How to be ballsy to create opportunity (even if you have no experience)

I am not about to build a shoe company; I am not about to do anything like today’s guest has done but I’m still in awe of what he’s been able to do.

He’s created dress shoes that are as comfortable as sneakers and a business that he’s built from scratch.

Justin Schneider is the founder of Wolf and Shepherd, makers of dress shoes as comfortable as sneakers.

Justin Schneider

Justin Schneider

Wolf and Shepherd

Justin Schneider is the founder of Wolf and Shepherd, makers of dress shoes as comfortable as sneakers.

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Full Interview Transcript

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 I do it for an audience of real entrepreneurs because I know that what we do is we want to hear what’s working for other people, we want to learn from them and we want to build our businesses based on them. And frankly, also, we’re kind of fans of entrepreneurship. I have to say, in this case, I am not about to build a shoe company. I’m not about to create anything like what today’s guest has done, but I’m still in awe of what he’s done.

I saw this online for months and for some reason, it didn’t occur to me to have him on as a guest. But someone on my team was smart enough to say, “Hey, this is a really big company we should find a way to get today’s guest on.” Here’s what I saw, dress shoes that look comfortable, dress shoes that are sold as being as comfortable sneakers. In fact, one of the things that I saw was one of the guys who wore these shoes ran, I think it was it was a half marathon, wasn’t it? Justin?

Justin: Yes. It was a half marathon in Atlanta.

Andrew: In Atlanta. I thought this is really freaking clever. This guy’s got my attention, first of all, by saying it’s a dress shoe that looks good. And by telling me that it’s as comfortable sneakers, which is what I prefer to wear, usually. And he’s got a successful business that he started from scratch and I invited him here to talk about how he did it. His name is Justin Schneider. He is the founder of Wolf and Shepherd. Wolf and Shepherd makes dress shoes that are as comfortable as sneakers. I invited him here to talk about how he did it. And this interview is sponsored by two phenomenal organizations. The first is a conference that I loved going to it’s called Fireside Conf. It’s like going back to camp except for everyone in the room is an entrepreneur pretty much. And number two, it’s sponsored by ActiveCampaign, email marketing done right. I’ll tell you guys more about those later. First, Justin, welcome.

Justin: Thank you, Andrew.

Andrew: I feel like one of the reasons why you get a lot of credibility is people say a former Adidas person created these shoes. A former sneaker exec. That gives a lot of credibility and still, you applied to work for Adidas when you were younger and what happened when you applied?

Justin: Yes, so when I applied online I didn’t hear back for a long while and then I got, you know, I think it was an auto decline and it was kind of like, you’re not qualified. And that’s something that I hadn’t heard a lot but was starting to hear as I was looking for my first job right out of school. Was that when I took the front, kind of the front door and tried to get in which was usually through the careers page on these companies websites, that more times than not, I would just here back no, within one or two weeks. And so for me in that kind of in that position, I found that, you know, most things I’ve been able to have some success with purely by just showing people how hard I’m willing to work and that I have something to contribute to their team.

So the best way for me to do that at the time was, you know, was to try to take the back door. And for me that looked like discovering first, what was my dream job, which for me at the time was to work on running shoes, or tracks, bikes at Adidas. And I figured, well, the best place to do that would be LinkedIn had just kind of come out so it was starting to grow and there was my answer. I decided to go down. And what were the dream jobs I wanted an Adidas from the top job all the way down to something maybe more accessible at an associate level. And I built a little hierarchy and I did some I did some research online, read anything I could about these individuals, and then pursued reaching out to them.

The first thing I did actually was called the customer service line for e-commerce. I think that was they had just launched an e-commerce site and I was thinking I want to, you know, I want to see if I can get ahold of these guys at corporate. And the CX line ratted me to the headquarters, who routed me to the design department, who routed me to the design recruiter and I would, and then that person would ultimately route me over to that person’s desk.

And what I said was, “Hi, my name is Justin Schneider. I am a student-athlete and decathlete from the University of Notre Dame who’s studying product design and one of my dream is to work here at Adidas and I’d love to speak to X employee or X person about how, you know, being a decathlete and also studying design would make me a reasonable candidate that I think at worst would be fun to entertain as someone working with the company. You know, I’ve got my portfolio together and I just would love to exchange ideas and share what I’m doing with you guys in case it’s something that you think it’d be beneficial to the team.”

And the first three people I tried to get ahold of didn’t answer the phone. I left messages and the fourth person I got was the head of collegiate sports for North America and the person was surprised having in the other like,” Hey, you know, how did you get a hold of me and who are you?” And I gave my pitch and I said, “I’d love it if I could have just five minutes of your time to tell you about what I’m passionate about and how I hope I can contribute to Adidas.”

He said, “Great. You know what, if it’s worth, send me your portfolio and we can talk a little on the phone. If it’s any good, then you’ll hear from us. If not, you know, good luck.” And after being turned down from the website, I got a call back just a week later from the design recruiter asking if I’d be interested in a job.

Andrew: Why do you think you were turned down? What was it about their process? Now that you’re an entrepreneur, head of a company, what have you learned that helps you understand why you were turned down back then?

Justin: You know, looking back in hindsight, I think it’s not because I wasn’t qualified or because I didn’t have the ambition or drive or the character or the chance. It’s that as companies grow, you have to implement more systems. And I’m going through that right now with our company. But you have to have systems and processes to filter all that noise and try to identify the best talent and people who are going to be appropriate for your company. Oftentimes, that comes from the individuals inside who are seeking talent, taking a proactive approach. That way they can kind of zero in on the top talent that they want to pursue. And oftentimes that can take a backseat to people who are, you know, proactively reaching out to them, especially when it comes to lower levels where there’s a wider pool of potential candidates.

Andrew: Okay. And then why did you get the job? Was it just because you were willing to make a call? Because I can’t imagine you had a great robust portfolio at that point in your life, did you?

Justin: No. I wouldn’t say I had a robust portfolio, but I had a great portfolio of mock projects that I had built up on my own.

Andrew:What’s a mock project? What was in your portfolio?

Justin: So say that, you know, I want a job as a footwear designer, but I have no footwear experience. The best way to illustrate that I can do the job is to make up my own projects. And so I would pretend, I would create my own design brief around building a collection of, you know, running shoes and clothing and having a whole art direction to that collection. I would have another project that would say, you know, “I want to make a higher performing shoe for skateboarders,” or you can have fake projects like I designed a shoe for convicts, so that they cannot, you know, do anything you know or I designed shoe for jail so that people can’t smuggle things into. You know what I mean?

Andrew: That makes sense and I get it. And so that gives them a sense of your ability to work hard the way you think. Do you think it was a portfolio or the fact that you made this series of calls and were hustling that got you there job?

