#072: Sage Spoonfuls – Founder and CEO Liza Huber

Wednesday August 24, 2022

Liza Huber is the founder and CEO of Sage Spoonfuls, a healthy and simple solution to making your own baby food. Fran Racioppi travels home to suburban Boston to meet Liza to discuss creative financing to retain equity, transition from acting to manufacturing and how an order from Buy Buy Baby launched the brand to a new level. 

Liza also discusses her son’s diagnosis with Cerebral Palsy and what it taught her family about finding solutions when you won’t take no for an answer. 

Liza starred on NBC’s hit daytime television show Passions. Today Sage Spoonfuls is available in Buy Buy Baby, Pottery Barn, Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond and on Amazon. Liza is one of Forbes “Female Entrepreneurs Rocking The World.” Learn more about Liza at and @sagespoonfuls and @lizahuber.

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About Liza Huber

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Liza Huber is an award-winning author, public speaker, wife, mother of 4, and the CEO & Founder of Sage Spoonfuls.

Sage Spoonfuls is an industry leader in children’s mealtime products and is available at major retailers nationwide. Liza was recently featured in Forbes “Female Entrepreneurs Rocking the World” series.

She started the company in 2012 after not being able to find homemade baby food products that had the ease of use, quality and convenience she was looking for. Sage Spoonfuls has become one of the most trusted brands for homemade baby food products and is available at major stores nationwide.

Liza travels around the country speaking at parenting events on the benefits of fresh, homemade food for babies and children, including how to help prevent picky eating and food allergies. She is also an advocate for organic, green and non-toxic living. She helps to inform and inspire others to take action to create healthier, safer environments where children and families can flourish. Liza is a featured contributor for Project Nursery, Green Child Magazine and Big City Moms. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Good Day LA, The Insider, News12 Long Island and Martha Stewart Radio as well as in Parenting Magazine, Fit Pregnancy Magazine, The Bump and the NY Daily News. She has appeared on the covers of Green Child Magazine, Long Island Parent, Milieu Magazine and Networking Magazine.

Liza also speaks at national events designed to inspire and empower female entrepreneurs. She has been a featured speaker at Northeastern University, the National Association for Professional Women, Atlanta’s Dare 2 Aspire Conference and was the keynote for the Town Of Hempstead’s 2015 Pathfinder Awards.

She has received multiple awards including, the Mom’s Best Literary Gold Award; Independent Publisher’s Award; Cribsie Award; John J. Byrne Community Center’s Hero of the Community Award; and the Little Flower Children and Family Service’s 2015 Humanitarian Award.

Liza is active in the community and involved with numerous charitable organizations. She is a Parent Ambassador for Healthy Child Healthy World and has recently started working with Little Flower’s Parent Youth Program. She is also a longtime supporter of the March of Dimes and United Cerebral Palsy of New York.

Liza and her husband Alex live in Massachusetts with their 4 wonderful children – Royce 14, Brendan 13, Hayden 10 and Mason 8.



Sage Spoonfuls – Founder and CEO Liza Huber

They say we’re driven by our passions. Liza Huber has literally built a career on passions. Liza began her career starting on NBC’s hit daytime television show called Passions. She says, “Being an entrepreneur is my deepest passion.” Liza is the Founder and CEO of Sage Spoonfuls, a healthy and simple solution for making your own baby food, an idea that stems from raising her four children. I’ve had lots of conversations on this show about entrepreneurism and figuring it out, but Liza’s thoughts on creatively funding a business are hands down some of the best I’ve heard for young founders who don’t want to give up equity and take on outside investors.

For this episode, I went home to suburban Boston to meet Liza in Sudbury, Massachusetts to cover building Sage Spoonfuls and her transition from acting to manufacturing. Liza explained the gaps she saw in the market, how she started with a cookbook and some jars, and how an order from Buy Buy Baby launched the brand to a whole new level.

Liza and I also discuss her son’s diagnosis with cerebral palsy, what it taught her, and what it taught her family about finding solutions when you won’t take no for an answer. Liza’s idea for Sage Spoonfuls began with an idea in her kitchen and a food processor. Now, they’re in Buy Buy Baby, Pottery Barn, Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon. Liza is one of Forbes’ female entrepreneurs rocking the world. I know a whole lot more about baby food, parenting, and Liza’s four lessons for building your own business.TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

Take a listen on your favorite podcast platforms. Watch the full video version of my conversation with Liza on YouTube. Subscribe to us and follow @JedburghPodcast on all social media. Check out our website Learn more about Liza and Sage Spoonfuls at and follow them on all social media @SageSpoonfuls and @LizaHuber.

Liza, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me.

Thanks for hosting us. This is an amazing place. 

I thought that this would be a better choice than my house with two dogs and four kids. I’m grateful to Nashawtuc Country Club for hosting us here in their beautiful bridal suite.

We have to give a shout-out to Sandra because she has done a phenomenal job setting us up. I’ve been looking forward to this episode though for a while. My close friend and your friend, Juliette Han introduced us. We had been talking about how will we set this episode up and what we will talk about. I believe that there are three components to some themes that we talk about on the show that you are exemplifying in such an amazing way. It’s entrepreneurism. It’s this idea that we have to hire for character, train for skill. Also, the fact that my son who’s two years old only eats junk. We’re having another one on the way. There’s this global supply chain issue when it comes to baby food.

 I thought we would be able to dig into these concepts on the entrepreneurism side. It comes down to a vision on the hire for character, train for skill. You don’t have to be an industry expert if you have this vision and you have this drive and this desire to go out there, find the answer, create something,

Win at all costs, we talk about that on the show and you’ve done that. Get out and go for it. I need your advice. You have four kids. I’m about to add three. I figured there’s a component here where I need to learn from you through this conversation on how I’m going to get through this. You built this brand, Sage Spoonfuls.

You came from daytime TV on NBC. You’ve been named by Forbes as one of the female entrepreneurs rocking the world. You’ve been a recipient of Mom’s Best Literary Gold Award, Independent Publishers Award, Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal, Cribsie Award, and Little Flower Children and Family Services Humanitarian Award. You were featured on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, Hallmark, and Parenting Magazine. I’m only naming a couple here. You are in major retailers like Buy Buy Baby, Pottery Barn Kids, Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and eCommerce. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you so much for having me.TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

I want to start with Sage Spoonfuls. There’s a lot we can unpack about that and all this stuff. You’re the mother of four kids. You’ve said all of them have had some inspiration in the development of this brand. They were all born within five and a half years, Royce, Brendan, Mason, and Hayden. You said after your first child was born, you knew that you wanted to make baby food. There were so many benefits. It’s healthier, tastier and cheaper than store-bought food. It helps prevent the picky eating that I talked about that I’m dealing with my son, although his picky eating is all about chocolate. You were working full-time. You had to figure out, “How can I do this? What does it look like?” Can you talk about the opportunity that you saw and why you said, “This is something that I can do?” 

