Category Archives: Shark Tank

Entrepreneurs who have appeared on Shark Tank or are involved with the Shark Tank in one way or another.

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Cornell Thomas is a basketball coach, trainer, motivational speaker & author. He just came out with his brand new book “The Power of Positivity.”  In Episode 58 of the Defining Success Podcast Cornell shares how he overcame adversity by looking at the brighter side of things.  He now motivates others to think, “What Now?” instead of “Why Me?”

His career has been a long and winding road that now has him coaching, training and motivating kids to be the best that they can be and motivating others with his message of power and positivity. The lessons he’s learned through basketball have played a crucial role in helping him through the adversity he’s faced in his life.

Cornell Thomas

Cornell began playing basketball in high school and proclaims that he was absolutely horrible at it, after putting in his 10,000+ hours he improved and earned a full basketball scholarship to Minot State University in North Dakota., subsequently obtaining a contract to play professional basketball in Portugal. Two weeks before setting out for Europe, Cornell suffered a career ending injury.

Cornell describes this incident as a crossroad in his life regarding the options he was to choose next: “Am I going to work my way back?, Am I going to sit around and feel sorry for myself? Or am I going to try and find a different career path?” What he encourages others to do in similar situations where they are to overcome adversity or a set back is to remain positive. His motto is: “Everything happens for a reason.” a firm believer of this popular quote, especially since that is what his Mom, a single mother and strong female role model in his life always reminded him of since childhood.

Cornell admits to encountering difficult times and having negative thoughts at times, including while recovering from the devastating injury that ended his professional basketball career. He says: “It’s not like I’ve never had a negative thought before… I’m not a robot.” He describes these moments as “snowball effects”, if you dwell in negativity it begins to grow, build up and overwhelm. His approach towards avoiding the pitfalls of dwelling in failure is to address the issues immediately. He acknowledges and firmly believes in the power of self-reflection and asks himself a series of questions, for example: “Is this a life or death situation?” “Is this a situation that can’t be fixed?” and usually the answer is no and then he asks himself: “Now that it happened, what are you going to do about it, what is your solution?” and the last and most important: “Is there anybody going through something worse that you?” and the answer almost always is yes. “There is always someone, somewhere going through something a little worse than you.” He states that when he is able to honestly answer those questions to himself, he is better equipped to brainstorm a solution and power through obstacles.

Cornell also encourages those that are experiencing negativity or self-defeating thoughts when they encounter failure to not think: “Why me?” and instead ask themselves: “What now?” The significance of this thought pattern was inspired while Cornell was a basketball coaches event, where he heard a great speech by Assistant Coach for the Clippers: Kevin Eastman, about the new generation of basketball players. Coach Eastman said something that caught Cornell’s interest, he said: “A lot of players, when bad things happen to them, say: Why me? Why am I not getting playing time? Why am I missing all of my shots? etc.,  instead of saying: “What now?!” It was a light bulb moment, realizing that that this is not only a question applicable to basketball players on the court, but applicable to us all in life. For example he states: “When bad things happen, we immediately curse the heavens, and think why me? instead of saying, “Well what do I have to do now to fix it?” His belief is that life is “10% of what happens to us the other 90% is how we deal with it.” If you apply this mindset, you will be able to overcome adversity and problems better.AboutCornell-300x157

This power of positive thinking equipped him with the tools to make assertive decisions and to reflect instantly, realizing that through the most devastating adversity, he had found his true calling in life. Cornell was resilient enough to rapidly choose Coaching Basketball and obtained a job as Men’s Head Coach at Sussex County Community College. Cornell’s life purpose is to help people. Shortly after accepting the job as Head Coach he started Crossroads Basketball LLC which has developed into the perfect way for him to fulfill his dream of reaching out, motivating and inspiring others. When he started the program he had 1 basketball player and 5 coaches. Through word of mouth the program has grown to over 200 kids involved. Many of the guys and girls he has mentored, trained and coached are coaching for him now. He sincerely enjoys coaching and motivating kids to reach their unlimited potential on and off the basketball court.

Cornell describes his synchronistic journey as an author as beginning with his Facebook page and taking notice that he and most of his friend’s mostly posted to negative complaints about their lives. He made a choice to begin posting daily motivational, inspiring and uplifting quotes and the response and feedback from his friends was positive. Then he got a suggestion to begin blogging, which led to his initiation in to book writing.