Justin: I think it’s the sizzle on the front that gives you the opportunity and then your work has to be the kind of the meat that allows them to feel confident in hiring you especially at a lower level position.

Andrew: I’m looking at your past trying to understand how does a guy do this? I think most people just kind of move away. They think it’s early in my career. I haven’t done anything. Nobody should pay attention to me and wouldn’t take that ballsy move that you took. Looking at your background to get a sense of where it is, I wonder if it’s because you were the youngest of three siblings and they excelled and you didn’t that you had to . . . I’m I over analyzing this or did you really feel like I have to prove to the world that I can do this?

Justin: No, no. I think that there’s some truth to that. I think achievement has been important to me. You know, I’ve seen my, both of my siblings and my parents excel, but also I hadn’t had the chance to do so, right? When you look at, for instance, I’m the youngest of three, my brother is seven and a half years older than me. Fantastically bright guy, he’s the smartest guy in our family. You know, he went to Harvard. He got hired after his freshman year in college at a bank and, you know, he’s always excelled. He’s a strong intellectual. He’s a savvy, charismatic guy.

But when you’re seven and a half years younger, you know, you’re in middle school in this person’s, you know, finishing up college, right? So, of course, it seems like someone who’s, you know, really a whole season in front of you in terms of life is more accomplished. And so I think I used to compare myself to people were much older.

Andrew: I still do that today. Frankly, one of the benefits of doing these interviews, I learn so much, I get these great relationships. I grow as a person as entrepreneur but the negative part is, I also see people achieve so much and I think on comparison, what have I done? I haven’t done enough yet. Do you feel that too at this point or you’re done with that?

Justin: No. Absolutely. I definitely feel that but I think what’s happening too is, you know, I’m pretty young in in this industry right now. And we’re a young company, but I’m also kind of earlier than many of my peers. I’m starting to have a family. I’ve got two kids, you know, I’m married and both of us are in our 20s. And so a lot of our peer group isn’t, you know, taking some of the leaps at the same time because of preference, as we have. I think I’ve kind of had this mentality of, you know, throw everything at me, we want to experience life, we want to maximize our experiences and go as far as we can go. I think there’s not really benchmarks that are kind of in a way prohibiting us from thinking this is how far were shorting, you know, this was how far I can go.

I’m really trying to look at, you know, if someone else can do something, I think, why can’t I do it too? You know, I see an older sibling or a peer of mine who’s a little further ahead accomplishing. The more I learn from them, I realized I’m just as capable.

Andrew: All right. What are your sales figures now? How much have you achieved?

Justin: So I don’t want to give specific numbers but what I can say is that you know within the first year, a full year of business we had just exceeded our seven-figure mark in terms of annual net revenues and then we’ve been growing at 500% yearly over the last two years.

Andrew: So within the first year over a million dollars in sales.

Andrew: Within our first year from the ship of our first product.

Andrew: Okay and wait till people hear how you got those first sales, dude, that is actually even more ballsy than the way you got the internship. All right, let me kind of set this up this way. You then worked for National Geographic. You came back to the US. You worked for another shoe company. What’s the shoe company?

Justin: Reebok. New Balance and then Reebok.

Andrew: New Balance, Reebok and then a friend of yours, Paul, said something to you that set you on this new course. What did Paul say?

Justin: Sure. So come back from spending some time consulting overseas and I had a friend call me on the phone and this is already kind of an idea at the back of my mind. But he had just kind of struck gold by saying, “Hey Justin, I’m on my way to work, my feet are killing me. I’m 27 years old and I just spent a ton of money from my last bonus check on a pair of fresh new English handcrafted shoes and my feet are killing me. I’ve been trying to break these things for the last two weeks. And I just can’t understand how me at my age can hardly get to work without my feet feeling like they’re about to fall off. He’s like you’ve got do something about this. You design shoes. Why can’t my shoes be comfortable?”

Andrew: All right. And then you said because of that I’ve got to switch and go from sneakers and cleated sneakers specifically to dress shoes or was there more analysis that went into it that made you think there’s a market here?

Justin: I think it was just the fact that someone had, it had occurred to someone else that I can buy something really nice and beautiful but it’s not comfortable. Why do we have this issue today? And I think that’s it was right in alignment with a lot of had already been thinking about for quite a while. And I thought, you know, look, this is this is kind of a trigger for me to go and, you know, cut up some dress shoes and running shoes and see where we can kind of take relevant technology conceal that and something that’s very classical and beautiful that I can wear to work.

Andrew: By the way, watch the desk. For some reason, the mic is picking. Can you tap the Lavalier mic that you have on you? Yes, that’s not it. Okay. We just have to watch the desk because it’s picking up some random sounds. You said you were thinking about this? What was your thinking? As you were working for these three major shoe companies? What were you thinking of as a possible business idea for yourself?

Justin: You know, I don’t think I was. I wasn’t thinking about a business idea for myself, while I was working for these other companies. When I was there, I was thinking, what can I do to make it better? I wanted to know what new material can I work with that could have some kind of commercial appeal? What’s something that I can create, that’s going to allow me to show that I have impact that I’m doing something here. And when I was no longer under the umbrella of another company, I started thinking about that for myself. Is there something I can be adding tangible value to and this was a good indicator to me to say, “Hey, yes you know, I have some experience designing athletic shoes, it seems obvious that there are ways to apply them to classic footwear that can allow someone to both look and feel great.”

And it’s obvious is that is, it’s not that other people haven’t pursued that, but there’s no other competing brands that were incumbents that have tried to pursue this. The problem is that they’re established under a different story.

So people buy beautiful handcrafted quality shoes because of nostalgia and craftsmanship because it’s Italian made, but they don’t buy them because of necessarily comfort, they just wish they could have that. Because there are other dress shoes. It’s just they’re either on the lower end of the market or, you know, they’re from a heritage brand who’s creating this line and it just doesn’t stick because that’s not what their brands about. People buy stories, people buy brands that have credibility and consistency with their product. And that’s inconsistent with the incumbents who have tried. So that’s where it leads an opportunity for me from a storytelling perspective, and also from functional perspective to create a product that looks and feels good and tie performance into that.

Andrew: You told our producer, “I gave myself 90 days. Within 90 days, I wanted to have a fully working prototype.” Meaning an actual shoe from concept to creation?

Justin: Yes.

Andrew: And that means, don’t you need a factory to produce these shoes?

Justin: Absolutely. You know, I think that for me, a lot of us are percolating ideas. We’re thinking, “I could do this, what if I did this, or have you guys ever, have you ever run into the challenge of or the situation where you see someone invent something they sell it for a billion dollars,” let’s just say.

