Start Your Business Before You’re Ready with Pouncing Cats Owner Hannah Edmundson
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Start Your Business Before You’re Ready with Pouncing Cats Owner Hannah Edmundson
What You Can Learn From Your Business
If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I love young entrepreneurs because I believe that young people are the future of our world and country. I also believe that the young people get a bad rap because we think that they’re all lazy and just hanging out at the mall, but that’s not the case. I’ve had the pleasure to meet some incredibly talented and smart young people. I was at an incredible seminar given by my friend Virginia Muzquiz called Rev Up Your Referrals. I met this young lady, her name is Hannah Edmundson. Hannah has just got it going on.
She graduated from Fontbonne University with a double major in marketing and business administration. She was one of the top marketing students in her class, along with being a part of two national honor societies. Now she’s got her own business and it’s called Pouncing Cats LLC, a cat community that supports local rescue shelters and provides interactive toys for cats and their owners. I’m proud of Hannah. She’s one of the brightest young people going and she’s going to teach us a lot about successful thinking. Welcome to the show, Hannah. How are you?
Thank you so much for having me on. I’m great.
As I said, you have your own business. What made you want to start that business and how did you choose the pet niche?
I’ve always wanted to start a business. It took a long time for me to figure out what I wanted to do with it, but I decided to start with what I love most, which is animals and I love cats especially. I started there. A few years ago, I adopted these two cats. Simon and Garfunkel are their names and they’re so amazing. If you rescue an animal, you can feel the love and appreciation they have for you. I wanted a base something off that so other people could also share that love for animals with me.
We love animal lovers because there’s something about successful thinking which involves successful feeling. When you reach out and give your love to animals, it helps perpetuate the love in the world. Congratulations on that. You started this business when you were in college, did you not?
Yes.Don't think of failure as a bad thing. Think of failure as an opportunity to learn something you simply didn't know before. Click To Tweet
What was it like starting in college while you’re trying to accomplish other goals?
It was pretty crazy, I won’t lie. I didn’t know what I was doing from the beginning and that’s fine because I learned as I went, but me and my partner started it in 2017. It was a lot of learning. I still feel like I’m learning more every single day, so it’s stressful for sure.
At the same time, you did something that a lot of people refuse to do which is you said, “I wasn’t sure if I was ready to start, so I just started.”
What did you learn by just starting?
I learned so much, honestly. I learned how to time manage. I learned more business things that I feel like you can’t just learn in a textbook, things you have to learn and do yourself. We learned how to deal with websites, people and the animals, of course. I feel like I got an overall good self-education by doing this on my own.
One of the things that I’m a great believer as a success coach and a business person myself is that you’re never going to be “ready.” I love the quote by JP Morgan. It said, “Go as far as you can see because when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” Most people wait until it’s too late and then the opportunities pass them by. One of the things that I thought was impressive when I met you at Rev Up is you seem to be an inspired person. What inspires you to be an entrepreneur and make a difference in the world?
My inspiration comes from trying to make people happy. I’ve always wanted to make people happy. I serve right now at Red Robin and I love meeting new people and inspiring people to be better in the world. My entrepreneurial side sparked in college when I was taking international marketing. My professor was so inspiring and she made me want to change the world for the better. Being in a good atmosphere surrounded by good people inspire you to be a better person.
We certainly felt that in St. Louis when we were together as a group learning how to expand your referral business. Another thing that I got from you is that when you started, you had to learn a lot of skills you didn’t have before. What have you accomplished in terms of the learning that you’ve had to do that most people never get to learn because they never start?
There is so much in that aspect as well. We did everything from partnering up with people to help promote our business to reaching out to people for one-on-one business and then we wrote a book that’s actually on Amazon. We did events. We’ve got to make t-shirts and mugs. We have done so much. I can’t even begin to list off everything that I’ve learned by just doing. You don’t realize what you don’t know until you start doing stuff. I had no idea there was so much to creating a business until I started. Every day there’s something new to be done.
You also probably learned that when you start a business, you’re going to fail at some things.
Did you also learn how to bounce back from that?
Yeah, especially in college, there were times though I was ready to give up. It’s stressful, failing after failing. It hits hard sometimes, but when you push past that, it’s so rewarding that you start to realize that failing is a good thing and you look forward to the failures because it helps you grow.Success means leaving the world a better place. Click To Tweet
It’s a funny thing, you’ve maybe heard the phrase, “Wise beyond your years.” Where that phrase comes from is people who are wise beyond their years have done what you said. They start to fail forward and they start to look forward to the failures. I’m proud of you for that. One of the things that I also am proud of you for is that you have one of the best definitions of success that I have heard. To give our readers a real sense of what your values are, I’m wondering what does the word success mean to you?
