Tag Archives: ABC’s Shark Tank

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.”

Special Requests:

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Episode 10: The Business Breakthrough | Entrepreneur On Fire Host John Lee Dumas

Fire Nation ignites seven days a week in John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire podcast.  He has interviewed some of the most successful entrepreneurs and shares the takeaways from his podcast with us.

If people are telling you something is impossible, or you’ll never be able to do it . . . take that as a sign that that is something you should do.

John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas

Recap:

John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of Entrepreneur on Fire, a business podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs 7 days a week. Entrepreneur on Fire is a top ranked business podcast generating over 150,000 unique downloads a month in over 140 countries. His lineup includes Barbara Corcoran, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki and hundreds more. All the magic happens at EOFire.com so be sure to check them out.

John went to college in Providence, RI on a ROTC scholarship.  He spent 8 years in the U.S. Army as an officer with a 13 month tour of duty in Iraq.  He tried corporate finance, residential real estate, commercial real estate, tech start ups.  In June 2012 he started his passion of sharing the journey of other entrepreneur’s with the world where he interviews some of the most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs.

John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas

American spend so much time commuting to and from work which is where John Lee Dumas had his AHA Moment for Entrepreneur on Fire.  In 2009, he discovered podcasts and became hooked because he could find the content he was looking for and the content had zero commercials.  He started listening to Wall Street Journal and found another unique podcasts to listen to.  At some point, he ran out of content and realized that there wasn’t a podcaster who was posting a show once every day and he’s been posting it every single day since September 20, 2012.

Entrepreneur on Fire follows a format for his podcasts and John wanted to hear about the journey of successful entrepreneurs.  Every episode starts with a success quote and how they apply that quote to their life.  Then he discusses obstacles and failures they’ve had in the past and how they’ve overcome those obstacles.  Then covering the AHA moment that turned them into successful entrepreneurs.  Then they talk about their current business and what’s exciting them now and their plans for the future and then they have a lightning round which usually consists of five questions that pull out great information and resources for the listeners.  The podcasts typically last 25 to 35 minutes.

John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 200 entrepreneurs and one of John Lee Dumas’s favorite interviews was with Barbara Corcoran who is on ABC’s Shark Tank.  Hearing her story about how she was living in New York as a waitress and never thinking she was going to be more than that and how she had her AHA moment which led her to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneur’s in America.

The process began for Entrepreneur on Fire in June 2012.  He quit his job and went all in deciding to start his podcast.  He went down to a conference called BlogWorld in New York City where he met Pat Flynn, Derek Halpern, and Adam Baker who were willing to be some of the first guests for his show.  He planned appropriately and had 40 guests lined up and ready to go by the time he launched his podcast in September, 2012.

Consistency has been one of John’s greatest attributes which have helped him build his following.  “Fire Nation” has been a group of loyal listeners who have come to expect and appreciate the daily posting of podcasts by John Lee Dumas.  As a result of his planning and consistency, he’s getting 175,000 downloads in over 140 countries every single month.  Just six months after the idea of Entrepreneur on Fire John was asked to speak at BlogWorld as an expert in podcasting.

John says the most important thing you can do is to have a high level of quality.  John has always tried to produce the highest quality of show that he can possibly do.  And every episode he creates he produces higher and higher levels of podcasts.  So when people come across his podcast they know that the podcast is high quality and that he is someone who is working hard to bring an exceptional experience to them.

When he’s talking about podcasting one example of how he strives to be the best is having high quality audio and the actual content has to be high quality.  The guests and the topics have to be valuable to the people who will be listening to the podcasts.

One thing John points out in his interview is the existence of his “Avatar” or the target market for his podcast for John, his “Avatar” is 25 to 45 year old “Wannabepreneur” and they haven’t done it yet, or maybe they just started it.  His goal is to help entrepreneurs by motivating them and giving them motivational boosts along the way.  If you have a clearly identifiable target market it’s much easier to reach them.  Asking for feedback from that group is also a great way to enhance your podcast to make it better.

Entrepreneur’s are very transparent and love sharing their stories about how they’ve overcome mistakes.  At the beginning John was very nervous to reach out to entrepreneurs and he learned that it was okay to reach out to people.  His big takeaway was that people in the online world are very friendly, welcoming and willing to help.

If you’re interested in podcasting, John Lee Dumas highly recommends buying Podcast Launch by John Lee Dumas.  It goes through every step of the procees, it comes with 15 video tutorials, it’s $5 and it’s something John wish he had when he started podcasting.  He wanted to come out with a book that was completely transparent about his process and he wants to further the brand of Entrepreneur on Fire by giving away great content and helping others.  Right now, it’s the #1 podcast book on Amazon.

One of John’s greatest success stories came from a captain in the Marines who didn’t know he had a story to tell, but because of the podcast he had his own AHA moment who came out with his own podcast called A Dose of Leadership where he interviewed some incredible leaders all over the world.  His name is Richard Rierson and he’s interviewed some successful leaders and is having his own impact and he started all because of Entrepreneur on Fire.

