How Aaron Marino built a multi-million online personality (Starting with a YouTube Channel)

I try hard. I try hard all the freaking time. But joining me today is a guy who’s not trying all that hard and the guy is killing it.

His name is Aaron Marino and the whole thing started out for him with a YouTube channel. It’s called Alpha M and he covers life, style, grooming, and fitness. There’s a long list of businesses. I want to find out how he did it.

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Aaron Marino

Aaron Marino

Pete and Pedro

Aaron Marino is the founder of Pete and Pedro, a mens grooming line.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew Warner 0:04
Hey there freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner I I try hard I try freaking hard all the time. I literally am sweating. Can you see that? Can you see the sweat stains here? No. I try really hard. Joining me today is a guy who I see me smiling. He’s happy. He’s like he couldn’t figure out how to hit record on zoom properly and like where the settings were and he’s he’s fine with that. The guy is killing it. His name is Aaron Marino, he the whole thing started out for him with a YouTube channel called alpha m. It’s about lifestyle grooming and fitness. What’s the thing that you said when I asked you? What’s the one sentence helping the better guys

Aaron Marino 0:44
helping guys feel better about themselves? That’s what it’s about.

Andrew Warner 0:46
Yeah. So I’m like, really? into give me specifics. Don’t tell me helping guys. Tell me how and all that. I mean, well, let me figure out another new trick I could do and this zoom thing and all that He gets onto YouTube build up a following doesn’t care that there’s no money and it doesn’t care that YouTube is the place where you see one brother bite another brother’s finger and the thing goes viral and it’s meaningless. I’m just gonna put it on there. And the channel slowly takes off. He follows it up by saying, Hey, you know what, I am going to create grooming products and he creates Pete and Pedro and start selling grooming products. He doesn’t sell advertising, but he’s got a buddy, as you’ll see who sells his advertising. And then mutual friend of ours also needed help selling his advertising. And so Aaron’s little company starts selling his advertising and now he’s got some influential advertising. I can go through this whole list I’m not going to because it’s long. And it all started from him building a personality for himself on YouTube. The thing that drives me mental though is I wonder if I try too hard and I should just loosen the hell up. Because you’re relaxed. You’re happy you’re smiling so much more than I am even when like when you couldn’t figure out the record button. It was not that’s a problem. How is it going to come across it. I got it right, me, I’m sweating. Was there a question

Aaron Marino 2:06
in that, Andrew? I’m not Oh, it’s an intro. I want to understand

Andrew Warner 2:09
how you got to this place. And I think people are not going to really appreciate it until they understand the numbers behind it. Or maybe that’s just my my thinking, we can do this interview, thanks to two phenomenal sponsors, the first will host your website, right? It’s called hostgator. The second will, well, they’ve got a podcast you want to listen to? It’s called Traffic Secrets. I’ll talk about those later. So people numbers like how many people what’s the subscriber number on YouTube? And what’s the overall revenue numbers for the business? businesses? Okay, so YouTube, 6 million followers, I’ll hit 6 million followers, hopefully this month.

Aaron Marino 2:40
In terms of ralien

Andrew Warner 2:41
subscribers on YouTube, can we

Aaron Marino 2:42
just like highlight that that’s a huge thing. It’s a huge thing. And it’s a huge thing when you consider that it took me I think it was like eight years to get to that first million. And then from there, it sort of sort of took off but everybody would always ask me, oh, you know, what’s the secret? I have no idea. Just like you saw Andrew. I’m not The most tech savvy person and by not the most my grandmother is with her a little jitterbug phone is more tech savvy than I am. But, uh, but yeah, I just I just kept posting videos just because I, I, I think for my entire life, I was seeking that validation and just, people were listening to me and it felt amazing. And I think at that point, I was at a super low point. And, and just the fact that I found someplace that that I found my voice and so for the first six or seven years, I didn’t make a penny off of YouTube. That’s I didn’t know. Yeah, you didn’t know

Andrew Warner 3:32
how to make money. Now. How much money did you How much did you make last year? 2019.

Aaron Marino 3:37
In terms of gross revenue, revenue,

Andrew Warner 3:39
revenue, yeah.

Aaron Marino 3:40
Over over 25 million

Andrew Warner 3:43
over $25 million. profit. How much profit? No,

Aaron Marino 3:47
that’s gross revenue. Yeah, how much profit sorry, a millions,

Andrew Warner 3:51
millions in profit. So you clearly you’re you’re doing well. And you’re saying

Aaron Marino 3:57
See, but here’s a different visit. When whenever People want to talk to me about revenue and money, that’s it’s fine. There are certain businesses like the YouTube advertising, that business is, is basically just, you know, it’s there. There aren’t many expenses in that. And so, you know, obviously, it’s my time I can’t build for my time or expense, my time I have a gentleman who sells my advertising that I pay a commission to, but that’s just that’s just, you know, cash. And so. So that’s a very, very lucrative business and when you you reach the level and you have the opportunities that that have been afforded to me, you know, thankfully, you have the ability to, to do pretty well how much

Andrew Warner 4:40
of that for YouTube, roughly,

Aaron Marino 4:43
roughly 5 million

Andrew Warner 4:44
good. By the way, I’m not looking for exact numbers. I don’t want to become an accountant here. I just want to get a sense of scope of what you could do if you’re telling me having you basically it’s 6 million subscribers as of today, by the time it’s published, we’ll probably hit that number 6 million subscribers, basically $1 per subscriber per year. Yeah,

Aaron Marino 5:01
but it’s not that simple. That’s a very, very, okay, I’m

Andrew Warner 5:05
oversimplifying. It does give me a sense of where you are. Let’s go back then. And understand how you got here. You’ve kind of told this to our producer. And you’ve expressed this to me a couple of times here in our in our conversation, the sense that you wanted the world to hear you. Why do you feel going back to your childhood that you’re a person who, who needs this? Where does that come from? For you?

Aaron Marino 5:24
Yeah, it came from when growing up, I had two abusive stepfathers. And one of the things and the byproduct of that I came to realize was me losing my ability to stand up for myself and actually speak my speak my mind, because I was more focused than worried at that point about not having to move schools or, you know, having to move in with my grandparents again, I just wanted everybody to get along. And so the little 12 year old Ward mind doesn’t understand that this isn’t your responsibility. It’s not your fault. But as a result, I internalized everything and just kind of shut down and then when I went to the fitness center I asked my mom for a gym membership when I was 12 years old. And that was the point at which sort of everything started to change. I just I found my home I found my place. I felt incredible. I thought I felt confident for the first time in my life when I went to the gym now when I went home, that kind of dwindled, but but I think for my entire life, I was seeking that, that that ability to speak and to to connect with people on a deeper level. And and so because you felt

Andrew Warner 6:29
that there was between you and other people almost this wall or what or that you felt that you couldn’t express yourself to other people because you had to make peace at home and you had to be the guy who was just gonna go and get along and go along and be quiet. Is that what it is?

Aaron Marino 6:45
Yeah, it was just me not feeling comfortable and being willing to potentially rock the boat in my family situation. And so that was the reason why I sort of shut down and I stopped. You know, communication of

Andrew Warner 6:57
abuse came from YouTube.

Aaron Marino 7:00
emotional abuse. I mean, you know, my mother is is is the most amazing woman ever, but she made some some unfortunate choices with with men, you know. And

Andrew Warner 7:09
so how do you and her,

Aaron Marino 7:11
uh, in terms of it was it was it was emotional abuse I mean, you know, I don’t really care to go into it all that much and

Andrew Warner 7:18
it took for yourself Did you sense a feeling that you were worthless that you had nothing to like that you weren’t?