That baby who first inspired me, Royce, is now fifteen years old. He is no longer a baby. He’s 4 inches taller than me and looks like a grown man. Several years ago, there was still BPA in the plastics, phthalates were everywhere. This was in LA where the organic movement started and then took about three years to cross over to the East Coast. I did know that I wanted to make his food. We all know that fresh is best. We’re all busy. I would often be on set on Passions at 6:45 in the morning and not be home until 10:00 at night. I remember there were stretches of time where I wouldn’t even see Royce for five days. Alex, my husband, would bring him on set at lunchtime so I could see him. I knew that I wanted to find a system where I could make a ton of baby food and freeze it.

At that time, we had a nanny or Alex or me when I was home. At least he was eating the food that I made for him. At that time, all there was, was a Cuisinart with BPA in the plastic and these BPA flip-top cube things. Food expands when it’s frozen and it would leak everywhere and there was BPA and everything. I was taping them close and writing what was on. I thought, “There must be a better way for busy parents to provide the healthiest food possible for our children.” If you think about it, when we’re expecting, whether you’re the husband or the wife or the partner, you’re investigating the best car seat, the best this, the best that, the best breast pump or nursing, the best crib and everything.

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“There really must be a better way for busy parents to provide the healthiest food possible for our children.”

For some reason, it dead stops at solid food. All of a sudden, we’re supposed to feed our children processed food for every meal every day. Even the expensive organic baby food pouches have a place in our busy schedules. Maybe you’re going to throw one into your bag or whatever. It’s a convenience, but it is processed food. Even if it’s expensive and organic, it has to be sterilized to have a two-year shelf life. That was the idea. I thought, “There’s nothing to make this necessary thing for our children easy.” There was nothing on the market. At the time, it was just a thought in the back of my head. I was busy working on Passions.

[bctt tweet=”It’s all about trusting your instincts.” username=”talentwargroup”]

I kept my little mini Cuisinart and my masking tape on the cubes. It wasn’t until Passions was finished and I was pregnant with my second child that I started thinking about pursuing it. This may be another question I’m rolling right into. He was born extremely premature. He’s sixteen months younger than Royce. It was a lot. He was born super premature. He was in the NICU for six weeks fighting for his life. That was a game-changer for me. It was almost two years later when I first had the idea. I thought, “This baby needs me. This is my record scratch life-changing moment. I’m going to take some time to develop this.”

I want to ask you about your son as well, Brendan, your second child. He was born and spent six weeks in intensive care and was born with cerebral palsy.

It was an interesting road. The point was to keep him alive, of course. Being born at 31 weeks, 4 pounds and 10 ounces, you should be okay. He was supposed to be there for two weeks for observation, but his lungs were not ready. He coded twice. It was scary, but because we had a placental abruption and we learned this along the way, the physical therapist in the NICU was like, “He feels a little bit tight,” but unless you’re born severely affected by cerebral palsy, which most kids are not. It’s 1 out of about 310 births a child has cerebral palsy. It’s normally not diagnosed until around two years old, which was what happened with Brendan.

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“The point was just to keep him alive.”

He was a little bit tight. When we would sit him up, he would not wobble down. He was stiff. He would fall down. It wasn’t until he was nineteen months old and he couldn’t walk, that was our thing. The first thing was keeping him alive. He coded twice. His lungs weren’t working. It was this series of issues. They first thought he had a rare red blood cell disease. A few weeks later, we couldn’t find his gallbladder. We thought it was this and then we thought it was that. Eventually, he got an MRI. We saw what’s called periventricular leukomalacia, which is what causes cerebral palsy. For him, it was in the center of his brain. It looked like a little lightning bolt.

It’s interesting when it’s in the middle that affects your legs. He has spastic diplegia, which is in his legs. He doesn’t have cerebral palsy in his arms or his neck or anything. As that periventricular leukomalacia damage goes out into different parts of the brain, then the arms are affected, then maybe you’re non-verbal. We were lucky because a placental abruption is a pretty critical emergency where the baby is losing oxygen. The situation could be far more severe.

Can I ask you how as a family you think through that situation? The reason why I asked this question is because we had an opportunity to interview Jason Khalipa. He’s a CrossFit champion and owns a line of gyms. He has this mentality called as many reps as possible, which is a CrossFit mentality. You have as many reps as possible. He has applied that to his whole life. His daughter at a young age was diagnosed with leukemia. The first thing that he and his wife came together when they realized that this was upon them was they said, “As many reps as possible. This is our focus. We have to stop everything that we’re doing. We’re financially okay to do so right now. Everything that we have to do is focused on this right now.”

For us, it was not quite as monumental in a moment. It was such a journey because leukemia is a diagnosis that you can see under the microscope. With Brendan, we weren’t sure what was going on. It was amazing that he made it out of the NICU. The first six months were touch and go at our home. You’re constantly going back to the doctor. That was when, “Maybe it’s a rare red blood cell disease,” and then he was “fine.” We just had our baby. Thankfully, he made it past this point. He was a little bit late to the milestones, but he was sitting up. He would fall down.

I kept developing the company. I knew what I was doing and my husband was there. We had help and we had Royce, our oldest, but it wasn’t until nineteen months. I was already knee-deep in the development of the company. You do what you need to do. I was able to work early. I used to get up early and stay up late, because it does become all-consuming when you have a child with a special need, especially a special need that you’re not so sure of.

I took him to one of the leading pediatric neurologists on Long Island at the time. This child was nineteen months old. I’ll never forget. I respect this woman, but I could not believe what she said. He was nineteen months old and couldn’t even stand up. She said, “He’s laid on a global delay because of his prematurity. Don’t worry. One day, you’ll look over your shoulder and see him walking across the room.” I said, “With all due respect, I completely disagree with you. If this was your child, what would you do?” She said, “I would just wait.” I said, “Thank you very much.”TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

I went to get a second opinion. Dr. Mario at Weill Cornell in New York got an MRI. He’s like, “Do you see that lightning bolt? Periventricular leukomalacia. More than likely this is cerebral palsy.” Immediately, he brought in Dr. Leon Root, who has since passed away. He practiced until he was almost 90 years old. He was the champion of children with cerebral palsy. We are incredibly fortunate to be under his care until he passed away. Like anything, it’s following your instincts. Whether you have a definitive diagnosis like leukemia or you know something is wrong. You don’t quite believe what these doctors are saying. Our parental instinct and I believe a mother’s intuition is a superpower.

