Josh Taekman, CEO of EBoost | VP Marketing at Bad Boy, To Serial Entrepreneur

 

For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Josh Taekman is a lifelong entrepreneur and the founder/CEO of Eboost, a premium clean performance supplement company using natural ingredients and formulas to make you feel great & do more in life and sport. Prior to Eboost, Josh worked alongside Sean P Diddy Combs as VP of Marketing for Bad Boy Entertainment and was a key driver in building Bad Boy and P DIDDY brand into a Global Entertainment Empire and personality. Josh lives in Tribeca with his wife, Kristen Taekman (model & tv personality) and their children.

Show Links

https://www.instagram.com/jmtaekman/

https://twitter.com/joshtaekman1

https://www.eboost.com/

SUCCESS STORY PODCAST

Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

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Machine Generated Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

marketing, brand, people, product, business, called, building, puffy, boost, literally, created, drink, focused, bad boy, taste, new york, friends, marketing agency, launched, class action lawsuits

SPEAKERS

Scott D Clary, Josh Taekman

 

Scott D Clary  00:06

Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between, without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Before we start today’s episode, a quick note from our sponsor, and throughout a fully comprehensive equity management platform. This is what they dobusiness owners, are you looking to raise capital and unlock shareholder liquidity? Before hiring expensive consultants or brokers you need to know about enthroned private businesses use enthroned to unlock liquidity without bloating costs. With enthroned equity Management Suite you’ll be able to create liquidity engage with shareholders and control your company’s Destiny all in one secure platform get your free guide to liquidity go to enthrone.com/liquidity That’s enthrone.com/liquidity

 

Scott D Clary  01:17

Thanks again for joining me I am sitting down with Josh Taekman who is the founder of E boost the industry leader of clean fuel for a better you so these are products including the line of super fuel beverages and powder that are natural and non GMO. Now, he boost is a powerful sorry, Josh, not a booth Josh is a powerful innovator in brand marketing and business development. With a specialty in music, entertainment, and consumer facing products. He’s made a career working with talent brands agencies, proprietary sighs the industry and Josh was the Vice President of Marketing for BAD BOY ENTERTAINMENT where he co founded Bad Boy marketing and enjoyed unprecedented runs creating multimillion dollar enterprises at the cross section of music, fashion, technology, and social good. Taking them co founded a marketing, linchpin buzz tone agency where as president he was responsible for all business development and leadership, building the company to 30 plus employees and over 15 million in annual revenue clients. Now let’s speak about what he’s working on now. So you know, career long marketer executive, he’s now building out his own thing, recognizing the gap and $25 billion nutrition and supplement category. He’s created he boosts and this was first started in 2008. It’s grown into a dynamic wellness brand with performance products, including super powders pre workout BCAAs, for for the active consumer who wants to feel great, do more on 2018. Take them partner with the founders of Arizona beverages created he boosts super fuel, first of his kind, natural energy recovery, ready to drink beverage fortified nootropics with nootropics, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and other key nutrition. Nutrients named the best new product of 2019 by Bev net. Josh, you’ve done a hell of a lot of stuff over your career. super impressive. Thank you for sitting down, excited to sort of unpack how you went from, you know, entertainment, to now you’re working in nutrition, building out your own very successful business. So yeah, tell me tell me your story. What’s the what’s the origin story of Josh take?

 

Josh Taekman  03:26

Well, thank you. I appreciate it. I don’t know it’s been it’s been an interesting road for sure. Particularly from where I’m from. I grew up in Northern California, in a small little suburb suburb outside of San Francisco. I went to school at a university Arizona, I migrated to Los Angeles after university Arizona but in college, I did a lot of nightclub promotions and kind of like event planning. So I kind of got my taste in the fusion between entertainment and music and bringing people together. So my goal was always to be in the music industry, just because I love the culture. I love the lifestyle. I for whatever reason, I fell in love with urban music at a young age. And at a young age, I was going to concerts I probably shouldn’t have been going to at the Oakland Coliseum and putting myself in situations that most 11 year olds wouldn’t do. But I was very naive about damn young. Yeah, I was taking BART to go to these fresh festivals. And you know, the Houdini LL Cool J all these great olds. Well, LOL is not that old school. He was young at the time and Run DMC and, and in the middle of, you know, Oakland, and I would go with my friend’s older sister’s boyfriend would take us who was like 17. And he was also under the music but he lived in a different city in a town called Livermore. So it was definitely a little bit more multicultural than Danville I grew up. But I just fell in love with it. And so I got exposed to it a fairly early age and it kind of stuck with me. So when I went to university Arizona, I thought there was an opportunity to kind of bring that music and culture To the nightlife. And that’s how I got started doing parties and events and clubs. And then when I moved to Los Angeles, I started doing production work on, you know, music videos and commercials and things like that. But my goal was always to get music industry. So I started an internship at a record label and urban record label called Tough break, which was great, except for I didn’t get paid, I think I got free lunch every Friday, and occasionally, you know, free snacks in the office. But for whatever reason, I loved it, I still had to do production work on the side to be able to pay my bills. But just being in that, in that, in that environment, in that old office, the type of people that were associated with the music industry, it just really got me fired up and got me really, really excited. So that was my passion point. And when I lived in LA, there was an upstart magazine at the time called vibe, which Quincy Jones was a partner, it was really a New York based magazine, and I got to know the publisher. And she asked if I wanted to come over and be on our on her starting team doing ad sales. And so I thought it was kind of an interesting way to get paid first and foremost, because there wasn’t really a job at Tough break for me that paid anything just because it was a small record label. And there wasn’t like new positions really being created, because it was a joint venture with a larger record label called a&m records. So they didn’t really need a lot of positions outside of the Finder and the founder and maybe like a head of promotions. So it was not what you call a growth opportunity there. So I ended up going over to buy magazine, because it was great. It was documenting the culture, the music, the fashion, the lifestyle. And I thought it’d be really exciting to be start, be part of an upstart magazine, particularly something that Quincy Jones and founded. So I was doing local ad sales, I was responsible for doing sales in Southern California. So it allowed me to work with the record labels and the fashion brands, and other things associated with that culture. And kind of put me at the center, which was great. And it gave me a pretty good, round well round of experience of dealing with sales, talent, culture. And that was kind of how I learned a lot of the marketing stuff, because I was also responsible for putting together programs for the partners that we had. And that kind of was allowed me to tap into my experience back in college, putting together nightlife and clubs and concerts. And that was, that was great. And I did that for like a year and a half. And then I got recruited to go to an entertainment marketing company, where really, it sounded better than it was on paper. Because I got kind of wood I got at that age, I just kind of got really excited about making a lot more money. Yeah. And then, and then I was under the impression that it had lots of travel associated with it. So my job in Southern California was just Southern California. So outside of like having to go to New York, potentially going to New York for like a big sales conference, which I would have gone to had I not left, there was really no travel. And I thought this would be a great way to get out and see the country and go to high profile events. And so I was doing that. And I went to New York, for my first time for a trade show in DC because I had a friend that lived in New York. And so he was modeling. So I went and visited him and I just couldn’t believe that a human being lived in such a small space and paid so much in rent. from Southern California, I’m paying like $1,500 and you literally you would open the door and urine his bedroom. You know, basically the front door almost banged up against his bed. It was I don’t even know how you call it a studio. But I was just after spending a week in New York and just getting immersed in the action and the pace and the lifestyle that New York, that’s exclusive to New York, I just became so energized being there. I basically looked at my other friend, I think I literally had like three friends that live there. And I mean friends that like I call him up and stay at their house. I might have known a handful of other people casually but like three people that I could have stayed at their house. And I’m like, I’m moving here. And my buddies just like yeah, right. I said, No, I’m moving here. I’m quitting my job. And I will be here. He’s like, alright, if you get here in the next month, you could stay at my apartment as long as you want for free. I’m like done. I go. I’ll be here in 21 days. And I literally went back I quit my job. I quit. I collected like four or five or six grand in commissions, which at the time felt like a lot. 1996 was enough for you know, I think it was 24. So I went back I returned my car, I dropped all the stuff off at my parents house and I bought a one way ticket to New York. And I landed and I went to my friend’s apartment and I said I have no job. I’m staying at a friend’s house. I just know I want to get back in the music industry and experience living in New York. And that was kind of like my that was kinda like the hook that got me there.