Aaron Marino 7:26
thing? No, not at all. And that’s the one thing and that’s the that’s the one thing I’ve always felt loved. I’ve always had an incredible support system when it came to my my, my mother, my father, even though they were divorced, my extended family, just nothing but love and support. But there were these two men that were in my life that that treated me poorly. And I was not strong enough because I was young, you know, young kid, to stand up for myself for fear of having to, you know, go through and endure another another move another school, another Friends,

Andrew Warner 8:00
you know, as they might make you move if they didn’t like what you said,

Aaron Marino 8:05
but because say now dude or were your parents divorced or they they my

Andrew Warner 8:10
parents were my parents were together there was some friction at one point and I do remember trying to like be even keeled, reduce the friction between them. And I actually have found that that was wasn’t to the level nearly Have you have you? Not nearly i. So I found that it was actually helpful for me now, when the kids who are five and three at home go nuts. I can take that even keel, let it pass. They’re going to scream their heads off and then they’re going to get back to sanity and we’re going to be okay.

Aaron Marino 8:37
Yeah, but no one for me. It was strictly not wanting my parents, my mother and stepfather to fight. I didn’t want them to fight

Andrew Warner 8:44
over you did something they would fight with each other, then she would break up with them, then you would have to go somewhere else. That’s the way that you would have on your shoulders. That was

Aaron Marino 8:53
what I thought was off my shoulders. Yeah. But when you’re 12 years old, you don’t understand the magnitude or the the The ownership that you actually have and that was what I was fearful of, because it happened a few times. That because of you, your mom wasn’t now now now. Okay? We’re getting reality to you know, hindsight. It wasn’t because of me, but when you’re 12 years old, 11 years old, 10 years old, you thought

Andrew Warner 9:17
it was. Wow, yeah. What a thing to take onto your shoulders. Okay. And then you went into the gym. I used to go to the gym as a kid. We had a gym in my high school. It was such a nice little operation. I felt inferior going in there because people knew what they were doing. Why did you feel this is my home this is the place that’s making me feel more of myself.

Aaron Marino 9:37
Hmm. I love that it was ever since you know I saw the movie Rocky, Rocky for and I saw the rush and I saw Rocky and at that moment I knew I’m like if a body can look like that. That’s what I want. And so going there. It was amazing. I loved everything about it. I love the camaraderie I love. You know all these older guys that would sort of you know, you know sort of novel I was a novelty. I was a young 12 year old Kid, I couldn’t drive there and I was, you know, just in love with fitness. I was doing push ups and jumping rope, the vanilla ice in my basement with my sand weights like I was. I found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life when I was 12 years old, and it was owning a gym. Yep, that was it.

Andrew Warner 10:17
All right, did you ever get to own a gym?

Aaron Marino 10:19
I did. I did a personal training studio and that didn’t work out.

Andrew Warner 10:23
What happened?

Aaron Marino 10:25
Um, you know, that was a

there’s so many so many facets and certain things. Okay, so before the gym, I met a gentleman I moved to Atlanta, I met a gentleman and we helped him open a nutrition store. And and did that for two years, you know, opened a few of them, but it was at the time where there was he wanted in a nutshell, he wanted to sell things that were not necessarily legal or that were made illegal like one so I was not an

Andrew Warner 11:00
Talking about it. When I first heard illegal things that he was selling I had this imagination that he was selling illegal drugs, but that’s not it. It’s just that it’s outside of the normal manufacturing and distribution channels. It sounds like am I right or what?

Aaron Marino 11:15
No, you’re not right. You were right the first time Oh, really? Yeah, there was this thing back in the day and I’m gonna date myself called Blue Nitro it was this this this this liquid. That was basically like it was it was a drug called g i had not ever experienced that or been very familiar with it. But it was very big in the subculture of bodybuilding and fitness. And and there was the some of it is you would take a little bit of it and it would make you have a euphoric feeling. And you know, it messed with your serotonin levels. Well, some genius figured out that you can make this manufacturer by using utilizing this chemical called fear known by hydro, if you delete One ounce of fear known by Hydro and 31 ounces of water, add a little bit of food coloring and and you know something for flavor you could sell it and and people would would buy it and it was distributed and sold as a belt cleaner. But then you know that that didn’t last all that long. The government came in and said wait a second, this is obviously not good. And they made it a schedule I forget what it was specifically but they made it illegal. And my my my my friend that was in the industry that I was doing that with in terms of the nutrition store, he figured out a way to manufacture it himself. He got a 55 gallon drum of the sphere known by Hydro and wanted to continue to sell it and that was the point at which I said this is crazy. I got to get out of here and and so I left and I went and took a job as a personal trainer at crunch fitness down in Atlanta, but during the time of the fit of the nutrition store I met with A woman named Linda and I helped her lose about 100 pounds. And she came to me and said, Hey, I want to she was an older woman. She said, I want to help other people the way that you help me. I want to open a personal training studio. Would you like to do that with me? And I thought, jackpot. This is it. And so that was it. We signed the lease on September 11, the September 11, which should have been an omen as to how that business was going to unfold and unwind. And and it was, and so

Andrew Warner 13:28
yeah, the way September 11 happened in the morning. Yeah, you could have woken up and said, You know what, I don’t have to go sign this lease right now. I think we should see what

Aaron Marino 13:36
Okay, the lease was signed, the equipment was going the lease was it? You were already too far

Andrew Warner 13:41
along? Were?

Aaron Marino 13:42
Yeah, that was not an option at that point.

Andrew Warner 13:45
I was trying to get a sense of how like maybe you were so desperate that despite the fact that it was gonna work out you had to have your 12 year old dream come true. It’s not that it was already on on track, and you couldn’t back out of it at that point. How well did it do

Aaron Marino 13:59
or Or chose not to back and chose nine. That was Yes. Okay. It did not do well. It did not do well. It was a it was it was okay though, because at the time, that was my dream and so I was working, you know, 80 hours a week making $24,000 a year but it didn’t matter,

Andrew Warner 14:16
because I’m pretty sure I highlighted this. You said I made $24,000 a year but we did it. I was happy. Dude, if I make $25,000 a month, it’s like, destruction of my life. Am I seriously? I’m like, Where are we? I mean how do you feel so happy at that point? Why do you feel so happy instead of it was

Aaron Marino 14:35
never found it or not? For me, Andrew, I got it. If I’m being completely honest with you. It was never about the money. nothing I’ve ever done has been about the money. Now I can say that. Now. Certain things that I do now obviously advertising, things of that nature are it is a business. But in terms of fitness, it was never about making a million dollars. It was never about you know, being crazy successful. I do. I just wanted to feel successful personally. And I felt that at that point in my life that was going to what that what that was going to lead me to feel successful. And, and I think that’s the thing that I’ve been chasing my whole life.

Andrew Warner 15:14
Also at the gym, you met a guy named Steve, what happened with Steve.

Aaron Marino 15:18
Steve was my, what? It’s fun. He’s gonna, we’re gonna go for a walk this evening. I’m still friends with him all the time, labor later. He came to me he was a meteorologist at the Weather Channel. He’s one of our clients and he said, hey, I’ve got a hot date. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to wear. I said, great. I said no problem. Let me come over. Let me see what you have. And while we’re at it, why don’t we go get your hair cut because it’s a little bit crazy in your nose hairs are nuts. And so I didn’t realize but I was setting up the foundation for an image consulting business. And, and so that happened, he went out on the date. It was a lot of fun. I had a blast. And he went back to work and one of his co workers said hey, you know that was You look great. What happened is that now there’s this guy, I got this guy and he said, and she said, Do you think you’d take my husband’s shopping and that’s when it was like, oh, maybe there’s maybe there’s a market for regular guys who just happen to know more about, you know, manscaping and shoes than they do about football. helping other regular guys just, you know, look good and feel great. You do have great frickin style and it’s comfortable style. It doesn’t look like it’s worked on. Like even at one point as you were putting your hand your fingers, your hair, a few hairs popped up.