Cornell enjoys seeing the growth, accomplishments and success of the kids he coaches, especially as they obtain scholarships and experience success doing what they love to do through the game of basketball and pursue their dreams along their journey. Some of the most memorable things to happen to Cornell since choosing the path to coach and mentor kids is to witness the growth and development as they progress and increase their skills especially when they have difficulty at the beginning and then they end making they’re high school team, playing college basketball or professionally. For example I have two girls right now, one is playing in England and the other in Germany “To see the joy they have and to see them accomplish their goal of playing professionally, I would sacrifice my dream of playing professional to see them play. The main thing is seeing kids live their dreams.”I call it: active dreaming, dreaming with you’re eyes wide open.”

On regrets, Cornell states that he regrets nothing about the path he has chosen or the circumstances he’s encountered, and that every step of the way has provided him with valuable life lessons. When asked if he could go back in time, before the injury and talk to his younger self. What would advise would he give young Cornell? His words of advise: “First, change your haircut!” and the second thing “Just start giving back more to other people and don’t loose your passion to write.”

Cornell defines success as “doing whatever you do everyday and being happy and giving back to others.” …”Success to me, is waking up everyday being happy and doing what I do, be it training kids, speaking, giving back to others, and affecting lives other than my own.”

When asked if he considers himself to be successful, Cornell answers with a resonating YES. He absolutely considers himself to have achieved success and states “There is not a day I don’t wake up excited for life!”…”I may not be in the tax bracket of the upper usher line, but I can say one thing, in terms of the tax bracket of the happiest people on the planet, I would put my happiness against mostly anybody’s, because everyday I wake up excited to tackle life!”

To learn more about Cornell visit the Power of Positivity website and blog at: powerofpositivity.net or follow him on twitter: @cornellthomas his book is available on Amazon: The Power of Positivity: Controlling Where the Ball Bounces.

In todays episode with Cornell you were able to capture that he is a very positive guy and always looks on the bright side of things. One of the things that I wanted to focus on was these questions that people ask when they face adversity. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, Cornell had a career ending injury as a professional basketball player and he could have taken that and simply said “Why me?!” However, he was fortunate enough to have had a mother who always influenced him with positivity and reminded him that “Things happen for a reason.” and that there is a reason why this had happened to him and he understood that it was up to him to find out what that reason was. As you can tell his mission and his message of positivity flows from him and is based on his experiences. Experiences which he has been able to take from and mold towards his new career, to impact his students and everyone else interested in hearing his unique message of not asking themselves “Why me?!”, “Why is this happening to me?”, “What I have done?!” Instead look at the positive and ask “What can I learn from this?”, “How can I grow from this?” and “What do I do now?”

On the Defining Success Podcast we have interviewed a lot of people who have been on the show: Shark Tank, and we’ve also interviewed a lot of people who are involved or with the Shark Tank Show. One of those people has been Ray Ibarra who has recently written his book called “Conversations with Shark Tank Winners.” and he invited me out to the book launch of his new book, it’s a multi media book, it’s not just text, there’s video and there’s audio files as well. So I attend his book launch, it’s in Downtown LA, in a tall skyscraper at a banking institution. It was an very fancy place, everyone at the event was well dressed. The book launch event room was huge and the were people who had been on the show “Shark Tank” and were also promoting the book and there were people that were there wanting to learn about the experiences and had also been involved with the book. It was a great experience and I really want to thank Ray for inviting me to attend his book launch and I really have to say I had a blast!

I wan to thank you all for listening to the Defining Success Podcast it has been a real pleasure, definitely go on our Facebook page, comment, share, Like and communicate with us. We want to hear from you, what your thoughts are about our podcast and how we can make things better. Lastly, I want to leave you with one more thing which is: “Go out there and find your success!!”

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • “What is your life purpose?”
  • “What is specifically your doing to help other people?”
  • “What is one of the most memorable things that has happened to you?”
  • “Looking back on the things you’ve done in your life, is there one thing that you regret or a mistake that you would like to share with us?
  • “If you could go back in time and give a younger version of yourself advise, what would that be?”
  • “What is your definition of success?”
  • “Do you consider yourself to be successful?”

Links to Great Stuff:

  • The Power of Positivity – “The Power of Positivity is not just Cornell’s story of perseverance; it serves as a how to guide that offers a practical approach to dealing with adversity, pushing past “CAN’T”, and focusing on solutions not problems. The ball is in your hands-you control where it bounces!!”
  • Crossroads Basketball – Crossroads Basketball was started in 2004 by Cornell Thomas. Cornell was two weeks away from playing professional basketball in Portugal when he suffered a career ending injury. Soon after the injury Cornell decided to devote his life to coaching the game of basketball. In 2004 he was hired as the head men’s basketball coach at Sussex County Community College.

