Elizabeth is the Creator/CEO of Little Nomad Play Mats. As a new Mom who didn’t want her living room looking like a day care center, she created a beautiful play mat solution for style minded Mamas. She crowdfunded the idea and Little Nomad is now a full fledged business.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:10] – When Elizabeth’s daughter was 7 months old, she decided to become an entrepreneur
- [01:27] – She’s now happy running her eCommerce business
- [01:59] – Elizabeth’s area of expertise is in marketing
- [02:36] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: If you want to get something done, figure out the words/terminologies and search it. You have to be articulate.
- 04:25 – Elizabeth shares the story of how she found The Freedom Journal
- [06:10] – What was your goal for The Freedom Journal and how did you crush it? “I set the goal of launching and successfully funding a Kickstarter campaign”
- [07:04] – When Elizabeth started the journey, she had two ideas for products
- [07:24] – She analyzed successful Kickstarter campaigns and laid out a plan throughout her 100 days
- [07:55] – Elizabeth raised the amount she needed from Kickstarter
- [09:01] – Step 1: create an amazing product
- [09:05] – Step 2: execute that idea
- 09:49 – Elizabeth shares how Cathryn Lavery’s Beta Group for From 0 to Funded helped her campaign
- [10:52] – She gathered 4,562 emails from the day she started building up an audience
- [11:52] – She used guerrilla marketing
- [12:12] – JLD reminds us to be a person of value
- 13:59 – Elizabeth was able to pitch her product on Shark Tank
- [15:19] – On day 60, she turned in her resignation letter
- [16:35] – Everything starts with just one step
- [17:20] – How do you define Productivity? “Feeling productive is just like crossing things off my list”
- 17:46 – JLD suggests, WorkFlowy, a to-do list app
- [18:03] – How do you define Discipline? “Discipline I think is being committed to what it is that I am focused on, being in that moment and being present in what I’m doing”
- [18:22] – Elizabeth struggles with discipline when her business interferes with her family time
- [19:11] – How do you define Focus? “I would define focus as consistency, I guess, in working toward a task or end goal”
- [19:28] – Her struggle with focus is when her daughter interrupts her work
- [20:47] – “It’s okay to feel uncomfortable”
- [21:36] – “All the magic happens outside your comfort zone”
- 22:22 – Connect with Elizabeth via email
- [22:34] – Use the promo code FIRE NATION for $10 OFF a play mat from Little Nomad!
Elizabeth Granados: Yes, I am so prepared!
John Lee Dumas: Yes! Elizabeth is a creator and CEO of Little Nomad Play Mats. As a new mom who didn’t want her living room looking like a daycare center, she created a beautiful play mat solution for style-minded mommas. She crowdfunded the idea and Little Nomad is now a full-fledged business. Elizabeth, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us just a little glimpse into your personal life.
Elizabeth Granados: Well, thank you, JLD. Yes, I’m a momma. I decided when my daughter was 7 months old that I was tired of working for the man and I wanted to be an entrepreneur because that is, I think, just in my true spirit. Looking back now, that seems a little crazy, but it worked and I am very happily now running my own e-commerce business and I quit my day job, and it’s been amazing.
John Lee Dumas: In teaser, Fire Nation, we’ve got a couple pretty cool things to talk about on what happens when you quit your day job, not to everybody, but at least to Elizabeth. Now, Elizabeth, let’s kinda talk real quick about what you consider your current area of expertise. Maybe it is running an e-commerce store; maybe it’s making a physical product. What would you say that is? What do you specialize in?
Elizabeth Granados: Well, I would say my area of expertise is definitely in marketing. My father is a sales and marketing guy and from a very age, I’ve just seen businesses everywhere I look. Even when I’m sitting in my hair stylist’s chair, I’m like, “How can you expand your business? How can you grow your business,” so, just always looking at the marketing side of things and how to appeal to different niche audiences.
John Lee Dumas: So, within that, what’s something that we don’t know, as entrepreneurs, about marketing, about your area of expertise, that you’re just like, “Every entrepreneur should know this, duh!”