Andrew Warner 16:27
It kind of just fit in it was fine. It didn’t look like you’re overly paying attention to it. And then within seconds somehow before I even had a chance to tell you, I think your hairs stuck up you might want to adjust. Just get back in. Was that always you? There was always me 10 years old before you had this gym realization at 12 you were just

Aaron Marino 16:44
kindergarten kindergarten first day kindergarten. My mom would tell the story of me I was so upset Okay, so two parts this and this is this people are not interested in this entry are there they’re not Um, so do you remember underoos How old is under guys is like under

Andrew Warner 16:59
here. Under underwrite,

Aaron Marino 17:00
of course, and I was super into underoos. And I was so upset that you had to cover them up with pants. And so I would wear these underoos on top of my pants. First day of school, she’s like, you can’t wear the underoos. But I’ll let you scotch tape the ankles of your pants because I hated the way that they flared. Um, I was born in 76. And so this is probably early 80s. I was going to kindergarten and I was appalled at the flare in the pants. And so I took an entire roll of scotch tape got both ankles. And so I’ve always been interested in this. Got a bad haircut when I was about 10 years old and mom gave me some clippers, give me some scissors. I’m going to learn to cut my hair myself. And, and that was that was that’s all she wrote a week. Yeah, I love that. All right, this is a weird question. But did kids tease you for being so for dressing well for caring about it? Did they call you gay? Did they put you down? kids didn’t but as I as I sort of got older, you know, this was before Sort of, you know, before it got more socially acceptable for guys to really take care of themselves. Yeah, a lot of people assume that I was gay because I did I take care of myself, I have earrings. And you know, I’m a small guy, I’m five foot six. And I’m not you know, some big you know, picture of masculinity, which is why the name alpha m from my youtube channel is slightly ironic, but there is a reason for that. And, and so, yeah, so So yeah, of course I got I got teased but not by my peers. It was more people I didn’t know and, and older people that just were kind of up to

Unknown Speaker 18:35
what’s the thing about alpha m that you’re gonna say,

Aaron Marino 18:37
the alpha m thing. Everybody asked me that everybody, like, it was a, it was just, I was thinking of a name for an image consulting company. I’m like, okay, I want to start image consulting. What’s going to be the name I didn’t want it to be so like, over the top like king of the jungle, I needed something that said men, because that’s all I wanted to deal with. And, and so I came up with alpha m, more static version of alpha male and and that was that was the story and so was this before after

Andrew Warner 19:07
Neil Strauss’s book the game where he defined alpha males as the people who have an easy connection I could see in your eyes.

Aaron Marino 19:16
No, no, I I would assume I would assume much before that it was back in 2006 when I started that so okay

Andrew Warner 19:25
and so this is when you had your your makeover business your What is it called personal stylist. I’ve worked with personal stylist it’s so freakin helpful. Oh, yeah, no helpful. How did you get your clients

Aaron Marino 19:39
that this was back when I was I was able to advertise with Google for a very very, very reasonable per click price and and i i didn’t know anything. I had my assistant from my fight my fitness center. Once that closed then we I file bankruptcy. It was a situation where I said hey, I think I want to start this image consulting company. Would you be interested? She was just learning my system, Debbie, who’s still with me today? Would you be interested in building me a website, and if I get any clients, I’ll give you 25% of whatever I made. And she’s like, sure. And so, did that. And then learn how to create little, you know, ads. And, and my budget was, I think $300 a month and I was getting clients. And this was back when you could get, you know, click throughs. And, and you could you could advertise on Google for, you know, without spending $50,000 a month.

Andrew Warner 20:33
This is the I am I am alpha Excuse me, I am alpha Of course, I’m right on the website. And so you were starting to get customers there. And then 2007 which is about a year after you got started your wife gave you a video camera for what?

Aaron Marino 20:51
Just she didn’t know what to get me. And so it’s funny because I it sat in a box for a year. I didn’t know What to do with it? I thought she wanted to, you know, make some sexy home videos that wasn’t the case itself like what do I need a video camera for? And so it sat in a box and I The story is I went on a reality show with Vivica Fox called glam God. And and I got kicked off the first day. And and I went home I said, I’m going to learn to use that video camera and I’m going to start making videos. And I’d been on YouTube I would say probably five times prior to the first time I went to try to actually upload a video I had no idea. And so

Andrew Warner 21:38
so you told me about how you dressed well since kindergarten when you cared about the flair in your pants. Did you? Did you did you also like you’re good on camera. You’ve got this personality that makes you interesting. Before that experience you just mentioned Did you did you know that you were good on camera? Did you know that you were a showman? Were you the type of person who would always have it up and grew something? No,

Aaron Marino 22:01
no, probably I always so one of the other byproducts to growing up and moving schools in that scenario is that I became very good at, at reading people. And I, I figured out how to become friends with people really fast and have people like me, that was something that I think I really was was, was worried about. I mean, when you’re a young, young teenager, you know, of course you want people to like you. And so that was something that I developed. And so my personality, it’s always kind of been there. And when the video camera thing happened, I mean, I look back at some of my earlier videos when I first started, and it was not the case. I mean, this is something where you get better with practice, I assure you, and, and so No, I was I was terrible when I first started, and it just kind of evolved over the course of the past 12 years.

Andrew Warner 22:52
This was 2008 when you started. Yep. 2008 recession. Were you impacted by that at all?

Aaron Marino 22:58
I was broke. I just came back. bankruptcy. So I made you know, hundred bucks. I was good at that man.

Andrew Warner 23:04
What was it like to come out of bankruptcy? Do you feel a sense of relief?

Aaron Marino 23:06
Oh my god. Yeah, because at that point, I think I bankrupt it around. There’s between I can’t remember exactly, but it was around like 300 to $400,000 in business loans line of credit I at the point at which I my fitness center and everything failed. I was taking money off of my credit cards to pay my staff. I mean, I was broke the Christmas before my, my bankruptcy, I went to buy my wife a Christmas present, and it was a little picture of a giraffe. And I looked at my thing, I’m like, okay, and at this point, I was driving a beer cart at a country club to put gas in my car, when that whole thing sort of went went down in terms of my fitness center. And I looked and I had like, I had like $57 and like 27 cents. I saw this giraffe that my wife really liked and I’m like, okay, it’s 55 I’ve got some change. I can pay the tax and this and that that purchase in the interest. The next day that shut my credit card off. And that was the last time I ever bought anything on credit. And from that point it was it was. That was the end. And so, yes, it was an incredible sense of relief when I was able to, you know, sort of start again.

Andrew Warner 24:14
I didn’t realize you were married at the time. Did you at all worry that you would lose your wife loves your marriage? Because no, not at all? No, never. No,

Aaron Marino 24:21
no, she always wanted more money.

Because we always had a great relationship. And I think that she saw that I was a hard worker. It just wasn’t working out at the time. And so my wife always, she had a great job. My wife is an incredibly hard worker, one of the things she left home when she was 16. And her father died when she was young, and her mother at the time was, you know, having some substance abuse issues. And so she left home at 16. And, you know, still graduated high school and she started working and, you know, worked our way up sort of the corporate ladder and, and she’s somebody that I admire. greatly. And so

Andrew Warner 25:01
her through bankruptcy too. Did she also go bankrupt? No, no,

Aaron Marino 25:05
no, no, no, she was fine. Everything was just in my my name. Yeah. And I think at that point it was it was prior to us getting married. We were living together. Okay. But we were not we were not actually married. We got married. I believe in 567.

Andrew Warner 25:20
You were comfortable like, taking her through this or asking her to marry us?

