Lectures in Entrepreneurship: Becky Anderson

>>For those of you in class because we had some problems with the uploading the videos and the links being available, not being available, being put in different places. All your deadlines for the past videos, or all the deadlines for the past speakers and for future speakers are going to be forwarded to the end of the semester. So, some of you have sent me emails with your write-ups attached, if you’d be so kind here and the next couple of weeks or so to go back and redeposit them in the drop boxes that you couldn’t get them into because the video wasn’t available on time, does that make sense? Okay. I’m going to turn the time over to Dr. Glauser and he’s going to introduce our speaker I think. You’ll be pretty excited we got a good one in store tonight. Now, I’ll let Mike do that.>>Welcome, how are you doing tonight?>>Good.>>Good? Okay, thanks for coming. I’m very excited to have Becky Anderson with us tonight. You’ve read her bio, I’ll just briefly review some of the highlights. She started this company, For Every Body in 1995. Her real objective as a concerned mother was to start a business that would give her daughter’s jobs so she could work with them and teach them the value of work. They leased a space in the University Mall in Provo. Started a retail company, Bath and Body store. It was very successful, but she started looking into the products and finding out what customers liked and maybe what they didn’t like and looking for products with new ingredients. That evolved into her actually creating her own product line. So, she transitioned out of the retail business, into the wholesale business and build very large successful company. Along the way, they started making soy candles and that ended up being about, was it 90% of your business at one time? So, For Every Body was one of the largest manufacturers of soy candles in the world. You can read here in the bio, she was selling to 88 retail chains and over 6,000 independent stores around the world including Coles, Home Depot, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, Kohl’s, and Hallmark. In 2007, she was really interested in starting a business that would allow more women to have the same experience that she have had. So, she started for every home and it’s a similar business, with similar products, but women were able to become distributors and sell those products themselves and create a livelihood for themselves and for their families. Last year, she sold For Every Body, and is now focusing on For Every Home exclusively. I know she has a desire to build this in one of the largest categories in the world, in the universe? In the universe. I really believe that she can do it. She’s won many awards and honors including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Let me just tell you putting that aside why I like Becky so much. You know that we have interviewed hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs and collected their oral histories. We’ve been trying to analyze these oral histories to see, what do successful people really do? They do things differently than entrepreneurs who fail. Becky really is kind of the poster child for our research. She is very good at the things that matter the most. We call her the differences that make the difference. So, she spends a lot of time out in the field in the industry with customers, with suppliers, with competitors. She’s willing to pivot to new opportunities when they present themselves because they look like they will be more attractive than what she’s doing at current time. So, she’s redefined her business many times. She has remarkable passion and tenacity, she knows how to build teams, she gets phenomenal customer service, she knows how to create something from almost nothing, so very, very efficient. Then she’s very interested in giving back to the community in which she operates, and very generous with the resources that she’s accumulated as a very successful entrepreneur. So, with that introduction, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you Becky Anderson.>>Thank you. Thank you, Mike. I love that this goes both ways I’ll tell you that. He’s one of my favorites as well. So, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be here and hopefully I don’t bore you too much with my stories. For Mike and those that have heard them and reheard them, I apologize. I hope you’re not too bored. But, anyway as he said, I’m with For Every Home. So, I am here tonight to talk to you about lessons, I’ve learned, and the mistakes I’ve made, so you don’t have to make them. So, and this is just what’s worked for me. So, as he said I started For Every Body in 1995. It was never my intent to start a business. What happened I came home one day and my, I have four daughters. My youngest Whitney is with me. My oldest daughter at the time was 12, and we lived on a big fruit farm and we owned a big huge farming operation. My 12-year-old daughter was on a tractor and I’ve had a heart attack. My husband said that their kids are going to learn the value of the dollar and hard work. I’m like, “Not here on the farm on tractors. These are girls.” So, I went to University Mall and opened up a retail store. I didn’t know what I was going to sell on it. I went and signed lease and thought I’m just going to do something the girl’s like. So, looking back knowing what I know now I can’t believe I did what I did because I went and signed a 10-year lease for a store I didn’t even know what it was going to be at the time. So, the way we came up with a name For Every Body I knew by then it was going to be Bath and Body, and I had a contest with my kids on the way to Disneyland in the car, and said I would give the kid that came up with the best name for the store, $100. So, Stephanie the one on the tractor is the one that named the store. So, these are lessons I learned along the way to developing this store. What I did with the store it was just going to be one store, a place for the girls to work. But what happen when I got it open and I realized what it was doing, Jack Lee was one of my top reps, where I bought products from. Originally I just bought products wholesale from everybody that sold Bath and Body products, and that was my intent. Just by wholesale, sell at retail, have the kids work there with their friends, but something happened along the way. Jack Lee was my top rep for Crabtree & Evelyn out of Denver. He came into the store one day and I started. I had enough people coming in and saying “Do you have pear? Do you have plumeria? Do you have freesia? They’re asking for things that I couldn’t buy. So, I had enough chemistry in college to be a little bit dangerous and I thought I’m just going to develop my own line, it’s just going to be one little section. So, I had four shower gels and for lotions that’s all it was ever going to be was just my own little line with For Every Body on the name of the