icon-folder-black Entrepreneurship Retail

Mikey Moran - Beauty Niche Ecommerce Ecosystem

icon-calendar 2022-02-15 | icon-microphone 1h 1m 52s Listening Time | icon-user Joseph Ianni
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Mikey Moran is a serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Private Label Extensions, a hair extension and technology company helping entrepreneurs launch and manage their brands.

In today’s episode, we dive deep into the hair and beauty niche. Mikey talked about the behind the scenes of how the industry’s ecosystem set to revolutionize the experience from shopping to upselling to delivery.

We also talked about his book, “Fearless Beauty”, which is an honest approach into entrepreneurship. This book can help you whether you are in the beauty industry or not.

Mikey's priorities in terms of training his staff -- learning how to upsell

Joseph: For those of you who are familiar with Toronto, I live relatively close to, it's one of the more high-end malls in town, which means that, you know, I periodically visit, they're not done on the routine shopper there or anything like that. But one of the, I'm calling it store just out of habit that I visited was for Casper mattresses.

And the thing that I appreciate about that store is that you don't get the impression that they are desperate to sell the mattress on the day. Then they have a healthy online ecosystem. There's a lot of brand awareness and people do sell, they do make sales, in-person. Being able to actually physically go in there and test it out and try and match for ourselves is even though you can guarantee people, oh yeah, we'll give you a thousand days. It's actually a hundred.

But you know, my point is, we'll give you a thousand days to try this out. If you're not happy to send it back, if you're like, I don't care if I'm getting the money back, I don't want to put up with this, with the hassle of this and the time and the time loss. What I think this has done is that it's given the physical space, almost like this relief where now, you know, they can justify having a physical location, not just for sales, not just for profitability, but also to present the brand in the exact precise way.

And this is what I want to ask you about is also, you know, in the, in the behavior and in the personality that you allow the staff to have, because it's one thing for staff to have beyond that on mode, or they have to constantly like try to drive sales, try to push upsells. Oh yeah. Yeah. How are you doing today? That coffee is great. You know, it would go great with that coffee at this person.

So, whereas, when that pressure is taken off, people. No focus on the brand, focused on talking about the product, focus on the enthusiasm. So can you tell us a little bit more about what it's like to train staff and what are the priorities that they really need to focus on when they're dealing with customers working with customers?

mikey moran

Mikey Moran: Oh, for sure. So our staff, we definitely have upsell products and that's something that actually helps our customer because before, when we sold just a wig, what they would next have to do is go to a beauty supply store and buy the glue for it, or the there's a bunch of different accessories with it. The fact that we started adding those into our showroom, all under the private label brand, which is the brand name for our retail showrooms, customers are absolutely delighted because they say, now you're the one-stop shop where I can get this great wig and all the assessors need it.

So our upsells process is not really a, you know, that the typical, like, you know, where it's just so incredibly obvious, it is more an education component about, hey, you're going to have this product, but to really get the most out of this product, we have these other items. This is how you use them. This is what you do. And you're going to have a much overall better experience with everything. And our clients really appreciate that. They love the products and it really just works. 

Joseph: It just reminded me this story. It's been a while since it came to my mind, but I did use to work at, in a store. I don't want to name names cause I don't want it to come across. Like I'm trying to denigrate them or anything, but, you know, I had to make a certain amount of you know, each day and somebody that I had known he walks in, he used to look after us when we were kids and he was kind of like a family friend. And we hadn't spoken in quite a few years, but he had came in looking for a bag and I was wrestling with the nostalgia of our previous relationship with, I have to make certain amount of sales today, or I'm not going to get my hours.

And actually the last time that I had seen him, cause that is the, at the funeral for one of his loved ones. And that I never really talked about that too. And so there's just. This debate going on in my mind of like, well, how much do I really try to sell to them? How much do I pay my job versus this relationship? He walks out the door, he didn't buy anything. I felt like, wow, I got the worst out of both of that.

So, it's a challenging space, but when you're really focusing on the customer's best interests, and as you say, we have all of what you need here and you will save it here, not only money, but you also save time, not having to look into multiple stores, only for them to have their own agendas as well, because it's one thing for somebody to walk into a store, only pick up like the little accessories and not be able to buy any of the, really the major profitable products that they have in those stores. So they've got their own challenges as well. 

How much does he attribute to the quality of his product and why does he consider himself a product guy

Joseph: Here's something that I noticed. I had a few recordings with people in the hair niche. I don't think we necessarily like had an agenda for it. Sound like. It's like, oh, we got to have like, at least like 10 hair conversations. We just it's just been happening. I think this is either the third or the fourth, and it's not surprising that there's a lot of people working in because most people have experience with hair, but I haven't talked to anybody in like the sleep industry, even though most people have experience with sleep. And I think it comes to this limitation that sleep is largely an objective thing. You know, you're either getting it or you're not, and if you're not getting good sleep, there's usually some objective reasons for, but hair is style based and it's subjective, everybody has different views of what it is that they want to have on their head. So that's the observation.

But my question to you is, how much of your brands and, you know, other clients that you work with, how much of the success do you attribute to the style of the product? And then how much do you attribute to the quality and making sure that it's what they will end up getting when they've ordered from China?

Mikey Moran: It's you know, quality always comes first because at the end of the day, clients are generally styling, whatever product they get, having the trending styles and the way you can construct certain styles and wigs or extensions is a very important thing that we're very focused on.

And actually, if you're watching this and you look at me in this, like how does this guy even know anything about hair extensions, a wig, like any thing, I didn't have any experience with it. And I learned and ramp up quickly. And I usually tell people it's okay if you don't have experience in the field, you're getting into it because everyone starts out with zero experience.

So the goal is to absolutely immerse yourself into whatever that subject is to become an actor. So, you know, kind of my right hand man, his name is Dallas Christopher. He's a partner in the company and he's, I think one of the greatest hairstylists in the US, he's been a Paul Mitchell national educator for 10 years and last year, moved them over full-time with me.

So it's really about different customers are gonna have different expectations, but really you have to do the best you can on the product side, and then just have a more diverse product offering and always listen to your clients. A lot of our pro client, or a lot of our styles and products were developed by listening to our clients.

Joseph: So one of the things that you said there is, you don't necessarily have to be an expert on the subject, that expertise comes with it. And I also see an additional benefit to it, which is not going in with your own preconceived notions of what it should be based off. You know, let's just say you were an expert on it and, you know, you might have this motivation to want to focus more on how you see things rather than try to tell the customers what. It's it is something that I can see happening in this situation.

So with that said, what was it about hair in specific that, assuming that, you know, maybe there was other things you could choose for him. Was it just happenstance or what got you into the hair industry in the first place? 

Mikey Moran: It's one of those things where it just kind of happened. It was not planned. It was something I wasn't thinking about. It's actually, I was just out to lunch with my business partner and we started talking about it and started looking at the industry and researching, and I said, wow, this is a really big industry.

And we first started talking about it back in 2013, where there were very few, online retailers for hair extensions and wigs. So I said, Hey, this could be a huge opportunity here and just kind of jumped in and it's just kept growing and growing. And it's much bigger today than I ever thought I would even grow any business.

So it's worked out well learned a lot along the way, made plenty of mistakes along the way. It's not always just about, you know, I have a passion now for hair, but I didn't when I first got started, obviously in a lot of people that happens to a lot of us, you just start falling in love with the product.

I'm a product guy at the end of the day.

You know, sometimes it's kind of can be plug and play with any product that I really liked that you just become an expert in the product. You know, I spend time overseas, working directly with manufacturers. We partner on certain projects now. So it's just become something that it is every single day. This is what I do, and I love it, but what's been great about it is, you know, we we've helped thousands of people start their own hair and beauty business.

So getting into the drop-shipping side, getting into the technology side, building websites and all that, that's something that I've always been a technology guy. So this has been phenomenal and such an exciting experience to be able to wrap all this into one major project. 

Joseph: And you certainly created an ecosystem the likes of which I've yet to meet anybody else to compare it to, you have a partnership with Shopify. You have your warehouse, you have a influencer platform and it seems like you're not, maybe it wasn't an intentional goal, but it seems like as a result of your actions has been to have a fully functioning, sustainable ecosystem where, you know, you're not only working on, on the ground level with individual consumers, but you're working with other sellers as well.

And then you're working on the back end as well. So would you mind taking us through, I guess the process for how, you know, you go from entering into this. Well, you know, with an open mind to really running a major component of the heritage industry as it is? 

Mikey Moran: You know, it all started with getting into it. We had more of an affiliate system when we first got started, but you know, like I said, we, we listened to our customers like nobody else in the industry, we actually have one of the largest Facebook groups, actually the largest Facebook group for running and managing a hair business, with over 38,000 members, very active groups.

So I get a lot of feedback there. So it's just one of those things. We continue to listen to them. You know, we have like this affiliate model that we scratched in 2015, 2016. Everyone wanted to sell their own brands. So I said, okay, let's create a drop shipping model. Drop shipping in 2015 2016 was just starting to get hot. So I told everybody, I told the staff on Friday, about four of us guys, I got this great idea. I basically spent morning, day and night, working on setting up our first drop shipping system. On Monday, they came into work. I said, guys, this is our new drop shipping system. So we started that. They're like, oh cool.

So we'll explain. All people have to do is set up their website. We'll show them some training videos, blah, blah. Well, it was cool to have this drop shipping system, but then nobody could finish their websites. Like it was just this huge roadblock. So I was just like, holy cow, this is a huge opportunity.

We can build the websites for people because I've always been a web guy, you know, pretty much all my life. So I was like, wow, this is great. So then set up the website. Then they start asking about like branding and all this other stuff.

And today let's create our own branding division. So I create that at this point. There's nothing I don't feel like I can do then. I was like, okay, how can we further automate the drop shipping system? Let's create our own drop shipping system with Shopify. And I'll tell you, I created one way early and Shopify. I couldn't really get approved with Shopify because Shopify payments didn't really want to process a payments for hair extensions back.

Well come 2018 or late 2017. Someone from Shopify reached out to me because they saw one of my blog posts and was like, hey, we see a blog post about this. Can you come to our headquarters and talk about it? I said, heck yeah, I'll come up to Ottawa. So I got invited to the headquarters. I showed them all the data and kind of talked about the hair industry as a whole and what was going on with it and how we built this drop shipping system for Shopify. And I had a candidate because you guys weren't processing the payments, convinced them to say, okay, you can build it again. And we'll process payments. You know, ended up working out fantastic and that's continued to grow. I have big plans for it over the next year.

