Tag Archives: Shark Tank

Episode 78: Start a Small Scale Business to Test Your Idea | Ben Alexander, Founder of Balloon Distractions

Ben Alexander founder of Balloon DistractionsBen Alexander is the owner of Balloon Distractions, who appeared on an episode of the Shark Tank. He didn’t get a deal with any of the Sharks, but he gained a lot of experience through the process. He talks with us about his experience on the Shark Tank as well as with his business. His advice to start with a small scale business is something that resonates with me.

Ben Alexander started Balloon Distractions in the Fall of 2003, starting an adventure that continues to this day. Balloon Distractions has been a blessing in his life, and the lives of all those who have learned a new skill, income, confidence and poise.

 

Zeb’s Take – Start with a Small Scale Business

It was great talking to Ben today about his business, how he’s been able to grow it and get these balloons out there; get kids excited, helping out restaurants and helping get people extra income as well. He started his business on a small scale.

The thing I want to expand on is that many people when they start a business they take out a loan, or try to find investors, or take out a second mortgage, or something similar to invest all that money into an idea. All because people tell them it’s a great idea. Then when they take it to market, they don’t get the response (in terms of sales) that they’re looking for.

What you could do with a business is start on a small scale, a small scale business. If you have a product, a service or an idea or something you want to try, do it on as small a scale as possible. See if you can get sales from it, because sales is the most important thing for any business. You really need to go out and seek those sales first to know if you have a business or not.

On Shark Tank the always about sales. How many sales do you have? Some of the people who go on the show haven’t even pushed the sales side of things for their business and then they don’t really know if their business is profitable or not. It doesn’t matter what people say, it matters what people buy in business.

Keep that in mind. If you have an idea, you don’t need a grandiose business launch. Find an inexpensive way to put it out there and try to sell it with your small scale business. Sometimes you don’t even need to have the product to sell it, you can get people to buy into the idea of the product. If you can get people to put money down based on an idea then you know you are onto something. Nowadays there are crowdfunding sites (like Kickstarter and Indiegogo) that you can get people to buy your product before it’s even out there on the market. That’s an excellent way to test and see if people are legitimately  interested in the product or not.

Contact Ben Alexander at Balloon Distractions

BalloonDistractions.comballoon-distractions-logo
BenAlexander@balloondistractions.com
If you are interested in growing a region contact Ben, (813) 391-3895

Quotes

  • “It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it.”
  • “I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘Hey, I want to start something.’”
  • “That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”
  • “No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”
  • “I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”
  • “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”
  • “To play it safe is also to play it boring.”
  • “Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Start with a small scale business to test your business idea.More From the Interview

Background
As a college student Ben took a semester to teach English in Taiwan where he met his wife. When he returned to school he was studying Economics and working as a waiter at a restaurant. At this restaurant they had a guy come in once in a while doing balloons, he serviced a few restaurants. Ben was getting tired of serving, he asked the balloon guy to teach him in return for payment. Ben joined his team and his first week doing balloons he made $800 in tips just from balloons. Ben thought, “wow, there’s something to this.”

When he graduated he got away from doing the ballooning, but he kept it in mind. He got married, had kids, got a job at a fortune 500 insurance company. In the summer of 03 he moved to Tampa Bay, he had a sales job that he hated and that wasn’t paying enough to cover his bills. He noticed there were a ton of restaurants, so he went out and started working at a couple doing ballooning. Then he went to the nearby college and recruited some students. We were in 30 markets by the time we were on The Shark Tank. He was in Episode 514 of The Shark Tank.

Ben lost his sales job when he was fired, but that day he went out and got 4 restaurants, a chain, to work with. He took that as a sign. I remember coming home and talking to a neighbor of mine who owned his own contracting business. He said, “You know you can always get a sales job. Why don’t you go out there and try to do this thing on your own. See if you can support yourself with your balloon business.” To this day Ben remembers that advice.

Ben says, If you’re doing 100% commision sales, you’re kinda already in business for yourself. You just maybe don’t have the structure behind you. I had experience in 100% commision sales, but I had never been a full on independent business owner or entrepreneur.

“It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it. The last 10 years of my life, I’ve had the freedom to do a lot of things that I couldn’t to do if I had a normal 9-to-5 job.

“There’s definitely more risk in running your own business, but if you structure it right and you don’t go into crazy debt, it could be a nice lifestyle.”

