Nicholas Franz, CEO of Frag Out Clothing Company, Shares a Life Lesson
Written by Adam Bird on 07/09/2017
Another great interview in the books, This one will have you laughing hard! Listen in as I talk with U.S. Air Force veteran and Owner/CEO of Frag Out Clothing Company Mr. Nicholas Franz.
Folks there are somethings in life you just can’t make up. When I ask Nick to give the listeners some advice… Listen to what he has to say and the story he tells. You won’t be disappointed!
Adam: Right now, it’s their decision hour. It’s their time. What advice can you give them?
Nick: Well, let me tell you what. Can I tell you a little story?
Adam: Yeah. Please.
Nick: Do we have time for that?
Nick: All right, so, when I got to Alaska, right, I was going through basic training down in Texas and when you go through, they have you fill out what they call a “dream sheet”. Okay? Because you’re dreaming about places you want to go, so you write them down. They don’t tell you places that you can go. They just say, “Hey, pick what you want.” You know?
Nick: So, I put in all southern states. You know, I’ve I got Florida, Texas, Southern California, and then I pick, you know, Australia — Guam, all warm, topical type places because I don’t want to be cold anymore. So, I go through my tech training, at the very end, this lady hands me a sheet, you know, or my orders. And I’m like, “All right, Elmendorf, AK.” I’m like, “What is that, Arkansas? Am I going to Arkansas?” She’s like, “No, sweetheart, you’re going to Alaska.”
Nick: No, no, no, no, no. I’m like, “Slow down. I’m going to Arkansas. I’m not going to Alaska.” You know, I’m like, “Slow down.” You know, so, there I am going to Alaska now. All right? Ah, that’s like the last place I want to go. I wanted to be warm. I got the total opposite.
Nick: Yeah. When I get there, they, they do like, ah, all your in-processing, briefings, and all that stuff. And part of it is like survival in Alaska. So, they teach you, you know, about the cold and they teach you about animals. You know, what happens if you encounter a moose or a bear or something like that, you know, what do you do? So, I’m like, all right, what to do, it’s like a 4-hour class on surviving in Alaska.
Nick: So, up there, obviously everything is wilderness. Everyone wants to hunt, they want to fish, this and that. I’m from Detroit. I want to go to the bar because I’m 21 now. I want to pick up girls. That sounds fun to me, not going out hiding out in the woods. So, a couple of my buddies, good friends with now, they’re like, “Dude, you’ve got to come fishing with us. We’re going to do a suicide run. That’s where you get off from work, you drive down about an hour away, go fishing all day, you know, stay there a little bit overnight and then drive back.” So, I’m like, “You know what, whatever, I’ll try it, salmon fishing.” So, we go down there, we hike out about a mile and a half into the woods, you know, down streaming into the woods, set up camp, fish, and we don’t catch anything. So, we’re like, “All right, you know what, let’s go back to the tent, we’ll start a fire. I brought a case of beer and we’ll just get drunk and call this a day.” So, we go back and there’s four of us now. One guy stays and fishes, the other three of us, we go back and get a fire going, we’re drinking. One guy gets drunk, he’s like, “I’m passing out, I’m tired.” He goes into the tent, passes out. Then it’s – my buddy comes back, he caught a salmon. So, we go, “Let’s cook it up.” Great idea in the wilderness in Alaska.
Nick: So, we’re like, “Yeah, let’s do this.” And start cooking it, you know. We’re eating it. Ah, it’s, like, so delicious. We’re starving. You know, we brought us a case of beer. So, you know, we’re drunk now. He’s like, “I’m going back to get some more fish.” So, he goes back fishing and my other buddy is cooking the last piece of salmon and I hear, like, some, some sticks breaking. I’m like, “Oh, my God, what is that?” Now in Alaska in the summer, it doesn’t get fully dark. It’s like twilight so you can still see pretty decent. And I look down this, like, trail, the only clearing and what do I see, two grizzly bears.
Adam: Holy shit.
Nick: Two big ass grizzly bears and I’m like, “Yo, man.” I’m like, “There’s a bear.” I’m like, “There’s bears.” He’s like, you know, “Your full of it, dude.” Obviously, he’s just trying to use more choice words now. And I’m like, “You get up. Get up.”, you know, I’m like, “There’s bears.” And what they teach you in that 4-hour class is that the guy stands up, waives his hands in the air, and he goes, “Whoa, bear.” So, what do I do? I start holding my hands into the air and I start going, “Whoa, bear. Whoa, bear.” And he’s like, “Dude, you’re so full of it.” And finally, he got up and he saw them and so now both of us are standing going, “Whoa, bear, whoa, bear.” And finally, you know, they turn around and they walk off and you could kinda hear him walking around in the woods a little bit as we were packing up, getting ready to leave. But I’ll tell you what, if you ever encounter a bear, it is scary. Like, they are big animals and they will kill you. Like, we literally had a flay knife for the fish and an ax for the wood. (unable to make out) wouldn’t even chop the wood. So, we were done. We were smoked. If they wanted us, we were done. All right? A whole lot of bad decisions led up to this point of me, you know, almost pooping in my pants.
Nick: You know. I mean it was, it was, my heart was racing. So, we packed up, we left. But why do I tell you this story, is ‘cause that’s kind of how, like, life is, how business is. You know, I’m sitting here telling you this story and it’s a funny story, you know, we’ll all laugh about it, you know, another 30 years from now. But at the time, it was very scary. And that’s kind of how I feel right now in business. Like, man, this is really scary. I need to survive this. You know, so, anything in life that people are doing, like, just do it. Like, stop questioning it. Do your research, do your homework, and do it. It’s gonna be scary but it could pay off and that – you know, you could get eaten by the bear but, you know, you’ll never know if you don’t try.
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