CROSSNET founder Chris Meade Joins Us On Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Chris Meade
Chris Meade is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast.
He is a man who along with two of his closest friends took something we see all the time and created something new altogether
He is the owner of CROSSNET, a new version of beach volleyball which is now taking the world by storm.
As we say time and time again on Join Up Dots, it’s all about the pivot.
If you can create something new from something that is already selling more often than not you are on your way.
As he says ” It’s not every day that a new sport is created – but that’s exactly what happened when three friends from a small town in Connecticut combined an old game called four square and volleyball.
Growing up together in the “Quiet Corner” of Connecticut, brothers Greg and Chris Meade constantly sought new sports and activities to keep them busy with their childhood friend Mike Delpapa.
How The Dots Joined Up For CROSSNET And Chris
One night in May 2017, Chris, now 26, got together with his brother, Greg, 25, and Mike, 25, got to reunite.
Reminiscing on recess days playing four square, the three friends struck an idea for a four-way volleyball game that merged traditional volleyball with the four square.
By dividing the court into four quadrants, rather than in half, they envisioned a new game that incorporated the nostalgic feel of recess.
After creating a prototype, inviting their friends to come play and not being able to turn them away they knew we were onto something!
Since that moment over 2 years ago, the trio has made it their mission to spread the game of CROSSNET throughout the world.
Since then they have surpassed 2 million dollars in revenue, have a seven figure business, got their product in 25 plus mainstream offline and online retail chains, and have presence in 2500 plus schools already.
So when the idea came to them, how did they speed past the “Why would anyone buy that” comments that derail many a brilliant idea?
And what has been the hardest part of the journey, getting it going, or scaling to where they are today?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Chris Meade.
During the show we discussed such deep subjects about CROSSNET with Chris Meade such as:
Chris shares the steps that they took to get the whole CROSSNET concept to market. And it started by loving the idea themselves.
The risk that they took to get their idea off the ground by taking all the money that they had to build their first protptypes.
Chris shares how they have three strong pillars that they work within every single day as they develop their business.
Why they had to prove to the teachers the safety aspect of all products to start tapping into a new avenue of sales.
How To Connect With CROSSNET Founder Chris Meade
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Full Transcription Of CROSSNET Founder Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes, hello there. Good morning to you. Good morning, and welcome to Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for everyone who is joining us after seven years we’re getting more and more emails from people saying we just bought across the show. Well, thank you so much for stumbling and finding us as we’ve got a good show today we’ve got a guest joining us on the podcast, who is a man, along with two of his closest friends took something we see all the time and created something new all together. He’s the owner of cross net a new version of beach volleyball which is now taking the world by storm. We say time and time again on Join Up Dots. It’s all about the pivot. If you can create something new from something that you already know is selling and people like, more often than not, you’re on your own way. As he says it’s not every day but a new sport is created. But that’s exactly what happened when three friends from a small town in Connecticut combined an old game called Foursquare and volleyball. Now growing up together in the quiet corner of Connecticut, brothers, Greg and Chris mead constantly sought new sports and activities to keep them busy with their childhood friend, Mike and one night in May 2017. Chris got together with his brother and Mike, and they got to reunite now reminiscing on recess days playing Foursquare. The phrase friend struck an idea for a four way volleyball game that merged traditional volleyball with the Foursquare by dividing the code into four quadrants rather than in half by envision the new game that incorporated the nostalgic feel of recess and Africa. Creating a prototype inviting their friends to come and play and not being able to turn them away. They knew they were onto something. And since that moment over two years ago, the trio has made it their mission to spread the game across net throughout the world. And they’ve surpassed $2 million in revenue of a seven figure business got their product in 25 plus mainstream offline and online retail chains and have presence in 2500 plus schools already. So when the idea came to them, how do they speed pasty? Why would anyone buy that comments at the route many a brilliant idea and what has been the hardest part of the journey getting it going or scaling to be where they are today? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Chris Meade. Morning Chris, how are you?
I’m very well I’m very well you sound very laid back. You should be. You should be bouncing out of bed with excitement. You’ve got a hit product on your hands.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [3:01]
Yeah, it’s awesome. It’s a crazy feeling, just seeing how much growth we’ve seen in three years. Really, really just proud of how far we’ve come as a company. It’s crazy.
