After years of being on Shark Tank, I’ve seen many different types of people come through the tank. As a Shark, we’re not just investing in the business – we’re investing in the entrepreneur. We look for their passion, knowledge, preparation, and charisma. In light of my newest book, You Don’t Have to Be a Shark I sat down to interview some of my favourite entrepreneurs. They each have their own unique stories of sacrifice, failure, and accomplishment. What advice do they have for a new generation of people chasing their dreams? Read through our conversation below and get inspired to #CreateYourSuccess.
My first impression of Sean and Jared – passionate and funny ! They came into the Tank with a lot of energy and were clearly knowledgeable about the business (you bet that wedgie was real – great start to their pitch !). Even more surprising was the numbers – these guys put a lot of thought into scaling their business. I’m very excited to partner with Jared and Sean to help them grow Adventure Hunt – can’t wait to see where we can take our partnership !
To your success,
So how do you stay motivated?
We love what we do! That motivates us more than anything. Beyond that, the positive feedback we get from participants and winners telling us stories of how much fun they had, the people they met, friendships and memories they made, etc. definitely fuel us to keep driving!
Definitely – the journey to entrepreneurship is hard so you have to love what you do. What made you start Adventure Hunt?
We love adventure and travel and we wanted to inspire others to get out more and break out of their comfort zone physically and socially. We love organizing big fun events too, so we put the two together and Adventure Hunt was born!
Awesome ! Let’s talk about Shark Tank. What are a few lessons you learned from that experience?
- Know your numbers.
- Enjoy the ride! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so soak it all up like a sponge!
- Be and stay humble so you can always learn from others and surround yourself with those who will help you grow the most.
You have to stay humble and be able to learn – this is so important! Why did you choose to pursue entrepreneurship?
It really was just a natural occurrence. We had a sunglasses brand we owned and we really pushed the outdoorsy, adventurous lifestyle as our brand. It was the lifestyle we lived and loved so we wanted to inspire the same in others. Marketing that sunglasses brand in that way led us to create Adventure Hunt. It was a no-brainer honestly.
So you’re not new to the entrepreneurship game ! Let’s talk about success – can you tell me what success means to you? How do you measure it?
To us, we’ve already achieved success. We love what we do, it provides a living for us and we get great feedback from those who participate in what we’ve created. Can’t ask for more than that! That being said, we’re entrepreneurs. We’re hustlers! We want this thing to be massive! I think the more we focus on making the event great and creating happy customers, the more the financial success will grow. Really just the same as described above. We want Adventure Hunt to be a household name. We want every scavenger hunt anyone ever does (corporate team building event, birthday parties, family night, etc.) to be run through our app. We want our Treasure Hunts to have thousands of fun competitors in them. We want to host the most legit and highly sought after adventure trips on the planet!
That’s great to hear – I have no doubt you’ll get there! Being an entrepreneur myself, I know that success always comes with a price. What was yours?
There are A LOT of sacrifices you make as an entrepreneur. Time, money, other opportunities, etc. It’s a real commitment. We’ve gone months and months at a time without pay to ensure we can grow this business. It’s a risk for sure. Luckily for us, it’s paid off, but not without lots of hard work and dedication. And we hope we’ll reap even more rewards from that hard work!
Exactly ! It’s always a struggle but if you’re committed to it, it is always worth it in the end. Can you tell me about a time you’ve failed? When was that and what did you learn from that experience?
Jared and I used to throw huge parties in Utah County. I’m talking like 2,000+ people parties. We’d always have a cool theme for the night and people had a blast and we made great money. Well, one time we decided to bring in a local band, you may recognize the name too – Imagine Dragons. We paid them a whopping $2,000 to put on a show that we would combine with an 80s themed dance party that we also paid several thousand for. But as it turns out, we made a costly mistake that night – we didn’t have a focus for the event. Was it a concert? Was it a DJ dance party? Trying to combine ideas didn’t work and we actually lost money because of that. We learned to always have a defined focus so your potential customers aren’t confused.
Absolutely! Couldn’t have said it better myself. What has been your biggest obstacle so far in regard to sales?
As an entrepreneur, it seems like there’s a new hurdle every week, sometimes every day! One that stands out though is when Instagram changed their algorithms to be more like Facebook. We rely heavily on the power of social media marketing. At the time, we were spending almost our entire marketing budget on influencers and had really dialed in a system that was very efficient and successful for us. The big changes Instagram implemented a few years ago greatly affected that success in a negative way. We dug in though and learned the ropes of their new system, paid ads on both Facebook and Instagram, became proficient in that platform and worked hard to stay ahead of trends to always get optimal results there. We also branched out to some new forms of marketing. As a result, the company grew more than it ever had before.
That’s exactly what you have to do in business – you have to evolve. The market changes all the time so you have to change with it. One last question – what’s next for Adventure Hunt?
We really want to grow the Create Your Own Hunt portion of our company. Our app is awesome. The system is awesome. Scavenger hunts are fun and used all the time. Our app makes them way better and even more fun. We want people to see that, understand it and use it so that scavenger hunts of all sizes are run through Adventure Hunt.
Great – I have no doubt you can do it !!