October 25, 2023

Episode #100: Troy Mason – Impulse Product Development

Troy Mason was born in San Diego, California. After a short six weeks, his dad left the navy and his parents moved back to their home town of Mishawaka, Indiana. Troy eventually attended Ball State University before landing a job at a company in Indianapolis called Compression Engineering.

Seeing the writing on the wall that Compression wasn’t going to last, he and a colleague decided to start Impulse Product Development. Impulse helps companies and individuals design and develop products. They’ve been involved in the design of hundreds of consumer, industrial, automotive, scientific, and medical products; baby rattles to aircraft components and everything in between. Impulse just passed its 25th year of business.


you’re listening to the self-made is a myth make a difference together show with your host coach Tim campsa where we

talk with successful business owners to hear the stories of their Journeys in building their successful businesses and

more importantly we recognize the folks who help them Excel because we know that

achieving business success is not something we can do on our

[Music] own hello everyone this is coach Tim csel and I’m excited to have a fellow

business owner from Indiana with us today my guest check this out loves to cook which I know it’s a guy and he

loves to cook so that’s awesome uh and also uh he enjoys sailing and in his

downtime he likes to spend time with his wife as well as playing golf and doing

anything outside H and he’s proud of having a 25 year-old business but more

importantly he is most proud of his 20 year old marriage it is my pleasure to

welcome Troy to the show today hello Troy hello how are you doing today how are

how’s life doing good doing well uh just living the dream as everybody says I

love well hey let’s start with um I’ll have you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit of your personal story

where you were born where you live about your family and some of your hobbies all right uh yeah so I was born in San Diego

California and I spent a whopping six weeks there until my dad got out of the Navy and they moved back to the home

town which is uh in Northern Indiana well it’s actually not a little town but it’s a town next to Southbend called

Mishawaka uh spent all my you know growing up years there um went to Ball

State in M Indiana after that uh took a short stint back home after school and

then got a job down in Indian Indianapolis and uh have lived in the Indianapolis area since and that’s been

boy 28 plus years I think uh now have a

wife like you mentioned we have two kids one’s 20 he’ll be 23 in about a half a

month and then I’ve got a daughter that’ll be 21 in January Fant and of course we have a a dog like everybody

and then and what’s your favorite

hobby uh well like you said I do love to cook um but favorite like true hobby is

probably playing golf with the guys or even my wife I finally got her into it this past year so wonderful what’s your

wife’s name Taran T sorry Tammy did you say Taran

tan yeah Taran thank you sorry my my slip um and uh what’s your favorite dish

to cook for Taran oh boy she’s got a bunch um this

was wasn’t in your list of questions she’s going to if I get this wrong uh

she loves Nashville hot chicken um she also has to do gluten-free so I have to kind of do it in a a little bit of a

different way so she loves an Nashville hot chicken um she loves Mexican so like

tonight it’s a Tuesday so tonight’s gonna be you know Mexican night she

loves Vitas and all that stuff so wonderful what got you into enjoying

cooking uh well I Was A Bachelor for I don’t know several years after college

and I got tired of the fast food thing you know enough to at least kind of figure this out um and so I cooked uh

I’ll tell you a funny Side Story she’s going to be embarrassed if she watches this um for like two months before we

got married we stayed with her parents to have some money to save some money and we one of the things of the deal was

is we would cook one night a week and I’m like one night a week that I’m saving six nights great do that so we’re

going to cook just basically chicken broccoli and some rice you know simple super simple dinner and she said Can can

I help I’m like sure you want to make the rice so I’m cooking the chicken and the broccoli and I’m about done I’m like

hey how much longer you got on the rice and she says I don’t know I’m like what time did you put it on she I don’t know