Shark Tank
Shark Tank put them on a national stage. There are 200 markets in the United States, Ben is trying to get regional leaders and build a crew for each of the top 150 markets. They have regional leaders that work 15 hours a week, and we have people that are full time.

“I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘hey, I want to start something.’”

“Everything that you’re ever going to see that’s not natural started as an idea.”

“That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”

Ben suggests that if you’re an entrepreneur and you watch Shark Tank. If you have an idea try something on a real small scale. Don’t mortgage your house just to try something. If it’s profitable on a small scale you can grow it bigger and bigger and it tends to be profitable as you get larger.

To get on the show Shark Tank, Ben applied online, months later they asked him to create a audition video. He says, “I made it real wacky and crazy kind of like a Billy Mays Infomercial type of thing. I think they liked that.”

He says, to get on Shark Tank you can be an awesome person with an awesome business, but if it’s something people have seen before, like a fishing boat charter, or house cleaning… they want something different. When you tune in you have no idea what crazy off-the-wall creative wacky businesses you’re going to see.

The show suggested he do his sales pitch and then they drop balloons on him. They filmed in the morning, he didn’t know if it would go smoothly, he had no sleep the night before and he was heavily caffeinated. “I’m normally really hyper and energetic already, so to kick it up a notch, it just makes me look like totally nuts.”

“I think my pitch was not organized enough and I didn’t have a solid enough expansion plan.”

Balloon Distractions
“No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”

Ben still goes out and does gigs. He said “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”

What Ben wants to do is create a machine that, for example, is able to target St. Louis and in 90 days have a team up and running. He wants to do that without spending thousands of dollars in advertising to find those people.

Ben has several people that used to do balloons at restaurants for them that come back and become regional leaders.

“I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”

“To play it safe is also to play it boring.”

Shark Tank boosted his business but it didn’t double it or do anything crazy.

Advice
There are 3 skill sets that are needed to run a business:

  • You need to be able to do it
  • You need to be able to sell it
  • You need to be able to manage the money

Ben says he should have, on day one, had someone come in and make sure the money was managed correctly.
He suggests: get a good accountant, get your quickbooks, and never get behind on taxes.

“Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Tim Robbins said it’s action, you have to take action, you can’t sit around and just plan s*** all day. You have to take action. A lot of people have these complicated business plans and they want to get a giant loan and all this other stuff. If you want to start a business, you need to take action up front.

You may have a great idea and people are like, “Wow, that’s a great idea!” And then you go out there and no one is willing to pay you a dime for it… maybe it’s not that great of an idea.

If you have an idea try it. Don’t try it for the next 30 years, but go present it to a hundred different people and just gauge the interest. If no one has any interest then take it back to the drawing board, improve it or change it. Even better, take your idea out there and ask, how can we make it better; you’d be amazed people will give you lots of information.

What do you think of Ben’s interview?

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Episode 64: Pinterest and SEO | Cynthia Sanchez Host of Oh So Pinteresting Podcast

In this episode of the Defining Success Podcast, Cynthia Sanchez shares her thoughts on Pinterest and how to optimize your website to take advantage of Pinterest and SEO.  She also discusses the importance of including proper descriptions so you can be found in the Pinterest search engines and reach more people.

Cynthia Sanchez Pinterest and SEO Oh So Pinteresting Podcast

Cynthia Sanchez

Cynthia Sanchez first started to use Pinterest in 2011, and launched Oh So Pinteresting in February 2012.   After a few months she was approached by a company to see if she could help them with Pinterest and manage their social media accounts. In September 2012, she left her job as a full-time radiation oncology nurse to focus on building Oh So Pinteresting and my business. . . . and the rest is history.

Cynthia got involved in Pinterest reluctantly and the first time she got on Pinterest she was hooked.  She was seeing pins and images that linked her to these new websites which she never would have encountered using traditional Google searches.

Pinterest is a very visual platform and she thinks that’s the appeal of it because you can quickly browse through images to see what gets your attention to decide which website you’d like to visit.  For her, it was eye opening.  We relate to images in a more emotional way where we get lost in the pictures, we relax and it causes our brain to react in a different way.

In January of 2012, Cynthia was looking at podcast categories and she came across Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast.  She didn’t realize that she could start a business with her blog and so she listened to all of Pat’s podcasts and it could be something that she could do in her spare time.

