The Herd Has Spoken with Cleetus McFarland, Car Guy with a YouTube Problem

Enjoy the Conversation Between Brad & Cleetus

Brad
Hello and welcome to The Herd Has Spoken a podcast brought to you by MuskOx men's apparel episode number eight Cleetus McFarland. Cleetus, his real name is actually Garrett Mitchell. Garrett is an American entrepreneur, and huge YouTube star, with millions of followers across multiple channels also owns a racetrack down in the great state of Florida. But my favorite part of Garrett's story is how he said goodbye to the traditional track, dropped out of law school and pursued a career as an entrepreneur and as a social media now icon So with no further ado, my conversation with Garrett Mitchell. Well, we're extremely happy to have you on today. And let's let's just go ahead and dive right into the really important question. And that is, are you Garrett or you Cleetus, and when are you one and when are you the other? I think that's where what all listeners need to understand.

Cleetus
I think I'm Garrett at the moment. I don't know I'm always kind of both. It's a definitely Cleetus on behind the wheel the car. I'm Garrett when I'm paying the bills. And the rest of the time I'm 50/50.

Brad
So when you're drinking a beer with a cut off T-shirt on, then you're all Cleetus. Yeah,

Cleetus
Yeah, on the hovercraft full Cleetus. And one thing in there running on full Cleetus, you know, but once the serious stuff comes into play on, Garrett,

Brad
fair enough. I love it. I love it. I think you're ready to transition. We all need a little bit of distraction, things to not take ourselves so damn seriously all the time because we're all working her ass off. So I appreciate that. Well, Garrett, I want to get I want to rewind back to a time that's probably hard to even imagine now which is pre Cleetus and even though Cleese's always in your soul, you hadn't found Cleetus yet. So you you grew up in Nebraska. Tell us a little bit about what what growing up in Omaha was like for you.

Cleetus
You know, I lived right on the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska. So kind of right in between farmland and full, full neighborhood areas, lived on a little acreage, like six acres. And it was perfect man, I definitely got best of both worlds having some land to you know, grow up riding on four wheelers and dirt bikes. And then also, you know, having close enough friends that I didn't have to, you know, only know, one or two guys in the surrounding 20 mile area. So it was the perfect way to grow up. You know, my parents were amazing. Raising us and the rats was awesome. And we would drive our snowmobiles to high school, our tractors to school if we wanted to. I go to school when I was 14, I used to park in the staff lot at my middle school. You know, it's like, the possibilities in Nebraska seem endless because of just you know, it's a little bit lawless compared to some of the areas you know, Florida's pretty lawless, but you wild areas. It's so strict these days.

Brad
Yeah, absolutely. So what kind of vehicle did you drive to middle school and park in the staff lot?

Cleetus
I had a 2001 Trailblazer LTC with, like 228,000 miles on it. If you clicked on the AC shut off, it was awesome. I love it.

Brad
That's great. I thought you're gonna say it was a tractor or something like that. So it was a street ready vehicle. You're good to go. The staff just kind of looked the other way.

Cleetus
No, I mean, I had like, I always drove my dad's cars, you know, and he had a little geo tracker was kind of like our little barn run around vehicle. And so I mean, that was like my River. That's what I I enjoyed driving that more than anything at the house, you know, in the barn. So I definitely a lot of wheel time on the property and then, you know, even like, there was no, let's go teach you how to drive. It was always like, Okay, you guys lessons. We'll see you later. I got to drive since far before. 

Brad
I was allowed to. I love it. I love it. So you mentioned that you had a lot a lot of opportunity to ride dirt bikes and go karts and everything. As a youngster. It sounds like your pops taught you a lot of that right and you're involved sharing sensitive with your dad. So what's the number one thing that What's the number one lesson that your dad has taught you? over time?

Cleetus
Oh, don't burn bridges. For sure. like God, my dad's an entrepreneur. And I mean, I know he's there's been a couple of bridges burned, but the guy's 5455 years old. So in that amount of time for the very, very limited amount of people he's, you know, can call today is incredible. And I have lived a mile. And that's not related to poor, but those are dirt bikes besides used to start, you know, little mini bonfires in the woods, you know, but the more nonliteral you know, the don't burn bridges with people. And my dad taught me that a long time ago, and I'm so thankful that I haven't burned. I mean, I don't think there's any bridges that I've learned in my life. And I can honestly say that, I don't think Yeah, they have burned any bridges.

