About The Guest
Adam Mendler is the CEO of The Veloz Group, where he co-founded and oversees ventures across a wide variety of industries: Beverly Hills Chairs, the leading seller of refurbished Herman Miller Aeron chairs in the country; Custom Tobacco, a one-of-a-kind e-commerce platform where customers can create fully customized, private-label cigars in real-time; and Veloz Solutions, a technology consulting and software development practice.
Adam is also a nationally acclaimed thought leader, writer and speaker on topics including leadership, entrepreneurship and management. Adam is the creator and host of the podcast Thirty Minute Mentors, where each week he goes one on one with one of the most successful people in the country on how they got to the top and how listeners can too.
Adam shares how he got into entrepreneurship and provide valuable advice on leadership, bootstrapping your business, as well as going into business with a family member.
Podcast: Thirty Minute Mentors
Highlights of The Discussion
Your Target Customer May Not Be Who You Initially Think It Would Be
8:00 – So it’s become a really interesting business in that we’re serving a clientele that we weren’t necessarily expecting to cater to when we created the business. But one of the things, you learn as an entrepreneur is you need to be nimble, you need to be flexible, you need to be adaptable and you need to really know your customer. And in our case, our customer is a different customer than we thought it would be. But it’s been an opportunity for us to serve these two different groups of clients that has created this business opportunity for us.
How The Needs of People Can Shift During a Crisis
9:00 – So our audience, our customer base has shifted pretty significantly. I think significantly could even be an understatement. I would say quite dramatically since Corona has hit. So if we had this conversation, free Corona, I would tell you that 95% of the customers that Beverly Hills chairs caters to would be small to medium-sized businesses, companies in the entertainment industry, tech companies, legal financial services professional services we’ve sold to.
Our customer base has shifted from it being 95% companies, 5% home offices, to now 95% individuals buying for their home offices, and maybe 5% companies furnishing their offices because, you know, companies aren’t really doing anything now most companies are either closer, starting to think about how to reopen, but individuals all over America
We are dealing with this new normal, the new normal being, how do I figure out how to work from home as effectively as possible? I am in need of converting my home whether it’s an apartment or a house or condo or whatever your living situation is. It’s now going to be an office. It’s going to be a gym. It’s going to be a rec room that’s going to be sort of like a bet. It’s that one place where you are all day and all night and the first thing you need for your workplace is a great chair because you need a chair to be productive. You need a chair to be comfortable, you need a chair to stay healthy. And we’ve absolutely found a huge spike in demand from individuals looking to buy. Herman Miller Aeron chairs.
27:00 –Really important lesson for entrepreneurs thinking about raising money is make sure that your idea is the kind of idea that will be enticing to investors
Mistakes Are Inevitable
31:25 –So I just think the biggest thing for anyone listening is to recognize that failure is inevitable. Mistakes are inevitable. We’re human beings. We’re going to fail. What’s really important is to not pretend that you don’t make mistakes, not pretend that you didn’t fail, but instead, to learn from your mistakes, to stay positive, through your mistakes and to push forward.
Leaders Surround Themselves With Great People
32:38 – So many, one of the most important decisions you make as a leader, if not the most important decision you make as a leader is who you hire. Because at the end of the day, leadership is all about leading people. Leadership is all about building, managing, motivating, inspiring. bringing out the best in teams. And that can’t happen if you’re a one-man show or a one-woman show. So, to be a successful leader, to lead a successful organization, you need to surround yourself with great people.
Leveraging The Knowledge That’s Already Out There In the World
38:31 – My way of learning is by talking to people who’ve been successful by talking to whether I’m looking to learn from entrepreneurs talking to other great entrepreneurs, if I’m interested in developing my leadership skill or learning from other great leaders. If I want to become better at anything, talk to people who have been there and done that. So leverage the information and knowledge and expertise that’s already out there.
Advice For Going Into Business With A Family Member
40:08 – The one thing that you need to recognize is that once you go into business with your family member, there’s never going to be a separation between business and family. That is something that you’re going to have to accept. And I don’t think that that’s something that people realize. It’s definitely not something that I realized, I don’t know that my brother realized that. But there’s literally zero separation between business and family. Whenever we’re hanging out. In a family setting, we’re always talking about business. Whenever we’re in a business setting, there’s the underlying understanding that it’s family, for better or worse. And you know, you need to understand that you need to appreciate that and you need to accept that and if that works for you, great. If that doesn’t work for you, then don’t do it.