Dr. Travis Zigler is a recovering optometrist turned ecommerce entrepreneur. He is the founder of Eye Love, whose mission is to heal 1,000,000 dry eye sufferers naturally. Dr. Travis and his wife, Dr. Jenna Zigler, use the profits from Eye Love to fund free clinics in Jamaica and the US through their charity, the Eye Love Cares Foundation.
Due to the success of Eye Love, others have asked if Dr. Travis would help them grow their business online, and more specifically with Amazon, which is one of his superpowers. Through his new venture Profitable Pineapple, which specializes in Amazon PPC, Dr. Travis and his team help businesses scale their Amazon sales and help increase brand clout.
On this episode, Travis and I talk about his journey from optometry to eCommerce, different ways that entrepreneurs can grow their audience, his key secrets to selling on Amazon and scaling to success, and much more.
What is Profitable Pineapple Ads
Travis Zigler: So we're an agency that helps you create a moat around your Amazon business and your Amazon listings. And what this moat then creates is loyal fans. And actually creates more Shopify orders as a result. And what we do is we focus on Amazon advertising with pay per click, which is the typical Amazon ads agency, but we also do DSP demand side platform, Google ads, and we do Google ads direct to your Shopify store, your blog.
And then that blog takes them over to Amazon to buy, but in the end, we just like to help great people do good shit. And that's kind of the tagline we live by. We like to work with brands that are here to try to uplift the world. And then we help them. By creating that moat around their Amazon business.
Alex Bond: That's cool. And I like the imagery and metaphor of a moat because on, on your website for profitable pineapple is that you're building this castle, right? And so you guys are helping build that moat before we kind of go a little deeper to our entrepreneurs listening, maybe even myself, could you explain what specifically Amazon PPC is because that's, you know, probably gonna be a decent bulk of our conversation today as well.
Travis Zigler: So yeah, Amazon PPC is just Amazon pay per click. So just like Google ads has their own platform for advertising, they have their own pay per click platform, remarketing platform, display advertising, Facebook has their own, TikTok has their own, Amazon has one of the biggest in the world as well, and it's just simply search advertising.
So you go on Amazon, you search for eyelid wipes. I'm an eye doctor, so we're going to use a lot of eye examples here. You search for eyelid wipes. I want my product to show up at the top if I sell eyelid wipes and I want people to click on that ad. And then go buy my product for eyelid wipes. So that's your typical search advertising.
They also have display advertising where you can show up all over other people's listings. Then they have brand advertising, which is big banner ads at the top of search. So if you're ever searching on Amazon, you type in eyelid wipes. You see a big banner ad versus just like a typical product page listing.
That's a banner or a brand advertisement. And then when you go beyond that. There's another platform they have called Amazon demand side platform. And this is most closely related to like Google remarketing or Google display advertising. And so you can do that on Amazon as well. It's a separate platform.
You have to either spend 40, a month going straight through Amazon to do that, or you can find an agency like ours and you can start as low as 5,000 a month, and this is directly on advertising spend, and then you'll show up on and off Amazon. And so you'll show up on places like CNN or Yahoo or ESPN or wherever they decide to follow your customer around.
So if you've ever been on Amazon, you look at a product and then that product follows you around the internet. That's display advertising. The final step that we do is Google ads. And so Google ads, they search for the term eyelid wipes on Google ads.
We try to get them over to our Amazon listing to buy because Amazon loves that external traffic. The external traffic will increase your keyword rankings. Which shows you up higher in organic search results, which then gets you more sales.
From Doctor to Entrepreneur: A Remarkable Journey of Transformation
Alex Bond: And we were talking before the show about your story, and I want to kind of give you the floor to tell your story about how you went from being a doctor, being an optometrist and how you became an entrepreneur. So if you wouldn't mind, I'm just going to give you the floor to do that, and then we can pile on some, some questions and some topics on top of that.
Travis Zigler: Yeah, perfect. So feel free to stop me at any time during this. So I am an agency owner now, and we help other people now. But that's not how I started this kind of came about organically. Like pretty much every agency that's out there doesn't really happen because somebody sits down and says, hmm, I want to start an agency.
