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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.”

Special Requests:

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