store. Anyway, what happened, the sales started taking off and it started doing really well. Jack Lee and Denver notice that my Crabtree & Evelyn sales were going down. So, he got a little bit nervous because I was the biggest account in the West at that time. So, 15 years ago, 17 years ago, you think about how many Bath and Body works and Victoria Secret’s and places like that, that there were, there just wasn’t any in Utah. So, we had the right thing at the right time. My claim to fame on my four little lotions that my four little shower gels where I’m going to be all natural, no mineral oil, no alcohol, no lanolin, nothing synthetic. I wanted to be different, I want it to stand out. Everybody else just had the mineral oil and that type stuff. So, when you put the lotion on, it will dry your handout and the mineral that alcohol would dry it out and then the mineral oil and moisturize so that’s what the competitors were doing so. My four little shower gels and four little lotions when Jack Lee walked in. This is what I said, “My number one lesson is everybody needs a mentor.” I didn’t know it at the time, Jack Lee was my first one. Probably my favorite because he’s the guy that planted the seed in my mind going. He walked in I had my four little lotions and shower gels at the front of the store. He picked it up and he said “oh, next time you put your labels, leave University Mall off. So, when you go national, you don’t have to reprint”. This is me, “I’m going national”. Seriously, I go home my husband had a heart attack. I never had Jack Lee not said that would have everything considered it. I’d probably still just be one little store, if that one little store would’ve made it and stayed open. So, he inspired me to do more and the story goes he gave me the courage. So, the store opened in 1995 by 1998 I had three retail stores and opened up our first wholesale showroom in Atlanta. By the end of 2000 we had 15 wholesale showrooms in the U.S. and we had a 150 sales reps. So, that one little mentor inspiring me along the way gave me the courage to go out and expand and do what I did. So, this is our showroom in Atlanta, where there’s 15 areas in the US where people can go buy products, wholesale. That’s where I started, I had gone and bought so we ended up with our own permanent space there. So, one of our sales rep on our front window. So, Jack Lee was the inspiration that gave me the courage to do that. So, Atlanta is the biggest spot for showrooms and my big dream was to be in Atlanta. So, this is me when I’m brand new going national with my bath and body products. I guess I left a part out of that. I wanted to have the biggest showroom in Atlanta or be in the biggest showroom in Atlanta, and Steve Helveston had the biggest showroom in Atlanta, and I was able to get in his showroom when I found out that he had a little bit of space. I got on a plane and went unannounced carrying, this is me with my briefcase with all my little oceans and shower gels. Going to Steve, the biggest showroom in Atlanta saying, “I know you don’t know me, and I’m not very big and I’m pretty new in the space, but you really, really, really have to take me in the showroom.” So, you already have the no. So, you ask for the yes and it was pretty brave on my part at the time, but it paid off really big because Steve let me put my lotions and shower gels in his showroom. At the time, there were three buildings in Atlanta, the top floor, the 18th floor is where all the big brand names were and he gave me my little corner in his showroom, and so I was really excited as I was able to do that very first show. But after the very first show and we had a great, great, great response, Steve came up to me. So, I would say he was my second mentor because he came up to me and he said to me he goes, “Wow, you had a great show, what are you going to do next? Because you’ve got to anniversary your numbers, you’ve got to continually grow and be reinventing yourself in doing more.” So, he really taught me the dream and the vision. You have to dream really big if you’re going to do it, and then you have to set goals to make it. So, I said to him when he said, “What are you going to do and where you’re going to end up?” I said, “You know what Steve? One of these days, I’m going to be bigger than you in this space.” He just didn’t flinch, he goes “Really?”, then I go “yeah”, and he goes, “What are you doing to get there? It’s getting late.” Just like that and I’m like “wow”. So, he inspired me and he taught me, he took me under his wing for the next six months. So, he goes, “If you’re going do it, you got to do it, you got to do it big and you got to do it right.” He’s the one that taught me, if you’re going to have a goal, you absolutely have to write it down. You can’t say, “Oh, I’m going to lose weight.” It’s not going to happen. You have to say, I’m going to lose how much, I have to be specific or I am going to, if I’m going to be as big as Steve Helveston on the 18th floor and on this space, I got to get a plan and I’ve got to figure out how I’m going to do it, and then I have to write it down and I have to put a timeline on what I’m going to do. You can’t just say, “Oh, I want to lose weight.” Or, “I want to lose 30 pounds.” I want to lose 30 pounds by this date and here’s how I’m going to get there and here’s how I’m going to do it. So, he’s the one that taught me that. He’s the one that told me about the Harvard study that said 93 percent of the people that write their goals down are further ahead than the people that haven’t, and so that was a really, really valuable lesson for me to learn very early on in my career, so is really what helped me. So, he’s the one that inspired me to grow. So, after working with Steve within six months, he hooked me up with some people and before I went back to the next show, I had been to China, and within a year, I had opened an office there. So, we could cut out these layers of the supply chain, and get our glass and our bottles in China, and had it not been for Steve, that wouldn’t have happened. So, you can see my two favorite things are mentors, number one and number two really, really affected who I am and where I’m at at the time. So eventually, for everybody, it became the largest female owned candle company in the United States and supplied like Mike said, all the big box retailers, so. It’s a really fun ride. So, my number three goal, time management. You can be and do all you want with proper time management. So, you got to write your goals down, you got to have the time management to do it, right? So, my favorite quote here is “Nothing is worth more than this day”. So, I’ll tell you, we all have the same 24 hours in our lives, how are you going to spend yours? Is it going to be watching reality TV or is it going to be moving your mind or your business or your goals forward? So, in the early years, remember I have the four girls at home, they were, Whitney how old were