Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Julie Busha
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Introducing Julie Busha
She is a lady who claims that she has never had a bad job, even though she spent several semesters helping students cut open and poke around in cats and pigs.
Yes, I think that is the first time that I have had that fact in an introduction.
But that isn’t one of those facts that define her, but the fact that Julie Busha knows how to hustle certainly does.
When it comes to getting the work done, she is willing to put in the hours, and believes wholeheartedly that the only way to reap the rewards that your life deserves is by taking the old leap of faith.
And that is what she has done, she leapt and kept flexing the hustle muscle everyday since leaving her corporate gig and going it alone.
And with a history of working in a sports marketing company, where she worked with many Fortune 500 clients, starting with IMG and most recently leading the marketing efforts for an agency owned by NASCAR driver, she knew how to get a product to market.
How The Dots Joined Up For Julie
But its ok, knowing how to do this if someone else is footing the bill.
But what if you have the idea for a product and have to get it into the hands of the consumers yourself?
Well, in 2011 Julie used her branding, marketing and sales experience to launch such a product and Slawsa, a unique slaw-salsa hybrid condiment was born.
And within two years after launch, the product could be found on the shelves of over 5,200 stores in the U.S. and Canada with rave reviews from critics and consumers alike.
What makes her story even more fascinating, is that even though this might be deemed as a success, she was then willing to take Slawsa and drop it into ABC’s Shark Tank for the sharks to fight over?
Did she get investment? Did she come out of the waters intact?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show, to start joining up dots, with the one and only Julie Busha.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics such as:
How she has not had a vacation since 2006, and has no intention of having one either
How she picks up knowledge easily and won the “Dairy Quiz Ball” championship based on her knowledge of Cows!
How she now believes that she should have left her dream job two years earlier than she finally did!
Why it is such a great position to be in if you can create a unique product to bring to the consumers!
How a running race in college was the moment that she found her way in life, and knew that she could come first in life!
How To Connect With Julie Busha
If you enjoyed this episode of Join Up Dots then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Niall Doherty, Lolly Daskal or the amazing Alfie Best
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Julie Busha Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. Welcome to Episode 189. of Join Up Dots. Yes, we’ve been coming to you seven days a week, since the 30th of April. And thank you so much. I say this a lot. I really mean it from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much for the amount of people that are listening and sharing and telling their friends about the show is something worth listening to. It really means a lot to me, because we have got some amazing guests coming up. And we’ve had amazing guests as well. But believe me, they don’t get better than today’s because today’s guest is a lady who claims that she’s never had a bad job. Even though she spent several semesters helping students cut open and poke around in dead cats and pigs. Yes. I think that’s the first time that that fact in an introduction. But that isn’t one of those facts that define her. But the fact that this lady knows how to hustle certainly does. When it comes to getting the work done. She’s willing to put in the hours and believes wholeheartedly that the only way to reap the rewards that your life deserves, is by taking the old leap of faith. And that’s what she’s done. She’s left and kept flexing the hustle muscle every day since leaving her corporate gig and going alone, and with a history of working in a sports marketing company where she worked with many fortune 500 clients, starting with IMG and most recently leading the marketing efforts for an agency owned NASCAR driver. She knew how to get a product to market. But it’s okay knowing how to do this if someone else is putting the bill What if you had the idea for a product and have to get it into the hands of the consumer yourself. When in 2011 she used her branding, marketing and sales experience, launch such a product and slows a unique slow salsa hybrid condiment was born. And within two years after launch, the product can be found on the shelves of over 5200 stores in the US and Canada with rave reviews from critics and consumers alike. Now what makes a storey even more fascinating is that even though this might be deemed as a success, she was been willing to take the product and drop it into ABC Shark Tank for the sharks to bite over. Did she get investment? Did she come out of the waters intact? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Julie Busha. How are you, Julie?
Julie Busha [2:34]
Hi, good. David, thank you so much for having me on.
David Ralph [2:38]
I was sort of talking to you beforehand. And I felt guilty because as we were saying this is lunchtime. This is Sunday lunchtime for you. And you you’ve obviously had your big lunch in your laying there on the sofa. That is the image that I had. But it’s not true, is it?
Julie Busha [2:52]
No, it’s not no as as an entrepreneur like most of us, we work about seven days a week. I did a little bit of housecleaning today, but I’m also had my computer going and just getting ahead for the week, week to come. Did you switch up your laptop?
David Ralph [3:08]
I you something about when you go on vacation? You can actually close it and leave it all behind? Or are you because I went to Spain recently on a holiday. And this was the first time but I would say I was quote unquote, entrepreneurial. And I spent all my time looking for dodgy Wi Fi everywhere. I just couldn’t kind of leave it behind. Are you somebody that can switch off? Totally? Are you somebody that actually gets your energy by doing it seven days a week?
Julie Busha [3:32]
No, I think I do get my energy seven days a week. And to be honest, it’s it has been since 2006, since I’ve had a real vacation. So it’s been a while but I am one that enjoys my work so much. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. So you know, I I’m just a kind of person. And my husband will think maybe I’m a little crazy. And if you’re out there and you think you’re a little crazy, because you do some of the same things. I think it is just the entrepreneurial bug in us. But you know, I work probably 1416 hours a day, when I do shut it off and go to bed. A lot of times I’ll get up in the middle of the night, and my brain just cannot shut off. So I’ll get back on my computer, it could be an hour or two hours in middle of night. It could be I just need to get up and write something down. So I don’t forget it. And then, you know, just you just keep pushing forward it. I’ve always been a person who, throughout my life, even when going back to my high school days, I have been overly involved in a lot of things. And I kind of enjoy that juggling. So you know, it’s just been something that I’ve always, I’ve always done.
David Ralph [4:46]
So So does Mr. Boucher kind of go? wifey? yc we haven’t had a vacation since 2006. I need a vacation. Always he just happy as well.
