Leslie Pierson has been in business for more than 10 years, but almost two years ago she created GoodHangups, a magnetic hanging solution for posters, photos and more. Tonight she will appear on ABC’s Shark Tank at 9 p.m. (est).
Pierson won the Today’s Show “Next Big Thing” Contest last October, and because of that she has been on the national morning show numerous times, as well as QVC. Before she debuts on ABC’s Shark Tank, Pierson chatted with Lioness about her startup, her business motto and her advice for other women launching companies.
LIONESS: Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry?
PIERSON: I’m passionate about solving everyday problems through design and thus making consumer products seem like a natural fit.
LIONESS: What makes your product unique?
PIERSON: We focus on solving the problem of hanging art. The main issues I had related to fear of putting holes in my wall and being able to change out my art regularly.
LIONESS: You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
PIERSON: I love the creativity and control over my schedule that comes with being an entrepreneur. I have a six-year-old and being able to work when it works for our families schedule is ideal and I’m way more productive. Working in a regular job wouldn’t allow for that flexibility.
LIONESS: What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?
PIERSON: I have one of those often. The preparing to air on Shark Tank from a business perspective is super stressful and overwhelming and I have to say I’ve had that thought a lot in the last few weeks. That said it’s usually of set by an amazing sense of joy and accomplishment which is nice otherwise I’d be in the fetal position all day.
LIONESS: Every female professional should have __________
PIERSON: Enthusiasm for what they do. If not, consider a change in job or career or just stay open to the things you are enthusiastic about as that may light the way for you.
LIONESS: If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why?
PIERSON: That’s actually pretty tough to answer as I see some great things in so many people. I think Lori Greiner has such amazing instincts and a great work ethic that she would probably top my list.
LIONESS: What is your business motto?
PIERSON: I have a couple. Trust your crazy ideas. Failure is cool. I’ll explain the last one. I think we all have a huge fear of failure and when I had my son I found that I was trying to shield him from any difficult things and failure was one of those. I luckily had a great conversation with a friend that changed my perspective and made me want to chase failure to show him what it’s like to fail and then get back up and try again. The funny thing is the more you chase failure (really go for it) the harder it is to do. When I say failure is cool, I’m talking about failure when you put your heart and soul in it as even if you fail you will have learned a ton.
LIONESS: If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?
- Trust Your Crazy Ideas
- Remember if you chase failure, it’s much harder to fail!
- Always Hustling!
LIONESS: Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
PIERSON: Not one specifically but I will say because of technology, there has never been an easier time to start your own business.
LIONESS: What is your goal for the next year?
PIERSON: I want to focus on growing GoodHangups and getting it into stores where people end up with the challenge of hanging art. Additionally, we are working on new products and I’d love to have one to two new products in the next year. That’s my business goal but over all I just want to enjoy the success, work hard, and spend tons of time with my family.
LIONESS: When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
PIERSON: I hope they say that it solved their problem with hanging art, like it did mine. I love hearing how brilliant an idea is but really if it doesn’t solve your problem, then I haven’t done my job.