Andy Rawls on Woodworking and Staying Motivated in the State of Now. Episode 2

  

Brad caught up with Andy Rawls, woodworker, craftsman, Texan, and member of the MuskOx Herd.

The two like-minded entrepreneurs share their philosophy on how to keep motivation high and how they are working harder than ever to continually grow their businesses during these tough times.

Enjoy the Conversation Between Andy and Brad

Brad 

All right, well, Andy, really appreciate you joining the MuskOx Herd today. I know we're super fortunate to have you as one of our own and just wanted to get a chance to check in with you. And maybe a good place to start for those members of the herd that aren't super familiar with you kind of want to share a little bit about your background and who you are and what you do would be fantastic.

 

Andy

Yeah, that would be great, man; appreciate you having me on. So I run a full time furniture business in Texas. I also operate a YouTube channel. Let's see, I got a kind of a telecom degree. I graduated in 2005, that included some video production work in there. And then my furniture background is I took classes at Homestead Heritage School of Woodworking in Waco where I went to school at Baylor. And that kind of that was with Paul Sellers, who if you're a furniture maker, you know that is a kind of pushed me in that direction. It's really where I kind of found my passion for it. And from there, I got to do an apprenticeship with Brian Boggs and Kentucky, also a pretty well known furniture maker. And after that I kind of just figured it out on my own. I started my business in around 2013. 

 

Brad  

Yeah, right on. I think my favorite parts about you. And what you do is you're definitely a figure-it-out-on-your-own kind of guy. But at the same time and your woodworking is top notch, you know, really high quality stuff. So there's a lot of different we're working on YouTube, some of its DIY/beginner stuff, nothing wrong with that. You do really top-of-the-line is you call it: fine Texas Woodworking.

 

Andy

Yeah, I like to call it fine furniture, studio furniture. I mean, there is a wide spectrum of building and making. And I like to, you know, of course, I'm professional. So I want to do it the best I can do it. And I think I had that unique aspect on YouTube of kind of the higher-end work, where a lot of the channels are just kind of like DIY type stuff, which is cool, too. But I like my little niche, I'm in.

 

Brad  

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I want to kind of dive into the current situation, a little bit. I know my own personal philosophies is that there's two things you can do. One is sit around and ruminate and worry about the things that you can't control. Yeah. Two: is to go out and do something about what it is that you can control. So for everybody right now, these are these are tough times. But I'm curious to hear what is it that you're doing right now to go out and get after it with respect to the things that you can control?

 

Andy

Well, as far as the business side, I've been proactive. Usually I've been fortunate in my business to have work come to me and that's actually slowed down quite a bit. So I've been a little more proactive on the marketing side sending out email blasts and trying to reach out to old clients because a lot of times with a business like mine, you have a core of like maybe eight to 10 clients who have ordered a lot and a lot often if I send an email and say hey, I'm a little slow if you need something I got quick turnaround that'll generate work for me pretty quickly. And then on the content creation side since I've been also on furniture, I've been trying to pump out more videos and do that, although I wouldn't say I've been super successful. But yeah, I mean, I guess I'm just trying to get more content out there and then trying to be a little more proactive at getting business in the shop.

 

Brad

Yeah, no, I love it. I mean, even at MuskOx, we're trying to do the same thing like, hey, yeah, we know a lot of people aren't gonna be buying clothing right now. But what is it we can do to add value? And where can we help people? Because everyone needs a little bit of it.

 

Andy 

Yeah, that's great. Right?

 

Brad  

So, um, one of the things again, like, you know, big philosophy is, if, and I think this comes with being the son of a military guy, maybe we've designed a fantastic sword case for my pa.

 

Andy  

I owe you parts for that still. We can talk about that another time

 

Brad  

All right. All right. Sounds like a plan. Um, but one of the big things in the military, they have you make your bed in the morning? Yeah, you do a lineup is to teach you about making sure you can do the little things correct. And getting confidence. The whole idea of being "look, if you can't do the little things, right, you're never going to be able to do big things, right?" So, you know, again, during these times, are there any little things that you find yourself doing that, that are really helpful for you to try to, you know, help you get rid of that to help you know that you're making progress with your, with your kids, or your wife, with your business, whatever it may be? 

 

Andy  

Man, you know, I think it's easy in this time, where we're, we're all working from home to fall into a pattern of laziness. So I think you like, I have tried to been, I usually try to get pretty early, but I've been proactive about getting out of bed early in the morning and getting some time to myself and getting some work done early in the morning. And if I get out of I find myself, if I get out of that rhythm, and I wake up with the family, which usually they're not crawled out of bed till 730 or eight, it just killed like, I start the day already a little bit stressed, because like, man, it's like nine o'clock, and I'm just not getting in the shop and getting started working. So I think that's a, that's a great one. Um, I think with the kids, you know, you have to have a little bit more of a laid back mentality, and just kind of let things slide. Because, like, just today, my wife was like, I gotta get, you know, she spends a whole week with him and it's Saturday, we're halfway through the day. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, like, This is crazy. My wife nails and like, she's gonna go read a book and like, I have to just be patient and give her that time. And just have fun with the kids and not because they don't get it. My daughter is always like, Damn, I'm so sick of this virus, like, why can't we go do anything? And, you know, you try to explain it to him, but she didn't really get it. So, there's just this level of patience. You have to reach in and try to grab and find with your kids.

