In this episode, Troy interviews Devin Miller, the founder, CEO, and managing partner of Miller IP Law, a law firm that focuses on helping startups and small businesses with patents (inventions), trademarks (brands), and copyrights (creatives). He built his first multi-million dollar startup when he was still in law school in 2013 as part of a competition. After getting involved in startups, he wanted to start a law firm to help startups and small businesses by protecting their IP and helping them grow. He has an electrical engineering degree, a Mandarin Chinese degree, a Masters in business administration, and a law degree.
Devin’s small business ownership journey is incredible. He came second in a business plan competition while at university and the following year, from his passion for running marathons, he pitched a wearable device that monitors your hydration. In 2013, aged 28, he saw the potential in the product, decided to buy out his business partners, and landed over $1 Million in investment in late 2015 pre-revenue. That value has since more than tripled with no sales yet. He, later on, merged the business with a diabetes wearable device company and the combined business now has an eight to nine-figure valuation (Somewhere between $10 Million and $99 Million)
The business grew from one full-time employee, himself, to 40 in the merged business. When asked at which point he felt he had succeeded, Devin said, “I’ll let you know when I get there” He says the hardest thing about growing a small business is finding work-life balance and the one thing he would tell himself on day one of starting out in business is, “There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs. Strap in and enjoy the ride” Get your notebook and get ready for tons of free small business growth advice from Devin.
This Cast Covers:
- Starting several 7/8 figure businesses and how patents and trademarks were crucial to their success.
- How he came up with the idea for a wearable device that monitors a person’s hydration during a marathon.
- Partnering up with a diabetes monitoring company to form a single company and raise 8 figures in funding with plans to launch their technology within a year.
- The intricacies of learning Mandarin by knowing about 20,000 characters.
- Working a lot of hours to be more hands-on in the operations of the startup and the law firm.
- Measuring success in business in different ways based on one’s long term goals.
- The potential of getting bought out by a much bigger player in the wearables industry.
- The importance of defining who your target market is before launching a product.
- The diverse funding options that they have leveraged to raise cash for their business.
- Demystifying convertible notes and why small business owners should consider them to raise capital.
- The investment opportunities in the wearables business.
- The stress he had to deal with from a lawsuit that was filed against them.
- Having to step out of a comfort zone to get involved in a SaaS company.
- Hating taxes and payroll, and how it took him a while to learn proper and effective hiring.
- Loving the idea stage of a business: Coming up with an idea and executing it.
- Why he doesn’t like the idea of getting a new minimum viable product.
- Shifting from the foundation of making money to growing the business.
- The importance of learning constantly and staying informed about what’s happening in your market.
- The pressure that leads a small business owner into making a bad hiring decision.
- The genius hiring technique that Devin uses to get the best performers into his team.
- Building a great culture by figuring out what you want your company to focus on and how you want to approach it.
- The challenges that business owners face when trying to find work-life balance.
- Learning by listening to podcasts and reading books.
- Diversifying their board by bringing on investors and people who can help grow the business.
- Automating your business not to get rid of jobs but to free up time so you can focus more on core activities.
- Miller IP Law
- That Will Never Work By Marc Randolph
- Entreleadership Podcast
- Dave Ramsey
- Business Wars Podcast
- Profit with Law Podcast
“Define your market, define who your customer is, and then figure out where they’re at” – Devin Miller
“If you don’t pay people, they don’t wanna work for you“ – Devin Miller
“Having a consistent learning mind frame is a great skill” – Devin Miller
“Figure out what you want your company to focus on and how you want to approach it” – Devin Miller
“Work-Life balance is one of the toughest things to do if you’re a business owner” – Devin Miller
Music from https://filmmusic.io “Cold Funk” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/