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About The Guest
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard, a trailblazing powerhouse and beacon of inspiration, has risen to become one of Atlanta’s most eminent Black entrepreneurs. Despite overcoming tremendous obstacles, including teenage motherhood at just 15 and facing discrimination as a gay Black woman, Snoop has forged an awe-inspiring business empire encompassing multiple restaurants, lounges, and a thriving salon suite franchise.
Snoop’s crowning achievement lies in her co-ownership of the renowned Escobar lounge, alongside rapper 2 Chainz. This venture garnered significant attention not only for its celebrity ties but also for its controversial disregard for social distancing measures amid the pandemic. Nevertheless, Snoop’s unyielding determination has enabled her to transcend numerous failures and setbacks to attain her extraordinary success.
Snoop’s journey epitomizes the unwavering tenacity and resilience needed for entrepreneurial triumph. As a fierce advocate for Black women, she continues to empower and encourage them to chase their entrepreneurial dreams. With plans to revolutionize the seafood takeout industry, Snoop’s ambitious vision knows no bounds. Additionally, her commitment to nurturing her daughter’s entrepreneurial spirit by involving her in the management of her businesses exemplifies exceptional leadership and paves the way for future generations.
- 00:00 — Introduction: Meet Mychel “Snoop” Dillard
- 03:18 — The Genesis of Snoop: Her Inspiring Origins
- 03:45 — Parental Influence: Fueling Snoop’s Ambition
- 04:45 — Snoop’s Entrepreneurial Beginnings
- 09:28 — Lessons from Real Estate Missteps
- 12:43 — The Art of Learning from Mistakes
- 26:28 — Entering the Hospitality Business: A Step-by-Step Guide
- 29:28 — Unlocking Success at The Hookah Hideaway
- 31:36 — Snoop’s Winning Formula for Business Triumph
- 33:56 — The Search for Trustworthy Partners
- 35:00 — Power Collaboration: Teaming Up with 2 Chainz
- 38:25 — Expert Advice for Budding Restaurant Entrepreneurs
- 41:45 — Snoop’s Vision for the Future
- 43:18 — Striking a Balance: Personal and Professional Life
- 44:05 — Connect with Mychel “Snoop” Dillard
- 44:38 — What Keeps Snoop Awake at Night?
- 45:12 — Tackling Snoop’s Biggest Challenges
- 45:45 — The Most Influential Person in Snoop’s Life
- 46:07 — Snoop’s Top Book and Podcast Recommendations
- 46:39 — Advice for a Younger Snoop: 20-Year-Old Wisdom
- 46:48 — Defining Success: Mychel “Snoop” Dillard’s Perspective
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What is the Success Story Podcast?
On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.
The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.
Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategies for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.
Host of the Success Story Podcast: https://www.successstorypodcast.com
Machine Generated Transcript
Scott D Clary 00:00
Welcome to success story. I’m your host Scott D. Clary. This success story podcast is part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. The HubSpot Podcast Network has incredible podcasts like entrepreneurs on fire hosted by John Lee Dumas, entrepreneurs on fire Stokes inspiration and share strategies to fire up your entrepreneurial journey and create the life you’ve always dreamed of. Listen to entrepreneurs on fire or success story wherever you listen to your podcasts. today. My guest is Michelle Snoop Dillard. She is one of the highest profile and most prolific restaurant tours in all of Atlanta and United States. She was a Detroit born woman who went from teen mother to one of the most high profile black entrepreneurs in the US. She is known as the owner of crave restaurant members only, which is an exclusive VIP lounge that caters to celebrities, socialites business owners, Escobar restaurant and tapas lounge and Escobar south. She started a joint venture with two chains when they opened ESCO seafood as well as all the Escobar locations, which is a multi level seafood restaurant. They’ve now franchised out all the Escobar brand. She is also a founder of remedy Spa and Salon suites. They have 22 Fully licensed spas, they’ve opened three locations through Metro Atlanta also they’ve opened that up for franchising opportunities. She had a tough time coming up a kid very early on, serial entrepreneur got screwed by a lot of her business partners. She’s had to overcome a lot of prejudice to establish her businesses, but she’s dominating the food, beverage and nightlife scene. So we spoke about her origin story. We spoke about her coming from humble beginnings, always being focused on entrepreneurship, graduating university college, but never really understanding what she wanted to do in life, starting a business getting stolen from from a business partner, starting a business getting frauded and stolen from again, from a business partner until she after several failures, and a lot of lessons learned which is great for young entrepreneurs, she finally started something that was successful, which then she understood the formula for building out vibes, she understood the formula for building out spaces for building out community. And she’s done that again and again and again, with all the different businesses across all the different categories, not just restaurants and hospitality, but she’s developed an app, she’s gone into credit repair, she helps other entrepreneurs understand how to take their idea and their product to market. She’s gotten to spas and salons. So she has an exceptional empire of a variety of businesses, all built out of past failures, understandings lessons learnt, this is going to be an awesome interview for anybody who is just starting out to understand all the things that can go wrong, but then showing you the potential outcome of when you navigate those. You keep your vision and your focus and you persevere. And this is what the end result could be. So let’s jump right into it. This is Michelle, Snoop Dillard, one of the highest profile restaurant tours in the United States.