 

Brad  

Yeah, and what a blessing if at the end of this, you can look back in the mirror at yourself and say, I was patient during that time. And I gave great time to my wife and my kids didn't get didn't get exposed to the stress that I know we're all feeling right now.

 

Andy  

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah, I tried really hard. Because there are days when I'm pretty stressed out where it's not going well, I try really hard when I leave the shop to leave it in the shop as a lot of people do. But it's just, it's a really bad way to live life to take your work stress into your family into your house, you got to try to leave it if that's at all possible. So yeah, I have some kind of ability to like flip off emotions. So I can kind of turn it off and just go have fun.

 

Brad  

Yeah. One of the things I've done that I found to be super helpful to the end of the day and work, I'll take my dog for a walk. So just that consideration. Yeah, very helpful. And it kind of gives me a chance to reset my mind. I think you're so right, leaving things in the shop. What is it that you think might be a silver lining to this? I mean, I've heard a lot of people kick around different things like hey, I'm reconnected with old friends in years, which is which is cool. 

 

Andy  

Yeah.

 

Brad  

Is there anything that you see as like a silver lining to all this madness?

 

Andy  

I think it's cool to see how people have had to find ways to enjoy themselves. And a lot of that just involves like getting out of the house and just going for a walk like if you drive through Bernie, you don't normally see a lot of people out walking around. But during this there's people all out kind of enjoying being outside when the weather is good now, I think that's great. I think that's, you know, we get to tied into the schedule of being in our houses or being on screens and all that stuff. So that's what I told me Emily; they spent a lot of time going on walks now and going down to the local river in our town where you can walk and I'd liked to see that continue when this is over. I don't want to see everyone going back to like just sitting in their house. I don't know. I don't know if I'm going anywhere good with this but I feel like people are out and about a lot better in our town. Which is great.

 

Brad  

Yeah, it is. It is like that's the one outlet people have. And it's great. Yeah, we'll be able to appreciate the little things. I got two last questions for you, Andy and I'll let you get back to your your day. So, number one, what is it that you're most looking forward to getting a chance to do here after this is all behind us?

 

Andy  

I think we're gonna go we're gonna go do a vacation of some kind, maybe go up to the mountains. So that's probably what I'm looking for. We also have a beach vacation planned in the fall, which I'm excited about. Basically getting out of Texas and going to do some fun.

 

Brad  

Right? Yeah. So it's nice to have something to look forward to there. 

 

Andy  

Yeah. 

 

Brad 

And along those lines: one of the things that I'm looking forward to a lot and I know you and I talk about quite often is college football. So as a 2005 Baylor University, Baylor Bears fan. Excuse me, Baylor University graduate, Baylor Bears fan. Yeah, absolutely. I'm gonna put you on the spot here. Is college football going to happen this year?

 

Andy  

Man? Ah, I think it will. I think I think it's gonna happen.

 

Brad 

I like it. I appreciate the optimism.

 

Andy 

I don't know if they can. I think by that time of the year, what September if they're going to shut it down? People are gonna go crazy. Because I mean, we're gonna be what, two or three months from now. And I can already sense people are getting tired of this. And you only can you can only control it so much. So we'll see. All right. It'll be a sad day, man. I was just sitting here thinking about how I think we'd be in the NBA Playoffs right now. Not that not that my team would be in the playoffs. But, I miss watching spurs basketball.

 

Brad

I hear ya. I hear you. Yeah. Well, hopefully, hopefully college football will happen. Hopefully, they're gonna find some way to be able to crown a champion for the NBA.

 

Andy  

Yeah. I don't know how to do that. What do you think? You think it's happening?

 

Brad  

I think it's gonna happen, but it's going to be modified and maybe... I heard October, I've even heard talk that they would actually start it in February, and then go into May or June.

 

Andy  

That's making sense. I don't know, though.

 

Brad  

Yeah, it definitely could. So I don't know. I don't know what form it'll take. But, I think you know, there's nothing more American than college football. One way or another, we'll find out. 

 

Andy 

Well imagine to like coming out of this and getting like, imagine how big football will be this year. If it happens because everyone's coming out of not having sports. In this tournament. We missed the NBA. I mean, that's exciting. If it all shuts down. And then we've got college football starting up. 

 

Brad 

Vegas is ready. I know that. All right, Andy. Well, hey, I definitely appreciate you joining. Appreciate you being a part of the MuskOx herd.

 

Andy

Absolutely. I love my MuskOx gear.

 

Brad 

Right on. We'll catch up with you soon. 

 

Andy  

K, deal.

 

Brad   

All right. Thank you. Take care.

 

Andy  

You bet, bye.

 

 


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