Kris Wittenberg was inspired to put “Be good to people.® ” on a t-shirt after a rude experience with a stranger. Be good to people is a simple message creating global change as it travels on stylish and useful apparel and lifestyle accessories, all in black and white, because it really is that simple – Be good to people.
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- Connect with people, start sharing with them.
- BE GOOD TO PEOPLE.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:46] – Kris shares her story
- [03:21] – Kris’ father retired at the age of 42
- [04:10] – How Kris brings in the dollars
- [05:38] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Kris worked extremely hard to protect her IP and yet people still try and steal her concept all over the place.
- [09:00] – When you achieve success, people will try and mimic yours.
- [11:20] – Don’t burn bridges
- [11:33] – Have a great lawyer and a great accountant
- [12:12] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Getting positive, upbeat stories from her customers.
- [14:31] – The entrepreneurial journey is a grind — don’t get into it thinking otherwise
- [15:29] – Biggest weakness? – Follow-up and lack of systems
- [15:53] – What has Kris most fired up today? – FINALLY HIRING EMPLOYEES
- [20:43] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – Nothing
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – Staying open to possibility
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Fiverr
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Secret
- [22:23] – BeGoodToPeople.com use code EOFIRE20 at checkout for 20% off
Kris Wittenberg: John, I am prepared to ignite. I don’t think I’ve said that word more times than in the last two weeks.
John: I love it. Your preparation was well served. Fire Nation, Kris was inspired to put “be good to people” on a t-shirt after a rude experience with a stranger. Be good to people is a simple message creating a global change as it travels on Styles and Useful Apparel and Lifestyle accessories all in black and white because it really is that simple. Be good to people. Fire Nation, I’m one of those people that has shirts and accessories like water bottles with this good saying on it because I love this message too. So, Kris, welcome. Take a minute to gill any gaps from this intro and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life.
Kris Wittenberg: Oh, John, I don’t think we have time for all of that. I’ll go on and on.
John: That’s why I said a glimpse.
Kris Wittenberg: First and foremost, let me say thank you. It is such an honor to be on your podcast. I have learned so much by listening to your podcast. I have my friend, Joel Com, to thank for connecting us.
John: Love Joel.
Kris Wittenberg: I’ve learned a lot from Joel and you. Just thank you for having me here.
Kris Wittenberg: Personally, I am a serial entrepreneur. Be good to people is my second company, but I have always –I came from an entrepreneurial –my father used to own Burger King restaurants. So he was an entrepreneur. He used to drag me around to add agencies and do all kinds of things like that. So I think at the time it was really a pain, but now I’m doing the same thing to my daughter. So I take her everywhere I go trying to instill entrepreneurialism because I really believe it’s something that’s either a part of you or it’s not.
It really is something that I’ve loved my whole life. So I am very, very happily married. I have two kids who are just the light of my life. They are in my office all the time. It’s really an interesting thing watching your kids soak some things up and other things not and see what’s going to happen with them. We live outside of Vale, Colorado. I have, in addition to be good to people, I have a 17-year-old promotional products company called Say No More Promotions. So we do corporate branded items for all kinds of organizations. My husband runs that company. I focus on Be Good to People. We’re very busy.
John: Kris, you gave us a great little glimpse there for sure. I have a really serious question for you. Are you ready?
Kris Wittenberg: I am ready.
John: You told me to be nice to you but here it goes. Why did it take Burger King so long to come out with the flame broiled hot dog?
Kris Wittenberg: Oh, that –I told you not to ask me tricky questions. I don’t know. It’s been a really long time. My dad actually retired at 42 years old, I think. So it’s been a while.
John: How does that work?
Kris Wittenberg: How did that work? Actually, he ended up in a lawsuit with Burger King. He won.
John: Sounds like a comfortable retirement. It’s like, Burger King, you lose. I win. I’m retiring. I’m moving to Puerto Rico.
