Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. And if I don’t give you a little bit of an intro, you’re going to say, “What is this guy doing here?” Joining me is Jeff Fenster. He is the founder of Everbowl. They make crafts, superfoods, and they’ve got the chain of restaurants that is just expanding and expanding. What it means is it’s a bowl, right?
Jeff: It’s a bowl. Yeah, it’s a bowl.
Andrew: What’s in the bowl? I know I could make my own but what’s in a bowl?
Jeff: Acai, pitaya.
Andrew: That’s how you pronounce it? Acai?
Jeff: Yeah, like acai, what you did there.
Andrew: Okay. All right. So it’s acai and what else?
Andrew: What’s that?
Jeff: That’s the pink flesh of dragon fruit.
Jeff: So then we also have graviola, acerola, blue magic, which is spirulina and mango and pineapple, coco love, and matcha.
Andrew: This sounds super weird, dude. It’s beautiful looking bowls. It just sounds super weird and, like, I don’t know, out of my world, but it’s not. What’s the base in it? Is it yogurt?
Jeff: No, those are the bases. That is the base.
Andrew: What’s this white stuff that I see in the bowls?
Jeff: The white stuff is coco loves so that’s a coconut blend.
Andrew: Okay. So it’s just coconut, blended with what?
Jeff: Coconut cream. All non-dairy. So it’s coconut, coconut cream, and coconut milk, basically like a coconut smoothie and frozen.
Andrew: That sounds so good. How did I not ever have this? This looks gorgeous.
Jeff: I don’t know. And you have no excuse because I know that we’re right near your office.
Andrew: I had no idea that you were near my office. My mouth is literally watering and all I’m doing is looking at user photos of I guess people have been there, and so they put photos online anyway. Anyway, I would have been interested in the business no matter what but had no connection to him. But apparently, he was in the digital marketing space, was a friend of Neil Patel, worked with him. And through Neil Patel, we connected here. I want to know what he did with Neil, how he moved from doing digital marketing to having physical stores and everything in between.
We can do it all thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first if you’re hiring developers, go check out Toptal. And the second . . . Oh, Neil Patel, when I did that ad for Toptal, he basically sold Toptal to the audience on his own. And the second is HostGator. If you’re hosting a website, I’ll tell you why you need HostGator. Hey, let’s go dollars and cents first. How much money are you making from how many stores?
Jeff: So we’re on pace to do about 10 million this year. We have 24 stores this year, 2019. I forget it’s already 2020. In 2019, and we opened eight more stores in 2019.
Andrew: So 10 million, 2019 in revenue?
Andrew: Okay. All right, from 24 stores. What’s a typical store bring in?
Jeff: About half a million. So we opened the eight stores throughout the year so some of them fluctuated. And we also have one in San Diego, Padres Petco Park, which is a seasonal store, so we only get to sell when the Padres are in town.
Andrew: What’s your connection to Neil Patel?
Jeff: Good question. So, after I sold my payroll company and my recruiting agency, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next. And I wanted to work from a computer. And I knew the computer wasn’t going anywhere. This was 2011 or 2012.
Andrew: Okay. What’s the recruiting company that you had?
Jeff: JFEN Recruiting. So, after law school, I had a payroll and HR company, and I realized . . .
Andrew: And, like, what’s touching the desk because we sent you a mic and every little thing is getting picked up on it? Okay. So after law school, you did what?
Jeff: Well, I had a job for six months and then I started a payroll and HR company.
Andrew: What does that mean, that you were handling people’s payroll? I would tell you who’s working for me, you’d make sure they got a check?
Jeff: That’s right. I worked for . . . Well, so out of law school, I went to law school to be a sports agent and decided I didn’t want to do that. And so . . .
Andrew: Because I heard you didn’t want to babysit people.
Jeff: That’s right. I had my own kid. I had a daughter when I was in law school. So I realized I didn’t want to babysit grownups. I didn’t want to be Jerry Maguire.
Andrew: Okay. The reality of it wasn’t good.
Jeff: I didn’t want to ask people to show me the money. And so I got a job and I needed to pay back law school and the debt, and I was getting married, so I had to get a job. So I had a friend at ADP and they said, “You can sell stuff, come work for ADP.” So I did. I got a job at ADP, the payroll company, and was really successful, was the top sales rep my first six months there, first to make Presidents club, made a bunch of money, built a massive ego. I thought I was the coolest guy in the world. You know, you make a lot of money at 24 years old, and you think the world of yourself.
So I built this big ego and I earned a $17,000 bonus that they owed me. And so I went to my boss in January and said, “Hey, I’d like my bonus.” And they said, “Sure,” at the end of the fiscal year, which was June 30th, I’d get it the third week of July. And I said, “Wait, wait, no, no, I already sold everything. I earned my bonus.” And they’re like, “Well, Jeff, it’s an annual bonus. Most people hit it at the end of the year. We pay it out at the end of the year.” And I was like, “Well, that’s not okay.” So long story short, I threatened to quit if they didn’t give it to me and they called my bluff. They said, “There’s the door if you want to quit.” So my ego wrote a check that I then . . . My mouth wrote a check that my ego wouldn’t let me not cash so I quit [inaudible 00:05:11] . . .
Andrew: So you quit?
Jeff: I quit.
Andrew: And then you gave up the $17,000?
Jeff: No. They had to pay that to me when I quit.
Andrew: Because you quit.
Jeff: Because I quit.
Andrew: Okay. So it’s not that bad, but it really just shows how mouthy you were at the time and then . . .
Jeff: My dad was like, “Wait, you made $190,000 in six months and you quit over $17,000?”
Andrew: Yeah, good point.
Jeff: He wasn’t too happy with me. And then not only that, I just had bought a house. And I moved my fiancée and daughter into my parents’ house to live back with my mom and dad. So my dad’s like, “Wait, you graduated law school, you’re making six figures. You just bought a house, you’re getting married and now you’re giving all that up to move back in with me with your fiancée and daughter?”
Andrew: And did you feel like you made a mistake? Did you feel stupid for having done that?
Jeff: A little bit, at the time.
Andrew: So why didn’t you just stop it? Why didn’t you go back in? Why didn’t you stop yourself from going down that road?
Jeff: I don’t know.
Andrew: That’s just the way you are?
Jeff: Best decision I ever made.
Andrew: I get that it worked out well. I’m trying to understand what it says about you. I’m looking here at my notes about you.
Jeff: It says I’m crazy.
Andrew: I don’t see . . . You told our producer, “Look, I got ADD. I knew from the beginning I wasn’t meant to work for large companies.” Is that what it is that you were just at ADP for longer than you could sit still and that’s partially why you had to move on?
Jeff: I think so. I think as soon as they told me that I was going to . . . I just had this fear that I was going to be stuck waiting for six months for a bonus or 10 years for a raise or 12 years for a promotion. And my life flashed before my eyes and I was just like, “This is not okay.”
Andrew: That’s what it is. So it’s you having the courage to say, “I don’t want this life even though it’s making me money.” And of course, “Hey, you guys, you owe me some money, and I said that I would quit if I didn’t get it.” Got it. So you’re back with your parents. And then I guess what you’re saying is you created a company that would do essentially what you did at ADP?
Jeff: Yeah, well, so one of my best friends worked with me at ADP and I convinced him to leave as well. And we started our own payroll company. And the idea was, “Well, look, I just sold an absolute ton of this stuff, and I can sell it. So let’s go sell our own. Let’s go build our own company.”
Andrew: And then who was going to do the work?
Jeff: Well, so we had to decide between the two of us and he was the one who sold less than me. So he was the one who has to process the payroll and I was the one who got to sell the payroll.
Andrew: What’s software did you use to process the payroll?
Jeff: Though we started actually at first using a product called PayCycle. And then we leveraged a technology called Execupay. And then we ended up actually kind of building our own and growing up, and becoming an HRAS platform. And then our unique selling proposition two years in was we were the first single database system. So from hire to fire and everything in between in one system.
Andrew: And this was your . . . You became a software entrepreneur at that point.
Jeff: I would love . . . That sounds really sexy so thank you. But no. We basically added some bolt-on technologies all in one and figured out how to use modern technology to do it through licensing.
Andrew: Meaning, you were using software that existed and added more to it. Got it.
Jeff: We bundled them all together.
Andrew: And when you first quit, it was you and he, he’s sitting at the software desk or on the computer working, you’re going out and selling to who?
Jeff: Well, so the good news is, is I just sold a lot of clients. So I went back to every single one of them. And I said, “Listen, I just sold you on ADP. I’ve just started my own company, I would love the support. I’ll tell you what, give me the invoice I just sold you, I’ll cut it by 50%, that’ll be your price. And if I screw up, ADP is right there to pick you up.”
Andrew: Well, but ADP is a brand that we all know that’s been around forever. Even if you don’t like them because they’re too big, you know them and you trust them with your money. You’re a guy with a backward baseball cap and just quit the job at ADP in some way that who knows how. Why is somebody trusting you with their payroll?
Jeff: You know, I think, well, two reasons. And I’ll tell you, it’s even funnier because one of the lines I used to sell you when I was at ADP is, “Just remember, no one gets fired for choosing ADP. So we all make mistakes, but you won’t lose your job if you choose us at ADP.” That was my line.
Andrew: Yeah, and it’s 100% true.
Andrew: It’s ADP’s fault, it’s not your fault for picking it. Okay. So then how do you undo it?
Jeff: Well, because one of the ways I sell is actually by building relationships. So I make friends with people, I don’t sell you. Like, I’m not here to sell you on me. I’m here to sell myself to you. And I basically said, “Listen . . . ” So I would literally say, Mr. so and so, Tim . . . ” Let’s just make up a person. “Tim, I want you to bet on i-CHEX and me. I promise you if it doesn’t go right, I will personally get you set up back up at ADP. I have a ton of friends there. Your account’s already there. This is going to be an easy transition. So you can go and stay with them or you can support me at half the price, and really bet on me, and give me a chance but no one’s going to work harder for you than me.”
Andrew: Okay. All right, shaky proposition even for me, I like saving money. I would worry about it but I can understand somebody saying yes. And frankly, I can even see myself saying yes. You got to how big before you were done?
