Kevin Rizer – Always wear pants

Mar 28, 2022

Season 3 / Episode #60 : Kevin Rizer

by Work @ Home RockStar Podcast

The Back-Story

Kevin Rizer is the founder and CEO of Emmy’s Best Pet Products, an e-commerce company. https://emmysbestpets.com/ . Kevin founded and hosted the popular Private Label Movement – a podcast on Amazon and e-commerce where he interviewed some of the biggest names and brightest minds in the e-commerce world.

Kevin had been working from his home for a full decade by the time the stay-at-home orders came around in March 2020. As he watched his family and friends scramble, he sat back and watched. Here he was, witnessing his loved ones go through the same cycle as he did ten years prior — the initial high, followed by the isolation, depression, and Monday morning dread.

In his new book, Always Wear Pants: And 99 Other Tips For Surviving And Thriving While You Work From Home, Kevin provides insightful, actionable strategies to go from loathing remote work to loving it. With years’ worth of accumulated experience and knowledge, Kevin acts as a welcome, friendly voice for readers after a year of turmoil — a voice of someone who has walked these steps beforehand, and made it to the other side. Did they really “hate” working from home? Or, like Kevin, did they need to take the proper steps in learning to like working from home?

Or you can use this Bio:Kevin Rizer is an entrepreneur, speaker, and thought leader whose content has reached millions of people worldwide. In 2015 Kevin founded and hosted the popular Private Label Movement, interviewing some of the biggest names and brightest minds in the e-commerce world. He has appeared on stages throughout the world sharing with audiences on topics of e-commerce and finding the passion and purpose in work. Today, he is the founder and CEO of a pet products company sold throughout the US, Europe, Australia and Japan. Kevin is best known for sharing openly about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, and his down-to-earth, relatable personality has won over fans among thought leaders and audiences alike. Having worked from home for more than a decade, Kevin is passionate about helping others discover the art of working remotely and being happier in the process. Kevin lives in Dallas, Texas with his partner Austin, and their labrador retriever Mika. When he’s not working, Kevin enjoys being outdoors, binge-watching true crime dramas, and supporting causes important to him in the animal welfare, entrepreneurial and neuro-diverse communities.

Show Notes

Guest, Kevin Rizer, who is an entrepreneur and the founder of Emmy’s best pet products. And what they do is they help solve common problems that panel pet owners have.

Connect here:
https://www.facebook.com/alwayswearpants
https://www.instagram.com/alwayswearpants/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-rizer-95537829
https://alwayswearpants.com/

I love connecting with Work at Home RockStars! Reach out on LinkedIn, Instagram, or via email

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Show Notes:
[0:00] Intro
[0:49] The Good Note – Story of Success
[4:48] The Bad Note – Story of Failure
[9:53] Setting up a Jam Room
[16:08] Assembling The Band
[26:16] Gathering Fans
[32:11] Guest Solo

Transcript

Read Transcript

Intro/Outro: Are you a work at home rock star, or do you dream of becoming one? Then you found the right podcast, your hosts, Tim Melanson talks with successful work at home rock stars to learn their secrets and help you in your journey. Are you ready to rock? Here’s Tim.

Tim Melanson: Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of the work-at-home rockstar podcast.

Very excited for today’s guest. This one’s a, a unique one. We’ve got an entrepreneur and the founder of Emmy’s best pet products. And what they do is they help solve common problems that panel pet owners have so very excited to be rocking out today with Kevin riser. Kevin, are you ready to. Rock,

Kevin Rizer: I am so ready to rock.

Thanks for having me

Tim Melanson: awesome. Right on, uh, by the way you have also written a book called always wear pants, which I’m hoping we hear a little bit more of in the, uh, in the guests solo. Uh, but before we get to that, I like to start off on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business or your life that we can be inspired.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, thanks so much, Tim. I think for me, um, the thing that sticks out the most is just the variety of things I’ve been able to do. Working remotely, working from home. I’ve I’ve worked for other people. I’ve worked for myself. I’ve started and sold businesses. I hosted a podcast, uh, all from home and over the last 10 years or so.

And it’s been a journey, um, you know, and of course over the last year and a half, we’ve all born witness to just how many people can do, how many things working from home. And so, uh, it’s been fun to see other people figure out, you know, what you and I have known for some time now, which is that the sky really is. The Limit, Uh, when you, when it comes to things that you can do working from home.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. I agree. A hundred percent. That’s why I started the podcast back in 2015 was because I saw that that was the way of the future. I just didn’t realize. It was going to be, get that push over the last couple of years, but it did, right?