Andrew: Yes.

Justin: And then you go, “I thought of that too. I did I had that idea.” Well, I have great fantastic ideas but we need some kind of event or some kind of drive behind us internally that comes out and says, “I’m the guy to do it.”

Andrew: Okay, so you said I’m going to do within 90 days. Shoes seem really hard for me but if I had to is . . . complete lame, I don’t know jack about it. If I had to do it that fast. I guess I would say I’m going to take the top of an of a dress shoe and put a really comfortable sole and insole on it. One that would fit in sneakers and be done. That’s not the answer. Why? What am I missing,

Justin: You’re missing the element of something that is really classic that people can wear in any formal scenario. If I snap a sneaker sole on the bottom, it’s no longer a dress shoe, it’s a dress sneaker or it’s a casual shoe.

Andrew: So I’m looking at your shoes right now on your website. On wolfandshepherd.com. I love that there’s a guy in actually playing basketball and I’m assuming he’s wearing your shoes. On the bottom what I see is what looks like thick leather and a heel. So what did you do to create that look, but still give people the comfort of a sneaker within 90 days? Not today when you had more time to work on it but within 90 days, what did you do to achieve that?

Justin: So we started out . . . it’s funny. I went to the first thing I looked at competitors what were they doing that we’re trying to tackle this problem and I was, you know, I think if you’re looking at competitors. I said, “Well, how are they constructing their shoes? What elements are actually providing authentic comfort and which ones are marketing cues to consumers to purchase?” And I wanted to cut out all of the BS, if you will, and kind of narrow in on the essentials to making a shoe both look and feel great.

Andrew: And that was?

Justin: That was by looking at just to be very frank, for example, you know, traditional dress shoes are made with wood and copper, nails, nailed on the heel. But come on. Why are we walking on wood and nails in the 21st century? I wouldn’t buy a Maserati and put carriage wheels on it just for the sake of nostalgia. For us, what we wanted to do is we wanted to take and keep that very quintessential silhouette that says this is a beautiful, well-made Italian shoe and we just wanted to make it feel like your sneakers. So from a topical perspective, the leather is still leather and it’s made in Italy but what we did is we added more vegetable oil to make it softer, more malleable, like mesh.

You know, we replaced the cork insole with a memory foam that we had developed here in the States that was supposed to emulate, you know, a plush kind of hugging of the arch and the foot and we developed that in a way that it retains its cushioning over a year and a half to two years following your first wear. Most memory foams break down in one to two weeks. We replaced the woods, you know, the wood and copper nails with compressed [EVA 00:17:21] you’d find in a running shoe and we finish it off with a TPU injected heel and a resolable forefoot so that you can resole your shoes for years to come.

The only thing that kept traditional, which is very beautiful, is that people love leather soles are so [inaudible 00:17:35]. We still have a leather sole but we have a patent. It’s PhoenixTech patent that allows us to actually resole it twice as fast as traditional goodyear welt resoling and we do that with a shoe that’s going to last you for a lifetime. You want to keep the leather because as you develop a patina on the leather and as you develop that beautiful look and it fits your foot and forms to your foot, you want to keep it. We just made it so that all the pieces that were down can be replaced and we do that in a way that still looks like a very beautiful, classic silhouette to a dress shoe.

Andrew: You know what? So I gave you that quick answer. And then I googled it. I googled comfortable dress shoes for men. First of all, you guys do not come up on that at all, hardly anything comes up. It’s Rockport. Here’s the number one thing that came up or number two was Nordstrom and actually at Nordstrom there was exactly what I described. The shoe that has that top that looks like a dress shoe and a bottom that’s slapped on from a sneaker. And I could understand that’s not what you were going for. Okay, so you said I’m going to do this within 90 days. You started working on this. You had to find a factory too. How’d you find the factory? Did you go on Alibaba or something?

Justin: I first started with like any process, I started with asking friends who were in the industry saying, do you know anybody, do you know an agent, do you know a factory that can produce this concept. And I would have them sign an NDA. And then I would share my designs and say, “Hey, do you know where I could make this?” and they might lead in the right direction.

What I ended up doing is calling another shoe company, called their customer service line and asked as an avid customer that I was curious where they make their shoes. And they told me. They told me they make them in Leon, Mexico. And they said that they work with a family-run factory based in [inaudible 00:19:12]. So I do a little bit more research and I found someone else who had formerly worked there, and they gave me their contact information. Nobody is safe to privy information. And I found that out by just asking questions.

Andrew: This is the thing about you. I have to tell you, I’ve read about you for a while, you have very polished look, even like I told you when you stood up earlier before we recorded the seat has a very polished look, but man, you’re such a fricking hustler. The way you got your internship, the way you did that. And we’re going to talk in a moment about how you got your first customer. I’m looking at your face as I say that to you to see are you does he feel flattered by that or bothered by that? And I’m leaning towards more bothered by it? How do you feel when I say that you’re a hustler dressed up in a suit?

Justin: You know, I feel like I can give you a completely honest answer. I think it’s worn down. I am very appreciative of kind commentary. But I think that, you know, it doesn’t really matter. As much as it matters. Like, I want to know that what I’m saying is going to have an impact on people who are listening. I want to know it’s going to inspire someone and, you know, only to the degree that these the commentary helps doesn’t really matter, I guess, you know, I am proud of what we’re doing and what we’re accomplishing. But I think that I just know that there’s so much more ahead of us. The interesting thing is that like, I don’t think well, it would be satisfied.

I talked to Ashley [SP], he’s the world record holder in the decathlon. He’s the face of our brand this year. And he’s been willing to work with us, partly because we’re so strong on our point of view on what we want to accomplish. I think he likes being a part of that kind of thing. And he and I competed together in college, although he was 10 times better than I was. Actually quite literally, he was, you know, almost two times as good I was. But you know, the amazing thing about him is, this is the best in the world, the best athlete in the world, you know, the number one to decathlon world record holder. And, you know, we talked about what we want to achieve it he always said, when people asked him, “How far are you going to jump or how far are you going to throw the javelin? Or what do you want to do next? Do you want to set the world record again?” he just would say, “I want to go further next time.” It’s always I want to be better, “I want to go further. And I’m kind of thinking forward the whole time.”

Andrew: And whenever I say something like you’re a hustler, you’re making these calls and all that. That’s not helping you move forward. That’s interesting if it helps the story for the audience. But you don’t give a rip about that. Okay, I like that. I feel like I’m getting insight into you. All right. Let me talk about my first sponsor, it’s a company, it’s an organization called Fireside Conf. Do you go to conferences at all?

Justin: Not really. No.