It's usually actually an organic process that people keep coming to them for an expertise, and then it just kind of evolves into this agency. And that's very common in the agency world. When you talk to I'm in a mastermind with 20 to 30 different agencies, and it's always that same story. People kept coming to me for this.
So I created an agency around it because the opportunity was so great. But going back to my origin story, I actually graduated from the Ohio State College of Optometry in 2010. And right after graduation, my wife is also an eye doctor and she graduated in 2011. We came out of school and started working for my uncle.
And we had Dr. Zigler, Zigler, and Zigler at this practice. We had four of us. I just felt like something was missing. My goal was to make a hundred thousand a year. I hit that in year two, but I was working 70 hours a week. So I was like, is this really what it's all about? Like working my off and making a hundred thousand dollars, but having no time to actually spend doing it or doing anything that I liked.
And I felt this itch to do more started happening about two years into my career. It took us two years to finally take action on it. So we were living in Columbus, Ohio at the time, working for my uncle. And we did what you're not supposed to do the three things you're not supposed to do. We did it all at once.
We quit our jobs. We moved across the country from Ohio to South Carolina. And then we started two businesses. We started two practices of our own. One, a private practice and one side of Walmart vision center. And my wife and I would just kind of split the load. So I'd be at one, she'd be at the other and we'd switch.
I finally became an entrepreneur at that point. And when I was telling my uncle goodbye, pretty much, he's like, you're an entrepreneur. You think like an entrepreneur, you're going to be just fine. And I had no idea what that meant. I do now. But at that time, this is the end of 2014. I had no idea what that meant.
So we moved down there, started two practices. The problem is when you start a practice, you don't see a lot of patients because you have to get customers like any other business. So I went from seeing six patients an hour at my established uncle's practice, that's been around for 50, 73 years now. So it's a really established practice.
He bought it from somebody that was really. Big practice as well. I went from seeing 6 patients an hour to 1 and so I was extremely bored and of course came across my inbox called amazing selling machine or ASM for short and I took that course. It taught us how to sell on Amazon and we created a sunglass brand and in that first year of running our two practices.
We did about, I think around 350, 000 in our practices. And we started the sunglass brand and we sold about 86, 000 worth. So we're like, there's some traction to this online thing. And so the following year in 2016, after a full year of doing all this, we hit 1.2 million online and 400,000 in our brick and mortar.
So we're like, okay, wait, we just grew from 86,000 to 1.2 million in less than a year online. But our brick and mortar went from 300 to like 400. And so we're like, okay. Something has to change the following year. We did 2.5 million in our brand, our sunglass brand, and we went from 400 to 500, so incremental linear gains in our practice and this exponential curve online.
So we knew we had to do something. So we decided to sell our practices and go all in online. We ended up building. I love was the name of the brand. We pivoted in 2017 from a sunglass brand to a dry eye brand. And all we did was we focus on service. In our practice, we were seeing dry eye patients like crazy.
We saw a lot of diabetics, a lot of elderly. So a lot of dry eye comes with that. And so we were treating dry eye constantly in our practice. And we started a online space, a Facebook group. You can still go find it today. Dry eye syndrome support community. All we did was serve. We just went live and just took questions and answered questions live for like all the people in the group and dry eye.
If you don't have it, that's great. If you do have it, you know how miserable it can be. And so we were creating value for this group without anything in return. We didn't have a dry eye company at this point, and we didn't even know what product we wanted to come out with and we were selling products.
It's on our shelf in our practice. And I was at a conference one day and there's a doctor up on stage getting just drilled by this panel of experts and he's selling all these other people's products. And somebody just looks at him and goes, why are you selling other people's products? You're the expert. Make your own.
And it was just like this light bulb went off in my head and I was like, I'm selling all these little products for dry eye. Why don't I just make a dry eye brand and make every single one of these products on the shelf my own. So I didn't know which one to come out with first. And we were selling this one product.
We sold about 10 of them a day to our patients. And one of my patients came to me one day and she's like, this bottle you sold me for 30 is now 300 a month. They just increased the price 10x without giving warning to their patients. She's like, you're an entrepreneur. Fix this. We had talked a lot because with dry eye, you have a lot of follow ups.