you? When I started like second grade, pretty young, pretty young. I prided myself on being the mom that was there, after all I did this business for my kids, so I took a lot of red-eye flights. Many, many times, I flew to New York on the red-eye. Had my meeting and I was back that night for basketball games. So, you just have to figure out where you’re going to spend your time and how are you going to do it. But time management is probably the most, one of the most important things you can do is figure out how you’re going to spend your time and spend it very, very valuably. This is one of my other favorite quotes. As Mike knows, I love quotes, right? So, “you’re going to miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take”. So, the time is very, very important. “The crocodile that sleeps becomes the handbag”, that’s another one I love. So, all successful people have one thing in common. If you go and you analyze all the successful people, the Fortune 500 CEOs, time management is it. I would say and after all your new enterprise stuff, would you guys agree that is one of the most important characteristics that an entrepreneur has to have is time management. So, I tried to ask myself this every single day when I start finding myself getting caught up in little teeny things. I’m like, is what I’m doing right now going to move me closer to my goals? So, what I’m doing right now going to contribute to the big picture or do I need to move on to something else? I try to spend most of my time working on forward projects, thinking in the future on the business, like not where are we right now? Where are we going to be? That’s where I try to spend my time. Productivity is the deliberate strategic investment of your time, your talents, your intelligence, your energy, your resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to your goals. So, very, very important to spend your time there. So, this is another thing I tell my employees all the time, “Time will be your friend or it will be your enemy; it will promote you or expose you and it just depends purely on what side of the curve that you’re operating on.” Are you following the simple disciplines that will promote you? Are you doing the simple little errors in judgment that will expose you? Time is the great equalizer, I kid you not, and I’ve been at it long enough now, I can tell you. Diet is one of the things I like to use as an example because it’s easy to explain. When you’re spending your time, it’s just like being on a diet. I can eat the Big Mac today. Sure, it’s not going to kill me, is it? I’m not going to have a heart attack tomorrow because I ate the Big Mac today. What’s going to kill me is if I eat a Big Mac everyday. It’s those simple little things. So, it’s like that slight edge, we call it the slight edge, the compound effects, those are great books. If you’re doing those things over and over and over, they’re going to hurt you or they’re going to help you. So, if you’re going home after work, and you’re spending two hours in front of the TV, that’s 10 hours a week, that’s how many hours a month? That’s how many hours a year? You could have been doing something that would’ve moved you forward. So, the perfect example I like to tell my employees is my best friend in college, Toni. She was smarter than me. She was going places. I would’ve thought I was the one that was home with all the kids and Toni would be the one with a big career. But it was pretty funny, after we left BYU, Toni moved to California, I stayed in Utah, and I didn’t see her for 30 years. She and I hooked up in California a couple of years ago, and we were sitting out in the pool on inner tubes floating, we were there the entire day, and can I tell you after about two hours, I realized I did not have a thing in common with her anymore, and I couldn’t believe what had happened in 30 years. She had never done a thing. She had never done a thing after school. She’s just all wrapped up in celebrity gossip, and TV, and hanging out, I was just shocked. It was one of the things that I’ve never, ever forgotten, and I’m like, that was a perfect example of the slight edge and doing those little, little things over and over how time is like you fast-forward, and you go, wow! You can’t believe where it puts you. Two of my favorite books here that explain that concept very, very well. They’re very similar, but the Slight Edge is like it’s just those little teeny things he explains. If you choose to read a business book instead of a novel or something like that, it will get you ahead and he tells some awesome stories in there and then The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, two of my favorite. I love to read and I try to read every other book, a personal development book of some sort, I’ll do a business book, then a personal development, then a business, then a personal development. But it’s really, really important to continue to move your personal self forward. Personal growth is so important. You’ll find that’s another characteristic successful people typically have in common. So, my other lesson, number four. Have passion. We call it at our business. Now that we’re not the Pheb anymore. We used to call it bleeding the Pheb. We can’t say a ph. Bleeding the Ph. Anyway, we say, we want you to bleed the company. We want you to have so much passion in it that people know where you work, they know what you do. You want to have passion and you want to build your passion, passionate team and you want to share your vision and paint it in living color, so everybody knows. So everybody can do it, because vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare. Did you know 87 percent of people hate their jobs? Did you know most heart attacks happen on a Monday morning? Who knew those statistics? Anybody? Did you know most people hate their jobs? I love what I do, it’s not a job. You want to love your job. You want to have passion. So, if you’re in a place where you don’t love it, you need to find a place that you do. Because you don’t want to be one of those heart attacks on a Monday morning. Lesson number five. Goes back to the personal growth. You absolutely. I would say this may be even could’ve should’ve been one of my top ones, but you have to read to succeed. That is another thing you will find in common with most successful CEOs, they continue to learn. You can’t just say, “Oh, I got this great job now I can stay here.” Because if you’re not that continual going forward, what are you doing? The continual going backwards. You absolutely have to read, listen and learn of ways to continually learn. 