Jeff: So we first focused on 1,500 employees. We grew it over about nine months. And then we raised some private equity capital from two PE firms. And we brought in a couple of million dollars, upscaled ourselves to a mid-market where we focused on 50 to 1,000 employee size companies, some big names. And then we went even bigger and kind of got a little bit larger than that in enterprise size. And I think our enterprise value is about 12 million, right at the end.
Andrew: Overall revenue is how much?
Jeff: So I can’t share that but our enterprise value was about 12 million.
Andrew: What does that mean, enterprise value?
Jeff: It’s the value including some of the debt that we had and money in.
Andrew: Oh, and does that mean that you sold for 12 million?
Jeff: No, that’s under . . . I can’t share that either, unfortunately. But . . .
Andrew: But you make more than $3 million in the bank from that?
Andrew: No. Okay, more than a million?
Andrew: Okay. Did you at that point feel a little confident? Did you feel good? Did you feel like, “All right, this thing that I had in me to prove I proved it,” or did you feel like, “Man, I could have been bigger ADP. What’s wrong with me?” Like, I’m trying to get the sense of your psychology.
Jeff: No, I was happy to get the hell out.
Andrew: You were happy?
Jeff: Yeah, I’m a three to five-year guy. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I am not a lifer in these things. I like to start companies. I’m great at taking nothing and building it, and quickly disrupting a market, and turning it into something. But then it gets to a point where you need someone much more sophisticated than the guy with the backward baseball cap.
Andrew: I was wondering if you’re going to be insulted by that.
Andrew: Okay. You’re the zero to one guy. Got it. How did you meet up with Neil then? So you started your own company, you did well, what happened?
Jeff: While I was there, I make friends. So I was asking all my clients, what’s their biggest problem? And it was the height of the recession when we started this company. It was 2007, 2008. So it was a tough time to start a business. And I realized the number one problem they were having was sourcing talent. People with jobs weren’t leaving and the pool of unemployed was too big to sift through to find talent. So I partnered with a guy, a friend of mine, and we started a recruiting agency where we basically were recruiting for our clients. So the more people I could get you to hire, the more checks you would cut, the more checks you would cut, the more money I would make. So it was this beautiful little circle.
So after ADP, or after i-CHEX became CanopyHR and we sold, I didn’t have a need for the recruiting agency so we sold that. And then, it was kind of me bothering my wife for a little while too long and sitting around. And I did some consulting and I tried a couple of little things. I tried to legalize equity-based crowdfunding. So I started this company Equity Circle. And we got hundreds and hundreds of thousands of signatures and we were pushing for the little entrepreneur so we could utilize equity-based crowdfunding as a funding vehicle. And I already had this big vision that I was going to be the big platform as soon as it got legal. And it got legal and I was not the big platform so . . .
Andrew: Did you close that before it got legal?
Jeff: No, I closed it after it got legal.
Andrew: Why didn’t it work out? You’re not the only one who didn’t work out but there are a few entrepreneurs who I interviewed who said, “Kickstarter makes sense, but why would I give you a product after you invested in me and paid upfront to help me build it? Why don’t I give you equity?” And there are few companies who tried it and didn’t work out because?
Jeff: So it didn’t work out for us because I didn’t have the prowess to understand marketing. I didn’t know how to get people to know about Equity Circle. I was not very good at that so I was [crosstalk 00:13:12] . . .
Andrew: Even I didn’t interview you and, like, you would have had tons for me to talk to you about and promote. Okay. Got it. So that was a big thing. What else?
Jeff: And also I don’t think it was successful because my passion was more in the cause than in the technology. So I was spending all my effort, getting it legalized and fighting the fight on the front lines, and not enough thinking about what we needed to do to make sure that the platform was going to solve people’s problems now that it is legal, and how we were going to make it kind of like a Kickstarter experience, where the UI was perfect. And really focusing on the technology was not really where my head was at. I was more like, “I’m going to be the one who legalizes it.” And great, you know, you get for that? Nothing. But it’s legal now.
Andrew: And underutilized still or let’s just say not very utilized. So tell me about Pat Flynn. I know that he’s kind of part of the story.
Jeff: Yeah, so I graduated, not graduated . . . I finished that whole thing and was kind of putzing around trying to figure out what . . .
Andrew: Did you feel like a failure after not making that work? I know I’m interrupting.
Jeff: No, I never feel like a failure
Andrew: You never feel like a failure?
Jeff: No, I fail every day.
Andrew: Like, what?
Jeff: In [inaudible 00:14:14] thing . . .
Andrew: That’s a big one. You had a company, you told everyone this is going to be big and it wasn’t big. You had less than the bank because of it. You didn’t feel like a failure? You didn’t feel like, “Oh, man, maybe I just was a one-hit-wonder?”
Jeff: No, not even for a second.
Andrew: Yeah, I can see actually even in the specials, like, what do you, blacked out? Okay. So got it. And you were starting to talk about Pat Flynn.
Jeff: If I ride a bicycle and I fall down, am I a failure? No, I pick myself up. I try again. Big deal . . .
Andrew: Believe it or not, there are some people who if they fall down, they go, “Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. Maybe this doesn’t make sense.”
Jeff: Well, I think we should have a mindset discussion because that’s the wrong mindset. It’s . . .
Andrew: How do you get to the mindset where you fall down, where you fail so publicly, and have this chip on your shoulder, frankly, and still fail, and don’t let it get you down, and almost like the brush it off like it’s nothing? You feel almost like Andrew’s ridiculous for having brought it up. Talk about mindset.
Jeff: Well, I think too many people are focused on the wrong things. They’re worried about what other people think or they’re worried about, you know, I knew . . .
Andrew: Self-assessment. For me, it’s self-assessment. I’m constantly self-assessing.
Jeff: Of course, the self-assessment, I do the same, but I understand a few things about myself. Number one, if you look at anyone who’s successful, anyone and success is whatever you want it to be financial, spiritual, relationships, I don’t care what your definition of success is. If you look at it, they all have the confidence that if I can do it once, I can do it 10 times. It’s not what I do doesn’t make me successful, it’s my approach. It’s the mindset. It’s the daily understanding that I’m going to get Kaizen and I’m going to get 1% better every day. If I’m better and I learned something from it, then tomorrow, I’m going to be stronger. And if that’s not the right path . . . I had this other . . . By the way, and I’m going to give myself credit for this. I had this brilliant idea to legalize and create a betting platform for fantasy sports 10 years before FanDuel came out. I didn’t do anything with it. Nothing. It was just a stupid idea. I loved fantasy sports. I’m sure a lot of people did. I’m not the only one.
Andrew: The founder of FanDuel, I’ve been talking to her and she’s going to come on here, at some point. She didn’t like fantasy sports, doesn’t like sports. Yeah, yeah, you had an advantage there about her.
Jeff: And I did nothing with it. Okay. You know, you can do nothing with it and watch other people live their lives, and you just keep going. And so what? I failed. Big deal. You know what . . . ?
Andrew: Is this a mental process that you work on or it’s just natural to who you are?
Jeff: I mean, I think both. Right as a kid, I have very strong parents, they forced me to finish what I start and failure is just one block. You know, if you give your best and you try your best, it’s not a failure. If you don’t try your best, it’s failure. If I give half-assed effort, okay, then I’m going to feel bad about it. But the beauty is, then I know, “Hey, maybe if I give full effort, I won’t fail next time.
Andrew: Right. So even given a half-assed effort is not a big failure for you.
Andrew: I got you. I’ve gotten to that place too. And largely it’s by being aware of when things that feel like failures aren’t actual failures in the end, by writing . . . I remember journaling a while back saying, “This whole company is going down, I won’t have any time to myself. I screwed up completely. I wonder where I’ll be a year from now.” Just the fact that I wrote it made me more aware a year from then that I had done okay. I actually made it really well. And it reduces the power of the next time that my head goes, “Oh, I’ve failed. I wonder how bad it’s going to be because of it.” Because you think, “I thought that before, things worked out.” Okay . . .
Jeff: But failure also means you stop. You can’t fail if the game’s still going on. Right? So if I stopped and didn’t start any other company after that failure, and I got a job and I was doing something else, and I kept saying, “Man, I wish I didn’t fail because I’d be running my own company,” well, then maybe it is a failure. But because I don’t have that mindset, it’s like, “Well, I’m just going to do something else,” then . . .
Andrew: I’m with you. So the fact that you failed that company isn’t a failure unless . . . It’s not a failure if you start another company and that one does well.
Jeff: Yeah. And you’re not trying if you’re not failing. Like, you should be failing all the time at stuff. Like . . .
Andrew: Like, what’s the latest thing that you failed at?
Jeff: I’m trying to learn Photoshop right now and you should see me fail daily on trying to meet the technology.
Andrew: Oh my God, I’m totally with you.
Jeff: Oh my God.
Andrew: You go from a very intuitive world to this world that’s only intuitive if you lived in their world for a decade.
Jeff: It still doesn’t make sense.
Andrew: Yeah, every other piece of software is so intuitive, all the Adobe programs, all the . . .
Jeff: It’s incredible to me.
Andrew: . . . video editing programs that are for high-end professionals are like, what . . . ?
Jeff: I don’t understand it. And I wake up early, I wake up at 4:30 every morning. And for the last two-and-a-half weeks, I’ve been trying to learn Photoshop.
Jeff: Because I like to learn new things. I think it’s just essential.
Andrew: That’s it. What did you learn that made you better that actually worked?
Andrew: Like what? What’s an example? I want to get a sense of how you’re learning stuff.
Jeff: I learned to play the piano. I started to play piano . . .
Andrew: As an adult?
Jeff: Yeah, everything’s as an adult. So I think if you’re not learning something, there are two problems that people need to understand. One, your mind is a brain. Your brain is a muscle, just like lifting weights or exercise or anything else. So if you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it. It’s going to deteriorate and you’re not going to be as smart. But number two, I build my career. And I leverage relationship capital every single day. Half the reason we’re talking is because of a friendship of mine that we’re going to talk about. Right? So I get the opportunity to be on your podcast because of a relationship. Well, I don’t have things to talk about with people in different walks of life if I’m not expanding my understanding of different horizons and different things. And as a serial entrepreneur, I’m always looking for opportunity. So how am I going to find opportunities if I’m always looking in the same cave?
Andrew: But how does piano help you make more relationships, that then I understand once you have those relationships can help with your business? How does knowing how to play the piano or doing Photoshop help with that?
