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How to Find Inspiration in Doubt

Duct Tape Marketing

27:06 min | 4 months ago

How to Find Inspiration in Doubt

"This episode the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by dot store ever tried to find a domain name and gotten the message sorry that domain name is already taken with you're not alone seventy percent of name checks on the DOT com fail. But with dot store you get the domain you want. Hello and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jansen, my guest today is Carol. She is the founder and CEO of hint water a flavored water brand she founded in two thousand and five. He's also the author of a new book called. Daunted overcoming doubts and doubters. So thanks for joining me. Thanks for having me. So in your bio I, read that you were one of the I don't know about original. You've spent some time at AOL. My father-in-law still hasn't AOL account and he thinks he's he thinks it's the Internet that AOL's. That's I I met. So my real question though is, do you still have any of those CD's? You. Know what I do have a couple of the CD is that I kept and I have a few. AOL Jackets Memorabilia that I stuck in a plastic bin. For. can't can't throw that away I. Mean it was a great time. I mean it it's a you know it's sort of an iconic brand that really Steve Case. Bill Right. There were a lot of people there and I played a part in building out the e commerce and You know there were a lot of people that basically felt like. Was the only place to shop. I mean, we were kind of a very enclosed safe place where you could go and You know I really fortunate opportunity to help build out I always viewed it as like a virtual mall and so I would I would like actually. Study Mall's people would ask like, how do you not like bring in Lake J. crew and into. Building out the small and I'm like I go down to the Stanford Mall and actually figure out what other stores are sitting there. Do you know Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom's and some of the others and and that's essentially what we were doing and A community for people. It's funny too because and and we'll get look into the book but I think it's fascinating because it was really it was really a closed place originally got AOL and it wasn't the same as getting to a website that you could. Then just you know punt go somewhere else for a long time it was a very much a contained. As. You said, yeah, and it was also a place for brands to really reinvent themselves I. Mean I remember there was this one catalogue company that we were dealing with called celebration fantastic and pretty small catalogue and and They weren't doing great on the service I mean they were up against like some big guys they weren't getting the promotion. So I remember Valentine's Day rolled around round one day and You know they had this product that was like a chocolate sauce and and they were like we have this idea that we want to do one of your pop ups, those pop-ups screens come. and. They and they called it a better than sex chocolate entrepreneur and and you know people went crazy over it and and so I think it was like it was the first place where you know you could really reinvent yourself in this new channel by showcasing certain products that you have and I mean their sales just off of that product were millions of dollars and just it was absolutely insane but it was really the first place where I saw that you could build brands you know in a non traditional way which you know frankly I go back to our business, my my main business hint. My my day job, you know we fifty five percent of our business is direct to consumer and a world where Soda Is. You know that's just not the way that. Are Sold I mean if anything if they are sold online, it's through an Amazon but it's not through their own site and so I think it's it just little examples like that on my journey make me believe and make me think like how can we just do things? How can we try and how can we do things a little bit different and ultimately better. So today hint comes in twenty players if people aren't familiar with it sparkling and caffeinated. It's a non alcoholic beverage, one of the maybe the largest independent non alcoholic beverage in the world hundred. This is estimated I haven't looked at your books, a hundred and forty million dollars or so in yearly sales, two hundred employees and no famous investors involved in the company, right? That's ten today. Did you start hint to solve a problem or disrupted industry. a little bit of both. Actually you know it's I think back on the journey and you know I call myself an accidental entrepreneur because I wasn't a typical. I'M GONNA go and work for myself or I'm going to be an entrepreneur one day My Dad had actually kind of been frustrated entrepreneur and side a large company He had developed a brand that you may know called healthy choice and inside of Armor Food Company, and then ultimately they were acquired by Conagra but I i. so I had a little bit of learning working for him but I think also when I. Had grown up and tack and in many ways and being at AOL before I decided to start this company and while I, was. Really trying to solve a health problem for myself after I had had three children I wanted to lose the baby weight that I had put on and. Develop terrible adult acne I realized after looking at everything that I was putting all the food I was putting into my body that there's diet. Soda was had more ingredients in it than like I mean I I I talk about it now as I. Cared more about what I put in my car than what I put into my own body and I thought like why is that and a whole story around labels