Get to know your cigar guide Brandon Hayes

 

Brandon:
All right, so we're going to switch it up a little bit today. I got the beautiful Amy here.

Amy:
Hey guys.

Brandon:
She had some time off work, so she thought she'd participate in our videos. And what we did is we went out to Instagram and we asked for some photos ... we asked for some questions rather, and Amy's going to ask some questions and I'm going to give you the best answers I can.

Amy:
All right, let's get started. So we're going to start with, what are some staples for men's clothing?

Brandon:
So I'm a big believer that you should have a couple of watches. I think that everybody should have a watch for every occasion. I think you should have a sports watch, a casual watch, and then you should have a watch that means something to you. I think that during certain times in life, whether it be a monumental birthday, whether it be a promotion at work, I think that's a good opportunity to buy a watch, so you can always remember that. So I'm a big watch guy. I also think shoes are important. A lot of times I just wear tennis shoes, but I think when you're going to a wedding or a funeral or you're on a certain job site, I think having the right shoes for the right job is really important.

Amy:
I think I would add one more. A black T-shirt.

Brandon:
A black T-shirt?

Amy:
Always his go-to, so he forgot that one and a good pair of jeans because those are your two favorites, so I'm going to add to that.

Brandon:
All right.

Amy:
Best place you've ever traveled to.

Brandon:
So I'm going to answer that two ways I think. I think my favorite city is probably Munich, Germany. It seems like no matter what time of year I've been in Munich, there's always an outdoor festival. I've been there for the World Cup. I've been there for October Fest. I like cars, so I've been able to visit some of the German car makers there. There's just always something to do in Munich. So for a big city, Munich, I would say just maybe best overall trip because you and I love Champagne so much. I think Champagne, France was really special. But you go there for one reason.

Amy:
Absolutely.

Brandon:
It's a beautiful ...

Amy:
[inaudible 00:02:24] champagne.

Brandon:
And it's a beautiful part of the country.

Amy:
It is a beautiful ride there, while you're there, so much history too if you love champagne.

Brandon:
So two part answer there.

Amy:
So take me to Munich. Okay. What's your dream car? Of all cars that you could have without paying $1 what would it be?

Brandon:
I've had most of my dream cars, I think, already. I've gone through kicks where I'd buy a lot of cars. I've actually been really good over the last several years and only owned one car at one time. But I guess my dream car would probably be a big body Bentley or something.

Amy:
Oh, yes.

Brandon:
Yeah, I've done all the sports cars. I really think a big luxury car. I don't know that I'd ever buy it with my own ...

Amy:
Rolls Royce.

Brandon:
... money. Rolls Royce, Bentley, I don't know. Probably ...

Amy:
That's a tough one.

Brandon:
... one or the other, but something big and luxurious.

Amy:
Gangster. Okay. This is a real tough question.

Brandon:
All right.

Amy:
What's your mindset during this time?

Brandon:
I assume during this time, you mean during this pandemic, the coronavirus.

Amy:
I was going to let you say what time it was, but yes.

Brandon:
So I don't know when this will air, so as a reference we have been shut down now for 14 days. We did in and out business for about a week prior to that, it's definitely a trying time, not just for my business, for a lot of businesses. But I think my mindset is just laser sharp focused. I've been getting up every single morning and making something happen. It may not be as good as it was a month ago, but I really think leaders and business owners, real entrepreneurs that are in it for the long run, they find a way to make it work.

Amy:
It's time for the creatives to get creative.

Brandon:
Yeah, so I just think hustle and laser sharp focused right now. When times are good anybody can make money. It's about surviving during these times, so that's where my mind's at right now.

Amy:
What are some of your favorite daily habits and routines that you've picked up that you normally wouldn't do because you'd wake up, hurry up to get to work, sit in traffic, but you've probably added a few new things to your day because of time. What's the highlight of that?

Brandon:
I've been cooking a little bit more. I've always enjoyed cooking, but I've been going on a walk in the morning or finding an outdoor activity to do to get some workout and then coming back and cooking breakfast. And then I don't have traffic going in, so just that extra hour in the morning has really been nice. But yeah, I was telling somebody the other day, I feel like I'm actually working just as much or more, maybe more right now ...

Amy:
I would say more.

Brandon:
... than what I was before.

Amy:
In a different way.

Brandon:
Yeah. So I haven't cleaned the garage, I hadn't cleaned the boat, I haven't done all these things. I didn't redo the backyard. I had all these plans. I'd rather work. I'd rather be back to normal, but I was like, "I'm going to find the bright side of this. I'm going to make the backyard beautiful. I'm going to get the patio done, I'm going to do this." None of that shit's happened, but I have been working, so I just count that as a blessing.

Amy:
Touche. Who's your favorite person and why? You better answer this correctly. I'm just kidding.

Brandon:
Well ...

Amy:
I know the answer and it's not me.

Brandon:
... I would say my sister is my favorite person. My sister and I's bond has been incredible. We've gone through a lot of really good times and some challenging times together. And she gave me my niece and my two nephews. It drives me crazy that I'm not able to see them right now, but ultimately, we have a really small family and they're all very important to me, but my sister was my first love.

Amy:
Y'all definitely have a unique bond that I love so much. Okay. So who is your hero?

