Catch Howard Kaufman on the #PirateBroadcast
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:21
And it's a beautiful day. It's a great time to make new connections, have conversations, and also reach out and be part of the pirate community. The #PirateBroadcast is here to bring you #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. I really encourage you to engage and connect with individuals that are on the #PirateBroadcast. I'm going to be sending out notes and messages and things like that and it's easy to recognize a pirate because they're kind they're considerate and they're willing to have a conversation. Today we're going to have a conversation with somebody that I have grown to enjoy time with and have conversation with, and Howard is an individual that is an entrepreneur, doing some amazing things out in the market today in an industry that you don't often think about, however, we often have to think about every morning. So, Howard, good morning. How are you doing today?
Howard Kaufman 1:23
Russ, I'm doing great. And thank you so much. It's an honor to be here. And I really appreciate the content. Every morning, the guests and the sharing that occurs in the pirate community, it's really been great brainfood for me. As you know, we're in the same time zone, so it's always helpful on the way to work mostly, when I'm listening. It really provides what I would call a frame and filter for whoever the guest is, whether it was Rob yesterday or Annie Lieb or Andrew or Tisha. I mean you've had so many, David Johnson, Matt O'Brien, their stimuli really provides that frame or that filter that really sets me up for the day. So I do appreciate it because it's basically, it's like a free gift and it's fantastic.
Russ Johns 2:15
Well, thank you so much for saying that because I believe everyone has a gift. If we can have a conversation and draw something out of the conversation that's going to help somebody else, either realize that they have an ability and an opportunity to improve their life or their situation, or change their life or their situation just a little bit. Every day is progress. If we just make a little bit of progress every single day and look a little brighter, things just go so much smoother. Especially in these times right now that we have so much chaos and confusion, and a lot of unknowns. So, as an entrepreneur, maybe you can talk a little bit about your journey and how you arrived at this place in time. Then let's go from there because you have a you have a little bit of a story yourself.
Howard Kaufman 3:11
Thanks, Russ. Yeah. So it appreciate it. It definitely has been a journey. I spent time fortunately, in a couple of different great business environments, a couple of Fortune 500 companies, also some smaller companies. The best way to describe it, Russ is I had almost like a Forrest Gump like experience with my career, where I would find myself in different situations, whether I was ready for them or not. But sometimes you're just in a situation and you're doing the best to adapt and learning, right? There's always learning that occurs. So from that experience, that chain of experiences, I got to a point where, yes, I've become an entrepreneur. Later in one's career, here I am. Really what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to apply all those key learnings and observations and experiences that I benefited from, the good and also the hard lessons, for sure. And then apply now in current time, but there's so much learning going on because the market place is so dynamic. There's so many people doing so many terrific things. And coming back to this theme of frames and filters, just trying to pull that information, frame it, filter it and just try to really focus on a strategy in terms of what's going to provide value, what's going to provide benefit, and that essence what my current mission and focus has been on.
Russ Johns 4:45
I really like that concept of frames and filters because as we go through life and we have an experience, whether it's a good experience or something that teaches us something that we don't necessarily enjoy, we have to filter out what the lesson is in that. What is the experience that we can take forward with us in life? We are the accumulation of everything we experience. So, a lot of times, especially for entrepreneurs, we have the experience of our history. We have to take that and say, okay, well, what can I leverage and utilize, going forward, is going to filter out the negative and allow the positive information to pass forward, so I can help more people. I guess the question I would like to ask you, and one of the things that I, I'm always curious about is, how do you see and what do you see? How do you filter your life and how does an entrepreneur fit into that? Especially coming from a fortune 500 company. I've worked for large organizations and it is a transition in a mindset shift to go from a fortune 500 organization over to an entrepreneur mindset. So talk a little bit about that and what that means to you being an entrepreneur?