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 03:19
So for me, the one thing that kind of pushed me into the direction of wanting to be a business owner, I think, I’m not sure if it was just one thing. I think, honestly, I just was kind of like born with the hustle. Because of my parents and their origins and where they come from growing up in Detroit. I used to always tell my mom that I was going to own a lot of businesses and take care of her when I got older.
Scott D Clary 03:47
I was from a young age. Okay, what did they What did your parents do? What was like What was the thing that made you want to do that for that?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 03:55
My dad, he actually wasn’t a shrewd. He was a hustler. He was a drug dealer, but just on a very major scale. And my mom, she lost her mother and sister at a young age was kind of a I couldn’t really say an orphan but bouncing around from house to house at 15. And she ended up getting her degree in nursing. She’s now a nurse practitioner and just as always been a really, really hard worker, someone I could look up to.
Scott D Clary 04:26
Yeah, I guess that definitely. When you see people working their ass off like that, but like, you know, they’re still they’re still having a tough time. Like they’re not like, not mentioned not like really making tons of money, you respect that. But then you translate that into like, any sort of entrepreneurial journey, that work ethic and then that’s like, that’s a good basis for you. So talk to me about talk to me about as you grew up, like, you didn’t have a you know, dad who was in like hustling, like selling drugs, non traditional, like, you know, pathway and entrepreneurship. So where did you go What what did you do? What’s the job? What’s the thing thing that you started at first, like, what’s the thing that sort of carved out your own career? So you didn’t go in other directions?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 05:05
Right, right. Right. So I went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, I actually started there at the age of 16. I graduated at 20. I had a degree in economics, but just like a lot of people that even when I go to college or major in something, I still totally did not know what I wanted to do with that degree when I graduated. But it was like, literally, you know, week after graduation, just kind of like applying for random jobs that required you to have a degree, you know, it’s like, okay, well, yeah, I can do this, or I can do that. A lot of my friends were going into graduate school. So Vanderbilt as a top 20 school, a lot of them were either going to move on to like law school, medical school, etc. And kind of almost felt like not necessarily a failure, but that I was kind of behind the eight ball, because that wasn’t something that I was either a interested in. And then B, I already had a daughter. So I had a daughter that was four years old, that I had to focus on taking care of. And so for me, it was just like, man, you know, I didn’t get enough to make it through, you know, the four years of college, you know, trying to get any type of masters or you know, JD degree in law or anything like that, it’s not going to be realistic for me. So what can I do, and make a decent living and go from there, of course, always knew that I wanted to be a business owner. But it’s not something that you can just jump off the porch to do one. And so what I ended up doing was getting into financial advising. So I became a financial advisor for a mayor press, financial advisors, formerly known as American Express, financial advisors, started working for them there in Nashville, I really, really enjoyed that they decided to close their office. And by way of doing that, I actually just got to meet a lot of people, and different careers and help, excuse me, help them plan out their finances, their retirement plans, etc. And so it showed me it showed me that it doesn’t necessarily matter how much money you make, it’s what you do with it. You know, I was sitting down with doctors that, you know, maybe had 20 grand to their name, and then would in turn, sit down with a teacher who had 200,000, you know, that she had, you know, hustle to save up and make good decisions and, and things of that nature. So, I believe that that was a good foundation for me, because number one, it taught me that you can’t judge a book by its cover, just because somebody is in a lucrative career field, it doesn’t mean that they’re wealthy, or that they’re doing the right things with their money and their finances. And then two, it just really taught me how to save and put money up for a rainy day. It gave me a lot of knowledge about the stock market and how to excuse me how to start investing. And I think that that was a good cornerstone to have a good foundation to have, as I eventually moved into entrepreneurship. Shortly after that, I, you know, also was able to meet a lot of different individuals in that career that were very driven, investment wise, so I met somebody who encouraged me to get into real estate investing. So start with that very young, I actually bought my first home when I was 21. And continue to buy several homes after that, up until the 2008, you know, real estate stock market crash, which was pretty significant to a lot of people at that time. And during that time, that’s when I actually kind of found my entrepreneur, you know, way. And I started, you know, one of my first businesses shortly after that, which was that newspaper that I’d be at, and I ended up doing that all throughout the southeastern part, you know, of the country. And it wasn’t something that was just like super, super financially lucrative, but it taught me how to run a business, it taught me how to manage employees. And it taught me how to look out for different things because I actually ended up going through you know, some betrayal in that business from some of my staff and different things of that nature. So
Scott D Clary 09:28
So I want to I want to understand some of the first things that you learned like going to entrepreneurship but also like you come from financial advisor background, you put money into real estate, very, very safe like you’re thinking about safe and security and trying to figure out like you’ve seen all these people screw screw themselves over by spending their money in stupid places. But then you go into entrepreneurship with which is like one of the riskiest things you could ever do like, I mean, if you throw money into a non profitable non cash flow generating business, I can totally screw you guys. was a lot of money there. So what what made you want it? Was it just because like the recession and you’re like, you know what? Like, it’s now or never like I’m going to I’m going to, I’m going to bet on myself, I’m going to risk, you know, the the money that I have saved? Was that mindset or why did you why did you not just, you know, navigate the recession, buy more homes do more stuff?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 10:20
