Jeff Steinmann: Welcome to the How to Quit Working show.
Today, I have Christina Daves as my guest. She is such an awesome entrepreneur. She’s been at it since after college. She never even started working, good for her. And she jumped into it in a really, really big way.
She started a couple of companies but ended up founding a company that makes fashionable accessories for those ugly, ugly medical boots, is very successful with that. And got that featured in over 50 major media outlets including the Steve Harvey show, Parenting magazine, Dr. Oz, the Washington Post, the list goes on and on and on.
Christina’s going to tell us exactly how she did that. And she’s going to tell you how you can do that for your business as well. Christina, thank you so much for being here, and welcome to the show.
Christina Daves: Hi, Jeff. Thanks for having me.
Jeff: You’ve got a really cool story. So, I’ve been talking to a couple of entrepreneurs lately on the show who actually didn’t quit working but really never started working. We were talking before the show, you said you’ve always been an entrepreneur. So, tell us, how did your life unfold like that?
Christina: Well, it’s interesting. They say everybody has a story. I actually had a completely different plan in my life. I went to college. I was a double major in Political Science and German. I was going to do International Business, International Law. I had a job set up in Germany. I was ready to go.
And my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. And it went very quickly. And when you’re right out of college and you have a major life event like that, it pretty much throws you for a loop. So, I derailed my plans to go overseas because my sister was younger than I was, and I was trying to keep her in college.
So, I just bounced around odd jobs, and then some friends said, “Hey, we’re going to start an event planning company.” It was two guys, and they’re like, “We need the woman’s perspective, why don’t you do it with us?” I was like, “Sure. I’m 20 something. I’ll party for a living.” So literally, through my 20’s, we did this huge events in D.C., 10,000 people, 8 to 10 bands. Our claim to fame is we signed the then unknown band Dave Matthews.
Jeff: Oh, wow.
Christina: Yeah. So, that’s really how it started. And then, I realized I couldn’t do that forever. So, I went to work. This is my job. My only job that I had. I went to work for one of my partner’s dads who is a big land development person, eminent domain. He basically taught me the business. And then, he retired. And I didn’t like the person who took over. So, this is when I quit my job and started my own thing. But I quit and I started doing feasibility studies for data centers. I’m in the D.C. area and AOL is here.
Jeff: Oh, that sounds so exciting.
Christina: Yeah. It was a job, and I was good at what I did. But you’re right, it was not fun. So then, my next door neighbor, we lived out in an area that was up and coming, lots of houses, no business. And she’s like, “Let’s open a store.” I was like, “Ooh, that sounds a lot more fun than land development.” So literally, with no background in retail, we opened a store. I was there for almost 10 years. The store is still there today.
Jeff: What kind of store was it?
Christina: We took a historic house, and we renovated it, and we convinced big lines like Vera Bradley and Brighton. This is where my land development work came in. Everybody said no when we asked these big companies to let us sell their products. Well, I did a demographic study for them to show them, “Hey, you really should let us sell it because look at all the people out here, and look at all the money out here.” And they did.
So, the store is still there. My best friend still owns it. But I “retired” to be with my kids who play travel sports and it was just retail, brick and mortar retail is 24/7. It really is. And then, I broke my foot, and ended up with in the boot and that’s how the whole latest businesses have started.
Jeff: Okay. Well, now how long ago was it that you broke your foot?
Jeff: Okay. So, we’re up to pretty recent times now.
Christina: Very recent now, yeah.
Jeff: So, you broke your foot. You’re walking around this boot, and what kind of crazy thought went through your head?
Christina: Well, I went to the doctor and he handed me the boot. And I said, “I’m not wearing that. I’m going to New York tomorrow.” And he said to me, “Well, I hope you packed all black.” I can’t go to the fashion capital of the world in this thing. So, you would think certainly, somebody in Manhattan would have something to decorate this god-awful boot.
Christina: So, I’m on the train looking where I’m going to go my first stop when I get to New York, and there was nothing. And the light bulb went off. I still remember looking at my husband, and he thought, “Oh, here we go again.” And then I met people in New York in boots. And I asked them, “What if you could have made that look fashionable?” And everybody said yes.
