The gun industry typically caters to men and is mostly about bravado. Because of this proper gun use and safety are either downplayed or completely ignored. Joining Don Williams is Jerah Hutchins of Tier One Security, Clearing the Chamber, and WADE, who shares her success stories around this industry. She talks about educating women and young people on responsible gun ownership to protect themselves from abuse and violence. Jerah also discusses her work in elevating school security to address the huge problem of human trafficking.
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Serial Entrepreneur, Jerah Hutchins Shares Her Success Stories.
My guest is a very good friend, Jerah Hutchins. I have known her for several years and to give you a little bit of her background, she is a firearms instructor, a security professional, a Second Amendment advocate, and also a philanthropist. She is a part-owner of a business called Tier One Security, which helps combat human trafficking, provides personal protection, and protects kids in schools. She also owns Clearing the Chamber, a training company that focuses on educating women and youth in self-defense and responsible gun ownership. Lastly, she is the Founder of WADE or the Women’s Awareness and Defense Endeavor. It is a nonprofit that provides self-defense training to single moms, low-income women, and victims of abuse.
Jerah, welcome to the show.
I’m so excited that you wanted to have me on.
We are thrilled to have you and know all about you. You have multiple businesses plus the nonprofit. What is getting most of your time?
It is being divided evenly between the three because they are all necessary. If you had asked me in 2020, my answer would have been different. In 2021 as we reopen everything, the security business never went away. It was always necessary, especially with what we have got going on surrounding the election and things like that. We were needed. I also serve in the Texas State Guard. A lot of people do not even know that Texas has a State Guard. I do something similar within the Guard, but Tier One is taking up a lot of my time, and that is a good thing.
My business partners are committed to the safety of people in the DFW area. One of my business partners is one of our State Representatives. He is doing good things in the legislature and their meetings, looking at some House bills for different things. One of those things is constitutional carry and some of the other domestic violence House bills that we have got coming down the platform. We are digging into new contracts and getting new schools and apartment complexes. One of the biggest areas that we patrol is in the Skillman-Audelia area of Dallas. Those are very high crime areas.
We are revolutionizing what it means to be a security professional. That is one of the reasons why I took on that project because I want to get away from security people being looked at as Paul Blart: Mall Cop. One of the biggest issues in that realm or genre of the industry is how they are trained. It is a minimal amount of training, and then all of a sudden, we are sending these people out with guns to protect other people. That needs to change. At Tier One, we do above what the State of Texas requires for Level 3 and 4 security. I put them through a rigorous amount of gun training.
What are Level 3 and Level 4 security?
In the State of Texas, Level 3 is a commissioned security officer. They are uniformed and armed. You will see those people sometimes at apartment complexes. You will see SROs at schools. Typically, it is my understanding that SROs are TCOLE-certified police officers. Schools can also have Level 3 security officers, which can be armed in schools. You can’t just turn somebody loose in a school with a gun who has no idea about room clearing and tactical response. You got to be able to identify certain characteristics of a threat and communicate with law enforcement and other people that might be in the vicinity.
There is a lot going on with that. I do not feel like they put enough energy into training these people. We do that at Tier One and make sure that they have the highest level of training possible. We require that they shoot at 90% and pass their written exam at at least 90%. We put them through continued education like gang class where we have a TCOLE-certified police officer that comes in and teaches them about the different gangs in the area, what identifying markers are for those gang affiliations, what to do if you encounter one, and what their personalities are like.
In the Skillman-Audelia area, you are going to come into contact with at least 3 or 4 different kinds of gangs. If you do not understand how to interact with those people especially how to get information from those people for link analysis, you are useless. We want security personnel to be looked at as the first responders because that is exactly what we are. We are already there patrolling.
We have had officers that worked for me. My partner and I saw somebody get shot right in front of us at a robbery in the parking lot of an apartment complex. My partner bailed out, put a tourniquet on the wound, and packed the wound. I was dealing with crowd control and communicating with the police and EMTs.
