Be a Game Changer: Choose Huevos Rancheros
When I attended our recent EO event at Dermalogica’s 140,000 square foot office I was expected to hear another rags to riches entrepreneur’s story, albeit a very successful one with over $260 million in revenue in 2011 alone and sales in 86 countries. What I was not expecting to hear was the plea for us to, “Choose the huevos rancheros!”
Jane Wurland founded Dermalogica in 1983 with her husband Raymond, with a vision to help educate and empower women in the skin care industry. She founded the International Dermal Institute to teach her students, 98% women, not only the finer points of skin therapy but also how to run a successful business and be successful. See, her business model isn’t predicated on the latest ingredient or packaging, Wurland’s brand is distinctly anti-fade, anti-beauty marketing, but on making her thousands of salons, spas, and independent skin therapists who buy her products, more successful at their business. This same helping others philosophy is further exemplified by Dermalogica’s FITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship) program that she created in partnership with Kiva.org, to provide micro loans to women entrepreneurs around the world in need. [see www.joinfite.org]
So back to breakfast foods…
In her talk, Wurland, who does not discriminate between any breakfast food, in fact oatmeal is a fine breakfast food she stressed, but if you have a choice in life, why not be adventurous and daring…so “choose the huevos rancheros!” What she was coaching us on was how to be a game changer and in aspiring to be a game changer, one needs to take risks, be bold, and be unapologetic in one’s chosen path and direction.
She mentioned brands like Chobani or hip juice brands (like a BluePrint, Evolution Fresh), neither company invented Greek yogurt or juice respectively, but each company had a unique twist to their product that made them decidedly un-Danone or un-Tropicana. The huevos rancheros to their oatmeal counterparts.
Some other learning lessons:
1. Business: Find the pain point; where there is pain, there is opportunity
2. Your Brand: Be willing to tick off 80%, but be loved by the 20%; and defend your brand vigorously
3. Culture: Create a very clear culture, even create your own vocabulary
4. As a CEO: Do only that which no one else can do but you
5. Success as a Tribe: Help others succeed, its good business