By now you are all familiar with Jordan Swerdloff and his rise to success with ADV1 Wheels, but a company is not ran by one person and can never be successful without good people that share a common vision. Meet Miguel Bolanos, a guy that decided that working as a system admin and being stuck behind a desk was not the life he wanted and so he decided to do something about it. Learn more about Miguel and how his dedication to a simple sales role and his belief in one man’s vision led him to now become the part of today’s fastest growing wheel company, and buy his first Lamborghini well before 30!
Who are you and what do you do?
Oh man this questions leaves room for a lot of answers. What don’t I do should be the question lol. I’m pretty much responsible for the wholesale/sales backbone of the ADV.1 product line. As you are already aware we are 100% Wholesale and do not sell to the end consumer, thus we rely on a family of dealers to support and push our product. I say family because I take them very seriously and ADV1 would not be where it is at today without them. Thanks guys!
Jordan gives me the daily tools I need to fight my battles with other wheel competitors. You can imagine how much blood and sweat was exhausted to get ADV1 to the level and sales volume it is at today. I had to convince wholesalers everywhere that we are offering a literally superior wheel product while having an 800lb gorilla on my back whom will remain nameless. ;) I felt like that guy on the infomercials… “Please try my product” lol.
Day to day activities include a zombie like comatose state stuck to my MAC while answering an endless supply of emails regarding new sales leads, product expansion, product support, and new marketing ideas. We literally work in a cave and allow ourselves 1 parking-lot lap per day. It’s a 5 minute break where we get to see daylight and remember there is human life outside our office. I think there is a healthy balance between my daily emails and how much time I spend on the phone. My day continues into the night were Night Shift begins (6pm – ???) , I have a theory that at any given point in the day, there is someone in the world that is ready to buy some wheels. Im here to capitalize on that.
How did you meet Jordan Swerdloff?
Jordan and I share the same passion; I would actually go further to say it’s an obsession. We are obsessed with the high end automotive world and design. When you mix the 2 you get ADV.1 Wheels.
I met Jordan at an automotive tuning shop here in Miami, he was looking to get some work done on his CLS 63 AMG and I was getting some major upgrades done on my 335i. We started talking a bit about upgrades and different vehicle applications and we just hit it off. We talked about some things like how his first car was a 280z and how I would have spanked him in my 89′ single-cam 240sx. He’s actually a really down to earth guy when you get past his feeble attempts to get in your pants… I mean, what!? j/k
I think our friendship finally solidified itself when we met again at a local 1/4 mile event. I had never seen someone abuse a car so much… in my life! Jordan raced his CLS63 non stop… literally. The guy came to the track with a full tank of gas, pulled right up to the tree, smoked tires, launched that giant beast out of the gate, and beat that motor up for a little over a 1/4 mile only to turn around, get his time slip, and do it again! Him and John did so many passes they ran out of gas on the track! I thought this guy was nuts, maybe in a short bus kind of way, so I picked him up and took him to the nearest gas station so we can refuel the monster and do it again.
Why did you decide to work with him?
I have no idea. lol Well jokes aside the man had a vision and I saw it right away. I was looking for a way to combine my automotive passion and my day to day and Jordan opened that door for me. I will be brutally honest as it was a very tough decision to take a risk and break the normal routine of a semi corporate life. I haven’t looked back since. :)
After all that happened at 360 Forged, why did you stick around?
360 was a learning experience for everyone. We had our good times followed by an epic fail stream of bad times which eventually led to the end. I chose to stick around not only for Jordan, but for myself. I consider myself a good person and as I mentioned before I take my dealers very seriously, I start considering them family and I do whatever it takes to keep them happy. I remember I would skin my checks sometimes to help get a set out faster knowing I wasn’t going to get reimbursed! I had to do something to get my mind and name right, I stuck around and with Jordan, created the absolute role model for a proper business model and exceptional product.
You are pretty young and enjoy a lavish lifestyle, what can be attributed to your success?
I actually thank my High School economics teacher for this one. His name is Mr. Charles Cleveland and I’m pretty sure I forget everything from his class by now, I did keep one piece of advise close to my heart however as he would repeat one phrase over and over again throughout EVERY class: “Break the Cycle.” It took me about half the semester to realize what he meant. You have to embrace life and live it as you choose, be your own boss and make your own decisions. I would literally picture a never ending corporate circle when he would mention this: Going to an interview all dressed up, getting an entry level position with internship pay, waking up in the wee hours of the morning everyday, sitting in traffic for an hour, morning coffee, catch up on yesterdays work before lunch, have a quick microwaveable lunch, sit back at cubicle and work for another couple hours, stare at screen for last two hours waiting for the day to end, leave work only to sit in an hour of traffic again, get home, rinse, wash, and repeat….. Looking forward to a promotion on pay while maintaining the same cycle of life was not for me. I chose to become successful based of the phrase “break the cycle” and I think I’m almost there.
What is different about what you do here at ADV1 and what you did at 360 forged?
