TSP047 | Jude Robinson – Transcription

Posted by John Livesay in Uncategorized | 0 comments

TSP BONUS | TIM SANDERS – Transcription
TSP046 | Katherine Hill Ritchie – Transcription

John:

Welcome to The Successful Pitch podcast. Today’s guest is Jude Robinson. Jude is all about how to master your business story. She said good ideas never come with an agenda. She has an amazing story to share about how her back was up against the wall, and how she figured out a way to turn something that was going down into a huge success. She said, “You know, when you’re networking, don’t be a brain picker or a tire kicker.” I love that. She really talks about don’t let other people’s lack of integrity change who you are. You stay in integrity and who you are, regardless of how other people treat you. When it comes to rejection, she also has some great advice. She said, “Don’t give rejection the attention it seeks. If you have the focus and the passion, you realize that rejection’s just part of the game.” She shows us how to deal with it, how to keep going, and more. Enjoy the episode.

Are you a founder struggling with your investor pitch? Do you need warm introductions to the right investors to get your startup funded? Do you need a funding roadmap to get you there fast? All of this and more can be found in Crack the Funding Code. Judy Robinett, bestselling author of How to Be a Power Connector and on the board of Illuminate Ventures, and I invite you to our free Crack the Funding Code webinar. Simply go to judyrobinett, J-U-D-Y-R-O-B-I-N-E-T-T.com and click on the webinar tab to see how to tap into our network of investors around the world. There’s a link in the show notes as well. You’re only 1 click away from getting funded fast.

Hi and welcome to The Successful Pitch podcast. Today’s guest is Jude Robinson who is a business development, sales and marketing expert. She has such expertise in getting products to market and knowing what startups are going through when it comes to being overwhelmed. I’m going to let her tell us all about herself, her background, and her program, Master Your Business Story. Jude, welcome to the show.

Jude:

Thank you, John. I appreciate being a guest today. I hope that I can provide something valuable and bring possibly a little bit of relief for those who are endeavoring in their business. Keep going. Have some courage.

John:

We love that. What I always like to ask the guests is to take us back to, how did you become interested in this whole concept of getting products to market and helping people who invent things, and all that good stuff? As a young child, were you interested in new inventions, or how did your passion get in this way?

Jude:

I would say as a young child, I was interested in many things, probably shiny objects before they were shiny objects, which is certainly the mark of an entrepreneurial person.

John:

Yes.

Jude:

I was born and raised in Alaska, and had many opportunities to come up with ways to invent things, I guess.

John:

Yes, I…

Jude:

Use my imagination.

John:

I was just in Alaska earlier and went on a glacier helicopter ride and took a dogsled. It’s beautiful, but I imagine you have to really be creative to keep yourself entertained there during the winter months.

Jude:

I’m sure for someone who is new to Alaska in the winter months, they might need to try to be creative to entertain themselves, but because I was born and raised there, it was really a necessity. It’s what I always knew. Being creative, strategizing, figuring things out is truly in my nature. It could have been partly because I was taught that or it might have just been out of the way I was developed environmentally.

John:

Wow. I’m always so fascinated in someone’s story because investors love to know who they’re investing in. You know that great line that we invest in the jockey, not the horse, and we really want to know who the person is that we’re investing in. Someone like you who has such an expertise in encouraging other people and getting products to market, I was guessing there was a really interesting story. Just the fact that you grew up in Alaska as an environment automatically says so many things in my mind about somebody who’s resourceful and hardcore. It’s not like you grew up at the beach and …

Jude:

No.

John:

… had it easy.

Jude:

The thing about the people in Alaska, it is very remote. One of the true life lessons that I have gleaned and been able to distinguish as something that’s very different, when you rely on what somebody says as being what is true, you truly depend on that oftentimes for your very life.

John:

Wow.

Jude:

In the lower 48, that was a lesson that I had an opportunity to learn that many people don’t … They’re not honorable with their word.

John:

Ah, yes.

Jude:

That is an incredibly important piece of my life. I’ll tell you, even though there have been many opportunities to learn that people are not necessarily honorable, it has not made me less honorable.

John:

Aw, how great is that? You have to stay true to your own character, and not be at the whim of other people’s lack of characters influencing yours, right?

Jude:

Absolutely.