And then, along the way we, influence the market and got big. And I was using these other platforms and people were just pissing me off with their platform. So I said, I'll just build my own and just be focused on beauty. So it was kind of like one of those things, everyone built these like really wide influencer platforms where it's just everything I said, you know, kind of like a Craigslist.

I said, hey, I'm just going to do beauty. Kind of like Airbnb just did, you know, the housing.

So I just did beauty. We use it. We have tons of users built shop on fire app for that as well. You're definitely right about the ecosystem and it's really having control because generally you have. In today's market, you have the technology side that is like Oberlo for Shopify, right? So they are just a technology and they connect with suppliers, right. And the Ali drop ship and all these other ones where we're very unique is we own the whole process where we are actually the products shipping from USA. So no packets and all that other mess. And we are the technology. So we have the whole spectrum and everything else you need to be to be able to launch really quick. So it's kind of a unique position that we're in. 

How does he maintain a healthy profit margin

Joseph: And I imagine in as well, you also have a shipping, which is a pretty big component for all of this. So how do you handle shipping? Are you just working with say like, how after ship would do it or they just have pretty much every shipping company on the face of the planet I'll connect it to them?

Mikey Moran: So we ship all the products in house, our technology, we use a ship station, so they have an API. So some of our other platforms, you know, they all plug into ship station. It works out pretty well actually. We ship everything currently from Atlanta. But next year I'm already looking for spaces.

We will be opening up a showroom kind of showroom in the front distribution in the back, you know, probably five to 10,000 square foot facility in Vegas. So that's 2022. His goal is to open up Vegas. So all the west coast shipments will be coming from Vegas. It'll cut down the shipping costs and shipping times a lot more happier customers.

And then for 2023 will probably be something along the middle line, like a Chicago, Houston, Dallas, somewhere where we have a big market, as well as we can do the shipping from there from a logistical standpoint, you know, that's, that's really important to me because. The customers that order hair extensions want them immediately generally a very last-minute purchaser.

So instead of trying to change the customer, we have to fix ourselves in our business by being able to serve the customers better. And that is basically kind of an Amazon model where Amazon has warehouses everywhere. You know, we'll eventually get to that point, but we like to own the real estate as well.

Moving forward, we do have some leases, but moving forward. So the shipping part is very important that, and you know, that kind of segues into people like, wow, you have four locations soon to be four locations in Atlanta. I said, yeah, I'm going to have six. And they say, oh wow, that's huge. But you know, getting into e-commerce and how it all ties in, which is something that I think over the next five years, people are going to get into a lot more, but it's not as big now is basically I'm casting a web all over Atlanta.

Within 2022 many orders that are in Atlanta that are actually ordered online, they will be delivered within one hour because I have the web all over Atlanta and Atlanta is the largest market for our products. Basically a, one of the drivers, you know, there's Uber rush. We've talked to Rhody, who's actually has a pretty good system. So like a roadie will pick it up. So if it's in Northern Atlanta, they're not going to pick it up from our main hub. They're going to pick it up from our store. That's in Northern Atlanta to deliver only 10 minutes away. You cut your costs time and everything else.

So basically in 2022, when I'm done with my whole Atlanta ecosystem and one hour shipping, which is soon going to be the expectation, I think it's going to be something that people are going to be, our clients are going to be really excited about, and then we can move it to other cities while we got to start in Atlanta first cause we're here.

Joseph: With getting something within an hour. I can see like a few specific scenarios where that, that would be ideal. Like if somebody has an event that night. You know, and they have to get there, kind of have to get that extension. So I can certainly understand situations like that. But is there a goal? So I understand that is your goal for that to be at a norm. And you want that to be like the thing that customers are going to be able to routinely expect? 

Mikey Moran: Currently. And that's where you have to be careful because of the expectation. So currently we're doing more of a manual process where we're reviewing the order, the distance from where we are, and we're actually reaching out to the customer directly.

We actually have one of our managers call and say, hey, you know, Ms. So-and-so, it looks like you ordered this product today. Thank you so much. Now I know you generally would expect this to ship today and you get it in one to two days. But we're working on a new program where we can get this to you within the next hour or two. Are you going to be at this address where you ordered the product and would it be okay if we got it to you in the next hour? Oh my God. Like these guys, the customers are freaking out and you also have to think a lot of our clients are hairstylists. So what hairstylists have to do is they have to, they make money behind the chair.

Every time they have to leave the chair to go get a product, that's costing them money. If they know that we can get them to the hair and they don't have to keep driving. I mean, people take Uber's to us all the time. You know, if they know that they can get it within a certain time period and they can continue to make money where on the back end, we're supplying with the products. It's a huge win for everyone. 

Joseph: And then with the cost itself of the delivery, even I in my 102 class that I had, that I pegged myself in. You know, once if a truck or a plane or ship, the more volume you can put onto it, the more, the more profitable it is. Whereas if we're talking about really like one extension here, that seems to me, like this is going to be the biggest challenge for us to maintain a healthy profit margin.

So does this fall to the drivers to be, to be wise about their pickups, by making sure that they pick up enough products and that they're delivering is the onus on you to make sure that the cost of delivery is, is the worthwhile? 

Mikey Moran: Great question, because what we look at now is if an order is $50, it doesn't really make sense to do this right, because there's just not enough margin.

So actually right now, definitely when we do this, we're losing $5 $6 per shipment, relative to, you know, the shipping costs that is actually collected. Okay.

So I have to think of it as almost a marketing expense for that extra $5, $6, $7, because the customer experience is something they've never experienced in the hair industry before by getting it so fast, you know, they're posting it on social media, like, oh my God, I got it. I got my hair in an hour, like, who does this?

So it depends on how you in your head as the entrepreneur and owner or whatever, you know, how you really pitch it as, and, you know, you remind the customer about like, hey, make sure you share your experience. You have to, you have to kind of nudge them a little bit politely. It goes a long way. I mean, how much do you pay someone with thousands of followers to post something that they purchase something on Instagram, a lot of time, most purchases aren't getting posted, but when you do something in an hour, they're so excited and the expectation is as exceeded so greatly.

They're more than happy to do so. I dunno, it's a good dollar, dollar average, therefore, the marketing expense, right? 

Joseph: Yeah. I mean, if you're willing to, this is my understanding of it, if you're willing to treat it as a loss leader, it's, you know, it's one thing for that to be okay. You know, we sell them on that, but then, you know, they can come into our store, but not only is it about coming to come into a showroom, but it is also maybe them becoming influencers themselves and realizing that there's so much more opportunity available to them.

So somewhere, you know, there has to be in marketing somewhere. There has to be a calculated risk. And if you can actually integrate with still delivering on the product. That's a pretty good way to handle the situation I got to say. 

Mikey Moran: Yeah. You know, we also have a wholesale system, so we partnered with one of our manufacturers overseas, and the goal is to, you know, they pay the real ship in price.

So shipping overseas, whether it's one, two wigs and it's, you know, $22 to ship or 10 weeks, and it's 30, $40 to ship. The goal is to start also being able to on certain orders, be able to get those orders to the clients where they expected to show up in a week, because it's coming from overseas to get it within that short time period as well.

We could actually make a lot of extra money on the shipping cost that was charged for the delivery. They are more than happy to have it delivered in an hour. They're not even worried about what they paid for shipping because they expected to get it in a week because it's a much lower cost per product.

So they're getting the deal of a lifetime online. But if we can exceed the expectation there as well, it is 100% game changer because I said, you know, our local showrooms and competition, our competition is not here in the US for hair. The competition is China is mostly China. You know, they have football fields of people that literally, and I've been there.

They literally sit there all day. They are absolutely blasting people on WhatsApp, on Instagram, DMS, DMS, all this stuff contact all day, they go to every one of your followups contact, every single one. Those are our competition. I'm not worried about the people in the US to be honest. 

Mikey's book "Fearless Beauty"

Joseph: Having talked about the hair niche for a good little while here. I've come to realize that we really want to make sure that we bring the book in, into all of this, because I think a lot of what we're talking about is in relation to it.

So the name of the book is fearless beauty. Quick warm up question. Before I get to the main one, which is, you know, where did the, where did the name for that come from?

fearless beauty book

Mikey Moran: That's a good question. So I was working with my publishing company on that and said, okay, we've got to come up with the name. And I was like, okay. It was, it's one of those things, how I name, businesses and everything else. Generally, it's going to be two words and, you know, you have to think of one that kind of is more descriptor.

And one is kind of more that physical thing, which is, or beauty is not necessarily physical, like physical products. So I just kind of had to put two words together that really made sense. And for me, it's all about being fearless and entrepreneurship because a lot of hers are held back from doing amazing things as entrepreneurs only because we're scared.

It's not that we don't have the capability to do so we're just scared to do so. And then beauty being in the beauty industry, you know, it's funny the book, if you read the whole book, you'll notice that it's not necessarily, I'm not sitting in. Or, you know, I didn't write all about beauty it's but when you do your first book, you really have niche down.

Otherwise you're not going to sell any copies. So I'm in the beauty industry. So I figured, okay, well, because I did a lot of research how to do a successful book. So I said, okay, it's gotta be talk about beauty because people will, in the beauty industry, it'll be an easier sell before, you know, people know my books are good. So it was just about being fearless in the beauty industry. It just made sense. 

The one idea that set Mikey apart from the industry

Joseph: According to your description, you had one idea that set you apart from the industry, and that was your advantage. I think we might've talked about it, which is your ability to build out the whole infrastructure yourself. That's my educated guess on it, but if you can tell us what was it that really sets you apart from the industry? 

Mikey Moran: Really I think we do a better job of listening to our customers than anybody. I mean, it really comes down to everything that I built was because it was a need of one of our customers.

And day in, day out, I listened to our clients and we are so client focused. And I think that's what's really helped us for our business because people know we actually care.

You know, whether you're walking into the showroom, the online experience, the shipping experiences, if something goes wrong, we put a plan in place stuff to fix it. We just don't keep touching, not hot stove. So I think that's something and then being allowed to, after all the different projects I've done over the last, you know, my whole life of entrepreneurship, it's allowed me to be able to build out and get the teams to help build out all the products and services we offer to make someone successful in the industry.

Joseph: And this is something that's that stuck out to me because you've made it very, you made a very careful and conscious effort to receive the information, receive the feedback from your customers and make sure that their needs are being met and equally conscious efforts, not to try to influence their behavior, try to tell them what they want.

