Breaking Boundaries: How a Single Father Founded a $60 Million Company Marketing to Single Women

Jonathan Beskin is the Founder and CEO of SinglesSwag, a subscription service designed to empower single women. In less than five years, Jonathan’s startup has accumulated $60 million in revenue. He has been featured twice in the Inc. 5000 list. Jonathan is also a digital advertising and e-commerce expert and speaker.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Jonathan Beskin shares the inspiration behind SinglesSwag
  • Why Jonathan chose women as his target demographic
  • The importance of conducting customer research before launching
  • How to channel mental illness into a healthy obsession
  • Jonathan discusses the purpose for writing his book — and reflects on how his childhood has contributed to his businesses success
  • The challenges Jonathan experienced in building his company
  • Learning how to release control and delegate responsibilities

In this episode…

Can you recall a time when you had an innovative idea that was immediately dismissed by your mentor? Chances are you’ve encountered rejection at some point in time. This experience can suppress your passion, leading you to neglect your idea entirely — but only if you let it. When faced with opposition from your peers, how do you respond?

The natural response is to accept rejection and wait for your next million-dollar idea to strike. Jonathan Beskin knew he stumbled upon a worthwhile business idea marketing for single women. His mentor advised him to reconsider, worried a single male was ineligible to market to the female population. Confident in his abilities, he discarded his mentor's advice and pursued his business by himself — which paid off gratuitously.

On this episode of the Up Arrow Podcast, William Harris welcomes Jonathan Beskin, Founder and CEO of SinglesSwag, to discuss how he grew a prosperous business marketed to single women and the research he conducted to choose his sole demographic. Jonathan shares how he channels his anxiety into a healthy obsession, how his childhood has influenced his business mindset, and the challenges he’s faced as an entrepreneur.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Eluymnt is a performance driven e-commerce marketing agency focused on finding the best opportunities for you to grow and scale your business.

Our paid search, social, and programmatic services have proven to increase traffic and ROAS, allowing you to make more money efficiently.

To learn more, visit www.elumynt.com

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris, featuring top business leaders sharing strategies and resources to get to the next level. Now, let's get started with the show.

William Harris  0:15

Everybody, William Harris here, I'm the founder and CEO of Elumynt. And I'm the host of this podcast where I feature experts in the direct to consumer industry sharing strategies on how to scale your business and achieve your goals. I also have a massive sunburn because I went to a baseball game this weekend and did not bring suntan lotion, though. That's fun. Today I have a really fun guest though he is serial entrepreneur Jonathan Beskin, built his first company, which is a women's lifestyle subscription box from a pre revenue idea to over $60 million in revenue in under five years. He's an investor in multiple private companies and startups. He has twice been featured in the prestigious Inc 5000 list. Beskin is also a digital advertising an e-commerce expert. He often speaks at conferences and academic institutions, and he holds an MBA in finance from Florida Atlantic University. Jonathan, thank you very much for being here.

Jonathan Beskin  1:06  

Thanks for having me. I hope the summer was not feeling too bad. I was at the Miami Formula One Grand Prix this weekend and got a little sunburn on my neck as well. You probably can't see it. But no, that's

William Harris  1:20

good to get a little sunburn when it gets nice out right. Before we jump into the questions, I do want to at least mention that this episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Elumynt is an award winning advertising agency optimizing e-commerce campaigns around profit. In fact, we've helped 13 of our customers get acquired with the largest one selling for nearly 800 million. And we were ranked as the 12th fastest growing agency in the world by Adweek. Before we get started, too, I also want to mention Jonathan, I believe a scribe media that put us in touch with each other. Is that right?

Jonathan Beskin  1:54

It is yeah. So Scribe is kind of a full service, a book, writing package or book publishing operation. And they helped me with a number of elements in my book, including PR and marketing, and they did put this together and excited to be here excited to be connected with you.

William Harris  2:15

That's awesome. If you guys, check out scribemedia.com. Really appreciate them putting us in touch. But on to the fun stuff, Jonathan, building your business, zero to $60 million. That's a massive feat for anybody you did it without taking on any kind of capital or equity or anything along those lines. What was the passion behind this? Why did you say I'm going to start? You know, this this business? SinglesSwag from from the ground zero. What made you say this is this is the business idea that I want to run with?