like Diet and you know there's low fat and vitamins and things like that that equated to health in my head but you weren't alone in that address. After switching from my Diet Soda over to Plain. Water, I two and a half weeks lost twenty four pounds got rid of my acne God my energy back and I said Gosh, there's just like a lot of people who are trying to figure out obviously how to get healthier and it's not. Right and and. Like if they could just actually enjoy water again, then they you know we might not have the brand new thing that cropped up about the time I was starting hint type, two diabetes you know things that are. Really. Dangerous chronic right and I thought they need to ultimately enjoy water maybe they need to do other things but that's a first step and so that's when I. Recognize that I didn't like water I aspired to be a water drinker and I start slicing bruton throwing in water and that's when. You know I thought I'm not even sure this is a company I think it's like A. I I don't know I think it's a product I'd worked for companies before right and so when I decided to take this product to whole foods and my local whole foods in San Francisco friends were would come over my house and I tell them. You know it started this little thing I wasn't even calling in a company and they're like that's so cool that you start a company I'm like is it a company? I don't know if it's a company like I have three skews like I'm not sure it's actually a company. But. That's when I really realized that I'm starting something that could actually help bigger range of people get healthier disrupted industry that doesn't care about health back. Then there was nobody calling companies mission driven I was mission driven from day one because I really wanted to help a lot of other people. So, tell me do you just gave a little bit of a hint of that. Oh. Gosh I knew I was going to do that August. Were you literally throwing I mean I know it's a little more complicated than that now but we literally just throwing fruit in water letting it marinate and then having having products or sort of almost in your kitchen at as as sort of I. It. Was In my kitchen and basically what was happening was if you ever? Take a pitcher and you slice up fruit or or. Through. Right? It only lasts like a couple of days and then it starts to call it SMEG. Like I don't know where I came up with that were but it was it was really kinda nasty looking, and so I thought what if you could actually get rid of the pulp and you could just use the skins because there's plenty of essences and oils in the skins and so I started, you know playing boiling them down on the stove almost lighting the House on fire a few times like you know just doing a bunch of stuff and again I I had no idea what I was doing I had a lot of doubts that I'd be able. To figure it out but I just tried and I just kept trying different things and I now like talk a lot about how you know the the interesting thing and sort of where my head was at when I started this company. I had risen pretty quickly at AOL to be the youngest vice president in the company. One of the only women not the only women. But one of the only women in you know at the at that level and what I hated about you know sort of being at that level was everybody was coming to me to actually like. Look for orders, right look for mark. What do I do now and so I think what I was really craving was actually learning and so when I jumped into the beverage industry and I saw these holes I just couldn't like I thought Oh my gosh. Every day I would get up and I'd be just energized by the fact that I didn't know things and I would be like digging in digging you know. How do I figure out how to do the stuff and I definitely heard a ton of knows had planning doubts when I was launching it but I just almost got a you know as my dad used to say I got a kick out of it right like the fact that it was like this mystery and there was no book like there was no I talk to people and they'd say Oh if you like. been at, you know the did used to work at Coca Cola and I'm like, Nope, never never did that before that's why I'm asking you lots of dumb questions and. That was really where might where I was at you know it's interesting. There's probably people that can make a case for saying in fact, I've heard people say this in other settings that it's your lack of knowledge actually kept you from acting like that. In learn ways, right? Yeah. You you were like this. You know this is all I know I'll go this route when other people might have told you will nobody does that right? Then I think that that's not and a lot of people did tell me that and said, they will, for example, we were the first company to actually use real fruit and not used preservatives and I kept asking why can't dispute done without preservatives and they said just because and I remember. My parents saying to me when I would ask him something and they'd say just because and I was allowed to say but why? I kept saying but why and then in a lot of people would probably quietly be annoyed by that and other people were like This is really interesting and you know it's funny because people quickly dissect you when you're starting a company to try and like I said, determine like this person credible to actually go and do this idea and execute on it, and I think what people would start to see was that I had done something pretty crazy at aol and build it as edible industry. So there were. A lot of people that doubted me but there are other people saying I don't know like she might actually go do it, and so that was really you know knocked on a lot of doors and a couple of people said, okay fine will we'll