Full Transcript - Priscila Martinez - Wild Business Growth Podcast #295

Full Transcript – Mary Harcourt – Wild Business Growth Podcast #211

This is the full transcript for Episode #211 of the Wild Business Growth Podcast featuring Mary Harcourt – Bright Inventor, Founder of CosmoGlo. You can listen to the interview and learn more here. Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Mary Harcourt 0:00
Oh wow, this is going to change everything

Max Branstetter 0:19
A Harcourt Hello. Welcome back to the Wild Business Growth Podcast this is your place to here from a new entrepreneur every single Wednesday morning who’s turning Wild ideas into Wild growth. I’m your host, Max Branstetter, Founder and Podcast Producer at MaxPodcasting. And you can email me at to save time with your high-quality podcast. This is Episode 211, which is like the minor league version of the band 311. And today’s guest is Mary Harcourt. Mary is the Founder and Inventor of CosmoGlo, the shadowless arc light that was originally invented for lashing for interviewer lash fans out there, and has since become used by tattoo artists for scientific research including cadavers, all sorts of different crazy things and it’s a crazy cool light. In this episode, we talk how Mary came up with a CosmoGlo on a cocktail napkin, figuring out what the actual product would look like prototyping, learning how to actually run a business that is based around a product not focused on a service, and her favorite parts of Austin, Texas and favorite parts of going on safari for a crazy amount of time. And the best way, there is something about Mary, enjoy the shooooooow

Alrighty, we are here with Mary Harcourt, as she described to me offline har in court. So that’s a great way to memorize it. But Founder of CosmoGlo, one of the coolest companies in the world call it that the lash slash beauty slash fashion space all of which I’m a total expert in as you might guess. But Mary, thank you so much for joining in. How you doing today.

Mary Harcourt 2:20
Thank you. I’m doing great. Thank you for having me. Thank you for the intro. I’m excited to talk to everyone today. And you. Let’s get started.

Max Branstetter 2:27
Thank you. Thank you. I know the truth is you’re excited to speak to everyone except me. So you can be honest, really, really excited to dive into your CosmoGlo story today. And before that, I know that you spent many years running a salon you started a salon, you kind of led the charge with a salon I think many people have have been to he can ask my fiancee Dana, as we you know, prep for our wedding here. Many people have been to a salon, but a much smaller number of people have actually, you know, led a salon as a small business owner, what are a couple of things that you learned from the salon space that you think bode well for for any entrepreneur?

Mary Harcourt 3:07
Yeah, absolutely. A salon industry is a hard industry, I think believe it is 86% of all salons in the US are not profitable, they’re just breaking even or less. So the odds are against you, mainly because we are in a art skill, creative force. So we go to school to learn how to do a specific skill. We’re not really ever taught how to run a business, and I think that applies to so many people is you’re taught the specialty, but you’re not taught how to keep a business functioning and growing and thriving over time while working with that specialty. So I would say one of the first things is take care of your employees, especially in a salon environment, you’re essentially renting their skill, if they leave you they have that same skill and they can go start their own business. As a salon, it’s really important that you have people working for you that are in a nice healthy environment that your clients love coming in and spending money with and want to rebook and stay. So taking care of your clients. And that can be as simple as making sure that they’re paid adequately, that they’re getting their breaks that they have vacations anytime that they want them that they feel like part of the crew part of their voice matters. What they do and come to work really does help the big picture in the team. And then another thing I think, is just get control of your finances. We in a salon industry sometimes get stuck buy big ticket items, you know, you roll it in a couple 100 bucks with every client. But if you don’t understand your overhead and the price of your rent and how much supplies cost and what you are spending on your employees, it’s really easy to get upside down. So just having the metrics on your cash flow.

Max Branstetter 4:48
Oh totally and cash flow for, I think any business is obviously essential but that numbers piece the finance piece. That’s super important. Did You Know Were you familiar with Any of that space before you started?

Mary Harcourt 5:02
Absolutely not. I was focused on I had just moved to Los Angeles from Northern California. And I, in my mind, it was like, Well, why am I gonna go work for someone else and build up their books. If I’m starting from scratch anyway, I might as well just start for myself, which is a bold and brave move, and some people can knock it out of the ballpark. And I was not one of those people, it was really hard lesson for me. I saw a salon. And within three weeks, it was mind signing on the dotted line. And then I realized, I don’t know a single soul in the southern half of California. And I had to learn how to market and learn how to use social media and understand how to put yourself on Google and Yelp. And slowly but surely, the more you apply yourself and learn these skills, the more the ripples started, and then the skill took over where I was very good at what I did, and people came back especially with lashes, it’s such a repeat business. Once you get lashes as a woman, you look at yourself in the mirror, and it’s just you feel so good. And your morning, getting ready in the morning, break it, it goes from some girl spent an hour every morning, once you get lashes, you feel like all the hard work is done, I can put my hair up and a bow in a bun put some lip gloss on and go out the door. So instead of spending an hour, I can get ready in 515 minutes, take a quick shower and you go because these lashes make you feel like you’re wearing makeup even when you’re not. So with it being such a repetitive service. For me, it was really easy to build the client base, it was very hard to understand the business side. And I went through a really rough time where I was working six days a week, eight in the morning till nine o’clock at night and I was busy. Every second of the day, I was booked nonstop, but I wasn’t making money. I was breaking even I thought this is ridiculous. This is not how life is supposed to be. This is not how a business is supposed to be made. And I invested something, I went to a course on how to run your salon business. And it was a three day intensive, you brought your p&l, you brought your goals, you brought your numbers, and they worked with you to make sure that you walked out of there with a successful plan on how to be profitable. And to be honest, I think that changed my entire life because I went from not even understanding where I’m losing money to be able to correct simple things in my life and within almost a month and a half become profitable, with really easy simple changes. And that was so powerful. And from that, once I saw that it’s possible, then I became obsessed with what else is possible and it grew from there.