David Ralph [3:12]
Well, it’s not crazy if you put the work in which obviously we’re going to be talking about here, but I come from the United Kingdom, and that’s why I have the sexy accent Chris,
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [3:21]
um, but I, I love it.
David Ralph [3:23]
I don’t actually know what Foursquare is. I can’t even picture it. I know volleyball. Okay. But what is Foursquare been?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [3:30]
So Foursquare is a game we grew up playing in Connecticut. It’s a blacktop game. So you draw four squares on the concrete in chalk. And you have a big, bouncy kickball. So one person takes the ball and they slam it into another square. And then you have to return the ball. So you have to hit the ball back into another square and you try to eliminate a person. Well find the longer that you stay in squit. Exactly. Yeah, you take the ball and you hit it into their square and then you return it. So you try to throw the ball as hard as into their square. And then they try to hit it back.
David Ralph [4:03]
And so do you actually have to hit them personally or just their square?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [4:07]
No, no, no, you you hit, you hit the concrete or the ball then bounces on the floor into their square, and then they have to return it on your square. So Oh, you take the ball
David Ralph [4:18]
back and forth. So you just need some small players and you’re a tall player and you wind on Yeah,
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [4:23]
it definitely helps to be stronger. But essentially, you’re just trying to be quick and elusive in the square, and bounce the ball back and forth and try to advance the square where you could serve the ball, right? who dominates the Foursquare?
David Ralph [4:37]
Yeah, I’d never heard of it. Now. I’ve got a picture in my head. So we’ve we’ve yourself been for, and I’m gonna lead it on for my lack of knowledge. Is this something that you would think is going to be a global game or is it something that’s very much us and North America based?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [4:56]
Oh, I’d be very disappointed if it’s become a global game. We have interest from the UK, Australia, the most random of countries reaching out to us almost every day looking to buy the net. So, volleyball is a universal sport, as I’ve learned very quickly. So everything that we’re doing here in America, we could easily rapidly replicate across in other countries.
David Ralph [5:18]
Wow. Okay, so I know Connecticut quite well. I’ve driven around it many times. And so whereabouts are you Where Where is the quiet corner of Connecticut that led you to be where you are?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [5:30]
Yeah, the quiet corner is in the northeast tip of Connecticut. So it’s right on the Massachusetts border. So I can literally grow up. I lived on a farm pretty much in Connecticut and I could walk probably about 15 minutes into Massachusetts. So that’s the quiet corner. No, barely any stoplights? No restaurants, gas stations, about a half an hour away. Just super small time.
David Ralph [5:54]
Okay, so the world is littered with ideas that come to you. Proven light you sitting there with your mates, you’re having a few beers, and you’ve got faces amazing. This is amazing. I’ve been by the next morning, you think this is my stupid idea known to man? Was there a lot of fat going on? Or did you just say, this is amazing? This is amazing. We’re just making it happen.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [6:15]
So we’re listing ideas on a piece of paper, like, what can we come up with what good ideas and really the only perfect one that we saw was for wave volleyball? And I believe Mike was the one that wrote that down that night. And instead of waking up with regret, we quickly googled, is there a four way volleyball game, and there was nothing out there on the web? Nobody had ever done it. There were no beers involved. But we woke up the next morning, bright and early to some coffee and went to Walmart to go get to prototype volleyball nets and rigged them together to kind of get a proof of concept. And you were you’re pretty happy with the results.
David Ralph [6:56]
And so did you spend the rest of the day playing it and 40 self Yeah, this is something so so you actually tested it yourself. So, to sort of summarise you came up with the idea. You didn’t as we say in the United Kingdom Wally around on sort of on spreadsheets and that you went out you got things you put them together and then you tested it.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [7:16]
Oh yeah, we barely knew how to use red sheets back then we literally, we woke up, we drove straight to the Walmart. We told our friends to meet us at our house and about a half an hour. And we got back we started just raking up a prototype we intersected the nets. combine those Foursquare trials had rules with volleyball. And we just made up some rules on the fly. And we just kept playing and playing and it was like, five hours later and we’re like, okay, we’re onto something here. People are gonna love this.