And so we got to know each other really well. And she knew how my brain works. She knew I was an entrepreneur. She's like, you fix this. So the next couple of days, I was just looking for a manufacturer of this product, got on the phone three days later was in manufacturing within a week.
This guy had never done private label before, but he's like, yeah, I think we could do some big things with this. When we released that product a couple of months later, we added up to about 150 sales a day. Incredibly quick. And the reason was, is because people were buying our competitor and it was now 300 a month.
So what we did is we targeted our competitor with all advertisement and ours was 15 a month. So significantly decreased in price. It's now 25 a month, but significant decrease in price. And all we did was target our competitor and just Got to 150, a hundred, a hundred to 200 sales a day very quickly.
And that's like, that's how we started our dry eye brand that scaled to over 3 million within like a year and a half, because we just kept coming out more and more products as a result of people coming to us, the people that we were serving in that group kept building that that group kept building. Our email list was building.
We came out with a free dry eye bootcamp challenge, which was healthy, natural lifestyle changes to heal your dry eye. And then we were like, by the way, we have these products and they were natural ways to help with your dry eye. Every product we came out with was a result of listening to our clients and them telling us what to come out with next.
And so when we kept doing that, we'd get from 0 to 50, 0 to a 100 sales like that. It was quick because we listened to our customer. They told us what to come out with. They told us what they were using else, what else they were using in their bathroom, essentially.
So I'm washing my face. I'm putting eye cream on, I'm putting hypochlorous acid on. That was our main product, eyelid wipes, et cetera. And we just kept coming out with that and the things that we sold on the shelf. And that's how we scaled this company. And other doctors started seeing us in the space, growing this online presence.
So profitable pineapple was born as a result of, first of all, I was working with a bunch of agencies and they were terrible. They just blew through my budgets. They didn't know what they were doing. I felt like I was working with an account manager that was just hired. And it was just like, this doesn't work. So I'm going to create my own agency.
Alex Bond: I just wanted to ask you real quick, Travis, if it felt impersonal, it's kind of what I'm hearing you say is that you were just another number on the ledger a little bit.
Travis Zigler: Yeah. Exactly. And another number on the ledger, felt impersonal, they didn't listen to my budget, and they just kind of did their own thing. And I did that with multiple agencies. One of my good friends started an agency. I went to his agency as my last, the last one. And I was like, okay, if he can't figure it out, then I'm doing it on my own.
And that's how profitable pineapple was born. We were very small for the first year or two. And then we were like, maybe we should take this seriously. And so now we've grown, we're a team of about 17 now, but we do not lose sight of that touch that like that personable. I don't know what I'm trying to say is we are all us based.
If you have an account manager, it's a US based account manager. They are usually entrepreneurial. And so they are building their own brand. That is not in conflict with any brands that we manage and so they're building their own brand. They understand what to do with Amazon PPC. And then they have clients on the on the side as well.
So their full time job is working for profitable pineapple, but their part time job is building their brand and then they're learning the skills because they're learning. What we teach to build their own brain as well. And I always tell them I'm training you to leave me one day, but I hope you're having so much fun that you never leave. And so that's kind of the goal.
So during this time, we're growing the dry eye brand. We're just starting the profitable pineapple brand. And then we grow the dry eye brand and we make the ink 5,000 fastest growing companies. When that happened, people start reaching out to you to buy you, we were not for sale, but I would email them back with the exact thing that I wanted.
And everybody laughed because the valuation was absurd. And we wanted to stay on. We wanted stock options in the company moving forward. We wanted all this stuff. And then finally, somebody said, yes. And I was like, huh, we got exactly what we wanted. And somebody finally said yes. And so we ended up selling to them.
We stayed on for another two years. We actually just ended our time with them. Not too long ago at the time of this recording. And now I am full time with profitable pineapple. I still have equity in my old brand and still watching them grow it. Yeah. Life is good right now. So that is my story in a not so short nutshell, but still there's a lot of details that we can unpack throughout the journey.
The Power of Service: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability in Entrepreneurship
Alex Bond: Well, I want to start with something that is important to me personally. And it's something that you mentioned early in your story that I think is extremely valuable, but it's kind of tough from an entrepreneur's perspective.
