Momentum Podcast: 605
Interview with Darian Khosravi
by Alex Charfen
I have the distinct honor of working with some of the most talented, interesting, and game-changing entrepreneurs in the world today. From Face Yoga to my guest today, each and every business I work with has something unique to offer the market. Darian Khosravi, or Kosmo as we know him, is one of the entrepreneurs making a massive contribution and changing the world, through his barbecue sauce.
In this episode of the momentum podcast, I sit down with Darian and talk about how he is using his business to drive the positive change he wants to see in the world, and how he is continuing to grow his business even in this crisis. You will get an incredible amount of value out of this conversation.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
One of the joys of the business that I get to run today is I get to work with some of the most unique and amazing and talented and different entrepreneurs out there. We have a company in our membership that does face yoga. We have a company in our membership that does in-home pole dancing for women to have exercise. We have some really, really unique organizations.
And today I have the privilege of interviewing a close friend of mine, Darian , we call him Cosmo. I think you're going to get a kick out of this interview and hearing about his amazing business that by the way, is growing even though we're in a crisis.
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution.
Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real.
We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be. Cosmo, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast, man. Thanks for volunteering for this and for being here today.
Cosmo: Well, thanks for having me, brother Alex. Man, I appreciate it. This is an honor to be on your podcast, so I think-
Alex Charfen: I'm honored to have you, man. I've been excited to feature you for a long time because I think we're one of these companies that attracts really unique entrepreneurs. I joke around, we have like face yoga, we have the in-home pole dancing contest, and then we also have the world championship barbecue master who runs an e-commerce business. So Cosmo, in like one minute just let's let everybody know what you do and who you are.
Cosmo: So my name's Cosmo. I started out in a competition barbecue. I sell rubbed sauces, injections, rubs, wing dust, marinades to backyard cooks, competition cooks all over the world.
Alex Charfen: And when you say competition, I just want to make sure that we get this really clear because you're not just a normal barbecuer, you're actually a world champion barbecue pro. Can you give us ... I don't even know how to say it.
Cosmo: So between myself and the teams we sponsor, we are sitting on seven world champions currently as today.
Alex Charfen: So for all of those of you who didn't know, barbecuing is actually a sport. People take it exceptionally seriously. There is tens of thousands of dollars spent on learning how to barbecue, learning how to get the right effect on the meat, and Darian between you and your champions, seven world champion barbecue.
Cosmo: It's crazy, man.
Alex Charfen: That's incredible.
Cosmo: It's nuts.
Alex Charfen: It's so cool.
Cosmo: It is absolutely nuts. Started in my hallway pantry closet. So ...
Alex Charfen: it's so cool. So let's go back to before we started working together, Cosmo. So what were the issues you were experiencing in your business that brought you towards us?
Cosmo: Well, that's a great question, Alex. the best way I can describe it is confusion, uncertainty, and ... Yeah.
Alex Charfen: It's almost like you just stepped back into that feeling.
Cosmo: I know I'm sitting there going, Oh my God. When you smell something and I'm like, Oh, I'm saying it out loud. I'm like, all the stress just settled on me. And I was ... yeah. It's stressful.
Alex Charfen: Yeah, so it was stressful. And I want everyone to understand, this is the time of the Coronavirus. Darian and I are going to address it ... Whoops, I just called you Darian instead of Cosmos. So ...
Cosmo: No problem.
Alex Charfen: I'll address that in the intro. So Cosmo, you had stress, the business was growing, right? Like you have any e-commerce business and it was actually kind of exploding.
Cosmo: Yes. Well it started off as just a hobby, a way for me to fund my hobby. And then people just started asking, "Hey, can I buy this? Can I buy that?" And I'm like, "Yeah."