John:

I love that so much because a lot of founders will get a yes from investors, and then sometimes investors back out when it’s time to write the check. That founder’s counting on that money for their survival of their company, so what you said about …

Jude:

For their survival of their families.

John:

Yes. That’s so great. All right. That’s a fantastic background. Take us from leaving Alaska and venturing into the lower 48.

Jude:

All right. I went to college at the University of Utah. The reason I chose the University of Utah is because I was traveling through the area in the fall. The year before I went to college, I went with some friends on a trip. We’d driven to California and had a wonderful time. I saw the fall leaves. I’d never seen fall leaves.

John:

Beautiful.

Jude:

The colors, it was stunning. I honestly never thought I’d go further than Seattle. It was so beautiful. I couldn’t believe it. Then there was a lightning storm. Where I was born and raised, I’d never seen lightning. It was so spectacular and scary. The outdoor life in the Rocky Mountains is absolutely beautiful. I was hooked , so I went to the University of Utah. Out of college, I had gotten a job at the phone company, which was what you needed to do at that point. You went and got a job for one of the utilities. Then your retirement would grow and it was the smart and logical thing to do.

I got hired to do this new project launch that they had called mobile phone. There were just a few of us in the United States, I was on the West Coast, and I started working with … I didn’t know who to work with honestly. My father had built roads and bridges in Alaska. They were homesteaders. I was talking to them on the phone one night, and I said, “I don’t know who to talk to. They said I should go to talk to doctors, and I don’t know any doctors.” My dad said, “Who’s their association? Do they have any builders associations?”

I thought of one of the biggest builders that I knew of, and I thought, “Well, where are they getting their information from?” I was afraid to go talk to the association, but I knew the type of people that I had been around as I was growing up and they were really easy to talk to. They were nice people. I went to the association and they said, “Yeah, we’ll just put it in our newsletter that you have this phone. That would be great, because if you’re out on a job, it would be really nice to know, to be able to connect with somebody and say, ‘Hey, we need this.'”

John:

Isn’t it amazing when you go back and you remember a time when all that wasn’t just assumed? I love that …

Jude:

Yes.

John:

… part of your story about you went to work for a big company, a phone company, but you really were an intrepreneur, right? You were starting something new within a big structure, but it’s still very similar to starting your own business. Then this whole thing of getting comfortable with networking and reaching out to people, I love all those kinds of insights. Can you expand on that a little bit, Jude, about any tips you have for people who might be a little uncomfortable going to a Startup Grind meeting or going to some kind of angel conference?

Jude:

Always look up the chain. Don’t look down. When you meet someone, find out how they learned what they know. See if they’ll be generous with their knowledge, and sometimes … Let me see how I can say this, because I definitely don’t want to ever discourage anyone from asking questions, but don’t be a brain picker and do not be a tire kicker.

John:

You know what, we’re going to tweet that out. Don’t be a brain …

Jude:

Picker.

John:

Picker.

Jude:

Or a tire kicker.

John:

That’s great. Love it.

Jude:

Figure out, if you don’t know the intelligent question to ask, say, “I don’t know the intelligent question to ask.” That’s it.

John:

That’s it.

Jude:

“I don’t know what to ask you, and I would love to know your story, but I don’t want to take your time because I know it’s valuable and so is mine.”

John:

Mm-hmm. Great.

Jude:

Always out yourself with exactly where you are. When you go to a conference, think of it like being at a school social for your children or just think of these people as human. If they don’t treat you kindly, you don’t want to be in business with them.

John:

There you go. Nice. That’s such great information. It’s all about our mindset when we walk into a room, and not being intimidated, that who you are is enough and what you have to offer is just as valuable as anybody else, and treating others with respect, and that’s what you get back. That’s my philosophy anyway.

Jude:

It’s a great philosophy. It’s easier said than done when you’re in a space of needing funding and needing money. When you are at a conference, you’re not necessarily receiving income for that. You’re doing it on your own dime. You’ve got bills that need to be paid and dinner that needs to be made and things that need to happen, and you’re there with your … Your outlook is bright, and you’re doing the very best that you can, but there’s a runway that you’re trying to get down. You got to do it quickly.

John:

That goes right into what your whole expertise is, is about mastering your business story. That’s like mastering your pitch, and certainly mastering your business story so that someone … Let’s say you meet someone who is nice and generous, and they say, “Oh, I’m happy to tell you my story and it’s this, this, and this. How can I help you?” Ideally you want to have something ready to say, right?

