Dan Gosling is the musician turned entrepreneur behind the incredibly popular ChopSaver lip balm. His story, from making the finals but then losing a professional orchestral audition to inventing a lip balm that is now sold in over 7,000 CVS Pharmacies, is truly incredible.
This interview was so great that I don't even know where to begin. Dan's story isn't just filled with lessons in entrepreneurship or the music business. His story is filled with life lessons. As you will hear, his pivot from intense professional and personal disappointment to going 100 mph down the road with his Plan B is quite inspiring.
And the business skills he has acquired through trial and error (rather than through getting an MBA) over the last two decades shows us that truly anyone can do this entrepreneurship thing.
He got me fired up!
- How he did market research before he knew that that's what it was called
- How he ended up developing the skills on the fly that he would have gotten from getting an MBA
- How he applied the skills he already used to systematically approach his practicing to develop his product
- The value of believing that things (and in particular, failures) happen for a reason
- Learning from the bad decisions of other people
- Life is constant trial and error
- The importance of "getting beyond the idea" by taking some action
- The constant need to continuously be honestly assessing what you can't do and realizing when you need to reach out to others for help
- Why a smaller number of passionate people who will evangelize for your product is better than a larger number who won't
- Why pitching multiple companies is just like being on the audition circuit
- Rejection is inevitable in business just like in music
- The power of collaboration
- Why you need to get other eyes and ears on what you're doing
- Why career pivots are not failures
- "Are you going to learn from the rejection you get from an audition-like situation or are you going to go home and pout and say 'Oh those people don't know what they're talking about. I nailed that audition.' Well, you probably didn't."
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Produced by Austin Boyer of FredBrass