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HOW TO THINK LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR
Alpha Nick joins the quorum with a super-charged and premier-value message for dudes who wanna level up as an entrepreneur. The change in thinking that will happen in you will boost you toward everything to which your heart is trying to guide you.
This dude’s a straight frigging ALPHA and needs to be heard. Nick lived in Asia for six years and has 10 businesses. He teaches that the ability to start businesses fast and cheap is a worthwhile skill to build for the evolving Alpha entrepreneur. Being able to ask uncommon questions has been a major key to his growing success.
From his home in his flip-flops and board shorts, he operates Find Fakes, a highly-successful international counterfeit-defense company that last year removed over 600,000 online listings for counterfeit products on trademarked items like popular streetwear.
He and his wife created a conversation starter card game for couples that is highly popular on Amazon.com. He explains the method he used to start this business with zero of his own money. His resourcefulness will astound you as he motivates the aspiring business owner to take courageous steps in the direction of who they really are. Dig deep into YOU, but also do the research.
He teaches that men should first truly come to terms with what is important to them and what they want, an absolute prerequisite to executing well as an entrepreneur or otherwise-Alpha out there who is trying to magnify his distinction.
You will hear the voice of a well-read man, a dedicated father and community servant. He will teach you what it means to get on the other side of your ideas and make them happen. He shares the books and influencers that have had the most impact on him and teaches from his experience in the execution of multiple top-selling retail products and brand-protective services for small- to medium-sized worldwide corporations.
Nick’s charismatic swagger will enliven whatever is already good in you. Give this one a listen, brother. You need to be different.
Nick Wester (00:00:01):
Got the name, but you’re not thinking about, did people actually want this? How am I going to compete against somebody? You have to put your ideas into that kind of mechanism, where you’re gaining feedback and seeing if the market is actually responding to what you want before you make it. Cause there’s nothing like making something you love and it’s awesome. And then putting it out there and then not going anywhere. It’s a much easier thing to say, Hey, I’ve got this idea. I want to try it out. Does anybody want this thing? Oh, you guys don’t. Okay. Well maybe let me go back to the drawing board. Figure it out. It’s as many little businesses as you can. And you’re going to have a little unicorn in there, like me and Dana not expect uncommon questions to become something that it is. It was like the last thing, but it became something and it was a total unicorn. And so if you can get good at starting businesses fast and cheap, one of them is going to rise to the top real quick, because it’s just the luck in a numbers game.
Speaker 1 (00:01:06):
If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better, you are in the right place. You are responsible, you are strong, you are a leader. You are a force for good gentlemen are the alpha alpha. Welcome back to the Alpha Quorum Show.
Brad Singletary (00:01:31):
Brad Singletary here, I’m joined with a special friend of mine, a neighbor. I’ll introduce him in just a minute, but we’re going to be talking about entrepreneurship. And some of you have expressed some interest in that as a topic for us to cover. And this guy has some super neat experiences, is that he’s going to share. I’ve been wanting him to be on the show for probably two years now. He lives just, I think, one street over from me and we haven’t been able to make it work until tonight. So I’m very happy to have my friend Nick here.
Brad Singletary (00:02:03):
I saw him recently at the post office and this was like probably on a Tuesday, you know, at like 1:30 PM. And he’s walking up in his flip flops and his shorts. And I just thought this guy’s at work right now. He he’s, I don’t know. He’s probably going to pick up some checks from the, his PO box. And I would just realize, in addition to all the other interactions that I’ve had with him, this dude is pure alpha. Okay. You’re going to get to know that as we talk here tonight, another interesting thing is that, so Nick is a he’s a teacher for high school students who do a religious education early in the morning. So this is a, an early morning kind of seminary class, scripture study type thing. And he does this before school with teenagers. So I think if you’re going to do that and entertain teenagers at like, what is it, 6:30 AM.
Nick Wester (00:03:00):
We started six.
Brad Singletary (00:03:01):
6:00 AM before school. They come to learn about the man upstairs. And my kids have been a part of some of those classes. And just really, he’s an engaging guy, just a fun person says, hi, he’s just friendly as can be. And we’re, I’ve got him here today for some of his entrepreneur history that he’s going to share. And some things that can help men who may be looking to start a business or level up in their careers. So the questions that we’re going to answer today, or we’re going to be discussing how Nick’s journey and entrepreneurship began, how a man can find and create distinction in himself as an entrepreneur, how important goals are in the process of entrepreneurship and how he comes up with his business ideas. And once he has those ideas, what he does with them next.
Brad Singletary (00:03:56):
So Nick is the founder of find fakes and anti-counterfeiting company. He and his wife, Dana created uncommon questions, which is a popular conversation starter game on Amazon. We’re going to be talking about that more in just a minute. He has a few other small companies because his brain never turns off. He’s an awesome dad to three energetic kids. He lived in Asia for six years and speaks Chinese and now calls Nevada home. He’s also a season ticket holder of the Vegas golden Knights. And he’s so loyal. I think they let him pee in the locker room at halftime. Is that right? Just occasionally a long walk. I’m just hoping for a ticket one of these days when, if we ever get back to real life sports again, anytime. All right. So Nick is with us. He’s asked that I not share his last name because he’s got, you know, he’s, he’s doing some interesting things that could cause him some hardship if he’s out there and publicly known to the world.
Brad Singletary (00:04:55):
So that’s why I’ve not shared his name. Can I share your picture if I post your picture? Okay.
Nick Wester (00:05:01):
Can’t Google a picture of me. That’s good.
Brad Singletary (00:05:04):
So explain why we don’t use your name. Cause people are going to wonder who’s this guy.
Nick Wester (00:05:08):
Yeah. It’s not. Cause I’m like, yeah. So the reason is because my main business is shutting down counterfeiters and people call me in the middle of the night. Once they, they can find somebody found my wife’s Instagram one time and blew her up. Wow. Because we had shut down their counterfeiting ring and they were threatening her and stuff. And so I just try to make myself as least Googleable as I can. Okay. That’s probably smart. Yeah. Because what I really worry about is somebody blowing up your podcast or like, you know, or coming off, finding out who I am and because you know, we shut down last year, we shut down something like 600,000 counterfeit listings. Oh my word. Right. And so, and so that’s hundreds of millions of dollars in product. Wow. That is taken down. These are serious dudes.
Nick Wester (00:05:59):
And so I’m not, I don’t want to over dramaticized or dramatize what it is, but I just, you know yeah. But there’s so much anger out there. If I could find you, they would. Yeah. They call it. I used to have everything public man. They just call me in the middle of the night yelling at me of got old.
Brad Singletary (00:06:15):
So I guess before we start into these questions, I’m just curious about some of the highlights of the things you’ve done. So you lived in Asia, where was that?
Nick Wester (00:06:23):
So I was a missionary in Taiwan for two years. And then an intern in Southern China, like Wong Joel, Hong Kong area. Okay. For about nine months. And then my wife and I, after college, we graduated and we moved to, to China, like mainland China. And we lived in Dallian, which is up next to the North Korean border. Kind of, we lived in Beijing right next to the American embassy for, for about three years.
Brad Singletary (00:06:51):
What a wild adventure.
Nick Wester (00:06:53):
It’s been a blast.
Brad Singletary (00:06:54):
I can’t imagine like these guys think they’re, they’re tough out here on a motorcycle or, Oh boy. Riding around in the mountains that go live in China for six years.
Nick Wester (00:07:01):
Man, I’ll tell you. I had a, I had a electric scooter and I’m 6’5, and it, wasn’t not made for 6’5 people, but I would, it was like cruising USA, man. That video game I was flying through there. Yeah. That’s great.
Brad Singletary (00:07:16):
So were any of your kids born there or?
Nick Wester (00:07:18):
Yeah, my oldest son was actually born there and lived there for about maybe a year ish. What happened was he got started coughing a lot and the doctor’s like, okay, he’s got the black lung. It’s time to take them back to the US so he’s got the black lung pump.
Brad Singletary (00:07:34):
You didn’t bring Corona virus here. Did you?
Nick Wester (00:07:36):
That’s not me.
Brad Singletary (00:07:39):
So how long has that been? Since you’ve been back?
Nick Wester (00:07:42):
My wife and I were talking about it. I think it’s about six years. Wow. Okay. Oh yeah. It’s been awhile.
Brad Singletary (00:07:46):
So have you been in this neighborhood since then? Now? I know knew that that we’ve been here about four years.
Nick Wester (00:07:51):
I think you and I moved here about the same time around the same time. Yeah, we are another part.
Brad Singletary (00:07:55):
So you served a mission in Taiwan. That’s where you learn Chinese. That’s where you, I guess, learned something about culture and things and you, there must be some, at least comfort with that for you to go and move your family there and started start your marriage. There. Is that right? You said register college. Yeah.
Nick Wester (00:08:13):
So I studied a, I learned Chinese. I didn’t want to, but that’s where they decided to send me. Right. And I actually had the letter in my hand and I hadn’t opened it yet. And I was like, I’ll go anywhere. They want me to go. As long as they don’t have to learn Mandarin Chinese, it was like a bad movie, man. Open that thing up learn Chinese and then came back from Taiwan and started studying modern Chinese politics. Wow. That’s super interesting to me, you know, like malty don’t after that. And so I studied that and graduated with a major in Chinese politics and a minor in business. Wow. That’s awesome. Yeah.