Julie Busha [4:57]
No, he’s pretty happy. He’s very reliable his work so he doesn’t get a tonne of time off. And I know that the European standard of going on holiday, you guys probably embrace it a lot more than Americans, I think there is a cultural difference. Whereas Europeans, they, you know, I think Americans we want to get ahead and it’s kind of in our DNA to not take a tonne of vacations or at least the the most successful people. Whereas I think Europeans and to credit you guys, you guys do take more holiday and it is more valued in your society. My husband is very much an outdoorsman. So he likes to hunt. Big Game wild game. And so he gets his vacation, he will travel once a year to another state to go on a week long hunting expert expedition. But that’s the kind of thing that he really loves doing he’d rather do that than to sit on a beach somewhere.
David Ralph [6:00]
When he kills animal does he sort of sit there with a top of slaughter and just kind of
Julie Busha [6:06]
know he usually doesn’t, um, I you know, it’s To me, it’s, you know, I would not enjoy going in 30 degree weather and sitting out all day but to him is it’s very releasing because he’s in nature and the animals that he does shoot and he’s very, very selective. We do eat eat them. I mean, we do harvest them if they don’t go to waste and and he had very much someone who you know, who just doesn’t shoot at anything that comes by he’ll let hundred or 200 animals come by before it’s the right one. So he’s very, very selective. But But
David Ralph [6:45]
we drive by he just don’t like it. Oh,
Julie Busha [6:48]
no, no, no, no, he, but he’ll hunt all day in like Kansas in December. And it’s, you know, to me, that’s not my idea of enjoyment. I’d rather be a nice hot bath listening to Michael boo play. He’d rather be hunting, you know, a very large deer.
David Ralph [7:09]
Well, I think we’ve got some income and who wouldn’t want to be in a hot bath with Michael having a nice blue grey bar, as they call it?
Julie Busha [7:18]
That’s right, a Boo Boo. Boo belabour.
David Ralph [7:21]
So it’s funny, because I didn’t expect to be speaking about dead animals so much before we start delving into your background. But it was weird, wasn’t it? I I started digging around a lot in your sort of back history. And yeah, you did. Good job. Yeah, I like to do my stalking. And you’ve never had a bad job. But the dead cat some peaks business, that’s gonna be a bad job, isn’t it?
Julie Busha [7:46]
Well, you know what that was, I was in college, I earned my way to school on a cross country and track and academic scholarship. So that was a big factor in me going to college, I’m the first my family to graduate. And so as a student athlete, it’s very difficult to get a secondary job in, you know, while you’re in school, because you’re running before class in the morning came practice afterwards, you’ve got other obligations. And so it is difficult to if you want to make some money to hold down a full time job. But I did find a few jobs I was I started off as a biology major really went into the exercise physiology peered field. And with that, you take several courses of anatomy. And it’s one of the tougher classes in college, but it was something that was very easy to me, or maybe not easy, easier to me than probably a lot of the other students and, you know, just being able to, to memorise the entire muscle system, that’s when you dissect your cats. And, you know, you have to, you know, the core co breaky Alice is a tiny little muscle up in your arms, and all those things. So, when the professor asked if I would consider being a lab assistant for future classes, and you know, I would get paid, you know, hourly, it wasn’t, it wasn’t but a few hours a week, but it was something to me because I couldn’t hold down a normal job as a student athlete. So I would help people dissect their cats and pigs and set up tests and, and and help them through that process. So maybe they were, you know, just students who wanted to go into the medical field later on in life. That was just a little job that, you know, it wasn’t much, but I enjoyed it. And I enjoyed kind of teaching and helping other students
David Ralph [9:43]
that the fascinating thing about entrepreneurs Bo is, that job doesn’t surprise me at all, because it’s kind of dissecting and finding your way around, it seems to be entrepreneurs like to take things apart, whether it’s computers, businesses, and I also like to build the up again. So the fact that you were doing that is a kind of, as I say, an entrepreneurial trait, isn’t it? Really?
Julie Busha [10:06]
I yeah, I guess I’d never really thought about it. I just thought of it as an extra job to get some extra money. And, you know, it was it was just one of those things that I probably only dedicated five hours a week to it. But you know, it was some income for a poor college student.
David Ralph [10:23]
And I bet you haven’t been interviewed and discussed this, but over five minutes, oh, ever?
Julie Busha [10:29]
Absolutely not. Absolutely not. That’s what
David Ralph [10:31]
you get on this show. We dig around, we poke around. So when when did if you go back in time, and we can go back in time, because that’s what we do and Join Up Dots. But but little Julie, is a commonalities to you. Now, if we went back in time, when we saw that, like your old and 10 year old running around, could we see traits that you’ve got now that haven’t really changed at all? Because we find out Julie, that on this show, we call it connecting our past to build our futures by the people that find their thing in life and they find their passion. It’s closely linked to what they had as a kid. But most of us forget it somewhere along the line, and we go for the education system. And we come out not sure what our path is, although we knew it at the beginning. Would you say that there are traits that you can see in yourself as a youngster that you’ve still got?