Christina: So then I started. Anybody starting any business, you’ve got to research and make sure you’ve got a feasible idea. Something that will work. So, I helped focus groups and I did a lot of research and found out that this was definitely a needed market. A product that needed to be made. There was just a lot of demand for it.
Jeff: Okay. Well, how did you do that research other than asking people on the street in New York City, which is an awesome way? But is there anything else?
Christina: Well, I invited everybody I knew in Facebook, everything to a focus group that I had at my house. While I was in New York, I bought flowers. I did some different things, just brainstormed some ideas. And they had an anonymous survey they filled out so nobody – anyone don’t want to feel uncomfortable, and just want to like, “Do you like this?” And I had 55 people who came, which is pretty good.
Jeff: That’s pretty good, yeah.
Christina: And then, I started calling associations. I called insurance companies, trying to find around number of how many boots were sold. And that was hard. Because nobody wants to give out that kind of information.
Jeff: Yeah. That’s interesting. So you said, first of all, nobody who doesn’t have a boot is going to buy this product, right? So the first thing you did is you said, “I’m going to figure out how many people have these boots so I can find out the maximum number of people that could possibly buy this product.” And certainly, they will all. But at least I can get my arms around that general number.
Christina: That’s exactly what I did.
Christina: And I couldn’t find – I now know a real number because I’m now working with one of the biggest orthopedic bracing companies in the world.
Jeff: Oh, cool.
Christina: But the number that I have come up with – because Medicare numbers, I was able to get those and that’s 10% of all the people and then I contacted a couple of doctors that I knew or friends of friends who were willing to tell me how many boots they prescribed every year, and then, how many doctors there were. So, I multiplied that out. So, in my business plan, I estimated – I think I had about 2 million in my estimate and the actual number is right below 4 million.
Jeff: Oh, wow. Okay.
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Christina: So, it’s doubled. So then you calculate out if you can hit 10% of that market, and they each spend $20, $25, you got a pretty good business there.
Jeff: Yeah. Well, yeah. So, you knew that there was 4 million potential customers for you.
Christina: Right. Well, 2 million when I did the business.
Jeff: 2 million issued, okay.
Christina: Yeah, which is a pretty good number.
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. All right. So you understood your market and you knew at this point that this was something that people were interested in. What was next?
Christina: You have to do a business plan. And I hate doing a business plan. It’s off. But nobody’s going to talk to you about money if you don’t have a business plan. So, if you’re looking to get funding, you have to do it. And I think even if you do a basic one just to force you to do the research, I recommend doing it.
Christina: And it is like pulling teeth. I’m not going to tell you it’s fun. It’s not. But it makes you identify your market, how you’re going to market your product, who you’re going to market it to, what it’s going to cost, what production costs, or that kind of stuff.
Jeff: Yeah. Well, whether you’re seeking external funding or not, it’s going to make you think about some really important things.
Jeff: Yeah. So do you have a template that you use? Or is there maybe one from the SBA or something that you’d recommend?
Christina: Score.org and I’m sure you’ve talked about that with people before. Anybody who’s starting out or looking to at that, it’s fabulous. It’s a non-profit, it’s free, they help you with your business plan, they help you with your financials, everything. It’s awesome.
Jeff: Awesome. Well, we’ll put a link to that below the show. Score.org. Cool. Well, what happened next?
Christina: Oh. What happened next. So, business plan. So, I went to get funding and this was 2010 when everything was tight, tight, tight and I actually got an SBA loan, which I turned down. So what they wanted me to secure that loan with, I could do myself.
Christina: So, we could take out an equity loan, we had great credit, we could do zero percent credit cards. And I’m not advising that for somebody else but if that works for you, it worked for us. So then, we took care of that, got the funding. Then, I had to have the product manufactured.
Jeff: That sounds overwhelming, having something manufactured.
Christina: That was the worst part. The absolute worst part of what I did. So, I designed prototypes, I hired somebody. Be very careful who you hire when you’re starting out. You know, I got taken for a lot of money. When that person told me they couldn’t find any so far in China, I knew I was in trouble. Yeah.
So, I ended up, I went to New York to a textile show and I literally went booth to booth, and said, “You make this? Can you make this? Can you make this?” And serendipitously, there was a group out of Philadelphia, who’s a manufacturer’s rep so they work with factories overseas. And literally, they signed a non-disclosure right there at the show in New York and we talked for an hour. And I went to Philadelphia the next week.
