My guest today is an avid networker and mobile business strategist, chef, podcaster, and golfer.
He is co-founder and Director of Business Development at ChamberDS.com. Chamber D.S. is a complete app and mobile business agency that turns ideas into profitable app businesses. My guest develops and grows relationships with clients, agencies and companies, as well as specializes in mobile app strategy consulting.
He also hosts The App Academy, a successful podcast with the aim of sharing wisdom from the most successful app business owners on the planet, to teach the necessary steps to make more money from app businesses.
Now, let’s hack …
In this 32-minute episode Jordan Bryant and I discuss:
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Voiceover: Welcome to Hack the Entrepreneur, the show which reveals the fears, habits, and inner battles behind big name entrepreneurs and those on their way to joining them. Now here is your host, Jon Nastor.
Jonny Nastor: Welcome back to another episode of Hack the Entrepreneur. You are very, very, very awesome for joining me. I do appreciate it. I’m your host Jon Nastor, but you can call me Jonny.
My guest today is an avid worker and mobile business strategists, chef, podcaster, and golfer. He is the co-founder and the director of Business Development at ChamberDS.com. Chamber D.S. is a complete app and mobile business agency that turns ideas into profitable app businesses. My guest develops and grows relationships with clients, agencies, and companies, as well as specializing in mobile app strategy consulting.
He also hosts the App Academy, a successful podcast with the aim of sharing wisdom from the most successful app business owners on the planet and which teaches the necessary steps to making more money from the app business.
Now, let’s hack Jordan Bryant.
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Welcome back to Hack the Entrepreneur. We have another special guest today. Jordan, welcome to the show.
Jordan Bryant: Jon, thank you so much. I’m pumped to be here.
Jonny Nastor: Awesome, awesome. All right, Jordan, let’s jump straight into this.
Jordan Bryant: All right.
Jonny Nastor: Jordan, as an entrepreneur, what is the one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your successes so far?
Jordan Bryant: I would say it’s the ability to create strategic relationships. Twenty-five years young, and I figured out a long time ago life is about relationships. If you ask for advice, you’ll get money. If you ask for money, you’ll get advice. It’s all been about just trying to connect with people and learn what makes them great. That typically led to awesome opportunities for me.
Jonny Nastor: Wow. Where did this come from? Most people, they’re 50 when they realize this.
Jordan Bryant: Yeah. Well, really, it comes from my parents honestly. My parents are very social, very socially outgoing. My dad was a league sport athlete in college. He’s very integrated with the sports community in my hometown — little town, Hood River, about an hour out of Portland, Oregon. He was my coach growing up because he’s so ingrained in the sports community, so I learned early on how to ask advice and how to be coachable. From that, I transitioned over into my entrepreneurial ventures and wanted to know how and why things work.
Actually, I started as a pre-med student, just wanting to know how and why things work. The passion for learning forced me to get out of my comfort zone and ask for advice, and it steered me in the directions of mentorship. I’m a massive proponent of mentorship. I like to connect with people who have done it, learn from their mistakes and successes. I think that has cultivated my ability to network and create these strategic relationships. It’s really ingrained in me from my upbringing and how I transitioned through life.
Jonny Nastor: Nice. You said you knew from an early age how to be coachable. I’ve never heard that before. There’s endless stuff out there, books, everything, about how to be a better coach. But here when you said it, I was like, “Wow, most people don’t even know how to be coachable.” Is that the ability not to be shy to ask questions, to not know what you’re doing, and to be willing to open up to your coach? What makes you coachable? I love that — how to be coachable.
Jordan Bryant: Yeah, great question. I’ve never had anyone ask me that before. I think it comes down to just listening, being able to listen, and putting the ego aside. A lot of people like to say they know how to do things. Just to be able to be humble and learn is really important to being coachable, being able to put the ego aside.
One of the biggest things in communication is just listening. It’s tough for people to listen, even though, yes, you’ve got two ears and one mouth and all that. But listening is a hard thing to do because you have to just sit and be patient. That’s the biggest piece to being coachable.
Jonny Nastor: Nice, I like it. You mentioned pre-med at some point. Now, let’s go back. There seems to be this time in every entrepreneur’s life. They realize one of two things. Either they have this calling to make something big in the world and a difference, or as mostly seems to be the case, they find they simply cannot work for somebody else. Somehow pre-med’s probably going to fit into this, but, Jordan, can you take us back, tell us how this happened, and which side of the fence you fall on?
Jordan Bryant: Man, I really think I’m on both sides of the fence. Just being an athlete, I’m very competitive. It’s hard for me to listen to authority. I want to just follow in line, but then at the same time, with pre-med, I saw the opportunity to make an impact and to help others. It was the best of both worlds. I wanted to create my own practices, run my own business of sort for physical therapy to where I could have the best of both worlds.
As I got into pre-med, I just lost passion for it. It was cool to learn how and why things worked, but they put you in this path. You have to conform to the way that the process works in school, and I just saw a long path of it. I got through college. Then I had another eight years to specialize in.
I was also learning the business because I wanted to do my own thing. I was a business minor. Then in minoring in business and taking this business internships, I just started my own business. When I was 19 years old, I started a paint company from my hometown. My dad’s side of the family was deep in the community and the blue-collar industry really, so it was easy for me to take on that role.
That’s my first business venture was this paint company started. I had never painted a house in my life and went door to door, knocked on about 1,000 doors before I gained my first paint job. I used these jobs to cash flow the business and learning how I can create from nothing — I literally went door to door with a flyer that I made on Word Docs. It was awesome. Never painted a house in my life.
Jonny Nastor: But you can make excellent flyers.