Yeah, I think it’s just how I am, you know, for one, it wasn’t a good time to buy more homes, because, you know, the real estate market was crashing, and it was hard to get loans at the time. But one of the reasons why the real estate market crashed in 2008 was just not due to the recession, but also because of the loan industry, the lending industry and how they were just kind of lending money to any and everybody I mean, at that time, before that happened, I was buying like two houses a month, I was just like, Okay, well, one hits my credit report, I’m gonna buy, you know, a couple more at the same time. So kind of finagle in the system. But for me, the reason why I didn’t kind of stay into it, I think just, I’ve always kind of had two sides to me, so kind of this professional side. And then I guess more so like this alter ego of Snoop that’s kind of drawn to, like, you know, the entertainment industry and nightlife and things of that nature. So I felt like that that was a good time, and was kind of being pushed into it, you know, back then a lot of people didn’t really understand that when you’re in a bear a bear market, that is still a good time to invest into the stock market, you’re basically buying stocks that are on sale. But you know, a lot of the clients that I had, they were really scared to continue investing, it was hard to continue to, to try to invest, you know, to try to convince new people to invest. So the financial advising industry had just kind of slowed up a little bit. For me, it wasn’t exciting for me. And I think that that’s what kind of led me to try my hand at some different things. And so I really went from one spectrum, one spectrum, to the whole other end of the other spectrum. So I was doing, you know, the the real estate, the financial advising, and I ended up saying, Hey, I’m actually going to do a calendar with 12 models in Nashville, Tennessee. And so that was what I did. You know, that’s what I did in 2008. And, you know, is is is juvenile as it may sound that ended up opening up the doors to the nightlife and hospitality industry that I’m currently in today that has made me very successful
Scott D Clary 12:43
on a present we’re gonna go into that for sure I want to go there yet though. I want to understand the the stuff that you had to deal with like the people that betrayed you the things that screwed you over, like the things that you go into entrepreneurship and like shit hits the fan, what were those things? How can you avoid them? Like you’re going into entrepreneurship for the first time ever? I think that’s like, incredibly valuable. So what what happened like you had some stuff that was successful, obviously not as successful as you are now when you started going on if ownership, but what are the bad things that happened? What are the things people should look out for?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 13:14
Um, yeah, sure. So when I did my newspaper company, so that that was a, it was it was a mugshot newspaper. So back in the day, they used to have these mugshot newspapers that would come out once a week publications that would have pictures of people that had been arrested the week before. And it was kind of like a guilty pleasure for most people, you know, sitting up, laughing at or partaking in someone else’s misfortune, you know, of their mistakes. And it honestly wasn’t even something that I was proud to be doing. It was a something that I viewed as a good business idea. There was another paper that I had seen and in Chattanooga, Tennessee, so back at the time, I’m still living and working in Nashville. I had seen this paper in Chattanooga, Tennessee, me and a couple of my co workers and they convinced me that this will be a good idea for something for us to do in Nashville, I was all on board. It was me and two other guys. One of the guys he ended up moving back home, he was kind of having some financial issues. And so it just left me and this other guy named Andre to do it together. He was from Detroit as well. And a little bit after, you know, we got started and kind of kicked everything off, and I actually paid the majority of the expenses to get the business going. And shortly after, you know, we kicked everything off. He starts stealing, you know, from the company. So, of course we were supposed to be we would place newspapers and various gas stations and convenience stores, and they would pay us on consignment so we would go back let’s say the paper was being so for $1 We may give them like 20 cents per copy, you know, so, we would go and pick up you know, the papers from you know, all of the stores were carrying them, maybe we would split the route, you know, so he’s picking up from starting tomorrow stores, I’m picking up from a certain amount of stores, well, his money was always off. It got to the point, you know, he, he had me locked out of the bank account. He had like change the passwords to the online banking. And was just being very facetious. And, you know, I had one conversation with him, bringing this stuff to his attention. And, of course, it was just always some excuse, you know, some elaborate excuses as to why you know, this happened or why that happened. And so it eventually got to the point, I mean, we had only had this company, we had only been in business, or maybe had did maybe four editions of this weekly publication. And so these things just kind of carried on when they get him to being magnified, and he got to do and just more and more facetiously stealing from day one, he
Scott D Clary 15:57
just didn’t basically steal it from
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 15:59
