Episode 046 – Amanda J. McIntosh
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to episode #46 with Amanda J. McIntosh – Starting Your Business by Being Unique, Weird, & Creative!
Amanda became interested in beauty after searching for soft washcloths for her own skincare routine. When she could only find slabs made of thick terry cloth, microfiber, or bamboo, she wondered why no one had bothered to reinvent the clumsy staple.
Until then, Amanda led a double life as a classical musician and business consultant. After grad school, she spent years performing with orchestras around the US and Europe. She later worked for her mother’s CRM consulting firm on projects with Fortune 100 companies, but she never quit performing. Eventually, she had her lightbulb moment late one night while driving home from a concert.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- How ‘not fitting in’ is a good position to be.
- Thinking outside the box. Searching for the least expected solutions to problems.
- Getting creative and never taking ‘no’ for an answer.
- Quit following the rules and grow!
- Develop enough independence as not to become a slave to trends.
- Find the balance between being a part of everything and being separate.
- Being ahead of the curve is a common trait among successful CEOs.
- Being detail-oriented is key to being able to notice trends.
- It’s challenging to choose which advice to take from which people.
- Amanda’s biggest enemy is needless waste and pollution.
- Fighting against a beauty industry that does more harm to the skin.
- Choose companies that doing the right and good thing.
- Channeling our energy to something productive instead of raving about it.
- Entrepreneurs make the world go round and solve its problems.
- Setting your priorities straight.
- You don’t always know how you will get to where you want to go.
- Directing the praise to how much effort was put into the task.
- The umbrella of unconscious trust signals.
- It’s much easier and more fun to be real than to seem real.
- Google Calendar
- The Passion Planner
How To Stay Connected With Amanda J. McIntosh
Want to stay connected with Amanda? Please check out her social profiles below.
- Website: TakeMyFaceOff.com
Call To Adventure
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The Webinar Alchemy Workshop: https://richardmatthews.me/fs/waw-slf/
Hello, and welcome back to The Hero Show.
My name is Richard Matthews.
I am on the line today with Amanda McIntosh,
Founder and CEO of take my face off.
Are you there, Amanda?
I am pleased to be here.
Glad to have you here. Let me do a quick introduction
For you just so people know who you are
And why we’re chatting with you.
So Amanda is the founder and CEO of Take My Face Off,
Which is a Los Angeles based company,
On a mission to replace disposable cleansers.
And you guys work with, if I’m not mistaken,
It’s like face cloths. Is that – What it is that you guys make?
You can think of it like fancy washcloths
Fancy washcloths. So tell me a little bit about
What it is your company is known for?
Why do people buy your products?
Why do they come to you guys?
What is it that set you guys apart?
Because there’s kind of a big white space.
And I’m assuming that some other people are going
To rush into it, fill it after a while. But it started because
I own washcloths. You probably own washcloths that’s for kids.
But almost nobody I know likes their washcloth.
It’s pretty rough. It’s pretty gross. And so I just kind of
This is a fun, silly product. Because selfishly,
I wanted something gentler for my face. I’ve got years of
Skin problems, whatever. And then I started looking
More closely at the beauty market. And the thing is
That cotton balls, disposable wipes and the array of things
That people use to clean their face on a daily basis,
That are really not good for their skin, not so effective.
To me, more importantly, they’re really awful for the planet.
And there are a lot of things in life that we kind of go along doing.
And then there’s either a news story or something
Makes you realize maybe that wasn’t the world’s greatest idea.
Plastic water bottles or plastic bags,
And then we all kind of like slowly shift our behavior.
And then the new normal is to not use that.
And kind of trying to speed along the edge that
A disposable thing you put in the trash every single day
To clean your face is not a very healthy thing for any of us.
Your skin, your wallet. But meanwhile, I mean,
You never going to guilt anybody into making a change.
You’re never gonna scare them. I hope people don’t guilt or
Scare people in hoping they’ll change. So what we’re doing is
We work to create things that are so unbelievably soft.
Great for the skin and effective and faster to use,
That people switch just because it’s so much better.
And then for me, I get this satisfaction of knowing that
I’m doing something to change something.
But we’re trying to do it and, yes the happiest way.
That’s awesome. So what’s the name of your main product?
We would say the … is called The Mitty.
It’s kind of the fundamental starting …,
We’ve got some other branch off products. And we’ve got
Lots of other plans. But it’s a little mit that sits on your hand.
And its patent pending, because there are various ways
That you can, of course, saw things to make them work better
And to make them more efficient, effective. And so you know,
Ours has like a little happy pointy tip that can really
Get into your mascara lash line area. And we’ve got some
Other fun ones that for example are shapes like lips.
So it’s kind of hilarious, but they’re all native these amazing fabrics.
That is funny.
Their so much better for skin and they wash clean.
It’s such a fancy fabric that none of our testers have even worn out.
When people say, “How long did they last?”
We have to say, “We don’t know because I have yet to have
One that’s that’s died.” So –
That’s really cool. And how long have you guys
Been making these face cleansers?
I can tell you the earliest prototypes are four years old.
But we’ve been doing this pretty seriously
For about three years. And first, we kind of thought
That maybe we’d start off actually in the baby market.
Because I’ve got kids like you. And –
You might caught a baby crying in the background.
Hope everything’s okay. I’ll send you some for your kids actually
Because I was starting it for me because
I wanted something gentler. But then, my kids would
… over to the couch rose doing laundry and they …
Some of my prototypes and they put them on their hands,
And they played with them. And then I found out
That when I was bathing my kids, if I gave them –
I mean they were little this time, if I gave him a mitty
They didn’t get soap in their eyes. They could manage it
Perfectly well. And it was sensitive enough even if
They were having some eczema or something.
So we kind of thought we’d start with baby.
But then, we realized that it was just
A stronger position to start off with beauty.
And then we’re going to go to baby later.
That’s really cool that you guys are in that space.
