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It Doesn’t Take Money To Make Money _ Brandon Leibel _ TEDxSDSU-_K4TjS9u1t4

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It Doesn’t Take Money To Make Money _ Brandon Leibel _ TEDxSDSU-_K4TjS9u1t4

raise your hand if you’ve heard the
saying that it takes money to make money
so I thought I’m here today to prove
that in 2018
this saying is complete a lot
of I believe that not having
money to sort a business could
potentially be the greatest thing for
your business it’ll take you places
you’ve never been and it will force you
to do things that you’ve never even
imagined a lot of people think that us
being on Shark Tank raising money
getting a deal Robert Herjavec is why we
became successful and that couldn’t be
further from the truth the truth is is
that in the three years leading up to
shark tank that is what actually made us
successful it’s the things in those
three years that money cannot buy the
drive the determination and the passion
when I was a student at SDSU I thought
the complete opposite I thought you
needed money you needed a rich dad rich
mom rich grandparent to lend you money
in order to start a business I didn’t
think that there was any possible way to
do without it I was about to graduate
with $30,000 of student debt how the
hell can I possibly start a business so
I took the traditional route got a safe
job at a big insurance company in San
Diego in a cubicle it sucked after 11
months the millennial and me decided
that this is not going to last and this
is not acceptable so came together with
my two best friends and co-founders
Stephen and Bruno and we decided that we
need to get out of here and bring the
world something that they really really
need better beach towels
this was our billion dollar idea
so we quit the next day we’re out we
call our parents tell them what we did
and they’re so happy they’re like good
for you guys you guys are the best go
for it
I’m just kidding they thought we were
complete morons and they were very
confused on how we’re gonna pay for this
they knew we were broke but we didn’t
care we went out to celebrate we were so
high on life we were so excited for this
next chapter but the next day reality
struck when we woke up and we realized
that our parents are probably right we
don’t have any money how are we gonna
pay for this but that’s where the magic
started instead of focusing on this the
fact that we didn’t have money we took
it as an opportunity to channel our
inner creativity and resourcefulness
but resourcefulness doesn’t pay rent
I wish it could so we decided to move
into a two-bedroom apartment Bruno’s
gonna sleep in the loft on the floor
we’re gonna cook beans and rice every
day cash out our 401ks that had nothing
in it we’re gonna sell our we’re gonna
sell everything in our apartment we’re
gonna take out five credit cards each
we’re gonna mean Steven are going to
become a bird drivers to pay the bills
Bruno is gonna cash out his Apple stock
to pay for our first batch of towels
boom we have a company we know that
social media is where we had to be in
order to build a millennial driven brand
there was no other way and none of us
knew anything about social media I don’t
think snapchat was even around at this
point so we didn’t have money to pay
someone to teach us no one no marketing
agency no expert
we had to do it ourselves so we decided
to walk the beaches of San Diego for
three months every single day approached
every single person on the sand have
them take out their cell phone
and add us on Instagram on the spot we
did this for six hours a day for three
months and we got our first thousand
followers with this approach we realized
that money can buy followers it could
buy likes they can even buy comments on
your pictures but it can’t buy a first
impression and this strategy is what
built the bedrock and foundation of our
brand so now we have a few followers we
have some momentum we have product but
we don’t have a website and none of us
know anything about building a website I
don’t think I even had a computer at
this time so Bruno became our in-house
website developer he was a cheapest
person we could find he cost the euro
dollars so he locked himself in the loft
for three weeks and literally taught
himself how to build a website through
YouTube videos calling his friends and
family that were experts utilizing the
Internet utilizing resources reading
blogs doing whatever it took and he
finally one day comes downstairs hadn’t
shaved in a few weeks and he presents
this website to me and Stephen and it
was complete I think even he would
admit that the pictures were blurry the
product descriptions had typos the
layout was horrible but me and Stephen
were ecstatic because we had a website
so we have a website what do we do now
we have a thousand followers and we and
we know that we have to grow our
followers because eventually these
people are gonna turn into money they’re
eventually gonna turn into sales but we
knew that walking the beach every single
day was just not sustainable it’s not
possible it’s not gonna work it’s not
gonna happen fast enough I’ve got to
figure something else out so we became
social media experts ourselves back to
YouTube we go we watch every video on
social media marketing strategies
haxe how to reach out to people when to
post what to post how to post what’s a
hashtag we did it all we literally
watched every single video we would stay
up for nights direct messaging thousands
and thousands of people on Instagram
telling them about our company shameless
promotion we didn’t care because in that
month we went from 1,000 to 10,000
followers on Instagram and we did it for
$0 so now we have 10,000 followers
feeling better we’ve probably made three
sales on our website
probably from our moms and we’re still
broke but we know that there’s something
here there’s something with getting
people’s attention getting eyeballs
getting followers getting impressions
getting them to read about us to learn
about us understand why we’re doing what
we’re doing so the idea of a PR agency
comes up but we can’t afford one they’re
freaking expensive so we decided to
reinvent what a PR agency means in a
digital world
YouTube what else do we need we learned
how to become our own PR agency through
the tools that are out there that are
accessible to everybody we learned who
to contact what subject lines to use
when to email them when they’re back on
vacation who their boss is who their
bosses bosses how to reach out to them
and before you know it we’re featured in
over a hundred blogs a bunch of
magazines newspapers podcasts
influencers we even get picked up by The
Huffington Post at some point and I
don’t think we even had more than $100
of sales
I guarantee without a PR agency wouldn’t
have gotten us one third of that press
they couldn’t match the level of urgency
and passion and just desperation
that we had at that point we were sick
of eating rice and beans
so where do we go now we’re featured in
and press we’re still driving uber
trying to pay the bills we’re still
hacking Instagram reaching out to people
and one day I’m sitting in my office
which is our kitchen and I get it alert
from uber that someone needs a ride and
I’m like yeah I need I need to make some
money except the ride someone around the
corner I go pick them up it’s a young
couple guy and a girl girl gets in my
car guy gets in the back we start small
talking as usual I try to sell him a
towel they don’t want it but they’re
like alright this guy’s doing something
he’s got a company and then I find out
that she is a reporter for Channel six
and I’m like hell yeah jackpot she’s not
leaving this car until she gives me her
phone number so I take a few wrong turns
missed the exit finally get to their
destination I’ve built enough rapport at
this time where she just hands me her
business card she says email me I email
her the next night following week she’s
in our apartment with a full camera crew
the following night were on channel 6
and that night we make eight eight sales
and then we went out for tacos in my
opinion money cannot buy these
experiences they cannot buy the
resources that are out there that are
free for all of us when you don’t have
money you’re forced to take matters into
your own hands and make every single
opportunity yours that uber experience
is an example of how you can seize any
single moment and make it an opportunity
I normally wouldn’t have spoken to her I
would have just been driving along just
playing music trying to get there get
back stressed out but because we were
desperate we had to do it ourselves it
forces you to do things that you’d never
ordinarily do so let’s fast forward to
today we have five hundred and forty
thousand followers on Instagram we got a
deal on shark tank with Robert Herjavec
we have done millions of dollars in
sales in revenue not profit and we’ve
donated fifty thousand dollars to
various nonprofits which we’re really
happy about and we don’t know what the
future holds because Brad’s come and go
every day but what we do know is that
the ideas and the strategies and the
hustle and the blood sweat and tears
that got us to where we are now will
never stop and that’s something that
money cannot buy so the next time that
someone tells you it takes money to make
tell them that your lack of money is
going to finance your resourcefulness
and make you successful thank you

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