Who Is Brandon Doman?
“Preparation meets opportunity.” That would be the phrase I would use to describe Brandon Doman. Incredibly humble, down-to-earth, and hard-working, Brandon discovered his love for football when he was eight and never looked back.
Under the guidance of excellent coaches, he went from playing quarterback at Skyline HS to BYU and ultimately the 49ers. He is very humble about his success and credits much of his path to God. He truly believes in miracles, like a ball that happened to fall a certain way or a play that went down a certain path that led him to play in the NFL.
After leaving the world of coaching football, Brandon pivoted to spend more time with his family and is now the CEO of Weigh Safe, a company that invented one of the most innovative trailer hitches in the world.
We chatted about the incredibly different change in direction and how he was able to leave his football identity behind and still find value in what he is doing. Enjoy!
But aside from his career in football, there’s a lot Brandon Doman has done for himself and his family, and his career history is quite varied in terms of his experience, skill, and passions for the future.
A Love of Football
Brandon Doman has had a love of football since he was a boy. Discovering the passion for the game at only eight years of age, he’s never looked back since, and has had a long career in both playing and coaching football professionally.
Starting off humbly by playing football for his high school, Skyline High School in Utah, Brandon was soon recognized for his skill in football. He even went on to win the championship at this young age during the 90s, a surefire sign of his raw talent and burgeoning skill that would become so essential to his career later on.
He soon moved on to playing it for his college as well. Brandon attended BYU,and had a very well known and well renowned senior season during his time playing football here. Indeed, he was known as a great quarterback.
In the year 2000, Brandon tied a college record at BYU by winning 14 starts as a starter himself, under the tutelage of well-known and possibly legendary coach LaVell Edwards. Indeed, this record was matched during his coach’s final game and set up Brandon’s name for the rest of his college career and beyond.
Brandon was positioned as quarterback at BYU between the years 2000 and 2001. During this season, they won 12 games in a row with Brandon as quarterback, during which he was often known as the “Domanator.” In 2005 he even went on to be the quarterback coach at BYU.
More recently, during the 2012 to 2013, Brandon returned to his college football base and went on to offer his skills as a BYU football coach. After this season was over, he decided to retire from football life after the season was over in order to prioritize his family. However, Brandon recently announced he would be returning to the sidelines again after seven long years of being away from them—he hopes to be able to coach his own sons.
The San Francisco 49ers
After his time at BYU, in which he became one of the school’s most-successful quarterbacks, he was drafted into the NFL and given a position by the San Francisco 49ers. This occurred during the 5th round of the NFL draft in 2002, in which Brandon ranked at #163 overall.
During his time in the NFL, he played in three seasons, playing with San Francisco, Buffalo, and Washington respectively. When the preseason games of 2004 rolled around, he was well known for throwing for 34 yards on 5 of 9 passing. Brandon soon left the NFL, retiring in full, and moving to coaching in 2005.
After leaving the world of coaching football, and choosing to carve out his own path according to his own passions, Brandon founded the company Weigh Safe and currently works as its CEO. Looking to spend more time with his family, Brandon wanted to find a way to bring in the revenue he needed while also aiming for the perfect work and life balance.
While not his first dip into the world of business, Weigh Safe is Brandon’s most successful company. Weigh Safe holds the record for inventing one of the most innovative tow trailer hitches in the world. With a full-length catalog, Weigh Safe offers towing peace of mind at all times. All of Weigh Safe’s products can be viewed via their website, as well as Brandon’s official company message.
Brandon Doman Podcast Transcript
Charan: Hey guys, this is Charan Prabhakar with the Lemonade Stand podcast, and I’m here with Brandon Doman, who is an incredible specimen. Just as I’ve gotten to know him in the last few minutes, I’m like, “Man, he just breathes ‘athlete’ wherever you go, even when he’s doing regular stuff.”
Brandon: Yeah, that’s great. I’m 43, so thanks for saying that.
Charan: Oh, dude, of course, I only speak the truth. I only speak the truth. Well, Brandon has been a football player for quite a bit of time. He played at BYU as a quarterback…. At BYU, correct?
Charan: And then, you went on to play in the NFL-
Charan: … for a little bit. And what team were you on again?
Brandon: The San Francisco 49ers.
Charan: 49ers. So, that’s fantastic. So, you played in the 49ers; were you also doing quarterback over there?