I lift the lid and I look in there and like how much water did you put in there she’s like I don’t know it like pasta so

uh anyway I cook sorry for the Side Story there oh no that’s awesome I love it

um so I cooked all the time and uh you know just enjoyed it and then I think it

was 2018 um I came home from work and she had she was a stay-at home mom for a

long time and then she started picking up some other things she was doing and I came home from work and I’m not the type

of guy to say Hey where’s my food um but I’m hungry and I’m like I’m gonna just

cook something she’s upstairs working on something I’m gonna cook and I’m like hey dinner’s ready and like literally I think she was like oh

if you’re gonna do that I’m never I love the rice story well it’s

only fair that you know you tell a funny story about her because now I’m going to ask you to tell us a funny story about

you is there is there a story your family likes to tell about you you’d be willing to share with us yeah um there

were several embarrassing ones that I thought of and I’m going to skip those I actually asked hey what’s a funny story

and they all said the same story so I’ll share this one um it’s not an embarrassing funny but I I find it a

funny story so uh taran’s dad for you know her her upbringing on Halloween

would scare all the kids you know he’d dress up or jump out at them or whatever well we kind of carried that tradition

over when we got married and um it just kind of got bigger and bigger and one year uh I dressed up as a scarecrow

complete with you know stuffing of straw and everything coming out of me and I had like a stick to you know so I’m kind

of just hunched over like a true scarecrow planted in somebody’s yard and then somebody would come up and I would

jump out at him and this went on like all all night and you know I scared

parents and it was it was great um but they uh there was this one kid that came

up and he was like everybody’s like yeah that thing’s real that’s a that’s a real

person and he comes up he’s like no that is not real and he gets like face to face with me and I just said I’m not

real and he literally sprinted down the bloody screaming bloody murder well

the funny the interesting part of the story I guess is Fast Forward probably eight years I’m coaching lacrosse for

the local high school team and one of the players this is my first year coaching with him and one of the players

comes up to me and he said hey do you scare kids on Halloween yeah do you remember scaring a

kid half to death and running down the street when you were a scarecrow I’m like yeah he said that was me a

that’s awesome oh yeah my mom liked to do that

as well so I can I can appreciate it seeing it happen it is funny for the people who aren’t being scared to watch

other people getting scared oh yeah oh yeah yeah so Troy tell us how did the business come about and at what point

did you have confidence that you could run your own business so the business came about let’s see I I was young and

didn’t know very much um knew less than I thought right and uh you know I’m

working at a company I I’ve tell people all the time I worked at this company for three years U and I tell them I got

my master’s degree in product development working for this company they had everything under one one roof

and we um I just I learned a lot and I kind

of started seeing the financial part of what I did which was design product and I thought man we could do this or I

could do this on my own so uh I get married married and on our honeymoon I talked to my wife work we went on a

cruise and had plenty of time to talk and I said you know what do you think about me starting this on my own she’s

like go for it you know and the whole time I’m thinking well that’s easy to say but you

know and honestly the the the bigger drawback was we needed some pretty

decent funding to get it started because software and computers back then sure were a lot more money than they are now

um so that was kind of the the big thing well I came home and a cooworker

actually kind of lived just down the street from us and I was sitting on the back porch with him and we’re just kind

of talking and I said hey you know thinking about starting my own thing and he’s like oh really I was kind of

thinking that too like you want some help and I’m like well what would you add to the company and he said well I

could do sales and that’s what he did for the other company and I’m thinking great I know nothing about sales yeah

you can be the sales guy blah blah blah so um and then you we were able to secure some funding from family and next

thing you know we were you know my honeymoon was uh in May and August 15th

I left that job and wow the formal paperwork was September 12th of 98

so wow tell us a little bit more about the company what’s the name what do you guys do how do you help people so it’s

impulse product development uh we’re basically a product development company um we help individuals and you know

businesses design products get them ready for prototyping manufacturing um and then you know once

the Design’s ready we kind of hand it over to the manufacturer and let them do their thing um there’s obviously a lot

that goes on in the middle there that we also help out with but in a nutshell that’s kind of what we do so because of

my background with that company um by the way that company we saw the writing on the wall that they were not going to

be around much longer that was another little kick in the pants to go try this try this on our own but we knew we were

going going to lose our jobs and we were right we we left in August and they filed bankruptcy in March so we would

have been looking for jobs anyway but um so yeah we because of that background we

help people um we have a lot of U juvenile background you know rattles and strollers and car seats and high chairs

and things like that uh you know we’ve done I like I’ve said many times before

we’ve done anything from baby rattles to aircraft components so wonderful for everyone listening make sure to check

them out uh go to the link in the description uh Below on this uh interview and uh also comment on their

