Episode 039 (Judy Edwards) – Shark Tank Success After Two Bankruptcies

Ten years ago, at age 60, Judy and her husband were trying to figure out what they were going to do for their retirement. They had started multiple businesses in the past, with varying degrees of success, but were still needing something more to help them feel more secure with their finances. At the same time, Judy went to the doctor to get help with a medical problem she had always had.

That meeting with her doctor changed her life forever, and inspired her to create a product that has now changed the lives of millions of people. Since starting Squatty Potty, they have sold over $160 million worth of product, and were able to sell their shares of the business to be secure and comfortable in their retirement. Listen to this episode to hear about that doctor’s appointment and how a stool for your stool changed everything.

TL;DR

Pooping is awkward. And sometimes painful or uncomfortable. But Squatty Potty solves that problem. Also, Judy is the sweetest person in the entire world.

Judy Edwards

Top Quotes

“Just have courage.”

“Life’s going to hurt, but if you don’t pick yourself back up you’ll never do anything.”

“I think when you allow failure to paralyze you, and don’t keep going, that’s true failure.”

Links

Squatty Potty Website: Click Here

The Peace Giver (Book): Click Here

Transcript

Kyle Bringhurst  00:00

I am sitting here with Judy Edwards. How are you doing, Judy?

Judy Edwards  00:04

I’m doing great.

Kyle Bringhurst  00:05

Good. Yeah. So for those of you who don’t know, Judy is actually the founder, one of the founders of Squatty Potty. And if you haven’t heard of them, you’ve been living under a rock because they were on Shark Tank a few years ago, you ended up getting a deal with Lori right? We did Lori, and since then you have become one of the biggest success stories from all of Shark Tank history. How many stores? How many different types of stores are you guys in now?

Judy Edwards  00:33

Well, at first, we were in more big bet with COVID. Yeah, a lot of stores have gone down. We’re still selling quite a bit to Bed Bath and Beyond and Target. Walmart in Canada, there’s a lot of Canadian stores. And I don’t know how many doors we’ve been in that right now. We’ve concentrated more on online 70% of our customers is online business. We found that to be right now with COVID. A lot more profitable and less hassle. And a lot. Yeah, more profitable. For sure.

Kyle Bringhurst  01:06

Yeah, cuz you cut out the middleman, you don’t have to worry about selling wholesale anymore. And so you get to keep all of that extra margin as well.

Judy Edwards  01:13

Exactly, exactly.

Kyle Bringhurst  01:15

So I want to jump I want to talk a little bit about you and your life. Have you always been an entrepreneur before Squatty Potty?

Judy Edwards  01:23

Well, I was married at 17. And my husband was 18. We’ve been married 53 years. Wow. So my husband always just wanted to work for himself. He and so he did. And I’ll tell you that road has been really up and down. We’ve had seven children along the way. So we’ve seen great times. And we’ve seen some really hard times. One thing I’m really glad about too, though, is we never let failure paralyze us to a point where we can keep moving forward, we’ve always realized that if we don’t pick up, nobody else is going to do that. Yeah. So I really feel like that was a blessing that we could just keep moving forward and go on to the next thing. We had two bankruptcies, which is not something I think that but I’m just trying to let people know, hey, this can be really tough sometimes for sure. And but it can be very rewarding as well.

Kyle Bringhurst  02:24

So what were some of your initial businesses that you guys started to do?

Judy Edwards  02:30

Well, I was a stay at home mom. But I always helped my husband with everything he did. I was the bookkeeper the phone answer. At first he he worked for medical dairy, and then he was a trucker. And we, my dad had a dairy and needed feed hauled into it. So we opened a business, a feed business. And that was our first real business that we had. And he would buy and sell bulk feed commodities and haul them in and then the dairy industry went down and couldn’t pay us. And that’s what took us down the first time was that business.

Kyle Bringhurst  03:07

So how old were you guys, with that one?

Judy Edwards  03:10

We were probably in our 30s at that time.

Kyle Bringhurst  03:13

I want to jump into that a little bit. So how long did you run it before it failed?

Judy Edwards  03:19

We ran it twice. It failed twice. Although it was the first fail. Then we decided to do it again. Because it really was a good business. And they dairies actually kind of came back. And we decided at this point, we won’t, we won’t have the trucks because the trucks was just the thing that took us down to as well because they were eating up a lot of the profits. So the second time we just did feed and brokered feed, and it worked out a lot better for us. And then the dairy industry went bad again, couldn’t pay us the second time it took us down. And we just didn’t have any more heart for that. And this after.