Charan: And now you have started a company called Weigh Safe, I believe.
Brandon Doman Talks About How He Got into Football
Charan: Right? Providing these wonderful trailer hitches. I didn’t realize how heavy this was, this is amazing. But I’d love to kind of get to know a little bit more about your story and kind of see how you even got into football to begin with. Now, was it one of those things where when you saw the football and you touched it, you were like, “Yeah, this is it. This is [crosstalk 00:02:40]?”
Brandon: Yes. Yeah, I felt that way. But I’m the youngest of four boys in my family.
Brandon: And my dad is a… He’s just a fanatic. I don’t know that I’d call him a fanatic athlete, but he just loves sports and grew up on the farm, but he grew up playing basketball and football and loved doing it. And my oldest brother, Kevin, ended up being a pretty good athlete, and had the opportunity to go to BYU as a walk-on, and he earned a scholarship there. And from that point on, the rest of us little brothers were-
Charan: “Well, if he did it, we got to do it.”
Brandon: That’s exactly right. Earmark this opportunity to [crosstalk 00:03:15].
Brandon: And if he could play for BYU, maybe we could too.
Charan: Yeah. That’s amazing. So, when you first touched the football for the first time, were you instantly like, “Yep, I love the sport?”
Charan: I felt the same way about ping pong, when I first touched that ping pong ball. I was kidding.
Brandon: I love ping pong, too.
Charan: Yeah, it’s a great sport.
Brandon: Yeah. My very first practice, I went out there, and I was eight years old, down to the elementary school, and I walked down, and this kid greeted me and he said, “You want to play catch?” And we started playing catch, and he goes, “Oh, man, you’re going to be the quarterback.” And I thought, “Oh, that’s…” I thought I was pretty cool at that moment. He became the center, and we became best friends, but-
Charan: Oh, very cool.
Brandon: But yeah, that was… From the very moment I started picking the football up and throwing around, it’s something I loved for sure.
Charan: Yeah. It’s great because you didn’t have to get convinced of that, right?
Charan: It was just one of those things that… It just felt right, and it felt joyous, and it felt exciting.
Charan: And so, you went on first to play in high school, right?
Brandon: Right. And I grew up in Salt Lake and went to Skyline High School up there. Played for a coach by the name of Roger Dupaix. And I was lucky, because Roger, at the time, was beginning… The beginning days of a legendary career. He became the all-time winningest football coach in high school history in the state.
Charan: No way.
Brandon: And we got to play for him. It was phenomenal experience.
Charan: That’s amazing. What was it like being coached under him? Did he give you some specific advice? It’s like, yep, [inaudible 00:04:43].
Brandon: He was just a very good teacher, very consistent. He had some very clear rules for us. But what we didn’t realize was happening is, he was generating a really unified, real together-type football environment, and we really stuck to the basics, which has been a great lesson for me in life. We did very basic things better than anybody else. We blocked and we tackled, and we just did very simple things better than the rest of the teams, and simplicity won for us.
Charan: That’s such an interesting but powerful principle, I think, just in life.
Brandon: It is.
Charan: Right? If you can just do the simple things extremely well, you can win at life.
Brandon: Yeah, I’ve learned that players play fast, if they know what to do. And we want to move fast. We want to play fast. In life, we want to be able to do things with great confidence. And knowledge is our greatest asset. So, when we know what to do, we can play fast, we can manufacture well, whatever it is that we want to do, we have to know what to do. And so, it takes time and energy to learn those things. But if you’re willing to put the preparation time in, then we’re able to succeed.
Charan: So, can you describe what a typical practice was for you when you first got started? I guess high school, I mean.
Brandon: Yeah, but it’s repetition. So, just going through, again, the very basic simple things of, you’re going to step with your left foot here, you’re going to step with your right foot here, and you’re going to reach the football out here, and we’re going to do that again. And then, you’re going to step with your left foot, and you’re going to step with your right foot, you’re going to reach your hands here. And learning how to get into an athletic position, an athletic stance.
Brandon: And then, the simplicity of doing the very technical things that are simple yet, if you could do it at a higher level, didn’t matter if you’re big or fast or stronger, if you could do it better, your chances of winning were increased significantly. And he taught us that from the very beginning, we always started early in the morning.
Charan: Oh, yeah.
