Lots of us have out-of-the-ordinary career paths, but Jeff Davenport’s was way out. With a bachelor’s degree in biology, he never worked in the field. Instead, he discovered radio, and has been in broadcasting for more than 25 years, most of them as operations manager for a multichannel company.
Lots of people in southeast Arizona also know him as the host of a weekly trivia night that’s been going on for nearly six years at a Native Grill and Wings, “Home of the one and only unique, live trivia night and game show experience!” Jeff attributes his success to his “serendipitous, surreal life,” but he also has a true gift for seeing opportunity.
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| Rise Grind Repeat 102 |
On today’s episode of Rise, Grind Repeat we talked to Jeff from native game night. Talk about how his runnin with the local sheriff led him to be the host of services most amazing game night. Let’s dive right in.
Jeff, thanks so much for joining on another episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat. Dustin, I can tell you that this is the most exciting thing to happen to me ever today. This is by far, by far I’m sitting in the same chair as my Instagram friends, Melissa. Lexie, Eric clay, David, I can’t be joined to name every person. I can really name them all. Are you friends? Oh, yes, I am. Yeah, I was just crazy. I mean, I I’ve only met. No, I haven’t. I mean, I’ve talked to them and dm them and spoken to them on voice memo on Instagram, was I was hoping to meet them while I was up here. It’s got to be next time. Next time. cool people. So to sit in the same chair, as those wonderful people I took us is very happy to sit in this chair that is on today. And I’m happy because I mean what, you know, what you’ve done is awesome. I can’t wait to kind of hear your story and what you’re doing and what you’re doing on a weekly basis and really what you bring to the world, what I bring to the world. It all started on Sunday, September 5 1976. A Bicentennial baby boy was born breech came out. No, that is true story. But no, I mean, to be here and to talk about this. It’s It’s crazy to think about where where my life has come. Yeah, what it’s come from. When I told people I was going to be on this podcast. I said, I they were excited. You know, they were like, Oh my gosh, this is so cool. Jeff, you’re gonna be on a YouTube channel and a podcast talking about Native game night. This is ridiculous. what’s the what’s the YouTube channel podcast about? I said, Well, it’s about Valley based entrepreneurs. And my friends looking to go well, I said, Well, hey, the irony is not lost on me that I’m neither Valley based, nor an entrepreneur. But nonetheless, I asked Dustin really, really nicely I said, Please, would you please have me on your podcast and YouTube channel to talk about this silly trivia night? And I’m so grateful that you said yes. Love it. Love it. And I’m excited to hear more about it. Before we get into native gaming. I would love to just kind of hear your story. What’s your What’s your story? What do you about how have you gotten to today? How am I got into today, man? The cool part is you and I have something in common. You were a high school athlete. In the baseball side. I was a high school athlete on the football side. I played football for went to high school and from Sierra Vista, Arizona, which is just south of Tucson for those of you who like to do birding and hiking and things like that. Come on down. There’s there’s plenty of exciting stuff happening down there. Not just on Wednesday night, not just on on Wednesday nights, but beyond beyond that, we’ll get into that. But beyond that, you know, my my dad was in the military. And so we moved around a lot as a kid and he ended up retiring in Sierra Vista in Fort Huachuca, which is a was a military intelligence hub at the time. Down there in in kind of like how there’s Luke Air Force Base up here. There’s data mountain in Tucson. There’s Fort Huachuca down in Sierra Vista. And that was the military base where we ended up moving to when I was a freshman in high school, and pretty much stayed there ever since. I ended up getting done with high school. I got recruited by a few small schools in Kansas and Nebraska to play football ended up at one of them. And the great part was I was a third string defensive back now I mean, I in high school or junior year, or junior year, varsity. I played I was running back on offense, mainly used as a blocking back and we had the number two offense in the five a south. I don’t know how they how they categorize it anymore. I don’t think it’s it was five, eight when I was in high school, okay, yeah. All right. We got that old stuff. You’re too young. You’re too young for it to be five. But but so so we’re the number two ranked offense. My junior year my senior year, I switch over to defense play corner. And we have the number two defense that you’re going to state. My senior year at Sierra Vista. High School went to state we were you know, it was nobody, nobody school was in a nothing town but just a bunch of kids who really worked hard and had a great, great team concept from when we were freshmen going up and you know, playing together on JV. We would scrimmage on JV we would scrimmage against the varsity as sophomores beat them and scrimmages was great. I was so scared. I was scared out of my mind. But there was there was some really cool players like where you can go kick their butts. Let’s go. I’m cleaning it up a little bit. we’ll kick their butts right now. And I’m like, okay, fine, let’s go do it. Ah, you’re crazy. You go you have that athletes mindset and so having that athletes mindset our senior year with the number two defense in the five a south, we ended up going to state and we lost in the first round we got destroyed and the first round by Mesa Mountain View, who at the time had a quarterback by the name of Joe Jermaine, who two years later would be the Rose Bowl MVP. Oh, wow. Wow. Yes. And and my claim my one claim to fame is we lost like 50 to eight. But one claim to fame is Joe Germain did not complete one pass on my side of the field all night long. The Rose Bowl MVP.
So if you’re watching this, Joe, I still challenge you to this day. I’m sure he’s a super sweet guy. But but so that was that was you know my my high school experience i was i was i was like a nobody I was kind of a wallflower I my all my all my friends were not on the football team. My friends were aside from that. So I had the football team and then and then you know, my friends that I would hang out Yeah. and stuff. So it was it. I’ve ran in different circles and had and had different circles of influence even back then, that I didn’t even know about going to college, played football and got recruited by a few different schools Midwest, played for a school called Sterling college in the middle of nowhere, Kansas was like Division Two, no, this is like the equivalent of a d3. Okay, and so and so I got recruited as a defensive back. And the best part about that experience was that our team stunk. And it meant that me as a third string defensive back as a corner. Uh huh. I got to play the second half of every game, we’re down by 50 points at halftime, the coach looks over and goes, What’s the worst that can happen? Davenport hit in there. And so I, I would and so hearing your name announced in college football stadiums, goals is pretty cool. And there’s just some very cool feeling about that. And then ended up I was able to just for one year ended up because I met this girl who’s sitting over there
and started dating her and, and then ended up finishing my degree in December of 1998. at Grand Canyon University GCU, I went to GCU, all of 97, all of 98. In December of 98. with a degree in human biology, my goal was to be a physician’s assistant, I was going to be a PA and I studied very hard, I worked hard I my GPA was was decent, and I did well in the classes. And then I just totally bombed the gra. Graduate requirement. Yeah, whatever it’s called. And, and I just I did so badly at that, that in January of 1999. I thought, you know what, here’s what I’ll do. I’ll take a year off from school, though, I will end up taking the Gru again in one year. But for now, what do I do? I don’t know what to do.
There was an opening at a small Christian radio station in my town. And I’m like, radio sounds easy. I think I could I think I could try this. I could do. And of course, almost every radio guy I know has that story of first being on the radio where they’re just like, welcome. And thank you for listening. I appreciate you being you just you can’t you don’t have your voice you don’t have I certainly don’t have the voice that Eric does, as he talks about the Diamondbacks. You know, it’s like I do not have that voice. Most people nowadays, they they hear me on the radio, and they think, wow, that chick sounds hot. I still have that kind of impact and influence on the radio today across southern Arizona. But I started at that station was there for a couple years. And then and then got hired by another station that owned a network of stations across southern Arizona. And then in 2005, I was hired by another company that my my story is so weird, because usually in radio, you have you work for one company. And that’s exactly. I got to work for two different companies that but the who both knew each other. They both knew I worked for each other. You were looking at me like like, like you’re worried, you know, like, yeah, did they know I don’t think they knew Jeff. Just so they actually had relationships with each other before and they just said, well, we’ll just share Jeff, he’ll be our sales guy. Yeah, rep down there and Sierra Vista and, and he’ll work for both of our stations. And for some reason that it worked out. I started working for the company that I’m working for now. I started working for in August of 2005. And my, my boss told me at the time, he said, Hey, Jeff, just to let you know, you’re gonna work for me for one year, and then I’m gonna move the station and I’m going to sell it. And that was in August of 2005. And I’m still still there. And and I’d like to think it’s all because of me. It’s probably because it is it is because of my boss. But but most radio stations you go to there’s even like here, you know, there’s a lot of people behind the scenes. Yeah, people you walk into an office setting. I met. So I am the radio station. I’m I’m the production guy. I’m the sales guy. I’m the light engineering.
I’m the janitor. I do very badly at that Leo lets me know how poor I’m doing.
Well, you know, I gave you a duster. You know what that duster is for? I don’t know, I just you guys do a very nice job here. It’s very clean here. Thank you. Very, very clean here. And so I’m just I’m just cruising along and being a radio guy.
A medium sized fish in a small pond. Yeah. And so because I’m the only representative for these two radio companies.
Nobody has to deal with Oh, you have to deal with our production team. You know, with that you have to deal with our video game. You have to do it all Yeah, I am. I’m all of those teams in one. And so the fun part about that is you get to you get to see every aspect of the job. You get to see every aspect of what the client needs, and walk them through everything. And that’s so much fun. Creating the relationships with the businesses is something I’m very passionate about.
Again being in a small town you you get to know everybody Yeah, you’re there long enough as long as I’ve been there, you know, I went to community college coaches college so I mean I have relationships to go back to the, to the early to mid 90s. With with some people there that actually I still have friendships today you have it’s really kind of wild. If you lose touch and then all sudden you get reconnected because of social media and it’s like, this is amazing. How did we and you just pick up right where you left off? It’s just exactly ever it’s kind of the cool part about friendships and and having that having that tight knit community in a smaller town. Yeah, Sierra Vista.
All of a sudden.
Life takes an interesting twist in 2014. And and I end up getting the opportunity to meet our Sheriff the Cochise County Sheriff. His name is Mark Daniels, hopefully in a friendly way. Not in the back of a car. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah, it was. Yeah. I mean, I still have the No,
no, it was actually his wife was working for a medical office at the time. And I was calling on them for advertising for our company for our radio station. And I go in and I meet with her sit down with her just like I’m sitting down with you. We just chat and she goes, You know what? I think Mark would like to get to know you and I was like the sheriff.
fangirling out I’m going crazy. This is exciting. I’m like, Oh my gosh, you know, the sheriff wants to marry me. Yeah. Oh, sure. Yeah, like, like I’m something special. I end up having Leah and I we went to we went to dinner with them at the outback in the summer of 2014. Just sitting there talking to the sheriff mark and his wife, Nikki. And, and mark is I think he’s like the prison, the Kiwanis Club and a prisoner of all these different clubs and stuff really very involved in the community. Yeah, of coachees County and Sierra Vista. And he says, Jeff, I do this. I do this production every year. It’s called sizzle. Have you heard of it? I’m like, I don’t know. I’ve heard of it. I don’t know what that is. It’s a Ladies Night Out charity fundraiser for Kiwanis where we get 300. Ladies, we do gaming tables, we do drinks. We do fun. We do entertainment. I think you could entertain. I think you’d be great at that. I’m like, What do you mean entertained? He’s like, you play the guitar. You can come play songs for us. I’m like, I Yeah, I do. I mean, I okay, I can I can try that. Sure. I know some older songs. That’s one of the main stations that worked for sure we can we can do that. He’s like that would be great. I mean, I’m sure if Mark makes me look like I’m on Ambien so he’s, he’s he’s one of those kind of guys where he’s just very energetic. Yeah, and a go getter and and so much fun to do things with. And that that’s September of 2014. I showed up. And they’re special guests. They usually bring out a special guest for this particular annual function. Special guests was Steven Seagal. That is cool. It really wasn’t. It wasn’t I’ve seen more emotion on wallpaper than in Stevens. I’m just kidding. If Stevens watching this, I’m sure he is.