Julie Busha [11:19]
Yeah, I think so. Um, I’ve always been a people pleaser, I always want other people to be proud of me are proud of my achievements. And so I worked very hard. Because I want to make my parents proud. You want to make your teachers proud, you want to make other people proud. I was I was one of those students who, who always wanted to have people think highly of me. And I’ve always felt that being the best at certain things in life would would get that would give that to me a lot easier. So now, I’m, it’s a very fulfilling thing to launch a brand and have people that are so happy with your product. They’re very happy and proud of you. So I think in my younger days, and just to go back to my high school schedule, you know, I didn’t start running until my freshman year, in high school, I never ran a three track but I was very, very small. I was maybe five foot 300 pounds. You know, I was I was very tiny. So I couldn’t do a lot of the context sports. I was very competitive. I’ve always been competitive. But cross country and track were the first real athletics that I got a chance to do. And I wasn’t all that good in the beginning. And in fact, it probably two or three weeks in I kind of wanted to quit because it was so difficult. And I was so far behind the other freshmen on the team who had run eighth grade track the year before. But I decided that I was going to go ahead and stick with it, I was going to be the best that I could be no matter how good that was. And I was really going to dedicate and throw myself into it. And I started getting a little bit better. You know, my kind of throughout my freshman year and by the time track season rolled around toward the end of track season, I was a number two girl on our team. Now our team wasn’t particularly good. We were just kind of average at best. But you know, I really made a lot of movements and during that summer, between my freshman and sophomore years, I started running in the morning I started you know, running a lot of road races. I just started getting better because I put the work in by the first race my sophomore year I had beaten in a five k Invitational the reigning state champion on her home turf and it was just kind of a surprise is where did this where did this girl come from because Lou Paki had never lost a race the whole previous year and and I had gotten a chance to race her and I didn’t think I I personally didn’t think I could beat her. But somehow it just happened. And then so my schedule, my personal schedule I I was involved in obviously running and I would run probably usually twice a day I’d run before school, I’d run after school. One day a week I would run with the local track club I you know, if there’s a Friday night track meet, I’d be at a Saturday morning road race. I mean, running became a big part of my life because I knew that was potentially a ticket to college, because my parents didn’t really say so. So that was something I was very involved with. I was the president of both my four H and FFA chapter I was I was ultimately the senior class president, but I held a position on the student council each and every year. With four H and FFA I had dairy cows and pigs and I had to milk the cows and feed the pigs. And you know, all of these things. I mean, from six in the morning, up until 11 o’clock at night, I was busy. I didn’t really have a social life. I mean, I had friends, but I was so busy doing the things that I loved and just staying busy. I think that’s, I think looking back. I don’t know if I’d be bored if I didn’t get a chance to do all those things. But I think in each and every instance, everything that I did, even though probably I wore myself out to some extent, it was all inexperience and perseverance that, you know, has just kind of become second nature today.
David Ralph [15:24]
Well, that that’s the key thing, isn’t it that that stickability. But when it gets tough, just keep on going. Keep on going keep on going. The thing that’s sort of fascinated me with Brad storey that you were saying was, first of all, the fact that you were willing to go for it, go for it, go for it. But being a people pleaser, how much of those things when you look back on it? Did you think it was kind of expected that’s what people expected me to do? And how much was inherently what you wanted to do? Because it kind of kind of been all of it kind of surely.
Julie Busha [15:54]
No, I you know, obby uh, you know, the running, what that’s personally fulfilling to me. And I mean, even everything else that I did he, you know, in four H, I was, if you think of Jeopardy, and you think of dairy cows, there is little competition in four H and it’s called the dairy Quiz Bowl. And I was the state champion in that in this basically memorising and knowing it’s kind of like a spelling bee in some rare retrospect. But it’s how much knowledge do you have on dairy cows? And how much knowledge Do you have compared to all these other competitors? And it was, you know, it’s like a Jeopardy thing. You chime in you answer you, you know, you get points. And I’ve always been someone who really enjoys knowledge, no matter how useless it can be. My dad is someone who keeps full of useless knowledge. I always thought if I get a chance to go on Jeopardy, I think I do pretty well, because I’m just full. And it’s funny because my husband and I will play against each other just you know, at home. And suddenly a question will come up that can me it just kind of a normal question. second nature and he looks at me like how on earth? Did you know that? I’m like, Well, I just always knew that I have no idea how I’m, you know, I absorb a lot.
David Ralph [17:09]
Well, that’s the kind of definition of intelligence, isn’t it? So I’m a great believer that the real intelligent people are the ones that have just studied incredibly hard on this subject, right? It’s the ones that just kind of pick it up by walking along. And you kind of go as you say, your husband, How the hell do you know that? Well, I don’t know. I must have just seen it somewhere. And he kind of sticks.
Unknown Speaker [17:29]
That is right.
Julie Busha [17:32]
Right. And I’m not a big reader at all. Not at all, I actually, it’s very difficult. First of all, I don’t have time to read. Second of all, even just growing up, I didn’t enjoy a lot of the stuff that they put in front of me that I had to read. And so I think that turned me off from reading. It wasn’t the stuff that excited me. I know, I enjoy reading business articles and things like that nowadays, if you know if I get a chance, but I personally, reading is not something that’s been huge in my life. And I think that that people would find that weird that maybe I’ve got a decently high IQ or maybe I know a lot of things, but I’m not a big reader. And I don’t know why that is. But that’s just not the way I’m wired.
David Ralph [18:16]
Well, I read for days on you. And I can’t believe that I didn’t find out about the day we Quiz Bowl champions. Yeah, yeah, that should be on your LinkedIn profile, surely,
Julie Busha [18:26]
well, I don’t know. Long time ago,
David Ralph [18:29]
you never know when cows are going to come back in business. And that’s right, you could be at the head of the queue there. So the other thing, that’s what fascinated me as well was back on the sort of the people pleasing most of us, when we go through our childhood, we find ourselves on a path that basically is our parents path, and we kind of get pushed into certain things because our parents feel comfortable with it. And we feel comfortable with it. Because we’ve seen our moms and dads do that. Did you ever have that kind of pressure to do that? or What was your point have always left yourself to, to fulfil,
Julie Busha [19:03]
know, I think, know, my mom is a very laid back person, she would be the kind of person who was just happy if you were happy. And so she did put a lot of pressure on me, there’s probably been, I remember, one track meet. This was my sophomore year in high school, I ran my personal best at a 1600 metre. It was like 522. And then the next week, I ran a 525 when I went up to the stands afterwards, and my parents were always in one or both of them was always there. You know, my dad, I could see him little disappointed that I ran three seconds slower this week than I ran the last week. It’s like you can’t run a PR every week. So he really, uh, he I mean, I always enjoyed running. And I think he really pushed me at it. But I don’t think it was beyond what I wanted. So I think he of my mom and my dad, he was one that was he wanted you to succeed. He wanted you to, you know, to do well in school and things like that. But I don’t think it was I don’t think he ever pushed you into one area that you didn’t want to go. I think
David Ralph [20:14]
he did you a service. So Didn’t they I I look back at all the people that she everyone I’ve spoken to really the had done great things and are doing great things and haven’t got that kind of fire in their belly. A lot of it seems to be a kind of competitive edge that they’ve got from their parents, and the ones who are just kind of comfortable and they’re going with the flow and doing jobs that they don’t really like I don’t really dislike, they seem to get that sort of lack of fire as well from their parents. So I think your mom and dad by just having that sort of competitive edge that your dad had. I think he gave you a gift, don’t you?