Brandon: He would get us up. We’d start at six o’clock in the morning-
Charan: Oh, 6:00 AM?
Brandon: Every day.
Charan: Did alarm clocks even work [crosstalk 00:06:47].
Brandon: I know.
Charan: [crosstalk 00:06:48].
Brandon: And the neighborhood finally… At 6:00 AM, if they didn’t hear the football team out there after years of him doing it, they were disappointed. They were thinking, what’s wrong? What’s going on out there? And it just became tradition there, we’d get up early and get started.
Charan: Kind of go for it. Well, it’s interesting because… So, during practice of course, you were focusing on drills, right?
Charan: Just different drills, athletic stance, left foot here, right for here, going faster and faster, repetition, repetition, repetition, but during an actual game, did you ever think of any of those things?
Brandon: No. I learned this at a young age: “Preparation plus opportunity equals success.” And I’ve learned that as a football player and as a football coach that if I could train my body to do the repetition, things that I needed to do, then it impacts my brain. And it was an interesting teaching, in fact, I remember Steve Young teaching me this over a phone call, and I didn’t understand what he was trying to say to me. But as I grabbed hold of it, if I can train my feet almost not robotic-like, but technically, to be able to play the position of quarterback for me, then it almost walks my brain through what I needed to do.
Charan: That’s so cool.
Brandon: [crosstalk 00:08:02] phenomenal thing. And I’ve learned that that’s very true.
Charan: So, it’s kind of like being in the zone, or being in the flow, right?
Charan: Did you ever get into those moments when you’d be playing where you were like, “I’m not thinking, it’s complete instinct, completely [inaudible 00:08:16]?”
Brandon: Yeah. If you’re playing with your gut instincts, and you truly do have the confidence that, I know what coaches think, and I know what I think, and I can see what they’re doing, and you’re really not having to think, you’re just being instinctful in what you’re doing, it’s the best place to be.
Charan: That’s awesome. Did you feel that your other players were also connected with you? Because you’re the quarterback, you’re calling the shots, in a sense, right? Is the quarterback considered the captain of the team?
Brandon: Yeah, basically, on the offense.
Charan: Right? And so, you’re calling the plays. Do you ever feel like it’s kind of a team hive mentality, it’s like everyone kind of works in unison, works in one to achieve the goal?
Brandon: I think sports in general, it’s why I love sports in that… Especially team sports, because it does require each guy in his own little area to master the technique of his assignment, and then perform it. If one guy breaks down then the whole can’t be successful.
Charan: Then the whole thing.
Brandon: You have 11 guys, and 9 or 10 guys could do their job, but if the 11th guy doesn’t do it, the wrong place at the wrong time, it breaks everything down. And so, the unison that’s required from the huddle, break of the huddle, to the execution of the play, I thrived and love that. It really made that a fun sport for me.
Charan: That’s amazing. See, I can kind of relate when I make a movie.
Charan: Because when you’re making a movie, every single person has their role, their job they got to do, and they’ve got to execute it the best of their ability. When they’re working in unison, and when everyone has prepared enough to do their roles properly, then you have an incredibly flow state, an incredible fun experience. At the end of the day, not only did you have a great time together, but you’ve also created an amazing product.
Brandon: Right. It’s applicable across the board, I agree, in anything we do.
Charan: And that’s amazing. And so, has your coach really helped nail some of these principles in you? Was high school level… I mean, what was the difference between going from high school to college? [crosstalk 00:10:16] a lot more intense, or?
Brandon: I was really lucky that I had great high school football coaches, I really learned good football. And so, going from high school to college for me was just the next level of big or fast or stronger athletes, and everybody was big or fast or stronger, everybody was moving at a pace that was way faster than high school. But I didn’t feel as big of a dramatic change from high school to college as I did when I went from college to pros, it was-
Charan: Oh, really? Was it much-
Brandon: It was a significant jump.
Charan: You’re kidding.
Brandon: Oh, yeah.
Charan: Tell us about that.
Brandon: Way bigger jump. I don’t know why. I think that the college environment, you still had 100, 120 players on the team, while in the pros you only had 50 guys, and they were being chosen from-
Charan: All over.
Brandon: Yeah. You weren’t being recruited, they were drafting you or selecting you, and they were paying you, and so you had the very best athletes in the world playing. And so, 32 teams times 50 guys, this wasn’t very many football players playing in the National Football League. And so, those guys that were playing were so fast, and it was just such an accelerated pace that it took some time to get used to that.
