A Sit-Down with Bryan Shaw of Hill Tree Roastery

As Part of the Heroes of Change Podcast

In this episode, we chat with Bryan Shaw, co-founder and business developer of Hill Tree Roastery in Huntington, West Virginia. Hill Tree has a passion for roasting coffee and maintains the goal of creating great conversations through contributions to the welfare of the local community by supporting entrepreneurship as well as supporting the farmers who grow our coffee by using Fair Trade, Sustainable Production and Organic products whenever possible. 

Listen to the podcast above, or read below for the full inspirational interview between Jeremy and Bryan.

Jeremy Turner, Founder and Managing Director of EPIC Mission:
Hi, everybody, and welcome to the
Heroes of Change podcast from EPIC Mission. This is Jeremy Turner, I’ll be your host today. I’m the founder and managing director of EPIC MissionHere on the Heroes of Change, we are highlighting the trials, victories, and applied wisdom of our community change agents, unsung heroes, and those who empower them to be the change across Appalachia and beyond. We seek to inspire and equip everyday heroes just like you to take on our greatest challenges because together, we are the change.

For today’s episode, it’s my great pleasure to welcome my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Bryan Shaw, to the show. Bryan is a lifelong West Virginian with a background in corporate marketing and product development. He discovered an interest in entrepreneurship and has since launched a consulting business, co-founded West Virginia’s largest co-working space, developed West Virginia’s first business accelerator, and co-founded a coffee roasting company. He’s also the program administrator for the Entrepreneurship and Business Coaching Center at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, where he helps local residents start and grow businesses that’s for tourism generated by the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System.

And, outside of that, he is involved with family, WVU sports, and golf. So, Bryan, everybody has a bio these days, whether it’s something on LinkedIn or their Facebook page or whatever, we’ve all got words written by us or about us, but I think that we all have stories beyond those words. So take a second and tell everybody what’s the rest of your story, who are you, and what are you about beyond the bio?

Bryan Shaw, co-founder and business developer of Hill Tree Roastery:

Man, thanks. Gosh, beyond the bio, I’m just someone who really likes helping people. I mean that’s what the root of it is and what it really comes down to is I found a really strong interest in helping people develop out business ideas and talking through those to see, if it’s something they like, if there’s an opportunity there or not. So, yeah, helping people, it’s just the thing I like to do.

Jeremy:

Awesome. It’s obviously needed and appreciated. Through the years, you and I have had a lot of opportunities to work together on a variety of different projects and different things, but I think today is going to give us an opportunity to dig in a little bit more, and this is really about your story and digging into different aspects of who you are so that we can hopefully inspire other people. Speaking of inspiration, the first question I’d love to ask you is, as you were growing up, who inspired you, and as you think about what you do now? You’re going to be bouncing back and forth between ‘entrepreneur-Bryan’ and ‘entrepreneurial-support-Bryan’ because you really have these multiple hats that you wear. So who inspired you growing up, and who inspires you now?

Bryan:

Wow. My dad, I mean he’s the one. I’m not sure if he knew how much he inspired me, but really a lot of it was from him. My dad was legally blind, he went to Romney School for the Blind, but he never let that stop him from doing anything. Some of the things I didn’t really notice when I was growing up, but when I look back, there were so many things that he did that just is like wow, he was able to still do that, he didn’t quit, he didn’t give up on anything. And he was always innovating different ways to do things with limited eyesight.

I remember, when I was growing up, I was trying to be a pitcher in Little League, playing catch was not really something we could do much, so he built things for me to pitch to. Before the bounce-back ball machine things that you threw into the net were even out there, I’ve got a tire with a backstop and rolling the balls back to me, stuff he built. So, yeah, easily my dad was a really strong inspiration to me.

Jeremy:

That’s awesome.