What I'm wondering is if any of that has happened anyways, if it was maybe unintentionally you unintentionally found some way that you were actually changing the conversation of. And that's just, you know, the hair niche, as far as the industry has had an influence over? 

Mikey Moran: Nothing too much to do with the actual hair products, because people are kind of set on what they like. But as from a technology standpoint, I definitely have been pretty adamant about, you know, the one simple thing I actually talk about in my book is getting on the right platform. You know, I do not know people that are successful e-commerce on Wix sites. People get on Wix because they spend a ton of money on marketing Squarespace ton of spend a ton of money on marketing.

Like I said, an earlier MailChimp's right over here. They sold for a lot of money, but honestly, MailChimp as a e-commerce provider. Or for a newsletter and email provider for e-commerce. I don't think they're a good service anymore. You know, I even told them, cause I see some of the MailChimp people, I was like, you guys lost focus. You know, for me, it was mostly a technology play where I said, initially we really recommended WordPress and Shopify.

Now we're pretty strict on just recommending people to get on Shopify. And in a lot of it comes down to the ecosystem. Shopify has built is hands down. I think the best, you know, the products and services that Shopify themselves offer like 24/7 customer support for $30 a month.

That basic program, you can't beat that, you know?

So that offloaded a lot of the customer service that WordPress, because it's like you get on WordPress, you have a problem. They're always contacting us. There's no one else. Unless you hire some expensive developer, they have no people are lost. People in the beauty industry aren't necessarily all tech savvy, so they need some extra assistance. That's where Shopify came in. So it was more of a technology recommendations of what we really thought was good relative to like actual styles or products. 

Joseph: Yeah. Well, what I will say, just from my own point of view, I've had next to no experience with Wix or Squarespace either, but I do listen to you know, a fair amount of podcasts.

You know, Squarespace does tend to come up a lot as a sponsor. I do see a lot of Wix advertisements on YouTube.

And I think what I found about those platforms is that they are more geared towards people who have like preexisting brands where they're, you know, the individual is the, is the brand. If they have a presence on YouTube or something like that, then they tend to lean more towards those websites because they want to maintain a consistency in the way their brand looks.

So that's what I see them doing, but I agree with you. It doesn't have the same brass tacks that Shopify does. Shopify gives people the means to build their brand from scratch. And I think utilize the other social media platforms as well to help it create their own. 

Mikey Moran: Yeah, Shopify is big. I love Shopify being a publicly traded company because they need to continually innovate and make money as a platform to appease their investors. So it's something that they're always pushing. They're always going to push the needle with technology, which I think is so important.

You know, all the integrations with now Tiktok and all the social platforms, like you said, is huge. You know, they're a huge company, so they can contact whoever platen new platform and be like, Hey, we need to do an integration right away and just keep up with everything. And they're always going to yeah. Shopify as the big ones. So it just makes sense.

Joseph: No, that was a news to me as well. In this conversation is that Shopify, I didn't expect there to be working relationships with people such as yourself who are handling the product infrastructure.

In my naivety, I guess I just thought that Shopify really just focuses on the backend. And then as far as products go, people are, are kind of on their home. They reached out to you, they, they, they were willing to work with you and you had to cross a certain threshold, I think, for them to be able to do that.

So just remind us what exactly is that threshold and like w how would somebody else maybe in a different niche be able to cross that threshold? What is it exactly that makes this partnership at that, at that scale? 

Mikey Moran: Well, actually, it's funny because when we first started talking to them, our main privatelabel, extensions.com, our main website was still on WordPress.

When we started working with them, it was not even from a, the aspect of we had all this other business. So the threshold was, we were basically not on Shopify at all. So after we built this, and then I saw Shopify was really pushing the needle 2018, 2019, I'm really 2019 on everything. We switched our entire platform over to Shopify plus, which was a major move.

I mean, I spent over a quarter million dollars in 2018, just on blogs. Right. We published a thousand, you know, probably average 2000 word blog posts in 2018, a thousand. I lost 75% of my SEO, just switching over to Shopify. It's a lot of it's come back, but it's taken two years to come back. I actually had someone from Shopify.

You know, they get weird about who it is and names out, but I have someone from Shopify, they actually came down to Atlanta and worked out of my office for a week, just was watching everything we do and was just really impressed. So they can report back to the, the teams. And he noticed that I was using square.

And he's like, Mikey, why are you using square? I was like, man, they have a great point of sale. I was like, I looked at Shopify, but there's some, a few things that you guys need to improve. He goes, man, it would be great if you got on Shopify. And I said, you know what? Let's go upstairs on order all the equipment.

Now it's like, I'll just wait for Shopify to update everything. And I mean, just our point of sale, we process millions of dollars of transactions a year. And Shopify loves transactions. Like, you know, it's, you know, we know shop pay and all that is really Stripe. Shop pay installments as a firm, but they still get a cut of all that.And so it's just easy money for them.

So as you start processing more volume, then they start to really like. It depends on who, you know, like going to the conferences stuff, which now we can't go kind of sucks, obviously. Cause it was probably right down the street from you, Shopify unite, but really it's just, it's not just Shopify it's anything in business is building relationships. And you have to be really good at building relationships with your partners and everybody you work with. So you guys can do more together. So really it's not just how do you work with Shopify? How do you work with more people? It's just be stronger at building relationships. 

The value of hair according to Mikey

Joseph: So this one, with everybody in their hair needs, should I speak to, I always want to ask them, you know, how do we really talk about the true innate value of hair? I mean, it's one thing for it to look pretty, but, you know, there's more to it than that. It gives people confidence. It gives people a sense of their own autonomy.

When one of them talked about how, you know, somebody was a cancer survivor and wore a wig to reclaim some of their identity that they felt they lost after chemo. So from your point of view, you know, perhaps up speak of an individual who bought an extension and it really made a difference for them or a wig. Or you could also talk about, you know, influencers that you were able to really boost the platform for. So, from your point of view, what are the true values of a pair? I know it sounds so corny when I ask it like that, but it is what it is. 

Mikey Moran: No, it's true. I mean, hair is so important to so many people, right? So the cancer part is really close, too close to us. At private label, we have people within our organization that have struggled with cancer, me and myself, two times dealing with cancer. Luckily I caught it early both times. Otherwise the first time I'd definitely, I would not be here today. There's no way.

And so cancer is something that's really important to us. We've actually donated hundreds of wigs over the years and done different things for people. You can see when we bring someone in that's maybe a cancer patient or something, we'll do like a prom makeover for someone that just needs. Some people just need that, like that extra something, you can see it in their face, like, and just how they feel and the confidence and everything else.

And that's why for me, I'm never about what style someone should wear, short hair, long hair. It's just whatever you want. Like what's gonna make you happy. That's what's most important to us. But that gets, that gets, you know, important part about our business too. We do as much as we can to give back to our community that supports us, within our Facebook group, I actually give a laptop away every single week, a brand new laptop.

A lot of people are trying to run businesses just from their cell phone. And you're at a huge disadvantage. I think you would definitely agree. You can manage a business from there, but you can't really build a business from a cell phone.

Joseph: Check for updates. Like if there's a fire, you'll find out on your phone first.

Mikey Moran: Right? So it just goes into everything we do within the business. It's really, to also help people in our clients and, and hair is an important, obviously an important component of that as being the product. It's something that is just so important to people. Both men and women, that it's amazing to be able to make them really happy.

And especially because we're, we've done a really good job at our price point of offering the types of products that, you know, you're generally in the US you'd be paying a lot more for, but because we've reinvested the business, we don't have like a mortgage on our main property and all this. We can be really affordable for a lot of clients.

And what we've also done is, as much as I know hair and I'm like, okay, this is the best hair. This is what everyone should be wearing. Not everybody can afford this. So we have some other really good, low cost options because a lot of people just don't have the budget, right. So you have to be very conscious about, you know, not everybody has the privilege of buying the best hair and all this other stuff.

I mean, I supply hair to, you know, we don't talk about who our real clients are, but some of the biggest names that everyone follows that were like really long hair, I'm kind of the guy that a lot of people go to. I mean, talking the top, most followed celebrities in the world have worn hair that's from my office, you know? So it's just giving people what they want and just doing it.

Joseph: That's amazing. There is one pretty, and I'm not like a massive fan of, but once we turn off the recording, I'm going to ask you to just shoot that one in the dark. I won't actually, you probably not going to want to tell me it'd be to the confidence.

Mikey Moran: I would tell you. I can tell you off camera. I don't care as long as it's not recorded, but you know, we don't really flop like a lot of people in the hair industry. They really flop who their clients are, but because we're behind the scenes of a lot of people, like we're good. We don't need to do that. We're not posting all these. It would help our business. But it would also alienate our business on the backend because we're alienating the clients that we supply that are supplying to the big celebrities.

How to get started with the hair niche

Joseph: One more on subject. And then I'm going to give you one other one. That's more of like a line down question. It looks like I'm going to steal you for a few extra minutes. I hope you don't mind? Excellent. Love it. So for people who are interested in getting into this, they think that the hair niche is a good place for them. How can they, you know, enter this ecosystem we've created and get themselves started there. 

Mikey Moran: We have a bunch of websites. You could first start by going to privatelabelextensions.com. You can see the drop shipping system at dropshipbundles.com.

We have privatelabelbranding.com. They all link together. If you want wholesale private label, wholesale.com.

So, you know, there's links to all the websites to kind of go all, go through it. But we've built a lot behind it. I'm actually working on starting a hair brand from scratch and doing like a YouTube kind of documentary on it.

And then at the end of the documentary, I'm giving away the hair brand. So that's on my YouTube channel hair, business blueprint, which has been fun, making these videos and seeing all the comments and everything else. That's something I'm definitely going to be working on more in 2022 is the YouTube channel.

Because once again, very powerful and more people are on YouTube now than ever. So yeah, that's an easy way, the main websites, and then you can kind of you'll, you'll go down the rabbit hole of information cause we've got a lot. And, you know, the key is before you get too excited about it and say, oh, wow.

You know, I want all of these people that maybe could buy hair from me is make sure you spend some time educating yourself about the products, everything that's involved, because yeah, we do make it easy for you to set up your brand that does not mean you will be successful. It takes a while to be successful, no matter how many tools you have. And that's where a lot of new entrepreneurs get lost and kind of, you know, hit failure because they think it's going to happen overnight because it looks like that on Instagram. 