Julie Busha [20:49]
Oh, no, definitely. And, you know, it is funny because I have an older sister who’s three years older than me. And when I came out, I really, I really looking back probably we think maybe dad was hoping for a boy. And he didn’t get a boy. But I enjoyed throwing the baseball with him going fishing with him doing probably more the boy things. And so that’s maybe you know, the the sports and the competitiveness my older sister, she’s not competitive at all. She takes more after my mom, but I take more after my dad. So you know, maybe he was just disappointed he didn’t get a boy. But I guess I filled that void to some extent.
David Ralph [21:29]
So So why did you take the leap of faith and go on your own because it’s quite evident, you’re doing the right thing I can just hear between you. And the fact that you’re not taking a holiday in a vacation. That’s that’s To be honest, is madness. And I know it is I’m gonna work with your husband, I’m not gonna say Take her away, don’t let her planet just do it secretly. So she she can’t argue. But um, because your career you were successful, you were marketing director, you were doing really well. And the most people they would look at that and go, job done, I got to the top got a good career. So your leap of faith was probably more dramatic than most because you’d already got to the top of the peak.
Julie Busha [22:09]
Right. Um, but and I was, um, out of college, I was recruited by IMG sport marketing firm to, and this was in March porn graduated in May. So I didn’t even have to look for a job, I had done an internship with them. They said, Julie, we have a job for you. I’m thinking, Oh, this is fantastic. You know, I love sports. And they had you know, in the beginning, I worked on some NFL property, some motor sports NASCAR properties. And then I very quickly went into the motorsport sector. here in Charlotte, North Carolina, this is sort of the hub of racing. Now where I grew up in Florida, there was no racing to be found in Southwest Florida. So I really didn’t have a good knowledge of the sport because I never grew up around it. And I think that’s probably one of the reasons why they hired me is because I wouldn’t treat a driver like a you know, I wouldn’t be starstruck by any of the people that, you know, they could put me around marketing was something that is something cash, you know, marketing is so enjoyable. And actually, I didn’t graduate with a marketing degree, I tease my husband all the time, I’m using his marketing degree. But to have had the opportunity to work with a major food company for nine and a half years as a client to work with, you know, dozens of their brands, or Salesforce, their food service division, just a just from top to bottom of just hundreds of people within that organisation. It really, it really was exciting, I learned so so much. And, you know, I look at kids coming out of college or high school now, and there are entrepreneurial courses to be an entrepreneur right out of the gates. And I think, I don’t know if that is a great idea, because I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’m doing now, if I didn’t have those experiences from the past to draw on. So you know, it was in I was in my early 30s, when I left, what most people would say was a dream job, I’d been hired by a form or by a NASCAR driver to help him build his agency, work with a fortune 500 clients and to grow that business. And then,
you know, I, my husband and I,
NASCAR is an industry that you’re on the road 20 weekends a year, at least, you know, it’s a lot of travel, it is a lot of travel, and I would say in the last three years, I must have left a solid three months of paid vacation or comp time on the table that I never use, because I was so dedicated to making sure a lot of pressure was on me specifically because marketing department, we pulled the weight of the sales and PR departments, I mean it financially, it was up to us to get ahead. So the comfort company, you know, no can survive. And so, you know, making sure that, you know, General Mills was well taken care of looking at opportunities for future marketing clients. You know, I if the sales team didn’t sell anything, you know, someone still has to pay for their, you know, salaries, if the PR can break even someone still has to pay for the overhead of the office. And, and so are my department was the biggest and I we had the most employees or the most staff, and but the most profit, but, you know, the most pressure at the same time. And I always felt it was better to make sure that my employees had some time off so they could recoup because I was still okay. You know, and we were always understaffed. You know, that’s, that’s not unusual about a lot of small companies that are just starting. So you know, we really did have a lot of pressure on us. I think, you know, looking at 10 years of travelling 20 weeks a year and being gone a lot. My husband and I kind of looked at each other and said, hey, are we ever going to start a family? Actually, today is our 12 year wedding anniversary. Oh, congratulations. Oh, thank you. Thank you. And we we started dating almost 17 years ago, and I still
David Ralph [26:16]
haven’t gone away. You could have had a weekend. Why couldn’t you?
