In The Arena

OTRR LEVEL UP – STEVI HILLMAN PROFESSIONAL BARREL RACER – PART TWO

If you missed part one with Stevi, please check it out here. 

Last year you hit the rodeo circuit to make your first NFR, how did you continue to conduct business on the road? how did you rearrange your business model for the summer to still be successful?

We had a plan and then took a huge step of faith. I have great customers who believed in me as well, those horses went home or to someone else for the summer. I kept in touch on the road with people who may have just needed me to watch a video and offer advise, etc. I rode my 3 year olds extra hard and put in more time than normal so that the 2 months off wouldn’t hurt them. I also had someone I trusted come ride them for a couple weeks. And in saying ‘no’ to more outside horses, we were able to say ‘yes’ to more Coaching clients, I did video critiquing and also met with a couple people out on the road for lessons, while Ty started creating his coaching business. We just re directed our focus this past year and it’s opened a lot of opportunity. You have to have a whole team and that team has to know the main focus and end goal. I am blessed with an incredible team that’s for sure.

Time management is huge when you own your own business, tell us how you manage your time?

Time is money. Ty and I both have made that decision to be disciplined with our time. Having a schedule is very important, the schedule can change, but to actually have your schedule planned the day before allows you to stay focused. Therefore you do not waste near as much time on little things or ‘rabbit trails’ lol. With his coaching calls, my lessons, my riding, rodeo and our workout schedule, we have to be disciplined. I encourage you to start writing your schedule down the day before and stick with it. Choose to stay disciplined so that you can accomplish your goals.

Walk us thru a workday for you:

My workday usually consist of coffee first and foremost lol then a devotion or encouraging word to start the day, feeding then a jog most of the time, or stretching or yoga, then riding the ones that don’t get hauled that day…. Roping the dummy and working barrels, and exercising the rodeo horses,
I usually haul somewhere in the afternoon at least twice a week.

Lunch or dinner I make time to be able to focus on the next day’s agenda.

Advice: I also have learned to leave my phone by the tack room or in the house when riding, so I am not interrupted while working the horses. I like to stay engaged in how they feel, what they look like, etc.  Plus you can keep it going at a good pace, once again, time is money.


Did you start your own business because you wanted freedom from the 8-5, to earn more money, or for all of those reasons?

The flexibility is what I wanted for sure, I don’t have the personality to be in a 8-5 job. As to why I have worked way more hours than 8-5, just to be able to do what I love and be home with Ty. We love that we get to sit down and put our brains together and be a team.  It takes so much more discipline though and Ty has definitely helped me in keeping things organized and on the right track.

Looking back on your business, would you do anything different?

I’m sure there’s always something that I would change but to be honest, the past, good and bad, has only molded me into who I am today, and I wouldn’t change any of that.  If there was one thing, I would have strived more to hang out/be involved with the people who had what I was wanting and to learn from them. To be more intentional at a younger age.


Why do you think some trainers succeed and others fail?

We all succeed and we all ‘fail’ or figure out there’s another way. But I believe self motivation/the will to win, is what separates the ones who succeed more often. Without that, a person can only go so far.

What advice would you give someone that wants to take the leap to start their own business?

Stay motivated and stay focused on what it is that you want.  Seek help and be intentional.

What do you believe is the one thing that made your business succeed?

The encouragement/support from Ty….(well a lot from Ty 😊) There will be times you want to give up, that’s a given but you’ve got to have someone who holds you accountable and wants the absolute best for you, that you can go to when you are down and need that little extra push to keep going.

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