We Lifshitz Together: Serial Entrepreneur, Brand Consultant and Creative Thinker, Bryan Lifshitz shares the power of thinking big, finding your side hustle, and inventing a product that goes VIRAL.
Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
8:48 A lot of small businesses don't know who their market is. They don't know who their audience is. And so that's where we've got to identify. Is it old? Is it young? Is it, this is it that? And so once we understand that, then we're working backwards
22:19 The world of bringing stuff to market has changed. And for the better, in my opinion. And why? Because now anybody and everybody can bring something to market.
35:29 The reality is you've got to make sure that people like your product. We didn't know people were going to like our product, right? We just kind of assumed. I think we made about a hundred units of the Piggyback Rider back in the day as a test. We brought a bunch of them in, we sent them out to people, we had friends and family get involved just to see if the product worked. Then we started working with outside individuals to get their opinion and feedback so we could actually get that constructive criticism, not just from friends and family.
--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---
Bryan Lifshitz (00:00:00):
My brother and I talked for about 45 minutes and right when we're hanging up, I said, let me just refresh the Facebook page one more time and see what's happening. And that video had gone from a hundred thousand video views to over 1 million.
Welcome to the Side Hustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you're in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage and join your host, founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon best-selling author of Sign And Thrive, How To Make Six Figures as a Mobile Notary and Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka.
Bill Soroka (00:00:49):
Cheers. And welcome to my guest today, Bryan Lifshitz. He's a serial entrepreneur, a brand consultant, a creative thinker that's been seen online over 101 million times and counting over the last four years. Welcome Brian.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:01:05):
Hi, how you doing Bill? Nice to meet you. Nice to talk with you.
Bill Soroka (00:01:08):
Yeah. I love that we're able to get together again. And your energy on our previous conversation, I just knew I had to introduce you to our audience. And, I'm glad I registered the podcast for the R rating because I think just saying your last name, might've gotten us in trouble, Bryan Lifshitz.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:01:28):
I think your censor's finger on the button is a little delayed today.
Bill Soroka (00:01:32):
It is very delayed, very. That's the story of my life. Today's topic, where, Lifshitz together. We're going to be talking about thinking bigger, identifying side hustles and inventing cool shits. Brian has a, a career in not only in brand consulting, business, creative thinking, but also he has invented a really cool product that was featured on Elon Musk's, was it on his tweet, Twitter feed?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:02:01):
Bill Soroka (00:02:02):
Awesome. So let's, let's jump in and talk about maybe your origin in business. What got you started in business?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:02:10):
Definitely my father and why I say that, my father was a solopreneur my entire life. I watched what he did in the diamond industry and then in the computer industry and kind of seeing this lifestyle of what my parents led, I think it kind of ingrained in me what I wanted to do. And I didn't know what I wanted to do. My, I have two older brothers. They seem to really be focused on what they wanted in their career paths. I just said, I want to make some money. And so it's really comes down to my dad and setting it up and showing me how to kind of operate in the small businesses that he ran as the businesses grew. And when I became a professional, it was like, well, now's the time I want to do that.
Bill Soroka (00:02:55):
When you became a professional, what?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:02:58):
Oh graphic artist marketing and brand consultant. So something that I didn't know about myself until my, my mom had given me a box of old schoolwork that I was a graphic artist at the age of seven. I didn't know anything about graphics. I didn't know anything about marketing or advertising. Nobody in my family was in marketing or advertising. However, my dad loved computers as I mentioned. And so he brought home some of the first computers and I got to tinker on an old program called Print Shop Pro. Print Shop Pro was a place where I could print banners and signs because I was born in South Africa. I had grandparents visiting me once or twice a year. When they visit me, I made banners and signs for them and learned kind of how all this printing worked. Well, what the school papers that my mom gave me showed me was with the ability to do clip arts and graphics.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:03:54):
All my teachers said, Hey, you have an amazing design. The layout looks great. Your colors are good. Great use of clip arts, all of this. But then they said, but your content sucks. And my mom gave me some, some paperwork a couple of years ago and when I went through it, I read these comments and I was laughing because I was like, oh my God, I am a graphic artist. I'm not a writer. Right? So, since that early age I have been kind of designing and creating and implementing and crafting really as well, not understanding that it's all kind of part of this design phase. When I went to college I went to the university of Arizona and got a degree in graphic arts. And that's where I started kind of my professional career in the world of marketing and advertising. And so, like I said, I didn't know anything about it.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:04:47):
And now when I look back at all of that work and I kind of see what I've done, even over the last 20 years with my own business and helping small businesses it's kind of funny. I'm like, I've been a graphic artist my whole life, and nobody's ever told me, hey, did you know, there's this thing that you can do where people actually need to know the messaging, the visuals in order for a product or a service to be sold. Marketing, right? Graphic design. And so it's very important. So it all kind of just sprouted from the early days of playing on the computers.
Bill Soroka (00:05:21):
That's pretty amazing to even trace the roots all the way back that far. So you've had your own, a business that helps entrepreneurs sell their stuff basically, or be of service. When we originally talked, you you were really into the side hustle. Tell me about how many sites, well, number one, do you have side hustles right now?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:05:46):
Yeah. You can not have a side hustle in today's world. I mean, there's so many easy way. Affiliate marketing programs. I mean the easiest side hustle, you know, you got social media program link with a couple of companies that offer affiliate marketing and on your social channels, just promote whatever service or product it is. And eventually people will start clicking and buying and you'll get mailbox money, right. Money that you're like, I don't even know what I did and I made a hundred bucks today. So there's a lot of that as well as for products and services that you actually do use. Right? So for those I'm trying to think of some of the design stuff that I use. There's affiliate marketing opportunities. If I was to introduce you Bill, if you said, Hey, I need a program that can help me do that.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:06:31):
But because of my background, because of my tinkering and my design side, I'm constantly working on my computer for other people's projects. And while I'm working on their projects, I'm always thinking about myself and hey, wouldn't it be cool to do this? Or I merged something that you asked me to do along with Suzie. And there becomes some new idea, new concept, a new product. So I do have a couple of side things going on and my thought process behind the side hustle is it can become the full-time hustle, right?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:07:01):
Or you could have multiple side hustles. I really look at a side hustle as it starts out in my opinion, passionate, right? Something that you're passionate about. And you're like, oh great. This is fun and exciting. I get to make some money. And until it gets to the point where you're kind of saying, I think I'm making more money at the side hustle than at my full-time job. And I'm working, you know, 60 hours a week at the full-time job. And I'm working 30 hours of my side hustle. What kind of life do I want to live? And so that's when, when I talk about side hustles and educating people, it's kind of working backwards. What do you need out of the side hustle, if it's not just a passion project. If you need to make a thousand bucks a month or 10,000 bucks a month, then take that number kind of reverse engineer. How do you get to that through your side hustle?
