GE 178: How Adam Callinan Grew BottleKeeper to an 8-Figure Revenue with 0 Employees in 3.5 Years (podcast) With Adam Callinan

Adam Callinan

Hey everyone, in today’s episode, I share the mic with Adam Callinan, the founder of BottleKeeper, a stainless steel container that is insulated to keep your beer cold longer. Adam is also a founding partner of Beachwood Ventures which is a venture capital firm based out of Los Angeles that connects the entertainment business with marketing opportunities for early stage businesses.

Listen as Adam shares how a simple product demo video that he shot took the business from $3,000 to $60,000 in monthly sales, how a ridiculous referral program (and the word “free”) skyrocketed their growth, and the one major change he recently made that impacted the business in a big way.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Adam Callinan Grew BottleKeeper to an 8-Figure Revenue with 0 Employees in 3.5 Years TRANSCRIPT

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:39 – Who Adam is and what he does
    • 02:22 – Adam was in the medical field with the desire to be a doctor
    • 02:30 – He realized coming out of school at 35 with half-million in debt was not ideal
    • 02:36 – He went to a device startup where he was the first sales person
    • 02:26 – Adam learned the difficulties and challenges of building companies
  • 03:35 – In 2013, Adam started BottleKeeper with his cousin
    • 03:59 – 3.5 years in the business, doing 8 figures in revenue with 0 employees
    • 04:13 – They could grow their own company with their own money
  • 04:43 – Systems and functions of BottleKeeper
    • 05:06 – BottleKeeper started with a WordPress website and a drag and drop editor
  • 05:26 – When you have an idea, your friends and family think it’s great but the reality is it might be awful and you’re getting bad advice
  • 05:44 – Adam and his cousin wanted to make sure people wanted to buy this product
  • 05:57 – They leveraged crowdfunding
    • 06:13 – Raised $15,000
    • 06:21 – Adam admitted his partner had more faith in the product than himself
    • 06:48 – The crowdfunding was a huge eye opener for Adam
  • 07:04 – Shipped first product in January 2014 and made 6 figures
  • 07:11 – They did 7 figures in 2015 and this year, they are into 8 figures
  • 08:07 – Adam played with Facebook and Twitter ads
  • 08:51 – August 2014, Facebook launched their video platform
  • 09:06 – The company changed overnight
    • 09:09 – From $2,000 – $3,000 in sales per month to $10,000 to $25,000 to $40,000 and $60,000
  • 09:46 – Adam stopped using AdWords and Twitter and focused solely on Facebook
  • 11:10 – BottleKeeper’s referral program
    • 11:34 – “You have to be ridiculous with your referral program”
    • 12:08 – “Refer a friend and get a FREE BottleKeeper” worked amazingly!
    • 12:39 – A/B Testing contributed to that
  • 12:53 – Pinterest also works well for advertising BottleKeeper
    • 12:59 – Highest converting audience—women between 35 and 60 years old
    • 13:36 – Age of audience is because of income
    • 13:55 – Women have more of a tendency to buy online, especially if it’s a good gift item
  • 14:39 – Adam’s frustration with people who want to copy his product
  • 16:17 – Utility and design patents
  • 16:57 – Adam spends 5% of his time with Beachwood Ventures
    • 17:36 – Adam’s partner is the manager and executive of Brillstein Entertainment Partners
    • 18:02 – The concept is that they have a ton of entrepreneurs and they’re looking for access for high-level influencers
    • 18:41 – The idea was to create a separate entity
    • 19:03 – BottleKeeper and Beachwood Ventures almost happened the same time
  • 20:03 – What’s one big thing that has impacted your life dramatically? I didn’t have the capacity to leave for more than a week…leaving that and creating a situation where we have an entity that can run with internet opens up most of the world.”
  • 21:16 – For the entrepreneurs that can travel; if you can recommend one spot where would it be? South Africa. Go and spend a day or two in a Zulu village and then come back to the U.S. and complain about something.”
  • 22:42 – What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your 25-year old self? “Write in a journal”
  • 24:40 – What’s one big change you’ve made that has impacted your business in a big way?Giving up responsibilities and outsourcing”
  • 25:52 – How’s the team organized and what tools do you use every day? “There’s a defined line with my partner, Matt and my department. The rest of the team, I treat everybody like they are part of the company. I use Slack a lot and Zendesk”
  • 27:52 – What’s one must-read book you recommend? How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • 29:12 – Email Adam at [email protected]