You got to know how to do that stuff. In the middle of a chaotic situation, you have got to have your mindset right to be able to say the words that need to be said efficiently and well. If you submit to the chaos, too, then you are no better than the other people that are around. You are supposed to be better than them.
It is too late to train when you are in the situation.
Scenario-based training is necessary.
It needs to be done ahead of time. That is getting most of your time and energy.
We have got a lot of new contracts coming up in the pipeline. We are hiring, in case you are wondering. It is TierOneUS.com. Get on board and we will get you covered and trained.
Let’s go back. You live in Dallas-Fort Worth. Are you from here? Where are you from?
I’m originally from East Texas. I was born in Greenville, which is where East Texas started to become East Texas. I was born there and raised in Lone Oak. I got family throughout East Texas pretty much at Stratford.
As a child, many entrepreneurs had an entrepreneurial moment or sometimes began their entrepreneurial journey at seven, buying candy at 7-Eleven and selling it at school for a quarter more. Were you entrepreneurial as a child?
I had a very entrepreneurial grandfather. He and his cousins moved from the North. My grandfather was Sicilian. He and his cousins started this window-washing company. They moved to Texas and spread it out throughout East Texas. They were three cousins. They all owned one of the franchises in Greenville, Tyler, and Longview. What I loved seeing as a child and recognized early was him having complete control of his time. I wanted that. He would get up super early to go to work because when you do day labor like that, you do not want to be in the heat all day in a Texas summer especially.
Tell our audience what super early is in East Texas because they are going to have a different opinion on what that is.
He was up by 3:45 and was out the door by 4:30. He was working, but he was done at noon. He would come home and work on another project. He was a carpenter, handyman, and mason. I learned a lot of trade skills from him. I had an uncle that was into guns. I learned a lot about guns, gunsmithing, and little tinkering work growing up. One of the things that I dug was he was the complete sultan of his time. I enjoyed that. Did I learn a lot of entrepreneurial skills from him? It is not a lot.
To be a good entrepreneur, you got to have a servant's heart. Click To Tweet
I would not say that he necessarily taught me how to be an entrepreneur per se, but I did understand that I did not like free labor. That is what the grandkids were. He had six children. In the summertime, when we were in school, we were working. We were up at 3:45 in the morning, going and washing windows until noon and coming home. He would pay us a little bit, but we all knew it was not what he was making.
That sounds like an entrepreneur, “Am I being properly compensated here?”
He did not properly compensate for my time, but there were a lot of lessons to be learned throughout watching him grow his business and be the master of his time. I knew at an early age that that is what I wanted.
Surely, the work ethic was one of the huge issues you learned by getting up at 3:45. That serves all entrepreneurs well. It doesn’t mean that we all crush the hours all the time, but we do when we have to.
I never understood this whole glorifying of perpetual hustle. That is exhausting. You have to figure out when to grind and when to take a break because that is serving yourself and other people well. You want to be able to do both. If you are going to be a good entrepreneur, you got to have a servant’s heart. You can’t have a servant’s heart if you are not taking a moment to go, “I need to rest, read, recharge, learn, go back out and hustle.”
My schedule is quite sporadic, but I have this great app called GoodNotes. I bought Boss Planner that goes into GoodNotes. It has got your month lined out. I use my Apple Pen, write out my whole month and go, “I do not think I’m going to work on this day. I’m going to rest, read and recharge.” There are days when I have 16 or 17-hour days. That is fine because I’m getting a lot done, but then I have those days when I’m making notes on things I need to learn, follow up on or look at.
I will sleep in until 10:00 in the morning because I deserve it. My schedule with what I do and when I teach women and youth, a lot of times, their free time is on the weekends. I do not have a traditional weekend. I get to spend doing weekend stuff. This is probably why I’m single, but I love what I do. A big part of my business and its success is being available to people on their schedules. If I’m going to do that, I have to be purposeful in scheduling time out for me.