Jonathan Beskin  2:48

Yeah, well, it's pretty a loaded question. And I think there are a number of variables, I think that I always had an desire to be an entrepreneur. To change my life, I always had this kind of toxic, really paralyzing anxiety for most of my life that prevented me from taking risks from doing anything that would be anything outside of a traditional career path, which is really what I followed before starting this business, I had about a 10 year career in finance. But really, the idea was born out of loneliness. So I was single there in 2015. And I had just completed a business school, it was kind of an executive MBA program at FAU, here in South Florida. And one of the curriculum in that program was based on case studies like Harvard Business Review case studies. And a lot of it had to do with the recurring revenue. So companies like Birchbox, studying companies like Netflix, and I decided about halfway through that program. When I originally started the program to make myself more attractive to prospective employers. I really wanted to start a company. And I was sitting at home one night, single looking at social media, looking at all the other friends and family I was having a great time and posting about it. And I hadn't gotten gift in a while. And I realized that single people may feel the same way and may there wasn't really a service that was for them. And that's kind of how the idea for SinglesSwag was born.

William Harris  4:32  

I love the story. I don't love that you felt lonely. But I love that you took that feeling and turn it into something that was you know, going to just not just solve a problem for you but solve a problem for a lot of people and I think that we can all relate to that feeling of loneliness, sometimes it can come from social media, which is really funny. You think social media is meant to make us feel connected and and very often, even if you already are very connected in an offline world or old or even in an online world, you could feel very lonely. Just seeing somebody else do something different that you wanted to do or whatever's going on on social media. And yeah, that's a that's a tough thing. But you turn that then into a into a business. Why? You know, you I think you ended up talking about this a little bit. But why why single women, you focus this on on mostly going after that demographic? What was the reason for that?

Jonathan Beskin  5:26  

Yeah, well, I didn't know this at the time, but more than half of the US and the world population of adults over the age of 18 is single or unmarried. So more women in particular, are making more of a conscious decision to stay single longer. More people are divorced, obviously. So it really is a large market segment internationally. And no one was focusing on marketing to this segment. And a lot of times single people feel stigmatized, and they may not feel as worthy as their married peers. And you know, whether I subscribe to that or not, I think that's a reality about the emotions tied to being single. And it is such a large segment. And, you know, this subscription box, beauty kind of women's lifestyle space at the time was a crowded space. And there are some pretty serious, significant venture back competitors are spending a lot of money on advertising every day. And in order to compete and scale at the pace that we did, we really needed to have a differentiator. And I'm convinced in this case that it was that singles differentiator and having a little bit of an edge, in our advertising, our most effective piece of ad copy historically, is when you're the love of your own damn life. And that sold millions of dollars of revenue 10s of 1000s of subscriptions just on that a piece of ad copy being used across different creative and different types of ad sets primarily on social media. And the the reason why we focus on women's specifically because when I had the idea, initially, I thought I would focus on people like me, as well. So men and women, I really quickly identified doing market research that women were really more of the consumers for subscription boxes. And at the time, in 2016, I was convinced that in order to scale a brand, you really needed to cultivate a community on Instagram, Instagram was really the channel at that time. And I thought that that would be easier to accomplish by focusing on women. So women were the consumers for these boxes, though, Instagram was really the key channel and decided to focus exclusively on women. And we've really stayed focused on women the entire time.

William Harris  7:57

Yeah, that's smart. Doing the customer research, I think is something that a lot of people maybe failed to do. And, and I don't think that you necessarily always have to do that, before you jump into it. Sometimes I think that, you know, we put so much of an emphasis on getting things perfect before launching, and sometimes you just gotta launch and just see what happens, right, you can make all kinds of guesses as to what's going to happen until you launch, you don't really know what's going to work but but there is something to be said for Okay, once you've got things up and running, digging into the research who's who's actually buying, you know, and seeing what kind of data and analytics you have internally, but also what's out there externally to kind of support different hypotheses and at least being educated about, you know, what the goal is and what the intent is to find that product market fit. Because, you know, I'm sure that you've seen this as well, if you run an ad, and you don't have the right product market fit with it, that it doesn't matter how great the video is, or how great the ad copy is, or the landing page, you could do all the CRO in the world that you want to do. But if it's not the right group of people that you're selling to, and it's not the right product or offer for them at the right price, you know, that adds going to be completely ineffective. So I like that you did that. How did you go about doing this research? What were you doing to figure this out?