65 percent of people never pick up a book after they go to school, after they finish school. I read some horrifying statistic like 80 percent of the population hasn’t even been in a bookstore in the last year. It’s just huge, huge numbers. So, that’s one of the things. Successful people are always learning. They’re always reading. Thank goodness I love to read because that’s one of the things that I’ve always done, lots of books. But I found this new trick, I call it drive time university. Turn your car into drive time university. You can turn anything into the university. With today’s technology, the iPad, the iPod, the MP3 players or whatever, I’ve downloaded so many books and I’ve learned instead of wasting my time reading, it’s not wasting but spending my time reading, I can do all task. I can listen to a book while I’m on the treadmill. I can listen to the book while I’m getting ready for work, I can listen to the book while I’m driving to work and before you know it, two or three books a week you can use with just your downtime. So, two books a week, eight books a month, 96 books a year. How many books do you have to read to get a master’s degree, Mike?>>A lot.>>So, a couple of years of doing that, if you read and study, Brian Tracy is famous for saying this, if you read and study one hour a day, specifically in your field, you pick whatever it is you do and do it really well with laser sharp focus, spend one hour a day studying just that one subject, for a year or two, you will be in the top five percent of the population in your field. You can become an expert. So I say, turn the TV off and study the field so that you have the job you love, so you don’t have a heart attack on Monday morning. One of the stories I like to tell, I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about these little cupcake shops that were popping up all over. So, it gave me the idea, and this was very early on because you see cupcake shops all over now. This was five, six years ago long before the cupcake shops were big. But I read in the Wall Street Journal that they were coming, so I developed a line of candles called Tiny Temptations and Walgreens picked it up. Within a year, that line alone, just three little candles, had done two million dollars in sales. So, you never know what you’re reading is going to do or where it’s going to take you to the next trend. So, I love to read, not just business books but I try to stay on top of business news also, Wall Street Journal. This is one of my other favorites. Lesson number six. It’s the fast that eat the slow not the big that eat the small. So you want to take action, because all these dreams aren’t going to do you any good if you don’t do something about it to move them forward. So, Yankee Candle was our biggest competitor. They were so big, $500 million, didn’t think we could ever do anything close to what they were doing. But just kind of steadily chugging along, and when we started rolling out in big-box retailers, it was pretty funny. One of the editors of one of the trend magazines called me and said, “Yankee Candle wants to know where you guys fill out of.” They had no idea where we were, so I took that as a huge compliment going. Holy cow! The biggest candle manufacturer on the planet knows who we are. So, this is another quote I tell my employees all the time. Deals do die, promises are broken, sales are stolen, love is lost and opportunities will vanish while your wait or wonder, “Jeez! What happened to that great idea?” So, the young man I was sitting next to at the dinner was telling me about, he had to do a wick clipper that will pick up the shavings, and I’m like, “That is a brilliant idea.” So, if he doesn’t, then I might steal it. Because it’s fast that eats the slow, I might hurry and go do that before he does. The other thing I love to say also is, you want to go where the business is going to be. If we didn’t do that, we’d still be one store in the university model, or we’d still be bath and body. So, where we started from retail, to wholesale, to national bath and body, to national candles, to now we’ve launched this new business as Mike said four years ago, For Every Home. I’m sorry, I’m just getting over a cold. For Every Home, we launched it because we had been so successful for everybody. We wanted to share the opportunity but also, I really, really wanted to diversify our following. Because I could see where the big box retailers were going. That it’s such a competitive environment and candles have turned into a commodity so, it’s one of the things that we did. Then, also For Every Body moving from bath and body retail to wholesale and finally under candles. So, it’s just kind of an ever evolving process. You go where the business is going to be. So, don’t become so in love with what you’re doing that you can’t see that there’s an opportunity somewhere else, or completely in another space. One of the things that we’re doing and we’re going to launch this fall For Every Home, I don’t know if I’ve even told you boys about this, For Every Home is going into gourmet food. We’re going to be launching that really soon. You guys do know about popcorn from Vegas. So it’ll be kind of interesting goal. Who knows if we’ll be in candles in five years, you never know. This is the list I have on my desk every Monday morning. This is what I ask myself. This is what I ask my employees every week in staff meeting. What do you know this week that you didn’t know last week about your business? I make them look up and bring me data. What do you know this week that you didn’t know last week about your competitors? It’s really fun to see who can gather the most information about our competitors, because we all learn something new from each other. What do you know this week that you didn’t know last week about your industry as a whole? What do you know this week that you didn’t know last week about your customers? These questions really force you to look if you can’t answer them. What do you know this week that you didn’t know last week about your top 10, 20, 30 customers? That’s one of the reasons why I like watching the stock market so much because most of my customers were public, so I could see their financial, and I have literally quit shipping the customers when I saw they started having issues, and the stock market was always one of the first places that that would happen. What do you know this week that you didn’t know last week about a top leader in your field? You always want to be watching people in your space, and what are they doing and how are they doing it? Because successful people follow what successful people do. What do you know this week that you didn’t know last week about social cultural and economic trends that affect your industry? I’ll tell you over the years, this has been a big one for us because wax prices. In 2008 when the stock market fell, do you remember wax prices going up or gas prices going up? Wax is a derivative of fuel and that was something that affected us in a really, really big way. So, you want to know exactly, and that’s another reason why we started shifting in other businesses because we could see where the industry and the economic trends were going, and now I’m so grateful that we did. Lesson number eight. Don’t get emotional