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Eric Berman: Almost Going Public, Investing In Horses & Culture

I'm here in WealthFit Studio with an extraordinary guest with an incredible background.

He is a Founder and Partner at Brandetize, an interactive agency that partners with personalities and brands to expand their reach, monetize their business and leave a positive impact on the world.

Prior to his venture, he was building what would be later compared to Facebook many years before Facebook was even founded.

Not only has our guest served as a founder, consultant and investor for several internet marketing companies, but he's also invested in real estate, restaurants and even horses and organizes several high-level entrepreneurial and networking groups.

He's even been on the hit reality TV show, Millionaire Matchmaker.

Mr. Eric Berman, welcome to the show.

Eric
Thanks for having me.
Dustin
I want to go back before Facebook and before Myspace, which was a big thing.
Eric
I'm going to come back to Myspace. I've got a funny story on that one.
Dustin
Let's do it. Everyone has a context in the ‘90s. You and the team at the college club were building the next hot tech startup, $75 million raised with 400 employees and you're a couple of months from going public, perhaps making you set for life. How does it unfold from there?
Eric
We're talking about running this business up in the ‘90s. Three of us started it. We were the main founders. I learned so much from him because it was my first job out of college, not even a job. I never had a job. This was when I figured out I was an entrepreneur because I never went like a lot of other people. I graduated from UCSD. Like other people, I got my first paying job and I was like, “That didn't resonate. Let's go build something.” I guess I'm an entrepreneur now. Fast forward, it was all about the college market. It’s understanding the importance of it. If you get the college student, the advertisers coveted the college student. If you get them, then the advertisers get them for life. They’re going to choose their first toothpaste, their first deodorant and all that.
All these decisions happen when you're a college student. That was the initial idea and they were using leveraging technology at the time to go after that market. Before the internet started taking off, we were doing things from the phone and almost taking any browser on the phone. Imagine where you click on different pages for all the information. Imagine going to your phone and saying, “Press one for groups.” You hit one, “Press one for fraternities, two for sororities.” You click one, then you can send out a group message to your entire fraternity. “Press two for the weather report, three for the sports report.” Literally, we were doing this before the internet and then the internet came. We're like, “We've got to pivot here.” We went over there and started building the internet. That quickly ramped up in the time that the internet was starting in the late ‘90s.
Dustin
You were sitting around a table and you're like, “Let's come up with an idea for this phone thing for college camp.”
Eric
All the things where we said, “What can we use technology to help aggregate and help communication within the college world using tech?” That was how the initial idea started, then went the internet. All of a sudden, there's this Marc Lowell Andreessen of Netscape. We were like, “The browser, let's integrate. Let's do the phone and web stuff.” I could save a long story there, but essentially, we kept ramping up and the next thing you know, the fire started brewing. It started getting everywhere. We went viral for the college market on a web-based website. Back in 1998 or 1999, I remember some great stats that said that we were number one. We were the biggest site on the web for the college market, pure college play. We were number 40 on the entire internet back in the day. This was also the time, we're getting the history lesson, where you get venture capitalists and all the money people were like, “Don't worry about how much money you're losing. Let’s spend it. Let's go public.”
The advertisers said, “The money will come. Get eyeballs.” That's what we were doing. We were following the marching orders. We were probably burning close to $2 million a month. We had filed to go public. In April 2000, me, the CFO, the CEO and a couple of the executives took our first vacation in a few years. We’re in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I’ll never forget this. We get there and it's pouring, it’s this miserable weather. This is bad for our first vacation. We were watching the TV on Thursday when the markets started plummeting. That was the first huge market crash. The look in the CFO's eyes was like, “What's wrong? This is not good.” He literally took off. He didn’t stay. He's gone. We had a $10 million bridge loan that was going to take us to the IPO. It was supposed to set on Tuesday when we got back. They shut the doors. We were sitting there saying, “How are we going to fund?” “I don’t know. We've got to wait for the markets to correct.”
