An Inside Look – Aaron Hinde

Is your entrepreneurial focus in the right place?

So many entrepreneurs think that getting their product on the shelves is the holy grail, that retail is where the money’s at. But when the industry is crowded with options, your business is either a household name or nothing.

My friend Aaron Hinde, Co-Founder and President of LIFEAID, found a smarter way to grow his fitness drink brand without shelling out top dollars on marketing. His formula can also work for you if you apply it to your industry.

Check out the lessons Aaron’s learned on his way to success—you can use them to grow your own business!


Fill the Vacuum with Value

What do the customers in your industry desperately need? After all, the essence of entrepreneurship is to solve the problems that people have.

Aaron did just that with LIFEAID. The beverage industry was so focused on flavor, flavor, flavor that it completely ignored function. Aaron saw that and created a product that filled that void.

Find the vacuum in your industry and see how you can fill it with value.

As I mentioned above, the only brands people tend to trust are the well-known ones. Which means everyone else is left on the chopping block.

But here’s what Aaron did: he teamed up with CrossFit and put his product in their gyms across the country. Mind you, there’s much less beverage competition inside a gym than in, say, a supermarket.

People are willing to spend on products/services that meet their specific needs. In that case, your product can thrive as an alternative to all the general stuff out there—just like how LIFEAID products can replace drinks such as Gatorade, Monster, and Emergen-C.


Partner with Recognized Brands

You want your brand to stand out, right? You want it to be the choice that people in your industry rely on.

CrossFit is a globally recognized brand, so when they started to offer LIFEAID drinks in their gyms, the brand went through the roof.

Why? People trust CrossFit, so they’ll trust the products that CrossFit endorses.

Find that niche audience that will directly benefit from your product. Then, find the heavy hitters that serve that niche audience and team up with them. That way, you deliver your product to the right people.

By the way, how do you know who these heavy hitters are? Aaron and LIFEAID immersed themselves into the communities they targeted. Aaron loves golf, so he went and made a drink that caters to golfers.

What communities can you serve with your product?


Evolve Your Team Infrastructure

Aaron and his business partner eventually hit a crossroads. They either had to delegate the roles of their business or watch their business crumble.

The point of delegating isn’t to burden your team members with responsibilities. It’s to get things done faster and better so the whole business evolves.

That also comes down to the type of people you hire.

I love to promote from within and reward hard work. The only caveat I have (that you should have too) is whenever someone moves up in our business, they have to find a replacement that’s just as good as them or better.

You see what that does? It promotes team morale by rewarding your existing team members, and it levels up the quality of your work across the board.

You create an environment where feedback is welcomed, where the growth comes from within. Everyone crushes their role so no one feels like they have to do everything to keep the business afloat.


Want to learn more about the unconventional routes to success in business? Click here to watch or listen to the latest Empire podcast—I sat down with Aaron to talk about just that.