Jeff: Oh, that’s awesome. You had already had a prototype made at this point?
Christina: Yes. I just had a seamstress in my neighborhood who made the prototypes. And then, we perfected them and then we actually had samples made from the factory.
Jeff: Okay. So this is like a fabric sleeve that fits over the boot, is that right?
Christina: Right. It’s a half sock.
Jeff: Okay. Cool. So, you found a manufacturer. That’s awesome.
Christina: Yup. And then you send them a whole lot of money and you wait.
Jeff: Okay. So they also have your prototype. At this point, it seems like if I were in the situation, I’d be like, “Okay. I sent them all this money. I’m waiting. You got a lot on the line. And I don’t really know if they’re going to get it right.
Christina: Right. I did have some product that came in wrong. So after 90 days, it arrives at my fulfillment center. I go, I’m so excited and my products have stretched like spandex-y, and I was very descriptive on how they had to cut the fabric and the stretch, which direction had to go, and the stretch went the wrong way.
Christina: On some of them. Yup. I was fortunate that they fixed a good chunk of them. I was able to resize the ones that didn’t stretch and called them a medium instead of a medium-large and then they replaced a lot of the medium larges.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Christina: But you have to be prepared for that. For puffs that are on Velcro strips, and they glued them on the wrong side.
Christina: Yup. But the people – my group in Philadelphia fixed that. They literally took off per puffs off and re-glued them on 2,000 sets.
Jeff: Oh, wow.
Jeff: 2,000 sets, so that’s 4,000 individual?
Christina: So, yeah. I mean, things will go wrong in manufacturing. You got to be prepared for that. I would say, as an entrepreneur, you’re like a pinball. You have a plan – I have a business plan but we’ve gone all over the place since then. You plan how your products are going to be, things will change, you have to be adaptable.
Jeff: Yeah. Well, what are some of the changes and adaptations that you’ve made?
Christina: Well, my original designs from the prototype – the way the product ended up are different. We tried to make – a lot of the products have been after-injury use, so all of our flowers have alligator clip and a pin back.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Christina: And we’ve a video on our website, 20 uses of the Strap-It-Flower not on the medical boot.
Jeff: Ok, cool.
Christina: All the kids’ buttons have a pin back so they can wear them on their back packs like a badge of honor when they’re done. So, yeah you just really have to be – I think some people get so set in their ways that, no it’s, my way is the best. And I love to get ideas from people.
Jeff: Mm-hmm. Sure.
Christina: I do a lot of work with high school students and college programs. I love to get fresh ideas. I mean, young kids today are just so smart and so creative.
Jeff: Definitely. Do you help them with entrepreneurial ideas?
Christina: I do. I’ve gotten, I’ve spoken a lot at the middle school level. And then, I’ve submitted my company for a lot of graduate programs. If they pick my company, they can do like, I had a whole PR campaign done. I’m now part of the Capstone Program at American University where I’ve got three students who are basically doing a full business strategy of my business for their grade.
Jeff: Oh, wow. That’s awesome.
Christina: It’s awesome. I’m so excited. So I go next week for the first presentation and then in December for the final.
Jeff: That is amazing. Well, how did these young people respond when you start talking to them about entrepreneurship?
Christina: I’m telling you, these kids have the greatest ideas. And I tell them, go for it. There was a 7th grade girl – you know, these kids play sports. So, her product idea was to take a soccer ball and put a counter in it. Because you know kids, they have to bounce it off their knee so many times. Isn’t that brilliant?
Jeff: Yeah, sure.
Christina: Well, so I took it. I’m like, just keep coming up with these stuff and you might really have a product. Like, just so many people come up with something and then don’t follow through.
Christina: So I tried to tell them, be inspired. If you don’t have money, find someone to help you license it or partner with people. Just – I don’t know. I just love entrepreneurship.
Jeff: Yeah. Oh, so you’re saying that if you don’t have money, there’s another way?
Christina: Sure. And I’m not familiar with it, but if you look into licensing, you can sell your idea to a company where you get a royalty. They might pay you 10% of everything that’s ever sold. But there are companies out there that do that.