3 Key Points:

  1. Your friends and family may not be the best people to ask for feedback because of the emotional connection you have with them.
  2. Create a business that will allow you freedom.
  3. Continually tweak promotions and ads.

Resources From This Interview:

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Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Show transcript
Adam: I took an off the shelf camera and shot a video of the BottleKeeper in action, and the company changed literally overnight. It went from 2 or 3 grand a month in sales to 10 in September, to 25 in October, to 40 in November, and 60 in the first two weeks of December, where we promptly ran out of product.

Speaker 2: Do you want to impact the world and still turn a profit? Then you're in the right place. Welcome to Growth Everywhere. This is the show where you'll find real conversations with real entrepreneurs. They'll share everything from their biggest struggle to the exact strategies they use on a daily basis. If you're ready for a value-packed interview, listen on. Here's your host, Eric Siu.

Eric: Before we jump into today's interview, if you guys could leave a review and a rating and also subscribe as well. That would be a huge help to the podcast. If you actually enjoy the content and you'd like to hear more of it, please support us by leaving us a review and subscribe to the podcast as well. Thanks so much.

Okay, everyone. Today we have Adam Callinan, who is the founder of BottleKeeper, which is an insulated stainless steel container that keeps your beer colder, protected from gravity, and sexier than ever. Adam is also a founding partner at Beachwood Ventures, a Los Angeles-based early state nontraditional VC firm at the intersection of technology and entertainment. Adam, how's it going?

Adam: Doing good, Eric. How are you?

Eric: I am doing well, man. First of all, thanks for being here. Why don't you tell us about what you do, who you are and what you do.

Adam: I think with most entrepreneurs, you have a tendency to get your hands into too many things at one time. Everything that you just explained is kind of a good example of that. I spend most of my time, the vast majority of my time now, building BottleKeeper, which is sort of a side project gone mad. Three years ago it was the opposite. I was spending a lot more time doing investing stuff. Priorities change, I guess. I spend most of my time doing that, traveling with my wife, and living life.

Eric: Awesome. Great. We met at a dinner, and you had this crazy story. Maybe you can spend two, three minutes or so just talking about your story and how you got to where you are.

Adam: I historically was in the medical space. I went into a startup right out of college. I got a crazy science degree because I wanted to be a doctor my whole life and decided coming out of school at 35 with half a million dollars in debt didn't sound that fun when you're 21 years old, anymore. Went into a device startup. Wasn't a founder, but was the first sales person, so I got to build the company down and expand it and do a bunch of stuff. Learned over the period of the better part of a decade the difficulties and the challenges in building companies that are very logistically heavy. We had 70 or 80 employees in 2 states, cubicles, delivery vehicles, warehouses, equipment, and all this stuff.

It was really good experience. I learned a lot about leadership, building teams,

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management, and all that fun, wonderful stuff, but it was really challenging. You couldn't get away from it, so to speak. If I wanted to go and take a month and travel the world, things would fail. Part of that is maybe how it was set up, but part of it was just what goes with a business that's built like that.

We had started another company in there that I had sold out of in 2013, and that was technology-based. When I left that and started BottleKeeper with my cousin ... The product concept was his idea. The timing was unique because I was now looking for something fun to do. When we started that, vowed to never do that - build a big, wide company - again. I've kind of taken it in the polar opposite direction, which certainly has its pitfalls, but as it stands now we're three and a half years into the business, doing eight figures in revenue, and we have zero employees. It's super automated. It's really, really, really efficient. It gives us the capacity to grow the company with our own money. We didn't have to raise money and have never raised any debt or anything. It allows us a lot of freedom. It basically is a company that can be run from anywhere in the world that we have an internet connection.

