Chris “Drama” Pfaff (@dramadrama) is a former reality TV personality, host of the Short Story Long Podcast, and founder of streetwear clothing line Young and Reckless.
What We Discuss with Chris Pfaff:
- Why Chris decided to take his skateboard from suburban Akron — where escaped cows made the evening news — to Los Angeles, where high-speed car chases barely raise eyebrows.
- What it’s taken so far for Chris to make it in today’s cutthroat fashion business climate — especially when he has to work twice as hard to overcome what others expect from his “dumb” reality TV persona.
- How to stay tenacious — like someone raised in the Midwest — when you fail over and over again.
- Why sometimes running a business — even something as fun and exciting as a top-level streetwear brand — can be more of a curse than a blessing.
- How Chris feels about regretting something he has done versus regretting something he hasn’t done.
- And much more…
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Jordan first met Chris “Drama” Pfaff in their building’s elevator when they were neighbors in Hollywood. Back then, he was the butt of every joke on reality TV show Rob & Big, and had dreams of starting a clothing brand (like everyone else their age in Hollywood).
What follows is a very frank discussion of what it takes to make it in today’s business climate, how to stay tenacious when you fail over and over again, and why sometimes running a business — even something as fun and exciting as a top-level streetwear brand — can be more of a curse than a blessing. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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More About This Show
So many startup businesses — especially ones that center around fashion — don’t last beyond the attention span and pocket capital of their founders. But Chris “Drama” Pfaff — former star of reality shows Rob & Big and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, host of the Short Story Long Podcast, and creator of streetwear clothing line Young and Reckless — isn’t an ordinary founder. And contrary to whatever impression you may have of his role on reality television, he’s no dummy.
“In the beginning, I tried everything I possibly could to not be that,” says Chris. “The main thing was this: when I launched the brand, it was ‘Drama the dummy from reality TV’ mixed with ‘This guy from reality TV is starting a merch line’ mixed with the fact that the show, for good and bad, was so massive that it was so connected to me and merch no matter what I did. So the main thing that I did was found really good business partners. I didn’t go try to print shirts myself and sell them. I went and found guys who had had a clothing line for 10 years before me. They made full collections of clothing and that kind of gave me a head start in actually producing and making a real clothing line.
“The second thing was I did as much marketing as I possibly could outside of myself. I tried to shy away from [going on] Facebook saying, ‘Go buy my shirt! Go buy my shirt!’ We did a really big project with Meek Mill early on and we had every single actor and influencer and everyone coming by the office and taking pictures in the shirts because I knew I had to do twice the amount as everyone else so that you would see it as ‘The New Clothing Line’ — not ‘Drama’s Little Project.'”
Perhaps some of Chris’ tenacity comes from his upbringing. Like Jordan, Chris grew up in the Midwest — suburban Akron, to be exact — where he passed the time skateboarding in a town where an escaped cow was the featured story on the evening news. Chris had ambitions to skate as a career, but he knew he’d have to endure the culture shock of moving to a town where things moved at a faster pace: Los Angeles.
“L.A. is the world capital of skateboarding,” says Chris. “It’s where all the brands are. It’s where all the famous skate spots are. It’s where all the pros live. I was just obsessed with skateboarding, so the next logical move was to move to L.A. So I think from age 14, I just knew: ‘The moment I graduate high school, I’m going to L.A.’ I knew around 16 I wasn’t good enough to be a pro skateboarder — even though that was my dream — so I was like, ‘Whatever. I’ll work at a skate shop. I’ll film skaters. I’ll do something,’ but I was just so obsessed with skateboarding; I just followed that.”
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about what led Chris from dreams of connecting with the skateboarding world to landing a gig as a reality television star, how this path has been a boon and a hindrance to Chris’ current entrepreneurial ambitions, why Chris feels it’s better to regret something he has done than regret something he hasn’t done, how it feels to see other celebrities wearing his clothes rather than having to play the role of celebrity himself, and much more.
THANKS, CHRIS PFAFF!
If you enjoyed this session with Chris Pfaff, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
Click here to thank Chris Pfaff at Twitter!
Click here to let Jordan know about your number one takeaway from this episode!
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Short Story Long Podcast
- Young and Reckless
- Chris Pfaff at Instagram
- Chris Pfaff at Facebook
- Chris Pfaff at Twitter
- Rob & Big’s Best Moments
- Rogue Status
- White Nationalists and Nazi-Saluting Tila Tequila Toast ‘Emperor Trump’ in Washington, DC by Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast
- Karrueche Tran Wearing Black-Lime Crop Top and Leggings by Young and Reckless by Nazaret, Steal Her Style
- MTV Stars Rob Dyrdek & Drama Settle Beef With Hells Angels, TMZ
- Working with the FBI at Age 16? | Jordan Harbinger, Short Story Long #118
Transcript for Chris Pfaff - The Drama Behind the Young and Reckless (Episode 129)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with my producer, Jason DeFillippo. I first met Chris aka Drama Pfaff in my elevator while we were neighbors in Hollywood, and back then he was the butt of every joke on one of my favorite TV shows, Rob & Big and he had big dreams of starting a clothing brand like everyone else our age in Hollywood. Well us Midwest kids have something in common. We almost never give up. We can learn lessons the hard way and keep on trucking, and Drama is one of those kids as well. I traveled to Los Angeles to the headquarters of his clothing brand, Young and Reckless where I stepped over boxes and boxes of clothes and passed rows of hip 20-something clothing designers crafting next season styles right before my eyes. And what follows is a very frank discussion of what it takes to make it in today's business climate, especially in this sort of young, fast moving textiles, clothing, fashion, how to stay tenacious when you fail over and over again is something we talk about and why sometimes running a business, even something as fun and exciting as a top level street wear brand can be more of a curse than a blessing.
We had a ton of fun in this interview and I'm really grateful for the chance to capture some of Drama's experience and wisdom here on this episode to share with all of you. All right, here's Chris “Drama” Pfaff.
[00:01:19] I got to say I'm super impressed because I've seen a lot of people who start clothing brands. I mean you know where this is going and it's like, “Yeah, okay, you have a t-shirt company that's cute. See you in six months when you're like, “Fuck, it's hard to sell t-shirts. Nobody wants them.” And so I didn't know what to expect because of course my initial impression of you was from Rob & Big before you were my neighbor. That was from Rob & Big, you were like the butt of all the jokes.
Chris Pfaff: [00:01:46] Absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:47] And then I was like, “Oh, okay, Drama starting a clothing brand. Oh, what a cliché. I'm so sorry for this guy right now.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:01:53] Yep. And so I knew that, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:55] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:01:56] I knew that in my head at the time. And also I know, especially now more than ever how much the apparel business is just riddled with that same story. And so I think that like in the beginning I tried everything I possibly could to not be that. Like whether it was going--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:14] Aw.
Chris Pfaff: [00:02:15] Well, the main thing was this: when I launched the brand, it was “Drama the dummy from reality TV” mixed with “This guy from reality TV is starting a merch line.” And mixed with the fact that the show, for good and bad, was so massive that it was so connected to me and merch no matter what I did. So the main thing that I did was first of all, I went and found really good business partners. I didn’t go try to print shirts myself and sell them on. You know what I mean? I went and found guys who had had a clothing line for 10 years before me. They made full collections of clothing and that kind of gave me a head start in actually producing and making a real clothing line.
[00:02:57] The second thing was I did as much marketing as I possibly could outside of myself. I tried to shy away from me like on Facebook saying, “Go buy my shirt! Go buy my shirt!” And try to go -- we did a really big project with Meek Mill early on and we had every single actor and influencer and everyone coming by the office and taking pictures in the shirts because I knew I had to do twice the amount as everyone else so that you would see it as “The New Clothing Line” not “Drama’s Little Project.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:25] Right, right.
Chris Pfaff: [00:03:26] But I was well aware that I was like up against a mountain of, you know what I mean?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:31] Yeah. Not -- what is it like not stigma because it wasn't, I mean everyone was like, “Wow! You're on MTV.” It wasn't stigma, but it's kind of like you weren't in the role of savvy business owner.
