1. “Who is Andrew Warner?”
Continue to read.
2. “I heard Andrew interviews entrepreneurs. Where can I watch?”
3. “How can I use the internet to spy on Andrew?”
4. “How can I contact Andrew?”
I passionately hate the phone and IM. I prefer short email.
5. “Why is this such a plain site without any color?”
I don’t have an eye for design. But if you insist on color, here it is.
6. “How can Andrew read my mind?”
It’s a gift. I even know what you’re thinking when you’re not on this site.
The Andrew Warner Story
For the first 3-4 years that I ran Mixergy, I never talked about MY story. I wanted Mixergy to be about helping YOU, not about ME. But ever since Neil Patel convinced me to talk about my businesses (and even show my financials), Mixergy took off and I connected with more people. So here goes.
Starting out in business
In my early 20s, my brother Michael and I started an internet company called Bradford & Reed. Michael is a clever developer and Iâ€™ve been a passionate salesman my whole life, so we teamed up. Our first product was an email newsletter. That business did okay, but Michael and I didnâ€™t become entrepreneurs to just do â€œokay.â€
So we tried a bunch of different ideas. One of them was online greeting cards. We started out creating our own cards, but we quickly realized that we didnâ€™t have an eye for design. So we focused on what we knew best. Michael coded up a system that enabled designers to create shareable electronic greeting cards. And I went out and sold ads so we could generate revenue from those cards.
Hitting it big
Our revenue grew to over $1 million a month. I was in my mid-20s and Michael was still too young to rent a car on a business trip, but we made it. We were processing over 400,000 greeting cards per day. If you have access to traffic stats from around the year 2000, youâ€™ll see that we were a top 25 property. (Hereâ€™s a chart showing Bradford & Reed as a #19 property in terms of traffic.)
Because we were so lean, Bradford & Reed grew beyond greeting cards into other internet businesses. It was fun. We were lucky to work with very smart people who were also our friends. The startup atmosphere of the company allowed us to keep experimenting with business ideas.
In 2003, I was burned out. I used to think that only wimps took breaks, so I foolishly worked nonstop until I couldnâ€™t keep going. Michael and I sold the businessâ€™s properties. When I worked on Bradford & Reed, if anyone asked me, â€œwhatâ€™s your exit strategy?â€ I proudly said, â€œdeath.â€ I wanted to be like my heroes in business, people like Sam Walton, Malcolm Forbes, and Warren Buffett who spent their whole lives building 1 company. But I didnâ€™t have any more to give. So I had to move on.
Taking a break
In 2003, I gave away all my â€œstuffâ€ and lived a simple life. After spending my 20s worrying â€” about salaries, whether the office was locked at night, what would happen if a server died just as our traffic spiked, etc â€” I wanted time without responsibilities or obligations.
I spent my days cycling. I devoured books. I read the Wall Street Journal cover-to-cover. (May not sound like fun to some people, but for me that was heaven.) And I traveled. Nothing extravagant, but it wasnâ€™t. I kept it simple.