or take things personal in business negotiations. This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I was at Kohl’s and, as Mike said, I spent a lot of time in the field. I’d visit all of our customers, probably every six weeks, and we had a lot of customers. But Kohl’s, particularly, was my largest account at the time. Big box retailers are famous for saying, “We had a bad quarter, you didn’t make margin, we need more billion dollars.” So, I was sitting in a meeting with the Kohl’s buyer, and she told me she needed a million dollars in mark down money. Instead of keeping my composure and working through it, I absolutely flipped out and lost it. I’m like, “Are you kidding me? That is ludicrous. There is no way on God’s green Earth I’m giving you a million dollars, because you didn’t make margin.” And I left. The meeting didn’t end that great. I got on the plane from Milwaukee and I flew home, and then I had time to think about what I’d done. I’m like, “That is the stupidest thing I had ever done.” I turned around, and got on a plane and went back. So, I was there on her door the next morning, and it’s a good thing I was because she was so angry at me, I could have lost the business. So, now, I keep my cool, think about it, don’t make a decision, don’t ever make a decision that’s going to affect long term when you’re in an emotional state. Sleep on it if you have to. Make up an excuse, think about it because things are always different when you’ve had time to think about it and you never want them to see that side of you. So, you can go in the bathroom and get mad, go out in the car and get mad, but don’t do it in front of the people. So, one of the other areas also- and don’t get emotional, and I had to learn this the hard way also. You want to listen to the people in the trenches, the employees. They will tell you things. They are the eyes and ears on the ground. They’re going hear the gossip you don’t hear. I remember in my early years, employees coming to me with different things, and getting upset or taking it personal. You know what? It’s not personal. It really isn’t. You want to hear what they have to say, good, bad or indifferent because guess what? If you don’t know about it, you can’t do a darn thing about it. So, that’s one of the things that I really had to learn by the school of hard knocks over the years. Now, I just take it, listen to it, know it over, talk about the next day if I don’t forget about it. So, another favorite of mine too, I have 10 favorites here. Trust your gut, but make educated choices. I had an experience a few years back, I don’t know if many of you remember the dock strikes in LA? So, I read in the newspaper, had I not been reading the newspaper and watching the news and staying up on current events, I wouldn’t have known about it and been able to prepare for it. But, at the time, the dock workers in LA were going- or Long Beach, were talking about going on strike. Unfortunately for us, they were talking about going on strike at peak shipping season for Christmas. Because we get all of our glass from China that we pour the candles in, we had a lot of containers that would becoming at that time of year. I just had this really strong feeling based on knowing our business like I know it, and watching the news like I did, I thought if they, and thinking about the future, if the dock workers go on strike, and all those containers stay out at sea, and I don’t have glass in June and July and August, Kohl’s is not going to have candles at Christmas. So, after thinking about it and going over it, I went out on a realm in May, and I paid for all my glass for the year and brought it in up front. So, the building where we’re at, there is a big huge parking lot in the back, it was stacked three high all the way across the length of the parking lot with glass. I remember the banker telling me, “You are so stupid for maxing out your line of credit this early in the year.” I’m like, “You know what? I can’t risk that I’ll be unable to deliver to my customers.” At the end of the day, I had my glass. At the end of the day, the dock strikers went on strike. At the end of the day, there was thousands of ships out at sea for months. At the end of the day, my business doubled that year because Kohl’s didn’t have their supplies then. So, not only was I able to deliver to Kohl’s, Kohl’s called me up and said, “We have empty shelf space, can you give us more stuff?” So, it was worth it. But it was a risk that I was willing to take based on how my gut said, “It would happen if it didn’t.” So, the worst case scenario, I would’ve ended up paying interest on all of that, but I still would have been able to deliver. So, after weighing out the options, I felt like it was worth it. So, we did and it paid off. The next one, have a plan B. When Katrina happened, where was it? In the Gulf. Where does all my wax come from? The Gulf. At first, when I started watching the news, and all these reporters are in rain coats, and I’m going, “This is so ridiculous. If I have to see another reporter in a raincoat, I’m going to shoot myself.” But then, I started going, “Oh my gosh, this is getting really serious. Oh my gosh, the direction of that hurricane. Oh my gosh, this could totally wipe out my supply chain.” So, I took it really serious, and I found a source in Toronto that could deliver wax. I was ready, and guess what? My supply chain got knocked out. If I hadn’t had a plan B, I would have been out of business again. Another way we used a plan B, in 2008, when you saw the gas going up, wax going up, retail going down, stock market tanking, people weren’t spending. Another thing that happened in 2008, the retailers were so afraid of the stock market crash, and the housing, and the banks, and the automobile dealers going out of business, that they started discounting- if you think back, they started discounting everything earlier than we had ever seen anything ever been discounted before. We would see a 50 off in October. So, what happened is just eroding margins for all of the people that supply big box retailers. So, one of the ways that we counteracted that with the rising, our raw material prices doubled in a matter of six weeks. We we’re like, “We can not be out of businesses as peak selling, wax is going up and we had to run a second shift.” But we didn’t want to hire the labor to run the second shift. So, we called all the people in the office, and said, “Guys, we’re going to have a contest. We’re going to divide you up among A, B, C, and D.” This is what I also call creative thinking as well as having a plan B. So, everyone’s, “I’m A, I’m B, I’m C,” you know, and everybody gets on their teams. Once they’re on their teams, then we said, “Okay. You’re going to have a contest, and we’re going see, A’s, you’re working in the plant on Friday. B’s, you’re working in the plant on the second Friday. C’s, you’re working in the plant on the third Friday. D’s, you’re working