The markets were incorrect and here we are with our pants down in the sense of having to carry 400 employees. We just had acquired our fourth company and we moved them out to San Diego. That was one of the hardest things. Imagine moving these people out. These people got acquired. They went from Michigan to San Francisco and then we acquired and brought them all to San Diego. Less than a month later, we're looking at laying off half the staff. It was a huge lesson in my life and talking about getting an MBA, I’m on the fly. This is my MBA from 21 to 28 years old, figuring out how to go through these times. I thought I was going to be set for life. We were supposed to go out at $500 million on the IPO. It had been eight figures and I was happy. I always tell people that it's a lot easier to lose money when you didn't have money in that sense. It was paper. I didn't know what it was like to have millions of dollars. It was easier to blow, plus I’m younger. I had a lot of energy versus I have $10 million in the bank that somebody took away, that'd be a lot tougher.
Dustin
Does the ship go down? Do you sell it for next to nothing? How does it end?
Eric
This is also a good lesson to learn about building a business. The board of directors had one seat in favor of the investors. The founders had one less seat. We are ultimately learning about board control. These were lessons they don't necessarily teach in college. The board essentially said that they wanted to get their money out. Whatever money they get out, they can get. They got rid of all the founders, myself, CEO and a couple of others. They essentially wanted to sell the company off whatever they can. I learned a lot about what I never wanted to learn about, which is bankruptcy law and what's called 363 bankruptcy, where they essentially cleanse and get rid of all the debt. They sell off the assets.
To make the story even more painful for us, I and the CEO went out to find buyers to buy it out of bankruptcy. We thought, “It is all right. We'll start it over. We'll go raise $25 million or so.” We went from being potentially $500 million to sell for $25 million in bankruptcy to the competitor that we were going to be acquiring. We found the money. We were about two weeks away from buying it out of bankruptcy. The person that we found, his wife had a stroke. That's when we said, “It is time to move on.” It was difficult. It was painful.
Dustin
What do you do to pivot now? You rode this high, but then you rode it down, you got to reinvent. What are you thinking?
Eric
I started consulting. This was 2000 to 2001 when the time that was finally done. I knew a lot about the internet, digital marketing and how to build a business. I was more of an ops guy too. I looked for opportunities. My entrepreneurial mind was always thinking of ideas in my head that I wanted to try on myself. I did some consulting with Club Med. That was fun. It was called My Club Med, which is almost like creating a social environment for Club Med. I met a guy named Brian Tracy. I was a huge fan of him and a huge motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. The reason why I was a fan is going back to the college club days, the main founder was a huge fan of Brian and Tony Robbins.
When I'm 21 to 22 years old, this is the stuff you start to get a taste of personal development and learning these life skills that you never get taught in school. Side note, you always talk about what you give back. If I'm sitting on the rocking chair and retired completely wealthy, I'd love to be able to change the education system, to be able to provide more life skills, teach life skills. You start listening to these guys when you're twenty and you're like, “Why didn't I learn how to set goals, how to manage your finances and how to communicate better with people? This stuff is practical versus trigonometry.”
We used to lock ourselves in a room from 6:00 to 7:00 AM every day listening to Brian or Tony. We did this for years. This was when there were ten of us. I was a huge fan of Brian Tracy. Back to your question, fast forward into what we've done, Brian Tracy lived in Solana Beach, San Diego. In 2000 or 2001, A family friend worked for him and said, “Brian needs help with this internet thing. He needs a website put together. It was all messed up. He got screwed over. Do you think you can help them?” I'm like, “Yes, I can help them.” That's when my company was almost born. It was in 2001 where I came to Brian. This is a lesson I'd like to teach others and I said, “Brian, I can help. I'm a big fan. I can do all these things for you.” He said, “What will it cost me?” I said, “Brian, don't pay me anything. I'm going to build this for you, but I'll take a piece of what I earned for you.” I learned that early on, that confidence.
