Screw the 4-Hour Work Week. Do This Instead.

Bill D’Alessandro believes that one of the most fulfilling things in life is working on hard things with smart people. The allure of the 4-hour work-week mentality can easily take over when starting out as an ecommerce entrepreneur, but might not be the smartest tactic for all businesses. There is now a trend gearing businesses towards something more lasting. Bill was living the 4-hour work week dream until  he decided to change it up and “grow up” in his business.  Since having made the decision to hire, Bill has seen business grow as his company, Element Brands, grows. He’s now able to step away less often but more easily because he runs his business with quality people, that he pays well,  and who are motivated to help him grow.

Bill is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and currently owns a portfolio of nearly 10 e-commerce sites primarily focused on household goods and personal care. Though Bill started the entrepreneur life as a digital nomad, he recently made the the switch to a corporate warehouse/office location in Charlotte and has 22 full time employees.

Episode Highlights:

  • The building of the Elements portfolio and how that process came about.
  • Using in-house vs. a broker for brand acquisition.
  • How Bill came to the choice of creating this more traditional business style.
  • What Bill’s typical day is like.
  • An example of when an employee saved Bill money as a result of their loyalty to the company.
  • How the structure allows Bill to disconnect thanks to the competent team he has in place.
  • Tips on hiring, vetting, and finding the cream of the crop.
  • Bill’s own hiring process.
  • Preferences for outsourcing people vs in-house training them.
  • Noncompetes Bill has in place and how they work well for him.
  • There are plenty of people out there interested in not being entrepreneurs but are interested in helping build great brands.

Transcription:

Mark: Okay one of the most popular business books that I can remember coming out in the past 15 years has been the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. And I’m going to admit I was a little annoyed when this book came out because all of a sudden everybody tried to become Tim Ferriss juniors where they were having their 2-hours per week that they were setting aside to answer e-mails and take phone calls. And so if I needed to reach out to them they would explain to me … they would say well I only answer e-mails during this time or I only take phone calls during this time and of course if it didn’t work with my schedule tough luck because they had their 4-hour workweek and they only had half of that dedicated to e-mails. And I think a lot of people went to that 4-hour workweek. During that time there was this allure of I can sit on the beach, I can take vacations and have this business that’s completely automated. That still has some allure today but more and more I hear people talking about being grownups in their business. Changing the way that they’re going about their business, hiring staffs instead of just doing pure outsourcing, building something that’s a little bit more lasting than what we’ve seen with some of that 4-hour workweek sort of business structure. So, Joe, I know you talked to a friend of ours Bill D’Alessandro. He was living that dream of the 4-hour workweek for a long time and then so to speak and Bill I would not say that you are a kid by any means but he grew up in business.

Joe: Yeah, he did and let me say right now folks that I’m having my house power washed so you’re going to hear the people in the background.

Mark: That’s why I was talking so long I was hoping that it would stop but it did not stop.

Joe: We’re all entrepreneurs, right? Life of an entrepreneur, I’m working from home. These guys already took a lunch break and they’re back and so you’re going to hear them every now and then. Anyway lunch … I had lunch with Bill D’Alessandro. He lives in Charlotte … I live just north of Charlotte a couple of months ago and we were talking … Bill just got married and we were talking about the honeymoon and he said yeah no it was great because I hardly checked in. I was gone for two weeks and I hardly checked in at all. And then he goes back when I was a digital nomad I went to the same country, the same beach, but I felt like I had to work all the time because it was me and me only. I had to tell my VAs what to do and I had to do certain things every day. On this vacation I turned it all off because I had good quality people working for me, running my business while I was away on my honeymoon and I was making money. And it just sort of clicked. Like you said, you just said grown up right? And that’s really… I mean it is what it is but you don’t mean it to be and I don’t mean it to be offensive to those that choose not to run a business that way. I’ve sold many businesses where there’s one owner operator and that’s it doing his thing. Look at that you can actually see the people power washing in my window in the background.

