I am a lifelong automotive enthusiast who was as happy as a pig in you-know-what once I discovered YouTube and all of its great automotive channels. I’d wager to guess that I’m older than a vast majority of the people reading my content, so to think that I didn’t really discover YouTube until about 2015 or so is really embarrassing to admit out loud. Of course I knew existed, but I never spent any time poking around and seeing what kind of content was available. One of the first automotive channels I discovered one called “Adam LZ BMX”.
I should point out that I had been subscribed to a lot of other automotive YouTube channels before I ever discovered Adam LZ. First came Matt Maran and TJ Hunt, followed shortly thereafter by some smaller (at the time) channels such as streetspeed717 and Nick Murray. It was actually Nick who introduced me to Adam. Not personally of course, but it was via a really good video he created featuring Adam and his BMW 325i.
Adam didn’t start out being a car guy
Born in raised in Woodbury Connecticut, Adam Lizotte-Zeister was a typical kid interested in video games and BMX bikes before he ever got into cars. He always had the creator mentality though, with a thriving entrepreneurial spirit to go with it. As a matter fact, his first YouTube channel that he started in 2010 had nothing to do with cars at all. It was mostly guitar stuff in the beginning, but slowly it morphed into BMX related content over time.
Adam never found much success with this channel (at least compared to the status of his current channel today), which was a good thing because he likely would have never started another channel if he had even moderate success with the first one. Adam never went into much detail about how and why he ended his first channel other than stating that he wanted to start fresh and refocus slightly.
In 2014, Adam created another YouTube channel called “LZBMX”. Interestingly enough, it featured the same type of BMX tutorials that his prior channel contained, which was a bit confusing because many of his viewers didn’t notice a big change from one channel to the other. However, it didn’t take long to realize how this new channel would be different. Suddenly, without much warning, there were a lot more car related videos thrown into the mix.
It wasn’t exactly clear at the time of the switch, but looking back on it, LZBMX was a lot more casual and varied than Adam’s previous channel. Not only was there the usual BMX content, but there were also regular travel vlogs and car stuff mixed in. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that Adam was attending the University of Central Florida and working on his BA in Business Management. Busy college student meant that he didn’t have a lot of time to focus on his video content. At least not as much as he would have liked.
The switch from BMX to cars
Before going much further, it’s really important to emphasize how deeply entrenched Adam LZ was into the world of BMX. He was an extremely talented rider, easily one of the best in his region considering how many competitions he had won. Stranger Bikes sponsored him for years (before and during college) and for the longest time it seemed as if Adam LZ was on his way to becoming one of the best pro riders ever. He was extremely talented.
His lifelong dedication to riding and being the best he could possibly be led him to grow a massive fan base both online and off. Having an extremely friendly and helpful personality was immensely helpful as well, and it was perfect for attracting attention on YouTube. Suffice to say, a vast majority of his audience on YouTube were fans of Adam LZ the BMX guy. Not the car guy.
Adam was so successful in BMX that he had already established a thriving merchandise company selling LZBMX t-shirts and hats long before he ever made the switch the cars. As mentioned earlier, his massive success in BMX so early in life had set him up for a lifelong career as a pro rider if that’s what he wanted to do. Adam LZ was completely qualified for it. Not only as a rider, but as a growing businessman as well.
But then, just as he just finishing up school and preparing to go full-time with YouTube, there was a noticeable switch to automotive content on his channel. It wasn’t completely abrupt, but it was getting to the point where many of his biggest BMX fans were becoming saddened about his loss of interest in the sport.
Adam LZ always has been someone who loves to learn and grow, and he eventually made a statement that he felt like he went as far as he could with the BMX thing that it was time to move on. He didn’t cut the cord so fast though. As a matter of fact, the house he purchased in 2016 after getting married to Nicole Frye had a big enough of a backyard to build a skate park in.
Yes, that’s right. Somehow, he managed to get the local zoning board to approve a skate park in a residential backyard. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about how smart of a businessman Adam LZ is, then nothing will.
Marriage, and the switch to all car content
Adam married his longtime girlfriend Nicole Frye in 2016 (shortly after graduating from college) and they bought a house together in Orlando, FL. That came right about the time that the Adam LZ brand (LZMFG) was making a major switch to cars and drifting content. Surprisingly enough, his loyal BMX Fanbase stuck with him through this transformation.
As a matter of fact, his channel continued to grow like crazy like nothing had ever happened. It was an extremely big risk to change the content of his already successful channel from one type of content not related to the other. I certainly wouldn’t have been brave enough to do it to any of my own YouTube channels, but he believed in himself so much and the goals that he had that he did it anyway knowing that things would work out in the end.