Years ago, I learned that I have to schedule time for strategic thoughts because if I do not block my calendar to think about what I’m doing, I won’t have time.
That is the key component in the book How Successful People Think. You have to sit there, get a cup of tea or bourbon, meditate over your thoughts and notate them out. To me, it starts as a scribble page of something that will come to mind that I need to do a video on. In my Clearing the Chamber business, when I train women and youth, I write a lot of workshops about things I see and current events that women are struggling with from a self-defense standpoint. One of the things that I thought of in a meditation session was time management.
Most women do not understand that your poor time management directly affects your safety. If you are frazzled and disorganized, you are late everywhere, and your children are driving you nuts because you have no scene control over any of that stuff because you are a pushover, people are targeting you because they can see that all over your body language and in the tone of your voice. They know that. Human traffickers and people who mean to rape and kill are looking for the distracted and frazzled woman or the disorganized mother.
They are banking on the fact that you are unaware, unprepared, and unarmed. You do not have effective time management skills, and you are not correlating those effective time management skills to your safety and thinking about, “Where is my purse, sunglasses, keys, or phone?” It is also tacking on, “What weapon am I going to carry based on where I’m going? What is legal for me to carry? How do I carry it? I got to get that education. Am I going to carry it?” That is a big part of your time management. If you layout your clothes the night before, you should be laying out your weapon as well.
When someone is that disoriented, they are more vulnerable because they are not situationally aware.
That is a class in and of itself. When people think of situational awareness, a lot of times, they go, “I already know that. That is just paying attention to your surroundings.” Have you been educated on what to look for, how to position yourself wisely in public spaces, and on key human trafficking identifiers? This is an education. It doesn’t take long. My Situational Awareness class is two hours, but you are getting a lot of things that you can take notes on and study over. I give you homework and things to pay attention to.
A lot of the moms are like, “I have got these kids, and I go to get them in the car, at the grocery store, at the mall, and all this. What is the best way to do it?” I can teach you all the things to look for. It is something as small as where is your car seat located in your vehicle. To me, especially if you only have one child, your car seat needs to be closest to the gas tank. When you get out to go and pump gas, especially if you drive a big old Excursion, you need to be able to see your kids in that car, especially if you have tinted windows.
A lot of times, we love technology and how it advances us. In a lot of the newer model cars, if your key fob is close to the vehicle and somebody goes and tries to open the door, it is automatically going to unlock. They can snatch your kid out of there while you are on the other side of the boat that you drive if you are chatting with the person next to you, or you are in your phone pumping gas and not paying attention. You would never even know until you tried to get back in the car and you are talking to a kid that is not even there.
Pay attention, people. Tell me this. Was your first job working for grandpa?
Technically, yes, but it is not my first W-2 job.
Talk about your first W-2 job.
I worked at a movie theater in Greenville. It was the Majestic 8 at that time. I believe it is now the Majestic 16. They have added some new screens there. I applied for that job when I was 15, about to be 16. I was ready to go to work and have my money and all the things my parents told me that I could not have because I did not pay the bills. I was ready to pay the bills. I would caution you be careful what you ask for because sometimes, riding parents’ coattails is very convenient.
It is convenient, but it is very common that there is little defiance in the average entrepreneur. Many became entrepreneurs not so much for financial benefit, but maybe they had authority issues as an employee and having people tell them what to do. They traded that for the IRS telling them what to do. What about your first business?
I had some side hustles in high school. I worked at the movie theater and I would mow lawns. My grandpa ended up giving me a couple of window-washing jobs that I could do on my own. You mentioned the defiance of an entrepreneur. I have to tell you a funny story. My very first vehicle was a 1989 Mustang 5.0. I was a football trainer for the football team in my high school. I was friends with all these boys that wanted to drive my car. I would let them race it on the weekends down this drag in Greenville and we would bet people on the race and split the money. I made a couple of grand in one summer.
Your side hustle is a hustle.
