Hi everybody, this week we have a special episode for you. This episode is one that we recorded out of order so we have lovingly marked this episode #1.5 in Season 2 of the Mobile Alabama Business Podcast. Anyway, my name is Marcus Neto and I’m your host. I am an entrepreneur and run Blue Fish which is a digital marketing firm located on Dauphin Street. I know you have a lot of choices when it come to podcasts so I’d like to thank you for spending time with us today.
In this episode we sat down with Brandon Maye. Brandon is the owner of Diamond Touch car detailing. He was an elite football player at Clemson but don’t hold that against him. He was close to going into the NFL before he got sidelined with an Achilles injury that ended his career. But instead of having a pity part, Brandon decided to make the most of it. He graduated with a Masters degree and decided he wanted to start a business. This is a great story because Brandon had a lot of of reasons to not be successful. But instead of dwelling on all of the negative, Brandon got to work. He has also started a non-profit and hopes to use that to promote speaking engagements. He regularly gives back to our community by speaking to youth at local schools. His story is really compelling.
So let’s dive right in with Brandon Maye.
Marcus: Welcome to the podcast, Brandon.
Brandon: I appreciate you having me, man. I’m blessed to be here.
Marcus: Absolutely, dude. You and I met because I was looking for somebody to detail my car and you came out. The story's a little bit longer than this because you had to split it put up over two days because the weather and stuff, but man you just nailed it. I have to say I was very impressed not only with the job that you did, but just with who you are as a person and I’m starting to learn a little bit more about your involvement in the community and stuff.
I’m really glad to have you here because I think you've got a positive message that people need to hear. To get started, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Did you grow up here in Mobile? What’s the back story to Brandon [Mayes 00:00:43]
Brandon: Yes, sir. It's so many levels to that. I'll start by saying just a young man growing up in the hood, 2 bedroom house, 15 people. My dad was killed when I was younger. I was about 2 years old, so my mom had to raise me at the beginning by herself, by herself and the reason I'm saying by herself is because it was 2 years, only two years difference in [there 00:01:06] before she met her husband. He came into my life taught me so much manner. I got three young sisters. Grew up in Prichard, 2 bedroom house and most of the people in my family high school dropouts.
Growing up in an area like this, it was so many different obstacles that I had to face as a young guy. I had basically two options: to chase success or to be a product of my environment. I chose to be successful despite what people were saying in the community, despite what people doubt me and saying that my dreams can't become reality. I was able to graduate from Clemson University at 22 years old and got my Master's degree at 23 years old.
I was a 3.9 GPA graduated from Clemson. That was the big part, man. I had great success on the football field, was All-American at Clemson and had a opportunity a top-five linebacker in the country at the time and had injury, man, and after that, dude, I really got introduced to my purpose and my calling and that's to motivate and inspire and to really push people into greatness. I answered the call, man, and that's to help other people.
Marcus: I'm just, I'm blown away by your story. It’s not every day that you have someone detailing your car that has a Master's degree and who is All-American not only just in football but also in Scholastic. You definitely present yourself.
Brandon: I guess I would say, I'm not your typical guy that would have McGuire's degreaser doing somebody dashboard. I'm trying to build something real, real great.
Marcus: No, but the other thing too is just your hustle so we’ll talk a little bit about your business here in just a minute, but I wanted to say to you also that you're the reason I'm currently in physical therapy, so thank you because you told me about your injury to your Achilles and I have been plagued with an Achilles injury for like eight months and finally decided, "Okay, it's time to go and see somebody about this," so I'm in physical therapy now. They're working me over over at the encore over on the Eastern shore.
Brandon: Great people.
Marcus: Yeah, it's been helpful. We're not going to be bashful about the fact that we're recording this kind of in a time frame where there’s just a lot of chaos going on. I know you speak in local schools and that you have a real passion for sharing your story and the trials that you’ve been through and how you've kind of emerged on the other side, and now are the owner of a business and are starting to see some success with that and stuff like that, but you always seem to have this positive message. You had a lot of strikes against you. Where did that positive message come from?