And you guys have plans for that. So I’m curious,
I want to talk a little bit about how this happened.
So your origin story we talked – Every hero has an origin story.
It’s where you started to realize that you’re different.
Maybe you had superpowers. I mean, you could use them
To help other people. … sort of started developing and discover
The value you can bring to this world and start a company,
And become an entrepreneur?
What was that story and journey like for you?
I’d say the, just the word, I came from, I came from
A world that I probably don’t really belong in.
And that kind of turned into the strength.
I started off in classical music. And I love it. I love playing
And it’s a part of my brain that isn’t scratched by anything else.
It’s wonderful. But I did that in my late 30s. And I always felt like
Such a weirdo there. I’m always reading weird books and
Watching weird movies, foreign language, whatever.
I mean, in music, school and professional life, I don’t know.
And I didn’t – I thought everybody in the world was
Always kind of feeling odd. Everybody always feels kind of lonely.
It’s just normal. And it took me years to realize now,
Maybe it’s actually just kind of me. But it was a good position
In terms of feeling weird and getting used to feeling weird.
And one of my problems with classical music is that
It’s a little bit like Groundhog Day. I don’t do well in Groundhog Day.
I need something to be going somewhere.
… Forward motion for the long term. And so I’m all those things.
I did some other things for a while, I did some consulting
For 14 years, I was a business process consultant
Because my family has a practice and did that
And kind of loved it. But one day, I was driving home
Late from a concert and kind of thinking about
My nighttime face washing thing because if your … skincare,
That’s a big deal. It’s like, “I’m out of this wash closet.
I hate those wash clothes.”
“Man, I haven’t been able to find any better ones.
This is so stupid. I keep running out
Because I’m not doing laundry fast enough.”
And meanwhile, I want to buy more, but I can’t find any
That are any good. So you’re kind of a typical light bulb moment.
“Wait a minute, how hard can this be? I will do it.”
And that ability to be the weird one, to be asking questions
That other people don’t. To be thinking about topics that
Nobody else seem to know. Things about,
To be investigating things that nobody else
Seems to be interested in. That made it a lot easier for me
For when I started finding what are the places … in Los Angeles.
We’ve got a huge garment market. So there’s
An endless array of sources. And he talked to me, say,
“What would be good for bath use, for wet use
And they’re like terry cloth.”
Duh, terry cloth is terrible. That’s what everybody uses.
So it enabled me to get creative and find things and try things
And when your manufacturers literally told me,
“You can’t saw that fabric into that.”
They put these machines that will cost you too much.
I went and bought the exact same machines they had
At the factory taught myself how to use them.
Taught myself, … back and, “So how about this?”
It’s a real … to not always feel the need to fit in exactly.
Only real… can actually make a change is
To not be the same as everybody else.
So did you have to? Are you still
Manufacturing them yourselves? Or did you have to
Train the manufacturer how to saw these things?
Well, the way it first worked out, was that
I always wanted this to scale. So I always knew that.
There’s only so much I can do myself. But the problem was
Is that nobody all the normal ways … manufacturers
Kept telling me it can’t be done. So that’s when
I took it into my own hands for a while.
And I learned that whole side of the industry.
And that was that’s the garment industry in LA,
Even though we’re beauty. And so I argued some people
Into making it for me. And a lot of factors had to come together.
And it was the right moment. Like me springing a second that,
“Hey, I do speak Spanish. And I’ve been already understanding
What you’ve been saying about me behind your,
Underneath your … that’s not true. Here’s what’s true.
And here’s how you … machine do that. But I didn’t,
I didn’t want to actually do it myself, I need help
And I needed to get sneaky about it. So I convinced
A really great factory in Los Angeles, who makes sportswear
For some of the world’s most ethical brands to make my product,
Which … because there are laws in LA that will make
… Products for you. They … workers fairly. They do not all have
Safe working conditions. Not all … run their business as well.
And so I wanted to make sure I’m supporting the right people.
So I got this company, that’s a good one to make my product.
I’m a small customer, so they’re not going
To give me the best price. I had to get creative.
And I found partners in other places. And so now,
I’ve got a really cool network, kind of depending
On what product we’re making, how many we’re making,
Who can make it for me and some of them are
Little one people shops out in the boonies where
They have the sewing skills and they would love to work.
And sometimes it’s a larger factory depending on what we do.
So I don’t make them myself. I still do make prototypes
Because it’s just kind of fun to get in there. And I found that
Nobody’s going to really dig into how could we make this better,
Cheaper, cuter, make it to last longer. No one’s going
To work harder at that than I am.
But then … I back off and I let somebody else …
That’s really cool. And it’s an interesting story
That I think a lot of entrepreneurs miss when they are
Building a company that one of the things that’s
Going to set you apart is that innovation.
Where you’re people are telling you, “This can’t be done.”
And you’re finding, “Okay, here’s ways that we can
Actually make it happen.” So you’re creating,
You’re creating innovation in a space that probably
Doesn’t see a lot of it. So you can corner market that way.
I like to think so. We’ve got – Everything is tied up as we can
With trademarks and patents and trying to continuously innovate.
And I think anytime somebody tells you something can’t be done.
Man, that’s just tempting. I don’t know. That’s…
To me that’s the biggest …
Really, it might … to be done. Have you tried it? Let’s find out.
My brother and I laugh all the time. And people ask us all the time,
They’re like, “Kitt, can this be down or can the other thing be done?”
And the response to that is always “Yes.”
The question is, how much time and money do you have
To invest in making it happen because
We can always find a way to make it happen.
You have to be selective about which problems you try to solve.
I was waiting for my mentors the other day,
About some problems we face as a tiny company.
We’ve got a lot of experts who love our product,
But the the mass market penetration,
I’m not seeing the immediate answer to that now.
And he just looked at me and he said,
“Well, if you want to be rule bound then, do it like everybody else,
Fine, it might not work out.” He’s like,
“Why you … have to find the creative ways. Come on, quit …
Quit following the rules. What am I thinking?”