Bill Soroka (00:07:49):
I love that you're even talking about reverse engineering. Cause that's exactly how I turned my notary business into the full-time side hustle, that reverse engineering process. What do I need to get out of this and work it back. Do you have a, do you have a methodology? That's…
Bryan Lifshitz (00:08:05):
My methodology is I think about the end-user. Okay. So we've grown up with marketing all around us. We watch TV commercials, radio ads. We watch them and we listen to them. Sometimes we watch it and then go, oh, that was really good. It made me laugh. You know, I I'm sweating, I'm crying. I'm emotional. So that means that marketing team, that advertising team did a great job, but those other ads, you watch it and you look at somebody and you're like, who is in the room? And everybody raised their hand and said, I agree. We should spend a million dollars on that. Right. And then you wonder, what's the messaging behind that? So again, where I said, I really do this reverse engineering. It's the same thing. I kind of close my eyes when I'm talking with anybody and say, what's the end result here, right?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:08:48):
If I'm doing a design project for you and you say, I need a brochure, I go, okay, I can design a brochure for you, but what do you need it for? Like, I don't work as just a production artist. I work as a marketer that understands what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. And then let's bring that message to the people you want to attract. And so we can't do that if we don't think about those people first. And so, you know, a lot of small businesses don't know who their market is. They don't know who their audience is. And so that's where we've got to identify. Is it old? Is it young? Is it, this is it that? And so once we understand that, then we're working backwards. I always kind of tell customers, clients close your eyes.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:09:31):
If I put this piece in your hand, whatever it is, what is your next steps? What are you going to do with it? And when you tell me, oh, well, I'm going to go fly to Cincinnati. There's a trade show. I'm going to go hand them out. And this is exactly how I'm doing it. Now I've got more ideas. Now I can go, oh, okay. If you're going to hand it out like that, then the way that I want to design it and create it is going to be like this. Because when you hand it to that individual, nobody wants to just be handed stuff like you've to be purposeful. And so the reason let's, let's talk through why and how you're going to do that. And once you do it, now we understand all of these steps. So when I'm designing something or creating something for you, I have this end, mine of Bill going to Cincinnati to the podcast convention and wanting to, you know, promote the Side Hustle Lounge and doing it in a way that it's, it's almost like it's a package. It's almost, you know, it's a movie, it's a presentation. It's not just a solicitation of my business. And I can tell some of those stories when we talk a little bit later about Piggyback Rider in some of those what I call guerrilla marketing tactics that I've done, you know, to kind of get in people's faces.
Bill Soroka (00:10:47):
YeahI, I, and I think too what you're describing is what a lot of small business owners don't actually do in their business. I think they get really overwhelmed by that process. So they just want a flyer that has their fees on it, or how great they talk about how great they are, but they don't think about that end user experience. I think where I was going. I wonder if you could the, what you described with the reverse engineering, you could a business person could apply to their lifestyle as well. Right? Of course.
Bill Soroka (00:11:19):
Thinking about where you want your life to be in three years, I remember I think it was Ray Edwards, best copywriter I've ever followed. I really enjoy his work, but I, I paid a chunk of money to be part of his ma, one of his masterminds. And the biggest takeaway was planning my life three years from now, like thinking, cause I went in there thinking I wanted one, to create one product and he shifted my perspective because he said, what do you want your life to look like in three years? Yup. Do you want to be working, selling that, maintaining that, that entire time it, putting that kind of thought into your lifestyle or into my lifestyle changed my entire, the entire course of direction. Have you experienced something similar or do you apply that methodology to your life or like when you decide what side hustles to take on or whether a product is viable or not?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:12:12):
Yeah. There's a combination of many things. And kind of going back to your other question about how do I do it? My process is very much the same for marketing, for everything it's reverse. I always go to the end and I worked the steps backwards to know where I need to go. And each step of the way we're trying to pick up different elements to, to understand what, what people are doing or how they're doing it. I think it's gonna depend on how much time, money, and effort you want to put into something. And so being in the world of e-commerce, there's so many people that get excited about the bright lights and the glitzy Venus of, you know, what Amazon can do for you. But at the end of the day, if you don't understand all of these things and what you really need to make and how much time you want to put into it and how much effort you're willing to put into it, then it'll get out of control.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:13:01):
And so, you know, my recommendation and the way that I work through things is trying to put up this scenario in reverse. And then a lot of what ifs, you know, what if, if we do this, what if we are successful, what happens? And then try to understand what solutions we, you know, our problems we might have that we need solutions to. But with the time, money, everybody's different. I've been doing marketing for 20 plus years now. And you know, everybody's like, hey, I need something done. How much does that cost? And I said, I don't work like that. I need to have a conversation with you. If you just want a transactional type of relationship, then go online and find somebody to do that for you. But if you want to build a relationship with me where I understand who you are, what you do, why you do it, then I can put all of the different ideas and, and suggestions together that we can then pick it apart and determine, you know, what works best for the things that fit into the time, money and effort that you have.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:14:06):
And for example, side hustles, I work with a lot of people with consumer products. Okay. And they're like, I got this great idea. I'm just going to go to China and quickly manufacture it and make 500 and then I'm going to sell it. And I, now that I've got experience, I kind of chuckle and say, yeah, that's one way to do it. But then I would back up if I was your advisor, I'd say, well, what happens if it got stuck in, in in Long Beach? And cause this happened to me where the government can pull your container and do an inspection. Okay. It takes an extra two weeks and on your dime. And it costs me, I believe it costs me $3,000. So I had to eat $3,000 on a shipment of my consumer products. Why am I saying that? Now that I've got this knowledge, when I talk to other people, this could happen to you.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:14:54):
And if your margins are so small, right? Your side hustles in the toilet before it even gets started, because by the time your product gets here, you're losing money when you're going to sell it. And so that's where you got to do some of that reverse analysis. I'm not a business plan guy, right? Like I'm more on the creative side. I'm I got an idea. Let me go run after it. Let me see what I can do. And going back to what you, you had asked, that is some of what I do. If I, if I've got a great idea, I quickly go research it online. You know, are people selling this on the different platforms? Is it out there? Are there other people doing the same things as me and immediately, if I find there's too much of that, it's out of my head, I'm done. I move on.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:15:36):
But the bad part is when I find something that I'm like, oh my God, nobody else is doing this. Then I start getting really excited. And then it's like, okay, what do I do next? And that's where I got to calm myself down and say, okay, don't, don't run before you can walk. Let's understand what we need to do. How can we start small? How can we throw some little opportunities out? See what happens before spending $1000, $5000 or even $10,000 to buy inventory, set up websites, do any of that stuff. So it's very much, every scenario is so different because everybody knows somebody different. Everybody's learned something different. And what I'm, what I like to do is I learn your story, right? Learn what it is that you want, what you need. So we can work together on this. We collaborate together to figure out what should it be.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:16:29):
And then answering those questions every step of the way to really put together a good plan. That, then if it needs to be written into a business plan that says, hey, we need to sell this to do this, and we're going to go global. Right? My consumer product, the Piggyback Rider, when my brothers and I created this 12 years ago, it was a side hustle. It was, you know, it was, it was, we all had full-time jobs and we were like, let's have some fun and let's see what we can do with this thing. And you know, here we are almost 10, 12 years later. And you know, I've been seen, as you said earlier in my intro more than 101 million times because of that product online.
Bill Soroka (00:17:08):
Yeah. So tell, tell us about that product. What is it? What's the Piggyback Rider? The Piggyback Rider is the world's first and only standing child carrier.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:17:19):
So my brothers and I have eight kids between the three of us. My middle brother is a neuroscientist, really, really smart guy, probably the smartest guy that I know. And he wanted to do more around the house with his five-year-old son, housework, cleaning, yard work, and so one day he just ripped apart a military backpack, put on a couple of metal rings, a piece of rope and then a PVC bar went through that rope. Or the rope, went through the PVC bar, tied up on the metal rings and he put his kid on his back. And the short story is he made two more prototypes. He sent one to my older brother and he sent one to me. And I, when I first got it, I kid you not. I laughed at, I was like, this is so stupid. I was like, who, what, who wants this?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:18:08):
And of course I didn't understand it because my kid was still about, I think maybe eight or nine months, maybe a year old. And it wasn't until I was out in my front yard in Phoenix mowing my lawn when my daughter, who at that time now, about six months later, it was about 18 months old was, was peering out the front window, wanting to mow the lawn with me. She loved doing stuff with me. Now, Bill, I don't know if you're like me, if you've mowed the lawn before, you know, that pushing a lawn mower with one hand and probably holding a kid under your arm, isn't the easiest things to do, especially when you want to turn corners in [unintelligible]. And and so my daughter was, was really upset because I was holding her under my arm. The lawn mower was right there.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:18:53):
The, the, it was very loud in her face and she was crying. My wife saw this happening. And so she had the bright idea. She went into my garage where I had the prototype my brother had sent me. And she just walked out to me and kind of handed it to me. And she said, use this. And I was like, okay, fine. And so I put it on. And that was the very first time where I put it on very remedial, no safety, anything. And I got my daughter on my back. I said, get on, let's go around. And as soon as she got up I did one lap around the yard and she was like tugging up at my shoulders on the, on where she was holding sawing, say, come on, dad. Let's this is awesome. Let's do this. My wife ended up getting a lot of photos and we actually got some before and afters ear to ear grins.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:19:38):
And in the photo, you see me standing up perfectly straight, pushing the lawnmower with two hands while having my 18 month, 20 plus pound kid on my back. She's got ear to ear smile, and now I'm able to whip around the yard, finished that lawn in under an hour, right with my kids. So we get to do this together rather than her being inside or scared. That was my aha moment of the prototype. I kid you not. I blasted my brothers for the longest time until I try, it until that day, when I did that lap, it was like, I could feel the light bulb above my head pop on. And as soon as I was done, I went inside. I called my brothers. I said, let's make this a reality.
