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Tips & Talk 62 – Accidental Opportunities
11th May 2022 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
00:00:00 00:09:38

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It’s going to be a radical thought but I want you to open your mind to consider how some accidents can open the door to new opportunity. It’s so easy to get set in our ways and see things only from the perspective we have always had. Or the trained expectation of what an outcome should be – until it doesn’t happen that way. Here’s the twist. It’s possible that this accident you’ve encountered, could present a new way of thinking that was invisible to you up until now. It doesn’t mean your past processes aren’t still to be followed. But, when encountering an accident in your business, what new idea does this prompt? It’s a mindset switch for sure. And may be a playground for new possibilities.

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Transcripts

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Hi there.

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It's Sue.

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And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

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These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

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things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

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If you'd like to submit a topic,

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DME over on Instagram at gift biz unwrapped,

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before we get into the show today,

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I want to make sure that you know about the newest

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thing happening over here.

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It's called the gift biz bash a zoom party that turns

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into a podcast episode.

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Several weeks later,

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the party consists of a short training with Q and a

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from yours truly.

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And then an opportunity for you to give a shout out

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about your business.

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You can tell us about a promotion you currently have going

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on or share a collaboration that you're considering so that you

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can find a perfect partner for the event.

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A little bit of learning and visibility for your business.

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What could be better?

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There is a catch though spots are limited to keep the

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party to about 45 minutes or so.

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That means you should grab your spot right away.

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It's totally free to make sure you're included.

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Why not do that right now?

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Pause this episode,

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go to gift biz,

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unwrapped.com forward slash bash to sign up and then come back

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and listen to the show.

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I'll see you at the bash.

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We're conditioned this way.

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Of course you hear there's been an accident and your mind

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automatically goes to the worst.

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After all an accident is defined as an unfortunate incident that

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happens unexpectedly and unintentionally typically resulting in damage or injury.

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Yikes. We've all experienced this personally and hear about accidents on

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the news all the time.

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I, by no means intend to discount the devastating effect an

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accident can have on your life today,

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though, I'd like to talk about accidents as they apply to

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your business.

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It's going to be a radical thought,

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but I want you to open your thinking to consider how

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some accidents can make way to new opportunities.

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Okay? Okay.

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I know I have a little bit of explaining here to

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do. It's so easy to get set in our ways and

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see things only from the perspective that we've always had or

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the trained expectation about what an outcome should be like when

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the clay goes in the kiln and it should come out,

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just so albeit every piece is unique,

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but you've done this so many times that in your mind's

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eye, you already know what you're going to see until it

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doesn't happen that way as a best practice when you're in

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production, there's a process,

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certain formulas,

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paint, mixtures,

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temperature settings,

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and drying times as an artist,

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do you have set procedures for the creation of your product

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procedures that you've perfected over time?

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The ones that produce the extraordinary final product that you sell,

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when things don't go as planned,

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they become an accident.

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Here's the twist.

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It's possible that this accident you've encountered could present a new

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way of thinking that was invisible to you up until now.

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It doesn't mean your past processes.

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Aren't still to be followed,

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but when encountering an accident in your business,

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what new idea does this prompt?

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It's a mindset switch for sure,

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but could be a playground for new opportunities.

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One of my favorite examples of this is from Tim of

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Burton, Maplewood farm.

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You can hear the whole story back in episode 91,

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a summary of it goes like this.

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Tim is a producer of maple syrup.

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And as part of the process,

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the syrup is aged for six months in wooden barrels.

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It comes to be that the barrels that we make here

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in the states for bourbon,

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Brandy, and the like are of superior quality and get repurposed

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after liquor production.

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Those are the barrels that Tim uses for aging,

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his maple syrup.

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Well, one day he was reorganizing the maple house.

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When he came across a barrel that he thought was empty.

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As he tried to move it,

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he found that it held 30 gallons of maple syrup.

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This is a barrel that once had been used for apple

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Jack Brandy.

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The barrel had been in its spot now for roughly a

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year, right near a huge rums for fireplace.

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Tim tasted the syrup,

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not knowing what to expect much to his surprise.

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It was delicious.

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You see the heat from the fireplace had released the alcohol

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that remained in the walls of the barrel and that Brandy

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merged with the syrup in the most wonderful way.

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This led to a whole new production technique that Tim has

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since coined fire infusion.

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And it resulted in a new,

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very special product line.

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You can hear all the technical specifics about the barrel and

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its transformation effect on syrup and about the 14 and a

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half minute mark of the podcast that I just referenced if

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you're interested.

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But the point is this accident resulted in something big.

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It's an accident turned into an opportunity.

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Now I understand that not everyone has a giant floor to

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ceiling fireplace or some similar production setup that can yield these

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accidental results.

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Sometimes a product idea can come from an accidental observation.

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That's how brownie brittle came to be.

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Sheila started a brownie business in the traditional sense of the

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product, delicious square,

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moist chocolatey desserts in all sorts of varieties.

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One day she went out onto the production floor,

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as things were being cleaned up and closed down for the

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day. What she saw changed the course of her business,

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all the crunchy outside pieces that were left over from production

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were being eaten by the employees.

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Sheila came to discover,

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this is one of the most tasty parts of the brownie

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and could be turned into a product unto itself.

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You got it.

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Brownie, brittle,

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more detail behind this story can be heard in episode 1

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0 1 accidental opportunities.

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Don't have to even be on that grand a scale like

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Sheena from Lula's bath and bombs.

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She has a special place for any broken bombs or less

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than best products.

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Instead of disposing of them,

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they're offered in a special Bennett shows or marked down so

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that they can still bring in revenue and are like a

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product unto themselves.

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We've taken this approach over at the ribbon print company,

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too. For those of you who may be less familiar with

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this, I have my own brand of ribbon called a pretty

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print that is formulated specifically to be used with our ribbon

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printers. It's manufactured overseas.

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And I don't have to tell you how long an order

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takes to receive.

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Plus with minimums,

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each order includes thousands of roles.

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Sometimes we find roles that are cut short of our 55

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yard spec.

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As long as the ribbon quality is to our standards,

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we sell these off-spec rolls to our customers.

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A win-win,

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our customer gets a discount.

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We recouped some of our costs and free up space in

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our warehouse.

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And there was a time when we received replacement product.

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That was a color we don't even stock nor ever would.

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We, I wish I had pictures of our faces when we

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opened these boxes,

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that ribbon turned into a promotion that we called never again,

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neon pink.

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And it's sold out in just a few days as you

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go throughout your business day,

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when an accident happens.

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I want you to remember this podcast episode,

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instead of immediately jumping into frustration mode,

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take a minute to contemplate.

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If there's a hidden opportunity in the accident,

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can it lead to a new version of your existing product,

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a new product design?

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Does it offer the possibility of rewarding,

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your most loyal customers with something special and in limited quantity,

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who knows what it could be?

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You might just find that the day of an accident can

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turn into the most amazing of days.

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That's a wrap.

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I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

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And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

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sessions. Now it's your turn go out and fulfill that dream

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of yours,

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share your handmade products with us.

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We want them,