Episode 26: Brooks Conkle from The Mobile Rundown

Transcript:

Welcome to podcast episode #26 of the Mobile Alabama Business Podcast. My name is Marcus Neto. I own Bluefish Design Studio. We're a digital marketing and web design company based out of Mobile. I'm the host of Mobile Alabama Business Podcast where we talk to local entrepreneurs and business owners about their businesses and how they got started. I'd like to thank you for spending time with us today. 

In today's show I sit down with Brooks Conkle. Brooks is actually involved in a number of different businesses. He has a real estate firm that he started up. He also flips houses and he has something called the Mobile Rundown which is an email list of all the events that are happening in the Mobile area. He and his wife also have a new startup which is a fashion truck. Anyway, let's dive right in with Brooks Conkle. 

Today I'm sitting down with Brooks Conkle, and I would normally say what our guest is as far as their title and the group that they work with, but I can't do that with Brooks, so I'm going to welcome him to the podcast. Welcome Brooks.

Brooks: Thank you. Thank you.

Marcus: Let's just jump right in by you're involved in a number of different businesses in a number of different capacities, so why don't you give us some background on the things that you're involved in and kind of bring people up to speed.

Brooks: Sure. Yeah. I'll give you a quick rundown, I guess, of some of the things that I do. I didn't mean to pun there. The Rundown is actually one of them. My wife and I run a website called The Mobile Rundown. It is a website and a newsletter where we send out the top events going on each week in town. Really a simple concept. The reason why we did it was because we missed out on some cool events a few years ago, and we were frustrated. Why did we miss out on these? Didn't know why. We said, "Hey, let's start a newsletter, compile them and let's send them out." 

Marcus: That's how I know you is from that.

Brooks: Okay.

Marcus: I had a similar frustration, and we've tried to address it in some different ways, but I think you've done a very good job of doing that. 

Brooks: Exactly. Anyone that's doing that kind of stuff, I'm like, hat's off. How can I further help other people that are doing similar things, filling these voids? I think the information for all that stuff is out there, but it is in so many different segmented places of how to find this or find that.

Marcus: You have to scour the web to find out.

Brooks: You have to scour. We said, we may as well scour ourselves and try to help people and compile a list. We don't have everything either, but we send out what we think is cool, and some of it is even fundraising type stuff that maybe someone wouldn't hear about, but we think it's a cool thing, so we send it out. 

Marcus: What we may have to do is get you access to the MobileAL.com calendar and then just put a big, "Sponsored by Mobile Rundown," on the bottom of it or something like that.

Brooks: Yeah. Exactly.

Marcus: I don't want to put you on the spot. Go ahead. 

Brooks: I'm the guy that's like, "Partnerships like that are no brainers." I'm just like, "Let's do it." I mean, we don't have to talk for hours about how to sort it out. Yes. Let's do it. Cool. Let's talk about that. Yeah.

Marcus: You heard it here folks.

Brooks: Yeah. We send that out to 7,000 locals right now. We would love to put tons of more effort into it to grow it a lot faster, but like you said, we do some other projects. It's a part-time project. It's partly a labor of love but partly something we think could be really cool for the city, so we carry on and we do that. I have a real estate company. My wife and I, we have our own real estate brokerage. It's a micro brokerage. It's her and I. We don't have any real estate agents, but we're both licensed real estate brokers. I got my start about six years ago. I came back into the country, moved back into Mobile, and met a guy and started renovating houses with him. I ended up getting my real estate license just so we could sell our houses and save some money and then ended up starting my own brokerage with who is now my wife. Really cool. She's our real estate broker, so technically she's my boss. She's my boss anyway.

Marcus: Nothing wrong with that.