Andrew: I get it. I don’t like conferences, either. Unless I’m speaking. And then frankly, it’s, you know, it’s a selfish reason because I want attention on me. Why don’t you go to conferences?

Justin: I think there’s a lot to do. I mean, I’ve got a family at home that I want to play with. And my kids are growing. They’re two and eight months old, and my wife who is also very involved in the business now, you know, she and I want to spend time together. And if I’m not doing that, I’m growing the business. So there’s not enough time except for we are really looking for an answer to go and discover that. Sometimes I made you to conference but oftentimes, that’s by going directly to the source. You know, I think we feel empowered in the way that that if there’s someone, we think who as it gets for, we can go to them, and we can start that conversation. And it might be hard, we can take the front door, we can take the back door.

Andrew: You know, I get that for when I want something, I have a big network because I do these interviews. But sometimes I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what the possibility is, until somebody in a private conversation says, here’s what I’m doing. And they’re not making that available online. And they’re not emailing me and saying, “Hey, Andrew, here’s an amazing thing.” But they do bring that out in conferences. Here’s what they don’t do it on stage. On stage, they often will give me the same thing that I can watch on YouTube videos, which is why I think conferences of future cannot be reproductions of the YouTube videos and podcasts that are out there. And that’s what Fireside believes too.

Here’s what they do. The guy who founded, one of the two guys who found a Fireside used to go to summer camp at this place. And he loved it. It was kind of off the grid, you can go and start your fire, real campfire anytime and anywhere you wanted there. Not anywhere. They have a few designated areas but you can do it whenever you want. And he said, there’s a real bonding. So he said, “You know what, I’m going to bring entrepreneurs together at this space and give them time to just talk, to go to breakfast together, to sleep in the same bunks together, believe it on the same like rooms. I don’t know what they’re called bunks, lodges. I never went to summer camp.

I did go to this thing last year and they told me, “Andrew, you’re a celebrity in the space. We want to give you your own room so people don’t bother you everyone else.” I said, “I don’t want that. Give me the same feeling as everyone else.” I went into a room specifically with six other people I’m so glad that I did. It was in the, “Hey, do you have a bar of soap that I can borrow,” moments that I connected with them and we kind of had a friendship struck up. This is what I love. Really curated group of people, almost every single one an entrepreneur, there were a few venture capitalists, there were a few people who came along with the founders of their company and we all hung out.

Yes, there were some presentations but they were by the fireside. It was totally fine to walk away. It was totally fine even talk to the person next to you while you’re watching somebody give a talk and once you heard someone give a talk you could just go and hang out with them. I could go paddle with them. I could go swim in the lake with them. Anyway, anyone who wants to go check this out. Really fun event where you get to meet other entrepreneurs and get to really know them all the best parts of conferences and some of the best parts of vacations, go to firesideconf.com/mixergy. It will make it easier for you to get accepted because I know that they’re asking for applications. You will also see me very shirtless jumping in their lake because I got so freaking excited about it and me talking about what it is that I liked about the conference I think while I was there.

If you’re interested when you go to firesideconf.com/mixergy and hit that apply, you are going to be marked as a Mixergy listener and they will almost definitely, unless you’re a weirdo freak, they will accept you to go in there. I’m telling you this was such a good event. I came back fired up from it and I’ve got friendships including the guy who gave me a ride home a ride to the airport. He and I are now really close friends. We’re like text messaging buddies talking about business. When I bought a company I texted him. I go, “Hey, you sold and bought companies. Give me some insight into what I should be doing.” Super helpful it’s firesideconf.com/mixergy. And I promise I’m going to read the second ad faster. That was way too long. But I got excited about it.

All right. Most people would say, “Hey, Justin, Kickstarter or Indiegogo, that’s the way to go. You’ve got a new idea. Go use that platform to get as many customers as fast as possible.” Why did you say, “No, that’s not for me?”

Justin: Because the number one thing that builds brands is stories. And I think that when you’re sharing that story in the inception of your company, you’re tying apart a portion of your future at a very infancy stage to a platform that may not always align with what your brand goals are. So for me, I wanted to have full control of that from the beginning.

Andrew: And if you were on Kickstarter would be, “Hey, Kickstarter has this shoe that’s comfortable but looks good,” versus being on your own platform. Where would be, “Wolf and Shepherd has a shoe that’s comfortable and looks good.” That’s the thing you’re thinking.

Justin: Yes. No, I didn’t think I think Kickstarter is an incredible platform. I know people who have launched high-end companies in fashion and apparel and many other things on Kickstarter and it’s been a huge proponent to their success. So by no means do I have anything against the platform. I think it’s an incredible platform. For us and at the time, I was really, really delicate about how our brand was going to be perceived. And I wanted to be seen bigger. I wanted to be seen as valuable and important from the beginning without it having to be attached to another name to kind of support that.

And so, one of the great things about our company and it’s actually allowed us to continue growth is that we kind of we did the legwork at the beginning. We built the platform, we asked people to come to our website, they pre bought, they pre ordered through our website through, you know, application, but we got to keep everything branded under the Wolf and Shepherd umbrella. And that allowed us to have a very authentic beginning.

Andrew: You know what, I have to tell you. I don’t think I’ve ever said this out loud. But when a guest says, I have this successful Kickstarter, this business that got started and they give you their numbers, I almost always reject them. Because what I found is they have great Kickstarters, it does big money, but they never have a follow up. Because what they learned is, here’s how to do a kickstart, they didn’t learn how to build the business, and then they’ll go back and do another Kickstarter campaign or Indiegogo and not that I have anything against those platforms. But it’s not a sustainable, ongoing thing often. And where it is we make exceptions that we have them on was that at all part of your thinking, too?

Justin: Yes. That came to my mind in the sense that, like, we didn’t want to be a one-off product. I think, you know, Shark Tank, Indiegogo, Kickstarter are great, great platforms for many companies. We’ve been invited to participate in many of these and online shows . . . I’m sorry, on TV shows, and online platforms, fundraising platforms, because we’ve we started to build and percolate a brand that has really a lot of meat behind it. It’s very substantial. But you know, again, like I’ve always said that we want to be that, you know, we want to be the leading brand in our in our category. And in order to do that, I think you have to really emphasize that the beginning.

Andrew: All right. And so you needed to come up with $120,000 to make the first batch of shoes. Did you have $120,000?

Justin: No, I had $15,000 to start the company.

Andrew: And so where were you going to get the money that you needed, the $120,000?

Justin: I had to get about 600 people to buy shoes before we ever had the product in order to pay for them.