And so it sounds like you’re on the cusp of having
A really big brand, then if that’s – What you’re thinking about it?
… To be so, yes.
So let’s talk a little bit about your superpowers.
Personally, as someone who’s running the company,
What is it that you think you bring to the table
That you think really helps solve problems for your company,
For your clients the things that you use to slay
This world’s villains, so to speak?
Well, I already talked about one of them.
But it’s related to the second one. So like I said, I’m good,
… I’m around to do all the same thing … their people do.
So the way I think of it is, I’m not such a nerd,
That I can’t see trends, that I can’t see style,
And I have an eye for things. But I have enough independence
To not be a slave to styles, to what everybody else is doing.
I’m capable of seeing what’s the generalist … our time,
Or in this area, what’s trending or whatever.
But I can back off a little from it. And I have
My little superpower is that I have a sense of how long like,
Relative to others … and how long that one might last.
And I have a sense of what might come after,
Which you can say is intuition, you can also say
It’s just simple logic, I mean, so if you’re gonna look at things
Like colors, shapes, styles, we tend to go into progression.
When I was younger, in the 80s, the 1950s, were in style.
So it would stand to reason that something that would
Follow after that might be related to the 1960s.
And again, you can think of it from kind of the intuition thing.
We tend to repeat certain types of things in the visual sphere
Of Western culture, over and over again.
And so it also helps me with regard to
The financial markets a little bit. So my consulting job
Gave me a nice … some of the bonuses went into retirement.
Giving me a little bit of a nest egg there, but then
I kept meeting male financial advisors who kept telling me
Little Missy don’t … stocks to buy on the one who knows.
And I got told that too many times and watching again and again,
The stock I wanted … doing well. And they convinced me not to.
So I finally got angry and just started managing
The account myself. And I certainly can’t divine everything
About all the stocks in the world. That’s ridiculous.
But I certainly can tell you, certain … a trend and you go into stores,
Retail can be easy for this, you go into stores,
And you can get kind of get a sense of how things are being run.
My consultant’s brain helped me pick up
Some of the subtle signs that some things are going well or not.
You look at what’s on the floor. Is it in line with trends?
Where is it? Is it behind the times? How’s it looking?
And you can make some guesses. I was good at that.
And I was able to grow that account. And that actually became
The nest egg that turned into take My Face Off.
So that’s what launched that, like my superpower is
The ability to be in a part of everything that I kind of get it
and be enough separate that I can make sense about
Which trends I want to go with and have
An idea as to where it might go next.
So it’s a kind of, I haven’t named that superpower.
But you see it a lot in CEOs that are fronting industries.
So if you watch Steve Jobs over the last 20 years
Before he died, he was he was just ahead of the curve
On everything, right on there, on all the things
That they were developing and stuff like that.
And you see that in lots of spaces. Where you see
The really smart entrepreneurs are going
To where the puck is going. They’re just ahead of where
Everyone is. And it’s like just big time example is
Anytime you see the baby boomers moving into a market,
If the baby boomers are moving there, there’s a lot of
Money moving into that market. So getting there
Before them is generally a smart move. One of those kind of trends.
So it sounds like you’re able to see that kind of stuff in your space.
I joke with my husband that I’m never going to be
Like a crazy visionary who’s going to imagine
An entire new world, no. I can just sometimes
Get a good hunch as to what’s a couple steps ahead.
You can see where the puck is going to be.
… Timewise, sometimes. Often, it takes things longer
To play out than I expect. But when I get one of those hunches,
It happens. And so, I heard of this a couple of years ago,
Obviously, and I was concerned that reusable replacement
For wipes and cotton, and I can I tallk your ear off about
Why wipes and even cotton balls, even the cotton that’s
Plant-based. I can talk to you forever about why
It’s frightening for the planet, whatever. So I was –
A couple years ago, wow, I might be too late. It just seems like
Any second, we’re going to be talking about how wipes
Are the next big environmental disaster.
And I’ve been waiting and waiting, and it’s taken a while.
But it is coming. And it is we’re seeing it happen.
Now, it just took a little longer than I thought.
But I’m so lucky because, of course, it’s given me a lot of time,
Make some little mistakes and refine their …
Have your company set up and ready to take advantage
Of the trend as it’s growing. Which is, that’s a cool place to be
With your business. So the other side of your superpower
Would be your fatal flaw. Superman has his kryptonite.
It’s the thing in your life that you struggle with,
That you think holds your business back.
Maybe a personality quirk or maybe something that
You just struggle with the … stuff like that? What is it?
And what have you done to help overcome it
For other people who might run into something similar?
I have two. Only one of them negatively affects my business.
My personal kind of one is probably just frustrating
To the people I work with, which is that I’m an optimist.
And I figured out – I don’t try to tackle the world’s largest problem,
I try to tackle the problems that I have a hunch I can solve.
You know what I mean? And then
Once I have a hunch I can solve it. I am tenacious.
I am not stopping. And then I’m an optimist, of course,
Asuming it’s going to be fixable. And then sometimes you run
Into a lot of difficulties or expenses before you can finish it.
So it leads to over promise sometime, about when
I’ll get something done, because I didn’t realize
That I have to learn through software first or whatever.
But it’ll happen. But the one that really affects my business is that –
So with this thing where I can, I can kind of see trends and get it.
The reason I can do that is because I’m detail-oriented.
I’m detail-oriented, but I see a big picture.
So I’m a good combination of I can get into the weeds,
But I see an arc. And with the detail, I can sometimes
Get stuck there. And I can get stuck, as my mentor tease me,
Into playing by the rules, because I understand the rules …
I can see how they go and I can figure them out.
And I can find ways to follow them even on a smaller budget.
And then sometimes I kind of get lost over there.
And I have to pull back and say, “Wait, what’s the point?”
