Neil Dudley: The Cowboy Perspective, well, it might be hard to define, but I guarantee if you’ll think about it, you’ve got one in mind. Whether you’re building a legacy, an empire, or a fan base, I bet when your friends look at you, they see some cowboy in your face. Y’all come along, let’s talk about this or that. Maybe when we’re done, you’ll go away with a different perspective to put under your hat.
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Hello, everybody, I want to say welcome back to the Cowboy Perspective. I appreciate you listening. I thank you so much for your attention as that’s a valuable commodity in the world today. If you’re spending some time listening to my podcast, I want you to know I intend to be providing you with value, and I expect you to expect that from me. If you think I am, if you feel like am, hey, give me a good review. If not, well, shoot me some critiques or what you think I could do better. That’s valuable to me, and I appreciate it. Anybody that spends the time to give me honest feedback, I just appreciate that so much. Well, this episode is with Matt McGee over on his podcast, Healthy Conversations. We got together, thanks to a good friend of mine, Mike Micallef. He had been on Healthy Conversations podcast. He kind of connected me and Matt. We want to get the word out about Bacon Bash Texas coming October 19th. And so, Matt’s audience is there in Fort Worth, which is within driving distance of our- at least, that’s where Matt’s home base is –his audience is probably nationwide. That’s the one cool thing about podcasts, could be even global. So, we talked about Bacon Bash and he was kind enough to let me have the audio so we could put it here on the Cowboy Perspective and give you guys a deeper insight into Bacon Bash Texas, Type I, keto, a lot of the things Matt and I covered on his podcast. I hope this provides you value, you enjoy it. And without further ado, hammer it down.
Matt Magee: Thanks for coming on.
Neil Dudley: Well, yeah, thanks for having me. I love this opportunity just to have a conversation with you and ultimately have a conversation with everybody that’s listening. So, thanks for having me. It’s exciting.
Matt Magee: Appreciate it. I think it would be interesting to tell the listeners about Bacon Festival, what you guys have been doing at Peterson’s, and a little bit about yourself. We can start there and see where it takes us.
Neil Dudley: Okay, cool. Well maybe the best place to start is myself. So, I was born and raised on a registered Hereford cattle operation. And my dream was I was going to be a rancher. Ended up going to school at Tech and graduating there and not knowing what I was going to do, I interviewed for a loan officer job, and then I got the opportunity to go to graduate school at Oklahoma State. So, I did that and really my only motivation for that was to rodeo some more. So, I was professional rodeo. So, I did that. And then, just to kind of speed the story up, I came back home, I go to work with my best friend and now I’m selling bacon for a living. So that’s where kind of the whole thing comes around. And I would just say if you’re 15 to 25 and you think you know what you’re going to be doing for a career, don’t rule anything out.
Matt Magee: I agree a hundred percent with that. What kind of rodeo stuff were you doing back then?
Neil Dudley: I was a calf roper, so I hauled my horse around and entered the rodeos. And the truth of it is I was a marginal calf roper. I managed to win enough money, so I could become a professional and say that, but I never did, let’s say, excel at it. Or I was really good in the practice pen, but I was not so great when it came down to, what do you say, when we’re separating the men from the boys, I kind of always seemed to end up in the boy’s camp.
Matt Magee: Yeah, I fall into that camp on a number of things. For somebody that’s never heard of the Bacon Bash, I think it’d be interesting to give us a couple minute overview of what that is, where it is, when it is type deal.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I think maybe the best way to do it is something like this: Suey! We’ve got bacon! That’s something you’ll hear a lot at Bacon Bash because it is all about bacon, beer, bands and raising money for Type I diabetes. In a couple of different ways, really three different ways, we help Type I diabetes, and then also another really close to our heart, a charity called Niki Warms the Cold. And I hope that for anybody listening, that didn’t blow their air drums out because I want them to hear the rest of this stuff. I want to kind of tell the story of where Bacon Bash came from. So, like I said, I’m a bacon salesman. At Peterson Natural Farms, we sell no nitrate, no sugar, humanely raised pigs, third party verified to be that. So, we have a certain, I think, responsibility to give back and do some things that help others. Making good bacon helps others, certainly. But how could we parlay that into more things that are good for other people? And the Bacon Bash idea was kind of born from some guys sitting around at a little bar in Cranfills Gap called the Horny Toad. And the guys were Kent Wenzel, Scott Cooney, Cody Lane, which is the