Jonathan Beskin  9:09  

Yeah, and I totally agree with you, by the way that launching is really such an important step. And I think people entrepreneurs really, and I was guilty of this myself really tell himself so many reasons why to not launch, they need to get the perfect they need people who want to start subscription boxes, for example, tell me that they need to design the box first, or they need to get all the products. Really, marketing is the key. And really, you know, there's not a lot of barriers to entry with this type of business. So if you have a website set up and you're able to advertise, you know, it's pretty simple to get everything going. And yeah, we were able to quickly identify that the cost to acquire costs Summers was going to be profitable and scalable. And I was self taught in digital advertising, I kind of scaled the company myself from $20 a day to over 10,000 a day, consistently for around five years, and really was focused on, you know, a lot of testing and a lot of variation in what we're doing. Like I said, it took a lot of thoughtfulness kind of being obsessed, in a way, with the even things like the ad copy, and the imagery we were doing and getting it right to what was going to be effective. It was kind of a different market environment in digital advertising at that time during kind of the peak and the really solid upward trajectory in my business, but it's saying, I think I may have, you know, gone off and lost the initial question you have, but hopefully, headed in the right direction.

William Harris  11:01  

I do that all the time. Just the idea. It's like you kind of start running down a path. And you're just excited about what you're talking about. And I think you hit it. It's just the idea. It's like, how did you go about doing this initial customer research? And, you know, you mentioned something about, you know, like this healthy obsession. And I know that something that you and I talked about before, it's like, What do you mean by a healthy obsession? What does that mean? Because I feel like typically, when you hear the word obsession healthy doesn't end up falling within that same sentence. What's a healthy obsession? And what was your healthy obsession? Yeah,

Jonathan Beskin  11:33  

so for me, and in general, I tend to obsess and I talked to a lot of other people that tend to obsess. And a lot of that obsession that I call it is driven by anxiety. So I just as a, as an adult, as a human, have an elevated baseline level of anxiety. So it's really about figuring out the best way to channel that energy. So I know that that that's how it was kind of born that way. I feel like it's genetic, it's biological. How can I keep that from being toxic? How can I keep that from catastrophizing from taking something that happens in my business or my life and letting it be the end of the world, the way that it's been effective for me, and I think really helped scale my business changed my life, I really improved my way of operating personally, is by channeling that energy into a healthy obsession. So things like thinking about my business from every angle, and asking myself all these questions in my head about what we could be doing next, what we anticipate our competitors are doing, what is going to be the next product we want to launch? What more could I be doing. So it's kind of an immersion into this whole way of thinking, and this whole way of operating based on knowing who I am. And I think anxiety, mental illness, depression are prevalent in today's society, you know, I think there's definitely been a movement to being more transparent and talking about it more. That's something that I'm definitely trying to do, it's definitely been a struggle. And this is really a learned practice, because I was not always this way at all. I've struggled since really my early teen years, with this type of thing. And and, you know, I would say more ways, not in my life, it's been toxic. And it's been something that's prevented me from being as happy as I could be from achieving in my corporate or professional career as much as I could achieve. I think what I learned in the course of building the company, SinglesSwag, and acquire another company, which I bought paradise delivered, was that I really had the ability to channel this energy into a way that was not only going to help me with a better life, but helped me financially and helped me be a better professional and an entrepreneur.

William Harris  14:03  

Well, I think we're I, I liked where you went with this with the idea of you said, you know, knowing who you were in the high anxiety that you had, you know, I've got ADHD diagnosed and everything here and anybody who knows me knows that I absolutely haven't that's not a misdiagnosis. And I think that one of the things that's interesting about mental health to what you just called out is that there is this broad spectrum of things that can affect us and while not to make light of the mental health issues that they are, there's definitely need for treatments, medications, therapy, whatever to try to help us to get out of any kind of, you know, bad cycles that might be going on with us. They're also gifts to appoint as well and so I think that there's a lot of things that we can use the those to our benefits and so you know, my ADHD has been used to extensive benefit in my own business and even personal life of just the the excitement and creativity that I bring to different situations. And to your point, like what you just said about, you know, anxiety, you're going to see problems that I, my ADHD brain would never come up with, because I'm thinking about all these other things and you're able to see things that, you know, I'm not going to obsess over. And I think Steve Jobs was a bit that way, if I remember correctly, I saw at least an article about him where, you know, he obsessed over the amount of roundedness that they had on like, you know, these, you know, mobiles or pop up boxes or something, where it's like, you know, it was not pixel perfect in your thinking, you know, what, why does he care so much about that compared to all? Well, you know, it allowed him to make this product that was significantly better than I think, you know, I'm a big Apple fan, so significantly better than everything else that was out there. And so I think sometimes we do or even, Let's even say, depression can often times be a really great lead in for musicians who write some of the most incredible music during those stages of their life as well. And I think sometimes we're too focused on maybe normalizing everything. And instead of just getting everything to this baseline of you know, deadness or vanilla, there is something to be said for allowing ourselves to be a little bit of these natural things that we are making sure that we're at least still in a safe and unhealthy way. But appreciating the gift that it can be as well. Yeah, well,

