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Action and Ambition
17 minutes | 4 days ago
Jay Ives Teaches Business Owners How to Adapt and Evolve Their Marketing Strategies to Better Serve Their Consumers and The Communities of the World
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Jay Ives. Jay Ives is the founder of Jives Media. Jay lives at the crossroads of storytelling, design, data, and tech. As a lifecycle marketer, his goal is to strengthen the relationship between businesses and customers by turning engagement opportunities into meaningful, profitable moments. From Fortune 500 organizations to high-growth startups, Jay has led marketing teams to increase awareness, activation, and retention by better understanding their customer. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! What advice has Jay been teaching during the pandemic? (1:16) Jay says the stats are as follows; there are about 30 million small businesses that employ nearly 60 million workers in the U.S. One in 5 small businesses has shut down since January. Jay wants to do as much as he can to help these local businesses. The truth of the matter is that they’re not getting the proper funding from the government right now. Many businesses are figuring out how to pivot and position themselves in this new socially distanced world. For Jay, it has been exciting being in the trenches with them to figure out a game plan. Jay helps them figure out how to grow their digital presence during this global pandemic. Jay’s teamwork on the digital marketing side of things for people. They educate them on how to observe data to figure out which channels are and aren’t working. They are working to increase brand awareness at a holistic level. What trends does Jay see coming in the future? (8:54) Jay believes that people are going to continue to rely on digital media more now than ever before. People are spending a lot of time at home; screen time is increasing. This might not necessarily be the best thing for our mental health. For marketers, that is an excellent thing for them to take note of. Behaviors are also changing, with a lot of his clients historically, some of them did well on weekdays, Monday to Friday. With people spending more time at home, they are sometimes working more or better on the weekends and vice versa. Consumer behavior trends and employee set work times are changing and adapting. Jay believes it will only continue to evolve over the next few months and years. What is the legacy that jay wants to leave behind? (14:36) Jay wants to show people that there is a lot of good that can come out of helping these small businesses. Small businesses fail; people fail. Going back to that 30 million small business out there, they have a ton of impact and influence on the market, public health, and communities. We need to get out there and help support them in any way you can. If you are a small business owner, this is the time to adapt and evolve and do this quickly. Thinking back to the great recession of ‘08-’09, many of the world’s most significant companies were birthed during that time. Looking back, Jay believes there will be a ton of great ideas and companies that are generated through the COVID-19 period. Business owners must just move quickly and aggressively. They must keep finding new ways to market, new ways to engage clients, and win customers. Jives Media Jives Media is a full-stack digital marketing agency that helps businesses large and small with web design, hosting, search engine marketing (PPC & SEO), and social media solutions. Resources Connect with Jay: LinkedIn Jives Media: Website Connect with Andrew: LinkedIn
51 minutes | 5 days ago
Josh Luber Took his Love of Sneakers and Turned it Into A $1 Billion Business. Now His Love Of Sports Cards Is Fueling His Next Venture
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Josh Luber. Josh Luber is the co-founder and CEO of the disruptive stock market-modeled online sneaker marketplace, StockX. Within a short timespan, Josh has transformed sneaker resale and turned StockX into a $1 Billion business. Luber founded many online companies before StockX, including Servinity, that went bankrupt due to the financial crash in 2008. Luber worked a consulting job after that, and in 2012, he used sneaker sales data to launch Campless, the precursor to StockX. He is also the founder and CEO of Stealth Trading Card companies and is moving on to his 5th and 6th startups. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! What was the process like for Josh while starting his businesses? (3:32) Looking back, Josh says he had some kind of corporate job between each of his startups. His life also changed exponentially between each of his startups as he started a family. Starting a business is always a risk for everyone involved, and anything that happens during a startup can change how it goes drastically. Josh’s last startup had to shut down before exiting because of the crash in 2008-2009. Josh was in Atlanta during that time, and it had a terrible job market; he eventually took a job in IBM, which had him move to New York. As a strategy consultant in NYW, the city was a jumping-off point for capitalists, which ended up becoming StockX. As a startup guy working in IBM, it’s a good company because it’s the definition of big corporations and bureaucracy. If you find yourself in that position, you have to start working and looking for stuff to do on the inside. Josh believes that if he never went to work at IBM, StockX would’ve never happened because it allowed him to accumulate enough taste and skill level with data to ask the right questions. So even though his experience at a Law firm and IBM might look like anomalies on Josh’s resumé, they were both massively helpful in all of his endeavors. What was the data that Josh saw that made