Scott Wilson, along with his family, own and operate Full Quiver Farm in Suffolk, Virginia. They have pasture raised chicken, eggs, pork, and beef. They sell direct to customers and at local farmers markets and other delivery points around the area. They have been helping me feed my dogs raw, which I have done since I got them, for four or five years since I found them and I'm so glad I did.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 035
One Sentence Business Plan – https://greatinternetmarketing.com/businessplan/
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Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
[02:25] Tom's introduction to Scott Wilson [03:08] All about Scott's farm [05:29] Leaving his corporate job [09:16] Planning before he left for the farm [12:30] Advice for people sitting in that cubicle [15:19] Getting screwed in business [17:01] Crazy farming story [20:11] The best and worst part of being a business owner [22:06] How Scott does the business of farming [25:27] Sponsor message [26:03] A typical day for Scott on the farm [31:03] How he stays motivated
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
KickStart Guide to Advertising and Promoting Your Website Online – https://greatinternetmarketing.com/promoteonline.htm
Full Quiver Farm – https://fullquiverfarm.com/
For Scott's Newsletter, scroll to bottom to “Keeping in Touch”
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One Sentence Business Plan – https://greatinternetmarketing.com/businessplan/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
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Episode 035 – Scott Wilson
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody it's Tom here with episode 35. We've got Scott Wilson today. He's the guy who pretty much told the corporate world to shove it and started a farm. Now those of you old enough to remember the TV show green acres. He kind of reminds me of that except his wife is a way better partner that Zsa Zsa Gabor ever was. And this guy is in demand. Oh my goodness. I had to wait a week to book him. And then he had to make an emergency Chicken Run or something. he had to change the time. This is the first time I got preempted by chickens. But that's OK because he's worth it.
[00:01:12] I hope you didn't miss Episode 34 where on my weekly training session. I went into the details of effective e-mail marketing and I told you why I don't recommend HTML our fancy graphic laden e-mails.
[00:01:27] All right the sponsor for this episode is the one sentence business plan. I'm actually going to give it to you in a moment. The e-book that I created explains how to implement the plan efficiently which I have done literally since I was doing entrepreneurial things since I was 10 years old.
[00:01:47] I mean I've used that my entire business life and all my businesses. So here it is. One sentence business plan I create quality products that people actually want at a reasonable price and I service the customer after the sale I mean if every company on earth would use that simple plan there'd be a lot better off I'll repeat it for you. I create quality products that people actually want at a reasonable price and I service the customer after the sale. So we'll have a link to this inexpensive e-book In the show notes at screwthecommute.com.
[00:02:26] All right let's get to the main event Scott Wilson along with his family own and operate full quiver farm in Suffolk Virginia. They have pasture raised chicken eggs pork and beef. They sell direct to customers and at local farmers markets and other delivery points around the area. They have been helping me feed my dogs raw which I have done since I got them for four or five years since I found them and I'm so glad I did. So Scott are you ready to screw. The commute. Tell them about what you're doing out there at the farm. It's really does remind me of Green Acres because I know you were a corporate guy.
[00:03:16] That's right. That's right. Yeah well we've been out here for about 15 years now. Like you said we raised livestock we use organic methods and we market our products all around the Hampton Roads area here in Virginia and we've been doing it as our sole source of income here for 10 years now. We love what we do. It's a little bit nutty but we like it.
[00:03:39] Well I did say that you and your family. And when I say family I mean family. This guy's got little ones. It's like a lineup of little ones bigger a little bit bigger Little Big all the way. And they're all part of the business. I remember coming out there one day and seeing the two little boys standing on some kind of crates to be high enough to wash eggs off.
[00:04:02] Yeah that's about right. I have nine children altogether. Two of them are married off and they're actually on their own entrepreneurial businesses now. Believe it or not they're both doing farming. They married farmers down in North Carolina. The others over in the western part of the state of Virginia here. So they're both doing well similar. Yes we're very happy about that. Yeah I actually have two grandchildren now too.
[00:04:38] That's great. Now you're gonna make them farmers. Yeah. I mean I think as soon as they're. I don't know six eight months old you could get them started.