Brad Singletary (00:08:50):
So my brother lives in Taiwan. I think we’ve talked about that before. Yeah. He served the mission there and went back. His wife is Chinese and they he’s been there. I don’t know. Maybe it’s 10 years now. That’s great man. Lives in ULI. I don’t know. Yeah.
Nick Wester (00:09:02):
That’s a nice, yeah, that’s great. Yeah.
Brad Singletary (00:09:05):
He sent some pictures. That’s the first time I’ve seen pictures around where he lives in is so green and it looks like a really cool, almost like a farming village or something. It reminds me of like Pennsylvania or somewhere in the Northeast. That’s like green and
Nick Wester (00:09:18):
It’s beautiful, man.
Brad Singletary (00:09:19):
Things are spaced out.
Nick Wester (00:09:20):
You’ve been visiting?
Brad Singletary (00:09:20):
No, I need, I want to go.
Nick Wester (00:09:22):
I’ll go with you.
Brad Singletary (00:09:23):
Okay. Yeah. Translator on the way.
Nick Wester (00:09:25):
Brad Singletary (00:09:27):
So, and then you started some things here. Talk about the, just in, in general terms, you’re find fakes and what’s that about? Yeah.
Nick Wester (00:09:35):
Yeah. So fine. Fakes is a company that I started. I left when I left China, my wife and I had 25 grand in the bank. Wow. And we’re like, alright, we’re gonna throw everything. We got to start in our own business. And if we run out of money, then we’ll be like, all right, I’m gonna go get another job working for somebody else. And so when we were living in China, we bought a lot of counterfeit stuff because that’s all there is to buy. Right. Counterfeit, DVDs, counterfeit. They didn’t make, I had to buy counterfeit Nike’s cause they didn’t make Nike’s and size 13 over there and we’d buy all this stuff. And then one day I was just walking. I was like, I wonder if anybody is trying to stop this problem. And I had some buddies that worked for Volcom. It was like a skateboard company. And they came, they were in China and I stopped them. I went to like a store opening. I was like, are you guys trying to stop this problem of counterfeit stuff? And they said, you know, Oh, well gave me a shot working for him for free. And it turned into a real business app.
Brad Singletary (00:10:31):
Wow. That’s so cool. Yeah. So six foot, five size, 13 Nike’s and China, hard to find it must have been a fake. And so you, you ask around and you find out there’s a, there’s an opportunity.
Nick Wester (00:10:43):
Yeah. So now what we do is companies hire us. So we don’t work for Volcom anymore, but a lot of companies hire us to track down counterfeiters both in China and in the US so if somebody’s selling counterfeit, you know, Nike’s on Amazon, we would go out and find those. And then we’d report them to Amazon and say, Hey, you know, these are counterfeit Nike’s we know it because of X, Y, and Z, and you need to take them down and then they take them down. So that’s the service we provide for people. We’ve got about a dozen, two dozen clients now. And
Brad Singletary (00:11:16):
You shared one of them before. You probably can’t say, but some big name, big name companies that you’re working with. And you’re trying to protect their asset, their brand, their whole, the integrity of their product. And that’s awesome. You must be
Nick Wester (00:11:28):
Good time. And it’s really fun. I have a, I have a blast cause I get to still use my Chinese. And I, I get to build something and then helping people, you know, some dude just created a brand or created something and it was something that he came up with his mind and then some schmuck decides to start copying it, you know, because he’s got a screen printer at home. And that’s just not fair. And so I, it feels good to help these people. And what I like about my business is that I work with small and medium sized companies. So I don’t want Nike, I don’t want Coca-Cola. I don’t want Pfizer. I just want the guys that are like me and you, that kind of came up with something. And then they, it’s a medium sized business. It’s not a mega corporation.
Brad Singletary (00:12:08):
They have fake Pfizer has fakes out there.
Nick Wester (00:12:11):
Oh, you better believe it.
Brad Singletary (00:12:12):
Everything under the sun.
Nick Wester (00:12:14):
Next time I go to China for ideas.
Brad Singletary (00:12:16):
I was like, what are you doing all the counterfeit products. If you get some, some counterfeit Nike’s. I mean, I might give them to my kids. That’s done.
Nick Wester (00:12:22):
You got a counterfeit shirt today. Alcohol. Yeah. Come by. We’ll figure it out.
Brad Singletary (00:12:28):
All right. So we wanted to talk about some of the things that you’ve learned along the way. You’re obviously very successful. You’re able to just kind of live this you know, at home entrepreneur life, you’re there with your wife and kids, and you’ve got a few things going, you must have something figured out. And so some of the things I wanted to talk about today and ask you about, I want to know for myself, just because, you know, this is nothing big here, but I believe I could use the things that you could share with me.
Brad Singletary (00:12:56):
And I bet there’s a few hundred guys out there who right now, who are listening, who could appreciate the same. Yeah. What did you have to do to get started in entrepreneurship?
Nick Wester (00:13:06):
Yeah, so I would say it started a hundred percent from my parents cause there’s four boys in my family don’t have any sisters and all four of us are entrepreneurs now.. And we’re all, you know, doing good at what we’re trying to do. And it’s a hundred percent from them. Both of my parents actually grew up without fathers. Also they’re raised by just really strong women that scraped and fought and got after life and that, but that mentality of like, all right, we’re going to do this together. We’re going to do it fast and we’re gonna, we’re gonna work hard, put that together for them. And then they pass that on to us somehow.
Nick Wester (00:13:44):
I don’t know exactly what those lessons look like, but I just, my first, some of my first entrepreneurial memories are like my mom, we would make different crafts with my mom. And then she would take us to the craft fair and we’d sit there at the table and we would sell stuff to old ladies and old men. And that was something that built into me. The idea of, okay, I can create something, add value with my work, turn around and sell it to somebody else for more money and reap the benefit of that. And man, we did that. We did that so much growing up and I don’t, it was never like, Oh crap. I gotta go with my mom. I mean, she asked her, maybe she’d say like, Oh yeah, you complained a lot. But those are such good memories for me.
Nick Wester (00:14:28):
And then I remember setting up a, a baseball or basketball card shopping and underneath the stairs of my house and all the neighborhood kids would come and we’d hustle,
Brad Singletary (00:14:37):
You are hustling, baseball cards, slinging baseball cards?
Nick Wester (00:14:40):
My mom, like again, all credit to my parents. My mom and dad would take me around on a, we had like very vast paper out and they would drive me around. As long as I was doing the work, they would be happy to be there putting in work with me. And then, you know, I had a window, a window washing business where my mom taught me how to wash windows really good in high school. Wow. And then I’d walk around. After she taught me, I’d walk around neighborhoods, knock doors, like, Hey, my name’s Nick, happy to wash your windows. It’ll be a dollar for each pane on each side.
Nick Wester (00:15:17):
So like, and I’d show him how I could do it. And, and I did that off a lot in high school, all through high school. I mean, still like today I could go back out. I’d love to go start a window washing company right now just cause it’s so established for me of all that fun stuff. And then, so I go to China, come back. And then me and Dana have a little bit of money after right after we get married actually, before we go to China, we get a little money for our weddings, like 2,500 bucks. And I’m like, alright, time to do some entrepreneurship. And I order from China $2,500 worth of memory sticks for PlayStation portables. Like those PSP. Bro, they never show up. All of our money, everything we had, here’s my wife. She’s like looking at me like, Oh man.
Nick Wester (00:16:06):
So of course that was a good, that was my first business that ever went Kerplunk. And I put too much skin in the game. I should have never spent sent Western unions, $2,500 to somebody that I’ve never met, but that didn’t make sense to me. Right. It was, I spoke Chinese, I’d spoken to him. I knew, you know, but that failed completely. And so that put us on our backs and you know, my dreams of entrepreneurship kind of flopped right there. And so then I went to China and I worked for another entrepreneur. I worked for a guy that was trying to expand his business in China. And I was the manager, the GM of the China office. For at 26 years old. Oh my goodness. I had 35 employees. Holy smokes. None of them were gringos. It was just me and I was out there running the show of this big thing.
Nick Wester (00:16:54):
And I had to learn how to start a business in China. Like I had a product, but I had to figure out how to sell it. And yeah, I think we’re all like that. Even the guy that’s like, okay, I’m going to start selling tires. You know, everybody’s got that experience of trying to sell something to somebody else. And so that was just beat into me. I did that over and over and over again until until my wife and I had 25 grand in our bank account and we came home and we said, okay, I have this idea for the anti counterfeiting thing. I’m going to try it. And I started that out. And it was the first one we had $3,000 left in our bank account when we hit breakeven. And that was it. And then from then on, man, it’s just gone up uphill or not uphill. It’s been downhill since then, I guess.
Brad Singletary (00:17:42):
So that, that industry, I guess, exists and you just tapped into something or did you, are you approaching these people saying, Hey, I’ve lived in China. I know these counterfeit stuff happens. Obviously they do too. I’m sure. But is it already, was already out there or did you?
Nick Wester (00:17:59):
So it was out there in certain ways. It was out there for big companies, but the little companies like the streetwear companies, right. Like they’re not my client, but like diamond supply company. Oh yeah. Right there. You see a lot of high school kids wearing that shirt. That’s a tee shirt with simple screen print on it. Right. And it sells for 70 bucks or whatever it sells for. Right. You and I could make one for four bucks, right? Yeah. But that’s a small enough company that the big guys, aren’t my big competitors. Aren’t going to go after that because they don’t care enough. There’s not enough money in that account for them. And so what I did was I just found it kind of little niche market that I could go after and serve those kind of people that needed help without needing a thousand lawyers or, you know, they didn’t want to pay 20 grand a month for it, like my competitors charge. So we just kinda went and did that.