Eric: Got it. Okay, awesome. This whole remote concept, the whole Jason Fried, that book Remote. I think it's become more and more popular. I'm curious to know what kind of systems or processes do you have in place to make the machine function like it's functioning right now? Eight figures is incredible.

Adam: There are a lot. It's the kind of thing, when we were doing $2,000 a day you didn't need to have big, robust systems in place and support functions with hundreds of pre-written macros that other people can execute in other parts of the world. Like anything, it starts really, really small and simple. At the beginning of the company, that started with a website. It started with a WordPress website and a theme with basically a digital management system, drag and drop editor, because I'm not historically a trained programmer. We weren't going to go spend the money to have somebody custom-build a website, so you kind of hack it together and just figure it out as you go.

Even looking prior to that, when you have an idea and you go and tell your friends and family, they all think the idea is great. The reality is, the idea might be great and it might be awful, but you're getting bad advice. You're dealing with people that can't be honest with you, even if they're trying to be honest with you, because there's an emotional connection. What we wanted to do when we started the company was make sure that people would actually buy this product, put in their credit card information without being my mom, and purchase the product before we went and spent a bunch of time and money building it. We did that and leveraged crowd funding, which is an unbelievably valuable tool. Not just for raising money if you need to do that, but for proving concepts. That is, in my opinion, one of the best ways you can go and prove a concept. Put it out in front of people and see who actually clicks "buy."

Eric: How much did you guys raise?

Adam: We raised about $15,000, I think just under that. We were trying to raise $5,000. It was really just to prove. I admittedly, at the beginning of the company, my cousin and

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partner had a lot more faith in the product than I did. I thought it was a great product, and I loved it and used it myself, but I wasn't convinced early on that someone would pay $20 or $25 for it. If someone would only pay $10 for it, it's not a functional business model. Even if somebody would only pay $15 for it, it's much less of a functional business model. The crowd funding was a huge eye-opener for me that we had something that was more than just a novelty item that you'd see on the shelf at Spencer's.

Eric: How long did it take you guys from inception to get to the eight figure mark?

Adam: We shipped our first product in January of 2014. That first year we did six figures. In 2015, we did seven. This year, we're into eight.

Eric: My god. I know we were talking at dinner about what was one of the levers that helped you get there. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Adam: Yeah, absolutely. You look historically back at the company or the concept and crowd funding was step one. That was we actually had something. We sold about 1,000 units in five or six countries. That paid for the product, although it wasn't overly expensive to start, the molds and all that stuff from the manufacturer. Looking at 2014, once we got past that, the reality quickly became that, one, I had no idea what I was doing, and two, selling 1,000 units is a lot. It sounds great starting up, but it's not a lot. You're not building a business off of basically three or four hundred customers.

We kind of fumbled around for maybe seven or eight months, played with Facebook advertising and AdWords, Twitter advertising, all the normal things that people go and try to do and figure out. What I figured out pretty quickly was with this product, is you have to see it in action. It's a visual product. I had basically been using still images because at the time that's all you could do with Facebook. Because the product looks just like a water bottle, something we've been seeing for ten or twenty years, for forever, when you see the product, even if you can see the beer bottle sticking out of the top of it and you're holding it your hand, most people don't go, "Oh, that's really cool. That's a beer bottle, and clearly it unscrews at the bottom here." It looks like a water bottle, so our brain goes, "Yep, that's a water bottle." They go, "What the hell is so special about this?"

In August of 2014-ish, August or September, Facebook launched their video platform. I took an off the shelf camera and shot a video of the BottleKeeper in action, and the company changed literally overnight. It went from 2 or 3 grand a month in sales, to 10 in September, to 25 in October, to 40 in November, and 60 in the first two weeks in December, where we promptly ran out of product, December 5th. Which is amazing.

Eric: It sounds like after that video, you just rode the wave. Did you start to upgrade the videos? Did you hire a professional?