Jeff: Awesome. When you’re talking to these young people about entrepreneurship, and you’re the one that’s there saying, “Guys, you could do this. Just go for it.” Do you think there’s anybody else that’s giving them that same message?
Christina: Oh, no. I think people are more negative. I think people are, “Oh, you can’t do that. You can’t.” I’ve just always done stuff. I’ve never looked back. I don’t know. If it’s a good idea and other people think it’s a good idea, then there’s got to be more people out there that think it’s a good idea.
Jeff: That’s for sure. Well, speaking of good ideas, how did you get people to understand and to know about this good idea that you had to cover up those ugly boots?
Christina: Well, that’s now spending off my next business.
Jeff: Oh, cool.
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Christina: So, when I launched, “Okay, I’ve got this cool idea.” Well, what I didn’t realize is that it’s not in anybody’s mind to decorate a medical boot because nothing had ever existed before. So you got to tell people, right? So, how do you do that? Well, I didn’t have money left for a publicist, so I went to the library and I went online and I taught myself everything I could about P.R. And in one year, I appeared in over 50 media outlets.
Christina: Yeah, national television, local television, national magazines, everything. So that’s my new business now, P.R. for anyone where I’m helping small business owners and entrepreneurs learn how to do their own publicity successfully. And easily and quickly because nobody has time and nobody has money.
Jeff: Well, that’s awesome. I want to talk some more about that, but before we get into that, you appeared on the Steve Harvey show, correct?
Christina: did, yes.
Jeff: I watched the YouTube video. That looked like a lot of fun.
Christina: It was fun. That was a whirlwind but that was – so there’s a lot of free medias query services out there. My favorite is help a reporter out, which is help. So, they send you three times a day, they send you information from journalists. And one of those queries happen to be, do you have a product you want to take to the next level, national television? So I responded, and I never heard back. That was August of last year.
Christina: And then, in late September, I got an email. And there were probably, I don’t know, 500 people on the email, and as the day went on, it was an email interview and a video and then phone interviews. And they called me at 9 o’clock that night, and I didn’t know what the show was about. Just had something to do with the product based show. So they called me at 9 o’ clock that night and said, “We’d love to have you on the show.” And I said, “Okay, great! When?” They said, “Tomorrow.” “What?”
So, I went out to Chicago and when I got there, they literally kind of stuck their head in the room and said, “You’re going up against 5 other people for a $20,000 prize.”
Christina: So, it was an adventurous competition. So then, you’re in Hair & Make Up trying to do your pitch in your head.
Christina: And yeah, so I was up against 5 other amazing entrepreneurs/inventors, but I won the contest. So there were judges, branding judges, and someone from InventHelp was there. And yeah, they picked the medical boot accessories.
Jeff: Well, that is awesome. Congratulations on that. I’m sure those are a lot of fun, and a lot of great exposure for you.
Jeff: So, tell us what else could you learn about doing P.R. throughout this whole process?
Christina: So, the free sites are invaluable. And I just tell people, it’s worth 10 minutes a day. I’ve gotten on Dr. Oz from that. I’ve gotten in Parenting magazine from that. I’ll be in All You magazine in the fall, there’s an article coming in real simple.
Christina: Yeah. So people who think, “Oh, I’ll never get on this.” You will get on it. If you’re diligent with it, you will.
Jeff: Okay. When I open up that help-a-reporter-out email three times a day, I’m competing against a lot of people, right?
Jeff: So, how do I make my response the one that gets their attention?
Christina: Short and sweet. And I learned that, actually, I used to send these big, long emails, and never heard, never heard. So, one day I was rushing out the door but a good one came in and I literally did a two-sentence response, and I heard right back from the reporter.
Jeff: Oh, wow.
Christina: So, I thought, “Oh. Okay, let me try this again.” So I kept doing that, and that’s why I’ve been so successful.
Christina: Yup. Teasing with two or three sentences, and if they see a fit, then they’re going to send you their list of questions anyway.
Christina: So you don’t need to give them everything in your initial email. Tell them why you can help them and who you are, and that’s all you need to do.
Jeff: Okay. Well, cool. What other lessons have you learned about P.R.?