go in and take a look at it and when you grow up in an industry that you know like a Coca Cola, for example, you you are basically you conditioned to actually think a certain way, and so I do believe that outsiders have that competitive? Advantage. So the title of your book is Overcoming Doubts and doubters did you have a a significant? Doubt or doubters or set of doubters that you had to overcome specifically to kind of like maybe thought, Hey, this is going to work, and then that's like that's when people really show up to doubt of did you have kind of that moment where you just push through? Yeah I. Mean I had plenty of doubts in the beginning and at an all along the journey plenty of doubters One thing that I am in really the reason why I wrote this book was that I've run into a lot of people along the way who have said. Who have said you know? I've heard your story I'm really different from you because you're very confident You don't have fears you've never failed and what I realized telling my own story it gives people energy to actually know that they can do it too and that is really what I want people to gain out of this book. You know one of the best stories that I think many many people remember is my story with this executive at This Soda Company in Atlanta a threaten enacted me after an after a year of really you know loading up my car with cases of hint and delivering them and my Grand Cherokee I finally decided that they were so much that I needed to learn and the industry that you know and I. Had Four, young kids under the age of six at home like there were I mean in and basically whenever I actually shared my own doubts I mean that's a doubt Wyatt I couldn't do something people would be like, yeah. No that sounds really hard. You shouldn't do this anymore. You should just go find a job tack you know and do something different a friend connected me with somebody at that Atlanta Soda Company and I. Called him up and I said listen I love to chat with you. I've built this company were in whole foods. We're getting some traction in the bay area and somewhere along the way he interrupted me and said. This company isn't going anywhere Sweetie Americans love sweet and I was like wait he was going me sweetie. I can't even believe like you know I'm just like you know, and again I'm just SORTA listening I'm not sure that what he said for the next thirty seconds and then it dawned on me that this person that had grown up in the industry that had lots of industry experience I was really relying on to sort of tell me here's the path. He actually couldn't tell me the path because his path was different from mine. Mine was around health his was around selling people stuff right and them believe that it was it was a certain thing. So then I, quickly came back to. You don't listen to people who are on a totally different path right and and so that actually gave me the energy and really the only time it you know. The. Conversion in my mind to say that if I don't do this, no one acsh- actually will and I knew I was a little ahead of the curve but I decided that I, needed. At that point, if I wouldn't have had somebody say that somewhat. Shocking statement to me, I may not have actually come to that conclusion that I needed to go build this business. So I'm actually very thankful. That that came about and you know I, I think that that's the thing that that we all all successful people. Whether, it's business or athletes or whatever have these doubts and they have people that they run into and what I found is that you know so often you actually need to stop building up your wall in front of you to say that something can't be done. There really is the ability to do it if you believe that you can do it but if you don't believe, you can do it as i. Share when I mentor entrepreneurs I'm like if you don't believe, you can go raise money and that they're not going to actually give you know invest in your company. You will not be able to get it right? Like it's just not gonNA happen you have to be there i. are here comes Z. Difficult. Question Series Round Is there any part of your business gives you Arctic Art Burns that you wish you could solve? Wish I could saw but you know I would say. I wish we didn't have. Failures right along the way 'cause it's always like a blip right in the business. But. I also really believed that with every failure if that, it makes you stronger. FOR FOR THE NEXT TIME Now, let's take a little break in here from a sponsor. A great ecommerce brand is one that is short, memorable and relevant. So when you see the dot store domain, you instantly know that this website is an online store. A DOT store domain tells people your website is an ecommerce store in instantly associate your website with selling with dot store, you get access to a huge pool of short quality names, which means that you don't have to compromise on the brand name of your choice. Join close to half a million ECOMMERCE store owners like you that trust and US dot store domain. The domain name for e commerce visit. Get Dot store and find your e commerce store domain name today. So of Peop- people, this is actually interesting but I see the lot of people think of entrepreneurs is the ultimate risk-takers And that's just not true and in my opinion or my view a lot of times they have an idea that they just can't not do but they are not necessarily crazy risk-takers. Um what was the risk in? What was the risk and ultimately failing with hint for you? Yes. So I've thought about that a lot and I think that the key thing that I always remember an share with other stu remember as no one can ever take away what you've done and so if you if you stop for a minute and think about you know in my case building out this incredible business for AOL lower, you know having a great family. Or you know whatever I've been able to accomplish. Then you look at whatever is sitting there in front of you and truly daunting as if it actually does not go the right way I've done all the rest of that stuff more and so I think that that actually is you and I were talking about your book and how you know the daily Really confirmations I think that for me is something that I, think about often and I always get people especially when they're feeling down to think about you know things that they are really proud of and things that they have done because no one can take those things away especially when you're building a business and things are scary or you're really doubting keep reminding yourself of those things. 