Brad
Yeah, I think that's, that's really powerful. And one of the things that I like to think about a lot is the power of long term thinking versus short term thinking. And so any individual deal or any moment, I mean, you could make a few extra bucks, you could, you could screw someone over. But you're only hurting yourself when when you do that. And, and I pay it sort of like a black and white picture. But as you know, there's a lot of gray, when you're out there doing deals and interacting with people and doing the right thing over time. I mean, it's, it's not only like, feels good, but man, it's it's, it's the right business move to is man,

Cleetus
Like I can tell you right now, today has been one of the craziest days of my life. Because, you know, I don't know how familiar you are with the guys on the channel, but Cooper is, has been my right hand guy since we started. Yeah. And today was the announcement of the fact that he will no longer be a part of my business. And, you know, him and I've been best friends for five years, almost like, now, probably seven years now. And I previously when I met him, I worked for a different company. And the owner of that company helped me start my own channel. And that's

Brad
1320 videos, right? Okay.

Cleetus
Yeah, exactly. But I was at that time, I was Kyle's Social Media Manager, I managed, basically everything that people saw it, I came from the company and, you know, for him to lose me obviously was, you know, tough, but he said, have taken the the perspective of, you know, I'm going to lose you, you know, and trying to stop me from doing what I'm doing, you know, he did the respective of Let me help you. And this week, you know, Cooper and I came to that same thing. And I was able to help, I've been watching his live subscriber count, you know, he already just blew past 50,000 subscribers today of his channel, posted his first video up, and it's just, you know, you can be so negative, it's so easy to be negative and in life, but if you just take a second to see how you can make this a better situation for both parties. It really all works out because Kyle and I are still amazing friends to this day, and I'm sure to Brian will remain amazing friends through all us.

Brad
Yeah. And when you went through that, did you did you find yourself having to sort of fight a little bit of that the inner self that does want to I try to cling on to that near term guide, and then you think about it for a second and you're like, Nah, stop, stop that thinking.

Cleetus
I mean, it's tough man, like, you know, obviously having that conversation was it was a conversation him and I never wanted to have you know, us. Right, right. But once it happened, it was like a really for both of us, you know, and it's like, it's your body and you're mentally don't want to do it. But it can make things worse, you know, it's like weather yet. When there's a problem, you really just got to face it head on, and level headed emotions out of it. And bam, it turns out good for everybody.

Brad
Yeah, it's funny. So for for Musk's email, just wrote a wrote an email yesterday that is going to go out in a couple of days and was talking about fall and how fall is actually the first step of spring in it. And really, what I mean by that is you actually need to clear out space sometimes in order to create something new and fantastic. And it doesn't necessarily mean that that was bad, right from a trees perspective, like, yeah, having these the leaf fall off the tree. That's, that's not saying, hey, this leaf is bad. Not at all. But it's saying, hey, we've only got so much energy, we've only got so many resources and we need to clear out space for ourselves and I think that's super important thing. And you know, it's a good good for you Good for Cooper. Because in the long run, you guys are going to be able to help each other. And I see that personally with you in 1314 Even now, right?

Cleetus
Yeah, I mean, I just got off a week long trip with 1320. And you know, they help me film videos. And we end up on the title and thumbnails and their videos, which helps them get views. I mean, it's, it's perfect. And I hope that Cooper and I can reach that level. But you know, this is the only girl.

Brad
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I'd love to hear about some of your other adventures. So. But before we get into that, I want to talk about one of the things that I think a lot of the people who are going to listen to this are going to really appreciate about what you get to do is, for the most part, you spend most of your time outside, so you got to spend a lot of time in the shop to no doubt about it. But you and a lot of time outside. So I know we're also busy, you probably don't get a time to like, take a step back and appreciate it. But for you like what's what's the best part about being able to work out in the sunlight under the under the blue sky?

Cleetus
The best part of that? I don't, I don't know what the best part of working outside is. That's interesting question. I mean, the ability to enjoy the outdoors, while you're working is just kind of something that you take for granted. Yes, right. Think about it. But if I didn't have that ability, I can tell you that would really suck because you know, being out in the riot blue sky, or whether it's raining or windy. Here in Florida, it is always beautiful. And being able to run cars out in the weather and just enjoy that. That's something I'm really thankful for. But I guess I do take it for granted. Now that I think about it.

Brad
Well, you mentioned a phrase things that suck. And I want to I want to go into that a little bit because I grew up and my father was an attorney. My sister is an attorney, I have two cousins that are attorneys. And I thought about becoming an attorney. And the message that I continually got from those people who are practicing attorney sivam practice not, are more or less. That kind of sucks. So I really want to do that. So obviously, you know, hey, a lot of people love that vocation. But I know it wasn't for me. So I want to I want to go I want to heat for those of you that for the people that that are familiar with your story. Obviously, you started out in law school started with this fantastic, you know, persona. And I think that's the right word persona online. And and they've obviously grown into it. So. So obviously, you've been tremendously successful, you know, huge YouTube channels, great track pay per view, podcast coming up, which we'll talk about in a little bit. But we talk us through what that experience was like making the decision to not continue to go down the path of law school.