Brooks: Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. She's a wonderful boss. She's great. She's our broker of our company. We do some investment type stuff and work with investors pretty much only. That kind of helps pay our bills as a household overall, but we're more excited about the other businesses or projects that we have. I guess I'll briefly mention the other two. One is called Mob City Metals is a business that I'm involved in. I have a partner that is a really cool metal artisan. His name is David Aber, in town. I met him and became a big fan. I commissioned him to do some work in my home like handrails and I have a table and an art piece on the wall. I talked him into going into business with me. I said, "Man. I love your stuff. Let me help you sell it. Let me help you sell it." Now it's gotten to the point where we shifted more from art to custom type pieces and I try to get us to focus more on the functional stuff, like light fixtures. Coffee tables is actually one of our main staples that we've gone commercial with. We sell them in a store in New Orleans, and they've reordered from us like four times now. Really exciting. We figured out a product that obviously works on the retail front. People want these things.

Marcus: That's hard to do. I know that's not an easy thing to find a niche and then, as a small manufacturer, be able to then produce those and get them placed into a location that's going to sell them and keep the margins such that you can continue to do them and make a profit off of them and stuff like that.

Brooks: That aspect of it has been really exciting for us. Those tables, just to tell you what they are, they're modern industrial rustic, I guess is our style, but they're repurposed from automobile car hoods. 

Marcus: That's so cool.

Brooks: We make coffee tables out of car hoods literally pulled from the junkyard and then they're made modern. I'll have to show you a picture later. That's what we're selling. They don't know what they're getting. They place an order and they just trust us. They're like, "Hey, just send us these tables." Every one of them is a little bit different. They come in standard sizes. We meet once a month and we've really ... That's a part-time business for us as well.

Marcus: Sure.

Brooks: It gets me kind of fired up and excited because I know it could be this massive awesome business, but he has part-time like I have part-time in it. We're just kind of doing what we can and growing organically, but man, we've figured out how to cut costs in the table dramatically over the last six months. We've raised our wholesale price, and the store has no problem with it. They're like, "Yeah, we're selling them. Let's do it." We're figuring out some things that I think, once we get to a point we'll be able to go to store two, hopefully store three and maybe a competitor comes in and just smashes us. I mean, I have no idea. It will be a fun ride, right?

Marcus: There's always that chance, but you've got to try.

Brooks: Yeah. You've got to try. It's a unique product, so I think that's part of what makes it really cool. That's just one thing that we make. I actually commissioned them on a house that we just renovated to do our kitchen counter tops and like pendant lighting. Really cool stuff. Those are some of the things we're focusing on there. Sorry, I'll mention one more. Last one, my wife has a business. It's a women's clothing boutique. They'll take a collection. We actually have a store downtown. It's not a stand-alone. We're in the Urban Emporium which is downtown Mobile.

Marcus: Can I cause you there for a second.

Brooks: Yeah.

Marcus: Because not everybody knows what the Urban Emporium is.

Brooks: Good point.

Marcus: It was started by the Downtown Mobile Alliance as a way to teach people that were not necessarily familiar with retail practices, it was way to take away some of the risk but also educate them, and the hope was that they would, it's basically like an incubator for retail folks. They have space in there. They can showcase their wares and things of that nature.

Brooks: I'll tell you why it's cool for us. For us it's not as much about the knowledge, although we're new to retail as well. Even though we were familiar with business, we don't know how to operate and run a retail store. We've never done it. It is cool. The coolest thing for us is that they handle managing out inventory. It goes through their point-of-sale system. They have the staff there to sell it, so we're not there 24/7. We show up with our inventory. We manage that. We check in at least once a week and make sure everything's looking good and stocked. Beyond that they're kind of running those aspects of it. That's huge. We wanted to expand. We didn't jump into a store downtown. We were debating the retail store or what to do. We got a little crazy. 

We decided to start a fashion truck which it seems crazy, but they're actually all over the larger cities. It's a boutique on wheels for women. There's a bunch of them. We're actually not the first one in town. There's a couple other ones. There's one from Daphne and there's another local boutique that already has one. We just debuted it two days ago. It was crazy. Forty-eight hours before it had a blank inside and we were three weeks behind, and we got it together for Mobile Fashion Week. This is an event in town. I literally pulled out of our driveway with it ready and I left the contractor that was helping me there. He was packing up his truck. I was like, "Gotta go, man. We've got to go." We were late to this event, but we pulled it off. That's called Bottega Collection, but it's officially launched. I guess that was our first event.