So this is before e-commerce, there was no web. So I had to go in, build my website, I had to learn HTML, put it all together to let people buy our rubs and injections. And it just started growing and growing. And I remember the first time we did $1,000 in one week and I just pulled over and anybody that knows me, I'm stone cold. I'm black and white. I don't cry. And I just started crying. I was like, I officially ... I was at my job working my other job working and I just said to myself, "I just made more in this week than this job makes me in two weeks." And then the light switch went off and that's when I started gassing the machine back then. And we went from that little closet to a little bit of shed in my backyard. Built a house, went into the third garage, that weird little garage door that no one knows what's for other than [crosstalk 00:06:00].
Alex Charfen: Right. That became the headquarters.
Cosmo: Yeah. That became HQ. Then I built a 30 by 50 shop, added on to it, made it 40 by 60 and I looked up one day and I was like, "Oh my gosh, my forklift won't even go inside my shop." That was going to be my man shop and it was none of that. It was business.
Alex Charfen: So what was your volume when you came to us? That's a great story about the first thousand dollar day, but I want everybody to have context. This is a significant e-commerce business now.
Cosmo: I remember chatting with you and it was at the end of December, 1st of January, it was 2018, 2019 and we just ended the year, I think at 1.4 million. And at this time I was like, "Okay, we got to have some structure here. Because we're starting to play with big boy numbers." And that's when we signed on with you guys and man, since then, it's just ...
Alex Charfen: Let's not go there yet. I do want to definitely get there. I want to ask a question because for a lot of people listening, this is a entirely new landscape. The world has completely shifted and a lot of people listening in right now, they're figuring out who they're going to work with, who are they going to get help from? So take us back to your decision making process, Cosmo. There was probably other organizations you were evaluating to work with. You've probably looked at other options out there. What brought you to us?
Cosmo: Man, I like to feel like I'm a pretty good judge of character and I think without knowing what I was doing ...
When I met with you, it was like a culture interview. And I thought, can I drive with this guy? And our culture, yours and mine, just fit. And I'm very mindful about the information I let come into my head and who. And I only listened to two people and one of them is you. And I thought, this is where I want to come and fill my cup.
Alex Charfen: That's huge. Thanks, Cosmo. Man, that feels awesome. So give us an idea of where the business has gone. So we got together right around the end of 2018. We're now sitting here in March of 2020 so there's a decent amount of time there. About a year and three months.
Cosmo: A year and three months.
Alex Charfen: You were at 1.4 million. Where's the business now?
Cosmo: This year? Even with all the uncertain times in our economy, we're still trending to do right at 6.1 million.
Alex Charfen: Geez. That growth is crazy.
Cosmo: Yeah. No, it's nuts. It's nuts.
Alex Charfen: 6.1 million. So far, things are doing well for you. Even though we're in this Coronavirus time, you've got to warehouse your food products so you can stay open. Cosmo, what was it about the program that helped you go from 1.4 to 6 in such a short period of time?
Cosmo: Structure. It's organizing the chaos. It's not that we couldn't do it with the products and with our delivery, it's that we were so unorganized that we had to get out of our own way. We had to clean up the messes that we created so we could go to where we needed to go. And we just had a lot of people stepping on other people, a lot of cross pollination in the job. "I thought you was doing that." "No, I thought you was doing that." "Who's doing that? I didn't ..." So it definitely was signing up, it added a ton of structure and man, I preach it. I've even had a ... I know one person signed up with you guys, but-
Alex Charfen: Oh for sure. We have a whole contingency of barbecue businesses now that you've referred to us. I realized that our last event, we literally had four different businesses involved in barbecue or meat distribution or something. It was like the Cosmo table. We appreciate that, by the way.
So Cosmo, you added structure, you added process and you added meanings to the calendar. You added time with your team. A lot of entrepreneurs, when I say, "Look, here's what it's going to take, it's going to take process, structure, time with your team and showing up in a consistent way." And what they say is ... Here's what I hear. I hear things like, "Well, I just don't want to do all that. I got a job being an entrepreneur to have freedom."
