Nick Shucet (00:00)

Welcome to the Million Dollar Sellers Podcast. Today we have an awesome guest on the show. Someone I've known for a while is Brandon Young, he's the founder of Seller Systems, founder of Data Dive. I believe you're also an eight-figure seller these days, right Brandon? ‍

Brandon Young (00:18)

We're on pace to do over 30 million this year. ‍

Nick Shucet (00:21)

Amazing. You just put on your first, I think that was your first big event, right? The one that I came down to in Orlando. ‍

Brandon Young (00:31)

Camp Ecom, was our first time doing an annual event. ‍

Nick Shucet (00:33)

That was a good time, man. I really enjoyed that event and came back pretty fired up and I'm actually just deep into the mode, of what that event motivated me to really do I'm deep in it right now. ‍

Brandon Young (00:52)

The whole premise of doing that type of event was that we've been to a million shows, dozens and dozens of conferences, literally. We wanted to do something more actionable, more interactive, and more geared towards what level you are. And so someone at your level that's already doing seven figures. You want to go to eight or 50 million, right?

What is it you need to do? ‍ Your training is not on the Amazon side. You're already really good at that side of it. But the business management side is really hard, and it's really hard to figure out on your own. So we wanted to have a whole section that was just business management training specifically for e-commerce. And I think we called it, we named it wrong.

It was eight-figure because the goal was to use this to get to eight-figure. So we had people in there because they wanted to become an eight-figure seller, but they weren't quite ready for it. They still needed more of the tactical stuff. So next year, we're gonna break it into three sections. It'll have pre-launch, two days of pre-launch workshops, product development, sourcing, logistics, and then two days of post-launch, which will all be PPC and setting up the launch and all that. ‍

Brandon Young (02:18)

And then on the other side will be the business management. So that'll be for the executives. Hopefully, everyone will start to bring their teams. A lot of people did this time as well, which was great. But we really wanted to get to a position where people are bringing their teams and getting their teams up to speed and aligned, using it as a team-building event as well. ‍

Nick Shucet (02:37)

That totally makes sense. I mean, because I think at that, if you're not at eight figures yet the idea is to remove yourself from some things and really elevate other people to take over and hopefully do it better than you can do it. Yeah. ‍

Brandon Young (02:53)

Hopefully, usually, it's not right. That's the biggest hang-up for a lot of people is that they don't wanna let something go because they know they're gonna do it better. But the goal should always be to just try to get 70 or 80% from someone else, right? And sometimes it'll take more than one person, but if you hire two people at 70, 80%, now you're at 150, right? And so now you're okay letting it go and you can focus on more value drivers. ‍

Nick Shucet (03:18)

I think that's an important point to mention because I know myself, I'll get focused, got to get an A player 110% or, I'm all or nothing on everything. And it's all right, dude, dial back, get someone in at 70, let some things off your plate, and keep moving forward. I really enjoyed that conference. I'm looking to coming back. ‍ I think you have an opportunity to do some cool stuff, man.

I think of old jobs I've had where we did training for two weeks. ‍ You came in and you were there eight hours for two weeks, role-playing and learning all these things. I would love to see someone do that in ECOM where it's more of a retreat blended with education. I think it's easier for entrepreneurs to bite into that because, for me, it's what I do in my personal life and what I do at work. ‍

Brandon Young (04:11)

It's really tough to pull yourself away from your business for more than a couple of days at a time, but it's needed, right? For sure, we've got to immerse ourselves to level up. And so we're, but that would be sweet. I think, you go into an actual camp, and getting away for a week would be pretty cool. ‍

Nick Shucet (04:32)

Well, Brandon, I'm sure a lot of the listeners are going to be familiar with you, but why don't you just introduce yourself a little bit, give the audience a background on who you are what you're about, and what you're doing now? ‍

Brandon Young (04:48)

The 32nd version would be that I was dating my now wife. We started, and we figured out that FBA was an incredible business model, basically leveraging Amazon's billion-dollar infrastructure to be able to scale a business. We just figured out what are, what is everything we can possibly send in to sell. So we were doing wholesale, liquidation, arbitrage, and then in 2016, she's originally from China. ‍

So we said we should be doing private-label. We started firing up private-label products and learned a lot of lessons the hard way. And really started to figure out what went right, and what went wrong with every product launch and realized that a lot of it was in the keyword research and data analysis that we were doing to choose products and how we launched them.