Julie Busha [26:19]
Right? So I think we we saw the opportunity to leave an industry that I really did enjoy working. I mean, I loved working in NASCAR every day was different, you know, it was it was very fulfilling to me. But to grow your life, I think at some point, I think it wasn’t as fun as it used to be because I became kind of the the accountant for the company. We didn’t have a true accounting office. And because we were managing all the budgets, everything had to be made, you know, I felt like I was babysitting more toward the end, then really being able to be creative and procure new business and things like that, I kind of felt like I was in a little bit of a rut. And I could have left left and gone to another company could have gone to a team could have worked for another sponsor within sport. The offers were there. In fact, General Mills, even before I started worked for Bobby offered me a job, they said you want to work with us directly for us. And so, you know, being able to find another good job within the sport would be not a problem. But at the same time, I don’t know that I would have grown as much as I have. It’s not taking the leap of faith on my own. So my husband when he was the one who really said, Julie, now are you really really happy, I know you enjoy doing what you’re doing. But are you really, really happy? And the answer was no. And so, you know, decided to take the leap of faith in we were really smart. Because and this is something I know a lot of entrepreneurs, you know, they want to leave a job, but then they don’t have enough money. And for the previous 1012 years of our lives, you know, as we graduated, as we graduated college, and we’re getting married, and we were you know, building, we I mean we we both started at the bottom, and we worked our way up. But when I remember when it came time to buy our first house, and the lender, and this was back in 2002. This was a little bit after Yeah, this was right around the time we got married in 2002. They were
they were approving loans that were beyond
what should have been possible. And I’m a very much I’m a numbers person, I’m always been a math minded person. And when you look at you know, I was renting with two other girls, he was renting in the old college town with a couple of baseball players that you know, he played with, and we were paying cheap rent. And when you go to buy your first house, when they say you’re approved to buy, you know, a house that is $400,000. And you’re thinking, are you kidding me? How could you give us just graduated from college, a $400,000 loan, that’s insanity. in you, you do the numbers and you’re like, we would have to eat ramen noodles every single day. There’s just no way people can afford this. And yet so many people bought so much more either no money down loans, or, I mean, we wanted, we wanted to do the right thing we wanted to have 20% down, and we ended up buying a house for 175,000. So less than half of what we were approved to buy. And even that mortgage, like 1000 bucks a month, that seemed like a lot for us. Because we were just starting out. I mean, we had no furniture we you know, I mean, we were sitting on stadium chairs in our family room, you know, by our bedroom said was a hand me down that was passed on by my grandfather. So it’s like we didn’t have much of anything? And how could we? How could we buy this house that was going to be so expensive. And we kind of made the decision from the very beginning, hey, we’re going to live off of one income doesn’t matter whose income is going to be and you know, we’re both very competitive. So we always wanted to outdo each other and you know, in and work our way up faster. But we always lift off of one income, we always maxed out our retirement, we just we just always paid our credit cards, you know, if you don’t have the money, you don’t spend it. You just do the right things to get ahead. And because we were so conservative, and and over those first 1012 years, we had a nice savings so I could leave my job. And and if I didn’t need it again, if I didn’t need to work for a couple years that was going to be okay.
David Ralph [31:04]
That’s just so slow down there. Because there’s so many nuggets of gold where, where obviously we’re talking about a leap of faith. But what you did was the sensible thing that I think is the slide of faith where financially you get things right, so that you can actually transition to something new. And what what was your is that your gut feeling that is the right way to do it. And I notice different ways of doing it, you arrive at a leap, and then you make it up as you go down. And hopefully you can build a parachute on the way down, as I say, and then when everything’s good, or do you believe that that is in today’s day and age, with the opportunities that we’ve got in the internet, and we’ve got on the sort of web and all that kind of places, that you can actually build an outside income to make it easier when you do actually move?
Julie Busha [31:51]
Yeah, see, I’m always been on the more conservative side. So it would stress me out immensely if our savings didn’t have a certain amount of money. If Are you know, that’s just the crazy person, I am the very math minded person I am, you know, I I am a very much a realist. So, I think how can you take a leap of faith, if you don’t have something to fall back on? Not that you should want to or ever hope to, or ever think about falling back on anything. You know, it was just something that I don’t I don’t have parents that I can ask them for money, you know, I, I wouldn’t ever ask money from family, not that we have family that we could ask radio money from, it’s always kind of been on our shoulders to, you know, to cut it out or not. It’s not like we’ve got a lot of parachutes. So we need to create our own parachute, just in case, because you don’t know if someone’s going to get ill and, you know, be stricken with cancer or, you know, you just don’t know if someone’s going to get in a car accident. And and you have to pivot and do something maybe slightly different.
David Ralph [33:07]
But the crux of the matter is that no matter what you would have still left your job he did you come to a natural end and play some words now, which sort of emphasise is what we’re talking about at the moment is that, that that feeling inside, but you just know, you’ve got to take a risk. And you’ve got to do it. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [33:25]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [33:52]
So those words obviously, say a lot about what you went through. But there must have been quite a few people that when you said to them, I’m actually thinking of leaving, they kind of tried to hold you in the same position. Was it difficult to actually free yourself? Or was everyone going Julie Go go go and really sort of rooting for you.
Julie Busha [34:13]
I think the people who know you and know how
your I guess maybe your history of success or or just know your work ethic, or I think they all believe in you. I think probably from the outside people would say that would still be stupid to leave a great industry. And I mean, but
Unknown Speaker [34:37]
Julie Busha [34:40]
I should have done it earlier. To be honest, I probably should have done it a couple years earlier.
David Ralph [34:49]
And was I didn’t you in position?
Julie Busha [34:51]
No, no, I don’t think I don’t think it was I don’t think it was fear. I’ve really, I really just don’t know if I knew exactly what, what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to you don’t want to leave something that you enjoy for something and you don’t know what you want to do.
If you know what you want to do, then you do it.
David Ralph [35:13]
So how did you make that decision? Because this is really the nuts and bolts of this show what we’ve hit on here is exactly the question that our listeners will be having. And they listen in their thousands, and most of them will email me going. Yes, I know you’re talking about finding your passion, doing things that you love, but I really don’t know what it is. So how do people find that thing in their life? When they can then go? Yes, he’s now come together, I’m gonna work on something. And Fingers crossed. I’m gonna love every second of every day.
Julie Busha [35:43]
Right? Um, gosh, you know, I you know, I think the thing that I love the most, and it wouldn’t have had to have been slawson, it could have been something else. But I think I love and this is just something that, that kind of got me excited when I was working with General, you know, you’re working with these little brands and or, well, they were big brands, but you work with the brand. And they give you x amount of money and they want to show the return on investment they want you to you know, you want to grow the brand X amount. And and and figure out the right way to do that. So being able, and in growing a brand that’s already kind of known is very difficult to get figure out your return on your investment to grow a brand that has no place that has no current place in. In America. I mean, the salsa wasn’t sold in one store when I became involved. It was just, it just wasn’t known at all. And to be able to take something and to grow it to where it is. I mean, even just in the beginning, just the little achievements that you had, oh, so we finally figured out a new label design that that was exciting. You know, it had old crappy label. And then she’s kept this beautiful label and and that was very fulfilling that you know, every step along the way of every single thing you did even just getting our first retailer or, you know, early on when I walked into Walmart, I was going to pitch them just so they knew I was around. I didn’t expect them to pick us up. And then they said yeah, let’s go ahead and start bring, let’s get your new vendor information. Let’s, let’s start testing it in some of our stores. And I’m thinking Are you kidding me? Like that was it were when programme came along? That was huge. I mean,
David Ralph [37:31]
you expect these about because obviously you’re building a great product, you believe it, you’re investing your time and your money, if that’s the kind of self limiting thought that you had that you know, a woman really huge. They’re not just going to choose me.
