What’s up everyone?! Corbitt Chandler here, Founder & CEO of Apex Current. I wanted to jump in and write a little blog post - 1) because we’re so busy around the office, other than repurposing content, we’re not as active on our blog as I’d like to be and 2) and more importantly, I wanted to give an appropriate shoutout to someone very special to me, my brother, one of my closest friends and mentors, Brad Bearden (check him out on social if you want to be a bad ass at everything in life - Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn)
Now, real quick caveat, this started as a post on my personal Instagram which very quickly became too long so I decided to memorialize this shoutout appropriately by turning it into a post on our blog. With that out of the way, let’s dive in…
To write that I owe this man a lot, would be the understatement of the century. As well as I feel indebted to so many for the opportunity to start my company, if I’m honest. I feel like all of those individuals are standing behind me with every decision I make and this business iis an extension of them. But, if you picture a dark room with all of these individuals standing behind me, Brad would be right in the center with a spotlight beaming down on top of him because that’s how crucial he’s been to this endeavor.
Brad was brought on by the awesome company I used to work for as the Vice President of Marketing to help us completely reshape our paid advertising. Brad had developed a proven Facebook advertising system specific to our vertical that was second to none. To provide a little context to this point in time in my life, I was personally in a super weird place.
Only a few months into a new sober lifestyle, I felt like a young doe on shaky legs learning to walk along with re-learning how to do everything else in my life. I was pretty sad too - depressed. I guess I was mourning the loss of what I thought was my closest friend because me and booze did everything together. Obviously, I know now that this “friend” of mine was quite the opposite.
Brad boomed with confidence and positive fearless energy. I was a little taken aback and as the VP of Marketing, felt a bit territorial over what I thought was my domain.
It didn’t take a significant amount of time for that to subside and I realized the opportunity as well as incredible challenge that stood before me. Brad’s system relied heavily on a substantial volume of targeted media buying and placement through Facebook as well as someone with prowess to manage it all continually optimizing for the best results. He wasn’t hired to do, but to teach us his system so someone was going to have to step up to press the buttons.
For whatever reason; be it fate, obligation, drawing the short straw, my own personal desire; I became his protege. In my entire career up until this point, I had never bought a penny of digital media on any platform. I had managed plenty of agencies and partners, but pressing the buttons was completely foreign to me. Brad took me under his wing and not only did he mentor me through this insanely complex & granular process, he taught me how to be and think like a marketer (when it comes down to it, he taught me a great deal more than that helping to reshape my entire thought process about how I approached any situation in life).
Back to that whole teaching me how to be and think like “a marketer” thing. Hold up, wait... How does what I that even make any sense? I had a college degree in marketing from the University of Alabama, a successful career in marketing for well over a decade at that point in time for numerous big brands, , but I wasn’t a marketer? Yep! 💯... My formal education and all of my years working professionally combined couldn’t touch what I learned from this man. He schooled me in effective marketing.
There was, of course, buying and placing digital media and becoming comfortable with that process as well as how to identify and ptimie the best performers. There was building effective Sales Funnels in Clickfunnels… There was learning how to build email campaigns and logic in the CRM, Infusionsoft (aptly dubbed “Confusionsoft” by many and something that had alluded me for over 2 years as I fumbled though it). BUT, most of all, there was how to select the write type of creative and write effective ad copy.
I literally can’t put a value on the education I learned from Brad Bearden. I was very fortunate in that my company hired him and I was the direct recipient of this knowledge. In six months, my company had driven over $1 million in new customers with a solid 4:1 return from his program.
Brad also inspired me to become an entrepreneur more than anyone in my life, that’s for certain! I NEVER considered myself anything, but a “corporate man” before meeting him. He told me flat out that I was an entrepreneur and knew with what he had taught me, it was only a matter of time before I started to spread my wings and exit my company, that i so greatly appreciated for so much as well because without them, none of this would have been possible either.
Him along with my amazing wife, Michelle, who had always believed in me, taught me to believe in myself. He taught me to be fearless. He taught me to be confident in my abilities. He showed me how to go get what I’m worth and not be afraid to demand the respect I deserved. He taught me to be a better man for my family and friends.
I won’t go into too much detail on the rest of the story because I’ve shared that in separate posts multiple times, one of which you can read here if you’re interested. It wasn’t long that I started consulting with brands and even though Brad was being paid anymore to mentor me, he continued to do so and does to this day.
I began consulting in April of 2017, founded Apex Current in September of 2017 and since then this rocket ship has achieved so much and grown into something much bigger than me with so many valuable players involved that have made this all possible. Apex Current was a Finalist in 2018, for Small Business of the Year, I was honored as one of Birmingham’s Top CEO’s last year, this year Apex Current was recognized by DesignRush as one of 2019’s Best Ad Agencies in the World which was published in Business Insider. I’ve generated $1.5 million dollars in topline revenue in only 18 months, Apex Current having months where our revenue was more than I made in one year of my career before starting my company.
All of it is very humbling and would not have been possible without him. All the long nights and weekends working add up. It’s not always easy, but Brad taught me to persevere and win at all costs. As I sit on my laptop late at night or early in the morning, when I work when no one’s looking, in times when I feel so alone because I’m pursuing something that most can’t understand and even though he’s just a phone call away, I still have that picture in my head of him encouraging me just like he did in the beginning. It spurs me onward and motivates me to this day.
I’m so grateful for the brotherhood we share and that he’s become such a big part of my story. I can never thank him enough or show enough gratitude. It’s hard to even say, where i’d be if we hadn’t met, but thank God we did because it changed everything in my life. 🙏
Alright, thanks for checking this out! I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to comment if you liked it and if you have any questions, drop them below and I’ll do my best to respond. Check out some of our other posts as well.