Building a Personal Brand One Dreadlock at a Time
Updated: Jan 20, 2019
Entrepreneur: Andrew Campbell
Degree: BS in Entrepreneurship from Rowan University (New Jersey, USA)
One Word That Describes You: Eclectic
How We Met: Once I was born, he was just sort of...there (my brother).
The Case Study: You know the cliché of when a teenage boy is locked away in his room for hours on end playing video games, yelling at the computer, inevitably ignoring their homework or parents’ repeated calls that dinner is ready? That was my brother, except little did we know it would lead him to becoming a serial entrepreneur.
Andrew started his first business his junior year of college. Well, technically his very first business was at age 8 with his best friend, Carlo, where they would mix existing sports beverages and add salt for bonus electrolytes. However, this business ultimately failed since "the neighbors weren’t too keen on the salty beverages”.
The First Biz Hyper Crew (2011-2012) was a Starcraft 2 tournament hosting website. If you have no idea what that means, same. Basically he hosted a website for others to play a popular online game. Though this was a small project that only lasted a year, it catapulted Andrew’s personal brand, ZyoriTV. As Zyori, he started obtaining contracts to be a broadcaster where he would essentially commentate (similar to major sports games) matches, giving a play by play of live video games for others to watch. He also started creating his personal brand signature, dreadlocks.
The “Big Break” In 2014, Andrew got hired full time at Beyond the Summit as one of four key startup employees, finally getting a real salary ($30,000 per year). He actually lived with the other members of the company, so while the work life balance was intense, it was a fantastic learning opportunity. This was also when his personal brand, Zyori, really took off with the BTS social reach. Being an esports commentator may not sound like a big deal to Americans, but it is a popular professional sport in many countries with huge prize money, so as Zyori’s popularity rose, so did his adventures around the world
(Sweden, China, Malaysia, Romania, Ukraine, Canada, Germany, Croatia) to host these events live.
In 2015, Andrew decided to quit BTS and create his own company called Moonduck. The goal of Moonduck was not necessarily to do something new (BTS already had a team of esports commentators), but Andrew wanted his company, Moonduck, to treat contracts more ethically, and create a business model that gave everyone flexibility to work on other projects. With Moonduck’s new business model, no one received a salary. Instead, everyone was paid by percentage of contribution on a per project basis. After 3 years, Moonduck was grossing $1 million annually.
The Career Shift In 2016, Andrew made a complete industry shift by starting LIFE Pure Recovery, a supplement company, with his childhood best friend, Carlo (the salty drinks kids). Now age 28, the two decided to give the business partnership they “founded” at 8 years old, AndCar, another shot.
In 2017 they launched their first product, LIFE Deer Antler Velvet, a supplement rich in amino acids to help with restoration, recovery, endurance and strength.
In 2018, AndCar launched multiple new products including MultiFocus, which helps control stress, improve focus, and master multitasking, as well as CBD tinctures, balms, and honey. Now, in 2019, Andrew is venturing out even further into a new space, the pet industry. This means he will have businesses in esports, human supplements, and the pet industry, making his portfolio intriguingly diverse.
Nature vs. Nurture: The question is: what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Are some people born to be successful entrepreneurs or did they learn the skills necessary to make it?
According to Andrew, he attributes his success as an entrepreneur to 75% nature and 25% nurture. He has always been an inquisitive problem solver, had a desire to learn and create things that matter, and the perseverance to survive the successes and failures of business. However, he also attributes part of his success to constantly learning new things, “the more I know, the more I realize how little I know,” he says.
“In the startup environment, you can’t hire a specialist for everything; sometimes you have to be the one to sit down and read the manual," says Andrew.
Adversities: Andrew states his biggest adversity was also his brand signature, his dreadlocks. While it was a purposeful chess move to be more recognizable in a sea of content creators, it was a challenge to get professionals to take him seriously because of them. Not to mention it drove our old-fashion grandparents wild! Overall, he gained more than he lost from his signature dreadlocks.
Advice: Andrew’s advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs is to first have a vision, including setting tangible goals that you strive to reach with every business decision you make. Andrew also wants to assure others to not be afraid of failure. The key is not striving for perfection, but to learn from every failure. Read lots of books!
Long term goal: Financial stability and pursuing happiness. (Enough said)
Gwenalysis: In my humble opinion, the reason Andrew has been so successful is because he calculates his every move and forces himself outside of his comfort zone. While the rest of society thought his dreadlocks were some type of youngster rebellion, he calculated that move to enhance his personal brand and make it more recognizable… which worked! He developed a large following and fan base across the globe as Zyori - The Esports Commentator. From there, he had the guts to pivot to a completely different industry, not once, but twice and he is only 29. It is difficult to continue being successful over a lifetime as an entrepreneur if you aren’t willing, or capable, to pivot and venture outside your business box. Andrew isn’t afraid of pursuing opportunities in new industries, because he knows he has the required perseverance and desire to learn to continue bringing him success for years to come.