What a wonderful weekend we just had at Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas! First of all, let me preface this by saying that, yes, we are Christians. And, I know that some of you who may be reading this blog are thinking that Christians shouldn’t be in Vegas’. Well, I’m not apologizing….we like to have fun! And, that we did; especially at the Entrepreneur Summit held by the Daymond John Success Team.
We first found out about Daymond John’s Success Team earlier this year. Although skeptical at first, we decided to ‘JUMP’. You see, being in business since 2006, Ju-Mui Hawaiian Li-Hing Ice Pops, or Ju-Mui, LLC, has been doing pretty well. However, for the last couple of years our company has seen minimal sales growth.
So, when I saw this advertisement for a conference with the Daymond John Success Team we decided to check it out. Of course, it was a business investment which required a cost for the 3-day workshop. It was loaded with information of how to grow your business. Quite frankly, it was really over my head; thank goodness Randal knew what was going on. He developed a lot of take aways over the course of the session. After the workshop they offered an extended training and coaching online. This taught us how to market our business using social media. It also taught us how to sell on Amazon using third party software tools.
They pushed us to be diligent on getting exposed. We signed up for more advanced training and were assigned a business mentor/advisor who worked with us for several sessions. He guided us on social media and how to accelerate sales on Amazon. Things were going along smoothly; however, things remained status quo. We didn’t see much change during the first 5 months after the workshop. Then, in the last month, the 6th month our sales tripled, as promised!
Now, we understand, and give the credit to the Lord because we know His is in our business 24/7. Before going into this whole adventure, we prayed for His guidance to see if we should even participate in something like this. You see all of this took a big leap of faith even though we felt God said, “Go.” We needed to take the action and ‘Jump’; to move, to take that very first step.
Part of the fee included the Summit in Las Vegas. I’ve been a fan of Daymond John of Shark Tank from the beginning. So, when I heard he would be the keynote speaker I was excited to go. In preparation for the Summit, I can honestly say that we were in the weeds; really busy! But, we weren’t complaining. Business was booming! Not only were we working on our business, but there was also a chance to pitch our business idea of expanding to Las Vegas to some investors at the Summit. This took a lot of planning and meetings with the mentor/coach. We worked tirelessly on our pitch and practiced, practiced, practiced. We finally got our video uploaded and hoped for the best. We weren’t even sure if we were chosen to pitch to the investors when we left Hawaii.
The Summit featured keynote speakers Robert Herjavec, Grant Cardone, and of course Daymond John. They also covered asset protection, taxes, finding capital, social media, web smarts, and Instagram hacks.
At the Summit we were told that we were one of the eight chosen to pitch our idea to the investors! REALLY?! Oh, my goodness; why should we be surprised, right. I mean we prayed for it. We were both very nervous, me more than Randal. Our pitch would be in front of approximately 100 people plus 4 investors.
First, we played a video of kids holding the Ju-Mui Ice Pops at a local Oahu beach (Thank you Pagaragan’s!). Randal passed out the Strawberry Ice Pops to the four investors. Then, I started, “Aloooha, from Hawaii. I’m Jan and this is my husband Randal. Our company is called Ju-Mui Hawaiian Li-Hing Ice Pops.” And, just when I said that, all of my nerves disappeared. The Lord is so good! Randal, as usual, went off script, but he was awesome!
I looked up as one of the investors whispered, “Oh, so sweet.” I said to myself, “Oh, oh.” But then, there were these two investors who were interested! By God’s grace, I knew my numbers – profit margin, cost of goods sold, etc. The investors congratulated us for a job well done. They told us to talk to them after; which we did to exchange information. It’ll be interesting to see where God takes Ju-Mui, LLC after this Summit! What an experience!! If anything it really got our product out there. We brought 50 ice pops with us to Las Vegas so we shared the rest with the attendees.
Another great thing was how many Christians we met; some speakers, some attendees. I went up to one of the speakers and said, “Are you a Christian?” He was so flattered. He said, “That’s the best compliment I heard today.” It just gave me a warm feeling.
Our fees also includes a trip to New York to spend more time with Daymond John in a smaller group setting. We are truly looking forward to see where God is leading us in the next Chapter of our Ju-Mui business!
Some of my take aways…..
We are so blessed to have a business, Ju-Mui, LLC, and to be able to pitch before investors in a live audience setting.
Those of you who know me, know that I am terrified to go in front of a large crowd to speak! Even with prayer, it’s almost paralyzing for me. However, we have been blessed so much in this business that I felt this is the way to go, building the business and continuing to be a blessing to others. So, I, we, needed to take a drastic step and do this!
Taking risks is sometimes necessary in order to grow your business.
Financially, this was a risk for us. We really didn’t have any startup cost for the business, so debt wasn’t an issue. But, when this opportunity came along, this business decision would put us in debt. I remember my parents, who are both gone, took no risks at all. I mean, what little they had all went into a regular savings account. Nothing else. They never owned their own home. So, when my dad passed away, my mother used her social security to rent on her own and later lived with relatives and then myself. In making our decision, I told myself I just wanted to be different; I needed to take a risk.
You can learn only so much, next step is to take action! Jump!!
I remember hearing the term “Jump” from another celebrity – Steve Harvey. There’s only so much you can soak in, so much you can agree with people, only so much workshop you can attend. After that, if that’s all you what that information, it’s wasted. You need to take action! Go ahead and do something about what you learned! Don’t sit on information for too long.
Don’t give up, sometimes a “no” is not forever.
Being told ‘no’ is not a good feeling; especially when you want or need something so badly. However, we’ve learned that sometimes the ‘no’ will turn into a ‘yes’ at a later time. You just have to be patient. Yes, it’s the ‘P’ word, folks. In business, it’s hard to be patient, especially when you need something, like funding right away. But, while you’re waiting, go and find other ways to make it work. And, you never know, you might find something better down another path.
You need to protect your assets.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving yourself vulnerable for others to take advantage of you. Get an attorney! Enough said!
Hard work is never wasted.
You’ll get there. When we were getting ready for the Summit in Las Vegas there were times when we thought we weren’t going to make all the orders that was coming in. But, why complain; it’s sales after all! Especially, when Randal was working 12 to 14 hours a day – that was tough. Was it worth it; YES. It’s hard to see the results, but if you keep on grinding, you’ll get there after a while. We’ve been in business since 2006 and we’re still grinding every single day.
Reading can help improve your brain power and reduce stress. You can also learn from other entrepreneurs some key elements of how they grew their businesses. Reading also provides inspiration, knowledge of subject matter that you did not have prior.
Instagram in business is very important.
It has replaced Facebook in viewership and is more cost effective. Good content is necessary for growing your business.
After reading a good book, who wants to look at long, boring stuff? No, you’re looking for something fun and exciting! Hence, good content through short videos. The goal is to drive media traffic to our website, then action to buy.