Charan: Sure. Yeah, I mean, that’s the reason why I didn’t get into football. The NFL… It just wasn’t for me.
Brandon: Well, I mean, not very many guys last very long in the NFL.
Charan: I’m just kidding. Well, it’s amazing because the thing is, it does require such great athleticism, right?
Charan: But still the same type of mentality. You want to be the best as you can as a team.
Brandon Doman Talks About Getting Drafted into the NFL
Charan: So, what was it like being drafted into the NFL? Or is it just like this incredible level of excitement, or dread? What was that like?
Brandon: No, it was a phenomenal experience. I had grown up my entire life wanting to play quarterback at BYU.
Brandon: Frankly, I hadn’t dreamed of being an NFL quarterback. I loved watching it, I was a big 49er fan growing up, and I loved the NFL, but nothing like how I felt about BYU and wanting to be quarterback there. So, fulfilling the dream of being a quarterback of BYU was almost the pinnacle for me. And then, all of a sudden, just by virtue of having that experience at BYU, I was drafted in the NFL. And BYU had such a reputation of being kind of a quarterback factory that the NFL teams came, and opportunities were given to play at the next level. I was selected in the fifth round. So, I was sitting in my house watching ESPN with everybody else and watching the draft tickers happen and my name popped up on the screen.
Charan: Oh my gosh.
Brandon: “San Francisco 49ers select Brandon Doman.” And then, my phone rang and it was them. So [crosstalk 00:13:00].
Charan: No way.
Brandon: No one gave me any preconceived idea that was going to happen. I knew I was kind of slotted about that area for the draft, but-
Brandon: … I had no indication that they were going to pick me.
Charan: Oh my gosh, that must have been a crazy phone call.
Brandon: It was phenomenal moment. And we were just jumping off walls when it finally happened.
Charan: Of course. Yeah. Having a thing like that happen it’s just life-altering.
Brandon: Yeah, it was.
Brandon: It was, and it’s changed the course of my life. BYU changed the course of my life. Had the ball not bounced the right way a few times, all I would have had to have done is just a couple of things go a little differently, and I don’t know that I’d be sitting here, it just would have been extremely different, I think. And so-
Charan: What do you mean by that?
Brandon: When I was playing quarterback at BYU, there was a couple moments where we were playing some significant football games, and we had to come from behind to win. And had we not come from behind to win a couple of those games, I wouldn’t have been drafted in the NFL. I probably would not have been given some of the opportunities I’ve been given in my life based on what took place there. So, I recognize that the ball bounced correctly for me a few times, which altered, frankly, the course of a lot of things that have happened in my life, and I’m forever grateful for that. Being a quarterback at BYU is a great thing. Being a quarterback at BYU, having had some of the experiences I got to have, in this community, it’s been a phenomenal blessing.
Charan: That’s so great, man. I love hearing that. So, describe what the feeling was like when you were behind, and you knew you had to come back and win, and the pressure is on, and you’re probably at LaVell Stadium, how was that? And what did you end up doing? And how did you get the mental fortitude you need to say, “Hey, guys, we’re going to do this, and we’re going to win?”
Brandon: Yeah, again, I think it has to do with the preparation going into that moment, and having confidence in your teammates, having confidence in yourself, feeling like you’ve been there before, that you weren’t in a situation that was insurmountable. Although, it may have appeared that in some of those moments, it was insurmountable. We had to throw a couple of Hail Marys up in the air and guys had to catch it.
Brandon: I mean, when I say I was lucky and fortunate, it was to that extent where it almost was insurmountable, and all sudden, a miraculous catch and then, another one later, and we score a touchdown and win type things. And we had a couple, two, three of those that happened. And I’m just grateful for the teammates that I had, that made the plays, and the coaches that I got to be around in LaVell Stadium, I got to be a part of that. Everything about it was pretty miraculous.
Charan: It’s so great that you can see that for what it is. There’s some people that say, “Oh, it’s all me, I’m everything,” but you recognize that there is great miracles all around happening-
Brandon: No doubt.
Charan: … to kind of… Like the ball bouncing a certain way, and certain things happening a certain way, that has led you to where you are today.
