Brandon T. Adams - Reaching Your Crowdfunding Goals, the Power of Content Marketing, and Podcasting with Industry Leaders

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Brandon T. Adams is a serial entrepreneur and crowdfunding expert. One of Brandon’s first ventures was starting a podcast where he travelled the country learning from some of the leading experts and entrepreneurs. He owns a stake in several businesses such as The Accelerant Media Group, Live to Grind,  Young Entrepreneur Convention, Arctic Stick, Keys to the Crowd, and many more. Also, he is a co-Host and co-executive producer of the Entrepreneur TV Show Ambitious Adventures with one of my best friends and former podcast guests Greg Rollett. Currently Brandon is also working with the Napoleon Hill Foundation to create the film Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy, and is the youngest entrepreneur featured in the film. In this conversation we talk about entrepreneurship, his passion for creating content and adding value to relationships, how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, podcasting, and so much more.

I was first introduced to Brandon through our good mutual friend and two time podcast guest, Greg Rollett. We actually went to see Atmosphere in concert (go see shows). A few weeks later Brandon asked me for a videographer, and I recommended my guy Herb Gonzalez to him. I told him that he doesn’t really do much video, but I believe in Herb so much that I know he can do it. His first gig with Brandon was at the Ambitious Adventures premiere party, and now the two of them are working together full time cranking out content like champions.

This was a really fun conversation and very inspiring to me. After the podcast we discussed starting your own business and the challenges that come with that. From the very first episode with Greg Rollett, we talked about “Ready, Fire, Aim” and how a lot of people get stuck in Aim. If you want to live your dream, you have to start doing. Start firing, and aim and fine tune as you go. Greg worked on his business in between breaks, on his way to his day job, and when he got home. However, it wasn’t till he ripped the bandaid off and went all in when things started happening. Brandon couldn’t agree more with that. You’ll never reach your full potential until you go all in on your dream. In this episode, Brandon really lays down a solid foundation of adding value to others and marketing yourself through creating content. Regardless of what industry you’re in, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and creator of music, film, video, art, books, comics, blogs, or any other intellectual property this is for you. Be ready to be motivated to get one step closer to making it.  

Text “Brandon” to 313131 to receive a daily motivational text from Brandon T. Adams.

Highlights from this Episode
Brandon’s start with podcasting [4:41]
Where things are at with Greg Rollett and Ambitious Adventures [7:14]
Key lessons learned from creating a TV Show experience [11:00]
How Brandon got started with his entrepreneurial journey [15:39]
How Brandon got into Crowdfunding [17:52]
Where should people start building a brand [22:39]
How does someone start creating content [25:04]
What kind of videos can musicians creates besides covers [28:39]
How do you choose business partners [31:42]
How do you choose your topics and guests for the podcast [34:46]
Who Brandon really wants to interview for his show [35:55]
A situation that didn’t go your way, and the lesson learned [40:37]
Who is crowdfunding for and who should consider it [44:43]
Tips to starting a crowdfunding campaign [47:33]
Facebook Questions [54:01]
- How to crowdfund for a nonprofit outside of your community by Brad Mason
Closing Questions [56:54]
Brandon’s Warrior Chant [59:32]

Quotes from Brandon T. Adams
“If you’re an entrepreneur or anybody, you need to create your own audience.”
“I just press play and hit the record button.”
“Go into a conversation knowing what you want to learn.”
“Just keep going and eventually you’ll find your groove.”
“Just be you. Authenticity is what people want.”
“To become an influencer you have to do TV, Books, and create content.”
“Always find a way to offer value.”
“If you get an opportunity, jump on it.”
“When people see you, what do you want them to remember you as.”
“One person can change your life.”
“Create content and be consistent.”
“Video is the most powerful thing you can use.”
“The best way to get to the top is creating consistent video content, and start doing Facebook Live.”
“If you can get people wondering what you’re going to do next, they will keep watching.”
“Everything I do for my business, you should do for your band.”
“Go inspire people”
“You can tell a lot about a person by their Facebook page.”
“Usually within 5 minutes you can tell what kind of person they are.”
“Music is powerful. It moves people and changes their lives.”
“What influencers do good or bad, it influences people.”
“Trust your gut.”
“When I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it.”
“When you hit your lowest moments, you’re closest to one of your biggest moments.”
“If you keep going, you can’t lose. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Sometimes failure in disguise, is a good thing.”
“If you just keep going, you’ll see your true potential.”
“Stories sell”
“At the end of the day, you have to add value to your audience.”
“Success is about the people I surround myself with.”
“Once you can convince your mind you can do it, you can achieve it.”
“If you don’t set your goals, you don’t know where you’re going.”
“If you’re a person of value and you’re driven, you can achieve anything.”    