David Ralph [7:46]
Right. Okay, so vein, I imagine you’ve got this race to sort of now down your idea before somebody else who’s sitting over in the corner watching you whizzes often does it? Does it quicker, what was the process that you went through?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [8:00]
So the process Fortunately for us, our partner Mike is an engineer by trade. So he is designed with he knows like AutoCAD and engineering and blueprints. So that was super. We were lucky to have that we didn’t have to go outsource that to somebody and pay them an arm and a leg to get our product manufacturer the need. So what we then did was we found a manufacturer overseas. They specialised in creating volleyball nets and hockey nets. And we sent them over some paperwork and NDA and all that good stuff. And we waited patiently for about four months until our first prototype arrived in America. And it was just we had to be super patient we we coughed up a lot of the money in our bank account to make it work. We negotiated with
David Ralph [8:48]
miles, how much it costs to build a prototype. It seems quite simple. It seems like you could almost make it yourself.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [8:56]
So first, we had to kind of figure out the parts and then Most of the when you start working with the manufacturer almost 99% of the time they want to have minimum orders. And they’re strict about that because they don’t want to be taking on business for 25 units at a time. So a minimum order for us cost us right around like $10,000 but obviously we got a lot of money of course it was it was all the money we had back then. So we got our first few prototypes before they mass produced that $10,000 worth but we kind of sat there waited patiently made sure that they were cutting the metal correctly getting the netting properly getting the stitching and the logo done and making sure it was able to be set up properly. So we we had about four or five iterations before we had kind of our our go to market perfect one.
David Ralph [9:44]
Now it you know, it might have sounded a bit flippant, but it seems quite easy and you could build it yourself. So what what are the sort of different elements what what did you have to sort of take apart so that it would be is it so people can take it down easily and put it back on? Over, it stays up really long in a high wind, what is the real problem with it,
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [10:05]
so it’s a good, it’s a good mixture of those two things. One, we want people to be able to go to the beach and be able to set it up very quickly. We don’t want it to become a pain or something where if somebody buys it, they don’t play with it because it’s so annoying and frustrating to set up. So we definitely designed it to be easiest set up in under five minutes. But the biggest thing was gravity, you have a four way net designed for the first time ever. So poles are leaning one way the wind is pulling you this way. So all of those forces together, create some unnatural things that had never been manufactured before. So we really had to use like to get the proper tension strings, the length of the the stakes that go into the ground. The carabiners, all of that good stuff, we had to just make sure it was perfect so the net would stay up, not fall down. And then also while we were testing we realised we wanted to make it height adjustable. So we had to get all those different heights down so the game could easily be dropped down to men’s, women’s and children’s heights.
David Ralph [11:06]
Now that seems genius. That seems genius. Now, I know what I’m like, I would be sitting there going. It’s good enough. It’s good enough. Let’s Let’s just go. Yeah, but you were you were quite firm, but it wasn’t gonna be out there until it’s perfect for you.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [11:21]
Yeah, we definitely have made some improvements along the way. Like we’ve changed. Originally, it came in a duffel bag rather than a carrying backpack that we have now. But yeah, we were at about eight, nine months. And we’re like, Alright, let’s just sell this thing like, but whatever happens happens. But yeah, we definitely made a few good rounds of revisions before we ever released it to the public.
David Ralph [11:45]
So this is really interesting because we’re seeing the formation of a product all the way through. So the lessons we’ve learned so far, but you’ve delivered this is that you’ve got to have an idea. You’ve got to test that idea. Then you’ve got to do your market research. So you Got your mates round you got your friends round and said, You know that does this excite you? Do you remember it from the old days and you play on to the MR Alger. But then you’ve really got to get it right so that it doesn’t fall apart. Because when I was a kid, we used to have a thing. I don’t know if America shy Americans had it as well called swing ball. Do you remember swing bow where you’ve put a stick in the ground and you hit a ball back and forth? Yeah. And when I was a kid, you could kill a child with it. It was like a kid annatto it was like a big metal spear. Now, it’s just rubbish. And it just falls apart. It’s just like made out of plastic. So what was the material that you use that would withstand being thrown in the back of a car I’ve been taken down to the beach, and I imagine that there’s going to be sort of salty spray hitting it and all the kinds of things that will corrode it. What were the kind of process that you went through?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [12:53]
Yeah, so we tested different types of metals, def different type of polymers, different types of plastic Definitely not the one on the engineering side. So the egg exact type of steel pole that we’re using right now wouldn’t be able to give you the proper name for that. I will check back
David Ralph [13:11]
Yes, Mikey up, Chris. I wouldn’t know anyway, you could, you could call it anything.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [13:15]
Yeah. So we’re using some some high quality metal to make sure that it’s wind waterproof resistant. And that way there’s longevity to it. Nothing worse than buying a product and it rusting two days after you get it. So we’re definitely making it weatherproof for everybody. And we want it to be a permanent solution.