Bryan:

Now? Gosh. Really, it varies, which is kind of weird. I follow different people at different times and talk to people and I get inspired in shorter blocks; the inspiration comes in in short blocks. Seeing somebody who created a new business that is successful can be inspiring, just talking to someone who has a lot of passion about what they do can be inspiring, from local people to people who are much more well-known. Now, I don’t know that I have one person that is just super inspiring. I appreciate all the people that I have connections with and I network with, and all of my friends, but they all inspire me in different ways, so it’s kind of hard to say there’s just this one person.

Jeremy:

I think that’s cool, hearing the story about your dad, and you and I have talked about him before, overcoming obstacles. So now, as an entrepreneur encountering obstacles on a regular basis, and being able to reflect back on how your dad took much bigger obstacles than what we face, trying to grow and operate businesses, he took those obstacles head-on and overcame them. That’s pretty amazing. The journey as an entrepreneur, and just the journey in life, sometimes it can be difficult, and, again, you wear these multiple hats of both an entrepreneur and someone who empowers entrepreneurs. Who’s been the greatest help to you along your journey, as you reflect back over the last couple of years or decades or so?

Bryan:

In corporate, when I got promoted into management, the first manager I worked with, his name was Jason, and he was very young, but moving quickly through the company, and just watching him and seeing what he does and did at the time was something that I tried to mirror a little bit. I tried to take away things that he did, just so I could help my own career by watching him. And then over the course of the years, it’s been different people at different times.

Kristina and Debra with the SBDC at the time, really they identified a skillset that I didn’t even realize I had, and that was understanding business as much as I did. I had worked in corporate, and through those 14, 15 years, every couple years I was in a different department, or a different role, learning from sales to operations, to marketing, to product development, to channel management, all these different skillsets, and it hadn’t really occurred to me at the time that those are skillsets that I can really relay to people who are trying to develop businesses. I met with them and that was where I really started into the consulting space and working with people and helping them with businesses.

Jeremy:

So that was Kristina Joyce, who was the previous head of the West Virginia State Small Business Development Center and now runs Kentucky’s Small Business Development Center, right? And then Debra Martin, who is the current head of West Virginia Small Business Development Center.

Bryan:

Yeah.

Jeremy:

Yeah, they’re amazing ladies. How cool is that, that people that you were working with helped you recognize something inside of yourself that you didn’t even know you had?

Bryan:

Yeah. It was funny, I remember when we first met, I think it was Kristina, or maybe it was Debra, one of them said, at the end of it, said I was a Renaissance man, and I laughed, and, oddly, I was like, “Oh my gosh, is this an insult, or what? I mean I don’t even know what they’re talking about.” So I looked it up, and I was like, “Okay, it was a compliment.” And it was going back to all of the different experiences I had had, I was fortunate to be in a space where it let me get into different roles. You learn a lot if you can get into a bigger company, some people say it’s not always the best place to be, but if you’re in the right groups and you’re working for the right people, it can be.

Jeremy:

Awesome. So when we go to publish this episode, we’re going to have to edit your title to Renaissance man, right?

Bryan:

Oh, Lord.

Jeremy:

Add that to your LinkedIn profile, too.

Bryan:

Yeah, that’ll be in my title.

Jeremy:

Nice. Through the years, you’ve heard me use this phrase a lot, it’s a tagline with my company and you hear me talk about it a bunch, but I want to know what this means to you. When you hear the phrase “Hero of Change,” what does that mean to you and how do you live this out every day?

Bryan:

The hero aspect of that is someone who, I think, people look up to. I don’t know that I can. I wouldn’t consider myself, by any stretch, “hero,” but of the “change” part, it is something that I’m trying to do. I see opportunity in the space that I’m at, I see opportunity in West Virginia for different types of businesses and people to be successful, and whether it be a side hustle where they can make an extra $4 or $5, $600 every month, or something that can be much larger and grow into a very scalable business, I see those opportunities and I really try to work with people and explain what that opportunity is and that it’s really something that they can do.

There’s really big businesses in West Virginia that people don’t even know about that have done so much; they don’t always get all the press. The opportunity is there. For me, the change is just letting people know that they can do it; it’s not easy, by any stretch. I joked around the other day, you’re creating your own world of pain by going into entrepreneurship. But there’s so much more when it’s successful and when you get those wins, whether a small win or a big win, you have to take time and rejoice in that and just be excited about it.