Jonathan Beskin  16:24

I appreciate the comparison to Steve Jobs, I make Apple as well, though, I will say that Apple, I really attribute you know, my business is not on the upward trajectory that it once was. And a lot of the advertising dynamics that have been affected from an acquisition perspective in my business have been impacted by some changes that Apple made. And I'm not an Apple hater. I mean, there's a lot of variables when you're a business owner, as you know, that are out of your control. And it's really about being able to adapt. And I think that's where some of this healthy obsession can come in even more and really look at these challenges that come up and these variables that are external and out of your control in a way that that are going to benefit you in the long run. And that can help even further fuel that healthy obsession.

William Harris  17:20  

Yeah. And so I think this is a good way to talk a little bit about the book that you wrote here. That's coming out really soon. Here. I forget the exact date. What date is that coming out?

Jonathan Beskin  17:30  

So it's, there's actually not an exact date, it's likely going to be late August, late August. Okay, the third quarter of 2020. And I'm very excited about it. But yeah, that that's actually within a week away but but very soon,

William Harris  17:49  

well, in so the the books called The Least Likely Millionaire. And I think the thing that I appreciate that as you're you're very open and transparent, throughout this book about all of these things that we're talking about, and then more, what inspired you, you know, you already have this business that's doing really well, what made you say, I need to turn this into a book, what was going through your head? Yeah,

Jonathan Beskin  18:10  

so and the full title is The Least Likely Millionaire: How To Succeed When Everyone Expects You to Fail. And I think that, you know, the title is, you know, impactful to me, and so is the subtitle because really, I think the story of my life and my business was that no one really supported this idea. A lot of people thought that it was a joke, a lot of people thought that it was never going and really, there wasn't a lot of basis for that. So the people that were telling me that my whole life, whether it was friends, family, colleagues, co workers, you know, counterparts in business school, you know, didn't weren't doing that from a place. And I think a lot of people who give entrepreneur advice or people that have not had the credibility of having a professional success as an entrepreneur, really share ideas with people that haven't done it, either, they're often gonna get met with with with negative feedback and negative things that aren't really based in reality necessarily are based on a knowledge base that comes from being your practitioner in these things, but I use that again, as as fuel. And I think that, you know, I've really been proactive, of study, excuse me of sharing my story on social media, and in particular, tick tock, and I've created some tic TOCs that have gone viral and it's not me looking to promote that necessarily, but as a result of that, and kind of sharing my story in the TIC tock format based on trends and different, you know, music and putting some texts behind it, which I feel like I'm old when I do that, versus like my 14 year old son when he does because I'm not as quick to put these tiktoks together, and I'm trying to get the right apps and trying to get the ones that make it easier. I mean, I'm 42. I don't feel that old when it comes to technology. But it's not that easy. And it's kind of tedious to put some of these things together. But anyways, they've gone viral. A lot of people started to reach out to me, and people started to ask me more questions about my story, people started to ask me to consult with them, people started to ask me, What was unique about my journey. And I felt strongly that there was a story to tell. And I think there are some things that happened. In my youth that were unique. I think that there were things that happened in my business journey, my entrepreneurial journey, particularly at the beginning, in the early stages where I was so verbally told, specific reasons why I was never going to work around raising money. And I think there's a unique story around the way that I built and scaled the business. By getting to the revenue and profitability, we got to in a crowded space without raising money. For a lot of it while I had a full time jobs so for the first two years that I was starting to single swag and building single so I even to a point where I was making more money from the business as kind of a solo entrepreneur than I was in my corporate career. I kept that corporate job and I literally didn't sleep. And I literally didn't watch TV, and I prioritize taking care of my son. But I really made a lot of sacrifices. And I think I made sacrifices that often. aspiring entrepreneurs, I talked to Arno's willing to make like, I didn't really go out with friends, I lost touch with friends. I think that now I've come out the other side of that, that can be sometimes healthy and unhealthy to kind of do that. I think in some ways, I fueled or furthered my own loneliness. I mean, I went from starting a business out of being lonely, to being lonely, sometimes as an entrepreneur. What's different, though, is that my life has completely changed. I'm in a totally different financial position, I had some game changing events happen during the COVID 19 pandemic. And the book really talks about my entire business journey. And my entire journey, as a human from growing up, the way I grew up, through scaling the business along with some actionable tips and takeaways for starting a business through kind of the peaks and the highs of the business, to the cycle that we're in now, where the businesses is not as strong and not growing at the same rate, because we're not able to acquire customers at the cost that we were during the peak of the business. And I talked about how I've made some operational adjustments and pivots to counteract that, because we were always acquiring so many new subscribers for SinglesSwag. And then paradise delivered the other business that I bought, that we weren't as worried about churn, and about this dynamic of losing customers in a recurring revenue or subscription based business model. So now, obviously, that becomes more of a concern. So it's kind of a full evolution of my life and my life and my business journey as an entrepreneur.