She decided to write her blog on her personal experiences using Pinterest.  And after starting her blog, she was quickly approached by a business that wanted her to help manage their businesses Pinterest page.  She went to Blog World in New York and she created business cards.  One of the posts she wrote when she came back was about using Pinterest to get your hair cut.  She asked the salon owner if she could leave her cards in the salon.   A local business owner visited the salon, saw her cards and approached her.

Cynthia focuses on just doing Pinterest for the majority of the businesses she works for.  Last week, they launched a new way for how categories appear and they are constantly changing.  Cynthia is now working to stay on top of managing her social media presence.

The biggest piece of advice Cynthia can give to business owners is to come up with a strategic plan.  You need to think of your ideal client and how they connect to your business.

The early adopters of Pinterest were women from the midwest and traditional social networks are adopted in a particular geographic region.  Women represent the largest population on Pinterest.  In Europe, the ratio is closer to 50/50 while in the U.S., there are many more females than males.  You can customize the boards you want so you can get and see the topics you want to see on Pinterest.

Cynthia thinks that many businesses don’t use Pinterest and SEO (search engine optimization) properly.  They don’t take the time to incorporate keywords into their SEO strategies and this is extremely important on Pinterest.

When Cynthia works with clients she is on Pinterest five to six days a week.  She tries to get on Pinterest at multiple times every day.  She tends to pin a lot about social media, Pinterest, web design and other topics.  She tries to spread out her posts throughout the day.  Cynthia tries to pin between 5 and 12 times when she plans how often she posts on Pinterest.

One company that did Pinterest very well was a boot sock company, which is a product that has become very popular recently.  She doesn’t have an active account, but her picture went viral on Pinterest, and the girl did around a million in sales and was a featured entrepreneur on Shark Tank.

Cynthia’s podcast has been on for a year now and the coolest thing about podcasting is that she’s been given speaking opportunities as a result.  She’s given multiple speaking engagements across the country as a result of her podcast.

Cynthia Sanchez from the Oh So Pinteresting Podcast

Cynthia Sanchez

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How do you use Pinterest?
  • What is your favorite thing about using Pinterest?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Oh So Pinteresting – Have you heard of Pinterest? It has become one of the fastest growing sites in history. In a nutshell, it is an online visual bookmaking site but, if approached with a strategy, it can be a very powerful tool. I’m here to teach you all about it.

Success Quotes:

  • “Success comes in little bits and bites . . . Those little successes all add up to the big success.”
  • “People don’t think of the SEO of Pinterest.”
  • “My favorite thing about Pinterest is being to connect with different parts of the internet that I never would have found before.”

Special Requests:

  • Go out there and find your success.
Cynthia Sanchez at NMX

Cynthia Sanchez

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Episode 55: An Entrepreneurial Mindset by Zeb Welborn

In Episode 55 of the Defining Success Podcast we revisit the episode we did with Charlotte Clary of Ice Chips Candy and share what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Entrepreneurs continually take risks and fail but are able to sustain themselves while working to find businesses or products that help make them successful.  The best entrepreneurs fail and fail often, but they always learn from their mistakes and work hard to make better business decisions and implement systems that will help them become more successful.

We analyze the difference between being an entrepreneur and an employee in an article titled, Do You Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset or an Employee Mindset on the Welborn Media website.

Listen to Episode 55 of the Defining Success Podcast to learn what it takes to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Charlotte Clary and Beverly Vines-Haines with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran

Charlotte Clary and Beverly Vines-Haines

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Episode 54: The Little Voice Within | Shelly Ehler from ShowNo

Shelly Ehler is the passionate and inspiring owner of the ShowNo Towel. In her interview Shelly shares the lessons she has learned through her journey as an entrepreneur and how these have impacted her and continue to foster success in other professional and personal aspects of her life. She often refers to this internal guiding compass as the ‘Little Voice Within’.

Shelly Ehler on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Shelly Ehler

Shelly’s product the ShowNo Towel has been featured on the Today show and on the hit T.V. show Shark Tank. Shelly created the ShowNo Towel after experiencing a frustrating situation with her children at the community pool. The task of tending to a tantrum, while protecting both of her sons from the elements and maintaining their privacy culminated into a daunting task. It was also this moment that served as a catalyst for a brilliant concept. That night Shelley received an epiphany to create the ShowNo towel.

The ShowNo is a bath and beach towel for children, it’s a perfect cover up which can be worn as a poncho to keep warm and protected from the sun. It also serves a tent to change in and out of clothes under it’s privacy. At firsts Shelly was insecure as to whether her idea was “awesome or stupid”. She began by gifting the ShowNo towel to friends and family, who instantly validated the practicality of the product.

