From a single embroidery machine in the living room… to the garage… to a commercial space, Robert with the help of Danny and Tyler were able to launch this business all the way into a 40,000 square foot warehouse to continue its growth path! Robert Hamm is the Founder and CEO of HatLaunch, which is located near St. Louis in Collinsville, Illinois. He started this journey in 2017 with the idea of creating a great online source for quality custom headwear after realizing there wasn’t a great option. At the beginning of 2023, both Danny Gifford (COO) and Tyler Smith (CFO) left their corporate jobs and boarded the ship of HatLaunch | Shirtlaunch to help sustain the operations, finances, and hands-on presence required to run a fast-growing business. Danny and Tyler were high school classmates and longtime friends of Robert’s who saw his vision of growing the business and wanted to provide their knowledge and experience to assist with the growth. HatLaunch | ShirtLaunch are experiencing the best year since inception and currently predicting annual revenue for 2023 to be north of $10MM. If you would like to place an order, check out their websites! hatlaunch.com shirtlaunch.com
Robert Hamm: [00:00:00] Welcome to the circuit of success podcast, the circuit of success podcast with your host, Brett, Brett, Brett Gilliland, Brett Gilliland, visionary wealth advisory.
Brett Gilliland: Welcome to the circuit of success. I’m your host, Brett Gilliland. Today I’ve got Robert Hammamy. Robert, what’s up my
Robert Hamm: man? What’s up? How are you? I’m glad to be here. I’m good. This is exciting. First. Yeah. In person podcast. Is that right? I’ve done. Yeah. I like
Brett Gilliland: them a lot more. You know, you kind of feel the energy.
This is cool. Feel if somebody is actually going to continue talking. Are they not talking? You don’t know. Sometimes you don’t know what’s going on. Can you hear
Robert Hamm: me? Am I muted? Exactly. You’re on mute.
Brett Gilliland: Sometimes I get an echo. It’s just, it’s fun. These, these are a lot better. So, well, man, you are, uh, the founder of Hat Launch and, uh, and here’s what I wrote down.
I think this is pretty cool. From your, uh, One machine in your family room in 2018. Yep to a few machines in your garage. Yep to 8, 400 square feet to soon to be [00:01:00] 40, 000 plus square feet all since 2018 dude. Yeah, so on hats
Robert Hamm: been a rocket
Brett Gilliland: Well, here’s it’s funny So here’s how we met for those watching or listening is I get a call from a guy Tyler Tyler used to be an intern for me back in, gosh, mid 2000s, I think, I can’t remember the year, maybe 2012, 2010, somewhere in there probably.
He calls and says, hey, I just want to come by for some business advice. I’m like, great. Yeah, you want to give back to a guy who used to, you know, used to work with you. Next thing I know, I’m buying hats. I’m like, what in the hell just happened? And he didn’t do that. You know, it wasn’t like he came to me to start selling stuff, but he’s doing a good job.
So Tyler Smith, you did awesome. Connected us and now I’m a proud owner of hat launch and uh, yeah, man, lots of hats. We’re gonna keep getting them So anyway, i’ll be quiet And I want to turn it over to you, man, and talk about what has helped make you the man you are today. Cause you just don’t go from your garage to 40, 000 square feet
Robert Hamm: overnight.
Yeah. That’s a question. Uh, so my family, I guess I grew up in the [00:02:00] restaurant industry. So my family’s owned restaurants since I was a kid. And my mom actually. We moved to Highland, uh, so that my mom could open a restaurant with my aunt and my grandma in Highland. And like, when we’re there, the whole family worked there together.
Tyler actually worked there too. That’s where Tyler met his wife too. Uh, a lot of marriages came out of that place too, which is super interesting. Um, but I, it’s just always been hard work in the family, I think. And especially my mom and my dad are both really hard workers. My mom specifically, she works for me now.
So that’s, we can get into that part of the story too. But, uh, she is like the hardest worker you’ll ever meet in your life. Like just still is today. I think that’s where I get my hard work and work ethic and ability to just. You know, like that, that’s to do what I’ve done in the short amount of time.
It’s, it’s constant work and you have to be able to do that constant work. Otherwise it’s, it doesn’t happen. Um, so that’s just like a brief little, where I’ve, where I’ve come [00:03:00] from and kind of my foundings, you know, like seeing my family. Break their backs running restaurants for not very much, you know, like that’s a tough industry and Michael actually owns one right here.
Oh the O Town. Oh, yeah. He has that one. So Yeah, he’s got the camera I was so excited when he told me he’s doing that It’s unique. Yeah. People always talk about that. Got the
Brett Gilliland: robots. So, I mean, you were, you had a normal job, right? Yeah. What I would call a normal nine to five job. You were doing that. I think I saw a video.
You said normal nine to five, you were in debt. Seemed like you wanted more in life. Yup. And you just had to do this hat thing, man. Yeah. And so for people listening, he, he’s the, I mean, you want to be the number one, uh, custom hat
Robert Hamm: headwear maker in the world. Absolutely. Right? Right. If we’re not already. If we’re not already.