president of Peterson’s, and Owen Carlson. So, to put all those people in perspective, Owen is, I guess, the founder with his wife of Niki Warms the Cold, which is one of the charities we support. Cody is the president of Peterson’s. Scott Cooney at the time was the VP of operations at Peterson’s. And Kent Wenzel is just kind of a mad scientist type guy. He runs a meat market there in Hamilton, and he does all kinds of stuff. He goes and sells a lot of his products at gun shows, even, really up here in the metroplex, really all over Texas. So, they’re sitting around just talking, and they said, well, we ought to throw a bacon party and raise some money for Niki Warms the Cold because we love Owen, and it’d be a good chance for Peterson’s and this group to do something for others. Turns out I was getting married about that time. My wife was coming to work, and she was running our marketing. And so, we mentioned it to her, and she just kind of then grabbed that ball and took running, and that’s in 2012. So, we had the first one in 2012. I think we had like 12 cook teams. And the premise of it is we get teams to come cook bacon dishes. We give them 15 pounds of bacon and the rules are make something. So, just dream it up, make it. We’ve had everything from praline bacon rum ice cream to bacon cheeseburgers, to a rack of lamb wrapped in bacon, to bacon whiskey with a bacon dipper. It’s just the innovative dishes that these backyard chefs, professional chefs, first time chefs do, it just makes the event so dynamic and a lot of fun. So that first one was in 2012. We had the 12 people. Now we’re I guess, rolling into this’ll be either the seventh or eighth annual Bacon Bash. It’s gone from about 250 people that first time, if that, to about 2,500 people now. And people like Jordan Speith have happened to be there. Your friend- We have a lot of businesspeople that come get involved, and we really couldn’t do it without them – the sponsors, the guys and gals that come bid on the auction items. I mean, that’s where we raise the money. So, I think we’re up to over $300,000 given to these charities over this time. Any of that making sense?
Matt Magee: Yeah, that settles that. Tell us a little bit about what is Niki Warms the Cold for somebody that’s never heard of it?
Neil Dudley: Sure. I was thinking about how could I plug the website for them, but I think you could probably just Google Niki Warms the Cold and get some more information. But what I know about it is, and what I have been involved with it is, they have a heart for the needy in our state, really in the world, but they have the most effect on those in the state. The story is Niki, which is Owen and Sandy’s daughter, accidentally passed away. And before that happened, she was going to school in Austin. And before that happened, she would just carry this stuff around in her car, and if she’d see a homeless person, she’d give them a coat or a blanket or toiletries. So, they kind of picked that up after that as a way to keep her memory alive and have every Thanksgiving Day go down to Austin and pass out coats, socks, gloves, crackers, all kinds of things. And I’ve been with them on a couple of those. And if you just really want to have that feeling of fulfillment from just doing something for somebody that can’t do it for themselves and see what that really does in their life, that I really encourage anybody to try to be a part of that. Even if it’s not with Niki Warms the Cold, just in your own personal. They do these things where they’ll just carry around these bags, we call them, Sandy calls them a special word, and I can’t think of it off the top of my head, kind of like a We Love You Bag or something like that.
Matt Magee: I’ve seen those.
Neil Dudley: You just see anybody, you just hand it to them. It has like a McDonald’s $15 meal card in there. So just anything that can kind of give somebody a “Hey, God loves you. We love you. Go have a good day today.” And you never know when that one gesture might pick somebody right up off the ground and get them back into really a life that is not nearly as downtrodden as what it might be when you’re sleeping out on benches and that kind of thing.
Matt Magee: And the other main cause around Type I diabetics is intertwined with somebody else within that group, or how did that kind of become one of the pillars of Bacon Bash?
Neil Dudley: Well, and just a quick tangent. Bacon Bash Texas is or has been at least mis-, I want to say, associated, mis-associated with another event called maybe Bacon Fest- Yeah, it’s Bacon Fest in Bandera, but somebody wrote about it and said Bacon Bash in Texas. So, a lot of people are getting confused that Bacon Bash Texas was associated with this Bacon Fest or Bacon Bash in Bandera and at which they take wild pigs, they turn them loose in a pen and they catch them and then they go kill ’em. And so, that’s not something that we do at Bacon Bash, certainly not something that you’re going to be witnessing if you come to Bacon Bash. So, tell your friends, anybody that tells you don’t come to Bacon Bash because we are cruel to animals, just make sure you let them know, well, you’re just confused because that’s not us.
Matt Magee: That is good to know.