Is the point to be a conveyor … company … to do everything
The way everybody else is? Or is it to make a big change
And introduce a big thing and to change people’s thinking.
So I have to ignore my good student nature.
Ignore good detail brain nature and step back and say,
“Broad stroke. Big stuff. What are you doing here?
That makes a lot of sense.
Sometimes you have to battles … or so to speak on
What’s important to actually move the needle forward
With revenue and growth and stuff in your business.
One of the hard things about doing something differently
Is that all the people who’ve been there for a long time,
Have a lot of excellent knowledge, want to tell you
All the ways to do everything. And if you’re a beauty company.
You must this, that and the other. And it’s always
Kind of challenging to decide which people’s advice
You’re going to take and which ones you’re not,
Which ones has worked for you an which ones
You’re literally there to smash.
How is your business going to be different?
How’s it going to be better? How’s it going to catch attention?
How’s it going to break through?
You’re not going to break through by doing everything
The way everybody else, unless you put a massive amount
Of money behind it. If you want to be just like everybody
incredibly successful. If you have a massive marketing budget,
That is one way to get … buy. But if you have
A massive marketing budget, then you’re going to have to
Do some things differently. All these well meaning people
Who really are smart, but you have to this, that and the other.
It’s interesting, it’s like we got to listen to them.
Because you got to learn a lot about the industry and you’ve got
There are few things that you should do in line with it.
To be able to identify yourself as even belonging that industry.
If I want to speak to beauty consumers, there’s certain things
I have to do. So they understand that I’m a beauty company.
But then, I can do some other things to break out.
And that’s just up to me, is where am I going to do
Something differently and especially every time
You have a problem, that’s your opportunity
To do something differently. So one of my fatal flaws
Is that sometimes I try to solve the problems
The way everybody else solves the problems.
And I should be getting a little more flexible.
And it’s an interesting thing you have to learn too
Because you have to learn which of these rules,
So to speak, are actually rules, like which ones are like gravity.
And every time you jump off the building
You’re going to fall down and which ones are things that are
Open for change and reinterpretation. And because
People looking into their past, they don’t necessarily have
That own filter. They don’t – they can’t look at everything
To be like, which ones of these things are things that
I learned because that’s just the way the industry is,
The way people work. The human buying psychology,
That’s not really going to change. And which ones were things-
Because I innovated or Ichanged something or
I did something different, which ones are open for interpretation?
Everybody, it’s different for every company.
It’s different for every industry. And that’s kind of like the –
It’s awesome. But it’s also a little lonely because you have to
Politely say ‘no’ to some people. You have to politely
Turn away from some things they tell you. You have to have
The strength of mind to say no matter how certain they are
How smart they are, it just may not be the right answer.
And then, it can lead to some self doubt,
But I guess for me, the good stuff and the bad stuff,
Two Sides of all the same thing.
Absolutely. So let’s talk a little bit about your common enemy.
So common enemy is something that you are working
To removing your clients life in your customers lives.
That if you could wave your magic wand
To make your lives better with your products,
With your services, what is the thing
That you’re fighting against?
Well, my real enemy that I’m fighting against, of course,
Is needless waste and pollution. The … byproducts of using
A piece of spun plastic to clean your face every day,
Tthrowing it away and then using another one tomorrow.
And the packaging and transportation that comes with that.
That’s the real enemy. But for my consumers,
Most of my consumers are very focused on their skin
And taking care of their skin and how are they going to
Keep their skin looking as good, as long as possible?
And how do they remove makeup more effectively?
Or how do I take my makeup off without it
Taking a long time because I just want (to sleep?)
And so the common enemy for that. For me, I’m fighting tired –
I don’t want to say laziness. If you ask (how do you take)
Your makeup off before bedtime, your dermatologist
Tells you it’s incredibly important. Why don’t you do it?
Say laziness. I hate to call it laziness, but and then on the flip side
We’re fighting a beauty market that tells people that
They need to do like steps before bedtime, that you needed
A makeup remover and a cleanser and an exfoliator
And a night cream and an eye cream. And I mean,
It goes on. There are literally 10-step skincare regimen is a thing.
A whole pile of things.
Pile of things. And actually, as a lot of dermatologists
Will tell us not actually good for skin. It is expensive.
It is time consuming. It is overwhelming.
There’s a lot of confusion about what order do i do it in?
How do I do it? It’s also bad for you.
It’s bad for skin, too much stuff. Your skin has
A natural barrier function. It’s protecting you
From the outside world. And the more you do to your skin,
The more you’re impacting your skin’s ability
To perform as a barrier, your impinging the barrier function
… Causes inflammation, which can turn into acne or eczema,
Or other stuff. So I’m fighting against an industry
That wants to make it really … expensive. I’m fighting about,
On the flip side, I’m fighting people who just starting to …
Be everything-in-one, where we’re more convenient,
Doing anything fairly good, bad. And so we’re trying to
We’re gentler, we’re softer, we’re quicker, we are not trash.
And that’s one of the things I most proud of,
Is that we actually do really well. So all of those problems
And people who get used to it, they get hooked,
So convenient and fast. They notice their skins
That’s really awesome.
Just one wipes. And then, – Thanks. So it’s –
We’re proud of all of this but it’s … once.
And it’s better for the planet just as a side benefit.
One of the things I’ve been talking about with a couple of
Guests on the show is this idea of positive commerce.
I think it’s the word people are using,
Or cause focused commerce Where as we become wealthier
And wealthier as a nation, and as a people we are seeing,
People care more about the products
And the impact that they have. And if you’ve got
A choice between, in our case, 500 versions of everything,
You can choose to be choosy.
You can choose the companies that are doing good things,
And that are having a positive impact on on our planet
And our communities and people around us,
Which is really a cool place to be as business.
It feels really good. It causes me some additional
Self-doubt because you’re a good student,
And like to follow the rules, and I like to … thoroughly.
