In this episode, Dan interviews Brandon Carter. Discover how Brandon went from being a drug dealer, having nothing, to starting a seven-figure business in the fitness industry. Brandon talks about how to leverage social media and how to build your brand on social media, as well as how he started building his high-income skill. Listen to Brandon’s story and get inspired by what’s truly possible when you commit to achieving your goals.
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How An Ex-Drug Dealer Started From Nothing To Build A 7-Figure LEGIT Business with Brandon Carter
I’m very excited because from time to time, I would have special guests visiting me in Vancouver. Brandon is here coming all the way from New York.
It’s my pleasure.
Brandon has built a very successful fitness business, a seven-figure business also came from a background with nothing starting from scratch. We’re going to talk about that story, but we’re going to talk about how to use social media and how to build your brand on social media. Brandon, you have over 760,000 subscribers on YouTube, over 140,000 on Instagram and 1.5 million on Facebook. You’ve used that to build your business versus a lot of people who just use social media for the sake of fame. Maybe tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the fitness industry.
I’m from Chicago, the south side. This is a rough environment. I got a little bit in trouble. My parents sent me to military school in Wisconsin. I got there on an affirmative action-type scholarship. I was the only poor kid there and the only black kid there. That came with its own set of challenges. Kids would make fun of me and stuff. I’d get into fights. They weren’t racist or anything. The kids were just jerks. The kids were just mean. I get into fights. I was like, “It would be great to win these fights.” I want to beat people up. I don’t want to get beat up if I’m going to fight.
I said, “I need to start working out. I need to start training.” I didn’t know what I was doing at first. Initially, I was trying to figure it out. I was reading magazines, muscle magazines. I’m 35. The internet wasn’t what it is now. You can go on YouTube and find a bunch of videos. Elliott Hulse didn’t handle videos yet. I had to try to figure it out on myself. I had to read books and stuff, which is probably better than going on the internet. I have some progress but not really. It wasn’t until that summer I started training with this guy named Arron Muhammad, who’s a friend of the family. For years, he was voted number one trainer in Chicago. He’s actually Steve Harvey’s personal trainer. He travels with him. He definitely knew what he’s doing. He let me work with him. He’s a friend of the family. I made a lot of progress that summer. I went back to school and I thought, “I can’t wait to knock one of these,” but they didn’t mess with me again. I didn’t get that big because it’s only a few months ago. I had something the new gains, but it was more of the confidence.
It’s the confidence because now they’re going to think, “I better not mess with this guy.”You got to believe in yourself more. Click To Tweet
Predators look for prey. I wasn’t exhibiting the characteristics of a prey. Instead of messing with me, these same kids are now asking me for advice. I started teaching them what I learned and I noticed I like training people and seeing the progress they get. More importantly, seeing how they change, how their personalities changed.
Before, they have a lot of anger.
They got stuff going on that’s why they were stupid.
It gives them an outlet.
It’s like the guy who’s writing crap on this video now, he’s got a lot of problems. What’s the matter with you? People don’t behave like that. You need to work out and get some confidence. I digress. We all started getting better grades. I noticed it was a bigger deal. We weren’t just changing their body. We were changing everything way more. Fitness, in particular, you have to set a series of goals, make these promises to yourself. You’ve got to eat right. You’ve got to get enough sleep. You’ve got to do all these things. When you make these little promises to yourself and you keep them, you start to trust yourself more. You got to believe in yourself more. Imagine if you make all these promises to yourself. You have some goal. You want to do something. You keep telling yourself and you don’t do it, how much confidence do you have in yourself? How much can you believe in yourself? Why should you? You shouldn’t.
After a while, the track record is so bad.
If you can get these wins every day and you set these goals, these little small goals and you hit them, now you could start setting bigger goals. It builds a confidence that can’t be replicated in another way because you have to do it every day.
It’s so interesting because my story is so similar to yours because I was getting beat up when I was in high school. I was one of the only three Chinese in my school. I was getting beat up and bullied. That’s how I learned. I took martial arts lessons. The funny thing is after I took martial arts lessons, nobody beat me up anymore. I ended up teaching some kids martial arts. From there, I assume you have developed this passion for fitness and then you started training people.
I went to college and that was my job during college. Personal trainers typically don’t make a lot of money. You can’t scale that business, but what was good though was my first sales job because being a personal trainer at a big gym, you’re more of a salesman than you are a trainer.
You work with people all the time. You talk to people.
You have to sell them the packages. You’re a salesman and you deliver the service.
You’re selling and you’re fulfilling it.You become like the people you’re around. Click To Tweet
It was my first sales job and that’s when I started building what you call a high-income skill. That’s where I initially got it. This was at age seventeen. I realized that I like it and I started studying that really heavily.
Did you ever think you’re going to be in magazines, a photo shoot, all these things when you started?