Mark: You know what it looks like? It looks like a scene from Oceans 12 where the guys on the background can really be is just setting up a big con on you Joe. You better look out. I hope you did a background check on these guys.

Joe: It’s hilarious they actually have giant trash bags on and just the holes cut out for the sleeves. And literally, I’ve got a house … the entire house right now they’re choosing to do right in front of my office in the windows outside. So if you want to see it and see the trash bag folks go to the actual video instead of just listening to the audio.

Mark: And we’ll make sure we put this one video up; at least this clip.

Joe: At least this clip.  Anyway, it just sort of … it was an epiphany with … Bill has an interesting story. I first learned about him back in 2015 in Savannah at the eCommerceFuel event and Darren was there with us; Darren Harden a former broker at Quiet Light. [inaudible 00:04:19.8] Joe you got to meet this guy he’s raised like 20 million dollars and he’s building a portfolio of e-commerce companies. I don’t know if that dollar amount was right. I didn’t feel the need to ask but I got a tour of Bill’s facility down there in Charlotte. He’s got an actual warehouse. He ships it all himself. He’s got rack space, he’s got staff, he’s got warehouse employees that he pays really well and they found ways to make him more money by cutting costs. And that’s really what this is all about, it doesn’t make sense to outsource all of this stuff two of 3PL, two VAs or does it make more sense for you in your business to bring it out in-house and run it and go to work every day, take vacations and not worry about it because you’ve got good people in place to do the job for you.

Mark: Yeah, he talked on this topic if I remember right at eCommerceFuel last year and let’s give a shout out to Andrew Youderian from eCommerceFuel Live. Anybody that is in e-commerce I always recommend, take a look at eCommerceFuel as a community to join. That’s a fantastic community. But he gave this talk in eCommerceFuel Live and I remember being struck by it because it was something that we haven’t been hearing. And I’m going to double down on what you said, Joe, if you choose that lifestyle sort of business which was the business where you are running just remotely and maybe not four hours but maybe eight hours a week that’s a really good and viable option as well. I think a lot depends on your personal priorities but sometimes we’d look down at those businesses that require an office and going in and having employees and stuff like that. It is a really good alternative as well for a lot of people. I’m interested to listen to this one. Again hear what Bill has to say about this and kind of how he made that transition over to a fully staffed business.

Joe: I’ll tell you right now there’s no doubt we’ll have Bill back on some day and we’ll be talking about his 50, 60, 70 million dollar exit because that’s the path that he’s going down. Now quickly before we go to that Mark we talked about eCommerceFuel, we talked about Rhodium, right now I’ll just name three or four other conferences that we’re going to and then we’ll go right to the podcast.

Mark: We can actually name them. So Prosper Show is coming up if you do anything with Amazon … that’s in March and if you do anything with Amazon go to Prosper Show for sure. We’re going to have a presence at T&C at Traffic & Conversion.

Joe: San Diego in February.

Mark: That’s right and then we’re going to be doing Blue Ribbon Mastermind with Ezra Firestone; an awesome marketer. Everybody knows who Ezra is. We’re going to be at that event as well.

Joe: Miami in January, there’s one more in there right?

Mark: Capitalism.com absolutely … Ryan Moran’s conference. We’re going to be there and I’m looking forward to that as well. That’s in Texas right?

Joe: Yes, it’s going to be in Dallas. So we’ve had Ryan on, we’ve had Ezra on, we’ve had [inaudible 00:07:01.8] on, we’ve had James on; we’ve had them all on. They’re great folks and we’ll be at each of those conferences and we’d love to get together with you guys for dinner, for an event that we might put on, something along those lines. Please let us know if you’re going to go to those conferences so we can connect.

Mark: Sounds great.

Joe: All right, off to the podcast.

Joe: Hey, folks, it’s Joe Valley from Quiet Light Brokerage and on today’s podcast, I’ve got Bill D’Alessandro. A lot of folks from eCommerceFuel know Bill very well. Bill is from the Charlotte area right here in North Carolina and owns a portfolio of e-commerce sites and is a regular guest on the eCommerceFuel podcast. Bill, how are you today?

