“Fear is the enemy; I try to face it head-on,” says Brandon Ford, the founder of TripHero (gotriphero.com), who worked his way from humble beginning to an Ivy-League education and a law degree, with a spell in the Marines along the way. Moving to Vail, Colorado, after losing his job in 2008, Brandon began working as a ski valet and saw the problem people had when traveling with their luggage and gear.
Watch or listen now, or read more below. S’Mores is brought to you by FIRESIDE, marketing for small businesses.
Or listen to our podcast…
Brandon explains the inspiration behind TripHero. Their mission is to make it as easy as humanly possible to travel the world with the equipment you need to pursue your passions and explore both on and off the beaten path.
Brandon started his first business at the age of five, going around campgrounds collecting recycling. Before the age of twelve, he was selling t-shirts and flowers.
Brandon dives deep into the steps it took for him to get TripHero off the ground. The first question Brandon would get from potential investors was how many have you sold, but that point the answer was always none. Brandon knew he would have to go out there and get sales somehow to overcome that hurdle. Doing this helped Brandon realize how eager people were eager to ship their stuff, and he learned how to sell the concept of TripHero.
As an entrepreneur, Brandon learned how willing people were to help, and how easy it was to find a meaningful mentor. There are loads of people out there who want to be mentors and see other entrepreneurs succeed. A mentor and mentee will both get a significant amount of value out of the relationship. Brandon says you should find a mentor who has been down a similar path that you are looking to go down. As an entrepreneur, you should not be afraid to ask for help. When you ask for help, the worst thing a person can say is no.
Then, Brandon speaks about his first hires, partnerships, and the relationships he built along the way to get TripHero off the ground, including purchasing a FedEx shipping franchise to ultimately gain a more significant partnership with the FedEx parent company.
Brandon realized that luggage and packages are a huge pain point for the hotels, too, because they are often ill-equipped to receive loads of packages. Part of the solution is to have TripHero employees on the properties.
Later, Brandon speaks about the lack of marketing dollars they have spent. He says you need to know where and when to spend the money and shouldn’t be spending it unless you know how it is going to benefit you.
Stay tuned as Brandon explains why you won’t find a work-life balance as an entrepreneur.
In this Episode:
- About Brandon Ford [0:20]
- The steps Brandon took to get TripHero going [7:30]
- Do not be afraid to ask for help [11:50]
- About Brandon’s first hire [17:00]
- Where to find TripHero [19:00]
- Why TripHero does not pay for marketing [24:30]
- About networking [26:55]
- Why you won’t find a work-life balance as an entrepreneur [30:40]
- Entrepreneurs can have smart luck [37:15]
- “It’s tough for a big company to partner with someone they don’t know will be around much longer.”
- “You can spend an infinite amount of money on marketing.”
- “You will have to have a lot of sacrifices as an entrepreneur.”
- “There are very few lucky entrepreneurs.”
- “Fear is the enemy; I try to face it head-on.”
Find Brandon on LinkedIn
Check out TripHero
Find Dax Hamman on LinkedIn
Find more episodes of S’Mores By Fireside