He is. He’s an interesting, he’s an interesting guy. Very interesting guy. very dry. And we kept him hidden down below in the basement of this of this building of the Colombian hall or whatever and then and then brought them up. Ladies gentlemen, Steven Seagal, you know, and that was after I played some songs and so yeah, but from that that particular time that friendship was Sheriff Mark ended up becoming a Jeff, here’s my number. I might need to call you to come help me emcee some things. Slowly but surely. I’m moving to doing some MC out with him. And just doing these major events. In Sierra Vista, Cochise County, there are major events that happen every month, the community is a tight place. Yeah. You know, being from from Yemen. There’s tons Exactly. There’s something that’s happening all the time. And there’s got to be somebody on microphone to help direct the traffic. Yep. And so I got to be that person, you know, so they’re Sheriff mark, who’s, you know, just straight, straight guy. And then there’s me the maniac going off and telling these crazy stories and making people laugh and trying to entertain people at the same time. While they’re there to mailings for charities. It’s for different nonprofit organizations that are looking to raise money. It’s fundraisers for these different things. And so I look at it as just a way to meet people then hang out a year later, fast forward one year later to September of 2015. So my my emceeing journey technically started in 2014. One year later, I’m an emcee of sizzle, sizzle comes back around. I’m an MC this time, I’ve got a photo of this, where there’s the group of guys getting our photo. So the way sizzle works, like I said, it’s a Ladies Night Out fundraiser. So the ladies come in, and there’s a bunch of local businessmen that act as their bartenders. Basically, they just run drinks all night. And then there’s me on the microphone directing traffic. There’s a part where we introduce the waiters. Here’s your waiter, he’s table a table number four. Here he is. And I just knew I get on the mic and I’m going I’ll WWE and get all all crazy on it and, you know, doing all sorts of, you know, crazy dancing stuff and going wild
in this photo that will show you I didn’t know, but the gentleman standing right behind me. His name is Marcus tuefel and Marcus
lives here in Phoenix and works for an organization called native grill and wings, a couple of franchise restaurants. And he built one down in Sierra Vista in July of like 2015. So like two months earlier, two to three months earlier, this new restaurant opens in Sierra Vista native grill and wings. Yeah, why do we need it? The first thing I thought when I saw the thing going up, why do we need another wing place? What if so, was it the old native New Yorker? It was yes. And they rebranded gotcha. Now they’re they’re hubbed out of Chandler? Is it? Oh, yeah, he’s their corporate office. They’re right here in the valley, which is kind of interesting. I, you know, I would learn that slowly along the way. But what Marcus did, and it was funny, because I didn’t even know that he was standing right behind me in the photo. It wasn’t until like a year later was kind of scrolling through. And then I’m like, I wonder where he was in that photo. He’s literally standing right behind. Yeah, and little did I know, at the time that photo was taken, that guy standing behind me would end up changing my life. And again, it’s because of Sheriff Mark who was sitting right next to me that the connection all comes back to him every good thing that’s happened in my life since 2014. I can almost directly correlate with Sheriff mark, and the opportunities that he gave me to just try to entertain people don’t be silly and be funny. And then the rest was about taking advantage of opportunities. side hustles Yeah, it’s like it’s this is I know, this is about entrepreneurs and valley based and, and I’m not really an entrepreneur, I was just given opportunities to do things. And maybe that’s the gonna be the theme of this is to take advantage. You never know what opportunities are gonna lead to opportunity in some door might open. I’m always saying yes, this is probably the problem. Yeah, I have a problem. My wife knows that. I have a problem. The The issue is, someone asked me to do something I say no problem. Leah reminds me You can stop it. No. You can. You can stop it. No. Instead, I say, no problem. Let’s do this. And you just never know what’s going to happen. So that night, in September of 2015, as in that photo, Marcus is standing right behind me. He comes up to me in the middle of the night as things are going on. And the ladies, they’re having a good time. There’s a live DJ, live band, all sorts of crazy stuff. And Marcus comes up to me. He says, Hey, Jeff, my name is Marcus, you introduced me You went all WWE.
You went on WWE on me? And oh my gosh, that was great. And yeah, and I’m from Phoenix, and I just built this restaurant called native. Have you been there? And I’m going, I haven’t been there yet. I’m sorry. No, No, I haven’t. And and he’s like, well, I got this idea of doing a trivia night and I think you would be an amazing game show host. And I looked at him. He said, I always wanted to be a game show host. No problem. I did exactly. No problem. Except except there was a problem because I looked at him that night. And I said, Marcus, I’m
doing a trivia night. That sounds very interesting. Maybe I’ll help you get it off the ground. Yeah. But I think I when I get home after work, I get in my PJs, I eat my dinner. I get on the couch and watch TV. And I go to bed not necessarily in that order. I mean, I I am a homebody, I like going home. I like I like my TV. I like my TiVo. I like like the shows. I just don’t i don’t think he’s like, No, no, no, man, seriously, you can Let’s meet Let’s meet up and let’s talk. I’m going okay, I guess. All right, fine. So that was September, October of 2015. He’s down from Phoenix to Sierra Vista, sends me a text message. And I go down there and to the restaurant walking for the first time. I’ve never been I still hadn’t been there before. And I walk in and you know, it’s a lunchtime crowd, barely anybody there and I see him off in the corner. And I’m like, hey, it’s like, Hey, how’s it going? Come on over. And he kind of gives me the the lay of the land and what he sees as the trivia night, and I’m, I’m kind of like, I’m not really interested. I would just say I was blown away. It’s gonna be amazing. I’m not interested at all. I’m thinking this. This makes no sense. Yeah, I’ve lived in this town for a long time. Nothing good lasts. Nothing lasts here. It doesn’t.
And he said, Okay, well, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to in the restaurant industry, I never growing up, I never worked restaurants, I always worked retail. So I didn’t, I didn’t have that relationship with the restaurant industry. I was never a busser, waiter, cook server, anything like that. I was never any of any of that. I always worked retail. So there’s a lot of cool dynamics that I got to learn early on about the restaurant business. And he said one of the first things he told me one of the first things I learned about the restaurant business is that you know what you have Wednesday nights are typically the slowest night in the restaurant industry. So we want to do the trivia night on Wednesday night. And I said, Wednesday night, that will never work. That literally came out of my relay that will never work. I said, Oh, and I want to start it. I want to start at 6:30pm 630 should give people time to get off work. Yeah. And then and then you know, go home change or do whatever they want, and then come out to the rest. I said 630 that’s way too late.
And he said every single thing I think he lists off like four or five things. And I kept saying all the way down the line is like oh, that’ll never work. And and I’m just I’m, I don’t know why I’m not normally a negative. Maybe I am a person that maybe I’m you’re bringing this out
Maybe I have a very negative person, but he just kept saying all these things I, I just knew I’m like, never work. It will never, never work. But his concept was he I guess he’d done something similar up here with some of his restaurants. So there’s a company called bar game show productions calm, which is based here in the valley that does trivia nights, all sorts of different trivia nights. Everything from like real trivia to Family Feud style trivia to music, trivia, movie trivia, that kind of supply a whole wide range of different bar trivia games. The one that Marcus chose for for Sierra Vista was a Family Feud style trivia, which means you don’t need to be a Jeopardy champ. You kind of win it you know, you don’t need to be a guy who sits here and watches Jeopardy and goes, What is I have no idea. No one knows what the answers are. Nobody knows not at all. And so and so for Family Feud, though. It’s like, Okay, well, what what? Name something that goes good with milk, okay, there’s cereal, there’s cookie, there’s, and you can kind of think of stuff like that. And so I was like, Okay, well, that’s, that’s interesting. That’s interesting, because it can be open for everybody. Exactly. It’s not just going to be a trivia night for the smart people. intellectuals, the you know, the brainiacs, the the doctorates? Yeah, it can just be the average don’t radio guy can go and play this trivia night game. And so once once, he kind of laid it out, I was still under the mindset of, I’ll help you get it off the ground and help you get off the ground. That’s Wednesday, November 4 2015. The very first Wednesday in November, native gaming was born. And and they had, all I did was show up and read basically, they said, they sent me the questions. Yeah. And I didn’t, I didn’t even know what to do and, and they had the sound equipment there. To me, there’s a difference between an emcee and a DJ. I’m an MC. Okay, I show up. The mic is already there. But everything is all set. Everything is good to go a DJ. Well, he brings his equipment or her equipment, they bring their equipment and they set it up and they have their lights and they have their music and they have their microphones and stuff. That’s a DJ, I’m an MC. I show up everything is there. All I do is get on the mic. And and I run the show. Yep.
They had everything there. Everything was was right there. microphone, amps, speakers. It was all there. The very first Wednesday, in November of 2015. Four teams played three, three teams were from one table. So it was like, there was nobody there. I looked around this restaurant and I’m going I’m good. I I knew I know. This won’t last. Yeah, I’ve got to get out. I’ve got I’ve got to get out. This is and we didn’t know Leah, Leah came with me. And we figured out okay, well, Leah will be there to keep score. Well, we’ll just use this as a as a date night. It’s actually turned into a work almost This is the site but yeah, but I mean, it’s it’s almost it’s not a full time business, but it kind of is with social media. But looking at, at what we were doing. She comes she keeps score. And then I asked the questions and and then we go home and go to bed. And and it’s like, I don’t know what else to really do with this. I I sat there that first Wednesday night, I just looked around, and there’s barely anybody there. I’m on the microphone talk. And I was on the microphone. actually talking to the crowd. I turned around to talk to the crowd to try to engage them because as an emcee, that’s what you always engage the crowd. I mean, you’re always seeing eyeballs.
I learned that I would I would go on to fix that. But before then, Wednesday, November 4 2015. I get home that night. I said Marcus, and I get my phone out. I said Marcus an email. I said, Marcus, this was a lot of fun. And I think it’ll be a great. I think it could be really, really great with someone else hosting it. Because I think you need a DJ, not an emcee. I think you need a DJ with the music with the bells whistles with the lights with. I think I think that’s what you need. I think you need a DJ.
