Can the COVID-19 lockdown inspire new innovation? One entrepreneur and businessman seems to think so. This week we go Off the Cuff with QuarantineCon co-founder, Scooter Taylor. Scooter brings his fresh perspective to the subject of how business and personal interaction will evolve in light of the pandemic environment. He also provides insights into the genesis and future development of QuarantineCon. Want to know more?
Scooter Taylor Interview Key Points
In this interview, Scooter discusses the following topics:
- The reasons that he and his co-founder created QuarantineCon
- What QuarantineCon is all about and where he sees it going
- How advancing technology has democratized online business
- Where innovation originates and how those innovators are able to monetize
- How he got the idea for QuarantineCon
- How the Covid-19 environment is a catalyst for exciting new opportunities
About Scooter Taylor
Scooter Taylor is an entrepreneur and businessman. Scooter was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. As a child he began learning Tae Kwon Do, going on to become an instructor in his early teens. He became fascinated with business after seeing the growth of his local Tae Kwon Do school.
Between 2011-2015, Scooter attended Morehouse College, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing. The following year he founded Water Wars Atlanta, a student-led non-profit dedicated to ending the world’s water crisis. In 2016, he co-founded LookLive, a website and app to help men browse the style of their favorite celebrities, influencers, and media figures, find the exact products they are wearing and buy them directly from the app.
In March of 2020, Scooter co-founded QuarantineCon. This initiative was created as a response to the pandemic environment which has engulfed the planet. QuarantineCon brings the world’s movers and shakers together in order to maximize the time that we are all spending at home. This culture-focused digital community is growing rapidly.
Find Scooter Taylor online:
- It’s awesome you’re joining “Off The Cuff” with the Scooter.
- Let’s do it man.
- For the people that don’t know, who you are and what you do in your background and stuff like that. Let’s just go into a little bit about who Scooter Taylor is and why are you so dynamic?
- Man, I think the story starts in Memphis. If I were to start at somewhere. Born and raised in Memphis and I think just through the activities, my mom signed me up for, what I thank her most for, just letting me run with all those. And so one of those being Taekwondo, which quickly led to me, being a Taekwondo instructor. And so that was like, in front of classrooms, teaching four and five year olds how to kick and punch and like just really being involved in the business actually at like 14. And so seeing it go from being there, ahead of the classes, so seeing us ideate on different things, make those things happen. And then by six o’clock or selling them to the parents or we’re talking into the classes. And so just understanding like a flow of how business is, it just works. Like it’s not magic, it’s like real work that has to happen. And so that was my first introduction to business, getting paychecks, learning and like having a fun job. Like also not having to work at like or, something like that. Like, this was fun for me to just be kicking around in pajamas and barefoot and stuff like that. And so then that transitioned into me and the Taekwondo instructor’s son making a YouTube channel. So this is about 15 or 16, 2007, 2008. We’re on YouTube doing technology reviews and we’re reviewing, your Mac, your iPhone, the new MacBooks that are coming in. At that point, Apple was dropping stuff like every year. It was like they were dropping things, like Marvel movies. iPhone 3GS and iPhone four and FaceTime and iPads. And so we were reviewing a lot of products for that. And that was the introduction to back then didn’t know the term, but now I know what business development is. So now I’m reaching out to companies and getting cases sent, we’re doing reviews, just also marketing. So just digital marketing, learning again, back then, not knowing really what it was, but how do you, and even now, just growing a community. We had 20,000 subscribers and we’re getting paid by YouTube. So that was like some of the first introductions, I guess, to business, to this internet thing for me. And that was all pre Morehouse.
- So post Morehouse, how did you then get an introduction into corporate and how that kind of move you on to doing what you’re doing now?
- Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, again, those early things, I just mentioned from Taekwondo to YouTube were my first introductions to just money. And it was like, Scooter can generate money for himself. It wasn’t like, you hear stories about kids who were like, “Oh, I sold sneakers and was making thousands.” Like I wasn’t doing that by any chance, but 10 bucks an hour as a 16 year old and getting a few hundred dollars from YouTube just sent to you in the mail. It was really cool. And so at least it let me know that, I know how to make money. And it’s different from what I see how my parents make money. She goes to work, hours, doesn’t like it, complains. This is a way different experience than what I’m seeing here. And so, I have a big sister who’s also pretty influential. And so she actually went to the new startups right as I was entering Morehouse. And so the Facebook movie came out a couple of years before that. So just now kind of seeing like, okay, cool. Like, there’s mad opportunity here. Again, still not knowing the ins and outs, but just knowing that like, this is a career path. Because I felt it right. I’ve this YouTube thing I thought was the biggest thing in the world. 20,000 subscribers and so I know how to build something big and like, let’s go build something bigger. And so I got to college, that was my plan. I think there were kids that were like, I wanna go work at Deloitte or do financial consulting. I didn’t really have that view. I knew how to make YouTube videos and like be on the internet. And so one of the first ideas that we had was to break the world record for the world’s largest water balloon fight. And what’s funny about the story is I kind of remember now I actually got denied from a Google internship and I remember being like, yeah, I’m gonna get the school internship, ’cause I was a YouTube partner. And like, I was student council president in high school, everyone comes into college thinking they’re just the man. And I didn’t get that internship. But I remember saying like, yo, this idea I have about the water balloon fight like that, number one gets me excited. Number two, all the digital marketing skills I need to make that happen. Videos, marketing websites, signing people up, donations. Like I’ve done all that through my experiences already in high school. So I know how to do this. So let’s go do it. And when I do it, I won’t need an internship. This is gonna be my internship. So we put all my literally sophomore, junior years. And so Tre’von who does QuarantineCon, we were both doing that together, which will partly later, but you know, missing classes, staying up late, getting our friends involved. And so the inspiration of going, I know what startups are like, and it’s hustling and small teams. And like, let’s just be scrappy, like taking that inspiration. Plus what I thought I knew about how to like build something big, and attempt this world record. And so while it didn’t happen, and it was also for charity. So that’s also this trying to give you the context here. Is it was like, let’s break this world record, 12,000 college students are needed, 300,000 water balloons. If we break this world record, amazing, number one. But number two, we would bring people together. So Atlanta is home to several different colleges. I don’t know if you know, but like Morehouse, Spelman, Georgia Tech, Agnes Scott, Clayton state. And so it’s like now we’re building community, bringing the students together. But then what if all these students donate five bucks? So now we’re having a good time and we raised 60 grand to go build wells in Subsaharan Africa. And so it was like a charity play. It was a marketing play. Let’s go, it was amazing. And so what I learned from that is, again, just how big something could be and people could buy in. And I was not going to career fairs. I was not trying to go corporate. ‘Cause I was like, this is, we’re getting close. Like I’m closing deals and like meeting with the execs and at the radio station and meeting with marketing managers and closing $5,000 contracts here. But still didn’t know what I was doing. And still like making this a lot of unforced, turnovers and errors that, but I learned a lot. And so then my first internship I got it on a plane actually. And so, I was actually, literally the same story, I probably just told you, I was talking the guy next to me, it turned out he actually works for a technology company called Qualcomm. And so I knew Qualcomm from my YouTube days talking technology and so he was surprised, I knew Qualcomm. And just even a greater concept here just being like said African American males, he had never been to Morehouse. So he was going to Atlanta to recruit for internships where they were paying $26 an hour or $27 an hour to kids at Georgia Tech. And I was like, “Yo, have you ever been to Morehouse?” Like how do you, have you ever seen? He had never didn’t know much about it. And so I’m thinking like, man, like I’m in tech, I know about startups. I’m not an engineer, but I know engineers who are not getting $26 an hour, probably don’t even know about Qualcomm. So this is wild. So I was his first induction in Morehouse, but you know, after the plane he was like, “Hey man,” when we landed, he was like, “Hey, you should get an internship at Qualcomm. “Like let’s stay in touch.” And so we actually stayed in touch. And so that summer I was an intern at Qualcomm. And again, I thought I was making like crazy money. I think I was making like, maybe it was like 21 an hour, 19 an hour. But like the engineers were making like 28, 30. Yeah so all that to say, that was the first introduction to kind of a corporate lifestyle. And it was a fun summer. Like it was great. Like, I made their Instagram for the first time. This is like 2014. So I remember going to them going, you guys need to be on Instagram. And they’re like, “What’s Instagram like, oh, do we need to?” I’m like, “Yeah, you guys are recruiting for companies. “Like, these kids are going to go to Instagram, blah, blah.” But I was tasked with actually running their intern program. So they had like over 400 interns that summer across like four locations. And so I was tasked with, updating them, programming, thinking of cool events, hackathons, like planning events. So it was really fun. And then I remember leaving that conversation or leaving that internship and saying, “Okay, I wanna go try a smaller tech company now.” Because I remember the magic I was having with YouTube and the magic I just had with Water Wars and like that didn’t offer the same magic. And again, in my head, I was like, we got so close with those ideas. 20,000 subscribers, like having that kind of activity or just building something that people are like, “Oh yeah, Water Wars, I know what that is.” It’s like, okay, we’re making some movement. And so it was like, yo, just like, I wanna get bigger, I wanna go do it, I wanna close the gap. And so I started working at a company called Yik Yak. It was a small but I remember Yik Yak. But it was a social media company. They raised like $70 million in funding. They were number one in the app store. And so I was one of the first eight people on the team and one of the first people on the growth team, but I was an intern capacity, but like I was there. And so that was like a big, like, okay, now we’re doing it. Like, again I’m still thinking I’m gonna be doing it by the time I’m 27, which I’m turning 27 in like a few weeks. But like, this is me at like 21, 22. And I’m like, okay, this is it. I’m inside this thing, like, they’re getting read about on tech crunch. We’ve got the snacks, we got the ping pong table. Like I’m really at a startup now. Like let me hone in. And then when I realized there was like, again, there just wasn’t, it wasn’t magical. It wasn’t, that it was magic being made. I was actually giving them practices I had just learned from my corporate internship at Qualcomm. When I first signed on, they were like, we’ve never hired an intern. We don’t even know what to do, what the documents should be. So I was like, “Oh, this is a real startup.” And then even the first day, they’re like, “What do you wanna do?” And I was like, well, my last internship, they let me meet all my team members. So I wanna meet everyone. And so I put 30 minutes in like the CEO’s calendar, the CTOs calendar, COO’s calendar. This is like, small startups. So these guys are like, who the hell are you like, number one, you’re black. You’re the only black guy, really at this company, number two, you’re an intern. Number three, why do you wanna meet with me? We have got so much stuff to do. But it allowed me to a, do two things, show them how smart I was, my ideas and just that I was willing to learn. But then it also helped me frame how the whole engine worked. What does a CEO do? What’s the CTO doing? What’s the head of design doing. And then how does that relate to my role? So, oh, there’s product development and things I had learned about, but just really learning them now in this startup. And so, long answer to your question on after Morehouse and corporate, but I think, that’s the context to share. Well, so now I can say the real answer is like never crossed my mind. Like literally, leaving that internship was calling my mom like I’m gonna go start my own company at some point again. Thing is I’m gonna be 27 when I’m doing it. But like, I know this is the path I’m gonna take. So there was never a moment where I was like, debating on like an offer from Bain and this, that, and the third, or worked corporate and one’s like, ah, I’m going to go take a leap. It was just like, it’s literally just been like from Taekwondo to YouTube, to Yik Yak to this now.