Dustin
I wish I had learned about that.
Eric
I'm not saying it's the smartest thing, but if you have the means, even in my first job at a college club, I didn't take salaries for over a year. I had the ability to do that and I took all the equities. I learned early on that when you're starting up, the more you hustle early on. Let's say people hate their job because they are not getting enough money that they need to live, figure out all the extra hours and work for an opportunity. Get your foot in the door. Work for equity and the experience alone will get you other opportunities. For Brian, I did that and sure enough, I performed. We were able to build a nice little business over there and I continued consulting for a while with Brian as my main client. I started building a team, building up BrianTracy.com and his website and everything we did for him.
Dustin
I definitely want to talk about it. You opened the door, but you said to remind you about Myspace. What is your Myspace story?
Eric
I got one older brother who also started in the finance road going into accounting and doing the opposite of me, like getting a boring job at Cooper's library and all that. He went to business school and when he came back, he got the entrepreneurial bug and saw what his little brother’s doing. The next thing you know, he started a business and they incubate something. This little business was called MySpace. He and three of his buddies started Myspace. He ended up getting the big hit on that. Although, he did well before Myspace imploded. It was an interesting story. One of the Berman brothers landed big.
Dustin
Back to Brian, you structured this deal equity or partnership. That's a theme that I've seen throughout your life, you structure these deals and you have these long-lasting partnerships. How did you structure the deal? What was your mindset going in? What's your advice to others that want to follow in your footsteps?
Eric
I've learned a lot about these structures, even the way my company is now. The structure of the deal was in this case too, I was coming out of pocket. That's what a lot of what I've learned. It can be like, “I'm not going to make money, but I still need a little bit of money to pay for these other expenses out of pocket. You and I together, Brian, aren't going to win until we need something handled here.” That was the deal structured. I always focus on what’s called gross profits or the net revenue on these deals, which you take the top-line revenue, subtract out your advertising, your sales commissions, your credit card fees and all that. Whatever's leftover is the true money that matters. We then can share that on a certain percentage. With Brian, it was a certain percentage. With others, it's different.
Dustin
Do you feel that weeds out the deal or is there still that opportunity like someone coming along that maybe is not the best fit or maybe they're early on in their career? Does this structure weed that out or does it bring more to you?
Eric
I think now that I've progressed, I have gone more into a dual structure where I call it dating before marriage structure. Even when my business now and I know we'll get to that, we take clients on any opportunity. I should say these two lines. One is that I have a portfolio of stuff I absolutely loved. I will commit and spend a few hours on it because I think it has a huge upside, but I won't go all in. Others that I want to spend a lot more time with, that seems great, but they're early and it's hard to tell yet. It'll be like, “I need you to put some money up. Let's commit to each other a little bit.” We'll keep maybe their rates down a little bit. We won't go to my full floor rate but it’s like, “Let's date a little bit. Let's get to know each other and make sure there's a good culture fit.”
One important thing is I want you to understand your numbers and your business. Anytime you talk to somebody, they're going to inflate their numbers. They'll quote their best month and say, “This is what I'm doing.” “That was great, but that was Black Friday.” You start with, “Let me get to understand the numbers of the business.” Number two, I want to understand the commitment level of the partner I'm working with because sometimes people are like, “I'm going to do all these things. We’ll need you to do this to run the business. That’s not a problem.” When it comes to doing that, they're not available. I'm not going to go all in and commit like that until I see that.
Dustin
You’ve been working with Brian for many years. Other than structuring the deal, what's your advice? A lot of people get into partnerships and you hear the horror stories of how they end. You seem to hold on to relationships. What's your advice there?
