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Building a Mission-Oriented Business with Eric Bandholz, Co-founder and CEO of Beardbrand

Eric Bandholz

Eric Bandholz is the Co-founder and CEO of Beardbrand, a community and direct-to-consumer business with a mission to make men awesome. Eric and his team work to break down the negative stereotypes that surround bearded men through Beardbrand’s blog, YouTube videos, and line of highly versatile grooming products. In 2014, Eric represented the brand on Shark Tank, launching Beardbrand to national recognition. Since then, the company has been featured by GQ, Men’s Health, Forbes, and more.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Eric Bandholz explains why his LinkedIn title is “Assistant” of Beardbrand instead of “CEO and Co-founder”
  • What stoicism means to Eric
  • How Beardbrand’s company values align with Eric’s personal ones
  • Eric talks about his vision and long-term goals for the Beardbrand barbershop and retail store
  • The pros and cons of selling your business
  • Eric discusses his new business venture that aims to help ecommerce startups get on their feet
  • The brands that Eric admires and his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

In this episode…

When Eric Bandholz created Beardbrand in 2012, he had one mission: to make men feel awesome. Since then, he has built a community of like-minded beardsmen, launched a successful line of grooming products, and, most recently, opened a brick-and-mortar barbershop. So, how does he manage to expand his business while still maintaining that original mission?

According to Eric, it’s all about staying true to your core values. As a strong believer in stoicism, he has learned to relinquish control and focus on freedom instead. As he says, this value is a driving force in every interaction, development, and venture he has within Beardbrand. By leading with his core values, Eric has created a brand that not only achieved his mission, but exceeded it.

On this episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin talks with Eric Bandholz, the Co-founder and CEO of Beardbrand, about the mission and values behind his successful brand. Eric discusses the role stoicism has played in his entrepreneurial journey, his vision for Beardbrand’s expansion, and why selling your company may not be the best option in the long run. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Special Mentions:

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts have helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at sales@chronos.agency or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast, where we feature top founders and experts in the eCommerce industry and take an in-depth look at the struggles and successes in growing eCommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:21

Josh Chin here I’m the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top experts in the eCommerce industry. We go behind the scenes of the struggles and successes in growing a brand. Now this episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency. If you’re a direct to consumer eCommerce brand that is ready for next level growth and to unlock optimal customer lifetime value through email marketing Chronos is your company. We’ve helped hundreds of brands get over $17 million in return from email alone, and our clients get an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts. We’ve worked with brands like Truly Beauty, Elia Skin, and many more. So the next step, if you’re interested to learn more is to email us at sales@chronos.agency or you can go to Chronos.agency to learn more. And today’s guest is someone I’ve been working really hard to get on the show. A good friend and the amazing beardsman Eric Bandholz is the Co-founder and CEO of Beardbrand, a community and DTC business whose mission is to make men awesome. Eric and his team of urban beardsman produce some of the best content on beard, body, and haircare on YouTube with over 1.8 million combined subscribers. Eric and his team led by the model to keep on growing are working to break down the negative stereotypes that surround bearded men and show the world that it’s the men who matters not the way he looks. Eric, welcome to the show.

Eric Bandholz 1:53

Hey, what’s going on, man?

Joshua Chin 1:57

Nice to see you again. Finally, I think it’s been. It has been two years, hasn’t it?

Eric Bandholz 2:03

Well, I mean, technically I saw you two days ago, but you didn’t see me.

Joshua Chin 2:07

Oh, yeah. Yeah, at Geek Out at Austin, shout out to Geek Out upcoming events. They have a series of events coming to a city close to you most likely. Eric, first question on your LinkedIn profile. Your title is not CEO, it is not Co-founder of Beardbrand. It’s Assistant of Beardbrand. Talk to me about that.

Eric Bandholz 2:31

Yeah, you know, I really don’t do much in the day to day anymore, at Beardbrand. So LinkedIn, if you’re on LinkedIn, you kind of know that there’s a lot of sales people on LinkedIn. So they’re looking for the CEOs and founders and whatever. And then your inbox just gets spammed with people who are trying to sell you stuff. So I mean, clearly, if someone listens to one of my podcasts, or they watch one of my videos, or they actually do some kind of research, they’ll recognize and realize that I’m the founder of Beardbrand, but for all those kind of like spammy LinkedIn people, you know, typically the Assistant at Beardbrand will probably deter them from from reaching out. Hopefully, at least.

Joshua Chin 3:11

That is amazing. I did not know that. That’s, that’s a really good trick. Um.