- It’s very valuable. That’s amazing information, I mean, it’s similar story, man. I just turned 28 in February and it was, I did the agency thing, granted division at this agency and apply and then like it happens so quick and what you come to find out just about like what it really takes like when you really, really get into it. And when you like really get into like the mud, that’s why the value for this I think is so cool because it’s always that moment where you’re doing that where you’re like, okay, either I know enough, or I have what I need to know to go do my own thing. Or it’s like, okay, I see a gap because of what I just experienced. And now I feel like I’m armed with what I need to be armed with, to go create something with value. So yeah–
- Which of the best entrepreneurs. Those that start with the passion, the ones that have worked at a company that can go, “Oh wow, there needs to be some technology “that connects the supply chain and the blah, blah, blah. “And like, I can go do this “and I can go back to the company I just left.” So that’s a good, that’s a good entrepreneur.
- Yeah exactly, so moving on from that. So what was then, I’d love for you to just talk about QuarantineCon and essentially like the essence of it and how you see it scaling. Because I think it’s so relevant. I was just talking to Brad, as you probably know, he essentially he’s like the creative director for like what we do. He was giving me information on this Airbnb experiences platform where they literally, it’s scheduling and it’s an apparatus that allows you to create an experience. But they still push you to Zoom or some other platform to deliver that experience. So I’m starting to see, it reminds me of back in 2010 when Facebook was kind of releasing to little Ivy leagues and I didn’t go to Ivy league for undergrad. So I couldn’t get Facebook until it reached my university, but I had Myspace and I had Zynga and like all these things. But it was that moment where it was like, I think something’s about to happen. It’s like different. And that was when like real social media happened. I kinda feel like we’re in that arena right now, as far as just digital experiences and how stuff is gonna change based on consumer behavior change because of COVID. So I’d love for you to just expand a little bit more on not only what was kinda like the moment where you were like, okay, I need to create this Quarantinecon thing with your co-founder and like what it is and where you really see it going. Yeah, no, we can definitely head there. I think that a lot of this, again, you’re the, center of your experiences, right? And so it feels like I’m using every muscle that I’ve ever had to grow when it comes to the business thing from teaching Taekwondo classes to interning as startups. So I think a little bit more context after the Yik Yak thing, I went to go start another company called Looklive, which was a venture backed company. We raised a little bit, over a million dollars just in the lifeline of the company. Lots of ebbs and flows, but essentially we were helping, trying to monetize the culture. So often in our community, our people, our culture dictates the world’s culture, We drive hip hop culture, hip hop culture drives pop culture, pop culture drives the world. Sports culture is in there. And so there’s this idea that, unfortunately the influencer or the person, us, really, the culture is always the last in line to benefit from it. We start the new words, we do the, but then like, there’s no revenue being made. And mainly because the platforms didn’t have monetization built in. Facebook, Twitter, you made monetization. YouTube, I guess was the first one, you made monetization. You made the pennies on the dollar from there kind of big advertising deals, they locked in. And like, we were cool with that. And so now, there’s a shift to where you can go more direct to the consumer. Because essentially we all have the same tools now. So before it was only the big celebrities and they had the cameras and the equipment to do video editing. And then that kinda democratized with tools like garage man, and iMessage or iMovie, and then there are platforms like, SoundCloud and so it starts to democratize. And essentially now it’s like, okay, I can just be just as famous as Kendall Jenner. And so it kind of let people understand like, okay, it doesn’t start at pop culture. It actually starts in the, 30313 area code of Atlanta. That’s where the real innovation starts. And I think you see it with Tiktok now. It’s like, oh, this actually didn’t start with K Camp in the song. And it started with this girl who was just in Atlanta, hanging out, just doing this after school. And so we were seeing that, I think in 2016 with Looklive and trying to figure how to monetize that and build a platform for it, build an audience for it. And so that was the first introduction to like studying all this. Left Looklive in January and was just consulting for some companies. We get to eight weeks ago, which is when quarantine happens. National quarantine happens like literally on my mom’s birthday. I’m sitting in Memphis, my buddy Tre’von texts me he’s like, “Hey, I’m going to a digital conference.” I’m like, “Alright, cool, let’s do it.” So I go to this digital conference and I see the technology and it was just so seamless. How we could, listen to speakers, we could learn from breakout sessions, but then also this connection. Like I met someone from