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The Success Story of Miguel Leal, the Godfather of Mexican Cheese
Episode 4915th November 2023 • Empowering Entrepreneurs • Glenn Harper
00:00:00 00:40:14

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We have the privilege of hearing from a remarkable guest, Miguel Leal, who is known as the "godfather of Mexican cheese." Miguel has not only conquered the cheese world but has also found success in real estate and the food industry. He has ventured into organic farming, aiming to educate and support farmers in capitalizing on the growing demand for organic food. But that's not all - Miguel has even developed his own breed of dogs for hunting, search and rescue, and guarding. We are honored to have him join us on the show today.

During our conversation, Miguel shares his inspiring journey, from humble beginnings in the cheese industry to building a thriving business that could function without his full involvement. We discuss the importance of support, concentration, and seizing opportunities while also being cautious about spending recklessly and getting into debt. We also delve into the decision-making process of exiting a business venture and exploring other opportunities as entrepreneurs.

Not only does Miguel share his personal experiences, but we also explore the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, including language barriers and knowing when to move on from one venture to the next. We also touch upon the speaker's own involvement with the University of Wisconsin, where they are working on consistency in cheese and breeding dogs, as well as organic farming. With so many exciting endeavors, we can't help but wonder how many more projects the speaker has in the pipeline.

His book, The House That Cheese Built.

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Copyright 2024 Glenn Harper


Miguel Leal is the godfather of Mexican cheese

Glenn: Hello, everybody. Welcome to another edition of Empowering Entrepreneurs podcast. I'm Glenn Harper.

Julie: Julie Smith.

Glenn: You look an awful sprite this morning. What's going on?

Julie: I know. I've had a very productive morning.

Glenn: So how did that happen?

Julie: You got to get up early, I guess.

Miguel: I don't know.

Glenn: Early bird getting the worm. I like that. Well, we have got a, uh, really special guest today. I've been excited to have this conversation for a long time, and we're looking forward to it. So I just like to do a little introduction auction. Uh, I'd like to introduce you to Miguel Leel, a fellow entrepreneur who is the godfather of Mexican cheese. For all of us who think cheese should not only be a food group, but also be entitled to its own food pyramid, this is going to be a great discussion. Once he conquered the cheese world, he decided to get into real estate and hit the food industry at the start of the food chain. Of course, this would mean becoming an organic farmer to educate and help farmers capitalize on the demand for organic food. The organic production of our food can be profitable and sustainable if managed properly. They say you can take the boy out of the country, but you cannot take the country out of the boy. Hence, Miguel returning to his roots when he's not tended to his farm. He has a side gig of breeding and developing a dog that is related to the dogo Argentino to become a better hunting, search, and rescuing guard dog. Thanks, Will, for being on our show.

Miguel: Thank you very much for inviting me on your show.

Julie: It was the cheese that got us as soon as we knew you were the godfather of the cheese. Uh, that's pretty much my food group for lunch and dinner, so you're I love cheese.

Miguel: When I came to United States, I used to start getting the niche of the Mexican market, and it wasn't nobody that many people here making cheese. And I started having a new recipes and start pushing myself to have the right recipes in the United States. And it's how I create the cheese. Well, and go ahead.

Glenn: I was going to say, well, let's talk about cheese. There's a little gazillion types of cheese, especially Mexican cheeses, so I looked a little bit and how did you choose how do you pronounce a Cochita cheese? Not queso fresco, queso angio, or, uh, queso exada. How do you know which one? And how did you invite a new one?

Julie: By the way, it took him at least two days to look up pronunciations on all those cheese to try to get it correct.

Glenn: And I cannot speak English, let alone Spanish. So I'm doing the best I can. So I appreciate that.

