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Shark Tank Contestant Henry Miller Says Be Careful Who You Trust - Interview with Ramon Ray

Shark Tank millennial contestant Henry Miller, founder of Henry's Humdinger's shares with me that one of the challenges he's faced is being taken seriously. He started his business at the age of 12 and now is only 20 years old. In our interview he share's the one way that you can start being taken serious is to know your stuff.

Henry says, Overall, if you don't know the information, you're not going to be taken seriously. At the very beginning, whenever anybody would ask us questions, they'd look at my parents, nobody would ever look at me. I would just answer the questions each time, until they eventually just all kept asking me.

We also spoke about trust. He says be careful of being wanting to take advantage of you. Our discussion included food production, being true to your business mission and more. Listen to or read the interview below.

Read the full transcript below:

Ramon: Hey everyone, good afternoon. This is Ramon Ray, the smart hustle report on small business trends. I'm the editor of smarthustle.com, and today we're going to talk about the importance of trust. I think, which is a very, very important issue. We're talking to Henry of Henry's Humdingera, you may have seen him on Shark Tank and many other shows. Honey-based sauce and we'll talk about that in a bit. So Henry, welcome to the podcast, and I really, really appreciate your time. I know you're in school, running a business, competitive cheerleading, you've got a lot going on. But really excited to talk to you today, so thank you.
Henry: Thank you. I'm glad to be here.
Ramon: Awesome. So let's dive right into it, Henry. Why don't you first just tell us a little bit about yourself briefly? And really Henry Humdinger, what is it? For the few Americans who may not know what it is.
Henry: Well, my name's Henry Miller, I started the company when I was 12 years old, when I sat next to a beekeeper on an airplane, and during the flight I learned all about bees and about colony collapse disorder and I just wanted to know if there was anything I could do and I was told that a great thing you could do is to get a bee hive and to help support the bees by keeping your own hive. Because of that, I asked my mom for a beehive and she got me one. After that, I made so much honey. Didn't really know what to do with it. I ended up seeing if I could mix spices and flavors with it and ended up creating a line of gourmet products called Henry's Humdingers. Here I am now, 20 years old, almost ready to turn 21, still going strong. I've appeared on Shark Tank, QVC, HSN, and it's a crazy adventure.
Ramon: I love it. And unlike most entrepreneurs, this is a thriving business. As you've said you have some help doing it as you're focusing on school. How does that balance work for you? And I know as entrepreneurs, a lot of the time, you know, not as young as you, a lot older, but I have to do balance myself. How do you find juggling that, going to school, running a business, and other things you're doing. How do you do that and what's your advice for others?
Henry: One issue we've had for a long time has been the production of the honey has been a huge factor of the business. My parents relied on me and to help a lot out at the factory doing the day to day stuff. Whereas, it's harder to do that when you're going to school every day and you're not able to be a full time career in it. One thing that we've done recently to help fix that is we've shifted from moving away from producing the product ourselves to leaning more towards a co-packer to help reduce the stress upon the family so we can more work on the business side of it. My parents obviously help to select package, my dad has designed all the art work for the labels. We work as a family unit. I run the company but at the end of the day, I don't think I could be anywhere without the help and support of my parents. They are a huge part of the machine that is our company.
Ramon: Absolutely, no, that's very important, too, to get help as you're doing that for sure. One thing I know that's important to you is the trust, Henry. Talk about that issue trust. I know that's something very important in business, myself, you work with people who you've known for years, which overall goes okay, but sometimes you've gotta work with people you're not too familiar with and don't know. Help us understand that and how that works in your experience and advice on the importance of trust.
Henry: I think this advice is perfect for any new company, any new business that's trying to find their place in the market. It's really hard to start a company because ... especially if you haven't been in that industry before.
When we started Henry's Humdingers, my mom had been a teacher prior, my dad had been working in advertisement. My mom had previous experience in that, as well. Beyond that, we had no experience running a company. It was very much trial and error.
Ramon: Right.
Henry: Which was rough to begin with, to say the least. One thing is, there's a lot of people that approach you in the beginning and that really stages your company that pose as somebody trying to help you, or maybe they are somebody to help you, but they can get complacent. There's a lot of people out there that are looking to make money and a lot of them make money off people entering the business world. Then, kind of taking advantage of over-trusting individuals in the beginning, and using that to move forward.
It's an unfortunate truth because at the end of the day, that does happen. This is the real world. Not saying that everybody's untrustworthy, because I've certainly met wonderful people throughout my business ventures that have been very gracious as people. But I've also met people on the opposite side of that spectrum, and it's very hard because they look and act the same, until you see what the result is from dealing with them.
Ramon: Right, right. No, that's so true. Henry, I'm curious. As a young entrepreneur, you started the business when you were 14, right? 14 or 15?
Henry: 12.
Ramon: Oh, I'm sorry! 12, 12, I got that, I got all that wrong.
When you're 12, so what is it like being a young person, millennial, very young, owning a company? Yeah, you have parents and others that could help you, but any advice for others who are younger? They have dreams, they want to start companies? Any advice to them that, things you've learned on the way that they need to know. 'Cause I think it is a bit different being 30, 40, 50 starting a company and being a lot younger.
Henry: A huge problem I ran into early on was being taken seriously. From the very beginning, I wanted to be as involved with the company as possible. I didn't want to be seen as a person who is just like the face of the company and didn't do anything. I wasn't really a big fan of that. I made sure to learn numbers, I made sure to familiarize myself with that. Of course, I wouldn't be anywhere without my wonderful, assistant, who is my mother, who helps keep me in the loop with everything.
