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If It Is To Be,
It's Up To Me:

The Little-Known Backstory of the United States Concealed Carry Association

If It Is To Be, It's Up To Me:

The Little-Known Backstory of the
United States Concealed Carry Association

Chapter 7:

2 Feet Tall


Tim: I walked out of there feeling 2 feet tall. I just wandered around the show doing nothing, talking to no one. I especially didn’t want to go back to face my dad because there was no way for me to explain why the meeting had lasted only two minutes. I needed to be invisible for an hour. Eventually, I realized, “I have to find Dad.”

He asked, “How did the meeting go?”

“It went really well. Really well.” And then I changed the subject. It wasn’t my finest hour.

I flew back to Wisconsin from the SHOT Show feeling defeated. I needed cash. And if it is to be, it’s up to me, right?

Roy: Uh-huh [affirmative]. What year was this?

Tim: It was 2006. Back then, I was a member of the West Bend Noon Rotary Club, which was made up of the guy who owned the dry-cleaning place, the banker, a few insurance agents and a whole bunch of lawyers. But from my perspective, these were big, rich guys. They actually drove cars that weren’t 21-year-old Honda Accords with 250,000 miles on them.

Roy: That’s really what you were driving?

Tim: Yeah, it was.

I’m thinking, “All right, Schmidt. You need money. And you know the banks aren’t going to give it to you.” So I put on my engineer hat and put together a highly detailed 10-year P&L projection of what Concealed Carry Magazine was going to become. It was the most rock-solid business plan you’ve ever seen. I spent about $200 at Kinko’s printing 85 of these and putting them in beautiful binders. Then I sent them to 85 members of the West Bend Noon Rotary Club.

And, of course, I included my dad as well, because he was always curious about what I was doing. Part of the package I sent to those 85 people was a stamped envelope with a form where you could say, “No thanks,” or, “Yes, I will attend one of these two investor meetings.”

I got 30 responses out of the 85. So 50 ignored me, and 29 of the 30 said, “No thanks.” On the comment line, they wrote, “I don’t believe in what you’re doing,” or, “I don’t have any money” or whatever. I taped them onto the back of the door of my office.

The one person who agreed to come to the investment meeting was my dad. So I called him and said, “Uh, Dad, you were the only guy that said yes, so we’re not going to be having those investor meetings.”

Fifteen years later, we’re now one of the largest employers in West Bend. I still run into those 85 people in West Bend all the time, and I’m very glad they all said no!

Roy: OK, you got shot down by all your local business owners in town. What did you do next?

Tim: So now it’s February 2006 and my wife and I had just built a house in West Bend, Wisconsin. It was not a very fancy house, but for us, it was a big deal. Every dollar we had went into buying it, so much so that we were close to approaching the two-year deadline where you had to replace the gravel driveway with cement.

But I couldn’t even afford the $7,500 for the driveway.

I remember sitting on the front stoop of my house with my feet on that gravel driveway at 11 p.m. It was a Monday night and I was thinking, “Sheesh, I got to figure something out.” The house, the engineering business, everything was about to go down the drain. This was the first and only time I felt like I was backed into a corner with no way out. That was when I decided–

Roy: So this is your crisis moment, the dark night of the soul?

Tim: I had spent my $100,000 credit line on the magazine, so I owed all that, plus the bank thought I had used it to grow my engineering business. They don’t know anything about Concealed Carry Magazine.

Roy: So, you owe the bank $100,000.

You just built a house. I’m guessing you were struggling with the mortgage? And you need an additional $7,500 for your driveway that you can’t get.

And the magazine is going nowhere.

Tim: Yeah.

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