Miguel: The first one, you say the kotija cheese. Okay. Ah, Cotija cheese is a hard cheese. It's a dry cheese. That one is used a topping cheese, and that is the first cheese that I started to make it here in the United States with the Amish people give me the opportunity. That's my first factory when I started in Ohio. And the Amish give me they have most of it, the quality of the milk, because they milk by hand, and they kind of do more stuff like in Mexico, and the milk is more similar. Uh, United States have grade A milk and grade A B milk. And that one the armies use grade B milk for make Cotija cheese. And it really aged perfectly, and the milk was perfect. And it's a pretty good, hard product. Looks like a parmesan cheese. That's how we use it Mexican people for tapping food.

Glenn: Did you invent this cheese, or was it something you just perfected the recipe to what you wanted to make it look like?

Miguel: I perfected the recipe because this cheese is original for Kotija. Kotija, uh, is a name of a town and the state of Michuakan, too. And, uh, that cheese is original from that area. And I tried making and duplicating the most close I could here in the United States with the Amish milk. And it works perfectly.

Julie: So we do have a lot of listeners in Ohio, obviously, because we're from Ohio. So where exactly did this all start in Ohio? Just curious.

Miguel: Yeah, this one started Middlefield, Ohio.

Julie: Okay.

Glenn: How about that?

Miguel: Really small town. It was only Buggies and Amish. Um, people tell you, yeah, they keep.

Glenn: It all tight in there. They own all the land. They do it a certain way, and they just thrive in that environment. It's great. And again, I think you're right on that. The personal attention to livestock and attention to that detail with the human touch, not industrialized, really makes a difference. Not only the animal, but also how you get the product from A to B. So I think that's probably a big factor in your is.

Miguel: It is. And Mexico is the most ethnic. Uh, I say the industrial cheese already changed the recipe, changed the taste of it too much. Some of them, they put the sofar vegetable oils and mix it and twist the flavor of the really original cheese. And it's how the industry just changed for more profit, but lose a bit the originality of the product.

Glenn: I would agree with that statement by saying when you try a food product of what you're used to, that the store gives you from the big mega complex. Right. And then you try a homemade or homegrown one, it is night and day. I don't know how you get the word out to people to give the ability to get that choice right. And I think that's what your probably mission was, uh, at a bit there to get a quality product back, to make people understand this is really good stuff.

Miguel: Exactly. Because a lot of people, they try to just make a lot of more profit and they kind of like lose the originality of the Know. They try to cheap it out and they try to kind of skip one corner to make a little bit more profit and that's how the products start changing flavors.

Is your farm back in Mexico? Is here in the States

Glenn: Is your farm back in Mexico? Is here in the States?

Miguel: I'm in Mexico. I'm back and forth in both places.

Glenn: Because one of those things in the States I don't know what's like in Mexico, but in the States you have to buy roundup beans by monsado. You can't just go plant a different kind of like they make you do it. Is that like out in Mexico? Can you get off the grid and just produce any type of vegetable that you want? Or do you have to use the know, genetically modified product?

Miguel: No, it's everything. It's just the most natural. And my farm is a small farm that is helped the community because you eat healthy people they fried everything on it and most of it they put a lot of, uh, fertilizers that they don't belong on it, things like that. The more healthy you are and the more fresh food do you eat is much healthy for your and that's how I try to pass it to everybody try to do it.

Glenn: And that's why I think we both agree, Julie and uh, I that cheese definitely should be a food group on its own because it's really good. I think it's good for you even though they say it's not. But I love it.

So one of the cool things we like to talk about is the journey of an entrepreneur

Glenn: So one of the cool things we like to talk about know, the journey of an entrepreneur, how one gets from A to B. And obviously I think you said you were born in Mexico. Whereabouts?

Miguel: Yeah, I did. Born in Mexico. And Irapuato guanajuato is complicated. Irapuato. I-R-P-U-T-O.

Glenn: Where's that located? Near?

Miguel: It's right in the middle of the country and it's pretty far from the border.

Glenn: Um, so there you are, you're born out of Mexico, hanging out, doing your thing. You got a bunch of brothers and sisters and you guys like everybody else with a big family, everybody pitches in and you're trying to make it work and then all of a sudden you have this opportunity. Right. And you chose yes to come to the US. I, uh, think it was an internship or what kind of thing was that?