LinkedIn tell them that you watch their interview so Troy share us a story where

someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think that you could and and the

impact that that person had on you so I would bet a large majority of

people answer this with a something that had a positive impact um but for

whatever reason my I just have this need to share one with a negative impact um

I um that partner I started the business with to make a long story short after

about two years we had to part ways and when he left I was sitting on six

figures of debt by myself and you know it was literally just me at that point and you know I’m still I’m two years

into business and don’t know what I’m doing and uh I was scared to be honest

and there was another company so some of the people that went down with the ship at that other company formed a company

um doing a lot of the other things that that company did and they once they

found out that my partner left they again long story short wanted to to buy

part of impulse and part of that was they were going to take care of the debt and blah

you know just you know all those things you hash out so I talk to my wife about it and again I’m scared and don’t know

what I’m gonna do and I’m on my own blah blah she’s like I don’t think you should sell it I don’t think you should sell it

I think you can do this on your own I think you’re going to be fine um so she’s the one that told me I could do it

um the lesson learned there was when your wife has a feeling and tells you to do something you should

listen but I didn’t uh I did sell the company and of course I felt good the day you know they said okay we’re going

to agree to this by the time that was in the spring I think when we came to an

agreement and by the time everything gets through lawyers and you know all that stuff um it it should have spelled the writing

on the wall September 11th was the day we signed the paperwork

oh no yeah yeah buildings were burning while we were signing paperwork um so it

wasn’t the worst thing in the world um it lasted about three years and then you know like it just wasn’t working and you

know interesting story in that gap of when we agreed and when things got signed I had erased the debt oh

no she was right you know we do it on your own yeah so um so yeah that that’s

a story of you know someone encouraged me and telling me I can do this and like I said on when we talked about just

starting the company she was like do it she’s always been like that so yeah I just didn’t listen on that

one it’s great to have that uh that support network and and somebody who believes in you and and you know nudges

you and and encourages you to to step out and and just do it because you said

earlier you know it can be lonely at the top and it can be scary so having that that support Network’s awesome yeah yeah

I mean there’s no way it’s impulse would still be around if if it weren’t for her so fantastic so Troy um I’m sure there’s

many but what’s your biggest learning uh as a business owner over the last 25 years I have to limit it to

one um well I mean kind of on the heels of

that story I just told uh you know I I would never tell anybody absolutely

don’t um but I would really question yourself about having a

partner um you know in my case uh again I was

young I didn’t know what I was doing and if if I look back and I’m honest about it it was I I was insecure and thought

well with this other person yeah I can now I can do it um I’m it was a lie to

myself but um and it just it ended up causing trouble and struggle and you

know it ruined a friendship and you know all that stuff so um you know I again I

would never say don’t ever get a partner don’t ever have a partner I mean if somebody truly does bring in um a a

skill set that you don’t have you know and you guys can you know work together and and compliment each other then you

know maybe it works but I would just be really cautious about um just let’s just get a bunch of people

because it lowers our risk yeah because it there’s a lot of other risk that you add um when you do stuff like that um

another little lesson on the side I just talked about listen to your spouse I mean it you know and it’s not just a

women’s intuition or um she looks at it she looks at things at a different

perspective you know so yeah generally generally

speaking we attract our opposite in our spouse so they see the world through

different lenses than we do and can you know point out different things that we don’t see or don’t understand so yeah I

agree it’s great good to get a second set of eyes and a different opinion on stuff yeah yeah and I guess the last

thing I know you said one and I’m on three now but um it’s bonus round yeah

yeah I think the thing just looking back over the the 25 years of doing this um

you know obviously there there can be a time and well we may touch on it where things are like really bad but things

usually aren’t ever as bad as you think they are or as you’re you know as you’re making them out to be and um so I try to

keep that in the back of my head all the time it’s like it’s going to be okay it’s going to be okay and even if like

even if we do have to fold the business like life’s gonna go on and you’re gonna be okay yes I love that yes um I’m I’ve

been in a a mindset uh program for the last you know a couple years and one of

the messages from that that I find helpful is that life happens for us not to us and everything happens for a

reason to help us to grow and develop into the next version of ourselves so

you know so to embrace it and say Yep this two will pass and I’ll get through this is is the right mindset because

then we can focus on attracting right the next success and the next win sure sure yeah

countless they just countless conversations over the years with friends and and people that have lost

jobs and you know of course it’s that’s not an easy thing to go through but man they come out on the other side and

they’re like oh it was the best thing to happen yes I want to go back to your

your comment about partners because I I think that’s very valuable for the folks listening is you know getting into a