Bill: Doing well Joe. Good to see you, man.

Joe: You too man, you too. So I saw you a couple of months ago, I got a nice tour of the warehouse and you’re moving to a much much bigger one. And we talked a little bit about your experience and what you’ve gone through over the last several years but I want you to tell the folks that are listening who you are and what you do and give them a little bit of background. So we can start with that and then we’ll go from there.

Bill: Yeah, sure. So for the folks that don’t know me … Hi, my name is Bill D’Alessandro. I’m the CEO and founder of Elements Brands. Elements Brands is a portfolio of consumer products brands. We focus on what we call household goods and personal care. So that’s everything from sunscreen, shampoo, body lotion, lip balm, laundry detergent; all sorts of things like that. We own nine brands today and are under LOI to acquire a 10th.  I started life as sort of your classic 4-hour workweek digital nomad entrepreneur but since then the business has evolved and I’ve kind of made a conscious choice. And now we’re located … Elements Brands is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. We have as of this day of recording 22 full time employees and growing. And as Joe mentioned we are moving into a new 51,000 square foot office/warehouse kind of facility. So it’s a far cry from my early digital nomad days.

Joe: Yeah, it’s definitely a far cry but one of the things that was interesting is that you kind of have more freedom in terms of when you want to take off from work. You can take off, turn your phone off and you’ve got a great staff there. So let’s talk a little bit about that. I want to talk a little first though Bill about how you managed to build a portfolio of nine brands and you’ve got one under LOI. Did you start with one small brand and kept adding them on? Did you raise some funds? Did you go to family and friends? How did that work out for you? What was your process?

Bill: Yeah. So I started the 1st brand in 2010. I got it up to low hundreds of thousands of revenue; basically just enough to fund my digital nomad lifestyle. And at that point … you know I kind of did that for a while, and I realized that as I wrote on my blog Thailand will not make you happy. And I realize that it was fun but you go to Thailand, you sit on the beach and you’re still you. You’re sitting with you on the beach and all of your hopes, dreams, aspirations, problems, demons; all those things come with you to Thailand. And I also felt like I was kind of wasting my potential. So I thought all right how do I make this thing a lot bigger? And I come from an investment banking and M&A background so my thinking was I know how to run an e-commerce brand, I also know there are a bunch of people out there selling e-commerce brands, why don’t I go buy … I mean roll them up onto a single platform. So that led to our 1st acquisition in 2013 for which I basically used my entire life savings at the time and borrowed some money. And we bought that company and then in 2015 basically based on cash flow from the 1st one and we bought the 2nd one in 2015.  And then we bought two in 2016. Then we bought another one in 2017. And then as I mentioned we’ll do another acquisition this year. So … and then also I was fortunate enough doing work with you to sell one of my other distracting side businesses too so I can focus on Elements Brands full time.

Joe: Yeah. You know it’s funny because I don’t think we’ve mentioned that at all when we had lunch a few weeks ago. You’ve built these brands and we have a relationship … Quiet Light Brokerage is a business brokerage firm but we haven’t sold any of these to you. You’ve sourced most of these deals on your own through building networks and buying smaller troubled brands and turning them around directly for the most case wouldn’t you say?

Bill: Yeah for the most part we … you’re always number one in my heart Joe but we do talk occasionally with some other brokers who shall not be named. And we also have fulltime staff here at Elements that is going out calling brands all the time to see if they’re interested in selling and to see if Elements Brands would be a good home for them. I have a guy and he’s an ex private equity guy and he spends his all day every day talking to new brands.

Joe: So let me say right now, anybody that’s listening, you can go to ElementsBrands.com and find Bill and his staff. If you’ve got a household brand of … what size Bill? Does it matter what size if they’ve got something that might be a good fit do you think they should reach it out to you?

Bill: Yes, so we look at basically between half a million to a million in revenue in the low end to probably about 10 million on revenue on the high end.