To me, success means leaving the world a better place. I’ve found that inspiration from actually my childhood. My parents used to take me camping. We would show up and the campground would be empty for the most part. We’d set up, do our thing and then leave. Before we left, my parents always made me go around the campsite and pick up five pieces of trash. That mostly wasn’t our trash because we were pretty good about picking stuff up. They always taught me to leave an area better than how you found it and that stuck with me.
I love that because what most people miss is that we can all do that. There isn’t anything special that you have to do except look around and say, “Whose trash can I pick up?” That’s fascinating. I would also go a little bit further, what if we could leave people better than we found them? What a great world it would be if we all just left one person better than we found them. I’m very proud of you for that and I’m proud of your parents for instilling that in you. As we said though, sometimes when you fail, it’s painful. When you were learning how to push past the failures, obviously obstacles were probably more than you’d ever imagined they would be. When the obstacles in your life present themselves, which they always do, what are your strategies, tactics and techniques now for overcoming them to reach your desired results?
It’s the power of my mindset, to be honest. Sometimes you fail and there’s not much you can do. Sitting in that failure, you start to realize it doesn’t do anything. You have to find new ways to move past it. The mindset is the key to that. It’s knowing that you can get through it one way or the other. You have no choice sometimes. You have to.
One of the things that I like to think about is making the decision that you’re never going to quit and making that decision in advance. Once you’ve made that decision, you’re not in this mindset of, “Should I just quit? Should I give up?” You’re more in a mindset of, “How are we going to get by this? How are we going to get through this? How are we going to get over that?” One of the things I noticed about you in St. Louis is that’s how your mind seems to work when we would hit you with a problem or a worksheet that you weren’t clear on how you would go about it. I could see in your eyes, “I’m going to figure this out.” One of the things that you spoke about was the power of networking. Do you have a system for networking and how do you go about doing that?
I don’t have the biggest system yet. It’s growing as we speak, hopefully, but it’s best going out and meeting new people. A lot of people my age don’t realize the power of networking because we’re so tied up in our phones that we think that’s networking when it’s not. I feel like at the Rev Up, I met more people there than I have in a long time personally. We’re friends with people online, but it doesn’t mean that I know anything about them or any way that they could help me or I could help them.
It’s all about helping each other. That was cool to have you in the room because like you said, one-on-one, face-to-face is where networking happens. A lot of people forget to take those relationships offline and grow them. I want to say that it was interesting. I met with a guy that I met on Facebook. We came up with some powerful plans for the future because we took the relationship offline and looked in each other’s eyes at a coffee shop. I would encourage all of you to ask yourself, “How could I take some of my relationships offline and develop something beautiful?” Can you maybe give us a specific story about a time when you were stuck and ready to give up? How did you get unstuck and what helped you to change your thinking around that problem?
The biggest time that I was stuck was at the very beginning of my business. Me and my partner, we had so many ideas flowing. We didn’t know where to even start that we decided not to start at all. It was paralyzing with how much we needed to do, how much we could do and the potential. We got overwhelmed so quickly. That’s easy to do in a lot of different cases. Moving past that, we took a minute, took a breath and then tackled one thing at a time. That’s what you have to do sometimes. You have tackle one task and then move on to the next one and then take it as slow as you need to and realize that it’s not a race. You have to do it at your own pace.
One of my mentors, Darren Hardy says you don’t have to take the whole staircase at once. You only have to do the first step and then you can figure out how to get to the second step. I’m proud of you for that, Hannah, because patience is a necessary business skill, but not one that everybody has. Have you learned how to set goals throughout this process?
Definitely, and it’s important too that I’ve realized that I have to have measurements from my goals. Before, I’d be like, “I want to accomplish this,” and then leave it at that, but now I say, “I want to team up with another cat rescue by January 2020.” Using metrics helps me to set goals. Not all goals can be met, so I try not to put a lot of pressure on myself. It’s more of a guideline instead of a rule book specifically.
That’s excellent because then you don’t end up in the mental game where you’re like, “I stink at this. I’m terrible. I’m never going to make it,” because you see that the deadline goals can always be moved, but you always have to be moving. When you’re setting goals for your short–term, your medium–term and your long–term, how do you go about that?
For short–term, I look at what it is that I feel like I can accomplish without overdoing it because I have to watch myself. I can get overwhelmed easily with things, so I make sure that I’m only doing what I feel capable of doing and then I go from there. In terms of long-term goals, I set these huge expectations for myself just because why not? With our future, in the long-term instances, we can accomplish whatever it is we want to do as long as we have the right mindset. I try to have the right mindset whenever I do set long-term goals.
