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IAM2092 – Founder Shares His Journey on Building His Media Empire from Sports Cards

Podcast Interview with Matt "Dappz" McGuckin

In this episode, we have Dappz, the founder of Dappz Sports, the leading cross-platform sports and entertainment media company in the trading card and signed memorabilia hobby.

Dappz shares his journey from being a passionate sports fan, inspired by his grandfather who was a former scout for the New York Jets, to launching his side hustle of opening sports card packs online.

He discusses the growth of Dappz Sports from its humble beginnings to becoming an industry leader, offering a 24/7 online live shop experience for sports fandom.

Dappz emphasizes the importance of passion, consistency, and acceptance in building a business and shares valuable insights into leadership, empowering employees, and maintaining a balance between work and personal life.

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Matt “Dappz” McGuckin Teaser 00:00

I'm thinking about what's my next move? How am I going to create my side hustle? And I started opening packs of sports cards online. And I just become obsessed with it. I'm just I love I genuinely love opening packs for not just myself, but for anybody else who wants to, enter the hobby and get educated.

And even before that, I actually was. Filming YouTube videos just telling people about my journey in sports cards.

Intro 00:27

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview.

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:56

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Dappz. Dappz, excited to have you on the show.

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 01:03

What's up Gresh, how's it going?

Gresham Harkless 01:04

Very well. Very well. And super excited to talk about all the awesome things that you're doing. Of course, before we jump in and do that, I got to read a little bit more about Dappz so you can hear about some of those awesome things.

And Dappz is the founder of Dappz Sports, the largest cross-platform sports and entertainment media company in the trading card and signed memorabilia hobby. As a visionary and creator behind Dappz Sports, Dappz has taken his passion for sports cars and his passion for entertainment to new heights.

Recognizing the resurgence of the trading card market in 2019, Dappz seized the opportunity to showcase the value of sports cars in memorabilia through delivering a 24/7 online live shop experience for some largest fans in the world. Early success in an ever-growing fan base has since led to the establishment of Dappz Sports brand as the industry leader in the trading card hobby.

At the helm of Dappz Sports, Dappz aims to demonstrate the true entertainment value trading cards Brains and I was reading a little bit before we jumped into this interview and Dappz grandfather was a former scout for the New York Jets. And that kind of planted that seed. I imagine of the love of sports and love of football, especially.

And one of the things that I absolutely love is because I always feel like there's really strong seeds that we plant when we're children where we're just doing things we're passionate about. That was actually what led him. To kind of plant that seed to do all the awesome things that he's doing. So dabs, excited to have you on the show.

Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 02:25

I am ready to meet the I AM CEO community, for sure.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:28

Awesome. Let's get it started then. So to kick everything off, let's rewind the clock a little bit. I know I touched on it here a little bit more on how you got started. What I call your CEO Story?

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 02:35

Yeah, so like you said, my grandfather was a scout from the New York Jets. I grew up just going to the stadium and just admiring and being I'm a pure fan of football, and we were fortunate enough, we got the the player parking passes. So we would park, three cars down from Curtis Martin and I was able to run up to him and, ask for his autograph after the game.

So I think that's where my love of football began and not just football, basketball, baseball. I'm not a, I'm not a huge hockey guy, but listen, whatever this sport is, I can sit there and watch him with fans because I just appreciate it. grew up playing all those sports as well, too. So, fast forward to, 2019.

I'm thinking about what's my next move? How am I going to create my side hustle? And I started opening packs of sports cards online. And I just become obsessed with it. I'm just I love I genuinely love opening packs for not just myself, but for anybody else who wants to, enter the hobby and get educated.

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And even before that, I actually was. Filming YouTube videos just telling people about my journey in sports cards. Hey, I bought this Damien Lillard PSA 10 card for 300 bucks and I sold it for 1500, you know within a year And then hey, I bought this Zion card for 800. I actually lost money on that one I sold it for 600 So just trying to give people my advice my experience I went on my sports car journey.

Gresham Harkless 03:58

Nice. I absolutely love that. I love that word that you said, journey because I think so many times like we don't realize like one of the most beautiful things about all these platforms that we have is you get to go along on that journey. If you're excited or you're interested or any of the things you get to hear that.

So hearing more about your success, your breakthrough, I would love to drill down a little bit more.

Can you take us through DAP sports, what you're doing to make the impact there?

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 04:19

Yeah, absolutely. So again, it started in my bedroom, just going live on Instagram. Ripping 10 packs, 5 packs of cards, my first night probably, didn't make any money. A couple weeks after that, I made 20 bucks, then 50 bucks, then soon it's 100 and 500 bucks a night.

And then one night I do 70, 000 in revenue for my bedroom. And I go, I should probably take this seriously, right? Look for a car shop and how to expand, start learning how to hire and train people to scale the business.