[00:04:49] That's what we believe around here. Even a 3 year old can go collect eggs and you saw him up there on the crate washing eggs they may crack as many as they wash but they're participating.
[00:05:02] I tell you what I thought I was in a little house on the Prairie one time I'm out there and I'm looking at your big white. What's that thought. Great Pyrenees. Yes. It keeps the owls and stuff away from the chickens right. That's right. That's right. But I'm walking out the play with the dog and I see two of your little girls come in through carrying a basket looking like it was just a little house on the Prairie they had these little bonnets on.
[00:05:28] So tell us about You had a job. You were a corporate guy at one time. Tell us about that.
[00:05:38] Well it was back. I left my job at the end of the cubicle at the end of the day. about 2007. I was a certified instructor. I worked for Landmark Communications a well paying job. Had this nutty idea of starting a kind of organic type farm and farming with my family.
[00:06:00] And how did you get that idea. I mean you're sitting there with Adobe products you're working in a cubicle. How does one come up with that. I think I'm just going to be a farmer.
[00:06:12] Good question. Well we had in our minds that we want to do it at the time. She was doing some freelance work from home in the graphic design industry. Allison my wife. we really wanted to have some sort of family business where even younger children could be involved. And so I was putting my best efforts into my 50 60 hour a week job. And my kids would get my leftovers on the weekends you know and I really wanted to be with them more and also be able to participate in some of the schooling that they were going through in our home school so we kind of started researching different types of businesses and I happened to read a book called You Can Farm and is actually by Virginia farmer Joel Salatin.
[00:07:10] And as I tell people that book messed me up. Of Course everyone thought I was crazy leaving this a decent job. We were having one of those sit down meetings with my boss and she would say you know okay Scott we're going to make a lot of money for the company how are we going to you know one of those yearly meetings of power to do so much better this next year. And I was like OK I've got to tell her because I'm gonna get really close to leaving. And I said well actually kind of have a entrepreneurial endeavor in mind. And actually it went a lot better than I thought it would.
[00:07:58] They thought you're crazy. They said get rid of him before he goes on disability.
[00:08:07] But at any rate you know that I was able to kind of wean off. And they said well you know how can we you know help you make the transition. It was actually a real relief if you will because I was pretty timid about the whole thing. I had never started a business before.
[00:08:22] And not to mention one with the kind of complexity and live animals and health regulations.
[00:08:28] You're exactly right. But anyway it was into 2007 came home and we've been doing it ever since. And it's our sole source of income. We enjoy it. I mean it's hard work. I won't kid ya.
[00:08:41] I've seen the whole operation. I can't believe it.
[00:08:47] Forget about nine to five it's you know as long as the sun is up pretty much.
[00:08:51] Yeah and probably when the sun's down there's stuff to do. So yeah I've seen you have multiple locations where you deliver on the weekends. I mean I'm kind of thanking God for that because I love coming out to your farm. But it's kind of way out there from where I live but it was worth it because the stuff was just excellent. Never had anything bad ever come from your place so that was great. But how much did you plan before you left. Sock some money away. I mean how did you know you were going to make your bills.
[00:09:23] Well it's a good question. What we did what I was able to do Tom is we actually bought the farm moved out to it in 03 and so I worked for basically about four or five years. To kind of subsidize getting things off the ground. I think after that long term was our goal of doing it full time.
[00:09:48] We got about 25 acres and I have two rental farms probably all in all about 50 60 acres between our acreage and the rental farms that we're that we've got going.
[00:10:01] Everything you say, Scott. I mean you know I come from a comic background I keep thinking you have a rental farm you have to go collect the rent off the cows did they sign a lease.
[00:10:15] Well it's a rental Farm is there are a lot of folks from the city who move out to the country because they want to you know look out at their beautiful green pastures but they don't want to farm. And in order for them to keep their low tax bracket they can have other farmers farm their land for them. So it's generally a fairly low rental fee but we agree on a certain fee per acre and then we pretty much go and farm their land.