And that is the means of service and the importance of service. And it started like that was really the beginning of your journey was to just kind of help people. And even when you started founding eyelove it was as a means to just help people and the same with Profitable Pineapples.
So I'm curious if you feel that that is just as much of a strength as it is a weakness, because I know as an entrepreneur and as other entrepreneurs might say, the ability to want to serve can be financially a loss. Sometimes, you know, where we're building rapport and 1 network and help people so much that. I'm willing to give people like price breaks when I'm freelancing or something like that. So I'm curious what your thoughts on that are.
Travis Zigler: I was recently on entrepreneurs on fire. And one of the first questions he asks is like, what is the something that a lot of people think is wrong that you think is right or something like that?
I forget the exact phrase of the question, but I said, people think that the more you serve, the less you'll profit. But the exact opposite is true. The more you serve your client, the more you're going to profit in the long run. And it is a long term game, the problem with entrepreneurs is they think that this game is short and quick.
And if you go back 20 years to when everything was brick and mortar and like hard to like build business and build word of mouth referrals, that's, it was a long term game. It wasn't something like I'm trying to get to a million dollars in 12 months. Yes. I did that in two businesses. That is not typical, but I did it in two businesses based on serving and I served my fellow client.
And the thing is when you serve more and you have a great product, word of mouth takes the rest. So if you feel like you're constantly going uphill and constantly battling uphill, uphill, uphill, all the time for your business. The reason is, is because you have something working against you and it's usually negative word of mouth.
If you have positive word of mouth and you have a product that's so superior that people want to share it and they will share it, then you will hit momentum and it's easy. And the easiest way to get that is to serve, to completely give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, and keep giving until they ask now, can you ask for the sale in there?
Yeah, do it like two to 10 percent of the time, but for the most part, completely just keep giving as long as you keep giving value, you're going to appear as the expert in the space and people are going to come to you. People are going to share your information. And they're gonna they're gonna openly share it because it is so good now we do this two ways. We have our YouTube channel, which we just give business advice.
Of course, Amazon advice mindset advice. We do so much on the business or on the YouTube channel, but our main lead magnet is names on PPC masterclass. This Amazon PPC masterclass. is better than anything paid out there. Anything. People charge five to 10,000 for their master classes.
We give it away for free and it is a hundred percent better than anything paid out there. We have testimonials that people come to us. They're like, I went through your class and within a month I was saving 10,000 and it's powerful to get those testimonials because then they'll share it with their friends.
And there's nothing mind blowing about. Our course, it's our strategy behind the course. Our strategy is focus on the 80 20 of everything you do in your business. What that means is 20 percent of your inputs create 80 percent of your results. You can apply that across your entire business and it will make your business easier.
So you spend less time in it. It will make your PPC easier, which is the focus of the course. Because what we do is we focus on the 20 percent of products, that is producing 80 percent of the results. We then focus on the 20 percent of search terms. Amazon PPC term or advertising term in general. We focus on the 20 percent of search terms that create 80 percent of the results.
When you do that, you go from a thousand products and a thousand campaigns. To just 200, it simplifies the whole business model. And you as an entrepreneur have to ask yourself, what is the 20 percent of activities that you do in your business that create 80 percent of the results?
And so mine in profitable pineapple is getting in front of other people's audiences, what we're doing right here, getting on stage to speak, getting on podcasts, getting on other YouTube channels, forming JV relationships with other agencies that are not competitors to pass clients back and forth to introduce as referrals. So that is my 80, 20. Also, when I tell my story more, we make more money.
And so the more I tell my story, the more people come into my ecosystem. Because they relate to it in some way, then that usually gets them into our funnel, which when they get into our funnel, it's give, give, give, give, give, give, and it constantly gives more and more and more. And then finally, when we do that, ask, come apply to work with us. Come join our mastermind and come to work with us. That's it.
Authenticity vs. Noise: Unveiling the True Motivations Behind Entrepreneurial Service
Alex Bond: I wanted to ask because I think you're touching on something really valuable and that is that piece of service and and a lot of companies and a lot of entrepreneurs want to do the same right and and they want to have this youtube channel, blog, they want to give back. But I think there isn't that innate altruism to it.