Bill Soroka (00:20:18):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:20:18):
So that reality, some quick and short, we launched the product about a year later in Las Vegas at the ABC kids show in, I think 2010.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:20:30):
You can ask me more questions, but really we've had a lot of viral success. We've gone viral on Facebook in the early stages where they didn't tag us. And we got excited. I kind of had this gut feeling at one point that we would go viral just cause we had this weird product.
Bill Soroka (00:20:47):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:20:48):
And most people looked at it and said, well, why do I want to carry a kid that size? You know, most people are, I understand carrying a baby or an infant. And you know, obviously now that I had kids, I understand carrying the baby in the infant, but nobody wants to carry a toddler. But I disagree with that because I realized after a while, even with my nephews, my nieces and nephews, that they got tired, I had to pick them up when we went places.
Bill Soroka (00:21:09):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:21:10):
So my brothers basically invented an assistive device to help an adult carry a toddler.
Bill Soroka (00:21:18):
Yeah. And I think you kind of nailed it in the very beginning too. There's something else besides the practicality of it. Right? You're bonding with someone who wants to hang out with you a little bit and you're just making it a little easier for both of you. I love that.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:21:31):
Bill Soroka (00:21:31):
If you, if you, so where are you guys at now with the product still available?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:21:37):
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. We sell it worldwide. We're on all the major selling platforms are, we've got our own website and you know, a lot of that, going back to what you said about the a hundred million video views in 20 may, May 12th, 2017. And then I I'll never forget the date. It was a Friday like today. I was on my computer about this time when an associate sent me a text message and said, hey, isn't this your product? And, the company who had, I partnered with to do this video 45 second video of my home videos of me using it with my kid. They reached out to me and said, if we like your product, can we do a video for you? I said, how much does that cost thinking? It'd be, you know, three, four, five thousand bucks. They said nothing. And I said, BS, everything costs something, wait, where's it going to cost me?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:22:26):
And they said, no, no it won't. And so, it didn't cost me anything because it was a part of an affiliate program with Amazon. So I had the product, the company who was creating the video, had a distribution outlet on Facebook and then they utilized Amazon. And so we, it was a win, win, win situation. When that associate sent me a message about 11 o'clock, I learned about it. I called my brother who lives here in Phoenix. And we were excited because the video had a hundred thousand video views on it. And at that time we had only ever been used to seeing about 2,500 views on a video. So of course my brain was like, wait, 100,000. That's a lot more than 2,500, right? Like a lot, lot more, not just double, but a lot more. And then my brother and I talked for about 45 minutes and right when we're hanging up, I said, let me just refresh the Facebook page one more time and see this is what's happening.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:23:23):
And that video had gone from a hundred thousand video views to over 1 million.
Bill Soroka (00:23:28):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:23:28):
And that's when my brother and I kind of like, we were like, wait a minute, something's happening right happening. We started hearing our phone go kaching, which is the Amazon sound for making sales, which is awesome. And it was like every 30 seconds, it was like a kaching, kaching, kaching. And we realized we went viral. By the end of that day on that Friday, we had over 10 million video views. Saturday, we got another 10 million, Sunday we got another 10 million. And by the next week we had sold out of all of our product worldwide. So this was our side hustle that, you know, we had hoped at some point in the future would turn into the real thing. We just didn't know when or how.
New Speaker (00:24:16):
About a year prior to all this happening, I kind of had this gut check that hit me. And I went, I feel like we're going to go viral. I don't know when I don't know how, but I feel like we are. And the, and the system that we had in place to just to receive one order on our website, my father doing the back end, he had like 18 touches, you know, through the accounting software and all that. Cause we were a bit antiquated and I said, that's not going to work. We need to update. So we were about six months into updating our company when the viral stuff hit. And thank God we had, like at least started getting on track for that. And, and, you know, we sold out of all of our product. I was air freighting product from overseas to fulfill orders. And the reality is, you know, we became kind of this product that now people knew about and wanted.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:25:03):
And what was great since that moment, people have found us online through key keywords. Like I need to look for a toddler carrier cause we're going to go to Disneyland next month. Right. And so they type in toddler carrier a toddler carrier into Amazon or Google generic term. And we've got to win the generic term. Right. Cause nobody knows the name Piggyback Rider, but we chose the name, piggyback rider, just a side note for all your branding, people listening to this, you know, like Xerox, like Kleenex, you know, picking a name, you know, Google is now that name that, you know, we're saying, Hey, go Google it. Right. we wanted Piggyback Rider to become this name that was synonymous with the product, but also something that people would be like, I know what a piggyback ride is and brilliant a week we just went, we went viral.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:25:54):
We, we as do I say, we sold out of everything. And the business turned from, I kind of went to my dad. I was like, this is not a hustle side hustle anymore. I was like, this is a real thing. So we got 30 million views to date. We have over 61 million views on that video. And then at that same time about what was it about 60, 70 other content producers across the internet from different countries contacted me and said, we want to make some videos because they saw this stuff happening and they want to jump on the bandwagon. In those 68 other content producers published videos that got me 40 million more views. So that's where, you know, I kinda tell the Bryan has been seen by over 101 million people because I've tracked all of it. I've got a spreadsheet that shows up to over a hundred million and then I stopped.
Bill Soroka (00:26:47):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, after a hundred million, it doesn't matter Right? You hit it..
Bryan Lifshitz (00:26:54):
And until you're in competition with other videos where they got 200 million video views and you're trying to be like, you know, trying to catch up to them.
Bill Soroka (00:27:02):
You said a couple of things I want to talk about. So first, what was the, what was the trigger point for the virility or going viral, do you think?
Bill Soroka (00:27:11):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:27:11):
I'll never know, but my guess is the fact that it wasn't, the video wasn't perfect. So there's this phrase I learned years ago called implement imperfectly. Okay. So what does that mean? It's kind of like that, that 80 20 rule of, you know, if you wait until something's perfect, you've probably, it's too late now. So get to 80%, you know, and just launch it, see what happens. And so implement imperfectly, oh my God, what did you say again? What was the point of the question?
Bill Soroka (00:27:40):
The the tipping point or the trigger for the viralness?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:27:44):
Oh, okay. So I think it was that video and that it wasn't perfect. I wanted a perfect video, but for the timing of it, I just said, I don't have any videos that we professionally shot. Everything I had was my own video of me and my kids and my nieces and nephews. And so why it happened is, we had over 1 million comments on this viral video. And so that's where I know a couple of numbers out there for your, you know, your number junkies. The Facebook page that put it out, had about 1.8 million followers. So not a lot, but a lot. So how did we get that many video views? Well, the page it was put on was a page for people that love inventions. So 1.8 million invention lovers saw a new invention said, ooh, I don't have any kids, but I know 10 people who have toddlers.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:28:36):
This looks really cool. That one person tagged 10 others. Right. And that's what started going. Then the second part of the reality, I believe is that in the videos, all of the kids are actually a little bit big. They're more on the age of like four or five and six years old, maybe. And in some cases seven. So, so when you look at the kid on my back, my daughter looks big. So why am I saying that? In the hundreds of thousands of comments, there's a lot of people saying who the hell wants to carry a kid that big, you know, like I only want to carry my infant. I don't want to carry a toddler. And so it was really funny. So you had a lot of naysayers, but then that's why I think it went viral because you had that mom or that dad that then chimed in and said, hey, you're a knucklehead because you obviously don't have kids.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:29:29):
I've got kids that I can tell you. This thing is amazing, it's genius and it's innovative and I'd buy it in a heartbeat because when my kid gets tired, I got to pick them up. Right? And so out that I kind of created this thing where we say with Piggyback Rider, we can offer you three suggestions or solutions, righ?. When you're at the trail head, having that hike with your kid that you planned all week for, if you go and you get to the trail head, and then your kid drops to the floor, says, dad, I'm tired. What do you do? You either you leave the kid there and you go on your hike. You're not going to do that. Right?