So on one hand, I’m really happy that I’m producing
A product that replaces thousands and thousands
Of disposables, each one of my products, replaces many,
Many thousands of pieces of trash and keep them
From being created, transported, disposed off all that.
On the flip side, it kind of bummed out that I’m like,
Well, why do I have to have a package at all?
Or how can I have a truly reusable package
That is also green to produce?
Or how can I be completely know what-
How can we not even have to ship something to a customer?
That’s not going to happen. So but I keep going at each levels.
Maybe it should be produced out of a recycled content,
Yet compostable on float, blah –
And that can stop me again, for … it bothers me.
It keeps me up at night and keeps me looking for more stuff.
But then that’s also gratifying. So I found the first big piece
Of the puzzle, which is the product itself,
Replaces a lot of disposables and now we’re going for
The carbon footprint packaging, we can get. And we’re just
Going to keep keep doing all of that.
… With so many other companies
And all this incremental progress makes everything better.
So random talk, before you do with this, what you will
But I had a product shipped to me a while back,
That the box they shipped it in was not branded for the company.
It was branded like a – what would you call it?
It was branded is like something you would use in your house.
As a design thing, some of you might find appealing-
When one imports or something. So and the idea was that
You could – The box that it came in, you could use it
As a jewelry box on your counter or whatever,
Or use it in the kitchen or whatever as as a storage thing.
And it’s like it specifically said in the box is like the –
You’ll notice that the boxes came with
Different styles and whatnot. And they just sort of
Shipped out randomly. It was just a fun thing they did
With their products to make their –
You want to keep their box and I was like
That’s kind of a cool idea. So I don’t know if that fits for
What you guys are doing. But there’s my idea for the day.
No, that’s actually, you just really well-described two options
That a company like me can follow. And we can either say,
Let’s make every single thing we produce
A little bit more valuable, useful, give it a second life.
Or we can say let’s produce as little as possible,
Just however we can make it happen.
The thing is … recyclables compostable. With all of these
Free reusable bags, stuff like that, that’s one way for people to go.
And the extra benefit of that is that there’s this whole,
Consumer goods, part of the thing is that it comes in,
It’s actually the biggest piece of marketing because
That’s the part that stays with them the longer.
The purchase on the website or in retail, whatever,
But it’s that thing and if they unbox it at home,
Came in the post, then that that’s actually just timewise
That they’re spending much more brand image.
So that’s one reason why you might want to give them
Something that sticks with them longer.
And in this case, I love it. It’s like a feel good.
You remember the brand, even though it’s not actually branded,
But you that warm, fuzzy feeling of, “Look at what they did.”
And if you use it for your jewelry box,
You probably still can remember that brand,
Even though it doesn’t have her name on it. And that’s excellent.
But the other way is that I’m kind of the other day, these days
The … on the other side, which is that I have so many.
Reusable, that and the other and it’s got the point
Where I’m up to here with them. And unfortunately,
A lot of those are not recyclable because to make an item
A little bit more long lived and a little bit nicer.
Typically the things that go into it, make it not recyclable.
And so I’m actually kind of going the other directions.
How can I make the – How can I still look like
A beauty company? How can I still look like it’s a nice product?
Because we make it in the USA of the fanciest stuff we can?
And how can I give that, yet actually make the materials
Disappear as fast as possible and have this little carpet in …?
Because I don’t actually think anybody in the world
Wants another little cute reusable bag or
Another we get, we’re filled up, man.
It’s an interesting game you have to play because
You we can’t make things magically appear
On our clients decks yet. We don’t have teleportation stuff,
You have to actually still ship product. It has to go through
The post, has to come in a package of some sort.
And so you have to deal with some of those realities.
Stuff that you have to do and just what’s the best way to do it.
So I’m sure you will come up with a really incredible solution
For that as you continue to grow. And what’s cool is
As you develop those things, those become
Part of your brand story. And story that you can tell
And get people engaged with your brand.
So I think it’s a good thing all the way around.
So the other side of your common enemy is your driving force.
If you’re common enemy is what you fight against,
Your driving force is what you fight for.
Just like Spider Man fights to save New York or
Batman fights to save Gotham or Google fights to index
All the world’s information for us. I think I might have
An inkling what your answer might be, but what is it
That Take My Face Off fights for?
The planet. Overwhelm is a terrible thing. I think the people
Who are not concerned about the planet are overwhelmed
By the idea. I think people who are concerned for the planet
Are overwhelmed by the idea. And frightening people,
The potential enormity of the problem is no fun
And it’s not effective. It doesn’t do anything. At the at the heart
Of everything, I’m practical. How are we going to do something,
And I want to feel like I’m doing something.
But I want to feel like I’m doing something
Without making every one of my life miserable
By screaming all the time. I don’t want my children
To grow up with a mother who’s wringing her hands
About the planet every day. So I want to channel my concern
Into something that’s actually productive.
And because I believe that the point of life is to be happy,
And to help other people, I want to channel it into
Something that is also creative and uses my talents,
My abilities to their best level. And so for me,
This combines of different skills I have, a lot of different interests
I have with a thing that I kind of think … most.
Literally, to me right now, to make the world a better place,
I think the most important thing we do is ensure that
The world exists. And I can’t solve all the problems
That I’ve got a really good idea for one of them.
And so that’s what I’m doing.
And that it ties right into the whole premise of the show
Because one of the things that I – I’m firmly believer in
Is that entrepreneurs are the ones who make the world go round
And they solve all the world’s problems. And I think the best way
That we’re going to tackle issues like climate change
And taking care of our planet is going to be at the hands
Of entrepreneurs who are solving the biggest problems.
So, personally, for me, thank you for doing what you’re doing.
I really appreciate it. I think that’s the way that
We’re going to solve the problems is more people like you
Doing what you do.
Thanks. I hope you’re right. I hope everything gets solved …
If only we could make it all solved yesterday,
Then we’d have no more problems. But the reality is,
And we see this all the time because what I do
In my businesses is marketing, right? We help teach people
How to accomplish things, work with a lot of expert brands
And educational brands. And anytime you teach someone
How to do something, and they end up in a new spot in their life.
