‘Entrepreneurship’ Has Rewards, Says Company Founder

28 Sep 2021
8 min read

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Deluca has developed a reputation as a brand creator within big corporations. Entrepreneurs are what he is referring to. #ThinkWithNiche


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He should be aware. After co-founding and successfully selling an online business, DeLuca moved on to work for a traditional retailer, where he established brands within the company. "We sold our firm in 2017," he told me. "Following that, I worked for a much larger corporation. Within the company, a few brands were developed. A couple of things went swimmingly. Entrepreneurship necessitates the mind of an entrepreneur." Our upbringings are similar. Both my company, Beardbrand, and his online sock business, Foot Cardigan, were founded in the same year. We appeared on the reality television show Shark Tank together. During our recent conversation, we discussed this and other issues, including DeLuca's experience as an entrepreneur. The full audio version can be heard in the player below. For the sake of brevity and clarity, this text has been condensed. Eric Bandholz is an undeniably talented musician. You and I first met in 2013. Beardbrand and Foot Cardigan were both born around the same period. That is an excellent name for a foot cardigan. According to Bryan DeLuca, "we compared three names: Rad Foot, Spiffy Feet, and Foot Cardigan." Rad Foot attracted little notice. Spiffy Feet received about 20 or 30 responses. The Foot Cardigan campaign received around 300 votes. The term Foot Cardigan hindered our ability to expand into other categories, such as t-shirts, which was a disadvantage of the name. "Foot" was a typo on my part. Beardbrand has had the same issue. We can only market to males because many men do not have facial hair. However, the name had a significant role in our early success. Let's take a break and chat about Shark Tank. You and I were both guests on that programme. DeLuca: I went on the air just after you. Everyone had a wonderful experience. It was both the best and worst thing that could have happened to our firm at the same time. 

In terms of marketing and PR, it was the most effective. That was amazing. Worse, we had a false idea of who our customers were. We had spent the past two years focusing on a single consumer persona: irreverent and funny. Following Shark Tank, we had clients ranging in age from 3 to 93. For example, we had grandparents sign up for our newsletter and then complain to ABC, a prominent American television network, about the vulgarity in the emails we sent them. These new customers were difficult to detect. However, as a visitor, I had a fantastic time. We received four offers from the panellists. We reached an arrangement with two of them. It was a lovely location to stay. We were on television for a little more than 12 minutes in all. However, it took us around 45 minutes to get there. I was on the air with the CBC for a total of 8 minutes. Daymond John, our first panellist, pushed us to "Unwind. We appreciate all you've done. You're likely to get a lot of offers today. Conversations should be relaxed." As a result, we anticipated there would be interest and that we would get bids. My nerves were frayed, but it was all worth it. Matt, one of my co-founders, was present. Tenser than I was. Was Mark Cuban proposing? He and I had an arrangement, but it didn't work out. When it died, he was quite kind about it. A huge number of deals are made on the programme, although not all of them are completed. We had our reasons for not closing the store, and his employees had theirs. Both parties were in agreement. Nobody knew if our segment would be shown. When it eventually occurred, Mark sent me a note of congratulations. You are extremely generous. He assisted us in sorting through Mark's offer.

I co-founded the firm with four other individuals, for a total of five co-founders. We were all full-time employees. We were pressed for time since we had spouses and children to look after. Bandholz was founded by five people. It's a huge amount. We eventually reduced the field down to three. We need to collaborate. I succeeded in some areas while struggling in others. Few entrepreneurs are capable of excelling in all aspects of their business. Entrepreneurs and founders may create amazing things as long as they are aware of their constraints. Some of my strongest skills are in motivating, directing, and getting the most out of others.

I understand what you're going through. When people combine what they are naturally good at with what they want to achieve in life, magic happens. Bandholz: Foot Cardigan is a product you successfully sold. Is there anything you'd like to say regarding your regrets? No, I don't believe so. Everything has a season. In 2017, our firm was purchased by private equity. After about a year, I decided to leave the firm. I'm pleased I was able to complete that on my own time. Then I moved on to work for a larger corporation. We built a couple of brands at that business. A couple of things went swimmingly. At Foot Cardigan, I liked putting together a team, building things, and coming up with new ideas. I resigned from the same role not long ago. Our summer of 2021 is here. I'll be spending the weekend with my family. Please discuss collaborating with that business. Not everyone, however, is cut out for entrepreneurship. As a team leader, you can make a difference while still providing for your family. Work might have a beneficial impact. That is correct. Another type of stimulant. To be an "entrepreneur," you must have the mind of a businessperson. To begin with, it was thrilling and energising for me. My company, a 20-year-old typical retail firm with an internet division, was fully under my control. Being an entrepreneur has perks and disadvantages, just like any other company enterprise.

One of the benefits is that there are more resources, such as finance and operations teams, as well as a sales team, allowing the firm to develop quickly. The disadvantages include a great deal of red tape and difficult-to-overcome outdated methods. Entrepreneurs, like dragging a rock uphill, must disrupt long-established systems. The capacity of entrepreneurs to endure can decide their success. Many new ideas and concepts are being promoted within the firm, as well as new procedures and systems that did not previously exist. Yes, there are benefits and drawbacks. However, the level of stimulation of an entrepreneur is equivalent to that of an entrepreneur. Bandholz: An excellent businessperson must be able to communicate the company's storey consistently. When and why did you begin? Are you working on anything right now? Entrepreneurs do the same thing, except they tell their stories to the finance department rather than their peers. What is the best way for listeners to contact you? DeLuca: I don't have anything to sell. But I'm on Twitter, even though I don't post very often. I'm also a LinkedIn member.

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