Bill Soroka (00:30:05):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:30:06):
You drag the kid on the hike, which is probably not going to happen. Or the last thing is, you're going to pick them up and you're either picking them up and you're going back to the car, or you're picking them up and going to try to go a mile.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:30:20):
Right? And so the question of the matter is, you've got to do what we want you to do. You're going to carry your kid. That's what I said before the assistive device. We just give you a way to carry it, make it a lot easier. Well, with, with the, the virality of everything that was happening here, that's where I think the second kind of increase happened was people going, oh, this is so stupid. I hate it. And then you had 10 parents come in and say, you obviously don't have kids. You don't know what you're talking about. So if I would do, if I would do the video different, and I had a professional video that was canned with the right toddlers, two to four years old, I don't think it would have gone as viral as it did.
Bill Soroka (00:31:04):
Interesting. So it was just a happenstance. And it just seems like…
Bryan Lifshitz (00:31:08):
It's negativity. I hate to say it's social media brings negativity. Somebody puts in a comment out. People don't like it, everybody jumps on them, you know and in my sense, I, you know, I wasn't like talking about world peace or, you know, things that are going on in this world. It was like, whether you like this product or not. So it was very simple to say, I like it, or I hate it. But I've seen the same commentary. You know so we've not only gone viral on Facebook. We've gone viral on Instagram and on Twitter, on YouTube. And in all of these cases, when I read the comments, it's the same shtick. There's a handful of people that are bitching and complaining. This is the dumbest thing ever. Nobody wants to carry a big kid. And I agree when my daughter hit, we were at the zoo, She was, I think she was seven and she hit 55 pounds and I went, wow, I can finally feel you on my back.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:31:56):
It's been five years since I felt her on my back. And she was the one that I started it with. And on that day, I said, look, I'm going to walk about 25 feet and that's it. And that was the first time that I got the experience of like, okay, 55 pounds is heavy on your back.
Bill Soroka (00:32:11):
And you've got to draw that line somewhere, Bryan. So if you had one piece of advice for somebody who had an invention idea, what would it be?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:32:20):
Oh boy, one piece, oh, you want three? You know? Well, it's tough because I get a lot of people that approach me with, you know, here's my product. Can you help me go viral? And my answer is no. You know, like there was nothing that I did to make my product go viral.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:32:39):
It was kind of everything that happened at the same time. It was the perfect storm. So the reality is what I've learned, you got to know your numbers, right? And so if you want to bring products to market, if you don't know your numbers, you're shooting yourself in the foot before you even start. And that's in any business, you know, whether it's a small side hustle, a big one, you got to know your numbers. And so if you don't know how much money you need to make a, off of this product, then you know, I got a lot of people saying, hey, you know, I want to make this product and I go, great. What are you selling it for? I have no idea. Well then how am I supposed to help you figure out how much it's going to cost to make? And then how much all the other stuff in the middle is.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:33:19):
So the other suggestion, the other advice I'd give is the world of bringing stuff to market has changed. And for the better, in my opinion, and why, because now anybody and everybody can bring something to market. And why? Because you've got 3d printing, you've got print on demand. You've got all of these ways that people can create and manufacture stuff on a small scale, that's pretty darn good, that you can test the market. And so that's kind of that, that number two thing is you want to test the market. Everybody that comes to me, hey, here's my product, it's the best thing ever. I'm going to do global domination with it. And I go, I don't like it. Okay. So you just lost here's one person, you know, everybody thinks their product is awesome. And then the next thing, what happens is you go share it with all your friends and family and what are they going to tell you?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:34:10):
Well, yeah, we love it too, because they don't want to hurt your feelings. So that's kind of where people get into a quagmire of saying, I'm bringing this product to market. I've now spent lots of money. All my friends and family said, they loved it. I made it. I come to a trade show and everybody, nobody talks to me. Nobody wants to buy my product. Nobody's interested. And I'm getting questions of like, why did you bring this to market? Didn't you do any research? Didn't you see if people liked it or wanted it? Maybe it's a price thing. So you, you there's the ability to come out small is what I'm saying. Right? Making small little runs, starting a small little website, doing something on Etsy or eBay growing to something bigger like Amazon, if you don't want to go with the, the big beast that Amazon is.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:34:55):
But you know, that's really what it is. It's, it's not what you like. It's what other people think. Right? And that's kind of my marketing and consumer mind. That's what I'm doing as a consumer. When I'm out, you know, at, at, at stores and such, I'm shopping as a consumer and I'm there scratching my head and complaining, why did they do it like this? And they could have done this better. And I don't know why the story of why it is the way it is, but maybe, you know, they didn't implement imperfectly. And they just said, Hey, we, you know, we waited too long or we put too much time in this one phase or another.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:35:29):
The reality is you've got to make sure that people like your product. We didn't know people were going to like our product, right? We just kind of assumed. We made, I want to say, I think we made about a hundred units of the Piggyback Rider back in the day, as a test. We brought a bunch of them in, we sent them out to people, we had friends and family get involved just to see if the product worked. Then we started working with outside individuals to get their opinion and feedback. So it, you know, we could actually get that constructive criticism, not from friends and family. Those would be the two things.