Julie Busha [37:43]
Well, I mean, so so the time we had our first Walmart meeting, we had just launched into our first store into into Ingles markets, they have about 200 stores in western North Carolina, in about five states, but they’re based in western North Carolina, we had Jim gotten our product into stores. So we didn’t have any sales figures. So I didn’t expect Walmart to say yes, we’re going to take a chance on you. I mean, that’s insane. How do they do that?
David Ralph [38:12]
Surely they take a chance on on loads and loads of products don’t like
Julie Busha [38:15]
right, but but they do take a chance on other products that have already been in the marketplace more than a month or two months. You know, I mean,
David Ralph [38:23]
yeah, but then we yummy. Right? Right, when I was reading about yours, I, you know, I’m not aware, but we’ve got it in UK, but I thought this sounds lovely, I’d love this.
Julie Busha [38:35]
Well, and it is it is something that and fortunately is so different from everything out there. That’s one benefit. You know, if you’re if you’re creating something, if you want to take a leap, if you can do something different, that’s going to help you out. So being different is it’s extremely important. And I think the other part of the equation is the fact that the number one thing I present every retailer I present to is my marketing programme heads and above the flavour which is phenomenal, but heads and above the flavour and and everything else that you’re going to do if you’ve got a great marketing programme, how can they deny you? So, so you know, that’s, that’s been a great deal of our success in the grocery industry, is just based on the fact that I am extremely aggressive in marketing, and I’m doing it the right way. And I’m not making a lot of the rookie mistakes that probably a lot of startup food manufacturers make, just because I did have a little bit of knowledge coming in from having worked with General Mills, having had the background and marketing in NASCAR. So, you know, I think I think of things in a different manner than a lot of people think of things. I had a meeting and we’re in a grocery store in Texas called he is a battering or store chain, or they’re actually very nice stores. They’re low price. But they’re nice, or they have big selection. And the buyer when I’m sitting in San Antonio with a meeting with him, he he gave me the best compliment I think I’ve ever received all year. And you know, these buyers, they constantly have small food companies coming in to pitch them their brands and and pick up my product, this local yada yada, yada and he said, Julie, he said, I’m constant. He said, you’re a marketer who started a food company. I’m constantly dealing with people who start food companies who are trying to figure out marketing. And that was the nicest compliment. I think I may almost cried. It was a very nice compliment. Because I think the approach that I have in launching salsa and launching the company is very different from, from what, you know, a lot of people starting a product do I had come from it with a very analytical perspective.
David Ralph [40:58]
Well, even even when he was the Shark Tank, I was watching shark tank and we don’t have Shark Tank over here. We have Dragon’s Den. But you knew your numbers, didn’t you? But they were frying you and there was no way they were going to trip you up. You knew the numbers inside out?
Julie Busha [41:14]
No, absolutely. And I was I’m probably had a very unfortunate, um, I pitched to them very last on a Sunday night. So I was the very last person they saw, I think during their three day taping session, so that probably didn’t bode well my favour. But you know, there wasn’t a bone in my body when I was going in that would, that would not allow me not to get only one offer. But to get multiple offers, it was a no brainer. I mean, they’re having something unique having the growth having my background. My background really didn’t get aired in the in the Edit, but I couldn’t believe that I didn’t get an offer. It was it was there’s no adjectives that can describe the shock of how absurd that situation was. It was just bizarre.
David Ralph [42:07]
But what did you go into the Shark Tank because you’ve got a product, but it seemed to me was doing very well anyway, and from everything that I see about that programme, is not even. And I’ve spoken to quite a few people now actually, I have been on that programme. And they go, we fought that. Even at the worst, it would be great promotion. And after the show airs. Still not a great deal happen, you know, it just seems to be you do it for the sake of doing it. And then if the sharks doing best, they don’t actually really sort of help you out and a great sense of things, I’ve got too many things on their plate, and you seem a lady who knows your stuff. And you know the product and you know the marketing, it seems strange to me, but you would kind of almost allow somebody else to take control of something that you’re doing so wonderfully yourself.
Julie Busha [42:55]
Well, and a couple of reasons. I think the first thing is, is that when when I started salsa, or when I started launching salsa, I actually had a partner. And and he maintained a full time job and I worked on this full time, I put the investment into the company to get it going. And after a certain amount of success, after we were in over 4000 stores, he made the request to me to buy him out. Now I could look at that as one of two ways. I could I mean, it wasn’t sold in one store, I became involved. So I could look at that as one of two ways. And I can either look at it as a tax on my effort to date. Or I could look at it as an opportunity for the future. And when a buyout occurs there, there’s a financial investment that you have to pay someone. And and so I kind of looked at, you know, here’s all the great things and the smart things that my husband and I did to save all this money. And instead of me being able to use that put toward the company, it now has a different purpose. And so that was something that was that was very serious, I know that the sharks really didn’t have good knowledge of the grocery and the food industry. And and perhaps, you know, some of them have been burned by other food investments that they’ve made, and that maybe they’re not panning out as well, or they’re taking slower to mature just because we are a high volume low margin driven industry. So, you know, not only was I looking to kind of loosen the noose on my neck, because, you know, when I agreed to the buyout, and it was a complete shock, I it came from left field. When I agreed to the buyout, that was something that was going to increase my risk tenfold. I mean, that, you know, I mean, a Pinnacle Foods or Mount Olive pick or someone else, if they came with a knockoff product, we lose our house, potentially, I mean, because I’m still obligated to the financial did terms of the buyout?