Elizabeth Granados: If you want to get something done, the first step is just to kind of figure out the terminology to get from Point A to Point B, so being able to articulate what it is that you’re trying to do. Even though I’m great at marketing, I knew I wanted to create a product. I didn’t necessarily know how to do that or how to even put it into Google.
So for example, I knew I wanted to make something. How do I get it made in Asia and then bring it here on a giant boat? I can’t really put that into Google, right? So, just talking to people and figuring out the right terminology, the correct terminology for that is ‘customs broker’, so that you can Google it and be like, “How do I find a customs broker to help me bring my product here from Asia?” Or what if I don’t want to be knee-deep in orders and logistics because I’m good at marketing and the right thing to Google there is ‘fulfillment center.’
So, I would say just figuring out the words that you need to be able to articulate what it is that you’re trying to do because then it just makes it so much easier. Those are words that I wasn’t really familiar with when I started on this journey to create a product and not my expertise, but it’s just important to find those words and then Google them.
John Lee Dumas: It’s like having to learn a new language, Fire Nation. For all you Game of Thrones fans out there, Dothraki. It’s not an easy language, but guess what? When you know it, you can speak it. So, you have to know the language of the industry, of the niche that you’re getting into. Elizabeth, you are one of those people that saw The Freedom Journal. You were like, “I could use that.” You invested in yourself. You got it, and let’s just say that some cool things have happened since then.
So, before we get into the cool things, let’s talk about how you first heard about The Freedom Journal. What made you decide to purchase it and then what did I look like when you started using it?
Elizabeth Granados: Well, it was actually a very memorable moment. I was sitting in my living room and I was really having one of those horrible breakdowns to my husband, crybaby face, I was like, “Babe, I feel like a failure.” I had some stuff going on at work that I was unhappy about and I looked at him and I said, “I feel like I am capable of so much more,” and he turned to me and said, “Why don’t you take one of your brilliant ideas and put them on Kickstarter?” I was excited about that prospect, but I wasn’t even that familiar with what Kickstarter really was.
So, I took to Kickstarter, started searching around, and I think The Freedom Journal was like the eighth or ninth video that I decided to watch. It was currently, at that time, live on Kickstarter. I thought, “Whoa, that’s cool! What better way to actually turn over this new leaf or kick off this entrepreneurial journey by using this tool?” So, I ordered it and then I forgot about it, honestly. It showed up in the mail and I was like, “Oh yeah, that’s right. I have to be an entrepreneur and follow my dreams.”
It was actually a good daily reminder. I think that’s one of the best parts of it is that it’s just a constant reminder of staying focused on what it is that I’m trying to do and not just be what my husband and I like to call ‘the average Joe,’ because that’s our greatest fear. I just don’t want to be an average Joe. I want to do something super-cool and The Freedom Journal helped me do that.
John Lee Dumas: Let’s kinda talk about that. So, you got The Freedom Journal, you’re having that daily reminder. What was your goal and what were some accomplishments you had as you went through that?
Elizabeth Granados: When I first got The Freedom Journal, I took some time, maybe like a week or two, to really try to hone in on what specific goal I wanted to set. Obviously, I read in the beginning of the journal that it should be measurable and attainable, so I had to really think hard about what that would be. I set the goal of launching and successfully funding a Kickstarter campaign. So, I set out to do that and when I started on day one, I didn’t even have the product really picked out. I just knew that I wanted to fund a product on Kickstarter.
John Lee Dumas: Let’s keep talking through this process because that’s kinda where The Freedom Journal steps in because you have micro-goals along the way. Every 10 days, you want to accomplish that micro-goal to get you closer to that overall big goal. So, what was one of those micro-goals that really got the ball moving?
Elizabeth Granados: When I started the journey, I had two product ideas. So, in the first 10 days, I was kinda just going back and forth, hashing those ideas out and trying to figure out how I could turn them into products. So, I studied other Kickstarter campaigns and looked at what the formula for success in those campaigns were and then I took that and I spread it out into the 100-day journey so that I could break off in every 10 days big pieces that would get me to the point where I was ready to launch.