Brett Gilliland: think about that. The number one. Custom hat maker
Robert Hamm: in the world. Yeah, we, we want to be that. And I, the industry like apparel in general is like multi billion dollar industry. [00:04:00] It’s crazy. And hats alone. Like if you look at the big, the big names and hats right now, like they’re a hundred million dollar businesses, you know, we’re since 2018 we’ve done, I think 13 million in sales.
So like we are just like peanuts. We’re still scraping the surface when it comes to that. Um, but. Uh, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s insane what you, where we could be and what our processes and what we’re doing now is so much better than what’s out there in the competition that all it’s going to take is time and more people knowing about us to become the best and the number one in the world.
So it’s super exciting. Um, just. It takes a lot of work and time and dedication, but yeah, I started, started out as a software engineer. So I went to Rankin, uh, graduated in 2010 and got my first job actually right over there north of Grumman. It’s like the building, Oh, right there, shaped like a, a B2 bomber.
Uh, so like it was work, a contract working for the air force right there. Actually. I [00:05:00] didn’t even think about that till now. That’s pretty cool. Full circle. Bye. Bye. And, uh, yeah, it’s, so I was a software engineer for about 10 years, uh, doing many different jobs between the government contract stuff, private sector.
And before I quit my job to work for myself full time, I was at Express Scripts. So I don’t know if you know much about Express Scripts. Express Scripts is mail order pharmacy, uh, one of the biggest in the world and they have multiple locations all across the United States where they are fulfilling prescriptions for people.
Um, You might get your drugs from Express Scripts. I’m not even really know it because they’re they’re so massive So I was on the team that handled all of the basically pharmacy Automations and operations of getting that prescription From a pill to a bottle with a label on it into a box with the shipping label on it out the door using robotics and All sorts of really cool technology to make that happen.
I was there for Three years, about three years and being there, all of [00:06:00] my jobs added up, gave me exposure and experience to so many different industries and seeing how powerful technology could be when applied to industries for anything. And that place specifically just really showed me. How much money is out there, how many people are out there to sell things to, and how you can efficiently and effectively scale up an operation with, you know, utilizing labor and technology and robotics.
Right. So such a cool. Combination of things to work on and see happen and to build software and release it in that environment and watch it and improve a Process 10 20 30 percent is so cool. So that’s you see the needle move, right? Yeah, they’re not you so I’m so grateful for my experience as a software engineer and the jobs that I had because I took everything that I’ve learned from all those jobs and applied it to what we’re doing with custom hats where any other hat, you know, embroidery shop, they’re, they’re not using [00:07:00] software.
It’s like we’re more of a tech company than we are actually a hat company because the entire operation is running on custom code that I’ve written. So from when I, when I applied my
Brett Gilliland: logo, my future here in your past logo to the website.
Robert Hamm: Yup. That’s all code that I’ve written at three or four in the morning.
So that’s 2018. So yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s why we, that’s also why we’ve been able to scale how we have. Have because without those processes and the automation and the code in place to make sure everything’s happening, how it needs to like, you just can’t do it. We’d be using pen and paper and expel spreadsheets and you can’t scale with that.
It’s not scalable. And that’s not to say that things haven’t broken throughout the way. Like every single time we hit a new growth, new, new phase and growth, like doubling revenues, part of the process breaks or part of the process needs to be automated. Or anytime something breaks, I look at how can I automate it, how can I make it easier, or how can I make it so it takes someone like one click instead of like ten [00:08:00] processes to get done.
So constantly iterating and improving the processes that way has allowed it to scale and continue to scale as it has. So what was it like
Brett Gilliland: for you when you were working at these, you know, big corporations? Didn’t you on the side kind of at night go home and start doing all this stuff? And then at what point did you know?
Okay, I can leave a good government job, you know, right paycheck Retirement health insurance, you know, that took
Robert Hamm: a long time. Yeah to get the balls to do it And so even before I was doing the hat thing in 2018, like I’ve always overextended myself to get things that I want. So for me it’s cars. That’s my vice.
Like I freaking love cars. So like before I was doing any of the hat stuff, like at one point I had like three cars. I had like a BMW 135i and a Corvette Z06 and like a Jeep, like three cars on my salary. My wife was back in school with me at that time. So. I was overextended, you know, house payment, got a kid, a wife.
Uh, [00:09:00] so, you know, if I wanted the car, I either got a job that paid more or I did sidewalk. So like I would build things on the side for other companies. Like I would, there’s a couple of St. Louis places that I’d be like, Hey guys, I got some free time in the evenings. Send me some code that you need written, you know, to just so I can make some more money.
So I was always used to working more outside of my day job because it’s just, I, I always felt like I needed more. I wanted more, you know, if I want more, I need to make more to, to get what I want. And that’s the way it’s always been. Uh, but the, the whole driving force behind starting. Hat launch when I did was like my wife in 2017 actually rented me a Lamborghini to drive through the Colorado mountains.
And a Lamborghini Gallardo is the car I’ve always wanted like forever. Right. And after driving it, I was like, okay, how do I afford this? And this is like how I always do everything. I look at the price of the thing and I, I’m always on top of my finances, like not in a good way. [00:10:00] Like I know how much I have to spend, spend down to the very cent and I spend it right.