It's more of like, I need to brand. So I need to make, I need to be a social media personality. I need to influence, I need to have a YouTube channel. Is that part of the disconnect when it just becomes a lot of noise out there? Is that lack of innate service or is it more complicated than that?
Travis Zigler: No, it's actually simpler than that. And people overcomplicate it. And that's the big difference is like, this is such a simple building. A business is simple, create such a good product that people share it. Such a good product. Focus on that product. Focus on making that product better. And then learn how to sell that product by serving, by giving it away, by doing whatever you need to do to get it in people's hands.
Because when you do that and it's good, people share it. When it's great, people share it. And so if you focus on the product and making it so good, our free Amazon PPC masterclass, making it so good that people will share it, then you don't have to worry about advertising. You don't have to worry about that social media presence.
You don't have to worry about any of that other stuff. And so our main strategy is the Amazon PPC masterclass. Once we get people into that they're into our world and they see how much we serve and how much advice we can give them that we want them to say, wow, if this is the free stuff, what would happen if I paid for it?
And then that's the value that we bring and we're a bigger business now. So we have 17 people on our team, which means we can start branching off into trying to become an influencer, trying to go across all social media channels, trying to advertise across channels. So when you're getting started, focus on making a product so good, give it away for free to about 10 to 20 people get feedback and testimonials.
And then those people ask them for a referral. Do you have three to five friends that you think might benefit from this? And then you can start selling them on that. But in the meantime, just keep giving DM people, email people. A lot of people in this online space expect to build a million dollar business working two to three hours a day. And that's not the case.
You need to work your daytime job, your, your day job, make money to live. And then you need to go home at night and do another eight hours. Because you expect to build this million dollar business while working 10 hours, 20 hours a week, and there's no way you're going to do that if you want to build a million to 2 million business, it's a full time job and that's what you have to focus on. I go on lots of rants and tangents. So I hope that answered your question.
From Stability to Audacity: Embracing Experimental Strategies in Business Growth
Alex Bond: And in a short time, and it sounds to me like I could be mishearing you, Travis, that you're more willing to get a little more experimental and audacious with your strategies when you're at kind of the size and the amount of employees that you have, versus you're clearly emphatic that if you have a good product, you give it to people, they'll talk about it. Good word of mouth right there.
But now where you're at in your stage of your brand is experimentation and getting, I don't know, kind of funky with it a little, a little more fun. Is it something that you do? Can you talk to me a little bit about that?
Travis Zigler: Yeah, another rant coming. So prepare now. So the first three years of the agency, we focused on Amazon PPC, building brands on Amazon. That was our whole goal. Amazon PPC, DSP, Google ads. That's it.
Forming that moat around businesses on Amazon. That is our primary goal through and through. That's all we focused on until we started getting a little bigger. I would say we still aren't quite big to the point where I wanted to branch off yet, but we did anyway at the beginning of this year.
So we do a SWOT analysis at the end of every year. It's not just me doing it. And a SWOT analysis for the listeners is strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. And everybody on my team does it independent of each other. And then we bring all the answers together. And so we got a couple great opportunities that I was like, yes, let's try these.
I saw this person kind of struggling in account management, didn't really do a great job, did a good job, but not a great job. I was like, what if we branch you out and make you CTO, chief technology officer. So we're building a software called profitable pineapple express, and it's a software around inventory management, but it's not just another inventory management software.
We're also building a team to do the analysis for you. So you get an email every week that says you need to order this skew this many units. And you need to ship this SKU to Amazon. So that's the service on top of a software. So now we have this inventory leg independent of PPC. So I put an operator in place for the PPC.
And that is their job is to scale that to 10 million over the next three years. That is their number one job. And that's all they focus on. And it gives me peace of mind to go branch off branch off. Number two is our mastermind and community. So I brought a person in another person that was doing. Good at account management.
Not great. And we branched him off because we saw he was a really good storyteller and he could write emails. Well, he can relate to a community. Well, and he can he has fun doing that. So now he's the community manager and he's helping me build this mastermind.