Kyle Bringhurst  03:57

Understandable, it speaks to your resolve a little bit. Just because if most people fail, they would never think about doing that same thing again. So it speaks a lot to your resolve that you guys would just get back up on your feet and go for it again because you saw something there and learn from what happened before that your trucks were taking a lot of your margin and just went for it.

Judy Edwards  04:21

Yeah. And and we knew that it could be a great business that like I saved the second time. It’s great as long as the dairies are getting the money that they need to, you know, pay for their feed. It was a good business. After that. We bought a big old tire store up in Oregon and went up and ran that for a few years. Got it running, running good but my dad had a stroke and I knew that we needed to get back to Utah. All of our kids are in Utah. I had lost my last son I guess I didn’t lose them but I lost him to school out of the house and I went up there just me and my husband without any kids. So I was in mourning for about Six months with this empty nester syndrome.

Judy Edwards  05:03

And so when we had an opportunity to come back, we hopped on that and sold that business and came back and moved to St. George Utah and started another business there called Rose Concrete Coatings. And my son still runs that business. He was kind of the one that was the thought of that he was going to college at SUU. And he says, Hey, you ought to come down and do this. It’s going to be a good business, you had to come down. Of course, we were looking for something at the time. And and so we moved to St. George and and I started going to classes learning more about covering concrete and doing garage floors, and deck the decorating of concrete and got that business going and sold it to our son.

Kyle Bringhurst  05:48

Wow. So in total, how many do you think how many businesses do you think you have had? Or started?

Judy Edwards  05:55

Probably seven.

Kyle Bringhurst  05:57

Wow. That is incredible. I love that so much. It is such a roller coaster, for sure. But I’m very curious now to talk a little bit about squatty potty, because all of these other companies, they were industries that were already established, that had been there for a long time Big O Tires, he bought a franchise and did that. But with Squatty Potty though it was a brand new product, something that did not exist. So the other ones, I feel that I feel like you could have learned from looking at what other companies in the space were doing.

Judy Edwards  06:32

This was totally new to us. I mean to develop a product and sell it was like mind boggling. We knew nothing.

Kyle Bringhurst  06:42

So where did the idea for it come from? How did it come about?

Judy Edwards  06:45

Well, they say necessity is the mother of all invention. And I had been constipated my whole life. I had gone to a colon hydrotherapist. And she said that I never should go the bathroom without raising my knees above my waist. And she recommended that I buy a stool, just a stool and put in front of the toilet. So I went home and did that. And it made a big difference in my life. And my son, Bobby was there one day and was talking about it. And he says yeah, Mom, let’s build a stool because this one was always in the way. I tripped over it. My husband cussed it, because he couldn’t stand. And my So my sense is let’s build one that wraps around the toilet, and he can pull it out and push it back. And so he was kind of the idea of that.

Judy Edwards  07:30

And from there we’re like, Yeah, well, yeah, we ought to but how do we sell a toilet stool? Nobody wants to talk about poop. Are you kidding me? How do we even approach people you can’t even advertise? At the time you didn’t you mean you still don’t advertise? Talk about pooping anywhere. But at that time, we just had a lot of really doors open up to us. And uh, one thing about Squatty Potty that worked from the beginning is it works for most people, like 85% of the people that use it, just say this is a life changer. Yeah. So when you have a product that meets 100% of the population, everybody poops, that’s always a great sign that you’re not limiting yourself to like 10% of the population. So it was kind of like, you know, it was a no brainer, let’s let’s try to make this work. Because it really we knew it was going to really help a lot of people.

Kyle Bringhurst  08:33

That is incredible. I think that’s super smart. I think for anybody out there listening, just think about what problems you are having in your life and then come up with ways to solve them. Because odds are if you have a problem other people do as well. So I like that. I want to talk a little bit more about the marketing side of it, though, because like you said, I feel like that is something extremely hard to advertise and that there are a lot of other niche products like that that do fail because they don’t know how to push their products. So what did you guys do from the beginning to get your name out there and start building momentum and getting sales?

Judy Edwards  09:10

Oh, one thing I had, I had kind of a computer geek right from the beginning for people person my age. I’m 70. Now, nobody knew anything about computers, but I wasn’t scared of them. And I knew the power of them. I knew the power of online business. I had my I had a daughter on a mission. And I needed to earn a little extra money. And so I started going to TJ Maxx buying stuff and putting it on Yahoo auction.

Kyle Bringhurst  09:36

Yahoo auction wow, I have not heard of that.

