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More Magazine featured entrepreneur Phylise Sands, the owner of Red Daisy, and her journey to success. If you’d like a realistic and sobering story about the ins and outs of bringing a product to market, read her story in the April issue.
My favorite parts were about her soliciting the aid of a famous lingerie designer, Roslyn Harte who, at first, turned down the offer to help this start-up. And I mean turned down: 20 times. Would YOU have had the courage to continue making that call? Phylise did.
All start-up companies are really a pain.
was Harte’s reaction. Until she discovered that Red Daisy had a give-back component that spoke to her heart–breast cancer research.
Along the way, Sands learned many lessons, like expanding her product line beyond one fabulous sports bra. “Three bras does not a company-with-market-presence make,” she advised.
Ms. Harte also alerted this new business owner to the fact that retailers stay away from new companies because of “control issues, delivery problems, and [their tendency] to go out of business.”
That wasn’t the case for Red Daisy. Orders came in, but she did face delivery problems from her manufacturer, which she handled one call at a time.
Stories like these, which celebrate the owner while shedding light on the challenges, are the most inspiring to me. No one has smooth sailing from conception to market. It’s good to hear what really happens. We all have our battle scars, but they’re not always shone the light of day.
I appreciate MORE sharing this satisfying story of success. I hope it encourages you to go the extra mile today.
On my drive from Tucson, where the retreat was held en route to the airport in Phoenix, I saw a spectacular rainbow–in Arizona! Over the desert. Not what you’d expect. That pretty much sums up my fabulous experience at Miraval with 100+ MORE readers plus the magazine’s editorial staff and publisher. To say it exceeded my expectations would be an understatement.
The facility is magnificent–a resort built at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains–with lavish accommodations and multiple athletic, spa and spiritual offerings to please any patron. But the true value of my experience began during the Meet the Editors welcome the first evening there. I sat in the front row and was immediately extended a warm welcome by the woman seated to my right, Natalie Caine.
Within two minutes it was clear that I was in the right place. I’m going to speak at Rancho La Puerta next month, and Natalie had just returned from her own speaking engagement there. Now, really. What are the chances of that serendipitous alignment of stars?! We became fast friends and had breakfast together daily.
The highlight of Day 2 was participating in the Equine Experience where I was well instructed on how to groom a horse including getting him to lift his hooves for me to clean. After that I was taught how to have my horse go from a walk to a trot and change directions in the ring simply by directing my energy core towards his and setting my intention. I’ve got the pictures to prove that I was able to accomplish this amazing feat. Amazing to me, anyway.
Throughout these experiences and meals I kept meeting remarkable women from all over the US. Conversations were spontaneous and quickly intimate, which I loved.
When I got back to the ‘main campus’ after the horse experience, one of the women I’d met in that group spotted a jeweler, Marybeth Johnson, she’d previously encountered who was exhibiting her work in the Miraval shop.I was immediately drawn not only to the beauty and spirituality of this woman’s pieces, but also to her gentle and loving energy. We had a couple of wonderful conversations, as I had already walked the path she was currently on and could lend some thoughts and advice for her journey. She was a receptive audience, and we became fast friends.
My original intention for going to this long weekend event was to meet Barbara Bigford whom I’d written about after she’d been featured in MORE. Her story is truly inspirational, and what I admired most about Barbara, who shared her story at lunch on Friday–”From Idea to Barcode”– is her willingness to go to any lengths for her business in a low-key, tenacious and graceful way. She shared her wild success, but also her steep learning curve and mistakes made along the way. Employed as a dental hygienist before becoming a business mogul, you can imagine how inspiring her story was.
The day after her talk, Barbara and I met up for a morning walk and talk about retirement co-sponsored by MORE and Wells Fargo. We hiked the grounds of the resort, then assembled by a bonfire to hear about financial planning and share our concerns with the Deputy Editor of MORE whose focus is personal finance and work–Jennifer Braunschweiger.
I could go on… It was filling, inspiring, nurturing, fun and important. Join me next year!