Cosmo, has adding the structure and the process and the time with your team and being clear with everybody, has that created freedom?
Cosmo: Yeah. Freedom in a-
Alex Charfen: You're actually kind of laughing.
Cosmo: You know [inaudible 00:10:58] to go with this. I made the joke the other day before all the Corona stuff, just with my team. I was like, "Man, I got fired from my job." and honestly, I have the team members in place that removed the pressure and noise for me and allow me to get into my groove and where I'm best utilized at for the company. So yeah, the pressure and noise has come way down even in these times. And the mental clarity that it gives you is shocking.
Alex Charfen: Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. It's awesome. So one last question. Just because we're in these times, and I think this is a really crucial question, Cosmo, do you feel like the cadence you've installed, the communication structure, the time with your team, do you feel like those things, how are those going to help you get through this crisis?
Cosmo: Well, that's a very great question. Not only are they going to get us through this crisis, they're going to propel us through this crisis and we're also going to be trending up through a down economy.
This is my belief, I'm not putting this on anybody, but I think opportunity shows up in the strangest of ways. Rather than saying, "I can't afford to buy that phone." I try to ask myself the question, "How can I afford to buy that phone?" Or whatever the gadget is. And that's the way I looked at this. We can't afford to lose business. And I'm like, no, how can we get more business? People are at home cooking more than ever. Like this is-
Alex Charfen: And they probably will continue afterwards.
Cosmo: 1000% because when people get out, they start cooking chicken and beef at home and they go, "Oh my gosh, we made this and I've got time with my family and I saved money. And by the way, I use some world championships products on it to up my clout in the [inaudible 00:00:13:14]." Alex Charfen: That's right. Me and seven other world champions all use this product.
Alex Charfen: I love it, Darian and I heard a little bit of an apology in what you said for saying like, "This is an opportunity." And it is, it's one of the biggest opportunities any of us as entrepreneurs will ever have. Those of us who are organized, who have process in place, who have the right team who understand our market, are going to recover this economy. That's our job. We have to recover this economy. So you going out and selling is going to help us do that. Darian, man, thanks for being here. I really appreciate you sharing this today.
Cosmo: Thanks for having me, brother Alex. Alex Charfen: Yeah, for sure. And can I bring you back? I'd like to have you come back because here's what I want everyone listening to know is that there are going to be a huge percentage of companies that grow throughout this crisis. Just like Darian. And Darian, I'm convinced you're going to do it and you're right, the condition is actually paved a off ramp to your front door is saying, "Hey, people need you more now than they ever have." And you feel it, don't you?
Cosmo: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
Alex Charfen: So it's entrepreneurs like you and I, they're going to go out and all of you listening, we're going to find the opportunity, rise above the noise, identify it, get into momentum, and take the world with us. It's what we've always done and it's what we will do.
So let's make sure we get there. And if any of you are interested in some of the systems that Darian has talked about or you'd like to talk to a member of my team ...Darian, Cosmo, Cosmo, Darian, just in case you're confused. Same person.
If you're interested in any of the stuff that Cosmo's talked about, go to PredictableBusinessSolutions.com. Answer a few questions from my team. We'd love to talk to you. And Cosmo, are we going to see you in our virtual event in May?
Cosmo: Oh, you know you are. You know it.
Alex Charfen: Can't, wait, man. Can't wait.
I think it's actually going to be really ...So for everyone listening, we've taken our in person events virtual, which sounds like it might downgrade the event. I'm actually incredibly excited because all our international clients, everybody from around the world is going to be able to participate. Cosmo, I can't wait to put you on a panel at that event.
Cosmo: And I'm bringing my new team members. We are actually hiring right now, so ...
Alex Charfen: Right, right. So for anybody listening, Darian's company's hiring. Companies will grow, we always have grown. We will grow our way out of this. Go to PredictableBusinessSolutions.com and connect with my team. Cosmo, love you, brother. And thank you.
Cosmo: Thank you very much. Alex.