Bill Soroka (00:36:03):
I think that's huge, great advice as well. Sometimes we get too married to our ideas and it makes us blind to what the market actually really wants.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:36:13):
Bill Soroka (00:36:14):
The other thing that I wanted to go back to, cause you just glanced off of it. When we were talking a little bit earlier, you were when you're in your marketing business. You said if, if somebody comes to you and they're really price driven and they're just looking for a transaction, they're not your customer. You, you're more into the relationship and you want to do your, what fulfill the role you play on a deeper level. So you can actually really help. Now that takes courage to turn away business. So how did you, is that something that you just learned through hard lessons or did you just step into this just knowing that that's just the way this was going to be?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:36:53):
No, everything is experiential. I mean, it has to be, you know, we always got the rosy lens on. Everything's going to be great until it's not. And until you do a couple of projects and they go, great, and then you're thinking, everything's fine. You get that one client who doesn't have the same expectations, maybe the communication between you and them weren't the greatest.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:37:14):
As a designer, I've learned a lot because as I'm creating and I have to submit the proof over to the customer to have them review it, I've learned a lot of ways to verify whether the customer actually reviews that content. If, for example if somebody has me make a booklet of some sort and they get lazy and they don't want to read all the pages in their own booklet, right? I will put spelling errors or mistakes towards the end to see when they submit the changes back to me if they actually caught that change, just to make me aware of, did you look through it?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:37:51):
Because I get a lot of people saying it's approved, go. Because they're too busy and everything else that they're doing. So they then give me the approval. I think everything's great. I don't know any better. We move forward. We produce, we create, we deliver. And then they're like, no, this isn't going to work. And so I've done I don't know, I can't even count how many design projects, thousands, tens of thousands of design projects with so many clients that I've now learned based on questions people ask me. If somebody comes to me and says, I'm looking to choose between, you know, somebody like you or get my brand or design done on Fiver. We all know Fiver. You get fi, logo for five bucks. Hey, if you want your business to be represented by a $5 logo, go do that.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:38:39):
But if a customer comes to me and says, you know, I was searching Fiver, but then Bill referred me over to you. I'd be like, you're not going to be excited between, you know, looking at Fiver versus me, right? I'm the professional, I'm charging a lot more money than they do, but the reason I'm doing it is because I get very passionate about people's businesses. I like to get involved. I'm a brand guy. And so why I say that is in branding, you need consistency. You look at something like Starbucks, Coca-Cola, some of the bigger brands in the world, you go into a Starbucks around the world, they all look the same, right? Mcdonald's for the most part, they look the same. There's a reason, right? They understand what the human psyche does. So when people bring me in and they don't understand that from one medium to the next, from your print material, to your, your digital marketing, to how you're presenting yourself, you know, in public, that is all of what the brand is.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:39:34):
Whether it's you build the brand or the Side Hustle, Lounge brand, and those are the people I want to work with, the entrepreneurs, the business owners that understand, I'm here to run my business, I know my business really well, but I'm not, I'm not really great at marketing or creative ideas or figuring out how to get my message out. Another thing that I've learned as a designer, oftentimes we do print work for people. So if I don't actually get to design something and we produce print work for somebody, I just had somebody about six months to do this. They sent me a design piece. Somebody else had designed it. Now what I do as a print company. And because I want to make sure that anybody I do work for is, is going to see the benefits of that. They sent me this, this brochure.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:40:25):
And when I read it, like I could have easily just printed it and sent back to them and let them have, you know, go on. That's just not who I am. I sent her back an email and I said, I've got 10 changes that I think you should make. And here are the reasons why, you know, spelling error. You definitely should make a spelling, error change, Grammatical error, you should do that. But I said more importantly, once this brochure is actually printed and folded, when you hand it to Bill, the consumer, and he looks at it, he's reading that first message on the first page. It doesn't make any sense into what you want. And when I read the next message, it's not cohesive and not consistent. And so now you've lost out on this opportunity because the messaging isn't right.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:41:08):
And so I questioned them. And when I gave them the 10 changes, she came back to me and said, if you know, are you okay? Can I submit these to my designer and have her make all of them? Because I agree with everything you said. I said, yes, because me as a business owner, I understand I didn't design that piece, but I'm now part of her marketing from the print side. If she goes out and distributes these pieces, and every time she distributes them, people keep dropping them in the trash, she's probably not going to make more of them cause you're going to say that didn't work for me. But the reality is people read it. And they're like, I don't even understand what is she trying to tell me? Ah, forget it right in the trash. So that's where I'm trying to help these business owners understand.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:41:49):
Maybe we don't implement something so perfectly. We do a little less content, drive people to a website that's dynamic and you can change the information as much as you want. But if we design it and print it, we can't change it. Right? Like we gotta reprint it. So, you know, as a brand consultant, I'm really focusing on this, this, over the arc of the business. Who are you, what do you do, and Simon Sinek says, why do you do what you do? When I understand those things and business owners go, you know what, I need somebody to be a thinking partner with me or a creative thinker. People go, I'm not creative. I don't have a creative bone in my body. Right?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:42:32):
And I'm like BS talk with me for an hour, and I promise we'll pull something out, right. It'll be maybe a smidge of your idea and some of mine, but together we're creating this amazing thing. And so we work with business owners that want to be involved. And I work with business owners that are like, just go do your thing. Like I trust you, bring to me whatever it is we need to do and we'll make it happen.
Bill Soroka (00:42:53):
Yeah. love that. And then let's get into the side hustles a little bit more. Cause I love, you mentioned earlier in the podcast your grandparents from South Africa. So I want to find out how you started adding in these side hustles. But before we go back too far, I want to understand more how many side hustles you have now? I know you've got your, your main marketing business. We've got the Piggyback Rider. What are you doing on Amazon? Anything else?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:43:21):
Well, Amazon, I mean, yes. We've got an a, we've got another, I gotta be careful about what I say in case Amazon's listening. No, I only have one selling account. You know, we've, we've got multiple brands, so I don't think of it as side hustles. I think of it as a brand, right. Because I'm the brand guy. And so I've got multiple brands. I've got through my own creations and working with the materials I do on a daily basis. I came up with this doggy door decal, right? This idea that my mom years ago, we had dogs and we always cut a hole in the wall for those doggy doors. But then it makes an eyesore. The dog runs in and out, gets the door, you know, around the frame dirty. And if that's in a part of your home, that's a focal point, you know, my mom came to me and said, Hey, can you make me something? That'll make it look nicer.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:44:10):
And so it, it, this is, this is a side hustle, about 12 years in the making that I finally got onto Etsy, I think late last year. And it's, it's a designed piece on a low tech adhesive material. We print it, we roll it. It goes to your house. When you get it, you cut out the doggy door part and the picture you have, you know, you can choose a doggy door, excuse me, a dog house, a space ship, a mansion, an atrium. I think we got six designs.
Bill Soroka (00:44:41):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:44:42):
So this is one of those ideas, kind of me working on other projects. I kind of created this other thing now that I know what materials are available, now that I've got Amazon and eBay and Etsy, I'm like, I don't really want to build my own website.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:44:56):
Right. That's a lot of time and money. I just want to put it out on other marketplaces. So I put it out on Etsy because that's where this type of a product belongs. And that's kind of, as I said, that's a side hustle, it's one product. I've got to build out the line a lot more, but that's kind of my pet products. Okay. Side hustle. I've got a side hustle in the in the marijuana business and, and it's merely for branding purposes because I am the branding marketing guy. Right. I came up with a marketing tool for anybody from, you know, brands that are in that industry to head shops or, or a CBD companies that it's a promotional tool. Again, I'm like the promo guy, but it's a custom promotional tool that people within the marijuana industry can use.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:45:45):
And then it's got your logo on it. So when you're using it, people are like, well, what is that? Right? And I know that one worked because I went and distributed them to the dispensary's all here in Arizona. And everybody knows who I am. They love my pieces. And even the managers are saying, Hey, bring us back more cards and stick them here. We'll give them away for free. So what did I do? I put it on Etsy, started selling those now a quick a note there in the side hustle part. One of the things that I learned is because of the nature of what that business is or what that product is really geared towards. It's very hard to market. I can't advertise. And so there was really nowhere for me to sell it until I jumped on to Etsy and started learning Etsy.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:46:28):
And I went, oh, Etsy doesn't care. You know, as long as you don't say, you know exactly what it is and I've been selling them. Right. Yeah. So that worked great. About, another side hustle I have about six, seven years ago. I got to be careful how we say this. My wife and I created an adult product. Okay. Okay. We created out of necessity. It's a couples product. It's a sex harness. Okay. Now it was created because of what we were already working on. And there was something in our house that resembled this product. We had manufacturing overseas already. We kind of just said, hey, this looks cool. I was introduced to somebody who's a, a sex counselor or sex coach, a couples coach. And so, you know, when I was referred to her, she helped me kind of identify whether I should bring this to market or not.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:47:26):
