Next Stop… Shark Tank. Or Not.

My daughter adores the show Shark Tank. Not me. It gives me anxiety to see someone break out into a nervous sweat as they deliver their carefully crafted pitch, only to have Mr. Wonderful tell them their idea sucks. I can hardly stand to watch it with her.

I look over at my daughter and she’s practically salivating, taking mental notes, piping up with “The Sharks are right Mom, that idea will never make it.” or “Yep, they blew it. They should have gotten a patent years ago.” Can I remind you, my daughter is 12?

Well, no worries, I won’t have to deal with Jordan going on Shark Tank anytime soon. She’s in seventh grade and she doesn’t even have a business.

Oh wait. Scratch that last part.

I spoke at a luncheon a few weeks about my breast cancer journey and happened to mention Jordan’s coffee cup cozys. One of the women in attendance is the owner of Kiser Bar-B-Q and their new store, Shop Athens Ohio. They carry all kinds of fun products (food, pint glasses, jewelry, t-shirts, home decor) that are all made in or inspired by Athens, Ohio.

Two days after the luncheon, I got a phone call. “Nicole, I have an outstanding idea!” My eyes nearly rolled… usually people’s “outstanding” ideas cost me something in the form of time or money. I cautiously listened. “We would like to carry Jordan’s cozys in the store and sell them online nationwide.”

My little Shark Tank wanna-be took the bait: hook, line and sinker. She was all in. But in true entrepreneurial fashion, she asked the store to carry her entire line of Cozy products: microwaveable bowl cozys, notebook covers, and of course, the coffee cup sleeves.

img_7874All of the products will be made exclusively in pink. A portion of the proceeds will still go to Susan G. Komen to help women in Southeastern Ohio, but Jordan will also be using part of the money to pay for her own materials (YAY! I’m off the hook!) and to begin a college savings account.

You guys this is all so exciting, I should be thrilled. But I’m not. I’m terrified. Okay, I’m a little thrilled and a little terrified.

What if I mess this up for her because I don’t know the legalities of running a business? What if I mess HER up by allowing her to do something that becomes overwhelming or tiresome?

Instead of breaking out into a nervous sweat, I’ve decided to tell myself what I would tell you. If we were sitting down having coffee and you were pouring out your heart to me about this big opportunity that has come your way (a new job or a new home or a new family member) these are the things I would say to you:

1. It doesn’t hurt to try. Well, it might hurt a little, but nothing that can’t be healed.

2. When you’re not sure what to do next, just do the next right thing.

3. Remember you are surrounded by loving, kind people who want to help you succeed. Let them.

4. Failure isn’t a swear word. Henry Ford’s early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he successfully launched the Ford Motor Company. R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store hit it big.

5. I’m here for you. (Well, this one is odd because I can’t really be here for myself, but I would TOTALLY be there for you. And I’m certain if Jordan and I need a soft place to land, you’ll be there for us, too.)

We all have big decisions to make in life. Sometimes we meet a fork in the road and either path would be fine. It’s hard at those intersections to know which path we should follow. But here’s the thing, I’m certain that God is in control and if we’re supposed to be heading in a particular direction, He will get us there– even if we take some detours along the way.

I don’t know if Jordan’s ultimate destination is Shark Tank or not, but it sure will be fun following her, wherever this new endeavor leads.

You can order cozy products at shopathensohio.com or shop in person at their new store next door to Kiser’s at Eclipse in The Plains.

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