Judy Edwards  09:38

That was a lot of years ago. And that’s when you had to buy equipment to take pictures. You couldn’t just upload things easily. So I did that. And I actually made a little bit of money. So I knew the power of the internet. That was one thing I wasn’t afraid of and I knew it was there. Another thing is I have a cousin who started he started Orabrush I don’t know if you’ve heard Yeah. And then they started doing the videos. And we we, we would call him and talk to him because we also had a product. And we got ideas from him. What how do we market this? So that was really helpful.

Kyle Bringhurst  10:14

So with that one too, I want to just make a point as well like that one I actually read about it from the Harmon Brothers, they wrote a book, and it was in there. So it’s called from poop to gold actually. It’s so funny, because in that the author talks about, I guess the Harmon Brothers, they talk about how Orabrush had, it was a great product, but they just didn’t know how to do it. Because it was something that was like, so necessary, but also how do you make it appealing? Like, how do you make a toothbrush, a tongue scrubber really be something that everyone’s like, Oh, I need that right now.

Judy Edwards  10:55

And at the time, YouTube was big at marketing has changed. I believe it changed a dozen times since we’ve been in business the last nine years. Yeah. So I like I say, it was just a series of very fortunate events for us. Great doors opened. I just feel so blessed. I can’t express it was really one thing. I mean, to have a cousin that was already going through it and be able to talk to him and ask him, you know what direction and how he he did and what? And he’s the one that introduced us to the Harmon brothers. So we just had so many doors open for us that the beginning.

Kyle Bringhurst  11:33

And so that is who you guys worked with initially, right? Or where where did that come about?

Judy Edwards  11:39

So that wasn’t for quite a while we didn’t have the money to pay Harmon Brothers. So we started Squatty Potty on a real, gosh, I had an equity line on my home. Oh, wow. And I put in $30,000. And I had a son who had some money, and he put in $80,000. And that’s kind of how we started. And so each of my I have two sons, and they each and Bobby, who was our CEO for a long time, he’s our creative guy. Yeah. And he’s the one that really helped with the creative, the website, I couldn’t have done anything. I kind of did the patents and the foundation things, the trademarks, and that kind of stuff. And then Bobby did all the creativity. And that’s why he was our CEO, because he was just really creative and really helped in that area. And so what we did in the very beginning, he says, Mom, there’s a lot of bloggers list just start contacting the health bloggers.

Judy Edwards  12:38

They’re the low hanging fruit, they’re gonna listen to us. They’re gonna talk about pooping, they’re not intimidated by that. And so we sent them all a squatty potty, so we were, don’t be afraid to give away stuff. Yeah. Because you’ve got to find out if it’s something you want to invest in a lot in. Because if you may love the product, but if 50% of the people don’t, you know, you’re it’s gonna be risky. So we started sending out squatty potties to help bloggers, and we says, We want you to try it, and write about it. If you love it, tell your tell your customer base, if you don’t like it, tell them Yeah, tell them what you don’t like about it. We want to know, I we had every single one of the health bloggers that wrote about it, loved it. And that’s where our sales first started coming in. As from those people,

Kyle Bringhurst  13:33

I love the creativity and just figuring out the best way to get in front of potential audiences there. Because, again, the people that read the health blogs are your target market. They’re the ones who want to know how to improve their health how exactly life a lot better. So it wouldn’t make sense to send it to random influencers or other bloggers that aren’t focused on that niche in the beginning, because you don’t know if their readers or followers are going to be the type of people who are looking for your product. So I really like that a lot. That’s a really good point. I want to talk a little bit about shark tank now, obviously. What was that experience like for you?

Judy Edwards  14:13

Oh, my goodness, is the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I, I have a hard time getting up in front of people and just talking. I mean, I’m not gifted that way. And so to go on, and to have to give a pitch. That pitch was so difficult for me, it was like two seconds long. Till the minute I gave it, I couldn’t do it. Right. So that’s how terrible it was. But what happened with Shark Tank so before so let’s back up a little bit. Yeah. So our first customers started from these health bloggers. It got in the hands of somebody on the Dr. Oz Show. Oh wow. One of the Co creators Yeah. And they wanted to do a segment. So Dr. Oz called us right as we had moved out of our garage and into a little warehouse and we had ordered a bunch of plastic stools by them because we wanted to get the price down. The first Squatty Potty was wood, it was too expensive, just didn’t work, get in the bathroom. So then we started doing these plastic stools, and they were just coming. But Dr. Oz, all we had is a little wooden stool. He, one of his staff members called my husband answered the phone.