Kris Wittenberg: Yes. He and my mom actually moved out here to Colorado because we grew up skiing out here. I grew up for the most part in Kansas. We always vacationed out here. So they came out here and lived a great life. Thank goodness they did because my mom passed away far too young of an age. So they enjoyed some great retirement before she passed away.
John: Kris, let’s talk about you today. How are you generating specific revenue for your business? You mentioned a couple of different things you have going on. Let’s get real with Fire Nation. What are the ways you actually bring in the dollars?
Kris Wittenberg: Say No More Promotions is a nice steady business. So that’s a great source of revenue for us. Be Good to People, one thing I didn’t share in my personal story is the rude experience with the woman happened seven years ago. So Be Good to People was a little bit of a hobby for me for quite some time. I just started focusing on it in the past year. So our revenues for Be Good to People have been picking up steadily since I started focusing on it. It’s amazing what can happen when you focus on something.
John: Focus. Follow one course until success, Kris.
Kris Wittenberg: That’s right. That’s right. So revenue wise, Be Good to People, we have online sales direct to consumer, and we do sale through a few retailers right now. But we are actually working on right now a pretty exciting revenue plan that I am not able to share during our interview –
John: Even if I was to say this isn’t going live until mid-August?
Kris Wittenberg: I would rather not say it right now because it’s not locked up. But I think that when this happens, John, you will probably want to have me back on because it will make Be Good to People much, much bigger and have us all over the place. I’ll have a lot more experience to share with you.
John: Well, let’s be clear. I want to have you back on because you’re an awesome person with great energy. I just love the vibe. So let’s kind of kill that vibe right now because we’re going to talk about your worst entrepreneurial moment ever. So take us to that story, Kris. Tell us that story.
Kris Wittenberg: You know what’s so funny is, I had two when I was prepping for our call. I had two. I’ve talked with my husband a lot about which one to share. The one I’m going to share because it’s really hard to determine which is worse. They’re actually so different because one had to do with Say No More Promotions. This one has to do with Be Good to People. It’s actually fairly recent. I have worked very hard to protect my intellectual property. Be Good to People has been trademarked since the beginning of it.
Everything is intact and trademarked. You would not believe, although, I’ve listened to enough of your podcasts to know that I’m not the only one that this sort of thing happens to. But you wouldn’t believe how people think they can just take your concept and run with it. It was probably three or four weeks ago that I woke up and happened to pick up my phone and look at Facebook. I saw a post by a very, very dear friend of mine. He was wearing a sweatshirt that –he wears my stuff all the time and talks about it all the time.
He was wearing a sweatshirt that was not mine but was black and white. It was very, very, very, very similar. I ended up in a ball in my closet that day. I was so devastated because when I went and looked at this company that I had never heard of before; I went and saw that they have –
John: Was it like Be Good to Humans?
Kris Wittenberg: You know what –
John: You don’t have to say it. It was close.
Kris Wittenberg: It was so close that we’re in legal action right now. I can’t talk about it more than that. But I will tell you that I work so hard, John, and I have seriously worked so hard on –I know as entrepreneurs we all do, but to find that someone just blatantly –so blatant that they had blocked my pages on social media. I didn’t even know about them. But when I went to look at their pages, I was blocked. They had obviously listened to interviews that I had done. They used the same phrases that I’ve used in interviews.
Here’s one thing, my company is called Be Good to People. Right. It’s trademarked. We have our trademark on everything. We always have. It’s black and white. That’s all we do is black and white. This company just took everything and –you can imagine I’m not going to tell you the name, but they fact that they were using several of the words in my trademark, I’m just like really? It’s not like you’ve got something that’s –I mean, we’re Be Good to People. So I just think more than anything, I mean, I’m a fighter.
We’re taking care of it, but my heart just heart. I’m a person of great faith. I was just like what do you want me to do, God? I’m working so hard and doing good in the world. Be Good to People has changed my life. I’m just really trying to create a better, kinder world. My heart and my intentions behind Be Good to People are 100 percent pure. So it was really devastating that –I don’t have time to deal with it, you know.