Chris Pfaff: [00:03:42] Not at all. I was in the role of idiot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:44] Yeah. You were the guy who was like, “Did you forget to sweep the floor after you spilled?” and you're like, “Oh, I'll get right on it.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:03:50] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:51] And I was just thinking like, “Oh where's this kid from?”
Chris Pfaff: [00:03:53] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:53] And the answer of course is Akron, Ohio. I'm from Michigan. So yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:03:57] We're neighbors. We've been neighbors our whole life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:58] That’s right, and we didn't even know, yeah. And it is true though, like when you grow up out there, when we are growing up out there, no one's thinking about this stuff.
Not just clothing lines or TV, but no one around where we have -- few people I should say around where we are even has this kind of mindset and I kind of want to start from there.
Chris Pfaff: [00:04:15] Yeah, please.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:15] You grew up skateboarding obviously as evidenced by the brand and the one wheel in the corner and everything.
Chris Pfaff: [00:04:21] I still keep a little bit of the skateboard thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:25] To keep the street credit.
Chris Pfaff: [00:04:26] I remember where I came from.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:27] Yeah, that’s right, that’s right. Yeah, because Akron not, no one's like, “Oh Akron. I'm going to move to Akron someday.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:04:34] Hell no, they're not.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:35] No. We’re on Iowa general.
Chris Pfaff: [00:04:36] And I'm also -- exactly. I'm also from like outside of Akron. Like Akron was exciting, like I'm from this small town called Coventry and yeah, there's just nothing going on whatsoever. I didn't know it at the time. That's you're normal. So like it took a few years. Finally when I went back to visit for Christmas one year, I was like, “Oh my God. Like how did I ever exist here?” Right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:57] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:04:57] But there was nothing going on. I always tell the story that outside of the window at my high school was a farm with cows and we would literally sit during class and like watch cows. And one of the biggest news moments that I remember from my entire childhood was one of the cows escaped one night and they were tracking it through the streets of Coventry. And we were all like getting phone calls. I remember my mom was getting phone calls, “Oh, the cow was seen on Manchester road,” and they finally caught the cow. And like that's the type of shit that was going on there, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:29] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:05:29] Like it was cows escaping.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:32] Cows escaping.
Chris Pfaff: [00:05:32] Breaking news.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:33] So how did you feel like I'm going to LA because people have been traveling out here for showbiz for, I don't know, a hundred years or something, close to it.
Chris Pfaff: [00:05:41] So similar, like people come here, the same way if you want to be an actor and you know you need to come to LA, there's really no other option. For I grew up skateboarding and skateboarding, it's the same way. LA is like the world capital of skateboarding. And it's where all the brands are. It's where all the famous skate spots are. It's where all the pros live. So I was just obsessed with skateboarding. So the next logical move was to move to LA. So I think from like age 14, I just knew the moment I graduate high school, I'm going to LA and I knew around like 16 I wasn't good enough to be a pro skateboarder even though that was my dream. So I was like whatever. I'll work at a skate shop, I'll film skaters, I'll do something. But I just like, I was so obsessed with skateboarding, I just followed that. So that's really what, you know -- it was that, and it was the same thing that we just talked about. Nothing's going on in Ohio and it was just like, “I need to get out of here.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:33] And it was either that in New York has winter, so it was like an easy choice.
Chris Pfaff: [00:06:36] Yeah. And New York isn't -- New York is like a fun place for people to go skateboard, but there's not that much of like the culture there. So I didn't really connect with New York. LA was like.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:46] Venice Beach and people hanging out.
Chris Pfaff: [00:06:48] Yeah, it was the end all be all. Like I always say, there will never be another city in my life that I like idolize as much as I did LA my entire childhood.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:58] Interesting. I feel you there. I do wonder though, like it sounds like you have the same, the same issue as me, where you're pulled by opportunity but maybe not by like a vision, more like a dream. Yes, for sure. Opportunity, yes, but I don't know if -- I didn't have a grand plan coming out. When I went to New York first I used to be an attorney, but then I left Ohio. It's like the same or I'm sorry, I left Michigan, you left Ohio.
Chris Pfaff: [00:07:21] Yep.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:22] Are you ever kind of jealous, and I rarely get a chance to ask this. Are you ever kind of jealous? Like you got your friends who you grew up with? They got married when they were like 22. They had kids when they were like 25. Their days are 9 to 5. They have kids. They're super happy. They're totally content with it. They didn't have to come out here, risk it all, get a clothing brand, go on TV, like go through all the ups and downs. Because when I go visit my family and a lot of them are like teachers and stuff, I'm like, “I'm a little jealous that, that's totally fine for them.” Because if I did that, I would be really like, I'd be antsy and itchy all the time. But it must be nice to be content with something that is more slow.
Chris Pfaff: [00:07:58] For sure. I think that the only part of it that I'm jealous of is like you just said, like the level of contentment, because for me, for whatever reason, it's just not that way. And so when I see those people or go visit or whatever, I think like, “How the heck is this possible?” Like “How is this your life?” And not to sound like I'm hating on anyone's life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:21] No, it’s not like that.
Chris Pfaff: [00:08:22] But it's like how was this what you do every day? But for them, there are perfectly happy, maybe happier than I am at 20, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:28] Exactly, that's what I'm saying.
Chris Pfaff: [00:08:29] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:30] Like you come in and they're like, “Hey, Drama, bad news. We're not getting that shipment in time. So make the shipment to the department store is going to be delayed and you got to talk to the CEO and he is pissed. Oh, and we lost $1 million.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:08:41] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:41] And you're just like, “Why didn't I become a gym teacher again?”
Chris Pfaff: [00:08:44] Exactly. It's so true. Yeah, I think that that feeling definitely exists, but I'm so like, I love what I do, and I genuinely love, especially right now in this life time period of my life, I'm super happy and really thankful that I get to do what I get to do and actually make money doing it. And I mean that, not in the corny, “ Oh, I love everything.” But so I'm happy and I'm just so glad -- I don't know, I know some people are content, but I think sometimes when I look at those people, I'm like, “Man, you don't realize what you were capable of. You don't realize what you could have done.” And like, “I know that you're happy but your life -- you could have been happy a little bit on a couple of different levels., you know if you would --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:28] Sure.
Chris Pfaff: [00:09:28] A lot of those people that I talk to genuinely spend time wondering what could have been. That's my biggest fear.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:37] That’s a little sad.
Chris Pfaff: [00:09:37] They seem happy. They seem happy when you go visit them and you compare your life. But like I know that those -- a lot of those people. Not all of them, but a lot of them do think like, “Oh, what if I would've done that thing?” And I don't ever want to have that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:49] Yeah. What do you think the differences between like was there a moment in your life where you're like, “I'm just going to start this.” It must've been after you got to LA where you went, “All right, I'm not just going to be getting clowned on this MTV reality show for three years,” and then that ends, and then you're just like working at a skate shop or something.
Chris Pfaff: [00:10:06] Yeah, my whole life kind of like how you said about like opportunity versus vision. My whole life has been a story of chasing opportunity and once I see it or get it, I create the vision and chase that. And so that was like moving to LA was with the goal of working at a skate shop or whatever. That was my dream. But then when I got here, I saw all of these people doing such amazing things.
I became close with my cousin Rob, who you know when we were growing up, we didn't really know each other. He moved out here when I was like three years old or something.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:37] Oh, he is that much older than?
Chris Pfaff: [00:10:38] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:39] So how old are you?
Chris Pfaff: [00:10:39] So I'm 31.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:40] Okay.
Chris Pfaff: [00:10:41] And I'm feeling really bad. I'm blanking, but I think he's like 45.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:45] Yeah, because he must be a little bit older than me as well.
Chris Pfaff: [00:10:48] Yeah. So he moved out here when he was -- number one, he grew up three hours away from me and then he moved out here when he was 16 and so I was three years old or something.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:55] Did he move out by himself?
Chris Pfaff: [00:10:57] Yeah. He moved out with a bunch of skater friends.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:58] Wow. I'm surprised his mom let him do that.
Chris Pfaff: [00:11:01] He didn't really, that's one thing about him, he's such a like go for it, do everything on your own time thing, and he's always been that way. So he dropped out of high school and came and just kind of said like “Parents, sorry.” And I think at the time they hated him for it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:14] Oh man, yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:11:15] But like then obviously it paid off.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:16] Sure.