My wife says that all the time. She says, “You don’t know. I’m the mother. I know.”

There’s something about when something has grown inside of you. I don’t know. I am a firm believer that your maternal instinct is a superpower. As I’m sure you are with your wife, my husband has been spectacularly supportive. If I tell him, “We need to go to this doctor. Brendan needs the surgery.” He’s like, “I trust you completely.” We go ahead and we do it. It was not easy to have a company in full-fledged development and then have a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Whereas leukemia, we’re talking about life and death now. That’s a whole different ball game. With Brendan, it was getting him the right therapy and all of that. If it was a life and death situation for Brendan, everything would have stopped for sure.

Sage Spoonfuls started with a cookbook. Initially, when you set out to do it, you didn’t have a brand plan. Initially, it was, “Can we create the cookbook? Can we create something that might be a small line?” You put it out into the market and launched it. Can you talk about the launch and those first days? As you launched the cookbook, you started to say, “What’s the real opportunity here?” Up to that point in which you had your first big box retailer that came and said, “We’re interested.”

It was an interesting experience. To this day, I am the epitome of the true entrepreneur who builds the plane as she flies it. I know what needs to be done, but I don’t follow an exact business plan because the world changes too much. You need to know what you’re doing and make smart decisions. The initial idea for Sage Spoonfuls was to be a cookbook. Those little plastic jars are still to this day made in the USA. I initially thought that’s what it was going to be. I was having so much fun developing products. If you would have told me several years ago that manufacturing was my true passion, not being a soap star on Passions, although that was a lot of fun.

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“I am the epitome of the true entrepreneur who just builds the plane as she flies it.”

I kept going and made it more of a system. Instead of a book and jars, it wound up being three different kits. It’s like a good, better, best kind of a thing. I wanted to launch with a splash. At that time, there were lots of these wonderful big parenting events. I was doing my google research about competitors and what events they went to. There was this wonderful group called Big City Moms who wound up becoming great friends of mine to this day. We spent $15,000 on the biggest spot. Our designers made this wonderful booth. It was a 15×15 or a 20×20. We had tables set out. We had giveaways. We made this big splash. It was several years ago. You didn’t hear so much the word influencers. It was bloggers.

We had many bloggers. We had so much media. We were up and running. What I initially thought would just be a book and some baby food storage jars, because I was having so much fun, was already these cool kits. We launched and made a big splash at a time when the organic movement was coming into New York and people on the East Coast. It was already on the West Coast. We got so much press and wonderful attention from this Big City Moms event. We were in Buy Buy Baby nationwide within five months. It was quick. I remember in the middle of the night, about 7 or 8 months in, waking up from some quasi-nightmare. I said to my husband, “Did I just start a nationwide brand? I have no idea what I’m doing.”

You went to school for communications too.

I was a soap star. My husband said, “You’re creative. What you’ve created is getting so much wonderful attention. You were right. There was a need for this in the market. For the business stuff that you still need to learn, I’ll help you. We’ll find other people to help you. We’ll find mentors, but let’s go with this. You can do this. Follow your instincts.” I did. Here we are now. There have been a lot of mistakes and successes along the way, but it’s about trusting your instincts.

You said that as an owner and founder, there’s no one more passionate than you. I 100% agree with that. Jenny and Stephanie who are here in the background see that every day with me, all hours of the day and night when I’m sending ideas and talking about stuff.

It drives people crazy. I’m sure you had your 2:00 AM emails. I used to do that too.

It’s like, “I have this idea. Let’s do it. I’m the only one who wants to do it right now.” I often break down business problems into three components, people, process and technology. I would like to maybe spend a minute talking about how you scale the business through these three components. Your husband said, “We’ll get you the right people. We’ll get you the ones that we can surround you with building teams and effective leaders and building organizations that are sustainable over the long-term.” That’s my day job. I’m truly passionate about that. I’m interested in knowing as you’ve scaled this business, what you’ve looked for in people as you’ve built your team, as you’ve identified your strengths and had to also identify what you’re not good at, and then figure out, “How do I fill that gap?” What have you looked for? How have you built that team? 

Right from the get go, I knew that I wanted to remain 100% owner. I did not want to give the company away to investors. That’s challenging right there in and of itself, but people do it. In all different sized companies, you can do it. It just means you have to be creative.

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“Right from the get go I knew that I wanted to remain 100% owner.”

We’re sponsored by Jersey Mike’s. Peter Cancro bought it from Mike, one store. I asked him this question when we had Peter on. I said, “Why did you not sell the company? Why did you not take an investor?” He said, “It’s because I knew I could work harder than everybody else and I could retain the ownership.” They are a $3 billion company now.

He would have probably gotten some help in the beginning and then gotten kicked off the ship. Unfortunately, this is what happened. I also had four little kids. I knew that it would take me longer to get to where I wanted to be, but that I could still get there. Here we are, we’re getting ready to launch with Williams-Sonoma, 300 stores, and all Myer stores in the Midwest. We continue to grow. We remain a top seller on Amazon. Where we are now, we could have been there years ago, but I’m still 100% owner.

Getting back to your original question, it’s difficult for someone who wants to remain a 100% owner and someone who is completely type-A, as probably all entrepreneurs are, giving anything and delegating anything. There comes a time when you have to. I went slowly. I hired a consultant who had something like 25 years of experience in the juvenile product industry. She worked with me for six years. We wound up having a 3PL or third-party logistics center. They had a lot of experience working in the juvenile product space. I learned a lot about the business end of it. They learned a lot from me about the creative end of it and being creative about funding. These days, there are so many wonderful options from a few years ago. It was about who can I learn from. I’m doing this slowly. What I did was I kept everyone as 1099 for years. I didn’t bring on my first W-2 employee until 2019.

The mistake I made was putting too much trust, whether it’s a 3PL, a third-party contractor, a 1099 or a W-2 employee. It’s interesting, I’m not someone who trusts anyone but myself anyway. It was strange. Yet I put so much trust in these other people. While there was a lot of good, there were a couple of holes being drilled in my boat behind me when I wasn’t looking. I only found out about that in early 2020 when COVID hit.