Aaron Marino 25:25
God. No, no, not comfortable. Andrew. Of course not. Yeah, it was horrible. It was horrible. And, and it was humiliating. And, but I knew that if I just meant working, I would figure something out. I just and I think the hardest thing about that point in my life, the bankruptcy the business failing it wasn’t that I was broke because that wasn’t that wasn’t the issue. The issue for me was not knowing what my next step was. I didn’t have a goal or a dream anymore. And so when that went away when I realized that okay, this isn’t going to be what makes me successful that was the hardest part not knowing what was next I never had a plan B, I was always an I am still the type of person that I just have one plan and I and I’m so laser focused and I have the ability to work really hard and stay focused when things aren’t fun. And, but But yeah, when I lost that, when I lost that dream, that was the hardest part for me because I didn’t know where to go next.

Andrew Warner 26:23
Let me ask you something I’ve got to do my first sponsor, as a person who’s been in the sponsorship content game for years. Maybe you can give me some advice. I had Click Funnels as a sponsor, the whole thing there was I was promoting the fact that people could create landing pages that then turn visitors into email subscribers and email subscribers into customers and so on. That was what clickfunnels paid me for. I think I didn’t do a great job for them. And so they said, Andrew, why don’t you promote the podcast and instead it’s not trackable? It’s fine. Just tell your people if they like your podcast, they should go listen, I don’t want to screw up twice. What do you think makes for a really good ad like if I have it’s called Traffic Secrets, the podcast What advice would you give me for how to make this podcast ad a good ad for them effective

Aaron Marino 27:06
see that’s the one thing I’m podcasts are a different animal you know the reason why for me the reason why I’m able to sell and and be effective for my advertisers and the reason why they come back year after year, month after month is because I build so much value I build an entire piece of content around this one one thing solving one problem and so you know, what is the problem that that this podcast is solving and I think you know, it’s easier to pitch that that

Andrew Warner 27:36
click Can you give me an example what someone who you do I know this is kind of supposed to be the ad for Click Funnels? I just I can’t stop looking frickin thumbnails as I’m looking for an example that you nailed it with the one about how to cut your own hair. This is so perfect. No wonder I want that one. I’ll

Aaron Marino 27:52
tell you that story. That was the viral video at the right time. Yeah, and man, for my product and my business. That was that was one good idea I had.

Andrew Warner 28:03
One. It was it was an example of something that you’ve done a content that you created for a sponsor and how did you understand the problem? Dude, it’s not just that one. How about this one? Seven awkward guy problems girls won’t talk about the frickin thumbnail on that I don’t even know how to describe it. I’m not going to describe it Andrew it’s a it’s a dude wearing nothing holding his hands between his legs. That was more Okay,

Aaron Marino 28:25
so that one was for chassis which is a powder that you use for preventing you know, swampy musky nuts and and so I

Andrew Warner 28:36
got it and so your problem your problems that people are talking about you make it interesting to talk about it and to and got Sorry, I’m I feel like you want to say something as I’m talking over. You

Aaron Marino 28:48
know, Andrew, you talk all you want. I’ve talked way too much about things that people probably aren’t interested in. But uh, but no, it’s identifying that problem and and the reason why I’m able to create some content is because I do have all these advertising opportunities. And so it forces me creatively to look at things a little bit differently. And so, you know, 12 years in you give me a a, what is the podcast about Andrew?

Andrew Warner 29:15
It’s about how to get traffic without at this point. It looks like they’re emphasizing the fact that you don’t need to buy traffic by people coming over to your website. So maybe that’s the hook. Maybe what I should be saying is look, I used to interview entrepreneurs all the time who like you who said I found an easy cheap way to buy ads on Google I found an easy cheap way to buy ads on Facebook today even cheap ads are big risk for

Aaron Marino 29:37
wasting your money. It’s it’s the the you know, that’s it. It’s the the message I think for that one is, look, you’re wasting money. And this is a little trick and a little secret that allow an environment

Andrew Warner 29:47
to waste money in if you want to learn how to get traffic don’t come to me I’m not as good at it as Russell Brunson, the guy who created Click Funnels. It’s this tool that’s being used by thousands of businesses to get traffic to to their sites and convert them into customers, he found out what’s worked well for him to make this tool successful, a software company successful, but also what’s worked for his customers. And he wrote a new book. And I know that a lot of people were listening to me or not reading books right now instead, since I listened to my podcast, they might prefer to listen to a podcast. And so that’s what Traffic Secrets is about. If you go to whatever podcast app, you’re listening to me and you just subscribe to Traffic Secrets, they will not know that I get credit for it or anything. I won’t know it. It’s not about making us feel good. It’s not about me getting credit, but I’m telling you just gonna like it. You’re going to reach out to me you’re going to say Andrew, that thing was great because Russell knows how to tell stories, knows how to keep people entertained. And he’s been doing this for a very long time for reasons. He’s good at it. I can say damn good at it, but Russell’s like a smiling guy who I don’t think ever says the word Damn. He might even say darn but that’s too close. He’s good at it Traffic Secrets and whatever podcast app you’re, you’re listening on. So the first video that you did your wife gives you the camera you finally say right I’m gonna do it. You post the video. How do you feel about it? Did you feel? Did you feel like I know I could do better. This is not Right.

Aaron Marino 31:00
Oh yeah, I’m for. I’ll tell you a little secret that I’ve never told Actually, I told somebody on a podcast a few weeks ago for the first time. I’ve never really talked about this too much, because it’s embarrassing. It was incredibly nerve racking for me. And so I would be drunk after every video that I posted for the first like two years because

Andrew Warner 31:18
you drink while you’re doing it. Yeah,

Aaron Marino 31:19
yeah, I would. I was so like, it was I would always fill my videos on Friday. And I would go and I would get like a six pack of beer, I would set it on like a credenza. And this was also back post bankruptcy when I was still trying to figure things out. And I was not dealing with things as well as I should have. And so I was utilizing, you know, alcohol to sort of self medicate and handle some of the, just my demons and my issues. And so, during that time, I would, I would literally, I’d set a six pack next to me, by the time I would be finished my video, I’d be absolutely drunk. And I’d be through that, through that through that six pack. And then, you know, obviously that that did not last then and I still remember the first video I did where I didn’t actually use alcohol and

Andrew Warner 32:09
yeah, so that’s how easy it was for me drunkenness one is this look, do you look drunk that Oh definitely

Aaron Marino 32:14
drunk in that one.

Andrew Warner 32:16
Wow, you don’t look dumb to me. So I heard one of my guests say that he drank a shot of whiskey before going on CNBC and that’s what helped them be good. So I said no, I’m gonna listen, I’m gonna try it. So I took a shot of whiskey, it didn’t work. I took another one. It didn’t really get me going, I took a third I was so sleepy I couldn’t do it. I put it off for the next day. And then after like four or five times, and I just had to give it up and I can’t drink before. But these videos unless you delete probably deleted the ones from from 10 years ago.

Aaron Marino 32:47
I’ve deleted in. So when I when I started I was trying to figure out what was sort of what my voice was what people wanted to watch. And at the time they were watching things that were crude that were sort of outlandish and so I thought that That’s what I had to be. And so I’ve deleted a lot of videos that I said things that I regret saying like what type of things Ah, videos about being insensitive about, you know, men’s makeup being insensitive about, you know, there’s one video that I was just mortified about that I made some, you know, sort of ignorant comment about Madonna adopting children like stupid stuff like that.

Andrew Warner 33:26
Just to get attend. I totally get it. Yeah, I remember that happening at the time. I remember TechCrunch being especially good at it. And I happen to have a drink with someone from TechCrunch one of the writers and I said, I think I need to go in this direction because no one’s paying attention to me goes, people are paying attention to you trust me, I’m in the TechCrunch world you don’t want to be that you’ve got something but truthfully, it helps you get attention help TechCrunch get attention.