Judy Edwards  15:31

 And she said this is so and so from the Dr. Oz Show, and it was a funny name. And we do prankster phone calls all the time with our kids. So he just knew it was a joke. Uh huh. And he says, Yeah, my name is Barack Obama. It took her back for a minute. And she says, No, I’m really calling from the doctor. We’re like, we’re in this little warehouse with a few stills, and they want to feature a doctor on a little segment. And we’re like, blown away by that. Wow. Of course, we send it to him. And they did that in our cells really started picking up from there. And then from there, it got in the hands of Howard Stern’s Robin, the gal that works with her him. And she got a hold of one and loved it and they start talking about it sells exploded from there. They I mean, he has like an audience of 2 million people. So we just had so much free advertisement from the beginning, just from the fact that it’s a new product. And it really works. And that was the two things I think that were the gold for the Squatty Potty for us. And then from there, the producer on Shark Tank had one and then they contacted us.

Kyle Bringhurst  16:44

You didn’t even know, they reached out to you. Wow.

Judy Edwards  16:47

They reached out to us. And we didn’t even make it the first year because we didn’t know what we were doing. And it was deadline time. And so the next year, we thought, well, we didn’t even think about doing it. They called us against our chicken apply, we really want you on this show. And so we did again, and that that producer walked us through and helped us put together our video on our paperwork. And so then we were accepted in 2014.

Kyle Bringhurst  17:11

That is definitely a long journey to get to that point. Yeah. And you were telling me that before that as well. You sold part of your company, right?

Judy Edwards  17:21

Yes, in 2012. Well, let me let me back up to the cause of why we sold it. Yeah. So because of our bankruptcies in our business, our credit was just tear I was in the tank really literally. And my son’s wasn’t any good. We were getting by and I had sold, we’ve sold our business to our son, and making a little bit there was and then we were on Social Security. I was 60 at the time, ready to retire, I didn’t even have a house we didn’t have a house paid for. So that was I mean, we were okay. And food on the table were fine. But you know, we were worried about our future, and knew that we needed something to come along 2012 Squatty Potty was really taking off with Howard Stern and with Dr. Oz. And we knew at some point, we may need a we may have a big order.

Judy Edwards  18:15

And we’re going to need some bank, big backing and financing. And we reached out we found a couple of guys they had had their own business, one of them had been one of the founders of overstock.com, he we knew he had deep pockets. And he might be a really good partner because and then he also had a lot of knowledge. Now you got to remember, I haven’t had any formal schooling my husband hasn’t and neither had my son. And we had we we come from this school of hard knocks, and a lot of years of it was our education. So we just felt like that we needed a base or a foundation of some financial strength to help us.

Judy Edwards  19:05

Well, the only thing he says I want 50% We’re like, Oh, that hurts. He’s I won’t do it unless that 50% And, you know, I I’ve always felt like I would rather have 50% of something big than 100% of nothing. Yeah. And one big order would would shoot us in the foot. And we knew that I mean, we could go down with it. We didn’t know what the future brought. And if your company is growing, you need to protect that and know that you have some financial help. Exactly. It turns out that the company grew, we never did really need their financials. We’ve always been cash. We’ve always had cash in the bank, which has been really fortunate for us as well. And I know a lot of companies really struggle that way just because it we started selling a lot of stools right from the beginning and that bring in In money from the beginning, I’ve just paid its way.

Kyle Bringhurst  20:02

See, that’s super smart. Because, I mean, obviously, sometimes you do need to take on investors to be able to make those big orders, like you mentioned. But I feel like too often people focus on okay, I’ve got this product. Now the first thing I need to do is fundraise. And that is not the case at all, because then you’re severely limiting what you can do moving forward, because you now aren’t the one who’s going to be making those decisions. And you’re financially liable to pay them back as well.

Judy Edwards  20:33

Exactly. And you fundraise, you bring in a bunch of money, then what exactly I mean, you start spending that money on yourself, then what I mean, really, you you got to build that business, it’s really important to have that foundation.

Kyle Bringhurst  20:47

I think it comes down to you look at, like lottery winners, for example, people who win lotteries, and they make all this money, and nine times out of 10, that is gone within a few years year, because they just blow it all. And so it’s super important to be able to learn to manage your means that you have right now, and just get a good system going. Because when you’re starting a business, you don’t know what you don’t know. So you’re gonna be throwing money left and right. So if you already have that money available to throw, it’s just gonna go down the drain immediately.