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, absolutely. When, when it first happened, when everyone went into lockdown, the first time, you know, nothing about working from home was different for me. I was used to being in sweat pants all day and not having to worry about. Whether my hair was combed and not having to worry about, uh, the, the 10 minute or the, or the hour long commute.

I had a 10 step commute from my bedroom. What was unique, was seeing everyone else. Uh, the friends, the neighbors, the family members start to figure it out and, and to watch them, uh, have successes and, and, and things like that.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. And, and also take it a lot more seriously too. Cause I, I found that before the, the, the lockdowns and stuff.

It wasn’t as normal. I don’t think, you know, to say, oh no working from home or, you know, I can’t help you move today because I’m working. Right. Don’t you just work for yourself. You’ll be fine. Come on. Help me.

Kevin Rizer: So true. You know, there was kind of a stigma to it. Um, it says. You know, people that weren’t familiar with, it kind of thought we were all in our mom’s basement, playing video games all day.

When, when you tell the guy at the coffee shop or in the elevator that you work remotely, um, there wasn’t that same level of kind of prestige or seriousness. And now you see CEOs of fortune 500 companies. You see, um, attorneys and doctors and all kinds of people working remotely for sure

Tim Melanson: yeah, I love it. And I mean, you know, when, when you do start working from home, you realize that, you know, all the major savings that you get from not having that physical office.

And so it’s really, really encouraging to see other businesses do that. Cause I mean, you know, this is really going to be a huge benefit for especially small businesses that don’t really have the money to be able to put together a massive office. Now they can hire more people rather than put it into physical. Physical, uh, offices, right?

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, absolutely. And you see some of the world’s biggest, most successful companies, abandoning plans for expanding their headquarters or, you know, downsizing and opting for hybrid workplaces instead of big fancy offices. It really does speak to kind of a level of excess in the workplace that we’ve seen that really has ballooned over the last decade or two, and now people and companies are figuring out that it’s, it’s not all necessary that we can really do with, with a lot less.

And to your point, I hope that that, that means that they can invest more in their people and, and, and more in their products and more into serving their customers.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, I hope so now. Uh, okay. So it’s not all sunshine and roses as you know, I’m sure. And so sometimes things don’t go quite as planned and I call that the bad note.

So, you know, can you share with me some things that just didn’t go very well? You know, maybe something that we can either avoid or, you know, if it’s unavoidable, how can we recover from it if it happens to us.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, great question, Tim. And for me, it’s, it’s a huge technological failure and also a failure in my part to imagine that that would be possible.

So this was around five years ago and at that time I used to host a lot of podcasts. Uh, and, and webinars and things of that nature. And I had a webinar coming up and I was so excited because I had about 700 people registered. If my memory serves me, correct. It was the largest audience we were ever going to have for a live webinar.

And I had blocked off the time. prepared, I had picked out my outfit. I had rearranged my schedule. I had put the, do not disturb sign outside of my home office door. And about two minutes before the webinar was to start the internet crashes and I freaked out, I didn’t know what to do. I’m trying to text um, someone on our team so that they can try and get in and let people know.

And it took about 20 minutes for things to get back up and running. And by that time, most of the people had moved on with their day. And so it was a huge lesson for me to. To really imagine and to plan for the worst. You know, they, they always say plan for the worst and hope for the best. And it’s so true.

You know, when you’re working remotely technology failures are just a part of it. And so the next day I researched and bought a little battery powered backup. That was just enough power to be able to power my, my home office, my computer, my router, because the internet actually came on, you know, with, within a minute or so.

So had I had a power source, um, I would have been able to get back up and running much sooner. It was the lack of. For almost half an hour that that made it so unbearable. So have a plan, have a plan, let people know what to expect. If things don’t go have an alternate way to contact people. Um, that’s the big takeaway or at least it was for me.

Tim Melanson: Wow. Okay. I would like to know what happened out of that like 700 people they went on with their day. Like how did you damage control of that one?

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, in that case, I was just honest. I sent out an email and let people know what had happened. Tried to inject a little humor and humanity into it because I think people. Uh, when, when we let people down, I, I think it’s, it’s our job to, to own up to it and not to point the finger or place blame elsewhere, but just to be real with people, people understand they get it. And so we sent out an email, we rescheduled the pod or the webinar for a few days later and, and it was fine.