day one. Yep. And so, you know, I just kind of get to the point where I was just like, man, you know, what, forget this, you know, like, I’m gonna let you have it, you know, and it was a company that fully started with my pay most of the money for the company to get started. At the time, once again, you know, I was, I was raising my daughter, so I had a lot to think about, I couldn’t really afford to take a lot of, you know, losses. And, you know, I tell them, I’m like, man, you know, I’m a single mom and everything. And, you know, you’re sitting up here stealing from the BSNs. And so, anyways, I ended up just walking away from the company, like, I’ve always been the type of person that like, peace of mind, to me means more than anything means more than any dollar, like, I’d rather not be super stressed or not have peace in my life than to, you know, be running something that’s, you know, profitable, we’re, at that time didn’t even know how profitable it wouldn’t be. And so, at that time, it’s just like, you know, I don’t have a job, I no longer have this company that I’ve invested most of my savings into. And it’s like, you know, what do I do now and so back then I didn’t really know about someone, people and all those things that went really good. You know, a lot of times it’s nothing you really can sue for, you know, the company really wasn’t valued at much. I couldn’t have my investment out of it, maybe but I probably would have spent more on an attorney and doing so. So I just said I would let him have it. And that’s what I did. And I went and I started another a different newspaper in Knoxville, Tennessee. So instead of working right there, locally, out of my city, now I’m driving to Knoxville every single week to put out a publication there and trying to do the same thing there. And I think Max was I think maybe it was about a two hour drive, you know, from Nashville roughly to have some change or something like that. So I ended up starting my own paper there in Knoxville, Tennessee, I hired a guy at the time this guy named Jeff he was like, much older than me, kind of, I kind of looked at him as like a not even necessarily like a father figure, but maybe like an uncle or something like that. Just because he was older. You know, after we were finished working, we would go out to eat and talk and share life stories and things of that nature. And so this guy helped me to build my my publication business up and so we ended up having editions and Knoxville, Western Kentucky, Louisville, Bowling Green, Kentucky, and I eventually ended up expanding to Atlanta, and also to St. Petersburg, Florida once I moved to Atlanta. So I probably had the publication going maybe for about a couple of years. Before I decided that I wanted to move to Atlanta, Georgia, and pretty much you know, the transition from Nashville to Atlanta was just you know, better quality of life. Better dating pool, just, you know, larger city more. You’re right, exactly. So when I moved to Atlanta, I kind of want it to be a little bit more hands off with the business. You know, I felt like I had get the company where I wanted to be, you know, I was excited to be in a new city to meet new people to discover, you know, some of the things that Atlanta had to offer. And so I was pretty much allowing Jeff, I had given him a raise and I was kind of allowing him to run the company at that point. And one of the biggest mistakes that I made was doing that because what eventually ended up happening it happening is about six months after I moved to Atlanta. I was actually speaking with you know, some of my staff members in Knoxville, so Knoxville of course is our base, it’s our hub, it’s where everything started. It’s where our our the person the graphic designer gets land out the paper where he lives, you know what I mean? And a lot of the other officers you know, of the company you know, right here in Knoxville, so any anyways, about six or seven months after I moved to Atlanta, there was one particular week, we’re like, starting on Monday, everybody just starts quitting on me. So the guy who lays out the newspaper, he quits on Monday, come Tuesday, you know, the the Vice President, you know, of the company or assistant, you know, manager, you know, whatever we want to term him, whatever he was harmed at the time he quits. So then we start having a lot of our drivers, you know, they start quitting. And so it’s just like, Okay, that is just ridiculous. And so I’m talking to Jeff, about what’s going on. And he’s just like, you know, I don’t know, you know, these guys are crazy, but don’t worry, I’m gonna get them replaced with the Whoo. And so then comes Friday, and then he quits, you know, and so, it’s just like, What the fuck is going on like, that following Monday, I go to Knoxville, because at this point, you know, I’ve got to work the company from every angle. So the first thing I need to do is go to the stores, and collect, you know, so I can get my money, which is what the delivery drivers normally were doing. So the very first store, I go to the very first store I go to, I go to, you know, the counter to, you know, collect my papers that have been sold. And there’s another paper exactly like mine, sitting there next to next to my stack of papers. And but it’s just named something different. And the name of the paper is something that Jeff had always wanted me to change the name of my paper too. So essentially, you know, he pretty much had just stove, you know, everything right up under me, you know what I mean? And all of my staff was now working for him. And, you know, when you’re, you know, when your hands off, and you got somebody that’s running a business for you, you know, essentially, they’re building a relationship with him, you know, and they’re looking at him as the go to or as their boss, you know, I’m not, you know, important, the loyalty is not to me, some of them had never even met me, you know what I mean? But anyways, at that point, you know, I kind of, and I mean, I was devastated, I was crying, my feelings were so hurt, you know, I was distraught. And, you know, I was going around to all of the different stores, you know, collecting and, you know, by the end of the day, I knew that I had no choice but to just follow the company, because number one, it also was something that I was no longer passionate about, you know, I probably was only making maybe about 50 to $60,000 a year. With this, this business, so wasn’t a lot of money, but also didn’t really have to work much, you know, probably one or two days a week, you know, so I really was just, you know, comfortable and content. And living in Nashville, Tennessee, that was a decent amount of money living in Atlanta. No, it’s not, you know, some people may find that just on entertainment a year. But, you know, for that reason, and then secondly, I knew that there was no reason no way that I would be able to compete with Jeff because he lived right there in Knoxville, Tennessee. And I did not, so I ended up closing the Knoxville branch and kind of shortly, close some of the other ones and decided, Alright, it’s time for me to get into something else, you know? And I would say probably, it’s probably it’s three different points in my life. I’ve had to get out of what I was doing and reinvent the wheel, you know what I mean? Lost it and had to get it all back.
