As you all know, I'm extremely picky with the people and products that I choose to promote. They have to be extraordinary, and to me that means that they have to make our inner and outer worlds better in some way.
With the plethora of options that are out there, it's so important to make informed choices. I really believe that every single one of us can change the world with each dollar we spend.
And so, when someone from Brad'sDeals.com emailed me, requesting that I add their widget to my sidebar, I just had to check out exactly who developed the site and what products they were highlighting. I'm not familiar with all of the products and companies they promote obviously, so I was pretty hesitant to connect myself in any way with such a site.
That all changed, though, when I hit the bio page for the founder. Brad Wilson had discovered a unique way to turn his passion for bargain hunting into a career, and he started in college! That caught my attention. I just had to find out more, so I requested an email interview, which I am sharing with you today.
Here it is:
Dawn: Not many college students come up with business ideas while they’re still in school. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came up with the idea, and what your motivation was?
Brad: I think it was more adolescent civil disobedience than budding businessman! I was your standard broke college student but was always able to find incredibly good deals so when I saw the school store pushing really expensive laptops and supplies, my innate frugality got offended and I wanted to do something about it. I found the same stuff at online stores for much less, threw it up on a basic webpage and then passed out a ton of fliers saying “DON’T SHOP AT THE SCHOOL STORE!”
Dawn: At what point did you realize that this would be more than just a hobby?
Brad: The initial hope was simply that my friends and fellow students would save some money but as I witnessed that develop I started to realize that * everyone* should be hearing about the same deals so it has been my mission ever since to spread the word far and wide! Everyone loves to save and if you make it easy enough for them it will stick. Every day we have a virtual catalog of deals that are all the lowest price anywhere. It changes the way people shop.
Dawn: Now that 10 years have passed, is there anything you wish you had known when you first started? Do you have any advice to pass on to other young entrepreneurs?
Brad: In hindsight, I took longer than I would have liked to see it as more than just a hobby. The regrets all root in moments I didn’t have enough confidence and didn’t think big enough or move as fast as I should have.
Dawn: Is there anyone specific who inspired you to follow your passion?
Brad: I’m constantly inspired by so many people and have been all my life. What’s funny, though, is that when I started, every single person in my life told me I was making a mistake and throwing away a good future. (It’s worth noting that the internet in 2001-02 was not a promising place to be; it had tried and failed spectacularly. Online retail was even worse. The few people who used it only bought books and DVDs.) That’s not easy but I had good backup, having read about everyone from Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to Che Guevara and William F. Buckley. Say what you may but they all followed their passion. In recent years, I’ve been fortunate to find a lot of first-hand inspiration just in Chicago. Within retail, Gordon Segal, who spent 45 years building up Crate & Barrel, and Michael Krasny, who spent 20 years building up CDW, are two shining examples of people who loved their jobs, inspired people, focused on their shoppers and built great businesses over a long period of time.
Dawn: What’s your favorite children’s book?
Brad: My wife and I have our first on the way in 2 months and have started assembling a collection of our favorites from childhood. The Polar Express is tops on my list!
Dawn: How fitting it is that you picked Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express, with all that you said. I'm so inspired by the fact that you followed your passion and dreams, and believed in yourself and your mission, even when those around you did not. Another picture book that goes along with that theme is Ruth Krauss' The Carrot Seed, which you'll certainly want to share with your new baby. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Enjoy your upcoming role as a new father. Very exciting!
I'm so happy for Brad. He's discovered a unique way to live his passion and help others at the same time. He may not be as picky as I am with the products and companies he promotes and offers deals on, but he IS changing the world, by sharing his valuable research and saving us all time and money.
Does Brad have a deal or coupon which might be of interest to you? You can find out by visiting Bradsdeals.com. You can search by category, as I did to find some great book bargains and coupons, or by store. Please note that these are affiliate program links, as is the badge on my sidebar, so I will earn a commission on any purchase you make through my blog. Thank you in advance for supporting my time and effort in bringing you the best content possible.
How will we choose to spend (or save) the extra time and money? It's up to each of us to make the informed choices that will truly change our world.
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Have a fantastic week!