And that was what we started teaching with Seller Systems. In 20... ‍ I'd say 2016, end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017. We were in the founding class of MDS. And it was us and I don't know, 60, 70, 80 guys. We had gotten together at a couple of conferences, Ian and Leo and Andre and Fernando and a bunch of really, really cool dudes. You were there. ‍

Nick Shucet (06:11)

Costa Rica, right? ‍

Brandon Young (06:14)

And so it was just really neat to get everyone together and start to get aligned on what's working for you. And that was the birth of MDS. A little bit later, I started with Garland and Max from MDS. We decided to start something that would be more for beginners with an arbitrage mix because they were doing eight figures in arbitrage. We realized after about a year that most people were signing up for private labels and they didn't even want to do arbitrage anymore. ‍

So we parted ways and I've taken Seller Systems at this point to 1200 members. About a third are new sellers, a third are six-figure guys, and a third are seven-figure guys. So I'm kind of an incubator for MDS in many ways because I still tell people that it's a great place to be if you're at that level. ‍

Nick Shucet (07:06)

Absolutely man. I've, I've enjoyed being a part of Seller Systems. It's definitely very active, lots of great information in that group. And I think I, I came in pretty early to Seller Systems, but yeah, I've watched multiple people come in from there into MDS over the years and they come in strong. I can think of two, it was Anthony and Mo, they came in back to back, and one most valuable member. ‍ Yeah back to back. So that was pretty cool. Yeah. ‍

Brandon Young (07:36)

Mo is a beast. So is Anthony, they are just data-driven, super analytical, always on top of the latest and what's working, but really digging into why it works. Super, superabundant, we teach an abundance mentality in there, you're there to help each other, right? You're always going to get those guys that come in and they're quiet and they're only takers. ‍

Brandon Young (08:05)

We try to avoid that but it's inevitable the majority of the people that join the inner circle and I think I hope MDS does as well still because I know you have a system to move people out that if they're not contributing which is great because you gotta the more you give the more you receive man. ‍

Nick Shucet (08:22)

100%. They have one of those values at MDS I do all the new member calls at MDS and I always talk about the core values and we have one around, giving and I say if you just focus on this one, everything else just falls in line. It's a big thing to focus on man. ‍

Brandon Young (08:40)

Absolutely. ‍

Nick Shucet (08:44)

So cool. Thanks for giving us a little bit of background and I'm excited to talk about some of the great stuff you're working on, I know Data Dive has been an amazing tool and I know you're really progressing that tool, but let's back up just a little bit and talk about, Brandon Young pre-Amazon. I mean, what are some experiences in your life that have shaped you to become the person that you are today, to take these risks and do these things that you do? ‍

Brandon Young (09:16)

I just have entrepreneurship in my DNA and I have many failures and lessons that I've learned along the way. And it was, I would say, I graduated in 2004 from college. I started at Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor. I had my Series 3, 7, 66. ‍

Brandon Young (09:46)

What I wanted to do was be in finance, but then my father's business, he was looking to retire. And so they had a wholesale construction supply business. And construction supplies are not sexy to me. I grew up around it. And to me it was limited, right? It wasn't scalable, I wasn't as excited about it. But at the end of the day, it was the family business.

So I started working in the family business. Unfortunately, my dad passed away in 2007. ‍ And then we had the financial crisis, which halted a lot of construction. So the business took a hit at the same time my father was passing, but we decided to sell it instead of really digging through it. And so we exited the business. From there, I decided to go back to school and get my MBA. When I started, I was really super interested in tech startups, and entrepreneurship. ‍

Brandon Young (10:42)

And I wanted to learn the ins and outs of financing, angel investing for startups. So I started a micro venture capital club in South Florida and we grew that to over 1200 members while I was in school. And I think about that time I was when I met, that was over the course of five, six years. Oh, I also, there was a few year period in there where I was deciding I wanted to be in the music business. ‍

Nick Shucet (11:11)

Okay. Nice. ‍

Brandon Young (11:12)

And it was just kind of one of those things that was an itch. So I opened up a recording studio. I had a couple artists that I was managing and I had some publishing that I was doing for some other songwriters and I guess they would be producers, music producers. After a few years of doing that, I went back to school. And then I started the club and then that's where I met my now wife. I was... ‍

Brandon Young (11:41)

investing and consulting in startups. And she wanted to do a startup. She wanted to actually program one. So Jennifer has two master's degrees in computer science. And she's much smarter than I am. And just luckily she was like, hey, I wanna do a business. And I was at the time I was consulting with a methodology called Lean Startup.

