We go deep into Brandon’s background, how he nearly missed the boat with Amazon and how devastation drove him on…
- Brandon has grown up in a family of entrepreneurs.
- It was instilled in him from a younger age about working for yourself.
- Brandon started his entrepreneurial career by trading Magic of Gathering cards, flipping cards throughout high school.
- He also learned poker in high school, played athletics and started helping with the business after college.
The Lessons Learned the Hard Way
- Brandon was not taught the inventory standpoint of the business but not the accounting part of the business.
- This is something he is now getting better at and with the help of his wife.
- High level finance and entrepreneurial skills are the skills needed in business.
- College helps you develop maturity and the business BUT not necessarily the high level part of it.
- Worked part time in a golf course so he can play for free on nice courses.
- Brandon was in the music business but it was a giant failure.
- He realized that money is in publishing, owning the masters etc.
- He was able to sign the artists and built up the production team and publishing arm.
- He lost a friend in a tragedy during this time. This became a turning point in his life.
- He got interested in tech investments, angel investing and startups.
- Brandon went back to school and was a couple of classes short of an MBA.
- During this time, he started a meet-up club in Miami: The Micro Venture Capital Club, where they had monthly shark tank meetings where startups pitch to investors.
- He learned about the criteria that angels look for in start up businesses. He then started a consulting business.
- Brandon met his wife through his consulting business.
- To this day, he still have a couple of business investments from this period Pitch Investors Live and a facial recognition company.
- In late 2014, Brandon’s wife at that time came up with the idea of selling online.
- By the beginning of 2015, Brandon started exploring selling on Amazon.
- He found arbitrage, liquidation and wholesale but he found his breakthrough in wholesale and started making $100K.
- He now works their Amazon business with his wife.
- Brandon has a level of relationship with his wife enabling them to work together successfully.
- Brandon is in his second marriage. He has a shared custody of his son.
- Biggest influence in life: his wife. She has pushed him further than he thought he could go.
- You need to be aligned with your partner when it comes to your plans in life.
- LESSON: Set a goal. If you don’t make a plan — then it is just a dream.
- You need to become systemised, even in incremental numbers.
- The key is to write it down in paper and come up with the how:
- What is your goal?
- Where will you get the capital?
- How many products will you launch?
- Enjoy the journey as much as anything. Enjoy the ride.
- This year, Brandon is focusing on his health: working to drop 50 pounds.
Launching Private Label
- Brandon started his private label in 2016.
- They had issues with blackhats in Amazon, their listings got re-indexed and they did not have PPC trainings.
- They found their breakthrough in electronics but did not make a good margin.
- Brandon learned the importance of product certifications early on.
- The balance sheet by the end of the year was abysmal.
- Brandon branched off in another category: baby products
- Issues: similar products with other sellers.
- They had huge failures in the first 18 months:
- Not understanding keywords, price parity and design parity within key words.
- Sticking to wireless even when not panning out.
- Ranking did not stick somehow.
- The toy: looks like a Lego with lights in it. You can not rank for Lego because it is not Lego, they want Lego.
- Branded keywords were very hard to get conversion on.
- LESSON: Do not launch a product unless you have a clear path on the keywords that you will be ranking on.
- Do initial research, create a pipeline of products and do it faster.
- Research SKU, assign risk scores: mix in high risk with low risk.
- Do a portfolio approach.
- If you launch only one or two products – you have a higher risk of failure.
- If the businesses out there can launch good products then they are doing good.
- Danny’s Tips: You keep putting out more products to have more chances at success.
- List building and brand building is the future of Amazon.
- You need to have the capability of driving external traffic to Amazon.
- ManyChat is one tool you need to use to drive external traffic.
- From their experience, ROIs on Pinterest and Instagram are very low.
- You can always learn something from people doing great. Surround yourself with the people you want to be.
- You are an average of the five people you spend the most time with.
- Cutting out people: just slowly hang out less and see them occasionally.
- You need to be busy with being you and you will have this gap in your life that you need to fill with people who can help you be more successful and figure things out both in business and in life.
- Brandon’s advise: Be humble and help other people. Do not be willing only to ‘take’.
- What makes you happy? The process. Money is only a by-product.
- If your goal is only to make money then you will never have enough money.
- How do you want to be remembered? Make major impact. Get to that B number. Make major changes in the way people treat each other, invest in clean technology and the environment.
- Favorite quote: Even if the odds are probable for failure then you still need to do it. – Elon Musk
- Gurus who are good in marketing and are not really gurus – it is criminal. They hurt a lot of people. If your success rate is lower than your students then you should not be teaching people how to be successful.
- The impact of these scams is much deeper than just money.
- It affects families, it breaks up marriages.
- How are these people not in jail?
- Launch 200 new products next year!
- Investing in students that we will help and support.
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