Howard Kaufman 6:21
Great question, Ross. So what comes to mind and the best way I would describe it is, it really starts with the customer, right? So you've got to focus on providing a great experience for a customer and very simply, as Theodore Levitt writes, his whole focus, the number one purpose of a business is to create a customer. So when you're starting out, if you can just put your whole mindset around, what can I do to provide a customer some delight, and frankly, a lot of times, what you think's going to work isn't going to work and vice versa. There's going to be some things that a customer is looking for. Many times what a customer says and what a customer really wants or behaves, can be different. But when you look at it from the standpoint of yes, being in a fortune 500 company, when you've got tremendous resources, and there's tremendous bandwidth, but at the same time, there's a lot of movable parts. Things, many times, can be very slow, can be very bureaucratic, and quite frankly, can be even not in alignment or it can take a lot of time to get alignment. When you are small, you have the benefit of yes, you're small, you do have less resources, no two ways about it. But you can be nimble, you can be customer focused. And it's really just adapting this attitude, when with what you have. So I don't spend a lot of time focusing on all the things I don't have to really focus on. What do I have? Anexample of that is when I am awarded, rewarded, I should say, for a customer that's really interested in my product line. To me that becomes even that much more valuable e bcause I don't have as many customers as, for example, a fortune 500 company does. So, when you think about it from a customer experience standpoint, we all, as human beings, we do want to be recognized, we do want to be acknowledged, we do want to be heard. My whole goal and focus is what can I do within reason, that's legitimately and authentically going to engage with the customer, knowing that...look, my brand and my oral care brand is designed a certain way, it's not going to be for everybody. That's okay. But that feedback, even if it's negative feedback, I'm at a stage right now where that feedback becomes so valuable because coming back to learning and coming back to how we frame and filter it, I know that information is going to help me be better tomorrow, it's going to help me make adjustments, it's going to help me be better listener in terms of providing great customer delight. So a lot of it is just thinking about the customer, but from the standpoint of not what you believe the customer is or really taking the cues, when you are fortunate to be rewarded with a customer who's interested in your product line, to really do what you can to engage with that customer,
Russ Johns 9:33
Customer experiences is, I mean, it's a huge industry in its own and discovering what it is about your product from some of your best customers also lends itself to identify what you can talk about, what you can present and what you can propose to other potential clients or people that are interested in your in your organization or your your products and services, I think it's really important for us to understand that sometimes, and I'm so guilty of this Howard, I've been so guilty over the years thinking, hey, I got a great idea, I'm going to scratch my own itch, I'm going to create a product and everybody's going to love it and they're going to run to the cash register to buy it. It's not necessarily the case Sometimes you have to ask the customer what they want, or you have to fill a niche. That's kind of what you you've done with your product and I'd like to talk a little bit about that in a minute. Because it's so important to not only fill a niche, it's important to understand who you're talking to in that niche. And I'm sure that you've had some experience and discovery along the way in that area. Do you have any thoughts to share with the community here?
Howard Kaufman 10:55
Yeah, for sure. So there's a very simple process. I've adopted, that I've learned, and it's really it's a environmental scan. It's a form of strategic planning. It's really this environmental scan. Most people when they think strategic planning, I'm not saying everyone, but a lot of people jump immediately into vision and mission and go into a SWOT, right? But what I've learned is that if you do this environmental scan first, and you're looking at trends, you're looking at social trends, you're looking at technological trends, you're looking at competitive trends, you're looking at customer trends. You're looking at economic trends, there's a series of trends that you look at. And if you can at least do that first, coming back to the framing and the filtering that really provides a great frame, then you're ready to then start looking at SWOT and start thinking about your vision, start thinking about your mission. So it's really that process when you think about trends in the market, health and wellness, big trend, especially now. It's being amplified more because of the pandemic People are more conscientious of what they're putting in their bodies, of living a healthier lifestyle, of trying to maintain or improve immunity. So that is kind of, from the standpoint of just coming back to what we were just referring to, the opportunity right now to spend time listening to the customer but getting, in a way, you have now more permission because people are more confined at home, they're working from home. Unfortunately, many people right now are maybe between opportunities, but they've got time to talk and so taking this time to spend a little bit more time to understand what they're looking for and then framing that into this environmental scan. That really kind of sets your potential for developing a strategy in terms of how to go to market and that's kind of what we've anchored
Russ Johns 13:00
Absolutely, I love that approach and haven't practiced it myself as often as I would like to have engaged. It's like bumper cars somedays, so it's like, okay, that didn't work and you just have to keep coming back to what people are actually asking for. The best way to understand what they're asking for is to talk to them. It takes time. It takes effort, and it's not easy. So how long did it take you to generate this product? from idea to delivery? In terms of your your process.