Miguel: Well, it put me really all of them, all my brothers even we came from the same mother and the same father. I mean, nobody had the guts really to come and jump and jump the new adventure to come to United States takes a lot of as to do that. As, uh, soon as you decided you focus on what you want to do. And I didn't drink, I didn't do anything. I used to be focused totally to achieve my goals.

Glenn: How old were you when you came into the US. Then?

Miguel: 19 years old.

Glenn: 19 okay.

Julie: And what do you think the driving force behind you being so focused was?

Miguel: Well, I didn't want to be poor. And the second one is for love. I did for love because I promised to my girlfriend that I was going to make it. And I want to make a family and to achieve my ideas, to realize my ideas and make a conquer, they make happens and pushed me to take the adrenaline to go and jump my fears. Because you scare for everything on it. When you don't speak the language and you by yourself and you don't have any people to lean on and realize that you by yourself, you make a mistake, you drink too much, you get loose, you party too much, you don't have nobody, then pretty soon you don't save your money, you don't eat. That is what I make me change.

Hill was working in a cheese factory in Mexico before coming to Wisconsin

Glenn: So I think you said you're 19, so you have an opportunity to come, uh, to Wisconsin, I think, right? And to work in a did I.

Miguel: Was we came I was working in Mexico, too, in a cheese factory. And it was exchange of technology that too, the whole combined things were supposed to come here to United States to teach, uh, how to make Mexican M cheese, and I supposed to learn how to make the American cheese, and I was supposed to change the technology. But everything happens, and I stay here, I show them how to make the cheese. But they decided the factory that I was working on, it, they decided to make feta cheese. They changed the route, and I learned how to make all kinds of cheese. And I go back to Mexico and start making some cheese there.

Glenn: Uh, how many years did you work in the factory in Mexico to gain your experience before you then came to Wisconsin?

Miguel: As soon as I start from high school, but I don't know what happened. I got something nature, uh, probably, and me to understand, uh, most of it all the equipment pretty easy and make me easy to understand everything and the cheese business and was very happy for me. But I only have one year in Mexico learning and my experience start when I came to United States, and I start when I really started learning how to make, uh, cheese. Really.

Glenn: So it's interesting about that is you still at that point, didn't know that you were going to be an entrepreneur. You just knew that you had opportunities to learn more, meet new people, do different things. So you kept saying, yes, correct.

Miguel: It's correct. And one thing that I was doing is when I couldn't speak, really, life give me the opportunity to understand what is patience to have. That way you can catch the old opportunities that you have. It means why life give you the opportunities. So you can grab it. You don't take it, you don't see it. It's because probably you have too many girlfriends or drinking too much, party too much, or get excited and get out of focus to get your goals.

Glenn: It's funny. You said something that, uh again, I look at weird stuff, but the fact that you said you had to be patient and for whatever reason, when you don't speak a language and people don't speak your language, they talk louder and more intense, and, uh, you still don't understand it, but it escalates the conversation more where people are like, whoa. But you were able to tone that down and just like, all right, I'll figure this out. And how did you navigate? How long did it take you where you could say, effectively communicate to not only help the people that you're supposed to help, but be able to glean what people are trying to teach you at the same time? Did that take six months, a year, ten years? How long did it take you feel like, all right, now I can finally do this communication barrier.

Miguel: Really? I do have, uh, a disability problems to learn because I cannot read pretty good. And really, the experience of life, the university of life, that is why it took me experience to start learning and pay attention and be correct myself all the time. I didn't want to waste it. I didn't want to waste my time, um, doing something that even scared me or put my life in risk. I had too many things that I didn't have any people behind me. My parents was gone. Um, I have for three years, nobody talked to me. Nobody called me. Nobody say anything. Doesn't matter what. But it's complicated in that part. When you don't have support, you need to have very good concentration in yourself, and you have to be very aggressive in the opportunities of life that they give you to you. You have to really take it. And that is how the patient it is. Because pretty soon happens to a lot of people that as soon as they start making a little bit of money, the first thing they buy is his ego to buy nice cars and getting dead. And you have another one, you're going to show up, uh, with your girlfriend, et cetera, et cetera, and need to be focused to save money and to think your goals.