I wanted to be a musician. There are some YouTube videos of me playing the guitar. You can find it somewhere around. If you do find it, you will be amazed. I thought I was going to be a professional musician in some capacity. I got signed to Sony Records after college as a rapper. I dropped when they merged with BMG. This thing I’ve been working on my whole life got ripped underneath me. I went back to my selling. At this point, I was like, “I don’t know if I want to do personal training. I don’t make a lot of money.” I’m going to sell something lucrative. That was when I started selling cocaine.
This was a long time ago.
You don’t need to go looking into this, any law enforcement. It’s way past the statute of limitations. I left a lot of stories out. I’m from the south side Chicago. I was familiar with this line of work. I started selling cocaine. You mentioned the magazines. At the same time, I got scouted by an agency, doing fitness modeling. A flamboyant guy came to me in the street and he said, “You should be a model.” I thought he just wanted some booty but no, he was for real. He sent me on a casting that day and I got it. It was for Vibe Magazine. It was a big deal. I was like, “That’s cool.” I was doing that a little bit, but all that money was going back into cocaine. I was invested in it. I was getting more work. I told my agency, “I know you have a sister agency in Miami. Send me down there and I’ll do some work down there.” I was doing that because I knew that it was cheaper in Miami and more potent. I get that there and bring it to New York, then I can step on it, which means dilute it and make more. I started doing that for a while.
This is not a joke.
No, I was doing that and a lot of things happened around. I was making a lot of money and living the lifestyle that rappers talk about. I was doing it. The stuff that rappers talk about. My life was a rap album. Everything changed. I got a call from my sister and she said I need to call her back right away. I got a call, a text message and it was tons of text messages I missed. I called her and she said, “Our father is missing. He left a suicide note.”
How old were you then?
I was in my early twenties. I couldn’t believe it. He was my best friend, my role model. I flew back to Chicago and it was true. I felt like I needed to change.
You never saw him after that?
I went to his funeral but I didn’t want to see him. It was a closed casket. That’s when I felt I needed to change my life because he was doing some stuff that he probably shouldn’t. I had another friend around the same time went to a girl with him, his name is SV. He got sentenced to life in prison for being a criminal. Another friend named Esco. We were in the same line of work. He was found in Jersey. He was murdered. I thought, “I need to change my life.” You become like the people you’re around. This was happening and that seems to be the trajectory of my life. That’s when I said I’m going to stop doing all crime and I’m going to go 100% focused on something that would help people, something legal.
Your father has passed away. It was a wake-up call and maybe in some way, deep down where if you continue on that path, that’s not going to make your dad proud.
It definitely wouldn’t make him proud, but maybe even worse. I saw what that did to my mom. I was with her when the cops told her they found his body, so imagine if she lost me too. A wake-up call is a good way to put it because now I have to take care of her.
You cannot be the reckless person anymore.
I was thrust into this position where I’m the man of the house, of family, from my sister, her, my mom’s mom who is old. My sister’s son, everybody. I’m the guy now. I have to provide and be able to take care of them because no one else would at this point and myself now because I was a reckless kid. That’s when I got to get serious. I went back to what I do, personal training. I wanted to make a lot of money. It doesn’t make a ton of money, especially not the money that I feel I need to make for my family and even the lifestyle I wanted. I like things. I got two jobs, two additional jobs. I started working for a moving company in New York. In New York, moving is different because a lot of the places have elevators. All day I was lifting stuff up and down. On the weekends, my buddies had a restaurant in Queens and I was the manager of that restaurant working, moving companies, training people in hours ahead.
Working odd jobs here and there.
I was trying to feel my day would work seven days a week. I wanted to do something in the fitness industry and I wanted to build a business. I figured I had to do it online. I knew that online was the only way to do it. All that work and then trying to build an online business at the same time. It was basically two years in a struggle.
What were you trying to do online? Were you trying to offer, get more clients, personal training?
I had a workout program, trying to sale. I also saved up enough money to start my supplement company. We have one supplement like this fat burner, Tea Rexx, and it was those two things. I was trying to build it, figure it out. I didn’t know what I was doing, but it worked. After some time and fast forward, now we have about fifteen employees and a penthouse office in Manhattan. It’s not as nice as this one, but it’s nice. We’ve got customers all around the world. The office is right next to Central Park. I got a 2 Comma Club Award from ClickFunnels. We have a seven-figure business. That’s basically the story in a nutshell. It’s a wakeup call.
About Brandon Carter
Brandon is a certified personal trainer & nutritionist. Fitness model for Nike, Puma, Adidas, Men’s Health, and other major brands & CEO @ Bro Laboratories & High Life Clothing.
Since it’s literally been my job for the past decade to stay ripped year round, I’ve tried every diet imaginable.
Paleo, Atkins, Intermittent Fasting, Steak & Eggs, etc. If you can name it, I’ve tried it. My goal in trying all these nutrition plans is to find something that can not only get you shredded and help you make serious gains but also keeps your energy levels high so you can stay laser focused throughout each day.
If you ever have a question on fitness or personal development, I’m your man.. just shoot me a message on any of my socials and ill get back to you!