[0:01:19] Turning Winners into Dinners
In the early days, some ideas flopped, but he now has a track record. He finds inventors with a great idea and helps them with the manufacturing, branding, marketing and distribution. LoveHandle is a product available online and listeners will get a 10% discount if they use coupon code BradLea.
[0:6:12] Don’t Get Caught in the Old Ways
He was sure LoveHandle was a winner and he knew just how to get it to market. Unfortunately, he ordered half a million dollars’ worth from China and paid $150,000 for TV infomercials without realizing that viewership had shifted to Netflix. Another thing that went wrong was the Chinese contractors used a cheap glue, so Mike dumped the entire consignment. Like most successful people, he looks back and is glad for the experience.
[0:11:05] Made in America
Mike didn’t give up. He knew he had a great product and the weak link was in manufacturing. He and his dad spent two-and-a-half years developing automation equipment to enable affordable, efficient production in America. Today, they have a capacity for 50,000 units a day, employ over 30 employees, and source material locally. Mike tried to get on Shark Tank and in the process, their sample landed in the hands of Daymond John. They struck a creative deal–one that’s not tied to cash but adds value to the company. Thanks to Daymond, LoveHandle has enjoyed a lot of exposure.
[0:20:23] Letting Go
Get out there and do something, learn from it, make mistakes, course-direct and burn the ships at the shore. When you are afraid to try because of what you will lose, you end up hanging on to what you don’t want. It doesn’t get you closer to what you do want. People need to learn early enough that they can write their own script in life.
[027:38] Learn from Mistakes
When something happens to you, it’s not necessarily good or bad. While not everyone is a risk taker, too many people settle for mediocrity. Mike started off by side-hustling. He made many mistakes along the way but that’s how he learned what makes a great product and he became good at spotting winners. Educate yourself about what you’re looking for and don’t be complacent. Keep pushing the envelope and learn. Take your lessons, take your lumps and keep moving. Eventually, that little gap opens up and then you can move hard and fast to it. That has been Mike’s secret to success.
[0:33:26] Houston, Texas
Mike lives in South Houston and was affected by the historic flooding in 2017. He went out on a boat rescuing people–which sounds like fun until you consider the power lines, snakes, and whatnot that were in the water. Racial, political and religious differences disappeared as everybody united for the greater cause of saving lives and helping out. As for rumors about who should have done what, he takes his cue from Tim Ferriss: Don’t spend your time taking in everybody’s news. Don’t distract yourself, wasting bandwidth you could be using for your purpose. If you really need to know something, somebody will tell you.
[0:39:53] Develop a Winning Product
Look for an evolving situation in the market and build a business around that. An example is the cannabis industry–people have patented many little inventions for storing and grinding and transporting the product. Others are taking CBD and putting it in all sorts of delivery systems and creating brands around it. The world pays you for adding value to people and solving problems. The more broadly appealing your product can be, the better. However, social media makes it possible to have a niche product which is marketed to very specific narrow audiences online.
[0:45:55] We Advertise Our Best Price
A tip for those who advertise on billboards. If people come in asking for a discount on the price you advertised, ask them the question: If I would spend all that money to get people to come in here, why on earth would I advertise my second-best price? That’s my best price. That’s why I advertised it.
[0:51:39] Building Networks
You build your network by adding value to people’s lives and being ethical. You can’t be calling people up only when you need help. Become a value to people. When you keep adding value, people will always be happy to pick your call even when you do need a favor from them.
[0:56:00] Why You Need the LoveHandle
With LoveHandles, you can hold your phone firmly with your fingers and take a selfie from any angle without worrying about the phone flying off. When you give out branded LoveHandles as promotional items, they’ll land in the hands of people who had never heard of you–that’s advertising.
[0:59:28] Not an Accidental Product
The round pop-out thing you see everywhere on the back of phones was invented to wrap earbuds around, but people ended up using it as a phone grip. With LoveHandle, you have a product that was invented to solve the very problem that you’re trying to solve with those round pop-outs.