John: Yeah. You’re running a business. You’re trying to spread the word. You’re trying to literally Be Good to People. Fire Nation, there’s something that I really want to just make sure that you’re getting across from this. This is going to happen when you have success. When you have success, people want to model it. I’ve always been of that phrase, hey, we need to stand up on the shoulders of giants. There are people who have come before us and done X. They’ve done Y; they’ve done Z.
We can learn from them. But when we stand up on the shoulders of giants, it’s in our own voice to send our own message and our own mission. That uniqueness. That unique value distinguisher, UVD. It has to always be there, Fire Nation. I mean, Kris, I don’t talk about this much because there’s some reasons why I can’t either but your story is kind of bringing it up to me as well. Like I got attacked pretty early on by a company – you can probably imagine who it is if you think about magazines etc. – for my company name Entrepreneur on Fire.
Kris Wittenberg: Right. I remember this.
John: I was like wow. You can trademark the name entrepreneur. I did not know that. Of course, I was just somebody who was starting up a podcast. I had to go through a lot. Luckily, my father’s a lawyer or I probably would have had to bail at the beginning. But we battled and kept up. We did change our brand to EO Fire. But we don’t owe anything to said company or anything. That’s really the important thing. Entrepreneur on Fire can still be how I refer to myself and etc. You’re going to have a mark on you.
So that’s kind of where I want to move into next, Kris, is you’ve had that happen to you. I’ve had it happen to me. It’s not super uncommon when you find success. When you have a great idea. Something that I actually find a lot of people think I’d be upset about when they say, John, there’s just on fire everything. Every podcast. Like Athlete on Fire. Honestly, for me, Entrepreneur on Fire is my brand. EO Fire. That’s the brand that I love.
If people are going to get inspiration by doing their thing, I give them my blessing. Go off and do the world. Like Athlete on Fire is not going to be confused with EO Fire. It’s different in a lot of ways. So I give them my blessing. But the reality is you are going to encounter that stuff, Fire Nation. So, Kris, what do you want to give to Fire Nation as advice from what you’ve learned? Lessons that you took away.
Kris Wittenberg: One of the big lessons –it’s kind of funny. It’s about another question you were going to ask probably later down the road is –
John: Well, let’s just move into it.
Kris Wittenberg: Okay. It kind of goes in what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received. My answer to that was advice from my father. Two things. One, don’t burn bridges. When I was young, I didn’t really understand what that meant. As I’ve grown older and have more experience, I definitely understand. I think that’s a great piece of advice. Secondly is have a really good attorney and a really good accountant when you’re in business. Those two things you don’t want to scrimp on or skimp on.
John: Yes, I always like to say don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Like don’t try to save money on not having a lawyer on retainer or these types of things when it’s going to cost you a pound down the road. That’s just reality. You have to scramble for these things. Now, Kris, let’s shift and tell another story. You’ve had a lot of great ideas and a lot of great a-ha moments. I’m sure Be Good to People was one of those, for sure. What’s a story that you want to share of one of your greatest ideas to date?
Kris Wittenberg: I truly have an a-ha moment every time I get a story from someone who’s worn our shirt and communicates with me about something that happened to them because they were wearing their shirt. Not even kidding, we get stories probably easily two to three a week from people whether it’s through email or on our social media. I just got one last week that seriously put tears in my eyes which actually happens a lot when I get these stories. But every time one of these stories happens to me, it’s my a-ha. I am on the right path.
As hard as this is dealing with legal and dealing with production issues and things that are so grinding, I have an a-ha moment every time I get that story back. I know that I’m on the right path. This woman actually posted a private message on our Facebook page. She is in New York City. This is a woman who deals with great anxiety and depression. She had trauma in her life. She’s in intense therapy. She said that she wears her Be Good to People baseball hate every day when she goes out in the city. She said it’s like her shield of armor.
She can face people and go out into the day because she knows she has her Be Good to People hat on. She feels like people are either going to who might otherwise be kind to her, they’re going to be kind to her because she’s wearing it. She just feels more confident with it. I just got that story last week and sent it out to a bunch of my friends to say what we’re doing is working. It’s working. That’s just one of them. We had another woman who sent a message because she saw us in Oprah Magazine.