Howard Kaufman 13:45
Great question. Candidly, it's been a couple years in the making and a couple of different iterations but as a company, we launched the company just over a year ago. We brought our first product to market. We have toothpaste mouthwash and now breath spray. We have formulations that have also CBD in it. We're not a CBD company, but our CBD products we actually got to market in October. So it's 11 months, almost to the day. And then the rest of our product line, we were able to bring to market this past end of February. Then we know what's happened since March. So it's still relatively new. You know, we're still in that early stage. But what I can tell you is I'm convicted. There's been enough validation with early adopters. I do know there's a tribe, for the product and for the brand, Russ what they don't know and it's kind of a question for the pirates. I'm trying to best determine how large could that tribe be? Is it only 1000 people? Could it be 10,000? Could be more than that. And that was really that is the mission we have for 2020 going into 2021 is how big can that tribe be?
Russ Johns 15:07
Well, I think that approach is very solid because word of mouth and this idea that I'm going to tell my friends about this and I think it's a great thing is a solid marketing effort that really takes on its own personality over the duration. And the fact that another unique thing about this and I don't want to miss this point, today, is is that the pH value is balanced, which I love and thank you for sending me some product. I love the product. I love the fact that it's pH balanced and it's refreshing, it's not chemical based, and it's everything healthy that I would like to put in my body. Even though I have been known to put unhealthy things in my body. Let's not lie, folks.This is not a perfect body. This has been beat up pretty good. Lots of experience. However, I love the product. I love the idea and I love the direction you're going and I just wanted to share it with you and highlight the fact that there are people doing amazing things. Start from nothing, have an idea, generate a product and put it out in the market. And that's the process we all can understand and appreciate. We don't go to the grocery store without somebody seeing a shelf full of ideas that somebody took action on. So the idea that you take action, you've developed this product, and you've pursued it and now you're building a tribe around that is important to understand. I think the pirate community can appreciate that. And I encourage and applaud you in all your adventures because, Howard, this is I know from experience, how challenging it can be. In a couple of startups that I've been involved in, it's not always easy and it doesn't always end up like you imagined it would be so, anything we can do to support you is is what we want to do.
Howard Kaufman 17:36
Russ, I very much appreciate it and certainly any pirate out there I'd love to connect on LinkedIn or if we're already connected, send me a note and I'm even happy to send you a free gift on me. Not selling but the more I can have people try the product and give feedback, that's really what I'm looking at because strategically right now, it's really two things. One, create brand awareness for a brand that no one's heard of, and then two, gain trial and gain that feedback to make it better. That's, that's really where we're at right now.
Russ Johns 18:10
I love it. I love it. In fact, speaking of community, let's go in and see a couple of people that are here today. Andrew, hey gang. How you doing Andrew? Hope you're having a fantastic day. Cathi says, good morning. Thank you so much for being here. Gabriel. I really want to connect with Gabriel at some point in time. He and I are doing book ends on the day for shows every day so...
Howard Kaufman 18:37
You hit hit some awesome content last night on a great topic.
