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Last Update: Wednesday June 23, 2021

Key Idea: Be Bold

Oregon Log owner Mike Neary shares the mystique of log home living from his first 20-by-20 cabin at the base of Mt. Hood to his present day masterpieces.   More...

Key Question:


Find a good idea, assess the market then get started.  If you are not bold, you are probably not already a business owner, and if you can't stomach risk, you should keep your job with a paycheck.
We've written much about courage here, and you need to know that it is the only common quality we find in every business owner that we have studied.

In this library there are men, women, and people of all ages. Some have nearly no education -- Heliodoro Valadez only finished third grade -- and many have advanced degrees. There are those born in the US and brand new Americans who came here to make a better life for themselves and their families. 

Q: What launched Mike into the log home business?

A: Mike was a ski instructor on Mount Hood. He loved skiing and being surrounded by nature. So, he decided to build a little log home in a place where he could enjoy the view of his favorite mountain. After that he couldn't imagine living in anything other than a log home, and he knew other people loved log homes too.

The bold part of Mike's launch was that he built his first log home with blow-down logs on US Forest Service land. The tiny home was loved by everyone who saw it, including the Forest Service officials. It became everybody's special place. But when called to question, they had to ask him to dismantle the house. The experience demonstrated that he had talent, and the Forest Service felt so bad about making him leave this sweet place, that they gave him some of those logs to build himself a new home on land he could own.

Think about it

What kind of bold move did you make to launch your business? Is it time to make another bold move? Is it time to be brave again? If you knew you would succeed, what steps would you take next to grow your business?

Clip from: Oregon Log Homes - they're building beauty.

National Home Builders'  "Best in America" Award

Oregon: As a young ski instructor on Mount Hood, Mike Neary built his first log home for himself.  When friends and family all bragged on it and wanted a log home too, he knew he had stumbled on to his life's work.

Today his company, Oregon Log Homes, builds the most beautiful log homes in the world.  The National Home Builders Association gave it "The Best In American Living" award and that won the attention of Disney.  Oregon Log Home was given the opportunity to build the Fort Wilderness Lodge in Orlando.

While much of the work is done by hand, Mike invented a way to automate some of the process which keeps the company competitive while still thoroughly unique.

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Oregon Log Homes, Inc.

Mike Neary, CEO, founder

1399 N. Highway 197
Maupin, OR 97037

Visit our web site:

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Year Founded:

Be Bold

HATTIE: Hi. I'm Hattie Bryant. We're all about how
to start, how to run and how to grow a business. In fact,
our mission statement is learn today, earn tomorrow.

If you take time to learn, you increase your power to earn.

Today you'll meet Mike Neary, founder and owner of Oregon Log Homes. Also, our marketing advisor, will tell us why it is important to set aside a certain percentage of our revenue for the sales and marketing efforts and why selling is such a mysterious process. We call what you are now going to experience a Master Class. This is not a traditional class taught by a teacher. This is an opportunity for you to be with a master small business owner.

Teachers teach classes. Working artists present a master class. No gurus, no academics, no journalists allowed in the master class. Come with me now to Sisters, Oregon, to meet a master small business owner, inventor, artist, craftsman and visionary.

(Voiceover) What is this mystique that a lot of us have about logs and living in a log house?

MIKE NEARY (Oregon Log Homes): (Voiceover) Well, it's just the most comfortable feeling in the world to be in a log home.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Back in 1970 Mike Neary dropped out of college because he was too busy skiing and teaching skiing on Mt. Hood in Oregon. He built his first log home on National Forest Service property in view of the mountain he loved. Was it one room or...

MIKE: Yeah. It was a 20-by-20 cabin, had a cute little loft and it had a little sunken fireplace area and a little fireplace in it.

HATTIE: And a little bathroom and a little kitchen.

MIKE: Well, no bathroom. The bathroom was actually behind the trees outside 'cause we had no plumbing. Remember this was on Forest Service land and not mine.

HATTIE: So, no television.

MIKE: No. No TV. No.

HATTIE: Because there was no power.

MIKE: There was no power.

HATTIE: So this is a contrast to what we're going to see later.

MIKE: Oh, totally. Yes. It's a total contrast. But, you know, I wouldn't mind living in that again. I would love to have that little cabin. There was a petition by the little town of Rhododendron, which is on Mt. Hood. Everybody just loved this little cabin. It was really cute. And we weren't hurting anyone. But, you know, the Forest Service felt, `Well, if we let these guys do it, everybody's going to do it and we're going to have a community in here and it doesn't work.' So they made me tear it down. But I said, `Well, I want to build another home. I've designed this house, this log house, and I want to build another one and I need some logs.' The forester -- the ranger at the time -- said, `Well, let's work it out.' So for $130, he gave me enough logs out of the Mt. Hood watershed -- they didn't usually let you log in there -- to build that second house.

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