Todd White is one of those people that when they enter the room everybody looks over and goes “man, who is that guy?”. As the Founder of Dry Farm Wines, Todd is leading his organization to massive growth and expansion based around incredible company values and an amazing team.
Todd considers himself an “overnight success after 40 years of pain”, having already had several multi-8-figure businesses under his belt before launching this one. The genesis was really born out of his passion for optimizing his health, but still wanting to be able to enjoy some alcohol without being knocked out of ketosis or be cripplingly hung over the next day.
He discovered that all of the conventional wines on shelves contiad a ton of terrible chemicals and additives, and have high alcohol percentages. In the process of searching for better wine he stumbled across the natural wine movement in France, and started to apply his biohacking acumen and applied science to the equation to really dive deep into what the best wines for human consumption would be. In solving his own problems, all of his health conscious friends began to ask Todd to source wines for them and their friends, and demand soon spun out of control.
What is particularly interesting about the Dry Farm growth story is that they are an eCommerce brand, but are doing over 100 health, entrepreneurship and human performance events this year. I first heard about their brand when I met Todd as he served me a glass of red wine and told me all about where it came from and why it was far better for me than anything I’d find in a store. The in-person experience has been critical to the growth of a strong community of extremely loyal customers that simply can’t get enough of the wine subscription service.
When you get an opportunity to experience the product first hand, AND the people behind the brand, you build a strong relationship with the brand almost immediately.
Todd explained an incredibly important pattern that he sees in entrepreneurship…that hardly anything compares to the passion in an entrepreneurs voice when they talk about the problem they are solving. When you hear someone talking about their top line revenue numbers and their exit strategy over the problem they are solving, its usually a good indication they are headed for disaster with the business, or on a personal level with a lack of fulfillment.,
When your focus on exit instead of value creation, you are actually compressing your ability to create value with your business, and actually achieve an exit in the end.
One thing I’ve always loved about Todd is the energy that he exudes. His innate understanding of the laws of the universe shines through in various parts of his business and in any conversation you have with him. Even the hard lessons learned in failure become an integral part of our success in every way, provided we have the ability to get up and dust ourselves off and get back on the horse.
The obstacle is the way, and the journey is what provides us with so much value in life. Once you get over the emotions involved in integrating some hard lessons, it’s actually quite easy to bounce back and get on your feet again once you find the courage.
At the core of the Dry Farm Wine brand is quality of product as a driving force behind customer experience, and is their primary goal with every customer is to have them wowed by an incredible quality product. This is the top of their list of core values as a company, and the lowest is top-line revenue.
There seems to be an obsession in eCommerce and other industries with top-line revenue, which oftentimes causes some serious problems when companies try and grow too fast. Many times more revenue means more people and more potential issues when these people need be brought on fast. For this reason, Todd focuses on profit rather than revenue, and has even held back on plenty of growth to ensure that the company and the team are ready to handle it.
When chasing revenue at the expense of margin, you don’t have a high quality business.
Todd believes in having sound unit economics from box 1, and from there costs are driven down by efficiencies and economies of scale. He has never pursued marketing channels that lose him money up front to make money on the back-end – This is a great example of holding back on top line growth in favor of building a business based on customers that LOVE your product and keep telling their friends and sticking around. “I’m interested in making money, not in processing it”.
Dry Farm Wines has a pretty unreal incredible list of satisfied customers who love their brand. They have some of the highest level entrepreneurs and celebrities drinking the wine, and none of them are paid influencers or endorsements. Halle Berry recently posted a video on her recommendations for holiday wines, the same week as being featured as top gift choices on The View and in People Magazine… all of them organic mentions… Talk about a great PR roll!
Dry Farm is very honest and open about the dangers of alcohol, and try to convey drinking responsibly above all else is the best way to use this drug. They promote the positive benefits of living wine and mitigates as much of the negative effects as possible from the traditional wines on shelves. This shines through in an industry that is very much focused on glossing over the very real negative effects of consuming too much alcohol.
Todd has built an absolute incredible team that is really fueling the growth of this business to new heights, and ensuring that they are all carrying the brand to new heights and moving in the right direction. Todd believes that hiring is the single most important thing that he does in terms of organizational function. The typical interview process for a position at Dry Farm Wines typically takes around 2 months.
To see a job posting go to dryfarmwines.com/family, they are masterful! Each applicant must read through a minimum 12 page job posting which clearly explains their belief system, culture, codes of conduct, their peace and profit manifesto and more. The application questionnaire takes the typical candidate 3-6 hours to complete, before they even look at their resume! There are a variety of different video and in-person interviews that then take place before a decision is made on whether to hire someone or not.
The reason behind such a long application and hiring process is to really ensure that the candidate is a good fit for the company and vise versa, and because of this their employee retention rate and happiness levels are exceptionally high.
Todd believes that if they lose an employee (by having to fire or them, or by the employee quitting), it is entirely their fault. Either they failed in the interview process to make sure they would be a good fit, or they failed to lead them once they got in the door. Additionally if an employee is not capable (bad hiring), they don’t want to do it (lack of inspiration) or they don’t know how (lack of training).
Dry Farm Wines has a beyond incredible culture and commitment to their employees. They begin the first hour of every day with meditation, and Todd encourages all employees to have a solid morning ritual set so that they start the day in the right state of mind. This means they come in at 10AM and spend from 10-11Am meditating before they even start working for the day!
Dry Farm Wines grew 700x last year, so despite their resistance to growing faster by hiring quicker, they are still absolutely crushing it and building a truly incredible brand and business! This all bounces back to the quality of life and the truly underlying sound nature of your business and strength of your brand being distanced from this idea of top-line revenue growth.
We spend most of our energy when we are not successful actually blocking our abundance. Loss leads to greater loss, and meditation has been a cornerstone to the business’ ability to breakdown all of those barriers that might be holding the team members back. Meditation allows us to quiet the trauma of thought, which is probably the most destructive thing that happens to humans, and especially in destroying our pathways to greater success and happiness in the process.
02:50 – the genesis of Dry Farm Wines
05:30 – Offline events that feed an eCommerce business’ success
07:45 – Passion for problem solving vs. passion for exits and making money
12:41 – What to do when you fail
15:14 – Top line growth is usually a BS strategy
17:58 – Organic Shoutouts from major influencers
26:50 – Todd’s focus on building a people-first organization
27:30 – The most important thing they do
32:40 – If someone quits or gets fired, its 100% managements fault
38:30 – Using meditation to spike your output and drive happiness