Jude:

Yes, and the way that I got into working with inventors … When I left the cellular business, I was in my early 30s. I left because of a bad relationship, personal relationship. When I am telling my story of my life, I’m human. I’ve made some really great mistakes, really great decisions. I’ve made a lot of really ridiculous decisions, because I’m 100% human.

The next move that I made in hindsight now was a really great move. The reason that this is important that I say in hindsight when I say this portion, I do not want anybody to have the interpretation that I had a clear plan and I just went after it. I took a major chance, and I began a startup with a contractor connection that I had made and someone that he knew. We started a manufacturing plant. I was sales and marketing. The person that I knew that I met in the contracting industry had lost everything. At the time, he was bankrupt. He’s currently a billionaire, multi-billionaire.

John:

Wow.

Jude:

The other gentleman, he did the operations. I knew nothing about manufacturing. The business partner who was my connection, he knew 1 person that needed this product, lids for his vitamins. The company happened to be Nu Skin that we were going to make lids for their … I had never heard of Nu Skin at the time.

John:

They’re huge. I know I’ve heard of them. Yeah.

Jude:

Yeah, so this was at the beginning.

John:

Right, you never know what the opportunity’s going to be.

Jude:

They weren’t.

John:

Right. Sure.

Jude:

We didn’t know that they were going to be anybody. We didn’t know that we were going to be anybody. I did this startup, and invested all of the money that I had at that time.

John:

Wow, you were committed. You were all in.

Jude:

I was very committed, but I believed it was going to work. I just thought, “Okay, it will work.” Belief is not enough, but I didn’t have children. I was just believing, which can take you … Just that naïve can take you a very long way. When the first order of the lids came off the press and I was like, “Wow, look at this thing go,” and I took it out to my person at Nu Skin, Mr. Tillotson, who is the main owner of Nu Skin, and I said, “Here are the lids.” He said, “Oh, we’ve been buying those for 2 months out of China. We don’t need them.” I suddenly had a $600,000 debt and no income.

John:

Wow.

Jude:

When that happens, our best ideas come when we are absolutely in the worst place. Good ideas and new innovation never occurs with fluorescent lights and an agenda. I was driving back to my manufacturing plant and I had my cellular phone. I said, “What’s plastic? What do we make? Oh my gosh,” and I was holding a Bic pen. I thought, “Well, this is plastic. What’s on this that can be made?” I got the Yellow Pages and started calling everybody I could think of. I just opened it, and I just started calling, and within 3 years, had built a $10 million business.

John:

Wow. I love that so much, because you took what would be a record scraping, you think you’re on this path, you’re making these lids, and then they go, “Oh, we’ve outsourced that. We don’t need them.” We’re going to tweet that line out too. Good ideas never happen with an agenda. That’s…

Jude:

They don’t. They happen when your back is against the wall, and it’s so bad that you simply must …

John:

Figure out a way.

Jude:

… find a way to be creative.

John:

Yup, and that’s the ultimate pivot that’s so important and happens almost in every startup. Investors know this, and that’s why the team is so important so that belief and that strength of I’m not giving up that you have is what you’re able to model for people who engage you to help them with their branding and their strategies. It’s fantastic that you have that real life experience and then have such a huge success. All right.

Jude:

$10 million, again, that is the size of the company. I took the next 3 years and figured out how to be profitable. It doesn’t happen instantly, but what did happen is because I was in such a flat-out holy crap kind of a place, and it was much more than that I assure you but out of respect for the audience, I had an opportunity to practice my story constantly. “Hello, my name is Jude Robinson. I have a huge press. I think you have something plastic. Can we talk? I don’t know if you need what I have. I don’t know if we can do what you have, but I would like to meet you.” I did.

John:

Nice. Direct, authentic.

Jude:

I just did that constantly.

John:

Yup, and I’m sure you might even have a tip or 2 about how to handle rejection, because you, I’m sure, got a lot.

Jude:

I’ll tell you something about rejection. Get used to it, and please don’t give it the attention that it’s trying to gain from you. If you’re not being rejected or you’re pretending like you’re not, then you don’t even know who you really are.

John:

Love it. Don’t give rejection the attention it seeks.

Jude:

No, and …

John:

Because you have to stay focused on what you want, and not get focused on all the nos you’ve gotten, right?