Neil Dudley: So now back from the tangent, we want to talk about Type I diabetes and how that- So, Owen and Sandy with Niki Warms the Cold got it- Well, then they had a niece, her name was Lexi [Fenstad] – I always liked to bring their names up just because it’s all about them, their memory, what they meant to us and then so on and so on with those kids we’re helping now and into the future. It’s just about remembering them as well. So, Lexi had Type I, and she would go to this camp called Camp Sweeney. It’s up here in North Texas, I can’t remember exactly where, but anyways, you could Google Camp Sweeney. So, she would go there, and Niki Warms the Cold would kind of sponsor her or make sure she had the funds to go. And we thought, well, we’re making no sugar bacon, doesn’t that tie really well with Type I and that sugar is a really important piece of the Type I diabetics life to pay attention, and to kind of try to stay away from? So, this thing started kind of bubbling. And about the fourth year, bam, one of those years we hit like a hundred thousand dollars, what are we going to do with this? So, we started saying, well, let’s set up some parameters and what are some other things we can do? So, we give a percentage to Niki Warms the Cold, we take a percentage, and we provide scholarships for kiddos that might need continuous glucose monitoring systems. Dexcom makes one. There’s another company called Pumps It, but we will provide the money to them so they can get their insulin, so they can get the pump. And there’s a bit of an application that you have to go through to get that, but that’s a piece of it. And then we also provide scholarships and funds for people to go to camp to learn about, Hey, there’s other people that have type I diabetes, I’m not the only kid in the world that has to prick their finger and do this, so wow, I’m not alone. And that camp really spurs them on to a lot of times just having a community to be a part of and understand, hey, this Type I, yeah, it’s kind of this thing that I don’t like to have to deal with, but a lot of people deal with it, and you can find a lot of really successful people with Type I. And through this charity, we’ve met a lot of them. So, cause they’re all passionate about helping those. And then we take a little piece, and we just give it to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Matt Magee: Gotcha. For somebody that might not be in Texas or can’t make the Bacon Bash, where are they able to donate if they feel so inclined? Do they just go to the Bacon Bash website, or what’s the easiest way to go about doing that?
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I would say www.baconbashtexas.com. You can go on there and there’s a donate button. Now, we’re looking for teams. So, I mean, there’s one way to get involved, to become a team, and we pay pretty good. The first-place team will win $4,000 and it’s not all that hard. I keep waiting on somebody to do this. Nobody’s done it yet. And I always say it, so I don’t even feel bad about saying it – when as a team going to just cook a slice of bacon and turn that in? That’s you’re competition. Your kind of messing bacon up putting it with other stuff. But I think the teams are a huge part of the success of the event. So, I always like to kind of plug, hey, come be a part, be a team. It’s not that- We expect or we need our teams to kind of feed the people. That’s one of the most unique things about it is you can come, pay your $75 to get in, $50 if you buy an early ticket, and you’re in; you get to eat all these dishes from all these different teams, you go right up to the beer station and they just hand you a couple of beers. There’s no more money you’re going to have to shell out. Now, of course, we’re going to beg you to buy some [cars] – we are there to raise money. We’re going to ask you to go buy merch. We’re going to ask you to bid on auction items. But to just come experience and enjoy it and have good time, I don’t think there’s a better $75 or $50 spent. You’re going to get to hear some really great bands. I’m not sure if anybody’s familiar, if you guys are familiar with the Copper Chief, or not The Copper Chief, Copper Chief. They’ve been on a TV show recently. They’re a really good kind of Austin-based group. We have a bunch of other kind of local guys that are percolating. A few of the people that have been at Bacon Bash have gone on now and kind of signed record deals and are doing some pretty cool stuff.
Matt Magee: That’s awesome. So, Mike mentioned the keto diet is kind of wrapped up in this, or maybe you’re on the keto diet. Can you kind of explain how that ties into this whole deal and your take on that whole thing?
Neil Dudley: Yeah. Well, and let’s don’t slide past Mike much, because Mike Micallef, which you’ve had on your podcast, and for those of you who don’t know, the guy is just really an awesome person. So, he’s helped us out at Bacon Bash in a lot of ways, not the least of which is he’s a final table judge. So, he kind of sits up there, we bring the top 10 dishes to him and he puts his kind of stamp of approval on them. And then through that, we manage to pick the winner. And really everybody’s a winner, but only one person gets to take the big check home. And so, Mike is just a great champion for Bacon Bash, and we appreciate that so much, him introducing us and then me getting a chance to just get this out to your audience is just so valuable. Now so circle back to the keto diet or what that is, I don’t know how far we want to dive. How familiar are you with it? Do you know-?
Matt Magee: Yeah, I’ve got a pretty basic understanding. I mean, you’re essentially taking out carbs and sugar, correct?