Successful Quotes:

  • “Everything happens for a reason.”
  • “Don’t ask: Why me?! ask yourself: What now?”
  • “There is always someone, somewhere going through something a little worse than you.”
  • “10% of what happens to us the other 90% is how we deal with it.”
  • “Living your dreams is: active dreaming, dreaming with you’re eyes wide open.”
  • “Success to me is waking up everyday being happy and doing what I do, be it training kids, speaking, giving back to others, and affecting lives other than my own.”
  • “I may not be in the tax bracket of the upper usher line, but I can say one thing, in terms of the tax bracket of the happiest people on the planet, I would put my happiness against mostly anybody’s, because everyday I wake up excited to tackle life!”

Special Requests:

Rate and Review the Defining Success Podcast in iTunes

 

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Speaker Zeb Welborn at Shark Boot Camp

As you may recall, I was recently invited to speak at the Shark Boot Camp event held at the Balboa Bay Club on November 9.

The event was full of great guest speakers, including entrepreneurs who had appeared on the hit ABC TV Show Shark Tank, like Shelly Ehler from ShowNo Towels, Michelle Kapustka from SendaBall, Mike Robinson from Cuddletunes, Mona Weiss from Eco Nuts, Nick Romero from The Ave., Brandon Marz from Marz Sprays.

They also had numerous other speakers on business including Mike Cordes from Viral Booth, Peter Mehit author of Killer Business Plan, Aggie Kobrin from Funder Way, Rey Ybarra, author of Conversations with Shark Tank Winners and former Defining Success Podcast guest, Rey Ybarra, TJ Hale, host of the Shark Tank Podcast and former Defining Success Podcast guest, K.J. from Smartphone Trainers, and Dan Fowler from Red River Productions.

The speaking engagement provided me a great opportunity to interact with other fans of the show and share my expertise when it came to interacting and communicating with the guests who had been on the show itself.  Plus, it’s always great to reconnect with others who have appeared on the Defining Success Podcast like Rey Ybarra and TJ Hale.

Another great benefit of the event was the new connections I was able to establish with the people who attended the event.  One of our future episodes will include an interview with Shelly Ehler, the owner of ShowNo and several others who may make their way into the Defining Success Podcast.

I’d especially like to thank Aggie Kobrin for inviting me to the event and hope to be involved in future opportunities.

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Episode 48: Tap Into an Existing Audience | Shark Tank Podcast Host – TJ Hale

In Episode 48 of the Defining Success Podcast, TJ Hale, host of the Shark Tank Podcast shares how he got the idea for starting his podcast and why he decided to name his show the Shark Tank Podcast.  Learn how you can tap into an existing audience to build a larger audience faster in this episode.

TJ Hale from the Shark Tank Podcast on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn Tap into an Existing Market

TJ Hale

TJ Hale is host of the Shark Tank Podcast.  The Shark Tank Podcast is a place where you can come and listen to entrepreneurs tell the whole scoop.  Details regarding their business, what really happened on the show, failures, setbacks, big wins, and in some cases what its like partnering with a multi-millionaire/billionaire investor.

TJ Hale was a commercial real estate broker and did some really big deals in the real estate business and when the economy changed he changed he knew he needed to change directions.  He then moved into the tech arena and as he was working in the tech business, a good friend of his was experimenting with some online marketing.  His friend continued to come up with ideas, but they never lasted very long and TJ kept making fun of him for his many failed ventures and his friend challenged him, asking him to give it a try.  They then decided to hold each other accountable.

TJ began by doing research and learned that he thought he was best suited for podcasting. He then Googled how to do a podcast and decided to start the Shark Tank Podcast with its built-in audience and became very successful early on.  By learning how to tap into an existing audience, TJ set himself up for success.

The Shark Tank Podcast was chosen by TJ because he knew that any online venture would take time before he could be seen as an expert . . . unless he could tap into an existing audience.  He knew that by tapping into the audience of the Shark Tank he could be successful from the beginning.