Oakland, I met someone from London. I met someone from, like in the middle of like 12 minutes. And if you know anything about Tre’von and I right again, we have been doing things and projects that drive connection back to the water project. Like the big water balloon fight. So this is like right up our alley. We’re extroverts, all this kind of stuff. So within minutes, literally of getting on the platform, I text him and I said, yeah, we need to do one this week. We need to throw our own conference this week on this platform, four black creatives. And he’s like, let’s run it. Because again, we already built this muscle for the last several years, doing all this startup stuff. And like, we already think like this and we’ve been studying it. And I just came off of being CEO of a company. And so I got all this pent up energy anyway. And so that was the first, like that text message literally led to us staying up the first night, till 2:00 AM in a Google doc, just trying to figure out the conference, speakers, sponsors, topics, all that good stuff. But when you fast forward and like, we can talk about what happened, 4,500 people signed up for the conference. Waking up on Monday the day after and looking at a CSV of 4,500 emails, it was like, it was automatic. It was like, oh, in Taekwondo, in maybe sports, you practice so much, right? So that you practice the free throw so much so that when the games is on the line, you have to shoot, it becomes automatic. And it was the same thing. It was like, we had been shooting so much that we were like, oh yeah, this is something. This is a community, monetization. But I mean, just also, just again, the idea that you can go so direct to the consumer. And so it was amazing that this platform had given us just that direct access, even Instagram. Like if we had five minute Instagram, we got 4,500 people, We wouldn’t have 4,500 emails. Or 4,500 real names. And so it was like, oh, this is kind of liquid gold. Okay, cool, but even more so now, like we have a community. And so then our minds just went to like, okay, ’cause again, this is also the future. And we obviously can’t predict what’s gonna happen, but COVID is a catalyst for that. People are starving for connection more than ever. And we saw it with the conference. That’s why 4,500 people showed up. We did the conference, I think the night after D Nice did his first ever DJ set for Club Quarantine. So if we would have waited a weekend, I don’t know if we would have probably seen that success because there probably would’ve been more events and more things for people to do. This was like kind of the first thing for like at least black creatives that they were on, and so yeah, that is the new way, that’s where we are. People are starving for connection and going. ‘Cause again, now it’s not, like, yeah. I wanna go back to a party and I wanna go swag surf and like, be around 3000 people. Sure, it’s probably a little dangerous right now, but I really wanna do is just get with my friends. I wanna get to my boys right now. Like I had two friends come by like last two weeks ago and I was just like, man, like we are around the block walking and I’m just like, yeah, I forgot. I forgot like just this, this is been so long. And so I think that’s the key part now is, how do we use the online communities? And you see it. You can tell the trends by what the big companies are doing. So Facebook, like what tools are they bringing out right now? So you can, all of these tools that they’re bringing out there, they’re on it, they’re driving community group rooms, how do I get more neat? And so, and so yeah, we see that with quarantinecon.
- That’s actually what I was gonna say like, it’s, we all see it. I mean, you can tell that Facebook is spending millions and millions and millions of millions of dollars on ads about Facebook groups. Because people, like social media is getting to a point where everybody’s on it. It’s super saturated.
- Like we also learned that it wasn’t valuable to have as many followers. Like it’s like I could have a million that’s cool and maybe comes with something. But like, there’s also some horror stories of like, I have a million followers and I’m still, cheque to cheque and broke. And so it’s like,
- Exactly. It’s about what you’re able. It’s about the quality of your audience. It’s not about the quantity of the audience. It’s about what your audience is there for, it’s about what your audience, what value does your audience see in you? It’s about what you’re able to drive your audience to do. And I think, building off that a little bit, you said future. So like one of the things that I would love to hear your take on as far as future is concerned, is where, what do you really think the future is going to look like? Because like I said, there is like, it is, it’s just extremely different in terms of what our consumer behavior is gonna be. Like you said, even when we’re able to go to things, we may be scared to go to them. Like, yeah, some of these things made, open up and you know, like Georgia is opening and like, some of these places are opening, but sports events aren’t gonna happen until like 2021, concerts aren’t gonna happen until 2021. So even when that does happen, like consumer behavior and patterns, that doesn’t wait for anyone. Like it’s all like an adaptation game. So like, when you say future, what do you think the future may look like? Like Q3, Q4 this year. What do you think that will look like?