[bctt tweet=”You need to have your inventory because if you can’t supply the inventory, you lose those accounts and that’s awful.” username=”talentwargroup”]

This is a huge lesson that I learned the hard way. For any new entrepreneur or young CEO, by young, I don’t mean age, I mean experience, don’t ever take your finger off the pulse of every single level of your business. I did. I stayed at the top level. I didn’t realize the unreal amount of cash bleeds and decisions that were being made, spending our money without my approval. When 2020 came, our assembly team work with this great group of special needs adults who puts the lids on the plastic jars because they come from the US so the components come in separately. We’ve been working with them for 7 or 8 years.

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“Don’t ever take your finger off the pulse of every single level of your business.”

I had never met them. Unfortunately, even though they were a business, they were considered a school. When COVID hit, they were not allowed to work. Someone had to do the assembly. We had massive amounts of orders for these things. The other glass jars come in ready, but the other green glass jars also needed to have the lids put on to be built into kits. We had something like an $80,000 order for Amazon for this one week. It was 1,000 kits or something that needed to be put together. I had no one to do it. They couldn’t come to work. The fulfillment team or the guys in the warehouse could stay open, but somebody needed to put this stuff together. I said, “I’ll do it.”

You have four kids.

What was interesting is that my husband who is in tech and always traveled all of a sudden, couldn’t travel. The roles reverse. He worked from home and I was on the road. To get those kits put together, I was gone for ten days. When I walked into that overflow warehouse, I saw three stories high of boxes that had been ordered back in 2015 and 2017. That was probably $75,000 of over-ordered boxes. There was this and that. It was my fault. I was like, “This is where the money’s going.” That was part of the problem.

It took me three years to go through those boxes that were ordered in 2015 and 2017. It’s no one’s fault, but my own. I took my finger off every level. I went down there every single week. I made 104 trips from Boston to Trenton, New Jersey between April 2nd, 2020 and July 6th, 2022. I wound up moving 3PLs because there was a lot of overspending, things I trusted that I didn’t realize. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars spent that didn’t need to be. It’s my fault.

We talk about accountability and ownership. What I appreciate so much is your perspective on that because it’s one of the most critical factors of leadership that many people don’t understand. They’re quick to say, “Somebody did it.” Somebody did it but if you’re in charge, you own it.

The buck stops with you. We moved out of our old 3PL. I spent a couple of hours and went through all of our invoices from 2013 through now. I’m really angry at myself. The amount of overcharging that I allowed to happen because I trusted. All I had to do was look a little deeper. It wasn’t the consultants. It wasn’t her job. For the 3PL, it gives them more money and more storage. They’re going to order as many boxes. I was angry at myself, but it’s done. You have to move on. It was nine years of overspending.TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

It is my fault. I gave them the power to do it. That was the biggest mistake. Now everything has to go through me. We moved to a new 3PL on July 7th of 2022. They are amazing. As much as I love and trust them, there is a different level. I’m looking at everything and combing through everything. I hate to say it but even in 2022, people see you as a female and they feel they can take advantage of you. I let it happen. As someone as sharp and smart as I am, I let myself get taken advantage of.

They call it trust but verify. That’s what we used to say in the military.My husband always loves to put a positive spin on things. He’s like, “We can’t go back now and change anything. You got your MBA.” I liked the way you put that.

Let’s talk about the process because you had no experience in manufacturing. You have production, packaging, marketing, distribution and sales. There are many different components of creating this. You also talked about the concept and some financing called a factor, which I thought was interesting. I wanted you to explain that because that’s something we haven’t talked about at all and something that a lot of people don’t know about. Can you talk about this concept of what a factor is, how you used it, and then also, what it has been like to go into these various components of the process of producing a manufactured good?

Let’s do part one of this answer about manufacturing. While I didn’t have all the knowledge in the world about business, I was a sponge about manufacturing. I loved it so much. I had this idea, “Now who’s going to make these jars?” I came from NBC. I don’t know how to make something. I spent hundreds of hours of research. I wanted to make as many products as possible in the US. How do you make anything anywhere, let alone in the United States? I found this factory. I cold called them. By unbelievable luck, I wound up getting the head of engineering on the phone on his lunch break.

His name is David Gotler. He long since retired, but David must have heard something in my voice or was in a good mood. He spent 45 minutes on the phone talking to me about plastics. He probably could not believe that this gal on the other end of the phone was as passionate about glass and plastic as he was. He wound up helping to facilitate a meeting with me and the heads of the factory. I walked into a boardroom of men. I was the only woman. I went in there and I pitched my idea because factories don’t just say like, “Do you want to make this? Sure, we’ll make it.” There’s a whole process.

That was my first meeting. I pitched to them. They loved my passion and my idea. They also saw the hole in the market. We worked with them for eight years. They were our primary supplier for the glass and the plastic jars. As we moved and expanded, I learned about other ways to find factories and deal with China, Korea, and factories in India.

Initially, it felt intimidating, but I said to myself, “These are just people far away. These documents are all in a language I can’t understand. What we’re going to do is I’m going to ask them to send the English version like, ‘Let’s figure it out.’” Between video meetings, pictures, and a little bit of charades, you figure it out. Almost everyone in the factory speaks English, certainly the sales reps. We had a great time. The tough glass jars right there that have the little fruit dots on the top of the lid took about two years to develop. I wanted the best product testing. I found the best lab. Everyone’s teaching and I was a sponge.

I reached out to these factories myself. Still to this day, I don’t have a rep. I deal with China directly. I deal with Korea, Vietnam, and our factories abroad in India and the US all myself because I enjoy it. Right off the bat, there are ways you can get taken advantage of, especially as a female. Something I do want to share is that when I hear people, male or female, any entrepreneur who says, “I spent my life savings on this first order. The container came in and everything was wrong.” There are ways to avoid that.TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

You need to get samples all along the way. You need to have written agreed-upon samples, and then you need a master case pack off the line. Before it’s going to ship, you never pay them in full. Maximum 60% down, 40% before it leaves. You try to do a 50/50, whatever. It’s either 50/50, 60/40 or 70/30, but never 100% because that way they’re not going to get paid. It breaks my heart. You always need to get your sample off the line. You always need to get everything quality tested. There are many different regulations for every country.

The United States has the fewest regulations. We test to the highest standards for every country so we don’t clip our own wings. We test for everything. It has to pass before it gets on the boat. With our little squeezy pouch like that little fish right there, the baby food squeeze pouches, there was something the factory was trying to get away with. I said, “No, test it,” until it got tested and pass with flying colors. With those squeeze pouches over there, the baby food reusable pouches, the factory kept making a mistake and failing the test. I said, “No, you got to do it over and over again until it’s right.” You also surprise them. You have a team of inspectors show up who inspects it and then retests it. There are lots of ways you can protect yourself

As we are manufacturing goods and starting to expand the line, you need more funding. I felt blessed. We had a lot of investors, and still do, wanting to work with us. It never felt right. It’s this intuition. I kept saying to myself, “Most people take on investors. Why does this feel so wrong?” I can’t even tell you how many meetings I had with investors. I didn’t even get to the point where I wanted to pitch because I didn’t want to do it. It didn’t feel right. I thought there’s got to be a better way. I talked to the SBA. It’s not enough. I met with the bank to talk about lines of credit. I was like, “It’s not right either.”