in the plant on the fourth Friday.” So, at the end of the day, we had all of our people divided up in shifts to work one day in the plant. That’s all we were asking. One day, wear your jeans, wear your tennis shoes, come ready to twirl wax and make candles and box. We tried to plan it so buff guys are at the end of the line to do boxes. Then, it’s a contest, and whichever team gets the most candles made on their shift, there’s some gift certificates for dinner. So, it was a cheap price for us, but what it did is it drew a little competition, we only had one employee say, “I won’t do it.” One. We were like, “Fine, you don’t have to.” But we found, by doing that, we did not have to hire a second shift, we put the shift on 10 hour days on Monday through Thursday, the office pulled the weight of what the second shift would have done and we also found the office beat the production people’s numbers. So, it was really fun, and the employees talked about that for years. It was one of the best things that we ever did. The last and the most important lesson for you entrepreneurs, it’s called the Bounce. The bounce is to fall rapidly, hit the bottom suddenly with impact and rebound decisively. There are some stages to the bounce. The first you have the fall. We all experience falls. They don’t have to be traumatic or as devastating as a bankruptcy, a divorce, a heart attack or an illness, to be considered a fall. Each day, we experience little, minor setbacks or little falls in discipline or poor choices that require us to bounce right back. But there is a huge difference between falling and failing. The bounce converts a fall into a victory, and the harder you fall, the higher you’re going to bounce. Then, you have the impact. The impact, making the impact hitting, hitting the bottom, bends you out of shape, your identity, who you thought you were is morphed and tested. Either you allow the impact to explode you, or absorbed you and you use it to spring back. While it may be painful in the moment, most often, it is the smack of the impact that musters the focus, the energy and the fight that you needed to become something that you would have never driven yourself to be otherwise. So, the pain of the impact is what creates that energetic force to launch you into the opposite and positive direction you need to go. Then, you have the restoration. The moment the ball, after it goes back up, starts to regain it shape. The moment when something inside of you starts fighting back against the impact of the fall, and you realize your identity is not defined by that fall, but it’s defined in your ability to rebound decisively and restore your identity and your sense of purpose. So, you stop mourning where you once were and start focusing on where you’re going. Then you have the elevation. You rise again. There you are, and most often higher than you were before the bounce. So, most often it will be because of the bounce that you are as high as you are today, and you will reach in the future. So, with that, I encourage all of you to look at your falls as opportunities. Because my very favorite quote out of all of them is everyday is a gift, every meal is banquet, and every challenges is an opportunity. They’re not problems, they are opportunities. That’s where we are and there I am. Questions and answers. Did I hit the time we meant. So, did I get the timing right for questions and answers?>>Absolutely perfect.>>Okay. Yes.>>What did you study in school?>>I started out as a chemistry major, because I thought I’d go to med school, but then married, kids, shifted to business and finance, and thought I would have a career in banking, and it just shifted and involved, but yeah.>>I have two questions. When you first started in retail, how did you fund it [Indistinct Chatter] ?>>This is a really funny story. My husband had the farm and he did not want to do this with me. Because he said when your little thing, Becky’s little thing falls apart, he didn’t want me taking him down. So, I went out on a limb, and I mortgage my house. I mortgaged my house to pay for the build out, the construction of the store, and then, because I had good credit, I was able to talk the vendors. I strategically postured it so that when the store, the inventory came in, it was like two days before we open, and I got 30 day terms and I open up the store, November 6th. So, I had the peak of the Christmas selling season, and it was a risk that paid off. Looking back now like I said, there are a lot of things I did back then I’m like, “I don’t know if I could do them” but they paid off.>>The other question is if you could tell the story of the time [Indistinct Chatter] how did you save money with the wax that you built.>>Creative thinking, that was one of the, where I got that idea, when I reached I think it was like the $15 million mark, one of my big competitors went out of business, and he was at the $15 million mark. So, I called him and I said, “Hey, you’ve been out of business, I’m no threat to you, is there any way you want a trip to Salt Lake, and I’ll pay for you to come out and spend a couple of days, and just let me pick your brain”, and he did. He did. He’s the one that told me where to find that tank. But, I was able to put a big huge tank and for one tenth or even it was way more than that less than it would have been to go buy the tank. So, it was something else that paid off. Like I said, one of the big things I always say is you already have to know, what are you going to get? Worst-case scenario they say no, well, he said yes. He came out, and I tell our sales people all the time pick up the phone, nobody’s going to put their hand through the phone and choke you. Nobody can see you, they don’t know you, they don’t care. So, it was one of the more fun things that I’ve done.>>So your [Indistinct Chatter] were still a derivative their wax and still derivative.>>Part of it it was, yes. Yes, you have to have some.>>So I think you should write a book and I’ll tell you about it.>>Do you want to write it for me?>>I love all the things that you, and about my question.>>I like the book idea.>>I forgot my question, [Indistinct Chatter].>>Okay.