Judy Edwards  21:21

Yeah. Cuz you don’t know where to go with it. You haven’t learned you haven’t paid the price. Yeah. And that’s, that’s probably the hang up with some of these fundraisers. These companies have a great little product, but they haven’t paid the price to get it moving. And they raise this money, and then all of a sudden, it’s dead. Yeah. Yeah, it can be a positive, but it can also be a real for set up for failure for years.

Kyle Bringhurst  21:42

For sure. So going along that you had already raised this money and had an investor, what were your thoughts behind going on to Shark Tank then?

Judy Edwards  21:55

Because we wanted to take it to another level we knew we needed. Number one, we got 30 million people out there that see it. And ours is that product that needs education? Yeah. I mean, it was a no brainer. If with Squatty Potty, any publicity has been great, because it’s a learning thing for anyone. And we need that platform to explain how it works. Because just hearing the name Squatty Potty walking by a store, if you hadn’t heard about Squatty Potty before you have no idea what it is, we knew that that was was going to happen. We could get it in all the stores in the world, it’s not going to sell if people don’t know what it is. Yeah. So that platform was as extremely valuable for us.

Kyle Bringhurst  22:40

Yeah, that’s basically like an appearance on QVC, where you can talk about it and do all that. Exactly, then you have the chance of also partnering with these incredible business people and learning from them and gaining more fundraising as well with that.

Judy Edwards  22:53

Exactly. In short, pink pig at the time was at its peak, it was so popular, then. Yeah. So that was another lucky break. Like can I say incredible and and you know, another thing too, is we knew a being at 16. And by the time I was on Shark Tank, 64 we were ready to retire. And we really wanted an exit plan for us. We didn’t have that many years. And so we we were not like that we’re not going to be doing this, we don’t want to do this the rest of our life. So at some point, soon, we want to be able to sell more of our shares and have them be valuable enough to support us for the rest of our life.

Kyle Bringhurst  23:31

I love hearing this story and just everything that you went through to be able to get to this point. And just all the lessons that you learned from your businesses beforehand, that really helped you get to where you are now. So I want to jump in and talk more about failures and those kinds of things along the way. Because obviously, there’s the show about failures.

Judy Edwards  23:53

And I right now up to this point, it sounds all hunky dory. Believe you it’s not exactly.

Kyle Bringhurst  23:59

So with that in mind, what would you say has been your biggest failure along the way?

Judy Edwards  24:05

Well, not following our gut. In some instances, we were because of our lack of knowledge, we kind of were like, what do we do now? And we were kind of looking for that Savior out there. Yeah. And nobody’s gonna save you. That’s true. Literally, they’re if they’re going to be part of it, they want to bite. And so they’ve done some things and signed up with with some people to do advertising and things that just took us and then they ended up actually copying Squatty Potty into this day actually has a small stool on Amazon. Wow. So that was probably one of our big lessons.

Kyle Bringhurst  24:45

So when you say trust your gut in that case, did you feel like you should work with them?

Judy Edwards  24:51

We probably shouldn’t work with her. Okay, we just felt desperate. They’re like what do we do next? You know, we want to do some TV advertising stuff and we just did didn’t quite know who to go to her how to do it. And we all kind of felt like she was probably not going to be as valuable.

Kyle Bringhurst  25:07

But yet, because of your lack of experience, you went against your gut and you said, Okay, I think that she can actually help us get there, right.

Judy Edwards  25:19

Because of lack of experience, it makes, I think you make a lot of bad choices for sure. And a lot of bad decisions that you wouldn’t make otherwise. So our biggest failure is just not going along with our gut. And if all three of us agreed, we found out there was three of us involved as far as the company, if all three of us felt excited about it, it was always positive. But if it was just one person, it was like, and they’d went ahead and did it behind every, you know, it would never worked out. It was like, you’ve all you’ve got to be, it’s got to be uniform decision, something that

Kyle Bringhurst  25:51

I think I’m dealing with right now, a lot in my businesses as well. It’s just like, I have this feeling of what I should be doing. But in my mind, I’m like, No, I should do it this other way. But deep down, I feel like I shouldn’t be doing it. So you helped me right there, just okay. But so I want to talk about, let’s go back again, with your initial businesses with the feed business that you had, after those went down. I just want you to walk me through like how you were feeling when they both failed, both times.

Judy Edwards  26:27

Well I think my husband wanted to depression for like 10 years, literally, he owed people money. And that was a killer to him. It was it was really hard. Because we are people of integrity. We’ve always felt like that. We have integrity, and we want to be honest with people. And so that really hurt. Yeah, it was hard. It was really hard in and play this wonder maybe I just go to work for drive truck again, you know. But we knew that that wasn’t going to make her a living for our family. We had a big family and we needed a lot more income. And we’re, I don’t think we were dumb people. We always felt like we had something to offer. Yeah. And we just pick yourself up and just go again.

