@theASAPbravo: When did you start vaping?
@badmfmike: I started vaping in November 2015.
@theASAPbravo: How long have you been vaping?
@badmfmike: I have been vaping every since.
@theASAPbravo: What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture (or become a strong enthusiast) in the vape industry? How did the idea for your business come about?
@badmfmike: My motivation was my wife. She had a case of pneumonia that sent her home on oxygen. I didn’t feel like I could continue to be a smoker with her having so much trouble breathing. Vaping got me off cigarettes. My first business venture was Clouds On Wheels. I felt that vaping had helped me quit smoking, the community was a huge part of that, and I wanted to give back in some way. The idea came from talking to other vape enthusiasts about expos they had attended. Some of the handicapped people I was talking to said they were unhappy with the events because they could not get to the “celebs” or free stuff because of the crowds. In a community that has been all about helping each other, this seemed ridiculous to me. I sent an email to Nick (GrimmGreen) telling him what I was hearing, and he confirmed it. Told me that he had personally seen people in wheel chairs at expos, standing in the back. He said “someone should do something about it.” To which I replied, “I’m on it!” I started writing emails to companies asking for support. I landed some good stuff from a couple of nice companies. I started announcing my first event on Instagram. I landed a couple more contributors after that. When it came to the actual event, one of my sponsors who was offering the 1st prize, disappeared from IG and would not reply to my messages. Luckily, I had ordered a tube mod for myself that I wound up using as the grand prize. I hated giving away a mod that I had paid for myself, but the event ment that much to me. Overall, I felt it was a successful event. 12 people entered, some were not eligible, but the contest was a hit.
@theASAPbravo: What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone who wants to become entrepreneurs/influencers?
@badmfmike: 3 pieces of advice… do something that means something to you. That will make you succeed. Your heart needs to be in it or you won’t make it. 2. Be patient. Some of the people/companies you work with are in high demand. They get thousands of emails/messages everyday. Just because they don’t reply for a week, doesn’t mean they won’t jump in to help when they finally get to your request. 3. Stay positive. Getting into arguments over controversy in the industry will not make you cool. It will make enemies. That helps no one, and ruins your chance to work with great people. Trust me. I wanted to save the world my first day. I made people angry. I got blocked or ignored. I’m sorry for anything I said to people as a new vapor. Now I focus on only the positive.
@theASAPbravo: If you had the chance to start your career in the vape industry over again, what would you do differently?
@badmfmike: If I had the chance to start over, I would probably start with a good dslr camera and be extremely selective on my photography posts. Sponsorship and followers can be greatly affected by a single picture. I would also be very careful with any advocacy talk or posts to avoid conflict.
@theASAPbravo: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur/influencer?
@badmfmike: Top 3 skills: desire, attitude, and vision. Have a dream, have a great attitude, and chase that dream. That’s a recipe for success.
@theASAPbravo: What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
@badmfmike: Failures…thats a tough one. I have failed to gain personal sponsorship from the big names. I don’t know if it was because of my name, my pics, my comp…. whatever it is, it hurts me that I have never even been asked. I have 4k followers. My fellow builders have landed big names with many fewer. Maybe it’s not meant to be. I’m not sure. I would love to be a builder for Team Goon or Coilmaster etc. I think I may have lost that chance when Clouds On Wheels became real. Lots of companies donate for my cause. That may make sponsors associate my personal page with my event. I should probably separate the two.
@theASAPbravo: How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
@badmfmike: Sticking with ideas…. well, for Clouds On Wheels, any idea is a forever plan. I am currently working on adding a Canadian event as well as an Australian event. Possibly U.K. too. That I won’t let go of. Rules for the comp change as issues arise. That just makes sense. As for my coil building/sales, I try to build what I feel. If it’s crap, I try again. If it works and vapes well, I consider marketing it. So far, I don’t care for much more than aliens, staples, and SFC. I can do a lot more, but if it doesn’t work great, I won’t market it.
@theASAPbravo: How many hours do you work a day on average?