Absolutely everything is different here at ADV.1 as I now have direct control over the daily operations. At 360 I was focused in sales and I was good at it. Setting new dealers up and maintaining my accounts was not a problem. The issues caused on the back end however I was not aware of until too late thus hindering my abilities. At ADV.1 Wheels I can do what I do best, but I can do it right. There are no issues here in terms of wheel deliveries, customer service issues, payment, nothing. While my day to day has increased 10x in a few short months…. so has my productivity and sales averages. ;)
What was your first job?
Wow my first job, looking back at it it was exactly what i preach against now. I had many jobs here and there when i was growing up but my first REAL job was for Starbucks corporate. I was a Systems Administrator/ Marketing Analyst. If you want to know what I did read above for an exact description of my day to day. ;)
After about a solid year of having a dream corporate job fresh out of the University, I realized that sitting behind a desk wasn’t for me. I’m a people person and I belong in the outside world. I needed to be my own boss and make my own hours. This is when my life began.
What was the hardest challenge for you through this hard road?
Dedication and faith are the most important tools in your arsenal to achieve greatness. You have no idea how many people disagreed with what I was doing. The long hours, the stress, the fatigue, it was horrendous. I can honestly say that some of the darkest times I have had in my life I shared with Jordan. Creating ADV.1 Wheels was no walk in the park even though some speculate different views. We had to endure the absolute worse, getting into arguments with each other as to who’s mortgage payment was more important that month or how Jordan is going to be able to buy formula for his son were just some examples. But we kept on fighting, believing in ourselves and the product we were creating. We kept going to the office, day after day with no monetary compensation and dedicated our lives to what we have made today…. we believed it would pay off…. we were right.
What was the best business decision you ever made?
Believing in myself. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for it. You need to set goals in your life and project where you are going to be in 5-10-15-50 years from now. Believe that you will get there and you will see it happen.
You recently bought a sick White G Spyder, tell us about the car and mods. Was this a long awaited dream? What was your first car?
Ah, the infamous great white buffalo! I can honestly say this was one of my many dream cars growing up. My motivation when I was 12 years old came from staring at my poster of a white Lamborghini Countach LP500S! Maybe it was the fact that this particular model was launched the same year I was born that planted the Lamborghini seed into my head. That and the cameo appearance it made in the first Cannon Ball run!
The car is an automotive masterpiece. It is absolutely jaw dropping to just see it but once the 500 ponies open up it sings! I got the car thinking, ok wheels and a drop and i’m done on this one. Well that lasted about 10 minutes, haha. So far the G has received a coil over treatment, upgraded Carbon clutch, BMC Filters, RSC Titanium Exhaust, RSC LP560 front end conversion in paint as we speak, RSC tune incoming, and of coarse the cherry on top – ADV10.1 HEFFNER edition wheels – super light thanks to Jason! Im sure this will get me through January… then maybe snail time!?
In all honesty I am truly blessed to be able to experience this joy.
The world lost faith in Jordan at some point after the fall of 360, what was it that you saw that made you not lose faith?
Jordan is not only a friend to me, he is family. I see him as a brother and a somewhat role model, believe it or not. If there is one thing WE all know, you cannot give up on family, ever. So Jordan went through a rough time, a learning experience gone bad where he ended up being the scapegoat to a sinking ship. Sure it would have been easy to turn my back on him like everyone else and go on living, but for what? Jordan created a huge wave with what he did at 360 and no one would dare to question him when things were good. But just when things take a turn for the worse… all of the “I told you so’s” came out, the best was 99% of them never had any actual business dealings with Jordan or 360!! lol
I knew Jordan had some ideas floating around of whats next. He just needed to get his priorities in check and realize that this was the time to do it right. After some brainstorming and a collaboration of ideas we set out to create the highest quality aftermarket wheels ever.
Jordan is a genuinely good person, when you hang out with him you understand it. He’s a family man that only looks forward to going home and being with his family once the hard day is over. Faith is all we have, if we start losing it everytime we are disappointed or hurt, we would disappear.
Where do you see ADV1 heading? What role will you play?
Adv.1 Wheels is heading for Epicness. Its that fine line right above greatness! Lol. I can only keep my faith and dedication to ensure this happens and that we continue being successful. We are constantly trying to evolve the wheel industry, new wheel designs were just the beginning. The Concave wave that followed the ADV.1 line is just the beginning of the ride we will take the industry on. ☺ One can wish to achieve greatness or he/she can just do it. I will continue to search for new untapped outlets to marketing the ADV.1 line. My goal for 2011 is a household name, 2 years after launch!
What did you do after the fall of 360? Other jobs?
You mean after wheel college? There was nothing else to do but strap up take the negatives and use them as positives to get where I wanted to be. There was no other job after 360, it was straight to suffering while we created ADV.1 from scratch.
A big Thank you to Miguel Bolanos for sharing his success story with our readers and we congratulate him on taking a risk n himself and living his dream.
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