Eric Bandholz 3:16

I don’t, I don’t know if it works or not, because I’ve got all these, I still get all these sales invitations on LinkedIn. And, and I’m not, you know, I’ve got a, like any entrepreneur, I’ve got a little bit of an ego, but I don’t have the biggest ego where I’m drawn by titles, like Beardbrand’s, like a titleist kind of organization. So ideally, the ego kind of comes from within rather than external recognition.

Joshua Chin 3:41

Interesting. You mentioned that ego. Now we when we met at, was at Klaviyo Boston in 20 – was it 2019?

Eric Bandholz 3:51


Joshua Chin 3:52

2019. We spoke a little bit about stoicism and ego. Now that’s a very relevant term. What does stoicism mean to you and what’s your brand or your version of stoicism?

Eric Bandholz 4:09

Yeah, I mean, I think I think I gave you the Book of Reminders, right?

Joshua Chin 4:13

Yeah, I have I still have it.

Eric Bandholz 4:15

Oh, good. Good. So I wrote a little book. For those who don’t know, called The Book of Reminders. It’s just nine little reminders to kind of tell myself as I face adversity in life, and they’re kind of aligned with your life from birth to death. And, you know, for me, like, like everyone life has been a challenge. And I certainly recognize that my life has been easier than some and it’s also been more difficult than others. And, and kind of tackling the things in life but I was really drawn to stoicism, which is essentially my interpretation of stoicism is like focus on the things you can control. You know, like, think about scenarios in the future that may happen, and kind of accept that they may or may not happen so that when they do happen, you’re prepared for them and you’re not caught off guard. So you’re, I think a lot of people who aren’t familiar with stoicism would just kind of think of like an emotionless type of person. And well to get emotionless, you have to prepare and, and be ready for it. So I’m kind of drawn to that, because a lot of my angst, especially when I was younger, was driven around like comparing myself to peers, or, you know, being competitive and wanting to win, or, you know, getting mad that I couldn’t change somebody, like getting mad with my wife, because I wanted her to, to do something and never recognizing that, you know, ultimately, I don’t have control or any, any, I don’t have control over my wife, you know, so like, the things she does is her own choosing and, and maybe I can, once I learn to accept that, then, you know, you get a lot less arguments and, you know, you just you can start to you know, love your wife for who they are, love your business partner for who they are, love your customers for who they are, and love yourself for who you are, as well. So I think it’s a mode that not only is very helpful in life in general, but also as an entrepreneur, to be able to face all the adversity you’re going to face in the day in life of entrepreneurship.

Joshua Chin 6:24

I love that and, and The Book of Reminders that actually does it still come with every order that -?

Eric Bandholz 6:30

Yeah, so we’re, well we do it on a quarterly basis. So right now, we have a quarterly planner going out with all of our orders. And yeah, so it’s the same size as The Book of Reminders, it’s like a pocket thing. And then it’s got essentially, like a quarters worth of pages in there. So you can plan out your week or plan out your month. And again, it’s kind of a longer mission to make people awesome, make men awesome. And help give them the tools they need on that journey to be more organized to have their stuff together. So next quarter will be the Book of Reminders second edition. And then we do essentially like a Beardbrand version of the field notes. And then we do our yearly magazine is the fourth quarter where we kind of talk more about the stories of urban beardsman. And, and maybe a little more in depth into our products and things like that.

Joshua Chin 7:25

Now, I want to talk a little bit about kind of the why behind all of this. So the mission, the mission is to make men awesome. And you’re guided by your core values, the company’s core values, freedom, trust and hunger. Now, does that align, necessarily align with your personal core values as well?

Eric Bandholz 7:45

Yeah, yeah, I mean, I don’t think I could really my personal core values and my business partners as well, we’re all very philosophically aligned. And, you know, in entrepreneurship, you get lost a lot. And you don’t always know how to make the right call and having core values to fall back on to, or to use as learning lessons with team members is very helpful. Yeah, we kind of talked a little bit before the podcast, I’m a libertarian. So these core values are very libertarian in belief. So freedom, of course, like, understanding that our customers can buy from us or they could buy from the hundreds of other categories. And then, you know, trust of course, like, deliver on your expectations, what you say you’re going to do, and then hunger, you know, it’s just like, we have this inherent drive to want to do amazing things is like, we, we have a limited period of time on this planet. And I can, I can live a hedonistic lifestyle, or I can, you know, do everything in my power to leave the world a better place then when I entered it and, you know, for me personally, it’s, it’s more rewarding to, to have that kind of mission to to foster a better world. You know, like, I just, I want to be known as someone who brought the world together, who was a unifier and who helped people live better lives, and I think I have the skill set, and I kind of think I have got the ability to make it happen.

Joshua Chin 9:15

How, how have you integrated these values into your work culture and the stuff that you do on a daily basis?

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