Gresham Harkless 04:49

Nice. But I would love to. Hear what I call your secret sauce can be for yourself.

The business or a combination of both. But is it that ability to understand the marathon mindset? I'm going to call that to be aware of that. Do you think that's part of your secret sauce? And what helps you to serve your clients?

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 05:02

Absolutely. And I think, when I was younger and just starting businesses, you always think, money is like the driving force, right?

Oh, I want to get rich or I want to be wealthy or I want to create a business that, everybody knows about, but that's not the mindset I have now, the mindset I have now is. Get to work, keep doing it, keep building, and it'll, and you go from two employees to three, from three to five, from five to seven.

You don't just go from five employees to 50, in a month. That's not how it goes, right? And as your employees scale, your revenue slowly starts to grow, your profits slowly start to grow, right? Everything is supposed to happen at the right pace. You don't need to force things. Just need to show up.

It's a light at the end of the tunnel. You might not always be able to see it. And there's this there's this. Saying that I read recently and I loved it. It was if you were stuck in a forest and you can't see your way out of the forest. The question is, can you see your next step?

And if you can see your next step, that's the definition of consistency, right? Take that next step. You can't see what's going to happen in a year or 2 years, 3 years and come up with a plan. You put it on paper, you say, Hey, these are goals that I would like to achieve. But right now, today, step 1, what's the step today? You got to take.

Gresham Harkless 06:22

Yeah, I imagine that ends up being so powerful. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack.

So this could be like an app, a book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 06:34

The first thing is definitely consistency. Like we covered already. The next thing I would say is acceptance. What I mean by acceptance is you have to accept where you're at.

Wherever you are, right? Whether you're just starting your journey or you're in the middle of it as a CEO, or maybe you're near the peak of it as a CEO, but accepting where you're at. If you're starting a business and you have no revenue, but in your mind, you're all you're focused on is, being a million-dollar company, your head and your body are not in the same place.

You got to be present. You have to be where you are and accept, Hey, I don't have a business right now. I just started this thing. That's okay. You have to be able to tell yourself that's okay. It's okay. If I don't have any revenue. It's okay. If nobody knows who I am, it's okay. If I don't have any followers yet or any engagement or any likes, that's okay, right?

You have to start somewhere. So accepting who you are, where you are and where your business is at. Once you accept that's when your path and your journey really begins. I have to accept that, hey, I have 50 employees. If I want to have 250 one day, that's okay. But I have to accept to get there again, I'm in the forest.

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We're going to take one step today, right? And I have to accept I'm not near, I'm not near the end of that or close to the edge of that forest and getting out of it. I have a lot of steps to go. I accept that. And then I let go of control. Everybody wants control. They want to control their situation.

They want to control their relationships. They want to control their income, but, allowing yourself to accept where you are, let go a little bit. Of that control, right? That centers you, right? And that allows you to sync with a clear head. And once you get there, then things become easier. Then every day is a little bit easier.

A little less anxiety, a little less stress, a little less fear. All those things start to deplete and your focus and your clarity increases.

Gresham Harkless 08:27

Yeah, that makes so much sense. Would you consider that to be a little bit more of what I like to call a CEO nugget? This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. I usually say it might be something you would tell who might be in your audience, or if you were to hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 08:40

Yeah, I think that acceptance, consistency, and having yourself, right? Having, knowing who you are, right? Know thyself, right? That saying, because once you figure out who you are and you're comfortable in your own skin, that's when you really can start your journey. That's when you can start to prosper.

Until then, if you don't, if you're not secure with who you are as a person and what your beliefs are and what you want, You're going to go through life, letting other people influence you, right? Let her, letting other people make decisions that affect you or point you in a direction that might not be the route that you want to go down.

So when it comes to your, the CEO nuggets, If that's what you call it, did you say CEO Nugget? CEO Nugget. Yeah I think that it's very, very important to figure out what you want. And it's good to, to write them down and listen, some people use pen and paper but even a note in an iPhone, right? I'm constantly writing notes to myself, right?

Hey, let me just write this down. And sometimes I never go back to them, right? And that's okay too. You don't have to be perfect at what you're doing. I think something I live by is progress, not perfection. You always want to be progressing. You're never going to be perfect at anything you do.

You always want to be progressing and getting a little bit better and sharpening the axe. And making sure that if there is a skill that you want to refine and get better at You need to practice, right? You need to constantly be progressing towards whatever it is that skill that you're trying to achieve.

So I think we can all get a little bit better at whatever our hobbies are, whatever our skill sets are. If we put more work into them, it's just important to make sure that you have a good balance of, Hey, this is how much time I can put into X skill or X project, and then I need to make sure that I.