him start StockX? (10:12) Josh says that it is extraordinary that what is happening in terms of data in the trading cards right now is almost identical to what was happening in the sneakers in 2012. It’s the big reason Josh has decided to leave StockX to go after trading card companies was because of the similarities for sneakers at that time. In 2012 there was no price guide, there was no Beckett for sneakers, no Kelly Blue Book, and as sneakers became more mainstream, that became more and more of a problem. Sitting in IBM, deep in the data space and having collected sneakers his whole life, and always following the sneaker market, Josh was also just searching for side projects. He thought about trying to get his hands on some sneaker data and seeing what he could do with it, and eventually, he figured out how to collect eBay data. It became clear very quickly that no one was doing real analytics around the resale market at that time. People were still using eBay sold auctions to understand the price of a pair of sneakers, the value of them. It was a very insular, fragmented market at the time. Using the data Josh collected, he looked at what he could build around it, and no one else was doing that. What is the impact that Josh wants to have? (39:47) Josh was happy about this question because most people usually ask him what’s the most expensive shoe he owns, and he’s gotten tired of answering those questions. For Josh, it’s about the process, and all the success he has had with StockX is impressive, and he’s excited that that success allows him to do it again. With the age his kids are now, Josh is excited because growing up, the word entrepreneur did not exist. Going after your dream and making a business, a career from something you love to do was rare. Josh was lucky that what he loved as a kid has grown into the two biggest things in culture and commerce. But it was the actual process of starting up the business and building it that he enjoyed the most. He hopes that his passion for that will reflect in his kids and show them how to create value—hiring people, creating jobs, and helping the world. StockX StockX is a Detroit-based online marketplace and reseller of sneakers, streetwear, handbags, and collectibles. Acting as a live bid/ask marketplace for the most hotly anticipated drops. Resources Connect with Josh: LinkedIn StockX: Website Connect with Andrew: Linkedin
34 minutes | 9 days ago
Eliot Buchanan Disrupts Normal Business Models with His Innovative Company Plastiq, Which Processes over $2 Billion Worth of Sales in Goods and Services Yearly
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s Guest is Eliot Buchanan. Eliot Buchanan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Plastiq. Eliot is responsible for defining the strategic vision and industry-changing innovation at Plastiq. He is a creator of disruptive business model innovations and has been actively engaged in several ventures driven by that imperative. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! How did Eliot get into FinTech? (0:40) FinTech has become quite a trend in the business world. Admittedly, Eliot did not initially choose FinTech but instead chose a problem that he found interesting, and it so happened to be financial services. Eliot grew up in Canada and came to the US for school, and one of the problems he ran into was that he had no credit score. If you are new to the US, one way to establish a credit score is by getting a credit card. As a student, this is what Eliot did to build his score almost ten years ago. Credit cards had been around for over 60 years at the time, and so Eliot tried to pay his tuition payment and was very surprised when he was not allowed to pay that way. That was the lightbulb moment for Elliot and seeded Plastiq in his mind and excited Elliot to innovate within financial services. What obstacles did Eliot encounter during his journey? (4:11) One thing Eliot experiences in financial services was that companies that were already successful often have compliments for the incumbents versus replacements. To compare it to say, the transportation industry, which has many pain points people wouldn’t argue with. However, in the financial industry, some disruption needed to happen to the incumbent way of life in the financial sector. Most successful FinTech’s are not trying to replace the incumbents. They like the incumbents and getting along with the system. Like any industry, there is a lot of bureaucracy and red tape based on partnering with large organizations. Once partnered with a large organization, those incumbents help you grow your business instead of work against you. What are some things Eliot things are going to blow up in the next few years? (18:57) There are several brands that consumers are loyal to in terms of their products and services. A lot of these brands and products that people use daily are not traditional FinTechs. Looking at the larger tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google, customers willing and have a desire to run banking or their financial lives through the brands and services that they love, even though they weren’t historically a banking tech or in FinTech. Eliot believes there will come an exciting tipping point in what people look for in managing their finances. This is because so many people complain about their banks, asking consumers which of the brands they use they trust the most, ranking from top to bottom, their bank would usually be one of the last names mentioned. There’s been a steadily increasing trend of people getting comfortable doing payments and banking from non-traditional banking methods. How does Eliot keep morale going in his team during the pandemic? (28:20) Eliot said at the start of things he was trying to add too much for morale-boosting. They were doing happy ours, virtual