David Ralph [13:32]
Thanks here from Oprah Winfrey. And then we’ll be back with Chris,
Oprah Winfrey [13:35]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this too. But what is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move and the next right move and not to be overwhelmed by it because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not thinking By what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [14:06]
So you don’t get anything out to market like you have, without some kind of an an anchor, a visionary, a dream or somebody pragmatic. Where does it fit? How did you manage to hit those obstacles and pass them like Oprah said, because it’s not simply a case of just being quiet? Where are you in the puzzle? Are you the pragmatic one? Are you like me that says, I’ll just get it out is, it’s all right. It does its job.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [14:36]
I’m more of a strategy guy for the team. I’m looking not one week down the road. I’m looking three years down the road. So I’m trying to build the relationships now. That may not be big wins, but in six months from now, or a year from now will end up becoming very fruitful for us. So we have like three three strong pillars that our game realises it is on and that’s being in the physical education classrooms. It’s being a product at home for parents. And then it’s also millennials like myself going to the beach. And so we’re driving those three core markets. So my whole job is to kind of build strategies around those three different avenues to grow our sport.
David Ralph [15:18]
So from your side of the fence, you’re just trying to pull ladies. So you get it down there. you plant it in the beach, ladies come along in their bikinis and I’ve seen your website, I’ve seen the images, and they say, Oh, this is interesting, guys. Yeah. And then you’re in there.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [15:33]
Bang straight in. Exactly. That’s why that’s why we moved to Miami Actually, that’s we started the game in Miami. We moved to Miami just
David Ralph [15:41]
genius, Chris. I like it. In fact, I’m gonna give you a round of applause. Anybody that can build a million dollar business and get laid in the process as well, yeah, you’re doing it well. You you are you are doing it well. So right. Okay. So this is interesting. Again, this. There’s so many used to base. So you spoke to me, and it was a beach thing. And I thought, yeah, I can totally see this. I can see where this is going. But actually the schools, that is where you’re so one of your biggest markets is now I know getting anything into schools because I’ve spoken to so many people that have targeted that area. There were so many restrictions on safety and, and sort of health and safety. How have you overcome that? How have you got the schools to actually say, yeah, none of my students are going to sort of hang themselves, but a lot of them might get pregnant because of the sexiness.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [16:37]
Yeah, that was a that a lot of credit comes down to just being patient and making sure that the polls, polls are steady enough, the netting was stable, the tension strings weren’t going to collapse on somebody. When you play a game, the net should never fall down. It’s only fallen down probably like twice for us out of the thousands of games that we’ve played due to high winds. Something like that. So we had to prove that to the teachers in the beginning, we’d send out prototypes to them, we’d even send them three versions and be like, hey, try it out for 30 days, if you like it, send us a check if not just keep it. So that’s how we kind of first started. And then eventually we’ve gone into become the homepage of these big catalogues that gets sent out to every gym teacher. And now we’re in over 4000 schools so it’s just kind of a referral system at this point one gym teachers using it. Next one to use and and it’s just a community that just keeps growing. I mean, this this is kind of genius again, so you’re not actually having to spend a lot of marketing. You’re just getting into one school and letting it like, I don’t want to use the word virus at the moment, but I’m going to use it anyway. Like, like a virus is spreading is spread through the schools. Yeah. And the same same goes to our just overall company, right? somebody buys a net, they go set it up in their town. People watch them play it and then they go By I remember some of those first girls from Miami, right? When we move down here, they’re from New York on spring break. And they bought a net, and they brought it home to New York with them. And it was a random small town in New York I’ve never heard of, but they kept posting on Instagram that they’re playing every weekend. What do you know, sales from their town just kept happening. So the more nets we got into the world, the more like virus happened. So what was
David Ralph [18:23]
your marketing strategy at the beginning, then when you sat there and it was still a concept you You must have bought yourself? There’s got to be a way of getting this out. Yeah. And it wouldn’t be just putting it in the sand and playing it until the lovely lady comes along. How did you actually plan it?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [18:41]
That was actually our strategy to be fully honest. We would go to the beach. We know we
David Ralph [18:48]
I’ve only known you for 20 minutes and I knew you were gonna savour I can see how your brain works mate.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [18:53]