Brad Singletary (00:18:54):
Wow. That’s awesome. So you, you, you show up to these companies and just kind of say, this is what I do and this is how I can help you. Yeah. And they’re not necessarily looking for you. You just come calling and put your message out there and see if they believe in you.
Nick Wester (00:19:11):
Yeah. And so it’s just what I really like. There’s a thing, a business called the sales cycle. So like from the time that somebody meets you or gets your first email until when they sign, they sign a contract with you, how long does that take? Right. And so what I really like about in anti-counterfeiting business is I just like the other day I sent one to, there’s a YouTube kid. Who’s like selling the shirts for like 70 bucks on his website, but they’re selling for 15 bucks on eBay. Right. And so I just sent him an email and I said, Hey, while I was working for another client, I found this factory, you know, that’s been selling shirts on eBay and here’s one of yours it’s sold. I think it was like 1700 shirts have been sold. I was like, I’ll take it down for 25 bucks. Right. And then he it’s up to him. Does he, does he want to do that? Or does he want to go hire a lawyer or whatever? So you just make that as simple as a transaction for them. Okay. I’ll start paying you 25 bucks every time you find one of these, you know, or whatever that price is,
Brad Singletary (00:20:12):
I’m sure it’s more than 25.
Nick Wester (00:20:18):
Look, you got to take you can’t, you can’t follow. There’s no cookbook to entrepreneurship. There’s outlines, but there’s no like, this is what you need to do. It’s like some kid picking up a basketball going, okay, I want to be LeBron James now. Right. It’s like, that’s not the, that’s not the process. And LeBron James had never wanted you to be like, okay, I want to be LeBron James. Cause he wants to be, he wants you to be your own player. Right. And so there’s things in, I think in entrepreneurship and even just life, like you’ve got to come to your own senses. You’ve got to come to your own reality at some point. I think so. I think the first thing is you’ve got to see what’s out there. You’ve got to educate yourself. I read, I consume probably 12 hours of podcasts a week.
Nick Wester (00:21:05):
Just or there’s people that I think are brilliant and I’ll follow them and I’ll read every word they say Clayton Christiansen, he’s a passed just recently passed. But he was a Harvard professor that I, every word that came into that dude’s mouth, I was like, alright, this is it. And I used it. The thing is, his advice was for multibillion dollar corporations. It wasn’t for me, but I was able to grab kernels of knowledge out of that. And so I think you have to educate yourself. You can’t just say like, I’m just going to go start a business without knowing what’s out there. But then you also have to say, okay, I’m going to grab some Macleay crunches and stuff. I’m going to grab stuff I learned from Mark Cuban’s book. I’m gonna, you know, Brad did a cool thing too. I’m going to grab Brad’s ideas and you’re going to smash all those things together. And then you’re going to use those to throw up your own ideas and to create what you want to do yourself. And like your own style.
Brad Singletary (00:22:00):
Sounds like openness, you know, really to, to allow yourself to, you said, see, what’s out there, do some research, you know, find some voices that you can connect with and see what other people are teaching.
Speaker 2 (00:22:19):
Yeah. Cause dude, you know what sucks is that we are, we have too many idols these days with social media, the way it is, you follow people, you know some, and there’s some kids it’s like, man, I want to be like Elon Musk. I want to have his car. I want to have his house. I want to be his next door neighbor. I want to be best friends with them. I mean, that’s like, it’s nice to have, it’s nice to have something. But when you have 500 of those people, you’ll never be happy with what you’re doing yourself. You’ll never be able to create your own lifestyle. You know? And I think that it’s dangerous for us to, at a young age to start mimicking other people or what we want to do or what we want to be or what we expect out of life. And I think that, you know, and so that quote from Emerson, right, “Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it is their duty to accept the views of Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books.” and instead of man thinking, we have the bookworm.
Nick Wester (00:23:13):
So, you know, these people that come up with original ideas like Clay Christensen or whoever it is that I am in my world, I never want to just study and just do everything based on what they’re doing. I need to, I respect them and understand them, but also create my own reality and my own kind of way of, of doing business and of live life in my own way of being.
Brad Singletary (00:23:39):
Yes, it does. And now we’re here studying you. Now, we’re going to listen to you now. We’re going to, we’re waiting for the, the Nick podcast,
Nick Wester (00:23:47):
Hard pass. I just come on every two years or whatever
Brad Singletary (00:23:47):
It’s every two months. How about that?
Nick Wester (00:23:52):
All right, sorry, brother. Here we go,
Brad Singletary (00:23:57):
That’s his fancy, a seltzer water. What is that?
Nick Wester (00:24:00):
Mexican water agua. So the best stuff,
Brad Singletary (00:24:03):
I can’t even say it, but that’s a cool looking bottle.
Nick Wester (00:24:06):
Really cleaned out. I cleaned out Albertson’s
Brad Singletary (00:24:08):
Is that a counterfeit?
Nick Wester (00:24:12):
Brad Singletary (00:24:12):
Nick Wester (00:24:12):
I just train wreck, I’m sorry, bro. You’re like red nine. You’re talking about distinction.
Brad Singletary (00:24:20):
So that’s one of the things that a man needs in order to be a leader of himself and to make good things happen. That there’s be distinguished. So how can a man find and create distinction in himself as an entrepreneur?
Nick Wester (00:24:31):
Yeah. And I think that comes from just how you’re raised right? In political science. There’s an idea of constructivism then nobody is just the way they are just because that’s the way they are, that you were raised a certain way with certain parents in a certain atmosphere, in a certain city. And, and yet certain teachers in elementary school, middle school and high school who taught you from certain books. And so all of a sudden you create a viewpoint in life. And so, and when you’re trying to decide, you know, like in one of our classes in college, we said, what did, what would Saddam Hussein do in this view?
Nick Wester (00:25:03):
And you had to go back all the way in his life and say, okay, what were his favorite books? What’s his favorite sport and try to gleam knowledge from that. And so I think you find originality by respecting where you came from and looking in your past, right? Are you a guy that grew up on the coast, you know, wearing a lot of skateboarding and doing all these kinds of outdoor things that spend a lot of time and you like to listen to hip hop music. And you’re like, okay, I got an idea. And then all of a sudden you’re like, you know what, why isn’t somebody make a shirt that I could wear, that would be cool and you draw, sketch something up. And all of a sudden you’ve started a company. And that’s how most of the street wear companies that are alive today started.
Nick Wester (00:25:41):
Right. And you have to respect that or sure. You know, and I think, you know, you look at, was it Phil Knight that the guy that created Nike, right. He was a running coach and he had crappy running shoes. And he was like, I wonder if I can fix that problem. And so one of the ways that, you know, I think you pull originality out of yourself is just by, by always respecting your mindset and what things are pissing you off, what, what things, or what things bother you and then say, okay, like, this is something that I obviously am paying attention to more than 99% of other men or people. And I think that I can, you know, I can make a unique idea out of, out of this thing. So for, like, for me, I play a lot of board games they interest me a lot and then stuff like, I love the ocean.
Nick Wester (00:26:35):
And I love airplanes. All my family, my brothers all fly. My dad flies, uncles in the air force. So I grew up in airports and air shows. And I love world war II, like history channel stuff. I’ve seen every world war two movie there is. And so when I’m making games right now, board games, I find myself drawn to making like a pirate game for the ocean. Like a world war II pilot game, because I speak that language and I can mix, Oh, you like board games. Oh, you like world war II airplanes. Okay. Now here’s a game that you can kind of create, you know, and you have to respect those kinds of passions. Cause it’s really hard to come out of left field and be like, okay, I am, I’m a terrible baseball player. My dad’s a great baseball, I’m terrible baseball player.
Nick Wester (00:27:20):
I wouldn’t be like, okay, tomorrow I’m going to start Nick’s baseball company, inc. There’s no way to start from that. Yeah. So you just have to see where your, where where’s your mind lead you, where have your interests led you throughout life. And that stuff could be super weird. It could be like, you know, you’re really the guy that loves to pick out the best toilet paper. You have your favorite brand of toilet paper. And that’s like your thing that you, that you’ve loved, or like me, I like sparkling water. I don’t know why, but like this water is the best water in the world. And I’m somebody that like really pays attention to that kind of stuff. So you just find these weird things, the things that you’re drawn to, the things that bother you more than other people and recognize, okay, that’s, that’s something that I could attack in entrepreneurship or just in life in general.
Brad Singletary (00:28:06):
That’s awesome. I heard a TV preacher, one time say something about anger is the birthplace of solution, a hundred percent. And when you’re saying, you know, you’re frustrated, you’re, you’re running into a problem that no one has solved before, you combine your interests and where your mind is drawn, the way you were raised and just all those influences. And that’s how you create originality and therefore distinction. Yeah. So it seems like the more specific you are in your ideas, that’s how you, that’s how you develop distinction.