lunch cat cafes, or virtual yogas, and people took advantage of those during COVID. He said he eventually just tried to make sure his employees were separating their home and work life and still taking their lunch breaks. He also enforced the first Fridays of every month where people would work only half days, and the rest of the time, they must not touch their work. So just trying to keep that normality and balance because if people are not happy at home, they are not going to be very useful at work. Plastiq Plastiq is a service that lets individuals and businesses use debit or credit cards to pay vendors that don't otherwise accept those payment methods. Plastiq facilitates one-time or recurring payments for bills such as rent, mortgage, utilities, daycare, homeowners association fees, and other expenses. You add a debit or credit card to your Plastiq account and charge it in the bill’s amount, and then Plastiq pays the company on your behalf via a method that the vendor accepts: ACH, wire transfer, or an old-fashioned paper check. Resources Connect with Eliot: LinkedIn Plastiq: Website Connect with Andrew: LinkedIn
53 minutes | 9 days ago
How Ross Shanken Used His Love For Problem Solving To Start a Data-As-A-Service Company that has Grown to Include A Shopping and Comparison Network of Over 35,000
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Ross Shanken. Ross Shanken is the founder and CEO of Jornaya. He is a thought leader and business builder within Information Services, interactive markets, and display advertising. Ross has broad knowledge and experience in leading sales, marketing, business development, and launching new businesses. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! How did Ross know he wanted to solve complex problems when he was young? (0:40) Ross always loved brain teasers as a kid. He would spend hours as a kid just sitting and solving complex and advanced puzzles. When he was around ten years old, somebody released the Rubik’s cube, and Ross thought it was the most relaxed, most challenging thing in the world. Ross had solved it by the time he was 11 after spending many hours on it. Puzzles were something that Ross couldn’t do. That’s where his love for problem-solving started, and as he got older, it began to expand into the business world and other things that were hard to solve. He even did some computer coding and used it to program basic applications. Ross states that it was just how he was made. What was Ross’s entrepreneurial journey, and how did it lead him to where he is now? (4:09) Looking back now, Ross says he’s always been entrepreneurial and had a burning desire to start companies. He started that passion off in a small scale manner when he was a teenager. All his friends were getting jobs at ice cream shops or restaurants as waiters. Ross was instead of putting fliers in people’s mailboxes that he would do odd jobs for people in their gardens and build an excellent little business doing that. Going into college, he came into contact with an import/export guy from Pakistan who brought these sweaters and boots and other items into the country, and then Ross sold those products. However, there was another side of Ross, which was that he hadn’t been exposed to any other entrepreneurs. Reading about people like Steve Jobs and Bill gates fascinated him and planted the idea that he wanted to follow a path similar to them. Wanting to follow the path, Ross did not know how to start, and he knew that he was slightly more risk-averse than other entrepreneurs. His first job out of college was at Haverford College Alumni. Haverford wanted to start a fax-on-demand business, which back then was the fastest way to get information around. To find information like stock quotes or earnings estimates, you had to go to the library and hope they had the information, or you had to subscribe to mail order services. So Haverford and Ross digitized that information and put it online in the form of fax and eventually pushed it onto the internet as that became more prevalent. It was the thing that Ross had always loved, but he didn’t have the guts to go out and do himself because he had grown up with little money and was relatively risk-averse. He worked two more jobs after that, each 3 and 4 years long, respectively, which led to the longest stint he had before founding Jornaya. For thirteen years, he worked for a data intelligence company called Targets Info. Ross was the seventh employee in the company, and they rapidly grew to a few hundred people. They sold targets Info to a public company, and it was an excellent outcome for everybody. But again, that was not Ross starting his own company but instead helping to develop it. By then, however, Ross had made enough money and gained enough experience to feel comfortable starting his own company by himself. It’s ten years later now, and the company has grown extraordinarily. Does Ross have any tips on how to create effective use of proceeds early on in a business? (41:48) Ross says it was never a case of he had it all figured out, and it all went smoothly from the beginning. He felt like he wasn’t very good at certain things. He was good at the things he knew about certain things that were important to him. But other things were rather daunting to Ross. Ross never wanted to raise money, but he asked himself the question if he did raise money right now, how much faster and bigger could his company get? Ross was not young when he finally started his own business, and he had a great mentor for the last three-four years before starting his company, which is now working in Jornaya as a partner. Who helped Ross immensely. Ross feels he had to learn the importance of setting out and just doing it, really pursuing what he wanted to accomplish. Being too risk-averse at the start, Ross had to come to realize