Business Partnership is no different than getting into a marriage partnership right and so we don’t want to do it

quickly we want to make sure that we understand you know the other person’s nuances and idiosyncrasies and right and

and spend time dating before we you know jump into that formal relationship and

and formal marriage because you know a a business partnership is is a contract

and it can be to your point you know your stories it can be challenging and difficult and so I always caution folks

the same as you just did is make sure that you really understand what you’re doing and right and that you’ve got some

written into the language you’ve got some Escape Clauses and and some protection in case it doesn’t work out

yeah yeah I even had a guy um it was a uh he owned a I think it was a roofing

inciting company or gutter you know something along those lines and Taran had nannied for him and um so I was

talking to him and I said yeah I’m thinking about starting a company and I even told him like I’ve got a a buddy that might go in with me and he looked

me right in the eye and he said don’t do it with a partner and I’m thinking ah what does this guy know you know now I’m

his age going you know what that’s what he knows he went through it so right hey Troy we know that business

success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about um and it might be

something we just talked about but tell us about one of your biggest challenges during the years and maybe a fellow

business owner who came alongside you and helped you through it yeah so

um first I’ll I’ll put like this is a little bit against your uh the name of

this whole show but um I’m pretty horrible at networking and and I’m kind

of the you know I’ll just pick myself up by the bootstraps and it’s to a um I know that’s not the way to do it

but um so I’m just I’m not that kind of guy that you know is like you know what I I see an area here that I need to need

help with so I should go out and look for some help um but there there was a

time that um well I kind of alluded to it earlier

I don’t know sales um which is a little bit of a lie everybody can sell but yeah

I I just wasn’t confident in it didn’t understand kind of what I’m trying to do I felt you know weird about it blah blah

blah um I was working with a marketing firm long story short and

they I don’t remember how it went down it was a long time ago but they had a connection with a company that did sales

training and they were doing a free um I don’t know one hour sales meeting give

you some it was a you know I’m gonna give you 20 things and I’m going to sell you after that because it’s going to be

so valuable to you yeah um so I asked her I said do think I should go to that

and she said you’ve already told me you’re you don’t know sales she said yeah it’s a free thing if you even if

you don’t work with them you’re going to gain something from go um probably the best thing I ever did for my business

cost me a lot of money but it’s probably the best thing I ever did um they were I mean it ended up just working out crazy

well uh working with that person and um yeah

just I’m not a great salesperson but but I’m confident when it comes to the sales process and you awesome so it so

actually it didn’t cost you a lot of money it was a fantastic investment yes exactly yeah yeah yeah yeah if you look

at it from the right I’m laughing with you right because I know what I know what you’re saying right in terms of it

can look bad on paper of the you know the how much you pay but when you look at the ROI it’s like oh wow that that

wasn’t any it it was Way Beyond 10 times Roi yeah fantastic awesome so who was

that person that uh that gave you that nudge do you remember her name oh I don’t I don’t even remember the

name of the marketing company that’s it was a short stint you know it was kind of a website refresh and do a couple

blog things and you know we work together for two weeks I think you know but I don’t I don’t

remember sorry no that’s fine she when she listens to this she can type it in the notes and let us know there you go

yeah uh Troy if I’m going to put you on the spot here if I was to ask you to pick three people in your business owner