TJ has learned a lot since he started his podcast.  One of the things he’s been most amazed by is the willingness of people to provide information and to be helpful.  One story he recalls comes from Cliff Ravenscraft who discusses about a podcast he started around the T.V. Show Lost.  The first season he invited some friends over to watch the show and the next season he had to rent out a hotel ballroom in order to meet the demand for a viewing party.  TJ likes talking to people and there is something about podcasting that he had a large enough impact that people were willing to buy a plane ticket to fly out to attend his viewing parties.

One thing TJ would change about his progress so far would be getting involved in Facebook.  Early on he was very anti-Facebook, but he quickly learned that it was a great tool to connect with his listeners.  TJ didn’t start on Facebook until a month ago and he’s glad he did because it changed his whole universe.

If you’re a beginning business person you need to talk to experts.  Social media makes it so easy to connect with people.

TJ came from a family that was very skeptical and many people who are using social media are using it in a very sales promotional way which is not how social media should be used, but it turns many people off.  When done the right way, social media can have tremendous benefits to any business.

The Shark Tank Podcast started it during Season 4 and this is the first season that he’s been able to interview people as soon as they’ve come off their show.  He’s able to ask a lot of great questions to entrepreneurs about their experiences on the show.

The podcast features Shark Tank entrepreneurs and many people who are successful in the Shark Tank of life.  The key to success is to continue striving right at the time of success.  We focus on many of the negatives and the whole goal is to make us people of significance and not of success.

One of the coolest things that has come about because of the Shark Tank Podcast is that there are now numerous projects starting up to help small business owners.  They are now trying to do community level Shark Tank events called the Guppy Tank and they’re doing all sorts of similar shows with many local people involved in the show.  The compounding effect on small business is incredible.

There is a lot of great info to help people start a podcast because there are a lot of unknowns.  If you plan on starting a podcast, you need a good microphone, but the rest you can do very inexpensively.

TJ Hale Shark Tank Podcast Tap Into an Existing Audience

TJ Hale

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What existing audiences are available that you could tap into for your business?
  • What Facebook pages do you think are done extremely well?
  • What’s the best power connection you’ve made through social media?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • The Shark Tank Podcast – TJ Hale is the host of the Shark Tank Podcast. Shark Tank is the best reality show on T.V. & a great way for entrepreneurs to get valuable insight from extremely successful sharks.  TJ helps take the Shark Tank experience to take the next level on the Shark Tank Podcast.
  • Cliff Ravenscraft – My goal is to help you create valuable and engaging podcasts that are so compelling that people will want to engage with you and your brand. Allow me to help you save hours, weeks, months or even years of research. Having the correct equipment and using it in the right way determines not only the quality of your podcasts, but how well your podcast converts listeners into subscribers and creates an engaged community.

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is that I’m the one who determines my own level of control in my life and I don’t surrender that to anyone else.”
  • “The nice thing about a podcast is that people do trust you.”
  • “If you’re thinking about doing something, just go out and do it.  The worst that can happen is you screw up. Big deal.”
  • “If you want to be someone who is not just successful but also significant you’re going to put the time in offering value before you get anything in return.”
  • “You’re best thinking got you to where you are today.”
  • “People have great ideas all day long.  It’s the one they choose to execute and how they choose to execute them that determines their success.”
  • “So many people are using social media the wrong way it gave me a bad taste in my mouth.  It’s been incredibly valuable using it the right way.”
  • “I didn’t start on Facebook until a month ago . . . it’s changed my whole universe.”
  • “You’re offering it for free . . . you’re not selling it.  You become someone they trust and like to associate with.”
  • “You’re someone they’re willing to put in their ears while they’re blasting their pecs at the gym.”
  • “If you’re going to start an online venture, it’s going to take you a while to become established as an expert if you don’t already have that customer base built-in.”
  • “In the Google Age you can teach yourself to do just about anything.”
TJ Hale Host of Shark Tank Podcast Tap Into an Existing Audience

Shark Tank Podcast

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Episode 31: Everyone Has a Success Story | Rey Ybarra, Author of Conversations with Shark Tank Winners

In Episode 31 of the Defining Success Podcast Rey Ybarra shares the stories of numerous Shark Tank entrepreneurs and how Shark Tank has impacted their lives and their businesses.  Rey has been able to share the stories of these entrepreneurs through all of their failures and successes to show how the entrepreneurs who have appeared on Shark Tank have thrived following their appearance on the show.

Rey Ybarra on the Defining Success Podcast

Rey Ybarra

Rey Ybarra is the author of Conversations with Shark Tank Winners featuring entrepreneurs from the hit ABC TV reality show Shark Tank.  As a multimedia book author he is producing audio and video interviews focusing on helping entrepreneurs, small business owners and for those who have dreams and a sincere desire to work their dreams.