Jude:

Exactly. Just keep your eye, keep that vision, out there, and keep going. Just keep going, because there is no stopping ever. There’s just no stopping. When you think you cannot work any harder, get ready.

John:

Yes. That’s great. That goes back, I think, to why are you doing it in the first place, right? Whether your mission is to make a difference in the world, make the world a better place, make a life for your family, whatever it is, there has to be a why that keeps you going, don’t you think?

Jude:

Yes, but my why at the point that I’d started the manufacturing plant was not a cleansed and corporate or perfect plan. There are so many theories that you can easily become buried. One thing I absolutely love is working hard. It is just in my nature, and I really understand not everybody is like that. I happen to really love working.

John:

I have a hunch that part of that might be from Alaska, because you need to work hard to survive there and thrive. It’s not a place that probably rewards lackadaisical behavior.

Jude:

There’s really no resting, but there’s a result from your hard work.

John:

Yes, and that feels great. That’s your why. Yeah, I totally get it. This is really interesting. Take us up to what you’re doing now with Master Your Business Story, and how do people work with you. Do you have a case study you could share with us?

Jude:

I do. Let me think. The reason that I’m really focusing on this story and what has occurred, when I had my manufacturing plant, what I really needed was for my presses to run. I wanted my presses to run because I wanted to keep my employees. I didn’t want to lay anybody off. I felt that that was something that I was aligned with my clients, my customers, about. If I could help them grow their business, then they would need to order more parts… said, “I want my presses to run. What are you doing in your sales, because I would like to run more of your parts?” I was able to develop something intuitively in understanding how to provide the value but also knowing that I was creating a value, that it was a pass-through. It wasn’t me. It’s pass-through.

John:

Mm-hmm… I like what you’re saying here, Jude. It’s really the big picture. It’s not, “Buy my plastic because I need sales.” It was literally zooming out and seeing the big picture of, “If I make you successful, then you’ll need more of my products, and I’ll be successful,” but you’re seeing it through the lens of the customer. Investors tell me all the time that the people they like to fund are the ones that have empathy for their customers. You are certainly showing us a great example of that.

Jude:

I also really wanted my employees to be employed and to have a life that was satisfying. The where I was is I was really just part of that chain. When I say look up the chain, I’ve been very committed to how I hold my particular link, so that a process can occur and I don’t let either side of the chain down.

John:

Oh, I love that, because a lot of startups, part of their goal and their job is to get the best talent to join their team. If you get someone who has got multiple offers to join your team and believe in your vision, you can’t let them down, just like you can’t let your customers down. That’s such a great image of the chain, and where are you in the chain, and where’s your link, and don’t let that chain drop. I love it. So great.

Jude:

Don’t try to be bigger than a chain. That is all you are.

John:

Yes. Right.

Jude:

Do it. You’re not better. I went to a parent-teacher or an event for my daughter. She’s 15. The teacher was telling the parents … She’s in an AP world history class. The teacher was trying to explain to the parents how amazing all the children are simply for being in that class, that they’re so special. I thought, “These kids aren’t special because they’re taking an AP class. They’re not. They’re going to fail. They’re going to be okay. This is called character.” Build it.

John:

Yes, just because you go to Harvard or Stanford or wherever you go to school, doesn’t guarantee success, right? Yeah.

Jude:

It doesn’t guarantee a human, and we have far too many people who really believe that they’re so very special. They’re just not. My children aren’t special to anybody but me.

John:

That’s great. Then they’re going to be prepared to go out in the world and handle rejection and not take it personally, right?

Jude:

Right.

John:

Exactly.

Jude:

When it comes to a story, the part that feels the most honest, when somebody really understands the story of what they’re doing, it’s because they practiced, because their back is against the wall. When it comes to their pitch, their pitch deck, the portion that you provide, they are going to be funded because it’s more than data. It’s more than possibility. They’ve actually been working with their product. Their patent aside, their first run, their second run, whatever they’ve got as far as their amazing back pocket thing that they think really is going to protect them, is not what’s going to feed their families dinner until they get funded. When they have a story, they’ve been able to go talk to enough people that need to have relief before they receive the widget. Show them how they can receive relief.