Chris Pfaff: [00:11:16] So he's always been that way. But he came out like he was a super promising pro skateboarder, young skateboarder. And he came out to chase that dream with a couple of his friends and it paid off. But the point was, he grew up three hours away. He moved out here when I was three years old. So we didn't really know him. We just knew we had this cool skateboarder cousin that lived in LA. After I moved here, we ended up becoming super close and he ended up becoming like a big brother to me. And so then I saw everything he was doing and what was possible in that. This was before MTV. Then we start filming an MTV show. I see what's possible there. I started trying to get in on that, and so then like I said, I watched Big Black create a clothing line. I watched our friend create the brand Rogue Status with all the guns all over us.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:01] That was the bomb for a minute.
Chris Pfaff: [00:12:03] The bomb. So that was the one that really, I would say more than anything inspired me to start a brand was that one, because I watched Johan, the founder, make it -- he got Rob on board. Rob started wearing it on TV. It took off. Everyone loved it. He had this really cool culture around his brand down in Venice where they had a store and everyone would gather there. And it was just so cool. It was like a little gang. It was like the Rogue Status guys. And that really affected me and I spent a lot of time with him and whatever. So anyway, the point is I keep seeing these things that are possible and then I keep trying to find my way in and do it and blah, blah, blah. And that's kind of how it grew.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:12:43] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Chris “Drama” Pfaff. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:49] This episode is sponsored in part by Sport Clips. Now when the sponsor came across my desk, I was a little skeptical. I think we've all been to a chain barber shop and had a mediocre at best experience, but a with Sport Clips I thought this is kind of funny. I whirl in there for the haircut to try it out because I want to try everything that I recommend to you all, and the place is packed, not with people waiting, but with people who had already gotten a haircut watching the game on these enormous TVs that they have. They got a refrigerators, you can grab a drink, and the haircut was top notch. Of course, for guys who don't like to talk to their stylist, guys and gals for that matter, this is a great place because you got the TV kind of distracting you. I can't shut up. So I had a great conversation with Kate and she was really good, really experienced. And what I thought was really cool about Sport Clips was they actually keep a file on you. So it's like, ”All right, he wants a zero fade or zero one fade and hard part and then this and that and the other thing.” And they write this down and they put this in their computer system so that when you come back or if you go to another location, they can give you the same haircut. So if you get your hair cut in Chicago and then you happen to be in LA and you're doing something, the whole -- they've got your info there so you don't have to remember what it is that you get, and it's all standardized. And I thought that was really, really cool. So give them a shot.
There's over 1800 locations nationwide. You choose the cut and they cut the weight. SportClips.com/checkin. SportClips.com/checkin.
[00:14:15] This episode is also sponsored in part by The Great Courses Plus. Now being able to construct a strong persuasive argument can help all of us, which is why I highly recommend checking out The Great Courses Plus, they've got a course on argumentation, the study of effective reasoning and I went to law school so we talked a lot about what arguing is. It's not this sort of violent, emotional back and forth. These are great tools that can help you create opportunities for compromise, deliberation, mutual understanding both at work, even in personal situations, and with The Great Courses Plus, you can stream this and any of their thousands of lectures across virtually any topic. You can explore lectures on business, history, science, they've got grammar of new languages, photography, chess, whatever. New courses are added all the time and you can watch or listen from anywhere completely on your sched with The Great Courses Plus App, and I know you're going to get a lot out of The Great Courses Plus as well. Argumentation, let me know if you find something else in there and you've got sign up using our thegreatcoursesplus.com/jordan URL. That's where you get your free trial, thegreatcoursesplus.com/jordan.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:15:20] Don't forget we have a worksheet for today's episode so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways from Chris Pfaff. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. Thanks for listening and supporting the show. To learn more about our sponsors and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. If you'd like some tips on how to subscribe to the show just to go to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe, and now back to the show with Chris “Drama” Pfaff.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:48] I remember going to the Rogue Status store and they were out of everything because they couldn't make it fast enough.
Chris Pfaff: [00:15:54] No.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:54] At one point anyway to satisfy the demand, and that must have -- it's interesting to see how being around -- I advocate for this a lot. You only go as high as your five closest friends. It's like a Jim Rohn quote and a lot of people just say that to be like, “Oh, I watched YouTube videos of these people so they're rubbing off on me.” Maybe a little true, but you moving out here and being like, “Oh, I'm cool selling skate shoes and skateboards.” And then people who you think are kind of maybe like one rung above on the ladder, like Big Black. He had a different role with Rob's company, Rob Dyrdek, the pro skateboard. Who is your cousin though, just for the audience who's like, “Wait, who?”
Chris Pfaff: [00:16:28] Yeah, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:29] But he's not -- he wasn't a genius and Big Black, right?
Chris Pfaff: [00:16:34] Oh, yeah. It’s opportunity.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:36] And you're like, “Wait a minute. If he can start a clothing line. I can start a clothing line.
Chris Pfaff: [00:16:40] And I'll tell you this, I have never met and spoke to someone that I truly just thought this is a genius and this is completely out of my realm. Everyone -- and that may sound airy. I don't know what it sounds like, but everyone that I've sat and talked to, I've been like, “Damn, they are human too.” Like they're just somebody that had a vision, put in a lot of work and figured something out, and like “I'm capable of that.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:06] Definitely.
Chris Pfaff: [00:17:06] And I've never sat with anyone. I've never -- I've also never sat with like maybe Kanye West is a genius. I don't know. But I've never -- I've never sat with these with anyone and said, “Oh, they're just way above me.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:16] Yeah. Next level thinking.
Chris Pfaff: [00:17:17] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:18] I get some of that in the tech world when I kind of look up in Silicon Valley and they're like, “Okay, well I am not even on the same solar system.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:17:31] That's where the genius is are.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:32] Yeah, yeah. But when you're thinking of like a brand or somebody leverages publicity to create an opportunity that that's the oldest game in town in LA.
Chris Pfaff: [00:17:42] Absolutely. Nobody's like breaking the mold here. We're just reinventing and like I think, I don’t know, that's once again, why was a lot of the motivation for my podcast was because I just learned so much from sitting with someone and talking to them, and it's like usually after a conversation you feel a little bit more capable of doing something because it brings them down to Earth and you're like, like I said, it just -- it's kind of makes sense. It's like, “Oh, this is attainable.” And so I wanted to force myself to keep having those conversations and also spread them, but that's where I learned so much, but yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:14] How did you get the bug then to become an entrepreneur instead of just be like -- you could have just a lot -- and a lot of people would have just said, “Hey look, I'm on TV. This is pretty cool. Girls recognize me when I go out at night. This is as good as it gets.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:18:28] So two things. For me, I've learned at 31 years old that what I'm really addicted to more than anything isn't like clothing, isn't fashion, isn't money. It's just growth. It's just having something to attack in the morning and feeling like I did a decent job of doing it at night, and just constantly growing and evolving. And I think that that's what has led me through all of these different worlds and all these different things, and also on much more of like ground level being a reality star or a celebrity or whatever you want to call was just whack to me. It was always lame to me. It was never like, it was always a way to A, we were having an incredible time and having fun.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:07] Jumping in the foam pit.
Chris Pfaff: [00:19:08] Yeah. It was amazing. But it was -- what I'm saying is it was a way to launch other things and it was a way to launch businesses and to do all these different things. It was never -- there was never a point with anyone, any one of us that was -- well this is great because I'm going to be able to do so many more club appearances now. You know what I mean?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:26] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:19:27] Like that was never.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:28] I should be a DJ now.
Chris Pfaff: [00:19:28] Yeah. Like “How do I get on real world?” Like it was -- it was always a means to something else. Never the goal and I don't know why. Maybe that's our skater culture and maybe that's whatever it is, but the idea of walking around with -- on your business card having reality TV star was about the lamest thing in the world.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:45] Yeah, yeah. I can imagine that. Well, there's a reason that they have those like Celebrity Rehab or like Celebrity Boxing Matches and people watch because they're like, “Oh I love Tila Tequila. They're just like, I want to see her get punched in the face.