Jordan Bryant: Yeah, the flyer worked great. I learned to communicate and sell myself. I actually booked about $60,000 before ever touching a paint brush, and I used that to cash flow the business, hired 25 marketers, 30 painters, and ran a six-figure business as a 19 year old first time ever trying business. That really showed me value exchange, being able to work with these clients, being able to understand what pain point was, and being able to provide a solution.
It showed me that there’s ways that I could help people in other areas. Yes, it might not be saving someone’s life, but it showed me that there’s other ways that I can create value. That’s what got me down the path of entrepreneurship and wanting to make an impact in a bigger way — understanding that there are other ways to do that and that I can run my business, be on my own, independent in other ways, too. It was the mix of my college experience and the different things that I tried that lead me to where I am right now.
Jonny Nastor: I find it interesting. I’m going to repeat this back to you. At the beginning, you said that your family was entrenched in the blue-collar community, so starting a paint company was really easy for you. Then right after that, you said you created a flyer and literally knocked on 1,000 doors — completely not easy. This was not handed to you in any way. Most people would never step up and knock on 100 doors or 10 doors even. You know what I mean? I like how you say that it was easy for you because your family, but then it’s like, “No, I worked my ass off, man.”
Jordan Bryant: Oh, yeah.
Jonny Nastor: “That’s how I did it.”
Jordan Bryant: It was not fun. I had so many doors slammed in my face. You almost have to trick your mind to see it as being something that is rewarding. There is definitely being able to hold your composure at the door and all the communication experience that you get. You have to find those positives in these negative experiences, but yes, it definitely was challenging at times and very rewarding. I can definitely point a lot of my social skills to the experience of knocking on doors and being rejected over and over and over again.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah, exactly. What made you not stay in offline, physical business like painting? What made you want to move online?
Jordan Bryant: Painting is not sexy at all. I was trying to get out of that as quick as possible. I was 19 at the time, and by the time I got out, I was 21. It’s hard to go to a party and talk to girls and say, “Yes, I run a paint business.” It didn’t quite pan out for me. I took the experience and the success there and tried in the travel industry. I took the same model and tried to translate it over into a different industry, and it was a big failure.
I learned a lot there. I was just trying my learnings in these different industries. I tried travel industry for a little while. I tried to create a concierge service, a hiring concierge service, built the whole company from the ground up, did not start with sales this time, and built an awesome brand, built a whole team, learned the legality of starting a business from the ground up, and pretty much built an awesome company without sales. That was the biggest learning lesson.
I had so much success in sales with painting that I’d never painted a house in my life that I attributed all this success to my ability to sell myself and then figured that, “Hey, that’s not a problem. I’ll put that on the back burner. Once I get this company up and going, that’s something I can then almost turn on like a light switch,” and that was not the case. It did not validate the concept to the level I needed to. That was a big learning lesson for me.
Then, as I got connected with more mentors, networking, and understanding where some of the opportunities are in the world, technology’s something that captivated me. I started pursuing that and started a digital agency that it then pivoted to what is now at Chamber D.S. That’s how I was just dabbling while I was still young and had the opportunity to. Now that life is real, I’ve hunkered down into what I’m doing now.
Jonny Nastor: Excellent. That’s a great transition. I love how you do one thing really well. It goes really well the first time, so you just attribute it to sometimes the wrong things for the success. Like, “It’s this variable.” Then you find out later when you try it again. It’s like, “Actually, no, it was probably multiple variables not just this one specific.” You have to find that by trial and error. That’s how it works.
Jordan Bryant: Yes.
Jonny Nastor: You have the ability to create strategic relationships and be coachable. That’s your one thing that you think has been attributed to your success. Now, every blog post and expert talks about 80/20. Do 20 percent of the work. Get 80 percent of the result. Do what you’re good at. Delegate the rest. Jordan, can you please tell me something that you totally are not good at in business?
Jordan Bryant: Oh, that I’m not good at in business? Man, that’s tough. I try to focus on the things that you are good at. That I’m not good at in business. I can’t do it all. I would say I’m not very good at production management. I don’t want to do that. I love relationships, and I love communicating and networking. That’s just where I focus all my time.
I would say focusing on the finances and the logistics of everything. It just doesn’t sound like fun, so I don’t do it. I’m probably not very good at because it doesn’t sound like fun. That’s one thing that I absolutely delegate every time. I try to get a production manager in place, someone that can take over the running of the company.
Yes, as CEO, I have to have an understanding of every facet of it, so I do, seeing how everything works. As far as getting into the machine and making sure that it operates smoothly, that is something that I do stay away from. I would say, yes, having the understanding of managing the finances playing into the decisions on a day-to-day basis for production is something that I’m just not good at, have a passion for, or ever want to get into.
Jonny Nastor: Just completely keep it away from that.
Jordan Bryant: Exactly.
Jonny Nastor: From the paint business to the travel business to Chamber D.S., at what point did you finally realize to yourself, be like, “Oh, wow, Jordan, you’re terrible at this production side. You really have to get somebody else to do it.” I find that, typically, these things that we realize after the fact that we’re really, really bad at, we don’t want to admit it to ourselves at the beginning or sometimes in the middle even. It takes us a while. So when was this that you finally decided to put somebody in place to do that for you?
Jordan Bryant: I would say honestly probably recently, about five months ago. Our company’s just been scaling and can’t even keep up. It came to the point where we have 12 guys now, and it just became too much to manage. As we’re still growing, I felt like my life was stressful. I wasn’t enjoying the day-to-day outside of the business.
It was a point of scale, I believe, for us. There was just looking at all of the projects that we had on the table, where each one of them was, where it had to go, and the type of decisions that had to be made, but then that...