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Welcome to episode #79 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Andrew Majewski, owner of Ad Space Communications and co-founder of American Flag Club.

Top Talking Points

  • Changing your to do list throughout the day in order to be more productive.
  • The meaning of life is to see things the way they are, not the way you want them to be.
  • Learning to interact with your business contacts as normal people.

Connect With Andrew at adspacecommunications.com or americanflagclub.com

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Episode Transcript

Ryan  

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20-minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development to upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morningupgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share. And now on to the show.

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we featured casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan  

Hey, Andrew, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Andrew  

I’m okay, how are you doing, Ryan?

Ryan 

I’m doing excellent. Let’s kick this off. So for my audience of Morning Upgraders, why don’t we give some more insight into who they’re listening to? So besides being a gentleman, please tell everyone you know who you are.

Andrew 

I’ve never been accused of that. But I’ll take it, thank you.

Ryan 

And then what you do for a living, and then maybe something that’s going well in your life right now.

Andrew  

My name is Andrew Maciejewski. And I am the owner of ad space communications. We are a creative service full service ad agency that handles accounts for the likes of the economists or Dow Jones down to smaller regional businesses as well. I’m also the co-founder of the American flag club. And it’s the only subscription service that delivers refreshes and retires American flags in America. And in terms of what’s going to what’s going well, I’ll say just starting this. The second business has been a very interesting and rewarding opportunity where I mostly in the advertising business handled clients that are membership-based or subscription-based. And it’s just been very educational to kind of start your own subscription company, I understand my clients more, and starting something literally from zero has been very satisfying.

Ryan 

Really cool idea the site looks great. I know you’re not living until 2022. But the site itself looks great and is very simply a very niche product. And I like those I always do. Well, it seems like you’re going to have a very rabid audience, which is, you know.

Andrew 

Yeah, what I’ve learned in the advertising world about speaking to niche markets, or people with specific affinities just trying to take everything I do in one hemisphere of my brain and try it with another and the veteran, I have a team of really dedicated smart people working with me as a grant.

Ryan  

I like to talk about business challenges because we all go through them. What’s been the biggest challenge with the flag business? And how have you handled it?

Andrew  

To be honest, the biggest challenge is because it’s my own money, I have to remind myself what I would tell other clients, I’m just so close to it, that sometimes you only see the pixels of the painting, and you have to take a few steps back and see the bigger picture. I can just go into rabbit holes for hours, you know, starting at midnight, wondering where my night went. And at the end of it just laugh at me, because I see when I get called in to consult for businesses. It’s exactly what happens where you’re just stuck in a biosphere and you need outside counsel, I need to counsel myself, and sometimes…

Ryan 

you’re overthinking things you’re saying or trying to be trying to get things perfect.

Andrew  

I would hope I would overthinking them, there’s this emotional thing to the blindness like the goal is just to do better versus to chunk it out into steps. Or to actually question Is this the best use of time and money. And also, you know, usually, I would triage things if I’m talking to a client. And here it’s just, I see every little raise now. And I’m trying to grab as many hammers as I can old versus just addressing things in order.

Ryan 

And truthfully, you’re probably always gonna be tweaking, like even when you start utilizing customers, you’re probably always gonna be tweaking and trying new things. And yeah, it’s like a healthy obsession, I guess. Exactly.

Andrew 

Yeah. And I also you know, have already come up with the b2b angle, and my partners love the idea, but it’s like, Hey, calm down, and I don’t want down. So that’s, you know when you kind of really buy into the entrepreneurial thing, yes to the offer has to not be a madman.

Ryan  

I want to talk about some personal development stuff. But I have one more question on the flat of the flag business, I think it’d be helpful for anyone listening, trying to start a business, or wants to start a business. How’d you come up with the idea? Was there any like it? Was it? Was it a structured process? Or was it just an out-of-the-blue lightbulb moment?

Andrew  

It’s actually a friend of mine who’s one of my co-founders, he flew the flag I had always meant to interesting thing is we live on opposite sides of the country. And we’re from opposite political aisles. And I love the fact that he’s someone that especially in these charged times when he speaks or I speak about something that the other doesn’t particularly believe in, we don’t cut the other person off. We don’t try to demean them. And when he was just telling me about how hard it was for him to go to Home Depot and find a good quality flag and didn’t have to buy, you know, the pole and things like that and get it on. And he was just telling me this, you know, a problem he was having it wasn’t a problem I personally had. But the more he talked about it, the more I looked into it. And the more as a homeowner, I’ve always meant to do this thing and kind of just kick-started the idea. And he and I both have backgrounds in marketing and things like that. So we’re just thinking, why doesn’t this thing exist? And then we did the thought exercise of pricing out, could you make it work, and then the creative angle, and what really got me into it, is I have a nine-year-old and a 13-year-old. And as I was driving to bring them both back from school on different days, we passed a house, and it has a Black Lives Matter flag, a pride flag, and an American flag. And in the car alone with me, they each asked me, Why is that house allowed to fly the American flag, they were under the impression that if you had more progressive beliefs, you weren’t allowed to raise the flag. And it just brought up in my own household in my own car, this really wonderful conversation about what it means to disagree politely, and what it means to be part of a whole even though you may or may not agree with everything that’s happening. It’s kind of the motivation to keep going.