Chris Pfaff: [00:19:58] Absolutely. That is going to be the new YouTube, that's like the poles and the boxing each other now, and like YouTube is going to be the new -- it is the new reality TV. But the next thing is going to be like YouTube rehab. Your favorite YouTube stars are on crack.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:14] Yeah, no surprise there.
Chris Pfaff: [00:20:15] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:16] Yeah. Young and Reckless though as a brand is everywhere. Because of course when I first heard of it, probably on I don’t know Fantasy Factory when I was in law school or something like that, like up late at night, can't sleep, got finals, watching something like that. Now, it's everywhere. Is it surreal to walk through the mall and see your stuff hanging on a rack?
Chris Pfaff: [00:20:34] Yeah, it is. And I think that once again, this is not some like cool cliché comment. Like it's still when I go to especially like another state and see someone wearing it or something pops up. It just popped up this morning, Karrueche that celebrity chick, was wearing all Young and Reckless Active Wear to the gym and posting about it and that's still cool to me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:58] Sure.
Chris Pfaff: [00:20:59] Because it's still in like tabloids and I personally don't ever want to be in tabloids, but I want my clothing to be -- when I see it I get so excited. And that feeling, I mean sure, you get a little numb to like the little stuff just being honest. But like I think the feeling of someone wearing your stuff that you are so removed from so far away is like, it's one of the best feelings ever. It’s like--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:22] It's like somebody putting your art up and you see it in their house when you walk in, yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:21:27] Yeah. Or like someone, I'm sure for you, like someone coming up to you and saying, I loved this moment from this podcast and really changed my life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:33] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:21:34] That's the best feeling ever. It's like someone who has no obligation to do so is spending their time or money to support this thing you created in your brain. Like that's the best feeling ever.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:44] Yeah. We got an email a couple weeks ago from this guy was like, “I listened to your show every day. I have an eight hour walk,” or sorry, eight mile walk. I can't remember what it is. It's an eight something.
Chris Pfaff: [00:21:54] It's about the same thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:55] I think it's like eight, I think it was eight hours. It's like four hours each way to work. He was to walk there. He lives in India.
Chris Pfaff: [00:22:00] Wow!
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:01] And I was like, “Wow! That's a lot of my voice in your head every single day.” But he's like, “Yeah, it's a long ass walk.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:22:07] And in India.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:07] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:22:07] Like “What the hell, man?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:09] It's crazy.
Chris Pfaff: [00:22:09] It's the best feeling ever. And it's not like a friend of a friend or like “Hey, you know--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:14] So her mom told you to look at your clothes. So I bought a t-shirt at Macy’s.
Chris Pfaff: [00:22:17] Exactly. Like don't get me wrong. That's great. But it's like somebody who has no obligation, they chose to give you that time or money. It's cool.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:24] Yeah. But it was the plan all along for you, right?
Chris Pfaff: [00:22:27] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:27] This wasn't a surprise. It is worked out. It was the plan.
Chris Pfaff: [00:22:30] Yeah. And that's why everyone asks me like, “Do you think it would ever -- did you ever think it would get this big?” The answer to that is yes, because when you're planning it, you're planning how to make the next biggest clothing line in the world. Like that's what you're game planning for, and then at the same time when it actually starts to work and connect and like I said, it gets a life of its own and these weird things started happening. It's just cool. It was so cool. So yes, I planned for it, but at the same time it's amazing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:56] Could have also not worked out.
Chris Pfaff: [00:22:57] I mean there's a trillion different ways it could not work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:00] Right. The whole place is like, and you can tell this as a clothing company in the office where we're in if you're listening only because there's clothing everywhere.
Chris Pfaff: [00:23:07] Everywhere.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:07] And it's something about that, I don't know what it is, but you know when you go in like an art studio, there's paint everywhere, there's canvas everywhere, there's metal everywhere. When somebody's making something, there's wires everywhere, there's wood everywhere, there's metal everywhere. But when you go to like somebody who's not really doing much, they're offices clean.
Chris Pfaff: [00:23:24] Oh pristine.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:24] They've got like a couple shirts and a frame that like, that's our product right there. They got some bobbleheads on a shelf through.
Chris Pfaff: [00:23:30] True.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:30] This place you can tell sells a lot of clothes because you're like, it's all but tripping over boxes full of new stuff.
Chris Pfaff: [00:23:36] I'm going to be honest, it drives me nuts. I'm glad you put it that way because it made me feel a little bit better about the mess. But like I have it on my to do list, like to completely re-vamp the office, paint and put up new logos and whatever. And I keep asking everyone like, isn't there just a side room somewhere where we can put all of these things and there just isn't.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:55] They're like, sure. Have someone else do it.
Chris Pfaff: [00:23:58] Yeah. It sucks, man. I just want -- I want the cool pristine office. It just, I don’t know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:03] But I don't know, man. There's something about like, it's that energy of being in a place that's doing the work. It's like a factory where the machines are running.
Chris Pfaff: [00:24:10] You're right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:10] Versus where it's quiet.
Chris Pfaff: [00:24:12] You're right, yeah. There's a lot of clothing being made in here. I can promise you that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:15] Yeah. You could tell.
Chris Pfaff: [00:24:16] Maybe not much else.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:17] Yeah, yeah. You do draw the line well between being a celebrity that sells products and an entrepreneur though. And that was one thing I wanted to highlight because there are a lot of reality people or celebrities in general that sell products, but you decided to actively ditch that and become the business owner. And I think that's important, especially for a lot of these young guys, man, who are watching all of these YouTubers, and they're like, “Yeah, I'm getting out there and working, doing all this, I'm building up my Instagram,” and it's like build up your product, do the thing that you actually need to sell first. Not just tell people about how you do it.
Chris Pfaff: [00:24:50] Yeah, it's true. And I bailed on being a celebrity because there is no -- like I said, there was -- I have never considered myself a celebrity. Calling myself a celebrity sounds insane, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:01] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:25:02] And I've never considered myself that way. I've never done anything to try to grow that path in my life. It just was never cool to me, and the thing that's cool to me is this. I think YouTubers and influencers are great. I think it's great what they're doing. I think that the whole thing is awesome, but I get to pay lots of influencers to wear my product, not just be that one influencer hoping for the next little check to get by. And I think that it's easy the same way it was with reality stars and celebrities from you growing up. It's easy for kids nowadays to look at YouTube and Instagram people and say, “Oh, but they're famous. They have so many followers. They get so many likes. People love them. They must be rich.” And like you don't realize that a lot of these guys are struggling to get by and to get their next photo next to a Ferrari to make it look like they're rich. And it's just not as good of a life as it really see.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:59] It is smoke and mirrors, man.
Chris Pfaff: [00:26:00] It is.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:01] But I get the allure because it is hard to remember that the person who rented a house, rented a car, and is doing a seminar on how to teach you to do the same thing. It's like “Please, I hope these guys come to the seminar because otherwise I'm going to have to move back into my mom's basement.” And that's not an exaggeration. There are a lot of people I know that literally they live with five other dudes filming YouTube videos every day, editing all day. They put it out there and they're like, “I need 100,000 views this week or I'm not going to be able to pay rent.” Like that's a real thing.
Chris Pfaff: [00:26:29] It’s so true. And like I just -- that life never was attractive to me. And before I even knew the reality though.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:37] Oh, I was going to say that you saw the reality of it.
Chris Pfaff: [00:26:39] I just think like the idea of your main focus being yourself and like how well known can I get, didn't seem like a cool thing to me. I wanted to have a business. I wanted to have something legit. I wanted a product. I wanted something that I could be proud of, that I made, that could then take on a life of its own and be something, not like, “Okay, yeah, I'm going to have to date a celebrity because I need to get my followers up.” You know what I mean? I don't want that to be my business plan for the week.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:07] Yeah. That's funny. I never even thought about that. That must be what goes through people's minds. Like, “Oh, we need you to date?” Like their publicists talk over lunch and they're like, “You should date Brittany Spears. It'll be over in a month.” You never have to actually hang out, just get a photos.