Glenn: Yeah, that's the American dream. Make some money, you can buy some toys. Uh, that's what we do. And we're good, and we leverage ourselves to the Hill to do those types of things, but in the right time. That's right. It's the patient use your passive income to buy those things. It's funny. Entrepreneurs get from A to B. Sometimes they go through formal schooling, and sometimes they go through the street smarts, right? They got to figure it out in the real life. And I think that's the route you took, right, where you just have to figure it out. You didn't do the formal education thing because it wasn't applicable. What you're trying to accomplish, is that a fair statement?

Miguel: It is, it's a fair statement.

You enter a contest to build a cheese factory with no electricity

Glenn: So our listeners, it doesn't matter how you get there, um, you just got to believe in yourself and you got to take the chance, take the risk and go for it and stay incredibly focused. Is that what you get out of that, Julie? So far, yeah.

Julie: I loved know, you have to be aggressive with the opportunities you're given. Mhm you got to lean into that fear, know what if and just see what happens.

Glenn: So here you are, you're in Wisconsin building some cheese, learning some things, teaching some things, and then you're saying, you know what, I think I can build a better cheese. And how long did you work for a factory for that company before you're like, the heck with this, I want to do it my own way.

Miguel: Well, as soon as the life gave me the opportunity in that time to win a contest with the Amish people and that was my first factory that I built because they didn't believe in the electricity. That put me in a better spot because all the cheese factories runs with electricity and, well, they code sign and, uh, I start buying the equipment and all that kind. They put a lot of help for me and they build the factory to our standards I was looking for and that was my first really home run window, uh, test. Uh, it was in the newspaper. The Amish people, they was looking for a cheesemaker. That was the cheese contest. And I compete with five different, uh, people in the United States. And here it goes. The armies choose me and we that was the first home run that I did.

Glenn: Okay, so you said, look, I'm just tinkering like you're a home brewery guy, just drinking with, uh, whatever you put in the bacterias and the cultures and whatever. And you're like, I'm going to build my cheese and you're going to enter this contest. So you enter the contest, you win it, and the Amish then partner with you to help you build a factory with no electricity.

Miguel: Well, they put electricity, but they cannot touch it because they leave.

Glenn: Were they hardcore Amish? Were they Mennonites or were they do you know which one they were? No.

Miguel: Electric German armish.

Glenn: Okay. So they can't touch it all. So then they're like, we'll build this thing for you. They can work in there. Correct. Did they work in their factory with you? They just couldn't touch the electric stuff?

Miguel: Yep. They cannot own it. And they give me the opportunity.

Glenn: So this is even funnier. So here we go. We're going to go compete with megacorp and build cheese and we're going to do with the Amish with no electricity and put even more restrictions on how we do it. But this guy, he's like, I got it, we can make this work. So that's amazing.

Miguel: He's right. Never give up with your idea.

Glenn: No, I mean, there's more than one way to skin a cat. All right, so now we're making this cheese now, and we got a great market for this. And then, uh, did you intend to I think at some point, you exited the business, but I think at some point, you're building this cheese and you're trying to expand and grow and grow, and you're kind of like doing business. And then at some point, you probably transition from you building the cheese and doing everything A to Z to like, I'm going to now build a company, and the company is going to do this. And I'm just kind of, like, supervising it. How long did it take you from actually building it yourself to transitioning to having a company kind of run without you?

Miguel: Well, the company didn't run without, uh, me and my ex wife. We kind of, like, divided the work. I put all the trust in her. That way she can help me in, uh, the account and the bank and all the paperwork and all that. And for me, I had to run in the factory, running the recipes completely. Good. That doesn't move, doesn't change. They're always the same and pick up the sales and pick up the organize all the shipments and all that stuff. That was, for me, quite a bit of working on it and high is how we do it. We split the responsibilities, and we help each other quite a bit.