Brandon: A lot of it come from just really my relationship with Christ, want to be pleasing to Him. I feel like a person to really identify and to really operate in a purpose then they've got to have something that's bigger than anything on earth and that’s my relationship with Christ. A lot of the moves I make is to be pleasing to Him because I know at any moment, this life can be over.
I'm trying to basically be the ripple effect. I can't change the whole world, but I can change the people that come behind me, the young kid behind me and he can go and change somebody else. Before you know it, it becomes a positive [deal 00:04:33] and not so much negative in our division and people turning away from people and so much hatred. I'm just big on love, peace and happiness and that's what I really really push.
Marcus: It definitely comes out. What would you say about ... For those of you that are listening to this because it may be in the future that you’re listening to this, two days ago a gentleman in Baton Rouge was shot. A day ago, a person in ... Was it Wisconsin? I forget where it was. Minnesota.
Marcus: Minnesota was shot and then last night, 5 police officers were killed and seven were injured by a man who was retaliating for what he felt like were those wrong. In the midst of everything that’s going on, I know you speak like I said in schools and stuff like that. What would you say to a young person that's like, "Dude, this is all jacked up"?
Brandon: I'm so excited, man, to have this opportunity presented by you guys to have this platform to speak on this matter first off. It's one of those deals where, I'm not a biased guys. I don’t go ... I'm down the middle. I'm with the world peace type of deal. I'm not #blacklivesmatter. In my #everybodylifematter. That’s just my personal opinion and we have to look at the situation and say, "Okay." Of course, let’s be honest. It's some unequal going on when a cop, Caucasian, meets a young African American male because it's some fear in there and they believe we're going to act out of violence and this and that, so there's no excuses for that first and foremost.
There's no excuses for that but what do we do? Do we become a part of the problem or a part of the solution? The problem with some people right now, we putting our hashtag out and we're becoming what we talking about. We becoming a racist person. We becoming a person that's full of hate and we spreading that. Our kids are sitting around and they're looking at us and they seeing us talk that language and now you becoming a negative impact to the next generation.
We have to be very, very careful and mindful that our response, that's what we can control. We can control how we help the kids to come behind us because that's impacting the next generation in the right manner. Of course, like I said, it's unequal. I feel that way. I'll voice that opinion anywhere in the country that nobody should be selling CDs or just sitting right there with a seat belt strapped to them and he tells you that he has a gun on him and his permit is in his pocket and he reached to get it and he tells you he's about to do that and you gun him down. That don't add up.
I'll voice that opinion anywhere in the country, but we have to look at the situation and say, "Do we become a part of this problem or a part of the solution?" I’m a part of the solution and so I asked people that's putting the hashtags out and everything and going crazy all on social media, "What have you done lately? What have you done to be a part of the solution? You talking and you good every time something pops up in the media where a cop kill a young African American male, but where were you on Saturday morning when I was talking to six young African-American males and telling them, empowering them to be bold to be strong and to have courage in who they are as a human being to make them intellectually sound, where were you then?"
I question people on that. Everybody got a talk but nobody is empowering the solution. We know the problem. [crosstalk 00:07:51]-
Marcus: It's real easy to follow people down that path of negativity, right?
Marcus: I haven't banned news from my life, but for the most part I used ... I grew up in Washington DC and the common thing is to go home, flip on the news because the things that you're seeing on the news directly affect you because you’re more than likely working for the organizations that are being talked about on the news, but when I moved down here, I was still doing that but about a year ago I just said, "You know what? Enough is enough," because there's so much negativity in the world as is, it’s hard to keep a positive attitude or an outlook on life if you’re constantly surrounded by that kind of imagery and message and stuff.
Brandon: [crosstalk 00:08:31]
Marcus: And let's be honest, depending on which one you flip on, you're going to get the slant that they want you to hear.
Brandon: Of course.