We moved to Miami with a full intention of going to a place that had a year round beach. Popular And our goal as young entrepreneurs was to enjoy our lives, but also get as much content as possible and expose as many people as possible. And we lived in a small town in Connecticut. So moving from a small farm town to Miami was just such a culture shock, that we knew that we’d be exposed to so many different people. So we’d go almost every day. And we’d go set up the four way volleyball net, and hedge return. Like it would start with just our friends playing. And then by the end of the day, we’d be like 50 people in line playing everybody on the beach, staring at it, taking pictures, uploading to Instagram. So we did this for about, I’d say, six, seven months straight. Almost every day people like relied on us to be there for their entertainment. And that’s how we built up a lot of our content for the company and made us look like way bigger than we really are. Because we just had alternating tourists into the in the shots every day. So
David Ralph [19:57]
it sounds so easy. Doesn’t sound so many When you save this, and it’s kind of taking my breath away, because after two and a half thousand shows, I know that there is a struggle. Oh yeah, you’ve kind of done real world marketing, you’ve found a product that people actually like. And instead of trying to force it on them, they’re sharing it for you. Of course, yeah, we got
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [20:19]
really fortunate I’m not gonna lie we are there was tonnes of struggle. Over a year and a half straight, we didn’t pay ourselves. I remember being like, if we could just sell 10 of these a day, like, we’ll be really financially good guys. And now we’re selling 500 a day. But it took a long time to really build that trust up for the product. The product is $150. So it’s not the cheapest, especially in our economy right now. But it did take time it took more the more customers we got, and whether that was giving them a discount code or just being over communicated with them with customer service. As we steadily grew our customers We knew that they would champion the product for us. So it just took time. So we got enough customers out in the world where everyone was playing on a consistent basis. And that’s when things kind of really ticked off.
David Ralph [21:11]
Have you done like an affiliate package for schools, so when a school uses it, they can actually sell it on your behalf and get money back into their own coffers.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [21:20]
So we haven’t done anything like that. Definitely a good idea on that part right now for the schools. They purchase from a catalogue, the catalogue purchaser almost at wholesale. And then we have a wholesale section on our website and the legislation section on our website, where they’ll submit a form, and then we’ll send them over pricing and then we’ll sell it to them right there. And then of course, we’ll have people reach out to us that almost every day, okay. Do you have a referral system? And we’re like, yeah, you sell you sell a net, use this discount code we make for you. We’ll throw you 20 bucks, we’ll 3050 bucks, whatever it is. So we definitely have some like Junior ambassadors out there running around trying to flip the net and
David Ralph [21:58]
have that hustle and something upsetting. Viewers, but I haven’t seen before maybe it’s just because I haven’t sort of Google DS. If you go over to Amazon, you’ve got like a proper page. It’s not just like a little product squeezed in there. Basically, this is like, this is Oh, yeah. He says, Oh, yeah. would you expect anything else from Chris? And I’m just scrolling down. And there she is. There’s the lady in the bikini. I knew it was going to be somewhere down here. That my girlfriend in about? I don’t know. I’ll be back in about 15 minutes, Chris. I’m just looking at the images. So yeah, so is this something that other companies do because I’ve never seen a page like this on Amazon have like a full page.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [22:38]
Yeah, um, companies that fully know how to utilise Amazon. They should have a good, good page like this. It’s definitely an investment. We’re fortunate we have a distributor who sells on Amazon for us. They buy in very large bulk, and then they run our entire Amazon store all of our customer service. They should everything out within 24 hours. So they’re a great company but yeah, we built this Amazon page just to really show off the brand like we need to have video video sales for us. Obviously girls in bikini sell for us but like just family it’s a family sport. So we want to show all the elements of different people who play and there’s no better way to capture that then through a full page Amazon
David Ralph [23:22]
Yeah, I mean to the Gaussian became I’ve just bought six I was I was so nervous. I just kept on clicking my mouse and I don’t know what I bought on there. So with it, where where are you looking for it to go then obviously, you want global domination. But what I find with so many entrepreneurs is the next idea is almost like really difficult to get the first idea but then the next idea comes along and the next idea can you already without telling us because we don’t want to take away your your sort of visions. Have you got other projects in your mind at the moment?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [23:55]
Oh, yeah. 100% 100% Yeah, I’m super stoked for that.