Max Branstetter 7:26
So without me being sued for, for stealing the content of this three day intensive course. What is in general, what is one tip for profitability that that still to this day has been super helpful.

Mary Harcourt 7:39
I think I said it earlier, just understand all of your bills, put them all in a spreadsheet go through what you spend every day on supplies every week on supplies every month on reorders, understand what your licensing is going to cost you what your insurance costs you. And I say put it on it like a big Excel sheet because it sometimes helps there’s bills you only pay once a month, or once a year. And so if you’re putting all of your your things that cost you money into a spreadsheet, it’s really easy to break it down by just month, but you’re forgetting that you are paying 1000s of dollars to also be licensed and insured. And there’s certain bills that only come once a year. So you don’t want to forget those. But see exactly how much does your rent break down per day? Does it cost you for rent? How much is your insurance per day? How many supplies are you using per day? What does that look like? How much is it for each client of yours for the service? So I went from just ballparking like this sounds like a great number. How about $75 for this service? Okay, cool, too. Okay, it takes me $7.98 In just supplies, plus it takes me an hour and 15 minutes. Plus I had to accrue that client to come through the door, which I paid for advertising. So all of a sudden that’s $75 I had to move it to become profitable, because $75 I was just breaking even. And I think that’s why I go back to like understanding your numbers, get a feel for all of the money you spend in your business in a year and you can guesstimate it if you haven’t been a year for you. That’s fine. Don’t sit on the sidelines going well, I’ll wait nine months. So I have those numbers. Know figure it out estimate. And then you can take your overhaul, here’s how much your your business costs you a year to run and break it down monthly and weekly and daily. And then position yourself so that with every service, or every product, you’re selling everything that you’re making all of that breakeven money plus whatever you want to take home at the end of the week, day month, that that’s in there too. And it’s a really simple way of being able to say okay, here’s my breakeven point, here’s what I actually want to be making. And this would be a comfortable life for me at this dollar amount and then aim for that dollar amount. You might need to increase your prices you might need to advertise more to have more people coming through the door. For me adding staff was a giant thing that helped me all the sudden I didn’t understand how to utilize staff. I was renting one of my rooms and they get Give me what I felt like was enough for a month. And then when I broke it down into what it would be to have an employee in that room, I was just mind blown where renting a room made no sense for me. And I was never gonna get ahead. But if I could fill that room with clients, and an employee, I could almost double my income overnight, which is what I did. And then we went on to grow a multi staff, multi room and service everyone, it was really great. But it’s all those beginning lessons that you almost just have to understand that you don’t have the answers until you get to a really rough place going, this isn’t working anymore. I need to understand this more. And then that hunt for information is what took me over because I was my rent was due. And I was running out of all savings and all cash. I mean, I was just the end was near. But for a second, I was thinking, Okay, if I do this, I could go this course, which is the same amount as my rent. And it could change my whole life, or I just let my business fail anyway. So I took the money and went to this course and it changed my whole life. I mean, just understanding cash flow, understanding how to price yourself how to market yourself, how to curve your story, your lashes is something that a lot of people do. So what makes you so special, and that’s a very important factor in entrepreneurship, too, is understanding what you’re good at. And sometimes you feel like you’re a salmon swimming upstream. But that’s amazing, because you’re doing something slightly different than everyone else, which makes people want to come to you.

Max Branstetter 11:31
So your back was against the wall and you took that situation and flew into the cosmos. So let’s get to CosmoGlo, which I’m sorry for the pun, but CosmoGlo. Super cool. If you’re listening. Obviously, you’re listening. While you’re listening, take a second to Google CosmoGlo, and the light because it’s it’s such a cool looking thing. I’ve never really, I’ve never really seen it a light. Like it. I know there’s so many cool features about it. So, Marissa, how did you I guess start heading toward start heading towards the light started heading towards the cosmos when I gotta cut myself up, where did this idea come about?

Mary Harcourt 12:16
So CosmoGlo is the reason you haven’t seen anything like it is nothing else existed. And we have a patent in 30 countries. So nothing else should exist as we filed for more patents and utility and design. That is my design. And my idea was very proactive about getting it protected. But it came from just being boots on the ground. I was in these treatment rooms. And we replaced our lights three times over at the time I had a staff of four. And so buying for whites so that they could be happy, gets expensive. And then we got these new lights and everyone was so excited. But they were falling over they were falling on the client one actually fell on her forehead and broke it open, which thank God she was sweet, but like that could have gone really bad. So then we decided to replace them.