William Harris  23:34  

I mean, it reminds me of the saying, and I might butcher but something along the lines of, you know, the people who say that something can't be done to get out of the way of those who are doing it. And it's just that idea that it sounds like, you know, a lot of people were saying, Oh, that can't be done, or you're never gonna be a success with that. And it was like, hey, just get out of the way because I'm actually doing it right. And I liked that. So you, you had the mentality and the fortitude of the mind to say, Well, I actually still, you know, I'm going to pursue this. And I had to laugh a little bit about what you said about, you know, treating loneliness by becoming an entrepreneur, which, as an entrepreneur, I could tell you, that's about the worst way to treat on loneliness. Because it is very difficult to be an entrepreneur, it is a very lonely, alienating feeling. A lot of times your friends can't relate your family can't relate that you can't even discuss problems that you might have had with them. It's like, you know, they, we had this big thing happen or whatever, and it's, you know, it, it's just on a different level and whatever. And so it's very difficult from that. But I'm curious, I want to ask you, you you mentioned that, you know, there's some stories from your childhood that you think relate to this. Tell us like what's one of the things that you think from your childhood that has helped you to become who you are today or in make this business a success? Yeah.

Jonathan Beskin  24:50  

So I think a lot of it is just the born out of the idea of The Least Likely Millionaire that just to briefly expand on that I think it helps to answer the question. And but really, you know, I struggled with mental illness since my early teenage years. And a lot of that was driven by events that that happened when I was child about the way that I was treated by my father about him, you know, going to another state, and there was a particularly significant event that happened at my Bar Mitzvah. So I kind of grew up Jewish, and I had a bar mitzvah, it's kind of the coming of age at 13. And a lot of planning went into it, a lot of studying went into it. And my parents had a very toxic dynamic. When I was growing up, my dad moved to another state when I was eight, and my dad got up in front of the synagogue, the kind of gathering place and make a speech in front of all my friends, family, speaking negatively about my mom. And it was this one thing that I never felt cool growing up, never felt worthy, spent a lot of time alone. So I was an only child. And my mom worked kind of an eight to six job as a teacher, and then after every day, and I thought that I could use this event to kind of redeem myself, in some ways, it ended up being even more embarrassing, and even more catastrophic to my self worth, and social. And I kind of spiraled a little bit from there. In my teenage years, I got into a lot of trouble, I got into a lot of fights, I experimented with drugs, I had a little bit of a better, better experience in college. But then I went through some serious turmoil as an adult, as well. And I ended up actually being hospitalized as a teenager, and I talked about this in the book for major depression and anxiety. But then I was also about four years, before I started the business, I was hospitalized as an adult, because I felt so hopeless. And if anyone who is has experienced depression that's listening or watching this, you just know the overwhelming feelings and negativity that come along with depression and depressive episodes. And it got to a point where I even agree to electro convulsive therapy treatments that, you know, could have impacted my brain in different ways and could have done fortunately didn't, I feel just as sharp and just as quick and I'm not even sure the the impact they have, I mean, it's definitely something that was sedating at the time, and, and doing that I'm willing to talk openly about the people that know me, you know, prior to this book coming out, or when the book comes out. This is something that I haven't like publicly shared, it's not the type of thing that you really put out there. But I think it speaks to, you know, this whole least likely millionaire, when I started this business, and after that happened, I had no money, I started this business, without raising money getting to the level we did with $2,000, making the sacrifices that I needed to make, to make things happen. And I'm convinced that millions of individuals could have had this idea for a subscription box for single women. It's not like there's, like I was saying a lot of barriers to entry, or a lot of overhead expense that go into starting this type of business. That's what's actually very attractive about it's also attracted that it's really the type of business you can do from anywhere. And you can outsource a lot. But so many people could have taken this idea and not execute it and not gone to 60 million plus in under five years been in the top 200 at the Inc 5000 a full page article in Inc. Magazine, and really a life changing success and redemption from really the darkest and most helpless, hopeless place.