'cause that is you to maybe take a little bit more risk or face those fears. Yeah I think a lot of entrepreneurs kinda prey to looking like, Oh, I'm going there in that person's accomplished so much more and they don't turn around and go well, look how far I've come assets the because it never feels like you've arrived you know and I think that's a real. A real challenge for a lot of entrepreneurs well. Go ahead. So I was just GonNa. Say I think like on that topic it's interesting because one thing that I always share with entrepreneurs to is that It's dangerous to look. At. Your true competitors understand your competitors but comparing yourself and I always share with people trying look outside of your industry instead to you know people that are doing great things right that will give you the inspiration and it will. It will really expand your confidence in being able to go and get something done. So you are and I don't know how old this is but. You're embarking on a couple products outside of beverage. Sunscreen I read Deodorant is that is that kind of more of a I'm taking the same point of view to another industry. And solving. A problem or is that a natural kind of I just have to create new things? Yeah. So I, had I had some skin cancer a few years ago, and that was really what led to the development of the sunscreen. I did not want sunscreen with oxy Ben Zone in, but I also wanted a sunscreen that smelled great and. You know we have lots of essences that we used our waters, and so that was really how I decided to. Just you know try and test it out with the sunscreen and so people ask me all the time. Did you know that you were GonNa go outside of water? No like I needed. And the name of the company for the FDA because all sunscreen is MS approval by the FDA and so that how that started. But yes, we came out with sunscreen a couple of years ago and then Deodorant earlier this year, and then we actually just came out with a hand sanitizer. So during my Kobe. you know from home experience and also I've been working all the way through COVID BS wearing a central product stores. So I've been merchandising and helping my teams. I finally just decided that you know that the hand sanitizing market really needed fixing and I was either tired of smelling rancid hand sanitizer that smell horrible or too much like alcohol or. You know that was was really the the fix for that. So all around health all around disrupting and fixing these industries I actually feel like in addition to of helping the consumer we're now showing a lot of these large companies what the possibilities are and so my hope is in kind of fixing the sunscreen industry as an example, am I gonNA be able? To compete against coppertone probably not but I'd love for coppertone to actually reformulate and get some of the stuff out of their products and you know I'd love for the large Soda Companies To get rid of soda I'll altogether right. But do I really think any of that's going to happen? No. But if I you know nudge them a little bit with all of these. Categories that I see that really need fixing That's what entrepreneurs can do and I think that it's important place where you can lead just by creating change in think that whole direct to consumer approach is is one that you know by its essence you know is disruptive been you know to the companies that rely on supply chain. So I think in some ways it's It's the Natural Competitive Advantage of entrepreneur or a small business. So let's tell people where they can not only pre order a copy of undaunted but get a free case of hint as well but before you do that favorite flavor. You, know I would have to say, my Go-to is the Cherry. To Yeah, I, love. but it's also we have. I think twenty, five, twenty, six different flavors I I always say it's sort of like asking who's my favorite child like it's it's truly unfair question because I am the creator, right? So. What I do so but I love Ya like I. I. Love a lot of, but it's always my go-to to pull out when when it's there, it seems like. Right depend upon when you're listening to the show If you preorder copy of undaunted at drink hint, dot com slash duct tape, you're also going to get a case of hint water sent to you with your book. So hopefully, you listen to this show before October twentieth in that offer is still on the table then of. Character appreciate you stopping by the the duct tape marketing podcast I the water that you sent me to prepare for the show. Oh that's awesome. I'm very, very excited and you guys hopefully y'all y'all the book and order the water or get the water and please let me know what you think at Golden. On all social channels.

AOL dot store Bill Right Steve Case dot founder and CEO Stanford Mall Coca Cola John Jansen Atlanta Soda Company Carol This Soda Company Neiman Marcus Armor Food Company Conagra Lake J. Amazon bruton