She loved it. She referred me to like 10 people that I should go talk to about it. And for the last five years we've been manufacturing and selling that on Amazon. I actually put it on Etsy as well, because while I was doing Etsy for the Piggyback Rider business, I actually stumbled in Etsy and realized they sell a lot of sex-related products that I didn't even know. And I was like way over my head. So I started doing a lot of research and I went, oh my God, I'm going to go put this product on Etsy because it's a place that'll actually let me sell it without it being pigeoned into this little hole, and we've been selling. The other side business, so other than my Alamari Media or Alamari design and print, is our Media Marketing company. Piggyback Rider is a brand, my brothers and I collectively own a product development company.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:48:20):
That's the company that manufacturers Piggyback Rider. So I'm an, I'm an owner there and we have, you know, connections to to China to cut and sew, that's our factory out there. And then because of all of that, and this teeny tiny little thing that we all learned about last year in March called COVID and everything changing across the planet I got into the logistics business. And the reason we got into the logistics business was because we have Piggyback Rider as our product and the other consumer products I have. And, you know, we run our own warehouse specifically for Piggyback Rider. Well, when the pandemic hit, Amazon went crazy. Nobody could get products because of, you know, the logistics blockage and, and everything that was happening. And so what ended up happening to all of the sellers on Amazon was Amazon determined if your product was a necessity or not, and if it could actually be sold and if it could be sold, if it would be shipped out in a timely manner versus waiting three or four weeks.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:49:26):
Well, over the year, last year I started kind of looking at things and hearing stories and people started approaching me and saying, hey, I know in 2019 you talked about owning kind of this warehouse and distribution for your, your products. Well, now that the pandemic is here and I can't bring my, I can't take my product out of Amazon and I can't even get stuff to customers in a timely fashion, can you help me? And so I started getting phone calls and emails of all kinds of people asking me for kind of logistics and warehouse support. And so I was like, maybe I should do something about this. And so that's where, again, as a brand guy for a presentation, six, seven years ago, I created a logo that was, I was playing around one day designing. And I said, I need one more slide for this presentation. That's the last slide I did my whole presentation. And people want to know, you know, like, what am I going to do next type of thing. Right? And so the joke was, I'm going to start a moving company. And the moving company that I created wasWe Lifshitz Moving because of my head. I was just like, every time I say it, I laugh. Like we lift shit.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:50:38):
And so, you know, I had it for awhile. And then when the pandemic happened last year and people started contacting me, I kind of went maybe, maybe instead of moving, maybe I can take the moving out. And we just converted to logistics and it's We Lifshitz Logistics. One of my, a good family friend of mine just sold his company. He had a massive three PL in California. They're doing 40, 50,000 packages a day. He, you know, millions of square feet. He's the one that used to warehouse Piggyback Rider before we took it upon ourselves. So, I learned a lot from them. I started asking him questions last year and saying, Hey, what's happening in this industry? What's happening in the market? Do you think I could start this small little like micro business? And he said, most definitely. I agree with what you're doing.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:51:27):
You know, Amazon is going to change. The whole world is going to change in the next year. Just wait. Right? And so what now has happened is, we've got a handful of clients in the, We Lifshitz Logistics business. These are all small solopreneurs. In most cases, I believe they are all, they all have full-time jobs and they all love the side hustle of selling online. So now I'm helping people logistically with their side hustles. Right. So that's where we, Lifshitz, Logistics was born. And I think you were going to ask me about my grandparents and I'm going to kind of, unless you wanted to chime on that, but I can go back and bring them into the story.
Bill Soroka (00:52:09):
We can leave that in. Yeah, absolutely. Cause, well as long as is that, is that it for your side hustles right now? I'm scared to ask.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:52:20):
Bill Soroka (00:52:20):
You got more. Okay. Let's go to your grandparents.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:52:24):
I've got two more,
Bill Soroka (00:52:26):
Oh, you got two more.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:52:28):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:52:29):
Geez. Which ones? Well, let's do it. I want to hear about them.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:52:32):
Their Etsy based. So again, as I mentioned, as I started learning more and more about Etsy over the last couple of years, took some courses, did some practice things. And my wife and I kind of did a, a print on demand course last year for Etsy doing these mugs, right? Everybody's got mugs with funny sayings on them or whatever. And because everybody's locked in their homes last year, it was a very successful business. We didn't know what the heck we were doing. And so we figured it out by utilizing a print on demand vendor, somewhere here in the country. I forgot where they're at. We create the designs, right? We do the research on what people are interested in.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:53:12):
What's happening out there. We create the designs, we upload it. It's all print on demand. So, you know, complete opposite of Piggyback Rider where we're buying, you know, tens of thousands of units and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm not spending anything on inventory. And so that's where I've learned from going big to small, a different type of side hustle where you don't have the capital expense. So once we learned that and we started doing this mug thing, well, the beginning of this year, the mug business like died. It just phew gone. Right? And so there was a day where I was on Etsy and I was playing around and I was doing a little research and I noticed another listing for life-sized cutouts of people. My entire business for 12 years has been basically printing design and print. I, and I kick myself.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:54:04):
I wish I would've known this like two years ago. But I would've gone on Etsy two years ago and done what I've now, I think I've got about 20 listings on Etsy. Every day I'm putting up a new listing. Everything that I've done for 20 years in my creative business, there are these small solopreneurs and just regular people that want this stuff. And especially because of the pandemic last year, you know, all the drive-by birthday parties and anniversaries and such, everybody is spending money on large format graphics because that's what you need in your yard. And so I came across this listing and I, and it was a listing for a life-size cutout. And I was like, hey, I was like, I've sold those to people. Matter of fact, I have one of myself that I used at an event because I, I was going to China for the Piggyback Rider.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:54:52):
There was an award event that I couldn't attend. I knew that my group was going to win an award. I wanted to be in the photos. So I took one of my professional photos. I made it six foot, we put it on foam core, we cut it out and I made a stand. I call one of my associates. I said, stop by my house before you go to the awards to pick me up. Right? And so he dropped by my house. And when he came to my house, I had the guy, I had me standing in the window and as he comes up, I see him waving at me. And I'm like, who is he waving at? We got a laugh out of it, but he felt that standup was me. And so I've had that standup in my house now for three or four years, it's my security guard.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:55:33):
People get scared. Well, when I saw this listing, poof, I bubble popped up and I was like, why don't I do this? So I started putting it, I put a listing out and we've had some pretty good success in the last couple of months with it. And then from there I went, you know what, the way that I think everything that we do in the design and print world's a blank canvas, right? It's all raw material. I can do, when people go, can you do this? I go, I can do whatever you want. You need to tell me what you need. And then we work backwards to figure out how to get there. And so I now have just taken all of the materials that I have been supplying to customers for the last 12 years and picking a handful of them that are working for custom printed stuff.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:56:19):
And a lot of people are loving them for all of the events and specifically because of COVID right? People not being able to go places. It's been a side hustle that's been picking up. And so my wife and I, every day now we're looking, you know, at, here's the craziest thing. I get a message from a customer asking if I can do something. And when they, when they do that, they are then giving me the idea of a whole new listing of what I can put up. Right? Even though it's under the same guise of what this is. And so instead of it being a life-sized cutout, well guess what, one of my other listings is pets, right? It's one of my bigger sellers, you know, and people take such great photos of their pets compared to themselves. It's so funny. So those are, that's the end of the side hustle is like, I'm, I actually am really focusing on Etsy.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:57:10):
So yes, I, I sell our Piggyback Rider on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, and our own website. So I understand all the platforms. Etsy brings this, this really exciting part, and they're, they're really growing. And I'm really excited about what they have to offer on the customization and personalization side of that. And, you know, I'm really hoping to take this as what I, it is a side hustle for me right now. And hopefully the goal is for it to actually generate some revenue where we're going to hire full-time employee two or three to come and, you know, so I don't have to do all what I'm doing. And you know, now we've got, you know, we're going to grow that portion of it. Okay.
Bill Soroka (00:57:49):
So, and that's a perfect segue. Cause that's what I feel like we have to talk about now. You've just listed all these things. Eight different….
Bryan Lifshitz (00:57:59):
Hold on. I want to go back and answer that other question and then we can go back. Cause I know where you're going with your question. Okay. So I was born in South Africa. I moved to the United States when I was three. My parents, my grandparents came to visit me all the time. When they came to visit, I grew up with south African chocolates and candies by Cadbury's and some of the best companies out there. And so these candies were so delicious that you couldn't get them in the U.S., and if you could, they were super expensive. Like ridiculously.
