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Entrepreneurship, Leadership

” The entrepreneur’s goal is to get a business to a level where even if you die, or even if something happens to you or you don’t feel like doing anything, there is gonna be a great income coming in every week.”

Are you interested in building a business based on your invention or idea? So am I. That's why I interviewed business man Joshua Esnard for this week's episode.

Joshua Esnard was formerly a 13-year-old who was sick of his father's haircuts and unable to get to the barbershop.

The St. Lucia-native is now the Inventor/CEO of The Cut Buddy, the beard and haircut grooming template, that rode the wave of internet virality to become a #1 Best-Seller on Amazon, featured in GQ and Forbes, and a deal with Daymond John on ABC's Shark Tank last fall.

  • @thecutbuddy on gratitude:  I would not be able to be where I am without my rocks and my support — my 10-month old son who drives me to do greater things everyday, my fiance, my parents and my team that work with me everyday.  Without them I think I would have gone crazy by now.
  • The Problem:  I jacked up my hair lines trying to cut my own hair with my dad’s clippers. @thecutbuddy
  • I had the nicest hats in school for a good 6 months because my hair cut was so bad.
  • The Solution:  My experiment and invention was just a normal tool that helped us through the struggles of being broke and not being able to afford a hair cut in college. @thecutbuddy
  • I was just using the tool I invented casually for 15 years — research and development for 15 years with no intention to release a product.
  • We just thought it was such a simple, helpful tool that we overlooked it.
  • The spark of actually saying “you need to do something about this because this is genius, that identification trait is missing in most of us. It’s hard to actually recognize that you need to do something about our ideas.  A lot of us don’t have that on our mind.
  • I credit my fiancée with giving me the unwitting push when she said, “You never finish what you start!”
  • I have about 70 inventions in this book, and I decided to try out the first one:  It was that product, The Cut Buddy, that sat near my sink for almost 15 years.
  • I filed a patent and then went to pitch competitions to show the world this amazing invention that I was going to release, but this was a rough road.  Nobody trusted the products.  I heard crickets after my presentations.
  • I had to bootstrap the business with my last few pennies and my credit card. I actually went over my credit card limit to buy my first 3,000 units and they all showed up a few months later in that garage sitting next to the treadmill.
  • The Grand Designer created you and time to run into each other at specific moments.
  • That time that I was very broke and we were struggling to move the treadmill in; the 15 years of actually testing this product all ran into each other at the right time when I was sick of my day job.  All of those needed to happen for me to really have the grit to run this company.
  • I started building a team of early founders because I didn’t have the funding to hire a team. So, I offered equity to some of the people that I grew up with.
  • When you’re running a business, you’re actually a talent scout most of the time instead of actually being a manager — scouting people for their talents and strengths and leveraging their skills.
  • Nobody actually believed in the product. I have friends to this day that will look me in the face and say, “Dude I always knew that was gonna take off.”
  • A lot of people go through a phase in their business where they just had the strength to start and they’re tip toeing and being careful, and then one person says something bad about their product and they want to shut down the whole business.
  • As entrepreneurs, know that someone is gonna complain about something 10 times more than someone is gonna praise it.
  • I  think it’s important for you to have a team that helps to keep your head strong.
  • It’s always very important for you to keep some of the reviews and emails that you get randomly from people who praise your product, because those are gonna be important for you and your heart; and it will let you know that your product is validated and actually doing something.
  • We leveraged other YouTuber's following and used affiliate marketing to get sales.  We had spent zero dollars on marketing for the first many months.
  • The experience of going viral by surprise once, prepared us for anything.  We were ready for the SharkTank experience.
  • The entrepreneur’s goal is to get a business to a level where even if you die, or even if something happerns to you or you don’t feel like doing anything, there is gonna be a great income coming in every week.
  • The first goal is to keep the business afloat forever.  Find licencing opportunities, so that now you have these big brands creating your product and give you a royalty for the rest of your life.
  • Another strategy is to get your product fulfilled by Amazon and you just sell on Amazon and you don’t have to do any marketing.
  • Who are you and what’s your mission?  I am an inventor and I like to fill gaps with ideas that can help people move forward.  So I don’t see myself being a grooming giant, but I do see myself being an inventor of multiple products that help people get over barriers.
  • To get your business going and get your idea off the ground, take very small steps:  buy a composition notebook and draw your problems.
  • Everyday in families and households people are saying, “I wish I could do this.  This thing doesn’t work well.  I wish that this product could do  this.”  Everyday we’re asking “how come …?”
  • As soon as you say, “Why? How come? Why can’t …? or I wish …” bust out your notebook and write that question? Then use your quiet time to start thinking of how you can answer those questions and start drawing out your ideas.
  • If you’re not trying to solve a problem for someone to have a better life then your goal is all messed up.
  • Go live. Go through pain, struggle and a barrier, and solve your issue. That’s how you become an inventor.
  • Growing a business and bringing your ideas to life is a very hard process, but if you take it steps at a time, it becomes very easy.

One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

The next time you’re at a grocery store, buy yourself a composition notebook — one of the ugly ones with the zebra patterns, so nobody steals your notebook. Train your mind to remember every time you say ‘how come…' and ‘I wish…' to write it down. Always question things and just write them down.

 

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