Let me tell you that running a business is one of the most difficult things I have ever done…running business  ‘A’  while running business ‘B’ to supplement  ‘A’ is even harder. Add to the mix having three kids, one of whom is at home full time with me and I’ve just flashed a picture of a chicken with her head cut off, except this chicken is still alive and keeps going!

One day I couldn’t shake this idea from my head about a t.v. show I had seen- The Profit- with Marcus Lemonis. At the time, I had seen a few episodes, but I had this internal feeling that I should just check Google for news on small business and Marcus Lemonis.

I found that Entreprenur Magazine and the UPS Store were hosting an event in Scottsdale, AZ with Marcus Lemonis for the #smallbizsalute. How cool! This event was so applicable to me and I’ve been ordering Entrepreneur Magazine since high school so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to truly learn! I would also meet other small business owners who had been there, done that, but I was really banking on what I’d take from Lemonis’ talk.

A few days before the event, Entrepreneur Magazine sent out an email about particIpating in a contest to do a Q and A with Lemonis himself. Of course I applied. The instructions were pretty simple- Tell us about your business and why you want to be chosen in two minutes. I pulled out my tripod and gave it my best shot. No magical formula..nope not at all. I shared a VERY short version of why I started StoweyJoey which you can read about in another blog.

So you can guess what happened! I was chosen as one of three business owners to be on stage with Marcus. I was ready. I needed to hear straight from the horse’s mouth what I could do to fix my business, what I should be doing, what I should NOT be doing, and if I should keep going !

I’ll cut straight to the moments on stage-
               Marcus basically used the entire audience as a focus group for StoweyJoey asking questions like, “Is there a market for this product”and “What would you pay for it?”. Some people gave their input with regard to the design element and increasing product value. Marcus really said so many things:
  • Either it’s a hobby or its not
  • Use value engineering
  • Get the cost down
  • Don’t be afraid to order large quantities
  • That he’d put it in his camping stores
  • …and that he’d give us 5k with 1 condition … A business plan!

Hallelujah! OMG. Pinch Me. Did Marcus AND the UPS Store just offer $10,000.00 combined??!?

You see just a moment before Marcus made his offer, the UPS Store president- Tim Davis- stood and asked if with $5,000.00 StoweyJoey could take the advice of everyone around us and use it move StoweyJoey forward. I was in shock. Of course I knew that I could use it to make a whole lot of improvements, but I have never received a  generous financial gesture from 1-someone who didn’t know me AND 2-someone who believed in me, this idea, the product, and my family. I felt validated, even more motivated to work on StoweyJoey, and like a small burden had been lifted from my shoulders. (Remember I kept pushing business A to fund B). Now I could focus more on business B-StoweyJoey- and worry a little less about where the money was coming from.

To be honest with you $10,000.00 can go realllly quicky, because when you are a small business a lot has to get done. But when an audience of likeminded small business owners and the UPS Store and Marcus Lemonis empower you with ideas, knowledge, tools, and resources I think logically this is what I came here for and I can make this work. When you look for answers in the right place and your gut leads you there it’s the most gratifying feeling in the world …kind of like eating a luscious cake but with a cherry on top!

The best is yet to come with a lot of work in between, but with three Joeys pushing me from behind and endless possibilities of what this could be for them, no dream is too big.

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