Cleetus
Well, it all became, okay, so I started my YouTube channel, right when I started Law School, which was definitely distracting. I've always had a really hard time paying attention, any form of school, I'm great at taking exams, luckily. And graduated my undergrad a year early, didn't really know what to do as well. And then the law school. So I joined law school and started a YouTube channel up and was just hugely distracted. I wanted to do his race and work. And so about a year and a half into it, I drove we went out to an event and we drove you know, we did grab the Van cutsem killer videos, hopped in the truck and drove straight through the night all the way through the night for a pretty sure his tax law or something like that Monday morning, drove all night wasn't gonna make it in time. So unloaded my Corvette. And I hauled down I 75 to make the school now because the rate is too slow. So we get to frickin school I walk in, and I you know, in tax laws, there's a lot of videos and a lot of like, interactive learning thing. And I walk in and we pretty much watched a movie the whole class.

Man. This is it. I'm done. Like, so there was only a couple weeks left in the semester. Well, there's there's a solid month and a half of the semester. I got through it, you know, and towards the end. I had to call my my family and tell them you know, my grandparents were, you know, not real understanding because you're telling them hey, I'm dropping out of law school to pursue a career as a guy named Cleetus on YouTube, you know? And, you know, they're all entrepreneurs themselves. So it's, it was tough, you know, but like, I guess you have two options, you know, it's to live your life to the fullest or to live your life to what people think. And, you know, I just said, I don't really care, you know, I'm gonna do what I do. And I'm so glad I did. And they're all glad I did now, too, you know, but it was hard for them to understand at first.

Brad
Yeah. I love it when you have those moments of clarity, right? And it's funny, cuz I think I don't want to make something a gender thing too much. But I feel like guys do that much more. So where it's like, all of a sudden, like, you know what, whether it's man I have, I've been drinking too much, or I've been eating too much, or I need to go, I'm gonna start this thing. And the second we make a decision, and it's like, off to the races. But a lot of times, it's just those those moments of clarity. And I think it's so awesome that you took action on it in that moment, and obviously been been tremendously successful. But I do want to hear a little bit more about that conversation with your grandparents.

Cleetus
Unfortunately, my grandfather went to law school, and he dropped out. And he always told me that it was one of his biggest regrets. So you know, he was one of the first guys to call me. And it sucked, you know, it's like, How do you feel? It's just such a beautiful plane, you know? And I'm like, Grandpa, sorry, I gotta go do what I got to do. You know? And especially so because I'm paying for my own law school. So not only am I going in debt, do something I don't want to do. Now that I know that you know, at first I wanted to do it. But the good news is, you know, the first year of law school, especially the first year and a half is really good fundamentals. So I, I did get away with knowledge that'll forever help me. But, you know, probably a little expensive.

Brad
Yeah, but it but it's worth it right now. But it I think, like one of the analogies I like the most is when when your car stuck in the snow, which I'm sure you had to worry about in Omaha, probably not so much down to Florida, but you don't really care like, hey, am I trying to go north, south, east or west, like, No, just start to rock that guy. I don't care where you want to go. You just need some work. And sometimes you just got to go put yourself out there, get some movement going and figure it out from there. So kudos for you for for making that for making that happen. So obviously, we're here now and Cleetus McFarland feels like a rocket ship from the outside. Looking in, you got a main channel, second channel, you got, you got the merge, you got the track, freedom factory rocking and rolling. But, and you do go hard. I know that for a fact. But I'd love to hear maybe what's been the number one obstacle that you've had to overcome for this growth? Because Because I know it's not easy. And I know, there's a ton of sacrifices that you've had to make along the way.