Aaron Marino 33:51
I No, no, no, no, it didn’t tell me everything for me when when I stopped that and when I dropped the act and just got authentic. And let people actually, you know, get to know me a little bit more and be authentic. That’s when everything started to change for me. Because I think that’s what I think the audience any audience can can sniff out bullshit. And when things are fake, that was definitely not a winning combination or formula for me and when I just was like, Okay, I’m gonna cry on film, I’m gonna, you know, tell you about my deepest darkest issues because if, if my story can help other people, then it’s worth the pain or embarrassment of me actually talking about it.

Andrew Warner 34:35
How long before you made real money or any money from from these videos?

Aaron Marino 34:40
This was back when I started you had to have 10,000 subscribers and apply for YouTube partnership in order to make any ad revenue from the videos. And, and so I would say probably five years in I see I messed around with the products in this world of online sort of entrepreneurs and business. You No, he products were the big thing, right and my first Shark Tank appearance I was selling, you know, the alpha m style system, which was actually a DVD that shipped people. That’s how tech savvy I am Andrew and, and so, so I tried doing like a style guide, but I’m not really a great writer. And I tried the product route and just came to the realization I just don’t like EA products and I’m not good at them. I don’t want to sell them. I want to sell other things and so money

Andrew Warner 35:29
from those products.

Aaron Marino 35:30
Yeah, a little bit not not enough, not enough. I started a membership website as well. I am alpha m originally was a membership website that that had I think at the time that I shut it down. I was making $100,000 a year and that was more money than I ever imagined.

Unknown Speaker 35:48
But yours is roughly 12

Aaron Marino 35:52
probably around 20 not 2012. Much more recent than that probably.

Andrew Warner 35:58
I’m looking at Internet art. I have to get a sense of what?

Aaron Marino 36:01
Yeah, it’s when I started, when I am alpha m, started it was it was then

Andrew Warner 36:06
2011 is when it started going according to the Internet Archive. So at that point you were doing that, and that didn’t feel especially good, but you were bringing in some money.

Aaron Marino 36:13
I was bringing in money, but it was a con to the amount of content, I had a pay wall. You know, people would pay for a membership. And I was creating three videos a day, Monday, I was posting three videos a day, Monday through Friday. And so it was obviously not a sustainable model. And this was back when I thought that if I just had a lot of traffic going to my website, if I just gave away the content for free, then I would make money because this was back when you know the Art of Manliness and these other websites, I would and ask men, I wanted to create a website that just had an incredible amount of traffic and thought that that was going to be how to move the needle financially by selling advertising and ultimately that didn’t work out either. And, and so I doubled down on YouTube and just kept putting content out there

Andrew Warner 36:57
and they got better at monetizing traffic for you. And for other creators that started to make money for you significant money in what year looks like well, I can’t tell here from my number from my data. It’s about five years into building this into starting the channel six years you’re starting to make some real money from the channel enough to

Aaron Marino 37:21
get a live demo my personal training.

Andrew Warner 37:23
Yeah, right. Yeah, somewhere around there. Okay. And then since you didn’t like digital products is the first fit I was gonna say actual product but first physical product Pete and Pedro.

Aaron Marino 37:35
No, it was me accessories. I would string beads together to make bracelets. Okay, model What’s up? Okay, and what was the problem with that? I would sit there for three hours a night screaming you literally would do this. I literally I it’s funny if you

Andrew Warner 37:50
are a frickin hard worker.

Aaron Marino 37:54
It’s not that I’m a hard worker. I’m just dumb because I didn’t realize that you know what, I could probably pay that way. at the store source this I didn’t understand any of that. And so, yeah, so my solution was, let me make these things myself, I would go to the bead store and I would every night sit there and string them together and ship them off. And that model once again was not sustainable. And so we have to try something else. Andrew,

Andrew Warner 38:17
how is it that you’re your guy who started out with a sense of I wouldn’t say inferiority complex that’s too dramatic. But you had this fear of expressing yourself. To this day. I think you told our producer I sometimes have gone on podcasts. And when they say what books do you recommend I like lie and come up with something just the sounds or how is it that none of these setbacks shattered yourself? A sense of competence kept you from continuing? What was it that kept you going?

Aaron Marino 38:42
Honestly? I think it’s I think it’s fitness. To be honest, I think that’s part of it.

Andrew Warner 38:49
Because all results from fitness and no,

Aaron Marino 38:51
no, no, it’s it’s that

from when you exercise when you lift weights, it does something to your brain, I think David Goggins you know has made the reference of you know exercise calluses your your brain and allows you to handle that I might even screwed that that quote I

Andrew Warner 39:10
don’t remember him saying that but he

Aaron Marino 39:14
yeah it calluses your brain and it allows you to deal with stressful situations because you’re actively seeking that pain. Every time you go into the gym you go in and you you exercise and so that was probably I would say fitness is the the best decision and going to work out was the best decision I

Andrew Warner 39:30
ever made. I get that I have that too. from running it forces me to just keep running no matter what what you feel foot pain. You committed to this marathon? You got to stay with the marathon. There’s no water you might collapse. What’s the worst thing you get this story that you’re so bad as you collapse the next time you have to run? You’re gonna feel like you could do it because you collapse that one time right? I get it. The problem for me with that is it makes me continue no matter what. You know, that was builds the endurance not the just sorry, go ahead.

Aaron Marino 39:56
Well, that was the that was the issue with you know, the fitness Senator is that I would have sold my kidney I did. I’m not smart enough to, to know when it’s time to hang up the towel. I mean that business literally, I had to be bankrupt, I had to be broke, there was no other option for me to continue to go. But when you fail to that magnitude, when you have all of your hopes, your dreams, your driving a beer cart at the age of like 3030 years old, you know, how much were you try something it doesn’t work out? How much worse than that can get without, you know, obviously, like everybody being healthy and all that. And so when you fail to that degree, you know, when for 20 years, you had the idea of this is what success looked like when that’s gone. You know, what’s the worst thing that happens? I try something that doesn’t work. I have to I have to come and you know, face people and say I tried but while it didn’t work, I

Andrew Warner 40:50
force you to stop sticking with things beyond where you should.

Aaron Marino 40:55
A little bit. Yeah, one of the beautiful things that happened out of that bankruptcy, it forced me to Realize that debt is one of the nastiest things out there in terms of stealing and robbing your joy and creativity. When I had thought, can I can I curse? Go ahead, okay. When I had $5,000 in my bank account, that’s when I had fuck you money, because for the first time what happened, it was crazy. For my entire life from the age of, you know, as long as I can remember. I mean, we were on welfare and food stamps and all that, you know, for, and then my entire life, it was just trying and scraping together enough money to pay my bills, to eat to pay rent. And for the first time in my life, when I $5,000 in my bank account, that’s when I didn’t for one one day, I didn’t think about money. And I thought to myself, wait a second, at the end of the day, I thought, I didn’t worry about how I’m going to eat him tomorrow. That’s crazy. The next day, same thing happened. And it was at that point in my life, that everything changed because it allowed for the creativity and that huge piece of my brain that was occupied with with basic needs, and necessity. of making money. It allowed it to, to allow me to use it for for other creative ways and and and that was that was the biggest game changer for me 5000 bucks. So, you know where why I don’t know why it’s I know I get

Andrew Warner 42:16
that I gotta tell you that. For me having a lot of debt also did that there’s a sense that what does it burn your ships and you have no choice but to succeed. I find that that is true to some degree at some point though you realize it is overwhelmingly crippling to have so much debt. Oh, so many people so many things that you can’t fail and your mind just can’t stop thinking about how you can fail because all these bad things are gonna happen, that it’s distracting. And I am with you. I will go out through deep debt. I’m never doing it again. Well,

Aaron Marino 42:49
that was the I think that’s how I got started on that. Thanks for reminding me. Yeah. And so from that point of have a filing bankruptcy. I decided that whatever I do, I’m not going to have debt. I’m going to self fund everything. If this means I need to grow a little bit slower, that’s fine. And I don’t necessarily a lot of people you know say that I don’t use my money you know properly. You know they say you shouldn’t pay off real estate they say you know,

Andrew Warner 43:12
and you do real estate. What’s that you pay off real estate?