Jeff: Well, so Photoshop is twofold. It’s not just to make relationships. The Photoshop is because I’m trying to create content. And while I’m never going to be the one to truly create it, I have, you know, my chief branding officer, he does it all. There’s so many things that I could understand better if I just understood Photoshop or at least I want to believe that, and it’s just a piece of technology that, dammit I need to learn even though it’s truly the least intuitive thing I’ve ever seen. Oh, I swear I think they’re doing it on purpose, just so they can create a course. But piano, like, I mean, so we’re at a networking event and people are conversing about something. Well, I’m a sports guy, if all I can talk about is sports, how interesting am I? Right? So I like to be more interested than interesting. I want to ask questions. I want to get engaged in conversation. If you are a musician and you’re talking to someone . . .
Andrew: Now, we’ve got something.
Jeff: . . . I’m like, “Well, I’m learning piano,” right? I’m trying to learn this new song and I’m just putzing away and trust me, I am terrible at it. But it’s okay. I don’t need to be good at it.
Andrew: You know what? The reason that I’m asking partially is because I feel like the other approach to that is the Neil Patel approach. He tells me he and his wife sit on the couch while he’s doing SEO work, and she’s watching TV, and somehow being okay with this. He is all in on just SEO. He does not want to do anything else. He wants to experiment. He wants to write about it and guide a company that does it in a very remote way. He’s taken the opposite approach that’s working for him. I guess what you’re saying is, “My approach is different. It’s allowing me to connect with more people on more levels, expanding my mind, making it . . . ”
Jeff: We’re different kinds of entrepreneurs, right? So the word entrepreneur is sexy now. It wasn’t when I started. But entrepreneur is like doctor. And it’s like saying, “I’m a doctor.” Well, what kind of doctor are you? And I’m more of a general practice doctor and he’s a specific type of surgeon. He does SEO and that’s what he does. He needs to be world-class at it. You want a heart surgeon to only focus on heart surgery, but you want your GP to know lots of things. We’re just different kinds of entrepreneurs.
Andrew: I freaking love the way you talk. I feel like because we had such, like, a laid back start and everything, even before the interview started, that I was just going to get into where the hustle was, but I love the depth of the way that you think. Okay. Pat Flynn, leads to Neil. What happened with Pat? How did that lead to Neil Patel?
Jeff: So I decided I wanted to work from a computer. My youngest was older now and my . . . Sorry, my oldest was older now and my youngest was just born, and I didn’t want to miss her childhood, traveling, and driving, and doing all the things I was doing. And the computer wasn’t going anywhere. It’s 2011, 2012. It was time to learn a computer. So I went to high school and middle school with Pat Flynn, a good friend of mine, and reached out to him and said, “Hey, Pat, how are you?” And he’s like, “Hey Jeff, how are things?” And I said, “Listen, I’d like to pay you to teach me digital marketing.” And in no short words, he said, “The name of my website is Smart Passive Income and that’s not very passive. So you should probably talk to Neil Patel.” And I’m like . . .
Andrew: Because Neil Patel would take your money to teach you?
Jeff: No, just because Neil Patel was the rock star in the industry and he knew digital marketing guy . . .
Andrew: Got it. And not necessarily . . . And you were offering to pay your friend how much?
Jeff: Well, I was happy to pay him 10 grand a month.
Andrew: Why did you want to pay him instead of saying, “Hey, Pat, we’re friends, let me take you out to lunch. Let me pick your brain?”
Jeff: You do that and you know what I’d get? I’d get a friendly lunch where you teach me nothing. And you might give me a little jumpstart. But no, I actually wanted to build a business. I needed to learn. I needed to understand what . . .
Andrew: You just wanted to figure out what’s a computer-based business that you could do that would allow you to be there for your family. Okay. He introduces you to Neil, and the reason he introduces you is partially because he knows you but also partially because you’ve built something, you did something, right?
Jeff: I don’t know the answer. That’d be a good question for me to ask him. I think he just said, “Hey, I can make an intro to Neil Patel.”
Andrew: Okay. So you get together with Neil, what does Neil see . . . ?
Jeff: No, not yet. So this is where the story gets a funny little twist. So I figured, “Okay. I don’t know who he is.” And he’s like, “You should learn him.” So, at the time, I don’t know, it was either Bing or Google back then. But let’s just say I googled him. And I was like, “Okay. This guy’s pretty big in the space even for 2012.” And I’m like, “Okay. How am I going to get him to work with me?” So I didn’t want to be like everybody else and call him, and be like, “Hey, you’re going to want to partner with me even though you don’t know me.” I figured let me stand out.
So I used what I’m good at, which is sales and relationship capital. And I knew of a company that was doing a ton of money offline and very little online. I found a way to get in front of the CEO and I said, “Listen, me and my partner, Neil Patel are going to come into your office, and we’re going to look at your sales, and I’ll make you a deal. Don’t pay me anything. But just let me share in the upside if we can increase systematically increase your online sales, we want a share in it.” And he’s like, “Who’s Neil Patel?” I’m like, “Google?” So he did and he’s like, “I’d love to meet him.” I’m like, “Great. Let’s work out a deal.” So we did and I brokered a deal for a commission on the upside and then . . .
Andrew: What was this business?
Jeff: So I’d rather not say . . .
Andrew: Just what type of business, I mean? What did they sell, gloves selling?
Andrew: Clothing. Okay. It’s an offline clothing company. Okay.
Jeff: With a small online component.
Andrew: Small. Okay. So now, you’ve got them saying yes to you and your buddy, Neil Patel. You got to go to Neil Patel, and what do you say to him?
Jeff: “I have a six-figure deal for you, sir.” I said, “Neil, nice to meet you. I’m going to pay you six figures to come to work with me. I already sold us our first client.” And he’s like, “What?” I’m like, “I’m going to give you six figures,” because I was going to give it to Pat, I’ll give it to Neil. So I literally was like, “I’ll write you a check. Come work with me and then we’re going to go 50/50 on the upside.” And I was like, “If Neil comes in and it doesn’t work, I’m out the same money, but I’m going to learn something. If it does work, we’re going to make the money.”
Andrew: And he’s got a sure thing in the money that you’re paying him upfront and more upside.
Jeff: Yes, but I will tell you. What’s so incredible about Neil is he didn’t even take my money.
Andrew: He didn’t take your money?
Jeff: No. I love him. We’re very good friends now. He did not take my money.
Andrew: You know what? I don’t know how to make fricking sense of the guy because he does like money for sure. But at the same time, he loves people and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give anyone a hug. He’s not that type of, like . . .
Jeff: Oh, I get a hug.
Andrew: He gives you a hug?
Jeff: Yes, sir.
Andrew: All right. Okay. But you know what I’m saying.
Jeff: I do. I do.
Andrew: He’s not that lovey-dovey type of person, like you’re hanging out, having a beer, hugging each other. No, but he does care about people even if he doesn’t know them . . .
Jeff: Oh, he’s got the biggest heart in the world.
Andrew: . . . even if they have no reason for him to like them.
Jeff: I’ll tell you what, the first six months we worked together, I had to force him to make money. I think he was more enamored with just my approach. I think it was like [inaudible 00:25:39].
Andrew: I do think he loves that. I’ve asked him about several people. My interview with him where I asked him how he started his digital agency is great because just some dude living in his house.
Andrew: Yeah, Mike Kamo. He’s just living in his place in Vegas. I go, “Why?” He goes, “Well, listen to what Mike Kamo did,” and “Oh, I get it. I see how you like that type of hustle.” I’ll let people go listen to the interview if they want. So you were offering to pay money upfront and a slice of the upside.
Andrew: And for you, potentially the upside would have covered the money you are paying him?
Jeff: Or it wouldn’t but I would learn . . .
Andrew: Okay. But potentially it would have solved . . .
Jeff: Because I believe you need to learn before you earn.
Andrew: And you wanted to learn about digital marketing, so you could create a digital marketing agency or so the next time you wouldn’t fail at whatever online company you create because you were better digital marketing?
Jeff: Yes to all of them. I wasn’t entirely sure exactly what I wanted to do but I knew that I had . . . So I had a payroll company where I had met thousands of businesses and business owners, and it sold them payroll services, and it had done right by them, so I could go back to them. So now I had the ability to go back to them with what is relevant today. It’s 2012, digital marketing, online sales. This is the world. This is where everyone’s going and no one knows how to do it but this dedicated guy. So if I learned this skill or surrounded myself with the people who knew this skill, I could sell. I could sell it again and again, and again, and again. So I didn’t care what it cost me or how I got that information or that relationship capital, I needed it. So I was happy to do it any which way I could.
Andrew: It’s better than piano classes. That way, it still grows your mind and . . .
Jeff: Way better than piano.
Andrew: Got it. It’s a better investment, I should say than piano lessons, not necessarily that . . .
Jeff: So yeah, Neil and I end up selling and working together for almost five years trying to . . .
Andrew: Five years, you were selling . . . Did he do the work himself or . . . ?
Jeff: Oh, no, no, we built a team.
Andrew: You built a team.
Jeff: We ended up building a team and working together, and partnering on deals, and finding new deals.
Andrew: What company was this?
Jeff: JFEN Holdings.
Andrew: JFEN Holdings. And then what happened to that company?
Jeff: So, after about four-and-a-half years, two things happened. One, I really got tired of talking about digital marketing. If you haven’t learned, I have some entrepreneurial ADD. And two, I think Neil was ready to get a little bit out of the consulting business as well. And he was speaking a lot more and doing more of his stuff. And it was just time for a change. It was time for . . . You know, also we . . .
Andrew: So you just closed it up?
Jeff: Sold off the clients that we had and stopped renewing clients, and moved on. Yeah.
Andrew: How much money did you make from it?
Jeff: I made millions over the years. Yeah.
Andrew: Millions? So more from working with Neil Patel than even doing the previous business.
Jeff: Oh, yeah.
Jeff: We had some clients paying us $80,000 a month and it was hard for me to get him to take the check.
Andrew: I can’t believe that.
Jeff: I forced them though. I forced them. I would never . . . He would say, “You know what? Just you keep it this month. I’m sure you . . . ” I’m like, “Absolutely not” because if I did that, the day I ever did that, our relationship changes.
