Alexander Kidd started his career as an entrepreneur at a very young age. At 15 years old, he started his first business. At 19 years old, he bought his first commercial building.
As he went on, Alexander Kidd has “since started businesses in direct marketing, motivational coaching, industrial manufacturing and importing goods.”
Likewise, Alexander Kidd “routinely spends time with large clients helping them develop and up-to-date current strategy in today’s ever-changing world.”
Alexander Kidd has been an entrepreneur for 25 years. He is a child of immigrant parents. His father “was a self-starter and he had his own business.”
In high school, Alexander Kidd spent a lot of time “trying to come up with an idea to do something,” because he didn’t fancy growing up to work for someone else.
At first, Alexander Kidd had ambitions of being a rock star, since he idolized The Rolling Stones. However, he says he couldn’t sing or play guitar, so he went for the next best thing: becoming an entrepreneur.
His journey as an entrepreneur wasn’t all that smooth. Alexander Kidd had launched “many failed businesses and failed ideas, but each failed idea rolled into the next thing.”
At first, Alexander Kidd and his partner were doing “health and nutraceuticals.” But after that, they “fell into marketing.”
I remember spending a lot of my early high school years trying to come up with an idea to do something.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Alexander Kidd: I’ve been doing this for about 25 years. I started at a young age. My parents are immigrants. My father was a self-starter and he had his own business. I remember spending a lot of my early high school years trying to come up with an idea to do something. Because the idea of being an employee wasn’t fun for me. I was a big fan of the Rolling Stone as a kid. I looked at them and I knew I wanted to be a rockstar. But I knew I had no talent. I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t play guitar. So I thought what was the next best thing? To be an entrepreneur, right? Start your own business and kind of call it as you will. And that’s basically where I began.
Jerome Knyszewski: What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
Alexander Kidd: I’ve spent a lot of time partnering up with the wrong people. My first partner didn’t have the mindset of an entrepreneur, he wanted to be a 9 to 5 guy. That just doesn’t work. My second partner had different ethics. My real “Aha” moment is when I met my current partner. I met him during a marketing consulting project. He was one of the guys that was on that team I was working with. We kept in touch and we became closer friends. After about a year back and forth I said to myself “This is my partner for life”. He has half of what I don’t have. This allowed us to work harder and longer and faster. So that was really the “Aha moment” for this company. I feel in the future one day, I will die working with this guy.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Alexander Kidd: I’ve had many failed businesses and failed ideas, but each failed idea rolled into the next thing. When we first started this company, we were doing health and nutraceuticals. We were having a very hard time, so we brought an internal marketer in. Next thing you know, one of our friends who had a great business asked us to help him. A month later we were helping another friend. Next thing you know, we had four or five clients and now we didn’t have time to run our health organization, now we’re just marketers. So we fell into marketing. We never intended to do that.
Success is always about creating the next level.
Jerome Knyszewski: So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
Alexander Kidd: Well, success is a weird thing. For myself, I never had a definitive moment. Success is always about creating the next level. Because in business you’re either growing or shrinking. There is no even medium, so we put a lot of focus on growth. A lot of small wins is what creates that success, but I don’t see success in a normal metric like that.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Alexander Kidd: Probably the biggest mistake of mine is not believing in myself more. I had a call the other day with an old business partner of mine, we hadn’t spoken in about four or five years. He said “I’ve got this deal on the table. It’s a $280 million buy.” In the past I would have thought “This is awesome!” What I learned in the last few years is that I’m good on my own, I can do things by myself. I can create, I can imagine. I have a lot more confidence in my own ability. It was such closure to that relationship for me. After making the call I felt good because I didn’t feel the need to jump on his thing or feel I had to have him back in my life. I know my team is the best, I know my products, I know everything we do is the best. I have full confidence in what I’m doing, to be able to take everybody on that journey and be successful. So I think that was one of the largest mistakes of my life, listening to other people, letting them get in your head.
Spend your 20s learning and spend your 30s earning.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok excellent. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company”? Please share a story or an example for each.
Alexander Kidd: #1 — One of the main things is passion. I’ve noticed a lot of kids that I mentor chase money not passion. They watch things and get ideas of what they think they want. They get stuck on chasing money, instead of passion. And when you chase money without passion, you’re not really going to make money. Passion is what gets you through your failures. When I’m sleeping, I’m working. If I wake up at night with a new idea, I’ll write it on a notepad. You have to be in love with what you’re doing. That has to be your ultimate goal. You should take it seriously, find your passion.
#2 — Spend your 20s learning and spend your 30s earning. Look for a mentor. Someone who is where you want to be in life. Nowadays you can reach out to so many of them on LinkedIn or email. Find that person, give them a compelling reason to work for them, or with them. Show them that you’re worth it. Eventually they will realize that they can’t be without you. So spend your 20s learning.
#3 — Another important thing would be extrapolating. It’s a tool I use continuously in my life. A lot of times I ask my students to tell me what they see when they’re on their deathbed. Remember whatever you’re going to see is going to take years to build, but now you have your end goal. Now you have to get there, and use extrapolation. I’m constantly extrapolating. I see the end goal and the path to it. It helps you see all the steps involved and the challenges you should account for.
#4 — It’s completely unfair to compare yourself. My grandfather said to me once, “I don’t understand why you’re not successful and worth five billion dollars”. At that time Mark Zuckerberg was making billions of dollars. That’s when it hit me, you can’t compare yourself to anybody else. You have your own metrics and you follow those metrics, and those metrics are what you compare yourself against. That’s how I grew and once you figure that part out, it just levels the playing field.
#5 — The most important thing for everyone, is time. I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I’m not teaching somebody about time. It is the most important thing we have. We shouldn’t waste it just sitting and being unproductive. We should value it. Use it to better yourself and your business.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Alexander Kidd: It’s interesting because as a marketer I don’t have a great online presence, but my company does. So you can follow Z Group Digital. We’ve got a website where we put out a lot of great content. We have a podcast series that we do. We do it for about an hour every week and we post those. From our website, you’ll get the link to all our socials.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!