[00:10:46] Oh that's great. So for them they get a tax break for helping farmers are just there in a lower taxed area.
[00:10:55] At least the way it works in our city is the tax rate is significantly lower than a residential fee. So for instance if someone is living out on say a 60 acre farm and they have a house on that farm then they are going to be paying and they're not doing any farming. They're going to be paying residential taxes on that 60 acres whereas if they're farming say 59 acres and their house is on one acre they're paying residential taxes on one acre agricultural tax bracket on the other 59 and that's perhaps as low as a tenth of what the residential tax is so it's a significant savings. At the same time of course we're paying them rent. But it's not so significant. It really helps us because it allows us to have some cattle out there. Also some of our free range chickens laying eggs over there and so we've got it's only four and a half miles away. So it's an easy commute.
[00:11:58] Did you have to have another set of dogs out there to protect the chickens.
[00:12:02] I've got right now four Great Pyrenees and they kind of travel back and forth since we're out there daily we can take them and drop them off or pick them up as needed.
[00:12:11] And there are the sweetest dogs they're enormous like a horse. I mean apparently what they scare the owls and the FOX.
[00:12:18] Oh yeah they're super friendly to people but they are spot on as far as they see a fox or they see a possum you know and they'll go after it.
[00:12:31] What advice would you have for people who sit in that cubicle and are thinking about starting a business not a farm maybe going to jump on that idea. But just in general start a business. You said you plan for several years right.
[00:12:48] Yes I did. And during that time of course Tom I didn't know about you and your great resources but I was seeking out everything about entrepreneurism and other things and there's one I think it was a tape of a seminar or something that I listened to and I remember one phrase from the guy and he said it's easy to make money in America.
[00:13:12] And I don't know something about that it's like well yeah I mean if this guy can do it I guess that was my biggest encouragement to actually take the jump take the leap if you will leap of faith if you will.
[00:13:26] Well it is kind of true. This is the easiest country in the world to start a business. I mean you could just start it and fill out a Schedule C on your personal taxes. You're in business. Commercial checking account and a lot of people don't even do that right off the bat. So it may be easy to start a business. I'm not sure how easy it is to make money.
[00:13:48] You've got to be doing the right thing. Like you say providing a quality product for something that people want. And in our case there are more and more people are turning up their nose at what the supermarket offers and really want something local and want to have kind of a relationship with their farmer and also a knowledge that that food is being raised. You know the animals are being treated in a humane way. And also they want to know that you know it's not full of pesticides and all the other bad stuff.
[00:14:22] The commercial food people aren't thrilled about this you just went through a big battle in the capital right.
[00:14:28] That's true yes. We had some issues.
[00:14:31] I'm saying this was a law to try to squeeze people like you from this is not you saying this, this is me saying this it looks like the commercial establishment was trying to squeeze the little guys because it's hurting their business.
[00:14:47] There's no doubt there's no doubt. And there are you know they've got the high paid lobbyists. And so we just kind of band together a bunch of people but we we kind of flooded the state capitol and and get that particular legislation stopped. Well I think it scared all those button down suit people when you showed up with the goats and cows.
[00:15:09] Somebody actually had that idea but Nobody got the guts to let a cow up.
[00:15:19] So have you ever gotten screwed in business.
[00:15:21] You know that's a good question. I've definitely had my share of dealing with unreasonable people. And I would say there are some actually some competitors I have out there who I would think are kind of out to get me really my positive spin on that question is as far as competition goes. And I may be turning it a little bit but I think for me it's been a healthy thing even though it's uncomfortable sometimes because it gets me thinking out of my comfort zone and gets my creative juices going. And I can attribute a number of things to just my response to various competition that's been coming in trying to squeeze us out of some different areas and such.
[00:16:06] I'm not gonna call them and tell them to start making videotapes that forces you to do it. I'm never going to let this die. My God all the knowledge these stupid city folks don't know. I mean I don't really know how this chicken thing works. No never from you but from other people. I got it. I opened up the egg. There was like a body in there. It was like oh my god are you kidding me the dogs like this. But I was like I mean what happened there.