Max Branstetter 12:57
Well, yeah, that sounds really,

Mary Harcourt 12:59
it was a ring light, you know as tripod. And ring lights are traditionally used for social media where they sit up, but with lashes, you’d bend them over, and it’s just too top heavy, so they fall. And then we decided to replace our lights again and do this new version. That was I would say probably the industry leader at the time, but they had issues too. And they were loud and squeaky and the lighting wasn’t even so you’re supposed to have one light, but only one side of the face would get lighting. And when you’re dealing with lashes, you’re dealing with individual hair lighting is very important. And if you got one on each side, now you have shadows because they’re the two Castile lights are just fighting each other. So we tried to go again and replace our lights with these big film boxes. And they gave amazing lighting but they heated up the room so obnoxiously that you would be sitting there and the room will be getting clammy and hot. And we’re sweating. And then if we go to turn on the air conditioning, my poor client who’s laying there trying to relax is shivering because she has the air vent over her Lane doing nothing while we’re working. And it just became like god, we’re supposed to offer a luxury service and this is not it.

Max Branstetter 14:09
This is sitting at AC or sitting under.

Mary Harcourt 14:13
Sounds like the beauty industry is so big and it’s exploding and it’s only going to get bigger from here. So how has no one perfected a room for treatment rooms? I mean spa industry is massive between your permanent makeup, your eyelashes, your facials, the esthetician tattooing I mean it goes on and on and on. And now with a new wave of injectables and dermatologists. There’s so much that I sat there and thought that’s really wild that no one’s done it yet. But if I have these issues I’m sure everyone else does. And if I could solve it, how powerful would that be? And so then my mind started working like, well, what would it look like? How would it feel? And I loathe tripods, which is like a nice way of saying I hate them. They’re very unstable. They’re great for mobile, but I didn’t do mobiles. services, I didn’t need to pick up my light, I needed a stable light that wasn’t gonna fall over with bursts from the air conditioning. And so I had to have a flat base. And as I mentioned the shadows before, you would either get light on one side of your face, or if you had two lights on either side of the bed, you fought the shadows, and it had to provide shadowless coverage had to be adjustable, dim to high because in a spa setting and sometimes you want the lights to be really low if your clients relaxing during a mask. But sometimes you really need it high if you’re looking for a single piece of hair or when you’re doing an eyebrow service. So I just went down the list of like it has to be adjustable, because everyone’s body has a different shape. So it has to be able to accommodate people that are taller and shorter and different bed sizes. Some people have more of a dental style chair, some people have more of a lay down massage style, which we did. And I just kind of had this idea where I put together a picture. And I talked about it quite often, if so many of us have those ideas. And that’s where you stop. You’re doing yourself a dishonor or dishonor like you have to get that idea out of your head. And it just requires you writing it down. So I had gone to meet up with my husband now husband to have a glass of wine. And I’m just like, you know, common day, how’s your day? How’s your day? Good, good. I’m so irritated with these freaking lights. And he’s like, behave. You have been complaining about these lights for literally a year. And all I hear about these lights and how nobody likes them. And you buy more that nobody likes those. And I was like I know. And he’s like, why don’t you just make one? I have been thinking about it. But I don’t make lights. I do eyelash extensions. Like I don’t, I don’t even understand how things are made. Like I don’t know where things come from. And it was one of those moments where he’s like here, here’s a cocktail napkin. Let’s get a pen. Okay, we got a pen, write down what you think it would look like. I wrote that I the picture of the CosmoGlo. It has a curved arc Halo shape, it rotates 360 degrees, there’s no shadows, it’s even coverage flat base. And from that he said, Oh, that’s you could really easily get that made. And we went home that night. And he popped it into a computer CAD drawing like here, is this what it would look like? And I sat there like, Oh, yes. And he’s like, Okay, go get this made. So I ended up finding a machined metal shop that did the majority of the work for me just to make a prototype to see if it worked for really just my own use in my own salon. And then when we got the electronics in and it was sent to me, we plugged it in, it was love at first light, it literally we plugged it in, and it was like, Oh, wow, this is gonna change everything. And it has. And I think that was just the beginning start is nobody really knows where to start. And that’s okay, neither did I but a bunch of Google searching, getting your idea and writing it down so that someone else can see what you’re seeing. And from there, it just grows into product development. So we did a few prototypes, and we landed on our third one, which was the most complete unit. And during that process was when COVID happened. So my salon closed for COVID. All of a sudden, I didn’t have a staff and I didn’t have a full time schedule of clients. So I sat back going, huh, I was set if I ever get the time I launched this product, I was just gifted all of the time. So I pivoted to launch a product.

Max Branstetter 18:21
I should have known by the name of your podcast. Ready.Set.Glo! that you are into puns. I absolutely love that. Love it first light. But I can’t believe like you hear about these, you know like crazy historic entrepreneurship stories that start with a drawing on a cocktail napkin and you literally did that. What was your your now husband? Were you out at a bar when he had to do the cocktail napkin? Or did he just happen to be carrying those.

Mary Harcourt 18:48
We met up after work for a cocktail, he travels a lot for work, and I worked a lot. So it was always if I can leave work and just go decompress over a glass of wine and he can come meet me somewhere. I just really enjoy that. And it was one of those situations where it’s like, Hey, you just flew back in town. I’m getting done in about 30 minutes. Let’s meet at this cute little Italian place, have a glass of wine and kind of reconnect because you’ve been gone all week,

Max Branstetter 19:11
we’ll draw out my my new business while

Mary Harcourt 19:13
we’re there. What here’s the thing, so many people have great ideas and that other person is trying to understand them so much. But until you write it down, it’s common ground, you can both see the same thing. So a lot of ideas do start on a cocktail napkin. Southwest right now has their cocktail napkins and a triangle drawn on it saying we started on a cocktail napkin we drew I don’t remember the three cities but it’s three cities in Texas, maybe Dallas, Austin and Houston is where Southwest The idea came from. And it’s funny to talk to other entrepreneurs who said the same thing like oh, yeah, it was as soon as I wrote it down, it became real.