Nick Wester (00:28:36):
Yeah. Yeah. Cause I mean, you’ll never, you’ll never be able to do something that a big, like you’ll never be able to make something that can compete against somebody that’s gigantic, but maybe you can compete at on a small micro level. Right? Like you’re never going to go make the next Coca-Cola beverage company that has a conglomerate of lots of different drinks, but maybe you’re going to start a root beer. That’s going to be in, in five States and 50 stores. And that’s a respectable life of a couple hundred thousand dollars a year. Right. And so what, what are your, what are you shooting for? What is, what’s your goal? And if you can pick out and nip out these little tiny markets that you see, like what you’ve done here, right. Alpha Quorum, you’ve picked out a market that’s small and you yourself are one of these people. And so you’re trying to speak directly to that market. You’re not, you’re probably never going to be the biggest
Brad Singletary (00:29:28):
Yeah. Not going to be a Joe Rogan and yeah.
Nick Wester (00:29:30):
But that’s not your goal. Right. You want to, you have a small segmented group of people that you want to help. I think that’s what you have to do with any, originally.
Brad Singletary (00:29:39):
You talk about goals, how important are goals in the process of entrepreneurship?
Nick Wester (00:29:45):
I just think like overall, this is somewhere we’re really missing the mark. When we’re teaching kids about entrepreneurship, I’ve gone to a few high schools and spoken just generally and like, Oh, your kids have probably been in, in fact. Yeah. A few of ’em in like, it’s nothing special though. Like what about like, it it’s like the Michael Scott, remember he goes and speaks at career day. It was more like that. But I mean, in my discussions with people, I think this is somewhere where we miss is that you, at some point in your life, you need to be very honest and it has, it’s better if it’s in your twenties or thirties, where you can be very honest about what your goal is and what drives you, right?
Nick Wester (00:30:25):
Like, and then you have to, let me give you an example. If you’re somebody that loves power, if you’re drawn to like, I want to have 50 employees and I want to be the top dog of these 50 employees. And I want to actually, I want to be 300 people that all look at me every day. And I’m like, Oh, that’s the man. You want to deal with people and talk to people, hire and fire fired, have all this, you know, power. If that’s what it is, you have to start a business. That’s going to be a gigantic business, right. With stuff that I’m talking about, where you pick out a little tiny market segments not going to work. And then you have to, you have to be very honest about what your end goal is. Like for me, my end goal just speaking from my own personal it’s like, I want to be able to spend as much time as I can with my kids while they still like me.
Nick Wester (00:31:15):
Right. Cause there’s going to be a point where they’re teenagers and they’re like, our dad’s not cool anymore. And so I want to spend as much time as I can with them in these early years. And I also want to be able to kind of be my own boss. And I don’t like managing people, when I was in China. I had to fire 23 people in one day,
Brad Singletary (00:31:33):
Oh my goodness.
Nick Wester (00:31:34):
Calls me, the US office calls me like, Hey, here’s the 23, they gotta go, worst day of my life. And like, I just, I’m never going to hire, I never want to be somebody that is going to hire and fire a bunch of people anymore. Cause I just, I get too attached to people and then I feel bad and I make not smart business decisions because of that. And I knew that when I was in China, so when we were in China and we’re looking at starting our own business or we just come back and we’re like, okay, we’re going to start our own business.
Nick Wester (00:32:00):
That was one of the things at the forefront of my mind. I don’t want to have a business that has a ton of people in it. I don’t want to be big. I don’t want to be huge so that I have to go raise money and hire all these people and like have a giant overhead. I didn’t want that stress. That’s all just stress. And so every business that I start now is very segmented to like the lifestyle that I want. I want like Amazon stuff is all runs itself. Basically. the anti counterfeiting, I have, you know, a solid team that’s kind of structured in a way that it all, we all work very well together and there’s not like I don’t ever need to hire a bajillion people or I never, and I’m never going to take on that many clients. I never want to make this thing a million dollar business because it’s just not, that’s not what my goal is.
Nick Wester (00:32:47):
But if you’re one of those people that like, Hey, I hate working any job, any job that you ever gave me, I hate it. And so I just want to clock in and I want to clock out. I want to clock in it at eight in the morning and leave at five. And that’s all I want life to be. Then, then there’s, if that’s how you are, then you’ve got to go find a job. Right. You know, that’s going to be like that. If you want to highly, if you like jobs that are like highly interactive with people, you’ve got to go find your own kind of thing, you know,
Brad Singletary (00:33:17):
And the environment that fits.
Nick Wester (00:33:18):
Yeah. And you have to be so honest about that because I think you and I see a lot of our friends that are completely, you know, separated from the person they are outside of work with the person they’re inside of work or they hate their jobs. And I think a lot of that comes out from a misalignment of what their actual goals are because maybe inside they really want it. They really want to be creative. But instead they find themselves in a law office somewhere filling out, you know, personal injury, lawyer cases or something,
Brad Singletary (00:33:51):
Fill in the blanks on templates and fighting in court or whatever.
Nick Wester (00:33:55):
Yeah. And they have these grand visions of like, of their, their, heart’s just not in the same spot that they’re kind of their goals or their, their body’s not in the same spot as their goals kind of are.
Brad Singletary (00:34:06):
So you’re kind of talking about you, you need to know those things may be first, your idea, your business, your methods, how you approach it, all that comes later to begin with. You’re saying, you gotta be honest about what you want and doing what you are. Yeah. Being aware of your needs and kind of how you operate. I’m like you I’ve been in positions where I, you know, had to hire and fire people and that’s just not, I don’t, I’m not, I don’t like that. Right. I want to create, I want to motivate, I want to inspire people that part of leadership, I guess I like, but some of those other things, when I’ve been in management positions, not fun at all for me. Okay. I don’t want to do it.
Nick Wester (00:34:44):
Yeah. And I had a friend a couple months ago, got a promotion to be a manager. And I was like, dude, don’t like, don’t do it, please. Don’t do it. Like, it’s good. And every time I see them now, it’s like, I freaking hate managing people. It’s the worst thing, you got paid. He gets paid a lot more. I’m sure. But I’m like, you know, this is not what he wanted to do. And it’s hard to, it’s hard to line those things up.
Brad Singletary (00:35:08):
So I’m curious, how did you come up with some of your business ideas and then also want to talk about some of those specific things like the games and things that you have and yeah. Share that with these guys.
Nick Wester (00:35:21):
Yeah. So I think my general, like way of starting the business idea is to just find stuff out that makes you angry. Not, it makes you angry, but you’re like, what is the deal with X, Y, and Z? Is anybody trying to figure out that problem. And so let me just take you through a stupid idea that I have right now that I’m like trying to figure out right now it’s been in my mind.
Brad Singletary (00:35:44):
Okay. I’d love to hear this live process.
Nick Wester (00:35:47):
What are, what are I saw it on a thing on Reddit one day or something that this so Uber driver puts a plastic sheet up between him and his guests in the back. Cause the coronavirus. So I’m now invested in this dude, he’s been creative and doing this, and now I’m invested in, like I spent three hours one day on the computer.
Nick Wester (00:36:10):
Like, what are the solutions? Because going forward, this is going to be a problem. What are the solutions to figuring out what this thing? So I started, I had to open up a sketchbook and I’m like started sketching, all these ideas that I had of like a mask system that, and ended up looking like Uber driver was a Maverick, you know, with a hose going out the side of his window, like where it’s getting clean air. So he’s not doing any recycled. And then somebody feel free to take that idea and run with it. But like it’s stuff like that where I’m like, is anybody trying to solve this problem? And if so, are they doing a good job? Because right now the only solution that the market has found is plastic sheet over your backseat. Right. And so for uncommon questions is another example.
Nick Wester (00:36:56):
The card game that my wife and I created is we have three kids we’d go to bed at night. Or if the kids go to sleep at night, eight 30 and we are typically going to bed 10 or 11, and she wanted to relax in one way, she wanted to go watch Netflix. And I want it to go play video games or do something. And we weren’t watching the same shows or whatever it was. And we would just be like, alright, well, I’m going to go do this. I’m going to go do this. And then we separated. And one day I was sitting there. I was like, I wonder if anybody is trying to solve this problem. And I talked to my friends, like you guys having the same thing. They’re like, Oh yeah, we all do the same exact thing.
Nick Wester (00:37:32):
Like she goes and watches, Gilmore girls, and I’ll go, you know, watch whatever next door. And so one day I was just sitting there and I was like, I wonder if we started writing questions that we wanted to ask each other that we don’t know, and we’ll just put them in a box. And every night before kids go to bed, we’re downstairs doing the dishes or just cleaning out the house. We’ll just pull the card out and have a discussion that we’ve never had before. Learn something new that we never knew about the other person. And just have that first moment, a first date moment for 15 minutes a night. And just, what, what will that do? So I looked up and I didn’t find anybody that was specifically writing questions for this market on Amazon. And so my friends came over and they started looking at our box of questions and they liked them.
Nick Wester (00:38:19):
And so somebody said, Hey, you should make this into a product. And that was smart. And you know, so then we started making it. So it’s been stuff like that where it’s like, like we’re working on run right now where it teaches kids social skills because I’m raising two boys and a girl that are trying to end the coronavirus, having a hard time talking to anybody. Cause I’ve told them not to get close to people for the last six months. Right. And so we’ve been working on finding ways to build those types of games. And so it’s just weird, you know, you just find stuff throughout life. That’s like, Oh, that’s a problem. So like living in China, the counterfeit thing that was made uncommon question, or that made the other game or the other business, the anti-counterfeiting find fakes. And then we’ve just kind of come up with stuff.
Nick Wester (00:39:06):
One day I was at lunch with my buddy that sells, sells door to door and he’s like, Hey, can you get me? You know, he’s like, I can’t find leads that I need. And I was like, why, but I could make those for you. And then I thought about it for a day or two. And then I sent him 10,000 leads that he needed, like the computer program. So it’s just stuff like, are you able to go light bulb moment when there’s a problem and just figure out if there’s a solution for that problem?