Eric
Both of us have high integrity. It's all about being upfront and constantly communicating the goods and the bads. I try to coach others. People want to hide from bad news sometimes. I always look at it and say it's the opposite. We both have this deal. If he's frustrated at all, he comes to me. The same with me. If the news is bad in the business, it’s, “Brian, this is not going well, but here's the solution.” Bring the bad news but talk about the solution along with it, because it shows a level of confidence. The other thing I've learned a lot with entrepreneurs is everybody's paranoid. It's out of sight, out of mind. If you stop communicating with somebody because you're an introvert or it takes some energy to communicate somebody, God forbid you to pick up the phone these days and call somebody.
There's a time that's going into that and you don't necessarily know, why do I need to update people constantly? The reality is if you don't update an entrepreneur or a partner, you're working with the automatic. Especially in the early days, the automatic assumption is nothing's happening. If you're not in the office with them, working with them, and people want to be virtual these days, unless that trust is built, it takes a while. It's out of sight, out of mind this person. I'm going to assume the worst-case and nothing's getting done.
Dustin
That's funny. I hadn't thought about that.
Eric
That's something I push myself to my team because you’ve got to be out there constantly showing visibility of what's happening.
Dustin
We’ll come back to talk about Brandetize. We’re going to talk a little bit about investing. The internet has told me that you stood in the Winner Circle in Del Mar Race Track. How did you get into horses?
Eric
It's not necessarily the smartest investment, but it's fun. It could be. I grew up and my dad took me to the track as a kid. I always thought it was fun watching the race, the horses. I was on a trip with a group of people in China one day and one of the guys that I had met, he is into horses. He's at the races all the time. He's a lawyer for the horses. I said, “How do you get a horse?” He said, “I guess it’s not that bad. You can get a syndicate.” Racehorse is big. They involve big animals. I thought it would be hard to get involved with these horses. I thought I'd have to make $1 million or $2 million to do this. It's like, “You just can get a bunch of buddies together.” You realize there are horses at all levels. You could buy a horse at $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000, but you could buy horses at $10 million. There's the whole gamut to get involved and have the excitement of being in there. I can go down the rabbit hole of what's a smarter investment within horse racing, but I don't know if you want to get into that too much.
Dustin
It's not the horse though. You've got to train it. You’ve got to feed it. There's a lot of expense to this.
Eric
The only minor tip I'll say is if you're going to do it, you’re better off raising more money in getting a better horse because of your cogs in the horse racing, the costs of goods. You got to feed it. You got to train it. If your horse is a $10 million horse or a $10,000 horse, they're still eating hay. It's not like there's gold hay over here. Your costs are fixed to a scrappy horse. If you got a horse, you got to win a lot of races in order for you to make any money on that.
Dustin
I’ve got to ask you this because it popped into my head. The jockey, are they paid on performance or is it your business model where you got to give them a little salary to survive but then they get a piece of the action too?
Eric
The way the horse races work is about 60% of the pool goes to the winner and then 20% in second and then down to 12% for the third place. There is a huge gap. The first place gets about three times the earnings. Of the winnings, 10% of your winnings go to the trainer, 10% goes to the jockey. They are working on a performance commission.
Dustin
Don’t they have a salary?
Eric
They might get a little bit of stipend to get on, but it's little. If you're training, if you're having them work the horses before, you'll pay them a little bit but it's not much. All their money comes from winning, but these good jockeys are on lots of horses their days, so they can have a good day.
Dustin
I want to talk about restaurants. Horses are not traditionally the smartest thing, but people know restaurants to be notoriously bad too. Why are you in restaurants? How are you in restaurants?
Eric
I'm not saying the why. There are other investments I've made that are smart, but I’ve done well in the restaurants. It's interesting. They are the same fundamentals of that as almost any other business. It's management. At the end of the day, who are you getting into business with? Does the group have the competence or is it a bunch of people that came together and said, “We think it'd be fun to go and get a restaurant and we want to be the cool kids.” I've made both investments and I've learned the hard way. Personally, it was more of a single guy out in San Diego want to have some fun. Even my friends would joke about me because I'd paid and invested the least amount possible to get involved in having some action and fun opportunities.