I’m not investing. I’m not saving money, but I’m at least smart in the sense that I’m not spending more than I’m making. So I’m like, okay, this car, you know, I can get a used one for a hundred grand. How much, how much does a hundred grand cost on a six year loan? How much do I need to make per month to make that happen?
Factor in insurance. And I’m like, okay, this is what I need to bring home extra on the side outside of my day job. So it’s not affecting what our current we’re currently doing in our current life. It won’t affect one on vacations. You know, it has to be for my wife to bite off on it. It has to be completely paid for by something else.
And that’s when I was like, all right, this is, this is the tag. This is how much it’s going to cost per month. What business am I going to come up with to make this happen? And I, uh, I’m a car guy, so I know car people, like I know, I know I can make a product specifically at the, at this point it was shirts.
So I knew I could make some designs that weren’t like a super trademark infringing and [00:11:00] like, I can’t just like put like the Chevy bow tie on a shirt and sell it. Like I have to like actually make a design myself. So. I actually have graphic design experience too, like I really love art and graphic design.
Um, so I came up with like some generic car designs, put them on a website called Teespring and on Facebook there’s groups of segmented people that like certain types of cars. So like there’ll be a Chevy Corvette Facebook group with like 80, 000 people in it. That’s 80, 000 fish in a barrel. That love Corvettes that will love a cool shirt that has something Corvette related on it.
You post the link in there. And the cool thing about Teespring is they print and ship it for you. So I did that and like in 30 days I did like 2, 500 in sales. So I was like, all right, well there’s the first car payment on that. And then I was like, well, okay, well I know that car people also love hats. So anytime you go to the track, there’s people wearing like black flex fit hats with.
You know, uh, either like a part of a car or a race team or something on the hat. So [00:12:00] I was like, okay, I want to do that for hats and started looking and there’s no website that did it. So there, there it was. It’s like, okay, so not only can I build this to use myself, I can be the teespring for hats, right?
So I’m like, that’s huge, right? So I stood up the website and put my hat designs on there and it sold like a hundred hats in the first night. And I’m outsourcing all the creation of the hats to my friend’s mom in St. Louis, where I would send her an Excel, she’d go, she’d stitch them, I’d pick them up, bring them home, box them all individually and take them to the post office.
So I did that for like three months, right? And after paying her all of those times to do it, I’m like, man, this is really cutting into my margins, you know, I need my own machine. So then I got my own machine and then I’m like, not really, you know, I never run in a, I run in a boarding machine before I was doing.
So like I had to learn it, but staying up till three or four in the morning every night, getting these hats done, not realizing how long it was actually going to take [00:13:00] in all of that. Right. So that’s that right there is like when, you know, it really started being a lot of work because I was staying up getting the orders done.
Um, and I think I had posted that I got the machine and on Facebook and one person I was friends with had a business and they ordered a hundred hats for their business. And I was able to process a hundred hats for one person versus a hundred hats for a hundred people. And it was so much easier, still took forever, but it was one person I had to worry about and for X amount of dollars, right?
Covered the machine payment. Um, covered almost a little bit of what it would cost for a Lamborghini. Not quite. Um, but that right there is when I shifted the focus. Like I got to stop wasting my time on all these one offs and find just businesses like for my time best spent, it’s going to be in these businesses.
And after finding a couple more and doing those on a single head, I’m like, well. You know, it’s, I can only do one [00:14:00] hat at a time. I need to get a six head machine, which does six hats at a time. And this thing is like 42, 000. It’s like the single head was 18, 000 with the software that I needed to like make the designs and then another 42 grand for this machine.
So it’s like, all right, YOLO, let’s do it. Right. And the thing is, is like by getting these loans and these machines. It puts the pressure on me to make sure I at least sell enough to pay for the machines. So even if I didn’t feel like working or feel like making the sales or making the, you know, making the money to get the car that I wanted, I had to at least cover the payments on the machines because otherwise it’d be coming out of my personal account, which is already down to zero because I overextend on everything, right?
So I, and that’s how I operate best is external pressure. Like that’s what keeps me going. It keeps me, keeps me driving forward. But funny enough that that six seven machine was delivered the same week my first kid was born. So I’m doing my day job nine to five. I’m coming [00:15:00] home stitching hats till three or four in the morning.
I’m getting a 42, 000 machine delivered to my house while I just had a newborn baby born. And I, in hindsight, I’m just an idiot. That was so much stuff. We made it work. Um, and that, that was the early days, right?
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. So what, what do you think it was about you that had the spine? I mean, a lot of people aren’t going to go out and buy an 18, 000 machine on a, I hope I can sell some hats and, or a 42, 000 machine.
I hope I can sell more hats. Like there’s a lot in there, right? So how do you unpack that? I mean,
Robert Hamm: for me, like I saw how many people were excited about hats. And wanted hats and I, I did see the gap, like at least online for being able to get, get them from a good source. So like I knew without, uh, without a shadow of a doubt that I could find people to buy hats.
Okay. It’s just a matter of how much time I spent trying to find them, like doing the sales myself. And that’s, [00:16:00] that’s really what, like, I never really felt like, you know, The only thing it would be is like, if I just, if I stopped working, then I would, you know, like I said, I wouldn’t bring in the sales to, uh, pay for the machines.