Brad Singletary (00:39:33):
A lot of curiosity, it sounds like that’s kind of the core of how you design these businesses and these products and things. Right? Yeah. Getting curious . Asking questions of yourself.
Nick Wester (00:39:43):
Yeah. Or just have, like, why is the world the way it is? This annoys the crap out of my wife, man. Cause I will walk into like a restaurant and I’ll be like, this is completely inefficient. I’ll be like, why are they doing that over there? And this over there, she’s like, just to enjoy dinner, stop solving problems. Right, Nick. But dude, whenever I go to I’m on cloud nine or whenever I’m at Chick-fil-A because that place is an oil freaking machine, you know, I’m learning every time I go there. And so it’s just like curiosity about why is this done the way it is or why is this business operating the way it is? I wonder if, you know, for my buddy, like that would, that need to leads for door to door knocking. He was like, Hey, I’ve got these guys and I can’t figure out how to send them to the right houses, but this is the demographic. How would I go about getting this?
Nick Wester (00:40:28):
And I didn’t know if I could get it, but I just accepted that problem. And then I went out and found like an easy solution for what it was now it’s a decent little business, you know, pay the mortgage. So. Wow. Nice. Yeah. I think it’s just, can you train yourself to, can you train yourself to walk into a room? You know, like the CIA, when you walk into a room, they know the exits and they know how many people are in that room within, within 10 seconds. That’s one of the things he trained you to do. And so it’s like with this it’s can you walk into a business or walk into a situation and identify pain points within a few seconds?
Brad Singletary (00:41:02):
Did you say pain points? Just pain where, where it’s hurting them,
Nick Wester (00:41:04):
Yeah, where it’s hurting the customer, returning to them where they might be losing money or just inefficiencies in life. Right. Like, you know, I don’t, and there’s people that build motorcycles that could probably be like, Oh yeah. You know, like I need to figure out it’s every time I need to figure out this problem, I have to go to this source and it takes me 25 minutes to get there. Why is it somebody write a book that, you know, figures out all these new problems that you know, people have. So it’s just figuring out the stuff that sucks in your life. Trying to find interesting and creative solutions yourself.
Brad Singletary (00:41:37):
You mentioned like research. It’s interesting what you can find just by reading. And there’s so much information out there if people would just read and it’s like, I asked men sometimes, have you ever Googled it? You know, whatever your problem is or whatever your thing, have you ever Googled it? And people don’t, have you ever Googled how to, you know, be more romantic with their wife? And they’re like yeah, no, I haven’t. Right. There’s a billion web pages on that, bro. Check it out, read some.
Nick Wester (00:42:05):
Yeah. And that’s one of those skills that you just have to develop is how to fire hydrant information like Google, that problem, fire hydrant it, let it go through the brain that you’ve built over the last X amount of years and spit out a solution that might be interesting. Right. And just chew on it and think about ideas, meditate on them. Not meditate, like, like formal meditation, but just like problems will bother me all day until I kind of figure out an interesting solution to them.
Brad Singletary (00:42:33):
So uncommon questions is your game. I want to, I want to look at that. Like what are the categories and how do people find that I want to, this is just my own curiosity real quick. I’m going to pull it up.
Nick Wester (00:42:41):
Yeah. So you just go to Amazon type in either conversation starters or uncommon questions. It’ll pop right up as one of the, one of the games there. So it started this one’s just for couples. Uthe first one, it works for a lot of different situations out there. Dang right there. Uyeah. And, and uif you, if you kind of think about it, what we’re doing now is building on. So we’re having common questions for kids. Uwe’ve made it, we’ve made a really cool one that I’m excited about. Cause my parents, like I know them as my parents,uas a youth, but I don’t know every story of their life, but those are the things that I’m really interested now. Like dad, tell me about the first time you threw a baseball.
Nick Wester (00:43:33):
Like, what was that like? Oh, that’s a conversation. I would have her mom, like what, who was your, you know, the first celebrity crush that you had? Like, those would be interesting conversations I have. And one day my brother and I were actually in Germany had a card game conference and we went, we followed my grandpa’s world war II journal and that’s all we have of him is like this world war II journal that he kept during the war. And we went to a battlefield that he was at and we read his, kind of followed his journal journey throughout the battle. And we’re like, man, that’d be cool just to have him here for one freaking day, like one freaking day that he could just go through all of the things. So we created an uncommon questions. Life stories edition that takes you.
Nick Wester (00:44:14):
You could sit down with your parents and know it’s like 300 questions or 250 questions. And it goes through like, who were you named after a hospital? You were born to all the way through like what’s marriage advice that you would give to somebody or, you know, what, how would you pick out a career? So it goes all the way through their entire life and then asks them for life advice.
Brad Singletary (00:44:34):
Wow. That’s so cool. I want the whole, I want the whole set. Do you have a whole box set?
Nick Wester (00:44:39):
It’s it’s on its way from China right now, man.
Brad Singletary (00:44:40):
You gotta, you gotta, you got a sexy one too, right? You gotta kind of an adult version or something.
Nick Wester (00:44:46):
Yeah. That one’s not printed yet. Not printed. I’ll send one out for you.
Brad Singletary (00:44:50):
I’ll check it out. We’ll go through all 200 cards and make sure,
Nick Wester (00:44:52):
We’ve got her a funny one called us say, you think you love each other? That’s got all of it. Is this all there is this. I’ll pull it up real quick though. So you think you love each other? There’s a newly couple. That’s about to get married. And I was like, if you guys really think you love each other, just come read all these questions to each other on your drive home. So it’s like, what’s the last thing, your significant other did that annoyed you? Which of your significant others friends would you most like never to see again or rate your significant others driving on a scale of one to 10. Oh, that’s great. What’s the most, who’s the most racist person in your significant others family, which member of your significant others family that you wish your significant other was more similar to.
Brad Singletary (00:45:35):
So I wish you were more like your sister, you know, that’s a, that’s a.
Nick Wester (00:45:40):
There’s these like, these are just like deplorable questions that we’ve kind of created throughout this process of writing all these like, Oh, we’ll just put this aside and wait for it.
Brad Singletary (00:45:48):
I love this one. I’ve just on your Amazon page. I’m reading one of the ones for couples. What experience in your life do you wish your significant other could have witnessed to better understand? Dude that is one of the things I find about therapy and counseling is people just sometimes don’t know the question to ask or they don’t know the language, how to articulate themselves. That’s probably something that every person could appreciate that kind of question, but would never know how to ask the question. So that’s one of your strings, obviously here, Nick, is that you know how to ask good questions of yourself, of the market, of what’s happening out there, in here of your spouse, you know, to like this is building intimacy and friendship. I mean, I love this whole idea. I’ve been trying to get a box for like, bro, I see you at church every Sunday until the quarantine. I need, I need a case.
Nick Wester (00:46:37):
I can sell them for you all for you. We’ll give you the curl on a specialist. Well, yeah. And you know, I think that goes back again to my parents. Like I was raised by two people that will stop a random person on the street and like become their best friend. And that, that’s something very unique. I think you’re from the South too, right? Yeah. I grew up in Florida. So you know how it is just, everybody’s a friend. Nobody’s nobody, you’re not scared of anybody. You’re just best friends with everybody. And and that just, yeah, it’s one of those things that I was just, I recognize my wife actually recognized in me and that gave me the courage to kind of, to start this thing. Yeah. That you a friend to everyone. Well, just that you’re like, Oh, you’re interested, really interested in people, you know?
Nick Wester (00:47:24):
Or you really like to talk to people. You’re a people person. And I never really that it never really clicked in there, but now it’s giving me this thing that, Oh, I can start games that make people become better friends because that’s something that come like being friends with somebody, somebody, something that comes easy to me. So I can transfer my passion and my knowledge of that creation structure into card games. Right. So we’ve got another one called asking for a friend. That’s a game for party. Like it’s a party game. Okay dude. And it’s, that’s just all about pulling out the funny and hilarious stories that you’re too afraid to like get from people. And it was just a hoot. I love playing it, you know? And it’s just one of those things that I’m very interested in people. And so it’s just a very, it making it came naturally to me. So people are like, you know, where’d you come up with this idea and I’ll be cool. It’s just something that like, it’s a natural thing. And you know, other people have, I’m terrible at stuff. You asked me to spell something or be technical about things. There’s nothing, I’ve never been that person, but this is how to communicate and how to communicate in a group of people. Something that kind of came easy.
Brad Singletary (00:48:30):
I can’t wait to see some of these man. And I’d love to, I will put, we’ll put links up on our show notes and stuff and get people connected to that. I’ve even recommended that. I know that at least one of my clients bought that. Yeah. When it was fairly new, I said, Hey, check this out. I put it up on my phone show the tone. I know the guy that created this and you should have.
Nick Wester (00:48:49):
Oh, we’ll get you guys like we’ll get you a coupon code for your website. I really get to half off or something.
Brad Singletary (00:48:54):
Yeah. I’ll do it right on. That’s cool. Yeah. You know how to do coupon codes? I was wondering if those are real.
Nick Wester (00:48:58):
Oh bro. We’ll make it something cool too. Like Brad, Brad one, two, three years.
Brad Singletary (00:49:02):
So I’m a graphic designer. I could counterfeit this game and sell it on eBay.