Rey Ybarra has been an entrepreneur, talk-show host and has produced a lot of multi-media programming.  He’s been helping small businesses understand social media and use the tools of the Internet to help their businesses.

Rey understands that educating businesses on how social media and the Internet can impact their businesses has been invaluable to those businesses.  As the world and the Internet has changed Rey has come to realize that a lot of businesses were in denial about how the Internet was playing a role in their businesses.

A lot of people didn’t know where to go and they needed help to understand how people were using technology and the Internet to interact with businesses.

Rey’s greatest passion is interviewing others to learn what makes them tick and how they’re using their business to help others.

Rey began working on the multi-media book, The Shark Tank Effect, to help share the stories of the entrepreneurs who have appeared on Shark Tank to a larger audience.  Through his interviews, Rey has been able to dig deep into the lives and businesses of these entrepreneurs and hopes that his book will inspire others to pursue an entrepreneurial path.

Shark Tank is a show that helps people and those who have dreams. Rey interviewed Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec for an article he was writing and also many of the entrepreneurs and he got an idea for the title of his book, Conversations with Shark Tank Entrepreneurs.  He went to work right away contacting enthusiastic entrepreneurs to become a part of the project.

During his interviews he talked with several Shark Tank entrepreneurs about what they did before Shark Tank, how they got on the show, what the process was, and how they were going to give the presentations.

Rey decided to make his book into a multi-media platform because he understands that people learn to process information in a variety of different ways.  He knows that some people like to read, others prefer to listen and still others prefer to watch video.  The multi-media book gives Rey the opportunity to reach people who learn in a variety of different ways.

Rey has interviewed 14 of the entrepreneurs who have appeared on Shark Tank.  He also is working with Steve Kaplan, an entrepreneur extraordinaire and he’s on a CNBC show called Crowd Rules which debuted two weeks ago and he’s one of the judges and he is also on a show called Secret Millionaire where they handpick some successful entrepreneur who want to give back and help their communities.  He talked with Steve and they are working together on Rey’s book.

The Shark Tank Effect is something Rey covers in all of his interviews in which he asks the entrepreneurs that he’s interviewed is how the Shark Tank has impacted their business and their lives.  Each Shark Tank entrepreneur responds with a different answer about how the Shark Tank has changed their lives.

The best interview Rey conducted was with Billy Banks Jr. and his wife Sharon Catherine Blanks and their program, Dance with Me.  Their Dad, Billy Blanks invented Tae Bo and living in the shadow of his father had always been difficult.  When the episode aired, they were homeless and living in a motel.  Now they are traveling the world introducing their Dance with Me program all over the world.

Carol Foster created Mee-Mas Gumbo, who at the time of her appearance on Shark Tank was homeless.  The biggest reason why Rey created this book was to help as many people as he can.  You can get all sorts of information from these entrepreneurs and you can learn from each one of them.

Barbara Lampugnale from Nail Pak who was visiting her daughter from Connecticut who struck a deal with Lori Greiner.  How do you run a business while raising a family?  Listen to the interview with Barbara Lampugnale and you’ll be able to understand that.

Persistence is the key to getting the guests for Rey’s book . . . A big problem Rey had in the beginning was that he had some technical difficulties and lost six of the interviews he had recorded.

The one big trait that all the entrepreneurs on the Shark Tank do whatever they have to do to get the work done.  They don’t let anything humanly possible stop them . . . not even natural disasters.

Dan and Liz Holtz, owners of Liz Lovely cookies, did not get a deal from the Sharks and three days before they opened their store Hurricane Irene came in and wiped them out. The building materials, staff, and inventory was all lost.  They persevered and overcame those obstacles and even though they didn’t get a deal, the exposure they received from the Shark Tank grew their business exponentially.

Cheryl Rigdon invented the Spatty Daddy and even though she didn’t get a deal from the Sharks, Daymond John has been helping her grow her business and she’s experienced exponential growth as well.

The advice Rey would give to others would be to give aspiring entrepreneurs where the entrepreneur is asking for money, you have to know your numbers.  You have to know margins, return on investment, cost per unit.  You have to know all of those numbers in your sleep.  For aspiring entrepreneurs you better know your numbers, why and how and the nuts and bolts of everything in regards to your business.