Joe: Got you. Now if you want to save Bill the trouble call me and I’ll put together a great package and then I’ll call Bill.

Bill: Exactly which we actually love Joe. Because on a lot of times when the seller does have a broker, it makes the whole thing go a lot more smoothly so call Joe first.

Joe: The guys at 101 commerce, RJ Jalichandra from 101, they’re buying literally 101 FBA businesses. He said the same thing on a panel of buyers a couple of months ago at the Brand Builders Summit. He said look we’ve done this, we’ve done a lot, we’d prefer to work with a broker because all the vetting is done, the package is put together. It makes our buying process much smoother and much quicker. So please go with a broker and they’re going to choose a select few that they’ll work with and that’s it. It does make it quicker for you guys for sure. Why don’t we talk about a little bit of the advantages of a guy like yourself who I have to classify as a grown up in a sense. And I say that in the nicest possible way in putting myself down because I’m sitting here in my home office and I have no employees. None of us do at Quiet Light. We’re all independent contractors brokering from different parts of the country in some cases we all live here talking to Bryan. He’s usually in a different location. You, on the other hand, you’ve got 21, 22 employees that you are responsible for. You have a warehouse, you have offices. You are building a real business that maybe someday components of it will be sold off to private equity or the entire thing will be. How was that choice other than you just saying you’re limiting your potential by not doing it, how has that choice come to and what has it been like for your lifestyle as opposed to that 4-hour workweek that you started off with.

Bill: Yeah so it was very intentional. I’m sitting here in my office right now and to my left here are 22 folks. I’ve just got my door closed in recording with you but I come in every day. I’m in typically before nine o’clock and I leave at six-ish. I take lunch. I only work about a mile off from my house. I kind of … the realization came to me while I was doing the digital nomad thing that one of the most fulfilling things in life is working on the hard things with smart people. And you know just as humans we love to solve hard challenges and it’s really rewarding to succeed with other people. And I realize that as a digital nomad a lot of the times I was working with VAs or contractors who were basically just pictures on Upwork profiles to simplify but I didn’t really have a relationship with these people and they … even if I had a full time VA I couldn’t grab a beer with them after work. And frankly when you’re hiring VAs oftentimes you’re operating on a shoestring and there’s a language barrier and you’re generally … and I will generalize here but I will say if you are operating a whole business on VAs and you may love your VAs but there’s a whole other level of caliber of employee that is out there that you’ve closed yourself off to because you’re not willing to give them a W2 and health insurance and their office that they’re meant to. A lot of really really brilliant people want that.

Joe: Can you give an example of that? I know that we talked a little bit about your warehouse workers and how you pay them higher than average, there’s no turnover and they find ways to save you money and increase your profit. Can you give an example of maybe what we talked about there? I don’t remember the specific details … a thing to do with honestly this cardboard boxes so-

Bill: Yeah.

Joe: [inaudible 00:15:12.13] I might have tuned out a little but the overall picture was you took care of your people and you paid them well. They appreciated it and I think that they saved you a fair amount of money just by being loyal to you.

Bill: Yeah so Joe what you’re referring to is we do all of our own warehouse and logistic. So instead of using a 3PL, we’ve got a warehouse and we’ve got a crew here that packs boxes. We ship them out of here. And if I talk to other e-commerce entrepreneurs either A. they outsourced their 3PL and complain about how much their 3PL sucks. Or they operate their own warehouse and complain about turnover and how hard it is to manage a warehouse. So going into it we pay our folks here in the warehouse easily 30 to 40 or more percent more than the minimum wage that they can get somewhere else. And occasionally we bring temps in and they go oh my God for less money I was putting chickens in bags in an unconditioned warehouse last week this is amazing. And we’ve had … unfortunate to say because we pay well we have had zero turnovers in our warehouse. And our warehouse crew they’re not packing Elements Brands orders in between packing other companies orders. So they’re thinking about our problems all day. And we had our warehouse manager, she came to me and said I’ve been looking at the way all the laundry detergent comes in on pallets and I think it’s not optimal. If we switch from eight packs to 12 packs I can fit X% more bags on a pallet and stack it higher and use more the footprint and it’s going to save us 20 plus percent shipping per bag. And we did it and we saved five figures because of that. And a 3PL would never do that for you or a VA that is not physically present could never see that stuff and even notice it. What I love about having employees is having people that think about Elements Brands all day every day. Like they think about it in the shower, think about it on their commute to work, like it’s the thing that they do. It’s their job and their career and they want to be good at it so I just love it a lot.

