We were so fortunate to have been able to participate on the NBC's TODAY Show's product competition TODAYs Next Big Thing. It was a dream opportunity for an entrepreneur and amazing exposure for an idea. I've been asked many times by other entrepreneurs about how I ended up winning and I thought I'd share not only how it all happened but what happened after the lights went down. It's been an amazing ride and I'm so thrilled to have been a part of it. Here is the 411 on how it happened.
In August, I was hunting around to find a way to submit my product for QVC and found the contest entry form. I'm was so rushed at the time, I just filled it out and thought it was a product submission form for QVC and then got a confirmation email saying I'd entered the TODAY's Next Big Thing contest which was a partnership between QVC and the TODAY Show to find the next big product. Cool, I thought.
To be honest, I didn't think anything of it again until I got a call from Christine at QVC while I was in the waiting room to talk to my patent attorney. I didn't have a pen handy and I was super flustered so I just listened and tried to remember what she said. It was basically a screening call to make sure that I was a real company with a real product who could produce enough product if I were selected as a finalist. We talked a little about price but just at a high level and when we got off the phone I realized I didn't have any way to reach out to her and follow up on anything I'd missed. Note to self, stop and get a pen next time.
Next I got contacted by Jenifer Long a producer at the TODAY Show saying I was selected as a finalist and that she would be making my travel arrangements and producing the segment we were going to be on. I can not say enough about how amazing Jen was. She not only handled everything for us but was there when we got on set at 6 in the morning and when were rehearsing for the next days segment at 8 at night. The woman is a powerhouse and on top of that, she's amazingly kind and approachable. For contestants like me, this was our first time on TV and she seemed to have all the time in the world to make us comfortable. I've thought of her often after the whole thing was over and have to say hands down, she is the most talented and amazing person I've ever worked with.
Shortly there after I spoke with Christine again and she explained to me about how I would get an initial Purchase Order (PO) from QVC for being on the show and if I were to win, I would get a larger PO and appear the following day on QVC. I took all this information down (I had a pen this time) and got off the phone and screamed with delight! Then the fear and worry set in:
- How am I going to make all of these?
- What am I going to wear? Ugh, I feel fat.
- What if I embarrass myself so publicly?
- What if doing this actually damages my product because I screw up.
Next up, overcoming the fear and getting a backup prescription for an anti-anxiety medication.
- January 01, 2016
- Leslie Pierson