In speaking with Wayne “Butch” Gilliam of West Texas Investors Club during the 2016 edition of 36|86, it was not all whiskey and honky tonk- although those topics were definitely breached. He spoke of Southeastern pride, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the importance of relationships in business. We learned quite a few things. The most important? Reward is not simply commas in the bank account or having your name featured in an array of print- it is taking a project from concept to completion and bootstrapping your way through years of entrepreneurship. Butch and his partner Rooster are trailblazers and proponents for doing business “the old-fashioned way.” Here are just a few of Butch’s insights captured from his sit down with the 36|86 Relationary podcast team.
What is your primary message to the attendees of 36|86?
“Our message is always this: dedicate yourself and stay the course- work hard, and do not expect to get rich overnight as an entrepreneur. Do things the old fashioned way, and keep your integrity high. We continue to preach to people to not focus so much on getting rich, but to try and do a good job day to day and see how it turns out.”
What is some advice that you share most frequently that founders don’t always take?
“What Rooster and I have seen over and over again is that people get so obsessed with their product becoming successful that they are so emotionally wrapped in whatever it is that they are trying to do that they don’t see red flags. They just won’t accept that there are problems with their product or idea. So, Rooster and I look from the outside-in and move away some of that gray area and help them see the problems in their business and hopefully work to straighten them out.”
We talked with a startup right before you joined us and they said that when it comes to raising capital the two most important things are relationships and traction. As an investor what is one thing that you look for consistently with the companies who you meet with or want you to invest?
“You mention relationships- they really are paramount. They’re crucial. Rooster and I have worked hard and done well for ourselves but we had help, man. Relationships are key. One entrepreneur told us that in business, relationships mean nothing and we were just like ‘can you believe this guy? Means nothing?’ Relationships are everything, brother. You have to have a good work ethic, you have to have a good business, but you also have to have people on your side.”
Do you want to network with bootstrapping investors like Butch and his partner Rooster? Hear from A-list speakers such as Steve Case and Sen. Bill Frist, MD, get the unique perspective of technology investors such as GE Ventures, and meet your fill of hot chicken, whiskey, and honky tonks! Make sure to buy your early bird ticket now for the 2017 edition of 36|86 In Nashville Tennessee from June 4th through 7th. Use discount code Blog3686 to receive $20 off registration.
You can listen to the full 36|86 interview with Butch of West Texas Investors Club here.