Ryan  

Like it’s going to be an interesting business. And I’m excited to see what you do with it. What do you think is going to be the this would be the last question for the flag business, I promise. But just keep buying, keep on creating questions in my head? What do you think if you had to guess based on your marketing experience? What do you think is gonna be the most successful marketing channel for it?

Andrew 

I guess right now, it seems to turn what might be a negative into a positive where social media, I think it’s gonna be the first place and then second would be podcast hosts, who have a following of a certain ilk who you have that personal trust in the person, I think there’s a product that might start with trust with a certain group. And then the more education we can give people about that it is more inclusive than you might think, would be the secondary market.

Ryan  

Okay, let’s pivot. Now, we talk about business. Now, let’s talk about some personal development and morning routines. What does that look like for you?

Andrew  

So usually, when you hear about people’s morning routines, it’s all these people who wake up at five in the morning and work out and things like that. I am a creative person who happens to be an entrepreneur, but I’m also a nighttime person, it took my wife and I being married over 15 years for us to realize that she is one of the morning people in the world, I am one of the nighttime people in the world. And that, you know, without my type of person, hundreds of 1000s of years ago, the fire in the cave would have gone cold. So it’s not that I’m being lazy that I’m groggy in the morning, just who I am. And I kind of wake up, you know why you and I are talking in the afternoon as I schedule things when I need to be more with it an afternoon. But the first thing I do, is I wake up and because I have children and things, that’s the first thing that pops up, but I do make a list every day of the three top things I need to do. And I also want to motivate myself and feel like I’m winning. So I gamify things where I’ll write down eat breakfast, so I can just check a box. And it keeps the momentum going where I’ll have this list, I also then because my days might be all over the place. I revise the list in the afternoon. And then because I’m a night person, I revise the list again, at night. And it’s almost like it’s three different days. So if the morning hours don’t really jive. I don’t feel like a failure, I still have two more swings at it. And by the time I go to bed, whatever hour that might be, it’s done.

Ryan  

It feels good to check those boxes off, doesn’t it?

Andrew 

Yeah, that’s crazy. I was at a memorial service for a neighbor. And a big part of the ending, they handed out memo pads with to-do lists that she would create every day. And, you know, the breadth of coverage of, you know, see a friend or five or do charity work or, you know, is the fact that she kept that going past retirement and she had such a meaningful life. You know, it’s meaningful at the moment, you get the little endorphin rush when you click the box, but also seeing having led to someone having such an impact years later. That’s great.

Ryan 

Let’s stay on the topic of the to-do list for a little bit. Because I think it’s I like to ask about habits too. And I think this sounds like you know, obviously a habit of yours. And so do you have a process for the to-do list? Is it like only big stuff is personal and professional? Is it small stuff what does that look like for you?

Andrew 

It’s everything and maybe it shouldn’t be but I do like to have the privilege of working for myself. That might mean you know, I have certain clients that pop up and they might have emergency needs, that I wasn’t on my radar and things like that. But I have my vision in the morning of what’s going to happen and that can include most of it is work but there are things with the children there’s exercise Going for a walk a bunch of times a week actually makes me more productive. And random thoughts that show up, make me more productive. So I just try to get that all down. And then be honest with me, I have a little card that I keep. So I have a rough draft of my list, or whether it’s on, you know, a Notes app or on paper. But then I have a physical list that I have in my back pocket all day.

Ryan  

You should check out Three by Five Life, I’ve had the owner of that product on this podcast before, it’s a productivity card, and it’s got a to-do list of some other things that might resonate with you. But I want to talk about the meaning of life. And you’re just very curious to see it to hear what you’re going to say about the meaning of life. Right? So like one or two minutes, what does that mean for you the meaning of life?