Marcus: Bottega. Are you guys showcasing Mobile designers?

Brooks: No. It's all resale. We got to market. We go to Atlanta. Most everyone's out of LA. Yeah. We don't have any local designer or anything that we work with. We'd love to do something cool like that.

Marcus: Yeah. That would be a neat tie-in there if there was a way to showcase. I know that most people don't think of Mobile as a bustling hub of fashion. Not making any critical judgements on anybody's appearance or the way they dress. It's just now known for having the fashion scene that an LA or a New York has. It's been very cool. Former guest on the podcast, Matt Gates, is actually part of the Mobile Fashion Week board, I guess.

Brooks: Cool. The name sounds familiar.

Marcus: I've seen some of the stuff that they did this year. What a phenomenal event. I actually was really bummed that I missed it because it just looked like it was such a blast.

Brooks: It was cool. We didn't know what to expect. We didn't get to go last year. We were supposed to go last year. We've had this business just over a year. It was pretty neat. My wife was laughing me, like, "Oh, you just want to look at pretty girls and stuff." I'm like, "No. I just want to see what this is about." It was cool. Just like you see on TV. Chairs set up on the side. Music bumping.

Marcus: The runway.

Brooks: Yeah, the official runway. 

Marcus: I mean, it's a legit event. They held it over at Brookley, is that right?

Brooks: Brookley. It was like warehouse feeling, exposed brick.

Marcus: In a big hanger with all the stuff. I just think that's really cool.

Brooks: It was neat.

Marcus: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Are you from Mobile? You mentioned going away and then coming back, so I'm gathering that you went to school here, grew up here. Where did you go to college? Give us some background.

Brooks: Sure. Good catch. I am from Mobile. I went to West lawn Elementary, Phillips Middle School, Murphy High School and took off and went to Auburn University. After Auburn, I graduated in 2006, I took off and I went to New Zealand.

Marcus: What did you study at Auburn?

Brooks: I studied finance. Yeah. 

Marcus: Went to New Zealand.

Brooks: Pre-freshman year I was an engineering student. Day one of school I went and grabbed my information from the engineering school and took it straight to the business school. I was like, "This is not what I want to do." I just knew it. I knew it like day one. I was like, "No, man. I think I signed up for the wrong thing."

Marcus: This isn't going to work out. It's not you, it's me.

Brooks: Yeah. This is not what I thought it was. I graduated in finance. I didn't know I was going to be an entrepreneur, honestly, necessarily. I took off, and the reason why I took off is I graduated from Auburn and I got a couple of job offers. They just didn't feel right. I was like, "I'm just not feeling it." My mom, of all people, was like, "Man, go travel." I kind of wanted to do that, so I was either going to do a US road trip or go over seas and see a friend in New Zealand. I knew like one person there. I went to New Zealand and I ended up staying a year and a half. 

Marcus: I can't believe you came back.

Brooks: I know. I know. I know. It was a cool place. I got to do a lot of cool stuff. I trained for a marathon. I ran a marathon while I was there. I haven't done that since. I did three bungee jumps in one day. I went skydiving. I worked in vineyards. I lived in a van for three months. I turned into that guy.

Marcus: That guy.

Brooks: That guy for three months, man. It was so cool. When I talk about it with people I get to relive that. I'm like, "Man, that was just a crazy time," but it was a cool experience.

Marcus: I have a couple of friends that live in New Zealand and every time they post pictures, I'm like, "Yeah. I live in a beautiful area, but New Zealand is just like a different planet. It's just gorgeous."

Brooks: It's crazy. Where do they live in New Zealand?

Marcus: I couldn't tell you off the top of my head.

Brooks: Okay.

Marcus: Offline, I'll pull them up and share with you.