Marcus: Having said that, I love that you're encouraging people to actually take positive action versus just following the path of least resistance and just going down with whichever side it is, just going down a path of least resistance, right?
Brandon: Yes, sir. I vow to do that, man. A lot of people don't know, I took a lot of heat because people just felt just like naturally "This dude right here, he got a voice. He a motivational speaker. He should be doing all these different posts and this and that," but I took a different approach to have a strategy with my madness and let my anger actually have a return on my investment to create something that’s positive and actually push the right message.
A lot of people just like, man, I got people wrote me and like, "Dude, you doing that because you detail the white people car. You doing that because you want your business to grow. You doing that because of this." I'm like, "Man, dude. It's world peace," and that's what I stand for. Dude-
Marcus: So Martin Luther King Jr. Had a message that we all are created equal and so we all ... You can’t create equal paths if there’s negativity towards the other race and that goes white on black, black on white and I'm brown so I'm not ... and I’m not as dark as you but my parents are from South America so I understand a little bit of what you’re talking about.
Brandon: Don't get me wrong, I'm mad about the killings. You can't justify that, but you didn't have anything to do with that.
Brandon: You was here. You didn't have anything. Nobody had ... I can’t let that one bad apple spoil the whole bunch.
Brandon: Too many great people in this world.
Marcus: Well, that’s an amazingly mature response to a really ... Well, this is not [safe 00:10:37] for word but a really shitty situation.
Marcus: All right. How does, how are you approached by schools because I think we need to touch on that because I would love to see you in schools, talking to students about your experiences in life and pushing them in the right direction because I know even if they’re not African American living in a bad neighborhood or anything any kid can ... I live in a very well to-do neighborhood on the Eastern Shore. There are kids in that neighborhood that have been arrested in the last couple of months for breaking into cars and stealing things out of them so it transcends a little bit.
I recognized the deck is stacked a little bit more against folks that grow up in Prichard than it is in Daphne or Spanish Fork but how do they get in touch with you if they want you to come out and speak?
Brandon: Everybody got their challenges. Just because I grew up in Prichard, what about the young lady that goes to St. Paul’s that ... you know what I'm saying? Everybody got their challenges. I can't look at it and say, "Oh, have sympathy on me because I grew up in Prichard." It's a young kid right now that go to St. Paul's, UMS Wright, Faith Academy, great people that some people would look at and say, "Oh, no. You privileged so you don't have no problems." They got problems too. That's what makes me different. I'm a diverse speaker.
I come in, I speak to St. Paul’s, got UMS Wright. I speak to these type of people. Faith Academy and so I really want to do a tour so I need some businesses to sponsor the tour so we can make it happen this year. We wanted to do it last year but I had so many demands. I was trying to detail. I was trying to do this. I was trying to do that. Now, I'm looking for some business owners that believe in my message, believe that when I go in there, whether I'm at St. Paul’s or whether I'm at [Vigor 00:12:25], that I have impact on the next generation.
Marcus: So what ... I'm going to get specific and if we need to, we can cut this out, but what does that look like? What do you need a business, in order to go into a school, what are your expectations of the business? Do you just need funding for those kinds of things?
Brandon: Yeah, we just need funding. It's a lot of stuff goes into producing the whole deal. It's just not like coming in and just talking or something like that.
Marcus: I completely understand. So, have you reached out to any businesses? If not, because we can put you in contact with some folks.
Brandon: I really, I was weighing heavily on my nonprofit organization. We had to finish all the paperwork and so here recently, last week actually, we got clearance with a nonprofit organization, the Brandon May foundation, a 501c3, outside of Brandon May inspiration which is for a profit, which is the motivational speaking. Now I can do like tours and stuff and do it through the Brandon May foundation and they can actually write off whatever funding that they give to us to make that happen. We are more presentable now to actually get funding from businesses because they can write it off now.