Scott D Clary 23:42
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Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 26:59
Because at that point, I probably was down to like my last $1,000 and really did not know what I was going to do. You know, I was about 2526 at the time and really didn’t know what I was going to do. I honestly got started with I started a little T Shirt Company. I was I had a girlfriend at the time who owned a boutique I was had me and my daughter selling smoothies and her boutique, my daughter’s outside selling waters. I mean, just like really everything right hustling, you know, I mean, just trying to like, put food on the table, you know, and keep, you know, the rent paid and things of that nature. So I started doing that. And then I had also, you know, at the time, I had one house that I was flipping, and before I got down to like my last like 100 bucks, this house ended up selling and I really didn’t make a lot of money from it at all. But I was at least able to get back what I had put into it and give me you know, some cash because you know, real estate investments are good, but they’re not liquid, unless you actually sale you know the property and sell that property. So, and I was able to get you know, a decent amount of money from that. And that was when I started my party bus company at that point.
Scott D Clary 28:17
It’s amazing how Okay, so as you as you build out now, like now you have, like you have an empire you built out, but how did how did you get over the fact you’ve been screwed like multiple times now?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 28:29
You know, I still get screw every day. Like and I think it’s good to take some of those losses early because it teaches you the signs of what to look for. You know, your feelings don’t get hurt as much when things happen. And you know, it’s it’s just a part of it. You know, I don’t think I know any body that successful or any business owner that has not been screwed over. So nothing is gonna make me so special to be the first one who hasn’t.
Scott D Clary 29:05
I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode HubSpot. Now, if you want to organize your business, you need a CRM. If you actually want to grow your business, you need HubSpot CRM, with HubSpot, your sales marketing, customer service and ops teams will have access to all the same dynamically updated data so they won’t get their wires crossed on where customers in their journey or how to convert them. Plus HubSpot CRM is easy to buy and easy to use. So you don’t have to waste valuable time onboarding your teams or managing software and you start seeing value right away. Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better and 2023 and get a special offer of 20% off on eligible plans at hubspot.com/success pod. No, I appreciate that. Okay, so now you’re moving you’re starting to move into nightlife and hospitality. So you’ve jumped into like newspaper you jumped into real estate of newspapers. I don’t even know where I would start if I had to figure out like how to go into hospitality. So what are the steps that you figured out that you could actually be successful.
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 30:03
Why I ended up getting into it, Scott is remember I told you about that news that that calendar that I did you know, like I said, as juvenile as it may sound, you know, there’s a calendar where I feature 12 different women. Well, after that, I started to model management company, you know, so for me, it was always how to get to the top and how to make the most money. All right, so it was producing a calendar and selling the calendar did okay, well, I’m gonna manage these models, and I’m gonna get them other gigs and make other money from that. All right, then it’s like, okay, with selling this calendar, how can I really get this calendar off? So I decided to have the models host nights at various different restaurants and lounges and nightclubs. And they would sell the calendar to different guys, you know, that would come out, you know, to these bars and close ups? Well, as I’m in here, as I’m in the lounges and clubs and restaurants watching this being done, you know, I’m seeing how busy you know, these venues are I don’t like hey, I want to be a bar owner. I want to be a club on I want to be a restaurant or this is where the money is. I’m just selling these little rinky dink calendars. Yeah, GWA with a few $100. Man, I wonder what this guy is making cuz it’s 50 people to hear us 100 People in here. So that is what inspired me to want to open up my own spot and actually opened up my own spot at the age of 24. And that’s so yeah, you know, yeah, I didn’t know shit. It was, like you. I was relying on other people to kind of teach me the game. They didn’t I didn’t have to get the right permits went ahead and opened up anyway. Grand Opening grand closing within two months lost my whole entire investment. Yep. So. So when I moved to Atlanta, my thought was man, I’m not getting back into that. That was such a nightmare. I did so terrible. But I always thought but it was fun. I, you know, open but man, I was terrible at this, I lost all this money, didn’t know what I was doing. But once I moved here, and after I started that party bus company I get back into I get into promoting, and just, you know, throwing parties and you know, various lounges and things of that nature. And so then right, again, I’m right back in these these lounges and these restaurants. And it’s like, making me curious as to what that would be like to be an owner. And so I eventually said, You know what, I’m going to try this again. You know, I was young, I did it wrong. The first time, I learned some lessons from it. Let me try to try to take what I learned and turn it into something else. And so I ended up opening my first slide here in Atlanta, it was called the hookah hideaway, and it was wildly successful.