[00:00:00] Mikey Moran: So it's really about different customers are going to have different expectations, but really you have to do the best you can on the product side and then just have a more diverse product offering and always listen to your clients. A lot of our styles and products were developed by listening to our clients.

[00:00:27] Joseph: One niche that has organically come up on the program is the hair industry. At first, it surprised me how often we talked about it, but then I realized, you know, most people have hair, so. And this time our guest, Mikey Moran, sheds a whole new light on not just what the industry is up to, but what any one of us are capable of. In addition to his own showrooms, Mike is also the mastermind behind an entire industry ecosystem set to revolutionize the experience of shopping, to upselling, to delivery. With so much work to do in this or any e-com adjacent industry, I hope you takeaway from this episode is that you can be someone who influences the direction of an entire industry, in no small way.

Mikey Moran. It is good to have it here in Ecomonics. How are you doing today? How are you feeling?

[00:01:05] Mikey Moran: It's just another day in paradise. I'm here in Atlanta. I got a nice cup of coffee, looking at the view of downtown and I'm talking to you so couldn't get much better.

[00:01:14] Joseph: Oh, wonderful. So you live in, you live in the downtown core?

[00:01:17] Mikey Moran: Yeah. Well, pretty close. I'm actually right outside. Not many people actually live in downtown Atlanta. It's getting a little bit more populated there. But from being outside a little bit, a couple miles, it gives you the nice view of downtown Atlanta, where we're doing business and other things.

[00:01:33] Joseph: Okay. I'm going to tell this quick story and then we'll dive in, but, you know, being in Toronto, Canada for most if not all of my life, living in the downtown core is a goal for a lot of people. All the services are right there. You don't need a car so much. It's expensive. You know, if you have a decent job, you can do it.

And I wasn't for quite a culture shock when my dad took me to Los Angeles and we, and I wanted to see it downtown because I just wanted to compare and contrast. And aside from the highways that looked like a hot wheels track, it was quite the shift in perspective seeing that, you know, it was really like a place where people are commuting and living, not so much.

And I don't know if that's like a recurring trend in US cities. So like, from your point of view, do you tend to see that cities are really more of like, this is wherever you work, nice to visit, but don't want to live here.

[00:02:23] Mikey Moran: Yeah. Toronto was built better, for that kind of setup for living downtown.

Now there's definitely cities, New York, Charlotte, a lot of people actually live downtown. They built it up a lot. In Atlanta, it's so sprawled out. So what people actually call Atlanta, Atlanta is much smaller than people kind of think it is because it has all the surrounding areas. But downtown Atlanta, it was the worst design ever.

They just recently added a streetcar that does nothing and nobody rides it. So I don't know, who's planning this stuff. Just spending a bunch of tax dollars. Yeah. It's a lot of the US cities. I don't know if it's because some of them are much older. They're just not really designed. Well, I think they are.

You know, do different things to make it so people are walking more, getting around a lot easier. I mean, honestly, I was just, I just spent a couple of weeks in Paris and we didn't even use public transportation, but everything was there. People live downtown. Everything's there similar to Toronto. I've been there a few times.

You know, Shopify has Shopify unite there and I've had some Shopify meetings there. That's why even before this, I said, I love Toronto because you can be down there. There's all the people, stuff to do, everything. I mean, I'm very fortunate. The area I live in there's I actually live in a 2.1 million square foot, 2.1 million square foot building.

So I have 20 restaurants downstairs. Gym, MailChimp's headquarters is like, right. I'm literally looking at it. A little different situation for me, but yeah, it's a mess over here.

[00:03:50] Joseph: Yeah. If I can remember the name of the video, I would say the title of it, but there is some digging that they did into this.

And one of the main issues was during the, you know, the industrial revolution or really when cars really started to be like the thing that every household would have, they built houses around or the structure was built around cars. So the idea was where everyone's just going to drive to downtown.

Nobody really needs to worry about living there. And the ghost of that decision still haunts a lot of cities to this day. And then New York is, of course it's like a beta test for chorus on the, does the city plan and star wars flows. And you don't know. Okay, got that out of my system.

Opening question for you, aside from that preamble we talked about prior to the recording that, you know, some people they need, they need some time to, to, to work out the answer to this question, but let's do this. What you do and what are you up to these days?

[00:04:44] Mikey Moran: It's not just what I do. It's what I try to do, which is way too much, mostly, well, pretty much everything's in the beauty space, but it's not just beauty products, but it could be the technology behind the products that we're doing.

So we have a couple apps with Shopify. We have influenced marketing platform. I have five showrooms, physical showrooms, retail showrooms. Like those things people go in, you know, not just e-commerce. So we have five of those about to launch number six, working on number seven. We have celebrity partnerships for beauty brands and cosmetics. So we're the behind the scenes and we kind of partner with them to run the whole backend customer service packing and shipping the orders where they run the front end of being like the celebrity and having it on their TV shows and huge Instagram followings, and such like that.

Just recently published a book called fearless beauty. It's an honest approach to entrepreneurship, whether you're in the beauty industry or not. I think it's fabulous, obviously. And I think that's, you know, we have hosts, we, you know, we host about a thousand websites that we built. We build websites, we have a branding division, so people come to us and we can do your logos and all sorts of branding, packaging, all this kind of stuff.

Yeah. We do a lot. That's just pretty much, that's the major stuff that I can roll off the top of my head.

[00:06:09] Joseph: Well, there's certainly a lot to work with there and, I'm like, geez, what do I want to do first? Okay. Here's what I want to do first. I want to talk about the showrooms because I like to think about like the overall arc of our podcast and what have we not had too many opportunities to talk about?

So the more distinct the opportunity, the more I want to lean into it. So with the showrooms, I think the one thing that's on most of our listeners mind is wait a minute. People can go to physical locations. I picture a showroom. And I got to tell you, I don't even know where I'm going to find one. I mean, I do.

I go to say, you know, one of our malls or our showrooms, and they're taking up the same kind of spot that our retail store takes up?

[00:06:51] Mikey Moran: Generally not, we're not in any malls, we're in a couple shopping centers. But likeour main location we actually own. So other thing we do is some real estate where it's important for us to have physical assets within our business.

So we actually, our headquarters and main showroom here in Atlanta, we actually own the property outright. We own the building next door that we use as our office and has some beautiful kitchen for our staff and everything else. But you go into the showroom and they are very, well-designed absolutely beautiful.

It's literally like walking into a Gucci store, but for hair, without the Gucci prices, we are very competitive general. 30 to 40% lower than most retail. I don't want to say necessarily competitors because our competitors aren't really in the US but if you're going to walk into a retail showroom for hair extensions, wigs lashes were generally about 30 to 40% less. But it's an overall experience when you walk into our showrooms with absolutely the best customer service product knowledge, we've really focused on that showroom experience.

[00:07:54] Joseph: Well, this is happening and we're in this trend to continue. If you look at like the sales for instance of this last Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and how much of it was online is, how are you, you know, ensuring that it's really worth your while given the heightened incentive to shop from home?

[00:08:11] Mikey Moran: The numbers don't lie.

I mean, it just comes down to numbers. It comes down to our client base with our products. If they can go to a place where they can actually touch and feel the product, there's definitely some products that you just love. People love to see in person. And honestly, hair is one of them because too many times people are duped with products online, especially stuff coming from China where, you know, they show you one thing.

I mean, we've seen the thousands of memes of like, they showed me this and I got that and it's a disaster. And hair is your, you know, our average order value is around $250. So people are coming in and making large purchases. So they definitely feel very comfortable going into a showroom in doing so.

[00:08:56] Joseph: Right. I appreciate that. And when I, so, you know, for those of you who are familiar with Toronto, I live relatively close to, it's one of the more high-end malls in town, which means that, you know, I periodically visit, they're not done on the routine shopper there or anything like that. But one of the, I'm calling it store just out of habit that I visited was for Casper mattresses.

And the thing that I appreciate about that store is that you don't get the impression that they are desperate to sell the mattress on the day. Then they have a healthy online ecosystem. There's a lot of brand awareness and people do sell, you know, they do, they do make sales, in-person. Being able to actually physically go in there and test it out and, you know, try and match for ourselves is even though you can guarantee people, oh yeah, we'll give you a thousand days.

It's actually a hundred. But you know, my point is, we'll give you a thousand days to try this out. If you're not happy to send it back, if you're like, I don't care if I'm getting the money back, I don't want to put up with this, with the hassle of this and the time and the time loss. What I think this has done is that it's given the physical space, almost like this relief where now, you know, they can justify having a physical location, not just for sales, not just for profitability, but also to present the brand in the exact precise way.

And, and the, and this is what I want to ask you about is also, you know, in the, in the behavior and in the personality that you allow the staff to have, because it's one thing for staff to have beyond that on mode, or they have to constantly like try to drive sales, try to push upsells. Oh yeah. Yeah. How are you doing today? That coffee is great. You know, it would go great with that coffee at this person. So, whereas, you know, when that pressure is taken off, people. No focus on the brand, focused on talking about the product, focus on the enthusiasm. So can you tell us a little bit more about what it's like to train staff and what are the priorities that they really need to focus on when they're dealing with customers working with customers?

[00:11:00] Mikey Moran: Oh, for sure. So our staff it's, you know, we definitely have upsell products and that's something that actually helps our customer because before, when we sold just a wig, what they would next have to do is go to a beauty supply store and buy the glue for it, or the there's a bunch of different accessories with it.

The fact that we started adding those into our showroom, all under the private label brand, which is the brand name for our retail showrooms, customers are absolutely delighted because they say, now you're the one-stop shop where I can get this great wig and all the assessors need it. So our upsells process is not really a, you know, that the typical, like, you know, where it's just so incredibly obvious, it is more an education component about, hey, you're going to have this product, but to really get the most out of this product, we have these other items. This is how you use them. This is what you do.

And you're going to have a much overall better experience with everything. And our clients really appreciate that. They love the products and it really just works.

[00:12:06] Joseph: It just reminded me this, this story. It's been a while since it came to my mind, but I did use to work at, in a store. I don't want to name names cause I don't want it to come across.

Like I'm trying to denigrate them or anything, but, you know, I had to make a certain amount of you know, each day and somebody that I had known he walks in, he used to look after us when we were kids and he was kind of like a family friend. And we hadn't spoken in quite a few years, but, you know, he had came in looking for a bag and I was wrestling with the nostalgia of, you know, our, our previous relationship with the, I have to make certain amount of sales today, or, you know, I'm not going to get my hours.