All of a sudden, I looked through my cards. When you go to these various trade shows, you have 10,000 cards. I was like, “I have all these cards. I remember meeting these guys.” Various factors. It’s like, “What is that?” I called my accountant. She was like, “I’m not 100% sure. I know they all work differently.” I started having meetings. They all work differently. Let me say what it is. A factor is someone who will own your receivables and who will pay you early. For example, our factor owns our Amazon and our Target receivables, our two biggest accounts. Rather than us holding the bag for six months, letting all this money out, the three months to produce the product, then it’s got to come to us, then we have to sell it.

TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

“A factor is someone who will own your receivables, who will pay you early.”

Target and Amazon and accounts like that have 90 to 120-day terms. You’re waiting for your money forever. It’s an eternity for any size company. What the factor does for us, for example, we get our orders from Amazon or Target on a Monday. We ship it by a Thursday or Friday. I upload the invoices. They pay us. Amazon pays them.

They’re fronting you.

Now it can work in many different ways. What I like so much about our factors is that they’ve been in business for many years. It’s a father and two sons at the helm. It’s straightforward. They get X amount off the Target invoice. They get X amount off the Amazon invoice no matter if Amazon or Target pays on time or not. Not every factor works that way. There was one I spoke to who was like, “It’s 0.03 every day. It’s late.” I was like, “I don’t understand.” If I don’t understand it and I got to be at the helm and this involves my money, having learned from the box situation, I was like, “No.” I wound up going with what was most streamlined. They also offer purchase order financing, which is fantastic.

There are many ways. You don’t have to say no. For example, we have this wonderful opportunity to expand into 350 stores in the Midwest. This is one particular retailer. These opening orders are huge. They will own the purchase order. They will help fund the products so that they can get made. We’re talking now about multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars of orders. When you launch in Walmart, these are million-dollar purchase orders. That’s a lot of products. You can do purchase order financing. There’s also a wonderful platform we found called Kickfurther. Whereas Kickstarter is for brand new businesses. People have Kickstarter for many different reasons and it’s open to the public.

Kickfurther is a closed group of already vetted investors for companies that are making $150,000 in revenue or more. They fund your inventory. They hold the bag versus you. You don’t start paying them back until you receive the inventory. There are many different options out there. We’ve utilized everything from expensive online loans many years ago where the interest rate is crazy, but you get the money like yesterday to now we have our factor for our two biggest accounts. We’ve utilized Kickfurther to help us keep inventory rolling because the supply chain issues are such a hot mess. We lost over $1 million in revenue in the past months because a container would come in and it would sell out.

We waited for over three months for one of our containers of our top sellers. You lose your rank and you lose your jam on Amazon. The algorithm hates you. The most important thing in the supply chain for any physical product-based company, whether you’re small, medium or large, is inventory. Everyone has had issues with inventory. I have personally gotten creative funding-wise to make sure that we don’t run out of products so we can expand.

We’re expanding to all these different marketplaces like Williams-Sonoma. We launched in Pottery Barn Kids. We want to expand on Amazon. We want to bring in more for Target. We’re having all these in-store programs. Now we’ve expanded into the grocery market. We’re with the UNFI. You need to have your inventory because if you can’t supply the inventory, you lose those accounts. That’s awful. I want entrepreneurs to know that you may need an investor, but you don’t always. There are many options now.

[bctt tweet=”Try to keep mistakes as inexpensive as possible. ” username=”talentwargroup”]

A lot of what you’ve thrown out here, we’ve never talked about this, and we’ve had a number of entrepreneurs on who have built their own businesses and never have we talked about these options. 

It’s especially for physical product-based companies., I highly recommend. If you have a physical product-based company and you’re making $150,000 in revenue per year or more, there are companies on there that I look up to that I admire. That was what made me want to work with them. This is interesting. These companies that are way larger than we are in the same space in the juvenile marketplace. This is how they’re doing it with a factor because there are many different ways a factor can work.

With anything you’re doing financially, you have to be careful, but just to make sure if you do take on a factor that you are secure on the terms and you like the people. I recommend going with a factor that’s streamlined, which also offers purchase order financing because then you already have a relationship and then you don’t have to go somewhere else. There are many options. You don’t have to say no to big orders because there are options.

I want to ask about technology, the third component. eCommerce is what I’m interested in. How have you approached the eCommerce market versus the big box retailer market? TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

We’ve had a strong foothold or footprint in the eCommerce market since day one. Interestingly enough, feeding products for babies, kids and toddlers sell more online than in-store. For example, if you’re going to go buy a stroller or a car seat, more than likely, you’re going to want to go in-store and see it, feel it, and physically touch it, but it’s different for this category. For us, when 2020 hit, it was feast or famine for companies. Either you were having a difficult time or your sales were up exponentially. For us, and we felt grateful, sales were up 300% because families were staying home, making their own food for their kids and families. We already had a strong footprint in eCommerce. We were with,, and Amazon right from the beginning.

That is not in my wheelhouse. I don’t understand that. That takes people who know what they’re doing, especially with the EDI, the Electronic Data Interface, where the computers talk to each other. You can go into the portal, the backend of let’s say Target’s portal. You can see the purchase orders but you can’t ship them unless the EDI is connected. You do it that way. I’m in EDI hell at the moment. We moved from one warehouse to another. The way the initial warehouse did our EDI setups, again, it’s my problem because I didn’t ask. I paid way too much money for these setups and they were done in a way where we couldn’t take them with us.

It’s my own fault but now I know. We’ve started all over again. Now everything is in the cloud. Everything is modern. With the EDI package we have now, I don’t see us moving to another 3PL anytime soon, but it’s like turning the dial. Now we’re starting all over again. I’m needing to learn working with this team who knows so much. We have all these weeks of backed-up orders from these huge retailers that we have prepped and ready to go, but we can’t ship until all the connections are made. It’s crazy. There’s so much.

As far as the tech end goes for eCommerce, everything is EDI. You need people who know what they’re doing, especially with Amazon. The chargebacks, you put your label on slightly askew, that’s $100. That is not something you can hire for character and they can teach the trade later. The character almost doesn’t matter as long as they know what they’re doing. Tech is its own kind of thing.