Andrew: All right, the nice thing about being on Kickstarter is they help put you in front of people. And there’s some hacks actually to get to the top of their leader charts, and then get them to email you. And there’s a process there. There is no process if you do what you did, which is you just went, you got a Squarespace site, you had a sketch, you got a concept and you were ready to go. How did you get your first sale? Do you remember the very first one?

Justin: Yes, absolutely. I had already told many friends along the way and people that this is what I was doing. So and this is kind of like a two part story. Again, feel free to interject if there’s something you want to add to it, or points it in a different direction. But my first customer, I believe, was my dad. And that was because I had followed along, asking him for his advice and how he had built his business and what it takes to succeed. And a lot of that has actually hustle and drive and ambition, which are very much proponents of the wolf, right. And he was kind of my shepherd in a way, you know, like, he helped guide me through the process.

Andrew: Is that where name happened? Where you got the name?

Justin: Yeah, side story, the wolf of the shepherd. He was like, you have the wolf, they’re very ambitious, they’re driven, they never hesitate, they’re hungry and they run in packs. And then you have the shepherd and the shepherd’s that guide. They help protect the sheep, and guide them from point A to point B across pastures, right. So these two very adversarial components playing on the same field. And that’s ambition and leadership. We believe you need both of those to succeed. It’s classic style. It’s athletic fit. What does it look like to combine these two seemingly different principles into one element. And that’s what we see we are doing at Wolf and Shepherd is taking the best of both worlds, and seeing how we can flush them together.

Andrew: So you went to your dad, he was your first customer, what did you do next?

Justin: Well, the rest of the week, I had called people, I posted on Facebook. And by the end of the week, I had 12 customers. And by the end of the month, I needed at least 60,000 to pay the deposit to make this happen. I had already spent. So I remember I had a conversation with my dad, it was about a Thursday of the first week. And he said, hey, how’s it going here? How many shoes have you sold? Are you doing what you needed to? And I said, well, I’ve sold 12 pairs, it’s gone a little slow. He’s like how many do you need to sell? I was like I need to sell at least 200 to be on track to cover the down payment and sell the shoes on time.

He’s like, “So that’s 50 shoes. You’re behind 38 shoes for your first week. How are you going to make those up the next week?” I said, “I’m going to keep asking people to support us.” Then he said, “Well, you better get your butt in gear.” He said, ” Has your brother bought a pair?” I said, “No, Johan hasn’t bought a pair yet but he said he would.” He’s like, “Well, if you can even get your own blood to buy your shoes, then this is never going to happen.” I said let me call you back.

I got off the phone. I called my brother went right to call my brother. And I was walking around. I was at this at this conference in Jacksonville Beach, Florida showcasing my shoes and something called One Spark. I think that there was one person that walked the whole show that was even considering buying the shoes. And he was selling, who ultimately became an investor. So the interesting thing was, I’m walking around here and you know, actually one person who bought this was my neighbor, who I grew up with. And this is it what had made up the first of all customers that were quite close friends, my neighbor, and my dad, but not my brothers.

I got my brother on the phone. And I said, “Hey, Johan, it would mean so much to me if you would buy a pair of my shoes.” And he said or as I am kind of certain like, would you buy one of my shoes? He’s like, “Yes, you know, I’m going to do it. Let me do it tomorrow.” I said, “Well, it would really mean a lot to me if you buy the shoes.” He’s like “I’m watching a TV show right now. Why don’t we do this a little bit later?” And I said, “Johan, look, I’ve never asked anything of you in my life and I put the last eight months of my life into making this project work. This isn’t just, you know, not even a product,” I said, “put last eight months of my life into building this company. This isn’t just a project. This is my life. And it would mean so much to me as your younger brother who has never asked anything of you before if you would just go online and buy my shoes.”

He said, “Okay, I’ll go do that, you know, then good luck to you.” So he got online he’s like, “Well, there’s two colors. Which one do I get?” I said, “You need to get both.” So he bought two shoes, added to cart. It was a total of I believe $660 for these shoes. And this is kind of, you know, up in there. It was a [inaudible 00:32:53] solid and evergreen kind of higher quality product. And he said, “Great, are we done now?” And I said, “Yes, thank you so much but I have one more thing I need to ask you.” I said, “I need you to take this email that I’ve drafted and send it to everyone you work with. You know everyone in your department that you work with.” He said, “There’s no way,” and my brother is a very respectable professional. He would never do these kind of things. He said, “No way. I never send spam. I don’t want anybody feel like I’m promoting in self-interest to them something that they don’t really want.” I said, “Johan, this is the last time I’m going to ask anything of you.” He’s like, “It better be the last time.”

“You know, it would mean so much to me. And tell them how much it would mean to you if they would support your little brother and his business venture to help him get it off the ground and how you’ve never asked anything of them before and the fact that you don’t send those emails means this one will actually mean something.” And he being an amazing older brother and very supportive of me did send the email. And to my surprise, the next morning I had over 12 orders which was more than I had done the whole week leading up to that, from one company Frank Russell company. So guys out there if you need support, go to Frank Russell. There’s great people there. They’re very intelligent, bright.

Andrew: Well-dressed I hear.

Justin:Yes.

Andrew: So what did you take away from that? How are you now going to continue to sell if it required you pushing your brother, asking for favors? How could you expand beyond that, if that’s what it took?

Justin: That was the easy thing is that it was hard trying to go from friend to friend asking them to buy the shoes. But what inflection point came was the inspiration my dad had given me to go back and really be all in on this. And so when I talked to my brother, I was putting my life on the line. I was saying in theory I was putting my life on the line, right? I was saying, “This matters to me, I’m going to the grave with this. And I need you to be a part of my story. So this can be successful.”

And when you ask people like that. It’s like if you had a friend come to you, and you knew that they were all in and they had put all of their money and their time in this and all they were asking us for your support. Now, buying even a $300 product doesn’t seem like that big of a thing to ask. Like, “Hey, you know what, you’re really on this, I want to support you. I’m going to do that because I love your story.” And that story is what is scalable. We build a fantastic product. Don’t get me wrong. And I believe I’ll go to the grave with that as well. You put our shoe on the shelf next to anyone at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth or online, nobody comes close. Because whether or not you are looking for dress shoes, we have a fantastic story that’s very authentic to our growth story. And people want to be a part of that. And that’s what drove our first 800 orders.

Our first 800 orders was basically me selling life insurance online. Or in the form it was like, “Hey, you need this. I want you to have it. This means so much to me. My life depends on this. And I want you to be a part of my journey. Please do this and I’ll find a way to pay you back if I can if your support doesn’t come through.”

Andrew: And it’s just one on one. And then did you ever do more of what you did with your brother, which is email your friends. And please ask them to sign up?