You were still working in the cheese factory when you left the company

Glenn: How many employees did you have at the time when you end up exiting the company? How many people were working for you?

Miguel: Uh, 400.

Glenn: Oh, my.

Julie: And you were still in the day to day when you left the company?

Miguel: Well, and always in the cheese factory. Most of it. And the sales part, when I start pushing the sales, then I start getting training people for sale to help me sell. And m most of it my strongest. It was in the factory and the cheese plant.

Julie: And can we still get this cheese?

Miguel: Yes.

Sigma Elementals bought me, and I sold the recipes

Miguel: Wow.

Glenn: So is, uh, the cheese recipe secret? Is that, like, locked up? Like the Coca Cola recipe or the KFC recipe? Do you have this locked in somewhere, or did you retain that and sell the operations and lease it back? You don't have to answer. I was just curious. Do you sell lockstock and barrel? Because I think it said somewhere that you still consult with them and still are involved a little bit. Um, did you retain those recipes, or do you get rid of that as well?

Miguel: Oh, I did. Sigma Elementals bought me, and I sold the recipes. I sold equipment, everything, boxtock and barrel, and I went to work with them for a while, and they have achieved factories all over the world, and they give me the responsibility for that. And that was exciting.

Glenn: So it was kind of probably neat to be an original. Work for a company, then build your own, then sell it, then work for the company that bought your company to ensure their success. And that obviously helps with payouts and all those things were nice.

Do you still tinker in the cheesemaking business

Glenn: Do you still tinker in the cheesemaking business? Do you still tinkering with some recipes and is that something you'd build and sell to them again? Or is that something you just keep in your own back pocket?

Miguel: No, I'm working out with the University of Wisconsin that we want to develop to try to standardize it, the recipe of way. I mean, I will do some experiments and some different techniques to put really, science behind the Mexican cheese to develop, uh, more flavors on it. Because now the market goes so big and they do in changing with vegetable oils and start like, uh, at a big factory, start changing the flavors on it. And that is what I send out my hand and say, that's not the way to go. And I have to cut the support with the university to help me out to put, uh, a standard, and that is what we're going for.

Julie: So do they still use your recipe or have they changed it?

Miguel: They did some changes. Big people, they want some fast money. More money, more money. That's how it goes for it.

Glenn: Well, once your non compete goes down, you'll build another factory. It'll be great. We'll do the, uh, Pennsylvania Amish this time and do it, make it work.

My question is on this Mexican cheese that you make

Glenn: So I'm a big cheese, uh, curd fan as well. And I love Wisconsin cheese, curds, fried, whatever. And I just had some the other night and my question is on this Mexican cheese that you make. Again, I know nothing about how you make this cheese. Uh, is there a cheese curd component before it gets pressed into cheese that you can eat? These curds as well, do they taste similar or is that not the case for this type of cheese?

Miguel: Mexican cheese have different, uh, I can divide it in two different ways. It's melting cheese and cheese that doesn't melt. Uh, like the cheese that you're talking is vanilla cheese. You can cube it, you can fry it, you can do a lot of things on it. You can put anything it doesn't melt and take the flavor of the food that you mix it with. It tastes real good too, and give you a little tiny bite of, uh, dairy product. And the kotija cheese, those kind of cheese are more like Parmesan or kind of like a hard cheese m, but very strong flavor.

Glenn: Man, I need some cheese right now.

Julie: I'm real hungry. Now I'm envisioning what I'm going to eat for lunch.

Glenn: Oh, uh, goodness. Now we like the entrepreneurs that listen to this. Again, it's like, how does one get started? What are the challenges they face? And again, it's really hard to beat language. You don't speak the language. You have to use, uh, Amish to help you do this thing. You can't do the shortcut. You got to stay diligently on this thing. So it's a great journey there.