that there are always risks, and you are still wrong. He learned the famous quote from Eisenhower, who said, “Plans are useless or worthless, but planning is indispensable.” It’s just about going through the planning process and adapting as things go wrong that is the most important. Ross raised money without really good plans, but he had the right direction and a sound rationale at that point. However, starting a business is always stressful, and Ross states he’s sure that there’s still that pressure that many entrepreneurs feel but don’t talk about. When a Venture capital comes in, they don’t want the money to sit in your bank account. They want you to spend their money, and this is for the following reason; Theoretically, it would make you grow bigger and faster. However, this is not the case, and without a good plan, and if there is a conflict of interest, it can become tough to align incentives between a VC and Business owner. Ross did not become great at that until he had, had a couple of runs at this. His advice is to learn as many hard lessons as you can, as fast as you can, because you know excellent lessons in the process too. Jornaya Jornaya is a data-as-a-service company that uses a network of 35,000+ comparison shopping and lead generation to helps marketers detect consumer purchasing intent and ensure compliance with data privacy laws. Resources Connect with Ross: LinkedIn Jornaya: Website Connect with Andrew: LinkedIn
24 minutes | 9 days ago
Robert Schlien Creates a Custard that Can Help in the Treatment of Cancer and other Chronic Diseases in Pets
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Robert Schlien. Robert Schlien is the Founder and CEO of Buddy Custard Inc. Robert is a cancer survivor of 13 years and had the good fortune of being introduced to the Budwig Protocol seven years ago. At that time, he had already decided to forego the conventional treatment of chemotherapy prescribed to him. Instead, he employed this simple, sensible technology. It is his personal experience that inspired him and co-founder Katherine Schlein to use that protocol to develop Buddy Custard, a frozen treat additive to foods for dogs. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! Who is Robert, and how did he get to where he is now? (0:01) Robert founded a company called Buddy Custard. It is a unique company in that it produced an initially established product in the human care industry about 60-70 years ago. Robert, being a cancer survivor, stumbled on a treatment protocol that was developed by Dr. Joanna Budwig in Germany. Dr. Budwig had a fantastic reputation for taking a holistic and all-natural approach to curing chronic diseases. Robert used the Budwig Protocol to treat his cancer, and it worked wonders about 11-12 years ago. Robert did not believe the treatment would work, but it ended up working better than he thought. Robert’s company produces this Budwig Protocol in pet-friendly edible products, particularly for dogs, to cure various things like cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Buddy Custard has had marvelous success in helping treat cancer and arthritis in pets. The nutraceutical is in a human-grade frozen custard form, and animals love the taste. How did Robert raise funds for the project initially? (10:41) The initial inception for Robert was putting money into R&D and doing testing and packaging, dry shipping, and container shipping for the product. Robert and his wife initially used some of their own money and used donations from friends and family to start the company with a couple of hundred dollars. It was at that point that they started doing a lot of marketing and advertising, but Robert says everything they were able to achieve came quite organically. When COVID-19 happened, Robert put a hiatus on all the marking and advertising until the dust settles. Now that things are calmer, they have conversations with massive retailers, and they are starting to adopt an aggressive marketing strategy. They are also aiming to fundraise $400,000 that will be their second round of funding, and they are gearing up to go as high as a million dollars, possibly. They have started branching out and are making probiotics, hemp and CBD infused Buddy Custard as well. What is some advice or tips that Robert can share on going through the process during COVID-19? (13:56) In the approach, be very careful and very conservative because surprises are out there whether stimulus packages are coming or not. Robert is waiting on some small loads from EIBL, and right now, they are projecting to do well over a million dollars over the next 12 months. Many businesses fail because they become so enamored with their concept that they become blindsided to what else is out there. When things were looking bad, Robert took time to reflect on what went wrong, and he would suggest any entrepreneur do that, think about what they did wrong in R&D, and fix it. Think about it again before launching. A lot of companies get in trouble because they end up wasting a lot of money. Robert keeps his business on a very tight budget, and his business model outsourced almost everything they do. Robert would instead get the experts to handle the product as they have a history of success, so three vetted FDA and USDA develop buddy Custard approved manufacturing facilities. Buddy Custard Buddy Custard is an all-natural remedy frozen treat to help dogs feel their best and boost their health, regardless of how healthy or ill the dog is. It is based on 70 years of research and experience. Thousands use it with positive results. Resources Buddy Custard: Website Connect with Andrew: LinkedIn
31 minutes | 10 days ago
Julius Makarewicz Launched a Health Conscious Alcohol Beverage That's Turned Into The Fastest Growing Seltzer Beverage Company in Canda And Is Now Rolling Out To The U.S.