Christina: Ooh, gosh. As I’m writing my book on it, too, branding is very important. You’ve got to have a website. If you’re reaching out to the media, and you’re saying, “Hey, I am the relationship expert,” and they don’t have a website they can go to, to see who you are and what you’re about, they’re never going to call you. And certainly not on a national level.
Your local people might, or you know somebody, or they recommended you but you really have to – you want everything to be consistent. Website. Your Facebook page. Your Twitter account. You want all the cover pages. You want everything. You want to look the same and consistent on everything.
Jeff: Okay. So they know exactly what they’re getting.
Jeff: Okay. Any– go ahead.
Christina: If you have media, when you start to get exposure, put it on your website.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Christina: Let them know you’ve been on TV, you’ve been in the newspaper, you’ve been in this magazine.
Jeff: Because that’s really important. I understand for them to know that you’re not going to sound like a fool when you come on their show.
Jeff: And when you give them examples.
Jeff: Cool. Any other real important lessons you learned about P.R. that you like to share?
Christina: Be prepared, especially for a television program. Know your stuff. Be the expert you’re telling them you are. Make sure you know how to speak in sound bites to get your point across quickly. If you’re in television, you’re anywhere from two to four minutes. So you can’t ramble and ramble and talk and talk and talk, you want to boom, boom, boom. Let them ask a question, boom, boom, boom. Just always be really prepared with your answers.
Jeff: Okay. Awesome. Awesome advice. Now, you’re working on a book on how to get P.R. for your business.
Christina: I am. Yes. I was just signed by a publisher this week so I’m very excited.
Jeff: Oh, that’s awesome.
Christina: Yup. So it’ll be in bookstores next year. Same title, P.R. For Anyone.
Jeff: Okay. P.R. For Anyone.
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Christina: Yup. And anyone can go to the website. We’ve a landing page now. The full site will be up in a couple of weeks but I was very fortunate. I started something called Experts Corner, where I reached to experts in the industry, and I ask them if I could interview them on specific topics. And when we launched the site, we have 22 interviews. I interviewed television producers, magazine editors, news reporters, someone from the Washington Post. There’s pretty impressive people there telling you or explaining what they want from their end.
Jeff: Oh, that’s awesome. That’s very good stuff. And where can we get that?
Christina: That’s prforanyone.com.
Jeff: Prforanyone.com. And we’ll put a link to that below the show.
Christina: Okay, great.
Jeff: That’s really exciting. Tell us about some of the other lessons that you’ve learned, not necessarily about P.R. but just about entrepreneurship in general on this long journey that you’ve had.
Christina: Yeah, you have to stay passionate. I tell people that all the time. You started what you started for a reason because you were passionate. And it’s hard but you started for a reason. So, remember that. When you get down, or I don’t know, that gets me through a lot. And you have to have perseverance with anything. I mean, I told you, it took me five months to manufacture. I responded to this Steve Harvey query I didn’t hear for months. I mean, you just have to – you can’t give up on the first no. And is it really a no or is it a not now?
Jeff: Yeah. How do you stay passionate? When you’re getting all those no’s, it just doesn’t feel like things are going right, how do you stay passionate? What do you do? What do you say to yourself to stay there?
Christina: For my business, for a Castmedic designs for the boot company, I’ll go back and read emails from my customers. Just think that you know, I’ve changed their lives. I’ve made 8 weeks, 12 weeks of their life better than it could have been. And I’ve got just some amazing things that people have written to me, and that will keep me going. I’ve helped somebody. I’ve made a difference. There’s a reason for this.
Jeff: So remembering the value that you’re providing to your customers.
Christina: Yeah, exactly. You said that so much more eloquently than I did.
Jeff: That’s a great sound bite.
Christina: It is a great sound bite.
Jeff: Yeah, and that’s a consistent theme that I’ve heard from many of my guests. And one of the things I try really hard to do is to pull out what are those things that everybody says? Because if everybody says them, there must be some real good stuff in there. So, what’s the biggest mistake that you’ve made on this journey?
Christina: I manufactured too many styles.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Christina: I wish that the person I hired for all that money who was my retail expert had said “No, Christina, you don’t do this.” So I have 56 different styles.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Christina: Now, my logic was while I’m manufacturing in China, I have to do huge quantities anyway, let me knock out winter, summer so I have fur, I have bright colors, I have flowers, I have the kids’ stuff. But what I should have done is picked 5. Because nobody would have known the difference anyway. Product didn’t exist.