Sometimes when I talk about that, I do quantify things like engineering where I’m like, “There are a lot of things we can change it for,” but if we need to do software engineering and you’re understanding software engineering, probably we’re not going to be able to make this happen. When you sat down and spoke with Juliet Han, you said, “Try to keep your failures as inexpensive as possible.” You also spoke about fear. You talked about fear of failure, fear of loss, and fear of not achieving your dreams. We’ve had a lot of conversations about fear and overcoming what I call limiting beliefs. Colin Beavan in episode 15 talks about these limiting beliefs, the things that prevent you from taking action. How do you combat these fears?

I want to quickly touch on the first thing you said which is to try to keep your mistakes as inexpensive as possible. I made some expensive mistakes in the beginning. We all have to learn in life. Some lessons we have to learn the hard way and some lessons we don’t. This is one that nobody needs to learn the hard way. Five months out of the gate, we launched in Buy Buy Baby nationwide. What do you need for that? You need packaging.

TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

“Try to keep your mistakes as inexpensive as possible.”

We have this meeting set up with Buy Buy Baby. My designers and I designed this whole suite of packaging for the line that we’re in love with. We spend $35,000 on all the boxes because we’re like, “This packaging is the bomb.” We got no one’s eyeballs on it, except for us. We love the packaging. We’re in the Buy Buy Baby meeting. When you’re in a meeting with a big box retailer, it’s a boardroom. You get to go in ten minutes before You set up your thing and you do your thing.

It’s like in the Shark Tank.

It’s similar but you’re sitting down. They’re not in front of you and frightened. They’re around the board room. It’s also mildly intimidating. We’re in there for two hours talking. Our buyer is still our buyer to this day. The sales rep group, who I never should have hired, screwed us. Again, it falls to me. I learned my lesson the hard way, and some other big wigs at Buy Buy Baby going through a stack of difficult business terms. I got it. No problem. She said to me and we laugh about this to this day, “I love you. I love your product. I hate your packaging.”

I was a grown woman in a meeting with Buy Buy Baby. I started to cry. I cried ugly tears in my meeting at Buy Buy Baby, and then we all laughed because you don’t spend $35,000 on a suite of packaging before a buyer has had their eyeballs on it. You make mock-ups because people have tweaks and things they don’t like. In my head, I was like, “I have to find another $35,000.” You don’t want to not launch in Buy Buy Baby.

We used those ugly boxes for online orders and scraped and scrapped another $35,000 together for boxes that they had their eyeballs on and that they gave approval. Please, don’t ever put your money into a whole suite of boxes without getting other people’s eyeballs on them. It’s easy to make mock-ups. Buyers are used to seeing mock-ups. That to me is the most expensive stupid mistake I ever made. Part two of your question was, I know it was passion-based. Can you repeat it?

How do you overcome these fears of failure, loss, and not achieving your dream? 

You have to fall in love with failure as an entrepreneur. You can’t make the same mistake twice. Failure is how we learn. I sure as hell didn’t spend another $35,000 on another suite of packaging without getting an eyeball. We grow and we learn from our mistakes, but we have to fail fast and move on. Failure is something we need to fall in love with and embrace. We all get deflated as entrepreneurs like the wind out of your sails.

TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

“You have to fall in love with failure, because failure is how we learn.”

Sometimes, it’s multiple times a day.

It’s a loop de loop rollercoaster every single day. My kids are used to it now but I’ll be flying high maybe at noon and then crying at 3:00 PM, and then like, “Guys, it all worked out.” By dinner time, they’re like, “Mom, you are a riot.” You can get through it when you believe in what you’re doing. I believe in myself and my product so deeply that these little kerfuffles that happen, it’s like, “Eh.” I’m like, “I know what I’m doing. I can fix this.” It’s like, “Ugh,” but you fix it. I trust myself so much to fix any problem that comes my way. That’s what you need to have as an entrepreneur.

You’re going to have problems every single day. Trust in yourself that you’re going to be able to find the solution, whether you know the answer or whether you’re going to find someone who’s going to help you find the answer. There’s never going to be a day without problems. There’s also never going to be a day without a little success. You need to be okay with both. Put your harness on and ride the rollercoaster

TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

“There’s never gonna be a day without problems. And there’s never gonna be a day without a little success.”

It’s purpose. You can fall back on that purpose, “Why am I doing this? What drives me?” It helps you to continue to get back on that train.

Also, the trust in yourself that you can get through it. Without that, that is what can derail the whole train. If you allow those daily problems, some are huge, some are small, but if you allow them to derail you and knock the wind out of you, that becomes a problem. When there are problems every day, which there are, you start to get weaker and weaker, whereas your problems can make you stronger and stronger. You’re like, “We did this over here. That worked. Let’s do a modified version of that over here. We can fix it.” That’s what’s helped me get through constant punches to the throat, either from my kids or from my business or life. We all get punched in the throat every day.

Can I ask you about daytime TV? The first passion. The Passions before the passion. You spent ten years on NBC’s Passions. You played Gwen Hotchkiss. What was it about getting into it that you loved? You said it was your true first passion. 

This is interesting. It was like the family business because my mother was in the daytime forever. When I was five years old, she was already on for a long time. It was intriguing. I love to perform. I love being in front of the camera. It felt like this natural family business. When the opportunity arose for this part for

Gwen Hotchkiss, it seemed like a no-brainer. It was myself and a couple of other women who tried out for the part. I was 21, just out of college. I flew out to LA by myself. I bombed. They normally give you two chances. You have a scene.

You’re out there, full hair and makeup. You’re doing a scene. I bombed the first two times. I’ll never forget this. I looked into the camera because the camera is connected to the booth. I said, “I know you don’t normally give people three chances, but I can do a lot better. I’m just asking for one more chance.” I crushed it the third time. It’s a different industry but it’s belief in yourself. I love to perform. We were all so young. We were between 19 years old and 25. It was the most fun ever. We were on CBS a lot of the time. Will & Grace was being filmed there, That ‘70s Show, Seinfeld. We were all in the commissary together like Kramer getting cheeseburgers. It was amazing.

[bctt tweet=”You have to fall in love with failure because failure is how we learn. ” username=”talentwargroup”]

There was one summer when Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Warren G did a private concert for 1,000 of us on the lot. It remains one of my husband’s favorite moments of all time. We had so much fun. As time went on, money is wonderful but I wasn’t fulfilled. Had the show not gone down and been canceled, I would’ve stayed forever because it was a lot of fun and the money was great. There was a piece of my soul that was like, “I want to give back to the community in some way.” The show ending was a good thing for me. It was a way that I was forced to pivot.