But you believe in that
Brett Gilliland: process enough that you could go out and do the
Robert Hamm: ads and do the things. And like, I honestly, at this point where I’m at now, after doing this for five years, I’m pretty certain that if like, if I, if I have a product that I believe in. I’m pretty sure I can do the same thing. Like it’s, it’s with most product.
If you have a good product with a good offering, a good price, and especially a good customer experience, you’re going to be able to sell it. Yep. Just no matter what it is. Yeah, right. Yeah. And that’s, that’s like, I, I, it, I believe myself a lot more now than back then, but, um, it is, I think it was just that belief that I know I can do it.
And honestly, like by forcing myself into those loans. I had to do it. Yeah. So it wasn’t like a. Yeah. No. Right. Yeah. It wasn’t [00:17:00] like a thing like. If it didn’t work. Who cares? Right. It’s like I had to. So by doing that, you force yourself into doing
Brett Gilliland: it. What have you learned throughout this process of, of stress and how you handle that?
What do you do to overcome that? Like help our listener.
Robert Hamm: It never ends. No, I’ll tell you that. Like right now I’m probably the more stressed than I was back then, uh, with this whole building situation and getting that done, like choosing conventional loan conventional loan versus SBA and like battling them out between the two.
And like, if we go conventional, it’s a 20 percent down payment or SBA it’s 10%. But now it’s a hundred percent financing through SBA, but to do SBA, you’ve got to do a phase two, uh, EPA environmental. And if that comes back dirty, then, and you know, if the remediation on the building is more than the cost of the property, I can’t buy that property anymore.
It doesn’t make sense. And then I’m like, Oh shit, where am I going to go? Like we have to get these businesses together into the same roof. Um, let [00:18:00] alone just to operate better, but to continue to grow. So it’s so stressful right now, but the stress is like, it’s, it’s always there. It’s always going to be there.
I mean, you’re going to have stress. It’s it puts stress on your marriage. It puts stress on your friendships. It puts stress on you just in general. Um, it’s just, I guess just managing it. And honestly, I don’t even really know how I manage it. I just do it. Yeah. Like
Brett Gilliland: there’s a passion for what you’re doing though.
I mean, there’s gotta be a passion, right? I mean,
Robert Hamm: creating, creating. Yeah. Creating the product, like I, there’s nothing more fulfilling and gratifying than seeing a problem, especially for me with like the software side of things, seeing a problem and creating a solution that solves the problem. And then seeing customers using that and getting, you know, having happy customers at the, as the outcome of it is so gratifying and with doing what I’m doing in this business, like we do that.
It’s like every week, there’s a new problem that’s solved and it keeps, you just keep going and the wins. So the wins outweigh the stress [00:19:00] and it’s like some, it might outweigh it to where it’s a wash and you’re just neutral, but it keeps you going for sure.
Brett Gilliland: So I saw on your website, talked about, uh, delegate, automate and innovate.
Robert Hamm: So talk to me about those. Those are my, those are the three words that mean a lot to me. So like, when I think about, uh, Um, when I was at work and I had, so I had the six head and the single head of my house, my wife would go out there in the garage and run orders and she just did it on her own. I didn’t ask her to do it.
She just knew that I had a lot to do and like she’s watching the baby, but the baby took a nap. She’d go out there and do it. I come home and the 10 orders done that I needed to get done and I was like, holy crap, if I could just have someone doing this while I was at work. All I’d have to focus on is like getting customers and writing code.
Like this would be great. And that’s where the next phase of the growth of the businesses, I got to get this out of my house and find a part time person to run these machines [00:20:00] for me. Cause I can’t have a person working at my house. It’s just awkward, but that’s delegate. So delegating tasks to free yourself up to do the things that you’re good at.
Yes. That your time’s most valuable spent doing.
Brett Gilliland: And so I’m going to add to that. So I was 20, I think I was 24 getting ready to be 25. I hired my first assistant and I remember after the end of the year of 2003. Going home and saying, okay, to my wife, I’m going to hire an assistant and it’s basically, basically going to be about 60 percent I’m going to pay this person 60 percent of what I just made the year before.
Right. Right. And so it’s one of those defining moments in my life, right? Where it’s like, wait, you’re going to spend 60 percent of what you just made to hire another person. You’re not really that busy anyway. Right. But to what you just said, it freed me up to do what I’m uniquely qualified to do. Right. I always say, go out and play in traffic, go meet people, build a network, right?
Do those things. And so I think for our listeners, if you’re debating on hiring somebody, man, you just got to do it. You just got to do it. Again, I keep saying it. Bet on [00:21:00] yourself, make the hire because you’re going to do the work.
Robert Hamm: Right. And worst case, if it doesn’t work out, get rid of them in a month and find someone else that does work.
Right. Right. Right. And like, that’s funny. Like today with the assistant discussion, I was literally talking about that this morning in the office. I’m like. I have to, like, before I came here, I’m going through my inbox where there’s 4, 800 unread emails and like organizing them. It’s literally a waste of my time.
And I’m just trying to get my inbox cleaned up, but it’s like, I have to have someone at least. At least putting things on my calendar and going through my inbox because that’s, it’s such a, it’s such a kill on time. It was three hours deep into that and I barely had them cleaned up. Right.