 

Scott D Clary  10:02

Yeah. And then And then what’s the what’s the steps from you know that thank you for the story. So where do you go from there to VP marketing a bad boy that’s a, that’s a big that’s a big jump, you know, you finally get to New York because obviously that’s that’s where the music and culture and, and everything that you’re sort of involved in and I see everything sort of compounding in your life that sort of like all coming together so I get it, but like how did you make that jump? Like where did you Where did you get involved with with bad boy at all?

 

Josh Taekman  10:31

Well, it’s funny. So I spent the first call it two or three months in New York going out every night. Yeah, getting getting getting immersed into the nightlife and the culture and just meeting lots of amazing people. And I wanted to get back in the music industry. But it was kind of weird, for some reason. I was like too proud to be an assistant, but not really qualified to be a product manager. And that would have been kind of like the spot for me. So I was interviewing at different record labels and different people that I had relationships with. And they just there was really not a position for him because I kind of fell in between, but I really should have taken assistant job to be honest with you. Because that’s, I always believe that if you’re really passionate about something, and there’s a company that you really want to work for, and you’re talented, and you work hard, the best way to grow, the best way to get into a company is starting at the very bottom, if that’s your only entry point. But if you’re waiting for that perfect job, it really opens up. And if it does, it’s usually someone internal filling it. So my motto is always like if you’re talented, and you’re passionate, and that’s the company you want to be at, you just find an entry point, you find a crack and you’re like water in a crack, you just find a way in. And then if your talents will speak for themselves. So the truth is, I probably should have taken like one or two assistant jobs because it would have been you know, like when was Def Jam, which would have been incredibly exciting. Yeah. But I didn’t, for whatever reason, I look back, maybe I was just a little too arrogant. And so I ended up taking some other jobs that I absolutely hated, because it wasn’t passionate about it. But at that point, I ran out of money. And I needed to work. And it still was like connected to entertainment. But there was no sizzle to it. There was no nothing, not nothing that got me excited every day other than collecting the paycheck. So I ironically, I ended up going to Florida for a tennis tournament. My friend was the head of marketing for Hugo Boss and they were the sponsor this big tennis tournament in Miami. She said why don’t you come and help me run the VIP suite for like a week. And I’m like a free trip to Miami for a week I’m in. And so I did that. And while I was there, actually I’ve been forced or the guy that would that on tough break. I saw him at the at the Delano hotel and he’s like, you know, I’m here. I’m like, Oh, come come to the tennis tournament, I got tickets for you in a suite. And the whole thing is like, great. And he’s like, I need four tickets. I’m going to bring my buddy Jeff and some other people. So we brought what was going to be the new president of bad boy. And so I met this guy, Jeff burrows, you know, lightly met him hung out for like a hot minute. And in the back of my mind, I’m like, That’s the company I want to work at. You know, I was always a huge fan of puffy as a producer, his you know, even when he was at Uptown records as an intern and the work that he did with Mary J. Blige and Joe to see Heavy D. I’m like, This guy’s a superstar like this guy’s got the Midas touch. And bad boy had Craig Mack and Biggie and total. And I’m like not now that is someplace that I can totally dig in. And I think I could add value at connecting of the non, I always felt like there’s a bridge to be built between corporate America, and the power of music and their ability to touch and influence people. And I’m like, I could be that bridge in terms of like bringing advertising marketing, sponsorship endorsement type deals, to this culture, because at the time, there was not a lot of bridges and a lot of ways to authentically tap into the talent and the lifestyle for these brands, whether it’s the Pepsi’s of the world, I mean, they always did like Michael Jackson and stuff like that at a super high level, that they were never really grounded at kind of the ground floor of the community and the culture and the lifestyle. So I just felt like there was this really immersive opportunity. And there was another guy at loud record Steve Rifkin that was doing it. So to be honest, he really created the blueprint. And I’m like, Well, what, if he’s doing it successfully? Imagine being able to say, you know, doing it alongside puffy, who I think will become a household name. And so sure enough, I went back to New York, and I called called Jeff and I pitched him on the idea of building a marketing agency within badboy. He got it because you know, there was already an example of Proofpoint with what Steve was doing. And he was doing a really great job at it and getting you know, Mountain Dew and Levi’s and big brands and it was kind of mesmerizing the industry and how he was thinking outside the box, to create marketing to deliver non traditional marketing dollars to help market the urban artists. And so that was kind of at the epicenter of the idea. So I put together you know, my version of a business plan for Jeff and he’s like, well put it put it there. and we’ll sit with puffy and take him through it. And I’m like, great. You know, I’ve never met puffy Of course. And sure enough, I call Jeff and I go back. And we meet with puffy and I take him through all the stuff. And at the very bottom, he’s like EA, he’s like, Yeah, you know, I thought about doing this too. Yeah, yeah, this is great. And at the very bottom, I put like, $2,000, just to show like, I’m all in, like, I just need enough to, like, cover my rent, or get a bagel or maybe even a bottle of water here and there, or subway pass. And he looked at me, because you want me to pay you $2,000 And I thought he was gonna laugh like, Come on, man. How are you gonna live on $2,000 in New York City. And he goes, I go, yeah, go, I just really want to show you that I’m committed. And I’m like, I’m willing to do sweat equity and putting he goes, You ain’t getting shit. He goes, I’m not he goes, you eat what you kill you shit until you make me money. And I’m like, wow, I go, how do I live? Because that’s not my problem. That’s your problem. So that’s hard knocks.