Scott D Clary 32:57
Why though, why was that one? Why was that one wildly successful? Like why did why did? There’s so many damn restaurants? And they’re all They’re all? Probably tough. And the margins are tough. Like, what makes that one successful? What was the secret?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 33:10
Um, that one, I think, number one, I mean, I gave their best spot, my heart and soul I was there every single day for the first two years, you know. So I think when you have an owner that’s dedicated like that, nobody is gonna run your business the way that you would run it. So I think that that played a big part of it to the location, it was just a really good location. It was a super small spot. When I tell you, Scott, this place was not even bigger than then than 1200 square feet. That’s small. But the big The good thing about it is that it allowed everybody to get to know everybody. So it was kind of like a cheers, neighborhood at bar it would definitely put you in the mind and be like, you didn’t even have to know anybody to go there. You were gonna meet tons of people. We were able to kind of create a patio. And I mean, literally in the summertime, this place was just like a block party every single weekend. We were able to stay open after hours. We weren’t necessarily supposed to but we did and we got away with it for five years. But and we had some great food you know, I brought some stuff from some concepts from Nashville as far as you know, Nashville has its hot chicken. At the time, they had not caught everyone nationally like it has male. And so we were selling hot chicken there and that was a big hit. And I think also just you know, the hands on one that I had with that location, I hired every single person myself. And you know, you just can’t beat that when you have a owner that is running the spot themselves and willing to put in you know that grit in that time. And I want to say I think I was probably about 28 When I opened that spot up.
Scott D Clary 34:55
And that’s the first time you ever were successful in in hospitality, basically So like now you’re now you’re realizing your dream so, so where does it go from there so now you have one you found like this, like community place like this like little hole in the wall, but it’s like, it’s you did a couple things that were obviously very good, you brought in good food, you created a vibe, like, I feel like where a lot of people miss the mark on hospitality is they feel like they can copy and paste that, but then the copy and pasted version is shit, and then write the same and it’s a different crowd different, but you’ve done it like repeatedly now, so what’s, what’s the formula you use to open the next one and the next one after that,
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 35:31
um, you know, what it’s, you know, you said something that’s so important, by you know, creating a good vibe, you know, good music, good decor. You know, people love spots, with patios, you know, making sure that the food is good, the food has to be good, the customer service has to be good. And, you know, first and foremost, you’ve got to have a good location, you know, because you can have all of those things, but if you’ve got a shitty location that’s hard to find, or hard to get to, or doesn’t have any walk up traffic, or it’s got terrible parking, you know, because I’ve made those mistakes before, even after that, you know, in opening locations, and, and picking a bad location, or just being so excited to do something and just picking a location that, you know, did not have those things. So that’s really a big thing. And then, you know, having those systems in place, you know, hiring good people, treating those people, right, paying them well, and making sure that you stay on top of them. And so now for me, because of what I did learn, working with Jeff, with that newspaper, you know, I just never turn over any of my businesses and put them in someone’s hands, there’s always something that has to go through me, you know, and I never really just totally take my hands off of everything. I’m always looking at every single thing, all the numbers, all the bank accounts. And the more businesses I have, the more time consuming it is. And you know, but I’ve learned now the difference in now of me in that first restaurant and being there every single day. At that point, I was working in the business now I’ve learned to heavily work on the business versus working in the business.