New Speaker (00:58:27):
My grandparents were so nice every time they would come visit, they'd usually come visit us for about a month to two months at a time. And they would bring an entire full-sized suitcase of whatever I asked for. And so back in the day, I just wanted, you know, what, kid doesn't want two cases full of candy. And that's what I asked for. So they went to the Costco of stores back in the day and bought me not just one or two bars, but the entire cases. And when they brought them to the states and I, you know, kind of my eyes went big and went, whoa, I can't eat all this. What do I do with this? Well, immediately I gave out a freebie to all the neighborhood kids and I got them hooked. And then they came back wanting more. So I was a chocolate dealer.
Bill Soroka (00:59:13):
I love that.
Bill Soroka (00:59:14):
That's my first side hustle.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:59:15):
That was the first side hustle. The first business.
Bryan Lifshitz (00:59:17):
Bill Soroka (00:59:18):
How many more have there been, like, and, I don't know if you can remember them all, but I'd love to know how many total and how many have flopped? We've talked about all the ones that are currently going and the ones that I've worked out, but which ones have flopped and what's the impact on you?
Bryan Lifshitz (00:59:36):
I'm not going to show my ego here, but nothing's flopped.
Bill Soroka (00:59:40):
Bryan Lifshitz (00:59:41):
The things that have flopped would be things that I did when I was, you know, 12, 13, 14, 15. The, that box I mentioned earlier today that my mom had sent me with all my schoolwork in, in, in one of those file folders was a school project where I guess we have to come up with an invention, and we have to, you know, sell it, you know, like kind of like a science project. And the thing that I created, my dad loved his back to be scratched. And my mom had nice nails and she scratched it. And so I thought looking at my mom's hands, how could I create a back scratcher? And, you know, I say this now thinking it was so genius back then, but now you go to like every seven, 11 and circle K.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:00:22):
And there's a dollar backscratcher, like right there.
Bill Soroka (01:00:25):
Bryan Lifshitz (01:00:25):
My backscratcher, it was a spaghetti noodle spoon. Right? So the one that's got the hole in it with the little, like, it's got the long handle and it's got the forks and it's got a lot of spikes on it. So you can go into the spaghetti and scoop out the spaghetti after it's been cooked. Well, I basically took one of those and I hot glued Lee Press-On nails to each of the little tongs, because there was nothing better than a back scratch with real nails, right? Or nails. I then filed them down so they weren't sharp. And then I packaged them and, you know, I was, my, the goal was to sell that.
Bill Soroka (01:01:03):
Bill Soroka (01:01:05):
Was about the thing that failed because I never, I never did anything with it.
Bill Soroka (01:01:09):
Yeah. Well, that's not a bad not a bad run you've got going on. And so now I got to know, it sounds like, when you talk, when you discuss this, either you're an idea churning machine. So you just get idea after idea after idea, and how do you manage your time and energy running eight different enterprises right now?
Bryan Lifshitz (01:01:37):
You know what I feel? It, it there's days. And especially in the beginning, it gets overwhelming, but I think it's, it's almost like a, I would call like a track and field, you know, a runner somebody's running 1500, you do one lap. Well, how are you, how do you pace yourself for that last lap? And you know, as soon as you figure out what that consistency is, what you can do, then you just run with it. Now, you know, I did work 24/7, 365, and that's one thing I'm trying to change. I'm trying to not work 24/7, 365. I'm trying to figure out how can I take some of my ideas, just, you know, put them into my phone and set them away for tomorrow. And I've been doing more and more of that. And, you know, it's, it's processes. I think you got to do the things that you're good at. And you like to do.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:02:27):
The things that I've learned in the last couple of years, about some of the side businesses that I don't like to do. The accounting; not that everybody loves doing that, but it gets to be a point where when you spend more time focusing on accounting than you are focusing on the creatives and the marketing and sales, which is what I want to focus on. Well, then it, like, that's where it hurts. And that's where it becomes difficult to do all these different things. But in the most, in most cases, for everything that we talked about, that I'm doing, there's the creativity, sales, and marketing with all of them. And the hardest thing is to not see that bright, shiny object. You know, if I'm on Twitter, spending 20 minutes scrolling to see kind of what are some updates what's going on?
Bryan Lifshitz (01:03:11):
Is there anything I could, you know, grab and use? And, and sometimes I see something and then I'm overwhelmed. Like, oh my God, I quickly, I got to go do that. And I'm like, no, I was like, this is where I get into problems. Like, write your note, take care of it later. Excuse me, the way that I do it. I've got a huge, huge whiteboard in my room. It's like four feet by eight feet that it's, it's got lines printed on it. And so every time I've got thoughts and ideas, I'm writing them up there. I got a lot of post-it notes all over my desk. I also try to use a notebook, you know, I just, I just try to write stuff everywhere. I use Google sheets a lot and Google docs to try to put all my content. But I think the thing with me is I'm just somebody that can handle this because when I push some of the work down to my staff on the certain aspects, they get very overwhelmed when I give them two things to do.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:04:06):
And I'm thinking like I only gave you two things to do. You can't do both of them? Let me do number one. And then I'll do number two. I was like, I'm doing 12 things in my head at the same time. But I also understand it's not fair because I am the decision maker in most cases. And so it's very easy for me to be able to do these things. But I guess what I would encourage the audiences, you know, try to stay focused. I know I am, I've got a lot of things going on, but the reality is they all work really cohesive together for the fact that, you know, when you talk about the logistics side, if we're producing something and it's got to get to somebody that kind of all goes through the logistics arm, right? If we're manufacturing stuff, it all comes through that arm.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:04:48):
If we're designing and creating, right? Regardless which brand it's for what we're doing, you know, that's what it is. And, and the reason I have this ability is really before some of these other side hustles started for me, you know, I was managing probably 25 to 35 creative projects at a time for clients. And the reality is when you think about a creative project from being one solopreneur, I need a little something to somebody saying, create me some big campaign, right? There's a lot of details. I messed up a project for Jackson Hewitt. One of my clients is Jackson Hewitt and we do tax folders every year for them. Well, I think the first year I did them the guy sent me a sample because he wanted my price to be cheaper than what they bought from corporate. And I said, let's work on this together, right?
Bryan Lifshitz (01:05:42):
Like if I can do it and you make money or you save money and I make money well then I'm happy and you're happy. It's a win-win situation. And so what he never told me was the size of this thing. And my mistake was when I saw it, because I know paper size, I assumed the size. I never actually measured it. And based on the way they utilized it, it's basically a little larger than 11X17 folded in half. So when they write all your paperwork, they can just staple it and stick it inside this little folio. Well, of course we printed the first round to them. And what did I do? I made them 11X17, not 11 and a quarter by 17 and a quarter. I had an extra quarter inch, right. It costs me. I had to go back and reprint 10,000 of these things. So the devil's in the details
Bill Soroka (01:06:34):
And it is devil's in the details. How do you ha so w would you say your your strategy or your methodology for staying focused is a tight schedule, software that keeps you on track? Like what's your, what's your day look like to manage all this and maintain those details?