Jeremy:

I think I heard you say a couple things in there I just want to pull out real quick. One, entrepreneurship is not easy, it’s a grind, and I heard you say “your own life of pain,” but then taking time to celebrate the small wins along the way so that you can stay encouraged.

Bryan:

Yeah, absolutely. It’s funny, we talk about the pain of entrepreneurship and it’s not easy. When I work with people, a couple of the first questions when we figure out what their business model is, another top question is “What does your spouse think about this, not necessarily if they think it’s a good idea or bad idea, but are they supportive?” Because you’re going to put so much time into this, if you really want to do it right, you’re going to devote a lot of your free time into getting your business off the ground, and you really need the support of your spouse or your partner to make sure that you’ve got one less concern. And so, yeah, that’s always an early question. I’ve heard some really crazy responses to that, I don’t think they’re in business still, but you have to have that support.

Jeremy:

Well, you know full well what that’s like, right?

Bryan:

Yeah.

Jeremy:

You and Mrs. Shaw –

Bryan:

Yes.

Jeremy:

With her side ventures, right?

Bryan:

Yeah. I look back and I think, for me, it was almost entrepreneurship out of necessity, and for her, it was entrepreneurship by accident. She made some cookies, posted a picture on Facebook, and then it just exploded from there and she wasn’t really trying to set out and sell cookies; so for a side business, really it was all run for a side business. So it was fun, it was fun watching her followers explode on social media and stuff like that. But it’s still very time-consuming and very difficult, now she doesn’t do it anymore, she just walked away from it because of the time; yeah, it was profitable, but you weigh that, “Am I going to spend all my free time on this, or not?”

Jeremy:

You want to tell everybody what it is that she does in her full-time role?

Bryan:

She’s a nurse. She’s an oncology nurse.

Jeremy:

Yeah, I find it interesting how she found her talent.

Bryan:

Oh my gosh. She was in her mid-30s and we went to a high school art show, and she got just a moment of inspiration for her. She came home and she’s like, “The drawings and the paintings were awesome, I just feel like I could do something like that,” so she sat down, she bought some colored pencils, started drawing, and it just got so good really quick. And so she got commissioned to do a couple drawings of people’s pets, we’ve got pictures of her stuff around the house that I’m just super impressed with; if you saw it, it would be like, “Oh, wow,” and she had just started that. So then she took her newfound skillset in art and translated that over into cookies, and the cookies also looked really good and they tasted good, too.

Jeremy:

Yeah, I had some of them, they are good. I think a point to take away from that is many of us may have these dormant skills that are inside of us that unless we are emboldened to try something new, to suck at something new for a bit, to go try something new, we may not realize that we’re actually good at something. So she found this skill that she had inside of her, turned it into commissioned art, then turned it into a cookie business.

Bryan:

Yes.

Jeremy:

And she didn’t do that as a child, this was as a young lady still, it was as a full-on adult she found that she had these skills inside, so I think that’s something that listeners should be encouraged by, right?

Bryan:

Oh, absolutely. That goes back to when I talk with people about business ideas that they have, make sure you’re good. Gosh, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the app question, “I want to create an app.” Have you tried to code? If you can’t code, then you’re going to need a lot of money because people aren’t going to build it for free. So figure out what you’re really good at, and then master that subject, and if that is something is translatable into business, then you’ll be happy doing it, or happier doing it than trying to learn a new skill set to create a business.

Jeremy:

Yeah, with the grind that entrepreneurship is, finding something that you’re passionate about and you’re actually good at is pretty important.

Bryan:

Yeah.

Jeremy:

Let’s talk about the grind a little bit more and what that’s like. When have you felt like giving up? You think about your own entrepreneurial journey, and even as someone who works to support and empower entrepreneurs, when have you felt like giving up and why did you not? Why did you not give up, why did you persist?