Business success means being available to people on their schedules. Click To Tweet
Needless to say, my parents found out about this little endeavor and made me sell that car. I was heartbroken. I had quit the movie theater and gotten a job at the local Walmart in the lawn and garden department. I was putting together grills, hauling grass, and all that stuff. I was talking with this guy that worked in that department with me. I was griping about the fact that I did not have a car and I could not buy it until my parents told me to.
He was like, “How old are you?” I was like, “I’m about to be seventeen.” He said, “In the State of Texas, you are considered an adult at seventeen.” I’m like, “What does that mean?” He said, “Your parents do not have to go with you to court if you get a speeding ticket. You can get a credit card and an apartment.” I was like, “You can buy a car by yourself?” He was like, “Exactly.”
I had some money saved up. The day after I turned seventeen, I went down to this little used car lot in Quinlan, Texas and bought a 1992 Acura Integra by myself. I shared with him my idea and filled out all the paperwork. I’m so proud of myself. He hands me the keys. I looked at him, and I was like, “You are going to teach me how to drive this because it was a manual transmission.” The little-used car lot guy was like, “You can’t be serious.”
I’m like, “I’m so serious. I just handed you $25,000 for this car. You better get in the seat and teach me how to drive it.” I came home with a car that I was not given permission to drive by my parents, but they could not do anything about it because I was an adult in the State of Texas, and I bought it with my money. You want to talk about parents between a rock and a hard place on that one. I ended up getting kicked out of the house and going to live with my grandparents.
Most entrepreneurs have a little healthy defiance somewhere in their history. What is your very first business?
My very first business came later in life. I had a couple of healthy careers. I was in oil and gas for seven years. I had a little consulting business that grew out of that. When you are in oil and gas, you have to fill out a ton of Railroad Commission paperwork. It is not fun, but I became good and well-versed in it. I had a little side hustle helping other smaller oil and gas companies fill out their Railroad Commission paperwork and keep that all in line.
That was my first little dip into true entrepreneurship and having to keep books, collect money, invoice people, and all that stuff. I had a little bit of a headhunting career in between that. I started the firearms business in my early 30s full-time. I had a little side hustle where I was teaching people how to shoot guns on the side in my late twenties. I have been shooting guns for 25 years, but I have been teaching people how to shoot guns for about 11 or 12 years.
Is it primarily women and children but men also?
Yes. I get a lot of husbands that come to me from the wives that I teach. The wives go home and school their husbands on all the crap they are doing wrong. I have had a couple of angry husbands call me. I have had to tell them, “Wrong is wrong. Sorry about your bad luck.” Most of the husbands that call me are like, “I did not realize that this was a bad habit. Maybe I need to schedule a lesson with you so my wife and I can be on the same page.” I have a new business that I’m launching with one of my mentors and business coaches, Rick Kolster. We are launching Tactical Therapy this summer of 2022.
We are going to be mediators for couples who need safety plans because people do not talk about this the way that they should when they are entering into relationships or marriages. It is a very interesting thing to see in communities where people will come to me and go, “My wife or my husband does not feel like we should have guns in the house, but we should.” Everybody worries about the children, which they should. There is a way to do this that is safe. We have seen a need. You would not believe the number of people on the brink of divorce over this conversation of guns in the house and safety.
I saw this book in Barnes & Noble one time when I was perusing some other reading material. It was 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged. I flipped through that whole book. Do you want to know a question that is not in that entire book? There is nothing about guns and safety. What will be our safety plan as a family? How will we teach our children self-defense as a couple? When will we start talking about situational awareness with our daughters? None of that is in the 101 questions that you are supposed to ask before you get engaged. It is the thing that keeps you safe and alive. I have never understood it. I do not get it.