Andrew: To what?
Jeff: Well, it’s just different. Now, he’s doing me a favor and I [crosstalk 00:28:20].
Andrew: Got it. And you’re doing the sales, you’re building the team, he’s training the team, giving them direction, adding credibility.
Jeff: And making sure that we did right by our clients. And I . . .
Andrew: I think the greatest Neil Patel stories for, like, the early days when he didn’t have much money, but I won’t tell them publicly because he’s not at that stage. He’d loved it if I told it at a dinner party, but I don’t think I should say it here.
Let me take a moment to talk about my first sponsor. The first sponsor is a company called Toptal. I talked to Neil Patel. I said, “Neil, why do you call up Toptal? Why do you use them? You have this big network of people.” Like, look at how many people own Neil Patel favors. He could just go out there and say, “I need this.” He says, “People overestimate the power of relationships, underestimate the power of speed.”
He says, “I went to the Toptal to hire developers because with Toptal, they work fast.” He just goes over and talks to the matcher, tells them what the needs. And then often within days, you can get in front of the right developers . . . You know, like a Zoom meeting like you and I are doing. And then if you’re happy with them, you can often get started with them the very next day. The best, the best situation that you can possibly get. As someone who’s hired a lot over the years, you have one tip for people within this ad for Toptal and then I’ll close it out?
Jeff: Well, yeah, finding the right people is critical because if you don’t invest in your people, people build businesses. So . . .
Andrew: What’s the difference between why not go cheaper there? Like, you’re somebody who likes to save money. Neil likes to save money. Why not save money and why pay more for a developer?
Jeff: [crosstalk 00:29:38] You’re not saving money. You know, it’s going to cost you more in the long run because you lose the speed and efficiency, right? Startups, especially in smaller companies, have one clear advantage over big companies, speed and agility. If you don’t use that speed and agility to your advantage, you’re dead, so you might as well hire right and hire right the first time.
Andrew: Yeah. I just talked to an entrepreneur, she ended up going cheaper with her development work, not only did she have to redo it but she went so cheap that there was an issue with AWS. Her IP was renewed. That IP that was initially in Amazon Web Services was locked into the software because the developer just used the same IP address in the software. Her app was down for fricking week, a week because of this issue and she had to figure out how to solve it.
Jeff: Yeah, you’re dead.
Andrew: You know what? I think this mic actually goes red when I talk too loud. This is an updated mic because I had an issue. I got to watch out with you not to get too excited. Let me close this ad out by saying, “Look, if you’re listening to me, don’t take Andrew’s word for it. Listen to what Neil Patel said, his cousin, no, his brother-in-law. Hiten Shah also gave me a great, great reason why people should be using Toptal and why he uses Toptal.
If you need to hire developers, do this, go to toptal.com/mixergy. Hit that button. Just start a conversation with the matcher. Hiten Shah said the matcher is one of the best parts of Toptal because they help you think through what you’re hiring for. And then if you like them, you can hire them. If you don’t, you move on. If you do hire through that URL that I’m about to give you, you’ll get 80 hours of Toptal developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours, in addition to a no-risk trial period. That’s top as in top of your head, tal as in talent, toptal.com/mixergy to get all that, toptal.com/mixergy.
All right, let’s get into how a guy who had this online experience gets into selling me healthy food. What’s the deal there? Were you always into healthy food?
Jeff: I’ve always been into being scared of disease. So I’m a hypochondriac.
Andrew: Wait, what do you mean? Like, a hypochondriac type of person?
Jeff: Yeah, pretty much.
Andrew: Like, what’s an example of how worried you are about diseases?
Jeff: I’m afraid of cancer. Like, genuinely, like, if I get some ailment, like my shoulder’s hurting or burning for two days, I go to Google, I read and it tells me I have a tumor and then I genuinely stay up at night worrying that I have a tumor.
Andrew: So you’re not afraid of failure, but you’re a hypochondriac about cancer, literally?
Jeff: Yes, literally. So my aunt passed away from cancer when I was a kid. And my dad, you know, he’s a doctor and I said, “Hey . . . ” You know, I was nine years old and I said, “Why did my favorite aunt die?” And he said, “Because, unfortunately, cancer is a very scary disease and we didn’t catch it early enough.” And I was like, “Didn’t catch it early enough.” And that never left my head. So the only way to really give yourself the best chance is to catch it early. The only way to catch early is to recognize the symptoms. Ergo, when I have a symptom, my brain tells me I have cancer.
Andrew: Okay. And then another thing that I . . . I used to read “Men’s Health” a lot as a teenager. Anytime they told me something would help me avoid prostate cancer because I don’t want anything there, I would start eating it even though I was, like, a teenager. What am I doing eating? So I think at one point they said tomato sauce was really good for prostrate. That’s true?
Jeff: Tomatoes lycopene. Yeah, lycopene is really good for cancer.
Andrew: Oh, okay. I thought maybe it was BS. For years though, I would put tomato sauce on stuff, feed tomatoes, even though I hate them. And then I said, “I just read this in some probably click-baity type headline in Men’s Health” but you’re telling me it’s true.
Jeff: It’s true.
Andrew: What else should I be eating if I want to avoid cancer?
Jeff: Definitely Everbowl.
Andrew: What do I get at Everbowl that’s going to help me avoid cancer, everything?
Jeff: All of it because as long as you eat stuff that’s made from stuff that’s been around forever . . . That’s our tagline, “Everbowl, made from stuff that’s been around forever,” your body knows what to do with it. So what I learned is, and it’s a word we created, and it’s really the why behind Everbowl is Unevolve. And it’s on the back of my hat because I wear a backwards hat. It’s actually on my sweatshirt right now.
Andrew: Are you actually selling t-shirts with Unevolve?
Jeff: Not yet, but we will be.
Andrew: What’s the deal with Unevolve? What does it mean and why are you so fell in love with Unevolve?
Jeff: It’s our why. It’s the lifestyle part of our brand, I think, especially in 2020, if you don’t have a why, you’re missing out on what millennials especially care about, but also just understanding what you want to be and who you want to be as a company.
Andrew: But the message of Unevolve is what? We’ve evolved to the point where our food is evolved.
Jeff: No, I’ll tell you. No, Unevolve’s definition is to move and eat the way you were meant to, live actively and eat stuff that’s been around forever. Essentially . . .
Andrew: How does the Unevolve mean that?
Jeff: So I’ll tell you. So we’ve over evolved in society. Technology is great in so many things, but it’s bad for health. We don’t move our bodies anymore because I can order my groceries from my phone and not even leave the couch. I can turn on the lights from my couch, the air conditioning system. I can have a robot vacuum my house, do everything without moving. We create laboratory-created food because we don’t want to have fresh food and we need things that are preservative-laden that can last for, you know, nine years in the pantry. So technology has created this abundance of shelf-stable food that never goes bad. And taking away all of the behaviors that make us have to move our bodies and therefore we have higher rates of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and cancer than we’ve ever had before. And it’s all, not all, a large percentage of it, over 80% of it is influenced by our behavior, by our lack of movement and what we’re eating.
And so looking at the fact that I have two daughters, one’s 14 now and one, 8, but they were a little younger when I started. I was like, “You know, I haven’t done anything that makes me feel proud to be a dad and something that they’re going to look at me say, “You know what? That’s cool that he did that.” And so I was kind of like, “Well, my two passions besides my family is healthy living and entrepreneurship.” So I was like, “Let me marry these together.” And understand why we aren’t eating healthy because it’s hard to get people to move their bodies. Even though I work out and I’m exercising, that’s changing your behavior. It’s hard. I’m not sure I know how to do that. So Unevolve encompasses both movement, and eating, and Everbowl solves the eating side, which is, let me help you eat better and I figured out what the excuses we make to why we don’t eat healthily and figured, “If I could address those, and I could solve those four excuses, I can get anyone to eat healthy most of the time.”
Andrew: And you don’t move your body much?
Jeff: I do. But I won’t . . .
Andrew: You’re saying the average person?
Jeff: I’m saying it’s hard for me to get people to exercise who don’t exercise. That’s a bigger challenge.
Andrew: Got it. Because you do look like you’re fit. So we talked before we got started about the reason that I don’t eat healthy when I don’t and I think that that has been true for my life. I think it is for most people. It’s not that healthy food doesn’t taste as good as unhealthy, though I don’t doubt the french fries are delicious and ice cream is delicious, not for me, but french fries for sure.
Jeff: You don’t like ice cream?
Andrew: I’m not that crazy about it. But if you put a plate of french fries, I will eat every . . . If you put it in front of me, I’ll eat everything. And because I’m a runner, I have an excuse to do it, but I have to still watch out.
Jeff: Fat loading.
Andrew: Yeah. Like, fat loading is what it is. But I’ll do it. But if I’m talking to you right now, I don’t have any food in the office because I didn’t think I had to have something delivered. If I go downstairs, it’s a Starbucks. Starbucks does not have healthy food. They’ve got a crispy grilled cheese, Not enough that it’s grilled cheese, it’s crispy grilled cheese, right? They’ve got potato chips and other types of chips. So I’ll do that in a pinch and I’ll eat it because it’s quick. If I walk a few blocks up, I’ve got a pizza. If I walk over to the left, I’ve got the noodle shop. The noodle shop is good, but it still takes a little while to eat. Right? It’s that it’s not convenient to eat and I’m working. I don’t have time to sit down and have an hour-long meal. And also it’s just not available.
And so you saw that and you said, “I think I could solve it.” The question I have for you is, why did you decide you’re going to come up with these bowls, instead of saying maybe a healthy sandwich, maybe I’ll do a bar that I sell it CVS or maybe something else, maybe I do something nice to send in the mail. How’d you end up with this as a solution?
Jeff: Two reasons. One, they’re delicious. And I make them at home and I realized that I could get my kids and their friends to eat it. And when I learned how to trick children, if I can trick children, I can trick adults.
Andrew: What did you call it for children? My wife will make a yogurt with stuff. She calls it a yogurt sundae, so it’s like ice cream Sundae but it’s yogurt.
Jeff: Sure. Do we have a dream? If you go into Everbowl, we have a dream, which is it tastes like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup but it’s a full serving of salad, dark chocolate, cacao, bananas, blueberry, and peanut butter. And it literally tastes like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Your kid wouldn’t know the difference.