[00:16:43] If that happened there must have been a fertilized egg that wound up developing in there or something.
[00:16:49] You should paint them different colors so you know.
[00:17:02] So anything crazy I mean has to be crazy funny bizarre happen Working a farm.
[00:17:09] Oh we've got all kinds of things. Probably one of the funniest was you know we use electric fence to keep our cows in. And that's just a wire that has a little spark and it's kind of like a static. And so anyway they can't really touch it with skin or even fur without getting you know a little zap there. Well we had this cow and she discovered that with her horns they're actually a good insulator and so she figured out how to unhook electric fence gate.
[00:17:49] A cow has horns? I've thought that would be a bull if they had horns.
[00:17:59] Well it's not so much a male female thing it's a breed thing.
[00:18:05] This one and horns and she figured out that she could actually unhook and unlatch the gate and she'd go over there she couldn't do it right away she'd have to kind of just get a wiggle her head back and forth or whatever and she'd open up that gate of course head right for the neighbor's. So she liked to go scratch on them and of course the whole you know the whole rest of the dairy cows go following behind her neighbor wasn't very happy that we trimmed his Crepe Myrtles right. Well it's funny because the cows kept getting out we're like what's going on here. So finally Katie like hid behind me yeah my daughter who can go to outsmart these cows. And so there she saw her unlocking the gate she goes jumping out and the cows were running back in. But eventually we had to I don't know I think we did put a double fence so she couldn't get out But she was a hoot.
[00:19:13] How big are these. These are big how much do they weigh roughly.
[00:19:17] Yeah she probably weighed 800 pounds.
[00:19:28] It's funny because this cow her name was dancer. She basically would she she only had two speeds fast and stop. So she ran everywhere she went. And of course you know her udder hanging down flopping back and forth. She was quite a sight.
[00:19:52] I do remember the first time when I was a kid I saw a horse that was erect and thought oh my they got loose from some neighbor. Oh my God how does that horse run.
[00:20:04] Maybe a little disturbing there.
[00:20:11] So what's the best part about working yourself and what's the worst part.
[00:20:16] Well for me Tom I really enjoy working with my family. I mean that's kind of that was the goal right from the beginning and being in the work being able to work with people I love is really rewarding.
[00:20:30] I wouldn't trade it for anything. And then what's the worst part. That's a good question. I would say being a business owner the buck stops at you from most of us. There's no insurance policy against bad decisions. So you'd better be a good learner and a fast learner.
[00:20:51] And we can't float a bond like a city that messes up would do.
[00:20:57] Exactly. And then the other issue that's a challenge is it just seems like on the farm everything's always broken and tools were always left in some other spot In order to fix everything you know. Not only do you have to stop your work but you have to go find your tools. But you know it's all worth it. I think working for yourself is one of the people asked me you know are you trying to turn all your kids into farmers and you know that's not really my goal but one of my goals is that I did I really do want all my kids to be entrepreneurs because I think the quality of life and the ability to set your own goals and to set your own agendas and to basically answer to yourself is really something this rewarding.
[00:21:56] Well you know when they're old enough they're always welcome in any of my classes you know on me because God I love your whole family your business. Tell everybody about your Web site and how you distribute. I go now I go pick up stuff at local markets on the weekends. They happen to be in the Hampton Roads area. How could they get some of your good stuff.
[00:22:25] I appreciate that yeah. We've got a website the Web site is fullquiverfarm.com. And so basically we've got all of our products are available on our Web site. You can preorder we call it preordering because we go to the Hampton Boulevard Farmer's Market in Norfolk on Wednesdays. There is one in Virginia Beach out near you Tom The King's Grant farmer's market on Thursday. it's every other Thursday during the warm season calendar year then we have the old beach Farmer's Market which is in Virginia Beach. And then we have the Shore Drive farmers. Yes and that's on Saturday mornings as well.
[00:23:31] So you got to have a big family to cover all these places. You don't ever hire employees right. To cover all these different places at once.