You solve one set of problems and create a new set of problems.
So generally, it’s just a higher level of problem. So if you win the
Lottery, the day before you won the lottery, you had money problems,
And the day after you won the lottery,
You have money management problems.
So whatever problems we solve, will probably create
A new higher level of problem and then we’ll have
A new generation of entrepreneurs have to come in
And figure out how to solve those.
Talk a little bit about your heroes tool belt.
So this is more practical. Maybe you have a big magical hammer
Like Thor or bulletproof vest like a neighborhood police officer,
Or maybe you just really liked the way Evernote helps you
Keep everything together. What are some of the practical tools
You use on a daily business or a daily basis to run your business?
That actually make your business and your brand a real thing?
Well, the obvious one is, the basic one is really boring Google Calendar.
I know that’s boring but
That is actually not boring. And you would be surprised
The vast number of interviews, we’ve done something like 80% of them,
The calendar is the thing that comes up the most often.
I mean, as kind of an idea person, I can get lost
In my ideas all the time. And if I didn’t have that Google Calendar,
Where the actual appointments and then like the critical to do’s.
So for me, I actually book the critical to do’s in the calendar.
I’m going to have a little more that comes up … but … to ignore them.
But pretty much if I’m really stuck in an idea,
And I’m working on something, but it’s the calendar.
So I talked earlier about being a good student and
Getting stuck and doing things like everybody else does,
I have an exercise that I like to do, when I feel like
I’m either too stuck in those kinds of weeds,
Or there are too many choices in front of me,
And I don’t know what to do first. And also, I’m going
To tell a super quick story. The other day, a friend of mine
Was telling me that she feels like a bad human being.
If she goes to bed and do everything on her to do list.
Got two huge laughter, I was like how many things
Are on your to do list? Typically 12.
I was like, “Okay, well, mine’s got like, 200.”
And … my head I think I’d be getting to everything on there.
Because for me, I have an endless number of things
That need to be done at any time and as an entrepreneur
There and endless times that I could use
To put my attention to … most worthwhile. And so I have to
Constantly prioritize, and so they’re usually the priorities clear
Of what has to get done. And what, where am I going to make
Some small amount of progress in my business today,
Because it’s really easy to just spin your wheels
And just do the to do’s constantly. How am I going to
Actually do something and move me forward.
And if I’m at a point where there are either too many options,
And I don’t know what to do, I don’t have any ideas
On how to move it forward. I’m just stuck in the emails
And the to do’s, I actually just do an exercise from
The Passion Planner calendar. Do you know that one?
I’ve not heard of it, no.
I love it. I mean, there’s so many great kind of date books slash
Organizer, little mini self-help tool things out there.
This is one of these … all my old ones sitting on my bookshelf here.
It’s called the Passion Planner and it’s a lady in San Diego
Started, I think is a Kickstarter. And so it takes you through-
It talks about prioritizing your life.
And it talks about where do you want to be?
In three months, four years?
Where do you want to be in the rest of your life?
Whare your goals? And it’s got a little time to exercise?
And it says, “What do you want your life to look
At these time points?” And then it says,
“Okay, now go back and pick-” I think there’s a little bit
a lot of two. But basically, she suggest that you pick
What would be the game changer. There one – three months
Set of what – What’s the one thing, if you could get that done
On that list, it would make the biggest change in your life.
Now you’re going to go back and you’re going to map out
Either backwards, here’s where it is. And here’s how
I’m going to get there or forwards. And I often find
What I want for my business for me, whatever,
I don’t actually know how to get there. That stops a lot of people
From even starting. But I find that I usually … inches or
I know the first steps to getting there, or I’ve got some ideas.
And if I start to follow those ideas, then that reveal
Some more information and more information.
So I actually, I love my practical Google Calendar.
But then I love the kind of big, big picture exercise
Of reminding myself, what is it I really want?
What is it I’m really trying to do? Where do I think things should be
In these amounts of time? And how am I going to get very nebulous,
Big picture exercise, and then you start.
The Passion Planner helps you break it down
By month and by week, and then you’re going and you’re
Blocking out parts of your calendar based on the exercise
That you just did and so I find that centering.
And it seems like it’d be a really good way to –
Because I, for one, totally agree, you don’t always know
How you’re going to get where you want to go.
But if you don’t move at all, you’ll never get there.
So sometimes it’s just taking the steps. The first step
And maybe it’s a little bit of research here. It’s a little bit of
Questioning there, maybe it’s calling someone up and maybe
They’re like nebulous actions, even right at the beginning
Because you don’t really know how you’re going to get to
Where you’re going to go. But it’s like, once you start the journey,
It starts – The path starts to become clearer as you get
Further along on it. So it’s a cool way to think about it,
Okay, I’m going to put dot on the map, and we’re just going to
Start walking in that general direction. And then you start
Putting things in the calendar. Anyways, I think it’s a good
Practical way to sort of manage that. I don’t know what we call it like,
The idea that you don’t really have a clear path to get from
Where you are to where you want to go.
But you know, you have to get there somehow.
So you might as well start hacking out
The weeds and going forward.
And when you can’t see the path for the weeds.
You can kind of helicopter out, get to a higher view
Kind of look at it for a while and be like,
“Oh wait, I could get research over there.
I could Google that term. I can have some sort of
Copy … and then will lead you closer.
Music is by https://purpleplanet.com/
So the next question I have for you is about your own personal heroes.
So Frodo had Gandalf. Luke had Obi Wan.
Robert Kiyosaki had his Rich Dad, who were some of your heroes
Were they real life mentors? Were they speakers or authors,?
Peers who were just a few years ahead of you?
And how important were they to what you’ve accomplished so far?
I have a couple of names … change often, I have to say,
The most steadfast one I’m going to cheer up is my mom.
