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Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

New Industry? No Problem!

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. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey 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 DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating

Deals in a New Industry

Although Neil Rosen started his career as a teacher, he would later be driven to serial entrepreneurship by fate. Neil’s passions culminated in his first business, a children’s furniture store, which grew into five locations that were immensely successful.

The chain of stores provided Neil with the financial means to pursue his next great endeavor, which he ultimately achieved by selling the store to his employees. That was the first major deal Neil did, and it laid the foundation for his next businesses, while also teaching him the fundamentals of dealmaking.

Neil was able to keep the skilled management team on staff while receiving payouts over time, and it was a great deal for every party involved. But nothing would prepare him for doing deals as a pioneer of internet companies.

The School Report

Neil’s next business, The School Report, designed a program to gather 3rd party data about public school districts. That information was then sold to real estate brokerages and shared with potential homebuyers for a win-win-win. Although Neil started the business with his wife in their basement, it grew rapidly and brought a lot of new deals to the table.

He had technical experts providing services for equity. He used a participation interest vehicle to raise more capital without losing equity. He then raised venture capital. There were many different types of deals that Neil had to navigate throughout the lifespan of the business. But the difficulty of doing deals as an early-stage internet company prepared him for every challenge he would face moving forward.

Raising Capital

From the early days of commercial internet, through the boom and bust of the late 90’s and early 2000’s the landscape was changing and the learning curve was getting much steeper. When you are working with venture capitalists, there is an expectation of rapid growth. However, it is much more difficult to sell your ability to deliver in an industry that is just getting on its feet.

VCs were hesitant to work with internet companies at the time and it posed a lot of problems for Neil and his team. They had to pivot numerous times and even renegotiated with their VC to reduce its stake in the company before selling it a short time later. But a lot of valuable lessons came out of the experience, which Neil brought forth into his future endeavors with eWayDirect and Certain Source.

If you want to learn more about Neil’s journey, listen to his episode here: https://www.coreykupfer.com/podcasts/neil-rosen/. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey 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 DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!