What spawned out of that also was a workshop that I wrote. Instead of What to Expect When You’re Expecting or this popular book that all new moms read apparently, I wrote a workshop called How to Protect What You’re Expecting because we do not ever talk about that with our expectant mothers either. Feeding habits and understanding co-sleeping are important. When do we start teaching our kids how to eat and do for themselves and all this? That is fine, but we do not ever encourage expectant mothers to get a self-defense education. If you are pregnant and you have no education in self-defense, you should be in a Situational Awareness class while you are pregnant.
Are the courses all live? Do you have some that are videos?
I have virtual classes. You can do a Situational Awareness class virtually. There is no problem, but this is not an issue. When you get not pregnant anymore, you need to start looking into either nonlethal weapons if that is what makes you feel comfortable or get in a firearms class because 4% of the Texas population has a license to carry. You have 70% of Texans that own at least one firearm, but you only have 4% that went on and got an education about it. Only 2% of the 4% carry every day. How many of those do you think are moms and women?
It is pretty small.
It is a fraction of the fraction. These are the people that are targeted for sexual assault, human trafficking, and robbery. There are not a lot of grown men that are being robbed at gunpoint. It is a lot of women. They are not snatching kids up from their daddies. Men are natural deterrents. The people who are being targeted the most are the people who are not getting educated. That is a problem. You can make anything into a business. I have made an entire business out of encouraging women and moms to be better about their safety.
How many businesses have there been?
There are probably 4 or 5 now. We are going to continue to grow.
You have a nonprofit on the side.
We are going to launch Luxe & Lethal. That is going to be a clothing line. I’m bringing together a bunch of different products. One of the biggest complaints I get from women, especially from a self-defense standpoint, is, “How do I know what gear to get? Where do I get all this stuff?” I’m going to have a website where people can dropship some of the most popular gear that women need and want. We are going to carry Alexo Athletica, which is a concealed carry line of activewear. I’m going to team up with Carry Girl Gear out of Austin. We are going to have some popular holsters on the website like Sticky Holsters and The Naked Holster.
Sticky Holsters are so universal. A lot of people do not realize it. They are $30. I’m going to have Bullets n Bombshells, which is a company that I bought from a gal named Lea over in Reno. She has got five kids. She did not have time for it anymore, and I did not want to see it die. I had bought a lot of her products and loved them. It is a line of shirts that are nice-looking for women that like to carry. We are going to launch that. I’m going on a working vacation with my website gal to Boca Raton for my birthday. We are going to take a day to get that website launched and designed and then spend the rest of the time on the beach with Mai Tais.
It is a little work and a lot of vacation. Think back to your past, and if you do not mind, share a hard moment or time as an entrepreneur with us.
I struggled a lot with two things, especially when I started. The entrepreneurship with Railroad Commission paperwork was easy. People needed and wanted it. It fits into what women were supposed to do, so it was easy. Getting into guns was harder. The industry as a whole has done better with encouraging women to get into this. I do not have a lot of complaints about that. In the beginning, it was difficult because mindsets were very different. This wasn’t a thing that a lot of women were doing, but it was a thing that a lot of women needed.
Men are natural deterrents. The people who are being targeted the most are the people who aren't getting educated. Click To Tweet
There were these firewalls that were in front of women that wanted to get this education because the people that we are giving this education to were not like them. They were not sexually assaulted or sexually harassed at work. They did not have stalkers. They were not moms. What I was trying to do was encourage and be influential in making a safe place for women to be heard in the industry. In the beginning, I had a huge chip on my shoulder about it. I pushed away a lot of well-meaning people because they were not doing it the way that I wanted them to do it.
Had I heard them out a little bit better and not looked at them as the enemy because they were men, I would have gotten further a lot faster. A level of humility is needed. Whether we need to be in it or not, one thing that women need to understand when coming into the gun industry is that it always has been prior to this men’s game thing or sport. There are a lot of men that are going to look at you and not automatically trust you because you have not proven anything to them yet.
There are a lot of women in this game that do not know what they are talking about. That leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths too. They have to have an open mind to give you a seat at the table to hear you out. You have to come, sit on that seat, know what you are saying, and bring truth and knowledge. There are a lot of women that half-assed this that want to be in the gun game because it is cool. They want to be looked at as some unicorn woman that wants to be fawned over because she knows stuff about guns. That has never been my mission.
