Li Hayes has always been an entrepreneur in one capacity or another. She has never limited herself to just one niche. Her main business is in the public speaking arena. It is here that she began supporting a group of amazing business speakers, as well as helping event managers create wildly successful events through her business, Go Leeward Speaker Management. Her approach to any new industry is best summed up as: No problem!
She has done a lot of major deals to book speakers. She has also helped orchestrate many seminars, bringing audiences unique experiences that change their businesses or their lives.
Recently, however, Li embarked on a new entrepreneurial journey. It all started with the development of an innovative new product, the Cool Me Scarf. In the latest episode of Fueling Deals, Li joins us to share about her journey. She also talks about some of the deals that grew her businesses substantially.
It’s All About the Value Exchange
Talented speakers are the backbone of Go Leeward Speaker Management. Li knows that very single one of them has a powerful story to tell.
Good stories are the key to success, because a good story gives something to the audience. (As opposed to making the experience all about the speaker!). Her speakers also never speak for free; not necessarily in terms of money, but in the value exchange that opens new doors and builds your brand. Li’s ability to construct a powerful business model that generates growth opportunities gave her the experience and the resources she needed to pursue the Cool Me Scarf. Despite having no experience in manufacturing/distribution, she has been able to enter this new industry with confidence.
Barriers to Entering a New Industry
The Cool Me Scarf is a solution for hot flashes designed for busy, working women.
It is elegant, understated, and made from moisture-wicking fibers that pull heat and perspiration away from your body with a very effective built-in cooling pack. As opposed to Go Leeward, a service-based business, the Cool Me Scarf presented Li with a slew of new manufacturing challenges. She’s had to navigate these by forming strategic partnerships, as well as by doing other inorganic deals.
One of the most notable deals was her partnership with Alibaba.com, which allowed for rapid and safe solutions to manufacturing, business transactions, and logistics. It enables manufacturers all over the world to connect with entrepreneurs like Li to help realize their visions. To hear more about Li’s journey and learn how she got her product in the Oscars, listen to the latest episode of Fueling Deals.
Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.
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