It's a very famous methodology that was created by a gentleman, Eric, name escapes me, but he has a whole book on it. ‍ And basically, it's fail fast, fail cheap. You create an MVP that's ugly, you go ask your target audience, would you buy this? What are the pain points of the current solution? And is the pain enough to get them to wanna switch?

Is your idea good enough to get them to wanna switch to your solution? And you could validate products very quickly. And so we did that with half a dozen ideas that Jennifer had and they were all not very good. And then we found Amazon. And we decided at that time we started dating and we decided to start the business together. And... ‍ We got married a little bit after that, after we launched the private label business. But that's kind of the progression. ‍

Nick Shucet (12:46)

Very cool, man. So you've got some experience building a group before, right? You did that thing in school where you put that group together, which is what you've done with Seller Systems. So I didn't know that. ‍

Brandon Young (12:58)

I always enjoyed it. I'm more of an extrovert. I always enjoy getting together, and networking, see the power in getting together and your network is your net worth, right? So it was always, we did three pitch events every single month, one in each county in South Florida. So we did a Dade County, a Broward, and a Palm Beach. In the room, we would have 30 to 70 people, entrepreneurs, investors and technologists, actual programmers. ‍

Brandon Young (13:28)

and people were just striking deals in the room during the networking side and it was so awesome to see because you would have three, I would only do three pitches, and then aside from that, you have people asking hard questions because anyone in the room could ask a question. My thing was always like, don't be easy on them because someone in this room might cut them a check and not know the difference. ‍

So if you know that this isn't a good idea or if you really wanna dig deeper, it's gonna help everyone in the room to learn, so, ‍

Brandon Young (13:56)

We would tear people apart, but at the same time, you were really getting to level up. It was great. ‍

Nick Shucet (14:01)

That's such a great exercise to be able to run through where you just kind of get beat up, you have those people that you work with that are pretty critical of work. They're going to check every little thing and it makes you show up at your best or if you can't answer those questions, the next time you're like, I'm going to have my shit together.

You know what I mean? You need those people around you, man. ‍ It's weird being on the other side of that mindset sometimes, right? Where, because there's those people in the world who like, Oh no, those people are rude. That's mean, you shouldn't act like that or ask questions like that, but when you jump the fence and you get on the other side, it's like, holy shit, I'm capable of so much more.

Brandon Young (14:38)

Absolutely. Yeah, you're doing them a favor by asking those hard questions, right? People think you're being mean, but the reality is, that's reality. If they're not prepared to answer that question, they're going to fail, and they're going to waste a lot of their time their money, and other people's money. So you're doing everyone a favor by being hard on them. Absolutely. ‍

Nick Shucet (14:59)

Absolutely. Yeah. I agree, man. 100%. That's one thing I get a little envious of with other people in our line of business is that I don't really have that group of people here locally. ‍ I've got the people I grew up with and my wife and a couple of close friends, but not enough to go out the door, and hey, I'm going to go have coffee with Brandon Young‍ today and then chat for a few minutes or anything like that.

People down in Florida and California and New York, that's where a lot of you guys are hanging out. ‍

Brandon Young (15:45)

It's tough, man. I think, I just had coffee with Ramon the other day. He's awesome. I do get an opportunity every once in a while. And I try to do that when I can, but most of the time I'm seeing people because I'm at my office until, last night I was here till 3 am, we're in the middle of a product sprint. But for the most part, it's when I go to events this coming week, we're in Salt Lake City, and then later in the month, ‍

Brandon Young (16:15)

Here and hopefully locally, which is lucky, is Steve Chu's event, Sellers Summit, which is in Fort Lauderdale. But I'll get it, I love to just be in the same room as people, and have a drink. People are like, oh, you throw these events and they're just super casual. I'm like, dude, that's the magic, right? You get to step aside with someone for five minutes and catch up with them, it's awesome. ‍

Nick Shucet (16:42)

That's where the magic happens for sure. Man, I want to know what's Brandon Young working on at 2 AM in the morning in his office. What do you do in the Amazon business these days? ‍

Brandon Young (16:56)

