Lollaland Blog tagged "small business" - lollaland

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When worlds [and families] collide - an impulsive rant

Posted on April 10, 2017 by Hanna Lim

Admittedly the past few weeks have been a bit of a rough patch for lolladad and me for various reasons. Today, we managed to record a podcast in the morning, make important decisions for our business, and shortly after get into a fight that ended in one of us storming off upset. The root cause of that fight...family and not seeing eye-to-eye.

I don't know about all of you, but my husband and I are incredibly close to our families, but we may need a break of some sort - for the sake of us. Don't get me wrong, I love our families deeply and I feel incredibly grateful for them, but these days, I feel like our families and the different value systems are actually causing problems in my marriage that otherwise would not have even been an issue. I guess the optimistic side of me could spin all the BS as challenging us to have difficult conversations and getting at the core of who we are, but the pessimistic, selfish side of me thinks if we were simply more distant, we wouldn't be dealing with any of this.

We come from seemingly similar yet fundamentally different families. For ten years, we've been able to skate by and cordially manage all the intensely complicated relationships and ways in which our families influence our everyday, but I am starting to wonder how much our families are affecting our happiness. Help~ how do I carefully extract all the amazing characteristics from each of our families and family members and pass that onto our daughters without imploding first?

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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. 

 

First, congratulations. You’ve taken an idea to market, built distribution, and I’m excited to see how you and NeatCheeks fare in the infamous Shark Tank tonight!

NeatCheeks in the infamous Shark Tank

NeatCheeks in the infamous Shark Tank

I know it’s been a while since we last talked in October, but it’s been exciting to watch your company grow, and now - Shark Tank! I was so humbled when you, fellow mompreneurs, reached out to me for advice, and there was so much to talk about. We have so much in common: we all have three children, we’re working moms, and all small businesses inherently share similar struggles.

Thank you for sending me a few samples of NeatCheeks. I tried them for the first time on my feisty two-year-old this week. She’s two so she eats independently, but it’s never neat. She is the third of three girls, so admittedly, she is a spoiled brat. I simply have not had the energy to set boundaries like I did with my older two. Anyway, she always throws a fit as I wipe her filthy face after meals, and I just power through the process because I know she’ll get over it one day. Before I cleaned her face with NeatCheeks, I showed her the little package (which is the perfect size, by the way), and told her it was a yummy wipe. She was instantly intrigued, and it worked like a charm! I even caught my six-year-old licking a NeatCheek wipe!

I’m really excited to see what the future has in store for NeatCheeks.  Whatever the outcome of your negotiations in the Shark Tank may be, I know this will mean big things for you.  Cheers to years and years of success.

Hanna Lim (Lollaland)

AND, for all you parents or Shark Tank fans out there, Lollaland and NeatCheeks are hosting a GIVEAWAY.  We are giving away a Lollacup + a Lollaland Mealtime Set + NeatCheeks wipes to try in honor of NeatCheeks' appearance on Shark Tank tonight.  To enter the GIVEAWAY, please leave a comment (any comment) on this blog post, and we will randomly select 1 winner on Friday, April 24, 2015.

AND, for all you fellow entrepreneurs out there, we always love to network and learn from others, so please feel free to comment here or reach out to us in Lollaland!

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What It's Like to Work with My Husband

Posted on June 18, 2012 by Hanna Lim

When we buy a home, I hope we find one with a double-sink/vanity.  It's silly, I know, but I just want my own sink space for once!  I'm pretty certain this desire stems from the fact that my husband and I spend every waking moment together.  Deciding to start a small business together was not an easy decision.  Before we made the first move, we had a long talk about how this was going to work and whether it would be wise to become business partners.

Our days are pretty crazy.  We get up early (when the kids get up), I make breakfast and pack school lunches, while Mark gets the kids dressed and ready for school.  We wolf down breakfast and run out the door.  Mark and I take turns dropping the kids off at school, so one of us is able to start the work day by 8 am.  Our office is in our attic, so we make the ridiculously nice commute upstairs, and start pounding away at all things Lollacup/Lollaland.  Before you know it, one of us has to pick the kids up from school, make/buy dinner, play with the girls for a little bit, and get them ready for bed.  After we put them down for the evening, we're back upstairs at work.  Having a home office is great for so many reasons, but it makes it impossible to stop working.

Each day feels much too short and chaos abounds, but here are the 5 things we focus on in order to make things work in Lollaland:

  1. Communication Skills - Mark and I have been "dating" since the 7th grade, so we've had a lifetime to work on our communication skills, and this is our biggest asset as a husband-wife team.  We have learned the importance of being direct, up-front, and clear with one another.  A smidgen of kindness in the tone helps too!
  2. Shared Vision/Goals - We are constantly reminding ourselves why we decided to start this company.  Without common goals, we'd probably have given up a long time ago.
  3. Defined Roles - Mark and I had many meetings early on to clearly define our roles in the company.  Although we are always backing each other up, we stay sane by "knowing our places/roles."
  4. Commitment - Obviously, if you marry someone, you are committing yourself to him/her, but working together on a business is another level of commitment.  Wedding vows come to mind - "in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow."  Any entrepreneur can tell you what a wild ride this is - sleepless nights, many bumps in the road, and feeling constantly over-worked.  We work hard, but always put our marriage/family first.  We make time to go on dates, and we try our best to laugh often and enjoy the ride.
  5. Encouragement - We celebrate every little "victory" and power through each and every hiccup.  We both have our "off" days, but we try and maintain a positive outlook and attitude.  I know it sounds obvious, but sometimes, all it takes is a little encouragement.  Literally, hearing Mark say, "You're handling all the stress so gracefully," makes my entire week and encourages me to work even harder.

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Hello out there!

Posted on March 09, 2012 by Hanna Lim

I got an email last week (March 5, 2012, to be exact) from someone I greatly respect and admire.  The email read, "You need to start a blog . . ."  So, I started a blog.  Although I call this the official weblog of Lollaland, the company, it's really just a platform for me and my husband (and business partner) to share what's relevant to us, our business, and the little ones who inspired it all.  We hope you enjoy (& engage in) all the interesting posts to come.