Small Business War Stories

Small Business War Stories was a weekly show recorded in person with small business owners. The show released over 150 episodes spanning three years and over 15,000 miles. We discussed different topics and get the triumphs, struggles, and funny stories from our guests' everyday lives. Hosted by Pablo Fuentes, an entrepreneur and musician based in Austin, Texas.
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Now displaying: 2019
May 29, 2019

Why was cutting part of his finger off a positive turning point for Patch Rubin?

Why do Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Gary Clark, Jr. love Wide Sky Guitars?

This episode follows Patch's path to becoming a guitar maker....and we also touch upon the psychology of bouncing back from setbacks and keeping going as a core value.


May 21, 2019

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you or your loved ones were harmed and needed your help?

Would you be an asset or a liability?

Justin Hurzeler and his partners started Atomic Legion to help regular people answer: "asset."

When he is not going on SWAT calls or riding an ambulance as a first responder, Justin uses Atomic Legion as a vehicle to share his knowledge about trauma response, rappelling, firearms, self-defense, butchering of animals, and many other skills.

What is the Vanguard? What kind of person attends Atomic Legion events? How has Justin seen people transform as they learn?

All of this and more in today's episode.

May 16, 2019

We are excited to have Mike and Jordan back on the show!

Two years ago, we sat down with the founders of GoodWood NOLA to talk about their growing shop and the way they are impacting the custom furniture design and fabrication space.

What happened with their business in those two years? Why are they getting a bigger shop? What has gone right and wrong?

Check out today's episode to learn more!

May 8, 2019

Jane and Bob went through a lot to open their high-end wine and spirits shop just steps from Frenchmen St. in New Orleans.

What happened that almost derailed their opening?

What amazing musicians have played the stories Steinway piano in their home?

All of this and more in today's episode.

May 2, 2019

Josh used his marketing chops to grow his family's HVAC business into a multi-million dollar operation.

How did he do it? How did he use reviews to power his growth?

Josh teaches you all of his secrets and shares his stories from the front line of small business marketing in today's episode.

Apr 24, 2019

Nic and Diane Atwood are serious about real estate in Austin. They work closely with their clients and they help people find special opportunities and off-market properties.

They are also awesome people, and connect the community through a weekly open mic they host in South Austin.

Which major artists launched their career at the Irie Bean open mic? What crazy transaction stories do Nic and Diane have to share?

All of this and more in today's episode.

Apr 17, 2019

Matt Richards takes old wooden radios from the early 20th century and turns them into guitar amplifiers.

We sat down with Matt at a special time in his journey....he is making the leap to Square Amps being his full-time pursuit.

What is it like to source old radios? How does an introvert look at self-promotion? Who are some of the artists who have played Square Amps?

All of this and more on today's episode.

Apr 11, 2019

SouthPop is an Austin institution! The South Austin Museum of Popular Culture is a funky, colorful, and amazing non-profit.

Leea Mechling and her team serve as keepers of the torch for the history of popular culture in Austin, a city with a rich trove of stories, characters, songs, and art.

What is it like to run a non-profit? What happens when the pipes break? What crazy stories has Leea been witness to?

All of this and more in today's episode.

Apr 3, 2019

Noel Escobar is a craftsman and bootmaker in Austin, Texas. He was born into the trade in South Texas, and has established himself as a presence in Austin for decades.

Why do celebrities and everyday people from all over the world visit Noel to have custom boots made by him? What does Noel do to foster community? What kinds of events does he host? All of this and more in today's episode.

Mar 27, 2019

What a special episode! Colorado whiskey, great conversation, and an original song at the end.

Th podcast itself was fantastic, and talked about dealing with the psychology of the blank page, getting out of our own way, and how to create (and complete) things/projects from scratch.

Make sure you stick around until the end...Nick will put goosebumps on your arms and a knot in your throat with his original song "SeƱorita."

Mar 20, 2019

Grant and Karen are living the dream. And they also have their struggles, like all of us. 

In this episode, they share their story of how they became an in-demand guitar pedal company. From Grant's days as a touring drummer, to Karen's visual design skills, to the way they use social media and Google Analytics to grow their business.

They also have some cool music stories and mighty challenges that they have overcome in their journey.

This is a very inspirational episode...Grant nor Karen knew anything about how to make guitar pedals when they they have a thriving business!

Mar 13, 2019

Brett and his brother just won't give up. When their original idea for a drink had to be shelved because of a prohibitive required volume, they came up with another concept and successfully launched Moontower Matcha.