I've had to get more involved again, which is super interesting. I was getting, I was losing touch with what the team was doing and they just weren't delivering at a high enough level. We were scaling the team up and. Hitting some, hitting some roadblocks and I want to aggressively launch some products. So for the first time, the real reason I think is I was able to get back to China for the first time in three years. ‍

Brandon Young (17:23)

My favorite part of going to China is visiting showrooms and factories, right? And just being inspired by product ideas. So if you go to a show like Canton, if you go to a fair, I'm walking around just taking pictures of people's booths and product ideas, and then I'm digging back. Now my team's grown to a point, when I was there three years ago, my team in China was maybe three or four. Now it's over 20, right? ‍

So I have people on my product development team that I can send a product idea to and say run a Data Dive for me. And so I fired away over 100 product ideas to my team members while I was in China. And so now what I'm doing is when I'm, now that I'm back, I'm digging into those product ideas and I'm evaluating them. I'm going deeper into the dive and I'm looking at the competition. I'm looking at the types of different products that different sellers are ‍

Brandon Young (18:20)

Selling, what's working, what's not working, how good are they at Amazon, and really running through that evaluation process. And then I've incorporated AI into product development lately, which has been absolutely a game changer. It's insanity. So while I was at the factories, I would use ChatGPT to maybe help me with some prompts into Midjourney, and then I'm using Midjourney to get product concepts ‍

Brandon Young (18:49)

That I love and I'm just digging through until I get kind of 80 or 90% of the way there and then I'm showing it to the factory and I'm like, hey, I want to do something like this instead of this current bestseller that isn't as good. What does it cost to do that custom right? So I'm learning all around additional customizations ‍ Because, for the most part, I would kind of work with what the engineers at the factories were already doing.

I wasn't deep into customization. I would just beat everyone with better content, with better keywords and SEO, right? I would just beat them on the data. But now I can beat them on the product design. Dude, that's bonkers, right? I was running PickFu tests with concepts straight out of Midjourney ‍

Nick Shucet (19:34)

Wow. ‍

Brandon Young (19:39)

And crushing the best sellers in a bunch of niches. I'm like, these are competitive niches that I normally may have stayed away from, but now that I know I'm gonna convert better once I execute on this new design, it's on, right? I'm gonna be able to come in. So it's a little bit scary because if anyone at MDS is listening to this or any big sellers listening to this and you've got a best seller, ‍

Brandon Young (20:06)

I'm not talking about the supplements, guys. You guys are in a world of your own. I'm talking about just products. If you've got a CPG product and you're a best seller right now and you're not iterating, if you're not going faster, if you're not improving your design, your business is in danger. You've got people coming up right now who are already testing concepts that are probably beating yours with PickFu. ‍

Nick Shucet (20:25)

That's a good point man. I've been looking at product lifecycle stuff a little bit and I've always had the idea to improve stuff that will kind of come to me very easily but executing on that is not easy I mean, it costs a lot of money. ‍

Brandon Young (20:44)

Well, I'm going to do a whole class on it in the inner circle. I'm going to do a whole master class about the entire process. So it'll be, it'll be everything from how I'm prompting ChatGPT because I found several strategies there and you get different results from each. And then I'm going to walk through a product design example with Midjourney and then straight into testing, and then I'm going to talk about the customization costs.

So everything from regular molding, and injection molding to soft goods, what can you expect to have to pay the factory to do these ‍

Brandon Young (21:17)

Types of products. That way, everyone's got the toolkit right there. Go, just start creating and go fast, right? ‍

Nick Shucet (21:21)

I had a call yesterday with one of the brands we resell their product. They came to us and wanted us to launch a product for them and they sent, it as a sample. They have to do injection molding but they had something done first that allowed us to approve the design but it wasn't as expensive. I can't remember the term he used. Maybe, yeah, I feel like he called it something. ‍

Brandon Young (21:46)

Probably a 3D model. It's probably 3D printing, yeah. Because if you take a CAD and then you can 3D print something and then you can get it most of the way there, you're better off doing a lot of that digitally though. It's crazy, if you can 3D render a concept, that was what was missing before. Because I would have in my mind what I kinda want and you have to work with designers that are a pain in the ass to work with, they're expensive. ‍

Brandon Young (22:12)

They give you a concept that's not quite what you wanted and it doesn't quite work. I can just keep re-prompting the AI to just give me better, different, slightly different, start with this and go. And you can get, like I said, you can get 80, 90% of the way there and that's good enough to test. ‍