>>She was speaking, Becky could you tell us the stories about a competitor that suing you. [Indistinct Chatter]>>Yes. Yes, we had somebody sue us and I’m telling you lawsuits are never fun but they take lot of time, they take a lot of energy and I say that you don’t have to blow the place up to put somebody out of business just take the owner five degrees off course and you’re not going to land where you’re supposed to. So anyway, I had a sales rep sue me because I fired him. I fired him because he did something really unethical and so he waited until it was peak season because he knew it would drag me into core and the long drawn out litigation. So, is the way court cases go, you hire the attorney and he was in Boston so I had to get on a plane every time we had depositions and this that and the other. Anyway, it came right down to the wire where it was okay we have to go to mediation and I could tell it was not going anywhere and we had both lawyers, we had the judge in there and we started 7:00 in the morning and it was 6:00 at night it wasn’t going anywhere and so I finally said you know it’s worth it, I already have the no, I’m going to go for the yes and I said “With all due respect with the judge and the lawyers please leave the room.” They all drop their jaws. Because I could see we were getting nowhere with this and I could see that every time I had a question I had to whispered in my lawyer, he had to whisper to his lawyer and then we had to wait for the judge to get in line. So, they they were shocked but they did and then I just had a heart to heart across the room with just the person suing me and I said “You know, let’s not even get in a fight about how this whole thing started because we’ll agree to disagree on that, but let’s talk about a solution here because clearly what you want is money and clearly what I want is to get out of this lawsuit.” So, we worked out a deal where he could rep me in a few places where I already had established business that was in his backyard, where I didn’t have to get on an airplane and go and it was pretty funny. We after six months of fighting and then that whole day in court, the two owners of that business face to face we’re able to settle that lawsuit that night in the room. It was worth it.>>Did that led to great business?>>It did, it lead to great business and a long-standing relationship. So, we were able to air everything out and it was worth it. Ever since I’ve had that success story, I have to pride myself I’ve never initiated a lawsuit but I’ve never lost one. So, now if I have an issue, I go straight to the person before lawyers get involved. It’s like “Hey let’s talk about how much this is going to cost both of us time, energy and let’s not forget that five degrees off course to blow the whole business up. Lawsuits take a lot of time, money and energy. It’s full-time job but there’s a lot of them in business.>>So, when we are talking about, and I’m wondering what if he’s stand not for you to [Indistinct Chatter]?.>>I on Sunday afternoon plan out my week so I know what are the big huge things I need to get done and I always have my top five lists. So, my top five list I have to make progress on every single week. So, I strategically lay it out and then I review it every night. Go on okay did I move forward on the goal today, if not what can I do different and I try to put some granularity into what do I need to do. It’s not just I need to do this this and this. What are three things under each one of those categories I can do and then I just make sure I do. One of the things that’s been really effective for me. I try to first thing in the morning do the biggest, most painful thing so it’s out of my way because I find it’s just that monkey on my back I can’t get off of and then if I have to I’ll shut my door from employees to get something done If I have to. So Yes. Then I do use an iPhone. I used to carry paper and calendars and all that stuff around but I’m pretty much 100 percent digital now. Just keep in the list because I’ve learned you can sort, you can save, it’s amazing what you can pull up.>>What would you like your business to be in 10 years?>>Ten years.>>Do you have an exit strategy or is something you’d like to carry on for 10 years?>>Well I’ll tell you. We started for every home four years ago and after due in two full-time jobs, we divested ourselves for everybody last August. Which is something I never thought I would do, never. That’s why one of the things the bounce comes in because that’s all those emotions I have lived every one of them. It just came down to I can’t do everything. So gosh where I would have said I would have been 10 years ago certainly not where I am today but, I would say laser sharp focus on for every home and I want it to be a household brand. I want people to know who we are and I want to make a difference. As you get older your goals change, I really want to make a difference. It’s not about the money as much as it is. I love what I do and I want to make a difference in as many lives as I can. So, dollar-wise I wouldn’t put a number on it. But yes.>>Can you tell us more about that business model and the products and what you’re doing with [Indistinct Chatter]>>It is called For Every Home, and it is a party plan company. We have candles, soy, we just launched a soy coconut wax which nobody on the market has. It’s innovating. Innovation is something I love. It’s one of my favorite things. That’s why we call ourselves the Innovative Home Fashion Fragrance Company because we follow trends, as far as patterns and labels and prints, and the innovations that we have in here. So, air fresheners. We have a green air freshener. That is five times the strength of fabrice. It will get out even skunk. I have yet to find anything that it won’t get the odor out on, and we’re the only ones that have that. There’s a patent on that. So, we have air fresheners and room sprays, candles, we have nectar. So, really I’d say we’re in the fragrance space and innovative space. So, if people were to say, “What are your products?”, I want them to think innovation first, and it’s like a Mary Kay party plan and those businesses are kind of slow growing, but it’s what I call the law of the penny. There’s a millionaire that was on his deathbed and he has two twin sons, and he says to his two sons, “Come see me. I’m on my deathbed and I’m going to give you the choice, and you don’t have to decide tonight, I want you to go away, and I want you to come back and say, I’m going to give you a million dollars or I’m going to give you one penny that compounds daily for 31 days.” You decide what you want, and come back. Well, one of the twins took the million dollars. The other twin said, “I’m going to take the penny.” So, does anybody know where a penny is in 31 days? Anybody even dare guess? $10 million. It’s $11 million yes, and it’s really slow growing. It’s one penny then it’s two pennies, then it’s four pennies, and it’s eight pennies, and I think it’s into week three before you really start to see. But, when it starts to get in the millions, then it’s two million, then it’s four million, then it’s eight million. See where I’m going with that? So, that’s the model, that’s the plan. So, we’ve met 80 percent of companies that are in the direct sale space fell within two years, because they’re just, they take so much cash because they don’t generate cash while it’s the low pennies. But we’ve made it past that, and posture to take off, we hope.>>Tell us about your team, or you did this all by yourself?