She had been ready to –she was in a tiff with her sister. She was going to send her sister a nasty email. She happened to have her Oprah Magazine. She saw the picture of Gail King and I in our shirts. She did not send this text message. She ended up patching it up with her sister. She left a voice mail – I still have the recording – and said thank you for thinking of Be Good to People because it saved me a big fight with my sister. I didn’t send the text because of seeing your message.
We have story after story where things like that have happened. So that’s what I –it truly is an a-ha because it’s tough. The entrepreneurial journey is really a grind. I made more money, I think, before I became an entrepreneur than I do now.
John: Even saying the word entrepreneurial is tough.
Kris Wittenberg: It’s tough. Yeah, I haven’t had my caffeine today. So it’s tricky. I think that’s one of things about Be Good to People that’s so awesome for me. It really is that I have a-ha moments that are big, big a-ha moments on a regular basis because of this message and what it’s doing in the world. So I truly feel like it’s my purpose in life. I don’t know that I’m going to make millions of dollars from it, but I know that it is making a difference in the world.
For me, someone who up until Be Good to People was a pretty short tempered, high energy, impatient person, it has really changed my life. I know it’s helped a lot of other people too. So that’s a pretty big a-ha, I think.
John: Yeah. Like, light bulbs going off everywhere. You’re powering the Empire State Building right now. What, Kris, is your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Kris Wittenberg: It is follow up and lack of systems. I listen to Michael Hyatt. I listen to you. I listen to –I learned about podcasts over the holidays when I was working on inventory. So I am working really hard on to get systems in place. And –one of the questions I know you’re going to ask is what am I fired up about? Right?
John: Let’s hear it.
Kris Wittenberg: I have three new employees. I have not had any employees. I just in the past month have hired three new part-time employees. They’re all going to job share because they’re all moms. One is not a mom. I can’t afford to do three full-time ones but they are – I tried the virtual assistant thing, and it just hasn’t really been –
John: It’s not for everyone.
Kris Wittenberg: It’s really hard. I find that it creates more work for me.
John: Yeah, we’re actually hiring a Puerto Rican resident here. Like we’re going to be hiring an actual non-virtual person for EO Fire. I don’t wasn’t to say virtual aren’t actual people. But we’re going to be hiring somebody in the flesh like here in Puerto Rico.
Kris Wittenberg: There’s really just something to having –I need to look someone in the eyes. I think the VA concept is amazing. I think it will work once I get more of my systems in place. I think I’m just not quite lined up enough to be a good VA user, but I think the concept is phenomenal.
John: How did you find those three part-timers?
Kris Wittenberg: I put up a –one, I put up a Facebook post. That is how I found two of them. Here in our community we have this group called Vale moms. I put that up. So these two women are awesome. Then the third one, I actually –we were in a retail –we did a retail event down in Denver. She and her mom came in. She had been in town interviewing for a job. Her mom met her in Denver. The job interview –she was not interested in it. They came in and bought, oh, my gosh.
They probably bought $300.00 worth of Be Good to People merchandise. We talked for an hour. This is what happens when I’m at an event or at a store. I have conversations. We ended up talking. Then, she came out. I had her out her for a week two weeks ago. She is actually working remotely, but we’ve met in person. She’s going to be coming out regularly. She’s going to be helping with our social media and PR. So that’s how I met her. I have so many great stories.
That’s one of the awesome things about Be Good to People too is all the mean people just walk by. They’re not interested. They go surf somewhere else. If I’m at holiday market or something where I’m actually present at the point of sale, I have made so many friends through Be Good to People. Lifelong friends and built amazing relationships because that’s one of the things it does. It starts conversations.
John: Well, Fire Nation, if you’re still here, you’re obviously one of those good people. You haven’t turned this off because you’re not like yuck. Be Good to People. Ew. You definitely resonate with this message. You’re going to resonate with Kris in the lightning round. So don’t you go anywhere after we thank our sponsors. Kris, are you prepared for the lightning rounds?