Neil Dudley: Yeah. So, it’s ketogenic or running your body off of ketones instead of glucose. And I do abide by the keto diet, let’s say, and there’s I guess a million different levels. You’ll hear it out there or find it on social media – somebody says, “Well, I do dirty keto,” or “I do Whole30.” There’s kind of a lot of ways to get your body into ketosis. And really all that means is you have to keep the carbs and sugar away long enough that your body says, oh, I need fuel, I don’t have it, I’m going to start converting fat or using fat that you’re just eating. Really, it’s more about fat than anything – good quality fat – avocados, beef, rib-eyes, good proteins, good fat. You’ll see a lot of it as kind of an acronym as L-C-H-F, which is low carb, high fat. Well, that’s kind of the mantra for let’s say keto or that lifestyle. And to me, it just makes me feel good. If I’m running off of fat instead of glucose, I feel more alert. I feel more, I don’t know, just healthier.
Matt Magee: Just curious, how did you come across that? Or when did you kind of transfer over to that? Just because a lot of things you read online says it’s like a short-term diet or it’s like a do it for a month, kind of like the Whole30 deal. So, it sounds like you’re doing it full-time, so I was just curious.
Neil Dudley: Well, I should probably clarify that. I wouldn’t say that I’m full-time. And it’s really because I’m a sugar addict.
Matt Magee: I mean, you did have a candy wrapper in your hat.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. So, you think about addiction, I think we’re all addicted to one thing or another. And the severity of it is a lot of times misinterpreted. Maybe a heroin addict has a lot more effect in their life, or let’s just say kind of bad time effect from that addiction. But I would argue that being addicted to sugar is a lot the same, because I know it’s not good for me. I know I feel better when I’m eating a different way or if I’m paying attention to that, trying to – I don’t want to say abide by the rules – but just really abide by the rules of I want to feel as good as I can. And I will not have the willpower one day and I’ll get a pizza, and then the next day I’m like, oh yeah, well, I got one more day, I can get that bag of Skittles and then it’s just off the wagon. And that’s just addiction. That’s how addiction works, and it’s how our brains are screwed up. And everybody’s are that way. I always get so sad when people frown on any kind of addiction or that there’s something really wrong with those people. I think they’re just hypocritical because you’ve got one, too, yours just doesn’t get highlighted as much as the others.
Matt Magee: Probably some truth there.
Neil Dudley: At least in my perspective. So, the way I got into keto was selling bacon and no sugar bacon and running the business that we run. I think it’s important, I believe I can’t know what the consumer is thinking or experiencing if I’m not involved in that community. So, I just try to get involved. And so, I’ve done multiple Whole30s so I can understand really what’s that about? What kind of meal prep does it take? What kind of real willpower are you going to need to employ for that first amount of time while you’re kind of getting yourself weaned off all these things and even just changing your mindset towards food? Ultimately, I like cheese more than potatoes, and that’s the difference. If I had to cut one out, I’d rather cut out potatoes and on the Whole30, or if you kind of fall on that Whole30 all the time, you’re kind of, let’s say, allowed potatoes, white potatoes, sweet potatoes. Ketogenic you got to stay away from those because those carbs will just convert to glucose and you’re not able to get into ketosis and stay into ketosis. But you can have hard cheese, and I like hard cheese more than potatoes. So that’s why I kind of most often go towards the ketogenic or keto diet.
Matt Magee: Very interesting. To pivot a little bit, tell us a little bit about Peterson Natural Foods. I know you’ve talked a little bit about it, but like where can people find it? Is it in most grocery stores? What is kind of the company culture and the company like?
Neil Dudley: Oh, see, this is the long story because this company is so dear to me and interesting in my mind. We’re solely owned by one guy. So, I don’t own any of the company. I run it with my wife, my best friend since kindergarten. He’s the president; he’s my boss. And I think over, we’re about now 18, 17/18 years working in the company together. We’ve had several kind of heated conversations, but we always- Somebody has to have the biggest stick. So, he has the biggest stick and that’s fine with me. I will argue vehemently this is what I think we should do, try to convince him. If it just turns out we can’t get on the same page, which I think rarely has happened. I’m reading a book right now- or listening to it on audible called Nonviolent Communication, and I love it. I’m listening to it multiple times, really. If you’re willing to communicate with somebody and care about them, you’re probably not ever going to have these scenarios where you both can’t be happy. And I think that’s the culture we try to have at the company. And this is the problem with me telling this story is I just start going all kinds of different ways. Who’s going to be able to follow this if they’ve never heard of Peterson’s? So, where I was solely owned by one guy, I’m working in the business with my best friend since kindergarten, my wife, his wife. This is interesting, he, the president of the company and his wife, which she runs our HR and insurance and kind of keeps that stuff in order, they sit in the same office. I mean, literally just like we are right here. And you got to think there’s something special about those two to be married and working together and sitting in the same office. So, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of anybody else that actually pulled that off. So, I think that tells a lot about Peterson’s and the people that are kind of running it. We have right at a hundred employees today. When I started, we had like ten. So, we’ve got to see a lot of life and growth and interesting dynamics in the market change. We first, I guess Peterson’s, as just an umbrella over Peterson’s is this idea that we believe in sustainable raising and humane treatment of animals. And we believe in quality, minimal ingredients. So, any product of ours you ever look at, you should be able to read every word, understand the word. Like we use celery, rosemary, citrus, pomegranate – those are the kind of ingredients outside of pork, water, salt. That’s very important to us and it’s very important to our consumers. And those people are really ultimately who we care about the most.