David Ralph [45:02]
So was it sleepless nights at that period of time? Or were you somebody that believed in the product so much that you were going to go I
Julie Busha [45:09]
I believed in it, but being a numbers person, I was a little stressed. Um, so you know, I put the you know, the good thing is, you know, you Shark Tank happen, didn’t it didn’t happen the way I anticipated didn’t expect for the non investment. And really, I would I know that the sharks wouldn’t be able to give a lot in terms of in terms of support, just because I don’t think that that that’s their background, the food industry. But or or Connexions. I mean, I was doing fine on my own, but I could have utilise their celebrity in my marketing. And that was my ass that I was going to ask for is I had a few ideas that, you know, if we agree to terms, and you know, I my my numbers were on, even my valuation was potentially a little bit low. I went through probably three minutes on exactly why was valued at what it was value that even if you just look two weeks ago, and his organics, they do, oh gosh, I would say last year annually, in gross sales last year in gross sales, they sold
Unknown Speaker [46:27]
Julie Busha [46:29]
about $60 million, something like that, something like that, in gross sales, that’s just gross. That’s not net, that’s, you know, that’s gross. General Mills just bought them for four times that amount. So 202 hundred and some odd million of their so four times their gross sale, I was not, I was not using a four times gross sales, even remotely close on my valuation. Otherwise I’d been I bet you waited only half of what I should evaluated that. But you know, for for whatever reason, I just think that, you know, maybe it was the end of the day, maybe they were tired, maybe they didn’t. Maybe they didn’t maybe they saw salsa as being so unique and different, that there’s less value there and something that they traditionally know, and really is quite the opposite in the grocery industry, the more unique you have something, the more ability you have to grow to become quite large.
David Ralph [47:32]
Well, I’m the hunger play in the words of Steve Jobs now, which is the theme of the show. And I’ve got some good questions that I’m going to ask you afterwards by Jobs. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [47:42]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [48:17]
So you’ve had competence, you’ve gone off the well worn path, you’ve followed your unique self to wherever it’s going to go. If you look back, can you see the path? Is it right? As Steve Jobs is saying, but you can actually see your dots lining up?
Julie Busha [48:34]
No, I think I think it is true. I think it’s going to be even more true 10 years from now. Just because, you know, 10 years ago, you know, I wasn’t but a few years out of college. But I do think that when you look back and you see the decisions that you’ve made, and a lot of people would have said how do you agree to buy someone out? That I mean, that’s a huge huge risk it that’s just enormous. But I have enough confidence in my abilities and and and the company and the brand. And you know, I think I’ve got a lot of faith in a lot of people around me as well.
David Ralph [49:21]
So So what is the big dotting your life on if we were going to take his fieri? When did Judy Boucher become Julie, be sure that we’re speaking to today? Is it? Is there a time that you can look back? And you can go? Yes, I reckon that was when I started to become my true self.
Julie Busha [49:38]
It was probably that first race my sophomore year in high school when I beat the state champions. Because it just gave you so much confidence that on any given day, you could win that race. And, and I think my attitude, I just became more empowered. And I mean, I was always competitor. But I became more empowered. I became more confident in myself after that happened.
David Ralph [50:06]
That’s amazing, isn’t it that one race and I know, as you were saying, You worked towards that race and you kept on practising and you built up and your muscles got stronger, blah, blah, blah. But it’s still amazing that one race, which is probably well, I don’t know how long it took a couple of minutes or something is actually a defining moment for you.
Julie Busha [50:27]
Yeah, no, no, it was it was probably like 19 minutes and it was a Paki Invitational. Yeah, it was was 3.1 miles. But it and that’s the that’s the funny thing because I remember I vivid I even go looking back now I remember being on the start line, I lined up at the number two spot because I was a number two girl from taxis. And I wasn’t the number one girl. And I remember even when we took off, I was like, holy cow. I’m in the lead pack. That’s just so cool. I’ve never been in the lead pack. You know, it was just bizarre. Hear it and lead pack and then all the sudden that lead pack just starts falling apart. And then before you know it is, you know me and her and then you’re thinking Holy cow. I’m running with little Paki? Can you believe that?
David Ralph [51:11]
Have you seen her? Do you know what’s happened to her?
Julie Busha [51:14]
Oh, um, you know what not. And I really haven’t seen her since. You know, our senior year. The last race, she went off the University of Alabama, I think we had connected a few times. Because a younger a girl who was actually a freshman when maybe a freshman or sophomore when I was a senior who ran for her team. She came back to her graduation thing that I went to as well. It’s funny that the runner community even though you she went to rival high schools, and you hated each other after you, you know, the gun went off. You were still friends in another time. So I think it was at at Amy’s graduation party that I thought Liz last but I you know, I have no doubt she’s probably a doctor, or she’s doing something really big with her life at this point. Because, yeah, I think that’s, that’s something that’s very, very true of endurance athletes in general, were the kind of people that you know, cross country or track when you’re running distances isn’t a glamorous sport, we do it because we love to do it. And we don’t do it, because we think we’re going to make a career out of it. And and it’s a sport that’s, you know, very self driven, individual sport, where it’s not like you’ve got a team to rely on, you’ve got to rely on yourself. And I think a lot of great entrepreneurs come from the background, that they perhaps were endurance athletes when they were growing up, because it’s kind of, you know, everything’s on your shoulders, you either succeed or you don’t succeed. It’s not like you’ve got a huge team to rely on to pull you through some tough times. You have a bad race, and you’re not running up front. You know, did you did you think that
David Ralph [53:07]
a prize? Oh, he was saying you have so much respect for the other runners? Do you think that is something that is similar in entrepreneurship? When you look at other people’s businesses? Do you kind of because you know how much work goes into it? When when I look at other people that have got shows like mine, and they are rocking and rolling, and they are at the top of the game? I just know, because I’m in the moment. I know what they’ve been through to get themselves to the top. And I have total respect for them. I is that the same with all people on the way up when they can see?