Justin: Yes, it’s called refer lead prospecting. It’s very common rule in sales. You get one person to buy it, and they’re all in. They want to help you. And so I’m trying to convert people into advocates, not by saying here, here’s $20 give $20. That’s a traditional referral program. You see those everywhere, right. And not that those aren’t effective or appropriate but what I found is that, here’s my story, and I want you to hand that over to other people, you know, be a part of my story. And people are looking for something with a point of view and perspective they can latch onto. That’s what drives people’s energy addressable. It’s like, that’s why people want to work here.

It’s funny, we just posted a job last . . . or about six weeks ago, for a director of marketing. We had 200 applicants within the first two days. We screened 50 of them. The other we didn’t think qualified. And then we interviewed 20, and the first person that we wanted, we said, “This person’s perfect,” immediately got asked for the job immediately took it . And I think that’s what’s exciting is you come in here, there’s so much energy. It’s dripping from the edges. And we’re saying we want to build a culture of performance just like I had to. You know, nobody gave me money up front. They didn’t say yes, you know what, you sound ambitious and driven, here’s a million dollars, go start your idea. They had no problem doing that once we had already established ourself and said, yes, look, we’re generating millions of dollars in revenue. And we did that with this much money and here’s how we’ve been disciplined capital, and we’ve been able to grow it you know, growth rates where people have tens of millions of dollars.

Andrew: Did you try to raise money and did you try to raise money and realize you couldn’t do it?

Justin: People had suggested you’re not going to be able to . . . Justin, you don’t have experience building a company. You’re not going to be able to do this without substantial capital and advisors to help you. And when you start asking around, you’re 25 years old, and you’re asking around for a seven figure checks, no one really has confidence that you can do that. They want tangible evidence and that’s what we gave them but we had to find another way, so this was a necessity.

Andrew: All right, let me take a moment talk about my second sponsor and then come right back in and find out what happened next in the story. My sponsor is actually in direct competition with the tool that you use. I checked your site. You use MailChimp to send out email and I probably shouldn’t be like talking about a competitor of my sponsor. My sponsor’s ActiveCampaign. I don’t want to put down MailChimp. I think they’re a fine company. Let me tell you why you should consider ActiveCampaign. You have lots of different products. What you might start to discover is, especially if you start to tag people, you might start to discover that people who wear boots are completely different from people who wear, what is it called the gunner driver, right?

The gunner driver, more casual, more relaxed, no laces. The boot is maybe for somebody in colder weather, somebody who’s a little more uptight, somebody who, you know, a different type of person, how do you know it? Do you start to give them a survey? Join my newsletter and by the way, what do you prefer? Boots or . . . It’s lame. It’s not going to work. You can’t do that. But here’s what you could do using ActiveCampaign. Once somebody joins your mailing list, you can watch, manually watch, not creeping on them, but your software can pay attention to what are they looking at? And if they look at the same shoe, imagine they look at the Striker . . . Am I pronouncing right? Chukka? Chukka?

Justin: Striker Chukka.

Andrew: The Striker Chukka is this specific type of person who’s into it. Imagine you’re looking at it five times in the same day. Twenty times in a week, right? People do that. I do that when I’m when I’m interested in something.

At that point. What you might want to do is maybe start emailing them just about that. No effort. They don’t to tell you I’m interested in this and fill out a form. You just know it. Maybe you start emailing them about that and say look, the shoes are a little more comfortable than others. Maybe you start noticing that when people look at the shoes over and over price is an issue and so you say, here’s why this cost so much because the value is so much better. And it last longer. You do it in a much more elegant than I, way than I just said it.

The important thing to notice is you watch what they do and use and you customize your messages to what they do. That’s the kind of thing that used to take forever to do because software was too complicated and it was too involved for businesses to put together, so only businesses that were marketing automation obsessive did this and people were product obsessive left it alone. ActiveCampaign said we’re going to make this super easy. Just put a little bit of code on every page of your site. We’ll start to make it easy for you to customize it.

All right, that’s why ActiveCampaign is fantastic. Now you’re with a competitor. A lot of people who are listening to me are using some different email provider. I get it. We all sign up for something whatever is advertised the most is what we probably sign up for not because we’re spending time analyzing competition. If you’re interested in ActiveCampaign you want to try, ActiveCampaign is going to make it easy for anyone who’s listening to me to try it for free. Just go to activecampaign.com/mixergy fully try for free. If you sign up, yes they’ll give you the second month for free to really encourage you to use my URL.

But two things that you get that I want to highlight. Number one to free one-on-one sessions so you talk to somebody at their team say here’s what Andrew told me I think I could do this is this the best they’ll give you advice they’ll say here’s what you should actually do. Really customized to your needs, you go implement it or have someone on your team implemented, and they have a second one-on-one session personal advice here’s how you can use the tool, how to use what we talked about, let’s adjust based on what you use and what you didn’t. And finally, if you’re with a competitor, they will even migrate you for free.

So if you are listening to me, Justin, and you’re curious about just fall away in your head. You may not even remember the slash Mixergy at the end. Totally fine. File it away in your head when you say, “Hey, we should try marketing automation, ActiveCampaign is what’s going to pop in your head and in my listeners’ heads and I promise you you’re going to love it.

If you don’t, if anyone has any problems with this or any one of my sponsors, frankly come to my office and tell me. I do not want to support sponsors who are not fantastic or email me andrew@mixergy.com. But here’s the URL activecampaign.com/mixergy. Haven’t had a single complaint about them because they’re fan freaking tastic. All right, I should actually start calling up on my friends and tell them to switch over.

Justin: You know what ,I actually just had our head of marketing walk by and he popped his head in and I gave him a little signal and he’s probably looking up ActiveCampaign as well.

Andrew: It really is good. And it’s not. I’m glad that you’re into it. I was actually checking you out to see what kind of marketing you do. I cannot tell. I know that you guys do and I see this a lot with my guests. You share a sale, right? That’s where you’re basically paying affiliates to send customers to you?

Justin: Correct.

Andrew: That’s a big thing for you. How do you get your affiliates?

Justin: So affiliates actually have come to us. What’s happened typically is that, you know, we we’ve had some good editorial content written about us and people see click-throughs clicking out of their website to ours. And they figure, “Okay, well, our readers must like this information, we want to capitalize on that.” And so typically, if you have gotten some organic traffic with a mid or major source, you know, people are always looking for revenue stream, because they need to be able to support their incredible creative talent. In our case, you know, we’re providing somebody, you know, a lot of readers, particularly in big business segments, people who wear dress shoes on a regular basis, or whole shoes and dress casual shoes, they’re looking for something like this.