Max Branstetter 19:49
It’s so special. That’s something my my dad has always said over the years is that just to like get stuff out of your head and like not worry about remembering it. Just write it down like whether it’s form of like post it notes or a list from that format, but it works in terms of business ideas as well. And clearly from from a prototyping standpoint, yeah, I guess you can try to like stab in the dark and create a CAD design drawing out of nowhere. But if you have even, you know, a drawing on a cocktail napkin, sponsor myself, then you can, it gives you a great place to jump off of. So how long did it take from like those first prototypes to the actual, what you what you would call as your first product that you would actually sell from shipping

Mary Harcourt 20:34
product prototype to shipping. We started prototyping in 2019, September of 2019, I got my very first light, it was ugly, it was unfinished, I’m sure it was unsafe, there was wires hanging out everywhere, when you prototype is quite an expensive process because someone is making something for just you. So to cut out all the overhead costs, you don’t get it finished. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t painted, it was raw metal. And that’s just how it starts. And so I had used this in my salon, and our lights now move, they move everywhere. They’re fully adjustable. So they rotate 365 or 360 degrees as a top Halo, and then the arm that comes out adjust, you can glide it into place and push it out of the way fold it flat against the wall when you don’t need it. And it was really funny because the first one didn’t move. And so it was like going back into an MRI machine where I’m like, Hey, come on back, just lean back, keep going. And I found out that it was a beautiful design for the person working on it. I Amy while I was doing eyelash extensions. But for my client, it was incredibly uncomfortable. And they would forget that they had to crawl into this thing. And so when I say like, Okay, you’re all done, go ahead and hop up, they would just sit up and it would take out like a chunk of hair left on the corner of this metal light. And I thought oh my god, this is terrible. I can’t be doing this. Ooh, sweet people. So that’s when we brought up Can we have another one that rotates? I think if it moved, then I could just put it over the client as needed. And when they’re ready to get up, I just move it out of the way. And so that one came in, and that was like, oh my god, I thought the other one was cool. No, this is like game changing. We’re changing the world with this. And we played with it. And my staff would always fight over the two rooms that had the Cosmo glows. So we knew we were on to something. And then with a third one, it was just a couple of minute changes, we wanted to change the base style, we had a heavy flat bass, but we wanted to make it a little bit more sturdy. Add in the height adjuster and just kind of fine tune things. So we had that third one, I would say about January of 2020. And that was all three of my rooms were furnished, we were happy, I was kind of like at a good place. But along came March, which was COVID. And that was the start of it all where I suddenly went from being so crazy busy and Salon atmosphere and setting and servicing clients all day and balancing a checkbook and making payroll and cleaning and doing all this stuff, to we are date closed for who knows how long. But if I’m going to be smart about this, I finally have the time to switch gears and focus on that. So I took that third prototype. And from there we went and found a manufacturer who could make it on a larger scale, and talked negotiations terms. They wanted 50% down, which was fine. I wanted to start with a whole lot more lights than they were willing to do. They wanted to make sure I could pay for them. So we fought about the number I said, let’s just dive in 500 new lights, so you can make me 500 And they’re like, well, we want to make sure you’re going to succeed. And you can sell these first. So what if we start with 150 first? And I was like,

Max Branstetter 23:39
I thought you’re gonna say about what if we start with 1? And then we’ll see

Mary Harcourt 23:43
if I was so confident going into it so confident like this is this is everything. But we negotiated that why don’t we first order be 150 the second order be 250. That way you have a little bit of wiggle room that we know we’re going to get paid. And from there, we just scale up. And for me it was affordable because I only have to put 50% down. So it was something that okay, I can empty out my savings take kind of everything. I have put it all on red and hope it works. But that was part of it too. And I think a lot of people this is another area you get stuck going is it worth the investment? What if it doesn’t work out? And for me? First off, we were in COVID Everything was in a tailspin. Anyway, what’s one more piece of stress? Oh, nobody knew the outcome of anything, just so I don’t know, in a normal situation where life was great on a daily basis. I don’t know if I really would have had the guts to pull it off. But in a freefall situation where you have no security on anything. It was like really what’s what’s one more thing. So I was able to go ahead and say Okay, start the order. Let’s do it. And then from there, I listed this item as a sale, we made a website, we dropped it in forums. I made videos out of the three lights that I did have to say if you want it we’re open for pre sales and we sold all of our lights before they even shipped, which was great because then it They will take that money to the manufacturer and go okay, here you go, your bills paid. Let’s start those 250. And they were a little like, oh, wow, you’re you can sell these things. I was like, Oh, I can sell them can you make them? And that’s really where it all started. And from that we sold out over 250 before they shipped. But to go back to the timeline that you asked about, yeah, January’s the time we got our third prototype. Around May, April is when we started finding manufacturers June, we placed our first order July we locked it in we were already selling live on the website. And we shipped I believe it was the end of August, if not the month after. So it was a pretty quick turnaround, in my opinion from launching the napkin sketch to a year later shipping real live units. But sometimes it’s just you gotta go.