And here’s here’s the name. I gave him the name and number of somebody that I knew who had a gig at another restaurant in town and I thought you go, you call you call him up, and he’ll take care of you.
I get a call from Marcus. A frantic call from Marcus on Tuesday, November 10 2015. week later, which is the day before Wednesday, November 11. Now November 11 is Veterans Day. Yeah, most restaurants in Sierra Vista is very patriotic community. A lot of restaurants up here. They’ll do something for the veterans on Veterans Day. Even the big chains, the big restaurants. They’ll have a menu a free for veterans. You bring your ID card, your active duty veteran. The meal is on us. And Marcus. It was their first Veterans Day. And it happened to fall on a Wednesday. And Marcus said Marcus called me frantically on that Tuesday the 10th. And he said Jeff, I’ve tried to call this guy he’s not calling me back. Can you do us a favor and just host it one more week. We’re gonna have a crowd. There will be people there because it’s Veterans Day and it’s our first
First one, and we’re giving away free meals. And I said, All right, let’s, I looked at Leah, I said, Okay, let’s let’s go to Let’s help them out, help them out one more time. And so we go there, larger crowd. I’m on the microphone talking to people I’m turning around facing them the tables behind me. And nobody’s paying attention. I’m like getting in people’s way. You know, the microphone cord is coming out as I’m trying to, like, walk over to the tables and talk to people entertain them. And, and, and people are almost tripping over the cord. Like people with food and stuff. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, this is a disaster. I don’t know what I’m doing. Dustin, I have no idea. And because I had never been to a trivia night before. I’d never I’d never experienced a trivia night. Yeah, that’s what it’s supposed to look. Exactly. I didn’t even know that. Like, that’s why back in October when Marcus is telling me about this. I’m like, I have no idea what that means. Yeah, I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how they work. I’ve never been to one. This town doesn’t have those. I don’t know, I I’m not sure what it would even look like tastes like smells like, I have no idea. And so we’re just kind of making it up. And I’m like, Okay, well, I can, I can do things on the fly, I can, I can roll with the punches, and just kind of see how it goes. We end up finishing that for some reason. Wednesday, November 11 2015. We Leah and I, we get in the car. And we drive home that night. And as we’re on our way home, for some reason, something clicks inside of me. And the first thing is,
I think I can make this work. If I treat it like a radio show. Like I’m just a radio guy. I’m not engaging the audience with my eyes. And with my I can’t engage them with with an expression that they’ll hear through the sound system. But I don’t need to see them. If I could make this like a theater of the mind experience. Because where, where they’re just hearing i’m not i’m not even focused on them. I’m focused on me, I’m focused on a performance and focused on. However, we’re going to make this thing up as we go along. I think I think I can make it work. And Leah said, I have a question for you. I said, What’s that? How much are you going to charge to do this? I was like, that’s a good question. You know, so. And so I ended up texting Marcus or emailing Marcus that night. week later on Wednesday, November 11 2015. I text him and or email him and I said, Marcus.
You know what, I think I can make this work. I don’t know if I’m the right guy to do this. But
if I can’t hold up, if I need bills, if I need whistles, if I need lights, if I need music, if I need those crutches, I’m not the entertainer that I think I am. Yeah. And so this is almost like a personal challenge to me as an entertainer to really take this on and and head this thing up with just the power of my voice. And using that as my instrument in order to captivate people and get their attention and create something out of nothing. That’s the fun part about obviously, being an ad agency, you get to really create something out ideas. And right yeah, it’s they don’t exist. Yeah, we breathe them into existence. As a radio guy. I get to create radio commercials theater of the mind again, theater mind, I get to create and produce something that was not there before. I love that aspect about what we do as individuals who help businesses succeed and help them with their branding help them with their with their idea. Exactly. They rely on us. They need us. Yeah, and, and so to create something out of nothing. It’s always turned me on. It’s just there’s something that puts the hamster on the wheel and gets it spinning gets it running. And I’m all on board. But just get me on that train on there. So creating something out of nothing, and having that moment and figuring out as I’m emailing Marcus that night. Yeah, on Veterans Day. 2015 I’m emailing him. I say Marcus. I would like I’m happy to do this for you. But I would like this much a month. I could have said I could have said that. I actually a week is what I said because we were going to do this every single Wednesday night. So I said I want to do this much a week.
And and I totally understand if that’s out of your price range. I understand if that’s not what what you think will work. And and then I’ll then I’ll help because I did these first two weeks for free. Yeah, I’m charged man. Yeah, I just don’t have the goodness of my heart because I wasn’t going to do this thing forever. I know it’s not going to last anyway. So since it’s not gonna last anyway, you’re going to make it worth my time. And you’re gonna make it worth my while. So you’re gonna do it up here. And it’s not six figures. It’s a car payment a month, you know? And that was how we looked at it. Yeah, then. And you know, but I’m walking out with a check in hand every week up here. And if you say no, that’s fine. We’ll find somebody else and if that’s too much, I’m sure you can find someone else who’s more reasonable.
I get an email back like five minutes later he’s like, Done deal should ask for more.
Leah thought it was gonna be too much when I asked for Yeah. Yeah. And and I looked at Leah, I turned to her and I said, babe, we are going to be doing this the rest of our lives and, and again, I had no idea what what it would turn into and slowly but surely
within less than three months,
a little article came out in this thing called the Sierra Vista Herald. Okay. And we’ll show up the hardcopy or the the PDF, copy this thing on the screen. But what happened was they were doing an interview, it was Saturday, January 30 2016. So we started November 4, this less than three months later into this trivia night that nobody had ever heard, or nobody ever done. The local newspaper came by and was doing an article on us to talk about this thing, because there was already some buzz being picked up about it. And there’s, there’s a funny story about this couple right here, that I’ll get to that, but just just remember their faces. Okay. And because when you do this for as long as we have, we’ve seen couples have kids. We’ve seen families grow, we’ve seen people, we’ve seen people come services very transient come Yeah, so so there’s a lot of military people who come through just to do the training for eight months a year, and then they’re gone. But while they’re there, you know, they want to ingrain themselves in the community, they find someplace to go and we’ve gotten to meet some incredible, incredible people over the course of the five years. So less than three months into this date of game nights excursion. Yep. We’re already we’re already getting Yeah, exactly. Just an idea. And and we’re already getting getting local publishing not now I know that. This is called a newspaper. You might not know this. I know. I know. You’re you guys are all digital here. You’re very, you’re very digital on right. And this is a paper that has news, just just so you know. I mean, I know you’re not familiar with these things, but that’s why this thing is from 2016. It, it looked fresh at one point in time. It’s pretty good. I mean, I guess
I keep it framed. But you know, I mean, yeah, I have every No, I don’t. I do I do keep that in my office, actually. And to show people and, and so so less than three months, we’re rolling, we actually find a good groove. And we figure out, we kind of figure out how to make this thing work. You know, we’ll do 12 questions a week. And I don’t know how I came up with that. I think, I think because 12 questions at the time with, you know, five to 10 teams playing. It’s like, yeah, that we get through that pretty easily. Now, you know, we have 30 to 40. Our record is 5017. Wow, this was just before COVID. You know, maybe the summer, the summer before COVID hit. I mean, it was just packed. And it would be I think we averaged well over 40 teams, for like the whole year of 2019. It was insane. I mean, it’s insane. You cannot imagine how crazy it is. And they and they just kept packing into tables packing in the show get pre COVID, pre COVID. And they bring in all the chairs and tables from the patio area, pull them all in so that everybody could be there to listen to this thing. And it just, it’s slow. It was a grassroots thing. It really kind of was, and word of mouth. And I had no social media. I had zero social media. I didn’t even have Facebook, I did not have anything. Two years later. And we would take pictures, I would say that was the frustrating part was with with native grill and wings, the local one and trying to get them to pay you guys. you promote the Come on. Yeah. Do you want this or not this bank and so and so what I would do is we’d take photos with the winning teams, like like we’re doing here, they’re holding up their certificate, and and then I would send them to native for them to post on their Facebook page for the Sierra Vista native Facebook page. And very rarely would they and just got to the point where like, when we’re not post anything else, and we don’t want to make it all about the trivia night. I’m like, What is wrong with you? How dare you? It’s not my fault that you have nothing to post.
And it’s slowly but surely, you know, they started doing a little bit. And, and it wasn’t it wasn’t long before what happened was so again, three months into this thing.
Marcus told, remember, Marcus told me Wednesday is the worst night of the week in the restaurant industry. I didn’t know that. Yeah. I said okay. So what you’re telling me is, when I translated that as an advertising guy and marketing guys, it’s what you’re telling me is, if I make Wednesday, your fourth worst night of the week, you said your fifth, I’m a hero. Yeah, that’s what that means. And he said, and you know, and he’s like, yeah, basically, yeah, yeah, I was like, Okay, cool. So I just make it the fourth worst night of the week, instead of the fifth worst weeknight. I’m a hero. What happened was in less than three months, a Wednesday was their third best night of the week. It was Friday, Saturday, Wednesday, and in three months.
And the cool part was again, the groundswell started, everything started coming up. And for some reason, as a couple years ago, I was I was on Google and and I just googled native grill among Sierra Vista. And I didn’t notice this but on the side, they actually have metrics of the wait times on the side. You can see where that where the highest wait times are. So that I think was about two years ago, at this point. And I was like, I wonder what Wednesday night looks like. Believe it or not, this the graphs were just extremely deep it or not the highest peak of the week, not Friday, not Saturday.
The highest peaks according to Google’s own analytics, yeah. Was Wednesday night from six to 8pm. The highest could you because you can you can click over isn’t denigrate and see Friday and see Saturday. And then you click back over and see when Wednesday’s Wednesday’s just a little bit higher Fridays Saturdays you know and then Wednesdays and I’m going this is the craziest thing ever that this thing is so cool that it’s doing this that is creating a community creating the native game night universe and and seeing what what happened eventually.
I knew I knew something needed to change at some point in time. I know you have questions for me. I’m sorry. I’m gonna dominate No, no, you’re just telling a great story. It’s a great story. So, again, we start this thing in November of 2015. I have zero social media I have I don’t know. I don’t want it. I it just seems like a headache to me to do it. And Lee is laughing over there right now thinking Oh, yeah, no, yeah, you thought that then? Sure. But it’s so so I thought, Okay. A friend of mine. She came over to my office, and we were talking and she’s like, She’s like, you know, with this trivia night? It’s becoming a really big thing. Yeah. And and I said, Well, yeah, of course, I’m a big deal.