Chris Pfaff: [00:27:21] I mean that happens all day long. They'll plan like to just go get photographed at a dinner together because like, there's a movie coming out or whatever.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:27] Oh, that makes sense? Is there a romance between these two co-stars? And they're like, “Oh, let's let people think that until the box office closes.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:27:34] That's planned all day long. And what you're seeing now is like these little influencers are like so smart that they're doing similar things. There's like relationship drama, who's dating who, and like, “Yeah, oh my God, let's go live and taunt everyone.” Like really interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:47] And I think a lot of people that listen to these types of shows are looking for business tips but they're kind of secretly hoping to apply them in that realm. And I think it's a fair warning for people to give them a reality check when it comes to this. Because it is not easy, it's not glamorous and once you get there you're like, “Oh crap, I didn't build anything.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:28:03] Yes. And I want to be clear too, to all the listeners, because there probably are a lot of people like that. It's like I do think that in 2018, you absolutely have to have a connection with your customer. And you should be documenting and showing building your business and the struggles that it takes and what you learned today and what you didn't -- what you failed at today. And I do think that when you finally come to launch a product, having a built in audience that really believes in you and what you're doing is more important than ever. But it's just like don't front, you can't build this audience as a front because it's going to come out. The truth is going to come out, it's going to screw you over. You're going to end up having to decide between, well, do I spend all my time being an influencer or being an entrepreneur? And you're never going to win either of those. So it's like there is a fine line.
I do think you should document and you should have a good YouTube page or Instagram page or a really cool podcast or whatever it is, but just not famous for the sake of famous.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:03] Sure.
Chris Pfaff: [00:29:04] That's where it's a dead end.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:05] I heard you text your mom every morning. Is that's true?
Chris Pfaff: [00:29:07] I do. I sure do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:08] Why do you do that?
Chris Pfaff: [00:29:09] I do that because -- so I went through like, well it's kind of an ongoing thing, but starting about two years ago, I really started focusing a lot on like myself and like how to do better. I felt like it's a really long story that I'm making sure. But I felt like I kind of crashed, I felt I had used up all the tools, personal tools that I had to stay sane in this crazy world. I'm trying to do what I'm doing and I just felt depleted and over everything and depressed and whatever. And so I really kind of felt like I started from scratch and built up routines and read a bunch of books on optimization and really habit formation and all these different things. And one of the biggest things that I did was created a daily routine that I do every day no matter what. And the goal of that routine is so that if I get my butt kicked at work or I get the worst news ever, whatever, still all of these things were accomplished and still I don't have that bad of a day. I don't feel like that much of a loser. And it allows me the next day to get up with a little bit more energy and keep going because you at least accomplished something. So one of those things on the list was texting my mom and that came from like I don't know, I just don't talk to my mom enough.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:26] Yeah, sure. [indiscernible] [00:30:27] problem.
Chris Pfaff: [00:30:26] I have a great relationship. Exactly. I have a great relationship with her. I love her to death. But I would talk to her once every four, five, six days. And I know that, that’s really hard on her. And she would never say anything, she just lets me do whatever. So I just realized, hey, why not put that on my to do list. The same as like drink enough water, just make sure you text your mom. It's so easy to do, but we need those reminders. So now every morning when I wake up, it's the first thing I do is I say, “Hey, I love you. Hope you have a great day. What's going on? Anything out of the ordinary?” And usually it's a two second exchange and we move on, but it's just created like it's genuinely created a stronger relationship with my mom and I feel better about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:07] I love the idea. I feel like if I texted my mom every day, she'd find 158 text once and go, “Oh, I just saw this. Thanks honey.” I'm going to teach my mom how to text first.
Chris Pfaff: [00:31:18] 100 percent but at least you, I don’t know. To me there was like this, I felt better that I had done it. It was off my plate.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:26] So it doesn't even matter if she replies or not.
Chris Pfaff: [00:31:27] No. Because like you did, like one of my things was I just want to be a good son. So by texting my mom every day, it's selfish. I feel like a good son. And so whether she decides to respond to me or it doesn't respond for a week, I can sleep well knowing that I'm a good son.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:42] Got it. Check the boxes.
Chris Pfaff: [00:31:45] Yeah, yeah, check.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:31:47] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Chris Pfaff. We'll be right back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:52] This episode is also sponsored by DesignCrowd. Crowdsourcing is how people get stuff done in the 21st century. And thanks to DesignCrowd, you can focus on running your business while handing over the reigns for your company's logo, web design, t-shirt, you name it, to a pool of over 600,000 professional designers from around the world. DesignCrowd crowdsources custom work based on your specifications and you pick the design you like best. Really is that simple. So here's the deets. Visit designcrowd.com/jordan, post a brief describing what you want from the art you need. DesignCrowd invites over 600,000 designers from Sydney to San Francisco to responded within hours. Your first designs will start rolling in and over the course of three to 10 days, a typical project, we'll receive 60 to a 100 or even more different design pieces from designers around the world. You pick the one you like, you approve payment, and in the unlikely event that you don't like any of the submitted designs, DesignCrowd offers and money back guarantee.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:45] Check out designcrowd.com/jordan. That's D-E-S-I-G-N-C-R-O-W-D.com/jordan, for a special $100 VIP offer for our listeners or simply enter the discount code JORDAN when posting a project on DesignCrowd.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:59] By the way, everybody, I'm looking for some creative spaces in which to record the show. They have to be quiet spaces of course, but I'm going to New York, Los Angeles on the regular. I do hit other big cities as well. San Francisco especially. So if you are the manager of a hotel and you've got an art space that's open during the day, or if you have a cool bar that has a private room that's actually really quiet during the daytime or in the early evening, something like that. This is great. We've gotten a lot of emails from people who have really nice homes, managed bars and other venues that are mostly empty during the day except for a couple of staff, et cetera. This is really great. We're going to be doing a lot of video this coming year and so I do the interviews in person and if I don't have to rent a sound studio but can have a kind of cool unique space that's not so sterile, it really is great.
So if you have something like that, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. These are super helpful. We'd love to hang out with you there as well. If it's your spot and take you out to lunch or something like that as well. You can meet the guests of the show of course. And Jen and I will be there. So if you have a great space and it's quiet enough during the day while we're there, email@example.com thanks so much.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:34:09] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. You're support of our advertisers is what keeps us on the air. And don't forget we have worksheets for today's episode. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast, and if you'd like to leave us a review or rating on your favorite podcast player of choice, head on over to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe to get some deets on how to do that. And now for the conclusion of our interview with Chris Pfaff.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:33] All right, so I wanted to dive in a little bit on some practical advice as well because there's a lot of younger people who want to get their foot in the door of like any industry at all. And you had some opportunity because Rob Dyrdek’s assistant quit and you are busy being the -- I don’t know, the butt of the joke on the show.
Chris Pfaff: [00:34:52] Sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:52] And then he offered you this job.
Chris Pfaff: [00:34:55] But that was opposite. He offered me the job, then the show came by.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:59] Oh, I didn’t realize that.
Chris Pfaff: [00:35:00] I'd be like the butt of the joke because --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:02] That was after that. So you've got demoted--
Chris Pfaff: [00:35:04] Demoted.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:06] Pick up and drop.
Chris Pfaff: [00:35:07] Yes, because what's funny is I was just -- so here's what happened, think about it this way. I'm his assistant genuinely, legitimately like sweeping his floors and doing his laundry. Now all of a sudden the TV show gets picked up, which I wasn't even supposed to be a part of. And naturally because they're trying to film and I'm trying to mop the floors, it becomes, “Hey, come here a little dummy.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:24] Oh, God!
Chris Pfaff: [00:35:26] You know, and then so that came.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:27] Back when it was real reality TV and they weren't scripting everything.
Chris Pfaff: [00:35:31] Yeah. And so for me it was like I would come into a scene, get -- made fun of -- it sounds so terrible, but made fun of, joke around, ha, ha, ha. And then like, “Okay, go back down and do the laundry.” And like I legitimately did, I would go back downstairs, do more laundry. “Hey, come up here. We need you.” Do a thing, go back, that was my life for a little bit.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:50] So the misery on your face, the and the shots.
Chris Pfaff: [00:35:53] It’s authentic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:54] Yeah, that's so sad.
Chris Pfaff: [00:35:57] That was real.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:00] I think a lot of young people are like allergic to doing the real work. You know, they don't want to -- they want to be a 19 year old Instagram influencer like we just mentioned. But nobody wants to throw the towels in the laundry, nobody wants to mop up the coffee that somebody threw at somebody else on the set. Or in your case rub, was it icy hot on Big Blacks like bare ass.