[00:23:43] All Family. Occasionally we have some friends help us but mostly it's family. But you know my two older girls are now married and my son is actually in school now so we're starting to lose my work crew.
[00:23:59] You need to get some more kids. You know all about fertilization and hatching and all that stuff. there's lots of places in the Hampton Roads area and the farm is open on Saturday mornings right.
[00:24:25] Well we advertise Fridays and Saturdays. And then we have also some other delivery points in Norfolk and Chesapeake. There are more delivery drop off locations.
[00:24:36] Once in a while I do love coming down there because you've got little calves in little pens. There's rabbits running around and cats. You look over there's like a tsunami of chickens coming at you. You know hundreds and hundreds. They never saw such a thing.
[00:24:54] Well we love people to come out we pretty much have an open invitation for people to come out bring the kids and give a little self guided tour around.
[00:25:02] It's a wholesome thing with all the crap out there now. Kids are just losing their eyesight doing videogames. This is a whole different thing that's really really good for kids.
[00:25:14] Oh yeah. They love coming out. We're happy to have them.
[00:25:18] All right so we got a brief message from our sponsor when we come back we're going to see what a typical day is like for Scott. I'm almost afraid to ask. Find out so hey folks business is tough enough without complicated business plans that are obsolete before you can even implement. I've been living with a simple one sentence business plan and every one of my companies has lived by it for over 40 years. I want you to operate by the same simple plan and I've written an inexpensive ebook to show you how to implement it. You can check it out at greatInternetMarketing.com/businessplan and we'll have that in the show notes.
[00:26:04] all right. We're back with Scott Wilson The Greenacres personified. And Scott what does a typical day look like for you. Keeping in mind today I got preempted from chickens.
[00:26:18] This morning I had to go pick up 150 laying chickens in Richmond.
[00:26:24] You should quit getting lazy ones that are just laying around make them walk.
[00:26:33] Well let's see Tom. Yesterday we got up around 6:00 a.m. we all get up together because we're working as a team up.
[00:26:41] And you just never hear that families never are always all over the place. That's really nice.
[00:26:47] So we're kind of trying to stick together and we get ourselves a cup of coffee and we have a quick little Bible time in the morning and then it's out the door to chores that means milking 10 cows and rotating around you know about 2000 chickens around in the fields.
[00:27:04] And what does about me rotating around like they run around them pretty good.
[00:27:08] That's a good question. Most chickens are in this country are raised in big metal buildings. Walking around out on their own fecal material. But what we do is we want to have them outside. If you leave the chickens in the same place outside they're just going to destroy all the grass and we'll be walking around in mud and poop up to their eyeballs. So basically what we do is each day we're rotating them all of their shelters are portable and we can hook those up to a tractor and then just drag them kind of up one notch. It's kind of like a really slow lawnmower and it's once a day.
[00:27:52] And so basically they're traveling across the field and you know spreading their manure rotating to fresh pastures something fresh for them to eat. And at the same time we're not having to run manure spreaders and having big piles of manure around stinking up the place.
[00:28:12] I bet those chickens are talking to each other man we're like gypsies. We never know where we'll be next.
[00:28:22] We also have hogs out in the woods. They're susceptible to heat so we keep them in the shade and that keeps them shaded and we can go back and check on them. Next time you can go back there.
[00:28:45] Yeah we keep them back in the woods and they also rotate periodically. Then we're back inside for breakfast. And then yesterday we processed 150 birds. And that means basically slaughter process cleaning cutting back packaging.
[00:29:08] Most kids nowadays could not do that.
[00:29:17] So then in the afternoon we go and we collect eggs on a typical day it might be around 850 eggs from the field and those are all washed and boxed and inspected.
[00:29:30] Oh you mean they drop right on the ground.
[00:29:33] Well no we have shelters that we have out in the field have nest boxes in them and a chicken normally we'll want to go into the little box and lay your eggs in them so they'll do that. Now if you lay on the ground and we don't like that but will we try to.
[00:29:51] Well there's still edible I mean there's nothing wrong with it right.
