By outsourcing repetitive tasks I’ve been able to scale the company much quicker. While owners and executives often wear many hats, I would encourage them to invest in outsourcing sooner. Yes, it is an added expense, but it pays for itself rapidly. The quicker you can remove yourself from production and focus on management the quicker you will grow.
Rebecca Thompson specializes in product research for the cosmetics industry. A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Ms. Thompson currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri. After years of experience in the cosmetics industry, Rebecca Thompson set her sights on cosmetics that were not tested on animals. Her desire to work with cruelty-free cosmetics led her to up the corporate ladder to become the VP of Erase Repair, a division of Beauty & Truth.
Outside of the corporate world, Rebecca Thompson enjoys the outdoors. An avid lover of all-things animals, her free time is spent among streams, meadows, mountains, and nature in general. When it comes to relaxing, Ms. Thompson enjoys watercolor painting in abstract and hopes to one day author a book on balancing work-life and personal time.
Where did the idea for Erase Repair come from?
I’ve always been a believer that good things can be made from positive places. There are so many amazing products in the world, but many come from questionable resources. That’s when I set out to embrace cosmetics that were not tested on animals but were still highly effective.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m an early riser. I’m a “first one in, last one out” type of person. No one has an advantage when it comes to hours in the day. We all get the same 24 hours so those that make the most of those hours reap the rewards.
To maximize my productivity I use a lot of organizational resources. My day is planned ahead with a task management system. My staff remains on task with an in-office CRM. Everything is trackable and scalable.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I talk to people. Every day people are everyday customers. My best audience for ideas is those people that would potentially use my products. I offer a smile to everyone I meet and open up a conversation any time the opportunity presents itself.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The internet is amazing. The ability for companies to directly communicate to consumers, and vice versa, is expediting commerce at a pace never seen before.
By now it’s nothing new, but the sheer amount of information that is readily available at anyone’s fingertips is incredible. I often use the internet as a source of pooling feedback. The ability to poll hundreds to thousands of people with a single post is exciting.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’ll emphasize the importance of maximizing the hours in the day that we’re all given.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve learned a lot in the cosmetics industry over the years, good and bad. Understanding how some cosmetics are tested was disappointing. While I am proud of my experience with other companies as it lead me to become the strong leader that I am today over Erase Repair at parent company Beauty & Truth, I am glad that Erase Repair embraces cruelty-free testing.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Outsource repetitive tasks sooner. Again, you only have so many hours in the day. Outsource repetitive, trainable tasks to others so you can focus on growing where it matters most.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Put your health first. What good is all the rewards in business if you can’t enjoy it living healthily?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
By outsourcing repetitive tasks, I’ve been able to scale the company much quicker. While owners and executives often wear many hats, I would encourage them to invest in outsourcing sooner. Yes, it is an added expense, but it pays for itself rapidly. The quicker you can remove yourself from production and focus on management the quicker you will grow.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Focusing on quality can be an obsession. So much so that it can have negative characteristics from time to time. At one point, Erase Repair was ready to launch a new product, Renewing Serum. We pushed out the press about it and then we had to delay the launch. During quality testing, we found an area of the products that we wanted to improve on. Since news had already gone out, and we have a loyal buyer-base, we had to inform interested consumers that Renewing Serum was not yet available.
What I learned was to wait until “all eggs are hatched” before “counting the chickens.” While I am confident it was the right decision to delay the launch of Renewing Serum for quality purposes, it was a good learning lesson.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are so many delivery service ideas that sound ridiculous but may actually work. For example, why not offer a linen cleaning and delivery service for bachelors? We all know that most bachelors don’t have the time, or care, to clean their pillows, sheets, and comforter on the recommended weekly basis. Probably not even monthly. Why not offer something cheap like a flat $30 a month service to replace two standard sized white pillow covers and one white sheet?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A massage. Sometimes you just have to let go, do nothing and detach from everything.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Out of all of the services our company use, I like Amazon S3’s efficiency. We use Amazon to host most of our websites. Their speed is unparalleled.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
E-myth Revisited. Streamline and outsource. Scale and go big.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Tim Ferriss. He’s odd in one sense, but his commentary makes a lot of sense in other lights. The biggest message to take away from his commentary is that time is more valuable than money. Everyone wants money so they can live a more free lifestyle which is usually based around having more leisure time. Don’t take away from leisure time to do more work to try and gain back leisure time that you already had to begin with.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.