Links to people, places & things Mentioned
Greg Rollett
Lewis Howes
Jack Canfield
Jake Paul
Kevin Harrington
Herb Gonzalez
Will Smith
Oprah Winfrey
John Lee Dumas
Gary Vaynerchuck (Gary Vee)
Lady Gaga
Aspyn Ovard
Mark Zuckerberg
Kevin Lyman
Cactus Jack Barringer
Napoleon Hill

Places & Things
Arctic Stick
Live to Grind Podcast
Ambitious Adventures
Young Entrepreneur Convention
Native Culture
[BOOK] Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich Movie
Keys to the Crowd
EOFire Business Podcast
The Freedom Journal
[BOOK] Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck
[BOOK] How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Pledge Music
Fall Out Boy
Limp Bizkit
Taylor Swift
Headspace Guided Meditation App

Get in Touch with Brandon T. Adams
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Brandon T. Adam’s Definition of Making It
“It’s a motherfucking grind.”

Kevin Lyman - A Journey of Serial Entrepreneurship, Longevity, Creating Powerful Brands, Philanthropy, and Passion for the Next Generation with the Founder of Vans Warped Tour

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Kevin Lyman is the founder of Vans Warped Tour and 4Fini. From his days in college he got involved in helping with and organizing events and live concerts. He’s built such a name for himself in the late 80’s and early 90’s that got him to a point where he was working over 300 shows per year. That eventually led to him working the first four years of Lollapalooza.

Throughout his journey he’s met and bonded with several artists, and after working Lollapalooza, he was inspired to start a festival that does it in a different way. That was when he started Vans Warped Tour in 1995. It actually wasn’t till he was 33 years old when he started his business, but he brought 13 years worth of experience and relationships along with him. Today in 2017, Vans Warped Tour is the longest running music festival and tour in the world.

Kevin Lyman has put on many other successful festivals and events such as Taste of Chaos. He’s also a serial entrepreneur from having run and sold a Brewery, Hair Dye Company with Hayley Williams from Paramore, a coconut water company, and much more. He’s someone that’s passionate about giving back to the community and empowering young people. We talk about branding, longevity, entrepreneurship, the future of our next generation, and much more.

Meeting Kevin Lyman was very inspiring. He’s been traveling and doing promotion for this upcoming Vans Warped Tour for several weeks now. During this campaign, he’s visited several universities, festivals, and many other press opportunities. It was a huge honor for him to take the time for this conversation for our show. Not only did he take the time for this podcast, but also afterwards he had a meeting with a student from UCF that wanted to talk to him about the music industry. He’s not only someone who preaches philanthropy and giving back, but he lives it every day. It’s the things we do behind closed doors that really define us. If I hadn’t asked the student what she was meeting him for, I would’ve thought it was another press interview.

Not only has he done many inspiring things, and build the longest running festival in the country, but he’s also just a really good person. It’s a breath of fresh air to see people with such success to be so down to earth and giving back to others. As promised, below are not only the show notes, but also a list of research I conducted for this conversation. My goal was to ask Kevin Lyman some new questions and try to get him to talk about things I haven’t heard him talk about before. Hopefully I’ve done him justice, and have delivered all of our listeners, Warped Tour fans, and Kevin Lyman supporters a great interview. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Kevin Lyman.