Scott D Clary 37:12
Just smart. But then how do you find those people who you can trust to work in the business for you?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 37:18
You know, why? With trust, you know, that’s something that’s built and earned. And, you know, I don’t think anybody has the formula to be able to find people that you trust, you know, you just hire people. And you know, you give them an opportunity to cut their own necks, you know what I’m saying? And when they do that, you gotta move on, you’ve got to believe people when I show you who they are,
Scott D Clary 37:42
ya know, I think the one thing that I’ve seen like that, it’s sort of a common thread, like, you know, you’ve been screwed multiple times, which is never fun. But I think that the fact that you were screwed earlier on, and you were, like, stolen from earlier on, and that’s probably what led to your success. Because then when you if you had one success, and now the the risk is much bigger, right? The money you can lose is not just in the 10s of 1000s. And the 100 1000s in the millions when people can screw you over. Personally, you know what I mean? Like you, you’re looking at people, it’s smart, though, it’s smart. So now, so what I’ve always what I actually found very interesting is you do so many different things. So like you were in hospitality, but you also and tell me if you’re still working on these things well, so you have like a Dhg university credit repair at one point in your life, you built an app. And in 2015, you built an app called Girl Talk, you have an impact foundation, you have a spa, like you do everything but now these things are like, quite successful. So you like you’re like you have like an entrepreneurial life and you go into something, and it works. But I think a lot of it is like the vibe. It’s like the it’s a unique experience that you create. So as you’re building up these things, talk to me even like it’s interesting. You work with two chains on members only. Why work with two chains when you’re already successful? Why do you need to start power? What’s the what’s the play there? Is that something that you think would be useful or is that you see that a lot with brands but I’ve never seen it with like a restaurant
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 39:08
especially met two chains about maybe about seven years ago now at this point. And I met him when I had the hookah hideaway. And so as I was telling you the hookah hideaway was a super little small spot 12 to 1300 1300 square feet. Nobody would even have guessed the amount of money that I was making a hookah hideaway because it was so small. And that’s a difference to you know, when you are not already rich. You know, when you’re like the underdog, everybody wants you to be successful. You know, everybody wants to support you know, once you’re already on top, it’s just like, people are trying to knock you down, you know and take you off of that throne. But anyways, long story short after the hookah hideaway or while doing the hookah hideaway, I was probably in like the third year and it was like Hey, okay, I’ve got this formula down. This is working way up. Let’s duplicate this and I want to do it Another location and and looking for another location, I ended up meeting two Chainz. And we decided to do Escobar together. Escobar has by far been my most successful business to date. And that just ended up being a great partnership because I had the hospitality experience and you know, was willing to operate and run be sick, the stressful ass restaurants, while he was able to, you know, go out there and be to chains etc. But the notoriety that he had on a national worldwide scale, also attracted, you know, some clientele for us, you know, and some publicity, you know, for us that I would not have been able to get on my own. So I ended up just being a good partnership in that aspect, you know, we’ve gone on to actually open four restaurants together that we currently have. So we’ve got two Escobar locations, we do have members only that were actually members only is currently closed. And under renovation, we’re actually renovating that and turning that into ESCO pizza. And then we have a concept called ESCO seafood. And so we have, you know, been able to open up four restaurants, you know, over the past six years. And we recently just franchised, we just franchised Escobar as well. So, in working with somebody like to change, you know, it just was a no brainer, because he could bring something to the table that I could not at the time and it was that starpower.
Scott D Clary 41:44
When if you were going to like, if you’re talking to somebody who has always had a passion for opening up a restaurant, and they don’t even know where to start, what would be the advice you’d give them
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 41:53
don’t do it is stressful as Hey, just not really know. But you know, I would tell them that, number one, you know, I feel like whenever you’re trying to do something that you’ve never done before, you should go out and get a mentor. You know, everybody has a course these days. And as you mentioned, you know, I’ve got my Dhg university credit repair. I also have, you know, My Salon Suite Master course, you know, you mentioned, you know, remedy, that’s a Spa Salon Suite, you know, brand that I’ve established, I’ve got three different locations, I’ve recently franchise that as well. And they have already sold, you know, a franchise location. Crazy right now, whenever you’re looking to get into something you know, that you’ve never gotten and never done before, you know, you need to do some research, otherwise, you’re going to get into it, and you’re going to end up wasting a lot of money. And probably getting taken advantage of when it comes to the restaurant and hospitality industry. Because you know, your money goes through so many hands, before it actually touches yours and hits your bank account. So I one thing I’d say is a lot of restaurant doors get closed by the staff, you know, stealing, giving away stuff. And it’s not just the bartenders and servers, it’s some of your managers and management staff is way off. So I would recommend for somebody that’s looking to get into this industry to start off with a mentor, maybe take a restaurant ownership course, do your research before deciding which course to take. But those are some of the things that I would advise, you know, so that you can know exactly what it is that you’re getting into. There’s a lot of things to do this new days days, I primarily push my salon suites because the restaurant industry I started off working, you know, 7080 hours a week, you know, people don’t want to do this shit these days, you know, and why should you win, there’s other things that you can get into and make good money as well have peace, not have to worry about every single person and to be honest, still in front of you. And still make that money. You know what I mean? But But have you know, a business that will allow you to have semi absentee ownership? And in the restaurant industry, you will never have that.