Rey asked Mark Lim, creator of Lollacup, what his keys for success were and he asked what do you mean?  Rey then followed up with him . . . What did you do to prepare to get on the Shark Tank and Mark then understood.  When an opportunity comes and you seize it than that is what determines your success.

Success Stories from Conversations with Shark Tank Winners by Rey Ybarra

Conversations with Shark Tank Winners

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Are you doing what you love? 
  • Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make your business successful?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Conversations with Shark Tank Winners – Conversations With Shark Tank Winners is the multimedia book featuring interviews with the entrepreneurs from the ABC TV reality show Shark Tank!
  • Steve Kaplan – Steve Kaplan Inc. helps you identify the success you really want. Then, through our no-nonsense, roll-up-your-sleeves mentality and products, we help you get it. Steve has turned his experiences into proven tools to help individuals and businesses identify and achieve big goals. Through Steve’s proprietary products and services such as his unique downloadable step-by-step success playbooks, one-on-one sessions, workshops, bestselling books, DVDs, keynote speaking and more, Steve Kaplan Inc. guides you down the path to success.
  • Crowd Rules – “Crowd Rules” features three small businesses that compete in front of an audience who vote to decide which business wins a much-needed $50,000 prize. Entrepreneur and jewelry designer Kendra Scott, TV newsman Pat Kiernan and a weekly guest who is an industry expert lead the examination of the small businesses. While the business owners make their case to the panel of three, the real power lies in the hands of the audience—97 strong—whose votes ultimately decide which business is most deserving of the investment.
  • Secret Millionaire – The secret’s out! Some of America’s most successful self-made millionaires are embarking on a truly incredible journey. They will spend a week in the country’s poorest areas and ultimately reward some unsung community heroes with hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money.
  • Shark Tank – The critically-acclaimed business-themed show, Shark Tank, has the Sharks continuing the search to invest in the best businesses and products that America has to offer. The show received a nomination for a Producers Guild Award in 2013. In 2012 “Shark Tank” received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Reality Program and a nomination for a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Reality Series. The Sharks — tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons — will once again give budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams come true and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires. They are: billionaire Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and outspoken owner of the 2011 NBA championship Dallas Mavericks; real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; “Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary.

Shark Tank Entrepreneurs Interviewed by Rey Ybarra in Conversations with Shark Tank Winners:

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is finding what you’re great at and pursuing it with everything you have.”
  • “These stories will definitely help them to have hope.”
  • “As an entrepreneur we all struggle from time to time.”
  • “You might not relate to all of them but I can guarantee you that you will relate to 2 or 3 of them.”
  • “The Shark Tank Effect for us means unlimited opportunity.” via Cousins Maine Lobster
  • “Once you go on that show (Shark Tank) your life will never be the same.”

Special Requests:

Success

Rey Ybarra

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Episode 12: Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made? | Steven Sashen from Xero Shoes

Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?  Steven Sashen answers this question and many more in Episode 12 of the Defining Success Podcast. If you’re passionate about running, definitely check out this interview.

Steven Sashen from Xero Shoes

Steven Sashen from Xero Shoes

Recap:

Xero Shoes are a modern spin on the traditional barefoot running sandal – durable, stylish and affordable.  Xero Shoes won the Groovie Award for Best Huaraches running Sandal and they appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank earlier this year.

Steven is not the owner of Xero Shoes, but currently works for his wife who is the owner of Xero Shoes.  Steven loves working in a woman-owned company, particularly when that woman is his wife.

Steven was actually retired as a result of some wise investment decisions he made before the recession hit and could have been happy living in retirement, but the entrepreneurial bug hit and they were back it it with the creation of Xero Shoes.

Steven has been an expert at search engine optimization and used those skills to sell things online for quite a long time.

He began having an interest in running again after a thirty year break, but experienced some injuries while running.  A friend then turned him on to barefoot running and the book, Born to Run, which he soon latched onto and shortly thereafter he created his new product.

He assumed that the running sandal would be a great product to test for his search engine optimization business and he figured that the companies who were on top of the search results were mostly there by accident and he thought he’d be able to dominate the market within three months . . . which he did.

Within in three months they realized that Xero Shoes became their full time job and within three months after that they had the former lead designers of Nike and Reebok trying to help them build their business.

The skills they had acquired in life fit perfectly for what they were doing and it all just worked out well.

Steven likes to learn how things work . . . by getting through what people are saying and what is actually true.