When I signed up for the Meet the Editors event at Miraval Spa in Tucson last June, I had no idea how well-timed this getaway retreat would be. These last few weeks have been intensely full and productive with my recent free webinar and subsequent sell-out of the actual 8-session course starting next week.
I’ve wrapped up all the trimmings for the first session on 11/17, so feel really good about taking a long weekend of rest, renewal and some pretty cool networking.
My coach asked me what my ‘high dream’ would be around the event. What would be the best outcome? I don’t know how this came out of my mouth, but ‘a column’ was what I responded. I’ve got copies of my book to distribute–I shipped them ahead to avoid shlepping them on the plane. And I believe I walk the talk of a Soul Proprietor. A monthly column geared toward women-owned businesses would work beautifully in that publication.
Earl Nightingale said that “Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.” Wish me luck!
When I was a networking newbie, an entrepreneurial woman I met told me she’d like 15 minutes of my time during which she promised to “dazzle” me. I agreed to hear her pitch. I was not dazzled. I don’t remember what she was selling. But I do remember her misuse of that word and my time.
‘Under-promise and over-deliver’ has been a mantra for me both as a giver and receiver in the business marketplace. So, when I read and article in the current More magazine that perfectly demonstrated a truly dazzling presentation, I wanted to share it with you.
Barbara Bigford had invented a product that she wanted to get into the Savannah Walmart. She promised the buyer to keep her pitch to under five minutes and held up a stopwatch to prove it. Already an irresistible offer, right? I’m going to quote verbatim what she said (according to the article) and add my editorial comments alongside.
- I’m the owner of Seabreeze Products, [~ names her position and the company]
- a newly approved Walmart vendor [~specified her credentials within the organization]
- with a fabulous item that I just know you’re going to love– [~confidence and optimism for that person's buy-in]
- –a beach umbrella that does not, I repeat, does not blow away! [~names the product and the problem that it solves, twice for emphasis]
- She held one up. [~props are critical to the success of a presentation]
- This is the only umbrella that comes with a weightless anchor. [~paints a picture of a concept that raises a question in the buyer's mine]
- You just fill these pockets with sand to weigh down the umbrella, then empty them when you leave the beach. [~answers succinctly and thoroughly the question she raised in the previous sentence]
- Isn’t it amazing? [~gives prospect/buyer time to take in the genius of her invention]
- No more chasing wind-blown umbrellas down the beach! [~reiterates the problem she’s solving with a powerful visual image}
This had to have taken weeks to write, edit, memorize and rehearse, but the payoff was worth it–sales to Walmart and 400% growth for her company in the two years before licensing her invention. Here’s an image of the product and a link if you’re sold too.
At the MORE magazine Re-Invention Convention I attended on Monday, I heard Carly Fiorina interivewed by the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Landro. Politics aside, there were some key points she made that had me taking notes.
CF: “If someone can’t explain something to me, they don’t understand it.”
I’ve been smooth-talked many times in my life. I’ve come to the realization, which Carly articulated so clearly here, that if I don’t understand what my client, prospect, friend or relative is saying, the likelihood is that it’s their explanation, not my shortage of intelligence. I can ask for clarification, restatement or more details.
When asked about companies seeking younger and younger workers, Fiorina gave her formula for life experience: perspective, common sense and good judgment. These are only gained through living, so are attributes less likely to show up in Gen X or Y…yet.
Walking into a room of women over-40′s was heartening. The vibe was upbeat, warm and collegial. A lot of life experience was seated in the chairs. I felt really comfortable and in my element. I met 4 women with whom I’ll follow-up. That’s a high number for a networking event.
Survivors, according to Fiorina, are those most adaptive to change–not necessarily the smartest, strongest or most long-suffering. The more responses you have, especially in the current world situation, the better your chances are for surviving and thriving.
My current state of mind is strongly upbeat, determined and flexible. My calendar is full. I know there’s business out there and I am determined to stay active and excited about small business growth.