Nick Shucet (22:25)

Nice. Do you have, any prompts you would share with us that that's working for you? I've heard of the ChatGPT to Midjourney flow, but I haven't messed with it myself. ‍

Brandon Young (22:41)

So I think the biggest thing is that you describe the material of the product in the beginning. If I was doing a diaper bag it would be a soft felt type material or bag that has leather accents, and then you're more specific about what the product is. It's a diaper bag backpack. And then you tell the next step would be you can prompt the colors. ‍

It's gray with brown leather accents and then you prompt more specifics. It has two side pockets and a front pocket and then you describe more in detail about that front pocket. So the front pocket opens up wide. You can see what's inside and then you can describe maybe what's inside. The biggest thing is you have to keep iterating your prompt based on the fact that what it understands.

You have to, it's like talking to a little kid and the kid tells you what it understands and then you're like, okay, well, let me get a little bit more granular here or more specific. So once you have all these elements, then you can start to get into it more. ‍

Nick Shucet (23:41)

Nice. Cool. I've played around Midjourney a little bit. I haven't done too much with it. I heard you could reverse-engineer it now. You can give it an image and it'll describe it or something and people are using that to help with the prompts. 

Brandon Young (24:09)

I haven't used that function. I start with an image sometimes. So I'm also, this is huge. The last couple of nights, late last night, I was using it for this. I found one of our best sellers, one of the lifestyle images was not up to par, right? It just did not meet our quality standards and I hate that. So I have six people on my design team and content team in China. ‍

I've got a video guy, I've got a couple of photographers, a couple of designers, and I've got a lead designer. And I sent them this image and I'm like, this is, and they've been on vacation for last week, I sent it four days ago, and they're like, we'll get to it when we get back. I was pissed, I hate that. ‍ Anyway, so I was like, all right. This is not up to standard.

None of this, this type of image should never ever be published on any of our products. It was just obviously Photoshopped. I hate that. So I was like, make this better.

Brandon Young (25:06)

They attempted to do it better and I'm like, you know what, give me a minute. And I went into Midjourney and I took a picture of someone doing the activity that I wanted them to design for Google. I just went into Google Images and then I grabbed an image that was in a similar style to what I wanted. I put it into Mid Journey and I used that as a reference point and then I started to describe what I wanted. ‍

Nick Shucet (25:31)

Okay. ‍

Brandon Young (25:34)

And I was getting back, and then you have to add the quality, maybe the camera that it's shot with, the depth from the angle, you get more specific on that, but I got, I don't know, five or six awesome lifestyle images that I gave them. By the time I went to bed, that image was updated and 100 times better, it looks amazing now. And it was done so fast that where you can't tell it's Photoshopped anymore. ‍

And this would be something that would cost me thousands of dollars to get a photo shoot done. ‍

Nick Shucet (26:08)

Wow. That's amazing. That's insane. I got to play around with that more, man. That's cool that that's what you're focused on at the moment and that you have the space to focus on some ‍

Brandon Young (26:20)

Well, that's the lever that's going to drive the most business for us, right? Drive our business forward, which is the product selection, the development, the design, and the conversion. Right? So if I'm helping with, if I'm going through and I'm auditing the content, the images for our existing products, that just bumps conversion, so that's going to be a lever. And then the other lever is just new product development, which is if I'm involved, the batting average is significantly better, right? ‍

Brandon Young (26:47)

Over half the time we're going to reorder it 60 or 80% of the time, we're not going to lose money on it. So I'm comfortable investing and going into more aggressive categories. ‍

Nick Shucet (26:57)

Nice. The best thing I figured out with ChatGPT so far was I was trying to get some reporting done in Slack daily reports from data and ClickUp. I was asking how I could get it from one place to another. It talked about Zapier. I already know about that. Can I do it with a Python script? I've never done scripting or anything. ‍ It was like, Oh yeah, you can do it with that.

All right, how can I do it? And it was like, go here, set this up and get this account and use this code. It gave me the code. This is crazy, man. I've been thinking about this for 10 years and I just figured it out in five minutes, by having a conversation with ChatGPT.