Aaron Marino 43:15
Oh yeah, I don’t have any that I like debt scares the I want to be in a position I’ve said this I want to be in a position financially that if the universe explodes and the internet crashes that I’m okay my family’s Okay. Well guess what happened this past month? Yeah, yeah, universe exploded and it was like alright, you know, I can weather the storm. I’m okay.

Andrew Warner 43:35
Yeah, that is such a good position to be in. Did your sales go down? Since since cold Oh, no. April sales didn’t go down March 2020. Didn’t go down.

Aaron Marino 43:44
Now. And here’s the interesting thing. So my advertising for you two went down because people were scared a lot of advertising revenue coming in. Yes, our advertising revenue went down. But my other two businesses that sell grooming products actually went up and have had record months. Why do you think that is an interview? Why? And there are a few reasons why it happened for me it was it was it was kind of like the perfect storm when I saw that this was happening there are a few decisions were made number one was okay, I need to start I had gotten out of the habit of doing like crazy discounts and and incentivizing people on offer after offer after offer, but I thought all right, I need to support my staff. I’ve got people that rely on me so I need to kind of make enough money right now that I can you know, that I can support things and so I decided to embark on a marketing Blitz of my my audience and and offer them great incentives if they’re interested in buying. The other thing I did was I filmed the video about how to cut my hair. That is how was one of my most popular videos that I filmed I think it was seven or eight years ago. And I realized that YouTube likes new content, and so why don’t I I solve the sort of the writing on the wall we’re locked up, people are still going to want to cut their hair. And so let me film another video that video ended up going viral. And in there, I do pitch my my Pete and Pedro hair products. And then another thing we did when we saw that the market was or the the market was softening in terms of paid advertising and traffic, we doubled down and and really went after it. And we’re getting incredible, you know, 678 times spend on cold conversions and saying ads. Well, yeah, ads, ads for ads for our products. Yeah,

Andrew Warner 45:35
advertising. Yep. 100 roommate told me the same thing. I can’t remember the exact number. I think he said he said that. It’s like 2017 advertising rates on Facebook, that it’s at least 40% discount. Is that what you’re finding?

Aaron Marino 45:46
Oh yeah, it’s crazy. And we’ve just I just hired a new a new agency to handle the paid traffic. And it’s, yeah, it’s it’s insane. So that Pete and Pedro is having a record month. Bye Probably $50,000 this month and overlap here over last year over our best month ever now over our best month ever, which was

Andrew Warner 46:09
around Christmas. Yeah. Wow, we wait. So you’re saying April 2020 is going to beat December 2019

Unknown Speaker 46:18
it beat it a week ago.

Unknown Speaker 46:20

Aaron Marino 46:21
Yeah, it was crazy and and every end and it’s funny going into the month, I said that everybody I sort of figured out I’m like, okay, you know, with salaries with everything I need to make for me to stay in the black I need to make about in that business. I need to make about $100,000 a month. And so I went to my staff I said $4,000 a day. That is the goal. If we can do $4,000 a day, we’re good. We can ride this out. I’m not having to dig into my pockets to support everybody and nobody has anything to worry about. And I also told them and I think one of the things that that helped is that you know financially I’m in a good position, and I I live well below my means And so I went to them when this all started, I said, Listen, I said, I prepared. I’m good. You guys need to just continue to help me out, do your job and we’re going to get through this. nobody’s getting laid off. So take that off the plate, just focus on doing a great job. And, and lo and behold things just, you know, just a few things fell into place and, and it was amazing. Wow, it was it was crazy.

Andrew Warner 47:22
Look at look at this. Obviously the podcast listeners can’t see it. But look at this old video from years ago where you were cutting your own hair.

Aaron Marino 47:31
That was one of the that’s one that’s that’s funny, right? Yeah,

Andrew Warner 47:36
I can hear you. I see your videos getting better from the camera angle point of view. But lighting took you a little while to get into.

Aaron Marino 47:43
I’m still figuring that out.

Andrew Warner 47:45
It’s great. It’s a nice backdrop. I like how there’s like that nice circle around you. I’ve kind of fixed this thing.

Aaron Marino 47:53
I still do all my editing and all my thumbnail creation. I

Andrew Warner 47:55
don’t understand why a lot of the big YouTube creators still do their own editing. They say It’s because the creative process you think is what’s on camera. You don’t understand that that’s part of it. The creative process also in the editing.

Aaron Marino 48:08
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I love it Antonio or friend, he that was one of the first things he got rid of. He’s like, get out, get off my plate. He’s got staff to help him. For me, it’s, you know, what if it requires me three hours a day, in order to Monday through Friday, to create my video, and I still love that. I love the process of of editing. I love the process of filming and conceptualizing a thumbnail, I just I love the process. And I feel like once I don’t when I hand that over, I don’t want to lose that sort of that Genesis a quality that I feel I still have at times because I’m still loving the work and I’m willing to do the work and if if me working three hours a day or four hours a day, three hours a day making a video is going to allow me to grow and scale my other businesses and entities. You know, okay.

Andrew Warner 49:01
This thumbnail of you holding a beer with an X in front of it and Pornhub with a check in front of it. I know that you you edited do you design that I guess in Photoshop but did you also take a photo? Both those photos yourself too?

Aaron Marino 49:14
Yeah, yeah, you selfie the whole thing. No, no, no, no, I got a remote on my camera I take Yeah, I have a remote.

Andrew Warner 49:22
Okay, so you finally said you’re working insane hours and you say I should talk about Hostgator for my second sponsor is a company called hostgator. I’ve actually been looking at I am alpha It is a WordPress site. That is yes changed the direction of the site over the years but it’s a WordPress site. I’m looking at the tools you use. You’re using standard form tools using all the standard stuff. Anyone out there was listening to me who has not started a site right now. This is the time to be creative. I am noticing Aaron, two different groups of people I interview who are doing well number one ecommerce, actually three e commerce. Anything grocery related is doing well right now and creativity. Businesses are doing well right? Like the teachables of the world and help people teach and sell their stuff online. gumroad Shopify has talked publicly about how their numbers are going up. Creativity now is on the rise and people are have the capacity to absorb it if you’re listening to me and you say I don’t know what to create, don’t create anything good. Create something bad. First version put it up on Hostgator Justin and adjusted and dusted. I’ve seen Aaron site develop over the years or not develop over the years. And still, it looks gorgeous right now. I was taking a tour down memory lane on your site. You went to host gators offices one time, right?

Aaron Marino 50:35
Yep. I was really there. Oh, man. It was the first time I’d ever been to like a tech startup. It was right before they were going public. And and it was amazing. I saw you know, I could I could get you know, I could get gummy bears. I’m like, Wait a second. I can just walk up and get a handful of gummy bears. And then you know, they had all these pods. I it was amazing. The office was incredible. Everybody there was so incredibly friendly. They’re just a great group of guys. And gals and it’s it’s a it was a it was an absolute tremendous experience for me to be there.