I, I went into it without a hitch, knowing that I had a back a backup generator just in case.

Tim Melanson: Nicely done. And I think that that theme keeps on coming up that, you know, when we do make mistakes, you know, it just shows more of our humanity. And when people are doing business, they want to do business with people that are.

And so sometimes having these mistakes end up kind of getting you a little bit further. I mean, of course, if you didn’t have the mistake, that would be better, but, but if you do, and then you own up to it, you actually do build a little bit more credibility. I think when you actually own up to your, to your mistakes and you, you know, reach out to them because you could have easily just went and hit under a rock and said, oh my God, I’m never going to do this again.

And they never would have heard it from you again.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. Um, I think especially if you’re in a position of influence, if you have an audience and if you have a customers, you have an audience, uh, and, and sometimes people can put us on a pedestal, um, rightly or wrongly, but, uh, they, they think that we’re super human or they think that we’re super busy or we’re super important.

And so, um, it does it. Shows a lot of humanity to pull back that Cape and to say, you know what, at the end of the day, I’m just like you, um, you know, things happen. I make mistakes. I sometimes fall short and I think that it is endearing to people when you can be honest about that and share a little bit of that with them.

Uh, generally speaking. And in my experience, at least it draws people closer to you rather than, than pushing them further away. And that’s not to say that it’s easier. That that’s always my first instinct. Uh, there’s been plenty of times I’ve wanted to go hide under a rock. Um, and, and probably a few where I have, but along the way, I’ve just learned that.

Um, you know, people respect, uh, authenticity a lot more than they do. You know, the shiny image that so many people try to put out as if everything is perfect, all that.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, a hundred percent. So that leads to the, to the next topic, which is really talking about the jam room and you know, where you do business in your house.

And I, it’s funny that you mentioned the, the backup power source. Cause that’s, that’s a great idea. Actually, I just went and bought one couple of weeks ago because you know, we’re going into winter and yeah. I mean, it’s one of those things. I mean, yeah. Okay. Your laptop will run, but your internet won’t if it’s plugged into the wall, so you do need something like that, but I’m wondering how do you approach setting up your jam room?

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, such a great question, Tim. I, and this is a little bit different for everyone. So I think it’s worth mentioning that you really have to start with taking a look at your needs and adapting a space. That’s going to be most conducive to you and to the work that you’re doing, but a couple of generalities that apply in most situations.

I would say that the best, uh, situation is. Any place that you can make your own for work. And for some people, you know, it’s great. If that’s in a room that is its own space, that has a door that closes, right. Um, and that way, you know, if there’s other people living with you, if there’s other things happening in the house, you have that, that closed off space and that can be your home office and you protect that turf.

Um, but that’s not always possible. Lots of us live in a flat. With other friends or family members, some of whom may also be working from home. So sometimes it’s, it’s good enough to find that corner of the basement or that spare bedroom that’s not being used or even just a corner of the kitchen table or a corner of the living room.

Um, but find a space and make it your own for those hours that you are working. Uh, secondarily, I think it’s so important to have the proper setup when it comes to a desk and a chair. So it desk needs to be, um, able to fit your computer if that’s what you’re working on. Uh, and all of your, your accessories, all the things that you need.

I personally like a standing desk, um, so that I can stand up a couple of times a day and raise that desk. You need a comfortable chair that not just looks cool. That’s great. If you have a chair that looks cool, but it needs to be ergonomically supportive of you. You know, one of the easiest ways to get injured working from home, uh, is, is to be using a chair that’s not supportive.

Um, and then the last little tidbit that I would say is you need some things that inspire you, that motivate you. That reminds you of what you’re working for. So I always like to customize my workspace with pictures of friends or family members could be a pet, could be a vision board or a dream board of, of what you’re trying to accomplish or goals that you hope to achieve.

But, uh, no one wants a bland, you know, workspace. This is your home. It’s not the cubicle up at some corporate building. So make it your own.

Tim Melanson: Love it love it. That was very succinct. You’ve done this before. Haven’t

Kevin Rizer: you just a time or two Tim. You have too

Tim Melanson: right on. No, I, I agree with all of that stuff and especially the personality aspect of it.

Yeah. You’ve got to have something that makes you feel inspired. Um, but also like the ergonomics is one of those things that you don’t not very many people mentioned that, cause there’s just like, oh, it’s got a kitchen table chair. It’s fine. But you’re right. Uh, I mean, when you think about it in an office, I mean, offices do put money into getting nice chairs for their employees.

