When I say I've failed… I mean I’ve failed. A lot.
And as Daymond John, one of the Sharks from the TV show “Shark Tank” said
“Life is a cruel teacher. She loves to give you the test first and the lesson later.”
The lesson here is to fail forward. And believe me, I’ve learned plenty of lessons. I want to share some of those lessons with you right now, because I think they’re super valuable… and my hope is that you can learn from my mistakes and get where you want to go much faster.
At the time, I thought my biggest failure was when I had my first handbag company that I built out of my garage and took it to 7 figures… only to watch the whole thing fall apart.
And during the five years that I loved and cherished my handbag …
If you are wondering how to get more subscribers to sign up for your email list……it's not that hard. Most people don't have an easy opt-in on their home page which is usually the biggest problem….but this is easy to fix.
Having a "paywall" – meaning that the customer pays with their email addess to get access your coupon – gives you the opportunity to market to them over and over again.
If you have a website, you can quickly get an email capture box set up in minutes by adding Sumome.
Here's an example of an opt-in you can copy.
Love to see what your opt-in looks like……post it on our Facebook page
If you want to instantly make your company seem bigger, hire a new "employee" by simply creating an email address for your brand new customer service person. Have your new "employee" answer all incoming mail that does not require a direct response from you.
Customers don't always want to email with the "owner" and complain, request a refund, return or exchange a product etc…… Let them feel free to express themselves when emailing with someone else.
Be sure to give your new "employee" a name so he/she can feel real to your customers.
Voila! Bigger company in less than 5 minutes and it was totally free.
I saw this article this morning about the "uproar" over Marissa Mayer's claim that she is only going to take 2 weeks of maternity leave when her identical twins are born later this year.
Honestly, who are we to judge her?
How can someone who hasn't even met her decide that she is doing something "wrong"?
How can we be so bold as to tell someone how to be a mother? (Unless they ask of course, which in this case…..NOT)
I can understand the writers concern over "young" women possibly being influenced by this, but at the same time, being a driven CEO of my own 3 companies at the time my identical twins were born…..I was back at work after 10 days….granted I worked from home and was sneaking in work when they napped, which thank god was almost all day. And I …
When I had my handbag line I just wanted to be successful. I wasn't always sure what that meant….. it did include making lots of money….but I wasn't sure what the rest looked like for a while.
Once I got some PR and got my products to famous Celebrities, people started to take notice of me. Magazines wanted to interview me, and producers called asking me to be on E! and Extra. Don't get me wrong, that was all fabulous and helped skyrocket my sales…..which made me more money…..which made me feel successful. (Full circle)
But what really made me feel like a rockstar was when investors started poking around. Now this was an important moment for me…..
I was flattered, but I wasn't sure it was the right move for me. I didn't really need their money, but I was enticed with …
I know a lot of people's dream is to see their products in big box stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco, Target, Walmart and QVC……but the truth is, while you might enjoy gigantic orders from these behemoths, they can turn on a dime, throw you out with the trash, and cripple a company overnight if they are your biggest customer. I have seen it happen to friends of mine…. and it's not pretty. It's a lot of tears, and often bankruptcy.
Yes, I sold my products to big stores like Bloomingdales, Sak's 5th Ave, Neiman Marcus and others……but these orders were always icing on the cake for me as far as the money part went. You bet I loved the prestige they brought, and the doors they opened for me, but I was always careful to keep my eye on …
When I had my handbag line I dreamed of being in stores like Henri Bendel's, Sak's 5th Ave, Bloomingdales, Fred Segal and many other "Superstar" stores.
But while I was still making a name for myself they seemed totally out of reach until a friend suggested that I try to do trunk shows to prove that their customers would like my bags.
So I sent letters to the various buyers suggesting that I do a trunk show in their store……the wonderful thing about trunk shows is that they don't cost the store a dime…..you bring your products with you, and stand there and sell it. They get the retail mark up on it, and you get your normal wholesale price so everyone wins. Usually they'll do some email marketing and let their mailing list subscribers know you will be there….
Remember: Buyers are …
Back in the mid-1990’s, when I was working in the movie industry, Hollywood was rocked to its foundations by the infamous Heidi Fleiss scandal
If you don’t remember her, Ms. Fleiss was the famed “Hollywood Madame”, who had an even more famous little black book, where kept the names of some of Hollywood’s elites… along with all of their naughty little deeds
When she was finally arrested, the prosecutors tried everything they could to pry the names out of that book…. but to no avail. Ms. Fleiss would not reveal any of them.
And that brings me to important point (and no, it’s definitely NOT about Ms. Fleiss’ line of work…)
It’s about the importance of having a Black Book.
But in this case, I’m talking about a Buyer Black Book – your own personal rolodex of the store buyers you want to do …