Andrew: I get that. All right. And so you said, “I’m making this already, kids are into it. I’m going to do it.” The first thing you decided to do is not go open your own store. From what I understand, you started looking around and saying, “How do I buy into this?” Why?
Jeff: Buy into it?
Andrew: Did you want to buy it or did you happen to walk past a guy who had a store? What was it that he had? He had a . . . ?
Jeff: Smoothie King?
Andrew: Yes, Smoothie King.
Jeff: No, so what happened was I was actually visiting a client of mine for a consulting client I had that was just wrapping up in Poway. And I went into Smoothie King to get a smoothie because I needed something. And the guy was taking everything off his wall and putting it in his van. It was July 22nd, 2016. And I’m like, “What are you doing?” He’s like, “I’m retiring at the end of the month. I’ve been here for 20 years. And this is it.” And I’m like, “You’re retiring?” He said, “Yeah, I tried to sell the business, but I think I was selling it for too much. And the franchise fees are too high and I’m just retiring.” I was like, “Okay. Can I have the landlord’s number?” Gave me the landlord’s number and I signed the lease on August 2nd.
Andrew: To buy the same location but not do a Smoothie King?
Jeff: To lease the location. I didn’t buy any . . .
Andrew: You said to lease. Excuse me.
Jeff: Yes. Correct.
Andrew: Same location. You just said, “Look, they’re people who came here to buy from him . . . ”
Jeff: Twenty years, he’s been selling smoothies. So what am I going to let these people go somewhere else?
Andrew: Got it. I thought you were somehow converting his place into yours. It wasn’t. How did you know what to put in and how to make it right or was this just going to be a learning experience?
Jeff: I didn’t have a name yet. I had no idea what I was going to do. Literally, no idea. So we opened on October 15th, 2016. I did the menu, September 21st or 22nd. Like, literally at my house with some friends and was making recipes with little note cards. “Do you like this? Do you like this? Do you like this?” And we built the recipe three weeks before we opened.
Andrew: And this was just you saying, “I’m going to figure it out.” What was the big risk? How much money were you investing in this?
Jeff: I spent 200 grand to open that store.
Andrew: Why did you decide on a store? Why not go online? Listen, $200,000 is a lot of money. You could have done an online thing, right?
Jeff: Sure. I had just done online.
Andrew: Yeah, you could have done it online. Why didn’t you do it online? Why didn’t you do . . . ? Like, I was going to say, Tom Bilyeu with his Quest bars, right? He made bank off of that thing. You could have done bars like that. Why didn’t have to be a store or was it just, you walk past, you saw an opportunity, you couldn’t help yourself? That’s what it is?
Jeff: That’s pretty much what it is. And I figured, I always look at . . . I think everyone looks at what, like, extremes like, “Oh, it’s going to fail. Then what?” Well, I was like, “You know, worst case, I’m going to have an office in the back and I’ll go back to digital marketing. I know how to do that. I’ll figure out something else to use.” So I was like, “Well . . .
Andrew: The worst case is you’re stuck there, filling, like, people’s cups with whatever and, you know.
Jeff: I mean, I don’t know.
Andrew: But that doesn’t bother you?
Jeff: I know that . . . Again, I believe in a success formula. I’m confident that no matter what you use . . .
Andrew: What success formula?
Jeff: It’s doing the rituals and behaviors, and habits that make success happen.
Andrew: And what’s that?
Jeff: First of all, it starts with hard work, right? If you outwork everyone, more times than not, you’re going to win because . . .
Andrew: For a new superfood location, hard work means what?
Jeff: Well, hard work means long hours, right? It means learning the industry. It means making sure that your quality control is there. And I didn’t know anything about restaurants. So I had to also figure that out. But I just knew . . . It’s just one of those things. I don’t know, I’m a little crazy, I guess . . .
Andrew: Do you mean just reading? Like, you go read blogs? Is it talking to people?
Jeff: It’s all of the above.
Andrew: Okay. So you did all that. So the success formula for you . . . And I’m not looking to pin you down to some kind of . . .
Jeff: No, I’m saying that success formula to me is a set of behaviors that I know that if I outwork my competition . . .
Andrew: What else? Yeah.
Jeff: . . . and I use disruptive thinking and not copy what everyone else is doing because I think experience is the most overrated prerequisite to start a company. Too many people are like, “I want to learn how to do it and then I’ll open my own.” Why? You’re going to be like everybody else so do it differently. So all my competitors were charging for add-ons. You wanted extra peanut butter, it’s $3. You want this it’s $2. That’s why. So I didn’t do that. Right? So I just was like, “I’m going to . . .
Andrew: One price for the whole thing?
Jeff: One price, all in.
Andrew: What else did you do that’s disruptive thinking?
Jeff: I gave you a big portion bigger than everyone else because I needed to keep you full. So the four excuses were . . . I was basically solving those excuses. And that was really what I use as my blueprint. It was taste. I was going to let you choose all the ingredients you wanted. So if you like blueberries, put blueberries in it. If you like strawberries, put strawberries in it. So I didn’t have to come up with recipes because you were going to make them. Affordability, one price for all in. Size, I was going to give more portion and bigger portion than everyone else. You left full and it was valued because we like extra value meals. And then accessibility. I had to open a lot of stores. And I figured I was building a brand. And I was like, “Okay. I can always find a chef to come in and fix the recipe. I can always change the concept if the concept didn’t work. The guy had a Smoothie King for 20 years here. So worst case, I’m going to sell smoothies.”
Andrew: Yeah, I’m with you.
Jeff: Twenty years. So I don’t look at the negative, I don’t look at all the things that can go wrong. I look at all the things that can go right. And I look at getting 1% better every day. And if you put me in a situation, I might not get it right, initially. But I’m not going to quit. So I’ll figure it out.
Andrew: That’s Kaizen that you were saying earlier, this idea of constant improvement. So it’s constant improvement for you. How do I get a little bit better? How do I have disruptive thinking, not do what everyone else is doing? What’s the thing that’s going to make me different? I interviewed an entrepreneur who couldn’t figure out how to make things work. And then he and his wife were watching mob movies and it was the offer you can’t refuse. He goes, “I need that for my business.” And he decided, “All right, I’m going to give exclusivity to the first oil and gas company that’s signs up with me and they have this hardware in the whole space.” Okay. And then it’s outworking what’s the fourth? Is their fourth one or I’m I just pushing it?
Jeff: No, no, you’re kind of . . . I mean, I don’t have a defined, like, I didn’t come . . .
Andrew: Yeah. I know you’re not walking around with, like, a book to sell with 10 ideas.
Jeff: Right. But I have our five core principles at Everbowl and it starts with the two foundational ones for all my businesses, which is making friends and having fun. And we have 450 employees. And the first and only two rules to work at an Everbowl are make friends and have fun. And if you do that, the culture is there. And when the culture is there, you attract the right people. When you attract the right people, you have the right environment. People like it because music and food are the two things we as humans do in every life event, from birth to death and everything in between. Right? Every birthday, there’s music and food. Kid is born, music and food. Wedding, music and food. Like, those are the things. That’s what we connect with. So humanizing the food experience was what we needed to do.
Andrew: All right, I got to talk about my second sponsor, I forgot we’re running . . . Like, I missed the spot. It’s HostGator. Let me ask you this. If somebody’s listening to us and say, “I got to start some kind of thing. I got to experiment with something. All I have is a HostGator account. I can install though any app. Probably I’m going to put WordPress on it. What would Jeff recommend? What’s the Jeff Fenster approach to somebody who says, “I just want to get started with nothing but a WordPress site,” let’s say or a HostGator account?”
Jeff: Get started. Do it.
Andrew: With what? Like, what would they start?
Jeff: They can just start a blog. Do it now. That’s the key.
Andrew: So in their heads, they might be thinking what I’m thinking, which is, “Blogs are kind of dead. Nobody’s reading blogs. We all going on social.”
Jeff: That doesn’t matter, still start the blog. You know why? Because when you start, you can Kaizen something. You can’t Kaizen nothing, right? Just the act of doing, it’s one of those . . . That’s one of my . . . You know what? I’m going to add to my success formula.
Andrew: Go ahead.
Jeff: Next time I come it’s going to be do it now. I’m a do it now person and we’re a do it now company. Do you know how many great ideas people have that they don’t act on because they don’t do it now? In the statistical chance of doing something tomorrow, it’s like 90% less than if you just do it now. Like, whatever it is.
Andrew: But then, aren’t you doing too many things if you just do it now? Like, if somebody says, “Go start a blog, right? Jeff and Andrew got this thing. They go to . . . ”
Jeff: How easy is HostGator, though? Let’s talk about your sponsor and WordPress. I can get a HostGator site and a WordPress blog up in a matter of what? Twenty minutes.
Andrew: Right. And then within 30 days, you’re not happy, you cancel and you move on. I am in this in this scenario here. I’m overthinking it. And some people will say, “Now I’m getting involved in blogging, it’s a whole other side business.” No, it’s not. You go, you experiment. You don’t like it, you say why you don’t like it. And that’s a better lead into the next thing than sitting back and saying, “What do I start with that’s perfect?”
Jeff: And also, what happens, right? Like, this is the part. So this is where success can really happen for anyone listening who’s on the fence and there’s like a wantrepreneur and it needs to become an entrepreneur. It is, when you do it no . . . Okay. I started this blog and then I tell you, “Hey, you know what? I started this blog on sports.” And you go, “Hey, you know, blogs are dead, Jeff.” “Yeah, I know. But I needed to do something and I really wanted to get it going.” And you’re like, “Yeah, but have you ever thought of dot dot dot . . . ”
Jeff: . . . and you give me this idea.
Andrew: And then that gets a better conversation.
Jeff: I’m like, “No, I didn’t think about that. Vlog. You know what? I went from a blog to a vlog, but I’m going to host it on the same thing. Great. I’m going to use my phone and if we’re going to do this.” You go, “Vlogging’s dead, social media. Man, you need to do that, but you should sell shirts on that site.” Okay. And from there, the world is now knowing what I’m doing. And I’ve enabled them to help me. I’ve enabled the world to open up opportunities because I’ve already done it. I’m not like, “Hey, I’m thinking about doing this,” then you’re going to say blogs are dead, and now you just put doubt in my head, and I’m never going to do it. But if I’ve already done it, you’re not going to tell me, “Oh, you shouldn’t have done that.” You’re going to give me ideas. You’re going to say, “You know, I think a blog is cool, Jeff, but it’s kind of outdated. Have you thought of this?” And because I’m already in, I’m going to adapt. I’m going to adjust. I’m going to Kaizen and we’re going.
