Our Guest Blogger, Ashton Udall, is a partner at Global Sourcing Specialists, a product development and sourcing firm that assists businesses, inventors, and
start-ups tap overseas resources to succeed in the global economy.
Ashton recently interviewed Barbara Carey for his blog product-global.com. Barbara has written articles for us as a Guest Blogger for us in the past. She is the inventor of Hairgami® and dittieTM feminine protection brand, as well as over 100 other products. He wanted to share the interview with the readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com.
Here's Part I of his 3 part interview. Part II will be published next Monday:
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Interview With Barbara Carey: A Woman With Something To Teach You About Successful Products and Business
Recently, I had the pleasure of talking at length with one of the most successful people I know of when it comes to taking products to market. Barbara Carey is one of a kind. She is a very charismatic woman and I never knew an interview could be so fun and interesting. Who knew how important chugging beer and being incorrigible could be to learning how to commercialize a product?
Barbara spoke to me about how she blossomed from a young woman struggling to get her business going, to a tremendous success as an inventor and entrepreneur. In the process, she has become a master at taking products to market successfully. She has commercialized over 100 products. For anyone interested in building a business or getting their idea or product out there, this woman has something to teach you. She taught me a lot, and I'm in the business.
We covered some of the psychological and behavioral aspects involved in getting your product out there, and getting a business going. But, Barbara also offered great, practical strategies about pricing your product, selling it, and building your business in general. She's launching The Carey Formula , which consists of a book, resources on CDs, and more. Because the interview had so much useful info, I will post the entire dialogue, split into three parts. Bottomline, for those interested in getting a product on the market or building your business, this is information that will help you: Part I
Getting Your Product to Market: Passion, Persistence, and Perspective
A: How did you determine what you were going to put into your book? Was it based on the other kinds of information you already saw out there in other books and programs?
B: I didn't look at what was out there already. I've read a lot of business books and knew that my experience was unique and I wanted to dig deep into my soul and answer the questions that I get whenever I give speeches or people call me up, they say "gee, you're an overnight success, how did you do it?" Because when you read about me, typically it's about one of the successes I've had, but there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes, and I wanted to give them the real story. The truth is, I'm not an overnight success. But the trick is that I always knew who I was. And I really wanted to give my readers an experience. Right at the beginning of the book, I talk about "the two P's", Passion and Persistence; they are common threads throughout the entire book.
A: I've come across a lot of articles and books about business and successful people and many of them have put forth the common idea that those two things (passion and persistence) are undoubtedly the most important factors that determine success.
A: It's one of the softer, fuzzier subjects, which people tend to think of abstractly, but it's so important.
B: It's also important that we, as people, evolve. Our businesses evolve. It's so important as human beings to remember that we have the ability to be open and receive information, learn, and turn on a dime. This is a huge advantage for a small company. You don't have to take your decision through the company's board of directors. I call these fax machine decisions. Sometimes you're standing around the fax with your co-workers, and a fax comes through, and you have to make a decision. You have to be nimble and you can when you're small. As a small company, you have to use a different set of weaponry, like speed and flexibility, than the big companies.
A: Let's talk about decision-making for a second. In making a decision on the spot, for someone who is starting out in the process, you never have perfect information and you never have all the information. So how do you ‘wing it'? How much do you need to know before you go forward? And the emotional process that goes along with that?
B: It's hard. You can only make the best decision you can at the time. I collect as much data/information about that decision as I can. I might go to people who I respect and bounce ideas off of them. And finally, I weigh my gut instinct. You take all of those things into account. And you also have to know that sometimes, with some issues, you're gut instinct is not the way to go. Sometimes, the way I feel people will receive a key message, is not in fact the way the masses do. So I talk about this in the book-I do a lot of surveys. Whether you are sending out surveys through friends of friends, or more formally, you have to try and get a feel for the masses. And, depending on how big the decision is, that's how much research and thought you put behind it. I'm consistently asking people questions and for feedback. That's a part of my success. I don't just charge ahead according to what I think. But I try to open myself up to receive outside information as much as I can. You want to learn as much as you can about your customers, end users, key influencers, and stakeholders, in the process.