From Day 1, John always wanted to turn Entrepreneur on Fire into a business.  And set out to become just a podcaster and now that he’s getting close to 175,000 downloads a month he’s getting sponsors who are providing a significant revenue for Entrepreneur on Fire. Once you have a big enough audience people start to take notice.  Audible.com, Legal Zoom and SquareSpace.com are currently sponsoring Entrepreneur on Fire.  But, John is also able to add books, products and services which have helped create a great income stream.

John’s determination has been his greatest asset.  Many people told John that doing one podcast a day was not doable and he had tons of people who were telling him that he couldn’t and shouldn’t do it.   John was determined, passionate and was able to take over his niche of providing daily content for “Fire Nation.”

Entrepreneur on Fire

Entrepreneur on Fire

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Have you had an AHA moment?  What was it?
  • Has anyone told you something you wanted to do was impossible?  How did you respond?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Entrepreneur on Fire – “John Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of EntrepreneurOnFire, a daily podcast that interviews todays most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs.  EntrepreneurOnFire tells the journey of the spotlighted guest, sharing their early failures, AHA moments, and insight into what is working for them now and why.  Every show ends with a 5-question “Lightning Round” that pulls priceless nuggets of information from these incredibly successful Entrepreneurs.  Subscribe to iTunes via http://bit.ly/RX3yMa and Prepare to Ignite!”
  • Podcast Launch – “Have you ever considered creating your very own podcast? Podcast Launch will take you through the entire process, from step one to step done. This book comes with 15 video tutorials where the author, John Lee Dumas, will walk you through the more technical aspects of podcasting. These tutorials will make your podcast experience enjoyable and stress free.”
  • Barbara Corcoran – “Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three.  It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country when she took a $1000 loan to start The Corcoran Group.  She parlayed that loan into a five-billion-dollar real estate business which she sold in 2001 for $66 million.”
  • Seth Godin – “Seth Godin has written fourteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.”
  • Tim Ferriss – “Tim has been featured by more than 100 media outlets–including The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, CNN, and CBS–and has been a popular guest lecturer at Princeton University since 2003, where he presents entrepreneurship as a tool for world change and ideal lifestyle design.”
  • Gary Vaynerchuk – “Meet Gary Vaynerchuk, a 36 year old New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author who is also a self-trained wine and social media expert. From a young age, it was clear that Gary was a businessman. At 8-years-old he was operating seven lemonade stands in his neighborhood and by 10 he had moved onto selling baseball cards at local malls. In high school while working at his family owned liquor store, Gary started reading The Wine Spectator and wine books, and realized collecting wine offered an allure similar to his previous hobby of collecting baseball cards. With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary spent every weekend of his college years at his parents’ wine store. Recognizing the importance of e-commerce in 1997, Gary launched Winelibrary.com and helped grow his family business significantly from $3 million to $45 million by 2005.”
  • Guy Kawasaki – “Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki is the author of ten books including Enchantment, Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.”
  • Audible.com – “We’re here to establish literate listening as a core tool for anyone seeking to be more productive, better informed, or more thoughtfully entertained.”
  • Legal Zoom – “Every year, Americans spend millions of dollars on routine legal needs, from incorporations and trademarks to last wills. Others put off creating essential legal documents because of the inconvenience and high fees. As attorneys, we knew there had to be an easier, more affordable way to take care of common legal matters.”
  • SquareSpace.com – “Whether you need simple pages, sophisticated galleries, a professional blog, or want to sell online, it all comes standard with your Squarespace website.”
  • A Dose of Leadership – “Hosted by Richard Rierson, the Dose of Leadership Podcast is the ultimate resource of inspiring & educational interviews with relevant and motivating leaders; real-life leadership & influence experts who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of the truth,  common sense, & courageous leadership.”
  • BlogWorld – “The BlogWorld/New Media Expo Blog is a prolific new media industry news and information site that offers a diverse array of content – covering social media for business, blog, podcast and video content creation, distribution, and monetization, the latest social networking tool, tech and trends –– and also covering topics in all vertical niche areas of blogging (tech, business, parenting, sports, real estate, military, politics, etc).”
  • Pat Flynn – “I’m Pat. I’m a 30 year old dude from Southern California who makes a living on the internet. I consider myself the luckiest person on Earth.”
  • Derek Halpern – “I show people how to turn web traffic into leads and sales. And if they’re not getting any traffic, I show them how to get that, too.”
  • Adam Baker – “At Man Vs. Debt, we hope that by sharing a transparent and honest account of our own journeys to remove barriers – primarily our debt and excess clutter – we can empower and inspire others who find themselves on similar paths.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is the gradual realization of a worthy goal.”
  • “When you hear people talking strongly against an idea, that means it’s a great idea.”
  • “Once you have an audience in place, the sky is truly the limit.”
  • “The mission of Entrepreneur on Fire is to inspire millions.”
  • “If you want to make millions, you need to inspire millions.”
  • “The online world is a very friendly place.  We are in this huge marketplace where helping people is only going to help ourselves.”
  • “Help spread the word and get more people motivated and passionate about following their dreams.”
  • “She definitely flirted with me quite a bit throughout the interview so I definitely enjoyed that.”
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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

Special Requests:

THANK YOU!

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