At what point why did you decide to exit the company versus to continue stay owning the company

Glenn: At what point why did you decide to exit the company versus to continue stay owning the company? A lot of entrepreneurs struggle with that. Like, do I keep milking this thing and make it an annuity and just put the people in, and I'm just kind of involved, or, you know what? I want to exit and do something totally different. How did you come to that decision.

Julie: No pun intended, with the milking it yes.

Miguel: In that time, uh, physical, takes a lot of capacity, takes a lot out of you. And I was kind of, like, running low in oil. My view would start getting blittery, and I couldn't see that. Well, I build all that, and I really want to enjoy it, too, because I didn't want to die in that position because I was feeling so much responsibility. Then I start getting bigger and bigger and bigger and start many more families on it. Then my limit to work is pretty strong and pushed me my limits so much. Then my health start getting a little bit wild. And I understood it better sell and work in a slow pace, but efficient, too.

Glenn: So basically, the health said, look, your body's telling you you can't do this. It's not sustainable.

Miguel: Um.

Glenn: Yes.

I would eat a lot of cheese if I worked in a cheese factory

Glenn: Did you feel like, um, a lot of factories, they'll give some allowance that lets the employees, like, you can take a pound of cheese a day or unlimited cheese while you're working. Did you guys have anything like that? Because I would eat a lot of cheese if I worked in a cheese factory.

Julie: I'm worried Glenn's applying to go work in this cheese factory after we're done.

Glenn: I probably would.

Miguel: Yeah, we did. We eat cheese in our house. I teach my kids, too, to start cooking different recipes, and we did a lot of new stuff on it to do that. I love it. Did love cheese.

One of our questions is the end game as an entrepreneur

Glenn: So when you exit, one of our questions we'd like to ask is the end game as an entrepreneur. So you built the thing, you did the whole thing with the cheese thing, and you're like, okay, um, it's a little bit too much. I can't enjoy my quality of life, so I'm going to exit the business. But you didn't stop because most entrepreneurs don't have an end game, right? They don't just stop. You're doing something else. So you're working with the University of Wisconsin to develop consistency in the cheese. You're breeding some dogs. You're doing some organic farming. Um, are there any other businesses that you're doing? Instead of just doing one, you're doing, like, at least three that I know of so far. How many more do you have in the pipeline?

Miguel: That's it with those. I got to make all those happen, and I cannot take too many bites and everything. I got to concentrate it and finish it. What I start. I don't like to change ideas and finish and create more stuff. I like to finish one of them. And I like to do it.

Julie: Do you think you'll ever start another company? Um, maybe making a different kind of cheese or getting back to your original recipe of cheese.

Miguel: Yeah, I think so. It's going to happen. For me. We're working with the university. It put me in a new step for me, because it's a new goal and achieved that. I have to put a standard of identity in the product. That is a tough to do. And for me, it's more exciting. And I never want to quit. Really? If I quit, I'm dead already.

Glenn: I, uh, concurred.

Julie: Spoken like a true entrepreneur.

Glenn: What are you going to do with your life? You're used to working 27 hours a day, and all of a sudden, you stop. That sounds horrible. Uh, did you end up getting dual citizenship? Or how did you manage that so you could travel back and forth freely and do your thing?

Miguel: Yeah. No. I'm American and Mexican citizen.

Glenn: Okay, perfect. That makes it a little can.

Miguel: No problem for that.

Julie: How did you end up in Chicago?

Miguel: After, uh, my divorce and I started getting everything ready, I moved to Chicago. That was a big part of it is why I took a little break. Because at that part of it, after we built a factory so big and a company so nice, my dissolution was too bad. I had to make a break. Took me, like, six, uh, or seven years for me to breathe again. Feel good because I put all my trust and everything in her and I realized it. That took me forever to catch up.