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Matt Magee: It sounds like most traditional bacon and has a lot of additives, and you guys have gone the exact opposite direction?
Neil Dudley: Right. Almost everything- Well over time, which it was a necessity early on to figure out how we’re going to get food to last longer, because the population’s growing. Well, okay, so we can use this and that. Nitrate has been figured out will extend the shelf life, erythorbate does the same thing. Sodium lactate and phosphate will hold water. So, eventually there’s these things where companies, instead of just saying, I want the best product, they start saying, well, I want the most profit. And if you can sell water instead of ham or bacon, then actually water’s a lot cheaper than meat. So, I guess what, we’re making more money that way. We just stay away from all that. We are not using any of those kinds of ingredients. And it’s paid off. Let’s say 18 years ago, maybe even 15, we were kind of traveling around, trying to peddle these products to people, and Whole Foods was one of the early adopters, HEB Central Market’s been one of our customers for ever, since I came along, and I probably, the company had been around for a few years before I got there. But I would say we ran a little plant, a little what used to be a deer processing plant, making bacon and stuff. And, well, it burnt down, I think an electrical fire burnt it down. So, then they moved to another different little deer processing plant. Well, lightning struck it and it burnt down.
Matt Magee: You guys were pretty lucky.
Neil Dudley: Which I wasn’t around during any of this time, so I wasn’t battling to save the company in those times. So those people get a lot of credit for even having the, what I call foresight to say, well, we’re still doing a thing that is going to be important to people. It’s going to be valuable to us. Let’s keep it alive. So, this is kind of a neat story. So, I was at Oklahoma State, doing the rodeo thing, grad school, studying ag economics, which I wish I would’ve studied management. I think I might have actually ended up with a degree, but I ended up dropping out and not doing it. I think I had six hours left and a thesis, it’s like, geez man, you could of had the paper. Although, I don’t know, that’s another podcast – is the paper really worth anything? So, he was back home. He went to A&M. Well, he married his high school sweetheart and they got pregnant, fixing to have a baby. Well, he is just like me – we both just grew up with cowboy dads and would just cattle and horses, and that’s what we did. So, he had moved back home, was doing day work, a hundred bucks a day or something, would go work cattle for these people. And you didn’t know if there was going to be anybody needing you tomorrow or not. So, it was really feast and famine kind of work. She got pregnant. I think the way he says it is, she looked at him and said, “You need to get a job.” So, I don’t know if that’s exactly how it worked, but turns out that one plant had burnt down. They were advertising for some help at Peterson’s and he applied for the job. And the job he applied for was a marketing position because he had graduated with a food and fiber marketing degree and it kind of fit what he had learned there at A&M. Went and interviewed, got hired, came to work the first day, and they said, “Well, hey man, we’re so glad you showed up, but we’re just going to change one quick thing. You’re not going to be doing the marketing; we need you to be in charge of our quality assurance.” And being the guy he is, he said, “Okay, whatever, I’m here to work.” Turns out, he didn’t know a damn thing about quality assurance. So, he immediately called some professors down at A&M and got some help – there’s where the paper comes in handy – just those relationships you have. So, they came up, he learned all about HACCP, GMPs, SSOPs, The United States Department of Agriculture Inspection Service. So, he kind of had to set all that up for this new plant. So that was a great education for him. It put him in a really good spot to understand what it took to have a production plant, a meat production plant. And so over that first year, he’s kind of running the quality, helping run the plant, getting out and selling with some of the other guys, some of the 10 people, two or three of them were doing those things, running the plant and selling. And well, in a year’s time, they kind of had a mutiny because the guy that was running it was just, I don’t know, let’s just say shady. And well, the guy that owns a company, which still owns it today, heard about this. And he said, “Well, let me come, don’t quit. I hear everybody’s fixing to quit. Tell them don’t quit. I’m coming. Then let’s talk about it.” Well, anyways, he gets there, and he says, “Well, Cody, what’s it going to take for you to stay? I can’t have everybody quit. And what would it take for you to stay?” And Cody just said, “Well, I’d have to be the boss.” And the owner of the company looked at him and said, “Okay.” And so, he came back again and let go of the current president and made Cody the president. So, in a year’s time, a guy went from day working, a day working guy to president of a food, all-natural bacon, sausage, ham, fresh pork company. So, to me, that’s just so impressive. He’s, aside from being my friend forever, he’s just really a sharp, good guy. So, about that time, I kind of quit grad school and was back home working on the ranch, welding pens, and doing stuff