Julie Busha [53:39]
Yeah, I think it is. And I’m very fortunate to be part of several entrepreneurial groups on Facebook, where we freely give advice to each other, and there’s a few people and you, you get very personal Connexions to them. And there’s a few people in the group that I’ve never met, maybe dozens, but I feel very close to because, you know, they can direct message 11 o’clock at night when you’re both sitting at your computers working and you’re going to take a five minute break to you know, send a quick note how you doing Hang in there, keep grinding that kind of thing. And I think the people who are the true entrepreneurs, I mean, they really they you know, that they’re working as much as they’re working, because you know, you’re doing the exact same. So I have utmost respect for anybody who, you know, takes that leap of faith to start their business because it’s not easy. And that that journey could be very long. That you know, you know, there’s some that are more successful than others. There’s a few people obviously, in a group that really aren’t entrepreneurs, they just kind of want someone to do the work for them. And you know, that’s not not reality. But But yeah, I think there’s we’re just kind of a different breed, just like a distance runner is a different breed of athletes. So
and I think there’s a lot
there’s a lot of connexion between being a distance athlete and being an entrepreneur, just there’s a lot of similarities. In my opinion,
David Ralph [55:11]
it’s that stickability and it really get down to the nitty gritty, it’s when your legs are aching, and you know that you just going to do a couple more strides. And I realised since I left my corporate job, and I’m doing this now, I was I used to work incredibly long hours. And then I realised it was ridiculous working incredibly long hours, and I became a stickler to the clock. And I would get in at my time, and I would leave at my time. And I would say to everyone know if I can’t get it done in this time, when it’s my own fault, you know, I’ve got my work and I should be able to do it in the hours that’s allotted. But since I’ve done this is
Unknown Speaker [55:46]
when you’re working more,
David Ralph [55:47]
yeah, it’s gone totally out the window. And I’m just spending more and more time doing at weekends and Sundays and Mondays and whatever. But I kind of love it, Julie, I just
Julie Busha [55:56]
yes, no, you do you do. And I’m even, I was probably before working 60 to 80 hours a week in my last job only getting I’m salary only getting paid for 40. Of course not getting paid for any time I didn’t take off that I was, you know, they earned. But I’m working more now, but I’m enjoying it more. And the other nice thing is right now I’m working out of my home. So I don’t have to worry about and a lot of entrepreneurs, especially starting out, you’re working out of your home, and some people can do it. Some people can’t do it, they get distracted. But it’s I feel more balanced in my life now. Because during the day, I can pop a load of laundry and I can unload the dishwasher. I can, you know, on the way back from a meeting, I can hit the grocery store it you know, I think when you’re gone, you know and commuting. I don’t have to worry about a commute anymore. How nice is that? Now granted, I do have to travel from time to time. And that’s, that’s great, that’s fine. But I do I am a very good manager of my time I prioritise. I make lists, I’m very, very ultra organised. So, you know, I think, I think I’m living a more balanced life now than what I had before.
David Ralph [57:15]
But just absolutely, yeah, just before we bring you to the end of the show, the key question is, do you think this is the life you should be having now?
Julie Busha [57:27]
Yes, without a doubt, um, you know, obviously, I’m looking forward to more success and being able to take more time off or, or, you know, maybe expanding it to more things. But I’m very, very much focused on growing salsa, it’s extremely fulfilling, you know, just getting emails from people complete strangers, who took time out of their day to go to your website to tell you how much they love your product. To hear that people are talking about it to other people. That’s, that blows my mind. I mean, that’s, that’s the best compliment a small business can ever hope to receive. So, you know, I, I don’t think I would change anything that I’m doing now. Because, you know, I think 10 1520 years, you look back on the journey. And that makes what happens 10 2015 years from now, more sweet, because you’ve gone through that journey.
David Ralph [58:31]
But we’re going to do that now. And this is the end of the show when I send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and and meet the young Julie, what age Judy, would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out now because this is the end of the show. And this is the piece that we call the Sermon on the mind.
Unknown Speaker [58:57]
Here we go with the best.
Julie Busha [59:14]
Okay, I’m going to talk to the Julie who is probably 33 years old, maybe 30? No, I know, I was probably 3435 years old. This was right after I got on the Shark Tank, obviously didn’t get a deal. I took it very personally, I really did. And so I would say never let someone else’s in ability to see your value. Determine your worth. You know, I took that hard probably for a couple months, because I couldn’t I couldn’t figure out why they would invest in me or into my company and and you hear all the times all they say, you know we invest in the people we invest in the people in I’m thinking how do you not invest in me? Are you kidding me? And and I didn’t take it, I didn’t take it very personally. And so I probably didn’t see the whole picture in that. Maybe they just weren’t comfortable within the industry. So they didn’t want to, you know, make an offer. And I think that’s really what it boiled down to. But I thought you know, even though they didn’t tell me that there was a problem or an issue, you know, a lot of times they’re very mean to people. They really didn’t didn’t tell me why they just said they weren’t interested. So I guess never let someone’s inability to see your value determine your worth because you’re you’re worth with the efforts that you put in to make your success. And so you know, I left with a very odd quote and not many I’m sure other entrepreneurs leave with the same quote but I felt that they were going to be sorry that the passed on me and I still feel that to this day without a doubt I you know, I know that they probably forget your name, you know, five minutes after you walk out the door but, but I’ll make sure that they remember so never let someone else’s inability to see your value determine your worth.
David Ralph [1:01:16]
Well, I’ll tell you I won’t forget your name and nowhere our listeners Ivor Julie How can our audience connect with you?
Well, my personal Twitter is Jules Busha. Our websites last it up calm and then salsa is on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, all just salsa SL AWS say. Well, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining those dots to the end. Please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build your futures. Judy Busha. Thank you so much.
Julie Busha [1:01:56]
Thanks so much, David.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.