John Lee Dumas: So, let’s kind of do a fast forward now; let’s kind of rip the Band-Aid off. What happens with The Freedom Journal? What happened with the Kickstarter campaign? I know, but I think it’s time for Fire Nation to know.
Elizabeth Granados: Going back to the beginning of the interview, I’m a momma, I have a little baby. At the time, she was just 7 months, and I was dreading getting a foam play mat for the living room. So, I had this idea to create a beautiful play mat that’s reminiscent of an heirloom carpet that you might spend thousands of dollars on but was actually just a practical, wipe-clean mat that you could wipe up the spit up and anything else, snacks.
So, I had sort of talked to some friends about the idea. Honestly, I didn’t get an overly resounding ‘Yes, that’s the best idea ever,’ but in my heart, I thought it was great and I was like, “I’m gonna go after it.” I had been working with an illustrator or help me kind of design it and put the idea – bring it to life. That was step one, is actually creating an amazing product idea.
Then step two is being able to execute that idea and create a physical product. So, that took all that research I was talking about earlier with sourcing something in Asia and how to get something made and then bring it here. So, those were kinda the steps that I broke it up into, all the while preparing for a Kickstarter campaign, which has its own set of criteria of what makes a successful Kickstarter.
John Lee Dumas: Now, breaking that down because I’m kinda curious. I, with The Freedom Journal, had a pretty large audience online. I was able to leverage that. What did you do? Did you have an audience somewhere? Were they online? Were they offline?
Elizabeth Granados: I did not.
John Lee Dumas: What would you say that you did that really made your product reach that finish line?
Elizabeth Granados: Well, I stumbled upon a woman named Cathryn Lavery who was – she had launched a Kickstarter and she was launching a beta group at the time for a class called “From Zero to Funded.” I started chatting with her online and she offered a free PDF of how to do Kickstarter. So, I downloaded it and I read it cover to cover. It was like 15 pages. That’s where I learned about things like email lists and building a list. I literally had no knowledge of this prior to reading her PDF. I listened to EO Fire, but it wasn’t something that I ever thought I would need, an email list.
So, I started to actually share a Photo shopped image of the play met on Facebook mom groups that I was in and I would say like, “Hey momma, tired of circus-colored play mats in your living room? Check out these beauties,” posted the picture, linked to my landing, built a landing page at capture emails, and I did that for seven weeks leading up to my Kickstarter and I gathered 4,562 emails.
John Lee Dumas: Wow!
Elizabeth Granados: So, that’s when I knew – like every day when I would get off from my day job and put my daughter in bed, I would jump on the mom groups and start chatting with moms about the idea and I was getting hundreds of emails because moms were super-psyched about it. That’s what really drove me to keep going.
This one time, I posted on the Upper East Side mom’s page and I got 263 likes in three hours on the photo and about 300+ email sign-ups. I was like, “This is a product that people really want!” So, I had invested virtually nothing, just the cost to have the design and the Photo shopped image made, but it was very validating to know people liked it and they were signing up on the email. So, I built the audience in seven weeks leading up to the Kickstarter.
John Lee Dumas: So, Fire Nation, this is what you call guerilla marketing – when you get out there, you put your product, your idea in front of the right people and you make things happen. Now, the first thing that I kinda think about though is, was there some resistance of people being like, “Who is this woman who, for the first time, she’s posting in this group, that she’s posting something about this?” Because I will say, one thing that I really coach and I said is become a person of value for 30, for 45 days in these groups and asking questions, answering questions, giving guidance, giving support. How did you get around that?
Elizabeth Granados: Yeah, actually that’s a really good point. I wouldn’t say I was an outsider in some of these groups because just naturally as a mom, I was already interacting in a lot of the questions. These groups are, a lot of them are pretty huge and they’re regional and I’m not in some of the regions, but I still participate very actively in these mom groups. They’re actually great resources for moms because sometimes we don’t have family nearby. We don’t know what to do in a pinch and you can just jump on this mom page on Facebook and ask a question and the other moms are really willing to help give advice. So yes, I’m definitely an active participant and I love all the mom groups that I’m in because I get a lot of value from them as well.