Cleetus
The number one obstacle for me depends there's different obstacles at different heights. And the zero to 100,000 subscribers deal is the hardest thing is the haters, because you're not built for it yet. And your channel doesn't have enough people supporting it to defend the people who want to hate you know what I mean? That's a challenging area for any young person to climb through, you know, and the car industry can be bad, but I can only imagine other industries are much worse, like, makeup or fashion. can only imagine how ruthless those people are. And not to mention those types of people can be more emotional, you know, so to those types channels, like imagine that. So, once you're past 100,000 subs, you don't have to worry about that, because then you finally get the people to step up and say, Hey, I think he's cool, you know? Now, if you're right, a hate comment in my comments, you know, people are probably going to get kind of pissed. But that still happens, whatever. From 100 k up, you know, there's a lot of challenging things, whether it's accounting management, you'll deal with copyright issues that, you know, like, just last week, I had, like 20 copyright claims against my videos for my outro. And this, this company had claimed it was their song, which is actually the song from the YouTube Audio Library. You know, now you're not making money on the last 20 videos you posted in your life. The hell you know, and it's 11 o'clock at night. There's no one you can call YouTube. You No. And it's like, what do you do? So from that hundred K to about 500 K, you become numb to the system. And the fact that you're pretty much helpless, given the, you know, something critical happens with technology. And you learn a lot through that section. But then I mean, from there on man, and since a lot of business management, any guy who creates a channel this size that you probably know, whether it be Adam or Matt, you know, it's a full blown business, when you grow it to a, you know, a company with personnel, and vehicles, and you know, what it may be, we have 50 titles in my name, you know, that alone organization, and that's definitely the most challenging part from here forward is just making sure the business runs, right, because last thing you want to be is, you know, catch yourself up in some trouble.

Brad
Yeah, hundred percent. I mean, I think that's, that's what gets trickier and trickier is at the end of the day, you know, you're a car guy that makes fantastic videos, but that's only a fraction of where you spend your time now. And there's so many other things that you have. And, man, it's hard as you grow, you know, one of the things that is startup culture, they talk about, like a CEO, like you need to continue to fire yourself from 50% of what you're what you're doing every single year. And that's, that gets harder and harder to do. But more and more important.

Cleetus
That's a great, great way to put it. But yeah, that's a hard thing to accomplish.

Brad
Oh, yeah. Cuz it's your baby, like everything was your baby. And now the whole channel is your baby. But there's fewer and fewer things that yeah,

Cleetus
that you was I don't have to. Now I don't take the gaps on the spark plugs. You know, I don't I don't check the oil is topped off. Right.

That, you know, I mean, there's times I do, but letting go of those responsibilities can be a challenge.

Brad
Yeah, for sure. For sure. So you are across so many things. We mentioned that a couple of times now. So for those that don't know, you bought an old Speedway, DeSoto Speedway right. Much better, more aptly named now freedom factory.

Cleetus
Yeah.

Brad
So that's another significant that's not a trivial investment. He's me. And so when you when you're looking at all the different opportunities out there, right, because you can invest in cars, go karts, you know, engines. Just about anything. Now, I how do you evaluate what a good opportunity looks like?

Cleetus
So, I mean, luckily, my brain is trained that, like, if I see something cool, I know it's gonna work. Well, if I see something, I'm like, ooh, what is that? You know, odds are, it's gonna be awesome for the channel. So, but I will say that I knew about the speedway, far before I even thought of buying for the channel. I really only offer the channel when I realized there's YouTube's cracking down on, you know, things that they're doing. And I was talking with the guy who owns a drag sprinkles, you know, man, what if we built a burnout pad over here somewhere where I can hold my stuff? And you know, I need to use a drag strip. And we got dinner. What about the frickin Speedway right next door? What am I thinking? So I called the guy next morning, I was like, what's it gonna take to buy it? And I did everything in my power from that moment forward until it was mine. Which was a very scary process, because as a YouTuber, you know, you really don't know what's gonna work 100% until you put it out there. But, uh, I had spoken, you know, like Matt Carriker from demo ranch again. He did the the mansion, and I asked him, what do you think? And he's like, dude, that's so cool. And I was like, Alright, well, you know, I was closing like a week later. So it's kind of already in motion. But you know, it's pretty scary sitting in, you know, meeting by yourself with a bunch of guys in suits, and they drop a big grand key table. You're like, oh, man, well, yeah, myself at this time.

Brad
I hear you. I love it though. I love it. So when when you made the decision to do it, did you have like a grand vision for what it was gonna gonna look like? Did you know hey, I'm gonna do these pay per view events, you know, or was it more of like, hey, this just feels right.

Cleetus
No plans for pay per views. The so we have an event called Cleetus and cars, and it's a burnout slash drag race event. But the burnouts are the main show. And so we were like, We do them at random offertory which is a great facility for it. But we have to set up a burnout pad. It's a drag ship doesn't have like a designated burnout area or anything. So we we can only hold so many people there and the speedway It was set up better because it's got grandstand style seating and then you could put the brown hat. So we kind of plan on doing that that was our goal. But really, we knew it'd be great for the channel and the content that would come with that. So we, we went for it with the channel, more in mind than anything. And then I woke up one Sunday morning, and something triggered my mind to to pay per view. And I was like, Man, you know, I was like, we were not able to open for a while because everything's such disrepair. Like, what if we do a freakin pay per view race, I called my business manager. Then I called my buddy who I know does live events, and we just frickin rip the paper is in the middle of the COVID outbreak and had a great time.

