COME A LITTLE CLOSER & GET TO KNOW ME

Creating a startup was never part of the plan. I was a corporate girl all the way. I was one of those who loved leading my team, dressing in business suits, presenting at high profile meetings, and working 12-hour days making everyone else rich.  It was not until I had an aha moment, accidently inventing a pet product, that my career took another path and forever changed the course of my life.

I painstakingly took the leap and walked away from my 6-figure corporate job, company car, stock, benefits, and the respect I spent 15 years earning to start a company from nothing, knowing in my gut I would regret it forever if I did not. Everyone told me I was crazy, stupid to do it, especially for no paycheck, with no support, and no capital. It would fail. I would regret it. I would be back looking for a “real” job in 6 months. I did not know then that no one can understand what they do not understand. 

I became a rare breed of risk takers that only those who were sitting in their basement wearing sweatpants, working 15-hour days, barely sleeping, and putting their (and their families) entire financial future on the line with only a belief in themselves and their idea could relate to. I became a visionary. I became a builder. I became an entrepreneur.

Five startups later, the corporate girl I dreamed of being, climbed the corporate ladder to become, and who strategized with executives in a business suit was gone, and there was no going back. I never regretted my decision.

As an award-winning sales, marketing, and branding strategist I created an international brand in 12 months with my new startup. I had 1100 customers and won Best New Pet Product my first year and won it again when I launched my second invention, the Slobber Blotter, the following year. My corporate career taught me that doing the right branding and marketing makes all the difference as to whether a company survives and thrives. But it was not without hardship, many mistakes, and almost losing it all. Believe me, this was the hardest thing ever.

I learned early on that selling it in is not the same as selling it through. While marketing was easy for me, I discovered that most of my fellow entrepreneurs I distributed my product to struggled with how to display and expertly promote my product and all the others they had. They did not know how to brand and market their business or the products they were selling. They were not able to target their audience and nail down a resonating message with a strong value proposition that differentiated them versus the numerous competitors that crowded the pet industry. They did not understand the right campaigns for their audience and how to streamline their efforts to be more efficient in their promotional efforts. Many did not do any marketing because they just did not know how. I studied all the businesses that went out of business and took notes of the common denominators. I knew this data was directing me to something else.

YOU WILL BE FOREVER REINVENTED

I sold the company and everything that came with it 3 years later. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. My baby I slaved over was gone. I could not look at the website, walk into a pet store, or even put the product on my dog for two years. In the end, the success of the company allowed me to financially be able to be thoughtful with my next steps. I went on to create 5 more companies.

But the gain was so much more than money. I proved all the naysayers wrong, and it was sweet. Some never spoke to me again. It is funny how people see you so differently after you build, launch, and sell a company, and they do not, because they cannot. People have so much more respect for you and doors open unlike any would coming from corporate. All of a sudden people were calling me to help start their companies from scratch or turn around their struggling brands and divisions. I welcomed the opportunity — on my own terms.

The confidence and business skills I gained from creating something with no recipe except sheer faith as the main ingredient has allowed me to equate failure with triumph. Nothing can stop me with starting another company, earning me the reputation as a “startup junkie.”

My passion for working with my fellow entrepreneurs, especially those over 50, to succeed is my mission. That is why I do what I do. That is why 8 Simple Steps has been created. I know what you go through firsthand. I know the mistakes that can be made, and I know how to show you not to make them.

Currently, I have brought my outcomes-based S.T.A.R.T. blueprint to small business and entrepreneur startups, teaching and guiding them how to start, soar, and sustain their company for as long as they love it and enjoy the journey along the way. I have generated $50 million in revenue and counting utilizing this strategy.

For all of you on the entrepreneurship path it is not easy. Some of you may be here by choice, ready to take control of your destiny. Others may have been forced due to ageism in the workforce or the need to supplement your income. Whatever the reason you are embarking on a journey. Embrace it. You will be forever reinvented for the better.

Be on the lookout as I share my top tips in my soon to be released book, 8 Simple Lessons From a Startup Junkie. How appropriate!

8 ONE SECOND FACTS

 My passion is the art & science of influencing people – marketing.

  I’m a calculated risk taker, spending most of my career building startups. Some worked out, some didn’t.

  I invented the Slobber Blotter.

  I’ve won over 30 industry awards, all of which are sitting in a box in the basement.

  I’ve branded, marketed, and commercialized over 20 products, services, and/or companies…and counting.

  My favorite quote is “Never Underestimate the Power of Simplicity,” a.k.a “Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS).”

As a small business owner,  I’m in the same position you are right now. The only difference is I spend every moment making sure you aren’t.

  I’ve owned 6 goldfish, all won from the carnival. The longest lived over a year.

 

If you have more time than 8 seconds, interest, or attention to read more about me, VISIT MY LINKEDIN PROFILE

Maureen Edwards

 Founder & Chief of Simplicity

 

What’s with all the Goldfish?

 

Four goldfish swimming around in a bowl shaped like the profile of a face to signify smart brain.

 

Scientists say it’s real, others say it’s a myth. What is it? The Goldfish Syndrome. Goldfish have the attention span of 9 seconds; humans 8! Whether you believe it or not, we can all agree, we are inundated with too much information coming from too many places with too little time to process it all. Our brains are on overload. 8 Simple Steps is thoughtfully designed based on this premise — keep it:

A goldfish icon that is a gold outline and white in the center Clear

A goldfish icon that is a gold outline and white in the center Concise

A goldfish icon that is a gold outline and white in the center Consistent

A goldfish icon that is a gold outline and white in the center Compelling

A goldfish icon that is a gold outline and white in the center Customer-centric 

A goldfish icon that is a gold outline and white in the center Simple to understand and even simpler to do — all in 8 Simple Steps 

I am all about simplicity because that is how I get results, and you will too.

 

Photography by Leo Sena of Criativ Photography