Jeff: Sure. And I understand that the more choices a customer has to make, the less will in there to buy. I believe there’s some science behind that, I can’t quote it. But I believe I heard that.
Christina: That’s not good.
Jeff: Yeah. Because we don’t like to make decisions. And I always think about that when I go into the grocery store and look at the toothpaste aisle, I’m blown away by the 75 different choices I have just to brush my teeth.
Christina: And one thing I did do on the website which might be helpful on that regard is I put the product together. So I did variations. So you can go on, and you can just pick a whole design where you have a sock and a flower all put together for you and just buy it that way. You don’t have to think about, “Oh, how would that look with that?” So, hopefully, that helps a little bit.
Jeff: Yeah, definitely. Well, tell us Christina about your life. What is your life like on a day to day basis? I know there’s no typical day for an entrepreneur. But tell us what’s your life like?
Christina: Well, right now, because I just launched that company so I’m running two companies. Not a lot of sleep. But it’s exciting. I get up early, I’ve got teenagers, so I get up early, I do my emails, I get them at the door. And some days, I’m still in my pajamas at 1 o’ clock because I work from home. But P.R. is something I work on everyday for my business. For the other business, wrapping up the book and trying to get that website launched. And yeah, just plugging away at all kinds of different, different angles. I’m always looking for B2B sales for Castmedic. So I spend time on that everyday.
Jeff: Cool. Well, do you ever feel like you’re working?
Christina: Oh, you mean– no, I love what I do.
Jeff: That’s why we call it the How to Quit Working show.
Christina: I do. I mean, literally, some days, I’ll be at my computer for 15 hours and it doesn’t matter.
Christina: I love it.
Jeff: You said you have teenagers. How do you think their life is going to be different than it would be if you just worked the 9 to 5 jobs?
Christina: You know it’s really funny because when I had the store, I used to take my daughter with me a lot. When she was little, she loved to work the cash register. So when I left the store, I did it for them. And I thought they would be so happy. My daughter cried for 5 days.
Jeff: Oh, my goodness.
Christina: I’m not kidding. And my son said, “What am I going to tell people you do now?” Because we’re kind of in a sort of a small town, we’re in the suburbs of D.C. But everybody knew us. We’re the only game in town. We were for years. But it was really interesting how much what I did impacted their lives.
Jeff: In a positive way.
Christina: But now, it’s funny. So, now I’m on TV and stuff a lot, and they couldn’t care less. Their friends are – “We heard you were in Dr. Oz, can we watch it?” I’m like, “Sure.” And my son came in the other day, and I had my book cover up. I’m like, “Oh, come look at this.” And he goes, “You wrote a book?” So I think it’s normal.
Jeff: Well now, that’s cool.
Christina: I’ve tried to teach them you can do anything you put your mind to. So I guess they’re going to go out into the world thinking they can do anything.
Jeff: Okay. Are they going to go to college?
Christina: Why, I hope so. That is the plan. That’s very difficult these days to get into college, but that’s the plan.
Jeff: What did you learn in college that was beneficial to you as an entrepreneur?
Christina: Not a lot. I mean seriously, I didn’t take business courses because I was on a whole different path.
Jeff: That’s right.
Christina: But I talked about that in my P.R. stuff. I never took a P.R. course. I never took a communications course. But had I gone that direction, I was well trained. I was very well trained to go to Germany. I was fluent at that time in a second language. Very familiar with how business ran over there. But in terms of entrepreneurship, I wish –in retrospect, I wish I had taken more business courses.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Christina: Everybody needs basics in accounting.
Jeff: You know, and that’s the first thing that everybody should outsource but it’s one of those things you got to know enough about it to properly outsource it, right?
Christina: Right. And I’m very careful. I just started outsourcing, and I only outsource entering my sales, and then balancing the books at the end of the month. But you really need to know what’s going on with your business, numbers-wise.
Jeff: That’s awesome. So, well Christina, what’s the biggest piece of advice that you would want to leave our listeners with? And remember, we all think that you are incredibly cool, and we all want to be just like you.