Max Branstetter 25:47
I think that’s tremendously slow. No, no, that’s crazy fast. It’s awesome. It’s awesome. What you were able to do. And I know sales have grown a ton since those since those early days, which at the time of this recording is still not that long ago in the grand scheme of things. So really, really can’t talk really, really exciting times, what what would you say has been the biggest driver to your sales growth so far,

Mary Harcourt 26:11
we need in the industry, you know, they always say if you make a product that makes sense, everyone wants it. It’s the simplicity that it just answers all of the problems, it fixes all of those issues we had in the field, and it offers a solution. In a very nicely packaged, modern, sleek looking professional light. There’s nothing else in the market that looks as aesthetically pleasing, as well as functions with as many features. And in my opinion is still very affordable. We manufacture in the USA, which is great because they come straight off the production line and shipped straight to our consumers doors. And as we ripple into other industries, I started this as a flashlight, but it is no longer a flashlight. We are we’re in everything. Now tattoo artists swear by them medical estheticians put us on stage the other day, I’m getting calls from a cadaver class because these people use, they need lighting to go over they they essentially use one model who’s laying there. And four people work on that. And so to make sure all four people can see they’ve always had lights that gave shadows and it’s unfair to that person that’s in the shadow seat with our light. It was the first time that all people could see without a shadow and they just came back to us like we have to buy a dozen of these lights, we have to have these lights. And I was like well never thought I’d be used there. But okay, so I think just the driving factor has been the need for it in the markets and in markets I didn’t even really know existed until they now have the perfect lighting for it.

Max Branstetter 27:43
It when I started this segment, I unintentionally made the comment about moving towards the light. And little did I know that cadavers would be involved in this as well. So it’s it’s unbelievably I mean, you read my mind. I was curious about the alternate uses. And I know it’s going beyond the lash world. But tattoos and cadavers that I mean, that sounds like a like a punk rock album or something? I don’t know. But it’s really, really cool that the different areas that it’s being used for and just speaks to how cool the product is, and and how valuable it is. I would say salon is more of a service business. And now you’re kind of all product focus. How’s the adjustment been going from service focus to product focus?

Mary Harcourt 28:24
It’s definitely a learning curve. There’s differences. I just explained this on stage the other day where people ask what is it like to manufacture your own product. And to be completely honest, it’s a roller coaster, I went from a salon setting where I controlled the services I offered, the companies I worked with the setting that I set for the clients, how they were greeted, when they walked through the door, the scent I had on the humidifier, the music, I played the blankets, I put on the on the beds, the smells that were in the air, the products I put on the shelf, to do with manufacturing, you control none of it, it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with the people that are making this product for you. And so you can guide them and help them and tweak them as best as possible. But really, it’s up to them to make sure your product is as high quality and amazing as you want it to be. And that took a lot to go from where I control to everything to almost where I control not a lot of much. And I rely on giving feedback and we still get prototypes sent to the door to this day anytime that we want to change anything because I need to see what it’s going to look like and feel like before we go ahead and sign on the dotted line that that’s a change feature. And I think that was the adjustment curve is it’s no longer what I do. It’s I’m putting all of my home trust funds into another company and letting them do it for me.

Max Branstetter 29:48
Right which which is easy, right? Like yeah, I don’t really care much about this. Yeah, do whatever you want.

Mary Harcourt 29:53
Oh yeah. And then welcome COVID 2022 supply or 2020 supply chains and then supply chains past that. It’s it’s a Wild Ride.

Max Branstetter 30:02
Thank you for using the term Wild. That’s extra brownie points on this podcast. But if you were to go back and start CosmoGlo from the beginning, what is the biggest thing you would do differently?

Mary Harcourt 30:13
I mean, obviously, it would change some things. But I’m really happy with the journey we went on, it was completely organic. I didn’t have the skills when I first started. But I’ve been able to gather them along the way. When I think about everything it took, and currently what it’s still taking in the amount of stress and learning just a different industry and understanding how something else works and running a whole completely different business from a service industry. I often think if I really looked at where I am today, I don’t know if I would sign up. Like ignorance is bliss, I had no clue what it took, I just knew I was gonna do it. And with that, that driving factor of almost like, love is blind. I just wanted to do it. And I don’t care what it looks like, I’m just going to do it. That is what made it happen. And then I was able to gather the skills and grow as a person and accompanying everything else along the way. I don’t know, if I went back to the drawing board, it would scare me, I think to try it, I think I’d be like, You know what, I like doing lashes. I love my clients. I love my salon. I’m happy here. But here we are. And it’s a great company. And I’m so thankful I just told my husband the other day like I am so thankful for Cosmo glow, because it’s made me grow so much as a human being as an individual, that I would now never trade it for anything in the whole world. And I love how much it’s given me a voice in the industry to show people if you have an idea, pursue it if I can do it. So can everyone else I don’t come from that background. But if I can do it, then everyone can and we all should there’s so much power in these ideas that were gifted.

Max Branstetter 31:50
That that is so spot on. We had recently had Jason Feifer on who’s the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine. And he talks about one of the biggest stages of you know, growing personally and professionally is when you get to that point of, you know what, like, this new normal that I’ve created for myself, I wouldn’t go back. I really like what you know, my life and my business are now and you are a shining a light shining example.

Mary Harcourt 32:18
I love it. Yeah, no, absolutely. You know, I was happy with my life, I probably could have been happy not changing anything. But I do look at how much growth has happened. And I’m very proud of the road and what it took and to be here and to have this amazing company and where it’s led us in the industry of being able to solve people’s problems and make their lives better and help them make more money because they’re able to do a better job in a shorter amount of time to have this better service. It’s a really cool position. But yeah, I don’t know if I had to do it all over. There’ll be some things I tweaked. But honestly, I enjoyed the ride. And I think it was so organic that it was the way it was meant to be.