Overall, if you don't know the information, you're not going to be taken seriously. At the very beginning, whenever anybody would ask us questions, they'd look at my parents, nobody would ever look at me. I would just answer the questions each time, until they eventually just all kept asking me.
When I went in on Shark Tank, I made sure it was only me, because it's my company.
Ramon: Right.
Henry: It may be scary, it may be kind of daunting to kind of take it by the reigns like that, but if you're passionate about it, and it's your idea, you gotta stand by it, and you gotta make sure you're there putting in the elbow grease yourself. Help and support are surely invaluable resources that you should utilize, but at the end of the day, you can't rely solely on that.
Ramon: Yeah, that's so true. I think, Henry, one thing I've seen is this battle between millennials and not millennials. You know millennials are bad people, all selfish, and the millennials thinking that old people are old farts.
I often tell people there's a level of humility that needs to be done. I think that millennials can be humble and understand that they don't know everything. I think that the older people need to see value and like the freshness of ideas. Any perspective on that? Either way, maybe you disagree, maybe you agree. Any thoughts?
Henry: I thinks it's crazy, because if you go into any trade show, or any huge expo that showcases their improved products, they're just about anything. Usually people in the field, you see old salesmen who've been in ... who are maybe 60, well, that's not old, but I mean, older. As to mean, you're 70 years old working the floor, who've been salesmen their entire lives, and know just about every trick in the book. They're getting in on the next new fad or trend because they've just worked the market. Then you see these new, budding companies filled with millennials, and they're also trying their new ideas. They may not know every trick in the book, but they have new takes on presentation, things like that.
It's crazy because you see both having great success in different ways. I think there's room for both techniques and both types of mindsets when it comes to business. I think there's no right or wrong way to do business. I think there's certainly better ways, there's better practices and worst practices, but at the end of the day, it comes down to one's ability to just sell your product.
I think that that can be accomplished in so many different ways, that both millennials and older generations just need to accept that they do things differently.
Ramon: Yeah, that's a good point, differently and there's not necessarily one right, one wrong. Sometimes there are, but I think your point's right.
Let's talk about Henry's Humdingers a bit, Henry. I appreciate your time with this. Can you just help us understand, especially for those who are also in the food business. As you said you're using a co-packer, so I'm sure a lot of it, outsourced? But just talk to people who are in some sort of a food business even though it's still a broad, I'm giving you a broad question, here. Any specific advice for them, that you've learned in food production, which is different than retail, different than fashion, different than being in accounting or law, whatever it is. What can they take from you that you've learned along the way? What can you learn?
Henry: Food production is difficult. There's a lot of guidelines. People have very much, are very conscious and careful about what they put in their bodies, as they should be. I think that we pride ourselves on putting forth the products that is safe and good for people. There's been a lot of recent research that has exposed honey companies outsourced from countries like China and stuff, have been proven to be more like sugary goo rather than actual honey. The ability to look at our product and say that we know, we put forth the best we can. Yes, we maybe spent a little bit more money at certain places to make sure where we knew it was coming from. It's very comforting to look and not see your name on one of those lists of companies being shown for that.
I think dedication, if you're making a food product, and you're gonna stand by it, putting forth a quality product is important. Make sure that it's something you would like to eat, and you would be okay with eating, or giving to your family. I see a lot of corners being cut, a lot of news articles exposing these companies. I just think it'd be better to just stick to the better practices from the beginning.
Ramon: Yeah, Henry, this is so helpful. Henry, again, there's a whole lot of your journey I know we haven't dove into, or dived into, but anything I didn't ask you, Henry, that you wanted me to ask? Or anything that's important to you that you wanted to get out to help fellow entrepreneurs, to help fellow business owners? Anything, lessons learned that you wanted to bring up today? It's been a good discussion, but I always like to ask my guests anything else they want to bring out.
Henry: I think a big thing to do is to stand by your drive. A company, and having a business is a rollercoaster, to say the least. There are going to be lows, and there are going to be highs. Anybody who says they've never had anybody reject them or say no to their product in business is a liar. The people are gonna say no and people are going to say, and hopefully, you only need one yes. Or you only need a couple yeses to work. Just because it's not working now doesn't mean it's not gonna work in a couple years. I'm not saying bet the house on it every time, or anything like that, but at the end of the day, don't be deterred by obstacles or resistance at first. If you believe in it, and you think it's good, then I say go for it. Hopefully, you can make it work. At least [crosstalk 00:12:02] for me ...
Yeah, sorry.
Ramon: No, go ahead, you said for you, please, continue, continue.
Henry: I was just saying 'cause regardless of how the company goes ... It's not always as great as it can be. There's definitely times where we wish we could have more orders, as I'm sure every company goes through. But the journey of starting this company and running it with my family. Many other small business owners can probably say the same, it's stressful, it's not the easiest lifestyle, but it's led me on a lot of rewarding adventures and stuff in my life. Being on Shark Tank, being able to travel for the company, meeting amazing people along the way. Personally, it's just pretty crazy. I say take a leap, and if you have an amazing idea, go for it.
Ramon: Henry, this has been ... I love it, I think you provide inspiration, not only to young people, but to old people, like myself. I just love your hustle. I love your grind, and it's been amazing to talk to you.
Again, ladies and gentlemen, we're talking to Henry of Henry's Humdingers, which is an amazing, amazing food, accessory asset that you should consider for your food. That's at henryshumdingers.com and this is Ramon Rey with smarthustle.com

The post Shark Tank Contestant Henry Miller Says Be Careful Who You Trust - Interview with Ramon Ray appeared first on SmartHustle.com.



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Shark Tank Contestant Henry Miller Says Be Careful Who You Trust - Interview with Ramon Ray

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