Bryan Lifshitz (01:06:55):
Yes. I, you know, everyday I'm trying to improve. I think the more things you implement then the worse it gets, meaning that I've got seven different programs to help me stay organized. Well, are you remembering to go to the seven different programs? So I'm kind of, as I think as a designer, I think it's just in my nature, the lowest common denominator of like, how, how can I do everything I need to do collectively together? So when I look at my calendar, even if I'm working on five different, you know brands, how can I see that? And that's something I learned from a an individual years ago here in Phoenix. Jim Hayden told me this great thing. He opened up his calendar and he said, Bryan, he opened up his calendar, we're having a coffee. And he showed me on his phone, his calendar hours, computer, excuse me.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:07:45):
And he said, what do you notice? And I said, I don't know. I guess it looks pretty colorful. Like, I didn't notice that the calendar just had all of these colors. And he said, okay. And he said, what do you notice about the colors? And I said, well, initially I noticed there's a lot more green than anything else. And he said, you're right. And he said, do you want to know what the green is? And I said, yeah, he goes, free time, time for me to do whatever I want to do. Right. And I was like, wow, okay. What's the blue. Well, those are the meetings I to be at. What's the purple. This is my family things. What's the yellow, these are the super important whatever. And so for the last eight years, like my calendar, it's why I love outlook. You know, I've got two screens.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:08:28):
My calendar is open all day long. I am constantly writing on my calendar. Obviously the things in places I need to be and go. But in addition, like I'll write a little calendar event that has the brand in front of it. So let's say it's something for Alamari Media, our abbreviation is AMM. I put a little, you know, a colon or a dash. And then I'll say, you know Bill's postcard or something like that. I tend not to forget stuff. I don't know why I've kind of got like a photographic memory. And so when I see emails come in, it kind of like triggers in my brain, go back at some point. And I just have my own little process. Is it going to work for somebody else? Probably not. But the calendar thing I think would, and, and just recently is hilarious with all the crap going on in the world today, being parents of two young kids, 11 and 14, our schedules have never been crazier.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:09:21):
And now we actually, my wife and I have a meeting every Friday morning. This is our family meeting from eight 30 to nine 30, where we talk about the next week or two weeks that are coming up. And what do we put on the calendar today was, you know, COVID testing for the next four weeks, every Saturday because my kids and what's happening here, that's like, we just want to be safe. I just want to make sure. And so now we're saying, okay, here's something that we should do. Let's see if we can go get tests every Saturday to maintain consistency. And while we were talking about it, you know, my wife was kind of like, I really love looking at your calendar. Right? Cause it's like colorful, right? So she goes, do me a favor, can you send me all your color coding? She goes, I'm just going to copy it.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:10:02):
Right. I want to copy. My favorite color is blue. So that's why on my calendar, everything that's blue. That's like, Bryan, you got to do this stuff. Right. And so I think what, what what that individual taught me about the calendar was instead of having to even read, I just look at the colors very quickly and I can be like, oh my God, I got a lot of work this week. Or, oh my God, I don't have enough work. I better get on the phones. I better start making meetings. Or what have you. In addition, you know, for our print side, I made a little order form. I'm still old school. I love writing stuff out. I often grab blank sheets of paper for my printer, put it out on my desk and just start writing. If people are like, hey, I want to design or something.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:10:47):
I just start writing notes all over it. And then I'll take the information off of that. I might staple it to the order form where we're putting more detailed information. I, I've worked in places in my professional career that showed me how to be organized. I managed a 70 page publication. Half the publication was recognition and the other half was a publication. My job was to route this through our company of 300 individuals. Get, I believe it was like 50 approval signatures from every department, combine take all of these changes, put them into one document so that our designer could go make the changes to come back to me to go back out. And I had to be on top of paginating this thing, where did the images come from? How did I file them in the system? So the file name was easy for you Bill a designer, so you didn't even have to come talk to me.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:11:43):
Right? Like I was trying to do stuff that the designer could open up the file and know exactly where this photo went in the publication, because the way that I listed it in the pagination was the file name that I'd saved it as. Again, going into reverse, just kind of trying to streamline all of these processes. And I do the same thing for business owners. Right? I, I tell people, I, if I was the owner at your company and you're coming to me for these needs, I'm going to treat you the same way. Right?
Bill Soroka (01:12:11):
Bryan Lifshitz (01:12:12):
That's how I work.
Bill Soroka (01:12:13):
Love that. Me. Yeah. I love that. And I love that you have a color coordinated calendar because that is in a life-changer for me. And that's how I keep things on track too.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:12:23):
Another one. Just because of the world of the pandemic. Yeah. It's helped me be very organized.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:12:28):
Okay. So prior to the pandemic, I was running around town, a lot, meeting people all over the place. And I love doing it, I never questioned it, wasn't a problem, obviously, until we had this little hiccup that said, you know, nobody wants to go anywhere. And now I've met people from all over the world because of zoom. Right? And, and all these different opportunities. Well, I think that is, that's the benefit right there, right? The benefit is that things are now different. We can now meet people around the world. We can now get involved. And so why am I saying this? I learned about this other program, calendly.com, right? It's an app that you just go create your calendar and let people go find it. So what I found prior to the pandemic, I spent a lot of time emailing, communicating, and scheduling meetings, which I should not be doing.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:13:21):
When I learned about Calendly, I did the cheap version and then I realized I need to pay for it so I can have multiple events. I could actually, I can connect the payment system to it. So if somebody said, hey, I'm willing to pay Bryan for a meeting. Now I don't even gotta be involved. You go to my Calendly page and say, I want an hour of your time and pay you money. And I'm like, this is the best thing ever. So for the last year and a half Calendly has been my godsend. Because when I, now I have like a little saying that says, you know, hey, I'd love to meet with you. If we don't get a chance to meet, you know, here's either my email or my Calendly link. And what I find is I say to people again at your discretion find what's best for your calendar, right?
Bryan Lifshitz (01:14:06):
So rather than what I found is me going, hey, Bill here are three dates available at times. And you're like, well, I'm not in, we got nine emails, right? For you to just go in and grab something off of my calendar, it's completely automated. I am out of it. I have met probably three or 400 people in the last year because of that Calendly app that when I meet people, they're just making appointments. I see emails come in, I'm getting excited. I do some research before. And so now I can spend more time on the work that I need to do, not on the scheduling. And so I think in your business, those are things you just have to understand, you know, how can you avoid the waste, right?
Bill Soroka (01:14:49):
Yeah. It gets way more efficient. I love Calendly as well. That's what I use too. And for those of you who are listening that want to connect with Bryan, you can shoot the shitz with his own Calendly link. I'll put that in the Side, Hustle Lounge, VIP room, as well as links to Piggyback Rider the marketing company Ali, Mari that Bryan runs and any other links Bryan that you want to send over, I'll be happy to set up a whole section for you in our VIP lounge. People backing you down and your products, any closing words or words of advice on marketing for solopreneurs out there?
Bryan Lifshitz (01:15:26):
You know, don't quit your day job until it's the right time. I always believe you're better you're in a better position of finding new work while you have the work. That's what's happened to me. Right now is the time it's a great opportunity in the world of e-commerce. If you're always thinking about a side hustle this is what this podcast is talking about. So I really want to focus on, on the side hustle opportunity that, you know, for as little as 500 bucks, you can go find some product and sell it online. Even if it's something you created on your own and start your side hustle today, because it takes some time and effort. It's, you know, you might get lucky like me and get a viral video. I've met people, who've done little side hustles and their product was picked up by people.com because they needed some sort of an image that related to Valentine's Day.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:16:18):
And they found a mug with hearts on it, right? And that person just got super lucky and a ton of orders. So it can happen to you just like it happened to me. I didn't set anything up. And we went viral multiple times on platforms. If you have a good product, you put out some good communication and ultimately, you know, you want to do right. You will be found, it will happen. It will come to you. Start small. And if you need help or advice, I'm happy to and willing to talk to anybody that's part of the Side Hustle Lounge. I may, maybe you and I, Bill, I can set up a special link for those individuals so they're not just going to my direct Calendly page, but one that's directly related to them where I'd be willing to give everybody 30 minutes of my time to chat with them.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:17:06):
I do that, you know, you might have to wait a couple of months as it, as it books up, but I like giving away at least 30 minutes to talk to people. That's how I build relationships. That's how I communicate. And what I've learned in my career, it really, for me, it's about who I know, not what I know. And so building more relationships is what I need for the future. And I believe it's something you will need too. So go out there and build your networks, build your social platforms. So when you're ready to launch that side hustle, you have somewhere to do it.
Bill Soroka (01:17:38):
Great advice, Bryan, thank you so much for joining us and committing your time to our audience. We truly appreciate it. And if you're listening and you want to connect with Brian and shoot the Shitz, visit www.sidehustle,lounge.com/VIP and join the free VIP room and I'll have links to all of Bryan's contact. Thanks again, Brian.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:18:00):
You too. It was great.
Bryan Lifshitz (01:18:00):
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