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#529 - Unemployed Polish Guy Launches Rocket-Fueled Vodka Line


An “involuntary sabbatical” prompts this Polish marketer to investigate the possibilities of apple-based vodka. 

Side Hustle School features a new story EVERY DAY of someone who started a hustle without quitting their job. You’ll learn how they got the idea, how they overcame challenges along the way, and what the results are.  Share: #SideHustleSchoolShow notes: SideHustleSchool.comTwitter: @chrisguillebeauInstagram: @193countries

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Who wouldn't want their own vodka business earliest there on vodka side. I saw what today story features a guy from Poland living in California, who takes an involuntary sabbatical from work. That's what he calls it. In other words, he got laid off and he uses the time to go in a vodka quest back in his homeland upon returning to the U S, he gets to work. Setting up this back, a brand welcome to satisfy school. My name is critical about and in today's episode, also learn a powerful strategy for experimenting based on a specific amount of money. This can be a great way to reduce your risk and any fear or worries you have an undertaking, a new venture, in other words, if you have it The amount of money, a hundred dollars a thousand dollars five dollars whatever it is, you can say this is the amount I'm willing to spend on my side hustle if it works great. If not, this is the maximum amount unwilling to lose.
So after the story, I'll tell you a bit more about when this is a good idea and when it isn't, let's get a little shot at you today, sponsor an army that vodka story bottoms up. The idea in cloud is the cloud it's open that secure its built for business. It's also the cloud its leading the way, but don't take my word for it. Just gonna appear insights to see my customers rate IBM Cloud above ADA. U S, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure over the last twelve months as February twenty Eightth, twenty twenty IBM, let's put smart to work. Gardener peer insights reviews constitute this objective,
Indians of individual end users based on their own experiences and do not represent the views of Gardner or its happening. It's her dark use, Petru Ski. It was an involuntary sabbatical that prompted him to start aside us off after four and a half years as the head of marketing for California start up Darwish found himself leaving work due to a real,
sure in the company, was the first time he then without a job for many years, and he had a lot of time on his hands at first. He took advantage of that time to enjoy himself and work on projects that have fallen by the wayside due to his job. He spent time with his family. He went on skiing trips, any train for a half iron man, but as he began to reach the end of his to do list, Dar Use had to answer and important question. What am I gonna do? Next, although he was actively searching for jobs, he faced an indefinite amount of time without work and want to make the most of it. This was when you decide to act upon it.
You ve been sitting on for many years. The dream was to start his own vodka. Business Darwish had long fantasized about finding an old school vodka maker in a whirl town of his native Poland, bringing that vodka to the masses as a premium drink. So he began what he called his polished vodka quest to see. If he could find that person. You take a trip to Warsaw where his mother still lives in the to explore the boxes of the region on tastings and tourist. They tried lots of different vodka from many distilleries and talked with many crusty old makers, but the more vodka he drank the more sober he became about the problems with his business idea. You see the logistics of creating distributing and selling the vodka. This far from home would be tough, especially once he found full time employment again, he came back to California from Poland and put the vodka dream on.
Especially once he did find a job in a new marketing position for Yahoo. His side hustle would have to be workable on evenings and weekends. So, if it was ever going to happen, he need to find a way to make production more local. With these constraints in mind, he began exploring options closer to home in northern California. One of the first major decisions he made was to switch from potato vodka to apple vodka. Darwish felt has created a more premium player for the vodka, and the apples were much pressure and easier to source. Now I need it was a place to distil it. This is one of the most significant problems, spirit craters, face by spirits. I mean liquor not like poltergeist, that's a whole set of problems. Many people start off on the wrong foot because the vast anywhere between hundreds of thousands of dollars, all the way through to the tens of millions of dollars creating their own distilleries. This means they're playing catch up on huge investments and loans before their first bottle is ever on the shelf.
Do you want to make sure he didn't succumb to the same fate? Much to his delight, he found a micro distilling. Industry in California was booming and there were fifteen vodka craters throughout the state. It was any micro distilleries that Darya size opportunity. Many of them suffered from what he called excess capacity. He read space and services from them to create the box while avoiding a massive investment in a distillery of his own without plan in place. It was time for Dar used to finally put an end to his idea. He knew the power branding and having a clear message and he went
Get it right, the idea came while he was on another ski trap. One of his friends began, giving everyone nickname space on how they speed and are used was branded the polish rocket because he loved to go hard and fast down the slopes. He like the word rocket. He felt it was clean, sharp and would be easy to put on a bottle. He also thought about the deeper meaning of the word. What do you think I've? When you hear the word rocket, he thought of height aspirations going beyond and achieving great things. He wanted his brand to be premium to attract high achievers, so he decided to call his product rocket Badcock. Now, Darwish didn't have millions of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, but still starting your own vodka brand does cost money. The reason for his scrappy mentality is that he had ten thousand dollars. He decided he was willing to lose on this site. Also, this was the limit he was allowed to reach before he assess how the business was performing. If he had his limit was seeing growth he continue and if not he caught a day. Getting the distillery and place aid at the largest chunk of that ten thousand dollars