William Harris  29:16

Well, I thank you for being brave enough to talk about it. That is not an easy thing to talk about. And I think that there's a lot of people who are going to be listening that are going to be very thankful for that as well. Because a lot of people that are struggling with that a lot of people who are let's say, you know, actual entrepreneurs right now and want to printers, people who want to become an entrepreneur and are nervous or scared of putting themselves out there, maybe feeling hopeless as well. And it's encouraging to see that, you know, you pursued this and, and it wasn't, it wasn't a straight line. I'm sure this wasn't a straight line of success where you just said okay, great. I started and every day is incrementally better and you likely ran into some major ups and downs. I know that you told me before when we talked that, you know, you, you've taught yourself a lot, and you've become an expert in many facets of the business. But in anytime that we become an expert at something, that means that we likely went through several rounds of failures and learned what not to do as well. And tell me about some of those things. Tell me about, you know, maybe, you know, one of the biggest issues that you ran into the or like, another moment of just saying, like, you know, probably feeling like, let's give up, this is pointless, what am I doing wasting my time here? And how you pushed through that? Yeah,

Jonathan Beskin  30:34  

yeah, lots of those moments. And I feel confident in kind of the expertise that I've cultivated and built, but it wasn't easy. And I'm still not perfect or close to that by any means, as an entrepreneur. There's things that that happen every day, even though my business is much more mature now. And kind of, we built an infrastructure. There's lots of challenges. And I think for me, one of the biggest things that happened was, I was really in need, I mean, I didn't believe in myself, I still have to pinch myself sometimes that I even achieve this. And I even got to the level of success that I did, because when I had this idea, and when I shared it, and I began to kind of execute at the very beginning, I would have never imagined that we would have gotten there. And I think a lot of it has to do with hard work. A lot of it had to do with market timing, and kind of different things that were happening, economic conditions, other things like that, that were fortunate, I don't think it would have happened without both of those things, and a number of other variables coming together. You know, the times and there were definitely times when I wanted to give up. And I called my mother who's really been my only confidant was also my first employee, my business and I kind of talked about that in the book about how I really did the job of 20 people, when I had a full time corporate job. And I kind of hired my mother's someone that I can really trust unconditionally as my first employee. But I had a conversation with someone that was based in a similar kind of geographic area where I live. And they had a scale the similar business. So an e-commerce recurring revenue subscription service, that ended up at the time that this was around the peak of their company was dwarfed. I mean, they may have had six 7000. Shipments a month at our peak were 50,000 shipments month. So it turns out that in the end, we really eclipsed with what they did, but the individual I spoke with who I really respected, really told me all the reasons and a lot of it, I feel like was stereotypical business preconceptions or, or really misnomers, about starting a business so that I needed to raise money that I was not going to be able to be successful. And he also told me something that a lot of people told me with this business in particular, is that a straight single guy knows nothing about single women is not going to have credibility when it comes to marketing and business for single women. And it's not going to be able to scale a subscription box for single women, that if I wanted to scale, I had no choice but to bring on a woman that was going to help do that went to the credibility. And ultimately, I really feel lucky, I didn't listen, because I I still own 100% of the business. I ended up understanding this brand and the the marketing messages that resonate, although not being a single woman better than anyone else. I mean, we've, we've, I have nothing against digital agencies, and we've tried to work with some digital agencies, but ultimately, no one really understood the brand. Like I understood the brand, and no one did that. Convinced that. So so people, you know, and that conversation really had an impact. And it really had me down. And that was just one of multiple, really, you know, blunt feedback from people that I really looked up to at the time, that told me all the reasons why this was never going to work. And, you know, so that's one thing. Fortunately, I didn't listen, but we've also had some pretty catastrophic things happening because I mean, we're shipping a physical product. We've had full truckloads or boxes when we were at our peak or shipping over 50,000 bucks a month we shipped over two and a half million boxes total, over 300,000 customers, we had a whole truckload of shipments get completely lost by a pretty well known, you know, kind of international postal carrier. You know, I've I definitely have learned a lot when it comes to employees and managing employees who to trust. And I think I've learned a lot about myself throughout the course of this. And, you know, because of the way I grew up and having a dad that I couldn't even trust. And I think it's difficult for me to trust anyone. And I think that that somewhat well, it's incredibly limiting as an entrepreneur, when you're when you're growing a business to do that. And I think it just reminds me at the Steve Jobs comm unit. Not that in any way. I'm comparing myself to Steve Jobs,

William Harris  35:56

and I already you're safe. Yeah, I.

