The honest reality of entrepreneurship is that oftentimes you’ll think you have everything figured out and then some pitfall happens or something new that you have to overcome.” That is the sentiment that entrepreneur Rod Marchand, President and CEO of Marchand Retail Group, knows all too well and that’s why he is sharing it with us in his very first book which is aptly titled ‘Man F@#K’.
“It’s supposed to be a very inspirational book,” Marchand said. “But it’s not just that. It’s a story of my journey and the things we have had to overcome along the way.”
Among those challenges include the near-death of a child and a major fire at their business—yeah, real-life stuff.
However, it’s not all tragedy in the book. Marchand lays out, in a very easy-to-consume manner, his path from an employee at his parent’s mom-and-pop electronics retail shop in Harvey, North Dakota to what is today, a much bigger operation.
Marchand and his wife bought the company in 1999 which, at the time, was housed in a 1,600-square foot location. Today, the Harvey location sits at 20,000 square feet.
We sat down with him to learn more.
What is the book about?
Despite what the title says, it’s not a vulgar book. However, the title is the sentiment that is the honest reality of entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur, when things are going well and you think you have things figured out, that’s usually when some life event happens or you run into something new that you have to overcome. It’s a very inspirational book and it’s intended to be that way. But it’s a story of my journey. It’s a very open and honest book about the reality of life and what it takes to persevere and overcome and grow your business.
We are the second generation of our retail group which was founded by my parents as a little mom-and-pop electronic store that I grew up in. The book describes this whole journey. My wife and I bought the company in 1999 and we’ve grown it since then from a 1,600 square feet location to a now 20,000 square feet in small town, Harvey North Dakota, and we’ve been in multiple industries, but we mainly sell furniture, appliance, and floor coverings out of the Harvey location.
At one point, we got very heavily into the E-commerce platforms, specifically selling furniture on Amazon. We were doing great with that volume-wise, but couldn’t make any money because of all things being equal on the internet—the lowest price wins. Also at this time, around 2014, the bed box industry and major competitors like Casper, Ghost, etc. were really blowing up. We saw that consumers really liked the delivery method. It was convenient and easy to do. But we found that most of the products in the industry were imported from China. You could choose from five models that were already pre-designed and you just picked the one and slapped your own label on it. They were poor quality, had bad quality control and just a lot of issues. There really wasn’t anything that was a premium product. That gave me the idea to create my own mattress with a focus on health and wellness—to put a premium product in a box. We started Accord Comfort Sleep Systems with our own proprietary technology. The book is about our journey from the beginning to where we are at now with that.