And so, you know, these writers, editors and publishers actually benefit from telling our story and that click-through, they’re saying, “Look, if you’re going to leave our readership, if the readers are going to leave our publication then they better be going somewhere where we’re going to be generating some revenue from that and that comes in the form of affiliates.” So our most competing affiliates are best ones have come from editorial content prior to.

Andrew: That’s what I noticed that I think that you especially I think that you’ve got a good look, I think you’ve got a good story. And I could see that people like telling your story. I think your age plays a big part in it. You’re in like these 40 under 40s, 30 under 30 list, right?

Justin: 30 under 30.

Andrew: So I see a bunch of that. And I do see that people like Life Hacker link to you. And who else was it? Business Insider, Forbes. I just don’t see you’re saying some of these guys, not the ones that I mentioned but some then end up using a referral links so they could convert those links into paid links.

Justin: Sure. And we’re happy to do so the cool thing is that a lot of these are, you know, for lack of a better word synergistic. They realized that their readers are looking for insights. And they’re hoping that someone that’s going to direct them in the right place for their personal needs, when it comes to work, wear gadgets, whatever it may be. So the ones that are natural fit, or a great, great relationship, and we want to tell them, “Hey, look, you should be rewarded for this. And, you know, why don’t you continue to write it, you know, great stories about things as new concepts, new ideas, progress in our story. If your reader likes that, then why don’t you give them a little bit more,” and that seems to be a very beneficial relationship for both people and customers ultimately, seems pretty happy with the shoes.

Andrew: Okay. All right. The next thing that I heard that you did that worked well, is that half marathon. How did that come together because that every time I look you up, even in this Forbes article that I mentioned a moment ago, it’s you in a nice suit, with a good shirt holding up the shoe like really good shot, and then it’s this guy, Juris [SP], sweaty, wearing a T shirt that’s barely covering his body and wearing your shoes. That really fits well with your message. How did this come about?

Andrew: So this was the beginning of our second year of business and we had two interns, one of them was a runner in Syracuse. She had a good friend who had just graduated Uris Linux [SP] and he was doing road races across the country. He didn’t it doesn’t hurt that he happened to be one of the top runners in the country. Syracuse had actually won the national championship in cross country that year.

So incredible distance running school, you know, having been a runner in college, myself, my wife being a runner, and our intern now being a runner, which by the way, anybody out there who’s looking for talented individuals we’re going to be all about the brand and story that you build, hire swimmers, runners, particularly distance runners and wrestlers. Because those are people who are great individuals. And I’m not doubting any other sport. But these two these three particular sports where you’ve got a lot of internal drive, motivation, and discipline to wake up early, to grind it out. And to do things for a team where you don’t get a lot of glory for it.

So you takes an individual like that you put them in a work environment, and they thrive. So I’m an advocate. If I’m going to advertise anything, it’s individuals who can kind of generate internal energy and are willing to project that for a bigger goal than themselves. So when we it was, I think we had just moved to a new manufacturer in Europe, we had all these shoes coming in every, you know, my spouse was nervous about being a lot of people nervous about like, you’re buying thousands of shoes now, how are we going to move the shoes? How are we going to get people to try and buy these shoes? I said don’t worry, we’re going to find a way and people are going to love them. They’re going to love them. They’re going to buy more. You know, I thought what better way to do this in this upcoming half marathon that we had considered doing ourselves.

I said, we need to have like people that run half marathons with product before, you know, whether it’s clothing or you know, some other, you know, wristbands or something but if we can show that someone could even finish a half marathon 13.1 miles in a pair of our dress shoes that are handcrafted in these beautifully made shoes then they’ve got to be comfortable enough to walk to work, right? And a lot of our campaigns are meant to kind of inspire people to say, “You know, you may not skateboard in your shoes. You may not ride a wave in your shoes, you may not climb a mountain in our dress shoes, but you could. Not saying you should but you could.”

Andrew: Yes. I noticed that. It’s often a guy with perfect hair jumping over a wall but nothing’s out of place with the guy.

Justin: Yes, I mean, it’s not to say that it’s not effortless but it’s effortless but it is. I mean look we all we all aspire to do great things for the alleged I’d hope you know we all want to be better versions of what we show today. And I think that’s what we want to know is that we haven’t had to for the future. That’s why dress shoes have inspired people to feel. I want you to know that you’re the hero. You should hear our story and when you have our shoes and you put them on in the morning you lace up you say, “I’m going to be a better version of myself today.” Like, “I may not run a half marathon and I may not even win it like this other group did or like this Scott runner with Uris did, but you know I sure as hell can try.” And that’s what I think we accomplished with that story is that Uris amongst more than 6500 runners. Not only did he finish the race he got first place by more than five minutes and he did that in Wolf and Shepherd shoes and we thought that was a perfect way.

And we were nervous, you know. We were nervous that what happens to be as blisters? What happens if he doesn’t finish the race? What happens to be gets last? What does that say about the brand? But the fact that he finished first place, we got the whole thing on video, recorded every mile, I think that was authentic testament to the fact that although Yes, there’s a marketing stunt it’s one that’s very real.

Andrew: Did you get press before this happened?

Justin: No.

Andrew: It was just after. You were taking all . . . So frankly, if he got a blister, if he wasn’t able to complete you wouldn’t have to go and promote it?

Justin: Yeah, we probably wouldn’t have.

Andrew: I mean, it was just like it wasn’t like you partnered up with anyone it doesn’t seem like anyone paid attention to you until after that or paid attention to this race until after that. His numbers are so . . . I’m a runner. He averaged five minutes, 53 seconds per mile. That’s huge in Hot Lana [SP]. That’s what the thing was called the Hot Lana half marathon. I can’t run in the heat. Meanwhile, sometime around then you had to actually ship the first batch of shoes, the ones that people pre-ordered. You got money, but you weren’t able to. Why? What happened?

Justin: So this was a little bit before the half marathon. This is actually part of the reason we had moved to a new manufacturer, which we found just in time again through another network of friends who were willing to kind of help us find the right people. And you know, when we had done our first pre-order we had gotten the orders. We had done what people say is the hardest part getting customers. We had our first customers to get the deposit. We covered the remainder of the deposit. We had some delays, because the first thing that happened was that actually our proprietary memory from that we had shipped down to Central America was then resold in a secondary market and then replaced with a cheaper stock foam. And that wasn’t going to cut it.

So when we got that notification that delay would take six weeks, the factory manager we were working with to assemble our product with all of the raw materials identified it and in the best interest of our company and hers decided to let us know and we had to reorder and ship and the raw bits supplier had to rebuild the insoles to our shoes.