Joe: So by taking care of them and putting a good environment together, a good employment package for them what does it do for you and the other folks that are focused on building the brands and building a larger portfolio? Are you able to put more focus on that and less nitty gritty on some of the other things?

Bill: Yeah I mean I at this point … so I just went on my honeymoon that for two weeks we went ironically to Thailand.

Joe: You sat on the beach but you weren’t alone, that’s good.

Bill: Yeah so I’m not alone I was [inaudible 00:17:39.6] yeah thanks. And while I was there you know I was halfway around the world and spotty cell service and I was basically fully disconnected and the team ran the business in a fully … to use a digital nomad term fully automated way. But it’s not automated because I’ve got 22 people that come in here and they want to be good at their jobs. And they’ve got their own managers who come in to work every day and see them and if they don’t come and there’s … everybody says hey where are you I didn’t see you today, is your stock end gone?  So for me, I found that when I was working with VAs because there is no senior person who the buck stops with, that person is you. You can never really unplug. You might be able to travel or you might be able to unplug for a week but when you unplug for a week everything kind of stops; like nothing moves forward. It might be in stasis but nothing moves forward. So when I was gone for two weeks I came back and we had launched the targeting marketing campaigns and we wrote a new product and it had progressed pipe on. Stuff actually moves forward without me because we’ve got senior people with accountability and a bonus structure that incentivizes them. As such they come into work every day without me. So I think in a way being really committed and put down some roots and commit to not just being in one place but also commit to your people they commit back to you and it lets you have even more freedom than if you pursued this digital nomad thing hardcore.

Joe: And the reality is that it’s not just the digital nomad thing where you’re having more freedom because you’re not doing that. You can disconnect and recuperate on your honeymoon in Thailand on the beach for instance. But the beautiful thing is that while you are away you’re not stressed about it and other people are working hard to make money for you.

Bill: Yeah.

Joe: They’re getting paid for it and getting paid well for but that’s really truly a beautiful thing. So you have 21, 22 people on staff. That can be one of the hardest things to do; it’s to find good people. Do you have any secrets or tips on your process on how to find the right people and your interview process or techniques or just vetting them in getting to the cream of the crop?

Bill: Yeah so as you alluded to hiring is the most important thing in business. And the more people I hire the more I realize how critical it is. Like the bigger, we get every time we hire somebody if I introduce one toxic person or one slacker into this group it poisons the whole well. So it gets harder and harder to get a job here as we get bigger and bigger which I don’t know if I would get hired at my own company today. So we do a series of written application with there are some gotchas in there where you have to follow directions extremely precisely and if you don’t you are disqualified. If you make it through the written application without stepping in it you get a phone screen. I try to keep those phone screens to 15, 20 minutes and during that time what I’m trying to figure out is A. do you really want this job or do you just apply to everything on the internet, B. are your salary expectations in line with what we intend to pay for this job, and C. are you somebody just off the top that I think has a positive personality that I want to work with. And you can do that in 15, 20 minutes if you would cut out the small talk; if you get right to it.

Joe: And are you making every hiring decision or do you do the initial vetting or somebody else does it?