Max Branstetter 32:59
And if you think editing your own podcast is the way it was meant to be. Oh golly, do I have something for you go to backs podcasting. I can’t even say my own URL. Go to MaxPodcasting.com/Newsletter and sign up for the Podcasting to the Max newsletter and you will receive a free eBook how to edit your podcast in Audacity. Now, you may have heard of Audacity that you may have not or not yet. Audacity is the most popular and free podcast editing platform. It’s what I use all the time to edit while business growth podcast as well as numerous, numerous, numerous other podcasts for clients in a wide range of, of genres. It’s awesome, it’s free. And I have put together an ebook to help you learn how to edit in Audacity effectively and efficiently. Because I’ve picked up a thing or two after just a couple episodes of rhetoric, you can grab it and sign up for the newsletter as well as the eBook at MaxPodcasting.com/Newsletter. Now let’s flip the switch. turn that light on and get into the mind of Mary. So let’s get to what lights you up as a person so more on the personal side it can you know there can be some tie over with business but this is more about inspiration and creativity how you stay creative, how you stay inspired. What do you do outside of your we’ll call your day job but it’s kind of like your life and passion as well. That makes you feel the most creative, a little bit of everything.

Mary Harcourt 34:35
I’m a creative brain so I don’t have a rhythm I don’t have a whole schedule I don’t have a routine. I am a feel whatever feels good in the moment type of person which is different every day. I live in Texas now I moved from California we did it to have some property and have beautiful trees and now we have a ton of animals. So going for a walk and seeing the goats and my baby goats that were born on the property and I have miniature pigs and they have piglets, we still have them now. And of horses and donkeys and chickens running around, you know, watching how the world works without a computer screen is really refreshing. I think there’s just the transfer of energy. And all these little animals love us so much. And they love their treats, and they come rushing to the door and like their whole world is on our property. And we can go and experience so much, but the simplicity of how you can just be so satisfied in a simple life is a nice reminder. And then on top of that, I’m a huge traveler, I love to travel, I’ve traveled to 64 countries, I have a goal to get to 100. And I think just experiencing new things, is what motivates me in that I love to try new restaurants, new foods, I love to try anywhere I haven’t been before I anytime I go to a new city, it’s like, oh my god, there’s so many choices. I’m so excited right now. And even with my hometown, I’m like, Okay, we’ve done every single one of these restaurants. But I haven’t tried that one yet. And I just love the exploration side of things, which ties into business, because it takes a little bit of that I want to see what’s out there attitude, to put something new for us to take an idea that has never existed, and say I’m gonna do it. So I love that I have that little bit of an adventure mindset.

Max Branstetter 36:18
I would say and I would say a lot of it as well. Do you ever combine those passions for animals and travel? Like, have you ever done a vacation that’s kind of based around seeing exotic are unique animals,

Mary Harcourt 36:31
I have traveled long term where I took years off at a time, one year, two years, six months, seven months, eight months, that the whole thing, which I could talk about that and how to do that for a whole nother podcast. But that was a really cool part of my life. I started in Africa at South Africa. And I ended up in Kenya four months later. And did combine the safaris and the animal trips and the beaches and the water and the pools and sunshine with learning and culture and understanding that a smile is universal, you might not speak the same language, but you can laugh at the same thing. You can make eye contact with somebody and smile, and it changes their whole perception of their day. And I think it’s just so cool to go and explore and see how the world works, which going back to product creation, I attribute a lot of being able to make this happen to be in other countries and seeing how resourceful they are. You know, sometimes we’re taught if you don’t buy it, then it doesn’t exist. Well, they don’t buy it, but it exists. And they figure out a way to make their idea work, whether it’s coke bottles, or what they have to tie something together with bamboo, they figure it out. And I remember always looking at that while I was traveling and being like, Wow, it’s so cool that these people had an idea didn’t have the funds or a way to go buy the store product. But they made it work on their own. And that has always stuck with me. As far as it answers are not one way it is not here is your A to B guide. It is endless. There’s endless ways to do multiple things. And when it came to CosmoGlo, it didn’t exist. But I was resourceful enough to say let’s start this progress. I know it can work. And we just have to figure out how to make it work because other people in other countries make things work all the time. So barring a little bit of that travel, lessons learned and applying it to my real life was a huge help.

Max Branstetter 38:22
That mindset I think was so helpful as an entrepreneur of just even if you don’t know for sure the answer, you know that hey, like, if I put my mind to it, like, I’m gonna figure out something like just just figure it out. And it might take multiple iterations or it might take, you know, months of prototypes. But there’s so much that your brain and your team and the collective brainpower can do and create and solves problems solve problems, even if you can’t pronounce solves problems. But there’s I think that’s a wonderful way to look at it. Speaking of wonderful this, this is a terrible segue because it’s, it’s not really the opposite of wonderful, but it’s another unique term. Let’s get to the unusual. So pet peeves? quirks weird talents? Well, we’ll start with quirks. What is something a little bit quirky about your personality that maybe your husband, family, friends, your animals somebody calls you out for? It’s a little bit quirky?

Mary Harcourt 39:21
Oh, man, it’s like where do I even start the loo?

Max Branstetter 39:25
Yeah, wait, hold on. Let me change up my calendar. schedule another run for a couple of hours. I love quirkiness, because it’s like everybody’s unique and it’s, you know, it’s who you are.