>>I’ve had an awesome team over the years. I build it up as we go, but I’ll tell you one of the things with For Everybody. We had 200 employees. So, when all of that business went away, we were in a big, well, actually we’re in three buildings. We’re down to one half of one building, and I’m 25 employees instead of 200. So, we’re rebuilding the dream team right now. These guys are part of my dream team. They’re training program, the new enterprise, it’s great team right here.>>Do you employ noses in your business?>>Do my what?>>For your fragrance development.>>They have been over the years. I have a team that does that, that works with me on that. But part of who we are, and like Mike said one of the things that I like to do is watch trends. So, we pick our fragrances based on trends in the marketplace. Like for instance, trends will start in Europe in fashion, and then they’ll go to table top, and then they go to home decor, and then they come to the US. So, we can kind of predict the trends by walking all the trade shows throughout the world. A year and a half to two years ahead, so we’re about that far ahead on fragrances. So, we pick them based on that but then once we narrow down, yeah we’re going to have a coconut or we’re going to have this or that, then we’ll smell it, burn test it. It goes through a lot of testing to get to where it is but yeah, that’s how we do it. [Indistinct Chatter].>>Hire slow, fire fast, and I’ll tell you. For everybody side of the business. When we sold, most of my employees had been with me 10 plus years. So, I had built a really good team around me, and I’ve always said it is not me that’s done it, it’s the team around me. You have some hit and misses, you have bad ones that come along, you have people that have a sense of entitlement and they don’t care, and it’s hard to find.>>With hiring employees, how, or firing employees, do you like you’re talking about taking the emotion out of it [Indistinct Chatter].>>You know what? It’s tough to fire an employee. I hate doing it. It’s the worst job I have. But, I feel like if somebody is not succeeding with me, they’re going to be more successful someplace else. So, one of the things I do when I’m firing somebody, I like to tell them the truth. You start off with, “Can I be honest? Can I really tell you why this didn’t work?” Tell them, and give them feedback. But let them keep their respect in place, and do it with respect. It’s never “Get the heck out of here.” I’ve only had to do that once and it was so flagrant that. But typically people want to know and I had one employee that was in marketing that just was not working out. But Paul saw he was a rock star in operations but he was so dead, so I’m in marketing, I’m in marketing, I’m in marketing. When we fired him, we said, “You know what, you are not working out here, but you have such a skill so you really need to consider operations. He goes, “Well, I’ve never thought about it, and I don’t know if I want to”, and Paul goes, “Well, I will mentor you and help you develop a career in operations.” So, he did. Instead of firing him, well, we fired him from marketing but we moved him to operations. Within a year and a half, he transferred to New York, and he’s one of the top guys at Best Buy now, and Paul saw the shining star in that. So, you kind of see where people succeed and you want an employee that’s successful in this area to have them work in that area, not put them in where their weaknesses are, focus on their strengths, and get 80 percent out of their strengths, and not their weaknesses. See all Marcus Buckingham books, I love those, focus on the strengths.>>What would you say is your biggest competitive advantage in that market area?>>That we are right now? [Indistinct Chatter].>>I would say on the For Everybody side or the For Every Home side. The stores, when you said stores, I’m saying For Everybody. When we’re in the wholesale business, one we got rid of in August. We were fast. That’s why I say it’s the fast that’s it’s slow like a lot of times you get in the P&G’s, and you get in these big businesses, they’re so laid up with bureaucracy, that they can’t jump on a trend. So, you have in the marketplace, you have the big trends, and then you have the small mini trends that come in, and if you can jump on those mini trends, you see a trend happening, you jump on it fast where they’re going to have years and years of testing, and so that’s why we grew so fast because we were so fast to market. When 9/11 happened on a Tuesday, by Wednesday afternoon I was shipping God Bless America candles. It’s fast, because I knew I could put sugar cookie fragrance in them, I knew I could hurry and print labels, I could get them to press, get the printer to work the night shift, and it was ready to go. So, it’s taking advantage of, I’d say that was our biggest there, and I’d say on the direct sale side, our biggest advantage is our innovations. I think our air fresheners, I bet if you were to go back to that question where you’re going to be in five years. I bet we’re more of an air freshener than candle because that technology is so incredible. We have a gel that will fragrance the room in 90 days or for 90 days, it will fragrance the room based on how much you open it 30 to 90 days, and it’s not only an air freshener, it’s a room deodorant. Then the other one is the spray, like I said, it’s five times the strength of fabrice and it’ll get out even skunk. That’s a space I think we have really really good and it’s green. You can drink it and you won’t die. It’s safe to spray on your body, spray on pets, it won’t hurt furniture. It’s just an awesome product.>>Did you do anything to unwind or recharge your batteries?>>I don’t really have a hobby, that’s one of my weakness. My business is my hobby. I read a lot, business books. I study trends. Well, my husband thinks I’m surfing the web looking at competitors and what they do. That’s my hobby. Yes, that’s how I unwind, dreaming up new products.>>If you have anymore questions, I’m sure she’d be happy to entertain you down here. We’re about to get the ice cream out there, it’s probably melted but- [Becky Anderson gasps].>>On behalf of the Huntsman Business School, we’d like to say thank you.>>Thank you, you didn’t have to do that. That was a pleasure. Thank you for having me. It’s awesome. [Audience Applauds] .>>Thank you.

3 thoughts on “Lectures in Entrepreneurship: Becky Anderson”

  1. thanks for sharing this important video!

    I was really pissed off in my Job and i wanted to break free. But I did not do how to get out of it!
    But, i did 3 things
    1) prayed to god every day
    2) checked out many videos like this one which helped me to keep trying
    3) also i implemented concepts given in "21 Entrepreneurial Habits~Free" android app

    now,  within 3 months, I am out of my shittie job and i have started a small business.
    i am more happy and enthusiastic now!

  2. it's all about getting confident what are you?And we sometime find it too early and sometime too late but doesn't matter keep doing………..because life is somthing it.

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