And she goes, she goes, have you have you thought about? Have you thought about doing social media. And I was like, I did Facebook, like back in 2008. And it was the worst experience. But I literally killed my Facebook page. I had to Google how to kill my Facebook page. And I did make it hard. I they do and I but I did. And I and I had literally 00 Facebook, zero social media. And she asked me in September of 2017, almost two years after the trivia night starts, because she explained to me, she said, you know, you got these guys who are and girls who are up on post at Fort Huachuca, who are there, they’re coming to this thing, and then you lose touch with him, or he can keep in touch with them throughout the week. And you can’t remind them and you can’t, you know, keep in touch with them. And I’m like,
social media does that I
don’t just need to get their phone numbers. That’s all I need to do. Every single person’s phone number, whoever comes to the trivia night, and just No, no. If you get Facebook and she said, she said that magic word. That was like a curse word to me. I’m like, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m not doing Facebook. I’m just not gonna do it. And she said three words that I’ll never forget. She said, What about Instagram? And I had three words back to her. What is Instagram? I had no idea like I’ve heard of.
It’s not cool. Kids. You I’m too old. I’m too old to use the gram. I think they still call it I don’t even know. In September of 2017. We’re sitting in my office and and she goes, she goes, Yeah, yeah, yeah, Instagram is a cool thing. It’s for creators Instagram. Yeah, it was built on travel and food. Yeah, but it’s about it. But it’s it’s a healthier place than Facebook as far as, as far as you know, social media. It was at the time. I mean, yeah, it
can be it can be negative, it can be a negative space. But for what it’s meant for.
I was I was hooked on one condition. I said, All right. As long as it’s at video, the handle at native game night, on all one word, I do not want dots. I do not want dashes. I do not want parentheses. I do not semi colon. I it’s gotta be all one word. If it’s available, she grabs her phone, she types it in. She looks at me. She smiles and says, I said, All right. Here’s my phone. Take my phone started. And I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.
And all of a sudden, I thought, you know what, this could be a fun creative outlet. We’re creative. The fun part is we can be creative. Again, creating something from nothing. Yep, that is a turn on. That is something that I get energized by doing. Yeah, just like you do. Just like, you know, the whole team here. Yes. They’re able to literally take videos and pictures and make it all something really, really amazing. And so having having this social media channel, native game night with my, my intellectual property native, I didn’t come up with native but yeah, native data. That’s my intellectual property. That’s my brand. Yeah, in essence. And so how am I going to market? My brand? Hmm. Well, the interesting thing is,
this is September of 2017. In October of 2017, my wife and our Cardinals season ticket holders for seven years. And in October of 2017, there was a game in London the Cardinals versus the Rams in London, very infamous game because Cardinals just totally, totally bombed that game. It was just awful. But but at Twickenham Stadium, Leah, Leah said, Let’s just go. And if we go to London, if we go to London, can we go to Paris? Yeah, sure. Let’s just go. We’ll go to Paris. And if we go to Paris, can I go back to Germany where I grew up when I was a kid, you know, and living overseas for a few years. I’d like to see my old apartments and stuff that I lived in and see the baseball fields where I would never I would hit homeruns and stuff and it’s like, that would be really cool. So we worked out this whole trip, and it just happened at the right time. Because I started this Instagram, zero followers. I’m actually one of my very well, other than my friend who helped me. She was my first follower and then
Like early on, like one of my top five followers or whatever that came along first five followers was native girl and wings corporate. And and I’m like, Wow, look at me, I’m getting followed by them. And then all of a sudden when we get back from from our trip is, hey, we want to talk to you about your Instagram.
But what happened was I had this idea of because these these silly certificates, these novelty check science certificates that the teams end up getting, it looks a little bit different. This is the Yeah, this is the 2.0 certificate, there was a 1.0 certificates a black and white and had a different design on it. We My idea was cool, but we’re going overseas, what I’ll do is I’ll take the certificate with me. And and I’ll take it in front of famous places in front of famous things I’ll take, I’ll take the certificate, take a picture in front of London Bridge in the Arc de Triomphe in front of the Mona Lisa. And so and that’ll be something funny where I can go all weekend we can anywhere we go, we take one of these with us. And we’ll just do we’ll just do silly things. And that’ll be my post every week to remind people to come trivia night is they get to see the certificate. Where’s the certificate gonna be this week. And little did I know, at the time, that was actually really funny. Once once we got back from that trip, and I was starting to post some of those photos. People at the restaurant who were there to play would come up to me and say, Jeff, I’m heading I’m heading to Ireland next month. Can I have a certificate and take it with me and I’ll take a photo and I was like, this just this just got good? Yes, just got good. My brand is being carried literally people suitcases in there carry ons all around the world. So they can go do the work for me. They DM me their certificate photos, and firstly whatever. And and then I get to you know, use them and then credit them in the post. Yeah. And and do that. And so we get back that kind of started after we got back from from the trip. And we get back from the trip and native grille and wings corporate off Chandler road here in the valley. Call me up and they say, Jeff, we want to talk to you about the Instagram and I’m like, Man, you know, I mean, just when just when it’s a new creative opportunity. Yeah, like, Don’t you dare take Yeah, please, please, please don’t take it away from me. Because I didn’t know because it’s their brand. Yeah, you know, yeah. And it’s not like I would be posting anything. I remember the old Michael Jordan phrase, you know, it’s like, hey, Republicans want to buy sneakers, too. You know, it’s like, it doesn’t matter. Everybody wants to play trivia night. I don’t care. I don’t care, your political persuasion. I don’t care, race, color, creed. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. I want you to have a good time on Wednesday night. That’s all I care about. I care about you as a person, because I want you to have fun. And once you have a good time. And so I’m not going to do anything put up anything offensive or anything like that with their brand. Yeah. Because it’s it is it is their brand. And my brand. We’re kind of Yeah, commingled collaborating. So it is it is definitely commingle thing. And so I’m, I get on the phone with them and do a conference call with them. And basically the first thing that says, hey, we love your Instagram, and I’m like, Oh, that’s off to a good start.
Thank you. Appreciate that. And so, and I’m like, Okay, this, this is cool. You like the answer is that, hey, we just one thing. I’m like, Oh, no, here we go. The only thing they asked me to do was in the bio of the Instagram just put not an official page of native growing wings. Yeah. And I’m like,
I think I could do that. I think I can I can make that happen. And I’m like, Is that all you know? Like? Oh, one more thing? Yeah. Waiting for the one more thing? Yeah. Before I hang up, and it never happened. And while well, native grill noise corporate maybe hasn’t been as at the corporate office. I mean, the local one has been fantastic. Yeah. All these years. Oh, yeah. You know, the corporate office. I think they’ve been a little late to the game as far as seeing what this could do at all of their franchises. I, I hope one of your questions to me is going to be what are your plans for the future of this thing? Where do you see it going? Because I’ve already thought it out. I’ve watched I’ve watched every single episode, Dustin, I’ve watched them all. And I know the questions you’re asking. I prepared for this all night long. I didn’t sleep last night going on Red Bull. I love Starbucks all at once. But but I I
once they said that once they said, Hey, all you need to do is put not an official page of native grown wings. I’m like, good to go. Let’s have some bad. And then when all these people start coming to me and saying, Hey, can you give me a certificate to go to go wherever? I’m going here? I’m going there. This certificate has been on six continents. Wow. Really? The only one we’re missing is Antarctica.
I know exactly. I’m trying to I’m trying to follow all these scientists who go on to do research. Just Just take a picture write for penguin or something. I don’t know. It’s been on Iceland. It’s been I mean, it’s been everywhere everywhere on the world you could possibly think of this. Not this exact one. But yeah, the certificate. The certificate has been and we’re going to show you some of the photos from the most amazing places from I mean, people just going to San Diego to SeaWorld I got shambu coming up out of the water with I think these people take amazing photos.
With this certificate from a cracks me up to legit professional photographers who are friends of mine have taken the certificate on their trips to Mount Rushmore to San Francisco. One that was over in Germany has been to this has been to Hungary and to Poland and I’ve had legit verified Instagram friends, wow check mark verified, who have these and and take them with them. And I’m so humbled and I’m so grateful I’m so thankful for their help and their support because what I Instagram, it just makes me smile. It makes me happy. It’s just for me, it was a place again of creativity. Yeah. And, and it’s like this, this creativity here, being able to just take a stupid certificate, a $10 certificate. And people tell me all the time every week, they’re like, I want to come in first place and we actually give the certificates go out and we don’t the restaurant Does, does everything all I do is show up and read. That’s the hardest part. Yes, keep score 50 teams to contract. I just sit there and talk and laugh and make people laugh and have a good time. But instead she she’s one of those that does all the hard work. But it’s not just and that was one thing Marcus wanted to do from the very beginning. It’s not just one team that wins. We’re gonna give it to the top three teams. We’re gonna get for newbies $10 shipping. So to me the restaurant was very involved in the success Oh, yes. And they wanted it to be successful. And they to me, they made all the right moves. First of all, by hiring
I would have nothing to do with it. That’s just the craziest part. And so you start the Instagram at 2017. Again, slowly, it just starts building. That’s how I meet Melissa. That’s how I meet Lexi. And eventually, because of this podcast, I end up meeting Eric and meeting David and, and clay. And it’s like, this is so cool. meeting these guys and seeing what they’re doing with their creativity and all the things that they’re able to do. They just blow me away with the things that they are able to do through Instagram. There’s so much that I still have left to learn. I mean, I think everyone does. Always Well, I think so. And that’s the hard part. It’s like, gosh, it’s just old dog new tricks. Tough. Very, very tough. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m cool enough to do it. And then there’s grandmas on tik tok for crying out loud. A billion followers. I’m like, I guess I gotta learn that too. Eventually. I don’t know. I need you guys to teach me. I’ll pay you guys. Andre, you’ll help me do that. Right. Yeah. Thanks, man. Appreciate. And, and so you just see the evolution of things. In Sierra Vista, being a retirement area predominantly. retirement, a lot of military retirees move back to Sierra Vista. A lot of them are not on Instagram. So in 2000, when was it was 2000 had to be 2019. I think one of my friends actually two of my Insta friends who really had a really, they were influencers, one of which the blue checkmark. Yeah, Henry Doe, amazing. Drone photographer, one of my close close friends. He said, Jeff, here’s what you need to do. I just wanted to ask the professionals, how do you handle this? And what should I do different? What can I do differently? And your contents great. The stuff you’re doing is it’s a great idea. It’s fun to promote the trivia night and then you post the pictures of the winning team. So literally, it’s it’s certificate, where in the world is a certificate? next photo is winning teams that swipe swipe, swipe, swipe. Okay, cool. next photo. Where’s the certificate this week? Who did that? Oh, that’s funny. Wow. It’s in Sedona. Wow, it’s in, in places around Arizona. You have some amazing, amazing places around here to take a selfie stick. Yeah. And but what Henry and Katie Brier both recommended to me again, another photographer influencer account, she and he both said, you need to turn your Instagram to a business account. I was like, that sounds easy enough. I think I might be able to do can you walk me through please walk me through? Because I don’t know. I’m not sure how to do it. I think I could try. And so they show me how to do it. And little did I know to have a fake or to have an Instagram business account. You have to have a Facebook business account. Yep. And to have a Facebook business account. You have to have a Facebook personal account. You gotta be kidding me. I don’t want to Rise Grind Repeat that hard. I mean, this is ridiculous. I gotta get two accounts for Facebook
to have a business Instagram account. Are you kidding me? And and so I did that. And the funny thing was because of the demographic that Sierra Vista is, by getting Facebook, I was able to reach a whole new audience of people that I was not reaching through Instagram even though I think everybody who has a Facebook has an Instagram but they don’t know it. cases I think that’s kind of how it works now that they’re together, but but I was able to just repost and kind of and kind of do do things differently. So I had the native game night Instagram, native game night Facebook, and then the Jeff Davenport Facebook and just kind of working them all together. And and then there may be posting some some
personal stuff on the Jeff Davenport yes book page, bookkeeping native game night, Facebook and native game night Instagram just about a trivia night and stuff down there. And that way that least people who are following it just like oh, who cares about you, I care about these teams and seeing where the stupid certificate is. It’s like, okay, that’s fine. I’ll try to take it too personally. But
but but having that window open again, another another door of opportunity, who would have thought a human biology graduate from Grand Canyon University, decides to get into radio and 22 years later, is has been hosting this trivia night for five and a half years that came out of nowhere the opportunities that I’ve had I live a serendipitous Surreal life and you hang out with me for about five minutes.