Glenn: That's how it starts. You got to trust and empower the people around you. And either it works out well or it doesn't. But the sooner you do that, the sooner you know. And sometimes you don't know till it's late. Too late. But guess what? You'll always rise to the top and figure it out as an entrepreneur because there's always somebody ready to stick it to you. And you just try to defend as much as possible. But you still got to keep going. Right?

Miguel: Uh, you have to. You never give up. And most of it, you have to prove yourself that really your ideas work for you, doesn't work for somebody else. Because I put all my heart and all my effort to my ex wife. It's no good idea. For that. You need to have your own independent. You cannot give too much. You lose your concentration to achieve your goals that's what happened to me.

Glenn: Well, you live and learn. And you know what? You. Hope it never happens to you again. But you never know. Probably we will, because guys are like that. We'll do whatever. So that's all good.

Which of these things gives you the most excitement in your entrepreneurial journey

Glenn: Um, on. A side note, the entrepreneurial journey. You always got your iron in another fire and doing whatever. Which of these things that you're doing gives you the most excitement? Sounds like the research at Wisconsin is probably the best that's, uh, giving you the most excitement. But the dog thing has got me really intrigued because that takes a long time to build a new breed that does what you want. And of course, uh, as a farmer myself or grew up as one or kind of one, I love that kind of stuff. So which one relaxes you and which one gives you the energy?

Miguel: That is a good question, Bo. I mean, most of all the projects that I choose on it, I try every one of them to develop my idea to work. And if my idea work and is doing something good, that is what makes me feel my adrenaline to keep going, pushing to get some benefit with hurting nobody and to create a, ah, new things on it. Like my dog, I just look at it in Mexico have three kinds of dogs. Chihuahua dogs, a wolf dog, and a dog with no hair. I don't like that. Really don't. It's why I don't my own. I know it takes 20 years, but so what time I got, uh, what.

Glenn: Else are you going to do, right? There's nothing wrong with that. I mean, I saw some pictures of these dogs. They're pretty impressive. I mean, when you're hunting, uh, puma. Yeah, that's the deal.

Miguel: The personality of the dog is what intrigued me so much because they are so loyal and so focused in what they want to hunt that they don't even have a feeling. They don't even care. I mean, they get blind, forget what they want to do.

Glenn: Have you ever gone hunting with one of these dogs just for fun? Was it awesome?

Miguel: It was awesome.

Glenn: Do you do horseback and follow behind or how do you do that? Oh, man, you're speaking my language.

Julie: I'm pretty sure Glenn's coming to your new Cheese Factory to work. He's also going to come help you.

What do you think your superpower is? Julie loves asking this question

Glenn: Oh, man, that sounds like a you know, Julie always has a big question about, know, whatever the super thing might be. And she loves asking this one. So go ahead.

Julie: So what do you think your superpower is? I think you've alluded to it quite a bit, but how would you define it?

Miguel: My, uh, power?

Julie: Your superpower. So if we put a cape on you, what would your superpower be?

Miguel: Honesty, devotion, dedication. Um, all those are powerful things.

Glenn: Probably staying true to who you are I think is a big one as well. Right? You didn't get corrupted? Yeah. You didn't get corrupted by the big corporate machine?

Miguel: More or less. Those.

What is your next move after success with cheese operations

Julie: I have one more question. Even though you or I might have more, but we've defined that there's no end game for you, but what is your next move? Obviously you're working with the University of Wisconsin. You've got the dog thing, you've got the farm thing going. And I know you may say that's enough, but I know there's something else rattling up there that maybe hasn't quite come to fruition, but it's in there. What's your next move?

Glenn: We'll keep it a secret.

Miguel: My next move is to learn, really, to be happy, to live the moment and to live the day by day. Because I don't want to have my head thinking in the future. I already learned from the past and it takes me forever to focus and concentrate it in the present. That is my next achievement that I try to put on it. Enjoy more life like anything has happened.