for my dad. And he called or I called him, I don’t know, somehow or another, we were talking. He said, “Well, hey, I just got made president over here at this company. Why don’t you come go to work for me?” And I said, “Well, I was thinking about doing something besides this. I’m talking to another kind of guy that raises cattle. I might go work there. Well, I’ll come interview over at Peterson’s too.” And it was a pretty easy decision really. I’m like can go work for these people I don’t know anything about or come over here and go to work for Cody, which there wasn’t any money in it. I probably made more money doing the ranch work for my dad. But anyways, they hired me, and he put me in as the QA guy. First thing, he said, okay, you got to learn HACCP and all of these different pieces of the puzzle. So, I just figured all that out, then I kind of started working in the plant. I don’t even know why I call it any of that because we were doing everything. We would be standing back there making the bacon, loading it on the truck, one of us would paper, rock scissors who had to drive this time, and then we’d go deliver. So, we were driving all around Texas in this little bobtail truck, delivering bacon, and as we’re going, if we saw a grocery store of any kind, we’d just pull over and go in there. The delivery trucks out there in the parking lot. Any chance you’d be interested in this bacon? It’s no nitrates, it’s uncured. Which at the time this was percolating a little bit, uncured was kind of this thing that people were like, what is that? One, I guess, insight is- and tell me to slow down too. I don’t think I’m letting you say anything, but I just get that way, especially about the company because you probably have that feeling about your career and what you’re doing. It’s just like, man, I know everything there is to know about this because I was there, I did it. So, maybe I’ll just take a breath and slow down.
Matt Magee: I think we can wrap up here with a couple of questions. We didn’t cover when exactly is the Bacon Bash. It’s in October, but what day specifically for the listener?
Neil Dudley: October the 19th. It starts at 4:00 PM, goes to 11:00 PM and on. At Cranfills Gap, just in case we didn’t put that out there. It is a little bit of a drive out into the country, but I think that’s another piece of the ambiance of the event, is you just aren’t going to get this anywhere else. I mean, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience and I highly recommend you putting it on the calendar and going and checking it out. You’ll probably bump into a lot of people that this is their fifth, sixth time being there. And we’ve only done it seven or eight. I think once you to come one time, it starts turning into one of those things where like, man, this is a, we’re going to make sure we do this every year.
Matt Magee: I don’t know why I have not been asking this question, but how do you stay healthy given your busy schedule? I mean, obviously you’re doing the keto diet, but any other health secrets there besides-?
Neil Dudley: Well, I think genetically, I got lucky. I kind of just have good genetics where I don’t battle, I guess let’s say, overweight or getting overweight. Now, is my heart in shape? I don’t know. Not right now today. What I do, I kind of add keto to some exercise and what works best for me usually is an hour over lunch, I’ll just go to the gym or put on the running shoes and take off down the Caliche road and just get my heart rate up. Anybody that has worked out or does or is kind of like addicted to working out, I think that feeling is just really awesome. Once you get 10 steps into it and you’re past this I don’t want to do that, now you’re into it. It just cleans you up. I think your blood pumping through your body fast cleans your body up and just gets you feeling better. So that really didn’t answer your question, but that’s- I think some physical activity, getting that heart pumping hard for 10, 15 minutes, and that does it for me. And even ranching and cowboying will do that daily. Just riding the horse is a good workout. Unfortunately, I don’t do that. So, I’m a lot of times just sitting in the car or behind the desk. So, I need a little bit of something else; you kind of have to put in the extra time.
Matt Magee: It sounds like you spend a ton of time in the car, as do I, have you been listening to any good podcasts or audio books?
Neil Dudley: Well, just recently I’ve been checking out this really cool podcast called the Healthy Conversation. And no, but I have enjoyed two or three of your episodes, Mike, and Ryan Vinson. There was one other one, the other chef that you interviewed.
Matt Magee: Lanny.
Neil Dudley: Yeah. Which his- I just want to talk to that guy so bad because he has this kind of perspective about, that I kind of share, and I’m moving to organic. I want to have these things offered to my customers that I know they’re looking for, or at least I’m looking for. And I think there’s so much valuable in business – valuable that didn’t make any sense – there’s so much value in business in just saying, what do I want that I can’t get? And how do I get it for myself? And guess what? There’s probably a lot of other people looking for that same thing. So, it makes for a really kind of nice way of getting into an entrepreneurial spirit or even starting your own business – just think, well, what do I want and how could I get it for myself? And are there any others that might? Sometimes that works easy, sometimes not so easy.