Andrew: That’s why doers and creators have better conversations than people who are thinking about doing something. Listen, if you’re listening to me, and you’ve heard me talk about HostGator for a long time, there’s a reason for that. It’s not like HostGator’s just throwing money at me because they like Andrew. Yes, they like Andrew but not enough to have bought ads now. Almost every ad that we’ve got for years, it’s because it works. It works for them because people like you are signing up and staying consistent, and building their businesses on HostGator. If you want to get started, it’s a super low price. Go to hostgator.com/mixergy. You’ll see the lowest price they have available. Just a couple of bucks a month, hostgator.com/mixergy. Sorry?
Jeff: I’m a HostGator user.
Andrew: You are?
Jeff: I am.
Andrew: With what? What website?
Andrew: Oh, Everbowl’s on HostGator?
Andrew: Wow. All right. I had no idea. You know what? I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. Usually, I look to see what people have hosted with but it just didn’t feel like it would be a blog or anything or a WordPress site, I should say.
Jeff: I’m pretty sure we’re on . . . Well, we started on HostGator. I mean, truthfully, I don’t do it anymore. I’m not responsible for it.
Andrew: I’ll say this, one of the beauties of HostGator . . .
Jeff: I’m pretty sure we were.
Andrew: If you’re not happy with them, one of the beauties is unlike some of these other platforms, you take it, go to a different hosting company, and go do whatever you want with it.
Jeff: Yeah, we appreciate it. I mean, we started with HostGator so I’m pretty sure we still are.
Andrew: So you had this lease, you had this place. Day one, you open up, first two hours, you told our producer, not a single person came in.
Andrew: You’re not doubting yourself yet. Some guy comes in, he goes, “Can you make me what?
Jeff: Eggs and bacon.
Andrew: And so some people would say, “Listen, I’m here to please the customer. I’m going to make it and this is going to be a story. You said no.
Jeff: Yes. I don’t even have them in the building. What do you want me to do? It was me and my first employee, Ben. We’re sitting in there and I looked at him after and I was like, “I’m so sorry. Can I make you something on me?” He’s like, “No, I really wanted eggs and bacon.” So he left.
Andrew: He wouldn’t even take a free bowl?
Jeff: No, he wouldn’t. He was like, “I don’t even know what you’re saying right now. What did you say?”
Andrew: Like, I was before.
Jeff: Cursing at me.
Andrew: Okay. All right. And so what did you end up doing?
Jeff: Well, so we kind of sat there for a while. And then finally someone else came in and I think it was a friend of mine who came in to just support me and I gave them a free bowl, and they gave me the $1. So it was my first dollar so at least I made $1. And slowly but surely, by one person at a time, we made friends with everyone who walked through the door. We sat there, I educated, I talked, we shared stories. We made sure they liked to try something. If you don’t like it, I’ll make you something else. It didn’t really matter. I just wanted to do it. And for four months, I never left the store. I worked . . .
Andrew: Jeff, I don’t want to be the downer but my goal here is to just ask the tougher questions.
Jeff: Go ahead.
Andrew: I got to ask, it does actually go off whenever I talk too loudly this mic now goes red. But why didn’t you say, “Listen, I’m a guy who started an online business. If this business is only going to succeed if I educate every customer, what kind of business is this? I’m not going to be able to educate enough customers to have them come back and do repeat business. I can’t then hire me and an educator to keep this business going. It’s going to be a failure. I’m not going to do it.”
Jeff: So are you a Wayne Gretzky fan?
Jeff: Okay. He’s a famous hockey player.
Andrew: I know that.
Jeff: Okay. He’s probably the greatest . . . He is the greatest hockey player of all time. And he has a very famous quote. And it was, “I don’t need to be fast if I skate to where the puck’s going to be.” And I knew that health and wellness is not a fad. And it was 2016 and millennials like my daughter, she’s 14 now, she won’t eat at McDonald’s. She just won’t. She will not eat that. They care about health. We understand this. The mystery is over. We know that bad food is bad for us. And yes, we’re having a generational issue where our generation and older is struggling because we grew up eating fast food. I mean, I used to eat fast food around my dinner table. The younger generation won’t do it. And if I . . .
Andrew: And your dad was a doctor who used to do that.
Jeff: I know because we didn’t know better. We didn’t know better, right? I mean, nutrition is not taught in medical school, which is crazy in and of itself. And I just figured, I was in a position in life, I didn’t have to eat what I killed on a daily basis so I could chase my passion. My passion was helping people be healthier, Unevolve was our why. And at the end of the day, and I don’t want to belittle it, but I was going to make it successful. Like, the cloud of doubt just never entered my head. There was a moment of like, “Oh, oh, we can’t get a customer,” but I knew I could get customers and once they came in, the food was good, kids eat it. If you go to Everbowl . . . Just make me this promise, when you do go to Everbowl one show and I’m going to listen . . .
Andrew: Can I get it delivered?
Andrew: Yeah, actually, I’m in San Francisco. I can get anything delivered. You want to know within the episode, you want me to eat an Everbowl.
Jeff: I want you to try it.
Andrew: Oh, totally.
Jeff: And even if you don’t eat it . . . But if you do eat in the episode, that’d be amazing but try it. And then just on-air, and I’ll hear it and I’m going to send you a message. And I want your honest feedback. If you don’t like it, say you don’t like it. I’ll take the Pepsi challenge. But I think you’re going to love it.
Andrew: Okay. Yeah, and I’m going to make up whatever I want. I’m going to send somebody over from Postmates to go pick it up, I’ll have it delivered. You know what? I’m not even, like . . . I did that recently with the founder of FE International. Thomas comes into my office, I go, “Look, I’m interviewing this guy who’s got a hard kombucha. He sent me a box of it. I’ve never had it. Can we have it in the interview?” He goes, “Yeah, let’s have it.” Fricking things delicious, I’ve now converted. And you want me to do the same thing. But he didn’t get a chance to taste it before. And I didn’t get a chance to taste it before. If he would have winced and said, “This makes me want to throw up,” he can’t get that out of the interviewer because I don’t edit. You are comfortable with me doing that?
Jeff: I’m 100% comfortable.
Andrew: I don’t think that you’ve got anything to worry about. I like healthy food and everything you talked about sounds good.
Jeff: And it’s made in a way that is meant for you to like it. That’s the whole point. The whole point is, we created this to where a eight-year-old, my eight-year-old daughter, we eat anything in the store, minus matcha. Matcha is a little hard to eat.
Andrew: And my wife loves matcha. My kids do it. She feeds them all the hippie stuff that you can find. But online, I could tell if somebody’s repeating. One of my frustrations with the podcast is I can’t tell if someone likes this interview and then is going to show up for the next one. But if you’re opening up an email, I could tell that you’re opening up the next one. If you buy something, I could tell that you’re coming back as a repeat customer. What did you do for the offline stuff? Didn’t bother you that you might have taught to somebody, that he smiled, that he said, “Yes, I love it. I’m going to come back.” And you wouldn’t know if they would come back?
Jeff: Sure. But we use technology.
Andrew: What do you use to tell you that people like it for real?
Jeff: We have a loyalty program.
Andrew: The stamp thing where people come in and . . . ?
Jeff: No, 2019. 2020.
Andrew: What do you have?
Jeff: You know, it’s technology. You give us your phone number and you get points, and you save money. But I also know that 7 out of 10 people come back within 30 days.
Andrew: And what software tells you that?
Andrew: Homebase. I don’t know Homebase.
Jeff: Yeah, Customer Connect, excuse me. Homebase is our time and attendance. customer Connect. It’s part of the . . . We use Clover as our database system . . . as our POS system . . .
Andrew: Got it. And then it connects in and so you can tell that the . . . Oh, all right. Okay. So you’ve got all this technology. You also told our producer, “I went to high schoolers.” What do you say to high schoolers?
Jeff: Well, there are our employees. So what we do when we open a store and this is part because I didn’t know better how to market a store, and part because it ended up being brilliant so it’s kind of like a broken clock’s right twice a day. This was not intended but it ended up working great is you hire high school and college kids who run our stores and it’s great. We have ever Everbowl University. We teach them to make friends, have fun, connect and create a cool environment. Then I say, “We’re opening a brand new store, tell all your friends and family. It’s free food. It’s on me. ”
Andrew: Within, like, a six-hour period?
Jeff: Yeah, one day.
Andrew: One day.
Jeff: I say, “Listen, here’s the benefit. You can basically have a house party at Everbowl. And when you tell . . . ” When I said it the first time, I was thinking 20, 30 people, you know, like, if I said to you, “Invite your friends. Like, there’s going to be, like, 12 of us. We’re going to sit around. We’re going to play Pictionary and have a fun time.” That was not the case. I told a high school team, the entire high school football team shows up, the high school lacrosse team, the swim team. We had to line 500 people up, 500 people showed up.
Andrew: How much did it cost you?
Andrew: Like 10,000, 20,000?
Jeff: No, a little less. It’s probably like $6,000 or $7,000.
Andrew: Okay. All right.
Jeff: But here’s the beauty, $6,000 or $7,000 later, and 500 people later, they’ve now tasted our food. And if they like it, they’re going to come back. And if they don’t, well, then I found out for $6,000 or $7,000 that this was a mistake. So the beauty there is that they . . . And then they have to . . . That’s also their training because this is their first night of the store opening so they get to train in front of their friends. It’s free food. So if the line’s long or they make mistakes, people aren’t upset because you didn’t pay for it. How are you going to get mad? It’s free.
Andrew: Right. You said you have high school students. By the way, I’m taking notes as we’re talking about this so did our producer, Brian Benson. As you were talking, he wrote down the phrase, “Lead with the broom.” What’s lead with the broom?