 

Josh Taekman  16:00

So here’s the irony, just a few months before I was too proud to be an assistant and get paid. And now I hear I’m willing to go work for free as an IT as a glorified intern, Riley, it’s like you come work for free, and you eat what you kill. So sometimes you have to be careful of the path that you choose. So I said, I said, Fine, I thought about it. I said, just give me a desk and a phone. If I need Jeff, to come on a meeting. I need them to come. It just felt like it felt like a challenge. But I was willing to accept because I knew that if I could get inside the walls of the doors. And by the way that the doors there were like armed security guards that you had to get by everyday to get into the office. It was a it was a whole nother experience. I said, you know, I just need to get a foot in the door. And then from there, I could just find my way. And so that’s what I did. I started in the mailroom, not getting paid $1 and and started as I would I hate to say it but a glorified intern as a 2425 year old guy in 1996.

 

Scott D Clary  17:01

So how was it? You know, you you you worked your way up through through bad boy. And what does what does the end result that bad boy look like when you’re running VP marketing. And this is something that you sort of grew with throughout your career. So walk me through what the day in the life of VP marketing at bad boys like because I want to learn some of those lessons that you learned.

 

Josh Taekman  17:20

Yeah, so it was great. So it was kind of like it was I would say it was a non traditional VP of marketing position. Because I was really much more I was not really putting together call it the day to day marketing plans for the artists in terms of like, their media, their media tours, their promotional schedules, their photoshoots. Like, they were that I was doing much more of the business development, and branding and marketing. So I would say it was much more of a business development role. And then my job also carried over to the marketing agency that we created together. And so my job was to go get outside dollars to come in. So whether it’s like getting Pepsi to be the sponsor of his tour, or do marketing programs for films that were getting released. Or like footlocker, I got a huge budget and, and basically produced a commercial with the talent brought in the directors. So I was just using our platform to go out and attract outside dollars to provide different services for them or provide certain access. You know, ironically, one of the clients that we had at the time was seeing eyes, and saying it was really well known in the inner cities. But you know, like the hardcore Hip Hop heads, like it was a big deal to do a St. Night’s campaign. You know, I think Ice Cube might have started Snoop did it? Who else did it, Redman did it. And so at the time, they’re like, We want to get this guy, Jay Z. And so I’m like, Okay, and so I literally saw Jay Z and his partner at the time, Daymond dash in a nightclub. And I went up to them. I’m like, Hey, I’m Josh. I work at badboy blah, blah, blah. And he’s that they’re actually really kind to me. And I said, Hey, I’m working with St. Knights, and they want you to do a radio spot TV spot for them. Like, man, I don’t do that. Well give me Krista. And I go, unfortunately, don’t have crystal. I said, but I have seen it. And I said, Listen, it’s for the inner city. You know, Biggie, did it. Ice Cube did it. Snoop did it. I said, you know, it definitely touches your core consumer. He’s like, Nah, man. I’m Krista. He says, Bill, give me Rolls Royce or Cristalle. I said, it’s 150 grand. He goes, damn, and give me your number. And so literally Daymond gave me his phone number. And I had, I think like four weeks to create the radio spot. I had to get them to sign the contract, and do the radio spot. So I’m excited now. So I go back to the client. I’m like, I got Jay Z’s gonna do the radio spot and possibly the TV spot. So I’m going through the motions. I’m dealing with his business manager and he checks all the boxes. And so now I have a contract that’s got it. I gotta get Jay to sign. And John’s like that’s on you, buddy. You got to get them to sign it because I don’t have time to chase them around for that. And so I literally showed up in the hood in Brooklyn with contract. And I said, Yo, if you want to get this check, you gotta sign this contract. So they’re like, Wow, this guy’s wild. Like he showed up in like really deep inner city brother shooting a music video to get it signed. And so I get it signed, and I get Daymond cell phone number. Now I gotta get the radio spot done. So I’m calling gaming, like every single day like, Yo, I gotta get this done. Like, When can he like, oh, you know, tonight, you know me, you know, hip hop at the studio at this time I show up. No one’s there. It’s going straight to his voicemail. There’s no like texting back then. There’s no email back then. So you literally have their cell phone number. Yeah. So that’s all I had. So I’m stalking him like crazy. And now I got like, four or five days left to get this done. And by the way, I don’t get paid unless I get it done. If this doesn’t get done, I don’t get paid. And so finally, I’m stressing Daymond so hard. He’s like, Yo, I can’t take you anymore. You have to call Jay directly like that. You got to deal with his assistant Carlene or here’s Jay. Sal. Like, you got to just get him yourself that he wants his money. So I literally stalk him so hard is like Fine. Fine. Meet me at this studio at this time. So he showed up on time goes in the studio. He’s like, What do I have to say? I’m like, you gotta say saying I just number of times, and this time the other. He literally goes in like, I think the producer was this guy. Timbo king. He played a beat. He’s like, Nah, he played another beach is like now played another because yeah, that’s it right there. He goes, play that for him. And he played it. He goes played again. He played it for him. He goes, alright, hit play. And he literally like one time to like, he just like, nailed it. And he’s like, we good. I’m like, you gotta do it a couple times they want man, we got to have a bunch of different options. And you got to say this one more time. And literally, he nailed it on the first take. And, and I have to find I have to find that I have that dot somewhere in my storage because that would be a nice piece of archival footage to have Jay Z do want to say nightspot.