Nick Wester (00:49:06):
Or you better do this on, it’s actually being counterfeited or offered as a counterfeit in China.
Brad Singletary (00:49:11):
Are you serious?
Nick Wester (00:49:12):
Somebody trademark Uncommon questions in China already. It just, it is what it is. Right? Like you make it successful thing. People are gonna run after it, but I can shut it down once it I’m not worried about, I’m not going to spend $20,000 to go fight somebody in China right now for it. Wow. But we’ll make them pay one day.
Brad Singletary (00:49:29):
So you talked about, you know, developing ideas once you have the idea, what do you do with those next?
Nick Wester (00:49:35):
Yeah. So everybody’s just got her number one, write down any idea you get. Okay. And it’s just like learning to do, it’s like a bench press. Right? You gotta learn how to do over and over and over again. Keep records. Cause if you go to the, I hear people that go to the gym, like to write down how much weight they do for reps and stuff is just a matter. And so you get an idea, you write it down. Like my cell phone is my thing in the notes section. I just have tons of business idea jar, like just jibberish that I’ll come up with and I’ll be called somebody trying to solve this problem. So just writing it down. So you have a tangible thing. And that’s a, that’s a really good way to kind of build the, the mechanism that creates ideas or the generation of the idea once you have it.
Nick Wester (00:50:21):
It’s really important to learn how to, to kind of solidify the idea. And so I have a board actually in my office where have ideas and then it goes to white board or it’s a pin board. And so I’ll write on a sticky note and stick it up there. And so it’ll be like ideas. And it’ll say, who’s fixing this problem is the next section. And so then I go through, okay, I’m going to go on Amazon and see I’ll type in Uber masks. Okay. Uber air masks or something like that. Right. And see as anybody creating this thing. Okay. No. Or what solutions are out there? Okay. Can I create something better or cheaper for that? And that’s the next step, like creating tangibles. And so I’ll, I’ll go in and I’ll figure out a design or something like that.
Nick Wester (00:51:05):
And then what I’ll do after I make that initial idea or figure out what I want form, I want it to be, I’ll price that out. So if it’s going to cost me $300 to make Maverick masks for Uber drivers, right. Then that’s not a good business idea, but if I can make them for 25 cents, then I’ll take that in all moving onto the next section, which is just prototyping it. So 3D printing, I have a 3D printer at home and wife’s making kind of weird little things. And I’ll 3D print them or make a prototype and I’ll give it to people. I’ll say, Hey, Brad, try this thing. See if you like it and give me any feedback yet. So right now we’re in the process of that with one of our board games, the social experiment for kids, giving them out to people and saying, Hey, try this, give us feedback.
Nick Wester (00:51:49):
What do you think? After that you edit your idea or you, you kind of edit whatever product you see, take your feedback from your prototyping phase and you edit it and make it better. And then you just gotta figure out how to get it into the market. And we’re at such a prime time of entrepreneurship right now, where any product that you have, any idea you have and your book, you have any board game, you have anything that you want to sell to other people you can put on either Kickstarter or Indiegogo. And you’ll immediately know if you have a product that people want.
Brad Singletary (00:52:25):
Describe Kickstarter real briefly. I had known you’d had something to do.
Nick Wester (00:52:28):
So Kickstarter’s pretty cool. My wife and I had a a prototype of art. So what we did was we made our board game and our, we made our deck of conversation starters, and then we put it on there and we say, Hey, we’re Nick and Dana if you go onto our Kickstarter websites, really quick, we made this little video on my iPhone.
Brad Singletary (00:52:47):
I’ve seen that video.
Nick Wester (00:52:47):
Yeah and it’s like, this is our idea. If you want it like preorder it here, we’ll deliver it to you in six months. But you can buy a set now preorder for us. And so people we raised, I think eight, eight or $9,000 on preorders, preorders, kind of what that is just conditional preorders. And these are people that have faith in your idea and faith in you as somebody that can get the job done.
Brad Singletary (00:53:09):
Wow. I never even knew that much of it.
Nick Wester (00:53:12):
Yeah. And so that’s perfect. Right? Cause that you automatically know, Hey, I have an audience. I mean, so many businesses that started like this I’m like cards against humanity was made from a Kickstarter. Wow. I’m just big companies ring, I think was one of those guys. That’s the door security things. And there’s a lot of big companies now are coming out of this thing. It’s like, Hey, let me make this see if people want it. Okay. Now I’ve seen that people want it. I’m moving forward. Even huge multibillion dollar companies like Oculus rift, the guys that made the virtual reality headset. That was a Kickstarter idea. Wow. Where this dude do. I think he was like 16 at the time. And he’s like, Hey, I’ve got this idea. Does anybody want it? And so if you can do that, if you can take your idea and put it on somewhere where you just offer it to people before you’ve spent a dime on it, then you’re playing with, in you’re playing with the house’s money. Right? Because like for uncommon questions, we have yet to put a dollar of our own money into the thing.
Brad Singletary (00:54:07):
Nick Wester (00:54:09):
Cause it’s Kickstarter gave us people pre-ordered with the preorder money, we were able to buy twice as many as we need to sell the other bit. And we’ve just been flipping that money. You know, dude, that’s crazy. And so that’s like right now, everybody should be doing. If you have an idea, you should be doing that. Cause the worst thing in the world, the dumbest thing in the world is what I did with with the memory cards. It’s like, I swear all your money out of my money at it. And then you’re done instead of having these little micro ideas where you’re like, Hey, you know, ratified made this microphone for you. Would you use it on your podcast? Oh yeah, you would. Okay, cool. I’m going to make one for you and just give me your feedback on it. Oh, do you want to buy one now? Like there’s, that communication is so easy to play tests.
Brad Singletary (00:54:52):
So you’re testing the idea before you even had the product. I mean, you had had, some of it was created, but there was no physical game yet.
Nick Wester (00:54:58):
Yeah. And if you start a business, like I had a guy the other day come to me, he’s like, I wanna start a beach wear company. It’s going to be beach wear. And I was like, what, what, what do you mean? He’s like, I don’t know. It’s going to be each where it knows like Hawaiian shirts or something. Okay. And he’s like, but I’ve got the name before. I’m like, dude, Blake, you’ve got the name, but you’re not thinking about, did people actually want this? How am I going to compete against somebody that you, you have to, you have to put your ideas into that kind of mechanism where you’re gaining feedback and seeing if the market is actually responding to what you want before you make it.
Brad Singletary (00:55:29):
Saturated, what are the challenges? Those kinds of questions again.
Nick Wester (00:55:34):
Cause there’s nothing making something you love and it’s awesome. And then putting it out there and then not going anywhere. Right. It’s a much easier thing to say, Hey, I’ve got this idea. I want to try it out. Does anybody want this thing? Oh, you guys don’t. Okay. Well maybe let me go back to the drawing board and figure it out. Like for asking for a friend. I freaking love that game. Like it’s the best to me. It’s the best party game that I’ve ever played. And I made it. So I think that we put it on Amazon dude and it’s just flopped
Brad Singletary (00:56:04):
Nick Wester (00:56:06):
Just not, like we sell a dozen of it a month, which is nice. But like it’s not, it’s not doing anything. And so now it’s caused me to be like, alright, we got to pump the brakes and go back and think about, think about what it is. We may be working on a reward. Is something totally different because I’m competing against the biggest company like cards against humanity, exploding kittens, all these big party games that have millions of dollars now to beat me down. And how can I compete against those guys? In order to, in order to get better or people maybe just don’t want it. Right. And it’ll be something that me and my kids play and we laugh about which is fine too. But again, I put $0 into that business. So it’s not like with Kickstarter, we made $9,000 with it. We made our first print run.
Nick Wester (00:56:49):
It was awesome, but it didn’t make me broke. Like if I was, you know, just spending all my own money now that’s so stink and stressful, man. That’s, that’s the stressful part. But dude, just my advice is if you’re going to try to start something new, go to work in your day job, come home at night. And from 8:00 PM, when you tuck your kids in kiss your wife good night until 2:00 AM be working on that new idea, don’t stop everything. And then, and then, and then throw your life into it. I mean, there’s some nobility in that, but it’s also just, you don’t need to do that anymore.
Brad Singletary (00:57:27):
It’s not necessary. That’s the point is that there’s a, there’s a mechanism in place. And you did that with your uncommon questions. That’s so awesome. I didn’t, I didn’t realize that’s how it worked. I wasn’t sure about Kickstarter.
Nick Wester (00:57:38):
I mean, it’s, it’s been really, really helpful people do their books on there. People do artwork on there. Just any gifts, gifts. I mean, you can’t start a restaurant. Well actually people do start restaurants on their bike. Just the concept of here’s my, here’s my restaurant, the theme of the gift card to it or something. Yeah. But you know, you just can’t I think at this day and age, it’s you have to be brave enough to test out your ideas. And some people are scared to test out their ideas and put them on there.
Brad Singletary (00:58:03):
What’s the risk for the person, I mean, what if you say I’m going to start this game, it flops people who’ve already given you money and you never get to the production point. What? You just turn the money so you can take, they take that risk. You’re willing to, like,
Nick Wester (00:58:20):
I just had a friend that got screwed on something. I forgot. Oh, it was some golf, golf gloves that the guy raised, I think a couple million bucks or something. He never delivered them. He delivered them to like the first hundred people then nobody else has gotten them. Wow. Right. So it’s you got it? I think part of the thing that Kickstarter is like building a reputation of like people have seen now that I’ve run two successful ones and then I’ve delivered on them. And so now they hopefully trust me to do the next thing. But you know, man, so many people are scared of, of testing out their ideas and throwing them on Kickstarter or, or trying to sell them to people door to door before like the other day I was at Costco and I have, so I have these leads for solar stuff and I was at Costco and I stopped this guy that was sitting there.