Journey that you’re you know you’re most grateful for them being there for your business’s growth who are those three

people and how’ they help you uh well you’ll be shocked to hear me

say my wife um again I mean I’m I’m not doing this if it’s not for her um and

the support and advice and and everything she’s done um that sales

coach that I mentioned um just he kind of opened it wasn’t just a sales thing

um it was a lot of mindset stuff so it like that just really opened up my mind

to hey this is more than you know hoping you get a client to show up in the front door do a good job for them they pay the

bill and you move on I mean there just there’s so much more impact we can have um so that sales coach

was unbelievably instrumental um in kind of you know taking the business from

just a couple of guys hacking around to hey this is somewhat of a legitimate business yeah uh and then the last one

he’s not an owner um but you know when when the co thing

happened we had two pretty rough years before Co so when Co happened we were

just about done um and I called him and I said hey I just wanted to let you know

I’m probably going to have to let the guys go um in a couple weeks and he’s like don’t do anything until I talk to

you and he works uh at a Fortune 500 company huge company and he took it upon

himself to go to his boss and that the next boss and the next boss next thing you know I’m on the phone with him and I

basically wasn’t a long I guess basically they said send us a bill we’ll

pay it and you can you can put it towards work in the coming months wow

because they knew like they knew what was coming it was just we couldn’t get to them actually releasing the work um

and yeah it it literally like I might still be hacking around but it pretty

much saved the business um you know and the employees and all that so uh you

know so for for a client I’ve had a lot of clients you know that are just amazing but for a client to be like you

know what I’m gonna go stick my neck out and see if I can help you then I me obviously they got to make that list so

wow what an incredible story that’s amazing yeah so H it brings almost tears to my

eyes just how generous people can be in a in a time of need so Chad if you’re

watching this I appreciate you buddy yeah thank you Chad um Troy as you think

about the next three to five years what’s the biggest challenge that you feel that you’re going to face to hit

your goals and who are the types of people that you’re going to need to solve those

um so three to five year goals um my number

one goal is this probably for every company but I need to grow our client base yeah um and while I said I I’m okay

at sales when it comes to lead generation I’ve got I got nothing I don’t I honestly just don’t know what to

do um and then on top of that don’t don’t make or don’t have we can

debate that the time to uh actually generate content and and do the things

you need to do to to you know have a marketing campaign um just to to do some

lead generation so [Music] um I impulse is no good economic

indicator but um we’ve been through three recession well two recessions and

from what they’re saying likely a fourth or third um the two years before the

recessions were slow years for impulse the year of the recession was a big year for impulse uh we’ve had a pretty slow

year so I’m expecting next year might be pretty good based on our awesome economic indicators we

have so and if I’m wrong with that we still we still need to like increase the

client base just to weather you know yeah the storm that that may be coming

um so I yeah that’s one area I’m going to need some help um you know I’ve again

it hasn’t been a great year so of course we we’ll get to this in a minute but

um I don’t necessarily have the money to invest in that right now but it’s something we’ve got to invest in um if

we’re going to grow the client base and then kind of like you and I have talked about a little bit offline

the um I got to get out of the way I don’t want to do this forever

um and I don’t want to just be you know all right guys I’m done and real go have fun um yeah so I

want to get out of the way um and I’m probably going to need some help doing

that so if you know anybody that might be able to help me do that let we we might be able to talk about that

afterwards I I appreciate your vulnerability and sharing though because I suspect many people listening you know

are having similar you know challenges or or you know ideas of challenges that they’re going to face the the getting

out of our own way is is a big one that I hear all the time right we’ve you know

in in your case and in many business owners cases we’ve put you know the sweat and tears and and blood and and

and uh and you know anxieties and stresses into the business and you’ve

been doing this for a long time you know 25y old business not many companies can

even you know begin to think about saying that they’ve been around for 25 years but but what typically happens is

we figure it out right we we put in the hard work and the time and figuring out and we get a business that is working um

and so then there’s a you know a bit of a fear of letting go and let and having someone else do it because in a lot of

cases we’ve tried it and it didn’t necessarily work out so now we’re gun shy to try it again it’s like oh well