Andrew Warner 51:06
If you’re thinking about going and getting started, just go do it right now you can always cancel, they’ve got a nice refund policy and if you’re not happy with them after the refund policy or they change or something happens, you just take your website and you go to a different host, all you have to do is go to slash mixergy. They’ll give you a really low price if you use that slash mixergy and you’ll be connected to me for ever, which means you have a problem with it with any of my sponsors. I’m here for you. My whole team is here for you. slash MZ rG why slash mixergy. And I’m grateful to them for sponsoring throughout the years I thought they would just come back and say Andrews cut it all out. No more ads were done. They didn’t do that. So when you decided you were going to get into physical products you decided okay, bracelets are not the thing. I’m going to create grooming products, who’s going to create it for you who’s going to run it so that you had time to create your thumbnails?

Aaron Marino 51:56
Well, that’s the problem, Andrew. I tried to do Everything for a while

Andrew Warner 52:00
literally mixing the thing up in your bathtub and then and then and then

Aaron Marino 52:03
when I started Pete and Pedro I, my my good friend and hairstyle is Steven posta. I went to him and I said, Hey, you know, I’m not really satisfied with American crew. This is back in 2011 I got all my numbers here for you actually is 2013 Andrew, I got all my numbers because I knew that you were going to ask me stuff and so friends warned you that Yeah, more they said you better know your numbers. No bullshit. What’s that? Yeah, so maybe with the numbers

Andrew Warner 52:29

Aaron Marino 52:30
2013 $30,000 2014 65,000. Now, mind you, this was me doing nothing more than just coming on my YouTube channel and talking. I didn’t have any staff. Nobody was helping me. I was answering every email other than my assistant Debbie was obviously still involved in helping and

Andrew Warner 52:49
then and then I’m sorry to interrupt but the actual product was being made for you by whom and labeled. I’m not

Aaron Marino 52:54
saying whom it was it was my original five products were private label though. I went to my my buddy Steve and I said hey do you know any labs and so I ended up you know betting six different labs here in the domestically in the US and found products that I absolutely loved and I loved all five of their products in their line and that was kind of how I got started since then you know I still have I’ve basically five or six different vendors I work with different labs things have changed but I still

Andrew Warner 53:24
then but it’s you go on camera saying I’ve got this stuff. What was the first product that you created a video for? Do you remember how

Aaron Marino 53:29
it was it was just all my products it was okay I had a party upon made a clay a paste and a cream so five I had I ordered I had enough money. I ordered four boxes for cases 24 units of each case, five different products. I had them all laid out in my in my bedroom, I bought some boxes and I you know had Debbie build me another website and I and I waited and you’re number one I made $30,000

Andrew Warner 53:55
and was that a problem for you or just nice? Oh no, I

Aaron Marino 53:57
did. I have no expectations. No. And that’s I had no expectations. This was something where it was like, let me see if I can do it. And I did it. And and then it was like, wow, the fact that anybody bought anything I was thrilled with. And it wasn’t something where I had like, Okay, next year, I’ve got the strategy because I’ve always had sort of the entrepreneurial spirit. And I was and and YouTube was my main sort of driver at this point, and I was still making money, or I was making money at YouTube. There wasn’t the pressure for me to have to make a lot of money in order for me to take revenue or profits home to support myself. It was literally a place where I could just sort of see what happens and see what develops and unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why it didn’t grow as fast as I felt that it should have because I didn’t pay it the attention. I almost I I treated it like my stepchild. It was like oh yeah, it’s cool. Hey, oh my god, I made 30,000 That’s crazy. Next year. 60 65,000. Whoa, that’s crazy. Mind blown. And then the next year, it went up to two, six The and that’s when I’m like, Wait a second. This is actually kind of probably a business but I need help. And so I ended up going on Shark Tank for that and thinking that they were going to be the answers to all of my entrepreneurial problems that didn’t work out either.

Andrew Warner 55:18
second appearance on Shark Tank Yep. second appearance on the show you did it really for money or because you wanted attention? No,

Aaron Marino 55:23
I needed help. It wasn’t about the money. It doesn’t.

Andrew Warner 55:26
Why don’t you come into it? There’s so many investors who are investing in direct to consumer space, especially back then when you were starting to get going right. I know them.

Aaron Marino 55:35
I didn’t know them.

Andrew Warner 55:36
Yeah, you know, Shark Tank you didn’t know like to say who’s investing in Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club and who missed out on that that might be pissed off and would want to come invest meat? Got it?

Aaron Marino 55:45
No, no, no, not at all. And so there are 2016 then went up from 268 and 15 went up to 813. And then from there, it was 2017 was it was 1.6 and an honor And upward from there, I mean, so so and it was growing despite me not doing anything. Like literally, I, I hurt my business so much because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And I was comfortable not having any pressure on it. And so I was I hurt my business, like bearded and then a year ago I ended up hiring somebody that I’ve known for a long time. Mike Levy, from the grooming lounge, and he and I have become friends over the years of me promoting grooming launch products. And, and that’s when it was me committing to Alright, I am willing to grow this business. Let’s do this. And a lot of people asked me, they said, you know, when you hired Mike, did it take a lot of work off your plate? I said, No, it gave me work because it was stuff I wasn’t doing before. Now he’s telling me that I need to create this extra content. I need to make this decision. We need to have this meeting we need to do that. And so it’s it’s it’s it’s given me a lot more work but it’s super Exciting now, and I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m all in in terms of just loving the process again. And I needed somebody to to help me and to really help direct the ship and allow me to continue to do what I do

Andrew Warner 57:15
Mike also create his brain board game or is that just a that’s a thing?

Aaron Marino 57:20
That’s a thing. It’s a it’s a little, it’s one of his pet projects that that he and his partner created. You’re going deep Andrew, I’m looking

Andrew Warner 57:28
all over the place as you’re talking about. He’s gonna

Aaron Marino 57:30
be he’s gonna be so happy that you mentioned that. I wonder if that’s doing well right now. Boy, no, no. Probably. I would imagine. It’s a downloadable

Andrew Warner 57:40
game or not. I don’t know. I’m not sure. I had

Aaron Marino 57:44
it. I mean, you’re one of six customers, Andrew, and then. And then he also wrote a book. He also wrote a book when he was getting out of college is a published author, a self published author, author. So I gotta go. Let’s hear that.

Andrew Warner 58:00
Yeah, it’s amazing what to add. You told me about the different products and I kind of truncated them in the intro. How do you know what to add what you can get into? What’s going to grow?

Aaron Marino 58:12
Just my own curiosity and interest,

Andrew Warner 58:15
so calm itself. Oh, by the way, I didn’t realize you’re selling bracelets on enemy. Yeah used to sell

Unknown Speaker 58:23

Andrew Warner 58:24
but you’re a good looking guy. I’m just scrolling through you look good. I wonder like it’s the sunglasses

Aaron Marino 58:30
Andrew it’s the sunglasses no

Andrew Warner 58:32
it’s the beer that’s just trim just right It looks like you don’t keep harassing

Aaron Marino 58:38
my business I better I better be as well. I have to still exercise and not just get quarantine fat. I got I got a business to run and workout are you doing now I’m allowed to

Andrew Warner 58:47
go for runs outside. This is great. What do you do and

Aaron Marino 58:49
now I have a I’m doing my normal routine I have instead of going to the gym though I’ve got a little home gym that I use. I do cardio every single day and then lift weights four to five times a week.

Andrew Warner 59:00
Did you know that enemy comm was going to be your thing doing glasses?