Bill: So it used to be that I did everything. Now where at a point where my employees do the written application, phone screen, and the next bit of the process is a written assignment where it will say like in the case of if we’re hiring somebody to work on Amazon we’ll say here’s one of our Asense what do you think could be improved? No length limit, go and we’ll see when you get back. Or if we’re hiring a graphic designer we’ll say something like make an info graphic about go … something anybody can do, something that’s pretty broad but you’re going to know if somebody is a good graphic designer based on the effort that they put in and then the quality of that work output. And make sure homework assignments are good we typically bring in two to four for in person interviews and I sit in on the in person interview. And if you do well in the in person interview you’re hired. And my message to the team is I’m never going to tell you we have … I’m never going to force you to hire someone you don’t want to work with but I might veto somebody that I don’t think is right for the company.

Joe: Okay, so you get that certain veto power for sure. If they’re not reporting directly to you, you let others make the decisions.

Bill: Well up to the final interview, yes.

Joe: Up to the final interview; got you. So if you’re sitting with a group of e-commerce entrepreneurs that have physical products are you generally advocating bringing on staff and having your own warehouse as opposed to outsourcing or are you simply saying it’s got to be right for you and you got to do what’s right for your situation?

Bill: Different models are good for different people. I think the … what I see myself as doing and the model that I’ve become convinced is very good in a lot of situations and people don’t fully give a fair shape to is hiring full time employees and not hiring gig based contractors. And those full time employees … I think it’s awesome if they’re in the same physical location as you but even if they’re not, if they’re full time and you have video with them one on one every day and you create this personal relationship such that they don’t have any other clients and such that they begin to build up a confidence about your business so you don’t have to explain to them the task you want done at the beginning of every task. You want to build up this surf of confidence where they just know about your business and you can say hey do that and so much as widen it because they already work for you. So what I tend to advocate for is people really want to create this web of outsourcers or gig based people, I can say find a person … like you probably live in a town or near a town of a sizable amount of people and sizeable would be 100,000 or 200,000. Try to find somebody … consider finding somebody locally that’s talented that’s not a bottom of the barrel price type of person. Find a quality person locally and it will unlock you as a CEO because your time is way too valuable to be spent typing into at a box on Upwork in describing to someone how they should scrape locations from a website that you should not be doing that. So if you’re willing to pay somebody $50,000 a year which if you’re in the in the freelance world they’re like holy crap it is like [inaudible 00:23:49.8] the money, right? But $50,000 a year buys you a college educated American in your town likely or less even who is probably pretty smart and got a good GPA. And he will come in every day and you can teach them. That’s a good requirement.

Joe: And be very very well. What about finding experts in certain areas that may not be available in your town? If you want to outsource your Facebook advertising and your Google advertising are you training and doing that in-house and putting them through courses and programs or are you hiring agencies to do that type of work?

Bill: Yeah, so we … the answer is both with the preference for hiring and training. So when we’re absolutely pinched we use agencies but we have hired and trained a bunch of people in Amazon specifically. I’ve put people through courses on Amazon. I put people through courses on Facebook ads. I put people through courses on YouTube because if you hire a smart person who did well in school you just say guess what this is graduate degree. I’m going to spend a couple thousand dollars, I’m going to put you through these courses, and I’m going to train you then on the fly. You’re going to do … you’re going to learn for 4 hours in the course and you’re going to learn from the person you report to for 4 hours a day and before you know it you’re up the curve in a month, maybe two. I find about two months is before is the curve until someone can be dangerous.

Joe: Is there any particular online programs and courses that you always dwell that you go to?

Bill: I’ve used Ezra’s courses a fair bit; Ezra Firestone. I’ve used the guys at amazing.com, they operate a 40 bucks a month kind of subscription and there’s a bunch of courses in there so I picked out a few. I’ve used the copyrighting course by [inaudible 00:25:29.4] for some people to just kind of learn and write e-commerce copy that converts. Those are ones that come to mind.

Joe: Yeah for the folks that are-

Bill: I basically look-

Joe: I’m sorry Ezra’s course is the Smart Marketer. We sat Ezra on the podcast. We actually just had a podcast go off, it will be a few weeks back once this airs with Bret Curry who created another course with Ezra on monetizing YouTube; smartmarketer.com you can find a lot of great courses there. I’m sorry, continue.