Highlights from this Episode
Kevin’s time at Florida Music Fest (09:50)
Kevin’s future aspirations (10:30)
First album and concert (11:25)
Warped’s collaboration with Vans (12:35)
How Warped Tour decides partnerships (13:50)
How to cater to the festival’s market (14:55)
How Kevin provided Longevity to Warped Tour (17:25)
Top 5 branding rules from Kevin (19:45)
How a band gets on Warped tour (20:45)
How Kevin would produce a club show (23:00)
Lessons learned from Warped applied in new endeavors (23:40)
How Kevin manages his time (26:05)
Booking shows without the internet (29:05)
How Kevin overcomes being discouraged (30:15)
What should a band look for in a manager (33:35)
Bad Advice given to young artist (34:25)
Lessons learned from mistakes (35:40)
Warped’s new program (37:25)
Impact of VR (38:29)
Entrepreneur Bucket List (40:10)
Philanthropy and Warped Tour’s experience (42:35)
Changes Kevin would like to see in the education system (46:00)
Music Business and Entertainment Business Improvements (48:50)
Generation Z’s wants and needs (50:00)
Influencer recommendation (52:10)
3 Values of Life (54:15)
Facebook Questions (54:55)
-Country Throwdown
-Warped Expansions
-Side 1 Dummie
Rapid Fire Questions (59:35)

Quotes from Kevin Lyman
“No one should be disrespecting each other but it’s life and we have to talk through it. “
“They’re a shoe company and I produce music festivals.”
“Sponsorship has always been a thing of if it’s cool or not, but you really don’t survive without it.”
“Coachella is driven by more than music. It’s driven by the location and the celebrities.” 
“We tweak things inside for where the market has gone.”
“Musically it tweaks each year. Some of it is dictated by the environment, the other is by what is available.”
“Consistency, A more designable image, Do what you say you’re going to do, Fulfill your requirements, Stay true.”
“I try to find someone who has a plan.”
“A lot of thought went into the Full Sail Stage.”
“Create more of an atmosphere around the show.”
“Bring a thread to all the brands so they can compliment each other.”
“You have to have people who are driving the company for you.”
“I try to be an active investor. You don’t want to be a passive investor.”
“I don’t want to disappoint them but I gotta look out for myself.”
“When you’re starting out and someone reaches out to you, you should grab on to their arm and let them pull you up.”
“When I’m demotivated now I go plant more plants in my backyard.”
“Do research, it’s so each to research people now a day’s.”
“Don’t get sucked in at the bar, take their card and do your research.”
“Don’t sign something with your first manager. Have a trail period with goals.”
“I try to focus on things that have personal potential.”
“I don’t like bucket lists.”
“I’ve been saving a little bit since I was 20.”
“I had experience that allowed me to fail and people supported me a second time.”
“Be nice to people.”
“If you have something, share something.”
“When you have nothing it’s easy to give.”
“When you have a little, give a little.”
“When everyone gives a little it adds up to 460,000 pounds of food that we did last year, and that fed a lot of people.”
“It takes a village to raise a child, and I think that village has been depleted. Kid’s need help.”
“You have to be on your brand each and everyday to stay current.”
“If you start questioning things at an early age that’s okay.”
“Try to put yourself in the other people shoes.”
“Don’t date a guitar player.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Van Morrison
Diana Ross
Beebs and Her Money Makers
Hayley Williams
Rob Zombie
Matt Halper

Places & Things
Florida Music Fest
Van’s Warped Tour
Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits
Urban Outfitters
Skull Candy
Good Dye Young
Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival
Live Nation
Modern Baseball
13 Reasons Why
[BOOK] Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
A Colony in a Nation
Country Throwdown
Florida Georgia Line
Sixth Man Cruise

Get in Touch with Kevin Lyman

Kevin Lyman’s Definition of Making It
“Sometimes having the time to have a great BBQ with your friends.”

These are some resources I used to help me come up with the questions for this interview. If you want to learn more about Kevin Lyman and his backstory, and all the cool things he's doing, check these out. 

1. Forbes Magazine Article: Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman on the Business of Punk Rock
2. The Jasta Show (Podcast Interview) - Episode 237 Kevin Lyman (Warped Tour) 
3. Promoter 101 (Podcast Interview) - #20 - The Van's Warped Tour's Kevin Lyman
4. RAD Parenting (Podcast Interview) - Episode 42: Inside the World of Teens on Vans Warped Tour (with Kevin Lyman)
5. TED Talk: The Walmartization of Music Festivals | Kevin Lyman | TEDxCPP
6.TED Talk: When You Music Festival is Older Than Your Customers | Kevin Lyman | TEDxBroadway
7. Interview at Full Sail University: Full Sail On Air Welcomes: Kevin Lyman Founder, Vans Warped Tour and President 4Fini, Inc.