Jeff: So that’s kind of the mindset that I have as an entrepreneur, which is, be the dumbest person in the room. And it’s another way to say lead with the broom, in that, I’ll sweep if everyone else can do everything else. So it’s the mentality of I don’t care what I do in the organization, I want to surround myself with great people to solve all of the other problems. And if all I have to do is sweep and lead with the broom, because that’s the job no one wants to do, then our company is going to thrive . . .
Andrew: You’ll do that?
Jeff: I’ll happily do that.
Andrew: The other thing you said was, “I was working seven days a week at the store, 6:30 am to 10:00 pm but I got a wife and two kids. And at some point, it was like, “What do we do?” You then hired a chief development officer from Trader Joe’s. What is the chief development officer doing? And how did this relieve you?
Jeff: Well, so his name is Brian Augustine. Yeah. So he joined just before we opened our second store. And basically, his job was to do culture, was to create Everbowl University, train the staff, and instill that culture that we’re trying to create, again and again because he has so much experience at Trader Joe’s. He opened many stores there. He’s great at developing talent and taking these young adults, and turning them into leaders. I mean, the power of our business model is we can have a 17-year-old, literally run our store, a 20-year-old, run our store. And not only is it incredible to see these young adults blossom and go from, you know, shy kids, when they first start with us, to having the confidence to run a half a million dollar or a million-dollar store. They’re hiring, they’re training, they’re talking to adults, they’re problem-solving real-time. They’re doing inventory. They’re doing cost analysis. They’re doing scheduling. I mean . . .
Andrew: All these things have been done in stores for years. Do you then go back and get some playbook?
Jeff: [inaudible 00:56:47].
Jeff: It sounds impressive when we do it.
Andrew: Yeah, do you start off by saying, “I’m going to go get the playbook of one of my favorite stores, one that’s organized the best. We’re going to bring that in here. We’re going to rewrite that instead of starting from scratch,” or are you somebody who has to figure it all out from scratch?
Jeff: We don’t . . . Well, I’m not someone . . . Neither. I don’t fall in either bucket but no we didn’t bring on anyone with the restaurant experience. Because . . .
Andrew: Did you steal someone, not steal, but did you bring somebody else’s manual for how to hire so that the high school kids had a process for starting or was it trial and error?
Jeff: Trial and error. It was very simple.
Andrew: Trial and error.
Jeff: The way we hired the first seven people or I hired the first seven people was very simple. I put a big sign outside that says, “Now hiring.”
Andrew: What did you do it for?
Jeff: Well, it’s funny, this is what I did. I asked for two crazy things. I asked them to show up at one very specific time and I asked them to bring me something very unique. So our interview is at 1:47 and bring me a red paperclip.
Andrew: Okay. And so you want to know that they could show up on time and listen to instructions.
Jeff: That’s it.
Andrew: All right, there are two things that I want to ask you about.
Jeff: That’s it.
Andrew: I’m going to write a note here because when I miss things because I get carried away in conversation, I know that it frustrates people. I want to find out about how you pick locations. And then the second thing is what’s the deal with the coffee? Why don’t we start with the coffee?
Jeff: Coffee’s open. You can buy right now on Amazon. It’s in Sprouts . . .
Andrew: Wait, what’s the name of the coffee?
Jeff: Superfuel Coffee. It’s Everbowl Superfuel Coffee.
Andrew: Why do you have Superfuel Coffee and you sell it at the stores? So, at the restaurant. So I could come in and get a cup of it, reasonable price, right?
Jeff: Yeah. It’s in San Francisco.
Andrew: Cannot in San Francisco?
Andrew: Why not?
Jeff: Starbucks . . . We’re part of Macy’s and Starbucks has an exclusive on coffee.
Andrew: Oh, got it. Okay. But I could go into one of your other locations. It’s so interesting how these things work, go into one of your locations. I could get it and I know that you charge less than Starbucks, right?
Jeff: Oh, yeah. And it’s infused with superfoods and our unique selling proposition is you drink coffee every day, but you don’t always eat superfoods so why not drink superfoods with your coffee, rather than creating a new habit? I know you’re probably not going to come and eat at Everbowl every day, but you’re not going to miss that cup of coffee. So . . .
Andrew: How many calories in a cup of coffee?
Andrew: Oh, really?
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll show you, hold on.
Andrew: I guess I always think anything that has superfood in it is going to add more. Like, that bulletproof coffee. I like it but I don’t want more calories.
Jeff: These are two of our panels. You can see it? Is it blurry?
Andrew: Let me zoom in. It’s a little bit blurry from . . . Oh yeah, I do see that. Calories, four. Literally, four. You weren’t just tossing that out.
Jeff: I wasn’t just tossing that out.
Andrew: Okay. So you said, “Look, people are not going to come in here. They don’t have the habit of having one of my bowls every day but they do have the habit of getting coffee. If I could give them a lower-priced coffee than Starbucks, but make it healthier than Starbucks, they’re going to come here. And while they’re here, they might decide to get a bowl now or one for lunch.” Got it. This is your thing.
Jeff: And if you don’t come into the store because you’re listening to this in Chicago and you’re like, “Well, there’s no Everbowl around here,” go to Amazon and you can buy it. You can have it delivered to your house on Prime and it doesn’t cost you anything for delivery. And it allows us to build the brand. It lets me promote the Unevolve lifestyle because Unevolve is on the side of the box. It lets me put Everbowl in your house. We can use the digital marketing that I know a little bit about, the geo-target locations before we open. It also allows us to expand and get superfoods into more people and make people healthier without having to change behavior.
Andrew: What are you doing for marketing this? What’s the digital marketing stuff that you do? By the way . . .
Jeff: We haven’t done anything yet.
Andrew: People have SEO’d you out if the Amazon store. I did a search for Superfuel Coffee, that’s what I should be looking for?
Jeff: Or Everbowl coffee. Yeah.
Andrew: Let me try Everbowl coffee.
Jeff: It starts with Everbowl coffee. It should pop up, Amazon’s Choice.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, I think so. Yeah, there it is, the first one. When I did the other one, I think I didn’t see it. Okay. And how’s it pronounced? Acai?
Andrew: Acai. Oh, look at this. You know what? I went on here just to kind of be a bit of a jerk and to say what about all these ratings being low because everything on Amazon gets . . . ?
Jeff: And come on.
Andrew: The ratings are what is it? 4.7 out of 5 and 76 people rated for this.
Jeff: How many one star?
Andrew: I didn’t see any but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. I just didn’t see . . .
Jeff: There they are. The answer is 0. You can click it.
Andrew: Zero, literally zero. Yeah, I didn’t see any. I went back and I looked. Okay. And it’s only a buck 30 per cup of coffee. It’s something I add to my hot water. Right?
Jeff: It’s Keurig or ground. So if you have a Keurig, we got Keurig cake cups. If you have ground, we have ground coffee.
Andrew: Oh, so I can just put in my ground coffee maker, hit the program button, have it in the morning. Okay.
Jeff: A hundred percent. And it’s even great iced. You can literally brew it and just put it over ice. It’s phenomenal.
Andrew: But it’s not whole beans, it’s ground coffee.
Jeff: It has to be ground because of the superfoods. Whole beans, I can’t give you the superfoods.
Andrew: All right, then let’s go on to the final thing that I had here in my notes, which is how do you pick a location? How do you know where to go next?
Jeff: So that’s a good question. So we look for a few things. First, I like to be with health grocery chains and grocery stores because people are going to come to that once or twice a week, anyway. I like to stay out of creating new habits because it’s really hard to do for people. So if I can just be part of your routine, it’s convenient. We like to be near high schools and colleges because that’s our staff, and they really enjoy our product and then of course, near gyms and health and fitness because people who are already being healthy, tend to eat healthy.
Andrew: And it’s you still picking locations yourself?
Jeff: Yeah, but we’re franchising now. So now we’ve built . . . So the beauty is, most companies franchise after two or three locations. We didn’t want to do that. I think that’s the biggest mistake too many restaurant chains make because you don’t know anything after two or three locations. We opened our 25th store literally yesterday on campus at Arizona State. And we’re still learning every day. And with 25 stores, two more opening the next four weeks of our own, we’re on stadiums. We’re in department stores. We’re in college campuses. Now I understand the business. So now we’re franchising because we can really give our franchisees a system that we know works and we can avoid letting them pick the wrong location. I’m not going to learn on their dime.
Andrew: What about this, Jeff, and just watch the mic too as you’re moving around?
Andrew: You started the company in 2016.
Andrew: We’re almost at five years. What happens 2021 when you leave?
Jeff: We just turned three.
Jeff: We just turned three.
Andrew: 2016, we’re now 2020.
Jeff: October 2016.
Andrew: Okay. So what happens then 2022, when you leave, does this thing continue?
Andrew: How is it going to continue? The other businesses didn’t continue, did they?
Jeff: No. Well, we sold one of them so that continued. And yes, it will continue. It will just continue without me as the CEO.
Andrew: And who are you bringing in to make sure that this thing outgrows you? Who’s the person? Is it, Brian?
Jeff: Well, we have an incredible team here and we’ll continue to grow that team. Whether it’s Brian, or it’s Eric, or it’s Matt, or it’s Alan, or, you know, more people in our executive office . . .
Andrew: Yeah. Now you’re going to go through to figure out how someone’s going to feel left out.
Jeff: It’s like the Grammy Award. So now I need to thank . . .
Andrew: Right. Right.
Jeff: No, we have an incredible team of people. And truthfully, it’s a team effort. I mean, we are where we are because of them. And I’m the visionary guy who started it but it’s building a team. It’s continuing to put the right people in place for us to grow and scale and we’re getting to the point where one day I’m not going to be the best CEO for the job. Because I’m not a boardroom CEO. I’m not the person who can sit there and look at spreadsheets and optimize. The company deserves someone better than that, at that point.
Andrew: Yeah, I get the feeling that that point is going to come soon, especially because you’re so good at talking about the message. And that’s going to be a full-time job. You just now started doing podcasts, right? You haven’t been out there.
Jeff: Yeah, I mean, pretty much in the last four months, I’ve done about 40 of them.
Andrew: Forty? Did you do Pat Flynn’s podcast?
Jeff: I’m doing it on Friday.
Andrew: You’re doing it on Friday. I wonder if Pat Flynn is going to do a better job with you than I am because you’ve got more of a connection with him.
Jeff: I don’t know.