Glenn: And again, it's funny when you're an entrepreneur, you're so all in 27 hours a day, nonstop, just getting pummeled. Everybody needs something that they look forward to that takes them out of that moment, even for just a little bit, to relax. What is that thing for you? I mean, at the time, obviously you didn't do anything like that because you were in the schnizzle. But now do you go to relax on the farm? Is it to relax going on a hunt? Uh, is it to watch a football game, a soccer game? What is it that you do to actually relax and kind of just get away from it just for a moment?

Miguel: Shooting.

Glenn: Nice skeet shooting.

Miguel: I did shoot in Sporting Place Association and I was doing pretty good and I miss it sometimes. That is, uh, the time to relax me. In my farm, I shoot clays there and relax me. Put me in another emotion pot.

Glenn: Are you an over, under guy? Are you a semiauto or how do you okay, got you. You like the kick? All right. M. It is interesting that, um, some people say that if you're not out hustling, you're getting behind. And other people say that when you can stop and pause and regroup your thoughts, you're going to come back stronger. After going through what you've gone through. Do you feel like if you would have put a little more downtime to recharge, you think you would have had a different result with the cheese operations or there was just no opportunity for that?

Miguel: I think so. Life put me in the position that, uh, it directed me for my best of me. I think. So now I am my best health. I have a lot of experience and my uh, destiny is probably they want to have a good recipe of cheese because I am in the best time of me and thinking and life prepared me for these moments, really. I never expected that I was university. I was going to be in the university and I put in a new recipe, totally complete. Like the people have to follow up that way people doesn't cheat. I mean, that is for me. Leave, uh, my name way on top of it.

Glenn: The legacy, I think, is important to you. Correct. It's not really about the money.

Miguel: I know when I'm dead, all the money that I have doesn't take it. I cannot take it with me. I know how to live it here. I have to learn how to live it here. To live my name longer.

Glenn: Nice. Uh, again, you go from where you had to sneak in and sleep on the floor on some cardboard to work in the factory to figure things out and next thing you know, you got 400 people working toward a common goal. I mean, that's just awesome. Um, so this is an obscure question, but ah, do you feel safer in Chicago or in Mexico, uh, with the way things go these days? Or do you not even care? You don't worry about really?

Miguel: I'm, um, very low key person material. Um, things doesn't uh, bother me too much and um, I'm not looking for nothing. I don't get trouble. I just go in this place, I go to Mexico, I don't mess with nobody and follow up and that's it.

Glenn: Do your thing. Well, it sounds like it's working very well.

Jill, this is a great story and uh, really appreciate you being on the show

Glenn: Um, you got anything else, Jill? I think we went through a whole linear this is a great story and uh, really appreciate you being on the show. Do, uh, you want any plugs for anything that our listeners might want to go look you up and maybe get engaged on the things that you're doing these days?

Miguel: Yeah, I mean, they can follow me on Instagram and uh, the cheese guy success. Sorry. And it's an Instagram and the cheese at the is my web page.

Julie: And so will you contact us when you're ready to start your new cheese business? Because I want to revisit that with you.

Glenn: I want to be a taster.

Miguel: Yeah, let's go for it and make a good round. I show you.

Julie: Awesome.

Glenn: I'm big on the quality control, but I like doctor and the recipe. I'm more of a cook than a baker. I like to mix it up. But in your line of work, it really has to be precise because there is a lot of chemical reactions going on. Right. You have to do it a certain way, a certain time, certain amounts. Right. It's not just throwing it into a pot. So I might not be a good cheesemaker, but I'm a good cheese eater.

Julie: Yeah, we'll make sure it's safe.

Glenn: Awesome. Well, really appreciate you being on the show and uh, wish you the best in your future endeavors. And thanks. Uh, again.

Julie: Yes, thank you. What a great story.

Miguel: Awesome.

Glenn Harper: Thanks for joining us today. I appreciate you spending some time with us

Glenn: Julie. Well, I'm going to get me some cheese for lunch, for sure. Uh, and again, all our listeners, empowering entrepreneurs podcast. I appreciate you spending some time with us today and uh, looking forward to the next time. This is Glenn Harper, Julie Smith. We'll see you all later.



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