And, you know, we take that sort of for granted, if you’re working for a company, however, when you get home and your chair. Whatever then, you know, there is a reason why those chairs are, are made that way. Um,

Hey rockstars, it’s Tim here. Hope you enjoy this episode. And if you are, feel free to leave us a review while I’ve got you here, I want to tell you about my business.

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And you mentioned the standing desk. So a lot of people have mentioned this over the last little while, and it’s like, how did you. Come across that, like, is this like backed by studies and stuff like that? Or is this just a preference of yours?

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, I’m sure there is some research, although I don’t have that, so I won’t quote it, but it’s definitely been a preference, kind of a learned preference for me.

And it really stems back to it. You know, today I’m not in the office nearly as much. I’m not sitting at the desk all day, but there was a period, uh, three or four years ago where I was putting in 8, 10, 12 hour days, and my home office. And, uh, you get tired. And part of the reason that I got tired was just sitting there all day.

And so things like going for a quick walk to get a boost of energy or some fresh air, but also just standing for a few minutes, um, you know, really seemed to help. So I definitely can’t take credit for the, the idea I’m, uh, there’s lots of people that were doing it long before I was, but. I’m a big believer in it.

If it makes sense for you, if it works for you and there’s lots of ways you can do it. The one I have is electronic, so I can hit a button and it raises and lowers, but there’s manual ones. Um, there, you know, and you don’t have to get fancy. If budget is tight and, and, and buying a standing desk is not possible.

You can get some boxes and, um, stack them on top of your existing desk and. Move that chair out of the way for half an hour a day and put your laptop up on the boxes and kind of create your own standing desk.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. I think you can get some pretty affordable ones as well, but yeah, I think you’re right.

Cause I, I do like to get up frequently and like just pace around or take a walk or do something like that. Cause you’re sitting down for too long, actually does hurt, but I like the idea of having a standing desk. Cause then you can, I mean, if you’ve got a lot of work to do. Maybe you don’t have time to get out and go for a little walk.

So, so this would work out really well. Now I want to move to the next topic of talking about, you know, putting together a band and, you know, finding some people around. Can I help you get work done? I’m wondering how do you approach, you know, subcontracting, delegating, uh, you know, just having the right people around you.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah. It’s such, such a great question, Tim. A couple of points there. One is, I think I’m a big believer in learning as much as you can. The things that you’re doing. So if you’re running a business, uh, I think it’s important that you understand that, uh, at a high level, um, the things that you’re going to be asking other people to do for you, and that works nicely with most startups, which have to be lean.

You know, most of us don’t know. Big venture capital when we’re starting a new venture, um, you know, we’re scrapping together and we’re hustling and we’re grinding. And so there’s not always a lot of cash flow to go out and hire right away. But that’s a great opportunity to get your hands dirty. You know, I, I’ve done almost everything in our business from customer service to sourcing, to graphic design, to, um, managing supplier relationships, to, you know, having a hand on the finances. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m the best person to do all or even any of those things. So I’m a big believer in, and not being afraid to do it as much as you have to yourself to get started.

But the second point that follows nicely on the back of that is I’m also a big believer in delegating as quickly as it makes sense for you and your business. The reality is that all of the little things that have to be done on a daily basis to keep a business running, um, are usually not really difficult, complex things.

Okay. In a vacuum there, they may not be that time consuming, but when you add them all together, it’s a lot of time. It’s a lot of effort and a lot of mental and creative bandwidth, um, that you’re taking off the table and out of your bank, if you will. And so offloading some of those things to other people, whether it’s a contractor on a part-time basis or.

Full fledged employee frees you up as the business owners, the founder, and to do whatever it is that you want to do and, and whatever it is that you do best. And I think that’s the final point. And the lesson I’ve learned is. You know, I get more, um, I get more juice out of the squeeze, if you will. If I really focus on the things that bring me joy and that I’m really good at.

And so for me, that’s things that are more in the creative space, you know, product develop. Um, thinking about advertising campaigns, thinking about ways to communicate and better serve our customers and managing high level relationships with suppliers or investors, other stakeholders. And I let my team take care of other things.