I’m just going to hold on to it myself because I know at least I have that control and if something goes wrong I I

know it was me instead of of someone else now um the problem with that is

that you know if we’re the bottleneck um then and God forbid something happens to

us then the business is is done right and you know growing up my dad got hurt

he was a mechanic and and uh had surgery and wasn’t able to the surgery didn’t

take and you know unfortunately he wasn’t able to finish his his trade so for for the folks listening right the

the risk is you don’t want that risk you want to have a goal of building a business that can run without you so

that you eliminate that risk of of something happening to you and then more importantly right you put in all that

time and effort in building a business you want to be able to reap the rewards of it so you know having a business that

can run without you means you can go on vacation and you know and enjoy time with the family and and all of the you

know all the fruits of your labor so so again Troy thank you for sharing because I suspect a lot of people listening to

this are are in a similar place of know how do I take the business to the next level right how do I remove myself as a

bottleneck and know how do I eliminate the the risks of having somebody else do

it so yeah so yes um to your point yes we can

talk about that we’ll we we’ll chat offline people who are listening if you want to if you have a similar challenge

in your business you want to talk about it happy to to have a free consultation so reach out to me Troy last question

here uh Jim ran said that we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as you think about

that quote uh and your own experiences what’s your advice for for business

owners who are trying to do it on their own um

well kind of like we just talked about um you know I’m I’m in my own way and

and like I’m I’m in a service business so I’m billing hours right well there’s only so many hours I can put in yeah so

you know from that standpoint uh you know if if I’m just going to hold on to everything like I’m just going to cap

out on on the amount of money I can make um I’m GNA cap out on the number of people I can employ you know Lives I Can

impact that kind of thing so um I I guess the first thing would be

like we got to get out of that mindset um it with me the the

um my brain’s going one way I don’t remember your question but I’m gonna keep talking and you stop me if I’m please yeah yes no I like it um the I I

look at stuff like um getting help um I’m a horrible networker I already said

that so I don’t have this Rolodex of of other business business owners that I can call and say hey I’m struggling with

this or struggling with this what do you what’ you do or what do you would recommend that kind of thing um so when I look at something like that like hey I

need help with lead generation or a marketing campaign or you know uh how to

get out of my way you know that kind of thing to me it’s like I I need to spend some money to hire a professional or somebody that knows what they’re doing

to to help me with this um it’s what what I’ve found over the

years um it’s really when business is going really well and

you have the money you probably are too busy to spend the time work with that

person right right and when business is going really poorly you don’t have the money to so you just got to force

yourself to you know spend the money take the time and and do it you I go I go back to the sales coaching thing um

that wasn’t cheap um at least in my um perspective um but the root I mean I

still make money because of of that so um so yeah I I don’t even know if I

answered your question there um oh yeah no I think that was great you also talked about mindset um which I I also

like that you brought that up because you know the it starts with what we

believe in our head right the message is the record that we’re playing in our head so you know if we believe that you

know that it’s not going to pay out it won’t if we believe that we can’t find the time we won’t if we believe that

it’s a must do to take us to the next level and that we will figure out how to find the time and money then we will

right we we attract what we believe and and so mindset is critical so you know

if we if we Fe if we know that there’s something holding us back um and we we

don’t know you know how to fix it then yeah let’s reach out and talk to people right talk to other business owners you

mentioned netw working yeah networking can feel a little stressful to some of us depending on how we’re hardwired but

you know it might be a necessary evil to you know go to a chamber and and chat

with a couple other business owners and say hey well how do you do your your lead generation how do you do your

marketing or who would you recommend I talk to and what I found is that um

there are less than 5% of business owners who aren’t willing to chat with

another business business owner and and share stories and and maybe you know pass on some wisdom and help someone

else out because we’ve all been there right yeah yeah so um it sounds like a a a number

of your stories that you’ve been blessed with some incredible people in your life who have helped you on the the Journey

of building your business so Troy if they were all here on the show today what would you want to say to

them uh well obviously thank you uh um I mean you’ve you’ve blessed me

you’ve blessed my family um the the things we’ve been able to do and have um

are amazing but you’ve also you’ve blessed the employees that have worked for me um so yeah it it’s interesting

you ask that question because I I um I think relationships you know business

relationships tend to be very transactional um and I think uh

especially the the people giving the business don’t understand the impact um or don’t realize maybe the impact that

they really have uh there are other people real people on the other end of that that um that really benefit from

from them trusting them so um so thank you to to all of you wonderful thank you

so much Troy for uh being on the show today it’s been a pleasure speaking with you thank you I appreciate

it thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim

campsa please help spread this Movement by liking and subscribing to our show and following us on Facebook and

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