Kyle Bringhurst  27:18

Yeah, I mean, I’ve been through business failures, too. When that happens, when they fail, it is the most discouraging feeling in the world. Because I don’t know if you went through this, but for me, I did what every entrepreneur should not do. And I took my business on as a as an extension of myself. And so I felt that when my business failed, I failed.

Judy Edwards  27:42

You are a failure, and so many people feel that way. And I’m sure we went through the same thing. I know, my husband did it. He just felt like a total failure. And it was hurtful. Yeah. But that’s when it paralyzes you. And you can’t move forward, you’ve got to get out of that mindset. And of course, it’s going to hurt. It hurt. You can’t there’s nobody in the right mind that is not going to hurt for a little while. I mean, it’s like getting hit in the head. It’s going to hurt but you know, if you don’t pick yourself back up, and and you allow that to just keep you down. Yeah, you’ll never do anything.

Kyle Bringhurst  28:22

So after that happened, and after you guys had been down in the dumps, just at the lowest of lows. What did you guys do to to really heal yourself? I guess I should say, because when you get hit like that, it’s it’s basically an injury. It takes out your ego, but even just like an injury in business and success, all that stuff, something that you need to heal and work through before you can get to the point to start again. So what did you do to really deal with that? Because if you leave that those feelings of depression and sadness, just unresolved, then those are going to pop back up later in life over and over and over again.

Judy Edwards  29:03

Well, we are people of faith. We have a very religious foundation. And I think without that, we may not have made it. So it just forced us to our knees. I think that’s probably what was our success is the fact that we had that knowledge that we had someone of a higher power that loved us, and that cared about us. And we knew that. So that helped to push us forward. I think can realize that we are of worth we always knew we are were of worth and had been taught that in our homes. And so I think that was the power that helped to move us forward.

Kyle Bringhurst  29:46

That is incredible. Thank you for sharing that. It is super hard to go through that when you’re when you feel alone. When you feel like you have nobody who has your back but I’m sure that having that base really was able to help strengthen you in times of weakness and be able to make it forward. So I really appreciate you sharing that.

Kyle Bringhurst  30:12

After going through those failures, and just being beaten down multiple times through this journey, what was it that kept you wanting to do something yourselves, because you said it yourself, too, you could also go and find another job somewhere else that might be a little bit more stable and secure. What kept you coming back to entrepreneurship?

Judy Edwards  30:36

I think I think we were both born with, I’m going to do this myself type of attitude. I’ve been that way in helping my children. I was like a nurse, I would learn about herbs instead of running them to the doctor, I learned how to fix them. And I think that that’s why Squatty Potty came to me as I was teaching, I was learning how to fix me. And because of that attitude, I think that’s really been helpful to just be stubborn enough to stay in this. In this business. My husband still is, has that attitude as well, he just always felt like he always felt deep down inside, that there was something out there somewhere.

Judy Edwards  31:17

He just that gut feeling, yeah, somewhere down the road, there’s going to be something that’s going to work and and not all of our businesses failed. Yeah, we were very successful at the feed business for a long time. We were successful at a big old tire store, we build that business up. And you know, we didn’t really we, we kind of just sold it and come back with nothing. But we were able to come back home, we had a little concrete business, that wasn’t a failure at all, that is still going and doing really well. So we didn’t fail it everything. But we had enough failures to realize and see, you know, we experienced that and tell it teach us and you know, grow from that.

Kyle Bringhurst  31:57

Yeah. And that’s a really good point. Because a lot of times when we think about failing at something, we only look at the end. But for a lot of the cases that I’ve heard, even on this podcast, or just in general in life, when people talk about something that they failed at, they were actually incredibly successful earlier down the line. It’s just the one thing at the very end, made it just impossible to do. So recognizing the fact that even if you’re a failure, you still can have success along that same journey that can push you towards even greater success in the future. It’s like the stock market. Like it goes, just the stock market graph, I guess it is constantly going up. It’ll always be increasing. But there’s gonna be hills and valleys along the way ups and downs all the time. But if you leave when you’re at your lowest, you’re never going to see.

Judy Edwards  32:49

Yeah, you felt exactly, yeah, you’ve allowed it to paralyze you and you don’t move forward. And even if you go on and get a job and be your best at your job, it doesn’t really matter if you’re have your own business or not. Just be the best at wherever you’re at. And, and learn to love it. I mean, if you know, if you’re in something you hate, you need to be probably looking around because you’re never going to be successful at that.