Adam: Actually the timeliness of this is good. No, I rode that wave for almost two years. For a long time I was managing all of everything, but I stopped messing around with AdWords

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and Twitter and all those things that were hugely ineffective for us, and focused solely on Facebook. It literally was 99% of our revenue. That first video that I shot, honestly, we still use. We have other things that are added into it now, but that video drove millions of dollars in revenue over the course of two years.

Eric: Wow. That's funny, I talk to people about, "Yeah, with YouTube ads, if you have a low budget $500-$1,500 you can go here, $10,000 you can go here." You're saying basically you can just take out your iPhone, you don't have to have any skills at all, and then boom! You change you business overnight just by making one small tweak.

Adam: Oh man, yeah. To be clear, I didn't shoot it with an iPhone, although honestly I absolutely could have. Particularly with the iPhones that are out today. They're probably better quality than the DSLR camera I was using four years ago, three years ago, to shoot that. But you're absolutely right, I was screwing around, just wanted to show it in action. I used iMovie on my Mac as a total amateur, I had never even used it before, and just added some text to it. That video absolutely changed the company.

Eric: Love it, okay. I was doing a little research before this. You talked a little bit about the referral program, and apparently that worked well for you. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Adam: Yeah, there are lots of companies in the e-commerce space that do some sort of referral, rewards program, where you can earn points for doing things, sharing on Facebook, tweeting about it, or doing whatever, or earn points just for purchases. Then that's sort of one set of the rewards process. Then the other is straight referring your friends. One of the things that we did and figured out early on is that you have to be kind of ridiculous about your referral program. If you want it to be successful, you have to give your consumers a reason to basically go above and beyond them just casually sharing it to aggressively sharing it because they want to get something out of it.

For us, that was the word "free." BottleKeeper retails on our site for $22, the main 12 oz. standard size. At first, it was refer a friend get $5 off, which didn't really work. Then it was refer a friend get $10 off, which didn't really work. Then it was refer a friend get $22 off. That didn't even work. Refer a friend get a free BottleKeeper went crazy and is still, to this day, a huge part of our sales and return purchases.

Eric: There you go. Again, it's all about one small tweak. It can change everything. I think a lot of people, they tend to just give up too quickly. It's like, "Yeah, I tried Facebook, I tried AdWords, whatever." They give up after a month. "I tried the contact marketing thing after a month, and I gave up." Really, you got to just keep sticking with it and just making tweaks, right? That's kind of what I'm hearing.

Adam: A hundred percent. These things are all being tweaked constantly and A/B testing is a huge part of that.

Eric: We talked about Facebook video working really well, we talked about the referral program. What's one other thing that's working well for you, in terms of customer

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acquisition today?

Adam: Some of the other platforms that were on Pinterest work really well for us. Surprisingly, for us, our highest converting audience is not 22 year old college males. That's sort of the gut response anytime somebody says, "Oh my gosh, you should sell these at fraternities. That would be amazing!" The reality is what college kids do you know, number one, are drinking beer bottles, and number two, are spending $22 to keep a beer cold? It's not many of them. Our highest converting audience is actually women between the ages of 35 and 60. Pinterest, being a very female-dominant platform, works fantastically well for us.

Eric: Makes sense. I think we've talked about the reason a little bit, and I thought it was funny. What is the reason do you think? Why is it 35-60 females?

Adam: The age is because of income, is my belief. It's a huge assumption, but that's what I believe it is. Again, spending $22 plus shipping or with accessories or whatnot on keeping a beer cold is certainly an expendable income type purchase. That's the age part of it. The female part of it is kind of funny. One of the main reasons I think is because women just naturally have more of a tendency to buy things online, and we're basically exclusive to direct consumer. That's one. Two, it's a good gift item. What happens is they'll come in and buy one for themselves and one for their husband or one for themselves and one for their boyfriend, son, or whatever. It actually takes our average purchase to a little more than 2 units per order.