Brooks: I got to settle down in a place called Queenstown, New Zealand. It's like the adventure capital of the world. It's that picturesque you're talking about. It's on a mountain lake. It was cool. I got to learn how to snow ski. I'd never been snow skiing. I snow skied a bunch. I almost stayed longer. I could have gotten trapped. People show up to that town and they never leave. I met so many people who did that. They're like, "Oh, I traveled here 12 years ago." That could have been me, but that wasn't my plan. I had a friend that talked me into staying for the summer because we skied. He said, "Oh, the summer here is so pretty. You've got to stay." I said, "Okay, cool. I'll stay for the summer." At the end of the summer he was like, "Man, winter's coming up. We're going skiing again." I said, "No, man. It's time for me to go home." I came home. Coming back to Mobile was a really cool experience after being gone a year and a half because I had seen a lot of cool changes downtown. Downtown alliance ...

Marcus: Roundabout when is this?

Brooks: This would be at the end of 2007, 2008. This is a while back. I just noticed a difference. It was either that or I just noticed things that I hadn't noticed before about our town.

Marcus: Coming back after that long of a period, you're seeing it with fresh eyes.

Brooks: Exactly. 

Marcus: Right. Yeah.

Brooks: Exactly. There are vivid experiences that I had that first week being back. One was driving through the oak trees, like Sprinkle Avenue, Dover Street. This is awesome. One was going out to eat on the causeway with some friends, sitting on the delta and everyone was so relaxed and chill. I was like, "This is awesome." It was a just a noticeable difference about our culture. Since then, of course, that's kind of faded. There were things that I vividly noticed when I came back into the US, and it was cool. Here I am. I stuck. I was planning to leave and go to South America. I really wanted to learn Spanish.

Marcus: You know there are other languages spoken in South America? No, I'm just playing. My parents are from Brazil. 

Brooks: I didn't know that. If you asked me what's the first language of Brazil I would know. Portuguese.

Marcus: Yeah. Portuguese. Yeah.

Brooks: Exactly. You wouldn't stump me. A lot of people don't know that.

Marcus: Yeah.

Brooks: That's cool.

Marcus: That's interesting. You basically epitomize the entrepreneur. I mean, somebody that has who mindset where going and working a 9 to 5 job is just not going to sit well with them. How did you get to that point? You talk about going to New Zealand. Obviously you were doing something while you were over there. Did that shape or influence you as you came back to the states?

Brooks: No. I don't think so. When I was in high school I got recommended a book called Rich Kid, Smart Kid. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Kiyosaki, Robert Kiyosaki. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He wrote a bunch of books. Rich Kid, Smart Kid was one. I read this book, and I just remember thinking this is how I think. I was like, this is how my brain works, when I read the book. I think I figured out at that point, like, okay, I want to do something in business. I didn't know what. To be real, when I went to New Zealand it was more of just like a break, just to do something different. I wanted to look for that opportunity or what am I going to do or maybe I can find some cool opportunity. I had my mind open for it. I didn't in the year and a half. I did marketing and sales for a little company in Queenstown, New Zealand for awhile, almost a year, while I lived there.

Marcus: When you came back, how did you even begin to get started going down that path, because I think that's interesting to the audience? There are a lot of people that listen to this podcast that they're just kind of starting on that journey.

Brooks: Right.

Marcus: How did you get ...?

Brooks: It's a good question. Truth be told, I think I came back and I was like, " What the heck am I going to do?" Let's get real. We probably all have that question.

Marcus: That's my story.

Brooks: What's next? Still sometimes I have those thoughts, like, "Man, I have these businesses going on that the majority are in early stages." I'm not saying it's the smartest thing to do to have multiple things going on that are all like early-stage stuff. Sometimes I'm like, "Man." There are so many times I've wanted to just go out and get ... Like, should I get a 9 to 5 so that I can support these early businesses? I refuse, man. I just can't do it because I don't think I would last very long in that atmosphere.

Marcus: I hope in the future if I'm applying for a job that whoever it is that I'm applying to work for doesn't listen to this, but I find myself thinking that I am unemployable now. 

Brooks: Yeah. 