 

Scott D Clary  21:58

That’s, uh, you know what, you know, you went through a lot of shit to get that job. But that’s a fun, that’s a fun story. Not many people can say that kind of not many people have that kind of story working in in any sort of role in a business. You know what I mean? Like, like, working work your way up. And you know, like you said that you were VP marketing but you were doing everything you VP marketing by name, but like, you know, jack of all trades. Realistically, you’re doing the sales you’re collecting. You’re collecting the checks, you’re getting the signatures, your legal your HR, your finance, your sales, your marketing.

 

Josh Taekman  22:29

Back then you had to do it all. And that’s, I think, where I learned like, you literally got to roll up your sleeves, and you got to just grind. Yeah, I know anyone that says that. They’re not grinding and hustling to get things done, then they’re not really about the end result.

 

Scott D Clary  22:41

Yeah, that’s that’s good advice. That’s very good advice. So let’s after after bad boy, you know, there’s there’s things in between bad boy and a boost. What are what are notable things that, you know, we can spend all day? Yeah, some really good stories. But I do want to talk about what you’re working on now. So what I mean by boy and

 

Josh Taekman  23:00

so you know, I did that bad boy for a while. And honestly, I had some really unbelievable deals set up a puppy because I was really almost doing like adventure business. And unfortunately, he had two big legal incidences, that setback, a lot of big opportunities. You know, there was a situation where we got a very public felony from a fight with another record executive. And then there was the whole gun charge with with shine, and the shooting and the club and Jennifer Lopez. So that also, unfortunately, killed a bunch of other huge deals that I was working on. So after that, I was just like, Man, I’m beating my head against the wall. I’m getting things to the finish line. And we had some deals that were like game changers. I mean, back in 97, I had a joint venture with Nantucket Nectars to create a line of fruit juices. So it was gonna be called tomtom and puff. Literally, everything was done. All we had to do was just sign the contract. And then that felony hit, they called me and they’re like, Yeah, I’m so sorry. But you know, we have Cadbury Schweppes as an investor and we can’t be in business with a felon. And this is before social media. So but you know, back then, puffy was a household name. So it was on MTV, it was on VH one and he was on BT it was in the newspapers. So everyone knew about the situation. So I just looked back at that one deal in particular, and there was nothing there would have, it would have been a game changing opportunity for us to enter the beverage industry that no one had taken the approach of using a powerhouse like him and our marketing ability. And something that was there was a huge void in the marketplace, especially for the urban consumer, you know, creating bourbon inspired flavors that really appealed to their taste palate, and with him behind it and the ability for him to leverage all the other talent. I mean, it’s really kind of what Sherlock is today. So imagine if we had a Sherlock type of marketing approach back in 1997, when no one else was doing it. Now there’s a lot of people doing it. He’s just been wildly successful with Iraq, but back then there would have been no other competitors approaching it that way.

 

Scott D Clary  25:01

Yeah, for so yeah,

 

Josh Taekman  25:02

wouldn’t be said. So if that happened, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you. I’d be somewhere, you know, on a boat on an island somewhere.

 

Scott D Clary  25:10

Hey, listen, man, you could still talk to me, I don’t care if you’re on an island, you know, I feel that that like you had a lot of good stories. And, you know, one of the things I’m noticing is, is you’re, you’re, you’re really, you’re really paving the way for a lot of, of new innovative concepts and opportunities at the time. So you know, you were you were at you were at that intersection of culture and music and marketing and business and commerce and partnership and brand. And that’s something that now is the everywhere, but like you mentioned, it didn’t, it didn’t happen. But that seems to be seems to be a trend, right like that your ability, at least to find those gaps. Because if I think about even Sports and Nutrition and what you’re doing with a boost, it’s not like, it’s hard to make headway in the sports nutrition industry because it’s saturated. But you seem to have like some, like a knack to find those gaps. Is that something that’s innate? Or are you just you just hustle you figure it out? You do your research? Curious? You? What what’s the, you know, the secret to defining these things?

 

Josh Taekman  26:10

That’s definitely not research, that’s for sure. It’s, it’s definitely much more of an instinct. I mean, again, like there’s multiple people, I can look back at my career, and there’s real VP of marketing guys that went to business school guys that, you know, worked at Fortune 500 companies that have like a real VP of marketing playbook. Mine was much more of a school of hustle playbook. So, you know, those guys had, you know, multiple assistants, and we’re dictating on what to do, and they’re whiteboarding. We’re much more like our sleeves are rolled up and say, How are we going to make this happen? And how are we going to connect some non traditional dots. So I would say that my path has been, my path has been definitely different than a traditional marketing person. And that’s why I play kind of in more non traditional spaces, you know, the music industry is not necessarily a traditional corporate type of position. And my marketing agency that I created after badboy was not a traditional kind of marketing agency, as much more experiential lifestyle, and how I built eBoost as a brand, which much more of a lifestyle approach than how I see other people that are going out and raising big money and doing a much more traditional push. And

 

Scott D Clary  27:16

not me to drive I was gonna ask you think that that the non traditional, I guess, upbringing in marketing has allowed you to be more successful with some of the things you’ve launched?