Bryan:

Giving up is something that, if you’re doing this, it will come across the front of your mind several times, and it does, it happens a lot, only for a few minutes though. It’s like, “You know what? No, I’m a little bit more determined than that. I’m not ready to quit. I know I can do it.”

It’s like golf, the first time you go play golf, you ever swing a golf club, you might miss and miss and miss, but that one time you hit it exactly the way it should be hit, you hit it flush, it’s a perfect shot, it went where you were aiming, then it’s like, “Well I can do that, why can’t I do it again?” And then it’s that, “Why can I not do this again?” And then it’s persistence, it’s like, “Well I’m going to keep trying,” and I keep trying. So I look at it in the same way: I’ve done it once, it worked, why can’t I do it again? And figure out what you did wrong, always look back on mistakes, figure out what you could do to avoid them or to minimize them, and try not to do it again.

Jeremy:

Good. I hear a couple of things in there, I hear the recognition that growth is going to have to occur, you’re not going to start out being amazing at anything that you do; celebrating, again, the small victories along the way, and getting reinvigorated, getting excited again about why it is that you started, and just recognizing that it is actually a journey.

Bryan:

Yes, it is a journey. Not always smooth sailing.

Jeremy:

Unfortunately. Think about your journey, this journey that you’re on, when do you feel like you’ve succeeded? What is that going to look like or sound like or feel like, or do you think you’ll ever reach that?

Bryan:

I’m very critical of my own work, and people may not know it, but when I look at things I do, I’ll look back, people might be completely happy with the work I’ve done, but, to me, I’ll look at it and I’ll tear it apart, I’ll be like, “I could have done this a little bit different,” it’s like a search for perfection. And I don’t know that you ever reach that. So feeling like I’ve succeeded in my work, little victories, I mean there’s things there when I feel like I’ve succeeded at that moment or in that particular goal, but, overall, I don’t know that I’ll ever feel like I really succeeded. I might, but I haven’t done it yet.

Jeremy:

Keep plugging.

Bryan:

Yeah, I guess if I’m sitting on a boat in the middle of the Great Blue and it’s my own boat, and I’m supposed to be there, I don’t know. But, no, I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel like I succeeded, just because it’s a pursuit of perfection, I suppose.

Jeremy:

So back to that concept of the journey.

Bryan:

Yeah.

Jeremy:

So with the fact that it’s this constant, ongoing thing, this grind that we’ve talked about, and you’ve got all the peaks and valleys, the hurdles to overcome, where do you go to get away from it, the grind that is being an entrepreneur, and being someone who works with and supports entrepreneurs, so where do you go to rest and relax and fill your pitcher and get reinvigorated, where do you go, what do you do?

Bryan:

Well, if I have the opportunity to golf, I love to play golf; it’s a huge distraction from everything else. I don’t take it too seriously, I know I’ll never get paid to play, but to me, that’s not what it’s there for, there’s a lot of lessons you can learn in playing golf, a lot of humbling lessons, and you can translate those into life. That’s one thing. The other one, when I’m in my car, a lot of times I might play classical music, I might play some other types of music, it just depends. I find distractions that I can use to help me unwind and just not focus on stuff I’ve been focusing on all day.

Jeremy:

I’ve noticed that you and Mrs. Shaw like outdoor stuff, too, I’ve seen pictures of you kayaking and what have you, so does nature play a role in that for you?

Bryan:

You know what? I like to get outside, love the sunlight and the warm air. Winter sucks. I mean it has it’s moments. I like to snowboard, so it’s not terrible. I really like traveling, we go back and forth between Pittsburgh a lot. I’ve had opportunities to go out West and love Denver, San Francisco, parts of California are nice. So there’s always something I can find to distract me and just really take my mind off of things that worry me, I guess, or weigh on me.

Jeremy:

Got it. With the need to get away and relax and just chill-out for a bit, you and I have talked about this before, too, the need to be both a student and a teacher as we work to support entrepreneurs, we have to continue our own professional and personal development. So what do you do and where do you go for your own personal and professional development? What does that look like?