So now we have 2 branches, inventory management and community, but we have the operator in place to do the PPC, So I don't have to worry about that, but we also have an operator in the community. We have an operator in the inventory software.
So I'm not doing any of the work. I'm leading them and holding them to KPIs and they're doing the work. And then we have a brand that we're starting. It's called the hangry nut and one of the account managers, again, good account manager, not great because their heart wasn't in it.
And so we branched him off and now he is the CEO of that brand. I'm an advisor and investor. And we're coming out with a brand around a healthy Nutella alternative. And so you don't want to, the problem with entrepreneurs is they try to do all these things themselves. And then it just spreads them thinner and thinner and thinner and thinner, and then they burn out.
And then their main bread and butter service product, whatever it is, starts to sink as a result of them spreading themselves thin. And you need to focus on that one bread and butter service, put an operator in place that you trust that can grow it. And then start focusing on other things, but always have somebody in place to lead all of these things to take them to the next level.
I want to give one more example real quick. In eyelove, my physical products brand, Amazon was the majority of our sales. We had built it up to a 3.8 million business. And everybody's like, you got to get off Amazon. You got to start focusing on Shopify. So what did we do? We focused the next year on Shopify.
We ended up going from 3.8 million to 3.2 million and our profit went to zero because we invested so much into Shopify. The problem is we took our eyes off the prize and what got us there in the first place. And started focusing on a second prize, which is Shopify. And it just wasn't as profitable. We invested a lot.
So the following year we decided to fire the whole Shopify team and go all in on Amazon again. So we went from 3.8 million drop to 3.2 million with zero profit. And then we got rid of the whole Shopify team focused back on our bread and butter, Amazon got back up to 4 million.
With a 600,000 EBITDA because we focused on what was working and we didn't spread our focus across all these platforms. And so focus on what's working, put somebody in place that can not just run it, but drive growth in it and then start focusing on other areas that you can grow the agency. Or your physical products brand. I hope that all made sense.
Empowering Entrepreneurial Leadership: Mastering the Art of Delegation for Growth and Success
Alex Bond: I mean, a couple of things that I hear there, Travis is, I think the inability for some entrepreneurs to delegate. I don't even think it's, I need to be involved in every piece of it. It's I don't know how to make sure that someone else does it to my specifications, or I just want to do it because I know it'll get done in a specific way. It's not even like a compulsion to have to do it myself. It's almost subconscious a lot of times.
And that's because a lot of entrepreneurs. Just by definition, we're working by themselves at one point in your practices, it sounds like we're you and your wife and that's pretty much it. So I'm curious if that was like an innate skill of yours is, is to delegate. And in lead, because I think most entrepreneurs, if not all of them are leaders, but some struggle with that delegation piece as much.
So my question to you is, was that always an innate skill of yours or was that something that you had to develop and how did you develop that?
Travis Zigler: I think I'm lucky with the fact that I did become a doctor because as a doctor, I'm not answering the phones. I'm not doing all the pre testing. I'm not giving the paperwork to the patient to fill out when I go in to see the patient. Most of the data is already there. I do a couple more tests that only doctors can do, and then I interpret the data.
And as the CEO of your company, it's not your job to do customer service. It's not your job to ship out orders. It's not your job to order products and do inventory. It's not your job to run the ads. Your job is to get the data, interpret the data, figure out what to do next. And so as a doctor, that was kind of ingrained in me. I wanted to just interpret the data. That's it.
And so we talked about how I'm going on a mission trip this weekend to the Bahamas for 10 days. That is like the perfect example of what an entrepreneur should do because I'm at the very end of this assembly line. And by the time they get to me, they have absolutely everything done. All I do is look into their eye, make sure everything looks healthy.
And if it doesn't, I send them to another area to get more disease treatment or send them to another area to look at glasses. So I am just interpreting all the data. And figuring out what the next step is for them. And that's what you need to do with your business is get all the data.
So we have a measurable card that we look at weekly. If the data is off, who's going to fix it. If the KPI is not getting met, who's going to fix it, who's ever responsible for that KPI. And so as you're expanding, you need to have those KPIs in place. So yeah, it was innate, but I will say it's also learned.