And actually the last time that I had seen him, cause that is the, at the funeral for one of his loved ones. And that I never really talked about that too. And so there's just. This debate going on in my mind of like, well, how much do I really try to sell to them? How much do I pay my job versus this relationship?

He walks out the door, he didn't buy anything. I felt like, wow, I got the worst out of both of that. So, it's a challenging space, but you know, when you're, when you're really focusing on the customer's best interests, and as you say, we, you know, we have all of what you need, here and it's in you, you will save it here, not only money, but you also save time, not having to look into multiple stores, only for them to have their own, you know, agendas as well, because it's one thing for somebody to walk into a store, only pick up like the little accessories and not be able to buy any of the, really the major profitable products that they have in those stores.

So, you know, they've got their own challenges as well. Here's something that I noticed. I had a few recordings with people in the hair niche. I don't think we necessarily like had an agenda for it. Sound like. It's like, oh, we got to have like, at least like 10, a hair conversations. We just it's just been happening.

I think this is either the third or the fourth, and it's not surprising that there's a lot of people working in because you know, most people have experience with hair, but I haven't talked to anybody in like the sleep industry, even though most people have experience with sleep. And I think it comes to this limitation that, you know, sleep is largely an objective thing.

You know, you're either getting it or you're not, and if you're not getting good sleep, there's usually some objective reasons for, but hair is style based and it's a subjective, you know, everybody has different views of what it is that they want to have on their head. So that's the observation. But my question to you is, you know, how much of your brands and, you know, other clients that you work with, how much of the success do you attribute to the style of the product?

And then how much do you attribute to the quality and making sure that it's. Like what they will end up getting when they've ordered from China. Yeah.

[00:14:38] Mikey Moran: It's you know, quality always comes first because at the end of the day, clients are generally styling, whatever product they get, having the trending styles and the way you can construct certain styles and wigs or extensions is a very important thing that we're very focused on.

And actually, you know, if you're watching this and you look at me in this, like how does this guy even know anything about hair extensions, a wig, this, that the other, well, you know, like any thing, I didn't have any experience with it. And I learned and ramp up quickly. And I usually tell people it's okay if you don't have experience in the field, you're getting into it because everyone starts out with zero experience.

Right? So the goal is to absolutely immerse yourself into whatever that subject is to become an actor. So, you know, kind of my right hand, man is, his name is Dallas Christopher. He's a partner in the company and he's, I think one of the greatest hairstylists in the US, he's been a Paul Mitchell national educator for 10 years and last year, moved them over full-time with me.

So it's really about different customers are gonna have different expectations, but really you have to do the best you can on the product side, and then just have a more diverse product offering and always listen to your clients. A lot of our pro client, or a lot of our styles and products were developed by listening to our clients.

[00:15:56] Joseph: So one of the things that, you know,you said there is, you know, you don't necessarily have to be an expert on the subject, that expertise comes with it. And I also see a, you know, an additional benefit to it, which is not going in with your own preconceived notions of what it should be based off.

You know, let's just say you were an expert on it and, you know, you might have this motivation to want to focus more on how you see things rather than try to tell the customers what. It's it is something that I can see happening in this situation. So with that said, what was it about hair in specific that, assuming that, you know, maybe there was other things you could choose for him. Was it just happenstance or, you know, what, what got you into the hair industry in the first place?

[00:16:38] Mikey Moran: It's one of those things where it just kind of happened. It was not planned. It was something I wasn't thinking about. It's actually, I was just out to lunch with my business partner and we started talking about it and started looking at the industry and researching, and I said, wow, this is a really big industry.

And we first started talking about it back in 2013, where there were very few, online retailers for hair extensions and wigs. So I said, Hey, this could be a, a huge opportunity here and just kind of jumped in and it's just kept growing and growing. And it's much bigger today than I ever thought I would even grow any business.

So it's worked out well learned a lot along the way, made plenty of mistakes along the way. It's not always just about, you know, I have a passion now for hair, but I didn't when I first got started, obviously in a lot of people that happens to a lot of us, you just start falling in love with the product.

I'm a product guy at the end of the day. So. You know, sometimes it's kind of can be plug and play with any product that I really liked that you just become an expert in the product. You know, I spend time overseas, working directly with manufacturers. We partner on certain projects now. So it's just, it's just become something that it is every single day.

This is what I do, and I love it, but what's been great about it is, you know, we we've helped thousands of people start their own hair and beauty business. So getting into the drop-shipping side, getting into the technology side, building websites and all that, that's something that I've always been a technology guy.

So this has been phenomenal and such an exciting experience to be able to wrap all this into one major project.

[00:18:10] Joseph: And you certainly created an ecosystem the likes of which I've yet to meet anybody else to compare it to, you know, you have a partnership with Shopify. You have a, you know, you have your, you have your warehouse, you have a influencer platform and it seems like you're not, maybe it wasn't an intentional goal, but it seems like as a result of your actions has been to have a fully functioning, sustainable ecosystem where, you know, you're not only working on, on the ground level with individual consumers, but you're working with other sellers as well.

And then you're working on the back end as well. So would you mind taking us through, I guess the process for how, you know, you go from entering into this. Well, you know, with an open mind to really running a major component of the heritage industry as it is?

[00:19:00] Mikey Moran: You know, it all started with, getting into it. We had more of an affiliate system when we first got started, but you know, like I said, we, we listened to our customers like nobody else in the industry, we actually have one of the largest Facebook groups, actually the largest Facebook group for running and managing a hair business, with over 38,000 members, very active groups.

So I get a lot of feedback there. So it's just one of those things. We continue to listen to them. You know, we have like this affiliate model that we scratched in 2015, 16. Everyone wanted to sell their own brands. So I said, okay, let's create a drop shipping model. Right. Drop shipping in 2015 2016 was just starting to get hot.

Right. So I told everybody, I told the staff on Friday, about four of us guys, I got this great idea. I basically spent morning, day and night, working on setting up our first drop shipping system. On Monday, they came into work. I said, guys, this is our new drop shipping system. Right. So we started that.

They're like, oh cool. So we'll explain. All people have to do is set up their website. We'll show them some training videos, blah, blah. Well, it was cool to have this drop shipping system, but then nobody could finish their websites. Like it was just this huge roadblock. So I was just like, holy cow, this is a huge opportunity.

We can build the websites for people because I've always been a web guy, you know, pretty much all my life. So I was like, wow, this is great. So then set up the website. Then they start asking about like branding and all this other stuff. And today let's create our own branding division. So I create that at this point.

There's nothing I don't feel like I can do then. I was like, okay, how can we further automate the drop shipping system? Right? Let's create our own drop shipping system with Shopify. And I'll tell you, I created one way early and Shopify. I couldn't really get approved with Shopify because Shopify payments didn't really want to process a payments for hair extensions back.

Well come 2018 or late 2017. Someone from Shopify reached out to me because they saw one of my blog posts and was like, hey, we see a blog post about this. Can you come to our headquarters and talk about it? I said, heck yeah, I'll come up to Ottawa. So I got invited to the headquarters. I showed them all the data and kind of talked about the hair industry as a whole and what was going on with it and how we built this drop shipping system for Shopify.

And I had a candidate because you guys weren't processing the payments, convinced them to say, Hey, okay, you can build it again. And we'll process payments. You know, ended up working out fantastic and that's continued to grow. I have big plans for it over the next year. And then, you know, along the way we, you know, influence the market and got big.

And I was using these other platforms and people were just pissing me off with their platform. So I said, I'll just build my own and just be focused on beauty. So it was kind of like one of those things, everyone built these like really wide influencer platforms where it's just everything I said, you know, kind of like a Craigslist.

I said, hey, I'm just going to do beauty. Kind of like Airbnb just did, you know, the housing. So I just did beauty. We use it. We have tons of users built shop on fire app for that as well. You're definitely right about the ecosystem and it's really having control because generally you have. In today's market, you have the technology side that is like Oberlo for Shopify, right?

So they are just a technology and they connect with suppliers, right. And the Ali drop ship and all these other ones where we're very unique is we own the whole process where we are actually the products shipping from USA. So no packets and all that other mess. And we are the technology. So we have the whole spectrum and everything else you need to be to be able to launch really quick.

So it's kind of a unique position that we're in.

[00:22:37] Joseph: Right. And I, you know, I can imagine that if people wanted to, to get into the niche, I think that a lot of them would be more intrigued or, you know, more motivated to get into it. And knowing that they're going to be working with someone who has, you know, an ecosystem where the quality is.

It has kept tabs on from, from beginning to end. And I imagine in as well, you also have a shipping, which is a pretty big component for all of this. So how do you, how do you handle shipping? Are you just working with say like, how after ship would do it or they just have pretty much every shipping company on the face of the planet I'll connect it to, to them? Or how did you work there?

[00:23:14] Mikey Moran: So we ship all the products in house, our technology, we use a ship station, so they have an API. So some of our other platforms, you know, they all plug into ship station. It works out pretty well actually. We ship everything currently from Atlanta. But next year I'm already looking for spaces.

We will be opening up a showroom kind of showroom in the front distribution in the back, you know, probably five to 10,000 square foot facility in Vegas. So that's 2022. His goal is to open up Vegas. So all the west coast shipments will be coming from Vegas. It'll cut down the shipping costs and shipping times a lot more happier customers.

And then for 2023 will probably be something along the middle line, like a Chicago, Houston, Dallas, somewhere where we have a big market, as well as we can do the shipping from there from a logistical standpoint, you know, that's, that's really important to me because. The customers that order hair extensions want 'em immediately generally a very last-minute purchaser.

So instead of trying to change the customer, we have to fix ourselves in our business by being able to serve the customers better. And that is basically kind of an Amazon model where Amazon has warehouses everywhere. You know, we'll eventually get to that point, but we like to own the real estate as well.

Moving forward, we do have some leases, but moving forward. So the shipping part is very important that, and you know, that kind of segues into people like, wow, you have four locations soon to be four locations in Atlanta. I said, yeah, I'm going to have six. And they say, oh wow, that's huge. But you know, getting into e-commerce and how it all ties in, which is something that I think over the next five years, people are going to get into a lot more, but it's not as big now is basically I'm casting a web all over Atlanta.