Charan: And people have different things for that higher power, God, angels, whatever you want to call it, right? And I’ll use God because that’s just how I relate, but how has God led you throughout your own life, through your own football career?
Brandon: Yeah, it’s, man, everything in the world to me. And I look at my faith and my belief in a Heavenly Father and in a God, that there’s an existence beyond this earthly existence, and that there’s a purpose in this life, motivates the decisions that I make personally, and it’s motivated my decisions with getting married and having a family, and determining what characteristics I want to have in my life, and it’s provided a vision for what I’m doing. And so, it makes an impact on what the day to day decisions are professionally, and what I believe my Heavenly Father would have me do. And I’m not certain he cares necessarily what I do for a living-
Brandon: Right? But I do think that he cares that we’re trying to live our lives right and do the right things. And football provided an avenue, just like filmmaking or acting would do for you. But has provided an avenue to be in positions that if done correctly, to utilize faith and belief in those things to do the right things.
Charan: I always think that true life happens in the in between moments. And what I mean by that is… I’ll give you an example. I’m making a movie, and I’m having a good time making this movie, whatever the movie is. But I remember thinking, the process of making the movie, the interaction I have with people, the opportunity I have to love people or to just spread a little bit of light, I think that’s more meaningful than the movie itself.
Charan: And it’s the same thing like football, I’m sure you must have had incredible highlights, incredible moments where you were down and out, but then somehow, you came, you had those Rudi Moments, right? But at the same time, the small moments that aren’t as glamorized, right? Just being able to help your teammates out or being able to lift someone else up, have you ever had anything that sticks out to you like that?
Brandon: Well, one of the things I love about football, and it’s very unique about football, is that you play one game a week, and then you practice five days throughout the rest of the week. I don’t know a sport like it, because basketball… Maybe golf you’re practicing a lot more in between your actual rounds. But the rest of the sports, you’re playing games continuously. And so, with football, there’s a ton of this downtime and this preparation time where you’re on the field, and you’re in the locker room, and you’re spending a lot of time with these guys.
Brandon: And I look back at some of those moments of injuries and guys needing to be uplifted and looked after in moments of real despair, and being able to support and be there for one another in the moments that were off the field. The on the field moments were great, but some of the most memorable times that I look back at in high school and college and in the NFL were quiet times with teammates talking about life and trying to help and support one another during some really challenging times.
Brandon Doman Talks About Overcoming Challenges
Charan: Well, yeah, speaking of challenging times, I was going to say, the world of athletics or entrepreneurship, or anything like that, you have struggles, it’s not all smooth sailing, right? You have your challenges. And the challenges, a lot of times, are what define you. So, what are some struggles that you had to go through?
Brandon: Yeah. Well, just comes to my mind, eight years ago, I had had a pretty good run with football. Up until eight years ago, I had played quarterback at BYU, I had played three years in the NFL, I had coached for eight seasons at my alma mater, and-
Brandon: … a lot of wonderful things had taken place. And at the end of that eighth season, I got fired, I got let go, I was coaching at BYU. I was, I don’t know, 34 years old, I think at the time, and I had a crossroad in my life, at that moment. I had five little kids at home. We were living here in the apex of BYU football arena here, and we were trying to decide whether we were going to continue coaching, which in that case, we would have to pick up, move, and head to another city. And we would have been on a journey, we’d have been living in a mobile home basically for years traveling from school to school at this point to go coach football. And we were willing and anxious to do that, in fact, planning on doing that. And my brother, Bryce approached me about the prospect of becoming his business partner and quitting coaching.
Brandon: And it was a unique time, I was serving as a bishop in my home ward, an ecclesiastical leader there in my own neighborhood, and that was impactful for me at the time. Now, I have six children, all six of my children are adopted.
Brandon: Yeah. My wife and I were trying to determine, what was the very best thing as a mother and a father for us? Where would be the best place to raise our kids? And after a lot of just unique challenging times, and thoughtfully, and prayerfully, considering what to do, we determined that we were going to stay put right where we are, and go into business with my brother, which was not easy early on, and still is very challenging today. But that time was a pretty significant crossroads and decision making time, and in it endured years of back and forth doubting and questioning myself.
Charan: Absolutely. I mean, the thing is, is that’s a massive pivot. It’s a massive pivot when you are now doing something that’s completely unrelated to football.
Charan: Right? And when football was your life, it’s your identity, in a sense, that’s just what you knew, right?