I want to teach so many women how to shoot. That is commonplace. It is not cool anymore. Do I get fawned over all the time? Absolutely. When people find out what I do, they are like, “She knows how to shoot. This is so cool.” It is not cool. It is necessary. I do not want it to be looked at that way anymore. I struggled a lot with humility and comparison. When you are trying to do something, looking at the way other people do it, and comparing yourself to other people, you are either going to feel superior or inferior. Neither of those is of God.
You have to look at yourself and go, “All I can do is the that best I can do with the knowledge that I have, continue to grow and learn from people, and carefully and with discernment, wisdom and tact call out what is untrue.” That is all you can do, especially when you are a trailblazer in a new area. You have to be humble and willing to learn. You cannot fall into the trap of comparison.
Many entrepreneurs are lifelong learners. It goes with the territory. One thing in my path is for years, if you disagreed with me, I would never say this, but internally, I thought you were wrong because I’m right. In my journey and path, I have learned to get candid feedback from diverse people, different personalities, women, people with a lot of experience, and people with very little experience. There is real value in listening to other people. You also have to have some discernment because you are going to make the call, but the feedback is invaluable.
You have to understand that when you are doing something a little bit different, people are going to initially look at you and wonder, “Are you qualified?” I run a training department for a security company. All of our Level 3s and 4s that come through get their training from me. Grown men that have been in the security world for 15, 16, to 20 years are coming and getting gun training from me because they have to. It is part of our policy.
You have to go through this certain training that we want you to go through. I can only imagine how they look at me. My classes so far in Tier One have about a 48% to 50% fail rate. I failed my family. I have family that works for me here and they did not pass the first time. I have to take it that seriously because I want you to have the knowledge. You have to have at least 10,000 hours or something to be considered an expert. I promise you I have much more than 10,000 hours of handling firearms. I want you to be on the same page and have that good knowledge.
I want the partners that you are going to ride out within these high crime areas to be able to trust that you have their 6:00 and that you have the skillset to get the job done. Also, I have to take it even more seriously because people do not automatically look at me and go, “She knows what she is talking about.” I went to a new range that I had never been to before to do some license to carry qualifications for a couple that is a friend of someone who works with me.
I went to this new range, and they were like, “We need to see your insurance and all of this.” I gave it to them. They went over all the safety rules and told me how things worked there. It was this big and long conversation. I never get mad about that because if you do not know me, we have never met, we do not have a history, and I can’t assume that you know that I have a skillset. I’m always super patient with that.
What I’m not patient with is the guy that comes in after me that has these skull tattoos, the patched-out range bag, and the five-inch beard. They are like, “Have you ever been here before?” He is like, “No, this is my first time in.” They are like, “Sign this liability waiver. We got you on Lane 6.” I’m like, “Pardon me. In case you did not know it, I have 25 years of gun experience, but you did not ask me that.” It is very muddy waters to navigate because you want to get pissed off about that, but at the same time, you are like, “Is it a battle worth fighting anymore? I do not know.”
How much to win even if you do fight? What about a warp speed moment? You are in a business, and something happens. All of a sudden, your progress accelerates. Can you share one of those?
That was the year 2020 for me or COVID. I saw exponential growth in Clearing the Chamber. Tier One was already busy, but I did not take over the training department until late 2020. This is a new endeavor for me. I have had Clearing the Chamber since 2017. I was busy in 2017, 2018, and 2019 but I was on a flux capacitor in 2020. When COVID first hit, they started to do lockdowns for businesses. I was off work at home cleaning out my garage and scrubbing my house for about three weeks.
People started to figure out that this was not the apocalypse that everybody thought it was going to be. People would under the table call me and go, “I need some gun training. I went and bought a new gun.” The ranges were closed for a while until Attorney General Paxton deemed them essential. People had me coming to their houses to teach them how to shoot.