Marcus: I love it. The timing on this is just perfect, so we'll definitely put word out and get you some contacts in regards to that. So let’s circle back. Let's go back to detailing because I want to make sure that we hit on-
Brandon: It's fun. We doing the merry-go-round.
Marcus: Your hustle. So tell me, are you a car guy?
Brandon: I wasn’t even a car guy when I started.
Marcus: Come on now.
Brandon: I wasn't even a car guy. I'm a car guy now and a 18-wheeler guy. I love it now.
Marcus: If you had your choice of cars right now, what would you-
Brandon: Mercedes Benz 650.
Brandon: Peanut butter interior.
Marcus: There you go. He's given this some thought. I’m hearing there’s a carrot on the end of the stick here so is that a car that one day you hope to be driving?
Brandon: Yes, sir.
Marcus: That's awesome.
Brandon: I know some people probably like, "Dude, you've got to have a bigger dream than that. What about the Phantom?" I'm like, "I'll just take the Mercedes Benz."
Marcus: 550 is pretty stout, so.
Brandon: You've got to understand, I grew up in Prichard so I saw people riding around in what they call "dumps" and that was basically you got your rims, you got the tires. That's what I was used to. Now I'm like, "Let me get that luxury look now."
Marcus: Right. I hear that. What was your first car?
Brandon: My first car was a pass down, a Mountaineer truck.
Brandon: My mom passed it down to me and it kind of just went through the family.
Marcus: My first was a 1974 convertible Volkswagen Bug in primer gray missing a backseat and bumper.
Brandon: That's the kind of cars I'm used to seeing.
Marcus: Yeah, exactly so I did not get a luxury vehicle for my first car but man, I took care of that thing until it just stopped running one day.
Brandon: Man, since I've been working with these doctors, these lawyers, business owners like yourself I've been seeing like these high-end cars. I've been seeing these houses. I'm like, "Man, that's the dream stuff," for me because I want to taste success, all of that success. God said in the Bible you supposed to have life, a life more abundantly. It haven't called for us to live in poverty. Poverty in their mind, in their mindset or anything else. We supposed to be able to experience life so I want to really help my family experience life. That’s why I do it.
Marcus: Awesome. What are you focusing on with your business? Is there an aspect of the business that is most pressing to you?
Brandon: I’m really trying to increase my fleet accounts with the company’s. We started off doing FedEx, home delivery trucks. I did those for about seven months, go in and clean them. Clean them inside and out, and since then we have added two companies, so I'm just looking to add more and more companies. If people have trucks, cars, sprinter vans, 18-wheelers, anything like, I'm putting my hands on it. I want to be a part of it.
Marcus: Very cool. Now, if you were talking to someone that wanted to start a business ... You do this on a regular basis so I’m expecting a good answer here, but if you were talking to someone that wanted to start a business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?
Brandon: It's simple, man. Start where you are. Start small, think big. Don’t look at anybody else and basically judge yourself and judge just starting off any other company. You got to look at what you are. Take the resources you have, because you got enough to get started and just run with it. What happens is when you jump off the bridge and you just start running with it, you start attracting the right people. You start to gain monthly customers. You start getting fleet accounts and that’s what I do everyday.
A lot of the work, I’m our there doing the work. I work on and I work in my business. It's not one of those things where you are going to shy away from it. Greatness, it's a process. It's little bitty things stacked on top of each other. You're not going to wake up and be an overnight success. It rarely happen. Some people start at a YouTube video and go viral and so now everybody do YouTube video will go viral and so now everybody want to do YouTube videos like, "I'm going to go viral." No, it's a process, man, and that opportunity is attached to the process. You got to keep going. Enjoy, embrace the process.
Marcus: Yeah. I was talking with someone the other day and we were in agreement that if somebody told you everything that you needed to know in order to start a business before you started the business that you would never start the business.
Marcus: Right because it really is a learning process that as you step into it, things are revealed to you that you don’t know so you step into it-
Brandon: Yeah, it's trial and error.