This is just like scratching the surface of like one aspect of the things that I deal with this but but I’m very proud of what of what trivia nights become. And and knowing that it is a brand that has 1000s of followers between those platforms, the the Facebook and the Instagram, and watching it, for some reason continue to grow is so far beyond anything that I could have thought, because again, I went without it for two years. This thing was six that it was already we were already in the Sierra Vista Herald time. We were playing time period once later in the Sierra Vista Herald within three months, I didn’t have Instagram for social media for two, almost two years, with the first two years of this, and I look back and I regret it to the point where, man I lost touch with so many people because they were coming in for Fort Huachuca to do some training for eight months. They were there every single week for eight months. And then they came up said Hey, man, sir, last week, ah, you know, give me a hug, man. God bless you guys. Safe travels. And hopefully we’ll see again someday. And that’s it. Yeah, there was no way to keep in touch with them. And I always I always keep my fingers crossed that someday there’ll be on their Instagram and, and they’ll see a hashtag native game night or native game night. And then they’ll then they’ll find me and and do that. I don’t think that’s happened just yet. But um, you know, because I’m out there on Facebook as well. Maybe Maybe those actions will will be reestablished. But being able to go from just a radio guy to an MC to a game show host and looking beyond you know, trying to try to see what what the next step is. As I continue to Rise, Grind, Repeat through through this journey on a side hustle. That’s all it is. Yeah, I this is not my day job. This is cool. That’s the crazy part about this. Your podcast, and YouTube channel is for Valley based entrepreneurs. Not neither an entrepreneur, but you had me here and I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity just to share the story about this crazy trivia night that has seen, you know, 1000s of people be a part of over the course of five and a half years, every single every single Wednesday night. And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Okay, every single Wednesday night really, Jeff, really?
In five and a half years. We have only missed two Wednesdays Wow, we’ve been doing this. Remember the game that Kurt Warner threw more touchdowns than he had incompletions? Yeah, we’ve been doing this more years than weeks. I’ve missed it’s almost the same. It’s almost the same concept. And and the only reason we missed those two weeks was because we were overseas. We went overseas on that on that trip to the Cardinals. And then in 2019 we went to to Italy and did a week and a half Yeah. In Italy 10 days and so we had to miss a Wednesday night and we had somebody fill in for a while while we were gone. And then we come back the next week. And all the all the servers gone. Thank God you’re back. Oh, it was terrible. Last week, it was so awful. And it makes me feel good. Yeah, yeah, job security, you know, on a side hustle, side hustle this is this is not my day job. Even though I I do treat it like it I love that that’s the one thing I love about social media is being able to see what other people are up to and what their lives are doing and be able to interact with them not just on Wednesday nights, but throughout the week and and to be a part of their life make them smile. I have people who DM me or or comment on stuff every week saying every time you post something where I always wonder is Tuesday your post on Tuesday where’s the certificate? I’m wonder where this certificate gonna be there. It just makes me smile that and there’s there’s a couple of people who who send that to me and then and what happened this this is kind of the interesting twist happened in the restaurant industry you might have heard about this thing is called COVID. I was asked about how have you guys done since COVID kind of so crept into so what happened was everything shut down. March 2020. In Arizona we were for those of you who are watching this maybe in other parts of the country or around the world. Arizona was was kind of one of the later ones to really shut down things out lockdown on the East Coast pretty quick in February, and it took a little bit longer just like everything does to come West. And and and it took a little while longer before Arizona shut down. And the restaurants were takeout only. Yep, no dine in
and then happened in Sierra Vista in mid March 2020. And so
We had it we had a choice. We’re like, Okay, what can we do? Because again, it goes back to the every single week really every Wednesday night. I can say yes, what we did was, we’d never even though at that point, we’d had the Instagram and the Facebook’s we’d had those those channels. We were never live from the restaurant, it was always just used to promote the restaurant for people to come. Because I want people to come to the restaurant. If they’re watching live, that means they’re not paying for the food here, and I want them to enjoy this, I want them to enjoy it here to get the full experience. Because when you’re watching it on a stagnant iPad, very sterile, sterile one shot, we don’t have the cool three camera setup is literally the iPad that has Facebook, my phone that has Instagram, it’s very sterile. So we didn’t go live until COVID, hit restaurants shut down. I come up with this idea. I look at Leah. I was like, I have an idea. And she goes, Oh, no, no, please, please don’t have an idea. And I said, here’s what here’s what I think we can do. What we can do is we’ll vet everybody, but this is my idea. We’ll take winning teams, teams who have teams who have won a certificate, we will bring them over to our house to play against me, I will not be the host or facilitator, I will be a player. For the first time in the history of native game night. I’ll be a player, you appointed Leah, you will be the host, you will see the questions, you will get the questions, you will pick the questions, and then I will play against them. We’ll sit around our dining room table, I’ll pick up some native or pick up some pizza pickups. I’ll pay for it on my own pocket because they’re not they’re not paying me to do this at my home, you know, and they only pay me when I’m there at the restaurant. So So I but I still wanted to support the Hey, they’ve supported me for years. Yeah, and, you know, car payment a month, man, they’ve been very consistent. And and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity. And I’d like to think I’ve helped them out too. But I don’t have Google Analytics. And,
and so and so the idea was, okay, we’ll have a former previous native game night champion. Yeah, come and play against me from my dining room table. We’re going to be my dining room table, we’re gonna hang out, have some pizza, and we’re gonna go live on Facebook and Instagram at 6:30pm, just like we do every single Wednesday night. And so promoting that it took it to a different a different level, a different concept, because everybody was stuck at home. Yeah, everyone, everyone was at home. And since at that point, I had 1000s of followers and they’re going, man, well, we’re not gonna get to do native game night. And yet they were because we went live. And so Leah would ask the court, we’d have the people over, they’d get there, you know, between quarter to six and six o’clock we’d eat and then just, you know, set up right around, then not a cool setup like this. The bookcases you know, and all these fake books, they’re not even real books, people can you believe not kidding, they’re real. They’re real. It’s not even a real basketball. It’s a it’s a cardboard cutout. Exactly. Just kidding. They did a really nice job here. I wish there was obviously the sale at wayfair. A very, very nice [email protected] And so and so we just set it up right around the dining room table, they would bring over dessert. So we’d have the dessert sitting there. And I’d like be popping the desserts like race, as I’m sitting there playing the game as a player. The gimmick was and I knew this, they didn’t know this. I knew this. I had to lose every single week. I so my job was not to come up with the five point answer. I had to come up with the four points to make it look like I wasn’t throwing but yeah. And and I know you people are watching this going, Jeff, we know you were smart. We know how silly you are. It’s like Yes, I know. But but so because I wanted I wanted the team, the judge of team to beat me. Yeah, we did that the first week. By the time we hung up on Facebook and Instagram, there were hundreds of people watching, it was insane. I had no idea that it would be that big of a hit. Because people were interacting and they were commenting live comments as we were doing this. And so like what what do you guys think the answer is they’re typing in their comments are typing into things. And they’re come Okay, that’s a good idea. Haha, you know, and, and, and then, you know, they’re on the other side of table, my opponents are on the other side of the table, previous champions. And it’s and it was just such a fun way to interact. We did that. Week One, week two, week three, we did that for a total of nine weeks from my dining room table over two months. And different people every time different different couple different families would come over. We actually did one via zoom. It didn’t work out as well as I thought it would, because they were a big team. Yeah, but they’re always there. And I wanted them to be involved. But it’s just like, I don’t want to have that big. I don’t wanna get we’re live on on Facebook. Yeah, I don’t want to get yelled at that. You have all those people over there at your house? Yeah, this is dangerous because it is it’s dangerous time. We don’t know what’s going on in March and April and May of 2020. We don’t know what’s happened. We don’t know the full scope of this thing. And so and so but everybody else knows a couple and we’re like, hey, we’ve been safe. We’ve tested negative Earth everything’s fine. You know, we’re not bad.