[00:29:54] Oh no. Yeah it's just nicer to have it in the nest box. And so that takes us kind of to the end of the day or actually I'd say late afternoon. And we did take a quick swim in the pool to cool off. Yesterday was about 101 degrees. We have one just behind the house. That was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Just because you get really hot and it's nice to cool off and then we got to milk the cows one more time before bed. We do have a milk machine. Oh yeah. And clean it up and all that stuff so. So yeah that was our yesterday anyway.
[00:30:45] That sounds like so much fun for an Internet guy sitting here all day. Never breaking a sweat.
[00:30:54] I kind of used to be a cave dweller you know and sitting there looking at the screen all the time and. And so it's been good therapy for me.
[00:31:04] How do you stay motivated with this. Seems like a very routine has to be done. You can't just say oh well let's take off for a couple of weeks and see what happens. You're really tied to this operation.
[00:31:18] Yeah that's a good question because there's you know a lot of times there's not really time to think about being motivated you're so busy just trying to keep up. I would say for me personally I'm a person of faith and so that faith is what ultimately motivates me. But the other thing is that my wife and I both are ideas people so we really like to say well what if we tried this or what if we tried that. It's almost like we like to start something new part almost more than the keeping it going.
[00:31:56] I get that. Yeah that was more fun.
[00:32:01] One of the things that we've done recently that was kind of a new and you've seen this and you've come out to our farmers markets is we have a grill that we take out and we grill up our meat.
[00:32:16] That's right. And we sell those and that gives people a taste and you know not everybody comes to the market expecting to buy meat and they might not have their cooler with them or whatever. And some people just browse around a farmers market might want something to eat. So we have the grill there and then they taste our sausage or we'll get maybe a breakfast sandwich or something and they really like it. And then Now I've got them hooked on our sausage.
[00:32:40] It works because I took my neighbor with me one day and I bought him one of those and he said oh this is great. He bought some right there and they've been so nice to me on holidays. Invite me over stuff. Last week I bought three packages I just gave them to them. But if we didn't ever taste them you know I'm not much of a cook. I'd never do much of anything. So it wouldn't ever happen if you hadn't had that available.
[00:33:06] Yeah and we've really noticed a symbiosis that it really complements what we do as far as selling our meats and so that was one new almost subcategory of business that we recently launched. But yeah I think you know you need to keep in that mindset. It is possible to get stale if you're not careful. So it's important to keep rethinking and keep making things more efficient and dropping things that don't work and emphasizing things that do work. And all those things.
[00:33:41] Those are great great tips for our screwballs. Because what you just said applies to any kind of business you just stagnate your competitors will pass you up you'll miss opportunities. So it's great that you're keeping That mindset. So how do people reach you if they want to ask questions or make sure you're open or to see if you have certain products how they reach you.
[00:34:03] Yes. And feel free to e-mail me at Scott.Wilson@fullquiverfarm.com. We'll have that in the show notes.
[00:34:19] Yes. And if you get that e-mail you can just go to fullquiverFarm.com and we've got all the contact information there. Also wanted to mention we do have an e-mail newsletter send out anywhere in the world they could get that and get some tips.
[00:34:33] All they have to do is get on our Web site and is that kind of at the bottom of every page there's a little link where you can it says keeping in touch. That's where maybe we'll get a fresh load of steaks back from the butcher or if we have some special going on. Everyone on our newsletter is the first to know about that. So that's a good way to keep in touch.
[00:34:55] So Scott thanks so much for taking the time out of your I don't know you're milking or whatever you're doing today. I think you like being on here because somebody else has to do all the milking and egg picking.
[00:35:13] Yeah yeah that's right. I can't do that. I'm marketing.
[00:35:20] Well thanks so much. This has been episode 35 with Scott Wilson good friend of mine. Excellent products excellent business person. Little bit crazy. I can't imagine me ever doing this because I kill everything that's green in my life. You know I try to grow plants and they're dead. Forget to water for a year and a half or so. Somehow they don't survive. But anyway check it out. Remember one sentence business plan ebook is at greatInternetMarketing.com/businessplan we'll have that in the show notes too and we'll see you on the next episode.
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