011: How a Navy Seal went from Garage to SHARK TANK to Millions in Revenue – Eli Crane
Eli Crane is the Founder and CEO of Bottle Breacher, a company that creates hand crafted 50 caliber bottle openers made by Military Veterans. As President of Bottle Breacher, Eli has grown Bottle Breacher’s annual revenue to over $5 million in 2015, applied for and received 7 patents, and Negotiated a partnership with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank.
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
- [1:08] He is the Founder and CEO of Bottle Breacher, veteran owned and made in the USA brand operating in Tucson, Arizona that specializes in personalized men gifts.
- [1:18] Started the company in a garage in San Diego California with his wife, Jen.
- [1:30] The company was featured on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank in 2014.
- [1:39] They started with 5 employees and now they have 35-45 people working for the company.
- [1:47] Their goal is to build the biggest, baddest, made in the USA brand in world.
- [1:57] Forbes ranked them 13th in the top 25 military companies in the United States.
- [2:18] After exiting military, they decided to start their business in Arizona because it has lesser regulations than California.
- [3:30] “Successful entrepreneurs learn to look out failures in a completely different light.”
- [3:48] He barely finished high school.
- [4:11] It was always his dream to serve the country.
- [4:32] He took Criminal Justice classes at Arizona Western College.
- [4:40] He transferred to University of Arizona and took up Sociology.
- [5:08] A week after the 9/11 incident, he left college for the Navy.
- [5:25] His failure in Commanding Officer training became one of the biggest eye openers in his life.
- [6:35] He got an opportunity to come back in CO training and became a Navy Seal in 2005.
- [6:46] He spent 9 years as a Seal.
- [6:54] “I don’t even have a business degree but what I do have is a PhD from the school of Hard Knocks.”
- [9:08] The biggest enemy that an entrepreneur face is running out of capital.
- [9:46] His little brother, who’s a Marine Corp helicopter pilot, brought him a generic 50 caliber bottle opener and that’s when it all started.
- [10:56] He started buying dummy rounds online and personally work on it.
- [11:10] Her wife Jen helped him market the product online.
- [13:20] After getting featured in Shank Tank, their product orders increased tremendously that they were struggling with manufacturing.
- [16:09] The only negative thing brought up about the product during their Shark Tank gig, was the political correctness aspect of whether or not people will buy it because it’s a bullet.
- [19:10] He went in the show because he was looking for tactical partners.
- [21:26] One of the biggest problems a company face is how to remain legitimate.
- [23:38] Their mission is to support veterans and non-profits.
- [24:27] “Being in “the made in the USA” company and supporting veterans and no-profits is a way for me to continue to serve.”
- [26:00] His day to day job is to promote the company, come up with a new products and make sure the company continue to grow.
- [26:42] “You better stay hungry, you better keep pushing forward and you better keep grinding because somebody will take it from you.”
- [28:25] He learned how difficult it is to work with your spouse.
- [29:38] It’s important to have a chain of command.
- [32:22] “Follow the green and not the dream.”
- [35:26] Right now, he is getting ready to be a contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine and just started writing his book.
Fabulous 4 Questions:
- 📖 📚 Favorite Book(s)? The Bible & Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- 🙌😎 Favorite Amazon.com purchase? Firestick TV
- 🌱💸 Favorite Tool that's GROWN your Business? Laser Engravers
- 💭💡 BIGGEST Challenge keeping your Business from GROWING? Running out of cash.
- 30% of something is worth more than a 100% of nothing.