You'd go out and get a small investor in this. People are like, “I know the owner of that.” I'm not saying, “I'm the big owner.” I'm saying, “I'm a minor investor.” You go in and have perks and you get discounts, you get hooked up. Sometimes you get caught meals. It's fun to take your friend's business clients out there. I try to find places that were close to me that I could enjoy the so-called lifestyle investment. It is the same with the horses. You got to have fun. You've worked hard. The idea is you work hard and you can make your smart investments. If you're not enjoying yourself along the way, then what's the point? That's how I looked at it.
Dustin
That's smart. I hear a theme throughout your life, through your career, which is people and your ability to judge character and find people with high integrity. In this case, I guess this could apply to anything, but since we're talking restaurants, how are you judging that management team? Is it a track record? Have you done other business with them before? How are you judging that character?
Eric
I think a lot of it is what their track record is? It doesn't have to be in the restaurant. What other businesses where they in prior to that? How involved are they going to be in the business? I've had one restaurant where the owner who's invested in and the next thing you know, they're running around and they have somebody else in there. That's never worked because the guy in there all the time rolling up the sleeves unless you're so big and the company's big enough where they have all the SOP and system had done it enough. For that first group going in there and buying something, there are such little things like that you'll look for, what's in their track record and all that kind of stuff.
Dustin
Eric, no interview with you is complete without this. It's what people are dying to know about, Millionaire Matchmaker. I’ve got to ask you about it. You know the internet. You know that when you record the video for submission, that could potentially live forever. If you get on the show, the show is going to live forever in some form or fashion. What were you thinking when you were auditioning for the show?
Eric
I'd said no several times. I have another fun story that I'll bring back to this. Mia, the recruiter, continued to say, “Come on, Eric.” I even told my team. I was in consulting and Brian Tracy was my main client there for consulting. They're like, “If you go, do not say you work here. We don't want them to know that.” I went on and said I was just some restaurant owner. I didn't want even to make the team embarrassed. That's why. I was like, “As long as I don't say anything too stupid.” I think it's back to my FOMO mentality of checking things off the list, doing fun things in life. There’s a chance to do the horses, a chance to do this and a chance to be in a reality TV show. You've got to do something to check it off the list, have fun with it. I came up fairly unscathed, but it was interesting. It was a good experience. The recruiter was then like, “Who else do you know?” I had another buddy went and a third friend that was about to go on, but then her board wouldn’t let him go on. Somebody ended up dating her and they got married. There is a good happy ending in the Millionaire Matchmaker.
Dustin
Don't ask me why, but I’ve seen the show or two with my wife. I gave it away. Is Patti as crazy as she seems on TV?
Eric
She's pretty crazy. What they say about reality TV, a lot of it is right. I don't want to spoil the show but it’s not on anymore. It's not like they have a team of people out there trying to recruit and find the perfect date. It's literally, “We need a bunch of girls this week.” Next week, they did a bunch of girls and they're firing up and trying to get people on the show, try to meet them and then there’s the editing. This is where you learned about TV editing and how crazy it is. There's no editing going on here, but TV editing, one of the funniest parts is they showed my eyes and then they showed a girl’s butt to make it look like I wasn't focused. They are like, “Eric, stay focused.” They then would do that in the scene. I was like, “It was completely wrong.” There are a few other things they would do. I was like, “This is completely not true, but it would make for good TV.” I was a little bit worried about that, but it didn't come out too bad. It was fun. The girl I did choose, she was dating somebody. We never get on a second date.
Dustin
Didn't you talk to the editors about that?
Eric
I was frustrated. I went through all this work and she's dating somebody.
Dustin
I want to go back to Brandetize and make sure we give some love here. You're helping Brian and successful people see that success. I imagine the story unfolds like, “Will you help us do this over here?” Is that the story of how it goes?