Bryan:

Well, there’s a couple people I follow on Twitter, Pat Riley with GAN, he’s out of Denver, he’s CEO of GAN, they’re a program that supports accelerators.

Jeremy:

Can you say what is GAN?

Bryan:

It’s Global Accelerator Network. Gosh, I hope I don’t butcher it, but they reach out to big corporate entities and create partnerships so that startups and founders can have support through either discounted or free services to help them launch their businesses. They also have a funding arm as well, through venture capitalists. But that’s someone I follow, he always has some really good articles that he shares that are entrepreneurial-related. Also, I have my own hobbies that I like to follow. I like the challenge of coding. I obviously don’t do it for a living, but it’s problem-solving for me, and sometimes that’s a distraction from other things, too, trying to figure out how to make this form work or this math equation work. I enjoy that, I enjoy that aspect of it. That’s just a couple things. But I’m always reading, I don’t read books as much as I read articles.

Jeremy:

Short bursts here and there?

Bryan:

Yeah, and it’s constant.

Jeremy:

And it sounds like you enjoy learning about things that are maybe outside of what it is that you do every day.

Bryan:

Oh my gosh, yes, there’s a great deal of random, sometimes what people might think of useless knowledge, but it comes up. One of the things that I tell our kids about, the importance of that, is your network is going to be very important to you as you get older. The people you’re hanging out with now in high school, enjoy it, but odds are you may not see more than two or three of them after. Your network is going to be very important to you as you maybe want to change jobs or grow your career. And, for me, it’s always been helpful knowing a little bit about something because it helps you be relatable to people. You may not have a deep-down interest in repairing a lawnmower, but knowing a little bit about that can help you when you’re talking to someone who owns a lawnmower repair shop. So that relatability, it creates that rapport, it develops that trust, and helps the flow of conversations. So that’s a reason I like to do that as well. But really it’s just interesting, too.

Jeremy:

I think it’s good stuff. So learning about things that don’t necessarily relate to what it is that you’re working on at the moment so that you can be more relatable in networking situations, but also, and you and I have talked about this before, how these seemingly random things help to inform the thing that we’re actually working on somehow, we’re able to take and learn some kind of lesson that applies.

Bryan:

Yeah, very true.

Jeremy:

I know some of the things that you’ve done in the past because you and I have had the opportunity to do them together. Whether it’s working with high school kids and teaching them about entrepreneurship across the state, or now in your work, in the coalfields, working in entrepreneurship there. So in thinking about supporting entrepreneurship across the state, and then more specifically in the region where you’re working now, why should people care about this work that you do and the population that you are serving?

Bryan:

We have to do something. It’s funny, Mrs. Shaw will always say, “Do something, even if it’s wrong,” and I kind of correct her, I’m like, “Don’t do it if it’s wrong,” but her point about that is to do something, not just sit there and just sit there and be paralyzed with that. The reason I think it’s important, we’ve got an aging population, the younger people are leaving. If we don’t do something, we’re going to be a retirement state that has very little. You’re just not going to have a lot of younger people here, a lot of business professionals here, we’re just getting older, we’re going to be retiring in the next 10, 15 years, and who’s going to be left here to work? Who’s going to be left here to take the state from where it’s at now? And the opportunities down here are tremendous in tourism. If you look around, you’ve got your Gatlinburg and your Asheville, things like that. These other towns who have taken the arts or the outdoors and created a place that people travel to, which then creates other businesses and by doing so then you’ve got families and you’ve got more kids in schools. So I think that opportunity is here, and what I’m hoping to help change.

Jeremy:

Yeah. Years ago, someone shared with me this leader’s creed, and I won’t get into all of it, but a part of it was “As a leader, you have to ask yourself, ‘If not me, then who? And if not now, then when?’” And it sounds like that’s what you’re talking about there, and what Mrs. Shaw is referring to is someone’s got to get up and go do something because nothing changes until something changes, and it takes someone to spur that change.

Bryan:

Yep, I think you’re right on.