Brandon:
A lot of deep questions here.

Amy:
People need to get to know the personal side of Brandon I feel like versus all businesses and cigars.

Brandon:
My hero would definitely be my ...

Amy:
Good questions guys.

Brandon:
... grandfather. My grandfather was always there for me. He taught me a lot about being a man. He taught me about finance. He taught me about money. He taught me how to tie a tie. As I just look back of all those times in life when I wanted to buy my first stock, my grandfather showed me how to buy my first stock. He helped me get my first credit card, helped me open my first bank account.

Amy:
Sounds like he made you a man.

Brandon:
And yeah, my grandfather, God rest his soul, he was a really good man.

Amy:
I knew both of those answers and he answered those correctly on favorite person and hero. Okay so, how old were you when you started your first business and give us a little insight of what that business was briefly.

Brandon:
I really started my first business, I don't know, I guess, it would be a matter of what you consider starting a business. I've always ...

Amy:
When you made your first dollar.

Brandon:
I mean, I've always peddled something. I was a young business man. I mean, I was, I don't know, flipping pogs or flipping whatever I could as early as I could remember. I remember I lied about my age and got a job at a paintball field when I was 14. I think I had to say I was 16 in order to work there. And I figured out pretty quickly that when kids were turning 17, 18, 19, especially the rich kids, they were losing interest in paintball and they were suddenly more interested in cars and girls and dating. And so, I remember when I had about $2, $300, I would just keep it in my shoe when I was working at the paintball field and I'd always hear about one of the kids, I say kids, they were older than me at the time, but they were getting out of it because they wanted to put new wheels on their car or they wanted new speakers or they were going on a date. So I'd always pull out cash, buy it, clean the gun up and then I would double my money on it.

Amy:
Sounds funny.

Brandon:
It was funny, but it was my first real flip of any real value, right?

Amy:
Life of a hustler.

Brandon:
But I was making $10 an hour plus tips or $8 an hour plus tips when I would ref church groups. And there was always somebody in the church group who wanted to get into it. I always had a gun for sale, but I was making $2, $3, $4, $500 a weekend flipping paintball guns when I was 14. But essentially, my entire life I've worked for myself. I mean, there was a couple of times where I tried working for other people, but I still had a creative role within those companies. But for the most part, I'd really say I've paid all my mortgages, bought all my cars. As little as I've had, or as much as I've had at different times, it's all come from being in business for myself.

Amy:
I'm very inspired. I feel like this man should be 142 with as much life as he's lived, hence the hair. Wisdom. Okay, on to the next. You have to be very honest on this one. I know this is going to be a hard question for you, and we're probably going to spend a lot of time contemplating what this is, but what are you not very good at?

Brandon:
I'm a terrible basketball player.

Amy:
That is true.

Brandon:
I think that I'm fairly athletic in general until you put a basketball in my hand. I'm actually a pretty good writer, I'm a terrible speller and I'm an awful dancer. But fortunately ...

Amy:
That's true.

Brandon:
... I don't really like to dance, so I've put zero effort into learning how to dance.

Amy:
When you get a few [inaudible 00:10:37] in you, you got some White boy moves.

Brandon:
Yeah, they're rough.

Amy:
I make up for it, right?

Brandon:
Right.

Amy:
Okay. What is one common myth about the cigar industry that you want to debunk?

Brandon:
Oh, there's a ton of them. First one that comes to mind is I've never been a believer that mild cigars are for inexperienced smokers, and full bodied cigars are for experienced smokers. We could do a whole other video on that, but I think that there's a whole world in between that most people live in, regardless of experience. And a lot of it just has to do with what you like, what's your palette. A lot of times I ask people what they eat and what they're drinking. There's a lot of factors, but when somebody says, "Mild cigars are for beginning cigar smokers or beginner cigar smokers," I just shake my head and I think they're giving poor advice.

Amy:
Rookie mistake. Okay, if you had a choice between a superpower, which would it be, flying or invisible?

Brandon:
Flying for sure. I like to get ...

Amy:
Really.

Brandon:
... to places quick.

Amy:
That's true.

Brandon:
I like to be on the move, so definitely flying.

Amy:
That's true. I think I would be invisible. Be careful where I am. I'm just kidding. Okay. Last question. And this is sometimes what I wake up to first thing in the morning is the amount of email numbers that are on his phone that drive him crazy. Don't look at my phone because I have way too many. Opposites attract. Okay. But if you woke up to 2,000 emails and you could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer to?

Brandon:
I think that was an Instagram question when we put this out and that's a trick question because there's no way I could leave unanswered emails. I think there's two types of people, people that can have notifications on their phone and people that can't. A notification on my phone gives me heartburn, I just can't do it.

Amy:
Literally.

Brandon:
So I guess I would answer them in the order of importance, people that needed my help or the email was valuable, but I probably would just have to answer them all.

Amy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brandon:
Or delete them all or something, they just couldn't live there.

Amy:
Well, I would say that was a little good ...

Brandon:
And thank you to everybody who submitted those questions through Instagram. I think Amy added one or two, but most of those came through Instagram.

Amy:
And there was more, but we picked the top ones.

Brandon:
So I appreciate y'all participating. I hope that was fun and you guys stay safe.

Amy:
Cheers.

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