Sorry, I tear up easily.
My mom grew up in incredibly difficult circumstances,
And while putting herself, her siblings through school,
Helped my father go through school.
Single-handedly supports so many people.
She got a very difficult circumstances. And she probably
Wanted to be a playwright, I think. And she never really did that
She ended going into business. And actually, an entire
New type of telemarketing outsourcing, where you have
Somebody else handle your calls, if you’re out of the city.
She”s actually one of the inventors of that industry.
She was working at American Airlines as a manager for reservations.
And noticed that at different times of day, they didn’t get many
Reservations calls. And they had all this this incredibly expensive
Equipment that could possibly be put to use for another company
That may be … to get calls with those time.
So she wanted turning this into an extra areas expertise
And became the world’s most respected consulting
Practice dealing with issue … scale customer operations.
And knowing what I do, just even remembering what growing up
In my house before she accomplished all these things.
How she did that as a female only had a bachelor’s degree
Because she put everybody else through school.
And how she raised so many kids and then paid for so many
Other relatives and put us all amazing education, I watched –
She’s just unbelievable. And she just broke her hip.
And of course, she’s up and walking and doing things in no time.
And she’ll be back to her international travel
Schedule any day now. So that’s the most fundamental
To the man if that lady can do that. I have zero excuse
For any hard … And the next, I love stories of
The non-… the non … success stories, especially with entrepreneurship
Being kind of like popular in a big deal, these days.
There’s so many fun, awesome stories about somebody
Who had a great idea. And just like made a lot of money or
Sold the company and had a successful exit really fast.
And that’s great. And I’m really happy for them.
But I find the the stories of people who had setbacks from
Their interesting, compelling, inspiring, having met
Some of the flashes in the pans and some of the people
Who’ve had the more rocky starts, I find the people
With rocky starts to be much more personally inspiring,
And much more, to kind of my whole sense, of what I think
It’s very interesting in a person. So I love to …
A lot of podcasts appearances
That Jamie Kern Lima has done lately.
She’s the founder of IT Cosmetics, cosmetics company.
At the time on QVC. She said her website was selling –
Was making about one sale a day. And she still took in
That was after years of struggle.
And then she went on QVC and because horrible she was
And how she presented her story and her own struggle
With her skin and what her makeup did for it.
It spoke to people and it really turned business around.
And then I’m sure she had many setbacks after that,
But she has weathered them and she’s just exited the company,
Something new to me. She’s all about hiring people.
So I love her story. I love entrepreneurs who’ve had setbacks,
The current, my current big one, I am not so interested
In the ones who did some … fast.
Makes a lot of sense. And I know it’s because
My favorite story recently, a couple of weeks ago,
We were at Walmart, going grocery shopping.
And we stopped by the McDonalds just to eat something.
So we weren’t starving when we were grocery shopping.
Because it’s always a bad idea to start grocery shopping.
So, and a bunch of young teenagers came in on their scooters.
And they were, own the world kind of thing.
And you can tell who the obvious ringleader was.
And he was cussing up a storm and my wife and I laughed.
Because he’s, I don’t know, 12 or 13 years old. And we’re like,
He hasn’t earned those words yet.
He hasn’t been through enough crap in life to earn those words.
And it almost feels you the entrepreneurs who just
Go into a marketplace and they just rock it right to the top
And make a bunch of money and exit. You’re like, for those of us,
Who have struggled through growing our business
For like, you didn’t earn it, you didn’t do the hard work.
You got lucky.
I don’t want to dismiss them because –
I totally get it. It’s cool but –
It’s not an excellent instinct where they got lucky. I mean, it’s not –
I understand what you’re saying, I tend to feel the same way.
But on the same, on the other hand,
Hey, if mine were quickly, I’d be thrilled.
We wouldn’t complain if we hit flash in the pan, that’s for sure.
But at the same time, I get it when it comes to what’s
More inspiring, you can’t replicate that. You can’t replicate
That they were just in the right place at the right time
With the right instinct. But the hard work and dedication
To make something happen, despite problems,
Is something that you can replicate.
Its something that you can make happen in your business.
That’s that’s an excellent point. Also, in my previous life,
I was a classical musician. And that is a – if somebody wants …
And I think this is true, if you figured out that it’s actually harder
To get an orchestra job that pays $10,000 a year.
It’s harder to do that than it is to get into the NFL.
It is an extremely playing specific field that requires diligence,
Incredible discipline, and you have to be an amazing self starter.
It’s kind of like training to be a golfer.
But if you win, if you win a lot of money.
So distance and you can be really talented … be horrible.
Taking orchestra auditions to get into an orchestra,
You can be … you actually can’t be … good at taking
Orchestra auditions. That’s not really possible.
But so like this difference between talent and work,
I started off as a really talented musician. And then I had learned
The hard lesson that that wasn’t enough.
That wasn’t going to get me in New York Philharmonic.
And to me, that was a, it was hard. It was a fascinating journey.
It was amazing. And so I’m super into whatever gets you forward
And being creative about how to get there,
Because I didn’t want to spend my life sitting in a practice room,
Because frankly, that was boring. But I still wanted to do well.
And so yes, you cannot replicate the flash in the pan.
But you can find a way to replicate the long journey,
which to me seems …
That’s one of the lessons I was talking to my son about
A couple of years ago. He was in a gymnastics class
With a buddy of his. And I think they were six or seven at the time.
And his his little friend is like a natural born gymnast,
Like one of those kids that at seven years old can do
A back handspring back tuck with perfect form and
Perfectly pointed toes and just like stick his landing
To learn how to do that. And here you are at seven
Every time and you’re like, normal people have
Acting like a 13 or 14 year old gymnast who’s been doing it
His whole life. And my son is working on these things.
And he’s like, I don’t understand how come I have to try so hard.
And he just gets it. He can just do it. And I had to have the discussion.
What was interesting as watching them is because
His friend was so good at it because he was so naturally talented.