Jeremy:

The work you’re doing is appreciated, whether everybody knows about it or not. Thinking about your story, both as an entrepreneur, as someone in corporate, now working in this dual role of both entrepreneur and empowerer of entrepreneurs, we’re going to have people listening to this show that are would-be entrepreneurs, current entrepreneurs, maybe they’re working in the entrepreneurial space in the support fashion. Why should listeners be encouraged by your story? What should they pull away from your story, the story of Bryan Shaw, Renaissance man?

Bryan:

When I went to college, I was majoring in criminal justice, actually, had zero interest in business or interest, really, in entrepreneurship. It wasn’t until much later in life that I figured out this is something I’m actually pretty good at, from what I hear, and what I enjoy, and so that’s what I identified, I guess, with myself, something I wanted to do.

Really you just don’t want to quit; you just keep trying. Just get up the next day, and, yeah, today it may have been a rough day for business reasons or for personal reasons or whatever, but there’s tomorrow, and tomorrow can be a better day. So if I want people to know anything about me, it’s just that you just don’t quit, you keep at it, you keep trying, you figure out what didn’t work the first time and you try not to repeat that, and you make the changes and you move forward.

Jeremy:

What are some of the areas, talk about some of the failures you’ve had in your life if that’s a theme that people should reflect on. Get up, go do something, make a mistake, learn from it and move on. How have you failed in your life and what kind of wisdom have you been able to glean from that as you reflect back on those situations?

Bryan:

Well, the first business, actually I was trying to do marketing and website consulting, and what I learned was I’m in the wrong market to do that. I was trying to establish myself and work with small businesses. Small businesses don’t always have the extra capital to pay for that type of work, even if they need it and want it, they just don’t have the money for it, so I really didn’t identify who I was going to go after, I really didn’t put my plans together the right way, I just didn’t have a product for the market that was here. That may have worked better in a larger market, like a Charlotte or a Cincinnati or a Pittsburgh, I may have had a better opportunity to do that, but you have to identify where you’re at and who you’re trying to reach, and I didn’t really do that, I just jumped into it without doing as much research as I should have done.

Jeremy:

Do you think that those lessons have been applied as you’ve moved forward with Hill Tree?

Bryan:

Oh my, yeah. I didn’t do any pop-ups with that, but with this, with Hill Tree, we were at a little folk-life store, a little arts and crafts store, giving away coffee, asking people what they thought about it, what about the packaging, what about the price points, this market research that you really should do when you’re getting ready to launch any kind of product or business or any kind of service. You may not have to do it as a pop-up, but you got to look and talk to people who might be buying your product, or at least figure out who’s going to buy it.

We thought there was a certain segment of people who would buy our coffee, and that’s who we thought we were going to focus on earlier, but now, two years into it, we find that actually women – we were thinking of the hipsters and the people who like to go camping and things like that would be our big market, that’s going to be our big customer base, and that’s not it at all. That’s a small portion of it, but for the most part, it’s women. And when you’d start doing more research into that, you find that women are like 60, 65% of the coffee, I think, last time I checked, across the United States, it’s purchased by women. So getting out and doing the research is super important. If we would have found that people weren’t buying the coffee when we were doing pop-ups, we would have stopped; if people didn’t want it, if people didn’t like it, then we wouldn’t have invested money into it. Rather than investing a ton of money and then trying to find a market, you got to do it the other way around, you have to find out who you’re going to be selling to, first, and if they want to pay for it before you start putting in a lot of money.

I’ve seen a lot of people make that mistake, they’ll put all their money into their business to get it started, and then they’ll try to go to the bank because they need more money. Well, they need more money because they went out of order, or they need money because they don’t have all the customers that they thought they would have and they need more runway money. You just have to really, really understand who you’re selling to.