Eric: Love it. One other aspect I think is important to talk about, because there's a couple e-commerce people that listen to this, when you have the issue of people that see something that's working and they start ripping off of you, what can you do? How do you deal with that?

Adam: Oh man. Yeah, what tends to happen is you stop sleeping. I guess it's hard for me to explain to you how to deal with it because I, quite frankly, struggle to deal with it. Not legally, but emotionally. Look, you create something that didn't previously exist and you put everything you have into it. You bleed and you sweat and you have all the tears and all the difficulties it is to have some amount of success. You get there, and then dozens of other people just literally copy it and rip it off.

Legally speaking, it depends what you have in intellectual property. We have five patents pending, one of which is very, very close to being finished. The reality of that is a lot of it depends on what you have the capacity to spend to defend and protect yourself. We will be exceptionally aggressive in defending and protecting what we've built the second one of those five patents comes to fruition. The hard part is until you have that, there's not a lot you can do. Let me rephrase that, there's nothing you can do. You can protect your trademarks. We're sending out cease and desists on a weekly basis now, where people are calling the fake knockoff product BottleKeeper, which is a trademarked name. We have that registered as a trademark, so you can't do that. We can stop those types of things, but as far as just straight knocking it off, until you have patents in place, there's not a lot you can do.

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Eric: The patent that's really close to getting done, how long has that been out for?

Adam: Almost three years.

Eric: Wow. Three years, guys. That's how long it takes for them to get that filed, as soon as you start.

Adam: There's an important distinction though. For a product like this, there are two different ways you can patent: utility and design. Utility patents can take a really time. Design patents can happen very quickly. Utility patents, when you go and fight about them, take a really long time and they're really, really expensive. Design patents, they go through the system relatively quickly and are a lot less expensive and the damages actually tend to be higher. Disclaimer, I'm not an attorney. Talk to your intellectual property attorney. There's a lot of strategy that's really important in how you execute patents.

Eric: Super helpful. Sounds like a pain in the ass.

Adam: It totally is, but it's part of the deal.

Eric: Cool. You're working on BottleKeeper right now. What percent of time do you spend on Beachwood Ventures?

Adam: 5%. I passively look at deals as they come in through people that I trust and have a lot of respect for, that have operated in the venture investment space. My time, because of how big and fast this has grown so quickly, I don't have a lot of extra time to spend on that.

Eric: I think this is helpful because there's a lot of entrepreneurs out there that I talk to, they want to end up starting their own fund or whatever it is exactly. At what point did you decide it makes sense to do something like Beachwood Ventures, what's the thesis behind it, and the story behind it?

Adam: The concept is that my partner is a manager and executive at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, which is a very successful talent management production company. They manage the top 200 or so people in film and TV, from Brad Pitt down the list, and produced a bunch of stuff going back to the original SNLs and Alf, all these great old shows, and current stuff that have won some Academy Awards. The concept is that they have a ton of entrepreneurs and really good concepts that come through that door because they are looking for access to influencers, high level influencers. Brillstein as an entity doesn't have the capacity to really deal with that.

They don't want to set up their own fund because it becomes a conflict of interest. For example, they have A-list celebrity who has a cousin that started an idea. A-list celebrity then forces the company to look at their cousin's idea as a client. Does that makes sense? It creates this huge conflict. The idea was to take and totally create a separate

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entity that has all those resources to be able to connect with the influencers in the world of entertainment and production houses, studios, all that sort of stuff, but doing it as a totally separate entity so it doesn't have that sort of conflict.

Eric: Got it, okay. Makes sense. I guess before BottleKeeper, how much time were you spending on it?

Adam: Well, they happened at almost the same time, within a couple of months of each other. I was spending a huge amount of time on that as we were out working to fundraise and do all those things that go with building a fund. Then as BottleKeeper started to happen and pick up steam, once the Facebook stuff happened in the summer or fall of 2014, it was a very quick, "Well, this is actually happening. There's something here that's way bigger than what we thought it was ever going to be. Gotta focus on that." You look at funds and investing, it's a long-term thing. There's a lot of upfront time investment outside of financial investment. This was you buy it for X number of dollars, you sell it for Y number of dollars, and whatever is in between that is what you make. Very simple.