Charan: So, how did you get through… Well, first off, how did you decide, yep, this is what I need to do, I need to go to business with my brother? And then, how did you keep convincing yourself and not doubting? Because that’s a tough thing to do.
Brandon: Yeah. Well, I had a couple… I call them sacred moments for myself, personally, that after making some decisions to continue coaching, and then doubting myself whether or not that was the right thing to do, I had a couple of moments that it was made very clear to me emotionally and mentally and spiritually that it really didn’t matter what I did for a living, it didn’t matter what I did 9-to-5 to go provide. What mattered was that I was the best husband I could be, and I was the best father I could be, which is really hard. That is not an easy thing to do. So-
Charan: Yeah, six kids.
Brandon: Yeah, I mean, it’s a beautiful, wonderful thing, but it’s uniquely challenging for anybody. As a parent of one or six or 12, it’s a unique opportunity. And determined that I was to focus on that, and that everything else would come together. I also realized that I was capable. I had enough ability to provide for my family, that was not the issue. I had the ability to provide, it was just, now what am I going to do to provide for them? And then go figure it out. But that I was to focus on things of more importance beyond what I was to do to provide for my family. And when I made that decision, it made a lot easier to then narrow in on what I was going to do for a living. But it took me some time to get out of my own way, frankly. Because I’m ambitious and I think I was somewhat… Or probably just my ego had been hit a little bit-
Brandon: … and I had felt like I had something to prove in football, and that I needed to prove the naysayers that fired me wrong or something. And so, I think there was part of me feeling like I got to go regroup and prove to myself and everybody around me that I’m really good at this. And once I got through that and realized that didn’t matter, and that football had been… I had, had an unbelievable experience with football, and that it had been enough, it was enough, and it had blessed my life, and I could move on from there, that was a great day.
Charan: It’s a great day and it’s a great lesson to learn, right? But surrendering your ego is not easy thing to do.
Brandon: And it comes back, I still have my ego moments in the shower thinking I’m… But yeah, I’m grateful that I was able to get through that.
Charan: That’s awesome. What are some tips would you say to get through something like that? Because the truth is, is a lot of people go through that, right?
Charan: When you feel like the thing that you were meant to do, or called to do suddenly gets robbed from you and it’s taken away.
Brandon: Well, I-
Charan: What would you do?
Brandon: I’ve learned, and it’s taken a long time and I still fall in this trap, but life isn’t about you and me, it’s not about ourselves, it just isn’t. And to get up in the morning and to have me on my mind, and how can I take care of me today? It’s just a shallow, sad place to be. And frankly, most of us fall in that rut. And if life’s not about me, then who’s it about? Well, it’s about everybody else.
Brandon: And so, if I can go about my day trying to figure out how to find interactions that are uplifting, and find ways to serve and uplift other people, build relationships that are lasting, surround myself with people that are making me better, building me and lifting me, and searching for ways to really make a difference today, then you go to bed at night, and you feel like you’ve accomplished something. And so, we got to get out of our own way. In our lives, we keep getting in our own way, and we run into ourselves, we got to get out of our own way. And when we get out of our own way, and we focus on something other than me, then we truly find ourselves.
Charan: And it’s such an interesting principle, right? Because it’s like, well, what do I want to do? Or what thoughts should I have? Or should I do this? Or should I do that? But just thinking like that is exhausting.
Brandon:It is. Yeah, it is so.
Charan: It’s exhausting, because then you’re like, “Oh I got to take care of my needs, and I got to do this, and I got to do that.” But I also believe that there is a Father in Heaven, and I think, look, He can cause the earth to spin around the sun, no problem. And everything is perfectly orchestrated, so why can’t he orchestrate my life?
Brandon Doman Talks About Finding Joy in Uncertainty
Charan: And then, I don’t have to worry so much, I don’t have to stress so much of, what am I going to do? Or how does this need to work? So, let’s kind of shift gears a little bit and talk about joy. And what have you done to have joy during all this time when the shifts were happening, and now you’re owner of this business? What have you done to have joy, especially, the world is going through an uncertain time? Right?