Shelly’s first big break for mass exposure was granted through the Today Show’s segment on “Moms with Good Ideas”. She was then contacted by the ABC network to appear on the reality T.V. show The Shark Tank. After pitching her product, she was the first entrepreneur on the show to be granted a $50,000 dollar check. Shelly discusses the aftermath of events and clarifies that the agreement is subject to renegotiation. In the final outcome, Shelly was not able to redeem the promised money. None the less she values her time on the show and is extremely thankful for the opportunity and proud to have achieved that platform and exposure for her product. Shelley describes her experience as “I know I wasn’t on Shark Tank to sell a towel, I was on there to sell hope and my journey has just started, I have a really awesome future ahead and I’m just getting started.” In the months after the show aired, a licensing opportunity was finalized with the largest towel manufacturer in the country. The Show No towel will begin to be distributed in the large licensed stores such as, Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. by Spring 2014.

Shelly Ehler ShowNo Towel

Shelly Ehler

The experience has also propelled Shelly to pursue a career as an Author and Motivational Speaker around the country. Her focus is to spread the message of hope and following the Voice within, to trust it and allow it to guide you to your ultimate purpose. Shelley is a firm believer that the voice within has guided her to where she is now and that every single place and every single person encountered as a result has a special lesson.

On disappointment and overcoming obstacles; Shelly declares that the success she initially expected was not the same as she had pictured in her mind and was momentarily devastated. However she strongly reinforces the belief in one’s self and being prepared for a learning curve with starting a new business. There are a lot of lessons to be gained with experience and is extremely grateful for learning as she goes along. she explains and in retrospect Shelly states that she does not have any regrets and does not frustrate herself with the ‘what if’s’ is she had to do it all over again.

Ellen DeGeneres Wearing Her ShowNo Towel

Ellen DeGeneres

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What business ideas have you come up with that you didn’t pursue?
  • Have you ever felt or heard that little voice within guiding you to greatness?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • ShowNo – “A ShowNo is a bath towel and beach towel that kids can use to dry off on their own. It’s the perfect coverup that can be worn like a poncho to keep children warm and protected from the sun. It can also be used as a changing towel so that kids can change their clothes underneath in privacy.”
  • 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.”

Success Quotes:

  • “The universe gives you what you’re ready to handle.”
  • “Money without fulfillment is hell.”
  • “The best thing that you could do for your business is to help another business.”
  • “I know I wasn’t on Shark Tank to sell a towel.  I was on Shark Tank to sell hope. And my journey’s just started.”
  • “The best thing you can do that will take you the furthest in life is gratitude.”
  • “Success is when you are living a life where you achieve abundance and where you have found fulfillment.”

Special Requests:

  • Go out there and find your success!
Shelly Ehler and her ShowNo Towel on the Defining Success Podcast

ShowNo Towel

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

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.

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

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

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

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

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Episode 28: The Power of Purpose | Think Entrepreneurship Podcast Host Pete Sveen

Teaser: Pete’s goal is to help inspire more and more people become entrepreneurs. He’s spent most of his life as an entrepreneur and is helping others develop a purpose and a passion for entrepreneurship. Recap: Pete Sveen is the host of the Think Entrepreneurship Podcast, a show that interviews successful entrepreneurs and shares their journeys and experiences with you. His guests have included Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, NFL great, Fran Tarkenton and many other motivated and well-known entrepreneurs.

Pete Sveen

Pete Sveen

Pete studied entrepreneurship at the University of Nebraska and while he was in college he started a car detailing business and he learned that he wanted to be his own boss.  He loved the fact that he could get into something that he could be passionate about. His first business was his car detailing business and then he got into the printing business, which he still owns today.  He then got into e-commerce and he started making signs called SignsoftheMountain.com.

He started the Think Entrepreneurship website back in 2010.  He’s also been involved in real estate investing. The entrepreneurship focus in colleges is growing and he started taking an Intro to Entrepreneurship class.  He learned how to write business plans and learn how to start a business. He got practice working on his business plans and entered a contest and got some money to help him start his business in college.  He also did some consulting for businesses with some things that the businesses he did some projects for.

Pete learned a variety of things from the entrepreneurship program at the University of Nebraska, but the greatest thing it offered was networking because he was able to meet investors and find mentors that helped him in the beginning stages of his business. Pete has learned so much in his entrepreneurial journey.  Every day Pete learns how to do new things for his business, but that’s what makes things exciting.