Kyle Bringhurst  33:13

Definitely. So jumping back with Squatty Potty, I want to get your take on, I guess just if you were to restart it from scratch now go back 10 years with all the lessons that you’ve learned in this journey, and all the experiences that you’ve had, what would be something that you would do different if you were to start it now?

Judy Edwards  33:36

Well, of course, there’s mistakes that we made and Squatty Potty that now that we know we would do differently, but you know what, I wouldn’t trade those failures for anything. I feel like that I’m the person I am today. My husband’s the person that he is today. We stick together through it. And it was hard. Yeah, it was hard. Why would I trade that? I just feel like that we are in a better place than we’ve ever been before. And we’re more solid than we’ve ever been before. And I hopefully we love each other more than we ever you know, I just I don’t know, I just feel like that it was my journey and our journey. And I’m happy with that. I’m just feel so blessed that I was had the opportunity to go through the things that I have.

Kyle Bringhurst  34:24

Yeah, I love that. That is a very good outlook on it for sure. Because failures make us who we are. They mold us and they build the foundation for what we can do on top of it. It’s up to us. The foundation is built by the failure. It’s up to us if we want to do anything more and actually build something solid and concrete that we can live in after that. Exactly already there.

Judy Edwards  34:50

And either go on and get an education, you know and yeah, I just feel like that you can be successful at anything you do. You really can.

Kyle Bringhurst  34:58

So now, I want to be able to help our listeners obviously learn from what you’ve done, and be able to do super well themselves. A lot of our listeners are entrepreneurs, or who are people who want to start a business but haven’t quite yet jumped taking the jump yet. So what advice would you give to them to start their business?

Judy Edwards  35:22

Oh, my goodness. Just have courage. Don’t don’t. When we first started Squatty Potty one of my friends come up to me and they said, Aren’t you embarrassed? You’re selling a poop stall? Literally, that’s what they said to me. Wow. Well, a lot of people that would just shut them down. Yeah. Just have faith in yourself and have courage and stand on the end of the end of that cliff. And, and sometimes you just have to jump. Realize that you have a basis for a business, I know a lot of people that may lose a lot of inventions, and maybe 1%, the population would, and they think they’re going to be successful. Yeah. It’s like you can’t expect success. If 1% of the population is all you’re working with, you know, that wants, this is gonna be a really long road for you. So be smart enough to realize what can be successful and what can’t be. And I think that’s kind of the key as well.

Kyle Bringhurst  36:22

So how would you go about doing market research? In that case? How do you know if you’re onto something that would be worth it for the masses?

Judy Edwards  36:30

So when we very first thought of squatty potty, I was Christmas time, I had my neighbor, build a few stools for us. And we come up with the design, of course, and the prototypes. And I give them out for Christmas gifts along with education. Yeah. And my family’s. This is crazy. Mom, have you lost your they got a poop stool for Christmas. And it was so funny, because there were different reactions from the kids and family, my husband given to his family as well. In about two weeks, I started getting texts and messages. This is a life changer. I love this and we got enough positive. We knew at that point that we had a product that was going to be probably really helpful for people. And so that gave us the courage to move forward with that. So just test that test it out. Don’t be afraid to give it away. Don’t be afraid to talk to others. And, and and you want people to be honest with you. Yeah, that’s the thing is if people asked me about something, it’s really hard to be honest with people. It was something you don’t really like, yeah, that’s the hard part.

Kyle Bringhurst  37:45

That is super true. Because I mean, for me, I’m a big people pleaser. And so I exactly when I don’t like something. But I feel like if you as an entrepreneur or as a potential entrepreneur, tell them straight up, like, I know that there are things that are wrong with this, like, just tell me what they are. So I can improve on it. Set the stage letting them know that you expect hearing some things to do better.

Judy Edwards  38:13

Just like we did with our bloggers, if you love it, write about it, if you hate it, talk about it. Yeah, we’re not afraid we’re not afraid of that.

Kyle Bringhurst  38:22

Exactly. Because I feel like too many times. And this could be you, if you’re listening to this, this could be you because I know, this was me with a lot of my businesses, I would present my product or my idea to people. And they could tell that I just was hoping to hear that it was the best thing in the world. And so they would only tell me the positive things. But in reality, people are doing you a disservice with that. And you are doing yourself a disservice if you’re not setting the stage that you expect to be told things to be improved upon. Because most people aren’t going to want to say something negative about what your dreams are about what you’re passionate about. Unless you tell them that that is okay.