You mentioned your husband. You’ve been together since you were kids. 

We’ve known each other since we were kids. We have our first-grade class picture. He’s standing behind me. We’re both seven years old. We did not start dating until we were something like 27. I was engaged to someone before him. When we first got together, this was before digital photos, we found these pictures that I had taken of us in the limo together at a prom, different dates and stuff. We’ve known each other forever, but we didn’t start dating until we were in our late twenties. We were engaged within 6 or 8 months or something

You balance a lot in your day between the kids, the business and being married. You said that you have to temper your expectations and that you used to be able to achieve 50 things in a day, and now it’s five. I asked this question out of my own personal wonder because I struggle with this tremendously. I wake up at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning, and I have my list of things that I made the night before at midnight when I went to bed. Inevitably by the end of the day, I started to realize I’m not going to get all this done. You start to get frustrated. It’s like, “Now I have to try to reprioritize this.” You always feel like you’re behind.

With four kids, two dogs, a horse, and a husband, there are a lot of responsibilities.

All are vying to be a top priority. 

I need to keep everybody alive, fed, and everyone needing attention. A few years ago, we all feel like multitasking is the jam. We can do it all at the same time, but the truth is you can’t. You can do it all, but not all at the same time. I remember running myself ragged for years, but only 30% of everything was getting done. I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was on this treadmill and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I realized I’m going to have to segment my day. As much as you can, and of course, life throws us surprises, especially with kids, dogs, horses, and living things, but as much as you can, segment your day. Instead of having 30 things on your to-do list, I have five critical work tasks and five critical home tasks that must get done.TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

If a day takes me off the rails, I look back at my list. “What’s on the home thing I haven’t done yet? Brendan needs to be signed up for his archery class. I can do that in two seconds. That email, let me do it.” It’s the critical things, not making the bed and folding laundry. The permission slips that don’t get slipped. Five critical things for work that are going to move the needle and five critical things that are going to keep your home at least somewhat running smoothly. When you feel like you’re getting lost, you go back to that list. At the end of the day, it’s only five things, but it’s five important things.

You do your brain dump, and then you start taking off what has to be done tomorrow because not everything has to be done on Monday. Some things can wait until Wednesday and some things can wait until Friday. You add to the list. For me, it’s segmenting the day. When mom is working, mom is working. I’m lucky now because my kids are a little bit older. When they were younger, I was exceptionally lucky that I was able to afford childcare.

When Brendan was sick and I was developing the company, I did not want anybody in my house for two years. I segmented my time in a different way. I worked when they were sleeping and that was it. No matter if you have childcare or not, there is a way you can do it. Now that they’re older, it’s much easier. I say to them, “This is important. I need you to give me until 12:00 to get this done” It’s segmenting.

You have the four top lessons that you’ve put out there in the world. I’m going to ask you about them. I’ll throw it out and then you give me your top line of this is what it means. Do you know you have four?

I don’t. I’m excited to hear what they are.

The first one, protect your idea. 

You got to protect your idea because none of us is reinventing the wheel anymore. With the technology that there are these days, people can copy you overnight. Protect your idea until it’s out there. Your factories will give your idea to another company. Those squeezy patches, I have the design patent. I own the design patent, but our own factory gave the design to another company. Now about five other companies are using my design.

We have the patent. We can call ourselves the original. You need to keep it to yourself, launch, land, and expand as fast as you can because it will happen. About copying, unless they got there ahead of you, if nobody wants to copy you, you suck. That’s my thought about copying. If people want to copy you, you’re doing something right.

TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

“Keep it to yourself…launch, land and expand as fast as you can.”

Just do it faster.

You have to ask yourself, “Do people want this then?”

People wanting to copy you is a huge compliment. You just got to get there before they do.

Eventually, it’s going to happen. The second one, do your homework. 

You have to do your homework and then you have to look away from it. You have to know what’s out there. If you don’t know what’s out there, you could be doing something someone else is already doing. I did ridiculous amounts of homework. Every time I want to launch a new product, homework and more homework, and then blinders on. Now we’re doing what we’re going to do. You never want to lose your voice as a brand. You don’t want to be looking so much at what the competition is doing that you start to sound like them just because you’re knee-deep in their Amazon listings, or you’re looking at their social media. You need to know what they’re doing, then you need to put it away and do your own thing informed.

Three, be ready to make mistakes.

Be ready to make mistakes and make peace with them. No way you’re going to get through a day without making mistakes. Learn from them. If something is the Titanic, don’t hang onto it and go down with it. Stop it, change it, and move on fast. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, but learn fast and move on.

The last one, don’t wait. 

There’s no perfect time. You never going to have enough money, experience, knowledge, the right this, the right that. Do it. Plant your seeds and get started because there are 100 people behind you with the same idea. Start because here we are many years in and I’m still learning every day. There’s never a perfect time.

Iterate on it and see what happens.

Build the plane as you fly.

I want to ask you about what’s next. The company has grown 100% year on year for multiple years in a row. You have been doing over seven figures five years in a row, but the US underwent and still experiencing a major baby formula shortage with supply chain issues. Abbott Labs closed twice. The White House launched Operation Fly Formula, which is normally you see the pictures of the US dropping aid in other countries, and here we are dropping aid in our own country. In July 2022, 30% of the shelves were bare. Data shows it’s down to about 20%, but the end of this is not expected until later on in 2022, if not into early 2023. What’s next for the industry in your mind? What’s next for the company?

[bctt tweet=”Just do it. Plant your seeds and get started because there are a hundred people behind you with the same idea. There’s never a perfect time so just start.” username=”talentwargroup”]

I don’t think it’s just our industry. It’s manufacturing and products in general. It’s difficult right now because not only are there supply chain issues. The general public was made aware of supply chain issues. It was last fall 2022, but it had already been happening since March of 2021. Every single link in the supply chain is broken, from the raw material sources abroad to not enough truckers here in our country to bring things. Our ports aren’t optimized for all this congestion. The largest container shipping company made in the first quarter of 2022 more money than they had made in seven years because shipping costs were up 5X to 6X. What used to cost us let’s say $4,000 or $5,000 to bring in a container is now between $20,000 and $22,000.

It has grown that much.

It has gone down now slightly, but so you still got your raw materials that cost more. You’ve got the factories costing more as a result. Everything is taking longer. Now you also have the vessels that are tremendously more expensive and you have the Trump import taxes. I don’t care who you vote for. This has been an enormous problem. I’m a huge believer in making things in the United States. We’ve been making our plastic jars in the US since day one, but these import taxes that were put on these products coming in from China to hurt China are hurting the United States businesses.