been exposed. And so we just had to do a little trust with them as well just as they did with us they came over to our house nine straight weeks. And then finally the restaurant reopened. And, and I did a whole promo package yo with I did, I took some footage of me slow motion walk in the restaurant there and I was like, Yeah, my sunglasses on I did my did a little earlier on the people’s eyebrow thing and,
and had had like, you know, AC DC back in black, you know, playing and stuff and, and, and the whole the whole thing, or P Diddy is coming home, I’m coming home, tell the world and coming up. Yeah, I really tried to try to pump this thing. Because I knew that even though the restaurants were reopening doesn’t mean that everybody’s going to come back, and it’s not going to look the same, the tables are going to be a lot spread apart, spread much further apart, there’s going to be a lot of space in between people as there should be there needed to be. And to a certain degree, I think there still does. And we are we’re very fortunate Leah and I, we talked about this that that native took it seriously, you know, they really took this thing seriously. And even to this day, as of the day that this is being recorded. They’re still operating at the limited capacity with every other booth, you know, and tables spread apart. And, and we’re grateful for that, you know, we’re grateful that that people can come. The sad part is, during that time since the reopening since May, mid May of 2020. When things are reopened, we’ve seen hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people turned away at the door because really, yeah, there’s there’s no room because capacity fills up quickly. And you feel bad because people are walking in going well, there’s a booth right there and there. Yeah, I’m sorry, you know, you can’t be seated there. And they moved us we used to be in the center of the restaurant where the way this restaurant set up. There’s like a, I call it like a dining room side and a bar side. But the bar has all the tables around it dough and booth half booth tables. And then the dining side has booths on the side and then tables in the center. They moved us from that location to literally the front door. We’re at the front door now. And then we were out of the way we’re safe there. Save everybody say I still wear my mask walking around, pick stuff up. Yeah, I still, I still want to take this thing seriously and let people know that, hey, we want to be safe and we want you to be safe. We want you to enjoy your time here. If you’re feeling good, and you’re okay with going out, if you’re okay, we’re okay. Come on, let’s go. But what we decided to do was, after the nine weeks at home from doing it, our dining room table for the people who aren’t yet there that just aren’t comfortable yet they’ll come back out. We’re going to go live on Facebook Live on Israel every single Wednesday night. So you can still play along with us. If you’d like to help out native get it to go get a doordash or or do Uber Eats or grubhub or something like that come by, or do just do a takeout and go home and eat that there or whatever, go go eat whatever. As long as you’re watching me, that’s all that matters. But I wanted, I wanted to give them that opportunity even after the fact. So in the post COVID world where some people you know what home is still safe. And home is your office home has become your everything. Yep, there’s no place like it. I understand that. But you can still interact and we want to interact with you. We want we want you and there’s people who play along every single week. It’s my favorite time a week, you know, they’re typing in on their, on their, on their computer, or on their phone or whatever. They’re watching along on their little teeny tiny screen and then and then they’ll take what happened was this was kind of cool. Since since the reopening and being live on those social media platforms, people put me up on their on their TV screens, and then they’ll take a picture on their phone and they’ll tweet it out. Or they’ll say, Oh, it’s the craziest thing. I’m like, wow, the guy with the face for radios now TV star, they said Video killed the radio star. I think they’re right. I think Video killed the radio star but because I’m on somebody’s TV at their house every single week is they’re playing native game night. And and that’s and that’s the you know, what this has become in the post COVID world. And looking at it nowadays, it’s it’s exciting. It’s exciting to see and to have it still growing and to meet more people and to have an opportunity like this to come and talk to you about a side hustle. I’m a radio guy. I’m just a dumb radio guy who said no problem. Yeah, I and I think that you are I mean, you mentioned a couple times that you know, the shows for entrepreneurs in the valley. I mean, granted, you might not be in the valley, but I think you are an entrepreneur. I don’t think an entrepreneur is a job title. I think everyone thinks you have to run a business to be an entrepreneur. I do I look at it that way. Yeah. But I think I mean, I think people can be internal entrepreneurs within a business. I mean, to me, if you’re solving problems that’s moving a business going forward. I think you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t need to be the owner or founder or whatever it may be to be that entrepreneur, but you, you look we had COVID how we’re gonna keep this thing going, we’re gonna make something happen. gonna figure it out. you’re solving problems that’s impacting other people’s lives. And that right there to me is the definition of an entrepreneur. A lot more than I own a business. I own the restaurant, right? you own an idea that turned into a reality that brings
Happiness to people that solves a problem. And to me that is the the best type of entrepreneur that there is. I think it’s huge. That’s very high praise, you know, I mean, because again, I, I didn’t look at it that way. But yeah, when you put it that way, I am an entrepreneur, right down, you are saying, Justin, look at me.
Because it’s funny, cuz someone mentioned that talk to the marketing director or something at a pretty big company. But he said the same thing. You know, you can drop names here, like I’ve dropped, I’ve dropped plenty of names, you know? Yeah. Right. It’s, it’s,
it’s, they’re called supermetrics. That are, I mean, more of a digital marketing tool, whatever. But he said the same thing. You know, I’m not, I’m not the owner and not an entrepreneur. But you know, after talking to him, it’s seeing the problems that people would face as they use their platform and stuff like that. He’d have to think of different ways to solve those problems to make it more accessible. He was basically making decisions that move the business a certain way. And to me, that’s an internal entrepreneur. And I think that there are a lot more entrepreneurs than people even realize, because, yeah, without a doubt, I mean, again,
not everyone, you know, for an entrepreneur to me, in my mindset, it’s like, yeah, that’s your full time job. Yeah. But it doesn’t have to be now. And maybe that’s the point is that, to have that entrepreneurial mindset, to have to have an idea for a stupid social media, a dumb a dumb Instagram, that that has to do with the silly ticket here is still a gift certificate that that ends up going on six continents. The seventh is waiting. So anybody’s watching this, and you’re in Antarctica, please help. Help Help a brother out, help me out here. I need I need help. Help Help a radio star out? And it’s, it’s amazing to think about, yeah, I’ve been able to help a brand. I’ve been a brand. I wish the brand, the corporate brand would do a little bit more. One of your questions that I know you’re gonna ask me is, Jeff, what kind of challenges do you see, you know, with with this, the different challenges that you have gone? Well, thanks, Dustin, thanks for asking.
There’s two kinds of challenges. There’s an internal one and there’s an external one one that I one that I can control one that I can’t Yeah, the internal challenge is looking at my Instagram followers. And then I see other people I’m like, why don’t I have 20,000 followers? Why don’t I have that? Why don’t I? Why don’t I I mean, I only have 1500. And that’s, I’m so much more famous than that.
Yeah, you look at that, it’s like that, that’s an internal problem that I have. There’s like, I’ve just decided I’m gonna be happy for everybody. I don’t care who I don’t care if you have, if you have one follower. And and you know, what if you’re, if you’re someone who’s in my life, and and, and I’m going to invest time in you, I’m going to support you to 1,000% it doesn’t matter. I’m going to be happy that you have one follower, I’m gonna be happy that you’re posting about your, your jewelry making business or whatever you got go your side hustle, this is my side hustle. Yeah, I want to be happy with your side hustle, because most people’s Instagram is about their side.
hustle. It’s their photography business. They do on this side. It’s this that they do on the side is that they do on the side. Yeah, fun trip or fun, whatever. And I want to I want to be there to support that. That’s the internal the external. It comes from the corporate side where it’s like, I wish the corporate side would would look at this and say, we’ll the best Wednesday night in our entire franchise franchise wide. The best Wednesday night is his little Podunk Sierra Vista store. Why is that? Yeah. Why is that? So? Has it not been presented to them? Or? Because I mean, like you mentioned that went from the worst night to the third best night. And I mean, the first and then and then being the best, how is that data not come up to the corporate level? And they go, huh, why don’t we test this at three? Like, I mean, I have to go all in and tested every single location. It was we I ended up getting followed and damned I got I got dM by someone else who owned a native in the Tucson area. And and I was like, this could be interesting. And and actually went up and met with them and talked to them about you know what we do, and they came down and saw it live. And of course, they’re sitting at the bar looking around on a Wednesday night. They’re gone. What in the world is going on here? It’s like a rock concert in here. It’s insane. Yeah. And it’s this pre COVID. Again, it was actually just like two months. It was it was like the end of 2019. And, and for some reason things kind of fell through. But I’m glad that they did. Because we would have been Oh, let’s go gung ho we’re here in Tucson now native game night Tucson, let’s go. And then COVID hits, everything shuts down as you’d be stopped before you even start. And so it was like, oh, man, I was I was really crushed when it didn’t work out. But then when COVID hit, I’m like, everything else. It would have had to stop. Yeah, exactly. So So I’ve had interest from other franchise owners, not from the corporate office themselves, which I think I would love I looking ahead. I see. I would like to see two things because I know your question. Now, Jeff, what you have going on here is where do you see this going? You know, in a couple years and hopefully next three to six months. Yeah, yeah. How do you see it? Exactly.
I love it. I love it. And so there’s two things one is now that life is hopefully getting back to normal.
I’ve been vaccinated, my wife’s been vaccinated, we’re doing our part, we’re trying to do our part to ensure that we can help get life back to normal. And
I’d love the opportunity to present something like this. And in my mind, I see the success that this has had
in our little town. At the same time, our little town has seen the success that the trivia night had many restaurants have tried it.
Unfortunately, they’ve all kind of gone by the wayside. I’ve seen them all come, I’ve seen them all go. I’d like to think that I’m, I’m kind of the, you know, the maybe glue that kind of sticks together. I don’t know. I mean, yeah, I think it just takes someone with the right personality. With the right mindset, it’ll be able to entertain people. And again, when I was able that second week, when I was when it clicked and I was able to do theater of the mind, I don’t need to see that. All they need to do is hear my voice if I cannot keep them on the edge of their seats, just with the way that I enunciate and talk to them.
I know that when I wake up on Thursday mornings and don’t have a voice, I did a great job.
of seeing too, I’m a maniac when it comes to emceeing things. I just yell and scream and Hoot and holler, have a good time. And and when I wake up the next morning, and I don’t have a voice I know I did a great job emceeing that event. And same way with with native on Wednesday nights, you know, doing the trivia night there, I would love to see the corporation, you know, come around and say, Man, you know what, let’s do a couple more test markets for this and see if Can you go we’re gonna fly you out to this this store, you go you go there and, and go talk to these people go find a radio guy who’s hungry and wants to wants to try to get a side hustle going or something? Because again, it would take the right person to do something like this. I think I think you have to have the right mindset. You have to have the the fun and the energy to do it. I mean, just the passion. Yeah. And the entrepreneurial mindset.
I mean, he knows how to market it you figured out I mean, yeah, you did you built a business around it, essentially, I mean, aside, whatever you want to call it, you turn an idea into something that provided value for consumers, and you figured out how to grow it that’s running a business right there. It really is. And so that’s that’s something that I would like to see, you know, maybe the corporate side, come along, and have you wish I did to one of their one of their young executives at the time, who’s no longer there. I haven’t done a read and she just left recently. So gotcha. So I know that, you know, there’s a head honcho there on Chandler road, and might come knocking on that door and say, Excuse me, I’m Jeff Davenport. He’ll say Who? I never right. But But the second thing, this is no, this is like a total dream. Total dream scenario. Yeah. I’m going and I’m going all in on this one. This is like all the chips on this table. Because I know that you are the one who can make this happen. You have the connections to make this happen.