Christina: Let’s see. Surround yourself with excellence. Surround yourself with people smarter than you. I have amazing business mentors. I actually had breakfast with one of them yesterday and he blew me away. And they know people who can help you. I’m getting some testimonials for my book but I mean, it will be a best seller probably just because of that. And that’s somebody my mentor knew – I didn’t even ask. He offered. But yeah, I mean, people became successful for a reason. And I help people all the time just starting out. So just find somebody who’s further along than you are, and I think everybody’s – I don’t know, has an intrinsic value and wants to help people.
Jeff: Yeah, definitely. So your biggest piece of advice is find some amazing people who are smarter than you and be around them. How do you find those people?
Christina: Oh. Gosh, I don’t know. I just – I connect with everybody. If I meet somebody at an event or I’ll go connect with them on LinkedIn. If I have a question and they could be that person, I’ll connect with them. And that usually is how you build a relationship.
I have another very successful mentor who’s in New York. And I met him at an event. I had a question several months later. We connected on LinkedIn. I said, “I don’t know if you remember me, do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?” And now, everytime I go to New York, we go to dinner, we talk, so it’s just like that.
Jeff: Yeah, awesome. So, just being out there and just reaching out and connecting to as many people as you can. And certainly some of those are going to be awesome people.
Christina: Yup. Networking events, whatever it is you want to do, if you’re a financial planner or whatever, just being around those kinds of people.
Jeff: Awesome. Well, Christine, tell us where can we go to get more information about you or your boots or anything that you want us to get more information about?
Christina: Well, I’ve got three websites. The main one – and you can link to everything off of that one. It’s really easy. It’s just my name, christinadaves.com. And then, healinstyle.com if you are injured or want to get a gift for somebody who’s in a boot for a while. And then, if you’re an entrepreneur starting out and you want to learn how to generate your own publicity, prforanyone.com.
Jeff: All right. Well, we will link those up below. And Christina, I thank you very much for being on the show and sharing all these great information with our listeners. Hugely valuable. We really appreciate it. I wish you the best of luck with everything.
Christina: Thank you so much, Jeff. It was great being here.
Jeff: Wow. What awesome insights Christina had for anybody who wants to start their own business, and start it in a way that doesn’t involve a bunch of risk.
Because that’s what I love about Christina’s story is, she got this idea. But she didn’t just say to herself, “Oh, this is a good idea. I should go off and do this.” And then, spend that much money creating it.
She did a ton of research. And she found people who were wearing these boots, and asked them if that’s something that they’d be interested in. And she did a lot of research to figure out first of all, how many people out there potentially could use my product in here? And she found that 4 million people wore those ugly, ugly medical boots every year. So, 4 million people were her potential customers.
And then, she was able to do some math from that and really figure out what the potential money that she can make with that product is. And I think that’s so, so awesome. And that’s why she was so successful with it.
The other thing that’s so cool is when she finished the expensive process of designing and prototyping and manufacturing these boots, she didn’t have any money left to promote it. So, she figured out how to do P.R. and how to get publicity for free. And she was very successful with that, being featured in over 50 media outlets.
Now, I did check out her website prforanyone.com. And I really don’t think she did it justice when she described it on the show. I mean, she’s got some really, really awesome interviews on that site. And it’s going to be a great resource for anybody who wants to get information about how to get free P.R. for their business. Awesome. I signed up for her list so definitely go to prforanyone, and go, and sign up for the Experts Corner because she’s got lots of great stuff. And then, you’ll get notified when a book comes out, I’m sure if you’re on that site.
Christina also showed us so many of my guests do, that it’s not about not doing anything, it’s about doing something that you enjoy every single day. And that is how you not work.
So join us next time when we talk to another amazing lifestyle entrepreneur. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. So, subscribe at iTunes and if you’re listening on the site, hit subscribe via RSS so that you get notified just as soon as we have new episodes ready for you as we do every single week on Monday. So until next time.
You can get more information about Christina below:
For Experts Corner, which features exclusive interviews with the gatekeepers at major shows and publications, visit prforanyone.com. (The gatekeepers will tell you how to get through the gates!)
For info on her very fashionable medical boots, visit healinstyle.com
Or all about Christina at christinadaves.com