Kar Diamond Minds By Barry Farber Setbacks Can Be Set-Ups for Success S omeone once told me to look at adversity as a building block rather than a stumbling block. And that's exactly what the "King of Infomercials" did to build one of the most successful direct-response companies in the world. AJ Khubani founded TeleBrands Corp. in 1983 on a "shoestring" with his life savings of $20,000. Today, TeleBrands is a marketing giant, earning hundreds of millions of dollars. Among its famous products are the PedEgg, PediPaws, and Windshield Wonder. Using direct-response TV ads to build brands, TeleBrands has its products in try again. Here's what he told me: BF: How do you deal with failure? AJ: Failure aﬀects everybody. You've got to learn from your failures and then try again. Figure out what you might have done wrong. Failure is part of life. ink of baseball players. ey fail most of the time, right? Well, we fail 90% of the time with Telebrands. Out of every product we test-market only 10% succeed. BF: Tell me more, because can you imagine somebody predicting that you'll fail 90% of the time in a job? ey'll say you're crazy. What have "No failure is the end of the world, except if you fail to live." —AJ Khubani, founder of TeleBrands every major retail chain, including Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Walgreens. In fact, TeleBrands created the "As Seen On TV" category here and around the world. In an interview, AJ told me about his "inventors' days," when people come to pitch ideas. Often he'll tell them to re-think their product and return. He believes strongly that you can learn much from failure, as long as you get back up and you gained that's made you more successful? AJ: We fail so often that failure doesn't bother me. I've gone broke 3 times. You just get up and keep going. No failure is the end of the world except if you fail to live. BF: Getting up and applying yourself creates opportunities and makes you resilient. When you fear risks and failure, doesn't that hold you back? AJ: Yes. Too many people operate out of fear of failure. For example, many invenBarry Farber tors are shaking when they come to see me. ey're worried that I'll reject their ideas. ey have to just go for it. You can't make decisions saying, I'm afraid of this, I'm afraid of that. You'll end up doing nothing. To be successful, you've got to take risks. And if you take risks you're deﬁnitely going to fail. I went into business and put everything on the line. I took a mortgage and put it into my business. And you know what? I failed. But what should I have feared? at I'd lose my house? So what? I'd live with a friend, family member, or my parents. It's not like I'd starve or be out on the street. So I lose all my material things. BF: What have you gained? AJ: You've gained strength by going through it. You learn that it's not about your car or house. If you have your health and can work, that's all you need. Brands, cars, houses… they don't create who you are." BF: ank you, AJ. You're a powerful example to all of us. You challenge us to take changes, risk failure, but always be ready to get up and start all over again. Barry Farber consults with businesses to help them break through sales clutter and land more deals. He specializes in developing simple yet creative strategies that get results. He is the best-selling author of 11 books, a black-belt weapons expert, and a regular on QVC, marketing innovative products. His latest release is a 6-CD program, Diamond in the Rough (Nightingale Conant Corporation). Contact him at 973-535-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Trusted by Time, Fortune, Newsweek, the New York Times Magazine… DAN EPSTEIN STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY 2 50 SUBURBAN ESSEX / VICINITY Vicinity MAGAZinE Layout Comp June 2010 and and Bar Mitzvah parents for over 15 years. 9 7 3 - 7 8 3 - 5 1 4 9 • www.DanEpstein.com
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