 

Josh Taekman  27:26

I mean, I don’t know if the words more successful is right, I think it’s allowed me to take a different approach. And to build a different type of brand with a different type of personality. I think. I think if I had a more balance and some of that other stuff, I probably could scale business quicker. So I’m definitely not saying having a true real traditional kind of like business, you know, MBA type of approach. With proper funding and resources, I probably be in a different place today, if I did a little bit more of a hybrid model. Unfortunately, I’ve kind of done it in a very bootstrap way. So it’s been a much longer path than others have taken. So you know, like I say, this is gonna be the greatest 13 year overnight success in history.

 

Scott D Clary  28:14

So let’s talk about let’s talk about the 13 year overnight success. So what So how did you or why why a booth why why nutrition? Why is that something that you want to go into? what’s the, what’s the

 

Josh Taekman  28:24

I can’t say that I ever really wanted to go into it. It was never like a lifelong journey or passion. I had, I own a marketing agency called Buzz stone. And, you know, again, like I said, we work with a lot of brands and products, and we’re our job was to do experiential marketing, and connect a lot of unique thoughts to, you know, help build brand or awareness or trial. And I never really even took vitamins I took like, Baraka when I was hungover, or, you know, sometime in the day, if I needed like a little extra lift, I never really drink Redbull unless it was at Fox a handful of times, but then I felt horrible the next day. And I always felt like I needed like a lift of energy, but I could never find a clean source. So I just kind of stayed away from and I tried a few pre workouts, I thought I was gonna have a heart attack. I worked out every single day. I didn’t drink coffee. So I was never like a caffeine junkie. But I was, you know, when you live in New York, you live a hard life, you really, you know, I would leave my house at seven in the morning. And I wouldn’t come home sometimes till three or four. Because you go like go late to the gym, right to the office, right from the office to dinner then right from dinner to out. And that was like five or six nights a week, especially being in the music industry. And that was kind of like New York back in the late 90s. It was like on fire in the early 2000s. Like, there’s just a lot of stuff to always do. And if you’re in it, if you’re in the middle of it, you know, that’s just kind of the day to day life that you’re living. Yeah, yeah. And then so I in the back of my mind, I was always like, why is there not a product that I could take every day that would give me like that healthy lift? Energy does essential vitamins and minerals that I’m sure I’m missing every single day. It’s not Red Bull, it’s not monster that’s not rock star, there’s not one of these cracked out pre workouts. And so and so I had a supplement, a guy that owned a big supplement company approached me about creating a break us helping him market a brand that he had created, targeting kind of urban markets and consumer. And there was this horrible, the packaging was horrible, the name was horrible. His ideas were horrible, the product case and like shit, like everything he brought was horrible. It made no sense whatsoever. I said this will be this will be failure again. And I’m like, you know, what, if you really want to do it, I did. I did think you know, back then. And this is pre social media, there was only a handful of news outlets that really was able to be the broadcast and dictate kind of culture to pop culture. And that was, you know, MTV, edetate a, you know, BT to some degree, all the magazines, the People’s, the US weeklies, all that stuff. So there weren’t really a ton of channels to get a message out there. And if you are living on those channels in a pervasive way, then you had major influence. So if you think about that, that era of a time, like in the late 90s, early 2000, like hip hop dominated everything hip hop was the new rock and roll. So if you were a successful hip hop artist, you had a platform to build a brand and puffy was the pioneer in that I take that back Run DMC was the pioneer in that with Adidas, puffy took that and put it on steroids. You know, we did that with Sean John, which I was I was there from day one with Sean John is actually my friends signature. But I just saw it and I always looked at puffy I’m like you’re a brand builder. Like you can create brands from scratch because you have so much influence over media that you don’t have to pay for. So when this guy was approaching, when this guy was approaching the idea of doing something for this market, I say well, why don’t we just go partner with this kid 50 set. He’s got a whole brand. He’s got a whole brand called and movement called G unit. You know, he launched a Reebok sneaker and it’s wildly successful, he launched a clothing line as wildly successful. He’s relevant, he’s ripped. I said, He’s businessman, business savvy. He’s fitness savvy. So I approached his manager. And I said, you think 50 would want to do gene and supplements. And he’s like, I know he wouldn’t. This is even before vitamin water. And so we literally had a deal done with 50 to do gene supplements. And, and it just didn’t get across the finish line, because there was one last meeting that had to take place on a Friday. And he was leaving on Saturday for Europe for three months. And of course, he was not able to make it to the meeting. And he thought he could just call in. And that never really works in the real corporate world and partners that they want. They want to they want to know that you’re equally as invested in as excited about the partnership. So unfortunately, that fell to the wayside. And and that was really what led to the creation of eBoost.

 

Scott D Clary  33:09

And that was you that was you just basically taking you know, taking the concept that was going to go and then just running with it.

 