Aaron Marino 59:04
I didn’t. That was another one where it was let me see if I can do this. The story goes like this Andrew. I was in Chicago a friend of mine my business t Shanley, the skincare company is based out of Chicago. I went for my run right down right close to Oak Street, you’ve got the you’ve got the the lake and so I was walking back a buddy of mine, Zach owns a company called glasses limited, which is right there on Oak Street in the beautiful super expensive place and on his window and as I was dry walking by there was a sign that said good is the enemy of great. And I thought enemy that’s a really cool word. That would be a really cool sunglass company. I love sunglasses. And so I went back to my hotel room before my meeting my quarterly meeting and I start going to you know Hostgator and I started looking and I’m like oh you know i wonder I wonder you know enemy you know sunglasses enemy shades I couldn’t find it so I ended up getting enemy sunglasses enemy shades and and from that point It was let me just see if I can create a sunglass company, it would be my first time manufacturing a custom product over overseas and so yeah, let me see if I can do it.

Andrew Warner 1:00:11
Just to see it wasn’t that you thought there’s good market here if Warby Parker did it for No, none of that?

Aaron Marino 1:00:16
No, I had enough money. It wasn’t about that. It was about my other business was were doing fine. It was i’d regret it if I didn’t try it. And so for me, I just don’t want to regret things that there’s something that I’m really sort of interested in. Let me try it. If it works out great. If it doesn’t, then that’s fine too. And I think that might be an entrepreneurial lesson. You know, sort of takeaway for the audience is just, you know, scratch the itch, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay. Don’t Don’t beat yourself up. Just Just try try. Why not what the hell is the worst thing that can happen to driving a

Unknown Speaker 1:00:52

Unknown Speaker 1:00:54
You did okay.

Andrew Warner 1:00:56
And you own enemy calm. Michael Sigler, from domain sharp I was gonna want to know how much you paid for that. 43,000

Aaron Marino 1:01:01
That’s it for enemy calm. That’s, that’s it i at my threshold was 100. And I said, Okay, if it cuz I found out it was for sale. I’m like, I’m like, Okay, let me just ask them how much and and so I said, let me let me let me let me see. And he came in I think he wanted like 50 or something and then I, we negotiated back and I was

Andrew Warner 1:01:25
thinking that that’s a great price, don’t you think?

Aaron Marino 1:01:28
there? Yeah, considering I’ve gotten multiple people interested in buying it?

Andrew Warner 1:01:33
I wonder why they didn’t ask for more money on that. It wasn’t being used. I don’t know. It’s a it’s a great domain too, because it’s an easy one to write out. And then one final thing our producer asked you what is the big challenge here? It looks like a pretty beyond the the early part looks like a pretty happy go lucky business. And you said my big challenge is getting out of my own way. I wonder how actually I’ve got a follow up bound to that. What do you mean by that?

Aaron Marino 1:01:56
Once again, this is something where in order for me to grow In terms of enemy, is that the question or is that just in general yourself?

Andrew Warner 1:02:02
Like you said, getting out of your own way?

Aaron Marino 1:02:05
Yeah. Yeah, that’s the heart the best decisions that I have made. It’s not because I’m smart. It’s because I finally stopped and allowed other people to do what they do better than me. And, you know, when it came to advertising, everything got better when I allowed my best friend Terry to come in and handle that aspect of my my business. You know, when I finally said yes to our friend, Antonio Centeno at that point, I hated him because he was in my space. He was on YouTube. I’m like, Who is this son of a bitch trying to do what I’m doing? And, and he reached out, I was like, Hey, you want to? You want to get together and meet in Anaheim? And we can you know, I’m like, what’s he want? He’s trying to steal something from me. And that was the mentality. And it was him honestly, that that taught me so much about the fact that it’s you can accomplish so much more when you surround yourself with amazing people and uplift them. Everybody as opposed to having that scarcity mentality that I think I live with my entire life up until him and and so so yeah so let people I I still have have a problem getting out of my own way though because I am somewhat of a apparently a control freak

Andrew Warner 1:03:19
What is it? This is what I wanted us to close it out on by the way we keep mentioning Antonio. He is the creator of real men style, it’s real men style calm and

Aaron Marino 1:03:28
all Real Men Real Style, Andrew Oh, she’s gonna run Real Style.

Andrew Warner 1:03:31
See, I keep loving these frickin titles, Real Men Real Style. His video, I think taught me how to shave using a real razor. Now, I think he does one where he shows you how to use the old razor but I’m pretty sure he’s the one that showed me how to use like the non electric razor which I’ve used my whole life but he’s got more of a like a proper style and a proper mannerism about him. You know, like when I think about meeting handling Kids and being a father. It’s like, I’m just kind of winging it. I got it. I look at him, I go, No wonder he’s got a lot of kids. He’s got like this self control. He’s got this almost fatherly appearance to them. Looks like I’d feel comfortable buying a jet from him the way he’s dressed. What’s your daily schedule? I keep hearing all the things that you do. I never asked guests about that. But now I’m finding myself being fascinated by your ability to get so much done.

Aaron Marino 1:04:26
So I wake up, I’m basically at work at 6am every morning. That’s when when I’m up I had I used to go to Starbucks. Now I come to my office. You know, have coffee work. That’s when I sort of think and plan and strategize my video for the day. answer emails, that’s the quiet time that in the morning is when I can actually be creative and think I’m around eight o’clock I leave I go exercise and eat breakfast there for that. I am back at work by 11 o’clock. That’s when I start recording video and do that until about one At that point, I will go to my warehouse where I have my my grooming company, and everyday and just touch base and check in and see make sure everybody’s good. And then I typically will have a call a few times a week at around two, three o’clock with my company in Chicago. And after that it’s on to talk to Pete and Pedro. Or Mike, Mike levy at Pete and Pedro. And then I’ll sit in Edit until about six o’clock, go home, exercise, eat dinner and work and edit until I go to bed at around 10 o’clock Monday through Friday.

Andrew Warner 1:05:33
And you knew if you’re still good, considering Oh, yeah, man. We’re good. When’s the time that you see her and all this? How

Aaron Marino 1:05:38
do you I see her all the time now that we’re quarantine I see. No, we see she understands and, and this is something it’s just it works for us. We don’t have children and you know, it works for us. We see each other and we have you know, great time together and, and our weekends or evenings and, and we’re good after 10 o’clock you get together No, no sleep. I like to sleep by that.

Andrew Warner 1:06:03
The best advice I got was I remember Jason Calacanis used to be a maniac he still kind of is. He’s a. Now he is a full time angel investor. He used to talk about all the things that he did. And I never saw him and his wife together. And I finally said to him, how do you how do you keep it together when you’re working so many hours and said, Andrew, said, basically, I’m the master of the Grand gestures. I said, like, why did you see that mountain over there? Yeah, we were in Santa Monica. I will take her up climbing on that mountain. We will then have a surprise picnic meal, and then she’ll have this giant experience that she could go and tell her friends on. It’s memorable. It’s not an everyday thing. But if I’m going to do it, it’s going to be that big. I thought. That’s what I need to do with Olivia. So I’ve been I’ve been taking that to heart. device. Yeah. Now under quarantine, what I did is a fire in the backyard and I built a tent and we sat in there and we talk without any distractions. All right, that’s excellent. Pete and Pedro alpha, alpha m, so many different brands. And you’ll go through it all, you should be like half dead at this point. But you look good through it all. Congratulations on all the success. Thank you so much for being on here. And I just really enjoyed talking to you. And I want to thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first is the company that will host your website, right, get on it already. This is the time to do it, go to slash mixergy. And if you really even hate me, and you think maybe I’m doing it for selfish reasons, just get rid of the mixergy at the end of that URL, and just go to Hostgator and start your site. I’m telling you, it’s gonna be great for you. And now that this interview is over, I urge you to go and check out another podcast. It is called Traffic Secrets, with Russell Brunson, get some specifics into your head and just enjoy his storytelling style. Thank you. Thanks so much, Aaron. Thank you so much, Andrew.

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