Brett Gilliland: Well, Robin’s right down here behind us about 12 feet away.
I can tell you since 2005. Uh, she’s been unbelievable, right? The things it frees me up to do. And she’s the dream processor, right? I’m hopefully we’ll be the dream maker and she processes the dreams. And so that’s what we kind of do with our [00:22:00] clients. But you’re right from calendar management, email management, those things are two things that get off our plate.
So that delegate is a big deal. So that was delegate
Robert Hamm: automate. Yep. Automate is the tech side. Well, automate and innovate. So automation, like when I look at every single part of my business, How can I use tech to reduce the amount of man hours it takes to do it to make it easier for the man hours that are actually doing the work, get it done.
And or can you just completely make it so that no one even has to do it? It’s just automated. And a lot of it is, especially when you’re dealing with like customers, like, like a DT, uh, direct to consumer business. How can you let the customer? Solve their problems for themselves. So Amazon’s really good at this.
And like, uh, I, I, I say I want our custom hat business to be the Amazon of custom hats. Like I want it to be that hands off and that easy for anyone to go to our site, buy custom ads and get the product. If there’s ever [00:23:00] a problem, railroad, the solution to the problem. So the customer, all I have to do is click a button.
Type click done, you know, there doesn’t have to be any back and forth customer service doesn’t have to be any uncomfortable Conversations on our end or their end like we know what we’re gonna do in the end of the day to solve that problem How can you make it so the customer can just do that themselves get there and be done?
So looking at every single part of the process in the business and applying automation in any form And doing that, like at the, the smallest grader level makes the business more profitable, more scalable and better than anyone else. How much
Brett Gilliland: think time are you doing? I’m a big believer in think time. You see these journals and the journals back over here.
I’ve been doing it since July of 2005. Like that’s where my ideas come from. So are you thinking a lot? If so, what’s that process for you?
Robert Hamm: Too much. Okay. Right. Uh, so, um, Uh, it’s funny that you say that too, because I actually think about this the morning too. This is hilarious. Like you’re tapping into my brain right now, [00:24:00] but like, I don’t, I don’t take notes.
I have no notes. It’s all in my brain and I, I don’t know, like I wish I could be a person that could write down on a piece of paper what I’m thinking or take notes. Like when I’m in, in a meeting, like talking or listening to someone speak, like me taking notes does not help me at all. So I, I don’t, I, my, I don’t really understand myself or like why I’m able to do it that way.
But I do think constantly to the point that I could be in the car with my wife driving down the road and she’s talking to me. Um, and I’m not listening because I’m thinking about processes and the problems that are currently going on. Um, I think ADHD has something to do with that too, uh, with the way my brain works.
But uh, that’s a, that’s a whole other podcast. Yeah.
Brett Gilliland: Well, if I could, I mean, I would add to that the schedule. So delegate, automate, innovate, doesn’t rhyme with everything here, but the scheduling part, what I’ve found is. So as I’ve, my business has gotten bigger [00:25:00] and more people is the think time was important, but I also had to schedule things, right?
Because same thing. I could be driving down the road and checked out, but you know, like we want to be in the moment, right? You want to enjoy your kids, enjoy the journey and it goes fast and all those things is I found is me having to schedule it. If I can’t delegate it, I can’t delete it. Right. I got to schedule it.
I got to do that quickly. Right. Yep.
Robert Hamm: And that’s something that I’m bad at and getting way better at. Um, During the beginning of this thing, like I’ve never had a schedule and, uh, my life has just been chaotic. Like I I’m the guy that showed up to work late every day. So like. I was an awesome employee because I did great work and I really like blew managers away with how, what I could do, like technically.
Yeah. But I was the guy that they always brought up because he is late every day. Like, come on dude, just show up. I remember I got, I got put on a performance improvement plan. It’s like I was a contractor before I was actually hired at Express Scripts, and there’s some [00:26:00] issues with being a contractor where like.
Management doesn’t actually know how you’re doing back at the home office. Like you got your manager above you that says he’s late every day. That’s all it gets back. But you know, when they actually ended up hiring me as an employee, like the kind of shows that I’m doing pretty well, pretty good. But, uh, yeah, it’s hilarious.
Like, you know, I was put on a performance improvement plan, but then here I am now like running a business on my own and it’s really hard for me. To hold employees to a schedule when I myself was a turd being an employee back then, right? So it’s super awkward and like I that’s one thing with me is I actually don’t want to be the boss I don’t want to be managing the people.
I don’t want to do any of that I just want to you know, I want to be pulling the strings and executing the business and let other people handle that but yeah, like another funny little side note is like Um, I, I need, I needed a schedule and I was trying to schedule my life and like build a day for myself that was structured.
Right. And I actually wrote out a list like of times that I wanted to do things in the [00:27:00] day. Right. And at the top is like Robert’s, Robert’s scheduled to not be a piece of shit. It’s literally what it said at the top. And like, it was like 7 a. m. Wake up. You know. Be out of the shower by seven 30 done. Right.