Josh Taekman  33:16

No, actually it wasn’t. It was actually me having lunch on a Monday the next like that Monday with my best friend. And just commiserating once again, I get to like the finish line. And and had this amazing joint venture setup. And like, the idea was definitely ahead of its time and and he’s just like, wow, that just sucks. He goes, Why don’t you just you know, what about like, and he started coming up with the idea. So it was really his idea. He’s like, there’s no like clean, healthy products. And so we just started building on that idea and and we’re like, Well imagine if there was like a Brocken meets emergency met, like a clean, healthy Red Bull, and a powder that you could take every day, and it actually tasted good and worked. Like shit, we would take that every day. We know it even if we just built it for ourselves. My guess is there’s a lot of people like us that would want to take it. Yeah. And so we were our own little, our own little focus group of two. But you know, your instincts are if you make something that makes you feel great and do more people are gonna want it. And so that was really the impetus of the idea. And I go work ship, or my guy, Mel can do it, he can make the product. And he was the guy who’s gonna do the deal of 50 with and sure enough, went back to Mel pitch some of the idea and he loved it. He’s like, Great, let’s do it. we’ll partner with a really amazing human being, God rest his soul. And so we spent, you know, like nine months with him trying to develop the product. And unfortunately, he was an amazing chemist, but he was not an amazing marketing person. So every time we went back to samples, it didn’t taste good and the product never fully dissolved. So as like the last time we went to go see him and get a sample that he thought was really great. It had floating particles, because we were trying to do a tablet and we wanted to like Baraka, Jesus. By dissolve like Alka Seltzer. And so after like two and a half minutes, there’s these floating particles. I’m like now and he’s hitting it with a spoon. He’s like, Oh, it’s fine. It’s fine. No one will care. I’m like, perception is reality and like, you want to look good, you want to taste good, and you want to feel good. I said, This doesn’t look good. This doesn’t taste good. And even if I feel good, you’ve already lost me on the taste and the look. So I was a little depressed. I’m like, God, spent all that time thought it was really cool idea, I thought it’d be really fun. And I own my marketing agency at the time. So it was kind of like off the side of my desk passion project, as opposed to like, stopping everything and just focused on it. And then my best friend introduced me to a guy out in New Jersey, that that’s what he does. He’s got one of the largest contract manufacturer. So we went out and saw him and he just got it. I mean, this guy’s amazing. He’s bigger than life personality, is they come back, come back in two days, I’ll have a sample for you. Sure enough, go back in two days, and I’m like, This is great. The only thing about the sample he made for us, he’s sucralose. And we’re like, No, we have to use natural sweeteners. We do not want any artificial ingredients. We want it to be matched. We want it to be clean, like nobody cares. Trust me. Nobody cares. I’m like, we care. Like that’s, that’s what we want. I said, even if it’s a small business, like we want to make sure that something that we can drink every day and we feel proud about. He’s like, you don’t get it. Nobody cares. You want it to taste great use sucralose. Like sucralose is disgusting. Like, I wouldn’t drink. I don’t drink soft drinks. So why would I choose to drink something in a drink, that I’m going to go out there and promote if I can’t feel comfortable that myself. And the truth is he was right in the sense that nobody cared. Nobody gave a shit. So we created a more expensive product that tastes good, but didn’t taste as good as if it had sucralose. But we were proud. And that’s what we want to do. So we stuck to our morals, and we stuck to our guns. But we’d probably be in a different place today. If we would have listened to him with using sucralose and just tried to go mainstream and die.

 

Scott D Clary  37:02

You still you’re not doing so bad. Why you got 4000 locations, your your multi million revenue, it’s not so bad. So

 

Josh Taekman  37:09

we’re all right. I’m far from proud from where I mean, I’m proud of the brand. But I we could be in a whole different place if I would have made some different decisions along the way. But

 

Scott D Clary  37:19

yeah, that’s being an entrepreneur that’s figuring it out. You know what I mean? That that is what life is.

 

Josh Taekman  37:24

Yep. I’m not pounding my chest. I’m proud of the brand. And I’m proud of what we’ve done with with have little resource and what a small team we are. But no, no, are we nowhere near the finish line? Am I claiming victory?

 

Scott D Clary  37:35

So, you know, lessons learned as an entrepreneur, this is the first time you’ve truly built something, I guess. Good marketing agency. Yes. Marketing Marketing Agency is like a It’s not like a widget. It’s not like, it’s not like a you know, it’s not the same type of entrepreneurial venture where you have to figure out supply chain, you have to figure out Yeah, profit margin, that kind of thing. So how did you you know, lessons learned from building eBoost?

 

Josh Taekman  37:59

What what are some I think you got to be laser focused on revenue. Right, I was laser focused on promotion, I love giving the shit out. Like, I mean, I would always have I was like a street marketer, like, I was just as excited about walking around and given the product to people and make sure they drank it, see how they liked it. If I spent more time focusing on just generating revenue, and less time just giving away free product, probably be in a different place. So but I was so proud of the product. And I was just so enamored with, like how it made me feel. And I’m like God, everyone else, hopefully, they have the same experience as I do. So I would just like send free product out to all my friends and send it all over and go to all the Super Bowls and the all star games. But I had no distribution. I mean, we were a little too expensive to be in mainstream grocery store. And we didn’t have any marketing money. I mean, it was all funded through friends and family. So we always just had enough to like have one or two people including me on staff at like a fraction of a salary to make enough product and have a website to give away a bunch of stuff. And then we had nice little online business at the time. And then we were building up all these kind of non traditional retail stores like hotels like all the W hotels, which was our first client. So we had great distribution in hotels and then we are in like north northeast Whole Foods and SoCal Whole Foods and sprouts, and Lifetime Fitness. So we had these cool, kind of like natural specialty channels. But in the real world, there was no distribution, Equinox, W Hotel, Whole Foods, but the perception is we are everywhere. We’re on Virgin America. So we did a great job marketing the brand from an awareness to point, particularly if you lived in New York and LA, but there was really nowhere to find the brand. So if I look backwards, I would have been way more laser focused on finding a channel that I could scale. So I always was enamored with DTC, and I should have just really focused on being an early mover in the DTC space. And we were early on Amazon And I thought I had the right resource at the time to manage our Amazon business who was an ex Amazon buyer for the category. And he was leaving to start an agency because he really understood you know how to pull all the levers at Amazon and, and at the timing of starting an agency and his whole platform for his agency was oh, we build a custom shopping cart. And then we manage all your activities on Amazon. Fast forward, the guy went to build like a billion dollar marketing agency, where he just happened to unfortunately be one of his first clients. And we were his, his beta test for the concept of a shopping cart, there’s just bugged me. So it didn’t go well. So was it like eight months of kind of wasted time and energy. But it had, I really went and found another just Amazon exclusive agency that really understood the inner workings of Amazon, we could have really been kind of come up and first and search if we had focused on that. So I think between that and just spending money in digital marketing and direct to consumer sales, and then support it with like, the right specialty accounts and natural food stores, I think we could have been a really, we were we had all of the makings to be a great direct to consumer brand.

 

Scott D Clary  41:12

And now you’ve sort of learned those lessons as you’ve grown. Like, you know, being an entrepreneur is not easy. It’s not like you have these, you don’t know this stuff you don’t know you don’t know. Right? So you have to you have to sort of roll with the punches, and you’ve done it, you’ve you know, you kept your head above water in a big way, right, in a very good way. So what you know, how do you? What are the next steps for the brand as you want to as you want to scale it out?