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Julius Makarewics. Julius Makarewicz is the CEO of Nude Beverages, British Columbia's fastest-growing alcohol beverage company. Nude launched nationwide in the States a month ago and has made massive waves. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! What was Julius’ journey to get to where he is now? (1:02) Julius started in a very different industry initially. He was working in many various industries instead of just one. He grew up in a small town and dropped out of university, starting to work shortly after. He worked for many technology firms, mining firms, etc., but the whole time he was looking for an idea. He knew he wanted to start a business and be an entrepreneur and do something great. Back in 2013, Julius saw a gap in the market, and everyone was going to be healthier people, choosing healthier food and non-alcoholic beverages that we’re more nutritious than others. Julius noticed that there wasn’t anything on the liquor category of alcohol that was any healthier than the other alcoholic beverages that are offered. Julius wanted to create something better for you that also fit into Julius’s lifestyle at the time, so he started thinking about putting vodka soda, or hard seltzer ina can and then thought of the name Nude. What steps did Julius take to establish his brand once he had the idea going? (3:12) The first little bit of money that Julius used to make the first edition of his product came from his grandmother’s inheritance, an entrepreneur in Poland. He had promised himself that he would use that money to start a business, and he did to make his first viable product. After that, he began to find people to bring on board as advisors. Julius stated that he brought on the right kind of people to help grow his business, especially their co-owner and head of sales. Doing all of this helped get Julius to the point where he could pitch his business and product to investors; this was hard and took a few years because Julius was young, and very few people want to give a 20 something year old with no track record a lot of money. Julius eventually got his first investor, and from there on, more and more people started to invest, and he managed to raise $300,000 to start it up. Some leadership tips from Julius. (7:18) Julius is a firm believer in leading by example. Be the person you want everyone else to be. Julius wants everyone to be good people and treat each other well and not to have too much politics on whether you should or shouldn’t be nice to people; he’s just always a straight-up nice guy to everyone. Working hard for what you want to achieve is another critical component, and Julius states that if you don’t work hard, other people aren’t going to work hard for you either. Julius makes sure to put more hours in than any of his team to make sure they have that example coming from him. What is helping Julius currently drive growth and awareness for his business? (9:43) Julius loves doing influencer campaigns, but they do not pay the influencers. They just drop off the products for them and say if they want to post it, they can, and if not, they don’t have to. Often, people will post their product because they just love the product so much. Julius prefers this because it shows that the influencers enjoyed the product instead of not enjoying it and posting it anyway. Marketing is a crucial component, and digital ads are great for awareness and new markets. PR is also quite essential and doing cool stuff and getting it on the wire helps a lot with sales. Nude Beverages Nude Beverages was founded in B.C Canada, with the goal to make the best alcoholic beverages in the world. They wanted to change up the market by introducing drinks that weren’t oversaturated with sugar and chemicals. They work alongside industry-leading and award-winning beverage developers to work towards a result that will be the new standard for alcoholic beverages. Resources Connect with Julius: LinkedIn Nude Beverages: Website Connect with Andrew: LinkedIn
25 minutes | 10 days ago
Tanner Chidester Smashes the Fitness Industry by Making His First $1 Million Before the Age of 30
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Tanner Chidester. Tanner Chidester is a self-made millionaire and successful entrepreneur. He has grown and scaled two 7-figure online businesses: Elite CEOs and Fit Warrior that has generated $16 million in less than three years. He is a five-time winner of the "2 comma club" award from ClickFunnels, which signifies doing a minimum of $1 million in a sales funnel, and an 8-Figure Award recipient for one billion in the sales. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! How did Tanner get started with his businesses, and how did he scale them so quickly? (1:11) Throughout school, Tanner was bullied as a kid. Tanner eventually found his niché in fitness, and that started to build his confidence to start going in that direction. It was kind of like he worked out and got results, and suddenly people were respecting him. So he figured if he worked hard at school and girls and all those other things, it would all fall into place. Through his second year in college, Tanner wanted to play in the NFL. And the way Tanner is about business is once he sets his mind to something, he goes ‘[sycho’ about it, and he would work all day long for extreme hours to achieve what he wanted. By 20, he had his third shoulder surgery, and he realized that Football was not going to work for him, he wasn’t big enough, and his injuries made it very hard to keep pursuing that dream. Tanner met a man who convinced him to leave school to be an entrepreneur who was a big thing for tanner because no one in his family was one, and they did not believe in him when he left. The guy taught Tanner about online marketing in the first two years, and Tanner was starting to feel stressed out because he had no money and wasn’t making any money. However, he did learn a lot of valuable things that helped him later on in life. After two years of learning Online marketing, Tanner couldn’t do it anymore and decided to be a server, doing door to door sales; he hoped he could raise enough money that way to start his own business. What ended up happening was after learning those skills and working a year or two as a server, Tanner realized he was going in circles and not making any money. Tanner noticed an ad while he was out walking that said how to build your online fitness business. Tanner signed up for the course after scraping together the $5,000 tuition fee. At the seminar, he was more advanced than many people attending, having worked door to door, and his two years of Online Marketing learning. So at