48 minutes | Sep 16, 2020

Episode 68: Do You Believe in Miracles? — Geoff Hager

This week on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Wes speaks with Geoff Hager, Owner and CEO at Big Elk Energy Systems. Based out of Tulsa, Big Elk is a premier manufacturing partner for the oil and gas industries. Big Elk has become a powerhouse since its founding in 2014 and has been named to the Inc. 5000 list three times. When the company debuted on the Inc. 5000 list in 2018, it ranked 123rd overall and was named the fastest growing manufacturing company in the United States. Big Elk is forecasting more than $100M in top-line revenue by 2024. Before Hager’s company was making millions, it was bleeding millions. In fact, few companies rival the challenges that Hager met while getting Big Elk off of the ground. However, a not-so-small handful of seemingly divine interventions eventually got Big Elk off of the ground, kept food on Hager’s table, and allowed him to fulfill what he always felt was his life’s purpose — to successfully grow a business. On the podcast, Geoff spares no detail in retelling the incredible story of Big Elk’s origins and the inexplicable events that eventually built the brand.   The EnTRUEpreneurship Takeaway: “In the deep down depths of my soul, I felt like [entrepreneurship] was what I was supposed to do with my life. And despite all logic and everything that was being spoken to me by circumstance, I could not be convinced I wasn’t on the right path." “Embrace the suffering. The furnace purifies. There are only lessons that can be learned in the fire. I didn’t only survive the fire — I came out a different man." “When you work hard to create an environment where other people’s dreams come true, they are going to work hard to make your dreams come true." “In the hard years, the people [at my company] believed that we were building something special. And that counted for a lot." “There’s a difference between just taking a risk and being all in. When there is no safety net, it changes you and those around you." “Since I knew I couldn’t continue to build growth at the company where I was, I began expanding my horizons, looking at alternatives including doing something on my own.” “In a rural economy, the only business you have is repeat business … Treating your customers right is extremely important."   Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed: 3:18: Geoff retells his earliest exposure to entrepreneurship and what ultimately drove him into industrial engineering. 5:45: Geoff shares about his first job out of college and how he grappled with whether or not to follow in the “family business.” 9:36: Geoff explains his decision to leave his comfortable job and, after a “divine moment,” start something of his own. 13:34: Hager begins retelling the incredible story of the earliest days at Big Elk and how he liquidated his own 401(k) to start a business that may not get off the ground. 26:29: Hager describes a series of truly miraculous events that eventually led to the founding of his company in 2014. 32:00: Geoff shares about one seemingly miraculous event that happened after founding Big Elk that kept food on his family’s table when the business was hemorrhaging money. 36:42: Hager explains his motivation behind sticking with Big Elk, even in its darkest days. 41:18: Hager discusses Big Elk’s plans for massive future expansion and revenue growth. 43:03: Looking in the rear view, Geoff shares some wise advice around embracing difficult times and taking true risk.   Bulleted List of Resources — Geoff Hager -     LinkedIn   Big Elk Energy Systems -     Company Website -     LinkedIn -     Facebook
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