One of the products that an inventor came to me, she had an idea for wrapping up Christmas light bulbs. She thought, “It’s going to be so cool. I was trying to wrap up my Christmas light bulbs and things were everywhere. The next year was a mess,” and blah blah blah. When she wanted to create her mold so that she could have this run, she’d spent so much money and so many years getting this patent and doing all of this stuff that was not delivering an easier experience for anybody with Christmas lights. She needed money. She wanted funding so that she could have somebody who would fund this idea, and it’s truly not that interesting. She didn’t have a story. Her story is about organizing. Her market, she can just say, “Who has issues with lights?” Friends, neighbors, whomever she’s talking to, if she can start giving away that, let me help you with your organization, look what I found, this is what I’m trying. Before she goes and makes the thing, she can just give a little tip. She has an opportunity to talk to 100 people.

John:

Mm-hmm… Fantastic. That’s such a great example of make sure that the market needs it. As it relates to helping somebody with 1 specific holiday, obviously investors are going to go, “Well, there’s a limited need for that,” but once you broaden it out to, “I help people get organized,” that’s a yearlong need and that crosses many topics. That’s great. Thank you, Jude, for that. Jude, before I let you go, I just want to ask you, is there a book that you recommend founders to read, either to get inspiration in their personal life about not giving up or something that you think is really great business-wise?

Jude:

The best book for anybody who’s going into business is a book about emotions. Get a synonyms finder. I refer to my synonyms finder all the time. Do something that takes you away from feeling like you’re doing it wrong. Instead, learn how to communicate how you truly could serve someone else.

John:

Nice.

Jude:

Just stay focused on, how can I make someone else’s life better, not how I can do it more right than somebody else says. Our economy shows us that all of the theories are not all that helpful. Entrepreneurs are failing at 90% at this point.

John:

A lot of it has to do with self-focus instead of serving focus, is what you’re saying.

Jude:

Yes. It’s fear. It’s very fear-based. There’s enormous stress, and we definitely need our entrepreneurs to be more successful.

John:

Yes. Yes. You mentioned something earlier about dealing with fear and coming up with an idea. I think you used the word contagious. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Jude:

Yes. When I speak with someone who’s frustrated or they’re trying to get their message out, and they talk to me and they say, “I just need to figure out how to get this marketed or manufactured,” or, “I just need to do this,” I like to tease out their idea, because when I can tease out, when I can really hear what they’re saying, and then respond back to them in 2 or 3 little nuggets that they say, “Oh my gosh, that is what I’m doing,” they catch their own virus, so to speak. They reinfect themselves with their mission. They change the way they see things.

When I’m working with someone, it’s not my saying, “You have to do these points, and you have to follow these things.” My job is to tease out what they’re really doing, and allow them to truly see it, and then run. My entire goal is to create more successful entrepreneurship and allow them to feed their families and to really check out their market, so that they can be funded more quickly. I want them to create the jobs that they’re meant to create.

John:

I love it. You and I are certainly on the same page and the same passion and the same mission to help entrepreneurs become more successful and make the world a better place for that. I can’t thank you enough. Jude, how can people follow you on social media and get in touch with you?

Jude:

You can go to my LinkedIn page, Jude Robinson. I’m relaunching my entire online platform at this point, so I would say just hit me on LinkedIn.

John:

Hit you on LinkedIn it is. Thanks again, Jude. You’ve been a great guest with wonderful tips and inspiration. We’re going to always remember all about a good idea never happens with an agenda. Thanks again.

Jude:

Thanks John.

John:

Thanks for listening for listening to The Successful Pitch podcast. If you like the show, please go to iTunes and write a review, and encourage your friends to write reviews too. It really helps get the word out. People say that the longest distance is between someone’s mouth and their wallet. People can tell you they’re going to invest, but when it comes time to write the check, they don’t do it. How do you get people to say yes and then follow through? Visualize yourself on the left side of a river bank, and you have to cross the river. On the other side of the river is where the funding happens.

First, you make up your idea. Then you make it real. Then you make it reoccur. Once you start dipping your toe into the water to get to funding, that’s where I can help. I get you across that river faster than you would on your own with a lot less frustration than you will get when you hear a bunch of nos and you don’t know why. If you want some help getting funded faster with less frustration, go to my free funding webinar, sellingsecretsforfunding.com/webinar. Sign up and get in-depth information on how you can get funded fast. Thanks.

TSP BONUS | TIM SANDERS – Transcription
TSP046 | Katherine Hill Ritchie – Transcription