Brandon: Well, one of the beauties of having been in business with my brother, owning our own businesses, has offered us the opportunity to choose who we get to be around. We get to hire individuals to come in here and work with us and be part of the family, and over time, we’ve been able to continue to hire and hire more people. And the ability to choose those people, the diversity of these people, and finding strengths and weaknesses across the board that create this unified, powerful team, that’s been really fun for me, that’s created a lot of joy. And I didn’t realize that offering employment and doing your very best to offer an employment that’s enriching, satisfying, that provides a living, and a vision for an upside that’s exciting for people, that’s been really, really fun.
Brandon: And so, I would say, that’s one of the most gratifying things about what I get to do every day, is to be around a group of phenomenal people that are coming to work with a passion. And I feel like they’re devoted to me, I feel like they’re devoted to the business, and vice versa. I think that they feel like I’m devoted to them and to the business, and it makes it really fun to not micromanage people and to give them their space to be able to-
Brandon: Yeah, to go be great, and be completely trusted that they’re going to do their best. That’s one thing that gives me joy. The other thing that gives me joy is freedom of time. And I think freedom of time is relative of how you look at it. But for me, when I made the decision that I was going to focus on being a husband and a father, and now balancing my time to say, “Okay, when and where am I going to do that?” And just make it a very important part of my day. And even though I fail at that, often, I’m trying to say, “Okay, this brings me joy, I’m going to go help coach my boys’ high school football team.” Or whatever it might be that provides me joy, being able to do the things that my kids enjoy doing, and being with them and around them. So, those are some of the things that came in my mind when you asked that.
Charan: No, I love that. And kind of going to what you were saying regarding giving employment to people and to seeing them shine. It’s not even about you, right? And it’s about seeing other people get excited. I have never been married, I don’t have any kids or anything, but my sister just had a baby, and he’s almost a year old now. But to be able to see life through his eyes brings me so much joy, because everything is such a wonder to him, right? And to see other people truly get lifted up, that does elevate you and it makes you so happy, and it’s such a fulfilling, gratifying thing. Now, in this current business that you’re doing, you provide trailer hitches, I believe-
Brandon: We do.
Charan: How has a company like this brought you joy? Because this is totally different than football.
Brandon: It is.
Charan: No one cheers when they see a trailer hitch like they would if you made an awesome pass or something.
Brandon: It’s been an interesting experience, because here I was coaching football and it had it’s very specific vocabulary, it had it’s very specific people, and you’re in this little niche of this football arena. But automotive and trailer and truck guys are the same guys that I was working with every day. And they’re just homegrown Americans as far as… I mean, I don’t know what else to call them. And I relate to that, and I appreciate that. And so, going to trade shows and being in this environment, I feel like I’m with my people, and I enjoy that.
Brandon: Secondly, I think what we’re trying to find in business, in order to find a sustainable competitive advantage… And a lot of books will teach this, but is there a niche? Is there an advantage, a benefit to the product that we can find that allows us to become the very best in the world? That’s something, right?
Charan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brandon: And is that even possible to become the very best in the world or the very best in the industry at something or find this niche? And we found one in trailering and towing. And we found this little niche that allowed us to create patents and designs around measurement, and the company we own is called Weigh—like a weigh scale—Weigh Safe. And we determined that there was a runway here, that if we could design the prototypes and get into production on these type of products, that we truly could run. And the hard part was getting into production and finding the ability to make it, that was the hard part.
Charan: All right, yeah. How do you manufacture something like this?
Brandon: It’s been a really tough journey, but we did find this benefit of true “Towing Peace of Mind.” And we found a product that enhanced safety and performance. And so, we had this double whammy of, okay, it would be great if we could provide safety in an industry, but we were able to improve performance and safety. So, we really… I don’t know if it was locked out, but we found this little niche, and we’ve created a business around it. And it’s been a great blessing.
Charan: That’s amazing. And I was told by, I think, one of your partners that it’s doing extremely well.
Brandon: Yeah, it’s been great.
Charan: Especially even during COVID, it’s like your sales have skyrocketed, right?
Brandon: Yeah, we’re in recreation, and no one’s living too far from home and people are buying trailers, and so if you’re in towing and trailering right now during COVID, your business has been booming.
Charan: Oh my gosh, who would have thought, towing and toilet paper.
Brandon: Isn’t that amazing?
Brandon Doman’s Advice to His Younger Self
Charan: Those are the things that are really booming. Yeah, it’s really interesting how the world has changed so dramatically, and some businesses have skyrocketed like this, so that’s great. So, really, the last question I have for you is… I’m kind of circling back around even to joy and the lessons you were talking about earlier, what would you tell your younger self, or the future generation [crosstalk 00:35:34]?