Russ Johns 18:42
I don't get to catch his show as often as I'd like to, but I do like to go back and check it out. Andrew says, sorry, I'm late. I had to brush my teeth first. It's always good to brush your teeth, Andrew. Howard Kaufman is so amazing. Two incredible individuals having a wonderful conversation. Thank you, Gabriel. I really appreciate that Sherry Lolly is out here. Good morning, Russ and Howard. By the way, everyone, if you reach out to Howard, just drop a personal message and say, I saw you on the pirate broadcasts or heard you on the podcast or saw you on YouTube channel, which you can also subscribe to, by the way, it's free. So just reach out and say, Howard, I saw you on the pirate community, wantto connect, so he knows where you came from. There's a relationship there. Know, it well. Thank you Sherry. Lewis says Good morning, Russ and Howard. I hope you have a groovy day. All My days are groovy, just sometimes a deeper groove than I'd like. Is it just me or is this malfunctioning, all choppy. We're seeing everything is okay here. Is anybody experiencing choppy feed or disconnect or bad internet? We don't own the internet so we don't have control over it. Angie Schuman is awesome in Wisconsin. Thank you so much for being here. Good morning everyone. Tonnie, already such good vibes. I am so glad I clicked to watch. Tonni well, thank you. That's very kind of you. Appreciate you. Andrew says, just jump to YouTube. Sherry says jump to YouTube, Andrew. Good morning, Angie. Tracie says, good morning. Tracie. How are you? Thank you so much for being here. Thanks. It started to work again. So we got connection back everyone. So Andrew is saved, we saved the day. Sarafi, aye aye, pirates. Hi Russ and Howard. Good morning evening. Thank you so much. I look at trends as well, Howard. Being a pirate is a rising trend. That's so kind. I really appreciate you. Then we got, is it Elsie? Please, how do I reach out for advisory on building business portfolio and resume? Well, you can connect with me, just book russjohns.com and pick a day and book some time with me. Be happy to talk to you. Linked In Yes. Not sure what that means. Woohoo, switched over to YouTube, says Cathi Spooner. YouTube works. We're also streaming on Periscope, which is ove on Twitter. So if you like to consume it, and every day we're going to have this broadcast. this podcast and the transcription and everything is over at russjohns.om. After the fact too. Tracie, I'm doing great. Thank you, Wendy, sending you love and prayers to Seattle. Tell your dad hi. Tell your folks, hello. Tell him I said hi. Hey Tracie. Hiett Ives is here. Hiett says, late this morning. Good to be here. The LinkedIn one is not working for me. Well, I keep asking LinkedIn to fix their stuff.
Howard Kaufman 22:47
It runs about 50% of the time.
Russ Johns 22:50
Yeah, sometimes it doesn't even pick it up and that's the point. If you go to russjohns.com/piratebroadcast, you can watch all the replays. I've got over 230 episodes out there. Every episode is shared as a replay there. You can go there, check it out, you can subscribe to the get notified for the next episode. So if you miss them, you can always come back.
Howard Kaufman 23:20
What I do a lot, too, is if I'm having a LinkedIn issue, I just go over to YouTube and it comes up pretty quick.
Russ Johns 23:28
I should probably start promoting YouTube, huh? Put some effort over in YouTube. It is a video platform I heard. (laughs) Anyway, otherwise all cool. Tracie, hi Angie, Wendy, will do they send their love back to you, Admiral. Thank you, Wendy. It's awesome. You know, the pirate community has been so refreshing, Howard, and I know this goes to your conversation about your product, and having a tribe and a community around it. So, it's not necessarily SEO or optimizing all the keywords on your website and things like that. It's real people having a real conversation and coming back and talking about that. So what steps have you taken to develop your community around oral and your products and services?