Jonathan Beskin  36:01  

But what I would say what resonated with me about what you shared about Steve Jobs was that I'm a perfectionist, and I cared so much about this business. And when it started to take off, and we started to get customers, I wanted everything to be perfect. And I think what I realized over time, particularly when it comes to things like customer service, you know, I was doing everything. So I was sourcing product, I was doing the advertising, I was responding to customer service, direct message on social media and emails. And I just needed to come to terms with the fact that not everything could be perfect. And there are certain things that as a business owner, and as a leader, that I needed to let go in order to get the next level, this business would have never gotten to 60 million plus, if I would have continued to operate that way. I couldn't get that. But at the same time, if I were to go in at any given time to our customer service portal, and I love our employees, we have a very tenure team now I'm very confident what they do. Are they answering things the way that I would answer them? Not all the time, there's some nuance to some of the inquiries that we get there. There's some, you know, ability for them to do it. And it may not be the same. But is it okay? Yes, it's okay. And you can't be in control of every mouse element, particularly when you have a very quickly scaling business.

William Harris  37:35

Have you ever heard of the term hyperthermia? It's a it's a disorder, I believe it affects like seven people in the world, right? Very, very few. But it's essentially where they remember every detail of every day of their entire lives. And while some of us think, Oh man, that would be a dream to remember everything. The reality is, it's very debilitating, right, because now you almost don't have the ability to function anymore. And I think of that being the same way of like, you know, you're a diamond in the rough in the idea that you were able to learn as many different facets of the business as you were and be proficient and excellent at them. That's not true for most people. And I'd say sometimes that can almost be to your detriment, where you can learn anything as quickly as you can, because then you never find the need to almost, you know, outsource or get somebody the opportunity to do it. And but I like what you said, though, about how we're getting to a point where you're okay, with certain things being at different levels. It reminds me of a phrase that I've always appreciated, which was everything you say yes to your saying no to something else. And so if you say yes to, you know, digging deeper into, you know, the paid ads for your own brand, that means you're saying no to thinking about the you know, logistics of it or whatever it might be right, like you're saying no to these other things. Because there's a given taken, you can only do so much. And not everything can be perfect, like you said, and for me personally, one of the ways because I'm as a typical entrepreneur and founder, I think that we can all sometimes end up that way a little bit in our minds. I implemented EOS traction, if you're familiar with that, and being able to remember, yeah, yeah. Okay, so you know what I'm talking about, and being able to outline what that vision is, has enabled me to be able to step back a lot more in my own business and allow the people on my team to make decisions that would align with the direction of what I want to have happen. And sometimes, they'll just absolutely blow me out of the water. And I think I never would have solved it that way. But I really liked the way you saw it, because I wouldn't have thought about it that way. And so I think that's a really good thing that you've talked about being able to, you know, share some of that burden with the people on your team. Yeah, well,

Jonathan Beskin  39:43

I'm happy for you that you were able to implement that and that kind of eased and, you know, make things more efficient and identified or really empower people on your team. I think in some ways, even some of my existing mental health because by no means I mean, I'm definitely improved, I definitely have figured out a different way of thinking, I definitely have leveraged these healthy obsessions to channel this energy in a much more positive way that's been life changing and amazing, but I still have a lot of insecurities. And I still have a lot of anxiety and issues that prevent me from even sometimes implementing things like EOS and, and doing these things that could genuinely in a meaningful way, improve my business, maybe even improve my life. And I think I've only been a business owner a short time. And I think it's a compelling story from where I've come from, to where I've gotten, but the journey is definitely still ongoing. And I have a lot more learning to do and a lot more improving that I can continue to do as well.

William Harris  40:55  

I love the honesty of that. And like we're all on a journey. And and, you know, what we what we're working through and what we think is the right thing right now we're going to learn more about, you know, there's actually maybe a better way to do this or that in the future. And I think that that's, that's a good thing. And it's encouraging that we actually have the opportunity to continue learning. I I also want to say that we're getting close to the end here. And I want to make sure that I get into what's a what's a book that you highly recommend people reading that was maybe very influential to you.

