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011: Gary Ray - Entrepreneur Games: The Wickedly Complex World of Running a Small Business
Episode 1110th June 2022 • Mindful Money • Jonathan DeYoe
00:00:00 00:40:27

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Gary Ray is the CEO of Black Diamond Games and the author of Friendly Local Game Store: A Five-Year Path to Middle-Class Income. A former IT engineer and project manager, Gary made the decision to start his own business focused on everything from board games and trading card to classic games and collectibles.

Today, Gary and Jonathan talk about some of the early financial lessons Gary learned and what inspired him to open his own store. Gary shares advice and best practices for small business owners, including paying yourself first, understanding the value of time vs. money, and setting aside funds for retirement. Gary touches on his lengthy journey as an entrepreneur, the evolution he underwent as a business owner and his Mexican travel dream.

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Key Takeaways

01:07 – Gary Ray shares his earliest experiences with money and debt, his background in IT, and what inspired him to pursue an entrepreneurial dream of running his own store

07:58 – The origin story of Black Diamond Games

10:46 – Critical lessons Gary learned in launching a business

14:42 – The value of time vs. the value of money

21:05 – Gary’s Mexican travel dream and the importance of being stubborn

25:14 – Paying yourself first and planning for retirement

27:51 – One piece of advice Gary would give to other small business owners and one financial concept to ignore

30:26 – The Boy Scout story

33:53 – Financial lessons Gary hopes to instill in his son

35:35 – The last thing Gary changed his mind about and one thing he wishes people knew about him

38:18 – Jonathan thanks Gary for joining the show and lets listeners know where they can connect with him and Black Diamond Games

Tweetable Quotes

“Business plans are half research, half bullshit speculation. A business plan basically says, ‘we’re going to be successful and here’s how we’re going to do it.’ And you don’t know if you’re gonna be successful. You just know you’re going to spend a bunch of money, people are gonna give you their money, and at the end you’re going to have a reasonable profit margin. What’s a reasonable profit margin? I didn’t even know the answer to that until I started asking questions and figuring it out.” (11:30)

“A good competitor is great, but there’s a lot of bad competitors. And the sign of a bad competitor is they’re undercapitalized, they get desperate, and they do stupid things and they ruin things for you.” (14:09)

“It [owning a business] is wickedly complex and difficult. It’s the most complex thing I’ve ever seen. It’s taken me seventeen years to understand how it works and I’m still learning on a day- to-day basis.” (24:11)

“Everything for me comes down to habits. If I can habitualize my behavior then I will continue doing it.” (29:03)

Guest Resources

Black Diamond Games Website –

Gary’s Facebook –

Gary’s Blog –

Gary’s Twitter –

Gary’s Book –

Gary’s LinkedIn –

Mindful Money Resources

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Jonathan DeYoe on LinkedIn -

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