No, no taking hour long bathroom breaks where I’m thinking on the toilet. Cause that’s where I do all my thinking is on the frigging toilet. Uh, I think a lot of men do, but, uh, and just like lunch at 12, like be home at five 30 and then dinner at six and like that never, never, it can never happen. But I did that two years ago and I pulled it up again and Um, that, like I looked at my day now and sub, sub, like subconsciously it’s kind of fallen into that.
And I was like, holy shit. Like I’m waking up at seven. It’s the power of writing it down. Yeah. And I, I guess I didn’t really think about that till now, but like, you know, I have to drop my daughter for a school daughter off at school at eight 30 every day. So I’m at least, that’s something that I have to do.
So that figured out my first little section of the morning. I get to my office at nine. And [00:28:00] then, you know, the other stuff in there is kind of not really scheduled, but it is getting to a point where it is kind of stuff’s kind of falling in place. So it’s, it’s super interesting that my life is kind of just like figuring itself out with this thing.
And especially as I start delegating more, it’s like at the start of the year, hiring Tyler as our CFO and then Danny as our CEO, like. Danny’s operating, managing all of our people, all of our operations. Tyler’s managing all of our finances and executing all that stuff for that. I was doing both of those things before they started.
Right. So getting that stuff on the plate too has also helped with the scheduling stuff. So
Brett Gilliland: delegate, automate, innovate. Jeff, is this a time where I do my Jeff, our producer over here? Is this a time I, I plug my, my, my, uh, my own journal, which you got to copy over here. This is going to help you, man. This is your daily planner, your weekly planner, your Sunday.
I mean, it’s got all sorts of stuff in here, man. So we’ll talk offline about that, how this was a game changer. This is 20 years of work for me in one spot now. So I can go as a busy professional and dive into it. [00:29:00] So, um, let’s talk about our potential, man. We, I think, you know, as people listen to podcasts, hopefully this podcast, there’s a lot of potential out there and we’re, we’re maximizing it, but how do we maximize it more?
Get it to the next level that we want to be the number one hat guy, the number one financial guy, you know, in the world, right?
Robert Hamm: Yeah. The more, the more I do this and kind of going back to like, if I started another business, I’m pretty confident that I could just make it work, you know, because of what we’ve done here.
Like, I feel like you, you get to this, you get to this next level of like thought process where you start looking at the things around you for what they are like that barrel over there was built in a factory somewhere that probably employed a hundred people. That’s probably a hundred million dollar business that just made wood barrels.
Yeah, and it’s crazy the stuff that Everything around you is made somewhere by a company that makes a ton of money to do that Yeah, and there’s so much stuff in the world that You just need one little sliver of that. And to [00:30:00] do it, you just have to do a little bit better than the other guys are out there.
Right. And it’s, to me, it’s just, it’s almost debilitating because now I have so many other ideas that I want to execute on that I can’t. Cause I’m pigeonholed into my business now and I know if I leave it, it’s not continue to flourish and grow like it is. And I want it to, but I have so many other things that I want to do that I just right now I can’t.
But I know if I, if I stick to it for five, 10 more years, I’m going to have like this, not, not, not only just free time, but the capital to be able to build a team myself to execute on my visions and plans. But you just really start to see the world for what it is. Uh, as far as businesses and products and how that works and realize that if you just put the time and energy and effort into it, it’s, it’s gonna work and anyone can literally do it.
Brett Gilliland: So the circuits of success are your attitude, your belief system, um, the, the actions that you take. [00:31:00] Ultimately get the results that you want, right? That’s the circuits of success, hence the podcast name. And so, but your belief right there shines bright. And so I think for people listening, it’s belief in ourself.
It’s belief in a process. It’s belief in showing up to work is belief in the goal. It’s belief, whatever the things are, right, that’s gotta be. And what I’m hearing from you, uh, is your, to your core, you believe in your work ethic and what you’re going to do and what you’re going to go build true.
Robert Hamm: Oh yeah, betting on myself.
Yeah. I know if I bet on myself, I’m going to be the person that’s going to have my best interests in mind. I’m going to be the one that has to do the work, so I’m just going to continually bet on myself and push myself to get where I want or need to be.
Brett Gilliland: What 2016?
Guy, right? So yeah, Robert’s two years away from even starting this biz. What advice would you have for that guy? Oh boy.
Robert Hamm: Wow. [00:32:00] I haven’t even thought about that advice. Oh boy. Get help sooner. Like if I would have got out of my garage a little quicker and had more help at the beginning there, it would have just scaled faster.
But um, Yeah, that’s a, that’s a tough question. Uh, I, I really wouldn’t change anything because worked out like all of the, all the turmoil or stress or problems or like, what’s really funny is through growing this thing, I’ve had moments where I felt like I had to reach out to the person that’s done it.
To get advice and every single time I’ve done that, they’ve never responded. When you think about like saying an Instagram DM to like Andy for Sela, like the guys that you listen to on the podcast, it’s like, if I could get them to just talk to me for an hour, they have all the answers, but every time that connections ever made, or I never get the advice, you figure it out on your own [00:33:00] and when you figure it out on your own.
You really know it, you know, you see
Brett Gilliland: me scrolling here because I just wrote down on my weekly scorecard for this week So I was I was right down every week my biggest awareness Yeah, it’s what my biggest awareness was and what I wrote down was I was with somebody yesterday and it’s you know Sometimes you think people could be different if they’re in your same position Yeah, what you just said you got to reach out to them, right?