Brandon Young (27:41)

That's awesome. Yeah, incredibly powerful. I know nothing about coding either. So for it to tell you, okay, now go here and paste it there and do this. Give me step-by-step instructions on how to do it and it'll do it for you. It's insane. ‍

Nick Shucet (27:54)

It's crazy, man. So I'm looking forward to being able to play around with that stuff more. Well, man, that's super cool to hear what you're working on these days and, and just grinding away on in the office. That's cool stuff. How do you split your time between your business, your Amazon business, Seller Systems, and Data Dive, what's going on with that situation? ‍

Brandon Young (28:22)

It's great. We have a few A players on both sides. Our CTO is phenomenal. He's slash COO. He's basically co-COO with Jennifer because we're split, right? And so we have Anthony who's awesome. He's leading sales and business development for Data Dive and Seller Systems. He's helping with content and everything on that side too. ‍

Brandon Young (28:51)

We've got our lead designer who's taking more involvement. Natasha is taking more involvement in project management and is awesome. We're really good at the team that we have is really strong, but we probably need to go from three or four strong players that we have to six, right? ‍ And so we're stretched a little thin, we're scaling really fast, and we need to just keep growing.

So we just retained a marketing firm, and we just had a meeting right before this one with a marketing agency. We've never run ads really for Seller Systems. And that's gonna change coming up in the next month or so to where we're figuring out how we do the tracking, how we get a return on ad spend, how we, the different funnels and flows for different avatars. ‍

Because people want to learn about Amazon in many different ways and already have many different levels of experience. So MDS guys come in and they want to just fill knowledge gaps and be a part of another community with regular calls. They might want to put their team members into it. ‍ And then you've got guys that started but failed because they went to the wrong course that gave them terrible information.

And now we can kind of help them right the ship because they don't want to give up. They see the potential of it. And then you got new people. ‍ And then beyond the watchpreneurs, and then you've got beyond the watchpreneurs, you've got the people that wanna work in the space that we're gonna start really helping as well. So we're doing what we're calling an e-commerce career accelerator.

So we're adding the certificate programs. So just figuring out how to build the team up to execute the vision and the goals for all three entities basically, our brands, Seller Systems, and Data Dive. ‍

Brandon Young (30:41)

The Data Dive's funnel really is the education piece. It's interesting that Seller Systems is by far the best way to bring people in to use Data Dive because these are serious sellers who are getting the right education and have a higher success rate than any other course. And so they're going to, they're going to stay members, right? ‍ They're going to stay signed up to Data Dive. And so running ads for just a straight software is very difficult, right? It's very expensive and the churn rate's insane. ‍

Brandon Young (31:11)

If you lead with value, you lead with education, it's a lot better. So yeah, what's next for us is pretty lofty, but we definitely need to grow the team. And that's why we're working 78 hours a week. We're also doing a ton more events. Now that things are back open, we've got an ambassador network for the Inner Circle. So we're gonna have different meetups firing off every month in a bunch of different cities. ‍

Brandon Young (31:38)

We've got big sponsored events that we do around every other event. This week and next week in Salt Lake City, we're doing Dave and Busters, free gameplay and snacks, and a couple of drink tickets. That's gonna be fun. Sellers Summit, we're gonna do axe throwing in Fort Lauderdale later in the month. ‍ But if we do one or two events like that every month around other big events, plus we have all those meetups going on, we're really helping to build the community. ‍

Nick Shucet (31:49)

Nice. ‍

Brandon Young (32:04)

They're getting together, that magic's happening, where people are helping each other, that abundance mentality, that networking, and you are who you surround yourself with. So the more often you're around these people, and the less often you're around the people you kind of grew up with that are stuck in dead-end jobs or are not happy with their lives and negative and drawing you back, the better for you. ‍

So hopefully we can help people level up, which is the whole premise of MDS, the whole premise of the Inner Circle. ‍

Nick Shucet (32:29)

I told my wife the other day, I was like, babe, we just got to start doing really cool stuff in the area. Put together a really cool event that the types of people we're trying to attract would come to. That's cool that you're doing the Dave and Buster's thing and all that, I would just be so pumped if stuff like that was happening over here, a lot of entrepreneurs here, but it's like old-school entrepreneurs, not digital.