How do you learn to shoot at your house?
You dry fire or use a Mantis. A Mantis is a device that can log your shooting without you using live fire ammunition. You can use live fire ammunition with it as well. It is a cool tool. A lot of people have purchased these guns. We had more gun sales in 2020 than ever in recorded history. People were scrambling to go, “I got this thing. How do I use it?” At Texas Gun Experience, they had people coming in that were like, “I do not care what it is. I just want something with a trigger.” They were not even having discernment over what the gun was.
They were like, “I just want something that fires bullets. I do not care what it is. I will figure it out later.” That is how panicked people were. That is a testament to how reactive society is about their safety and how they are not proactive. People were calling me. I was teaching people dry fire draw from a holster in their driveways and backyards. As things and ranges slowly started to open up per AG Paxton’s protocol, I was busier than ever. I taught 243 license to carry classes in 2020.
You realize there are 365 days.
There was about a 4- or 5-month period where I did not have a day off. Sometimes, I was teaching 2 or 3 a day. That is a state-mandated four-hour minimum class. I had ER doctors that were asking me to do classes. I did probably three classes for a group of doctors. They were third shift ER doctors. We were starting at 2:00 in the morning and getting done before they went on the third shift. It was getting the class portion out of the way. They would come on their day off and do their shooting qualification. I was getting it done.
Money was rolling in, do not get me wrong, but the hours were insane. I’m certainly not complaining because I loved that people wanted to get this education. A huge part of my business was thinking outside of the box and going, “How can I make this business fruitful with something that is so saturated in the market?” There are LTC instructors everywhere. When I went down in 2017 to take the class right outside of Austin, there were 180 people in my class with two women.
They will tell you, “You are never going to make a full-time living doing this. It is got to be a side hustle, a community effort, or a passion project.” It is all of those things. Do not get me wrong. Me and Courtney, she retired from the Navy, were looking at each other and going, “Hold my beer. You do not even know. There are so many women that need this education. We are about to start businesses and be full-time in this.” The warp speed for me was this whole panic of 2020 where people were buying guns out of sheer fear of the unknown. They needed training for it.
Think back. If you could go back and tell your twenty-year-old self something that would help you in your entrepreneurial journey, what would that be?
I would have told myself to take a Finance class and sponge it in. By finance, I mean understanding investments, bookkeeping, and P&L. It is not difficult, but it is a learning process like anything else. I sat down, started writing that workshop for young entrepreneurial women, and went, “They are not teaching this in school anymore.”
When you're a trailblazer in a new area, you have to be humble and willing to learn. You cannot fall into the trap of comparison. Click To Tweet
I remember having to take a class. It was not a long class, but it was a project in a class where you had to come up with a business model and a business plan. I do not think they do that anymore in schools. There is no civic education in schools anymore so that people understand how the government and things work.
I started thinking about that and going, “What do young entrepreneurs, male or female, need to know?” You need to understand how to deal with things like QuickBooks, expenses, and things you can write off. Having a CPA is the greatest thing imaginable. It is worth every penny. It is understanding what your monthly expenses and investments are. There are a lot of tools that I use. I have an investment account and an E*TRADE. It is Charles Schwab now or something like that. They bought them out. I have one of those for my big investments. It is something as simple as Acorns.
It is amazing. You can do short-term and long-term Roth IRA versus short-term investments. You hook it up to your debit card or credit card. If you do not pay your credit cards off every month, this is not a good idea, but if you do, you can hook it up. Every time you spend money, it rounds it up to the nearest dollar. Once you reach $5, it sweeps it out of your primary account and into this investment account.
You can choose how aggressively you want it to invest things for you. It is wonderful. They have partnerships with places like Airbnb and stuff like that. If you use these certain partners, they will put money into your investment account. I started doing this years ago. My spare change has turned into $7,000, and I haven’t done anything. I just look at it sometimes.