 

Josh Taekman  41:34

Well, I say the best thing that we did, I think we had to go through all those years of pain and suffering because the perception is we are always way bigger than we were so like, he was like wildly successful. We were on gas fumes, we were hand to mouth. So you know, everyone else thought like, Oh, my God,

 

Scott D Clary  41:48

like even like perception is reality. Right, though? Yeah.

 

Josh Taekman  41:51

Well, it doesn’t always have we had, we had one of those frivolous cat class action lawsuits where a guy bought our product. And then on the very back of our package, it said, like, boost your immunity. And then you know, these class action lawsuits where they go, and they find like a stupid study. And there was a study by Harvard that was based on an AIDS patient that somewhere within there, it said, you can’t boost your immunity. And it was totally related to this case study. And it wasn’t about overall really boosting your immunity. Nonetheless, they do these heinous class action lawsuits are one where this guy never even was able to he lied three times to a judge where he purchased the product. He said, target we’re like, we’ve never sold the target. Oh, that’s right. I bought it at CVS. And like, never sold it at CVS. And we had to prove that. And then the third place, we never sold it. But sure enough, we had to settle with this guy. And this is the irony is the judge goes, well, you know, I see you guys everywhere, you guys have to have a lot of money. That was I said, I’m happy to show you our books, because we’re not making a lot of money. As matter of fact, we’re losing money. But the fact that for you to say that you think you make we’re making a lot of money, because you seem to see us everywhere in New York, and you’re gonna base the settlement on that. It just it that one really crushed me is having to settle when someone lies about something. But I got sidebar, I’m not but I’m sorry about that.

 

Scott D Clary  43:19

I was gonna say it’s a it’s a lesson though, for an entrepreneur, he did a lot of bad people.

 

Josh Taekman  43:24

Well, here’s the here’s the real lesson, there are a lot of bad people out there. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad lawyers out there. So you always have to protect yourself legally, you always have to know where the areas of, of, of risk and danger in your business. Because, you know, in the nutrition space, you know, there’s all these stupid props, and there’s all these low hanging fruit for these lawyers to come after you and California’s is egregious with their class action lawsuits. And it’s really a stickup. Because they just have boilerplate templates that they just file. And they really just force you to settle because it’s just nuisance. So no matter what business is it I always say you’re at risk. And so you have to understand your risk and make sure you’re safe guarded against it, right. So like if you’re a restaurant or if you’re a brand and you don’t have visually impaired on your website, you’re a risk. Right like restaurants if you don’t have handy proper handicap Aska access, you’re at risk of a frivolous lawsuit. So you just have to protect yourself and understand what those potential pitfalls are.

 

Scott D Clary  44:36

No, that’s that’s a tough lesson to learn. But it’s you know, like as I speak to a whole bunch of people who have built different types of businesses, it’s one that I try and dry out it’s just like, you know, there’s a lot of good there’s a lot of you know, working for yourself not working for somebody else. There’s a lot of shit that comes with being an entrepreneur. A lot of tough times a lot of stress a lot of bad people you I you know, it’s just it’s not it’s not easy. It’s definitely not easy.

 

Josh Taekman  45:00

No. And by the way, not everyone’s meant to be an entrepreneur. The success ratio is so low. The pain, the suffering the risk, when you give up and doing it, it’s like it’s not. It’s not for everyone.

 

Scott D Clary  45:13

Yeah, no, that’s, that’s, that’s a very important thing. If you’re looking to start your own thing not to like dissuade people, but just like to like, understand the amount of time invested, I speak to like VCs that invest and they’re just and the ethical ones. upfront. Say, if you are ready to spend the next 10 years of your life eating shit, don’t start a con. Yeah,

 

Josh Taekman  45:34

exactly. If you can’t go if you if you can’t be prepared to like, be in the trenches. Yeah, the trenches, trenches. It’s not for you. Yeah, yes, it’s not for you.

 

Scott D Clary  45:49

Anyways, on. On a more positive note, I don’t want to make everyone all down on a on a Friday afternoon. But, but no, I appreciate the story. And I think that like a lot of lessons learned. And I never I didn’t I didn’t ever really pull out to you. Where do you want to take a boost? What like, what’s your vision for, you know, growing this scaling this?

 

Josh Taekman  46:09

Well, you know, we really are, you know, our whole platform as a clean fuel for better you. So we just launched some amazing BCAAs, which we’re super proud of, and excited and getting great reviews on. I mean, really, our, our hero product is basically our legacy product, super powder, we went to Arizona beverages. You know, a little under two years ago, I’d say, Guys, you have this amazing company, this amazing portfolio, but you don’t have any premium functional beverages in your portfolio, you got the infrastructure, you have the expertise, you have the distribution, you’re independently owned, so you can make decisions fast. I said, Imagine if we took our little brand in the hottest category and energy. And the big whitespace in energy as clean energy as Bang was disrupted, disrupting the category. I said, we already have like a really amazing brand that just needs to be plugged into a platform. So imagine if we partnered with your talent skills, infrastructure, with our brand and our unique marketing, we can do something really special. And so it took a while to convinced on the owner. But thankfully for sons Wes and Spence, they were really behind it and they got it. They like this, there’s a void in the marketplace for a product like this. They’re like I could be proud giving this to my friends, because they would drink it. And so we spent about close to a year developing the product because Don’s whole thing was like unless it tastes great, I’m not doing it. And so we let him be the final say on taste. And he’s got probably the best taste buds in the world, because he makes the most delicious drinks. So but he also works with an amazing flavor in house that he’s worked with for 25 years. So they’re able to sprinkle their secret sauce and make our drink tastes amazingly good. Keep the sugar super low with like one gram of sugar, two grams sugar, all the calories are either 1015 or 20. It’s got 12 vitamins and minerals. It’s it’s natural, it’s clean. It’s non GMO, it gives you healthy with double energy. It’s got focus, electrolytes. I mean, it’s really kind of like it’s much more than just energy. Energy is one of the components but the taste is phenomenal. And how you feel after you take it.