Eric: Right, and once you get the machine running it's going to keep growing.

Adam: Totally. It just made more sense.

Eric: Cool. I'm going to switch gears to a little more personal questions here. I'll start with the stronger one. What's one big thing, positive or negative, that has impacted your life dramatically?

Adam: Travel. Absolutely travel. Like I said, in the medical business I didn't have the capacity to leave for more than a week, ever. That's normal. That's typical, right? Most people don't have that capacity, to go and travel or go on a vacation, or do something for more than a week. That's probably pretty average. Leaving that and creating a situation where we have an entity that can be run from anywhere there's internet, that sort of opens up most of the world. Setting aside maybe Antarctica and certain parts of Africa, you can have internet in most places now.

My wife, who has also been a hugely important part of all of this, has forced me to travel. It's really helpful in understanding what else is going on outside of your own personal bubble and resetting of expectations, how fortunate we are to live where we live and have access to the things that we have access to, that the tremendous majority of the people throughout the world don't have.

Eric: Love it. For the entrepreneurs that can travel, if they could go anywhere, if you could just recommend one spot, where would it be?

Adam: Africa.

Eric: Okay, where in Africa?

Adam: I can only tell you where I have been, and that was South Africa. There's a couple of

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reasons for that. Yes, the animals are beautiful and you should go on a safari and all those things. That's wonderful. You should do that. Go and spend a day or two in a Zulu village, and then come back to the US and complain about something, that the guy in front of you is driving too slow. It's a huge, huge enlightening, eye-opening experience of what poverty is really like.

Eric: Just out of curiosity, to go from the US to that village in Zulu you said, how long does that take? Is that like a 30 hour trip?

Adam: Man, it takes forever. We broke it up. You have to fly basically, I'm in LA, either through New York and down to Johannesburg, or you fly from LA to London and down to Johannesburg. We flew from LA to London, stayed in London a couple of days to sort of acclimate and because I love London, and then flew from London to Johannesburg, which is basically directly south. I think it's a one hour time change. Then from Johannesburg, you have to take a two or three hour flight out to the middle of nowhere and then get in a car and drive for three or four hours further out into the middle of nowhere. It's certainly a bit of a trek.

Eric: Crazy. People in the audience, feel free to email Adam for travel advice. All right, what's one piece of advice you'd give to your 25-year-old self?

Adam: Write in a journal. Start writing in a journal. There is a ton of information and memories and things that looking back at would be hugely valuable to understand my mindset at that given time. I didn't start writing in a journal actively until about three years ago. That's a huge regret, that I didn't do that earlier.

Eric: Are you free-journaling, are you using a tool like Five Minute Journal?

Adam: I have used a couple of different sort of tool-type journals. I found myself really just kind of free-writing in those tool journals. I mean, I have a little bit of a process that I do now, but I'm not really following an instruction, so to speak.

Eric: Yeah. I started using Five Minute Journal two, three years ago. I do find myself wanting to just unload on it, but even having that has been a game-changer. Just the whole concept of being grateful. Who would have thought that the ra ra stuff actually does make a major impact, but it actually does.

Adam: You're a hundred percent right. Even writing in freehand. That's what I do. I write two pages: the first page is something that I'm thankful for. Which after three years, you'd think it's actually kind of hard. I can't be anymore thankful for my dog or for my parents or for whatever. Just putting something like that in writing sets the tone of my day. I notice a difference when I don't do it, like if we're traveling or I just forget to do it. I do it five or six days a week, so there's one or two days that I don't. It does have an impact to me. It's crazy. You're a hundred percent right.

Eric: Totally, and you don't have to think about it a long time, right? For me, I'm looking at my journal right now. One thing I'm grateful for, you know what it says? Toilet paper. It

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doesn't have to be something crazy.

Adam: No, exactly. Again, go and spend a day in a Zulu village Africa, and you'll have a great appreciation for toilet paper.