Within 2022 many orders that are in Atlanta that are actually ordered online, they will be delivered within one hour because I have the web all over Atlanta and Atlanta is the largest market for our products. Basically a, one of the drivers, you know, there's Uber rush. There's a, we've talked to Rhody.

Who's actually has a pretty good system. So like a roadie will pick it up. So if it's in Northern Atlanta, they're not going to pick it up from our main hub. They're going to pick it up from our store. That's in Northern Atlanta to deliver only 10 minutes away. You cut your costs time and everything else.

So basically in 2022, when I'm done with my whole Atlanta ecosystem and one hour shipping, which is soon going to be the expectation, I think it's going to be something that people are going to be, our clients are going to be really excited about, and then we can move it to other cities while we got to start in Atlanta first cause we're here.

[00:26:02] Joseph: With getting something within an hour. I can see like a few specific scenarios where that, that would be ideal. Like if somebody has an event that night. You know, and they have to get there, kind of have to get that extension. So I can certainly understand situations like that. But so is there a goal? So I understand that is your goal for that to be at a norm.

And you want that to be like the thing that customers are going to be able to routinely expect?

[00:26:23] Mikey Moran: Currently. And that's where you have to be careful because of the expectation. So currently we're doing more of a manual process where we're reviewing the order, the distance from where we are, and we're actually reaching out to the customer directly.

We actually have one of our managers call and say, hey, you know, Ms. So-and-so, it looks like you ordered this product today. Thank you so much. Now I know you generally would expect this to ship today and you get it in one to two days. But we're working on a new program where we can get this to you within the next hour or two.

Would you, are you going to be at this address where you ordered the product and would it be okay if we got it to you in the next hour? Oh my God. Like these guys, the customers are freaking out and you also have to think a lot of our clients are hairstylists. So what hairstylists have to do is they have to, they make money behind the chair.

Every time they have to leave the chair to go get a product, that's costing them money. If they know that we can get them to the hair and they don't have to keep driving. I mean, people take Uber's to us all the time. You know, if they know that they can get it within a certain time period and they can continue to make money where on the back end, we're supplying with the products. It's a huge win for everyone.

[00:27:28] Joseph: And then with the cost itself of the delivery, even I in my 102 class that I had, that I pegged myself in. You know, once if a truck or a plane or ship, the more volume you can put onto it, the more, the more profitable it is. Whereas if we're, if we're talking about really like one extension here, that seems to me, like this is going to be the biggest challenge for us to maintain a healthy profit margin.

So is this, does this fall to the drivers to be, to be wise about their pickups, by making sure that they pick up enough products and that they're delivering is the onus on you to make sure that the cost of delivery is, is the worthwhile?

[00:28:10] Mikey Moran: Great question, because what we, what we look at now is if an order is $50, it doesn't really make sense to do this right, because there's just not enough margin.

So we're going to we're actually right now, definitely when we do this, we're losing $5 $6 per shipment, relative to, you know, the shipping costs that is actually collected. Okay. So I have to think of it as almost a marketing expense for that extra $5, $6, $7, because the customer experience is something they've never experienced in the hair industry before by getting it so fast, you know, they're posting it on social media, like, oh my God, I got it.

I got my hair in an hour, like, who does this? You know, so it depends on how you in your head as the entrepreneur and owner or whatever, you know, how you really pitch it as, and, you know, you remind the customer about like, hey, make sure you share your experience. You have to, you have to kind of nudge them a little bit politely.

It goes a long way. So I mean, you know, how much do you pay someone with thousands of followers to post something that they purchase something on Instagram, a lot of time, most purchases aren't getting posted, but when you do something in an hour, they're so excited and the expectation is as exceeded so greatly.

They're more than happy to do so. I dunno, it's a good dollar, you know, dollar average, therefore, the marketing expense, right?

[00:29:36] Joseph: Yeah. I mean, if you're willing to, this is my understanding of it, you know, if you're willing to treat it as a loss leader, it's, you know, it's one thing for that to be okay.

You know, we, we sell them on that, but then, you know, they can come into our store, but not only is it about coming to come into a showroom, but it is also maybe them becoming influencers themselves and realizing that there's so much more opportunity available to them. So somewhere, you know, there has to be in marketing somewhere.

There has to be a calculated risk. And if you can actually integrate. With still delivering on the product. That's a pretty good way to handle the situation I got to say.

[00:30:10] Mikey Moran: Yeah. You know, we also have a wholesale system, so we partnered with one of our manufacturers overseas, and the goal is to, you know, they pay the real ship in price.

So shipping overseas, whether it's one, two wigs and it's, you know, $22 to ship or 10 weeks, and it's 30, $40 to ship. The goal is to start also being able to on certain orders, be able to get those orders to the clients where they expected to show up in a week, because it's coming from overseas to get it within that short time period as well.

We could actually make a lot of extra money on the shipping cost that was charged for the delivery. They are more than happy to have it delivered in an hour. They're not even worried about what they paid for shipping because they expected to get it in a week because it's a much lower cost per product.

So they're getting the deal of a lifetime online. But if we can exceed the expectation there as well, it is 100% game changer because I said, you know, our local showrooms and competition, our competition is not here in the US for hair. The competition is China is mostly China. You know, they have football fields of people that literally, and I've been there.

They literally sit there all day. They are absolutely blasting people on WhatsApp, on Instagram, DMS, DMS, all this stuff contact all day, they go to every one of your followups contact, every single one. Those are our competition. I'm not worried about the people in the US to be honest.

[00:31:33] Joseph: Having talked about the hair niche for a good little while here. I've come to realize that we really want to make sure that we bring the book in, into all of this, because I think a lot of what we're talking about is in relation to it. So the name of the book is fearless beauty. Quick warm up question. Before I get to the main one, which is, you know, where did the, where did the name for that come from?

[00:31:55] Mikey Moran: That's a good question. So I was working with my publishing company on that and said, okay, we've got to come up with the name. And I was like, okay. It was, it's one of those things, how I name, businesses and everything else. Generally, it's going to be two words and, you know, you have to think of one that kind of is more descriptor.

And one is kind of more that physical thing, which is, or beauty is not necessarily physical, like physical products. So I just kind of had to put two words together that really made sense. And for me, it's all about being fearless and entrepreneurship because a lot of hers are held back from doing amazing things as entrepreneurs only because we're scared.

It's not that we don't have the capability to do so we're just scared to do so. And then beauty being in the beauty industry, you know, it's funny the book, if you read the whole book, you'll notice that it's not necessarily, I'm not sitting in. Or, you know, I didn't write all about beauty it's but when you do your first book, you really have niche down.

Otherwise you're not going to sell any copies. So I'm in the beauty industry. So I figured, okay, well, because I did a lot of research how to do a successful book. So I said, okay, it's gotta be talk about beauty because people will, in the beauty industry, it'll be an easier sell before, you know, people know my books are good.

So it was just about being fearless in the beauty industry. It just made sense.

[00:33:11] Joseph: And, you know, according to your description, so you had. It says that, you know, you had one idea that set you apart from the industry, and that was your, your advantage. I think we, I think we might've talked about it, which is know your, your ability to build out the whole infrastructure yourself.

That's I guess that's my educated guess on it, but if you can tell us what was it that really sets you apart from the industry?

[00:33:34] Mikey Moran: Really I think we do a better job of listening to our customers than anybody. I mean, it really comes down to everything that I built was because it was a need of one of our customers.

And day in, day out, I listened to our clients and we are so client focused. And I think that's, what's really helped us for our business because people know we actually care. You know, I even, whether you're walking into the showroom, the online experience, the shipping experiences, if something goes wrong, we put a plan in place stuff to fix it.

We just don't keep touching, not hot stove. So I think that's, that's something that, you know, and then being allowed to, after all the different projects I've done over the last, you know, my whole life of entrepreneurship, it's allowed me to be able to build out and get the teams to help build out all the products and services we offer to make someone successful in the industry.

[00:34:23] Joseph: And this is something that's that stuck out to me because you've made it very, you made a very careful and conscious effort to receive the information, receive the feedback from your customers and make sure that their needs are being met and equally conscious efforts, not to try to influence their behavior, try to tell them what they want.

What I'm wondering is if any of that has happened anyways, if it was maybe unintentionally you unintentionally found some way that you were actually changing the conversation of. And that's just, you know, the hair niche, as far as the industry has had an influence over?

[00:34:58] Mikey Moran: Nothing too much to do with the actual hair products, because people are kind of set on what they like.

But as from a technology standpoint, I definitely have been pretty adamant about, you know, the one simple thing I actually talk about in my book is getting on the right platform. You know, I do not know people that are successful e-commerce on Wix sites. People get on Wix because they spend a ton of money on marketing Squarespace ton of spend a ton of money on marketing.

Like I said, an earlier MailChimp's right over here. Yeah. They sold for a lot of money, but honestly, MailChimp as a e-commerce provider. Or for a newsletter and email provider for e-commerce. I don't think they're a good service anymore. You know, I even told them, cause I see some of the MailChimp people, I was like, you guys lost focus.

You know, it, for me, it was mostly a technology play where I said, initially we really recommended WordPress and Shopify. Now we're pretty strict on just recommending people to get on Shopify. And in a lot of it comes down to the ecosystem. Shopify has built is hands down. I think the best, you know, the products and services that Shopify themselves offer like 24/7 customer support for $30 a month.

That basic program, you can't beat that, you know? So that offloaded a lot of the customer service that WordPress, because it's like you get on WordPress, you have a problem. They're always contacting us. There's no one else. Unless you hire some expensive developer, they have no people are lost. Right.

People in the beauty industry aren't necessarily all tech savvy, so they need some extra assistance. That's where Shopify came in. So it was more of a technology recommendations of what we really thought was good relative to like actual styles or products.

[00:36:31] Joseph: Yeah. Well, what I will say, just from my own point of view, I've had next to no experience with Wix or Squarespace either, but I do listen to you know, a fair amount of podcasts.

You know, Squarespace does tend to come up a lot as a sponsor. I do see a lot of Wix advertisements on YouTube. And I think what I found about those platforms is that they are more geared towards people who have like preexisting brands where they're, you know, the individual is the, is the brand. If they have a presence on YouTube or something like that, then they tend to lean more towards those websites because they want to maintain a consistency in the way their brand looks.

So that's what I see them doing, but it doesn't have, I agree with you. It doesn't have the same, brass tacks that Shopify does. Shopify gives people the means to build their brand from scratch. And I think utilize the other social media platforms as well to help it create their own.

[00:37:26] Mikey Moran: Yeah, Shopify is big.