Nick Wester (00:59:03):
I was like, Hey, what’d you buy? I have these leads. Would you buy them from me? And he’s like, no, I don’t want them. I was like, all right. But you have to be brave enough to be like, Hey, I have this thing. Does, you want it? Oh, you don’t. Okay, good. And maybe that’s from knocking on doors, asking a squeegee people’s windows and knocking on doors and asking people if they want Jesus for two years. Yeah, you’re right. Maybe that’s some of the strength there that I gained.
Brad Singletary (00:59:28):
Probably even before that too, you’re selling baseball cards under your stairs at your kid or anybody?
Nick Wester (00:59:33):
One of my Dominic Wilkins, it was going to cost them. You know, that’s stuff.
Brad Singletary (00:59:36):
I got Dale Murphy here.
Nick Wester (00:59:37):
My kid found my base, basketball cards. The other day, we’ve kind of gone through over there. It’s Kevin McHale special. It’s better. Apparently. That’s good.
Brad Singletary (00:59:44):
So we’ve talked about your approach to entrepreneurship, some of your successes and the things you’ve been able to, to grow and learn from in general as a man, you know, I guess I just want to finish up with this. Like you’re a stud man. You’re, you’re a person that I would trust with any part of my life. With any aspect of my life. You just got a good energy. You do good things. You, you got a strong sense of like spirituality, you know, you’re family man. And it looks like you’re out here making money and just kind of living a solid life. Tell me just some of the general principles that you like to follow for just living a good life as a man, husband, father.
Nick Wester (01:00:31):
That’s a really good question, man. I appreciate those nice things you said. I I think just being honest about what you really want in life is the biggest thing. Cause some of us we’ll go hide. Some of us will go hide in different ways. Maybe you really like working out and you’re going to the gym a lot, but maybe it’s not because you want to be fit. Maybe it’s because you’re afraid of the stress that’s at home. I don’t want to deal with that. So you put time into your body there instead. You know, maybe you have some sort of addiction that is, you’re out with your buddies and you’re, and you’re telling your wife, Hey, I need to go hang out with my friends to release some stress. But in reality, you’re running away from how scared you are of your boss or whatever it is. Yeah, man, I just, getting to know yourself and what you really are either professionally going to somebody that can help you pull, pull the curtain back a little bit, finding somebody that you love in your life, whether it be your partner spouse or a good friend that can just speak truth to you.
Nick Wester (01:01:36):
That’s so important. And I think that being able to find the root of what you’re really trying to do, cause I I’ll tell you, man, I find peace in that. At least in my house is that like, I know that I’m not going to go do something because I want to be with my kids. Even if it’s playing Fortnite with them, you know, I still that’s my goal is to, is to spend time with them. And that’s because that’s what my dad did. Right. He busted his ass every day, go in and work in jobs that like that were not glorious. And he didn’t enjoy all the time, but he was out there every day. And then my mom, you know, making crafts, teaching school just scraping after life, that, that burned deep inside of me that like, okay, this is what it is, it’s family.
Nick Wester (01:02:24):
And this is, and so that’s, what’s inside of me and maybe it’s for somebody else. It’s like, I got this passion for golf man. And I love golf and I want to play golf every day until I die. Well maybe, maybe you need to alter your, your, your the way that you’re going to live in your expectations in life, because of, because of that commitment that you’ve kind of made or whatever it is, whatever it is. You just gotta be really honest about what you, what you’re doing. Because as long as you’re trying to veil your actions with, with some secondary motivation, it’s really hard. Like some people, you know, go to church and become, because they want to have power over people or somebody go into some people go into law because they want to be rich or something like that. But most of the time, I don’t think that those are the real motivations behind the reason that people are doing the things that they want to do.
Nick Wester (01:03:23):
And your soul be in disconnect until, until you can be like, all right, this is what I’m, this is what my life’s about. I’m about, you know, bringing people together. So helping men solve their problems. And I don’t know, I don’t know what the beginning of that path looks like, but, you know, spirituality helps. I think having people to talk to helps being quiet and, and think it through your soul, like what I, I forget who it was, but he said it takes more courage for a man to look into his own soul than to fight on a battlefield. Right. And yeah, I, I think that kind of, stuff’s really important to look deep in yourself.
Brad Singletary (01:04:03):
You’re talking about being honest and not concealing or hiding from your, you know, with, from the real life problems with, with some other endeavor. So it’s, that’s being honest with yourself, but how do you use one of the things we teach men is that they need a tribe. They need men, they need capable men around them, whether it’s family or friendships or in whatever way, who, how do you work? Do you have advisors? Do you have people mentors that you trust and you know, some little group of men that you really would consider like brothers who, who know your, all of your stuff. And if you have an idea, you run it by them and they say, no, man, that’s stupid or yes, go for it. Like how do you use tribe?
Nick Wester (01:04:45):
Yeah. So I think first is just my real life brothers who are, who are example every single of them is example to me in some way. And I’m blessed to have three brothers that I can know have my best interests at heart and have been through stuff that I’ve not been through. The other thing is I have, I’m a very segmented person when it comes to certain stuff, I don’t have one person that I kind of am like, okay. But I will, I’ll, I’ll notice people that like, Oh, this guy’s really good at this. And so whenever I have a question, I have a buddy that is like my spiritual advisor, kind of, whenever I run into stuff that bothers me, I’ll always to go to the, go to for that stuff. I got a business guy that I’m like, you know, business problems or like stuff like that.
Nick Wester (01:05:32):
I’ll be like, Hey, do you, this is concerned me. Can you do, can you give me your advice on that? And then there’s kind of just like a patchwork guy where he and I are both living kind of an entrepreneurial life and we’ll talk through because I never want to go to a guy and be like, Hey, like, what are you doing about, you know, working from home too much? Like if you thought, like that’s a jerk thing to go to somebody that’s a, that’s a doctor or something that’s working, ER, 12 hour shifts. And I’d be like, I think I’m spending too much time at home, but I have a guy that’s another entrepreneur that’s in the same boat as I am. And we talk a lot about, like, about being honest with ourselves and about making sure our priorities are aligned in our families.
Nick Wester (01:06:11):
And like, and so that, yeah, I just I’ve, I’ve kinda got a guy or a girl for every situation. And then there’s like a, you know, trying to work through my own stuff, my own feelings. I have a trans person that I work with every day. And they’ve been really good at like me looking at myself in the mirror the last two months when all this stuff’s been happening. Right. Yeah. And being like, Hey, what do you think about this thing? And they’re safe space for me to be an idiot and to figure my own stuff out, or like, I’ve got a neighbor who’s black dude, super best guy in the world. And I’ll talk to them about like, you know, what do you think about this or that, or how’s that compute? So I just find, I try to find people that I, I’ve kind of like, I guess a, tribe’s a good word for it where you just kind of, if you know, this person knows infinitely more about this thing than I do.
Nick Wester (01:07:01):
So I’m going to go to them and throw my dumb ideas at them until something clicks or.
Brad Singletary (01:07:07):
So even if these aren’t connected like a cohesive group, you still are relying on other people’s wisdom to set you straight and, you know, kind of give you feedback and a hundred percent. And that’s sounds like that’s been very important for your success. I’m open, you’re seeking. You’re always asking questions.
Nick Wester (01:07:23):
I’m so stoked for what you guys have built too. Cause I had just spent a little bit, spent an hour on your Facebook page today. Everybody solving each other’s problems with their own stuff. Like that’s, that’s all life’s about right. It’d be so boring if we were here alone. Yeah. And I just think that it’s so important if you don’t have that next to you, what a great thing Facebook can be. I mean, can be an awful thing to you. But like, like a way to connect with dudes that that can help you fulfill some part of your life. Or you can respect you,
Brad Singletary (01:07:52):
Nick. I appreciate you being here today, brother. It’s just really been just a valuable bit of time that I’ve been able to spend with you here. And I know that the men who listen, are going to get a lot from this too. So last word. What, what is your last bit of advice for guys? I promise, I hope this won’t be your last time on the show, but for now, what do you want to leave men with?
Nick Wester (01:08:13):
Yeah. So there’s three things that I think I’d point people towards that have changed my life a lot in the last two years. One is a one minute somebody in the last two years, but in the last little bit there’s about a one minute and 15 second John Goodman clip on the internet on YouTube.
Nick Wester (01:08:31):
And you can search for it from the movie, the gambler. And it’s called the position of FU, and it’s got cussing in it. Okay. The most solid life advice I’ve ever heard anybody give. And I don’t want to spoil it because I will butcher just go listen to John Goodman, plug your ears, just solid life business advice. And it’s got language in it. So prepare yourself. But, but it’s good.
Brad Singletary (01:08:55):
We’ll we’ll look that up. We’ll look it up.
Nick Wester (01:08:57):
Yeah. And then for entrepreneurs, like if you’re interested in it and starting your own business, there’s a couple of books I’d recommend “Rework” It’s a very short, concise, fast book. Rework is a, I think it’s like 150 pages long, but it’s written paragraph to paragraph snippets. And it’s a quick read best business advice on how to start a business today in the world that we live in with Amazon and everything.