It’s It’s so silly. Have you ever seen the show Man vs food with Adam rich? Oh, yeah. It’s one of it’s one of my all time favorite shows. And Adam Richman, what he would do is, he would go to different towns, for those of you who never saw it before, Adam would go to different towns. And he would go to different restaurants. And they were always be one restaurant at the end of the episode 30 minutes into the episode. That’s where the food challenges. So he’d go to the food challenge at the end, man versus food. But in the meantime, the rest of the show was about him going to other restaurants and just highlighting different food highlighting different restaurants, you know, maybe people wouldn’t know about in cities that people are familiar with that traveled to all the time, but would be like, Oh my gosh, we were just there in Vegas. I didn’t know about that restaurant, we’re gonna go back there next time I go support that. And, and you have that have that idea. My concept is like man versus food, but with trivia nights. So for instance, today, our trivia travels take us to the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, Arizona, that is known as a foodie paradise. There’s a lot of great bars, a lot of great restaurants, which also means a lot of great trivia nights. And that’s what we’re going to check out on this episode of whatever. Yeah, and so I would go around to different cities. And and what the hitch for me is, because Adam originally was a restaurant guy, so he would go around to the restaurant owners, what I would do is I’d go around to the Instagram foodies, yeah, and say, Hey, we’re meeting up with this foodie, she’s gonna take us to this restaurant, or he’s gonna, they’re gonna take us to this restaurant. And you know, that would be part of part of the episode would be going to that restaurant or that food truck. And then we’d go to this restaurant or that food truck. And then the last, the last third restaurant that would go to is the one that has the trivia night, and I would play it. And so as a, as a professional game show host, I would get to I would get to go and talk to the person who put the trivia night together, and and then do a little mini interview with them. Hey, my trivia night has a crazy story, how it started. I said, I didn’t want to do it. That’s how I started. And I said it was crazy. And I’ll never work. That will never work. That will never work. Yeah, but it ended up working. And so I would like to think that everybody’s trivia night has a crazy story. Yeah. And so I would, I would just do a quick interview with with whoever the host is or facilitator at that trivia night get an idea for their passion, their entrepreneurial spirit that they had when they put this thing together when they invented this particular trivia night. How did it work for them what kind of what kind of responsive they seen
Didn’t have regulars. Exactly and that and that and I’d go around and you know, talk to some people, they’re just like Adam Hirshman would do on man versus food. And that’s all I would need that. That’s great. Yeah. It’s like, if we talk to them. Oh, you know, what about this trivia night here? You know, what do you guys think of oh my gosh, it’s so much fun. It’s so cool. That guy over there, or the girl who does this thing. She’s amazing. He’s amazing. It is so so much. And, and then, and then the end of the episode is me playing the trivia night seeing how I do at someone else’s trivia night. And that’s, that’s kind of that’s kind of a hook. So that’s the pie in the sky. Or, or Dream big dream to do a pilot or YouTube channel, youtube channel series or something like that, to put together a trivia night TV show, in essence, YouTube show YouTube channel that we’re because I know TV is is different now. But to put something together like that, and then and then just have fun with it. And, and, you know, hopefully, the restaurants, you know, would be able to pay you a little bit to co production expenses or something like that. Let them know, Hey, we’re coming. And we’re gonna have this many views on it. We know that we built it up to production is going to be really slick. Really good. Have you seen Man vs food? We’re trying to make it like that. Yeah. And to me, that is the pinnacle of a great food show. Yeah. And that’s what this would be. It’d be about food and trivia. And maybe we want to find someone who doesn’t have a face for radio to host it. I understand that. I don’t think they do as good of a job as me. But yeah, I mean, we could we could find you know, I think it’d be perfect for it. I think it’d be a lot of fun and to do something like so that’s that’s the dream that is that is just out of reach. You know that that brass rings a little bit a little bit too far away? Because I don’t have the right connections or know the right people even know how to get that to Melissa and I I know, I know.
I know. I know. Melissa is awesome. And Lexi does some amazing things, too, with what she did. We just went to alone restaurants that Lexi talked about, Oh, really? They so? How to get there. So it’s like, I mean, being able to interact with them and watch them. I mean, they have their own things. They would be the ones that I would go to like on for for my show. Yeah, I’d call up Jose, Melissa. We’re gonna hang out with you. And then and then you show us this this restaurant here or, you know, Alexi, we’re gonna hang out with you in the next segment. You know, we’re gonna just press all together. You’re the next segment you we go there. And then finally you know another another Yeah, Insta foodie. Here in the valley. You we go to you go find a trivia night and then we’ll go with you. You tell us about this restaurant? Yeah, and then we’ll go and and make it and really that way we’re all promoting each other doesn’t say it’s gonna grow their brands and grow the restaurant brands and grow the TV show I mean that Yeah, there’s so many different things that are gonna grow from that and it hurts my head to think about I’m really Oh my God, why would I do this? Dustin’s a lot that goes into it. But I think I do this. Why would you make me talk about this? Because now it has to you know, now that I’ve put it out there. You have to do it. I’ve never even real problem.
Nope, problem now I’m screwed.
So toes, I could see the eyes glare right now going to do it. But I think it’d be a heck of a lot of fun to put something like that together. So looking at the big picture the drain where we’re going, maybe that’s it. I don’t know. Maybe it is having having the you know, the corporate native. Understand what this thing really is, what the power is. And, and just go for it. And again, this is just side hustle. I mean, I have a college athlete. I’ve been in a movie I’m on IMDB for crying out loud. I was like, my life is totally weird. It’s totally, totally weird. But this is because you say yes to so much. I think that’s great. You create your own opportunity again, the when an opportunity comes my way. I am almost afraid to say no. Because I want people to like me so much. I’m so desperate for people to like me. There’s an old john Delaney joke. The stand up comic john Delaney, one of my favorite comics, he ended up saying that his wife and he have two very different personalities when they when they go out in public and Leah and I were watching his monologue on SNL a couple years ago. And, and he said this joke. My wife and I have two different personalities, my wife, she likes to just go somewhere, get something and be done, mate. I go there, and I go, Hey, that looks like an interesting person. I think I’ll go talk to that man. I just started talking random people or being in Sierra Vista. There’s very few places I can go where I don’t know someone even in Amazon. Now there’s very few places I can go where I don’t run into somebody who recognize me or knows me from from something and and it’s like, so I just start having a conversation. And and I’m just I’m so desperate for people to like me. I can’t walk by someone who’s waving at me. I have to try to Okay, where do I know them from but another from the trivia night? Do they know them from my Facebook? Do I know them from this Instagram? Okay, where do I know them from and and and then you know, shake their hand and talk to ya. And and Leah. Leah is exhausted by it. She’s, she’s so exhausted. She’s like, it’s like you’re running for the mayor of nothing.
And that was the john Delaney joke that Leah said, Okay, Mr. Mayor, let’s go. It’s like No, I’m just running for the mayor of nothing.
If you’re running for the mayor have nothing. And that’s that’s my life because no problem. And I don’t know why I have that attitude. I just, I really enjoy working with people. Again, maybe
goes back to the radio side because I am the be all end all at the station. I’m the face that runs the place. And you know, it’s been my boss but but I’m I’m the face. Yeah. And so having to do everything for everybody, you just end up having that relationship and wanting to get to know people. Yeah. And and I’ve been so fortunate through especially again since 2014. Meeting Sheriff mark, that that my life took a very drastic turn in that meeting. That Outback Steakhouse that night is like, Jeff, I think you could do this. I think you could do that. I think you’d do this. And then that led to that led to this. And I’ll finish with this story right here. This couple in January 30 2016. When this was was made to show you how the native game not universe is it really is a big family. Those two I think they had just started dating at this time they that’s Matt and that’s Rachel Say hi to Dustin’s. And they just started dating at that time and and they used the trivia night as as the kind of get to know you. So they would hang out after the trivia night just like you know, you did with your wife just like I did with my wife. You say, Man, there’s something pretty about her. And I think I want to hang out with her. spend a little time with her get to know her better. That was that was what Wednesday nights became for them.
They eventually started dating and moved in together. They had a kid, they were going to get married. Wow, they came they came to the trivia night a couple years ago. And and I was so excited to see him because you know, they life kid. Yeah.
Thanks. They were excited to be there. And they said, Jeff, when you have a minute, can you come in? I was like, Yeah, sure. Cuz I pass on all the game pads and talk to the people by running for the mayor. And I’m passing all this stuff out. And and then I go back to them. And I said, guys, what’s going on? I sit in a little booth with them and, and you know, mats on mats on your side and Rachel sitting right there, their babies right here and I’m like, look at the baby.
And they’re like, hey, Jeff, I just want to ask you something. And I and I go, Yeah, sure. What do you guys need? What’s going on? It’s like, we’re gonna be getting married. And I’m like, Dude, that is awesome. I’m so excited for you. I can’t believe it. How cool is that? And then they said, and we want you but you just need to understand how important the trivia night was to our relationship. We want you to do a trivia night experience at our reception. And I just about pooped my pants.
First at first I literally I thought they were joking. I was like, oh, I’ll do this. That’s that’s funny, dude. We’ll be there for the wedding. That’d be so great. Yeah. Matt reached across the table. He grabbed me on my arm. And Doug is like, no, Jeff, you have no idea what this trivia this trivia night has given me my wife. It’s given me my my son. It is so important to us. And we want our family to understand how important it is to us. That is cool. And so we did the native game night wedding. That is so cool at the Stilwell house in downtown Tucson. A beautiful in downtown Tucson. It’s kind of a really noisy place. But for some reason, they still bought a house they put this beautiful wedding area outdoors with with a couple so quiet. It’s like It’s like Tucson just disappears. All the noise and stuff you get inside here. It’s like everything disappears. It was a beautiful venue, beautiful place. And I was I was scared the entire time. How is this gonna work? And I’ve got the photo to show that night. Of Us finishing that night with you know, and all the tables were different teams. And I’m on the mic. And and what I did was I crafted the trivia night, a Family Feud style trivia night, around around that the questions had nothing to do with them. In particular, but it’s like, you know, we all know the mat loves cars. You know, 100 people surveyed name of brand of Yeah, and or something like that. And so I kind of just did it did it that way. I related the questions, but it’s not like, hey, so how many months? Have they been dating everybody right down here.
He knows that. Yeah, it’s like we could make it fun and interactive, but about them and so I tailored it to them. And to this day, being able to do the native game night wedding I’ve also emceed wedding receptions of people who have have been a part of the native game that universe so it’s like, they asked me to come and do something like that. On their special day. There’s, there’s no higher compliment or or, or more humbling opportunity than to be asked to go to somebody’s wedding and somebody’s wedding reception and be the emcee for their you know, to introduce for the very first time the bride and groom, you know, to have that honor to do that. Is is so cool. And it’s just it’s maybe it’s the athletes mindset where it’s like, you you hand me the ball, I’m gonna go do it. I’m gonna go run through that wall. Yeah, I’m gonna do the best I can and and that’s that’s where I’m at with this entrepreneurial mindset to be able to say, I you hand me the ball, and so I’ll just do my best not to drop it. And I’ll run I’ll run as hard as I can. And and at the end of the day, that’s that’s what I want to do for native game night for the brand for the family, the native game night universe. Literally. I gotten a bicycle wreck last weekend and we show up on Wednesday night. There’s a balloon
Add a note and that is it. But the funny thing is the note was from like, sometimes some of the teams they want to be, they won’t have a joke team as well. So they’ll send it like silly answers. Yeah. And we’ll get to read the silly answers. Mostly family friendly. And, and one of one of the team names, or one of the teams they keep referencing referencing this this lady named cinnamon. And you can imagine what kind of profession cinnamon has Yeah, and so So what they did was this team, the balloon had like a number one balloon. And they taped it to this to this note that was handwritten and said I’m so glad you didn’t break apart on your on your bicycle ride. And, and and then they literally put a cinnamon stick attached to it. Love cinnamon. And I’m like this this is the end that just happened last week. You know? So it’s like this, this relationship with these people. It goes much deeper than social media to me. Oh yeah. To me. Social media is just a conduit to let them know that when I see them on Wednesday. Hey, I saw you your your grandson had that football game. Hey, I saw that you guys your kid had his baseball game and and that but but it’s it is a relationship. Yeah. And and that’s why that’s why I love I love those social media platforms. I love Instagram. Instagram will always be my first time. It will always be my first love because I did not want Facebook. But facebook facebook opened up a whole new avenue to reach 1000s of more people. And and I hopefully have made the most of it. Yeah, didn’t drop the ball. And I and again, like we talked about there’s dreams. There’s plans. There’s out of reach Yang’s and Antarctica and Antarctica. We come and then after that, then after that, the ISS international space is a very light payload people. There’s not a lot of look at it. Yeah, there’s no extra payload here. It’s gonna be absolutely fine. So take it with you to space and get a nice view of Earth from there since the last drought. So yeah, exactly. Let him he’ll figure it out. figure out a way to get it up there. But I mean, that’s, that’s the that’s the short story.