Adam stated publicly that his next challenge in life after BMX was to become a top drifter. It wouldn’t have seemed like such and impossible statement if Adam didn’t know anything about drifting or how to even build a drift car, but he set his mind to it and less than two years later, he did it. By 2018 I was thinking that Adam LZ is one of the most interesting individuals I have ever run across in my 44 years of life. Yep, he is the type of person who succeeds in anything that he tries. And I’m jealous as heck of it.
Divorce, and focusing 100% on growing his business
In late 2018, Nicole made a sudden disappearance from every new Adam LZ video upload. Prior to that point, she had been an integral part of every video, almost to the point where it seemed like they were actively creating content together and that she was much as part of the Adam LZ brand as he was.
To be honest, I didn’t even notice her disappearance at first, being married myself, I know that my wife and I have different interests and sometimes we both drift in and out of them. To think that she was busy with other things and didn’t have time to be doing video stuff seemed certainly possible. But as I said, I didn’t even notice and the thought never even occurred to me that she was missing.
But then, on December ask 2018, the two of them posted a video to the channel explaining the situation. Long story short, it was not good. This caught me (and many others) by complete surprise because there had been no evidence up until this point that Adam and Nicole were having problems. Unfortunately, it was completely clear in this video, and it was a really tough one to watch:
The word “divorce” was never mentioned once in the video. The only thing they said was that they were “temporarily separated” and that they still didn’t know what was going to happen long-term. The video clearly showed Adam being more upset about the situation then Nicole was, which led me (and some others) to believe that she was the one who wanted to make a change.
At least that’s how it came across to me, as one who was once in that same situation. Not in marriage, but in a relationship that I thought was going to lead to marriage. It sucks when you don’t expect it, and it looked like Adam didn’t expect it at all.
Several months later and with no mention of Nicole, the Adam LZ brand pushed on with Adam going all in on daily automotive content like he had never done before. This made sense considering that he was likely trying to keep his mind off his impending divorce, but nobody knew what was going on behind the scenes since he wasn’t talking about it at all.
Finally, in January 2019 Adam announced a raffle giveaway of a drift car “to help pay for some upcoming unexpected expenses”. He never confirmed nor denied it, but it was obvious he was referring to the divorce. And considering that Nicole had been such an integral part of the Adam LZ brand up to that point, it’s likely that she was going to get half of everything. Which considering how successful the Adam LZ brand is, it’s a lot.
Things every entrepreneur can learn from Adam LZ
To wrap up this post, I think it’s wise to appreciate what Adam has built at a very young age. He’s 22 years old at the time of this writing, and he’s already become a sponsored (and champion) BMX rider, he has the talent in knowledge to build a car from the ground up, and he is currently on his way to being one of the best drifters in the US. And let’s not forget about the fact that he has a YouTube channel with over 1.5 million subscribers, along with a merchandise business that reportedly does more than million dollars a year in revenue. The boy is massively talented.
I know plenty of people who lived a full life into their 80s who never achieved a 10th of what Adam LZ has at 22 years of age. The difference between him and them, as far as I can tell, is that Adam isn’t afraid to do anything and that he goes after what he wants without thinking of all the reasons why it can’t work.
Adam is so inspiring in fact, that I recommend his channel to other friends of mine that have no interest in automotive stuff and drifting. Just watching this guy become a champion in everything he tries is ridiculously addictive – and I can’t wait to see him progress through the rest of his life. It’s going to be good.
Interesting facts about Adam and the Adam LZ YouTube channel:
- His parents are divorced. His mother still lives in Connecticut, and his father lives in Florida. Both have been guests on his channel, as ride-along passengers in his cars (which usually involved doing donuts and drifting).
- The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is the only car Adam owns that isn’t modded
- The previous owner of his 2017 Mustang GT 350 is a popular YouTuber named Matt Moreman (Obsessed Garage). Adam is good friends with Matt, and purchased the car once he realized it was sitting on the dealer lot for sale.
- Adam is completely self taught as a BMX rider and Drifter
- Adam LZ’s net worth is estimated to be over $2 million (based on the size of his company and it’s employees, the cars that he owns, and the value of his home in Orlando).
- The mustache was the result of the split between him and Nicole. He started growing it at exactly the time they separated.
- As of January 2019 Adam has three full-time employees (two in the shop working on his cars, and at least one in his warehouse managing merchandise sales)
- The skate park he built in his backyard was initially rejected by city zoning commission and he had to make changes to the design to prevent being sued
- His favorite color is red