They’ve got the magic answer boom the world is figured out. I wrote down my biggest awareness was We’re all the same people. We’re all the same people. Yep. We’re doing great
Robert Hamm: work. Yep. Keep freaking going, right? And I think and what’s funny is not now. I have a YouTube channel 1, 500 subscribers, I’m killing it But I have people reaching out to me in the same way that I was reaching out to those people for the advice and it’s like, my advice is, is you have to put in the work and that’s like, we can go on the whole tangent of what I feel about all the fake people on social media and like, so my YouTube channel is, I want to [00:34:00] be showing the truth.
I want to be the true side of the entrepreneurial journey and show it unfiltered, never sell a scammy course on how to get rich quick or successful because the people that are going to respond to give these people advice, it’s going to be for their monetary benefit, like almost a hundred percent of the time.
And if it, if. If that person isn’t doing that, they’re freely giving the advice through content like a podcast or YouTube channel. You know, that’s right. So, um, I, I, I gosh, I, I love. Just watching the, the, the fake gurus out there, you know, sell their courses and stuff where Selling courses on something.
They’ve never even done themselves, right? They’re making the money on the… I follow
Brett Gilliland: that, like they’ve never built anything. They’ve never built a business and it’s like, man, I don’t know. I could have a whole nother show about that too. It drives me nuts. So, um, let’s do it. We’ll do it together. We’ll just talk about like real raw
Robert Hamm: [00:35:00] stuff.
Pull up their Instagrams. Well, I got this
Brett Gilliland: little ladder over here. You can’t see it, but you know, it talks about, you know, your, your perseverance, your courage, your, your belief, your attitude, you know, all those things. And then ultimately you get the freedom. And I think what I always say is you, you tip the ladder upside down.
That’s the way people want to climb the ladder. They want the freedom. Right, right. They don’t see the stuff at three o’clock in the morning when you don’t even know your name, you don’t, you can’t even sleep because you’re so sleep deprived. You got a baby bottle, you got a diaper over here, oh and by the way I gotta be at work five minutes late tomorrow, right?
Yep. They don’t see that side. They see the guy that’s doing a million a
Robert Hamm: month side acts. Exactly, right. Yeah, and that’s uh, that’s where you just, there is no quick path to get there. It’s always gonna be the work. And even if I did start something new, I would be in, I would start from the dirt up, like I would have, I’d have a leg up because of what I’ve built now and knowing some of the pitfalls I went through.
So it will be easier the next time, but [00:36:00] you’re still going to fail. You’re still going to trip on yourself. And it’s just, just put in the work. So how many of
Brett Gilliland: the fears you’ve put in your mind have actually blown up to the magnitude you put them in your mind to be?
Robert Hamm: Oh goodness. Uh, I, you know, we’ve got over 40 employees now, so that weighs heavily on me and it’s like any downturn in sales, even at just the day level.
Like if it was a bad day in sales, I’m like, Oh shit. I go, my mom works for me. Like. There’s, my sister works for me now too, geez, what am I doing to myself? My sister in law works for me. Like, it’s family, it’s family at this point too, you know? Like, if this goes belly up, my family’s out of work. But then I think about it, like, you know, those people can go get jobs somewhere else too.
Not that I have to. I ever
Brett Gilliland: go belly up, we go to this extreme of…
Robert Hamm: These fears that’s where it always goes
Brett Gilliland: right [00:37:00] false evidence is appearing real we put them in our mind They don’t blow up to the magnitude. We put them remind me. Yeah, maybe you have a down year Maybe you have a bad month a bad quarter. I don’t know right but in reality is you’re gonna pivot You’re a good enough business leader and a good business owner and you get
Robert Hamm: the grind hustle.
You’ll pay and honestly The hard times are the good times because that’s when the business owner, the executor really straps in and fixes shit and makes it better. So in this current downturn and ads not doing well, I’m going through the customer’s experience and making it so much better than it ever was because it’s the uncomfortable pressure of like, I’ve got to make this better because we need more sales.
And it’s, it’s the problem right now that needs fixed. Right? So I hunker down and I, I, I’ve rolled out a lot of really good shit. That’s having a great, uh, great return in the business, but it’s the pressure of like, and the, and when things are great, you know, we’re doing seven or 50, 000 a month, I’m just like kind of coasting, you know, this is great.
Yeah. And then that’s seven 50 dips down to 500. [00:38:00] And we’ve staffed up to handle what seven 50 takes to get done. And you’re kind of like, Oh shit, we got to get these sales back in. I got like, what’s going on? Right. You know, wait a few weeks to make sure it’s not just a blip. Then if it’s not just a blip, all right, we’ve got to hunker down and figure something out.
And it’s, uh, I’ve really realized that it’s like, it’s in the times of the discomfort where you really prevail and make things better. So you. If things are perfect, you’re never going to learn, improve, or do anything. You’re just to be complacent. What’s
Brett Gilliland: a, what’s chat GPT,
Robert Hamm: AI, all those
Brett Gilliland: things. How are they going to impact our
Robert Hamm: work?