I love Shopify being a publicly traded company because they need to continually innovate and make money as a platform to appease their investors. So it's something that they're always pushing. They're always going to push the needle with technology, which I think is so important. You know, all the integrations with now Tiktok and all the social platforms, like you said, is huge.

You know, they're a huge company, so they can contact whoever platen new platform and be like, Hey, we need to do an integration right away and just keep up with everything. And they're always going to yeah. Shopify as the big ones. So it just makes sense. I see.

[00:37:59] Joseph: No, that was a news to me as well. In this, in this conversation is that Shopify, I didn't expect there to be working relationships with people such as yourself who are handling the product infrastructure.

In my naivety, I guess I just thought that Shopify really just focuses on the backend. And then as far as products go, people are, are kind of on their home. They reached out to you, they, they, they were willing to work with you and you had to cross a certain threshold, I think, for them to be able to do that.

So just remind us what it was, what exactly is that threshold and like w how would somebody else maybe in a different niche be able to cross that threshold? What is it exactly that makes this partnership at that, at that scale?

[00:38:41] Mikey Moran: Well, actually, it's funny because when we first started talking to them, our main privatelabel, extensions.com, our main website was still on WordPress.

So. We, when we started working with them, it was not even from a, the aspect of we had all this other business. So the threshold was, we were basically not on Shopify at all. So after we built this, and then I saw Shopify was really pushing the needle 2018, 2019, I'm really 2019 on everything. We switched our entire platform over to Shopify plus, which was a major move.

I mean, I spent over a quarter million dollars in 2018, just on blogs. Right. We published a thousand, you know, probably average 2000 word blog posts in 2018, a thousand. I lost 75% of my SEO, just switching over to Shopify. It's a lot of it's come back, but it's taken two years to come back. I actually had someone from Shopify.

You know, th th they get weird about who it is and names out, but I have someone from Shopify, they actually came down to Atlanta and worked out of my office for a week, just was watching everything we do and was just really impressed. So they can report back to the, the teams. And he noticed that I was using square.

And he's like, Mikey, why are you using square? I was like, man, they have a great point of sale. I was like, I looked at Shopify, but there's some, a few things that you guys need to improve. He goes, man, it would be great if you got on Shopify. And I said, you know what? Let's go upstairs on order all the equipment.

Now it's like, I'll just wait for Shopify to update everything. And I mean, just our point of sale, we process millions of dollars of transactions a year. And Shopify loves transactions. Like, you know, it's, you know, we know shop pay and all that is really Stripe. Shop pay installments as a firm, but they still get a cut of all that.

And so it's just easy money for them. So as you start processing more volume, then they start to really like. It depends on who, you know, like going to the conferences stuff, which now we can't go kind of sucks, obviously. Cause it was probably right down the street from you, Shopify unite, but really it's just, it's not just Shopify it's anything in business is building relationships.

Right. And you have to be really good at building relationships with your partners and everybody you work with. So you guys can do more together. So really it's not just a, how do you work with Shopify? How do you work with more people? It's just be stronger at building relationships.

[00:41:00] Joseph: So two more questions for you.

And then I have some, I guess, more wind down questions because we're, we're, we're nearing the hour mark. So this one, you know, with everybody in their hair needs, should I speak to, I always want to ask them, you know, what's there, how do we really talk about the true innate value of hair? I mean, it's one thing for it to look pretty, but, you know, there's more to it than that.

It gives people confidence. It gives people a sense of their own autonomy. When one of them talked about how, you know, somebody was a cancer survivor and wore a wig to reclaim some of their identity that they felt they lost after chemo. So, and from your point of view, you know, perhaps up speak of an individual who bought an extension and it really made a difference for them or a wig.

Or you could also talk about, you know, influencers that you were able to really boost the platform for. So, you know, from your point of view, what is know, what are the true values of a, of a pair? I know it sounds so corny when I ask it like that, but it's, it is what it is.

[00:41:58] Mikey Moran: No, it's, it's, it's true. I mean, hair is so important to so many people, right?

So the cancer part is really close, too close to us. At private label, we have people within our organization that have struggled with cancer, me and myself, two times dealing with cancer. Luckily I caught it early both times. Otherwise the first time I'd definitely, I would not be here today. There's no way.

And so cancer is something that's really important to us. We've actually donated hundreds of wigs over the years and done different things for people. You can see when we bring someone in that's maybe a cancer patient or something, we'll do like a prom makeover for someone that just needs. Some people just need that, like that extra something, you can see it in their face, like, and just how they feel and the confidence and everything else.

And that's why for me, I'm never about what style someone should wear, short hair, long hair. It's just whatever you want. Like what's gonna make you happy. That's what's most important to us. But that gets, that gets, you know, important part about our business too. We do as much as we can to give back to our community that supports us, within our Facebook group, I actually give a laptop away every single week, a brand new laptop.

A lot of people are trying to run businesses just from their cell phone. And you're at a huge disadvantage. I think you would definitely agree. You can manage a business from there, but you can't really build a business from a cell phone. Right. It's easy to.

[00:43:24] Joseph: Check for updates. Like if there's a fire, you'll find out on your phone first.

[00:43:27] Mikey Moran: Right? So it just goes into everything we do within the business. It's really, to also help people in our clients and, and hair is an important, obviously an important component of that as being the product. It's something that is just so important to people. Both men and women, that it's amazing to be able to make them really happy.

And especially because we're, we've done a really good job at our price point of offering the types of products that, you know, you're generally in the US you'd be paying a lot more for, but because we've reinvested the business, we don't have like a mortgage on our main property and all this. We can be really affordable for a lot of clients.

And what we've also done is, you know, as much as I know hair and I'm like, okay, this is the best hair. This is what everyone should be wearing. Not everybody can afford this. So we have some other really good, low cost options because a lot of people just don't have the budget, right. So you have to be very conscious about, you know, not everybody has the privilege of buying the best hair and all this other stuff.

I mean, I supply hair to, you know, we don't talk about who our real clients are, but some of the biggest names that everyone follows that were like really long hair, I'm kind of the guy that a lot of people go to. I mean, talking the top, most followed celebrities in the world have worn hair that's from my office, you know?

So it's just giving people what they want and just doing it with, you know, with.

[00:44:50] Joseph: That's amazing. There is ones pretty, and I'm not like a massive fan of, but once we turn off the recording, I'm going to ask you to just shoot that one in the dark. I won't actually, you probably not going to want to tell me it'd be to the confidence.

[00:45:03] Mikey Moran: I would tell you. I can tell you off camera. I don't care as long as it's not recorded, but you know, we, we don't really flop like a lot of people in the hair industry. They really flop who their clients are, but because we're behind the scenes of a lot of people, like we're good. We don't need to do that.

We're not posting all these. It would help our business. But it would also alienate our business on the backend because we're alienating the clients that we supply that are supplying to the big celebrities.

[00:45:32] Joseph: Now that Shopify has upgraded to version 2.0, we needed to make sure we were up to speed. So we've released the version 4.0 to ensure that we're 100% equipped to take advantage of the 2.0 revolution. If you haven't upgraded your store head on over. And if you haven't gotten started, now is a good time as any.

You probably, I imagine, not only are you keeping your eye on your plans, you know, you're talking about what you want to do in 2022, 2023. Is any emerging tech or any of the, I was about like semi augmented reality or virtual reality? Or is there anything along those lines on your radar?

[00:46:16] Mikey Moran: Yeah, I'm actually really like that the ideas for those, you know, we actually worked with a developer for the space with spark AR, to be able to put on our actual lashes. Right. So you can actually go, I believe it's on the private label at private label. The Instagram, you can go to like the, the filters and you can put on like a lash filter and it'll actually put this style lashes on, we're going to do the same with some of our cosmetics products.

It gets really a lot more challenging with hair because it's just hair the way it moves, the way it looks and the styles. But I think we're getting really close to the point where it can be done very well. I didn't want to be first onto the gate with this just because I don't know what the return on investment is.

And necessarily first out of the gate with some of these products or using some of these products, doesn't mean that you're going to get the best rewards. I'd rather kind of sit back a little bit, let the technology develop to where, you know, it's not me paying all the money to develop it. When someone can just build more of an out of box system that works really well and maybe needs a little bit of customizing that usually works out better for me.

But I think it's definitely something that is going to be bigger in the beauty industry. You know, you can already with your app, you know, place a chair in your living room and see what it looks like. And I love that kind of stuff. I mean, it's really. But, you know, for beauty, it'll be interesting to see how far we can go with the hair.

I mean, you know, with glasses, with Warby Parker, does it, all this other kind of stuff. So I think we're at the point where something a lot more complex is going to be possible.

[00:47:45] Joseph: Yeah. Yeah. And I think all of this is really in the efforts to continue to find the ways to save people time. Because one of the things that I would find is.

If somebody is taking it has, you know, how to take time to go. And they're not really sure what they're looking for and they're shopping around and they use all of this. What ends up happening is that they ended up making a purchase just because they don't want to let all of that time go to waste. And so the more ways people can save time and have more confidence in what they're doing, I think leads to a healthier marketplace.

[00:48:12] Mikey Moran: Oh, for sure. Yeah. And the people that can integrate it and use it properly and marketed. It's one thing to have it, but it'd be able to market properly and let people know the advantages of using this, you know, AR system or something else. You know, that's also part of the process, but it can be very, very powerful.

[00:48:28] Joseph: One more on subject. And then I'm going to give you one other one. That's more of like a line down question. It looks like I'm going to steal you for a few extra minutes. I hope you don't mind? Excellent. Love it. So for people who are interested in getting into this, they think that the hair niche is a good place for them. How can they, you know, enter this ecosystem we've created and get themselves started there.

[00:48:52] Mikey Moran: We have a bunch of websites. You could first start by going to privatelabelextensions.com. You can see the drop shipping system at dropshipbundles.com.

We have privatelabelbranding.com. They all link together. If you want wholesale private label, wholesale.com. So, you know, there's links to all the websites to kind of go all, go through it. But we've built a lot behind it. I'm actually working on starting a hair brand from scratch and doing like a YouTube kind of documentary on it.

And then at the end of the documentary, I'm giving away the hair brand. So that's on my YouTube channel hair, business blueprint, which has been fun, making these videos and seeing all the comments and everything else. That's something I'm definitely going to be working on more in 2022 is the YouTube channel.