Brandon: Well, I got to tell you, I was raised by phenomenal grandparents, parents, I just was really lucky, and I had unbelievable mentors and coaches. So, I feel like they were telling me and teach me the right things. And so, if I were to go back and teach myself one more thing, it would be… I would over exaggerate and reteach two principles, if your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, then you can achieve it. And the hardest part of that, what I would like to go back and teach myself is, if your heart can believe it. There’s a lot of things that we can conceive in our minds, we can envision, we can write goals down, there’s a lot of things we want to go get right, but our heart will never believe it unless you do the work. And doing the work provides… I mean, it creates fear for a lot of us. We don’t want to do the work because it’s hard-
Brandon: And we don’t trust that we can truly do it, but we’ll never accomplish it unless we put the time and the effort in. So, I’d like to go back and say, “Okay, if that’s really what you want, did you put the work in?” So, coupled with that is “preparation plus opportunity equals success.” And did the preparation exceed the opportunity? If it exceeds the opportunity, then the success is wild. But at a minimum, it has to match the opportunity. So, here I am conceiving this opportunity in my mind that the preparation match or exceed that, and that’s part of the doing the work.
Brandon: And what I’ve come to learn in my life, that if that happens, not 9 out of 10, 10 for 10, we succeed. The kicker to that is, it’s not always exactly what we envisioned, but the success is wild and it’s beautiful. But the challenge is getting our hearts to actually do the preparation and the work of it, and that’s what I would say to anybody, that it’s all there. It’s all attainable and achievable, but it truly does require a gritty work and preparation, and you just can’t get around it. There’s no way around preparation.
Charan: There’s no way around it.
Brandon: You can’t around it.
Charan: Yeah. And the way I’ve gotten around it is just tricking my mind to saying, “Oh, that’s the fun part.” Because it is, preparation is fun for me. I look at myself just acting, and my agent and I were talking because I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve been booking a lot of stuff, and a lot of times people are like, “Wow, how do you book so much or anything?” And I’m like, “Well, it’s simple. I audition a lot.”
Brandon: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Charan: When the auditions come through, I submit, a lot of times people just don’t submit. I’m like, “Well, then it’s going to obviously, be a no.” Right?
Charan: But one of the things that I’ve done with auditioning is, when the part comes through, I say, “You know what? I’m just going to have as much fun as I can with this.” And I don’t really care what the outcome is, I’m trying to have fun with it. And I create something so… The other day, I had an audition come through, and I’m like, “This doesn’t fit me. I know it doesn’t fit me, so I’m just going to go so crazy with it. It doesn’t matter.” And it didn’t fit me, so I didn’t get that part, but they’re like, “But we liked him so much that we gave him another part.”
Brandon: That’s awesome.
Charan: They wrote a part for me. So, I’m like, “It’s just kind of goes to show, preparation meets opportunity.” Right? So, if you keep on doing your work but making it fun, so you kind of keep wanting to do it, then you get to a point where things do come-
Brandon: They do.
Charan: And you do achieve them.
Brandon: It wasn’t the part but you ended up getting the other part.
Charan: I got another part.
Brandon: [crosstalk 00:39:32] kind of find out the other part was exactly the right fit for you.
Charan: Was the right fit for me.
Brandon: Yeah, it’s awesome.
Charan: Yeah. And I mean, I was even joking about it, because I just got another role, and I remember thinking, man, I didn’t even want to audition for that and I still got the part. So, it just goes to show, if you just keep going, it’s like things just have a way of working themselves out and making you feel fulfilled and happy. So-
Brandon: No doubt.
Charan: Yeah, that’s great advice. Well, Brandon, I certainly have enjoyed getting to know you more and getting to have you on this podcast. Do you have any last pieces of advice, or?
Brandon: I don’t, no, I appreciate it. Thank you very much for making me a part of it.
Charan: Absolutely, well thanks again. Take care.
Charan: Thanks so much for listening to the Lemonade Stand podcast, and we hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you use to be alerted when we release new episodes. We’d also love to hear your feedback and then reviews, and if you or someone you know has an awesome Lemonade Stand Story, please reach out to us on social media and let us know. Thanks so much and have a great day.