this seminar, tanner ended up making a lot of connections, and he started messaging and contacting people and ended up selling over $10,000, which was four times more than what he was making a month. Realizing all he had to do was build connections and message them offering his fitness service that Tanner could finally make money. What are some tips that tanner can give busy professionals and founders on how to stay in shape? (15:03) Tanner did not understand how people can be out of shape until he started his business. He realized then how hard it was to fit the gym into a busy and stressful schedule because all you want to do after work is sleep. So during his first couple of years, Tanner was not in the most excellent shape himself. The first tip tanner can share is that it’s mostly about diet. Someone who’s eating right will easily beat someone going to the gym every day but eating poorly. Tanner says to try and follow a healthy diet and if you’re going to eat bad, try not to do it every day. Another tip from Tanner is to incorporate weight training into your week. You do not have to do it excessively, but three times a week should be easily sustainable. And the last tip from Tanner would be that when you do not have time, try and do a quick 30-minute high-intensity Aerobic exercise at home because of how fast they are with good results. Many entrepreneurs tend to sit at home at desks and never actually move, so Tanner encourages Cardio just to keep the heart healthy and the cholesterol levels down. Where does Tanner want to go now, and How will he go about accomplishing those goals? (18:36) His short immediate goal for this year is doing about $15 million and to possibly try and push that to $20-$25 Million in consulting. That goal is near the ceiling of where you can go with paid ads and stuff like that. Currently, Tanner is working on the first SAS, which will be a trainer to trainer software. They will be expanding that further as they are still getting new trainers over the next 3-5 years. Tanner is not too sure about what his next big thing is going to be. He has thought about investing and getting into start-ups where he feels there is a lot of upsides. At this point, Tanner just ikes doing things that push him to be the best person that he can be; therefore, Tanner has put a lot more time in his personal life lately. Fit Warrior Fit Warrior has a different approach to sport, nutrition, and fitness. They believe that there is a warrior in everyone, and they strive to release that inner warrior for each of their clients. They believe in the spirit of fitness and the mental and physical discipline necessary to achieve it, and they strive to support their clients as they find their warrior. Resources Connect with Tanner: LinkedIn Fit Warrior: Website Connect with Andrew: LinkedIn
33 minutes | 10 days ago
Jeffrey Radway Uses the End of Prohibition to Launch Michigan’s Largest Vertically Integrated Cannabis Company
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Jeff Radway. Jeff Radway is the CEO and co-founder of SKYMINT Brands. (Formerly Green Peak Innovations). Before launching Michigan’s largest vertically integrated cannabis company, Radway built and sold J. America, one of the largest privately-owned licensed apparel companies in the U.S. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! Were the exits that Jeff had previously change anything for him in his life? (1:37) Jeff considers his first exit to have been life-changing. When Jeff was in high school, he started a landscaping and lawn keeping business, and he sold it to his partner to pay for college. He says he was too young to realize back then how much work he had put into that business and didn’t translate the same work ethic in College. He screwed around through most of college and blew all of the money he had earned on paying for it. His second exit taught him a valuable lesson as he had exited with shares. The company ended up filing for bankruptcy, so he barely received any of the earnout/payouts. At the time, he thought his career was made, and his life was over. Sometimes the things that hurt you the most end up teaching you the most. So by his third exit, which was the most recent in 2016, Jeff was relatively prepared for the best and the worst. The third turned out successful, which was also life-changing because Jeff and his wife were building a house in the Caribbean, and he was ready to retire. He lasted about 24 hours in retirement before starting Green Peak Innovations; now, SKYMINT Brands. What path got Jeff into the Cannabis Space? (3:32) Jeff was in the apparel industry for almost 30 years, and so from 92 to 2016, Jeff got up every day and competed with Nike. It sounds a lot more glamorous than it was because Nike is terrific at everything, from distribution to branding to design and import. The business Jeff was in had to figure out how to be different and meaningful to retailers and make more margin for the retailers because ultimately, Nike was Nike. Despite their large competitor, Jeff’s business did well and a much-needed resource for retailers. And so after almost 30 years, Jeff told his wife that he was ready to be bored for a couple of years. However, Jeff went to a Trade Show in Las Vegas. And as he was standing in Las Vegas and waiting for his Uber driver who got lost, Jeff thought Ubers have to be better. They have to deliver dry cleaning. They should provide food, and then Jeff thought, hey, they should provide Cannabis. Jeff’s wife was in the health care industry, and she had been talking about CBD and Cannabis lately, although Jeff himself knew nothing about it. Jeff messaged his much younger Nephew, a government affairs expert, and medical healthcare lobbyist, and said, why doesn’t an Uber deliver weed? Thinking he was making a joke. Jeff’s nephew texted him back, saying it was becoming legal in Michigan and that he was helping put together the bill and legislation, we will be passing the bill. I could get you into contact with the technology companies if Jeff were serious about it. Jeff quickly fired off questions at his Nephew to get all of the information. He was too excited as he realized the possibilities of what he had just thought of and discovered. It was funny because Jeff was at the trade show in Las Vegas to ‘hand over the keys’ of the business he was currently in and retired with his wife to the Caribbean. And so Jeff’s nephew got him into contact with everyone he needed to know and helped him get everything he needed to get started. Does Jeff have any tips when it comes to building and scaling a company? (20:32) Jeff joked that the podcast name says it all, Action and Ambition. You have to take action, and it’s not