Marcus: To a certain extent because there is something about being an entrepreneur that you realize that you have this freedom, that you can have an idea and start to execute on that idea, and you don't have to run that through anybody other than you bounce it off some friends or your wife or whatever just to get a sanity check, but there's nobody saying, "No. You can't do that." I remember so much, because I spent ten years working on large projects for the federal government before moving down here and starting Bluefish, and there were times where it was just like you'd be sitting in a room trying to get somebody to make a decision and you were trying to influence them to go a certain route because it was the right thing to do and they just wouldn't make a decision. It was just like, come on, but they were so afraid of making the decision and having it come back on them, and they wouldn't make their next GS level or something along those lines that it was like paralyzed. I don't ever want to be in that position again.

Brooks: I hear you.

Marcus: I really do. I think I'm unemployable.

Brooks: I hear you. I also kind of wondered if it was something that I wanted to do. I feel like it would definitely have to be ... I'm not opposed to working with a company or for a company, not at all, actually. I think a lot of people maybe that are listening may say, like, "Oh. I don't want to work for anyone." I'm not opposed to it, but it would have to be a special situation.

Marcus: It would have to be them recognizing what you bring to the table and being able to execute on that versus just kind of, yeah.

Brooks: I think that person would also have to want someone that probably kind of thinks or acts the way that we do because if they don't we wouldn't be a wise hire for them because it would be a clash of ideologies almost.

Marcus: Yeah.

Brooks: You asked me when I came back.

Marcus: How did you get started? Yeah.

Brooks: I kind of went on side tangent. I decided real estate. I'd always wanted to ... Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I read it in high school. It's always in the back of my mind. Real estate. Let's figure that out. Don't know how I did it. I guess I started doing some research, but I tracked down a local investor that was active, that was renovating houses. I can't tell you now how I even figured it out. Maybe I Googled some stuff and then just called someone. I don't know, but I scored a coffee with him and talked with him. He was like, "Yeah, yeah. I'll show you some stuff." I did a deal or two with him. Then we ended up starting a company together and renovated a number of houses. That was pretty much the start into that arena. I was both feet into that, nothing else at that point. I was just trying to do real estate. That's when, wind back to the beginning, when I got my real estate license.

Marcus: Sure.

Brooks: I was still doing that and then these other projects had come on.

Marcus: I get the Mob City Metals. So, fashion. Is that coming from your better half?

Brooks: Yeah. That's her project. I'm trying to decide, like what do I tell people? People are like, "What do you do?" I want to be like, "Websites, real estate, metal art and women's fashion," something like that. It's really her, but I guess with that it's definitely a team effort too because she even takes me to Atlanta. I've gone three times and she keeps taking me back. 

Marcus: You must be bringing some sort of value there. 

Brooks: She trusts my opinion. We go through and she does all the first round. She holds it up to me and I'm like, "No. No. No. Yes," like that. She wants a guy's opinion, what my first gut reaction is. Beyond that I help her with website, social media type stuff for that. She's obviously doing all the inventory management, what to buy, when to buy, that kind of stuff. Fashion Truck was a joint effort, getting a lot of the renovation stuff done obviously, again, on my plate. She's the one that's going to be driving it around town to events and stuff. 

Marcus: Neat.

Brooks: We built it with that in mind.

Marcus: Is there an area of one of the businesses that you're putting a lot of effort into? I know you just started the Fashion Truck, or the real estate business. Pick one and tell me a little bit about what you're focused on.

Brooks: Yeah. I'd love to pick one. We have this talk all the time about where does our energy need to be focused? Like I said, I gave a talk to a community group and I had to give myself a title, and it was Brooks Conkle, a starter of things. I realized I love to start stuff. You can't just start stuff forever. You've got to focus on it and nurture. Nurture the baby, right, to grow.

Marcus: There's actually a great book by Bill Hybels. It's old. It's like a decade old. Courageous Leadership. I can't believe I pulled that out of the air.

Brooks: Courageous Leadership.

Marcus: Anyway, Courageous Leadership. The premise of the book is that there are different types of leaders. There are managerial leaders. There are startup leaders. There are all these different types. The key is recognizing which one you are and then pairing up with somebody. He's speaking, because Bill Hybels is the senior pastor of Willow Creek.

Brooks: Yeah. I know that name. I know who he is.

