and I haven’t done a lot of what I call spec work which is just creating something and putting it on a wall and that’s a real blessing for me.

 

[0:52:39.1] KM: Is it hard to come up with new ideas when you are just doing — When you’re not doing — No.

 

[0:52:45.2] MM: No. I love it. I’m one of those artists that don’t sit and contemplate certain emotions and stuff like that. I’m much more interested in finding something that I see and that maybe you’ve seen and pulling it apart and putting it back together in an interesting way. I have an unlimited source of inspiration. If I find anything, I’ll try to look at it, recreate it and reframe it. I’m working on that level of visual interest and creativity.

 

No, I never run out of inspiration. I find stuff all the time but a lot of the times, what I do is I start my work in my camera. I’ll walk around with my camera all the time finding interesting visual compositions and I’ll start composing within the rectangle of that view finder within the camera. I’m not a great photographer but I start thinking in terms of composition and light and that’s fun. That’s really, really fun. You feel like you’re an artist when you’re walking around sort of kind of creating within your camera and thinking about ideas that you might turn into paintings.

 

[0:53:48.5] KM: That’s a great tip for artists. That’s a great tip for artists who are wanting to get started or create. What else? Do they have to go to school like you? What other suggestions do you think? I heard you say 10%, 90% work but have you got any real advice for somebody who wants to do art and get started?

 

[0:54:09.3] MM: Do we have another couple of hours or —

 

[0:54:10.8] KM: Just give us a couple of big pointers. If you were starting today and you’re going to start all over again today knowing everything that you know, would you start with your camera?

 

[0:54:21.8] MM: Well it’s not that simple of an answer being because a lot of artists are very much interested in showing people and the figure. If you’re that type of artist –

 

[0:54:34.1] KM: What does that mean; showing people the figure?

 

[0:54:35.5] MM: A lot of people, like my friend Kevin Cresy do you know him?

 

[0:54:38.8] KM: Yeah. Oh, yeah. I’ve got his.

 

[0:54:40.8] MM: Okay. He’s very interested in sculpting the figure, people, forms.

 

[0:54:44.8] KM: Oh I got you, figure, people okay.

 

[0:54:46.6] MM: If that’s your thing, you need to go with your thing.

 

[0:54:52.2] KM: You got to take a lot of neck in people.

 

[0:54:53.8] MM: Well you do and he’s got my back.

 

[0:54:54.5] KM: No wonder Kevin likes that. I’m wondering how his wife feels about that. I’m going to talk to her.

 

[0:55:00.8] MM: Yeah, she’s amazingly supportive of all of that actually but she laughs about it too but you know the thing is, what I would say is embrace what you really love and just run with it. I just happened to be someone who’s always looking at landscapes. I like people and landscapes, things and landscapes but I’m always searching in that direction because that’s what drives me. If I was to talk to me, the starting artist, 15, 16 years ago, I’d say, “Look, what is it that you really feel like you need to say or that you really respond to? Embrace that completely and work your butt off for it and don’t be afraid to supplement your income in other ways but just keep working at it.”

 

[0:55:45.0] KM: That is some good advice, just keep working at it. Thank you technician Tim for a great hour.

 

[0:55:51.2] TB: No problem, it was fun.

 

[0:55:52.5] KM: Next week our guest will be Jack Sundale, founder and head bottle washer at the Route Café. I’m not sure but he may bring his beautiful wife, Cory with him and since they work together, that would be nice to hear both their perspectives on opening and running a small business not to mention the issues surrounding working together at the Route Café and then working together at home as they raise their families. I mean do you keep that separate? I don’t know.

 

Also if you’ve got a really great entrepreneurial story that you would love to share, I would love to hear from you. Send a brief bio and your contact info to –

 

[0:56:24.1] TB: questions@upyourbusiness.org

 

[0:56:26.3] KM: And someone will be in touch and finally to our listeners, thank you for spending time with me. If you think this program has been about you, you’re right but it’s also about me. Thank you for letting me fulfill my destiny. My hope today is that you’ve learned or heard something that’s been inspiring or enlightening and that it, whatever it is will help you up your business, your independence or your life. I am Kerry McCoy. Until then be brave and keep it up.

 

[END OF EPISODE]

 

[0:56:50.0] TB: You’ve been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Want to hear today’s program again or want someone else to benefit from it? Jot this down. Next week this podcast will be available at flagandbanner.com. Click the tab labeled “Radio Show”, there you’ll find today’s segments with links to resources you heard discussed on this program. Kerry’s goal: to help you live the American Dream.

 

[END]

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