- It’s gonna be a hybrid of both. I don’t think we’ll see the full evolution until 2021, 2022. This is maybe the tip tip of the iceberg, but it will be a hybrid. I don’t think it will be one extreme versus the other side. I don’t think we’re gonna go back to just super normal and back outside. And like, it’s an afterthought. And I don’t think I we gonna be inside forever. So it’s gonna be a hybrid mix where, and the people that are gonna win are gonna be who can take that online interaction and facilitate offline. Who can take online and facilitate offline? And then the vice versa. So that it feels very seamless. Like, oh, I did this online when I come to the event, boom, the experience is very curated to what I just did online. Oh, I left this offline event, boom, we can continue the conversation now online. I think you’re gonna see, I mean, I think you’re gonna see people to do things from a business angle. Overhead is just super low now. Like I don’t have to go fly a whole production team out, do certain things. I don’t have to go get hotel rooms. I don’t have to just like, from an emotional standpoint, if the all star game is in Chicago in February, why am I going to Chicago in February? It’s cold. So if I don’t wanna go, I can still go see the sessions. And so you’ll see a mix. I can go see, people say, oh, this event is only, you know, physical. You gotta be here for it. But then, oh, this is obviously live streams. It just makes sense. And people are like, you’re not gonna gain me and just say, I have to be there. ‘Cause I don’t have to be there. We just did two months worth a business, three months worth the business online. I think you’re also gonna see, from a cool standpoint, what I’m trying to think about now is also like the takeaways, right? And so think about it. If you went to a conference or complex con you would get probably a baggy with, different pamphlets and different booklets and different stickers and things like that. How do we come to digital events, but then leave with like a folder, a downloadable zip file that has like, if you’re a designer went to a design conference, it’s like fonts and this and templates and all this kind of stuff, that’s maybe branded from sponsors or we’re doing a pitch competition next Sunday. So I’m like, man, could we get all thousand people who are gonna come attend that hopefully to download some like six page, here’s how to pitch resource guide? And is that branded by a sponsor? So now not just, again, not just when I download it, but years from now, when I need to go figure out how to pitch or I need to go back and reference something, I’m referencing this, like, branded pitch guide that I got from this online thing. So definitely a hybrid. It’s gonna be, it’s gonna be fine. I mean, like, I don’t know. Some people, you’ve got to embrace it, to be honest. And I think that’s what we’re excited to embrace, embrace it about. ‘Cause the opportunity is there. And I think like continuing on the trend, of just going more direct to the consumer. So like think about every vertical and think about all the layers you could take off before you get to the consumer. To me, that’s where the innovation is about to be. Like it’s like, yeah, I don’t need that no more, I don’t need that. I can go right here to you and go try to accomplish the same thing. And that’s how we’re thinking here with Quarantinecon where, some of this events, but I think there’s like future plays of like, this has become like an investment fund. That’s where I think we wanna go. It’s like, we wanna be the first cheque that invest in one on one. Or we wanna be the first cheque that invest in X, Y, and Z company. We want to be the ones that write that 50,000, a hundred thousand dollar cheque. Sure, there’s obviously gonna be some economic return and ideally, we can write a hundred thousand dollar cheque now and make 3,000,000 in six years off of the investment and a return. Like that’s how big we’re thinking. Like, yes, 10,000 from a brand here or 5,000 from a brand that’s amazing. And we’re hustling on doing that now, but like longterm, like we think that’s the real goal. And so, but also now to your point of direct to consumer is like, if I traditionally had invested in Facebook, I’m investing in Facebook, but I don’t really have a community to go get Facebook to. So was not anywhere near any college campuses. They couldn’t help Mac or any of those startups that they’d funded say, Oh, we know how to go give this to users. They knew good practices. And they knew how to go invest in like Facebook ads and like how to go private, but they didn’t really have a community. And so I think for me, it’s like, oh, if we’re going to invest in one on one, how do we say, okay, we also have a community of 15,000 young, socially social, upwardly mobile, educated, young black folks who are trend-setters who are the culture essentially. We’re gonna give your product to them. Not only gonna invest, but we’re gonna make sure now that you’ll get, I don’t know if it’s guaranteeing you the downloads, but just go associate you with the real people. You know what I’m saying? We can really go take your product to market. And why do we bet on this market? Because again, this market drives hip hop culture, sports culture, which drives pop culture, which drives the world. And so I think again, when we woke up and we had all those emails and we had all those people kind of react, we were like, oh, this is the vision. Like we can go create millionaires on top of millionaires because now we know how to like, we know how to go build a product and you know, people, it was amazing deal for like, yeah. People in the community need to be, have this access and we can go create this opportunity.
- Awesome, yeah, man, working capital and cultural capital are two different things. I feel like if people understood that, I feel like a lot of rules would be much easier.
- And it’s different. It’s different, it’s not, it’s not like I don’t need a celebrity anymore. Like it used to be like 2016 or what years were Juicy J popping? That’s 2013. I used to be like, yo, put Juicy J next to your app or Juicy J is and I was like, why is he here? Like I actually would rather my friend who I know is crushing it and nowhere near famous, but I know they’re a celebrity chef or something, or like a aspiring chef. I wanna go support my friend. And so again, like everything’s just getting more direct where it’s like, I don’t need to go get the celebrity to be my spokesman person. Like I think the real people who use my product, to be my spokesperson, you know, and spokespeople.
