Inventor, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Founder, and CEO of CosmoGlo Lighting. Mary changed the world by taking a napkin sketch idea and turning it into an innovative idea through American manufacturing as a pivot during COVID. Now on the verge of being a globally distributed product, CosmoGlo has experienced hockey stick success out of the gate. Fully patented in 30 countries and with a successful first win against a European infringer. Mary loves to share her story, advice, and insight on her journey through product launching, scaling, and American manufacturing. Featured in Forbes, Inc, All Business, Influensive, Dermascope, and many more.
Where did the idea for CosmoGlo come from?
We are lighting up the Esthetics and Cosmetology industry. We started with a single product with the plan to grow into several. We wanted a name that had growing potential through several new products. CosmoGlo was perfect for explaining what we are and where we want to go.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My team has a stand-up meeting with my staff each workday at 9 am sharp. From there we talk about what we are planning to accomplish that day, if there is anything we need help with, and any updates that the team needs to know. We stand up in the morning meeting to get the blood flowing for the day. Each person has a few minutes to take the floor and address the topics. We wrap in fifteen minutes and get started with the day. This is helpful to know what is expected to be accomplished, where someone may need help, and get everyone on the same page.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As simple as it sounds: by doing it. You can talk for years or take action. Results come from taking action. We speak about it, it gets put on the schedule as a meeting, and it gets completed. For larger projects, we have weekly check-ins. We talk about the progress that has been made and what is left to complete using a percentage system. The goal is to keep the needle moving toward one hundred percent. When the meeting is approaching, the team is more likely to put in extra effort to check in at a higher percentage than the project was at a week prior. This keeps the project moving and on track for completion. We celebrate when a project has been completed.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Knowledge sharing. I am loving that knowledge is so readily available now and people are so willing to share it more. It used to be you had to read a book, attend a conference, or sign up for a course to learn more about a specific topic. Now you can watch YouTube videos, follow social media accounts, sign up for specialty newsletters from experts in the field, or join forums to learn the latest and greatest.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Prioritizing. I keep a running list of tasks to accomplish. As the list grows, I hand off those that can be accomplished by another team and prioritize what I need to accomplish. Organizing this way allows me to get the most completed and use my team to accomplish more in the same amount of time.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Experience everything you can, it will help you down the road.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Work-life balance is a myth. If you are trying to achieve a balance then it’s as if you have two weights trying to be equal. The key to this is to love what you do and make it work for you. When you enjoy what you do it will feel less like work. When you can arrange your schedule to work best for your life, you are able to enjoy both sides of life without them being in a constant fight against each. Strive to achieve a parallel flow as opposed to two sides both fighting for your energy.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Learn how to fail. Failure is the best teacher. Many are afraid of failure and therefore they do not grow. When you can understand that failure is how you succeed you. Remove the emotion from it and harness the lessons from it. When you can do this you are truly unstoppable.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Showcasing social proof instead of paid advertising. We feature real people using the real products that they purchased. Social proof is far more convincing to your potential customers than millions spent on advertising. When potential customers can relate to our buyers, they trust they will have the same experience and therefore have more trust in our product to complete the purchase. We find this more effective than advertising dollars.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Taking everything personally and emotionally. You do not know it all and you do not have all the answers, if you did you would be in a better place. Going through tough situations grows your skillset making it easier to deal with similar situations in the future.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A service that would prep a business for online listings. Not everyone can get their business map listings to be inviting. To your potential customer, the best profiles usually get the business. The service would help the business connect the dots to attract more clients through their door with that service.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Topic courses. If I am unsure of how to do something I am very willing to jump through a course that is a few hours long to give me the information I need. You can spend the same amount of time clicking into websites and trying to figure it all out of you just invest in a professional that will give you all the information you need to achieve the results you want and from there you hit the ground running.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Monday.com is a central project planning platform my whole company uses. In a single glance you can see where everyone is on the reject, add files, notes, updates, change the status, and store information.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
You are a Badass. I read this book at the very beginning of my understanding that anyone is capable of anything if they think they are. It was a great launch point for me to own entrepreneurship and step into this newfound love of being a strong female business owner.
What is your favorite quote?
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” – Vivienne Greene
- Never be afraid to try new things, be afraid to stay in the same place.
- Failure is the key to success. Your goal is to do it as fast as possible and on the smallest scale possible.
- Build a life that allows your work and personal life to excel in a successful flow.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.