Mary Harcourt 39:35
I would say there’s so much I mean, she is there so much. I my one of my pet peeves is just people that take the cheap probably isn’t the right word, but the cheap way out. Or if you go to a restaurant and use or served a menu and the menu has clearly been ripped, so they just duct taped over it but now you can’t read the actual menu because the words are covered. Or it’s like

Max Branstetter 39:57
that is perfectly specific for you

Mary Harcourt 40:00
Don’t just buy a new menu, you would sell more food because now I actually don’t want to eat here because if this is how you manage your business, what else is duct taped together in that kitchen? That is a disaster waiting to happen. Or when you go I just a business that has a sign that’s handwritten, like we’ll be back. But it’s all spelled wrong. It’s like you had one job. If you want to close your store and say, we’ll be back by five o’clock then spell the words, right. It just those little pet peeves things that aren’t done right where someone was just in a rush in a hurry. And that little quick fix you made is now actually costing you a lot more. I think the term is tripping over pennies to lose dollars. You’re so concerned on trying to save a penny that you don’t realize the dollars that are being lost over that decision.

Max Branstetter 40:49
Absolutely. And in this case, tripping over duct tape as well. Lastly, you know, besides recognizing where duct tape is improperly used, what is the weird talent you have something that you’re you’re pretty good at You have a knack for, but it really doesn’t impact your business life.

Mary Harcourt 41:05
I don’t know I’ve always been told I have a natural judge of character. And usually my gut is

Max Branstetter 41:11
Wait hold on real quick. How are you judging? My This is very

Mary Harcourt 41:15
great. You’re transparent. I like the puns shows me that you have a little flavor in your life you would like to have lots of fun flavor. Yeah, podcasts on growth, which anyone who’s open to learning and growing on a daily basis to me is a check mark green. I think that’s a great way to live life. So you’re doing well.

Max Branstetter 41:33
Thank you. Thank you. I try although pun flavor sounded wrong for some reason. But yeah,

Mary Harcourt 41:38
I comes up I mean, in business and personal. And it’s just that weird. Maybe it’s just my gut. I don’t know, what’s that weird thing in the back of your head that says like, don’t make that decision. Don’t do it. And then we come back three weeks later, I’m like, Oh, I’m so glad I didn’t do that. And my staff knows that. So well. We’re I’m very interactive with my staff. We we tackle tasks and projects and opinions and questions and answers together all the time. And then every once in a while I’ll just Trump them or I’m like, I don’t know why we’re doing this guys. But like I have to veto like, I gotta say no, and they’re like, Okay, you’re always right on that. Like your your gut is always spot on. So I don’t know if that’s a weird talent as much as it is just something that ripples through my daily life of when you feel it, you go for it. Or don’t.

Max Branstetter 42:24
I’ll give it to you. Yeah, it’s a talent. And what’s the st Keep Austin weird. So I think everything is inherently weird. Out Austin, so perfect. On that note, let’s wrap up with some rapid fire q&a. All right, let’s get wild and weird. So at the time of this recording, this is right before my bachelor party in Austin, and you live in Austin, so this is gonna be outdated when you listen to it. But selfishly, this is important for the bachelor party. What? What’s your all time favorite restaurant that you’ve been to in Austin so far?

Mary Harcourt 42:55
And Austin is a foodie restaurant capital. It’s so hard. There’s so many I literally probably can’t even pinpoint it. So one there’s so many. If you’re I’ll do it. I’ll do the question in the way that you want to be heard. How’s that? If you want to go to barbecue you or if you want to do barbecue as you guys are gonna do barbeque. I prefer Cooper’s downtown Cooper’s barbecue to me is the best barbecue there’s Franklin’s and Terry blacks but you’re going to wait hours and it’s good but it’s not worth the wait where to me Cooper’s is the whole package it’s good food you’re gonna have a tiny little late but it’s okay it’s a full bars you can always grab cocktails free sides they give you like all the rice beans and bread you want with your with your meal and I just think all around if you’re going to do barbecue will be specific Cooper’s.

Max Branstetter 43:46
Oh, perfect. That is spot on. Because my brother Andrew and I who he’s my best man, he’s really been leading the charge with the bachelor party is super helpful. He was like, Do you want to do Cooper’s or stuff? We kind of decided between Cooper’s and Stubbs and the both of them seemed cool, but we didn’t really know which was which was I unprovoked? Yeah, that’s to several Thumbs up for Cooper. So appreciate that. Awesome. Cool. Well, thank you all for listening to my bachelor party planning. So what would be your your dream place or type of business to see CosmoGlo in one day?

Mary Harcourt 44:21
Everywhere. There’s no reason it can’t go into all these different industries. We just found out that nail techs love us because it offers full coverage of their nails that we have a phone clip that’s included and it gives them perfect content. Tattoo artists are becoming obsessed because instead of a ring light shooting one direction of light, it’s now wrapping around their arms and legs, which is perfect with Catalyst coverage. I don’t know that there is a perfect place we’re going to end up I think all of it’s just exciting to see where we will go into and all of the different options. We control all of our manufacturing which is really exciting. So as we go into more areas, we learn how to We’ll critique and change and tweak to possibly bring out a new product specifically for that industry. And I think that’s the exciting part is knowing, knowing that there is so much more ahead. We’re only in year two and a half. And I did not start this company for a year or two. I started it for year 20. And that’s where we’re going. So along the way, it’s gonna be very adventurous.

