CEO, Alex Worley, USC discussed on Business Rockstars


This is just Rockstars. I'm Alex Worley. Welcome to the show. Joining me right now, the CEO and founder of why chair Hawaiian volcanic water Ryan and men's thanks for being here. So if you could start off by giving us an overview of your entrepreneurial journey, I know that you started this business pretty much right out of college. So really what was the catalyst for starting at just? So we, you know. No, we launched. I graduated early with my co-founder to launch a full time when we were about twenty one. And so we it actually was originally. An entrepreneurial entrepreneurial projects we were in the undergrad program at USC. Specifically, there's an entrepreneur program and. It's called the center for entrepreneurial studies. So I had actually started working on this concept when I was a freshman so went through feasability classes is band classes. And eventually thought that we had kind of a resonating lifestyle brand that could actually create some really positive disruptive industry change in terms of our environmentally packaging. Environmental packaging. Our social message give back component. So our goal was really to create a carbon neutral Fiji needs Tom shoes. So a little bit more about the brand and how disruptive how so I mean, our our platform is based on live healthy lives sustainably live ethically. So it starts with the water at sauce, which is kind of important. So it's is actually filtered through about fourteen thousand feet up through The Modelo volcano on the big island, and that unique filtration process enriches it with these trace minerals Smits it naturally alkaline electrolyte rich daily recommended intake of silica fear. Hey, you're getting your nails. And as a really smooth now seal so starts with water. But then the sustainability part. Is we were the first major premium water brand beverages actually in the country to use one hundred percent our pet. So what that is is our bottles are actually post consumer recycled bottles, so we basically have a ninety five percents smaller carbon footprint than every the bottle that you see out there. And then we offset the entirety of our logistics. To our regional reforestation programs are facility runs off thirty three percent. And then the last component which is super significant is for every leader that you buy we donate a week supply of clean water people in need in Malawi Africa. We also donate an extra two percent of revenues towards local nonprofits in Hawaii, fostering, education and conservation. So that's a lot. Now. Fall in the could picture start with. So since you're an entrepreneur. How would you define entrepreneur? And really specifically what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Yes. So I think I mean, obviously this gets used I feel quite a bit. But it definitely takes a certain amount of from correct. And ability to stay positive the most successful entrepreneurs that I've met and been pushing us to. Call upon for advice. It's always the ones that find solutions. When it seems like there's really no way out. And so there's that which is kind of a little negative. But then the other side of it is those that kind of can see a bigger possibility than most people around them and are willing to kind of have small sacrifices to achieve that. When other people might not believe that is even possible or exists. And so I think it's at times it's a little bit. Unnerving and definitely stresses you out. But. It's all worth it at the end. Yeah. Do you ever still feel those nerves in fear of failure? I haven't right now. Like, I I have a huge conviction in my company, and the brand that we built, but. You know, we we have a lot more to do. And when worked when you're going so fast, you know that comes with it. A new set of complexities in terms of you know. Needing the right amount of cash making sure you have the right systems operating programs. And so now these are all things that keep me up at night right now so deal with all of because there are a lot of highs and lows is an entrepreneur. So I think it comes down to have you really get personal life as if you really if you have a really stressful work life. You have a lot of things going on home. You know that just cannot mentally you're just going to be exhausted. So for me, it's making sure that I am spending enough time with my girlfriend, my family, my dog my friends. Cutting off. So like Saturdays are always mine. Sunday's usually work like half days. But. That's really the rest of symbolic maintaining the balance. Exactly. So a lot of entrepreneurs they transition from working at a nine to five to being an entrepreneur, and that's a really strange transition year in a unique position 'cause you really started in college. So what was that? Like is that something you'd recommend? If you do what would you caution? New entrepreneurs to think about. Yeah. I think that there are a lot of benefits to going in a very competitive industry. Very name use. You know, I if if I had any industry experience in beverage, I'm actually not sure I would have. I'm not sure if I would have started why care because it would have seemed like there were so many barriers to entry. And I would have talked to so many people that would have told me, you're crazy. And you know, I think having an idea that I knew as disruptive that I was doing enough focus studies and analyses ability. Where I felt like we could change the industry and kind of holding onto that. And then seeing things out as they come obviously, we made tons of mistakes. But it got to a point where we realize we did have something that we could do it. And I don't think we would have ever been able to get Beth are if I had had some some work experience prior because I was coming in with just you know, so much energy ignorance is bliss ignorance is a lot of naive attack. So so take me back to those first months. What advice would you offer your early entrepreneurial south? My advice would be to put together an amazing advisory board. People that have done it before not just people that have experienced big beverage, the very successful companies that are doing tens of millions of dollars hundreds of dollars. But people that have. Donna from from the gecko. So we can talk about the honest guys even talk about. All of the coconut water guys that started from scratch off from nothing. And then grew the Branston come multi one hundred million billion dollar brands because they've actually been through every single stage. Not just the later stage. And so we eventually put an advisory together. But it wasn't. It's all about two to three years, and where it was one that was super super relevant. Is there a mentor? That's coming to mind that has been specially impactful in your life. Yeah. So my my dad is obviously been amazing. He's an entrepreneur. So I definitely inherited. I'd like to think. You know, a lot from him. And then also the had a strategy for. Kind of like a CEO of kinks wine, which is a big brand. John lennon. He's also an investor in care. He's been amazing. His his advice has always been. I talk to them every day. And he's always helped me stay really positive. But another thing, you know, one of his best quotes is just a little bit dark but higher slow fire fast. That's about it. All the time. I'm here. Yeah. So that's like, you know, I mean. I wish I had really. Dovan early on and started researching investing into techniques like top grading things like that. He really helped me figure that on. Yeah. That's one of the common questions. I ask is do you believe in that common philosophies? So sounds like you do can you why it's worked for you. Well, so it's you have to have like a system I feel like so we use kind of a hybrid of with the top grading methodology. And so basically it minimizes the possibility of you hiring a b or c player maximizes the probability of hiring an eight player. And you know, the problem is a lot of entrepreneurs they need someone needs one fast. And they don't realize the hiring the wrong person is actually gonna cost them now five to ten times that person's salary if they're not the right person. And so we have to get back to let's have like a Goto business structure protocol for hiring. And that's going to enable us to have a bad ass team. That's going to push a sport a lot quicker. But it's the best and worst part about working for yourself. Best part is a flexible schedule and being able to kind of pick the projects that I can help and work on and really spearhead kind of having my own level of autonomy..

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