Marcus: They are one of the largest churches in the world. He's coming at it from the perspective of church leadership, but the reality is that applies to business as well. If you are, Brooks, the starter of things, then that's great as long as you have some plan for how you either hand those off or sell them or do something with them because you may be on to something there. 

Brooks: Exactly. To tell you where I am in my entrepreneurial journey, I think I'm right there kind of figuring that out. Honestly, I was kind of figuring that out. Okay, cool. Is it an exit strategy? How are we going to sustain all these. Obviously you can't do it with your own man hours on all of them, right? Which is kind of what we're saying. We just made a big investment in Fashion Truck. I think it's less than what we would have made than if we opened up a retail store, paying rent. I think adding that up, now it's like we own this truck and we invested probably a lot less into it, and it's mobile. I think that's pretty cool in the sense that obviously we can go where people are. 

Marcus: Right.

Brooks: That is obviously as of very recently a bigger focus than it was because before it was just we have inventory. We make sure we're stocked downtown. Cool. We can make an Atlanta trip once a year. Now that's going to be a bit more involved. Mob City Metals I'm really excited about. My partner and I have to be on the same page about the growth of that. I'm very excited about its potential, but only if and when he's also on the same page about wanting to see that grow as well.

Marcus: That is the down side of having a partner. 

Brooks: Yeah.

Marcus: I get that. I find it interesting. I'm gathering that the real estate business is really where the bread and butter is for you right now. Is that the wrong assumption?

Brooks: No. It's not the wrong assumption. That's correct. That's basically what kind of paves the way for everything else. Interesting enough, I don't know if it's just that I've done it so long which isn't all that long, six or seven years.

Marcus: That's significant.

Brooks: It's the one that I'm not as excited about. I'm more excited about the other projects, but I can't forget that, the basics. It's kind of like don't forget the bread and butter. Don't forget the basics.

Marcus: Don't ignore the money maker. 

Brooks: Exactly.

Marcus: Squirrel.

Brooks: That's kind of what that is. We've bought our personal homes because of that. We do some marketing and people that want to sell their houses that kind of have some kind of ugly house situations. Maybe they need a bunch of repair. We've kind of come across, and that's helped us buy our own home. I always remember that. Those are really powerful things even if we don't do as many deals. It's not like a constant attention, every day, all day, on real estate, but I have to keep a steady beat on it because that is where larger chunks of revenue come from for sure.

Marcus: If you were talking to someone that wanted to be an entrepreneur, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Brooks: The big question.

Marcus: Putting you on the spot.

Brooks: Yeah. Right. I'm just thinking like barrages hit me. Go for it. Listen to people. Don't listen to people. I know that sounds kind of wild, but all of the above. Read books. Talk to people that are in your shoes. Talk to them. If there's older folks, talk to them. It is mentorship, but I think you can learn a lot from just digging a little bit deeper than your basic knowledge of Googling something.

Marcus: What are some resources that you've found helpful. Are there any books that you've read recently that have spawned some great ideas?

Brooks: I wish I could say yes, but no. Nothing's instantly coming to mind. Obviously, I mentioned Rich Dad, Poor Dad which is an old school book, and I read it.

Marcus: Yeah, but there's nothing wrong with that. 

Brooks: Yeah.

Marcus: We did a podcast with Matt Lamond, and Matt reads that book at least, I think he said, twice a year.

Brooks: Oh, really. Okay.

Marcus: He's actually. I don't know if you know who Matt is.

Brooks: I do. Yeah.

Marcus: Daileys, and some of the other venues right there.

Brooks: Yeah.

Marcus: He's actually going back into real estate investment because that's always been kind of his goal. These other projects are really ... I mean, he enjoys them and they're something that he puts a lot of effort into, but the real estate is something that he's always had as a driver. 

Brooks: Got you. I just learned from Matt. I haven't read the book in a long time. If he's listening to this, I'll tell him I'll pick up the book and read it this year before the end of the year.

Marcus: There you go. Actually, I had a copy at one point in time and I went, after we recorded that podcast, and I went to go find it and I think I'd either given it away to the local library or something because I couldn't find it in my collection.