Bill: There are others but if you invest a couple of thousand dollars in hiring someone you can create talent that you can’t find in almost any city. I mean we live in this world where there is incredible amount of information available on the Internet in courses and it’s relatively cheap. I mean a few grand you can … if you … people complain oh there’s no Amazon expert, you can’t hire them anywhere. Well, you can you should train them though.

Joe: I love what you just said; you can create talent that you can’t find by spending a couple thousand dollars on a course and finding the right person to go through it essentially getting their graduate degree. And you know what it does? It makes them employable for the rest of their life either with you or remotely if they decide to move on some day or maybe they’ll become an entrepreneur themselves. That last point though, become an entrepreneur themselves, what do you do if anything in regards to non-competes? Because you’re teaching a lot of people how to compete with you and they could step out of Elements Brands and perhaps go and launch their own business that might be competing with similar products. Do you have NDAs in place when you hire people?

Bill: Yup, we do. We have non-competes and NDAs. I view it as once I train them and make them great it’s now my responsibility to make sure they want to keep working for me. I want to give them access to nine soon to be 10 brands that they can work on. I mean I’m sure all the entrepreneurs out there listening remember you’re like God I read all these articles but I can’t do AB testing when I have 100 hits a week. Well I can teach them how to AB testing on a site that has 100 hits a minute. And you can do … pull in big leverage is just fun. So I got to make sure that they’re having fun with me. And if somebody wants to go out and do their own thing I mean at this point nobody is running the whole business. My marketing folks are running marketing, they have no idea how the warehouse works. They have no idea how supply chain works. So it’s harder than you would think for some of your employees to kind of see the whole business. And also … and this is the thing that I’ve really come to realize, I used to be of this mind that entrepreneurship is for everyone and everyone should be an entrepreneur and it is the best thing you could possibly do with your life. And I’ve started to realize that that’s not true. There are a ton of people out there that don’t want any part of this entrepreneurship thing and think it’s stressful and uncertain and lonely and all these and they’re just not cut … I don’t even want to say they’re not cut out for it. I’m saying their personality type is not fulfilled by it. So there’s lots of really bright excellent people out there that are not entrepreneurs and they want to be employees and they want to be employed by a great company. And sometimes I interview people that I think they’re to entrepreneurial and it makes them not a good fit.

Joe: Right. And you know just to summarize everything I think you’ve done just that Bill, you’ve sort of … you’re pulling big levers but you’ve checked all the boxes I think to someday have a sizable exit if you ever choose to do that. It could be 40, 50 years from now. It will be the one in buffet of the e-commerce world right there at Charlotte, North Carolina. But you’re building amazing brands. You’re really focused on building brands with great quality products and you’re taking control of the whole process from beginning to end from the marketing to the fulfillment of it and you’re taking care of your people. You’re creating a local base of people that are going to focus on and think of your company first and helping building more value for the company, profits for the company that I have the feeling you go ahead and pay them back for through better facilities and more vacation time and bonuses and benefits and all that type of thing. You seem like a great guy to work for. If I ever decide to move on I might just try to fill up one of those applications but I think you’ll probably stump me and I’ll get thrown into the trash.

Bill: We got a room in [inaudible 00:29:34.9] Joe.

Joe: I won’t pass. I won’t pass, I know for sure. I’ll just come down and have lunch with you instead. Bill, listen I know you’ve got to jump to another call. I appreciate your time thanks for sharing your story, your success on building a great brand, company environment, and not living that digital nomad lifestyle and creating more freedom for yourself. Hopefully, the folks will take some nuggets from this and do that as well.

Bill: Yeah thanks for having me on Joe. Good to see you, man.

Joe: Talk to you soon.

 

Links and Resources:

Element Brands

Bill’s Blog

Bill’s Twitter

Upcoming Quiet Light e-commerce conference attendance:

Prosper Show

T & C Summit

Blue Ribbon Mastermind

CapCom Conference

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