Chris Pfaff: [00:36:20] Yep, absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:21] Nobody wants to do that.
Chris Pfaff: [00:36:22] No, they don't. I do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:24] Yeah, maybe back then.
Chris Pfaff: [00:36:26] I don't mind. I think that's almost like the number one thing that sends people on the wrong path. It's like you cannot take yourself too serious ever. I still do the equivalent of rubbing Icy Hot on Big Blacks butt, today with my life now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:42] I was wondering about that.
Chris Pfaff: [00:36:43] Yes. And you can't -- and everyone that I have ever met that is at least like, I want to be, entrepreneurs or CEOs or whatever, do that. You can't ever take yourself too serious. You can never be too cool to take the trash out. You can never be too cool to stay there last. You can never -- you just can't. The moment you do, it's over. The only people who can do that are celebrities. And if you want to sit and bet your whole life on becoming a celebrity, you might as well play the lottery. It's just not a good -- there is no path to that. There's no like, I don’t know, it's just not a good path. And so I think for any young person out there who really trying to figure it out, you really have to drop all ego and taking yourself too serious and all those things and just get in there, do what needs to be done and learn. It’s so important.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:30] It seems like you had your eyes open to different opportunities as they arose, because it wasn't just like, “Oh, I'm on this TV show.” I should either get another TV show. Even if the celebrity thing didn't appeal to you, you could have easily have done, I mean you could've just worked at MTV or there was a million paths that you could have theoretically followed. And I wonder what you think about the advice you and I were kind of riffing on like bad entrepreneur, bad life advice before we started filming.
Chris Pfaff: [00:37:57] Oh, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:57] But like a lot of people go like, “Follow your dreams. Get after it. You can do whatever you want.” It seems like people get really focused on the dream or their vision, and then all these opportunities whiz by their head and they wake up and their vision doesn't work out and they missed every train that was thrown at them.
Chris Pfaff: [00:38:14] It's so true. And I think like, I hate the dream stuff.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:21] The quotes where you're standing on a beach and there's a quote superimpose on you, an Instagram quote.
Chris Pfaff: [00:38:25] Like we can all dream. I don't -- because what I think that it encourages is you to come up with this big grand thing of what you're going to be one day with no plan of how to get there or what that really means, and then you're stuck. Like you don't know what to do tomorrow and you just wonder why slowly your dream is getting away from you and you're having to get a job and now your spirit is crushed, and then you have to do this thing and now life starts hitting you really hard and you're like, where the hell did my dream? I think that like, I'm really big on setting goals and whether that be like getting super clear on what you really want, financially, be honest, be realistic. What do you need financially to truly make yourself happy? Don't just say rich with five Ferrari's. That's not a goal, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:13]Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:39:15] And then breaking down, how do you go about that? What are opportunities available to you now to get you one step closer to that? And I've noticed in life that every time, you may not know the whole plan, you may not know how to get all the way up the mountain, but you know what the next step is. You always know what the next step is and when you take that next step, five more things open up and then you take that next step and then there's five more. And it's almost like this path that reveals itself as you grow. And I just think it's so important to think about it that way and to focus on taking the next step and not like looking up at this Mount Everest sand.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:49] Yeah, when do I get to the tunnel?
Chris Pfaff: [00:39:50] Yeah, one day I'm going to be Beyoncé.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:52] I think, I think that's really useful because there's no way he could have designed this path, which is what prompted that question. You moved to LA from Akron, get on MTV. You didn't know that was going to happen. You didn't know that that was going to evolve into the clothing line, but you had your eyes open for that opportunity. You didn't know that you were going to be able to jump into a podcast and someone was going to start Instagram and that they was going to take off with the MTV generation of which you were then front and center on the new show, fantasy factory, and everything else. And then your brand was going to be a hit. Like you can't plan that.
Chris Pfaff: [00:40:22] No, but that's a lot of what's the next steps?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:25] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:40:25] That's where that came from.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:27] One foot in front of the other [indiscernible] [00:40:28]
Chris Pfaff: [00:40:28] Yeah. It came from getting your ass kicked multiple times and thinking it's all over and thinking this sucks and there's no point in any of this. And then he's always, what is the next step? And it just leads you into this thing, but if I told you I was sitting in Ohio looking at cows dreaming up this exact life, I'd be lying.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:43] Yeah, of course.
Chris Pfaff: [00:40:44] No nowhere close.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:45] How is making it, and I put that in air quotes from those of you that cannot see me. How has making it changed from when we were younger to now? Because you remember back then? I mean MTV, I don't know how that worked, but some agent or production company was like, “Hey, how about a show about this?” And then that evolved and that gatekeeper got handled. And then the MTV went through their whole testing process and that gatekeeper got handled them, they got it on the network and the TV providers, and that gatekeeper got handled, and dot, dot, dot profit. But that's not how it works anymore.
Chris Pfaff: [00:41:14] It's not.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:15] you don't have to hit HBO to have a comedy show.
Chris Pfaff: [00:41:17] Yeah. Which is interesting because I think that like the good news, so I think you're 100 percent right. And I think in almost every field, even if you're selling product, there is no more gatekeepers. And if you're trying to be a celebrity, there's no more gatekeepers, comedian, whatever it is. There's no more gatekeepers almost across the board. The good news is there's no one like not giving you your shot, and that's great. And it used to be, I'm sure heartbreaking for people who had this great show idea and you're pitching to HBO and pitching all these plays that keeps getting shut down. That sucks. And it's the gatekeepers are to blame. The bad news is there's nobody to blame. It's on you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:55] Right, yeah now if you fail, it's like, “Well you didn't do everything, all these things right.
Chris Pfaff: [00:41:59] Like you can't, like for me, when I started Young and Reckless, the big thing I remember day one we had to get PacSun.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:06] Pacific Sunwear.
Chris Pfaff: [00:42:06] Pacific Sunwear, the retailer.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:09] Retailer, okay.
Chris Pfaff: [00:42:09] because they were perfect for us and they would be the key to this brand exploding, and they were. But we have to go meet with the buyers, we have to convince them, we have to show them everything we're going to do. And if they buy this and just let us in the door for a hundred door test, we're off to the races, and that's what happened. Now that doesn't exist. Now you start a website, you build it up, you market it on your social media, you do all that stuff and you start to move units yourself and then if you can prove that you can really move a lot of units, maybe a retailer will come in and help out.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:39] But it's a value add. It's not the business.
Chris Pfaff: [00:42:41] It’s not the business anymore. It is completely gone. It's why the trade shows are dead. Trade shows used to be the craziest thing in apparel and that's all the retailers come in to meet with all the brands and they're making orders and dreams are coming true and dreams are getting shattered. They're gone. They're literally, it's gone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:57] Sounds too intense for me actually.
Chris Pfaff: [00:42:58] Exactly. It was insane. I mean back in the day, even before my time, it was crazy. But the point is those are gone. If you go walk around a trade show now it is absolutely crickets because the thing that's working are things like Complex Con where consumers can directly come by from the brands.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:14] What is that? What is Complex Con?
Chris Pfaff: [00:43:15] So the trade shows where all the retailers come set up a booth and show all their new collections and buyers from around the country or the world come look and decide if they want to buy for their stores or not. What Complex Con did for this new age is they set it up where the retailers still come put up booths and have new product and do exclusive releases, but it's consumers that are coming in and they can buy directly from all these brands. So it's just this really cool like direct to consumer festival where they have performances and they have all this stuff and that's the new model. The retailers coming to buy for spring 19 is just gone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:54] Yeah. That's interesting.
Chris Pfaff: [00:43:55] So to answer, sorry, to answer your question is like it's all on you now and it's up to you to figure out what's your thing? What's your product? What's your gimmick? What's your skit? What's your whatever? How are you going to push it? How are you going to constantly be DMing people, trying to get people to support you? How are you going to like, it's really on you. No, there are no gatekeepers to blame, but there's no gatekeepers that's going to come save your life either and blow this thing out of the water.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:22] So yeah, that is double sided, right? Because--
Chris Pfaff: [00:44:24] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:25] If you were -- if you got selected, you got anointed by this gatekeeper, you were like, “Yes!”