always going to be the right action. Someone told Jeff once, you fire the gun, and then you steer the bullet, and he thought that was a very accurate analogy. There isn’t time to be perfect, but you never lose sight of where you want to go, what the visions and goals are. In Jeff’s case, they started hiring their executive team from the beginning, gathering an elite group of people with fantastic experience, and that helped SKYMINT grow so fast. High growth requires high risk, and there is a certain amount of insanity, pain, and fun that goes along with it. Jeff believes in systems over people, but in this case, they had to build out manufacturing and science, government affairs, legal, merchandising, product, marketing, and retail operations. SKYMINT SKYMINT are purveyors of premium crafted cannabis. They have developed a portfolio of the finest cannabis brands available for health, healing, or just getting high on life. Whether you want to get off of pain meds, restore your appetite, relax into a more restful sleep, or unlock your higher self, SKYMINT has the products you want and need to enjoy the absolute best cannabis experience. Resources Connect with Jeff: LinkedIn SKYMINT: Website Connect with Andrew: LinkedIn
33 minutes | 10 days ago
Michael Miller and His Brother Bought a $2.3 Million Sales Insurance Business and Grew it to $700 Million in Less than 5 Years
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Michael Miller. Michael Miller co-founded Brightway Insurance in 2008 with his brother, David Miller. As President and CEO of Brightway, Michael’s day-to-day focus is setting the strategic agenda for the company, helping Brightway continue to innovate in ways that help everyone associated with the business grow and prosper. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it! How did Michael find success in his industry? (0:44) Initially, they were a very small nationwide captive insurance agency in Jacksonville, Florida. They bought the business from a man named Ray Jennings and he actually had the business for 42 years. It took Ray 42 years to grow the business to annual sales of $2.3 million, which in their industry is a very average size. Now, Michael and his brother managed to grow the business to about $715 Million in annual sales. Right now Michael and his older brother David are the sole owners of the business. They had no outside capital on it so they did not start with a lot of money. The initial buy-in was something like $300,000, they then added and invested more money to start growing the business. They decided to go for a high risk, high reward approach and pushed everything they had into the business, not know if it would succeed or fail. How much of a risk did they take and how did it pay off? (2:46) People look at Brightway today and say that it was an overnight success. Michael however says there were many moments where they had t do a gut check. Giving an example, When they started they had about $2.3 million on the books and they hoped that in 10 years they would be at a $10 million agency. Obviously, they passed that a while ago, but going into it they didn’t have a franchise model and now Brightway is a franchise. They had to change from, what they were to become what they are now which is a franchise. They also changed their legal structure in the process and that was also when they changed their name to Brightway insurance. The reason they changed to a franchise was because of how rapidly they were growing. They were growing so rapidly that they outgrew their financial resources. They had to pause and say wow they were running out of money. So in 2007, the brothers had a gut check where they had to decide if they were going to continue or pull out of the business. Michael and his brother decided to continue with the business, they maxed out their credit cards and scraped together every penny they could find under their family. Doubling down, they said they worked this hard to grow this quickly and quitting then was not an option. So instead of focusing on growth, the Miller brothers decided to start focusing on changing the business model to a franchise company. They took the gamble, even though they only have enough money left for 3 more months of functioning and they ended up selling their first franchise shortly after. Where does Michael see himself in 3-5 years, what goals has he set for himself? (13:29) Their goal as a company is to be the dominant insurance distributor in the country. So they are trying to push out as many Brightway stores, really focusing on developing the franchise across the country because of it being one way to distribute their insurance. They are also looking at doing some vertical integrations. They have already grown their affinity partnerships to help feed the business and to partner with other companies. They are looking at leveraging their systems and client bases to create some synergies within them. They are mostly just working on innovation which is extremely important in the times of COVID-19. The pandemic has made multiple changes across the business world but Michael believes that the best opportunities come in the worst of times. COVID has created this opportunity for them to leverage the technology that they had built. Starting to come out of COVID now they created another franchise model. They removed the barriers to business ownership and they have never grown faster. So just continuing to focus on the business and where they can grow and innovate is what Michael and his brother will be focusing on for the next few years. Brightway Insurance Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty insurance distribution company. It is one of the largest Personal Lines agencies in the U.S. Brightway focuses on creating win/win situations for consumers by offering customized insurance solutions and for people wishing to sell insurance by providing business opportunities that span from a single agent to multi-unit enterprises. Regardless of the path taken, Brightway provides the support necessary to consistently outsell other insurance agents. Resources Connect with Michael: LinkedIn Brightway insurance: Website Connect with Andrew: LinkedIn
23 minutes | 12 days ago
Kyle Mitnick is ranked 37th on Entrepreneur's Top 360 Entrepreneurs for 2019 And The Founder of Advertise Purple
Welcome to another episode of Action and Ambition. Today's guest is Kyle Mitnick. He is the founder and president of Advertise Purple, a global adtech agency that is a leader in affiliate marketing management. A seasoned tech entrepreneur and angel investor, Kyle was ranked 37th on Entrepreneur.com's Top 360 Entrepreneurs for 2019. You're going to love this episode, let's get to it!