No, I love it. It’s been awesome. I mean, you literally grew something out of nothing. And that’s what’s amazing. I think there’s tons of opportunity, especially now things opening back up if you were to work with that location to really show the data of what you guys have done, how much busier it is on Wednesdays, I think using the data to show how much foot traffic you’ve driven. And I don’t know if you guys have a loyalty program showing how many repeat how much repeat businesses come back? Well, I mean, I don’t I don’t have anything like that. But I mean, the restaurant has the Yeah, and things like that. I mean, they have all that I’m sure they were well I do is show up and read. That’s all I do, though. I’m a I’m an MC, not a DJ, I just show everything’s there. I show up I read Lia keep score of all the team dozens and dozens of teams every single week. And and I get my check, I say thank you and and we go home. And and that’s you know that it’s it’s a it’s been a good relationship, I’d love to see it grow into something franchise wide or something like that. Because I see the potential is there. I see the potential and, and it was awesome. When the Tucson location contacted me and wanted to talk to me, I’d love to talk to them. Again, I’d love to take this thing to them and show that but I can just say go to Google, just Google native girlfriend, Sierra Vista. Look at the highest peak of the week. Yeah, it won’t be Friday, it won’t be Saturday, it’ll be Wednesday from 60 to literally the highest. it’s higher than Friday and Saturday. It’s somebody it is. But you know, that might have a lot to do with the community. And I know it does. I know it has a lot to do with the heart of Sierra Vista. And that area, and there’s people drive over from Douglas just last week, some friends of mine. That’s our drive. And they and they had to wait to get it. They waited for like 45 minutes. But the cool part was while they’re sitting right next to us, they’re playing the game while they were waiting. So I mean, they still had a score, it’s time to get to their table to finish the second half of the game. They they were already you know, they got the food and stuff and they were they were happy but at least maybe even if you have to wait for your table, at least it’s not like Oh, just sitting there scroll, scroll, scroll scroll, if there’s actually something to do, at least on a Wednesday night. I mean, looking looking at it. It’s it’s one big family and I’m so fortunate that that I was so negative about it because because I can look back now I can see how wrong I was. Yeah, that’s that’s the part of the story I love the most is I was so wrong.
I had no idea how wrong I was. But knowing that that guy who’s standing behind me in September of 2015 and the guy who was sitting next to me since September 2014 and all these things that I MC was Sheriff mark and then the guy ended up being right behind me who would change my life the course and the direction that my life would take to be at this place now I just I’m so I pinch myself I’d like to have these relationships and to have Instagram friends that that I’ve never met before Yeah, blue checkmark verified that we follow each other and yeah, Henry doe is ridiculous. His wife Vicki is so cool. Yeah, we would drive up to Vegas to go meet up with them when they were coming through. You know this part of the country hang out with them as we explained to people so I go What are you going to Vegas for is like, well to meet people we’ve never met before, you know? What, what? Is that safe? I don’t know what’s right. No, it’s gonna be
All right, you know, because I have this phone that we have we text them stuff and you can touch them. I’ll pinch myself like, Oh my gosh, I’m texting with Henry. It’s just ridiculous. And these these friendships that I’ve made with people who I haven’t met until today, yeah, and and you want to see the things that you’re doing here helping helping real entrepreneurs, you know, with their dreams and watching their full time, energy life being poured into something. Yeah. And highlighting them, it shows your heart to it does it shows your heart to want them to succeed? Because you have your own business to this this whole place here? This is the business. Yeah, and what you do is the business and but you want others but your mind is on others as well. Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s our main goal, help help others grow. I mean, it’s, we kind of joke around because it sounds cheesy, but I mean, we’re, we’re doing all these things to try and help change family trees, not just we’re gonna put more money in the pocket of the business owner, but maybe they have a long line of generations that haven’t spent time with their kids, because they put all their money into the company business may wind come in, help them grow, get the resources, so they can have more free time, or maybe their kid hasn’t gone through college, or no one in their family has gone to college. And we can do
that. And even more so not even just on the business. But you know, like what you’re doing if we could, if we came in and helped and all of a sudden there’s a bunch of people you know, in the in the local area that have never heard of it. Now, it gives them an opportunity to do more family time that they’ve never had to do that isn’t crazy, expensive, whatever it may be. So now changing the consumer, their their family tree by by highlighting the awareness of the business services, whatever it may be of our clients and stuff like that. And it’s just trying to change families chant. And it’s funny because native game night is a family night. I mean, we’ve seen families grow, we’ve seen, we’ve seen people get married, we’ve seen them, children, we’ve seen their families, their their families become a family, they went from individual units to a family, we’ve seen it all grow. And and again, just this is as a side hustle, a silly side hustle on the side of being an MC where I’ve had, you know, the opportunity to one of my one of my favorite MC real quick, one of my favorite MC gigs that I did was I got to emcee the coachees College Comic Con. Now you’re going I have no idea what that is. I didn’t either
for like five years, and I heard about it on year four. And I was like, Oh, you know, what I have to do is I saw it on on one of the social medias. I’m like, I can go get I can go get a certificate photo with with Darth Vader. How cool is that? So and so I did. That’s one of the the photos will show you. And and so going there and seeing that. I was like, I need to emcee this. Yeah. And so I actually got in touch with the person who put the coach’s college Comic Con together. And he’s one of the directors there at the College of one of the programs at Digital Arts program, I think, and usually it’s what it is. It’s the Geek Squad.
I’ve never been to a Comic Con. I didn’t know the first thing about cosplay, but I said Look, I want to help you emcee things, can I? What can I do? And he said, Well, we have these panels. Every hour. There’s somebody different on that stage that somebody comes for. We’ll have a voiceover actor, we’ll have an author, we’ll have cosplayers we’ll have we’ll have somebody who, who’s an artist who draws things.
And we need someone to maybe interview them and I looked at I was like, You’re telling me, I get to interview a new person every hour for like 10 hours in a row. And that was my dream come true. And I said, Okay, so So we set it up where and this is a Saturday, Sunday thing. And so on Saturday, you know, I show up. And then there’s there’s the the the local Star trekky. Guy and I’m there’s three people in the audience because it’s right when it opens up, and we’re just, I said, Look, instead of me standing over the podium, what I just want to sit next, let’s just pull up the chairs. We’ll just sit right here, and we’ll just talk and people will be coming in. And I learned all about the local Star Trek Federation. And then somebody else came in next person came, there’s a voiceover actor. Then I got to meet named Quintin Flynn, who was the voiceover for Axl in Kingdom Hearts. I didn’t know what Kingdom Hearts was, I had no idea who he was. But I met him and we hit it off. And we’re friends. I just texted him today. Before I came over here. He’s like, Man, you’re gonna crush it you’re gonna do and, and it’s like, I get to meet some really cool people. And but but the one story from there was there was an author who wrote a book called SEAL Team 666, which is like X Files meets SEAL team. Yeah. I had no idea who he was. He actually lives in Sierra Vista. I didn’t know this. And his book got optioned by seven bucks production, which is Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s production company. And, and I got to learn this when when he got up to the panel. I met him I said, Hi there, because I’ve been working in people and I had my eye on the clock. What I want to do is I just wanted to weave a narrative for the people who were there to learn about this person. We’re going to learn about every one hour we’re gonna learn about everything we possibly can. I’m going to start you on their journey, where they’re from, and then just go from there. And I did some research I printed up some Wikipedia pages that I found that were all wrong. I should have gotten IMDb instead. But but I tried to do some homework. You know, I really did. I wanted to take this thing seriously.
We’re just so the coaches college Comic Con, I took it seriously. And but I think they were grateful that I did. I was grateful that I did too. And so and so i, this author, SEAL Team 666 I shake his hand I said, I said, Hey, Weston, it’s nice to meet you. My name is Jeff. I’m going to be the the panel moderator for this hour. Yeah. And he looks at me shakes my hand. And he goes, I handle this. It’s fine. We don’t we don’t I don’t need you here. And I go, Well, no, I’m, I’m here to help. And I’m, and I’m here to kind of just guide the conversation. And, and, and I can, I can help you, I can do things to you. And then and then I toss you softballs, and then knock them out. I mean, you’ve been your booth is right there. You’ve been hearing me do this with these guys for the last four hours. And he’s like, Look, do you even know who I am? Have you even read one of my books? And I had a choice at that moment. I could say, I love you, man. I’ve read all your books. I know exactly who you are.
Or I could have been I could have told the truth, which is what I did. I said,
Weston, I don’t know you. I don’t know your books. I don’t know your your history with writing. But I promise you at the end of this hour, everyone will know who you are. Yeah, everyone. And he’s like, he looked at me. He’s like, Okay, and then I took it. That hour was up. He came over, he shook my hand said that was the best interview I’ve ever had. And I was like, that’s what I’m here for, you know, and I mean, so having having that interaction, as an emcee, working that side of it. And then of course, you’re seeing people from the trivia night come by, oh, Jeff, what’s going on? And so it’s just again, it’s a big family and in that in that community, it’s neat to see the opportunities that I’ve had, my gosh, I’ve had I’ve had three albums, I’m a musician, songwriter, and and let’s go on IMDB. I have lived a surreal serendipitous life 44 years old, and and it’s all hubbed around this silly side hustle called native game night. That is and is awesome. And I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to talk to you about it today, and share some of the photos and the silly certificate photos that we get from all over the world and all across America that people take the silly certificate with them where they go
Where To Find Jeff Davenport
LinkedIn: Jeff Davenport
On the previous episode of RGR, Dustin talked to Mark Asquith on how he was told to become a Entrepreneur