Eric
You nailed it. It was interesting because running Brian's business was fun and exciting, but I feel like it wasn't going to be the gazillion-dollar business. We'd do a nice business together. I was playing around other ideas of my own and other own startups, but you realize you got to focus and you got to go super hyper into something. It's hard for me to do that and all that. You always hear the word focus and it is true you got to nail one business. After about the 6th to 8th person came to me and said, “What you do for Brian, can you do for me?” The light bulbs went off, “Maybe instead of me looking all over the place, I’ve got to stay in this lane of what I built here.” It was then all about, “How do I change my relationship with Brian?”
It wasn't Brian Tracy, Eric and the employees over here. I essentially flipped it where it was Eric and all the employees that were employed by Brian Tracy International run by me. They're now going to become Brandetize employees and then it was going to be Brian and other clients. I call it a two-year conversation on how to appropriately do it. Brian, because we have a father-son relationship, I want to protect him and it worked out fine. It was great. I think for Brian, the key thing was not ever abandoning him because he doesn't have the knowledge on the internet side. That's my commitment to Brian and we maintain that. It was okay. Now pivoting and learning how to build an agency and doing that has been a long journey of learning the ups and downs.
Dustin
I do want to talk about that, but what you do in digital marketing. This is a field that is always changing because of the next new social media platforms, Snapchat, TikTok, VR and AR. As the leader of a digital marketing agency, stay on top of those trends and not get derailed into something that may die like a Vine or some other social media trend of the moment. How do you balance that?
Eric
It’s finding good people. My strategy is it doesn't matter what we're doing. If you have the right culture, the team and smart people that are motivated and excited, they're going to help you steer the boat and figure it out because there's no way I get to know everything. The best I could do is be a good operator and build things out there. The game plan is how do we build a team, a good culture and then smart marketing people that love that stuff and find experts in every different area. If there's one person who's in charge of TikTok or Vine, that's their focus. They can bring it to us and constantly and keep us up to date.
Dustin
Finding good people, that's one part of the equation. How do you go about finding that expert? The finding might not necessarily be the challenge, but how do you woo them? How do you get them excited about Brandetize and coming to work for the team there?
Eric
When you go into work every day, you're spending more hours at work than you are at home. For many people, at least awake. That being said, how do you treat them like a family? A lot of it is having the common sense to create respect for everybody in your team and treating them as equals, treating them as an important person of the hour because you need them in order to survive. What is it that they need to have an amazing environment? It's understanding what the workforce is these days, whether it's a millennial or the next generation. People want to learn. They want opportunities to grow. They want to feel like they’re valued. They want to feel like they're making a difference out there. They want to have an environment where they enjoy coming to work. Understanding that then sets the tone within the environment to allow that to occur.
Dustin
You've got Fun Fridays. You’ve got this amazing patio. You've got this incredible massage chair. What else is there for the culture? What do you think about to create this environment?
Eric
Those are some of the fun perks, but if you're going to ask around, people want to learn and feel like they're making an impact. Fun Friday for us is also our bonding. We have an open atmosphere. Everybody's out there communicating a lot. It's to take everybody off-site for a fun activity. I look at that as work. It is fun, but you are engaging with the people who we're talking to every day. You might be sitting on this side of the office and the programmers are over there. All of a sudden, you guys are now playing in an escape room or at a beach party or something like that together. You're getting to know each other and that solidifies your enjoyment being at work.
It is having the respect of your peers and getting to know each other. That's why we do things like that and people love having an opportunity to have an activity where they get to bring a significant other. It’s thinking above and beyond in work. In the workplace, it's not so much about, “Let's set up a foosball table.” I don't think my team would even sit there and play foosball. They'd rather go to work and do stuff. It's more about creating and building something that they can get passionate about and want to come to work.
Dustin
You're building an agency. What does that future vision look like?
Eric
We like to call ourselves more of an extension. We like to say we become your digital marketing and tech team. We like to have more of a feeling of we're finding people that are making a difference out there, that are making a positive impact and we're going to join forces you to grow you. We love growing killer businesses and killer ideas, things that are having a big impact. For me, long-term and my two partners are aligned on this is if we can continue to scale and grow and have killer partners and teams that we're growing, we’d love to be able to take a small percentage of the profits and incubate our own ideas.