Matt Magee: A lot of good companies have been built on that premise alone.
Neil Dudley: Don’t let me, I do want to talk about a couple of other podcasts because they’ve been really valuable to me, and I think for anybody listening, your podcast certainly, but also if you want to listen to about four episodes of Gary Vaynerchuk, you’ll hear everything that he’s ever going to say, but it’ll all be good. And you can kind of circle back once in a while. So, I would recommend the Gary V Experience and also Tim Ferriss. I think both of those guys – I hate doing it a little bit because they’re so popular already, there’s probably a reason they’re so popular – they’ve provided a lot of value to me, and I would say, if you haven’t already gone by and checked those guys out, do that. Maybe a little lesser-known guy is Kevin Rose. And then for pure entertainment, I’d say Cocaine and Rhinestones, which is a guy, Tyler Mahan Coe. And he just talks about country music, the 20th century stories of country music. That was really enjoyable for entertainment. And also, Armchair Expert Dax Shepard, I’ll listen to that one too. Some of those guests are really interesting, what they’ve done and how they approach it. And I like Dax, too, because he’s kind of a recovering alcoholic and addict, and I think there’s a lot of parallels for me and anybody to hear that and to understand, you know what I’m not, I don’t have problems with alcohol or drugs or porn or whatever, pick any one of these things that you can get really off the rails on, luckily. But I do have problems with maybe it’s even just communicating well with my wife. Anytime she kind of ticks this thing in my brain, then it’s like it pushed a button for me, and I want to say, what did I do so wrong? Wind up, it’s really not about me. It’s just it’s her. It’s just, it’s fine. Right? So, all those things you can learn- I’ve learned a lot and I think everybody can.
Matt Magee: I think that’s a good place to end it. Neil, I appreciate you coming on.
Neil Dudley: Okay, well now let me ask you two questions. This is because everybody that’s a guest on the Cowboy Perspective has to answer these two questions. Tell me what the value of a dollar or a Bitcoin is.
Matt Magee: That is a good question. What is the value? I guess it depends on what I’m paying for.
Neil Dudley: Okay, cool. So why do you say it like that, it depends on what you’re paying for?
Matt Magee: Yeah, I guess I really, not to give you a crappy answer, but I guess I don’t really think about that too much. I guess a dollar it’s-
Neil Dudley: That’s not a crappy answer at all. It’s so interesting. I love that. That’s why I like to ask the question, because there are so many different perspectives on what the value of a dollar is, and this is just you giving yours. I don’t want to cut you off. Don’t lose your train of thought, but you just don’t think about it that much.
Matt Magee: Yeah. And as far as a Bitcoin, I mean, it’s been fun to watch, but I have no idea.
Neil Dudley: You’re not a practitioner of Bitcoin?
Matt Magee: No, I am not. What about yourself?
Neil Dudley: No, I’m not into Bitcoin, although I have researched the wallets a little bit. I’m thinking about, I want to get into it a little bit just because, like I said, I think I will learn something that could potentially be valuable, if it’s Bitcoin now or who knows what it might be in the future. Bitcoin is a bit abstract to me because I’ve not been involved. I don’t know how it works. So, I thought maybe I’ll get a Bitcoin wallet. I don’t know if you have to buy a whole Bitcoin; I think they’re 10 grand or something for one coin right now.
Matt Magee: I think you can get pieces of it.
Neil Dudley: There you go. So how do you pay for something that’s not 10 grand? I guess these very, very small pieces of a coin for a coffee or something. Well, I just paid a 1000th of a Bitcoin for this coffee. I guess that’d still be a lot, but-
Matt Magee: Yeah, I don’t think there’s too many places in Cranfills Gap that will accept a bitcoin.
Neil Dudley: Let’s see, whose podcast was I listening to? It might have been Kevin Rose that had kind of a Bitcoin expert on, and this guy, they were kind of just arguing, well, how do you get into Bitcoin? And this guy said, “Earn it. Just say, I work for Bitcoin. I do this graphic design for Bitcoin,” and just put it out there and sure enough, somehow somebody will find you and they’ll want to buy your goods or services with a Bitcoin. Next thing you know, you have some and you didn’t even have to buy it. So that could be interesting, worth trying. I don’t know what I would have to even put out there as a good and service for Bitcoin.
Matt Magee: You could be a keto consultant.