Andrew 

Yeah, I think one of the best quotes that stayed with me that ever read was from David McCullough’s book about the founding of America in 1776. And he just said, why Washington was such a great general, you know, there were better folks at strategy. There were better people who are, would have been a natural choice. But what it broke down to was that Washington saw things the way they were not the way he would like them to be. And even though he had you know, the motivations to change things, I think the meaning of life is kind of without losing your ideals, seeing what is actually true. And on a personal level, I walked around years of my life, confusing, wanting the best for the people I love thinking, you know, what’s best for the people you love. That just led to all of these expectations and strains and whatever. But because it was things I was putting on people they weren’t true. I think, again, it’s more meaningful when you can love people in a way that honors who they are, versus, in a way erasing them.

Ryan 

That’s excellent, very deep. I’m trying to think of a good follow-up question, but I don’t think a follow-up question is necessary.

Andrew  

I think they’re good to know. Yes.

Ryan 

It’s a personal question. I used to like to hear everyone I get different answers, you know because everyone’s perspective and experiences are different. So I love the question.

Andrew 

I’ll tell you what, I got your reminder on my calendar. I didn’t scroll down until two minutes before I clicked, you know, get on the podcast. And then I saw oh, by the way, what’s the meaning of life? Cool. I’ll try to figure that out in 60 seconds.

Ryan  

While he did well, he nailed it. Alright, so I want to, I want to ask you, for some more personal development tips, because you’re a copywriting expert, which you are doing it forever. I’d like to because I have business owners that listen to this, this podcast. And so give us some tips for writing copy. One tip would be things like how can someone write better copy? That’s maybe not a trained professional but they want to just try to write their own copy? What would you tell them?

Andrew  

The first thing I remember or try to remember when I’m writing my copy? Is that the people reading this because it is advertising Gobi, not only do they have no native interest in reading this, they’re probably trying to get out of reading it. So I try to chunk things up as how did I get their interest for three seconds? How do they maintain it for 30 seconds? And can I sustain it for three minutes? And if I’m trying to achieve action on a call to action, if I can get you for 30 minutes, the odds are that the sale numbers of lift and response, whatever will have increased.

Ryan 

Excellent. Thanks for sharing that. I’ve got one last question. And then we’re going to wrap up with you sharing how everyone can learn more about you, maybe your website, whatever link you want to share. So my last question for you. I want to add space for you. You’ve had the business for a while now you’ve had success with it. Yep. How? Why? What have you done to grow it? What have you done to maintain it for so long? And like what nuggets of wisdom can you share with us?

Andrew 

Maybe again, if there’s a theme going through what we’re talking about, with seeing things truthfully, in the past, you know, very early on in my career, because you get put in a bucket? Are you a creative person? Or are you a business person? And I thought because I liked creative things, I couldn’t handle the business part of it. And then I realized that that was actually a benefit because I made it a little more unique. You know, I can still read and make Excel sheets, I just rather spend my time doing something else. There are people that excel at Excel. There are people who excel at Excel and then there are folks who do other things but not closing myself off to the risks and the rewards that come with the business side kind of proved helpful. And I also got into the misunderstanding that being a driven person. I thought that my kind of like chip on my shoulder negativity was the kind of driving force to help the company going and good times and bad bye It just really questioned that was it in spite of the fact that I had a chip on my shoulder was a big cost of the fact that I chip in my shoulder that the company was able to grow and maintain and get clients people have heard of, I’d have to say it’s, it’s, you know, it got in the way. And over the years learning that has made me interact with business people more as just people, and not coming in there and over legalizing things the same way that you know, you asked about my copywriting tips before, I think if you write to people, no matter who they are, what they do with emotional core themes intact, you’re going to resonate what you have to say what you have to sell whatever it is, is going to have meaning with them and interest, they’ll find interest in it. So I would just say with the business part, not losing sight of who I am, and the personal growth helps the business grow.

Ryan  

Pretty deep, Andrew, I like those answers. Given me a lot to think about it sounds like you’ve done a lot of thinking and work on yourself, just to better understand yourself. And I think that’s really awesome. I appreciate you sharing everything today. Thank you. What’s the best way people can reach out to you or if they want to connect with you?

Andrew 

Yeah, so if they want to learn more about the ad agency, it’s adspaceinc.com. And the flag business we went with the most on the nose name we could come up with but it is Americanflagclub.com. And, yeah, I’d love to. I don’t quite know. People just want to reach out my email address is Andrew@adspacecommunications.com. You can find it on the Adspace website. If they have anything to discuss whether it’s business-wise or something that they’ve typically picked up about the issues we’re talking about today. Always for learning more and sharing when I can.

Ryan

Perfect. Thanks, Andrew. 

Andrew

All right, appreciate it.

Ryan

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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