David Ralph [24:00]
today about ladies Chris, do they involve ladies? They do involve them but not in bikinis. Right? Okay. Okay. So say you’re growing up a bit, you’re, unless you’re exhausted, it might be that and you’ve decided, decided to go a different way. So will you be able to get the new ones out to market so much quicker, you know, what’s been the big learnings that you’ve had on this?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [24:23]
So the big learnings are ours, our company is unpredictable. Nobody expected what’s going on in the world happening right now. So more and more people are looking to purchase our game, because it’s creating fun in a time that is desperately needed. So learnings for us is that we really had to learn how to do proper inventory management to make sure that we’re ahead of the curve. Our product is not sourced in America, or even the UK so there’s a lead time that has to be associated to that. So we have to plan everything 6070 sometimes 120 days out And that means having the cash up front that manufactured things. So now we’ve gone from a company that was negotiating for 50 units to start with our 10 grand to buy over a million dollars worth of inventory at a time. So there’s a lot of planning and forecasting and making sure these retailers are happy while this customer base is happy, a lot of different things to juggle. So it’s been a huge learning curve.
David Ralph [25:23]
And of course, Chris, you’re what 2627 at the moment. Yeah, I’m 27 you’re 27 and so by the time this lockdown finishes, you’ll probably be 42 Okay, so we’re gonna be Yeah, we’re gonna be spending a lot of time in our house. What about an indoor one? We saw like a softball that you have to sit down so that you don’t knock over your mom’s favourite vase or something. So that’s
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [25:46]
what he said that we actually just got a video about two days ago. Somebody set it up inside their living room, and you could see like they almost smashed down the family portrait in the living room and hit the TV. So people, people They’re getting pretty clever with it. But we also do sell an indoor model that we just put out a few months ago and has an indoor base. And this is really going to be a focal point for tailgates. And also indoor gym classes
David Ralph [26:13]
what I want so when because I know the Americans when they go to a sporting event, they bring the truck and they help us and they have, you know, we we go to a football match, and we basically turn up five minutes beforehand, but you turn out six hours beforehand. And so you would be expecting them to be playing in this in the carpark and stuff with you.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [26:33]
Oh, yeah, definitely. This would be a perfect game, because you have right now it’s a lot of beanbag toss, and frisbee and football, but like setting this up would be great. So I definitely see it being pretty successful there.
David Ralph [26:46]
I did sort of allude to this earlier, you’ve got numerous different ideas, but personally, has this taken you by surprise. I do actually feel to yourself because a lot of people would say they’re an entrepreneur, but I would say You know, you’re a businessman, you’re a businessman that has created something. has it taken you by surprise over the last few years of where you thought your life was heading to what you’re doing now?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [27:10]
1,000,000% would I ever expect to do a podcast in my life three years ago? Definitely not. I never thought I was going to be a person talking about my business and growing the sport and I was on a plane the before all this broke out, and somebody saw my phone case and it has a picture of cross ad on it. And he’s like, Oh, you have one of those to my mom bought it for me for Christmas. I’m like, Nah, man, I invented it. And we just had like the coolest one hour conversation. And it’s just it’s a crazy feeling like his life is radically improved in three years. And I’m really fortunate
David Ralph [27:44]
and why obviously financially, but what else?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [27:48]
Success more than more than financially, just freedom to do what I want when I want and to not have a ball. I’ll always remember my first job. I got an email from my boss saying hey, Chris, the back left corner of your shirt is a little bit on top. We’re gonna need you to tuck it in a little bit better. And I was like, Dude, are you kidding me? Like I’ll never forget. So like just not dealing with corporate nonsense is the best thing I could ever ask for.