One thing that he’s amazed by is that these billion dollar shoe companies have been able to tell people that their shoes are better for people, when there are no studies done to support those findings yet the press and the media take these large companies word and disseminate information about the benefits of shoes when there is no factual evidence that supports that those shoes are better for people.

Steven has had many people who have told him how much using the Xero Shoes have helped to improve their health.

After Shark Tank Xero Shoes did three months worth of sales in one week and the overall sales have increased and some people have come on board to help Xero Shoes reach more customers.  They had a three or four year development plan and they rolled that out in six months as a result of the Shark Tank.

Steven had some interesting things to say about his experience on Shark Tank, about how he felt, the experience and what came out of the experience.  The most interesting thing was that they had planned extensively about what they were going to say and how they were going to react, but when the time actually came all that planning went out the window.

Kevin O’Leary offered 400,000 for 50% of the company which was unacceptable to them and they were offering 8% of the company and their valuation was devaluing their company by close to a million dollars.

Steven says that he has about 2,000 positive reviews of his Xero Shoes and that he literally gets a new one almost every day.  One example that Steven likes to share comes from an 85 year old man who tried walking around barefoot and that within a week he stopped using his walker.

Xero Shoes

Xero Shoes

There is a lot of uncertainties in business and a lot of problems come up for businesses.  Sometimes it’s the fault of the business owner for getting overextended, yet other times it can be just the circumstances of the situation.  For Steven his biggest problem is hiring people on and managing growth has been a problem for him, but he’s managing it.  Legal fees have also been a huge expense for Xero Shoes and sometimes you can never plan for the expenses that will lay out in front of you.

Steven seems to think entrepreneurs are born.  Everybody has people who will tell them what they want to hear.  It’s up to you to determine whether or not you have a viable business.

Steven goes through the same emotions as everyone else.  He realizes that his successful friends aren’t necessarily happy, but they do realize that they don’t have to worry about how much things cost.  Humans like to imagine the future and are really bad at predicting and how bad we are at predicting it.  Don’t imagine living in an imagined future.  Live in the present.

He’s living in the present and does have goals that he’s trying to accomplish.  One of the things he’s trying to do is change the industry and although he has goals he’s not attached to getting those goals.  If it happens he’s happy, if not he’s happy as well.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Are entrepreneurs born or made?
  • What do you think about barefoot running?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Xero Shoes – “Xero Shoes® are a modern spin on the traditional barefoot running sandal — durable, stylish and affordable — and so light and low-profile it’s like you’re not wearing anything. Yet, you get a strong layer of protection, your feet and legs work the way nature intended, your posture can naturally realign, and you awaken your senses and stimulate your brain as you Feel The World™.”
  • Born to Run – “Isolated by Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher
    McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his
    readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks
    across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing
    their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper
    Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s
    incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you
    realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.”
  • Welborn Media

Success Quotes:

  • “Figure out where the money is flowing and get in front of it.”
  • “Try to figure out the fastest, easiest, cheapest way to see if you have your head up your butt.”
  • “If you’re going to go into a business, go into one where it changes lives.”
  • “There is not thought that you need in order to start a business other than . . . Why not?”
  • “That’s when all the neurons fired in the right order and it happened.”

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Episode 4: An Entrepreneurial Mindset | Charlotte Clary from Ice Chips Candy

Learn how Charlotte Clary started close to 30 different businesses and finally hit it big with her Ice Chips Candy when she appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank. She is now able to help support her and co-founder, Beverly Vines Hanes’ 39 different grandchildren as a result of the success she experienced from running her Ice Chips Candy business. Learn how the entrepreneurial mindset these ladies possessed helped make them the successes that they are today!

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!

Ice Chips Candy as Seen on ABC's Shark Tank - Entrepreneurial Mindset

Ice Chips Candy as Seen on ABC’s Shark Tank

Recap:

Charlotte Clary is a serial entrepreneur and estimates her and Beverly Vines Hanes started close to 30 different businesses while being home-makers and moms before they hit it big with Ice Chips Candy.

The more they understood about healthy products they understood the value of Xyletol and between the two of them they have 39 grandchildren.  Once they came up with the idea and within the first 24 hours they created three different flavors.

They knew it was going to be a big hit when they implemented their tried and true sales process where they cold-called businesses and offered their product for free with the expectation that they could call back later.  They started getting calls from those businesses before they even had a chance to call them.

In 2012, Charlotte Clary says Ice Chips Candy made more than 1.1 million dollars.