Oh God. Uh, word salad, essay dissertations on every LinkedIn posts underneath the comments of people trying to look cool. Uh, not even just LinkedIn posts, Jesus. Uh, the entire internet is going to become word salad, word soup all over the place of people. Creating clickbait blog articles. I mean blogs are already flooded the internet [00:39:00] for SEO purposes Just get freaking clicks and ad revenue It’s just gonna create this generic just blah of an internet space and I really dislike it The art side of things really cool.
So like for me as an artist, I can just type in to get a Inspiration or an idea to create something and I think that’s really really cool It’s like I could get inspiration take something that it shows me and then recreate it to actually make it look Yeah, I would never expect something spat out from AI to be like the final art piece But using it for inspiration I think is super powerful.
Um, but as far as the, like I, so I actually, I hired my first programmer, uh, shoot, maybe almost a year ago now. Um, and he’s, he’s completely green right out of school went to rank into, um, and he’s chatty to be a lot. And every time, every time I see him pulling it up when we’re talking, like sitting down and do something and I’m like, here you go again, using chat, TCP to teach you what [00:40:00] you’re doing.
Um, and I’ve tried it a couple of times and I was surprised at how good it was at writing a solution. But three out of the five times I tried to use it, it didn’t work. It wasn’t right. And it’s AI, the biggest problem with AI is it’s not actually artificial intelligence. It’s pulling data from human inputted data.
Like databases, this is our words, our code, our everything that we’ve just put in these data sets that the AI is pulling from. It’s not thinking of anything on its own. No, it’s not artificially creating anything. It’s just pulling. So in the form of like content of texts and everything, it’s literally just taking a bunch of different sentences and words that other people have written on the internet and putting An article.
Yeah. And when you think about trying to get like factual information from AI, where is that AI pulling [00:41:00] the information from? How up to date is that information? You don’t know. Yeah. So it’s like
Brett Gilliland: two or three years behind. Right. Yeah. So it worries me for critical thinking for our kids.
Robert Hamm: Oh, for sure. So you just go there now and type something in there.
I wish I had it in school. I would never do. I mean, I didn’t do any homework anyways in school. But. I would do it because I could just make Chatty TV do it. Uh, geez. Scary man. Math problems literally show you what to write to get the equation done. Oh my gosh.
Brett Gilliland: Crazy. Last question here for you, a future greater than your past.
That’s the logo here. That’s a, you know, hats you guys have made. That’s the, uh, the mission of our firm is to help people achieve a future greater than your past. So when you hear that, what does that mean to you?
Robert Hamm: Growth, just personal growth, like learning and constantly improving. Your relationships, like for me, I need to improve my health.
I’m not a healthy person. I eat terribly. I don’t drink [00:42:00] water I drink diet soda every day like I need to get in a gym, you know Like for me, that’s one part of my growth that I want to see better in myself And also the schedule stuff like I want to get better with that I do want to be able to detach and spend time with my kids like you said earlier Because you know, we just had our second and she’s two months now four and a half year old man Uh, three month old almost, but being able to really spend time with my family, you know, and that becoming a dad and a good father, like that’s another part of my growth too.
Um. Um, I, I hope everyone has the ability to be a dad and a father too, cause it’s super cool. It’s nuts. Um, yeah, that’s, it’s just personally bettering yourself. Like that’s where I want to go. And if, if that happens to be in a business space too, that’s great. You know, it just improves my life and the life of those around me, you know,
Brett Gilliland: I love it.
Well, I think they can exist. I mean, that’s what I’ve tried to make a career out of, right. That your personal, professional, your financial, your spiritual, your emotional, your intellectual, all those [00:43:00] areas physically. They can all, uh, be together, right? That’s what we’re trying to help people do. So where do our listeners find more of you and your company and an easy process?
So I can go in and buy, you know, hats, get
Robert Hamm: some hats, uh, hat launch. com. That’s where you can order hats. Uh, we also have shirt launch. com so you can get shirts just as easy. The website is about. Eight months out of date from the hat launch one. So I do all my innovations and stuff there. And then I take all that code and paste it into the shirt launch side.
So the process is good, but not as good as hat launch, but, uh, it will be soon. Um, but on, um. Um, I’m the launch dude. So launch dude, basically on all social media platforms, but YouTube, the launch dude, launch dude was taken by a guy that has like one video from 20 years ago on there. Dang it. Uh, but yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m really hitting the YouTube stuff hard and I’m putting a lot of work in these videos.
Like they’re 20 minute long videos that are hopefully Netflix quality is what you guys see out of it. The old, the older stuff. No, like that was me [00:44:00] doing it myself. But now like I got a producer, we’re actually. Lives with me in my house for weeks at a time, follows me around and that is freaking exhausting.
Let me tell you, like, I don’t know how celebrities do it. Have a dude following them around with the camera, like being on camera all day by itself is exhausting and then doing it while trying to run a business is like, holy crap, this is hard. Um, but yeah, please YouTube. Like and subscribe
Brett Gilliland: awesome, man.
Well, we will send people your way. We’ll put it in the show notes. It’s been awesome Having you
Robert Hamm: robert. Thank you for being here, man. That’s great That’s
my grand city great school education there
Brett Gilliland: so much. Thank you