Brad
Crush it, and then then headed out to Colorado for race to right.

Cleetus
Yep, yep. Crushed it moved on.

Brad
I love it. Very cool. Very cool. So I know you've got a lot of stuff in the works. But but one one quick car question here. I'm sure a lot of people would love to hear. So if costs are no constraints, what would be your dream car engine combination?

Cleetus
Well, I don't know, necessarily. I mean, I have my dream car for certain things like, right. Oh, man, a dream car like dream street car dream like anything. I mean, that's up to you. That's, that's totally your call there. I'd say anything to you. Because the thing is, is like there's a level to this sport, you know, and I know that if I if I had unlimited money and just bought a super insane car, then you know, you just have to work on them all the time. So there's a balance. Like I love being Leroy. I wouldn't give those cars out for the world. Those are my two babies like they're their engines there. Everything is right at the perfect level. I don't want anything more than those two cars that I have.

Brad
I love it, man. The man's loyal There you go. There you go. So So I understand you've got a few things coming up because you got another another pay per view. Later later this year. That's that's happened in November. Is that right?

Cleetus
Number 14, we have this is a this tickets will be on sale at the end of September. But it's called the 2.4 hours of Les mullets.

Brad
Love it. Love it? Yeah, a lot. A lot of locks flowing in some fast cars. That'd be good. It'd be a good moment. And a lot of you got you got something coming up with a lot of lips flapping as well. Right. You've got a new podcast in the works. I understand.

Cleetus
Yeah, yeah, we've got the wheel man podcast. We got Ronnie runner out there this week professional motocross rider. So just really trying to do a bunch of stuff, man, just I love coming up with new ideas and trying them if they don't work, cool if they do work. Awesome.

Brad
That's great. What was the last idea that you were able to let go? Right? Because he kind of goes back to that fall discussion. So the first sign of spring is fall. So what's what's one thing that you've been able to, to let go along the way?

Cleetus
Something that I liked, I built a I bought a jet engine and I bought a car with the intention of building a jet car. And I built the chassis. We did all the roll cage everything the mount for the jet had it mounted. We're doing fuel tanks and all that. And then a couple of jet drivers passed away, which is very unfortunate. And at that point, we said, we need to call it off. And everyone understood, man, but it was tough. Because how do you tell how do you get a million people excited about a freaking jet powered El Camino? And then say, hey, as By the way, we're not doing that.

Brad
Yeah, that's tough.

Cleetus
That's tough. But we made the call.

Brad
Yeah, here. Yeah. I think you know, more involvement with more El Caminos is is always a good thing. So yeah, right. Hopefully might not be with a jet attached to it. But hopefully there'll be more el caminos. In the future. We do

Cleetus
Have we are finishing the car with a different setup. So that'll be cool.

Brad
Right on. Well, two last questions here. Quick, quick questions for you before before we let you get on with things. So number one is what's what's your biggest pet peeve?

Cleetus
Lala jaegers people who are so slow I can't stand people who just mosey like if I'm doing something I'm like, let's go you know what I mean? And I just have a very rushed personality in person but I get people a lot for that.

Brad
LOVE IT guy got things to things to do places to see right, but keep it moving people. So final final question for yourself. What is the best piece of advice you've gotten from from anyone over time?

Cleetus
Take the what would it be? What's the best way to say it? Because it's kind of it's my own term now, the road less stress. So analyze, you will have an uphill stress climb until you reach a position of comfortability, where you can then say, I'll take the road less stress. So say, Brad, your buddy screws you over. You had a contract with them. You can sue him. He's looking at that option. You say? I could take this guy for everything he's got. spend money on lawyers, where no one wins, you know and battle and just destroy this guy. Or I can go home to my wife. Take the road less stress. I love it. I love it. Well, Garrett, that's a that's a great note to end on. Appreciate your time appreciate you being part of the MuskOx Herd and supporting us. So if you're not already subscribed, folks, go check go check out Cleetus McFarland. You'll be happy you did especially if you're a car guy. So again, Garrett, thanks for the time and we will see you back later.

Brad
That is it for this week's episode of The Herd Has Spoken. Thank you to Garrett to join me on the show and if you enjoyed today's episode, please rate review and subscribe to The Herd Has Spoken. You can do so on Apple podcasts or wherever you're listening to this podcast right now. And to learn more about musk ox please visit gomuskox.com Get yourself some fantastic men's outdoor apparel gear. You'll be happy to get good for The Herd Has Spoken. I am Bradley Hoos. 


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