Because right now, I have a big problem with seeing potential in people and I need to stop seeing potential in people and start just hiring the people that have already done it so I'll hire somebody based on yeah i think this person could be really good at this job versus I should be doing. Yeah, this person's done it. And so I need to hire them to get us to that next level.
Alex Bond: That's interesting because I feel like I've been both of those people at different points in my career in different fields, you know, there's definitely jobs where I don't know if I was the most experienced in that field, but I was hungrier than the person who would have been more experienced. And I think there is some value in that, but I don't know, different people solve different problems, you know, in, in your company and just like any other company. So I think that's very fascinating.
Travis Zigler: I'll go into one more point around that. I saw this firsthand when our company was bought, it was bought by a bigger company.
And they were a very corporate structure a month and a half after we were purchased. They sold 50 some percent of the company to private equity. And this private equity firm is great at taking companies in that 50 to a 100 million dollar range to 250. And that's what they do in a 5 year period.
So they pretty much double the business in five years and then sell it. What private equity did right away when they came in, they got rid of the whole C suite. They brought in their own CEO, CFO, COO. All the C suite. They brought their own people in with people that have done it before. So I got to learn from the C suite for a year on what they're doing to grow the brand, to double the brand in five years.
And they're not saying like, how can we double it in a year? It's a long term play, but they've done it before. And that's why they were brought in for this specific job is because they've done it multiple times in other companies and now they're just, they're replicating what they've done in those other companies. They've done it before.
Strategic Growth vs. Hasty Expansion
Alex Bond: And do you think that's something that maybe entrepreneurs have a misconception about or maybe a inability to think a little more long term because it is go, go, go. I want to double my business in a year. If I can double it in a year, then that means I can quadruple it in two years.
I don't know. I'm curious because you do network and you do talk with a lot of people and you and you are very involved. If that is a misconception on my part, or if you feel that entrepreneurs are trying to grow too fast, too quickly?
Travis Zigler: Entrepreneurs are incredibly impatient. And they don't think long term enough. They don't think 5 to 10 years in the future. They think, how can I turn this business and flip it and sell it in three years to make money, to go live on the beach in Thailand, which you're never going to do cause you're going to be bored out of your mind, cause you're an entrepreneur.
Another quick example to illustrate this point. I got an email just a couple of days ago from one of our clients. And it was just like, Hey, I'm a little concerned. I've loved working with your team. You guys are doing great, but I'm a little concerned that our growth isn't what it should be.
We thought with prime day being prime Davis in July, we thought with prime day, this is going to be by far our best month ever and destroy every other month. So I look at the data and July of this year versus July of last year was up 20%. I would take that. That's a good growth.
So then I looked at year to year, year to date. So January 1st of this year to July 31st of this year and compared it to the year prior, up 50%. I was like, that's pretty good too. So then I looked at trailing 12 months up 120%. And I'm just thinking to myself, like, I don't get it. He doesn't like, didn't feel like we're growing him.
And every metric is up significantly. 120 percent year over year growth is pretty significant or 12 trailing 12 months growth year over year. They're complaining because they see that this month was only up 20 percent from last year. And so typical businesses grow 10 percent a year.
That's very, very common, maybe 20%, but to expect 10%, 20% month over month over month over month. It can happen. But you're going to have to build a team quickly. You're gonna have to come out with more products quickly. You're gonna have to learn how to sell even better. And you're gonna have to learn how to manage all this stuff.
0 to 1 million is incredibly easy because you can usually do it by yourself. 1 to 3 million gets a little more complex because you need to have the systems in place and have a couple more people. And then that 3 to 10 million is incredibly complex because then you have to find people that have done it before because most people haven't.
And when you find those people that haven't done it, or the have done it that's when you can really take off to the next level, but things are going to change at each level. And what usually happens is that 0 to 1 is just you 1 to 3 is you and maybe a couple of friends that you trust, which is what I we're at right now is that we have a bunch of friends.
And I built this with my 2 best friends, by the way, that 3 to 10 is getting people in place that have done it before. And that usually involves getting rid of people on the team that went from zero to three. That's what you have to keep in mind throughout this whole process. I forget what the question was again, cause I went on a tangent.