Scott D Clary 44:17
That’s interesting. No, it’s good advice for people because I think that it’s an industry that’s always been difficult to succeed at, but I just know you’ve done it, you’ve killed it. But it’s interesting to say like, even like, you know, you’ve killed it, like maybe it’s not like the best possible industry to go into right now. Because the amount of moving parts that you have to figure out well, also
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 44:38
right now to you know, post COVID pandemic, it’s different now. You know, labor shortages, food shortages. So food costs is through the roof. You know, it’s hard to find good people that want to be in this this industry right now. You know, we’re in the era of the great resignation era, so it’s definitely a little bit more More difficult than it’s been in the past for sure.
Scott D Clary 45:03
So okay, so what I want to do a couple rapid fire to close this out but before we pivot like what’s what’s next for you? So like, when do you want to double down on restaurants? You have Escobar, your franchising, but it’s difficult. So where do you want to take your, you know, your entrepreneurial spirit that you’ve used in the past to start all these different brands and franchises and companies? What do you want to do in the future?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 45:24
You know, a few different things. Man, you know, you mentioned it the franchising, so I still want to be in the restaurant industry, but I want to help others open up their own restaurants and kind of consult salt them and help them be successful and attain some of the success that I’ve had. So definitely want to do that, by way of franchising, selling franchises, you know, via Escobar, as well, as you know, my remedy brand, I plan on expanding that more, because that’s a more of a hands off. Industry, you know, where I don’t have to, it’s simple, it’s easy, you know, so I want to expand that further. And then I’m a venture capitalist, I invest a lot. So I’ve been highly invested, not only in the stock market, but I do a lot of investments in pre IPO funds. So like, you know, Turo, Airbnb, all of these companies prior to going public, so stuff like, that is fun and interesting to me, because you can make a lot of money in doing that. And then, you know, I recently got married, so gratulations, on my marriage, and, you know, having more kids and, you know, how can I help my wife, you know, to, you know, achieve some of her career goals?
Scott D Clary 46:35
Do you? Like now that you’ve built that this empire? Do you find that? What makes like what you know, like, when you make the money, it’s great, but now, like, when you’re married, and you want to have like, a larger family, stuff like that priorities change. So how do you manage that as an entrepreneur?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 46:49
It does, it does. It totally changes, you know, for me now, it’s not about as much as it is $1 and cents, you know, I’m not necessarily interested in in trading this much time for money these days. Because, you know, you know, I do have something to come home to now, you know, before I would be like, I’m working all day stand out on night, you know, because, you know, I didn’t have that peace. So, now we’ve got to do things have definitely changed a lot. My goals and my priorities have shifted for sure.
Scott D Clary 47:22
Let’s do a couple rapid fire. But most importantly, before I go into the rapid fire, just pull some like last insights out of you. Where do you want people to go? Where’s the social? Where’s the website? Where do you want to send people
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 47:33
that can see me on Instagram and who is snooped? My website with my full story, as well as some videos of me telling my story who is snoop.com, and then My Salon Suite, master course and A to Z guide on to how to enter how to get into the Salon Suite industry. And open up your own Salon Suite businesses at WWW dot Salon Suite Master course.com.
Scott D Clary 47:56
Beautiful, okay, you’ve had a great career super successful, but what keeps you up at night right now.
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 48:03
You know, I’m always looking for the next thing. I’m always looking for the next thing to get into what I want to invest. And I forgot to mention that me and my mom, were looking to open up a home health care agency. So you know, research keeps me up at night, you know, looking for how I’m going to, you know, make that next dollar in a different industry than when I’m in you know, so to continue to bring in multiple streams of revenue and create generational wealth.
Scott D Clary 48:31
Biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your personal life. What was it how did you overcome it? What did you learn from it?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 48:38
Biggest challenge in my personal life, probably getting pregnant with my daughter so young, she actually spent four years in foster care. And it’s something that you know, I’m still working through and trying to get past
Scott D Clary 48:52
now now that now you have the you have the money, you now you focus on the family. That’s where the time goes, invest smart. That’s smart. That’s the goal. Right? That’s the dream. If you had to pick one person, there’s been many pick one person who’s had a major impact on your life, who is that person what they teach you?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 49:10
I will say my mother here now because she just you know, through all the ups and downs, you know, the many face his many personalities I’ve had, you know, throughout my life, she’s never left my side. And always been super supportive. If you had to
Scott D Clary 49:27
pick a book or podcast, something that’s been really impactful for you that you’d recommend somebody go check out
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 49:33
man or your leisure. I’m actually featured on one of their episodes, but I just think those guys do a really good job of interviewing all different types of people and showing and people so many different ways, you know, to make money and, you know, different ways to get into entrepreneurship to
Scott D Clary 49:53
love their show. They’re a good show. They’re very good show. If you had to tell your 20 year old self one What would it be?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 50:03
Keep pushing you’re going to end up being a millionaire do not give up.
Scott D Clary 50:07
The last question what does success mean to you?
Mychel “Snoop” Dillard 50:12
You know, success to me means not having to worry about finances, living a stress, a life that says less stressful as possible and being able to do what I want to do on a daily basis.