- Exactly, so couple more things, man. And I’ma let you go.
- Oh, you could go all day.
- I think I’m just as an entrepreneur. I think it’s very interesting to me. And I’m excited to hear this from you just as far as wellness, because I think, obviously, the platform like one on one life and we’ll be covering what we do like, it’s not just physical, it’s mental, it’s emotional, it’s spiritual, it’s financial, all these things are our wellness and how to be well. And something like this, something like COVID obviously. I know myself as an entrepreneur and my business partner and other athletes and other people, it doesn’t matter who you are. It’s changed the way that you live. And so I think that for other entrepreneurs watching this young, old, they’re able to learn from you, what are some ways and what are maybe some things that you either shows that had done differently or that you’ve been forced to do differently? That has allowed you to, stay on track, stay productive, keep the sanity. ‘Cause we all know how this game goes, man. It’s not for the weak. And you know, it’s one of those things that you need to persevere and something like this obviously makes it a little bit difficult or different to continue to persevere. So I’d like to hear like, what are some things that you’re doing to do that?
- Sorry now, getting dinner made on the side. But now, yes. What are we doing differently? So I think stepping back a little bit is just the mindset you have to have to like hop in this thing. I think there are some differences and some changes, but there are some like fundamental things that just stay regardless of the COVID’s happening or if we could go outside at all and that is just, you have to move fast and you have to hustle. And those are two kind of generic terms. Like what does that mean? And how do you do those things? But like, very fortunate that, the Looklive experience was a hustle. Four years of like literally waking up, this is all you think about. And so, if you wake up thinking about a problem, you go through your day thinking about a problem, you’re in the car, thinking about a problem, you got to sleeping my problem. You’re gonna be so much faster than maybe, the person that has that doesn’t think about that problem. And so like, that experience taught me a lot around how to like, how to like sustain yourself when you’re trying to move that fast. Fast meaning that you are like responding to emails on the hour. You are meeting people and having conversations within two days. You are juggling three conversations. You’re thinking about marketing in the day. You’re trying to beat a lawsuit at night. Like, I mean, these are all real things, entrepreneurship. And then the hustle to the point where it’s like, you also can’t turn and someone’s gonna do it for you. So you need to be able to just like, have the, know it all to like at least get started. And what did that look like? Sometimes that’s through Google, but sometimes that’s just having the understanding of knowing I’m in this conversation with you and I’m gonna ask the right questions that I can get more information. Like hustling to get information. So those are like two fundamental things you have to just keep doing regardless. And so I think to sustain that, I think the hard part now is like home and work are blending. So at first you could like stay in the office and be like, I’m just in the office, mom. That’s why I haven’t talked to you. But like, when you’re literally doing this with your mom in the next room, and she’s like, “I haven’t seen you all day.” It’s like, oh, what’s my excuse. Like, you know, like just in my room. There’s no office. So it’s like weird now, where there’s like a blend. And so a lot of that looks like prioritization. I think that is like number one, learning how to prioritize. And if there’s any recommendation I can give is when I’m talking about these things, apply it just to life in general. So the speed and the hustle, not just on my career, but also just on like relationships or friendships or your health. Have that same, I wanna win mentality. I wanna build a billion dollar company, I guess trillion dollar company now, is the new goal with Jeff Bezos. But I wanna build that billion dollar company. But you know, I think there was a moment in my mind where it was like, Scooter, you’re so focused on that. But what have you had that same intensity to, I also wanna be an amazing father. I also wanna be an amazing husband. I also want to be an amazing, just like in physical shape. Now some of those things happen on different timelines. So not trying to be an amazing father like tomorrow. But take that same intensity and the same work ethic, traits to that topic. And so I think that’s the first step to when you get to there is then prioritization. So am I making lists on what am I doing? And if I look at it, am I doing the things that are just highest leverage for me? And the things that aren’t highest leverage, meaning the things that like someone else could be doing, if someone else can do it 80%, just as good as me, then I should probably figure out how to stop doing it and get someone else to try to do it. And so like, design or like, not saying these things are like, things that are not worth your time under entrepreneur. It’s gonna be tough if you got to sit there, and I was a design on top of everything else, especially if you’re not a graphic designer, if you’re not a trained graphic designer. So like go find a graphic design friend who will do that for 12 hours a day and go give them that responsibility so they can go do it way better than you. And so really prioritizing your days. And having this idea that, if I have a good day, good days, make good weeks, good weeks, make good months, good months, make good quarters. Good quarters make good years. I was like, oh, I’m gonna have a good year. It starts on the day. It’s like, yo, are we prioritizing what am I doing right now? And so what are the goals that I have? But then again, taking that and applying it to life. So, relationships and again, whatever with your spouse or significant others is important to you. Like what are those goals? And you’re gonna say it like, okay, well, we’re improving communication, are we? I’m single as hell, so I have no idea what you