Um, and, and for some people that may be the opposite, they may be number crunchers. They may be. You know, data analytics, freaks, and that’s okay too. Um, there there’s, there’s nothing wrong with that, but really play to your strengths and, and rely on people around you for the rest.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. I, I like what you said earlier about how, you know, having a good understanding of what you’re asking people to do. Um, because I, I know that, uh, A few of the guests actually talk about that as being their bad note of not really understanding the tasks that they were delegating out. And then ending up finding someone that couldn’t do the task or, you know, it, wasn’t doing it the way that, so, you know, uh, I think a lot of us do start off as solo preneurs and we’re sort of like wearing all these hats.

And so in that case, it would make it natural for you to get. Build together, some systems figure out exactly what you’re doing and then start to hand those things off to other people. And, um, I also like what you said about how, you know, keep the things that make you feel good because I find that’s when one of the things you’re like, oh, well, I’ve got this all you know, you know, systemized.

So I’m just gonna off, you know, off, put it over here and then I’m going to do this thing over here that I don’t even like doing.

Kevin Rizer: Right. Yeah, absolutely. You know, nothing says that just because you’re a founder or a CEO or the owner of a business that you have to do, you know, uh, you have to sit in meetings all day with the accountant or that you have to, you know, spend all of your time with, with certain tasks.

You know, there’s, there’s a lot of leeway. There’s a lot of flexibility there and I find that most. You know, do a better job when we’re doing the things that bring us joy that bring us happiness when we play to our natural strengths. Um, and, and so I think you’re exactly right when you start to build out that band, when you start to add members to it, um, you’re looking for people that can do those things.

And, you know, my litmus test is always, I want someone that can do those things better than I can. And most of the time that’s not hard because, um, you know, I, I, I don’t do. Graphic design. Well at all, I don’t do, um, you know, customer service. Well, there’s so many things. I’m not a numbers guy. A spreadsheet opens up on my computer, my eyes gloss over I’m that kind of guy.

Right. Um, but I don’t have a problem admitting. And finding someone where that is their strength. That’s what brings them joy. That’s what they would do all day if they could. So if you can create a, I mean, back to the band analogy, right? Your bass player loves playing bass, right? He’s not sitting there going, oh, I really wish I could play the drums.

You know? And your drummer is not sitting there pioneering to be the lead singer and most cases, um, they, they know what their strength is. They play to it. And that’s what creates the beautiful harmony.

Exactly.

Tim Melanson: And they’ve got their own lane that they’re going down and that way you’re not stepping on each other’s toes as well.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, for sure.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Which, which I think is another problem that might happen too, is that you’re sort of like got this control thing where you’re trying to get someone to do something the way that you would do it. How do you go about that? Do you have a problem with that at all? No.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah. Um, I, that’s something I’ve gotten better at over the years.

Um, I think some of these things are learned, um, and some are natural. Um, you know, but, but letting go and trusting other people was, was not natural to me. It definitely was more like, Um, and I think it’s a, it’s a slow process. You can’t snap your fingers and, and just, um, hand off the reins to someone it’s it’s about building trust.

Um, but you know, in, in certain areas, um, you know, it’s, it’s imperative to let people who are better than you. Have strengths in areas that you are a little bit weaker, um, have more oversight, have more control. And, and one of the best ways Tim, I have found to kind of overcome that natural hesitation that so many of us have to. Let go of the reins and let go of control is to measure outcomes. And what I mean by that is, you know, I have an executive assistant now that manages my schedule, manages my email, you know, does so many really crucial tasks and frees me up to do the things that I enjoy and that I’m good at. Um, and the way that I used to manage those things is completely different from the way that she does now. Like she has systems and processes and methodologies, and I don’t get into the weeds if it works for her. And the outcome is a good outcome that I’m fine with it. So rather than managing the process, look at, try to quantify and measure the outcome and that can help.

Tim Melanson: Totally agree, a hundred percent like, and, uh, I think this kind of leads well to the whole work home work at home rockstar kind of theme where, you know, we’re all running our own business, the way that we want to run it and the way that makes us happy and all we’re doing, when we go to get a client is, were solving a problem and we’re giving them an outcome.

So why does it matter how they did it as long as the outcome is this is the one that you want.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it apps. Absolutely. And, and everyone has their own way of doing things and, and there may be some things that are critical that that’s another tip is you can kind of divide and you can almost grab a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle and say, Hey, these things are mission critical and they must be done this way.

And the, and, and those for some businesses might be things that involve finances being handled a certain way or, or legal matters or health and safety matters. And so in those areas, it’s totally okay to, to train people and to say, these things must be done this way. If you have any questions, let me know.

