Month: July 2016

Sarah Kunst is founder and CEO of Proday, the celebrity personal training fitness app. In addition, Kunst an investor and entrepreneur who has worked at Apple, Red Bull, Chanel and Mohr Davidow Ventures. She is also a contributing editor at Marie Claire Magazine. Her philanthropic interests include Venture for America and The US State Department’s Tech Women program.

Sarah is on the 2015 Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 list, a judge for the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 and named a top 25 innovator in tech by Cool Hunting. She has been recognized for her work in Business Insider as a 30 under 30 Woman in Tech and Top African-American in Tech and Marie Claire Magazine named her a Young Gun to watch. She also writes for Techcrunch, Fortune and Entrepreneur.com. Marc Andreessen named her one of his 55 Unknown Rock Stars in Tech.

I wanted to talk to Sarah to learn more about the steps she took in creating a mobile app and I was also wondering how she was able to collaborate with celebrity trainers.  Our conversation was very enlightening.  For example, we discussed the importance of building credibility and leveraging connections in order to build a successful brand.

Her Philosophy

  • Be unimpeachably good.  Be good in such a way that no one can deny it.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Be clear on what your bigger goal is and why you’re doing what you’re doing.
  • Whenever possible how to build your company.  Do this work beforehand.
  • Don’t quit your job before you start figuring out a business model or how you’re going to grow your company.  Spend time learning what you need to know and learning about the market.  Start building out relationships and even closing deals before you quit your job.  Look at your time and determine what you can devote time now to building your company.

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Today’s Queen Bee travels the world and spends countless hours in search of beautiful objects that have cultural meaning.  Jessie Ricci is a jewelry designer whose hand crafted collections are both provocative and eclectic. 

As an inventor, it can sometimes be difficult to find your own voice in launching new products.  I’m intrigued by Jessie’s creative process.  She finds her inspiration through travel and culture and translates her finds into beautiful pieces that reflect her perspective as an artist.

Her Philosophies

  • Be incredibly passionate about what you’re doing.

Her Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  • Put your ego aside for the creative process.
  • Be relentless
  • Do your homework.  Find out everything about your competition and your market.
  • Find out what your mission is and really commit to that.  Everything should come from that mission.  Avoid getting lost and spreading yourself out too thin.
  • Even if others think your idea is ridiculous, realize that no idea is ridiculous.  Even if it seems far-fetched, look at the idea from different angles and find a way to do it.

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Maggie Sinclair is a serial entrepreneur who has numerous patents.  She is a designer and inventor of Maggies, a powerful magnet and metal ring that is redefining the way that women wear scarves and shawls.

I wanted to talk to Maggie because she has created a wide variety of products and she has a wealth of knowledge about what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur.

Maggie says, “Faced with the dilemma of how to wear a sarong, I knew that there had to be a better way to secure fabric without tying bulky knots. I decided to experiment with magnets and found that a ball magnet combined with a metal ring provided the perfect solution to replace the safety pin (invented in 1849). In December 2012 I filed for my 8th US Patent which was finally granted in April 2016.”

Her Philosophies

  • Be incredibly passionate about what you’re doing.

Her Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  • Plan your growth based on your income.
  • If you have a patent, be prepared to defend it.
  • Really know and test the product that you plan to sell and check out the demand for it.
  • Consider how much overhead will be associated with your product (i.e., inventory space requirements, etc.); High overhead costs affect profitability
  • Think about how long you want to be in your business and think of exit strategy.
  • Build a good website so that people can find your product.

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Maggies

Maggies

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Success is not a given.  Failure is inevitable.  The most important thing is to be relentless.  Never give up in spite of the obstacles.  Believe in yourself and success will come.

            ~Alisa Ivory Smith

Amy Olson developed Kuhfs at her dining room table as a way to change the look of her fashion boots.  She couldn’t find a product to meet her need.  So, she created the product herself even though she had no experience in sewing or in launching fashion accessories.  
I’m finding that many of the women I’ve talked to so far have started their business based on having a need for which they couldn’t find a solution.  It’s not only having an unmet need, they have also had the passion, determination and dedication to doing whatever it takes to get their product launched.  They have found success even without having prior experience in a given industry.  Time and time again, I’m noticing that one of the keys to finding success is collaboration.  This means reaching out to find and connect with the people who can help you and they are out there.  The first step is reaching out.  So, as we listen in on my conversation with Amy, let’s consider how one can fulfill a product or service need through collaboration with others.
Amy says:  “I didn’t even know how to sew when I started this company. I had zero experience launching an accessory brand and had to teach myself every aspect of this business. I am proud of my accomplishments and how far I have taken Kuhfs on my own. The future looks bright for Kuhfs and I can’t wait to see how far this can go.”

 

Her Philosophies

  • The dream is free.  The hustle costs extra.  You can dream all day long but if you don’t take any action on it, you’re not going to get any where.
  • Do one thing every day that scares you.  Take one little step forward.

 

Her advice

  • Break your ultimate goals up into little steps and take action on these steps.
  • Your thoughts become your reality.  So, choose them wisely.
  • Failure is not what should take you down.  It’s what you should learn from.  Don’t be afraid to fail.

 

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Tiffany C. Wright has helped numerous small and medium businesses find funding for a variety of purposes from many sources.  She is the founder and president of The Resourceful CEO where she provides packaged solutions and educational products focused for business strategy and finance.  Tiffany is also the author of The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business.

Our conversation touched upon the importance of tracking business activities in order to ensure value creation. We also talked about how to manage cash flow to strengthen business operations.

Her Philosophies

  • Reach for the stars; if you don’t reach the stars, you’ll at least reach the moon and if you don’t reach the moon, then you’ll just fall back down to earth.  Reach higher than you think you can.  You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.   Reach for something that makes you nervous.
  • Cash is king.

Her advice

  • That which is not tracked does not get measured.  Track everything.  CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and QuickBooks can help with tracking your sales efforts.
  • Always be cash flow positive and check this weekly so that you can see where any problems exist.
  • To raise money, you have to know why the investor would invest in your business.  You have to be confident about what your business will do. You have to be able to talk about what it will do, why it will do it, how it will do it, when it will do it and what the bank or investor will get out of it.

For more advice, Tiffany can be reached by phone:  404.642.0509 or  866.466.3692

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