Chris Pfaff: [00:44:29] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:29] I've made it. Where there. It's going to be hard to knock us off now off the top of the mountain. But now you have to get to the top of the mountain yourself, and theoretically you could fall at any time, but you have, everyone has a democratized chance to get there. You don't have to even be out in LA. It does help to be around it, but you don't have to be in a big city at all.
Chris Pfaff: [00:44:52] No.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:52] You could build up a following if you have a really great product and if you know what you're doing.
Chris Pfaff: [00:44:55] Yeah. We just talked about that the other day actually on one of my podcasts where like one business that is absolutely killing it right now is this business called StockX.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:05] What is that?
Chris Pfaff: [00:45:06] It's an online, it's an app and obviously a site and they sell -- they are the middleman for sneaker reselling.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:13] Okay.
Chris Pfaff: [00:45:13] So if you buy like some super exclusive expensive pair of shoes from a third party reseller, they middleman it. So they put it on their site, the reseller ships it to them, they make sure that it's new, it's real, it's all that stuff--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:27] Oh, interesting.
Chris Pfaff: [00:45:27] And then they send it to the buyer. That's the point of all that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:30] [indiscernible][00:45:30] Any issues, yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:45:30] Exactly. The point of all that is they're in Detroit. They're based out of Detroit and they're selling all the coolest stuff and they're in the game and they're in street wear and pop culture and they are murdering it. They're in Detroit because you're able to do that now, because of the internet, because of social media, because of all that stuff. So a guy in Detroit can go around, raise money, figure it out, build this awesome platform, have now the biggest thing in streetwear.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:55] And if you need a warehouse in Detroit, it is cheap.
Chris Pfaff: [00:45:57] Cheap. Great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:59] Money, we got plenty of room back home in Detroit, man.
Chris Pfaff: [00:46:02] So yeah, that's the interesting, it's happening across all platforms.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:06] You also mentioned, and I can't remember where I got this, it must've been one of your other episodes, but the days of doing one big thing and making it are gone. It's like building blocks now, brick by brick. And I think the example you gave was, it's not about, and we were talking about this before we started filming, it's not about having one player or one celebrity on your show. You have to do like a thousand of those and they have to consistently be good. And then people start to realize, “Oh, this person does quality media. This person has quality clothing. They have quality shoes.” You can't just -- the breakout hit is rare.
Chris Pfaff: [00:46:41] Yep, it's so true. I think it used to be a lot more like the same as the gatekeeper thing. It used to be you could kind of get this one big hit thing that would carry you for a long time. And now that media and content and everything, everything in the world is so disposable. It's more about like, “Hey, I follow Jordan because I like Jordan.” I don't really care who he's going to have on his podcasts. I trust that it's going to be good because I like you. It's the reason why people love like Joe Rogan so much. He can have Elon Musk or some UFC fighter and your people are going to listen to both.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:13] Right, yeah. Probably get almost the same number of place.
Chris Pfaff: [00:47:15] Yeah. And so that's the thing is like what are -- what can you do consistently almost every day that has some substance to it and some depth to it? And you're not relying on a celebrity or a gatekeeper or being anointed or any of these things that are just going to skyrocket you. It's what can you do consistently and slowly build a following? Even in clothing, like one of the biggest things is used to go, we'd go right now and shoot our Spring 2019 Campaign, and then we'd be done with photos for three months and then you'd go shoot Summer, right? Now we need a new photo shoot every day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:53] Really?
Chris Pfaff: [00:47:54] Absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:55] Oh my God!
Chris Pfaff: [00:47:55] We shoot everyday something. So every day there's a photographer here, people are coming by the office. We're going downstairs, we're getting resourceful, trying to find some good scenery behind the building. Something to constantly have stuff on our story, on our feet or whatever.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:10] Is that what this guy, oh, the guy was here before?
Chris Pfaff: [00:48:12] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:13] Man.
Chris Pfaff: [00:48:14] He does video and that and podcast. He's a Jack of all trade.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:17] That dude's busy, man.
Chris Pfaff: [00:48:17] Yeah, very.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:18] He needs -- he needs a raise. You're welcome.
Chris Pfaff: [00:48:20] He can hear you. He's right up there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:21] Yeah, I know he can. Yeah, he's got the black magic box out there and he's like, “Yes. Jordan's awesome. Thank you.”
Chris Pfaff: [00:48:25] Thank you. Go, Jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:26] Yeah. Tell them again. I don't think you heard you.
Chris Pfaff: [00:48:28] That’s that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:28] Yeah, yeah. So you mentioned the media landscape's fragmenting. There's no more gatekeepers. In that same spirit, it seems like the biggest -- so what's the biggest competition for Young and Reckless? It's not from Nike then. It's not from some streetwear brand is from some random YouTuber coming out with like their own merch in your backyard.
Chris Pfaff: [00:48:46] Yeah, I'll tell you what it is. It used to be our direct competitors in street wear. It was really easy to tell who they were. Now it's a combination of H&M, Topshop, Forever 21, Logan Paul’s merch, the New Travis Scott merch.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:03] [indiscernible] yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:49:02] The new Amazon.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:03] Sure.
Chris Pfaff: [00:49:04] It's like there -- and now it's from all sides, because you can get good inexpensive jeans and blank t-shirts and stuff like that from H&M, you want the -- maybe you want the merch shirt from the YouTuber or from artist or whatever. And it's just super kind of fragmented and all over the place. And like I said, I mean once again, the good news is it allows you to kind of operate in your own world and not really care about direct competition and just say, “Okay, let's just build our people and our audience.” The bad thing is you don’t -- you're not even sure where the enemy's coming from.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:36] Yeah, yeah. You can come from -- you're looking at -- you don't have to look at three or four brands anymore. It's not like, remember when we were kids it was like Airwalk, Vision Street Wear.
Chris Pfaff: [00:49:46]. Yeah, like Stussi.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:47] Yes Stussi. Oh my God!
Chris Pfaff: [00:49:48] It was so clear, and it was like, “Oh, we got Macy's.” “Oh, they don't have it.” “Oh we got Dillard's. They don't have it.” Like it was that. Now it's like, I don't know, you could be buying, Lily Pond’s merch or something. I don't know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:00] Like they made 500 copies of this shirt, and then when he gets those done, he's going to do 500 more. And you're like, “Man, you're selling this similar design for probably not cheaper, but you got this dedicated audience that wants to buy yours because now you've become like the man. You're like the corporate guy now.
Chris Pfaff: [00:50:20] Absolutely. That’s really funny how it works.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:22] That is funny, yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:50:22] Because it is like now when we talked to these like influencers and stuff and like talk about collaborations, they look at us as like doing a deal with a big corporation.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:31]Oh, let me call the legal department.
Chris Pfaff: [00:50:32] Yeah. It’s like man, it's really, I mean there's like 30 people here, but clothes everywhere. But yeah, it’s interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:37] Yeah, literally just you can't get around. How do you protect your brand when the barrier to entry is zero? Like we -- the way I protect the Jordan Harbinger Show is I try to create better content for a smarter audience and do it over and over and over. It takes a lot more work. That's got to be a similar strategy.
Chris Pfaff: [00:50:53] Yeah, it is. I mean, it's the same thing in the podcast as it is with the clothing and it's like, you just have to be honest. You used to be able to kind of lie and use smoke and mirrors and that was called good marketing. Let's make it look like, but now you have to honestly -- we try to make the best clothing for the most affordable price that we can possibly bear. Connect with the audience, tell them why we're doing it. Like we just started a vlog, that's just what goes on in the office every day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:25] I see you're one ahead of D on the vlog off.
Chris Pfaff: [00:51:27] There you go, and I won, that's over, and I won.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:28] Oh, it’s over.
Chris Pfaff: [00:51:29] Yeah. And now I get to design a billboard of D, an embarrassing billboard and put it up on Melrose and Fairfax.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:36] So it’s like is that going to be kind of -- he's got to pass that every day on the way to the office?