Max Branstetter 45:21
And who would you say your favorite fashion icon of all time is?

Mary Harcourt 45:26
God, these are hard questions. Oh, man,

Max Branstetter 45:30
I plan these years in advance.

Mary Harcourt 45:34
I’m not even a fashion first that I’m like, the most simplest fashion diva out there.

Max Branstetter 45:40
This is this is me just knowing your history with salon and trying to think oh, what’s something somewhat related to that? That’s how my brain works. So fashion, you can toss it off and do like just your favorite movie icon of all time, if you want.

Mary Harcourt 45:52
Movie icon I forgot. It’s simple as Matthew McConaughey, I think he is just such a wealth folks.

Max Branstetter 45:59
Speaking of Texas,

Mary Harcourt 46:01
well spoken actor that has really grown into his career. And you if you guys haven’t heard his speeches that he does when he goes to schools, I just think that he has such a backbone and a good heart of where his knowledge comes from of everything he learned over the years, on top of growing into an amazing actor that just seems to just get better with age. So that’s who I would vote for.

Max Branstetter 46:24
And then on your months on so far, it sounds like an amazing trip of a lifetime. Again, we can we could talk about that all day and all safari but what’s the coolest thing you saw on safari,

Mary Harcourt 46:36
I saw a lion take down a baby zebra, which is the saddest thing ever. But also like it was live about 20 feet in front of me. And you heard the sounds of the animal falling like the thud. And it was just wild that that is how that world is and we’re in one of these like little safari cars, but the whole world just lives on. And at one point, we were staying in tents and had a lion come into our camp and was sniffing our tent. And I didn’t know it was a lion. I was kind of like, okay, whatever, some random dog out here,

Max Branstetter 47:12
but it got really close. So someone’s just has this waterway, and

Mary Harcourt 47:15
I heard the smells and you saw the movement. But I wasn’t gonna open my tent and see what it was out there. I’m good. So I stayed zip it up. And the next day, the campmaster have said there is a lion that came around here and showed just some traces of where they tried to scratch and find food and they knocked some things over. And just to know is that close to it without even recognizing that I was that close to it was just a really cool experience. And waterfalls, all the waterfalls. I think they’re so cool. Natural Wonders are amazing.

Max Branstetter 47:44
Yeah, well, one of those will give you chills like scared wise in the waterfalls. That actually sounds really nice and innocent. So, so very nice. And then last one, you know, we’ve talked about some topics that are extra extra wild and extreme happen out there in the world, as well as some topics are a little bit more a bit going through the light in cadavers, so it’s only fitting. If you were to be reincarnated as an animal. What animal would you want to be?

Mary Harcourt 48:10
Oh, I don’t know. I feel like it’s simple. I’m so generic in this answer. But a dog they’re so cute and fluffy. And they always seem to be happy. Like they have a good day every single day even when they have a bad day by the end of the day, right? They’ve forgotten that they had a bad day.

Max Branstetter 48:25
I’m only laughing because that from a lie and taken down a zebra to like a cute fluffy dog. So this is great. They’re very diverse answers. Mary, thank you so much. This has been amazing and just so cool. You’re doing your business story and you know how your your life has progressed and you brought this all into reality is so cool. super inspiring. Thanks so much for coming on. And where’s the best place for people to to learn more and if they’re interested in buying CosmoGlo are just connect with you on social?

Mary Harcourt 48:56
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a great hour. It’s been a wild ride, as we say since it’s the wild business growth. Nice round of applause. And you can find us at TheCosmoGlo.com our Instagram is @TheCosmoGloLight and you can connect with me on Instagram @MaryHarcourt_. Perfect,

Max Branstetter 49:12
awesome, all the above. And last thing here final thought stage is yours. It could be a quote, it could be a line, it could be something else you saw so far. And I’m just gonna say whatever you want to send us. So

Mary Harcourt 49:23
I’m gonna I’m gonna summarize something that we didn’t get to. And I’m surprised would just be getting comfortable with failure, knowing that so many people sit on the sidelines and never start because they’re too afraid to fail. But if you don’t fail over and over and over and over and over again, you literally can never get to the next level. And there’s a certain skill and you gain grit out of every failure you gain a little bit more confidence you gain a lesson out of it, you become a little brighter and just knowing not to do that again next time. And so many people think of failure as this like shame word, this big black cloud, how dare you fail, but If you could switch it to it’s an opportunity to learn and get better and grow, failure is going to be your biggest area to grow and the faster you can fail and learn that lesson, the faster you’re going to grow into a place that’s really awesome. So don’t get stuck on being too scared to fail. Get stuck on not ever taking the chance.

Max Branstetter 50:22
And if you are ever in Austin, Texas, do not miss the chance to go to Cooper’s barbecue because it never fails. Mary absolutely spot on. Thank you so much, Mary for coming on the podcast sharing your CosmoGlo story, your tips, the again the barbecue recommendations, it was a big hit at the bachelor party. And thank you Wild Listeners for tuning in to another episode. If you want to hear more Wild stories like this one, make sure to follow the Wild Business Growth Podcast on your favorite app and tell a friend about the podcast and then go explore Austin or safari or both with them. You can also find us on Goodpods where they’re fantastic and good podcasts, recommendations and people. And for any help with podcast production, you can learn more at MaxPodcasting.com and sign up for the Podcasting to the Max newsletter at MaxPodcasting.com/Newsletter. Until next time, let your business Run Wild – Bring on the Bongos!

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