Instead of a 7% import tax, I’m now paying 30% on top of 5X more expensive shipping. That hurts me as a small American business owner. This is a large problem for a large reason there’s inflation. We’re not raising prices. Companies aren’t raising prices for fun. They’re raising prices at the bare minimum so everyone can stay alive. People will say, “Liza, just make everything in the US.” I wish we could. I called every single glass factory in the United States and was told, “We cannot even talk to you until the end of 2023.”

It’s because they’re busy. 

It’s wonderful that they’re busy. These import taxes were being slammed because we’re not working with US-based factories. We’re trying to work with US-based factories and there’s no opportunity. We’re still being slammed. This is a big problem.

You have to decide too what you are going to do. Are you going to squeeze your margin and reduce your margin or up your price and pass it off to the consumer? 

It’s also difficult because when you’re with big retailers like Target and Walmart, they’re not interested. They care about their margins. We’re moving as much production out of China as possible. What we can’t get made in the US, we’re moving over to other countries like Vietnam, India and Korea because the import tax is just China. Whatever your politics are, what has been happening now has been hurting American businesses and a big cause of inflation. People don’t understand it’s coming from the raw materials, the enormous vessel charges, the import taxes and labor shortages, the formula factories, and COVID and this and that. There is no one solution when every single link in the chain is broken.

TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

“There is no one solution when every single link in the chain is broken.”

What’s next for us? Moving as much as we can to the US and moving as much as we can out of China. I work with multiple freight forwarders now. Freight forwarders are the ones who will pick up your goods from the factories abroad and bring them in. I’m testing people to see who can get things in faster. We’ve had to air freight stuff which leaves us at almost no margin because it’s so expensive. The cost of losing the business and losing your Amazon ranking is more expensive than going out of stock.

It’s difficult. What’s next for us is we continue to pivot. We continue to make the best quality products in ways where we can still make our margin, it is business after all but still, provide the consumer with a high-quality product at a reasonable price because everyone is hurting now. I feel like my creativity has been pushed to the absolute limit. It’s fun when you have these ideas like, “I can do this.”

We got to find a solution. You can’t just sit here and say, “It is what it is. It’s going to resolve itself.” It’s not. You have to do something about it. 

It was pretty bad the past months. Last holiday season, shelves were bare. When we’re talking about something that’s such a necessity like baby formula, that is not something that can wait.

We had a conversation with my wife. I had seen a news report about it. I said, “Do we need to start once a week, once every two weeks going and buying formula and stockpiling it because we’re going to have the baby in October 2022?”

You don’t know what the situation is going to be. There’s this whole other mom shaming thing that goes on, “Just breastfeed.” It doesn’t work that way. First of all, no one should be shaming anyone. If you have a toddler and you stop breastfeeding and the toddler needs formula, you don’t all of a sudden produce milk again. It doesn’t work for everyone. We’re all trying to do the best for our children. No one should be shaming anybody. This is a big problem. Maybe you should start stockpiling. Formulas are the new toilet paper.

That’s the decision we made. As we close out, the Jedburghs had to do three things every day to be successful. We call them foundations and habits. They had to be able to shoot, move, and communicate. These are core tasks. If they did these things with the utmost precision, they could then focus their attention on more complex things that came their way or complex challenges to find solutions to. What are the three things that you do every day in your world to set the conditions for success? 

The first thing is I am committed to my critical task list. The five things for the home and the five things for work. I do not veer from that because if I veer from that and those things don’t get done, I am not going to reach my goals for my family or my business when I am scared of something. There’s some saying that goes, “What would you do if you had twenty seconds of wild courage that you’ve never had before.” If I have to email someone that’s maybe a little bit intimidating and if I need to make a decision, I set my kitchen timer for twenty seconds. I send that email and I do it. I put myself on the clock.TJP - E72 Sage Spoonfuls with Liza Huber

The third thing is, and this is hard for working parents, especially in the evenings, when my children want to spend time with me, that phone is gone because the work will always be there, but those kids will not. I do not want their picture of their mother to be of her in bed with her phone in her face when they want to cuddle or watch a movie or get a back rub or whatever.

Stay committed to the critical task list. The second one, take the twenty seconds of wild courage and do that thing that you would do if there was no repercussion. I love that one because I would tell myself that all the time, especially in doing this. It’s like, “I want to interview this person. I want to talk to that person.” You put it in your head, “They’ll never talk to me.” “Maybe they will.” It’s a no right now until you ask. The third one, spend time with the kids and put the phone away. This is a big one. It’s one that my wife is reminding me about every day. All three of yours resonate strongly with me. They’re amazing.

Thank you.

We talk a lot on the show about these nine characteristics of elite performance that Special Operations Forces use to select and assess talent. If you apply them to any successful person, any Jedburgh, as you will, it’s the character that they live by that allows them to bounce back from failure, be successful, drive, resiliency, adaptability, humility, integrity, curiosity, teamability, effective intelligence, and emotional strength. We’ve talked about all of these in some form or fashion because elite performers exhibit all of these, not at the same time, but in different combinations of them based on the situation that they’re in.

At the end of these conversations, I take one. I think about our conversation that we had here and I think about what defines you. For me, certainly, all of these apply to everything you’ve talked about and everything you’re doing every day. I think about curiosity because you’ve talked so much about creativity, the drive, and doing it. It all comes back to this ability to be curious to go find the answer, find the solution, and challenge the status quo. You identified this gap in a major market.

This is not a niche product. This is a mainstream market where you’ve identified this gap. You knew that it wasn’t what you did in your career on television and that it requires a pivot. You had to educate and train yourself and find a way to be successful. The options that you spoke about here regarding financing are some of the most fascinating options I’ve ever heard not only here on the show, but also in business. I already have a list of people that after this, I’m going to ask you if you’ll talk to them because they’re asking me these questions.

I’m happy to help because it’s important to know what your options are.

It all comes down to curiosity and not being willing to sit here and say that there can’t be a better solution or there can’t be a better way to do this. As you talked about where the industry is going, what’s going to happen next, and how you pivot the business, you’re not sitting back and saying, “It will figure itself out.” You’re finding solutions. You’re learning more, finding ways to challenge what’s happening now to be successful in the future. You have overcome so much in your life. That is an absolute testament to these characteristics that you display every day. It’s truly been an honor to sit here with you, tell your story, and share your lessons. I appreciate your time. Thank you very much. 

Thank you so much. It has been wonderful speaking with you.


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