@badmfmike: I have a full time job so my coil business is a hobby/side hustle. I spend roughly 2hrs per day on coils. On my off days, I may spend 10 to 12hrs building. Depends on orders and how creative I feel.
@theASAPbravo: Describe/outline your typical day?
@badmfmike: My typical day is: wake up at 3am and get ready for work. Arrive to work about 5am. Work my 12 hr shift, get home about 7pm. Build for about 2hrs and eat dinner. Bed by 10pm
@theASAPbravo: What motivates you?
@badmfmike: Motivation/new ideas come in many forms.
@theASAPbravo: How do you generate new ideas?
@badmfmike: Sometimes I see an object with a strange texture or pattern and think ‘I wonder if I could make that…’ other times I see another builder make something and think ‘wow that would work even better if…’ so I do whatever comes into my head. For the most part, the coil industry is build,shoot,post,repeat.
@theASAPbravo: How far are you willing to go to succeed?
@badmfmike: I am not willing to risk a lot to be successful. I have a career operating a nuclear plant for the electric company. But I am risking my reputation every time I put my sticker on a set of coils. For that reason, I stand behind all my coils. If a shop or customer tells me there is an issue, I personally go to fix the issue. Most problems are solved with a smile and some training. I had one coil that just failed with no possible explanation. I was confused as well as the customer. I replaced the coil for free and told them I was sorry. Best I could do. They still buy my coils so I think that was the right solution.
@theASAPbravo: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
@badmfmike: My greatest fear is failure. Not a normal failure but like a massive one. Like, I get invited to a vape expo by a huge company to build for their customers and then nothing goes right. The kind of failure that makes you change your name and move to another country
@theASAPbravo: How do you define success?
@badmfmike: I define success by happy customers. The best way to tell is when someone posts pics with my coils and says they are great. Even a simple thank you. That’s real success. Money is nice, followers are fun, but nothing makes me feel better than making someone happy.
@theASAPbravo: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
@badmfmike: My greatest inspiration is Squidoode. “The Art of Vaping” video series got me rolling. Without those videos, I would still be buying tanks and coil packs. Another huge inspiration was working with other builders in the first season of CoilWars. Being eliminated first made no difference. All the builders in that event were amazingly talented. We continue to communicate and help each other today. My build team has quite a few season 1 contestants.
@theASAPbravo: What has been your most satisfying moment in the industry?
@badmfmike: My most satisfying time in the industry was the successful completion of the first Clouds On Wheels event. It was very hard work. It took all my time. It made people happy. I almost cried when it was over. Each year I will do a comp. It’s just something that means the world to me.
@theASAPbravo: How do you go about marketing your business/page? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
@badmfmike: As for marketing, the best way is face to face. I don’t like Facebook and would advise anyone sane to avoid the cut-throat bs that happens there. It is also very hard to stay positive with so much negativity and trolling there. If you want to sell coils in your local shop, go up there with your best coils, give them some to try, and go back the next week to see what they think. As for Clouds On Wheels marketing, I believe the initial success came from professional emails. Don’t talk to a company like they are your chat buddy at a football game, be respectful and professional. Use proper grammar, spell check, etc. If you are asking a company to give you something, don’t forget that they earned what they have.
@theASAPbravo: Excluding yours, what company or influencer do you admire the most?
@badmfmike: The company I admire the most? Very tough, but I have to go with Kennedy. Designing and manufacturing tube mods is beyond my skill level. To come up with something that changes the industry enough for people to refer to “Kennedy style airflow” is just incredible.
@theASAPbravo: What is your favorite (I know that’s a tough one so if you can’t decide) What is your current setup?
@badmfmike: I own a Kennedy Roundhouse 25 that I won on IG. I don’t use it unless it is a special event. Number 005. I hope they come up with a new build deck soon. My favorite setup…goto vape? Revenant Cartel mod with the compvape Seminole G24. I love the airflow and build space. The mod had been beat to hell and doesn’t have a mark on it. It’s just a work horse.