Alex Neist is a former pro football player, a former lifetime snorer, and the brilliant mind behind Hostage Tape, a product that stops people from snoring. It did for Alex, and it saved his marriage in the process. Learn how the tape – which covers your mouth, but still lets you breathe – can help you finally get a good night’s sleep. Plus, Alex peels back the curtain on what it takes to launch – and scale – what is now an eight-figure business and what his plans are for the company going forward.

Why Americans don’t sleep better:

“I can only talk about us in western civilization here, in North America. Here in the U.S. I just don’t think that we’re taught, and we’re being taught, enough about how important it is to get great sleep and the things we can do to get great sleep. And I think the most important one being – which we’re solving – mouth breathing. … In my journey as a high-level athlete my whole life; I went 40 years and never learned that mouth breathing (and why you shouldn’t do it) is so important. It’s just crazy.”

A famous sleep study on nose breathing vs. mouth breathing:

“I stumbled across this article that was written by James Nestor. He wrote this bestselling book called “Breathe.” And in this excerpt from the book, he talks about this experiment that he did at Stanford Medical Center. They plugged people’s noses for ten days and they had doctors measure what happened. Throughout the ten days people developed sleep apnea, snoring, and dangerously low levels of blood oxygen. And then when they pulled the nose plugs out and made them wear mouth tape to force nasal breathing everything went away.”

The marketing strategy behind “Hostage Tape”:

“When we researched it and looked at what was in the market at the time, nobody really went after it and said, “We are going to create a really cool brand.” Nobody was doing a great job of branding something. So, I knew that if I was going to take tis great idea and make it big, it had to be around this great brand that we create.”

How people feel about the branding:

“When people see it come across their feed, they do one of two things. They’re either wildly offended because they’re like, “Ugh. Who would name it that?!” But then you have this other sector of people, who is our target, and they go, “Oh, that’s clever. I love it.”

On choosing a partner for his venture:

“When I started this brand, I wanted to get into ecommerce because I kept seeing all this stuff about ecommerce. And I was in SAAS (software as a service), and if you know anything about software, it is really hard. So, I really wanted to get into ecommerce, and I knew that if I was going to make it work, I had to have a partner who was strategically aligned with me. And so, I purposely partnered with a guy that I had worked with for years in my previous business and he was a creative. I knew we had to own our creative. I wasn’t going to hire an agency to do all our creative, and not own it ourselves.”

Comparing his football playing days to building a business:

“It’s the grind. And what a lot of people who look in from the outside on entrepreneurship and building a business don’t understand is that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows every day. Like an athlete, you wake up every day in the morning, you go to the gym, you work out, you practice, you go home, and you repeat it day in and day out for 15 years. That’s entrepreneurship. You get up, you do all the work. It might feel monotonous, but that’s what you have to do. And then it stacks, and stacks, and stacks and builds. And the momentum continues to build and build and build.”