Chris Pfaff: [00:51:40] Yep. Super embarrassing. But that's how we like to encourage each other to like try to make some content. So, but like we just started that, we're just constantly trying to do things to say, “Well, you follow us for a reason.” Whether it's because you like my podcast and you know that I do the brand, or maybe you like the office blog, or maybe you like the way our denim, whatever. There's a few different ways to kind of come in, but everyone, you have to be able to explain why it is actually good. You can't just lie better anymore.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:10] Yeah, that's true. Because people expect that spontaneous reality stuff now and it's like you can't really fake and it doesn't -- it's too obvious because everybody else doing real stuff. You can't pull the wool over, there's too many people doing similar stuff.
Chris Pfaff: [00:52:24] You can't. And it's like we can't like -- our jeans, we started making jeans like a year or so ago. They were a massive success and the problem is we do everything we can to make them as affordable as humanly possible without them like being pieces of crap, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:40] Right, falling off, yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:52:40] The thing is you can, well, I'll never be able to hit the same price as H&M. I just won't, I don't have factories and all this stuff they have.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:48] Owning your own factory in China.
Chris Pfaff: [00:52:50] Exactly, I just can't compete with that. So there has to be something that we do that is better than them and the reason why you're going to pay 10 bucks more, but you just have to have those things on everything you do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:02] What's this thing about, you had a run in with the Hell's Angels? What's going on here?
Chris Pfaff: [00:53:06] Oh man, I get scared even when you bring it up. What happened was, this was probably like five years ago, this is when I was filming Fantasy Factory. The way that it would work is before every season we would advance print samples for me of the shirts that were going to be in stores while we were filming -- when the show air.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:26] Oh, so that you can get the stuff that's in the store now on TV kind of at the same time.
Chris Pfaff: [00:53:33] Exactly. So we just printed early, it's like six months or something. We'd print just three of each for me early. It would be sitting in my office during the whole time of filming and I would only pull from that box and then wear that on the show. So I just pulled the box and where in the shirts throughout the whole filming of the show, not thinking anything of it. And it happens to be this one shirt that looks like, I don't know, like a Guns and Roses knock off.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:58] Sure, Guns and Roses knock off, all right.
Chris Pfaff: [00:54:00] Yeah, why not, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:01] Yeah.
Chris Pfaff: [00:54:02] So I'm wearing it all over the show. I love it. Cool logo. I wear it all over the show. And sure enough, it ends up that it was not a Guns and Roses knockoff. It was the exact Hell's Angels logo. But instead of saying Hell's Angels, it just said reckless youth, I think. And so here I am.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:21] Literally reckless that move, not checking your designs.
Chris Pfaff: [00:54:23] Yeah. Just asking to just be murdered. So I wear all of this show, I think -- I think at first came to me when like some of the press photos started coming out and people started reaching out saying, “Hey, not a good idea. What are you doing?” What I didn't realize is, and congrats to them, the Hell's Angels are the most diligent trademark protectors of any brand --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:44] Really?
Chris Pfaff: [00:54:45] I have ever known. And if you do a quick search and look up trademark infringement Hell's Angels, they'd go after everyone and they win and they attack instantly. And I definitely saw that and they definitely made it very known that we knocked off their shirt and that's unacceptable. And there was a couple close issues.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:10] Clothes calls.
Chris Pfaff: [00:55:11] Yeah. There was one time coming out of a club where a guy grabbed me and said, “Hey, what's up with the shirt and blah, blah, blah?” And it just so happened to be so crowded and there was people around me or whatever. And I was like, “Man, I'm so sorry. I had no idea.” But I mean, I really went through, I called a couple of guys and I did everything I could to say, “Hey man, I honestly didn't mean to disrespect you guys.” But it was one of the scarier timeframes of running a clothing brand.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:34] You’re like not only am I getting sued for trademark infringement, I'm going to get my teeth kicked in or something for.
Chris Pfaff: [00:55:40] Multiple times. And there were people, like one time a friend called and said like, “Hey, did you get your ass kick yet?” And I was like, “What?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00: 55:45] Because I'm not coming over until that's over.
Chris Pfaff: [00:55:47] Yeah. And he was like, no, because I talked to a couple of people like in San Francisco or whatever, and they said that they were coming to a beach or whatever. And I was like, “Dude!”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:53] When did they leave? How much time have right now?
Chris Pfaff: [00:55:56] Yeah. It was so weird. But yeah, thank God. Thank you everyone. That gave me a pass on that. I got out safely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:03] Yeah. Wow. So I take it that shirt is not -- did not get released.
Chris Pfaff: [00:56:07] That shirt was so buried and I had to go through it. Here's what I actually had to do. So luckily, the shirt never came out because I had it early. The bad news is the skinny white guy is wearing it all over TV. So I had to pay MTV extra to blur it on every episode.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:25] Oh.
Chris Pfaff: [00:56:25] So you'll see --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:27] Like there's like a blur fee?
Chris Pfaff: [00:56:27] Yeah. Because they were like, we can blur it, but it's not our problem.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:30] Oh true.
Chris Pfaff: [00:56:31] Like what did we do?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:32] We got to go back in and edit this. It's like yeah, $1,000 an hour or something.
Chris Pfaff: [00:56:36] Yeah. And I think they checked with their legal or whatever and it wasn't a liability for them, so it was just all on us. So I was like, “Well we'll pay it.” So I paid to have it blurred on it, but it was, I am so stupid. I would print my favorite graphics and put them on the wall in my office and it was right behind my desk, was a print of that graphic. So the whole season, they had to blur the print behind me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:59] Every single episode.
Chris Pfaff: [00:57:00] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:01] Oh, man.
Chris Pfaff: [00:57:02] But yeah, it was a nightmare. I was definitely -- listen guys, if anyone's out there starting a brand or anything, I understand that knocking people off. It's like part of the game. Just don't ever choose the Hell's Angels. Leave them alone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:11] Yeah, yeah knock off somebody else.
Chris Pfaff: [00:57:13] Anyone else?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:14] Somebody less dangerous.
Chris Pfaff: [00:57:15] Literally anyone else.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:16] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because it you think like getting sued. Oh man, that's terrible. I would love if all I got was sued for this graphic.
Chris Pfaff: [00:57:24] I mean, it was right after I moved out of a Hollywood Tower where we were neighbors and it was the first time I had gotten a house, and I was so excited. But it was right in that time frame and every night I couldn't fall asleep because I just pictured the sound of motorcycles coming down the street at 2 in the morning.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:39] Which you hear every five minutes in Los Angeles too.
Chris Pfaff: [00:57:41] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:41] Oh my gosh.
Chris Pfaff: [00:57:42] So yeah, that was the lesson learned the hard way too.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:45] Dude, thank you very much. Super educational and enlightening, man.
Chris Pfaff: [00:57:48] Thank you, man. This was great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:51] Great big thank you to Drama. This was really fun. Stop and buy Young and Reckless. He's got a cool team there. They convinced me to upgrade my video game or my game when it comes to videos. So you can expect that we got some cool stuff in the pipeline. We're going to do more stuff for YouTube, not too much more at the core. I'm really, doing the radio talk show podcast thing cause it's just, it's hard to put out the volume of property that we do if we're trying to worry about lighting and stuff, but really, really cool interview with him. Great to see people running a business like that. It was just such a fun environment to be in and those guys are such hustlers over at Young and Reckless. He's got his own show, Short Story Long, which I was on recently. We'll link to that in the show notes.
[00:58:33] If you want to learn how I managed to book these great guests, get cool opportunities like visiting Young and Reckless in LA, hanging out with Drama, getting in the mix with entrepreneurs. Well I use systems and tiny habits to maintain and create those relationships. And I'm teaching you those systems for free over at jordanharbinger.com/coursee. The Six-Minute Networking Course, it's going to teach you how to dig that well before you get thirsty. It's going to teach you how to build those relationships before you need them, because when you need them, then it's too late. It's only a few minutes per day and you can find it all at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:59:07] And speaking of building relationships, tell me your number one takeaway here from Drama. I'm @jordanharbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. This show is produced in association with PodcastOne and this episode was co-produced by Jason “Double Drama” DeFillippo and Jen Harbinger. Show notes are by Robert Fogarty. Worksheets by Caleb Bacon. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. The fee for the show is you share it with friends when you find something useful, which is hopefully in every single episode. So share the show with those you love, and even those you don't. So much more great stuff in the pipeline for this year. I'm excited to bring it to you. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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