But that wasn’t it. You know, we were getting to a point customers were getting upset. They’re calling me at midnight saying, “Where are my shoes?” These are people who, you know, close friends and all the stuff that we’re really getting anxious and saying, “Look, I spent $300 I trusted you. You’ve taken them from me.” And that put pressure on me to say like, “I need to get these shoes to our customers.” Because that’s the last thing I intended to do was to disappoint someone. And I promised anybody who would complain or even got a delay like, “Hey, just checking in to see how things are going? Would love to know when the shoes arriving,” anybody on that list they were I put them in higher a hierarchical list. When I heard someone and said, “You’re going to be the first to get your shoes. I’m going to overnight them once they’re complete. Please have patience. Thank you for, you know, trusting me.”

And I gave up my phone number the time, you know. And I gave them my personal email address. And so people were contacting me. But that’s how I instilled trust. So what happened was, and that’s manageable when it’s a couple hundred people when it gets to 10,000, 15,000 people. You can’t use a personal number anymore. So, you know, the day that we’re supposed to ship the shoes that the factory manager calls me and says that shipping the shoes and that night they get stopped at Customs, whether it’s because they think that these nondescript white boxes have drugs in them or whatever, they got stopped at Customs and they were inspecting them. The end of inspection I get a call again from the factory manager and she stated that the shoes were coming back to the factory.

I said, “Why? What happened?” She said, “Well, during the inspection, and other dishwashing soap company was stored along with the shoes and had tipped over and dosed the first 350 pair that was being shipped directly to customers overnight.” So now I’m stuck with our most disappointed customers who now are not going to get the shoes overnighted into them and already told them they were being overnighted. And then it stopped at Customs. I flew to Leon where our factory was located. I went to the factory. I said, “What can we do? This Friday afternoon. People expecting their shoes on Monday, you know, from you know, you don’t ship overnight on Sunday.” So we had like, “What can we do here?” He’s like, “Well, here the boxes,” and literally it was plastic wrapped around a palette with the shoe boxes disheveled out of cartons with this, you know, soapy foam like blue foamy soap coming, leaking out of the boxes all over the brand shoes. Looked like camouflage on the leather.

And I said, “We’ve got to do this. We’ve got to get these to my customers.” He said, “There’s nothing we can do.” I’m stressing, “Well, we got to get more leather or do we have any leather?” And after a couple hours of debate and discussion, I started walking around the factory going just exploring looking for leather on my own and in finding a batch of leather that looked very comparable to ours. It had very comparable features. And I said can we use this leather? Please say we can use this leather. They said, “No, that’s our personal stock. That has to go out for us next month.” I said, “Why don’t we figure that out later. We’ve got to use this what can we do to get these operations reconstructed?”

And she said, “Well, it’s the weekend nobody can work.” I said, “What do we need to do to get them in?” She said, “Well, we have to pay them more.” I said, “What do we need to do to make sure that we can get that done.” You keep asking questions. And like we have to find a solution. There’s no other option. And by the end of the night, we had agreed to get all of her staff that was willing to come in to come in and call their friends. So their friends called their friends who work in other factories and they said, “Hey, look, this is how weekend work. It’s going to be 150% standard rate.”

They came in and we started, including me, cutting off the uppers off the shoes, pulling out all of the strips of weaving and parts that were adhering the shoe to the sole. And we recut and relaxed it and repacked the shoes in a 48 hour period and had them shipped out to our customers. Now they didn’t come overnight. They did come five days later. And our first 350 shoes did get to our customers a week later than the other already six weeks that they were delayed.

Andrew: You have to by hand fix it.

Justin: Absolutely. You know, not just myself. I had a bunch of people who were willing to come in and be a part of this. And that created, you know, the interesting thing was the cradle of loyalty or asking when are we going to work with that company again. What are they putting their next purchase order in. And so now everybody’s motivated and saying I want to be a part of that because that was a memorable moment. How many people are coming to work on a Saturday and are cutting up shoes that looked like their part of some kind of snow storm to camouflage themselves, you know, from terrorists or something, and we’re over here in Central America, people from different countries, coming together and deconstructing shoes and resoling them and getting them out to customers who are saying I want to try Wolf and Shepherd.

Andrew: Justin, I can’t think of a single founder of a physical product business that I ever interviewed who didn’t have some kind of chaos with their manufacturing, especially in the beginning. I keep thinking if I do these interviews, I’m going learn something that will help someone avoid a problem. But how do you do it? How do you avoid it? How does somebody say this could happen? Who’s going to anticipate that soap could spill on their shoes in transit? And say I heard that Justin had this issue with Wolf and Shepherd. We’re going to avoid it by . . . there’s no way. What do you do when you’re starting How do you avoid these issues?

Justin: You don’t avoid them, you embrace them. You have to expect that . . . it’s Murphy’s law. Things will go wrong, go ahead and say that right. But you can . . .

Andrew: Look, Andrew, don’t try to anticipate I mean try to anticipate as much as you can but understand it’s still going to fuck up and you still are going to have to find a way to get over it and recognize that could be the moment where you create bonding with your team you show yourself in the world which are made of. You just have to accept it.

Justin: If you think before we even started this conversation I didn’t come prepared enough for what you have built here and you know we had to go find some lab mics around the office and find the batteries and vice and SD cards and get it work with the Mac so it’s not working with a very good countryman receiver by the way but nonetheless you find a way you get it done this interview is important to me as it might be hoping to the listeners out here.

Andrew: All right and that feels like the theme of your whole experience here. All right, I’m glad to have you on here we’ve discussed a shoe which frankly is something that people are better off seeing than hearing described if anyone wants to go check it out. I actually would suggest don’t go to wolfandshepherd.com you could do that if you want but just google wolfandsheperd.com. You’ve heard me talk about the publicity that they got. I think seeing it in all these different articles will give you a sense of what they’ve built and how people are talking about it.

All right and I want to thank my two sponsors The first is I freakin’ love this conference I wish that Mixergy created it. It’s the fireside conference it’s firesideconf.com/mixergy. Frankly even if you don’t want to go to a conference go to that URL just so you can see me shirtless. I run all the time I don’t know how I could have the flab on the side but still, I enjoyed myself so much I said, “I don’t care. I’m still jumping into this lake,” and I asked the guy to videotape me because I was so happy I wanted a recording of it forever.

Right so firesideconf.com/mixergy and if you want to do email marketing, and frankly all marketing automation, right. They go beyond email. They do text messages and so much else. They hate when I talk about them as just an email marketing company but at the heart, if you want to start off with email marketing, start with them and they’ll allow you to grow beyond it’s activecampaign.com/mixergy. Cool. I’m glad we were able to do this interview. Thanks so much.

Justin:Thank you.

Andrew: All right. Bye everyone.


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