People continually overestimate the progress they can achieve in the short-term and the long-term with small choices that seemingly are inconsequential but, over a period, make a huge difference.
If you are not following people like @MoneySmartGuy on Instagram and Adam Sosnick whose handle is @SOSTalksMoney, they explain these complicated things like compounding interest and whatnot. That is super interesting. Adam Sosnick even did a thing on Uber versus owning a car that I thought was fascinating. He went over every expense that you have when you own a car and why it is a potentially bad idea unless it is something that you need. In Texas, a lot of us need cars. It is where you draw the line and what expenses you have.
A lot of people do not even understand the mass amount of expenses that come with having a vehicle. I have all these different envelopes because I did the Dave Ramsey system and SmartyPig. You have all these different envelopes in SmartyPig of car maintenance. I have little savings account for tires and oil changes in case my alternator or transmission blows up. You never know what is going to happen with your car.
Anything that I can ever think of, I have a little envelope for. I put $5 or $10 in it every paycheck or every time that I roll money in. You look at it a year later, and it all accumulated. Now you have this money set aside for staff. It downplays your worries. A lot of people that are getting into entrepreneurship or even their first career or job where they are making $40,000 or $50,000 a year do not realize how much expendable income they have and how easy it is to live below your means and still have a ton of fun.
I will echo that. When I started my first company years ago, I could not spell balance sheet and P&L. I learned the hard way. It is a lot easier if you learn the easy way before you need it. How could we, as The Proven Entrepreneur Clan, support Jerah?
There are two ways. We could encourage people to pay more attention to their safety and things that are going on in their legislature. That expands to more than just your safety. You need to understand what people are putting in place that can legally affect you in a number of areas. Your safety does also matter. There are several House bills being considered on the House floor that are crazy.
Representative Meza out of Irving wants to repeal Stand Your Ground, which is nuts. We have got Domestic Violence Carry bill that is down on the floor and constitutional carry that is coming into play. We need to be paying attention to that stuff and carve out little snippets of our time to read some of these House bills. You could follow Rachel Malone with Gun Owners of America because she reads that stuff for you and then summarizes it, which is super easy. You can go, “I do not like that. Let me call my representative.”
The second is to take a look at WADE. It is a one-woman show, but I do not go and raise money on a national platform. I raise it when I have a need. I have got five women that have emancipated themselves from abusive relationships. They are single moms, and they have no idea how to protect their children. They do not even know how to protect themselves. It took them this long to get out of that.
We are going in and resetting their brain structure to help them understand that they matter and count, that they are good moms and good people and that there is a whole other world out there for them, not just an asylum of abuse. If you want to go on Instagram and follow it, it is @WADEForWomen. It is the same on Facebook. We do not have a website yet but we are working on that. That is going to be something that comes. We have done this on social media platforms. There is a donation link.
It doesn’t take a lot. We are not out there raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. We do not need hundreds of thousands of dollars. It takes us about $11,000 to roll each woman through this training academy. We do not buy them guns. They have to figure out how to do that because that is a huge liability, but we pay their range fees, assist with childcare and pay trainers a discounted rate to come in and help them learn. A huge epidemic or problem that we have, not just in Texas but in our country, is human trafficking and domestic violence. It is something that we need to be paying attention to.
Jerah, thank you so much for joining us. That is our time on the show. We will see you next time.
- Tier One Security
- Clearing the Chamber
- WADE – Facebook
- @WADEForWomen – Instagram
- Texas State Guard
- Boss Planner
- How Successful People Think
- Rick Kolster
- 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged
- What to Expect When You are Expecting
- Luxe & Lethal – Facebook
- Alexo Athletica
- Carry Girl Gear
- Sticky Holsters
- The Naked Holster
- Texas Gun Experience
- @MoneySmartGuy – Instagram
- @SOSTalksMoney – Instagram
- Dave Ramsey
- Gun Owners of America
For information on how to work with Don visit Work With Don Williams
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