Marcus: You may not know how to start an LLC so you go and you seek out the information and you do that. You may not know how to file your taxes so you find a CPA that’s appropriate that has the business sense of how to, whether you’re supposed be filing as an LLC, as an S Corp, a C Corp, sole proprietor, whatever. You may not know how to do bookkeeping which you were talking about before we got started.
Brandon: I hate it.
Marcus: I know. It's the worst, but you find somebody that is capable of helping you with that. You find the information and in today’s day and age it's pretty easy to get that information. It's just timely. You're not going to use the information until you need it. If you knew all of it upfront then you'd need freaked out and you wouldn’t want to go down this path anyway.
Brandon: You know what helps me out though, man, is the individuals around me. I wish I can take like all the success and say, "Oh, Brandon May," man, first off, God and Jeff Packer, entrepreneur in [inaudible 00:18:53] Georgia, he became a millionaire at the age of 26. Went to [Vigra 00:18:57] high school, [inaudible 00:18:59], all those guys. Cindy Ross, all those great people are pointing to me so I'm like the sum total of a young Protegé to what they are already.
I actually read books, but I don't have these book titles that I remember for some reason. I know we talked about that before, but the people man, surround yourself with great people.
Marcus: Absolutely. What do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies?
Brandon: Not really.
Brandon: [inaudible 00:19:32]
Marcus: Work, yeah.
Brandon: I should probably add some balance to that. I like going to the beach.
Marcus: Well, there you go. See. We live so close to the water, I don’t know you’re like me, but just even being there for like a half an hour an hour just kind of takes the stress level down a couple notches.
Brandon: Yeah, it helps.
Marcus: Where can people find you?
Brandon: My website, brandonmay.org. We actually just recently pushed that out. My old website is brandonmay.com so if some people still visiting that site, because we transferring information over, on Facebook, Instagram at bmayinspires and of course my email address: email@example.com.
Marcus: Very cool, and the detailing business?
Brandon: The detailing business, you can call me directly at 251-604-7895. Website is diamondtouchdetailing.com.
Marcus: I know you're on Facebook-
Brandon: Yeah, Facebook Diamond Touch Mobile. You got to go to Facebook. Diamond Touch Mobile, look at the reviews. My main man, Marcus, hit me up with a nice review. Y'all can check out his review.
Marcus: Yeah. Seriously, I hadn't had my car detailed in like several years and my family was ... It wasn’t just me, my family was impressed with the work that you did and I know it was ... Actually, you know what? I got you on record right now so I'm going to ask you a question and you're probably not going to answer this because nobody likes to reveal their secrets but what products do you use? Is there a line of products that you use?
Marcus: McGuire's, but just in general.
Brandon: I use the best of the best. Some people say, "Man, that's too much to pay upfront." I'm like, "If I do a great job, they're going to sign up to be a monthly customer."
Marcus: Absolutely. Yeah, because there's so many different products out there, Mother's and there’s ... I was doing some research a while back, and even Chemical Guys. They've got just a ridiculous amount of products.
Brandon: All of them the real deal. We buy from everybody.
Marcus: Yeah, if you’re into that kind of thing. I am a car guy, so I love cars. I just don't have time anymore to detail my vehicles.
Brandon: Just call me.
Marcus: See folks. He’s good. He's really good. Well Brandon, I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast. To wrap up, any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share with our audience?
Brandon: Unity. Don’t allow the darkness to continue to produce darkness because that's all that we're equal. Be the light. Be the one that stand up for the right things in every single day, no matter what people say, "You're 24 years old, you got a Master's degree. Why you trying to bring a company off the ground with a thousand dollars?" You just take it and run with it. Then one day they going to look back and they're going to ask you for a job. You just run with it, seize every moment. That's it, man. That's it. Your dreams can become can become a reality.
Brandon: You are the light.
Marcus: I appreciate your willingness to sit with me as a business owner and entrepreneur. Man, it has been really great talking to you.
Brandon: Yes, sir. Thank you, man.