29 minutes | 12 days ago
Sarah-Eva Spotted Trends In The Floral Industry To Launch A Highly Successful Tech Company
Welcome to another episode of Action and Ambution. Today's guest is Sarah-Eva Marches. She is the founder and CEO of Floracracy, a technologically advanced luxury floral brand, which launched in October, 2020. Sarah-Eva leveraged her training as a terrorist profiler to track facts and trends in the floral industry, which became the basis of Floracracy’s patent-pending software. You're going to love this episode, lets get to it!
23 minutes | 12 days ago
Justin Lawson and JJellyfish Have Mastered B2B Sales
Welcome to another episode of Action and Ambition. Today's guest is Justin Lawson. He is a thought leader in mastering B2B sales, frequently engaged to guide companies on creating early revenue, and successfully proving out their businesses. Having Founded JJELLYFISH with an ethos of profitability from inception, Lawson understands the power of economics over optics. Recognized as an expert in go-to-market strategy and with over a decade of experience in new lines of business, Lawson advises both startups and Fortune 500 companies. You're going to love this episode. Let's get to it!
36 minutes | 13 days ago
Getting America Hooked on Veggies, Elliot Huss Brings Plant-Based Solutions to Get You to Eat Your Vegetables
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Elliot Huss, CEO and Co-Founder of New Classic Cooking, which started in 2004 focusing on frozen and refrigerated foods for the Kosher market. In 2008 the company launched the brand Veggies Made Great. During that time Elli has led the company to great success with the Veggies Made Great brand making it an industry groundbreaker for healthy frozen and refrigerated foods, thus making plant-based solutions easier for every consumer, during any occasion. The Veggies Made Great brand showcases veggies as the first and main ingredient in the complete product line, which includes muffins, frittatas and veggie cakes. Under his direction Veggies Made Great has become the leader in unique veggie-rich foods, of the highest quality, that are remarkably delicious and nutrition. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!
30 minutes | 13 days ago
RJ Garbowicz Sold His First Company at 20 Years Old for $3m and Recently Raised $10m To Build A New Type of Social Network
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is RJ Garbowicz, serial entrepreneur and founder, CEO, and Chairman of Webtalk, a new type of social network allowing users to consolidate their professional and personal lives all while earning money for sharing. After studying web design at St. Petersbug College and serving as an avionic radar technicians for the Illinois Army National Guard, RJ launched four tech companies before founding Webtalk in 2011. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!
25 minutes | 13 days ago
Filmmaker Jia Wertz Debut Film “Conviction” Investigating Vagaries & Inconsistencies of the American Criminal Justice System
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Jia Wertz, a documentary filmmaker pursuing stories of wrongful convictions and the inconsistencies of the American Criminal Justice system. Her documentary short, Conviction, was released on Amazon Prime last month and has received numerous film festival selections, awards, and raving reviews. A featured writer for Forbes, Wertz is also the Founder and fashion designer of Studio 15. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!
36 minutes | 22 days ago
Akhila Satish Improves the “How” of Thinking aka Metacognition, Transforming Events Into Something of Value
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Akhila Satish, the CEO of Meseekna, the technology company using metacognitive science to improve individuals' decision-making skills. Backed by more than 60 years of research and 500 peer reviewed publications, Meseekna’s technology enables their team to assess, train, and educate individuals on the power of their metacognition. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!
48 minutes | 22 days ago
Seke Ballard Levels the Playing Field for Borrowers, Especially Minorities & Women
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Seke Ballard, Founder and CEO of Good Tree Capital where he is using data to reimagine how banks lend money and—in the process—creating fairer access to capital for all. An alum of both Harvard Business School and the Peace Corps, Ballard built a solution to systemic discriminatory lending practices. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!
37 minutes | 22 days ago
Pet Telemedicine is Here Thanks to Zubin Bhettay & Fuzzy Pet Health
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Zubin Bhettay, Co-Founder of Fuzzy Pet Health, the disruptive telemedicine platform. Bhettay expands on how pet telemedicine ties to Covid-19 and on the resulting increase in telemedicine for pets. He describes when pets will need in-person visits with the vet, as well as how to use telehealth options effectively. Listen to hear more about the launch of Fuzzy’s! You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!
30 minutes | 22 days ago
Onfleet Raised a Whopping $14m with Khaled Naim at the Helm
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guest is Khaled Naim, Co-Founder and CEO of Onfleet, the fastest-growing provider of last mile delivery management software based in San Francisco. After growing up in London and Dubai, Khaled graduated from the University of Michigan where he studied computer engineering and Stanford Graduate School of Business. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!
37 minutes | 22 days ago
Why wellness, not a 'dream job' is the key to happiness at work
Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Andrew Medal. Today’s guests are Chelsea and Mitch Glaser, a sister-brother team who co-founded Fredi, maker of Focused by Fredi, an all-natural, daily morning supplement designed to help you boost productivity. “We do our best work when we feel our best” states the Fredi site where readers can also learn productivity hacks and confidence boosts. You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!
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