Neil Dudley: Well, yeah, or even a day worker – I’m a day work cowboy for bitcoin. And crazy enough, it might be a crazy synergistic thing, because the Californians are flooding into Texas like crazy, buying up big properties. Some of them could be Bitcoin billionaires, and next thing you know, I’m day working for the Bitcoin billionaire that’s paying me in Bitcoin. There’s so much dynamic, fun, interesting stuff happening in our world today. There’s a lot of scary stuff too, but it will probably always be true. So, there we go. We got off onto what’s the dollar and the value of a Bitcoin. I loved your answer because my answer might be, well, a dollar is a hard day’s work. It’s security. It’s my only bargaining chip. And just all the different people that I talk to and how the dollar plays in their mind. I think it tells a lot that you don’t think about it a lot, because I think it’s-
Matt Magee: Because you don’t even touch it most of the time. Most of it is just put your card in on your computer.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. Okay. Then so, tell me what’s your most – which this is stolen straight from Tim Ferriss, but I love the question – what’s your most gifted book or your favorite book?
Matt Magee: What I’ve been reading recently that I’ve enjoyed or am enjoying now is Where Does it Hurt by Jonathan Bush. He’s like a cousin of George Bush. It is just around healthcare and how the system works. Read about it online. I just read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Blink. That was really good.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I listened to that one. See, I never read a book. And so, everything that I consume is in audible. Blink was great. I love that. All the decisions and thoughts you had about me so subconscious, just when you first saw me walking up today, we’re making all of these very accurate inferences on so many things in so many levels.
Matt Magee: I said that does not look like a student. I think that’s my guy. What else? Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday down in Austin. That was really good. Those are kind of the three I’ve done over the past week or so. As far as favorite-
Neil Dudley: Yeah, tell me favorite, I mean, To Kill a Mockingbird?
Matt Magee: The Stand by Stephen King, that one of my favorites.
Neil Dudley: Do you find that you’re typically into more biographical or self-help or-?
Matt Magee: No, I go back and back and forth. I’ll do a couple of business books and then I’ll go to something funnier. And then just go back and forth.
Neil Dudley: I don’t know if I’ve actually said it on the podcast. I spent a lot of my life missing out on really quality education and information because I just didn’t read. I just only got into audibles a year ago or a little over a year ago, and I’ve probably listened to 30 books. And just, I have a commute morning and evening, so I’m consuming podcasts
Matt Magee: Yeah, I probably drove two hours to get here today.
Neil Dudley: I’m consuming podcasts and audibles. I don’t even really listen to music unless the kids are in the car with me and they’re not into that. So, wow, I appreciate you taking my questions, and it’s really nice to meet you.
Matt Magee: It is really nice meeting you as well.
Neil Dudley: What is it that you do exactly?
Matt Magee: So, I work for Frost Bank. They bought some insurance agencies 10, 15 years ago, maybe 20 years ago, and I do employee benefits for them.
Neil Dudley: Okay. Well, that’s good to know. Or, I mean, I don’t think I even asked that question. I knew you had something to do with Frost Bank, but exactly what-
Matt Magee: Yeah, so I’m on the commercial insurance side.
Neil Dudley: How does that parlay to Healthy Conversation podcast? Or are you really, are you planning on doing this employee benefit thing forever? Or are you more interested in something else?
Matt Magee: Yeah, I wanted to, there’s a lot of competition within benefits and insurance in general and was looking for a way to stand out and kind of highlight local companies as well as kind of shine some light on what resources are available within healthcare. And so, it’s kind of twofold, and you’ll see that I think within the guests – some are more healthcare focused, and then some are people like yourself that have, I guess, touch healthcare, but not directly in it. And so that was really the goal, just to meet different people and kind of highlight what people are doing, along the lines of what Gary V and putting my own content out there versus sharing somebody else’s. I saw somebody else here in Fort Worth doing their podcast and got in touch with Johnny who’s here with us today and realized it was possible.
Neil Dudley: That damn Johnny, man, he’s so loud, typing on his computer, so distracting.
Matt Magee: He’s going to have to edit that out.
Neil Dudley: That’s kind of cool about podcast too – you can kind of screw it up all you want and just take that part out.
Well, we’ve made another trip around the pasture. This time it was sitting up there in the DCU library, had a little studio set up there. We weren’t in the Dodge Ram truck. I guess we’ve never been in the Dodge Ram truck, but I always like to picture that when I’m talking about the ride around the pasture. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I hope it gave you a lot of insight, maybe even encouraged you to get involved with Bacon Bash Texas, or supporting those Type I diabetics, almost all of us know somebody or have been affected by that disease in one way or another. What can I say? Thank you so much for listening and until next time, catch you on the flip side.
One other quick shout out I want to give is a big thank you, round of applause to Byron Hill Music who provides our background music. He’s a member of the Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame, and I highly recommend you guys check out some of the stuff he’s done. Google it. Byron Hill; B R Y O N H I L L. You’ll be pretty impressed.