Brandon T. Adams is a video marketing expert and Emmy Award winning producer/host of the TV series Success in Your City.
Over the course of the last decade, Adams has immersed himself in entrepreneurism, logging countless hours and building a high-profile network by providing value to some of the biggest names in self-employment, including Kevin Harrington, a former Shark Tank panelist whose net worth is calculated to be in excess of $400 million.
Yet for Adams, rubbing shoulders with entrepreneurial legends and establishing a legacy of his own was never preordained.
In fact, when Adams first enrolled in college at Iowa State, his future prospects appeared bleak as he struggled to get out of his own way.
“I got a 1.68 GPA my first semester. I almost dropped out because I was partying and doing all the things that college kids do,” Adams recalls, but adds that although his college career started out poorly, it eventually proved to be a worthwhile endeavor.
That’s because even though his GPA was faltering, Adams still made time to attend lectures on campus hosted by some of the most successful people in the world.
One talk in particular featured Jack “Cactus” Barringer, whose unconventional appearance belies the fact that he has invented and sold several breakthrough products, which in turn has generated millions of dollars for his business.
During the talk he gave at Iowa State, Barringer impressed upon the students in attendance to read a book called Think and Grow Rich, so much so that it inspired Adams to dream beyond graduating from college and one day taking over his father’s profitable ice packaging company.
“I ended up ordering the book and reading it, and it made me realize what I could do with my life beyond my dad’s business,” Adams says.
After graduating from college, Adams still joined his father and helped continue the success of the ice packaging company.
He then eventually bought the business from his father, but seven years ago Adams sold the ice packaging company and began focusing on the multitude of ways that video marketing could elevate businesses.
Since then, in addition to becoming an expert in the video marketing field and producing a hit TV series, Adams has also raised over $160,000 for various charities and nonprofits, plus become the owner of two patents and three trademarks.
Adams’ impressive résumé doesn’t end there, but what’s important to remember is that none of his accomplishments would have come to fruition had he not powered through apathy and adversity and assumed ownership of his life’s narrative.
“The biggest thing is taking action,” Adams says when asked to list the most crucial element of his success.
“A lot of people overthink and spend too much time trying to strategize. I’ve always been the guy who goes and tries, learns, and then pivots.”
Adams’ action-based approach has served him well, especially because he admits that for much of his entrepreneurial career, he hasn’t had all the answers, but through gaining experience and being persistent, he has learned lessons that no book or course could have ever prepared him for.
“The opportunities I have today don’t come because I am the smartest guy in the world,” he says.
“I know how to effectively articulate information, but more than anything I know how to take action.”
Adams’ charisma meshes well with his authoritative presence, which appeals to household names like Kevin Harrington, who today not only endorses the skills that Adams brings to the marketplace, but the two have also partnered together on a number of different business ventures.
That being said, befriending and then partnering with Harrington, or any of his other business mentors for that matter, didn’t happen overnight.
Instead, Adams spent time trying to figure out ways that he could leverage his skillset and be useful to entrepreneurism’s finest.
“I wanted to add massive value to people who I wanted as mentors and to go into business with, so I found ways to help them make money or achieve their goals,” Adams explains.
“In return, I got their mentorship and into their sphere of influence, which ultimately leveled up the way I thought, but also how I made money.”
Again, Adams didn’t instantly ingratiate himself toward the upper echelon of businessmen, and he also knew that fostering those coveted relationships wouldn’t be easy.
In that sense, taking a long-term approach was intentional, a tactic that unfortunately not every aspiring entrepreneur in today’s marketplace is willing to adopt.
“We live in a world of social media and instant reaction,” Adams gives as one reason why restlessness has taken precedence over patience.
And in a market where few are willing to take the time needed in order to cultivate something special, Adams has consequently seen his initial investments materialize.
“At the beginning of my career, I struggled, but after I got through the initial struggles of hearing a lot of rejection and not knowing how to make money doing certain things, things gradually became easier,” Adams says.
“Once you get a few wins and you see that six months or twelve months of nonstop work has led to something, then you realize that the struggle is just a part of the journey.”
Today, Adams spends most days fielding calls and solving whatever problems may arise in any of the handful of businesses he owns.
His dedication and perseverance have gotten him this far, to a point that has seen his financial dreams become a reality, but reaching this level has also brought about a new set of challenges that he could not have predicted when he sold his father’s ice packaging company years ago.
Which is to say, the entrepreneurial grind never ceases to waver, and Adams is okay with that because he knows that with each obstacle he overcomes, he’s further cementing his legacy and moving closer toward his end goals.
“There is no magic pill that will give you the ultimate success,” Adams emphasizes.
“You actually have to put in the work, but most people never stick with something long enough to actually see the end result.”
For those currently mining through the same early struggles that Adams once found himself in, understanding that angst and uncertainty are the cost of admission is key, but Adams also mentions that self-awareness also goes a long way toward achieving fulfillment.
“I tell people to keep going, but to also be honest with themselves. A lot of people lie to themselves about how much work they’re putting in or how they’re spending their time,” he notes, while also stressing the importance of being willing to switch gears, or locales, if the circumstances call for it, something Adams has done on several occasions.
“I’ve done this multiple times, where I move somewhere new because there are more opportunities,” says Adams, who currently resides in Florida to avoid state income taxes and also be closer to Kevin Harrington and the businesses they’re invested in.
“Just for context, I started out in a small town of 700 people. If I would’ve stayed there, I would have never been able to grow.”
Of course, there will be some who scoff at Adams’ sentiments and decry the fact that he has committed, and will continue to commit, ungodly amounts of hours to improving as a video marketer and business owner.
Adams acknowledges that his lifestyle wouldn’t work for the vast majority of human beings, but he also won’t shy away from the fact that his work ethic has opened doors that were previously bolted shut, which is why he is approaching 2022 with the same tenacity he exhibited nearly a decade ago.
“Money isn’t everything, but being broke doesn’t give you any justice either. My thing is I look at money as a way for me to show that I can create massive value,” he says.
“That’s why this year specifically I am laser focused on what I’m doing because I’m finding more success and making even more money, but now I want to take what I have mastered and bring it to the next level.”
But it won’t be easy.
As mentioned, ascending each rung of the proverbial ladder has its rewards, but it also has its pitfalls, some of which are often unpredictable and can leave even a well-decorated entrepreneur like Adams frantically scrambling for a solution.
Such is life, and such is the game of entrepreneurship.
“What I did yesterday isn’t going to necessarily work tomorrow, and so now I’m trying to figure out ways that I can hire more people, take what I am doing, and scale it to another level,” Adams says.
“The great thing is I get the opportunity to figure out the answers to those questions, and what’s even greater is I have mentors who have built billion-dollar companies, so I get to figure all this out alongside them.” QS
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