Brooks: Yeah. There's so much that I feel like I'm reading blogs and articles and stuff all the time on different aspects of business that for me it's less books now. I can even name a particular resource. I guess it depends on what topic we're talking about here whether it's social media or real estate or whatever. Man, there's just a wealth of knowledge online, obviously.

Marcus: Yeah. What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

Brooks: Business, man. I actually enjoy it. 

Marcus: It's all consuming.

Brooks: Yeah. It's all consuming. I talked to my wife about this. I'm my son's den leader. I got married. I have a nine-year-old stepson who calls me dad too, which I love.

Marcus: Cool.

Brooks: I think it's really cool.

Marcus: Awesome. 

Brooks: That's a recent occurrence. We're less than two years in. I'm still getting settled into what is it to be a father figure and be a husband? That's a lot of work. That's one of my hobbies is like, hey, growing these relationships. My son loves to hunt and fish with his papa who is just like the outdoors man, lives to hunt and fish. He loves it. I'm not obsessed with it. I love the opportunity to get to hang out with them, so I'll go with them and just hang out in the tree stand and be in the woods or whatever. I really do enjoy ... I went to New Zealand and part of the reason was for the outdoors. I love to camp and hike. I did a number of solo hikes while I was there and some of the coolest backpacking hikes I've ever done. I've not done that probably in the last two years. If you ask what's something I enjoy, that's something I really enjoy is being in nature, not just in the woods, but just being there. The beautiful view, being kind of alone.

Marcus: Getting away from it all.

Brooks: Getting away from it all. Yeah.

Marcus: Give us a look at an average day for you. What time do you wake up? Are there any kind of rituals that you do every morning? Get the kids off to school? Have a cup of coffee? Do you read? That kind of thing.

Brooks: It's funny. I hear that question all the time on podcasts and stuff, and I hear what other people say, and mine has changed. It changes all the time. Not everyday or anything, but I don't have the daily ritual. I've never been able to keep the daily, this is how I get my day started. I've gone through phases. Waking up, having instant quiet time. Waking up and reading. Waking up. I definitely do typically have a cup of coffee in the morning. Like I said, again, married life. It's waking up and getting the son ready for school and whatever, waking up around 6:30, getting the son ready for school. I will say this. Everybody has their own way to keep up with stuff, but I use an app called Trella. I'm constantly keeping up with my to do's if you will for the next day, big projects, so that 8:00 doesn't roll around and I'm like, "Okay, what's up today." As you know and as people listening will find out, as an entrepreneur it's the pro and con of someone not telling you what to do. There's not someone over your shoulder telling you what to do, but unfortunately, there's not someone over your shoulder telling you what to do. You've got to have that prepared for yourself. For us, that's a big tool for me. 

Usually the night before we're kind of hanging out with our son. We have a ritual, we hang out in the bed and watch a little TV or movie at night as we go to bed, and that's actually fun family time, but I'm usually working on my next day and adding stuff on that list of what's coming up. It gives me a full day. The hardest thing is prioritizing what's on that list because it never ends. I think that's for anyone in life whether you're a single mom working or whether your an entrepreneur, whatever. You have an endless list of things to do.

Marcus: Where can people find you?

Brooks: Where can people find me? They can find me all over, but I can just give a couple of websites, I guess. 

Marcus: Yeah.

Brooks: Mobcitymetals.com, themobilerundown.com if they want to know what's going on in town, you can subscribe to that.

Marcus: I would highly recommend that everybody go to The Mobile Rundown and subscribe to the email list. I think it's phenomenal what you've done there.

Brooks: I appreciate it. Thanks. Then if you like women's clothing check out bottegacollection.com. If you send a message on any of those websites it will probably come to me, but, of course, you can look me up on Facebook or whatever. Brooks Conkle.

Marcus: Very cool. I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast. Wrap up any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?

Brooks: Go get 'em tiger.

Marcus: There's a lot in that. I get you. I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It's been great talking to you.

Brooks: Yeah. Loved it. Appreciate it.