Brandon Young (32:54)

My buddy just moved up into your area. I got to connect with you. Where are you exactly? ‍

Nick Shucet (32:59)

Okay. Virginia Beach. ‍

Brandon Young (32:54)

Okay. Yeah. He just moved up to North Carolina, I think, so he's not too far. How far from the DC area are you? ‍

Nick Shucet (32:59)

I'm about four hours. Yeah, not too far. ‍

Brandon Young (32:54)

Okay. We're going to do something in that greater area. So it's going to be a drive away, for sure. So we'll do something. I don't know what they call that tri-state area with Maryland and Virginia and DC but... ‍

Nick Shucet (33:24)

Some people call it Delmarva. I've heard it is called Delmarva. ‍

Brandon Young (33:23)

But he's from down here in the startup community. He was a part of the startup community in Miami, and he's an investor. He has an accelerator and a coaching program. I said, how's the startup scene up there in North Carolina? He said, nonexistent. It's not. He's like, it's not tech startups. It's random a guy that owns an oil company or something. I'm like, no. ‍

Brandon Young (33:52)

That's not the same thing. ‍

Nick Shucet (33:54)

It's not the same. Yeah, it's not. ‍

Brandon Young (33:56)

There's an EO chapter and, someone's got a trucking company. We don't speak the same language. If you're a tech startup entrepreneur or coach, that's great. Business is business. That boils down to the same thing, but he's not as interested in being around that. I don't think. ‍

Nick Shucet (34:02)

I went through the same thing, went to an EO meeting and I was like, ah, not my thing, not coming back. But I know they have great chapters, it's different based on where you live. ‍

Brandon Young (34:25)

Great chapters depending on where you are and who's in it, right? There are a lot of our friends who are a big part of EO, and then once you get to a certain level, YPO becomes the next level, which is why I'm looking to maybe join them. There are a few guys that I know that are in YPO that tell me it's where you gotta go. ‍

Nick Shucet (34:38)

Well Brandon man, I've watched you do some really cool stuff over the past few years. I know it's not easy to accomplish all these things I know you're putting in a lot of a lot of hours probably sacrificing some personal time and things like that. When you reflect back on all these things, what are some of the challenges that you're grateful for that you've had to go through and overcome over the past few years? ‍

Brandon Young (35:13)

Dude, all of it, man. If I look back at myself as an entrepreneur three years ago, it's unrecognizable. I can see why I struggled so much, and even I imagine the mindset that I've taken is that even three years from now, I'm gonna look back at myself today and I'm gonna say, man, I still didn't know shit. I hope that that's always the way I feel. In three years, I'm going to keep leveling up.

I'm going to keep getting better. A lot of that was the executive coaching we've been doing for the last two and a half years. We've invested over $200,000 in executive coaching, and just yesterday I had a coaching session where the primary focus has really turned to me as a CEO. Man, I'm not good at it.‍

Brandon Young (36:07)

It's gotten to the point where I'm trying to get better at the things I need. The philosophy that my coach has which is phenomenal I think is that, what your superpower is, maximize that, go all in there. Then that's the opposite from a lot of what a lot of people say, which is to work on your weaknesses. ‍

Brandon Young (36:29)

What's just going to be far more productive for you is something you're at 30% bringing it to 50% or something you're at 110% bringing it to 200%. Right. So you really want to double down on what you're great at and identify the things you're not great at and then really figure out, but there are even things that I need to get better at for sure that I'm working on.

It's more around organization and scheduling meetings that matter, engaging with the team ‍

Brandon Young (36:58)

On a regular basis, making sure that we have scorecards and that we're moving in the right direction on a regular basis, those regular check-ins. So I know a lot of the guys in MDS love EOS and it's similar, right? I think all the business management practices are the same shit just with different names. So it's set a goal and work backward and figure out what those leading activities are, it's bottom line. ‍

Brandon Young (37:27)

For me, it's the challenges have always been hiring, training, making sure that people are able to convey my vision and make it actionable, and creating those leading activities so that those goals are achievable. Without Jennifer and without the the two of us work so well together because we balance each other on that wheel. ‍ It's without her, there's no way we would have achieved everything we've achieved. ‍

Nick Shucet (37:59)

It was great listening to her. I actually have her. I have all my notes. I keep them right here on my desk from the thing, from the event. ‍

Brandon Young (38:08)

She's such an introvert and so soft-spoken that sometimes it's tough for people to connect with her. But if you sit down and take the time, it'll be so valuable. She's just a wealth of knowledge.