The biggest mistake Charlotte made was implementing a sales process that didn’t work, but in all honesty she didn’t feel it was a mistake, but that it was more of a learning process.  Now they’ve been able to adjust the strategy of sending free tins to dental offices and have created a better sales strategy.

Charlotte says perseverance is her greatest asset.  Having started 30 different businesses, she learned new skills in every business she started and applied that to every new business venture she began.

Every day is exciting for Charlotte and she loves looking at sales figures and beating sales figures every month.  They’ve also been very fortunate that some great sales people have come aboard to help them grow their business.  She loves that people are happy with her product and is excited that she’s able to give a healthy alternative to breath mints.

Being an entrepreneur is difficult.  To keep up with the work of the business and maintaining your sales process is a challenge.  They need to get people to help them and get that help as early on as possible.  The business owner is the one that needs to make those decisions and it’s important to hire people to do the little things of the business.

Ice Chips Candy

Ice Chips Candy

Charlotte has always wanted a product in the marketplace and she has been able to fulfill her passion.  She’s also been able to help others get jobs in her community and she loves that.

Charlotte possesses an entrepreneurial mindset and has learned essential skills along the way.  Each business Charlotte became involved in gave her valuable skills that she was able to use in her future business ventures. To become successful in business, this is, in my opinion, the most important skill/trait to have.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • If you could be a business owner, what kind of business would you start?
  • What have you taken action on in the last year?

Links to Great Stuff:

  •  Ice Chips Candy – Please visit the Ice Chips Candy where you can order Ice Chips Candy, view Charlottes’ appearance on Shark Tank or see pictures of Charlotte and her partner, Beverly.  If you prefer telephone, you can call them at (866) 202 – 6623.
  • Shark Tank – The Shark Tank appears on ABC every Friday night.  The sharks are entrepreneurs who invest in companies who pitch their product to the “Sharks.”

Success Quote(s):

  • “Create something and figure out how to get it out there.” – Charlotte Clary
  • “Luck favors the prepared.” – Charlotte Clary

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THANK YOU!

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Episode #2: Explore Your Options | Kim Nelson of Daisy Cakes

Kim Nelson is the owner of I Love Daisy Cakes. She cooks and mails some of the most delicious cakes all over the country. She appeared on Shark Tank and struck a great deal with Barbara Corcoran and has never looked back. Learn how she was able to take sales from 2,000 in 2010 to 25,000 in 2012.

Thank you for coming to the Defining Success Podcast website.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast in iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909.  Hope you enjoy the show!

White Chocolate Mint Cake by Daisy Cakes.

White Chocolate Mint Cake by Daisy Cakes.

Recap:

Kim Nelson knew early on that baking was her “God-given talent.”  She started at an early age and made some wise business decisions on her way to her appearance on Shark Tank at the end of 2010.

While in the Shark Tank, Kim asked for $50,000 for 20% of her business and struck a deal with Barbara Corcoran for exactly what she asked for.

She’s worked hard to build her business and took her cake sales from 2,000 in 2010 to more than 25,000 in 2012.

Her biggest mistake in business was not looking into all available options when it came to shipping her cakes across the United States.  She recently switched shipping options and has found it much more convenient for her business.

She advocates people pursuing their passions and advices those interested in baking to go for it.

Her cakes have appeared on the Nate Berkus show and with Anderson Cooper and has been creating opportunities with celebrities because her cakes taste so good.

Kim Nelson from Daisy Cakes

Kim Nelson from Daisy Cakes

Takeaway:  Explore Your Options

Many business owners are very good at taking action to accomplish particular goals, but sometimes it’s very important to consider all your options before making business decisions.

In Kim’s case, she had been paying more than twice as much for shipping going from $45 per shipment to $20 per shipment just by switching shipping companies.  This change in value will help grow her business as she will be able to sell more for less, reaching more customers and making more customers happy.

Taking action is a good trait to have, but learn to explore all your options when making important business decisions and you will be rewarded for doing so.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What is your “God-given talent”?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • I Love Daisy Cakes – Some of the greatest hand-made cakes you’ll ever have.  Her cakes have sold everywhere thanks to an appearance and Shark Tank and their wonderful recommendations.
  • Shark Tank – The Shark Tank appears on ABC every Friday night.  The sharks are entrpreneurs who invest in companies who pitch their product to the “Sharks.”
  • Welborn Media” – When it comes to website design in Southern California, be sure to explore your options.

Quote of the Episode:

“To make people happy with what makes me happy.” – Kim Nelson

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