Judy Edwards  39:03

It’s okay. It’s okay to tell me. And you need to approach people that way for sure.

Kyle Bringhurst  39:08

I love that. Taking just a few sample products, given them out and getting all that feedback. That’s what I did with my cookie company. When I first started, I was like, Okay, I feel like I made good cookies, but we’ll see. So then I would get, I would have get togethers, I would make a lot of different kinds. And then, like, just have big groups of people. This is pre COVID. So don’t worry about that. I would have groups of people come and try all my different flavors. And just give me feedback on it. And I didn’t even tell them that I was thinking of starting a cookie company at that point because then it also would have been like, kind of suggesting for them to give you the unnecessary. Back. Yeah, exactly. So I just would make these for these get togethers and in secret I was testing their results are there reactions to the different flavors. And so I was like, Okay, this one, not people, not many people are talking about, they’re still leftover. So obviously, it’s not the best. But then there’ll be others that they’re like, Wow, this is incredible. And just things like that you just find ways to incorporate what you want to do in the lives of other people so that you can get feedback before you launch. Man, this has been incredible. I have learned so much just about you, from you, all those you have, you have an incredible story for sure. So it has been super helpful for me. And I know that for all of our listeners, as well, it will be.

Kyle Bringhurst  40:36

So usually the end my podcast, I will do what I call the lightning round with just a few of my favorite questions, specifically about like fear and failure, because that is what I love learning about and talking about with everyone. So for you, personally, what would you say is your biggest fear?

Judy Edwards  40:55

My biggest fear is to meet my maker. And Him be displeased with my life. That’s that I’ve always even as a little girl, I always wanted to do what was right. And I have not been right my whole life at all. Yeah. But I’ve always wanted to have always had the desire to be good. And so that is important to me, to have integrity and to live a good life. I’ve worked hard at that. I mean, to be married for years, and have children and all the ups and downs. And to get through that. And, you know, I don’t feel successful at all. But as a person, I know, I have tried my hardest to. And so for me to go home, on the other side of meet my maker and feel like I felt would be Yeah, though my biggest fear.

Kyle Bringhurst  41:52

Thank you for sharing that. The next question is, what would you say is your personal definition of failure?

Judy Edwards  41:59

Personal? Well, I think, I think when you allow failure to paralyze you, and you don’t keep going, that’s true failure if you don’t ever get back up.

Kyle Bringhurst  42:08

Yeah. I think that’s a good point, because there are temporary failures. And then there’s the permanent failure, which is just when you stop using and trying to stop trying anymore, for sure. The next one is I am a big believer in habits and having good habits that help have success.

Judy Edwards  42:28

That’s my weakest point. I exercise sometimes.

Kyle Bringhurst  42:36

What would you say is one thing that you do consistently in your life that has just really helped you find success or stability?

Judy Edwards  42:46

I think just each day trying to be the best person I can be. And realizing I fell, realizing that I have to every single day that another goal to make it through that day. Yeah, it’s data time. And some days are pretty crappy. And realize that tomorrow can change. Yeah, it’d be another day.

Kyle Bringhurst  43:12

And the last one of these is, what would you say is your favorite book and why?

Judy Edwards  43:19

Oh, so one of the books that I read in my life that probably made the most changes in my life with other people. And also in my treatment of my spouse. A lot of times when you get married, you’re kind of get cocky with each other. And you try to like say things that are hurtful, because you get angry. I, that’s what happened with us. And I know a lot of couples kind of go through that. But I read a book called The Peace Giver. And it’s about a man who has hurt his grandfather comes to him and teaches him how to be a man and how to be a better husband and a better father. And there were some things in that book that just was life changing for me. And we hear that is you’re a couple you need to be want to become one that if you are going to make it through this, you’ve got to become one you’ve got to the person you’re with, you want to enjoy being with. And if you can’t do that, you’re not one and if you’re always bickering and quarreling, and, and the book brings up some points to help you become one, with your family, with your spouse, with your friends with those around you. And that was that was just a real life changing book for me.

Kyle Bringhurst  44:39

Cool. I appreciate you sharing that. I’ve never heard of that one. I’m a big reader. So I’m gonna put that on there.

Judy Edwards  44:44

It’s not an entrepreneurial book, but it will help you get through life for sure.

Kyle Bringhurst  44:50 Cool. Well, thank you again, Judy, for spending the time and just talking a little bit about some of your failures, some of your successes and just life and what makes makes you happy and just really satisfied it has been an incredible experience for me and I just really appreciate your willingness to share what you’ve learned with me and with our listeners out there.

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