Jeff: Yeah, I know. So you know what we have to do? Maybe we have to do a podcast off. So I’ll do his on Friday . . .
Andrew: How do you win? How do I know if I won?
Jeff: We’ll let the audience decide.
Andrew: Let them rate?
Jeff: We’ll do, like, an interview with him and then we’ll do a three-way. Like a trade off, question for question . . .
Andrew: I would love to know, love to know. I don’t think that . . . I think that he’s got a different approach. He might take more of a systematic, “How are you doing? This a Smart Passive Income approach” or what you did before. That’s what I’ve seen him do with others. And I like his systematic approach. I think that one of the things that he likes about me is that I would . . . It’s stuff that I can call out what’s in my head, like the backwards baseball cap and the other reference. And one of the things that I noticed about you is, I’ve noticed that people who are people people don’t take offense easily. People who like people, the little things that could offend others and set them off, and make them wonder, “Is this okay? Is this not?” They don’t care. They smile at that. And it’s kind of interesting that you’ve done that several times in this conversation.
Jeff: Well, because I’m not sensitive. I mean, I make fun of myself. And, you know what’s funny? The line between advice and criticism is just all how you take it.
Andrew: I think a lot of things are how you take it, but it’s really tough. Like, if I’m having a bad day, and I feel that, not bad day, if I’m feeling bad about what I’m doing, and somebody says, “Hey, Andrew, what’s next?” I go, “Oh, you must not like what I’m doing, you jerk.” That happened to me with Peter Pham. He’s an investor with Science in LA. We were South by Southwest. He goes, “Hey, Andrew, so what’s next for you?” And I said, “What do you mean what’s next? You don’t like what I’m doing right now?” I literally said that. And to his credit, he’s such a good people person, he goes, I could see that he goes, “I got to punch him, like, verbally.” And he said, “It’s not worth it,” and he moved on. And it wasn’t until later on that I go, “He probably just . . . That’s how he says, “Hello, what’s next? What are you excited about?” And I took it personally. All right.
Jeff: So why do you think he did that?
Andrew: Why did I do that? Because I felt that what he was saying, because other people are saying, “All right, so you’re doing this podcast, that can’t be that thing,” right? It’s like, “When are you going to be done with that and do something else?” And so I thought he was doing that when he’s just a nice, friendly person. It was his way of saying what’s new and exciting for you? All right.
Jeff: I don’t know. I think sensitivity is unfortunately overblown these days. People are sensitive for too many things. And it gets in the way of progress. I mean, so what? If you don’t like what I’m doing, cool, you’re entitled to your opinion, and it doesn’t affect me. I’m not going to lose sleep if you think what I’m doing is silly, or stupid, or wrong, or right, or I don’t know what I’m doing. Great. Then either help me or don’t.
Andrew: Is Everbowl SEO . . . ? Now, I can’t stop asking questions. Is it SEO? Are you, like, pulling your staff on it?
Jeff: No. We haven’t done any digital marketing yet.
Andrew: If I would have . . . Why not?
Jeff: Me and Neil are talking about him buying some franchises and he’s going to do . . . Our deal is he has to do all the SEO for Everbowl.
Andrew: And so he doesn’t have to pay you franchise fees on an ongoing basis?
Jeff: Of course, he has to. Don’t say crazy things. Of course, he has to pay franchise fees.
Andrew: So then what does he get for all the work that he’s doing?
Jeff: Well, it’s going to help his stores. He’s supposed to be helping me. This is our podcast.
Andrew: Let’s take a look. Let’s see if . . . I go I’m going to Ahrefs if I see . . . The company that he’s trying to copy and, like, offer for free. If I go on there, I see. Taste of Hillcrest. Why is Taste of Hillcrest, like, linking over to you? Why is [E Vegan 01:07:45] in San Diego, this is you doing a little bit of local stuff?
Jeff: No. These are just press releases and co-labs and . . .
Andrew: Nothing. The chamber of commerce is linking to you. This is not you doing your aggressive marketing stuff at all?
Jeff: We haven’t done anything yet. Truthfully, zero. And I’ve just been so busy doing other things that I haven’t had a chance to do it. And again, I’m not the greatest at SEO. I like to be the dumbest person in the room. So I have to wear that crown very, very nicely all the time. And therefore, I don’t know how to do all of the advanced SEO tactics that are being done today. I mean, first of all, I’ve been out of the game since almost five years now. And number two, that’s a full-time job.
Andrew: I agree. I noticed that a few times, even in your conversation with Brian, you said, “I want to be the dumbest guy in the room but the biggest hustler. The guy who’s willing to go back to his customers at ADP and say, “I sold you this thing. I’m going to give it to you for half price, trust me. And if not, my friends over there will take over.” The guy who can say, “No one’s coming into my store, high school kids, I’ll offer them free stuff. They’ll tell their friends.” I love that part of your story tremendously. I’m glad that you came on here to do this interview. For anyone who wants to go check you out, I think the best thing to do is to go onto Yelp and . . . Or actually, I’m not crazy for Yelp lately. I just think if you type in Everbowl and then your city into Google, hopefully, you’ll come up with a local place. I’m going to see if I can get it Postmated over. If I wasn’t late, I’m literally late to pick up my kids now from kindergarten and preschool, I would ride my bike over there right now to pick it up on the way home.
Jeff: But tomorrow, you’re going to have to try one. I’m going to send you some coffee. Do you drink coffee?
Andrew: I love coffee.
Jeff: And you do ground or Keurig?
Jeff: Okay. You’re going to get some ground in the mail.
Andrew: Okay. And I will have this . . . Can I make it tomorrow’s lunch? Is it going to be enough to fill me up or is this . . .
Andrew: It is. It’s going to be a full lunch?
Andrew: So instead of getting pizza, instead of getting a burrito, I’m going to get a bowl from Everbowl.
Jeff: And you’re welcome because you’re going to be healthier, you’re going to feel better, you’re going to look better.
Andrew: I just don’t want to be hungry.
Jeff: You won’t be hungry.
Andrew: All right.
Jeff: I promise. I’ll tell you what, Pepsi challenge that. If you’re hungry, send me a message. I’m going to buy you a slice of pizza.
Andrew: All right, is there something I should put in? I’m thinking peanut butter is going to keep you from being hungry because that’s . . .
Jeff: You won’t be hungry at all. The fiber alone is going to fill you up.
Andrew: All right. I’m always worried about being hungry while I work. All right, so it’s not going to be on camera in the next interview. We’re not going to do that because I don’t have the patience to wait. Tomorrow, I’ve got nothing but calls with listeners, people who listen, people bought Mixergy Premium. I’m going to do back to back calls, as half-hour between. I’m going to have Postmates deliver this thing. It’s not going to melt or anything?
Jeff: It’s not going to melt.
Andrew: It’s not going to melt. Half hour, I’m going to sit here, I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to watch some, like, biking YouTube video because I think this year my big adventure is going to be cycling maybe, maybe from San Francisco down to Los Angeles.
Jeff: Why not all the way to San Diego? Come see me.
Andrew: It’s already seven days.
Jeff: Oh, are you doing for the challenge athletes?
Andrew: I’m just doing it on my own. I’m going to maybe just stay at hotels or something. But as soon as, like, my wife has got a day or week that she wants to take the kids, I go, “Baby, I’m going to ride there.” I think if I could . . .
Jeff: And I’ll just throw it out there. Let me just drop a little seed in your head. You could be the first person to ever bike the Everbowl tour and hit every Everbowl from San Francisco to the border.
Andrew: How long would that . . . ? That would take more than a week.
Jeff: Probably an extra day or two. But you’d be a world record. No one’s ever done that.
Andrew: Wait, there would be an extra day from . . . ? No, biking to San Diego from Los Angeles is more than a day, isn’t it?
Jeff: I don’t know. How many miles a day do you bike?
Andrew: I was thinking I would do 80 to enjoy myself. Otherwise, 100 would mean seven days or maybe . . .
Jeff: What’s 90 to 200 miles from LA to San Diego so . . .
Andrew: Oh, so an extra day.
Jeff: An extra day.
Andrew: Can I keep cycling while eating Everbowl? Like, I mean, it’s got enough, like, carbs to keep me going?
Jeff: Yes. And you’ll be a world record.
Andrew: You know I like that, actually.
Jeff: No one’s ever done it.
Andrew: You know what? Literally, one of the guys, there’s a guy who was skiing to the South Pole from Union Glacier, which is the place where I got to Antarctica. He started telling these women from San Francisco at Shackleton bar in Chile, where we were waiting for the weather to clear up so I can fly to Antarctica. He goes, “And that guy over there is about to be the first person to do a solo marathon on every continent.” The guy is BSing people, I’m not going to interrupt and say I didn’t do a solo marathon in South America. South America is the one continent where I didn’t do a solo marathon, I did a professional marathon. But that guy got in my fricking head.
A few days later, I was still stuck that there’s nothing to do. I called the people who are in charge of our safety on Antarctica, I go, “Is this crazy? I think I’m going to go do a South American Chile in this crazy town here. I’m going to go and do my own solo marathon. Am I about to, like, cause a problem for my Antarctica marathon?” He says, “Let me look into it.” He goes, “Andrew, it’s super windy and the path that you’re thinking about, at some point, is going to end.” I go, “If it ends, I’m going to go run back and do it again.” He goes, “If you’re comfortable, like, with this, whatever unknown path it is, we’re comfortable with telling you, “Yes, go do it.” So I went and did it just because that guy got in my head the way you’re getting in my head now.
Jeff: Well, I’m just saying, listen, someone’s going to do it. The question is, are you going to be the first?
Andrew: Even worse. Even worse.
Jeff: Let me just leave it there. Let me just leave it there.
Andrew: Even worse. I’ve pictured myself cycling with a bunch of Everbowls. All right. Thanks so much for doing this interview. I still dig this conversation. I did you, actually. You’re a very likable person. I really dig you and I dig that we had this conversation. I’m going to go race over to pick up my kids. I’m going to do the kindergarten bike for right now. Bye.
Jeff: Bye. Thank you.
Andrew: Bye everyone. Oh, I forgot to thank my sponsor, hostgator.com/mixergy, toptal.com/mixergy. Guys, thanks for sponsoring. Bye. I’m sorry to rush, Jeff.
Jeff: No problem.
Andrew: I’ll see you.