Nick Shucet (38:22)

I think that's important stuff like what you mentioned leading activities. Is that similar to leading indicators for KPIs? ‍

Brandon Young (38:35)

It's slightly different so an activity would be like, what is it that you're doing on a daily basis that is moving the business? That is creating the leading indicators that, so you can measure whether you're moving towards that goal, that target, right? ‍

Nick Shucet (38:43)

So you guys are actually tasking out the things that are tied to the indicators as activities somewhat. Okay. ‍

Brandon Young (38:57)

Correct, so just measuring isn't enough. The example that our coach gave, which I think is perfect for what you're asking is if you're trying to lose weight, if you're just measuring your weight every day, you're not actually gonna lose weight, right? You're just measuring it. But if your leading activity is, count your calories and stay under ‍

Brandon Young (39:26)

1,500 or your leading activity is 10 minutes of exercise every day. Then you measure after a few days or every week, right? You're checking in regularly to see did you, what percentage of the days you actually exercise for 10 minutes a day and what is your weight now versus your target weight? Now you see you're moving in the right direction and you've done those leading activities, but that allows you to adjust. ‍

Brandon Young (39:54)

If your goal was to lose 10 pounds in eight weeks and you're tracking a little low and you're only gonna lose eight pounds, maybe you need to increase your leading activity to 12 minutes of exercise a day, right? So that's kind of the process or thought behind it. ‍

Nick Shucet (40:09)

Nice. I like that. Yeah. That's, that's good advice. I think for everyone listening, those are things we all should be paying attention to. If your goal is to grow your business or work fewer hours, I think that a key part of the recipe to make it happen is focusing on those things. ‍

Brandon Young (40:27)

We're going to start doing more upper-level business management training within the inner circle because it's needed right as you get to that level. S so some of the stuff that we're learning from the executive coach plus, but applying it more towards e-commerce and Amazon and multi-channel, the stuff that Jennifer's teaching at Camp Ecom and what we're going to teach them this year, I think that there's a need for actual course content and lessons on that, right? For everyone. ‍

Nick Shucet (41:01)

Especially in the e-commerce field because the thing I keep running into is I'm drawing inspiration from other businesses that have done what I'm trying to do, but they did it in a different industry and it's still got the old-school business stuff tied to it, and that's where I find myself hitting roadblocks. It's like, well, I have this idea that I can maybe do this function of a business differently because I'm in e-commerce, I have this technology to leverage. ‍

How do I fit that in? And I think that's missing, but the answer is you try it and see what happens, right? There's really no one else doing it. So it would be great to have that available. So what's coming up with Camp Ecom? Before we sign off here, let us know what's coming up in the world of Camp Ecom. Where can people learn more about that stuff? ‍

Brandon Young (41:56)

We have We've got a pre-sale up there, so it's still a super early bird. That'll be in January. So you got plenty of time for that. We'll start announcing it in the next month or so. Start marketing it, and get people excited about it. We're locking in a venue over the next month as well. But it'll be three, it'll be like I said, three different tracks that you can really spend two days. ‍

Brandon Young (42:21)

You were on the business management side, but what I was doing on the interactive side, within the fundamental side, which was, I would teach a lesson, and then I would break people into groups, small groups to actually do a workshop together, like a group workshop together on that lesson. So it was learn, learn, do, learn, learn, do, and every single time someone was speaking or I was speaking, you were handed an SOP, a worksheet, and a case study.

It was as interactive as possible so that you're walking away with an example, a real example, and actually getting to do it. So that was the premise, right? If you're gonna do workshops, you gotta make it interactive. You gotta have a lot of experience, live experience doing it, not just someone speaking at you from the stage. So we're hoping to do a lot more of that this year but go even more granular

Brandon Young (43:20)

With pre-launch, post-launch, and the business management. ‍

Nick Shucet (43:23)

Cool. Awesome man. I'm looking forward to it, I think I already signed up for the event.

Brandon Young (43:28)

Awesome. It will be fun. We will also throw in all the networking and fun stuff that drives a lot of value as well. We know the value of networking. ‍

Nick Shucet (43:34)

That was fun. Yeah. I had fun at that event. It was cool. It definitely was a good time. Well, yeah, man. Thanks for coming on Brandon. It is really good to chat with you and catch up. I mean, it's been a while since we sat and talked for 40 minutes. So I appreciate it, man. Thanks for hopping on and we'll talk again soon, man. Thank you. Bye. ‍

Brandon Young (43:41)

Dude, always good to see you, man. ‍

Brandon Young (43:58)

Appreciate you.

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