Jim Rohn, a famous leadership speaker who has passed away now used to say that. He said, “Why not see how far you can go? Why not see what dreams you can accomplish? What would your life be like if you just let yourself go for it?” I’m proud of you for that statement because so many people, they put a cap on their future. As you know though, a lot of what you’re trying to develop is what we would call leadership skills and leaders are learners and successful thinkers believe in constant and never-ending improvement. How do you go about teaching yourself how to be a lifelong learner or the law of the student, as we say, in a successful thinker world?
I love learning. I didn’t love it in high school, to be honest. I just went to class, did my thing and then I’d go home and make a grilled cheese sandwich probably. As college went on, I loved learning more and more and I liked to challenge myself to learn more so I started taking online programs. I did a lot of Tai Lopez programs and things like that. I started reading as well. Once I started to learn more things, it had a snowball effect and I wanted to keep learning more. It’s one of the things I enjoy doing as a passion.Sitting in your failure doesn't do anything. Find new ways and move past it. Click To Tweet
Have you found that it’s improved your self-image or the way you think about yourself?
Outstanding, because when you think about yourself in less than optimal or less than ideal way, the antidote to that is action. I have a son who‘s almost seventeen now. He works at the local fast–food restaurant. At first I didn’t want him to go to work. I wanted him to concentrate on school, but the things that he’s learning in school, I couldn’t possibly teach him myself. The things that he’s learning at the fast–food restaurant, he couldn’t possibly learn any other way. It’s great that what you’ve done is you’ve put yourself in a situation to where you’re learning from the books you’re learning from your teachers, but you’re also learning by doing.
One of my favorite things too with that is they say learn from your mistakes and learn from your past, but that doesn’t even have to be your mistakes and your past. Something I’ve realized with reading is I can learn from other people’s mistakes and other people’s entire life’s worth of information in one in one sitting. It’s amazing to me.
That right there puts you head and shoulders above your competition because most people won’t take the time to learn from other people’s mistakes. A lot of people say, “That could never happen to me.” What we’re talking about though is maybe what separates successful thinkers from average thinkers. Why do you think successful thinking is and average thinking is and what separates the two?
To me, successful thinkers don’t stop thinking. They’re always thinking of new ideas, new solutions to the same problem, your ways to better themselves and overall ways to keep growing as a person and sometimes as a business as well. Average thinkers in comparison think to solve a problem and then they wait for something else to pop up. They look at problems too as a bad thing like, “Another problem came up. What do I need to do to solve this?” It comes back to mindset.Successful thinkers don't stop thinking. They're always thinking of new ideas and new solutions to the same problem. Click To Tweet
Absolutely. I remember we had this great discussion in St. Louis where we talked about how the bigger the problem you can solve, the more of an impact you can have and the more money you can make. You alluded to, “Let’s not think of problems as a bad thing. A problem is an opportunity in disguise.” Can you give me a little bit of information on what your mission with Pouncing Cats is? What are you guys looking to accomplish?
We want to help more cats get adopted. That’s always going to be a problem. It’s one of those problems though that we have a little bit of control over and that we can do a little bit to help out. That’s our overall goal and even saving one cat, that’s a life. That’s amazing.
One of the things that I believe is that animals have as much right to life as you and I do. I’m happy to hear you talk that way. Hannah, tell us a little bit more about yourself, where we can find Pouncing Cats and how we can help the cats in our area.
You can find me on LinkedIn. My name is Hannah Edmundson. You can find me on Facebook. You can also follow Pouncing Cats on Facebook as well. It’s just Pouncing Cats, the page. In terms of helping, there’s a lot of shelters and rescue opportunities that are always looking for donations. In a lot of them, the donation money goes straight to vet bills and helping cover the adoption costs and things like that. There are simple ways that you can help which is an amazing part of what I do. Anyone can help, even a $1 here and there is so beneficial.
Successful Thinkers, I hope that you’ve learned a lot about the act of doing and jumping into the space and learning as you go. I’m proud of Hannah for showing us that you could start it in college. You could start it where you are because one of the things that makes people successful in life is when they start with what they have and where they are. Hannah, thanks again for visiting us. Successful Thinkers, thank you so much for your time. Remember, no matter what happens, I believe in you.
- Rev Up Your Referrals
- Pouncing Cats LLC
- Tai Lopez
- Pouncing Cats – Facebook Page
- Hannah Edmundson – LinkedIn
- Facebook – Hannah Edmundson
About Hannah Edmundson
Hannah recently graduated from Fontbonne University with a double major in Marketing and Business Administration. She was the top marketing student in my class along with being a part of two national honors societies She is the owner of Pouncing Cats LLC, a cat community that supports local rescue shelters and provides interactive toys for cats and their owners.