Because it's, once again, very, very powerful and more people are on YouTube now than ever. So yeah, that's an easy way, the main websites, and then you can kind of you'll, you'll go down the rabbit hole of information cause we've got a lot. And, you know, th the key is before you get too excited about it and say, oh, wow.

You know, I want all of these people that maybe could buy hair from me is make sure you spend some time educating yourself about the products, everything that's involved, because yeah, we do make it easy for you to set up your brand that does not mean you will be successful. It takes a while to be successful, no matter how many tools you have.

And that's where a lot of new entrepreneurs get lost and kind of, you know, hit failure because they think it's going to happen overnight because it looks like that on Instagram.

[00:50:21] Joseph: Yeah. Yeah. The, the, how does it go is like the 20 year overnight success, something along those lines. Yeah. Alright, so here's my wind down question for you.

This is totally off, off topic, but one of the things that stuck out to me from your LinkedIn profile is, you know, you are largely self-taught. I mean, you're in your previous business with a career simple. I don't know if you're like really quick. Are you still working in that or is that in somebody else's hands?

[00:50:45] Mikey Moran: No. So Curry Simple's gone. I had people, yeah. People, so many people want me to bring it back, but I'm like, it's not in beauty. I'm not doing it.

[00:50:52] Joseph: I respect that you got to focus. So, but one thing is the stuck out is that you taught yourself everything you needed to know. And I think the, the echoes of that have chem come with you into, into this as well.

Whereas with, school, not so much, it didn't really work for you. And I love talking about this because. You know, with a lot of the content that I listened to in my off time, you know, we talk about how different industries, oh, actually I remember it. This was a Christian Lovrecich episode.

I listened to recently about how a lot of these industries, they change and they advance rather rapidly. But the educational system has, you know, has grown. Like we have online learning, we have remote learning, but the core foundation is over a hundred years old at this point. And isn't in desperate need of some restructuring, the counterpoint.

And this is from another previous guest, Amy Hunt as a teacher. And she said, you know, the thing that's really important for people growing up is, you know, they need that structure because without that, they don't, even if they end up rejecting it, they still need that to start their development. So from, from your point of view, you know, where was your learning really at its best?

Was it, you know, when you dove into business and just taught yourself on a day-to-day basis?

[00:52:04] Mikey Moran: For sure. I didn't learn anything in middle school, high school. I learned how to type that's people say, well, what's the best thing you learned. I learned how to type, I mean, getting school, I was in high school a long time ago now, early nineties.

So like having computers in your school was actually a big deal and I learned how to type, and I think that's helped me more than. For me personally, you know, I'm not a lawyer, a doctor where school is very important, you know, but for me personally, I didn't learn any, I couldn't learn, I didn't learn anything in there.

And the schools, I mean, I was working full time in high school anyway. So I mean, I was doing homework in between the eight minutes in between class. I just, I wasn't set up to learn in high school, even though I was at a phenomenal, very phenomenal high school. I was very lucky to grow up in the area. I did grow up with living with my grandmother and my mom.

So yeah, it's just. At school didn't work for me. It wasn't gonna happen.

[00:52:57] Joseph: And is there anything that you'd like to see for the future, for, you know, new generations growing up and how things might, like you say it does work for some people, but for the people who doesn't work for is what would be the path for them or as a religious matter, if they have to figure out their own?

[00:53:13] Mikey Moran: Well, I think school is set up to create employees for businesses. If you really think about it, right. There's, there's very little about entrepreneurship, about credit and understanding what credit does. There's. I mean, we talk about it as adults all the time. Like, why didn't they teach us any of this stuff in school?

I mean, there's like a lot, I'm sure there's a, a million page Reddit on this stuff. Like they just, they need to have some more kind of topics in classes and such. That's actually actionable in life, more life lessons, kind of things, maybe bringing in entrepreneurs to speak and all this kind of stuff. Like people that are local business owners and stuff.

Like I think that kind of stuff is so important. So that of just, you know, I'll never forget because my girlfriend was making fun of me. I didn't know about something that happened in history. I was like, Mary Margaret, my history teacher literally stood there for 45 minutes and lectured 45 minutes straight.

No questions. Don't. That's it? Yeah. Within 30 seconds. My mind was I learned zero. I mean, I think they just wanted me out of the class. Right. Because there's no way I'm like passing this class. I mean, I barely made it. I was like 1.9 in high school. I got my transcript. I found my transcript. 20-something years later and we looked at it and we were like, she was like, wow, you are really bad in school.

I was like, they weren't teaching me what I wanted to learn.

[00:54:31] Joseph: Yeah. I still have nightmares once in a while where I'm like, I'm late for class for the entire semester. And there was like, no way I'm going to make up for it. Yeah. You know, in a weird way, it still helps people and to entrepreneurship by being so against that mindset, that people have part of the inspiration to do that is your reject that structure and not just school, but as you say, also, also employment too.

And then I'll just make this a one other point and then I'll wrap this bad, this bad boy up. But one thing that I was found kind of funny is, you know, people talk about how man, you know, I'm I'm as I'm as being younger. Yeah. And like no responsibilities, no I'm going to die. I have all these responsibilities and I'm just scratching my head thinking when I was a kid, that was probably when I had like the most amount of responsibilities I had to go to school, like with like a, basically like a nine to five, a little shorter than that, like an eight to three.

And then there was homework. And I had to do that for you. I don't know, 15 years on my life now. I don't know. I don't, I don't work that many hours unless I want to. Right now, I get, I have betrayed. I feel more free now than I ever did when I was in school.

[00:55:35] Mikey Moran: Yeah. That's is interesting.

But also how many, how many employees do you have in your business?

[00:55:41] Joseph: In our company? Ballpark like 70 to 80 people.

[00:55:47] Mikey Moran: But don't you feel that pressure and the responsibility of those 78 people?

[00:55:51] Joseph: I feel the pressure to be responsible to them. I do, yeah, there is pressure, but at least like, you know, when the clock stops, the pressure stops and I have my other days is to do other things and I don't. And, yeah, but I do see where you're going with it. Yeah.

[00:56:07] Mikey Moran: Yeah. That's that's for me, like for the responsibility, my day to day is whatever I want my day to day. Like, you're like, can you spend extra minutes? I'm like, yeah, of course this is awesome. Like, you know, this is, this is important, very important part of my day.

Right. And it's, it's very, you know, I feel great to be at this point to be able to do that. But yeah, going back to it depends. People's like, oh, you work all the time. I was like, I haven't worked a day this whole year. What are you talking about? I'm having the time of my life. It's always more fun when things are working out really well for you.

Right. But that also things working out well for you is a result of a lot of things that didn't work out well for you, that you fixed experience, you kept pushing and going, and now you're here. Right? I actually just posted a video about this, about, on my Instagram, about getting started as an entrepreneur, selling lemonade at, I don't know, 10 or whatever.

And I was like, you know, I run an eight figure company because as a result of 30 years of being an entrepreneur, it's actually a little over 30 years, like. It's going to take time, but time is ultimate our ultimate asset, right? So you're going to do at this point, I'm sure what is best for your time. I'm going to do what's best for my time.

And you know, not everyone should be an entrepreneur either because their mind, I'm sure you understand this too. What goes on in your mind is a lot of times you're working more on your mind than actually on a computer networking or whatever else, because it's so intense. It's entrepreneurship. It's not like the nine to five where you get off the five and based on, you're still thinking, like, I know you say, ah, you can do it.

You're still thinking about your business. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:57:39] Joseph: You caught me. Yeah. Yeah. I still think about it.

[00:57:42] Mikey Moran: Yeah, but it's fun. Right? It's like, I don't want to say it's like a game, but like, I don't have to grow my business anymore, but I do because it's like a game of like, how far can we grow this?

I think about my staff. If I stop growing the business, where's my, how's my staff going to keep moving up the ladder. You've got to start creating more ladders for them to climb. You know? So it's really interesting where, but it, but not everybody wants that. Right. A lot of people are just kind of like, oh no, I'm good here.

I don't need to push anymore. I'm just going to live my life. But for me, that's kind of boring, you know? That might not be for somebody else, but that's totally okay too. Not everyone needs to be a damn elon Musk. Yeah.

[00:58:19] Joseph: We've got, we've got one at him. That's that's, that's good. That's pretty happy with that.

[00:58:25] Mikey Moran: Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

[00:58:27] Joseph: Well I appreciate your takes and your insight. And it's been a blast having this conversation with you. So the last thing is actually technically a good question. It comes to two parts. First is if you have any, like, you know, like a Chinese proverb or quote or anything like that, that you'd like sharing, you're free to, and then it let the audience know how they can make contact.

[00:58:49] Mikey Moran: I'm going to think about that Chinese proverb, but contact is if you want to reach out to me these, this way, it's probably on Instagram, it's at Moran Mikey. I'm trying to think of like quotes, you know, what's funny is I used to be so big into quotes. Like when I first started as an entrepreneur, I've lived by quotes, but now I just kind of.

I don't even almost see them anymore because my mind is just thinking so different, but really for like more of a value is it's more comes down to like, it's okay to fail because that's really the only way you're going to learn. So like, I love talking to new entrepreneurs because they get so wrapped up.

I couldn't imagine being an entrepreneur, trying to come up with today's world with social media, like as much as I love social media, it helped build our business. It must be absolutely brutal to be a new entrepreneur and see like what people put on there. It's just a highlight reel. So it's just really tough.

So, you know what, at the end of the day, just do the best. You can always try to improve yourself, realize things are definitely not always going to go. Right. And when they do go wrong, just figuring out how to fix it, get it done. Move on. That's it. Excellent.

[00:59:55] Joseph: Well, should say, you know, like, I say Chinese proverb is like an example of a far reaching, like, oh, it's bits of wisdom where however shape that may take, but nonetheless I appreciate the answer.

[01:00:06] Mikey Moran: See, if I went to the, if I did better in school, I would have had a better understanding of Chinese proverb, but that's okay too.

[01:00:13] Joseph: You zoned out during the Chinese proverb lecture. I get it.

[01:00:17] Mikey Moran: That's okay. We're you know, it is what it is.

[01:00:19] Joseph: All right. Well, that's our thing that we've got for you today to my audience as always, it is an honor and a privilege to collect this information, using it for my own benefit, you know it, and, but nonetheless share that information with all of you as well.

So to that, I say, thank you to my guests, Mikey Moran. Thank you as well. This has been a fantastic episode. And with that take care and we will check in soon.

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Written by

Joseph Ianni

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