would say and those things, but like, or you had a family is big for you. Are you checking in with aunts and uncles? Are you being there for birthdays? Like the same way, I mean, those are high leverage things, you need to be doing right. Checking in and especially during COVID right now. And so to me, that’s how you sustain the hustle to go. I think people, there’s a good quote. I don’t know who said it, but basically like, you can underestimate or, overestimate what you can do in a year, but underestimate what you can do in 10. And if you think about it, 10 years ago, I was 16, I was just getting my first paycheck from YouTube. We’ve done so much. Right now, each year, I probably talk like, again, I want to do a water balloon fight in a year. Break a world record. One day we’ll do that. But in 10 years we’ve been able to do a lot. And I think it’s because like you just kind of learn how to sustain that energy and spread it out over the next few years, so that you don’t burn out. ‘Cause it’s very easy, especially now, again, that we’re waking up, literally waking up, rolling over and just opening our laptop. It can get to a point where you burn out. And so, I think when you have that macro view of like, okay, good days, good weeks, good months, here are my goals. Here are my priorities. I’m about to be very disciplined and just go do this thing. I’m really cutting out distractions. I’m bringing in accountability partners, again, I mean another big piece too is like being okay with like failing. And I think that’s the cool part about the Jordan documentary and it’s like, it took him seven years or whatever to win the first championship. People think he just came in as the GOAT. I think another cool thing to think about is like no one in basketball ever goes 82 and 0. Like they’re gonna lose games. And sometimes we forget that like, he would lose games. Granted he never really lost more than three in a row, but he would lose games, but like he’s still coming back the next night. And so, there are days you’re gonna quote on quote lose, if you look at it that way. But there are days that you’re not gonna be over successful. The calls are not going to go as well. The deal isn’t gonna get done the day you want it to get done because real life happens. And so again, that’s career I’m talking, but also in relationships. There’s things that are gonna happen. Health problems are gonna come up. Your spouse is gonna lose their mom and dad or your kid’s gonna have a problem at school. And so these are real things and it’s like, how are you prepared for when they happen? You’re not gonna like melt down and freak out, but you are gonna like adjust, prioritize, be disciplined, go figure it out and be okay with that. And so, yeah, I’m rambling. I feel like, but being okay with that failure and just being like, or just that like moment of releasing that pressure that you gotta win it all. Because again, it’s like, it’s a long, long sequence, but also looking silly. I mean, yeah, again, I think that’s the part, especially for our culture. When we had something that, we probably got scolded or yelled at, by our parents, when we said something a little bit off or stupid. “What’s five plus five, “you saying seven again?” So you’re just afraid to have the wrong answer. But what I’ve learned in this business thing, you’re gonna have the wrong answer every day. We’re trying to figure it out. What do we do? I don’t know. And I think that’s the beauty of COVID. At first I think, two months ago, or three months ago you could be talking to someone and they can make you feel really small. ‘Cause you’d leave and be like, damn, I don’t have the answer, that person’s got to figure it out. Now that shouldn’t even be in your mind, no one has the answer. If anyone is talking to you as if you’re doing the wrong thing, like just walk away from it. Because it’s like they don’t, their world is just as rocked. Again, it’s all democratized now a little bit more where again, I don’t have to be in celebrity world to be a celebrity. And the same business leaders are also at their house now trying to learn zoom. And so it’s really democratized. And so all that to say is like not being afraid to have the wrong answer. And I think we, what I’ve learned is people can handle bad news if you give them enough time to do it. So case in point, last startup would always run out of cash. It was just terrible. It was just like, we would have revenue opportunities and maybe we couldn’t execute on them or maybe the person just wouldn’t pay on time. And it’s like, oh, we have like, literally $300,000. But like, this person is avoiding our calls and not making the payments. Some things out of our control, some things in our control, but every two weeks, payroll has to be run and so, we’d have the bank account and it’d be dwindling and just a young entrepreneur mess ups and mess ups on my part. I would wait until three weeks. I would wait until the week off, to tell our investor, “Hey, we are $7,000 short on payroll.” Or even worse, yeah, it was just like, yo, he’s like, “Why are you telling me now?” Not that I, again I thought he’s gonna yell at me or I’m gonna be looked at as a failure. He’s like, you can’t do the job. Was telling him, I can’t do the job is the fact that I’m just scared to like tell him the bad news. He’s like, “Especially this.” He’s like, “I know you’re hustling. “I see you’re doing the work, but like, why are you waiting? “Cause now it’s just inconvenient. “Now you’re telling me like four days “that I need to wire you thousands of dollars “and I’m on vacation “or I was planning to go on vacation “or I was planning to,” He’s just like, “Yo, why are you telling me right now? “Why didn’t you, “how do you everyday track the budget, “track it two months in advance “or a month in advance, at least. “So now 30 days before you can say, hey, “if this goes to plan, “we’re gonna be $4,000 short.” And so it was just like, I mean, that’s a major thing. And so I think we tend to shy away when things are bad. And so all that to say is like, how do I sustain? It’s like, don’t spin your wheels because you’re like ego or just like, you’re fearful of like getting the help and looking like a failure, okay, if the signups aren’t coming in or this isn’t working anymore, or you don’t understand supply chain or whatever, like go grab some people that can keep you accountable, update them every week, update them every month. Here’s what’s going on. Here’s why I need help. So they can see it, so that after, when you come back to them, you’re like, “Yeah, I got to close a business.” They’re like, “Whoa, whoa, wait.” It’s not like a, why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me two months ago? But again that’s a lesson that also can be applied to every area of your life. Problems with your parents, problems with your sister, problem with relationships. So, yeah, so that’s, that has a long list of things to just do actually but–
