Most of you know I have an older brother Brad, but I wanted to share his story and how it relates to my career. Brad was born is South Africa and grew up in sunny Irvine California. Like most kids who move to a new country, Brad faced many challenges at a young age; meeting new people, adapting to school, and fitting in. On top of that, Brad was born with a club foot, which led to several corrective surgeries and he was in and out of the hospital. Things were never easy for Brad, but he did not complain. By the time I was born Brad was 7 and had already learned to cope with all of his challenges. He welcomed me into the world with a big smile and open arms.
Throughout my entire childhood Brad went out of his way to include me in all of his activities. He wanted to make sure that I felt included, because that’s the kind of person he is. Whether that was letting me run along the sidelines at his football practices, going to the beach with his friends, or just hanging out, Brad would let me “kick it". I really looked up to Brad and his friends and wanted to be just like them when I grew up.
Eventually Brad had to go away to college and decided to attend UC Davis in Northern California. During his freshman year, our middle brother Graham was diagnosed with Brain cancer, and Brad started making several trips home to be with the family. I don’t think he liked being that far from our family and eventually he decided to transfer to UCLA. During his time in LA, I would visit Brad and hang out with him and his friends on campus and go to fun places like Magic Mountain. I really liked coming up to LA and always dreamed of moving here because of those experiences.
During college Brad decided he wanted to become a lawyer and after graduation he moved down to San Diego for law school. Our middle brother Graham was already in San Diego attending UCSD and would eventually go to medical school and become a doctor. During Brad's first year at law school, he had an epiphany that he wanted to make business deals, and had no interest in being in a court room or dealing with criminals. So he decided to enroll in business school and switch his focus.
After being exposed to the culture in San Diego through my older brothers, I decided to attend SDSU and I began my career immediately. I saw an opportunity to express my creativity and make some money, so I started a printing company with the help of my friends and family. Our brother Graham invested in the company and Brad oversaw sales and operations. With a lot of hard work, and some luck, we were able to drive millions of dollars in sales and work with some amazing clients. Brad closed deals that put me on the map, like the merchandise we made for shady records, the thousands of shirts we printed for Mission hockey, and the products we made for celebrities like Paris Hilton. As much as I like to take credit for this stuff, it was my brother who made it happen.
If you have ever worked with me, you know that I create the fires and Brad contains them. I have always looked to him to help me problem solve. So in 2011 after I co-founded Flex Watches, we appeared on MTV and over sold by 10k units right before Christmas. I was receiving hundreds of calls and thousands of emails each week. I immediately turned to Brad for help with the operation. From that day forward Brad ran the operations for Flex Watches and became a staple in that business as well. Over the last 15 years Brad has acquired the skills to start a business, create a process and facilitate millions of dollars in revenue. Without him, I really don’t know where I would be today.
For this reason you have seen Brad featured on CNBC the Profit with me and Marcus Lemonis several times. He was by my side the day we met Marcus to the last air date just two weeks ago when he became a Partner in Community. Brad has been involved in running all of my companies and has always been my number one supporter. I often times take this for granted and want to recognize the amazing Entrepreneur he has become!