Failures usually turn into successes because of the learning experiences
Stacy, alongside her husband, Colt, is the Co-Inventor and Co-Owner of Potty Safe, the first potty training chair to feature a child proof patented latch that secures the waste bowl to the base so that children can’t remove it and spill the contents. The patented latching system allows parents to remove it for easy disposal and cleaning. Potty Safe is a patented, award-winning potty training chair that gives parents a No Mess, Less Stress approach to potty training by eliminating spills and the spreading of germs. In addition to it’s innovative latch, Potty Safe also features a built-in splash guard and rubber feet to prevent sliding.
Where did the idea for Potty Safe come from?
The idea for Potty Safe was born while potty training our daughter. She loved to be a big helper and try to dump the potty all by herself. She also loved to take the waste bowl out to show off her accomplishments. She even tried to wear it as a hat! This often led to nasty spills all over herself and the floor. Instead of celebrating her accomplishments, we were busy scrubbing the floor and giving extra baths. After I couldn’t find a “child proof” potty training chair anywhere, we took matters into our own hands, and invented Potty Safe.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up each day at 5:15 to get ready for the day. My quiet time is of a morning when I am getting ready. I make a mental checklist of everything I need to accomplish that day and then write them down. Then it’s off to the races! Once my husband and I get the kids delivered to where they are going, we go to work. (We both work full time while launching our business.)
Once we get home, we focus on time with the kids, dinner, and completing the family chores around the farm. Once the kids are bathed and put to bed, I’m back at it answering emails for our business and packaging orders. We make a great team together and whatever the task, we get it done!
I make my day productive by going off of my lists. If it wasn’t for my visual to-do lists, I would be a mess.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Research and ask questions! We have brought Potty Safe from an idea to a real, tangible, patented product through a lot of research. We navigate unchartered waters daily by learning all that we can. Every single day is a learning experience. Research and ask questions! We have brought Potty Safe from an idea to a real, tangible, patented product through a lot of research. We navigate unchartered waters daily by learning all that we can. Every single day is a learning experience.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The ever-changing, and always evoloving social media outlets that you can use to help advertise your product. As a small business start-up, funds for marketing can be pretty slim. All of these options really help small business owners, like myself, get the word out there about their product. I am still trying to learn all of the ins-and-outs of social advertising, but I will get it mastered eventually!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am a BIG list maker. When I can visually see what I need to accomplish that day, it is easier for me to focus on that task. And there is something so rewarding about marking off a task as complete.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t stress the small stuff so much! And you really don’t need back up plans for every letter of the alphabet. Yes, I still love to have backup plans now, but I now realize that things work themselves out in the long run, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time. Stressing about it doesn’t help any situation. I still stress about a lot but I’m getting better at “rolling with the punches” now. Sometimes you have to go off of plan and just roll with it. Staying strong in my faith is what pushes me through.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I’m not sure if there is anything that nobody agrees with me on. But, I do always try to convince my husband that flip-flops do NOT count as a pair of shoes. They are small and don’t take up as much space. (Are they shoes, well technically yes, but I can’t let him win, now can I?)
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Pray! Be Nice. And always give great customer service, just the same as you expect to receive!
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We have grown our business by keeping at it. You can’t just sit back and expect sales to just come overnight. Make as many business connections as you can. On this journey, I can’t believe all the connections we have made. Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone, but keep pushing!
Also, marketing can be expensive, so seek out all the free options you can. Don’t be afraid to call and ask someone for a feature. The worst they will say is no, and you wouldn’t have lost any ground. A “no” is just a “not right now” in most cases.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
On our first shipment, a bunch of our IML’s (in mold label) were misprinted. They were uneven and applied a little crooked. Did they look extremely horrible? Honestly, no. However, I am a perfectionist and it bothered me. What we noticed, others probably wouldn’t have. I am not one to be wasteful, so rather than scrap them all together, we decided to offer them at discounted prices for customers and they loved the idea! We even had customers telling us what a great idea it was to discount them.
We then re-designed the IML to avoid future occurrences of the same error.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Camping chairs that have bug repellant built into them. We enjoy camping and mosquitos can be horrible sometimes!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
We recently surprised our children and went to a local theme park with our children. It was the best day ever. Our schedules are so busy, that we wanted to just have a day to disconnect with our kids and focus 100% on them. The looks in their eyes and the smile on their faces (and ours) was priceless.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I have to write everything down in my calendar on my phone. This is back to my list making….I have to have things written down!
I also started using Quickbooks Online to record all of my sales and expenses. This made it easier than recording it all in an Excel spreadsheet.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Bible, because it has all the answers you need.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’d rather try and fail, than fail to try”-Travis Pastrana
• Don’t stress when it comes to potty training; get a Potty Safe
• Start each day off with a grateful heart
• Learn that failures usually turn into successes because of the learning experiences
• Be Persistent. Stay Organized.
• Balance your work and personal life
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.