Um, but for the other things, for the daily grind, the ends and outs of, of running a business, whatever that is for you, if you have the right people and. You’ve allowed them to see your vision and to buy into the vision and to get excited about it. And you’ve given them the tools that they need to be successful.

Give them the freedom, uh, to, to break some things, to make some mistakes, to find that new way of doing things. Because in my case, I’m usually surprised at how much better a solution they’ll come up with. And the one that I previously had.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. That’s exactly. Yeah. Yeah. You’ll be surprised by how well they can solve the problems.

If they’re, especially if they’re approaching it in a different way than you have. I mean, they’ll come up with things that you never even thought of, which also, you know, lends well to the music analogy. A lot of times when you have a certain way that you need to play something, you’re not going to come up with something. Special. Whereas when you, you know, when you release the reins and you allow people to explore with whatever it is, and sometimes you can end up with some very, very creative outcomes that just enhance the song.

Kevin Rizer: Absolutely.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. So now what about getting fans? So, uh, I mean, you can have all your systems and processes in place, but if you’ve got nobody, you know, looking at what you’re doing, then you got really nothing.

So I’m wondering, how do you go about gathering those things?

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, it’s so important. Right. Um, and, and everyone needs fans. Everyone needs customers, right. Um, no matter what you’re doing, no matter who you’re serving. So a couple of things, I think number one, get really specific about that, that question.

Who is it that we’re serving? Um, you know, I see so many businesses and I certainly made this mistake for years, just trying to be too broad, trying to be everything to everyone, trying to solve every problem, any way that people want it. Um, and when you do that, you end up serving no one. Um, well, and, and so I think getting really specific.

Who it is that you’re trying to serve and how you want to serve them. So, in my case, when I started a pet products company, eight years ago, it didn’t know anything about pet products. I didn’t know anything about e-commerce. Um, I had to learn it all as I went and I had a lot of amazing mentors and teachers and, and, and friends along the way that that helped out, but it was definitely a journey.

And one of the mistakes I made in the early days was not being specific about who it was that we were serving. Um, and now we’ve gotten that buttoned down. We know who it is that we’re serving and in a broad kind of touchy, feely, marketing way. It’s, it’s people, it’s pets and their parents that have the, are experiencing, you know, common problems.

And we solve those things. Whether it’s a puppy that’s chewing on the rug or the cat scratching like drapes, or the dog has bad breath, we try to solve those common problems. And it’s so much easier when you know who it is that you’re trying to serve. And the second thing I would say is, you know, you need to let your fans, um, be the hero and the story.

And so as, as business owners, we make the mistake so many times, um, of making ourselves the hero. Right. And so, um, we want to, to have people see us as the hero. They swooped in and saved the day. Uh, the problem with that. And there’s a lot of great detail in it and a wonderful book by Donald Miller called brand story.

And, um, you know, our customers want to be the hero in their own story. So. We need to see ourselves as someone, as an entity, as a product, as an organization that can help them to become the hero and solve the problem that they’re facing. Um, and we can help and, and play that role. But, but we’re not the hero ourselves.

Tim Melanson: Wow. That’s, that’s pretty deep and it’s absolutely true. I mean, I’m even kind of taking notes to myself cause you, you do, you do sort of like write your marketing in a way that like, oh, you know, this client was having such a problem and we just swooped right in and save them and yeah. And I think you’re right.

I think that from the, you know, fan perspective, that seems a little bit arrogant.

Kevin Rizer: Well, it it’s arrogant. Um, and, and it just misses the mark. It’s the wrong note, so to speak. So if you think about the concert, you know, why is the concert so much of a different experience than listening to a track, whether it’s on an LP or on the radio station or on a CD or on Spotify these days is, is, uh, you know, Well, anyone that’s been to a live concert and I’m certainly missing them right now.

I can’t, I can’t wait for, for that chance again, hopefully soon, but it’s a different experience and it’s a different experience because you’re there, you’re a part of the process. You know, you feel the music vibrating through your bones, you know, you, you, uh, it’s the sights, it’s the smells, it’s, it’s the whole thing.

And so I think the key is, is to let our fans, let our customers be a part of that experience so that we’re not talking to them, we’re including them in that experience.

Tim Melanson: Yep. I can add to that. So as a performer, uh, and as a fan, both on both sides of the spectrum, uh, I actually let’s look at it from the fan perspective.