John Lee Dumas: Love that! So, Fire Nation, that’s kind of what I wanted to really get through is don’t just take what Elizabeth is saying and then say, “Okay, I’m gonna come up with this idea and just start going to spam all these different groups.” You want to be an interactive member. You want to be a value first member so they’re like, “Oh, I know Elizabeth. That’s a cool project. Let me look more,” because that trust factor has already been built in at that point.
So, Elizabeth, let’s continue to press that fast-forward button. Spoiler alert, you got funded, it was incredible, you actually made things happen. Obviously, a lot happened between that Point A and Point B, but since then, you’ve funded this campaign, you fulfilled those orders, you continue to get more orders, now you’re running a successful e-commerce shop and something that you shared with me pre-chat that we push the record button, that I was like, “What?” It has something to do with – it wasn’t like whales or dolphins, but it was something along that line. What’s going on there?
Elizabeth Granados: Yeah, so I actually had the opportunity to pitch in the Shark Tank and it was – yes, John Lee Dumas, I just want to share with you that on the very first night on my Freedom Journal, and I even posted a picture of this –
John Lee Dumas: I remember that!
Elizabeth Granados: I’m looking at it here. Final thought for the day: you have a good idea. Don’t be afraid to succeed. Tony said, and Tony is my father-in-law, that he’ll see you on Shark Tank one day. See yourself as others do. Believe in you. And that was my final thought on night one of The Freedom Journal. After successfully funding my Kickstarter, I was lucky enough to then take it all the way to the tank and I have to say, it was probably one of the most epic experiences of my life, for sure.
John Lee Dumas: That is unbelievable! Now, I don’t want to say, Fire Nation, invest in The Freedom Journal and you’re going to get on Shark Tank, but read between the lines. It’s obviously gonna happen. Now, let’s just say this, you picture yourself right now, where you’re at, day one of The Freedom Journal, did you think this could happen this fast?
Elizabeth Granados: I can’t even believe – on day 60, I believe, is when I gave the notice at my job. That was only two months in and I was like, “Why didn’t I start to invest in myself earlier?” Just taking some time in the morning and in the evening and that’s, I think, one of the best parts about The Freedom Journal is that it’s not like I had to change my whole lifestyle. It was just that every day that I woke up and then before I went to bed, reminded myself tomorrow you’re going to take action.
You’re not going to just drive to the gym and then drive mindlessly to work and then make dinner for Talia and then go to bed wishing another day that you were living out your dreams. It’s like no, I’m going to take action today and it’s just going to be a little step, but those little steps over 100 days adds up to awesome stuff and results. When you start seeing the results, and I started seeing people sign up on my landing page and really taking interest in my product, I was like, “I can’t not listen to them. They like the idea. They want it.” So, it was like that fuel is what kept me going.
John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, the key thing is it all starts with one step, one simple step. For Elizabeth, just to post one little photo with some copy in a Facebook group and get a couple emails sign-ups is like, “Oh, my god, somebody cares about this that I’m doing.” That can start this chain reaction of awesome. So, we have some awesome stuff coming up as soon as we finish thanking our sponsors.
So, Elizabeth, we are back and Fire Nation, if you’re listening to this on the day that this went live, it’s the second to last day of The Mastery Journal Kickstarter campaign, so hopefully you’ve already invested in yourself and figured out how to master productivity, discipline, and focus with the step by step guidance of The Mastery Journal. But I kinda want to know from you, Elizabeth, how do you define ‘productivity’?
Elizabeth Granados: I’m a list maker, so for me, I guess feeling productive is just like crossing things off my life. I’m just constantly re-ranking the list, forcing myself to take on the hardest ones first, and yeah, I guess just crossing things off my list I feel productive.
John Lee Dumas: I love that. I actually use a tool called WorkFlowy that allows me to reorder things. I’m always like, “This is the priority.” It has this cross-out feature so you can still see the task there, but you’ve got it so it’s crossed out. I like doing that instead of just erasing it because again, you want to have that feeling of being productive. Let’s move into discipline. What words would you use to define discipline in your life?