This is my itch that I want to scratch, the ideas that I always have that I got to smackdown and say, “Not yet.” My ultimate goal, if I could pull it off, what do I need if I have an idea? I need a team to go execute on it. I spent years building an amazing team environment. How can I leverage that into me being the next client or anybody who has got an idea? Rather than waiting for the next person off the street to become a client, we've become our own clients of ourselves and use the team. That's where it ultimately is extremely fun for me. Not that it's not fun now, but that's the future goal and then be able to generate our own wealth, our own products.
Dustin
Using your investing mindset, what does a potential exit look like? Is it to sell the agency side of it? You talk about you could create your own brand and your own thing to go and that would be one thing, but from an agency standpoint, what does that look like? Have you thought about that?
Eric
I've seen other agencies get bought and sold and all that. It's interesting because normally agencies will set up to get scale, get a profit, and then they can get gobbled up by a bigger agency and come together and be part of that. Not as interesting to myself and partners back the same thing. If we could create enough wealth there and spin these off, I can have separate entities and ultimately sell that. Let's say we build a cool SaaS product and that thing takes off and gets sold. We then got to keep the team.
Dustin
I find it funny because I heard it was either an interview or found something online where you said at college club, it was more cult-like. You were inward 6:00 AM listening to Brian Tracy or whatever. Nowadays, you run mastermind groups and networking groups where it's not about your business. Why have you made that switch? What have you seen in the power of running these groups?
Eric
One of the biggest opportunities people have that they're not taking advantage of is learning how to mastermind. People hear that, but what does that mean? They don't know how to go get it. Maybe it's an insecurity I have that I don't crap my peers around me any more than me. How do I get to tap into that a little bit? Do I ask questions? You have people around you that are knowledgeable, but it's also awkward to pick up the phone constantly and call them. I leverage my skills of being organized and operationally and say, “Let me facilitate a group of amazing minds such as yourself and others that we know. Let's all get around the room together, dinners or whatever, and share knowledge and help each other out.”
People want to share and help each other out, but often there's not a forum to do that. I tell friends and colleagues, “I don't care what industry you're in. If you're not masterminding and networking, even if you think it's competitive.” I talk to buddies who own restaurants and say, “Why aren't you masterminding with other restaurants? I don't care if they're competitive.” There's stuff that you guys will learn from each other. If you understand what you're walking into, the industry I'm in and you're in, we've found it interesting to be able to help coach each other because we're not necessarily stealing each other's customers. It's not like we're next door to each other in a retail mall if they go shopping.
I've talked to people that are more on the East Coast too. They're fun and fascinating, like, “You guys sit there and share ideas. You guys are competitive.” Maybe it's more of a California thing that's going to be, I don't know. Friends of mine and others that have been in some of the masterminds we do. There are groups that are $25,000 groups and expensive groups. I've had people say they get more value out of having a monthly dinner group than they do spend $25,000 going three times a year. It’s more of a deeper relationship, that kind of thing.
Dustin
How long is the longest-running group you have?
Eric
We're probably over 10 to 12 years now.
Dustin
We covered quite the gamut. If people want to continue the conversation and Brandetize, check out some of the clients that you work with, check out Brandetize or keep tabs with you and try to catch you on the next a Millionaire Matchmaker, where would they do that?
Eric
Dustin
What about social media? Do you want to give any social?
Eric
You can find me, just look it up, Eric Berman. EricBerman.com is going to be relaunched soon, so that will have links to all my stuff.
Dustin
Thank you for joining me, Eric. I want to acknowledge you being part of the group, bringing your mindset and being willing to share and for what you're up to in the world, making digital marketing a lot easier for people to understand and leverage up. Thank you big time for being on the show.
Eric
Thank you for having me.

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