Brandon T. Adams is the co-host and one of two executive producers of Ambitious Adventures, a reality television program focused on the compelling stories of young entrepreneurs. In addition to his television work, Brandon is an entrepreneur through and through, owning a stake in a number of businesses including the Young Entrepreneur Convention, Keys to the Crowd, Arctic Stick and an ice distributorship that serves three states. Brandon has been the financial advisor for a number of high profile clients, including the Napoleon Hill Foundation for the film, THINK:The Legacy of Think and Grow Rich. Brandon speaks as a motivator and educator across the country to share his successes and failures.
What are some challenges you've faced when developing your venture?
I've always been an entrepreneur my whole life. I grew up in the ice business, worked with my dad, sold ice for a living, bought that company out, but my early endeavor, I mean on my own, was Arctic Stick. With Arctic Stick, it was hard. It took a lot of money to develop the product, close to $100,000. And got it to market, and from Arctic Stick itself, I never actually made that much money, but I learned a lot about business. I learned a lot about failures. I learned a lot about marketing. I learned a lot about everything in entrepreneurship.
I did so many things at the beginning that I didn't make any money. I knew that I had to invest in my brand, and put a lot into my name, and that I wanna get myself out there. And for me, I invested... People are invested in stock, they're invested in business, in the beginning, I invested everything into my brand. I went on TV across the country. Every week I was traveling across the country and going on TV, and people didn't understand. They're like, "Why are you doing this?" And for me, I knew that I was investing in my brand and the credibility.
Was there any point when you thought it was over? That you were going to fail?
Sometimes it would be late at night on a Saturday, like 11:00 PM and my friends are out partying and I'm sitting there podcasting, and thinking to myself, "I'm doing this podcast show. I'm doing this stuff, but I'm not really even making much money. What the fuck am I doing?" And I think a lot of entrepreneurs think they're crazy at times. They look back on everything they're doing, they're like, "What am I doing? And I'm going and doing all this stuff but it's not getting me to move the needle." And then once you do move the needle, then you're like, "Holy shit. Okay, that did work. Overnight success does happen." And so I guess some of my struggles at the beginning was, for one, when I had that big failure with the product development company and was basically broke, and living the entrepreneur lifestyle of going month to month to month wondering how I was gonna pay my bills.
And there was one time, specifically, it was just so hard and part of me is like the devil inside me saying, "Quit." But then I told myself, "Fuck that. There's no quitting."
Q: As an entrepreneur how important has flexibility been in developing your venture?
You have to be very flexible. That's why I could never take on a fulltime job, or a nine to five job, because everything I did. At the beginning, when I was trying to make money on the side, I was doing commercials, I was doing some acting. I was making money doing that and making money buying and selling things. I was making money doing side gigs. I was doing whatever I had to. But then I also had to keep myself open to go to networking events and to fly to different places for opportunities to meet people.
I did all these last minute things. I did all this traveling to meet with people. I'd spend thousands of dollars to get 30 minutes of time with somebody to gain a connection. Which the power of these connections has been crazy because now I can charge $10,000, $25,000 for somebody to work with me, and it will get up to at the point where I can charge $100,000 because of the connections and experience I've gained.
I do what I know and what I don't know I have experts do. So on my team, I have somebody that's expert in writing creative copy, social media, doing logistical things. We have somebody that's really good at doing editing for the podcast show. We have all these different things that I don't like to do, that they can do. So what I focus on is I do what I love. I do podcast shows, I go on TV, I make deals, I build relationships, what I'm really good at doing. That's why I literally can connect with whoever I want. I used to want try to know every little thing, but now it's like, "You guys take care of it. You figure it out. I'm gonna do what I'm good at. You do this." So yes, you gotta delegate.
It's good to do brainstorms where you just think outside the box. And for me, where I really changed... This is where I changed my mindset. So I was on Grant Cardone's show in Miami and he's worth about $500 million. When I got done, I went to the coffee shop next door, and I saw on Facebook Live Caleb Maddix was on his show. At that time I didn't know Caleb, I just knew of him. And he said, "I wanna become a billionaire by the time I turn 30." I'm like, "Whoa!" Like, "Dude, he's thinking big." And he was 14 at the time and I was 26. I thought to myself, "You know what, I need to think bigger." And that's where I changed my mindset and I said, "I'm going to impact one billion lives in a positive way, by December 31st, 2029, my 40th birthday, and also I'm gonna become a billionaire." And that scared the hell out of me, but I realized when you say something, set a goal that scares you, that's when you grow.
So if you ever want to achieve anything big, you have to say it to the world. And there are some people will laugh at you, and there are some people that will try to help you. It's funny, the ones that laugh at you, it's like, "Okay, you can laugh, but I'm gonna show you I fucking can do it." And I always do.
Q: What was was your spark, where did it come from?
I've always been driven. My dad taught me a lot at a young age. I've always wanted to be the best, to achieve. When I was a kid, I always knew that one day I wanted to be a salesman, I wanted to be great at sales. And I remember when I had a speech impediment. I had a lisp, and I remember I knew that I couldn't be great at sales one day if I couldn't speak, people will laugh at me. So I made the commitment to myself that I was gonna become a great speaker, and I would speak in front of my mirror. And at night I literally by myself would practice speaking. I'd speak in front of classes, and I would do everything out of my comfort zone. I became great at speaking and now I can speak in front of thousands of people. And heck, today I was in the airport and I layed in the middle of the airport, in front of hundreds of people, and did a Facebook Live laying on the ground because that was something Tim Ferriss said to do to get you out of your comfort zone. It didn't bother me, but I've always done things out of my comfort zone. And again, at a young age, I always had this spark to become the best, and that was just one example what I had to overcome.
I never like to take orders. I like to do things my own way. And even the mentors, I listen to them, but sometimes you just gotta do things your own way and find out from failures or mistakes. And I've always made mistakes and I will continue to make mistakes, but I learn from the mistakes and make pivots. So, yes, I'm rebellious, and sometimes I just do what I want and just go with it. When your mind's set on something, sometimes you gotta do it.
You've gotta have good friendships. Relationships. I think they're the most important component of your life. My girlfriend is a big component of my success because she supported me and has been with me even when we had nothing. She quit her job and went with me to start a company and we failed, and she's been there when I travel over the country, and she's seen it all from when we had nothing till what we have now. And you need good friendships. You need good people to surround yourself with. You are the average of the five people you hang out with. Seriously, the people I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to build up my connections are now just an email or a call away, what's that worth? That's worth a lot of money. So, it's all who you know.
6. If you could leave readers with one key piece of advice what would it be?
Whatever the mind conceives and believes, the mind achieves. Whatever you think about the most, is what you become. If you could convince your mind you can do it, you can. That's a big thing. A lot of people, they think that's crazy but really it's how you communicate. If you say positive things, you're convinced in your mind you can do it. And that's why I do my warrior chant, every day, to be able to prepare my mind for the day and to basically get myself in a physical state that I can do anything I want. But another great advice would be, whatever you wanna achieve in life, find somebody who's already achieved it. Follow in their footsteps, and learn from them. Ask them to mentor you. Work for them for free. I'm talking about things like you literally work for them for months for free, prove yourself, and then they become friends with you and they let you into their circle, and then you're surrounded with some good people. I've added value to many very successful people and now I'm in their circle and when they refer me they don't question when my fee is very high. So, learn from somebody who's already done it. Always be teachable.
For more on Brandon’s work, check out his website at: www.brandontadams.com