We talk about matcha tea, the ins and outs of starting a beverage company, how to find distributors, and we also dive into how to connect with social media influencers to promote your brand.

Lots of good tactics in this one!

Mar 6, 2019

Casey Carroll is really, really good at facebook ads. And it can be a complicated, overwhelming world.

In this episode, we dissect how to figure out what is important for you to get started with Facebook ads for your small business.

By the end of the episode, you will have a six-step guide that you can follow to tackle this seemingly daunting task.

You are good at learning things...learning this will transform your business!

Feb 27, 2019

Mercer is the man!

You'll be really impressed by his story of constant reinvention and learning, but that's not all.

Mercer will help you understand how to start demystifying online marketing, so you can start really making your marketing work for you.

We had a fun talk, but more importantly, I learned a lot, and so will you :)

Feb 20, 2019

Tara Dawn Chapman went from being a CIA agent to cold-emailing a bee farm. The email included her squat and deadlift numbers (beekeeping is hard work!).

The rest, as they say, is history. Tara launched Two Hives Honey by putting hives in people's backyards. She then partnered with the hosts by harvesting the honey while teaching them beekeeping.

Always wanted to know about bees? Are you interested in a badass female entrepreneur making her vision happen? Tune in!

Feb 13, 2019

Today's episode is nothing short of magical.

I sat down with Daniel Whittington, the new Chancellor of The Wizard Academy.

We talk storytelling, business, and what it means to run a business school that tackles business from the right side of the brain.

What is The Tower? Why are there statues of Don Quixote everywhere? What exactly are the Magical Worlds of Communication?

All of this and more in today's episode. 

Feb 6, 2019

Mick Whitcomb takes old objects like typewriters and scales and makes funky awesome light fixtures out of them. His wife Paige makes beautiful tintype photography.

Mick and Paige spend 300 days on the road with their dog, going to different art shows, setting up their booth, and making a living.

They are based out of Springfield, Missouri, but their customers are nationwide.

This is a fascinating story, and a business model that I had not seen yet.

We cover what it's like to be a traveling artist, how to get accepted into art shows, and what it's like to travel and work with your spouse.

Don't miss this's packed to the brim with unique stories!


Jan 30, 2019

Film cameras? Who shoots film cameras?

It turns out an increasing number of people are becoming interested in film as an art medium and as a way to slow down an appreciate photography.

Jeremiah Flynn talks about his store where he sells all kinds of film cameras and supplies, from the common to the exotic.

We also discuss how he does tintype (or wet plate collodion) photography as a way to supplement his income and keep the business going.

Don't miss the part near the end where we discuss how people can create content and lessons that can provide them with a passive income stream.

Jan 23, 2019

What would happen to your guitar if it got run over by a truck? Nothing, as long as it was in Calton case. Robert Steel tells us exactly what happened and what the guitar and the case looked like after it was all said and done.

Robert is awesome, and he tells a lot of stories, from rock and roll celebrity stories to what it's like to manufacture in the US in the 21st Century. Don't miss this episode!

Jan 16, 2019

Paul Jarvis just wrote a book called "Company of One" and sent me a copy.

I read it cover to cover and found it really compelling, so we hosted him on the show. 

Paul talks about a different kind of business philosophy, where more is not always better. 

How do you build a Company of One to fit your lifestyle and goals? Why and how should you resist the envy that comes when you see others constantly growing their business?

This and more in today's episode!

Jan 9, 2019

Kara is amazing. Do you want to learn how you can take your art and turn it into a business that makes $100k annually within one year?

Kara has the blueprint! She is also writing a book about it, and we get a bit of a preview.

Kara has a successful ceramics business in Austin, Texas, but this episode is about so much more than that....we cover art, business, manifesting your outcomes, the power of positive thought and intention (backed by consistent action) and more!

Unmissable episode if you are looking to take the leap on your own in 2019 and beyond.



Jan 2, 2019

Did Bill Murray really climb through the window of Willie Nelson's chapel during Luck Reunion?

This is the 100th episode of Small Business War Stories, and this is the perfect way to celebrate, with an episode recorded at Willie Nelson's ranch

Matt Bizer, Ellee Fletcher (Willie's grandniece) and I talked about the music business, Willie and his family, how artists make money in the 21st Century, and how Luck Reunion is creating a new kind of music and content company.

We also talk about community and the role that music and podcasts have in bringing people together.

Last but not least, we get all kinds of funny stories about the cool, inspiring, and bizarre things that have happened at Luck Reunion

Thank you for listening to Small Business War's to the next 100!

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