We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Dougherty and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
It’s simple, we don’t, we very simply do not give up. At the beginning of my career I was working as an analyst in Washington, DC. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but also knew I needed to understand the basics of business before I started my own company. During this time, I believe it was the summer of 2009, I discovered a book written in 1937 by an author named Napoleon Hill, called “Think and Grow Rich”. The gold I took out of this writing was about visualization. Hill makes a succinct point about deciding what kind of life you want for yourself, then taking 15 minutes every day to visualize what that life looks like. I had heard of this idea before, but the concept never stuck until I read the details of what Napoleon described. Hill does not suggest you visualize at a high level, but instead visualize at a magnified, intricately detailed level. He directs the reader to visualize a very specific amount of money in their bank account, down to the cents. Visualize how people perceive you when you walk into a room, what your clothes feel like when you put them on, what your hair looks like, how you feel in the morning and what your career looks like. This stuck for me. Over the last 11 years I have been doing this every day, because I figured what could it hurt? What I have discovered was something of a fairy tale. I experienced what feels like magic sometimes. I have days where I look up from my computer and realize it is exactly what I had visualized 11 years earlier. I have experienced achievements that at one time, for me, were seemingly impossible. I can tell you how I got there now, but I cannot believe it happened when I think about it. The missing link was comprehensive visualization, not magic. What happens when you visualize very specific details over a long period of time is that you essentially brain wash you mind and turn a dream into a reality. By doing that you are unknowingly altering microscopic decisions in every interaction you have. You are modifying your tone of voice, increasing your confidence and quieting the voice we all hear, telling us to quit and telling us we will fail. Maroon Bell Outdoor has been the most complicated, difficult, most rewarding business adventure I have ever endeavored. We have found ourselves in impossible spots, countless times. Places where any reasonable, logical person would say it’s over, it simply cannot be done. One clear example was after our first year. We had just been scammed by a clothing manufacturer in LA and my entire line of flannels, which was really my only product never showed up for Christmas. We had to return most of the backorder funds and then made almost no money during the holidays. We were trying to cover our costs and build the brand with hats, t-shirts, a dog leash I made out of old climbing rope and a water bottle I put my logo on. We had no brand awareness, no brand loyalty, we were about 8 months in and had spent all of our available cash on the flannel, which we did not have to sell. After that Christmas I knew it as bad but didn’t realize how bad. My wife and I flew to Philadelphia for the holidays and when we got back to Denver I dug into the books. We were completely out of cash, had a $44K balance on a $40K credit card, had no festivals or events coming up, were making no money online and for all intents and purposes had no legitimate designs to sell. Because I had spent so many years convincing myself what this company would be, the situation, never one time made me think we should stop or quit. I was jogging one afternoon during this period with no clue of how I would make it. I remember thinking to myself, this is actually a lucky break, because now I will have a great story to tell Good Morning America when we are the next Patagonia. It was in this time I designed and created the Buffalo Leather Driving glove, our bestselling product. That was year one. In the last four and a half years my wife and I had twins, we dealt with the economic blast from an international pandemic and a slew of other problems. Not one time have I ever considered the idea of quitting. This company, my future, my success has been visualized for so long that the dream has become my reality. You see, my destiny is already set, now, I get to experience the journey and the adventure of realizing that destiny. I always say to folks, “If you were driving from Colorado to California and you got a flat tire, would you stop, set up shop and live in that space forever? Or would you fix the tire and keep going?” The answer is easy because we know California is exists, we don’t have to visualize it. Starting a company is no different except for the fact that we have to visualize the “California”. Once you do that you give yourself the gift of closing off all exits. You stop wasting time considering the idea of quitting and use all of that energy to realize your greatest potential. Your destiny is set and your destiny does not include failing.
What should our readers know about your business?
I discussed a lot of this in the first question but what I would like folks to know is that my greatest asset is persistence. I have the ability to never quit and work harder than most people. I was a C and B student in school and always struggled with exams but I never quit. I also have the ability to visualize and dream. I got my degree in accounting, spent 8 years working as an analyst on the East coast specifically to lean how business worked. I was always going to be an entrepreneur and never planned on getting rich quick. I think the idea of getting rich quick is a dangerous proposition for folks to consider. There is only one way to get rich quick and that is by winning the lotto. Any business owner that tells you they got rich quick is lying. Maybe they had one company that blew up quickly, however; you will never hear about the 4 companies before that one. Life is about learning and using those lessons to achieve your greatest potential. I also believe life cannot be all about work. I have 17 month old twins and at 4 o’clock everyday, I close the computer no matter what. I spend the nights with them until they go to bed around 7 and then I work until 11. My mom once told me, “You can have it all, you just can’t have it all right now”. The journey of our lives is our lives. The success of Maroon Bell is what it is now, what it was in year one and two and three. This company is knitted into my life and I am not preparing for success. Being an entrepreneur was the success. This was the dream.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would want them to eat at Sams number 3 downtown and get a breakfast burrito. Then I would want them to see Union Station, Coors Field and the breweries in RINO. I would take them to see my neighborhood in Wash Park and we would walk over to Brew Alley and buy Craft “To Go” beers. One day we would go to Red Rocks and hike around that area, another day we go to Guanaella Pass and hike around Mt Bierdstat, then get lunch in Georgetown (an old gold mining town). If we wanted to take an overnight trip, I think it would be fun to spend a day in Breckenridge and go to a craft beef festival there. Then we would drive to Glenwood Springs and stay at Hotel Colorado where Teddy Roosevelt invented the Teddy Bear. I would want to take them to Boulder to see a CU football game and then get dinner and drinks on Pearl Street. We would take one afternoon and drive out to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and take the one hour loop where you drive through Bison heards. The end of trip we would would go golfing at Arrowhead golf course and then I would drive them to DIA and suggest they get drinks at Root Down. The beauty of Denver is the array of culture, bars, restaurants, geographic areas and the fact that is is all outdoors.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My journey would be incomplete without my family, specifically my wife, Whitney. We had just started dating when I started Maroon Bell Outdoor. He has been with me at festivals, packaging orders, listening to me ramble on and on about business ideas and accounting issues. She was always there and it made my destiny complete. I would also like to thank my parents and all of my business mentors in Washington, DC. Without them I would not have had the foundation and understanding of life and business to bring Maroon Bell Outdoor to this place.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MaroonBellOutdoor/
Product Shots from Jaimie Johnson Lifestyle Shote from: Negative25 Productions Personal Shots: Jeremy Dougherty