David Ralph [28:17]
You can’t go back Can you? I always say to people, there’s no way that I could go back to them saying, We need you at the desk at eight o’clock. I would say to them, but but why we don’t open till 10 why why why do I have to be here? Now because you have to be everybody else is here at eight o’clock. Well, this is just stupid. I think I would argue about everything. There’s no way that I could be employed because I quite fancy just before I started recording this. I was just having a bit with somebody in the garden. It’s really warm today. And I was thinking to myself, well, obviously now the whole world’s at home so it’s not that much of a perk. But normally I’d be going I’m doing this while everybody else is at work. But now you know the whole world is sitting behind zoom watching, watching john Krasinski episodes on YouTube and just sort of having a just having a lovely life. So, before we sort of say goodbye to you, I want to play the words of Steve Jobs. He said some amazing words back in 2005. Very worth hearing. Again, here is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [29:18]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [29:52]
Now I normally ask whether people believe in most words, but I’m going to ask you Chris, you’ve obviously now created your own path. So those words would be relevant to you. But without the other two guys. Would you be where you are now? Was it always going to happen? Or did it have to be that perfect storm? of you, Greg, and the other guy was his name. Mike. Mike. Yeah. Did it have to be the three of you?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [30:19]
Yeah, there’s absolutely no chance it happens to the three of us. Each of us bring different strengths to the table. And yeah, if it wasn’t the three of us right now, like that night sitting down, I don’t think this would have ever happened. And we just all bring different skill sets that were never stepping on each other’s toes. It allows for really good growth, rather than setbacks.
David Ralph [30:42]
What about when you fall out, fall out with one of them, Chris, what about Greg you know that Greg gets up your nose, and you really, you just can’t look at his face. And the last thing you want to do is have another cross net meeting with how do you deal with it?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [30:58]
It’s funny you say that? Yeah, it happens. From time to time, but the nice thing actually about doing business with family. So I know people deal people look at business with family two different ways. For me, it allows us to be super candid and direct. I don’t have to dress dance around anything. I don’t have to sugarcoat anything. I say how it is and how I feel. And if I’m wrong, they’ll tell me straight back. Yo, you’re wrong for this reason. So I think just having clear, like, transparency and not ever having to fluff things up. Even with Mike, we’ve known Mike for so long. You know, we’re, we’re just straight shooters, and there’s no time to fluff stuff up and make people feel good about stuff that’s not going the right way. So being able to be direct is we all appreciate that
David Ralph [31:42]
properly. So if I’m competition, I’ve got a Bravo and there’s definitely competition. And I think you can go through all over the rock bands of the world and the ones that have got brothers in normally that’s the friction that makes it brilliant, but also kind of destroys it in the long run. Because then if there’s too much honesty, did you know what I’m saying?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [32:03]
Yeah, I do. I do. And it helps that we have our other projects and he lives in San Diego. I live in Miami. So there’s that distance. We’re not on top of each other on a day to day basis. So we have things to look forward to when we see each other outside of the business. So it’s a good, good balance for now at least.
David Ralph [32:20]
Okay, so you touched on something I wasn’t expecting here. I assume that you was all chasing the same ladies down in Miami. But he’s moved to a different gene pool. He is sorting himself out over in San Diego. Yeah, um, so how do you do this? Do you do this on zoom? I imagine D meetings virtually.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [32:36]
Now. We hate zoom. We never use zoom. We’re fine. How
can you hate zoom? It’s taken the world by stone. We got FaceTime. I literally click a button on my phone. I don’t have to schedule any meeting. I just hit FaceTime. I FaceTime about 25 times a day. And
David Ralph [32:54]
that’s how we run over to you Chris. How annoying are you? So he’s halfway through now. flicks saying that he’s busy. And then you’ll need more time.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [33:04]
Yep. That I mean, that’s how we work. It’s, it’s just we have our working hours and we just we have our we have our groups or the face times or the calls if we need to have one of our like one of our virtual assistants, we’ll do some zoom or Google Hangout or something like that. But most of our meetings are done through FaceTime or FaceTime audio.