Kris Wittenberg: I hope so.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Kris Wittenberg: Not a thing. Never thought about not doing it. When I thought of it, I did it.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Kris Wittenberg: I am open to possibility. I have a treadmill desk. So I try and keep my mind going and listen to books and things on tape when I exercise. I try and keep healthy. So that’s a great habit.
John: Can you share an Internet resource like Evernotes with Fire Nation?
Kris Wittenberg: Yes, I love Fiver. Do you know Fiver?
John: I do. My favorite thing I’ve ever gotten from Fiver is my four-year-old niece for her birthday I got her Kermit, the frog, singing to her and her own name happy birthday. She thought it was amazing.
Kris Wittenberg: Yes, I love that stuff.
John: It was like $5.00.
Kris Wittenberg: I could be on there all day.
John: The best gift ever for her. She couldn’t believe it.
Kris Wittenberg: I think it’s awesome. Love it.
John: So cool. What’s one book that you would recommend? Why?
Kris Wittenberg: I love The Secret. I love it personally because I think you can read it or listen to it like I do, audio, over and over. It was my first introduction to the law of attraction and visioning things. I just never get tired of that book. I think it’s awesome and applicable for all areas of life.
John: K dubs, this is the last question of lightning round, but it’s a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter are taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
Kris Wittenberg: First of all, it makes me very sad to even think about it because I would miss my husband and my kids so much. So I’m going to pretend that they’re with me. I don’t know if I can do that or not.
John: You can pretend, but they’re actually not with you. It would just be you pretending.
Kris Wittenberg: Wow. Okay. So I’m going to pretend. I would immediately jump on social media and start connecting with people. I would just start all over. I think social media is so powerful. So I would just start looking around. My why is kindness and making people feel good. So I would connect with like people and just start forming relationships. I mean, that’s kind of how I live my life. So I think I’d be fine.
John: Kris, let’s end today on fire with a parting piece of guidance, the best way we can connect with you, and then we’ll say bye-bye.
Kris Wittenberg: Okay. I can be –my site is begoodtopeople.com. We’re on Facebook. We have a great Facebook community. Instagram and Twitter and Pinterest. I have a little offer for your audience if you’re interested.
John: I love it. Oh, yeah, I’ll speak for Fire Nation here.
Kris Wittenberg: All right. So if they go to our site and place and order and use the discount code eofire20, they will get 20 percent off their order at begoodtopeople.com. That will be good through –I’m not sure, did you say this would be airing in August?
Kris Wittenberg: So we’ll go ahead and run that through December 31st if that works for you.
John: Perfect. Christmas gifts. Love it.
Kris Wittenberg: Yeah, then that gives them time for people who aren’t listening as soon as it comes out. They can listen to it later.
John: And my birthday on December 16th too.
Kris Wittenberg: Really, that’s good to know. That is good to know. I’m sorry it’s close to the holiday. I heard that’s kind of a tough –
John: For a young kid, it was tough because my sister was in July. So she was right at the midpoint. It was like a huge party. Everybody comes over. Presents stacked on the table. I got like the continuation gifts, but it’s all good.
Kris Wittenberg: Well, she did not get birthday at school. My birthday is in July. I was always jealous when kids got decorations on their lockers and stuff for their birthday.
John: That’s true.
Kris Wittenberg: You probably got that.
John: Yeah, I got a little bit. But people just cared about Christmas by that point. They didn’t care about birthdays.
Kris Wittenberg: True that. Well, how much fun. This has been a blast.
John: Like the best ever. Fire Nation, you know this. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with K Dubs and JLD today. So keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Type Kris, that’s Kris with a K. K-r-i-s into the search bar. Her show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. Best show notes in the biz, Fire Nation. Time stamps and links galore. Do you want to be good to people? Do you want to spread the message?
Then, go to begoodtopeople.com. Now through December 31st, you can get 20 say it again 20 percent off by using the promo code eofire20. Kris, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you. We’ll catch you on the flipside.
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