Lollaland Blog tagged "ABC" - lollaland

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Lessons from our "Shark," Mark Cuban

Posted on October 09, 2015 by Hanna Lim

Classic. I fly from Southern California to Dallas, Texas for 24 hours to see Mark Cuban deliver a keynote address at a “Women in Toy” event on Monday 10/5, and I have NO memory left on my phone – couldn’t even snap one photo. I had to ask a colleague to take a photo of Mark and me and text it to me, and while Mark was saying some amazing things, I literally couldn’t record any of it. SO frustrating to say the least, but I took copious notes, and I’m making it up to myself by sharing it with you.

As many of you know, Mark Cuban, is truly a self-made billionaire. He has incredible business acumen and an indescribable tenacity that is simply inspiring to entrepreneurs like me and my husband, Mark. I am still a bit star-struck by Mark Cuban, even though he owns part of Lollaland. Mark [Cuban] has always been passionate about playing [and watching] basketball. He never made it to the NBA, but guess what? He bought an NBA team instead (Go Mavs! #MFFL). I can’t help but think of this as the ultimate example of persistence and thinking outside the box.

For those of you who couldn’t be at the event, here are the main takeaways, from Mark Cuban’s keynote address – read them slowly and carefully.

  1. Sell, sell, sell, and then go sell some more, and when you’re done, go sell some more. Without sales, you do not have a business.
  2. Be curious, consume all the information you can, and don’t stop learning.
  3. Use your core competency, and delegate the rest. Mark has created a team of talented folks who support Shark Tank entrepreneurs with jobs like accounting, graphic design, and web design so that the entrepreneurs can do more of what they do best.
  4. Do the work! You can only imagine how many questions Mark gets asked. It drives Mark crazy when people ask him questions that frankly could’ve been answered with a little time and effort spent searching the internet.
  5. Be self-aware. Some businesses are completely broken, but the entrepreneur doesn’t even know or recognize it. Take a good look at yourself and your business and be able to recognize the truth.
  6. Don’t pivot. An entrepreneur in the audience asked the question, “I have a product that’s not exactly a homerun, at what point should I pivot and change directions?” Mark pointed out that if you’re having to pivot, you don’t believe in your product anymore.
  7. Be nice. People often mistake tenacity for being mean/aggressive, but sometimes a little kindness can create some surprising new opportunities.

Mark Cuban closed the keynote address with this, and I will end with it as well: “The American Dream is alive and well.” Take these tips and may it help your business, and personal life, prosper. 

 

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A Look Back at Shark Tank

Posted on February 07, 2013 by Hanna Lim

Lollacup in line at the Shark Tank Season 3 Open Casting Call

Lollacup in line at the Shark Tank Season 3 Open Casting Call

Our episode of Shark Tank is re-airing tonight on ABC at 8 p.m., so I thought I would take a stroll down memory lane.

Although our actual segment on Shark Tank only lasted 10+ minutes, we stood negotiating in front of the sharks for well over an hour.  It was an incredibly stressful yet exhilarating experience.  How often does one have an idea, turn it into a product, and then pitch the business to moguls like the "sharks"!

Things I never want to forget:

  • Getting called back after each round of casting
  • Landing, not one, but TWO sharks as investors/business partners
  • The fun viewing party we had with close friends and family at our old high school, where Mark and I met
  • Running [and growing] this business, hand-in-hand, with my husband
  • Opening my email inbox after our Shark Tank segment aired and seeing 3000+ emails.
  • Receiving our first email from Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec
  • All the amazing people we've met as a result of this business and being on the show
  • All the friends, family, colleagues, and strangers who've helped us get to this point

Things I'd like to forget:

  • Mark spilling a bottle of water down his shirt moments before our taping
  • The eternal wait in between each round of casting
  • Wondering if we would ever get the chance to pitch in front of the sharks
  • Going on backorder for months soon after our segment aired = a lot of lost revenue for a small business like ours
  • The incredible stresses [& sleepless nights] of owning and running a small business

 

Overall, our experience on Shark Tank has been like the gift that keeps on giving.  Now that it's been about a year since we first appeared on Shark Tank, people often ask us, "Was it worth it?" and "Would you do it again?"  Absolutely!  One thing I learned about entrepreneurship is that you have to seize every opportunity, and not take luck and timing for granted.

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What it's Like to Be on Shark Tank

Posted on April 28, 2012 by Hanna Lim

It's been 24 hours since our [Lollacup] pitch aired on Shark Tank last night, and my heart and mind have not stopped racing.  So much to do and share.  How we went from a simple idea for a new straw sippy cup to landing Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec as business partners is baffling.

I guess I'll begin by sharing how Mark and I tuned in last night.  The most responsible thing to do would have been to watch the Shark Tank episode at home, with phone in-hand and computers fired up to attend to any issues that may arise.  BUT we thought about all the people who were in involved in bringing this straw-sippy-cup-project to fruition, and we just had to get everyone together and relish in the moment.  How often does one have an idea, take it to market, get on national TV, and land a business deal with Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec?  You only live once, so we just had to go the viewing-party-route.  I promise we will respond to your voicemails and emails soon.

Between family, the friends we see regularly, and people who've directly worked on lollacup, we had about 75 people we needed to host.  Our home/office was not an option with those numbers, so Mark and I had to get creative in thinking about how to plan a Shark Tank Viewing Party on a budget.  Mark suggested watching it at our old high school, where we met and started dating.  I thought it was a long-shot, but we asked the administration, and the school was gracious enough to let us use the lunch area for dinner and drinks and the auditorium to watch the show.  It was so nostalgic and special to be on campus for this event.  Some of our teachers even joined us!

Thank you Phil Webb and Fleetwood-Fibre for the "card." We have the BEST vendors.

Guests began to trickle in around 7 pm, and they all tried their best to stay off of social media so as not to know the outcome.  We were last into the "tank," so by 8:40 p.m. everyone was pumped for our appearance - our bellies were full and we had all had a few glasses of wine.

Finally, around 7:45 p.m. the commercial break ended and our friends were cheering [loudly] as we were introduced as "next into the Shark Tank."  I don't know about you, but every time I hear my own voice on a recording, I cringe.  Can you imagine how I felt watching my every mannerism on national TV?

During the taping, Mark and I stood in front of those sharks for well over an hour, and what you saw on Friday was edited down to less than 15 minutes.  I must say that the show did a great job with the editing . . . everything you saw was a concise representation of how we remember it all going down.  Aside from childbirth, it was the most intense and stressful hour+ of my life.  I am so proud we survived and so happy Mark and I did it together.

So to tell you "what it's like to be on Shark Tank" - SIMPLY AMAZING!  For the most part, we have had people go out of their way to send kind words and well-wishes our way via Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs, and even phone calls.  This whole experience is such a huge motivator.  We know how expensive parenting is: the cost of diapers alone is astounding.  Thank you all for supporting Lollacup as we grow.

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the sharks:

Robert HerjavecRobert Herjavec ‏ @robertherjavec #sharktank - i LOVE this guy - " I only want to play with winners " - LOVE IT

#sharktank - wow - it took these two amazing pitchers to get me to work with @mcuban

Mark CubanMark Cuban ‏ @mcuban I really liked them. I'm not usually that nice to robert. I felt bad for him ;-).

Daymond JohnDaymond John ‏ @TheSharkDaymond such cute kids!!! #sharktank
will robert and Mark finally work together!! #sharktank

Lori GreinerLori Greiner ‏ @LoriGreiner Love these two!! Their passion in #SharkTank is undeniable.