He didn’t care. He had no work ethic for it.
Because he didn’t have to try. And I was like and my son does.
And I had told him at the time, and I still tell him this regularly,
If you guys were ever to get into a competitive space together,
Can compete against each other, you would destroy him.
Because you would work him under a table and
And work ethic together, you get Olympians.
Talent will only take you so far. And when you put talent
But you can get really far on just work ethic and develop the skill set.
And if you have the talent but not the work ethic,
You’re not going to get far at all.
I have a total theory, talent can be as serious …
To most people over the long term, it’s only really fun… a kid,
Because if nobody is telling you, or if nobody’s steering you
To an area either have to learn or somebody had
To seriously work. Knowing one of the most complicated
Difficult things in the world, it’s a mental … and it’s a muscle.
And you have to develop the understanding
Of how to solve that puzzle. And you have to develop
The mental muscle to be able to stand to do it.
The resilience, the stamina. I actually kind of feel bad
If I’d never tell my children: You’re so good at that.
Or you’re just a natural, I hate the term “natural.”
The person may be or not. But that has nothing to do.
And I feel like it’s long term equity motivator.
They do things for the praise rather than for the sense
Of fulfillment you get in working. And so my kids are
Naturally good or not good at various things. But we try
To make every piece of praise about the effort
Put into it. How hard they worked, how hard they paid attention,
How much they improved. Because I can see,
I praised by well meaning people for the things
I was good at. And it took me a little while
To figure out that wasn’t gonna cut.
That’s a hard lesson as a parent to learn too.
How do you praise the right things
That are actually going to incentivize
The kind of behavior is going to have the most positive
Impact on their lives. And the other thing I realized is that
Even if I screwed up royally, my kids would probably
Still be fine, because I was all right. And I got praised
For things I was good at. But we’re working on giving
Our kids unfair advantage. Whatever goes into that.
Let’s go ahead. I want to bring listeners and talk
About your guiding principles. What are the top one or two
Principles or actions you use sort of on a daily basis
That you think contribute to the success and influence
That your company enjoys today? Maybe some stuff
That you wish you had known, or wish you were doing
When you first started out on your hero’s journey.
People say this, but it takes, I feel like a lot of epiphany…
Understand what it can truly mean to them. The whole
But what is … that means not coming up
Stay true to yourself. It sounds so glib, it sounds pithy.
With marketing messages. But that means don’t come
Up with marketing messages just because
Of what everybody else says. It means don’t try to look
Way because you think you’re supposed to. It means:
Don’t act like your company cares about things, it doesn’t.
My husband jokes and he says, I’m like a lawyer.
I’m always being so specific. There’s, something about
Integrity and honesty. And the times when I have
Been less happy working on my business…. my business.
I felt like I had to look like some other beauty companies
Who did things certain ways. And it felt bad. And …
For other people to help me with parts of that,
Because I just couldn’t even speak, I could not do it.
And over time, I have dabbled in every area
Of my business myself. Sometimes out of budget constraints,
Because I just didn’t have money to hire somebody.
Sometimes, because I wanted to learn more.
Sometimes, because I was trying to challenge myself.
How come I wasn’t good at that kind of thing. And I thought
I’d be better if I understood it better. And I am always
So much happier, when in every area I’m saying and doing
The things that feel better for me. And I think
It’s also challenging for people sometimes, because
Sometimes they don’t really know
What they want to do or say. They don’t even know
What’s the most true to them. So it can be tricky.
That’s the guiding principle. It’s kind of like relating
Integrity and honesty. But actually being true to yourself.
And what does that mean in terms of how you actually
Conduct yourself in your business every day.
That means don’t use a salutation. If a snippy happy
Salutation or emails, if that’s not what you would say
In person, things like that. Right now, I really would like
To change my headshot, because I don’t really like… as me,
Not to mention my hair color has changed. But silly things
Like that just having everything lined up
And feeling true to you. Everything goes better,
And everything feels better.
It’s one of those things that I included in my…
I have an umbrella of things that I consider unconscious
Trust signals, things that your customers, they recognize,
But they wouldn’t be able to tell you
That they’re recognizing them. From a very practical standpoint.
If you have a headline font that you use, in all your branding,
And if you use it consistently across all the things
That your clients interact with, that’s an unconscious
Trust signal that you have your shit together.
They might be able to look
At all your marketing pieces and be like: Look, they’re using
The same font the same way and all their places.
So I trust them as a brand more they’re not
Gonna be able to see that. But it’s the same type of thing.
We have an intuition about each other. Because a company
Isn’t a real thing. A company is: it’s a word we use
To describe a group of people trying to solve
A problem with products and services. And so it’s
The people that are behind it, and being true
To those things. And if you’re not; if you’re fake,
If you are trying to present yourself with someone you’re not,
We’ll pick up on that; your customers will pick up on that;
The market will pick up on that. And probably won’t
Treat you kindly for it.
…Become another piece of noise
Because there’s so much of that. It’s like
In the sounds Pippi. But to grab people’s attention
These days, you have to seem real. And you can either
Seem real, or you can be real. And a lot easier
And a lot more fun to be real.
You can seem real or you can be real.
I had straight up failed at that sometimes.
Especially if I hired a contractor to do certain things.
It’s not their fault. They’re doing it. They’re acting
On my behalf. They’re doing… But sometimes
They weren’t the perfect person for the job.
They were just doing it seemed.
It’s interesting too, because when you’re particularly
When you’re hiring people, it’s hard to make sure
That they are treating your brand the way
That you would treat your brand. That’s when you have to
Think about when does it make sense to bring stuff
In house. And when does it make sense to hire contractors
And how do you get contractors to represent your brand, the way you want.
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What Is The Hero Show?
A peak behind the masks of modern day super heroes. What makes them tick? What are their super powers? Their worst enemies? What's their kryptonite? And who are their personal heroes? Find out by listening now
The HERO Show
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