Howard Kaufman 24:31
Great question, Russ. Certainly, we've got content that we developed specifically about improving your own oral care and sharing that information because there's definitely an education part to it. For example, the perfect pH and the benefits behind it. We know that to many consumers, they're not that familiar with Ph. There's a parallel to how people thought about gluten maybe 10-15 years ago. Now people are more conscientious about celiac disease and being gluten free, or before they didn't, you're starting to see that with PH with everything from bottled water, Essentia and Icelandic. There's even a new women's personal care brand that's now in Target called pHresh. And it's spelled pHresh. So there's more of a coming back to the trend, there's more of a growing trend of how important pH balance is for your overall health because it helps reduce overall inflammation. And that helps reduce the chance of other things happening in your overall body. Being pH balanced, we extend that through what we're developing on Instagram, Facebook, and also active in a lot of different groups. For example, Target is very much an advocate for us are actually dental hygienists, and there's many groups out there in social media where they share information and exchange information. So that's definitely been a market for us, dentists, people who are looking for gluten free products. So there's different segments that we are targeting within the marketplace to help again, extend the awareness in the reach of the brand, and the more people I can at least interact with, and ultimately at least get them a product, even if it's a sample. That's really what we're trying to get done right now.
Russ Johns 26:33
Interviewing some of these individuals, would probably be beneficial.
Howard Kaufman 26:38
Yeah, I know there's a lot we're very primitive in a lot of fronts. We have a lot of room to grow. I know there were some things, for example, when you had Matthew O'Brien on, he's doing some wonderful things and again, it definitely further inspired. I know there's opportunities for us to begin focusing in on the next step here.
Russ Johns 26:42
Well, I encourage everyone to connect and find out more about your product. Also reach out and connect with Howard. You know, all the pirate community, I encourage this conversation to take place because we're just one conversation away from having a different outcome in our life. I really encourage people to believe that that's the case. It's happened to me more often than not. It doesn't have to mean that you're always out to get something from the conversation. Sometimes giving something is the best thing you can do. And Howard has been so thoughtful and considerate and I know that this year has been challenging for you, as well. In your personal life.So, I just encourage people to stay engaged, stay connected, start the conversation. Just be open and honest about what you're looking for and what you're attempting to accomplish. I know there's somebody out there that's willing to assist and support you along your journey. So, Howard, it's always amazing to talk and have a conversation with people like yourself and you personally, I just enjoy the conversation every time we we get on the phone or on a call. Thank you so much for being here.
Howard Kaufman 27:09
Russ. Thank you so much. Can I just say one more thing?
Russ Johns 28:24
Howard Kaufman 28:26
I think this applies to anyone, whatever your current situation is, whatever you're challenged with. As an entrepreneur, you're going to have those moments where either: A, you're lonely or B, rejection. You just have to maintain the belief that when you encounter a no, it doesn't mean no, it means not now. So if you think of it that way, I think you're gonna really a lot of times when we're encountering rejection, it just may mean the times not right. We'll come back another day and try again.
Russ Johns 29:02
Absolutely, absolutely. Well, as you know, everyone, this is something that we can actually take, use and actually draw it into our own experience. Thank you so much for being here, Howard. Once again, the Orl line is pH balanced. It's all natural. We could go on and on about this product. We'll have to have you on again, Howard, and talk to you a little deeper, and watch your progress as we go through this exercise of building community and tribe and help you along the way.
Howard Kaufman 29:42
Russ, thanks again for the opportunity. And again, I really appreciate the community and just thanks for sharing some time today.
Russ Johns 29:06
Thank you so much, and everyone, as you know, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday Thanks, Howard. Take care. Bye.
Howard Kaufman 29:06
Russ Johns 30:04
Thank you for joining the #PirateBroadcast. If you found this content valuable, please like, comment and share it across your social media channels. I would love the opportunity to help others grow in their business. The #PirateSyndicate is a platform where you show up and we produce the show. It's that easy. If you want to be seen, be heard and be talked about, join the #PirateSyndicate today.he pirate syndicate is a platform where you show up we produce the show. It's that easy. If you want to be seen, be heard and be talked about. Join the pirate syndicate today.
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