Elizabeth Granados: Discipline, I think, is being just committed to what it is that I am focused on in that moment and being present in what I’m doing. I would definitely say I struggle with discipline when I let my business actually interfere with my family time. So, I try to go out of my way to get my phone out of my hand, for example, like when I’m with my child or my husband because it’s so easy to work 24/7. So, yeah, I would say just being committed to the present moment is discipline for me and not constantly working, which is what I would do if I had no discipline, I guess.
John Lee Dumas: Well, especially if you have an e-commerce store. You just keep refreshing your Shopify status like, “I got another sale! I got two more two more sales. I got zero sales, what’s happening? Did my store get shut down? Oh, my god, life is over.” Well, it sounds like you got productivity squared away, but discipline, it sounds like The Mastery Journal could really hit that up a notch for you, Elizabeth. Let’s move into focus, my favorite acronym, Follow One Course Until Success. How do you define ‘focus?’
Elizabeth Granados: I would define focus as consistency in working toward a task or end goal. I definitely struggle with focus because my daughter is always interrupting me, like, “Mama, Mama, Mama!” But my mom used to say – when I was a kid, she would say, “When your child interrupts you, it’s a moment of divine intervention and you’re meant to just put it aside and focus on your child and come back.”
John Lee Dumas: We can definitely go with that, for sure. It’s tough, Fire Nation. You know, it’s tough to be focused, it’s tough to be disciplined, it’s tough to be productive in this day and age. I struggled with these things for decades literally. I still struggle with them on some levels even though I have mastered these three skills. It’s easy for me to say – no kids, myself and Kate in this huge house where we can be like hundreds of yards away from each other and just be able to close our doors and focus on our own thing. I get it, but sometimes we just need that extra tool, that extra process, that’s really gonna help us get over that edge.
Elizabeth, I want to end today on fire. So, give our listeners, Fire Nation, a parting piece of guidance from your experience with The Freedom Journal, as an entrepreneur, as an Ecommerce shop owner, and then share with us the best ways that we can connect with you and what you have going on, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Elizabeth Granados: I guess my parting piece of guidance would be that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable. I was very uncomfortable with that notion when I started being an entrepreneur again, but I just think it’s par for the course. It’s part of the job and it’s kinda like going to the gym. When I first started going to the gym, you lift weights, you get sore, it hurts, you come home, you’re sore, and you’re like, “Oh, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
It’s uncomfortable, but that soreness is where you grow and that’s where you gain your muscle. It’s just the same with being an entrepreneur. I feel like I never really get comfortable because it’s like one challenge after the next and it hurts, but ultimately, just because it’s a little tough doesn’t mean it’s bad. That’s my parting piece of guidance.
John Lee Dumas: Love it. The quote that I love is, “All the magic happens outside of your comfort zone,” Fire Nation. If you want to stay home on the couch with your Ben and Jerry’s, that’s cool. You’re just gonna get fat and if that’s fine with you, that’s fine too. But if you want to get buff, you gotta go to the gym. You gotta lift some weights. You gotta put the work in. Put the work in!
Elizabeth Granados: I have to say, though, for 2017, I kinda want to get just a little bit more inside my comfort zone. It was a crazy year of so much outside of my zone, now I’m like, “Maybe I do want to spend a night on the couch. That would be fun.”
John Lee Dumas: That’s the thing, you break out of the comfort zone and you do your thing and then you kind of – not retreat, so to speak, but you kinda regroup yourself, hopefully in that new level that you’ve taken yourself to, and then you move forward because if you don’t do that, then that’s just burnout. But Elizabeth, how can we connect with you?
Elizabeth Granados: You can connect with me at [email protected] My website is little-nomad.com and I’d love to hear from you. If you would be interested in purchasing a beautiful play mat for your friend who’s pregnant or someone in your family, you can use the code FIRE NATION for $10.00 off.
John Lee Dumas: Whoa, Fire Nation, I’m actually gonna do that because my sister is always complaining about her 2-year-old just making a mess of their beautiful wood floors. So, let’s make that happen.
You know this, Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people that you spend the more time with, and you’ve been hanging out with EG and JLD today. So, keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type ‘Elizabeth’ in the search bar. Her show notes page is gonna pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz, time stamps, links galore with that promo code and links to all things Elizabeth. Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
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