Think Entrepreneurship

Think Entrepreneurship

Pete came up with the name for Think Entrepreneurship for his friends and he was trying to get people to connect his local friends where they could bounce things off of each other.  In 2010, Pete got more active with the website.  He really understood early on that he began to develop some great connections and the first person that he interviewed ordered 2,000 t-shirts from his printing business.

Pete thinks that podcasting is really blowing up right now.  He visited the NMX Conference and they talked about the importance of podcasting.  Pat Flynn said there is 4.5 million blogs and only 250,000 podcasts our there which means it’s a great medium and a great opportunity for people looking to spread their message.

The biggest mistake Pete has made was trying to do everything on his own.  He didn’t outsource anything and he wishes he had outsourced things sooner.  He reaches out to local college students and tries to hire out as soon as you can so you can focus on the more strategic parts of your business. One of the most interesting interviews Pete had was interviewing Fran Tarkenton . . . and Pete’s been a Vikings fan since he was born and it was a great experience for Pete to interview him.  He had a wealth of information and he was inspiring to hear from.  Fran is now doing a lot of investing in start-ups and is working with around 25 companies and he’s currently working with Office Depot to help mentor entrepreneurs from around the United States.

Pete gets guests for his podcasts by reaching out to people who he would like to try and get to.  He sends emails and calls entrepreneurs in order to get guests for his podcast.

Pete says one thing that strikes him about entrepreneurs is how willing they are to give back. Pete does a lot of affiliate marketing which is referring a lot of businesses and companies that you believe in and sending them to their websites.  He is also gathering sponsors for his podcast which are sponsoring episodes.

Pete Sveen

Pete Sveen

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Do you have a clearly defined purpose?
  • What do you think about entrepreneurship?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Think Entrepreneurship – “We created this website to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow their business. We are extremely passionate about helping, inspiring, advising, and motivating other entrepreneurs.”
  • SignsoftheMountains.com – “Thank you for visiting SignsoftheMountains.com. Signs of the Mountains is based in Bozeman, Montana. We produce unique metal signs that serve to recreate memories you’ve had out in the mountains. We create signs about skiing, hiking trails, mountain elevation, gps coordinates, hunting, fly fishing and so on. We also create motivational signs to help inspire outdoor enthusiasts and others. In addition to our standard signs, we are able to personalize signs to make them even more special for our customers.”
  • University of Nebraska – “The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chartered in 1869, is an educational institution of international stature. UNL is listed by the Carnegie Foundation within the “Research Universities (very high research activity)” category. UNL is a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.”
  • Kevin Harrington – “Kevin Harrington, chairman and founder of TVGoods, Inc. and chairman of As Seen On TV, Inc., is widely acknowledged as a pioneer and principal architect of the infomercial industry.”
  • Fran Tarkenton – “Fran is a hands-on entrepreneur. His companies are the result of his ideas and his direct day-to-day involvement. He funds the start-ups, develops the business plans and executes the strategies to build thriving businesses. Fran launched 20 companies over the last 25 years, the largest one reaching revenues of $142 million. He was a founding board member of Coca-Cola Enterprises. He also served on the Board of Directors of Sterling Software, Blimpie International and Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.”
  • Pat Flynn Smart Passive Income – “With this blog, I want to be as transparent as possible with everything I do online. My businesses, my strategies and my income – it’s all out there for you to see. I’m not trying to show off my success – that’s definitely not my purpose.  If you’re already doing business online, I hope that my experiences – both my wins and my failures – can help you reach your goals.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is finding something that you’re passionate about and you want to work on every single day.”
  • “Success is finding something you’re passionate in that can bring in a good income to do the things you want with your family.”
  • “My big goal is to reach out and inspire as many people out there about entrepreneurship.”
  • “My goal is to help inspire as many people as possible.”
  • “I have to be helping somebody in order to stay passionate about it.”
  • About Entrepreneurs: “One thing that I’ve really noticed is their willingness to help other entrepreneurs.”
  • “Every day I’m learning.”

Special Requests: If you need help finding your passion or have questions about how we can help you develop yours, send me an email at Zeb@WelbornMedia.com, visit and comment on our blog www.DefiningSuccessPodcast.com or visit and comment on the Defining Success Podcast Facebook page.

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

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:

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

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.”
facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

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!

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

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

Special Requests:

facebooktwitterlinkedinmail