Jeremy:

Got it. So I heard a couple things in there that I think are important to highlight, one is taking lessons of the past and applying them as you move forward in the future with either the same venture as you continue on or with a new venture that comes later on. I heard you talking about trying things in small doses, some more of that lean startup concept of failing fast, failing cheap, failing forward. And then the understanding that you need to constantly learn and continue to do research and dig into your market and continue to learn about your business, your business model and such, and continue to evolve it. Is that fair, those three things?

Bryan:

Yeah, absolutely. And we still do that every day. We’ve been in business now for two years. We’re still trying new stuff, trying to figure out if there’s a new way to get our coffee in front of people or if there’s a new way we should do the labeling so it’s easier for people to look at, or should we redo the site so the website’s easier, has a better flow to it. We’re always looking at it, trying to tweak it and make some changes that we can really maximize the business, so it’s a constant evolution.

Jeremy:

That’s good. I want to move towards wrapping up and just give you a second to share anything else that you’d like for listeners to know and any sort of lessons that you’d like to pass on. Anything that maybe has occurred to you as we’ve been talking today, any words of encouragement that you’d like to share with listeners.

Bryan:

Okay. You know what? The one thing I want people to know is when you’re trying to start a business, there are people out there who will help you, but you have to get out there and you have to find them, you have to go where those people gather. There isn’t always free money out there, and in most cases, there’s not, but you can offset the money that it’s going to cost you to start that business by taking advantage of some of the free services that are out there so that rather than having to pay for somebody to tell you how to set up your business license, you can go get that for free, and then you can take the money that you would have normally spent on that and put it back into other aspects of your business that you don’t have that you need to spend it on.

So to summarize this, you have to get out, you have to go where these people gather, you have to use your networks, and I mean how bad do you want it, really, when it comes down to it. You have to do a lot of legwork. There’s people out there that’ll help you, but you have to find them. That’s what really separates people who want to be entrepreneurs and who actually do it. 

There’s a lot of people I talk to that have a business idea, but they want somebody to do all the work for them; here’s this idea, let somebody do it, somebody give me money to do it, and I wish it worked that way because I’d have all kinds of businesses. But you have to really put the time into it, you really do, I can’t stress that enough, it’s not easy, it’s not for everybody, you have to want it and you have to really commit to it. You get what you put into it, really.

Jeremy:

That’s good. Well, I think this has been great and I appreciate you taking the time to consider these questions and share some raw, honest thoughts.

Bryan:

Super excited for the opportunity.

Jeremy:

Yeah, it’s good stuff. As we wrap-up, if listeners want to learn more about Hill Tree Roastery and the work that you’re doing at Southern, how can they do that?

Bryan:

Well, you can go to HillTreeRoastery.com and check out our website there, or you can reach out to me through Southern West Virginia Community and Tech College, by reaching out to the college and asking for me, the web addresses are way too long to rattle off. But, like I said, people are here to help, you have to really get out there and find them though.

Jeremy:

That’s good. We’ll make sure that we share your contact information for Hill Tree and for Southern as we publish this episode. With that, you survived, I appreciate you being on the show today, and for our listeners, we appreciate you tuning in today. We hope that you found something, one or two or maybe three things that you can take away and apply as you continue your journey. We will look forward to seeing you next time on the Heroes of Change podcast, but for now, that’s all we’ve got for you today. Thanks so much, stay encouraged and continue to be the change. We appreciate you. 

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Bryan Shaw
Bryan Shaw, MBA
Program Administrator for
Entrepreneurship and Business Coaching Center
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

Lifelong West Virginian, with a background in corporate marketing and product development. Discovered an interested in entrepreneurship and has since launched a consulting business, cofounded WV’s largest coworking space, developed WV’s first business accelerator and cofounded a coffee roasting company.

I am also the program administrator for the Entrepreneurship and Business Coaching Center at Southern WV Community and Technical College, helping local residents start and grow businesses that support the tourism generated by the Hatfield McCoy Trail Systems.

Outside of that, family, WVU sports and golf.

PO BOX 2900
Mount Gay, WV 25637
304-896-7314 (o)
304-687-7908 (c)

Hill Tree Roastery
https://hilltreeroastery.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HillTreeRoastery