Eric: All right, let's go back to your team a little bit. What's one big change you've made in the last year that's impacted your business in a big way?

Adam: The means of which that we have been able to continue to grow, one of the main things, is by me not controlling everything, giving up responsibilities. How we've been able to do that without hiring people is by hiring companies and entities that have an expertise in that given space. For example, Facebook. I don't manage our Facebook ads anymore. I turned it over to a company that has an expertise. All they do is just Facebook. They're really, really good at Facebook ads, at advertising. They're not also doing Pinterest and also doing AdWords and spreading themselves across all these platforms. They just do Facebook. I turned that over in June, or I guess May was the last month that I was managing it. That freed up a tremendous amount of my time to go do other things and has been very effective. There's a number of those types of things that I've given up.

Eric: Smart. Sounds like delegating and just being able to trust other people, and also making sure they specialize, too. I know a lot of people tend to go to, want to work with a "full service" digital marketing agency. I think you look for the specialist and you pick the best. That's worked out really well for you, that's awesome. In terms of team organization, I know you don't have a big team. How's the team organized, first of all, and then what critical tools do you use every day to get by? It can be a top two or three.

Adam: If you look at the team between my partner and I, Matt, there's a very, very defined line between what's part of his responsibility set and what's part of my responsibility set. It works really, really well because our brains work differently, which is also pretty important. He's responsible for all the backend of the business: the inventory, the manufacturing, the financials, dealing with accountants, doing all of that stuff. I'm responsible for all the frontend stuff: the technology, the customer acquisition, the voice and brand of the company, email flows, I oversee all of that stuff.

We're collaborative on everything, and that's really, really important because, again, our brains work differently. His perspective on how something might work and mine are often not the same, and that's important. We do have a pretty defined line of who is responsible for what. Looking at the rest of the team, we have virtual assistants that execute support tickets and things like that. I treat everybody at the individual companies that are performing tasks for us like they are part of the team, part of the company. Realistically, I want them to feel like they're part of the team and part of the company because they're such an integral part of the functioning of the whole platform.

Eric: Got it, okay. How about tools?

Adam: Slack. Because of that, Slack is hugely important. I use Slack a lot. Zendesk is the

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software we use to operate our support system, which is an amazing tool. The VA team we have that executes those support tickets can hammer through hundreds of tickets per day, and there's three of them. I get questions on maybe two of them per day, which is amazing.

Eric: Awesome. Great, so we got Zendesk and we got Slack. Awesome. Highly recommend both of those tools. Final question here, what's one must read book you'd recommend to everyone?

Adam: Totally cheesy, you've probably heard it a million times, but How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Eric: Yeah, believe it or not that actually hasn't been recommended a lot, but yeah. Go ahead, sorry to interrupt.

Adam: Yeah, it's a book written by Dale Carnegie back in the last 1800s on leadership. It holds absolutely true to every interaction you have in your life. I'll paraphrase Dwight Eisenhower in that leadership is getting somebody to do something that you want them to do, by getting them to want to do it. We're all in experiences every single day where you're dealing with people, where you're trying to get them to do something, but you need to get them to do it because they want to do it not just because you're forcing them to do it. Whether it's at home, whether it's at the gym, whether it's driving in your car, there's all these other places outside of a physical office. How to Win Friends and Influence People is basically the template for how to get people to do those things by getting them to want to do it.

Eric: Yeah, great book. It's a classic. I think it's something to re-read every single year. It's that evergreen. Adam, this has been fantastic. What's the best way for our people to find you online?

Adam: Gosh, that's a good question. I don't spend a ton of time on Twitter. All of my Instagram and Facebook accounts are done through BottleKeeper. How about just email me? [email protected]

Eric: There you go. That works perfectly. Everyone make sure you check out BottleKeeper. The fact that Adam has built such a big business with really two full-time people is incredible. Adam, thanks so much for doing this.

Adam: Hey, thanks for your time, Eric. I appreciate it.

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