Jonathan Beskin  41:28  

Yeah, so the book that I would demand to read recently, so I'm not sure but I was actually on a plane roughly 10 years ago, I started my business. Now it's been roughly seven years. That was really a catalyst. In a way to me getting to the place I am along with some other variables of serving a business and changing my life was The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I think that Tim Ferriss is a unique individual and entrepreneur, and podcast host and author of other books and national bestsellers. So I think the the lifestyle, in that book road resonated me. I mean, fortunately, as I alluded to a little bit, the type of business that I set up and the type of business that I like, and seeing myself investing in getting more involved in the future, potentially founding more businesses are businesses that don't require a physical storefront that don't require you know, a lot of these big overhead requirements or build outs or, you know, really heavy employee businesses, businesses that are easy to outsource a lot of the the functions because I'm very attracted to a lifestyle where I can be in my home office every day, I can be traveling the world with the people I love, I could be involved in my son who's a big lacrosse player and kind of travel with him and all that. So I think that that book, really just just hit a nerve with me that things were possible and that I could kind of change my way of thinking. And I think, you know, I was just conditioned from a young age that I needed to follow a certain path that I needed to go to college, which I am a proponent of, and I needed to get a job and a corporate job and you know, what I studied and kind of how I operated, even from a personal life perspective that I was conditioned to, you know, get married, and have a family and I'm very happy to have my son and everything in life kind of happens for a reason. But I think, you know, I just was conditioned to do all these things. And definitely from a career perspective. Very grateful and thankful that I kind of broke through that along with helps from that book and, and other things that that I experienced and was able to create a different lifestyle for myself.

William Harris  44:14  

It's a great book, one of my favorites as well read a lot of Tim Ferriss stuff, there's so much more that I want to unpack with you. And I wish we could keep going but I also need to be respectful of your time here as well. So it's just weird kind of a cliffhanger there to end with with everything that you just said and did not follow up on it. But I also like to end with a little bit of fun. Where you ever played the game balderdash. Remember the game balderdash. I do love that game. So I'm gonna give you a random word. I want you to make up a definition for fun. This is on the spot. So I haven't given you any preparation on this. But you're gonna give me a definition of what you think you're gonna try to convince me and all the listeners that this is absolutely what this word means. The word Is snicker SNI it is S N I C K E R s n e Snickers knee. What is the definition of Snickers knee Jonathan?

Jonathan Beskin  45:12

So you can use it in a sentence or give me the the language.

William Harris  45:17

Let me see. Let me see what I got here. Let's see if there's anything. I will tell you. It's apparently from the 1700s. That's about the most that I could give you without giving anything away.

Jonathan Beskin  45:29  

I was kidding. It was kind of twofold. I was kidding. I tried a little more time. But yeah, so snicker Sneed? Is that correct? Am I pronouncing the Yep, yeah. So I was actually thinking I have something in mind for this word. And I'm pretty sure I've heard it before. And it's a form of a language that was used kind of by Celtic's in Ireland and that region, that was meant in jest, and it was a new kind of language that developed during that that time with a kind of alphabetic format. And that

William Harris  46:15

makes a lot of sense, right? It was it's a sneaker sneeze, like, ah, it wasn't just gay, like that was sneaker sneaker, we're just messing with you. Got it. That's good. For those who want to look up the definition, feel free to look it up. I'm not gonna say it on here. You gotta just go Google it. But, Jonathan, if people wanted to, you know, keep in touch with you. What's the best way for them to keep in touch with you find out when your books launching officially? How do you want them to reach out? Yeah, at

Jonathan Beskin  46:43  

the moment before the book is launched? Because it's not actually available for sale yet. Please follow me on Instagram at jbeskin. It's a B-E-S-K-I-N or on Tik Tok at Jonathan Beskin, those are probably the two best places.

William Harris  47:05

Awesome. We can go check out your viral Tiktok CEU. I'm actually going to go do that right after this. Jonathan Beskin, really appreciate you coming out here and talking to us opening up very honest, heartfelt conversation, and hope you and everybody else out there. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

Jonathan Beskin  47:21

Yeah, it was great meeting you. And thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.

William Harris  47:26  

Sounds good. See you everybody.

Outro  47:29

Thanks for listening to the up arrow podcast with William Harris. We'll see you again next time. And be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.

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