- You’re saying it and I’m like, boom, boom, boom, boom. Last thing, it’s funny, ’cause you kinda segue to it. ‘Cause you talked about how you’re getting ready to turn 27. I’ll never forget, one of the moments where I got some of the most insight of my whole entire life is when I asked one of my current mentors who is immensely successful, that I was 20. How old was I? I was 25. And I asked him because he’s in his early forties, I asked him what he would tell his 25 year old self. And so I got the most immense insight from that answer. Because it was so simple, it was so to the point and what he said was, “I would tell myself that, “you’re obviously gonna be sacrificing a lot, “you’re gonna work a lot, suck it up, persevere,” number one, but number two, he said, “Ask questions from those who have done it before you.” Your mentors and people that have done something that you wanted to do or done something that you want to do well. Ask them questions, ask them the right questions. But most importantly, figure out every single mistake that they made, learn those mistakes and try with everything in your power to not make those mistakes. Because what happens is when you learn to not make the mistakes of others that have already been through it, in combination with not making your own mistakes twice, then you mitigate risk in a way that you wouldn’t have been able to mitigate it before.
- That’s of course the center of it.
- That was extremely beneficial to me personally. So I think, I would love to end with asking you, what would getting ready to turn 27 year old Scooter, tell let’s say 23 year old Scooter?
- Yeah, I would probably say, not just believe in yourself, but believe in your ideas, and your intuition and your hunches. And believe that it’s coming from a good place. So, I don’t want to say several things. I think the believe in yourself, I really like believe, in those moments. And those are conflict moments, ’cause Scooter used to be afraid of conflict greatly. Used to be like, I don’t want to ruffle feathers. Let’s just smile it out and be nice. If I disagree, I didn’t bring it up. Let’s just figure out how to work around it and like hustle that way. But it’s like, no, believe in what your ideas. Believe in that, what you have to say, like you’re in the room for a reason. And continue to contribute and add value. You’re not gonna get your way all the time. I think there’s so many things that, could have presented so much stress, can be prevented just speaking up the first time and saying it. And so believing in yourself and trusting yourself to know that what you’re about to say is gonna add value and actually lead to a third, You’re thinking there’s two options. Success or just like, hell on earth, world war three. Like it’s either gonna be good or bad. And it’s like, no, if you actually say what you need to say, you actually might create a third option, which is like even better than what you envisioned before. And so I’d say that, I think, like continue to do that. And just believe in that, believe in yourself, like it’s gonna work out. Like I’d say it’s cliche but it’s like, rather sum of everything you do. And like, man, ’cause it happens in the random moment. Like I said, QuarantineCon was not something that Tre’von and I were just like, we’re gonna start quarantine.. We’ve always joked about starting a business together. But again, when was the time gonna be right? I was doing, Looklive, he was over in Oakland. Maybe we would have probably done it now, that I had left Looklive. And it was like, we still need to make money, and get a job, consulting, he’s doing his thing. We didn’t have an idea. We don’t have a product. We don’t have a customer. And it’s really just over texts, like randomly on a Tuesday, that I’m like, oh, let’s do this. And then now we’ve got LLC banks, closing deals and budgetary sponsors and stuff like that. You are the sum of all your experiences and it’ll happen when it needs to happen. Read the Alchemist and believe that.
- Well, I’m sure a 23 year old Scooter would be very proud of 27 year old Scooter man, so thank you, thank you for taking the time with me to, share your knowledge and your mindset and everything off the cover, I really appreciate it. If anyone wants to sign up for anything, QuarantineCon, get in touch with you, follow you, whatever. What’s the best way for people?
- When’s this dropping, if you don’t mind me asking?
- Yeah, this will drop, let’s say two, four weeks.
- Okay, cool, so yeah. So we would probably just started our pitch competition, which is gonna be exciting, so May 24th. And then I think, we’re gonna make a really big push and heading on to this election seasons, I’m excited about that. But really just following us, quarantinecon.co, on Instagram, and that’s also the website. And Tre’von is, Tre’von D Hill, or make sure I got his thing correct, should know it off the top of my head. Yeah, Tre’von D Hill and then mine is, at Scooter Taylor. And so from there, just stay in touch with us. And the cool part is, all the ideas aren’t flowing from us. So we’ve done so many events and ideas now that are actually coming from the community. Our friends who are culinary artists are like, “Yeah, let’s do a culinary showcase.” Or our friends who are into this are like, “Yo, I wanna do this.” And so again, we wanna democratize and make it a platform where, I think we’ve been afforded some blessings to work on projects that have like catapulted us into different spaces. And so how can we be there to make sure others feel that, same excitement with their projects and their passions as well?
- Yeah, exactly.