You’re out of concert and the artist is onstage and they are just killing it. They’re just performing the best they can, but they’re, it’s almost like we don’t even exist. They’re doing the right thing, right. Versus you’re at a concert. And the, the, the artist comes out to the front. They hand them mic to the crowd and the crowd sing it along with their song.

And then they’re coming back and maybe they’re singing a terribly for the song right. Do you, do you care? A better experience or worst experience are the same.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, absolutely.

Tim Melanson: I think from my, well, from the perspective of a performer and seeing this happen, uh, the fans get more into it when the artist is given the mic to the fans, even though it’s not as perfect as if the artists had been singing to themselves.

And I think that probably lends well to the business as well. When you. Bring the audience into your experience. Everybody has a better experience that way

Kevin Rizer: absolutely. I couldn’t agree with you more. Uh it’s it’s essential and, and the good ones do it really well. Right? They’ll pick out people in the audience.

So, you know, crack a joke or flirt with somebody on the front row, or, you know, talk about somebody who’s holding a sign way back in the back, or turn the lights on so that they can see the audience still feel, appreciate the audience they’re including them. They’re allowing them to be the hero of that show.

And instead of just being a. Uh, participant a bystander, you know, watching a performance.

Tim Melanson: I agree a hundred percent. So it’s time for your guest solo. Speaking of which, so tell me what’s exciting in your business, right?

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, thanks so much, Tim. And again, thanks for having me on, um, what’s exciting to me is that after working remotely for a decade, I wrote a book and it really, um, the idea came in the initial weeks of the pandemic and the lockdowns.

And, and I saw so many people working from home for the first time and I saw them making the same mistakes that I had. And I wanted to do something. I said, there’s some humor here, but there’s also an opportunity to, to help and, and to learn some myself. So I wrote a book called always wear pants and 99 other tips for surviving and thriving while you work from home.

And it’s a hundred tips there, they’re all a short, a page page and a half. And it’s, it’s things that help with productivity and purpose and creating the right environment. Uh, and, and getting more done and being happier in the process, whatever that is while you work from home. And I have to tell you, it was a real pleasure, um, to write the book and, and I, you know, expected to teach and to share the tips and the things that had worked for me.

But I learned just as much in the process by asking other people about their experiences and by talking. With people about, uh, their journey, uh, to working remotely. So it’s been a lot of fun and, uh, I hope, hope that if people are interested, they’ll check it out. And, uh, it’s, it’s been, it’s been a really, you know, worthwhile and fulfilling thing.

Tim Melanson: Wow. Well, I gotta say it’s a clever name cause having worked from home for the last decade as well, I always wear pants a very clever,

Kevin Rizer: yeah. I thought, you know, if, if there was one thing that was important and I’ve never been this guy, but you know, we’ve all seen or at least heard of that guy or that girl who’s working from home, they’re on a video call.

Something happens. They stand up. Then lo and behold, they’re not wearing pants. So I thought if there’s one thing that people need to know is it’s to always wear pants. Doesn’t matter what pants they can be. Sweat pants, they can be basketball shorts in the summer, down here in Texas. That’s usually my favorite, but, uh, save yourself from being that, that guy or that girl.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. I like the pajama pants myself, but

Kevin Rizer: nice, nice.

Tim Melanson: Or the sweatpants, but that’s awesome. So how do we find out more about where do we get the book? How do we find out more about you.

Kevin Rizer: Yeah, I think so much, Tim, you can find the book anywhere books are sold. Uh, always wear pants.com is a great place to check out Amazon Barnes and noble, pretty much any place that books are sold.

And I appreciate it so much.

Tim Melanson: And what about your, your, your business, your pet business.

Kevin Rizer: so you can go to Emmys best pets.com. Uh, and you can purchase our products there. You can learn more about us and our team and, and the problems that we solved. Um, it’s also available. The products are also available online at amazon and chewy and walmart.com.

Uh, lots of places online. So Google is Google. Is your friend

Tim Melanson: awesome. Right on. Well, thank you so much for rocking out with me today, Kevin, this has been a lot of fun.

Kevin Rizer: Tim, the pleasure was all mine. Thank you so much

Tim Melanson: to the listeners. Make sure you subscribe, rate and comment. We’ll see you next time on the work-at-home rockstar podcasts.

Intro/Outro: Thanks for listening to learn how you can become a Work at home rockstar or become a better one, head on over to workathomerockstar.com today.

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