 

Scott D Clary  48:11

Yeah, so I’m assuming that like when you say clean energy, you mean like there’s no crash? You don’t feel like shit for the app? No,

 

Josh Taekman  48:16

yeah, no, I say the I warn people I’m like, only drink this if you want to feel great, do more.

 

Scott D Clary  48:21

That’s a good tagline. You’re, you’re a good marketer.

 

Josh Taekman  48:25

If you don’t want to feel great and do more, I’d highly recommend you not to drink this product. I love it.

 

Scott D Clary  48:30

I want it to I want to meet up with like just a couple like rapid fire. But before before I you know, I move off, we covered a whole bunch about your career about you know, your some of the things you’ve experienced a boost. Was there anything that we didn’t speak on that you wanted to talk about?

 

Josh Taekman  48:43

No, I think that, you know, we covered a lot of the points. Like I said, we’re super excited about the can because that allows us to really scale and go mainstream, we’ve never really had any products that they could live in, you know, FDM like in mass accounts. You know, we’ll be launching and target in August and CVS in August. So super excited about that we just launched an AMPM. And we really created a product for a dual gender audience. And that’s really hard to do. I can’t say that we design that by nature, but just through our natural product development. It’s just it’s a product that appeals to men and women and that’s really hard to build a brand that can appeal to both and kind of have success. So that’s what I’m proud of and excited about and where we’re going with Arizona beverages. We’re just launching in Southern California. So super excited about that. And you know we have opportunity for new flavor that we’re finalizing that we’ll be launching in the next couple months and then some potential product extensions

 

Scott D Clary  49:49

very exciting that I you know, I love that you pointed that out because I just I just went over to your website. And and I’ve always wondered that too. Like in the fitness and health industry. It seems like everything is like very much very much tailored to you know, male, female, pinks and whites versus reds and blacks are blue, and black. I don’t really understand why that is. But I do know that like, when I go to your website, it seems like it’s just like a really good modern looking, clean design. And it’s a nice, I don’t, I really don’t want to be too like promotional about it. But like, you know, you’re listening, go check it out yourself, you’ll see what I mean, it’s like, it’s a very clean looking website. And I think that that’s a nice feel, it doesn’t really, it doesn’t really make anybody feel like they’re left out. And that’s a marketing lesson through, I don’t know, if you can imagine it sort of happened like that. But I think, you know, double down on that, because that’s a, that’s a really important thing to have. And I think that the polarizing is not a good thing.

 

Josh Taekman  50:46

I think that’s just like the personality of our company, and the people that work there. And, again, we just kind of use our own instincts and which drives a lot of this stuff. And we kind of like create the company for ourselves in a weird way. So we’re not so heavily focused on metrics and audience, we’re just like, this is our community. And we kind of have a sense of their tastes. And we think this is reflective of those days. But we have actually a new website that we’ll be launching, hopefully in the next month, which I think you’ll really love. So I challenge everyone to go to our current website, ie boost calm, and then come back in 30 days, and give me what you think of the compare comparison between the two.

 

Scott D Clary  51:25

Yeah, no, let’s, I’m excited to see it because I’m a marketer at heart. So I, you know, I love when people put together a clean website, like nice UI looks really, really good. But let’s see what, let’s see what you’re rolling out. It should be interesting, especially if it’s like very intrinsically motivated. Like you said, like your team is like the community. Family. Yeah, yep. Yep. Yeah, very good. Okay, rapid fire just to end up life lesson questions, because I’d like to bring out some people that have had some measure of success. The first question would be, what is one lesson that you would tell your younger self that would help you get to where you are a little bit quicker or a little bit easier?

 

Josh Taekman  52:06

Focus, find, find an area that you could scale and be successful and put blinders on. I you know, I always think that we all get distracted by shiny objects, and I’m the king of getting distracted. If you’re just Steve Jobs, and you’re just laser focused on one thing and making it the absolute best it can be I think that’s a lesson that should apply to everything.

 

Scott D Clary  52:28

Very good. And second one a resource that you’ve gone to to learn something of could book podcast person, audible doesn’t matter what’s a what’s a good place for people to go.

 

Josh Taekman  52:42

I can always go back in principle, like Tony Robbins because I just it just says philosophy on everything. And I think with his philosophy on life and how you approach challenges he just he just he just basically just says you just you’re responsible for your own success. There’s You can’t blame anyone else but yourself. So if there’s a problem, it’s like, I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the problem I spend more time focusing on the solution. And he kind of inspired that I’ve always kind of lived by it but the way he he says it, it just is like a powerful mantra of mine. It’s like guys, the solution is here you spending 20 minutes talking about the problem? Yeah, that time could have been spent on getting us around the speed bumps so and I just think that if you can’t solve problems in life, it applies to your personal life, your business life to everything that’s just and natural skill set that that has intrinsic value across every area of your life.

 

Scott D Clary  53:41

Yeah, very well said. And I guess Lastly, where do people go to find out more you like you mentioned the the website but you know, where is your social that you want people to go?

 

Josh Taekman  53:52

Yeah, so we’re you know, we’re on Instagram, you can engage with it on Instagram, we’re always doing fitness events, we’re really tied to the fitness community. You can go to E blues comm you know, if you have any questions or ever need anything, you can always email me Josh at E boosts calm. We’re really accessible. We’re a small team, but we’re really engaged. You know, I personally respond to almost every single email that comes into our customer service. I like that’s where I get kind of the pulse of what’s happening and feedback. So we’re very accessible. We’re very open. Our goal is just to get our product, get people to try it. And we think that you know, because of that, though, embrace it, we’re actually got a TV spot coming out in a couple weeks. Were testing some TV so it’ll be interesting to see how that does.

 

Scott D Clary  54:33

You should go through your old Rolodex, get some of your, some of your old clients are pushing this that.

 

Josh Taekman  54:40

You know, I know I gotta be I gotta get better at that. I was shameless for a long time. I just think I’m getting older.

 

Scott D Clary  54:45

That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also washes podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds, as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast, signing off

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