From The Shark Tank to a Powerhouse Beach Culture With Stephan Aarstol

by Commentary, The BK Show Podcast

Surviving the Shark Tank

Stephan Aarstol may be the definitive authority on productivity. After singlehandedly running a $600,000 a year business while operating on a 12 hour work week, he now runs a company that is projected to hit $10M in revenue this year—and, oh, did we mention his entire company works five hours a day only? 

Stephan started Tower Paddle Boards in 2010, growing the stand-up paddle board company from $3,000 in yearly revenue to a projected $10M in 2016. In 2011, he was asked to be on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank to make a pitch to investors like Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, and Lori Greiner. He asked for $150k for a 10% stake and walked out with an investment from Mark Cuban for $150k for a 30% stake in Tower Paddle Boards. 

Since his success on the show, Tower Paddle Boards has exploded with growth moving towards becoming a holistic beach lifestyle company. Stephan has expanded the company to include a trendy line of Tower Made sunglasses, a lifestyle magazine, and a new daringly transparent line of products that will only be made in-house by Tower and priced as if customers were purchasing directly from a manufacturer.

Stephan gives us some human-to-human conversation as he speaks about learning to manage others well, attracting the best talent, and management by absence. Listen in.

In This Episode

  • The two required elements of a successful entrepreneur
  • Learning to lead: how to successfully manage people
  • Building company culture that attracts top talent
  • Learning from mistakes: transforming them into your greatest strengths
  • Why people are the most elusive and important variable in achieving financial success
  • Extreme productivity hacks: What vital tasks can you abandon?
  • What is the most important future trend of internet marketing?
  • The best ways to learn while working on the cutting-edge of an industry

Quotes From This Episode

[Tweet “”If you don’t make what you sell and you don’t sell what you make, you’re going out of business. All the middle men are disappearing. This is the world we’re in.” —@StephanAarstol”]

“Management by absence. Just stop doing something that you think is very critical and see what breaks. I’m teaching this everyday in my company; so don’t answer the phone for a month. Don’t answer voicemail for a month. See what breaks. Do you really need to answer the phone? You need to do that to become ultra productive and being ultra productive is sort of a superhuman power these days when people figure out how to do that.” —@StephanAarstol

[Tweet “”What are the big markets and how can you find a growth hack to grow in there for very low cost? You gotta do this before anyone else figures it out.” —@StephanAarstol”]

“You gotta lead by example a little bit. You gotta get people excited about what they’re doing. My strategy has essentially been to find great people and then put them in positions that they really love doing and sort of let them go. If we can find alignment like that, it seems to grease the wheels of everything. If you can’t find alignment like that: those people don’t last. It’s putting people in the right place and letting them do their own thing.” —@StephenAarstol