Recharge my batteries too. So something I do or try to do a very good job of is making sure I get eight hours of sleep. So I try to not schedule too many early morning meetings because if I end up going to bed a little bit late, I know that if I get eight hours of sleep, I can work through the whole day and I'm not going to get that wave of tiredness at 2 PM, 4 PM, as long as I get that sleep, if I go drop down from eight to me personally, I'm going to get tired.

I'm going to lose energy, I'm going to lose focus and then I'm just not going to be as efficient during the day. So 8 hours of sleep is a big one for me.

Gresham Harkless 11:12

Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. But I love that kind of a reminder of knowing yourself and I almost wonder During your journey, like, how did you start to know who you were and what your superpowers were, your secret sauce was, were you able to experiment a lot in the beginning?

So you realize that, Hey, this is my lane. This is the race I need to run in order for us to succeed and lean more into that. So how did you discover that part?

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 11:34

Starting off in sports cards and that kind of very kind of niche space. I named my company Dappz Sports because I was shooting a lot of content and the content that I was looking at when I first started, there just wasn't a lot of it.

I thought that was a little bit more big and just encompass the whole sports media side. So from the beginning, I had the vision. To make sure, hey, I'm going to start in this sports card sector.

That's going to be my little niche. But the overall goal is to be a media company, right? To be able to produce content and work with brands, activate sponsorships, do in real life events, right? So the brand is very, very important to me because I believe that it can be similar to the way a Supreme will collaborate with a North Face, right?

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Gresham Harkless 12:24

Nice. I love that. So I almost wonder if. That is maybe a little bit more on how you would define being a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So Dappz, what is being a CEO mean to you?

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 12:36

Being a CEO to me is, leading, right? Making sure that the people. We are working with you can help educate, but also you're constantly learning as well. We're not perfect. Like we said before, progress, not perfection. I'm learning that sometimes I'm putting ideas and protocols in place and maybe they don't work the way I thought.

So we have to. Maybe pivot, maybe adapt to a different a different protocol and also empowering your employees to making sure that they have input because sometimes all that I've noticed works a lot is I'll put a protocol in very lightly into the company and into the business and see, Hey, listen, try this out.

If it doesn't work or you think you have a better solution, let me know I'm all ears. And sometimes the feedback we get is incredible and people say, no, no, no, no, this is the way to do it. And then we put that in the practice and it works. So while you're a CEO and you want to lead and be in control, you want to have all the control. It's very important to make sure that the people underneath you and the people that you work with have input and they can help drive the business, help elevate the business, help expand the business because.

There are a lot of good ideas right out there and it's good to have fresh eyes on situations that I've been looking at every day for the last six months I see it one way and maybe I'm just not seeing a certain angle and I need new eyes on it so being a CEO for me is being a leader, but also a listener.

Gresham Harkless 14:09

Yeah, I absolutely love that. So truly appreciate that definition. And of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know.

And of course, how best people can get out view, find out about your team, all the awesome things that you guys are doing to make an impact.

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 14:27

I would leave everybody with is just think about your day in terms of sort of like a cell phone battery, right?

You have a hundred energy points every single day, and you need to think about who are you giving those points to, because everybody runs out of battery, at the end of the day. So think about, Hey, is it worth getting in this argument with my sister or my mom, or my dad or my grandpa, right?

Because how many energy points are you gonna give? To that person to win that argument, and then what do you achieve by winning that argument? These are just questions you have to ask yourself, right? So what I've done over the years is I've learned, Hey, I want to put as many points a day into my business as I can.

I'm not going to give energy to other people who don't deserve it or who are going to, suck my energy out for me because I only got 100 points to use every day And I need to focus on where i'm investing those energy points.

If you're interested in sports cars and memorabilia check us out on tiktok at Dappz sports d a p p z sports Dappzsports.Com. We're on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, all those good social platforms under the name Dappz Sports.

We created a ton of content. We do about 30 million views on TikTok every month of original content that we produce and another 15 million in our live streams. In our live shops. So if you have any questions about anything that you're interested in purchasing or don't understand how certain live streams work, you can pop in there and you can ask questions and our streamers and our breakers are happy to answer any questions.

It's a really cool community. And if sports aren't your thing, we sell a ton of Pokemon, Star Wars, Anime, Marvel, Disney. A lot of cool stuff on TikTok is available at Dappz Sports.

Gresham Harkless 16:08

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. That's we're gonna, of course, have the links and information showing us as well, too.

So that everybody can follow up with you ask those questions, subscribe to all the things that they can do. So thank you so much for doing that, my friend, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Matt “Dappz” McGuckin 16:21

Have an amazing day. Thanks for having me.

Outro 16:23

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast. Powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community.

Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at ceohacks.co. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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