David Ralph [33:22]
And have you got enough to talk about 25 times? Well, once you talk about
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [33:27]
it, she’s just a little things like, oh, the payment processor stopped working for five minutes, or Oh, we want to Dick’s Sporting Goods is asking for another order for this out like can we do it? Just little things like that. We’re starting with a new PR firm this week to hopefully get us on like Ellen DeGeneres or something cool like that. So there’s a lot of conversation to have around that. So there’s definitely enough to talk about
David Ralph [33:50]
Yeah, ladies as well. So you’ve got competition there.
Unknown Speaker [33:56]
Yes, Yes, I did. Yeah.
David Ralph [33:58]
I don’t know if it’s gonna be a win for But go for it. Go for it anyway. So So Chris, this is the part of the show that we’ve been building up to. It’s been lovely talking to you. I love what you’re doing with cross net. And I really wish that he, and I’m sure it will go from strength to strength. But of course, your guest on Join Up Dots. And so we’ve taken you on a journey. And this has led you to the bit that we called a sermon on the mic, when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to young Chris, what age and what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music and when it fades, it’s your time to talk. This is the Sermon on the mind
Unknown Speaker [34:43]
with the best bit of the show
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [35:00]
Chris, you’re 21 right now, you’ve just graduated college with a film degree that you don’t know. But in just a few months, you’re going to realise that you probably never use it ever again. Gone your entire life thinking about making movies and making film, and your life’s gonna take you a complete opposite direction, but it’s going to be good, it’s going to be okay. But the next three or four years, life is going to be stressful. You’re going to bounce from job to job, trying to figure out what you love what you don’t love. And just take it one day at a time because things do get better. And the jobs and the money will come and just be patient. Because life’s difficult, life’s challenging. But when you find that one thing that really speaks to you, you’re going to be able to really identify it and run with it. So just stay patient and be humble and continue to grow and it will be all worth it. So when you’re having those sit downs with Greg and Mike Listen up, cuz it’ll definitely be worth it.
David Ralph [36:03]
Right advice. Great advice for the young Chris. And do you think he would have listened to you, Chris?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [36:07]
I think so I think it would have been tough at times. I know definitely. For me when I graduated from film school, I always wanted to be a movie director and swallowing that pride and realising that, that life wasn’t cut out for me, was tough because I went to school to become go into the film world. I thought I was moving out to Los Angeles after school and it just never happened.
David Ralph [36:28]
Yeah, but you can take those skills and create cross net videos and different things, you know, all those photos on the site, all those videos, most of them are mine. So I’ve definitely translated some of those skills. And you see the dots always join up. You know, they’re they’re not dots, but you leave behind by experiences that you bring with you. And when you find that you’re in a different environment, you look back like Steve Jobs said, and you go, Oh, yeah, I can do that. Because that that job that I didn’t think was bringing me anything because the boss was a complete idiot, who told me to tuck my shirt in in a different way. I actually learned something there, but I can use they all join up. So Chris, what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [37:07]
So Connect me personally, just send me an email. Chris HR is at cross
David Ralph [37:12]
net game Comm. We will have over links on the show notes. Chris, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got more cross nets or whatever to share with us. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Chris Mead, thank you so much.
CROSSNET founder Chris Meade [37:31]
Thank you appreciate it.
David Ralph [37:35]
Mr. Chris made from a cross net. So yeah, he comes up with this idea. I think this is good. Let’s go out and get a prototype buys to next bang gets his mates involved. Do you think this is a good idea? We think it’s a great idea, takes it to market but then of course he has a risk. Yes, put all his money in it, but he believes in it. He believes in it. And so many people won’t take that risk of you know, putting their money in putting somebody else’s money in and that’s where it dies. Chris is doing great stuff. And I’m so proud and pleased to see that he’s really loving his life as well. So I’m cross net. So if you’ve got a school or you got a, whatever, you can go over there to Amazon or you can go to eBay. And you can buy this there all over the place. Until next time, thank you so much my young friends and nicotine lovers. I don’t know why then bye bye. Hey, if you do want to be it’s so sexy talk that Chris was going on about. Until next time you Look after yourselves, and I’ll see you again.
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