The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Shawn Herring is up.
Who are you and what do you do? My name is Shawn Herring, I’m 37 years old and live in the beautiful State of Utah. I do land development and civil engineering design, as well as consult/train companies all over the country on Autodesk infrastructure related software. At the end of the day I’m a big geek for technology and software! Capturing data from the field or the sky has been a passion of mine for almost half of my life now. I started Region Engineering & Surveying in 2010, and spun off a second company RealityOne in 2016 that focuses on data capture via drone and LiDar scanning.
What did it take / how did you get started? I worked for a couple firms who couldn’t get past looking at the immediate need, and not the long term future of Civil Engineering & Land Surveying. Many thought that the way that they do things was fine and “gets the job done”. So I was never content with just being “good enough”. I wanted to be the best and always wanted to push the efficiencies of software and data capture. I finally decided 10 years ago that the only way I could control MY future was to stop the 8-5 grind and get my own game going.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle? The future is bright! Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that at times it’s hard to stay up on things. Getting in on early adoption of technology, although sometimes painful, has been a blessing for sure and typically leads to more and more opportunities.
What drives / motivates you?
JOY! Doing something you love, pushing the boundaries of the everyday “norm” and going home at the end of the day knowing you’re making a difference. Spreading the knowledge to others has always been exciting. I love to teach and put information out there that others can learn from, and in turn I typically learn just as much from them. I’ve spoken at user groups and conferences all over the country and love the teaching aspect of it as much as the learning. There are no competitors in my opinion. We all work towards the same goal of expanding knowledge and delivering high quality data to clients.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
What’s the worst thing that could happen? I tell people all the time who want to get out on their own, but may be too afraid, that if they believe in themselves then they have nothing to lose. Worst case scenario? You go back to the grind of your day job!
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
Making sure you have a good work/life balance. I lost that for a few years where I did nothing but focus on the next big thing. I thought I would start a company and have a bunch of minions getting the work done while I bathed in the cash. NOPE! I’ve never worked harder in my life, but again, if you love what you do then WORK probably isn’t the right word. I get paid for my hobby is how I like to put it.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
4 Hour work week! Great book…..yes, I still like hard copy books!
Side or full-time hustle?
All are full time! I always have several irons in the fire, and all are high priority.
List the founders
I founded Region Engineering and about a year later brought on a partner named Rob Mullen. We celebrated our 10th year this year (2020).
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
60+. But we work hard and play hard! In development you are pretty much at the mercy of the economy and like to strike while the iron is hot. Fortunately, this iron has stayed pretty hot for the past 7-8 years.
# of Employees?
8 – We like to stay lean and mean.
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
It cost roughly 50k to get started. That covered all equipment and software needed to get up and running on day 1.
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
We operate strictly on cash. We’ve never raised funds or looked for outside investing, although as we grow and have started developing our own software, that need may arise. If we see something new and cool, we either pay cash or pick up a new project that will fund the purchase. With drone technology, almost daily there is something new and exciting hitting the market and it’s very hard for me not to impulse buy the second I see a new shiny object.
Our year over year has roughly doubled the past 3 years, and expectations for 2021-2023 are even higher. We have projects that are projected out 5-7 years and the return is typically higher in those later years.
Any call to action?
I am always looking for passionate qualified people. It’s hard to find lately, but when the right one comes along I’ll know it. In 2019 I spoke at 10 difference conferences, which was a goal of mine to start doing more of. 2020 start out great, with a lot of potential, but then you know….2020 HAPPENED!
You can find me on LinkedIn @ https://www.linkedin.com/in/theshawnherring/ And on Twitter - @TheShawnHerring