Nick Wester (01:09:24):
Nice. And book, the third thing out is Clayton Christensen’s book “Competing Against Luck”, which he wrote, it’s kind of his, he died shortly after it was published. It’s the most solid information on starting a recognizing, learning to recognize problems in the world, solving them with problems and figuring out, solving them with products and ideas and how to go through that entire process and sharpen that stick so that when, because I’ll tell you, man, it’s like that, that magnesium stick where you’re going to have you scraping and scraping and scraping and scraping and scraping, you’re going through all these ideas. You’re going through, you know, the line at McDonald’s and something makes you angry. And then the next day you’re at getting your oil changed and something makes you angry. And then all of a sudden the idea strikes, you’ve got to be ready for that moment because people only get a few of them in life and, and “Competing Against Luck” on how to make that happen.
Brad Singletary (01:10:25):
Nice. That’s awesome. Appreciate you being with us today, brother. So awesome. Thank you Nick.
Nick Wester (01:10:31):
There’s another thing that I have an idea that I’ve kind of put together and I don’t know if it makes sense. So I talked about my idea that that formation there’s something that happens where, so for, in my life, I’ve got businesses that are zero to a thousand, make a zero to a thousand dollars a year. And I start those businesses. And I know I need four of those in order to make one, that’s going to make more than a hundred grand a year. And so getting lots of small businesses and ideas started just side hustles that turn into good part time work that turned into a full time gig. And what I’ve been able to do is I’ve got like two businesses that are making over a hundred right now.
Nick Wester (01:11:13):
I’ve got five businesses that are making tens of thousands and I’ve got three businesses that are making under a thousand bucks. And if they can’t make it from that one group to the other group, I just brought them off. Right. And how do you move businesses long? I don’t know if that’s good advice or like, no, I just, don’t like, it’s a numbers game at some point. Right? You’ve got it. If you’ve got a business, that’s making you 10,000 bucks and you’ve been working at it for two years and it’s still making 10,000 bucks, you got it. Sunk costs are irrelevant. Right. I just don’t know if that’s a good piece of advice. I tell that to people sometimes and it makes them,
Brad Singletary (01:11:53):
So if people want to, you know, I’ve, I’ve even got some interest in this myself. If people want to consult with you, you know, you’re, you’re busy, you’ve got multiple businesses, you’ve got a family and a home and all of the other things everybody’s dealing with, but you you also have some wisdom that I think some of our guys might be interested in like, Hey, you’ve done this to a much further degree than I ever have would, if people wanted to talk to you a hundred percent, I can, they can get in touch with me. I, I forward it to you
Nick Wester (01:12:25):
Hundred percent. I, I, I love that stuff anytime, man.
Brad Singletary (01:12:29):
That’s great. Yeah.
Nick Wester (01:12:31):
Entrepreneurship is a number game too. And I think that the thing is you have to realize that businesses need to start. You have to start 20 businesses before you get one. That’s going to be a gigantic business. And for me, that’s one thing I do is I it’s like a, like a garden or something. I start these tiny little businesses, these ideas where I come to somebody and I say, Hey, do you want this thing? And they say, yes. And then it’s a tiny little business. And then I try to move it up. And so what I do is, and I have A, B and C businesses, the businesses that are making over a hundred, businesses that are making tens of thousands of, businesses that are making a thousand and you try to push them up. And so one thing you can do, and one way to teach it is just start as many little businesses as you can. And you’re going to have a little unicorn in there like me and Dana did not expect uncommon questions to become something that it is. It was like the last thing, but it became something and it was a total unicorn. And so if you can get good at starting businesses fast and cheap, one of them is going to rise to the top real quick, because it’s just the luck in a numbers game.
Brad Singletary (01:13:38):
Wow. Timing, you know, like things may be or more realistic right now than they would have been before the quarantine. Some things the whole market is changing in some ways. I’m sure. Timing and your idea and
Nick Wester (01:13:49):
Yeah, we’re working on a game right now. It’s just a hundred percent time because it’s another game. It’s a competitor to game stop and game stop. Just, luckily just went out of business at the same time we happened to be making something that’s going to compete against them. Wow. That’s right. It’s just timing. And so you’ll never know what is going to come out of, come out of it.
Brad Singletary (01:14:12):
One other question that I have is just, you know, you’re, you seem like a well balanced guy, but in the intro we talked about your brain never shuts out. How do you manage? I’m that way, I’m kind of always inm I’m in next week. I’m in next year. And it’s hard for me to engage in the here and now, how do you do that? How do you shut off entrepreneur inventor brain and go back to, you got little ones climbing on your back and it’s time to it’s time to throw them in the pool.
Nick Wester (01:14:37):
Yeah. So I think building things that are, that solve those problems are good because I spend time talking to I’ll go over the questions that we’ve made for kids with my kids. And so I’ve been able to do that, but if I want to totally just shut it off. I have, I play video games with them, with them, or then like I love flight simulators. Okay. And it’s like super complicated. I’ve got a nerd shack. You got to come over and see it sometime now, virtual reality foot pedals, throttles. And that’s like, I get really pissed off during the day or I hit, I get, I feel myself emotionally getting to like a nine with some either, you know, for whatever reason, maybe it’s just a bad one. I’ll just go do that for an hour. Brings you back down podcasts, bring me back down.
Nick Wester (01:15:19):
Just fine. Again, finding some guy I might need to go to the driving range. And just rebalance what it is. Yeah. And I, his spirituality helps that to you. You can, and meditation helps with it. I do like the calm app. Oh yeah. Yeah. And just being able to like, see your, see your feelings and emotions going by, like in a river and just not letting them touch you, but okay. I feel anger in there goes, you know, just, I mean, you’re the, you’re the, I should come to you too. Cause it is over freaking sometimes. And it bothers, you know, it has affected my personal relationships sometimes because especially in the early days, man, when, when I was starting find fakes and didn’t see my wife a lot for the first few months, because I was so scared about failing and yeah, I think he just, you gotta find some ways to shut that off
Brad Singletary (01:16:15):
She’s supportive. I mean, I’m guessing you you’ve mentioned some of these things that you’ve done together. I’m guessing she’s all in. I mean, is she really the one running the show? Should we have had her on the podcast?
Nick Wester (01:16:24):
Yeah. She’s got an earpiece and you know, that’s one thing you can’t ever, you can never say enough about is having a partner that will, that will push you. And sometimes it’s my parents sometimes it’s my wife, but bravery doesn’t, you know, you talk about people that have been in war situations. It’s a lot of times they’re fighting for the people next to them and not for themselves. Right. And you got to have people in your life that you know, that you’re like, all right, man, this is for, I don’t want to do this thing. I don’t want to go have this conversation with this person. I don’t want to put this 12 hour workday in, but I’m going to do it for X, Y, or Z. And my wife is that she’s the chief motivator man. She’s like always when I was like, Hey, I want to buy $1,200 in memory card.
Nick Wester (01:17:13):
She’s like, go for it. Right. 2,500, go for it, man. Lost the money. Totally fine, Nick. I’m sure she went and screamed into her pillow a second later. Hey, I want to start our own business. We have $3,000 left in the bank account. You know, we’re done. Oh no, no, no, no. You’re fine. Keep going. I think you’re good enough. She’s just, yeah. She’s always believed in me. And I believe in her too. It’s been, it’s been a, she’s been a great partner for that. We’re totally different. We’re like very different people, but there’s some frequencies that we get on and you know, our kids, our love of travel, our, you know, the business of these things, we just get that’s, that’s our, that’s our strength. And that’s one of the things that I never knew was there until it came up. So that’s awesome. You’re lucky. Yeah. I try. I pinched myself sometimes. That’s good. A clean lens.
Nick Wester (01:18:03):
Is that what it tells you? What I love is that somebody was sitting there and came up with that solution. They’re like, Hey, how are we going to tell people, how are we going to remind people to do this? Oh, let’s just write on there that like a claim, like let’s just give them a little, a nice little nod to, that’s a great solution to them.
Brad Singletary (01:18:22):
Millions and billions have been made that with that way, I guess. Right. Nobody’s doing that. Why isn’t, why does this doesn’t make sense? Not an intuitive solution. Let’s fix it.
Nick Wester (01:18:25):
Yeah. And just like crap happens like coronavirus. So many cool businesses are going to be started because of coronavirus. Right? I’m sure you’ve seen your business take a turn of more online stuff.
Brad Singletary (01:18:45):
Because I told my wife, we don’t even need to live in Las Vegas. A hundred percent could live in Idaho in the mountains where we want to live and do most of what I’m doing from anywhere.
Nick Wester (01:18:54):
Right. Yeah. Yup. And I know. Yeah. There’s, it’s, that’s the cool part of it, man. I love, that’s what I love. That’s what that’s, what is the best part for me?
Brad Singletary (01:19:04):
Hey, thanks for listening to another episode of the Alpha Quorum Show. We believe that men changed their lives by engaging with a tribe to improve their actions, attitudes, and attributes. You can check out the show notes on our website at alphaquorum.com. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. And please leave us a rating and review wherever you listen to our show, Hey, this is a podcast not therapy. So even though we may feature professionals on the show, this is not intended as therapeutic advice. If you need someone to talk to please reach out to us and we can get you pointed in the right direction until next time, gentlemen, alpha up!
Speaker 4 (01:19:46):
Gentlemen, you are the alpha and this is the Alpha Quorum.