He put it in order for the smallest possible quantity to test his idea. This wasn't that small. I was a whole palette or twelve hundred and forty eight bottles which got put into production immediately the figure that, if it worked, he was onto a great business idea, if not everyone, he knew would get free vodka for Christmas and before he could finally cell rocket backing to consumers. He had to cut through some legal redtape selling alcohol in America isn't straightforward. There are lots of leftover prohibition rules from long ago to contend with and to get around these problems he had to create three entities for the business, the maker, the distributor and the seller. All of his product had to go to a third party warehouse after being made and then pass into the hands of the seller portion before they could go to the consumer is a complicated and time consuming process. Necessary for rocket vodka to legally so speaking of cells? How would he saw it while the mainsail channel has been in person at events or in bars and restaurants? This is because people are reluctant to buy a new,
online without ever having tasted it and even less likely when it has premium. Pricing darkish was poor. Is rocket bike at four thousand nine hundred and ninety nine a bottle, so the first order of business was to get enough amentum offline people to be convinced to buy elsewhere. It took him twenty one months to get the product on the shelves of eighty different establishments, but momentum begin to set in and it only took him four months to add the next. Eighty. Thanks for this method rocket vodka cannot be found on the shelves of one hundred and seventy different locations which he calls launch pads and he seemed sales of every ten thousand bottles. In the end, he didn't have to give away that initial inventory to its one thousand two hundred closest friends are. You should also driving his experience in marketing. Growing impressive online presence for the product, with a following of over forty two thousand fans. So what's next, what are you sure, following the motto if we keep growing we'll keep going? This means as long as he sees continued growth in the business he'll keep running and he has no place
Leave his day. Job he's happy for rocket vodka to be aside hustle when he wants to celebrate after hours is paper. Drink is close at hand car. Let's talk about the strategy of spending up to a certain amount of money on this story, Dar you shut himself a maximum budget of ten thousand. Not he said you. I've been dreaming of this vodka brand for years, but I don't want to get out of hand, but I can see that other people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, often going into debt, to start something like this. I know it's gonna take some money, but I definite Wanna bootstrap it. So he chose this amount. Ten thousand dollars as an amount that he was comfortable losing in the worst case scenario that you want to lose ten thousand dollars, but it would have been into the world of debt.
So the reason why this can be a good strategy sometimes is because it lowers your risk, and perhaps it also gives you a bit more courage if you ve got a project in mine. You pick this amount of money whatever. It is something that is usually substantial but not enormous. Then you might feel more comfortable moving forward and is also gonna help you bootstrap, because you're like I've got this limited budget like once I hit it. I've got to either stop doing business or the business has to be working. So in cases like this, where it could be really easy to start investing a lot of money and the business is not taking off but you're like I'm just gonna put in another ten thousand dollars or other five thousand or whatever it is. You can get into a situation of chasing good money after bad or think
too much about your son cost like if at the ten thousand dollar point the vodka business was not working, it doesn't really matter that he's already spent ten thousand dollars. I got ten thousand dollars is gone sources. The fallacy of sun costs doesn't matter what you already spent. What matters is like what's happening now, if you spend five thousand dollars more is going to make a difference. Maybe, but you could again just be throwing good money after bad, so I can give you that sense of security. Now here's when it doesn't work as well. I think I often hear a question about a certain amount of money, and somebody says if you had five hundred dollars to spend on a business. What would you spend it on or if you had, ten thousand dollars doesn't really matter with number is, or they might asked like. How much does it cost to start a business like? How much does it cost to starting online business so really difficult
Is no no straightforward way to answer it, because it's like asking: how much does it cost to live like? How much does it cost to live your life living some wherever it is, can cost a lot of money or can cost next to nothing depending on how you live? So if you don't have an idea for a specific project in mind, not usually that good to say, oh Canada take two thousand dollars and spend two thousand dollars wherever I can on starting my businesses there's no connection between the two thousand dollars and your idea. So it's much more important
to come up with your idea and spend time, considering different ideas figuring out what it is you really want to do and then, if you get not situation where you think, while like this could get out of control, I really want to invest in it, but I will make sure I dont lose my life's savings or spend years pursuing something that doesn't work. Maybe that's when you set those limits are constraints for yourself. So hope that is helpful advice for somebody out there, whether you're starting a vodka brand or something entirely different. We have so much more coming up in future episodes but, as I say not for today, I just remind you that inspiration is good, but inspiration with action is so much better. Congrats at our union is rocket. Vodka brand. Take a look at that of your into cocktail or spirits, culture and show notes if you'd like to learn more about that or anything else are excitedly school dotcom, slash five to nine and it represents five hundred and twenty nine. I will be back to Morrow thanks so much for listening mighty, miss Cristel about for Cyprus.
Transcript generated on 2020-04-28.